HISTORY OF FRIEDRICH II OF PRUSSIA
FREDERICK THE GREAT
By Thomas Carlyle
BOOK XII. — FIRST SILESIAN WAR, AWAKENING A GENERAL EUROPEAN ONE, BEGINS. — December, 1740-May, 1741.
Chapter I. — OF SCHLESIEN, OR SILESIA.
Schlesien, what we call Silesia, lies in elliptic shape, spread on the top of Europe, partly girt with mountains, like the crown or crest to that part of the Earth;—highest table-land of Germany or of the Cisalpine Countries; and sending rivers into all the seas. The summit or highest level of it is in the southwest; longest diameter is from northwest to southeast. From Crossen, whither Friedrich is now driving, to the Jablunka Pass, which issues upon Hungary, is above 250 miles; the AXIS, therefore, or longest diameter, of our Ellipse we may call 230 English miles;—its shortest or conjugate diameter, from Friedland in Bohemia (Wallenstein's old Friedland), by Breslau across the Oder to the Polish Frontier, is about 100. The total area of Schlesien is counted to be some 20,000 square miles, nearly the third of England Proper.
Schlesien—will the reader learn to call it by that name, on occasion? for in these sad Manuscripts of ours the names alternate—is a fine, fertile, useful and beautiful Country. It leans sloping, as we hinted, to the East and to the North; a long curved buttress of Mountains ("RIESENGEBIRGE, Giant Mountains," is their best-known name in foreign countries) holding it up on the South and West sides. This Giant-Mountain Range,—which is a kind of continuation of the Saxon-Bohemian "Metal Mountains (ERZGEBIRGE)" and of the straggling Lausitz Mountains, to westward of these,—shapes itself like a bill-hook (or elliptically, as was said): handle and hook together may be some 200 miles in length. The precipitous side of this is, in general, turned outwards, towards Bohmen, Mahren, Ungarn (Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary, in our dialects); and Schlesien lies inside, irregularly sloping down, towards the Baltic and towards the utmost East, From the Bohemian side of these Mountains there rise two Rivers: Elbe, tending for the West; Morawa for the South;—Morawa, crossing Moravia, gets into the Donau, and thence into the Black-Sea; while Elbe, after intricate adventures among the mountains, and then prosperously across the plains, is out, with its many ships, into the Atlantic. Two rivers, we say, from the Bohemian or steep side: and again, from the Silesian side, there rise other two, the Oder and the Weichsel (VISTULA); which start pretty near one another in the Southeast, and, after wide windings, get both into the Baltic, at a good distance apart.
For the first thirty, or in parts, fifty miles from the Mountains, Silesia slopes somewhat rapidly; and is still to be called a Hill-country, rugged extensive elevations diversifying it: but after that, the slope is gentle, and at length insensible, or noticeable only by the way the waters run. From the central part of it, Schlesien pictures itself to you as a plain; growing ever flatter, ever sandier, as it abuts on the monotonous endless sand-flats of Poland, and the Brandenburg territories; nothing but Boundary Stones with their brass inscriptions marking where the transition is; and only some Fortified Town, not far off, keeping the door of the Country secure in that quarter.
On the other hand, the Mountain part of Schlesien is very picturesque; not of Alpine height anywhere (the Schnee-Koppe itself is under 5,000 feet), so that verdure and forest wood fail almost nowhere among the Mountains; and multiplex industry, besung by rushing torrents and the swift young rivers, nestles itself high up; and from wheat husbandry, madder and maize husbandry, to damask-weaving, metallurgy, charcoal-burning, tar-distillery, Schlesien has many trades, and has long been expert and busy at them to a high degree. A very pretty Ellipsis, or irregular Oval, on the summit of the European Continent;—"like the palm of a left hand well stretched out, with the Riesengebirge for thumb!" said a certain Herr to me, stretching out his arm in that fashion towards the northwest. Palm, well stretched out, measuring 250 miles; and the crossway 100. There are still beavers in Schlesien; the Katzbach River has gold grains in it, a kind of Pactolus not now worth working; and in the scraggy lonesome pine-woods, grimy individuals, with kindled mounds of pine-branches and smoke carefully kept down by sods, are sweating out a substance which they inform you is to be tar.
HISTORICAL EPOCHS OF SCHLESIEN;—AFTER THE QUADS AND MARCHMEN.
Who first lived in Schlesien, or lived long since in it, there is no use in asking, nor in telling if one knew. "The QUADI and the Lygii," says Dryasdust, in a groping manner: Quadi and consorts, in the fifth or sixth Century, continues he with more confidence, shifted Rome-ward, following the general track of contemporaneous mankind; weak remnant of Quadi was thereupon overpowered by Slavic populations, and their Country became Polish, which the eastern rim of it still essentially is. That was the end of the Quadi in those parts, says History. But they cannot speak nor appeal for themselves; History has them much at discretion. Rude burial urns, with a handful of ashes in them, have been dug up in different places; these are all the Archives and Histories the Quadi now have. It appears their name signifies WICKED. They are those poor Quadi (WICKED PEOPLE) who always go along with the Marcomanni (MARCHMEN), in the bead-roll Histories one reads; and I almost guess they must have been of the same stock: "Wickeds and Borderers;" considered, on both sides of the Border, to belong to the Dangerous Classes in those times. Two things are certain: First, QUAD and its derivatives have, to this day, in the speech of rustic Germans, something of that meaning,—"nefarious," at least "injurious," "hateful, and to be avoided:" for example, QUADdel, "a nettle-burn;" QUETSchen, "to smash" (say, your thumb while hammering); &c. &c. And then a second thing: The Polish equivalent word is ZLE (Busching says ZLEXI); hence ZLEzien, SCHLEsien, meaning merely BADland, QUADland, what we might called DAMAGitia, or Country where you get into Trouble. That is the etymology, or what passes for such. As to the History of Schlesien, hitherwards of these burial urns dug up in different places, I notice, as not yet entirely buriable, Three Epochs.
FIRST EPOCH; CHRISTIANITY: A.D. 966. Introduction of Christianity; to the length of founding a Bishopric that year, so hopeful were the aspects; "Bishopric of Schmoger" (SchMAGram, dim little Village still discoverable on the Polish frontier, not far from the Town of Namslau); Bishopric which, after one removal farther inward, got across the Oder, to "WRUTISLAV," which me now call Breslau; and sticks there, as Bishopric of Breslau, to this day. Year 966: it was in Adalbert, our Prussian Saint and Missionary's younger time. Preaching, by zealous Polacks, must have been going on, while Adalbert, Bright in Nobleness, was studying at Magdeburg, and ripening for high things in the general estimation. This was a new gift from the Polacks, this of Christianity; an infinitely more important one than that nickname of "ZLEZIEN," or "DAMAGitia," stuck upon the poor Country, had been.
SECOND EPOCH; GET GRADUALLY CUT LOOSE FROM POLAND: A.D. 1139-1159. Twenty years of great trouble in Poland, which were of lasting benefit to Schlesien. In 1139 the Polack King, a very potent Majesty whom we could name but do not, died; and left his Dominions shared by punctual bequest among his five sons. Punctual bequest did avail: but the eldest Son (who was King, and had Schlesien with much else to his share) began to encroach, to grasp; upon which the others rose upon him, flung him out into exile; redivided; and hoped now they might have quiet. Hoped, but were disappointed; and could come to no sure bargain for the next twenty years,—not till "the eldest brother," first author of these strifes, "died an exile in Holstein," or was just about dying, and had agreed to take Schlesien for all claims, and be quiet thenceforth.
His, this eldest's, three Sons did accordingly, in 1159, get Schlesien instead of him; their uncles proving honorable. Schlesien thereby was happy enough to get cut loose from Poland, and to continue loose; steering a course of its own;—parting farther and farther from Poland and its habits and fortunes. These three Sons, of the late Polish Majesty who died in exile in Holstein, are the "Piast Dukes," much talked of in Silesian Histories: of whose merits I specify this only, That they so soon as possible strove to be German. They were Progenitors of all the "Piast Dukes," Proprietors of Schlesien thenceforth, till the last of them died out in 1675,—and a certain ERBVERBRUDERUNG they had entered into could not take effect at that time. Their merits as Sovereign Dukes seem to have been considerable; a certain piety, wisdom and nobleness of mind not rare among them; and no doubt it was partly their merit, if partly also their good luck, that they took to Germany, and leant thitherward; steering looser and looser from Poland, in their new circumstances. They themselves by degrees became altogether German; their Countries, by silent immigration, introduction of the arts, the composures and sobrieties, became essentially so. On the eastern rim there is still a Polack remnant, its territories very sandy, its condition very bad; remnant which surely ought to cease its Polack jargon, and learn some dialect of intelligible Teutsch, as the first condition of improvement. In all other parts Teutsch reigns; and Schlesien is a green abundant Country; full of metallurgy, damask-weaving, grain-husbandry.—instead of gasconade, gilt anarchy, rags, dirt, and NIE POZWALAM.
A.D. 1327; GET COMPLETELY CUT LOOSE. The Piast Dukes, who soon ceased to be Polish, and hung rather upon Bohemia, and thereby upon Germany, made a great step in that direction, when King Johann, old ICH-DIEN whom we ought to recollect, persuaded most of them, all of them but two, "PRETIO AC PRECE," to become Feudatories (Quasi-Feudatories, but of a sovereign sort) to his Crown of Bohemia. The two who stood out, resisting prayer and price, were the Duke of Jauer and the Duke of Schweidnitz,—lofty-minded gentlemen, perhaps a thought too lofty. But these also Johann's son, little Kaiser Karl IV., "marrying their heiress," contrived to bring in;—one fruitful adventure of little Karl's, among the many wasteful he made, in the German Reich. Schlesien is henceforth a bit of the Kingdom of Bohemia; indissolubly hooked to Germany; and its progress in the arts and composures, under wise Piasts with immigrating Germans, we guess to have become doubly rapid. [Busching, Erdbeschreibung, viii. 725; Hubner, t. 94.]
THIRD EPOCH; ADOPT THE REFORMATION: A.D. 1414-1517. Schlesien, hanging to Bohemia in this manner, extensively adopted Huss's doctrines; still more extensively Luther's; and that was a difficult element in its lot, though, I believe, an unspeakably precious one. It cost above a Century of sad tumults, Zisca Wars; nay above two Centuries, including the sad Thirty-Years War;—which miseries, in Bohemia Proper, were sometimes very sad and even horrible. But Schlesien, the outlying Country, did, in all this, suffer less than Bohemia Proper; and did NOT lose its Evangelical Doctrine in result, as unfortunate Bohemia did, and sink into sluttish "fanatical torpor, and big Crucifixes of japanned Tin by the wayside," though in the course of subsequent years, named of Peace, it was near doing so. Here are the steps, or unavailing counter-steps, in that latter direction:—
A.D. 1537. Occurred, as we know, the ERBVERBRUDERUNG; Duke of Liegnitz, and of other extensive heritages, making Deed of Brotherhood with Kur-Brandenburg;—Deed forbidden, and so far as might be, rubbed out and annihilated by the then King of Bohemia, subsequently Kaiser Ferdinand I., Karl V.'s Brother. Duke of Liegnitz had to give up his parchments, and become zero in that matter: Kur-Brandenburg entirely refused to do so; kept his parchments, to see if they would not turn to something.
A.D. 1624. Schlesien, especially the then Duke of Liegnitz (great-grandson of the ERBVERBRUDERUNG one), and poor Johann George, Duke of Jagerndorf, cadet of the then Kur-Brandenburg, went warmly ahead into the Winter-King project, first fire of the Thirty-Years War; sufferings from Papal encroachment, in high quarters, being really extreme. Warmly ahead; and had to smart sharply for it;—poor Johann George with forfeiture of Jagerndorf, with REICHES-ACHT (Ban of the Empire), and total ruin; fighting against which he soon died. Act of Ban and Forfeiture was done tyrannously, said most men; and it was persisted in equally so, till men ceased speaking of it;—Jagerndorf Duchy, fruit of the Act, was held by Austria, ever after, in defiance of the Laws of the Reich. Religious Oppression lay heavy on Protestant Schlesien thenceforth; and many lukewarm individualities were brought back to Orthodoxy by that method, successful in the diligent skilled hands of Jesuit Reverend Fathers, with fiscals and soldiers in the rear of them.
A.D. 1648. Treaty of Westphalia mended much of this, and set fair limits to Papist encroachment;—had said Treaty been kept: but how could it? By Orthodox Authority, anxious to recover lost souls, or at least to have loyal subjects, it was publicly kept in name; and tacitly, in substance, it was violated more and more. Of the "Blossoming of Silesian Literature," spoken of in Books; of the Poet Opitz, Poets Logan, Hoffmannswaldau, who burst into a kind of Song better or worse at this Period, we will remember nothing; but request the reader to remember it, if he is tunefully given, or thinks it a good symptom of Schlesien.
A.D. 1707. Treaty of Altranstadt: between Kaiser Joseph I. and Karl XII. Swedish Karl, marching through those parts,—out of Poland, in chase of August the Physically Strong, towards Saxony, there to beat him soft,—was waited upon by Silesian Deputations of a lamentable nature; was entreated, for the love of Christ and His Evangel, to "Protect us poor Protestants, and get the Treaty of Westphalia observed on our behalf, and fair-play shown!" Which Karl did; Kaiser Joseph, with such weight of French War lying on him, being much struck with the tone of that dangerous Swede. The Pope rebuked Kaiser Joseph for such compliance in the Silesian matter: "Holy Father," answered this Kaiser (not of distinguished orthodoxy in the House), "I am too glad he did not ask me to become Lutheran; I know not how I should have helped myself!" [Pauli, Allgemeine Preussische Staats-Geschichte (viii. 298-592); Busching, Erdbeschreibung (viii. 700-739); &c.—Heinrich Wuttke, Friedrichs des Grossen Besitzergreifung von Schlesien (Seizure of Silesia by Friedrich, 2 vols. Leipzig, 1843), I mention only lest ingenuous readers should be tempted by the Title to buy it. Wuttke begins at the Creation of the World; and having, in two heavy volumes, at last struggled down close TO the BESITZERGREIFUNG or Seizure in question, calls halt; and stands (at ease, we will hope) immovably there for the seventeen years since.]
These are the Three Epochs;—most things, in respect of this Third or Reformation Epoch, stepping steadily downward hitherto. As to the Fourth Epoch, dating "13th Dec. 1740," which continues, up to our day and farther, and is the final and crowning Epoch of Silesian History,—read in the following Chapters.
Chapter II. — FRIEDRICH MARCHES ON GLOGAU.
At what hour Friedrich ceased dancing on that famous Ball-night of Bielfeld's, and how long he slept after, or whether at all, no Bielfeld even mythically says: but next morning, as is patent to all the world, Tuesday, 13th December, 1740, at the stroke of nine, he steps into his carriage; and with small escort rolls away towards Frankfurt-on-Oder; [Helden-Geschichte, i. 452; Preuss, Thronbesteigung, p. 456.] out upon an Enterprise which will have results for himself and others.
Two youngish military men, Adjutant-Generals both, were with him, Wartensleben, Borck; both once fellow Captains in the Potsdam Giants, and much in his intimacy ever since. Wartensleben we once saw at Brunswick, on a Masonic occasion; Borck, whom we here see for the first time, is not the Colonel Borck (properly Major-General) who did the Herstal Operation lately; still less is he the venerable old Minister, Marlborough Veteran, and now Field-Marshal Borck, whom Hotham treated with, on a certain occasion. There are numerous Borcks always in the King's service; nor are these three, except by loose cousinry, related to one another. The Borcks all come from Stettin quarter; a brave kindred, and old enough,—"Old as the Devil, DAS IST SO OLD ALS DE BORCKEN UND DE DUWEL," says the Pomeranian Proverb;—the Adjutant-General, a junior member of the clan, chances to be the notablest of them at this moment. Wartensleben, Borck, and a certain Colonel von der Golz, whom also the King much esteems, these are his company on this drive. For escort, or guard of honor out of Berlin to the next stages, there is a small body of Hussars, Life-guard and other Cavalry, "perhaps 500 horse in all."
They drive rapidly, through the gray winter; reach Frankfurt-on-Oder, sixty miles or more; where no doubt there is military business waiting. They are forward, on the morrow, for dinner, forty miles farther, at a small Town called Crossen, which looks over into Silesia; and is, for the present, headquarters to a Prussian Army, standing ready there and in the environs. Standing ready, or hourly marching in, and rendezvousing; now about 28,000 strong, horse and foot. A Rearguard of Ten or Twelve Thousand will march from Berlin in two days, pause hereabouts, and follow according to circumstances: Prussian Army will then be some 40,000 in all. Schwerin has been Commander, manager and mainspring of the business hitherto: henceforth it is to be the King; but Schwerin under him will still have a Division of his own.
Among the Regiments, we notice "Schulenburg Horse-Grenadiers,"—come along from Landsberg hither, these Horse-Grenadiers, with little Schulenburg at the head of them;—"Dragoon Regiment Bayreuth," "Lifeguard Carbineers," "Derschau of Foot;" and other Regiments and figures slightly known to us, or that will be better known. [List in Helden-Geschichte, i. 453.] Rearguard, just getting under way at Berlin, has for leaders the Prince of Holstein-Beck ("Holstein-VAISSELLE," say wags, since the Principality went all to SILVER-PLATE) and the Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, whom we called the Young Dessauer, on the Strasburg Journey lately: Rearguard, we say, is of 12,000; main Army is 28,000; Horse and Foot are in the proportion of about 1 to 3. Artillery "consists of 20 three-pounders; 4 twelve-pounders; 4 howitzers (HAUBITZEN); 4 big mortars, calibre fifty pounds; and of Artillerymen 166 in all."
With this Force the young King has, on his own basis (pretty much in spite of all the world, as we find now and afterwards), determined to invade Silesia, and lay hold of the Property he has long had there;—not computing, for none can compute, the sleeping whirlwinds he may chance to awaken thereby. Thus lightly does a man enter upon Enterprises which prove unexpectedly momentous, and shape the whole remainder of his days for him; crossing the Rubicon as it were in his sleep. In Life, as on Railways at certain points,—whether you know it or not, there is but an inch, this way or that, into what tram you are shunted; but try to get out of it again! "The man is mad, CET HOMME-LA EST FOL!" said Louis XV. when he heard it. [Raumer, Beitrage (English Translation, called Frederick II. and his Times; from British Museum and State-Paper Office:—a very indistinct poor Book, in comparison with whet it might have been), p. 73 (24th Dec. 1740).]
FRIEDRICH AT CROSSEN, AND STILL IN HIS OWN TERRITORY, 14th-16th DECEMBER;—STEPS INTO SCHLESIEN.
At all events, the man means to try;—and is here dining at Crossen, noon of Wednesday, the 14th; certain important persons,—especially two Silesian Gentlemen, deputed from Grunberg, the nearest Silesian Town, who have come across the border on business,—having the honor to dine with him. To whom his manner is lively and affable; lively in mood, as if there lay no load upon his spirits. The business of these two Silesian Gentlemen, a Baron von Hocke one of them, a Baron von Kestlitz the other, was To present, on the part of the Town and Amt of Grunberg, a solemn Protest against this meditated entrance on the Territory of Schlesien; Government itself, from Breslau, ordering them to do so. Protest was duly presented; Friedrich, as his manner is, and continues to be on his march, glances politely into or at the Protest; hands it, in silence, to some page or secretary to deposit in the due pigeon-hole or waste-basket; and invites the two Silesian Gentlemen to dine with him; as, we see, they have the honor to do. "He (ER) lives near Grunberg, then, Mein Herr von Hocke?" "Close to it, IHRO MAJESTAT. My poor mansion, Schloss of Deutsch-Kessel, is some fifteen miles hence; how infinitely at your Majesty's service, should the march prove inevitable, and go that way!"—"Well, perhaps!" I find Friedrich did dine, the second day hence, with one of these Gentlemen; and lodged with the other. Government at Breslau has ordered such Protest, on the part of the Frontier populations and Official persons: and this is all that comes of it.
During these hours, it chanced that the big Bell of Crossen dropped from its steeple,—fulness of time, or entire rottenness of axle-tree, being at last completed, at this fateful moment. Perhaps an ominous thing? Friedrich, as Caesar and others have done, cheerfully interprets the omen to his own advantage: "Sign that the High is to be brought low!" says Friedrich. Were the march-routes, wagon-trains, and multifarious adjustments perfect to the last item here at Crossen, he will with much cheerfulness step into Silesia, independent of all Grunberg Protests and fallen Bells.
On the second day he does actually cross; "the regiments marching in, at different points; some reaching as far as 25 miles in." It is Friday, 16th December, 1740; there has a game begun which will last long! They went through the Village of Lasgen; that was the first point of Silesian ground ("Circle of Schwiebus," our old friend, is on the left near by); and "Schwerin's Regiment was the foremost." Others cross more to the left or right; "marching through the Village of Lessen," and other dim Villages and little Towns, round and beyond Grunberg; all regiments and divisions bearing upon Grunberg and the Great Road; but artistically portioned out,—several miles in breadth (for the sake of quarters), and, as is generally the rule, about a day's march in length. This evening nearly the whole Army was on Silesian ground.
Printed "Patent" or Proclamation, briefly assuring all Silesians, of whatever rank, condition or religion, "That we have come as friends to them, and will protect all persons in their privileges, and molest no peaceable mortal," is posted on Church-doors, and extensively distributed by hand. Soldiers are forbidden, "under penalty of the rods," Officers under that of "cassation with infamy," to take anything, without first bargaining and paying ready money for it. On these terms the Silesian villages cheerfully enough accept their new guests, interesting to the rural mind; and though the billeting was rather heavy, "as many as 24 soldiers to a common Farmer (GARTNER)," no complaints were made. In one Schloss, where the owners had fled, and no human response was to be had by the wayworn-soldiery, there did occur some breakages and impatient kickings about; which it grieved his Majesty to hear of, next morning;—in one, not in more.
Official persons, we perceive, study to be absolutely passive. This was the Burgermeister's course at Grunberg to-night; Grunberg, first Town on the Frontier, sets an example of passivity which cannot be surpassed. Prussian troops being at the Gate of Grunberg, Burgermeister and adjuncts sitting in a tacit expectant condition in their Town-hall, there arrives a Prussian Lieutenant requiring of the Burgermeister the Key of said Gate. "To deliver such Key? Would to God I durst, Mein Herr Lieutenant; but how dare I! There is the Key lying: but to GIVE it—You are not the Queen of Hungary's Officer, I doubt?"—The Prussian Lieutenant has to put out hand, and take the Key; which he readily does. And on the morrow, in returning it, when the march recommences, there are the same phenomena: Burgermeister or assistants dare not for the life of them touch that Key: It lay on the table; and may again, in the course of Providence, come to lie!—The Prussian Lieutenant lays it down accordingly, and hurries out, with a grin on his face. There was much small laughter over this transaction; Majesty himself laughing well at it. Higher perfection of passivity no Burgermeister could show.
The march, as readers understand, is towards Glogau; a strongish Garrison Town, now some 40 miles ahead; the key of Northern Schlesien. Grunberg (where my readers once slept for the night, in the late King's time, though they have forgotten it) is the first and only considerable Town on the hither side of Glogau. On to Glogau, I rather perceive, the Army is in good part provisioned before starting: after Glogau,—we must see. Bread-wagons, Baggage-wagons, Ammunition-and-Artillery wagons, all is in order; Army artistically portioned out. That is the form of march; with Glogau ahead. King, as we said above, dines with his Baron von Hocke, at the Schloss of Deutsch-Kessel, short way beyond Grunberg, this first day: but he by no means loiters there;—cuts across, a dozen miles westward, through a country where his vanguard on its various lines of march ought to be arriving;—and goes to lodge, at the Schloss of Schweinitz, with his other Baron, the Von Kestlitz of Wednesday at Crossen. [Helden-Geschichte, i. 459.] This is Friday, 16th December, his first night on Silesian ground.
WHAT GLOGAU, AND THE GOVERNMENT AT BRESLAU, DID UPON IT.
Silesia, in the way of resistance, is not in the least prepared for him. A month ago, there were not above 3,000 Austrian Foot and 600 Horse in the whole Province: neither the military Governor Count Wallis, nor the Imperial Court, nor any Official Person near or far, had the least anticipation of such a Visit. Count Wallis, who commands in Glogau, did in person, nine or ten days ago, as the rumors rose ever higher, run over to Crossen; saw with his eyes the undeniable there; and has been zealously endeavoring ever since, what he could, to take measures. Wallis is now shut in Glogau; his second, the now Acting Governor, General Browne, a still more reflective man, is doing likewise his utmost; but on forlorn terms, and without the least guidance from Court. Browne has, by violent industry, raked together, from Mahren and the neighboring countries, certain fractions which raise his Force to 7,000 Foot: these he throws, in small parties, into the defensible points; or, in larger, into the Chief Garrisons. New Cavalry he cannot get; the old 600 Horse he keeps for himself, all the marching Army he has. [Particulars in Helden-Geschichte, i. 465; total of Austrian Force seems to be 7,800 horse and foot.]
Fain would he get possession of Breslau, and throw in some garrison there; but cannot. Neither he nor Wallis could compass that. Breslau is a City divided against itself, on this matter; full of emotions, of expectations, apprehensions for and against. There is a Supreme Silesian Government (OBER-AMT "Head-Office," kind of Austrian Vice-Royalty) in Breslau; and there is, on Breslau's own score, a Town-Rath; strictly Catholic both these, Vienna the breath of their nostrils. But then also there are forty-four Incorporated Trades; Oppressed Protestant in Majority; to whom Vienna is not breath, but rather the want of it. Lastly, the City calls itself Free; and has crabbed privileges still valid; a "JUS PROESIDII" (or right to be one's own garrison) one of them, and the most inconvenient just now. Breslau is a REICH-STADT; in theory, sovereign member of the Reich, and supreme over its own affairs, even as Austria itself:—and the truth is, old Theory and new Fact, resolved not to quarrel, have lapsed into one another's arms in a quite inextricable way, in Breslau as elsewhere! With a Head Government which can get no orders from Vienna, the very Town-Rath has little alacrity, inclines rather to passivity like Grunberg; and a silent population threatens to become vocal if you press upon it.
Breslau, that is to say the OBER-AMT there, has sent courier on courier to Vienna for weeks past: not even an answer;—what can Vienna answer, with Kur-Baiern and others threatening war on it, and only 10,000 pounds in its National Purse? Answer at last is, "Don't bother! Danger is not so near. Why spend money on couriers, and get into such a taking?" General Wallis came to Breslau, after what he had seen at Crossen; and urged strongly, in the name of self-preservation, first law of Nature, to get an Austrian real Garrison introduced; wished much (horrible to think of!) "the suburbs should be burnt, and better ramparts raised:" but could not succeed in any of these points, nor even mention some of them in a public manner. "You shall have a Protestant for commandant," suggested Wallis; "there is Count von Roth, Silesian-Lutheran, an excellent Soldier!"—"Thanks," answered they, "we can defend ourselves; we had rather not have any!" And the Breslau Burghers have, accordingly, set to drill themselves; are bringing out old cannon in quantity; repairing breaches; very strict in sentry-work: "Perfectly able to defend our City,—so far as we see good!"—Tuesday last, December 13th (the very day Friedrich left Berlin), as this matter of the Garrison, long urged by the Ober-Amt, had at last been got agreed to by the Town-Rath, "on proviso of consulting the Incorporated Trades", or at least consulting their Guild-Masters, who are usually a silent folk,—the Guild-Masters suddenly became in part vocal; and their forty-four Guilds unusually so:—and there was tumult in Breslau, in the Salz-Ring (big central Square or market-place, which they call RING) such as had not been; idle population, and guild-brethren of suspicious humor, gathering in multitudes into and round the fine old Town-hall there; questioning, answering, in louder and louder key; at last bellowing quite in alt; and on the edge of flaming into one knew not what: [Helden-Geschichte, i. 469.]—till the matter of Austrian Garrison (much more, of burning the suburbs!) had to be dropt; settled in what way we see.
Head Government (OBER-AMT) has, through its Northern official people, sent Protest, strict order to the Silesian Population to look sour on the Prussians:—and we saw, in consequence, the two Silesian Gentlemen did dine with Friedrich, and he has returned their visits; and the Mayor of Grunberg would not touch his keys. Head Government is now redacting a "Patent," or still more solemn Protest of its own; which likewise it will affix in the Salz-Ring here, and present to King Friedrich: and this—except "despatching by boat down the river a great deal of meal to Glogau", which was an important quiet thing, of Wallis's enforcing—is pretty much all it can do. No Austrian Garrison can be got in ("Perfectly able to defend ourselves!")—let Government and Wallis or Browne contrive as they may. And as to burning the suburbs, better not whisper of that again. Breslau feels, or would fain feel itself "perfectly able;"—has at any rate no wish to be bombarded; and contains privately a great deal of Protestant humor. Of all which, Friedrich, it is not doubted, has notice more or less distinct; and quickens his march the more.
General Browne is at present in the Southern parts; an able active man and soldier; but, with such a force what can he attempt to do? There are three strong places in the Country, Glogau, then Brieg, both on the Oder river; lastly Neisse, on the Neisse river, a branch of the Oder (one of the FOUR Neisse rivers there are in Germany, mostly in Silesia,—not handy to the accurate reader of German Books). Browne is in Neisse; and will start into a strange stare when the flying post reaches him: Prussians actually on march! Debate with them, if debate there is to be, Browne himself must contrive to do; from Breslau, from Vienna, no Government Supreme or Subordinate can yield his 8,000 and him the least help.
Glogau, as we saw, means to defend itself; at least, General Wallis the Commandant, does, in spite of the Glogau public; and is, with his whole might, digging, palisading, getting in meal, salt meat and other provender;—likewise burning suburbs, uncontrollable he, in the small place; and clearing down the outside edifices and shelters, at a diligent rate. Yesterday, 15th December, he burnt down the "three Oder-Mills, which lie outside the big suburban Tavern, also the ZIEGEL-SCHEUNE (Tile-Manufactory)," and other valuable buildings, careless of public lamentation,—fire catching the Town itself, and needing to be quenched again. [Helden-Geschichte, i. 473-475.] Nay, he was clear for burning down, or blowing up, the Protestant Church, indispensable sacred edifice which stands outside the walls: "Prussians will make a block-house of it!" said Wallis. A chief Protestant, Baron von Something, begged passionately for only twelve hours of respite,—to lay the case before his Prussian Majesty. Respite conceded, he and another chief Protestant had posted off accordingly; and did the next morning (Friday, 16th), short way from Crossen, meet his Majesty's carriage; who graciously pulled up for a few instants, and listened to their story. "MEINE HERREN, you are the first that ask a favor of me on Silesian ground; it shall be done you!" said the King; and straightway despatched, in polite style, his written request to Wallis, engaging to make no military use whatever of said Church, "but to attack by the other side, if attack were necessary." Thus his Majesty saved the Church of Glogau; which of course was a popular act. Getting to see this Church himself a few days hence, he said, "Why, it must come down at any rate, and be rebuilt; so ugly a thing!"
Wallis is making strenuous preparation; forces the inhabitants, even the upper kinds of them, to labor day and night by relays, in his rampartings, palisadings; is for burning all the adjacent Villages,—and would have done it, had not the peasants themselves turned out in a dangerous state of mind. He has got together about 1,000 men. His powder, they say, is fifty years old; but he has eatable provender from Breslau, and means to hold out to the utmost. Readers must admit that the Austrian military, Graf von Wallis to begin with,—still more, General Browne, who is a younger man and has now the head charge,—behave well in their present forsaken condition. Wallis (Graf FRANZ WENZEL this one, not to be confounded with an older Wallis heard of in the late Turk War) is of Scotch descent,—as all these Wallises are; "came to Austria long generations ago; REICHSGRAFS since 1612:"—Browne is of Irish; age now thirty-five, ten years younger than Wallis. Read this Note on the distinguished Browne:—
"A German-Irish Gentleman, this General (ultimately Fieldmarshal) Graf von Browne; one of those sad exiled Irish Jacobites, or sons of Jacobites, who are fighting in foreign armies; able and notable men several of them, and this Browne considerably the most so. We shall meet him repeatedly within the next eighteen years. Maximilian-Ulysses Graf von Browne: I said he was born German; Basel his birthplace (23d October, 1705), Father also a soldier: he must not be confounded with a contemporary Cousin of his, who is also 'Fieldmarshal Browne,' but serves in Russia, Governor of Riga for a long time in the coming years. This Austrian General, Fieldmarshal Browne, will by and by concern us somewhat; and the reader may take note of him.
"Who the Irish Brothers Browne, the Fathers of these Marshals Browne, were? I have looked in what Irish Peerages and printed Records there were, but without the least result. One big dropsical Book, of languid quality, called King James's Irish Army-List, has multitudes of Brownes and others, in an indistinct form; but the one Browne wanted, the one Lacy, almost the one Lally, like the part of HAMLET, are omitted. There are so many Irish in the like case with these Brownes. A Lacy we once slightly saw or heard of; busy in the Polish-Election time,—besieging Dantzig (investing Dantzig, that Munnich might besiege it);—that Lacy, 'Governor of Riga,' whom the RUSSIAN Browne will succeed, is also Irish: a conspicuous Russian man; and will have a Son Lacy, conspicuous among the Austrians. Maguires, Ogilvies (of the Irish stock), Lieutenants 'Fitzgeral;' very many Irish; and there is not the least distinct account to be had of any of them." [For Browne see "Anonymous of Hamburg" (so I have had to label a J.F.S. Geschichte des &c.—in fact, History of Seven-Years War, in successive volumes, done chiefly by the scissors; Leipzig and Frankfurt, 1759, et seqq.), i. 123-131 n.: elaborate Note of eight pages there; intimating withal that he, J.F.S., wrote the "Life of Browne," a Book I had in vain sought for; and can now guess to consist of those same elaborate eight pages, PLUS water and lathering to the due amount. Anonymous "of Hamburg" I call my J.F.S.,—having fished him out of the dust-abysses in that City: a very poor take; yet worth citing sometimes, being authentic, as even the darkest Germans generally are.—For a glimpse of LACY (the Elder Lacy) see Busching, Beitrage, vi. 162.—For WALLIS (tombstone Note on Wallis) see (among others who are copious in that kind of article, and keep large sacks of it, in admired disorder) Anonymous Seyfarth, Geschichte Friedrichs des Andern (Leipzig, 1784-1788), i. 112 n.; and Anonymous, Leben der &c. Marie Theresie (Leipzig, 1781), 27 n.: laboriously authentic Books both; essentialy DICTIONARIES,—stuffed as into a row of blind SACKS.]
Let us attend his Majesty on the next few marches towards Glogau, to see the manner of the thing a little; after which it will behoove us to be much more summary, and stick by the main incidents.
MARCH TO WEICHAU (SATURDAY, 17th, AND STAY SUNDAY THERE); TO MILKAU (MONDAY, 19th); GET TO HERRENDORF, WITHIN SIGHT OF GLOGAU, DECEMBER 22d.
Friedrich's march proceeds with speed and regularity. Strict discipline is maintained; all things paid for, damage carefully avoided: "We come, not as invasive enemies of you or of the Queen of Hungary, but as protective friends of Silesia and of her Majesty's rights there;—her Majesty once allowing us (as it is presumable she will) our own rights in this Province, no man shall meddle with hers, while we continue here." To that effect runs the little "Patent," or initiatory Proclamation, extensively handed out, and posted in public places, as was said above; and the practice is conformable. To all men, coming with Protests or otherwise, we perceive, the young King is politeness itself; giving clear answer, and promise which will be kept, on the above principle. Nothing angers him except that gentlemen should disbelieve, and run away. That a mansion be found deserted by its owners, is the one evil omen for such mansion. Thus, at the Schloss of Weichau (which is still discoverable on the Map, across the "Black Ochel" and the "White," muddy streams which saunter eastward towards, the Oder there, nothing yet running westward for the Bober, our other limitary river), next night after Schweinitz, second night in Silesia, there was no Owner to be met with; and the look of his Majesty grew FINSTER (dark); remembering what had passed yesternight, in like case, at that other Schloss from which the owner with his best portable furniture had vanished. At which Schloss, as above noticed, some disorders were committed by angry parties of the march;—doors burst open (doors standing impudently dumb to the rational proposals made them!), inferior remainders of furniture smashed into firewood, and the like,—no doubt to his Majesty's vexation. Here at Weichau stricter measures were taken: and yet difficulties, risks were not wanting; and the AMTMANN (Steward of the place) got pulled about, and once even a stroke or two. Happily the young Herr of Weichau appeared in person on the morrow, hearing his Majesty was still there: "Papa is old; lives at another Schloss; could not wait upon your Majesty; nor, till now, could I have that honor."—"Well; lucky that you have come: stay dinner!" Which the young Count did, and drove home in the evening to reassure Papa; his Majesty continuing there another night, and the risk over. [Helden-Geschichte, i. 459.]
This day, Sunday, 18th, the Army rests; their first Sunday in Silesia, while the young Count pays his devoir: and here in Weichau, as elsewhere, it is in the Church, Catholic nearly always, that the Heretic Army does its devotions, safe from weather at least: such the Royal Order, they say; which is taken note of, by the Heterodox and by the Orthodox. And ever henceforth, this is the example followed; and in all places where there is no Protestant Church and the Catholics have one, the Prussian Army-Chaplain assembles his buff-belted audience in the latter: "No offence, Reverend Fathers, but there are hours for us, and hours for you; and such is the King's Order." There is regular divine-service in this Prussian Army; and even a good deal of inarticulate religion, as one may see on examining.
Country Gentlemen, Town Mayors and other civic Authorities, soon learn that on these terms they are safe with his Majesty; march after march he has interviews with such, to regulate the supplies, the necessities and accidents of the quartering of his Troops. Clear, frank, open to reasonable representation, correct to his promise; in fact, industriously conciliatory and pacificatory: such is Friedrich to all Silesian men. Provincial Authorities, who can get no instructions from Head-quarters; Vienna saying nothing, Breslau nothing, and Deputy-Governor Browne being far south in Neisse,—are naturally in difficulties: How shall they act? Best not to act at all, if one can help it; and follow the Mayor of Grunberg's unsurpassable pattern!—
"These Silesians," says an Excerpt I have made, "are still in majority Protestant; especially in this Northern portion of the Province; they have had to suffer much on that and other scores; and are secretly or openly in favor of the Prussians. Official persons, all of the Catholic creed, have leant heavy, not always conscious of doing it, against Protestant rights. The Jesuits, consciously enough, have been and are busy with them; intent to recall a Heretic Population by all methods, fair and unfair. We heard of Charles XII.'s interference, three-and-thirty years ago; and how the Kaiser, hard bested at that time, had to profess repentance and engage for complete amendment. Amendment did, for the moment, accordingly take place. Treaty of Westphalia in all its stipulations, with precautionary improvements, was re-enacted as Treaty of Altranstadt; with faithful intention of keeping it too, on Kaiser Joseph's part, who was not a superstitious man: 'Holy Father, I was too glad he did not demand my own conversion to the Protestant Heresy, bested as I am,—with Louis Quatorze and Company upon the neck of me!' Some improvement of performance, very marked at first, did ensue upon this Altranstadt Treaty. But the sternly accurate Karl of Sweden soon disappeared from the scene; Kaiser Joseph of Austria soon disappeared; and his Brother, Karl VI., was a much more orthodox person.
"The Austrian Government, and Kaiser Karl's in particular, is not to be called an intentionally unjust one; the contrary, I rather find; but it is, beyond others, ponderous; based broad on such multiplex formalities, old habitudes; and GRAVITATION has a great power over it. In brief, Official human nature, with the best of Kaisers atop, flagitated continually by Jesuit Confessors, does throw its weight on a certain side: the sad fact is, in a few years the brightness of that Altranstadt improvement began to wax dim; and now, under long Jesuit manipulation, Silesian things are nearly at their old pass; and the patience of men is heavily laden. To see your Chapel made a Soldiers' Barrack, your Protestant School become a Jesuit one,—Men did not then think of revolting under injuries; but the poor Silesian weaver, trudging twenty miles for his Sunday sermon; and perceiving that, unless their Mother could teach the art of reading, his boys, except under soul's peril, would now never learn it: such a Silesian could not want for reflections. Voiceless, hopeless, but heavy; and dwelling secretly, as under nightmare, in a million hearts. Austrian Officiality, wilfully unjust, or not wilfully so, is admitted to be in a most heavy-footed condition; can administer nothing well. Good Government in any kind is not known here: Possibly the Prussian will be better; who can say?
"The secret joy of these populations, as Friedrich advances among them, becomes more and more a manifest one. Catholic Officials do not venture on any definite hope, or definite balance of hope and fear, but adopt the Mayor of Grunberg's course, and study to be passive and silent. The Jesuit-Priest kind are clear in their minds for Austria; but think, Perhaps Prussia itself will not prove very tyrannous? At all events, be silent; it is unsafe to stir. We notice generally, it is only in the Southern or Mountain regions of Silesia, where the Catholics are in majority, that the population is not ardently on the Prussian side. Passive, if they are on the other side; accurately passive at lowest, this it is prescribed all prudent men to be."
On the 18th, while divine service went on at Weichau, there was at Breslau another phenomenon observable. Provincial Government in Breslau had, at length, after intense study, and across such difficulties as we have no idea of, got its "Patent," or carefully worded Protestation against Prussia, brought to paper; and does, this day, with considerable solemnity, affix it to the Rathhaus door there, for the perusal of mankind; despatching a Copy for his Prussian Majesty withal, by two Messengers of dignity. It has needed courage screwed to the sticking-place to venture on such a step, without instruction from Head-quarters; and the utmost powers of the Official mind have been taxed to couch this Document in language politely ambiguous, and yet strong enough;—too strong, some of us now think it. In any case, here it now is; Provincial Government's bolt, so to speak, is shot. The affixing took place under dark weather-symptoms; actual outburst of thunder and rain at the moment, not to speak of the other surer omens. So that, to the common mind at Breslau, it did not seem there would much fruit come of this difficult performance. Breslau is secretly a much-agitated City; and Prussian Hussar Parties, shooting forth to great distances ahead, were, this day for the first time, observed within sight of it.
And on the same Sunday we remark farther, what is still more important: Herr von Gotter, Friedrich's special Envoy to Vienna, has his first interview with the Queen of Hungary, or with Grand-Duke Franz the Queen's Husband and Co-Regent; and presents there, from Friedrich's own hand, written we remember when, brief distinct Note of his Prussian Majesty's actual Proposals and real meaning in regard to this Silesian Affair. Proposals anxiously conciliatory in tone, but the heavy purport of which is known to us: Gotter had been despatched, time enough, with these Proposals (written above a month ago); but was instructed not to arrive with them, till after the actual entrance into Silesia. And now the response to them is—? As good as nothing; perhaps worse. Let that suffice us at present. Readers, on march for Glogau, would grudge to pause over State-papers, though we shall have to read this of Friedrich's at some freer moment.
Monday, 19th, before daybreak, the Army is astir again, simultaneously wending forward; spread over wide areas, like a vast cloud (potential thunder in it) steadily advancing on the winds. Length of the Army, artistically portioned out, may be ten or fifteen miles, breadth already more, and growing more; Schwerin always on the right or western wing, close by the Bober River as yet, through Naumburg and the Towns on that side,—Liegnitz and other important Towns lying ahead for Schwerin, still farther apart from the main Body, were Glogau once settled.
So that the march is in two Columns; Schwerin, with the westernmost small column, intending towards Liegnitz, and thence ever farther southward, with his right leaning on the high lands which rise more and more into mountains as you advance. Friedrich himself commands the other column, has his left upon the Oder, in a country mounting continually towards the South, but with less irregularity of level, and generally flat as yet. From beginning to end, the entire field of march lies between the Oder and its tributary the Bober; climbing slowly towards the sources of both. Which two rivers, as the reader may observe, form here a rectangular or trapezoidal space, ever widening as we go southward. Both rivers, coming from the Giant Mountains, hasten directly north; but Oder, bulging out easterly in his sandy course, is obliged to turn fairly westward again; and at Glogau, and a good space farther, flows in that direction;—till once Bober strikes in, almost at right angles, carrying Oder with HIM, though he is but a branch, straight northward again. Northward, but ever slower, to the swollen Pommern regions, and sluggish exit into the Baltic there.
One of the worst features is the state of the weather. On Sunday, at Breslau, we noticed thunder bursting out on an important occasion; "ominous," some men thought;—omen, for one thing, that the weather was breaking. At Weichau, that same day, rain began,—the young Herr of Weichau, driving home to Papa from dinner with Majesty, would get his share of it;—and on Monday, 19th, there was such a pour of rain as kept most wayfarers, though it could not the Prussian Army, within doors. Rain in plunges, fallen and falling, through that blessed day; making roads into mere rivers of mud. The Prussian hosts marched on, all the same. Head-quarters, with the van of the wet Army, that night, were at Milkau;—from which place we have a Note of Friedrich's for Friend Jordan, perhaps producible by and by. His Majesty lodged in some opulent Jesuit Establishment there. And indeed he continued there, not idle, under shelter, for a couple of days. The Jesuits, by their two head men, had welcomed him with their choicest smiles; to whom the King was very gracious, asking the two to dinner as usual, and styling them "Your Reverence." Willing to ingratiate himself with persons of interest in this Country; and likes talk, even with Jesuits of discernment.
On the morrow (20th), came to him, here at Milkau,—probably from some near stage, for the rain was pouring worse than ever,—that Breslau "Patent," or strongish Protestation, by its two Messengers of dignity. The King looked over it "without visible anger" or change of countenance; "handed it," we expressly see, "to a Page to reposit" in the proper waste-basket;—spoke politely to the two gentlemen; asked each or one of them, "Are you of the Ober-Amt at Breslau, then?"—using the style of ER (He).—"No, your Majesty; we are only of the Land-Stande" (Provincial Parliament, such as it is). "Upon which [do you mark!] his Majesty became still more polite; asked them to dinner, and used the style of SIE." For their PATENT, now lying safe in its waste-basket, he gave them signed receipt; no other answer.
Rain still heavier, rain as of Noah, continued through this Tuesday, and for days afterwards: but the Prussian hosts, hastening towards Glogau, marched still on. This Tuesday's march, for the rearward of the Army, 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse; march of ten hours long, from Weichau to the hamlet Milkau (where his Majesty sits busy and affable),—is thought to be the wettest on record. Waters all out, bridges down, the Country one wild lake of eddying mud. Up to the knee for many miles together; up to the middle for long spaces; sometimes even up to the chin or deeper, where your bridge was washed away. The Prussians marched through it, as if they had been slate or iron. Rank and file, nobody quitted his rank, nobody looked sour in the face; they took the pouring of the skies, and the red seas of terrestrial liquid, as matters that must be; cheered one another with jocosities, with choral snatches (tobacco, I consider, would not burn); and swashed unweariedly forward. Ten hours some of them were out, their march being twenty or twenty-five miles; ten to fifteen was the average distance come. Nor, singular to say, did any loss occur; except of ALMOST one poor Army-Chaplain, and altogether of one poor Soldier's Wife;—sank dangerously both of them, beyond redemption she, taking the wrong side of some bridge-parapet. Poor Soldier's Wife, she is not named to me at all; and has no history save this, and that "she was of the regiment Bredow." But I perceive she washed herself away in a World-Transaction; and there was one rough Bredower, who probably sat sad that night on getting to quarters. His Majesty surveyed the damp battalions on the morrow (21st), not without sympathy, not without satisfaction; allowed them a rest-day here at Milkau, to get dry and bright again; and gave them "fifteen thalers a company," which is about ninepence apiece, with some words of praise. [Helden-Geschichte, i.482.]
Next day, Thursday, 22d, his Majesty and they marched on to Herrendorf; which is only five miles from Glogau, and near enough for Head-quarters, in the now humor of the place. Wallis has his messenger at Herrendorf, "Sorry to warn your Majesty, That if there be the least hostility committed, I shall have to resist it to the utmost." Head-quarters continue six days at Herrendorf, Army (main body, or left Column, of the Army) cantoned all round, till we consider what to do.
As to the right Column, or Schwerin's Division, that, after a rest-day or two, gathers itself into more complete separation here, tucking in its eastern skirts; and gets on march again, by its own route. Steadily southward;—and from Liegnitz, and the upland Countries, there will be news of Schwerin and it before long. Rain ending, there ensued a ringing frost;—not favorable for Siege-operations on Glogau:—and Silesia became all of flinty glass, with white peaks to the Southwest, whither Schwerin is gone.
Chapter III. — PROBLEM OF GLOGAU.
Friedrich was over from Herrendorf with the first daylight, "reconnoitring Glogau, and rode up to the very glacis;" scanning it on all sides. [Ib. i. 484.] Since Wallis is so resolute, here is an intricate little problem for Friedrich, with plenty of corollaries and conditions hanging to it. Shall we besiege Glogau, then? We have no siege-cannon here. Time presses, Breslau and all things in such crisis; and it will take time. By what methods COULD Glogau be besieged?—Readers can consider what a blind many-threaded coil of things, heaping itself here in wide welters round Glogau, and straggling to the world's end, Friedrich has on hand: probably those six days, of Head-quarters at Herrendorf, were the busiest he had yet had.
One thing is evident, there ought to be siege-cannon got straightway; and, still more immediate, the right posts and battering-places should be ready against its coming.—"Let the Young Dessauer with that Rearguard, or Reserve of 10,000, which is now at Crossen, come up and assist here," orders Friedrich; "and let him be swift, for the hours are pregnant!" On farther reflection, perhaps on new rumors from Breslau, Friedrich perceives that there can be no besieging of Glogau at this point of time; that the Reserve, Half of the Reserve, must be left to "mask" it; to hold it in strict blockade, with starvation daily advancing as an ally to us, and with capture by bombarding possible when we like. That is the ultimate decision;—arrived at through a welter of dubieties, counterpoisings and perilous considerations, which we now take no account of. A most busy week; Friedrich incessantly in motion, now here now there; and a great deal of heavy work got well and rapidly done. The details of which, in these exuberant Manuscripts, would but weary the reader. Choosing of the proper posts and battering-places (post "on the other side of the River," "on this side of it," "on the Island in the middle of it"), and obstinate intrenching and preparing of the same in spite of frost; "wooden bridge built" farther up; with "regulation of the river-boats, the Polish Ferry," and much else: all this we omit; and will glance only at one pregnant point, by way of sample:—
... "Most indispensable of all, the King has to provide Subsistences:—and enters now upon the new plan, which will have to be followed henceforth. The Provincial Chief-men (LANDES-AELTESTEN, Land's-ELDESTS, their title) are summoned, from nine or ten Circles which are likely to be interested: they appear punctually, and in numbers,—lest contumacy worsen the inevitable. King dines them, to start with; as many as 'ninety-five covers,'—day not given, but probably one of the first in Herrendorf: not Christmas itself, one hopes!
"Dinner done, the ninety-five Land's-Eldest are instructed by proper parties, What the Infantry's ration is, in meat, in bread, exact to the ounce; what the Cavalry's is, and that of the Cavalry's Horse. Tabular statement, succinct, correct, clear to the simplest capacity, shows what quanties of men on foot, and of men on horseback, or men with draught-cattle, will march through their respective Circles; Lands-Eldests conclude what amount of meal and butcher's-meat it will be indispensable to have in readiness;—what Lands-Eldest can deny the fact? These Papers still exist, at least the long-winded Summary of them does: and I own the reading of it far less insupportable than that of the mountains of Proclamatory, Manifesto and Diplomatic matter. Nay it leaves a certain wholesome impression on the mind, as of business thoroughly well done; and a matter, capable, if left in the chaotic state, of running to all manner of depths and heights, compendiously forced to become cosmic in this manner.
"These Lands-Eldest undertake, in a mildly resigned or even hopeful humor. They will manage as required, in their own Circles; will communicate with the Circles farther on; and everywhere the due proviants, prestations, furtherances, shall be got together by fair apportionment on the Silesian Community, and be punctually ready as the Army advances. Book-keeping there is to be, legible record of everything; on all hands 'quittance' for everything furnished; and a time is coming, when such quittance, presented by any Silesian man, will be counted money paid by him, and remitted at the next tax-day, or otherwise made good. Which promise also was accurately kept, the hoped-for time having come. It must be owned the Prussian Army understands business; and, with brevity, reduces to a minimum its own trouble, and that of other people, non-fighters, who have to do with it. Non-fighters, I say; to fighters we hope it will give a respectable maximum of trouble when applied to!" [Helden-Geschichte, i. 492-499.]
The Gotter Negotiation at Vienna, which we saw begin there that wet Sunday, is now fast ending, as good as ended; without result except of a negative kind. Gotter's Proposals,—would the reader wish to hear these Proposals, which were so intensely interesting at one time? They are fivefold; given with great brevity by Friedrich, by us with still greater:—
1. "Will fling myself heartily into the Austrian scale, and endeavor for the interest of Austria in this Pragmatic matter, with my whole strength against every comer.
2. "Will make treaty with Vienna, with Russia and the Sea-Powers, to that effect.
3. "Will help by vote, and with whole amount of interest will endeavor, to have Grand-Duke Franz, the Queen's Husband, chosen Kaiser; and to maintain such choice against all and sundry. Feel myself strong enough to accomplish this result; and may, without exaggeration, venture to say it shall be done.
4. "To help the Court of Vienna in getting its affairs into good order and fencible condition,—will present to it, on the shortest notice, Two Million Gulden (200,000 pounds) ready money."—Infinitely welcome this Fourth Proposition; and indeed all the other Three are welcome: but they are saddled with a final condition, which pulls down all again. This, which is studiously worded, politely evasive in phrase, and would fain keep old controversies asleep, though in substance it is so fatally distinct,—we give in the King's own words:
5. "For such essential services as those to which I bind myself by the above very onerous conditions, I naturally require a proportionate recompense; some suitable assurance, as indemnity for all the dangers I risk, and for the part (ROLE) I am ready to play: in short, I require hereby the entire and complete cession of all Silesia, as reward for my labors and dangers which I take upon myself in this course now to be entered upon for the preservation and renown of the House of Austria;"—Silesia all and whole; and we say nothing of our "rights" to it; politely evasive to her Hungarian Majesty, though in substance we are so fatally distinct. [Preuss, Thronbesteigung, p. 451; "from Olenschlager, Geschichte des Interegni [Frankfurt, 1746], i. 134."]
These were Friedrich's Proposals; written down with his own hand at Reinsberg, five or six weeks ago (November 17th is the date of it); in what mood, and how wrought upon by Schwerin and Podewils, we saw above. Gotter has fulfilled his instructions in regard to this important little Document; and now the effect of it is—? Gotter can report no good effect whatever. "Be cautious," Friedrich instructs him farther; "modify that Fifth Proposal; I will take less than the whole, 'if attention is paid to my just claims on Schlesien.'" To that effect writes Friedrich once or twice. But it is to no purpose; nor can Gotter, with all his industry, report other than worse and worse. Nay, he reports before long, not refusal only, but refusal with mockery: "How strange that his Prussian Majesty, whose official post in Germany, as Kur-Brandenburg and Kaiser's Chamberlain, has been to present ewer and towel to the House of Austria, should now set up for prescribing rules to it!" A piece of wit, which could not but provoke Friedrich; and warn him that negotiation on this matter might as well terminate. Such had been his own thought, from the first; but in compliance with Schwerin and Podewils he was willing to try.
Better for Maria Theresa, and for all the world how much better, could she have accepted this Fifth Proposition! But how could she,—the high Imperial Lady, keystone of Europe, though by accident with only a few pounds of ready money at present? Twenty years of bitter fighting, and agony to herself and all the world, were necessary first; a new Fact of Nature having turned up, a new European Kingdom with real King to it; NOT recognizable as such, by the young Queen of Hungary or by any other person, till it do its proofs.
WHAT BERLIN IS SAYING; WHAT FRIEDRICH IS THINKING.
What Friedrich's own humor is, what Friedrich's own inner man is saying to him, while all the world so babbles about his Silesian Adventure? Of this too there are, though in diluted state, some glimmerings to be had,—chiefly in the Correspondence with Jordan.
Ingenious Jordan, Inspector of the Poor at Berlin,—his thousand old women at their wheels humming pleasantly in the background of our imaginations, though he says nothing of that,—writes twice a week to his Majesty: pleasant gossipy Letters, with an easy respectfulness not going into sycophancy anywhere; which keep the campaigning King well abreast of the Berlin news and rumors: something like the essence of an Old Newspaper; not without worth in our present Enterprise. One specimen, if we had room!
JORDAN TO THE KING (successively from Berlin,—somewhat abridged.)
No. 1. "BERLIN, 14th DECEMBER, 1740 [day after his Majesty left]. Everybody here is on tiptoe for the Event; of which both origin and end are a riddle to the most. I am charmed to see a part of your Majesty's Dominions in a state of Pyrrhonism; the disease is epidemical here at present. Those who, in the style of theologians, consider themselves entitled to be certain, maintain That your Majesty is expected with religious impatience by the Protestants, and that the Catholics hope to see themselves delivered from a multitude of imposts which cruelly tear up the beautiful bosom of their Church. You cannot but succeed in your valiant and stoical Enterprise, since both religion and worldly interest rank themselves under your flag.
"Wallis," Austrian Commandant in Glogau, "they say, has punished a Silesian Heretic of enthusiastic turn, as blasphemer, for announcing that a new Messiah is just coming. I have a taste for that kind of martyrdom. Critical persons consider the present step as directly opposed to certain maxims in the ANTI-MACHIAVEL.
"The word MANIFESTO—[your Majesty's little PATENT on entering Silesia, which no reader shall be troubled with at present]—is the burden of every conversation. There is a short Piece of the kind to come out to-day, by way of preface to a large complete exposition, which a certain Jurisconsult is now busy with. People crowd to the Bookshops for it, as if looking out for a celestial phenomenon that had been predicted.—This is the beginning of my Gazette; can only come out twice a week, owing to the arrangement of the Posts. Friday, the day your Majesty crosses into Silesia, I shall spend in prayer and devotional exercises: Astronomers pretend that Mars will that day enter"—no matter what.
NOTE, The above Manifesto rumor is correct; Jurisconsult is ponderous Herr Ludwig, Kanzler (Chancellor) of Halle University, monster of law-learning,—who has money also, and had to help once with a House in Berlin for one Nussler, a son-in-law of his, transiently known to us;—ponderous Ludwig, matchless or difficult to match in learning of this kind, will write ample enough Deductions (which lie in print still, to the extent of tons' weight), and explain the ERBVERBRUDERUNG and violence done upon it, so that he who runs may read. Postpone him to a calmer time.
No. 2. "BERLIN, SATURDAY, 17th DECEMBER. Manifesto has appeared,"—can be seen, under thick strata of cobwebs, in many Books; [In Helden-Geschichte, i. 448, 453 (what Jordan now alludes to); IB. 559-592 ["Deduction" itself, Ludwig in all his strength, some three weeks hence; in OLENSCHLAGER (doubtless); in &c. &c.] is not worth reading now: Incontestable rights which our House has for ages had on Schlesien, and which doubtless the Hungarian Majesty will recognize; not the slightest injury intended, far indeed from that; and so on!—"people are surprised at its brevity; and, studying it as theologians do a passage of Scripture, can make almost nothing of it. Clear as crystal, says one; dexterously obscure by design, says another.
"Rumor that the Grand-Duke of Lorraine," Maria Theresa's Husband, "was at Reinsberg incognito lately," Grand-Duke a concerting party, think people looking into the thing with strong spectacles on their nose! "M. de Beauvau [French Ambassador Extraordinary, to whom the aces were promised if they came] said one thing that surprised me: 'What put the King on taking this step, I do not know; but perhaps it is not such a bad one.' Surprising news that the Elector of Saxony, King of Poland, is fallen into inconsolable remorse for changing his religion [to Papistry, on Papa's hest, many long years ago] and that it is not to the Pope, but to the King of Prussia, that he opens his heart to steady his staggering orthodoxy." Very astonishing to Jordan. "One thing is certain, all Paris rings with your Majesty's change of religion" (over to Catholicism, say those astonishing people, first conjurers of the universe)!
No. 3. "BERLIN, 20th DECEMBER. M. de Beauvau," French Ambassador, "is gone. Ended, yesterday, his survey of the Cabinet of Medals; charmed with the same: charmed too, as the public is, with the rich present he has got from said Cabinet [coronation medal or medals in gold, I could guess]: people say the King of France's Medal given to our M. de Camas is nothing to it.
"Rumor of alliance between your Majesty and France with Sweden,"—premature rumor. Item, "Queen of Hungary dead in child-birth;"—ditto with still more emphasis! "The day before yesterday, in all churches, was prayer to Heaven for success to your Majesty's arms; interest of the Protestant religion being the one cause of the War, or the only one assigned by the reverend gentlemen. At sound of these words, the zeal of the people kindles: 'Bless God for raising such a Defender! Who dared suspect our King's indifference to Protestantism?'"
A right clever thing this last (O LE BEAU COUP D'ETAT)! exclaims Jordan,—though it is not clever or the contrary, not being dramatically prearranged, as Jordan exults to think. Jordan, though there are dregs of old devotion lying asleep in him, which will start into new activity when stirred again, is for the present a very unbelieving little gentleman, I can perceive.—This is the substance of public rumor at Berlin for one week. Friedrich answers:—
TO M. JORDAN, AT BERLIN.
"QUARTER AT MILKAU, TOWARDS GLOGAU, 19th DECEMBER, 1740 [comfortable Jesuit-Establishment at Milkau, Friedrich just got in, out of the rain].—Seigneur Jordan, thy Letter has given me a deal of pleasure in regard to all these talkings thou reportest. To-morrow [not to-morrow, nor next day; wet troops need a rest] I arrive at our last station this side Glogau, which place I hope to get in a few days. All favors my designs: and I hope to return to Berlin, after executing them gloriously and in a way to be content with. Let the ignorant and the envious talk; it is not they that shall ever serve as loadstar to my designs; not they, but Glory [LA GLOIRE; Fame, depending not on them]: with the love of that I am penetrated more than ever; my troops have their hearts big with it, and I answer to thee for success. Adieu, dear Jordan. Write me all the ill that the public says of thy Friend, and be persuaded that I love and will esteem thee always."—F.
JORDAN TO THE KING.
No. 4; "BERLIN, 24th DECEMBER. Your Majesty's Letter fills me with joy and contentment. The Town declared your Majesty to be already in Breslau; founding on some Letter to a Merchant here. Ever since they think of your Majesty acting for Protestantism, they make you step along with strides of Achilles to the ends of Silesia.—Foreign Courts are all rating their Ambassadors here for not finding you out.
"Wolf," his negotiations concluded at last, "has entered Halle almost like the triumphant Entry to Jerusalem. A concourse of pedants escorted him to his house. Lange [his old enemy, who accused him of Atheism and other things] has called to see him, and loaded him with civilities, to the astonishment of the old Orthodox." There let him rest, well buttoned in gaiters, and avoiding to mount stairs.... "Madame de Roucoulles has sent me the three objects adjoined, for your Majesty's behoof,"—woollen achievements, done by the needle, good against the winter weather for one she nursed. The good old soul. Enough now, of Jordan. [OEuvres de Frederic, xvii. 75-78.]
Voltaire, who left Berlin 2d or 3d December, seems to have been stopt by overflow of rivers about Cleve, then to have taken boat; and is, about this very time, writing to Friedrich "from a vessel on the Coasts of Zealand, where I am driven mad." (Intends, privately, for Paris before long, to get his MAHOMET acted, if possible.) To Voltaire, here is a Note coming:
KING TO H. DE VOLTAIRE (at Brussels, if once got thither).
"QUARTER OF HERRENDORF IN SILESIA, 23d December, 1740.
"MY DEAR VOLTAIRE,—I have received two of your Letters; but could not answer sooner; I am like Charles Twelfth's Chess-King, who was always kept on the move. For a fortnight past, we have been continually afoot and under way, in such weather as you never saw.
"I am too tired to reply to your charming Verses; and shivering too much with cold to taste all the charm of them: but that will come round again. Do not ask poetry from a man who is actually doing the work of a wagoner, and sometimes even of a wagoner stuck in the mud. Would you like to know my way of life? We march from seven in the morning till four in the afternoon. I dine then; afterwards I work, I receive tiresome visits; with these comes a detail of insipid matters of business. 'Tis wrong-headed men, punctiliously difficult, who are to be set right; heads too hot which must be restrained, idle fellows that must be urged, impatient men that must be rendered docile, plunderers to restrain within the bounds of equity, babblers to hear babbling, dumb people to keep in talk: in fine, one has to drink with those that like it, to eat with those that are hungry; one has to become a Jew with Jews, a Pagan with Pagans.
"Such are my occupations;—which I would willingly make over to another, if the Phantom they call Fame (GLOIRE) did not rise on me too often. In truth, it is a great folly, but a folly difficult to cast away when once you are smitten by it. [Phantom of GLOIRE somewhat rampant in those first weeks; let us see whether it will not lay itself again, forevermore, before long!]
"Adieu, my dear Voltaire; may Heaven preserve from misfortune the man I should so like to sup with at night, after fighting in the morning! The Swan of Padua [Algarotti, with his big hook-nose and dusky solemnly greedy countenance] is going, I think, to Paris, to profit by my absence; the Philosopher Geometer [big Maupertuis, in red wig and yellow frizzles, vainest of human kind] is squaring curves; poor little Jordan [with the kindly hazel eyes, and pen that pleasantly gossips to us] is doing nothing, or probably something near it. Adieu once more, dear Voltaire; do not forget the absent who love you. FREDERIC." [OEuvres de Frederic, xxii. 57.]
SCHWERIN AT LIEGNITZ; FRIEDRICH HUSHES UP THE GLOGAU PROBLEM, AND STARTS WITH HIS BEST SPEED FOR BRESLAU.
Meanwhile, on the Western road, and along the foot of the snowy peaks over yonder, Schwerin with the small Right column is going prosperously forwards. Two columns always, as the reader recollects,—two parallel military currents, flowing steadily on, shooting out estafettes, or horse-parties, on the right and left; steadily submerging all Silesia as they flow forward. Left column or current is in slight pause at Glogau here; but will directly be abreast again. On Tuesday, 27th, Schwerin is within wind of Liegnitz; on Wednesday morning, while the fires are hardly lighted, or the smoke of Liegnitz risen among the Hills, Schwerin has done his feat with the usual deftness: Prussian grenadiers came softly on the sentry, softly as a dream; but with sudden levelling of bayonets, sudden beckoning, "To your Guard-house!"—and there, turn the key upon his poor company and him. Whereupon the whole Prussian column marches in; tramp tramp, without music, through the streets: in the Market-place they fold themselves into a ranked mass, and explode into wind-harmony and rolling of drums. Liegnitz, mostly in nightcap, looks cautiously out of window: it is a deed done, IHR HERREN; Liegnitz ours, better late than never; and after so many years, the King has his own again. Schwerin is sumptuously lodged in the Jesuits, Palace: Liegnitz, essentially a Protestant Town, has many thoughts upon this event, but as yet will be stingy of speaking them.
Thus is Liegnitz managed. A pleasant Town, amid pleasant hills on the rocky Katzbach; of which swift stream, and other towns and passes on it, we shall yet hear more. Population, silently industrious in weaving and otherwise, is now above 14,000; was then perhaps about half that number. Patiently inarticulate, by no means bright in speech or sentiment; a much-enduring, steady-going, frugal, pious and very desirable people.
The situation of Breslau, all this while, is very critical. Much bottled emotion in the place; no Austrian Garrison admissible; Authorities dare not again propose such a thing, though Browne is turning every stone for it,—lest the emotion burst bottle, and take fire. I have dim account that Browne has been there, has got 300 Austrian dragoons into the Dom Insel (CATHEDRAL ISLAND; "Not in the City, you perceive!" says General Browne: "no, separated by the Oder, on both sides, from the rest of the City; that stately mass of edifices, and good military post");—and had hoped to get the suburbs burnt, after all. But the bottled emotion was too dangerous. For, underground, there are ANTI-Brownes: one especially; a certain busy Deblin, Shoemaker by craft, whom Friedrich speaks of, but gives no name to; this zealous Cordwainer, Deblin, and he is not the only individual of like humor, operates on the guild-brothers and lower populations: [Preuss, Thronbesteigung, p. 469; OEuvres de Frederic, ii. 61. ] things seem to be looking worse and worse for the Authorities, in spite of General Browne and his activities and dragoons.
What the issue will be? Judge if Friedrich wished the Young Dessauer come! Friedrich's Hussar parties (or Schwerin's, instructed by Friedrich) go to look if the Breslau suburbs are burnt. Far from it, if Friedrich knew;—the suburbs merely sit quaking at such a proposal, and wish the Prussians were here. "But there is time ahead of us," said everybody at Breslau; "Glogau will take some sieging!" Browne, in the course of a day or two,—guessing, I almost think, that Glogau was not to be besieged,—ranked his 300 Austrian dragoons, and rode away; sending the Austrian State-Papers, in half a score of wagons, ahead of him. "Archives of Breslau!" cried the general population, at sight of these wagons; and largely turned out, with emotion again like to unbottle itself. "Mere Tax-Ledgers, and records of the Government Offices; come and convince yourselves!" answered the Authorities. And the ten wagons went on; calling at Ohlau and Brieg, for farther lading of the like kind. Which wagons the Prussian light-horse chased, but could not catch. On to Mahren went these Archive-wagons; to Brunn, far over the Giant Mountains;—did not come back for a long while, nor to their former Proprietor at all. Tuesday, 27th, Leopold the Young Dessauer does finally arrive, with his Reserve, at Glogau: never man more welcome; such a fermentation going on at Breslau,—known to Friedrich, and what it will issue in, if he delay, not known. With despatch, Leopold is put into his charge; posts all yielded to him; orders given,—blockade to be strictness itself, but no fighting if avoidable; "starvation will soon do it, two months at most," hopes Friedrich, too sanguine as it proved:—and with earliest daylight on the 28th, Friedrich's Army, Friedrich himself in the van as usual, is on march again; at its best speed for Breslau. Read this Note for Jordan:—
FRIEDRICH TO M. JORDAN, AT BERLIN.
"HERRENDORF, 27th Dec. 1740.
"SIEUR JORDAN,—I march to-morrow for Breslau; and shall be there in four days [three, it happened; there rising, as would seem, new reason for haste]. You Berliners [of the 24th last] have a spirit of prophecy, which goes beyond me. In fine, I go my road; and thou wilt shortly see Silesia ranked in the list of our Provinces. Adieu; this is all I have time to tell thee. Religion [Silesian Protestantism, and Breslau's Cordwainer], religion and our brave soldiers will do the rest.
"Tell Maupertuis I grant those Pensions he proposes for his Academicians; and that I hope to find good subjects for that dignity in the Country where I am, withal. Give him my compliments.
The march was of the swiftest,—swifter even than had been expected;—which, as Silesia is all ringing glass, becomes more achievable than lately. But certain regiments outdid themselves in marching; "in three marches, near upon seventy miles,"—with their baggage jingling in due proximity. Through Glasersdorf, thence through Parchwitz, Neumarkt, Lissa, places that will be better known to us;—on Saturday, last night of the Year, his Majesty lodged at a Schloss called Pilsnitz, five miles to west of Breslau; and van-ward regiments, a good few, quartered in the Western and Southern suburbs of Breslau itself; suburbs decidedly glad to see them, and escape conflagration. The Town-gates are hermetically shut;—plenty of emotion bottled in the 100,000 hearts within. The sentries on the walls presented arms; nay, it is affirmed, some could not help exclaiming, "WILKOMMEN, IHR LIEBEN HERREN (Welcome, dear Sirs)!" [Helden-Geschichte, i. 534.]
Colonel Posadowsky (active Horse Colonel whom we have seen before, who perhaps has been in Breslau before) left orders "at the Scultet Garden-House," that all must be ready and the rooms warmed, his Majesty intending to arrive here early on the morrow. Which happened accordingly; Majesty alighting duly at said Garden-House, near by the Schweidnitz Gate,—I fancy almost before break of day.
Chapter IV. — BRESLAU UNDER SOFT PRESSURE.
The issue of this Breslau transaction is known, or could be stated in few words; nor is the manner of it such as would, for Breslau's sake, deserve many. But we are looking into Friedrich, wish to know his manners and aspects: and here, ready to our hand, a Paper turns up, compiled by an exact person with better leisure than ours, minutely detailing every part of the affair. This Paper, after the question, Burn or insert? is to have the lot of appearing here, with what abridgments are possible:—
"SUNDAY, 1st JANUARY, 1741. The King having established himself in Herrn Scultet's Garden-House, not far from the Schweidnitz Gate, there began a delicate and great operation. The Prussians, in a soft cautious manner, in the gray of the morning, push out their sentries towards the three Gates on this side of the Oder; seize any 'Excise House,' or the like, that may be fit for a post; and softly put 'twenty grenadiers' in it. All this before sunrise. Breslau is rigidly shut; Breslau thought always it could stand upon its guard, if attacked;—is now, in Official quarters, dismally uncertain if it can; general population becoming certain that it cannot, and waiting anxious on the development of this grand drama.
"About 7 A.M. a Prussian subaltern advancing within cry of the Schweidnitz Gate, requests of the Town-guard there, To send him out a Town-Officer. Town-Officer appears; is informed, 'That Colonels Posadowsky and Borck, Commissioners or plenipotentiary Messengers from his Prussian Majesty, desire admittance to the Chief Magistrate of Breslau, for the purpose of signifying what his Prussian Majesty's instructions are.' Town-Officer bows, and goes upon his errand. Town-Officer is some considerable time before he can return; City Authorities being, as we know, various, partly Imperial, partly Civic; elderly; and some of them gone to church,—for matins, or to be out of the way. However, he does at last return; admits the two Colonels, and escorts them honorably, to the Chief RATHS-SYNDIC (Lord-Mayor) old Herr von Gutzmar's; where the poor old "President of the OBER AMT" (Von Schaffgotsch the name of this latter) is likewise in attendance.
"Prussian Majesty's proposals are of the mildest sort: 'Nothing demanded of Breslau but the plainly indispensable and indisputable, That Prussia be in it what Austria has been. In all else, STATUS QUO. Strict neutrality to Breslau, respect for its privileges as a Free City of the Reich; protection to all its rights and privileges whatsoever. Shall be guarded by its own Garrison; no Prussian soldier to enter except with sidearms; only 30 guards for the King's person, who will visit the City for a few days;—intends to form a Magazine, with guard of 1,000 men, but only outside the City: no requisitions; ready money for everything. Chief Syndic Gutzmar and President Schaffgotsch shall consider these points.' [Helden-Geschichte, i. 537.] Syndic and President answer, Surely! Cannot, however, decide till they have assembled the Town-Rath; the two Herren Colonels will please to be guests of Breslau, and lodge in the City till then.
"And they lodged, accordingly, in the 'GROSSE RING' (called also SALZ-RING, big Central Square, where the Rathhaus is); and they made and received visits,—visited especially the Chief President's Office, the Ober-Amt, and signified there, that his Prussian Majesty's expectation was, They would give some account of that rather high Proclamation or 'Patent' they had published against him the other day, amid thunder and lightning here, and what they now thought would be expedient upon it? All in grave official terms, but of such a purport as was not exhilarating to everybody in those Ober-Amt localities.
"MONDAY MORNING, 2d JANUARY. The Rath is assembled; and consults,—consults at great length. RATH-House and Syndic Gutzmar, in such crisis, would fain have advice from AMT-House or President Schaffgotsch; but can get none: considerable coming and going between them: at length, about 3 in the afternoon, the Treaty is got drawn up; is signed by the due Breslau hands, and by the two Prussian Colonels,—which latter ride out with it, about 4 of the clock; victorious after thirty hours. Straight towards the Scultet Garden ride they; Town-guard presenting Arms, at the Schweidnitz Gate; nay Town-band breaking out into music, which is never done but to Ambassadors and high people. By thirty hours of steady soft pressure, they have brought it thus far.