"Chotusitz itself is a poor littery place; standing white-washed, but much unswept: in two straggling rows, now wide enough apart (no Konigseck need now get burnt there): utterly silent under the hot sun; not a child looked out on us, and I think the very dogs lay wisely asleep. Church and steeple are at the farther or south end of the Village, and have an older date than 1742. High up on the steeple, mending the clock-hands or I know not what, hung in mid- air one Czech; the only living thing we saw. Population may be three or four hundred,--all busy with their teams or otherwise, we will hope. Czaslau, which you approach by something of avenues, of human roads (dust and litter still abounding), is a much grander place; say of 2,000 or more: shiny, white, but also somnolent; vast market-place, or central square, sloping against you: two shiny Hotels on it, with Austrian uniforms loitering about;-- and otherwise great emptiness and silence. The shiny Hotels (shine due to paint mainly) offer little of humanly edible; and, in the interior, smells strike you as--as the OLDEST you have ever met before. A people not given to washing, to ventilating! Many gospels have been preached in those parts, aud abstruse Orthodoxies, sometimes with fire and sword, and no end of emphasis; but that of Soap-and-Water (which surely is as Catholic as any, and the plainest of all) has not yet got introduced there!" [Tourist's Note (13th September, 1858).]
Czaslau hangs upon the English mind (were not the ignorance so total) by another tie: it is the resting-place of Zisca, whose drum, or the fable of whose drum, we saw in the citadel of Glatz. Zisca was buried IN his skin, at Czaslau finally: in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul there; with due epitaph; and his big mace or battle-club, mostly iron, hung honorable on the wall close by. Kaiser Ferdinand, Karl V.'s brother, on a Progress to Prag, came to lodge at Czaslau, one afternoon: "What is that?" said the Kaiser, strolling over this Peter-and-Paul's Church, and noticing the mace. "Ugh! Faugh!" growled he angrily, on hearing what; and would not lodge in the Town, but harnessed again, and drove farther that same night. The club is now gone; but Zisca's dust lies there irremovable till Doomsday, in the land where his limbs were made. A great behemoth of a war-captain; one of the fiercest, inflexiblest, ruggedest creatures ever made in the form of man. Devoured Priests, with appetite, wherever discoverable: Dishonorers of his Sister; murderers of the God's-witness John Huss; them may all the Devils help! Beat Kaiser Sigismund SUPRA- GRAMMATICAM again and ever again, scattering the Kitter hosts in an extraordinary manner;--a Zisca conquerable only by Death, and the Pest-Fever passing that way.
His birthplace, Troznow, is a village in the Budweis neighborhood, 100 miles to south. There, for three centuries after him, stood "Zisca's Oak" (under shade of which, his mother, taken suddenly on the harvest-field, had borne Zisca): a weird object, gate of Heaven and of Orcus to the superstitious populations about. At midnight on the Hallow-Eve, dark smiths would repair thither, to cut a twig of the Zisca Oak: twig of it put, at the right moment, under your stithy, insures good luck, lends pith to arm and heart, which is already good luck. So that a Bishop of those parts, being of some culture, had to cut it down, above a hundred years ago,--and build some Chapel in its stead; no Oak there now, but an orthodox Inscription, not dated that I could see. [Hormayr,
Friedrich did not much pursue the Austrians after this Victory; having cleared the Czaslau region of them, he continued there (at Kuttenberg mainly); and directed all his industry to getting Peace made. His experiences of Broglio, and of what help was likely to be had from Broglio,--whom his Court, as Friedrich chanced to know, had ordered "to keep well clear of the King of Prussia,"--had not been flattering. Beaten in this Battle, Broglio's charity would have been a weak reed to lean upon: he is happy to inform Broglio, that though kept well clear of, he is not beaten.
MAP GOES HERE--- Book xiii, page 164----
Blustering Broglio might have guessed that HE now would have to look to himself. But he did not; his eyes naturally dim and bad, being dazzled at this time, by "an ever-glorious victory" (so Broglio thinks it) of his own achieving. Broglio, some couple of days after Czaslau, had marched hastily out of Prag for Budweis quarter, where Lobkowitz and the Austrians were unexpectedly bestirring themselves, and threatening to capture that "Castle of Frauenberg" (mythic old Hill-castle among woods), Broglio's chief post in those regions. Broglio, May 24th, has fought a handsome skirmish (thanks partly to Belleisle, who chanced to arrive from Frankfurt just in the nick of time, and joined Broglio): Skirmish of Sahay; magnified in all the French gazettes into a Victory of Sahay, victory little short of Pharsalia, says Friedrich;--the complete account of which, forgotten now by all creatures, is to be read in him they call Mauvillon; [
"Why not drive him out of Budweis," think the Two French Marshals, "him and whatever force can come? If those lucky Prussians would co-operate, and those unlucky Saxons, how easy were it!"--Belleisle sets off to persuade Friedrich, to persuade Saxony (and we shall see him on the route); Broglio waiting sublime, on the hither side of the Moldau, well within wind of Budweis, till Belleisle prevail, and return with said co-operation, What became of Broglio, waiting in this sublime manner, we shall also have to see; but perhaps not for a great while yet (cannot pause on such absurd phenomena yet), --though Broglio's catastrophe is itself a thing imminent; and, within some ten days of that astonishing Victory of Sahay, astonishes poor Broglio the reverse way. A man born for surprises!
In actual loss of men or of ground, the results of that Chotusitz Affair were not of decisive nature. But it had been fought with obstinacy; with great fury on the Austrian side (who, as it were, had a bet upon it ever since February 25th), Britannic George, and all the world, looking on: and, in dispiritment and discredit to the beaten party, its results were considerable. The voice of all the world, declaring through its Gazetteer Editors, "You cannot beat those Prussians!" voice confirmed by one's own sad thoughts:-- in such sounding of the rams horns round one's Jericho, there is always a strange influence (what is called panic, as if Pan or some god were in it), and one's Jericho is the apter to fall!