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1522

CHICHESTER IN THE PALATINATE.

315

Its rearguard was attacked

so boastfully was in full retreat. near Lorsch, and suffered some loss; but the remainder of the force contrived to find an inglorious shelter behind the walls of Mannheim.1

May 30. Ruin of Frederick's cause.

At the moment of the fatal raid upon the Landgrave, what little chance of an accommodation still remained melted into the air. After all that had passed, it was perhaps a light thing for Frederick that the Emperor or the Duke of Bavaria should steel their hearts against him. It was the last hope of summoning Protestant Germany to his aid which he had dashed aside. In the beginning of May, there had been signs that the neutral states were alarmed at the progress of the Imperialists. The Duke of Würtemberg had offered his mediation; the King of Denmark had sent a fresh embassy to plead the cause of the proscribed Elector; and, what was more significant still, the Elector of Saxony himself had written to Ferdinand, to urge him to a complete restitution of all that Frederick had ever possessed.2 The imprisonment of the Landgrave of Darmstadt, and the rash words which Frederick had uttered about Bohemia, put an end to these well-meant efforts. The King of Denmark and the Duke of Würtemberg submitted to the rebuff which had become inevitable; and, before two months were over, John George was giving his warmest approval to the Emperor's scheme of transferring the Electorate to Maximilian.3

The day before Frederick's return to Mannheim, Chichester arrived from England. After long waiting he brought with him such money as the Benevolence had afforded; and he had instructions to require Frederick to remain within the Palatinate, and to abstain for the future from any aggression upon the territories of his neighbours.

Chichester's arrival.

To Chichester's military eye nothing could be more deplor

1 Nethersole to Calvert, May 27, June 2, S. P. Germany. Carleton, June 2, S. P. Holland.

Vere to

2 The Elector of Saxony to the Emperor, May 4, Londorp, ii. 605.

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3 Hohenzollern to the Emperor, July Khevenhüller, ix. 1763.

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• Vere to Carleton, June 2, S. P. Holland.

able than the aspect of the troops which he saw defiling past. The long train of baggage, and the crowds of wretched women who had been dragged or enticed from their devastated homes, did not bode well for the future operations of the army. It was 'ill disciplined,' he wrote, 'and ill armed.' As for the skirmish at Lorsch, 'considering the advantages which the enemy had, and the assurance which they had to give an absolute defeat, I hold it for a very happy and honourable day for the King,' 1

to negotiate

For some time Chichester pleaded in vain with Frederick. The army was again about to retire into Alsace, and the unhappy June. prince refused to remain in the Palatinate alone. He attempts letter from Weston, however, changed the current of an armistice. his thoughts. The Infanta, it seemed, had consented to request Chichester to negotiate a short armistice, in order to give time for the discussion of the arrangements for a permanent suspension of hostilities, and had written to Cordova and Tilly, asking them to accept the terms proposed by him. To an armistice thus demanded, Mansfeld was willing to agree; for he had no longer any hope of beating Tilly in the field, and he supposed that the Infanta would still be ready to buy off his opposition at his own price. Frederick, who was now entirely in Mansfeld's hands, turned round once more. He was ready, he said, to consent to an armistice for three weeks. The troops would be able, for so short a time, to shift for themselves, without leaving the Palatinate. He would himself send an agent to Brussels, and his allies would do the same.2

The

Chichester next turned to the Imperial commanders. moment was ill chosen to talk of an armistice. Provoked Its rejection by the attack upon Darmstadt, they were little inby Tilly. clined to halt in their career of victory. Nor were better reasons wanting to hold them back from accepting the proposal of the English ambassador. At last Christian, laden with the plunder of the Westphalian Bishoprics, was drawing

'Chichester to the King; Chichester to Carleton, June 2, S. P. Germany.

2 Chichester to Weston, June 5; Chichester to the King, June 6, S. P. Germany.

1622

near.

CHICHESTER IN THE PALATINATE.

317

It was not even pretended that he had agreed to suspend hostilities, and they had no wish to see him effecting a successful junction with Mansfeld. Cordova, accordingly, taking advantage of a phrase in the Infanta's letter by which the granting of the armistice was made conditional on the military situation, answered that he could do nothing without the consent of the other commanders, and prudently omitted to forward the letter which had been intended for Tilly. Tilly's course was thus made plain before him. He had heard nothing, he said, from the Infanta; and without an express order from the Emperor he could do nothing. He should, however, be glad to be informed where the troops of Mansfeld and Christian could find quarters which would enable them to abstain from attacking the Emperor's allies, and what assurance could be given that they would observe an armistice if it were agreed upon.2

opinion of Frederick's forces.

Of the treatment to which he was subjected, Chichester complained bitterly; but in his calmer moments he could not Chichester's deny that Tilly's doubts were not unreasonable. "I observe," he wrote to Calvert, on June 11, "so much of the armies of the Margrave of Baden, and of the Count Mansfeld, which I have seen, and of their ill discipline and order, that I must conceive that kingdom and principality for which they shall fight to be in great danger and hazard. The Duke of Brunswick's, it is said, is not much better governed, and how can it be better, or otherwise, where men are raised out of the scum of the people, by princes who have no dominion over them, nor power, for want of pay, to punish them, nor means to reward them, living only upon rapine and spoil, as they do? I pray God to preserve the Duke of Brunswick and his forces; for if they receive a blow, as I have cause to doubt, all that is left to the Prince within the Palatinate will be in danger. His towns are ill-victualled, his garrisons weak, and the soldier discontented, his weekly pay being so small, by

1 Weston's Report, fol. 4 b, Inner Temple MSS. vol. 48. Weston to Calvert, June 22, S. P. Germany.

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raising of the value of money, that it can hardly buy him bread to sustain nature. These and other miseries which I daily behold with grief, together with the strange carriage of the Emperor's chiefs since the receipt of the Infanta's letters, make me to doubt the good success of our part by arms. I pray God it was otherwise." 1

June 10. Battle of

Already, the day before these prescient words were written, the blow which Chichester feared had fallen upon Christian. Rapidly marching upon Aschaffenburg, the combined forces of Tilly and Cordova had crossed the Main, Höchst. at the very spot at which Mansfeld had hoped to pass the river a few days before. Wheeling to the left, they took their way with all speed along the further bank. At Höchst they found Christian utterly unprepared for the attack, After a short struggle, his troops were driven in headlong rout across the stream. Gathering together the scattered remnants of his beaten army, he contrived to make his way to Mansfeld at Mannheim.2

Frederick was in evil plight. Twenty-five thousand men were still collected round him; but with such an army he could

Frederick disheartened.

neither wage war nor make peace. The Margrave of Baden was the first to slink away without a word, leaving his troops to extricate themselves from their difficulties as best they could.3 Mansfeld and Christian were in haste to be gone, far away from the terrible sword of Tilly. Whilst they remained at Mannheim, their troops had consumed the provisions which had been laid up for the garrison, and there was nothing but starvation before them if they remained.

Chichester saw clearly that, if peace was to be had at all, Frederick must be separated from the adventurers into whose

He determines to leave the Palatinate.

hands he had fallen. He begged him, therefore, to stay behind at Mannheim. Finding that his reasoning was without effect, he produced an indignant letter which James had written on the first news of his son-in-law's

1 Chichester to Calvert, June 11, S. P. Germany.

2 Vere to Calvert, June 11; Nethersole to Calvert, June 18, S. P. Germany.

3 Chichester to Weston, June 22, S. P. Germany.

1622

FREDERICK'S FAILURE.

319

It was all

refusal to take part in the conference at Brussels.1 to no purpose. Frederick was resolved to go. If his fatherin-law, he said, knew the state in which he was, he would not press him to remain. He was ready to submit to the treaty. He would do no hostile act; but his person was not safe at Mannheim. If the King did not like him to accompany the army, he would go to Switzerland. On the 13th, he rode out of Mannheim with the troops of Mansfeld and Christian on their retreat to Alsace.2

Never again was Frederick to look upon his native soil till he returned in the train of a mightier deliverer, to find himself, in victory as in defeat, a mere helpless waif upon the current. He was not wholly selfish or unprincipled. His weak and unstable nature had been stirred to its shallow depths by the passions of his age; but his mind was of that temper that everything seemed easy to him which was yet to be undertaken, and every obstacle seemed insuperable when he was brought face to face with its difficulties. It was his sad destiny never to see anything as it really was, and never to count any enterprise impossible till he was called upon to engage in it. The popular commonplaces about German liberty and religious freedom were ever on his lips, whilst he never for a moment thought it worth his while to test their meaning, or to ask himself how far they represented valuable ideas, or how far they had been encrusted with notions and opinions which were altogether destructive and indefensible. Even now, after all his past experience, he could not discern that, whatever his countrymen might be ready to do in future days after they had felt the full weight of the Emperor's yoke, they were not yet prepared to cast down the imperial edifice which, time-worn and shattered as it was, was yet their only shelter against highhanded injustice and never-ending strife. The strength of Ferdinand and Maximilian lay in the position which they occupied as supporters of order, and as champions of national unity. The rash appropriation of the Bohemian crown, the

The King to Frederick, June 3, Add. MSS. 12,485, fol. 133 b. The King to Chichester, June 3, Sherborne MSS.

2 Chichester to the King, June 23, S. P. Germany.

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