There comes the big crisis, then! There are the combined Weissenfels and Karl with their Austrian Saxons, issuing proudly from their stone labyrinth; guns, equipments, baggages, all perfectly brought through; rich Silesian plain country now fairly at their feet, Breslau itself but a few marches off: at sight of all which, the Austrian big host bursts forth into universal field-music, and shakes out its banners to the wind.
Came pouring down, triumphantly invasive, yesterday; returns, on these terms, in about fifteen hours. Not marching with displayed banners and field-music, this time; this is a far other march. The mouse-trap had been left open, and we rashly went in! Friedrich is blamed by some military men, and perhaps himself thought it questionable, that he did not pursue Prince Karl more sharply.
"On Wednesday, the 6th, about two in the afternoon, the Old Dessauer has his whole Army drawn out there, with green sprigs in their hats, at Dieskau, close upon the Saxon Frontier; and, after swashing and manoeuvring about in the highest military style of art, ranks them all in line, or two suitable lines, 30,000 of them; and then, with clangorous outburst of trumpet, kettle-drum and all manner of field-music, fires off his united artillery a first time; almost shaking the very hills by such a thunderous peal, in the still afternoon.
Don Blas and the Spaniards seem much in terror; burning any Ships they still have, near Carthagena; as if there were no chance now left." This is the very day of Mollwitz Battle; near about the hour when Schwerin broke into field-music, and advanced with thunderous glitter against the evening sun!
There is solemn wheeling, shooting out to right and left, done with spotless precision: once in line, in two lines, "each three men deep," lines many yards apart, they will advance on Mollwitz; still solemnly, field-music guiding, and banners spread. Which will be a work of time.
Rothenburg drove back the Hussars, all manner of successive Hussar parties, and kept steadily ahead of the main battle, as he had been bidden. Pampitz Village being now passed, and in rear of them to left, the Prussian Columns halt for some instants; burst into field-music; take to deploying themselves into line.
His own ammunition, too, he knows is running scarce, and fighters here and there are searching the slain for cartridges: Schwerin closes his ranks, trims and tightens himself a little; breaks forth into universal field-music, and with banners spread, starts in mass wholly, "Forwards!" Forwards towards these Austrians and the setting sun.
Prince Karl with Weissenfels, General Berlichingen and many plumed dignitaries, are dining on the Hill-top near Hohenfriedberg: after having given order about everything, they witness there, over their wine, the issue of their Columns from the Mountains; which goes on all afternoon, with field-music, spread banners; and the oldest General admits he never saw a finer review-manoeuvre, or one better done, if so well.
Such wheeling, rhythmic coalescing and unfolding; accurate as clock-work, far and wide; swift big column here, hitting swift big column there, at the appointed place and moment; with their volleyings and trumpeting, bright uniforms and streamers and field-music, in equipment and manoeuvre perfect all, to the meanest drummer or black kettle-drummer: supreme drill-sergeant playing on the thing, as on his huge piano, several square miles in area!
Sixteen years ago, we have seen these Heights in other tenancy: Austrian field-music and displayed banners coming down; a thousand and a thousand Austrian watch-fires blazing out yonder, in the silent June night, eve of such a Day! Baireuth Dragoons and their No. 67; you will find the Baireuth Dragoons still here in a sense, but also in a sense not.