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History of Friedrich II of Prussia V 12 by Thomas Carlyle

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Spanish Hapsburg, the genuine article; and sent off Excellency
Montijos, a little man of great expense, to assist at the Election
of a proper Kaiser, and be useful to Belleisle in the great things
now ahead. [Spain's Golden-Fleece pretensions, 17th January, 1741
(Adelung, ii. 233, 234); "Publishes at Paris," in March (ib. 293);
and on the 23d March accredits Montijos (ib. 293): Italian War,
held back by Belleisle and the English Fleets, cannot get begun
till October following.]

4. KING OF POLAND.--The most ticklish card in Belleisle's game, and
probably the greatest fool of these Anti-Pragmatic Dozen, was
Kur-Sachsen, King of Poland. He, like Karl Albert Kur-Baiern,
derives from Kaiser Ferdinand, though by a YOUNGER Daughter, and
has a like claim on the Austrian Succession; claim nullified,
however, by that small circumstance itself, but which he would fain
mend by one makeshift or another; and thinks always it must surely
be good for something. This is August III., this King of Poland, as
readers know; son of August the Strong: Papa made him change to the
Catholic religion so called,--for the sake of getting Poland, which
proves a very poor possession to him. Who knows what damage the
poor creature may have got by that sad operation;--which all Saxony
sighed to the heart on hearing of; for it was always hoped he had
some real religion, and would deliver them from that Babylonish
Captivity again! He married Kaiser Joseph I.'s Daughter,--Maria
Theresa's Cousin, and by an Elder Brother;--this, too, ought surely
to be something in the Anti-Pragmatic line? It is true, Kur-Baiern
has to Wife another Daughter of Kaiser Joseph's; but she is the
younger: "I am senior THERE, at least! "thinks the foolish man.

Too true, he had finally, in past years, to sign Pragmatic
Sanction; no help for it, no hope without it, in that Polish-
Election time. He will have to eat his Covenant, therefore, as the
first step in Anti-Pragmatism; and he is extremely in doubt as to
the How, sometimes as to the Whether. And shifts and whirls,
accordingly, at a great rate, in these months and years; now on
Maria Theresa's side, deluded by shadows from Vienna, and getting
into Russian Partition-Treaties; anon tickled by Belleisle into the
reverse posture; then again reversing. An idle, easy-tempered, yet
greedy creature, who, what with religious apostasy in early
manhood, what with flaccid ambitions since, and idle gapings after
shadows, has lost helm in this world; and will make a very bad
voyage for self and country.

His Palinurus and chief Counsellor, at present and afterwards, is a
Count von Bruhl, once page to August the Strong; now risen to such
height: Bruhl of the three hundred and sixty-five suits of clothes;
whom it has grown wearisome even to laugh at. A cunning little
wretch, they say, and of deft tongue; but surely among the unwisest
of all the Sons of Adam in that day, and such a Palinurus as seldom
steered before. Kur-Sachsen, being Reichs-Vicar in the Northern
Parts,--(Kur-Baiern and Kur-Pfalz, as friends and good
Wittelsbacher Cousins surely ought, in a crisis like this, have
agreed to be JOINT-Vicars in the Southern Parts, and no longer
quarrel upon it),--Kur-Sachsen has a good deal to do in the
Election preludings, formalities and prearrangements; and is
capable, as Kur-Pfalz and Cousin always are, of serving as chisel
to Belleisle's mallet, in such points, which will plentifully
turn up.

5. KING OF SARDINIA.--Reichs-Vicar in the Italian Parts is Charles
Amadeus King of Sardinia (tough old Victor's Son, whom we have
heard of): an office mostly honorary; suitable to the important
individual who keeps the Door of the Alps. Charles Amadeus had
signed the Pragmatic Sanction; but eats his Covenant, like the
others, on example of France;--having, as he now bethinks himself,
claims on the Milanese. There are two claimants on the Milanese,
then; the Spanish Termagant, and he? Yes; and they will have their
difficulties, their extensive tusslings in Italian War and
otherwise, to make an adjustment of it; and will give Belleisle
(at least the Doorkeeper will) an immensity of trouble, in
years coming.

In this way do the Pragmatic people eat their own Covenant, one
after the other, and are not ashamed;--till all have eaten, or as
good as eaten; and, almost within year and day, Pragmatic Sanction
is a vanished quantity; and poor Kaiser Karl's life-labor is not
worth the sheepskin and stationery it cost him. History reports in
sum, That "nobody kept the Pragmatic Sanction; that the few
[strictly speaking, the one] who acted by it, would have done
precisely the same, though there had never been such a Document in
existence." To George II., it is, was and will be, the Keystone of
Nature, the true Anti-French palladium of mankind; and he, dragging
the unwilling Dutch after him, will do great things for it:
but nobody else does anything at all. Might we hope to bid adieu to
it, in this manner, and never to mention it again!--

Document more futile there had not been in Nature, nor will be.
Friedrich had not yet fought at Mollwitz in assertion of his
Silesian claim, when the poor Pope--poor soul, who had no Covenant
to eat, but took pattern by others--claimed, in solemn Allocution,
Parma and Piacenza for the Holy See. [Adelung, ii. 376 (5th April,
1741)] All the world is claiming. Of the Court of Wurtemberg and
its Protestings, and "extensive Deduction" about nothing at all, we
do not speak; [Ib. ii. 195, 403.] nor of Montmorency claiming
Luxemburg, of which he is Titular "Duke;" nor of Monsignore di
Guastalla claiming Mantua; nor of--In brief, the fences are now
down; a broad French gap in those miles of elaborate paling, which
are good only as firewood henceforth, and any ass may rush in and
claim a bellyful. Great are the works of Belleisle!--


At equal step with the ruining of Pragmatic Sanction goes on that
spoiling of Grand-Duke Franz's Election to the Kaisership:
these two operations run parallel; or rather, under different
forms, they are one and the same operation. "To assist, as a Most
Christian neighbor ought, in picking out the fit Kaiser," was
Belleisle's ostensible mission; and indeed this does include
virtually his whole errand. Till three months after Belleisle's
appearance in the business, Grand-Duke Franz never doubted but he
should be Kaiser; Friedrich's offers to, help him in it he had
scorned, as the offer of a fifth wheel to his chariot, already
rushing on with four. "Here is Kur-Bohmen, Austria's own vote,"
counts the Grand-Duke; "Kur-Sachsen, doing Prussian-Partition
Treaties for us; Kur-Trier, our fat little Schonborn, Austrian to
the bone; Kur-Mainz, important chairman, regulator of the Conclave;
here are Four Electors for us: then also Kur-Pfalz, he surely, in
return for the Berg-Julich service; finally, and liable to no
question Kur-Hanover, little George of England with his endless
guineas and resources, a little Jack-the-Giantkiller, greater than
all Giants, Paladin of the Pragmatic and us: here are Six Electors
of the Nine. Let Brandenburg and the Bavarian Couple, Kur-Baiern
and Kur-Koln, do their pleasure!" This was Grand-Duke
Franz's calculation.

By the time Belleisle had been three months in Germany, the Grand-
Duke's notion had changed; and he began "applying to the
Sea-Powers," "to Russia," and all round. In Belleisle's sixth
month, the Grand-Duke, after such demolition of Pragmatic, and such
disasters and contradictions as had been, saw his case to be
desperate; though he still stuck to it, Austrian-like,--or rather,
Austria for him stuck to it, the Grand-Duke being careless of such
things;--and indeed, privately, never did give in, even AFTER the
Election, as we shall have to note.

The Reich itself being mainly a Phantasm or Enchanted Wiggery, its
"Kaiser-Choosing" (KAISERWAHL),--now getting under way at
Frankfurt, with preliminary outskirts at Regensburg, and in the
Chancery of Mainz--is very phantasmal, not to say ghastly;
and forbidding, not inviting, to the human eye. Nine Kurfursts,
Choosers of Teutschland's real Captain, in none of whom is there
much thought for Teutschland or its interests,--and indeed in
hardly more than One of whom (Prussian Friedrich, if readers will
know it) is there the least thought that way; but, in general, much
indifference to things divine or diabolic, and thought for one's
own paltry profits and losses only! So it has long been; and so it
now is, more than usual.--Consider again, are Enchanted Wiggeries a
beautiful thing, in this extremely earnest World?--

The Kaiserwahl is an affair depending much on processions,
proclamations, on delusions optical, acoustic; on palaverings,
manoeuvrings, holdings back, then hasty pushings forward;
and indeed is mainly, in more senses than one, under guidance of
the Prince of the Power of the Air. Unbeautiful, like a World-
Parliament of Nightmares (if the reader could conceive such a
thing); huge formless, tongueless monsters of that species, doing
their "three readings,"--under Presidency or chief-pipership as
above! Belleisle, for his part, is consummately skilful, and
manages as only himself could. Keeps his game well hidden, not a
hint or whisper of it except in studied proportions; spreads out
his lines, his birdlime; tickles, entices, astonishes; goes his
rounds, like a subtle Fowler, taking captive the minds of men;
a Phoebus-Apollo, god of melody and of the sun, filling his net
with birds.

I believe, old Kur-Pfalz, for the sake of French neighborhood, and
Berg-and-Julich, were there nothing more, was very helpful to him;
--in March past, when the Election was to have been, when it would
have gone at once in favor of the Grand-Duke, Kur-Pfalz got the
Election "postponed a little." Postponing, procrastinating;
then again pushing violently on, when things are ripe: Belleisle
has only to give signal to a fit Kur-Pfalz. In all Kurfurst Courts,
the French Ambassadors sing diligently to the tune Belleisle sets
them; and Courts give ear, or will do, when the charmer
himself arrives.

Kur-Sachsen, as above hinted, was his most delicate operation, in
the charming or trout-tickling way. And Kur-Sachsen--and poor
Saxony, ever since--knows if he did not do it well! "Deduct this
Kur-Sachsen from the Austrian side," calculates Belleisle; "add him
to ours, it is almost an equality of votes. Kur-Baiern, our own
Imperial Candidate; Kur-Koln, his Brother; Kur-Pfalz, by genealogy
his Cousin (not to mention Berg-Julich matters); here are three
Wittelsbachers, knit together; three sure votes; King Friedrich,
Kur-Brandenburg, there is a fourth; and if Kur-Sachsen would join?"
But who knows if Kur-Sachsen will! The poor soul has himself
thoughts of being Kaiser; then no thoughts, and again some:
thoughts which Belleisle knows how to handle. "Yes, Kaiser you,
your Majesty; excellent!" And sets to consider the methods:
"Hm, ha, hm! Think, your Majesty: ought not that Bohemian Vote to
be excluded, for one thing? Kur-Bohmen is fallen into the distaff,
Maria Theresa herself cannot vote. Surely question will rise,
Whether distaff can, validly, hand it over to distaff's husband, as
they are about doing? Whether, in fact, Kur-Bohmen is not in
abeyance for this time?" "So!" answered Kur-Sachsen, Reichs-
Vicarius. And thereupon meetings were summoned; Nightmare
Committees sat on this matter under the Reichs-Vicar, slowly
hatching it; and at length brought out, "Kur-Bohmen NOT
transferable by the distaff; Kur-Bohmen in abeyance for this time."
Greatly to the joy of Belleisle; infinitely to the chagrin of her
Hungarian Majesty,--who declared it a crying injustice (though I
believe legally done in every point); and by and by, even made it a
plea of Nullity, destructive to the Election altogether, when her
Hungarian Majesty's affairs looked up again, and the world would
listen to Austrian sophistries and obstinacies. This was an
essential service from Kur-Sachsen. [Began, indistinctly, "in
March" (1741); languid "for some months" (Adelung, ii. 292);
"November 4th," was settled in the negative, "Kur-Bohmen not to
have a vote" ( Maria Theresiens Leben,
p. 47 n.).

After which Kur-Sachsen's own poor Kaisership died away into
"Hm, ha, hm!" again, with a grateful Belleisle. Who nevertheless
dexterously retained Kur-Sachsen as ally; tickling the poor wretch
with other baits. Of the Kaiser he had really meant all along,
there was dead silence, except between the parties; no whisper
heard, for six months after it had been agreed upon; none, for two
or near three months after formal settlement, and signing and
sealing. Karl Albert's Treaty with Belleisle was 18th May, 1741;
and he did not declare himself a Candidate till 1st-4th July
following. [Adelung, ii. 357, 421.] Belleisle understands the
Nightmare Parliaments, the electioneering art, and how to deal with
Enchanted Wiggeries. More perfect master, in that sad art, has not
turned up on record to one's afflicted mind. Such a Sun-god, and
doing such a Scavengerism! Belleisle, in the sixth month (end of
August, 1741), feels sure of a majority. How Belleisle managed,
after that, to checkmate George of England, and make even George
vote for him, and the Kaiserwahl to be unanimous against Grand-
Duke Franz, will be seen. Great are Belleisle's doings in this
world, if they were useful either to God or man, or to Belleisle
himself first of all!--


Belleisle's schemes, in the rear of all this labor, are grandiose
to a degree. Men wonder at the First Napoleon's mad notions in that
kind. But no Napoleon, in the fire of the revolutionary element; no
Sham-Napoleon, in the ashes of it: hardly a Parisian Journalist of
imaginative turn, speculating on the First Nation of the Universe
and what its place is,--could go higher than did this grandiose
Belleisle; a man with clear thoughts in his head, under a torpid
Louis XV. Let me see, thinks Belleisle. Germany with our Bavarian
for Kaiser; Germany to be cut into, say, Four little Kingdoms:
1. Bavaria with the lean Kaiserhood; 2. Saxony, fattened by its
share of Austria; 3. Prussia the like; 4. Austria itself, shorn
down as above, and shoved out to the remote Hungarian parts: VOILA.
These, not reckoning Hanover, which perhaps we cannot get just yet,
are Four pretty Sovereignties. Three, or Two, of these hireable by
gold, it is to be hoped. And will not France have a glorious time
of it; playing master of the revels there, egging one against the
other! Yes, Germany is then, what Nature designed it, a Province of
France: little George of Hanover himself, and who knows but England
after him, may one day find their fate inevitable, like the others.
O Louis, O my King, is not this an outlook? Louis le Grand was
great; but you are likely to be Louis the Grandest; and here is a
World shaped, at last, after the real pattern!

Such are, in sad truth, Belleisle's schemes; not yet entirely
hatched into daylight or articulation; bnt becoming articulate, to
himself and others, more and more. Reader, keep them well in mind:
I had rather not speak of them again. They are essential to our
Story; but they are afflictively vain, contrary to the Laws of
Fact; and can, now or henceforth, in nowise be. My friend, it was
not Beelzebub, nor Mephistopheles, nor Autolyeus-Apollo that built
this world and us; it was Another. And you will get your crown well
rapped, M. le Marechal, for so forgetting that fact! France is an
extremely pretty creature; but this of making France the supreme
Governor and God's-Vicegerent of Nations, is, was, and remains, one
of the maddest notions. France at its ideal BEST, and with a demi-
god for King over it, were by no means fit for such function; nay
of many Nations is eminently the unfittest for it. And France at
its WORST or nearly so, with a Louis XV. over it by way of demi-god
--O Belleisle, what kind of France is this; shining in your
grandiose imagination, in such contrast to the stingy fact: like a
creature consisting of two enormous wings, five hundred yards in
potential extent, and no body bigger than that of a common cock,
weighing three pounds avoirdupois. Cock with his own gizzard much
out of sorts, too!

It was "early in March" [Adelung, ii. 305.] when Belleisle, the
Artificial Sun-god, quitted Paris on this errand. He came by the
Moselle road; called on the Rhine Kurfursts, Koln, Trier, Mainz;
dazzling them, so far as possible, with his splendor for the mind
and for the eye. He proceeded next to Dresden, which is a main
card: and where there is immense manipulation needed, and the most
delicate trout-tickling; this being a skittish fish, and an
important, though a foolish. Belleisle was at Dresden when the
Battle of Mollwitz fell out: what a windfall into Belleisle's game!
He ran across to Friedrich at Mollwitz, to congratulate, to
consult,--as we shall see anon.

Belleisle, I am informed, in this preliminary Tour of his, speaks
only, or hints only (except in the proper quarters), of Election
Business; of the need there perhaps is, on the part of an Age
growing in liberal ideas, to exclude the Austrian Grand-Duke;
to curb that ponderous, harsh, ungenerous House of Austria, too
long lording it over generous Germany; and to set up some better
House,--Bavaria, for example; Saxony, for example? Of his plans in
the rear of this he is silent; speaks only by hints, by innuendoes,
to the proper parties. But ripening or ripe, plans do lie to rear;
far-stretching, high-soaring; in part, dark even at Versailles;
darkly fermenting, not yet developed, in Belleisle's own head; only
the Future Kaiser a luminous fixed point, shooting beams across the
grandiose Creation-Process going on there.

By the end of August, 1741, Belleisle had become certain of his
game; 24th January, 1742, he saw himself as if winner.
Before August, 1741, he had got his Electors manipulated, tickled
to his purpose, by the witchery of a Phoebus-Autolycus or
Diplomatic Sun-god; majority secured for a Bavarian Kaiser, and
against an Austrian one. And in the course of that month,--what was
still more considerable!--he was getting, under mild pretexts,
about a hundred thousand armed Frenchmen gently wafted over upon
the soil of Germany. Two complete French Armies, 40,000 each (PLUS
their Reserves), one over the Upper Rhine, one over the Lower;
about which we shall hear a great deal in time coming! Under mild
pretexts: "Peaceable as lambs, don't you observe? Merely to protect
Freedom of Election, in this fine neighbor country; and as allies
to our Friend of Bavaria, should he chance to be new Kaiser, and to
persist in his modest claims otherwise." This was his crowning
stroke. Which finished straightway the remnants of Pragmatic
Sanction and of every obstacle; and in a shining manner swept the
roads clear. And so, on January 24th following, the Election, long
held back by Belleisle's manoeuvrings, actually takes effect,--in
favor of Karl Albert, our invaluable Bavarian Friend. Austria is
left solitary in the Reich; Pragmatic Sanction, Keystone of Nature,
which Belleisle and France had sworn to keep in, is openly torn out
by Belleisle and by France and the majority of mankind;
and Belleisle sees himself, to all appearance, winner.

This was the harvest reaped by Belleisle, within year and day;
after endless manoeuvring, such as only a Belleisle in the
character of Diplomatic Sun-god could do. Beyond question, the
distracted ambitions of several German Princes have been kindled by
Belleisle; what we called the rotten thatch of Germany is well on
fire. This diligent sowing in the Reich--to judge by the 100,000,
armed men here, and the counter hundreds of thousands arming--
has been a pretty stroke of dragon's-teeth husbandry on
Belleisle's part.


It was April 26th when Marechal de Belleisle, with his Brother the
Chevalier, with Valori and other bright accompaniment, arrived in
Friedrich's Camp. "Camp of Mollwitz" so named; between Mollwitz and
Brieg; where Friedrich is still resting, in a vigilant expectant
condition; and, except it be the taking of Brieg, has nothing
military on hand. Wednesday, 26th April, the distinguished
Excellency--escorted for the last three miles by 120 Horse, and the
other customary ceremonies--makes his appearance: no doubt an
interesting one to Friedrich, for this and the days next following.
Their talk is not reported anywhere: nor is it said with exactitude
how far, whether wholly now, or only in part now, Belleisle
expounded his sublime ideas to Friedrich; or what precise reception
they got. Friedrich himself writes long afterwards of the event;
but, as usual, without precision, except in general effect. Now, or
some time after, Friedrich says he found Belleisle, one morning,
with brow clouded, knit into intense meditation: "Have you had bad
news, M. le Marechal?" asks Friedrich. "No, oh no! I am considering
what we shall make of that Moravia?"--"Moravia; Hm!" Friedrich
suppresses the glance that is rising to his eyes: "Can't you give
it to Saxony, then? Buy Saxony into the Plan with it!" "Excellent,"
answers Belleisle, and unpuckers his stern brow again.

Friedrich thinks highly, and about this time often says so, of the
man Belleisle: but as to the man's effulgencies, and wide-winged
Plans, none is less seduced by them than Friedrich: "Your chickens
are not hatched, M. le Marechal; some of us hope they never will
be,--though the incubation-process may have uses for some of us!"
Friedrich knows that the Kaisership given to any other than Grand-
Duke Franz will be mostly an imaginary quantity. "A grand Symbolic
Cloak in the eyes of the vulgar; but empty of all things, empty
even of cash, for the last Two Hundred Years: Austria can wear it
to advantage; no other mortal. Hang it on Austria, which is a solid
human figure,--so." And Friedrich wishes, and hopes always, Maria
Theresa will agree with him, and get it for her Husband. "But to
haug it on Bavaria, which is a lean bare pole? Oh, M. le Marechal!
--And those Four Kingdoms of yours: what a brood of poultry, those!
Chickens happily yet UNhatched;--eggs addle, I should venture to
hope:--only do go on incubating, M. le Marechal!" That is
Friedrich's notion of the thing. Belleisle stayed with Friedrich "a
few days," say the Books. After which, Friedrich, finding Belleisle
too winged a creature, corresponded, in preference, with Fleury and
the Head Sources;--who are always intensely enough concerned about
those "aces" falling to him, and how the same are to be "shared."
[Details in Helden-Geschichte, i. 912, 962,
916; in OEuvres de Frederic, ii. 79, 80; &c.]

Instead of parade or review in honor of Belleisle, there happened
to be a far grander military show, of the practical kind. The Siege
of Brieg, the Opening of the Trenches before Brieg, chanced to be
just ready, on Belleisle's arrival:--and would have taken effect,
we find, that very night, April 26th, had not a sudden wintry
outburst, or "tempest of extraordinary violence," prevented.
Next night, night of the 27th-28th, under shine of the full Moon,
in the open champaign country, on both sides of the River, it did
take effect. An uncommonly fine thing of its sort; as one can still
see by reading Friedrich's strict Program for it,--a most minute,
precise and all-anticipating Program, which still interests
military men, as Friedrich's first Piece in that kind,--and
comparing therewith the Narratives of the performance which ensued.
[ Ordre und Dispositiones (SIC), wornach sich der General-
Lieutenant von Kalckstein bei Eroffnung der Trancheen, &c.
(Oeuvres de Frederic, xxx. 39-44): the Program.
Helden-Geschichte, i. 916-928:
the Narrative.]

Kalkstein, Friedrich's old Tutor, is Captain of the Siege;
under him Jeetz, long used to blockading about Brieg. The silvery
Oder has its due bridges for communication; all is in readiness,
and waiting manifold as in the slip,--and there is Engineer
Walrave, our Glogau Dutch friend, who shall, at the right instant,
"with his straw-rope (STROHSEIL) mark out the first parallel," and
be swift about it! There are 2,000 diggers, with the due
implements, fascines, equipments; duly divided, into Twelve equal
Parties, and "always two spademen to one pickman " (which indicates
soft sandy ground): these, with the escorting or covering
battalions, Twelve Parties they also, on both sides of the River,
are to be in their several stations at the fixed moments;
man, musket, mattock, strictly exact. They are to advance at
Midnight; the covering battalions so many yards ahead: no speaking
is permissible, nor the least tobacco-smoking; no drum to be
allowed for fear of accident; no firing, unless you are fired on.
The covering battalions are all to "lie flat, so soon as they get
to their ground, all but the Officers and sentries." To rear of
these stand Walrave and assistants, silent, with their straw-rope;
--silent, then anon swift, and in whisper or almost by dumb-show,
"Now, then!" After whom the diggers, fascine-men, workers, each in
his kind, shall fall to, silently, and dig and work as for life.

All which is done; exact as clock-work: beautiful to see, or half
see, and speak of to your Belleisle, in the serene moonlight! Half
an hour's marching, half an hour's swift digging: the Town-clock of
Brieg was hardly striking One, when "they had dug themselves in."
And, before daybreak, they had, in two batteries, fifty cannon in
position, with a proper set of mortars (other side the River),--
ready to astonish Piccolomini and his Austrians; who had not had
the least whisper of them, all night, though it was full moon.
Graf von Piccolomini, an active gallant person, had refused terms,
some time before; and was hopefully intent on doing his best.
And now, suddenly, there rose round Piccolomini such a tornado of
cannonading and bombardment, day after day, always "three guns of
ours playing against one of theirs," that his guns got ruined;
that "his hay-magazines took fire,"--and the Schloss itself, which
was adjacent to them, took fire (a sad thing to Friedrich, who
commanded pause, that they might try quenching, but in vain):--and
that, in short, Piccolomini could not stand it; but on the 4th of
May, precisely after one week's experience, hung out the white
flag, and "beat chamade at 3 of the afternoon." He was allowed to
march out next morning, with escort to Neisse; parole pledged, Not
to serve against us for two years coming.

Friedrich in person (I rather guess, Belleisle not now at his side)
saw the Garrison march out;--kept Piccolomini to dinner; a gallant
Piccolomini, who had hoped to do better, but could not. This was a
pretty enough piece of Siege-practice. Torstenson, with his Swedes,
had furiously besieged Brieg in 1642, a hundred years ago; and
could do nothing to it. Nothing, but withdraw again, futile;
leaving 1,400 of his people dead. Friedrich, the Austrian Garrison
once out, set instantly about repairing the works, and improving
them into impregnability,--our ugly friend Walrave presiding over
that operation too.

Belleisle, we may believe, so long as he continued, was full of
polite wonder over these things; perhaps had critical advices here
and there, which would be politely received. It is certain he came
out extremely brilliant, gifted and agreeable, in the eyes of
Friedrich; who often afterwards, not in the very strictest
language, calls him a great man, great soldier, and by far the
considerablest person you French have. It is no less certain,
Belleisle displayed, so far as displayable, his magnificent
Diplomatic Ware to the best advantage. To which, we perceive, the
young King answered, "Magnificent, indeed!" but would not bite all
at once; and rather preferred corresponding with Fleury, on
business points, keeping the matter dexterously hanging, in an
illuminated element of hope and contingency, for the present.

Belleisle, after we know not how many days, returned to Dresden;
perfected his work at Dresden, or shoved it well forward, with
"that Moravia" as bait. "Yes, King of Moravia, you, your Polish
Majesty, shall be!"--and it is said the simple creature did so
style himself, by and by, in certain rare Manifestoes, which still
exist in the cabinets of the curious. Belleisle next, after only a
few days, went to Munchen; to operate on Karl Albert Kur-Baiern, a
willing subject. And, in short, Belleisle whirled along
incessantly, torch in hand; making his "circuit of the German
Courts,"--details of said circuit not to be followed by us farther.
One small thing only I have found rememberable; probably true,
though vague. At Munchen, still more out at Nymphenburg, the fine
Country-Palace not far off, there was of course long conferencing,
long consulting, secret and intense, between Belleisle with his
people and Karl Albert with his. Karl Albert, as we know, was
himself willing. But a certain Baron von Unertl--heavy-built
Bavarian of the old type, an old stager in the Bavarian Ministries
--was of far other disposition. One day, out at Nymphenburg, Unertl
got to the Council-room, while Belleisle and Company were there:
Unertl found the apartment locked, absolutely no admittance; and
heard voices, the Kurfurst's and French voices, eagerly at work
inside. "Admit me, Gracious Herr; UM GOTTES WILLEN, me!" No
admission. Unertl, in despair, rushed round to the garden side of
the Apartment; desperately snatched a ladder, set it up to the
window, and conjured the Gracious Highness: "For the love of
Heaven, my ALLERGNADIGSTER, don't! Have no trade with those French!
Remember your illustrious Father, Kurfurst Max, in the Eugene-
Marlborough time, what a job he made of it, building actual
architecture on THEIR big promises, which proved mere acres of gilt
balloon!" [Hormayr, Anemonen (cited above),
ii. 152.] Words terribly prophetic; but they were without effect on
Karl Albert.

The rest of Belleisle's inflammatory circuitings and extensive
travellings, for he had many first and last in this matter, shall
be left to the fancy of the reader. May 18th, he made formal Treaty
with Karl Albert: Treaty of Nymphenburg, "Karl Albert to be Kaiser;
Bavaria, with Austria Proper added to it, a Kingdom; French armies,
French moneys, and other fine items." [Given in Adelung, ii. 359.]
Treaty to be kept dead secret; King Friedrich, for the present,
would not accede. [Given in Adelung, ii. 421.] June 25th, after
some preliminary survey of the place, Belleisle made his Entry into
Frankfurt: magnificent in the extreme. And still did not rest
there; but had to rush about, back to Versailles, to Dresden,
hither, thither: it was not till the last day of July that he
fairly took up his abode in Frankfurt; and--the Election eggs, so
to speak, being now all laid--set himself to hatch the same.
A process which lasted him six months longer, with curious
phenomena to mankind. Not till the middle of August did he bring
those 80,000 Armed Frenchmen across the Rhine, "to secure peace in
those parts, and freedom of voting." Not till November 4th had
Kur-Sachsen, with the Nightmares, finished that important problem
of the Bohemian Vote, "Bohemian Vote EXCLUDED for this time;"--
after which all was ready, though still not in the least hurry.
November 20th, came the first actual "Election-Conference (WAHL-
CONFERENZ)" in the Romer at Frankfurt; to which succeeded Two
Months more of conferrings (upon almost nothing at all):
and finally, 24th January, 1742, came the Election itself, Karl
Albert the man; poor wretch, who never saw another good day in
this world.

Belleisle during those six months was rather high and airy,
extremely magnificent; but did not want discretion: "more like a
Kurfurst than an Ambassador;" capable of "visiting Kur-Mainz, with
servants purposely in OLD liveries,"--where the case needed old,
where Kur-Mainz needed snubbing; not otherwise. [Buchholz, ii.
57 n.] "The Marechal de Belleisle," says an Eye-witness, of some
fame in those days, "comes out in a variety of parts, among us
here; plays now the General, now the Philosopher, now the Minister
of State, now the French Marquis;--and does them all to perfection.
Surely a master in his art. His Brother the Chevalier is one of the
sensiblest and best-trained persons you can see. He has a
penetrating intellect; is always occupied, and full of great
schemes; and has nevertheless a staid kind of manner. He is one of
the most important Personages here; and in all things his Brother's
right hand." [Von Loen, Kleine Schriften
(cited in Adelung, ii. 400).] In Frankfurt, both Belleisle and his
Brother were much respected, the Brother especially, as men of
dignified behavior and shining qualities; but as to their hundred
and thirty French Lords and other Valetry, these by their
extravagances and excesses (AUSSCHWEIFUNGEN) made themselves
extremely detestable, it would appear. [Buchholz, ii. 54;
in Adelung, ii. 398 n., a French BROCARD on the subject, of
sufficient emphasis.]

Chapter XII.


George II. did not hear of Mollwitz for above a fortnight after it
fell out; but he had no need of Mollwitz to kindle his wrath or his
activity in that matter. [Mollwitz first heard of in London, April
25th (14th); Subsidy of 300,000 pounds voted same day.
London Gazette (April 11th-14th, 1741);
Commons Journals, xxiii. 705.] George II. had seen,
all along, with natural manifold aversion and indignation, these
high attempts of his Nephew. "Who is this new little King, that
will not let himself be snubbed, and laughed at, and led by the
nose, as his Father did; but seems to be taking a road of his own,
and tacitly defying us all? A very high conduct indeed, for a
Sovereign of that magnitude. Aspires seemingly to be the leader
among German Princes; to reduce Hanover and us,--us, with the gold
of England in our breeches-pocket,--to the second place? A reverend
old Bishop of Liege, twitched by the rochet, and shaken hither and
thither, like a reverend old clothes-screen, till he agree to stand
still and conform. And now a Silesia seized upon; a Pragmatic
Sanction kicked to the winds: the whole world to be turned topsy-
turvy, and Hanover and us, with our breeches-pocket, reduced to--?"

The emotions, the prognosticatings, and distracted procedures of
his Britannic Majesty, of which we have ourselves seen somewhat, in
this fermentation of the elements, are copiously set down for us by
the English Dryasdust (mostly in unintelligible form): but, except
for sane purposes, one must be careful not to dwell on them, to the
sorrow of readers. Seldom was there such a feat of Somnambulism, as
that by the English and their King in the next twenty Years.
To extract the particle of sanity from it, and see how the poor
English did get their own errand done withal, and Jenkins's Ear
avenged,--that is the one interesting point; Dryasdust and the
Nightmares shall, to all time, be welcome to the others. Here are
some Excerpts, a select few; which will perhaps be our readiest
expedient. These do, under certain main aspects, shadow forth the
intricate posture of King George and his Nation, when Belleisle, as
Protagonistes or Chief Bully, stept down into the ring, in that
manner; asking, "Is there an Antagonistes, then, or Chief
Defender?" I will label them, number them; and, with the minimum of
needful commentary, leave them to imaginative readers.

(19th April, 1741).

The fuliginous explosions, more or less volcanic, which went on in
Parliament and in English society, against Friedrich's Silesian
Enterprise, for long years from this date, are now all dead and
avoidable,--though they have left their effects among us to this
day. Perhaps readers would like to see the one reasonable word I
have fallen in with, of opposite tendency; Mr. Viner's word, at the
first starting of that question: plainly sensible word, which, had
it been attended to (as it was not), might have saved us so much
nonsense, not of idle talk only, but of extremely serious deed
which ensued thereupon!

"LONDON, 19th APRIL, 1741. This day [Mollwitz not yet known, Camp
of Gottin too well known!] King George, in his own high person,
comes down to the House of Lords,--which, like the Other House, is
sunk painfully in Walpole Controversies, Spanish-War Controversies,
of a merely domestic nature;--and informs both Honorable Houses,
with extreme caution, naming nobody, That he much wishes they would
think of helping him in these alarming circumstances of the
Celestial Balance, ready apparently to go heels uppermost.
To which the general answer is, 'Yes, surely!'--with a vote of
300,000 pounds for her Hungarian Majesty, a few days hence.
From those continents of Parliamentary tufa, now fallen so waste
and mournful, here is one little piece which ought to be extricated
into daylight:--

"MR. VINER (on his legs): ... 'If I mistake not the true intention
of the Address proposed,' in answer to his Majesty's most gracious
Speech from the Throne, 'we are invited to declare that we will
oppose the King of Prussia in his attempts upon Silesia:
a declaration in which I see not how any man can concur who KNOWS
NOT the nature of his Prussian Majesty's Claim, and the Laws of the
German Empire [NOR DO I, MR. V.]! It ought therefore, Sir, to have
been the first endeavor of those by whom this Address has been so
zealously supported, to show that his Prussian Majesty's Claim, so
STAGGERED OR CONVINCED MR. VINER], so firmly urged and so strongly
supported, is without foundation and reason, and is only one of
those imaginary titles which Ambition may always find to the
dominions of another.' (HEAR MR VINER!)" [Tindal, xx. 491, gives
the Royal Speech (DATE in a very slobbery condition); see also
Coxe, House of Austria, iii. 365. Viner's
Fragment of a Speech is in Thackeray, Life of Chatham,
i. 87.] ...

A most indispensable thing, surely. Which was never done, nor can
ever be done; but was assumed as either unnecessary or else done of
its own accord, by that Collective Wisdom of England (with a sage
George II. at the head of it); who plunged into Dettingen,
Fontenoy, Austrian Subsidies, Aix-la-Chapelle, and foundation of
the English National Debt, among other strange things, in

Upon that of Kanzler Ludwig, and the "so public Explanation" (which
we slightly heard of long since), here is another Note,--unless
readers prefer to skip it:--

"That the Diplomatic and Political world is universally in travail
at this time, no reader need be told; Europe everywhere in dim
anxiety, heavy-laden expectation (which to us has fallen so
vacant); looking towards inevitable changes and the huge inane.
All in travail;--and already uttering printed Manifestoes, Patents,
Deductions, and other public travail-SHRIEKS of that kind.
Printed; not to speak of the unprinted, of the oral which vanished
on the spot; or even of the written which were shot forth by
breathless estafettes, and unhappily did not vanish, but lie in
archives, still humming upon us, "Won't you read me, then?"--Alas,
except on compulsion, No! Life being precious (and time, which is
the stuff of life), No!--

"At Reinsberg as elsewhere, at Reinsberg first of all, it had been
felt, in October last, that there would be Manifestoes needed;
learned Proof, the more irrefragable the better, of our Right to
Silesia. It was settled there, Let Ludwig, Kanzler of the
University of Halle, do it. [Herr Kanzler Ludwig, monster of
Antiquarian, Legal and other Learning there: wealthy, too, and
close-fisted; whom we have seen obliged to open his closed fist,
and to do building in the Friedrich Strasse, before now;
Nussler, his son-in-law, having no money:--as careless readers have
perhaps forgotten?] Ludwig set about his new task with a proud joy.
Ludwig knows that story, if he know anything. Long years ago he put
forth a Chapter upon it; weighty Chapter; in a Book of weight, said
Judges;--Book weighing, in pounds avoirdupois and otherwise, none
of us now knows what: [Title of this weighty Performance (see
Preuss, Thronbesteigung, p. 432) is, or was
(size not given), Germania Princeps (Halae,
1702). Preuss says farther, "That Book ii. c. 3 handles the
Prussian claims: Jagerndorf being ? 13; Liegnitz, ? 14; Oppeln and
Ratibor, ? 16;--and that Ludwig had sent a Copy of this Argument
[weighty Performance altogether? Or Book ii. c. 3 of it, which
would have had a better chance?] to King Friedrich, on the death of
Kaiser Karl VI."]--but, in after years, it used to be said by
flatterers of the Kanzler, 'Herr Kanzler, see the effect of
Learning. It was you, it was your weighty Book, that caused all
this World-tumult, and flung the Nations into one another's hair!'
Upon which the old Kanzler would blush: 'You do me too much honor!'

"Ludwig, directly on order given, gathered out his documents again,
in the King's name this time; and promised something weighty by
New-year's day at latest." Doubtless to the joy of Nussler, who has
still no regular appointment, though well deserving one. "And sure
enough, on January 7th) at Berlin, 'in three languages,' Ludwig's
DEDUCTION had come out; an eager Public waiting for it: [Title is,
Rechtsgegrundetes Eigenthum (in the Latin
copies, Patrimonium, and Propriete
fondee en Droit in the French copies) des
&c., --that is to say, Legal Right of Propetiy
in the Royal-Electoral House of Brandenburg to the Duchies and
Principalities of Jagerndorf, Liegnitz, Brieg, Wohlau
(Berlin, 7th January, 1741).]--and at Berlin it was generally
thought to be conclusive. I have looked into Ludwig's Deduction,
stern duty urging, in this instance for one: such portions as I
read are nothing like so stupid as was expected; and, in fact, are
not to be called stupid at all, but fit for their purpose, and
moderately intelligible to those who need them,"--which happily we
do not in this place.

Judicious Mr. Viner availed nothing against the Proposed Address;
any more than he would against the Atlantic Tide, coming in
unanimous, under influence of the Moon itself,--as indeed this
Address, and the triumphant Subsidy which was voted in the rear of
it, may be said to have done. [Coxe, iii. 265.] Subsidy of 300,000
pounds to her Hungarian Majesty; which, with the 200,000 pounds
already gone that road, makes a handsome Half-million for the
present Year. The first gush of the Britannia Fountain,--which
flowed like an Amalthea's Horn for seven years to come;
refreshing Austria, and all thirsty Pragmatic Nations, to defend
the Keystone of this Universe. Unluckily every guinea of it went,
at the same time, to encourage Austria in scorning King Friedrich's
offers to it; which perhaps are just offers, thinks Mr. Viner;
which once listened to, Pragmatic Sanction would be safe.
[Mr. Viner was of Pupham, or Pupholm, in Lincolnshire, for which
County he sat then, and for many years before and after,--from
about 1713 till 1761, when he died. A solid, instructed man, say
his contemporaries. "He was a friend of Bolingbroke's, and had a
house near Bolingbroke's Battersea one." He is Great great-
grandfather to the present Mr. Viner, and to the Countess de
Grey and Ripon; which is an interesting little fact.]

This Parliament is strong for Pragmatic Sanction, and has high
resentments against Walpole; in both which points the New
Parliament, just getting elected, will rival and surpass it,--
especially in the latter point, that of uprooting Walpole, which
the Nation is bent on, with a singular fury. Pragmatic Sanction
like to be ruined; and Walpole furiously thrown out: what a pair of
sorrows for poor George! During his late Caroline's time, all went
peaceably, and that of "governing" was a mere pleasure; Walpole and
Caroline cunningly doing that for him, and making him believe he
was doing it. But now has come the crisis, the collapse; and his
poor Majesty left alone to deal with it!--


"For above Ten Years, Walpole himself", says my Constitutional
Historian (unpublished), "for almost Twenty Years, Walpole
virtually and through others, has what they call 'governed'
England; that is to say, has adjusted the conflicting Parliamentary
Chaos into counterpoise, by what methods he had; and allowed
England, with Walpole atop, to jumble whither it would and could.
Of crooked things made straight by Walpole, of heroic performance
or intention, legislative or administrative, by Walpole, nobody
ever heard; never of the least hand-breadth gained from the Night-
realm in England, on Walpole's part: enough if he could manage to
keep the Parish Constable walking, and himself float atop.
Which task (though intrinsically zero for the Community, but all-
important to the Walpole, of Constitutional Countries) is a task
almost beyond the faculty of man, if the careless reader knew it!

"This task Walpole did,--in a sturdy, deep-bellied, long-headed,
John-Bull fashion, not unworthy of recognition. A man of very
forcible natural eyesight, strong natural heart,--courage in him to
all lengths; a very block of oak, or of oakroot, for natural
strength. He was always very quiet with it, too; given to digest
his victuals, and be peaceable with everybody. He had one rule,
that stood in place of many: To keep out of every business which it
was possible for human wisdom to stave aside. 'What good will you
get of going into that? Parliamentary criticism, argument and
botheration? Leave well alone. And even leave ill alone:--are you
the tradesman to tinker leaky vessels in England? You will not want
for work. Mind your pudding, and say little!' At home and abroad,
that was the safe secret. For, in Foreign Politics, his rule was
analogous: 'Mind your own affairs. You are an Island, you can do
without Foreign Politics; Peace, keep Peace with everybody:
what, in the Devil's name, have you to do with those dog-worryings
over Seas? Once more, mind your pudding!' Not so bad a rule;
indeed it is the better part of an extremely good one;--and you
might reckon it the real rule for a pious Rritannic Island
(reverent of God, and contemptuous of the Devil) in times of
general Down-break and Spiritual Bankruptcy, when quarrellings of
Sovereigns are apt to be mere dog-worryings and Devil's work, not
good to interfere in.

"In this manner, Walpole, by solid John-Bull faculty (and methods
of his own), had balanced the Parliamentary swaggings and
clashings, for a great while; and England had jumbled whither it
could, always in a stupid, but also in a peaceable way. As to those
same 'methods of his own' they were--in fact they were Bribery.
Actual purchase of votes by money slipt into the hand. Go straight
to the point. 'The direct real method this,' thinks Walpole:
'is there in reality any other?' A terrible question to
Constitutional Countries; which, I hear, has never been resolved in
the negative, by the modern improvements of science. Changes of
form have introduced themselves; the outward process, I hear, is
now quite different. According as the fashions and conditions
alter,--according as you have a Fourth Estate developed, or a
Fourth Estate still in the grub stage and only developing,--much
variation of outward process is conceivable.

"But Votes, under pain of Death Official, are necessary to your
poor Walpole: and votes, I hear, are still bidden for, and bought.
You may buy them by money down (which is felony, and theft simple,
against the poor Nation); or by preferments and appointments of the
unmeritorious man,--which is felony double-distilled (far deadlier,
though more refined), and theft most compound; theft, not of the
poor Nation's money, but of its soul and body so far, and of ALL
its moneys and temporal and spiritual interests whatsoever;
theft, you may say, of collops cut from its side, and poison put
into its heart, poor Nation! Or again, you may buy, not of the
Third Estate in such ways, but of the Fourth, or of the Fourth and
Third together, in other still more felonious and deadly, though
refined ways. By doing clap-traps, namely; letting off
Parliamentary blue-lights, to awaken the Sleeping Swineries, and
charm them into diapason for you,--what a music! Or, without clap-
trap or previous felony of your own, you may feloniously, in the
pinch of things, make truce with the evident Demagogos, and Son of
Nox and of Perdition, who has got 'within those walls' of yours,
and is grown important to you by the Awakened Swineries, risen into
alt, that follow him. Him you may, in your dire hunger of votes,
consent to comply with; his Anarchies you will pass for him into
'Laws,' as you are pleased to term them;--instead of pointing to
the whipping-post, and to his wicked long ears, which are so fit to
be nailed there, and of sternly recommending silence, which were
the salutary thing.--Buying may be done in a great variety of ways.
The question, How you buy? is not, on the moral side, an important
one. Nay, as there is a beauty in going straight to the point, and
by that course there is likely to be the minimum of mendacity for
you, perhaps the direct money-method is a shade less damnable than
any of the others since discovered;--while, in regard to practical
damage resulting, it is of childlike harmlessness in comparison!

"That was Walpole's method; with this to aid his great natural
faculty, long-headed, deep-bellied, suitable to the English
Parliament and Nation, he went along with perfect success for ten
or twenty years. And it might have been for longer,--had not the
English Nation accidentally come to wish, that it should CEASE
jumbling NO-whither; and try to jumble SOME-whither, at least for a
little while, on important business that had risen for England in a
certain quarter. Had it not been for Jenkins's Ear blazing out in
the dark English brain, Walpole might have lasted still a long
while. But his fate lay there:--the first Business vital to England
which might turn up; and this chanced to be the Spanish War.
How vital, readers shall see anon. Walpole, knowing well enough in
what state his War-apparatus was, and that of all his Apparatuses
there was none in a working state, but the Parliamentary one,--
resisted the Spanish War; stood in the door against it, with a
rhinoceros determination, nay almost something of a mastiff's;
resolute not to admit it, to admit death as soon. Doubtless he had
a feeling it would be death, the sagacious man;--and such it is now
proving; the Walpole Ministry dying by inches from it; dying hard,
but irremediably.

"The English Nation was immensely astonished, which Walpole was
not, any more than at the other Laws of Nature, to find Walpole's
War-apparatus in such a condition. All his Apparatuses, Walpole
guesses, are in no better, if it be not the Parliamentary one.
The English Nation is immensely astonished, which Walpole again is
not, to find that his Parliamentary Apparatus has been kept in gear
and smooth-going by the use of OIL: 'Miraculous Scandal of
Scandals!' thinks the English Nation. 'Miracle? Law of Nature, you
fools!' thinks Walpole. And in fact there is such a storm roaring
in England, in those and in the late and the coming months, as
threatens to be dangerous to high roofs,--dangerous to Walpole's
head at one time. Storm such as had not been witnessed in men's
memory; all manner of Counties and Constituencies, with solemn
indignation, charging their representatives to search into that
miraculous Scandal of Scandals, Law of Nature, or whatever it may
be; and abate the same, at their peril.

"To the now reader there is something almost pathetic in these
solemn indignations, and high resolves to have Purity of Parliament
and thorough Administrative Reform, in spite of Nature and the
Constitutional Stars;--and nothing I have met with, not even the
Prussian Dryasdust, is so unsufferably wearisome, or can pretend to
equal in depth of dull inanity, to ingenuous living readers, our
poor English Dryasdust's interminable, often-repeated Narratives,
volume after volume, of the debatings and colleaguings, the
tossings and tumults, fruitless and endless, in Nation and National
Palaver, which ensued thereupon. Walpole (in about a year hence),
[February 13th (2d), 1742, quitting the House after bad usage
there, said he would never enter it again; nor did: February 22d,
resigned in favor of Pulteney and Company (Tindal, xx. 530;
Thackeray, i. 45).] though he struck to the ground like a
rhinoceros, was got rolled out. And a Successor, and series of
Successors, in the bright brand-new state, was got rolled in;
with immense shouting from mankind:--but up to this date we have no
reason to believe that the Laws of Nature were got abrogated on
that occasion, or that the constitutional stars have much altered
their courses since."

That Walpole will probably be lost, goes much home to the Royal
bosom, in these troublous Spring months of 1741, as it has done and
will do. And here, emerging from the Spanish Main just now, is a
second sorrow, which might quite transfix the Royal bosom, and
drive Majesty itself to despair; awakening such insoluble
questions,--furnishing such proof, that Walpole and a good few
other persons (persons, and also things, and ideas and practices,
deep-rooted in the Country) stand much in need of being lost, if
England is to go a good road!

The Spanish War being of moment to us here, we will let our
Constitutional Historian explain, in his own dialect, How it was so
vital to England; and shall even subjoin what he gives as History
of it, such being so admirably succinct, for one quality.


"There was real cause for a War with Spain. It is one of the few
cases, this, of a war from necessity. Spain, by Decree of the
Pope,--some Pope long ago, whose name we will not remember, in
solemn Conclave, drawing accurately 'his Meridian Line,' on I know
not what Telluric or Uranic principles, no doubt with great
accuracy 'between Portugal and Spain,'--was proprietor of all those
Seas and Continents. And now England, in the interim, by Decree of
the Eternal Destinies, had clearly come to have property there,
too; and to be practically much concerned in that theoretic
question of the Pope's Meridian. There was no reconciling of theory
with fact. 'Ours indisputably,' said Spain, with loud articulate
voice; 'Holiness the Pope made it ours!'--while fact and the
English, by Decree of the Eternal Destinies, had been grumbling
inarticulately the other way, for almost two hundred years past,
and no result had.

"In Oliver Cromwell's time, it used to be said, 'With Spain, in
Europe, there may be peace or war; but between the Tropics it is
always war.' A state of things well recognized by Oliver, and acted
on, according to his opportunities. No settlement was had in
Oliver's brief time; nor could any be got since, when it was
becoming yearly more pressing. Bucaniers, desperate naval gentlemen
living on BOUCAN, or hung beef; who are also called Flibustiers
(FLIBUTIERS, 'Freebooters,' in French pronunciation, which is since
grown strangely into FILIBUSTERS, Fillibustiers, and other mad
forms, in the Yankee Newspapers now current): readers have heard of
those dumb methods of protest. Dumb and furious; which could bring
no settlement; but which did astonish the Pope's Decree, slashing
it with cutlasses and sea-cannon, in that manner, and circuitously
forwarded a settlement. Settlement was becoming yearly more
needful: and, ever since the Treaty of Utrecht especially, there
had been an incessant haggle going on, to produce one; without the
least effect hitherto. What embassyings, bargainings, bargain-
breakings; what galloping of estafettes; acres of diplomatic paper,
now fallen to the spiders, who always privately were the real
owners! Not in the Treaty of Utrecht, not in the Congresses of
Cambray, of Soissons, Convention of Pardo, by Ripperda, Horace
Walpole, or the wagging of wigs, could this matter be settled at
all. Near two hundred years of chronic misery;--and had there been,
under any of those wigs, a Head capable of reading the Heavenly
Mandates, with heart capable of following them, the misery might
have been briefly ended, by a direct method. With what immense
saving in all kinds, compared with the oblique method gone upon!
In quantity of bloodshed needed, of money, of idle talk and
estafettes, not to speak of higher considerations, the saving had
been incalculable. For it was England's one Cause of War during the
Century we are now upon; and poor England's course, when at last
driven into it, went ambiguously circling round the whole Universe,
instead of straight to the mark. Had Oliver Cromwell lived ten
years longer;--but Oliver Cromwell did not live; and, instead of
Heroic Heads, there came in Constitutional Wigs, which makes a
great difference.

"The pretensions of Spain to keep Half the World locked up in
embargo were entirely chimerical; plainly contradictory to the Laws
of Nature; and no amount of Pope's Donation Acts, or Ceremonial in
Rota or Propaganda, could redeem them from untenability, in the
modern days. To lie like a dog in the manger over South America,
and say snarling, 'None of you shall trade here, though I cannot!'
--what Pope or body of Popes can sanction such a procedure?
Had England had a Head, instead of Wigs, amid its diplomatists,
England, as the chief party interested, would have long since
intimated gently to such dog in the manger: 'Dog, will you be so
obliging as rise! I am grieved to say, we shall have to do
unpleasant things otherwise. Dogs have doors for their hutches:
but to pretend barring the Tropic of Cancer,--that is too big a
door for any dog. Can nobody but you have business here, then,
which is not displeasing to the gods? We bid you rise!' And in this
mode there is no doubt the dog, bark and bite as he might, would
have ended by rising; not only England, but all the Universe being
against him. And furthermore, I compute with certainty, the
quantity of fighting needed to obtain such result would, by this
mode, have been a minimum. The clear right being there, and now
also the clear might, why take refuge in diplomatic wiggeries, in
Assiento Treaties, and Arrangements which are NOT analogous to the
facts; which are but wigged mendacities, therefore; and will but
aggravate in quantity and in quality the fighting yet needed?
Fighting is but (as has been well said) a battering out of the
mendacities, pretences, and imaginary elements: well battered-out,
these, like dust and chaff, fly torrent-wise along the winds, and
darken all the sky; but these once gone, there remain the facts and
their visible relation to one another, and peace is sure.

"The Assiento Treaty being fixed upon, the English ought to have
kept it. But the English did not, in any measure; nor could pretend
to have done. They were entitled to supply Negroes, in such and
such number, annually to the Spanish Plantations; and besides this
delightful branch of trade, to have the privilege of selling
certain quantities of their manufactured articles on those coasts;
quantities regulated briefly by this stipulation, That their
Assiento Ship was to be of 600 tons burden, so many and no more.
The Assiento Ship was duly of 600 tons accordingly, promise kept
faithfully to the eye; but the Assiento Ship was attended and
escorted by provision-sloops, small craft said to be of the most
indispensable nature to it. Which provision-sloops, and
indispensable small craft, not only carried merchandise as well,
but went and came to Jamaica and back, under various pretexts, with
ever new supplies of merchandise; converting the Assiento Ship into
a Floating Shop, the Tons burden and Tons sale of which set
arithmetic at defiance. This was the fact, perfectly well known in
England, veiled over by mere smuggler pretences, and obstinately
persisted in, so profitable was it. Perfectly well known in Spain
also, and to the Spanish Guarda-Costas and Sea-Captains in those
parts; who were naturally kept in a perennial state of rage by it,
--and disposed to fly out into flame upon it, when a bad case
turned up! Such a case that of Jenkins had seemed to them;
and their mode of treating it, by tearing off Mr. Jenkins's Ear,
proved to be--bad shall we say, or good?--intolerable to England's
thick skin; and brought matters to a crisis, in the ways
we saw." ...

The Jenkins's-Ear Question, which then looked so mad to everybody,
how sane has it now grown to my Constitutional Friend! In abstruse
ludicrous form there lay immense questions involved in it;
which were serious enough, certain enough, though invisible to
everybody. Half the World lay hidden in embryo under it.
Colonial-Empire, whose is it to be? Shall Half the World be
England's, for industrial purposes; which is innocent, laudable,
conformable to the Multiplication-table at least, and other plain
Laws? Or shall it be Spain's for arrogant-torpid sham-devotional
purposes, contradictory to every Law? The incalculable Yankee
Nation itself, biggest Phenomenon (once thought beautifulest) of
these Ages,--this too, little as careless readers on either side of
the sea now know it, lay involved. Shall there be a Yankee Nation,
shall there not be; shall the New World be of Spanish type, shall
it be of English? Issues which we may call immense. Among the then
extant Sons of Adam, where was he who could in the faintest degree
surmise what issues lay in the Jenkins's-Ear Question? And it is
curious to consider now, with what fierce deep-breathed doggedness
the poor English Nation, drawn by their instincts, held fast upon
it, and would take no denial, as if THEY had surmised and seen.
For the instincts of simple guileless persons (liable to be counted
STUPID, by the unwary) are sometimes of prophetic nature, and
spring from the deep places of this Universe!--My Constitutional
Friend entitles his next Section CARTHAGENA; but might more fitly
have headed it (for such in reality it is, Carthagena proving the
evanescent point of that sad business),


1. WAR, AND PORTO-BELLO (NOVEMBER, 1739-MARCH, 1740).--"November
4th, 1739, War was at length (after above four months' obscure
quasi-declaring of it, in the shape of Orders in Council, Letters
of Marque, and so on) got openly declared; 'Heralds at Arms at the
usual places' blowing trumpets upon it, and reading the royal
Manifesto, date of which is five days earlier, 'Kensington, October
30th (19th).' The principal Events that ensue, arrange themselves
under Three Heads, this of Porto-Bello being the FIRST; and (by
intense smelting) are datable as follows:--[ Gentleman's
Magazine, ix. 551, x. 124, 142, 144, 350; Tindal,
xx. 430-433, 442; &c.]

"Tuesday Evening, 1st December, 1739, Admiral Vernon, our chosen
Anti-Spaniard, finding, a while ago, that he had missed the Azogue
Ships on the Coast of Spain, and must try America and the Spanish
Main, in that view arrives at Porto-Bello. Next day, December 2d,
Vernon attacks Porto-Bello; attacks certain Castles so called, with
furious broadsiding, followed by scalading; gets surrender (on the
3d);--seamen have allowance instead of plunder;--blows up what
Castles there are; and returns to Port Royal in Jamaica.

"Never-imagined joy in England, and fame to Vernon, when the news
came: 'Took it with Six Ships,' cry they; 'the scurvy Ministry, who
had heard him, in the fire of Parliamentary debate, say Six, would
grant him no more: invincible Vernon!' Nay, next Year, I see,
'London was illuminated on the Anniversary of Porto-Bello:'--
day settled in permanence as one of the High-tides of the Calendar,
it would appear. And 'Vernon's Birthday' withal--how touching is
stupidity when loyal!--was celebrated amazingly in all the chief
Towns, like a kind of Christmas, when it came round; Nature having
deigned to produce such a man, for a poor Nation in difficulties.
Invincible Vernon, it is thought by Gazetteers, 'will look in at
Carthagena shortly;' much more important Place, where a certain
Governor Don Blas has been insolent withal, and written
Vernon letters.

14th March, 1740, Vernon did, accordingly, look in on Carthagena;
[ Gentleman's Magazine, x. 350.] cast anchor
in the shallow waste of surfs there, that Monday; and tried some
bombarding, with bomb-ketches and the like, from Thursday till
Saturday following. Vernon hopes he did hit the Jesuits' College,
South Bastion, Custom-house and other principal edifices; but found
that there was no getting near enough on that seaward side.
Found that you must force the Interior Harbor,--a big Inland Gulf
or Lake, which gushes in by what they call LITTLE-MOUTH (Boca-
Chica), and has its Booms, Castles and Defences, which are numerous
and strongish;--and that, for this end, you must have seven or
eight thousand Land Forces, as well as an addition of Ships.
On Saturday Evening, therefore, Vernon calls in his bomb-ketches;
sails past, examining these things; and goes forth on other small
adventures. For example,--

"Sunday, 3d April, 1740, 'about 10 at night' opens cannonade on
Chagres (place often enough taken, by cutlass and pistol, in the
Bucanier times); and, on Tuesday, 5th, gets surrender of Chagres:
'Custom-house crammed with goods, which we set fire to.' On news of
which, there is again, in England, joy over the day of small
things. The poor English People are set on this business of
avenging Jenkins's Ear, and of having the Ocean Highway unbarred;
and hope always it can be done by the Walpole Apparatuses, which
ought to be in working order, and are not. 'Support this hero, you
Walpole and Company, in his Carthagena views: it will be better
for you!"

"Walpole and Company, aware of that fact, do take some trouble
about it; and now, may not we say, PAULLO MAJORA CANAMUS?
All through that Summer, 1740,"--while King Friedrich went rushing
about, to Strasburg, to Wesel; doing his Herstals and
Practicalities, with a light high hand, in almost an entertaining
manner; and intent, still more, on his Voltaires and a Life to the
Muses,--"there was, in England, serious heavy tumult of activity,
secret and public. In the Dockyards, on the Drill-grounds, what a
stir: Camp in the Isle of Wight, not to mention Portsmouth and the
Sea-Industries; 6,000 Marines are to be embarked, as well as Land
Regiments,--can anybody guess whither? America itself is to furnish
'one Regiment, with Scotch Officers to discipline it,' if they can.

"Here is real haste and effort; but by no means such speed as could
be wished; multiplex confusions and contradictions occurring, as is
usual, when your machinery runs foul. Nor are the Gazetteers
without their guesses, though they study to be discreet. 'Here is
something considerable in the wind; a grand idea, for certain;'--
and to men of discernment it points surely towards Carthagena and
heroic Vernon out yonder? Government is dumb altogether; and lays
occasional embargo; trying hard (without success), in the delays
that occurred, to keep it secret from Don Blas and others.
The outcome of all which was,

"3. CARTHAGENA ITSELF (NOVEMBER, 1740--APRIL, 1741).--On November
6th,--by no means 'July 3d,' as your first fond program bore;
which delay was itself likely to be fatal, unless the Almanac, and
course of the Tropical Seasons would delay along with you!--we say,
On Sunday, 6th November, 1740 [Kaiser Karl's Funeral just over, and
great thoughts going on at Reinsberg], Rear-Admiral Sir Chaloner
Ogle,--so many weeks and months after the set time,--does sail from
St. Helen's (guessed, for Carthagena); all people sending blessings
with him. Twenty-five big Ships of the Line, with three Half-
Regiments on board; fireships, bomb-ketches, in abundance; and
eighty Transports, with 6,000 drilled Marines: a Sea-and-Land Force
fit to strengthen Hero Vernon with a witness, and realize his
Carthagena views. A very great day at Portsmouth and St. Helen's
for these Sunday folk. [Tindal, xx. 463 (LISTS, &c. there; date
wrong, "31st October," instead of 26th (o.s.),--many things wrong,
and all things left loose and flabby, and not right! As is poor
Tindal's way).]

"Most obscure among the other items in that Armada of Sir
Chaloner's, just taking leave of England; most obscure of the items
then, but now most noticeable, or almost alone noticeable, is a
young Surgeon's-Mate,--one Tobias Smollett; looking over the waters
there and the fading coasts, not without thoughts. A proud, soft-
hearted, though somewhat stern-visaged, caustic and indignant young
gentleman. Apt to be caustic in speech, having sorrows of his own
under lock and key, on this and subsequent occasions.
Excellent Tobias; he has, little as he hopes it, something
considerable by way of mission in this Expedition, and in this
Universe generally. Mission to take Portraiture of English
Seamanhood, with the due grimness, due fidelity; and convey the
same to remote generations, before it vanish. Courage, my brave
young Tobias; through endless sorrows, contradictions, toils and
confusions, you will do your errand in some measure; and that will
be something!--

"Five weeks before (29th September, 1740, which was also several
months beyond time set), there had sailed, strictly hidden by
embargoes which were little effectual, another Expedition, all
Naval; intended to be subsidiary to this one: Commodore Anson's, of
three inconsiderable Ships; who is to go round Cape Horn, if he
can; to bombard Spanish America from the other side; and stretch
out a hand to Vernon in his grand Carthagena or ulterior views.
Together they may do some execution, if we judge by the old
Bucanier and Queen-Elizabeth experiences? Anson's Expedition has
become famous in the world, though Vernon got no good of it."

Well! Here truly was a business; not so ill-contrived. Somebody of
head must have been at the centre of this: and it might, in result,
have astonished the Spaniard, and tumbled him much topsy-turvy in
those latitudes,--had the machinery for executing it been well in
gear. Under Friedrich Wilhelm's captaincy and management, every
person, every item, correct to its time, to its place, to its
function, what a thing! But with mere Walpole Machinery: alas, it
was far too wide a Plan for Machinery of that kind, habitually out
of order, and only used to be as correct as--as it could.
Those DELAYS themselves, first to Anson, then to Ogle, since the
Tropical Almanac would not delay along with them, had thrown both
Enterprises into weather such as all but meant impossibility in
those latitudes! This was irremediable;--had not been remediable,
by efforts and pushings here and there. The best of management, as
under Anson, could not get the better of this; worst of management,
as in the other case, was likely to make a fine thing of it! Let us
hasten on:--

"January 20th, 1741, We arrive, through much rough weather and
other confused hardships, at Port Royal in Jamaica; find Vernon
waiting on the slip; the American Regiment, tolerably drilled by
the Scotch Lieutenants, in full readiness and equipment; a body of
Negroes superadded, by way of pioneer laborers fit for those hot
climates. One sad loss there had been on the voyage hither:
Land forces had lost their Commander, and did not find another.
General Cathcart had died of sickness on the voyage; a Charles Lord
Cathcart, who was understood to possess some knowledge of his
business; and his Successor, one Wentworth, did not happen to have
any. Which was reckoned unlucky, by the more observant.
Vernon, though in haste for Carthagena, is in some anxiety about a
powerful French Fleet which has been manoeuvring in those waters
for some time; intent on no good that Vernon can imagine. The first
thing now is, See into that French Fleet. French Fleet, on our
going to look in the proper Island, is found to be all off for
home; men 'mostly starved or otherwise dead,' we hear; so that now,
after this last short delay,--To Carthagena with all sail.

"Wednesday Evening, 15th March, 1741, We anchor in the Playa
Grande, the waste surfy Shallow which washes Carthagena seaward:
124 sail of us, big and little. We find Don Blas in a very prepared
posture. Don Blas has been doing his best, this twelvemonth past;
plugging up that Boca-Chica (LITTLE MOUTH) Ingate, with batteries,
booms, great ships; and has castles not a few thereabouts and in
the Interior Lake or Harbor; all which he has put in tolerable
defence, so far as can be judged: not an inactive, if an insolent
Don. We spend the next five days in considering and surveying these
Performances of his: What is to be done with them; how, in the
first place, we may force Boca-Chica; and get in upon his Interior
Castles and him. After consideration, and plan fixed:

"Monday, 20th March, Sir Chaloner, with broadsides, sweeps away
some small defences which lie to left of Boca-Chica [to our LEFT,
to Boca-Chica's RIGHT, if anybody cares to be particular].
Whereupon the Troops land, some of them that same evening; and,
within the next two days, are all ashore, implements, Negroes and
the rest; building batteries, felling wood; intent to capture
Boca-Chica Castle, and demolish the War-Ships, Booms, and fry of
Fascine and other Batteries; and thereby to get in upon Don Blas,
and have a stroke at his Interior Castles and Carthagena itself.
Till April 5th, here are sixteen days of furious intricate work;
not ill done:--the physical labor itself, the building of
batteries, with Boca-Chica firing on you over the woods, is
scarcely do-able by Europeans in that season; and the Negroes who
are able for it, 'fling down their burdens, and scamper, whenever a
gun goes off.' Furious fighting, too, there was, by seamen and
landsmen; not ill done, considering circumstances.

"On the sixteenth day, April 5th [King Friedrich hurrying from the
Mountains that same day, towards Steinau, which took fire with him
at night], Boca-Chica Castle and the intricate War-Ships, Booms,
and Castles thereabouts (Don Blas running off when the push became
intense), are at last got. So that now, through Boca-Chica, we
enter the Interior Harbor or Harbors. 'Harbors' which are of wide
extent, and deep enough: being in fact a Lake, or rather Pair of
Lakes, with Castles (CASTILLO GRANDE, 'Castle Grand,' the chief of
them), with War-Ships sunk or afloat, and miscellaneous
obstructions: beyond all which, at the farther shore, some five
miles off, Carthagena itself does at last lie potentially
accessible; and we hope to get in upon Don Blas and it. There ensue
five days of intricate sea-work; not much of broadsiding, mainly
tugging out of sunk War-Ships, and the like, to get alongside of
Castle Grand, which is the chief obstruction.

"April 10, Castle Grand itself is got; nobody found in it when we
storm. Don Blas and the Spaniards seem much in terror; burning any
Ships they still have, near Carthagena; as if there were no chance
now left." This is the very day of Mollwitz Battle; near about the
hour when Schwerin broke into field-music, and advanced with
thunderous glitter against the evening sun! "Carthagena Expedition
is, at length, fairly in contact with its Problem,--the question
rising, 'Do you understand it, then?'

"Up to this point, mistakes of management had been made good by
obstinate energy of execution; clear victory had gone on so far,
the Capture of Carthagena now seemingly at hand. One thing was
unfortunate: 'the able Mr. Moor [meritorious Captain of Foot, who,
by accident, had spent some study on his business], the one real
Engineer we had,' got killed in that Boca-Chica struggle: an end to
poor Moor! So that the Siege of Carthagena will have to go on
WITHOUT Engineer science henceforth. May be important, that,--who
knows? Another thing was still more palpably important: Sea-General
Vernon had an undisguised contempt for Land-General Wentworth.
'A mere blockhead, whose Brother has a Borough,' thinks Vernon
(himself an Opposition Member, of high-sniffing, angry, not too
magnanimous turn);--and withdraws now to his Ships; intimating:
'Do your Problem, then; I have set you down beside it, which was my
part of the affair!'--Let us give the attack of Fort Lazar, and end
this sad business.

"Sunday, 16th April, Wentworth, once master of the Uppermost Lake
or Harbor (what the Natives call the SURGIDERO, or Anchorage
Proper), had disembarked, high up to the right, a good way south of
Carthagena; meaning to attack there-from a certain Fort Lazar,
which stands on a Hill between Carthagena and him: this Hill and
Fort once his, he has Carthagena under his cannon; Carthagena in
his pocket, as it were. 'Fort not to be had without batteries,'
thinks Wentworth; though the sickly rainy season has set in.
'Batteries? Scaling-ladders, you mean!' answers Vernon, with
undisguised contempt. For the two are, by this time, almost in open
quarrel. Wentworth starts building batteries, in spite of the rain-
deluges; then stops building;--decides to do it by scalade, after
all. And, at two in the morning of this Sunday, April 16th, sets
forth, in certain columns,--by roads ill-known, with arrangements
that do NOT fit like clock-work,--to storm said Hill and Fort.
The English are an obstinate people; and strenuous execution will
sometimes amend defects of plan,--sometimes not.

"The obstinate English, nothing in them but sullen fire of valor,
which has to burn UNluminous, did, after mistake on mistake, climb
the rocks or heights of Lazar Hill, in spite of the world and Don
Blas's cannonading; but found, when atop, That Fort Lazar, raining
cannon-shot, was still divided from them by chasms; that the
scaling-ladders had not come (never did come, owing to indiscipline
somewhere),--and that, without wings as of eagles, they could not
reach Fort Lazar at all! For about four hours, they struggled with
a desperate doggedness, to overcome the chasms, to wrench aside the
Laws of Nature, and do something useful for themselves; patiently,
though sulkily; regardless of the storm of shot which killed 600 of
them, the while. At length, finding the Laws of Nature too strong
for them, they descended gloomily: 'in gloomy silence' marched home
to their tents again,--in a humor too deep for words.

"Yes; and we find they fell sick in multitudes, that night;
and, 'in two days more, were reduced from 6,645 to 3,200
effective;' Vernon, from the sea, looking disdainfully on:--and it
became evident that the big Project had gone to water; and that
nothing would remain but to return straightway to Jamaica, in
bankrupt condition. Which accordingly was set about. And ten days
hence (April 26th)) the final party of them did get on board,--
punctual to take 'three tents,' their last rag of Siege-furniture,
along with them; 'lest Don Blas have trophies,' thinks poor
Wentworth. And sailed away, with their sad Siege finished in such
fashion. Strenuous Siege; which, had the War-Sciences been
foolishness, and the Laws of Nature and the rigors of Arithmetic
and Geometry been stretchable entities, might have succeeded
better!" [Smollett's Account, Miscellaneous Works italic> (Edinburgh, 1806), iv. 445-469, is that of a highly
intelligent Eye-witness, credible and intelligible in
every particular.]

"Evening of April 26th:"--I perceive it was in the very hours while
Belleisle arrived in Friedrich's Camp at Mollwitz; eve of that
Siege of Brieg, which we saw performing itself with punctual regard
to said Laws and rigors, and issuing in so different a manner!
Nothing that my Constitutional Historian has said equals in pungent
enormity the matter-of-fact Picture, left by Tobias Smollett, of
the sick and wounded, in the interim which follow&d that attempt on
Fort Lazar and the Laws of Nature:--

"As for the sick and wounded", says Tobias, "they were, next day,
sent on board of the transports and vessels called hospital-ships;
where they languished in want of every necessary comfort and
accommodation. They were destitute of surgeons, nurses, cooks and
proper provision; they were pent up between decks in small vessels,
where they had not room to sit upright; they wallowed in filth;
myriads of maggots were hatched in the putrefaction of their sores,
which had no other dressing than that of being washed by themselves
with their own allowance of brandy; and nothing was heard but
groans, lamentations and the language of despair, invoking death to
deliver them from their miseries. What served to encourage this
despondence, was the prospect of those poor wretches who had
strength and opportunity to look around them; for there they beheld
the naked bodies of their fellow-soldiers and comrades floating up
and down the harbor, affording prey to the carrion-crows and
sharks, which tore them in pieces without interruption, and
contributing by their stench to the mortality that prevailed.

"This picture cannot fail to be shocking to the humane reader,
especially when he is informed, that while those miserable objects
cried in vain for assistance, and actually perished for want of
proper attendance, every ship of war in the fleet could have spared
a couple of surgeons for their relief; and many young gentlemen of
that profession solicited their captains in pain for leave to go
and administer help to the sick and wounded. The necessities of the
poor people were well known; the remedy was easy and apparent;
but the discord between the chiefs was inflamed to such a degree of
diabolical rancor, that the one chose rather to see his men perish
than ask help of the other, who disdained to offer his assistance
unasked, though it might have saved the lives of his fellow-
subjects." [Smollett, IBID. (Anderson's Edition), iv. 466.]

In such an amazing condition is the English Fighting Apparatus
under Walpole, being important for England's self only; while the
Talking Apparatus, important for Walpole, is in such excellent
gearing, so well kept in repair and oil! By Wentworth's blame, who
had no knowledge of war; by Vernon's, who sat famous on the
Opposition side, yet wanted loyalty of mind; by one's blame and
another's, WHOSE it is idle arguing, here is how your Fighting
Apparatus performs in the hour when needed. Unfortunate General, or
General's Cocked-Hat (a brave heart too, they say, though of brain
too vacant, too opaque); unfortunate Admiral (much blown away by
vanity, in-nature and Parliamentary wind);--doubly unfortunate
Nation, that employs such to lead its armaments! How the English
Nation took it? The English Nation has had much of this kind to
take, first and last; and apparently will yet have. "Gloomy
silence," like that of the poor men going home to their tents, is
our only dialect towards it.

This is a dreadful business, this of the wrecked Carthagena
Expedition; such a force of war-munitions in every kind,--
including the rare kind, human Courage and force of heart, only not
human Captaincy, the rarest kind,--as could have swallowed South
America at discretion, had there been Captains over it. Has gone
blundering down into Orcus and the shark's belly, in that
unutterable manner. Might have been didactic to Eugland, more than
it was; England's skin being very thick against lessons of that
nature. Might have broken the heart of a little Sovereign Gentleman
Curator of England, had he gone hypochondriacally into it; which he
was far from doing, brisk little Gentleman; looking out else-
whither, with those eyes A FLEUR DE TETE, and nothing of insoluble
admitted into the brain that dwelt inside.

What became subsequently of the Spanish War, we in vain inquire of
History-Books. The War did not die for many years to come, but
neither did it publicly live; it disappears at this point: a River
Niger, seen once flowing broad enough; but issuing--Does it issue
nowhere, then? Where does it issue? Except for my Constitutional
Historian, still unpublished, I should never have known where.--
By the time these disastrous Carthagena tidings reached England,
his Britannic Majesty was in Hanover; involved, he, and all his
State doctors, English and Hanoverian, in awful contemplation on
Pragmatic Sanction, Kaiserwahl, Celestial Balance, and the saving
of Nature's Keystone, should this still prove possible to human
effort and contrivance. In which Imminency of Doomsday itself, the
small English-Spanish matter, which the Official people, and his
Majesty as much as any, had bitterly disliked, was quite let go,
and dropped out of view. Forgotten by Official people; left to the
dumb English Nation, whose concern it was, to administer as
IT could.

Anson--with his three ships gone to two, gone ultimately to one--is
henceforth what Spanish War there officially is. Anson could not
meet those Vernon-Wentworth gentlemen "from the other side of the
Isthmus of Darien," the gentlemen, with their Enterprise, being
already bankrupt and away. Anson, with three inconsiderable ships,
which rotted gradually into one, could not himself settle the
Spanish War: but he did, on his own score, a series of things,
ending in beautiful finis of the Acapulco Ship, which were of
considerable detriment, and of highly considerable disgrace, to
Spain;--and were, and are long likely to be, memorable among the
Sea-heroisms of the world. Giving proof that real Captains,
taciturn Sons of Anak, are still born in England; and Sea-kings,
equal to any that were. Luckily, too, he had some chaplain or
ship's-surgeon on board, who saw good to write account of that
memorable VOYAGE of his; and did it, in brief, perspicuous terms,
wise and credible: a real Poem in its kind, or Romance all Fact;
one of the pleasantest little Books in the World's Library at this
date. Anson sheds some tincture of heroic beauty over that
otherwise altogether hideous puddle of mismanagement, platitude,
disaster; and vindicates, in a pathetically potential way, the
honor of his poor Nation a little.

Apart from Official Anson, the Spanish War fell mainly, we may say,
into the hands of--of Mr. Jenkins himself, and such Friends of his,
at Wapping, Bristol and the Seaports, as might be disposed to go
privateering. In which course, after some crosses at first, and
great complaints of losses to Spanish Privateers, Wapping and
Bristol did at length eminently get the upper hand; and thus
carried on this Spanish War (or Spanish-French, Spain and France
having got into one boat), for long years coming; in an entirely
inarticulate, but by no means quite ineffectual manner,--indeed, to
the ultimate clearance of the Seas from both French and Spaniard,
within the next twenty years. Readers shall take this little
Excerpt, dated Three Years hence, and set it twinkling in the night
of their imaginations:--

BRISTOL, MONDAY, 21st (10th) SEPTEMBER, 1744. ... "Nothing is to be
seen here but rejoicings for the number of French prizes brought
into this port. Our Sailors are in high spirits, and full of money;
and while on shore, spend their whole time in carousing, visiting
their mistresses, going to plays, serenading, &c., dressed out with
laced hats, tossels (SIC), swords with sword-knots, and every other
way of spending their money." [Extract of a Letter from Bristol, in
Gentleman's Magazine, xiv. 504.]

Carthagena, Walpole, Viners: here are Sorrows for a Britannic
Majesty;--and these are nothing like all. But poor readers should
have some respite; brief breathing-time, were it only to use their
pocket-handkerchiefs, and summon new courage!

Chapter XIII.


After Brieg, Friedrich undertook nothing military, except strict
vigilance of Neipperg, for a couple of months or more. Military,
especially offensive operations, are not the methods just now.
Rest on your oars; see how this seething Ocean of European
Politics, and Peace or War, will settle itself into currents, into
set winds; by which of them a man may steer, who happens to have a
fixed port in view. Neipperg, too, is glad to be quiescent;
"my Infantry hopelessly inferior," he writes to head-quarters:
"Could not one hire 10,000 Saxons, think you,"--or do several other
chimerical things, for help? Except with his Pandour people,
working what mischief they can, Neipperg does nothing. But this
Hungarian rabble is extensively industrious, scouring the country
far and wide; and gives a great deal of trouble both to Friedrich
and the peaceable inhabitants. So that there is plenty of Small War
always going on:--not mentionable here, any passage of it, except
perhaps one, at a place called Rothschloss; which concerns a
remarkable Prussian Hussar Major, their famed Ziethen, and is still
remembered by the Prussian public.

We have heard of Captain, now Major Ziethen, how Friedrich Wilhelm
sent him to the Rhine Campaign, six years ago, to learn the Hussar
Art from the Austrians there. One Baronay (BARONIAY, or even
BARANYAI, as others write him), an excellent hand, taught him the
Art;--and how well he has learned, Baronay now sadly experiences.
The affair of Rothschloss (in abridged form) befell as follows:--

"In these Small-War businesses, Baronay, Austrian Major-General of
Hussars, had been exceedingly mischievous hitherto. It was but the
other day, a Prussian regular party had to go out upon him, just in
time; and to RE-wrench 'sixty cart-loads of meal,' wrenched by him
from suffering individuals; with which he was making off to Neisse,
when the Prussians [from their Camp of Mollwitz, where they still
are] came in sight.

"And now again (May 16th) news is, That Baronay, and 1,400 Hussars
with him, has another considerable set of meal-carts,--in the
Village of Rothschloss, about twenty miles southward, Frankenstein
way; and means to march with them Neisse-ward to-morrow.
Two marches or so will bring him home; if Prussian diligence
prevent not. 'Go instantly,' orders Friedrich,--appointing
Winterfeld to do it: Winterfeld with 300 dragoons, with Ziethen and
Hussars to the amount of 600; which is more than one to two
of Austrians.

"Winterfeld and Ziethen march that same day; are in the
neighborhood of Rothschloss by nightfall; and take their measures,
--block the road to Neisse, and do other necessary things. And go
in upon Baronay next morning, at the due rate, fiery men both of
them; sweep poor Baronay away, MINUS the meal; who finds even his
road blocked (bridge bursting into cannon-shot upon him, at one
point), instead of bridge, a stream, or slow current of quagmire
for him,--and is in imminent hazard. Ziethen's behavior was
superlative (details of it unintelligible off the ground);
and Baronay fled totally in wreck;--his own horse shot, and at the
moment no other to be had; swam the quagmire, or swashed through
it, 'by help of a tree;" and had a near miss of capture.
Recovering himself on the other side, Baronay, we can fancy, gave a
grin of various expression, as he got into saddle again: 'The arrow
so near killing was feathered from one's own wing, too!'--And
indeed, a day or two after, he wrote Ziethen a handsome Letter to
that effect." [ Helden-Geschichte, i. 927;
Orlich, i. 120. The Life of General de Zieten
(English Translation, very ill printed, Berlin, 1803), BY FRAU VON
BLUMENTHAL (a vaguish eloquent Lady, but with access to
information, being a connection of Z.'s), p. 84.]

Ziethen, for minor good feats, had been made Lieutenant-Colonel,
the very day he marched; his Commission dates May 16th, 1741;
and on the morrow he handsels it in this pretty manner. He is now
forty-two; much held down hitherto; being a man of inarticulate
turn, hot and abrupt in his ways,--liable always to multifarious
obstruction, and unjust contradiction from his fellow-creatures.
But Winterfeld's report on this occasion was emphatic; and Ziethen
shoots rapidly up henceforth; Colonel within the year, General in
1744; and more and more esteemed by Friedrich during their
subsequent long life together.

Though perhaps the two most opposite men in Nature, and standing so
far apart, they fully recognized one another in their several
spheres. For Ziethen too had good eyesight, though in abstruse
sort:--rugged simple son of the moorlands; nourished, body and
soul, on orthodox frugal oatmeal (so to speak), with a large
sprinkling of fire and iron thrown in! A man born poor: son of some
poor Squirelet in the Ruppin Country;--"used to walk five miles
into Ruppin on Saturday nights," in early life, "and have his hair
done into club, which had to last him till the week following."
[ Militair-Lexikon, iv. 310.] A big-headed,
thick-lipped, decidedly ugly little man. And yet so beautiful in
his ugliness: wise, resolute, true, with a dash of high
uncomplaining sorrow in him;--not the "bleached nigger" at all, as
Print-Collectors sometimes call him! No; but (on those oatmeal
terms) the Socrates-Odysseus, the valiant pious Stoic, and much-
enduring man. One of the best Hussar Captains ever built.
By degrees King Friedrich and he grew to be,--with considerable
tiffs now and then, and intervals of gloom and eclipse,--what we
might call sworn friends. On which and on general grounds, Ziethen
has become, like Friedrich himself, a kind of mythical person with
the soldiery and common people; more of a demi-god than any other
of Friedrich's Captains.

Friedrich is always eagerly in quest of men like Ziethen;
specially so at this time. He has meditated much on the bad figure
his Cavalry made at Mollwitz; and is already drilling them anew in
multiplex ways, during those leisure days he now has,--with evident
success on the next trial, this very Summer. And, as his wont is,
will not rest satisfied there. But strives incessantly, for a
series of summers and years to come, till he bring them to
perfection; or to the likeness of his own thought, which probably
was not far from that. Till at length it can be said his success
became world-famous; and he had such Seidlitzes and Ziethens as
were not seen before or since.


END OF BOOK 12-------

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