Page images

a few days, improved by Frederic, were worth more than the years of other men. On the morning after the battle, he had got together eighteen thousand of his troops. Very soon his force amounted to thirty thousand. Guns were procured from the neighbouring fortresses ; and there was again an army. Berlin was for the present safe; but calamities came pouring on the King in uninterrupted succession. One of his generals, with a large body of troops, was taken at Maxen; another was defeated at Meissen ; and when at length the campaign of 1759 closed, in the midst of a rigorous winter, the situation of Prussia appeared desperate. The only consoling circumstance was, that, in the West, Ferdinand of Brunswick had been more fortunate than his master; and by a series of exploits, of which the battle of Minden was the most glorious, had removed all apprehension of danger on the side of France.

The fifth year was now about to commence. It seemed impossible that the Prussian territories, repeatedly devastated by hundreds of thousands of invaders, could longer support the contest. But the King carried on war as no European power has ever carried on war, except the Committee of Public Safety during the great agony of the French Revolution. He governed his kingdom as he would have governed a besieged town, not caring to what extent property was destroyed, or the pursuits of civil lise suspended, so that he did but make head against the enemy. As long as there was a man left in Prussia, that man might carry a musket; as long as there was a horse left, that horse might draw artillery. The coin was debased, the civil functionaries were left unpaid ; in some provinces civil government altogether ceased to exist. But there were still rye-bread and potatoes : there were still lead and gunpowder ; and, while the means of sustaining and destroying life remained, Frederic was determined to fight it out to the very last.

The earlier part of the campaign of 1760 was unfavourable to him. Berlin was again occupied by the enemy. Great contributions were levied on the inhabitants, and the royal palace was plundered. But at length, after two years of calamity, victory came back to his arms. At Lignitz he gained a great battle over Laudohn; at Torga, after a day of horrible carnage, he triumphed over Daun. The fifth year closed, and still the event was in suspense. In the countries where the war had raged, the misery and exhaustion were more appalling than ever ; but still there were left men and beasts, arms and food, and still Frederic fought on. In truth he had now been baited into savageness. His heart was ulcerated with hatred. The implacable re. sentment with which his enemies persecuted him, though originally provoked by his own unprincipled ambition, excited in him a thirst for vengeance which he did not even attempt to conceal. “It is hard,” he says in one of his letters, "for man to bear what I bear. I begin to feel that, as the Italians say, revenge is a pleasure for the gods. My philosophy is worn out by suffering. I am no saint, like those of whom we read in the legends; and I will own that I should die content if only I could first inflict a portion of the misery which I endure."

Borne up by such feelings, he struggled with various success, but constant glory, through the campaign of 1761. On the whole, the result of this campaign was disastrous to Prussia. No great battle was gained by the enemy; but, in spite of the desperate bounds of the hunted tiger, the circle of pursuers was fast closing round him. Laudohn had surprised the important fortress of Schweidnitz. With that fortress, half of Silesia, and the command of the most important defiles through the mountains, had been transferred to the Austrians. The Russians had overpowered the King's generals in Pomerania. The country was so completely desolated that he began, by his own confes. sion, to look round him with blank despair, unable to imagine where recruits, horses, or provisions were to be found.

Just at this time two great events brought on a complete change in the

relations of almost all the powers of Europe. One of those events was the retirement of Mr Pitt from office; the other was the death of the Empress Elizabeth of Russia.

The retirement of Pitt seemed to be an omen of utter ruin to the house of Bran lenburg. His proud and vehement nature was incapable of any thing that looked like either fear or treachery. He had often declared that, while he was in power, England should never make a peace of Utrecht, should never, for any selfish object, abandon an ally even in the last extremity of distress, The Continental war was his own war. He had been bold enough, he who in former times had attacked, with irresistible powers oforatory, the Hanoverian policy of Carteret, and the German subsidies of Newcastle, to declare that Hanover ought to be as dear to us as Hampshire, and that he would conquer America in Germany. He had fallen ; and the power which he had exercised not always with discretion, but always with vigour and genius, had devolved on a favourite who was the representative of the Tory party, of the party which had thwarted William, which had persecuted Marlborough, and which had given up the Catalans to the vengeance of Philip of Anjou. To make peace with France, to shake off, with all, or more than all, the speed compatible with decency, every Continental connexion, these were among the chief objects of the new Minister. The policy then followed inspired Frederic with an unjust, but deep and bitter aversion to the English name, and produced effects which are still felt throughout the civilised world. To that policy it was owing that, some years later, England could not find on the whole Continent a single ally to stand by her, in her extreme need, against the House of Bourbon. To that policy it was owing that Frederic, alienated from England, was compelled to connect himself closely, during his later years, with Russia, and was induced to assist in that great crime, the fruitful parent of other great crimes, the first partition of Poland.

Scarcely had the retreat of Mr Pitt deprived Prussia of her only friend, when the death of Elizabeth produced an entire revolution in the politics of the North. The Grand Duke Peter, her nephew, who now ascended the Russian throne, was not merely free from the prejudices which his aunt had entertained against Frederic, but was a worshipper, a servile imitator of the great King. The days of the new Czar's government were few and evil, but sufficient to produce a change in the whole state of Christendom. He set the Prussian prisoners at liberty, fitted them out decently, and sent them back to their master; he withdrew his troops from the provinces which Elizabeth had decided on incorporating with her dominions; and he absolved all those Prussian subjects, who had been compelled to swear fealty to Russia, from their engagements.

Not content with concluding peace on terms favourable to Prussia, he solicited rank in the Prussian service, dressed himself in a Prussian uniform, wore the Black Eagle of Prussia on his breast, made preparations for visiting Prussia, in order to have an interview with the object of his idolatry, and actually sent fifteen thousand excellent troops to reinforce the shattered army of Frederic. Thus strengthened, the King speedily repaired the losses of the preceding year, reconquered Silesia, defeated Daun at Buckersdorf, invested and retook Schweidnitz, and, at the close of the year, presented to the forces of Maria Theresa a front as formidable as before the great reverses of 1759. Before the end of the campaign, his friend the Emperor Peter, having, by a series of absurd insults to the institutions, manners, and feelings of his people, united them in hostility to his person and government, was deposed and murdered. The Empress, who, under the title of Catharine the Second, now assumed the supreme power, was, at the commencement of her administration, by no means partial to Frederic, and refused to permit her troops to remain under his command. But she observed the peace made

by her husband; and Prussia was no longer threatened by danger from the East.

England and France at the same time paired off together. They concluded a treaty, by which they bound themselves to observe neutrality with respect to the German war. Thus the coalitions on both sides were dissolved ; and the original enemies, Austria and Prussia, remained alone confronting each other.

Austria had undoubtedly far greater means than Prussia, and was less exhausted by hostilities; yet it seemed hardly possible that Austria could effect alone what she had in vain attempted to effect when supported by France on the one side, and by Russia on the other. Danger also began to menace the Imperial house from another quarter. The Ottoman Porte held threatening language, and a hundred thousand Turks were mustered on the frontiers of Hungary. The proud and revengeful spirit of the Empress Queen at length gave way; and, in February, 1763, the peace of Hubertsburg put an end to the conflict which had, during seven years, do vastated Germany. The King ceded nothing. The whole Continent in arms had proved unable to tear Silesia from that iron grasp.

The war was over. Frederic was safe. His glory was beyond the reach of envy. If he had not made conquests as vast as those of Alexander, of Cæsar, and of Napoleon, if he had not, on fields of battle, enjoyed the constant success of Marlborough and Wellington, he had yet given an example unrivalled in history of what capacity and resolution can effect against the greatest superiority of power and the utmost spite of fortune. He entered Berlin in triumph, after an absence of more than six years. The streets were brilliantly lighted up ; and, as he passed along in an open carriage, with Ferdinand of Brunswick at his side, the multitude saluted him with loud praises and blessings. He was moved by those marks of attachment, and repeatedly exclaimed “Long live my dear people ! Long live my children!” Yet, even in the midst of that gay spectacle, he could not but perceive every where the traces of destruction and decay. The city had been more than once plundered. The population had considerably diminished. Berlin, however, had suffered little when compared with most parts of the kingdom. The ruin of private fortunes, the distress of all ranks, was such as might appal the firmest mind. Almost every province had been the seat of war, and of war conducted with merciless ferocity. Clouds of Croatians had descended on Silesia. Tens of thousands of Cossacks had been let loose on Pomerania and Brandenburg. The mere contributions levied by the in. vaders amounted, it was said, to more than a hundred millions of dollars ; and the value of what they extorted, was probably much less than the value of what they destroyed. The fields lay uncultivated. The very seed corn had been devoured in the madness of hunger. Famine and contagious maladies produced by famine, had swept away the herds and flocks; and there was reason to fear that a great pestilence among the human race was likely to follow in the train of that tremendous war. Near fifteen thousand houses had been burned to the ground. The population of the kingdom had in seven years decreased to the frightful extent of ten per cent. A sixth of the males capable of bearing arms had actually perished on the field of battle. In some districts, no labourers, except women, were seen in the fields at harvest-time. In others, the traveller passed shuddering through a succession of silent villages, in which not a single inhabitant remained. The currency had been debased; the authority of laws and magistrates had been suspended; the whole social system was deranged. For, during that convulsive struggle, every thing that was not military violence was anarchy. Even the army was disorganised. Some great generals, and a crowd of excellent officers, had fallen, and it had been impossible to supply their place. The difficulty

of finding recruits had, towards the close of the war, been so great, that selection and rejection were impossible. Whole battalions were composed of deserters or of prisoners. It was hardly to be hoped that thirty years of repose and industry would repair the ruin produced by seven years of havoc. One consolatory circunstance, indeed, there was. No debt had been incurred. The burdens of the war had been terrible, almost insupportable ; but no arrear was left to embarrass the finances in time of peace.

Here, for the present, we must pause. We have accompanied Frederic to the close of his career as a warrior. Possibly, when these Memoirs are completed, we may resume the consideration of his character, and give some account of his domestic and foreign policy, and of his private habits, during the many years of tranquillity which followed the Seven Years' War.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]



Addison, Dr Lancelot, sketch of his life, 700

Adiaphorists, a sect of German Protestants, 235, 235.
Allé and abbot, difference between, 238.

Adultery, how represented by the dramatists of the
Academy, character of its doctrines, 394.

Restoration, 572, 573.
Adam, Robert, court architect to George 111,761, Advancement of Learning, by Bacon, its publica-
Addison, Joseph, review of Miss

Aikin's life of, 699- cation, 371.
744; his character, 700.701 ; sketch of his father's Æschylus and the Greek drama, 7-12.
life, 701; his birth and early life, 701, 702; ap. Afghanistan, the monarchy of, analogous to that of
pointed to a scholarship in Magdalene College, England in the 16th century, 230, 231 ; bravery of
Oxford, 702 ; his classical attainments, 702, 703 ; its inhabitants, 616, 617; the English the only ariny
his Essay on the Evidences of Christianity, 703. in India which could compete with theni, 616;
741; contributes a preface to Dryden's Gcorgics. their devastations in India, 507, 508,
906 ; his intention to take orders frustrated, 706. Agricultural and manufacturing labourers, com.
sent by the Governinent to the Continent. 707.708; parison of their condition, 105, 106.
his introducrion to Boileau, 709, leaves Paris and Agujari, the singer, 671.
proceeds to Venice, 710; his residence in Italy, Aikin, Miss, review of her Life of Addison, 699-744.
210-712; composes his Epistle to Montague (then Aix, its capture, 310.
Lord Halifax), 712; his prospects clouded by the Akenside, his Epistle to Curio, 284-
death of Williain 111., 213, becomes tutor to Albigenses, 552, 553-
young English traveller, 713; writes his Treatise Alexander the Great, compared with Clive. 546.
on edals, 713; repairs to Holland, 713 ; returns Alfieri and Cowper, comparison between them, 152.
to England, 713his cordial reception and intro- Allahabad, 614, 615. 617.
duction into the Kit Cat Club, 713, his pecuniary Allegories of Johnson and Addiso!), 186.
difficulties, 713; engaged by Gódolphin to writcá | Allegory, dificulty of inaking it interesting, 186.
poem in honour of Marlborough's exploits, 715 . Allegro and Penseroso, 6.
is appointed to a Commissionership, 715, merits Alphabetical writing, the greatest of human inven.
of his "Campaign," 715; criticism of his Travels tions, 400 : comparative views of its value by
in Italy, 703.716,717 : his opera of Rosamond, 717; Plato and Bacon, 400.
is made Úndersecretary of State, and accompanies | America, acquisitions of the Catholic Church in,
the Earl of Halifax to Hanover, 718; his election 548 ; its capabilities, 549.
to the llouse of Commons, 718; his failure as a American colonies, British, war with them, 628 ; act
speaker, 718; his popularity and talents for con. for imposing stamp duties upon thein, 771; their
versation, 719, 720; his timidity and constraint disaffection, 756 ; revival of the dispute with them,
among strangers, 720; his favourite associates, 786 ; progress of their resistance, 788, 789.
720-722; becomes Chief Secretary for Ireland un- Anabaptists, their origin, 227.
der Wharto!, 772 ; origination of the Tatler, 723; Anacharsis, reputed contriver of the potter's wheel,
his characteristics as a writer, 723-725: compared 393-
with Swist and Voltaire as a naster of the art of Anaverdy Khan, governor of the Carnatic, 509.
ridicule, 724. 725; his pecuniary losses, 727: loss Angria, his fortress of Gheriah reduced by Clive, 517.
of his Secretaryship, 727 ; resignation of his Fel. Anne, Queen, her political and religious inclina-
lowship, 727; encouragement and disappointment tions, 261; changes in her governinent in 1910,
of his advances towards a great lady, 777 ; re- 202 ; relative estimation by the Whigs and the
turned to Parliament without contest, 7271 his Tories of her reign, 262-264. 266, state of partics
Whig Examiner, 727 ; intercedes with the fories at her accession, 713. 714; dismisses the higs,
on behalf of Ambrose Phillipps and Steele, 727; 726; change in the conduct of public affairs con-
his discontinuance of the Tatler and commence. sequent on her death, 733.
ment of the Spectator, 728, his part in the Spec. Antiochi, Grecian eloquence at, 548.
tator, 728 ; his commencement and discontinuance Anytus, 385.
of the Guardian, 730; his Cato. 348. 710, 730; his Apostolical succession, Mr Gladstone claims it for
intercourse with Pope, 732 ; his concern for Steele, the Church of England, 490-501.
732, 733 ; begins a new series of the Spectator,

733; Aquinas, Thomas, 410.
appointed secretary to the Lords Justices of the Arab fable of the Great Pyramid, 568.
Council on the death of Queen Annc, 234 : again Arbuthnot's Satirical Works, 725.
appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland, 734; his Archimedes, his slight estimate of his inventions,
relations with Swift and Tickell, 734, 735 : removed 392.
brühenkind his

Freeholder, is nisi estranges Arcor, Natoboe, his relation with England, Sog-
inent from Pope, 736, 737; his long court hip of 513 546; his claims recognised l y the English, 510
the Countess Dowager of Warwick and union with Areopagitica, Milton's, allusion to: 27.
her.739.740, takes up his abod at Holland House, Argyle, Duke of, secedes from Walpole's adminis-
740 : appointed Secrctary of State by Sunderland,

tration, 293
740; failure of his healih, 740 742resigns his Ariosto, compared with Tasso, 55&
post, 740; receives a pension, 740; his estrange. Aristodemus, 549.
ment from Steele and other friends, 741 ; advo. Aristophanes, 570,
cates the bill

for limiting the number of Peers, 741, Aristotle, his authority impaired by the Reforma.
742; refutation of a calumny upon him, 742; en- tion, 396.
trusts his works to Tickell, and dedicates them Arithmetic, comparative estimate of by Plato and
to Craggs, 742 ; sends for Gay on his death-bed by Bacon, 397 398,
to ask his forgiveness, 743; his death and funeral, Arlington, Lord, his character, 430, 437; his cold-
743; Tickell's elegy on his death, 744; superb ness for the Triple Alliance, 434; his impeach-
edition of his works, 744; his monuinent in Poet's ment, 442
Corner, Westminster Abbey. 744.

Armies in the middie ages, how constituted, 34, 35.

« PreviousContinue »