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like the French, nor be outmanæuvred into retreat like the Austrians. They stand still, to be sa bred like dead oxen,' and receive against their flanks the merciless impact of all Frederic's military science, as the earthworks of Sebastopol did the projectiles of the allies. At Zorndorf (25th August, 1758) Frederic defeats Fermor : but though more than 20,000 Russians fell, their army was not dispersed, and 11,000 Prussians hors de combat (“above the Prussian third man,' says Mr. Carlyle, adopting a very needless Teutonicism) constituted relatively a far heavier loss. Frederic now moves once more into Saxony, to confront Daun, whom he engages at Hochkirch (14th October, 1758) in one of the few doubtful battles of the war : for there was seldom any uncertainty as to the quality of the many beatings which Frederic inflicted, or the few which he received; but which on the whole the Prussians were forced to reckon as a defeat.
As the disaster of Kolin had been accompanied to Frederic by the loss of his mother, so was that of Hochkirch by a still severer blow, the death of his sister Wilhelmina Princess of Baireuth: loved as well as Frederic could love any one ; his fellow-sufferer in early days under the yoke of that mild autocrat of the breakfast-table,' their father, Mr. Carlyle's hero the first. There is something in the love for a sister which seems to cling closer than almost any other in hard and selfish masculine natures: nor does the circumstance require much philosophy to explain it: of all domestic relations, this is the one which offers the greatest scope for tenderness with the least for jealousy. And the brave Princess (though we, for our own part, find great difficulty in believing chapter after chapter of her so-called memoirs) was worthy to partake in the fierce vicissitudes of her brother's destiny. We have sometimes fancied that Schiller had her well-known figure in his eye when he drew his Countess Terzky, Wallenstein's sister. I am in a frightful state,' writes Wilhelmina to Voltaire, after Kolin, and will not survive the destruction of my home and family.'. So Schiller's heroine to Piccolomini :
Sie denken würdiger von mir, als das
Ich überlebte meines Hauses Fall.' However this may be, her affectionate intercourse with Frederic forms almost the single point on which the mind dwells with pleasure in the personal record of his biography. The loss of his Wilhelmina,' says Mr. Carlyle, overtaxing our sympathies as usual by his vehemence:
‘Had there been no other grief, has darkened all his life to Friedrich. Readers are not prepared for the details of life we could give, and the settled gloom of mind they indicate. A loss irreparable and immea
surable: the light of life, the one loved heart that loved him, gone. . His passionate appeals to Voltaire to celebrate for him in verse his lost treasure, and at least make her virtues immortal, are perhaps known to readers ; alas ! this is a very feeble kind of immortality, and Friedrich knows it right well.'
The winter of 1758-9 was spent in preparations, of which the financial were the most difficult. “To me,' says Mr. Carlyle: or rather the personage, whoever he may be, whom he cites as "an ingenious predecessor, whom I sometimes quote,' —
"To me nothing is so wonderful as Friedrich's budget during the war. One day it will be carefully investigated, elucidated, and made conceivable and certain to mankind : but that is far from being the case. We walk about in it with astonishment: almost, were it possible, with incredulity. Expenditure on this side, work done on that: human nature, especially British human nature, refuses to conceive it. ver in this world, before or since, was the like,' &c. &c. (v. 597).
Why does not Mr. Carlyle, in his five weighty volumes, assist poor
human nature a little towards forming the necessary conception ? Materials are not, we can assure him, deficient: but to use them requires a deal of patience and industry: things, at least in the matter of figures, extremely adverse to our author's nature: it is far easier to indulge in what he would himself call • inarticulate shrieking' against the Dismal Science of political economy, and so forth. This part of Frederic's history-and it is perhaps the most really important of all—remains, for English readers, to be executed.
Throughout the whole campaign of 1759, Frederic had to wrestle against overwhelming odds with firm pertinacity, hardly relieved by a single stroke of success. The battle of Kunnersdorf, 6th August, 1759, in which his army was utterly crushed by the overwhelming force and obstinacy of the Russians under Soltikof -nearly 20,000 on each side hors de combat, the bloodiest affair of the century-marked the very lowest point of his fortunes. For four days he despaired-for once he certainly thought seriously of suicide ;—that crisis over, he threw himself back into the struggle with that stern indomitable energy which in reality makes of him a character apart in the list of great warriors, and which even Mr. Carlyle cannot overpaint. Why his enemies once more failed to give him the coup de grace, when he lay without defence before them, Mr. Carlyle has made no clearer than his predecessors in general. “The cause of failure,' he says,
may be considered to have been, in great part, Daun and his cunctations:' but it is difficult even for the most superficial reader not to feel persuaded that some deeper cause than mere
errors of generalship lay behind: and Napoleon's concise judgment is in all probability the true one:
Tout prouve qu'il n'eût résisté une campagne à la France, à l’Autriche, et à la Russie, si ces puissances eussent agi de bonne foi : qu'il n'eût pas pu faire deux campagnes contre l'Autriche et la Russie, si le cabinet de St. Pétersbourg avait permis que ses armées hivernassent sur le champ d'opération.'
Of Frederic's lieutenants, his gallant brother Prince Henry alone seems to have supported him, in this his extreme distress, with loyalty and skill such as Frederic himself exacted. Schmettau, as we have seen, surrendered Dresden--not again to be occupied by Prussians until 1813—and Fink, as we have also seen, got beaten at Maxen: the last stroke of success in Daun's life, and which he showed himself as incapable of improving as on former occasions : until at last even the gentle Austrian public awaked to a consciousness of his deficiencies, and poor Madame Daun, going to the Imperial levée, had her state-carriage half filled with nightcaps, thrown into it by the Vienna people, in token of her husband's great talent for sleep.'
Winter came again, finding Frederic sorely reduced, but invulnerable as ever; while France, and the alliance generally, were deeply discouraged through the defeat of Conflans by Hawke, and the consequent annihilation of all hope of the invasion of England. In the summer of 1760, Frederic resumes once more the offensive, besieges Dresden, beats Laudohen thoroughly at Lignitz (August 15), and clutches Daun, almost to strangulation,' in the Silesian mountains : but the Russians, on their part (under the Todtleben of that day), capture Berlin itself, and thereby compel Frederic to relax his grasp on Daun's throat. Frederic drives out the Russians; Daun follows Frederic, and Frederic turns on Daun (3rd November, 1760) at Torgau, in despair of success, but as the last experiment left.
I have told you,' he says to d'Argens, and I repeat it, never shall my hand sign an humiliating peace. Finish this campaign I certainly will, resolved to dare all, and try the most desperate things either to succeed or find a glorious end.'
At Torgau the King had the rare fortune of going into action with almost equal forces to those of his adversary; and although he contrived to beat Daun pretty thoroughly, yet his victory, in the eyes of his military critics, was not such a masterpiece as his former achievements in that line. Dans cette bataille, says Napoleon, 'Frédéric a violé les principes; soit dans la conception du plan, soit dans son exécution, c'est de toutes des batailles celle où il a fait plus de fautes, et la seule oư il n'ait
montré aucun talent.' Whether the criticism be just or otherwise, no notice is taken of it by Mr. Carlyle.
• Torgau was Daun's last battle: Daun's last battle, and, what is more to the joy of readers and their Editor here, was Frederic's last ; so that the two remaining campaigns may fairly be condensed to an extreme degree, and a few chapters more will deliver us altogether from this painful element!' As we have two hundred more pages to dig through-we must fairly call them the most wearisome pages of this great work,—from the battle of Torgau to the peace of Hubertsburg in 1763, we cannot say the writer has fairly fulfilled the magnanimous promise of self-denial contained in these words. We shall not follow him farther through the dull detail of skirmishes and negotiations in which the Seven Years' War, having lost, through the exhaustion of all parties, its gigantic military interest, finally died out, and must dismiss it, only regretting that we have not room to extract the very admirable and statesmanlike summary of what he terms its threefold results, with which he closes the narrative; namely, the establishment of Prussian power on its firm basis and with all its capacity for that further development which it has since acquired; the establishment of England as a preponderating power on the Continent (to last, may we add, for just a century, 1763-1863?); and the temporary breakdown of France.
The Seven Years' War had left Prussia apparently prostrated : her population, it is said, diminished by an eighth ; her feeble commerce all but annihilated; not a province which had not been trampled under the feet of armed legions, extorting the very utmost of her substance by military requisition; scarcely a town which had not been reduced to buy itself off from the invader by incurring a load of debt; not to mention the unavoidable, but most severe, exactions by which the government itself contrived to maintain its all but desperate existence. That Prussia recovered herself from this collapse in three or four years at the utmost is well known: that the King, at the end of these exhausting campaigns, found himself in the possession of a full if not overflowing treasury: that he devoted its contents to a well-considered, most economical, but thoroughly well-apportioned series of contributions to the distresses of those parts of the country which had suffered the most, is well known also. But the details of this most singular and perhaps unexampled piece of Royal economy, which sets Frederic as absolutely at the head of administrators as his campaigns did at the head of captains, are almost unapproachable to ordinary readers. Not that they are wanting; but they are only to be collected with infinite
pains and labour from a mass of original and most intractable materials. A worthier task for one whose purpose, like Mr. Carlyle's, was the apotheosis of Frederic, cannot assuredly be imagined. Unfortunately, as we have already observed, the bent of Mr. Carlyle's genius does not tend that way. He lets the great occasion pass by him with no attempt whatever to improve it, except by a few of the wildest possible sparrings at the ancient object of his antipathy, the · Dismal Science,' which assuredly is very innocent of all concern in the matter.
* Friedrich begins, we may say, on the first morrow morning. Labours at his problem, as he did in the march to Leuthen; finds it to become more possible, day after day, month after month, the farther he strives with it. Why not leave it to Nature ? ” think many, with the Disinal Science at their elbow. Well: that was the easiest plan: but it was not Friedrich's. His remaining moneys, twenty-five million thalers ready for a campaign which has not come, he distributes to the most necessitous; all his artillery horses are parted into ploughteams, and given to those who can otherwise get none; think what a fine figure of rye and barley, instead of mere windle-straws, beggary and desolation, was realised by that act alone. Nature is ready to do much : will of herself cover, with some veil of grass and lichen, the nakedness of ruin; but her victorious art, when she can accomplish it, is that of getting you to go with her handsomely, and change disaster itself into new wealth. Into new wisdom and valour, which are wealth in all kinds : California a mere zero to them-zero, or even a frightful minus quantity! Friedrich's procedures in this matter I believe to be little less didactic than those other which are so celebrated in war: but no Dryasdust, not even a Dryasdust of the Dismal Science, has gone into them, rendered men familiar with them in their details and results. His Silesian Land-Bank (joint-stock moneys, lent on security of land) was of itself, had I room to explain it, an immense furtherance. Friedrich, many tell us, was as great in peace as in war: and truly, in economic and material provinces, my own impression, gathered painfully in darkness, and contradiction of the Dismal-Science Doctors, is much to that effect. A first-rate husbandman (as his father had been), who not only defended his nation, but made it rich beyond what seemed possible; and diligently sowed annuals into it, and perennials which flourish aloft at this day' (vi. 350).
The Dismal Science, according to ordinary popular views of it, consists of two parts: first, a body of scientific deductions, which it is given to nobody to understand who will not take the trouble to master them, but on the mind of him who has once so mastered them, neither Carlylesque nor Ruskinesque eloquence can make the slightest impression ; and, secondly, the application of certain principles in matters of finance to the art of government, as to which opinions may vary and do vary, although those of