But, even as he listened he again heard the odd sound coming

time:2023-12-07 14:41:29 source:Alliance under the city author:reading

On the 15th arrived his Majesty in person, with the Old Dessauer, Buddenbrock, Derschau and a select suite; in hopes of witnessing remarkable feats of war, now that the crisis of Philipsburg was coming on. Many Princes were assembled there, in the like hope: Prince of Orange (honeymoon well ended [Had wedded Princess Anne, George II.'s eldest, 25th (14th) March, 1734; to the joy of self and mankind, in England here.]), a vivacious light gentleman, slightly crooked in the back; Princes of Baden, Darmstadt, Waldeck: all manner of Princes and distinguished personages, fourscore Princes of them by tale, the eyes of Europe being turned on this matter, and on old Eugene's guidance of it. Prince Fred of England, even he had a notion of coming to learn war.

But, even as he listened he again heard the odd sound coming

It was about this time, not many weeks ago, that Fred, now falling into much discrepancy with his Father, and at a loss for a career to himself, appeared on a sudden in the Antechamber at St. James's one day; and solemnly demanded an interview with his Majesty. Which his indignant Majesty, after some conference with Walpole, decided to grant. Prince Fred, when admitted, made three demands: 1. To be allowed to go upon the Rhine Campaign, by way of a temporary career for himself; 2. That he might have something definite to live upon, a fixed revenue being suitable in his circumstances; 3. That, after those sad Prussian disappointments, some suitable Consort might be chosen for him,--heart and household lying in such waste condition. Poor Fred, who of us knows what of sense might be in these demands? Few creatures more absurdly situated are to be found in this world. To go where his equals were, and learn soldiering a little, might really have been useful. Paternal Majesty received Fred and his Three Demands with fulminating look; answered, to the first two, nothing; to the third, about a Consort, "Yes, you shall; but be respectful to the Queen;--and now. off with you; away!" [Coxe's Walpole, i. 322.]

But, even as he listened he again heard the odd sound coming

Poor Fred, he has a circle of hungry Parliamenteers about him; young Pitt, a Cornet of Horse, young Lyttelton of Hagley, our old Soissons friend, not to mention others of worse type; to whom this royal Young Gentleman, with his vanities, ambitions, inexperiences, plentiful inflammabilities, is important for exploding Walpole. He may have, and with great justice I should think, the dim consciousness of talents for doing something better than "write madrigals" in this world; infinitude of wishes and appetites he clearly has;--he is full of inflammable materials, poor youth. And he is the Fireship those older hands make use of for blowing Walpole and Company out of their anchorage. What a school of virtue for a young gentleman;--and for the elder ones concerned with him! He did not get to the Rhine Campaign; nor indeed ever to anything, except to writing madrigals, and being very futile, dissolute and miserable with what of talent Nature had given him. Let us pity the poor constitutional Prince. Our Fritz was only in danger of losing his life; but what is that, to losing your sanity, personal identity almost, and becoming Parliamentary Fireship to his Majesty's Opposition?

But, even as he listened he again heard the odd sound coming

Friedrich Wilhelm stayed a month campaigning here; graciously declined Prince Eugene's invitation to lodge in Headquarters, under a roof and within built walls; preferred a tent among his own people, and took the common hardships,--with great hurt to his weak health, as was afterwards found.

In these weeks, the big Czarina, who has set a price (100,000 rubles, say 15,000 pounds) upon the head of poor Stanislaus, hears that his Prussian Majesty protects him; and thereupon signifies, in high terms, That she, by her Feld-marschall Munnich, will come across the frontiers and seize the said Stanislaus. To which his Prussian Majesty answers positively, though in proper Diplomatic tone, "Madam, I will in no wise permit it!" Perhaps his Majesty's remarkablest transaction, here on the Rhine, was this concerning Stanislaus. For Seckendorf the Feldzeugmeister was here also, on military function, not forgetful of the Diplomacies; who busily assailed his Majesty, on the Kaiser's part, in the same direction: "Give up Stanislaus, your Majesty! How ridiculous (LACHERLICH) to be perhaps ruined for Stanislaus!" But without the least effect, now or afterwards.

Poor Stanislaus, in the beginning of July, got across into Preussen, as we intimated; and there he continued, safe against any amount of rubles and Feldmarschalls, entreaties and menaces. At Angerburg, on the Prussian frontier, he found a steadfast veteran, Lieutenant-General von Katte, Commandant in those parts (Father of a certain poor Lieutenant, whom we tragically knew of long ago!)--which veteran gentleman received tbe Fugitive Majesty, [ Militair-Lexikon, ii. 254.] with welcome in the King's name, and assurances of an honorable asylum till the times and roads should clear again for his Fugitive Majesty. Fugitive Majesty, for whom the roads and times were very dark at present, went to Marienwerder; talked of going "to Pillau, for a sea-passage," of going to various places; went finally to Konigsberg, and there--with a considerable Polish Suite of Fugitives, very moneyless, and very expensive, most of them, who had accumulated about him--set up his abode. There for almost two years, in fact till this War ended, the Fugitive Polish Majesty continued; Friedrich Wilhelm punctually protecting him, and even paying him a small Pension (50 pounds a month),--France, the least it could do for the Grandfather of France, allowing a much larger one; larger, though still inadequate. France has left its Grandfather strangely in the lurch here; with "100,000 rubles on his head." But Friedrich Wilhelm knows the sacred rites, and will do them; continues deaf as a door-post alike to the menaces and the entreaties of Kaiser and Czarina; strictly intimating to Munnich, what the Laws of Neutrality are, and that they must be observed. Which, by his Majesty's good arrangements, Munnich, willing enough to the contrary had it been feasible, found himself obliged to comply with. Prussian Majesty, like a King and a gentleman, would listen to no terms about dismissing or delivering up, or otherwise, failing in the sacred rites to Stanislaus; but honorably kept him there till the times and routes cleared themselves again. [Forster, ii. 132, 134-136.] A plain piece of duty; punctually done: the beginning of it falls here in the Camp at Philipsburg, July-August 1734; in May, 1736, we shall see some glimpse of the end!--

His Prussian Majesty in Camp at Philipsburg--so distinguished a volunteer, doing us the honor to encamp here--"was asked to all the Councils-of-war that were held," say the Books. And he did attend, the Crown-Prince and he, on important occasions: but, alas, there was, so to speak, nothing to be consulted of. Fascines and hurdles lay useless; no attempt was made to relieve Philipsburg. On the third day after his Majesty's arrival, July 18th, Philipsburg, after a stiff defence of six weeks, growing hopeless of relief, had to surrender;--French then proceeded to repair Philipsburg, no attempt on Eugene's part to molest them there. If they try ulterior operations on this side the River, he counter-tries; and that is all.

Our Crown-Prince, somewhat of a judge in after years, is maturely of opinion, That the French Lines were by no means inexpugnable; that the French Army might have been ruined under an attack of the proper kind. [ OEuvres de Frederic, i. 167.] Their position was bad; no room to unfold themselves for fight, except with the Town's cannon playing on them all the while; only one Bridge to get across by, in case of coming to the worse: defeat of them probable, and ruin to them inevitable in case of defeat. But Prince Eugene, with an Army little to his mind (Reich's-Contingents not to be depended on, thought Eugene), durst not venture: "Seventeen victorious Battles, and if we should be defeated in the eighteenth and last?"


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