His adventure of the night before with the ruffian who

And there, at Freyburg, the Most Christian King now is, and his Army up to the knees in mud, conquering Hither Austria; besieging Freyburg, with much difficulty owing to the wet,--besieging there with what energy; a spectacle to the world! And has, for the present, but one wife, no mistress either! With rapturous eyes France looks on; with admiration too big for words. Voltaire, I have heard, made pilgrimage to Freyburg, with rhymed Panegyric in his pocket; saw those miraculous operations of a Most Christian King miraculously awakened; and had the honor to present said Panegyric; and be seen, for the first time, by the royal eyes,-- which did not seem to relish him much. [The Panegyric (EPITRE AU ROI DEVANT FRIBOURG) is in OEuvres de Voltaire, xvii. 184.] Since the first days of October, Freyburg had been under constant assault; "amid rains, amid frosts; a siege long and murderous" (to the besieging party);--and was not got till November 5th; not quite entirely, the Citadels of it, till November 25th; Majesty gone home to Paris, to illuminations and triumphal arches, in the interim. [Adelung, iv. 266; Barbier, ii. 414 (13th November, &c.), for the illuminations, grand in the extreme, in spite of wild rains and winds.] It had been a difficult and bloody conquest to him, this of Freyburg and the Brisgau Country; and I never heard that either the Kaiser or he got sensible advantage by it,--though Prince Karl, on the present occasion, might be said to get a great deal.

His adventure of the night before with the ruffian who

"Seckendorf will do your Prince Karl," they had cried always: "Seckendorf and his Prussian Majesty! Are not we conquering Hither Austria here, for the Kaiser's behoof?" Seckendorf they did officially appoint to pursue; appoint or allow;--and laid all the blame on Seckendorf; who perhaps deserved his share of it. Very certain it is, Seckendorf did little or nothing to Prince Karl; marched "leisurely behind him through the Ober-Pfalz,"-- skirting Baireuth Country, Karl and he, to Wilhelmina's grief; [Her Letters ( OEuvres de Frederic, xxvii. i. 133, &c.).]--"leisurely behind him at a distance of four days," knew better than meddle with Prince Karl. So that Prince Karl, "in twenty-one marches," disturbed only by the elements and bad roads, reached Waldmunchen 26th September, in the Furth-Cham Country; [Ranke, iii. 187.] and was heard to exclaim: "We are let off for the fright, then (NOUS VOILA QUITTES POUR LA PEUR)!"--Seckendorf, finding nothing to live upon in Ober-Pfalz, could not attend Prince Karl farther; but turned leftwards home to Bavaria; made a kind of Second "Reconquest of Bavaria" (on exactly the same terms as the First, Austrian occupants being all called off to assist in Bohmen again);--concerning which, here is an Excerpt:--

His adventure of the night before with the ruffian who

"Seckendorf, following at his leisure, and joined by the Hessians and Pfalzers, so as now to exceed 30,000, leaves Prince Karl and the rest of the enterprise to do as it can; and applies himself, for his own share, as the needfulest thing, to getting hold of Bavaria again, that his poor Kaiser may have where to lay his head, and pay old servants their wages. Dreadfully exclaimed against, the old gentleman, especially by the French co-managers: 'Why did not the old traitor stick in the rear of Prince Karl, in the difficult passes, and drive him prone,--while we went besieging Freyburg, and poaching about, trying for a bit of the Brisgau while chance served!' A traitor beyond doubt; probably bought with money down: thinks Valori. But, after all, what could Seckendorf do? He is now of weight for Barenklau and Bavaria, not for much more. He does sweep Barenklau and his Austrians from Bavaria, clear out (in the course of this October), all but Ingolstadt and two or three strong towns,--Passau especially, 'which can be blockaded, and afterwards besieged if needful.' For the rest, he is dreadfully ill-off for provisions, incapable of the least, attempt on Passau (as Friedrich urged, on hearing of him again); and will have to canton himself in home-quarters, and live by his shifts till Spring.

His adventure of the night before with the ruffian who

"The noise of French censure rises loud, against not themselves, but against Seckendorf:--Friedrich, before that Tolpatch eclipse of Correspondence [when three of his Letter-bags were seized, and he fell quite dark], had too well foreboded, and contemptuously expressed his astonishment at the blame BOTH were well earning: Passau, said he, cannot you go at least upon Passau; which might alarm the Enemy a little, and drag him homewards? 'Adieu, my dear Seckendorf, your Officer will tell you how we did the Siege of Prag. You and your French are wetted hens (POULES MOUILLEES),'-- cowering about like drenched hens in a day of set rain. 'As I hear nothing of either of you, I must try to get out of this business without your help;'"--otherwise it will be ill for me indeed! [Excerpted Fragment of a Letter from Friedrich,--(exact date not given, date of EXCERPT is, Donanworth Country, 23d September, 1744),--which the French Agent in Seckendorf's Army had a reading of ( Campagnes de Coigny, iv. 185-187; ib. 216-219: cited in Adelung, iv. 225).] "Which latter expression alarmed the French, and set them upon writing and bustling, but not upon doing anything."

"Prince Karl had crossed the Rhine unmolested, in the clearest moonlight, August 23d-24th; Seckendorf was not wholly got to Heilbronn, September 8th: a pretty way behind Prince Karl! The 6,000 Hessians, formerly in English pay, indignant Landgraf Wilhelm [who never could forgive that Machiavellian conduct of Carteret at Hanau, never till he found out what it really was] has, this year, put into French pay. And they have now joined Seckendorf; [Espagnac, ii. 13; Buchholz, ii. 123.] Prince Friedrich [Britannic Majesty's Son-in-law], not good fat Uncle George, commanding them henceforth:--with extreme lack of profit to Prince Friedrich, to the Hessians, and to the French, as will appear in time. These 6,000, and certain thousands of Pfalzers likewise in French pay, are now with Seckendorf, and have raised him to above 30,000;--it is the one fruit King Friedrich has got by that 'Union of Frankfurt,' and by all his long prospective haggling, and struggling for a 'Union of German Princes in general.' Two pears, after that long shaking of the tree; both pears rotten, or indeed falling into Seckendorf, who is a basket of such quality! 'Seckendorf, increased in this munificent manner, can he still do nothing?' cry the French: 'the old traitor!'--'I have no magazines,' said Seckendorf, 'nothing to live upon, to shoot with; no money!' And it is a mutual crescendo between the 'perfidious Seckendorf' and them; without work done. In the Nurnberg Country, some Hussars of his picked up Lord Holderness, an English Ambassador making for Venice by that bad route. 'Prisoner, are not you?' But they did not use him ill; on consideration, the Heads of Imperial Departments gave him a Pass, and he continued his Venetian Journey (result of it zero) without farther molestation that I heard of. [Adelung, iv. 222.]

"These French-Seckendorf cunctations, recriminations and drenched- hen procedures are an endless sorrow to poor Kaiser Karl; who at length can stand it no longer; but resolves, since at least Bavaria, though moneyless and in ruins, is his, he will in person go thither; confident that there will be victual and equipment discoverable for self and Army were he there. Remonstrances avail not: 'Ask me to die with honor, ask me not to lie rotting here;' [Ib. iv. 241.]--and quits Frankfurt, and the Reich's-Diet and its babble, 17th October, 1744 (small sorrow, were it for the last time),--and enters his Munchen in the course of a week. [17th October, 1744, leaves Frankfurt; arrives in Munchen 23d (Adelung, iv. 241-244).] Munchen is transported with joy to see the Legitimate Sovereign again; and blazes into illuminations,-- forgetful who caused its past wretchednesses, hoping only all wretchedness is now ended. Let ruined huts, and Cham and the burnt Towns, rebuild themselves; the wasted hedges make up their gaps again: here is the King come home! Here, sure enough, is an unfortunate Kaiser of the Holy Romish Reich, who can once more hope to pay his milk-scores, being a loved Kurfurst of Bavaria at least. Very dear to the hearts of these poor people;--and to their purses, interests and skins, has not he in another sense been dear? What a price the ambitions and cracked phantasms of that weak brain have cost the seemingly innocent population! Population harried, hungered down, dragged off to perish in Italian Wars; a Country burnt, tribulated, torn to ruin, under the harrow of Fate and ruffian Trenck and Company. Britannic George, rather a dear morsel too, has come much cheaper hitherto. England is not yet burnt; nothing burning there,--except the dull fire of deliriums; Natural Stupidities all set flaming, which (whatever it may BE in the way of loss) is not felt as a loss, but rather as a comfort for the time being;--and in fact there are only, say, a forty or fifty thousand armed Englishmen rotted down, and scarcely a Hundred Millions of money yet spent. Nothing to speak of, in the cause of Human Liberty. Why Populations suffer for their guilty Kings? My friend, it is the Populations too that are guilty in having such Kings. Reverence, sacred Respect for Human Worth, sacred Abhorrence of Human Unworth, have you considered what it means? These poor Populations have it not, or for long generations have had it less and less. Hence, by degrees, this sort of 'Kings' to them, and enormous consequences following!"--

Karl VII. got back to Munchen 23d October, 1744; and the tar- barrels being once burnt, and indispensable sortings effected, he went to the field along with Seckendorf, to encourage his men under Seckendorf, and urge the French by all considerations to come on. And really did what he could, poor man. But the cordage of his life had been so strained and torn, he was not now good for much; alas, it had been but little he was ever good for. A couple of dear Kurfursts, his Father and he; have stood these Bavarian Countries very high, since the Battle of Blenheim and downwards!


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