In spite of Friedrich's forebodings, an extraordinary recoil, in all Anti-Friedrich affairs, ensued upon Liegnitz; everything taking the backward course, from which it hardly recovered, or indeed did not recover at all, during the rest of this Campaign. Details on the subsequent Daun-Friedrich movements--which went all aback for Daun, Daun driven into the Hills again, Friedrich hopeful to cut off his bread, and drive him quite through the Hills, and home again--are not permitted us. No human intellect in our day could busy itself with understanding these thousand-fold marchings, manoeuvrings, assaults, surprisals, sudden facings-about (retreat changed to advance); nor could the powerfulest human memory, not exclusively devoted to study the Art Military under Friedrich, remember them when understood. For soldiers, desirous not to be sham-soldiers, they are a recommendable exercise; for them I do advise Tempelhof and the excellent German Narratives and Records. But in regard to others-- A sample has been given: multiply that by the ten, by the threescore and ten; let the ingenuous imagination get from it what will suffice. Our first duty here to poor readers, is to elicit from that sea of small things the fractions which are cardinal, or which give human physiognomy and memorability to it; and carefully suppress all the rest.
Understand, then, that there is a general going-back on the Austrian and Russian part. Czernichef we already saw at once retire over the Oder. Soltikof bodily, the second day after, deaf to Montalembert, lifts himself to rearward; takes post behind bogs and bushy grounds more and more inaccessible; ["August 18th, to Trebnitz, on the road to Militsch" (Tempelhof, iv. 167).] followed by Prince Henri with his best impressiveness for a week longer, till he seem sufficiently remote and peaceably minded: "Making home for Poland, he," thinks the sanguine King; "leave Goltz with 12,000 to watch him. The rest of the Army over hither!" Which is done, August 27th; General Forcade taking charge, instead of Henri,--who is gone, that day or next, to Breslau, for his health's sake. "Prince Henri really ill," say some; "Not so ill, but in the sulks," say others:--partly true, both theories, it is now thought; impossible to settle in what degree true. Evident it is, Henri sat quiescent in Breslau, following regimen, in more or less pathetic humor, for two or three months to come; went afterwards to Glogau, and had private theatricals; and was no more heard of in this Campaign. Greatly to his Brother's loss and regret; who is often longing for "your recovery" (and return hither), to no purpose.
Soltikof does, in his heart, intend for Poland; but has to see the Siege of Colberg finish first; and, in decency even to the Austrians, would linger a little: "Willing I always, if only YOU prove feasible!" Which occasions such negotiating, and messaging across the Oder, for the next six weeks, as--as shall be omitted in this place. By intense suasion of Montalembert, Soltikof even consents to undertake some sham movement on Glogau, thereby to alleviate his Austrians across the River; and staggers gradually forward a little in that direction:--sham merely; for he has not a siege-gun, nor the least possibility on Glogau; and Goltz with the 12,000 will sufficiently take care of him in that quarter.
Friedrich, on junction with Forcade, has risen to perhaps 50,000; and is now in some condition against the Daun-Loudon-Lacy Armies, which cannot be double his number. These still hang about, in the Breslau-Parchwitz region; gloomy of humor; and seem to be aiming at Schweidnitz,--if that could still prove possible with a Friedrich present. Which it by no means does; though they try it by their best combinations;--by "a powerful Chain of Army-posts, isolating Schweidnitz, and uniting Daun and Loudon;" by "a Camp on the Zobtenberg, as crown of the same;"--and put Friedrich on his mettle. Who, after survey of said Chain, executes (night of August 30th) a series of beautiful manoeuvres on it, which unexpectedly conclude its existence:--"with unaccountable hardihood," as Archenholtz has it, physiognomically TRUE to Friedrich's general style just now, if a little incorrect as to the case in hand, "sees good to march direct, once for all, athwart said Chain; right across its explosive cannonadings and it,--counter- cannonading, and marching rapidly on; such a march for insolence, say the Austrians!" [Archenholtz (ii. 115-116); who is in a hurry, dateless, and rather confuses a subsequent DAY (September 18th) with this "night of August 30th." See RETZOW, ii. 26; and still better, TEMPELHOF, iv. 203.] Till, in this way, the insolent King has Schweidnitz under his protective hand again; and forces the Chain to coil itself wholly together, and roll into the Hills for a safe lodging. Whither he again follows it: with continual changes of position, vying in inaccessibility with your own; threatening your meal-wagons; trampling on your skirts in this or the other dangerous manner; marching insolently up to your very nose, more than once ("Dittmannsdorf, September 18th," for a chief instance), and confusing your best schemes. [Tempelhof, iv. 193-231; &c. &c.: in
This "insolent" style of management, says Archenholtz, was practised by Julius Caesar on the Gauls; and since his time by nobody,--till Friedrich, his studious scholar and admirer, revived it "against another enemy." "It is of excellent efficacy," adds Tempelhof; "it disheartens your adversary, and especially his common people, and has the reverse effect on your own; confuses him in endless apprehensions, and details of self-defence; so that he can form no plan of his own, and his overpowering resources become useless to him." Excellent efficacy,--only you must be equal to doing it; not unequal, which might be very fatal to you!
For about five weeks, Friedrich, eminently practising this style, has a most complex multifarious Briarean wrestle with big Daun and his Lacy-Loudon Satellites; who have a troublesome time, running hither, thither, under danger of slaps, and finding nowhere an available mistake made. The scene is that intricate Hill-Country between Schweidnitz and Glatz (kind of GLACIS from Schweidnitz to the Glatz Mountains): Daun, generally speaking, has his back on Glatz, Friedrich on Schweidnitz; and we hear of encampings at Kunzendorf, at BUNZELWITZ, at BURKERSDORF--places which will be more famous in a coming Year. Daun makes no complaint of his Lacy- Loudon or other satellite people; who are diligently circumambient all of them, as bidden; but are unable, like Daun himself, to do the least good; and have perpetually, Daun and they, a bad life of it beside this Neighbor. The outer world, especially the Vienna outer world, is naturally a little surprised: "How is this, Feldmarschall Daun? Can you do absolutely nothing with him, then; but sit pinned in the Hills, eating sour herbs!"
In the Russians appears no help. Soltikof on Glogau, we know what that amounts to! Soltikof is evidently intending home, and nothing else. To all Austrian proposals,--and they have been manifold, as poor Montalembert knows too well,--the answer of Soltikof was and is: "Above 90,000 of you circling about, helping one another to do Nothing. Happy were you, not a doubt of it, could WE be wiled across to you, to get worried in your stead!" Daun begins to be extremely ill-off; provisions scarce, are far away in Bohemia; and the roads daily more insecure, Friedrich aiming evidently to get command of them altogether. Think of such an issue to our once flourishing Campaign 1760! Daun is vigilance itself against such fatality; and will do anything, except risk a Fight. Here, however, is the fatal posture: Since September 18th, Daun sees himself considerably cut off from Glatz, his provision-road more and more insecure;--and for fourteen days onward, the King and he have got into a dead-lock, and sit looking into one another's faces; Daun in a more and more distressed mood, his provender becoming so uncertain, and the Winter season drawing nigh. The sentries are in mutual view: each Camp could cannonade the other; but what good were it? By a tacit understanding they don't. The sentries, outposts and vedettes forbear musketry; on the contrary, exchange tobaccoes sometimes, and have a snatch of conversation. Daun is growing more and more unhappy. To which of the gods, if not to Soltikof again, can he apply?
Friedrich himself, successful so far, is abundantly dissatisfied with such a kind of success;--and indeed seems to be less thankful to his stars than in present circumstances he ought. Profoundly wearied we find him, worn down into utter disgust in the Small War of Posts: "Here we still are, nose to nose," exclaims he (see Letters TO HENRI), "both of us in unattackable camps. This Campaign appears to me more unsupportable than any of the foregoing. Take what trouble and care I like, I can't advance a step in regard to great interests; I succeed only in trifles. ... Oh for good news of your health: I am without all assistance here; the Army must divide again before long, and I have none to intrust it to." [Schoning, ii. 416.]