"M. de Camas is here, very ill for the last two days; attack of fever--the Doctor hopes to bring him through,"--which proved beyond the Doctor: the good Camas died here three days hence (age sixty- three); an excellent German-Frenchman, of much sense, dignity and honesty; familiar to Friedrich from infancy onwards, and no doubt regretted by him as deserved. The Widow Camas, a fine old Lady, German by birth, will again come in view. Jordan continues:--
"One finds, at the corner of every street, an orator of the Plebs celebrating the warlike feats of your Majesty's troops. I have often, in my idleness, assisted at these discourses: not artistic eloquence, it must be owned, but spurting rude from the heart. ..." Jordan adds in his next Note: "This morning (14th) I quitted M. de Camas; who, it is thought, cannot last the day. I have hardly left him during his illness:" [
Neipperg, meanwhile, had fallen back on Neisse; taken up a strong encampment in that neighborhood; he lies thereabouts all summer; stretched out, as it were, in a kind of vigilant dog-sleep on the threshold, keeping watch over Neisse, and tries fighting no more at this time, or indeed ever after, to speak of. And always, I think, with disadvantage, when he does try a little. He had been Grand- Duke Franz's Tutor in War-matters; had got into trouble at Belgrade once before, and was almost hanged by the Turks. George II. had occasionally the benefit of him, in coming years. Be not too severe on the poor man, as the Vienna public was; he had some faculty, though not enough. "Governor of Luxemburg," before long: there, for most part, let him peacefully drill, and spend the remainder of his poor life. Friedrich says, neither Neipperg nor himself, at this time, knew the least of War; and that it would be hard to settle which of them made the more blunders in their Silesian tussle.
Friedrich, in about three weeks hence, was fully ready for opening trenches upon Brieg; did open trenches, accordingly, by moonlight, in a grand nocturnal manner (as readers shall see anon); and, by vigorous cannonading,--Marechal de Belleisle having come, by this time, to enjoy the fine spectacle,--soon got possession of Brieg, and held it thenceforth. Neisse now alone remained, with Neipperg vigilantly stretched upon the threshold of it. But the Marechal de Belleisle, we say, had come; that was the weighty circumstance. And before Neisse can be thought of, there is a whole Europe, bickering aloft into conflict; embattling itself from end to end, in sequel of Mollwitz Battle; and such a preliminary sea of negotiating, diplomatic finessing, pulse-feeling, projecting and palavering, with Friedrich for centre all summer, as--as I wish readers could imagine without my speaking of it farther! But they cannot.
MAP ON PAGE 75 GOES HEREABOUTS--------
THE BURSTING FORTH OF BEDLAMS: BELLEISLE AND THE BREAKERS OF PRAGMATIC SANCTION.
The Battle of Mollwitz went off like a signal-shot among the Nations; intimating that they were, one and all, to go battling. Which they did, with a witness; making a terrible thing of it, over all the world, for above seven years to come. Foolish Nations; doomed to settle their jarring accounts in that terrible manner! Nay, the fewest of them had any accounts, except imaginary ones, to settle there at all; and they went into the adventure GRATIS, spurred on by spectralities of the sick brain, by phantasms of hope, phantasms of terror; and had, strictly speaking, no actual business in it whatever.
Not that Mollwitz kindled Europe; Europe was already kindled for some two years past;--especially since the late Kaiser died, and his Pragmatic Sanction was superadded to the other troubles afoot. But ever since that Image of JENKINS'S EAR had at last blazed up in the slow English brain, like a fiery constellation or Sign in the Heavens, symbolic of such injustices and unendurabilities, and had lighted the Spanish-English War, Europe was slowly but pretty surely taking fire. France "could not see Spain humbled," she said: England (in its own dim feeling, and also in the fact of things) could not do at all without considerably humbling Spain. France, endlessly interested in that Spanish-English matter, was already sending out fleets, firing shots,--almost, or altogether, putting forth her hand in it. "In which case, will not, must not, Austria help us?" thought England,--and was asking, daily, at Vienna (with intense earnestness, but without the least result), through Excellency Robinson there, when the late Kaiser died. Died, poor gentleman;--and left his big Austrian Heritages lying, as it were, in the open market-place; elaborately tied by diplomatic packthread and Pragmatic Sanction; but not otherwise protected against the assembled cupidities of mankind! Independently of Mollwitz, or of Silesia altogether, it was next to impossible that Europe could long avoid blazing out; especially unless the Spanish-English quarrel got quenched, of which there was no likelihood.