BRITANNIC MAJESTY, WITH SWORD ACTUALLY DRAWN, HAS MARCHED MEANWHILE TO THE FRANKFURT COUNTRIES, AS "PRAGMATIC ARMY;" READY FOR BATTLE AND TREATY ALIKE.
Add to which fine set of results, simultaneously with them: His Britannic Majesty, third effort successful, has got his sword drawn, fairly out at last; and in the air is making horrid circles with it, ever since March last; nay does, he flatters himself, a very considerable slash with it, in this current month of June. Of which, though loath, we must now take some notice.
The fact is, though Stair could not hoist the Dutch, and our double-quick Britannic heroism had to drop dead in consequence, Carteret has done it: Carteret himself rushed over in that crisis, a fiery emphatic man and chief minister, [Arrived at the Hague "5th October, 1742" (Adelung, iii. A, 294).]--"eager to please his Master's humor!" said enemies. Yes, doubtless; but acting on his own turbid belief withal (says fact); and revolving big thoughts in his head, about bringing Friedrich over to the Cause of Liberty, giving French Ambition a lesson for once, and the like. Carteret strongly pulleying, "All hands, heave-oh!"--and, no doubt, those Maillebois-Broglio events from Prag assisting him,--did bring the High Mightinesses to their legs; still in a staggering splay- footed posture, but trying to steady themselves. That is to say, the High Mightinesses did agree to go with us in the Cause of Liberty; will now pay actual Subsidies to her Hungarian Majesty (at the rate of two for our three); and will add, so soon as humanly possible, 20,000 men to those wind-bound 40,000 of ours;--which latter shall now therefore, at once, as "Pragmatic Army" (that is the term fixed on), get on march, Frankfurt way; and strike home upon the French and other enemies of Pragmatic Sanction. This is what Noailles has been looking for, this good while, and diligently adjusting himself, in those Middle-Rhine Countries, to give account of.
Pragmatic Army lifted itself accordingly,--Stair, and the most of his English, from Ghent, where the wearisome Head-quarters had been; Hanoverians, Hessians, from we will forget where;--and in various streaks and streams, certain Austrians from Luxemburg (with our old friend Neipperg in company) having joined them, are flowing Rhine-ward ever since March 1st. ["February 18th," o.s. (Old Newspapers).] They cross the Rhine at three suitable points; whence, by the north bank, home upon Frankfurt Country, and the Noailles-Broglio operations in those parts. The English crossed "at Neuwied, in the end of April" (if anybody is curious); "Lord Stair in person superintending them." Lord Stair has been much about, and a most busy person; General-in-Chief of the Pragmatic Army till his Britannic Majesty arrive. Generalissimo Lord Stair; and there is General Clayton, General Ligonier, "General Heywood left with the Reserve at Brussels:"--and, from the ashes of the Old Newspapers, the main stages and particulars of this surprising Expedition (England marching as Pragmatic Army into distant parts) can be riddled out; though they require mostly to be flung in again. Shocking weather on the march, mere Boreas and icy tempests; snow in some places two feet deep; Rhine much swollen, when we come to it.
The Austrian Chief General--who lies about Wiesbaden, and consults with Stair, while the English are crossing--is Duke d'Ahremberg (Father of the Prince de Ligne, or "Prince of Coxcombs" as some call him): little or nothing of military skill in D'Ahremberg; but Neipperg is thought to have given much counsel, such as it was. With the Hessians there was some difficulty; hesitation on Landgraf Wilhelm's part; who pities the poor Kaiser, and would fain see him back at Frankfurt, and awaken the Britannic magnanimities for him. "To Frankfurt, say you? We cannot fight against the Kaiser!"--and they had to be left behind, for some time; but at length did come on, though late for business, as it chanced. General of these Hessians is Prince George of Hessen, worthy stout gentleman, whom Wilhelmina met at the Frankfurt Gayeties lately. George's elder Brother Wilhelm is Manager or Vice-Landgraf, this long while back; and in seven or eight years hence became, as had been expected, actual Landgraf (old King of Sweden dying childless);--of which Wilhelm we shall have to hear, at Hanau (a Town of his in those parts), and perhaps slightly elsewhere, in the course of this business. A fat, just man, he too; probably somewhat iracund; not without troubles in his House. His eldest Son, Heir-Apparent of Hessen, let me remind readers, has an English Princess to Wife; Princess Mary, King George's Daughter, wedded two years ago. That, added to the Subsidies, is surely a point of union;--though again there may such discrepancies rise! A good while after this, the eldest Son becoming Catholic (foolish wretch), to the horror of Papa,--there rose still other noises in the world, about Hessen and its Landgraves. Of good Prince George, who doubtless attended in War Councils, but probably said little, we hope to hear nothing more whatever.
From Neuwied to Frankfurt is but a few days' march for the Pragmatic Army; in a direct line, not sixty miles. Frankfurt itself, which is a REICHS-STADT (Imperial City), they must not enter: "Fear not, City or Country!" writes Stair to it: "We come as saviors, pacificators, hostile to your enemies and disturbers only; we understand discipline and the Laws of the Reich, and will pay for everything." [Letter itself, of brief magnanimous strain, in
The old Kur-Mainz, namely, had just died; and there was a new "Chief Spiritual Kurfurst" to be elected by the Canons there. Kur-Mainz is Chairman of the Reich, an important personage, analogous to Speaker of the House of Commons; and ought to be,--by no means the Kaiser's young Brother, as the French and Kaiser are proposing; but a man with Austrian leanings;--say, Graf von Ostein, titular DOM-CUSTOS (Cathedral Keeper) here; lately Ambassador in London, and known in select society for what he is. Not much of an Archbishop, of a Spiritual or Chief Spiritual Herr hitherto; but capable of being made one,--were the Pragmatic Army at his elbow! It was on this errand that the Pragmatic Army had come hither, or come so early, and with their plans still unripe. And truly they succeeded; got their Ostein chosen to their mind: ["21st March, 1743," Mainz vacant; "22d April," Ostein elected (Adelung, iii. B, 113, 121).] a new Kur-Mainz,--whose leanings and procedures were very manifest in the sequel, and some of them important before long. This was always reckoned one result of his Britannic Majesty's Pragmatic Campaign;--and truly some think it was, in strict arithmetic, the only one, though that is far from his Majesty's own opinion.
FRIEDRICH HAS OBJECTIONS TO THE PRAGMATIC ARMY; BUT IN VAIN. OF FRIEDRICH'S MANY ENDEAVORS TO QUENCH THIS WAR, BY "UNION OF INDEPENDENT GERMAN PRINCES," BY "MEDIATION OF THE REICH," AND OTHERWISE; ALL IN VAIN.