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wide domains and large possessions, inherited from his

time:2023-12-05 23:50:10 source:Murderous net author:year read:442次

"Then, in Autumn, some remnant more of Prussian regulars arrive, disposable now for that service; upon which the Swedes are driven over Peene again (quite sure to be driven, when the River with its quagmires freezes); lose Anklam Redoubt, Peene-munde Redoubt; lose Demmin, Wollin; are followed into Swedish Pommern, oftenest to the gates of Stralsund, and are locked up there, there and in Rugen adjoining, till a new season arrive."--This year (1757-1758), Lehwald, on turning the key of Stralsund, might have done a fine feat; frost having come suddenly, and welded Rugen to mainland. "What is to hinder you from starving them into surrender?" signifies Friedrich, hastily: "Besiege me Stralsund!" Which Lehwald did; but should have been quicker about it; or the thaw came too soon, and admitted ships with provision again. Upon which Lehwald resigned, to a General Graf von Dohna; and went home, as grown too old: and Dohna kept them bottled there till the usual Russian Advent (deep in June); by which time, what with limited stockfish diet, what with sore labor (breaking of the ice, whenever frost reappeared) and other hardship, more than half of them had died.-- "Every new season there was a new General tried; but without the least improvement. There was mockery enough, complaint enough; indignant laughter in Stockholm itself; and the Dalecarlians thought of revolting: but the Senator Committee-men held firm, ballasted by French gold, for four years.

wide domains and large possessions, inherited from his

"The Prussian Militias are a fine trait of the matter; about fifteen regiments in different parts;--about five in Pommern, which set the example; which were suddenly raised last Autumn by the STANDE themselves, drilled in Stettin continually, while the Swedes were under way, and which stood ready for some action, under veterans of the squirearchy, when the Swedes arrived. They were kept up through the War. The STANDE even raised a little fleet, [Archenholtz, i. 110.] river fleet and coast fleet, twelve gunboats, with a powerful carronade in each, and effective men and captain; a great check on plundering and coast mischief, till the Swedes, who are naval, at last made an effort and destroyed them all."

wide domains and large possessions, inherited from his

Friedrich was very sensible of these procedures on the part of his STANDE; and perhaps readers are not prepared for such, or for others of the like, which we could produce elsewhere, in a Country without Constitution to speak of. Friedrich raises no new taxes,-- except upon himself exclusively, and these to the very blood:-- Friedrich gets no Life-and-Fortune Addresses of the vocal or printed sort, but only of the acted. Very much the preferable kind, where possible, to all parties concerned. These poor militias and flotillas one cheerfully puts on record; cheerfully nothing else, in regard to such a Swedish War;--nor shall we henceforth insult the human memory by another word upon it that is not indispensable.

wide domains and large possessions, inherited from his

One of Friedrich's most important affairs, at present,--vitally connected with his Army and its furnishings, which is the all- important,--was his Subsidy Treaty with England. It is the third treaty he has signed with England in regard to this War; the second in regard to subsidy for it; and it is the first that takes real practical effect. It had cost difficulty in adjusting, not a little correspondence and management from Mitchell; for the King is very shy about subsidy, though grim necessity prescribes it as inevitable; and his pride, and his reflections on the last Subsidy Treaty, "One Million sterling, Army of Observation, and Fleet in the Baltic," instead of which came Zero and Kloster-Zeven, have made him very sensitive. However, all difficulties are got over; Plenipotentiary Knyphausen, Pitt, Britannic Majesty and everybody striving to be rational and practical; and at London, 11th April, 1758, Subsidy Treaty, admirably brief and to the point, is finished: [In four short Articles; given in Helden-Geschichte, v. 16, 17.] "That Friedrich shall have Four Million Thalers, that is, 670,000 pounds; payable in London to his order, in October, this Year; which sum Friedrich engages to spend wholly in maintenance and increase of his Army for behoof of the common object;--neither party to dream of making the least shadow of peace or truce without the other." Of Baltic Fleet, there is nothing said; nor, in regard to that, was anything done, this year or afterwards; highly important as it would have been to Friedrich, with the Navies so called of both Sweden and Russia doing their worst upon him. "Why not spare me a small English squadron, and blow these away?" Nor was the why ever made clear to him; the private why being, that Czarish Majesty had, last year, intimated to Britannic, "Any such step on your part will annihilate the now old friendship of Russia and England, and be taken as a direct declaration of War!"--which Britannic Majesty, for commercial and miscellaneous reasons, hoped always might be avoided. Be silent, therefore, on that of Baltic Fleet.

In all the spoken or covenanted points the Treaty was accurately kept: 670,000 pounds, two-thirds of a million very nearly, will, in punctual promptitude, come to Friedrich's hand, were October here. And in regard to Ferdinand (a point left silent, this too), Friedrich's expectations were exceeded, not the contrary, so long as Pitt endured. This is the Third English-Prussian Treaty of the Seven-Years War, as we said above; and it is the First that took practical effect: this was followed by three others, year after year, of precisely the same tenor, which were likewise practical and punctually kept,--the last of them, "12th December, 1760," had reference to Subsidy for 1761:--and before another came, Pitt was out. So that, in all, Friedrich had Four Subsidies; 670,000 pounds x4=2,680,000 pounds of English money altogether:--and it is computed by some, there was never as much good fighting otherwise had out of all the 800,000,000 pounds we have funded in that peculiar line of enterprise. [First Treaty, 16th January, 1756 (is in Helden-Geschichte, iii. 681), "We will oppose by arms any foreign Armament entering Germany;" Second Treaty, 11th January, 1757 (never published till 1802), is in Scholl, iii. 30-32: "one million subsidy, a Fleet &c." (not KEPT at all); after which, Third Treaty (the FIRST really issuing in subsidy and performance) is 11th April, 1758 (given in Helden-Geschichte, v. 17); Fourth (really SECOND), 7th December, 1758 (Ib. v. 752); Fifth (THIRD), 9th November, 1759; Sixth (FOURTH), 12th December, 1760. See PREUSS, ii. 124 n.]

Pitt had no difficulty with his Parliament, or with his Public, in regard to this Subsidy; the contrary rather. Seldom, if ever, was England in such a heat of enthusiasm about any Foreign Man as about Friedrich in these months since Rossbach and what had followed. Celebrating this "Protestant Hero," authentic new Champion of Christendom; toasting him, with all the honors, out of its Worcester and other Mugs, very high indeed. Take these Three Clippings from the old Newspapers, omitting all else; and rekindle these, by good inspection and consideration, into feeble symbolic lamps of an old illumination, now fallen so extinct.

No. 1. REVEREND MR. WHITFIELD AND THE PROTESTANT HERO. "Monday, January 2d," 1758, "was observed as a Day of Thanksgiving, at the Chapel in Tottenham-Court Road [brand-new Chapel, still standing and acting, though now in a dingier manner], by Mr. Whitfield's people, for the signal Victories gained by the King of Prussia over his Enemies. [ Gentleman's Magazine, xxviii. (for 1758), p. 41.]--'Why rage the Heathen; why do the people imagine a vain thing? Sinful beings we, perilously sunk in sin against the Most High:--but they, do they think that, by earthly propping and hoisting, their unblessed Chimera, with his Three Hats, can sweep away the Eternal Stars!'"--In this strain, I suppose: Protestant Hero and Heaven's long-suffering Patiences and Mercies in raising up such a one for a backsliding generation; doubtless with much unction by Mr. Whitfield.

No. 2. KING OF PRUSSIA'S BIRTHDAY (Tuesday, January 24th). "This being the Birthday of the King of Prussia, who then entered into the forty-seventh year of his age, the same was observed with illuminations and other demonstrations of joy;"--throughout the Cities of London and Westminster, "great rejoicings and illuminations," it appears, [ Gentleman's Magazine, xxviii. (for 1758), p. 43; and vol. xxix. p. 42, for next year's birthday, and p. 81 for another kind of celebration.]--now shining so feebly at a century's distance!--No. 3 is still more curious; and has deserved from us a little special inquiring into.


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