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adventures, our sea-nymphs and wood-nymphs, led by Britannia

time:2023-11-29 12:33:09Classification:controlsource:muv

The old Kur-Mainz, namely, had just died; and there was a new "Chief Spiritual Kurfurst" to be elected by the Canons there. Kur-Mainz is Chairman of the Reich, an important personage, analogous to Speaker of the House of Commons; and ought to be,--by no means the Kaiser's young Brother, as the French and Kaiser are proposing; but a man with Austrian leanings;--say, Graf von Ostein, titular DOM-CUSTOS (Cathedral Keeper) here; lately Ambassador in London, and known in select society for what he is. Not much of an Archbishop, of a Spiritual or Chief Spiritual Herr hitherto; but capable of being made one,--were the Pragmatic Army at his elbow! It was on this errand that the Pragmatic Army had come hither, or come so early, and with their plans still unripe. And truly they succeeded; got their Ostein chosen to their mind: ["21st March, 1743," Mainz vacant; "22d April," Ostein elected (Adelung, iii. B, 113, 121).] a new Kur-Mainz,--whose leanings and procedures were very manifest in the sequel, and some of them important before long. This was always reckoned one result of his Britannic Majesty's Pragmatic Campaign;--and truly some think it was, in strict arithmetic, the only one, though that is far from his Majesty's own opinion.

adventures, our sea-nymphs and wood-nymphs, led by Britannia


adventures, our sea-nymphs and wood-nymphs, led by Britannia

Friedrich, at an early stage, had inquired of his Britannic Majesty, politely but with emphasis, "What in the world he meant, then, by invading the German Reich; leading foreign Armies into the Reich: in this unauthorized manner?" To which the Britannic Majesty had answered, with what vague argument of words we will not ask, but with a look that we can fancy,--look that would split a pitcher, as the Irish say! Friedrich persisted to call it an Invasion of the German Reich; and spoke, at first, of flatly opposing it by a Reich's Army (30,000, or even 50,000, for Brandenburg's contingent, in such case); but as the poor Reich took no notice, and the Britannic Majesty was positive, Friedrich had to content himself with protest for the present. [Friedrich's Remonstrance and George's Response are in Adelung, iii. B, 132 (date, "March, 1743"); date of Friedrich's first stirring in the matter is "January, 1743," and earlier (ib. p. 37, p. 8, &c.).]

adventures, our sea-nymphs and wood-nymphs, led by Britannia

The exertions of Friedrich to bring about a Peace, or at least to diminish, not increase, the disturbance, are forgotten now; wearisome to think of, as they did not produce the smallest result; but they have been incessant and zealous, as those of a man to quench the fire which is still raging in his street, and from which he himself is just saved. "Cannot the Reich be roused for settlement of this Bavarian-Austrian quarrel?" thought Friedrich always. And spent a great deal of earnest endeavor in that direction; wished a Reich's ARMY OF MEDIATION; "to which I will myself furnish 30,000; 50,000, if needed." Reich, alas! The Reich is a horse fallen down to die,--no use spurring at the Reich; it cannot, for many months, on Friedrich's Proposal (though the question was far from new, and "had been two years on hand"), come to the decision, "Well then, yes; the Reich WILL try to moderate and mediate:" and as for a Reich's Mediation-ARMY, or any practical step at all [The question had been started, "in August, 1741," by the Kaiser himself; "11th March, 1743," again urged by him, after Friedrich's offer; "10th May, 1743," "Yes, then, we will try; but--" and the result continued zero.]--!

"Is not Germany, are not all the German Princes, interested to have Peace?" thinks Friedrich. "A union of the independent German Princes to recommend Peace, and even with hand on sword-hilt to command it; that would be the method of producing Treaty of Peace!" thinks he always. And is greatly set on that method; which, we find, has been, and continues to be, the soul of his many efforts in this matter. A fact to be noted. Long poring in those mournful imbroglios of Dryasdust, where the fraction of living and important welters overwhelmed by wildernesses of the dead and nugatory, one at length disengages this fact; and readers may take it along with them, for it proves illuminative of Friedrich's procedures now and afterwards. A fixed notion of Friedrich's, this of German Princes "uniting," when the common dangers become flagrant; a very lively notion with him at present. He will himself cheerfully take the lead in such Union, but he must not venture alone. [See Adelung, iii. A and B, passim; Valori, i. 178; &c. &c.]

The Reich, when appealed to, with such degree of emphasis, in this matter,--we see how the Reich has responded! Later on, Friedrich tried "the Swabian Circle" (chief scene of these Austrian-Bavarian tusslings); which has, like the other Circles, a kind of parliament, and pretends to be a political unity of some sort. "Cannot the Swabian Circle, or Swabian and Frankish joined (to which one might declare oneself PROTECTOR, in such case), order their own Captains, with military force of their own, say 20,000 men, to rank on the Frontier; and to inform peremptorily all belligerents and tumultuous persons, French, Bavarian, English, Austrian: 'No thoroughfare; we tell you, No admittance here!'" Friedrich, disappointed of the Reich, had taken up that smaller notion: and he spent a good deal of endeavor on that too,--of which we may see some glimpse, as we proceed. But it proves all futile. The Swabian Circle too is a moribund horse; all these horses dead or moribund.

Friedrich, of course, has thought much what kind of Peace could be offered by a mediating party. The Kaiser has lost his Bavaria: yet he is the Kaiser, and must have a living granted him as such. Compensations, aspirations, claims of territory; these will be manifold! These are a world of floating vapor, of greed, of anger, idle pretension: but within all these there are the real necessities; what the case does require, if it is ever to be settled! Friedrich discerns this Austrian-Bavarian necessity of compensation; of new land to cut upon. And where is that to come from!

In January last, Friedrich, intensely meditating this business, had in private a bright-enough idea: That of secularizing those so-called Sovereign Bishoprics, Austrian-Bavarian by locality and nature, Passau, Salzburg, Regensburg, idle opulent territories, with functions absurd not useful;--and of therefrom cutting compensation to right and to left. This notion he, by obscure channels, put into the head of Baron von Haslang, Bavarian Ambassador at London; where it germinated rapidly, and came to fruit;--was officially submitted to Lord Carteret in his own house, in two highly artistic forms, one evening;--and sets the Diplomatic Heads all wagging upon it. [Adelung, iii. B, 84, 90, "January- March, 1743."] With great hope, at one time; till rumor of it got abroad into the Orthodox imagination, into the Gazetteer world; and raised such a clamor, in those months, as seldom was. "Secularize, Hah! One sees the devilish heathen spirit of you; and what kind of Kaiser, on the religious side, we now have the happiness of having!" So that Kaiser Karl had to deny utterly, "Never heard of such a thing!" Carteret himself had, in politeness, to deny; much more, and for dire cause, had Haslang himself, over the belly of facts, "Never in my dreams, I tell you!"--and to get ambiguous certificate from Carteret, which the simple could interpret to that effect. [Carteret's Letter (ibid. iii, B, 190).]


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