Abbildungen der Seite




[Continued from vol. 4. p. 336.] · 1708-AS I was sure that Marlbo- thus compel Vendome to leave his rough could make no arrangements camp. Vendome, who guessed our but what were excellent, I went the day intention, remained immovable. I after the battle of Oudenarde to see proposed the siege of Lisle; the de. my mother, at Brussels. What tears puties of the states-general thought of affection did she shed on behold. fit to be of a different opinion, ing me again with some addition of Marlborough was with me, and they glory! I told her, however, that were obliged to hold their tongues. Marlborough's portion seemed great. The siege was committed to me, er than mine, as at Hochstett. The while Marlborough was to cover it joy of revenge had some share in against the army of the duke of that, occasioned by our victory. She Burgundy. The latter with 60,000 was glad to see the king humbled, men, encamped near Pont des Pierwho had left her, for another woman, res; and I with 40,000, after investin his youth, and exiled her in his ing the city, took up my head quarold age. It is remarkable that in ters at the abbey of Loos, on the hers, she married the duke d’Ursel, 13th of August. The brave and without assuming his name. Nobody skilful Boufflers, with a garrison of knew this; it could not have been a sixteen battalions, and four regiments match of conscience or convenience, of dragoons, cut out plenty of work but probably of ennui and idleness. for me. The job, so far from being

The fifteen days which I thus easy, was a dangerous one; for Mons passed with her, were the most was not in our possession. My first agreeable of my life. I parted from attack on fort Cateleau was repulsed; her with the more pain, as it was the works undertaken the same day probable that we should not see to drain a large pond which was in each other again. On the last day my way, also failed. I ordered epauof my visit the troops from the Mo- lements to be made, for the fire of selle arrived. We were then as the place annoyed us to such a destrong as the French. I sent eight gree, that a cannon-ball carried off battalions to reenforce Marlborough's the head of the valet of the prince of corps, which covered Flanders. I Orange, at the moment when he was left the rest to cover Brussels, and putting on his master's shirt. It may rejoined him at the camp of Elchin. easily be supposed that he was obliHe, Ouverkirke, and myself, agreed ged to take another, and to remove upon sending a strong letachment his quarters. I opened the trenches, to lay waste Artois and Picardy, and and on the 23d the besieged made MEMOIRS OF PRINCE EUGENE, OP SAVOY. 49 a sortie, when lieutenant-general young prince of no character, and Detendorff, who commanded there, an old king who had lost his, were vas taken prisoner. Boufflers treated quite sufficient to fill Vendome's him exceedingly well. The festival heart with rage. He was obliged by of St. Louis, which he celebrated them to retreat, as if he had been with three general discharges of all beaten. I continued the siege, sure his artillery, cost us some men. In of not being interrupted, and took the night between the 26th and 27th, the redoubt of the gate of Flanders, the besieged made a terrible sortie; and some others; but after three I gained the post of the mill of St. hours fighting for one of the most Andrew; Boufflers retook it; and I essential, I was driven back, and there lost 600 men.

pursued to my trenches. I scarcely Marlborough sent me word that stirred from them, having the king Berwick having reenforced the duke of Poland and all my young princes of Burgundy, the army, now 120,000 at my side; for it was necessary to strong, was marching to the relief set an example, and to give orders. of Lisle. The deputies of the states- I ordered two assaults to facilitate general, always interfering in every the taking of the covered way; althing, and always dying of fear, ask- ways repulsed, but a horrible cared me for a reenforcement for him. nage. Five thousand English, sent I went to his camp to offer him one. me by Marlborough to repair my He said: “Let us go together, and Josses, performed wonders, but were reconnoitre the ground between the thrown into disorder. We heard the Deule and the Marck.” After we cry of Vive le Roi et Boufflers! I had examined it, he said: “ I have said a few words in English to those no occasion for one, I shall only brave fellows who rallied round me; move my camp nearer to your's." I led them back into the fire; but a Vendome proposed not to lose a day, ball below the left eye knocked me but instantly attack the army of ob- down senseless. Every body thought servation, and the besieging force. me dead, and so did I too. They & I cannot," said the duke of Bur. found a dung-cart, in which I was gundy; “ I have sent a courier to conveyed to my quarters. First my my grandfather to inquire his plea- life, and then my sight, was de sure.” Conferences were held at spaired of. I recovered both. The Versailles, and the king sent his ball had struck me obliquely. Here booby Chabillard to his grandson's was another unsuccessful attack; camp. He went up with him into the out of 5,000 men, not 1,500 return. steeple of the village of Sedin, to ed, and 1,200 workmen were there view our two armies, and he decided killed. against giving us battle.

Being prevented for some time, I cannot conceive how Vendome by my wound from interfering in any could forbear running mad; another, thing, I left the command of the with less zeal, would have sent every siege to Marlborough, who delivered thing to the devil; and he, a better his to Ouverkerke. He effected a grandson of a king of France than lodgment in a tenaillon on the left; the other, took the trouble, the day but a mine baffled the assault and before, to go so close to Marlbo. the assailants. Marlborough counterrough's position to reconnoitre, that mined some of them, and took all he was grazed by a cannon-ball. I possible pains to spare me trouble had returned to Marlborough's camp on my return. He was obliged to eat to be his volunteer, if he had been in publick, in order to cheer my ar. attacked.

my, and returned to his own. But (while I think of it) a Cha. The chevalier de Luxembourg millard, that is, in one word, a deceived me by introducing ammu.

VOL. v.


nition, of which the besieged were your person, and I am sure that a: in great want; and a captain, named brave man like you will not abuse Dubois, deceived me by swimming it. I congratulate you on your ex. with a note from Bouffers to the cellent defence." duke of Burgundy, informing him, My council of war, which I sumthat though the trenches had been moned out of politeness, objected to opened forty days, I was not yet the article that the citadel should not completely master of any of the be attacked on the side next the works. “Nevertheless, Monseig- town. I yielded, having my plan in neur," added he, “I cannot hold out my head, and wrote to Boufflers: beyond the 15th or 20th of October." “ Certain reasons, M. le Marechal,

I was in want of powder. A single prevent me from signing this article, letter from Marlborough to his but I give you my word of honour friend, queen Anne, occasioned a to observe it. I hope in six weeks quantity to be sent me, with four- to give you fresh proofs of my adteen battalions, by the fleet of vice- miration.” Boufflers retired into the admiral Byng, who landed them at citadel, and I entered the city with Ostend. Every body is acquainted Marlborough, the king of Poland, with the stupidity of Lamotte, who the landgrave of Hesse, &c. In the not only suffered this convoy to morning we went to church, and at reach me, but got a sound drubbing night to the play, and all the busifor bis whole corps that was intend- ness of the capitulation being finished to prevent it. Being completely ed on the 29th of October, I the recovered from my wound, I was same day ordered the trenches to night and day at the works, which be opened before the citadel. Boufflers, also present every where, Before I proceed to this siege, I was incessantly interrupting or an- ought to relate a circumstance that noying.

happened to me during that of tho I bethought me of a stratagem to city. A clerk of the post-office give frequent alarms for several wrote to the secretary of general nights, at a half moon, with a view Dopf, desiring him to deliver to me to attack it afterwards in open day, two letters, one from the Hague, and being persuaded that the wearied the other I know not whence. I soldiers would take that time for opened the letter, and found nothing repose. This scheme succeeded, I but a greasy. paper. Persuaded, as ordered an assault upon a salient I still am, that it was a mistake, or angle; and that succeeded. I direct- something of no consequence, which ed the covered way to be attacked, I might, perhaps, have been able to and again succeeded. I thence read had I taken the trouble to hold made a breach in the curtain, and the paper to the fire, I threw it enlarged another in a bastion; and away. Somebody picked it up, and when I was at length working at it was said that a dog, about whose the descent of the ditch, the marshal, neck it was tied, died poisoned in who had every day invented some the space of twenty-four hours. new artifice, sometimes tin boxes, at What makes me think this untrue, others earthen pots filled with gre. is, that at Versailles they were too nades, and done all that valour and generous, and at Vienna too reliscience could suggest, offered to gious, for such a trick. capitulate on the 22d of September. . The ninth day the besieged made Without mentioning any conditions, a vigorous sortie. The prince of I promised to sign such as he should Brunswick, who repulsed it, receive propose to me. « This, M. le ed a wound from a musket-ball in Marechal," so I wrote to him, “is the head. The eleventh, a still to show you my perfect regard for more vigorous sortie of the cheva

* fier de Luxembourg, who drove my king's letter, he read: “I know from

troops from the branches of the a certain quarter, that they want to trenches, and made us fall back to make you a prisoner of war." I St. Catherine's. An excellent offi- know not where he picked up this cer of my staff had his head shot off information; but that.prince, respecto by a cannon-ball by my side. The able as he was in peace, could enemy lost a great number of men neither say nor do any but foolish before he returned to the citadel. I things in war. This note, however, caused every thing to be repaired. produced some impression for a

I was now suddenly obliged to moment. Generals, soldiers, and abandon the siege, leaving the direc- all, swore rather to perish in the tion of it to prince Alexander of breach. Boufflers wept for joy, as Würtemberg. The elector of Ba. I have been told; and when on the varia was engaged in that of Brus- point of embracing this alternative, sels. Marlborough and I made him he recollected my note, which got raise it after a pretty battle, and the better of the duke of Burgundy's; some excellent, well combined ma- and after the trenches had been næuvres, of which he had all the opened four months before the city honour, for I could not pass the and citadel, he sent me on the 8th Scheldt where I wanted. The elector of December, all the articles that he of Bavaria was somewhat ashamed. wished me to sign, which I did withThe French princes would have out any restriction. I went very been so too, had not their joy on soon with the prince of Orange to returning to Versailles prevented pay him a visit, and in truth to do them.

: homage to his merit. I cordially emI went back to the siege; but what braced him, and accepted an invitaà change! The marshal had taken tion to supper; « on condition," said advantage of my absence to drive I, « that it be that of a famished the besiegers from the first covered citadel, to see what you may eat way, of which I had left them in without an express order from the possession. After regaining it, as king." Roasted horse-flesh was set well as the other posts that had been before us; the epicures in my suite abandoned, I wrote as follows to the were far from relishing the joke, but brave Boufflers: “ The French ar- were quickly consoled by the arrival my has retired, M. le Marechal, of provisions from the city, on toward Tournay, the elector of Ba- which we made an excellent revaria 10 Namur, and the princes to past. their courts. Spare yourself and The following day I gave him as your brave garrison. I will again good a dinner as I could, at ny absign whatever you please.” His bey, where he paid me a visit. We answer was: “There is yet no oc- were very merry and communicacasion to be in a hurry. Permit me tive. We talked of war, politicks, to defend myself as long as I can. I and Louis XIV. On the latter subhave still enough left to do to render ject I was highly amused with the myself more worthy of the esteem of flatteries of the states-general, who the man whom I respect above all thinking themselves very cunning, others.” I gave orders for the as. were in hopes by these means to Sault of the second covered way. dispose him to peace, of which they The king of France apparently an. were ardently desirous. I durst not ticipated this, for he wrote to the be alone a moment with the marshal, marshal to surrender Notwith lest idle stories should be circulated standing his repugnance to such a respectiug us; and one or the other step, he was on the point of obey- might appear suspicious to our ing, when, in a note which the duke courts, where people are always of Burgundy had subjoined to the sure to have good friends, who are never asleep. After manisesting my talents. He wanted very little to be consideration for the illustrious van- a perfect warriour. With reenforcequished, whenever we were together ments, which poured in to us on all at the play, and when we went abroad sides, we were stronger than he, into the streets, where I observed but there was no possibility of that he was universally adored, I attacking him where he was. caused him and his brave garrison To oblige him to quit his posito be conducted to Douay, with a tion, we resolved to besiege Tourlarge escort and all possible honours. nay. The trenches were opened

After retaking Ghent and Bruges, on the 7th of July, the white flag Marlborough and I put our troops in was hoisted on the 28th, and on the winter-quarters, and went for a month 21st of August, after the most territo Brussels; but my mother was no ble subterraneous war that I ever longer there.

witnessed (for in twenty-six days, 1709.-- January 9th, we set out for the besieged sprung thirty-eight the Hague. It was nothing but a mines) the citadel surrendered. series of honours and festivities; Villars never stirred. “Let us go presents for Marlborough, and fire. and take Mous," said I to Marlworks for me. But I prevented a borough; “ perhaps this devil of a magnificent exhibition, by requesting fellow will tire of being so prudent." the states-general to give the money Madame de Maintenon did not give it was to have cost to their brave himn credit for so much prudence as soldiers, whom I had caused to be he possessed, though she was very crippled; and the 20th of January I fond of him: for she permitted Louis set off for Vienna, to report and ask XIV, to send marshal Boufflers to for further orders.

assist him. Certain enemies of Vil. I was directed to make peace, if lars, at Versailles, hoped to give the enemiy would comply with all him disgust; but I have already my demands. I returned on the 8th proved, that brave men agree toof April to the Hague, where I gether, and love and esteem each found the plenipotentiaries of the other. The two marshals would king of France. Famine, a winter gladly have saved Mons withoutmore severe than had ever been risking a battle; we stood upon known, want of men and money, ceremony to know which party made him wish for peace; but the should oblige the other to give it. vanquished forget that they are such, As soon as our troops from Tournay as soon as they enter upon negotia. bad arrived: “ Let us lose no time,” tion. They mistake obstinacy for said l; "and in spite of 120,000 firmness, and at last get more men, woods, hedges, villages, holes, soundly beaten than before.

triple intrenchments, a hundred One hundred thousand men were pieces of cannon and abattis, let us again under Marlborough's com- put an end to the war in one day.” mand and mine in the Low Coun. The deputies of Holland, and some tries; and the same number under faint-hearted generals, objected, rethat of Villars. “I am going," said monstrated, and tired me. It was of he to the king on taking leave, « to no use to tell them that the exceldrive your enemies so far, that they lent veteran French soldiers were shall not again see the banks of the killed in the six or seven battles Scheldt; and by a battle on my ar. which Marlborough and I had gainrival, to regain all that has been ed; and though I well knew that taken from your majesty."

young ones are formed but too exWithout wishing to avoid one, for peditiously, an advantage in which he was morally and physically brave, they are superiour to all other nahe took an extremely advantageous tions, we determined upon the battle position. This was one of his great of Malplaquet. The jlth of Sep

« ZurückWeiter »