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Cornell Unlveralty Library 

DD 801.B376T28 

Frederic the Great and Kaiser Josepti: 

3 1924*028 387 581 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

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The following study had its origin nearly five 
years ago at the Record Office. Incidentally 
I happened to have occasion to refer to some un- 
pubhshed despatches from Berhn and Vienna 
in the years 1776-79. As I read them I per- 
ceived that the attitude of English statesmen 
towards Berlin was a relatively impartial and 
detached one, and that the incidents relating 
to the Bavarian Succession involved nearly 
all the typical elements of eighteenth century 
diplomacy : the intense personal influence of 
ralers, naked aggression veiled by genealogical 
pedantry, the struggle for the " balance of 
power," the assertion of raison (Vetat as a plea 
for all crimes, the rapier play of contending 
forces, the ruthless crushing of small or neutral 
Powers by the military aggression of larger ones. 
In a word, here was an episode of war and 
diplomacy which seemed to nje to have great 
typical significance. Clausewitz maintained 
that, in war, more could bfe learnt from a 
detailed study of a few operations than from a 


broad general knowledge. I believe the same 
can be said of diplomacy in this instance, and 
it is greatly to be regretted that Carlyle, in his 
great study of Frederic, practically laid down 
his pen after 1763. 

The view taken by English diplomatists of 
the events of 1776-79 was, on the whole, a 
detached and impartial one, for it was to the 
interest of England to be neutjal. In previous 
years she had been very hostile to Frederic, but 
now she became reconciled. Hence in these 
few years the English diplomatic despatches 
have something of the value which Ranke has 
claimed for those of Venice at an earlier date. 
They seize the central line of diplomatic tend- 
ency and show the direction in which Europe 
as a whole was moving. Ev=ery other source 
— ^French, German, Russian, Austrian, Saxon, 
Bavarian — ^has been explored by one foreign 
historian or another, but the Enghsh comment 
still remained practically unknown to them. 
It seems to me that these despatches complete 
the picture and place the episodes of the time 
in their true relation to one another. 

The despatches of Keith, Harris, and Elliot 
abound in vivid portraiture and characteriza- 
tion. All of them have passages which hght 
up even the dreariest byways of diplomacy 
with a flash of wit or insight. Each studied 
his sovereigns carefully, and there are no more 
striking characterizations of the great person- 


alitics or events of the period than Harris's 
brilliant sketch of Frederic and Catherine, or 
Elliot's indictment of Bavarian foreign poHcy. 
Keith is a more sober writer but not without 
humour and satire, and the interview in which 
he relates how Kaiser Joseph told him his 
opinions of Catherine shoWs considerable 
hterary art. Nor can any despatches be more 
interesting than the little touches by which 
he gradually builds up a full-lpngth portrait of 
Kaiser Joseph — that most unfortunate and 
fascinating of Austrian rulers. 

The moment at which this book appears, and 
the subject-matter which it tfeats, lay it open 
to the charge of being written for the occasion. 
As the reader may easily find a dozen curious 
analogies between the Prussian militarism of 
the great Frederic and that of* his imitator and 
successor, it may be well to forestall criticism. 
The book itself has been written for some time, 
but the need of verifying details from the 
enormous mass of monographic literature and 
of constructing a proper apparatits critici 
has delayed its appearance until now. But 
the process was largely a technical one, and 
the amendments purely those of detail and 
minutiae. In point of fact all the chapters 
except the last were written in the Royal 
Library at Berlin more than three years ago. 
At that moment I was enjoying the great 
facilities to historical students afforded by the 


Prussian Government, and was deeply conscious 
of my obligations to German scholarship. Under 
such circumstances the opinions that were then 
expressed were not likely to be biased by any 
views that may be prevalent in 1914. 

One word more : it has never seemed to me 
the business of the historian to be non-moral 
any more than it shovJd be his pleasure to be 
dull. But where I have pronounced judgment 
I have tried to give my reasons for so doing, 
and to give ample references to contrary 
opinions. I have sought also to give a truthful 
presentation of the episodes selected for treat- 
ment, with the comment of relatively detached 
contemporaries, and the criticism of modern 

My best thanks are due to the Marquess of 
Lansdowne for permission to pubUsh General 
Burgoyne's valuable report on the Prussian 
and Austrian military systems, of which two 
copies are in the MSS. at Lansdowne House. 
The poem in Appendix III.- is from an old 
Czechish broadside, preserved in the National 
Czechish Museum at Caslar, and lent to me 
for purposes of translation by the curator. 
Dr. Felix Kalm. I have to thank my old 
friend Professor Henrik Marczali for the gift of 
a valuable original manuscript, written in 1780 
by Francis Katalay, the confessor of Kaiser 
Joseph, which throws considerable light on the 
Emperor's personal character. 


My general acknowledgments to friends are 
so great tliat I must make many in the mass. 
I should like, however, to select first and lore- 
most Sir A. \V. \Vard, Master of my own College, 
for the patience and care with which he read 
the proofs and for invaluable criticism and 
comment. I have to acknowledge much assist- 
ance from those in other lands, most of all from 
Professor Henrik Marczali of ihe University of 
Budapest ; from Professor Paul Mitrofanov 
of the University of Petrograd ; from Professor 
Delbriick of the University of BerUn, and from 
Professor R. H. Lord of Harvard University, 
U.S.A. I owe much also to encouragement or 
advice given me by Professor J*. B. Bury, by Mr. 
G. P. Gooch, by Mr. D. A. Winstanley, Fellow 
of Trinity College ; my old pupils, Mr. J. E, S. 
Green, now Fellow of Trinity Hall, and Miss 
Kate Hotblack, late of Girton College. To 
Mr. W. F. Reddaway, the Censor of Non- 
Collegiate Students at Cambridge and bio- 
grapher of Frederic the Great'; I owe my first 
stimulus and interest in the Prussian King, 
which came to me as we tramped his Silesian 
battlefields together. 

In the purely military part of my study I 
have to acknowledge my obligations to my 
brother, Captain A. C. Temperley, now Brigade- 
Major to the New Zealand ExjJeditionary Force. 
The study of the Prussian military system, the 
account of the Frederician strategy, and the 


narrative and criticism of the campaign of 
1778 raised problems which are still of con- 
siderable interest and which could only be 
attempted with the aid of practical military 
experience. It is I hope needless to repeat that 
this advice was given without reference to 
present events, and was in fact embodied in a 
memorandum now more than three years old. 
While expressing my great obligations to all 
those who have aided me, I should like to make 
it clear that they must in no way be held re- 
sponsible for any statements contained in this 
little book. 

Lieut. Fife and Forfar Yeomanry Reserve Regiment. 

Nov. 21, 1914. 



Preface ....... vii-xii 

I. Introduction to Eighteenth. Century 

Diplomacy ..... 1-12 

Its motives and aims — Importance of commerce — 
" The balances of trade and of pow^r." 

II. Austria and Prussia (1763-77) . . 13-48 

Prussian Internal Resources (pp. ll-23). — Results 
of the " Seven Years' War " — Personal character of 
Frederic — As " Philosophic Despot " — Evils of his 

Austrian Internal Resources (pp. 23-^6). — Diversity 
of peoples — Reforms in finance — Character of the 
" Three Kings of Vienna," Maria Theresa, Prince ' 
Kaunitz, Kaiser Joseph — Reforming efforts of 

TJie Diplomatic Situation (1763-77), pp. 36-48. 
— The Polish problem — Frederic's Treaty with 
Catherine (1764) — His meetings with, Joseph (1769- 
1770) — Austrian claims on Poland — Frederic's 
remedy— The " Partition of Poland " — Value of 
acquisitions to the partitioning Powers — Joseph 
annexes Bukovina — Will he annex ^avaria ? 

III. Bavaria before the Storm (1763-77) . 40-80 

(1) The Last Elector of Bavaria arid his Rule (pp. 
49-72).— Mcdiacvalisra of Bavaria — Hugh Elliot's 
report on (1776) criticism of Max Joseph — Max 
Joseph's reforms and enlightenment — Hugh P^lliot 
OD his foreign policy — Joseph's designs on Bavaria — 



Austrian intrigues in Munich : Max Joseph's hatred 
of, and attempts to subvert — Death of Max 
Joseph, December 30, 1778. 

(2) Claim and Counterclaim on the Inheritance of 
Max Joseph (pp. 72-80). — Keith and EUiot on prob- 
able claimants to Bavaria — History of Karl Theodor's 
rights — Claims of Joseph — ^Max Joseph's attempts 
to multiply them, 

IV. The Stobm Bubsts .... 81-112 

Effects of Max Joseph's death. 

Kaiser Joseph (pp. 83-95). — Kaunitz negotiates 
the Partition-Treaty of January 3 with Ritter — 
Karl Theodor accepts it — Maria Theresa's deUght — 
Joseph's hopes of France — ^Louis XVI. and Ver- 
gennes refuse to recognize a casus . foederis — Con- 
sternation at Vienna. 

King Frederic (pp. 95-112). — ^Frederic and Hugh 
Elliot — The Alliance with Saxony — Frederic decides 
on war. 

V. The Plum and Potato War . , . 113-150 

The reorganization of the Austrian'army by Lasey 
and Kaiser Joseph — ^Prince Henry of Prussia as a 
general — The Frederician strategy — The Austrian 
plan of defence in 1778 — ^Laudon's proposal to crush 

The Western Campaign (pp. 125-134). — Prince 
Henry advances and seizes ToUenstein (July 31) — 
Laudoa's hurried retreat. 

The Eastern Campaign (pp. 135-14?). — ^Frederic's 
advance (July S) — His refusal to force the Austrian 
Unes — Retreat of the two Prussian armies — Criti- 
gsm of Frederic and Prince Henry, and of Laudon — 
Credit due to Kaiser Joseph and to Lascy-CLord 
Sydenham on the strategic importance of the 
" Plum War-'J 

VI. A Neutral State in an Eighteenth Century 
War: Bavaria during and after the 
War (1778-79) .... 151-175 

Unfortunate position of Bavaria — Character of 
Kari Theodor— His first appearance, at Munich— 



His nttempts nt flnancial nntl military reform — 
Refusal of Chnrlcs Duke of Zwcibriickcn to accept 
till- Partition-Treaty — Goera sent liy I'"rc(leric to 
Bavarian patriots — ICden on the distress of Karl 
Thcoilor — Lehrbach triis to force him into the war — 
His refusal — UiBlculties of Karl Theodor at the 
Peace of Toschcn — His quarrel with Zweibriicken — 
Karl Theodor arrests and banishes thg three patriots 
— Consternation in Munich — Unpopularity of Karl 
Theodor and admiration shown for Frederic in 

VII, The Peace of Teschen and Russia's En- 
trance INTO Gekmany (1778-79) . . 176-212 

Maria Theresa's intervention — The Braunau 
negotiation — Her appeal to the Diet — Frederic's 
attitude towards Russia — French^ and Russian 
mediation^Hugh Elliot denounces the " Balance of 
Power " as the basis of negotiatidn— Catherine's 
polity — Her instruction to Prince Repnin (October 
a2, 1778) — Prince Repnin reaches Breslau and 
negotiates with Frederic — Attitude of Frederic — 
Mediation of France in conjunction, with Russia — 
Frederic criticizes Russian diplomacy to Prince 
Henry — " La Vieille \'enus " at Teschen — Con- 
clusion of Peace, May 18, 1779-pDiplomatic results 
of the Treaty : its real significance — Russia's entry 
into Germany — Moltke on the fear pf Russia — The 
end of the old regime.! 


I. James Harris (Ist Earl Malmesbury) and 
Hugh Eli.iot on the Character and 
Court of Frederic the Great (Record 
Office MSS.) 214-223 

II. General Burgoyne's Report on the Prussian 
AND Austrian Armies (1766-67) {Marquess 
of Lansdowne's MSS.) . . . 228-225 



III. Kaiser Joseph's Impressions ofthe Empress 
Catherine the Great (1780-82) (Record 
Office MSS.) 225-228 

\/IV. Gratitude to Kaiser Joseph (Czechish Poem) 228-230 

V. Voltaire on the Causes of War in the 

Eighteenth Century . . . 230-232 


. 233-251 

List op British Diplomatists mentioned in the 

Period ....... 253-254 

Note on Publications of the Papers of British 

Diplomats of the Period ., . . 254-255 

A Critical Estimate of the English Diplomatic 

Despatches of the Period (1776-80) . . 255-265 




Frederic ..... 


. FrontispifCf. 

Maria Theresa ... 


Joseph ..... 


Tmudon ..... 


Map to illustrate the War in Bohemia 

. 185 

Bavaria and the Palatinate , 



The motives of war and the aims of diplomacy 
in the eighteenth century have been drawn for 
us by a prophetic and ironic genius. " Some- 
times the quarrel between two princes is to 
decide which of them shall dispossess a third 
of his dominions where neither of them pretend 
to any right. . . . Sometimes*a war is entered 
upon because the enemy is too strong ; and 
sometimes because he is too meak. Sometimes 
our neighbours want the things which we have, 
or have the things which we want ; and we both 
fight till they take ours or theirs. It is 
a very justifiable cause of a war to invade a 
country after the people have' been wasted by 
famine ... or embroiled by factions among 
themselves. It is justifiable to enter into a 
war against our nearest ally, when one of his 
towns lies convenient for us, or a territory of 
land, that would render our dominions round 
and compact . . . poor nations are hungry, and 

1 B 


rich nations are proud ; and pride and hunger 
will ever be at variance. For these reasons the 
trade of a soldier is held the most honourable 
of all others." How many have turned Swift's 
page with a smile and dismissed it as the dis- 
charge of the venom of one whose malignant 
temper and misfortunes made him the enemy 
of the human race ! 

None the less — as a summary of diplomatic 
motive and military aim in the eighteenth 
century it cannot be held a mere fantasy. The 
injustices inflicted upon the nations that were 
poor and weak — ^upon Spain, Austria, Poland, 
and Turkey ; the pride and tyranny of the 
nations that were strong — of France, Prussia, 
Russia, and England, — ^these were grim realities. 
The seizure of Silesia, the Partition of Poland, 
the attempted Partition of Turkey, are but the 
three most sordid incidents in a whole epoch of 
duplicity and selfishness, and a long array of 
state papers reveals an indictment of the un- 
paralleled avarice, corruption, and self-seeking 
of the age, that is almost as damning as any 
which Voltaire or Swift may have drawn. The 
historian has only to consult the acts of 
eighteenth century rulers, in order to justify 
the satirists. 

But while it is unnecessary to prove the 
unscrupulous character of eighteenth century 
policy, it may be desirable to explain and, in 
some degree, to extenuate it. The different 


epochs of human history have a certain under- 
lying unity, the texture is the same, though the 
patterns on it are different, and for this reason 
it is well to bring the eighteenth century so far 
as possible into comparison with our own age. 
It is true that the eighteenth century was the 
age of kings and dynastic wars, and the nine- 
teenth the age of peoples and nattional wars. But 
though it is not always the kin^s who now dream 
of war, the people seem almost as ready as they 
were to sacrifice justice to expediency, and in 
this fact if in nothing else we are enabled to 
perceive an essential unity between the ages. 
In the nineteenth or twentieth century per- 
suasion rather than force is the rule for internal 
government, and even a despotically minded 
sovereign finds it expedient to flatter popvdar 
passions and ideals. In the eighteenth century 
the sovereign, who possessed a strong mercenary 
army and a submissive and inarticulate people, 
was not afraid of taking action far in advance, 
or flatly in defiance, of the latter's wishes. In 
no age perhaps has power been concentrated in 
so few hands, and in no age has the result been 
more momentous. During the mid-eighteenth 
century Europe was bound in thought by the 
ideas of a few resolute and logical individual 
thinkers, with Voltaire at their head ; in action 
she was cquaUy bound by a few determined 
and fearless individual rulers — ^led by Voltaire's 
friend, enemy, and hero, Frederic the Great. 


Clear thought produced clear action, and power 
vested in a few irresponsible rulers delivered 
the fortunes of states to the mercy of individual 
prejudices and passions to a degree unknown 
in previous history. 

But though half a dozen persons controlled 
the destinies of Central Europe, it would be a 
great error to suppose that their policy was 
always subservient to personal or dynastic 
ends. The orators of the French Revolution 
delighted to exhibit the tyranny of kings, to 
whom peoples were sacrificed, to point to the 
wars produced by the smiles of mistresses and 
to the peaces concluded by the bribery of 
courtiers. Such a picture has its true side. 
In the eighteenth century a prince dealt with 
his own principality as a landlord with his 
land. It was an age when a system not of 
states but of estates prevailed in Europe, when 
kings resembled tyrannous country squires. 
It involved no violation of current feeling or 
established right that a ruler should exchange 
Bavaria for Belgium, or Lorraine for Tuscany, 
without consideration for the wishes of the 
inhabitants, who were handed over to an alien 
ruler as freely as they were hired out to be 
killed under a foreign general. For a prince 
could lend his army to a foreign ruler without 
committing his own state to warfare, or 
despatch thousands of patient mercenaries to 
shed their blood in alien lands in quarrels for 


which neither ho nor they cared anything. 
Even Avith the most cnhghtened rulers of the 
ago, the claims of their subjects and the true 
interests of their states often weighed somewhat 
little in the balance against their personal 
wishes. Catherine, " the most.liberal of rulers," 
habitually chose her generals from among her 
lovers, and Frederic, the " first servant of the 
state," imprisoned the Venetian ambassador 
that he might force the Doge of Venice to 
send him a dancing-girl for his new opera at 
Berlin ! 

Such incredible instances might justify im- 
passioned rhetoric, and explain the savagery 
of the hatred towards kings at the moment of 
revolutionary vengeance. It is none the less 
true that personal vagaries were not seldom 
subordinated to state interests, and that most 
rulers in the mid-eighteenth century, despite 
occasional lapses, sought the real happiness of 
their countries. For example, though personal 
influences counted for much, dynastic ones 
availed relatively little. The interests of Spain 
were not sacrificed to those of France because 
Philip V. was a kinsman of LquIs XV., nor was 
Prussia the ally of England because Frederic 
was the nephew of George II. It is easy to 
Single out personal influences which deflected 
policy in the eighteenth century, hard to dis- 
cover dynastic ones ; Swift is as near the mark 
when he says that " Alliance by blood, or 


marriage, is a frequent cause of war between 
princes, and the nearer the kindred the greater 
is their disposition to quarrel," as are those 
historians who ascribe the union of the House of 
Bourbon purely to the ties of blood, and delight 
to contrast the dynastic policies of the eight- 
eenth century with the national ones of the 
nineteenth. The differences in the two ages 
— despite the far greater infliience of the per- 
sonal views of individual rulers in the eighteenth 
century — are in truth more apparent than real. 
The diplomatic language of the eighteenth 
century is dynastic in tone. We are be- 
wildered by fantastic claims of sovereign right 
which are alleged to be the origin of long and 
bloody wars of succession or inheritance. But 
the fancifulness of these claims need not dis- 
guise the reality of facts or deceive the historian. 
Eighteenth century monarchs used dynastic 
claims as pretexts for advancing the sub- 
stantial interests of their countries, and claimed 
territory in virtue of the private rights of a wife, 
a niece, or a cousin, as the modern statesman 
claims it in virtue of the public rights of nation- 
ality, of humanity, or of necessity. The pirate 
ship steers the same course with a new figure- 
head in the bow and with different colours at its 
masthead ; the essential objects are the same, 
only the pretexts are different. No historical 
claims can be more flimsy than those which 
Frederic asserted in favour of his claims on 


Silesia, or which Joseph brought up to defend 
his Partition of Poland, yet it was not from the 
Heralds' College that they dfcrived their real 
arguments, but from the need of rounding off 
territory, the redress of the balanee of power, 
the right of force. Fantastic aiitiquarian argu- 
ments were the fashion of the day and the 
decorous screen for aggression, injustice, or 
necessity. No one at least would be more 
amused at our generation, which defends so 
many acts of the eighteenth" century on the 
plea of history, than Frederic of Prussia, 
the cynical philosopher of Sans-Souci, who 
wrote, as he was leaving to capture Silesia, 
" the question of right (droit) isthe affair of the 
ministers," and, at a later date, " the jurispru- 
dence of sovereigns is commonly the right of 
the stronger." * 

The dominant thoughts, by which rulers like 
Frederic the Great of Prussia and Joseph II. of 
Austria were inspired, were those of intellectual 
rationalism. Mysticism, sentimental religious 
scruple, obtrusive morality, these were for 
women and for priests. Prejudice, tradition, 
prescription, the whole fabric of established 
order crumbled in the crucible of reason. 
" When one has an advantage," said Frederic, 
"is he to use it or not ? " Arid on the hardest 

• Compare the eighteenth century histori[|n with the ruler — " For 
every war a motive of safety or revenge, of; honour or zeal, of right 
or convenience, may be readily found in the jurisprudence of con- 
querors " (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. Ixv.). 


ground of rationalism his question was un- 
answerable. Before these mechanical philo- 
sophers the precepts of international law, the 
respect for the neighbour's landmark, the sacred- 
ness of treaties, the rights of independent 
states and universal morality had little chance. 
Reason dictated not an obedience to vague and 
mystic conceptions of international good, but 
a clear calculation of individual interests. 
Reason denounced not an infringement of 
treaties, but an infringement of treaties which 
brought no advantage to the perjurer ; success 
was the best demonstration as it was the only 
canon of right. This mental attitude will 
explain many of the most questionable acts 
of the period, Frederic's seizure of Silesia, 
Joseph's unprovoked attack upon Turkey, or 
the long record of Catherine's treachery towards 

But there were causes other than those of 
a scepticism sapping morality, which pushed 
forward eighteenth century rulers to many 
acts of aggression and perfidy. There existed 
economic, physical, political forces which the 
rulers could hardly control, causes which they 
but dimly apprehended, pressures against which 
they could hardly strive — even if they often 
strove but feebly. With Louis XIV. and 
Leopold I. had perished the last rulers whose 
ideas were coloured and wl^w^se policy was 
directed by genuine religious influences ; the 


influences of the mid-eighteentli century were 
rather commercial or political. Rulers went to 
war not over questions as to " whether flesh was 
bread or the juice of a berry blood," but as to 
whether the wine-tariff should be raised or the 
herring-duty lowered. In those days the tariffs 
or the trading companies of otlier nations could 
only be reduced or abolished by an appeal to 
the sword. The mercantilist creed of the age — 
a creed held with an intensity and force wholly 
wanting to more orthodox beliefs — declared 
that foreign commerce and internal trade were 
the very blood and sinews of a nation, the source 
alike of wealth and of power. To injure com- 
merce was to drain away the, life-blood of the 
state, and any hostile power, which attempted 
to do this, was a species of vampire whom it 
was needful immediately to destroy. Trade 
motives influenced all the Powers of Europe 
towards war, especially the maritime nations 
— ^the Dutch, French, and English, whose wars 
in Eiirope are often but an incident in struggles 
for the Indies of the East or of the West. The 
motive, more dominant among more purely 
continental Powers, like Austria, Prussia, and 
Russia, is the need or desire for territory. 

At first sight there seems little connection 
between the struggle for the balance of trade 
and the struggle for the balance of power ; the 
unity becomes more obvious when we realize 
that increase of territory in Europe meant as 


much wealth to a land power, as increase of 
trade in America or the Indies did to a mari- 
time one. Colonization was even more pro- 
moted by territorial annexation than by trade. 
Montcalm began by nailing fteur-de-lys on to 
tree trunks in the Mississippi valley and Kaiser 
Joseph by advancing boundary posts topped by 
Austrian eagles into the Zips district. When 
once the annexation was complete more settlers 
followed Joseph into Poland than followed 
Englishmen into Canada. During most of the 
eighteenth century colonization was in fact 
more active and successful in North and East 
Europe than in North America. In Europe the 
increase of territory was thought to be always 
an increase of strength because, if well managed, 
it meant increase of population and wealth. 
The sovereign who added province to province 
felt as great an addition to his wealth as does 
the landowner who piles estate upon estate ; 
and the thirst for adding field to field possessed 
every ruler in Central Europe, from the pettiest 
German prince up to King and Kaiser. But it 
was produced by necessity as well as by greed. 
The strategic position of Prussia, its scattered 
territories, its piecemeal provinces, forced its 
ruler to maintain an enormous army, kept him 
constantly on the alert and almost compelled 
him (had he needed compulsion) to profit by his 
neighbour's necessities. The case of Austria, 
whose possessions lay promiscuously along the 


Danube and the Rhine, and stretched from 
Baltic and Nortli Sea to Adriatic, was an 
even more obvious ease of goQgraphy making 
conscience impossible. The smallest change in 
Central or Western Europe was likely to affect 
or to threaten one or other of the sporadic pos- 
sessions of the Habsburg. Territorial increase 
was the eighteenth century measure of safety, 
and Frederic was deemed to have attained 
that security for Prussia by wresting from 
Austria the rich and fertile province of Silesia 
(1740). It mattered not that its possession 
divided Frederic's dominions even more than 
before; that disadvantage wa^ outweighed by 
the sohd increase of sixteen thousand square 
miles of land and over a milhon subjects. In 
exactly the same proportion the position of 
Austria had been rendered unsafe, and the 
territorial balance of power endangered. It 
was no advantage that Austria severed a huge 
district from the dying Polish state in 1772, for 
Prussia also exacted her share* of Polish spoils. 
Until it had measured out fo.r itself with rule 
and line a piece of territory equal to the Silesian 
province which Frederic had torn from it, the 
House of Habsburg deemed itself, and was 
deemed to be, unsafe. 

Hence it was that Austrian statesmen cast 
longing eyes on Bavaria — ^the great Catholic 
state of South Germany, whose territory rounded 
off the south-western corner of Austria — 





Das aUe Heilige Rdmische Reich 
Wie halt es noch zusammen. 


In the winter of 1777 the chances of a European 
War depended on the skill- of a Bavarian 
physician. If the Elector of Bavaria died under 
his hands, his blunder would give the signal for 
a disputed succession and a, European War. 
For Kaiser Joseph would majTch his Austrian 
troops into the south of Bavaria, and King 
Frederic would begin to drill his grenadiers on 
the Potsdam parade-ground. It was true that 
the succession ought to have been undisputed, 
and that by rights the Bavarian inheritance 
and possessions fell to Karl Theodor, Elector 
Palatine. But undisputed successions were 
not common in the eighteenth century. Legal 
rights were of less avail than naked force, and 
a good army always justified a bad claim. The 
eighteenth century had been an age of disputed 
successions : from 1702 to 17l3 was the War 



of the Spanish Succession (arid indeed of the 
English also) ; from 1733 to 1735 the War of 
the Polish ; from 1740 to 1748 the War of the 
Austrian Succession ; in all of which history 
shows the right of the stronger to have been 
invoked against equity and justice. Now it was 
the turn of Bavaria, and as Joseph, the Roman 
Caesar, had many legions, and Karl Theodor, the 
Elector Palatine, had but few, it was not sur- 
prising that Austria should erect a claim to the 
succession. It was clear that Austria was 
ready to fight, the only questixjn was whether 
the Elector Palatine was ready to resist. As 
his own resources were negligible, his only hope 
lay in an appeal to the justice of Europe, or — 
more properly — ^to the interests of other states. 
Yet it so happened that only two Powers in 
Europe could, by any possibility, interfere. 
England was engaged in a death-grapple with 
her revolted colonies, and France was already 
certain to be drawn into that struggle ; Turkey 
was too distant and too weak to exercise in- 
fluence, Poland was helpless, in a state of 
guaranteed and consecrated anarchy, and the 
opposition of lesser German states was either 
not to be expected or not to be feared. Of the 
other important Powers there remained only 
Russia, which was just recovering from the 
severe strain of a Turkish war, and Prussia. 
Joseph had an " advantage " and was justified 
in using it by Frederic's logic, though it by 


no means followed that the logician would 
approve of his pupil's application. All eyes 
were therefore turned towards Prussia, for it 
was obvious that, in case of war, she would be 
protagonist in the struggle with Austria, and 
tliat upon the action of her king depended the 
fate of Bavaria and the future of Germany. 

1. Internal Resoprces 

(a) Prussia 

To estimate how far the conditions between 
Austria and Prussia were equal, towards what 
issue destiny seemed to point, some glimpse of 
the previous history of each stq,te, of their exist- 
ing resources and of the personalities controlling 
them, becomes necessary. Ever since his acces- 
sion in 1740 Frederic II. of Prussia had been the 
disturbing genius of Germany. No one had 
taught the age so many lessons in war or policy, 
none had equally surprised, terrified, and con- 
founded it. In the winter of 1740 he had first 
attacked Austria, and conquered by force of 
arms that province of Silesia, which no con- 
federation of foes, no disaster in the field, and 
no defeat in diplomacy could ever persuade 
him to relinquish. It was not- that in this and 
in other enterprises Frederic did not commit 
many errors, but that his resolute will, his in- 
finite resource, and his matchless energy always 
enabled him to repair them. In 1746 Silesia 


was ceded to him in full so-\rereignty, and he 
retired from a war in which every important 
European Power had been engaged, but from 
which none but he derived substantial profit. 
Such dazzling success was dangerous, for it set 
other Powers against him, and during the next 
decade Nemesis was gathering for Frederic. 
The King, whom no Power trusted, soon found 
all continental Powers united against him, and 
was called upon to face a vast, coalition, which 
eventually included Austria, Russia, France, 
Sweden, Saxony, and the Germanic Empire 
as a whole. Conscious of the gathering danger, 
Frederic was able only to strengthen himself 
by an offensive and defensive alliance with 
England, before the storm burst. The new 
and gigantic struggle of the Seven Years' War 
(1756-63) was to reveal him in a new light, to 
show him tried by every adversity of fortune 
and yet equal to every danger, often defeated 
but always drawing victory itself out of disaster. 
Before 1757 Frederic was known to be a skilled 
commander, and his army believed to be superb, 
after that it was known that he or they could 
baffle and defy the united hosts of Europe. 
No numbers could daunt the soldiers who had 
won victory at Rossbach, no General could 
compare with the leader who had dazzled the 
world by his exploits at Leuthen. Even the 
disasters of the later period of the Seven Years' 
War could not dim his fame or eclipse his 


terrible renown. When he ciiu ifrod from the 
war — exhausted but triumphiiut — he had ac- 
quired an authority to whieh no German ruler 
could pretend since the days of Charles V. He 
had shnttercd the Austrian armies, he had 
driven the French beyond the; Rhine ; and in 
these two exploits he had foreshadowed the 
future of Germany. 

The personal character of Frederic shaped 
so much of his system of administration, of 
diplomacy, and of warfare, that even the most 
minute research into it may be illuminating. 
The portraits that we see of hihi differ so amaz- 
ingly from one another that it is difficult to 
believe that they are those of the same man, and 
that fact is no bad index to his strange person- 
ality. In the most authentic likenesses the 
famous large blue-grey eyes light up the whole 
expression, and lend the only touch of softness 
or of human weakness to the. grim iron face. 
They are all that make possible to us the story 
that he let street-boys ride on his horse, that he 
patted grenadiers on the shoulder and asked 
them to call him " Old Fritz,^" or that nobler 
tale of how he burst into tears at the Te Deum 
at Charlottenburg after the close of the war. 
From the hard satiric lines, from the iron-bound 
jaw, from the air of ruthless Energy pervading 
his face, we can read a hundred confirmations 
of his bitter jests against religi^on, of his revolt- 
ing meanness towards old friends, of his cold 



brutality towards one of his brothers and many 
of his veterans. Despite some acts of kindness 
he was not a generous man, despite hfe-long 
devotion to the pubHc service he was in few 
senses a good man, yet he is incontestably a 
very great one. He would have fulfilled Burke's 
idea of one of the " great bad men of history " 
better than any man of his generation, and, 
though he lacked the profound insight of a 
Richelieu or the magical inspiration of a Pitt, in 
all the qualities which secure immediate practi- 
cal success he has had few rivals in his own 
or in any age. 

Frederic is important not only for his 
achievements in war but for those in internal 
reform and administration, and because he 
created that type and model of the mid- 
eighteenth century ruler — the Philosophic 
Despot. He gave the world the best, though 
not the first, example of the enlightened ruler, 
who lived in Spartan simplicity, banished harlots 
and luxury from his courts, and worked for the 
general interests of his whole land irrespective 
of creed, party, or privilege. The creation of 
a justice which should be equal for rich and 
poor, and should be without the degradations 
of torture ; the codification of the law ; the ex- 
tension of toleration to civil and religious 
opinion ;— these Were reforms which he intro- 
duced or immensely popularized throughout 
Europe. The administrative machine, which 


he improved though he had not fashioned it, 
Avas unparalleled for efficiency, smoothness, 
and economy. Prussia under Frederic seemed 
to Hegel the ideal of what a state should be, and 
no land-agent ever knew the capacities of an 
estate, or lent more effort to developing them 
than Frederic gave to his kingdom. The King 
himself took as eager an interest in the raising 
of chickens, the price of coffee, and the manu- 
facture of porcelain, as in increasing revenues, 
in manoeuvring armies, or acquiring provinces. 
A hierarchy of officials, entirely subservient to 
the King, interfered in every activity of life, 
originated or developed manufactures, intro- 
duced immigrants, founded colonies in waste 
places, drained marshes, cultivated deserts, 
built roads, cut canals, relieved poverty, en- 
couraged thrift and punished idleness. Nor did 
less material interests suffer.' Frederic, said 
Voltaire, was Spartan in the mtorning, Athenian 
in the afternoon. Though he erected barracks 
and fortresses without number, he also built 
palaces for himself and academies of learning 
for his subjects, attracted men of letters to 
Berlin, built opera-houses, encouraged art and 
patronized literature. The state still remained 
in a sense feudal and mediaeval ; the nobility 
still enjoyed great social and political privileges, 
such as exemption from taxation and the 
monopoly of posts in the army; the mass of 
the agricultural population stiil remained serfs 


burdened with heavy imposts. But what the 
people gave in one way was returned to them 
in another, for organization and discipUne had 
made the nobles obedient servants of the crown. 
No land was safer against assailants from 
without, no peasants were more certain of 
justice from within. Nowhere were peace and 
order better maintained, communications more 
rapidly improved, or material resources more 
speedily developed. One great advantage 
Frederic had over almost every other state : his 
economy was so great, his stewardship so care- 
ful that even in the strain of war he had never 
resorted to loans. England's subsidies and 
his own parsimony had enabled him to pay for 
everything as it fell due. Hence, though the 
Seven Years' War imposed gigantic sufferings 
on Prussia, it did not tax or mortgage her 
resources in the future. At the moment when 
Austria was labouring under mountains of debt, 
Prussia, owing to Frederic's system of making 
income balance expenditure, was encumbered 
by no tax on posterity. Frederic likened 
Prussia at the close of the war to a man bleed- 
ing from a hundred wounds, but when once he 
had staunched the flow of bldod, there was no 
festering sore, no rankling wound, which might 

The real fault of the civil administration 
lay in its success, the machin^e worked so per- 
fectly that it rendered everything mechanical. 


So long as the Imnd of Frederic controlled the 
machine, his mighty energy inspired and 
vibrated thi'ough every part of it, but there 
were not wanting signs towards the end of his 
reign that even his strength was unequal to the 
task, and that no single brain could foresee 
tlie needs and anticipate the wishes of millions. 
Prussia was stereotyped in itst routine, its very 
energies were mechanical, its creative power 
was gone, and this exhaustion of strength 
was already perceptible about the time at 
which our narrative opens (1777). It was 
in that year that Hugh Elliot wrote of 
it : " The Prussian monarchy reminds me of 
a vast prison in the centre of which appears 
the great keeper occupied in the care of his 
captives." * 

The defects in Frederic's civil administration, 
the inelasticity of the system, the rigour which 
was stifling individual energy and natural force 
in the state as a whole, was even more injurious 
to the army. Frederic had inherited from his 
father, Frederic William I., the most perfectly 
drilled infantry in the world," and had shown 
that he could manoeuvre them in battle as 
easily as upon the Potsdam' parade - ground, 
but it can hardly be said that*he had improved 

* Lady Minto's Memoir of Hugh Elliot, p. 105. Practically the 
same phrase is used by Wraxall, November 9, 1777, who visited 
Potsdam and Berlin in that year. He knew Elliot well, and the 
reader may determine for himself the true authorsliip of the phrase j 
cp. Wraxall's Court of Berlin, etc., vol. i., London, 1700, p. 205. 


their spirit or their discipline. During his later 
years his absolutism grew, and whereas he had 
once extended a wise discreticwi to his marshals 
and generals, he gradually became jealous 
of any show of independence or originality. 
His favourite leaders were those who meekly 
executed his general orders without reference 
to particular circumstances, or who readily 
assumed blame for disasters which they them- 
selves could have averted. The individual had 
become an automaton in the grip of a merciless 
machine directed by a single intelligence. The 
logical and inevitable result of such a system 
was that the generals deteriorated in intellect, 
the troops in vigour and resource. Their 
mechanical drill, their automatic perfection 
was still as great as ever, but the spirit, which 
had inspired his soldiers at Leuthen, the train- 
ing, which had made generals like Schwerin 
or Seydlitz possible, were absent from his 
armies in 1778. Everything in Prussia de- 
pended upon the King, but Frederic was no 
longer the Frederic of old, and possessed 
neither in himself nor in his soldiers the vigorous 
and buoyant strength which had brought them 
both safe through so many disasters in the past. 
Prussia was still strong in her traditions, in 
her discipline, in her sovereign's immeasurable 
renown, but it was the strength of one whose 
muscles are still powerful when the internal 
vigour is decaying. Frederic's civil adminis- 


tration and his military fanje were yet the 
admiration of Europe, but 

Power, unto itself most commendable, 
Hftth not a tomb so evident -as a chair 
To extol what it hath done. 

(6) Austria-Hungary 

No contrast could well be greater than that 
between the mechanically drilled, uniform, and 
united Prussia of Frederic the Great in 1778 
and the mediaeval and disorganized Austria- 
Hungary of Maria Theresa in 1740. Mari^ 
Theresa succeeded to a realm whose possessions 
were even more scattered than. those of Prussia, 
and some of whose inhabitants were sunk in a 
barbarism compared with whiph the ignorance 
of Prussian serfs was enlightenment. Her 
possessions in the Netherlands and Italy, her 
territories scattered like dust over South and 
West Germany, were a source of danger rather 
than of strength, as they offered temptations 
to the greed of Spain or France. In Austria- 
Hungary itself the most extraordinary diversity 
of custom and administration prevailed, no- 
where was mediaevalism so apparent nor order 
so frequently the exception. In truth Austria- 
Hungary is, and always has been, not a country 
but a continent in itself, and there was as much 
difference between the noble of Vienna and the 
peasant of Transylvania as b^ween the grand 
seigneur of Paris and the serf of Russia. The 


contrasts of race, of climate, and nationality, 
as well as of wealth and culture, were (and still 
are) amazing. The Archduchy of Austria, 
Styria and Carinthia, and the Tyrol and Silesia 
were mainly German in population, and con- 
sequently were the easier to rule by German 
methods and on uniform principles, while 
their inhabitants were the most prosperous 
and intelligent throughout Austria-Hungary. 
Bohemia and Moravia offered totally different 
problems for solution, their soil was poor, the 
people were Czechs, who were wretchedly ig- 
norant and rebellious towards their tyrannical 
German landowners. In lUyria was a barbar- 
ous and ignorant population, whose habits and 
manners were as low as or lower than those 
of Russian serfs. There was a wide and deep 
distinction between all these districts (united 
under the general title of Hereditary Provinces) 
and the Hungarian Kingdom. Hungary was 
an independent kingdom, strong and self- 
centred, ruled by the proud and passionate 
Magyar aristocrats, who clainied the right to 
tax and to govern their own country, and to 
exclude foreigners {i.e. Germans) from its 
borders. A perfect type of a feudal aristocracy 
had been, as it were, embalmed and preserved 
in this country, and mediaeval Hungary con- 
trasted as markedly with eighteenth century 
Austria as did the Hungarian noble with his 
feathered kalpag, his furred dolman, crooked 


scimitar, liorcc moustache an4 long hair, with 
tlie smooth-shaven, periwipfTcd; and silk-clothed 
aristocrat of Vienna. It was this hopeless 
complexit}' of strangely associated states that 
the various European Powers, with Frederic 
at their head, came to partition and despoil 
in 1740. The result was the loss of Silesia, 
and — bitter as was the blow — perhaps a gain 
to the House of Habsburg. 

The very greatness of the disaster, the 
terrific impact of modern organizations and 
ideas upon a system that was hopelessly 
mediaeval, produced changes that were highly 
beneficial to Austria - Hungary as a whole. 
If they were to escape similar disasters in the 
future the Habsburgs must make the most 
drastic and strenuous efforts* to adapt their 
states to modern conditions. By inclination 
Maria Theresa was strongly conservative, but 
she pushed on the work of regeneration with 
resolute determination after 1748, in especial 
the work of military reform. Her efficient 
professional army, which confronted Frederic 
during 1756-63, was by no means equal to his 
own, but it was immeasurably superior to the 
hired mercenaries, the rude feudal levies, or 
the gallant irregulars who had served her in 
the first Silesian War. A transformation had 
likewise been effected in the internal govern- 
ment of the state, the finances were revised, 
methods of taxation improved, and the ad- 


ministration rendered more efficient. A council 
of state — erected in 1758 — brought the hope- 
lessly conflicting mass of executive boards, 
committees and councils, into something like 
order, and the same idea of co-ordination and 
centralization was cautiously but systematically 
extended throughout the Austrian domains. 
In Hungary, partly from gratitude for her 
loyalty in the dark days of 1740, partly from 
prudence, Maria Theresa was too wise to attempt 
far-sweeping change. Hungary remained an 
independent unit governed by her backward 
and patriotic nobles, though not entirely un- 
affected by the breath of reform. The proud 
Hungarian noble was flattered, was attracted 
to the court of Vienna, and induced to learn 
German and forget his patriarchal usages, but 
no serious effort was made to tarnish or to 
dim the aurea libertas which he cherished. In 
Bohemia and Moravia the nobility was mainly 
German and the task of centralization easier. 
Accordingly these districts, instead of enjoying 
a quasi-independence under the sleepy rule of 
petty councils of local tyrants, were brought 
within the reach of the efficient bureaucracy 
of Vienna. The civil service became more 
public-spirited and energetic, organization and 
discipline passed from ideal into reality, in- 
creased administrative efficiency doubled the 
yield from the taxes, and Austria-Hungary, 
which, under Charles VI., had been governed 


as badly as Poland, was governed in the 
last years of Maria Theresa at least as well as 

Austria-Hungary, like Prussia, was governed 
by a dynasty whose rule was intensely personal. 
Yet, as was often reported after 1765, there 
was only one king at Potsdani, but there were 
three at Vienna. These wer6 Maria Theresa, 
the Empress-Queen ; Joseph, her son, Holy 
Roman Emperor ; and Kaunitz the Chancellor, 
almost the Grand Vizier, of Austria-Hungary. 
Among the long gallery of faces, cynical or 
coarse, voluptuous or depraved, that confront 
us in the mid-eighteenth century, Maria 
Theresa's womanly face exercises an indescrib- 
able fascination. The brow is broad and 
noble, the mouth firm yet seAsitive and kind, 
the eyes direct, clear and true, the whole 
expression one of innocence, sincerity, and 
strength. The air is noble and commanding, 
and yet the dignity of the queen in no way 
lessens the sweetness and motherhness of the 
woman. That her face could remain thus, after 
the revelations of the private vices and public 
crimes almost daily forced upon her, is one 
more testimony to the exquisite purity and 
strength of her character. Without perhaps 
the highest gifts of statesmanship, she possessed 
the power of awaking enthusiasm, a resolute 
will, unshaken courage at a crisis, and an un- 
erring practical insight. Despite an unfaithful 


husband, a vicious court, and a corrupt adminis- 
tration, she contrived to win the respect of her 
enemies for her womanhness, her courage, and 
her statesmanship, to be the one Habsburg 
loved by Austrians and Hungarians ahke, and 
to impart to her reign the aspect of a golden 
age of happiness and renown. During her 
reign the province of Silesia was lost, during 
the rule of her father the Netherlands had been 
added to Austria ; but no one has ever ventured 
to compare his reign with hers in respect of 
splendour or prosperity. 

No contrast could well be greater than that 
portrayed in the characters and the portraits 
of Maria Theresa and of her Minister, Kaunitz. 
His lean, hard, mask-like face contrasts as 
markedly with her open, generous, and hand- 
some one as did the exquisite finesse, the 
subtlety and craft of his policy with her un- 
affected simplicity, her piety, and zeal for 
truth even in diplomacy. Prince Kaunitz, 
the Austrian Chancellor, who exercised such 
sway over his mistress, was a typical mid- 
eighteenth century statesman, foppish and 
aristocratic to the finger-tips, his hair always 
powdered and his coat laced in the latest 
fashion, his manner suave, urbane, and polished. 
No one knew so well how to make frivohty and 
diplomacy serve one another ; some of his most 
important confidences were made in the billiard- 
salon or the ball-room; many of his diplo- 


matic triumphs were achieved by means which 
only a hbeitinc could have used. He was too 
much a son of his age, had too great a scorn of 
humanit>', and too much natural cynicism, not 
to have imbibed the cool philosophy which 
denounced priests as hypocrites and religion 
as superstition. His respect for Maria Theresa 
caused him to conceal the extremes of this 
tendency during her reign, but no statesman 
of any country showed himself at heart more 
resolutely anti-clerical. As a reformer of the 
internal administration he suffered too much 
from the prejudices of his class, from his anti- 
popular views, from his easy disbehef in human 
nature, to effect very much. But as a diplo- 
matist he had many of the highest qualities : 
cynical self-possession, ready resource, un- 
failing suavity and grace, an intelligence that 
was clear if not profound, an ingenuity that 
was real if somewhat fantastic. He was the 
chief architect of that diplomatic masterpiece, 
the coalition of Austria, Russia, and France, 
which so nearly destroyed Frederic in the Seven 
Years' War. But Kaunitz built too much on 
coalitions, on finesse, and ori diplomacy ; if, 
indeed, these could have been decisive, Frederic 
would have been overthrown. The practical 
realities of the situation mocked at the airy 
conceptions of Kaunitz, and the result of the 
struggle brought enhanced glory to the Prussian 
Jdng, and somewhat dimmed the reputation 


of the Austrian diplomat. Austria had in- 
curred an enormous debt, had strained her 
resources to breaking-point, and had failed to 
recover Silesia. That was the result of the 
Seven Years' Struggle which ended in 1763. 
At such a time it was not unnatural that Maria 
Theresa might be willing to listen to other 
counsels than those of her Chancellor. 

It was about the year 1765- that Joseph first 
came into prominence, and Austrian policy 
henceforward assumes a new character for 
vigour and reforming zeal, partly owing to the 
pressure of events, and to the impulse of the 
Empress and the Chancellor, but in no small 
degree also to Joseph. His early portraits 
have a deep and even a melancholy interest, 
for they enable us to trace in his countenance 
the qualities which made him at once the best- 
loved and the best-hated of his race, which 
caused him to be adored by philosophers and 
detested by priests, which won him the love 
of all German-speaking folk and the hatred of 
all Hungarians. Some have accounted for his 
striking gifts and his. no less amazing defects 
by declaring that he was a Lorrainer, the child 
of his father, the Emperor Francis I., and no 
true son of Rudolph or Maximilian. But, 
while the contour of his face is unlike that of the 
Habsburgs, the eyes are characteristic of Maria 
Theresa. His early portraits show a smooth 


oval face, open and pleasing, a mouth full, 
mobile, and sensitive, the expression frank, 
generous, and engaging. But his real character 
is seen in those large hquid blue eyes, which 
were tlie admiration of all Vienna ; whose 
expression of passionate sympathy, of warm 
humanity, of thoughtless eagerness, reveal the 
true man. Joseph's faults were many, some 
fickleness and confusion of thought, great 
recklessness and misdirection of energy, much 
harshness towards subordinates; but none can 
deny him as warm a zeal for his people, as 
genuine a care of the poor and degraded and 
weak, and a heart as tender as ever beat in 
the breast of a sovereign. TJie history of his 
devoted efforts, of his pitiful failures are 
written in those passionate eyes and upon 
those tremidous lips. 

The dominating characteristic of Joseph 
was the imion of strong humanitarian impulses 
with a rigid and mechanical' logic. He was 
half a warm-hearted philanthropist, who sacri- 
ficed everything to impulse and sentiment, half 
a ruthless bureaucrat, who carried out pedantic 
ideas with military precision and force. It is 
in the former character that posterity has re- 
garded him, and legend has been as busy with 
him as with Haroun-al-Raschid. He loved 
to travel into the remote corners of his wide 
dominions, vmannounced and with a scanty 
escort, wearing a plain black coat and assuming 


the pseudonym of Count Falkenstein ; preferring 
to sleep in the village inn rather than in the 
castle on the hill, to fraternize with the peasants, 
and to see everything with his own eyes, like 
a true father of his people. Once at an inn 
near Kolin he entered hastily, dirtying with 
his boots the damp brick floor which the maid 
was scrubbing. " Go away ! " screamed she 
furiously, but the tall young stranger smiled 
and gave her a ducat. Who could throw away 
so much money but the great — ^nay the greatest 
— ^the Kaiser himself ? So thought the maid, 
inquired accordingly, found it was he, and 
was properly abashed.* On another and more 
famous occasion near Briinn, taking the plough 
from the hand of a Czechish peasant he drove 
a furrow with it, to show his love for the peasant 
and for the noblest of all industries. f In the 
hearts of peasants, at least, Kaiser Joseph found 
his reward, however statesmen or historians 
judged him. His portrait hung in their huts 
beside that of the Virgin, and a thousand 
legends and songs enshrined- the memory of 
the good Emperor, of the Peasants' Kaiser who 
sought to free the peasants from serfdom, who 
brought to so many of them, the first gleams 
of hope and of sympathy, and who wished 

* This story came to me from the lips of an old Czechish school- 
master well versed in folk-tales. 

t This is the most famous of all the stories about him, and the 
original (?) plough together with a portrait of the peasant is still 
shown in the Museum at Brunn. 


himself to be known as " I)er Schatzer der 
Mensehen " (The Lover of Mankind), 

On tlie death of his father in 1765 Joseph, 
being already King of the Romans (1764), was 
chosen as Holy Roman Emperor. He thus 
became recognized head of the Germanic Body 
and titular ruler of Christendom, but his 
power as Emperor over Gerrftany was almost 
as small as his more indefinite lordship 
over the civilized world. With his usual 
impetuosity he endeavoured to infuse some 
energy into the withered and worm-eaten 
structure of the Empire, but was met by the 
most humiliating rebuffs. The organs for the 
common government of G^ermany, the Aulic 
Council (Reichs-Hofrath), the Imperial Court 
of Justice (Hofgericht), and Reichskammer- 
gericht, were outworn, inefficient, or corrupt. 
Joseph's efforts to evoke some common order 
and unity in the lumbering machinery of 
Empire not only failed, but aj3tually produced 
strong and not unjustifiable suspicions that he 
was merely trying to use his Imperial position 
to further Austrian aims. 

Foiled in these designs, Joseph turned his 
attention to the internal development of Austria, 
which he had been co-regent since 1765. His 
youthful impetuosity soon broke against the 
experience of Kaunitz and the caution of Maria 
Theresa, but, none the less, he effected im- 
portant reforms. Joseph was chiefly instru- 



mental in promoting economy and reform of 
the finances, measures most urgently needed. 
The one constant feature of Austria in history 
has been the ever-threatening peril of bank- 
ruptcy ; and after this war the situation for 
a time almost portended ruin. But in 1775 
the rigour of the economies actually made it- 
possible for a genuine surplus of revenue over 
annual expenditure to be triumphantly an- 
nounced. To obtain this result Joseph had 
subjected the Court to the most rigid economies, 
had handed over twenty million gulden of his 
private fortune, and pledged his numerous 
estates in Bohemia, Moravia, Austria, and 
Hungary, finally even his Duchy of Teschen, 
to support the credit of the State. By these 
means the interest on the State debt was re- 
duced from a 6 and 5 to a 4 per cent average, 
and at last credit and expenditure actually 
balanced one another. It can" hardly be denied 
that these measures, and these measures alone, 
saved the State from bankruptcy, and that this 
inestimable boon was due to Joseph more than 
to any one else. It was not his only service. 
Measures for the amehoration of the prisons, 
for the humanizing of the criminal code by 
removal of the more barbarous forms of torture, 
for the promotion of education, and. for the 
abolition of serfdom in the Austrian lands, owed 
much, if not everything, to his eager advocacy. 
Considering that many df Joseph's ideas 


were Avholly impracticable, owihg to the doctrin- 
aire precision of his mind and to his ruthless 
disregard for tradition and precedent, Kaunitz 
and Maria Theresa were right in resisting a 
considerable number of thern. But such an 
opposition could hardly be maintained without 
bitterness against a young man as ardent and 
impetuous as Joseph, even tiiough he was a 
most dutiful son. It was therefore with the 
view of diverting his attention from other 
matters that Maria Theresa placed the sole 
direction of the army in his hands (1765). The 
idea was ingenious but tmfortunate, for no 
species of administration could have been more 
hkely to encourage arbitrary 'and domineering 
tendencies in him. The study of military 
affairs strengthened him in the belief that 
peoples could be taught to move in a given 
direction as easily as regiments, that laws 
Could be framed and executed with the pre- 
cision of mihtary commands, and that force 
availed against every species of opposition. 
His energy, combined with the skill of his 
friend Marshal Lascy, led, as we shall see, to 
many improvements in the personnel and the 
material of the army. As with the army, so 
with the State as a whole. Austria-Hungary, 
which had been mediaeval in 1740, was by no 
means modern in 1778, but she had advanced 
with great rapidity, her resources had been 
greatly developed, her administration, as com- 


pared with previous periods, was at least 
relatively efficient, uniform, and centralized. 
She had neither the technical perfection nor 
the immense moral prestige of Prussia, but 
she was not so tied to old traditions nor so 
hampered and stereotyped by success ; and 
the two countries, if not equal, were at least far 
more evenly balanced than at any previous 
time in Frederic's reign. It only remains, there- 
fore, to inquire into the history of the years 
that followed 1763, to see how far the diplo- 
matic situation favoured one or the other. 

2. The Diplomatic Situation, 1763-77 

In foreign policy Frederic had the great 
advantage of exercising undisputed sway, whilst 
the control of the external affairs of Austria- 
Hungary was shared among three persons. 
Maria Theresa was pious and honourable in all 
things, and her regard for international morality 
was often as much outraged by the suggestions 
of both Joseph and Kaunitz as her practical 
good sense was offended by the impetuous 
rashness of the Kaiser or the fantastic in- 
genuity of the minister. In the control of the 
internal affairs of Austria she managed to hold 
her own, and to dictate her pohcy to her two 
chief advisers, but in foreign, policy the case 
was otherwise. The position of Joseph as head 
of the army and his rank as Emperor gave him 


great advantages for influcneirig foreign policy, 
and when his \'i(n\ s were supported by the vast 
diplomatic experience of Kaunitz, their union 
often carried the day against Maria Theresa. 
Frederic, on the other hand, treated his advisers 
as mere clerks, and was able to impart complete 
imity and decision both to the. conception and 
execution of his designs. 

The situation of Austria and Prussia after the 
Seven Years' War was, in each case, critical. 
Each had been abandoned by her ally ; Austria 
by Russia, Prussia by Engl&nd. These two 
defections determined the diplomatic situation 
of Central Europe for the next twenty years. 
Without an ally each of the German Powders 
was unsafe. Austria clung to France, who was 
pledged to her by treaty, and still a friend if 
a wavering and uncertain one. Russia under 
Czar Peter III. had actually deserted Austria, 
and entered into an offensive alliance with 
Prussia (1762). Catherine II,, his murderess, 
widow and successor, had withdrawn from the 
Prussian alliance, but had remained neutral, and 
so enabled Frederic to close tlie war triumph- 
antly, without the loss of an, inch of Silesian 
territory. Events in Poland" were, however, 
soon to force Catherine into closer relations with 
Prussia. On October 5, 1763, King Augustus 
III. of Poland died. As the Polish throne 
was elective, and as the Polish nobles were 
influenced by bribes and threats from outside. 


there was the certainty of a disputed succession 
and the prospect of a long and bloody war. 
Catherine, fearing that the Franco-Austrian 
alliance would be hostile to her design of placing 
her own nominee on the Polish throne, turned 
to Frederic. A treaty was signed on April 
11, 1764, between Frederic and the Czarina, 
which included an eight years' offensive and 
defensive alliance between the two Powers, 
and a regulation of the Polish Succession accord- 
ing to their wishes. The results were startling : 
Russian battalions promptly terrorised the 
Polish nobles, and on September 7, 1764, set 
Stanislas Poniatowski, Catherine's old lover 
and new servant, upon the throne of Poland. 
This move was made with the moral support 
of Frederic. So serious was the blow to 
Austrian prestige that Kaunitz would have 
advised Maria Theresa to declare war had 
not the internal condition of Austria impera- 
tively forbidden any such design. Worse 
difficulties were to come : the Catholic reaction- 
ary Poles rebelled against their tolerant and 
apparently Russian King Stanislas. Catherine 
supported her lover with arms, and drove his 
opponents into Turkish territory. The re- 
monstrances of the Russian Ambassador with 
the Grand Vizier as to the harbouring of these 
refugees produced his own imprisonment in 
the Seven Towers at Constantinople and a 
declaration of war upon the Sultan from the 


Czarina. Thus the direct result of the Pohsh 
disturbances was a dangerous war between 
Catherine and Turkey. The prentice clumsiness 
which Russian and Turkish generals proceeded 
to show in the war amused that supreme 
military artist, Kng Frederic, as much as the 
diplomatic dangers distressed him. In 1769 
Russia — after giant sacrifices of men and money 
—had conquered and occupied all Moldavia, 
and this alteration of the balance of power not 
only seriously disturbed Frederic, but almost 
compelled Austria to interfere. Under these 
circumstances, Austria and Prussia began to 
regard one another more favourably. Kaunitz 
revived a project — as old as 1766 — for securing 
a meeting between King Frederic and Kaiser 
Joseph, and on August 25, 1769, their world- 
famous meeting took place at Neisse in Silesia. 
The meeting of the old hero of Prussia and the 
young hope of Austria, the soldierly familiarity 
with which Frederic treated Laudon the 
Austrian hero of the Seven Years' War, the 
ease with which Joseph waived his Imperial 
dignity to show his respect for the old King, all 
these details made the meeting of Neisse famous. 
But what seemed a world-event to contem- 
poraries was in reality but a picturesque 
incident. Joseph wrote to his mother that the 
King was a genius but a rasqal, and that he 
thought his ideas peaceful at the moment 
merely because he dared not venture upon war ; 


Frederic wrote to his Minister saying the 
Kaiser was full of energy and rashness, and a 
firebrand who would set Europe aflame when 
he had the power. The meeting had no result 
in drawing the two rulers closer together, but 
it frightened the Czarina, induced her to sign 
a new treaty with Frederic on October 23, 1769, 
and produced a Russo-Prussian Alliance which 
lasted until March 1780. 

A second meeting between Frederic and 
Joseph at Neustadt (Moravia) at the Austrian 
manoeuvres on September 30,= 1770, had really 
more important results than that of Neisse. It 
was memorable because Kaunitz, who had not 
seen Frederic for a generation, clasped hands 
with the man who had so often baffled all 
his diplomatic finesse. Frederic spoke freely 
to Kaunitz of the -dangers created by this 
" cursed Turkish War." Each agreed that the 
aggression of Russia formed a serious danger, 
and, while not abandoning their respective 
allies, each arranged to urge moderation on the 
Czarina. Prince Henry of Prussia went on a 
mission to Catherine at the end of 1770, and 
heard from her that she would insist on the 
Russian occupation, or at least on the complete 
independence, of Moldo-Wallachia. The news 
of this made Frederic write to his brother that 
he disapproved the terms, ar^d was not going 
to support Russia in her aggression, in order 
finally "to be spitted like Polyphemus." The 


Austrian trio were of tlic same opinion — but 
distrustod Frederic as much a§ Catherine. 

The means by which this mutual distrust 
among the three Powers w£^s removed, and 
the Turkish difficulty adjusted, were extra- 
ordinary. It was by the Partition of Poland. 

The state of anarchy in Polpnd had already 
caused an Austrian corps of observation to be 
stationed on its borders, and Joseph without 
opposition from Stanislas had already carried 
out a delimitation of boundaries. He had 
included Zips in Austria, a- district mainly 
(ierman in speech, which had hitherto been 
regarded as Polish territory. It had been 
pledged to Poland by Sigismund, King of 
Himgary, in 1412, and the Hujngarian Diet had 
declared in favour of its re-incorporation in 
Himgarian territory on many occasions and 
last of all in 1756. As Poland's claims to it 
were possibly disputable. King Stanislas not 
only allowed, but even requested Kaiser Joseph 
to annex Zips (May 1769). But it was ill 
making concessions to Kaiser Joseph, for he 
took the opportunity not only to occupy Zips, 
but to claim also Sandez, Neumarkt, and 
Gsorsztyn, to march troops irito them, and to 
Surround them with boundary posts topped 
with Austrian eagles. WhQ,tever may be 
thought of the occupation of Zips, it can 
hardly be denied that this other unjustifiable 
act of aggression gave the first direct sug- 


gestion for immediate annexation on a larger 
scale. If Austria had already acquired by 
ells, why should not Frederic and Catherine 
by miles ? 

To Frederic in 1771 the situation seems to 
have shaped itself as follows : " Russia occupies 
a large part of Turkish territory and threatens 
Poland, Austria holds a part of Polish territory 
and threatens yet more. Each appeals to me 
against the other, and at present I am in the 
situation of an arbiter, who possesses no 
equivalent of land to balance their proposed 
acquisitions." His remedy was ingenious and 
characteristic, and as early as February 1771 
he was instructing Prince Henry to suggest to 
Catherine a partition of Polish territory among 
the three Powers. By such acquisitions each 
Power could deal fairly with the other, Russia 
could relinquish too extensive a spoliation of 
Turkey, Austria could increase her Polish gains, 
and Frederic himself be satisfied with that 
modest remnant, Polish West Prussia. He 
made it quite clear that Prussia could not 
allow Austrian expansion in Poland, or Russian 
expansion in Turkey, to proceed unchecked. 
He was prepared to resist them to the last 
extremity except upon these terms which he 
laid down. Catherine was unwilling to re- 
linquish her hold either upon Poland or Turkey, 
but it was clear that persistence in her single- 
handed attempt to despoil the Poles meant war 


with Prussia, while to rob the Turks meant 
war with Austria. It was onfy at the expense 
of Polai\d that Prussia, Austria, and Russia 
could alike gain accessions of power, and the 
oiJy solution acceptable to all three parties, 
the sole way out of this maze of conflicting 
interests, was to guarantee the integrity of 
Turkey by securing the dispiemberment of 

Whatever may be thought; of the morality 
of these transactions it was the policy of them 
alone that seems to have been considered by 
Frederic and Catherine. Neither do Kaimitz 
and Joseph appear to have troubled their 
consciences, for much as the latter loved 
justice to be done to peasants he cared nothing 
about it for princes. Still one obstacle re- 
mained in the way of these heartless intriguers, 
the conscience of Maria Theresa. Her old- 
world piety, her sense of honour and of inter- 
national fair-dealing, were outraged by this 
shameless proposal to prevent the destruction 
of one independent state by proceeding to the 
dismemberment of another. But in truth her 
opposition was hopeless, Joseph's seizure of 
Zips and Neustadt — however insignificant in 
size as compared with the wholesale acquisi- 
tions proposed — had been tiie halloo which 
started the chase. It was useless to call off the 
hunters now that hounds were in cry and the 
quarry at view. Therefore with sighs and tears 


and protestations, and with warnings of the 
penalties which awaited international perjurers, 
she gave way, 

" She took though she wept," sneered 
Frederic. "She carved territory from Poland 
with one hand and used her handkerchief with 
the other," laughed the French ambassador at 
Vienna. This heartless ridicule of her motives 
and attitude shows how little old-fashioned 
virtue was impressive, or even intelligible, to 
the diplomatist of the day. The fact that 
England showed no indignation against the 
partition when once commercial advantages 
were secured to her, and that France made but 
a feeble remonstrance, proves the stagnation 
of international morality. 

Hence arose the famous, or rather the in- 
famous. Partition of Poland among Austria, 
Russia, and Prussia. On August 5, 1772, the 
treaty of partition among the three Powers 
was signed, and in September the project was 
revealed to the world. The historical claims, 
by which the three Powers masked their aggres- 
sion and which were solemnly put forward in 
this document, have deceived no one except 
some historians of the nineteenth century. 
Even apart from the fact th^it, in advancing 
hereditary claims, they only adopted a typical 
eighteenth century device, the previous negotia- 
tions show that their case w^s entirely based 
on expediency. Apart from the injustice of 


the original seizures, the portioits were equitably 
adjusted, the balance was he^d with an equal 
hand. Frederic gained only an addition of 
6i4 square geographical miles \vith 600,000 in- 
habitants, but the acquisition of West Prussia to 
him, by strengthening and knitting together his 
scattered dominions, was of immense strategic 
importance. Catherine acquiitd part of White 
Russia — 1975 square miles — with 1,800,000 
inhabitants, the lion's share in acreage; Austria 
but 1400 square miles (including Zips), yet 
with a population of 3,000,000 inhabitants, 
and with control over the ri<;h salt-mines of 
^Vieliscka, whose vast extent and wealth still 
win admiration from the modern traveller. 
In short Prussia had the advantage in strength, 
Austria in wealth, Russia in quantity, and on 
these grounds Frederic, with abausing cynicism, 
appeared to regard the transaction as inaugurat- 
ing a new era of international justice and good 
feeling. The honour, found among even less 
princely robbers, was at least present in the 
deahngs of these rulers with one another. The 
worst accusation against them indeed is not 
that they dismembered Polan.d, but that they 
guaranteed to her the old anarchic constitution, 
and thus provided themselves with an excuse 
or opportunity for further dismemberment. 

These transactions can only be incidentally 
noticed here, so that their bearing on the general 
situation may be seen. They had decisively 


shown that the diplomatic cards were again 
being shuffled. Austria was no longer passive 
or pacific; the ardent Kaiser Joseph and the 
restless Kaunitz had obviously increased their 
influence over Maria Theresa, and had become 
the chief directors of Austrian policy. Russia 
was, for the time being, somewhat estranged 
from her ally Prussia ; for Frederic had done 
much to cause the Polish partition and had 
thus checked the Russian absorption of Poland. 
For the next few years there was some revival 
of good feeling between the two German 
Powers, greatly to the benefit of Austria. Their 
union had already compelled Catherine to share 
her Polish spoils ; it was now to force her to 
disgorge many of her Turkish ones. In 1771 
Austria had concluded a convention with 
Turkey by which, in return for permission to 
occupy Little Wallachia and for commercial 
advantages, Austria had agreed to modify the 
Russian demands. In 1772 a united attempt 
by Austria and Prussia to summon a congress 
for the settlement of Eastern affairs resulted in 
failure, but at last in 1774, after a series of 
disastrous defeats, the Turks signed the Treaty 
of Kustchuk Kainardji under Austro-Prussian 
mediation. Along the Black Sea Russia gained 
largely at the expense of Turkey, but, in return 
for a species of protectorate over Orthodox 
Christians in the Turkish dominions, she with- 
drew from Moldo-Wallachia. This evacuation 


was the point about which Joseph and Frccicric- 
cared most, for it was here thfit the balance of 
power was really most endangered. How little 
either regarded the Turk as such is shown by 
the fact that Joseph refused to withdraw from 
the Bukowina, the north-west part of Moldavia 
---on the specious plea that he had carried out 
the convention of 1771 by forcing Russia's 
evacuation of Moldo-Wallachia (1775). This 
military occupation of the Bukowina continued 
till 1786, when it was fornaally annexed to 
Austria. This addition to Austrian territory 
was not formally opposed by Frederic but was 
viewed by him with the greatest suspicion. 
Kaiser Joseph was ruling the other two 
" Kings " at Vienna, and the firebrand was 
already threatening Europe. 

The questions of the E^st had for the 
moment been settled, Poland was helpless, 
Turkey quiescent, and Joseph and Kaunitz 
had adroitly used circumstances to filch terri- 
tory from both. But Prussia and Russia 
were still allies, and now that the Polish and 
Turkish problems were adjuste'd for the moment 
Austria looked westwards. From 1775 onwards 
Joseph's attention was turned to Germany, 
where he again attempted to breathe life into 
the old and nerveless Imperial machinery, in 
order to further Austrian designs. But here 
again he failed as he had failed before, he set 
Cathohc and Protestant states against one 


another in the Chambers of the Diet, threatened 
to impose arbitrary decisions upon them, and 
frightened every one with his imperious ways 
and impetuous energy. No real advance and 
much genuine suspicion were inspired by these 
efforts. It was natural that, in the awakened 
strife between Catholic and Protestant states, 
Joseph should pay attention to Bavaria, the 
most powerful Catholic state in Germany after 
Austria itself. With the death of the Elector 
in December 1777 the whole prospect opened, 
and Joseph promptly occupied the south-east 
part of Bavaria with troops. "From 1763 on- 
wards Austrian policy had been marked by a 
good deal of aggression and thirst for territory, 
gratified first at the Polish expense and then 
at the Turkish. Frederic had balanced Austria's 
gain in Galicia by his gain in Prussian Poland, 
he had been unable or unwilling to check the 
acquisition of the Bukowina. Would he now 
suffer Germany to be partitioned like Poland 
or Turkey ? 




1. The Last Elector of Bavaria and 
HIS Rule 

In the earlier part of the eighteenth century 
two different kinds of State 9,nd two opposed 
ideals of government were visible in Germany. 
One was Catholic, indolent, aind agrarian, the 
other mihtary, energetic, and Protestant. Pro- 
gressive states like Prussia under Frederic 
^Villiam I. sacrificed everything to efficiency, 
dressed ambassadors and ministers in rags in 
order to put soldiers in uniform, and levelled 
everything as flat and as bar6 as the Potsdam 
parade-ground. Mediaeval states, like Austria 
under Charles VI., surrendered everything to 
indolence and dignity, wrung money from their 
peasants for the splendours of the Court, and 
dreamt only of " playing burst frog to the ox 
of Versailles." By the mid-eighteenth century 
Prussia and Austria had changed all this ; 
Frederic had united the arts with arms, and 

49 E 


the Habsburgs had ceased to be mediaeval. 
In the lesser German States, however, fidelity 
to each respective type had been sternly main- 
tained, the mihtary efficiency of some was still 
great, the slumbers of others were still profound. 
In its mean ambitions and gigantic extrava- 
gance, in the pettiness of a policy which im- 
poverished a whole people to build a capital 
of Dresden china. Saxony clung to a vanishing 
ideal. In this respect even Bavaria was not 
so representative; its capital at least felt a 
breath of the new age, if the country as a whole 
showed more of the mediaeval atmosphere than 
any other German State. In the sunny valleys 
the peasant ploughed his land,- the forester shot 
his deer in the woodlands, the robber waylaid the 
traveller on the highways, the official pocketed 
his gains in the Chancery, just as in the im- 
memorial past. There were mutterings of a 
storm, there was stirring and movement of 
uneasy limbs, but none the less an enchanted 
sleep seemed still to hang over prince, court, 
and people. 

At this very moment (1776) the English 
Foreign Office demanded information as to 
the condition of Bavaria. Their request was 
answered by a report, dealing' with the history, 
constitution, and resources of Bavaria, and 
presenting a picture which would read like 
a satire to any one unacquainted with the 
possibilities of government in the eighteenth 


century,* ' Tlic (H)nstitution of Bavaria — the 
report declares — ^\as mediaeval in type, and 
the ruler was in theory restrained by a parlia- 
ment of throe estates or orders. In fact a full 
meeting of the three estate^ had not been 
called since 1669, and, though a committee with 
representatives from each order met every 
year to supervise the administration, their 
duties were perfunctory and their protests 
frequently disregarded. The Elector might be 
a limited monarch in theory, but " the restraints 
on his power are at present to be traced only in 
the authors who have written concerning the 
Bavarian constitution." The Elector imposed 
taxes, legislated, and acted Without limitation 
or restraint. He had a Cabinet Council of chief 
officials for great affairs of policy, but only 
consulted them when he wished ; he directed 
the army with the advice of such councillors 
and officers as he chose to select, and was con- 
fronted with no body which .could act as an 
effective check upon his wil|. Nowhere was 
power more absolute, nowhere were its results 
more disastrous. As to the army — which Avithin 
the last century and a half had been made the 
terror of Christendom by one Duke and the 
scourge of Islam by another-^it had become 
a laughing - stock. " I must own they (the 

* Memorial, S.P.F. German States, BavaT}a,\o{.\\\,subfin. The 
report is dated 177C and unsigned, but based on excellent information 
and apparently written by Hugh Elliot (uide S.P.F. Bavaria, vol. 
118, July 10, 1778, Eden to Suffolk). 


Bavarian troops) are upon the worst footing 
of any I have seen in Germany," wrote Hugh 
EUiot.* The memorial gave further details, it 
put the standing army at some 9000 men on 
paper and at about 5000 in reality, the militia 
at a nominal figure of 60,000, of whom one- 
tenth only could be raised within a short space 
of time. The artillery was "ill - constructed 
and indifferently served," the troops were "in 
bad order," and while the establishment " is 
loaded with supernumerary officers of all de- 
nominations, there is not one name known to 
the rest of Europe who has distinguished him- 
self in real service " ; after which it was not 
very consoling to learn that the small -arms 
were numerous and in good order/j" ^ 

With regard to finance, of which the Elector 
had again complete control, the situation was 
very grave. Revenues were scarce, it was only 
pensions that were abundant. There could be 
little doubt that expenditure exceeded income, 
and that the Elector had mortgaged all the 
possessions he could alienate; there was a 
general feeling that he was " avaricious," and 
that the country was oppressed and " im- 
poverished by the exactions of the Court." In 

* S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. Ill, Ratisbon, April 1, 1776. 
Elliot to Sufeolk, Private and Secret. 

t These statements do not appear irreconcilable with the evidence 
from Bavarian sources. Vide P. Miinnich, Geschichte der Eniwickelung 
der bairischen Armeen seit mwei Jahrhunderten, Miinchen, 1863, pp. 


fact, tlie chief intelligence shown by the govern- 
ment's management of finance was in its refusal 
to produce its accounts. Certain figures had 
indeed been published, but thpse were illusory, 
for the Elector and his finance minister " are 
alone acquainted ^vith the real amount, and " 
(quite intelligibly) " think their interest en- 
gaged to conceal it." At such hands commerce 
fared no better than finance, despite the fact 
that the soil and resources of Bavaria afforded 
excellent opportunities for producing raw mate- 
rials " were the wisdom of the government or 
the interest of the people eq^ial to any com- 
mercial enterprise." So little had been done for 
internal manufactures that some of those which 
had been inaugurated had been abandoned; 
so unskilful was the management of the customs 
that they produced hardly any revenue.^ 

After these instances of governmental mis- 
management, it may not be surprising to learn 
that the writer of the report considered the 
character of the ministers to be distinguished 
only by their situation ; one was idle, another 
extravagant, a third of low birth, and a fourth, 
Kreittmayr, the Chancellor, being remarkable 
for candour, integrity, and a mind enlarged by 
study, was (not unnaturally) disgusted with the 
rest of them. As for Max Joseph the Elector, 
he was reputed to be wea% unsteady, and 
avaricious, though the reporter adds discreetly : 
" Separated from the ordinary intercom'se of 


society, Princes are only seen through the 
medium of public transactions . . . certain it 
is that those who approach the Elector of 
Bavaria in his private moments will discover 
many accomplishments and more virtues." * 
His pubhc conduct is thrown into a strong light 
by the following incident. " The inhabitants 
of a small town, called Osterhoven, situated 
near the banks of the Danube, have long exer- 
cised a right of pasturage upon an adjacent 
common of considerable extent. This spot, 
which is at present in a state of nature, was 
represented to the Elector as capable of im- 
provement, and he ordered a division of it to 
be made among the people of the place. They 
complained both of the general hardship of the 
measure and of the particular injustice of the 
person entrusted with the execution of it — 
Count Bercheim, bailiff of the district — who, it 
was affirmed, had assigned the largest and most 
fertile portion of it to one of his own family. 
They even went so far as by open violence to 
impede the partition, and to throw down the 
fences that were attempted to be raised. 
Upon this, the Elector ordered a Military 
Execution, which was rigorously put in force. 
Last week a number of the sufferers came to 

* 8.P.F. German states, Bavaria,-vol.lll,'EnioVa Unsigned Report 
on State of Bavaria. Liston describes in a private letter an instance 
of how Elliot approached the Elector " in his private moments " 
and made him diunk with punch (Minto's. Memoir of Hugh Elliot, 
p. 35). 


jMunich, with ropes about their necks, threw 
thoinsolvos upon their knees belV)re the gates 
of the Palace, and implored, from the justice of 
the Elector, either the redress of their griev- 
ances or an immediate death. His Electoral 
Highness thought proper to dismiss them, with 
a promise to enquire into the ^tate of the case, 
and in tlie meantime has ordered matters to 
remain upon the old footing." * 

Beside this grim picture we can place an en- 
chanting one, for indolence in government was 
balanced by energy in pleasure. Hugh Elliot 
admitted that " in music and debauchery " at 
least the Court was " on a par with the rest of 
Europe." Nymphenburg, the summer palace 
of the Elector, was a miniature Versailles, a 
world of "Watteau and Dresden china. There, 
driving through the woods by moonhght in 
phaetons, floating on the lake in-gilded gondolas, 
or wandering through the frescoed galleries, 
the Elector and his gay court spent their time, 
Hugh Elliot the gayest and most scandalous 
of them all. In Munich the scene was equally 
bright, and there was the additional joy of a 
French opera and of card-parties at which huge 

* Vide S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. Ill, April 27, 1770, 
Munich, Listen to Eden. Italics my own. Even Liston was shocked 
by this action, and pointed out that the exc,rtion of such a riglit by 
the Elector might involve all uncultivated lands in his domains, 
as the rights to them were only held by immfemorial possession ; the 
amount thus possibly involved was said to amount to nearly a fourth 
of the whole Electorate. 


sums could be lost. Sometimes religion over- 
whelmed the Court, and the Electress, who so 
often led the revels at Nymphenburg, would 
direct the pieties of the capital. In company 
with her chief ladies, and attended by twelve 
poor girls of the town, she would lead a peni- 
tential procession (entitled with a certain irony 
the " Slaves of Virtue ") and visit all the 
churches and chapels of Munich on foot. The 
fair pilgrims assumed white dresses like those 
of nuns, to show their pious simplicity, though 
some of them so far remembered the world as 
to wear rouge upon their cheeks. In such a 
court and company it was hard to be serious 
save in pleasure.* 

To German historians the verdict of ElHot 
in 1776 may seem somewhat surprising, for 
the reign of Max Joseph (1745-77) is always 
regarded as the beginning of the age of en- 
lightenment, and the ruler as one of the 
Philosophic Despots. To EUiot's pictures of 
an indolent and luxurious tyrant they have 
added another which shows fiim as a man of 
feeling heart. During the terrible famines of 
1770-71 Max Joseph was sedulously kept in 
ignorance of the sufferings of the people by his 
Ministers. But one day as he drove from his 
palace gates, a crowd of wasted and famished 
wretches surrounded his carriage, shrieking for 
food. The kindly Max burst into tears : " Your 
children shall have bread," hei exclaimed to the 


crowd, and he kept liis word. Two million 
gulden of his private fortune were spent in 
importing corn from Italy to relieve the sufferers, 
and two corrupt officials were sentenced to 
death." This action, as well as the fact that 
he was the last Bavarian \\'ittelsbach, earned 
him the title of " Vater Max " and " Der 
Vielgehebte " (Much -beloved).* But history 
is a sharp inquisitor, and she cannot perinit 
an amiable character or isolated examples 
of benevolence to excuse a ruler whose 
policy tended to be harsh, indolent, or 

Elliot's verdict on the ruler appears indeed 
in some senses to be too sterri. No one could 
accuse Max Joseph of not loving pleasure, but 
he had some sense of restraint and economy 
in its pursuit, and never imitated the Oriental 
extravagance of a Saxon Augustus or a French 
Louis. Considerable efforts td reduce expendi- 
ture had been made, though unfortunately 
most of the retrenchment wa& at the expense 
of the army. Still most of the* Court offices had 
been made honorary posts, and the general 
Court expenditure, as compared with that of 
other German states and previous Bavarian 
rulers, was moderate. The chief item open to 
criticism in Court expenditure was the pensions, 
which cost two hundred thousand florins a year. 
The largest part of this sum consisted of pensions 
granted to his very numerous bastards by Max 


Joseph's father — ^the Emperor Charles VII. 
The pensions actually granted by Max Joseph 
himself were moderate, but the pension list 
as a whole was unjustifiably large, and it was 
much curtailed by Max Joseph's successor.® 
Any one who studies either the portraits or 
the policy of Max Joseph can see these char- 
acteristics at once in the mild, weak, pleasant 
face of the prince, or in the careless, well- 
intentioned disorder of his rule. Yet Max 
Joseph is not one of the apes, of Versailles, he 
is entitled to a place among the enlightened 
despots, though he was less enlightened and 
more despotic than most of them. The be- 
ginning of his reign has perhaps justly been 
regarded by Bavarians as the dawn of a new 
day ; its end and outcome, as pictured by Elliot, 
forms a rather tragic contrast. None the less 
real efforts and some progress had been made. 
During the years 1751-56 Ma,x Joseph caused 
his Vice-Chancellor Kreittmayr to draw up a 
complete civil and criminal code upon the 
approved principles of the age.' Kreittmayr 
executed the project with applause, and Max 
Joseph took rank as the Bavarian Justinian. 
In imitation of the Codex Fridericianus this 
code was termed Maximileanus, and thus be- 
trayed the source and origin of its inspiration. 
Max was not above taking a hint from the King 
of Prussia in other respects* Frederic once 
called Bavaria " a land fair as Paradise in- 


habited by fiends," and the denizens of his 
Inferno were the Cathohe clergy. Max Joseph 
did something to restrain the. excessive power 
of Jesuits and priests in his land, and in the 
teeth of their opposition he founded his famous 
Electoral Academy of Sciences (1759).* He 
also did something to introduce a scientific 
spirit into education, and to improve the high 
schools and Universities, an^ in especial to 
benefit poor scholars. In 1771 he went further, 
and instituted a universal system of compulsory 
education.* * The funds necessary for so great 
a project were supplied by appropriations from 
the property of the Jesuits, who were dissolved 
as an Order in 1773. All these reforms were 
worthy of the highest praise, but they were 
sketches rather than realities, and their in- 
fluence and effect were not apparent at once. 
Under happier auspices indeed the remembrance 
or the preservation of these ideals enabled them 
to be translated into reality, and in the earlier 
years of the nineteenth century Bavaria became 
a genuine centre of enlightenriient. The liber- 
ahty of the clergy had become equal to the 
learning of the scientists, and Munich derived 
equal lustre from her theology and her Academy. 
From this elevation Bavarians looked back and 
paid a too-generous homage tb the memory of 
Max Joseph. 

♦ It is rather amusing that Elliot should criticize Bavarian 
education as old-fashioned. In this particular respect Bavaria was 
exactly a century in advance of England. 


In truth that ruler was happier in ideals 
than in achievements, and it is the latter which 
are criticized by contemporaries. Judged by 
any practical or material standard a contem- 
porary might well think that Bavaria had not 
awakened, that she had only stirred in her 
sleep. In one respect Max Joseph indeed 
deserves his fame; the enlightened ruler who 
humanized the law and instituted a state- 
system of education at such a period, deserved 
well both of Bavaria and humanity. At the 
moment, indeed, the results of this policy were 
not apparent, for the fruits of education ripen 
slowly, though they bear a hundredfold at the 
last. Apart from education, the bitter verdict 
of Elliot had much truth, despite the good 
intentions and occasionally well-directed efforts 
of Max Joseph. In manufactures and state 
control of industry there was little practical 
improvement ; among the people and in the 
government offices there was little diminution 
of corruption, of expense, or of misery. Per- 
haps one reason of the failure was the brutish 
ignorance and suspicion of the Bavarian 
peasants, and the obscurantist opposition of 
the clergy. But no far-reaching reforms were 
carried in any land at this time without serious 
opposition, and the blame of failure rests to 
some extent on Max Joseph. What really able 
and energetic ruler wotdd have waited to be 
stirred into action by the horrors of a starving 


multitude, or by the sight df wretches with 
ropes roiuid their necks ? Wliat would not 
a stern practical Frederic, or an ardent Kaiser 
Joseph, afire for the betterment of his people, 
have effected in Bavaria ? Ignorance of the 
people may be an excuse fof- despotism, but 
a tyrant, who lacks perseverance, destroys the 
justification of his power. It may, indeed, be 
pleaded that IMax Joseph failed by attempt- 
ing too much rather than too little, and that his 
very enlightenment proved his failure. Yet 
everywhere else the enlightened despot intro- 
duced energy into the administration and 
economy into the finances, and greatly 
strengthened the military forces of his state. 
Max Joseph did httle to stir his sleepy and 
corrupt bureaucracy into action and, though 
he effected a shght improvement in the financial 
system, only did so by utterly destroying the 
military one. It is difficult to see how any 
prince of intelligence could have permitted his 
army to dwindle and to rot at a moment 
when he knew a disputed succession to be 
inevitable in a few years. A powerful or well- 
organized force would have given Bavaria 
some status and consideration in the eyes 
of Europe. Without this Bavaria could have 
no voice in settling her own affairs when 
the succession was' disputed. At no time 
and in no state was a strong army more 
needed to preserve national independence and 


dignity, and the failure to provide it actually 
lured on ambitious Powers to dismember 
the country. Judged by that iron test Max 
Joseph cannot be held to have deserved well 
of Bavaria. 

A land so governed invited annexation ; a 
prince, who ruled thus in the age of philosophic 
despots, deserved to lose his power. Premature 
attempts at enlightenment had not wholly 
failed, but for the moment served only to reveal 
the stagnation. Ideals may be stronger than 
armies, but as yet the soldiers were at hand 
and the ideals afar off; Bavaria seemed the 
very land for an ambitious neighbouring ruler 
to covet, or to browbeat, to threaten, to conquer 
or annex. Was not the rule of the ardent 
Kaiser Joseph — with his thousand schemes for 
freeing the serf, for developing commerce and 
industry — ^likely to be more merciful and more 
just than that of their Elector, amiable and 
enlightened though he was ? 

If the internal situation of Bavaria was bad, 
the external aspect of her affairs was infinitely 
worse. Indeed the fact that the English Foreign 
Office asked for a report and information as to 
the internal condition of Bavaria was, in itself, 
highly alarming. The England of that day had 
no commercial concern with a state which only 
received £3000 worth of her goods, and had 
no interest in her whatever from the abstract 
or antiquarian standpoint. English interest 


was not excited by l};ivari;i luisiH, but because 
Bavaria's Elector was the last of his race, and 
because his territory was likely to be parted 
amonjj the Powers on his death. On January 
6, 1770, Hugh Elhot, perhaps the acutest 
Enghsh diplomatist then living, who had been 
sent to watch the Imperial Diet at Ratisbon 
(Regensburg), reported that it- was the opinion 
of most members of the Diet as well as his own 
" that we are upon the eve of some great 
change in the political state of Germany." * 
The attempts of Joseph to revive and re-inspire 
the Empire had only shown its weaknesses, and 
the result of the Diet of 1776 had divided the 
different states more than ever. It had served 
to reveal Austria, at the head of one body of 
states, bitterly opposed to Prussia at the head 
of another, and each alike unchecked by the 
old traditions of law and order and respect for 
the Germanic body. "Where law had lost its 
force, force would have its Jaw. When the 
two powerful states were at variance it was 
time for the smaller ones to tremble, especially 
when the Bavarian Successidn came up for 
settlement at the Germanic Diet. It seemed 
unlikely to English diplomats that this, or one 
or two other successions pending, would be 
settled peacefully at the Diet. Should no such 
arrangements be made " the Courts of Vienna 

* S.P.F. German Slates, Bavaria, vol. Ill, Elliot to' Suffolk, 
January 6, 1776, 


and Berlin will either proseciite their separate 
claims by the sword and involve Germany in 
war, or they will even extend the same system 
of partition into the Empire that proved so 
irresistible in Poland." * " It was of the ut- 
most importance to Europe as well as to 
Germany to set bounds to the hardened ambi- 
tion of a monarch grown old in the arts of 
conquest and acquisition, to check the aspira- 
tions of a young prince fired with ideas of 
military glory and aggrandisement." f But 
unfortunately no power existed that could 
impose these bounds on Frederic or Joseph, for 
England had her eyes on America, and France 
had her eyes on England, To the clear judg- 
ment of Elliot it was apparent therefore that 
the struggle in Germany must come soon, and 
must centre round Bavaria. " Nothing could 
better serve the purpose of extending, and at 
the same time uniting, the dominions of the 
House of Austria than its acquisition." The 
statesmen of Vienna — with Kaunitz at their 
head — were of no other opinion. 

On military as well as political grounds 
Kaiser Joseph realized the unspeakable import- 
ance of Bavaria to Austria. In the wars of 
1703-4 and of 1741-42 it was from Bavaria 

* S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. Ill, Memorial on the Diet 
of Ratisbon, 1776. That the authorship of this report also is almost 
certainly Elliot's is proved by S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. 
118, July 10, 1778, Eden to Suffolk. 

t Ibid. 


that Vienna had been threatened ; within the 
last sevcMity >cars it had bcka twice proved 
that a hostile Bavaria could endanger tlie very 
existence of the Austrian State. Yet the 
pohtics of iMuuich were so unstable that her 
friendship could not be trusted, least of all in 
the decade before 1778. Hence, if the danger 
from this side was to be averted, it could only 
be by annexation of Bavaria, Or at any rate of 
a part sufficient to give strategic safety to 
Austria. Command of the Innds round the 
Inn would allow Austria to control the Upper 
Danube ; Passau would become the bridgehead, 
the Janiculum of Vienna, and a broad band of 
German territory would bind Bohemia to the 
Tyrol, thus increasing the Teutonic population 
of Austria. On every ground the annexation, 
or at least the partition, of Bavaria appeared 
to be a vital necessity to Kaiser Joseph.^" 
The diplomatists of Europe had all realized 
the danger probable on the death of the now 
ageing Elector. As early as 17=60 Kaunitz and 
Frederic had been glancing towards Bavaria. 
During 1776 English diplomatists were speculat- 
ing on it, and drawing up lists of possible 
claimants, France and Prussia were watching, 
and every German Court was eagerly expectant 
for the first signs of the opening storm. Only 
the Court which was most af|ected seemed to 
be least disturbed. " Munich," wrote Hugh 
EUiot, " is perhaps the Court in Europe the 


least acquainted with its own interests or the 
designs of others." * 

Thus in the opinion of all statesmen, the 
horrors of a disputed succession were soon to 
hang over Bavaria, the stormy waters of diplo- 
macy were soon to turn a sleepy hollow into a 
whirlpool, but the Court at Munich slumbered 
still. Even though its army and resources were 
contemptible, a wise and firm diplomacy and 
a knowledge of German politics might have 
given Bavaria a prominent position. But the 
Elector and his council could not be aroused 
from their lethargy to take any interest or 
active share in politics, even by Kaiser Joseph's 
attempts to revive the vitality of the Empire, 
by all his visitations and appeals, by his schemes 
and his threats. So little did the Elector and 
his council know of the laws of' the Empire, that 
they imposed customs-duties in direct contra- 
vention of them (1763 and 1770). Then when 
the other German States protested, instead of 
allowing the matter to be settled at the Diet, 
the Bavarian Elector appealed directly to the 
Emperor for his arbitration, "a step which 
equally betrayed a want of resolution and of 
good policy." f 

Kaiser Joseph decided against him and 

* S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. 112, April 3, 1776, Munich, 
Elliot to Suffolk. 

t S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. 112, Munich, April 14, 1777, 
Private, Eden to Suffolk ; also vol. Ill, Memorial on the Diet of 
Batisbon, 1776, pp. 55. 


ordered him to withdraw tlfe new cusioiiis- 
dues. The Elector protested, shullled, refused, 
but was finally frightened into submission by a 
show of force (1771). " It were to l)c wished," 
adds Eden sardonically, " th'at this was the 
only instance wherein the real solid interests 
and happiness of this country are sacrificed to 
the pride and pique of the monlent." * Hence- 
forth the Elector and his ministers distrusted 
Austria and pursued towards, her a policy of 
mingled servility and duplicity, though without 
showing any more diplomatic wisdom than 
before. Even when contentions ran high at 
the Diet over Kaiser Joseph's reforms, when 
deputies from all Germany intrigued, fought, 
and baffled one another, Bavarian ministers 
took no active, intelligent part in the politics 
of the Diet, though it met on Bavarian soil. 
Their influence was used bHndly upon the 
Austrian side without inquiry into the merits 
of the disputes and without exacting conditions 
of support. 

The Elector himself, though accorded the 
rights of a sovereign prince, degraded himself 
to Austria " by making the Imperial Am- 
bassador a visit and giving $im the hand in 
his Palace, which certainly no crowned head 
in Europe would do." So reported Stormont 
on January 16, 1765 ; Elliot and Eden gave 

• S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. 112, Munich, April 11, 
Eden to Suffolk. 


equally bad reports in 1776-I.T. Count Hartig, 
the Austrian Commissary in Munich, displayed 
an almost regal ostentation and magnificence, 
and dazzled the Elector and his Court. To the 
irreverent Elliot he appeared only as a " little 
decrepit man." However that was, Hartig 
spared no effort or entertainment to please the 
Bavarian nobles, employing spies and bribes 
without number to form an Austrian party 
among them. Austrian ideas had begun to 
enter Munich, Austrian nobles were encouraged 
to spend their money there. A Viennese 
merchant had improved the manufacture of 
saltpetre, Viennese bankers were ready to 
accommodate Elector or courtiers with loans, 
Austrian enterprise was evidently benefiting the 
country. More significant even than these efforts 
were the attentions bestowed by the Austrian 
dynasty upon Bavaria. The Emperor Joseph II. 
married Josepha the Elector's sister in 1764, 
and though she died in 1767 the Austrian in- 
fluence was maintained. The fat and amiable 
Archduke Maximilian visited Munich in 1775, 
causing some scandal by promoting festivities 
in Lent and some amusement by the bourgeois 
decorum of his behaviour. Then in the spring 
of 1777 came Kaiser Joseph himself on one of 
his usual mysterious visits, wearing his plain 
black coat, bearing the pseudonym of Count 
Falkenstein, bringing a train of only twenty- 
eight persons, lodging as usual at the principal 


inn, but so tar condcscendiiig to etiquette as to 
dine every day with the Elector.* No doubl all 
that Josepli heard and saw tendfed to confirm him 
in his design to make Bavaria- in name what it 
alread>' appeared in fact — a pro^'in(•e of Austria. 
Austrian diplomacy certainly did not under- 
rate the weakness and ignorance of Bavarian 
ministers, it understood that they were always 
amenable to threats or to bribes, but it had 
forgotten to consider one important factor — 
the Elector himself. His own personal pride 
had been cruelly wounded by the humiliations 
of 1771, and for that reason, as well as for family 
ones, he wished to hand down, the whole of his 
territory unimpaired to his heir, Karl Theodor, 
the Elector Palatine. Therefore he hated 
Austria and, though afraid to show his resent- 
ment, he sought everywhere for allies against 
her. It was useless to turn to France, once a 
faithful friend ; she was now an Austrian ally 
and took so little interest in Bavaria that she 
did not even always have a minister there. 
For a moment the Elector thought of turning 
to England, and — conscious that she was think- 
ing of hiring German mercen^tries to quell the 
American disturbances — sought out Hugh Elliot 
and offered him his ragged tatterdemalions for 
hire. The astute British repa-esentative, who 

• S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. Ill, despatih of July 6, 
177C. Vide also Memorial, ibid. vol. 112, Munich, Eden to Suffolk, 
April 6, 1777. 


knew the worthlessness of the Bavarian troops, 
replied with polite ambiguity. " With a view 
to sound the Elector's connections with Austria 
and France I pretended surprise, and said that 
I had considered His Highness as too closely 
united with other Powers to have been at liberty 
to dispose of his troops without their con- 
currence." This subtlety roused His Highness 
effectually, induced him to declare his perfect 
liberty to dispose of his own troops as he would, 
and led him to speak " of the conduct of the 
Court of Vienna with great bitterness and 
enmity." His sister's (Josepha's) marriage with 
the Emperor had only served as a pretence for 
loading him (the Elector) with accumulated 
mortifications and indignities. " He particu- 
larly dwelt upon his certainty that the Emperor 
sought for an opportunity of extending the 
same system of envahissement into Germany 
which had been so successful in Poland. The 
Elector then added with great- seriousness that 
what he said to me upon this occasion might 
convince his (British) Majesty" of his confidence 
and trust in him, as the Court of Vienna would 
not fail to revenge itself of such language were 
it ever to transpire. The Elector concluded 
by strongly recommending to rhe not to mention 
to any of his ministers his having shown a 
desire to enter into subsidiary treaties with His 
Britannic Majesty ; as he did not choose to 
be exposed to the disagrement of having it 


known, witlioiit a {)rospcct ol' reaping some 
advantage from it." * 

Sucli was the hai)lrss plight of tlic Elector, 
hating Austria, trusting no one arovuid him, 
'■ in a Court so evidently sold to Austria and 
France that the Prince himself thought it 
proper to warn me against his own ministers." 
But, weak as the Elector may have been, it was 
an element of strength to him that he knew 
his own weakness and that of his ministers. 
Already, as a matter of fact, he had drawn up 
a will, leaving everything that he could leave 
to the Elector Palatine — his nearest legal heir. 
He at least had enough attachment to his 
nearest relative to wish to hand down his 
territories undivided, and so far as possible 
he made State-morality and treaty-obhgation 
stand sentries for the due observance of his 
wishes. Having made his will he sought, and, 
as we have seen, vainly, to get allies who might 
possibly support it. During 1777 he was 
pushed hard by the Austrian S'linister to make 
some arrangements for partitioning his territory, 
but he was able to procrastinate and delay till 
the end. This was not far off; on December 
14, 1777, Eden the British resident reported a 
shght indisposition in the Elector — measles — 

♦ S.I'.F. (Jerman Slates, llav/tna,vo\. IIP, llutisbon, A|)ril 1, 1770. 
Ratibbon — Elliot to Suffolk, [jrivate and secret. Klliot adds a P.S. : 
" I hope this letter will not appear in my olDcial ii)rris|Kindcncr," 
of which, fortunately, no notice was taken. I'art of tliU letter is 
printed in F. Kapp, Der SoldiUcn-IIandcl Deutschcr Fiir.tlrn iiach 
Amerika (1776-83), Berlin, 1861. 


and " those of the most favourable sort" (that 
is, presumably native and German). But the 
physician had blundered, for it was not measles 
but smallpox ; his remedies were inappropriate, 
and the Elector sank rapidly. On December 30 
he said to his confessor, " I dreamt that I shall 
die to-night and it will be so. Good-bye, dear 
and beautiful Bavaria ; beloved wife, farewell ; 
dear subjects, farewell, I will pray for you the 
blessing of God." * These were the last 
words of this amiable Prince. Eden recorded 
bitterly, " It will not be too harsh a judgment 
to pronounce that the life of this prince has 
been sacrificed to the bigoted ignorance of his 
confidential physician, who would not at first 
allow his indisposition to be — what it reaUy 
was — ^the smallpox ; and who, even after being 
convinced of it, still refused to aid the efforts 
of his constitution by any assistance, of any 
kind — ^internal or external." f But more than 
the life of the Prince had been sacrificed. The 
untoward suddenness of his death imperilled the 
destiny of Bavaria and the future of Germany. 

2. Claims and Countek-Cxaims to the 
Inheritance of Max Joseph 

While Bavaria stands hushed at the death- 
bed of Max Joseph we may turn aside and 

* Buchner, ix. 279. 

t S.P.F, German States, Bavaria, vol. 112, Munich, December 
30, 1777, Eden to Suffolk. 


imitate the publicists and slatcsiueii oJ' Europe 
in considering the possible claims and <'luiniants 
of the inheritance. 01" these far the most 
important weie Kaiser Joseph, who claimed 
portions of Bavaria both as Holy Roman 
Emperor and as Austrian heir, and Karl 
Theodor, Elector Palatine, >^ho claimed the 
whole inheritance in virtue ofi hereditary right. 
Karl Theodor's claims were embarrassed ])y 
the pretensions of his nephew and heir, Charles 
Duke of Zwcibriicken (Deux-Ponts). If he 
consented to abrogate a portion of his rights 
to other claimants, it by no means followed 
that Zwcibriicken would do t»he same, and it 
is on the disputes between these two that a 
good deal of the Succession turns. Besides 
these principals, there were minor claimants 
to portions of the inheritancfe, the Elector of 
Saxony and the Duke of Mecldlenburg-Schwerin, 
but these were not, in the real sense, important 
and need not for the moment detain us. 

It needs no plunge into dusty folios nor 
turning of yellow parchments to decide on 
the merits of the claimants. One German 
historian has reckoned that 288 contemporary 
books were written on the subject at the time, 
since when the learned dissertations upon it 
have not been few." It is, however, difficult 
to conceive any research less fruitful and more 
purely antiquarian in interest. The British 
records preserve two reports on the probable 


claimants to the inheritance— each written by 
an acknowledged master of diplomacy.^^ Keith 
our Austrian and Elliot our Bavarian ambassador 
both drew up reports in 1776,„ before the actual 
claims were put forward, and their judgment 
on the whole question has therefore an unusual 
impartiality. It is worth noting that, though 
the insight of one of these men discovered the 
tract of territory that Kaiser Joseph was to 
claim, all his learning had not revealed to him 
the actual nature of the claim; That fact is no 
bad commentary on its intrinsic value. 

Lower Bavaria was the chief territory 
claimed by Kaiser Joseph, and the claim first 
appears in the Treaty of Partition of January 
3, 1778, concluded between representatives of 
Karl Theodor and Joseph, which will be 
described later. There it is stated that Austria 
claimed the districts round the Inn and a great 
part of Lower Bavaria, in virtue of the letter 
of investiture given by the Eniperor Sigismund 
to Duke Albert V. of Austria iii 1426.1^ Keith 
wrote acidly that such a claim was manifestly 
open to contestation, as in 1430 the Emperor 
gave a final decision, which divided the succes- 
sion amongst the remaining branches of the 
Bavarian House to the exclusion of Albert. 
It was also singular that in the two " great 
wars of 1700 and 1740 when all Bavaria (for 
a time) was possessed by the Austrians no 
mention was made of such a Right." Subse- 


quently it was discovered iliat AJbcrt had 
ai'tually made an Aft. uC roininciatioii ol" his 
right in 1 1'JO. Facu if this Iftst Act was not 
a I'orifoiy, as the Aiistriaiis declared it to be, 
the original claim had lain dormant three 
hundred and fifty >'cars. It Was in any case 
singidarly weak. Maria Theresa does not 
appear to have believed in it, and — irony of 
ironies — Frederic himsell" seei^is to have had 
a better claim, had he wished to urge it ! ^* 

Elliot gi\'es the best comlnentary on the 
whole tangle of genealogical confusion. " In 
this age the cabinets of the greater Powers 
dispose of the territories of the less without 
much previous negotiations.'". . .* " In an 
age marked with the violence of military 
usurpation the future state of the Electorate 
is more Ukely to be decided by the Political 
arrangements of its powerful neighbours than 
by the legal sentences of a tribunal of Justice." | 
The real claims rested on the strength of 
Joseph's army and on Frederic's view of the 
necessities of the balance of power ; the real 
tribunal was the battlefield. 

None the less parchments and precedents 
were never without some effect in the eighteenth 
century ; in 1772 Joseph and Frederic had called 
Up historical ghosts from the records to justify 

♦ SJP.F. German Stales, Bavaria, vol. Ill, Elliot to SuHoIk, April 
3, 1776. 

t Ibid. Memorial on Bavaria, 1770. 


even the Polish Partition. When it concerned 
succession to a part of the Germanic Empire this 
process was much more necessary, and Austrian 
and Prussian pubhcists speedily marshalled 
their pale armies of precedents. For the 
further understanding of the negotiations the 
nature of these claims must be stated. Otto I. 
— ^the first Wittelsbach Duke of Bavaria — ^had 
acquired the Duchy in 1180 ; his grandson Otto 
II. likewise acquired the Electorate of the 
Palatinate by marriage. In 1329 these terri- 
tories were divided among two. branches of the 
family, by an arrangement known as the Treaty 
of Pavia. The elder or Rodolphine branch of 
the family (from which Karl Theodor was 
descended) took the Lower and Upper Pala- 
tinate with Sulzbach, the younger or Wilhel- 
mine branch (from which Max Joseph was 
lineally descended) taking Upper Bavaria and 
Neuburg. Lower Bavaria is not mentioned 
specifically in the treaty, because it was in- 
herited separately by the Emperor Lewis, who 
was the Wilhelmine representative in the Pavia 
Treaty. But by custom, usage, and the 
practice of agnation it appears to have become 
well understood that neither branch of the line 
could alienate their estates without consent of 
the other, and that the whole territories would, 
in the case of the extinction of either line, re- 
vert to the other.^^ One subsequent altera- 
tion had been made in these arrangements by 


the consent dT the Germanic Diet in Ki'^.'J, and 
confirmed at the IVace of Wesiphaha in 1648 — 
the Upper Pahitinate h;id l)een transferred from 
the Elector Palatine to the Elector of Bavaria, 
but it had hctu specially provided that this 
province should revert to the Rodolphinc line 
if the ^^'illu'lnune line became extinguished. 
On these principles the claims of the Rodolphine 
Karl Theodor — Elector Palatine — to the Wil- 
helniine lands of 'Max Joseph are clear enough. 
By the Treaty of Pa^ia he was entitled to Upper 
Bavaria Xeuburg, Sulzbach, and the Lower 
Palatinate, to the Upper Palatinate by the 
Treaty of ^Vestphalia; Lower Bavaria he 
claimed by the doctrine of .agnation. \Vith 
regard to these dominions his rights seemed 
indisputable, the only one admitting of any 
question being his claim on Lower Bavaria. 
But with regard to other parts of the Bavarian 
dominions, not thus mentioned, the claims of 
Karl Theodor were much more dubious. Since 
1329 there had been a large number of acqui- 
sitions and accretions made by the various 
Dukes of Bavaria at different times, of which 
the disposal had not been expressly regulated 
by law. Some of these acquisitions were 
Imperial Fiefs, which might fairly be held to 
escheat to the Emperor on the death of the 
last male heir of the Wilhelniine hne ; othere 
were allodial properties which might be con- 
sidered to descend to the nearest female relative. 


The heiress to these allodial properties was the 
Dowager Duchess of Saxony^ who had made 
over her rights to her son, the Saxon Elector. 
They were not, however, very numerous or 
important, and from the very- beginning it was 
thought that this claim might be settled by 
monetary compensation and small concessions. 
The question of the Imperial Fiefs was a 
different and more serious one. By custom 
all feudal questions of this kind came before 
the Aulic Council, but the Aulic Council could 
be controlled by the Emperor, and Kaiser 
Joseph was likely to give decisions on the 
questions of the Imperial Fjefs in a purely 
Austrian sense and interest.* The question as 
to what were Imperial Fiefs might be applied 
to various towns and districts, such as Mindel- 
heim, once the principality of the great Duke 
of Marlborough, some fiefs in the Upper 
Palatinate, and the like. But the whole ques- 
tion of the lordship over these fiefs, and their 
acquisition by Kaiser Joseph would not be of 
great importance. The real point was whether 
he could advance any title to Lower Bavaria. 

Max Joseph was determined to put Austria 
legally in the wrong on all points. Even if he 
could not hand down his possessions unim- 
paired to Karl Theodor, he could at least give 
him the best moral claim to them. In 1766 

* S.P.F. Oerman Stales, Bavaria, vol. Ill, Anonjrmous Report 


]\I;ix Joseph had conchidcd a secret family 
compact with the KUitor Palatine, reullirming 
the union of Wilhelmine and Rodolphine posses- 
sions on his death. In 1769 he drew up a i'onnal 
and definite will on the same basis, whieh was 
kno^v^l only to a few Bavarian ministers and to 
Karl Theodor and one of his Palatine coun- 
cillors.^® In 1771 and 1774 iMax Joseph con- 
cluded fresh compacts on the same basis, and 
renewed the old treaties. To strengthen these 
bonds Karl Theodor made an agreement with 
Charles Duke of Zweibriicken, his own nephew 
and heir, on August 5, 1777, each party 
agreeing to do nothing with regard to the 
succession \vithout the consen,t of the other. 
Just at this moment Zweibriicken informed 
Max Joseph that Karl Theodor was negotiating 
secretly with Austria. The news caused the 
greatest agitation to Max Joseph, and he was 
looking everywhere for support against the 
hated Austrian and the treaclierous Elector 
Palatine, when death overcame:him. 

By the death of Max Joseph, Zweibriicken, 
the next heir after Karl Theodor, was left 
deserted, and it appeared that his future 
possessions might now be dismembered. Svich 
a project he was resolved to resist, and he 
looked around everywhere for support. The 
day after Max Joseph's death the Duchess of 
Zweibriicken, who was residing at jMunich in 
the absence of her husband, received a visit 




AUein ein Pergament, beschrieben und bepragl, 
Isl ein Gespatsl, vor dem sich Me scheuen. 

(SailUess — a mil bescribbkd and dose-sealed 
A phantom is from which all shrink in terror.) 

The death of a sovereign always produces an 
excitement quite unequal to the importance 
of the event itself. That of Max Joseph, 
since he was the last of his race and had left 
a succession in the highest degree uncertain, 
caused a confusion and amazement that were 
indescribable. Crowds thronged the churches 
and wept in the streets of Munich fearing for the 
future and bewailing their lost Prince. Some 
hours after his death the Bavarian ministers 
assembled to take counsel together. Rumours 
had already begun to fly, but to the Austrian 
party among the ministers, at any rate, the 
reality was to be more surprtsing than any 
conjecture. To the universal amazement Count 
Seinsheim and the Chancellor produced the will 
of 1769, of whose existence scarcely any one 
had known. Hardly had the councillors re- 
covered from their surprise at the existence of 

81 G 


the will, when they perceived that a codicil 
on the exterior forbade it to be opened until 
the arrival of the Elector Palatine. For the 
moment all were astonished and embarrassed. 
Suddenly the Palatine - Resident at Munich 
(who was in the secret) appeared before the 
Bavarian ministers and produced orders signed 
by their dead and by his living master. These 
required the ministers to proceed immediately 
to the proclamation of Karl Theodor, and to 
exact the oath of allegiance from the civil and 
military. The Austrian intriguers were baffled, 
and the Elector Palatine was exultantly pro- 
claimed successor to the whole Bavarian in- 
heritance.^ For the moment the stroke had 
succeeded. Max Joseph had been more power- 
ful in his death than his life, and his nearest 
relative was legally and formally installed in 
his full possessions. But unfortunately legal 
and moral claims in the eighteenth century were 
not always the strongest of titles. The shadow 
of Austria already darkened the future. No 
one doubted that Kaiser Joseph would send his 
Whitecoats into Bavaria, all that they wondered 
was when and how he would do it. So from 
the first of January 1778 onwards there was 
breathless expectation in Munich. Court and 
beerhouse alike buzzed with incredible rumours, 
couriers rode hourly through the streets with 
messages, and sentinels watched anxiously from 
the walls of Braunau and Straubing for the 


first glimmer of steel upon Ailstrian bayonets 
over the border. 

1. Kaiser Joseph 

By whose proud siilc the ugly Furies run 
Hearkening when he shall bill tliem plague Ike world. 

Majilowk, Tatiiburlaine. 

Great as may have been tlie anxiety, hope, 
and bewilderment at jMunich, it was hardly 
'ess at Vienna. " The first accovmts arrived 
on Thursday, during the drawing - room of 
New Year's Day." The whole nobility was 
present and " the Court at' Galla " [sic). 
Kaiser Joseph was suddenly accosted by an 
attendant and left the room. Returning in a 
few moments, he went straight up to the table 
at which Maria Theresa was playing, leant over 
and whispered in her ear that Max Joseph was 
dead. " She instantly let fall the cards, and 
rising up with evident marks of emotion, quitted 
the apartment. The painful impression made 
on Maria Theresa was visible to everybody." 
Merriment ceased abruptly to be succeeded by 
" fermentation," and since then a " thousand 
various conjectures have furnished occupation 
to the politicians of this capital." * It was not 
till the next morning that the astonished 

* S.P.F. Germany, Europe, vol. 2'2(), Japiiary 3, 1778, Minnn, 
Sir R. M. Keith to Earl of Suffolk; \\ nix.ill, Cnnrt of Berlin, etc., 
1799, vol. i., pp. 800-7. Both were present and I mingle their iinprcs- 
sion.s of the moment. The incident is alluded 1o in F. v. Haumer, 
Beitriige zur neueren Geschichte, Leipzig, 1839; Bd. v. pp. 801-6. 


courtiers learnt the cause of Maria Theresa's 
agitation. Clever Murray Keith, the English 
Ambassador, at once sought counsel with the 
Saxon minister, whose master had some minor 
claims on the inheritance. But he had to 
confess himself baffled in this as in other 
directions ; he could see couriers riding post- 
haste, troops drilling, he could hear abundant 
rumours at every street corner, but for the 
space of almost three weeks he found no real 
information from diplomatic sources. " Upon 
this (as well as upon some former occasions) " 
Prince Kaunitz threw an " unsurmountable 
bar in the way of all ministerial curiosity by 
refusing to give any answers to questions put 
to him, without express orders (from above) 
and (with still more discretion) by never admit- 
ting the word Bavaria in his public conversa- 
tion." * At last, however, on January 20, the 
Austrian Chancellor sent a communication to 
Keith, revealing the course of events that had 
occurred at Munich. 

The news was even more surprising than 
could have been imagined. The death of Max 
Joseph, though unfortunate and unexpected 
in its suddenness, was an event for which 
Austrian statesmen had been preparing. 
Kaiser Joseph and Kaunitz* had long been 
determined to seize part of Bavaria by one 

* S.P.F. German Empire, vol. 220, Vienna, January 19, 1778, 
Keith to Suffolk. 


means or another, tlicy had realized the 
obstinacy of the late Eleelor, and were ahcady 
communieating with his liiture sueccssor the 
Elcetor Palatine. Karl Theodor was a weak 
and spiritless man, without enthusiasm for the 
Bavarian land or people whom he was in future 
to govern. His own real anxiety, though 
natural, was not entirely creditable ; he wished 
to leave ample provision after his death for 
his numerous illegitimate children. On this 
weakness Austrian statesmen could work, and, 
in return for the cession of a large part of 
Bavaria, they were willing to guarantee large 
sums to support Karl Theodor' s natural family. 
It is difficult to see how even eighteenth 
century ethics could justify a transaction, 
which sacrificed a large territpry and the in- 
terests of thousands of Bavairians to bastards 
born in the Palatinate. An arrangement, by 
which one ruler bargained for territory and 
another for bastards, is, in fact, the reductio ad 
absurdum of the principle of personal rule in 
the eighteenth century. None the less a treaty 
in this sense was being negotiated at Vienna 
during the winter of 1777 between Prince 
Kaunitz and Ritter, the Plenipotentiary of the 
Palatinate Elector. Now it was suddenly and 
most unfortunately interrupted'by Max Joseph's 
death. Well might Maria Theresa look grave 
at the news, and Kaunitz decline to mention 
the word Bavaria in public. 


Kaiser Joseph thought at first that the 
whole fruits of weary months of diplomacy 
would be lost. It seemed that the Elector 
Palatine had been deluding them, for in Max 
Joseph's will, to the signature of which he had 
been privy, Karl Theodor was assigned the 
undivided Bavarian dominions. By his pro- 
clamation and by his solemn acceptance of the 
will, Karl Theodor had secured the moral 
advantage ; if he was to be made to acquiesce 
in the scheme of partition, there was no time to 
be lost. As it happened a treaty on these lines 
had already been drafted by the plenipoten- 
tiaries in Vienna.^ Accordingly on January 3, 
1778, the day after the Elector's arrival at 
Munich, Ritter, his plenipotentiary, signed at 
Vienna a treaty of Partition with Kaunitz, a 
treaty subsequently ratified by Karl Theodor 
on January 14 at Munich. By the terms of 
the treaty the Emperor Joseph and Maria 
Theresa recognized Karl Theodor's succession 
to Bavaria but at a terrible loss to that ruler. 
He was forced to agree that the lands granted 
to Albert V. of Austria in 1426 should come 
into the possession of the Austrian House. 
These included nearly all Lower Bavaria and 
Straubingen. With regard to territories in- 
volving the rights of the Imperial or Bohemian 
crown, such as Mindelheim and certain other 
small fiefs and territories, Karl Theodor agreed 
to submit to the Emperor's judgment in the 


matter. This last concession was damaging 
enough, becuiuse it opened the door for adjust- 
ment and exehanires of territorSjr in the Austrian 
interest. But in regai'd to Lower Bavaria 
and Straubingen the Austrian gains were 
eN'en greater. Rather more than one-third of 
Bavaria fell to Austria, and the value of this 
concession far exceeded its actual size. The 
new acquisition not only rendered Vienna safe 
from attack in the future but gave a strategic- 
ally defensible frontier to Auslyia. It was also 
the most valuable and fertile part of Bavaria — - 
there were situated the rich salt mines of Reichen- 
hall, there was grown the corn* that fed most of 
the land. The arrangement rendered Bavaria 
entirely subservient to Kaiser Joseph, alike in 
a strategic, political, and economic sense. 

Rumours as to this treaty had already been 
busy in Vienna even as early as January 6. 
These were confirmed by K^launitz to Keith 
iipon the 20th, though he only informed him 
that an amicable treaty invQlving cession of 
territory to Austria had been signed, without 
giving any precise details.' Meanwhile it was 
necessary to support paper by iron and to 
enforce treaties by the sword. On January 15, 
one detachment of Austrian troops advanced 
and occupied Straubing, thus- holding the line 
of the Danube and the Inn, and threatening 
both Regensburg, the seat of the Imperial Diet, 
and Munich, the capital of Bavaria. Other 


detachments occupied the Upper Palatinate, 
the Bavarian troops retiring in each case before 
them with protests but without firing. An 
Austrian manifesto was pubhshed to the effect 
that these troops were only occupying the 
territory until an amicable settlement could 
be adjusted. No one believed this manifesto, 
every one recognized that the unscrupulous 
readiness of Kaiser Joseph and Kaunitz had 
won the first point in the game. Despite Max 
Joseph's will Karl Theodor had been forced 
into a scheme of partition,, which not only 
violated all his own professions but which 
realized all Austria's hopes. In addition 
Austrian troops were already in possession of 
important strategic points in Bavarian territory. 
The Austrian troops occupied' a part of Lower 
Bavaria, the granary of the whole country, in 
which were situated the estates of many of 
the prominent Bavarian nobles and ministers. 
Hence by the threat of forbidding the export 
of corn, or of ravaging the territory he held, 
Kaiser Joseph could put pressure alike on the 
people and on the Court at Munich. Time and 
circumstance, everything indeed except one 
man, seemed to favour Kaiser Joseph. 

For the moment even Kaiser Joseph's thirst 
for territorial aggrandizement was satisfied, 
and he boasted that he had seized an oppor- 
tunity which might occur but once in a hundred 
years. Acting with the agreement of Kaunitz 


he had overborne the womanfy ftars of Maria 
Theresa and the womanish cowaidicc of Karl 
Theodor. The strong hand sccnicd to have 
prevailed, for Karl Theodor (who had at first 
demurred to the Partition-Treaty) yielded to 
threats and ratified the Treaty with reluctance 
on January 14. This news made even Maria 
Theresa forget her fears and write to Kaunitz 
that the result was due to him. Europe will 
have to confess that " I possess its greatest 
statesman." On January 26 Joseph was writ- 
ing to his brother Leopold, Du:ke of Tuscany : 
" Our decision was a good one, and will bring 
as much solid advantage to us as honour and 
renowTi." The Grand Duke, surveying the 
diplomatic world from his lit'tle duchy with 
calm, wise eyes, may well have smiled to read 
the Kaiser's thoughtless paean. 

We may anticipate events a little on the 
Austrian side to show the diplomatic situation 
with more clearness, and to explain the jubil- 
ance of Joseph. The point of most importance 
to the Kaiser was to make allies or friends of 
Karl Theodor, of the Saxon Elector, of the 
French King, and the Russian Czarina. The 
Elector of Saxony was indeed a claimant to 
part of the Bavarian inheritance, but Joseph 
expected to win him over to the Austrian in- 
terest. With regard to the two great Powers 
he was hopeful. Russia — Fi'ederic's ally — had 
just received an ultimatum from Turkey and 


was therefore incapable of active or immediate 
interference. The situation of France — his own 
ally — convinced Joseph that he had taken the 
chance of a century. On January 29 he writes 
to Leopold, his brother, in Tuscany : " France 
has not yet declared herself quite clearly ; but 
even if she is really angry I do not see what 
she can say or do, as she finds herself on the 
eve of a war with England. The King of 
Prussia has still said no word ; he is very much 
distressed and knocks at every door to find 
some one to make common cause with him ; 
but when he finds himself universally repelled 
he will have to suffer alone, as he will not dare 
to go forward by himself. So, unless I am 
mistaken, this matter, to every one's astonish- 
ment, will be settled very peacefully." It was 
not the world that was to be astonished, nor 
the Kaiser who was to be right. 

France had been made the ally of Austria 
by Kaunitz, and, as the pledge of that alliance, 
Marie Antoinette, daughter of Maria Theresa, 
had become Queen of France. But Louis XVI. 
was not yet the slave of his Ai3.strian wife, and 
his devotion to purely French interests was 
strengthened by his foreign minister Vergennes, 
the last considerable statesman of the old 
regime. Dynastic considerations weighed little 
with one who had seen and feared the ambitions 
of Joseph, and who had long ago expressed the 
view that it was to the interests of France that 


Germany should be kept tranquil by main- 
taining an even balance between vVustria and 
Prussia. These eonsiderations of Vergt nnes 
were strengthened by recent events, especially 
the paramount one that France was about to 
dieclare war with England. Further, he had 
recent grievances against Austria, who had 
revealed very little to France of her negotia- 
tions with Karl Theodor in 1777. About the 
destinies of the Palatinate France was naturally 
sensitive, and the secrecy of the Austrian in- 
trigues had excited in her a natural suspicion. 
France had her own intrigues with Zweibriicken, 
and nothing that she heard from him was 
favourable to Austria.* 

In a moment of generosity Kaunitz had 
once declared that one ally ought not to receive 
an accession of power or territory without 
equivalent compensation to the other. Yet 
on January 8, 1778, when he announced the 
substance of the Partition-Treaty to Breteuil, 
the French ambassador at Vienna, Kaunitz 
said nothing of benefits to France. These 
actions were not likely to remove the deep- 
rooted antipathy and suspicion of Vergennes. 

To explain a dubious transaction, to atone for 
a want of frankness, to persuade an ally against 
his best interests, were tasks to baflle even 
" Europe's greatest statesman." Is it wonder- 
ful that Kaunitz did not succeed, especially 
as Kaiser Joseph was pushing him on at 


every step with thoughtless eagerness ? The 
cold and practical Vergennes was impervious 
to blandishment ; he received the Austrian 
statements with courtesy but refused to declare 
himself further. Finally he was stirred into 
action by the circular issued by Austria on 
January 20, declaring her intentions as regards 
Bavaria, and by her verbal explanations that 
these met with the goodwill of her ally. On 
February 2 Vergennes drew up a memorandum 
for circulation to the Powers, in which he 
explicitly denied that France had any share in 
supporting the Austrian pretensions to Bavaria. 
Joseph then played his trump card and tried to 
deflect French policy by the influence of his 
sister Marie Antoinette. The tears of a beauti- 
ful woman might effect what the Kaiser and 
Kaunitz had sought for in vain. On February 
14 Marie Antoinette sought out her husband 
at Versailles, and begged his aid. " I beg you," 
said she, " to put an end to the unrest in 
Europe." To her amazement Louis answered 
coldly and sternly, that the unrest of Europe 
was due chiefly to her relatives, and that at 
this very moment France was about to inform 
the continental courts that she disapproved 
of the Partition of Bavaria, which had taken 
place against her wishes. On February 26, 
just one month after his paean, Kaiser Joseph 
wrote again to Leopold that affairs had an ill 
outlook on all sides, that nearly all hope of 


peace had vanished, and that courage was 
needed to meit the crisis. 

By February '20 Wrirennes had practically won 
over his royal master to declare Franer neutral 
in the Bavarian dispute.^ This cUeision was 
all the more nectssary as war with England 
had already been decided on, and as its actual 
outbreak may be dated from March 13. It was 
more necessary than ever to encourage Frederic 
to resist Austria, and to secure an even balance 
in Germany. French negotiations with the 
King of Prussia had already been initiated, but 
Vergennes did not mean to risk anything or to 
allow Frederic to improve the occasion. On 
^larch 10 he informed the Prussian ambassador 
at Paris that France intended to be neutral 
in the Bavarian question, but that, while 
friendly to Frederic, she positively declined 
any close or separate alliance with him. 

Of this Joseph and Kaunitz knew as yet 
nothing, but their ambitions, actually grew 
while their hopes of peace were lessening. Not 
only were they about to ask France to give 
them active assistance in case of war with 
Prussia, but were going to ask her consent to a 
new and very ambitious project of exchange. 
By this arrangement Karl Thecidor was to hand 
over all the rest of Bavaria to* Joseph, and to 
obtain the Austrian Netherlands in exchange* 
These proceedings were sharply checked. 
Kaunitz got very little encouragement for 


his schemes from Breteuil, the French Am- 
bassador at Vienna ; so he renewed direct 
representations to Louis, demanding the assist- 
ance of 24,000 French troops in accordance 
with the Treaty of 1756, and requesting France 
to sanction the new exchange -project. The 
answer was slow in coming and Vienna was 
excited. Maria Theresa was already writing 
piteous letters to her son Joseph, the Kaiser 
was ordering out the reserves, drilling troops, 
and sleeping already in his camp-bed. Slumber 
forsook him at nights, but he carried a bold face 
by day. " I run no danger," said he, "if it 
be my misfortune to undergo a defeat, that has 
always come at the hands of the hero of this 
century, but if I have success it will be so much 
the more glorious for me." Kaunitz naturally 
grew anxious, and pressed hard for a definite 
reply to his French overtures. On March 22 
at Vienna, when Breteuil hinted pretty plainly 
to him that France would be neutral, the 
" greatest statesman of Europe " grew warm, 
refused to take any such assurance save in 
writing, and parted from Breteuil in wrath. 
The polite Kaunitz might well show passion 
when the Franco- Austrian Alliance, that master- 
piece of his diplomacy, was dissolving under 
his very eyes. On March 24 Mercy at last 
brought Vergennes to explanations at Versailles, 
and learnt that France declined to recognize 
an obligation under the 1756. Treaty, and not 


only reluscd active assistance to Austria in case 
of war, but declared her inteiitiJon oi" observing 
a strict and inOexible neutrality. This decision 
was a great blow both to Kaunitz and to Kaiser 
Joseph. It not only niatle the grandiose project 
of exchanging all Bavaria for Belgium impos- 
sible at the moment ; it rendered the Par- 
tition-Treaty and the hold on Lower Bavaria 
precarious in the future. The fairest part 
of the dream had then vajiished ; Maria 
Theresa was wringing her hahds, " Europe's 
greatest statesman " was sitting mournfully 
among the ruins of his famous alliance, and the 
Kaiser, tossing at nights on hi^ camp-bed, was 
indulging a last desperate hope that Frederic 
might not take the field in person. 

2. King Frederic 

Who treadeth Fortune underneath his feet 
And makes the mighty God of Amis his slave. 

Marlowe, Tamburlainc. 

The eyes of Europe, which had been fixed 
upon Munich in the last fortnight of the Old 
Year, upon Vienna in the first fortnight of the 
New Year, turned towards Berlin at the end of 
January 1778. Unless Frederic moved. Kaiser 
Joseph's bid for Lower Bavaria had succeeded, 
and for nearly a month all Europe waited in 
breathless expectation lor the det-ision of the 
grim Prussian King. Hugh Elliot was now 
British Ambassador at Berlin, and it is from 


his despatches that we gather the breathless 
suspense that prevailed from day to day, how 
every look, word, or gesture of the old King 
was noted, how rumour outdid rumour in 
extravagance, and how all the while soldiers 
went on drilling on the Potsdam parade-ground. 
On January 17 Hugh Elliot reported Frederic 
" in high spirits, almost unnaturally so," and 
this was just after the Austrians had marched 
into Bavaria. Was it that the old hero 
was scenting battle, and that his spirit rose 
with danger ? Hugh Elliot had a rather more 
prosaic explanation : " There are not wanting 
persons who ascribe this unusual appearance 
to the effect of the quantity of wine (!) mixed 
with too great a proportion of spice, which the 
King of Prussia takes as remedy for the gout." * 
In spite or because of the remedy Frederic had 
an attack of gout about this time, so serious 
that it was believed at one time to threaten 
his life. Again the fate of Bavaria depended 
not so much on physicians — for Frederic 
despised and often repulsed them — but on the 
health of a man of advanced age. Yet the 
danger passed, Frederic recovered and set his 
ministers examining the Austrian claims. So 
early as February 3 Hugh Elliot — ^from whom 
few diplomatic secrets were hid — ^judged it to 
be the intention of the King of Prussia " to 

* S.P.F. Prussia, 102,'Hugh Elliot to Suffolk, Berlin, January 17, 



take the field in the Spriii<r," though he could 
not decide whether Frederic* meant to attack 
Austria, or merely " to seize on neighbouring 
territory as an equivalent." 

By consummate diplomacy Hugh Elliot, 
the Ambassador of a Power to which Frederic 
cherished an undying hatred for abandoning 
him in 1702, managed to penetrate the designs 
of the old King and to advance the English 
interests. Frederic had been secretly urging 
FVance to support the rebellion against England 
in America, and William Lee, a diplomatic 
agent of the revolted Americans, was already 
in Berhn. No situation could well be more 
unfavourable to the new Anibassador, but 
Elliot characteristically turned to his advantage 
the moment of the Bavarian Elector's death, 
which made England's assistance important 
to Frederic in Germany. Having been coldly 
received, he applied for leave; of absence, a 
request which brought him an immediate visit 
from Prince Henry (King Frederic's brother). 
The Prince paid him eompUments, but let out 
the reason of them by expressing a fear that 
Elliot's request for absence wa| made with an 
intention not to return. Elliot pleaded the 
coldness of the King, but the Prince replied — 
" que j'agissois avec trop de viyacit^." Elhot 
begged leave to substitute " sensibilit6." Prince 
Henry tried to smooth matters over, saying 
the coldness was not personal but was due to 



England's conduct in the last peace (1763). 
Elliot replied that this was long passed, and that 
he knew of these matters only from history. 
To the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, one of 
Frederic's favourites, he used even stronger 
language, saying the presence of a rebel agent 
(Lee) made " forbearance difificult," and so on.* 
Hugh Elliot's language was strong, but he knew 
his man ; concession was useless to Frederic, 
who showed " ill humour " when it could be 
shown " with impunity," but was always 
impressed by courage. By the middle of 
February (12th) Frederic saw pretty clearly 
that France was not going to interfere on the 
Austrian side, and that the friendship of 
England was too important an asset in the 
Bavarian affair to be sacrificed. This fact 
and Hugh Elliot's bold front secured two 
important declarations from Frederic, first 
that he would have no more to do with the 
American rebels, second that, in case of war 
in Germany, he would respect the neutrality 
of Hanover.'' Russia, being at the moment 
afraid of war with Turkey, was apparently 

* S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 102, Berlin, February 22, 1778, Hugh Elliot 
to Suffolk. Hugh Elliot's " forbearance " had been shown shortly 
before this by breaking open the house of the said " rebel agent," 
stealing his papers and returning them only when the important 
ones had been copied under his direction. He repaid the " coldness " 
pf Frederic by a well-known repartee. King Frederic : " Qui est ce 
Hyder All qui sait si bien arranger vos affaires aux Indes ? " Hugh 
Elliot : " Sire, c'est un vieux despote qui abeaucoup piI16 ses voisins, 
mais qui, Dieu merci, commence h, radoter," Vide Minto's Elliot, 
p. 228. 


going to stand aloof, so King Frederic and 
Kaiser Joseph were brought face to face. 

The problem before Frederic was certainly 
not settled by research into musty parchments — 
that was the affair of his ministers ; he decided 
by facts and Prussian interests, setting others to 
make out the case from history and precedent. 
To Frederic himself there were only two choices 
open : either Austria must be satisfied with far 
less important acquisitions than those she had 
attained, or she must share some of the spoil 
with Prussia by means of a partition. Poland's 
Partition cast a sinister shadow, and this last 
design was suggested by Elliot as the probable 
solution of the difficulty.* We cannot tell 
whether Frederic ever seriously considered it, 
but it is obvious that no Bavarian Partition 
could give to Prussia more than, an isolated piece 
of territory, which it would be hard to defend. 
It would be impossible to acquire anything to 
act as a real balance to the inftreased strength 
of Austria, and this fact may haye weighed with 
Frederic. The only alternative was for him to 
insist upon Austria renouncing all such claims 
to Bavarian territory as gaV^e her any con- 
siderable advantage or accession of power. 
Now this last meant nothing else but war, and 
it was natural that Frederic should ponder its 
chances. His own advanced age, the possi- 
bility of defeat, and the dangers of war spread- 
ing over the Continent were all considerations 


of importance, and explain why his brother 
Prince Henry vigorously counselled moderation. 
On the other hand, Frederic's prestige would 
suffer, he would obviously become the second 
power in Germany if Austria, which he had so 
humbled, was at last to be triumphant. 

Whether or no Frederic was to go to war 
the immediate objects were clear to him ; it 
was of great importance to turn the moral 
opinion of the Empire and of Europe against 
Kaiser Joseph, and it was an absolute necessity 
to cut htm off from all possible allies in Ger- 
many. The first object was best secured by 
inducing Zweibriicken to repudiate the action 
of Karl Theodor, and to decline all agreement 
with the Partition-Treaty. In order to secure 
this Frederic sent off an envoy incognito and 
post-haste to assure Zweibriicken of Prussian 
support. The romantic history of that negotia- 
tion will be related elsewhere; it is sufficient 
here to describe its success. On February 8 the 
Prussian envoy knew that Zweibriicken would 
refuse to endorse the Partition-Treaty, and sent 
off a letter to Frederic to that effect. Ironically 
enough, the messenger who delivered it was 
one of the Bavarian " fiends " {i.e. a monk), 
a fact which caused the royal sceptic some 

It remained for Frederic to secure allies, 
Karl Theodor was hopeless — he was Joseph's, 
body and soul. Something, however, might 


be done with FiTdciie Augustus, Elector of 
Saxony, the third most powc rful of the Princes 
of Germany. Saxony was very jiear to Bavaria, 
and her Elector might well fear a similar fate 
from Kaiser Joseph in the future. But he 
stood in awe and suspicion of King Frederic 
as well. Dresden, with its noble river and 
splendid rococo palaces, had been the scat of a 
great civilization under Augustus's magnificent 
ancestor, who had there entertained Frederic 
when Crown-Prince of Prussia with more than 
Oriental profusion. In return Frederic had 
treated both the land and its inhabitants with 
merciless brutality during the Sfeven Years' War. 
He had bled and impoverishe4 the people with 
his requisitions, had impressed the Saxon troops 
to serve in his army, brutally Carried off Saxon 
women to people his Silesian cplonies, and even 
kidnapped Saxon potters frojn Meissen and 
forced them to disclose the secrets of Dresden 
cliina to the factories of Potsdam.* Frederic 
Augustus had forgotten such nhheard-of rigour 
in view of more recent wrongs and insults 
from Austria. In 1777 he had had a painful 
dispute with Austria over the Schonburg in- 
heritance, which culminated in the Austrian 
troops forcibly expelling the Saxon ones from the 
lordships of Glauchau, Waldcnburg and Lichtcn- 

* It ia characteristic that, while Frederic issued these commands 
from Dresden, he went every day to loolt at Kapliael's " Madonna di 
San Sisto." 


stein, and fencing in the disputed territory 
with eagle -topped boundary posts. Frederic 
Augustus could with some justice complain that 
the action was arrogant and high - handed.^" 
He was naturally alarmed at Karl Theodor's 
Partition-Treaty, which referred all the disputed 
claims on the Bavarian Succession to the award 
of the Emperor. After Schonburg even a less 
suspicious man than Frederic Augustus might 
be forgiven for doubtitig whether the Emperor's 
judgment wovdd be impartial or disinterested. 
His applications to Vienna were met with such 
dark and discouraging answers that he at once 
turned to Frederic.^^ 

At Dresden the English chargi noted " the 
greatest consternation and very great con- 
fusion " throughout January. But even diplo- 
matic dangers could not interrupt the revels 
of Dresden and its ruler. On February 25 we 
learn that " His Electoral Highness " was 
" indisposed with a violent cold occasioned 
(being very fond of dancing) by over-heating 
himself this carnaval." The same despatch 
shows that serious business had already begun : 
" A stranger arrived here last week from Leipzig, 
who it is assumed is incognito at the Prussian 
Minister's. It is certain from the time of that 
Gentleman's arrival the Prussian Minister has 
been locked up under the Pretence of being ill, 
and receives no one." Some said the mysteri- 
ous stranger was Prince Henry of Prussia, but 


in the ond it turnod out tq be a Prussian 
general, who liad been sent by Frederic to 
reconnoitre the ground between Dresden and 
Bohemia, and to give expert mihtary advice 
to tlie Elector. Tliis and other evidence led 
the English chargS to the correct conclusion : 
" In case of a rupture Saxony enters into a 
Treaty of Alliance with the King of Prussia. 
Tliis is a matter of fact." * It was indeed ; 
on ]\Iarch 14, the rupture seeming imminent, 
Frederic despatched an envoy with full powers, 
and on March 18 a Convention was signed 
between Prussia and Saxony,, which pledged 
them to mutual support, and was equivalent 
to a treaty of offensive and defensive alliance.^" 
By the end of February Frejderic had readily 
guessed that he could count oh Saxony, that is 
on an army of 30,000 men, in. case he went to 
war. He was, as he said, " no Don Quixote," 
to sacrifice himself for petty princes, whose 
troops consisted chiefly of the gentlemen of 
their ante - chambers. But the aid of the 
strongest army in Germany (after his own 
and the Austrian) made his task relatively 
simple. England, France and Russia stood 
aside ; Saxony was his. It remained to see what 
he could make of the other German princes. 
Joseph had already frightened these gentry 
— he had treated the unfortupate Karl Theo- 

* S.P.F. Poland (Saxony), vol. 1 15, Dresden, February 25, March 8, 
June 21, 1778, J. Milliquet to W. Eden. 


dor with offensive callousness, had not even 
troubled to observe the conditions of the 
Partition-Treaty with any strictness, and had 
allowed his troops to occupy parts of Bavaria 
not mentioned in that agreement.^^ Meanwhile, 
Zweibriicken, with the open favour of Frederic 
and the secret support of France, was trumpet- 
ing his grievances to the Diet of the Empire, 
An early communication from Frederic to 
Vienna protested against the occupation of 
Bavaria by Austrian troops. Later ones — the 
most important that which reached Kaunitz 
on March 9 — disavowed the Partition- Treaty 
and pointed out the genealogical flaws in its 
provisions. Finally, on March 16 the substance 
of this letter was communicated to the Diet 
of the Empire at Regensburg. The representa- 
tives of Zweibriicken and the Saxon Elector 
supported the protest eagerly, and the other 
German princes learnt with undisguised pleasure 
that Frederic had taken his stand against the 
Kaiser in defence of the Liberty of Princes and 
the Rights of the Empire. Kaunitz replied by 
shelving (as well he might) the discussion of 
claims, and spoke of Austria's desire to satisfy 
every one, but refused to admit the King of 
Prussia as the " umpire of her claims." * 

March 16 has been called a memorable day 
in the history of the Empire : it certainly had 

* S.P.F. Germany, Empire (Austria), vol. 220, Vienna, Keith to 
Suffolk, March 14, 1778. 


the result of iixing the lycs of all Gtiinany and 
of Europe upon Frrilrrio. But for him, the 
laws of the Empire NVt)uld have bc(;n defied, the 
wishes of German pi'incehngs disregai'ded, and 
the rule of Austria insolently enforced by the 
threat of an appeal to the sword. Onee more 
Frederic appeared as holding the balance, once 
more he seemed the arbiter of Germany, but 
now he was more popular and powerful than 
ever ; Saxony was at his side, Hanover was 
favourable though neutral, most Princes of 
the Empire saluted him as the guardian of 
legality and right. To Frederic the part he 
played must have seemed nelw and stimulat- 
ing, for no one had done more than he in his 
young days to injure state morality and to 
break up the Germanic Empire. Just now, 
however, it was to his interesjt to appear dis- 
interested, and his pose as the benign defender 
of law and order throughout the Empire was 
of the highest importance, in branding Austria 
as an aggressor and in teaching the other 
German States to regard Prussia as their 
natural leader. " The hasty conduct " of the 
Court of Vienna " must at the first view be 
extremely alarming. If claims of obsolete date 
are, in the first instance, to be decided by the 
Law of Arms, there can be no security for the 
weaker members of the Empire whose territories 
may unfortunately be situated in the neighbour- 
hood of powerful Princes, and the Constitution 


of the Empire will only exist in the Records of 
the Diet." * 

Even to England Frederic now became a 
tolerable person. From 1762 till the beginning 
of 1778 the despatches of English ambassadors 
had frequently consisted of unbounded diatribes 
against the Prussian King, now they began to 
speak of his virtues, and the pious King George 
even exchanged compliments with him. If 
anything shows the moral advantage gained 
by Frederic more clearly than the approval 
of England it would be that of the Catholic 
Powers of Germany (" his fiends "). Eden 
records — with a certain unction indeed — that 
" Protestant Powers as usual " are " favour- 
able to the cause of Justice and Liberty," and 
adds, " The Catholics are indeed favourable 
in the present case — though their dependence 
on the Court of Vienna prevents them declaring 
themselves openly." " This last consideration 
made Frederic dream of a League of German 
Princes, which should include Catholics and 
Protestants and should exclude Austria. In 
the first week of April he commanded his 
Ministers to consider such a project, and to 
form a League of Princes under Prussian head- 
ship. For one delirious moment a foreshadow- 

* S.P.F. German States (Bavaria), vol. 113, St. James, Suffolk to 
Eden, AprU 7, 1778 ; Munich, Eden to Suffolk, April 30, 1778 ; vide 
also S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 102 ; Berlin, Elliot to Suffolk, March 3, 
1778 ; St. James, Suffolk to ElUot, April 7;..1778 ; Berlin, May 30, 
ElUot to Suffolk. 


ing of Bismarck's Gtrmany hovtrs faintly upon 
a far horizon. But the project was premature, 
Frederic was above all things practieul, and, 
as Catholic Princes would not openly declare 
against Austria, he postponed these dreams 
till a time when they could' have a better 
chance of realization. The reason lay, not in 
him, but in those other Pririces, who were 
"all fear without energy," '' the shame of the 
century," and who made him " blush " for 

For the rest the eulogies on his conduct 
amused no one more than the Cynical old King. 
He had of course no objection to being wor- 
shipped by the minor Princes as a Don Quixote 
of legality, and he took pains to sustain that 
part in public, " Je ne prefererai pas mon intdret 
personnel a celui de tout rempire." f In private 
he let fall the mask and candidly confessed 
to his brother that in the whole affair he pushed 
the Prussian interest alone. 

Though Frederic made his decision, and 
adhered to it subsequently with inflexible 
firmness, he did not make it easily, and he 
delayed pushing matters to a crisis as long as 
possible. Something in this tardiness may 

* Frederic's expressions are from a letter to Prince Henry of 
March 8, SchOning, Der Bayerische Erbfolgekrig, p. 20; cp. Rei- 
mann, Pr. Gesch. ii. 78-79. 

f Frederic to Sohms, Prussian Ambassador at Petrograd, March 
2-1, 1778, Reimann, Preuss. Gesch. ii. 43 ; to Prince Henry, March 0, 
ibid. ii. 77. 


perhaps be ascribed to conscious art, since he 
wished to appear forced into war, but some- 
thing more to genuine reluctance, and to the 
approach of age, which had dulled even his 
fire. He set on his publicists, with his minister 
Hertzberg at their head, to produce the 
pamphlets, proclamations, and letters needed 
for the occasion, and a brisk paper campaign 
— in which official despatches stood for the 
heavy guns and pamphlets for the sharp- 
shooters — preceded and did something to occa- 
sion the real war. Hertzberg was a fanatical 
Prussian, rash and impulsive, but also able and 
determined. He possessed considerable know- 
ledge of genealogy and history, and in the main 
the pamphlet - literature, which he inspired, 
was superior in argument and weight to the 
Austrian. Kaiser Joseph took little means to 
conciliate Frederic or to divide his enemies 
by diplomacy. Violent pamphlets against the 
Prussian King were issued in Vienna, and it was 
known " that hardly a word on the Bavarian 
Succession went to Press In the Austrian 
Capital without being cautiously examined in 
the Chancery." * 

After the storms of March came a lull 
during April; neither side was ready for war, 
both were making ample preparations for 
it. Prussian troops were pushing beyond 

* S.P.F. Germany, Empire,vol. 220, Vienna, May 23, 1778, Keith 
to Suftolli. 


BiTslaii to the border, Saxon troops were 
concentrating at Dresden, and zVustrian soldiers 
were ncaring the frontiers both ol' Silesia and 
Saxony. Every day Kiith saw troops hurry- 
ing through Viinna — Croats, Hussars, Italians, 
Hungarians — accompanied by* waggons con- 
taining vast stores of meat, corn, and ammuni- 
tion. On April 11 Kaiser Joseph and his 
brother, Archduke Maximilian, left the capital 
and proceeded to Olmiitz to direct operations 
for the coming war. The Kaiser was in the 
field, and on the 13th, writing as it wore from 
the saddle, sent a letter in his own hand to 
Frederic, appealing to him to avoid war. If 
Frederic would recognize the Partition-Treaty 
of January 3, Austria would endeavour to 
compensate the other competitors and would 
recognize the succession of Frederic to the 
Margravates of Ansbach and Baireuth. The 
letter reached Frederic in camp at Schonwalde 
on the 14th, where he was surrounded by 
officers instead of by ministers. He answered 
shortly " as an old soldier," disavowing any 
desire for war, but declaring it impossible to 
accept the Kaiser's basis of negotiation. His 
own succession to Ansbach-Baireuth had no- 
thing whatever to do with BaVaria or Austria, 
besides, as he added ironically, " our rights 
here are so unassailable that none can dispute 
them." To accept the Partition-Treaty was 
to acknowledge that the Kaiser was a despot 


in the Empire, and Frederic was personally- 
resolved to defend the Laws and Liberties of 
Germany. Joseph answered smartly on the 
18th that the Partition-Treaty was a friendly 
arrangement, which he had concluded, not in 
his capacity as Kaiser, but as Elftctor of Bohemia 
and Archduke of Austria. This kind of personal 
dispute between royalties was hardly dignifie<i 
and, after a third letter and answer, pleni- 
potentiaries on each side took up the negotia- 
tion. It is hardly worth while to detail their 
course, because neither Joseph nor Frederic 
seems to have entertained any real hope of 
their success. Each of the principals seems to 
have intended them as a means of deluding 
his opponent until the time for action was 
ready. Only the influence of Prince Henry of 
Prussia on the one hand and the agonized 
anxiety of Maria Theresa on the other pro- 
longed the make-believe for two months. For 
a moment, indeed, there was a hope, as Kaunitz 
was willing that Frederic should receive Lusatia 
in exchange for Ansbach-Baireuth if he would 
recognize Austria's claim on Lower Bavaria. 
Frederic saw the value of Lusatia, which would 
knit his dominions together in much the same 
way as Lower Bavaria would unite the Austrian. 
But he kept his head cool and was statesman 
enough to reahze that he must not throw away 
his newly found asset as guardian of law and 
morality. He had already been negotiating 


on this vory matter, and had made it clear that 
he would only agree to this arrangement if the 
Saxon Elector gave a free consent ; Hertzberg 
soon convinced Frederic that this was wholly 
out of the question, and so thetproject dropped 
and with it all chances of real accommodation 
(May it).!^ 

The English watchers at Berlin, Vienna, 
Dresden, and INIunich had decided that peace 
was already hopeless by the end of May, But 
war had been averted so long that hopes still 
lingered throughout June. Even on the 22nd 
Joseph was writing to Kaunitz that a firm front 
might still carry the day.^" But negotiation 
was really impossible, for Frederic never swerved 
from the terms of his first letter to Joseph. 
On June 27 Frederic in his canip at Schonwalde 
received a final despatch from Kaunitz and 
resolved on war. On the same day the learned 
and masculine but over-conscientious Hertzberg 
sent Frederic a last new plan of ingenious paper- 
exchanges and genealogical calculations. This 
plan he begged Frederic to Study before he 
" crossed the Rubicon." But the die was 
already cast, and the old King was not 
merciful to his Monsieur de la timide politique. 
He returned Hertzberg's communication with 
the following endorsement : " Allez vou^ pro- 
mener {sic) avec vos Indignes plans, vous etes 
{sic) fait pour estre {sic), le Ministre de gens 
coujons comme VElecteur de Baviere, mais nan 



O selig der, dem er im Siegesglanze 

Die blut'gen Lorbecrn um die SclUafe mindet.' — Goethe. 

Happy the man in victory's golden moment 
When Death with bloody laurels binds his brow. 

In the war which now began the outlook for 
Austria was not so gloomy as Was imagined by 
many, and especially by Maria Theresa, whose 
heart was sad because she had sent three sons 
to the front. In military resources the two 
Powers were not very unequal, though the 
Prussian army had also the Saxon one to back 
it. In all the details of military equipment, 
transport, commissariat, and drill, the energy 
of Joseph and the organizing skill of Lascy 
had produced a real revolution in the Austrian 
army. Already in the Seven Years' War there 
had been evidence of more science, more skill, 
and more thought, and this change had been 
carried much further during the years 1763-78. 
There had been revolutions in every direction, 

• The best modem maps of the ground are the Karte des Deulschen 
Belches, Bureau des Konigl. Bach. Generalstabes, 1880, sheets 'H4-7. 
liiere is a very fine old map, Carte chorogriphique el militairc de la 
partie de la Saice el de la Bohime ou sont entries les Anm'c.i combindes 
, , , aux Ordres de S.A. Prince Henri de Prusse en 1778, which marks 
the positions of Prince Ileniy's army throughout the campaign. 

113 I 


improvements or changes in everything, great 
and small. The erection of studs for produ- 
cing cavalry chargers, of schools for educating 
soldiers' children, of hospitals for invalids and 
veterans, of military academies for training 
young officers, all attested the diverse activities 
of the new military reformers. The troops 
had been constantly exercised on parade and in 
manoeuvres, fortresses had been remodelled 
or rebuilt, magazines formed,^ vast quantities 
of food and ammunition collected, while Kaiser 
Joseph had been indefatigable and ubiquitous, 
inspecting barracks, paying surprise-visits to 
distant garrisons, and endeavouring to infuse 
energy and vigour everywhere. Defects there 
undoubtedly were, some of the reforms were 
too hasty or ill-considered, others failed owing 
to the corruption always latent in the Austrian 
bureaucracy, or to the nepotism prevalent 
among its aristocracy.^ Hereditary custom 
placed most of the high commands in the hands 
of nobles, to whom war was not a profession 
but a superior kind of sport, and this privilege 
of paying the tax of blood was one of which 
even Joseph dared not entirely deprive them. 
But when a soldier of fortune like Laudon 
could rise to high eminence, and when princes 
like Liechtenstein and de Ligne could reach 
a high degree of professional skill, the 
practice was not as harmful as at first sight 
might appear. Any ill effects were further 


counteracted by the fact that Austria now for 
the first time really possessed a well -organized 
general staff, whose cfBcicncy was to be proved 
both in this and in subsequent wars. In the 
lower ranks of command there were many 
Austrian veterans of distinction, and their 
training, even if unequal to the Prussian, was 
not such as to deprive them entirely of initiative 
and resource. On the other hand, Frederic's 
chief generals were dead, and their successors, 
like his more subordinate officers, had been 
trained to a perfectly mechanical rigidity and 
precision. What had always been a serious 
fault with Frederic had now become almost a 
mania. Under such circumst^ces the Prussian 
officer's superiority in technical skill might well 
be balanced by the greater sense of independ- 
ence which the Austrian officer possessed. 

The Austrian army showed a better spirit, 
organization, and training than at any time 
in the Seven Years' War, but it undoubtedly 
had one serious defect. ThoUlgh a professional 
army in the main, its character was miscellane- 
ous and polyglot." For example, while the 
regular army was trained and organized in 
ordinary fashion, there were other forces which 
were not. The Hungarian nobles voted and 
equipped at their own expense levies of 
" insurgents," as they were called, which joined 
the regulars. At this time the!re was no system 
of conscription in Hungary, and the majority 


of its troops were still feudal levies officered by 
hereditary commanders. Bravery they pos- 
sessed indeed, but the Magyar feudal leaders 
mixed as hardly with the German officers of 
Vienna as did Prince Charlie's Highland chiefs 
with his French officers. Then, again, the 
Croats, who appeared to Keith " as hardy and 
active soldiers as I have seen," were gallant 
irregulars, but almost as hard to combine with 
ordinary troops as if they had been Red Indians. 
In spite of all Lascy's labours there was still 
something of the air of a feudal host about 
some component parts of the Austrian army. 
It is true that it would not be easy to organize 
the Prussian and Saxon armies as a unit, but it 
was an infinitely harder task so to organize the 
Austrians. Still the latter was a well-appointed 
force, and its inferiority to the Prussian was one 
of degree not of kind. Had it been as boldly 
handled as it was well trained it might have 
done much. As it was, it was the only Austrian 
army between the days of Prince Eugene and 
of the Archduke Charles which engaged in a 
war without suffering a disastrous defeat. 

As numbers, war material, and fighting 
qualities were approximately equal, the real 
decisions of the campaign rested with the chief 
leaders. Here also at first sight the advantage 
would appear to rest, though not very de- 
cisively, with the Prussians. Bohemia was to 
be invaded from two sides, from the Silesian 


side by King Frederic, Irom the Saxon side by 
Prince Henry of Prussia, the brother of the 
Iving. Lascy and Kaiser Joseph were to face 
the King, Laudon to command against the 
Prince. Prince Henry had been well known in 
the Seven Years' War. In 1759, at the most 
tragic moment of Frederic's fate, his admir- 
able manoeuvres had restorfi'd confidence to 
his brother and perhaps saved the existence 
of Prussia, Even Frederic, who practised 
economy in compliments, once pointed out 
Prince Henry to his generals, saying : " There 
is only one of us who never rpade a mistake." 
Napoleon, whose military judgment overtops 
even Frederic's, was of opinion that Prince 
Henry had occasionally to thabk his opponents 
for not revealing his mistakes, ^especially in the 
year 1 759. " The faultless genei^al ' ' was, none the 
less, a soldier of great renown, much experience, 
and high professional skill. He was the only 
Prussian general, except the great Kjng himself, 
who had led Prussian troops to victory in a 
pitched battle in the Seven Years' War. His 
judgment was at once superlatively clear and 
exquisitely cool, and he — alonte of all Prussian 
generals then living — dared to face Frederic, 
and declined to sacrifice his independence or his 
troops at the royal command;. His fault was 
perhaps that he balanced juSt a thought too 
nicely, and complimented his opponent a little 
too much in thinking that he. judged as aceu- 


rately as himself.' For Laudon, though no 
contemptible opponent, was endowed with 
erratic genius rather than with steady talent. 
Alone of all Austrian generals in the Seven 
Years' War he had shown himself capable of a 
daring initiative, had inspired his troops with 
dash and spirit, and had wrung compliments 
as to his military capacity even from Frederic 
himself. At his best, as at Kunersdorf, he had 
known how to defeat even Frederic himself; at 
his worst he would be unequal to Prince Henry. 
The invasion from Silesia promised less 
decisive results ; Frederic needed no early 
success to add to his immeasurable renown, 
and an early reverse might detract from it. 
Moreover, the great Prussian king was sixty- 
six years old, prematurely aged by hardship 
and labour, tortured with gout so that he could 
barely mount his horse. Old friends who saw 
him were shocked at his broken-down appear- 
ance, at his wrinkles and his grey hair ; it was 
only in the wonderful eyes that they saw a trace 
of the old energy and fire. On the Austrian 
side the character of Lascy, who exercised great 
influence on Kaiser Joseph, was not one to 
induce him to stake all on a battle with so great 
a warrior as Frederic. Lascy's great adminis- 
trative and organizing talents suited him ad- 
mirably for a commander-in-chief or chief of 
staff, but he trusted too much to the slow 
evolution of long-formed plans, and lacked the 


elasticity and resource, the siuldcn divination, 
and the instant decision needed by a commander 
in the field. Kaiser Joseph had indicd some 
of these qualities which Lascy lacked, some 
personal magnetism, something of initiative 
and of quick, imperious resolve, but his inex- 
perience in war, and his regard, for his peasants' 
and his soldiers' welfare, disinclined him to 
stir Lascy into activity. Indeed Lascy's whole 
train of thought dissuaded him from fighting 
great battles, for he had been brought up by 
Daun, in that Austrian School which was to 
have its greatest exponent in the Archduke 
Charles, and which maintained that the holding 
of fortified places, the manoeuvre and counter- 
manoeuvre for favourable ground, were the 
supreme ends of war. That more modern and 
decisive school of strategy, which teaches that 
the real object is the destruction of the enemy's 
army in the field, was alien, to Lascy from 
military training and conviction, and to Kaiser 
Joseph also for political reasorts.* 

On the other hand, Frederic had until now 
been the most strenuous disciple, if not the 
originator, of a very different military doc- 
trine, which was afterwards to have its ablest 
exponent in Napoleon. In the Seven Years' 
War no one had more brilliantly proved than 
Frederic how much depends on a bold initiative, 
how often a thrust is the best parry in warfare, 
how far more important it is to destroy an army 


even at a great loss than to secure a position 
at a small one. That to a numerically inferior 
force a daring aggression is the best defence, 
had ever been one of his cardinal maxims.® 
Now when his forces were, what they had very 
seldom been in the past, approximately equal 
to the Austrian, would Frederic uphold his own 
maxims ? If he forswore them, there would be 
no fighting worth mentioning on the Silesian side, 
for the game would become one of stalemate. 

If the two opposing armies appeared fairly 
balanced in leaders and in men, the same might 
be also said of the natural conditions of the 
ground in which the armies were to operate. 
Bohemia — the scene of the campaign — ^is a 
fortress enclosed within mountain walls which 
stand four-square to every wind of battle. 
On the two sides from which she was now open 
to an attack, from the Saxon or western side 
and from the Silesian or northern one, her 
barriers of rugged rock and dense forest are 
exceptionally strong. Yet from these two 
sides Bohemia, by universal concession and 
experience, is " easy to invade." A glimpse 
into the Middle Ages serves better to explain 
this paradox than the dissertation of a modern 
tactician. Mediaeval robber-barons had a keen 
eye for planting castles upon inaccessible crags, 
whence they could sally out upon unsuspecting 
foes or upon peaceful merchants, and we may 
trust their instinct to find the: real sluice-gates. 


where the rich slow-moving streams of com- 
merce, or the roaring tides of war, could be 
dammed or let through — at a price. There are 
three gates in these Bohemian mountain walls, 
two on the Saxon side, at Konigstein-Lihen- 
stein and at ToUenstein, and one on the 
Silesian side, at Nachod. Each of them was 
guarded by a castle in the Middle Ages. South 
from Dresden down the Elbe ran a road which 
was blocked by the twin castles — Konigstein- 
LiUenstein (twin eagles' nests on opposite 
crags !) ; from Lusatia south over Rumburg the 
second road was guarded by the romantic keep 
of ToUenstein ; the third ran south from Silesia 
over Glatz and was closed by the castle of 
Nachod. Those castles — once the toll-houses 
of these three entrances — were, now their sentry- 
boxes. If they were to be defended in the 
eighteenth century it must be by living and not 
by dead walls, a fact which serves to testify to the 
eternal sameness of the principles of strategy, 
and to their infinite difference in application. 

The broad outline of the attack and defence 
will be found to be simple when these facts are 
realized. It was known thait King Frederic 
was preparing to lead the Silesian Army, Prince 
Henry the Saxon one, each with a striking force 
of some 80,000 men.* Therefore the Austrian 

• The exact numbers of the striking force were, on July 1, 1778 — 
Frederic, 80,000 men, 483 guns ; Kaiser Joseph, 128,000 men, 423 
guns ; Prince Henry, 80,000 men, 483 guns ; Laudon (afterwards 
reinforced), 70,000 men, 252 guns. 


plan was to make a concentration, and to keep 
all their forces within as small an area as 
possible, in order to strike either way at the 
invader. The whole Austrian Army of about 
190,000 men was to be collected in a triangle, 
of which the base rested on Niemes and Jaromer, 
and the apex on Zittau. The left or Saxon 
wing was concentrated under Laudon at Niemes, 
the centre under Lascy at JiCin, the right under 
Hadik at Jaromer, the whole being under the 
command of Kaiser Joseph. By this arrange- 
ment all the armies were within three or four 
marches of one another, and any threatened 
points could be effectually reinforced at very 
short notice. So long as the Austrian forces 
remained unbroken Prince Henry could not 
push past Niemes and on to Prague, or Frederic 
past Jaromer to KoniggratZ. It was from 
Silesia that the Austrians expected the real 
danger. Frederic would, of course, enter 
Bohemia through the Nachod gate, and display 
his far-famed capacity for marching swiftly 
and for striking heavy blows early in the 
campaign. Speaking of this. Kaiser Joseph is 
reported to have said : " When it is a question 
of fighting he (Frederic) rises up earlier than 
other people, but he shall never find me 
asleep." * With a view to receiving his attack 
the ground behind Nachod from Arnau to 

* Calonne, Notes sur la vie de Josef II, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 


Jaromer had bicn cart luUy fortified against the 
Prussian attack. Here lay the post of danger, 
here the greatest crisis would come, thought 
Kaiser Joseph. When on July 5 Frederic 
passed over the border at Nadhod, the Arnau- 
Jaromer line was immediately manned, the 
Austrian armies of the centre and the right were 
at once united under the command of Lascy 
and the Kaiser. It was decided to entrust 
Laudon with the army of the left as an in- 
dependent command, in order that he might 
make head against Prince Henry. Thus there 
were now only two Austrian armies. Joseph 
with the Eastern was defending the Nachod 
gate against Frederic, Laudon with the Western 
was to hold against Prince Henry the mountain 
gate of ToUenstein and the river gate by Aussig. 
In actual result — for reason^ that will sub- 
sequently appear — the danger was to be for 
Laudon, and during the first six weeks of the 
war the interest of the campaign shifts entirely 
to his army. On July 5 Laudon lay with his 
main force at Niemes, where he received the 
one dazzling inspiration which came to him 
in this campaign. Frederic was within two 
or three marches of Jaromer and Joseph, but 
Laudon knew that Prince Henry's army was 
located at Dresden, a good ten days' maroh 
from any seemingly threatened point on his 
side. Before finally deciding to go westwards 
Laudon devised a brilliant scheme. He wrote 


from Niemes to Kaiser Joseph on July 7 point- 
ing out that the Austrian armies had still the 
advantage of interior lines, and could move 
more quickly than the widely severed Prussian 
armies. Prince Henry's movements were neces- 
sarily slow and, according to the best informa- 
tion, Laudon thought that he personally could 
have nothing to fear until about the 15th. So 
the thought came to him whether he could not 
profit by this interval and with united force 
(that is, by concentrating our Western and 
Eastern armies) set off at King Frederic himself 
and attack him, unless he stood in an entirely 
unassailable position. He thought that within 
four days the two armies would be united.* 
Laudon himself would bring some 42,000 men 
to Arnau, making the forces there up to 55,000 
in all, and with these crush the King of Prussia's 
right wing. Meanwhile Kaiser Joseph with 
72,000 men could sally out against the Prussian 
left and centre. Frederic with 80,000 would 
be caught by 120,000 men, and would be 
outnumbered and crushed between the two 
Austrian armies. The plan was a great one, 
resembling that of the Metaurus or Blenheim, 
though upon a smaller scale. It meant the 
leaving of a skeleton force before the first enemy 
who could not readily take the offensive, and 
the sudden union of two armies to destroy the 
second. Had it been followed it might have 
resembled Blenheim yet more, in transferring 


the scene of action to the enemy's frontier, in 
conquering a duchy in a day, and in destroying 
a long and hardly earned reputation for victory. 
But so bold a plan was not for the Kaiser and for 
Lascy. It was unsafe to take liberties with 
Frederic, and the cautious Joseph refused this 
suggestion. Laudon — after this brilliant flash of 
intuitive insight — turned to the work of defence, 
in which he was to prove prosa^ic enough. 

Laudon had been allotted the most difficult 
task in the defence of Bohemia. In the first 
place he had two gates to defend, not one like 
Kaiser Joseph, and in the second place he had 
not in his hands the crags of Konigstein- 
Lilienstein, but had to conteiit himself with 
Aussig as a post from which to bar any advance 
up the Elbe. Again, the area of defence was 
much more extensive than that assigned to 
Kaiser Joseph ; to hold both gates Laudon 
had to cover a line stretching from Aussig to 
Zittau, a region covered with, hills and forests 
in which scouting was difficult. It was there- 
fore I possible for the enemy, manoeuvring 
secretly behind the lofty curtain of mountain 
and wood, to fling overwhelming force upon one 
gate by Aussig or on the other by ToUenstein, 
before Laudon could divine their intention. 
Laudon's best plan would have been to con- 
centrate his army at Hirschberg, to hold Aussig 
in force, and to send a suffieient detachment 
to bar the gate of ToUenstein. The Hirschberg 


concentration would have masked his disposi- 
tions, prevented Prince Henry frona discover- 
ing his real intentions, and enabled Laudon to 
block both entrances. As it was, he assumed 
that Prince Henry was adva:ncing down the 
Elbe — the most probable line of approach — 
and neglected to place more than a few skir- 
mishers at ToUenstein. Now, if Prince Henry 
was a general whom a stroke of genius might 
have deceived, he was not one in whose presence 
it was safe to make any ordinary blunder. 

After moving out his Saxon-Prussian Army 
from Dresden Prince Henry made feints in 
several directions, especially towards Dippoldis- 
walde, with the view of deceiving Laudon. 
Then on July 28 he crossed the left bank of the 
Elbe on three bridges just above Pirna. His 
intelligence — such as it was — confused and 
perplexed Laudon, and made him believe that 
Prince Henry was coming down both sides of the 
Elbe at once. Hence he began to concentrate 
his forces at Bleiswedel, from which town he 
could cover both sides of the stream. There 
let us leave him for a time, waiting in anxious 

Instead of going down the Elbe Prince Henry 
advanced through the forests on its right bank 
(July 28), and made straight for Rumburg. 
Using this town as a base he purposed to seize 
ToUenstein Pass, where was the only gap in 
Bohemia's armour of forest and hill. The 


enterprise was bold in that ha advanced over 
roads unused to heavy traffic and streaming 
with mud from the rain, and into a country 
whence he could only retreat with difficulty in 
case of failure. On the 30tb, some Prussian 
cavalry with Lothosel's infantry surprised and 
routed a hundred Austrian ciavalry at Rum- 
burg, and pursued them to the first wood- 
patch outside the town. There fifty Austrian 
chasseurs came to their aid, but the Prussian 
infantry came on again, Prussian guns hurried 
up from Rumburg, and the Prussian cavalry 
took them in flank. The Austrians gave way 
again and were pursued four good miles as far 
as Georgenthal, where the Prussian cavalry 
bivouacked. Meanwhile the advance guard 
of the Prussians had filed into Rumburg, and 
aill night long further reinforcements kept 

From Rumburg to ToUenstein there is a 
rift in the mountains, a series of gentle slopes 
studded with thick patches and clumps of dark 
firs. Across this wooded plateau infantry could 
advance and seize the Pass of ToUenstein. On 
the next day, July 31, an advance was made 
in four columns. General Belling's colvunn 
marching over Georgenthal to ToUenstein to 
seize the key of the whole position. Let us 
advance with General Belling. The way from 
Rumburg to ToUenstein lies oyer broad downs, 
yeUow with the harvest of oats or green with 


other crops, now somewhat draggled in the rain. 
Here and there BeUing's column marches be- 
tween dark fir -forests, varied by more open 
country towards the east. On presses the 
column in hot haste, past the low-browed huts 
of Schonlinde down to Georgenthal, which lies 
low and flat in the valley, where the Prussian 
cavalry were already awaiting them. A^ Belling 
looked up and ahead he could see westwards 
(to the right) the dark impenetrable forests, 
through which another Prussian column was 
hastening. Straight in front of him — ^not four 
kilometres farther on — is the goal of his hopes. 
A great ruined keep frowned at him from the 
grim rock of ToUenstein, a pass winding amid 
stunted hills on one side of it, on the other the 
tall fir-clad mass of Tannenberg Hill, a gigantic 
sentry guarding the defile that is the key of 
Upper Bohemia. Behind it again rolled back 
a, seemingly endless and impenetrable sea of 
fir-clad summits. Those dark masses of hills 
might conceal any number of troops; at any 
moment hot Laudon and his hussars might be 
rushing to the rescue. There was no time to 
lose; Belling gave the word for advance, the 
cavalry swept swiftly forward towards the Pass, 
surprising a few Austrians by the way but 
scattering them easily right and left. They 
clattered under the keep of ToUenstein, finding 
Austrian infantry in the Pass. On come the 
Prussian Grenadiers for a time easily up gentle 


slopes, then up steeper ones, as they draw near 
the Keep of ToUenstein, frowning from the 
crest of its hill. A few minutes more and they 
sweep round the base of the hill while shots 
splutter and kill one or two in the ranks. 
\Miat matter ! The handful qf Austrians fly 
before the Grenadiers and the Prussian cavalry 
sweep at last round the base of the hill. The 
keys of Bohemia have fallen fr6m the girdle of 
Laudon ! 

All the night of the 31st two companies of 
Grenadiers stood to arms in the Pass to guard 
against surprise, while Prussian cavalry pursued 
the Austrians into the depth and darkness of 
the woods beyond. But the precantiou was 
needless, for on the fateful Slst three other 
Prussian columns, marching op parallel lines, 
emerged at different points and secured the 
route for Belling. The most important of 
these, under MoUendorf, had njarched to the 
west through the thick forests and over the 
higher slopes past Nixdorf. Thie woods around 
there were said to be haunted and to hold 
strange beasts within their depths, but they 
surely never held more dreadful monsters than 
MoUendorf met, fierce Croatian Irregulars. 
MoUendorf pressed on through the woods over 
three abattis, and, despite fierce sporadic 
fighting with the Croats, reached open country 
beyond Dittersbach. There he encamped for 
the night, having pushed on farther than any of 



the three other columns. The parallel move- 
ment of the other columns rendered everything 
safe, and in the next few days Prince Henry with 
the main army advanced easily over this ground 
towards Gabel. The whole had been achieved 
with very small loss. At Rumburg and ToUen- 
stein the Saxon-Prussian army lost but four 
dead and a dozen wounded, the Austrians 
seventeen dead and thirty-two wounded or 
prisoners. Fighting there was in this war in 
which there were far more losses than this, but 
for importance in result there is nothing to 
equal it. 

At Rumburg Prince Henry, when he heard 
of the capture of ToUenstein, must have smiled 
to think that he had out-generalled the best 
Austrian leader by a move that was at least 
as daring as it was unexpected.* His own con- 
fession shows his appreciation of the feat. 
" Considering the impracticable roads that we 
traversed, such as no army ever crossed yet, 
this expedition might seem rash. That was 
the very consideration that determined us to 
undertake it, on the supposition that Marshal 
Laudon would never believe we would wish to 
attempt it. This supposition cannot indeed 
do any wrong to the intelligence we recognize 
in that Marshal. If the post of ToUenstein 
had been held by only two battalions, that 

* It is of some interest to note that, in 1866, the Prussian army of 
the Elbe advanced from Dresden, and did not descend the Elbe, but 
followed Prince Henry's route over Rumburg. 


would have prevented the army from entering." ' 
Indeed it seemed a great Prussian triumph and 
appeared to have opened a way to the heart 
of Bohemia. 

Just at this very moment poor Maria Theresa 
was writing in exultation to jNIarie Antoinette 
in France that " our cruel enerrly " the old King 
Frederic had been checked for a month, 
" wliilst from Zittau to Aussig from the side of 
Prince Henry there is nothing to fear." * The 
news that Prince Henry had accomplished the 
unwonted march by ToUenstein and was 
threatening his flank, not only bewildered Maria 
Theresa, it almost unmanned Laudon himself. 
Impetuous in action like a true cavalry soldier, 
he reasoned quickly as to Prince Henry's 
designs. The Prince's main army was now 
in or near Rumburg; his @wn position at 
Bleiswedel was now untenable^ so that he must 
evacuate the line of the Elbe altogether and 
fall back behind the Iser. Prince Henry's 
advance was cautious and Laudon's retreat 
speedy, so that the new positioins were occupied 
without much bloodshed. On August 2 the 
main body of Laudon's forces reached Hirsch- 
berg, on the 4th it crossed the Iser and 
concentrated at Kosmanos. Prince Henry's 
columns — creeping through the woods from 
ToUenstein like swift serpents — seized upon all 

* Aupist 8, 1778. Maria Theresa und Marie Antoinette, Von 
Ameth, Wien (1865), p. 252. 


the positions Laudon evacuated, and were 
presently gazing at the Austrians over the Iser. 
Laudon was still nervous and wrote to Joseph 
in great anxiety, stating (erroneously) that he 
was outnumbered, and that he had to defend 
the line of the Iser, a distance of some 90 
kilometres, with 70,000 men. He thought this 
feat impossible and complained to Joseph, 
asking to be relieved or reinforced. But for 
once Kaiser Joseph proved the better military 
adviser, and, judging the situation more 
correctly, wrote with masterly firmness : " Since 
you have lost ToUenstein, the key-point of your 
new position is Turnau. Hold that — and both 
you and we are safe. Lose it — and Prince 
Henry has everything ; he will join hands with 
his brother the King, drive you back one way, 
and us another, and ruin all. After all, too, 
your (Laudon's) estimate of Prince Henry's 
numbers is doubtful, a strong Saxon corps has 
remained behind in Dresden, and eight new 
Austrian battalions will be sent to reinforce 
you, and enable you to hold the Iser from 
Turnau to Semil — at all costs." * Thus Kaiser 
Joseph directed the dispirited Laudon, both 
wisely and confidently, in the first week of 
August, showing alike the great importance of 
the loss of ToUenstein and of the retention of 
Turnau. On August 11 the Kaiser actually 

* In fact Prince Henry had only 65,000 ^ectives while Laudon 
had 70,000. Criste, Kriege, p. 102, prints the letter here summarized. 


visited Laudon in his headquarters at IMiinclicn- 
griitz, found him in gvvat dejection, and eauic 
back criticizing both general and army.* 

During the second week of August, just after 
what Frederic called this " pretty d^but " of 
Prince Henry, diplomacy suddijnly intervened. 
But as this negotiation was made behind the 
back of the Austrian Commander-in-Chief, and 
hardly affected the military situation, it can 
be noticed later. On August 15 Frederic ended 
the diplomatic interlude, and all parties braced 
themselves afresh to a rougher game. There is 
something rather ludicrous in Laudon's attitude 
of agonized apprehension behind one bank of 
the Iser, especially as Prince Henry showed 
remarkable caution on the other. The latter 
was sensible as to the great advantage he had 
gained in the past, but speculative as to the 
future. He feinted towards Biidin, to pretend 
that he was threatening Prague," but he intended 
to take no risks. Even as it was, he put Laudon 
in great apprehension, caused, him once more 
to send piteous appeals for reinforcements, and 
nearly induced him to abandon Miinchengratz 
and the Iser. Indeed Laudon* actually issued 
orders to this effect on August 29, and only 
recalled them when he found the Prussians were 
retiring.' Prince Henry's mjain object was 
defensive, to prevent Laudon retaking Gabel 
(and with it ToUenstein). " Once we lose the 
roads leading to Lusatia retreat is impossible. 


One does not pass through this neighbourhood 
unpunished twice." * Prince Henry judged 
the situation as usual with exquisite accuracy ; 
he had already risked his army once and 
achieved an important success. He would not 
endanger it once more, though it is clear from 
Laudon's actions from August 26-29 that a 
slightly more determined action on the part 
of Prince Henry would have forced the passage 
of the Iser. But Prince Henry would risk no 
more : he resolved that any further move must 
come from Frederic, and this determination 
shifts the interest to the Prussian King and 
the Austrian army opposed to him. 

The situation in which Frederic found him- 
self was indeed a difficult one, and this fact 
may explain why he had r^nained for five 
weeks, arms crossed and immovable, glaring 
at the Austrians over the river, admiring though 
not emulating the fine exploits of his brother. 
The King had marched on July 5 through the 
gate of Nachod, Just as Crown Prince Frederic 
did in 1866, only to find himself checked by a 
counterscarp immediately behind it. The old 
King seems to have been much astonished to 
find resistance so soon, and in fact appears to 
have thought that the Austrian concentration 
was at Olmiitz. In any case, he moved with 
great slowness in his advance, and his delay of 

* Prince Henry to Frederic, Niemes, August 17, 1778, quoted in 
Crista, Kriege, p. 97. 




















two precious days enabled the Austrians to 
strengthen still further their HnVs before the first 
Prussian reconnaissanee. " floth (Iloheuelbe 
and Arnau) would in all probability have fallen 
had not the mareh of the troops, intended to 
attaek them, been too much retarded." * 

From Arnau to Jaromer stretched a long 
fortified line held by Austrian troops. The 
line was less strongly defended between Arnau 
and Koniginhof, but from the last village to 
Jaromer stretched a perfect wall of entrench- 
ments. By Koniginhof the Elbe is very near 
its source ; it is no wide stream, and its course 
is not always discernible even from a short 
distance. Though now fouled, by factories, it 
was then a clear thin silver st,ream fordable at 
many points, and flowing between banks which 
are generally flat and low. It^would have been 
easy for a Prussian force to cross the stream, 
but it would have been extremely difficult to 
secure their landing. From the wooded heights, 
which rise at a distance of about half a mile 
on the Austrian side and stretch right from 
Koniginhof to Jaromer, wejl- placed cannon 
could riddle any landing pajties. The dark 
curtain of wood on the Austrian side completely 
concealed guns and positiorjs, and Frederic 
knew that the pupils of Daun understood the 
art of entrenchment. All that, skill in choosing 

• S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 102, Berlin, December 1, 1778, Elliot to 
Suffolk, relying on the evidence of olUc^s taking part in the 


and fortifying positions, of which Lascy was 

an acknowledged master, had been lavished 

upon this one, 

" The walls made high and broad;. 
The bulwarks and the rampires large and strong. 
With cavalieros and thick counterforts." 

Cannon were planted all along the lines, 
trenches dug, abattis and palisades erected 
at threatened points, whilst those parts of 
the river where landings could be effected 
were defended by triple lines of trenches 
and by a specially concentrated artillery fire. 
The whole line had been linked together 
by special roads running parallel with the 
stream, an arrangement of very great im- 
portance, as the roads ran perpendicular to 
the stream on the Prussian side. Hence, in 
the case of any attempt to force their lines 
or turn their position, the Austrian guns, 
troops, and war material could be moved to 
a threatened part with the greatest ease, the 
Prussian only with difficulty. In fact the 
Elbe — though small in volurrie — ^was almost a 
better defence than the mountains behind it, 
and this thin silver ribbon of a stream checked 
the old King even more effectually than the 
Iser restrained his brother. For six weeks 
now the two armies had been watching one 
another, separated by only a kilometre or two 
of ground, so near that bullets and cannon balls 
were frequently whistling and humming across. 


while in the day-tinio the ghnt of stcil was 
visible, and at night the hundred watch-fires 
sparkled like fireflies from opposing heights. 

Frederic was never renowhed for patience, 
and he now played the waiting part with a very 
bad grace to the accompaniment of much pro- 
fanity, silent on the part of others, vocal on 
his own. He censured his officers severely, 
taught one how to form a camp, with many 
pungent criticisms, and said, " Go to the devil ! " 
to a second, who wished to measure a distance 
by trigonometry instead of by the eye. All 
shrank from crossing or offending the venomous 
old King, and his nephew and heir, Frederic- 
WiUiam, now on his first campaign, earned 
much commendation for his ridicule of his great 
kinsman as " old Sourface." To his occupa- 
tion of reprimanding or satijizing his officers 
Frederic added others not less characteristic. 
By his orders the soldiers were* given bread and 
meat gratis in addition to their usual pay, twice 
a week they were sold beans very cheaply, and 
other provisions were on sale at or nearly at 
cost price. At the same time he increased the 
already iron rigour of discipline. Later in the 
campaign, in the camp at Schatzlar, he showed 
his Athenian side as well, and composed an 
Eloge de Voltaire, just dead at Paris, whose 
enmity and friendship alike had contributed 
so much to his own renown. The dead satirist 
himself could not have drawn a character in 


fiction more strange or complex than that re- 
vealed by Frederic at this moment — the first 
ruler and soldier in the world, brought to a 
check by leaders of but ordinary talents, and 
beguiling his time now by cursing his officers, 
now by handling a secret negotiation, now 
by improving the food of his men, now by in- 
creasing their punishments, yet again by writing 
a copy of bad French verses. His inaction had 
much effect on both officers and men, to whom 
" Der Alte Fritz " had been the model of daring 
and celerity in war, and there was a " great 
diminution of that confidence in his abilities 
and enthusiasm for his person which inspired 
the troops at their outset." * The news of 
ToUenstein and the final rupture of the negotia- 
tion with Austria (August 15) at length forced 
Frederic into action. Unless he now took the 
initiative the position must become one of 
stalemate. So long as Kaiser Joseph and 
Laudon could pivot their forces round the two 
points of Turnau and Arnau, the Austrians 
had the advantage of interior lines ; their 
two armies were safe until the hinge between 
these two points was broken down. As Prince 
Henry had declined to cross the Iser to seize 
Turnau, Frederic must seize Arnau — the 

* S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 102, Berlin, Hugh Elliot to SuSolk, 
December 1, 1778 ; vide also vol. 103, ih. to ib. January 12, 1779. In 
each case Elliot's accounts are based on reports of participants in 
the campaign. Until the end of 1778 his knowledge of the campaign 
had been small ; vide Minto, Memoir of Hugh Elliot, p. 164. 


weakest point of tlie Austrian lines — or abandon 
the campaign. To Fi'eclevic, tlie forcer of so 
many lines, the victor over so piany odds, delay 
in the field had always been distasteful. But 
though he now (August 15) decided to move, it 
was not with the old matchless rapidity and 
energy. He moved cautiously and slowly, 
very careful of his laurels and (in a nobler wise) 
careful also of the lives of his mcn.^" But 
that proud confidence in himself which had led 
him to so many triumphs or* sacrifices in the 
past was no longer with him. 

On August 15 Frederic encamped at Burkers- 
dorf not far from the historic field of Sohr, 
where long ago he had beaten the Austrians 
by the happiest combination of daring and 
fortune. The very ground rhight have given 
him inspiration. On the 16t,h he thought of 
forcing Arnau, writing to Prince Henry that 
his move — if successful — would compel the 
Austrians to evacuate their lines and fall back 
on Czaslau, and that he wag almost certain 
that the Kaiser's army had been forbidden to 
fight (of course by Maria Theresa) so as not to 
endanger Joseph's person. ^^ Frederic's move 
was not unobserved, Austrian forces at Arnau 
were hurriedly strengthened. Kaiser Joseph 
himself came riding up to the post of danger. 
Frederic saw the reinforcenicnts advancing, 
judged the task too arduous, and held his hand, 
writing to his brother that "this place is the 


most devilish of the whole neighbourhood." 
Again there was manoeuvre, march and counter- 
march, and on August 27 the two armies faced 
one another near Oels, Frederic with 60,000, 
Joseph with 70,000 well entrenched. Once 
again the old King declined battle. 

After these happenings there was only one 
thing possible for either Prussian army. Neither 
leader was willing to risk his men in any further 
venture, but retreat was a sore humiliation for 
both. The country could afford no further 
sustenance for either army, disease was working 
sad destruction, Frederic had already lost over 
10,000 men by sickness or desertion.^^ In 
September retreat became inevitable for both, 
and in this hard decision Prince Henry again 
took the lead. At the beginning of the cam- 
paign Frederic had suggested that the Prince's 
line of retreat should be by Leitmeritz and up 
to the Elbe, thus enabling him still to live at 
the enemy's expense. Later the King had 
indicated the more direct retreat over Zittau 
as desirable, but Prince Henry now adopted 
the original suggestion. The retreat by Leit- 
meritz was, to use the military term, an 
eccentric one, and involved a change of base. 
It had the advantage of still further exhausting 
the enemy's country, of eating it bare. It 
was not very hazardous in any case, and its 
unusual character might deceive Laudon. On 
September 10 the main force of Prince Henry 


began its retreat, yet, though he executed it 
with skill, his movements wne not those which 
should have bi-en unnoticed or unharasscd by 
a leader of unshaken nerve.* There were 
extraordinary difficulties to encounter; the 
weather was stormy, and the roads, at no time 
good, were now streaming with mud and almost 
impassable, so that horses sank to the hocks 
and waggons to the axle. Heavy guns fre- 
quently stuck in the morasses, and the labourers 
of the country-side were requisitioned to haul 
them out with ropes and cart-horses, the cavalry 
had to dismount and lend; their chargers. 
Hundreds of putrefying horses, scores of men 
dead or fallen from exposure, shattered waggons, 
and abandoned weapons marked the line of 
retreat. When Prince Henry; reassembled his 
forces at Dresden, he found that he had lost 
in the campaign, of which the most important 
engagement counted 16 casualties, nearly 8000, 
or about one - eighth of his complete force. 
Information or presence of mind must have 
been terribly lacking to Laudon at this time, 
for he completely neglected the opportunity of 
displaying his old vigour in harassing Prince 
Henry's retreat. 

The retirement of Frederic was not so 
difficult, since his route was very much shorter 
and more direct. It began on September 8, 

• The Saxon part of the army retreated by way of Zittau, whither 
Laudon followed them, thinking them the main army. 


but Frederic halted near Schatzlar and re- 
mained there composing his ode to Voltaire, 
until he received news that Prince Henry had 
reached Saxony. Again the Prussian retreat 
showed the same difficulties and losses in 
execution, the Austrian advance the same 
hesitation. Several rearguard fights took place, 
in which Wurmser on the one side and Prince 
Frederic - William on the other distinguished 
themselves much, but, despite the entreaties of 
Hussar Officers and the almost open murmurs 
of his troops. Kaiser Joseph sternly forbade 
all determined attempts to harass the retreat. 
After all, the great general might be luring the 
Austrians to their destruction, and the genius 
loci was unfavourable in a neighbourhood 
where the Prussian King had vanquished 
Austrian armies in the past. The terrible 
renown of Frederic, garnered on a hundred 
fields, still protected him in failure as it had 
once done in success. 

Though some of the troops murmured at the 
close of the campaign, it was no small triumph 
for an Austrian army, unaided by any other 
Power, to have rendered it impossible for the 
greatest of living generals to winter either of 
his armies in Bohemia. During all the wars 
of the last forty years Austria had never by 
herself forced an enemy to evacuate her 
territory in the first year of invasion. Kaiser 
Joseph perhaps did not think of this feat as 


a triumph, for he was ahiiost in despair at the 
cruel svifferings inflieted on the pc asants in tiie 
country oeeupied by tlie Prussians. In the 
matter of requisitions Prince Henry and his grim 
brother "did not their work neghgently." " 
But, deeply as Joseph felt for his peasants, it 
may be doubted whether tlieii- sufferings were 
not avenged by the blow to Frederic's military 
renown. As. with curses on his lips and rage in 
his heart, the old King turned- his back upon 
Bohemia, he at least had lost much of what 
was as dear to him as was his cottage to a 
Czechish peasant. He who had always been 
first in the field and famed fdr his lightning 
speed in action had at last been brought to a 
standstill by the pupils of Daun, that general 
he had so often derided and defeated. The 
astonishment of the world was immense, the 
Arnau-Jaromer lines anticipated Valmy, and 
first taught Europe that Prussian grenadiers 
could be resisted. 

Skirmishes of one kind or another went on 
through the winter, and till tlie beginning of 
March of the next year, but for all practical 
purposes the war ended with the retreat of 
Frederic from Bohemia. It is. not altogether 
easy to criticize the chief movements of the 
campaign because so little was actually accom- 
plished. The initial blunder seems to have 
been made by Frederic in dividing his two 
armies in about equal parts. The result was 


that both he and Prince Henry were opposed 
by armies whose numerical strength was almost 
on an equality, while they had the great addi- 
tional advantage of acting upon interior lines. 
By a brilliant manoeuvre Prince Henry suc- 
ceeded in turning Laudon's flank and forcing 
him back on the Iser, but even this stroke did 
not relieve the pressure on Frederic or deprive 
the Austrian armies of their advantages of 
position. The fact is that Frederic's original 
plan seems to have been based on the idea that 
one part of the Austrian force intended to ad- 
vance on Lusatia — and so to threaten Berlin.^* 
To prevent this design he sent Prince Henry 
into Saxony with a sufficiently strong force to 
take them in flank. It was not till after the 
opening of the campaign that Frederic dis- 
covered his mistake and found the main 
Austrian army entrenched within a few miles 
of the Silesian frontier, instead of dispersed 
over a line from Koniggratz to Moravia. As 
he very early discovered the difficulty of forcing 
the lines at Arnau, his only real chance would 
have been either to effect a formidable diversion 
in Moravia, or to spur Prince Henry on to 
further efforts against Laudon. Eventually 
he did neither, he sent only detachments to 
Moravia and good advice to Prince Henry. 

In spite of his briUiant exploit Prince Henry 
is really open to some criticism, for Laudon's 
orders for evacuating the Iser line on August 29 


show that a bold offensive on his part 
would have been succissful. If Laudon had 
been foreed from the Iser, the position of 
Kaiser Joseph at Arnau-Jaromcr would have 
become untenable, and deeisive results for 
Prussia must certainly have followed. The 
risk in such a move is admitted, but it was the 
risk that a commander of genius would have 
taken. The difference between the ideas of 
Prince Henry and Frederic on such a question 
are admirably seen in a correspondence be- 
tween them in January 1779. Prince Henry 
then remonstrated with Frederic on some of 
the dispositions for the coming campaign as 
rash, calling up precedents of the fatal temerity 
of Villeroi at Ramillies, of Cumberland at 
Eontenoy, and of the Austriaij Prince Charles 
at that victoire la plus inoiiie of Leuthen. 
Frederic replied tartly that it was not rashness 
but bad dispositions of troops or bad choice 
of ground which made these cpmmanders fail. 
"La guerre et la nobless (sic) ne vont pas en- 
semble ; quiconque n'cntreprend rien aprds 
avoir bien refl^chi sur sa besogn.e, ne sera jamais 
qu'un pauvre sire. Voila ce que nous dit 
Texp^rience et I'histoire de toiites les guerres. 
C'est un grand jeu dc hazard, oh celui qui calcule 
le mieux gagne k la langue." * The two letters 
outline sharply tlie difference between a general 

• SchOning, pp. 252, 254. Letter of Trince Henry, February 17, 
of Frederic, February 10. 


of talent and one of genius. It would be diffi- 
cult to better Frederic's teaching, but in this 
campaign the leader had done nothing at all, 
and Prince Henry had won fresh laurels, though 
he had declined to make just that last bid for 
victory which would have given him immortal 
fame. He had not done what Frederic would 
infallibly have done, had he been in his place 
and a few years younger. Frederic now was 
content to utter wise military saws after the 
time for decisive action had passed. 

But if Frederic was no longer the Frederic 
of Leuthen, still less had Laudon proved the 
Laudon of Kunersdorf. Always a little un- 
certain, Laudon had now been almost con- 
temptible, and no one can be surprised at the 
comparative neglect into which he fell for a 
decade. Maria Theresa had e-^en wished to dis- 
miss him, but this action had been prevented 
by Kaiser Joseph.^^ Prince Henry alone of 
the old heroes of the Seven Years' War had 
enhanced his reputation. Never losing a 
chance, nor risking too much, this man of 
exquisite talent had outshone the two men of 
genius. As for Lascy and Kaiser Joseph their 
parts had been simple but creditable enough, 
and if they were no more than respectable 
tacticians they had proved at least excellent 
administrators. The troops had been well 
organized and handled, the provisions good, 
the entrenchments strong, the enemy's loss 


must have been \vtll over 20,000 nun. For all 
this the main credit rests with Lasey, but some- 
thing also falls to the Kaiser, until then untried 
in the Beld.i* However muek he deferred to 
the judgment of Lasey in militalry affairs, Joseph 
could not, from his very nature, be a mere cipher, 
and, in any case, he had done much to restore 
the nerve of Laudon at the critical moment 
after ToUenstein, and shown discretion and 
judgment by insisting upon the' retention of the 
Iser and of Turnau. That he was over-anxious 
about exposing the homesteads of his peasants 
and the persons of his soldiers to danger was 
an amiable weakness, which is explained by his 
regard for the welfare of both.*' Moreover, 
even though the army grumbled at the close 
of the campaign, Joseph had done much to 
break the tradition of Austrian defeat and to 
restore the military spirit. If he feared to ex- 
pose his men, he at least did not fear to expose 
himself, and when men saw a Kaiser sleeping 
on the bare ground covered only with a cloak, 
found him fraternizing with his men and some- 
times sharing their food, or saw him riding 
boldly where bullets were whistling, their 
general feeling was voiced by the soldier's 
utterance, " Why should I fear when the crown 
of my sovereign is as exposed as my cap ? " * 
On the whole the campaign well earned its 

• Of. a similar saying of Josepii's ofQcet'i about their Kaiser's 
conduct under fire in this campaign in Calonnc, Notes sur la vie de 
Joaei II, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27,487. 


nickname of the Potato or Plum War, because 
the soldiers of each side devoted more time to 
stealing and deserting than to fighting, and 
Joseph spoke with as much truth as wit when 
he said in August, " The King of Prussia stays 
here to forage and I to recruit." It is the 
classic instance of the war of positions, of 
manoeuvre and counter-manoeuvre. None the 
less it was destructive to the Prussian army, 
and, though no battles were fought, the story 
of Prince Henry's bold seizure of Tollenstein 
and the mystery of Frederic's inaction are well 
worthy of military study. It is the more to be 
regretted that Laudon's superb intuition at 
the beginning of the campaign' was not put into 
practice. His design to join forces and crush 
Frederic in the early days of the campaign was 
a dazzling opportunity, but, considering all, 
perhaps one which the cautious Lascy and the 
Kaiser were right to reject. When had Frederic 
ever cared till now for superiority of numbers, 
above all, what reinforcement to the Prussian 
army was the renown of Frederic himself at 
the beginning of this campaign ? Napoleon 
estimated his personal presence on the battle- 
field as equal to a reinforcement of 40,000 
men, and the cautious Wellington endorsed 
this view.i* When one remembers how often 
Frederic had triumphed over odds, how his 
name was one of fear to all Austrians and of 
pride to all Prussians, it seems hard to estimate 


it at much less. At least, at the beginning 
of the campaign his soldiers would not have 
done so, when they leaincd that battle was at 
hand, and watched the old King riding down 
the lines in his faded blue aind red uniform, 
the bent figure still firm in the saddle, the 
famous crook-stick in his hand, and the thin old 
eagle-face once more alight with the glow of 

Prince Henry had done enough in this 
campaign, King Frederic far more than enough 
in a score of others, for the assurance of their 
renown, and for them were to be no more the 
chances of defeat or of victory: For Lascy and 
Kaiser Joseph, as by a sort of tragic retribution 
for their momentary success, the near future 
held military disgrace and shame. As for 
Laudon, the man of genius ^hose reputation 
had sunk most in this campaign, he was to 
know once more the joy of battle and the rap- 
ture of victory, and gloriously to redeem his 
fame. Ten years from now, when Austria's 
hopes were at their lowest, and when his head 
was already white, Laudon was to rival the 
most famous exploit of Euge,ne, and to enter 
Belgrade amid the thunder of guns and the 
triumphant shouts of his soldiers. Te Deums 
in countless churches, the prayers and the 
blessings of thousands were t6 be his, and the 
humbled and dying Joseph was to salute him 
as the Generalissimo of all his armies. But 





Der Ehre schhne GBtUrlust, 

Die, wie ein Meteor, verschwindet. 

Honour's godlike joy. 
The meteor that a moment dances. 

The story of Bavaria from December 30, 1777, 
to the Peace of Teschen is the story of her 
Elector Karl Theodor, whose shifts, turns, 
and doublings exhibit the hapless condition of 
a minor state and ruler when forced into the 
current of great events by thte action of great 
Powers. The diplomatic morallity of an age is 
most apparent in the treatment accorded to 
minor states, for a great state always has some 
claim to justice because it has some show of 
force behind its pretensions. In the eighteenth 
century the ruler of a minor state found it 
difficult to retain his own conscience, or to 
hold any one else to an obligation ; and ever 

since December 30, 1777, the impossibility of 



doing either of these things had become 
apparent to Karl Theodor. 

Though destiny was to expose him to the 
ridicule of mankind, Karl Theodor was not 
without merits either as a man or as a sovereign. 
His portrait shows his character — ^the forehead 
high, the nose hooked and prominent, a chin 
coarse and sensual, but redeemed by a tolerably 
firm mouth and by sharp kindly eyes which 
peep from beneath high black brows. His 
face is the very image of an artistic epicurean, 
who took life easily and yet like Chesterfield 
could be serious when occasion demanded. 
Though his supper-parties were as gay as those 
of Louis Quinze, though his admirers called 
him " the first cavalier in the Holy Roman 
Empire," he was no trifler in the science of 
government or in the patronage of the arts. 
He had introduced business methods and strict 
supervision into the finances of the Palatinate, 
and was a methodical and skilful administrator. 
He had devoted the money thus saved to 
industry, to learning, and to the arts. He had 
encouraged commerce by cutting canals, by 
improving the roads and by starting a porcelain 
factory. He was himself well read in the 
classics, the patron of such men as Lessing and 
Schiller, the devoted friend of learning, and the 
founder of an Academy of Science and Literature 
at Mannheim (1766). As Heidelberg had been 
ruined by the wars, he had fixed his capital at 


Mannheim, whicli he etnbcllislied with line 
buildings, and sought to nmi<c' the home of the 
arts and the Athens of the Rhine. Landseape 
gardens, pictures and statuary abounded in 
the capital, but it was for music that it was 
most renowned. The opera was famous, the 
ballet and the orchestra were the best in 
Germany, and both owed nearly everything 
to the personal supervision and support of 
Karl Theodor. lie was a weU-read, polished 
and refined man of the world, and though a 
strict Catholic by no means a bigot. His sub- 
jects had long ago acknowledged their obliga- 
tions to his learning and taste, and he had 
certainly governed the Palatinate with more 
discrimination and success than Max Joseph 
had achieved in Bavaria.^ In foreign policy 
both princes were ineffective, but it is an irony 
of history that the internal policy of the last 
Bavarian Wittelsbach should be acknowledged 
as admirable, \\ hile that of hi.s able and more 
cultured successor is forgotten or denounced. 

\Miatever had been the abilities or character 
of Karl Theodor, his situation after December 
30, 1777, was one in which ev^en the profound 
politician might have failed. His choice lay 
between a balance of opposite humiliations. 
There was the menace of Austria on one side, 
on the other that of Zweibriicken — backed by 
Frederic. Worst of all, each side had incriminat- 
ing documents by which they could publicly 


prove his duplicity ; in particular Zweibriicken 
had a whole array of family compacts and 
agreements by which he could establish that 
Karl Theodor had sworn to keep Bavaria 
indivisible. In 1766, 1771, 1774, as also in 
connection with the will of Max Joseph, Karl 
Theodor had solemnly pledged himself to the 
late Elector in writing not to alienate or cede 
any part of Bavaria — when he inherited it. 
On August 5, 1777, Karl Theodor had made 
a similar written agreement with Zweibriicken, 
in which each party agreed to do nothing with- 
out the other. Immediately afterwards Karl 
Theodor began secretly negotiating with Kaiser 
Joseph and Kaunitz in an exactly opposite 
sense.^ The death of Max Joseph revealed 
these numerous perjBidies. On December 30, 
1778, Karl Theodor's representative at Munich 
made a solemn oath and proclamation that his 
master would accept the Bavarian heritage 
undivided. Four days afterwards his repre- 
sentative at Vienna signed an equally solemn 
agreement with Kaunitz to divide it and to 
cede a third of that heritage = to Austria, On 
January 4 Karl Theodor arrived in Munich 
and was invested with the whole Bavarian 
heritage, which he swore to keep intact. On 
January 14, after a show of reluctance, he 
agreed to divide it by ratifying the Austrian 
Partition-Treaty. On January 15, Austrian 
troops invaded Bavaria without meeting any 


resistance from his soldiers. J^lumours of tfu- 
Partition -Treaty (details of which were not 
public till the third week of February) had 
greatly excited the people in Munich. Even 
that pitiful mediaeval shadow, the Committee 
of the Estates, remonstrated with the new 
ruler, and scathing pasquinades attacked his 
ministers as well as the Emperor, whose slave 
Karl Theodor appeared to b6. When he ac- 
cepted the Golden Fleece from Kaiser Joseph, 
it was regarded as the badge? of disgrace and 
the price of treachery. Despite severe punish- 
ments the satires redoubled, and at least one 
really humorous piece of doggerel appeared : 

" In other times the woolly Fleece 
AY as profit to the Shearer, 
The Sheep from Shearer gains increase 
In our quite novel era." 

One of Karl Theodor' s first measures had 
been to expel almost all the Bavarian ministers 
and introduce Palatine ones, the chief being 
Vieregg, a man of whom " even his friends 
rather choose to dwell upon the praise of 
his private virtues than public capacity." * 
Neither such measure nor such ministers 
were calculated to win Bavarian hearts, Karl 
Theodor's unpopularity was unhappily pro- 
moted as much by his good actions as by his 

* Vieregg appears to have been appointed by Karl Theodor to the 
direction of his foreign policy, becmiBc he was a pliant man who could 
be easily coatrolJed ; vide Karl Obscr, MitI, fUr Ost, Gcsclt. Bd. xviii. 
489, xix. 844. 


bad ones. He had brought with him De 
Hompeche, who was made President of the 
Chamber of Finances. This individual was 
" said to have merit as a Financier, he was 
soon proved to possess all the unfeelingness 
of one ... by his little menagement of indi- 
viduals in the regulations which have taken 
place. Reforms without doubt were necessary, 
but they might have been made with a more 
distinguishing hand. Many Families being now 
reduced to Misery ; the Pensions granted by 
the late Elector to some of his Favourites with- 
drawn, and even those given to the Natural 
Children of the Emperor Charles VII. greatly 
diminished." * Considering that Karl Theodor 
had bartered a third of Bavaria for a pension 
to his own bastards, it was unfeeling to be 
niggardly to those of his predecessors. Further 
projects for a more equitable scheme of taxa- 
tion thoroughly alarmed the nobles of Bavaria, 
who were to be made to share some of the 
financial burdens with the people. Even the 
people were not conciliated, because they were 
threatened with a system of universal military 
service. So great was the alarm occasioned 
by these wider plans that even trifling reforms 
were viewed with suspicion. An effort to 
reform the discipline of the troops caused 
frequent desertions and general dissatisfaction. 

* Quoted from S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. .113, Munich, 
January 22, 25, 29, February 12, 22, April 23 ; Ratisbon, July 10. 
Eden to Suffolk. 


Discontent was apparent cvcFywhcre, and the 
national and popular rtscntnvnt at I5;ivaria's 
humiliation was greater than could have been 

Unfortunately for Karl Theddor his arbitrari- 
ness at ^Munich could not conceal his subservi- 
ence at Vienna, and even the rhost unobservant 
noted his deference to the Imperial Commissary. 
Kaiser Joseph had indeed sent him the Order 
of the Golden Floccc, but otherwise treated him 
with great contempt. Joseph, began by viol- 
ating the Treaty of January 3, and sending 
Austrian troops into parts of the Bavarian 
territories not ceded in that agreement. In 
February he for a moment showed a desire 
for still more ambitious projects of exchange 
than that in the Partition- Treaty, and dangled 
before Karl Theodor's eyes the prospect of a 
crown and kingdom in Galicia, in return for 
further Bavarian territory to Austria. When 
this scheme dropped, the Kaiser, who had pre- 
viously guaranteed neutrality to Karl Theodor 
in case of war, actually tried to force him 
to join Austria at the end of April. This 
proposal was more than eveft Karl Theodor 
could endure, and he refused in spite of the 
severe pressure which was put upon him. 
Perhaps he was not altogether uninfluenced 
by the fact that his soldiers, would probably 
have refused to fight for the Austrians.* 

Karl Theodor quite realized the importance 


of gaining over his nephew and heir, Charles 
of Zweibriicken, to his Partition- Treaty. Ac- 
cordingly on January 22 he wrote a private 
letter to the Duke of Zweibriicken, informing 
him that he had done the best he could for 
the honour of himself and the safety of his 
country, and that, in accepting the Treaty 
of January 3, he had yielded to superior force. 
With a judicious disregard of the pensions to 
his bastards, he declared that he had paid more 
attention to the common interest than to his 
own, and finally urged his nephew to forgive 
him.* It remained to be seen whether his 
nephew would accept this explanation. 

A great deal of high policy was now to depend 
upon the decision of an obscure country squire, 
whose chief occupation was hunting, and who 
ruled a territory no bigger than an English 
estate. Zweibriicken had his own plenipoten- 
tiaries with the great Powers, and his favour 
was courted by three great sovereigns. It was 
to the King of France that he inclined, for a 
long residence in that country had made him 
an ape of its methods and ideas. He wished 
to turn Zweibriicken into a miniature Versailles, 
and had chosen a petty Du Barry for himself in 
the shape of Madame d'Esebeck, the wife of his 
chief adviser. He copied Lo,uis XV. both in 
vice and in extravagance, and for the last 
reason became not only the imitator but the 
pensioner of France. The receipt of an annual 


income from Louis X\'I. of 300,000 livres made 
him a political as woU as a financial subordinate. 
But, though idle and extravagant, he was not 
entirely contemptible. His portraits show a 
stout, dark-t, yed man, with a sensitive mouth 
and chivalrous bearing. He; was admitted 
to have a sense of honour that was high in that 
age, and he was to show considerable firmness 
in the crisis. 

The news of Max Joseph's dekth reached him 
on January 31, 1778, while out hunting at 
Zweibriicken, but he did not immediately 
come to Munich, The initiative was taken 
by the all-observant Frederic, who at once sent 
off an emissary (Count Eustace Goerz) first 
to Munich to see Karl Theodor and, if possible, 
to wean him from Austria. If that scheme 
failed Goerz was to work on the elements of 
opposition in Munich, and to use every effort 
to prevent Zweibriicken acceding to the Parti- 
tion-Treaty. Goerz divided his time between 
Regensburg and Munich. In the latter city he 
found a congenial ally in Maria Anna, the 
Dowager Duchess of Bavaria, who had been 
bitterly opposed to any partition of the country, 
and was ready to use any means to defeat 
and discredit Karl Theodor.** She possessed 

• This Dowager Duchess is not to be confounded with Max 
Joseph's widow, the Dowager Electress. Maria Anna was a daughter 
of the Palsgrave Karl von Sulzbach, and had married (act. 15) Duke 
Clement of Bavaria. The latter had been, nearest heir of Max 
Joseph, but had died in 1770 at the early age of forty-one. 


valuable advisers in three Bavarian patriots, 
Andre, her confidant, and Obermayer and Lorij, 
who were both Privy Councillors. These com- 
municated much secret intelligence to Goerz, 
which was of the greatest value to him at this 

On February 6 Goerz suddenly returned to 
Munich incognito, and took up his residence 
in a summer-house in the grounds of the 
Duchess. That evening he held a secret con- 
sultation with her and with Zweibriicken, who 
had just arrived in the capital. On February 7 
Zweibriicken, primed by their instructions, 
went to see Karl Theodor at his palace, and 
discussed the Partition- Treaty in the presence 
of the Austrian minister Lehrbach. The inter- 
view was satisfactory to neither party, and on 
February 8 Goerz, from his hiding-place, wrote 
exultantly to the Dowager that Zweibriicken 
was safe, and would do nothing without consent 
of France or Frederic. Events followed fast ; 
on February 14 Zweibriicken politely declined 
the Golden Fleece, which Kaiser Joseph had 
sent him ; on the 28th he definitely refused to 
sign the Partition- Treaty.* Early in March he 
submitted a lengthy appeal to the Diet, in 
which he proved that Karl Theodor had been 
false to four separate agreements, that the 

* On the day before (February 27) Zweibriicken had received a 
friendly letter from Louis XVI., confirmingihim in his resolution and 
promising the continuance of his pension. Cp. Reimann, Preuss, 
Gesch. ii. 74-75. 


Partition-Tivaty was in defiance of the peace of 
Wcstplialia, and lliat the Kniyer was ossailing 
the liberties and riglits of Ilavavia. On Mareh 
16, in full session of the Germanic Diet, King 
Frederic added to Zweibriiclien's claim the 
formal weight of his authority and the real 
support of his sword.'' 

As has already been described, the effect of 
these manoeuvres was to give the complete 
moral victory to Frederic. During the summer 
this advantage was mercilessly pressed home 
by the Bavarian Dowager, by Frederic, and by 
Zweibriicken, who incessantly itispired Bavarian 
discontent with Karl Theodor, and sent anti- 
Austrian pamphlets and protests to the Diet, 
The account of these communications may 
be shortly summarized. In December 1778 
Frederic published a copy of the secret letter 
of Karl Theodor of January 22, 1778, to 
Zweibriicken (in which he admitted that he 
had signed the Treaty of January 3, 1778, 
under compulsion). An even more deadly 
blow was dealt on the advice of the Dowager 
and her Bavarian councillors. Austria claimed 
Lower Bavaria in virtue of Albprt's Investiture 
of 1126. Frederic now published to the Diet 
that Albert had formally reno\|nced this claim 
in 1429, and that the original Act of Renuncia- 
tion still existed. If it did n©t, Zweibriicken 
asserted that the Austrians had destroyed it. 
This was a bombshell. It was in vain that the 



Austrian ministers shuffled and declared at the 
Diet that the Act of Renunciation was a 
forgery. The Dowager Duchess and her ad- 
visers had plausible proofs that the Act had 
existed : two highly respectable witnesses were 
brought forward by them to swear to its exist- 
ence, or at any rate to the existence of authentic 
copies but a few years before. Clear evidence 
was advanced to show that the archives at 
Munich had been badly kept of recent years, 
and strong suspicion was levelled against 
Austrian diplomats of having purloined or 
destroyed the original document. Heathcote 
did not scruple to suggest that Austria would 
have purloined the original if it had been 
to advantage ; Suffolk, with less insinua- 
tion, mildly described the Prussian arguments 
as " unanswerable ".* ® Unquestionably, the 
Dowager and her advisers had worked behind 
the scenes with deadly effect. Throughout the 
whole period Zweibriicken stood firm claiming 
his inalienable rights, while Frederic's repre- 
sentatives at the Diet and in the press brought 
forward their solemn and convincing proofs 
of the utter worthlessness of Austria's claims, 
impugned her good faith, and injured her 
reputation. All the evidence was not mar- 
shalled till the beginning of 1779, but in the 
first half of 1778 there was already enough to 

* S.PJ'. Archives, vol. 45, Ratisbon, July 26, Axigust 5, 23, 
September 6, 13, 23, Heathcote to Fraser. 


bring deep discredit alike upon Karl Thcodor 
and Kaiser Joseph. On October 21, 1778, the 
Russian Ambassador at Vienna dared to tell 
Prince Kaunitz that the RusSian Government 
adhered solely " k I'opinion g6n6ralemcnt re- 
pandue et accr^dit^e du peu de validity des 
pretentions de la Cour de Vienne." * The 
Dowager had aimed her shaft well. 

It is time to return to Karl] Theodor. Diffi- 
culties of all kinds threatened the hapless 
Elector, nor is it at all surprising that he proved 
unequal to the crisis. Even Morton Eden, 
forbidden by the " respect due from individuals 
to persons of his elevated rank " to coincide 
in the many censures passed on his conduct, 
could not find that in a " political light " his 
character bore " any marks of qualities either 
good or striking." Under the stress of his 
anxiety the spirits of poor Karl Theodor had 
already given way by April 23,; 1778 ; he " grew 
pale and his legs swelled." By November 1 
not only " his body but his le'gs and his hands 
considerably swelled." [Truly a plague of 
sorrow and sighing it blows a man up like a 
bladder.] " He shows an ajv-ersion to busi- 
ness (which yet he formerly loved) ... he 
is haunted by a perpetual anxiety ; ... he 
drinks every evening to excess." It is small 
wonder that he sought to dissipate his cares, 
but it is rather surprising that at this stage 

♦ Martens, Sbomik, IxV. 76. 


there should have come to him " a kind of 
dawning conviction that he has acted with 
imprudence and precipitation, if not even with 
weakness and impropriety." " His Electoral 
Highness appears to regret the lost affections 
and confidence of his subjects, he finds himself 
coldly served by his ministers ; and, above all, 
he is said to be extremely concerned at that 
silent contempt, with which he is treated by 
the very Monarch (Frederic), who has drawn 
the sword in his cause,* By this last circum- 
stance he is more particularly affected, as it is 
not alleviated by any attention shown either 
to his person or sentiments (eVen at this critical 
conjuncture) by the other Powers of Europe. 
I am assured, that he has very lately in con- 
fidence complained of this neglect with great 
bitterness, adding these strong expressions : 
' Je ne desire pas mieux, que de sortir de 
I'embaras [sic], oh je me trouve — mais que 
faire ? on me laisse seuL' This article of being 
left alone (by which His Electoral Highness 
means the not having any foreign minister near 
him to whom he could explain himself, and who 
should be authorized to hear him), joined to the 
impolitic insolence of behaviour adopted by 

* Frederic's comment to Goerz was, " Quaut k I'EIeoteur Palatin, 
il faut I'abandonner entiferement h, son sort, p'est son propre ouvrage 
. . . apr^s I'extreme foiblesse qu'il a eue de se laisser emb6guiner 
par la Cour de Vienne, ce, seroit [sic] peine perdue que de vouloir 
seulement tenter de la ramener." — February 12, 1778, Goerz, M^. 
Hist. Frankfort, 1812, p. 109. 


the Austrian minister (Lehrbach) at Munich, 
has principally contributed to o\Kn his eyes 
to the error of his conduct. Add to all this, 
that the total disregard paid by the Imperial 
Court to his repeated representations relative 
to the one and twenty bailliagcs (the keeping 
possession whereof is a manifest injustice even 
upon the principles of the Treaty of the 3rd of 
January) has made him tremble for the certainty 
of that establishment of his natural children, to 
secure which was perhaps one of his principal 
motives, which induced him to sign it. I ought 
not to omit remarking, that it is on this side 
undoubtedly, that the Elector Palatine is the 
most vulnerable ; and the only person, to 
whom, during my stay at Munich I saw him 
address himself with any appearance of pleasure, 
was his (illegitimate) daughter the Princess 
Isembourg." * The whole scene would be one 
of comedy were it not for a certain pathos 
running through it, which makes it a classical 
illustration of the way in which great Powers 
may deprive small states andt their rulers first 
of territory, then of dignity, and last of respect. 
After operations in the field closed in- 
decisively in September 1778, Kaiser Joseph 
sought help on every side for the ensuing 
campaign of 1779. Accordingly, in the third 
week of November Lehrbach, the Imperial 

* S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. 110, Eden to Suffolk, July 
10, 1778. S.P.P. For. Arch. Bavaria, vol. 45, Ratisbon, November 
8, 1778, Heathcote to Fraser. 


minister at Munich, again renewed the question 
of Bavaria's neutrality and tried to force the 
Elector to depart from it. Lehrbach's argu- 
ments were of the simplest. He produced 
statistics (not in point of fact accurate) to 
show that in the coming campaign Prussian 
forces would be greater than those of Austria, 
ergo Bavaria must join the Igitter and violate 
her neutrality. This demand Karl Theodor 
had again firmness enough to refuse, but 
Lehrbach then pressed him to vote in the forth- 
coming Diet against the reunion of Ansbach 
to Prussia. To this request the Elector at 
first yielded.' Then after consideration he 
began to doubt, he had already repented his 
partiality to Austria, and now she was evidently 
weaker than before. At last he came under the 
influence of better counsels, of the polite Vieregg 
who had at length become anti- Austrian, 
and of Kreittmayr the Chancellor, who had 
always held these views, though he had been 
afraid to express them until now. Finally, 
Karl Theodor revised his decision, and informed 
Lehrbach, with some firmness, that he would 
take his own course without previous engage- 
ment or pledge. 

Though he had not been free from vacillation 
or weakness even in this last negotiation, Karl 
Theodor emerged from it without much loss. 
He had only broken one promise, had shown 
relative dignity, and for a moment must have 


enjoyed an unwonted feeling of self-respect. 
But the negotiations for pcauc, which bcTfaii 
to be seriously discussid at the end of I lie ycai-, 
forced him in the end to drjnk even deeper 
draughts from the cup of humiliation than those 
to which his misfortunes had driven him of 
evenings. His conviction that he had been 
the dupe of Austria led him to play a more 
independent part ; he succeeded only in making 
an original and characteristic" though by no 
means an impressive, appearance. First of all 
his representative arrived at Teschen without 
powers and instructions, and the whole Peace 
Conference was kept waiting' while a special 
courier was despatched to Munich to procure 
them. The instructions which arrived were 
startling enough, because they contained Karl 
Theodor's refusal to satisfy the allodial claims 
of Saxony by a payment of four million florins, 
and asserted that he would not pay more than 
one million. This resolution very nearly broke 
the Congress, because Frederic thought that 
Karl Theodor took this bold stand with the 
collusion of Austria, and possibly of France. 
The chancelleries were alarmed, peace hovered 
in the balance, and Frederic despatched a 
courier to Vienna demanding a categorical 
answer as to whether or no the Viennese Court 
would guarantee the Saxon claims to the four 
millions. Their Imperial Majesties at Vienna 
replied evasively to Frederic, approving though 


not guaranteeing the Saxon claim, and de- 
cisively dissociating themselves from any 
concert with Karl Theodor. The last part of 
this answer sufficed once again to discredit 
the unfortunate Elector. For a moment he 
had impressed the Congress, because it was 
thought that one, or even two, great Powers 
stood behind him. Directly it was realized 
that only his own opposition was in question 
he was disregarded.^" 

The difficulty, which was raised by Karl 
Theodor in this case, was probably due to the 
fact that he had not been sufficiently consulted 
in the settlement of the preliminaries, in which 
there was another article that he was prepared 
hotly to contest with his nephew of Zweibriicken. 
This was the arrangement by which Austria 
yielded up her pretensions to Bavaria, on 
condition of the cession of Burghausen to her. 
As Karl Theodor had signed an agreement in 
1778 to cede one-third of Bavaria to Austria 
it seems a little difficult to see why he should 
refuse to sign one in 1779 which ceded only 
one-sixth of his territory. His heir, the Duke 
of Zweibriicken, had indeed more reason for his 
protest and his indignation, and the Duchess 
Dowager of Bavaria now advised him to refuse 
consent to the cession of Burghausen and 
appealed to France. Zweibriicken's friends 
drew up a plan to regulate, his conduct at 
Teschen, which described Karl Theodor as 


the slave of Austria, nnd insistnl on tlic in- 
divisibility of Bavaria. The* paper was sent 
by Zwoibriickcn to the Freiich and Russian 
reprcscntativis at the Congress. Both replied 
evasively, advising him to " apply to the 
Elector Palatine for some gratilieation, by way 
of indenmifying tlie loss, "\\*hich a country, 
where His Highness was the presumptive Heir, 
was going to suffer by the Cession to be made 
to the House of Austria : promising in case of 
necessity , . . mediation and support " ! The 
Duke decided to ask Karl Theodor for the 
Principalities of Neuburg and Sulzbach, " or, 
if that was thought too exorbitant . . . the 
sum of 300,000 German Crowns, and demanded 
these by a Courier who arrived in Munich 
on April 6th." " The Elector received this 
despatch whilst at dinner, and, for the first 
time throughout the whole business of the 
Bavarian Succession, betraydd strong marks 
of surprise and indignation." His nephew had 
already plagued and insulted him sufficiently, 
and poor Karl Theodor seems to have thought 
it the worst insult of all, that,the Duke — after 
objecting to a division of Bavaria among 
foreigners — should wish to divide it among 
legitimate kinsmen. At any rate he returned, 
the very same afternoon, in a; letter "couched 
in language sufficiently warm, a flat and 
positive refusal to comply with so unreasonable 
and ill-timed a request." " 


Karl Theodor was in future so indignant 
with Zweibrucken that it was thought extremely 
probable that, despite all his numerous pledges 
to the contrary, he might '"' dismember the 
remainder of the Bavarian Succession in favour 
of his illegitimate children." So Zweibrucken 
spared no pains to get an article inserted in the 
Treaty of Teschen, which would bind the 
elastic Karl Theodor to fulfil the pledges of 
the Pacts of 1767, 1771, and 1774, and leave 
his estate indivisible. This object he eventu- 
ally attained, and an article to that effect was 
inserted in the Treaty, ^^ so that even if Karl 
Theodor broke his thrice - pledged word, he 
could be brought to order by the two foreign 
guarantors of the Peace of Teschen, and by the 
Germanic Diet as a whole. Such an obligation 
even Karl Theodor was unable to elude, and 
the solemn treaty compulsion laid upon him 
yet one more humiliation. It had needed all 
the German States and two foreign Powers to 
reconcile the two kinsmen to" an arrangement 
to which they had both agreed on August 5, 
1771. Never was there greater justification 
of Swift's savage epigram : " Alliance by blood 
or marriage is a frequent cause of war between 
princes, and the nearer the kindred the greater 
is their disposition to quarreL" 

After the end of the negotiations at Teschen 
it might have been thought that the Elector 
would sink into insignificance, but he was 


destined, for a moment, again to startle the 
diplomatic world. In June 1779 the great 
Powers learnt with astonishment that three 
distinguished Bavarians had been seized, and 
imprisoned under the authority of lettres de 
cachet issued by Karl Theodor." Of these 
Andr^, the special confidant and friend of the 
Dowager Duchess of Bavaria,- was conducted 
as a prisoner of state to the castle of Rothen- 
burg ; Obermayer and Lorij, also her advisers 
and both Privy Councillors, were deprived of 
their rank and emoluments, their papers seized, 
and the one exiled to Ambej-g, the other to 
Xeuburg. All Munich was thrown into con- 
sternation and alarm by this act, and Prussia 
immediately and peremptorily remonstrated. 
However, for once Karl Theodor stood on firm 
ground; he was not to be intimidated, and 
treated Frederic's angry rerhonstrance with 
indifference. He punished the three offenders 
in question, because they had principally con- 
tributed to the discrediting of Austria's claim to 
that part of Bavaria ceded to her in his Treaty 
of January 3, 1778. It was they also who had 
ehcouxaged Zweibriicken in his attitude of 
stern and steady condemnation. One of the 
many ironies which befell Karl Theodor was 
that he was now punishing the men who had 
discredited Austria in 1778, though he himself 
was bitterly at variance with her in 1779. The 
simple truth is that he punished somebody in 


order to gratify his general resentment at the 
hundred humiliations to which he had been 
subjected. It must have been some satisfac- 
tion to him to hurt the feelings of the Dowager, 
to insult Zweibriicken, and to defy King 
Frederic. Towards Andre, the special con- 
fidant of the Dowager Duchess, Karl Theodor 
soon showed signs of relenting, perhaps from 
fear of Prussia. He released him speedily, and 
allowed him to go to a country house of the 
Duchess near the Tyrol. However, Andre was 
soon recommitted, because some of his papers 
fell into the hands of Karl Theodor and re- 
vealed the extent of his secret transactions. 
The last mention of the fate of these men is on 
September 19, 1779; Andre's sentence, it was 
thought, would be irrevocable, Obermayer and 
Lorij still remained in enforced banishment.*^* 
Having accomplished all which Karl Theodor 
set off for the Rhine, to visit his opera and 
his ballet -girls at Mannheim, very glad to 
leave the new dominions where he had experi- 
enced so much degradation, unpopularity, and 

As he left Munich for Mannheim Karl 
Theodor might well have reflected upon the 

* S.P.F. For. Arch. vol. 45, Heathcote to Fraser, September 19, 
1779. Lorij had much to do with founding the Academy of Sciences 
at Munich. After his exile, when asked by the Government to write 
an historical introduction to a book on coins, he replied that he could 
only do so if he consulted archives at Munich. He never saw his 
beloved city again and died at Neuburg in 1787. 


vory singular result which his latest action 
would produce upon his Bavarian subjects. 
For the three men whom he hiid imprisoiird or 
exiled were precisily the three most popular 
men in Bavaria. They had done more than 
any other Bavarians to expose the designs of 
Vienna, to avert the Partition^, and to reduce 
Austrian acquisitions from one-third to one- 
sixth of Bavarian territory. Their reward for 
these services was imprisonment, exile, or 
disgrace, from the hand of one who had sacri- 
ficed the interests of Bavaria to those of Palatine 
bastards. To this unhappy pass was the small 
state in Germany brought by the weakness of 
a ruler and the injustice of the great Powers. 
On the whole situation the words of the English 
representative may serve as a fit comment and 
conclusion, in the style of the old Greek chorus : 
" Well may it therefore create just matter of 
astonishment, that they, whose labours have 
so principally contributed to save their country 
from ruin, should meet with* a recompense, 
which the rectitude of their intentions gave 
them so little reason to expect." 

" It is impossible to describe the consterna- 
tion and discontent, which the issuing of these 
lettres de cachet has occasioned at Munich. No 
one is secure of his liberty a moment ; and by 
a combination of circumstances, strange to 
conceive, each individual feels himself obliged 
to tremble for his safety, in proportion as he 


thinks he has discharged the duty of a faithful 
servant to his Master." ^^ 

Any one in high position who was known to 
be opposed to Karl Theodor became popular 
with the Bavarians. The Dowager was saluted 
as a heroine and her name was blessed through- 
out the land, while her councillors became the 
martyrs of the people. Zweibriicken was 
praised for his firmness and applauded when- 
ever he came to Munich. King Frederic even 
attained the dignity of a saint in the land 
which he had declared to be peopled by 
fiends and swine. On one occasion the Watch 
stopped and presented arms before Frederic's 
picture in a shop window ; the anniversary of 
his birthday was celebrated in Munich with 
illuminations, dinners, and dances. Peasants 
in the country erased the last name in the 
famous prayer beginning, " Jesus, Maria, 
Joseph" and replaced it by that of Frederic, 
and prayed before his picture as before that of 
the Virgin. The passionate national feeling 
of the Bavarians found its output in these 
strange ecstasies, because it could have no 
reverence for their foreign prince, whose refined 
tongue could not be reconciled to their speech, 
and whose foreign policy was so ominous for 
their future. It was an obvious expedient to 
lay all the blame on the shoulders of Karl 
Theodor. Yet this execrated ruler gave to 
Munich the most beautiful of its gardens, and 


to Bavaria an improved system of finance and 
the beginnings of a national army. But despite 
everything the Bavarian people suspected, and 
rightly, that Karl Theodor did not care for them, 
and would exchange Bavaria for the Nether- 
lands without a pang, if ever the opportunity 
came. Therefore the nation loaded his name 
with curses, mourned the less competent Max 
Joseph as a great ruler, and made a Joan of 
Arc out of Maria Anna, and a Barbarossa out 
of Frederic. A score of years later, when the 
hapless Karl Theodor lay gasping on his death- 
bed, the churches remained empty, and the news 
of his death was the signal for public rejoicings. 
For it was a son of the steadfp,st Zweibriicken 
who now became Elector, and who was one 
day to be the first King and the most popular 
ruler that the Bavarian land had known. 



. (1778-1779) 

Solemn Majesties all . . . on thrones rich as Ormuz with their treaties, 
war-treaties . . . and finance-schemes . . . not to speak of innumer- 
able little German Dukes, mith their sixteen quarterings, their stiff 
Kammer Herrs and thick quilted ceremonials', — Good Heavens, they are 
gone like ghosts and with an unmusical screech. — Cablyue. 

To a war which had produced no decisive 
results succeeded a peace which was to bring 
forth many. The first essays at negotiation 
had been originated by the womanly fears of 
Maria Theresa, even before the war had well 
begun, and with unhappy results. In the 
direction and control of war those women who 
have been great rulers have rarely showed to 
advantage, however great their subtlety or 
wisdom in time of peace. Elizabeth of England 
sent at least one worthless lover to command 
her armies, Catherine of Russia sent many, 
Maria Theresa — no unworthy rival of either 
in greatness — outdid them also in littleness. 



Having entrusted her darling son with the 
command of her army, she first suggested that 
it should not fight a battle so as not to endanger 
his person, and then negotiated secretly behind 
his back with the enemy. Criticism of Maria 
Theresa's statesmanship in this or any particu- 
lar might be reckless, were it hot for the fact 
that she is herself her sternest, judge. In her 
agonized letters to Marie Antoinette during this 
time she over and over again confesses that her 
mother's love, her anguish and foreboding for 
the fate of Joseph and his two brothers, now 
confronting the " wicked man " — " our cruel 
enemy " — have completely robbed her of all 
statesmanlike instincts. Her sole anxiety is 
to see her darling sons safe back from the war, 
and to this consideration she has sacrificed 
everything. " I draw on myself the shame of 
great pusillanimity — I confess it, my head 
turns ; my heart is long since already 
withered." * It was indeed only ten days after 
the war began that she wrote with her own 
hand to King Frederic, without the knowledge 
of Joseph, offering terms of peace, and making 
a personal appeal to his honour. It was on 
July 16 that she wrote this* appeal to the 
honour of one of whom she had written but two 
months before (May 17) that " no prince in 
Europe had escaped his perfidies." Frederic 

• Maria Theresia und Marie Antoinette, Btiefwechsel von Arneth 
(Paris, 1865), p. 254. 



was not unwilling to negotiate, but he was not 
the man to be generous, to fail to take advantage 
of divided counsels, secret negotiations, of a 
mother's love or a son's ignorance. In the 
interval preceding direct negotiation Prince 
Henry obtained his startling success at ToUen- 
stein, and Kaiser Joseph learned of Maria 
Theresa's secret diplomacy with mingled wrath, 
amazement, and despair. The Austrian nego- 
tiator appointed to discuss definite terms with 
Frederic was Baron Thugut — a favourite of 
Maria Theresa's and one day to be Chancellor 
of Austria — " plain, unaffected, and steady," 
said Keith, but hardly tactful enough for so 
delicate a negotiation. The terms which he 
eventually offered to Frederic at the conference 
of Braunau (August 13-15) were that Austria 
should retain a part of the Bavarian Succession 
productive of about a million florins revenue 
a year,* give equivalents for any further claim, 
and arrange due settlement for the whole in the 
Aulic Council. In return the- Austrian Court 
promised to make no opposition to Frederic's 
succession to the Margravates of Ansbach and 
Baireuth. These proposals were not such as 
Frederic was likely to favour ; he was resolved 
to settle the question of the succession of 
Ansbach entirely without reference to Austria. 

* This was interpreted by Thugut as a line stretching from 
Kufstein along the Inn to Wasserburg over Lankvat, Mildenau, and 
Retz to Waldmiinchen. Possession of this territory would have 
united Austria to the Tirol and Italy. 


It was not only that the raising of this question 
was inconvenient for Prussia, but that, by 
doing so, she would confess that the Bavarian 
Suecossion was to be regulated, not according 
to principles of law but according to the 
doctrines of bargains and equivalents. There- 
fore to Frederic, eitlicr as Prussian King or as 
defender of the rights and liberties of the 
Germanic body, this proposal was inadmissible. 
As for Austria's existing claim to Bavaria, 
he saw no real alteration in her demands ; she 
still desired the strategic command of too large 
a part of Bavaria. Last of all, being already 
in the field, Frederic thought, himself justified 
in insisting upon more, rather than upon less, 
of his original demands.^ Accordingly, on 
August 16 he broke off furtlier negotiations, 
and Thugut returned to Vienna. It is by no 
means clear that Frederic's action was wise, 
because Austria had more to lose over the whole 
matter by delay than he had. Joseph was 
naturally enraged, so that it led to a breach 
with his mother — " a little humour " as she very 
euphemistically called it to Marie Antoinette. 
The whole negotiation had been a complete 
failure, and Maria Theresa bewailed in secret 
to her sympathetic daughter how much this 
step of directly addressing " our cruel enemy " 
had cost her.* 

The negotiation at Braunau, though ill- 

• Maria Theresia und Marie Antoinette, Arneth, p. 258. 


timed and rash, marks a highly significant stage 
in Austrian policy. Ever since the Partition 
of Poland (1772) the influence of the unscrupu- 
lous Kaunitz and the autocratic Joseph had 
been the main forces in the foreign policy of 
Vienna. The proceedings at the Diet of 1776, 
the negotiations over the Partition-Treaty of 
January 3, 1778, and the subsequent diplomacy 
until the end of June evidently bear the impress 
of the ruthless diplomat and the impetuous 
Kaiser. Now, for the first time since 1772, 
comes a revolt on the part of Maria Theresa, 
and with it a return to less harsh methods, 
a recognition of the moral opinion of Europe, 
of the rights of treaties and obligations, which 
is quite foreign to the policy which had intimi- 
dated Karl Theodor. The concessions offered 
and the attitude assumed at Braunau conspired 
with the logic of events to support Maria 
Theresa. Had France shown any desire to 
assist, had Kaiser Joseph won a decisive victory 
in the field, he and Kaunit:2 might have re- 
covered their ascendancy, readopted their 
drastic methods of settling the Bavarian Succes- 
sion, and adhered to the Partition-Treaty of 
January 3. The result of the campaign was 
not indeed discreditable to Austria, but it was 
not such as to permit her statesmen to adopt 
this attitude of proud assertion. The poUcy 
of force had failed, and with it. fell the Partition- 
Treaty of January 3. 


During July, AuEfust, and September rela- 
tions bctwotu Austria and Prussia liad been 
fvuthcr cmbittcrt'tl by an angry wrangle at 
the Diet, which had continued to sit at Regens- 
burg during the war. The dispute concerned 
Albert's Act of Renunciation of Lower Bavaria, 
which the representatives of Austria pro- 
nounced with passion to be forged, and that 
of Prussia asserted, with reason, to be genuine. 
After the Braunau negotiations and the in- 
decisive campaign, Austrian policy entered a 
new phase. The first results were secret and 
were seen in an appeal to France to act as 
mediator. On August 20 the Cabinet of Ver- 
sailles addressed a letter to their minister (M. 
Haussen) at Berlin, which outlined a scheme 
and offered French mediation to secure it.* 
Frederic replied unfavourably, and a month 
afterwards Austria disclosed the course of 
negotiations and renewed her offer to Germany 
as a whole. On September 23 the members 
of the Diet received a Representation and 
Request from Austria. The; Imperial Court 
described the Braunau negotiations, and men- 
tioned their desire for a satisfactory peace, 
and their willingness to submit their claims to 
the judgment of the Diet. It then explained 
its new proposals (which had already been 
made to Prussia by French mediation). For 
the sake of public tranquillity, Austria formally 
renewed the offer to the Germanic Diet as a 


whole. The Imperial Court was ready to 
restore and evacuate all Bavarian territories, 
to abrogate the Partition-Treaty, provided that 
there the Prussian King renounced the succes- 
sion to Ansbach and Baireuth. Finally, the 
Diet of the Empire was asked to interpose its 
good offices to persuade Frederic to accept 
these terms .^ 

The Josephine policy of force, which rode 
roughshod over existing rights, was thus suc- 
ceeded by the Theresan one of conciliation and 
respect for the old order. At any rate this 
was the first impression upon the members 
of the Diet, All the minor states naturally 
desired peace, because, so long as there was war, 
their neutrality and their existence were equally 
endangered. The Austrian " Representation " 
now suggested to them that it was Frederic, 
and not Joseph, who was now standing in the 
way of peace, and therefore it was regarded 
as a " Master stroke in Politicks " at Vienna, 
and such for the moment and for the Diet it 
was. Frederic, who had risked so much for 
the general interest, now seemed to be acting 
adversely to it by refusing to negotiate on these 
terms. In truth he was somewhat hardly used, 
for his succession to Ansbach had no direct 
bearing on the Succession to Bavaria, but 
Austria had manoeuvred so cleverly as to bring 
it under discussion. The proposal was indeed 
hardly ingenuous, because, if Frederic were 


induced to resign his claim to Ansbach it would 
be by moral pressure, whenas, force alone had 
induced the Court of Vienna to resign its eluini 
to Bavaria. Frederic had sacrificed much for 
the common cause, yet, if he did not give up 
Ansbach, he might incur the; full odium and 
blame of prolonging the war and seeking his 
own ends. " After having announced himself 
as the Protector and Defender of the Germanic 
System, he may (over and above the expenses 
he has incurred) find himself reproached, de- 
serted, perhaps attacked {sic) even by his 
friends, as the grand enemy and disturber of 
the Publik TranquiUity." A curious reversal 
had taken place in the partSk which he had 
played as the Defender, and Kaiser Joseph 
as the Invader, of the Rights of the Empire.* 

Thus, by a clever diplomatic manoeuvre, 
Austria had placed Frederic in a somewhat 
dangerous situation. However, he was not 
^vithout resources or sympathy,.his combinations 
had already been working for his advantage, 
and he was to be rescued from this quandary by 
his ally, who had deserted him at the beginning 
of the war. He had felt strong enough to 
reject the French mediation in August, for the 
French army was not to be feared. There was 
only one Power in Europe which could inter- 
vene with effect at the moment — a Power already 
gaining vastly in importance, Still more in its 
sense of importance, under the- direction of the 


most whimsical, vicious, and brilliant woman 
then living. Catherine the Great of Russia was 
herself a German princess by birth, and her 
friendship and alliance with Frederic had 
heightened her interest in German affairs. 
During the early months of 1778 she had been 
daily expecting an ultimatum from Turkey, 
and therefore had neither the power nor the 
desire to interfere in Germany. By the middle 
of the year this danger had passed, and she 
had leisure to contemplate the politics of the 
West. France was now at war with England, 
and therefore unable to interfere in Germany 
with effect, so that a dazzling prospect opened 
for Catherine. Campaign and negotiation had 
each failed to produce any real change in the 
balance of power between Austria and Prussia, 
but, if Catherine intervened and offered her 
good of&ces to bring about peace, she might 
be the mediatrix of Germany and the arbitress 
of the West. Half a dozen years before, 
Austria and Prussia had interfered with her 
regulation of Poland ; it would be a fine return 
to interfere with their regulation of Germany. 
The glory of the part she designed to play, the 
consciousness of the strength given her, alike 
by her armies, by her reputation, and by the 
voices of her flatterers, strengthened her desire 
for fame and her confidence of success.^ 

The idea of a Russian mediation had crossed 
the minds of diplomatists before the outbreak 


of war, and, singularly enough, it had been 
stimulated, perhaps even suggested, by a diplo- 
matic ruse on the part of Frederic. Catherine 
and her ministers had denied that the war with 
Austria formed a casus joederisAn their alliance 
\vith Prussia, but had openly expressed their 
sympathy with Frederic's attitude in the 
Bavarian question. To the general surprise 
Frederic had shown himself aterse from their 
interference, and had even dropped his usual 
practice of communicating to them his diplo- 
matic plans — more especially' those relating 
to the negotiations of Bavaria.. The vanity of 
Catherine, and of Count Panin IJier minister, was 
stvmg by this apparent neglect and clumsiness 
on the part of Frederic. In rea:lity the shrewd 
old King had played a master-stroke, apparently 
with full intention and calculation. His in- 
attention commanded attention ; roused their 
activity and directed their irnmediate glance 
to Germany. In the meantime Frederic won 
over to his side by many promises — and " lured " 
on Prince Potemkin with the expectation of 
the Duchy of Courland — the brilliant and power- 
ful favourite of Catherine. Frederic had also 
an ally in the Grand Duke Paul, Catherine's 
son, who maintained a great admiration for 
him, while the tears of the Grand Duchess, and 
the persuasions of Potemkin, helped to decide 
Catherine and Panin upon interference.* 

The result of these manoeuvres soon ap- 


peared. Prince Kaunitz had been living in 
a fooFs paradise, for he had been assured at 
the beginning of the campaign that Russia 
did not regard the Bavarian War as a casus 
foederis. Hence he communicated the Repre- 
sentation and Request to Petrograd, and asked 
for the good offices of Russia, in conjunction 
with those of France. His suggestion coincided 
— or rather actually interfered — with Russia's 
design for intervention, and Panin showed his 
annoyance. He answered the Austrian over- 
ture at first ungraciously, hinting pretty strongly 
that, under certain circumstances, Russia might 
become a party in the war herself.' Shortly 
afterwards a corps of 30,000 Russians was 
ominously moved into West Poland in the 
direction of Austria. Before Kaunitz had done 
wondering at this startling move of Russian 
diplomacy, Frederic had turned not only his 
own but Austria's ally to good account. " Not 
content with having secured to himself the 
certain assistance of Russia, in case of a con- 
tinuation of the war, he attempted a step still 
more difficult, but in which it should appear 
he has proved equally successful : that of 
creating a mistrust between France and Austria, 
and renewing the coolness which had so long 
subsisted between France and Russia. For 
this purpose, he took advantage of the senti- 
ments the Court of Versailles expressed to him 
in the month of August, and in answer to their 


offer of becoming mediators, said he was ready 
to accept their mediation, as he sliould be that 
of the Empress of Russia, in ease she should 
think proper to propose it, I^rance, convinced 
that the King of Prussia acted on sure grounds, 
and desirous, from every kind of reason, of 
drawing towards this Court, immediately made 
here (Petrograd) the proposals of the joint- 
mediation, and as in consequence of the King 
of Prussia's advice a similar offer had been 
sent from hence to Paris (fbe two couriers 
actually crossing on the road), it was accepted 
without hesitation ; no time was lost in making 
their mutual intentions known to the Court of 
Vienna." * With the exception of the last 
sentence Harris's account may serve as a true 
picture of Frederic's feat, and §hows the clever- 
ness with which this old King, though brought 
to a dead halt in war, found his way out of 
his difficulties by diplomacy. Some time neces- 
sarily elapsed before the joint-mediation could 
be arranged ; Kaunitz, baffled and furious, was 
a little brusque in his communications with 
Petrograd ; ^ Catherine and her foreign minister 
Panin were not on the best terms with Ver- 
sailles. Catherine, womanlike, showed a good 
deal of caprice, impatience, and hesitation, 
according as her fancy favoured Panin the 
lukewarm or Potemkin the ardent friend of 
Frederic. However, she was clear - sighted 
enough to see that J'rance could not be very 


effective as a mediator if she was engaged in war 
with England, and that the real glory of interven- 
tion would belong to Russia. In the first week 
of November France made known to Petrograd 
her willingness to act as co-mediator.^" The 
only stipulation which she made in consenting 
to act as co-mediator, was that each mediating 
Power should act as umpire, not as ally. The 
stipulation was to be fairly observed by France 
but hardly by Russia ; the one was to be a weak 
judge, the other a strong advocate. 

French diplomacy was not content with a 
stipulation for guiding the mediators, it laid 
down also a principle for guiding the media- 
tion, which is so characteristic of the age as 
to deserve attention. In the present state of 
affairs in Germany, when Force is opposed to 
Force, the original rights can have no effect, 
and any discussion of them could only tend to 
prolong the war : " Que la Convenance et non 
les Droits reels des Parties interessees devroit 
faire la Base de la Negotiation." "A most 
extraordinary principle to be laid down by the 
chief guarantor of the Peace of WestphaUa," 
rightly commented Elliot." Austria seems 
quite willing to have adopted this view, indeed, 
by introducing the Ansbach question into pre- 
vious negotiations, had expressly committed 
herself to doing so, and Prussia, though more 
hesitatingly, seems to have acceded. It was 
Just as well that some protest should be made 


against principles, which appeared to dissolve 
society into its natui'al eknients in order to 
rearrange them according to the system of the 
Balance of Power. To France the dissolution 
of the Germanic Empire, which she had done 
so much to accomplish in the past, could hardly 
appear an evil, but to both England and 
Hanover it was naturally the worst of calami- 
ties, for it endangered the security of the one 
and the existence of the other. Hence English 
diplomacy was induced to adopt a line in 
accordance with high international morality, 
a Une, it must be admitted, not always to be 
discerned in her policy at this period. From 
the Enghsh representative at Regensburg came 
an even more impressive indictment than had 
come from EUiot.* " Much reasoning has 
been advanced . . , derived from the notion 
of a certain Ballance of Power. The partizans 
of the Imperial Court have continually urged 
the necessity of setting bounds to the aggrand- 
izement of the House of Brandenbourg, those 
of Prussia have not less insis.ted on the same 
necessity against that of Austria ; and both 
have been forward to hold forth this mode of 
argument, as more conclusive and more likely 
to influence the general vote, than any plea of 
real right founded in the justice of their re- 
spective pretensions. This lajiguage has been 

* SJ'J'. Archives, Bavaria, vol. 45, RatisboD, Heathcote to 
Frascr, November 15, 22, 1778. 


heard with too much complacency. It has 
been forgotten, that the Germanic Body is 
a PoHtical System, whose basis rests on Laws 
and Treaties ; Laws, made by universal con- 
sent, and Treaties guaranteed by some of the 
principal Powers of Europe, and that conse- 
quently it is to these Laws and these Treaties, 
and to these only, that all reasoning relative 
to this System, is to be referred, and, by which 
every Dispute arising therein ought to be 
decided. From this just and only true point 
of view the States of the Empire have been 
artfully diverted ; and, wandering from the 
remembrance of their own inherent conse- 
quence, have been led to think and act, as if 
the only object they had or ought to have in 
view was to ballance the Court of Berlin against 
that of Vienna. But this is surely a Doctrine 
by no means adapted to the spirit or the 
interests of the Germanic Constitution, for 
it not only exposes the members of this Con- 
stitution to be the indiscriminate supporters 
or opposers of any cause whatever, whether 
just or unjust, but is utterly subversive of every 
principle and every tie, on which their Political 
Dignity and even Existence ultimately depends. 
Its influence, however, notwithstanding this 
obvious reflection, has been but too general ; 
so much so, that when the Empress-Queen in 
her last Negotiation with the- King of Prussia 
offered to keep possession of such an extent of 


territory only, as should pro{l.ucc a revenue of 
one million of florins per annum, and that hjj 
xvay of equalling the acquisition which the 
Prussian Monarch would make in the Mar- 
grnviates of Ansbach and Baircuth, many did 
not scruple on that very account to pronounce 
the proposal reasonable." "- It is so unusual 
to hear the wind of moral indignation sweep- 
ing through the diplomatic chancelleries in the 
eighteenth century, that such sentiments de- 
serve emphasis. They were adopted by the 
Home Government, and so far as England's 
weight went — unfortunately no great distance 
— it was flung into the scale, of establishing 
rights by law and by precedent, not by pre- 
tension and power. 

The adoption or rejection of the sentiments 
of morality depended apparently on the joint- 
mediators, but in fact upon Russia. France 
was a guarantor of the Treaty of Westphalia, 
but at war with England at the moment ; 
Russia was for the first time, introduced into 
German affairs, and behind her negotiators 
stood the vast mass of the Russian army. 
France could not go to war for her ally Austria, 
Russia could for her ally Frederic. Breteuil, 
the French negotiator, was a shrewd and able 
diplomat, with moral force o^ly behind him ; 
Prince Repnin was not only the Russian Pleni- 
potentiary, but had 30,000 troops under his 
command. That fact was the essential differ- 


ence between the two mediators. Catherine, 
herself one of the finest of diplomats, thoroughly 
understood the situation, and used every art 
to enhance the Russian influence and procure 
the Russian triumph. Her sentiments were 
seen in her long instruction sent to Prince 
Repnin (October 22, 1778), whom she had 
chosen as Russian Plenipotentiary in the coming 
Congress. Catherine showed a strong Prussian 
bias, denounced the claims of Austria as against 
law and justice, blamed Joseph for his violence 
in invading Bavaria, and for the shock given 
to all the smaller Powers, and praised Frederic 
for his attempt to maintain the rights and 
liberties of the Germanic Empire. Panin had 
already written that " Germany, as much by 
its position as by its power, is the centre of all 
the affairs and all the interests of Europe," 
and that every change in its constitution con- 
sequently affected all other nations. Catherine 
drove home this view in her instruction, and 
added that the maintenance of the existing 
Germanic Constitution accorded with Russian 
interests. Austria must therefore be informed 
that Russia could no longer remain an in- 
different spectator. Catherine did not intend 
to enter too deeply into juridical questions, 
though she thought a general support and 
flattery of the minor German potentates was 
desirable. Neither England nor France, at 
war with one another, could, well oppose the 


Russian lead. " In this way wc shall have 
the honour, in the eyes of all Germany, of 
liaving produced the ncctssary denouement, 
and perhaps even of having united many 
princes in one system. This result will produce 
for Russia the advantage it has so long desired, 
of being named Guarantor for the future of 
the Germanic Constitution, a position to which 
France owes its preponderant influence in 
affairs." As, however, it was dangerous to 
allow the war to continue, and as flattery and 
moral sentiments might not stop it, Russia was 
prepared to give substantial aid to Frederic, and 
to enforce peace by sending an auxiliary army 
to assist Prussia in the spring. Nothing, how- 
ever, was to be risked, for Catherine still feared 
a Turkish invasion. The Russian army was 
not to join Frederic in Silesia^ but would only 
make a diversion in Galicia and Lodomeria.^' 
The whole instruction is a masterly state- 
paper, full of shrewd insight and cool calculation. 
It must have given Catherine exquisite pleasure 
to think that she, the once= despised petty 
German princess, was now as Russian Empress 
about to mediate between the two greatest of 
German sovereigns. 

A subsequent confidential note from Panin 
to Repnin made it quite clear that Russia was 
determined to exact a price for. her aid. Panin 
said Frederic had rejected too sharply Kaunitz' 
suggestion that Austria should make her with- 



drawal from the Partition-Treaty contingent 
on her recognition of Frederic's succession to 
Ansbach-Baireuth. Austria must receive some 
slight compensation to soothe her vanity. 
Repnin was to start from " the principle of giv- 
ing something," and not too much, and always, 
be it carefully understood, in return for the con- 
firmation of Frederic in the Ansbach-Baireuth 
Succession.!* The policy of high virtue and 
justice was thrown over altogether, that of 
equivalents and expediency was dominant. It 
looked as if it was to be one of the old Con- 
gresses, where 

" Diplomats' dinners take place in fine weather, 
And they cut up their mutton and Europe together." 

In fact, the whole negotiation was to turn on 
the question of how large a slice of Bavarian 
mutton Joseph was prepared to accept. 

On November 19 Prince Repnin, as repre- 
senting the Czarina, left Petrograd ; he reached 
King Frederic at Breslau in December. On the 
19th he opened negotiations on the basis out- 
lined by Catherine, and promised the support 
of an auxiliary Russian corps in the next cam- 
paign. Prince Repnin had been commander 
of the 30,000 Russians who had been moved in 
the direction of Lublin by the Austrian border 
in November. He now left his army behind, 
but had the same policy as then, for his character 
was " by no means gentle.'* Frederic took 
care to flatter him much, but he could not have 


found all his communications agreeable, thougli 
glad to find that Repnin held the Austrian 
demand for over a third of Bavaria to be un- 
tenable. But if Frederic was a little annoyed 
■svith his ally, his resentment Was as nothing to 
that which Austria had for France. Through- 
out the war the French policy had been not 
unjustly suspected by Austria, and as was now 
to be seen the French plan of pacification was 
unquestionably unfriendly to Austria.^' Their 
memorial (January 21), which was agreed to 
by Russia, proposed, in substance, that Austria 
should limit her pretensions to the triangle 
formed by the junction of Inn and Danube, 
including Neuburg, Braunau, hnd Burghausen, 
but excluding the salt mines of Reichenhall. 
Austria was to recognize the complete rights of 
Karl Theodor to the whole Bavarian territory 
apart from this district, and to Mindelheim, 
and to arrange for a monetary compensation 
to the allodial heir, the Elector of Saxony. 
She was also to recognize the rights of Frederic 
to the eventual succession of Ahsbach-Baireuth. 
These articles, which were td" be ratified by 
the Imperial Diet, formed the basis of the 
Preliminaries. The formal peace was to be 
arranged by a conference of Principals and 
mediators at Teschen." 

These Prehminaries could hardly cause satis- 
faction at Vienna. On New Year's Day, 1779, 
the Empress-Queen, as on the previous anniver- 


sary, showed marks of anxiety and depression, 
while " care and dissatisfaction " marked the 
brow of Kaunitz." Keith did not note the 
expression of Kaiser Joseph, but it was certain 
that the whole negotiation had caused him 
intense mortification. However, the pressure 
was too strong, the French ally had proved 
faithless to them, the Russiafi ally but too 
faithful to Frederic, and the " three kings of 
Vienna " were not in a position to resist. The 
cautious eye of Keith noted a slackening of 
military preparations, which served as a politi- 
cal barometer. On February 16, 1779, the 
Court of Vienna declared its acceptance of the 
Preliminaries, to which Frederic and the two 
mediators had already agreed, and peace ap- 
peared upon the horizon. The consent of 
Karl Theodor, Elector of Bavaria, and of the 
Duke of Zweibriicken, had not been formally 
obtained, but the protests of these distinguished 
potentates, in so far as they affected their 
family affairs, have already been related. Karl 
Theodor's objections to the compensation to 
be paid to the Elector of Saxoiiy for a moment 
attained international importance, but in general 
their complaints and objections ruffled the 
surface, without diverting the current, of the 
streams flowing towards peace. 

While it is not needful to discuss in detail 
the actions of the smaller Powers at the Con- 
gress of Teschen, some attempt must be made 


to estimate the motives of the great Powers. 
With so many contraeting parties, and with 
so miicli disputable matter, the Congress could 
not pass off in complete harmony. The Aus- 
trian attitude does not need rhuch further out- 
lining; the diplomacy of the Court of Vienna 
had made the essential concession, agreeing 
to abrogate the Partition-Treaty in return for 
the district of Burghausen, but it had made 
it with a bad grace. Kaunitz and Kaiser 
Joseph had not yet done wondering at the 
unfriendly attitude of Russia, they felt that 
they acted under coercion from the mediating 
Powers, and accordingly they were not con- 
ciliatory or obliging in the subsequent negotia- 

The objects and policy of Frederic — after the 
Prehminaries — had become perfectly simple and 
precise. In September the Austrian offer of 
restitution had for a moment made him appear 
an aggressor. But his skilful manoeuvres 
brought Russia and France go quickly to his 
aid that he had been able oncp more to expose 
Austria to defeat. He was determined to 
restrict Austrian pretensions to Bavaria to the 
insignificance of the Inn-Danube triangle. He 
steadfastly refused to yield his* own pretensions 
on Ansbach, and was unshakfen either by the 
Austrian threat of refusal to recognize them 
or by her offer to consent to that succession at 
a price. At the same time he was acute enough 


to leave the game to be played by the two 
mediating Powers, and practically to limit his 
action to promoting their union. Now and 
again he interfered, sometimes with a compli- 
ment, sometimes with a threat, sometimes by 
demanding a categorical answer from Vienna, 
or even by an order to set his troops in motion. 
But, for the most part, he stood as he had 
done opposite Arnau, not himself attacking the 
enemy, but with arms crossed and immovable, 
admiring the fine exploits of some one else. In 
diplomacy this masterly inaction was as success- 
ful as it had been fruitless in the field. 

Of the two negotiating Powers France had 
by far the most difficult part to play, and 
Vergennes, her minister at Paris, and Breteuil, 
her Plenipotentiary at the Congress, woiild 
have found it hard in any case to act without 
duplicity. France was the ally of Austria, 
but she had almost openly sympathized with 
Zweibriicken's claims, and had not remon- 
strated with Frederic for going to war. Her 
reason was that, locked as she was in a death- 
struggle with England in the New World, 
France could not intervene with effect or with 
commanding force in the Old. Under these 
circumstances her interests Were best served 
by the smallest possible disturbance to the 
existing arrangements in Germany. Such were 
the views of Vergennes at Paris and the in- 
structions of Breteuil at Teschen, and both 


were carried out with dexterity and effect. 
Vergennes smoothed the way for Russian diplo- 
macy at Constantinople by mollifying the Turks, 
and sent the French plan of pacification for 
Germany to Petrograd in company with flattery 
of the most subtle and agreeable kind.^* So 
successful was this policy, so gratified was 
Count Panin by the flattering unction so freely 
poured forth, that he even extoUed French 
diplomacy and politeness in unmeasured terms 
to the British Ambassador at Petrograd. Harris 
Ustened in great disgust, and,* when he replied 
by hinting some doubts as to French good 
faith, Panin overwhelmed him "by a long 
Reasoning, drawn, I am convinced, from His 
Prussian Majesty's Letters." At any rate, it 
embodied Frederic's favourite; idea of a union 
of France, Russia, and Prussia, though dis- 
creetly omitting the latter from the argument. 
" The Purport was that France would ever be 
jealous of the aggrandizement of the House of 
Aiistria ; and that, as long as it was in the 
power of Russia to assist France in keeping 
the Court of Vienna within bounds, they always 
should have an influence over that of Versailles. 
He (Count Panin) talked as if he had entirely 
forgot that France was at war With us, and as a 
person who, with one favourite object in his 
head, makes all others subservient to it." 

The note struck in this passage is entirely 
characteristic of Russian diplomacy at the 


moment. Catherine and Panin were so in- 
toxicated by the splendour of their position, 
by the alternate flatteries of Frederic and 
Vergennes, by the submission of Austria, that 
they dreamed a " golden dream " of a humbled 
Germany receiving peace from the hands of 
the Empress of the East. In the beginning 
their interest in the negotiation was absorbing ; 
" the small proportion of time Count Panin 
devotes to Business is wholly employed on this 
subject," and Catherine, between one flirtation 
and another, looked " with uncommon satisfac- 
tion " on the progress of a pacification of which 
she regarded herself as the sole promoter.^' 
The result of this conduct was to make lookers- 
on, even the most acute of them, imagine that 
Russian diplomats misused their opportunities — 
even Frederic thought they suffered by com- 
parison with the French. " Les Frangais sont 
foibles, mais ils agissent rondement. . . . Les 
Russes sont d'une gaucherie dans les affaires, 
comme si les negociations ouvraient pour eux 
une carriere toute nouvelle. Soyez persuad6 
que ce n'est pas le moindre de mes embarras, 
que celui de leur desiller les yeux et de les 
empecher de faire des sottises." * Frederic 
flattered himself too much,= Catherine's in- 
struments were Russian and did not always 
behave in a Western and diplomatic fashion. 

* Schoning, p. 226, Frederic to Prince Henry, Jan. 10, 1779 ; cp. 
June 8, 1779, Harris to Weymouth. 


Panin could be boastful, Repnin could be crude 
in his diplomatic methods. Yet if their diplo- 
matic technique was at fault, the main purpose 
and object of Russian policy- was grasped by 
them with masterly firmness* Behind Panin 
was Catherine, and behind Repnin were thirty 
thousand men, a combination which proved 
irresistible in the end. 

It was not to be expected that, even after 
the signature qf the Prehmiriaries, the Court 
of Vienna could submit without a struggle. 
Even though Kaunitz and Joseph had been 
forced to abandon their origiital design of get- 
ting Lower Bavaria, they intended to pursue 
their subtle attempt to drag in the question 
of Frederic's claim to Ansbach. Therefore 
they had no intention of making the cause 
of mediation easy, or of giviilg way on minor 
points during the negotiations leading to the 
final peace. Keith watched their movements 
with the greatest attention, feeling their pulse 
almost from day to day. The activity or 
otherwise of military preparations was his 
great political barometer, and on February 20, 
four days after the acceptance of the Pre- 
liminaries at Vienna, he notedjwith great satis- 
faction that the " Mules from Italy, the In- 
surgents from Hungary, and all the Levies 
from Transylvania and the other distant pro- 
vinces are countermanded." This might have 
seemed decisive, but on March 3 he was again 


alarmed by rumours : " Never did there exist 
so strange a mixture of warfare and negotia- 
tion." ^ As late as February 28 a skirmish 
took place along the frontier, and till March 7 
no truce was proclaimed. The Congress did 
not meet at Teschen till the second week of 
March ; Frederic described it as follows : 
" Teschen n'est pas le lieu le plus agreable. 
C'est un triste s^jour dont une vieille Venus de 
soixante-dix ans, fait tous les delices. M. de 
Breteueil s'en est expose, et cette divinite preside 
a toutes leurs assemblees " (Schoning, p. 268). 
These not very thrilling diversions were stimu- 
lated by some diplomatic excitements. The 
Court of Vienna had indeed ceased to co-operate 
with Karl Theodor, but it showed him just 
sufficient countenance to make the other Powers 
suspect a secret understanding without giving 
him sufficient support to achieve any substantial 
result. In the same way it lent some counten- 
ance to a host of minor claimants, who hastened 
to put in their pretensions before the whole 
question of the inheritance was definitely 
decided at the Congress. Such pretensions 
were in any case unlikely to be granted, because 
the Preliminaries had already marked the 
limits of distribution. But none the less, the 
Duke of Wiirtemberg, the Archbishop of Salz- 
burg, and the Bishop of Augsburg produced 
claims, none of which were very good either in 
law or fact. Heathcote satirically remarked 


that the claims of the lust named on Mindcl- 
heim Avcre much inferior to those which the 
existing Duke of Marlborough might have put 
forward. Other pretensions "vyere on the same 
level, and all were regarded as "so many- 
secret engines employed by the Court of Vienna 
in order to perplex the question of the Bavarian 
Succession." *^ However, these claimants and 
this opposition were gradually swept aside by 
the strong forces compelling peace. There 
was none the less much suspicion and frequent 
alarm. At last Keith was cheered by the sight 
of the Croatian regiments returning home 
through Vienna, and this tin^e the barometer 
was not at fault. Peace was finally signed on 
May 13 — ^Vienna rejoiced, Te Deums were sung 
— and Prince Repnin and Breteuil, the two 
representatives of the mediating Powers, each 
received from Maria Theresa Ijer picture " very 
magnificently set round with Diamonds."* 

The final arrangements did not materially 
differ from the Preliminaries, despite the opposi- 
tion of Austria, the resentment ©f Karl Theodor, 
and the angry buzzing of the swarm of minor 
claimants. Austria received Burghausen, and 
renounced any further rights on Bavaria. The 
Elector of Saxony in compensation of his claims 
as allodial heir obtained thd Principality of 

• Frederic gave Repnin his picture " very richly set (to be worn 
at the buttonhole) estimated at 20,000 dqllars," and Breteuil " a 
very fine box but not of equal value." — Letters of Earl MaXmcabury 
(1870), i. 407. 


Mindelheim and four million florins. The rest 
of the Bavarian dominions were guaranteed 
to Karl Theodor, Elector Palatine, and by 
the eighth article the whole was to descend 
indivisibly to his nephew and heir, the Duke 
of Zweibriicken. The King of Prussia triumph- 
antly asserted his rights to the direct succession 
to Ansbach, and in return Austria was recog- 
nized as having some reversionary rights on 
Lusatia, in case of the extinction of the Saxon 
Line. These arrangements were accepted by 
Austria and Prussia, were to be supported by 
them for ratification in the Diet of the Empire, 
and were solemnly guaranteed by France and 
Russia. Every species of legality was pressed 
into the service to defend them : Prussia and 
Austria supported the tottering fabric of the 
Empire like two pillars against danger from 
within ; it was defended from without by two 
buttresses in the shape of Russia and of France. 
Diplomatically the results of the peace 
must be considered a triumph for Frederic, 
whom Joseph called the " Anti-Kaiser, sup- 
ported by Russians," though his gains were 
negative in character. At the beginning of the 
dispute he had disavowed any idea of acquiring 
territory at the expense of the Empire, a dis- 
claimer that was as astonishing as it was new 
from the invader of Silesia and recent parti- 
tioner of a foreign country. He had taken 
up arms, ostensibly to prevent any acquisition 


of territory within the Empire by n Power 
without consent of the Diet and regard for 
the Law, really to prevent the disturbance 
of the balance of power. In cither case he 
had kept his word and achieved his object. 
He had not gained his way by arms — his 
soldiers had done nothing but steal plums ; 
but his diplomacy had prevented Austria steal- 
ing provinces. Alone and unaided, save by 
Saxony, he had first asserted the rights of the 
Empire to limit the pretensions of Austria, 
and then induced other Powers to intervene, 
who had solemnly confirmed and supported 
his actions. At the end also t^ had stubbornly 
held out for full compensation for Saxony ; 
privately convinced that it was unwise to 
abandon Prussia's only German ally, and pub- 
licly asserting his zeal for tjie Laws of the 
Empire. It is true that the respect for Ger- 
manic Liberties and the Diet was more apparent 
than real, for the sohd arrangements dated 
from the Peace of Teschen, not from its con- 
firmation by the Imperial Dietj, None the less, 
the Diet was treated with far rft'ore respect than 
it had been at other times and other seasons 
by Frederic himself. The minor states, as a 
whole, were grateful to Frederic for uphold- 
ing their rights and standing forth as their 
champion, and their moral support was of the 
greatest possible value to him. Weymouth, 
at the EngUsh Foreign Office, spoke of " the 


very noble, dignified, and disi^terested manner 
in which His Prussian Majesty has acted." 22 
Peasants in Bavaria hung his portrait in their 
huts beside those of the Virgin and lighted a 
candle before each ; it would be difficult to 
say whether the tribute of minister or rustic 
was the more spontaneous or important as 
marking the achievement of Frederic. 

In future Frederic was able to point to 
Kaiser Joseph as the tyrant who wished to 
crush the ancient Liberties of Germany, and 
to himself as their defender. In this peace 
and in this attitude is to be found the strength 
of Frederic in the last years of his life, which 
enabled him to defeat every scheme of Kaiser 
Joseph to secure further territory in Germany. 
The formation of the Fiirstenbund (the League 
of Princes) to resist Joseph in 1785, the last 
diplomatic achievement in Frederic's life, has 
its origin in the events of 1778-79. But it was 
not only in Germany that Frederic had suc- 
ceeded in isolating Joseph, though such a 
success would have been quite serious enough 
in itself. Frederic had isolated Austria in 
Europe as well as in the Empire, and his action 
was to be the problem and the pivot of European 
politics in the immediate future. 

The general moral influence and aspect of 
the Treaty of Teschen is perhaps of most 
interest, for it marks the decisive defeat of an 
attempt at Partition which had few parallels 


even in eighteenth century history. The 
Partition of Poland — ^the most typical of the 
age — had indeed exhibited the unscrupulous 
lengths to which diplomats cpuld go. But at 
least there was the excuse that there was 
anarchy in Poland, that the seijse of nationality 
was dead, and that the Act violated only the 
general obligations of international right. None 
of these excuses could be advanced for the 
Treaty of Partition by which Kaiser Joseph 
was to obtain Lower Bavaria. No plea that 
Bavaria was in a state of anarchy or that 
its people were incapable of resenting foreign 
occupation could apply to this case. Here 
there was no vague injury to the vague and 
indefinite sanctions of international obligation, 
but a precise one to the sharp and defined rules 
and Laws of the Germanic Empire. The Kaiser 
— the Head of the Law and the Empire — 
was deliberately assaihng both, with dubious 
genealogies as his sole excuse. A dozen Laws 
and a dozen Treaties were dehberately torn 
up, and a peaceful tenitory invaded, by the 
soldiers of the Kaiser. It is difficult to con- 
ceive any case in which the restraint of law 
was less operative and the licence of force more 
evident. The niles which the" Kaiser applied 
to the territory of a German prince were such 
as a modern European Power might apply to 
that of a native African chief. Desiring to 
increase or round off its possessions at his 


expense, it would offer him the option of war 
or of cession of the desired territory, and con- 
firm its rights by a treaty published to the 
world. This was precisely the method of 
Kaiser Joseph, except that he veiled his aggres- 
sion by a claim, dug from the mediaeval records, 
which deceived few, least of all himself. Such 
actions have their precedents, but not their 
justifications, in Europe. 

A Partition of Germany on the lines of the 
Partition of Poland had been constantly feared. 
To this such a measure as the Partition of 
Bavaria was the obvious prelude, and it was 
in fact averted by two of those very Powers 
which had taken their share of Polish spoils. 
That Catherine and Frederic were hardly the 
rulers best calculated to protest against parti- 
tions and infractions of international morality 
mattered little ; that they did actually so pro- 
test and enforced their argument by arms or by 
the threat of them mattered infinitely much. 
Whatever may have been their private reasons, 
Catherine suffered something and Frederic 
much for a cause in which they appeared 
disinterested. England, which in this matter 
may seem fairly impartial, gave unstinted 
praise to the way in which they had supported 
the liberties of Germany and the law of nations. 
In this way some real advance was made, 
because the whole tendency of the diplomacy 
was to demonstrate that Austria had gone too 


far in her aggressive schemes. Kaiser Joseph 
is indeed interesting for this very reason, that he 
always represented his age in its extreme tend- 
encies. In tlie Partition-Treaty of January 3 
and the subsequent diplomacy he displayed 
the qualities of cynicism, of aggression, of 
tliirst for territory in their most naked form, 
and the logical tendency of his mind gave a 
memorable completeness to this policy. It was 
for this reason that he was defeated. Logic went 
too far, boldness overreached itself, and the 
stretched bow broke. That there were limits 
even to the scruples of diplomacy under the old 
regime, it was the fate of Kaiser Joseph to 

If traced to the root, the objection to the 
action of Kaiser Joseph will be found to have 
consisted far less in the violation of right than 
in the acquisition of power which he purposed 
for himself. Frederic and France acted as 
they did because the Balance of Power was 
endangered, England approved their action for 
the same reason, Russia acted both from reasons 
of state and for glory. None the less at the 
Congress the phrases of morality and fair deal- 
ing were on the lips of all, and; their reality was 
occasionally present. The Peace of Teschen 
did not deal absolute justice : it gave Austria 
part of the disputed territory in virtue of claims 
that were flimsy, but it stopped the more 
marked display of force. It protested with 


effect against unbridled aggression. The helpless 
Bavaria had received some justice, the stronger 
Austria some condemnation, from the " juris- 
prudence of princes." For Germany the omin- 
ous sign was that even the strength of Prussia 
had not availed to protect her against Austria. 
Frederic had at last been baffled in war, and, 
though he attained success in diplomacy, the 
price was a dreadful one. It was the diplo- 
matic introduction of Russia into Germany, and 
it brought before Germans that terrible un- 
known power which has remained a standing 
menace to Teutonism ever since. " An English 
officer once congratulated Moltke on the splen- 
did army which he had created and led. The 
marshal shook his head, and replied that the 
German army was a terrible burden on the 
country, but that the long Russian frontier 
raade it a necessity." * The Treaty of Teschen 
for the first time revealed that danger, and it 
was brought about by the great predecessor of 

^r ^F ^r ^n T* T* 

Whatever its shortcomings, the Peace of 
Teschen was one of the few Treaties in that — or 
indeed any — ^generation which provided for the 
restoration, and not for the division of territory, 
which was summoned to compel restitution and 
not to sanction annexation. For that distinct 
achievement, even without its vaguer and more 

* Acton, Modern History, p. 195, 


indefinable influences, it was. and deserved to 
be, memorable. 

In the story of the settlement of the Bavarian 
Succession almost every elenicnt and motive 
tj-pical of the old regime appeared. The 
personal force of rulers, dominating their 
peoples, is seen in Frederic, Joseph, and 
Catherine ; the shameless claim, backed by 
forgeries and supported by arms, the resistance 
to it by one who had dismembered the Empire 
of old and who now posed as its champion; 
the war which ruined the peasa,nts of Bohemia 
for objects of which they knew* or cared nothing, 
the peace which made half-Oriental Russia a 
guardian of the sanctity of Germanic treaties ; 
last of all the piteous spectacle of Bavaria her- 
self, ruled by one ready to betray her, hurled 
this way and that in the eddies of diplomacy, 
imable or afraid to lift a sword in her own 
defence at the moment that her very existence 
was in the balance. It was silch incidents and 
such rulers that caused the shame and the 
splendour, the glory and the misery, of the old 

The days of the old regipie were indeed 
already numbered. The despots were soon to 
prove themselves unable to ^tem the tide of 
revolutionary vengeance, and the armies which 
Frederic and Joseph had trained were to go 
down in utter ruin before the MarsHllais^ and 
the ragged volunteers of France. Already, too, 


there was playing among the Corsican rocks a 
boy who was to teach the world that it was 
not only the despots who dreamt of war, and 
that the armed champion of the rights of the 
people could plan partitions more shameless 
than those of Poland and conquests more 
extensive than those of Bavaria. 


I HAVE ventured to print some; extracts from the 
British despatches, a report from the Lansdowne MSS. 
on the Prussian army, and a poem on Joseph, found 
by me at Czaslau in Bohemia, which I had translated 
from the Czech. These all afford excellent contem- 
porary views of the personalities in q-uestion. Sir James 
Harris and Hugh Elliot in their three despatches give 
a living picture of Frederic the Great and of his nephew 
and heir, Frederic-William, afterwards King Frederic- 
William II., and of their surrouildings literary and 
social. Burgoyne's report shows ihe condition of the 
Prussian and Austrian armies. In Keith's despatch 
Kaiser Joseph tells his impressions of Catherine the 
Great ; whilst a Czech peasant's' poem reveals the 
popular impression of Kaiser Joseph. 

I. Sir James Harris (Lord Malmesbury) and Hugh 
Elliot (Lord Minto) on Frederic the Great — his 
character and court. 

(o) March 18, 1776. Charactef sketch of Frederic 
the Great and his successor. 

(b) May 18, 1780. Hugh Elliot on Frederic's 

hterary diversions. 

(c) August 13, 1776. Harris on the visit of the 

Grand Duke Paul of Russia (afterwards 
Paul I.) to Berlin. 

II. General Burgoyne's report- on Austrian and 
Prussian armies, c. 1766-67. 



III. Kaiser Joseph's impressions of Catherine the 
Great, 1782. 

IV. A Czechish peasant's impressions of Kaiser 
Joseph, 1785 {?). 


(a) Sir James Harris (Lord Malmesbury) on 
THE Character and Court of Frederic the 

Berlin, Monday, 18th March 1776. 

Harris to Suffolk 

The Basis of His Prussian Majesty's Conduct, 
from the Time He mounted the Throne, to this day, , 
seems to have been the considering Mankind in general, 
and particularly those over whom He was destined 
to reign, as Beings created merely to be subservient 
to His Will, and conducive to the carrying into execu- 
tion whatever might tend to augment His Power, 
and extend His Dominions — Proceeding on these 
Grounds, He has all along been guided by His own 
Judgment alone, without ever consulting any of His 
Ministers or superior Officers ; not so much from the 
low opinion He entertains of their abilities, as from 
a Conviction, from His own Feelings, that if He im- 
ployed them otherwise than as simple Instruments, 
they would in time assume a Will of their own ; 
and instead of remaining Accessories, endeavour to 
become Principals. To persevere in this System, it 
was necessary for Him to divest Himself of Compassion 
and Remorse ; of course of Religion and Morality. 
In the room of the first. He has substituted Super- 
stition ; in the place of the latter, what is called in 
France Sentiment ; and from hencp we may, in some 


measure, account for that motley Composition of 
Barbarity and Humanity which so strongly mark His 
CiiaracttT. I have seen Him weep at Tragedy ; 
known Him pay as much care to if, sick Grey Hound, 
as a fond jNlother could to a favourite Child : And yet 
the next day. He has given Orders for the devastating 
a Province : or by a wanton increase of Taxes, make 
a whole district miserable ; and what will perhaps 
appear still more contradictory, contribute to His 
own Brother's Death [August-Wilhelm, father of 
King Frederic- William II.], by continuing to him 
Marks of His displeasure the whble Time of his last 
Illness. Again, He is so far from being sanguinary, 
that He scarce ever suffers a Criminal to be punished 
capitally, imless for a most notorious Offence : Yet, 
the last War, He gave secret Orders to several of His 
Army Surgeons, rather to rvm the risk of a wounded 
Soldier's dying, than by the Amputation of a Limb, 
increase the Number and Expence of His Invalids. 
Thus, never losing sight of His Object, He lays aside 
all Feelings, the moment that is, concerned : And 
although as an Individual, He often appears and 
really is Humane, Benevolent, and Friendly ; yet, 
the Instant He acts in His Royal Capacity, these 
Attributes forsake Him, and He carryes with Him, 
desolation. Misery and Persecution, where ever He 
goes. From an easy Transposition of the same 
erroneous principle, to the internal Government of 
His Dominions, we may easily see, why He never can 
be taught to believe, that a large Treasure laying 
dormant in His Coffers impoverishes His Kingdom. 
That Riches increase by Circulation ; That Trade 
cannot subsist without reciprocal Profit ; That 
Monopolies, and exclusive Grants, put a Stop to 
Emulation, and of course to Industry ; and in short. 


that the real Wealth of a Sovereign, consists in the 
Ease and Affluence of His Subjects. These Errors, 
however capital they are, have rather served to 
augment the Misery of these Subjects, than impede 
the Progress of His own Grandeur : If He has failed 
in several points, Resolution and Cunning, imployed 
as the Occasion required, and always supported by 
great Abilities, has carried Him, with Success, through 
almost every important Undertaking He has at- 
tempted. We have seen Him end a War, with almost 
all the great Powers of Europe, by an advantageous 
Peace : And since We have seen Him gain such an 
Ascendency over those who were His most natural 
Enemies, as to make them contribute to the Execution 
of His ambitious Projects. His iinmense increase of 
Revenue, the gigantick Army He maintains ; And the 
wonderful preponderance He bears in Europe, will, 
in future History, appear incredible. He foimd, on 
His Father's Death a Revenue of 13,000,000 of 
Crowns ; a Treasure of 16,000,000 ; no debts ; and 
an Army of 50,000 Men [in fact it was nearer 
100,000] ; And, at the time, this was reckoned as 
the greatest Effort of Oeconomy. He has now an 
Income of 21,000,000 of Crowns ; three times that 
Smn, at least, in His Coffers ; and near 200,000 
effective Men. He undoubtedly owes this, in great 
measure to His superior Talents ; Yet, I think, We 
may find another Cause, in the Character and 
position of His Subjects. In general they are poor, 
vain, ignorant, and destitute of Principle : had they 
been rich. His Nobility could never have been brought 
to serve as Subaltern Officers, with Zeal and Ardour : 
Their Vanity makes them think, they see their own 
greatness in the Greatness of their Monarch ; Their 
Ignorance stifles in them every notion of Liberty and 


Opposition ; And their want of, Principles, makes 
them ready Instruments to execute any Orders they 
receive, without considering whether they are founded 
on Equity, or not. — His Prussian Majesty has well 
known how to take advantage of this Character, by 
keeping them at a most awful distance : They con- 
sider a Word or a Smile from Him as a Boon, and by 
never rewarding them according to their Merits, they 
are taught to believe they have no merit at all. The 
superior Indowments Nature has" given Him over 
them, and the Preeminence which He constantly 
affects, makes them look up to Him as a divinity ; 
And although they feel the Rod of Iron with which 
they are governed, yet few repine, and none venture 
to murmur. At those moments when He lays aside 
the Monarch, and indulges Himself in every kind of 
debauchery, that a depraved Imagination, and worn 
out Constitution, can devise, H6 never suffers the 
Instruments, or partakers of these Excesses, to have 
the smallest Influence over Him,? some few He has 
rewarded, discarded several, but left most of them in 
the Situation He found them. Having said thus 
much, it is perhaps less wonderful than it generally 
appears, that such a Sovereign, governing such a 
people, should have raised to sO great a pitch of 
Glory, a Country which, from itst geographical Posi- 
tion, its Climate, and its Soil, sfems to have been 
calculated to act a very secondary Part amongst the 
European Powers ; And it is nqt very difficult to 
foresee, on its changing Masters, that its preponder- 
ance will greatly sink, and as this' Event is certainly 
not very distant, I hope I shall not trespass on Your 
Lord's time, in turning my Thoughts, for a moment, 
to the futme State of these Dominions. 

Having already spoken to Your Lordship very 


fully to the Character of the Princfe of Prussia [after- 
wards King Frederic- William II.], I can now only add, 
that I am confirmed in what I then wrote. His style 
of Life, at the Moment when He was at the Eve of 
becoming King, convinces me that when He actually 
is so, He wUl never change it, of course that He will 
neither be an active Monarch, or His own Minister ; 
That He will look upon Business as a Task, and seek 
pleasure with avidity. The Nation aware of this turn, 
have been in a constant Ferment, from the Moment 
His Prussian Majesty's Illness h^s carried with it a 
serious Aspect ; and there is not an insignificant 
Conseiller de Province who does not aspire to some 
important post under the new Reign. Unused to 
be allowed to think or reason for themselves, the 
Art of intriguing and forming Court Cabals sits 
very awkward on them : The Apprehension they 
are under of incurring the King's displeasure, by 
paying open Court to the Prince of Prussia, and 
that of offending the Prince by behaving to Him 
as they have hitherto done, makes it difficult to 
follow their Motions or to know exactly what they 
would be at. 

On the whole, however, I thipk we may divide 
those who expect to be future Ministers, with any 
degree of probability, into three Sets. At the head 
of the first is Prince Henry, whose Creatures are 
Kiiiphausen who was in England ; The Wruch 
Family, and several Favourites of His Royal Highness, 
who have no other Merit than their fair Complexion, 
and extreme good nature. The second is composed 
of M'- de Hertzberg, one of the present Ministers of 
the foreign Department, a Man of great Application 
and sound Sense ; M'- de Schulembourg, who has the 
direction of the Bank, also a Man of Parts, and their 


dependants ; and this is undoubtedly tho Party the 
best Cidculated to constitute a Klinistry, adeqnutc 
to the Goveninient of this Country. The most likely 
to succeed, however, though they, by no means, come 
under the same description, are tljose who look upon 
themselves as the Prince's Favourites ; Amongst the 
first of whom stands M'- de Humboldt, formerly a 
Commissary in the Allied Army, afterwards Chamber- 
lain to the Princess Elizabeth now at Stettin ; a Man 
of plain Understanding, and fair Character, and who 
owes the good Will the Prince bears him, to the Assist- 
ance he has given His Royal Highness in pecuniary 
Matters ; M'- de Horst, whom His Prussian Majesty 
lately dismissed from the Head of the Department 
of Trade, an enterprizing Genius-, lively Parts, but 
totally void of Judgment ; and a Number of young 
Officers, partakers of His Royal Hjghness's Pleasures, 
who, tho* they have no desire to become active 
Ministers, all expect Employmenjts, Decorations, or 

It is easy to be foreseen, that whichever of these 
Sets should come into place, or even supposing what is 
next to impossible, that the future Sovereign of this 
Country should take the Reias of Administration into 
His own Hands, that the essential difference there 
will be ia the first case, between it^ being governed by 
many Ministers, who necessarily must be biassed by 
private Views and family Connexions ; and in the 
second, by a young Prince, scarce known in Europe 
but by His Pleasures, instead of having at its Head 
a Monarch of tryed Abilities, and good Reputation, 
that it will be no longer the same great Nation, formid- 
able to its Neighbours, and whose* Alliance is almost 
universally courted ; It will gradually sink to its 
natural Bulk, and, in the course of a few Years, have 


no right to be reckoned amongst the leading Powers 
of Europe. 

(6) Hugh Elliot on King Fkederic's 
Literary Diversions 

Bekmn, 13 May 1780. 
Elliot to Stormont 

Notwithstanding the assiduity with which the 
King of Prussia continues to preside over every 
Department of the State, His Majesty still finds 
opportunities to cultivate Letters and the Conversa- 
tion of men of genius. Ever attentive to attach to 
His service those whose talents may be profitable 
or ornamental to His Court, He admits to private 
Interviews the Strangers who frequent it, and has, in 
several instances during the course of His reign, 
selected those of the greatest celebrity for the Com- 
panions of His leisure hours. — ^His Majesty has of 
late made choice of the Marquis of Lucchesini, an 
Italian, to attend His person at Potsdam. — To an 
extensive knowledge and agreeable address this Gentle- 
man is said to add a strong resemblance to the late 
Count Algarotti, and to have attracted the King's 
attention by this circumstance. He was last week 
named one of His Majesty's Chamberlains, with a 
Pension of 2000 Crowns a year and is since gone to 

Out of Cypher it would be imprudent not to approve 
of His Prussian Majesty's Choice though in reality it 
is considered as the Effect of Whim and Caprice. 
The Marquis Lucchesini is a young Man, and rather 
possessed of a plain sound understanding, and happy 
Memory, than of any bright Genius, or entertaining 
Talents. There are few of His Prussian Majesty's 


anemployed Subjects of the same Rank in Life, who 
ore not hurt at tlio Preference shewn to a Stranger, 
whose Name is hitherto unknown to the PubUck. 

Mr. Liston has been upon an iiitniuate Footing with 
the Marquis, before my arrival ; arid I may reap some 
Benefit from his near Approach to- the King. 

Smce the Company of professed Men of Letters 
seems to be as necessary to the King as Connections 
of a different Nature to the Heir apparent, it is perhaps 
riot mifortunate that neither of these Places are, as 
usual, occupied by French Subjects ; for the Prince 
has of late frequented an Italian. Mistress. If how- 
ever any Conjecture may be formed from prior 
Examples, neither of the Favourites can flatter them- 
selves with a long Reign, as it is difficult to determine, 
whether the King of Prussia is more inconstant to 
His learned Friends, or The Prince to his female ones. 

The only Circumstance of any Importance, that 
has come to my Knowledge, since I had the Honour 
of writing to Your Lordship, is, that it is intended, 
that The Prince of Prussia shall riiake a Journey to 
Petersburg, in the Month of October. 

(c) Harris on the Visit of the Grand Duke 
Paijl (afterwards Czar Paul I.) to Berlin 

Private. Berlin, Aug. 18, 1776. 

Harris to Eden 

I am heartily glad our bustle is over, I have now 
leisure to write to you, and it has furnish'd me with 
^laterials to make my letter less insipid than usual. 
I forbore in my Official Correspondence, giving a 
circumstantial Account of our Magnificence and 
Splendour, not only from such Festivitys being much 
less delightful in description than in reality, but 


because I felt my Pen would be greatly inferiour both 
in style and accuracy to those of the Gazettees du bos 
Bhin and other Continental news-writers : I must 
indeed do them the justice to say that on this occasion 
they have been very exact, and as far as regards the 
descriptive part of the Ceremony have scarce in a 
single instance deviated from the truth : I shall 
therefore not interfere in their department, but 
mention only such collateral facts as may have 
escap'd their observation. 

Paul Petrovitch were names as you may suppose 
written on every triumphal arch — that must be wrong 
says the Mayor of a Bourg in Pomerania, the Grand 
Duke is certainly a Gentleman — put Paul von Petro- 

All the Domesticks belonging to the Imperial 
Family in Russia have military rank — the Grand 
Duke's Coachman and He of His Prussian Majesty 
going one evening to drink together a dispute arose 
about Precedence — " What is your rank ? " says the 
Prussian. " Lieutenant Colonel," says the other. 
" Ah 1 but I am a Colonel," answers the German 
and walks first into the Alehouse. The Fact came to 
y« King's ears — ^the Colonel was sent for three days 
to Prison to receive fifty Coups de Canne. 

When the Grand Duke left Berlin it rain'd and 
thunder'd — Cannons were continually firing — a 
German Poet with an Imagination bolder than that 
of the Frenchman, remark' d, that Angels join'd their 
tears to those of the People for the departure of 
H.I.H., and that Jove and Frederick accompany'd 
him with their Thunder. 

Seventy thousand Horses and thirty thousand 
Peasants were employ'd to convey the Grand Duke 
from Memel to Berlin. Prince Henry in talking to 


one of them said, '• You certainly cannot join in the 
publick joy, but imprecate a journey which takes you 
from your HarAcst and other necessary occupations." 
'• No," rephed the courtierlike boor, " we are all happy 
to be employed on this occasion, since we foresee it will 
prevent us and our horses from being kill'd in future 
times by dragging Artillery and other complements 
of war." 

Formey the Honest Secretaire perpetuel of the 
Academy of Sciences in haranguing the Grand Duke 
made use of this expression, " C'eit I'homme Men plus 
que le Prince que noits admirons et ce a qui V entree 
de nos coeurs est Men plus ouverte que celle de ce 
lieu" — the entry of the Academy is a Porte cochere — 
for the rest of the Bathos in this speech, I refer you 
to the original whicli I enclose ; this same good Formey 
on the death of the late King of Sardinia said in one 
of his Academical discourses, " Mettons plus de ferveur 
que jamais dans nos prieres pour la conservation des 
jours de Notre auguste Souverain — il est devenu le 
doyen des Rois il est dans la breche — L'ange de la mort 
tient le glaive suspendu sur sa tetej' You may guess 
whether such a language however ^ell intended gave 


Obskbvations on the present Military State of 
Prussia and Austria by General Burgoyne, 
c. 1766-67 (" Shelburne Papers," Lansdowne 
MSS. vols. 42 and 137). 

The excellence of the Prussian troops appears the 
more extraordinary when we consider the disadvan- 
tages attending them unknown to other States. The 


ranks are filled up perhaps more than a third part 
with strangers, deserters, prisoners, and enemies of 
various countries, languages, and religions. They 
cannot therefore be actuated by any of the great 
moving principles which usually cause extraordinary 
superiority in armies ; they have neither national 
spirit nor attachment to their prince, nor enthusiasm 
nor hopes of fortune, nor even prospect of comfortable 
old age to inspire them. 

In an army thus composed it is wisdom and sound 
policy to sink and degrade all intellectual faculties, 
and to reduce the man as nearly as possible to mere 
machinery, and indeed as nature has formed the bulk 
of the King of Prussia's subjects that is not very 
difficult . . . many of his disciples suppose his 
necessity to be his choice . . . the vigour of the army 
is in the subalterns and non-commissioned officers 
who undoubtedly are the best in the world. It 
seems to decline as the ranks ascend, and as other 
qualifications than those of mere execution become 

The greater part of the present set (of generals) 
have recommended themselves by their assiduity on 
parade, and are men of very confined education. 

Prussian officers by length of time and experience 
only become more expert artificers to prepare and 
sharpen a fine weapon, diligent and proud to deliver it 
into the hands of their master in perfect order, 
awkward and ignorant if compelled to employ it 

If this survey of the Prussian army is just it will 
be found . . . that its most forniidable power exists 
in the King or in his Brother, Prince Henry. All the 
energy of action and expedient is ih them ; and when- 
ever they fail and the direction of that stupendous 


machine fulls to Priiicos of the common Cast, it must 
soon appear that immediutcly the principles of de- 
cline are extended and interwoven with its apparent 

The army is more harassed with precautionary 
guards against their own soldiers, than against the 

Desertion in peace supposed to = a fifth ; after 
defeat " the number missing usually trebles the 
number to be accounted for by death or capture." 

The Emperor's army shows all the natural advan- 
tages the Prussians want : the sources of men and 
money are great and natural, the officers have liber- 
ality, the soldiers have national spirit. There is 
sufficiency and excellency in every- part of the basis — 
it is the superstructure alone which has hitherto been 

[Burgoyne ends by commending Lascy and praising 


Kaisek Joseph's Impressions of the Empress 
Catherine the Great 1(1780-82) 

Two years after his famous visit to Catherine, a 
characterization of her was given by Kaiser Joseph. 
" Walking alone in the Augarten (at Vienna) on 
August 19, 1782," he confided to Keith the British 
ambassador his own impressions of Catherine and 
Russia * : — The Emperor asked me who was the 

• Foreign Office, Austria, vol. 5, Vienna, October 19, 1782, Kritli 
to Grantham, " most secret and confidential." Keith writes in the 
first person and calls the reported conversaj^ion " a faithful extract 
of my notes." 



successor of Sir J. Harris at that court (St. Petersburg), 
I said I had every reason to believe that he would 
remain there. — Kaiser Joseph. Your Ministry judge 
well. Sir James (Harris) possesses the Talents, 
Activity, and Adroitness which qualify him for that 
Mission, and I fancy that his situation at Petersburg 
has of late grown much more comfortable. — Keith. 
I hope so. Sir, but the part a Foreign Minister has 
to act there, is accompanied with great difficulties, 
owing to the continual fluctuation of Politicks in that 
Cabinet. — Kaiser Joseph. Yes and No. The great 
Art is to enter into the Empress's Character, and to 
humour it. She is no doubt a Princess of distinguished 
Genius, but she cannot do everjrthing. Whoever 
has to deal with her must never lose sight of her sex, 
nor forget that a woman sees things and acts differ- 
ently from one of our sex. I speak from experience in 
saying the only way to keep well with her is ni de la 
gater ni de la heurter de front ; to give her her way in 
matters of little consequence, to render every necessary 
Refusal as palatable as possible, to let her perceive 
a constant desire of pleasing, yet at the same time a 
firm adherence to certain essential Principles, and a 
just sense of one's own Right. When She expresses 
a wish for a thing that can be granted without de- 
parting from these Principles, to indulge her with that 
complaisant Attention which is ever due to a Lady, 
but when She insists on what ought not to be com- 
plied with, to make her sensible that tho' She may 
often lead. She cannot drive. Iji this manner one 
may hope to live upon a fair footing with her, guarding 
against the Heat and Impetuosity of her feelings, and 
convincing her that in essential Points, every sovereign 
has an unquestionable Right to draw the great line 
of his own Conduct, and to adhere to it strictly. 


The singular Misfortune of the Empress is that of 
having no IVrson about her who dares to restrain, 
even to repress, the first effusion of her Passions. 
Count Osternian (X'ice-CiianccUor) is un hoiinnc dr. 
PaiUe ; he does nothing, ;iud weight. As to 
M. Besborodko,* he is an Upstart ; he was a low 
scribe, a mere Interpreter, under M. Romanzow, and 
he retains the Sentiments of that class of Men. To- 
gether with some Ability he poss&ses the routine of 
his o^Mi Business, but he has read little and knows 
nothing of the great Scale of Politicks, or of the per- 
manent Interests of Princes. When his Sovereign 
calls for his Pen and dictates the Strongest and often 
the wildest expression of her feelings of the moment, 
the Secretary has not the Firmness, and perhaps not 
the Inclination, to repress her halsty effusions, but 
writes down in their full Energy all her crude Ideas, and 
probably says to himself, " Ce n'est pas mon Affaire 
de peser ou de remontrer sur des Consequences. Que 
le Roi de France, de I'Angleterre, ou VEmpercur se 
iirent de ce mauvais pas comme Us pourront." This 
is the case with the Empress, and 'Whoever is engaged 
in any important Transaction with her, must keep 
these circumstances in his mind. 

Keith [con expressione]. It is an unhappy thing 
for Princes that they are forced to give their con- 
fidence to men of low Birth, sordid Education and 
loose or timid Principles ; but has not the Empress 
Prince Potemkin for a Confidential Counsellor, since 
the Disgrace of Count Panin ? — Kaiser Joseph. O 
Yes, and a very insufficient Counsellor he is. He has 
little knowledge, joined to great Indolence, and even 
the Empress affects to treat, or at least to speak of 
him as a Scholar of her own in Politicks, and con- 
• Alexander Andrejevic Besborodko, first secretary to Catherine. 


sequently as a man who is more likely to need a Guide 
than to become one. It is a favourite Phrase of hers 
to say, "II est mon SUve. C'est a Moi qu'il doit toute 
la Connoissance des Affaires." You will easily Con- 
ceive that when the Empress talked in this manner, 
the Person She spoke of did not push his frankness 
so far as to say, " Oui, Madame, il est votre Eleve, et 
en viritS il vous fait tres peu d'honneur." 

Keith. Does it then appear. Sir, that Prince 
Potemkin's Weight and Influence are diminished ? — 
Kaiser Joseph. Not at all, but in Politicks they have 
never been what the World imagined. The Empress 
of Russia does not wish to part with him, and from 
a thousand Reasons, and as many Connections, of 
every sort, She could not easily get rid of him ; if even 
She harboured the wish of doing so. One must have 
been in Russia to comprehend all the particulars of 
the Empress's Situation. 

[Compare with this Joseph's conversation with 
Verac, in Corberon, Journal (Paris, 1901), 257 n.] 


Gratitudk to Kaiser* Joseph 
Poem by a Czechish Peasant (written about 1785) 

Thanksgiving to the great and illustrious father of 
our dear Country — to Joseph the Second. 

Gratitude from an unworthy subject, Wojtec 
Kotera ; written in the year of our Lord, 17[85 ?], 
and printed by Frantisek Vinience Korec at Kutna 
Hora [Kuttenberg]. 

Rejoice with me you nations and listen to the many 
truths and thanksgiving, that I am going to tell you. 


in praise of the wisdom from wlych sprang blessing 
and joy in our country, and which has done away 
with many sufferings. 

When our great monarch, Joseph the Second, suc- 
ceeded to the throne as tiie ruler of our country, he 
reigned wisely, guided by wisdom, love and righteous- 
ness, all over the world ; but especially over his dear 

As an eagle tries to soar towa|rds the sky, so his 
heart longed for righteousness and. wished to do away 
with many wrongs, and this hope strengthened his heart. 

He hoisted the flag of the Imperial Eagle, visited 
all the departments of state in person, and degraded 
many officials whom he found unworthy of their office. 

His zeal for justice was not to be deceived, his 
sharp eye saw in the darkness, he rnade many changes 
among the evil-livers and well rewarded the righteous. 

He walked among his subjects with a loving heart, 
and enchanted all of them vnth his kindness. People 
laid before him the wishes and desires of their hearts, 
and all found support in his might}^ spirit of goodwill.* 

Many a poor tradesman could have found his 
fortune had he sought it in anothet district, but could 
not leave as he must redeem his bondage from his 
lord. How grateful then were they to their sovereign, 
when they were permitted to go freely wherever they 
could find their living.f 

This good-hearted monarch considered all the taxes, 
for he wished to tax all equally, and found out him 
who tried to conceal his riches or to speak falsely 
about his estates, and also him who oppressed his 

♦ In the Controlor-Gang in his Imperial Palace at Vienna Joseph 
received all his subjects without disUnction., 

t Refers to the Kmancipation of Serfs in Austria and the break-up 
of the Gild-system. 


Oh, who would not submit to such good teaching, 
the aim of which was to survey the land. God was 
pleased with our sovereign's penetrating eye, with 
his judgment, his zeal for learning and his enlighten- 

The numerous schools which he built show with 
what attention this loving father sought to awake 
his peoples to better morality. Mindful was he that 
teaching should progress, especially that little children 
should learn. 

In old times people spent long in learning, yet when 
they grew up knew not why they came into the world. 
And, even if they learned to read, understood not 
what they read, and remained in darkness as before.* 

Princes came from all quarters of the earth to give 
him honours, and to meet him in his splendid palace. 

Take my thanks, O mighty sovereign, for thou 
lovest the simplicity of my speech" m.ore than fine art. 
I invoke the blessing of our Lord and His protection 
for our dear Emperor — ^Joseph the Second ! 



(Article "La Guerre" in Dictionnaire philosophique.) 

[This marvellous effort of wit was originally written 
in 1764, as a reflection on Frederic's conduct in 
the first Silesian War, which caused that monarch 
considerable annoyance. As, in fact, it might serve 

* An attack on the Jesuit educational system, wUch Joseph 


as a history of tlie War of the Bavarian Succession, 
I have inserted it here.] 

" Un genealogiste prouve k un prince qu'il descend 
en droitc Ugne d'un comte dont les parents avaient fait 
un pacte de famille, il y a trois qu quatre cent ans, 
avec une maison dont la m^moire meme ne subsiste 
plus. Cette maison avait des pretentions ^loign^es 
sur une province dont le dernier possesseur est mort 
d'apopl^xie : le prince et son conseil concluent sans 
diffieult6 que cette province lui appartient de droit 
divin. Cette province, qui est k quelques centaines 
de lieues de lui, a beau protester qu'elle ne le connait 
pas, qu'elle n'a nulle envie d'etre gouvern^e par lui ; 
que, pour donner des lois aux gens, il f aut au moins avoir 
leur consentement : ces discours he parviennent pas 
seulement aux oreilles du prince, dont le droit est in- 
contestable. H trouve incontinent un grand nombre 
d' homines qui n'ont rien k faire ni rien k perdre ; il 
les habille d'un gros drap bleu a cent dix sous I'aune, 
borde leurs chapeaux avec du grqs fil blanc, les fait 
toumer k droite et a gauche, et ma^clie k la gloire. Les 
autres princes qui entendent parlet de cette 6quip6e y 
prennent part, chacun selon son pouvoir, et couvrent 
une petite ^tendue de pays de plus de meurtriers 
mercenaires que Gengis-Kan, Tamerlan, Bajazet, 
n'en train^rent k leur suite." 

That there is no undue satire ift the description of 
the claims advanced by a sovereign is shown by the 
Bavarian Succession, as well as the following delight- 
ful extract, which satirizes Joseph as much as Voltaire 
satirized Frederic, " Advices frorh different Quarters 
continue to give Hints and to mention Circumstances, 
which suppose ambitious projects, on the part of the 
Emperor (Joseph), and an intention sooner or later 
to disturb the tranquillity of the Empire. From 


Vienna we are told that His Imperial Majesty has 
lately adopted the Plan long in Contemplation by 
Prince Kaunitz, of extending his Dominions towards 
the South, and that the Archives have been searched 
anezv, and Titles made out to different territories of the 
Bepublick [sic] of Venice.* 

* S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 103, Listen to Fraser, Berlin, November 
30, 1779. 



S.P.P. state Papers Fort'lgii—uupubllflhed foreign coViegpondenco preserved at the 

KriUsli Record Om.-o. 
Ad. ^SS. Additional Manuscripta pivseiTcd at the BMtlah Museum. 
Sbornii:. Bussiau Imperial Historical Soi-iety Publication of Archives. 


These two chapters are based on material so familiar to historians 
that I have not thought it needful to give detailed references. For 
these chapters, as for the whole period, the best general bibliography 
is Dahlmann - ^aitz, Quellenkunde der deiUschen Geschichte, 8te 
Auflage, Leipzig, 1912. 

It may be worth while to mention a few of the main works below. 

AoBtria. Akneth. Maria Theresia. 10 Bde. Vienna, 1879. 
Himgary. Mahczali, H. Hungary in the Eighteenth Century. 
Cambridge, 1910. 
The most up-to-date documentary study on Joseph II. is that by 
P. V. MrrROFANOv. 2 Bde. German translation. Vienna 
and Leipzig, 1910. 
Pmsaia. Kcser, R. Konig Friedrkh der 'Grosse. 2 Bde. Stutt- 
gart and Beriin, 1903 and 1913. 
Reim^vnn, E. Neuere Geschichte des preussischen Slaates [Gcsch. 

der europ. Staaten]. 2 Bde. Gotha, 1888. 
A very suggestive comparison of Austriah and Prussian adminis- 
trative methods may be found in 

HiNTZE, Otto. Der osierrcichische und der pretissische Beamteii- 
Slaat. Historische Zeitschrift. Bd. j.* 
Oeneral. Ranke, L. Die Deutschen Mdcht eund der FUrstenbund, 
2 Bde. Leipzig, 1871-72. 


' Memorial S.P.F. German Stales, Ilmaria, vol. Ill sub fin. 
The date is 1776 and, though unsigned, the report is based on good 
information. It is undoubtedly written by Hugh Elliot. Cp. 
S.P.F. Bavaria, vol. 113, July 10, 1778, Eden to Suffolk. 

' These statements of Elliot's should be compared with those 


of Schreiber, Max Joseph III., Miinchen, 1863, pp. 193-98, and of 
Munnioh, Gesckichte der Entwiekelung der bairischen Armee, Munchen, 
1863, pp. 79-115. Both writers base their evidence on the archives, 
which witness to the numbers, but not to the efficiency, of the army. 
Heigel, whose works are an honour to Bavarian history, touches only 
briefly on this period. The best modern' account is in Doeberl, 
Entwickelungsgesckichte Bayerns, Miinchen^ 1912, ii. pp. 254-331, 
with good general bibliographies. It should be remembered that 
I am not concerned solely with Max Joseph's internal policy, and 
that my criticism of him is largely based on the fact that he had no 
external policy worth the name. 

' See Elliot's unsigned Memorial, apud 1776. S.P.F. German 
States, vol. Ill (passim). I have softened the rhetoric of some of his 
denimciations, but its conclusions seem on the whole sound. 

Buchner, Geschichte von Baiern, Miinchen, 1853, Bd. ix. 241, fol- 
lowed by Hoffman, pp. 149-69, mentions instances of some improve- 
ment in the principles of taxation. Buchner, ix. pp. 250-51, ascribes 
the failure to improve the agriculture to the suspicion of the peasants, 
and blames the ignorance of the Bavarian populace for the relative 
failure of the attempts to start factories and introduce foreign 
artisans. Only one manufacture, that of- beer, responded to the 
enlightened poUcy of the princes, especially under Maximilian the 
Great. That worthy is usually renowned for his acquisition of the 
Upper Palatinate and the Electoral title in 1623, but his encourage- 
ment of beer is his chief merit in the eyes of an anonymous writer. 
For that " the Elector can glorious be, and the whole land will 
reverence his undertaking so long as the world lasts. Nowhere now 
save in this land does one drink such good and health-giving beer." 
Indeed Munich still holds its reputation. (Emil Struve, Entwiekelung 
des bayerischen Braugewerbes in XIX. [Schmoller, ii. Heft 1, p. 11].) 

For general econornic conditions, see J. Kaizl, Der Kampf um 
Gewerhereform und Gewerbefreiheit in Bayern (1799-1868), Leipzig, 
1880, p. 47, where he accounts for the failure of Bavarian industries 
in the eighteenth century by the exhaustion produced by the wars. 

L. Hoffman, Okonomische Geschichte Bayerns untcr Montgelas, 
Erlangen, 1885, gives a study of later economic developments with 
a useful retrospective sketch. 

On the extraordinarily primitive conditions of the Bavarian 
peasants in the country districts, see Wraxall, Memoirs of the Counts 
(1777-79), London, 1779, vol. ii. p. 199. He considers them very 
inferior to the Saxons in intelligence, wealth, and physique. Like 
so many backward races — compare the Slavs in the Balkans of 
to-day — the Bavarian peasant possessed a natural and beautiful 
peasant art, as the remains in the Bayerisehe National Museum still 


* Minto's Memoir pj Hugh Elliot. V. J'. Lipowsky, Max Joseph, 
pp. 1S8-03, shows Uirtt the charitable efforts were not wholly 
speetacuhvr. Ho gives insUinccs of llic foundind of hospitals for 
waifs aiul strays ; nnd Biuhner, pp. 25:2-53,,mcntion8 the allowances 
made to poor students at the universities. 

A good study of Nymphenburg, in its histoiieol and artistic 
aspects, is given by K. T. Hcigel, Neue hist'. Vorlriige, Munich, 1883, 
pp. 287-308. 

' The incident is related by Buchner,. Geschichte Bayerns, ix. 
pp. 254-55 ; other amiable traits of Max Joseph are given on p. 240. 
Compare Rothanimer, Leben Max Joseph von Bayern, MUnchen, 
1785 ; L. Westenrieder, Gesch. von Baiern fUr das Jugend und das 
J'olk, ii. pp. 660-70, Miinchen, 1785 ; F. 3. Lipowsky, Leben und 
thaten Max Joseph, Miinchen, 1838 (well Written, but based chiefly 
on official acts), esp. ii. pp. 238-80. 

The work based on most modem reseofph is that of F. A. W. 
Schreiber, Max Joseph III., Munich, 1863. 

For reasons given in the text, I find myself unable to agree with 
Buchner's view or with that of more recent historians. The study 
which holds the scale most evenly is L. II., Pfah-Baiem gegen Ende 
des IS. Jahrhunderts [F. v. Raumer, Hist. Taschenbuch, Leipzig, 
1864]. Doeberl is the best among recent historians. 

* Krennek, Fr. von. Finanzxustand in den Jahren 1777, 1792, 

1798-99, 1880. Miinchen, 1803. 
BucHNEK, ix. pp. 253-55. Cp. Lipowsky, Max Joseph, pp. 

165-67, 279-81. 
Seyfbied, J. E. VON. Gesch. der standischen Gerichtsbarkeit 

in Bayem. 2 vols. Pest und Leipzig, 1791-98. 

S[eyfried], J. E. VON. Zur Geschichte bairischer Landschaft 

und Steuem. Miinchen, 1800. 

Elliot (Memorial, 1776, SJPJ'. German SlaUs, vol. 111) reckons 

the average income at 3,376,000 florins (excluding the customs, 

which brought in little in his day), but exyiift'sslyiadds that these are 

"ordinary computations," and tliat the Elector concealed the real 

state of the finances, though expenditure certainly exceeded income. 

In 1803 a Bavarian balance-sheet of the year 1777 was published 

by Franz von Krenner, an old financial official. According to him 

the income was 4,381,427 florins, the expenses 4,453,379 florins, and 

the deficit, therefore, 71,932 florins. The Cpurt cost 729,822 florins, 

of which 173,976 florins went in pensions. Buchner put the pension 

item at 200,000 florins. As German rulers went at this time, the 

expenditure of the sixth of the total on the Court was moderate. 

Timeschange, and between 1801 and 1867tlieexpense8 of the Bavarian 

Court were reduced to one-fifteenth of the national income. Other 

financial statistics of Bavaria under Max Joseph are quoted by L. H. 

236 FREDERIC THE fiREAT [chap. 

in Pfalz-Baiern gegen Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts [F. v. Raumer, 
Historisches Taschetibmh, 4te Folge, 5ter Jahrgang, Leipzig, 1864, 
314-15 sqq.). 

No one will deny that Max Joseph made" some financial improve- 
ments (Buchner, ix. 233-85, 241 ; Elliot, Memorial). The most 
important of these was the establishing of a Sinking Fimd, which 
reduced the debt from forty million florins to sixteen. None the 
less, the evidence seems to me conclusive that Max Joseph was less 
skilful as a financier than Karl Theodor. By 1792 the latter had 
wiped out all deficits, and had a surplus of over fifteen thousand 
florins. See on the whole subject Ludwig- Hoffman, Geschichte der 
direJiten Steuern in Baiern adii. - saiiii, [SchmoIIer's Forschungen, 
Bd. iv. Heft 5, Leipzig, 1883, pp. 149-218, with Bibhography]. 

' Cp. Schreiber, Max Joseph III. 135-53. On the code and 
judicial system see A. von Bechmann, Kreittmayr, Der oberbayerische 
Kanzler, Festrede, Mtinchen, 1896. This lecture deals chiefly with 
his legal reforms. Compare the biography in Deutsche allgemeine 
Bibliographie. The French commend hira for his talents, Reetieil 
des instructions, Baui&re Palatinat, Dews Pords, Andr6 Le Bon, Paris, 
1899, pp. 322, 331, and pension him for his services, p. 345. Elliot 
does him full justice in the English despatches {e.g. Memorial, 1776, 
S.P.F. German States, vol. Ill), where he says he " is not more 
remarkable for a mind enlarged by study, than for candor and 
integrity, occupied with the duties of his office, perhaps disgusted 
with the men in power, or averse from the measures prescribed, he 
meddles little in political business"). We shall see later on that 
when he did so meddle the part he played was fairly creditable. 

' Buchner, ix. 258. Compare L. Westenrieder, Geschichte der 
Akademie der Wissenschaft, Bd. i. 196-218 ; " Aus den Handschrift 
nachlassen L. W." (Abkand. der Miinchner Akademie, Bd. xvi.). 
Westenrieder, a critic partial to Bavaria, admits that its general level 
of culture (c. 1770) was poor. Cp. Schreiber, Max Joseph, pp. 226-53. 

' Lipowsky, Geschichte der Schulen in Bayern (1825) ; Buchner, 
ix. 271 sqq. ; August KZuckhohn, " Der Freiherr von Ickstatt und das 
Unterrichtswesen in Bayern unter dem Churfiirsten Max Joseph HI." 
(Vortrag in der offentlichen Sitzung der Koniglichen Akademie der 
Wissenschaften am SS. Juli 1868), Miinchen, 1869. The ecclesiastical 
and educational reforms are shortly described in Schreiber, Max 
Joseph, 199-252. Max Joseph displayed a certain amount of 
liberality with regard to the press - censorship, and inaugurated 
a freedom, strictly qualified indeed, but one which was a great innova- 
tion on the previous Press restrictions. Cp. K. T. Heigel, Neue 
historische Vortrdge und Aufsatze, Miinchen, 1883, 236-45. 

" That, after 1772, the main initiative in the designs on 
Bavaria lay with Joseph and not Maria Theresa is abundantly clear 


from Arneth, Geschicble -l/nrtii Tlieresias, Viiiuio, 1870, BU. x. 201 
sgq. It sif ins ncnlli-ss Ui prove u uiiiveisfilly (ibvious propoHition. 
The most important single documents are Kiifmitz, " Dinksclnifl iiljcr 
Baiern, December -"2, 1770," Arcliivfilr Gut. (.'(sch. Bd. xlviii., N'icnna, 
1872. Kr»-dcric's views may be found in! Wuvres (edition, 1780), 
vol. iii. pasxiiii. and Nugent reports an interview witli liim on the 
subjeit on May 0, 1770, tu .Maria Theresa (May 25, 1770) ; see Arneth, 
Maria Theresa, viii. r)7:j-7(i, and E. Hcimann, Preuss. (n'sch. ii. 008. 
The instruction of \'crgennes to the Chevalier de la Luzeruc, French 
envoy extraordinary to Uu\ario, of December, 1770, is a masterly 
summary of the situation at the very moment before tlie crisis 
(see Heciteil des inslniclions, Baviirr Palatinat, Deux Fonts, par 
Andr* Le Bon, Paris, 1880, pp. 300-78). 

" Cp. Sboniik, Ixv, 301-14, which giVes the view of Zwei- 
briicken. The best modern discussion of the claims is to be found 
in E. Reimann, Geschichle des bairischen Erbfolgekrieges, Leipzig, 
1809, pp. 101-108, with more modern treatment in his Neucrc 
preusisisclie Geschichte, Bd. ii., Gotha, 1888^ His view is generally 
favourable to Prussia. .\ good study of the Pact of 1721 is in K. T. 
Heigel, Geschkhtlkhe Bildcr und Sh-izzcn, Miincheii, 1897 ; Die 
wittelsbachische Uaui-Uiiion von 17 C 4, pp. 1*1,1-74 (ii(/f infra, nn. 11, 
13, 14, etc.); and Bitterauf, Die v^ilielsbacldsche Ilaus-Union von 
1746-1747, Munich, 1903. A. Beer, "Zur Qeschichte des bairischen 
Erbfolijekrieges," Hist. Zeit. Bd. xxxv., [1876], is anti-Austrian. 

" SJ'.F. German Stales, Bavaria, vol. Ill, Elliot to Suffolk, 
April 3, 1776 ; see also Report on Bavaria^by ElUot. The second 
report is by Sir R. Murtay Keith, British Ambassador to Vienna, and 
is contained in SJ'.F. Germany, vol. 218, Vienna, Keith to Suffolk, 
December 22, 1770. Keith plumes himself much on the learning 
of his essay and the accuracy of his forecasts, cp. S.P.F, Germany, 
vol. 220, Vienna, Keith to Suffolk, Januajy 3 and 21, 1778. Cp. 
Vergennes, Instructions i De la Luzerne, December 1776, Recueil 
des instructions, Baviirc, Paris, 1889, pp. 307-78. 

" S.P.F. German Empire, vol. 220, Vienna, January 6, 1778, 
Keith to Suffolk ; see also 1776 Elliot's report, S.P.F. German States, 
vol. 111. 

" For Maria Theresa's view see Arneth, Maria Tlicresin und 
Joseph II. Hire Korrespondenz, Bd. ii. Vienna, 1807, p. 171 , M. T, an 
Joseph, January 2, 1778 ; " Si mdmc nos pretentions sur la BaviOre 
fetaient plus constat^eset plus sohde8f|u'ellcsneSont, on dcvraitliteitcr," 
and so on in the same strain. See also Bricfr, Maria Tlicresin an Hire 
Kinder und Freunde, M. T. an Leopold, March 12, 1778, Vienna, 
1881, Bd. i. pp. 88: "Nous ne pouvons . . . avouer notre faute." 
Hertzberg's views on the superior justice of Frederic's claimi may 
be found in A. Unzcr, Ilerlzberg'a Anteil an der preuaaisch-dstcr- 


reichischen Verhandlungen, 1778-1779, Frankfort a. M., 1890, 26, 

IB Definite family compacts, laying down the principle of 
reciprocal inheritance between the Wilhelmine and Rodolphine 
branches, had confirmed this practice at different times [1524, 1618]. 
It had also been ratified by several Emperors and by the Peace of 
Osnabruck (1648). The Family Compacts had been renewed in 
1673, 1724, and in 1766, 1771, and 1774, during the Ufetime of Max 
Joseph. See Keith's Report and K. T. Heigel, Die wittelsbachische 
Haus-Union von 17S4 (Gesch. Bilder und Skizzen, Miinchen, 1897), 
pp. 141-74, and Sbornik, Ixv. 301-307, note of Hohenfels " touchant 
la garantie des trait6s et pactes de famille de 1766, 1771, et 1774." 

^' Text of will is in Buchner, ix. 280. A more detailed history 
of these negotiations may be found in Chapter VI. 


1 For the whole account here, see S.P.F. German States, 
Bavaria, vol. 112, Munich, January 1, 1778, Eden to Suffolk. It is 
not altogether fanciful to compare this succession scene with that by 
the bedside of Queen Anne in England in 1714. There was the same 
baffling of intriguers, the same excitement and confusion, the same 
dramatic close. Note, Karl Theodor, being already Elector Palatine, 
was not allowed at the subsequent Peace of Tesehen to assume 
the title of Elector of Bavaria, and Bavaria's Electoral vote was 

2 The transaction with Karl Theodor is obscure. Bitter's full 
powers were signed by Karl Theodor on No.vember 29, 1777, and 
on December 14 he appeared in Vienna. He appears to have been 
ignorant of the Facte of 1774 between Max Joseph and Karl Theodor, 
See A.Unzer, "Die Entstehung des Pfalz-osterreichischen Konvention, 
Januar 8, 1778," Mitteil. des Instituis fiir osterreichische Geschichte 
Bd. XV., Vienna, 1894, p. 102, and the whole article for detailed 
study. The leading general authorities are : Austrian, Arneth, Maria 
Theresia, Vienna, 1879, Bd. x. pp. 294-318 ; and Prussian, E, 
Reimann, Neuere Geschichte des preussischen Staates (Gesch. der 
europaischen Staaien), Gotha, 1888, Bd. ii. pp. 23-33, and Appendix, 
681 - 98. Reimann criticizes Arneth somewhat severely, but has 
pointed to some positive errors of fact both in his account and that 
of Beer. There is some useful criticism of Arneth in A. Erhard, 
" Hcrzogin Maria Anna von Bayern und der Teschener Friede," Ober- 
bayrisches Archivfur valerlandische Geschichte, Bd. xl. pp. 6-8. The 
public documents connected with this whole crisis are most of them 
given in E, F, v. Hertzberg, Recueil des didttctions manifestes traitis 
etc., publics par la cow de Prusse, 3 vols., Berlin, 1789. 


• The full text wns only publislu'il on Februnry 10, see S.P.F. 
Bavaria, vol. 113, Kdon to Suffolk, I'cljnmry i!2, 1778. The pensions 
to the bnstonls of Kiirl Theoiior were not BfHciflcully niiincd in tlie 
treiity, but may reiisomibly be infLrroil froni tlie evidence. Sec 
SJ'.F. Havana Archiws, vol. xlv., Katisbon, Novtiiibcr 8, 1778, 
Ileathi-otc to FrnsiT, sio Frederic, Qiuvre.i posthumis [1789), iii. p. 
314. His informntion was based on Goer/, (letlcr to Kridoric, 
April 1778, Mill, dts Iiisl. fiir osl. Gcsclt. xviii. p. 489) and on tlie 
evidence of Duchess Maria Anna, February 6, ,1777, quoted in Goerz, 
Xlihnoire historiquc de la nfgociation en 177^ pour la succession de 
BavUre, Frankfort, 1812, pp. 78-79. Cp. Edelsheim to Finckenstiin, 
January 10, 1778 : " Quant 4 I'Electeur il ne paralt rien avoir |)lug 
fortement h cocur que I'ttablissemcnt de 7 b4tards d6clar6s auxquels 
il souhaite de pouvoir assurer un sort brillant aprds sa raort. S'il 
est \Tai qu'il se propose d'en rcconnaitre deux autres dans peu ses 
embarros 4 cet £gard n'en feraient qu'augmenter davantage," K. 
Obser in Mitt, des Inst, fiir ost. Gesch. Bd. xix?. p. 845. 

• Hitter and Karl Theodor had, in fact, ^e^•ealcd most of the 
negotiations to Vergennes, see A. Unzer, Friede von ieschen, Kiel, 
1903, pp. 36-41. Karl Theodor's letter to Zwelbriicken, admitting 
the compulsion under which he had signed the treaty, was not known 
to Russian diplomats until December 1778. See Imperial Russian 
Historical Society Archives (Sbomik), vol. Ixy. pp. 84-85, Dolgorukov 
(BerUu) to Bariatinsky, Paris, December 13, 1778. 

• For the neutrality of France the best general account is 
A. Unzer, Der Friede von Teschen, Kiel, 1903, pp. 1-101 ; see also 
Tratchewsky, " La France et I'Allemagne sous Louis XVI," Revue 
hiatmique, tome xiv. Breteuil's news cart be found in F. von 
Raumer, Beilrdge zur neueren Geschichie, Leipzig, 1839, Bd, v. pp. 
301-46 ; for those of Vergennes, see Flassan, Hist, g^nirale de la 
diplomatie franfaise, ii. 189 sq., vii. pp. 13!S-40 (2nd edition) ; see 
also Bailleu, Revue critique. No. 31, 1881 ; and Rccucil des Instruc- 
tions donnies aux Ambassadeurs et Ministres de France, Baviire 
Palatinat, Dnux Fonts, A. Le Bon, Paris, 1889, pp. 306-78, 527-30. 
For the Austrian view of French policy, see Arneth, Maria Theresia, 
X. pp. 41-48, 663, 665 ; and Ameth et Flammermont, Correspondance 
secrite du Comte de Mercy- A rgenteau avec Fenipereur Joseph II, 
tome ii. pp. 520-26 ; Ameth et Geffroy, Correspondance secrite entre 
Marie TMriae et le Comte de Mercij-Argenleau, iii. 10-18, 151-53 ; 
Ameth, Marin Theresia und Marie Antoinette, Ihr Brirjwechsel 1777- 
1780 (Paris and Vienna, 1865), pp. 215-50. 

• Frederic and France, see the short notice in Frederic, (Euvres 
postkumes, iii. pp. 810-19, and Unzer and other authorities as before, 
with the addition of Kozer's classic Biography of Frederic, Berlin, 
1908, Bd. ii. S17-30, and Reimann, Ncuerc Geschichie des preussiachen 


Staaies, Gotha, 1888, Bd. ii. Frederic's Poliiische Korrespondenz 
has as yet been published only till 1774. 

' Frederic seems to have cherished a hope that Hanover might 
actively assist Vienna as late as June 28, K. W. v. SchOning, Der 
bayerische Erbfolgekrieg, Beriin, 1854, p. 57. 

8 S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 102, Berlin, Elliot to Suffolk, February 3, 
1778. Cp. S.P.F, German States, Bavaria, vol. 112, Ratisbon, 
January 9, 1777, Listen to Eden, and Max Joseph's utterance to 
Elliot, April 1, 1776 (vide supra). Frederic's letter, February 16, 1778, 
to Prince Henry disclaims all aggrandizement or acquisition 
(Sehoning, p. 16), and indicates a line of action which was consistently 
adhered to. 

* O. Eustache de Goerz, Mimoire historique de la rUgodation en 
1178, Frankfort a. M., 1823, pp. 88-84, and vide infra Chap. VI. passim, 

i" Over the Sohonburg affair, cp. Arneth, Maria Tkeresia, Vienna, 
1879, Bd. X. pp. 278 et seq. and note 11, infra. Alvensleben (Prussian 
ambassador to Saxony) writes to Frederic, March 6, 1778: "C'est 
vraiment depuis ce moment (the raising of the Schonburg question) 
que je date le changement de la Cour et de la Nation en faveur de 
votre Majesty, car jusqu'^ cette 6poque ils nous craignoient," quoted 
by E. Reiinann, " Friedrich August IH. and Karl Theodor," Neues 
Archivfiir sacksische Geschichte (Dresden, 1883), Bd. iv. p. 316. 

" S.P.F. German Empire (Austria), vol. 220, Vienna, January 
28, 1778, Keith to Suffolk ; A. Beer, " Zur Geschichte des bayrischen 
Erbfolgekrieges," Hist. Zeit. Bd. xxxv. (1876) ; see also E. Reimann, 
" Friedrich August und Karl Theodor," Neues Archiv fiir sdchsische 
Geschichte und Alterihumskunde, Dresden, 1883, Bd. iv. pp. 316-39. 
The last pages contain a severe criticism of Arneth, who is charged 
with " grosse Parteiliehkeit." 

'2 Saxon-Prussian Alliance, see S.P.F. Poland (Saxony), vol. 
115, Dresden, February 25, March 1, 8, April 8, 12, J. Milliquet to 
Eden. Cp. E. Reimann, " Friedrich August III. und Karl Theodor," 
Neues Archiv fiir sdchsische Geschichte, Bd. iv., Dresden, 1883 ; vide 
also A. Unzer, Hertzberg's Anteil an den preussiseh-osterreichischen 
Verhandlungen 1778-1779, Frankfort a. M., 1890, pp. 10-11, 15, 19-20, 
and A. Beer, Hist. Zeitschrifi, Bd. xxxv. p. 110. 

1' S.P.F. Bavaria Archives, vol. 45, Ratisbon, November 8, 
1778, Heathcote to Fraser, see also December 16, 1778, which gives 
Karl Theodor's letter of January 22, 1778 to Zweibriieken on this 
very subject. 

" S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. 113, Ratisbon, 
Morton Eden to Suffolk, July 10, 1778. Further evidence of this 
fact is to be found in Germany (States), Cologne, vol. 155, April 6, 
1778, Bonn, Cressemer to Lord Suffolk, " By what I learn in Dis- 
course with the Elector (of KO'n) most of the Electoral Princes and 


states of tlie EUnpiro secretly wisli the IIoiinc of AuHtriii may not 
kctp wtint tlicy hiivc token of the Succession of the laic l-llcclor of 
Bavarin, as that wouki render the l.nipcror too powerful," etc. etc., 
cp. Heimann, Preuss. (If.ich. ii. 78-7!). 

" Keiniann, Pretissischc Htxchichlc, ii. pp. 02-l)t ; A. Unzer, 
Ilerlsberg's Antril, pp. 39-tl ; ibid., Neues Archiv fiir siiclm. Gcsch. 
iii. W2j-ii ; A. Beer, Hist. Zeil. Bd. xxxv. p. 145. (p. l-iedeiic in 
(Euvres poi/Awmfs (1789), tome iii. pp. :i2l-22; the correspondence 
l^tween Frederick and Joseph is gi\en on pp. 305-80. Note S.P.F. 
Archives, Heathcotc to Fraser, July 12, 1778. 

" .\. Beer, Hist. Zeil. Bd. xxxn. p. 141*. I should not like to 
give the impression that Hertzberg was worthy of the contempt 
here bestowed on him by Frederic. He wa.s a fanatical Prussian, 
and at times too rash and eager, but he was a resolute and thoughtful 
statesman, whom Frederic esteemed as welf as derided. See Study 
by Bailleu, Hist. Zeil. Bd. xlii., and Leben, hy A. T. Preuss, Berlin, 


• Calonne, Nok$ sut la vie de Josef II, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 
27487. Cp. Oskar Criste. Kriege unter KaisfT Josef II., Wicn, 1904, 
pp. 8-15. Nosinieh, Kaiser Josef als Fcldkerr, ^^'ien, 1885, is 
less document than Criste. Cp. a very important MS. report in Lord 
Lansdowne's MSS. vol. xlii., by Burgoyne (of Saratoga), Appendix 
II., which criticizes the Prussian army on the lines mentioned in the 
text, and praises the Austrian. See also SJ'.F. Empire, vol. 220, 
Vienna, Keith to Suffolk, February 15, 17, 1778. 

« SJ'.F. German Empire, vol. 220, Vienna, Keith to Suffolk, 
April 8, 1778. There is a good deal of information as to the re- 
organization of the Austrian army betwecnJ1768 and 1778 scattered 
through Keith's despatches. In a Memorandum written after the 
war Laudon (see Janko, Loudon's Lebeft„ ^^■ien (1869), 394-97) 
criticized the Austrian War OfQce for not having built enough 
fortresses in Bohemia, for a shortage in hospital requisites, for the 
absence of a properly organized general sfaff, and for a deficiency 
in light troops. 

• The miUtary ability of Prince Henry deser\-es more study 
and attention than it has received. As a, strategist he appears on 
the whole as an advocate of the Austrian S<;hool {vide nn. 4 and 5). 
There is no first-rate modem study of the Bavarian War from the 
German side. SchGning, Der baycrische ErbfolgckricU. Berlin, 1854, 
is antiquated, but valuable for the corresfjondcncc of Frederic and 
Prince Henry. R. Koser, " Prinz Heinrieh und General MOllendorf 
im bayrischen ErbfolgckrieR " (Fofrsch. z. bjrand. und preuss. Gesch., 
\-ol. xxiii.). Thicro is a fairly good anonymous account in Kampagne 



des Prinzen Heimich, 1778-79, Bde. Ixiv., Ixv. [Zeit. fur Kunst, 
Wissenschaft und Geschichle des Krieges, Berlin, 1845]. 

« The Austrian School was at least intelligible and consistent 
in appljdng the principle that fortification, choice of ground, and 
manoeuvres for position were the real ends of war. These conten- 
tions were strengthened by the natural caution and indolence of 
the Austrian temperament, and by the exercise of control over 
armies in the field by the War Office at Vienna. It is worth noting 
that the most successful Austrian generals ofthe eighteenth century, 
Eugene and Laudon, were those who paid least attention to Vienna, 
and who were least bound by the traditional Austrian tactic and 
strategy. The typical Austrian general of the mid-eighteenth century 
is Daun or Lascy. Between the latter and Laudon an interesting 
comparison was made in 1778 by Wraxall, Mem. Courts of Berlin, 
Vienna, etc. (1799), vol. i. pp. 331-44. 

6 In these sentences I raise the whole question of the strategy 
and tactics of the Frederician period. The extreme view is put thus 
by Lord Acton : 

" Even in his own army, on his own staff, in the royal family, 
there were two opinions. There was a school which taught that 
actual fighting must not be resorted to until the use of brains has 
been exhausted, that the battle comes in when the manoeuvre has 
failed, that the seizure of a strategic position, or a scientific retreat 
... is the first defence of armies, so that a force which is tactically 
inferior may be strategically superior. Frederic was, I believe, the 
first great soldier to reject this doctrine, and to act on the principle 
that nothing can destroy the enemy except a pitched battle, and 
that the destruction of the enemy, not the weakening of the enemy, 
is the right object in war. His battles were very numerous and very 
sanguinary, and not always decisive. Napoleon followed in his 
footsteps, manoeuvring less, as he grew older, and fighting more. 
It is the adopted teaching of the Prussian School, since Clausewitz 
and Moltke." — ^Lord Acton, Lectures on Modern History, Loudon, 
1906, p. 298. 

The assumption appears to be that Frederic emancipated war 
from the theories of what I may call the Austrian School (the school 
which advocated warfare of manoeuvre for positions), and initiated 
the theory of the Clausewitz School, in which the supreme object of 
the campaign is to lead up to a decisive battle and to ensure the 
destruction of the field-army of the enemy* 

The question has been hotly discussed in Germany by historians 
and military experts. The controversy is well summed up by 
Professor Hans Delbruck in his articles " tJber die Verschiedenheit 
der Strategic Friedrichs und Napoleons," and in " General von 
Clausewitz" (Historische und politische Aufsdize, 2te Auflage, Berlin, 


IB08, i>p. 205-301). His miun contention ia thnt in the cixlitccnth 
century {i.e. before 1780) certain fundimiental diffiTcnccH |irtvcntcd 
tJic waging of a lampaijjn on tlie linis favoured liy Niipoleon or hy 
Clausewitz. Tliese differences are (1) the mueli snialier number of 
troops which could be conccntrateil in a siiiigle theatre of wur. In 
such concentrations Frederic never assembled more tlian 100,000, 
Napoleon often three or four times tliat, total. (2) The hetero- 
geneous character of the troops, half of Frederic's being non-Prussian, 
and pressed or hired men vrilh no special enthusiasm. This necessi- 
tateil an iron discipline, for to many of the troops appeals to nation- 
ality and national pride would be meaningless. The stick and not 
the flag was therefore the military symbol, and Frederic liimself 
lays down that it is necessary to make troops respect the bftton and 
fear their own officers more than the enerny. Tliis rigid discipline 
necessitated close linear formations and prevented the use of tirail- 
leurs. (3) The difficulty of procuring supplies for the troops under 
Frederic contrasts strongly with the Napoleonic method. Under 
Napoleon large portions of a French national army could be detached 
to make " requisitions." Under Frederic only a few trusted regi- 
ments could be allowed to forage, the main Jjody being concentrated 
to prevent escape or desertion on the part of any of the heterogeneous 
troops. Accordingly, the Fredcrician host was strictly tied to a 
long Une of communications and magazine^. Its movements were 
slow in proportion, victories could not quickly be followed up, nor 
retreats rapidly accomplished. The Fredcrician army was like a 
diver in the sea, its movements strictly limited and tied by the long, 
slender communicating tube which gave it life. 

If these fundamentals be granted as to (1) The smallness of the 
Fredcrician armies in actual numbers, (2) their denationalized charac- 
ter, (3) their difficulties as to supply, certaih conclusions necessarily 
follow. Under Frederic there could not be the same available 
margin for risks, the same power of inspiring the masses with 
enthusiasm, or the same power of rapid advance and concentration 
as under Napoleon. Accordingly for the} Prussian a battle was 
neither as necessary nor as decisive an incident in a campaign as it 
was for the French emperor. 

Considerations like these solve the question of the differences 
between the warfare of the mid-eighteenth century and that of the 
early nineteenth. The Austrian military scliool under Daun under- 
stood these considerations to impose great cjiution on a commander. 
They made warfare chiefly an affair of oapturing fortresses and 
convoys, and forbade him to risk a battle except when he was certain 
to win. Frederic's utterances on the sulijeet are not altogether 
consistent ; he can be quoted as lending some support both to the 
Austrian School and to the Napoleonic. lie understood, as Clause- 


witz did not, the real conditions of eighteenth century warfare, 
and knew that for armies such as he led, the lightning advance, the 
unexpected concentration, the decisive battle, and the fall of the 
enemy's capital were only ideals. Where Frederic differs, and differs 
decisively from Prince Henry, Daun, Lascy, and other commanders 
of his age, is in recognizing the moral advantage of inspiring troops 
with enthusiasm, and the unique opportunity which a battle gives 
for this purpose. The Frederician method is illustrated best by the 
battles of Rossbach and Leuthen, when he frankly appealed to the 
nobler instincts of his soldiers and boldly resolved on a decisive battle. 
In significant contrast, however, to Napoleon, Frederic manoeuvred 
more and fought less as he grew older, as .is markedly seen in the 
1778 campaign. 

The general result of his investigation may be summed up as 
follows. The Austrian School advocated the scientific manoeuvre 
for position, and regarded the supreme object as the destruction 
of hostile supplies and the occupation of strategic points. The 
school of Napoleon and Clausewitz has since advocated the scientific 
manoeuvre in order to force a decisive action, regarding the supreme 
objective as the destruction of the hostile-army in the field. The 
ardent genius of Frederic drove him in the direction of Clausewitz, 
but his common-sense recognition of the limitations which a semi- 
mereenary army and the diificulties of supply imposed on him, 
prevented any complete acceptance of that strategy. He fought 
battles oftener than the Austrian School considered right, and less 
decisively than Clausewitz would have expected. The explanation 
is to be found in the conditions of the age, which did not allow 
Frederic to revolutionize the art of war, though his genius broke 
through the precise rules of the existing school, and formulated 
military axioms for another age to carry out. (The subject may 
be further studied in R. Koser, " Preussische Kriegfiihrung im 
7jahrigen Kriege," Hist. Zeit. xcii.; R Bernhardi, Delbruck, 
Friedrich der Grosse und Clausewitz, Berlin, 1892 ; Bonnal, L'Esprit 
de la guerre moderne, Paris, 1903 ; Treitschke, c. 23, Politik, Eng. 
trans., 1914.) 

« Criste, 83-84. Judged by a modern military criticism, Laudon's 
suggestion would be sound and right, but not entitled to the special 
commendation given in the text. I think, however, a study of the 
conditions of contemporary warfare (cp. n. 5 and Delbriick) shows 
that the enterprise was a daring one for any eighteenth century com- 
mander to propose. It was specially daring in an Austrian general, 
and in an enterprise directed against the Prussian master of warfare. 

' S.P.F. Prussia, 102, Berlin, EUiot tb Suffolk, August 4, 11, 
1778. This letter of Prince Henry's is not printed elsewhere, but 
the positive affirmation of Elliot leaves no doubt as to its genuineness 


(cp. one from Henry to Frcileric of August .'i. quoted by ScliOning, 
/Vr bayrrischf Krbfolgekrieg, IJiTlin, \HM), lOil). Klliut speaks at 
till- ^iiolo ns n " nuircli tlmt does lionoiir to llio military tiilcniN even 
of Prince llonry." 

Cp. " Kiunpnj^nc dcs Ileinrich (1778-70)," Zeilnchrifl 
fiir Kunst, }yissenschafl und Geschichle des Krieges, Berlin, IS'IS, 
Bd. Ixiv., pp. 102-68, which gives details bf the dilliculties of the 
marcli. Consult also Gruf Lippe on MOUendorf, Jahrbuch fiir die 
deutsche Annee, Bd. eix. 

« Criste, 90-96, 97, 102. The defence of Laudon is undertaken 
by W. E. von Janko, Loudon's Leben, i^ach Original-Artni des 
K, K. Haus- Hof- Stoats- und Kriegs-Archivs, Correspondciizen uiul 
Qttenen, Wien, 1869, pp. 373-98. G. B. Malleson's Life of Laudon, 
London, 1887, is merely a summary of Janko. Both speak of 
" masterly raanoEuvres," on the part of Laudon, but neither attempts 
to defend his neglect to strengthen Tollepstein. Note review of 
Janko by Schaefer, Hist. Zeit. Bd. xiii. 

' Criste, 103-4, 132-33 ; Janko, 388, 390-91. Laudons action in 
ordering this retreat puts the finishing touch on his feebleness in 
this campaign. In justice to him it should be mentioned that his 
information appears to have been very imperfect, and in liis subse- 
quent memorandum on the campaign (J^nko, 304), Laudon em- 
phasizes the inadequacy of the scouting system and the absence of 
a general staff. 

»• Keimaim, Preussische Geschichle, ii. 166. 

" Schoning, Der bayerische Erbfolgekrieg, 115-16. 

" The losses of the Prussian army have been variously reckoned, 
and it is difficult to separate those of Prinfce Henry from those of 
Frederic. Prince Henry admits a loss of 2000 men by September 30 
(SchOning, pp. 159-64). Janko, Loudon's Leben, p. 383, puts 
Frederic's losses alone up to September at 12,000 killed, wounded, 
and sick ; Nosinich (p. 189) at 14,000 ; .lanko puts losses of both 
Henry and Frederic at 20,000. Criste, p. 1 1 1 , puts the totul Prussian 
losses at 18,000, and Nosinich, p. 241, reckons the Austrian losses 
at about the same. There are only two relatively impartial esti- 
mates — that of Prince Charles of Hesse, himself a general and a volun- 
teer in this campaign, though not an absolutely trustworthy witness, 
whoputs I-'rederic's losses alone at over20,00(}(Mft«ot>f >.■, Copenhagen, 
1801,pp. 80, 86, lOe) ; and that of Sir John Stepney, British Minister 
at Dresden, who, on the strength of authentic knowledge, puts 
Prince Henry's losses at 7000 to 8000 men. (SJ'.F. Poland {SaMny), 
vol. 115, September 23, October 28, 1778,;Stcpney to Suffolk.) I 
think, therefore, that we may reckon Prussia's total loss at at least 
25,000, or about one-seventh of her forces. 

" In a speech to his ofTicers on April 3, 1778, at Berlin, Frederic 


enjoined " humanity to unarmed enemies," as a " most sacred duty 
... in every situation," but he certainly did not spare their pro- 
perty. Here are one or two illustrations. Requisitions of 10,000 
rixdales from the seigniory of Neuschlosif; beer, wine, and pro- 
visions from the district. From Reic^enberg-Kuhendorf, 200 
ducats, 80,000 rixdales, 2500 boisseaux of corn, and the same of 
forage ; 80 fat bvdloclcs, 100 oxen, 150 cows. From the circle of 
Satz, requisition of 132,000 florins {Supp. Exf"- a la Gazette de 
Vienne, August 10, 1778). There is an interesting account of the 
treatment of the small village of Kuesdorf in this war. According 
to the village schoolmaster all the potatoes were dug up ; the young 
shrubs cut down, and much firewood requisitioned ; 136 beasts 
(horses, oxen, and cows) were taken ; and the total damage done was 
estimated at 60,712 fl. \ kr. ; while some men of the village were held 
to ransom and others requisitioned for service (" Zur Geschichte des 
Kartoftel - Krieges," Mittheilungen des Vereins fur Geschichte der 
Deutschen in Bohmen, Prag, Leipzig, and Wien, 1879, pp. 58-61), 
There is no better account of the sufferings of peasants in eighteenth 
century warfare, and it reveals a striking absence of patriotic 
Austrian feeling, vide n. 17. 

" See the April campaign scheme of Frederic quoted in Nosinich, 
Kaiser Josef (Wien, 1885), 109. Frederic's omission to plan any 
real advance into Moravia seems to have been due to a belief in 
the speedy intervention of Russia, to which he clung with much 
persistence. See Schoning, 132 ; Reimann, Preuss. Gesch. 144, 161 ; 
Unzer, Friede von Teschen, 151 sqq. 

The scheme quoted above throws the best light on the whole 
action of Frederic in this campaign, which is still somewhat of a 
mystery, and not cleared up by his own account or utterances. 
There can, however, be no doubt that he intended originally to 
attain decisive results and not to play a game of mere inaction. 
Prince Charles of Hesse, not altogether a trustworthy witness, 
declares that Frederic explained his inaction at Oels by the gout 
(MHnoires de mon temps, p. 109). There can be no doubt that the 
Braunau negotiations and poUtical conditions generally hampered 
Frederic's military decision. But age, illness, and a very curious 
political situation are hardly sufficient to account for his inaction. 
The effort made by Frederic to increase the mobility of the army after 
1778 shows that the slowness of the movements of the troops may 
have been a contributory cause, and tMs is borne out by evidence 
from Elliot, S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 104, June* 4, 1780. 

Of one military criticism that is sometimes made it is best perhaps 
here to dispose. It is stated that Prince Henry might have joined 
forces with Frederic by marching north of Turnau. He could then 
have broken through the Austrian centre, and forced the evacuation 


of the Arnnu-Jaroiucr line. It iippcars, liuwcvcr, crilaiii Hint bftd 
roniU, hill, unit forest renilcreil it imiinssibk- to transport guns tlirough 
tlieso roifions, and decisively viloivl tlic pmjrct iix n whole. 

The best Miodern teclinieiil critique of tlie war iind its military 
lessons is in Xosinieh, pp. 2K)-1:j, though. there is more detail in 

" Criste, 101. Older authorities, e.g. Janko, .'!8.5, say that 
Lnudon wished to harass Prince Henry's retreat, but was forbidden 
by Joseph. Criste, 133, ap|)ears to diseredft this view, and makes 
Lnudon responsible for his own inaction. 

" The modern military critic would assail the whole of Lascy'a 
scheme on the ground that it was one for defence and not for \ictory. 
This charge is unquestionably true, as may be seen from the Defen- 
siottsplan drawn up by Lascy, .\pril 28, 1778 (given in Criste, 
2(U)-H2). The whole plan was in accordahce with the traditional 
Austrian strategy, and its adoption explt\ins why Joseph refused 
to allow Laudon to join forces with him to crush Frederic at the 
beginning of the campaign, and also to permit serious rearguard 
actions at the close. 

" Lascy was undoubtedly the most important military in- 
fluence on the Austrian side. Prince Charles of Hesse (Mimoires, 
109) quotes an instance of the confusion ,into which Joseph was 
thrown by having to take a decision in the absence of Lascy. La.scy 
seems to have reaped the chief credit at Vienna among the populace. 
Laudon was still the hero of Bohemian peasants, who received liim 
with shouts of joy and passed by Joseph and Lascy in silence (Janko, 
377). Joseph was regarded by these peasants with mingled feelings, 
as was shown when he went on an expedition to Maxen in disguise 
with four oflBcers at the end of 1779. " On their return His Imperial 
Majesty, being very inquisitive, got into a dispute at Guisuble 
(Giessbubel) with some Peasants of that Place, and without the 
very mild and prudent interposition of one of the Company it would 
have ended in blows. That part of the Country having suffered 
greatly during last Year's Campaigns, the Cpmmon People of course 
are much exasperated against the Emperor ; they knew him, yet 
would have used him very ill, under the Pretence of being ignorant 
who those five officers were." Could irony or ingratitude further 
go ? S.PJ". Poland, vol. 115, Dresden, December 29, 1779, Milliquet 
to Fraser. 

" Acton, Lectures in Modern History,, p. 298. "During the 
French campaign of 1814 Napoleon said to Miirmont, ' Wc are still 
100,000.' ' No,' said the marshal,' ' only' ' l-^xaetly,' Napoleon 
replied, ' and myself, that is 100,000.' " Cp. t'roker, Diaries, \o\. iii. 
p. 277. Wellington endorsed this estimate with his usual cautious 
reservation.?. See Stanhope, Conversations lOith Wellington, 9, 81-83. 


For evidence of dissatisfaction of Prussian troops at the close of 
the campaign, see Koser, 534 ; Criste, 111 ; Arneth, x. 534. 


1 The chief work on Karl Theodor as a ruler is K. T. dessen 
Leben und Taien, F. J. Lipowsky, Sulzbach, 1828. This is antiquated, 
as is A. Buchner, Geschichte von Baiern, Munich, 1853, Bd. ix. 
HSusser, Geschichte der Rheinpfalz, 2 Bde., 1868 ; and Pftdz-Baiern 
gegen Ende des 18. Jahrhunderts (Raumer's Historisches Tasckenbuch, 
1865), give general histories of the Palatinate. Consult also K. 
Hauck, Karl Theodor Kurfilrst von Pfah-Baiern ; Manuheimer, 
GeschichtsblcUier, i. ; K. T. Heigel, Neue hist. Vortrage, Munich, 
1883, pp. 304-6, is one of the few Bavarian historians who gives 
credit to Karl Theodor for throwing open the artistic treasures of 
Munich to the people, and who compares him, not unfavourably in 
this respect, even with the beloved Max Joseph. Cp. also Heigel, 
Geschichtliehe Bilder (Mimioh, 1897), p. S73. Doeberl, Entmicke- 
lungsgeschichte Bayerns, vol. ii. p. 295, n. 2, quotes the evidence of 
courtiers who favoured Karl Theodor. 

» S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. 113, April 30, 1778, 
Eden to Suffolk ; cp. Chap. IV. n. 3, for authorities. The chief are 
A. Unzer, " Die Entstehung der Pfalzkonvention," Mitt, des Inst, 
fur ost. Gesch. Forsch., Innsbruck, 1894, Bd. xv., and E. Reimann, 
" Karl Theodor und Karl August," Neues Archiv fiir sdchsische 
Geschichte, Bd. iv. pp. 316-39. 

' Karl Theodor's own defence of his conduct in these negotia- 
tions was that Bavaria had no army, and that his measures prevented 
it becoming the seat of war. See his account in Buchner, Geschichte 
Baierns, Bd. ix. pp. 128-31. 

The characters of Vieregg and Hompfeche are also described in 
the despatches of Edelsheim to Finckenstein, see Karl Obser, Mitt, 
fiir 6st. Gesch. Bde. xviii. and xix., where Vieregg is represented as 
having been appointed to direct foreign policy because he was pliable 
and easily controlled. 

• S.P.F. German States, Bavaria, vol. 113, Munich, January 22, 25, 
29 ; April 23 ; Ratisbon, July 10, 1778. Eden to Suffolk. 

s S.P.F. Bavaria Arch. vol. 45. Heathcote to Praser, June 6, 
1779. Karl Theodor's letter to Zweibrucken (January 22, 1778) is 
in id. to id. December 16, 1778. Cp. comment of Prince Dolgorukov 
(Berlin), December 2, 1778, Sbornik, vol. Ixv. pp. 84-85, 

The chief authorities on the mysterious and complicated negotia- 
tions between Zweibriioken and Frederic, the Dowager Duchess, and 
Karl Theodor are as follows ; A. Eckhart, " Graf du Moulin, Zwei- 


briickcn und \'orsiiilles." Nine Ileidclberger Jahrbikher, Bd. v., 
1804 ; Th. v. Iloigcl, " Dio nrzieluinpcii Karl Aui^'ijst unci Max 
Josef und Zwcibriickcii /u PrcuBScn," I'rniss. Hist, I' in I., Leipzig, 
1900, Bd. iii. pp. '-'T-IH ; (iocra, ft. ICustuclie'von, Mtmoire liistorique 
de la nfgociation en 177t! pour la sticcession de liavidrc, I'riinkfort 
u.M., 1S2;1 ; A. I'.rhard, " Maria .\nna von Baycrn und der Teschener 
Friede," Oberbaynsches Archiv, Bd. xl. (cp. also Allgem. Zeilung, 
1SS2, No. 302) has a useful bibliography ; H, Meissner, M. A. v. B. 
und der pretisaischer liciclisgesandler von ScfiwaTzenau, Jauer, 1890 
(contains little save an important letter of Goertz, February 8, 1778). 
Cp. also \. Viizer, "Zwcibriicken und die Sendung des Grafen GOrtz," 
Mitleilung des Inst, fiir dsterreichische GeschicMe, Bd. xviii., and 
K. Obser, " Zur Sendung des Grafen GOrtz an den Zweibriicfcen Hof," 
ib. Bd. xix. 

• V. Goerz, M&m. Hist. 83-100 j Meissner, Xl.A.v. B. und Schwarze- 
nau, p. 9 ; A. Erhard, M. A. v. B. und der Teschener Friede, pp. 

' Reimann, Pr. Gesch. ii. 63-67. 

• SJP.F. Archives Bavaria, vol. 4.i, Rafisbon, July 26, August 
5, 23, September 6, 13, 23, Heathcote to Fraser. 

• SJJ'. Arch, vol, 45, November ^, December 6, 1778, 
Heathcote to Fraser. 

10 SJ>.F. Prussia, vol. 103, Berlin, March 27, AprU 7, 1779, 
Elliot to Weymouth. For a sketch of the conduct of Karl Theodor 
during the period see Sbomik, vol. Ixv. pp. 3Q2-63, Galitzin to Repnin, 
March 23, 1779. 

" S.P.F. Arch. vol. 45, April 11, 1779, Heathcote to Fraser, 
and Sbomik, vol. Ixv. pp. 407-08. 

" Article VIII. of the Traits de Paix between Maria Theresa 
and Frederic, Martens' Recueil des Trait^s, Petrograd, 1875, p. 70. 

" SJP.P. For. Arch. vol. 45, Heathco'te to Fraser, June 10, 
1770 ; sec SJP.F. Prussia, vol. 103, Beriin, August 1, 1779, Liston 
to Fraser. 

" SJ'.F. For. Arch. vol. 45, September 10, 1779, Heathcote to 

" Jb. June 16, 1770, id. to id. 


1 S.P.F, Russia, vol. 102, Petrograd, Harris to Suffolk, August 
14, 1778; S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 1 02, Berlin, Elliot to Suffolk, September 
8, 1778 ; Adolph Beer, " Die Sendung Thuguts an Braunau und der 
Friede zu Teschen," Hist. Zeitschrifl (1871), Bd. xxxviii. pp. 421-48. 


For general study of the whole negotiations, consult Martens, 
Papiers du Prince Repnin, in Sbornik, vol. Ixv., Petrograd, 1888 ; 
and A. Unzer, Der Friede von Teschen, Kiel, 1903. The former gives 
the papers from the Russian Archives ; the latter the results of the 
latest study of the archives of BerUn, Dresden, Munich, Vienna, and 
Paris. The papers of the British diplomats, which arc quoted in 
the present volume, are the only considerable source yet unexplored. 
The text of the Treaty is in Martens, TraiUs et conventions conclus 
par la Bussie, Petrograd, 1875, tome ii. pp. 61-96, with useful com- 
ments. Note for French policy Journal de Corberon, par L. H. 
Labande, Paris, 1901, esp. ii. 200 n. 

^ Sbornik, vol. Ixv. pp. 120-27. Soma valuable extracts from 
Breteuil's despatches are in " F. v. Raumer, 1763-83," Beitrdge sur 
neueren Geschichte, Leipzig, 1839, Bde. iii.-v. 

" S.P.F. Archives, vol. 45, Ratisbon, September 27, 1778, Heath- 
cote to Fraser. 

* S.P.F. Archives, vol. 43, Ratisbon, September 27, Heathcote 
to Fraser. S.P.F. German Empire, vol. 220, Vienna, September, 
30, 1778, Keith to Suffolk. 

^ Solms attributed the Russian intervention to Potemkin and 
the tears of the Grand Duchess Paul, see Harris to Suffolk. S.P.F. 
Russia, vol. 102, October 2/13, 1778. 

« S.P.F. German Empire, vol. 220, Vienna, Keith to Suffolk, 
June 24. S.P.F. Russia, vol. 102, Petrograd, Harris to Suffolk, 
August 3/14, October 2/13, December 20/81, 1778 ; Harris twice 
states that Frederic won over Potemkin. Cp. Unzer, F. von T., 208 ; 
Arneth, Maria Theresia, x. 598 ; and Sbornik, Ixv. passim. 

' S.P.F. Russia, vol. 102, Petrograd, September 21, October 2, 
October 2/13, October 5/16, 1778, Harris to Suffolk. 

8 S.P.F. Russia, vol. 102, Petrograd, Harris to Suffolk, October 
2/13, December 20/31, 1778 ; Sbornik, vol. Ixv., November 10/21, 
1778, Vienna, Galitzin to Panin. 

• Sbornik, vol. Ixv., Vienna, Galitzin to Panin, November 10/21. 
On November 19 at an interview with the Russian ambassador, 
Prince Galitzin, he showed " extreme embarrassment " and " extra- 
ordinary perplexity and agitation." PrinCe Galitzin spoke of the 
peu de validiU of the Austrian pretensions to Bavaria, to which 
Kaunitz replied his Court must choose between an entire sacrifice of 
its dignity or run the risks of a murderous and perhaps general war. 
Galitzin : " It would be infinitely glorious for the humanity of the 
Empress Queen to renounce even evident and legitimate rights to spare 
effusion of blood." 

>» S.P.F. Russia, vol. 102, Petrograd, October 5/16, November 
6/17, 1778, Harris to Suffolk. 

u S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 102, Berlin, November 24, 1778, Elliot 


to Suffolk. Cp. Kniinitz' luigry reply tii llrctiiiil's rcncctioriH of 
October 18 : " to n'ost pas sur dcs conveniihces siir dcs tilns cl ties 
droits ijuo la muisou <rAiitriclie s'c^t ^irrangfc," etc. 

" S.P.F. Foreign .Irchivcs, Mil. t.j, Ratisboii, November l.'j, 
Noveiubor 22, 177S, Heatln'olo lo Fnuser. 

" Slioniik, Ixv. pp. 30-40 ; (.'alhuiiiit-'N report is dated October 
27 : for Puiiin's letter to Galitzin of September 21, see p. 106. 

>* Sboniik; Ixv. pp. 30-50. 

" vS'.P.f . German Empire, Vienna, vol.* 220, Keith to Suffolk, 
December 211, 1778. S-PJ". Archives, BoEvaria, vol. 15, Munich, 
Hcftthcotc to rr:\MT, January 21, 1770. 

" S.P.F. Archives, Bavaria, vol. 45 ; Munich, January 21, 1770, 
Heuthcote to Fraser. 

" S.P.F. German Empire, vol. 221, Vienna, January 2, 1779, 
Keith to Suffolk. 

" Impression had already been made before the Preliminaries, 
see Panin to Bariatinsky, Russian ambassador at Paris, December 8, 
1778. Sbornik, Ixv. 

" SJ'J'. Russia, vol. 108, Petrograd, December 28, January 
8, 1778-70, Harris to Suffolk. See also December 20/31, 1778 ; 
January 11/22, 1779 ; last two quoted ip Malmesbury's Diary, 

"> S.P.F. German Empire, vol. 221, Vienna, Keith to Suffolk, 
February 20, March 3, 1779. Cp. Frederic to Prince Henry, Febru- 
ary 24, 1779, SchOning, p. 257. 

n SJ'.F. Archives, vol. 45, April 4, 1779^ Heatheote to Fraser. 
SJ'J'. German Empire, vol. 221, Vienna, May 10, Keith to Wey- 

" SJ'.F. Prussia, vol. 103, St. James's, May 28, 1779, Earl of 
Weymouth to Elliot. Weymouth was acting for Suffolk, being the 
other principal Secretary of State. 


Principal Secretaries of State 

1775-82. Kaiiliern Department. — ^Thomas, 3rd Viscount 
Weymouth (afterwards Marquis of Bath). 

1771-79. Southern Department. — Henry Howard, 12th 
Earl of Suffolk and Bcrksliire. 

1779-82. Southern Depaiimeiit. — David Murray, Viscount 
Stormont (afterwards Earl of Mansfield). 

1779-82. Under Secretary (Southern Department). — 
William Eraser. 


Austria and Empire — 

17G.3-72. David Murray, Viscount Stormont. 

1772 02. Sir Robert Murray Keith, K.C.B. 
France — 

1772-78. David Murray, Viscount Stormont. 

Other Ministers and Envoys 

Russia — 

1771-70. Robert Gunning (afterwards Sir R.) (envoy 
extrfiordinary and minister pleni- 
1770-83. J. Harris (afterw.ords Sir R. and Earl 
Malmesbury) (minister plenipotentiary). 



Prussia — 

Saxony — 

Bavaria — 





James Harris (afterwards Sir R. and Earl 

Malmesbury) (envoy extraordinary).] 
Hugh Elliot (envoy extraordinary). 

Sir John Stepney (envoy extraordinary). 

Hugh Elliot (afterwards Sir H.) (minister 
plenipotentiary to Bavaria and minister 
to Diet of Ratisbon). 

Moreton Eden (afterwards Sir M. and Lord 
Harley) (minister plenipotentiary to 
Bavaria and minister to Diet of Ratis- 

Richard Oakes (minister to Diet of 

Hon. J. Trevor (minister plenipotentiary to 
Elector Palatine and minister to Diet of 

Ralph Heathcote (minister plenipotentiary 
to Elector of Koln). 

Robert (afterwards Sir R.) Liston {charge 
at Munich, 1776-79 at Berlin). 


Elliot, Hugh, Memoir of. By Lady Minto. London, 1853. 

Keith, Sir Robert Murray, Memoirs and Correspondence of. 
Ed., Mrs. Gillespie Smith.. 2 vols. London, 1849. 

Letters of the 1st Earl of Malmesbury to Family and 
Friends. Ed., Earl of Malmesbury. 2 vols. London, 

Political Diaries and Correspondence of 1st Earl of Malmes- 
bury. Ed., Earl of Malmesbury. 4 vols. London, 

AND KAISER .lOSEril 255 

Memoirs of the Courts of Ucrlin, Ditsdcn, \Vaisiuv, and 
Vieniui. 1777-71). N. W. W'nixrill. London, 1799. 

Flight to A'luvnnes and othci' llislorical Kssaj's. Oscar 
Browning [contains two good tssuys on Hugh EUiotJ. 

Of the above worlds the first three aic largely personal 
in chivractcr. Tlio Political Diaries o| Lord Malmcsbury 
include some political information mixed up with still 
more personal gossip and scandal. They contain a picture 
of Catherine and her Court, overdrawn and jet alive and 
interesting. The work of \Vraxall, who knew Keith, 
EUiot, and Harris, is of the same kind, but of a lower order 
of merit. It has, however, far greater \'alue than the 
English Memoirs associated with his name. 



There has not often in our history been a trio of 
abler British ambassadors than Keith, Elliot, and Harris. 
It is certain that at no time in Enghsh diplomatic history 
did such a distinguished trio of ambassadors narrate and 
criticize the same series of events, ajid it is upon their 
despatches that our commentary on the Bavarian Succes- 
sion and the Russian Mission is mainfy based. 

Each of these three ambassadors had already made his 
name known to the world by a striking feat of diplomacy 
before 1778. Keith was in Denmark at the time of the 
grim tragedy of the fate of Queih CaroUne Matilda 
(George III.'s sister), and it was onjy his powerful in- 
fluence, exerted under circumstances^ of dramatic force, 
that saved the Queen from life-long imprisonment and 
perhaps even a darker fate (177'2). This feat won Keith 
a K.C.B. from George IH. and the admiration of all 
England. Harris was already renowned for a great 
diplomatic coup in 1770, when liis admirable firmness at 


Madrid averted war between England and Spain. Hugh 
Elliot had startled the world in 1777 by secretly purloin- 
ing the papers of the American agent Lee from Berlin, 
copying them and returning them to the owner under cover 
of darkness. But none of their exploits ended here. Keith 
was to raise both his own fame and that of his country to 
the highest pitch by the peace of Sistova, 1791, the fitting 
cover to a long diplomatic career. Hugh Elliot was to be 
the hero of wild and daring exploits, yet again to break 
his cane over Kuyphausen and fight a duel with him, to 
deport the Court of Naples to Sicily despite Queen Caroline 
of Naples, and to be assured by Gustavus III. that he alone 
had been the saviour of the Swedish Monarchy. Harris 
was to be the chief inspirer of the foreign policy of Pitt, the 
architect of the Great Triple Alliance of 1787, and to close 
his career as the Nestor of EngUsh diplomacy, at whose 
feet the greatest of EngUsh foreign ministers, George 
Canning himself, was to sit. Enough has been said to show 
that their exploits and their reputation were, in each case, 
remarkable, and to indicate that their commentary on the 
diplomatic events of 1777-80 is hkely to be of interest. 

In order to estimate the probability of bias in their 
narratives, a close examination of their individual tempera- 
ments is needed. During the period 1777-80, Harris and 
Elliot were still young men, the first in the thirties, the 
latter actually yet in the twenties. Their despatches 
have, therefore, an interest and a fire, which is quite un- 
usual among diplomatists. Their private correspondence, 
in each case, is filled with mirth, satire, and pungency, 
which often overflows into their diplomatic communica- 
tions and profanes the solemnity associated with des- 
patches. Harris has more brilhancy of literary style, 
Elliot more mordancy of wit ; the one has more epigram, 
the other more knowledge. Each Was an adept at diplo- 
matic intrigue, and knew how to extract a secret by a 
judicious bribe or confidence. Elhot, however, was less 
scrupulous than Harris, and his reckless courage and 


biting tongue sometinus placed him in nwkwnrd situations. 
He wtis never afraid of provoking a crisis, of exceeding his 
instructions, or of abandoning orthodox mcthf)ds. Thus 
he was occasioniUly rebuked from home, he was publicly 
censured for copying Leo's papers* (though privately 
praised and rewarded with £500), and his repartees to King 
Frederic can hardly always have benefited his country. 
Harris, on the other hand, erred in exactly the opposite 
way : though in private his opinions were expressed with 
extraordinary freedom, he was always discreet and 
polished to the highest degree in public or to officials. 
He also had a strong will, but he trusted to adroitness and 
flattery rather than to boldness, to ciarry him through a 
diplomatic crisis. Thus, while the results Elliot secured 
were great or disastrous, those of Harris were neither, and 
he failed in his great object of winning Russia over to an 
aUiance with England diuing these years (1778-80), for 
all his cleverness and despite his great personal triumph 
at the Court of Petrograd. The truth is that in diplomacy 
it is possible to be too diplomatic, and brusqueness of 
manner is sometimes more effective ithan suavity. The 
general result of the difference between Harris and Elliot 
seems to be this : Harris is unsurpassed at unraveUing an 
intrigue, Elliot at judging a diplomatic situation. Each 
has great political insight, but the ojne excels in finesse, 
and the other in force. For this purpose they could 
hardly have been better placed than in Berlin and in 
Petrograd, the one to estimate the iron nature of Frederic 
and the adamantine strength of his policy, the other to 
foUow the caprices and intrigues of Catherine through all 
their labyrinthine windings. Elliot judged the general 
situation of the Bavarian Succession and the actions of 
Frederic in most masterly fashion, he nealized more clearly 
than any one that the claims of Austria or Bavaria were 
not a question of right but of force, he divined sooner than 
any one that Frederic would fight rather than yield to 
them. In general his judgment on the dynamics of the 



situation during the war, and of the readjustments made 
by the Peace of Teschen, are of the highest value. On 
the other hand, for estimating and discovering the im- 
portance and narrating the course of such a diplomatic 
intrigue as the Mission of Count Falkenstein and of the 
Prince of Prussia, Elliot was not the equal of Harris, 
who understood better than any one the secrets of the 
backstairs and the closet. The genius of the one was for 
estimating a situation, of the other for describing a court. 
It is not an accident that the commentary of Harris on 
the German events of 1778, and that of Elliot on the 
Russian events of 1780, is relatively of more importance 
than the rest of their despatches. It was the natural 
result of the temperaments and gifts of each individual. 
The difference is, however, only relative, for each had many 
of the best diplomatic qualities. 

Their relative accuracy is hard to estimate, each was 
occasionally led into exaggeration by desire for epigram 
or effect; one cannot believe Catherine so foolish or 
Frederic so cruel, nor their courtiers or ministers such 
blockheads as one or the other sometimes pictures them 
to be. But, on the other hand, the general accuracy of 
their estimates is hard to dispute. Harris unquestionably 
had the most varied sources of information, but was by 
no means always able to distinguish between gossip and 
act.* He had not a mind entirely accurate in detail, 
and he rather subordinated particular facts to general 

The diplomatist who sentences or characterizes in- 
dividuals or events on the evidence of the day with pre- 
cision and an air of finality has more claims on our sense 
of pleasure than on our sense of belief. It is hardly possible 

* We may quote here one example of his inaccuraoy, e.g. Malmes- 
bury Diaries, i.p. 2. He tells us (1767) that Frederic raised the army 
of Prussia from 70,000 to 150,000, and (1776) p. 143, gives the figures 
" 50,000 to near 200,000," The inaccuracies are relatively slight 
in the first (and for us most important) volume but they abound in the 


to accept judgmciUs of tliis kind as wc do those of the 
historian, writing from the accumulated testimony of 
years. ^Vh^Io for hvintj interest and vivid power of 
niuration few despatches can compare with those of 
Harris, a word of caution must be addressed to accepting 
their confident pronouncements. He is too resolved to 
find chaos, caprice, and corruption everywhere not to 
succeed in his wish. Still he had- access to so many 
sources of information, was a man of such strict honour 
and integrity, so incapable of misrepresenting what he 
behevcd to be facts, that even wheij we differ from him 
we must always do so with great diffidence. His biases 
are ob\'ious — he hates and despises the Russian Court for 
its alien French levity and its native Slav barbarism, he is 
shocked by its moral laxity, and scornful of its notions of 
statesmanship, and he is induced by his Uterary skill to 
make the most of these contrasts and defects. In addition 
he has a fierce hatred of Prussia and all its influences at 
court and an easy tolerance of Austria. When we allow 
duly for these biases, and for an occasional inaccuracy of 
detail, or over-emphasis of phrase, we are in a position 
to form a picture of the Russian Court and policy, in a 
detail and with an accin-acy that it is quite unusual to 
obtain from diplomatic communications. 

EUiot's sources of information at Berlin were by no 
means so ample as those of Harris at Petrograd. He never 
slipi)ed out from a ball to talk pohtics with Frederic in a 
dressing-room, nor was he in the habit of calling upon 
Finekenstein or Hertzberg when they were in bed. Prussia 
and its chief personages, both from their hatred of Eng- 
land and from remembrance of his celebrated coup in 
copying Lee's papers, regarded ElUot with by no means 
unjustified suspicion. But Elliot triumphed over many 
difficxdties. With the king he could never hold any really 
cordial relations, and they hardly ever met save on public 
and formal occasions, when their conversation was chiefly 
limited to repartees in which the king was not always the 



winner.* In the eighteenth century it was of the greatest 
possible importance to obtain direct knowledge of the 
ruler from personal intimacy and acquaintance, and the 
greatest triumphs of Keith and Harris were achieved by 
this means. It was of more importance to know Frederic 
with intimacy than any other sovereign, for no ruler was 
so independent and so uninfluenced by others. As he 
was unable to do this, Elliot started with a serious dis- 
advantage, which he parried as well as he could. He 
bribed some of the body-servants of the king, who gave 
him valuable information; his attache Listen knew in- 
timately at least one savant who was a royal confidant, 
Elliot himself knew well Keith, Earl Marischal of Scotland 
— ^the Jacobite transplanted to Berhn — ^than whom none 
was more intimate with the old king. With Frederic- 
WiUiam, Prince of Prussia, and Prince Henry, he was as 
friendly as it was possible to be with princes, but less with 
the former than the latter. He also knew well the 
Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, who " enjoys the ear, the 
favour, and the confidence " of Frederic, t Both EUiot 
and his friend Liston were intimate with Hertzberg, whom 
the latter visited on his estate, and found in aU his glory 
a true Prussian Junker, like a " Cincinnatus from the 
plough," wearing a round hat and unpowdered hair, 
selling his own milk to peasants, and pressing strong brown 
beer of his own brewing upon viators. J EUiot's irre- 
sistible address in society gained him many advantages 
also, and he drew valuable military information from 
ofiicers who were friends of his. In a coimtry which 
depended so absolutely on its monarch, the most skilful 

* E.g. : Frederic. What do they think of my new ambassador 
in England ? (a notoriously objectionable man). 

Elliot (bowing). Digne r^pr^sentatif de votre majesty, [etc. etc.] 

t See especially S.P.F. Prussia, vol. 102, Beriin, February 22, 
"private and secret," and another "secret" ; for relations with Prince 
Henry, see ib. May 30, June 2, all Elliot to Suffolk; for relations with 
Prince Frederic- WUliam, see ib. 104, Elliot to Stormont, 1780. 

J See for above details Minto's Elliot, p. 191. 


diplomatist was at a disadvantage when he was not 
only not intimate with the ruler, but when that ruler's 
whole influence was exerted to deprive him of adequate 
sources of information. The character of his disclosures, 
therefore (despite his great coup in purloining the papers 
of Lee) is not in ;:;cneral as striking as* that of Harris. He 
confessed himself (September 13, 17.80), " I cannot pre- 
tend to any direct knowledge of the secrets of the Cabinet 
of Potsdam." He did not discover any signs of Joseph's 
mission to Russia in 1780 till long after it was known to 
Hiuris ; his information on the affaii]s of Bavaria in 1778 
was inferior to that of Keith. On the other hand, his 
knowledge of German courts and diplomacy was wide 
and deep; he had delved in charters and chronicles to 
elucidate Joseph's claims on Bavaria. From personal 
knowledge he thoroughly understood the working of the 
Imperial Diet at Ratisbon. The Extent of his actual 
knowledge, combined with the accuracy of his judgment, 
often suppUed the place of more precise information. To 
give an example or two. It was on February 8, 1778, that 
he judged that Frederic would fight -Joseph, anticipating 
accurately the decision which the Prussian king himself 
made later. Again, when he makes the general statement 
in discussing Bavarian claims that in this age force, not 
justice, decides questions of prescriptive right, his evidence 
as characterizing the diplomacy of the age is of great and 
unusual weight, for in such matters it surpasses the more 
partial insight of Harris or the massive common sense of 
Keith. In the same way the various reports (which are 
certainly his) upon Bavaria, and iipon the Imperial 
system in the year 1776, are masterly gtate-papers, models 
of lucidity and wisdom, and his criticism of Frederic's 
internal administration is admirable. 

The bias of Elliot is equally obvious, though not as 
great as that of Harris. The latter (^escribed the Russian 
nobles as " monkeys grafted on bears " ; the former said 
that in Prussia he found " nature plunged in sand and 


mankind in slavery." He found the, men of the country, 
for the most part, rude, and even the women seemed to 
him grenadiers. He had sufficient of eighteenth century 
sentiment to protest against the rudeness and coarseness of 
the life around him, enough of EngUsh feehng to resent 
a despotism however hberal and intelligent. Moreover, 
he was convinced that England's interests had suffered 
in the past by showing too much deference to Frederic's 
feelings and by supineness to his repeated attempts to do 
her an ill turn. All these feelings infected his despatches, 
and made him darken the colours in = which he portrayed 
Frederic, in order that he might stir his own Government 
to more vigorous action and to approval of his own deter- 
mined poHcy. ElUot's character was hardly so scrupulous 
or honourable as that of Harris, and we may suspect an 
occasional over-emphasis that is not; quite unintentional. 
He denounces the " restless ambition " of the Prussian 
king, his " deep-rooted iU-will " and " most violent 
disUke," " implacable and unprovoked resentment " to 
Great Britain, such that he refuses. " to repeat the ex- 
pressions he (Frederic) is sometimes heard to let faU." 
At the same time he pronounces him " precipitate," and 
denies him " any regular plan of politics." He was con- 
tinually enraged by Frederic's " evident predilection for 
France." * All this did not induce him to favour Frederic, 
At the same time, he is sometimes driven to admit that 
Frederic worked ceaselessly for the welfare of his people, 
and even in diplomacy he testifies td the strength of his 
wiU, the ingenuity of his devices, and his extreme resource- 
fulness. He attributes endlessly base motives to Frederic 
at different times, but he by no means succeeds in always 
bringing them home to him. Yet in the incidents of 
our period Frederic is treated with much less partiality 
than at a later date. Owing to the Umitations of his 
knowledge Elliot's accounts are seldom complete; owing 

* S.P.P. Prussia, vol. 102, Berlin, January 10, February 22, 
November 7, 1778 ; vol. 104, May 13, June.4. 


to his bias they arc sometimes unfair to Frederic, but 
as summaries of the events of diplomacy during these 
years, as judgments of poUtical situations by a contem- 
porary these despatehes have rare and unusual merits. 

The despatelies of Listen, Elliot's friend and cicerone, 
have simihu- qualities and defects, though they are more 
doll and detailed, and show somewhat less masterly grasp. 
The repUes to the despatches of both, by the Secretaries 
of State at St. James's, are occasionally of some interest. 
Stormont was a really learned minister, who knew diplo- 
macy abroad as few men of that day did, and his judg- 
ments are often of the greatest value and weight, but 
they agree, on the whole, with the sentiments of EUiot 
and Harris. Those of Suffolk, " tl^e Arch Pecksniff " 
of diplomacy, are perhaps of more interest, because his 
knowledge appears to have been sUght, and accordingly 
his judgments are interesting and unaffected by precon- 
ceptions. They record the opinions pi a fairly able man, 
relatively ignorant of continental affairs, who, while 
condescending to adopt a tone of unction in certain re- 
spects, usually judges with a singularly unbiased mind. 
In its way his judgment on the Austrian claims to the 
Bavarian Succession is a masterpiece of grave and half- 
conscious irony — " I am not sufficiently versed, either in 
Imperial Genealogies, or German Law, to remove the 
DifEculties you find in conjecturing the Grounds on which 
the Court of Vienna may have formed its Pretensions," 
nor, he naively adds, "will this diflSculty be removed by 
the manifesto — proclaiming their rights — that has just 
been received." * 

It would be a gross injustice to Keith to compare him 
to Suffolk, either in point of knowledge or in diplomatic 
capacity. But, in fact, his massive solid understanding 
has more in keeping with that of the heavy Earl than 

♦ SJPJ'. German States (Bavaria), vol. 118, St. James's, Suffolk 
to Eden, February 3, 1778. Eden'8 despatches are valuable and 
accurate. For the general sketch of Bavaria, see passim. 


with those of the volatile Harris or the witty Elliot. 
Keith had not the brilliance and the natural abiUties of 
either, but his industry and persistence, his immense 
diplomatic experience (he was at Vienna twenty years), 
his strong will and sound judgment eventually carried 
him as far as either of the others. His task was almost 
equally difficult with that of Elliot, for Kaunitz feared 
and hated England almost as much as Frederic did, and 
it was only by personal acquaintance with Kaunitz, 
Joseph, and Maria Theresa that Keitii could hope to learn 
much of the secrets of Austrian policy, then the most 
closely guarded in Europe. Much could be learnt 
from actual indiscretions of utterance from Frederic or 
Catherine; at Vienna Keith had to form his judgment 
from the frowns or smiles of Joseph or Maria Theresa. 
He does not seem to have been specially acquainted with 
nobles of the Court, the Prussian and French ambassadors 
naturally avoided him, from the Russian he could learn 
little, and he depended on the envoys of minor courts, 
such as that of Saxony, on spies, and on the pubUc news- 
letters and journals for much of his information. Accord- 
ingly his despatches of the years 1778-80 must be held 
as on the whole inferior in interest to those of Harris or 
Elliot. He had not the youthful enthusiasm, which led 
each of the others occasionally to summarize the whole 
diplomatic situation or characterize the Court to which 
they were accredited, and (comparing the relative ease of 
his position for obtaining information) the actual amount 
of information he got was less. Both Harris and Elliot 
criticized and described the earlier and later stages of the 
Bavarian Succession negotiation with more relative fulness 
of detail. On the other hand, when Keith does utter a 
judgment or opinion it is usually of weight, and small as 
were his opportunities of obtaining information on passing 
events as compared with his colleagues, its quality some- 
times far exceeded their quality. Of this we have an 
excellent test in the matter of the famous Russian mission 


of Joseph in ITSO. Of this c\'int llnlris fjuvc a full diary, 
and Elliot a fur more I'ircumstuiitial account tlian Kcilli, 
while each spcculatccl much on its i^csult. Yet the con- 
tribution of either to the knowUiliri* of that event can 
hivrdly compare with Keit li's eommunifation to tlic F(irci;,'n 
Otlice of Kaiser Jostph's own verbal narrati\'e of the 
whole affair (sec Appendix II.). It is true that it was 
not obtained till tMo years after the event, but the whole 
conversation threw a most valuable! hght on the future 
pohcy of Czarina and Kaiser as well p,s on tlic past. The 
steady patience of Keith enabled him, to accompUsh much, 
and fmaJly to gain confidential personal interviews with 
both Maria Theresa and Joseph, which, though few in 
number, were often of the greatest service. 

All these diplomatists quoted sometimes make admis- 
sions as to Prussian pohcy, ^vhich show that the interests 
of England required a certain impartsiahty of view at this 
time. The result is that, despite' the hatred which Prussia 
and England had felt for one another since 1763, the 
English despatches of 1776-80 giva the decisions of a 
relatively neutral umpire. Frederic is probably more 
fairly judged at this time by Enghsh diplomats than at 
any other period of his career. On the whole their 
diplomatic judgments on the merits of the Bavarian 
Succession are the most impartial that we find in the 
Archives of any great Power. Aqd of all these des- 
patches the weightiest in judgment are certainly those of 
Sir Robert Keith. 


Albert V. (Duke of Austria, 
l-tll-39, anii EUnperor, 1437- 
1439), invested with Lower 
Bavaria (1420), 74 ; Act of Re- 
nunciation (1420), 75, 16I-'2, 

Andrt, 160 ; arrested, 170-71 

Augustus Frederic II. (ICing of 
Poland and Ejector of Saxony, 
1734-68), death, 37 

Augustus Frederic III. (Elector 
of Saxony, 1763-1806 ; King, 
1806-1827), claims on Ba- 
varia, 73, 89 ; negotiation and 
Treaty with Frederic (March 1 8 , 
1778), 101-8 ; SchOnburg dis- 
pute with Austria, 101 ; ap- 
peals to Diet, 104 ; proposed 
compensation to, 167-8, 195-6 ; 
actual, 208-5 

AiMust - Wilhelm (Prince of 
Prussia), 215 

Austria. See Joseph, Maria 
Theresa, etc. 

Bavaria. Ste Max Joseph III. 
and Karl Theodor 

Belling, W. S. (Prussian Lieu- 
tenant-General), 127-9 

Bercheim, Count, 54 

Breteuil, Baron de Louis- Auguste 
le Tonnelier (French Ambas- 
sador at Vienna and Pleni- 
potentiary at Teschen), 91 ; 
negotiations with Kaimitz, 94 ; 
at Teschen, 191 ; his policy 
there, 198-9 ; attracted by a 
Venus, 202 ; receives presents, 

Brunswick, Charles William 
Ferdinand, Hereditary Prince 
of (Dukeof, 1780-1806), 98, 260 

Burgoyne, Lieutenant - General 
Sir J., report on Austrian and 
Prussian armies (1706-67), 
App. II. 223-5 

Burke, £., quoted, 18 

Canning, George, 256 

Catherine II. (the Great, Czarina 
of Russia, 1762-96), her char- 
acter, 183, described by 
Emperor Joseph, App. III. 
22:j-8,; her foreign policy 
(1762), 87 ; Treaty (1764) 
with Frederic, 38-0 ; renewed 
alliance, 40 ; designs on 
Turkey and Poland, 42-8 ; 
shares in Partition, 45 ; her 
Turkish poUcy, 46 ; at first 
neutral in Bavarian Succession 
but influenced by Frederic, 
184-5!; her views on media- 
tion, 187 ; her Instruction to 
Prince Repnin, 191-3 ; her 
policy, 199-200 ; mentioned, 
5, 8, 176, 199, 210 

Charles (Archduke of Austria), 
116, ^9 

Charles (Prince of Hesse), on 
Hertzberg, 112 n., 245 n. 12, 
240 n. 14 

Charles VI. (of Austria, and 
Empea-or, 1711^0), 49 

Charies VII. (of Bavaria, 1726- 
1745, and Emperor, 1742-15), 
58, 156 

Codex Fridericianus, 58 

Codex Maximileanus, 58 

Cumberland, William, Duke of, 

Daun (Austrian Field-Marshal), 
119, 186, 148 




Deux-Ponts (Charles, Due de). 
See Zweibriicken, Duke of 

Eden, Morton (Minister Pleni- 
potentiary to Bavaria and 
Minister to Diet of Ratisbon, 
1776), views on Karl Theodor, 
163-4 ; quoted, 51 n., 55 n., 60 
n., 67 n., 68 n., 71 n., 72 and n., 
70-80, 105-6, 156 n., 165, 252-3 
sqq. 263 n. 

Elliot (afterwards Sir), Hugh 
(1773-76, Minister Plenipoten- 
tiary to Bavaria and Diet of 
Ratisbon; 1776-82, Envoy 
Extraordinary to Prussia), on 
Frederic, 21 and n. ; report on 
Bavaria in 1776 quoted, 50-53, 
and passim Chap. Ill, ; makes 
Max Joseph druok on punch, 
54 n. ; on German foreign 
policy in 1776, 63, 65-6; on 
Max Joseph's offer of Bavarian 
troops for America, 69-71 ; at 
Berlin, 95 ; negotiates with 
Frederic] over Bavarian Suc- 
cession, 96-9; his famous re- 
partee to Frederic, 98 n., 99; 
on his policy, 105-6 ; letters 
on Frederic's campaign, 135, 
138 and n. ; denounces the 
" Balance of Power " as a 
principle for regulating the 
Treaty of Teschen, 189-91 ; on 
King Frederic's literary diver- 
sions, 220-21 ; critical estimate 
of, 252-63 

Francis I., Emperor (1745-65), 49 
Frederic Augustus III. (Elector 
of Saxony, 1763-1806 ; King, 
1806-1827), claims on Bavaria, 
73, 89 ; negotiations and alli- 
ance with Frederic (Match 18, 
1778), 101-3 ; Schonburg dis- 
pute with Austria, 101 ; ap- 
peals to Diet, 104 ; proposed 
compensation to, 167-8, 195-6 ; 
actual, 203-5 
Frederic the Great (King of 
Prussia, 1740-86), character 
and achievements till 1777, 
15-23, 214-20; Treaty with 

Catherine, 1764, 38 ; meeting 
with Joseph at Neisse (1769) 
and Neustadt (1770), 39-40; 
views on Austrian and Russian 
foreign policy (1771), 42-3 ; 
share in Partition of Poland, 
42-5 ; claim on ^Bavaria, 75 ; 
negotiations with France over 
Bavarian Succession, 93, and 
with England, 95-8 ; views on 
Bavarian question, 98-9 ; offen- 
sive and defensive alliance 
with Saxony (March 18, 1778), 
101 - 3 ; supports protest 
against Austrian claims in 
Germanic Diet (March 16, 
1778), 103-5 ; considers pro- 
ject of a League of Princes, 
106-7 ; real reasons of his 
defence of Bavarian independ- 
ence, 107 ; correspondence 
with Joseph, 109-10 ; rejects 
proposals of Kaimitz and de- 
cides, on war. 111; rebukes 
Hertzberg and invades Bo- 
hemia (July 5), 112 ; military 
character and ideas of, 118-20, 
145-6*; forces of, in 1778 cam- 
paign, 121 and n. ; Austrian 
plans' against, 124-5 ; his ad- 
vance in Bohemia and check 
before the Axnau- Jaromer line, 
134 - 40 ; composes ode on 
Voltaire, 137-8 ; his retreat, 
141-3 ; criticism of his cam- 
paign, 144-5 ; his correspond- 
ence with Prince Henry, 145-6; 
his negotiations with Zwei- 
briicken, 160-61 ; appeals to 
Diet (December 1778), 161-2 ; 
opinion of Karl Theodor, 164 
n. ; his popularity in Bavaria, 
173 - 4 ; corresponds with 
MariaTheresa, 176-7 ; negotia- 
tion of Braunau, 178-9 ; em- 
barrassed by Austrian appeal 
to Diet, 182-8 ; turns to 
Catherine of Russia, 183-5 ; 
his negotiation, 186-7 ; the 
Russian reply, 192-3 ; meets 
Prince Repnin, 194 ; motives 
in the Treaty, 197-8 ; letter to 
Prince Henry, 200, 202 ; gains 



from Pence of Tesehcn, 203-0 ; 
thcpriifof Hiissiaiimctliutidit, 
200-10 ; skoUli of liis char- 
aetor by lliirris, App. I. -1 t- 
220, tuid of his literary diver- 
sion byKlliot,-"2l)-21,nii(lrliar- 
actcr, 2;)7-ii.'l ; UiirKoyne on his 
armv, 222-5; mentioned, ;!, 
5, 7,"S, 11, 11, 15, 2U, 3T, 48, 01, 
frt, 75. 89. (15, 101, 115-10, US, 
131, 15:!, 160, lot, 107, 175, 
191-2, 199, 201, 208 ; receives 
visit from Grand Duke Paul, 
221-3; satirized by Voltaire, 
App. V. 230-31 ; the Freder- 
ician strategy, 2 12-3 n. 5 

Frederic-William (Crown Prince 
of Prussia, afterwards Frederic 
\Vil)iam II.), in the campaign 
of 1778, 135, 137, 142 ; char- 
acter drawn by Harris, 218- 
221 ; mentioned, 215, 260 

Frederic \ViUiara I. (King of 
Prussia, 1712-^0), 49 

Galitzin, Prince D.'M. (Russian 
Minister at Vienna), negotiates 
with Kaunitz, 250 n. 9 

George II. (King of Great Britain 
and Elector of Hanover, 1727- 
1765), 5 

Gibbon, Edward, quoted, 7 n. 

Goerz,Courrt J.Eustace (Minister 
of Frederic to Z weibriicken , 
1778), 159-61 

Harris, James (afterwards Sir J., 
and Ist Earl of Malmesbury ; 
1772-70, Envoy Extraordinary 
at Berlin ; 1776-83, Envoy Ex- 
traordinary and Minister Pleni- 
potentiary at Pctrograd), 177 ; 
details Frederic's negotiation 
with Catherine, 180-7 ; objects 
to French influence on Panin, 
199 ; on character and court 
of Frederic the Great, 214-20 ; 
on Grand Duke Paul's visit to 
Berlin, 221-3; criticism of, 

Hartig, Count (Austrian Com- 
missary in Bavaria), 68 

lIaussen,.IM. de (French Minister 
at Itcrlin), 181 

Ueiithcotc, Ualjih (1781-83, 
iMinisHiir Plciiipolc-ntiary to 
Elect(|r of KOIn), on Austriun 
clainH, 102, 11)5 ;i. ; on Karl 
Theodor's conduct, 172-4 ; on 
evils of BaliiMcc of Power, 189- 

Henry (Prince of Prussia ; d. 
1802), Ills mission to Russia 
(1771), 40, 42 ; interviews 
Hugh, Elliot, 97-8 ; tries to 
avert war with Austria, 110 ; 
military chanietcr of, 116-18 ; 
forces.of, in campaign of 1778, 
121 and n. ; plans and effects 
seizure of ToUcnstein, 126-30 ; 
liis letter on it, 130-31 ; im- 
portance of this success, 131- 
133 ; refuses to cross the Iser, 
134 ; retreats via Leitmeritz, 
140-41 ; losses in the campaign, 
141, 245 n. 12 ; estimate of his 
military success, 144-5 ; corre- 
sponds with t'rederic, 145-6 ; 
further criticism of, 147-50 ; 
letter from Frederic to, 200 ; 
influence on Frederic, 210 ; 
mentioned, 102, 123-5, 138, 
143, 177-8, 224, 241 n. 3, 244 
n. 7, 215 n. 12, 260 

Hertzbel-g, Count E. F. (Prussian 
Minister; d. 1795), character, 
108, 2i;o ; sharply rebuked by 
Frederic, 111-12, 218 

Hompfrdhe, Baron de (Hompesch, 
F. K. ; d. 1800), made Finance 
Minister in Bavaria (1778), 
156, 1,73 

Isembiu'g, Princess, 165 

Joseph JI. of Austria (Holy 
Roman Emperor, 1765-90), 
character, 80 - 33 ; attempts 
to reform Empire, 33, and 
Austrta, 33-4 ; improvements 
in the Austrian Army and 
Finariccs, 85-0; meets 

Frederic at Neisse, 89, and at 
Ncustadt, 40 ; annexes Zips 
district of Poland, 41 ; atti- 



tude on Polish Question (1771- 
1772), 42-3 ; annexes Bukovina 
(1775), 47 ; views on import- 
ance of Bavaria to Austria, 
64-6; action in 1771, 67; 
visits Bavaria (1777), 68-9; 
nature of his claims on Bavaria, 
73-4, 78 ; hears of Max 
Joseph's death, 83 ; his gains 
by Partition - Treaty (Janu- 
ary 3, 1778), 86-7 ; invades 
Bavaria, 87-8 ; letters to his 
brother Leopold, 88-9, 90, 92- 
93 ; further Partition schemes, 
93-4 ; ill-treatment of Saxony 
over Schonburg affair (1777), 
102 ; fails to prevent Saxony 
joining Frederic, 103 ; corre- 
spondence with Frederic at 
Schonwalde, 109 ; effects of 
his reforms on the Austrian 
Army, 113-16 ; forces of, in 1778 
campaign, 121 and n,, 122 ; 
Austrian concentration and 
plan of campaign of, 122-3 ; 
criticizes Laudon for his failure 
to hold Tollenstein and for the 
state of his army, 131-3 ; 
checks Frederic at Arnau, 139- 
140, and forces him to retreat, 
141 ; but forbids a pursuit in 
force, 142-3 ; credit acquired 
by him during the campaign, 
146-9 ; sends Golden Fleece 
to Karl Theodor, 154 ; his 
arbitrary behaviour towards 
Bavaria, 157 ; anger at the 
Braunau negotiation, 178-9 ; 
Maria Theresa's influence on,' 
182 ; his defeat at Teschen, 
203-5 ; a representative of his 
age, 208-9 ; designs on Venice, 
231-2 ; his own accoimt of his 
interviews with Catherine, 225- 
228 ; Czechish peasant's poem 
to, 228-30 ; mentioned, 7, 8, 
10, 12, 14, 36, 47-8, 61-2, 75, 
80, 82, 84, 95, 103, 108, 112, 
138, 145, 150, 160, 165, 167, 
172, 174, 180, 182, 183, 197, 
206, 207, 211, 231-2 
Josepha (sister of Max Joseph of 
Bavaria), married to Kaiser 

Joseph (1764), 68, and ill- 
treated by him, 70 

Karl Theodor (Elector Palatine, 
1743 ; afterwards also ruler 
of Bavaria, 1777-99), 69, 71, 
73; character and abilities as 
a ruler, 150-53 ; claims on 
Bavaria, 76-8 ; family com- 
pacts with, 79 ; death of Max 
Joseph, 71-2 ; succeeds to 
Bavarian inheritance, 82 ; his 
representative signs Partition- 
Treaty with Austria, 85-7 
ratified under compidsion, 89 
conduct on his accession, 154 
attempts at reform, 154-7 
ill-treatment by Austria, 158 
fails to win Zweibrucken, 159 
161 ; his anxieties, 163-5 
Frederic's view of, 164 n. ; re- 
fuses to abandon neutrality, 
165 ; blimders at Congress of 
Teschen, 167 ; quarrels with 
Zweibriicken, 168-70 ; arrests 
Andr6, etc., 171-4 ; objects to 
Repnin's proposals, 195 ; gains 
from Treaty of Teschen, 203-4 ; 
mentioned, 13-14, 100, 102-3, 
151, 196 

Kaunit?, Prince A. W. P. (Chan- 
cellor of Austria; d. 1794), 
character, 28-30 ; attitude 
towards Prussia (1764), 38 ; 
views on importance of 
Bavaria, 65 ; action on Max 
Joseph's death, 84 ; negotiates 
Partition-Treaty with Bavaria 
(January 3, 1778), 85-7, 88 ; 
French policy, 90 ; his further 
Partition schemes, 93-4 ; his 
reply to Protests in the Ger- 
manic Diet, 104 ; his last pro- 
posal to Frederic before the 
war, 110-11 ; Partition-Treaty 
with Karl Theodor, 154 ; 
Russian Ambassador dis- 
counts his Bavarian claims, 
163 ; Maria Theresa's influence 
upon( August-September 1778), 
180; his proposed terms to 
Diet, 181-2 ; much astonished 
atRiisianattitude,185; forced 



to ncoopt joint-nicdinlion of 
Riissii) and l-'nincc, 1H7 ; de- 
&ijfits on Venice, '1,\2 ; mcn- 

tiomxi, 2T, aa, as-ii, iro, ids, 

107. 2li-t 

Keith, Sir Robert Mumiy (Ara- 
bnssador at Vieiinii, 1772-02), 
memorandum on Austrian 
claims in Hiivaria, 7-4-5 ; de- 
scribes Austriiin policy in 
Bavaria (January 1778), 83 ; 
praises Croat soldiers, IKi; 
on the Teschen negotiation, 
195,2t)l-2: characterized, 255- 
256, 2(i3-5 ; mentioned, 87, 
109, 195-6, 225 

Kreittmayr, W. A. (Chancellor 
of Bavaria; d. 1790), character, 
53, 58, 166 

Lascy (Austrian Field-Marshal), 
35 ; hia reforming influence on 
Austrian array, 113-16 ; mili- 
tary character of, 118-19; plans 
campaign of 1778, 122-3 ; 
estimate of his success, 147-9 ; 
BTeat influence on Kaiser 
Joseph, 247 nn. 16 and 17 ; 
praised by Burgoyne, 225 ; 
mentioned, 242 n. 4 

Laudon(Austrian Field-Marshal), 
meets Frederic, 39 ; military 
character of, 117-18 ; his share 
in campaign of 1778, 122-3 ; 
scheme for crusliing Frederic, 
123-5 ; difficulty of his t;isk, 
125-6 ; fails to defend Tollen- 
stcin, 130-31 ; retires to Iser, 
131~1 ; fails to harass Prince 
Henry's retreat, 141 ; military 
criticism of, 144-5 ; praised 
by Burgoyne, 225 ; mentioned, 
114, 138, 144, 149-50 

Lee, William (American agent in 
Europe), 97, 98 n., 256-7 

Lehrbach (Austrian Conmiissary 
at Munich), IfiO, 105-7 

L/eopold (Grand Duke of Tuscany, 
1705-90; afterwards Emperor, 
1790-92), receives letter from 
Joseph, 89, 00, 92-3 

Lessing, patronized by ICarl 
Theodor, 152 

LIston, Bobert (afterwards Sir 
U. and Lord Ilarlcy, chargi at 
Munich and at Berlin), on 
Bavaria and Max Joseph, 51-5 
and n. ; mentions Joseph's 
designs on Venice, 281-2, 252-8 
S(^q. ; estimated, 261, 268 

Loni, J. O. von (Bavarian Coun- 
cillor), 160 ; arrested, 171-8 

LothOsel (Prussian General), 127 

Louis XIV. (King of France, 
1643-1715), 8 

Louis XV. (King of France, 
1715-74), 5, 152, 158 

Louis XVI. (King of France, 
1774-93), attitude towards 
Austrian policy in Bavaria, 
00 ; d^linee to be influenced 
by Marie Antoinette, 92-8 ; 
declares, French neutrality, 
93 ; letter to Zweibriicken, 
160 n. j mentioned, 159 

Maria Anna (Dowager-Duchess 
of Bavaria), 159 and n., 160, 
162, 168, 168-9 J her coun- 
sellors fl'rrested, 171-74 ; men- 
tioned, 175 

Maria Theresa (Empress-Queen 
and ruler of Austna-Hungary, 
1740-800, character, 25-7 ; re- 
sults of her reign, 27-8 ; con- 
duct over the Polish Partition, 
43-4 ; admits the weakness of 
Austrian claims on Bavaria, 
7.S ; fears war, 110 ; letter to 
Marie Antoinette on war, 131, 
177, 179 ; to Frederic, 177 ; 
initiates peace negotiations at 
Braunau, 178-9 ; her influence 
towardssettlement at Teschen, 
180-82; presents to Repnin and 
Breteuil, 208 ; mentioned, 28, 
33, 35, 86-7, 88, 85, 95, 189, 
105, 208 

Marie Antoinette (daughter of 
Maria Theresa and Queen of 
France), fails to influence 
French policy, 92-8 ; letters 
from ^!aria Theresa, 177-9 

Maximilian, Archduke (son of 
Maria ^heresa and Archduke 
of Austtja), 68 



Maximilian Joseph III. (Elector 
of Bavaria, 1745-77), character 
and internal rule. Chap. Ill, 
passim ; foreign policy, 64-7 ; 
offers Bavarian troops for 
America, 69-71 ; claims on 
his inheritance, 72-80 ; family 
compacts with Karl Theodor, 
79 ; death, 71-2, 81, 82 ; men- 
tioned, 1S3-4, 175 

Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Frederic 
the Kind, Duke of, claims on 
Bavaria, 73 

Mercy, Comte de (Austrian Am- 
bassador at Paris), 94 

Milliquet, J. (British chargi at 
Dresden), quoted, 102-3 

MoUendorf, W. J. H. (Prussian 
Field-Marshal ; d. 1816), 129- 

Moltke, Count H. K. B. (Prussian 
Chief of Staff), on Russia, 210 

Obermayer (Bavarian Council- 
lor), 160 ; arrested, 171-2 

Palatinate. See Karl Theodor 
Panin, Count N. I. (Foreign 

Minister of Russia), 186-7; 

letter to Prince Repnin, 193-4 ; 

negotiations at Teschen, 199- 

200 ; mentioned, 251 n. 18 
Paul, Grand Duke (afterwards 

Czar Paul I., 1796-1801), 183 ; 

his visit to Frederic described 

by Harris, App. I. 221-3 
P€ter III. (Czar of Russia, 1762), 

allies himself with Frederic, 37 
Philip V. (King of Spain, 1700- 

1745), 5 
Potemkin, Prince G. A., his 

influence on Catherine, 185 

and n. ; how influenced by 

Frederic, 185 ; described by 

Joseph II., 227-8 
Prussia. See Frederic the Great 

Repnin, Prince N. V. (Russian 
Plenipotentiary at Tesohen), 
instruction from Catherine, 
192-3 ; from Panin, 193-4 ; 
peaches Breslau and meets 
Frederic, 194 ; proposes Pre- 

liminaries, 195 ; concludes 
Peace, 203 ; value of his 
papers as a source, 250-51 ; 

Ritter, Baron (Plenipotentiary 
of Karl Theodor at Vienna), 
negotiates with Kaunitz in 
1777, 85-6 ; forced to sign 
Partition-Treaty (January 3, 
1778), 86-7 

Russia. See Catherine the Great 

Saxony. See Augustus Frederic 
II. and III. 

Schiller, J. W. von, patronized 
by Karl Theodor, 152 

Sohwerin (Prussian Field - 
Marshal), 22 

Seydlitz, Freiherr F. W. (Prussian 
Cavalry General), 22 

Stanislas II. (Augustus Ponia- 
towski ; King of Poland, 1764- 
1795), how elected, 38 ; asks 
Joseph to annex Zips, 41 

Stepney, Sir J. (Envoy Extra- 
ordinary to Saxony, 1775-83), 
on Prussian losses in the war, 
245 n. 12 

Stormont, David, 7th Viscount 
(Secretary of State Southern 
Department, 1779-82), 67, 
252-3 sqq., 263 

Suffolk, Henry, Earl of (Secretary 
of State Southern Department, 
1771-79), 162, 252-3 sqq., 263 

Swift, Jonathan, quoted, 1-2, 170 

Thugut, Baron (Austrian nego- 
tiator at Braunau, afterwards 
ChanceUor), 178-9 

Venus, appears at Teschen, 202 
Vergennes, Comte C.G. de (iS-ench 
Foreign Minister, 1774-87), 
attitude towards Austrian 
Partition-Treaty with Bavaria 
(Januarys, 1778), 90-91 ; Or- 
cular to Powers, 92 ; declares 
French; neutrality, 93 ; nego- 
tiates with Frederic, 93 ; with 
Mercy, 94-5; views at Teschen, 
198, 199 
Vieregg, Baron, made Councillor 
of Bavaria, 155 and n., 166 



Villcroi, V. de Noiifville, Duo do 
(bYcneh Miirshiil), 115 

Voltiuro, F. A. de (dentli 1778), 
degv on, com^msoil by 
Freaeric, 1M7-8 ; his satire on 
Frederic nnd oiLTlitccnth een- 
tury wiir, "230-31 ; mentioned, 
2, 8, 19 

Wtfymouth (Thomas, \'iscount, 
aJfterw-ards 3rd Rlarquis of, 
Bath ; Soorotarv of State 
NorUi Department, 1775-82), 
203, 251 n. 22 

Zweibrucken (Deux-Ponts), 
Charles, Duke of, character. 

78, 70, 1B8 ; refuses to sign 
rartition^Troaty, 100 ; ap- 
peals to Geniinn IJiit, 104 ; 
rehitions «itli Karl Tlicodor, 
1 "it ; nef;<iti:ites with Frederic 
through (Joerz, 159 ; refuses 
Golden I'leeee and Partitiori- 
Treiitv, 100^01 ; supported by 
Frederic at Diet, 101-2 ; re- 
fusrs to accept I'reliminaries 
of Teschen, 108 ; quarrels 
with Karl Theodor, 169 ; ac- 
cepts Peace of Teschen, 170 ; 
his policy at Teschen, 196- 
198 ; mentioned, 153, 171, 172, 
ZweibrUcken, Duchess of, 79-80 


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