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hand was the first extended. Julia had opened a newspaper.

time:2023-12-01 15:37:50 Source: Originally writtenedit:power

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The War, since Friedrich got out of it, does not abate in animosity, nor want for bloodshed, battle and sieging; but offers little now memorable. March 18th, 1747, a ghastly Phantasm of a Congress, "Congress of Breda," which had for some months been attempting Peace, and was never able to get into conference, or sit in its chairs except for moments, flew away altogether; [In September, 1746, had got together; but would not take life, on trying and again trying, and fell forgotten: February, 1747, again gleams up into hope: March 18th and the following days, vanishes for good (ADELUNG, v. 50; vi. 6, 62).] and left the War perhaps angrier than ever, more hopelessly stupid than ever. Except, indeed, that resources are failing; money running low in France, Parlements beginning to murmur, and among the Population generally a feeling that glory is excellent, but will not make the national pot boil. Perhaps all this will be more effective than Congresses of Breda? Here are the few Notes worth giving:

hand was the first extended. Julia had opened a newspaper.

APRIL 23d-30th, 1747, THE FRENCH INVADE HOLLAND; WHEREUPON, SUDDENLY, A STADTHOLDER THERE. "After Fontenoy there has been much sieging and capturing in that Netherlands Country, a series of successes gloriously delightful to Marechal de Saxe and the French Nation: likewise (in bar of said sieging, in futile attempt to bar it) a Battle of Roucoux, October, 1746; with victory, or quasi- victory, to Saxe, at least with prostration to the opposite part. And farther on, there is a Battle of Lauffeld coming, 2d July, 1747; with similar results; frustration evident, retreat evident, victory not much to speak of. And in this gloriously delightful manner Saxe and the French Nation have proceeded, till in fact the Netherlands Territory with all strongholds, except Maestricht alone, was theirs,--and they decided on attacking the Dutch Republic itself. And (17th April, 1747) actually broke in upon the frontier Fortresses of Zealand; found the same dry-rotten everywhere; and took them, Fortress after Fortress, at the rate of a cannon salvo each: 'Ye magnanimous Dutch, see what you have got by not sitting still, as recommended!' To the horror and terror of the poor Zealanders and general Dutch Population. Who shrieked to England for help;--and were, on the very instant, furnished with a modicum of Seventy-fours (Dutch Courier returning by the same); which landed the Courier April 23d, and put Walcheren in a state of security. [Adelung, vi. 105, 125-134.]

hand was the first extended. Julia had opened a newspaper.

"Whereupon the Dutch Population turned round on its Governors, with a growl of indignation, spreading ever wider, waxing ever higher: 'Scandalous laggards, is this your mode of governing a free Republic? Freedom to let the State go to dry-rot, and become the laughing-stock of mankind. To provide for your own paltry kindred in the State-employments; to palaver grandly with all comers; and publish melodious Despatches of Van Hoey? Had not Britannic Majesty, for his dear Daughter's sake, come to the rescue in this crisis, where had we been? We demand a Stadtholder again; our glorious Nassau Orange, to keep some bridle on you!' And actually, in this way, Populus and Plebs, by general turning out into the streets, in a gloomily indignant manner, which threatens to become vociferous and dangerous,--cowed the Heads of the Republic into choosing the said Prince, with Princess and Family, as Stadtholder, High-Admiral, High-Everything and Supreme of the Republic. Hereditary, no less, and punctually perpetual; Princess and Family to share in it. In which happy state (ripened into Kingship latterly) they continue to this day. A result painfully surprising to Most Christian Majesty; gratifying to Britannic proportionately, or more;--and indeed beneficial towards abating dry-rot and melodious palaver in that poor Land of the Free. Consummated, by popular outbreak of vociferation, in the different Provinces, in about a week from April 23d, when those helpful Seventy-fours hove in sight. Stadtholdership had been in abeyance for forty-five years. [Since our Dutch William's death, 1702.] The new Stadtholder did his best; could not, in the short life granted him, do nearly enough.--Next year there was a SECOND Dutch outbreak, or general turning into the streets; of much more violent character; in regard to glaringly unjust Excises and Taxations, and to 'instant dismissal of your Excise-Farmers,' as the special first item. [Adelung, vi. 364 et seq.; Raumer, 182-193 ("March-September, 1748"); or, in Chesterfield's Works, Dayrolles's Letters to Chesterfield: somewhat unintelligent and unintelligible, both Raumer and he.] Which salutary object being accomplished (new Stadtholder well aiding, in a valiant and judicious manner), there has no third dose of that dangerous remedy been needed since.

hand was the first extended. Julia had opened a newspaper.

"JULY 19th, FATE OF CHEVALIER DE BELLEISLE. At the Fortress of Exilles, in one of those Passes of the Savoy Alps,--Pass of Col di Sieta, memorable to the French Soldier ever since,--there occurred a lamentable thing;" doubtless much talked of at Sceaux while Voltaire was there. "The Revolt of Genoa (popular outburst, and expulsion of our poor friend Botta and his Austrians, then a famous thing, and a rarer than now) having suddenly recalled the victorious General Browne from his Siege of Antibes and Invasion of Provence,--Marechal Duc de Belleisle, well reinforced and now become 'Army of Italy' in general, followed steadfastly for 'Defence of Genoa' against indignant Botta, Browne and Company. For defence of Genoa; nay for attack on Turin, which would have been 'defence' in Genoa and everywhere,--had the captious Spaniard consented to co-operate. Captious Spaniard would not; Couriers to Madrid, to Paris thereupon, and much time lost;--till, at the eleventh hour, came consent from Paris, 'Try it by yourself, then!' Belleisle tries it; at least his Brother does. His Brother, the Chevalier, is to force that Pass of Exilles; a terrible fiery business, but the backbone of the whole adventure: in which, if the Chevalier can succeed, he too is to be Marechal de France. Forward, therefore, climb the Alpine stairs again; snatch me that Fort of Exilles.

"And so, July 19th, 1747, the Chevalier comes in sight of the Place; scans a little the frowning buttresses, bristly with guns; the dumb Alps, to right and left, looking down on him and it. Chevalier de Belleisle judges that, however difficult, it can and must be possible to French valor; and storms in upon it, huge and furious (20,000, or if needful 30,000);--but is torn into mere wreck, and hideous recoil; rallies, snatches a standard, 'We must take it or die,'--and dies, does not take it; falls shot on the rampart, 'pulling at the palisades with his own hands,' nay some say 'with his teeth,' when the last moments came. Within one hour, he has lost 4,000 men; and himself and his Brother's Enterprise lie ended there. [Voltaire, xxv. 221 et seq. (SIECLE DE LOUIS QUINZE, c. 22); Adelung, vi 174.] Fancy his poor Brother's feelings, who much loved him! The discords about War-matters (TRACASSERIES DE L'ARMEE) were a topic at Sceaux lately, as De Staal intimated. 'Why starve our Italian Enterprises; heaping every resource upon the Netherlands and Saxe?' Diligent Defence of Genoa (chiefly by flourishing of swords on the part of France, for the Austrians were not yet ready) is henceforth all the Italian War there is; and this explosion at Exilles may fitly be finis to it here. Let us only say that Infant Philip did, when the Peace came, get a bit of Apanage (Parma and Piacenza or some such thing, contemptibly small to the Maternal heart), and that all things else lapsed to their pristine state, MINUS only the waste and ruin there had been."

JULY 12th-SEPTEMBER 18th: SIEGE OF THE CHIEF DUTCH FORTRESS. "Unexpected Siege of Bergen-op-Zoom; two months of intense excitement to the Dutch Patriots and Cause-of-Liberty Gazetteers, as indifferent and totally dead as it has now become. Marechal de Saxe, after his victory at Lauffeld, 2d July, did not besiege Maestricht, as had been the universal expectation; but shot off an efficient lieutenant of his, one Lowendahl, in due force, privately ready, to overwhelm Bergen-op-Zoom with sudden Siege, while he himself lay between the beaten enemy and it. Bergen is the heart, of Holland, key of the Scheld, and quite otherwise important than Maestricht. 'Coehorn's masterpiece!' exclaim the Gazetteers; 'Impregnable, you may depend!' 'We shall see,' answered Saxe, answered Lowendahl the Dane (who also became Marechal by this business); and after a great deal of furious assaulting and battering, took the Place September 18th, before daylight," by a kind of surprisal or quasi-storm;--"the Commandant, one Cronstrom, a brave old Swede, age towards ninety, not being of very wakeful nature! 'Did as well as could be expected of him,' said the Court- Martial sitting on his case, and forbore to shoot the poor old man. [Adelung, vi. 184, 206;--"for Cronstrom," if any one is curious, "see Schlotzer, Schwedische Biographie, ii. 252 (in voce)."] A sore stroke, this of Bergen, to Britannic Majesty and the Friends of Liberty; who nevertheless refuse to be discouraged."

DECEMBER 25th, RUSSIANS IN BEHALF OF HUMAN LIBERTY. "March of 36,000 Russians from the City of Moscow, this day; on a very long journey, in the hoary Christmas weather! Most, Christian Majesty is ruinously short of money; Britannic Majesty has still credit, and a voting Parliament, but, owing to French influence on the Continent, can get no recruits to hire. Gradually driven upon Russia, in such stress, Britannic Majesty has this year hired for himself a 35,000 Russians; 30,000 regular foot; 4,000 ditto horse, and 1,000 Cossacks;--uncommonly cheap, only 150,000 pounds the lot, not, 4 pounds per head by the year. And, in spite of many difficulties and hagglings, they actually get on march, from Moscow, 25th December, 1747; and creep on, all Winter, through the frozen peats wildernesses, through Lithuania, Poland, towards Bohmen, Mahren: are to appear in the Rhine Countries, joined by certain Austrians; and astonish mankind next Spring. Their Captain is one Repnin, Prince Repnin, afterwards famous enough in those Polish Countries;" --which is now the one point interesting to us in the thing. "Their Captain WAS, first, to be Lacy, old Marshal Lacy; then, failing Lacy, 'Why not General Keith?'--but proves to be Repnin, after much hustling and intriguing:" Repnin, not Keith, that is the interesting point.

"Such march of the Russians, on behalf of Human Liberty, in pay of Britannic Majesty, is a surprising fact; and considerably discomposes the French. Who bestir themselves in Sweden and elsewhere against Russia and it: with no result,--except perhaps the incidental one, of getting our esteemed old friend Guy Dickens, now Sir Guy, dismissed from Stockholm, and we hope put on half-pay on his return home." [Adelung, vi. 250, 302:--Sir Guy, not yet invalided, "went to Russia," and other errands.]