"Tottleben and Lacy, during those three days of Russian and Austrian joint dominion, had a stormy time of it together. 'Destroy the LAGER-HAUS,' said Lacy: Lager-Haus, where they manufacture their soldiers' uniforms; it is the parent of all cloth-manufacturing in Prussia; set up by Friedrich Wilhelm,--not on free-trade principles. 'The Lager-Haus, say you? I doubt, it is now private property; screened by our Capitulation;'--which it proves to be. 'You shall blow up the Arsenal!' said Lacy, with vehemence and truculence. A noble edifice, as travellers yet know: fancy its fragments flying about among the populous streets, plunging through the roofs of Palaces, and great houses all round. Lacy was inexorable; Tottleben had to send a Russian Party (one wishes they had been Croats) on this sad errand. They proceeded to the Powder-Magazine for explosive material, as preliminary; they were rash in handling the gunpowder there, which blew up in their hands; sent itself and all of them into the air; and saved the poor Arsenal: 'Not powder enough now left for our own artillery uses,' urged Tottleben.
"Saxon and Austrian Parties were in the Palaces about,--at Potsdam, at Charlottenburg, Schonhausen (the Queen's), at Friedrichsfeld (the Margraf Karl's), some of whom behaved well, some horribly ill. In Charlottenburg, certain Saxon Bruhl-Dragoons, who by their conduct might have been Dragoons of Attila, smashed the furnitures, the doors, cutting the Pictures, much maltreating the poor people; and, what was reckoned still more tragical, overset the poor Polignac Collection of Antiques and Classicalities; not only knocking off noses and arms, but beating them small, lest reparation by cement should be possible. Their Officers, Pirna people, looking quietly on. A scandalous proceeding, thought everybody, friend or foe,--especially thought Friedrich; whose indignation at this ruin of Charlottenburg came out in way of reprisal by and by. At Potsdam, on the other hand, Prince Esterhazy, with perhaps Hungarians among his people, behaved like a very Prince; received from the Castellan an Attestation that he had scrupulously respected everything; and took, as souvenir, only one Picture of little value; Prince de Ligne, who was under him, carrying off, still more daintily, one goose-quill, immortal by having been a pen of the Great Friedrich's.
"Tottleben, with no feeling other than Official tempered by Human, was in great contrast with Lacy, and very beneficent to Berlin during the three days it lay under the TRIBULA, or harrow of War. But the Tutelary Angel of Berlin, then and afterwards for weeks and months, till all scores got settled, was the Gotzkowsky mentioned above." Whom we shall see again helpful at Leipzig; a man worth marking in these tumults. "If Tottleben was the temporal Armed King, this Gotzkowsky was the Spiritual King, PAPA or Universal Father, armed only with charities, pieties, prayers, ever shiningly attended by self-sacrifices on Gotzkowsky's part; which averted woes innumerable (Lager-Haus only one of a long list); and which 'surpassed all belief,' write the Berlin Magistracy, as if in tears over such heroism. Truly a Prince of Merchants, this Gotzkowsky, not for his vast enterprises, and the mere 1,500 workmen he employs, but for the still greater heart that dwells in him. Had begun as a travelling Pedler; used to call at Reinsberg, with female haberdasheries exquisitely chosen ('GALLANTERIE wares' the Germans call them), for the then Princess Royal; not unnoticed by Friedrich, who recognized the broad sense, solidity and great thoughts of the man. Of all which Friedrich has known far more since then, in various branches of Prussian commerce improved by Gotzkowsky's managements. A truly notable Gotzkowsky; became bankrupt at last, one is sorry to hear; and died in affliction and neglect,--short of the humblest wages for so much good work done in the world! [Preuss, ii. 257, &c. &c.; GESCHICHTE EINES PATRIOTISCHEN KAUFMANNS (Berlin, 1769, by Gotzkowsky himself).]
"Gotzkowsky's House was like a general storeroom for everybody's preciosities; his time, means, self were the refuge of all the needy. In Zorndorf time, when this Czernichef [if readers can remember], who is now so supreme,--Czernichef, Soltikof and others,--had nothing for it but to lodge in the cellars of burnt Custrin, Gotzkowsky, with ready money, with advice, with assuagement, had been their DEUS EX MACHINA: and now Czernichef remembers it; and Gotzkowsky, as Papa, has to go with continual prayers, negotiations, counsellings, expedients, and be the refuge of all unjustly suffering men Berlin has immensities of trade in war-furnitures: the capitals circulating are astonishing to Archenholtz; million on the back of million; no such city in Germany for trade. The desire of the Three-days Lacy Government is towards any Lager-Haus; any mass of wealth, which can be construed as Royal or connected with Royalty. Ephraim and Itzig, mint- masters of that copper-coinage; rolling in foul wealth by the ruin of their neighbors; ought not these to bleed? Well, yes,--if anybody; and copiously if you like! I should have said so: but the generous Gotzkowsky said in his heart, 'No;' and again pleaded and prevailed. Ephraim and Itzig, foul swollen creatures, were not broached at all; and their gratitude was, That, at a future day, Gotzkowsky's day of bankruptcy, they were hardest of any on Gotzkowsky.
"Archenholtz and the Books are enthusiastically copious upon Gotzkowsky and his procedures; but we must be silent. This Anecdote only, in regard to Freedom of the Press,--to the so-called 'air we breathe, not having which we die!' Would modern Friends of Progress believe it? Because, in former stages of this War, the Berlin Newspapers have had offensive expressions (scarcely noticeable to the microscope in our day, and below calculation for smallness) upon the Russian and Austrian Sovereigns or Peoples,--the Able Editors (there are only Two) shall now in person, here in the market-place of Berlin, actually run the gantlet for it,--'run the rods (GASSEN-LAUFEN'), as the fashion now is; which is worse than GANTLET, not to speak of the ignominy. That is the barbaric Russian notion: 'who are you, ill-formed insolent persons, that give a loose to your tongue in that manner? Strip to the waistband, swift! Here is the true career opened for you: on each hand, one hundred sharp rods ranked waiting you; run your courses there,--no hurry more than you like!' The alternative of death, I suppose, was open to these Editors; Roman death at least, and martyrdom for a new Faith (Faith in the Loose Tongue), very sacred to the Democratic Ages now at hand. But nobody seems to have thought of it; Editors and Public took the thing as a 'sorrow incident to this dangerous Profession of the Tongue Loose (or looser than usual); which nobody yet knew to be divine. The Editors made passionate enough lamentation, in the stript state; one of then, with loud weeping, pulled off his wig, showed ice-gray hair; 'I am in my 68th year!' But it seems nothing would have steaded them, had not Gotzkowsky been busy interceding. By virtue of whom there was pardon privately in readiness: to the ice-gray Editor complete pardon; to the junior quasi-complete; only a few switches to assert the principle, and dismissal with admonition." [
The pleasant part of the fact is, that Gotzkowsky's powerful intercessions were thenceforth no farther needed. The same day, Saturday, October 11th, a few hours after this of the GASSEN- LAUFEN, news arrived full gallop: "The King is coming!" After which it was beautiful to see how all things got to the gallop; and in a no-time Berlin was itself again. That same evening, Saturday, Lacy took the road, with extraordinary velocity, towards Torgau Country, where the Reichsfolk, in Hulsen's absence, are supreme; and, the second evening after, was got 60 miles thitherward. His joint dominion had been of Two days. On the morning of Sunday, 12th, went Tottleben, who had businesses, settlements of ransom and the like, before marching. Tottleben, too, made uncommon despatch; marched, as did all these invasive Russians, at the rate of thirty miles a day; their Main Army likewise moving off from Frankfurt to a safer distance. Friedrich was still five marches off; but there seemed not a moment to lose.
The Russian spoilings during the retreat were more horrible than ever: "The gallows gaping for us; and only this one opportunity, if even this!" thought the agitated Cossack to himself. Our poor friend Nissler had a sad tale to tell of them; [In Busching,
In Guben Country, "at Gross-Muckro, October 15th," the day after passing Guben, Friedrich first heard for certain, That the Russians had been in Berlin, and also that they were gone, and that all was over. He made two marches farther,--not now direct for Berlin, but direct for Saxony AND it;--to Lubben, 50 or 60 miles straight south of Berlin; and halted there some days, to adjust himself for a new sequel. "These are the things," exclaims he, sorrowfully, to D'Argens, "which I have been in dread of since Winter last; this is what gave the dismal tone to my Letters to you. It has required not less than all my philosophy to endure the reverses, the provocations, the outrages, and the whole scene of atrocious things that have come to pass." [