It has long been a custom for warlords to announce the outcome of a lost battle to the world in a veiled, comforting manner, as if it were, in fact, just a changed war; on the other hand, they trumpet a lesser success than some decisive triumph.
This is what happened after the Battle of Saor. Did the Austrian General Command bring such a complicated, so clumsy military bulletin to Vienna about the lost waist battle itself that whoever read it didn’t even know where it was forward, where it was backward?
By contrast, the victory of Ferencz Trenk then heralded the complete, perfect failure of the Prussians. The Prussian camp is busy, their beds are nailed, the whole headquarters has been taken prisoner, the king of Prussia himself is an equipase and a table man.-135-his silver also came to prey. This silver portico was sent in advance by Ferenc Trenk to Vienna and it was exposed there in the upstairs windows of the Matsakkerhof restaurant to the amazement of the audience.
The house of Máté Csák was the usual place to stay for Ferenc Trenk, like any other Hungarian lord. Here he spent one forint a day. (This figure is quoted in his biographies as a testament to its shrinkage; but we should know that according to contemporary menus, the Matsakkerhof’s uri restaurant had a lunch price of 24 copper crickets, which consisted of seven dishes, including two types of roast. Ferenc Trenk still has thirty-six pennies left from a forint (rather, we can ask what the sea could spend this money on).
Ferenc Trenk became a benefactor of the easily flaming Viennese audience at the same time. Pamphlets with his portrait were sold on the street and harpists sang horror ballads about him.
It was also fortunate that while Archduke Charles marched north with the still-capable Austrian waist army, below that Trenk had to hurry in the opposite direction in a great hurry. «I had to»: because his army was used to the fact that after a great victory, when he was loaded with prey, he could not be taken into a new battle until everyone took home the loot and placed it. Later, they came back honestly. In this way, only the cavalry that formed the bodyguard remained next to him. They led his entry into the city of Vienna.
His arrival was a real celebration of triumph; from the bastion of the bastion tower to the gate of Burg, all the streets are crowded with people shouting «viva»; from the windows beautiful ladies scattered flowers in front of her; his name was also apt to shake the air out of the mouth of the thousand-giant: «Franz Trenk»! And his appearance surpassed even the wildest news soaring about him. Careful fathers covered their wives a -136-eyes so as not to admire him. Perhaps even Höllen-Breughel could not paint a more perfect Beelzebub on canvas.
What about your riders? These are miracle heroes. Hussars with wolfskin ducks. The mermaids, with their red cloaks, are cute cassettes taken from the Prussians on their heads! A collection of national villains! Legion escaped from executioner!
When Ferencz Trenk reached the yard of Burg, the main guard stood in a gun and saluted to the drums and waved his flag in front of him. The Hartsir guards helped him get off his horse and led him up the embassy stairs. Because the shot’s right leg was shorter than its left, it used to use crutches when walking.
The queen welcomed the hero in the tapestry room and, seeing him coming with a crutch, offered him a chair to sit on; while the whole court escort remained standing. It is such a great piety that only princely guests tend to benefit from it.
His Majesty piled up the hero with exalted praise and, in expression of his highest grace, endowed him with a colonel’s title, with the same rank as the chief officers of the ordinary army, and appointed him Hungarian baron. (It is known that the foreign baron in Hungary, while not being articulated in the Corpus Juris, is only «armer Reisender» and nothing else.)
On the evening of that day, the city of Vienna was illuminated and a lecture was held in honor of Ferencz Trenk at the Burgin Theater (built by Maria Theresa four years earlier for the serious Thalia).
… And a week later, he received a stamped letter from General Trenk Ferencz Cordua summoning him to appear before the special military tribunal, which will be convicted of the charges against him.
Even then, the sins of Ferenc Trenk were talked about throughout the city.
Priests in every church preached that Ferencz Trenk was a blasphemer, a church robber, a sacrilege; -137-persecuting priests, corrupting innocent virgins; swearing and heresy.
Twenty-three pandur officers lingered in Vienna, whom Ferenc Trenk arbitrarily snatched from his army: among them was Todbitter.
This proclamation of the twenty-three wounded opponents proclaimed in the cafés and pubs of the city of Vienna that Ferencz Trenk had not won a victory in the Battle of Saor; but he was downright the reason Prince Charles lost the battle; for instead of attacking King Frederick in the back as ordered, he did not fire a rifle at him; but throughout the battle he gathered the spoils, and giving time to the Prussian cavalry, he caused the plan of war to fail.
There was a lot of truth in the accusation.
The Queen wished that a special military tribunal should be set up to certify the hero she had favored; whose judgment would then ultimately rest the many slanders. The intention was to save, wash Ferenc Trenk clean.
The president of the tribunal, General Cordua, was a waisted, straightforward man who could appreciate the military merits of Ferenc Trenk. The prosecutor was Weber, a councilor.
Many other sins were brought to Ferenc Trenk as a result of the litigation; that he had killed his pandurs with his own hands, if the slightest mistake had been made, that he had not paid his officers’ gas, and that he had deprived the daughter of a miller of his greatest treasure. (This was the most onerous charge against the Queen.)
Ferencz Trenk defended himself very calmly throughout the investigation. He dismissed the charge of failing on the battlefield with reference to Archduke Charles, from whom he had received no order on the day of the battle. The Prussian king, on the other hand, was attacked without command; but it was the prosecuting officers, Todbitter, Buntevicz, and Köppenik, who ran cowardly out of the battle. The other charges are all-138-green fairy tale. And the miller’s daughter was an ordinary hübschlerin, from whom he did not take the treasure of his innocence by force, but rather chased him with a whip for his intrusion.
The only unacceptable accusation left against him was that he arbitrarily deceived his officers and did not pay them their salaries.
Ferencz Trenk did not even want to stop this accusation.
When Todbitter was confronted with him, he had already left his composure.
“Didn’t you get any money from me either?” Doghouse!
– Lying dog! Aren’t you stuffing your bag full of handfuls? You buckwheat!
– Never «your money».
– Oh, you national villain!
– Dixit cacabus ollae. (Katlan buzzes the pots.) Tell me, where did you give me that money?
And during this angry hassle, Trenk laughed, and then Todbitter started laughing at him. They made a laugh in a duet as if the most ridiculous Hanswurstiad was flowing between them.
The judges couldn’t imagine what they were both laughing at.
Well, they laughed at the fact that Trenk couldn’t come up with the clear refutation that lies on our palms. He cannot say that he gave five thousand gold as a dividend to Todbitter in the tent of King Frederick. Because according to the military regulations, the captured enemy military fund belongs to the aerarium. It must therefore be served on Ferenc Trenk as soon as someone mentions it. Only Todbitter could betray me. But that can’t speak either; for then they would take the five thousand gold from him too. That’s what makes us so laughable.
Ferencz Trenk carried the treasure-hiding howitzers with him everywhere. He kept it in a large glass cupboard at his accommodation in Vienna: he showed it to his visitors like his trophies from Soora. But he didn’t let anyone touch him.-139-
The sentenced court finally handed down the verdict. That sounded really gracious to Ferencz. All charges against him were declared unfounded. Rumor has it all. According to military rules, Ferencz Trenk can not be objected to. But at the same time, they were condemned for paying the arrears of the dismissed officers. Summa summarum twelve thousand forints.
Well, what is twelve thousand forints? Get rid of the limbus at such a potom price?
Ferenc Trenk’s chariot of triumph then rises on this bagatelle. Due to his miserable twelve thousand forints, he lost his fame, ancient wealth, millions, future, freedom, everything.