Memoirs of the House of Brandenburg

by Frederick the Great

A New Translation by Levi Bookin


As we have said, Frederick-William was born at Berlin on 15th August of the year 1688, of King Frederick 1st of Prussia, and Princess Sophie-Charlotte of Hanover. His reign began in circumstances favoring peace. A peace treaty was concluded at Utrecht, between France, Spain, England, Holland, and the majority of the princes of Germany. Frederick-William received recognition of his monarchy by Louis 14th, and of the sovereignty of the principality of Neufchatel, and he was guaranteed the country of Gueldre and Kessel, as compensation for the Principality of Orange, which he renounced for himself and for his descendants. At the same time, France and Spain accorded him the title of Majesty, which they had long refused to the kings of Denmark and of Sardinia.

After the re-establishment of peace, the entire attention of the King turned to internal government. He worked to re-establish order in the finances, the police, justice, and the military, which had in part been equally neglected during the preceding reign. He had an industrious soul in a robust body. Never was a man born with a spirit so capable of details. If he lowered himself to deal with the least things, it was because he was persuaded that their multiplicity made them great. He brought all his work to the general picture of his statesmanship, and worked to give the last degree of perfection to the parties: it was to perfect everything.

The King cut back all the useless expenses, and stopped up the channels of profusion, by which his father had diverted the assistance of the public good for vain and superfluous uses. The court resented leading that reform; the King retained only the number of persons necessary to his dignity or useful to the State: of one hundred chamberlains that his father had, there remained twelve; the others took military roles or became negotiators. He reduced his own expenditure to a modest sum, saying that a prince must be sparing with the blood and with the good of his subjects. There was a philosopher on the throne, very different from those scholars whose sterile science consists in speculation on abstract matters which seem to steal our knowledge. He set an example of austerity and frugality worthy of the first period of the Roman Republic. He was an enemy of the pomp and imposing externals of monarchy; his stoic virtue did not permit him even the least refined commodities of life. With simple manners as much as with such frugality, he formed a perfect contrast with the hauteur and profusion of Frederick 1st.

The political objects that the King proposed by his interior arrangements were to make himself formidable to his neighbors by the maintenance of a large army. The example of George-William had taught him how dangerous it was not to be able to defend himself; and that of Frederick 1st, whose troops were less the King's than the allies' who paid them, had made him understand that a sovereign is only respected to the extent that he renders himself redoubtable by his power. Weary of the humiliation that sometimes the Swedes, and sometimes the Russians, gave to Frederick by traversing his states with impunity, he wanted to protect his people efficaciously against the inquietude of his neighbors. At the same time, he readied himself to support his rights to the succession of Berg, which would be vacant at the death of the Elector Palatine, last prince of the house of Neuburg. Although the public assumed that the project of a military government did not come from the King himself, but that it had been suggested to him by the Prince of Anhalt, we have not adopted that opinion, because it is erroneous; and so wonderful a spirit as that of Frederick-William, penetrated and seized the greatest objects and understood the interests of the State better than his ministers and his generals.

If chance could give birth to the greatest ideas, we can say that one of the English officers prompted Frederick-William to form the plans that he subsequently executed. In his youth in the Flanders campaigns the King had assisted at the siege of Tournai. He found two English generals in heated dispute. One claimed that the King of Prussia could with difficulty pay fifteen thousand men without subsidies, and the other claimed that he could maintain twenty thousand. The young prince, all on fire, told them: "The King, my father, could maintain thirty thousand if he wanted." The Englishman took that reply for the impetuousness of a young and ambitious man, who was pointing out—with exaggeration—the advantages of his country. But having reached the throne, Frederick-William proved more than he had advanced, and the good administration of his finances ensured that, from the first year of his reign, he maintained fifty thousand men without subsidies from any of the powers.

The Peace of Utrecht, which had partly appeased the troubles which agitated the South, did not prevent the war from continuing in the North between Charles 12th, who was still prisoner in Adrianople; and the Tsar, King Augustus, and Frederick 4th of Denmark, who were allied against him.

Frederick-William had no wish whatsoever to be involved in the troubles of the North and, following the example of his father, he observed an exact neutrality. His advantageous situation, the number of his troops, and the need that one had of his assistance, rendered him sought after by the two parties. He saw that the nature and the proximity of the war would eventually oblige him to be involved; but he lost nothing by waiting, and perhaps wanted to see to which side fortune was turning, before making an engagement which would subsequently bind him.

The fatality that people call chance; the theologians, predestination; and whose sages reject the imprudence of men as the cause—that fatality, say I, would be opined equally to have persecuted Charles 12th. While this king lost his time in make cabals against the Tsar at Constantinople, his general, Stenbock, who had exercised unspeakable cruelties on the unfortunate inhabitants of Altona, retreated to Tönningen at the approach of the Muscovites and Saxons. His design was to cross the Eider from there, on the ice. His misfortune required that there supervened an unforeseen thaw. Lacking a bridge to cross and, finding himself surrounded by the enemies, he was forced to return prisoner, with the twelve thousand men that he commanded.

The loss of these troops, and the ignominy that their capitulation impressed on the Swedish army, were only forerunners of greater misfortunes that threatened their kingdom. The evil conduct of this general, principally dishonored him in Swedish Pomerania. The army of the Muscovites and the Saxons, which had no other enemies in sight, was already prepared to enter that province, which would be the new theater of war. In that apprehension, the Duke Administrator of Holstein, and General Wellingk, governor of Pomerania, proposed to the King that he should sequestrate Swedish Pomerania. Their situation was all the more desperate, because they lacked troops to defend the province. And they had recourse to that desperate remedy because of the hatred that they had for the Muscovites, who dazzled them so strongly in the interests of their master, that he would often cross Pomerania—which was entirely under Prussian domination—rather than a sole village under the power of the Tsar.

The King, who regarded the proposal of the Administrator and of Wellingk as very advantageous, readied himself with pleasure for the sequestration of Pomerania, flattering himself that this would be the means of maintaining the peace in that province, which neighbored his dominions. Twenty thousand Prussians were put incessantly on the march, until they camped on the border of Pomerania. At the same time, Bassewitz, minister of the Duke of Holstein, accompanied by General Arnim, whom the king had sent to him, surrendered at Stettin. In the name of Wellingk, he ordered Meyerfeld, who was the governor, to transfer it to the Prussians. Meyerfeld, who knew the way his master thought, refused to obey, and requested time to receive positive instructions from the government in Stockholm, as to the conduct that he was to perform. The disobedience of Meyerfeld was authentic evidence that Wellingk had presumed too much of his authority and that his precipitousness had engaged him in all that affair, more than he should have, and for which he did not have the power. The King, who was only charged with this sequestration by complaisance, retracted without showing the least resentment. He immediately withdrew his troops and abandoned Pomerania to the course of events. He was more glorious to the Swedes for losing Pomerania in battle, than for retaining it by means of the sequestration.

Menschikoff, who had disarmed Stenbock in Holstein, went deeply into Pomerania at the head of the Muscovites and Saxons. He first besieged Stettin. That city, which he bombarded and pressed vigorously, was reduced to extremes in a few days. Bassewitz, Wellingk, and Meyerfeld still believed that they were serving Charles 12th, by placing this place in the hands of the King, who caused two thousand Prussians and a battalion of troops of Holstein to enter and compose the garrisons.

The Allies consented to this sequestration on condition that the King prevent the Swedes from penetrating from Pomerania into Poland; similarly, that that Republic undertook on its side to maintain neutrality and, to relieve any scruples that the Allies might have about the affair, the King paid them four hundred thousand crowns. He gave a lordship and a ring of great value to Menschikoff, who would perhaps have sold his master, if the King had wanted to purchase him. From a pâtissier, Menschikoff had reached the position of first minister and general of the Tsar. He and that entire nation were so barbaric that, in their language, there was no expression which signified honor and good faith.

Charles 12th, the kings of Denmark and Poland, and the Emperor, were equally dissatisfied by this sequestration. The King of Sweden, because he well realized that he would lose Pomerania or have the King of Prussia for an enemy, having so many enemies already. In truth, the kings of Denmark and Poland were proposing to despoil Charles 12th of his territories. Full of that unique object of their vengeance, they had not at all ruled the part of their conquest, and they saw with envy that the sequestration put the King of Prussia in possession of Pomerania, on which condition, he retained all the fruits of the war without having any part in its hazards.

The Emperor, hunted from Spain, and maintaining alone an unfortunate war against France, his spirit embittered by his lack of success, saw with chagrin that Frederick-William made acquisitions while he only made losses. However the place was delivered, the money paid, Menschikoff corrupted, and the King of Prussia was all the more a prince who had made himself formidable. These reasons obliged his neighbors to stifle their jealousy and to continue to be wary of Frederick-William.

The King of Sweden wrote to the King of Prussia from the depths of Bessarabia that he protested against the conduct of Wellingk, that he had never repaid the four hundred thousand crowns paid to his enemies, and that he had never in his life agreed to the sequestration. However hard the conduct of Charles 12th, Frederick-William, jointly with the Emperor, took the most suitable measures for the re-establishment of peace. These two sovereigns proposed to assemble a congress at Brunswick, but they failed against the obstinacy of the King of Sweden, and against the hatreds of the Tsar and of the King of Poland, who had learned in the school of Charles 12th not to place bounds on their feelings of vengeance.

While discord reigned in the North, Frederick-William made the acquisition of the barony of Limburg. Frederick 1st had received the expectation from the Emperor, in return for the cession of the principality of Schwiebus.

In the South, Philip 5th already reigned peacefully in Spain, and Duke Victor Amédée of Savoy, who had been recognized King of Sicily by the peace of Utrecht, was crowed at Palermo, despite this threat to the Emperor and the cries of the Pope. Louis 14th, who came to make his peace with the greater part of Europe, pressed Charles 6th so vigorously, that his obstinacy stiffened against the peace. In the course of this campaign, Villars took Landau and Philippsburg, which the adroitness of Prince Eugene could not prevent.

The Emperor supported the war more often because of pride, than of reason. Too weak to resist Louis 14th alone, his troops were broken; his resources, exhausted; and the purse of the maritime powers was closed for him. The lack of success of this campaign, and the fear of a more unfortunate future, taught the Emperor that, without strength, arrogance is vain; and it is a politician for all weather, who stows the sails in a storm, and spreads them when the wind is favorable. The Austrian pride bent on this occasion under the necessity.

Eugene and Villars surrendered at Rastadt in the marquisate of Bade; they agreed between them preliminaries, which opened the way for the opening of the Congress of Bade in Switzerland, where the peace was signed on 7th September. The Emperor ceded Landau to France; he recognized Philip 5th, and renounced his pretentions on the kingdom of Spain. Louis 14th retained the conquests that he had made over the Rhine. He promised to raze the fortifications of Huningue and not to trouble the Emperor in possession of the kingdoms of Naples, of Milan, and of Mantua; he recognized the ninth electorate; and he was persuaded to rule, by a special treaty, which remained to be discussed concerning the border of Flanders.

At this time the Queen of England died, after a long and known malady. Some of her ministers had made useless efforts to call the Pretender to his succession. George of Hanover, grandson of the Princess Palatine, daughter of James 1st, was proclaimed King of England, and brought to the throne by the wishes of that entire nation. This is the king that we have seen govern England, respecting liberty, using the subsidies that parliament accorded him by way of bribery; a king without pomp, a politician without falsity, and who attracted the trust of all Europe by his conduct.

Having spoken of the affairs of the South, it is time to return to the North, where the complication of the events confused matters more than ever. Charles 12th, weary of that obstinacy without example which held him in bed at Demotica, was permanently resolved to incite the Porte against the Tsar, while his enemies, profiting by his absence, would destroy his army and seize his richest provinces. I say that Charles 12th passed suddenly, and without more ado, from that inactivity to the rudest work. He left Demotica in prodigious haste and crossed Franconia and Mecklenburg, hereditary States of the Emperor, on horseback, arriving at Stralsund on the eleventh day, when he was least expected.

His first demarche was to protest against the sequestration of Stettin and to declare that, not having signed any convention, he was not obliged to recognize that which his generals had done in his absence. With a character like this king's, he had no other arguments than those of force. Frederick-William warned Charles that he would not suffer the Swedes to enter Saxony, and at the same time moved a considerable body of troops near to Stettin. The little attention that the Swedes seemed to pay to these remonstrances obliged Frederick-William to enter an alliance with the Russians, the Saxons, and the Hanoverians, in order to maintain his engagements against the obstinacy of Charles 12th. This monarch seized Anclam, Wolgast, and Greifswald, where there was a Prussian garrison. With a residue of circumspection, however, he returned these troops without their committing violence. But the moderation of this violent character was only passing. At the beginning of the following campaign, the Swedes evicted the Prussians from the island of Usedom, and made a detachment of five hundred men prisoners of war. By that hostility, they broke the neutrality of the Prussians, and became the aggressors. Frederick-William, jealous of his glory, was irritated by the actions of the Swedes. Although in the first moment he had difficulty in digesting the affront he had received, he could not prevent himself from crying: "Ah! Does a king that I esteem constrain me to be his enemy?"

Flemming was then in Berlin, he, who by his intrigues had made his master King of Poland, and who was the cause of his dethronement by his imprudent conduct as his general. Learning of the infraction that the Swedes had just made of Prussia's neutrality, Flemming first appeared before the King, and profited so well by the first moments of his anger that he pushed him, at the same hour, to declare war on Charles 12th.

Since the month of June, twenty thousand Prussians had joined the Saxons and the Danes in Pomerania. The King appeared at Stettin where, having disarmed the battalion of troops of Holstein which was garrisoned there, he received an oath of fidelity from the burghers; and from there he came in person to place himself at the head of his army.

Europe saw a king who was himself besieged by two kings in person, but this king—Charles 12th—was at the head of fifteen thousand Swedes, battle-tried, and loving their king to the point of idolatry of his heroism. What is more, his great reputation and the prejudices of the universe still fought for him.

In the allied army, the King of Prussia examined the plans, decided the operations, and persuaded the Danes to lend themselves to them. The King of Denmark—poor soldier and not very military—was present only at the siege of Stralsund, in the hope of rejoicing at the spectacle of Charles 12th humiliated. Under these two kings, the Prince of Anhalt was the soul of all the military operations. He was a man of violent and entire character: vif, but wise in his ventures who, with the valor of a hero, had the experience of the finest campaigns of Prince Eugene. His ways were wild, his ambition immeasurable; knowledgeable in the art of sieges, a fortunate warrior, bad citizen, and capable of all the ventures of the Mariuses and of the Syllas, if fortune had favored his ambition similarly to that of these Romans. The Danish generals were braggarts, and their ministers, pedants.

The army, composed as we have said, besieged Stralsund. This city sits at the edge of the Baltic Sea. The Swedish fleet could provide it with provisions, munitions, and troops. Its location is strong: an impenetrable marsh defends the two tiers of its circumference; the only side from which it is accessible is defended by a good entrenchment which, to the North stretches to the edge of the sea, and to the East presses against the marsh of which we have spoken. Twelve thousand Swedes camped in this entrenchment, with Charles 12th at their head. The number of obstacles that there were to overcome obliged the besiegers to raise them successively.

The first object was to distance the Swedish fleet from the coasts of Pomerania, in order to deprive Charles 12th of all the sorts of assistance that he could expect from Sweden. The King of Denmark did not want to risk a battle with the squadron that he had in these waters; and this prerequisite of the siege became a matter of negotiation. It is as easy to prove to a clear-sighted person the necessity of something for good reasons than it is, so to say, impossible to make a limited spirit feel the evidence which it automatically challenges, and which it fears lest others lead it astray. However, the influence that the genius of the King of Prussia had on that of the King of Denmark forced that king, in several ways, to see the victory that his admiral won over the Swedish squadron. The two kings were spectators at this battle, which took place near the coast; and the sea became free to the Allies. The Prussians, commanded by General Arnim, then made a landing on the island of Usedom, from where they chased the Swedes and took the fortress of Peenemunde, sword in hand.

After that obstacle was overcome, preparations were made to attack the entrenchment. To the misfortune of the Swedes, Frederick-William found a Prussian officer who facilitated that venture, which was the most difficult and the most decisive of the whole siege. This officer, called Gaudi, recollected that when he studied humanities at the college of Stralsund, he had often bathed in the arms of sea, which was neither deep nor muddy near the entrenchment. For greater security, he explored it by night and found that it could be forded, the entrenchment turned by its left, and the enemies taken in their flank and in their rear.

The plan was fortunately executed. The Swedes were attacked by night; while one body marched right to the entrenchment, another crossed the sea near the beach, and found itself in their camp before they were even noticed. The surprise of an unexpected attack, the confusion which is inseparable from all nocturnal matters, and above all the considerable body which fell on their flank, put them promptly into a rout. They abandoned their entrenchment and escaped towards the city. Charles 12th, in despair of being abandoned by his troops, wanted to fight alone. His generals saved him only scarcely from the pursuit of the besieged by the besiegers. Any who did gain Stralsund promptly, was killed or made prisoner. The number of those taken on that day exceeded four hundred men.

To close in entirely on the city, Frederick-William was resolved to make himself master of the island of Rügen, from where the besieged could still draw some assistance. At the head of twenty thousand men on transport vessels, the Prince of Anhalt crossed the arms of sea which separate Pomerania from that island. The fleet retained the order of battle that the troops observed on land. It looked as if they would land on the east side of the island; but all of a sudden, they turned to the left. The Prince of Anhalt disembarked his troops at the little port of Stresow, where the enemy was not waiting for him. He posted his troops in a quarter circle, in such a way that his two wings were pressed to the sea; he hastily saw to entrenchments, which he fortified with "Frisian Horses." His deployment was such, that two lines of infantry supported the entrenchment. The cavalry formed the third, with the exception of six squadrons that he had posted outside his line in order to be within reach, to fall on the left flank of those who could come to attack him from that side.

Charles 12th, misled by the feint of the Prince of Anhalt, could not arrive in time to oppose his disembarkation. Knowing the importance of that island, he advanced towards the Prince of Anhalt by night, although he had only four thousand men, as much as to conceal the small number of his troops, as in the hope of surprising him. Sword in hand, he marched on foot at the head of his infantry, which he led to the edge of the ditch. With his own hands, he uprooted the "Frisian Horses" which bordered it. He was lightly wounded in the attack and General Düring was killed at his side.

The inequality of the numbers, the obscurity of the night, the effort of the six Prussian squadrons which fell on the flank of the Swedes, the obstacles of an entrenchment garrisoned with "Frisian Horses," and above all, the wounding of the king—all these reasons, in my opinion, caused the Swedes to lose the fruits of their valor. Fortune had turned its back on that nation; everything led to its decline.

The king, wounded, retired for dressings; his troops were demoralized and scattered. The next day, twelve hundred Swedes were taken prisoner at Fahrschanze, and the island of Rügen was entirely occupied by the allies. There were many regrets at the memory of the brave Colonel Wartensleben, who was killed at the head of the Prussian gendarmes, having contributed in great measure to the defeat of the Swedes.

After that misfortune, Charles 12th abandoned the island of Rügen and recrossed to Stralsund. The city was reduced almost to the last extremity; the besiegers reached the counterscarp, and already began to construct their gallery on the principal ditch. The character of the King of Sweden was tensed against the reverses; he wanted to place himself obstinately against fortune, and personally to defend the breach, on which the besiegers were going to make a general assault. His generals threw themselves at his feet, to persuade him not to expose himself so uselessly; and seeing that they could not deflect him by their prayers, they made him see the danger that he risked of falling into the hands of his enemies. That apprehension finally determined him to abandon the city. He embarked on a light nacelle, on which he crossed with the favor of the night, in the midst of the Danish fleet which blockaded the port of Stralsund, gaining with difficulty the deck of his vessel, which transported him to Sweden. Fourteen years previously, he left that kingdom as a conqueror who was going to subject the world to his fortune, and he returned to it as a fugitive, pursued by his enemies, deprived of his finest provinces, and abandoned by his army.

Since the King of Sweden had left, the city of Stralsund thought only of surrender; the garrisons capitulated on 27th December. General Dücker, who was governor, sent articles of capitulation to the quarters of the King of Prussia for negotiation. The garrisons surrendered prisoners of war; and two Prussian battalions, many Saxons, and many Hanoverians, took possession of the city. From all the Swedes taken prisoner in the course of this campaign, the King formed a new regiment of infantry, which he gave to Prince Leopold of Anhalt, second son of the one who commanded his army.

Following this expedition, the victors divided the spoils of the vanquished. Frederick-William retained that part of Pomerania which is situated between the Oder and the Peene, a small stream that emerges from Mecklenburg and runs into the sea at Peenemunde. Pomerania situated between the Peene and the Duchy of Mecklenburg remained to Sweden by the Peace of Stockholm; and King George of England purchased the duchies of Bremen and of Verden, that the King of Denmark had conquered from Sweden, and that the house of Hanover possesses still to our day.

Although peace was not yet concluded, Frederick-William already rejoiced quietly at his conquests. He went to Prussia, where he refrained from having himself crowned. He thought that that vain ceremony was more suitable for elective kingdoms than for hereditary kingdoms. Despising all the externals of monarchy, he was attached solely to filling his real duties. He rode through Prussia and Lithuania, and he planned to re-establish these provinces after the misery and depopulation occasioned by the plague.

In order not to interrupt the chain of events, we have reported the principal events of the Pomeranian campaign consecutively. It is now time to consider the change which occurred during that war in the remainder of Europe, and how the political combinations of the powers came to change, giving place to new systems.

The death of Louis 14th made the government of France take an entirely new face. Of the numerous posterity of this monarch there only remained his great-grandson. This prince was in his cradle, his great-grandfather having established his legitimized son—the Duke of the Maine—president of the council of the Regency. [Louis 14th], so absolute during his life, was poorly obeyed after his death. The parliament judged between the Duke of Orleans and the Duke of the Maine, or more accurately, he presented himself as arbitrator of the last will of the Sun King and decided that Philip of Orleans, first Prince of the Blood, had incontestable rights to the office.

The policy of the new regent related to two principal objects. One was to maintain peace with his neighbors, which required him to handle the friendship of the Emperor with care, and to come closer to the King of England. The other was to acquit the crown of its debts—which were immense—and this gave rise to Law's system, the plan for which was useful, but whose abuse rendered pernicious.

The Regent, endowed with a superior genius, had the faults of strong and bold spirits. The vastest ideas appeared to him as simple as common ones. He abandoned himself to the impression of an ardent imagination, which often exaggerated matters. Born for the fine arts that he cultivated, he had the weaknesses of heroes. His temperament encouraged his heart to sensibility; he made the Abbé du Bois a cardinal, less because he served the State, than because he was the secret minister of his passion. Calumny dared charge this gentle and humane prince with the most horrible of crimes: a plan to poison his pupil and king. A useful crime inspires no less horror to well-born souls than a bad action which is useless; but the real vindication of the Regent was the reign of Louis 15th.

To secure the peace of the kingdom and to deflect all opportunities for dispute, the Regent concluded the Treaty of Barričre, at Antwerp, by which it was resolved that the Dutch would maintain garrisons in Namur, Furnes, Tournai, Ypres, Menin and the fortress of Knocke, procuring six hundred thousand German florins that the house of Austria undertook to pay them each year. In return for this, they renounced any claims to the Netherlands, of which the entire possession remained to the Emperor Charles 6th.

The wars which succeeded one after another prevented Europe from enjoying the fruits of the peace. Since the year 1715, the Turks had entered the Morea, which they had taken from the Venetians. Fearing for Italy, the Pope persuaded the Emperor to take on the defense of Christianity. Charles 6th assembled troops in Hungary in order to benefit the Venetians by the diversion that he was going make against the Turks.

In the year 1716, Prince Eugene had defeated the Great Vizier near Temeswar. That year, he undertook the siege of Belgrade and fortified his camp with a good entrenchment. The Turks came to besiege his army and, not satisfied with the blockade, they advanced towards him by the approach and the trench. Having let them cross a stream which separated them from his camp, Eugene left his entrenchments on 16th August. He attacked them, defeated them, and took their cannons, baggage—and in a word—all their camp; and Belgrade, which had no more assistance to hope for, surrendered to the victor. The Marshal of Starhemberg, enemy of Eugene's merit, declaimed against his conduct: that he taxed imprudently, and spoke with too much force, that it needed little for the Emperor to betray the heroes of Germany before a council of war for having exposed the Imperial army to perish without resource. However the glory of Eugene was so brilliant that, it eclipsed the envy and the envious.

The following year, the Turks made peace at Passarowitz, and ceded Belgrade and the entire Banat of Temeswar to the Emperor. Having served as the pretext for the conquest of Charles 6th, the Venetians paid—by the loss of the Morea—for the acquisitions that the Emperor had made; and they noticed, but too late, that the assistance of a powerful ally is always dangerous.

Charles 6th had scarcely emerged from that war, than he had other enemies to fight. A man had been raised in Spain with a great and enterprising spirit, profound, bold, fecund in resources; and made, in a word, for aggrandizing or overturning empires. This was the Abbé Alberoni, Italian by birth, whom the Duke of Vendome brought to Spain, where his skill was first recognized by the return of Cardinal del Giudice, who governed this kingdom, and whose place he occupied. Alberoni made giant steps towards fortune; he insinuated himself into the spirit of the queen, who was a princess of Parma; and he seconded the views she had of establishing her son in Italy. The fleet that the King of Spain had at first intended for the assistance of the Venetians, was employed in the conquest of the island of Sardinia, which belonged to the Emperor. Cagliari passed to the power of the Spanish, and the entire province was shortly subjugated.

The representations of England and France did not prevent the queen of Spain from following the design that Alberoni, having become cardinal, suggested to her. The queen had secretly resolved to conquer all that she could from Italy. At the pressing solicitations of England, the Emperor had consented to give the investiture of Tuscany, Parma, and Piacenza, to the infant Don Carlos; but Philip 5th insisted on requesting the kingdom of Naples.

This overflow of ambition on the part of a newly established power brought the Emperor and the kings of France and England to the conclusion of the quadruple alliance, as a powerful barrier to oppose Philip's ventures. The Dutch, who were to have acceded to that league, were reserved for mediation and were replaced by the Duke of Savoy.

That formidable alliance changed neither the plans of Alberoni, nor the firmness of the queen of Spain; nor the desire of the king, her husband, to establish his family. The Spanish fleet—which Europe believed was headed for Naples—landed at Palermo, which surrendered; and the Marquis of Leyden took the title of Vice-King of Sicily. However, Admiral Byng came into the Mediterranean with twenty English vessels and defeated the Spanish fleet in the Fare area but, although he had taken fourteen of his finest vessels, he could not prevent the Marquis of Leyden from taking Messina. The Duke of Savoy determined, in that necessity, to exchange Sicily with the Emperor against the kingdom of Sardinia, the name of which he later took.

The genius of Alberoni, too little occupied by a venture, was so vast that he meditated on several at a time. His design extended to all sides, like mines which extend several branches far into the countryside, and which act successively, making the enemy rush to places they were least expecting. One mine burst in Italy, another blew in France.

The Prince Cellamare formed a famous conspiracy against the Regent. According to this plan, Spain would land on the coasts of Brittany, assemble the discontented of Poitou, seize the king and the Duke of Orleans; assemble the States General, which represented the nation as a body; and name the king of Spain as tutor of Louis 15th and regent of France. A singular chance aborted this plan. The secretary of Prince Cellamare was a client of La Fillon, a person renowned for the clandestine marriages which she made. The work of that woman had served the Regent and Cardinal du Bois many a time. One day, La Fillon found the secretary of Spain dreaming more than usual and could not extract from him the subject of his bad humor. She sent him an adroit and cunning girl who made him drink and talk. The girl searched him in his drunkenness. The papers which he was bearing appeared to La Fillon of such great consequence that she took them immediately to the Regent. This prince had the secretary arrested on the spot. All the parties to the conspiracy were discovered; it cost the life of five Breton gentlemen; and the Duke of the Maine, the Cardinal of Polignac, and several other seigneurs, were exiled. The Court sent troops into Brittany and, when the Duke of Ormond presented himself there with the Spanish fleet, nobody moved. The constancy of the Regent was never shaken more than by that event. Several people have supposed that he meditated abdication, but that he was held by the firmness of Cardinal du Bois, who admired the evidence that Providence was served in that affair, to retain the office in the hands of the Duke of Orleans. Europe was like an agitated sea, which still rages after the storm, and calms only gradually.

The misfortunes of Charles 12th had not corrected his passion. His resentment, which followed him to Sweden, burst against Denmark. He attacked Norway, having with him the Prince Hereditary of Hesse, who came to marry his sister, the Princess Ulrica. He took Christiania, but could not force the citadel of Friedrichshall and, lacking subsistence, he abandoned his conquest.

Fear of the Russians had kept him in Scania; that year however, he made a new invasion in Norway. He besieged Friedrichshall, and was killed in a trench. His exceptional valor was fatal for him. Fired from an unimportant place, the shot from a small artillery piece terminated the life of a prince who had made the North tremble, whose valor held heroism, and who would have been the greatest man of his century if he had been moderate and just. The death of this king was the sign for an armistice. The Swedes raised the siege of Friedrichshall, they recrossed their border, and the Danes did not follow them.

With Charles 12th, expired his plans for vengeance. He was still occupied with the vastest designs aimed against King George of England, who had seized the duchies of Bremen and Verden. He was going to form an alliance with the Tsar, in order to chase the house of Hanover out of England, and to re-establish the Pretender. Görtz, who succeeded the Count of Piper in the ministry of Sweden, was in the North what Alberoni was in the South. His intrigues agitated the cabinets of all the princes. His plans were not confined to Europe. He was born to become the minister of Alexander or of Charles 12th but, in forming the greatest designs, he surcharged Sweden with taxes, in order to execute them. The misery of the people and the favor in which he rejoiced, attracted to him the hatred of the public. Once the news of the King's death spread, the nation took proceedings against his ministry; envy invented a new crime with which to charge him: he was accused of having slandered the nation near to the King, and he was decapitated. In punishing Görtz, the Swedes indirectly condemned the reputation of a hero whose memory they still adored at that time; but the people is a monster, composed of contradictions, which passes impetuously from one extreme to the other and which, in its caprices, protects or oppresses vice and virtue indiscriminately. The vacant throne of Sweden was filled by Ulrika, sister of Charles 12th and wife of the Prince Hereditary of Hesse-Cassel.

Frederick-William could not prevent himself from shedding several tears when he learned of the premature death of Charles 12th. He esteemed the great qualities of this king, of whom he had become the enemy with regret and by a sort of violence. The example of Charles 12th had made turn the head for the good of the smaller princes of Germany too weak to imitate him. Duke Charles-Leopold of Mecklenburg formed the ambitious plan to raise an army and, in order to supply the expenses of its maintenance he oppressed his subjects with enormous vexations. The weight of taxation reached a point where, the exhausted nobility took their complaints to Vienna, where they were pressed by Bernstorff, minister of Hanover, but a Mecklenburger by birth. He obtained from the Emperor a decree, which fulminated against the duke. Although this prince had married the niece of the Tsar to secure himself powerful protection, that did not prevent the Emperor, pushed by Bernstorff, to give a decree of commission to the Elector of Hanover and to the Duke of Brunswick, to take that country in sequester. The King of Prussia complained at Vienna that, as director of the district of Lower Saxony, this decree was not addressed to him. The Emperor replied that it was against the law of the Empire to charge the king with this sequestration, because he had the expectation of Mecklenburg, over which the Tsar declared that he would never suffer a prince who entered his family to be oppressed. What mainly caught Frederick-William's attention in that affair is, that the King of England being adroit enough to mediate the peace that Prussia negotiated in Sweden, ought to have done so with such circumspection that the Hanoverians remained in possession of the sequestration, the expense of which would amount to several millions. The matter remained in these terms, and it is still so at the time that we write this history.

Although peace was not concluded with Sweden, it was as good as made. Seeing the peace of his dominions assured, Frederick-William began from then to reign—that is to say to work for the good of his people. This sovereign hated those energetic geniuses who communicate their tumultuous passion in all the regions where intrigue can penetrate. He did not aspire at all to the eminence of those conquests which had no other love than that of glory, nor to that of legislators who did not have objects other than good and virtue. He considered that courage of spirit, so necessary for the reform of abuse and to introduce useful innovations in government, was preferable to that valor of temperament which confronts the greatest dangers without fear of the truth but often also without knowledge. The traces that the wisdom of his government have left in the State, will last as long as Prussia exists as a nation.

So Frederick-William really established his military system, and bound it so closely with the remainder of the government, that it could not be touched without the risk of overturning the State itself. In order to judge the wisdom of this system, perhaps it would not be useless to enter here into some discussion of the matter.

Since the reign of Frederick 1st, much abuse had crept in concerning taxes, which had become arbitrary. The cries of the entire State demanded reform. When the matter was examined, it was found that there was no principle, according to which the owners of land were taxed, in order to pay their contributions. And in several places, taxes had been retained on the footing on which they had been before the Thirty Years War; but that all the owners of land that had become cultivated since that time, of whom the number was considerable, were taxed differently. In order to render these imposts proportional, the King had all arable land exactly measured, and re-established the equality of contributions according to the different classes of good and of bad land. As the price of commodities had greatly inflated since the reign of the Great Elector, the King similarly increased the imposts in proportion to the price, which considerably augmented his revenues.

But in order to pour from one hand what it received with the other, he created several new infantry regiments, and augmented his cavalry, so that the army amounted to sixty thousand men. And he distributed these troops in all his provinces, so that the money that they paid to the State returned to them without cease by means of the troops and, because the peasantry was not charged with the maintenance of the soldiers, all the army—cavalry as well as infantry—went into the towns. By this means, the excise augmented the revenues, discipline was confirmed in the troops, commodities rose in price; and our wool, which we would have sold to foreigners and repurchased when they had worked them, no longer went out of the country. All the army was dressed anew regularly each year, and Berlin was populated with a number of workers who lived only from their industry and who worked only for the troops. Solidly established, the manufactures flourished and they furnished a large part of the peoples of the North with woolen cloth. In order that this army which, since the year 1718, amounted to nearly sixty thousand men should not become a charge on the State by the number of recruits of which it had need, the King made an ordinance by which each captain was obliged to enroll people of the Empire. And several years later, the regiments were found to be composed of one half of citizens, and the other of foreigners.

The King repopulated Prussia and Lithuania, which the plague had devastated. He caused colonies to come from Switzerland, from Swabia and from the Palatinate, which he established at enormous expense. With time and trouble, he succeeded finally in rebuilding and in repopulating this desolated country which ruin had effaced for a time from the number of habitable lands. He went through all his provinces annually and, in this periodic circuit, he encouraged industry in all places and gave birth to abundance. Many foreigners were called to his states; those who established manufactures in the towns and those who taught new crafts were encouraged by benefits, privileges, and compensation.

For a time, the spirit of intrigue and the malice of a simple individual altered the tranquility enjoyed by the Court and the State. This unfortunate was a Hungarian gentleman named Clement. He founded the hopes of his fortune on the subtlety of his duplicity. As a subaltern, he had been employed in operations by Prince Eugene and since then by Marshal de Flemming. By means of impostures, he came to sow disinformation between the Imperial court and that of Saxony. As he lived only by deception, he sometimes needed new dupes. He resolved to extend his contributions as far as the treasury of the King. He went to Berlin, and introduced himself to the court by offering to disclose secrets of the greatest importance. His secrets consisted in an imaginary conspiracy, woven between the Emperor and the King of Poland, in which the principal people of the court were implicated. Clement claimed that these discontented people had been corrupted by the bait of riches and by visions of ambition. The plan of the conspiracy was, or what he pretended, to seize the person of the King in a castle called Wusterhausen, where he passed regularly two months in the autumn, and to deliver him to the Emperor. What gave, in some way, verisimilitude to this project, was that this castle was only four miles from the border of Saxony and that the King was without guards.

Frederick-William disdained these insinuations from the start and he was shaken only by a letter from Prince Eugene, full of this design, that Clement showed him. This villain was careful to entirely convince the King of all that he had advanced, producing to him letters from the Prince of Anhalt, General Grumbkow, and other seigneurs of the court. So much effrontery and impudence threw the King into cruel suspicions and continual distrust. He proposed finally to prove in his presence whether Clement knew the writing of people whom he accused. A bundle of letters in different hands was thrown on a table, obliging him to identify the writing. Clement made a mistake and his fraud was discovered. He confessed in prison that he had counterfeited the writing and the seal of Prince Eugene. He received the just reward that his impostures and his wickedness merited: his head was cut off. However, these false accusations did not fail to upset several fortunes, and caused distrust and shadows for a time. Calumny itself is introduced more easily into the spirit of princes than justification. They know men sufficiently to know that there is scarcely any virtue without stain, and they see so many examples of the wickedness of the human heart, that they are more subject to being deceived than are individuals who live far from the world. The falsehoods of Clement had acquired credit in some manner in favor of the conspiracy of Prince Cellamare, of which the example was still recent.

This conspiracy, far more real than that of Clement, also had far more important consequences. Without running the least risk, by means of the quadruple alliance which was just concluded, the regent had the facility to avenge the enterprises of Cardinal Alberoni. He did not allow the opportunity to escape and, in declaring war on Spain, published that he wanted only the Prime Minister. At the head of the army of France, Berwick took St. Sebastian and Fontarabie, while the English fleet desolated the ports of St. Antoine and Vigo; and crossing into Sicily with the army of the Emperor, Mercy obliged the Marquis of Leyde to raise the siege of Melazzo, and retook the town and the citadel of Syracuse.

The King of Spain marched with his army over the frontiers of his kingdom. He led one column of his troops; the Queen, the second; and the Cardinal, the third. But not all three were made for commanding armies; and the king, discouraged by the bad turn that the start of this war took for him, preferred to sacrifice his minister than to expose his monarchy to greater hazards. This was effectively the only means of re-establishing a solid peace in Europe. If Cardinal Alberoni had been given two worlds like ours to upset, he would have still demanded a third. His plans were too vast, and his imagination too fiery. He had resolved to chase the Emperor from Italy, to make his master regent of France and, in order to restore the Pretender to the throne of England, he wanted to impel Charles 12th against King George, and to arm the Turks and the Russians against the Emperor Charles 6th. The reason which made all these vast projects of the ambitious fail, so it appears, is that in politics as in mechanics, simple machines have a great advantage over those which are too complicated: the more the springs which are used for the same movement are complicated, the less they are of use.

The enthusiasm of Alberoni was not communicated to the sovereigns who should have been the executors of his project; he was vigorously impressed by his ideas, the others only weakly. When even good sense is allowed to be dragged in the hazardous course of the imagination, it does not take a long path: reflection stops it, forethought intimidates it, and sometimes obstacles discourage it. This is what Alberoni proved of the sovereigns whom he wanted to engage in his views. He himself fell into the trap that he had stretched out to the tranquility of Europe, and he went back to Italy by means of the passports that he received from the powers that he had the most grievously offended. Unrest, which could have become fatal for Europe, was prevented by extinguishing the torch which was ready to cause it. The fall of Alberoni put Spain back on her real point of equilibrium. She sought the friendship of France, and even acceded to the quadruple alliance, in order that her reconciliation would thereby be more sincere.

The regent, who succeeded in terminating so gloriously the disputes which had arisen between France and Spain, did not have the happiness of preserving his kingdom from a greater and more general upheaval than those of which the long and ruinous wars are ordinarily followed. Law's system had pushed the stubborn attachment of the French for paper, as far as madness. Several sudden fortunes caused the nation to think of things without reason, and this was carrying things that she lost beyond their normal boundary.

From the year 1716, Law was director of the royal bank. He commenced since then to employ his famous system in establishing the company of the Occident or of the Mississippi, whose bank the King of France was at the same time the protector and the proprietor. The plans of the regent and of Law were to double the funds of the kingdom by balancing the credit of paper with real money, to attract funds into the coffers of the sovereign, little by little.

A ruling of 2nd August 1719 imposed a prohibition upon individuals, under the heaviest penalties, against holding cash in excess of five hundred livres. The first actions were succeeded by new ones, named daughters; finally these daughters bore granddaughters; and the paper created by this system climbed to three milliards seventy millions. All the debts of the State were discharged by bills stamped for a certain coin. Originally, the foundations of this edifice had been made only in respect of a certain proportion. It was doubled and quadrupled; it soon fell, upset the kingdom, and at the same time upset the architect who had constructed it. Law thought more than once that he would be killed by the people, when his paper fell into decline. He finally left the kingdom, abandoning the position of controller-general of finances, with which he had been invested at the start of the year, and the great establishments that he had in that kingdom. Law was not rich when he went to France and he left it similarly. He took refuge at Venice, where he ended his days in indigence.

Few histories represent so many ambitious men humiliated. The rapid fortunes of Görtz, of Alberoni, of Law, threw them down as suddenly as they were raised up; but ambition is not capable of counsel, it misleads by following a path bordered by precipices.

After the fall of Alberoni and of Görtz, both Southern and Northern Europe breathed evenly. The peace that the King negotiated at Stockholm was finally concluded. His moderation diminished his advantages. In accordance with the manner of ministers, D'Ilgen did not cease to represent to him that he ought to profit from his advantages and that, by his stiffening more, Sweden should be constrained to cede the isle of Rügen and the town of Wolgast to him, and that he should likewise obtain the franchises of the tolls of the Sund from the Danish. The response of the King, written in his own hand is found in the archives: "I am content with the destiny which I enjoy by the grace of Heaven, and I never wish to aggrandize myself at the expense of my neighbors." He paid two millions to Sweden for the enclave of Pomerania, so that this acquisition was more a purchase than a conquest.

The King of England, who had by his mediation accelerated the peace of Stockholm, shortly afterwards made his own peace with Spain; and Philip 5th ceded Gibraltar and Port-Mahon to England, on condition that King George would not mix any further in the affairs of Italy.

At Vienna, they were discontented and envious of the advantages which the King of Prussia enjoyed. The house of Austria desired that the princes of Germany, whom it regarded as its vassals, assist it against its enemies, and not that they make use of their strength for their own aggrandizement. The Great Elector had assisted the Emperor because their interests were sometimes bound together. King Frederick 1st had rescued him, as much by his prejudices as in order to being recognized King of Prussia. Frederick-William, who had neither prejudices nor interests which so far attached him to the house of Austria, did not furnish him any assistance in the wars in Hungary and Sicily.

He not was bound with the Emperor by any treaty; and he excused himself, moreover, under the pretext that he had new enterprises to fear on the part of the Swedes. In essence, he was too clairvoyant to forge his own chains by working for the aggrandizement of the house of Austria which aspired to an absolute domination over Germany.

The wise and measured statesmanship of Frederick-William turned entirely to the internal arrangement of his States. He had established as his residence a holiday retreat at Potsdam, which originally was only a puny hamlet of fishermen. He made of it a large and beautiful town, where all sorts of arts flourished, from the more common to those which serve the refinement of luxury. The Liégeois, whom he had attracted by his liberality, established an arms industry, which furnished not only the army, but also the troops of several powers in the North. Velours were soon made, as fine as those of Genoa. All foreigners who possessed some industry were received, established, and recompensed at Potsdam. In this town, of which he was the founder, the King established a large hospital, where two thousand five hundred children of soldiers are maintained annually, who could learn any profession their spirit determines. He likewise established a hopital for girls, who are brought up to handicrafts suitable to their sex. By these charitable arrangements, he soothed the misery of soldiers burdened with a family, and procured a good education for children whose fathers were not in a state to provide it. The same year, he augmented the corps of cadets, where three hundred young gentlemen undergo their novitiate in the profession of arms. Several old officers attend to their education; and they have masters to give them instruction, and to teach them exercises which suit people of condition. There is no care more worthy of a legislator than that of the education of youth. Still at a tender age, these young plants are susceptible to all sorts of impressions. If they are inspired with the love of virtue and of country, they become good citizens; and good citizens are the chief ramparts of empires. If princes merit our praises in governing their peoples with justice, they arouse our love in extending their care to posterity.

The same year, the King sent the Count of Truchsess to France, to congratulate Louis 15th, who, having attained the age of majority, ascended his throne at Rheims.

The calumnies that had spread against the Duke of Orleans had made such strong impressions on the public, that France awaited each day for the death of her king, when that of the regent arrived unexpectedly. This prince, having passed the time when it was his custom to have bloodletting, was attacked by apoplexy in a moment of ecstasy between the arms of the duchess of Falaris, which caused a doubt whether he had given up his soul with a feeling of pleasure or of sorrow. When King Augustus of Poland learned the details of this death, he spoke these words of Scripture: "Ah that my soul should die the death of this righteous man!" Cardinal du Bois had preceded the regent by several months, and it was said that he had departed in order to prepare a place for the regent with some Fillon of the other world.

The regency finished with the death of the Duke of Orleans, and the Duke of Bourbon became Prime Minister. This change in the government of France, and several enterprises of the house of Austria which were contrary to treaties of peace, caused change in all the system of Europe. The question was this: the Emperor had sent letters of commission to the merchants of Ostend to traffic with the Indies. This awoke the attention of all the trading nations. Alarmed at a project which to them was equally prejudicial, France, England, and Holland, united to demand the suppression of this new company; but the court at Vienna would not disturb it, and preferred to maintain its commercial project with hauteur.

Recourse was had to routes of conciliation, as to the most equitable means of terminating these differences, and conciliating other interests, such as the eventual succession of Parma and of Piacenza. A congress was assembled at Cambrai, where nobody wanted to cede any of his terrain. As expected, the ministers disputed with heat, each one supporting his cause with arguments that he believed unanswerable. The owners of hotels and the wine-merchants were enriched, the princes paid the expenses, and the congress separated without having decided anything.

While these politicians discussed such great interests in vain, Philip 5th escaped the vigilance of his wife, and suddenly abdicated in favor of his son Louis. It was to procure him a crown which he was dismissing voluntarily, that France had produced so much treasure; but the death of his son, which returned the reins of government between his hands, left him no time to repent his abdication.

Scarcely was he restored to the throne, than he made a Treaty of commerce with the Emperor, behind England's back. The Count of Königsegg, ambassador of Charles 6th at Madrid, had deceived the queen of Spain concerning the marriage of Don Carlos with the archduchess Marie-Theresa, heiress of the house of Austria. And the hope of reuniting in their houses all the possessions of Charles 5th, brought the Queen, and the King of Spain, to make conditions very advantageous to the Emperor. King George suspected that this treaty contained secret articles to the advantage of the Pretender. France was discontented that Spain, by her subsidies, put the Emperor in a state of maintaining the company of Ostend; the King of Prussia was angered by several fulminating decrees that Charles 6th had sent him on the subject of certain imposts that he was demanding from the fiefs of Magdeburg. These three powers, having all their grievances against the court at Vienna, united by narrow engagements, which should have been so much more durable, that they were sustained by their individual interests. This conformity to sentiments gave place to the Treaty of Hanover.

ces trois puissances, ayant toutes des griefs contre la cour de Vienne, s'unirent par des engagements étroits, qui devaient ętre d'autant plus durables, qu'ils étaient soutenus par leurs intéręts particuliers. Cette conformité de sentiments donna lieu au traité de Hanovre.

The form of the treaty was defensive, and depended on reciprocal guaranties. In a vague fashion and susceptible to all sorts of interpretations, France and England engaged to employ their good offices so that the rights of Prussia over the succession of Berg would not be realized after the death of the Elector Palatine. Sweden, Denmark, and Holland subsequently acceded to the treaty. France and England effectively bore a grudge against the house of Austria. With this in mind, they hoped to use Frederick-William to take Silesia from the Emperor. Frederick-William was not far from being charged with the execution of this project. In order not to engage alone in so important an enterprise, he demanded that a single brigade of Hanoverians join his troops, or that at the same time that he commenced operations in Silesia, the allies should agree to make a diversion on another side. Although this alternative appeared to be reasonable, the King of England would never explain himself on this matter.

Scarcely had the allies signed their treaty at Hanover, than another alliance was made at Vienna: between the Emperor, the King of Spain, the Tsar, and several princes of Germany. It is by means of these grand alliances, which separated Europe into two powerful parts, that the balance of power was maintained in equilibrium, that the strength of some held the power of others in respect, and that the wisdom of adroit politicians sometimes prevents wars, and maintains the peace, even when it is on the point of being broken.

Since the Tsar had signed the Treaty of Vienna, he made strong remonstrances to the King of Prussia concerning the side that he had taken, insinuating, with the kind of menaces for which polite expressions serve as a vehicle, that he would not view with indifference an attack on the hereditary states of the Emperor.

Peter 1st died in these circumstances, leaving in the world more the reputation of an extraordinary man than of a great man, and covering the cruelties of a tyrant with the virtues of a legislator.

The Tsarina Catherine, his wife, succeeded him. She was Livonian by birth, and of the most base extraction, being the widow of a Swedish junior officer. She had become the mistress of several Russian officers in turn, and subsequently Menschikoff. Finally, the Tsar fell in love with her and appropriated her.

In 1711, when the Tsar approached the Prut with his army, the Turks crossed the river, and entrenched opposite his camp. He had two hundred thousand enemies in front; and to the rear, a river that he could not cross, lacking a bridge. The grand vizier, who attacked him repeatedly by different means, seeing his troops sometimes repelled, changed his plan. He learned by the deposition of a deserter that the Muscovite army was suffering from a cruel shortage of food, and that in the camp of the Tsar there were provisions for no more than a few days. With this, the vizier contented himself with blocking the Russians, which was what Peter feared most. His army had almost melted away; there remained to him scarcely thirty thousand men, broken by misery, unnerved by hunger, without hope, and consequently without courage. In this desperate situation, the Tsar took a resolution worthy of his grandor of soul. He ordered General Czerbatof that the army should prepare to fight the following day, in order to clear a path through the enemy at bayonet point. He then had all the baggage burned, and retired to his tent, broken with sorrow.

Catherine alone preserved independence of spirit, in the common despair where everyone awaited death or servitude. She evidenced courage above her sex and her birth; she took counsel with the generals, and resolved to ask for peace with the Turks. Chancellor Schafiroff drew up a letter from the Tsar to the Vizier, that Catherine, by means of caresses, of prayers and of tears made Peter sign. She then collected all the valuables that she could find in the camp, and sent them to the Vizier.

After their return several times, the gifts had their effect. Peace was concluded and, by ceding Asov to the Turks, the Tsar, disengaged from a step as dangerous as that which Charles 12th found at Poltava, the reef of his fortune. The recognition of the Tsar was proportionate to the service that Catherine had rendered him; he found her worthy of governing the State that she had saved; he declared her his wife, and she was crowned Empress. This princess governed Russia with wisdom and with firmness, and she continued to observe the engagements that the Tsar had made with the Emperor Charles 6th.

While all Europe armed, Louis 15th married the daughter of Stanislas Leszczynski, the dethroned King of Poland. Shortly afterwards, the Duke of Bourbon, who had chosen the queen of France, married the Princess of Rheinfels, whose beauty was touching. It is pretended that the King of France told him that he had chosen better for himself than for the others. However, the Queen of France subsequently showed that she replaced, by her heart and by her character, the passing charms of a beauty that the least accident could make disappear.

All the year of 1726 passed in preparations for war. Three Muscovite vessels of line went to winter in Spain, in the port of St. André. The English put three flotillas to sea, of which one sailed to the Indies, another to the coasts of Spain, and the third towards the Baltic. France augmented her regiments, and created a militia of sixty thousand men strong.

The King found himself in a difficult and embarrassing situation, on the eve of a war, in which he ran the greatest risk: without assurances of help from his allies, exposed to the eruption of the Muscovites, and becoming the executor of a plan that had been thrust upon him. The provinces to be conquered had been designated, but their division had not been decided; and all in all, the Hanoverian minister of King George affected to treat the King of Prussia as a secondary power. Enough dangers, so little advantage, and this excess of arrogance, disgusted the King with the imperious tone that his allies affected to take with him and, from this time, he thought to find his security elsewhere.

This year was fatal for chief ministers. The Duke of Ripperda was dismissed and arrested at Madrid, for having made the Treaty of Vienna. He was saved from prison and passed to the King of Morocco, where he died shortly afterwards. The Duke of Bourbon had a more gentle departure, but somewhat similar: the address of the former Bishop of Fréjus, preceptor of the King of France, caused him to be exiled; the preceptor became Prime Minister and cardinal. The first functions of his ministry were to relieve the people from the imposts which were crippling them. He did as much good for the finances of the King, where he made the economies, as bad for the army, and above all for the navy, that he neglected. Supple, timid, and cunning, he conserved the vices of a priest in the functions of a minister; as much as it is true that offices decorate people, but do not change them. To these disgraces, we may add the election, and fall, of Count Maurice of Saxony, having become Duke of Courland by the choice of the Estates, and chased from his country by the violence of the Russians. This is the same Count of Saxony whom we have seen shine at the head of the armies of Louis 15th, and of whom the great qualities give rise to the most noble origin.

In that year, Europe lost two crowned heads: the Empress Catherine died, and Peter Alexeivitsch, grandson of Peter 1st, succeeded her. This was an infant who grew up under the eyes of several boyars, who were attached to the ancient usages of their nation and who prepared for this young prince an eternal tutelage. In England, George 2nd succeeded his father, who had just died.

Frederick-William and George 2nd, although brought up almost together, although brothers-in-law, could not bear each other, since their tender youth. This personal hate, this strong antipathy, could have become fatal to their peoples when they were both on the throne. The King of England called the King of Prussia My brother the sergeant, and Frederick-William called King George My brother the comedian.

This animosity soon passed from people to affairs, and did not lack influence on the greatest events. Such is the way of human deeds, that men led by their passions govern them, and that causes, puerile in their origin, become the principles of a series of facts which give rise to the greatest revolutions.

At first, after the accession of George 2nd to the throne, the Count of Seckendorff went to Berlin. He served as general, both of the Emperor and of Saxony, at the same time. He had a sordid interest; his manners were gross and rustic; falsehood was so habitual to him that he had lost the use of truth. This was the soul of a usurer, who passed sometimes in a military role, sometimes in that of a negotiator. However, this person was used by Providence to break the Treaty of Hanover. Seckendorff had served in Flanders at the siege of Tournai, and at the battle of Malplaquet, where Frederick-William had been. The King had a singular predilection for all the officers whom he had known in that war. He complained to the general of the discontent that the allies caused him. Seckendorff sympathized with him at first, and ineffectually condemned the wrongful actions of France, and above all of England. He spoke of the Emperor as a prince more solid in his engagements and more constant in his friendships. He showed an alliance between Prussia and of Austria from the most advantageous point of view. He represented, as a beautiful perspective, the facility with which the Emperor accorded to the King all his sureties for the entire possession of the succession of Berg. He finally overcame the spirit of the King with such an address, that he persuaded him to sign a treaty with the Emperor (at Wusterhausen). It consisted of reciprocal guaranties; and in several articles related to the commerce in salt by the Oder, that Brandenburg made with Silesia.

Scarcely was this treaty concluded than it seemed that a war would be ignited in Germany, between the kings of Prussia and of England, on a subject of so little importance that it could not have served as a pretext except to sovereigns much disposed to injure. The dispute concerned two small fields, situated in the confines of the Old Mark and of the Duchy of Celle, of which the limits were not settled, and concerning several Hanoverian peasants enrolled by Prussian officers. The King of England, who was at Hanover, caused forty Prussian soldiers, who traversed his country with passports, to be arrested in reprisal. These kings only sought pretexts to become embroiled; sometimes, kings do not even trouble to do so. The King of Prussia found his honor interested in the matter of small fields and in the arrest of forty soldiers, and he abandoned himself to his hatred and resentment. The Emperor fanned this fire; he would have been well satisfied to see the most powerful princes of Germany destroying each other. He promised the help of twelve thousand men; the King of Poland, discontented with the King of England, offered eight thousand men.

All Prussia was already in movement; the troops all marched towards the Elbe; Hanover trembled. George, without waiting for the war, summoned Sweden, Denmark, Hesse and Brunswick, who received English subsidies, to furnish him troops; and he sounded the tocsin in France, in Russia and in Holland. The Emperor, with the intention of encouraging the King to this rupture, guaranteed him all his possessions of the Weser and of the Rhine. This matter was going to become more serious, when it assumed a different face, unawares. The King assembled a council, composed of his principal ministers and of his more ancient generals; he proposed to them the State the question, and asked them their feelings. Fieldmarshal von Natzmer, who was a Jansenist Protestant [sic], made a long discourse in which he censured the Protestant religion, ready to be extinguished by the dissension of the two single princes of Germany who were its protectors. The ministers had secret reasons that had the Imperial court sour the spirits with so much malice, in a matter in itself of little importance and which was still in terms of negotiation. A prince who listens to counsels is capable of following them. The King gained a finer victory over himself this day than any that he could have won over his enemies: he silenced his feelings for the good of his peoples, and the dukes of Brunswick and of Gotha were chosen for one side and the other to negotiate these minor differences.

The Emperor did what he could to block these negotiations, but they were terminated promptly. The Prussian soldiers were released; the Hanoverian peasants were released; and the matter of the fields was terminated. This sort of compromise made between friendly parties, is so much wiser than one that, after the most fortunate of wars, princes are eventually obliged to return to it, without obtaining greater advantages. This example of moderation on the part of Frederick-William is perhaps unique in history.

Frederick-William, always more occupied with the good of his subjects than with his personal ambition, founded the Hotel of the Charité at Berlin, on the model of the Hotel-Dieu at Paris. He built Friedrichstadt, of which the length and regularity of the streets, all aligned, and the beauty of the buildings, greatly surpassed those of the old city; and he had the pleasure of receiving the King of Poland there. The meeting of these two kings passed in feastings and in magnificence.

Nevertheless, negotiations did not cease for the prevention of the troubles of war. The powers convened a congress at Soissons, where the ministers of all the courts appeared, who were interested in the Treaty of Hanover and of Vienna; and the advantages offered by France and England detached Spain from the Emperor’s interests. The Treaty of Seville followed the Congress of Soissons. The articles of this treaty are so much more remarkable that they opened to Spain the way into Italy, and that England engaged to cause the succession of the dukes of Parma and of Piacenza to fall to the Infant Don Carlos, in consideration of the advantages that Spain permitted the English to gain by the traffic of Assiento.

The King of Poland, who had come to Berlin in the year 1728, wanted to parade, in his turn, his magnificence before the eyes of Frederick-William, by giving him all sorts of military fętes. He assembled his troops in a camp near Radeberg, a village situated on the Elbe; the maneuvers that he had his army make were an image of the wars of the Romans, mixed with visions of the chevalier Folard. The connoisseurs judged that this camp was more a theatrical spectacle than a real emblem of war.

During these demonstrations, apparently of amity, the intrigues of Augustus in all the courts of Europe tended to frustrate Frederick-William concerning the succession of Berg, and to make it revert to Saxony. This camp, this magnificence, and these false marks of esteem, were artifices by which the King of Poland believed that he could lull the King of Prussia; but Frederick-William penetrated his motives, and simply detested his falsity all the more. These sorts of actions seem permissible in politics; but they are hardly so in morals; and, to well examine, the reputation of fraud is as wilting for the prince himself, as disadvantageous to his interests.

It is believed that similar reflections disgusted King Victor with his royalty; but effectively it was only the love that he had for Madame de St. Sebastian, whom he married at Chambery after his abdication. It is pretended that he always conserved the character of authority that he had had as king and that, having some discontent against the Duke of Ormea and several other ministers, he wanted to constrain his son to disgrace them. The Count of Ormea, informed of the intentions of King Victor, feared to see his loss assured, and did not prevent the prince. He went to the King of Sardinia, and persuaded him that his father was conspiring, and wanted to remount the throne; and he pressed him so vigorously, that the father was arrested and taken to the castle of Chambery, where he died. A prince is much to be pitied when, face to face with his father in such sticky circumstances, where he had the nature, l'intéręst and the glory to fight.

In the same year in Russia, the young Tsar, Peter 2nd, died. He was engaged to a Princess Dolgoruki. This house had ambitions to place the princess on the throne; but the nation unanimously wanted the scepter to remain in the house of Peter 1st. It was offered to Anne, dowager Duchess of Courland, who accepted it. From the start, the Russians limited his power; but the family of Dolgoruki fell, and his authority became despotic. He maintained, like his predecessors, the liaisons which had existed for a long time with the house of Austria.

The Emperor soon forgot the services that Frederick-William had rendered him, in quitting the alliance of Hanover. He arrived at a compromise with the King of England, and gave him the investiture of the Duchy of Bremen and of the Hadelerland, without concern for the interests of Prussia. Ingratitude is a discredited coin, current however, everywhere.

The death of so many princes, the displacement of so many ministers, the renewal and the change of so many alliances, produced entirely new combinations of interests in Europe. England, reconciled with Spain and Austria, joined a large fleet to that of Spain, to transport Don Carlos to Italy.

At the start of the century, Great Britain spent itself hunting the Spanish from the kingdom of Naples and from Milan, because they believed the power of Philip 5th and his possessions too redoubtable. And scarcely twenty years had passed, since the English sailors returned the Spanish to Italy, giving to the Infant Parma and Piacenza, of which the last duke had just died.

At this time, the Corsicans revolted against the Genoese, because of the severity of their government. The Emperor sent troops to the aid of the Genoese, which reduced the rebels to obedience. These revolts were renewed several times, until the year 1736, when the Corsicans chose for their king an adventurer, called Theodore de Neuhof. It is presumed that the Duke of Lorraine, who had since become Emperor, fomented this rebellion; although, by the aid of the French, the isle of Corsica was entirely dominated under the obedience of its masters.

It was believed that Italy was menaced by a new war. The Queen of Spain, always unquiet and always active, made great armaments although, instead of falling on Italy, her troops went into Africa, and seized Oran. The Queen of Spain obtained a letter from the Pope, which enjoined the clergy to pay a tenth of its revenues, as long as the war against the Infidels lasted. Since that moment, the Queen proposed to perpetuate the war for ever; and, in sacrificing every year a hundred Spanish who perished in skirmishes against the Moors, she remained in possession of the tithes of the Church, which made very-important revenue for the crown. Thus the masters of Peru and of Potosi, lacking money, started with alms of the priests of their kingdom.

After all these digressions, it is time to return to Berlin, where Seckendorff, by his intrigues, had much extended his credit. He would have much wanted to govern the court altogether. In this design, he proposed to the King to connect himself with the Emperor, who had appeared at Prague. [Seckendorff] hoped to make himself so useful during this visit, that the confidence that the King **had in him could only increase infinitely. The King, who put in the matters the good faith of his ways, consented without difficulty to this journey, without taking any measures concerning the purpose of this meeting, nor concerning protocol, that he despised. His example served as evidence that good faith and virtues, so opposed to the corruption of the century, could not prosper in it. The politicians have relegated candor in civil life; and they see so far above the laws that they make for others to observe, that they deliver without reserve to the depravity of their hearts. The simple ways of the King become the victims of the Imperial etiquette.

The guarantee of the succession of Berg, which Seckendorff had formally promised in the name of the Emperor, went up in smoke; and the ministers of the Emperor were of a disposition so contrary to Prussia, that the King saw very-clearly that if there was a court in Europe opposed to his interests, it was surely that at Vienna. Frederick-William was as near to the Emperor as Solon to Croesus; and he returned to Berlin, always rich with his own virtue. The most punctilious critics could not reproach him as to his conduct except for a probity pushed to excess. This meeting was of the sort that the majority of visits by kings have. It cooled, or in a word, it extinguished, the friendship which reigned between the two courts. Frederick-William left Prague, full of contempt for the bad faith and pride of the Imperial court. The Emperor's ministers disdained a sovereign who regarded without thought the frivolity of precedence. Sinzendorff found the pretentions of the King as to the succession of Berg too ambitious, and the King found the refusal of these ministers too gross. He regarded them as frauds, who went back with impunity on their word.

Despite so many subjects of discontent, the King married his oldest son, complying with the court at Vienna, to a princess of Brunswick-Bevern, niece of the Empress. During the nuptial celebrations, the death of the King of Poland at Warsaw became known.

At the time that death surprised the King of Poland, he was occupied with the vastest plans. He thought to make the sovereignty hereditary in Poland. In order to achieve this end, he had imagined sharing the kingdom, as the means by which he believed he could appease the jealousy of neighboring powers. He needed Frederick-William for the execution of this project, and asked him for Marshal von Grumbkow in order to begin it for him. The King of Poland wanted to enlist Grumbkow, and the latter wanted it equally. They became drunk together in this intention, which caused the death of King Augustus, and to Grumbkow, a malady of which he never recovered. Although Frederick-William felt similarly concerning the views of Augustus, but feeling that the consequences would be too dangerous, he joined with the Emperor and the Tsarina in opposing them. They convened to exclude the house of Saxony from the throne of Poland, and to place Prince Emmanuel of Portugal there. But death, which destroys both the man and the project, caused the affairs of Poland to be seen from an altogether different point of view.

The Imperial court wanted an interest in Saxony, and promised armed support for the election of the son of Augustus to the throne of Poland, provided that he guaranteed the domestic law that Charles 6th had established in his house, a law well-known in Europe under the name of the Pragmatic Sanction. The Empress of Russia, who feared that Stanislas Leszczynski would again become King of Poland, sustained by the protection of Louis 15th, declared herself protector of the fortunate Augustus. Of all the candidates for this crown, Stanislas was the most suitable to the interests of Prussia. France attempted to bring Frederick-William to send a corps of troops into Prussian Poland, and to hold it in sequester, as he had with Pomerania. But Frederick-William wanted to leave nothing to chance. He himself feared to engage in a war which could lead him too far, and which would distract his forces to another front, while the Elector Palatine, infirm and already much aged, could die. [Frederick-William] believed that his rights over the succession of Juliers were legitimate, and that the enterprise in Prussian Poland was unjust.

The Diet of Election, which was held in Warsaw, unanimously elected Stanislas King of Poland, despite the intrigues of the courts of Vienna and of Petersburg, and despite the Russian and Austrian armies which menaced this Republic. Several lords palatine who were committed to Saxony, crossed the Vistula, went to the village of Praga, assembled in a inn, and there elected the Elector Augustus of Saxony, king, upon which the Muscovite troops approached Warsaw. The storm was replaced by calm, and for the second time, Stanislas descended from the throne of Poland, to which the wishes of a free nation had caused him to ascend. He took refuge at Danzig, which was besieged by Münnich with the Russians and the Saxons. A Polish lady, named Masalska, fired the first cannonball from the ramparts against the besiegers, to determine the burghers to a generous defense. Louis 15th sent three battalions to the aid of his father-in-law, too late to save Danzig, and too early for the misfortune which came about. The Marquis of Plélo, who led them, was killed, and these three battalions, who had disembarked on a island, unable to get back on board their vessels, and lacking provisions, were taken prisoner, and led to St. Petersburg.

The Russians then attacked the outworks of Hagelsberg, where they lost four thousand men. The town, torn by internal dissensions, and which had no more aid to await from elsewhere, was on the point of capitulation. In this extremity, Stanislas escaped on the eve of its reduction. During his flight, he suffered the cruelest misery and, after having run extraordinary risks to his person while the Russians pursued him; and having had the most singular adventures, he arrived at Marienwerder, disguised as a peasant; and from there he appeared at Königsberg, once Frederick-William had assured him his protection.

The troubles of Poland attracted all Europe. Once Versailles had been apprised that the Emperor had assembled troops near to Glogau, and that the Russians had entered the territory of the Republic, France declared war on the Emperor. Their manifesto announced that they only held something against the Emperor and not against the Empire but, by a contradiction that Cardinal Fleury would have been able to avoid easily, the French armies, having crossed the Rhine at Strasburg, took Kehl, which is a fortress of the Empire. The enemies of France profited by this error, and extracted malign interpretations of conduct, that it was in their interests to render suspect. At the same time, the war ignited in Italy. The French troops joined those of the King of Sardinia near to Verceil; they took Pavia, Milan, Pizzighetone and Cremona. The Marquis of Montemar joined the allies, and the Spanish prepared for the conquest of the kingdom of Naples.

**Although England was not implicated in this war, she thought she would be shaken by domestic troubles. George 2nd had formed a project that would render him entirely sovereign in Great Britain. This was an enterprise that he could have not conduct by open force, but silently and by roundabout means. To introduce the excise in England, would be to enchain the nation. if the matter had been successful, it would have given the King a fixe and assured revenue, with which he would have augmented the army, and confirmed his power. Walpole proposed the introduction of excise to several members of parliament whom he believed reliable; but they declared to him que s'il les payait, c'était pour consent au courant of follies, but not aux extraordinary, as it was that.

Despite these representations, Walpole brought the matter to parliament, where he harangued with so much strength, that his eloquence carried Poultney and the cabal in opposition to the court with him. His victory appeared so complete, that the bill of excise passed by a large majority of votes. The following day he thought there would be a riot in the town. The aristocracy and the principal merchants presented an address to the King, demanding the suppression of the bill. Although parliament was surrounded by guards, a mob assembled in a large number. They gave seditious cries, and began to insult the King's people. They lacked only a leader for the revolt to explode. Walpole, who saw that this matter was becoming serious, judged that it was necessary to give in. he cast the bill on the ground and left parliament, covered by a poor coat which disguised him, crying "Liberty! Liberty! And no excise!" He found the King at St. James, completely armed. he had donned the hat that he wore at Malplaquet. he was trying his sword, with which he had fought at Oudenarde, and he wanted to put himself at the head of his guards, who were assembled in the court, to maintain with firmness the matter of the excise. Walpole had all the trouble in the world to moderate his impetuosity, and he represented himself with the generous impudence of an Englishman attached to his master, that it was not the time for combat, but better to opt between the bill and the crown. Finally the project of the excise fell; and the King, very-discontented with the parliament which had defied his authority, whom he had thought to give an unhappy experience. These internal troubles prevented him from becoming involved with the war in Germany.

We have said that Kehl had been taken by the French, and that the rupture was open. The Emperor, to whom France had given so fine a game, had no difficulty in causing the Empire to declare in his favor. He demanded of Frederick-William the aid stipulated by the alliance of 1728, and threatened that in case of refusal, he would retract the guarantee that he had given as to the Duchy of Berg. The King, who had remained neutral in the troubles of Poland, although his interests pull him in favor of Stanislas, declared on this occasion for the Emperor, although his interests were to the contrary. He had no other policy than probity, and he observed his engagements so scrupulously, that when it was necessary to fulfill them, neither his advantage nor his ambition were consulted. In consequence of these principles, he marched ten thousand men to the Rhine, who served during this war under Prince Eugene of Savoy.

At the beginning of Spring, the Marshal of Berwick forced the lines of Ettlingen, which the Duke of Bevern had constructed during the winter, and he went to besiege Philippsburg. Eugene, who had scarcely twenty thousand men with him, retired to Heilbronn, where he waited for the arrival of the aid that he had been promised. He subsequently returned to camp at the village of Wiesenthal, within range of cannon in the French trenches. Frederick-William appeared in the army of the Emperor, accompanied by the Crown Prince, as much by curiosity as by the extreme attachment that he had for his troops; and he saw that heroes, like other men, are subject to senility. He only had in this army the shadow of the great Eugene. He had made a survey for himself; and he feared to expose his reputation, so solidly established, to the hazard of an eighteenth battle. An audacious young man would have attacked the French entrenchment, which had only scarcely begun when the army went to Wiesenthal. The French troops were so near to Philippsburg, that their cavalry did not have enough terrain to be put in battle between the town and the camp, without suffering much cannonade. They had only one bridge of communication on the Rhine; and if the entrenchment had been taken all the French army, which no way of retreating, would have perished infallibly. But the destiny of empires commanded otherwise. The French took Philippsburg, in the view of Prince Eugene, without anyone opposing them. Berwick was killed by a cannonball. The Marshal of Asfeld succeeded him in command. Frederick-William, whom fatigue had succeeded in deranging the health, started with hydropisie, which obliged him to leave the army; and the rest of this campaign passed in marches and counter-marches, so much less decisive, with only the Rhine separating the French and the Imperial troops.

In Italy, the French took Tortone, defeated the Marshal of Mercy at Parma, and conquered almost all of Lombardy. However, the Prince of Hildbourghausen furnished the Marshal of Königsegg the project of surprising the French army, which was camped on the banks of the Secchia. This was executed in a way that Coigny and Broglie were attacked by night, surprised, and expelled. The King of Sardinia repaired their error by his wisdom, and the allies won the victory of Guastalla over the Austrians.

At the same time, Don Carlos entered the kingdom of Naples, and received its homage. Montemar affirmed his throne by winning the battle of Bitonto. Visconti and the Austrians were expelled from this kingdom; and Montemar crossed from the conquest of Naples to that of Sicily. he took Syracuse, and made himself master of Messina, which capitulated after having made a sufficiently good defense.

In Lombardy, the Austrians were again defeated at Parma; and on the Rhine, the campaign was more sterile than the preceding year. The army Imperial was augmented by a reinforcement of ten thousand Russians. The busy Seckendorff obtained from Prince Eugene a detachment of forty thousand men, with which he marched on the Moselle. He encountered the French army near the abbey of Clausen; the night sowed confusion and alarm in the two camps; and the troops charged from each side, without an enemy appearing. The following day, Coigny crossed the Moselle once more, and camped under Treves. Seckendorff him followed; and the two generals learned, in this camp, that the preliminaries of peace between the Emperor and the King of France had been signed.

This negotiation had been conducted secretly between the Count of Wied and the Sieur of Theil. They were agreed that Augustus should be recognized King of Poland by France; that Stanislas should renounce all his pretentions to this crown, in exchange for the Duchy of Lorraine, which he would enjoy, and which should revert to France after his death. In exchange for this cession, the Duke of Lorraine, son-in-law of Charles 6th, should be given Tuscany by way of compensation. What was more, the Emperor recognized Don Carlos as King of the Two Sicilies, and he received Parmesan and Piacenza as the equivalent of this loss. He was again obliged to cede Vigevanasc to the King of Sardinia; in return for which, Louis 15th promised him to guarantee the pragmatic sanction.

The Emperor and France made this peace without consulting their allies, whose interests they neglected. The King complained that the court of Vienna not had taken any measure with that of Versailles to assure the succession of Berg.

Frederick-William had a remission of his hydropisie; but his forces were so exhausted, that his body no longer served the intentions of his soul. He had however the pleasure of seeing a new colony prospering that he had established in Prussia in the year 1732. More than twenty thousand souls left the bishopric of Salzburg, because of their zeal for the Protestant religion. The bishop had persecuted many of these unfortunates with more fanaticism than prudence. The desire to leave their country overcame the people, and became epidemic. This emigration was made, in the end more in spirit of liberty than by attachment to a sect. Frederick-William established these Salzburgers in Prussia; and, without examining the motives of their desertion, he repopulated by this means some of the country that the plague had devastated under the reign of his father.

The general war was scarcely over than a new one appeared immediately, which was ignited at the extremities of Europe and Asia. The Tartars, who lived under the protection of the Turks, made frequent incursions into Russia. The complaints that brought the Tsarina to Constantinople did not cause these hostilities to cease. Finally, she became impatient at suffering these affronts, and she did justice herself. Lacy advanced against the Tartars, and took Azov; Münnich entered the Crimea, forced the lines of Pérécop, seized the town, took Bagtcheh-Seraď, and put the whole of Tartary to fire and blood. Although the dearth of water and provisions, and the burning heat of that climate caused a large number of Muscovites to perish. The ambition of Münnich counted as nothing the number of soldiers that he sacrificed to his glory, but his army collapsed; and the excess of misery to which the Russians were reduced, rendered the victors similar to the vanquished.

At this time, the last Duke of Courland of the house of Kettler died. The States elected the Count of Saxony for the second time, but the Empress of Russia elevated Biron to this dignity. This was a gentleman from Courland who was attached to her person, and of whom the merit consisted uniquely in the good humor that he caused her.

The armies of the Tsarina continued victorious against the Turks. Münnich besieged Oczakow, which was defended by three thousand Janissaries and seven thousand Bosnians. A bomb that was thrown set on fire, by chance, to the large powder-magazine of the town, which immediately exploded, and at the same time, upset most of the houses. Münnich seized this moment, and ordered a general assault. The Turks could not recover from their perplexity, nor defend the narrow ramparts which adjoined the houses abandoned to the flames. They did not know that they had to extinguish the conflagration, or repulse the effort of the Muscovites. In this confusion, the town was captured sword in hand, and the wild soldiery committed all the cruelties of which a blind fury is capable.

The first progress of the Russians against the Turks awoke the ambition of the Austrians. The Emperor was persuaded that this was the moment to attack the Turks via Hungary; that if the Muscovites pressed them at the same time from the side of the Black Sea, that would be the end of the ottoman empire. Prophesies also ran about announcing that the fatale period for the Crescent had arrived. The superstition acted in its turn. The confessor of Charles 6th represented to him that it was the duty of a Catholic prince to extirpate the enemy in the name of Christianity. All these different insinuations came in fact only from the Tsarina, from Bartenstein, from Seckendorff, and from the Prince of Hildbourghausen, who, being bound together, secretly made act all these motives; and of the hatreds and intrigues of the court caused this war to be resolved without valid reason, in which the Emperor was in some fashion astounded to see himself engaged.

The grand-Duke of Tuscany, formerly Duke of Lorraine, was created generalissimo of the Imperial armies. Seckendorff commanded under him, or rather Seckendorff was commander in chief. At the start of the campaign, the Imperial troops took Nissa, which was the limit of their good fortune. The Prince of Hildbourghausen was beaten with a detachment that he had commanded at Banjaluka. Khevenhüller raised the siege of Widdin, and was vigorously pressed by the Turks, who crossed the Timoc and were placed on his rear-guard. The Dost-Pasha retook Nissa, and the Emperor had Doxat decapitated for surrendering this place without sufficient resistance.

Towards the end of this year, the queen of England died, who had enjoyed of a sort of reputation, due to the generosity with which she honored the scholars.

The ensuing campaign was unfortunate for the Muscovites and for the Austrians. Münnich attempted in vain to penetrate Bessarabia near to Bender. This country had been ruined by the Tartars; and he dared not press in there without fearing for his troops the same misfortunes that the Swedes had experienced. The plague, which made extraordinary ravages at Oczakow, obliged him to abandon this town, and Lacy could make no progress in Crimea.

The bad turn taken by the war in Hungary, weakened the spirit of the Emperor. He regretted the great Eugene, dead in 1737, to whom he owed the glory of his reign. "the good fortune of the State," he asked, is it now dead with this hero?" But embittered by the misfortunes of the war, he took it out on his generals. Seckendorff was imprisoned at the castle of Grätz, and Königsegg received the command of the army in Hungary.

The Imperial troops were defeated in several encounters. The Turks took old Orsowa and Mehadia. They besieged New Orsowa, which they raised, having been repulsed at Cornia, but Königsegg, who retired sick at the right time after his victory, gave them the means to recommence the siege. New Orsowa did not hold out for long, and the Turks took all the big cannons of the Emperor. He again gave battle near Mehadia, as little decisive as the first, where the Imperial army were at a disadvantage. The Emperor, irritated by his losses, did not know on whom to take it out; he punished his generals, but he ought to have criticized the plans for the campaign.

Lorsqu'Eugčne fit la guerre contre les Turcs, il ne sépara jamais son armée; et, dans ces temps modernes, l'envie qu'avaient les généraux en crédit ŕ la cour de commander des corps séparés, fit que toute l'armée, étant en détachements, n'était nulle part formidable.

The experience made it apparent that, in the Hungarian wars, all the armies which were distanced from the Danube had been unfortunate because they were distanced at the same time from their subsistence. When Eugene made war against the Turks, he never split his army; and, in these modern times, the envy that the generals had of the favor at the court de commander des corps separate, caused all the army, being in detachments, to be formidable in none of them. The old maxims were neglected, and the generals complained a great deal at the fact that the court threw them into perpetual uncertainties by the number of contradictory orders that it sent to them. Königsegg was relieved of the command of the army but, unlike his predecessors, in order to console him, he was made grand master of the house of the Empress. Olivier Wallis was chosen to replace him. This Marshal wrote to Frederick-William "The Emperor has confided to me the command of his army. The first who led it before me, is in prison; he whom I succeed, has been made a eunuch of the Seraglio; for me it remains only to have my head cut off at the end of my campaign."

Sixty thousand strong, the Imperial army assembled near Belgrade. That of the Turks was double in number. Wallis marched towards the enemy without knowing precisely their strength; and, without having made the least disposition, he attacked with his cavalry, by a curved path, a large corps of Janissaries posted in vines and hedges near the village of Krozka; and was beaten in this defile, before his infantry had time to arrive. The latter were led to the slaughterhouse with the same imprudence, so that the Turks could fire at them under cover. At the end of the day, the Imperial army retreated, leaving twenty thousand men on the field. If the Turkish army had pursued them, this would have happened to Wallis and all the corps that he commanded. The Marshal, surprised by this disgrace, instead of recovering his sprits, compounded his errors. Although Neipperg had joined him with a large detachment, he believed that they would only be safe in the entrenchments of Belgrade, which he abandoned again, and re-crossed the Danube at the approach of the Grand Vizier. Finding no resistance in their way, the Turks besieged Belgrade.

The lack of success of the Imperial army was balanced by the progress of the Russians. The Muscovite army, more fortunate under the conduct of Münnich, defeated the Turks near Chotzim, took this town, and penetrated via Moldavia into Walachia with the design of joining the Imperial armies in Hungary. But discouraged by his misfortunes and by a war which had covered him with shame, the Emperor had recourse to the mediation of France to arrive at a peace. The sieur of Villeneuve, ambassador of France to the Porte, appeared in the camp of the Turks; and the Russians, alarmed by this demarche, sent an Italian called Cagnoni.

The Marshal of Neipperg was charged by the Emperor with this negotiation. The Emperor and the grand-duke of Tuscany pressing equally for an end; the orders of the Marshal were to make peace, at whatever price. He had the imprudence to appear by the Turks without any surety, and without being armed with the passports that are always requested on such occasions. He was arrested; he was seized by fear; and signed the peace precipitately. He cost the Emperor the kingdom of Serbia and the town of Belgrade. The firmness of Cagnoni made an impression on the vizier. The Italian had the skill to conclude peace for the Muscovites at the same time, among the conditions of which were that the Tsarina surrendered Azov, and all her conquests.

Olivier Wallis was not much mistaken in the prognosis he had made. He was imprisoned in the fortress of Brünn; and Neipperg, still less culpable, was led to the citadel of Glatz. This Marshal had had, beyond the orders of the Emperor, positive instructions from the grand-duke to hasten the accomplishment of the peace. The grand-duke feared that the Emperor (his father-in-law) would die before the end of this war, which he would leave to him as a burden, by the litigious succession of hereditary states, of new enemies, whom he would not be in a condition to resist.

A new war soon flared up in the South between England and Spain, because of the contraband dealt in by English merchants in ports under Spanish domination. The subject of this difference amounted perhaps to a sum of fifty thousand pistoles a year, and the parties expended more than ten million on each side to maintain it.

Frederick-William had taken no part in all these wars. He not had furnished troops, nor received subsidies from anybody. Besides, since the attack of hydropisy that he had suffered in 1734, he lived by the art of the physicians alone. Towards the end of this year, his health weakened considerably. In this valetudinarian condition, he made a convention with France, under which he obtained the guarantee of the Duchy of Berg, with the exception of the town of Düsseldorf, and of a suburb a mile long, all along the bank of the Rhine. He contented himself much more easily to this share, because the loss of his activity made him despair of making more considerable acquisitions.

The hydropisy by which he was incommoded increased considerably; and finally, he died on 31st May 1740, with the firmness of a philosopher and the resignation of a Christian. He conserved an admirable presence of spirit up to the last moment of his life, ordering his matters in politics, examining the progress of his malady as if a physician, and triumphant in death as a hero.

In the year 1707, Frederick-William had married Sophia-Dorothy, daughter of George of Hanover, who became King of England. From this marriage were born: Frederick 2nd, who succeeded him; the three princes, Augustus-William, Ludwig-Heinrich, and Ferdinand; Wilhelmina, Margravin of Bayreuth; Frederick, Margrave of Ansbach; Charlotte, Duchess of Brunswick; Sophia, Margrave of Schwedt; Ulrika, Queen of Sweden; Amelia, abbess of Quedlinbourg.

The ministers of Frederick-William caused him to sign forty treaties or conventions, which we will dispense with reporting because of their triviality. They were so distant from the moderation of the King that they thought less of the dignity of their master than of augmenting the benefits of their employment. We have likewise passed over in silence the domestic afflictions of this great king. One must have some indulgence for the mistakes of children, in favor of the virtues of such a father.

The policy of the King was always inseparable from his justice: less occupied in expansion than in governing well what he possessed; always armed for defense, and never for the misfortune of Europe. He preferred useful things to agreeable ones. Building profusely for his subjects, and expending only the most modest sum for his own residence; circumspect in his engagements, real in his promises; austere in his ways, rigorous as to those of others; severe observer of military discipline, governing his State by the same laws as his army; he presumed such good of humanity that he pretended that his subjects were as stoic as he was.

At his death, Frederick-William left sixty-six thousand men whom he maintained by his good economy; his finances augmented, the public treasury full, and a marvelous order in all his affairs.

If it is true to say that we owe the shade of the oak which covers us, to the virtue of the acorn which produced it. All the land will agree that, in the busy life of this king and in the measures that he took with wisdom, there were found the principles of the prosperity which the royal house enjoyed after his death.

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