Page images

War. 201 when his Prussian majesty entered them sword in CHAP. hand. Her Hungarian majesty, in her answer II. to the declarations of the Prussian minister, expressed all possible regard to the friendship of 1740.

the King of Prussia, and was fure she could not · be reproached with having neglected any opportunity to cultivate it; but without the least infringement of that principle she could not help remarking, " That the band, by which all the « members of the empire were united, founded 66 upon the clearest stipulation of the golden bull, s obliges them all, to assist any one of them, “who shall be attacked in the dominions which 66 make a part in the Germanic body; and " this was in effect the substance of his Prussian " majesty's first proposal; though it did not ex• tend so far as the engagement resulting from

the guaranty of the pragmatic sanction, with “ which the whole empire was charged. The " queen gratefully acknowleged the good in" tentions of his Prussian majesty, with regard "-to the election of the 'emperor ; but as the " eleétion ought to be free, and to be made in «' the manner prescribed by the golden bull; so " she was of opinion, that nothing had a greater " tendency to obstruct it, than the disturbances " raised in the heart of the empire. She alledged, " that what his Prussian majesty had already " taken from Silesia, under pretence of subfift“ ing his troops there, added to the immense “ damage that resulted from the ruin of the « country, surpassed the two millions offered her " majesty by the King of Pruffia. Her ma“ jesty declared, that she had no manner of in“ tention to begin her reign by dismembering her: “ dominions, and thought herself obliged in " honour and conscience to maintain the prag. Vol. I.


" matic'

[ocr errors]

Part 6 matic. sanction against any infraction of it's

II. ". and from thence it followed, that she could

w " not consent to the entire cession of Silesia, or of 1740. 66 any part of that duchy. Nevertheless she was

66 still ready to renew the sincerest friendship so with the King of Prussia, provided it might co be done without such infraction of the prag6 matic sanction, and on the Prussian troops « immediately retiring from her dominions,

And that this, in her majesty's opinion, was " the only method consistent with equity and * justice, with the fundamental laws of the em. « pire, with the public welfare, and the bal66 lance of power in Europe ; and was conse6. quently the only step that could be conducive ço to the true glory of his Pruffian majesty. The " Queen most earnestly, intreated his Pruffian «6 majesty to embrace this method, and conjured « him to it by all the considerations that might “ possibly make an impresfion upon the heart of şi a great prince.” .

Possibly the refusal of the Queen of Hun. gary, might have been animated on the great confidence she reposed in the assistance of his Britannic majesty ; since in compensation for a release of part of Silesia, and to the restoration of a part of that duchy his Prussian majesty had an indisputable right, the king offered his whole force to continue her Hungarian majesty in poffeffion of all the other dominions she inherited from her father, together with his whole interest to set the grand duke upon the Imperial throne; which was a proposal of the highest consequence, and worthy of the niolt ready acceptance; but as it was then heard with reluctance, so the court of Vienna had afterwards an occasion of condenining their own obstinacy,

and and after feeling the force of fo puiffant an ene-CHAP. my, at last found themselves obliged to purchase II. his friendship on feverer terms than what he had a formerly proposed.

: 1740. His Pruffian majesty immediately dispatched letters in justification of his conduct to the diet at Ratisbon, and to his minifters residing at foreign courts, representing, “ That his troops had not “ entered Silesia with any ill intention, but only " to secure from imminent danger his incontesti“ ble right to that duchy. That he had no de" sign to prejudice any person, much less the “ archiducal family of Austria, of which he « would give convincing proofs to all the world: " that he would do his utmost to maintain the s conftitutions of the empire, and should be “ glad to employ his forces to preserve the " rights, liberties, and privileges of all its mem“bers and states entire; and that the empire in “ general might be secured against any man“ ner of invasion, and furnished with a worthy so head.”

The exercise of his Prussian majesty's, pen did not retard the preparations for the use of his Sword. As he had made a considerable progress in Silesia without any opposition, he published a manifesto, "Affuring the inhabitants of his fa« vour and good will: and that by reason of the 66 extinction of the male line in the house of Auf" tria, that family was exposed to many fad "events, some of which had already manifested " themselves, and others were on the point of “ burfting out like a general conflagration, “ wherein the duchy of Silesia might happen to “ be involved, the preservation and prosperity “ of which his majesty always had the more at “ heart, because it served as a bulwark for his C C 2


PART " security, and that of his dominions in the em

II. " pire, and to prevent such as thought they had u " a rightful claim to the hereditary dominions 1740. 66 of the house of Austria from invading Silesia,

" he had been obliged to march his forces into 66 this duchy, to cover it against any attack: 66 and as by so doing, he had no manner of in" tention to prejudice or disoblige the Queen of « Hungary, with whom he had resolved, and or earnestly wilhed, to maintain a strict friend. 66 Thip, as well as with all the Austrian family,

and after the example of his predeceffors to “ contribute to their true intereft and preserva" tion. Therefore the inhabitants of Silesia " might be assured, that they had no hoftility 6 to fear either from him or his troops; but " that on the contrary, they should find the full “ effects of his royal protection and powerful “ support, by being maintained in the enjoy"ment of their lawful rights and privileges. • And his majesty firmly trusted, that these " gracious offers and declarations, would make " them cautious of doing or attempting any " thing, in any manner whatsoever against his “ majesty, and of undertaking any thing that 66 might oblige him hereafter, against his will,

to have a recourse to other measures, which “ might be attended with such fatal conse56 quences as they could thank none but them“ felves for.”

To oppose the effects of this manifesto, the Count Schaffgotsch, director of the regency of Silesta, published a counter declaracion, “ That “ as the queen was persuaded that the King of 66 Pruflia might have been induced to take this * step by the advice of some evil-minded persons, $ The hoped from the equity of that prince, that

6 he would not deny to withdraw his troops; CHAP.
o and that if his Prussian majesty refufed to do II.
“ fo, the queen declared to her own subjects, m
" and to those of foreign powers who had any 1740.
" mortgage upon Silesia, that she could not
« take upon her to answer the evil consequences
66 which might result therefrom; protesting,
" that she never intended to consent to the in-
" troducing any innovations in the duchy of Si-
« lesia.”

THE Hungarian forces in Silesia were too in-
considerable to oppose the rapid progress of his
Pruffian majesty; and as very few of the towns
were fortified, his army met with no opposition
in their march, till they approached Great Glo-
gaw, a strong city on the Oder, near the con-
fines of Poland, where Count Wenceslaws Wal-
lis commanded a small Austrian garrison, and
refused the Prussians admittance, resolving to
defend the place to the last extremity. There-
fore the King of Prussia, thinking it necessary to
get to Breslau, the capital of Silesia, as soon as
possible, left a body of his troops under the com-
mand of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau, to
form the blockade of Glogaw, and proceeded
with the main body of his army, consisting of
about 25,000 men, to Breslau. On the 22d
of December, his majesty entered that city, at-
tended by only thirty of his life-guards, where
he was received with great demonstrations of joy.
He immediately promised the inhabitants that
they should enjoy all their antient privileges, par-
ticularly that of not having a garrison in their
city ; upon condition however that his troops
should have a free passage through the city, that
they should lodge in the suburbs, be allowed to
erect magazines chere, and that the city should


[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »