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some degree divided; and the Germans, and especially Frederick, were alarmed by the growing ascendency, and irritated by the haughty demeanour of the French. In the moment of her extreme depression, the Queen consented to a concession which England had vainly urged upon her before, and which laid the foundation of her future success. In October 1741 she entered into a secret convention with Frederick, by which that astute sovereign agreed to desert his allies, and desist from hostilities, on condition of ultimately obtaining Lower Silesia, with Breslau and Neisse. Every precaution was taken to ensure secrecy. It was arranged that Frederick should continue to besiege Neisse, that the town should ultimately be surrendered to him, and that his troops should then retire into winter quarters, and take no further part in the war. As the sacrifice of a few more lives was perfectly indifferent to the contracting parties, and in order that no one should suspect the treachery that was contemplated, Neisse, after the arrangement had been made for its surrender, was subjected for four days and four nights to the horrors of bombardment. Frederick at the same time talked, with his usual cynical frankness, to the English ambassador about the best way of attacking his allies the French; and observed, that if the Queen of Hungary prospered, he would perhaps support her, if not-everyone must look for himself.1 He only assented verbally to this convention, and, no doubt, resolved to await the course of events, in order to decide which Power it was his interest finally to betray; but in the meantime the Austrians obtained a respite, which enabled them to throw their whole forces upon their other enemies. Two brilliant campaigns followed. The greater part of Bohemia was recovered by an army under the Duke of Lorraine, and the French were hemmed in at Prague; while another army, under General Khevenhuller, invaded Upper Austria, drove 10,000 French soldiers within the walls of Linz, blockaded them, defeated a body of Bohemians who were sent to the rescue, compelled the whole French army to surrender, and then, cross

1 See Carlyle's Frederick, book xiii, ch. 5.

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ing the frontier, poured in a resistless torrent over Bavaria. The fairest plains of that beautiful land were desolated by hosts of irregular troops from Hungary, Croatia, and the Tyrol; and on the 12th of February the Austrians marched in triumph into Munich. On that very day the Elector of Bavaria was crowned Emperor of Germany, at Frankfort, under the title of Charles VII., and the imperial crown was thus, for the first time, for many generations, separated from the House of Austria.

The wheel again turned. Frederick witnessed with great alarm the rapid success of the Austrians; he concluded, probably with some reason, that if they advanced further he would never obtain the cession for which he had stipulated, and he complained also that the secret of his truce had not been strictly kept. He accordingly broke the convention, united himself again with the new Emperor, and entered Moravia. The town of Glatz was besieged and taken, and after several indecisive skirmishes and several abortive negotiations, the fortune of the war was decided by a great battle at Czaslau, or Chotusitz, in Bohemia. The Austrians were commanded by Prince Charles of Lorraine; the Prussians by Frederick in person. The result 1 was a great Prussian victory. The Austrians were driven back, with the loss of 18 cannon and about 7,000 men.

Both parties now sincerely desired peace. Frederick foresaw the dangers of a complete French ascendency in Germany, and his army was seriously weakened. The Austrians had retired in good order at Czaslau. The Prussian losses were but little inferior to those of the enemy, and their cavalry had been almost annihilated. On the other hand, it appeared evident that the intervention or non-intervention of Prussia decided the fortunes of the war, and it was probable that the French, unless speedily checked, would regain their ascendency in Bohemia. These considerations, aided by the active good offices of England, led to the Peace of Breslau, by which Austria ceded to Prussia all Lower and the greater part of Upper Silesia as well as the country about Glatz, while Frederick on his part ceased from all hostility, withdrew his troops from the French army, and

acknowledged the Pragmatic Sanction. The preliminaries of this peace were signed on June 11, and the definitive peace was accepted on July 28, 1742. The Elector of Saxony also acceded to it, and availed himself of the opportunity of withdrawing from the war.

The conditions of the contest were thus profoundly altered. The first consequence was the almost complete expulsion of the French from Bohemia. Suddenly deserted by their allies, outnumbered by their enemies, and wasted by sickness and by famine, they were driven from place to place, and the whole army was at last blockaded in Prague. An army sent to its relief under the command of Maillebois, was repulsed and compelled to fall back on Bavaria, and the surrender of the French appeared inevitable. This fate was averted by the masterly strategy of Belleisle, who succeeded, in the midst of a dark December night, in evading the Austrians, and who conducted the bulk of his army unbroken for a twelve days' march over a waste of ice and snow and through the midst of a hostile country. They had no covering by night and no subsistence except frozen bread, and they were harassed at every step by the enemy. Hundreds died through cold and hardship. The roads were strewn with human bodies stiffening in the frost, but every cannon and banner was brought in safety to Eger, a frontier town of Bohemia, which was still in the hands of the French. Prague held out a little longer, but it soon succumbed. The French commander declared that unless he obtained honourable terms he would burn the city, and in order to save the capital of Bohemia, the French garrison of 6,000 men were suffered to march out with the honours of war, and to join their comrades at Eger. On Jan. 2, Belleisle began his homeward march, and the campaign had been so deadly that of 40,000 men who had invaded Germany only 8,000 recrossed the Rhine. Fleury, who had been dragged into a war which he had never desired and which he was unfit to conduct, had already vainly sued for peace. His overtures were spurned; and the Austrian Government, in order to sow dissension among its enemies, published the letter he had

written. His long life had been for the most part upright, honourable, and useful; and if he assented in his last years to acts which were grossly criminal, history will readily forgive faults which were due to the weakness of extreme old age. He died in January in his ninetieth year. In May, 1743, Maria Theresa was crowned in Prague.

The effects of the change of government in England were felt in almost every quarter. Carteret at once sent Maria Theresa the assurance of his full support, and a new energy was infused into the war. The struggle between England and Spain had altogether merged in the great European war, and the chief efforts of the Spaniards were directed against the Austrian dominions in Italy. The kingdom of Naples, which had passed under Austrian rule during the war of the Succession, had, as we have seen, been restored to the Spanish line in the war which ended in 1740, and Don Carlos, who ruled it was alto gether subservient to Spanish policy. The Duke of Lorraine, the husband of Maria Theresa, was sovereign of Tuscany; and the Austrian possessions consisted of the Duchy of Milan, and the provinces of Mantua and Placentia. They were garrisoned at the opening of the war by only 15,000 men, and their most dangerous enemy was the King of Sardinia, who had gradually extended his dominions into Lombardy, and whose army was, probably, the largest and most efficient in Italy. The Milanese,' his father is reported to have said, is like an artichoke, to be eaten leaf by leaf,' and the skill and perseverance with which for many generations the House of Savoy pursued that policy, have in our own day had their reward. Spanish troops had landed at Naples as early as November 1741. The King of Sardinia, the Prince of Modena, and the Republic of Genoa were on the same side. Venice was completely neutral, Tuscany was compelled to declare herself so, and a French army was soon to cross the Alps. The King of Sardinia, however, at this critical moment, was alarmed by the ambitious projects openly avowed by the Spaniards, and he was induced by English influence to change sides. He obtained the promise of certain territorial concessions


from Austria, and of an annual subsidy of 200,000l. from England; and on these conditions he suddenly marched with an army of 30,000 men to the support of the Austrians. All the plans of the confederates were disconcerted by this defection. The Spaniards went into winter quarters near Bologna in October, fought an unsuccessful battle at Campo Santo in the following February, and then retired to Rimini, leaving Lombardy in complete tranquillity. The British fleet in the Mediterranean had been largely strengthened by Carteret, and it did good service to the cause. It burnt a Spanish squadron in the French port of St. Tropez, compelled the King of Naples, by the threat of bombardment, to withdraw his troops from the Spanish army, and sign an engagement of neutrality, destroyed large provisions of corn collected by the Genoese for the Spanish army, and cut off that army from all communications by sea.

The same good fortune attended the Austrians in every field. In the north, Russia was completely victorious over the Swedes, and the war was terminated by the Peace of Abo in August 1743. A defensive alliance, concluded between Elizabeth of Russia and George II. of England, materially diminished the influence of France in the north of Europe, and a considerable sum was sent from Russia to the Queen of Hungary as a pledge of her active support. In May 1743 Bavaria, which had been reoccupied by its sovereign the Emperor in the October of the preceding year, was again invaded, and it was soon completely subjugated. Six thousand Bavarians, with their baggage, standards, and cannons, were captured at Erblach. A French army under Broglio was driven beyond the Rhine. Another French army was expelled from the Upper Palatinate. Eger, the last Bohemian post occupied by the French, was blockaded, and in September it fell. The unhappy Emperor fled hastily from Munich, and being defeated on all sides, and having no hope of assistance, he signed a treaty of neutrality by which he renounced all pretensions to the Austrian succession, and yielded his hereditary dominions to the Queen of Hungary, till the conclusion of a general peace. His army

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