"DINGELFINGEN, 17th MAY, 1743. At Dingelfingen on the Iser, a strongish central post of the French, about fifty miles farther down than that Schloss of Wolnzach, there is a second argument,-- much corroborative of the Kaiser's reasoning. About sunrise of the 17th, the Austrians, in sufficient force, chiefly of Pandours, appeared on the heights to the south: they had been foreseen the night before; but the French covering General, luckier than Minuzzi, did not wait for them; only warned Dingelfingen, and withdrew across the River, to wait there on the safe left bank. Leader of the Austrians was one Leopold Graf von Daun, active man of thirty-five, already of good rank, who will be much heard of afterwards; Commandant in Dingelfingen is a Brigadier du Chatelet, Marquis du Chatelet-Lamont; whom--after search (in the interest of some idle readers)--I discover to be no other than the Husband of a certain Algebraic Lady! Identity made out, mark what a pass he is at. Count Daun comes on in a tempest of furious fire; 'very heavy,' they say, from great guns and small; till close upon the place, when he summons Du Chatelet: 'No;' and thereupon attempts scalade. Cannot scalade, Du Chatelet and his people being mettlesome; takes then to flinging shells, to burning the suburbs; Town itself catches fire,--Town plainly indefensible. 'Truce for one hour' proposes Du Chatelet (wishful to consult the covering General across the River): 'No,' answers Daun. So that Du Chatelet has to jumble and wriggle himself out of the place; courageous to the last; but not in a very Parthian fashion,--great difficulty to get his bridge ruined (very partially ruined), behind him;--and joins the covering General, in a flustery singed condition! Were not pursued farther by Daun:--and Prince Conti, Head General in those parts, called it a fine defence, on examining." [
"On the 19th," after one rest-day, "Graf von Daun set out for Landau [still on the Iser, farther down; Baiern has ITS "Landau" too, and its "Landshut," both on this River], to seize Landau; which is another French place of strength. The Garrison defended themselves for some time; after which they retired over the River [left bauk, or wrong side of the Iser, they too]; and set fire to the Bridge behind them. The fire of the Bridge caught the Town; Pandours helping it, as our people said; and Landau also was reduced to ashes."--Poor Landau, poor Dingelfingen, they cannot have the benefit of Louis XV.'s talent for governing Germany, quite gratis, it would appear!
But where are the divine Emilie and Voltaire, that morning, while the Brigadier is in such taking? Sitting safe in "that dainty little palace of Madame's (PETIT PALAIS) at the point of the Isle de St. Louis," intent on quite other adventures; disgusted with the slavish Forty and their methods of Election (of which by and by); and little thinking of M. le Brigadier and the dangers of war. --Prince de Conti praised the Brigadier's defence: but very soon, alas,--
DEGGENDORF, 27th MAY. "Prince de Conti, at Deggendorf [other or north bank of the Donau, Head-quarters of Conti, which was thought to be well secured by batteries and defences on the steep heights to landward], was himself suddenly attacked, the tenth day hence, 'May 27th, at daybreak,' in a still more furious manner; and was tumbled out of Deggendorf amid whirlwinds of fire, in very flamy condition indeed. The Austrians, playing on us from the uplands with their heavy artillery, made a breach in our outmost battery: 'Not tenable!' exclaimed the Captain there: 'This way, my men!'-- and withdrew, like a shot, he and party; sliding down the steep face of the mountain [feet foremost, I hope], home to Deggendorf in this peculiar manner; leaving the AUSTRIANS to manage his guns. Our two lower batteries, ruled by this upper one, had now to be abandoned; and Conti ran, Bridge of the Town-ditch breaking under him; baggages, even to his own portmanteaus, all lost; and had a neck-and-neck race of it in getting to his Donau-Bridge, and across to the safe side. With loss of everything, we say,--personal baggage all included; which latter item, Prince Karl politely returned him next day." [Espagnac, p. 188.]
Broglio, with Prince Karl in his bowels going at such a rate, may judge now whether it was wise to lie in that loose posture, scattered over two thousand square miles, and snort on his judicious Seckendorf's advices and urgencies as he did! Readers anticipate the issue; and shall not be wearied farther with detail. There are, as we said, Three Austrian Armies pressing on this luckless Bavaria and its French Protectors: Khevenhuller, from Salzburg and the southern quarter, pushing in his Dauns; Lobkowitz, hanging over us from the Ober-Pfalz (Naab-River Country) on the north; and Prince Karl, on one or sometimes on both sides of the Donau, pricking sharply into the rear of us; saying, by bayonets, burnt bridges, bomb-shells, "Off; swift; it will be better for you!" And Broglio has lost head, a mere whirlwind of flaming gases; and your ablest Comte de Saxe in such position, what can he do? Broglio writes to Versailles, That there will be no continuing in Bavaria; that he recommends an order to march homewards;--much to the surprise of Versailles.
"The Court of Versailles was much astonished at the message it got from Broglio; Court of Versailles had always calculated that Broglio could keep Bavaria; and had gone into extensive measures for maintaining him there. Experienced old Marechal de Noailles has a new French Army, 70,000 or more, assembled in the Upper Rhine for that and the cognate objects [of whom, more specially, anon]: Noailles, by order from Court, has detached 12,000, who are now marching their best, to reinforce Broglio;--and indeed the Court 'had already appointed the Generals and Staff-Officers for Broglio's Bavarian Army,' and gratified many men by promotions, which now went to smoke! [Espagnac, i. 190.]
"Versailles, however, has to expedite the order: 'Come home, then.' Order or no order, Broglio's posts are all crackling off again, bursting aloft like a chain of powder-mines; Broglio is plunging head foremost, towards Donauworth, towards Ingolstadt, his place of arms; Seckendorf now welcome to join him, but unable to do anything when joined. Blustering Broglio has no steadfastness of mind; explodes like an inflammable body, in this crackling off of the posts, and becomes a mere whirlwind of flaming gases. Old snuffling Seckendorf, born to ill success in his old days, strong only in caution, how is he to quench or stay this crackling of the posts? Broglio blusters, reproaches, bullies; Seckendorf quarrels with him outright, as he may well do: 'JARNI-BLEU, such a delirious whirlwind of a Marechal; mere bickering flames and soot!'--and looks out chiefly to keep his own skin and that of his poor Bavarians whole.
"The unhappy Kaiser has run from Munchen again, to Augsburg for some brief shelter; cannot stay there either, in the circumstances. Will he have to hurry back to Frankfurt, to bankruptcy and furnished lodgings,--nay to the Britannic Majesty's tender mercies, whose Army is now actually there? Those indignant prophesyings to Broglio, at the Schloss of Wolnzach, have so soon come true! And Broglio and the French are--what a staff to lean upon! Enough, the poor Kaiser, after doleful 'Council of War held at Augsburg, June 25th,' does on the morrow make off for Frankfurt again:--whither else? Britannic Majesty's intentions, friends tell him, friend Wilhelm of Hessen tells him, are magnanimous; eager for Peace to Teutschland; hostile only to the French. Poor Karl took the road, June 26th;--and will find news on his arrival, or before it.