FRIEDRICH. "Would to God your prayers for the swift capture of Dresden had been heard; but unfortunately I must tell you, this stroke has failed me. ... Dresden has been reduced to ashes, third part of the Altstadt lying burnt;--contrary to my intentions: my orders were, To spare the City, and play the Artillery against the works. My Minister Graf von Finck will have told you what occasioned its being set on fire." [Schoning, ii. 361 ("2d-3d July").]
HENRI (July 26th; Dresden Siege gone awry). ... "I am to keep the Russians from Frankfurt, to cover Glogau, and prevent a besieging of Breslau! All that forms an overwhelming problem;--which I, with my whole heart, will give up to somebody abler for it than I am." [Ib. ii. 369-371 ("Landsherg, 26th July").]
FRIEDRICH (29th July; quits the Trenches of Dresden this night). ... "I have seen with pain that you represent everything to yourself on the black side. I beg you, in the name of God, my dearest Brother, don't take things up in their blackest and worst shape:--it is this that throws your mind into such an indecision, which is so lamentable. Adopt a resolution rather, what resolution you like, but stand by it, and execute it with your whole strength. I conjure you, take a fixed resolution; better a bad than none at all. ... What is possible to man, I will do; neither care nor consideration nor effort shall be spared, to secure the result of my plans. The rest depends on circumstances. Amid such a number of enemies, one cannot always do what one will, but must let them prescribe." [Ib. ii. 370-372 ("Leubnitz, before Dresden, 29th July, 1760").]
An uncomfortable little Gentleman; but full of faculty, if one can manage to get good of it! Here, what might have preceded all the above, and been preface to it, is a pretty passage from him; a glimpse he has had of Sans-Souci, before setting out on those gloomy marchings and cunctatory hagglings. Henri writes (at Torgau, April 26th, just back from Berlin and farewell of friends):--
"I mean to march the day after to-morrow. I took arrangements with General Fouquet [about that long fine-spun Chain of Posts, where we are to do such service?]--the Black Hussars cannot be here till to-morrow, otherwise I should have marched a day sooner. My Brother [poor little invalid Ferdinand] charged me to lay him at your feet. I found him weak and thin, more so than formerly. Returning hither, the day before yesterday, I passed through Potsdam; I went to Sans-Souci [April 24th, 1760]:--all is green there; the Garden embellished, and seemed to me excellently kept. Though these details cannot occupy you at present, I thought it would give you pleasure to hear of them for a moment." [Schoning, ii. 233 ("Torgau, 26th April, 1760").] Ah, yes; all is so green and blessedly silent there: sight of the lost Paradise, actually IT, visible for a moment yonder, far away, while one goes whirling in this manner on the illimitable wracking winds!--
Here finally, from a distant part of the War-Theatre, is another Note; which we will read while Friedrich is at Schieritz. At no other place so properly; the very date of it, chief date (July 31st), being by accident synchronous with Schieritz:--
DUKE FERDINAND'S BATTLE OF WARBURG (31st July, 1760).
Duke Ferdinand has opened his difficult Campaign; and especially-- just while that Siege of Dresden blazed and ended--has had three sharp Fights, which were then very loud in the Gazettes, along with it. Three once famous Actions; which unexpectedly had little or no result, and are very much forgotten now. So that bare enumeration of them is nearly all we are permitted here. Pitt has furnished 7,000 new English, this Campaign,--there are now 20,000 English in all, and a Duke Ferdinand raised to 70,000 men. Surely, under good omens, thinks Pitt; and still more think the Gazetteers, judging by appearances. Yes: but if Broglio have 130,000, what will it come to? Broglio is two to one; and has, before this, proved himself a considerable Captain.