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sufficient to survey the aggregate without a | inquiry; and that, if any lord shall connive at minute examination of the parts.
his vassals keeping arms in their custody, his It is easy to perceive, that, if the King of village shall be reduced to ashes. Prussia's reasons be sufficient, ambition or ani- It is hard to find upon what pretence the mosity can never want a plea for violence and King of Prussia could treat the Bohemians as invasion. What he charges upon the Queen of criminals, for preparing to defend their native Hungary, the ste of country, the expulsion country, or maintaining their allegiance to their of the Bavarians, and the employment of fo- lawful sovereign against an invader, whether he reigu troops, is the unavoidable consequence of appears principal or auxiliary, whether he proa war inflamed on either side to the utmost vio- fesses to intend tranquillity or confusion. lence. All these grievances subsisted when he His progress was such as gave great hopes to made the peace, and therefore they could very the enemies of Austria : like Cæsar, he conquer. little justify its breach.
ed as he advanced, and met with no opposition It is true, that every prince of the empire is till he reached the walls of Prague. The indigobliged to support the imperial dignity, and as-nation and resentment of the Queen of Hun. sist the emperor when his rights are violated. gary may be easily conceived ; the alliance of And every subsequent contract must be under- Francfort was now laid open to all Europe ; and stood in a sense consistent with former obliga- the partition of the Austrian dominions was again
ions. Nor had the king power to make a peace publicly projected. They were to be shared on terms contrary to that constitution by which among the emperor, the King of Prussia, the he held a place among the Germanic electors. Elector Palatine, and the Landgrave of Hesse. But he could have easily discovered that not the All the powers of Europe who had dreamed of emperor but the Duke of Bavaria was the controlling France, were awakened to their forqueen's enemy, not the administrator of the immer terrors ; all that had been done was now to perial power, but the claimant of the Austrian be done again; and every court, from the Straits dominions. Nor did his allegiance to the em- of Gibralter to the Frozen Sea, was filled with peror, supposing the emperor injured, oblige him exultation or terror, with schemes of conquest to more than a succour of ten thousand men. or precautions for defence. But ten thousand men could not conquer Bohe- The king delighted with his progress, and exmia, and without the conquest of Bohemia he pecting, like other mortals elated with success, could receive no reward for the zeal and fidelity that his prosperity could not be interrupted, which he so loudly professed.
continued his march, and began in the latter end The success of this enterprise he had taken all of September the siege of Prague. He had possible precaution to secure. He was to invade gained several of the outer posts, when he was a country guarded only by the faith of treaties, informed that the convoy which attended and therefore left unarmed, and unprovided of his artillery was attacked by an unexpected party all defence. He had engaged the French to at- of the Austrians. The king went immediately tack Prince Charles, before he should repass the to their assistance with the third part of his Rhine, by which the Austrians would at least army, and found his troops put to flight, and the have been hindered from a speedy march into Austrians hasting away with his cannons : such Bohemia: they were likewise to yield him such a loss would have disabled him at once. He other assistance as he might want.
fell upon the Austrians, whose number would Relying therefore upon the promises of the not enable them to withstand him, recovered his French, he resolved to attempt the ruin of the artillery, and having also defeated Bathiani, house of Austria, and, in August 1744, broke raised his batteries ; and there being no artillery into Bohemia at the head of a hundred and to be placed against him, he destroyed a great four thousand men. When he entered the coun- part of the city. He then ordered four attacks try, he published a proclamation, promising, that to be made at once, and reduced the besieged to his army should observe the strictest discipline, such extremities, that in fourteen days the goand that those who made po resistance should vernor was obliged to yield the place. be suffered to remain in quiet in their habita- At the attack commanded by Schwerin, a gretions. He required that all arms, in the custody nadier is reported to have mounted the bastion of whomsoever they might be placed, should be alone, and to have defended himself for some time given up, and put into the hands of public offi- with his sword, till his followers mounted after
He still declared himself to act only as him; for this act of bravery, the king made him an auxiliary to the emperor, and with no other a lieutenant, and gave him a patent of nobility. design than to establish peace and tranquillity Nothing now remained but that the Austrians inroughout Germany, his dear country.
should lay aside all thought of invading France, In this proclamation there is one paragraph of and apply their whole power to their own dewhich I do not remember any precedent. He fence. Prince Charles, at the first news of the threatens, that if any peasant should be found | Prussian invasion, prepared to repass the Rhine. with arms, he shall be hanged without further This the French, according to their contract
with the king of Prussia, should have attempted of the wasted plains of their country, which to hinder; but they knew by experience the their enemies, who still kept the strong places, Austrians would not be beaten without resist- might again seize at will. At the approach of ance, and that resistance always incommodes an the Austrian army, the courage of the King of assailant. As the king of Prussia rejoiced in Prussia seemed to have failed him. He retired the distance of the Austrians, whom he consid- from post to post, and evacuated town after ered as entangled in the French territories; the town, and fortress after fortress, without reFrench rejoiced in the necessity of their return, sistance, or appearance of resistance, as if he and pleased themselves with the prospect of easy was resigning them to the rightful owners. conquests, while powers whom they considered It might have been expected that he should with equal malevolence should be employed in have made some effort to rescue Prague ; but, massacring each other.
after a faint attempt to dispnte the passage of Prince Charles took the opportunity of briglit the Elbe, he ordered his garrison of eleven thoumoonshine to repass the Rhine; and Noailles, sand men to quit the place. They left behind who had early intelligence of his motions, gave them their magazines, and heavy artillery, nim very little disturbance, but contented him- among which were seven pieces of remarkable self with attacking the rear-guard, and when excellence, called “ The Seven Electors.” But they retired to the main body ceased his pursuit. they took with them their field cannon and a
The king, upon the reduction of Prague, great number of carriages laden with stores and struck a medal, which had on one side a plan of plunder, which they were forced to leave in the town, with this inscription :
their way to the Saxons and Austrians that
harassed their march. They at last entered Si“ Prague taken by the King of Prussia, lesia with the loss of about a third part. September 16th, 1744;
The King of Prussia suffered much in bis reFor the third time in three years." treat; for besides the military stores, which be
left every where behind him, even to the clothes On the other side were two verses, in which of his troops, there was a want of provisions in he prayed, That his Conquests might produce his army, and consequently frequent desertions Peace.” He then marched forward with the and many diseases; and a soldier sick or killed rapidity which constitutes his military charac- was equally lost to a flying army. ter, took possession of almost all Bohemia, and At last he re-entered his own territories, and, began to talk of entering Austria and besieging having stationed his troops in places of security, Vienna.
returned for a time to Berlin, where he forbade The queen was not yet wholly without re- all to speak either ill or well of the campaign.
The elector of Saxony, whether in- To what end such a prohibition could convited or not, was not comprised in the union of duce, it is difficult to discover : there is no counFrankfort; and as every sovereign is growing try in which men can be forbidden to know less as his next neighbour is growing greater, what they know, and what is universally known he could not heartily wish success to a confeder- may as well be spoken. It is true, that in popacy which was to aggrandise the other powers ular governments seditious discourses may inof Germany. The Prussians gave him likewise flame the vulgar; but in such governments they a particular and imniediate provocation to op- cannot be restrained, and in absolute monarchies pose em; for, when they departed to the con- they are of little effect. quest of Bohemia, with all the elation of imagi- When the Prussians invaded Bohemia, and nary success, they passed through his dominions this whole nation was fired with resentment, with unlicensed and contemptuous disdain of the King of England gave orders in his palace bis authority. As the approach of Prince that none should mention his nephew with disCharles gave a new prospect of events, he was respect; by this command he maintained the easily persuaded to enter into an alliance with decency necessary between princes, without en. the queen, whom he furnished with a very large forcing, and probably without expecting, obebody of troops.
tience but in his own presence. The King of Prussia having left a garrison in The King of Prussia's edict regarded only Prague, which he commanded to put the burgh- himself, and therefore it is difficult to tell what ers to death if they left their houses in the night, was his motive, unless he intended to spare went forward to take the other towns and for himself the mortification of absurd and illiberal tresses, expecting, perhaps, that Prince Charles flattery, which, to a mind stung with disgrace, would be interrupted in his march; but the must have been in the highest degree painful French, though they appeared to follow him, and disgusting. either could not or would not overtake him. Moderation in prosperity is a virtue very diffi
In a short time, by marches pressed on with cult to all mortals; forbearance of revenge, when the utmost eagerness, Charles reached Bohemia, revenge is within reach, is scarcely ever to be leaving the Bavarians to regain the possession found among princes. Now was the time when
the queen of Hungary might perhaps have made clent that they all end in claiming or allowing peace on her own terms; but keenness of resent- a complete victory to the King of Prussia, who ment, and arrogance of success, withheld ber gained all the Austrian artillery, killed four from the due use of the present opportunity. thousand, took seven thousand prisoners, with It is said, that the King of Prussia in his retreat the loss, according to the Prussian narrative, of sent letters to Prince Charles, which were sup- only sixteen hundred men. posed to contain ample concessions, but were He now advanced again into Bohemia, sent back unopened. The King of England of- where, however, he made no great progress. fered likewise to mediate between them; but The Queen of Hungary, though defeated, was his propositions were rejected at Vienna, where not subdued. She poured in her troops from all a resolution was taken not only to revenge the parts to the reinforcement of Prince Charles, interruption of their success on the Rhine by and determined to continue the struggle with the recovery of Silesia, but to reward the Sax- all her power. The king saw that Bohemia ons for their seasonable help by giving them part was an unpleasing and inconvenient theatre of of the Prussian dominions.
war, in which he should be ruined by a miscarIn the beginning of the year 1745, died the riage, and should get little by a victory. SaxEmperor Charles of Bavaria ; the treaty of ony was left defenceless, and, if it was conFrancfort was consequently at an end; and the quered, might be plundered. King of Prussia, being no longer able to main- He therefore published a declaration against tain the character of auxiliary to the emperor, the Elector of Saxony, and, without waiting and having avowed no other reason for the war, for reply, invaded his dominions. This invamight have honourably withdrawn his forces, sion produced another battle at Standentz, and on his own principles bave complied with which ended, as the former, to the advantage of terms of peace; but no terms were offered him; the Prussians. The Austrians had some adthe queen pursued him with the utmost ardour vantage in the beginning; and their irregular of hostility, and the French left him to his own troops, who are always daring, and are always conduct and his own destiny.
ravenous, broke into the Prussian camp, and His Bohemian conquests were already lost; carried away the military chest. But this was and he was now chased back into Silesia, where, easily repaired by the spoils of Saxony. at the beginning of the year, the war continued The Queen of Hungary was still inflexible, in an equilibration by alternate losses and ad- and hoped that fortune would at last change. vantages. In April, the Elector of Bavaria She recruited once more her army, and preseeing his dominions overrun by the Austrians, pared to invade the territories of Brandenand receiving very little succour from the burgh; but the King of Prussia's activity preFrench, made a peace with the Queen of Hun- vented all her designs. One part of his forces gary upon easy conditions, and the Austrians seized Leipsic, and the other once more dehad more troops to employ against Prussia. feated the Saxons; the King of Poland filed
But the revolutions of war will not suffer from his dominions, Prince Charles retired into human presumption to remain long unchecked. Bohemia. The King of Prussia entered DresThe peace with Bavaria was scarcely concluded, den as a conqueror, exacted very severe contriwhen the battle of Fontenoy was lost, and all butions from the whole country, and the Austhe allies of Austria called upon her to exert her trians and Saxons were at last compelled to reutmost power for the preservation of the Lowceive from him such a peace as he would grant. Countries; and, a few days after the loss at He imposed no severe conditions except the Fontenoy, the first battle between the Prussians payment of the contributions, made no new and the combined army of Austrians and Sax- claim of dominions, and, with the Elector Paons was fought at Niedburgh, in Silesia. latine, acknowledged the Duke of Tuscany for
The particulars of this battle were variously emperor. reported by the different parties, and published The lives of princes, like the histories of nain the journals of that time; to transcribe them tions, have their periods. We shall here suswould be tedious and useless, because accounts pend our narrative of the King of Prussia, who of battles are not easily understood, and because was now at the height of human greatness, givthere are no means of determining to which of ing laws to his enemies, and courted by all the the relations credit should be given. It is suffi- powers of Europe.
Though the writer of the followings Essays* | which was soon afterwards endowed, and took seems to have had the fortune, common among the name of Pembroke-college, from the Earl men of letters, of raising little curiosity after his of Pembroke, then chancellor of the University. private life, and has, therefore, few memorials He was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of preserved of his felicities and misfortunes; yet, Arts, January 31st, 1626-7; being, as Wood because an edition of a posthumous work appears remarks, the first man of eminence graduated imperfect and neglected, without some account from the new college, to which the zeal or gratiof the author, it was thought necossary to at
tude of those that love it most can wish little tempt the gratification of that curiosity which better than that it may long proceed as it began. naturally inquires by what peculiarities of pa- Having afterwards taken his degree of Master ture or fortune eminent men have been distin- of Arts, he turned his studies to physic,* and guished, how uncommon attainments have been practised it for some time in Oxfordshire ; but gained, and what influence learning had on its soon afterwards, either induced by curiosity, or possessors, or virtue on its teachers.
invited by promises, he quitted his settlement, Sir Thomas Browne was born at London, and accompanied † his father-in-law, who had in the parish of St. Michael, in Cheapside, on some employment in Ireland, in a visitation of the 19th of October, 1605.His father was a the forts and castles, which the state of Ireland merchant, of an ancient family at Upton, in
then made necessary. Cheshire. Of the name or family of his mother He that has once prevailed on himself to break I find no account.
his connections of acquaintance, and begin a · Of his childhood or youth there is little wandering life, very easily continues it. Treknown, except that he lost his father very early; land had, at that time, very little to offer to the that he was, according to the common | fate of observation of a man of letters: he, therefore, orphans, defrauded by one of his guardians; passed † into France and Italy; made some and that he was placed for his education at the stay at Montpellier and Padua, which were school of Winchester.
then the celebrated scbools of physic; and reHis mother, having taken § three thousand turning home through Holland, procured himpounds as the third part of her husband's pro- self to be created doctor of physic at Leyden. perty, left her son, by consequence, six thou- When he began his travels, or when he consand, a large fortune for a man destined to cluded them, there is no certain account; nor learning at that time, when commerce had not do there remain any observations made by him yet filled the nation with nominal riches. But in his passage through those countries which he it happened to him, as to many others, to be visited. To consider, therefore, what pleasure made poor by opulence; for his mother soon or instruction might have been received from married Sir Thomas Dutton, probably by the the remarks of a man so curious and diligent, inducement of her fortune; and he was left to would be voluntarily to indulge a painful reflecthe rapacity of his guardian, deprived now of tion, and load the imagination with a wish, both his parents, and therefore helpless and un- which, while it is formed, is known to be vain. protected.
It is, however, to be lamented, that those who He was removed in the beginning of the year are most capable of improving mankind, very 1623, from Winchester to Oxford, || and enter- frequently neglect to communicate their knowed a gentleman-commoner of Broadgate-Hall, ledge; either because it is more pleasing to
gather ideas than to impart them, or because,
to minds naturally great, few things appear of “ Christian Morals," first printed in 1750.-H. so much importance as to deserve the notice of + Life of Sir Thomas Browne, prefixed to the An. the public. tiyuities of Norwich.
About the year 1634,4 he is supposed to have | Whitefont's character of Sir Thomas Browne, in a marginal note. Life of Sir Thomas Browne.
+ Life of Sir Thomas Browne. # Wood's Athens Oxonicnses.
returned to London; and the next year to have turned his judgment upon it, not in a letter, but written his celebrated treatise, călled “ Religio a book; in which, though mingled with some Medici,”—The religion of a physician,* which positions fabulous and uncertain, there are acute he declares himself never to have intended for remarks, just censures, and profound speculathe Press, having composed it only for his own tions ; yet its principal claim to admiration is, exercise and entertainment. It, indeed, con- that it was written in twenty-four hours, of tains many passages, which, relating merely to which part was spent in procuring Browne's his own person, can be of no great importance book, and part in reading it. to the public; but when it was written, it hap- Of these animadversions, when they were yet pened to him as to others, he was too much not all printed, either officiousness or malice inpleased with his performance, not to think that formed Dr. Browne; who wrote to Sir Keit might please others as much; he, therefore, nelm with much softness and ceremony, declarcommunicated it to his friends, and receiving, I ing the unworthiness of his work to engage such suppose, that exuberant applause with which notice, the intended privacy of the composition, every man repays the grant of perusing a manu- and the corruptions of the impression : and rescript, he was not very diligent to obstruct his ceived an answer equally genteel and respectful, own praise by recalling his papers, but suffered containing high commendations of the piece, them to wander from hand to hand, till at last, pompous professions of reverence, meek acknow. without his own consent, they were, in 1642, ledgments of inability, and anxious apologies given to a printer.
for the hastiness of his remarks. This has, perhaps, sometimes befallen others; The reciprocal civility of authors is one of the and this, I am willing to believe, did really hap- most risible scenes in the farce of life. Who pen to Dr. Browne: but there is surely some would not have thought, that these two lumi. reason to doubt the truth of the complaints so naries of their age had ceased to endeavour to frequently made of surreptitious editions. A grow bright by the obscuration of each other? song, or an epigram, may be easily printed / yet the animadversions thus weak, thus precipiwithout the author's knowledge ; because it tate, upon a book thus injured in the transcripmay be learned when it is repeated, or may be tion, quickly passed the press; and “ Religio written out with very little trouble ; but a long Medici” was more accurately published, with treatise, however elegant, is not often copied by an admonition prefixed “ to those who have or mere zeal or curiosity, but may be worn out in shall peruse the observations upon a former corpassing from hand to hand, before it is multi- rupt copy;" in which there is a severe censure, plied by a transcript. It is easy to convey an not upon Digby, who was to be used with cereimperfect book, by a distant hand, to the press, mony, but upon the observator who had usurped and plead the circulation of a false copy as an his name; nor was this invective written by excuse for publishing the true, or to correct Dr. Browne, who was supposed to be satisfied what is found faulty or offensive, and charge with his opponent's apology; but by some offi. the errors on the transcriber's depravations. cious friend, zealous for his honour, without his
This is a stratagem, by which an author pant- consent. ing for fame, and yet afraid of seeming to chal- Browne has, indeed, in his own preface, enlenge it, may at once gratify his vanity, and deavoured to secure himself from rigorous expreserve the appearance of modesty; may enter amination, by alleging, that “ many things are the lists, and secure a retreat : and this candour delivered rhetorically, many expressions merely might suffer to pass undetected as an innocent tropical, and therefore many things to be taken fraud, but that indeed no fraud is innocent; for in a soft and flexible sense, and not to be called the confidence which makes the happiness of upto the rigid test of reason." The first glance society is in some degree diminished by every upon his book will indeed discover examples of man whose practice is at variance with his this liberty of thought and expression : “1 words.
could be content (says he) to be nothing almost The “ Religio Medici" was no sooner pub- to eternity, if I might enjoy my Saviour at the blished than it excited the attention of the last." He has little acquaintance with the public, by the novelty of paradoxes, the dignity acuteness of Browne, who suspects him of a of sentiment, the quick succession of images, serious opinion, that any thing can be “almost the multitude of abstruse allusions, the subtlety eternal,” or that any time beginning and end of disquisition, and the strength of language. ing is not infinitely less than infinite duration.
What is much read will be much criticised. In this book he speaks much, and, in the opinThe Earl of Dorset recommended this book to
ion of Digby, too much of himself; but with the perusal of Sir Kenelm Digby, who re
such generality and conciseness as affords very
• Letter to Sir Kenclm Digby, prefixed to the " Religio Medici," fol. edit.
• Digby's Letter to Browne, prefixed to the “ Ren ligio Medici,” fol. edit.