HISTORY OF FRIEDRICH II OF PRUSSIA, Volume 14
by Thomas Carlyle
BOOK XIV.—THE SURROUNDING EUROPEAN WAR DOES NOT END.—August, 1742-July, 1744.
Chapter I.—FRIEDRICH RESUMES HIS PEACEABLE PURSUITS.
Friedrich's own Peace being made on such terms, his wish and hope was, that it might soon be followed by a general European one; that, the live-coal, which had kindled this War, being quenched, the War itself might go out. Silesia is his; farther interest in the Controversy, except that it would end itself in some fair manner, he has none. "Silesia being settled," think many, thinks Friedrich for one, "what else of real and solid is there to settle?"
The European Public, or benevolent individuals of it everywhere, indulged also in this hope. "How glorious is my King, the youngest of the Kings and the grandest!" exclaims Voltaire (in his Letters to Friedrich, at this time), and re-exclaims, till Friedrich has to interfere, and politely stop it: "A King who carries in the one hand an all-conquering sword, but in the other a blessed olive-branch, and is the Arbiter of Europe for Peace or War!" "Friedrich the THIRD [so Voltaire calls him, counting ill, or misled by ignorance of German nomenclature], Friedrich the Third, I mean Friedrich the Great (FREDERIC LE GRAND)," will do this, and do that;—probably the first emergence of that epithet in human speech, as yet in a quite private hypothetic way. [Letters of Voltaire, in OEuvres de Frederic, xxii. 100, &c.: this last Letter is of date "July, 1742"—almost contemporary with the "Jauer Transparency" noticed above.] Opinions about Friedrich's conduct, about his talents, his moralities, there were many (all wide of the mark): but this seemed clear, That the weight of such a sword as his, thrown into either scale, would be decisive; and that he evidently now wished peace. An unquestionable fact, that latter! Wished it, yes, right heartily; and also strove to hope,—though with less confidence than the benevolent outside Public, as knowing the interior of the elements better.
These hopes, how fond they were, we now all know. True, my friends, the live-coal which kindled this incendiary whirlpool (ONE of the live-coals, first of them that spread actual flame in these European parts, and first of them all except Jenkins's Ear) is out, fairly withdrawn; but the fire, you perceive, rages not the less. The fire will not quench itself, I doubt, till the bitumen, sulphur and other angry fuel have run much lower! Austria has fighting men in abundance, England behind it has guineas; Austria has got injuries, then successes:—there is in Austria withal a dumb pride, quite equal in pretensions to the vocal vanity of France, and far more stubborn of humor. The First Nation of the Universe, rashly hurling its fine-throated hunting-pack, or Army of the Oriflamme, into Austria,—see what a sort of badgers, and gloomily indignant bears, it has awakened there! Friedrich had to take arms again; and an unwelcome task it was to him, and a sore and costly. We shall be obliged (what is our grand difficulty in this History) to note, in their order, the series of European occurrences; and, tedious as the matter now is, keep readers acquainted with the current of that big War; in which, except Friedrich broad awake, and the Ear of Jenkins in somnambulancy, there is now next to nothing to interest a human creature.
It is an error still prevalent in England, though long since exploded everywhere else, that Friedrich wanted new wars, "new successful robberies," as our Gazetteers called them; and did wilfully plunge into this War again, in the hope of again doing a stroke in that kind. English readers, on consulting the facts a little, will not hesitate to sweep that notion altogether away. Shadow of basis, except in their own angry uninformed imaginations, they will find it never had; and that precisely the reverse is manifest in Friedrich's History. A perfectly clear-sighted Friedrich; able to discriminate shine from substance; and gravitating always towards the solid, the actual. That of "GLOIRE," which he owns to at starting, we saw how soon it died out, choked in the dire realities. That of Conquering Hero, in the Macedonia's-madman style, was at all times far from him, if the reader knew it,—perhaps never farther from any King who had such allurements to it, such opportunities for it. This his First Expedition to Silesia—a rushing out to seize your own stolen horse, while the occasion answered—was a voluntary one; produced, we may say, by Friedrich's own thought and the Invisible Powers. But the rest were all purely compulsory,—to defend the horse he had seized. Clear necessities, and Powers very Visible, were the origin of all his other Expeditions and Warlike Struggles, which lasted to the end of his life.
That recent "Moravian Foray;" the joint-stock principle in War matters; and the terrible pass a man might reduce himself to, at that enormous gaming-table of the gods, if he lingered there: think what considerations these had been for him! So that "his look became FAROUCHE," in the sight of Valori; and the spectre of Ruin kept him company, and such hell-dogs were in chase of him;—till Czaslau, when the dice fell kind again! All this had been didactic on a young docile man. He was but thirty gone. And if readers mark such docility at those years, they will find considerable meaning in it. Here are prudence, moderation, clear discernment; very unusual VERACITY of intellect, as we define it,—which quality, indeed, is the summary and victorious outcome of all manner of good qualities, and faithful performances, in a man. "Given up to strong delusions," in the tragical way many are, Friedrich was not; and, in practical matters, very seldom indeed "believed a lie."
Certain it is, he now resumes his old Reinsberg Program of Life; probably with double relish, after such experiences the other way; and prosecutes it with the old ardor; hoping much that his History will be of halcyon pacific nature, after all. Would the mad War-whirlpool but quench itself; dangerous for singeing a near neighbor, who is only just got out of it! Fain would he be arbiter, and help to quench it; but it will not quench. For a space of Two Years or more (till August, 1744, Twenty-six Months in all), Friedrich, busy on his own affairs, with carefully neutral aspect towards this War, yet with sword ready for drawing in case of need, looks on with intense vigilance; using his wisest interference, not too often either, in that sense and in that only, "Be at Peace; oh, come to Peace!"—and finds that the benevolent Public and he have been mistaken in their hopes. For the next Two Years, we say:—for the first Year (or till about August, 1743), with hope not much abated, and little actual interference needed; for the latter Twelvemonth, with hope ever more abating; interference, warning, almost threatening ever more needed, and yet of no avail, as if they had been idle talking and gesticulation on his part:—till, in August, 1744, he had to—But the reader shall gradually see it, if by any method we can show it him, in something of its real sequence; and shall judge of it by his own light.
Friedrich's Domestic History was not of noisy nature, during this interval:—and indeed in the bewildered Records given of it, there is nothing visible, at first, but one wide vortex of simmering inanities; leading to the desperate conclusion that Friedrich had no domestic history at all. Which latter is by no means the fact! Your poor Prussian Dryasdust (without even an Index to help you) being at least authentic, if you look a long time intensely and on many sides, features do at last dawn out of those sad vortexes; and you find the old Reinsberg Program risen to activity again; and all manner of peaceable projects going on. Friedrich visits the Baths of Aachen (what we call Aix-la-Chapelle); has the usual Inspections, business activities, recreations, visits of friends. He opens his Opera-House, this first winter. He enters on Law-reform, strikes decisively into that grand problem; hoping to perfect it. What is still more significant, he in private begins writing his MEMOIRS. And furthermore, gradually determines on having a little Country House, place of escape from his big Potsdam Palace; and gets plans drawn for it,—place which became very famous, by the name of SANS-SOUCI, in times coming. His thoughts are wholly pacific; of Life to Minerva and the Arts, not to Bellona and the Battles:—and yet he knows well, this latter too is an inexorable element. About his Army, he is quietly busy; augmenting, improving it; the staff of life to Prussia and him.
Silesian Fortress-building, under ugly Walrave, goes on at a steadily swift rate. Much Silesian settlement goes on; fixing of the Prussian-Austrian Boundaries without; of the Catholic-Protestant limits within: rapid, not too rough, remodelling of the Province from Austrian into Prussian, in the Financial, Administrative and every other respect:—in all which important operations the success was noiseless, but is considered to have been perfect, or nearly so. Cannot we, from these enormous Paper-masses, carefully riddled, afford the reader a glimpse or two, to quicken his imagination of these things?
SETTLES THE SILESIAN BOUNDARIES, THE SILESIAN ARRANGEMENTS; WITH MANIFEST PROFIT TO SILESIA AND HIMSELF.
In regard to the Marches, Herr Nussler, as natural, was again the person employed. Nussler, shifty soul, wide-awake at all times, has already seen this Country; "noticed the Pass into Glatz with its block-house, and perceived that his Majesty would want it." From September 22d to December 12th, 1742, the actual Operation went on; ratified, completely set at rest, 16th January following. [Busching, Beitrage,? Nussler: and Busching's Magazin, b. x. (Halle, 1776); where, pp. 475-538, is a "GESCHICHTE DER &c. SHLESISCHEN GRANZSCHEIDUNG IM JAHR 1742," in great amplitude and authenticity.] Nussler serves on three thalers (nine shillings) a day. The Austrian Head-Commissioner has 5 pounds (thirty thalers) a day; but he is an elderly fat gentleman, pursy, scant of breath; cannot stand the rapid galloping about, and thousand-fold inspecting and detailing; leaves it all to Nussler; who goes like the wind. Thus, for example, Nussler dictates, at evening from his saddle, the mutual Protocol of the day's doings; Old Pursy sitting by, impatient for supper, and making no criticisms. Then at night, Nussler privately mounts again; privately, by moonlight, gallops over the ground they are to deal with next day, and takes notice of everything. No wonder the boundary-pillars, set up in such manner, which stand to this day, bear marks that Prussia here and there has had fair play!—Poor Nussler has no fixed appointment yet, except one of about 100 pounds a year: in all my travels I have seen no man of equal faculty at lower wages. Nor did he ever get any signal promotion, or the least exuberance of wages, this poor Nussler;—unless it be that he got trained to perfect veracity of workmanship, and to be a man without dry-rot in the soul of him; which indeed is incalculable wages. Income of 100 pounds a year, and no dry-rot in the soul of you anywhere; income of 100,000 pounds a year, and nothing but dry and wet rot in the soul of you (ugly appetites unveracities, blusterous conceits,—and probably, as symbol of all things, a pot-belly to your poor body itself): Oh, my friends!
In settling the Spiritual or internal Catholic-Protestant limits of Silesia, Friedrich did also a workmanlike thing. Perfect fairness between Protestant and Catholic; to that he is bound, and never needed binding. But it is withal his intention to be King in Catholic Silesia; and that no Holy Father, or other extraneous individual, shall intrude with inconvenient pretensions there. He accordingly nominates the now Bishop of Neisse and natural Primate of Silesia,—Cardinal von Sinzendorf, who has made submission for any late Austrian peccadilloes, and thoroughly reconciled himself,—nominates Sinzendorf "Vicar-General" of the Country; who is to relieve the Pope of Silesian trouble, and be himself Quasi-Supreme of the Catholic Church there. "No offence, Holy Papa of Christian Mankind! Your holy religion is, and shall be, intact in these parts; but the palliums, bulls and other holy wares and interferences are not needed here. On that footing, be pleased to rest content."
The Holy Father shrieked his loudest (which is now a quite calculable loudness, nothing like so loud as it once was); declared he would "himself join the Army of Martyrs sooner;" and summoned Sinzendorf to Rome: "What kind of HINGE are you, CARDINALIS of the Gates of"—Husht! Shrieked his loudest, we say; but, as nobody minded it, and as Sinzendorf would not come, had to let the matter take its course. [Adelung, iii. A. 197-200.] And, gradually noticing what correct observance of essentials there was, he even came quite round, into a high state of satisfaction with this Heretic King, in the course of a few years. Friedrich and the Pope were very polite to each other thenceforth; always ready to do little mutual favors. And it is to be remarked, Friedrich's management of his Clergy, Protestant and Catholic, was always excellent; true, in a considerable degree, to the real law of things; gentle, but strict, and without shadow of hypocrisy,—in which last fine particular he is singularly unique among Modern Sovereigns.
He recognizes honestly the uses of Religion, though he himself has little; takes a good deal of pains with his Preaching Clergy, from the Army-Chaplain upwards,—will suggest texts to them, with scheme of sermon, on occasion;—is always anxious to have, as Clerical Functionary, the right man in the important place; and for the rest, expects to be obeyed by them, as by his Sergeants and Corporals. Indeed, the reverend men feel themselves to be a body of Spiritual Sergeants, Corporals and Captains; to whom obedience is the rule, and discontent a thing not to be indulged in by any means. And it is worth noticing, how well they seem to thrive in this completely submissive posture; how much real Christian worth is traceable in their labors and them; and what a fund of piety and religious faith, in rugged effectual form, exists in the Armies and Populations of such a King. ["In 1780, at Berlin, the population being 140,000, there are of ECCLESIASTIC kind only 140; that is 1 to the 1,000;—at Munchen there are thirty times as many in proportion" (Mirabeau, Monarchie Prussienne, viii. 342; quoting NICOLAI).]...
By degrees the Munchows and Official Persons intrusted with Silesia got it wrought in all respects, financial, administrative, judicial, secular and spiritual, into the Prussian model: a long tough job; but one that proved well worth doing. [In Preuss (i. 197-200), the various steps (from 1740 to 1806).] In this state, counts one authority, it was worth to Prussia "about six times what it had been to Austria;"—from some other forgotten source, I have seen the computation "eight times." In money revenue, at the end of Friedrich's reign, it is a little more than twice; the "eight times" and the "six times," which are but loose multiples, refer, I suppose, to population, trade, increase of national wealth, of new regiments yielded by new cantons, and the like. [Westphalen, in Feldzuge des Herzogs Ferdinand (printed, Berlin, 1859, written 100 years before by that well-informed person), i. 65, says in the rough "six times:" Preuss, iv. 292, gives, very indistinctly, the ciphers of Revenue, in 1740 and SOME later Year: according to Friedrich himself (Oeuvres, ii. 102), the Silesian Revenue at first was "3,600,000 thalers" (540,000 pounds, little more than Half a Million); Population, a Million-and-Half.]
Six or eight times as useful to Prussia: and to the Inhabitants what multiple of usefulness shall we give? To be governed on principles fair and rational, that is to say, conformable to Nature's appointment in that respect; and to be governed on principles which contradict the very rules of Cocker, and with impious disbelief of the very Multiplication Table: the one is a perpetual Gospel of Cosmos and Heaven to every unit of the Population; the other a Gospel of Chaos and Beelzebub to every unit of them: there is no multiple to be found in Arithmetic which will express that!—Certain of these advantages, in the new Government, are seen at once; others, the still more valuable, do not appear, except gradually and after many days and years. With the one and the other, Schlesien appears to have been tolerably content. From that Year 1742 to this, Schlesien has expressed by word and symptom nothing but thankfulness for the Transfer it underwent; and there is, for the last Hundred Years, no part of the Prussian Dominion more loyal to the Hohenzollerns (who are the Authors of Prussia, without whom Prussia had never been), than this their latest acquisition, when once it too got moulded into their own image. [Preuss, i. 193, and ib. 200 (Note from Klein, a Silesian Jurist): "Favor not merit formerly;" "Magistracies a regular branch of TRADE;"—"highway robbers on a strangely familiar footing with the old Breslau magistrates;" &c. &c.]
OPENING OF THE OPERA-HOUSE AT BERLIN.
... December 7th, this Winter, Carnival being come or just coming, Friedrich opens his New Opera-House, for behoof of the cultivated Berlin classes; a fine Edifice, which had been diligently built by Knobelsdorf, while those Silesian battlings went on. "One of the largest and finest Opera-houses in the whole world; like a sumptuous Palace rather. Stands free on all sides, space for 1,000 Coaches round it; Five great Entrances, five persons can walk abreast through each; and inside—you should see, you should hear! Boxes more like rooms or boudoirs, free view and perfect hearing of the stage from every point: air pure and free everywhere; water aloft, not only for theatrical cascades, but to drown out any fire or risk of fire." [Seyfarth, i. 234; Nicolai, Beschreibung von Berlin, i. 169.] This is Seyfarth's account, still capable of confirmation by travelling readers of a musical turn. I have seen Operas with much more brilliancy of gas and gilding; but none nearly so convenient to the human mind and sense; or where the audience (not now a gratis one) attended to the music in so meritorious a way.
"Perhaps it will attract moneyed strangers to frequent our Capital?"—some guess, that was Friedrich's thought. "At all events, it is a handsome piece of equipage, for a musical King and People; not to be neglected in the circumstances. Thalia, in general,—let us not neglect Thalia, in such a dearth of worshipable objects." Nor did he neglect Thalia. The trouble Friedrich took with his Opera, with his Dancing-Apparatus, French Comedy, and the rest of that affair, was very great. Much greater, surely, than this Editor would have thought of taking; though, on reflection, he does not presume to blame. The world is dreadfully scant of worshipable objects: and if your Theatre is your own, to sweep away intrusive nonsense continually from the gates of it? Friedrich's Opera costs him heavy sums (surely I once knew approximately what, but the sibylline leaf is gone again upon the winds!)—and he admits gratis a select public, and that only. [Preuss, i. 277; and Preuss, Buch fur Jedermann, i. 100.] "This Winter, 1742-43, was unusually magnificent at Court: balls, WIRTHSCHAFTEN [kind of MIMIC FAIRS], sledge-parties, masquerades, and theatricals of all sorts;—and once even, December 2d, the new Golden Table-Service [cost of it 200,000 pounds] was in action, when the two Queens [Queen Regnant and Queen Mother] dined with his Majesty."
FRIEDRICH TAKES THE WATERS AT AACHEN, WHERE VOLTAIRE COMES TO SEE HIM.
Months before that of the Opera-House or those Silesian settlements, Friedrich, in the end of August, what is the first thing visible in his Domestic History, makes a visit, for health's sake, to Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle so called), with a view to the waters there. Intends to try for a little improvement in health, as the basis of ulterior things. Health has naturally suffered a little in these War-hardships; and the Doctors recommend Aix. After Wesel, and the Westphalian Inspections, Friedrich, accordingly, proceeds to Aix; and for about a fortnight (23th August-9th September) drinks the waters in that old resting-place of Charlemagne;—particulars not given in the Books; except that "he lodged with Baege" (if any mortal now knew Baege), and did an Audience or so to select persons now unknown. He is not entirely incognito, but is without royal state; the "guard of twenty men, the escort of 160 men," being no men of his, but presumably mere Town-guard of Aix coming in an honorary way. Aix is proud to see him; he himself is intent on the waters here at old Aix:—
Aquisgranum, urbs regalis, Sedes Regni principalis:—
My friend, this was Charlemagne's high place; and his dust lies here, these thousand years last past. And there used to soar "a very large Gilt Eagle," ten feet wide or so, aloft on the Cathedral-steeple there; Eagle turned southward when the Kaiser was in Frankenland, eastward when he was in Teutsch or Teuton-land; in fact, pointing out the Kaiser's whereabouts to loyal mankind. [Kohler, Reichs-Historie.] Eagle which shines on me as a human fact; luminously gilt, through the dark Dryasdustic Ages, gone all spectral under Dryasdust's sad handling. Friedrich knows farther, that for many centuries after, the "Reich's INSIGNIA (REICHS-KLEINODIEN)" used to be here,—though Maria Theresa has them now, and will not give them up. The whole of which points are indifferent to him. The practical, not the sentimental, is Friedrich's interest;—not to say that WERTER and the sentimental were not yet born into our afflicted Earth. A King thoroughly practical;—yet an exquisite player on the flute withal, as we often notice; whose adagio could draw tears from you. For in himself, too, there were floods of tears (as when his Mother died); and he has been heard saying, not bragging but lamenting, what was truly the fact, that "he had more feeling than other men." But it was honest human feeling always; and was repressed, where not irrepressible;—as it behooved to be.
Friedrich's suite was not considerable, says the French spy at Aix on this occasion; pomp of Entrance,—a thing to be mute upon! "Came driving in with the common post-horses of the country; and such a set of carriages as your Lordship, intent on the sublime, has no idea of." [Spy-Letter, in Campagnes des Trois Marechaux, i. 222.] Rumor was, His Britannic Majesty was coming (also on pretext of the waters) to confer with him; other rumor is, If King George came in at one gate, King Friedrich would go out at the other. A dubious Friedrich, to the French spy, at this moment; nothing like so admirable as he once was!—
The French emotions (of which we say little), on Friedrich's making Peace for himself, had naturally been great. To the French Public it was unexpected, somewhat SUDDEN even to the Court; and, sure enough, it was of perilous importance in the circumstances. Few days ago, Broglio (by order given him) "could not spare a man," for the Common Cause;—and now the Common Cause has become entirely the Broglio one, and Broglio will have the full use of all his men! "Defection [plainly treasonous to your Liege Lord and Nation]! horrible to think of!" cried the French Public; the Court outwardly taking a lofty tragic-elegiac tone, with some air of hope that his Prussian Majesty would perhaps come round again, to the side of his afflicted France! Of which, except in the way of helping France and the other afflicted parties to a just Peace if he could, his Prussian Majesty had small thought at this time.
More affecting to Friedrich were the natural terrors of the poor Kaiser on this event. The Kaiser has already had his Messenger at Berlin, in consequence of it; with urgent inquiries, entreaties;—an expert Messenger, who knows Berlin well. So other than our old friend, the Ordnance-Master Seckendorf, now titular Feldmarschall,—whom one is more surprised than delighted to meet again! Being out with Austria (clamoring for great sums of "arrears," which they will not pay), he has been hanging about this new Kaiser, ever since Election-time; and is again getting into employment, Diplomatic, Strategic, for some years,—though we hope mostly to ignore him and it. Friedrich's own feeling at sight of him,—ask not about it, more than if there had been none! Friedrich gave him "a distinguished reception;" Friedrich's answer sent by him to the Kaiser was all kindness; emphatic assurance, "That, not 'hostility' by any means, that loyalty, friendship, and aid wherever possible within the limits, should always be his rule towards the now Kaiser, lawful Head of the Reich, in difficult circumstances." ["Audience, 30th July" (Adelung, iii. A, 217).] Which was some consolation to the poor man,—stript of his old revenues, old Bavarian Dominions, and unprovided with new; this sublime Headship of the Reich bring moneyless; and one's new "Kingdom of Bohemia" hanging in so uncertain a state, with nothing but a Pharsalia-Sahay to show for itself!—
Among Friedrich's "inconsiderable suite," at Aachen, was Prince Henri (his youngest Brother, age now sixteen, a small, sensitive, shivering creature, but of uncommon parts); and another young man, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, his Wife's youngest Brother; a soldier, as all the Brothers are; soldier in Friedrich's Army, this one; in whose fine inarticulate eupeptic character are excellent dispositions and capacities discernible. Ferdinand goes generally with the King; much about him in these years. All the Brothers follow soldiering; it is the one trade of German Princes. When at home, Friedrich is still occasionally with his Queen; who lives at Schonhausen, in the environs of Berlin, but goes with him to Charlottenburg, to old Reinsberg; and has her share of galas in his company, with the Queen Mother and cognate Highnesses.
Another small fact, still more memorable at present, is, That Voltaire now made him a Third Visit,—privately on Fleury's instance, as is evident this time. Of which Voltaire Visit readers shall know duly, by and by, what little is knowable. But, alas, there is first an immense arrear of War-matters to bring up; to which, still more than to Voltaire, the afflicted reader must address himself, if he would understand at all what Friedrich's Environment, or circumambient Life-element now was, and how Friedrich, well or ill, comported himself in the same. Brevity, this Editor knows, is extremely desirable, and that the scissors should be merciless on those sad Paper-Heaps, intolerable to the modern mind; but, unless the modern mind chance to prefer ease and darkness, what can an Editor do!
Chapter II.—AUSTRIAN AFFAIRS ARE ON THE MOUNTING HAND.
Austrian affairs are not now in their nadir-point; a long while now since they passed that. Austria, to all appearance dead, started up, and began to strike for herself, with some success, the instant Walpole's SOUP-ROYAL (that first 200,000 pounds, followed since by abundance more) got to her lips. Touched her poor pale lips; and went tingling through her, like life and fiery elasticity, out of death by inanition! Cardinal moment, which History knows, but can never date, except vaguely, some time in 1741; among the last acts of judicious Walpole.
Austria, thanks to its own Khevenhullers and its English guineas, was already rising in various quarters: and now when the Prussian Affair is settled, Austria springs up everywhere like an elastic body with the pressure taken from it; mounts steadily, month after month, in practical success, and in height of humor in a still higher ratio. And in the course of the next Two Years rises to a great height indeed. Here—snatched, who knows with what difficulty, from that shoreless bottomless slough of an Austrian-Succession War, deservedly forgotten, and avoided by extant mankind—are some of the more essential phenomena, which Friedrich had to witness in those months. To witness, to scan with such intense interest,—rightly, at his peril;—and to interpret as actual "Omens" for him, as monitions of a most indisputable nature! No Haruspex, I suppose, with or without "white beard, and long staff for cutting the Heavenly Vault into compartments from the zenith downwards," could, in Etruria or elsewhere, "watch the flight of birds, now into this compartment, now into that," with stricter scrutiny than, on the new terms, did this young King from his Potsdam Observatory.
WAR-PHENOMENA IN THE WESTERN PARTS: KING GEORGE TRIES, A SECOND TIME, TO DRAW HIS SWORD; TUGS AT IT VIOLENTLY, FOR SEVEN MONTHS (February- October, 1742).
"The first phenomenon, cheering to Austria, is that of the Britannic Majesty again clutching sword, with evident intent to draw it on her behalf. [Tindal, xx. 552; Old Newspapers; &c. &c.] Besides his potent soup-royal of Half-Millions annually, the Britannic Majesty has a considerable sword, say 40,000, of British and of subsidized;—sword which costs him a great deal of money to keep by his side; and a great deal of clamor and insolent gibing from the Gazetteer species, because he is forced to keep it strictly in the scabbard hitherto. This Year, we observe, he has determined again to draw it, in the Cause of Human Liberty, whatever follow. From early Spring there were symptoms: Camps on Lexden and other Heaths, much reviewing in Hyde-Park and elsewhere; from all corners a universal marching towards the Kent Coast; the aspects being favorable. 'We can besiege Dunkirk at any rate, cannot we, your High Mightinesses? Dunkirk, which, by all the Treaties in existence, ought to need no besieging; but which, in spite of treatyings innumerable, always does?' The High Mightinesses answer nothing articulate, languidly grumble something in OPTATIVE tone;—'meaning assent,' thinks the sanguine mind. 'Dutch hoistable, after all!' thinks he; 'Dutch will co-operate, if they saw example set!' And, in England, the work of embarking actually begins.
"Britannic Majesty's purpose, and even fixed resolve to this effect, had preceded the Prussian-Austrian Settlement. May 20th, ["9th" by the Old Newspapers; but we always TRANSLATE their o.s.] 'Two regiments of Foot,' first poor instalment of British Troops, had actually landed at Ostend;—news of the Battle of Chotusitz, much more, of the Austrian-Prussian Settlement, or Peace of Breslau, would meet them THERE. But after that latter auspicious event, things start into quick and double-quick time; and the Gazetteers get vocal, almost lyrical: About Howard's regiment, Ponsonby's regiment, all manner of regiments, off to Flanders, for a stroke of work; how 'Ligonier's Dragoons [a set of wild swearing fellows, whom Guildford is happy to be quit of] rode through Bromley with their kettle-drums going, and are this day at Gravesend to take ship;'"—or to give one other, more specific example:
"Yesterday [3d July, 1742] General Campbell's Regiment of Scotch Greys arrived in the Borough of Southwark, on their march to Dover, where they are to embark for Flanders. They are fine hardy fellows, that want no seasoning; and make an appearance agreeable to all but the innkeepers,"—who have such billeting to do, of late. [Daily Post, June 23d (o.s.), 1742.] "Grey Dragoons," or Royal Scots-Greys, is the title of this fine Regiment; and their Colonel is Lieutenant-General John Campbell, afterwards Duke of Argyle (fourth Duke), Cousin of the great second Duke of Argyle that now is. [Douglas, Scotch Peerage (Edinburgh, 1764), p. 44.] Visibly billeting there, in Southwark, with such intentions:—and, by accident, this Editor knows Twenty of these fine fellows! Twenty or so, who had gone in one batch as Greys; sons of good Annandale yeomen, otherwise without a career open: some Two of whom did get back, and lived to be old men; the rumor of whom, and of their unheard-of adventures, was still lingering in the air, when this Editor began existence. Pardon, O reader!—
"But, all through those hot days, it is a universal drumming, kettle-drumming, coast-ward; preparation of transports at Gravesend, at the top of one's velocity. 'All the coopers in London are in requisition for water-casks, so that our very brewers have to pause astonished for want of tubs.' There is pumping in of water day and night, Sunday not excepted, then throwing of it out again [owing to new circumstances]: 250 saddle-horses, and 100 sumpter ditto, for his Majesty's own use,—these need a deal of water, never to speak of Ligonier and the Greys. 'For the honor of our Country, his Majesty will make a grander appearance this Campaign than any of his Predecessors ever did; and as to the magnificence of his equipage,'—besides the 350 quadrupeds, 'there are above 100 rich portmanteaus getting ready with all expedition.' [Daily Post, September 13th (I.E. 26th).] The Fat Boy too [Royal Highness Duke of Cumberland, one should say] is to go; a most brave-hearted, flaxen-florid, plump young creature; hopeful Son of Mars, could he once get experience, which, alas, he never could, though trying it for five-and-twenty years to come, under huge expense to this Nation! There are to be 16,000 troops, perhaps more; '1,000 sandbags' (empty as yet); demolition of Dunkirk the thing aimed at." If only the Dutch prove hoistable!—
"And so, from May on to September, it noisily proceeds, at multiplex rates? and often with more haste than speed: and in such five months (seven, strictly counted) of clangorous movement and dead-lift exertion, there were veritably got across, of Horse and Foot with their equipments, the surprising number of '16,334 men.' [Adelung, iii. A, 201.] May 20th it began,—that is, the embarking began; the noise and babble about it, which have been incessant ever since, had begun in February before;—and on September 26th, Ostend, now almost weary of huzzaing over British glory by instalment, had the joy of seeing our final portions of Artillery arrive: Such a Park of Siege-and-Field Artillery," exults the Gazetteer, "as"—as these poor creatures never dreamt of before.
"Magnanimous Lord Stair, already Plenipotentiary to the Dutch, is to be King's General-in-Chief of this fine Enterprise; Carteret, another Lord of some real brilliancy, and perhaps of still weightier metal, is head of the Cabinet; hearty, both of them, for these Anti-French intentions: and the Public cannot but think, Surely something will come of it this time? More especially now that Maillebois, about the middle of August, by a strange turn of fortune, is swept out of the way. Maillebois, lying over in Westphalia with his 30 or 40,000, on 'Check to your King' this year past, had, on sight of these Anti-Dunkirk movements, been ordered to look Dunkirk way, and at length to move thitherward, for protection of Dunkirk. So that Stair, before his Dunkirk business, will have to fight Maillebois; which Stair doubts not may be satisfactorily done. But behold, in August and earlier, come marvellous news from the Prag quarter, tragical to France; and Maillebois is off, at his best speed, in the reverse direction; on a far other errand!"—Of which readers shall soon hear enough.
"Dunkirk, therefore, is now open. With 16,000 British troops, Hanoverians to the like number, and Hessians 6,000, together near 40,000, not to speak of Dutch at all, surely one might manage Dunkirk, if not something still better? It is AFTER Maillebois's departure that these dreadful exertions, coopering of water-casks, pumping all Sunday, go on at Gravesend: 'Swift, oh, be swift, while time is!' And Generalissimo-Plenipotentiary Stair, who has run over beforehand, is ardent enough upon the Dutch; his eloquence fiery and incessant: 'Magnanimous High Mightinesses, was there, will there again be, such a chance? The Cause of Human Liberty may be secured forever! Dunkirk—or what is Dunkirk even? Between us and Paris, there is nothing, now that Maillebois is off on such an errand! Why should not we play Marlborongh again, and teach them a little what Invasion means? It is ourselves alone that can hinder it! Now, I say, or never!'
"Stair was a pupil of Marlborough's; is otherwise a shining kind of man; and has immense things in his eye, at this time. They say, what is not unlikely, he proposed an Interview with Friedrich now at Aachen; would come privately, to 'take the waters' for a day or two,—while Maillebois was on his new errand, and such a crisis had risen. But Friedrich, anxious to be neutral and give no offence, politely waived such honor. Lord Stair was thought to be something of a General, in fact as well as in costume;—and perhaps he was so. And had there been a proper COUNTESS of Stair, or new Sarah Jennings,—to cover gently, by art-magic, the Britannic Majesty and Fat Boy under a tub; and to put Britain, and British Parliament and resources, into Stair's hand for a few years,—who knows what Stair too might have done! A Marlborough in the War Arts,—perhaps still less in the Peace ones, if we knew the great Marlborough,—he could not have been. But there is in him a recognizable flash of magnanimity, of heroic enterprise and purpose; which is highly peculiar in that sordid element. And it can be said of him, as of lightning striking ineffectual on the Bog of Allen or the Stygian Fens, that his strength was never tried."—For the upshot of him we will wait; not very long.
These are fine prospects, if only the Dutch prove hoistable. But these are as nothing to what is passing, and has passed, in the Eastern Parts, in the Bohemian-Bavarian quarter, since we were there. Poor Kaiser Karl, what an outlook for him! His own real Bavaria, much more his imaginary "Upper Austria" and "Conquests on the Donau," after that Segur Adventure, are plunging headlong. As to his once "Kingdom of Bohemia," it has already plunged; nay, the Army of the Oriflamme is itself near plunging, in spite of that Pharsalia of a Sahay! Bavaria itself, we say, is mostly gone to Khevenhuller; Segur with his French on march homeward, and nothing but Bavarians left. The Belleisle-Broglio grand Budweis Expedition is gone totally heels over head; Belleisle and Broglio are getting, step by step, shut up in Prag and besieged there: while Maillebois—Let us try whether, by snatching out here a fragment and there a fragment, with chronological and other appliances, it be not possible to give readers some conceivable notion of what Friedrich was now looking at with such interest!—
HOW DUC D'HARCOURT, ADVANCING TO REINFORCE THE ORIFLAMME, HAD TO SPLIT HIMSELF IN TWO; AND BECOME AN "ARMY OF BAVARIA," TO LITTLE EFFECT.
The poor Kaiser, who at one time counted "30,000 Bavarians of his own," has all along been ill served by them and the bad Generals they had: two Generals; both of whom, Minuzzi, and old Feldmarschall Thorring (Prime Minister withal), came to a bad reputation in this War. Beaten nearly always; Thorring quite always,—"like a DRUM, that Thorring; never heard of except when beaten," said the wits! Of such let us not speak. Understand only, FIRST, that the French, reasonably soon after that Linz explosion, did, in such crisis, get reinforcements on the road; a Duc d'Harcourt with some 25,000 faring forward, in an intermittent manner, ever since "March 4th." And SECONDLY, that Khevenhuller has fast hold of Passau, the Austrian-Bavarian Key-City; is master of nearly all Bavaria (of Munchen, and all that lies south of the Donau); and is now across on the north shore, wrenching and tugging upon Kelheim and the Ingolstadt-Donauworth regions, with nothing but Thorring people and small French Garrisons to hinder him;—where it will be fatal if he quite prosper; Ingolstadt being our Place-of-Arms, and House on the Highway, both for Bavaria and Bohemia!
"For months past, there had been a gleam of hope for Kaiser Karl, and his new 'Kingdom of Bohemia,' and old Electorate of Bavaria, from the rumor of 'D'Harcourt's reinforcement,'—a 20 or 30,000 new Frenchmen marching into those parts, in a very detached intermittent manner; great in the Gazettes. But it proved a gleam only, and came to nothing effectual. Poor D'Harcourt, owing to cross orders [Groglio clamorously demanding that the new force should come to Prag; Karl Albert the Kaiser, nominally General-in-Chief, demanding that it should go down the Donau and sweep his Bavaria clear], was in difficulty. To do either of these cross orders might have brought some result; but to half-do both of them, as he was enjoined to attempt, was not wise! Some half of his force he did detach towards Broglio; which got to actual junction, partly before, partly after, that Pharsalia-Sahay Affair, and raised Broglio to a strength of 24,000,—still inadequate against Prince Karl. Which done, D'Harcourt himself went down the Donau, on his original scheme, with the remainder of his forces,—now likewise become inadequate. He is to join with Feldmarschall Thorring in the"—And does it, as we shall see presently!...
MUNCHEN, 5th MAY. "Rumor of D'Harcourt had somewhat cleared Bavaria of Austrians; but the reality of him, in a divided state, by no means corresponds. Thus Munchen City, in the last days of April,—D'Harcourt advancing, terrible as a rumor,—rejoiced exceedingly to see the Austrians march out, at their best pace. And the exultant populace even massacred a loitering Tolpatch or two; who well deserve it, think the populace, judging by their experience for the last three months, since Barenklau and Mentzel became King here.—'Rumor of D'Harcourt?' answers Khevenhuller from the Kelheim-Passau side of things: 'Let us wait for sight of him, at least!' And orders Munchen to be reoccupied. So that, alas, 'within a week,' on the 5th of May, Barenklau is back upon the poor City; exacts severe vengeance for the Tolpatch business; and will give them seven months more of his company, in spite of D'Harcourt, and 'the Army of Bavaria' as he now called himself:"—new "Army of Bavaria," when once arrived in those Countries, and joined with poor Thorring and the Kaiser's people there. Such an "Army of Bavaria," first and last, as—as Khevenhuller could have wished it! Under D'Harcourt, joined with old Feldmarschall Thorring (him whom men liken to a DRUM, "never heard of except when beaten"), this is literally the sum of what fighting it did:
"HILGARTSBERG (Deggendorf Donau-Country), MAY 28th. D'Harcourt and Thorring, after junction at Donauworth several weeks ago, and a good deal of futile marching up and down in those Donau Countries,—on the left bank, for most part; Khevenhuller holding stiffly, as usual, by the Inn, the Iser, and the rivers and countries on the right,—did at last, being now almost within sight of Passau and that important valley of the Inn across yonder, seriously decide to have a stroke at Passau, and to dislodge Khevenhuller, who is weak in force, though obstinate. They perceive that there is, on this left bank, a post in the woods, Castle of Hilgartsberg, none of the strongest Castles, rather a big Country Mansion than a Castle, which it will be necessary first to take. They go accordingly to take it (May 28th, having well laid their heads together the day before); march through intricate wet forest country, peat above all abundant; see the Castle of Hilgartsberg towering aloft, picturesque object in the Donau Valley, left bank;—are met by cannon-shot, case-shot, shot of every kind; likewise by Croats apparently innumerable, by cavalry sabrings and levelled bayonets; do not behave too well, being excessively astonished; and are glad to get off again, leaving one of their guns lodged in the mud, and about a hundred unfortunate men. [Guerre de Boheme, ii. 146-148, 136, &c.] This quite disgusted D'Harcourt with the Passau speculation and these grim Khevenhuller outposts. He straightway took to collecting Magazines; lodging himself in the attainable Towns thereabouts, Deggendorf the chief strength for him; and gave up fighting till perhaps better times might arrive." We will wish him good success in the victualling department, hope to hear no more of him in this History;—and shall say only that Comte de Saxe, before long, relieves him of this Bavarian Army;—and will be seen at the head of it, on a most important business that rises.
Kaiser Karl begins to have real thoughts of recalling this Thorring, who is grown so very AUDIBLE, altogether home; and of appointing Seckendorf instead. A course which Belleisle has been strongly recommending for some time. Seckendorf is at present "gathering meal in the Ober-Pfalz" (Upper Palatinate, road from Ingolstadt to Eger, to Bohmen generally), that is, forming Magazines, on the Kaiser's behalf there: "Surely a likelier man than your Thorring!" urges Belleisle always. With whom the Kaiser does finally comply; nominates Seckendorf commander,—recalls the invaluable Thorring! "to his services in our Cabinet Council, which more befit his great age." In which safe post poor Thorring, like a Drum NOT beaten upon, has thenceforth a silent life of it; Seckendorf fighting in his stead,—as we shall have to witness, more or less.
Khevenhuller's is a changed posture, since he stood in Vienna, eight or nine months ago; grimly resolute, drilling his "6,000 of garrison," with the wheelbarrows all busy!—But her Hungarian Majesty's chief success, which is now opening into outlooks of a quite triumphant nature, has been that over the New Oriflamme itself, the Belleisle-Broglio Army,—most sweet to her Majesty to triumph over! Shortly after Chotusitz, shortly after that Pharsalia of a Sahay, readers remember Belleisle's fine Project, "Conjoined attack on Budweis, and sweeping of Bohemia clear;"—readers saw Belleisle, in the Schloss of Maleschau, 5th June last, rushing out (with violence to his own wig, says rumor); hurrying off to Dresden for co-operation; equally in vain. "Co-operation, M. le Marechal; attack on Budweis?"—Here is another Fragment:—
HOW BELLEISLE, RETURNING FROM DRESDEN WITHOUT CO-OPERATION FOUND THE ATTACK HAD BEEN DONE,—IN A FATALLY REVERSE WAY. PRAG EXPECTING SIEGE. COLLOQUY WITH BROGLIO ON THAT INTERESTING POINT. PRAG BESIEGED.
BUDWEIS, JUNE 4th,-PRAG, JUNE 13th. "Broglio, ever since that Sahay [which had been fought so gloriously on Frauenberg's account], lay in the Castle of Frauenberg, in and around,—hither side of the Moldau river, with his Pisek thirty miles to rear, and judicious outposts all about. There lay Broglio, meditating the attack on Budweis [were co-operation once here],—when, contrariwise, altogether on the sudden, Budweis made attack on Broglio; tumbled him quite topsy-turvy, and sent him home to Prag, uncertain which end uppermost; rolling like a heap of mown stubble in the wind, rather than marching like an army!"... Take one glance at him:—
"JUNE 4th, 1742 [day BEFORE that of Belleisle's "Wig" at Maleschau, had Belleisle known it!]—Prince Karl, being now free of the Prussians, and ready for new work, issued suddenly from Budweis; suddenly stept across the Moldau,—by the Bridge of Moldau-Tein, sweeping away the French that lay there. Prince Karl swept away this first French Post, by the mere sight and sound of him; swept away, in like fashion, the second and all following posts; swept Broglio himself, almost without shot fired, and in huge flurry, home to Prag, double-quick, night and day,—with much loss of baggage, artillery, prisoners, and total loss of one's presence of mind. 'Poor man, he was born for surprises' [said Friedrich's Doggerel long ago]! Manoeuvred consummately [he asserts] at different points, behind rivers and the like; but nowhere could he call halt, and resolutely stand still. Which undoubtedly he could and should have done, say Valori and all judges;—nothing quite immediate being upon him, except the waste-howling tagraggery of Croats, whom it had been good to quench a little, before going farther. On the third night, June 7th, he arrived at Pisek; marched again before daybreak, leaving a garrison of 1,200,—who surrendered to Prince Karl next day, without shot fired. Broglio tumbling on ahead, double-quick, with the tagraggery of Croats continually worrying at his heels, baggage-wagons sticking fast, country people massacring all stragglers, panted home to Prag on the 13th; with 'the Gross of the Army saved, don't you observe!' And thinks it an excellent retreat, he if no one-else. [Guerre de Boheme, ii. 122, &c.; Campagnes, v. 167 (his own Despatch).]
"At Pisek, Prince Karl has ceased chasing with his regulars, the pace being so uncommonly swift. From Pisek, Prince Karl struck off towards Pilsen, there to intercept a residue of Harcourt reinforcements who were coming that way: from Broglio, who knew of it, but in such flurry could not mind it, he had no hindrance; and it was by good luck, not management of Broglio's, that these poor reinforcements did in part get through to him, and in part seek refuge in Eger again. Broglio has encamped under the walls of Prag; in a ruinous though still blusterous condition; his positions all gone; except Prag and Eger, nothing in Bohemia now his."
PRAG, 17th JUNE-17th AUGUST. "It is in this condition that Belleisle, returning from the Kuttenberg-Dresden mission (June 15th), finds his Broglio. Most disastrous, Belleisle thinks it; and nothing but a Siege in Prag lying ahead; though Broglio is of different opinion, or, blustering about his late miraculous retreat, and other high merits too little recognized, forms no opinion at all on such extraneous points.... From Versailles, they had answered Belleisle: 'Nothing to be made of Dresden either, say you? Then go you and take the command at Prag; send Broglio to command the Bavarian Army. See, you, what can be done by fighting.' On this errand Belleisle is come, the heavy-laden man, and Valori with him,—if, in this black crisis, Valori could do anything. Valori at least reports the colloquy the Two Marshals had [one bit of colloquy, for they had more than one, though as few as possible; Broglio being altogether blusterous, sulphurous, difficult to speak with on polite terms]. [Valori, i. 162-166; Campagnes, v. 170, 124, &c. &c.] 'Army of Bavaria?' answers Broglio; 'I will have those Ten Battalions of the D'Harcourt reinforcement, then. I tell you, Yes! Prag? Prag may go to the—What have I to do with Prag? The oldest Marechal of France, superseded, after such merits, and on the very heel of such a retreat! Nay, but where is YOUR commission to command in Prag, M. le Marechal?' Belleisle, in the haste there was, has no Commission rightly drawn out by the War-office; only an Order from Court. 'I have a regular commission, Monseigneur: I want a Sign-manual before laying it down!' The unreasonable Broglio.
"Belleisle, tormented with rheumatic nerves, and of violent temper at any rate, compresses the immense waste rage that is in him. His answers to Broglio are calm and low-voiced; admirable to Valori. One thing he wished to ascertain definitely: What M. de Broglio's intentions were; and whether he would, or would not, go to Bavaria and take charge there? If so, he shall have all the Cavalry for escort; Cavalry, unless it be dragoons, will only eat victual in case of siege.—No, Broglio will not go with Cavalry; must have those Ten Battalions, must have Sign-manual; won't, in short!"—Will stay, then, thinks Belleisle; and one must try to drive him, as men do pigs, covertly and by the rule of contraries, while Prag falls under Siege.
What an outlook for his Most Christian Majesty's service,—fatal altogether, had not Belleisle been a high man, and willing to undertake pig-driving!... "Discouragement in the Army is total, were it not for Belleisle; anger against Broglio very great. The Officers declare openly, 'We will quit, if Broglio continue General! Our commissions were made out in the name of Marechal de Belleisle [in the spring of last Year, when he had such levees, more crowded than the King's!]—we are not bound to serve another General!'—'You recognize ME for your General?' asks Belleisle. 'Yes!'—'Then, I bid you obey M. de Broglio, so long as he is here.' [Valori, i. 166.]...
"JUNE 27th. The Grand-Duke, Maria Theresa's Husband, come from Vienna to take command-in-chief, joins the Austrian main Army and his Brother Karl, this day: at Konigsaal, one march to the south of Prag. Friedrich being now off their hands, why should not they besiege Prag, capture Prag! Under Khevenhuller, with Barenklau, and the Mentzels, Trencks,—poor D'Harcourt merely storing victual,—Bavaria lies safe enough. And the Oriflamme caged in Prag:—Have at the Oriflamme!
"Prag is begirdled, straitened more and more, from this day. Formal Siege to begin, so soon [as the artillery can come up' which is not for seven weeks yet]. And so, in fine, 'AUGUST 17th, all at once,' furious bombardment bursts out, from 36 mortars and above 100 big guns, disposed in batteries around. [Guerre de Boheme, ii. 149, 170.] To which the French, Belleisle's high soul animating everything, as furiously responded; making continual sallies of a hot desperate nature; especially, on the fifth day of the siege, one sally [to be mentioned by and by] which was very famous at Prag and at Paris."...
CONCERNING THE ITALIAN WAR WHICH SIMULTANEOUSLY WENT ON, ALL ALONG.
War in Italy—the Spanish Termagant very high in her Anti-Pragmatic notions—there had been, for eight months past; and it went on, fiercely enough, doggedly enough, on both sides for Six Years more, till 1748, when the general Finis came. War of which we propose to say almost nothing; but must request the reader to imagine it, all along, as influential on our specific affairs.
The Spanish Termagant wished ardently to have the Milanese and pertinents, as an Apanage for her second Infant, Don Philip; a young gentleman who now needs to be provided for, as Don Carlos had once done. "Cannot get to be Pope this one, it appears," said the fond Mother (who at one time looked that way for her Infant,): "Well, here is the Milanese fallen loose!" Readers know her for a lady of many claims, of illimitable aspirations; and she went very high on the Pragmatic Question. "Headship of the Golden Fleece, Madam; YOU head of it? I say all Austria, German and Italian, is mine!"—though she has now magnanimously given up the German part to Kaiser Karl VII.; and will be content with the Italian, as an Apanage for Don Philip. And so there is War in Italy, and will be. To be imagined by us henceforth.
A War in which these Three Elements are noticeable as the chief. FIRST, the Sardinian Majesty, [Charles Emanuel, Victor Amadeus's Son (Hubner, t. 293): born 27th April, 1701; lived and reigned till 19th February, 1773 (OErtel, t. 77).] who is very anxious himself for Milanese parings and additaments; but, except by skilfully playing off-and-on between the French side and the Austrian, has no chance of getting any. For Spain he is able to fight; and also (on good British Subsidies) against Spain. Element SECOND is the British Navy, cruising always between Spain and the Seat of War; rendering supplies by sea impossible,—almost impossible. THIRD, the Passes of Savoy; wild Alpine chasms, stone-labyrinths; inexpugnable, with a Sardinian Majesty defending; which are the one remaining road, for Armies and Supplies, out of Spain or France.
The Savoy Passes are, in fact, the gist of the War; the insoluble problem for Don Philip and the French. By detours, by circuitous effort and happy accident, your troops may occasionally squeeze through: but without one secure road open behind them for supplies and recruitments, what good is it? Battles there are, behind the Alps, on what we may call the STAGE itself of this Italian War-theatre; but the grand steady battle is that of France and Don Philip, struggling spasmodically, year after year, to get a road through the COULISSES or side-scenes,—namely, those Savoy Passes. They try it by this Pass and by that; Pass of Demont, Pass of Villa-Franca or Montalban (glorious for France, but futile), Pass of Exilles or Col d'Assiette (again glorious, again futile and fatal); sometimes by the way of Nice itself, and rocky mule-tracks overhanging the sea-edge (British Naval-cannon playing on them);—and can by no way do it.
There were fine fightings, in the interior too, under Generals of mark; General Browne doing feats, excellent old General Feldmarschall Traun, of whom we shall hear; Maillebois, Belleisle the Younger, of whom we have heard. There was Battle of Campo-Santo, new battle there (Traun's); there was Battle of Rottofreddo; of Piacenza (doleful to Maillebois),—followed by Invasion of Provence, by Revolt of Genoa and other things: which all readers have now forgotten. [Two elaborate works on the subject are said to be instructive to military readers: Buonamici (who was in it, for a while). De Bello Italico Commentarii (in Works of Buonamici, Lyon, 1750); and Pezay, Campagnes de Maillebois (our Westphalian friend again) en Italie, 1745-1746 (Paris, 1775).] Readers are to imagine this Italian War, all along, as a fact very loud and real at that time, and continually pulsing over into our German Events (like half-audible thunder below the horizon, into raging thunder above), little as we can afford to say of it here. One small Scene from this Italian War;—one, or with difficulty two;—and if possible be silent about all the rest:
SCENE, ROADS OF CADIZ, October, 1741: BY WHAT ASTONISHING ARTIFICE THIS ITALIAN WAR DID, AT LENGTH, GET BEGUN.
... "The Spanish Court, that is, Termagant Elizabeth, who rules everybody there, being in this humor, was passionate to begin; and stood ready a good while, indignantly champing the bit, before the sad preliminary obstacles could be got over. At Barcelona she had, in the course of last summer, doubly busy ever since Mollwitz time, got into equipment some 15,000 men; but could not by any method get them across,—owing to the British Fleets, which hung blockading this place and that; blockading Cadiz especially, where lay her Transport-ships and War-ships, at this interesting juncture. Fleury's cunctations were disgusting to the ardent mind; and here now, still more insuperable, are the British Fleets; here—and a pest to him!—is your Admiral Haddock, blockading Cadiz, with his Seventy-fours!
"But again, on the other or Pragmatic side, there were cunctations. The Sardinian Majesty, Charles Emanuel of Savoy, holding the door of the Alps, was difficult to bargain with, in spite of British Subsidies;—stood out for higher door-fees, a larger slice of the Milanese than could be granted him; had always one ear open for France, too; in short, was tedious and capricious, and there seemed no bringing him to the point of drawing sword for her Hungarian Majesty. In the end, he was brought to it, by a stroke of British Art,—such to the admiring Gazetteer and Diplomatic mind it seemed;—equal to anything we have since heard of, on the part of perfidious Albion.
"One day, 'middle of October last,' the Seventy-fours of Haddock and perfidious Albion,—Spanish official persons, looking out from Cadiz Light-house, ask themselves, 'Where are they? Vanished from these waters; not a Seventy-four of them to be seen!'—Have got foul in the underworks, or otherwise some blunder has happened; and the blockading Fleet of perfidious Albion has had to quit its post, and run to Gibraltar to refit. That, I guess, was the Machiavellian stroke of Art they had done; without investigating Haddock and Company [as indignant Honorable Members did], I will wager, That and nothing more!
"In any case, the Termagant, finding no Seventy-fours there, and the wind good, despatches swiftly her Transports and War-ships to Barcelona; swiftly embarks there her 15,000, France cautiously assisting; and lands them complete, 'by the middle of December,' Haddock feebly opposing, on the Genoa coast: 'Have at the Milanese, my men!' Which obliges Charles Emanuel to end his cunctations, and rank at once in defence of that Country, [Adelung, ii. 535, 538 (who believes in the "stroke of art"): what kind of "art" it was, learn sufficiently in Gentleman's Magazine, &c. of those months.] lest he get no share of it whatever. And so the game began. Europe admired, with a shudder, the refined stroke of art; for in cunning they equal Beelzebub, those perfidious Islanders;—and are always at it; hence their greatness in the world. Imitate them, ye Peoples, if you also would grow great. That is our Gazetteer Evangel, in this late epoch of Man's History."...
OTHER SCENE, BAY OF NAPLES, 19th-20th August, 1742: KING OF TWO SICILIES (BABY CARLOS THAT WAS), HAVING BEEN ASSISTING MAMMA, IS OBLIGED TO BECOME NEUTRAL IN THE ITALIAN WAR.
Readers will transport themselves to the Bay of Naples, and beautiful Vesuvian scenery seen from sea. The English-Spanish War, it would appear, is not quite dead, nor carried on by Jenkins and the Wapping people alone. Here in this Bay it blazes out into something of memorability; and gives lively sign of its existence, among the other troubles of the world.
"SUNDAY, AUGUST 19th, Commodore Martin, who had arrived overnight, appears in the Bay, with due modicum of seventy-fours, 'dursley galleys,' bomb-vessels, on an errand from his Admiral [one Matthews] and the Britannic Majesty, much to the astonishment of Naples. Commodore Martin hovers about, all morning, and at 4 P.M. drops anchor,—within shot of the place, fearfully near;—and therefrom sends ashore a Message: 'That his Sicilian Majesty [Baby Carlos, our notable old friend, who is said to be a sovereign of merit otherwise], has not been neutral, in this Italian War, as his engagements bore; but has joined his force to that of the Spaniards, declared enemies of his Britannic Majesty; which rash step his Britannic Majesty hereby requires him to retract, if painful consequences are not at once to ensue!' That is Martin's message; to which he stands doggedly, without variation, in the extreme flutter and multifarious reasoning of the poor Court of Naples: 'Recall your 20,000 men, and keep them recalled,' persists Martin; and furthermore at last, as the reasoning threatens to get lengthy: 'Your answer is required within one hour,'—and lays his watch on the Cabin-table.
"The Court, thrown into transcendent tremor, with no resource but either to be burnt or comply, answers within the hour: 'Yes: in all points.' Some eight hours or so of reasoning: deep in the night of Sunday, it is all over; everything preparing to get signed and sealed; ships making ready to sail again;—and on Tuesday at sunrise, there is no Martin there. Martin, to the last top-gallant, has vanished clean over the horizon; never to be seen again, though long remembered. [Tindal's Rapin, xx. 572 (MISdates, and is altogether indistinct); Gentleman's Magazine, xii. 494:—CAME, "Sunday morning, 19th August, n.s.;" "anchored about 4 p.m.;" "2 a.m. of 20th" all agreed; King Carlos's LETTER is GOT, ships prepared for sailing;—sail that night, and to-morrow, 21st, are out of sight.] One wonders, Were Pipes and Hatchway perhaps there, in Martin's squadron? In what station Commodore Trunnion did then serve in the British Navy? Vanished ghosts of grim mute sea-kings, there is no record of them but what is itself a kind of ghost! Ghost, or symbolical phantasm, from the brain of that Tobias Smollett; an assistant Surgeon, who served in the body along with them, his singular value altogether unknown."—King Carlos's Neutrality, obtained in this manner, lasted for a year-and-half; a sensible alleviation to her Hungarian Majesty for the time. We here quit the Italian War; leaving it to the reader's fancy, on the above terms. .......
THE SIEGE OF PRAG CONTIMES. A GRAND SALLY THERE.
"PRAG, 22d AUGUST. In the same hours, while Martin lay coercing Naples, the Army of the Oriflamme in Prag City was engaged in 'furious sallies;'"—readers may divine what that means for Prag and the Oriflamme!
"Prag is begirdled, bombarded from all the Wischerads, Ziscabergs and Hill environments; every avenue blocked, 'above 60,000 Austrians round it, near 40,000 of them regulars:' a place difficult to defend; but with excellent arrangements for defence on Belleisle's part, and the garrison with its blood up. Garrison makes continual furious sallies,—which are eminently successful, say the French Newspapers; but which end, as all sallies do, in returning home again, without conquest, except of honor;—and on this Wednesday, 22d August, comes out with the greatest sally of all. [Campagnes, vi. 5; Guerre de Boheme, ii. 173.] While Commodore Martin, many a Pipes and Hatchway standing grimly on the watch unknown to us, is steering towards Matthews and the Toulon waters again. The equal sun looking down on all.
"It was about twelve o'clock, when this Prag sally, now all in order, broke out, several thousand strong, and all at the white heat, now a constant temperature. Sally almost equal to that Pharsalia of a Sahay, it would seem;—concerning which we can spend no word in this brief summary. Fierce fighting, fiery irresistible onslaught; but it went too far, lost all its captured cannon again; and returned only with laurels and a heavy account of killed and wounded,—the leader of it being himself carried home in a very bleeding state. 'Oh, the incomparable troops!' cried Paris;—cried Voltaire withal (as I gather), and in very high company, in that Visit at Aachen. A sally glorious, but useless.
"The Imperial Generals were just sitting down to dinner, when it broke out; had intended a Council of War, over their wine, in the Grand-Duke's tent: 'What, won't they let us have our dinner!' cried Prince Karl, in petulant humor, struggling to be mirthful. He rather likes his dinner, this Prince Karl, I am told, and does not object to his wine: otherwise a hearty, talky, free-and-easy Prince,—'black shallow-set eyes, face red, and much marked with small-pox.' Clapping on his hat, faculties sharpened by hunger and impatience, let him do his best, for several hours to come, till the sally abate and go its ways again. Leaving its cannon, and trophies. No sally could hope to rout 60,000 men; this furious sally, almost equal to Sahay, had to return home again, on the above terms. Upon which Prince Karl and the others got some snatch of dinner; and the inexorable pressure of Siege, tightening itself closer and closer, went on as before.
"The eyes of all Europe are turned towards Prag; a big crisis clearly preparing itself there.... France, or aid in France, is some 500 miles away. In D'Harcourt, merely gathering magazines, with his Khevenhuller near, is no help; help, not the question there! The garrison of Eger, 100 miles to west of us, across the Mountains, barely mans its own works. Other strong post, or support of any kind in these countries, we have now none. We are 24,000; and of available resource have the Magazines in Prag, and our own right hands.
"The flower of the young Nobility had marched in that Oriflamme;—now standing at bay, they and it, in Prag yonder: French honor itself seems shut up there! The thought of it agitates bitterly the days and nights of old Fleury, who is towards ninety now, and always disliked war. The French public too,—we can fancy what a public! The young Nobility in Prag has its spokes-men, and spokes-women, at Versailles, whose complaint waxes louder, shriller; the whole world, excited by rumor of those furious sallies, is getting shrill and loud. What can old Fleury do but order Maillebois: 'Leave Dunkirk to its own luck; march immediately for relief of Prag!' And Maillebois is already on march; his various divisions (August 9th-20th) crossing the Rhine, in Dusseldorf Country;"—of whom we shall hear.
... "Some time before the actual Bombardment, Fleury, seeing it inevitable, had ordered Belleisle to treat. Belleisle accordingly had an interview, almost two interviews, with Konigseck. [Guerre de Boheme, ii. 156 ("2d July" the actual interview); ib. 161 (the corollary to it, confirmatory of it, which passed by letters).] 'Liberty to march home, and equitable Peace-Negotiations in the rear?' proposed Belleisle. 'Absolute surrender; Prisoners of War!' answered Konigseck; 'such is her Hungarian Majesty's positive order and ultimatum.' The high Belleisle responded nothing unpolite; merely some, 'ALORS, MONSIEUR—!' And rode back to Prag, with a spirit all in white heat;—gradually heating all the 24,000 white, and keeping them so.
"In fact, Belleisle, a high-flown lion reduced to silence and now standing at bay, much distinguishes himself in this Siege; which, for his sake, is still worth a moment's memory from mankind. He gathers himself into iron stoicism, into concentration of endeavor; suffers all things, Broglio's domineering in the first place; as if his own thin skin were that of a rhinoceros; and is prepared to dare all things. Like an excellent soldier, like an excellent citizen. He contrives, arranges; leads, covertly drives the domineering Broglio, by rule of contraries or otherwise, according to the nature of the beast; animates all men by his laconic words; by his silences, which are still more emphatic.... Sechelles, provident of the future, has laid in immense supplies of indifferent biscuit; beef was not attainable: Belleisle dismounts his 4,000 cavalry, all but 400 dragoons; slaughters 160 horses per day, and boils the same by way of butcher's-meat, to keep the soldier in heart. It is his own fare, and Broglio's, to serve as example. At Broglio's quarter, there is a kind of ordinary of horse-flesh: Officers come in, silent speed looking through their eyes; cut a morsel of the boiled provender, break a bad biscuit, pour one glass of indifferent wine; and eat, hardly sitting the while, in such haste to be at the ramparts again. The 80,000 Townsfolk, except some Jews, are against them to a man. Belleisle cares for everything: there is strict charge on his soldiers to observe discipline, observe civility to the Townsfolk; there is occasional 'hanging of a Prag Butcher' or so, convicted of spyship, but the minimum of that, we will hope."
MAILLEBOIS MARCHES, WITH AN "ARMY OF REDEMPTION" OR "OF MATHURINS" (WITTILY SO CALLED), TO RELIEVE PRAG; REACHES THE BOHEMIAN FRONTIER, JOINED BY THE COMTE DE SAXE; ABOVE 50,000 STRONG (August 9th-September 19th).
Maillebois has some 40,000 men: ahead of him 600 miles of difficult way; rainy season come, days shortening; uncertain staff of bread ("Seckendorf's meal," and what other commissariat there may be): a difficult march, to Amberg Country and the top of the Ober-Pfalz. After which are Mountain-passes; Bohemian Forest: and the Event—? "Cannot be dubious!" thinks France, whatever Maillebois think. Witty Paris, loving its timely joke, calls him Army of Redemption, "L'ARMEE DES MATHURINS,"—a kind of Priests, whose business is commonly in Barbary, about Christian bondage:—how sprightly! And yet the enthusiasm was great: young Princes of the Blood longing to be off as volunteers, needing strict prohibition by the King;—upon which, Prince de Conti, gallant young fellow, leaving his wife, his mistress, and miraculously borrowing 2,500 pounds for equipments, rushed off furtively by post; and did join, and do his best. Was reprimanded, clapt in arrest for three days; but afterwards promoted; and came to some distinction in these Wars. [Barbier, ii. 326 (that of Conti, ib. 331); Adelung, &c.]
The March goes continually southeast; by Frankfurt, thence towards Nurnberg Country ("be at Furth, September 6th"), and the skirts of the Pine-Mountains (FICHTEL-GEBIRGE),—Anspach and Baireuth well to your left;—end, lastly, in the OBER-PFALZ (Upper Palatinate), Town of Amberg there. Before trying the Bohemian Passes, you shall have reinforcement. Best part of the "Bavarian Army," now under Comte de Saxe, not under D'Harcourt farther, is to cease collecting victual in the Donau-Iser Countries (Deggendorf, north bank of Donau, its head-quarter); and to get on march,—circling very wide, not northward, but by the Donan, and even by the SOUTH, bank of it mainly (to avoid the hungry Mountains and their Tolpatcheries),—and, at Amberg, is to join Maillebois. This is a wide-lying game.
The great Marlborough used to play such, and win; making the wide elements, the times and the spaces, hit with exactitude: but a Maillebois?"He is called by the Parisians, 'VIEUX PETIT-MAITRE (dandy of sixty,' so to speak); has a poor upturned nose, with baboon-face to match, which he even helps by paint."... Here is one Scene; at Frankfurt-on-Mayn; fact certain, day not given.
FRANKFURT, "LATTER END OF AUGUST," 1742. "At Frankfurt, his Army having got into the neighborhood,"—not into Frankfurt itself, which, as a REICHS-STADT, is sacred from Armies and their marchings,—"Marechal de Maillebois, as in duty bound, waited on the Kaiser to pay his compliments there: on which occasion, we regret to say, Marechal de Maillebois was not so reverent to the Imperial Majesty as he should have been. Angry belike at the Adventure now forced on him, and harassed with many things; seeing in the Imperial Majesty little but an unfortunate Play-actor Majesty, who lives in furnished lodgings paid for by France, and gives France and Maillebois an infinite deal of trouble to little purpose. Certain it is, he addressed the Imperial Majesty in the most free-and-easy manner; very much the reverse of being dashed by the sacred Presence: and his Officers in the ante-chamber, crowding about, all day, for presentation to the Imperial Majesty, made a noise, and kept up a babble of talk and laughter, as if it had been a mess-room, instead of the Forecourt of Imperial Majesty. So that Imperial Majesty, barely master of its temper and able to finish without explosion, signified to Maillebois on the morrow, That henceforth it would dispense with such visits, Poor Imperial Majesty; a human creature doing Play-actorisms of too high a flight. He had the finest Palace in Germany; a wonder to the Great Gustavus long ago: and now he has it not; mere Meutzels and horrent shaggy creatures rule in Munchen and it: and the Imperial quasi-furnished lodgings are respected in this manner!" [Van Loon, Kleine Schriften, ii. 271 (cited in Buchholz, ii. 71). CAMPAGNES is silent; usually suppressing scenes of that kind.]—The wits say of him, "He would be Kaiser or Nothing: see you, he is Kaiser and Nothing!" ["Aut nihil aut Caesar, Bavarus Dux esse volebat; Et nihil et Caesar factus utrumque simul." (Barbier, ii. 322.)]...
AUGUST 19th-SEPTEMBER 14th. "Comte de Saxe is on march, from Deggendorf; north bank of the Donau, by narrow mountain roads; then crosses the Donau to south bank, and a plain country;—making large circuit, keeping the River on his right,—to meet Maillebois at Amberg; his force, some 10 or 12,000 men. Seckendorf, now Bavarian Commander-in-chief, accompanies Saxe; with considerable Bavarian force, guess 20,000, 'marching always on the left.' Accompanies; but only to Regensburg, to Stadt-am-Hof, a Suburb of Regensburg, where they cross the Donau again."—SUBURB of Regensburg, mark that; Regensburg itself being a Reichs-Stadt, very particularly sacred from War;—the very Reichs-DIET commonly sitting here; though it has gone to Frankfurt lately, to be with its Kaiser, and out of these continual trumpetings and tumults close by. [Went 10th May, 1742,—after three months' arguing and protesting on the Austrian part (Adelung, iii. A, 102, 138).]—"At Regensburg, once across, Seckendorf with his Bavarians calls halt; plants himself down in Kelheim, Ingolstadt, and the safe Garrisons thereabouts,—calculates that, if Khevenhuller should be called away Prag-ward, there may be a stroke do-able in these parts. Saxe marches on; straight northward now, up the Valley of the Naab; obliged to be a good deal on his guard. Mischievous Tolpatcheries and Trencks, ever since he crossed the Donau again, have escorted him, to right, as close as they durst; dashing out sometimes on the magazines." One of the exploits they had done, take only one:—in their road TOWARDS Saxe, a few days ago:—
... "SEPTEMBER 7th, Trenck with his Tolpatcheries had appeared at Cham,—a fine trading Town on the hither or neutral side of the mountains [not in Bohmen, but in Ober-Pfalz, old Kur-Pfalz's country, whom the Austrians hate];—and summoning and assaulting Cham, over the throat of all law, had by fire and by massacre annihilated the same. [Adelung, iii A, 258; Guerre de Boheme; &c.] Fact horrible, nearly incredible; but true. The noise of which is now loud everywhere. Less lovely individual than this Trenck [Pandour Trenck, Cousin of the Prussian one,] there was not, since the days of Attila and Genghis, in any War. Blusters abominably, too; has written [save the mark!] an 'AUTOBIOGRAPHY,'—having happily afterwards, in Prison and even in Bedlam, time for such a Work;—which is stuffed with sanguinary lies and exaggerations: unbeautifulest of human souls. Has a face the color of indigo, too;—got it, plundering in an Apothecary's [in this same country, if I recollect]: 'ACH GOTT, your Grace, nothing of money here!' said the poor Apothecary, accompanying Colonel Trenck with a lighted candle over house and shop. Trenck, noticing one likely thing, snatched the candle, held it nearer:—likely thing proved gunpowder; and Trenck, till Doomsday, continues deep blue. [Guerre de Boheme.] Soul more worthy of damnation I have seldom known."
"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 difficult."
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; Campagnes, v. 348.]
"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!
"Maillebois and Saxe wend sulkily down the Naab Valley (having lost, say 15,000, not by fighting, but by mud and hardship); and the rapt European Public (shilling-gallery especially) says, with a sneer on its face, 'Pooh; ended, then!' Sulkily wending, Maillebois and Saxe (October 30th-November 7th) get across the Donau, safe on the southern bank again; march for the Iser Country and the D'Harcourt Magazines,—and become 'Grand Bavarian Army,' usual refuge of the unlucky."...
OF SECKENDORF IN THE INTERIM. "For Belleisle and relief of Prag, Maillebois in person had proved futile; but to Seckendorf, waiting with his Bavarians, the shadow and rumor of Maillebois had brought famous results,—famous for a few weeks. Khevenhuller being called north to help in those Anti-Maillebois operations, and only Barenklau with about 10,000 Austrians now remaining in Baiern, Seckendorf, clearly superior (not to speak of that remnant of D'Harcourt people, with their magazines), promptly bestirred himself, in the Kelheim-Ingolstadt Country; got on march; and drove the Austrians mostly out of Baiern. Out mostly, and without stroke of sword, merely by marching; out for the time. Munchen was evacuated, on rumor of Seckendorf (October 4th): a glad City to see Barenklau march off. Much was evacuated,—the Iser Valley, down partly to the Inn Valley,—much was cleared, by Seckendorf in these happy circumstances. Who sees himself victorious, for once; and has his fame in the Gazettes, if it would last. Pretty much without stroke of sword, we say, and merely by marching: in one place, having marched too close, the retreating Barenklau people turned on him, 'took 100 prisoners' before going; [Espagnac, i. 166.]—other fighting, in this line 'Reconquest of Bavaria,' I do not recollect. Winter come, he makes for Maillebois and the Iser Countries; cantons himself on the Upper Inn itself, well in advance of the French [Braunau his chief strong-place, if readers care to look on the Map]; and strives to expect a combined seizure of Passau, and considerable things, were Spring come."...
AND OF BROGLIO IN THE INTERIM. "As for Broglio, left alone at Toplitz, gazing after a futile Maillebois, he sends the better half of his Force back to Prag; other half he establishes at Leitmeritz: good halfway-house to Dresden. 'Will forward Saxon provender to you, M. de Belleisle!' (never did, and were all taken prisoners some weeks hence). Which settled, Broglio proceeded to the Saxon Court; who answered him: 'Provender? Alas, Monseigneur! We are (to confess it to you!) at Peace with Austria: [Treatying ever since "July 17th;" Treaty actually done, "11th September") (Adelung, iii. A, 201, 268).] not an ounce of provender possible; how dare we?'—but were otherwise politeness itself to the great Broglio. Great Broglio, after sumptuous entertainments there, takes the road for Baiern; circling grandly ('through Nurnberg with escort of 500 Horse') to Maillebois's new quarters;—takes command of the 'Bavarian Army' (may it be lucky for him!); and sends Maillebois home, in deep dudgeon, to the merciless criticisms of men. 'Could have done it,' persists the VIEUX PETIT-MAITRE always, 'had not'—one knows what, but cares not, at this date!—
"Broglio's quarters in the Iser Country, I am told, are fatally too crowded, men perishing at a frightful rate per day. [Espagnac, i. 182.] 'Things all awry here,—thanks to that Maillebois and others!' And Broglio's troubles and procedures, as is everywhere usual to Broglio, run to a great height in this Bavarian Command. And poor Seckendorf, in neighborhood of such a Broglio, has his adoes; eyes sparkling; face blushing slate-color; at times nearly driven out of his wits;—but strives to consume his own smoke, and to have hopes on Passau notwithstanding."—And of Belleisle in Prag, and his meditations on the Oriflamme?—Patience, reader.
Meantime, what a relief to Kaiser Karl, in such wreck of Bohemian Kingdoms and Castles in Spain, to have got his own Munchen and Country in hand again; with the prospect of quitting furnished-lodgings, and seeing the color of real money! April next, he actually goes to Munchen, where we catch a glimpse of him. ["17th April, 1743," Montijos &c. accompanying (Adelung, iii. B, 119, 120).] This same October, the Reich, after endless debatings on the question, "Help our Kaiser, or not help?" [Ib. iii A, 289.] has voted him fifty ROMER-MONATE ("Romish-months," still so termed, though there is NOT now any marching of the Kaiser to Rome on business); meaning fifty of the known QUOTAS, due from all and sundry in such case,—which would amount to about 300,000 pounds (could it, or the half of it, be collected from so wide a Parish), and would prove a sensible relief to the poor man.
VOLTAIRE HAS BEEN ON VISIT AT AACHEN, IN THE INTERIM,—HIS THIRD VISIT TO KING FRIEDRICH.
King Friedrich had come to the Baths of Aachen, August 25th; the Maillebois Army of Redemption being then, to the last man of it, five days across the Rhine on its high errand, which has since proved futile. Friedrich left Aachen, taking leave of his Voltaire, who had been lodging with him for a week by special invitation, September 9th; and witnessed the later struggles and final inability of Maillebois to redeem, not at Aix, but at Berlin, amid the ordinary course of his employments there. We promised something of Voltaire's new visit, his Third to Friedrich. Here is what little we have,—if the lively reader will exert his fancy on it.
Voltaire and his Du Chatelet had been to Cirey, and thence been at Paris through this Spring and Summer, 1742;—engaged in what to Voltaire and Paris was a great thing, though a pacific one: The getting of MAHOMET brought upon the boards. August 9th, precisely while the first vanguard of the Army of Redemption got across the Rhine at Dusseldorf, Voltaire's Tragedy of MAHOMET came on the stage.