Even the little pedlar had presented a card, which, happening

Except Pardubitz, where also the due battalions are left, Friedrich now holds no post south of the Elbe in this quarter; Elbe-Sazawa Tract is gone like the others, to all appearance. And we must now say, Silesia or Prag? Prince Leopold, Council-of-War being held on the matter, is for keeping hold of Prag: "Pity to lose all the excellent siege-artillery we brought thither," says he. True, too true; an ill-managed business that of Prag! thinks Friedrich sadly to himself: but what is Prag and artillery, compared to Silesia? Parthian retreat into Silesia; and let Prag and the artillery go: that, to Friedrich, is clearly the sure course. Or perhaps the fatal alternative will not actually arrive? So long as Pardubitz and Kolin hold; and we have the Elbe for barrier? Truth is, Prince Karl has himself written to Court that, having now pushed his Enemy fairly over the Elbe, and winter being come with its sleets and slushes, ruinous to troops that have been so marched about, the Campaign ought to end;--nay, his own young Wife is in perilous interesting circumstances, and the poor Prince wishes to be home. To which, however, it is again understood, Maria Theresa has emphatically answered, "No,--finish first!"

Even the little pedlar had presented a card, which, happening

NOVEMBER 9th-19th: WE DEFEND THE ELBE RIVER. Friedrich has posted himself on the north shore of the Elbe, from Pardubitz to the other side of Kolin; means to defend that side of the River, where go the Silesian roads. At Bohdenetz, short way across from Pardubitz, he himself is; Prince Leopold is near Kolin: thirty miles of river- bank to dispute. The controversy lasts ten days; ends in ELBE-TEINITZ, a celebrated "passage," in Books and otherwise. Friedrich is in shaggy, intricate country; no want of dingles, woods and quagmires; now and then pleasant places too,--here is Kladrup for example, where our Father came three hundred miles to dine with the Kaiser once. The grooms and colts are all off at present; Father and Kaiser are off; and much is changed since then. Grim tussle of War now; sleety winter, and the Giant Mountains in the distance getting on their white hoods! Friedrich doubtless has his thoughts as he rides up and down, in sight of Kladrup, among other places, settling many things; but what his thoughts were, he is careful not to say except where necessary. Much is to be looked after, in this River controversy of thirty miles. Detachments lie, at intervals, all the way; and mounted sentries, a sentry every five miles, patrol the River-bank; vigilant, we hope, as lynxes. Nothing can cross but alarm will be given, and by degrees the whole Prussian force be upon it. This is the Circle of Konigsgratz, this that now lies to rear; and happily there are a few Hussites in it, not utterly indisposed to do a little spying for us, and bring a glimmering of intelligence, now and then.

Even the little pedlar had presented a card, which, happening

It is now the second week that Frietrich has lain so, with his mounted patrols in motion, with his Hussite spies; guarding Argus- like this thirty miles of River; and the Austrians attempt nothing, or nothing with effect. If the Austrians go home to their winter- quarters, he hopes to issue from Kolin again before Spring, and to sweep the Elbe-Sazawa Tract clear of them, after all. Maria Theresa having answered No, it is likely the Austrians will try to get across: Be vigilant therefore, ye mounted sentries. Or will they perhaps make an attempt on Prag? Einsiedel, who has no garrison of the least adequacy, apprises us That "in all the villages round Prag people are busy making ladders,"--what can that mean? Friedrich has learned, by intercepted letters, that something great is to be done on Wednesday, 18th: he sends Rothenburg with reinforcement to Einsiedel, lest a scalade of Prag should be on the cards. Rothenburg is right welcome in the lines of Prag, though with reinforcement still ineffectual; but it is not Prag that is meant, nor is Wednesday the day. Through Wednesday, Friedrich, all eye and ear, could observe nothing: much marching to and fro on the Austrian side of the River; but apparently it comes to nothing? The mounted patrols had better be vigilant, however.

Even the little pedlar had presented a card, which, happening

On the morrow, 5 A.M., what is this that is going on? Audible booming of cannon, of musketry and battle, echoing through the woods, penetrates to Friedrich's quarters at Bohdenetz in the Pardubitz region: Attack upon Kolin, Nassau defending himself there? Out swift scouts, and see! Many scouts gallop out; but none comes back. Friedrich, for hours, has to remain uncertain; can only hope Nassau will defend himself. Boom go the distant volleyings; no scout comes back. And it is not Nassau or Kolin; it is something worse: very glorious for Prussian valor, but ruinous to this Campaign.

The Austrians, at 2 o'clock this morning, Austrians and Saxons, came in great force, in dead silence, to the south brink of the River, opposite a place called Teinitz (Elbe-Teinitz), ten miles east of Kolin; that was the fruit of their marching yesterday. They sat there forbidden to speak, to smoke tobacco or do anything but breathe, till all was ready; till pontoons, cannons had come up, and some gleam of dawn had broken. At the first gleam of dawn, as they are shoving down their pontoon boats, there comes a "WER-DA, Who goes?" from our Prussian patrol across the River. Receiving no answer, he fires; and is himself shot down. One Wedell, Wedell and Ziethen, who keep watch in this part, start instantly at sound of these shots; and make a dreadful day of it for these invasive Saxon and Austrian multitudes. Naturally, too, they send off scouts, galloping for more help, to the right and to the left. But that avails not. Wild doggery of Pandours, it would seem, have already swum or waded the River, above Teinitz and below:--"Want of vigilance!" barks Friedrich impatiently: but such a doggery is difficult to watch with effect. At any rate, to the right and to the left, the woods are already beset with Pandours; every scout sent out is killed: and to east or to west there comes no news but an echoing of musketry, a boom of distant cannon. [Orlich, ii. 82-85.] Saxon-Austrian battalions, four or five, with unlimited artillery going, VERSUS Wedell's one battalion, with musketry and Ziethen's hussars: it is fearful odds. The Prussians stand to it like heroes; doggedly, for four hours, continue the dispute,--till it is fairly desperate; "two bridges of the enemy's now finished;"--whereupon they manoeuvre off, with Parthian or Prussian countenance, into the woods, safe, towards Kolin; "despatching definite news to Friedrich, which does arrive about 11 A.M., and sets him at once on new measures."

This is a great feat in the Prussian military annals; for which, sad as the news was, Wedell got the name of Leonidas attached to him by Friedrich himself. And indeed it is a gallant passage of war; "Forcing of the Elbe at Teinitz;" of which I could give two Narratives, one from the Prussian, and one from the Saxon side; [Seyfarth, Beylage, i. 595-598; Helden-Geschichte, ii. 1175-1181.] didactic, admonitory to the military mind, nay to the civic reader that has sympathy with heroisms, with work done manfully, and terror and danger and difficulty well trampled under foot. Leonidas Wedell has an admirable silence, too; and Ziethen's lazily hanging under-lip is in its old attitude again, now that the spasm is over. "WAS THUTS? They are across, without a doubt. We would have helped it, and could not. Steady!"--


Seeing, then, that they are fairly over, Friedrich, with a creditable veracity of mind, sees also that the game is done; and that same night he begins manoeuvring towards Silesia, lest far more be lost by continuing the play. One column, under Leopold the Young Dessauer, goes through Glatz, takes the Magazine of Pardubitz along with it: good to go in several columns, the enemy will less know which to chase. Friedrich, with another column, will wait for Nassau about Konigsgratz, then go by the more westerly road, through Nachod and the Pass of Braunau. Nassau, who is to get across from Kolin, and join us northwards, has due rendezvous appointed him in the Konigsgratz region. Einsiedel, in Prag, is to spike his guns, since he cannot carry them; blow up his bastions, and the like; and get away with all discretion and all diligence,-- northwestward first, to Leitmeritz, where our magazines are; there to leave his heavier goods, and make eastward towards Friedland, and across the "Silesian Combs" by what Passes he can. Will have a difficult operation; but must stand to it. And speed; steady, simultaneous, regular, unresting velocity; that is the word for all. And so it is done,--though with difficulty, on the part of poor Einsiedel for one. It was Thursday, 19th November, when the Austrians got across the Elbe: on Monday, 23d, the Prussian rendezvousings are completed; and Friedrich's column, and the Glatz one under Leopold, are both on march; infinite baggage-wagons groaning orderly along ("sick-wagons well ahead," and the like precautions and arrangements), on both these highways for Silesia: and before the week ends, Thursday, 26th, even Einsiedel is under way. Let us give something of poor Einsiedel, whose disasters made considerable noise in the world, that Winter and afterwards.

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