The Crown-Prince's hopes were set, with all eagerness, on getting to the Rhine-Campaign next ensuing; nor did the King refuse, for a long while, but still less did he consent; and in the end there came nothing of it. From an early period of the year, Friedrich Wilhelm sees too well what kind of campaigning the Kaiser will now make; at a certain Wedding-dinner where his Majesty was,-- precisely a fortnight after his Majesty's arrival in Berlin,-- Seckendorf Junior has got, by eavesdropping, this utterance of his Majesty's: "The Kaiser has not a groschen of money. His Army in Lombardy is gone to twenty-four thousand men, will have to retire into the Mountains. Next campaign [just coming], he will lose Mantua and the Tyrol. God's righteous judgment it is: a War like this! Comes of flinging old principles overboard,--of meddling in business that was none of yours;" and more, of a plangent alarming nature. [Forster, ii. 144 (and DATE it from
Friedrich Wilhelm sends back his Ten Thousand, according to contract; sends, over and above, a beautiful stock of "copper pontoons" to help the Imperial Majesty in that River Country, says Fassmann;--sends also a supernumerary Troop of Hussars, who are worth mentioning, "Six-score horse of Hussar type," under one Captain Ziethen, a taciturn, much-enduring, much-observing man, whom we shall see again: these are to be diligently helpful, as is natural; but they are also, for their own behoof, to be diligently observant, and learn the Austrian Hussar methods, which his Majesty last year saw to be much superior. Nobody that knows Ziethen doubts but he learnt; Hussar-Colonel Baronay, his Austrian teacher here, became too well convinced of it when they met on a future occasion. [
In the Rhine-Moselle Country and elsewhere the poor Kaiser does exert himself to make a Campaign of it; but without the least success. Having not a groschen of money, how could he succeed? Noailles, as foreseen, manoeuvres him, hitch after hitch, out of Italy; French are greatly superior, more especially when Montemar, having once got Carlos crowned in Naples and put secure, comes to assist the French; Kaiser has to lean for shelter on the Tyrol Alps, as predicted. Italy, all but some sieging of strong-places, may be considered as lost for the present.
Nor on the Rhine did things go better. Old Eugene, "the shadow of himself," had no more effect this year than last: nor, though Lacy and Ten Thousand Russians came as allies, Poland being all settled now, could the least good be done. Reich's Feldmarschall Karl Alexander of Wurtemberg did "burn a Magazine" (probably of hay among better provender) by his bomb-shells, on one occasion. Also the Prussian Ten Thousand--Old Dessauer leading them, General Roder having fallen ill--burnt something: an Islet in the Rhine, if I recollect, "Islet of Larch near Bingen," where the French had a post; which and whom the Old Dessauer burnt away. And then Seckendorf, at the head of thirty thousand, he, after long delays, marched to Trarbach in the interior Moselle Country; and got into some explosive sputter of battle with Belleisle, one afternoon,-- some say, rather beating Belleisle; but a good judge says, it was a mutual flurry and terror they threw one another into. [
The Crown-Prince, meanwhile, has a successful journey into Preussen; sees new interesting scenes, Salzburg Emigrants, exiled Polish Majesties; inspects the soldiering, the schooling, the tax- gathering, the domain-farming, with a perspicacity, a dexterity and completeness that much pleases Papa. Fractions of the Reports sent home exist for us: let the reader take a glance of one only; the first of the series; dated MARIENWERDER (just across the Weichsel, fairly out of Polish Preussen and into our own), 27th September, 1735, and addressed to the "Most All-gracious King and Father;"--abridged for the reader's behoof:--
... "In Polish Preussen, lately the Seat of War, things look hideously waste; one sees nothing but women and a few children; it is said the people are mostly running away,"--owing to the Russian-Polish procedures there, in consequence of the blessed Election they have had. King August, whom your Majesty is not in love with, has prevailed at this rate of expense. King Stanislaus, protected by your Majesty in spite of Kaisers and Czarinas, waits in Konigsberg, till the Peace, now supposed to be coming, say what is to become of him: once in Konigsberg, I shall have the pleasure to see him. "A detachment of five-and-twenty Saxon Dragoons of the Regiment Arnstedt, marching towards Dantzig, met me: their horses were in tolerable case; but some are piebald, some sorrel, and some brown among them," which will be shocking to your Majesty, "and the people did not look well." ...
"Got hither to Marienwerder, last night: have inspected the two Companies which are here, that is to say, Lieutenant-Col. Meier's and Rittmeister Haus's. In very good trim, both of them; and though neither the men nor their horses are of extraordinary size, they are handsome well-drilled fellows, and a fine set of stiff-built horses (GEDRUNGENEN PFERDEN). The fellows sit them like pictures (REITEN WIE DIE PUPPEN; I saw them do their wheelings. Meier has some fine recruits; in particular two;"--nor has the Rittmeister been wanting in that respect. "Young horses" too are coming well on, sleek of skin. In short, all is right on the military side. [
Civil business, too, of all kinds, the Crown-Prince looked into, with a sharp intelligent eye;--gave praise, gave censure in the right place; put various things on a straight footing, which were awry when he found them. In fact, it is Papa's second self; looks into the bottom of all things quite as Papa would have done, and is fatal to mendacities, practical or vocal, wherever he meets them. What a joy to Papa: "Here, after all, is one that can replace me, in case of accident. This Apprentice of mine, after all, he has fairly learned the Art; and will continue it when I am gone!"--