"HILGARTSBERG (Deggendorf Donau-Country), MAY 28th. D'Harcourt and Thorring, after junction at Donauworth several weeks ago, and a good deal of futile marching up and down in those Donau Countries, --on the left bank, for most part; Khevenhuller holding stiffly, as usual, by the Inn, the Iser, and the rivers and countries on the right,--did at last, being now almost within sight of Passau and that important valley of the Inn across yonder, seriously decide to have a stroke at Passau, and to dislodge Khevenhuller, who is weak in force, though obstinate. They perceive that there is, on this left bank, a post in the woods, Castle of Hilgartsberg, none of the strongest Castles, rather a big Country Mansion than a Castle, which it will be necessary first to take. They go accordingly to take it (May 28th, having well laid their heads together the day before); march through intricate wet forest country, peat above all abundant; see the Castle of Hilgartsberg towering aloft, picturesque object in the Donau Valley, left bank;--are met by cannon-shot, case-shot, shot of every kind; likewise by Croats apparently innumerable, by cavalry sabrings and levelled bayonets; do not behave too well, being excessively astonished; and are glad to get off again, leaving one of their guns lodged in the mud, and about a hundred unfortunate men. [
Kaiser Karl begins to have real thoughts of recalling this Thorring, who is grown so very AUDIBLE, altogether home; and of appointing Seckendorf instead. A course which Belleisle has been strongly recommending for some time. Seckendorf is at present "gathering meal in the Ober-Pfalz" (Upper Palatinate, road from Ingolstadt to Eger, to Bohmen generally), that is, forming Magazines, on the Kaiser's behalf there: "Surely a likelier man than your Thorring!" urges Belleisle always. With whom the Kaiser does finally comply; nominates Seckendorf commander,--recalls the invaluable Thorring!" to his services in our Cabinet Council, which more befit his great age." In which safe post poor Thorring, like a Drum NOT beaten upon, has thenceforth a silent life of it; Seckendorf fighting in his stead,--as we shall have to witness, more or less.
Khevenhuller's is a changed posture, since he stood in Vienna, eight or nine months ago; grimly resolute, drilling his "6,000 of garrison," with the wheelbarrows all busy!--But her Hungarian Majesty's chief success, which is now opening into outlooks of a quite triumphant nature, has been that over the New Oriflamme itself, the Belleisle-Broglio Army,--most sweet to her Majesty to triumph over! Shortly after Chotusitz, shortly after that Pharsalia of a Sahay, readers remember Belleisle's fine Project, "Conjoined attack on Budweis, and sweeping of Bohemia clear;"--readers saw Belleisle, in the Schloss of Maleschau, 5th June last, rushing out (with violence to his own wig, says rumor); hurrying off to Dresden for co-operation; equally in vain. "Co-operation, M. le Marechal; attack on Budweis?"--Here is another Fragment:--
HOW BELLEISLE, RETURNING FROM DRESDEN WITHOUT CO-OPERATION, FOUND THE ATTACK HAD BEEN DONE,--IN A FATALLY REVERSE WAY. PRAG EXPECTING SIEGE. COLLOQUY WITH BROGLIO ON THAT INTERESTING POINT. PRAG BESIEGED.
BUDWEIS, JUNE 4th,-PRAG, JUNE 13th. "Broglio, ever since that Sahay [which had been fought so gloriously on Frauenberg's account], lay in the Castle of Frauenberg, in and around,--hither side of the Moldau river, with his Pisek thirty miles to rear, and judicious outposts all about. There lay Broglio, meditating the attack on Budweis [were co-operation once here],--when, contrariwise, altogether on the sudden, Budweis made attack on Broglio; tumbled him quite topsy-turvy, and sent him home to Prag, uncertain which end uppermost; rolling like a heap of mown stubble in the wind, rather than marching like an army!" ... Take one glance at him:--
"JUNE 4th, 1742 [day BEFORE that of Belleisle's "Wig" at Maleschau, had Belleisle known it!]--Prince Karl, being now free of the Prussians, and ready for new work, issued suddenly from Budweis; suddenly stept across the Moldau,--by the Bridge of Moldau-Tein, sweeping away the French that lay there. Prince Karl swept away this first French Post, by the mere sight and sound of him; swept away, in like fashion, the second and all following posts; swept Broglio himself, almost without shot fired, and in huge flurry, home to Prag, double-quick, night and day,--with much loss of baggage, artillery, prisoners, and total loss of one's presence of mind. 'Poor man, he was born for surprises' [said Friedrich's Doggerel long ago]! Manoeuvred consummately [he asserts] at different points, behind rivers and the like; but nowhere could he call halt, and resolutely stand still. Which undoubtedly he could and should have done, say Valori and all judges;--nothing quite immediate being upon him, except the waste-howling tagraggery of Croats, whom it had been good to quench a little, before going farther. On the third night, June 7th, he arrived at Pisek; marched again before daybreak, leaving a garrison of 1,200,--who surrendered to Prince Karl next day, without shot fired. Broglio tumbling on abead, double-quick, with the tagraggery of Croats continually worrying at his heels, baggage-wagons sticking fast, country people massacring all stragglers, panted home to Prag on the 13th; with 'the Gross of the Army saved, don't you observe!' And thinks it an excellent retreat, he if no one-else. [
"At Pisek, Prince Karl has ceased chasing with his regulars, the pace being so uncommonly swift. From Pisek, Prince Karl struck off towards Pilsen, there to intercept a residue of Harcourt reinforcements who were coming that way: from Broglio, who knew of it, but in such flurry could not mind it, he had no hindrance; and it was by good luck, not management of Broglio's, that these poor reinforcements did in part get through to him, and in part seek refuge in Eger again. Broglio has encamped under the walls of Prag; in a ruinous though still blusterous condition; his positions all gone; except Prag and Eger, nothing in Bohemia now his."
PRAG, 17th JUNE-17th AUGUST. "It is in this condition that Belleisle, returning from the Kuttenberg-Dresden mission (June 15th), finds his Broglio. Most disastrous, Belleisle thinks it; and nothing but a Siege in Prag lying ahead; though Broglio is of different opinion, or, blustering about his late miraculous retreat, and other high merits too little recognized, forms no opinion at all on such extraneous points. ... From Versailles, they had auswered Belleisle: 'Nothing to be made of Dresden either, say you? Then go you and take the command at Prag; send Broglio to command the Bavarian Army. See, you, what can be done by fighting.' On this errand Belleisle is come, the heavy-laden man, and Valori with him,--if, in this black crisis, Valori could do anything. Valori at least reports the colloquy the Two Marshals had [one bit of colloquy, for they had more than one, though as few as possible; Broglio being altogether blusterous, sulphurous, difficult to speak with on polite terms]. [Valori, i. 162-166;