Reported This Week 280 Years Ago (Jan 20 1739): Thoughts on war and peace from central Europe

The fifth surviving News Letter, dated January 9 1738 (which is in fact equivalent to January 20 1739 in the modern calendar)
The fifth surviving News Letter, dated January 9 1738 (which is in fact equivalent to January 20 1739 in the modern calendar)

From the fifth surviving Belfast News Letter. The edition is dated January 9 1738 but that is in fact Jan 20 1739 in the modern calendar, which Britain adopted in the 1750s:

Letter from the Hague, Dec. 30. N.S.

PRIVATE Letters from Vienna inform us, That the procuring an honourable Peace with the Turk, and the creating a King of the Romans, are the two principal Objects which engage the Attention of that Court.

With regard to the first of these, viz. obtaining an honourable Peace with the Porte that depends entirely on the Sincerity and good Faith of France. In the late Treaty concluded between this Power and his Imperial Majesty, the former engages in the most solemn Manner to mediate a good Peace, and effectually to prevent the Hazards of another Campaign. But whether these Engagements will be fulfilled on the Part of France, may be justly called in Question. The Embroilments of the Emperor with the Turk together with those of Great-Britain with Spain, having chiefly contributed to the Elevation of the Grand Monarch, and to the giving him that transcedent and sovereign Sway he bears at this Day in Europe. The most Christian King therefore, unless he was to abandon his true interest, and willing to lose the present Opportunity of embroiling and weakening his two great rival Powers, can never be supposed sincerely to endeavour a Peace either with the Turk or the Spaniard. For this Reason Great-Britain has long ago wisely rejected the proffer’d Mediation of the French Court, and perhaps his Imperial Majesty would succeed better, in not giving too much Credit to French Promises. It is to be feared he will wait a long Time, if he waits till France has made a good Peace for him with the Ottoman Court.

[The Porte was the Ottomans]

Whether the Emperor will really consent to the Creation of a King of Romans in his Life Time, is a Thing believed by some, tho’ doubted by the Generallity. It is certain, very few Emperors have cared for a Co- adjutor or a Co-partner in Sovereignty. According to the Fundamental Laws of the Empire, a King of the Romans is something more than presumptive Heir to the Imperial Dignity; he is entitled to some Share in the Administration, and the Electors and Princes have often made use of him to keep the reigning Emperors in their Duty, and to be a Check upon them, when they undertake unnecessary Wars, or enter into secret Engagements and Treaties, without Participation, with the hereditary Enemies of the Empire.

[The notion of a King of the Romans was in effect an heir to the Holy Roman Emperor, ie His Imperial Majesty]