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Parr her to reduce it lower when she pleased, if the II. should find occasion for it; and therefore thought
i t more prudent to lie by, after she had done 1741. this, till she might, by the emperor's death,
have opportunity to break the Austrian Succelfion, and avail herself of the assistance of the German princes to undertake that then, which she had no pretence to attempt during his life; and which must have inevitably drawn those very powers of Germany against her, till that event happened. Much more she could not have done without their assistance : she had sown, in all appearance, a lasting discontent between the Empire and the Maritime Powers, disuniting the only alliance that could confine her aspiring views; she had it in her power to join Lorrain to her own dominions, bringing her territories above 150 miles more forward into Germany, and adding two kingdoms to another branch of the house of Bourbon: completing at the same time, an entire influence over four Electors of the Empire, Palatine, Mentz, Triers, and Cologne; the effects of which were afterwards visibly seen, by the election of the Duke of Bavaria to the Imperial throne in the year . 1742. She was now enabled, at a much shorter warning, and with a much fuperior force to attack the Empire on the first favourable opportunity: and by declining any farther advantage for the present, she carried a fhew of moderation and voluntary abstinence, which she knew would effectually deceive those who abound and strengthen her party, by their credulity in every state of Europe. Therefore, after thus concluding a peace with the emperor in 1736, The lay diligently improving her time for the total subversion of the power of the house of Aul.
fria. The period was arrived, France beheld CHAP.
The annihilation of the house of Austria,
Part was engaged in a war with Spain, and the mini
II. stry of London retaining an unworthy timidity w of the force and menaces of France, the mini1741. stry of Versailles imagined the British govern
ment would be very parsimonious in their al-
The French minister at Vienna, during the disturbances in Silesia, continued to give the queen the strongest assurances of the good intentions of his Most Christian majesty ; though at the same time the French ministry privately, in conjunction with the Elector of Bavaria, were undermining the noble column that supported the grandeur of the house of Austria.
For this purpose, Marshal Belleifle had projected a scheme, to advance the Elector of Bavaria into the Imperial throne, and to strip the house of Austria of her hereditary dominions : it gained the approbation of the French ministry, and
the the marshal set out for Paris, authorized with CHAP. full powers, and furnished with large sums of III. money, to combine the electors, and other princes of the empire, in the views of France, 1741, The marshal, having influenced the three spiritual Electors of Triers, Mentz, and Cologne, and the Elector Palatine, to the French interest, he arrived at Munich, and waiting on the Elector of Bavaria, at his Palace of Nymphenburgh, concluded a treaty there, between the French King and the elector; whereby his majesty engaged, “ To get the elector acknowledged emperor, « and to affift him in case of opposition with his « whole force. And in return, the elector fti" pulated, if he came to the Imperial throne, " that he would never attempt to recover any. “ of the Imperial towns or provinces conquered " by France, unless the king should be inclined " to restore them; and if so, the elector was to “ re-imburle his majesty forty-five millions of " livres, for his expences in supporting the elec" tion. The elector also promised to renounce " the barrier treaty, and agreed, that whatever “ conquests France should make in the Nether“ lands, she should irrevocably keep.” To this treaty the Kings of Prussia and Poland were to be invited to accede. On which the marshal repaired to Silesia, and congratulated his Prussian majesty on his successes; and as the king caused his army to pass in review before the marshal, and treated him with high marks of distinction, probably this interview drew his Pruflian majesty's inclinations to coincide with the projects of France. The marsha! afterwards visited the court of Dresden, and' biassed the Elector of Saxony to his scheme. But the court of Versailles, to cover their perfidy with something like Ee 2
ParT a mask of decency, did not disclose the French II. harpy all at once, they counselled, advised, and
mediated for peace fake, out of a pretended con1741. cern for her Hungarian majesty ; but their modest
proposals aimed at nothing less, than to portion