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lulled in the most profound fecurity at a house of pleasure, called Oraniebaum on the fea fhore, when a foldier brought him an account that his kingdom was taken away from him.
Astonished, and wholly unprepared for this event, he was fome time fenfelefs, and entirely at a loss what part to take. When he was rouzed from this trance by the approaching danger, his firft fuggeftion was to defend the place with his Holstein guards; but tho' fatisfied of their attachment, he doubted their ftrength, and he knew it was in vain to hope for any effort in his favour from the Ruffians.
Nothing then remained but flight, by which he might escape to Holftein, and wait fome favourable turn of fortune. This late lord of powerful fleets and armies embarked in a small veffel, and with a few attendants, and rowed towards Cronftadt: but he had not proceeded very far, when he was informed that this fortrefs was in the hands of his enemies, and that every avenue for escape was fhut against him. Dejected and defponding he returned to Oraniebaum. After fome fhort and tumultuous deliberation, he resolved to abandon all thoughts of defence, and to throw himself on the compaffion of the emprefs.
On her march fhe met his mef fengers, who brought letters containing a renunciation of the empire, and ftipulating no other terms than leave to return to Holstein, and the fatisfaction of taking with him, as the companion of his retreat, the countefs of Woronzoff and one fingle friend.
Reasons of state would not permit the empress to confent to the first of
thofe terms, and the laft could not be very flattering to her. His terms were rejected; and he was required to fign an unconditional refignation of his crown, according to a form that was prepared for him. Not fatisfied with depriving him of his crown, it was thought fit to make him the murderer of his own reputation; and this unfortunate prince, moved with the vain hope of life, figned a paper declaring his conviction of his inability to govern the empire, either as a fovereign, or in any other capacity, and his fenfe of the diftrefs, in which his continuing at the head of affairs would inevitably involve it. After he had figned this abdication, he gave up his fword, and was conducted to prison, where in a short time, but according to what had been univerfally July 6. expected, he died. The disorder, which killed him, was called an hemorrhoidal cholic.
filled with the ftrongest declarations of affection from the emprefs to the fubjects of Ruffia, of regard to their interefts, and of attachment to their religion; and they are all filled with fuch unaffected and fervent ftrains of piety, as muft needs prove extremely edifying to thofe who are acquainted with the fentiments of pure religion, by which great princes are generally animated on ocafions of this nature.
Nothing could be more able than the conduct of the empress, fince her acceffion to the throne. In almost all respects it was the very re
verfe of that of her husband. She difmiffed all foreigners from her confidence and fervice; fhe fent away the Holftein guards, and chofe Ruffian, whofe ancient uniform was revived with new luftre, the emprefs herfelf frequently condefcending to appear in it. The clergy were reftored to their poffeffions, and their beards. She conferred all the great pofts of the empire on native Ruffians, and entirely threw herself on the affections of that people to whom the owed her elevation.
Effect of the revolution in Ruffia on the king of Pruffia's affairs. Situation
of the new emprefs. She adopts a neutrality. Ruffian conquests restored. Ruffians quit the Pruffian camp. King of Pruffia draws marshal Drun from Buckerfdorff. Schweidnitz-befieged. Marshal Laudahn attacks the prince of Bevern. Is repulfed. Difpofition of the French and allied armies. Broglio removed. Battle of Graebenftein. French defeated. Lord Granby drives the French from Hombourg. Prince Xavier of Saxony defeated. Gottingen evacuated. French army called from the Lower Rhine.
THIS HIS great change in the government of Ruffia, it was univerfally feared, would be followed by a total change of fyftem with regard to foreign affairs. The peace and alliance with the king of Pruffa were very unpopular measures in Mufcovy. It was not probable that the clofe and intimate connection which had fubfifted between the king of Pruffia and the late czar, could greatly recommend him to the fucceffor. And as it was imagined that this revolution must have been in a great degree owing to the machinations of thofe courts, whom the czar had irritated by withdrawing from their alliance, there was the greater reafon to apprehend that the power, which was now fet up, would be exerted in their favour.
just concluded. It was neceffary, for fome time at least, that fhe fhould confine her attention folely to her own fafety. Therefore it was expedient to collect, within itself, all the force of the empire, in order to oppose it to the defigns of the many malcontents, with which that empire always abounds, and who, though not attached to the intereft of the late czar, and little inclined to revenge his fate, would find now both inducement and opportunity for raising troubles and attempting new changes. Very plaufible pretences for fuch attempts existed from the time of Peter the Great; who, whilft he improved and ftrengthened his kingdom, left in it, at the fame time, the feeds of civil wars and revolutions.
These confiderations, whatever her defires might be, induced the czarina to continue fo much of the fyftem of her predeceffor, as COincided with her fituation. She therefore declared to the king of Pruffia's minifters, "that fhe was refolved to obferve inviolably, in all points, the perpetual peace concluded under the preceding reign, that nevertheless he had thought proper to bring back to Ruffia, by the nearest roads, all her troops in Silefia, Pruffia, and Pomerania."
It was not the critical fituation alone of the czarina which produced this moderation; the prudent behaviour of his Pruffian majefty, during the time of his connection with the late czar, had a confiderable fhare in reconciling the mind of this empress to him, and of perpetuating fomething like the fame friendship, with interefts fo very dif ferent. The Ruffian fenate, flaming with refentment against this monarch, and against their late fovereign; and the emprefs full of
fufpicion that the conduct of the latter might have been influenced by the councils of the former, fearched eagerly amongst the papers of the late emperor for elucidation or proofs of this point. They found indeed many letters from the king of Pruffia; but in a strain abfolutely different from what they apprehended. The king of Pruffia had, as far as prudence would admit, kept a referve and distance in regard to the rafh advances of this unhappy ally. Too experienced to be carried away by his inconfiderate impetuofity, he gave him much falutary, though fruitless, advice; he counfelled him to undertake nothing against the empress his confort; to defift from the war with Denmark; to attempt no changes in the religion and fundamental laws of the country; and not to think of coming into Germany.
On hearing these letters read, the emprefs is faid to have burst into tears of gratitude, and made in confequence the strongest declarations in favour of this prince. They were not without effect. Orders had been given with relation to Pruffia, which threatened a renewal of hoftilities. They were foon fufpended. The army of the Ruffians was indeed feparated from that of Pruffia; but all the important places, which the Ruffians had, with fo much bloodshed, and through fo many difficulties, acquired, and which gave them the command of every thing elfe that remained to the king, were faithfully restored.
This change from a ftrict alliance to a cold neutrality, though it made no fmall difference in the Pruffian affairs, yet, all things confidered, muft be regarded as an efcape, aud as a deliverance almoft
as wonderful as his former. However, this circumftance could not fail of infpiring fome degree of confidence into his enemies, which the king of Pruffia endeavoured above all things to prevent.
On the 21st of July, the orders arrived at the allied camp from Peterfburgh, for the Ruffians to feparate themselves from his army, and return without delay to their own country. The king, without being confounded by this fudden order, and instead of flackening his effors on account of this defertion, refolved to fall with vigour, and without delay, upon marshal Daun, and to attack him before the news of this change could reach him. Since he could no longer profit by the arms of the Ruffians, he endeavoured to profit at leaft by their appearance in his camp. The very next day therefore he attacked the Auftrian army, whose right wing occupied the heights of Buckerfdorff, drove them from that eminence, and from some villages where they were advantageously pofted. The fuccefs was not owing only to the fpirit of the actual attack, but to an apprehenfion of the Austrians, that the whole united army of the Pruffians and Muscovites was on the point of engaging them. The king of Pruffia made an use of thofe allies, in the moment they deferted him.
This lively attack was made with a lofs of only three hundred men on the fide of the Pruffians; the number of the Auftrians killed is not known. The prifoners amounted to one thoufand; and fourteen pieces of cannon were taken. It was indeed no more than an affair of pofts; but its confequences were important; for the communica ion of the Imperialists with Schweidnitz was now entirely and
finally cut off; they could not attempt any thing confiderable for the relief of that place. Prince Henry held them in continual alarm for Bohemia, and a great part of their attention, and no small part of their forces were kept continually engaged upon that fide.
The king of Pruffia having thus pushed back marfhal Daun, invested Schweidnitz, and laid fiege to that important fortrefs before his face. This was the fourth time which that place had been befieged fiuce the beginning of this war; and this circumftance alone might fuffice to fhew the many and extraordinay changes of fortune which diftinguished thefe campaigns. We apprehend no inflance has happened before of any place like this of real ftrength being fo often fucceffively taken and retaken in the course of a fingle war.
As Schweidnitz is the key of Silefia, and, though not quite a regular place, is notwithstanding well fituated and well fortified; as the garrifon amounted to nine thoufand men, commanded by a good officer, and affifted by a very experienced engineer, and as two great armies of the enemy obferved all his motions, it was neceffary to make the difpofitions for the fiege with uncommon care. His infantry were encamped on the heights behind Schweidnitz. His cavalry formed a chain in the plains of Keintzerdorf, to be nearer the camp of the prince of Wirtemberg, which was fituated fo as to prevent any enterpize from the country of Glatz. The prince of Bevern commanded a strong corps, which posted itfelf advantageoufly near Cofel. One under general Werner did the fame at Neiffa.
By thefe difpofitions the Pruffian convoys were protected, the principal places in Silefia guarded, the fiege of Schweidnitz covered, and an eafy communication preferved between all the detached corps employed in those several services.
The effects of this wife difpofition were foon felt. Marshal Daun, defpairing to fucceed against the army, which, under the king in perfon, covered the fiege of Schweidnitz,endeavoured to break this chain, and by that means diftrefs the Pruffians who where carrying on the fiege. Laudohn was therefore detached, with a very fuperior force, to attack the prince of Bevern, and to drive him from the advantageous poft he occupied. This attack was made with all the celerity and refolution, which distinguifh the operations of this brave officer. But the prince, mindful of the disgrace he had formerly fuffered in this province, oppofed him with fuch conftancy and perfeverance, that the king of Pruffia had time to come to his relief. The Auftrians were then put between two fires, routed, and purfued with a terrible slaughter.
This attempt being defeated, the king of Pruffia met with no difturbance in the preparations for the fiege, and the trenches were opened on the night of the 18th of July.
Whilst the king of Pruffia was making this advantageous ufe of his fortune, the armies of the French and the allies in Weftphalia were not inactive. Among the commanders of the former a great difunion had long prevailed. The marthals de Broglio and de Soubife had mutually accufed each other; the camp and the court were for fome time entirely distracted with the cabals of the partifans of thofe officers, The refult was not favour
able to marshal Broglio. In him
The difpofition of the allies was alfo but little varied. 'The hereditary prince was pofted in the bifhopric of Munfter, to watch the latter of these armies; and prince Ferdinand in perfon, with the body of the army, lay behind the Dymel to make head against the former. So little had the French prcfited by their fuperior numbers, and fuperior refources in this continental war, and fo little decifive ufe had they made even of fome advantages in the field, that this