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by his economy paid off several debts with which
it had been encumbered, and done a vast deal of good
by his spirit of reconciliation.

These were the predominant traits of his character.
The reason which he gave to his people for resigning
his bishopric was, that his bad state of health pre-
vented him from paying a proper attention to the
welfare of his flock: he assigned the same reason
to the duke of Orleans, in his regency, for refusing
the archbishopric of Rheims, which his highness
offered to him. When Marshal Villars pressed him
to accept it, his answer was, it would be unbecom-
ing in him, who had not the ability to govern the
diocese of Frejus, should he find ability to guide
the archbishopric of Rheims. This bishopric of
Frejus was far from the court, in an unpleasant
country; therefore it was never agreeable to him.
He used to say that he was disgusted at his mar-
riage the moment he saw his wife. He subscribed
himself thus humorously enough in one of his let-
ters to Quirini : " Fleury, by the divine wrath, bishop
of Frejus."

He vacated that bishopric about the beginning of
the year 1715. The court of Rome, which is always
well informed of the ecclesiastical affairs of other

120 The War of 1 741.

kingdoms, was convinced that this voluntary and
absolute renunciation of a bishopric was founded in
reality on a notion which Fleury entertained of being
appointed preceptor to the dauphin. Pope Clement
II., who had no doubt of this, spoke of it openly;
and indeed Marshal de Villeroi, after much solicita-
tion, obtained that trust for him of Louis XIV., who
named for it the bishop of Frejus in his codicil. Nev-
ertheless, the new preceptor explains himself on this
matter, in a letter to Cardinal Quirini, thus : " I have
regretted more than once the loss of the solitude of
Frejus: I was informed, on my arrival, that the
king was at the point of death, and that he had done
me the honor of appointing me preceptor to his
great-grandson : had he been able to have heard me,
I would have entreated him to have excused me from
a burden, the consideration of which makes me trem-
ble; but, after his death, they would not listen to
me: I have been therefore extremely ill, and have
no consolation for the loss of my liberty."

He comforted himself with insensibly forming his
pupil to business, secrecy, and probity ; and amidst
all the revolutions of the court, during the minority,
preserved the good-will of the regent, and the esteem
of the public; never endeavoring to make himself
of consequence, nor complaining of anyone ; expos-
ing himself to no refusal, nor engaging in any
intrigue; but he applied himself secretly to the
knowledge of the internal administration of the
kingdom, and the policy of other nations. All France

The War of 1741. 121

wished to see him at the head of affairs, and this wish
arose from a consideration of the circumspection of
his conduct, and the sweetness of his manners. Acci-
dent at length placed him there against his will ; and,
thus elevated, he made it evident that men of a mild
and pacific turn of mind are fittest to govern. His
administration was less opposed, as well as less
envied, than that of either Richelieu or Mazarin
had been in their happiest days: his advancement
had no influence on his manners : they were still the
same. It was matter of general astonishment to see
a first minister who was unexceptionably the most
amiable and disinterested man of the whole court.
This moderation happily corresponded with the wel-
fare of the states : it stood in need of that peace of
which he was so fond ; and all the foreign ministers
were persuaded, that, during his life, it would never
be interrupted.

When he appeared, in 1725, at the Congress of
Soissons, all the foreign ministers regarded him as
their father ; and many princes, besides the emperor
Charles VI., often in their letters distinguished him
by that title: but in 1733 they presumed too much
on his character as a peaceable man. The grand
chancellor of Vienna haughtily said they might pro-
ceed as they pleased against King Stanislaus of
Poland; for the cardinal would bear it all tamely:
but, when forced into a war, he conducted it with
prudence and success, and brought it to a happy
conclusion. The treaty was not indeed satisfactory

122 The War of 1741.

either to Spain or Savoy ; but France got Lorraine
by it; and surely there is no need for hesitation,
when we are to choose whether we shall serve our
allies or our country.

Without having any mighty views, he did some
great things, by letting them work their own events.
His tranquil disposition made him fear, and even
undervalue, men of penetrating, active capacities;
for such, he pretended, were never at rest. But as
this turn of mind is always accompanied by strong
talents, he kept those who were possessed of it at
too great a distance. His distrust of mankind was
much greater than his desire of knowing them : his
age and character inclined him to believe that there
was no sort of genius in France, in any branch what-
ever; and even if there were, he thought he might
do without those who possessed it, believing it a
matter of great indifference what kind of people he
employed. He endeavored, as much as in him lay,
to introduce into the public administration that econ-
omy which reigned in his own house. By an adher-
ence to this maxim, he neglected to keep on foot a
strong naval armament : he never imagined that the
state might one day stand in need of it to oppose the
English, whom he had long amused with negotia-
tions; but negotiations may vary and fail of their
influence, when a good fleet will not.

The chief principle of his administration was to
preserve regularity in the finances of the kingdom,
and to give her time to recover herself; "like a

The War of 1741. 123

robust body, which, having felt some shock, stands
in need only of a certain regimen to restore it." This
was the answer he made when a grand project was
laid before him, which was an innovation of the
finances ; and indeed the state of commerce, left
almost to itself, under his administration, was very
flourishing during the peace; but not being sup-
ported by maritime forces equal to those of Eng-
land, it drooped considerably while the war of 1741

His administration was not remarkable for any
new -establishment in the kingdom, any public mon-
ument, nor for even one of those magnificent under-
takings or institutions which impose on the public,
and strike the eyes of strangers ; but it will be always
distinguished by his moderation, simplicity, uniform-
ity, and prudence.

At length the most peaceable of ministers was
dragged into the most violent quarrel ; and he who
was the best husband of the public treasures of
France, was at last obliged to lavish them on a war,
which, while he lived, proved unfortunate. The
king was present at his last moments ; he wept over
him; the dauphin was brought into the chamber,
and as they kept him at some distance from the
bed of the dying man, the cardinal desired they
would permit him to be brought nearer : " It is
proper," says he, " that he should be accustomed to
such sights as this is." At length he expired in his
ninetieth year, undaunted and resigned.

124 The War of 1741.





No SOONER were the eyes of Cardinal Fleury closed
than the king took the reins of government into his
own hands : there was no part, not even the minutest,
of the administration, of which he was not master.
He was firmly resolved to accept of an honorable
peace, or to prosecute with vigor a necessary war;
and to adhere inviolably to his word.

He made no change in the measures already taken ;
the same generals commanded.

It is pretended by some, that the same mistakes
were committed in 1743, which had occasioned the
loss of Bohemia and Bavaria in the preceding year ;
that the Bavarian and French forces being divided
into too many separate bodies, mouldered away by
degrees. The mortality which got footing among
the French troops in Bavaria was the beginning of
their misfortunes. It often happens that more sol-
diers perish through inaction than fatigue, and great
care should be taken to hinder any sickness that
chances to find its way into a camp, from spreading.
The French soldiers spent the latter part of 1742,
and the beginning of 1743, crowded together around
German stoves, which alone destroyed them in great

The War of 1741. 125

numbers; but that which was their greatest detri-
ment was a misunderstanding between Marshal
Broglie and Count Seckendorff, who then com-
manded the Bavarians. The latter, who acted under
Prince Charles, would have had the former weaken
himself to send him reinforcements, but the marshal
refused them as often as they were asked, having
enough to do in opposing Prince Lobkowitz. The
emperor, who was then in Munich, could not recon-
cile them. Broglie was said in the public papers to
have forty thousand men, but he had not more than
twenty thousand.

Prince Charles of Lorraine, with his united forces,
obtained at this time a complete victory over the
Bavarians, in the neighborhood of the river Inn, not
far from Branaw. He cut off eight thousand men,
and took prisoners General Minuzzi, and three other
general officers. The remains of the defeated army
retired to Branaw, and all Bavaria was soon opened
to the incursions of the Austrians. Maria Theresa
received this news at Prague the very day on which
she was crowned ; a ceremony with which her rival
had been shortly before honored in the same place.
There was nothing now to oppose the progress of
Prince Charles: he took Dingelfing, Deckendorff,
and Landau, upon the Isar ; and made a number of
prisoners everywhere.

On the other side, Prince Lobkowitz possessed
himself of the Upper Palatinate, and Marshal Brog-
Jie retired toward Ingolstadt The emperor once

126 The War of 1 741.

more fled from his capital, and sheltered himself
in Augsburg, an imperial town; but he did not
remain there long. As he quitted it, he had the mor-
tification of seeing Colonel Mentzel enter at the head
of his pandours ; and these savages had the brutality
to insult him in the public streets : he retired to
Frankfort. This rapid course of events occurred in
May and June.

The emperor's misfortunes daily increasing, he
was reduced to the necessity of supplicating the
queen of Hungary, whom he had been once so near
dethroning; he offered to renounce all his claims to
the inheritance of the house of Austria. The heredi-
tary prince of Hesse undertook the management of
this negotiation, and waited on the king of England,
tEen at Hanover, with the emperor's propositions.
King George's answer was that he would consult his
parliament. Even this negotiation of the prince of
Hesse served only to convince the emperor more
clearly that his enemies meditated his expulsion from
the imperial throne. The resource which he expected
by addressing the queen of Hungary being denied
to him, his next step was to declare his intention of
remaining neutral, though in his own cause; and
he therefore requested of her to let the shattered
remains of his army quarter in Suabia, and to be
regarded as the troops of the empire. He at the
same time offered to ccnd Marshal Broglie's army
back to France. The queen answered that " she was
not at war with the head of the empire, and since,

The War of 1741. 127

according to the directions of the Golden Bull, which
had been violated by his election, she had never
acknowledged him as such, she should cause his
troops to be attacked wherever they were found ; yet
as to himself, she would not oppose his taking ref-
uge in any part of the imperial territories, Bavaria

At the same time Lord Stair directed his march
toward Frankfort with an army of upward of fifty
thousand men, consisting of English, Hanoverians,
and Austrians. The king of England arrived at the
army with his second son, the duke of Cumberland,
having on his way passed by Frankfort, the asylum
of the emperor, whom he still acknowledged as his
sovereign in the empire, and yet against whom he
waged war in hope of dethroning him.

The Dutch at length consented to join the allied
army with twenty thousand men, believing that now
they could take such a step without any hazard;
and that, without declaring war against France, they
might help to crush her. They sent six thousand
men into Flanders to replace the Austrian garrisons,
and prepared to send fourteen thousand men into
Germany; but they proceeded in the true spirit of
the republic very slowly : they either believed, or at
least pretended to believe, at The Hague, Vienna,
and London, that France was now drained both of
men and money. One of the principal members of
the states of Holland affirmed that France could not
raise more than one hundred thousand men, and that

128 The War of 1 741.

her whole current specie did not exceed two hun-
dred millions of livres. This was abusing the people
strangely ; but it is necessary often to deceive them,
to keep them in proper spirits.

The king of France, in the meantime, sent Marshal
de Noailles with sixty-six battalions, and one hun-
dred and thirty-eight squadrons, to attack the Eng-
lish wherever he could find them ; and he resolved to
send assistance to Don Philip in Italy, in case the
court of Sardinia should refuse to come to an agree-
ment. He maintained, besides, upon the Danube, a
complete army of sixty-six squadrons and one hun-
dred and fifteen battalions; and this force was
strong enough to succor Eger on one side, and
Bavaria on the other. Although but an auxiliary, he
appeared everywhere as a principal; and the
emperor, having retreated from Augsburg to Frank-
fort, expected the decision of his fate from the for-
tune of his allies or of his enemies.

The quarrels of this prince, and other disputes to
which it gave rise, now employed not less than ten
armies at once; five in Germany, and as many in
Italy. There was, first, M. Broglie's army in Ger-
many, which defended Bavaria : it was made up, in
the main, of all those regiments which had taken
the route of Bohemia, and of half of M. Belle-Isle's
troops, which, joined to the Bavarians, made a very
formidable body: the second was that of Prince
Charles, which pressed hard upon Broglie, and rav-
aged Bavaria : the third was that of M. de Noailles

The War of 1741. 129

upon the Rhine, augmented with troops and recruits
from M. Belle-Isle. To oppose Noailles, the Han-
overians, Austrians, and English were assembled to
the amount of fifty thousand men, under the com-
mand of King George II. This was the fourth
army. The fifth was fourteen thousand Dutch, ad-
vancing slowly, on the banks of the Main, to join the
last ; but they came too late.

The five armies in Italy were, first, that of the
Infante, Don Philip, which had subdued Savoy : sec-
ondly, that of the king of Sardinia, part of which
guarded the Alps, and part was joined with the
Austrians ; which latter may be reckoned a third
army, as they spread themselves from the Milanese
to the neighborhood of Bologna : these were opposed
by Count de Gages, a Fleming by birth, whose merit
had raised him to the command of the Spanish army,
in the place of the duke de Montemar: the fifth
was that of Naples, tied up from acting by a treaty
just then expiring. To these ten armies may be
added an eleventh, that of Venice, kept on foot
purely to secure that republic from the insults of the

These vast appearances kept all Europe in sus-
pense. It was a game played from one end to the
other of this quarter of the globe by all her princes ;
in the course of which they hazarded nearly upon
equal terms the blood and treasure of their subjects,
and held fortune long in the balance by a variety
of great achievements, vast mistakes, and consider-
Vol. 339

130 The War of 1741.

able losses. Very little land is to be gained in
Italy, even with great difficulty ; for, on the side of
Piedmont, a single rock may cost a whole army ; and
about Lombardy the country is entirely intersected
with rivers and canals.

Count de Gages had passed the Panaro, and at-
tacked Count Traun : they fought a battle at Campo
Santo in the month of February, for which Te Dcurn
was sung both at Madrid and Vienna : it cost the
lives of many brave soldiers on both sides, but gave
superiority to neither : in Germany they expected
more decisive actions.

Marshal de Noailles, who commanded against the
king of England, had borne arms ever since he was
fifteen years of age : he had been at the head of the
army in Catalonia, and, besides, passed through all
the offices of civil government : he had directed the
finances in the beginning of the regency : he had
been general of an army, and minister of state ; and
in all his employments was remarkable for the cul-
tivation of letters ; a conduct formerly common
among the Greeks and Romans, but rarely to be
found in modern times in Europe. This general had,
by a superior manoeuvre, made himself master of
the country: he flanked the army of the king of
England, and kept the Main between them ; at the
same time, by securing all the avenues to their camp,
both above and below, he cut off all their subsist-

The king of England took post at Aschaffenburg,

The War of 1741. 131

a town on the Main, belonging to the elector of
Mentz : he took this step against the opinion of the
earl of Stair, and soon repented he had done so ;
for he now saw his army blocked up and starved
by M. de Noailles : the soldiers were reduced to half
their daily allowance, and the king saw himself
under a necessity of retreating, to look for provisions
at Hanau, on the road to Frankfort ; but in this
case he found he must be exposed to the fire of the
battery which the enemy had raised upon the
Main : he was therefore obliged to make a precipi-
tate retreat with an army weakened by desertion,
and whose rear was in danger of being cut off
by the French ; for M. de Noailles had taken the pre-
caution to throw bridges over the river between
Dettingen and Aschaffenburg, on the road to
Hanau ; and this, to complete their error, the allies
had not prevented. June 26, the king of England
caused his army to decamp at midnight without beat
of drum, and ventured upon a most precipitate and
dangerous march, which indeed he could by no
means avoid.

Count de Noailles, who encamped upon the side
of that river, was the first who perceived this motion,
of which he instantly apprised his father : the mar-
shal rose, and saw the English marching, as it were,
to their destruction in a narrow road, with a moun-
tain on one side, and a river on the other : he imme-
diately caused thirty squadrons, consisting of the
king's household, of the dragoons, and hussars, to

132 The War of 1741.

advance toward the village of Dettingen, before
which the English would be compelled to pass.
Four brigades of infantry, with that of the French
guards, were marched over two bridges, with orders
to remain posted in the village of Dettingen, on
one side of a hollow way, where they could not
be perceived by the English, of all whose motions
the marshal had a clear view. M. de Valliere, a
lieutenant-general, who had made the artillery as
serviceable as could be possible, held the enemy in a
defile, between two batteries, which played upon
them from the opposite bank. They were to pass
through a hollow way, which lies between Dettingen
and a small rivulet. The French were not to fall
on them but at a certain advantage, as the very situ-
ation of the ground was a snare from which they
could not escape. The king of England was in
danger of being taken. In short, it was now one of
those critical moments that might have put an end to
the war.

The marshal recommended the duke de Gram-
mont, his nephew, a lieutenant-general, and colonel
of the guards, to wait in that position till the enemy
should fall into his hands, which was unavoidable.
In the meantime, he went to reconnoitre a ford, in
order to advance some more cavalry, and more
clearly to examine the posture of the enemy. Most
of the officers say he had better have staid at the
head of his army, to enforce obedience ; but, had
the day been successful, this error would not have

The War of 1741. 133

been laid to his charge. Be that as it may, he sent
five brigades to secure the post of Aschaffenburg ;
so that the English were surrounded on all sides.

All these measures were disconcerted by a
moment's impatience. The duke de Grammont,
imagining that the first column of the enemy had
already passed, and that he had only to fall upon
their rear, which could not withstand him, caused
his troops to advance from the hollow way. The
duke de Chevreuse represented to him the danger
of this unseasonable courage ; the count de Noailles
entreated that he would only wait a moment for the
return of his father ; the duke de Grammont, whose
motions were already perceived by the English,
thought he should not retire ; therefore, quitting the
very advantageous post, which he should by all
means have held, he advanced with a regiment of
guards, and Noailles' infantry, into a small field,
called the Cockpit. The English, who were filing off
in order of battle, soon formed : their whole army
consisted of fifty thousand men, and they were
opposed by thirty squadrons and five brigades of
infantry. Thus the French themselves fell into the
very snare they had laid for the enemy, whom they
attacked in disorder, and with unequal force. The
cannon which M. de Valliere had planted upon the
Main raked the enemy's flank, and that of the Hano-
verians in particular; but they had batteries on the
other hand which took the French army in front.
The advantage of cannon, which is very great, was

134 The War of 1 741.

soon overbalanced; the artillery on the banks of
the Main being rendered useless, as in the confusion
it must have annoyed the French themselves, in case
of its being properly served. Marshal de Noailles
returned the moment the fault had been committed,
and all he could do was to endeavor to repair it by
the courage of his troops. The king's household and
the carbineers, at the first onset broke through two
whole lines of the enemy's cavalry ; but they formed
again instantly, and the French were surrounded.
The officers of the regiment of guards marched on
boldly at the head of a small body of infantry:
twenty-one of these were killed on the spot, as
many more wounded dangerously, and the regiment
of guards was entirely routed.

The duke de Chartres, the prince de Clermont,
the count d'Eu, and the duke de Penthievre, though
so very young, exerted their utmost endeavors to put
a stop to the disorder. The count de Noailles had
two horses killed under him, and his brother, the
duke d'Ayen, was thrown from the saddle.

The marquis de Puysegur, son of the marshal of
that name, harangued the soldiers of his regiment
to encourage them ; followed and rallied, as much
as in his power, those that fled ; nay, some of them,
who would not stand, but cried out for each man to
save himself, he killed with his own hand. The
princes and dukes de Biron, Luxembourg, Bouflers,
Chevreuse, and Peguiny advanced at the head of the
brigades they met with, and, leading them on, pene-

The War of 1741. 135

trated into the enemy's lines. On the other hand,
nothing could abate the courage of the king's house-
hold troops and the carbineers. Here one might
see a company of guards and two hundred mus-
keteers; there a few troops of cavalry advancing
with some light horse, with others following the
carbineers, or horse-grenadiers, running upon the
English, sword in hand, with more bravery than
discipline ; nay, so little was discipline observed
among them that about fifty musketeers heroically
forced their way through a regiment of horse, called
the Scotch Greys ; a regiment highly esteemed by
the English, made up of picked men, choicely
mounted. We may well imagine what must be the
fate of fifty young fellows poorly mounted, against
a body by whom they were so considerably out-
numbered. They were almost all killed, wounded, or
taken prisoners. The son of the marquis de Fenelon
was taken prisoner in the last rank of the regiment
of Scotch Greys ; twenty-seven officers of the king's
household troops perished in this fight, and sixty-

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