When the subject had been thus discussed, in all its bearings,

"It was upon Einsiedel's poor Garrison, leaving Prag in such haste, that the real stress of the retreat fell; its difficulties great indeed, and its losses great. Einsiedel did what was possible; but all things are not possible on a week's warning. He spiked great guns, shook endless hundredweights of powder, and 10,000 stand of arms, into the River; he requisitioned horses, oxen, without number; put mines under the bastions, almost none of which went off with effect. He kept Prag accurately shut, the Praguers accurately in the dark; took his measures prudently; and labored night and day. One measure I note of him: stringent Proclamation to the inhabitants of Prag, 'Provision yourselves for three months; nothing but starvation ahead otherwise.' Alas, we are to stand a fourth siege, then? say the Praguers. But where are provisions to be had? At such and such places; from the Royal Magazines only, if you bring a certificate and ready money! Whereby Einsiedel got delivered of his meal-magazine, for one thing. But his difficulties otherwise were immense.

When the subject had been thus discussed, in all its bearings,

"On the Thursday morning, 26th November, 1744, he marched. His wagons had begun the night before; and went all night, rumbling continuous (Anonymous of Prag [Second "LETTER from a Citizen, &c." (date, 27th November, see supra, p. 348), in Helden- Geschichte, ii. 1181-1188.] hearing them well), through the Karlthor, northwest gate of Prag, across the Moldau Rridge. All night across that bridge,--Leitmeritz road, great road to the northwest:--followed finally by the march of horse and foot. But news had already fled abroad. Five hundred Pandours were in the City, backed by the Butchers' lads and other riotous GESINDEL, before the rear-guard got away. Sad tugging and wriggling in consequence, much firing from windows, and uproarious chaos;--so that Rothenburg had at last to remount a couple of guns, and blow it off with case-shot. A drilled Prussian rear-guard struggling, with stern composure, through a real bit of burning chaos. With effect, though not without difficulty. Here is the scene on the Noldau Bridge, and past that high Hradschin [Old Palace of the Bohemian Kings (pronounce RADsheen); one of the steepest Royal Sites in the world.] mass of buildings; all Prag, not the Hradschin only, struggling to give us fatal farewell if it durst. River is covered with Pandours firing out of boats; Bridge encumbered to impassability by forsaken wagons, the drivers of which had cut traces and run; shot comes overhead from the Hradschin on our left, much shot, infinite tumult all round; thoroughfare impossible for two-wheeled vehicle, or men in rank. 'Halt!' cries Colonel Brandes, who has charge of the thing; divides them in three: 'First one party, deal with these river-boats, that Pandour doggery; second party, pull these stray wagons to right and left, making the way clear; third party, drag our own wagons forward, shoulder to shaft, and yoke them out of shot-range;--you, Captain Carlowitz,' and calls twenty volunteers to go with Carlowitz, and drag their own cannon, 'step you forward, keep the gate of that Hradschin till we all pass!' In this manner, rapid, hard of stroke, clear-headed and with stern regularity, drilled talent gets the burning Nessus'- shirt wriggled off; and tramps successfully forth with its baggages. About 11 A.M., this rearguard of Brandes's did; should have been at seven,--right well that it could be at all.

When the subject had been thus discussed, in all its bearings,

"Einsiedel, after this, got tolerably well to Leitmeritz; left his heavy baggage there; then turned at an acute angle right eastward, towards the Silesian Combs, as ordered: still a good seventy miles to do, and the weather getting snowy and the days towards their shortest. Worse still; old Weissenfels, now in Prag with his Saxons, is aware that Einsiedel, before ending, will touch on a wild high-lying corner of the Lausitz which is Saxon Country; and thitherward Weissenfels has despatched Chevalier de Saxe (in plenty of time, November 29th), with horse and foot, to waylay Einsiedel, and block the entrance of the Silesian Mountains for him. Whereupon, in the latter end of his long march, and almost within sight of home, ensues the hardest brush of all for Einsiedel. And, in the desolation of that rugged Hill country of the Lausitz, 'HOCHWALD (Upper Weld),' twenty or more miles from Bohemian Friedland, from his entrance on the Mountain Barrier and Silesian Combs, there are scenes--which gave rise to a Court- Martial before long. For unexpectedly, on the winter afternoon (December 9th), Einsiedel, struggling among the snows and pathless Hills, comes upon Chevalier de Saxe and his Saxon Detachment,-- intrenched with trees, snow-redoubts, and a hollow bog dividing us; plainly unassailable;--and stands there, without covering, without 'food, fire, or salt,' says one Eye-witness, 'for the space of fourteen hours.' Gazing gloomily into it, exchanging a few shots, uncertain what more to do; the much-dubitating Einsiedel. 'At which the men were so disgusted and enraged, they deserted [the foreign part of them, I fancy] in groups at a time,' says the above Eye-witness. Not to think what became of the equipments, baggage- wagons, sick-wagons:--too evident Einsiedel's loss, in all kinds, was very considerable. Nassau, despatched by Leopold out of Glatz, from the other side of the Combs, is marching to help Einsiedel;-- who knows, at this moment, where or whitherward? For the peasants are all against us; our very guides desert, and become spies. 'Push to the left, over the Hochwald top, must not we?' thinks Einsiedel: 'that is Lausitz, a Saxon Country; and Saxony, though the Saxons stand intrenched here, with the knife at our throat, are not at war with us, oh no, only allies of her Majesty of Hungary, and neutral otherwise!' And here, it is too clear, the Chevalier de Saxe stands intrenched behind his trees and snow; and it is the fourteenth hour, men deserting by the hundred, without fire and without salt; and Nassau is coming,--God knows by what road!

When the subject had been thus discussed, in all its bearings,

"Einsiedel pushes to the left, the Hochwald way; finds, in the Hochwald too, a Saxon Commandant waiting him, with arms strictly shouldered. 'And we cannot pass through this moor skirt of Lausitz, say you, then?' 'Unarmed, yes; your muskets can come in wagons after you,' replies the Saxon Commandant of Lausitz. 'Thousand thanks, Herr Commandant; but we will not give you all that trouble,' answer Einsiedel and his Prussians; 'and march on, overwhelming him with politenesses,' says Friedrich;--the approach of Nassau, above all, being a stringent civility. Of course, despatch is very requisite to Einsiedel; the Chevalier, with his force, being still within hail. The Prussians march all night, with pitch-links flaring,--nights (I think) of the 13th-15th December, 1744, up among the highlands there, rugged buttresses of the Silesian Combs: a sight enough to astonish Rubezahl, if he happened to be out! As good chance would have it, Nassau and Einsiedel, by preconcert, partly by lucky guess of their own, were hurrying by the same road: three heaven-rending cheers (December 16th) when we get sight of Nassau; and find that here is land! December 16th, we are across,--by Ruckersdorf, not far from Friedland (Bohmisch Friedland, not the Silesian town of that name, once Wallenstein's); --and rejoice now to look back on labor done." [ Helden- Geschichte, ii. 1181-1190, 1191-1194; Feldzuge, i. 278-280.]

These were intricate strange scenes, much talked of at the time: Rothenburg, ugly Walrave, Hacke, and other known figures, concerned in them. Scenes in which Friedrich is not well informed; who much blames Einsiedel, as he is apt to do the unsuccessful. Accounts exist, both from the Prussian and from the Saxon side, decipherable with industry; not now worth deciphering to English readers. Only that final scene of the pitch-links, the night before meeting with Nassau, dwells voluntarily in one's memory. And is the farewell of Einsiedel withal. Friedrich blames him to the last: though a Court-Martial had sat on his case, some months after, and honorably acquitted him. Good solid, silent Einsiedel;--and in some months more, he went to a still higher court, got still stricter justice: I do not hear expressly that it was the winter marches, or strain of mind; but he died in 1745; and that flare of pitch-links in Rubezahl's country is the last scene of him to us,--and the end of Friedrich's unfortunate First Expedition in the Second Silesian War.

"Foiled, ultimately, then, on every point; a totally ill-ordered game on our part! Evidently we, for our part, have been altogether in the wrong, in various essential particulars. Amendment, that and no other, is the word now. Let us take the scathe and the scorn candidly home to us;--and try to prepare for doing better. The world will crow over us. Well, the world knows little about it; the world, if it did know, would be partly in the right!"--Wise is he who, when beaten, learns the reasons of it, and alters these. This wisdom, it must be owned, is Friedrich's; and much distinguishes him among generals and men. Veracity of mind, as I say, loyal eyesight superior to sophistries; noble incapacity of self-delusion, the root of all good qualities in man. His epilogue to this Campaign is remarkable;--too long for quoting here, except the first word of it and the last:--

"No General committed more faults than did the King in this Campaign. ... The conduct of M. de Traun is a model of perfection, which every soldier that loves his business ought to study, and try to imitate, if he have the talent. The king has himself admitted that he regarded this Campaign as his school in the Art of War, and M. de Traun as his teacher." But what shall we say? "Bad is often better for Princes than good;--and instead of intoxicating them with presumption, renders them circumspect and modest." [ OEuvres, iii.76, 77.] Let us still hope!--


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