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render the daughter and son of your kings, who from
you expect their safety." All the palatines, softened,
yet animated by this short speech, drew their sabres,
crying out at the same instant : " Let us die for our
king, Maria Theresa " " Pro rege nostro Maria-
Theresa mariamur." They always give the title of
king to their queen ; and never, in fact, did princess
better deserve that title. They shed tears in taking
the oath to defend her ; her eyes alone were dry :
but when she withdrew with her maids of honor,
those tears which the greatness of her soul had hith-
erto suppressed, burst from her in abundance. She
was at that time with child, and had written, not
long before, to her mother-in-law, the duchess of
Lorraine, these words, " I as yet know not whether
I shall have a single town left, wherein to be brought
to bed."

54 The War of 1741.

In this condition she excited the zeal of the Hun-
garians ; England and Holland roused in her behalf,
and supplied her with money : she corresponded all
through the empire ; negotiated with the king of
Sardinia, while her provinces furnished her with

The whole kingdom of England was warmed in
her favor : the English are not a people who wait
to know their sovereign's opinion before they form
theirs. A free gift for that princess was proposed
by some private persons. The duchess of Marlbor-
ough, relict of that duke who had fought for Charles
VI., assembled the principal ladies of London, whom
she induced to advance for this cause a hundred
thousand pounds sterling, forty thousand of which
she laid down herself. The queen of Hungary had
the firmness to decline accepting the money thus
generously offered, and to wait for such sums as
might be granted to her by the nation in parliament
assembled. It was generally believed that the vic-
torious armies of France and Bavaria would have
advanced to the siege of Vienna. It is the opinion of
the king of Prussia, that what the enemy fears
should always be carried into execution. This siege
was, however, not undertaken, and the enemy turned
off toward Bohemia; perhaps it was because the
season appeared too far advanced, or because it was
intended to preserve a balance of power between
the houses of Bavaria and Austria, by leaving

The War of 1741. 55

Vienna and Hungary to the one, and the remainder
of the German possessions to the other.

The French army, commanded by the elector of
Bavaria, and strengthened with twenty thousand
Saxons, marched toward Prague in the month of
November, 1741 ; and Count Maurice of Saxony,
natural brother of the king of Poland, took the place
by escalade. This general, who inherited from his
father his very extraordinary bodily strength, as
well as all his valor and sweetness of temper, was
moreover endued with the greatest talents for war.
From his reputation only he was, by the unanimous
voice of the people, elected duke of Courland : but
Russia, having deprived him of the benefit of an
election, to which he was presented by a whole
province, he consoled himself in the service of
France, and the social pleasures of a nation which
was not, as yet, sufficiently acquainted with his

To form a proper idea of Count Saxe's character,
whose name will be handed down to latest posterity,
it is sufficient to observe that, being accused to the
king of Prussia at this time of engaging in those
petty disputes which almost always divided the gen-
erals of the allied armies, he answered the charge
in these words, addressed to General Schmettau:
" Those who are acquainted with me know that it is
more my talent to break a lance in the field than to
spin intrigues in a closet."

It was necessary that Prague should be taken in a

56 The War of 1 74 1-

few days, or the enterprise be abandoned. They
were in want of provisions; the season was far
advanced ; and the town, though but poorly fortified,
could easily resist the first attacks. General Ogilvy,
an Irishman by birth, commanded in the place, where
he had a garrison of three thousand men. The grand
duke of Tuscany marched with an army of thirty
thousand men to its relief, November 25. He was
already within five leagues of it, when the same
night the French and Saxons made an assault upon
the town. They made two attacks on one side, under
cover of a desperate fire from their artillery, whereby
the whole garrison was drawn thither. In the mean-
time Count Saxe silently applied a ladder to the ram-
parts of the New Town, in a part very distant from
the general scene of action ; and the ladder not being
long enough, they were obliged to make up the defi-
ciency with hand-barrows. The first man that
mounted was M. Chevert, then lieutenant-colonel of
the regiment of Beauce : he was followed by Mar-
shal Broglio's eldest son. They reached the ram-
parts, and found only one sentinel at some distance ;
crowds soon followed their example, and they made
themselves masters of the place. The whole garrison
laid down their arms ; and Ogilvy, with his three
thousand men, surrendered prisoners of war. Count
Saxe saved the town from being pillaged ; and what
was very extraordinary is, that the conquerers and
the conquered were mixed together pell-mell for
three days: French, Saxons, Bavarians, and Bohe-

The War of 1741. 57

mians walked the streets in common, without dis-
tinction, or the shedding of a single drop of blood.

The elector of Bavaria, who had just come to the
camp, wrote to the king an account of this success
in such terms as a general would address to the
prince whose armies he commanded. He made his
public entry into the capital of Bohemia the same
day on which it was taken, and was crowned in the
month of December. In the meantime the grand
duke, finding subsistence fail in the quarters which
he occupied, retired to the southern part of the
province, and left the command of his army to his
brother, Prince Charles of Lorraine. While these
things were in agitation, the king of Prussia made
himself master of Moravia, a province lying between
Bohemia and Silesia ; so that Maria Theresa seemed
everywhere lost: her competitor had been crowned
archduke of Austria at Linz: he had been lately
crowned king of Bohemia at Prague ; whence he
went to Frankfort, and there was raised to the
imperial throne, under the name of Charles VII. All
the electors had put a negative upon the vote of
Bohemia in choosing an emperor, while that province
remained to the queen of Hungary, pretending it was
not what a woman had a right to. The elector of
Bavaria, now master of Prague, might have availed
himself of it ; but being under no necessity of so
doing, suffered it to lie dormant.

Marshal Belle-Isle, who had followed him from
Prague to Frankfort, appeared rather as one of the

58 The War of 1741.

principal electors than the ambassador of France:
he had managed all the votes, and directed every
negotiation : he received all the honors due to the
representative of a king who had given away the
imperial crown. The elector of Mentz, who presides
at the election, gave him the right hand in his own
palace : the ambassador paid that compliment to
electors only, taking place of all the other princes.
His full instructions were sent to the German chan-
cery in French, though it had heretofore required
those pieces to be presented in the Latin tongue, as
being the proper language of a government which
assumes the title and denomination of the Roman
Empire. Charles Albert was elected in the most
tranquil and solemn manner on Jan. 4, 1742. One
would have thought him covered with glory, and at
the summit of his happiness ; but the scene changed
soon, and his very elevation rendered him one of the
most unfortunate princes on earth.

The fault that had been committed by not provid-
ing a sufficient number of cavalry began now to be
felt. Marshal Belle-Isle lay sick at Frankfort; and
could not besides, at the same time, conduct nego-
tiations and command an army at a distance. A mis-
understanding began to gain ground among the
allies ; the Saxons complained much of the Prus-
sians ; the latter complained of the French ; and they
preferred complaints in their turn.

Maria Theresa was supported principally by her
own magnanimity, and by the money of England,

The War of 1741. 59

Holland, and Venice; by loans in Flanders; but,
above all, by the desperate ardor of her troops, which
she assembled from all quarters. The French army
was destroyed by fatigue, sickness, and desertion :
and was with difficulty recruited. The French did
not find the same fortune as Gustavus Adolphus,
who opened his campaign in Germany with less than
ten thousand men ; yet in a short time found his
forces increased to thirty thousand, augmenting
them in proportion as he advanced.

The French army, which, on its entering Bohemia,
should have amounted to forty-five thousand men,
consisted, on its leaving France, of not more than
thirty-two thousand, and in this number there was
but eight thousand cavalry, whereas there should
have been twenty thousand. Every day then weak-
ened the French and strengthened the Austrian
forces. Prince Charles of Lorraine, brother of the
grand duke, was in the heart of Bohemia at the head
of thirty-five thousand effective men ; and every-
where favored by the inhabitants. He commenced a
defensive war very successfully, keeping the enemy
in a state of continual alarm, by cutting off their con-
voys, and harassing them perpetually on every hand
with crowds of Hussars, Croats, Pandours, and
Talpaches. The Pandours are Slavonians, inhab-
iting the banks of the Drave and the Save : they wear
a long garment, and in their girdles stick several
pistols, a sabre, and a poignard. The Talpaches are
Hungarian infantry, armed with a fusee, two pis-

60 The War of 1741.

tols, and a sabre. The Croats, called in France
Cremates, are the militia of Croatia. The hussars
are Hungarian cavalry mounted upon small horses,
which are very light and hardy : they cut off posts
that are weak, and not properly supported by cavalry,
which was everywhere the case with the troops of
France and Bavaria. The elector of Bavaria thought
a small number of troops enough to preserve a vast
extent of country, which he did not suppose the
empress-queen in circumstances to retake. It is easy
to condemn the operations of war when they are
unfortunate ; but these misfortunes are seldom fore-
seen : yet, for a long time, Marshal Belle-Isle had
foretold them in all his letters from Frankfort.

'' They have left troops," said he, " in Upper Aus-
tria, which will be inevitably cut off." He wrote
thus to M. Breteuil, then secretary of state in the
war department, Dec. 17, 1741 : " I cannot help
dwelling on this important subject : I assure you that
the misfortune which I have so long foreseen, will
inevitably happen : the first source of our misfor-
tunes must arise from the mixture of nations among
our soldiery, and their being scattered." The mar-
shal, falling sick at Frankfort about the end of
November, took immediate care to write to court
that it was necessary to send another general to take
upon him the command of the armies. On December
8, Marshal Broglie, an old officer, bred under Mar-
shal Villars, and celebrated for many brave actions,
set out for Strasburg. On his arrival in Bohemia he

The War of 1741. 61

found the conquerors embarrassed with their acqui-
sitions, and the Austrians possessed of all the posts
in the southern parts of Bohemia. Upper Austria
was guarded by only fifteen thousand Bavarians and
eight or nine thousand French. Count Khevenhul-
ler, governor of Vienna, appeared suddenly in those
quarters with garrisons drawn from such towns as
he left behind him, the troops recalled from Italy,
and twenty thousand Hungarians. Lieutenant-gen-
eral Count de Segur was then at Linz, an open town
into which the elector of Bavaria had thrown about
eight thousand men. General Khevenhuller
advanced with thirty thousand fighting men under
command of the grand duke. Segur's only resource
was then to retire ; but the elector had commanded
him to defend a post which it was not possible for
him to maintain. He barricaded the place, and pre-
pared to resist the most vigorous assaults, hoping, on
the other hand, that some diversion would be made
by the Bavarians ; but the latter were defeated and
dispersed ; and, instead of succoring Linz, they lost

The grand duke now appeared in person before
Linz, and summoned the French to surrender pris-
oners of war : on their refusal, he caused his troops
to enter the place, sword in hand, and burned down
a part of one of his own towns to bury the French
in its ruins. M. Duchatel, a lieutenant-general, who
died lately, with the highest reputation for valor,
probity, and spirit, came to treat with him on the part

62 The War of 1741.

of the besieged. The grand duke insisted on their
surrendering prisoners of war. " Well then," said
Duchatel, " since this is your resolution, begin again
to burn the town, and we will begin to fire." The
prince was softened, and allowed them to retire with
the honors of war, on condition that they did not
serve again for a year.

The Hungarians, after this first success, immedi-
ately advanced and retook Passau. They spread
themselves over Bavaria on the Austrian side ; while
the Austrians entered it on the side of Tyrol, and
laid all waste from one end to the other. A partisan
named Mentzel, known only by his brutality and
depredations, appeared suddenly before Munich with
his hussars, and the capital of Bavaria surrendered
to his summons. All these events followed each
other rapidly, while the French prepared at Frank-
fort for the coronation of the elector of Bavaria.
In short, on the very day he was elected emperor, he
received the account of the loss of Linz, and was
soon convinced that he was left without capital or

The War of 174 1. 63






FORTUNE now declared herself as much an enemy
to the Bavarian emperor in Bohemia as in Upper
Austria and Bavaria: the aspect of things was the
more melancholy in three months' time, because his
affairs in Bohemia looked well ; and, from the supe-
riority of his allies there was great probability of
their being able to restore to him his dominions;
for on the one side Count Saxe had taken Eger, and
thus the two extreme boundaries of Bohemia were
maintained; on the other, Prince Charles, having
given battle to the king of Prussia near Czaslau, in
the heart of Bohemia, into which he had penetrated
with his army, which was totally defeated.

The Saxons were also in a condition to second the
king, and to assist in preserving the conquests which
had been made for the common cause by the French
armies conjointly with them. In the midst of these
apparent advantages, Marshal Belle-Isle, being recov-
ered from his indisposition, hastened to the French
army at Frankfort, commanded by Marshal Brog-

64 The War of 1741.

lie, and encountered the Austrians at Sahay, near
Frauemberg, on the road to Prague. These two
generals differed in opinion, but were reunited by
their zeal for the service. They lay that night on a
mattress, and on the succeeding day fought one of
the most sharp and glorious battles that had been
known during the whole war, if glory may be said to
be annexed to small events, happily conducted, and
boldly supported, as well as to more decisive actions.
Six hundred carbineers and three hundred dragoons,
led by the marquis de Mirepoix and the duke de
Chevreuse, attacked and routed a body of two
thousand five hundred cuirassiers, commanded
by Prince Lobkowitz, though they were advanta-
geously posted, and made a gallant defence. The
duke de Chevreuse was wounded in three places.
The duke de Broglie and all the officers gave
to the soldiery a noble example, particularly M.
de Malefieux, major of the carbineers, who
drew them up in a manner that contributed
much to the success of the day. The count de
Berenger, at the head of the brigade of Navarre,
did very signal service. This was not a great battle,
but rather a trial of skill between the French and
the Austrian generals, in which each combatant
showed prodigies of valor ; and if it could not give
great superiority to the French armies, it might at
least have enhanced their reputation : but it was to
no purpose; and they should have foreseen that,

The War of 1741. 65

notwithstanding all their apparent success, the pit
was dug into which they were ready to fall.

The king of Prussia, dissatisfied with Marshal
Broglie, wrote to him a very haughty letter after the
battle of Czaslau ; and added, with his own hand,
this postscript : " I am quit with MY allies ; for my
troops have just obtained a complete victory: it is
your duty to make the best use of it out of hand,
otherwise you may be responsible for it to YOUR

It is scarcely possible to comprehend v\hat he
means by those words : " I am quit with MY allies."
Marshal Broglie, in writing home to the prime min-
ister, observes that the king of Prussia might have
expressed himself more obligingly, but that he did
not understand French ; he understood it well, and
his meaning was clear.

This monarch remained inactive after his victory
at Czaslau, and they could not conceive what his
conduct meant. No advantages were reaped from
the little affair at Sahay, and at length subsistence
began to fail. There are instances in which the dis-
tance from a magazine, or the scarcity of one article
of provisions, may occasion the loss of a kingdom.
The arrival of the recruits expected from France
was too late. The troops under Marshal Broglie
were so much diminished that only twelve thousand
men could be mustered at a review of forty-six
battalions, which should have amounted to thirty
thousand men.
Vol. 335

66 The War of 1741.

The rest of the army was scattered ; while Prince
Charles of Lorraine and Prince Lobkowitz reunited
their forces. To add to the misfortune, there was
but little agreement between the French generals,
as well as between those of the allies. Had the Prus-
sians acted conjointly with the French and Saxons
it is certain that, being possessed of Prague, Eger,
and all northern Bohemia, victorious at Czaslau
and Sahay, they might have remained masters of
Bohemia. Marshal Belle-Isle, to whom the king of
Prussia wrote daily with the most entire confidence,
and rather like a friend than a king, waited upon that
monarch in his camp on June 5, in order to concert
with him what was to be done for the common
cause. The king spoke thus to him : " I give you
warning that Prince Charles is advancing toward
Marshal Broglie ; and that if proper advantages are
not drawn from the affair at Sahay, I shall make a
separate peace for myself." In a word, a treaty
between him and the queen of Hungary had been
for nearly a year on the point of conclusion; the
negotiations had been renewed at Breslau and The
Hague; the articles were at length settled, and
nothing was wanting but to sign them. The only
and best method of preserving an ally is to be always
strong enough to do without him; but Marshal
Broglie's army was so far from being in this happy
situation that it daily decreased by sickness and

They were forced to abandon all their posts, one

The War of 1741. 67

after another; they daily lost their provisions and
ammunition, of which part was pillaged by our own
soldiers, and part carried off by the enemy. Prince
Charles passed the Moldau in pursuit of a body of
troops under M. d'Aubigne, who retreated in dis-
order; he followed the French to Thein, to Piseck,
and from Piseck to Pilsen, and thence to Beraun:
these retreats cost the French at least as many men
as a battle, and besides contributed to dispirit the
troops. They were perpetually harassed in their
precipitate marches by the hussars, their baggage
pillaged, and every Frenchman that chanced to stray
from his corps was massacred without mercy. Dur-
ing this disorder of so many detached bodies every-
where flying before the enemy, Marshal Broglie
saved his army by making a resolute stand against
the army of Prince Charles, with about ten thousand
men, by putting a deep river between them, stealing
a march, and, at length, having collected all his
forces, retiring toward Prague. This manoeuvre was
admirable, but did not at all restore his affairs. Dur-
ing the time that he was making so many efforts to
prevent his being cut off by the united armies of
Prince Charles of Lorraine and Prince Lobkowitz,
he was abandoned by the king of Prussia. The first
disgraces of the French arms in Bavaria and
Bohemia gave rise to the treaty, the latter occasioned
its being signed on June n, 1742. The king of
Prussia had, at a very proper opportunity, taken up
arms to make an easy conquest of Silesia; and he

68 The War of 1 741.

was now willing, at as proper a time, to lay them
down, in order to keep the largest and richest part
of that province as far as the river Neisse.

The queen of Hungary, who, fifteen months before,
might have prevented the war, and put the imperial
crown upon the head of her husband, besides being
supplied with troops and money at the king of Prus-
sia's expense, by only giving up a part ^f that prov-
ince, now thought herself very happy in ceding to
Prussia much more than he had then demanded, and
got nothing in return. She also parted with the
county of Glatz to him; and if she did not secure
him as an ally, she was, however, for some time freed
from a formidable opponent.

The emperor was abandoned by this treaty, and
not the slightest mention made of France. Saxony,
by one of the articles of peace, was to be comprised
therein, provided that their forces separated from the
French within sixteen days, reckoning from the time
of signing the treaty.

The Saxon army withdrew long before the stipu-
lated term. The French remained alone the protec-
tors of the emperor, and were the only troops
exposed to danger. His only asylum was Frank-
fort, where he had been crowned. In vain did Mar-
shal Belle-Isle, though in a bad state of health, post
from the Prussian camp to the court of Dresden;
in vain did Marshal Broglie assemble his troops, con-
siderably recruited: there was but little subordina-
tion in his army ; they saw themselves in a strange

The War of 1741. 69

country, without allies or assistance; they had
Prince Charles to contend with, who commanded a
superior army, and was beloved by his people. The
advantage of speaking the language of the country
in which a war is carried on is also very great ; they
receive intelligence quicker and oftener. The
national troops are favored always, and foreigners
betrayed. There was also another inconvenience,
which is alone sufficient to destroy an army, and even
a state. Marshal Belle-Isle, who arrived at Prague
about the end of June, from Dresden, had a com-
mission as general in Bohemia ; and Marshal Brog-
lie, who, at Prague, had under him part of the bat-
talions destined for Bavaria, insisted on keeping the
chief command as his right, being the oldest mar-
shal. Thus here were two generals, and the prin-
cipal officers did not know which they were to obey.
Cardinal Fleury continued Marshal Belle-Isle in the
command. The king's service did not, however, suf-
fer from things remaining in this dangerous and
doubtful situation, which is yet more rare than this
division of authority.

The French, deserted as they were, saw them-
selves still possessed of the most important place
of all their conquests. But while Bohemia was the
theatre of these revolutions, the Hungarians lived
in the capital of Bavaria, of which they were masters,
with all the licentiousness and cruelty of an
unbridled soldiery. The town was ransomed ; yet
the neighboring villages were ravaged, and the peo-

70 The War of 1741.

pie reduced to a state of desperation. The king of
France did not abandon the emperor ; he maintained
him in possession of Prague and Eger ; the duke
d'Harcourt, with fifteen thousand men, advanced
to succor Bohemia ; this diversion proved, for a very
short while, the deliverance of Munich.

The Austrian general, Khevenhuller, having
drawn together his forces, marched out of Munich

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