exertion. But, young Oswald having no title to show, it
FRIEDRICH TO LIEUTENANT-GENERAL TAUENTZIEN INFANTRY INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF SILESIA.
"MY DEAR GENERAL VON TAUENTZIEN,--While in Silesia I mentioned to you, and will now repeat in writing, That my Army in Silesia was at no time so bad as at present. Were I to make Shoemakers or Tailors into Generals, the Regiments could not be worse. Regiment THADDEN is not fit to be the most insignificant militia battalion of a Prussian Army; ROTHKIRCH and SCHWARTZ"--bad as possible all of them--"of ERLACH, the men are so spoiled by smuggling [sad industry, instead of drilling], they have no resemblance to Soldiers; KELLER is like a heap of undrilled boors; HAGER has a miserable Commander; and your own Regiment is very mediocre. Only with Graf von Anhalt [in spite of his head], with WENDESSEN and MARGRAF HEINRICH, could I be content. See you, that is the state I found the Regiments in, one after one. I will now speak of their Manoeuvring [in our Mimic Battles on the late occasion]:--
"Schwartz; at Neisse, made the unpardonable mistake of not sufficiently besetting the Height on the Left Wing; had it been serious, the Battle had been lost. At Breslau, Erlach [who is a Major-General, forsooth!], instead of covering the Army by seizing the Heights, marched off with his Division straight as a row of cabbages into that Defile; whereby, had it been earnest, the enemy's Cavalry would have cut down our Infantry, and the Fight was gone.
"It is not my purpose to lose Battles by the base conduct (LACHETE) of my Generals: wherefore I hereby appoint, That you, next year, if I be alive, assemble the Army between Breslau and Ohlau; and for four days before I arrive in your Camp, carefully manoeuvre with the ignorant Generals, and teach them what their duty is. Regiment VON ARNIM and Garrison-Regiment VON KANITZ are to act the Enemy: and whoever does not then fulfil his duty shall go to Court- Martial,--for I should think it shame of any Country (JEDEN PUISSANCE) to keep such people, who trouble themselves so little about their business. Erlach sits four weeks longer in arrest [to have six weeks of it in full]. And you have to make known this my present Declared Will to your whole Inspection.--F." [Rodenbeck, iii. 311.]
What a peppering is the excellent old Tauentzien getting! Here is a case for Kaltenborn, and the sympathies of Opposition people. But, alas, this King knows that Armies are not to be kept at the working point on cheaper terms,--though some have tried it, by grog, by sweetmeats, sweet-speeches, and found it in the end come horribly dearer! One thing is certain: the Silesian Reviews, next Year, if this King be alive, will be a terrible matter; and Military Gentlemen had better look to themselves in time! Kaltenborn's sympathy will help little; nothing but knowing one's duty, and visibly and indisputably doing it, will the least avail.
Just in the days when Bouille left him for France, Friedrich ("October, 1784") had conceived the notion of some general Confederation, or Combination in the Reich, to resist, the continual Encroachments of Austria; which of late are becoming more rampant than ever. Thus, in the last year, especially within the last six months, a poor Bishop of Passau, quasi-Bavarian, or in theory Sovereign Bishop of the Reich, is getting himself pulled to pieces (Diocese torn asunder, and masses of it forcibly sewed on to their new "Bishopric of Vienna"), in the most tragic manner, in spite of express Treaties, and of all the outcries the poor man and the Holy Father himself can make against it. [Dohm (DENKWURDIGKEITEN, iii. 46,--GESCHICHTE DER LETZTEN PERIODE FRIEDRICHS DES ZWEITEN) gives ample particulars. Dohm's first 3 volumes call themselves "History of Friedrich's last Period, 1778-1786;" and are full of Bavarian War, 3d vol. mostly of FURSTENBUND;--all in a candid, authentic, but watery and rather wearisome way.] To this of Passau, and to the much of PANIS-BRIEFE and the like which had preceded, Friedrich, though studiously saying almost nothing, had been paying the utmost of attention:-- part of Prince Henri's errand to France is thought to have been, to take soundings on those matters (on which France proves altogether willing, if able); and now, in the general emotion about Passau, Friedrich jots down in a Note to Hertzberg the above idea; with order to put it into form a little, and consult about it in the Reich with parties interested. Hertzberg took the thing up with zeal; instructed the Prussian Envoys to inquire, cautiously, everywhere; fancied he did find willingness in the Courts of the Reich, in Hanover especially: in a word, got his various irons into the fire;--and had not proceeded far, when there rose another case of Austrian Encroachment, which eclipsed all the preceding; and speedily brought Hertzberg's irons to the welding-point. Too brief we cannot be in this matter; here are the dates, mostly from Dohm:--
NEW-YEAR'S DAY, 1785, on or about that day, Romanzow, Son of our old Colberg and Anti-Turk friend, who is Russian "Minister in the Ober-Rheinish Circle," appears at the little Court of Zweibruck, with a most sudden and astounding message to the Duke there:--
"Important bargain agreed upon between your Kaiser and his Highness of the Pfalz and Baiern; am commanded by my Sovereign Lady, on behalf of her friend the Kaiser, to make it known to you. Baiern all and whole made over to Austria; in return for which the now Kur-Baiern gets the Austrian Netherlands (Citadels of Limburg and Luxemburg alone excepted); and is a King henceforth, 'King of Burgundy' to be the Title, he and his fortunate Successors for all time coming. To your fortunate self, in acknowledgment of your immediate consent, Austria offers the free-gift of 100,000 pounds, and to your Brother Max of 50,000 pounds; Kur-Baiern, for his loyal conduct, is to have 150,000 pounds; and to all of you, if handsome, Austria will be handsome generally. For the rest, the thing is already settled; and your refusal will not hinder it from going forward. I request to know, within eight days, what your Highness's determination is!"