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very slight interruption. England increased her
trade by the cession made to her by France, of
Newfoundland and Acadia, also by the Assiento con-
tract, which put her in possession of the negro trade
in Spanish America, and, in fine, by the liberty which
she extorted from Spain of annually sending a ship
to Porto Bello, whereby she carried on an immense
contraband trade.

France had above eighteen hundred merchant
ships employed in 1740; whereas at the time of the
Treaty of Utrecht, she had not more than three hun-
dred. Her trade and manufactures flourished. A
new East India company arose out of the ruins of
a system of finances which in 1719 had impoverished
one part of the nation and enriched the other ; and
in 1725 it advanced to the government ten millions
of livres, and was possessed of thirty-nine millions in
ships, storehouses, and merchantable goods. This



The War of 1741. 21

company rebuilt and enlarged the town of Pondi-
cherry, which is at present inhabited by a hundred
thousand people, regularly fortified, and defended
by four hundred and fifty pieces of canon. They
caused the harbor of Port 1'Orient in Brittany to
be cleansed, and raised the place from a small village
to a trading town. They were possessed of sixty
ships, from four hundred to eight hundred tons. In
fine, during the space of twenty-eight years they had
been establishing a nursery for seamen, and a source
of continual abundance ; for while all the stock pro-
prietors received a considerable interest from the
cultivation of tobacco, all the profits of the company
were expended in making new establishments. They
could be charged with nothing but superfluous
expenses, which are strong proofs of wealth. The
commerce of the French colonies alone produced a
circulation of one hundred millions, and enriched
the commonwealth by the commodities transported
from one hemisphere to the other. Since the year
1712, some of these colonies have increased double.
Almost every town in France was embellished,
and the whole kingdom was apparently more popu-
lous, having, during this long era, received no dis-
turbance from foreign wars. The falling out between
the duke of Orleans, then regent, and Spain, in
1718, was of but short duration, nor was it attended
with unfortunate consequences. It was not a quar-
rel between nation and nation, but between two
princes ; in Paris it was hardly noticed ; the people



22 The War of 1741.

there attended to nothing but the great game of
stocks, which made and undid so many great for-
tunes.

The views of Spain were to recover the provinces
which had been rent from her formerly; and this
was not a time for her to make the attempt. It was
in vain that her troops made a descent upon the
island of Sardinia, which then belonged to the
emperor, and afterward upon Sicily, of which the
duke of Savoy had been put in possession by the
Peace of Utrecht. All the fruit of these armaments
was that the emperor Charles VI., assisted by an
English squadron, and aided even by the regent of
France, seized upon Sicily for himself, though by the
Peace of Utrecht it had been ceded to the house of
Savoy, the princes of which, after having been four
years kings of Sicily, became kings of Sardinia,
which they still hold.

Never at any time were so many negotiations on
foot as now ; never so many treaties ; nor so many
jealousies. The interest of each nation seemed to
change with that of individuals. The English gov-
ernment, which had been closely united with that
ministry which during the reign of Louis XIV. had
done everything to fix Philip V. upon the throne of
Spain, now changed sides : matters went so far from
following their natural channel that the court of
Madrid flung herself into the arms of her rival and
enemy, the court of Vienna, who had so long con



The War of 1741. 23

tested with her the sovereignty of Naples and lately
deprived her of the island of Sicily.

In short, this very emperor Charles VI., whose
firm intention was always to prevent the new house
of Spain from having any footing in Italy, was so
far prevailed upon, though of a different inclination,
as to consent that a son of Philip V. and of his sec-
ond wife, Elizabeth of Parma, should be introduced,
with six thousand Spaniards, into the duchies of
Parma and Placentia, though the succession was not
as yet open; he also gave the eventual investiture
of it, as well as that of the great dukedom of Tus-
cany, by a solemn treaty, which had been long upon
the carpet, in 1725, to Don Carlos; and he received
two hundred thousand Spanish pistoles, by way of
purchase for an engagement which was one day to
cost him so dear. All the proceedings of this agree-
ment were surprising : two rival houses were united
without any confidence in each other. The English,
after having done all in their power to dethrone
Philip V. and dispossessed him of Gibraltar and
Minorca, which in spite of Spain they still keep, were
the mediators of this peace. It was signed by Rip-
erda, a Dutchman, who was then all-powerful in
Spain, and who was disgraced after having signed it.

While the Spanish branch of the house of Bour-
bon thus increased her dominions by a transient
union with her enemy, she had a misunderstanding
with the French branch, in spite of the ties of blood
and inte^st whereby they should sooner or later



24 The War of 1741.

have been reunited. It was thus the two branches of
the house of Austria had been formerly divided.
France, having at that time joined with England,
had no real allies ; but in the year 1727 things began
to move in their natural channel. The French min-
istry strengthened the bonds of friendship subsist-
ing between the two houses of France ; and that
ministry appearing altogether equitable and disin-
terested, became insensibly the mediators of Europe.

A war broke out between England and Spain,
occasioned by a commercial dispute. The Spaniards
laid siege to Gibraltar, before which town they
wasted their time and their forces, for the English
had rendered it impregnable. France was the me-
diatrix; she saved the honor of the Spaniards by
prevailing on them to raise the siege, and reconciling
the disputing parties by treaty.

The emperor would have eluded the promise he
had made of ceding Tuscany, Parma, and Placentia
to Don Carlos. The French ministry engaged him
to keep his word : they also artfully prevailed upon
the English, though avowed enemies to the grandeur
of the house of Bourbon, to transport six thousand
Spaniards into Italy, thereby to secure to Don Carlos
his new territory; and, in fine, that prince was
shortly after conveyed thither, together with his
troops, by an English fleet. In 1731 he was acknowl-
edged sovereign of Parma, and heir to the dukedom
of Tuscany. The great duke of Florence, the last
of the Medici family, accepted an heir, which had



The War of 1741. 25

been given him without his having been once con-
sulted.

Some time before, the French ministry had deter-
mined the emperor in his resolution of suppressing
the East India Company, which had been established
at Ostend. It was the interest of all trading nations,
whereof France was not then the least considerable.
She enjoyed the serene glory of making up all dif-
ferences between her neighbors, when the death of
Augustus II., king of Poland, gave a total change to
the affairs of Europe. Cardinal Fleury, then nearly
fourscore years of age, made it his whole study to
preserve this happy peace to France, and to all
Europe. His turn of mind, his character, his time of
life, and his glory, which was founded in modera-
tion, all rendered him averse to war. Walpole, the
prime minister of England, was exactly of the same
way of thinking: Spain was possessed of all she
had required. The North was in profound peace,
when the death of Augustus II., king of Poland,
replunged Europe into that series of misfortunes
from which she is rarely exempt for ten years
together.

King Stanislaus, father-in-law of Louis XV.,
already nominated to the crown of Poland in 1704,
had been chosen in the most legal and solemn man-
ner ; but the emperor Charles VI. obliged the states
to proceed to another election, which was supported
by the Imperial and Russian arms. The son of the
late king of Poland, elector of Saxony, and nephew



26 The War of 1741.

of Charles VI., carried it from his competitor. Thus
the house of Austria, which had found itself unable
to keep Spain and the West Indies, was yet suffi-
ciently strong to wrest Poland from the father-
in-law of Louis XV. France saw the same acci-
dent repeated which had happened to Prince
Armand de Conti, who though solemnly elected, yet
being without money and troops, and little better
recommended than supported, lost that kingdom, to
which he had been called by the voice of the people.
King Stanislaus went to Dantzic to support his elec-
tion; but the majority by whom he had been chosen
soon allowed themselves to be borne down by the
minority that were against him. This country, where
the people are enslaved ; where the nobility sell their
votes; where there is never money enough in the
public treasury to maintain an army ; where the laws
are without vigor; where their liberty is only pro-
ductive of divisions ; this same country, I say, boasts
in vain their warlike nobility, who can bring into
the field one hundred thousand men.

Ten thousand men soon dispersed the partisans
of Stanislaus. The kingdom of Poland, which in the
preeeding age looked upon the Russians with con-
tempt, were now intimidated and directed by them.
The empire of Russia had become formidable since
it had been remodelled by Peter the Great. Ten
thousand disciplined slaves of Russia made the Pol-
ish nobility disappear ; and Stanislaus, having taken
refuge in the city of Dantzic, was quickly besieged



The War of 174 1. 27

by forty thousand Russians: the emperor of Ger-
many, united with Russia, thought himself certain of
success. To preserve the balance of power, France
should have sent thither a numerous army by sea;
but England could not, without taking part, have
tamely looked on amidst such immense preparations.
Cardinal Fleury, willing to keep well with that
crown, did not choose to have the shame of entirely
abandoning the cause of Stanislaus, nor yet did he
incline to hazard any large number of troops in his
defence. He therefore fitted out a squadron, on
board of which were embarked fifteen hundred men
commanded by a brigadier. This officer did not look
upon his commission in a serious light ; so that,
judging, as he approached Dantzic, that he should
only sacrifice his little army, without reaping any
advantage, he retired into Denmark.

Count de Plelo, ambassador from France to the
king of Denmark, beheld with indignation a retreat
which seemed so mortifying to the nation. He was
a young man, well versed in polite learning and
philosophy, inspired with sentiments of a heroic
nature, and deserving of a better fate. He resolved
to succor Dantzic with this small force against a
powerful army, or to die in the attempt. Before he
embarked, he wrote a letter to Count de Maurepas,
the minister of state, which concluded thus : "I am
certain I shall never return ; to you I recommend
my wife and children." He arrived before Dantzic,
landed his men, and attacked the Russian army. He



28 The War of 1 741.

fell in the field, as he had predicted, covered with
wounds; and those of his followers that were not
killed were made prisoners of war. His letter, which
was very affecting, and the account of his death,
reached Paris together. It drew tears from the eyes
of the whole council : he was unanimously admired
and lamented. I remember, some time after, when
his widow appeared with her children in the public
walks, the multitude gathered round with acclama-
tions of tenderness, fully expressive of the venera-
tion in which they held his memory.

Dantzic was taken : the ambassador from France
and Poland, who was then in the place, was made
prisoner of war, without any respect being paid to
the privileges of his character. King Stanislaus
escaped, but not without infinite danger, and by
means of more disguises than one ; after having
seen a price set by the Muscovite general upon his
head, in a free country, of which he was a native,
and in the heart of a nation to the rule of which he
had been every way legally elected.

The French ministry had totally lost that reputa-
tion so necessary to the support of grandeur, had
they not avenged such an insult; but that insult
would have been ill-timed, if not advantageous.
Their distance from each other prevented the Mus-
covites from feeling the indignation of France ; and
policy directed it should be turned against the
emperor, which was effectually done in Germany and
Italy.



The War of 1741. 29

France entered into alliance with Spain and Sar-
dinia. These three powers had different interests,
but all united in the one point of weakening the
house of Austria. The dukes of Savoy had been
a long time increasing their dominions by slow
degrees ; sometimes by hiring troops to. the emper-
ors, and sometimes by declaring against them. King
Charles Emanuel had his eye upon the Milanese, and
it had been promised him by the ministries of Ver-
sailles and of Madrid. Philip V. of Spain, or, more
properly speaking, his spouse, Elizabeth of Parma,
had hoped for some better establishment for her
children than Parma and Placentia. The king of
France had no advantage in view but his own glory,
the humbling of his enemies, and the triumph of his
allies. Nobody then foresaw that Lorraine would
be the fruit of this war. We are almost always
guided by events, .whereof we seldom have the direc-
tion. Never was any negotiation brought to so
quick a conclusion as that which united these three
monarchs. England and Holland, which had been
generally accustomed to side with Austria against
France, forsook her upon this occasion. This was
the effect of that character for equity and modera-
tion which the court of France had acquired. It
was owing to the notion conceived by her natural
enemies, that her views were purely pacific and free
from all ambitious views, that they kept quiet, even
while she was at war. Nothing could have done
more honor to Cardinal Fleury than his being able to



jo The War of 1741.

persuade the different powers that France might
wage war against the emperor without endangering
the liberties of Europe : therefore they looked quietly
upon the rapid success of the French arms. They
were masters of the Rhine, and conjunctively with
Spain and Savoy ruled in Italy, where Marshal Vil-
lars died at the age of eighty-four, after having taken
Milan. His successor, Marshal Coigni, obtained two
victories, while the Spanish general, the duke dc
Montemar, gained a battle at Bitonto in the king-
dom of Naples, whence he acquired a new surname.
Don Carlos, who had been acknowledged heir to
Tuscany, was soon declared king of Naples. Thus
did the emperor lose almost all Italy by having given
a king to Poland ; and a son of the king of Spain was
in two campaigns secured in possession of the two
Sicilies ; kingdoms which had been so often taken
and retaken, and which, for two centuries past, had
been always claimed by the house of Austria.

This war in Italy is the only one which was termi-
nated with any solid success to the French since the
time of Charlemagne. There was this reason for
it : the guardian of the Alps, now become the most
powerful prince in these territories, was on their
side: they were assisted by the best troops in the
service of the crown of Spain, and their armies were
always well supplied. The emperor was then glad
to subscribe to such terms of peace as were offered
him by victorious France. Cardinal Fleury, who
had wisdom enough to prevent England and Hoi-



The War of 174 1. 31

land from taking part in the war, had also the sat-
isfaction of seeing it brought to a happy issue with-
out their interposition.

By this peace Don Carlos was acknowledged king
of Naples and the two Sicilies. Europe had been
long accustomed to see kingdoms given away and
exchanged. The inheritance of the house of Medici,
which had been formerly awarded to Don Carlos,
was now made over to Francis, duke of Lorraine, the
emperor's intended son-in-law. The last grand duke
of Tuscany asked, upon his death-bed, if they did not
intend him a third heir, and what child it pleased the
empire and France to make for him. Not that the
grand duchy of Tuscany looked upon itself as a fief
of the empire ; but the emperor regarded it as such,
as well as Parma and Placentia, which had been
always claimed by the holy see, to which the last
duke of Parma had paid homage; so much do the
rights of princes change with the times. By this
peace the duchies of Parma and Placentia, which
were the birthright of Don Carlos, son of Philip V.
and a princess of Parma, were yielded as his property
to the emperor Charles VI.

The king of Sardinia, duke of Savoy, who had laid
his account in having the Milanese, to which his fam-
ily, which had gradually aggrandized itself, had
some old pretensions, obtained only a small share of
it the Novarese, the Tortonese, and the fiefs of
Langhes; he derived his claim to this dukedom
from a daughter of Philip II., king of Spain, his



32 The War of 1741.

ancestor. France had also some old pretensions
descended to them from Louis XII., the natural heir
of the duchy. Philip V. likewise had his claims
founded upon the enfeoffments renewed to four
kings of Spain, his predecessors ; but these preten-
sions yielded to convenience and public advantage.
The emperor kept possession of the Milanese, not-
withstanding the general law of the fiefs of the
empire, which enjoins that the emperor should
always grant the investiture of them, as lord para-
mount ; otherwise he might, in process of time, swal-
low up all the feudal dependencies of his crown.

By this treaty King Stanislaus renounced the king-
dom to which he had been twice elected, and in the
possession of which his friends could not preserve
him. He retained the title of king; but he wanted
a more solid indemnity ; an indemnity more advan-
tageous to France than to himself. Cardinal Fleury
seemed at that time contented with the duchy of
Bar, which was yielded to Stanislaus by the duke
of Lorraine, and the reversion to the crown of
France; but the then reigning duke of Lorraine
was not to yield up his duchy till put in full posses-
sion of Tuscany. Thus the giving up of Lorraine
depended upon many casualties ; and very little profit
arose from the greatest success and most favorable
conjunctures. The cardinal was encouraged to make
his own use of these advantages : he demanded Lor-
raine upon the same terms with the duchy of Bar,
and he obtained it; it only cost him a little ready



The War of 1741. 33

money, and a pension of four million five hundred
thousand livres granted to Francis until the duchy
of Tuscany should devolve to him. Thus the reunion
of Lorraine with France, which had before been so
often tried in vain, was irrecoverably completed. By
this proceeding- a Polish king was transplanted into
Lorraine, the reigning dukes of Lorraine were
removed into Tuscany, and a second son of Spain
mounted the throne of Naples. The medal of Trajan
thus inscribed, " Regna assignata," " kingdoms dis-
posed of," might have been renewed by France.

The emperor Charles VI. thought he had gained
considerably by this treaty : he had been laboring ever
since the year 1713 to engage all the states of the
empire, and the princes, his neighbors, to guarantee
the indivisible possession of his hereditary dominions
to his eldest daughter, Maria Theresa, who had been
married to the duke of Lorraine, grand duke of Tus-
cany, in 1736. The emperor hoped to see his almost
expiring race revived in the person of his eldest
daughter's son, which son might preserve the patri-
mony of the house of Austria, and rejoin it to the
empire. With this view he had contributed to raise
the elector of Saxony, who had married one of his
nieces, to the throne of Poland by force of arms;
and procured the guaranty of that famous act of
succession, entitled " The Caroline Pragmatic Sanc-
tion." It was guaranteed by England, Holland,
Russia, Denmark, and the states of the empire; he

even flattered himself that he should obtain an equiv-
Vol. 333



34 The War of 1741.

alent to a formal acceptation from the elector of
Bavaria, which elector was on that account to inter-
marry with his niece, daughter of the emperor
Joseph. In short, he thought he had secured every-
thing, when he had obtained the guaranty of France ;
although Prince Eugene, a little before his death,
had told him he should have an army of two hun-
dred thousand soldiers, and no guaranty.

He pressed the French ministry, however, to
assure, by treaty, the order established in the Aus-
trian succession ; and they consented. The elector
of Bavaria, who imagined he had lawful claims upon
the Austrian succession, in prejudice to the daugh-
ters of Charles VI., also entreated the protection of
the court of France, which was at that time of suf-
ficient weight to settle all their rights. That min-
istry, in 1737, gave the emperor to understand that
by this guaranty nothing was intended that could
injure the pretensions of the house of Bavaria ; and
they reminded him, that in 1732, when he prevailed
upon the states of the empire to accede to this Prag-
matic Sanction, he had formally declared he would
not prejudice the rights of any person whatever.
They entreated him to do justice to the house of
Bavaria, and their remonstrances were for that time
made in secret. Those sparks, which were so soon
to cause a most dreadful combustion, were now
concealed beneath the embers.

All the princes of Christendom were at peace, if
we except the disputes just kindling between Spain



The War of 1741. 35

and England about their American commerce. The
court of France was still looked upon as the general
arbitrator of Europe.

The emperor, without consulting the empire, made
war upon the Turks. It was unfortunate for him;
but the mediation of France saved him on the very
brink of the precipice to which he had been driven.
M. Villeneuve, her ambassador to the Porte, went to
Hungary, and in 1739 concluded a peace with the
grand vizier, of which his imperial majesty stood in
much need.

Almost at the same time France restored peace to
the republic of Genoa, menaced with a civil war : she
likewise subdued and tempered the Corsicans, who
had thrown off the Genoese yoke. The island of
Corsica, which had long since assumed the title of a
kingdom, had submitted, about the end of the thir-
teenth century, to the Genoese ; a richer people, but
less warlike. The Corsicans, who were always
intractable, were now in open rebellion, under pre-
^ence of their being oppressed : their last insurrec-
tion had continued ever since 1725. A German, a
native of the county of Marck, called Theodore de
Neuhoff, having travelled all over Europe in search
f adventures, chanced to be at Leghorn in 1736:
he held a correspondence with the malcontents, and
offered them his service. Being employed by them
for that purpose, he embarked for Tunis, and
returned to Corsica with a reinforcement of arms,
ammunition, and money ; whereupon he was declared



36 The War of 1741.

king ; he was crowned with a laurel wreath, acknowl-
edged by the whole island, and carried on the war.
The Genoese senate set a price upon his head ; but
being neither able to procure his assassination, nor
yet to reduce the Corsicans, implored the emperor's
protection. As this appeared a dangerous step,
because the emperor, looking upon himself as lord
paramount of Italy, would have set himself up as
supreme judge between Genoa and the rebels, the
senate had then recourse to France, who sent into
that island successively Count de Boissieux, and the
marquis de Maillebois, afterward a marshal of
France. Theodore was driven out of the island, the
malcontents quieted, at least for awhile, and all
things were peaceably settled.

While France was interposing her good offices
between the Genoese and Corsicans, she was doing
the same for Spain and England, who were just
embarking in a sea war, much more destructive than
the claims about which they had quarrelled were
valuable. In 1735, France had employed herself in
settling the disputes between Spain and Portugal;


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