AUGUST 9th (BUNZLAU TO GOLDBERG), Friedrich, with his Three Columns and perfect arrangements, makes a long march: from Bunzlau at 3 in the morning; and at 5 afternoon arrives in sight of the Katzbach Valley, with the little Town of Goldberg some miles to right. Katzbach River is here; and Jauer, for to-morrow, still fifteen miles ahead. But on reconnoitring here, all is locked and bolted: Lacy strong on the Hills of Goldberg; Daun visible across the Katzbach; Daun, and behind him Loudon, inexpugnably posted: Jauer an impossibility! We have bread only for eight days; our Magazines are at Schweidnitz and Breslau: what is to be done? Get through, one way or other, we needs must! Friedrich encamps for the night; expecting an attack. If not attacked, he will make for Liegnitz leftward; cross the Katzbach there, or farther down at Parchwitz:--Parchwitz, Neumarkt, LEUTHEN, we have been in that country before now:--Courage!
AUGUST 10th-11th (TO LIEGNITZ AND BACK). At 5 A.M., Sunday, August 10th, Friedrich, nothing of attack having come, got on march again: down his own left bank of the Katzbach, straight for Liegnitz; unopposed altogether; not even a Pandour having attacked him overnight. But no sooner is he under way, than Daun too rises; Daun, Loudon, close by, on the other side of Katzbach, and keep step with us, on our right; Lacy's light people hovering on our rear:--three truculent fellows in buckram; fancy the feelings of the way-worn solitary fourth, whom they are gloomily dogging in this way! The solitary fourth does his fifteen miles to Liegnitz, unmolested by them; encamps on the Heights which look down on Liegnitz over the south; finds, however, that the Loudon-Daun people have likewise been diligent; that they now lie stretched out on their right bank, three or four miles up-stream or to rearward, and what is far worse, seven miles downwards, or ahead: that, in fact, they are a march nearer Parchwitz than he;--and that there is again no possibility. "Perhaps by Jauer, then, still? Out of this, and at lowest, into some vicinity of bread, it does behoove us to be!" At 11 that night Friedrich gets on march again; returns the way he came. And,
AUGUST 11th, At daybreak, is back to his old ground; nothing now to oppose him but Lacy, who is gone across from Goldberg, to linger as rear of the Daun-Loudon march. Friedrich steps across on Lacy, thirsting to have a stroke at Lacy; who vanishes fast enough, leaving the ground clear. Could but our baggage have come as fast as we! But our baggage, Quintus guarding and urging, has to groan on for five hours yet; and without it, there is no stirring. Five mortal hours;--by which time, Daun, Lacy, Loudon are all up again; between us and Jauer, between us and everything helpful;-- and Friedrich has to encamp in Seichau,--"a very poor Village in the Mountains," writes Mitchell, who was painfully present there, "surrounded on all sides by Heights; on several of which, in the evening, the Austrians took camp, separated from us by a deep ravine only." [Mitchell, ii. 194.]
Outlooks are growing very questionable to Mitchell and everybody. "Only four days' provisions" (in reality six), whisper the Prussian Generals gloomily to Mitchell and to one another: "Shall we have to make for Glogau, then, and leave Breslau to its fate? Or perhaps it will be a second Maxen to his Majesty and us, who was so indignant with poor Finck?" My friends, no; a Maxen like Finck's it will never be: a very different Maxen, if any! But we hope better things.
Friedrich's situation, grasped in the Three-lipped Pincers in this manner, is conceivable to readers. Soltikof, on the other side of Oder, as supplementary or fourth lip, is very impatient with these three. "Why all this dodging, and fidgeting to and fro? You are above three to one of your enemy. Why don't you close on him at once, if you mean it at all? The end is, He will be across Oder; and it is I that shall have the brunt to bear: Henri and he will enclose me between two fires!" And in fact, Henri, as we know, though Friedrich does not or only half does, has gone across Oder, to watch Soltikof, and guard Breslau from any attempts of his,-- which are far from HIS thoughts at this moment;--a Soltikof fuming violently at the thought of such cunctations, and of being made cat's-paw again. "Know, however, that I understand you," violently fumes Soltikof, "and that I won't. I fall back into the Trebnitz Bog-Country, on my own right bank here, and look out for my own safety."--"Patience, your noble Excellenz," answer they always; "oh, patience yet a little! Only yesterday (Sunday, 10th) the day after his arrival in this region), we had decided to attack and crush him; Sunday very early: [Tempelhof, iv. 137, 148-150.] but he skipped away to Liegnitz. Oh, be patient yet a day or two: he skips about at such a rate!" Montalembert has to be suasive as the Muses and the Sirens. Soltikof gloomily consents to another day or two. And even, such his anxiety lest this swift King skip over upon HIM, pushes out a considerable Russian Division, 24,000 ultimately, under Czernichef, towards the King's side of things, towards Auras on Oder, namely,--there to watch for oneself these interesting Royal movements; or even to join with Loudon out there, if that seem the safer course, against them. Of Czernichef at Auras we shall hear farther on,--were these Royal movements once got completed a little.
MORNING OF AUGUST 12th, Friedrich has, in his bad lodging at Seichau, laid a new plan of route: "Towards Schweidnitz let it be; round by Pombsen and the southeast, by the Hill-roads, make a sweep flankward of the enemy!"--and has people out reconnoitring the Hill-roads. Hears, however, about 8 o'clock, That Austrians in strength are coming between us and Goldberg! "Intending to enclose us in this bad pot of a Seichau; no crossing of the Katzbach, or other retreat to be left us at all?" Friedrich strikes his tents; ranks himself; is speedily in readiness for dispute of such extremity;--sends out new patrols, however, to ascertain. "Austrians in strength" there are NOT on the side indicated;-- whereupon he draws in again. But, on the other hand, the Hill-roads are reported absolutely impassable for baggage; Pombsen an impossibility, as the other places have been. So Friedrich sits down again in Seichau to consider; does not stir all day. To Mitchell's horror, who, "with great labor," burns all the legationary ciphers and papers ("impossible to save the baggage if we be attacked in this hollow pot of a camp"), and feels much relieved on finishing. [Mitchell, ii. 144; Tempelhof, iv. 144.]
Towards sunset, General Bulow, with the Second Line (second column of march), is sent out Goldberg-way, to take hold of the passage of the Katzbach: and at 8 that night we all march, recrossing there about 1 in the morning; thence down our left bank to Liegnitz for the second time,--sixteen hours of it in all, or till noon of the 13th. Mitchell had been put with the Cavalry part; and "cannot but observe to your Lordship what a chief comfort it was in this long, dangerous and painful March," to have burnt one's ciphers and dread secrets quite out of the way.
And thus, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13th, about noon, we are in our old Camp; Head-quarter in the southern suburb of Liegnitz (a wretched little Tavern, which they still show there, on mythical terms): main part of the Camp, I should think, is on that range of Heights, which reaches two miles southward, and is now called "SIEGESBERG (Victory Hill)," from a modern Monument built on it, after nearly 100 years. Here Friedrich stays one day,--more exactly, 30 hours;-- and his shifting, next time, is extremely memorable.