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in the month of April. The inhabitants, who were
highly incensed against them, rose upon and slew
several of them at the very instant of their quitting
the place ; then shut the gates, though it was almost
an open town, and intrenched themselves. But in a
few days afterward they were obliged to surrender
for the second time, and to give up their arms. This
cost several of the citizens their lives, who were
slain by the Pandours ; others saved themselves by
sacrificing part of their private property. The
Bavarian troops were always beaten; the duke
d'Harcourt, with great difficulty, maintained himself
on the banks of the Danube against a superior enemy.
The eyes of all Europe were now turned upon
Prague ; the two French marshals being reinforced,
had got together in the town, or under the walls,
after so many disasters, twenty-eight thousand men.
June 27, 1742, Prince Charles of Lorraine appeared
before the place, with forty-five thousand men,
besides eighteen thousand Hungarians under Gen-
eral Festititz, who advanced to him from Silesia,
where they had been before employed, and whom



MARIA THERESA



The War of 174 1. 71

the peace with the king of Prussia left at liberty to
marclr wherever their sovereign's service required.

An army of sixty thousand fighting men had never
before been seen laying siege to one of twenty-eight
thousand ; but the more numerous the garrison, and
the more populous the town, the greater reason was
there to expect that provisions and ammunition
should fail. The queen left nothing undone which
she thought might contribute to the retaking of her
capital. She gave all the horses in her stable to
draw the artillery and stores : her example was fol-
lowed by her nobles, and they paid the wagoners
for theirs in ready money. The hope of this court
seemed to rise in proportion as she was exhausted.

The queen had made up an Amazonian dress, in
which she proposed to enter Prague on horseback,
at the head of her victorious army ; nay, so sure were
they through all her dominions that Prague must in
a short time be taken, that an Austrian general in
the Low Countries sent a servant from Brussels to
Prague, on purpose that he might bring him the
earliest account of the surrender of the place.

The French minister ordered Marshal Belle-Isle to
offer to evacuate the place to the Austrians, provided
that all the French troops in Bohemia were per-
mitted to withdraw ; and that, on the other hand, all
the Austrian troops should retire out of Bavaria.
This proposition seemed the preliminary of a general
peace : but it was far from being agreed to by the
besiegers ; for at their second conference Marshal



72 The War of 1741.

Konigseck declared to Marshal Belle-Isle that the
queen absolutely hoped to make the whole French
army prisoners of war. In Prague everything began
to fail but courage : about the end of July meat sold
there for four livres a pound ; horse-flesh was eaten
at the very best tables ; and through scarcity of
forage they were forced to kill or abandon upward
of fourteen thousand horses to the enemy. The dukes
of Biron, Chevreuse, Luxembourg, Boufflers, Fleury,
Count Clermont de Tonnere, brigadier-general of
horse; M. de Sechelles, intendant of the army, sent
their plate to the mint of Prague to be coined for the
subsistence of the officers and soldiers.

It was the unhappy fate of the French at Prague
to find themselves far distant from their own
country, among a people to whose language they
were strangers, and by whom they were hated ; to
be exposed to every kind of necessity, without any
certainty of assistance, and to have no other subject
of conversation than past mistakes and present dan-
gers. One hundred pieces of cannon, and thirty-six
mortars, were fired upon their entrenchments; but
the Austrians, not having one good engineer among
them, their works were but indifferently conducted ;
the trenches were too long and too large, and the
French reaped some advantages from their errors;
they made daily sallies, but the most memorable
was that of August 22; it was in reality a battle.
Twelve thousand of the besieged attacked the besieg-
ers, carried a battery of cannon, made two hundred



The War of 1741. 73

prisoners, filled up the works, took General Monty,
killed fifteen hundred men, and wounded two thou-
sand. In this engagement, Duke of Biron, Prince
des Deux-Ponts, brother of the reigning duke, and
Prince de Beauveau were wounded. The marquis
de Tesse, first equery to the queen, and his lieutenant-
colonel, were killed near each other. The marquis de
Clermont, colonel of the regiment d'Auvergne, the
marquis de Molac and Colonel Berry, lost their lives
at the same time.

This memorable action was dearly purchased, but
threw the Austrians into such astonishment that they
dared not afterward carry on any of their feeble
works, which scarcely deserved to be styled fortifi-
cations : they contented themselves with firing inef-
fectually from their batteries, but made no breach.
The place might rather be said to be invested than
besieged; yet it was apparent that in the end the
entire loss of the French both in Prague and in Eger
must be inevitable : there was but one way to relieve
them, which was to send to their succor that army of
about forty thousand men, which, under the com-
mand of Marshal Maillebois, had obliged the king of
England to sign an apparent neutrality, and at the
same time awed both Holland and Hanover : but this
army was about two hundred leagues from Prague.
This expedient was proposed by Marquis deFenelon,
ambassador in Holland. It had its inconveniences,
but was not without its advantages. France can
easily raise and subsist three hundred thousand men



74 The War of 1741.

for ten years, without being drained, yet now there
were scarcely twenty thousand men in the heart of
that kingdom; so that they were in the most per-
plexed situation. They had, at different intervals,
sent into Germany the better part of two hundred
and twelve squadrons, and one hundred and seven-
teen battalions, and these had been from time to time
recruited ; these troops, divided in Prague, Eger,
Bavaria, and the Upper Palatinate, were above half
wasted away. Count Saxe, who at that time com-
manded in Germany, wrote to court that he had not
a hundred and fifty men left to a battalion.

In order to succor and disengage these dispersed,
weakened, and almost annihilated armies, it was
debated to march toward the complete and flourish-
ing army of Marshal Maillebois, composed of forty-
one battalions and sixty-five squadrons, three thou-
sand Palatines, three thousand Hessians, and three
independent companies of foot and two of dragoons.
It was obvious that if all these forces united had
acted with unanimity, and been assisted by Prussia
and Saxony, they must have succeeded. If Marshal
Maillebois had advanced with his army along the
banks of the Rhine to penetrate into Bohemia, he had
left France unguarded ; so that even the Dutch
might have become formidable, and harassed the
frontiers with forty thousand men. The oldest and
ablest generals were consulted upon this head. Mar-
shal de Puysegur represented the difficulties and
dangers of the proceeding, all which M, Noailles



The War of 1741. 75

admitted; but yet insisted on the necessity of it.
Marshal d'Asfeldt was also of the same opinion ; and
the king determined upon it, however hazardous,
because necessary, convinced that great undertakings
cannot be executed without risking great losses. But
the route and manner in which this army was to be
conducted still embarrassed them extremely.

The emperor Charles would have been glad had
they been employed in his electoral dominions, where
he himself had commanded them. He represented
in writing that, by delivering Bavaria, Prague would
be set free; the siege of which the Austrians must
infallibly raise as soon as this army should reach
the banks of the Danube : but the French ministry
could never think of putting their only resource into
the hands of an emperor who had been so little able
to defend himself. Cardinal Fleury wrote to dis-
suade him from it, in his letter dated August 19. The
only reason which he alleges is couched in these
terms : " Would it become an emperor to appear at
the head of our armies, without an equipage suited
to his dignity? " This was a strange reason, and was
far from corresponding with the king of France's
allowing six millions yearly to his imperial majesty.
Marshal Maillebois's inclination was to march his
army to the succor of Bohemia, because he there
expected to find greater plenty of provisions than
on the barren defiles of Bohemia. Marshal de Puyse-
gur, seeing it absolutely necessary that this army
should march, thought their direction, at least, ought



76 The War of 1741.

to be suited to the opinion of Marshal Maillebois:
but the favorite object of entering Bohemia pre-
vailed. The intention of the cardinal was that this
auxiliary army should inspire with spirit the rest of
the king's troops, while in the meantime he might
try every method of making peace.

He felt the pulse of George II., whom he had, the
preceding year, compelled to remain neutral in a
cause which the English had much at heart. He had
some hopes from this negotiation ; but the time for it
had elapsed. The celebrated Sir Robert Walpole,
who, in England, had guided the helm under George
I. and George II., had been obliged, by the clamors
of the people, to resign his position, because he was
of a pacific disposition. His greatest enemies agree
that never minister had better supported those great
trading companies which are the basis of the Eng-
lish credit ; and none knew the art of managing the
parliament better; but his best friends cannot deny
that he had applied the treasure of the nation to,
securing a constant majority in parliament, which
no minister had ever done before him : he made no
secret of this himself; and the author of these
memoirs has heard him say : " I am master of a
drug that will effectually correct all evil humors : it
is sold only at my shop." These words, which con-
vey no idea either of wit or elevated style, are expres-
sive of his character. War had never been his taste :
he always thought it would be the period of his
power. " I can answer for it," said he, " that I can



The War of 174 1. 77

govern the parliament in time of peace : I cannot
undertake to do so in time of war." Cardinal Fleury
had often taken advantage of his timidity, and
thereby preserved the superiority in negotiating.
This was laid to Walpole's charge by his enemies :
incessant were the complaints still made against him
for having so long delayed to declare war against
Spain. To endeavor preserving peace to a trading
nation is surely a strange sort of crime.

His enemies were not only the Tories, who always
were directly opposite to the Whigs, but a conjunc-
tion of both, equally discontented, because they
chose to be so. This faction was denominated " the
country party ; " a kind of division not unlike that
which has almost always subsisted in Poland, and
been lately set on foot in Sweden ; for in all countries
jealousies and complaints are raised against the
ministry ; and if, in absolute monarchies, they evap-
orate into empty murmurs, yet, in mixed govern-
ments, they become real factions. The country party
complained highly that George II. had, by his treaty
of neutrality, sacrificed the glory of Great Britain to
the preservation of Hanover, and laid the \vhole
blame upon Walpole, the then minister, who had no
share in this necessary, unpremeditated treaty, which
was entered into only to be broken. Long before
this treaty they had attacked him in parliament. Mr.
Sandys, then a member of the house of commons,
told him openly on Feb. 23, 1741, " Get yourself
ready, for I shall impeach you in three days." " I



78 The War of 1741.

accept the challenge," answered he, " provided we
fight honorably ; " and at the same time repeated this
line from Horace : "Nil conscire sibi, nulla palescere
culpaf "

On the very day fixed, his accuser moved the house
of commons to petition the king to remove Sir
Robert Walpole forever from his council and pres-
ence : at the same time a motion of a similar nature
was made by Lord Carteret in the house of peers.
The question was put, and debated in each house till
midnight. Never was there a piece of more manifest
injustice than this of endeavoring to bring a man
to punishment before there were proofs that he
had deserved it. Yet that which does not always hap-
pen was at this time the case : the justest party car-
ried it in both houses, and Walpole as yet kept his
ground. But the seven years during which the
English house of commons subsisted being now at
an end, and new representatives chosen, whereby the
country party was considerably strengthened, the
minister, who had for twenty years supported himself
against so many enemies, found it time for him to
retire. The king created him a peer of Great Britain,
under the title of Earl of Orford; and three days
afterward he resigned all his offices. His enemies
still proceeded against him legally: they insisted
upon his accounting for thirty millions of French
livres, said to have been expended in secret services
during the term of ten years ; and in this sum were
included one million two hundred thousand livres,



The War of 174 1. 79

said to have been given to the political writers and
other persons who had employed their pens in favor
of the ministry. The king, provoked at this accusa-
tion, evaded it by adjourning the parliament ; that is,
suspended its sitting for some time by virtue of his
royal prerogative.

That very Lord Carteret who had accused Walpole
in the house of peers, was now in the highest credit :
he was employed by the king to convince the people
he was in reality as much inclined to war as they
were : thus he favored their passions to strengthen
his government.

Lord Carteret had been formerly secretary of
state, then lord-lieutenant of Ireland: he was one
of the most learned men in England, spoke several of
the living languages fluently, but more particularly
French and Spanish : he was bold and artful, active,
indefatigable, and occasionally prodigal of public
money, he was as much disposed, through taste and
inclination, to war, as Walpole had been to peace:
he did not succeed this minister in his post, which
was that of high treasurer under a different denomi-
nation; but resumed his former employment of
secretary of state for the northern department, and
was in higher estimation than the new earl of Orford
had ever been.

The cardinal made him some overtures for an
accommodation, and even went so far as to propose
that he should be the mediator ; but Lord Carteret
only answered by engaging the parliament to raie



8o The War of 1741.

supplies to enable the king to levy troops ; to take
into his pay those of Hanover; to hire forces from
Denmark and Hesse, who are always ready to sell
their men to either side ; to augment the queen of
Hungary's subsidies ; to purchase the alliance of
Sardinia; to conduct a conspiracy at Naples; and
to send fleets into the Mediterranean and America:
he also proposed to procure for the king of England
in Germany the cession in full property of the bish-
oprics of Osnabriick and Hildesheim; and, in fine,
to make his master arbitrator in both hemispheres.
While, on the one hand, the cardinal thus
addressed the British court, whose tone was very
imperious, he applied, on the other, to the general
who besieged Prague : he wrote a letter, dated July
n, to Field-Marshal Konigseck, and it was delivered
to him by Marshal Belle-Isle, in which he excuses
himself from having consented to the present war;
and says he has been hurried out of his own meas-
ures. " Many people," such are his own words,
" know how firmly I opposed the resolutions we
have taken ; and that I was as it were compelled
to acquiesce with them. Your excellency is too well
acquainted with all that passed, not to guess at the
man who left nothing undone to determine the king
to enter into a league very contrary to my liking, and
my principles." The queen of Hungary only
answered by causing the cardinal's letter to be
printed. It was easy to see the ill effects this letter
must have produced. In the first place, he threw



The War of 1741. 81

the whole blame of the war upon the very general
who was commissioned to negotiate with Count
Konigseck ; and to render his person odious was not
the way to make his negotiation successful : sec-
ondly, it plainly acknowledged a weakness in the
ministry; and he must have a slender knowledge
of mankind who could not foresee that advantage
would be taken of this weakness ; that it would
inspire the allies of France with indifference, and
give her enemies more courage.

The cardinal, finding his letter made public, wrote
a second, in which he complains of this publication
to the Austrian general ; and says, " He shall not
hereafter be so forward in writing to him." This
second letter did him more hurt than did the first:
he disavowed them both in the public papers, and this
disavowal, whereby nobody was deceived, crowned
all those imprudent proceedings, which less severe
judges will be apt to excuse an old man, aged eighty-
seven, and perplexed with ill success. At length
the emperor offered proposals for a peace to the
court of London, and particularly referred to secu-
larizing the two bishoprics above mentioned in favor
of Hanover. The English minister did not con-
sider the emperor's interposition in the least neces-
sary toward obtaining those bishoprics. His pro-
posals were insulted by being made public. The
emperor was under the necessity of disavowing his
offers of a peace, as Fleury had been compelled to

disown the war.
Vol. 33-6



82 The War of 1741.

The dispute now grew warmer than ever : France
on the one hand, and England on the other, under
the name of auxiliaries, though principals in fact,
strove to hold the balance of Europe sword in hand.
In the spring of 1742 the court of England marched
into Flanders sixteen thousand English troops, as
many Hanoverians, and six thousand Hessians,
which, united to about fifteen thousand Austrians,
made up a formidable army. They were commanded
by the earl of Stair, an officer who had been formerly
bred under the great duke of Marlborough, and
who in 1715 had been ambassador to France.

England endeavored, before she should strike a
blow, to engage Holland to take part in the dispute ;
but the states-general rigidly adhered to their treaty,
which obliged them only to supply the queen of Hun-
gary with money : nothing could induce them, at this
time, to furnish troops. Holland was divided into
two parties ; one was for preserving peace, the other
breathed nothing but war. There was, however,
a third, as yet but little known, who wished for a
change in the government by advancing a stadt-
holder; but this party, though acquiring strength
daily, did not dare openly to declare itself before
the other two. The love of liberty still prevailed
over the obligations they had to the blood of the
Nassaus, and over the intrigues of the prince of
Orange. These principles, this division of people's
minds, that dilatoriness common to all republics when
their danger is not very pressing; all these reasons



The War of 1741. 83

united to prevent the Dutch from joining their forces
to those of the queen of Hungary and king of Great
Britain.

The parties which divided the republic seemed
rather to arise from difference in opinion than influ-
ence in faction. That turbulent spirit which, in cir-
cumstances not very dissimilar, had excited the
people to massacre the De Witts, seemed no longer to
subsist: the grandson of the pensionary De Witt,
as averse to war as he was, went quietly on foot to
council. They never had one tumultuous debate;
but then they had no one fixed project; and when
the states had taken the resolution to augment their
forces at all hazards with twenty thousand men, not
one of the regency as yet knew whether or not they
were determined for war.

Lord Carteret arrived at The Hague to forward
this measure: Lord Stair, who commanded the
English army at Brussels, also set out for that place,
to influence the Dutch in the same cause ; the duke
d'Aremberg, not less eager than these, added his
vague solicitations. Lord Stair was strong enough
to penetrate, without their assistance, into France :
his army, including the Austrians, amounted to
eighty thousand fighting men, with which his inten-
tion was to have seized upon Dunkirk ; the fortifi-
cations of which were very weak on the land side,
owing to the sandy nature of the soil. It is certain
that France was in pain for this town ; for the for-
tifications of its harbor, according to the loud and



84 The War of 1741.

incessant representations of the English at The
Hague, had been restored; and they cried out for
vengeance on account of this pretended infraction of
the Treaty of Utrecht. Marshal de Puysegur
advised Cardinal Fleury to sequester the place into
the hands of the Dutch, until a peace was concluded :
a proposal so frank, and at the same time artful, that
it should have engaged the Dutch to act as mediators,
and never to have declared themselves enemies to
France.

This proposal was made to them by the marquis
de Fenelon; but the English party, though it had
not sufficient authority to force Holland into a war,
had yet weight enough to hinder them from accepting
an honor whereby they must have been necessarily
obliged to remain neutral. In the meantime these
things could not have hindered the allied army at
Brussels from entering France: but the king of
England wanted to temporize, and to wait the abso-
lute determination of Holland; which was one of
the greatest mistakes that had been made during the
war. I was a witness of the astonishment and grief
of Lord Stair, who said the king, his master, had
missed an opportunity which would never offer itself
again. Nothing was then done either in Flanders or
on the Rhine. The general attention was fixed upon
Bohemia. Marshal Broglie and Belle-Isle were still
masters of Prague, and still besieged. Marshal de
Maillebois's army marched through Westphalia,
Franconia, and the frontiers of the Upper Palatinate,



The War of 1741. 85

to their assistance. Prince Charles, on receiving the
news of this march, turned the siege of Prague
into a blockade, and hastened to the defence of
Bohemia.

It was about this time that a partisan named Trenk,
at the head of a number of Pandours, Talpaches, and
Croats, seized upon Chamb, a little town on the
frontiers of the Upper Palatinate, which still held out
for the emperor. He put all the inhabitants to the
sword ; and after having abandoned the place to be
pillaged, and appropriated to himself three hundred
thousand florins, which had been therein deposited,
he reduced the town to ashes. This same bandit,
meeting with a convoy of sick French, guarded by
a few soldiers, massacred both soldiers and sick,
without distinction. During the whole war, the
Hungarian irregulars behaved themselves every-
where with the same sort of savage ferocity.

All France dreaded the same fate for both Prague
and Eger, but they had great hopes from the army
of Marshal Maillebois. The news of the siege of
the former being raised, and turned into a blockade,
gave new spirits to the court of Frankfort. The
emperor enjoyed a transitory satisfaction from being
presented by the prince des Deux-Ponts, brother to
the reigning duke, with some standards taken from
the Austrians in the different sallies made from the
place, which were indeed rather so many real bat-
tles, and in which that prince had particularly sig-
nalized himself. At length this auxiliary army



86 The War of 1 74 1-

arrived on the frontiers of Bohemia about the begin-
ning of September: everything hitherto had been
happily conducted: Count Saxe was to join this
army with the body he commanded in Bavaria,
which did not really amount to more than twenty-
seven thin battalions and thirty squadrons , but these
were a considerable addition to the new army. Count
Saxe, who had already the character of an officer who
let no opportunity that offered slip him, had just
escaped from Bavaria, where Count Khevenhuller
had held him, as it were, shut up; and, by a dex-
terous march, was advancing toward the frontiers of
Bohemia on the one hand, while Broglie approached


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