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longer any distinction of the time of sleep, of wak-
ing, or of rest ; all Paris is in consternation ; the
houses of the officers at court are besieged by a con-
tinual crowd; the people gather in the public
squares, and break out into a general cry, "If he
dies, it is for having marched to our assistance."

And indeed his illness was owing to his exposing
himself too much, on his march, to the scorching
heat of the sun ; for the ray that struck him darted
with such violence as to burn his thigh. They
represented to themselves what he had done in his
first campaign ; their concern was not owing to the

i86 The War of 1741.

misfortunes they might have reason to fear; no,
they were too much grieved to have any foresight.
Their affection deprived them of their understand-
ing; strangers accosted one another and asked
questions in church ; the priest, as he was reciting
the collect for the king's recovery, mingled his
prayer with his tears ; and the people answered
him with sobs and lamentations. The poor gave
charity to the poor, desiring them to pray for the
king; and these carried the money they received to
the foot of the altar. There were some people in
Paris who fainted away, and others who were
seized with a fit of illness, upon hearing that the
king was in danger. The city magistrates appointed
couriers, who every three hours brought them tid-
ings of his condition. The superior courts sent to
Metz: each had their couriers, who were passing
continually to and fro. As they returned to Paris
they were stopped on the road and at the gates, by
a multitude of people in tears. The physicians who
attended the king sent reports of the king's con-
dition every three hours, to satisfy the people, who
read those certificates of health with impatience and

The queen arrived at St. Dizier, where she found
her father, Stanislaus, king of Poland, who had left
the king's apartment the very moment that they
despaired of his life. The general concern was then
at the greatest height; they thought the king was
dead, and the rumor was spread through all the

The War of 1741. 187

neighboring towns. But he was treated in a very
proper manner by his physicians, to whom such
disorders are familiar, and who, joining reason with
experience, knew extremely well that the whole
consists only in letting nature operate freely ; that,
when this method does not succeed, we must leave
our days to Him who has counted them ; all the rest
being only a false art, which imposes on human

The queen arrived August 17, when they began
to have hopes again of the king's life. The courier
who brought the news of his recovery was embraced
and almost suffocated by the people; they kissed
his horse; they led him about in triumph through
all the streets, which resounded with cries of joy :
" The king is recovered." Strangers embraced one
another; they ran to prostrate themselves in the
churches ; there was not so much as a company of
tradesmen, but gave order for Tc Deum to be sung.
The king still kept his bed, and was very weak,
when they gave him an account of these surprising
transports of joy which had succeeded such scenes
of sorrow. This affected him so much as to draw
tears from his eyes; when deriving strength from
his sensibility, he raised himself up in his bed and
said : " Oh ! what a pleasure it is to be thus beloved !
and what have I done to deserve it ? "

The first days of his recovery were distinguished
by new advantages obtained by his arms in Italy.
The prince of Conti, after having forced the barri-

188 The War of 1741.

cades of the defiles of Stura, which seemed impene-
trable, and after the taking of Chateau Dauphin,
luckily reached the mountain of Demont: here he
took every intrenchment, and at length compelled
twelve hundred men, who defended this last fortress
of the Alps, to surrender at discretion.

This news pleased the king, and comforted him
in his recovery. Though he had been at the point
of death, yet he never lost sight of the interest of
his people. Marshal de Noailles at that time had the
chief command of the army in Alsace, reinforced by
the troops from Flanders, which the king's illness
hindered him from conducting in person. Before
that misfortune, this prince intended to give battle
to Prince Charles, who had sent his flying parties
as far as Lorraine ; and notwithstanding the fact
that the troops had been retarded in their march,
his attention was still taken up with the expectation
of an engagement ; so that when he thought him-
self in danger of dying, he said to Count d'Argen-
son, who never stirred from his pillow during the
whole time of his illness : " Tell Marshal de Noailles
from me, that while they were carrying Louis XIII.
to the grave, the prince of Conde obtained a victory."
But Marshal de Noailles could only fall upon the
rear of Prince Charles's army, which was retiring in
good order, and cut off about eighteen hundred men.
In this skirmish, which cost France but two hundred
men, the chevalier d'Orleans, grand prior of France,
and M. de Fremur were dangerously wounded.

The War of 1 741. 189

Prince Charles, after having passed the Rhine in
spite of the French forces, repassed it, almost with-
out any loss, within sight of a superior army. The
king of Prussia complained most bitterly against
their letting an enemy escape, who was coming
to wreak his vengeance upon him. Here indeed
they missed a lucky opportunity. The king's illness
had retarded the march of the troops ; besides, they
must have passed through a difficult morass to
attack Prince Charles, who had taken all his precau-
tions, secured his bridges, and contrived everything
that could facilitate his retreat, insomuch that he did
not lose a single magazine. Having therefore
repassed the Rhine with fifty thousand men com-
plete, he marched toward the Danube and the Elbe
with incredible expedition ; and, after having pene-
trated into France as far as the gates of Strasburg,
he hastened to deliver Bohemia a second time. The
king of Prussia advanced toward Prague, and
invested it on September 4; and it is somewhat
remarkable, that General Ogilvi, who defended the
town with fifteen thousand men, ten days after
surrendered himself and his garrison prisoners of
war. This was the same governor who gave up the
town in less time in 1741, when it was stormed by
the French.

An army of fifteen thousand Austrians being thus
made prisoners of war at the taking of the capital
of Bohemia, the remainder of the kingdom being
subdued a few days after, Moravia invaded at the

190 The War of 1 741.

same time, the French army returning to Germany,
and other successes attending their arms in Italy;
in such a situation one would have imagined that
the grand European quarrel was on the point of
being decided in favor of the emperor. This prince
was preparing to return to Munich, as soon as he
could receive intelligence that the road was left open,
by Prince Charles's repassing the frontiers of Bava-
ria in his march to the assistance of Bohemia. The
landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, having acceded to the
union of Frankfort, had already three thousand men
in the pay of the king of France, and was to furnish
him with six thousand more. The elector palatine
was always of that party. The elector of Saxony,
who had been in the first alliance against the queen
of Hungary, might now renew it ; and to this he was
strongly solicited by the king of Prussia, who prom-
ised him six circles in Bohemia. But as he kept
two for himself, those of Koniggratz and Leutmer-
itz, by his treaty with France, there was very little
left for the emperor: and this was a new partition
of the territories of the house of Austria. He
offered a principality in the empire to Count Briihl,
prime minister of Saxony ; at the same time he
promised Father Quarini, the queen of Poland's con-
fessor, the emperor's nomination to a cardinal's dig-
nity; and among the pleasures of his successes he
reckoned he should enjoy that of seeing a Jesuit
introduced into the sacred college by a Protestant
prince. The appearances were favorable, when

The War of 1741. 191

Prince Charles was yet in Alsace, and the king of
France in full march to attack him with superior

The king's sickness, as we have observed, dis-
concerted this project, which one would have
imagined impossible to miss; though indeed its
success seemed to be only retarded. Prince
Charles's army was likely to diminish very much
in his precipitate march toward Bohemia: and
scarcely had the Austrians quitted Bavaria, when
the king gave orders for the siege of Freiburg, the
bulwark of Upper Austria, which Marshal Coigny
invested on October 30.

The king's physicians all advised him not to
expose himself to the unwholesome air of that prov-
ince, after so dangerous an illness, but to return to
Versailles. He did not mind their advice, being
determined to finish the campaign. While he was
at Strasburg, where his reception was one of the
most magnificent ceremonies ever beheld, the mar-
quis de Bissy arrived from Italy with the news of a
victory. The Infante Don Philip and the prince of
Conti had laid siege to Coni: the king of Sar-
dinia, with a superior army, attacked them in their
lines. Nothing could be better concerted than this
prince's enterprise : it was on one of those occasions
where it is good policy to hazard a battle. If he
won the day, the French had few resources, and
their retreat would have been attended with diffi-
culty : if he lost it, the town was still able to hold out

192 The War of 1741.

in this advanced season, and he had a very safe
retreat. The disposition of his army was one of
the most judicious ever known; for having less
cavalry by one-half than the besiegers, and more
infantry by half, he made his attack in such a man-
ner, that his infantry was to have the whole advan-
tage of the ground, and his cavalry was not at all
to suffer. And yet he was beaten ; the French and
Spaniards, notwithstanding the national jealousies
which used constantly to rise on the cessation of
danger, fought with all the harmony of allies who
support each other, and with the emulation of rivals
that are desirous of setting a mutual example. The
king of Sardinia lost nearly five thousand men, and
the battle; the Spaniards lost only nine hundred;
the French had twelve hundred killed and wounded.
Among the latter were the marquis de Senneterre,
the marquis de la Force, who died of his wounds,
the chevalier de Chauvelin, and the chevalier de Cha-
bannes : the prince of Conti, who commanded as a
general and fought as a soldier, had his cuirass
pierced through with two shot, and two horses
killed under him. Of this he made no mention to
the king; but he enlarged a good deal on the
wounds of Messrs, de Senneterre, de la Force, and
de Chauvelin, on the signal services of M. de
Courten, on those of Messrs, du Caylus, de Choiseul,
de Beaupre, and of all those who had behaved
gallantly; desiring they should be particularly
rewarded. Among the prodigious number of offi-

The War of 1741. 193

cers, who deserved the commendation of the prince
of Conti, he took particular notice in his letters of
Messrs, de Montmorency, d'Agenois, de Stainville,
of the marquis de Maillebois, quartermaster-general,
and of M. de Chauvelin, major-general of the army.
This history would be only one continued list of
names, were I to recite all the brave actions, which,
becoming common from their great number, are
continually lost in the crowd.

This new victory was likewise one of those which
are productive of losses, without being attended with
any real advantages to the victors. In a little time,
the rigor of the season, the great quantity of snow,
the inundation of the Stura, and the overflowing
of the torrents were of more service to the king of
Sardinia than gaining the battle of Coni was to
Don Philip and to the prince of Conti. They were
obliged to raise the siege, and to repass the moun-
tains, after they had weakened their army. It is
generally the fate of those who fight toward the
Alps, and have not the master of Piedmont on their
side, to lose their armies even by their victories.

Vol. 3313

194 The War of 174 1.



IN this wet season the king was before Freiburg.
Of all the sieges he had made, this was the most
painful and the most dangerous. The French were
obliged to turn the channel of the river of Treissau,
and to open a new bed for it of fifteen thousand six
hundred feet ; but no sooner was this work com-
pleted than a dyke broke, and they were obliged to
begin again. The besiegers were exposed to the
fire of the castle of Freiburg, and obliged at the
same time to drain two arms of the river. The
bridges erected on the new channel were damaged
by the waters, but the French repaired them again
by night; the next day they marched up to the
covert-way, where the ground was all undermined,
and they were exposed to an incessant fire from the
enemy. Five hundred grenadiers were killed or
wounded ; and two whole companies perished by the
springing of the mines. This attack was com-
manded by the marquis de Brun, lieutenant-general,
with the duke de Randan, and M. de Courtomer,
major-generals, and M. de Berville, brigadier. The
duke d'Ayen was there as the king's aide-de-camp;
and Count Lowendahl, who would also be at the
siege as a volunteer, was wounded in the head with
a musket-shot. This foreigner was a native of

The War of 1741. 195

Denmark, and had been in the Russian service: it
was he who took Ockzakow from the Turks. He
spoke almost all the European languages, was per-
fectly acquainted with the different courts, their
genius, the character of the people, and their differ-
ent methods of fighting; however, he preferred the
service of France, where, from his reputation, he
was immediately received as lieutenant-general.

The besiegers were not the least discouraged,
but carried the greatest part of the covert-way, and
the day following they made themselves entirely
masters of it, notwithstanding the bombs, pattera-
roes, and grenades, with which the enemy inces-
santly annoyed them. There were sixteen engineers
at those attacks, who were all wounded : the prince
of Soubise had his arm broken by a stone ; and as
soon as the king heard of it, he visited him several
times, and saw his wounds dressed. This sympathy
in their sovereign encouraged the troops ; there was
not one of them but forgot the extreme hardships
of the siege, and generously ventured his life. Their
ardor was redoubled, when they followed the duke
de Chartres, the first prince of the blood, to the
trenches and to the attacks. General Damnitz, gov-
ernor of Freiburg, did not hang out the white flag
till November 6, after a siege of two months. Count
d'Argenson drew up the articles of capitulation,
which facilitated the taking of the citadel of Frei-
burg. It was stipulated, as a favor granted from
the king to General Damnitz, that he should have

196 The War of 1741.

leave to retire with his garrison, his sick and
wounded, into the citadel. The governor did not
perceive, till after he had signed the capitulation,
that this permission would prove fatal to him, that
the citadel could not hold such a number of men,
that they would be crowded upon one another, and
more exposed to the enemy's cannon, and, in short,
that his sick must inevitably perish: he therefore
begged of them not to grant him so dangerous a
favor; but the permission had then become an
obligation. A suspension of arms was, however,
granted for twenty days ; at the expiration of which
term the citadel was besieged, and taken in seven
days. The king used the same policy at Freiburg
as at Menin ; he demolished the fortifications of the
town, neither wanting to keep possession of it, nor
to run the hazard of its being retaken some day by
the Austrians, and proving a thorn in his side. This
was one of those towns which Louis XIV. had taken
and fortified, and which he afterward was obliged
to surrender. It is true, that, according to the plan
so often defeated, Freiburg and Upper Austria were
to be given to the Bavarian emperor: but it was
then foreseen that he would not keep possession of
this country. The king indeed was master of all
Breisgau : the prince of Clermont, on his side, was
advanced as far as Constance: and the emperor at
length had the pleasure of returning to Munich. In
Italy affairs had taken a favorable turn, though)
they advanced but slowly. The prince of Conti

The War of 1741. 197

demolished the fortifications of Demont, after he
had taken it by storm. The king of Naples was
pursuing Prince Lobkowitz through the pope's ter-
ritories. In Bohemia great matters were expected
from the diversion made by the king of Prussia;
but they were disappointed ; fortune changed sides
again, as she had often done during this war, and
Prince Charles drove the Prussians out of Bohemia,
as he had made the French fly before him in 1742
and 1743. The Prussians committed the very same
mistakes, and made the same kind of retreats, as
they had reproached the French armies with : they
successively evacuated the different posts which led
to Prague, and at length they were obliged to
evacuate Prague itself.

Prince Charles, after having passed the Rhine
within sight of the French army, passed the Elbe the
same year within sight of the king of Prussia. He
followed him even into Silesia, and his flying parties
advanced as far as the gates of Breslau. At length
it became a question, whether the queen, who seemed
to be undone in the month of June, would not recover
Silesia in the month of December, the same year;
and people were afraid that the emperor, who was
but just returned to his desolate capital, would be
once more obliged to leave it.

198 The War of 1 741.





THE Austrians indulged themselves in these hopes
from a new change in their affairs, which indeed was
not one of the least revolutions in the whole war;
namely, the step then taken by the king of Poland,
elector of Saxony. This same prince, who at first
had joined the king of Prussia against the queen of
Hungary, was then entering into an alliance with
this princess against Prussia, and had already fur-
nished her with about twenty thousand men. In
pursuing this measure he did not intend to declare
war against King Frederick, but only to assist the
queen, just as the states-general had joined with her
against France, without declaring war. It did not
appear that the elector of Saxony could have any
great interest in making the queen of Hungary and
the new house of Austria more powerful ; nay, it
seemed strange that he should choose rather to
aggrandize that house, than to raise himself on its
ruins ; but a particular pique between him and the
king of Prussia, the powerful negotiations of Eng-
land, the apprehension of the rising grandeur of

The War of 1741. 199

the house of Brandenburg, and the expectation of
humbling it, produced a total alteration of maxims
in the court of Dresden.

The king of Prussia had scarcely set his hand to
his treaty in April, 1744, with France and the
emperor, when the king of Poland signed his agree-
ment privately with the queen of Hungary in the
month of May: he promised to assist her with
thirty thousand men, and the queen yielded to him
a part of Silesia, which she hoped to be able to
recover, and to which that prince pretended some
ancient rights, as all the German princes have some
pretensions or other to the territories of their neigh-
bors. England paid him a subsidy of a hundred and
fifty thousand pounds sterling every year, so long
as he continued to defend the queen of Hungary.
If it was a matter of surprise, that a king of Poland
and elector of Saxony should be reduced to accept
this money, it was a much greater surprise that Eng-
land should be able to give it, when she had granted
this very year five hundred thousand pounds to the
queen of Hungary, two hundred thousand pounds
to the king of Sardinia, and at the same time she
paid a subsidy of twenty-two thousand pounds to
the elector of Cologne, for permitting the enemies
of the emperor, his brother, to raise troops against
him in the territories of Cologne, Minister, and
Osnabriick ; to such a low pitch was this unfortunate
emperor reduced! The passage of Prince Charles
had struck the borders of the Rhine with terror and

2OO The War of 1741.

amazement ; and the English gold did the rest. At
this juncture the Austrians, assisted by their new
allies, the Saxons, menaced Silesia : they likewise
threatened French Flanders with English and Dutch

The allied army in Flanders exceeded that which
the king left under the command of Marshal Saxe
by twenty thousand men. This general employed
all those resources of war which are entirely inde-
pendent of fortune, and even of the bravery of
troops. To encamp and decamp at proper opportu-
nities; to cover our own country; to maintain an
army at the enemy's expense ; to remove to their
ground when they advance into yours, and thereby
to oblige them to march back ; in short, to baffle
superior strength by skill ; this is what is looked
upon as one of the masterpieces of military art ; and
this Marshal Saxe did from the beginning of August
till the month of November.

The quarrel about the Austrian succession was
every day growing more obstinate, the emperor's
fate more uncertain, the respective interests more
complicated, while the successes of each party were
generally counterpoised by those of the opposite

France had on her side in Germany, the emperor,
the king of Prussia, the landgrave of Hesse-Cassel,
and the elector palatine, by the Treaty of Frankfort :
but the Prussians were then busy in defending them-
selves. Hesse was always ready to sell troops to

The War of 1741. 201

England, as well as France. The Palatinate was a
country that rather wanted protection than was
capable of giving assistance; and, besides, a great
part of its territories had been pillaged by the enemy.
Thus Austria was still the predominant power in
Germany, especially having the assistance of Saxony
and of the Dutch, with the troops and subsidies of
Great Britain. The rest of the empire still neutral,
though a great part were well affected to the house
of Austria, in all their memorials complained of this
civil war which laid waste their country.

The truth is, that the calamities which follow war
had ruined a great many ; yet, on the other hand,
it is no less true, that this war really enriched Ger-
many, while it seemed in appearance to ruin it. The
French and English money, which was scattered
among them with such profusion, remained in the
hands of the Germans : Frankfort especially, so
long the residence of the imperial court, of such a
number of ministers, princes, and generals, had
made immense profits; Dresden, which had fur-
nished provisions a long time to the French and
Austrian armies in their turn, had thereby enriched
itself; and, upon the whole, this war had rendered
Germany more opulent, and consequently must,
sooner or later, render it more powerful. It was
not so in regard to Italy, which, moreover, cannot
form, for any considerable time, a powerful body
like Germany. France had not sent to the Alps more
than forty-two battalions and thirty-three squadrons,

202 The War of 1741.

which, considering the ordinary deficiency in the
troops, did not compose above a body of twenty-six
thousand men. The Infante's army was very near
this number at the beginning of the campaign ; and
both of them, far from enriching a foreign country,
drew their whole subsistence from the provinces of
France. With regard to the pope's territories, on
which Prince Lobkowitz was then encamped with
thirty thousand men, they were rather ravaged than
made rich. This part of Italy was going to become
a bloody scene in this vast military theatre, which
extended from the Danube to the Tiber.

The queen of Hungary's armies were very near
making a conquest of the kingdom of Naples
toward the months of March, April, and May,
1744; and, had it not been for the prudent conduct
of Count de Gages, they would certainly have done it.

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