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"Much hustling and intriguing," it appears, in regard to the Captaincy of these Russians. Concerning which there is no word worthy to be said,--except for one reason only, That it finished off the connection of General Keith with Russia. That this of seeing Repnin, his junior and inferior, preferred to him, was, of many disgusts, the last drop which made the cup run over;--and led the said General to fling it from him, and seek new fields of employment. From Hamburg, having got so far, he addresses himself, 1st September, 1747, to Friedrich, with offer of service; who grasps eagerly at the offer: "Feldmarschall your rank; income, $1,200 a year; income, welcome, all suitable:"--and, October 28th, Feldmarschall Keith finishes, at Potsdam, a long Letter to his Brother Lord Marischal, in these words, worth giving, as those of a very clear-eyed sound observer of men and things:-- "I have now the honor, and, which is still more, the pleasure, of being with the King at Potsdam; where he ordered me to come," 17th current, "two days after he declared me Fieldmarshal: Where I have the honor to dine and sup with him almost every day. He has more wit than I have wit to tell you; speaks solidly and knowingly on all kinds of subjects; and I am much mistaken if, with the experience of Four Campaigns, he is not the best Officer of his Army. He has several persons," Rothenburg, Winterfeld, Swedish Rudenskjold (just about departing), not to speak of D'Argens and the French, "with whom he lives in almost the familiarity of a friend,--but has no favorite;--and shows a natural politeness for everybody who is about him. For one who has been four days about his person, you will say I pretend to know a great deal of his character: but what I tell you, you may depend upon. With more time, I shall know as much of him as he will let me know;--and all his Ministry knows no more." [Varnhagen van Ense,
A notable acquisition to Friedrich;--and to the two Keiths withal; for Friedrich attached both of them to his Court and service, after their unlucky wanderings; and took to them both, in no common degree. As will abundantly appear.
While that Russia Corps was marching out of Moscow, Cocceji and his Commissions report from Pommern, that the Pomeranian Law-stables are completely clear; that the New Courts have, for many months back, been in work, and are now, at the end of the Year, fairly abreast with it, according to program;--have "decided of Old- Pending Lawsuits 2,400, all that there were (one of them 200 years old, and filling seventy Volumes); and of the 994 New ones, 772; not one Lawsuit remaining over from the previous Year." A highly gratifying bit of news to his Majesty; who answers emphatically, EUGE! and directs that the Law Hercules proceed now to the other Provinces,--to the Kur-Mark, now, and Berlin itself,--with his salutary industries. Naming him "Grand Chancellor," moreover; that is to say, under a new title, Head of Prussian Law,--old Arnim, "Minister of Justice," having shown himself disaffected to Law-Reform, and got rebuked in consequence, and sulkily gone into private life. [Stenzel, iv. 321; Ranke, iii. 389.]
In February of this Year, 1747, Friedrich had something like a stroke of apoplexy; "sank suddenly motionless, one day," and sat insensible, perhaps for half an hour: to the terror and horror of those about him. Hemiplegia, he calls it; rush of blood to the head;--probably indigestion, or gouty humors, exasperated by over- fatigue. Which occasioned great rumor in the world; and at Paris, to Voltaire's horror, reports of his death. He himself made light of the matter: [To Voltaire, 22d February, 1747 (
EUROPEAN WAR FALLS DONE: TREATY OF AIX-LA-CHAPELLE.
The preparations for Campaign 1748 were on a larger scale than ever. Britannic Subsidies, a New Parliament being of willing mind, are opulent to a degree; 192,000 men, 60,000 Austrians for one item, shall be in the Netherlands;--coupled with this remarkable new clause, "And they are to be there in fact, and not on paper only," and with a tare-and-tret of 30 or 40 per cent, as too often heretofore! Holland, under its new Stadtholder, is stanch of purpose, if of nothing else. The 35,000 Russians, tramping along, are actually dawning over the horizon, towards Teutschland,--King Friedrich standing to arms along his Silesian Border, vigilant "Cordon of Troops all the way," in watch of such questionable transit. [In ADELUNG, vi. 110, 143, 167, 399 ("April, 1747-August, 1748"), account of the more and more visible ill-will of the Czarina: "jealousy" about Sweden, about Dantzig, Poland, &c. &c.] Britannic Majesty and Parliament seem resolute to try, once more, to the utmost, the power of the breeches-pocket in defending this sacred Cause of Liberty so called.
Breeches-pocket MINUS most other requisites: alas, with such methods as you have, what can come of it? Royal Highness of Cumberland is a valiant man, knowing of War little more than the White Horse of Hanover does;--certain of ruin again, at the hands of Marechal de Saxe. So think many, and have their dismal misgivings. "Saxe having eaten Bergen-op-Zoom before our eyes, what can withstand the teeth of Saxe?" In fact, there remains only Maestricht, of considerable; and then Holland is as good as his! As for King Louis, glory, with funds running out, and the pot ceasing to boil, has lost its charm to an afflicted France and him. King Louis's wishes are known, this long while;--and Ligonier, generously dismissed by him after Lauffeld, has brought express word to that effect, and outline of the modest terms proposed in one's hour of victory, with pot ceasing to boil.
On a sudden, too, "March 18th,"--wintry blasts and hailstorms still raging,--Marechal de Saxe, regardless of Domestic Hunger, took the field, stronger than ever. Manoeuvred about; bewildering the mind of Royal Highness and the Stadtholder ("Will he besiege Breda? Will he do this, will he do that?")--poor Highness and poor Stadtholder; who "did not agree well together," and had not the half of their forces come in, not to speak of handling them when come! Bewilderment of these two once completed, Marechal de Saxe made "a beautiful march upon Maestricht; " and, April 15th, opened trenches, a very Vesuvius of artillery, before that place; Royal Highness gazing into it, in a doleful manner, from the adjacent steeple-tops. Royal Highness, valor's self, has to admit: "Such an outlook; not half of us got together! The 60,000 Austrians are but 30,000; the-- In fact, you will have to make Peace, what else?" [His Letters, in Coxe's
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