Led by fond hopes,--and driven also by that sad fear, of a Visit from his Britannic Majesty,--the poor Kaiser, in the rear of those late Seckendorf successes, quitted Frankfurt, April 17th; and the second day after, got to Munchen. Saw himself in Munchen again, after a space of more than two years; "all ranks of people crowding out to welcome him;" the joy of all people, for themselves and for him, being very great. Next day he drove out to Nymphenburg; saw the Pandour devastations there,--might have seen the window where the rugged old Unertl set up his ladder, "For God's sake, your Serenity, have nothing to do with those French!"--and did not want for sorrowful comparisons of past and present.
It was remarked, he quitted Munchen in a day or two; preferring Country Palaces still unruined,--for example, Wolnzach, a Schloss he has, some fifty miles off, down the Iser Valley, not far from the little Town of Mosburg; which, at any rate, is among the Broglio-Seckendorf posts, and convenient for business. Broglio and Seckendorf lie dotted all about, from Braunau up to Ingolstadt and farther; chiefly in the Iser and Inn Valleys, but on the north side of the Donau too; over an area, say of 2,000 square miles; Seckendorf preaching incessantly to Broglio, what is sun-clear to all eyes but Broglio's, "Let us concentrate, M. le Marechal; let us march and attack! If Prince Karl come upon us in this scattered posture, what are we to do?" Broglio continuing deaf; Broglio answering--in a way to drive one frantic.
The Kaiser himself takes Broglio in hand; has a scene with Broglio; which, to readers that study it, may be symbolical of much that is gone and that is coming. It fell "about the middle of May" (prior to May 17th, as readers will guess before long); and here, according to report, was the somewhat explosive finale it had. Prince Conti, the same who ran to join Maillebois, and has proved a gallant fellow and got command of a Division, attends Broglio in this important interview at Wolnzach:--
SCHLOSS OF WOLNZACH, MAY, 1743. ... "The Kaiser pressed, in the most emphatic manner, That the Two Armies [French and Bavarian] should collect and unite for immediate action. To which Broglio declared he could by no means assent, not having any order from Paris of that tenor. The Kaiser thereupon: 'I give you my order for it; I, by the Most Christian King's appointment, am Commander-in- Chief of your Army, as of my own; and I now order you!'--taking out his Patent, and spreading it before Broglio with the sign-manual visible, Broglio knew the Patent very well; but answered, 'That he could not, for all that, follow the wish of his Imperial Majesty; that he, Broglio, had later orders, and must obey them!' Upon which the Imperial Majesty, nature irrepressibly asserting itself, towered into Olympian height; flung his Patent on the table, telling Conti and Broglio, 'You can send that back, then; Patents like that are of no service to me!' and quitted them in a blaze." [Adelung, iii. B, 150; cites ETTAT POLITIQUE (Annual Register of those times), xiii. 16. Nothing of this scene in
The indisputable fact is, Prince Karl is at the door; nay he has beaten in the door in a frightful manner; and has Braunau, key of the Inn, again under siege. Not we getting Passau; it is he getting Braunau! A week ago (9th May) his vanguard, on the sudden, cut to pieces our poor Bavarian 8,000, and their poor Minuzzi, who were covering Braunau, and has ended him and them;--Minuzzi himself prisoner, not to be heard of or beaten more;--and is battering Braunau ever since. That is the sad fact, whatever the theory may have been. Prince Karl is rolling in from the east; Lobkowitz (Prag now ended) is advancing from the northward, Khevenhuller from the Salzburg southern quarter: Is it in a sprinkle of disconnected fractions that you will wait Prince Karl? The question of uniting, and advancing, ought to be a simple one for Broglio. Take this other symbolic passage, of nearly the same date;--posterior, as we guessed, to that Interview at Wolnzach.
"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,--