January 31st is Order from the King, [In SCHONING, iii. 275 ("Breslau, 31st January, 1762").] That our Russian Prisoners, one and all, shod, clad and dieted, be forthwith set under way from Stettin: in return for which generosity the Prussians, from Siberia or wherever they were buried, are, soon after, hastening home in like manner. Gudowitsh, Peter's favorite Adjutant, who had been sent to congratulate at Zerbst, comes round by Breslau (February 20th), and has joyfully benign audience next day; directly on the heel of whom, Adjutant Colonel von Goltz, who KAMMERHERR as well as Colonel, and understands things of business, goes to Petersburg. February 23d, Czarish Majesty, to the horror of Vienna and glad astonishment of mankind, emits Declaration (Note to all the Foreign Excellencies in Petersburg), "That there ought to be Peace with this King of Prussia; that Czarish Majesty, for his own part, is resolved on the thing; gives up East Preussen and the so-called conquests made; Russian participation in such a War has ceased." And practically orders Czernichef, who is wintering with his 20,000 in Glatz, to quit Glatz and these Austrian Combinations, and march homeward with his 20,000. Which Czernichef, so soon as arrangements of proviant and the like are made, hastens to do;--and does, as far as Thorn; but no farther, for a reason that will be seen. On the last day of March, Czernichef--off about a week ago from Glatz, and now got into the Breslau latitude--came across, with a select Suite of Four, to pay his court there; and had the honor to dine with his Majesty, and to be, personally too, a Czernichef agreeable to his Majesty.
The vehemency of Austrian Diplomacies at Petersburg; and the horror of Kaiserinn and Kriegshofrath in Vienna,--who have just discharged 20,000 of their own people, counting on this Czernichef, and being dreadfully tight for money,--may be fancied. But all avails nothing. The ardent Czar advances towards Friedrich with arms flung wide. Goltz and Gudowitsh are engaged on Treaty of Peace; Czar frankly gives up East Preussen, "Yours again; what use has Russia for it, Royal Friend?" Treaty of Peace goes forward like the drawing of a Marriage-settlement (concluded MAY 5th); and, in a month more, has changed into Treaty of Alliance;--Czernichef ordered to stop short at Thorn; to turn back, and join himself to this heroic King, instead of fighting against him. Which again Czernichef, himself an admirer of this King, joyfully does;-- though, unhappily, not with all the advantage he expected to the King.
Swedish Peace, Queen Ulrique and the Anti-French Party now getting the upper hand, had been hastening forward in the interim (finished, at Hamburg, MAY 2d): a most small matter in comparison to the Russian; but welcome enough to Friedrich;--though he said slightingly of it, when first mentioned: "Peace? I know not hardly of any War there has been with Sweden;--ask Colonel Belling about it!" Colonel Belling, a most shining swift Hussar Colonel, who, with a 2,000 sharp fellows, hanging always on the Swedish flanks, sharp as lightning, "nowhere and yet everywhere," as was said of him, has mainly, for the last year or two, had the management of this extraordinary "War." Peace over all the North, Peace and more, is now Friedrich's. Strangling imbroglio, wide as the world, has ebbed to man's height; dawn of day has ripened into sunrise for Friedrich; the way out is now a thing credible and visible to him. Peter's friendliness is boundless; almost too boundless! Peter begs a Prussian Regiment,--dresses himself in its uniform, Colonel of ITZENPLITZ; Friedrich begs a Russian Regiment, Colonel of SCHUWALOF: and all is joyful, hopeful; marriage-bells instead of dirge ditto and gallows ditto,--unhappily not for very long.
In regard to Friedrich's feelings while all this went on, take the following small utterances of his, before going farther. JANUARY 27th, 1762 (To Madam Camas,--eight days after the Russian Event): "I rejoice, my good Mamma, to find you have such courage; I exhort you to redouble it! All ends in this world; so we may hope this accursed War will not be the only thing eternal there. Since death has trussed up a certain CATIN of the Hyperborean Countries, our situation has advantageously changed, and becomes more supportable than it was. We must hope that some other events [favor of the new Czar mainly] will happen; by which we may profit to arrive at a good Peace."
JANUARY 31st (To Minister Finkenstein) "Behold the first gleam of light that rises;--Heaven be praised for it! We must hope good weather will succeed these storms. God grant it!" [Preuss, ii. 312.]
END OF MARCH (To D'Argens): ... "All that [at Paris; about the Pompadourisms, the EXILE of Broglio and Brother, and your other news] is very miserable; as well as that discrepancy between King's Council and Parlement for and against the Jesuits! But, MON CHER MARQUIS, my head is so ill, I can tell you nothing more,-- except that the Czar of Russia is a divine man; to whom I ought to erect altars." [
MAY 25th (To the same,--Russian PEACE three weeks ago): "It is very pleasant to me, dear Marquis, that Sans-Souci could afford you an agreeable retreat during the beautiful Spring days. If it depended only on me, how soon should I be there beside you! But to the Six Campaigns there is a Seventh to be added, and will soon open; either because the Number 7 had once mystic qualities, or because in the Book of Fate from all eternity the"-- ... "Jesuits banished from France? Ah, yes:--hearing of that, I made my bit of plan for them [mean to have my pick of them as schoolmasters in Silesia here]; and am waiting only till I get Silesia cleared of Austrians as the first thing. You see we must not mow the corn till it is ripe." [
MAY 28th (To the same): ... Tartar Khan actually astir, 10,000 men of his in Hungary (I am told); Turk potentially ditto, with 200,000 (futile both, as ever): "All things show me the sure prospect of Peace by the end of this Year; and, in the background of it, Sans- Souci and my dear Marquis! A sweet calm springs up again in my soul; and a feeling of hope, to which for six years I had got unused, consoles me for all I have come through. Think only what a coil I shall be in, before a month hence [Campaign opened by that time, horrid Game begun again]; and what a pass we had come to, in December last: Country at its last gasp (AGONISAIT), as if waiting for extreme unction: and now--!" [Ib. xix. 323.] ...