"Magnanimous Lord Stair, already Plenipotentiary to the Dutch, is to be King's General-in-Chief of this fine Enterprise; Carteret, another Lord of some real brilliancy, and perhaps of still weightier metal, is head of the Cabinet; hearty, both of them, for these Anti-French intentions: and the Public cannot but think, Surely something will come of it this time? More especially now that Maillebois, about the middle of August, by a strange turn of fortune, is swept out of the way. Maillebois, lying over in Westphalia with his 30 or 40,000, on 'Check to your King' this year past, had, on sight of these Anti-Dunkirk movements, been ordered to look Dunkirk way, and at length to move thitherward, for protection of Dunkirk. So that Stair, before his Dunkirk business, will have to fight Maillebois; which Stair doubts not may be satisfactorily done. But behold, in August and earlier, come marvellous news from the Prag quarter, tragical to France; and Maillebois is off, at his best speed, in the reverse direction; on a far other errand!"--Of which readers shall soon hear enough.
"Dunkirk, therefore, is now open. With 16,000 British troops, Hanoverians to the like number, and Hessians 6,000, together near 40,000, not to speak of Dutch at all, surely one might manage Dunkirk, if not something still better? It is AFTER Maillebois's departure that these dreadful exertions, coopering of water-casks, pumping all Sunday, go on at Gravesend: 'Swift, oh, be swift, while time is!' And Generalissimo-Plenipotentiary Stair, who has run over beforehand, is ardent enough upon the Dutch; his eloquence fiery and incessant: 'Magnanimous High Mightinesses, was there, will there again be, such a chance? The Cause of Human Liberty may be secured forever! Dunkirk--or what is Dunkirk even? Between us and Paris, there is nothing, now that Maillebois is off on such an errand! Why should not we play Marlborongh again, and teach them a little what Invasion means? It is ourselves alone that can hinder it! Now, I say, or never!'
"Stair was a pupil of Marlborough's; is otherwise a shining kind of man; and has immense things in his eye, at this time. They say, what is not unlikely, he proposed an Interview with Friedrich now at Aachen; would come privately, to 'take the waters' for a day or two,--while Maillebois was on his new errand, and such a crisis had risen. But Friedrich, anxious to be neutral and give no offence, politely waived such honor. Lord Stair was thought to be something of a General, in fact as well as in costume;--and perhaps he was so. And had there been a proper COUNTESS of Stair, or new Sarah Jennings,--to cover gently, by art-magic, the Britannic Majesty and Fat Boy under a tub; and to put Britain, and British Parliament and resources, into Stair's hand for a few years,--who knows what Stair too might have done! A Marlborough in the War Arts,--perhaps still less in the Peace ones, if we knew the great Marlborough,--he could not have been. But there is in him a recognizable flash of magnanimity, of heroic enterprise and purpose; which is highly peculiar in that sordid element. And it can be said of him, as of lightning striking ineffectual on the Bog of Allen or the Stygian Fens, that his strrngth was never tried."--For the upshot of him we will wait; not very long.
These are fine prospects, if only the Dutch prove hoistable. But these are as nothing to what is passing, and has passed, in the Eastern Parts, in the Bohemian-Bavarian quarter, since we were there. Poor Kaiser Karl, what an outlook for him! His own real Bavaria, much more his imaginary "Upper Austria" and "Conquests on the Donau," after that Segur Adventure, are plunging headlong. As to his once "Kingdom of Bohemia," it has already plunged; nay, the Army of the Oriflamme is itself near plunging, in spite of that Pharsalia of a Sahay! Bavaria itself, we say, is mostly gone to Khevenhuller; Segur with his French on march homeward, and nothing but Bavarians left. Thz Belleisle-Broglio grand Budweis Expedition is gone totally heels over head; Belleisle and Broglio are getting, step by step, shut up in Prag and besieged there: while Maillebois--Let us try whether, by snatching out here a fragment and there a fragment, with chronological and other appliances, it be not possible to give readers some conceivable notion of what Friedrich was now looking at with such interest!--
HOW DUC D'HARCOURT, ADVANCING TO REINFORCE THE ORIFLAMME, HAD TO SPLIT HIMSELF IN TWO; AND BECOME AN "ARMY OF BAVARIA," TO LITTLE EFFECT.
The poor Kaiser, who at one time counted "30,000 Bavarians of his own," has all along been ill served by them and the bad Generals they had: two Generals; both of whom, Minuzzi, and old Feldmarschall Thorring (Prime Minister withal), came to a bad reputation in this War. Beaten nearly always; Thorring quite always,--"like a DRUM, that Thorring; never heard of except when beaten," said the wits! Of such let us not speak. Understand only, FIRST, that the French, reasonably soon after that Linz explosion, did, in such crisis, get reinforcements on the road; a Duc d'Harcourt with some 25,000 faring forward, in an intermittent manner, ever since "March 4th." And SECONDLY, that Khevenhuller has fast hold of Passau, the Austrian-Bavarian Key-City; is master of nearly all Bavaria (of Munchen, and all that lies south of the Donau); and is now across on the north shore, wrenching and tugging upon Kelheim and the Ingolstadt-Donauworth regions, with nothing but Thorring people and small French Garrisons to hinder him;-- where it will be fatal if he quite prosper; Ingolstadt being our Place-of-Arms, and House on the Highway, both for Bavaria and Bohemia!
"For months past, there had been a gleam of hope for Kaiser Karl, and his new 'Kingdom of Bohemia,' and old Electorate of Bavaria, from the rumor of 'D'Harcourt's reinforcement,'--a 20 or 30,000 new Frenchmen marching into those parts, in a very detached intermittent manner; great in the Gazettes. But it proved a gleam only, and came to nothing effectual. Poor D'Harcourt, owing to cross orders [Groglio clamorously demanding that the new force should come to Prag; Karl Albert the Kaiser, nominally General-in- Chief, demanding that it should go down the Donau and sweep his Bavaria clear], was in difficulty. To do either of these cross orders might have brought some result; but to half-do both of them, as he was enjoined to attempt, was not wise! Some half of his force he did detach towards Broglio; which got to actual junction, partly before, partly after, that Pharsalia-Sahay Affair, and raised Broglio to a strength of 24,000,--still inadequate against Prince Karl. Which done, D'Harcourt himself went down the Donau, on his original scheme, with the remainder of his forces,--now likewise become inadequate. He is to join with Feldmarschall Thorring in the"--And does it, as we shall see presently! ...
MUNCHEN, 5th MAY. "Rumor of D'Harcourt had somewhat cleared Bavaria of Austrians; but the reality of him, in a divided state, by no means corresponds. Thus Munchen City, in the last days of April,-- D'Harcourt advancing, terrible as a rumor,--rejoiced exceedingly to see the Austrians march out, at their best pace. And the exultant populace even massacred a loitering Tolpatch or two; who well deserve it, think the populace, judging by their experience for the last three months, since Barenklau and Mentzel became King here.-- 'Rumor of D'Harcourt?' answers Khevenhuller from the Kelheim-Passau side of things: 'Let us wait for sight of him, at least!' And orders Munchen to be reoccupied. So that, alas, 'within a week,' on the 5th of May, Barenklau is back upon the poor City; exacts severe vengeance for the Tolpatch business; and will give them seven months more of his company, in spite of D'Harcourt, and 'the Army of Bavaria' as he now called himself:"--new "Army of Bavaria," when once arrived in those Countries, and joined with poor Thorring and the Kaiser's people there. Such an "Army of Bavaria," first and last, as--as Khevenhuller could have wished it! Under D'Harcourt, joined with old Feldmarschall Thorring (him whom men liken to a DRUM, "never heard of except when beaten"), this is literally the sum of what fighting it did: