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.
Friedrich, at an early stage, had inquired of his Britannic Majesty, politely but with emphasis, "What in the world he meant, then, by invading the German Reich; leading foreign Armies into the Reich: in this unauthorized manner?" To which the Britannic Majesty had answered, with what vague argument of words we will not ask, but with a look that we can fancy,--look that would split a pitcher, as the Irish say! Friedrich persisted to call it an Invasion of the German Reich; and spoke, at first, of flatly opposing it by a Reich's Army (30,000, or even 50,000, for Brandenburg's contingent, in such case); but as the poor Reich took no notice, and the Britannic Majesty was positive, Friedrich had to content himself with protest for the present. [Friedrich's Remonstrance and George's Response are in
The exertions of Friedrich to bring about a Peace, or at least to diminish, not increase, the disturbance, are forgotten now; wearisome to think of, as they did not produce the smallest result; but they have been incessant and zealous, as those of a man to quench the fire which is still raging in his street, and from which he himself is just saved. "Cannot the Reich be roused for settlement of this Bavarian-Austrian quarrel?" thought Friedrich always. And spent a great deal of earnest endeavor in that direction; wished a Reich's ARMY OF MEDIATION; "to which I will myself furnish 30,000; 50,000, if needed." Reich, alas! The Reich is a horse fallen down to die,--no use spurring at the Reich; it cannot, for many months, on Friedrich's Proposal (though the question was far from new, and "had been two years on hand"), come to the decision, "Well then, yes; the Reich WILL try to moderate and mediate:" and as for a Reich's Mediation-ARMY, or any practical step at all [The question had been started, "in August, 1741," by the Kaiser himself; "11th March, 1743," again urged by him, after Friedrich's offer; "10th May, 1743," "Yes, then, we will try; but--" and the result continued zero.]--!
"Is not Germany, are not all the German Princes, interested to have Peace?" thinks Friedrich. "A union of the independent German Princes to recommend Peace, and even with hand on sword-hilt to command it; that would be the method of producing Treaty of Peace!" thinks he always. And is greatly set on that method; which, we find, has been, and continues to be, the soul of his many efforts in this matter. A fact to be noted. Long poring in those mournful imbroglios of Dryasdust, where the fraction of living and important welters overwhelmed by wildernesses of the dead and nugatory, one at length disengages this fact; and readers may take it along with them, for it proves illuminative of Friedrich's procedures now and afterwards. A fixed notion of Friedrich's, this of German Princes "uniting," when the common dangers become flagrant; a very lively notion with him at present. He will himself cheerfully take the lead in such Union, but he must not venture alone. [See Adelung, iii. A and B, passim; Valori, i. 178; &c. &c.]
The Reich, when appealed to, with such degree of emphasis, in this matter,--we see how the Reich has responded! Later on, Friedrich tried "the Swabian Circle" (chief scene of these Austrian-Bavarian tusslings); which has, like the other Circles, a kind of parliament, and pretends to be a political unity of some sort. "Cannot the Swabian Circle, or Swabian and Frankish joined (to which one might declare oneself PROTECTOR, in such case), order their own Captains, with military force of their own, say 20,000 men, to rank on the Frontier; and to inform peremptorily all belligerents and tumultuous persons, French, Bavarian, English, Austrian: 'No thoroughfare; we tell you, No admittance here!'" Friedrich, disappointed of the Reich, had taken up that smaller notion: and he spent a good deal of endeavor on that too,--of which we may see some glimpse, as we proceed. But it proves all futile. The Swabian Circle too is a moribund horse; all these horses dead or moribund.