DEGGENDORF, 27th MAY. "Prince de Conti, at Deggendorf [other or north bank of the Donau, Head-quarters of Conti, which was thought to be well secured by batteries and defences on the steep heights to landward], was himself suddenly attacked, the tenth day hence, 'May 27th, at daybreak,' in a still more furious manner; and was tumbled out of Deggendorf amid whirlwinds of fire, in very flamy condition indeed. The Austrians, playing on us from the uplands with their heavy artillery, made a breach in our outmost battery: 'Not tenable!' exclaimed the Captain there: 'This way, my men!'-- and withdrew, like a shot, he and party; sliding down the steep face of the mountain [feet foremost, I hope], home to Deggendorf in this peculiar manner; leaving the AUSTRIANS to manage his guns. Our two lower batteries, ruled by this upper one, had now to be abandoned; and Conti ran, Bridge of the Town-ditch breaking under him; baggages, even to his own portmanteaus, all lost; and had a neck-and-neck race of it in getting to his Donau-Bridge, and across to the safe side. With loss of everything, we say,--personal baggage all included; which latter item, Prince Karl politely returned him next day." [Espagnac, p. 188.]
Broglio, with Prince Karl in his bowels going at such a rate, may judge now whether it was wise to lie in that loose posture, scattered over two thousand square miles, and snort on his judicious Seckendorf's advices and urgencies as he did! Readers anticipate the issue; and shall not be wearied farther with detail. There are, as we said, Three Austrian Armies pressing on this luckless Bavaria and its French Protectors: Khevenhuller, from Salzburg and the southern quarter, pushing in his Dauns; Lobkowitz, hanging over us from the Ober-Pfalz (Naab-River Country) on the north; and Prince Karl, on one or sometimes on both sides of the Donau, pricking sharply into the rear of us; saying, by bayonets, burnt bridges, bomb-shells, "Off; swift; it will be better for you!" And Broglio has lost head, a mere whirlwind of flaming gases; and your ablest Comte de Saxe in such position, what can he do? Broglio writes to Versailles, That there will be no continuing in Bavaria; that he recommends an order to march homewards;--much to the surprise of Versailles.
"The Court of Versailles was much astonished at the message it got from Broglio; Court of Versailles had always calculated that Broglio could keep Bavaria; and had gone into extensive measures for maintaining him there. Experienced old Marechal de Noailles has a new French Army, 70,000 or more, assembled in the Upper Rhine for that and the cognate objects [of whom, more specially, anon]: Noailles, by order from Court, has detached 12,000, who are now marching their best, to reinforce Broglio;--and indeed the Court 'had already appointed the Generals and Staff-Officers for Broglio's Bavarian Army,' and gratified many men by promotions, which now went to smoke! [Espagnac, i. 190.]
"Versailles, however, has to expedite the order: 'Come home, then.' Order or no order, Broglio's posts are all crackling off again, bursting aloft like a chain of powder-mines; Broglio is plunging head foremost, towards Donauworth, towards Ingolstadt, his place of arms; Seckendorf now welcome to join him, but unable to do anything when joined. Blustering Broglio has no steadfastness of mind; explodes like an inflammable body, in this crackling off of the posts, and becomes a mere whirlwind of flaming gases. Old snuffling Seckendorf, born to ill success in his old days, strong only in caution, how is he to quench or stay this crackling of the posts? Broglio blusters, reproaches, bullies; Seckendorf quarrels with him outright, as he may well do: 'JARNI-BLEU, such a delirious whirlwind of a Marechal; mere bickering flames and soot!'--and looks out chiefly to keep his own skin and that of his poor Bavarians whole.
"The unhappy Kaiser has run from Munchen again, to Augsburg for some brief shelter; cannot stay there either, in the circumstances. Will he have to hurry back to Frankfurt, to bankruptcy and furnished lodgings,--nay to the Britannic Majesty's tender mercies, whose Army is now actually there? Those indignant prophesyings to Broglio, at the Schloss of Wolnzach, have so soon come true! And Broglio and the French are--what a staff to lean upon! Enough, the poor Kaiser, after doleful 'Council of War held at Augsburg, June 25th,' does on the morrow make off for Frankfurt again:--whither else? Britannic Majesty's intentions, friends tell him, friend Wilhelm of Hessen tells him, are magnanimous; eager for Peace to Teutschland; hostile only to the French. Poor Karl took the road, June 26th;--and will find news on his arrival, or before it.
"On which same day, 26th of June, as it chances, Broglio too has made his packages; left a garrison in Ingolstadt, garrison in Eger; and is ferrying across at Donauworth,--will see the Marlborough Schellenberg as he passes,--in full speed for the Rhine Countries, and the finis of this bad Business. [Adelung, iii. B. 152.] On the road, I believe at Donauworth itself, Noailles's 12,000, little foreseeing these retrograde events, met Broglio: 'Right about, you too!' orders Broglio; and speeds Rhineward not the less. And the same day of that ferrying at Donauworth, and of the Kaiser's setting out for Frankfurt, Seckendorf,--at Nieder-Schonfeld [an old Monastery near the Town of Rain, in those parts], the Kaiser being now safe away,--is making terms for himself with Khevenhuller and Prince Karl: 'Will lie quiet as mere REICHS-Army, almost as Troops of the Swabian Circle, over at Wembdingen there, in said circle, and be strictly neutral, if we can but get lived at all!' [Ib. iii. B, 153.] Seckendorf concludes on the morrow, 27th June;--which is elsewhere a memorable Day of Battle, as will be seen.
"Broglio marched in Five Divisions [Du Chatelet in the Second Division, poor soul, which was led by Comte de Saxe): [Espagnac, i. 198.] always in Five Divisions, swiftly, half a march apart; through the Wurtemberg Country;--lost much baggage, many stragglers; Tolpatcheries in multitude continually pricking at the skirts of him; Prince Karl following steadily, Rhine-wards also, a few marches behind. Here are omens to return with! 'But have you seen a retreat better managed?' thinks Broglio to himself:" that is one consoling circumstance.
In this manner, then, has the Problem of Bavaria solved itself. Hungarian Majesty, in these weeks, was getting crowned in Prag; "Queen of Bohemia, I, not you; in the sight of Heaven and of Earth!" [Crowned 12th May, 1743 (Adelung, iii. B, 128); "news of Prince Karl's having taken Braunau [incipiency of all these successes] had reached her that very morning."]--and was purifying her Bohemia: with some rigor (it is said), from foreign defacements, treasonous compliances and the like, which there had been. To see your Bavarian Kaiser, false King of Bohemia, your Broglio with his French, and the Bohemian-Bavarian Question in whole, all rolling Rhine-wards at their swiftest, with Prince Karl sticking in the skirts of them:--what a satisfaction to that high Lady!