looking for trouble, and took the first thing that came

time:2023-12-07 14:50:40 source:Alliance under the city author:knowledge


looking for trouble, and took the first thing that came

The Kaiser--with Kehl snatched from him, the Rhine open, and Louis XV. singing TE DEUM in the Christmas time for what Villars in Italy had done--applied, in passionate haste, to the Reich. The Reich, though Fleury tried to cajole it, and apologize for taking Kehl from it, declares for the Kaiser's quarrel; War against France on his behalf; [13th March, 1734 (Buchholz, i. 131).]--it was in this way that Friedrich Wilhelm and our Crown-Prince came to be concerned in the Rhine Campaign. The Kaiser will have a Reich's-Army (were it good for much, as is not likely) to join to his own Austrian one. And if Prince Eugene, who is Reich's-Feldmarschall, one of the TWO Feldmarschalls, get the Generalship as men hope, it is not doubted but there will be great work on the Rhine, this Summer of 1734.

looking for trouble, and took the first thing that came

Unhappily the Reich's-Army, raised from--multifarious contingents, and guided and provided for by many heads, is usually good for little. Not to say that old Kur-Pfalz, with an eye to French help in the Berg-and-Julich matter; old Kur-Pfalz, and the Bavarian set (KUR-BAIERN and KUR-KOLN, Bavaria and Cologne, who are Brothers, and of old cousinship to Kur-Pfalz),--quite refuse their contingents; protest in the Diet, and openly have French leanings. These are bad omens for the Reich's-Army. And in regard to the Reich's-Feldmarschall Office, there also is a difficulty. The Reich, as we hinted, keeps two supreme Feldmarschalls; one Catholic, one Protestant, for equilibrium's sake; illustrious Prince Eugenio von Savoye is the Catholic;--but as to the Protestant, it is a difficulty worth observing for a moment.

looking for trouble, and took the first thing that came

Old Duke Eberhard Ludwig of Wurtemberg, the unfortunate old gentleman bewitched by the Gravenitz "Deliver us from evil," used to be the Reich's-Feldmarschall of Protestant persuasion;-- Commander-in-Chief for the Reich, when it tried fighting. Old Eberhard had been at Blenheim, and had marched up and down: I never heard he was much of a General; perhaps good enough for the Reich, whose troops were always bad. But now that poor Duke, as we intimated once or more, is dead; there must be, of Protestant type, a new Reich's-Feldmasschall had. One Catholic, unequalled among Captains, we already have; but where is the Protestant, Duke Eberhard being dead?

Duke Eberhard's successor in Wurtemberg, Karl Alexander by name, whom we once dined with at Prag on the Kladrup journey, he, a General of some worth, would be a natural person. Unluckily Duke Karl Alexander had, while an Austrian Officer and without outlooks upon Protestant Wurtemberg, gone over to Papacy, and is now Catholic. "Two Catholic Feldmarschalls!" cries the CORPUS EVANGELICORUM; "that will never do!"

Well, on the other or Protestant side there appear two Candidates; one of them not much expected by the reader: no other than Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick-Bevern, our Crown-Prince's Father-in- law; whom we knew to be a worthy man, but did not know to be much of a soldier, or capable of these ambitious views. He is Candidate First. Then there is a Second, much more entitled: our gunpowder friend the Old Dessauer; who, to say nothing of his soldier qualities, has promises from the Kaiser,--he surely were the man, if it did not hurt other people's feelings. But it surely does and will. There is Ferdinand of Bevern applying upon the score of old promises too. How can people's feelings be saved? Protestants these two last: but they cannot both have it; and what will Wurtemberg say to either of them? The Reich was in very great affliction about this preliminary matter. But Friedrich Wilhelm steps in with a healing recipe: "Let there be four Reich's- Feldmarschalls," said Friedrich Wilhelm; "two Protestant and two Catholic: won't that do?"--Excellent! answers the Reich: and there are four Feldmarschalls for the time being; no lack of commanders to the Reich's-Army. Brunswick-Bevern tried it first; but only till Prince Eugene were ready, and indeed he had of himself come to nothing before that date. Prince Eugene next; then Karl Alexander next; and in fact they all might have had a stroke at commanding, and at coming to nothing or little,--only the Old Dessauer sulked at the office in this its fourfold state, and never would fairly have it, till, by decease of occupants, it came to be twofold again. This glimpse into the distracted effete interior of the poor old Reich and its Politics, with friends of ours concerned there, let it be welcome to the reader. [ Leopoldi von Anhalt-Dessau Leben (by Ranfft), p. 127; Buchholz, i. 131.]

Friedrich Wilhelm was without concern in this War, or in what had led to it. Practical share in the Polish Election (after that preliminary theoretic program of the Kaiser's and Czarina's went to smoke) Friedrich Wilhelm steadily refused to take: though considerable offers were made him on both sides,--offer of West Preussen (Polish part of Prussia, which once was known to us) on the French side. [By De la Chetardie, French Ambassador at Berlin (Buchholz, i. 130).] But his primary fixed resolution was to stand out of the quarrel; and he abides by that; suppresses any wishes of his own in regard to the Polish Election;--keeps ward on his own frontiers, with good military besom in hand, to sweep it out again if it intruded there. "What King you like, in God's name; only don't come over my threshold with his brabbles and him!"

But seeing the Kaiser got into actual French War, with the Reich consenting, he is bound, by Treaty of old date (date older than WUSTERHAUSEN, though it was confirmed on that famous occasion), "To assist the Kaiser with ten thousand men;" and this engagement he intends amply to fulfil. No sooner, therefore, had the Reich given sure signs of assenting ("Reich's assent" is the condition of the ten thousand), than Friedrich Wilhelm's orders were out, "Be in readiness!" Friedrich Wilhelm, by the time of the Reich's actual assent, or Declaration of War on the Kaiser's behalf, has but to lift his finger: squadrons and battalions, out of Pommern, out of Magdeburg, out of Preussen, to the due amount, will get on march whitherward you bid, and be with you there at the day you indicate, almost at the hour. Captains, not of an imaginary nature, these are always busy; and the King himself is busy over them. From big guns and wagon-horses down to gun-flints and gaiter-straps, all is marked in registers; nothing is wanting, nothing out of its place at any time, in Friedrich Wilhelm's Army.


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