He turned suddenly to see Professor Henderson confronting

time:2023-12-07 15:03:57 source:Alliance under the city author:person

In these weeks, the big Czarina, who has set a price (100,000 rubles, say 15,000 pounds) upon the head of poor Stanislaus, hears that his Prussian Majesty protects him; and thereupon signifies, in high terms, That she, by her Feld-marschall Munnich, will come across the frontiers and seize the said Stanislaus. To which his Prussian Majesty answers positively, though in proper Diplomatic tone, "Madam, I will in no wise permit it!" Perhaps his Majesty's remarkablest transaction, here on the Rhine, was this concerning Stanislaus. For Seckendorf the Feldzeugmeister was here also, on military function, not forgetful of the Diplomacies; who busily assailed his Majesty, on the Kaiser's part, in the same direction: "Give up Stanislaus, your Majesty! How ridiculous (LACHERLICH) to be perhaps ruined for Stanislaus!" But without the least effect, now or afterwards.

He turned suddenly to see Professor Henderson confronting

Poor Stanislaus, in the beginning of July, got across into Preussen, as we intimated; and there he continued, safe against any amount of rubles and Feldmarschalls, entreaties and menaces. At Angerburg, on the Prussian frontier, he found a steadfast veteran, Lieutenant-General von Katte, Commandant in those parts (Father of a certain poor Lieutenant, whom we tragically knew of long ago!)--which veteran gentleman received tbe Fugitive Majesty, [ Militair-Lexikon, ii. 254.] with welcome in the King's name, and assurances of an honorable asylum till the times and roads should clear again for his Fugitive Majesty. Fugitive Majesty, for whom the roads and times were very dark at present, went to Marienwerder; talked of going "to Pillau, for a sea-passage," of going to various places; went finally to Konigsberg, and there--with a considerable Polish Suite of Fugitives, very moneyless, and very expensive, most of them, who had accumulated about him--set up his abode. There for almost two years, in fact till this War ended, the Fugitive Polish Majesty continued; Friedrich Wilhelm punctually protecting him, and even paying him a small Pension (50 pounds a month),--France, the least it could do for the Grandfather of France, allowing a much larger one; larger, though still inadequate. France has left its Grandfather strangely in the lurch here; with "100,000 rubles on his head." But Friedrich Wilhelm knows the sacred rites, and will do them; continues deaf as a door-post alike to the menaces and the entreaties of Kaiser and Czarina; strictly intimating to Munnich, what the Laws of Neutrality are, and that they must be observed. Which, by his Majesty's good arrangements, Munnich, willing enough to the contrary had it been feasible, found himself obliged to comply with. Prussian Majesty, like a King and a gentleman, would listen to no terms about dismissing or delivering up, or otherwise, failing in the sacred rites to Stanislaus; but honorably kept him there till the times and routes cleared themselves again. [Forster, ii. 132, 134-136.] A plain piece of duty; punctually done: the beginning of it falls here in the Camp at Philipsburg, July-August 1734; in May, 1736, we shall see some glimpse of the end!--

He turned suddenly to see Professor Henderson confronting

His Prussian Majesty in Camp at Philipsburg--so distinguished a volunteer, doing us the honor to encamp here--"was asked to all the Councils-of-war that were held," say the Books. And he did attend, the Crown-Prince and he, on important occasions: but, alas, there was, so to speak, nothing to be consulted of. Fascines and hurdles lay useless; no attempt was made to relieve Philipsburg. On the third day after his Majesty's arrival, July 18th, Philipsburg, after a stiff defence of six weeks, growing hopeless of relief, had to surrender;--French then proceeded to repair Philipsburg, no attempt on Eugene's part to molest them there. If they try ulterior operations on this side the River, he counter-tries; and that is all.

He turned suddenly to see Professor Henderson confronting

Our Crown-Prince, somewhat of a judge in after years, is maturely of opinion, That the French Lines were by no means inexpugnable; that the French Army might have been ruined under an attack of the proper kind. [ OEuvres de Frederic, i. 167.] Their position was bad; no room to unfold themselves for fight, except with the Town's cannon playing on them all the while; only one Bridge to get across by, in case of coming to the worse: defeat of them probable, and ruin to them inevitable in case of defeat. But Prince Eugene, with an Army little to his mind (Reich's-Contingents not to be depended on, thought Eugene), durst not venture: "Seventeen victorious Battles, and if we should be defeated in the eighteenth and last?"

It is probable the Old Dessauer, had he been Generalissimo, with this same Army,--in which, even in the Reich's part of it, we know ten thousand of an effective character,--would have done some stroke upon the French; but Prince Eugene would not try. Much dimmed from his former self this old hero; age now 73;-- a good deal wearied with the long march through Time. And this very Summer, his Brother's Son, the last male of his House, had suddenly died of inflammatory fever; left the old man very mournful: "Alone, alone, at the end of one's long march; laurels have no fruit, then?" He stood cautious, on the defensive; and in this capacity is admitted to have shown skilful management.

But Philipsburg being taken, there is no longer the least event to be spoken of; the Campaign passed into a series of advancings, retreatings, facing, and then right-about facings,--painful manoeuvrings, on both sides of the Rhine and of the Neckar,-- without result farther to the French, without memorability to either side. About the middle of August, Friedrich Wilhelm went away;--health much hurt by his month under canvas, amid Rhine inundations, and mere distressing phenomena. Crown-Prince Friedrich and a select party escorted his Majesty to Mainz, where was a Dinner of unusual sublimity by the Kurfurst there; [15th August (Fassmann, p. 511.)]--Dinner done, his Majesty stept on board "the Electoral Yacht;" and in this fine hospitable vehicle went sweeping through the Binger Loch, rapidly down towards Wesel; and the Crown-Prince and party returned to their Camp, which is upon the Neckar at this time.

Camp shifts about, and Crown-Prince in it: to Heidelberg, to Waiblingen, Weinheim; close to Mainz at one time: but it is not worth following: nor in Friedrich's own Letters, or in other documents, is there, on the best examination, anything considerable to be gleaned respecting his procedures there. He hears of the ill-success in Italy, Battle of Parma at the due date, with the natural feelings; speaks with a sorrowful gayety, of the muddy fatigues, futilities here on the Rhine;--has the sense, however, not to blame his superiors unreasonably. Here, from one of his Letters to Colonel Camas, is a passage worth quoting for the credit of the writer. With Camas, a distinguished Prussian Frenchman, whom we mentioned elsewhere, still more with Madame Camas in time coming, he corresponded much, often in a fine filial manner:--

"The present Campaign is a school, where profit may be reaped from observing the confusion and disorder which reigns in this Army: it has been a field very barren in laurels; and those who have been used, all their life, to gather such, and on Seventeen distinguished occasions have done so, can get none this time." Next year, we all hope to be on the Moselle, and to find that a fruitfuler field ... "I am afraid, dear Camas, you think I am going to put on the cothurnus; to set up for a small Eugene, and, pronouncing with a doctoral tone what each should have done and not have done, condemn and blame to right and left. No, my dear Camas; far from carrying my arrogance to that point, I admire the conduct of our Chief, and do not disapprove that of his worthy Adversary; and far from forgetting the esteem and consideration due to persons who, scarred with wounds, have by years and long service gained a consummate experience, I shall hear them more willingly than ever as my teachers, and try to learn from them how to arrive at honor, and what is the shortest road into the secret of this Profession." ["Camp at Heidelberg, 11th September, 1734" ( OEuvres, xvi. 131).]


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