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SAXE-ALTENBURG—SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA

on the 19th November surprised Prague during the night, and took it by assault before the garrison were aware of the presence of an enemy, a coup de main which made him famous throughout Europe. After capturing the strong fortress of Eger on the 19th April 1742, he received leave of absence, and went to Russia to push his claims on the duchy of Courland, but obtaining no success he returned to his command. His exploits had been the sole redeeming feature in an unsuccessful campaign, and on 26th March 1743 his merits were recognized by his promotion to be marshal of France. From this time he became one of the first generals of the age. In 1744 he was chosen to command the expedition to England in behalf of the Pretender, which assembled at Dunkirk but did not proceed farther. After its abortive issue he received an independent command in the Netherlands, and by dexterous manoeuvring succeeded in continually harassing the superior forces of the enemy without risking a decisive battle. In the following year he besieged Tournai and inflicted a severe defeat on the relieving army of the duke of Cumberland at Fontenoy (q.v.), a battle of which the issue was due entirely to his constancy and cool leadership. During the battle he was unable on account of dropsy to sit on horseback except for a few minutes, and was carried about in a wicker chariot. In recognition of his brilliant achievement the king conferred on him the castle of Chambord for life, and in April 1746 he was naturalized as a French subject. Thenceforward to the end of the war he continued to command in the Netherlands, always with success. Besides Fontenoy he added Rocoux (1746) and Lawfeldt or Val (1747) to the list of French victories, and it was under his orders that Marshal Lowendahl captured Bergen-op-Zoom. He himself won the last success of the war in capturing Maestricht in 1748. In 1747 the title formerly held by Turenne, “ Marshal general of the King's camps and armies, ” was revived for him. But on the 30th of November 1750 he died at Chambord “ of a putrid fever.” In 1748 there had been born to him a daughter, one of several illegitimate children, whose great-granddaughter was George Sand.

Saxe was the author of a remarkable work on the art of war, Mes Réveries, which though described by Carlyle as “a strange military farrago, dictated, as I should think, under opium, " is in fact a classic. It was published posthumously in 1757 (ed. Paris, 1877). His Letlres et mémoires choisis appeared in 1794. His letters to his sister, the princess of Holstein, preserved at Strassburg, were destroyed by the bombardment of that place in 1870; thirty copies had, however, been printed from the original. Many previous errors in former biographies were corrected and additional information supplied in Carl von Weber's Moritz, Graf von Sachsen, Marschall von Frankreich, nach archivalischen Quellen (Leipzig, 1863), in St René l'aillandier's Maurice de Saxe, étude historique d'aprés les documents des archives de Dresde (1865) and in C. F. Vitzthum's Maurice de Saxe (Leipzig, 1861). See also the military histories of the period, especially Carlyle's Frederick the Great.


SAXE-ALTENBURG (Ger. Sachsen-Altenburg), a duchy in Thuringia, forming an independent member of the German Empire and consisting of two detached and almost equal parts, separated from each other by a portion of Reuss, and bounded on the S. and W. by the grand duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, on the N. by Prussia, and on the E. by the kingdom of Saxony. There are in addition twelve small exclaves. The total area is 511 sq. m., of which 254 are in the east, or Altenburg, division, and 257 in the west, or Saal-Eisenberg, division. The eastern district, traversed by the most westerly offshoots of the Erzgebirge and watered by the Pleisse and its tributaries, forms an undulating and fertile region, containing some of the richest agricultural soil in Germany. The western district, through which the Saale flows, is rendered hilly by the foothills of the Thuringian Forest, and in some measure makes up by its fine woods for its comparatively poor soil. The mineral wealth of Saxe-Altenburg is scanty; lignite, the chief mineral, is worked mainly in the eastern district. Nearly 60% of the entire duchy is occupied by arable land, and about 26% by forests, mainly consisting of conifers. Oats, rye, wheat and potatoes are the chief crops. Cattle-raising and horse-breeding are of considerable importance. About 35% of the population are directly supported by agriculture. The manufactures of the duchy are varied, though none is of first-rate importance; woollen goods, gloves, hats, porcelain and earthenware, bricks, sewing-machines, paper, musical instruments, sausages and wooden articles are the chief products. Trade in these, and in horses, cattle and agricultural produce, is brisk. The chief seats of trade and manufacture are Altenburg the capital, Ronneburg, Schmolln, Gossnitz and Meuselwitz in the Altenburg division; and Eisenberg, Roda and Kalila in the Saal-Eisenberg division. Besides these there are the towns of Lucka, Orlamiinde and Russdorf in an exclave. The duchy includes one of the most densely inhabited districts in the Thuringian states. The population in 1905 was 206,508, of whorn 200,511 were Protestants and 5449 Roman Catholics. In the west division the population is wholly Teutonic, but in the east there is a strong Wendish or Slavonic element, still to be traced in the peculiar manners and costume of the country-people, though these are gradually disappearing. The Altenburg peasants are industrious and prosperous; they are said to be avaricious, but to love pleasure, and to gamble for high stakes, especially at the card game of S kat (q.'v.), which many believe to have been invented here. Their holdings are rarely divided, and a common custom is the inheritance of landed property by the youngest son. They are decreasing in numbers. Saxe-Altenburg is a limited hereditary monarchy, its constitution resting on a law of 1831, subsequently modified. The diet consists of 32 members, elected for 3 years, of whom 9 are returned by the highest taxpayers, 1 1 by the towns and 1 2 by the country districts. The franchise is enjoyed by all males over 25 years of age who pay taxes. The duke has considerable powers of initiative and veto. The executive is divided into four departments, justice, finance, the interior, and foreign and ecclesiastical affairs. The annual revenue and expenditure stand at about £230,000 each. There was a public debt in 1909 of £44,3 70. Saxe»Altenburg has one vote in the Reichstag and one in the Bundesrat (federal council). A,

History.-The district now forming the duchy of Saxe-Altenburg came into the possession of the margrave of Meissen about 1329, and later with Meissen formed part of the electorate of Saxony. On the division of the lands of the Wettins in 1485 it was assigned to the Albertine branch of the family, but in 1554 it passed by arrangement to the Ernestine branch. In 1603 Saxe-Altenburg was made into a separate duchy, but this only lasted until 167 2, when the ruling family became extinct and the greater part of its lands was inherited by the duke of Saxe-Gotha. In 1825 the family ruling the duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg became extinct and another division of the Saxon lands was made. Frederick (d. 1834) exchanged the duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen, which he had ruled since 1780, for Saxe-Altenburg, and was the founder of the present reigning house. In answer to popular demands a constitution was granted to Saxe-Altenburg in 1831, and greater concessions were extorted by the more threatening disturbances of 1848. In November of this year Duke Joseph abdicated and was succeeded by his* brother George. Under George's son Ernest (1826-1908), who

  • became duke in 18 53, a period of reaction began and the result

was that the constitution was made less liberal. In 1874 a long dispute over the public domains was settled, two-thirds of these being assigned to the duke in lieu of a civil list. In 1908 Ernest was succeeded by his nephew Ernest (b. 1871).

See Frommelt, Sachsen-attenburghische Landeskunde (Leipzig, 1838-1841); L. von Braun, Erirmerungsbtdttef aus der Geschichte Attenburgs 1525-1826 (Altenburg, 1876); Miilzer, Die Landwirtschaft im Herzogtum Altenburg (Stuttgart, 1907); Albrecht, Das Domdnenwesen im Herzogtum Saxe-Altenburg (Jena, 1905); and E. Lohe, Attenburgica (Altenburg, 1878). V


SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA (Ger. Sachsen-Koburg-Gotha), »a sovereign duchy of Germany, in Thuringia, and a constituent member of the German empire, consisting of the two formerly separate duchies of Coburg and Gotha, which lie at a distance of 14 m. from each other, and of eight small scattered exclaves, the most northerly of which is 70 m. from the most southerly. The total area is 764 sq. m., of which about 224 are in Coburg and 540 in Gotha. The duchy of Coburg is bounded on the

S.E., S., and S.W. by Bavaria, and on the other sides by Saxe-