The tone of Friedrich, which is usually all friendliness to Fouquet, had on this occasion something in it which offended the punctual and rather peremptory Spartan mind. Fouquet would not have neglected Glatz; pity he had not been left to his own methods with Landshut and it. Deeply hurt, he read this Order (16th June); and vowing to obey it, and nothing but it, used these words, which were remembered afterwards, to his assembled Generals: "MEINE HERREN, it appears, then, we must take Landshut again. Loudon, as the next thing, will come on us there with his mass of force; and we must then, like Prussians, hold out as long as possible, think of no surrender on open field, but if even beaten, defend ourselves to the last man. In case of a retreat, I will be one of the last that leaves the field: and should I have the misfortune to survive such a day, I give you my word of honor never to draw a Prussian sword more." [Stenzel, v. 239.] This speech of Fouquet's (June 16th) was two days after Friedrich got on march from Schlettau. June 17th, Fouquet got to Landshut; drove out the Austrians more easily than he had calculated, and set diligently, next day, to repair his works, writing to Friedrich: "Your Majesty's Order shall be executed here, while a man of us lives." Fouquet, in the old Crown-Prince time, used to be called Bayard by his Royal friend. His Royal friend, now darker of face and scathed by much ill-weather, has just quitted Schlettau, three days before this recovery of Landshut; and will not have gone far till he again hear news of Fouquet.
NIGHT OF JUNE 14th-15th, Friedrich, "between Zehren and Zabel," several miles down stream,--his bridges now all ready, out of Lacy's cognizance,--has suddenly crossed Elbe; and next afternoon pitches camp at Broschwitz, which is straight towards Lacy again. To Lacy's astonishment; who is posted at Moritzburg, with head- quarter in that beautiful Country-seat of Polish Majesty,--only 10 miles to eastward, should Friedrich take that road. Broschwitz is short way north of Meissen, and lies on the road either to Grossenhayn or to Radeburg (Radeburg only four miles northward of Lacy), as Friedrich shall see fit, on the morrow. For the Meissen north road forks off there, in those two directions: straight northward is for Grossenhayn, right hand is for Badeburg. Most interesting to Lacy, which of these forks, what is quite optional, Friedrich will take! Lacy is an alert man; looks well to himself; warns Daun; and will not be caught if he can help it. Daun himself is encamped at Reichenberg, within two miles of him, inexpugnably intrenched as usual; and the danger surely is not great: nevertheless both these Generals, wise by experience, keep their eyes open.
The FIRST great Feat of Marching now follows, On Friedrich's part; with little or no result to Friedrich; but worth remembering, so strenuous, so fruitless was it,--so barred by ill news from without! Both this and the Second stand recorded for us, in brief intelligent terms by Mitchell, who was present in both; and who is perfectly exact on every point, and intelligible throughout,--if you will read him with a Map; and divine for yourself what the real names are, out of the inhuman blotchings made of them, not by Mitchell's blame at all. [Mitchell,
TUESDAY, JUNE 17th, second day of Friedrich's stay at Broschwitz, Mitchell, in a very confidential Dialogue they had together, learned from him, under seal of secrecy, That it was his purpose to march for Radeburg to-morrow morning, and attack Lacy and his 30,000, who lie encamped at Moritzburg out yonder; for which step his Majesty was pleased farther to show Mitchell a little what the various inducements were: "One Russian Corps is aiming as if for Berlin; the Austrians are about besieging Glatz,--pressing need that Fouquet were reinforced in his Silesian post of difficulty. Then here are the Reichs-people close by; can be in Dresden three days hence, joined to Daun: 80,000 odd there will then be of Enemies in this part: I must beat Lacy, if possible, while time still is!"--and ended by saying: "Succeed here, and all may yet be saved; be beaten here, I know the consequences: but what can I do? The risk must be run; and it is now smaller than it will ever again be."
Mitchell, whose account is a fortnight later than the Dialogue itself, does confess, "My Lord, these reasons, though unhappily the thing seems to have failed, 'appear to me to be solid and unanswerable.'" Much more do they to Tempelhof, who sees deeper into the bottom of them than Mitchell did; and finds that the failure is only superficial. [Mitchell,
WEDNESDAY, 18th JUNE, "Friedrich," as predicted to Mitchell, the night before, "did start punctually, in three columns, at 3 A.M. [Sun just rising]; and, after a hot march, got encamped on the southward side of Radeburg: ready to cross the Rodern Stream there to-morrow, as if intending for the Lausitz [should that prove needful for alluring Lacy],--and in the mean while very inquisitive where Lacy might be. One of Lacy's outposts, those Saxon light horse, was fallen in with; was chased home, and Lacy's camp discovered, that night. At Bernsdorf, not three miles to southward or right of us; Daun only another three to south of him. Let us attack Lacy to-morrow morning; wind round to get between Daun and him, [Tempelhof, iv. 47-49.]--with fit arrangements; rapid as light! In the King's tent, accordingly, his Generals are assembled to take their Orders; brief, distinct, and to be done with brevity. And all are on the move for Bernsdorf at 4 next morning; when, behold,--
"THURSDAY, 19th, At Bernsdorf there is no Lacy to be found. Cautions Dorn has ordered him in,--and not for Lacy's sake, as appears, but for his own: 'Hitherward, you alert Lacy; to cover my right flank here, my Hill of Reichenberg,--lest it be not impregnable enough against that feline enemy!' And there they have taken post, say 60,000 against 30,000; and are palisading to a quite extraordinary degree. No fight possible with Lacy or Daun."
This is what Mitchell counts the failure of Friedrich's enterprise: and certainly it grieved Friedrich a good deal. Who, on riding out to reconnoitre Reichenberg (Quintus Icilius and Battalion QUINTUS part of his escort, if that be an interesting circumstance], finds Reichenberg a plainly unattackable post; finds, by Daun's rate of palisading, that there will be no attack from Daun either. No attack from Daun;--and, therefore, that Hulsen's people may be sent home to Schlettau again; and that he, Friedrich, will take post close by, and wearisomely be content to wait for some new opportunity.