Abbildungen der Seite

tember a thick fog concealed our centre and the left, without any de. dispositions from the marshals; wę cisive advantage. My cavalry, which dispelled it at eight in the morning, I sent to his succour, was overthrown by a general discharge of all our on the way by the king's household artillery. This military musick was troops, who were in their turn succeeded by that of bautboys, routed by a battery which took them drums, fifes, and trumpets, with in flank. At length Marlborough which I treated both armies. We had gained ground without me; so then saw Villars proceeding through that it was easy for me to turn the all the ranks. As the French can centre of the enemy's army which never hear enough of their king: had been left unsupported in conse" My friends," said he to them, as I quence of the defeat of the wings. have been told, “ the king commands Boufflers rendered the same service me to fight: are you not very glad of to Villars as I did to Marlborough, it?” He was answered with shouts and when he beheld him fall from of, Vive le Roi et M. de Villars! his horse, dangerously wounded beI attacked the wood of Sars without low the knee, and the victory snatchshouting. I rallied the English ed from them, he thought of nothing guards, who, at the beginning, were but how to make the best retreat in scattered; some from too much the best possible order. I think it courage, and others from a contrary is not too much to estimate the loss reason: my German battalions sup- of both armies at 40,000 men; those ported them. We had, nevertheless, who were not killed, had died of been overwhelmed, had not the duke fatigue. I gave some rest to the of Argyle, who boldly climbed the remains of my troops, buried all I parapet of the intrenchment, made could, and then marched to Mons. me master of the wood. All this There were but 5,000 men in that procured me a ball behind the ear; place. I opened the trenches on the and on account of the quantity of 25th of September, and on the 22d blood which I lost, all those about of October, being on the point of asme advised me to have the wound saulting the horn-work of Bertamont, dressed. “If I am beaten," I re. Grimaldi capitulated. Our troops plied, “it will not be worth while; went into winter quarters; and I, be. and if the French are, I shall have ing obliged to post about without plenty of time for that.” What intermission, proceeded with Marl. could I have done better than to seek borough to the Hague, to coax the death, after all the responsibility states-general, who were ready to which I had again taken upon my. abandon our cause. I advised them self on this occasion? I beg pardon to say at the conferences of Gerfor this digression and personality; truidenberg, that they would not but one cannot help being a man. hear of peace unless it were geneTo endeavour to repair faults com- ral. I was sure of queen Anne, be. mitted, is, I acknowledge, more no- cause I was sure of Marlborough; he ble; but to survive one's glory is seconded me admirably. I went to dreadful. My business on the right report to the emperour. I submitted going on well, I wished to decide to him a sketch of the state of Euthat of the duke on the left, which rope, of which I could see that his proceeded but slowly. To no pur- cabinet had not the least idea. I stapose the prince of Orange had ted the inclination which I observed planted a standard on the third in- in several powers to forsake us. At trenchment; almost the whole Dutch a distance from danger, people are corps was extended on the ground, courageous. I was told that I should killed or wounded. For six hours make a glorious campaign. I repli. Marlborough was engaged with the ed, that I had lost more men than could be given me; but yet I would and his presents of Burgundy and try what I could do.

Champagne to right honourable 1711.-Joseph I. was attacked members of Parliament, who were with the small-pox, There were no amateurs of those wines, changed good physicians at Vienna. They the aspect of European affairs. sent to Lintz for one. The pustules Marlborough was playing his last came out in such abundance, that I game in the Low Countries. He thought him out of danger. On set- found means to finish his military ting out for the Low Countries, I career there with glory; he forced wanted to take leave of him. He sent the French lines behind the Senzée, me word that I had but too much and took the city of Bouchain. exposed my life for him already, and On the disgrace of the dutchess, a that he wanted it elsewhere than for thousand faults were discovered in the small-pox. I insisted no farther, him. His pride was denominated inand set off on the 16th of April. Three solence, and his rather too great days afterwards I was informed of economy was branded with the name his death, occasioned by the igno- of peculaţion and extortion. His rance of the faculty of Upper and friends, as may be supposed, behaLower Austria, who disputed all ved like friends; and that is saying night about the means of relieving sufficient. He was recalled. To me an inflammation of the bowels, with this was a thunderbolt. The French which the emperour was afflicted. I assembled on the Rhine. I sent sincerely regretted this prince, aged Vehlen with a strong detachment thirty-three; the first since Charles from the Low Countries, and leaving V. who possessed genius, and was the Hague on the 19th of July, I not superstitious; and I determined collected as expeditiously as possito serve him even after his death. I ble, all the troops I could, at Frank. hurried to almost all the electors to furt, and took so good a position dispose them to ensure the imperial in a camp near Mühlberg, as to crown to his brother, and then went cause to be held, and to cover the to solicit the Dutch to continue their election to the imperial crown, which credit in money and friendship to would have been lost had I received Charles II. king of Spain, who be. a check. The French durst not discame the emperour Charles VI. turb it. This was for me a campaign

The protestants did not fail to of prudence rather than of glory. publish that the court of Rome, Queen Anne threw off all rewhich had suffered some humilia- straint. She had given an unfavourations from Joseph I. had bribed his ble reception to the Dutch ambasphysicians; but no credit should be sadour, and had forbidden Gallas, given to defamatory libels, and to the imperial minister, her court; asthe authors of private anecdotes, as signing as a reason certain expresthey are called. It has long been the sions which he had employed re. fashion to assert that great persona. specting her. Charles VI. ordered ges die of poison.

me to make amends for the awkTallard, more dangerous in peace wardness of Gallas, if he had been than in war, whom I would not have guilty of any, and to regain the court left prisoner in England could I have of St. James's. suspected that he would there ac. Had I acted, as my good cousin, quire any influence, enabled the to. Victor Amedæus, would have done ries to triumph, and crush the whigs. in my place, I should have cried out His assiduous attention to Mrs. against Marlborough still more loud. Marsham, the queen's new favour. ly than his enemies, and have refuite, instead of the dutchess of Marl. sed to see him. But from policy itborough, his insinuating manners, self, persons of narrow minds ought

to counterfeit feeling. Their designs But after feigning to agree to the are too easily seen through. They siege of Quesnoi, he first strove to are despised and miss their object. dissuade me from that step, and Gratitude, esteem, the partnership then, without reserve, refused to in so many military operations, and concur in it. I said to him: “ Well pity for a person in disgrace, caused sir, I will do without your eighteen me to throw myself with emotion thousand men.” “I will lead them," into Marlborough's arms. Besides, said he, “ to take possession of Dun. on such occasions, the heart proves kirk, which the French are to deli. victorious. The people, who follow. ver to me.” “I congratulate the ed me every where from the mo. two nations,” replied I, « on this ment I set foot in London, perceived operation, which will confer as much it, and liked me the better for this: honour on the one as on the other. while the opposition, and the honest Adieu, sir." He ordered all the part of the court esteemed me the troops in the pay of England to folmore. In one way or other, all was low him. Very few obeyed. I had over for Austria. I coaxed the peo- foreseen the stroke, and had made ple in power a good deal. I made sure of the prince of Anhalt, and presents; for buying is very common the prince of Hesse Cassel. in England. I offered to procure the July the 30th I took Quesnoi. I recall of Gallas. I delivered a me- gave the direction of the siege of morial on this subject, and request Landrecy to the prince of Anhalt, ed the queen to take other bases at and entered into the lines which i the congress of Utrecht, where her had directed to be formed between plenipotentiaries already were, that Marchiennes and Denain. The Dutch the emperour might be enabled to had collected large stores of ammusend his thither. I received so vague nition and provisions at Marchiena reply, that had the court of Vi. nes. In vain I represented to them enna believed me, they would not that they would be better at Queshave reckoned at all upon the feeble noi, only three leagues from Lansuccour of the duke of Ormond, drecy, and only ten from us; the who set out to command the En- economy of these gentlemen oppoglish, as successour to the duke of sed the change. This made me say Marlborough, and I should not have peevishly, and as I have been told, lost the battle of Denain. This hap., with an oath, one day when Alexanpened in the following manner. Not- der's conquests were the subject of withstanding my distinguished re. conversation: “ He had no Dutch ception from the queen, who, at my deputies with his army." I ordered departure, presented me with her twenty of their battalions, and ten portrait, I went and told the states- squadrons under the command of the general that we had now nobody on earl of Albemarle, to enter the lines, whom we could rely but themselves; and approached Quesnoi with the and passing through Utrecht to main body of my army, to watch make my observations, I found the the motions of Villars. During all tone of the French so altered, so these shuffling tricks, of which I elevated, that I was more certain foresaw that I should be the dupe, than ever of the truth of what I had and which Louis XIV. knew nothing announced. On my arrival at the ab- of, I made him tremble upon his bey of Anchin, where I assembled throne. At a very small distance my army, amounting to upwards of from Versailles, one of my partisans 100,000 men, Ormond came and carried off Berenghen, under the made me the fairest promises, and idea that it was the dauphin; others had the goodness to consent to my pillaged Champagne and Lorraine. passing the Scheldt below Bouchain. Growenstein, with two thousand horse, levied contributions all over selves half an hour in the post of the country, spreading dismay, and Denain, I had been in time. So I declaring that I was at his heels with had calculated, supposing matters my army. It was then that he is re. at the worst, had I even been deported to have said: “ If Landrecyceived by the maneuvre of Villars. is taken, I will put myself at the I found only eight hundred men, head of my nobility, and perish ra- and three or four generals drowned ther than see my kingdom lost.” in the Scheldt; and all those who Would he have done so ? I cannot had been surprised in the intrenchtell. He wanted once to leave the ments, killed without making any trench, but was dissuaded. Henry defence. Albemarle, and all the IV. was formerly advised the con- princes and generals in the Dutch trary. He made the sign of the cross, service, were taken prisoners, while and remained where he was. endeavouring to rally their troops.

Villars thinking himself not strong The conduct of the former was reenough to attack me, as I had ho- presented in very black colours to ped he would, attempted the deli. the states-general. I wrote to Heinverance of Denain in another way. sius, the pensionary: “ It would be I have mentioned my vexation re- my province, sir, to throw the faults specting the magazines at Marchi- or the disasters of that day on the ennes, upon which depended the earl of Albemarle, if I had a single continuation of the siege. Two reproach to make him. He behaved leagues of ground were too much like a man of honour; but I defy the for the Dutch corps. Had it not ablest general to extricate himself, been for the defection of the En. when his troops, after a vile disglish, they might have been defend- charge, ignominiously run away. ed. The following circumstance de- Your obstinacy in leaving your mamonstrated the talents of Villars, gazines at Marchiennes, is the and a kind of fault with which I had cause of all this. Assure their high to reproach myself. To conccal a mightinesses of the truth of what I moveinent made on his left toward write you, of my dissatisfaction and the Scheldt, with the greatest pos- profound mortification.” sible secrecy and celerity, he, with I was obliged to raise the siege his right, drew my attention to Lan- of Landrecy, and to approach Mons, drecy, as if he designed to attack for the purpose of subsisting my the lines of countervallation. All at army; so that I could not prevent once he drew back his right towards Villars from retaking Douay, Queshis left, which during the night had noi, and Bouchain. easily formed bridges, as the Scheldt I often examine myself with the is not wide at this place. These two utmost possible strictness. It apwings united, advanced unknown to pears to me, that if I had placed the earl of Albemarle, who attempt- twenty battalions more in the lines, ed with his cavalry, but in vain, to which would have been necessary to fight what had passed. He relied defend them, Villars, who was strongupon me, but I reckoned upon him. er than I, would then have beaten On the first firing of his artillery, I me. Out of the lines, posted as I marched to his succour, with a was, I provided for every contingen. strong detachment of dragoons, at cy. Could I expect that an hour, at full trot, intending to make them the utmost, more or less, would be dismount, if necessary, and followed decisive of my glory, of the war, by my infantry, which came up at a and of the salvation of France ! The quick pace. The cowardice of the artillery of the lines, which were Dutch rendered my efforts unavail. thickly planted with it, ought alone ing. Had they but maintained them to haye given me time to have come up. Instead of being well served, it of songs at Paris. Here is one which was abandoned in as cowardly a man- I thought pretty, because it gives m ner as the intrenchments. The two history in very few words: faults which I committed, were not disregarding the remonstrances of Eugene, opening the campaign, the deputies respecting Marchien Swore with air most furious, nes, and confiding a post of such

He'd march straightway to Champagne importance to their troops, the flow

To swig our wines so curious.

The Dutchman for this journey gay er of which had perished at Mal

His cheese to Marchienne sent away; plaquet. .

But Villars, fir'd with glory, cried: It may easily be supposed, that I “Faith, where you are you'd better bider' was the subject of criticism at Vi. Scheldt's muddy water is, I think,. enna, London, and the Hague, and

Quite good enough for you to drink."


[Continued from Vol. 4. page 408] THE plays in which we should Henry IV. are, beyond a doubt, the contemplate the character of Fal- most diversified, in point of characstaff, are the two parts of Henry IV. ter and language, of any of the We see him again, indeed, in the historical plays of our great drama* Merry Wives of Windsor,” and tist. Who does not marshal in his with great satisfaction; but he is in mind the spirits of “that same mad fetters. He might say of himself, fellow of the north, Percy;" “ of him as after the exploit at Gadshill: of Wales, that gave Amaimon the "Am not I fallen away? do not I bastinado, Owen Glendower;" and bate? do not I dwindle? Why my skin “his son-in-law, Mortimer; and old hangs about me like an old lady's Northumberland; and the sprightly loose gown!” His meanderings are Scot of Scots, Douglas?” Who can." reduced to a straight course, and not paint to himself" that goodly, we scarcely recognise the beauty of portly man, sir John;" the chief justhe stream. Our memorable queen, tice (sir William Gascoigne); and when she requested to see Falstaff that whoreson mad compound of in love, appears to me (to use a vul- majesty, prince Henry, who, as he gar but pertinent expression) to have himself observes, had « sounded the « mistaken her man.” Eccentricity very base-string of humility?” Or, of affection was expected; and, as who cannot conjure up the manes of might haye been foreseen, we are the knight's myrmidons, swaggering presented only with his avarice. Pistol,* Poins, Peto, "and honest

But to return; the two parts of Bardolph,t « whose zeal burned in

• Pistol is a very remarkable character. He seems to be a ranting spouter of sen. tences and hard words, unconnected and unintelligible; and was introduced by Shakspeare for the purpose of ridiculing the bombast absurdities of his cotemporary dramatick writers. If this was really the object of the character, it must have had a wonderful effect at its first performance, when the plays of Cophetua, Battle of Alcazer, Tamburlain's Conquests, &c. from all which Pistol makes quoiations, were before the publick. It strikes me, likewise, as a very ingenious method of silencing the whole train of envious scribblers wbich bis genius would otherwise have i rrught upon his own back.

| The character of Bardolph is one of those bold dashes of the pencil, which our great painter from nature so frequently exhibits. His great attachment to Falstaff is admirably described. When he is told of the knight's death, he exclaims: “ Would

VOL. v.

« ZurückWeiter »