"SEPTEMBER 19th (five days after dropping Seckendorf), Saxe actually gets joined with Maillebois;--not quite at Amberg, but at Vohenstrauss, in that same Sulzbach Country, a forty miles to eastward, or Prag-ward, of Amberg. Maillebois and he conjoined are between 50 and 60,000. They are got now to the Bohemian Boundary, edge of the Bohemian Forest (big BOHMISCHE WALD, Mountainous woody Country, 70 miles long); they are within 60 miles of Pilsen, within 100 of Prag itself,--if they can cross the Forest. Which may be diflicult."
PRINCE KARL AND THE GRAND-DUKE, HEARING OF MAILLEBOIS, GO TO MEET HIM (September 14th); AND THE SIEGE OF PRAG IS RAISED.
"SEPTEMBER llth, the Besieged at Prag notice that the Austrian fire slackens; that the Enemy seems to be taking away his guns. Villages and Farmsteads, far and wide all round, are going up in fire. A joyful symptom:--since August 13th, Belleisle has known of Maillebois's advent; guesses that the Austrians now know it.-- SEPTEMBER 14th, their Firing has quite ceased. Grand-Duke and Prince Karl are off to meet this Maillebois, amid the intricate defiles, 'Better meet him there than here:'--and on this fourth morning, Belleisle, looking out, perceives that the Siege is raised. [Espagnac, i. 145;
"A blessed change indeed. No enemy here,--perhaps some Festititz, with his canaille of Tolpatches, still lingering about,--no enemy worth mention. Parties go out freely to investigate:--but as to forage? Alas, a Country burnt, Villages black and silent for ten miles round;--you pick up here and there a lean steer, welcome amid boiled horse-flesh; you bundle a load or two of neglected grass together, for what cavalry remains. The genius of Sechelles, and help from the Saxon side, will be much useful!
"Perhaps the undeniablest advantage of any is this, That Broglio, not now so proud of the situation Prag is in, or led by the rule of contraries, willingly quits Prag: Belleisle will not have to do his function by the medium of pig-driving, but in the direct manner henceforth. 'Give me 6 or 8,000 foot, and what of the cavalry have horses still uneaten,' proposes Broglio; 'I will push obliquely towards Eger,--which is towards Saxony withal, and opens our food- communications there:--I will stretch out a hand to Maillebois, across the Mountain Passes; and thus bring a victorious issue!' [Espagnac, i. 170.] Belleisle consents: 'Well, since my Broglio will have it so!'--glad to part with my Broglio at any rate,-- 'Adieu, then, M. le Marechal (and,' SOTTO VOCE, 'may it be long before we meet again in partnership)!' Broglio marches accordingly ('hand' beautifully held out to Maillebois, but NOT within grasping distance); gets northwestward some 60 miles, as far as Toplitz [sadly oblique for Eger],--never farther on that errand."
THE MAILLEBOIS ARMY OF REDEMPTION CANNOT REDEEM AT ALL;-- HAS TO STAGGER SOUTHWARD AGAIN; AND BECOMES AN "ARMY OF BAVARIA," UNDER BROGLIO.
"SEPTEMBER 19th-OCTOBER 10th,,'--Scene is, the Eger-VohenStrauss Country, in and about that Bohemian Forest of seventy miles.-- "For three weeks, Maillebois and the Comte de Saxe, trying their utmost, cannot, or cannot to purpose, get through that Bohemian Wood. Only Three practicable Passes in it; difficult each, and each conducting you towards more new difficulties, on the farther side; --not surmountable except by the determined mind. A gloomy business: a gloomy difficult region, solitary, hungry; nothing in it but shaggy chasms (and perhaps Tolpatchery lurking), wastes, mountain woodlands, dumb trees, damp brown leaves. Maillebois and Saxe, after survey, shoot leftwards to Eger; draw food and reinforcement from the Garrison there. They do get through the Forest, at one Pass, the Pass nearest Eger;--but find Prince Karl and the Grand-Duke ranked to receive them on the other side. 'Plunge home upon Prince Karl and the Grand-Duke; beat them, with your Broglio to help in the rear?' That possibly was Friedrich's thought as he watched [now home at Berlin again] the contemporaneous Theatre of War.
"But that was not the Maillebois-Broglio method;--nay, it is said Maillebois was privately forbidden 'to run risks.' Broglio, with his stretched-out hand (12,000 some count him, and indeed it is no matter), sits quiet at Toplitz, far too oblique: 'Come then, come, O Maillebois!' Maillebois,--manoeuvring Prince Karl aside, or Hunger doing it for him,--did once push forward Prag-ward, by the Pass of Caaden; which is very oblique to Toplitz. By the Pass of Caaden,--down the Eger River, through those Mountains of the Circle of Saatz, past a Castle of Ellenbogen, key of the same;--and 'Could have done it [he said always after], had it not been for Comte de Saxe!' Undeniable it is, Saxe, as vanguard, took that Castle of Ellenbogen; and, time being so precious, gave the Tolpatchery dismissal on parole. Undeniable, too, the Tolpatchery, careless of parole, beset Caaden Village thereupon, 4,000 strong; cut off our foreposts, at Caaden Village; and-- In short, we had to retire from those parts; and prove an Army of Redemption that could not redeem at all!