"A curious dream," said the soldier: "I dreamt I was in a battle; that I got my head cut off; that I died; and, of course, went to Heaven. I knocked at the door: Peter came with a bunch of Keys; and made such rattling that he awoke God; who started up in haste, asking, 'What is the matter?' 'Why,' says Peter, 'there is a great War on earth between the Russians and the Turks.' 'And who commands my Russians?' said the Supreme Being. 'Count Munnich,' answered Peter. 'Very well; I may go to sleep again!'--But this was not the end of my dream," continued the soldier; "I fell asleep and dreamt again, the very same as before, except that the War was not Count Munnich's, but the one we are now in. Accordingly, when God asked, 'Who commands my Russians?' Peter answered, 'Prince Galitzin.' 'Galitzin? Then get me my boots!' said the [Russian] Supreme Being." [W. Richardson (then at Petersburg, Tutor to Excellency Cathcart's Children; afterwards Professor at Glasgow, and a man of Some reputation in his old age),
These Polish phenomena were beginning to awaken a good deal of attention, not all of it pleasant, on the part of Friedrich. From the first he had, as usual, been a most clear-eyed observer of everything; and found the business, as appears, not of tragical nature, but of expensive-farcical, capable to shake the diaphragm rather than touch the heart of a reflective on-looker. He has a considerable Poem on it,--WAR OF THE CONFEDERATES by title (in the old style of the PALLADION, imitating an unattainable JEANNE D'ARC),--considerable Poem, now forming itself at leisure in his thoughts, ["LA GUERRE DES CONFEDERES [
Much a laughing-stock to this King hitherto, such a "War of the Confederates,"--consisting of the noisiest, emptiest bedlam tumults, seasoned by a proportion of homicide, and a great deal of battery and arson. But now, with a Russian-Turk War springing from it, or already sprung, there are quite serious aspects rising amid the laughable. By Treaty, this War is to cost the King either a 12,000 of Auxiliaries to the Czarina, or a 72,000 pounds (480,000 thalers) annually; [
FIRST INTERVIEW BETWEEN FRIEDRICH AND KAISER JOSEPH (Neisse, 25th-28th August, 1769).
In 1766, the young Kaiser, who has charge of the Military Department, and of little else in the Government, and is already a great traveller, and enthusiastic soldier, made a pilgrimage over the Bohemian and Saxon Battle-fields of the Seven-Years War. On some of them, whether on all I do not know, he set up memorial- stones; one of which you still see on the field of Lobositz;--of another on Prag field, and of reverent salutation by Artillery to the memory of Schwerin there, we heard long ago. Coming to Torgau on this errand, the Kaiser, through his Berlin Minister, had signified his "particular desire to make acquaintance with the King in returning;" to which the King was ready with the readiest;-- only that Kaunitz and the Kaiserinn, in the interim, judged it improper, and stopped it. "The reported Interview is not to take place," Friedrich warns the Newspapers; "having been given up, though only from courtesy, on some points of ceremonial." ["FRIEDRICH TO ONE OF HIS FOREIGN AMBASSADORS" (the common way of announcing in Newspapers): Preuss, iv. 22 n.]
The young Kaiser felt a little huffed; and signified to Friedrich that he would find a time to make good this bit of uncivility, which his pedagogues had forced upon him. And now, after three years, August, 1769, on occasion of the Silesian Reviews, the Kaiser is to come across from his Bohemian businesses, and actually visit him: Interview to be at Neisse, 25th August, 1769, for three days. Of course the King was punctual, everybody was punctual, glad and cordial after a sort,--no ceremony, the Kaiser, officially incognito, is a mere Graf von Falkenstein, come to see his Majesty's Reviews. There came with him four or five Generals, Loudon one of them; Lacy had preceded: Friedrich is in the palace of the place, ready and expectant. With Friedrich are: Prince Henri; Prince of Prussia; Margraf of Anspach: Friedrich's Nephew (Lady Craven's Margraf, the one remnant now left there); and some Generals and Military functionaries, Seidlitz the notablest figure of these. And so, FRIDAY, AUGUST 25th, shortly after noon-- But the following Two Letters, by an Eye-witness, will be preferable; and indeed are the only real Narrative that can be given:--
No. 1. ENGINEER LEFEBVRE TO PERPETUAL SECRETARY FORMEY (at Berlin).
"NEISSE, 26th [partly 25th] August, 1769.
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