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Had those grenadiers stood in their place, there is no Prussian but admits that it would have been a terrible business to take Kesselsdorf and its batteries. But they did not stand; they rushed out, shouting "Victory;" and lost us the battle. And that is the good we have got of the sublime Austrian Alliance; and that is the pass our grand scheme of Partitioning Prussia has come to? Fatal little Bruhl of the three hundred and sixty-five clothes- suits; Valet fatally become divine in Valet-hood,--are not you costing your Country dear!
Old Dessauer, glorious in the last of his fields, lay on his arms all night in the posts about; three bullets through his roquelaure, no scratch of wound upon the old man. Young Moritz too "had a bullet through his coat-skirt, and three horses shot under him; but no hurt, the Almighty's grace preserving him." [
PEACE OF DRESDEN: FRIEDRICH DOES MARCH HOME.
Friedrich himself had got to Meissen, Tuesday, l4th; no enemy on his road, or none to speak of: Friedrich was there, or not yet far across, all Wednesday; collecting himself, waiting, on the slip, for a signal from Old Leopold. Sound of cannon, up the Elbe Dresden-ward, is reported there to Friedrich, that afternoon: cannon, sure enough, notes Friedrich; and deep dim-rolling peals, as of volleying small-arms; "the sky all on fire over there," as the hoar-frosty evening fell. Old Leopold busy at it, seemingly. That is the glare of the Old Dessauer's countenance; who is giving voice, in that manner, to the earthly and the heavenly powers; conquering Peace for us, let us hope!
Friedrich, as may be supposed, made his best speed next morning: "All well!" say the messengers; all well, says Old Leopold, whom he meets at Wilsdruf, and welcomes with a joyful embrace; "dismounting from his horse, at sight of Leopold, and advancing to meet him with doffed hat and open arms,"--and such words and treatments, that day, as made the old man's face visibly shine. "Your Highness shall conduct me!" And the two made survey together of the actual Field of Kesselsdorf; strewn with the ghastly wrecks of battle,--many citizens of Dresden strolling about, or sorrowfully seeking for their lost ones among the wounded and dead. No hurt to these poor citizens, who dread none; help to them rather: such is Friedrich's mind,--concerning which, in the Anecdote-Books, there are Narratives (not worth giving) of a vapidly romantic character, credible though inexact. [For the indisputable part, see Orlich, ii. 343, 344; and
On the Saturday evening, Dresden, capable of not the least defence, has opened all its gates, and Friedrich and the Prussians are in Dresden; Austrians and wrecked Saxons falling back diligently towards the Metal Mountains for Bohemia, diligent to clear the road for him. Queen and Junior Princes are here; to whom, as to all men, Friedrich is courtesy itself; making personal visit to the Royalties, appointing guards of honor, sacred respect to the Royal Houses; himself will lodge at the Princess Lubomirski's, a private mansion.
"That ferocious, false, ambitious King of Prussia"--Well, he is not to be ruined in open fight, on the contrary is ruinous there; nor by the cunningest ambuscades, and secret combinations, in field or cabinet: our overwhelming Winter Invasion of him--see where it has ended! Bruhl and Polish Majesty--the nocturnal sky all on fire in those parts, and loud general doomsday come--are a much- illuminated pair of gentlemen.
From the time Meissen Bridge was lost, Prince Karl too showing himself so languid, even Bruhl had discerned that the case was desperate. On the very day of Kesselsdorf,--not the day BEFORE, which would have been such a thrift to Bruhl and others!--Friedrich had a Note from Villiers, signifying joyfully that his Polish Majesty would accept Peace. Thanks to his Polish Majesty:--and after Kesselsdorf, perhaps the Empress-Queen too will! Friedrich's offers are precisely what they were, what they have always been: "Convention of Hanover; that, in all its parts; old treaty of Breslau, to be guaranteed, to be actually kept. To me Silesia sure;--from you, Polish Majesty, one million crowns as damages for the trouble and cost this Triple Ambuscade of yours has given me; one million crowns, 150,000 pounds we will say; and all other requisitions to cease on the day of signature. These are my terms: accept these; then wholly, As you were, Empress-Queen and you, and all surviving creatures: and I march home within a week." Villiers speeds rapidly from Prag, with the due olive-branch; with Count Harrach, experienced Austrian, and full powers. Harrach cannot believe his senses: "Such the terms to be still granted, after all these beatings and rebeatings!"--then at last does believe, with stiff thankfulness and Austrian bows. The Negotiation need not occupy many hours.
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