George II. did not hear of Mollwitz for above a fortnight after it fell out; but he had no need of Mollwitz to kindle his wrath or his activity in that matter. [Mollwitz first heard of in London, April 25th (14th); Subsidy of 300,000 pounds voted same day.
The emotions, the prognosticatings, and distracted procedures of his Britannic Majesty, of which we have ourselves seen somewhat, in this fermentation of the elements, are copiously set down for us by the English Dryasdust (mostly in unintelligible form): but, except for sane purposes, one must be careful not to dwell on them, to the sorrow of readers. Seldom was there such a feat of Somnambulism, as that by the English and their King in the next twenty Years. To extract the particle of sanity from it, and see how the poor English did get their own errand done withal, and Jenkins's Ear avenged,--that is the one interesting point; Dryasdust and the Nightmares shall, to all time, be welcome to the others. Here are some Excerpts, a select few; which will perhaps be our readiest expedient. These do, under certain main aspects, shadow forth the intricate posture of King George and his Nation, when Belleisle, as Protagonistes or Chief Bully, stept down into the ring, in that manner; asking, "Is there an Antagonistes, then, or Chief Defender?" I will label them, number them; and, with the minimum of needful commentary, leave them to imaginative readers.
No. 1. SNATCH OF PARLIAMENTARY ELOQUENCE BY MR. VINER (19th April, 1741).
The fuliginous explosions, more or less volcanic, which went on in Parliament and in English society, against Friedrich's Silesian Enterprise, for long years from this date, are now all dead and avoidable,--though they have left their effects among us to this day. Perhaps readers would like to see the one reasonable word I have fallen in with, of opposite tendency; Mr. Viner's word, at the first starting of that question: plainly sensible word, which, had it been attended to (as it was not), might have saved us so much nonsense, not of idle talk only, but of extremely serious deed which ensued thereupon!
"LONDON, 19th APRIL, 1741. This day [Mollwitz not yet known, Camp of Gottin too well known!] King George, in his own high person, comes down to the House of Lords,--which, like the Other House, is sunk painfully in Walpole Controversies, Spanish-War Controversies, of a merely domestic nature;--and informs both Honorable Houses, with extreme caution, naming nobody, That he much wishes they would think of helping him in these alarming circumstances of the Celestial Balance, ready apparently to go heels uppermost. To which the general answer is, 'Yes, surely!'--with a vote of 300,000 pounds for her Hungarian Majesty, a few days hence. From those continents of Parliamentary tufa, now fallen so waste and mournful, here is one little piece which ought to be extricated into daylight:--
"MR. VINER (on his legs): ... 'If I mistake not the true intention of the Address proposed,' in answer to his Majesty's most gracious Speech from the Throne, 'we are invited to declare that we will oppose the King of Prussia in his attempts upon Silesia: a declaration in which I see not how any man can concur who KNOWS NOT the nature of his Prussian Majesty's Claim, and the Laws of the German Empire [NOR DO I, MR. V.]! It ought therefore, Sir, to have been the first endeavor of those by whom this Address has been so zealously supported, to show that his Prussian Majesty's Claim, so publicly explained [BY KAUZLER LUDWIG, OF HALLE, WHO, IT SEEMS, HAS STAGGERED OR CONVINCED MR. VINER], so firmly urged and so strongly supported, is without foundation and reason, and is only one of those imaginary titles which Ambition may always find to the dominions of another.' (HEAR MR VINER!)" [Tindal, xx. 491, gives the Royal Speech (DATE in a very slobbery condition); see also Coxe,
A most indispensable thing, surely. Which was never done, nor can ever be done; but was assumed as either unnecessary or else done of its own accord, by that Collective Wisdom of England (with a sage George II. at the head of it); who plunged into Dettingen, Fontenoy, Austrian Subsidies, Aix-la-Chapelle, and foundation of the English National Debt, among other strange things, in consequence!--
Upon that of Kanzler Ludwig, and the "so public Explanation" (which we slightly heard of long since), here is another Note,--unless readers prefer to skip it:--