Page images
PDF
EPUB

tained the decency necessary between princes, without enforcing, and probably without expecting obedience but in his own presence.

The king of Prussia's edict regarded only himself, and therefore it is difficult to tell what was his motive, unless he intended to spare himself this mortification of absurd and illiberal flattery, which, to a mind stung with disgrace, must have been in the highest degree painful and disgusting.

Moderation in prosperity is a virtue very difficult to all mortals; forbearance of

revenge,

when

revenge is within reach, is scarcely ever to be found among princes. Now was the time when the queen of Hungary might perhaps have made peace on her own terms; but keenness of resentment, and arrogance of success, with-held her from the due use of the present opportunity. It is said, that the king of Prussia in his retreat fent letters to prince Charles, which were supposed to contain ample concessions, but were fent back unopened. The king of England offered likewise to mediate between them; but his propofitions were rejected at Vienna, where a resolution was taken not only to revenge the interruption of their success on the Rhine by the recovery of Silesia, but to reward the Saxons for their seasonable help, by giving them part of the Prusian dominions.

In the beginning of the year 1745 died the emperor Charles of Bavaria ; the treaty of Frankfort was consequently at an end; and the king of Prussia, being no longer able to maintain the character of auxiliary to ihę emperor, and having avowed no other reason for the svar, might have honourably withdrawn his forces, Vol. IV.

and

PP

and on his own principles have complied with terms of peace : but no terms were offered him; the queen

; pursued himn with the utmost ardour of hostility, and the French left him to his own conduct, and his own destiny.

His Bohemian conquests were already loft; and he was now chased back into Silesia, where, at the beginning of the year, the war continued in an equilibration by alternate losses and advantages. In April, the elector of Bavaria seeing his dominions over-run by the Austrians, and receiving very little fuccour from the French, made a peace with the queen of Hungary upon easy conditions, and the Austrians had more troops to employ against Pruflia.

But the revolutions of war will not suffer human presumption to remain long unchecked. The peace with Bavaria was scarcely concluded when the battle of Fontenoy was lost, and all the allies of Austria called upon her to exert her utmost power for the preservation of the Low Countries ; and, a few days after the loss at Fontenoy, the first battle between the Pruffans and the combined army of Austrians and Saxons was fought at Niedburg in Silefia.

The particulars of this battle were variously reported by the different parties, and published in the journals of that time; to transcribe them would be tedious and useless, because accounts of battles are not easily understood, and because there are no means of determin. ing to which of the relations credit should be given. It is sufficient that they all end in claiming or allowing a complete victory to the king of Prussia, who gained all the Austrian artillery, killed four thousand, took

seren

feven thousand prisoners, with the loss, according to the Pruffian narrative, of only fixteen hundred men.

He now advanced again into Bohemia, where, however, he made no great progress. The queen of Hungary, though defeated, was not subdued. She poured in her troops from all parts to the reinforcement of prince Charles, and determined to continue the struggle with all her power. The king saw that Bohemia was an unpleasing and inconvenient theatre of war, in which he should be ruined by a miscarriage, and should get little by a victory. Saxony was left defenceless, and if it was conquered might be plundered.

He therefore published a declaration against the elector of Saxony, and, without waiting for reply, invaded his dominions. This invasion produced another battle at Standentz, which ended, as the former, to the advantage of the Prussians. The Austrians had some advantage in the beginning; and their irregular troops, who are always daring, and are always ravenous, broke into the Prussian camp, and carried away the military chest.

But this was easily repaired by the spoils of Saxony.

The queen of Hungary was still inflexible, and hoped that fortune would at last change. She recruited once more her army, and prepared to invade the territories of Brandenburg; but the king of Pruilla's activity prevented all her designs. One part of his forces seized Leipsic, and the other once more defeated the Saxons ; the king of Poland fled from his dominions, prince Charles retired into Bohemia. The king of Prussia entered Dresden as a conqueror, exacted very severe contributions from the whole country, and the

Austrians

P p 2

Austrians and Saxons were at last compelled to receive from him such a peace as he would grant. He imposed no severe conditions except the payment of the contributions, made no new claim of dominions, and, with the elector Palatine, acknowledged the duke of Tuscany for emperor.

The lives of princes, like the histories of nations, have their periods. We shall here suspend our narrative of the king of Prussia, who was now at the height of human greatness, giving laws to his enemies, and courted by all the powers of Europe.

BROWNE,

[ocr errors]

IR THOMAS BROWNE was born at Lon

don, in the parish of St Michael in Cheapfide, on the 19th of October, 1605 * His father was a merchant, of an antient family at Upton in Cheshire. Of the name or family of his mother, I find no ac

count.

Of his childhood or youth, there is little known, except that he lost his father very early; that he was, according to the common & fate of orphans, defrauded by one of his guardians ;. and that he was placed for his education at the school of Winchester.

His mother, having taken § three thousand pounds, as the third part of her husband's property, left her son, by consequence, six thousand, a large fortune for a man destined to learning at that time, when com

* First printed in 1752.

+ Life of fir Thomas Browne, prefixed to the Antiquities of Norwich.

+ Whitefoot's character of fir Thomas Browne, in a marginal note, & Life of Sir Thomas Browne.

merce

Рp3

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »