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those with which the identity of a visitant from the grave

time:2023-12-05 23:28:01 source:Murderous net author:theory read:249次

"Universal astonishment, indignation, even incredulity, is the humor at Vienna: the high Kaiserinn herself, kept in the dark for some time, becomes dimly aware; and by Kaiser Franz's own advice she relieves Prince Karl from his military employments, and appoints Daun instead. Prince Karl withdrew to his Government of the Netherlands; and with the aid of generous liquors, and what natural magnanimity he had, spent a noiseless life thenceforth; Sword laid entirely on the shelf; and immortal Glory, as of Alexander and the like, quite making its exit from the scene, convivial or other. 'The first General in the world,' so he used to be ten years ago, in Austria, in England, Holland, the thrice- greatest of Generals: but now he has tried Friedrich in Five pitched Battles (Czaslau, Hohenfriedberg, Sohr, then Prag, then Leuthen);--been beaten every time, under every form of circumstance; and now, at Leuthen, the fifth beating is such, no public, however ignorant, can stand it farther. The ignorant public changes its long-eared eulogies into contumeliously horrid shrieks of condemnation; in which one is still farther from joining. 'That crossing of the Rhine,' says Friedrich, 'was a BELLE CHOSE; but flatterers blew him into dangerous self-conceit; besides, he was ill-obeyed, as others of us have been.' ["Prince de Ligne, Memoires snr Frederic (Berlin, 1789), p. 38 " (Preuss, ii. 112).] Adieu to him, poor red-faced soul;--and good liquor to him, --at least if he can take it in moderation!"

those with which the identity of a visitant from the grave

The astonishment of all men, wise and simple, at this sudden oversetting of the scene of things, and turning of the gazetteer- diplomatic theatre bottom uppermost, was naturally extreme, especially in gazetteer and diplomatic circles; and the admiration, willing or unwilling, of Friedrich, in some most essential points of him, rose to a high pitch. Better soldier, it is clear, has not been heard of in the modern ages. Heroic constancy, courage superior to fate: several clear features of a hero;--pity he were such a liar withal, and ignorant of common honesty; thought the simple sort, in a bewildered manner, endeavoring to forget the latter features, or think them not irreconcilable. Military judges of most various quality, down to this day, pronounce Leuthen to be essentially the finest Battle of the century; and indeed one of the prettiest feats ever done by man in his Fighting Capacity. Napoleon, for instance, who had run over these Battles of Friedrich (apparently somewhat in haste, but always with a word upon them which is worth gathering from such a source), speaks thus of Leuthen: "This Battle is a masterpiece of movements, of manoeuvres, and of resolution; enough to immortalize Friedrich, and rank him among the greatest Generals. Manifests, in the highest degree, both his moral qualities and his military." [Montholon, Memoires &c., de Napoleon, vii. 211. This Napoleon SUMMARY OF FRIEDRICH'S CAMPAIGNS, and these brief Bits of Criticism, are pleasant reading, though the fruit evidently of slight study, and do credit to Napoleon perhaps still more than to Friedrich.]

those with which the identity of a visitant from the grave

How the English Walpoles, in Parliament and out of it; how the Prussian Sulzers, D'Argenses, the Gazetteer and vague public, may have spoken and written at that time, when the matter was fresh and on everybody's tongue,--judge still by two small symptoms which we have to show:--

those with which the identity of a visitant from the grave

1. A LETTER OF FRIEDRICH'S TO D'ARGENS (Durgoy, near Breslau, 19th December, 1757).--"Your friendship seduces you, MON CHER; I am but a paltry knave (POLISSON) in comparison with 'Alexander,' and not worthy to tie the shoe-latchets of 'Caesar'! Necessity, who is the mother of industry, has made me act, and have recourse to desperate remedies in evils of a like nature.

"We have got here [this day, by capitulation of Breslau] from fourteen to fifteen thousand prisoners: so that, in all, I have above twenty-three thousand of the Queen's troops in my hands, fifteen Generals, and above seven hundred Officers. 'T is a plaster on my wounds, but it is far enough from healing them.

"I am now about marching to the Mountain region, to settle the chain of quarters there; and if you will come, you will find the roads free and safe. I was sorry at the Abbe's treason,"--paltry De Prades, of whom we heard enough already. [ OEuvres de Frederic, xix. 47.]

2. A POTTERY-APOTHEOSIS OF FRIEDRICH.--"There stands on this mantel-piece," says one of my Correspondents, the amiable Smelfungus, in short, whom readers are acquainted with, "a small China Mug, not of bad shape; declaring itself, in one obscure corner, to be made at Worcester, 'R. I., Worcester, 1757' (late in the season, I presume, demand being brisk); which exhibits, all round it, a diligent Potter's-Apotheosis of Friedrich, hastily got up to meet the general enthusiasm of English mankind. Worth, while it lasts unbroken, a moment's inspection from you in hurrying along.

"Front side, when you take our Mug by the handle for drinking from it, offers a poor well-meant China Portrait, labelled KING OF PRUSSIA: Copy of Friedrich's Portrait by Pesne, twenty years too young for the time, smiling out nobly upon you; upon whom there descends with rapidity a small Genius (more like a Cupid who had hastily forgotten his bow, and goes headforemost on another errand) to drop a wreath on this deserving head;--wreath far too small for ever getting on (owing to distance, let us hope), though the artless Painter makes no sign; and indeed both Genius and wreath, as he gives them, look almost like a big insect, which the King will be apt to treat harshly if he notice it. On the opposite side, again, separated from Friedrich's back by the handle, is an enormous image of Fame, with wings filling half the Mug, with two trumpets going at once (a bass, probably, and a treble), who flies with great ease; and between her eager face end the unexpectant one of Friedrich (who is 180 degrees off, and knows nothing of it) stands a circular Trophy, or Imbroglio of drums, pikes, muskets, cannons, field-flags and the like; very slightly tied together,-- the knot, if there is one, being hidden by some fantastic bit of scroll or escutcheon, with a Fame and ONE trumpet scratched on it; --and high out of the Imbroglio rise three standards inscribed with Names, which we perceive are intended to be names of Friedrich's Victories; standards notable at this day, with Names which I will punctually give you.


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