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when I let drop in this last conversation, | the husband of their queen might be proas if France would certainly abandon, for claimed regent of the kingdom. He acits own views, the king of Prussia, M. Podewils said, 'Non, non, la France ne nous plantera pas, parce que nous ne l'avons pas plantée.'"*
cordingly took the oaths to the States assembled; after which, the queen, having the infant prince brought into the hall, took him in her own arms, and in Meantime the French, some forty thou- dumb show presented him to her loyal sand strong, had crossed the Rhine, and Hungarians. A wild cry of rapturous were marching to form a junction with enthusiasm rang through the hall; and the Bavarian army. They professed to every sword flashed from its sheath, amid come solely as allies, to save Bavaria shouts of "Vitem et sanguinem consecrafrom being crushed; but Maria Theresa mus!" "Moriamur pro rege nostro, Maria and her ministers were unable to discrim- Theresa!" The words are traditional, inate between the offensive and defensive but they are as natural and probable as nature of the alliance: almost at the same they are noble; and we have no hesita time, they received news of the failure of tion in accepting them as historical, Robinson's negotiation, of the occupation though Mr. Carlyle does attempt to disof Breslau, which had immediately fol- credit the whole story, because there has lowed, and of the near approach of the been some confusion between the two asFranco-Bavarian army. Another French |semblies, and because “the baby weighed army, under the Marshal de Maillebois, sixteen pounds avoirdupois when born." threatening Hanover, extorted from the What has such rubbish to do with the elector an engagement to remain neutral matter? But the armed insurrection was and to offer no opposition to the election a great fact, and within a few weeks the of Charles Albert; and though Robinson assured the queen that this did not affect the English policy, she was unable to distinguish in her own mind between the king of England and the elector of Hanover. Russia, too, was powerless by reason of the active hostility of Sweden in the north; and Maria Theresa, without an army, without allies, with enemies on all sides, resolved, in defiance of the advice of her counsellors, to appeal to the Hungarians.
queen found herself at the head of an army, composed of the most warlike tribes in Europe, ill-disciplined indeed, but, even so, comparing not unfavorably with any but the carefully drilled troops of Frederic himself.
During this time, the flood which had threatened to overwhelm her, which had borne the allies on. towards Vienna, had sensibly abated. They had not grasped the fortune that was offered to them, and the opportunity was now past. The fact seems to have been that the elector of Bavaria, who was nominally the commander-in-chief, had neither force of char
This was contrary to the policy which had become traditional with the house of Austria: the Hungarians were always in a state of discontent and generally of re-acter nor military capacity, and he dele volt: if they got arms, it was said, no one could say what use they might make of them. It may have been the extremity of her danger, it may have been an inspiration of genius that taught Maria Theresa that the discontent was the offspring of distrust that a nation of warriors was aggrieved at being precluded from the joys and the glories of war. Her appeal to the Hungarian Diet roused the hearts of her hearers, banished discontent, and called one hundred thousand men to arms; and seeking of their own free-will what they had before refused, they begged that
Robinson to Harrington, August 9, 1741.-Raumer and Carlyle (who had consulted the original despatch) both refer this curious remark of Podewils to the first
day, immediately after the withdrawal of the king. The Duke de Broglie, following Raumer, has made the same mistake; but, quoting apparently from memory, he has gravely altered the meaning, and has given it: "Non, la France ne nous plantera pas là, à moins cependant, ajouta-t-il, après quelques instants d'hésitation, que nous ne la plantions là nous-mêmes."
gated his authority to Marshal Torring, whom the French officers were unwilling to obey. Nominally, they were under the immediate command of Belle-Isle; but Belle-Isle was absent on his diplomatic business, and his men were left without any real head. Jealousies between the Bavarians and the French, and even amongst the French themselves, deprived the army for the time of all power for active operations. It thus lay at Lintz through the whole of September; and when, in the beginning of October, it began its march, it did not move onwards to Vienna, but towards the left, to attempt the conquest of Bohemia.
Frederic was, not unnaturally, much annoyed at the neglect of the allied interests, and at the military incapacity which had so utterly thrown away the oppor tunity of striking a deadly blow at the common enemy. The capture of Vienna
it in if possible a still worse light. What he has said amounts to this that though, indeed, he had causes of complaint against France, they were not suffi cient to induce him to break with her. He had therefore no such design, whilst making this convention; he knew that the queen of Hungary only entered on it in order to sow mistrust and dissension between the allies; and that therefore he had insisted on the most profound secrecy, feeling sure that it would not be kept, and that the agreement would thus be annulled. All which he exactly con
would, he may have supposed, have virtually ended the war, or at any rate have definitely given Silesia to him. He had never publicly acknowledged the treaty with France, reserving to himself the chance of "planting "his ally; and the disgust which he now felt may have rendered him more accessible to the overtures of Austria. He had, or professed to have, a bitter dislike to Robinson, of whom in his "Mémoires," he speaks as une espèce de fou," "un fanatique; but he was ready to listen to the offers of Lord Hyndford. It was thus that arose that extraordinary, and — as far as Fred-tradicts three pages further on, where he eric was concerned that most discred- says that he agreed to a truce in order to itable negotiation, which finally took form, prevent Austria from being crushed by on October 9, at Klein-Schnellendorf, in a France, and Germany being broken up verbal agreement between the king in into a number of virtually French prov. person, accompanied by his agent, Colo- inces. And in still a third story he says nel Goltz, and the Austrian Marshal Neip- that he had discovered that Fleury was perg, with whom was General Lentulus, carrying_on secret negotiations on the Lord Hyndford being also present. Ac- part of France, and had offered to sacricording to this agreement, the king was fice the allies on condition of being put to take Neisse after a pretended but in- in possession of Luxemburg and part of nocuous siege of fourteen days, and was Brabant.* The three excuses or expla then to go peaceably into winter quarters nations so offered are incompatible with in upper Silesia, undertaking, however, each other, and are, one and all, absonot to levy contributions. Neipperg, on lutely false. Frederic agreed to the truce, the other hand, was to be free to march meaning it to hold, if it seemed convenwith his army towards Moravia, and ient to him; meaning also to break it, if thence in any direction he chose. The to break it seemed more advantageous. whole was to be kept as an inviolable se- Mr. Carlyle, who here, as in other pascret, to which, at the request of the king of sages, outfrederics Frederic, admits that, Prussia, Neipperg, Lentulus, and Hynd- in truth, the negotiations "are of a quesford gave their words of honor. This is tionable, distressing nature," but asserts the bare outline of what appears in the as a partial not complete consolation official protocol drawn up by Lord Hynd- to the ingenuous reader, that "they are ford, the result of much conversation and escorted copiously enough by a correargument. spondent sort on the French side."
The king [wrote Hyndford to Lord HarringMagnanimous [he says] I can by no means ton] stayed above two hours, and all the while çall Friedrich to his allies and neighbors, nor talked with the greatest concern for the queen even superstitiously veracious in this business; and the Duke of Lorraine, and gave Marshal but he thoroughly understands, he alone, what Neipperg his advice with regard to the opera-just thing he wants out of it, and what an enor tions against his allies, and recommended to mous wigged mendacity it is he has got to deal him particularly to make Prince Lobkowitz with. For the rest he is at the gaming-table join him with all his force, to strike a stroke with these sharpers; their dice are all cogged before the allies should join; if he were suc--and he knows it, and ought to profit by his cessful he insinuated little less than that he knowledge of it; and, in short, to win his stake would take part with the queen; but if she was out of that foul weltering melley, and go home still unlucky he must look to himself. safe with it if he can.
With which astounding falsehood - noth-
The low cunning by which Frederic hoodwinked, or, as he would have said, cajoled Valori, and the utter want of faith towards his allies, have, from the very first noising abroad of this convention, been held up to the opprobrium of all honorable men. Even Frederic himself, whom we are far from including in that category, cannot excuse his conduct; and in his endeavors to do so, has really shown | ii. 91, 94.
* Euvres historiques de Frédéric II. (Preuss. 1846),
amid which the young king stands "su- | see. The retreat of M. de Neipperg gives premely adroit clear as a star-sharp rise to strange thoughts.
as cutting steel;" with this, and speaking The rumor and belief daily strengthened, of Hyndford as "a long-headed, dogged notwithstanding the contradictions and kind of man, with a surly, edacious asseverations of Frederic's ministers and strength," and applying the name of Smel- of Frederic himself. That he, having fungus to any one who ventures not to acted the foul part he had done, should approve of this "immorality," "this play deny it, was a matter of course; but for ing with loaded dice," he closes the argu: a king, the foundation of honor, knowment. But rant and nicknames cannot ingly and deliberately to pledge his word convert cheating into honesty, or base of honor to a lie, is what we had believed lies into truth; and after a careful study to be an impossibility. We find that even of the facts, as laid down in the "Poli- this baseness was within the reach of tische Correspondez" and in Lord Hynd- Mr. Carlyle's peculiar bright "star." It ford's despatches, of the explanations of is thus described by Valori, who had Frederic, and of the comments by Mr. spoken to the king about the unpleasant Carlyle and the Duke de Broglie, we have rumors which reached him. no hesitation in accepting the pithy con- I do?" he answered; "can I hinder clusion of this last, "that for a man to knaves spreading these reports, and fools believing them? "But," said Valori, "the rumor comes from Marshal Neipperg himself." Has he said that?" retorted the king; "it's a falsehood, which will cost him dear." Valori then urged him to take an active part in the Bohemian campaign.
concert matters with his enemies at the expense of his friends is called treason, in all languages, and in all countries."
Notwithstanding the pledges which had been given at Klein-Schnellendorf, it was out of the question that the secrecy could be maintained; the actions of the parties betrayed it, without any necessity for words. The sham siege and the sham defence of Neisse were carried on in the face of all Europe, and could not be misunderstood. No disinterested person had any doubt; and, though Belle-Isle was loth to believe that his handiwork - the treaty which, with so much scheming and labor, he had got signed was so much waste paper, his correspondence with Amelot, the French minister for foreign affairs, betrays his extreme uneasiness. "The king of Prussia," he wrote on October 17, eight days after the date of the
The King of Prussia is going into winter: quarters without following Neipperg. Nothing he could do would be so injurious to the Elector of Bavaria and the common cause. Neipperg is left free to enter Bohemia, and, with his united forces, prevent the siege of Prague or cut off the Elector's communication with the Danube. If it was possible to give way to suspicions of the fidelity and honesty of this prince, there are plenty of grounds for doing so. From all parts of the country I hear how much our friends are disheartened and the Austrians inspirited by the belief that there is an understanding between the King of Prussia and the Queen of Hungary. The Elector of Bavaria himself is strongly of this opinion.
On the 30th, Amelot, writing to Belle-
The conduct of the King of Prussia is in every respect inexcusable, and I only hope this bad faith does not go further than we can yet
I will not take a step in Bohemia [he said]; it is too late. I may perhaps lend you a regi ment of Hussars, just to show that there is no such agreement as is spoken of, but nothing more. In February I will see what state you are in. If I am satisfied with your arrangements, and the magazines which you have established, I will act with you; not otherwise. I will not make war as a subordinate; I will do as I think best. Depend on my word of honor (comtez sur ma parole d'honneur) that the agreement is not made, and will not be made except in concert with my allies; but with the same truth I tell you that my troops shall not move during the winter.
in the manner already described, but the Not only had the agreement been made definitive treaty which, as was hoped, would result from it, was in active preparation. December had been named as the limit within which it was to be signed; and Colonel Goltz, writing to Lord Hyndford to accelerate matters, added, "It is the queen's favorable chance; aut nunc aut nunquam." The king of Prussia thus stood balancing between opposing interests, between the treaty with Bavaria and the treaty with Austria. Whichever way he inclined, he must commit perjury and treason, but the particular form of them was left to be determined by the course of events. German writers are fond of dwelling on the true national feeling which dictated Frederic's crooked policy at this time. They accept his statement that he was guided by a desire to preserve an
The Austrians have been guilty of another folly in suffering Prague to be taken under their nose without risking a battle. If they had been successful, I do not know what I should have done. But now we have 130,000 men as against 70,000 of theirs, and it is to be imagined we should beat them, and they have nothing to do but to submit, and to make as good a peace as they can.
equilibrium between France and Austria, | treating with the queen of Hungary. "I and by a determination not to allow Aus- defy you," he said, "to show me a scrap tria to be crushed. That such reasons of paper as big as my hand which can are purely imaginary is proved, not by prove that I had." Valori hinted that Frederic's contradictory statements for the capture of Neisse gave grounds for one might have as good a claim to be be- suspicion. 'Well," said the king, "and lieved as another, and all are equally false haven't you taken Prague without re- but by his action during the winter. sistance? Mightn't I just as well say The allied Franco-Bavarian army was that you had an understanding with the advancing against Prague, which had a queen?" But to Lord Hyndford, who sufficient garrison and was expected to was, in this matter, behind the scenes, he make a stout defence until relieved by said: Neipperg. It was, however, brilliantly carried off-hand on November 26, in an unlooked for assault, planned and conducted by the Count de Saxe, who sent off the news to Belle-Isle the same night. The marshal was at this time lying sick at Dresden, the victim of rheumatic fever, anxiety, and overwork. But the news from Prague had the happiest effect, and his illness at once took a favorable turn. But other good news came in as well; for the success of the allies was the inclination of the balance which the king of Prussia had been waiting for. When the wild tribes of Hungary were gathering for the defence of their queen, and when the French army signally failed in the first object of the campaign, Frederic, we are asked to believe, was seized with alarm lest France should so overpower Austria as to threaten the liberties of Germany, and hastened to agree to a truce, to accept a treaty. When, on the other hand, the French had rendered themselves masters of Prague, when Charles Albert had been crowned king of Bohemia, December 7, 1741, when a terrible, perhaps a fatal blow, had been struck against the house of Austria, this patriotic and national prince at once cast the truce to the winds, confirmed the alliance with France, and wrote to Belle-Isle, on November 30, congratulating him on his glorious conquest, and putting at his disposal sixteen squadrons of dragoons and hussars to help him in gathering in the fruits of it, to which, on December 9, he added: "Send me word as soon as you know what Neipperg is likely to do. My fingers are itching to be of distinguished service to my dear elector." "I quite understand," said Belle-Isle, when he read; "he comes to our assistance, when we are no longer in want of it."
Valori, as we have seen, had had his own suspicions, which even the royal "word of honor" had not altogether removed. The king now again assured him, with many oaths, that never, no, not even in imagination, had he dreamed of
In reality, the aspect of Austrian affairs at this time was gloomy enough; for, in addition to other misfortunes, the revolution in St. Petersburg, which had placed Elizabeth on the throne, had also broken the only alliance from which Austria could hope for effective aid. The tsarina, who had fancied herself in love with Louis XV., and who, had distance permitted, might perhaps have contested the high post occupied successively by the fair daughters of the house of Nesle, hastened to make peace with Sweden at the same time that she assured the French minister of her friendly sentiments. The Count de Belle-Isle had absolutely nothing to do with this revolution and the consequent change in the Russian policy, any more than he had with the capture of Prague; but he was ambassador of France as well as commander-in-chief of the French army, and both the diplomatic and mili tary triumphs shed their glory round his head. He had, however, for some time back tried to swell his own importance by complaining to his government that the double task was too much for him; and, yielding to what they possibly supposed that he wished, the king relieved him of one part of it, and appointed Marshal de Broglie to the post of commander-inchief. The supersession was softened by the fact that M. de Broglie was not only senior to Belle-Isle, but the senior marshal in the French army; still, Belle-Isle was much annoyed, and, although he could not actually complain of having been taken at his word, it was pretty generally understood in the army that hostile criticism of Broglie was the surest way of cultivating the favor of Belle-Isle, whose court influ
ence was supposed to be more powerful, and whose less advanced age would allow him longer time to exercise it. This feeling brought Belle-Isle a number of letters from the senior officers; the most extraordinary, from a military point of view, that have perhaps ever been written. They have little bearing on the political history of the period, but incidentally they illustrate the curious state of discipline in the French army, which permitted or even encouraged officers of high rank, on active service and in presence of the enemy, to cabal against each other and their commander-in-chief, and go far to explain the small success and the repeated disas ters of the French arms both in this war and in the next.
The king of Prussia, also, was much annoyed at the change. He had believed in Belle-Isle, who had, indeed, ably conducted the negotiations for the election of Charles Albert to a successful issue (January 24, 1742), and who was, it might be supposed, bound by personal as well as political motives to foster the alliance which was mainly his handiwork. On the other hand, he had some particular aversion or contempt for Broglie, who had no obligation to maintain Belle-Isle's policy, and who, at the age of seventy, might be considered to belong to an old and effete school. This feeling grew to one of violent hatred; the very mention of the marshal's name threw Frederic into wild fits of passion, and he himself could not utter it without joining to it a number of insulting and indecent epithets, of which he had an inexhaustible store. It went so far that Valori wrote on February 18, "To let the king of Prussia see that Marshal de Broglie might derive the least advantage from any course, even though it was clearly the best, was quite enough to set him absolutely against it."
the Milanese. The position of Austria was felt to be no longer critical; that of the allies might become so, if the forces of England and Holland should really enter on the campaign; and Frederic – whose views of the balance of power were peculiar - fell back on the old project of a treaty with the queen.
The pros and cons which he noted down for his own consideration are worthy of careful study; as evidence of fact, they are of the highest authority, and prove, in despite of all that he said or wrote afterwards, that suspicion of treason on the part of the French had no place in his mind, and had no influence on his conduct. His words, written about the end of March or beginning of April,* are: "It is bad for a man to break his word without reason; up to the present time I have no room to complain of France or of my allies;" and that these refer to political not to military matters is shown by the corresponding con, which is: "The bad arrangements which the French make, rendering it almost certain that they will again be beaten somewhere in detail." For the rest many of the reasons which eventually prevailed in favor of the peace are just and sound; such as, 'If England and Holland declare war on the cardinal in Flanders, he will be obliged to withdraw a great part of the French troops from Germany, and will leave me charged with the whole weight of the war. The treaty, as it stands, gives only a simple guaran. tee, without stipulating the number of troops," which had been verbally fixed at forty thousand. In another place he notes, "The considerable sums which the war costs;" and again, "The large succors which the queen is on the point of receiving from Hungary; the chances of fortune, which might take from me all that I have gained; and the general war, which might extend, by way of Hanover, into my own country.'
This flaw in the alliance, and these cabals in the French army, were the preservation of Austria. The French garrison All these and other similar considerain Lintz was forced to capitulate; the ex- tions are, in themselves, perfectly reasonpedition which Frederic led into Moravia able, and such as no politician could utterly failed; and both, by reason of the object to; but the one consideration which want of concord and co-operation. In to an honest man would have been the England, almost at the same time, Wal- first has no place on either side. There pole was compelled to resign; and Car- is no mention of the duty which a true teret, who became virtually the head of soldier had towards his allies; that hav the government, was known to be in favoring by his own intrigues, his own earnest of active interference in the cause of Ma- solicitations brought the French soldiers ria Theresa; whilst in Italy, the king of into Bohemia, he was morally bound, so Sardinia declared that he would not permit any further aggrandisement of the house of Bourbon, and, though reserving his own claims, undertook the defence of
Politische Correspondenz, Nos. 768, 769, vol. ii., assigned by the editors. The Duke de Broglie thinks pp. 98, 99. The papers are not dated, but are so they might be placed rather earlier.