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Walpole had to bear the blame of every event that appeared prego nant with danger. The ministry decidedly lost ground in the elections for the new Parliament. If we may judge from a passage in a letter of Horace Walpole, his father was sadly changed : " He who at dinner always forgot he was minister, and was more gay and thoughtless than all his company, now sits without speaking, and with his eyes fixed for an hour together." * The Parliamert met on the 4th of December. Night after night were the old atia ks renewed. The ministerial majority dwindled away. In one struggle upon an election petition there was only a majority of seven for the government. Walpole was pressed by his friends to resign. But he held on. After a great debate on the 13th of January he had only a majority of three, in the fullest House ever known. On the 28th of January, after another battle, he had only a majority of one. Sir Robert Walpole resigned on the ist of February, 1742.

Immediately after his resignation, Walpole was created Earl of Orford. His fall from power did not abate the hostility of his enemies.

When, in December, 1741, the ministerial majority was dwindling away, Horace Walpole wrote to Mann, “ I look upon it now, that the question is Downing-strect or the Tower." Downing-street had been evacuated after a tenancy of twenty years; and a lodging was to be provided, where, said Horace, “ there are a thousand pretty things to amuse you; the lions, the armoury, the crown, and the axe that beheaded Anna Bullen.” On the oth of March, 1742, a motion for a Secret Committee to inquire into the administration of sir Robert Walpole during the past twenty years, was made by lord Limerick. It was rejected by a majority of two. A second motion to limit the inquiry to the previous ten years was carried. There was doubtless some difficulty in obtaining evidence; but the wholesale corruption and misappropriation of the public morey which had been alleged against Walpole, was not substantiated by the testimony before the Committee. No charge could be brought against the minister that he was himself venal. In his great defence he exclaimed, “ Have I ever been suspected of being corrupted ? A strange phenomenon. A corrupter, himself not corrupt !” Secret and Special Services had amounted in ten years to nearly a million and a-half sterling. The committee admit, “that no form of government can subsist without a power of employing public money for services which are in their nature secret, and ought always to remain so." But, with one exception, the application of this amount of a hundred and fifty thousand pounds per annum could not be traced so as to bring home the dealings of the Treasury with "the venal tribe" in parliament. As to another species of venality, the evidence was clear enough. During the ten years there had been paid by Mr. Lowther, “no less a sum than £50,079 18s. od. to authors and printers of newspapers, such as · Free Briton,' • Daily Courant,' • Persuasive to Candour and Impartiality,' “Corn-cutter's Journal,' Gazetteers, and other political papers. Your Committee leave it to the judgment of the House, whether this particular sum was less under the direction of the earl of Orford than if it had passed through his own hands." * li Walpole ever took the trouble to compare the thing thus bought with the price thrus given, he must have felt that the folly of his agents was quite on a par with the stupidity of his hacks. The Report of the Secret Committee was received with public contempt, according to Tindal. No proceedings were taken upon it. Lord Orford sat quietly in the House of Lords, where his great rival, Pulteney, soon afterwards sat, as earl of Bath. When they met in that House, Orford walked up to Bath, and thus congratulated him on his elevation : “Here we are, my lord ; the two most insignificant fellows in England.”

letter to Sir Horace Mann, October 19, 1741.

Repart“ Parliamentary History," vol. xii. col. 814

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Maria Theresa.- Her succession disputed.--Claim of Frederick II. upon Silesia.—He

invades Silesia.- Battle of Molwiiz.-The French in Bavaria.-Maria Theresa in Hungary.-Elector of Bavaria chosen Emperor.-Prussia obtains Silesia. --Change in the Engiish ministry. -Ascendency of Carteret.--Hanoverian troops in English pay.—The Stuarts.- Projected descent on the British coasts.-- Battle of Dettingen.Administration of the Peihams.- Battle of Fontenoy. -Statute against the sons of the Pretender.- Jacobitis of England and Scotland.-Charles Edward in France.Note on the Battle of Dettingen. -Table of treaties.

MARIA THERESA, queen of Hungary, is wedded to Francis, grand duke of Tuscany. The heiress of Charles VI. is twentythree years of age. Her subjects cheerfully acknowledge the validity of her title, guaranteed as it had been by nearly all the European powers. The Elector of Bavaria first disputed the succession of the young queen. He had a prior claim, he maintained, under the will of the emperor, Ferdinand I.,-a somewhat antiquated document. France and Spain supported this claim, happy in a chance of lowering the House of Austria. England and Holland adhered to the guarantee which they had given to the late emperor. The German Electors were compared to the humbler English electors—they thought it a proper opportunity to make the most of their votes. Whilst other sovereign princes were devising some decent pretext for breaking up the peace of the world, that they might each clutch something in the affray, one prince, stronger and bolder than the rest, dashed into hostilities. Frederick II., king of Prussia, according to most historians " availed himself of the emperor's death to revive some obsolete claims to certain duchies and lordships of Silesia.” * The king of Prussia “demanded of the court of Vienna part of Silesia, by virtue of old treaties of co-fraternity which were either obsolete or annulled.” † The claim was a somewhat “obsolete” one, dating from the time of the Thirty Years' War, when certain territories, including the castle of Jägerndorf, were seized by Ferdinand II. ; and no subsequent Kaiser “would let go the hold.” I The claim was attempted to be “annulled” in 1686, by “a plan actually not unlike that of swindling money-lenders to a young gentleman in difficulties, and of manageable turn, who has got into their hands.” §

Lord Mahon-vol. iii. p. 117. + Smollett-book ii. chap. vii. Carlyle--yol. i. p. 341. $ Toid., vol. i. p. 365.

The father of Frederick II. growled over the thought of his rav. ished territory. The “ sharp little man, little in stature, but large in faculty and renown,”—who found himself, in 1740, something higher than a Crown Prince who had endured manifold beatings in the hope that his own good time was coming-opened the strong boxes that had been filled during twenty-eight years of royal savings, and led thirty thousand of the well-drilled Prussian grenadiers to the invasion of Silesia. It was not a very chivalrous movement. He proposed to Maria Theresa that he would support her claim to the succession generally, if she would cede to him the one province which had been taken from his ancestors. Whilst a Prussian soldier is on Silesian ground, replied the spirited queen, I will enter upon no terms. Frederick knew that he should not be without friends in an attack upon the Austrian power. He took the cool view of his position which was to be expected from his nature and his rough training in kingship. To the French ambassador at Berlin he said (if Voltaire reports him rightly) as he set out with his invading army, “ I am going, I believe, to play your game ; and if I should throw doublets, we will share the stakes." The royal philosopher who thus knows his trade at twenty-eight, will certainly keep the world stirring in his time, for good or for evil.

Frederick encountered little opposition in Silesia. The Austrian troops retreated into Moravia, whilst the Prussians had secured the greater part of the territory which they invaded, with the exception of three fortified towns. The Austrian general, Neipperg, returned to Silesia, with an army of twenty-four thousand

On the rotlı of April, 1741, a great battle was fought at Molwitz, near the fortified town of Brierg. The Austrian cavalry routed the Prussian cavalry; and Frederick himself was driven far beyond the field of action. A charge of cowardice has been raised against the king of Prussia for his conduct on this occasion. It rests upon a relation of Maupertuis, the French mathematician, who was in his suite. When his attendants seemed in danger from the attack of an Austrian outpost, le rode off, exclaiming, “ Farewell, my friends, I am better mounted than you all are.” The Prussian infantry redeemed the temporary defeat, and won the battle. Frederick, in his own history of his time, sars that Molwitz was the school of himself and his troops, and that he afterwards reflected deeply upon the errors which he had committed. He said that Neipperg and himself had been trying which could commit the most faults. But Prussia had won; and France was now ready to make common cause with the victor. England, as we have seen, abided by its old engagements; and voted a

men.

THE CONTINENTAL WAR.

437 subsidy to the queen of Hungary. But Walpole still tried the effect of negotiations; and the Elector of Hanover, disregarding the feeling of the English Parliament, tried the effect of neutrality. Two French armies joined the forces of the Elector of Bavaria, and were moving upon Vienna. Maria Theresa fled into Hungary. At Presburg the Diet was assembled; and the beautiful queen, with her infant son in her arms, appealed to the hereditary valour of the Hungarian States to protect her. She spoke not the language of their country, but she spoke Latin, which had not yet ceased to be the language of the high-born and the learned, and which was well understood in Hungary. “We will die for our king, Maria Theresa,” was the shout of the assembly. The woman king roused the people as effectually as the cry in our own day would be for “our queen and governor.From the most distant provinces of that interesting country, the people assembled in arms. They forgot the miseries they had endured from their Austrian rulers. They recollected that at her coronation in the previous June, she had taken the oath, which previous Austrian sovereigns had abolished, to maintain the ancient privileges of their nation. The Elector of Bavaria, with his French allies, did not attack Vienna, which the husband of Maria Theresa remained to defend. The Elector entered Bohemia, and took Prague by surprise on the 25th of November. Here he was crowned king of Bohemia ; and he next reached the summit of ambition by being chosen Emperor of Germany, as Charles VII. But the great quarrel of the Austrian succession was not determined by this

In 1742, the levies of Maria Theresa, under the command of prince Charles of Lorraine, held the French in check in Bohemia; and another army defeated the French and Bavarians at Linz. The Austrians entered Bavaria ; and Munich, the capital city of the Elector, was occupied by his adversaries on the day that he was chosen emperor at Frankfort. The struggle continued with various successes and reverses on either side. Frederick saw that his business was again to press for the cession of Silesia. He again negotiated ; and again could not obtain his demand. His army, powerful enough to turn the scale in such a contest as was going forward, took the field; and he defeated the Austrians in Bohemia, on the 17th of May, 1742. On the 15th of July, king George, in closing the Session, exulted in the success of his endeavours "to bring about an accommodation between those princes whose union was most necessary in this critical conjuncture. The treaty lately concluded between the queen of Hungary and the king of Prussia, under my mediation, and so highly to the honour

success.

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