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claim to the whole Austrian succession, and that the king of Sardinia revived one to the duchy of Milan. Both afterward thought proper to moderate their pretensions.— The Spanish monarch seemed disposed to be satisfied with the Austrian dominions in Italy, which he intended to erect into a kingdom for Don Philip, his second son by the princess of Parma; and his Sardinian majesty alarmed by the encroachments of the house of Bourbon, entered into an alliance with the queen of Hungary and the king of GreatBritain, in consideration of an annual subsidy, and the cession of certain places contiguous to his dominions, though without absolutely renouncing his antiquated claim to the duchy of Milan. All the other Italian powers affected, from fear, to remain neutral; so that, when a body of Spanish troops, under the duke de Montemar, were landed on the coast of Tuscany, toward the end of the year 1F41, the grand duke, husband to the queen of Hungary, whose territories they came to invade, permitted them to pass through his dominions. The Genoese shewed no less complaisance to another body of Spanish troops: the Venetians issued a declaration to the same purpose, and the pope, as the common father of Christendom, wisely permitted both parties to take refuge alternately in the ecclesiastical state, and treated both with equal cordiality. Don Carlos, king of the Two Sicilies, also declared himself neutral, though resolved to abet the claims of his family to the duchies of Parma, Placentia, and Milan. But the appearance of an English squadron before his capital, which could soon have been laid in ashes, obliged him to submit, for a time, to a real neutrality, as unnatural as that of the grand duke.
This transaction, and others connected with it, were attended with circumstances sufficiently interesting to merit a particular detail; more especially as they lead us into the line of the naval operations of Great-Britain in Europe.
Admiral Haddock had cruised in the Mediterranean with a strong fleet, ever since the breaking out of the war
with with Spain ; and sir John Norris had repeatedly threatened the coasts of that kingdom, with a powerful armament, without performing any thing of consequence. At length admiral Haddock seemed to have an opportunity of distinguishing himself, and effectually serving his country.— As he lay at Gibraltar, with fourteen stout ships, he wai informed, that a Spanish fleet of tuelvc sail of the line, commanded by don Joseph Navarro, with two hundred transports, and fifteen thousand land forces on board, under the duke de Montemar, had passed the Straits in the night. He immediately stood to sea. He came up with the enemy, and was preparing to engage, when a French squadron, from Toulon, stood in between the hostile fleets with a flag of truce: and the commander sent a message to the English admiral, that the French and Spaniards being engaged in a joint expedition, he was under the necessity of acting in concert with his master's allies. This unexpected interposition prevented an engagement, and the Spanish admiral proceeded with his convoy".
Worn out with years, and chagrined by repeated disappointments, Haddock resigned the command of the British fleet in the Mediterranean to rear-admiral Lestock, who was soon joined by seven ships of the line, under vice-admiral Matthews, a brave and able officer. Beside being appointed commander in chief on that station, Matthews .Was vested with full powers to treat with all the princes and states of Italy, as his Britannic majesty's minister.— In this double capacity, he watched the motions of the Spaniards both by sea and land; and understanding that a body of the troops of the king of the Two Sicilies had, notwithstanding his pretended neutrality, joined the Spanish army, under the duke de Montemar, he sent commodore Martin with an English squadron into the bay of Naples, with orders to bombard that city, unless the king would
12. Tindal's Contin. of Rapin, vol. viii. Smollett, Yoi. xi.
withdraw withdraw his troops, and sign a promise that they should not act in conjunction with Spain during the continuance of the war. The inhabitants of Naples were thrown into the utmost consternation at this unexpected visit; and the king, being sensible that his capital, naturally much exposed by its ascending situation, was not in a state of defence, thought proper to comply with the conditions. He at first called an extraordinary council, which held several consultations, without coming to any fixed resolution. At length the British commodore, who had dropped anchor before the town at four in the afternoon, by a noble boldness, put an end to farther hesitation. On receiving an ambiguous answer, he pulled out his watch, and fixing it to the main-mast, sternly replied, that the council must come to a final determination within an hour, otherwise he should be obliged to execute his orders, which were absolute. The king's promise of neutrality was immediately sent, and the English fleet left the bay before midnight1^. History affords few instances of such decision and dispatch in affairs of equal importance.'
As a prelude to the signing of this forced neutrality, which totally disconcerted the schemes of the court of Madrid, the Spanish army, under the duke de Montemar, had been obliged to retreat toward the frontiers of Naples, before the king of Sardinia, and count Traun, the Austrian general. Meanwhile, Don Philip, third son of his catholic majesty, and for whose aggrandisement the war had been undertaken, invaded Savoy with another Spanish army, which he had led through France, and eoon made himself master of that whole duchy. Alarmed at this irruption, and anxious for the safety of his more • valuable dominions, the king of Sardinia returned with his forces to the defence of Piedmont, which the Spaniards in vain attempted to enter. And count Traun found himself sufficiently strong, after the king of the two Sicilies had withdrawn his troops, to maintain his
ground, during the remainder of the campaign, against the Spanish army under the count de Gages, who was sent to supersede the duke de Montemar'*.
The Spaniards, in a word, had little reason to boast of their success in Italy; where their armies were reduced to great distress, by the vigilance of the British fleet in cutting off their supplies. The queen of Hungary, now all victorious in Germany, was in possession of the territories of the emperor Charles VII. so that the French, heartily tired of supporting that prince, in whose cause they had lost above a hundred thousand men,
A. D. 1743.
made at last proposals of peace, on equitable, or rather humiliating terms. This condescension was the more remarkable, as the councils of the court of Versailles were no longer influenced by the mild spirit of cardinal Fleury. He had died at a very advanced age, in the beginning of the present year.
But Maria-Theresa, elated with her unexpected success, and rendered confident by the support of so powerful an ally as the king of Great-Britain, haughtily rejected all pacific propositions; while lord Carteret, the new prime minister of George II. who had formerly declaimed with so much violence against continental connections, could now see nothing but triumphs to be acquired in Flanders, though the Dutch had not yet engaged to take part in the war. He therfore urged the necessity of maintaining the balance of power in Europe. In vain did the popular party in parliament reply, that this balance was no longer in danger; that the queen of Hungary herself was now sufficiently strong to protect all her dominions; that she had only to restore peace to Germany, in order to be enabled to drive the Spaniards out of Italy; aiid that England, instead of rousing the jealousy of other states, by lavishing its blood and treasure in feeding the pride of an ambitious woman, ought to direct all its force against
14. Millot. Voltaire.
Spain, the only power with whom it was actually at war, and in whose humiliation it was particularly interested These arguments were not attended to. The king of Great-Britain was fired with the thirst of military glory: and the king of France, finding that peace could not be obtained for the emperor, made preparations for prosecuting the war with vigour.
In the meantime the queen of Hungary's good fortune continued to attend her. Prince Charles of Lorrain having assumed the command of the Austrian army in Bavaria, defeated the Imperialists with great slaughter near Braunaw, and took possession of their camp; while prince Lobkowitz, marching from Bohemia, drove the French from all their posts in the Upper-Palatinate. These two generals afterward obliged mareschal Broglio to abandon a strong camp which he occupied at Plading, on the Danube, and to retire with hurry and precipitation toward the Rhine; the Austrian irregulars harassing him on hi» march, and cutting off great numbers of his troops. When he reached Donawert, he was joined by a reinforcement of twelve thousand men under count Saxe: yet he did not think proper to hazard an engagement, his main body being almost ruined. He retreated before prince Charles to Hailbron; and the emperor, finding himself abandoned by his allies, and stript of his dominions, took refuge in Frankfort, where he lived in indigence and obsurity'6.
The operations on the side of Flanders, during this campaign, were still more important, though less decisive. The British and Hanoverian troops, commanded by the earl of Stair, and the Austrians, under the duke d'Aremberg, having begun their march from the Low-Countries, with an intention of entering Germany as early as the beginning of March, the king of France ordered the duke de Noailles to assemble a powerful arm}" on the Maine, to prevent the allies from joining the prince of Lorrain; while
15. Pari. Dibam, 1"43. 16. Millot. Veltaire.