Our Crown-Prince, somewhat of a judge in after years, is maturely of opinion, That the French Lines were by no means inexpugnable; that the French Army might have been ruined under an attack of the proper kind. [
It is probable the Old Dessauer, had he been Generalissimo, with this same Army,--in which, even in the Reich's part of it, we know ten thousand of an effective character,--would have done some stroke upon the French; but Prince Eugene would not try. Much dimmed from his former self this old hero; age now 73;-- a good deal wearied with the long march through Time. And this very Summer, his Brother's Son, the last male of his House, had suddenly died of inflammatory fever; left the old man very mournful: "Alone, alone, at the end of one's long march; laurels have no fruit, then?" He stood cautious, on the defensive; and in this capacity is admitted to have shown skilful management.
But Philipsburg being taken, there is no longer the least event to be spoken of; the Campaign passed into a series of advancings, retreatings, facing, and then right-about facings,--painful manoeuvrings, on both sides of the Rhine and of the Neckar,-- without result farther to the French, without memorability to either side. About the middle of August, Friedrich Wilhelm went away;--health much hurt by his month under canvas, amid Rhine inundations, and mere distressing phenomena. Crown-Prince Friedrich and a select party escorted his Majesty to Mainz, where was a Dinner of unusual sublimity by the Kurfurst there; [15th August (Fassmann, p. 511.)]--Dinner done, his Majesty stept on board "the Electoral Yacht;" and in this fine hospitable vehicle went sweeping through the Binger Loch, rapidly down towards Wesel; and the Crown-Prince and party returned to their Camp, which is upon the Neckar at this time.
Camp shifts about, and Crown-Prince in it: to Heidelberg, to Waiblingen, Weinheim; close to Mainz at one time: but it is not worth following: nor in Friedrich's own Letters, or in other documents, is there, on the best examination, anything considerable to be gleaned respecting his procedures there. He hears of the ill-success in Italy, Battle of Parma at the due date, with the natural feelings; speaks with a sorrowful gayety, of the muddy fatigues, futilities here on the Rhine;--has the sense, however, not to blame his superiors unreasonably. Here, from one of his Letters to Colonel Camas, is a passage worth quoting for the credit of the writer. With Camas, a distinguished Prussian Frenchman, whom we mentioned elsewhere, still more with Madame Camas in time coming, he corresponded much, often in a fine filial manner:--
"The present Campaign is a school, where profit may be reaped from observing the confusion and disorder which reigns in this Army: it has been a field very barren in laurels; and those who have been used, all their life, to gather such, and on Seventeen distinguished occasions have done so, can get none this time." Next year, we all hope to be on the Moselle, and to find that a fruitfuler field ... "I am afraid, dear Camas, you think I am going to put on the cothurnus; to set up for a small Eugene, and, pronouncing with a doctoral tone what each should have done and not have done, condemn and blame to right and left. No, my dear Camas; far from carrying my arrogance to that point, I admire the conduct of our Chief, and do not disapprove that of his worthy Adversary; and far from forgetting the esteem and consideration due to persons who, scarred with wounds, have by years and long service gained a consummate experience, I shall hear them more willingly than ever as my teachers, and try to learn from them how to arrive at honor, and what is the shortest road into the secret of this Profession." ["Camp at Heidelberg, 11th September, 1734" (
This other, to Lieutenant Groben, three weeks earlier in date, shows us a different aspect; which is at least equally authentic; and may be worth taking with us. Groben is Lieutenant,--I suppose still of the Regiment Goltz, though he is left there behind;--at any rate, he is much a familiar with the Prince at Ruppin; was ringleader, it is thought, in those midnight pranks upon parsons, and the other escapades there; [Busching, v. 20.] a merry man, eight years older than the Prince,--with whom it is clear enough he stands on a very free footing. Philipsburg was lost a month ago; French are busy repairing it; and manoeuvring, with no effect, to get into the interior of Germany a little. Weinheim is a little Town on the north side of the Neckar, a dozen miles or so from Mannheim;--out of which, and into which, the Prussian Corps goes shifting from time to time, as Prince Eugene and the French manoeuvre to no purpose in that Rhine-Neckar Country. "HERDEK TEREMTETEM" it appears, is a bit of Hungarian swearing; should be ORDEK TEREMTETE; and means "The Devil made you!"
"HERDEK TEREMTETE! 'Went with them, got hanged with them,' [
"Duc de Bouillon has lost his equipage; our Hussars took it at Landau [other side the Rhine, a while ago]. Here we stand in mud to the ears; fifteen of the Regiment Alt-Baden have sunk altogether in the mud. Mud comes of a water-spout, or sudden cataract of rain, there was in these Heidelberg Countries; two villages, Fuhrenheim and Sandhausen, it swam away, every stick of them (GANZ UND GAR).