"Yesterday [3d July, 1742] General Campbell's Regiment of Scotch Greys arrived in the Borough of Southwark, on their march to Dover, where they are to embark for Flanders. They are fine hardy fellows, that want no seasoning; and make an appearance agreeable to all but the innkeepers,"--who have such billeting to do, of late. [
"But, all through those hot days, it is a universal drumming, kettle-drumming, coast-ward; preparation of transports at Gravesend, at the top of one's velocity. 'All the coopers in London are in requisition for water-casks, so that our very brewers have to pause astonished for want of tubs.' There is pumping in of water day and night, Sunday not excepted, then throwing of it out again [owing to new circumstances]: 250 saddle-horses, and 100 sumpter ditto, for his Majesty's own use,--these need a deal of water, never to speak of Ligonier and the Greys. 'For the honor of our Country, his Majesty will make a grander appearance this Campaign than any of his Predecessors ever did; and as to the magnificence of his equipage,'--besides the 350 quadrupeds, 'there are above 100 rich portmanteaus getting ready with all expedition.' [
"And so, from May on to September, it noisily proceeds, at multiplex rates? and often with more haste than speed: and in such five months (seven, strictly counted) of clangorous movement and dead-lift exertion, there were veritably got across, of Horse and Foot with their equipments, the surprising number of '16,334 men.' [Adelung, iii. A, 201.] May 20th it began,--that is, the embarking began; the noise and babble about it, which have been incessant ever since, had begun in February before;--and on September 26th, Ostend, now almost weary of huzzaing over British glory by instalment, had the joy of seeing our final portions of Artillery arrive: Such a Park of Siege-and-Field Artillery," exults the Gazetteer, "as"--as these poor creatures never dreamt of before.
"Magnanimous Lord Stair, already Plenipotentiary to the Dutch, is to be King's General-in-Chief of this fine Enterprise; Carteret, another Lord of some real brilliancy, and perhaps of still weightier metal, is head of the Cabinet; hearty, both of them, for these Anti-French intentions: and the Public cannot but think, Surely something will come of it this time? More especially now that Maillebois, about the middle of August, by a strange turn of fortune, is swept out of the way. Maillebois, lying over in Westphalia with his 30 or 40,000, on 'Check to your King' this year past, had, on sight of these Anti-Dunkirk movements, been ordered to look Dunkirk way, and at length to move thitherward, for protection of Dunkirk. So that Stair, before his Dunkirk business, will have to fight Maillebois; which Stair doubts not may be satisfactorily done. But behold, in August and earlier, come marvellous news from the Prag quarter, tragical to France; and Maillebois is off, at his best speed, in the reverse direction; on a far other errand!"--Of which readers shall soon hear enough.
"Dunkirk, therefore, is now open. With 16,000 British troops, Hanoverians to the like number, and Hessians 6,000, together near 40,000, not to speak of Dutch at all, surely one might manage Dunkirk, if not something still better? It is AFTER Maillebois's departure that these dreadful exertions, coopering of water-casks, pumping all Sunday, go on at Gravesend: 'Swift, oh, be swift, while time is!' And Generalissimo-Plenipotentiary Stair, who has run over beforehand, is ardent enough upon the Dutch; his eloquence fiery and incessant: 'Magnanimous High Mightinesses, was there, will there again be, such a chance? The Cause of Human Liberty may be secured forever! Dunkirk--or what is Dunkirk even? Between us and Paris, there is nothing, now that Maillebois is off on such an errand! Why should not we play Marlborongh again, and teach them a little what Invasion means? It is ourselves alone that can hinder it! Now, I say, or never!'
"Stair was a pupil of Marlborough's; is otherwise a shining kind of man; and has immense things in his eye, at this time. They say, what is not unlikely, he proposed an Interview with Friedrich now at Aachen; would come privately, to 'take the waters' for a day or two,--while Maillebois was on his new errand, and such a crisis had risen. But Friedrich, anxious to be neutral and give no offence, politely waived such honor. Lord Stair was thought to be something of a General, in fact as well as in costume;--and perhaps he was so. And had there been a proper COUNTESS of Stair, or new Sarah Jennings,--to cover gently, by art-magic, the Britannic Majesty and Fat Boy under a tub; and to put Britain, and British Parliament and resources, into Stair's hand for a few years,--who knows what Stair too might have done! A Marlborough in the War Arts,--perhaps still less in the Peace ones, if we knew the great Marlborough,--he could not have been. But there is in him a recognizable flash of magnanimity, of heroic enterprise and purpose; which is highly peculiar in that sordid element. And it can be said of him, as of lightning striking ineffectual on the Bog of Allen or the Stygian Fens, that his strrngth was never tried."--For the upshot of him we will wait; not very long.
These are fine prospects, if only the Dutch prove hoistable. But these are as nothing to what is passing, and has passed, in the Eastern Parts, in the Bohemian-Bavarian quarter, since we were there. Poor Kaiser Karl, what an outlook for him! His own real Bavaria, much more his imaginary "Upper Austria" and "Conquests on the Donau," after that Segur Adventure, are plunging headlong. As to his once "Kingdom of Bohemia," it has already plunged; nay, the Army of the Oriflamme is itself near plunging, in spite of that Pharsalia of a Sahay! Bavaria itself, we say, is mostly gone to Khevenhuller; Segur with his French on march homeward, and nothing but Bavarians left. Thz Belleisle-Broglio grand Budweis Expedition is gone totally heels over head; Belleisle and Broglio are getting, step by step, shut up in Prag and besieged there: while Maillebois--Let us try whether, by snatching out here a fragment and there a fragment, with chronological and other appliances, it be not possible to give readers some conceivable notion of what Friedrich was now looking at with such interest!--
HOW DUC D'HARCOURT, ADVANCING TO REINFORCE THE ORIFLAMME, HAD TO SPLIT HIMSELF IN TWO; AND BECOME AN "ARMY OF BAVARIA," TO LITTLE EFFECT.