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hands of public officers. He ftill declared himself to act only as an auxiliary to the emperor, and with no other defign than to eftablish peace and tranquillity throughout Germany, his dear country.
In this proclamation there is one paragraph of which I do not remember any precedent. He threatens, that, if any peafant fhould be found with arms, he fhall be hanged without further enquiry; and that, if any lord fhall connive at his vaffals keeping arms in their cuf tody, his village fhall be reduced to afhes.
It is hard to find upon what pretence the king of Pruffia could treat the Bohemians as criminals, for preparing to defend their native country, or maintain their allegiance to their lawful fovereign against an invader, whether he appears principal or auxiliary, whe ther he profeffes to intend tranquillity or confufion.
His progrefs was fuch as gave great hopes to the enemies of Auftria: like Cæfar, he conquered as he advanced, and met with no oppofition till he reached the walls of Prague. The indignation and refentment of the queen of Hungary may be cafily conceived; the alliance of Francfort was now laid open to all Europe; and the partition of the Austrian dominions was again publickly projected. They were to be fhared among the emperor, the king of Pruffia, the elector palatine, and the landgrave of Heffe. All the powers of Europe who had dreamed of controling France, were awakened to their former terrors; all that had been done was now to be done again; and every court, from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Frozen Sea, was filled with exultation or terror, with fchemes of conqueft of precautions for defence.
The king, delighted with his progrefs, and expect ing like other mortals, elated with fuccefs, that his profperity could not be interrupted, continued his march, and began in the latter end of September the fiege of Prague. He had gained feveral of the outer pofts, when he was informed that the convoy which attended his artillery was attacked by an unexpected party of the Auftrians. The king went immediately to their affiftance with the third part of his army, and found his troops put to flight, and the Auftrians hafting away with his cannons: fuch a lofs would have difabled him at once. He fell upon the Auftrians, whofe number would not enable them to withstand him, recovered his artillery, and having alfo defeated Bathiani, raised his batteries; and there being no artillery to be placed against kim, he deftroyed a great part of the city. He then ordered four attacks to be made at once, and reduced the befieged to fuch extre mities, that in fourteen days the governor was obliged to yield the place.
At the attack commanded by Schwerin, a grenadier is reported to have mounted the baftion alone, and to have defended himself for fome time with his fword, till his followers mounted after him; for this act of bravery, the king made him a lieutenant, and gave him a patent of nobility.
Nothing now remained but that the Auftrians fhould lay aide all thought of invading France, and apply their whole power to their own defence. Prince Charles, at the first news of the Pruffian invafion, prepared to repass the Rhine. This the French, according to their contract with the king of Pruffia, fhould have attempted
attempted to hinder; but they knew by experience the Auftrians would not be beaten without refiftance, and that refiftance always incommodes an affailant. As the king of Pruffia rejoiced in the distance of the Auftrians, whom he confidered as entangled in the French territories; the French rejoiced in the neceffity of their return, and pleased themselves with the profpect of eafy conquefts, while powers whom they confidered with equal malevolence should be employed in maffacring each other.
Prince Charles took the opportunity of bright moonfhine to repafs the Rhine; and Noailles, who had early intelligence of his motions, gave him very little disturbance, but contented himself with attacking the rear-guard, and when they retired to the main body ceafed his purfuit.
The king, upon the reduction of Prague, ftruck a medal, which had on one fide a plan of the town, with this inscription:
Prague taken by the King of Pruffia,
For the third time in three years."
On the other fide were two verfes, in which he prayed, "That his Conquefts might produce Peace." He then marched forward with the rapidity which constitutes his military character, took poffeffion of almost all Bohemia, and began to talk of entering Austria and befieging Vienna.
The queen was not yet wholly without refource. The elector of Saxony, whether invited or not, was not comprised in the union of Frankfort; and as every fovereign is growing lefs as his next neighbour is grow
ing greater, he could not heartily wifh fuccefs to a confederacy which was to aggrandize the other powers of Germany. The Pruffians gave him likewise a parti-: ticular and immediate provocation to oppofe them; for, when they departed to the conqueft of Bohemia, with all the elation of imaginary fuccefs, they paffed through his dominions with unlicensed and contemptueus difdain of his authority. As the approach of Prince Charles gave a new prospect of events, he was cafily perfuaded to enter into an alliance with the queen, whom he furnished with a very large body of troops.
The king of Pruffia having left a garrifon in Prague, which he commanded to put the burghers to death if they left their houses in the night, went forward to take the other towns and fortreffes, expecting, perhaps, that prince Charles would be interrupted in his march; but the French, though they appeared to follow him, either could not or would not overtake him.
In a fhort time, by marches preffed on with the utmost eagerness, Charles reached Bohemia, leaving the Bavarians to regain the poffeffion of the wafted plains of their country, which their enemies, who still kept the ftrong places, might again feize at will. At the approach of the Austrian army the courage of the king of Pruffia feemed to have failed him. He retired from poft to poft, and evacuated town after town, and fortress after fortrefs, without refiftance or appearance of refiftance, as if he was refigning them to the rightful owners.
It might have been expected that he fhould have made fome effort to rescue Prague ;, but, after a faint attempt to dispute the paffage of the Elbe, he ordered
his garrison of eleven thousand men to quit the place. They left behind them their magazines, and heavy artillery, among which were feven pieces of remarkable excellence, called "The Seven Electors." But they took with them their field cannon and a great number of carriages laden with ftores and plunder, which they were forced to leave in their way to the Saxons and Auftrians that harraffed their march. They at last entered Silefia with the lofs of about a third part.
The king of Pruffia fuffered much in his retreat, for befides the military flores, which he left every where behind him, even to the cloaths of his troops, there was a want of provifions in his army, and confequently frequent defertions and many difeafes; and a foldier fick or killed was equally loft to a flying
At laft he re-entered his own territories, and having ftationed his troops in places of fecurity, returned for a time to Berlin, where he forbad all to speak either ill or well of the campaign.
To what end fuch a prohibition could conduce, it is difficult to difcover: there is no country in which men can be forbidden to know what they know, and what is univerfally known may as well be spoken. It is true, that in popular governments feditious difcourfes may inflame the vulgar, but in fuch governments they cannot be reftrained, and in abfolute monarchies they are of little effect.
When the Pruffians invaded Bohemia, and this whole nation was fired with refentment, the king of England gave orders in his palace that none fhould mention his nephew with difrefpect; by this command he main