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Strong cuts her Hungarian Majesty does inflict, on the Italian side; tumbles Infant Philip out of Milan and his Carnival gayeties, in plenty of hurry; besieges Genoa, Marquis Botta d'Adorno (our old acquaintance Botta) her siege-captain, a native of this region; brings back the wavering Sardinian Majesty; captures Genoa, and much else. Captures Genoa, we say,--had not Botta been too rigorous on his countrymen, and provoked a revolt again, Revolt of Genoa, which proved difficult to settle. In fine, Hungarian Majesty has, in the course of this year 1746, with aid of the reconfirmed Sardinian Majesty, satisfactorily beaten the French and Spaniards. Has--after two murderous Battles gained over the Maillebois-Gages people--driven both French and Spaniards into corners, Maillebois altogether home again across the Var;--nay has descended in actual Invasion upon France itself. And, before New-year's day, 1747, General Browne is busy besieging Antibes, aided by English Seventy- fours; so that "sixty French Battalions" have to hurry home, from winter-quarters, towards those Provencal Countries; and Marechal de Belleisle, who commands there, has his hands full. Triumphant enough her Hungarian Majesty, in Italy; while in the Netherlands, the poor Sea-Powers have met with no encouragement from the Fates or her. ["Battle of Piacenza" (Prince Lichtenstein, with whom is Browne, VERSUS Gages and Maillebois), 16th June, 1746 (ADELUNG, v. 427); "Battle of Rottofreddo" (Botta chief Austrian there, and our old friend Barenklau getting killed there), 12th August, 1746 (IB. 462); whereupon, 7th SEPTEMBER, Genoa (which had declared itself Anti-Austrian latterly, not without cause, and brought the tug of War into those parts) is coerced by Botta to open its gates, on grievous terms (IB. 484-489); so that, NOVEMBER 30th, Browne, no Bourbon Army now on the field, enters Provence (crosses the Var, that day), and tries Antibes: 5th-11th DECEMBER, Popular Revolt in Genoa, and Expulsion of proud Botta and his Austrians (IB. 518-523); upon which surprising event (which could not be mended during the remainder of the War), Browne's enterprise became impossible. See Buonamici,
1. M. DE VOLTAIRE HAS, IN 1745, MADE WAY AT COURT. Divine Emilie picked up her Voltaire from that fine Diplomatic course, and went home with him out of our sight, in the end of 1743; the Diplomatic career gradually declaring itself barred to him thenceforth. Since which, nevertheless, he has had his successes otherwise, especially in his old Literary course: on the whole, brighter sunshine than usual, though never without tempestuous clouds attending. Goes about, with his divine Emilie, now wearing browner and leaner, both of them; and takes the good and evil of life, mostly in a quiet manner; sensible that afternoon is come.
The thrice-famous Pompadour, who had been known to him in the Chrysalis state, did not forget him on becoming Head-Butterfly of the Universe. By her help, one long wish of his soul was gratified, and did not hunger or thirst any more. Some uncertain footing at Court, namely, was at length vouchsafed him:--uncertain; for the Most Christian Majesty always rather shuddered under those carbuncle eyes, under that voice "sombre and majestious," with such turns lying in it:--some uncertain footing at Court; and from the beginning of 1745, his luck, in the Court spheres, began to mount in a wonderful and world-evident manner. On grounds tragically silly, as he thought them. On the Dauphin's Wedding,--a Termagant's Infanta coming hither as Dauphiness, at this time,--there needed to be Court-shows, Dramaticules, Transparencies, Feasts of Lanterns, or I know not what. Voltaire was the chosen man; Voltaire and Rameau (readers have heard of RAMEAU'S NEPHEW, and musical readers still esteem Rameau) did their feat; we may think with what perfection, with what splendor of reward. Alas, and the feat done was, to one of the parties, so unspeakably contemptible! Voltaire pensively surveying Life, brushes the sounding strings; and hums to himself, the carbuncle eyes carrying in them almost something of wet:-- "MON Henri Quatre ET MA Zaire, ET MON AMERICAIN Alzire, NE M'ONT VALU JAMAIS UN SEUL REGARD DU ROI; J'AVAIS MILLE ENNEMIS AVEC TRES PEU DE GLOIRE: LES HONNEURS ET LES BIENS PLEUVENT ENFIN SUR MOI POUR UN FARCE DE LA FOIRE." ["My HENRI QUATRE, my ZAIRE, my ALZIRE [high works very many], could never purchase me a single glance of the King; I had multitudes of enemies, and very little fame:--honors and riches rain on me, at last, for a Farce of the Fair" (
2. AND GOT INTO THE ACADEMY NEXT YEAR, IN CONSEQUENCE. In 1746, the Academy itself, Pompadour favoring, is made willing; Voltaire sees himself among the Forty: soul, on that side too, be at ease, and hunger not nor thirst anymore. ["May 9th, 1746, Voltaire is received at the Academy; and makes a very fine Discourse" (BARBIER, ii. 488).
3. SUMMARY OF TRAVENOL LAWSUIT. "Monday, 9th May, 1746, was the Day or reception at the Academy; reception and fruition, thrice-savory to Voltaire. But what an explosion of the Doggeries, before, during and after that event! Voltaire had tried to be prudent, too. He had been corresponding with Popes, with Cardinals; and, in a fine frank-looking way, capturing their suffrages:--not by lying, which in general he wishes to avoid, but by speaking half the truth; in short, by advancing, in a dexterous, diplomatic way, the uncloven foot, in those Vatican precincts. And had got the Holy Father's own suffrage for MAHOMET (think of that, you Ass of Mirepoix!), among other cases that might rise. When this seat among the Forty fell vacant, his very first measure--mark it, Orthodox reader--was a Letter to the Chief Jesuit, Father Latour, Head of one's old College of Louis le Grand. A Letter of fine filial tenor: 'My excellent old Schoolmasters, to whom I owe everything; the representatives of learning, of decorum, of frugality and modest human virtue:--in what contrast to the obscure Doggeries poaching about in the street-gutters, and flying at the peaceable passenger!' [In
"Voltaire had started as Candidate with these judicious preliminaries. Voltaire was elected, as we saw; fine Discourse, 9th May; and on the Official side all things comfortable. But, in the mean while, the Doggeries, as natural, seeing the thing now likely, had risen to a never-imagined pitch; and had filled Paris, and, to Voltaire's excruciated sense, the Universe, with their howlings and their hyena-laughter, with their pasquils, satires, old and new. So that Voltaire could not stand it; and, in evil hour, rushed downstairs upon them; seized one poor dog, Travenol, unknown to him as Fiddler or otherwise; pinioned Dog Travenol, with pincers, by the ears, him for one;--proper Police-pincers, for we are now well at Court;--and had a momentary joy! And, alas, this was not the right dog; this, we say, was Travenol a Fiddler at the Opera, who, except the street-noises, knew nothing of Voltaire; much less had the least pique at him; but had taken to hawking certain Pasquils (Jingler Roi's COLLECTION, it appears), to turn a desirable penny by them.
"And mistakes were made in the Affair Travenol,--old FATHER Travenol haled to prison, instead of Son,--by the Lieutenant of Police and his people. And Voltaire took the high-hand method (being well at Court):--and thereupon hungry Advocates took up Dog Travenol and his pincered ears: 'Serene Judges of the Chatelet, Most Christian Populace of Paris, did you ever see a Dog so pincered by an Academical Gentleman before, merely for being hungry?' And Voltaire, getting madder and madder, appealed to the Academy (which would not interfere); filed Criminal Informations; appealed to the Chatelet, to the Courts above and to the Courts below; and, for almost a year, there went on the 'PROCES-TRAVENOL:' [About Mayday, 1746, Seizure of Travenol; Pleadings are in vigor August, 1746; not done April, 1747. In
"Lasted, I find, for above a year. From Spring, 1746, till towards Autumn, 1747: Voltaire's feelings being--Haha, so exquisite, all the while!--Well, reader, I can judge how amusing it was to high and low. And yet Phoebus Apollo going about as mere Cowherd of Admetus, and exposed to amuse the populace by his duels with dogs that have bitten him? It is certain Voltaire was a fool, not to be more cautious of getting into gutter-quarrels; not to have a thicker skin, in fact."
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