« ElőzőTovább »
than three different courts. To further the first and, finding no enemy in the field able to resist decision, every advocate is enjoined, under severe him, he returned to Berlin, and left Schwerin penalties, not to begin a suit till he has collected his general to prosecute the conquest. all the necessary evidence. If the first court The Prussians in the midst of winter took has decided in an unsatisfactory manner, an ap- Olmutz, the capital of Moravia, and laid the peal may be made to the second, and from the whole country under contribution. The cold second to the third. The process in each appeal then hindered them from action, and they only is limited to six months. The third court may blocked up the fortresses of Brinn and Spielberg. indeed pass an erroneous judgment; and then In the spring, the King of Prussia came again the injury is without redress. But this objec- into the field, and undertook the siege of Brinn; tion is without end, and therefore without force. but upon the approach of Prince Charles of No method can be found of preserving humanity Lorrain retired from before it, and quitted from error; but of contest there must some time Moravia, leaving only a garrison in the capital. be an end; and he, who thinks himself injured The condition of the Queen of Hungary was for want of an appeal to a fourth court, must now changed. She was a few months before consider himself as suffering for the public. without money, without troops, incircled with
“ There is a special advocate appointed for enemies. The Bavarians had entered Austria, the poor.
Vienna was threatened with siege, and the “ The attorneys, who had formerly the care queen left it to the fate of war, and retired into of collecting evidence, and of adjusting all the Hungary; where she was received with zeal preliminaries of a suit, are now totally dismiss- and affection, not unmingled however with that ed; the whole affair is put into the bands of the neglect which must always be borne by greatadvocates, and the office of an attorney is annul- ness in distress. She bore the disrespect of her led for ever.
subjects with the same firmness as the outrages “ If any man is hindered by some lawful im- of her enemies; and at last persuaded the Engpediment from attending his suit, time will be lish not to despair of her preservation, by not granted him upon the representation of his despairing herself. case."
Voltaire in his late history has asserted, that Such is the order according to which civil a large sum was raised for her success, by voljustice is administered through the extensive untary subscriptions of the English ladies. It dominions of the king of Prussia ; which, if it is the great failing of a strong imagination to exhibits nothing very subtle or profound, affords catch greedily at wonders. He was misinformone proof more that the right is easily discover- ed, and was perhaps unwilling to learn by a ed, and that men do not so often want ability second inquiry a truth less splendid and amusto find, as willingness to practise it.
ing. A contribution was by news-writers, upon We now return to the war.
their own authority, fruitlessly, and, I think, The time at which the Queen of Hungary illegally, proposed. It ended in nothing. The was willing to purchase peace by the resignation parliament voted a supply, and five hundred of Silesia, though it came at last, was not come thousand pounds were remitted to her. yet. She had all the spirit, though not all the It has been always the weakness of the Auspower of her ancestors, and could not bear the trian family to spend in the magnificence of thought of losing any part of her patrimonial einpire those revenues which should be kept for dominions to the enemies which the opinion of its defence. The court is splendid, but the her weakness raised everywhere against her. treasury is empty; and at the beginning of every
In the beginning of the year 1742 the elector war, advantages are gained against them, before of Bavaria was invested with the imperial dig- their armies can be assembled and equipped. nity, supported by the arms of France, master The English money was to the Austrians as of the kingdom of Bobemia; and confederated a shower to a field, where all the vegetative with the elector Palatine, and the elector of powers are kept unactive by a long continuance Saxony, who claimed Moravia; and with the of drought. The armies, which had hitherto King of Prussia, who was in possession of Si- been hid in mountains and forests, started out lesia.
of their retreats; and wherever the queen's Such was the state of the Queen of Hungary, standard was erected, nations scarcely known pressed on every side, and on every side prepar- by their names, swarmed immediately about it. ing for resistance: she yet refused all offers of | An army, especially a defensive army, multiaccommodation, for every prince set peace at a plies itself. The contagion of enterprize spreads price which she was not yet so far humbled as from one heart to another. Zeal for a native or
detestation of a foreign sovereign, hope of sudThe King of Prussia was among the most den greatness or riches, friendship or emulation zealous and forward in the confederacy against between particular men, or, what are perhaps ber. He promised to secure Bohemia to the more general and powerful, desire of novelty emperor, and Moravia to the elector of Saxony; and impatience of inactivity, fill a camp witte adventurers, add rank to rank, and squadron to Austrians forced their way to the camp, where squadron.
the wild troops, who had fought with so much The queen bad still enemies on every part, vigour and constancy, at the sight of plunder but she now on every part had armies ready to forgot their obedience, nor had any man the oppose them. Austria was immediately reco- least thought but how to load himself with the vered; the plains of Bohemia were filled with richest spoils. her troops, though the fortresses were garri. While the right wing of the Austrians was soned by the French. The Bavarians were re- thus employed, the main body was left naked : called to the defence of their own country, now the Prussians recovered from their confusion, wasted by the incursions of troops that were and regained the day. Charles was at last called Barbarians, greedy enough of plunder, forced to retire, and carried with him the standand daring perhaps beyond the rules of war, ards of his enemies, the proofs of a victory, but otherwise not more cruel than those whom which, though so nearly gained, he had not they attacked. Prince Lobkowitz with one been able to keep. army observed the motions of Broglio, the The victory however was dearly bought; the French general, in Bohemia; and Prince Prussian army was much weakened, and the Charles with another put a stop to the advances cavalry almost totally destroyed. Peace is of the King of Prussia.
easily made when it is necessary to both parties; It was now the turn of the Prı ssians to re- and the King of Prussia had now reason to betire. They abandoned Olmutz, and left behind lieve that the Austrians were not his only ene. them part of their cannon and their magazines.mies. When he found Charles advancing, he And the king, finding that Broglio could not sent to Broglio for assistance, and was anlong oppose Prince Lobkowitz, hastened into swered that “ he must have orders from VerBohemia to his assistance; and having received sailles.” Such a desertion of his most powera reinforcement of twenty-three thousand men, ful ally disconcerted him, but the battle was and taken the castle of Glatz, which, being unavoidable. built upon a rock scarcely accessible, would have When the Prussians were returned to the defied all his power, had the garrison been fur-camp, he king, hearing that an Austrian offi. nished with provisions, he purposed to join his cer was brought in mortally wounded, had the allies, and prosecute his conquests.
condescension to visit him. The officer, struck Prince Charles, seeing Moravia thus evacu- with this act of humanity, said, after a short ated by the Prussians, determined to garrison conversation, “ I should die, Sir, contentedly the towns which he had just recovered, and after this honour, if I might first show my grapursue the enemy, who, by the assistance of the titude to your majesty by informing you with French, would have been too powerful for what allies you are now united, allies that have Prince Lobkowitz.
no intention but to deceive you." The king Success had now given confidence to the appearing to suspect this intelligence; “ Sir,” Austrians, and had proportionably abated the said the Austrian, “if you will permit me to spirit of their enemies. The Saxons, who had send a messenger to Vienna, I believe the queen co-operated with the King of Prussia in the con- will not refuse to transmit an intercepted letter quest of Moravia, of which they expected the now in her hands, which will put my report perpetual possession, seeing all hopes of sudden beyond all doubt." acquisition defeated, and the province left again The messenger was sent, and the letter transto its forraer masters, grew weary of following mitted, which contained the order sent to Broga prince, whom they considered as no longer lio, who was, first, forbidden to mix his troops acting the part of their confederate; and when on any occasion with the Prussians. Secondly, they approached the confines of Bohemia took a he was ordered to act always at a distance from different road, and left the Prussians to their the king. Thirdly, to keep always a body of own fortune.
twenty thousand men to observe the Prussian The king continued bis march, and Charles arıy. Fourthly, to observe very closely the his pursuit. At Czaslaw the two armies came motions of the king, for important reasons. in sight of one another, and the Austrians re- Fifthly, to hazard nothing ; but to pretend solved on a decisive day. On the 6th of May, want of reinforcements, or the absence of Belabout seven in the morning, the Austrians be- lisle. gan the attack : their impetuosity was matched The king now with great reason considered by the firmness of the Prussians. The animo- himself as disengaged from the confederacy, besity of the two armies was much inflamed: the ing diserted by the Saxons, and betrayed by the Austrians were fighting for their country, and French; he therefore accepted the mediation of the Prussians were in a place where defeat King George, and in three weeks after the must inevitably end in death or captivity. The battle of Czaslaw made peace with the Queen fury of the battle continued four hours: the of Hungary, who granted to him the whole Prussian horse were at length broken, and the province of Silesia, a country of such extent and opulence that he is said to receive from it mischiefs done to the city as falling ultimately one-third part of his revenues. By one of the upon themselves, and therefore were willing to articles of this treaty it is stipulated, “ that nei-gain it by time rather than by force. ther should assist the enemies of the other.” It was apparent that, how long soever Prague
The Queen of Hungary thus disentangled on might be defended, it must be yielded at last, one side, and set free from the most formidable and therefore all arts were tried to obtain an of her enemies, soon persuaded the Saxons to honourable capitulation. The messengers from peace; took possession of Bavaria ; drove the the city were sent back sometimes unbeard, but emperor, after all his imaginary conquests, to always with this answer, « That no terms the shelter of a neutral town, where he was would be allowed, but that they should yield treated as a fugitive; and besieged the French themselves prisoners of war." in Prague, in the city which they had taken The condition of the garrison was in the eyes from her.
of all Europe desperate; but the French, to Having thus obtained Silesia, the King of whom the praise of spirit and activity cannot be Prussia returned to his own capital, where he denied, resolved to make an effort for the honour reformed his laws, forbid the torture of crimi- of their arms. Maillebois was at that time ennals, concluded a defensive alliance with Eng- camped with his army in Westphalia. Orders land, and applied himself to the augmentation were sent him to relieve Prague. The enterof his army.
prize was considered as romantic. Maillebois This treaty of peace with the Queen of Hun- was a march of forty days distant from Bohe gary was one of the first proofs given by the mia, the passes were narrow, and the ways King of Prussia, of the secrecy of his counsels. foul ; and it was likely that Prague would be Bellisle, the French general, was with him in taken before he could reach it. The march was, the camp, as a friend and coadjutor in appear- however, begun: the army, being joined by ance, but in truth a spy, and a writer of intelli- that of Count Saxe, consisted of fifty thousand gence. Men who have great confidence in their men, who, notwithstanding all the difficulties own penetration are often by that confidence which two Austrian armies could put in their deceived ; they imagine that they can pierce way, at last entered Bohemia. The siege of through all the involutions of intrigue without Prague, though not raised, was remitted, and a the diligence necessary to weaker minds, and communication was now opened to it with the therefore sit idle and secure; they believe that country. But the Austrians, by perpetual innone can hope to deceive them, and therefore tervention, hindered the garrison from joining that none will try. Bellisle, with all his repu- their friends. The officers of Maillebois incited tation of sagacity, though he was in the Prus- him to a battle, because the army was hourly sian camp, gave every day fresh assurances of lessening by the want of provisions ; but, instead the king's adherence to his allies ; while Broglio, of pressing on to Prague, he retired into Ba. who commanded the army at a distance, discov- varia, and completed the ruin of the emperor's ered sufficient reason to suspect his desertion. territories. Broglio was slighted, and Bellisle believed, till The court of France, disappointed and offendon the 11th of June the treaty was signed, and ed, conferred the chief command upon Broglio, the king declared his resolution to keep a nea- who escaped from the besiegers with very little trality.
difficulty, and kept the Austrians employed till This is one of the great performances of polity | Bellisle by a sudden sally quitted Prague, and which mankind seem agreed to celebrate and without any great loss joined the raain army. admire; yet to all this nothing was necessary Broglio then retired over the Rhine into the but the determination of a very few men to be French dominions, wasting in his retreat the silent.
country which he had undertaken to protect, From this time the Queen of Hungary pro and burning towns, and destroying magazines ceeded with an uninterrupted torrent of success. of corn, with such wantonness, as gave reason The French, driven from station to station, and to believe that be expected commendation from deprived of fortress after fortress, were at last his court for any mischiefs done, by whatever enclosed with their two generals, Bellisle and Broglio, in the walls of Prague, which they had | The Austrians pursued their advantages, restored with all provisions necessary to a town covered all their strong places, iv some of which besieged, and where they defended themselves French garrisons had been left, and made themthree months before any prospect appeared of selves masters of Bavaria, by taking not only relief.
! Munich the capital but Ingolstadt, the strongThe Austrians, having been engaged chiefly est fortification in the elector's dominions, in the field, and in sudden and tumultuary ex- where they found a great number of cannon aud eursions rather than a regular war, had no great a quantity of ammunition intended in the dreams degree of skill in attacking or defending towns. of projected great ness for the siege of Vienna, They likewise would naturally consider all the all the archives of the state, the plate and on na.
mencs of the electoral palace, and what had been rles of war: and the nation, which so long kept considered as most worthy of preservation. No- the world in alarm, be taught at last the value thing but the warlike stores were taken away. of peace. An oath of allegiance to the queen was required The King of Prussia now saw the Austrian of the Bavarians, but without any explanation troops at a great distance from him, engaged in whether temporary or perpetual.
a foreign country against the most powerful of The emperor lived at Francfort in the security all their enemies. Now, therefore, was the time that was allowed to neutral places, but without to discover that he had lately made a treaty at much respect from the German princes, except Francfort with the emperor, by which he had that, upon some objections made by the queen to engaged, “ that as the court of Vienna and its the validity of his election, the King of Prussia allies appeared backward to re-establish the trandeclared bimself determined to support him in quillity of the empire, and more cogent methods the imperial dignity with all his power. appeared necessary; he, being animated with a
This may be considered as a token of no great desire of co-operating towards the pacification of affection to the Queen of Hungary, but it seems Germany, should make an expedition for the not to have raised much alarm. The German conquest of Bohemia, and to put it into the posprinces were afraid of new broils. To contest session of the emperor, his heirs and successors, the election of an emperor once invested and for ever; in gratitude for which the emperor acknowledged, would be to overthrow the whole should resign to him and his successors a certain Germanic constitution. Perhaps no election by number of lordships, which are now part of the plurality of suffrages was ever made among kingdom of Bohemia. His Imperial Majesty human beings, to which it might not be ob- likewise guarantees to the King of Prussia the jected that voices were procured by illicit influ- perpetual possession of Upper Silesia ; and the
king guarantees to the emperor the perpetual Some suspicions, however, were raised by the possession of Upper Austria, as soon as he shall king's declaration, which he endeavoured to ob- have occupied it by conquest.” viate by ordering his ministers to declare at It is easy to discover that the king began the London and at Vienna, that he was resolved not war upon other motives than zeal for peace; and to violate the treaty of Breslaw. This declara- that, whatever respect he was willing to show to tion was sufficiently ambiguous, and could not the emperor, he did not purpose to assist him satisfy those whom it might silence. But this without reward. In prosecution of this treaty was not a time for nice disquisitions ; to distrust be put his troops in motion; and, according to the king of Prussia might have provoked him, his promise, while the Austrians were invading and it was most convenient to consider him as France, he invaded Bohemia. a friend, till he appeared openly as an enemy.
Princes have this remaining of humanity, that About the middle of the year 1744, he raised they think themselves obliged not to make war new alarms by collecting his troops and putting without a reason. Their reasons are indeed not them in motion. The earl of Hindford about always very satisfactory. Lewis the Fourteenth this time demanded the troops stipulated for the seemed to think his own glory a sufficient moprotection of Hanover, not perhaps because they tive for the invasion of Holland. The Czar atwere thought necessary, but that the king's de- tacked Charles of Sweden, because he had not signs might be guessed from his answer, which been treated with sufficient respect when he was, that troops were not granted for the de- made a journey in disguise. The King of Prusfence of any country till that country was in sia, having an opportunity of attacking his danger, and that he could not believe the Elec- neighbour, was not long without his reasons. tor of Hanover to be in much dread of an inva- On July 30th, he published his declaration, in sion, since he had withdrawn the native troops, which he declares : and put them into the pay of England.
That he can no longer stand an idle spectator He had, undoubtedly, now formed designs of the troubles in Germany, but finds himself which made it necessary that his troops should obliged to make use of force to restore the be kept together, and the time soon came when power of the laws, and the authority of the emthe scene was to be opened. Prince Charles of peror. Lorrain, having chased the French out of Bava- That the Queen of Hungary has treated the ria, lay for some months encamped on the emperor's hereditary dominions with inexpressiRhine, endeavouring to gain a passage into ble cruelty. Alsace. His attempts had long been evaded by That Germany has been overrun with forthe skill and vigilance of the French general, eign troops which have marched through neutill at last, June 21, 1744, he executed his de- tral countries without the customary requisisign, and lodged his army in the French domin- tions. ions, to the surprise and joy of a great part of
That the emperor's troops have been attacked Europe. It was now expected that the territo- under neutral fortresses, and obliged to abandon ries of France would in their turn feel the mise- the empire, of which their master is the head.
That the imperial dignity has been treated | dom of Germany, and a few petty districts in with indecency by the Hungarian troops.
Bohemia. The queen declaring the election of the em- The French, who, from ravaging the empire peror void, and the diet of Francfort illegal, at discretion, and wasting whatever they found had not only violated the imperial dignity, but either among enemies or friends, were now injured all the princes who have the right of driven into their own dominions, and in their election.
own dominions were insulted and pursued, That he had no particular quarrel with the were on a sudden by this new auxiliary restored Queen of Hungary; and that he desires no- to their former superiority, at least were disthing for himself, and only enters as an auxi- burdened of their invaders, and delivered from liary into a war for the liberties of Germany. their terrors. And all the enemies of the house
That the emperor had offered to quit his pre- of Bourbon saw with indignation and amazetension to the dominions of Austria, on con- ment the recovery of that power wbich they dition that his hereditary countries be restored had with so much cost and bloodshed brought to him.
low, and which their animosity and elation bad That this proposal had been made to the King disposed them to imagine yet lower than it of England at Hanau, and rejected in such a manner as showed that the King of England The Queen of Hungary still retained her had no intention to restore peace, but rather to firmness. The Prussian declaration was not make his advantage of the troubles.
long without an answer, which was transmitted That the mediation of the Dutch had been to the European princes with some observations desired; but that they declined to interpose, on the Prussian minister's remonstance to the knowing the inflexibility of the English and court of Vienna, which he was ordered by his Austrian courts.
master to read to the Austrian council, but not The same terms were again offered at Vienna, to deliver. The same caution was practised beand again rejected : that therefore the queen fore when the Prussians, after the emperor's must impute it to her own counsels that her death, invaded Silesia. This artifice of political enemies find new allies.
debate may, perbaps, be numbered by the adThat he is not fighting for any interest of his mirers of greatness among the refinements of own, that he demands nothing for himself; but conduct; but, as it is a method of proceeding is determined to exert all his powers in defence not very difficult to be contrived or practised, as of the emperor, in vindication of the right of it can be of very rare use to honesty or wisdom, election, and in support of the liberties of and as it has been long known to that class of Germany, which the Queen of Hungary would men whose safety depends upon secrecy, though enslave.
hitherto applied chiefly in petty cheats and When this declaration was sent to the Prus- slight transactions; I do not see that it can sian minister in England, it was accompauied much advance the reputation of regal underwith a remonstrance to the king, in which standing, or indeed that it can add more to the many of the foregoing positions were repeated; safety, than it takes away from the honour of the emperor's candour and disinterestedness him that shall adopt it. were magnified : the dangerous designs of the The queen in her answer, after charging the Austrians were displayed; it was imputed to King of Prussia with breach of the treaty of them as the most flagrant violation of the Ger-Breslaw, and observing how much her enemies manic constitution, that they had driven the will exult to see the peace now the third time emperor's troops out of the empire; the public broken by him, declares : spirit and generosity of His Prussian Majesty That she had no intention to injure the rights were again heartily declared ; and it was said, of the electors, and that she calls in question not that this quarrel having no connection with the event but the manner of the election. English interests, the English ought not to That she had spared the emperor's troops interpose.
with great tenderness, and that they were Austria and all her allies were put into driven out of the empire only because they were amazement by this declaration, which at once in the service of France. dismounted them from the summit of success, That she is so far from disturbing the peace and obliged them to fight through the war a se- of the empire, that the only commotions now cond tim What succours, or what promises, raised in it are the effect of the armaments of Prussia received from France was never pub- the King of Prussia. licly known; but it is not to be doubted that a Nothing is more tedious than public records, prince so watchful of opportunity sold assist when they relate to affairs which by distance of ance, when it was so much wanted, at the high-time or place lose their power to interest the est rate; nor can it be supposed that he exposed reader. Every thing grows little as it grows himself to so much hazard only for the free-remote; and of things thus dimivished, it is