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Consummate as were the abilities, unbroken the suc- 
-cess, immense the services of the Duke of Marlborough, 
the details of his campaigns can scarcely be said to be 
known to the vast majority of his countrymen. They 
have heard the distant echo of his fame, as they -have 
that of the exploits of Timour, of Bajazet, and of Gen- 
ghis Khan ; the names of Blenheim and Ramillies, of 
Malplaquet and Oudenarde awaken a transient feeling 
of exultation in their bosoms ; but as to the particulars 
of these events, the difficulties with which their gen- 
eral had to struggle, the objects for which he contend- 
ed, even the places where they occurred, they are, for 
the most part, as ignorant as they are of similar details 
in the campaigns of Baber or Aurengzebe. What they 
do know is derived chiefly, if not entirely, from the his- 
tories of their enemies. Malice and party spirit have 
done much to dim the reputation of the illustrious gen- 
eral in his own country, but these disturbing passions 
have not been felt in other states ; and, strange to say, 
no adequate opinion of his merits can be formed by his 
countrymen but by viewing the impression he has made 
on her enemies, or studying the history of his victories 
by them. 

Marlborough's exploits have made a prodigious im- 
pression on the Continent. The French, vfho felt the 
edge of his flaming sword, and saw the glories of the 
Grande Monarque torn from the long triumphant brow 
of Louis XIV. ; the Dutch, who found in his conquer- 

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*•-/- -/yjlT •(» , . .w*>i^ ^ , 


ing arm the stay of their sinking Republic, and their 
salvation from slavery and persecution ; the Germans, 
who beheld the flames of the Palatinate avenged by 
his resistless powrer, and the ravages of war rolled back 
from the Rhine into the territory of the state vvrhich had 
provoked them ; the Lutherans, who regarded him as 
the appointed instrument of Divine vengeance to pun- 
ish the abominable perfidy and cruelty of the revocation 
of the Edict of Nantes, have concurred in celebrating 
his exploits. The French nurses frightened their chil- 
dren with stories of " Marlbrook ;" as the Orientals 
say, when their horses start, they see the shadow of 
Richard Coeur-de-Lion crossing their path. Napoleon 
hummed the well-known air, " Marlbrook s*en va k la 
guerre," when he crossed the Niemen to commence the 
Moscow campaign. 

The fortunate accident is generally known by which 
the great collection of papers lately published in Lon- 
don has been brought to light. That this collection 
should at length have become known is less surprising 
than that it should so long have remained forgotten, 
and have eluded the researches of so many persons in- 
terested in the subject. It embraces, as Sir George 
Murray's lucid preface explains, a complete series of 
the correspondence of the great duke from 1702 to 
1712, the ten years of his most important public servi- 
ces. In addition to the Dispatches of the duke himself, 
the letters, in some places very numerous, of his pri- 
vate secretary, M. Cardonnell, and a journal written by 
his grace's chaplain. Dr. Hare, afterward Bishop of Chi- 
chester, are contained in the eighteen manuscript vol- 
umes which were discovered in the record-room of 
Kensington, near Woodstock, in October, 1842, and 
which have now been given to the public. They are 

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of essential service, especially in rendering intelligible 
the details of the correspondence, otherwise in great 
part uninteresting, and scarcely intelligible, at least by 
the ordinary reader. Some of the most valuable parts 
of the work, particularly a full detail of the battle of 
Blenheim, have been drawn from Dr. Hare's journal. 
In addition to this, the bulletins of some of the events, 
issued by government at the time, are to be found in 
Botes at the proper places ; and in the text are occa- 
sionally contained short, but correct and luminous, no- 
tices of the preceding or cotemporaneous political and 
military events which are alluded to, but not described, 
in the Dispatches, and which are necessary for the 
proper understanding of many of their particulars. 
Nothing, in a word, has been omitted by the accom- 
plished editor which could illustrate or render intelli* 
gible the valuable collection of materials placed at his 
disposal. Yet, with all his pains and ability, it is often 
very difiicult to follow the detail of events, or under- 
stand the matter alluded to in the Dispatches; so great 
is the lack of information regarding the eventful War 
of the Succession, from the want of a popular historian 
to record it, even among well-informed persons in this 
country ; and so true was the observation of Alexander 
the Great, that but for the genius of Homer, the ex- 
ploits of Achilles would have been buried under the 
tumulus which covered his remains I And what should 
we have known of Alexander himself more than of At- 
tila or Genghis Khan, but for the fascinating pages of 
Quintus Curtius and Arrian ? 

To the historian who is to go minutely into the de- 
tails of Marlborough's campaigns and negotiations^ and 
to whom accurate and authentic information is of in- 
estimable importance, it need hardly be said that these 

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papers are of the utmost value. But to the general 
reader all such voluminous publications and dispatch- 
es must, as a matter of necessity, be comparatively un- 
interesting. They always contain a great deal of rep- 
etition, in consequence of the necessity under which the 
commander lay of communicating the same event to 
those with whom he was in correspondence in many 
different quarters. Great part of them relate to details 
of discipline, furnishing supplies, getting up stores, and 
other necessary matters of little value even to the his- 
torian, except in so far as they illustrate the industry, 
energy, and difficulties of the commander. The gen- 
eral reader who plunges into the midst of the Marl- 
borough Dispatches in this age, or into those of Wel- 
lington in the next, when cotemporary recollection has 
failed, will find it impossible to understand the greater 
part of the matters referred to, and will soon lay aside 
the volumes in despair. Such works are highly val- 
uable, but they are so to the annalist or historian rath- 
*er than to the ordinary reader. They are the mate- 
rials of history, not history itself. They bear the same 
relation to the works of Livy or Gibbon which the rude 
blocks in the quarry do to the temples of St. Peter's or 
the Parthenon. Ordinary readers are not aware of 
this. When they take up a volume of Dispatches, they 
expect to be as much fascinated by it as they are by 
the correspondence of Madame de Sevigne, Cowper, 
Gibbon, or Arnold. They will soon find their mistake ; 
the booksellers will, ere long, find it in the sale of such 
works. The matter-of-fact men in ordinary life, and 
the compilers and drudges in literature — that is, nine 
tenths of the readers and writers in the world — are 
never weary of descanting on the inestimable import- 
ance of authentic documents for history ; and without 

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doubt they are right, -so far as the collecting of mate* 
rials goes. There must be quarriers before there can 
be architects : the hewers of wood and drawers of wa- 
ter are the basis of all civilization. But they are not 
civilization itself, they are its pioneers. Truth is es- 
sential to an estimable character; but many a man is 
insupportably dull who never told a falsehood. 

It was the perusal of these Dispatches when they 
first appeared which first suggested to the author the 
composition of the following pages. He was strongly 
impressed with the greatness of Marlborough's military 
talents, and the close analogy which many of his ex- 
ploits bore to those of illustrious generals in subsequent 
times, whose deeds had long occupied his attention. 
Having no intention, however, of making a book on 
the subject, the sketches he composed were at first pub- 
lished in numbers in Blackwood's Magazine during the 
years 1845 and 1846. The favorable manner in which 
the series was received, and the increasing interest the 
author felt in the subject, suggested the idea of uniting 
them together, and forming a military biography of the 
great general, of such moderate dimensions as might nei- 
ther exhaust the patience nor too severely task the purs- 
es of that class to whom it is of most value, the young 
men who are to succeed Marlborough in the noble pro- 
fession to which he has given so much luster. The in- 
terest of the Spanish question, so prominently brought 
forward in recent times by the Montpensier alliance, 
suggested the chapter on the Treaty of Utrecht, with 
which the present volume closes, and which has not 
previously appeared. 

The Map, illustrative of the Campaigns of Marlbor- 
ough, is constructed with the greatest care, and is so 
arranged as to show the positions in every place in 

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Strict accordance with the text; while the Plans of 
Battles, so essential to the elucidation of JVIihtary His- 
tory, have been accurately reduced, and improved by 
the addition of the names of commanders, &c., from 
the great German work of Kausler, so well known 
from the splendor of its finishing and the accuracy of 
its details. 

As the work is essentially military and political, it 
has been deemed advisable not to enter minutely into 
the complicated domestic events of Queen Anne's reign, 
or to represent the changes of party in the English cab- 
inet toward its close, which produced fresh and import- 
ant effects on the fate of the war, and the destinies of 
Europe, as it is believed they were the result rather of 
great principles contending in the nation for the mas- 
tery than of those intrigues in the palace to which they 
have in general been almost exclusively ascribed. 

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Sect P^ 

1. Birth and early Life of Marlboroagh 25 

2. His first Appearance and early Promotion at Oonrt . . 26 

3. His Services, ander Louis XIV. and Turenne, in Flanders . 27 

4. Manner in which Lonis XIY.'s Ambition worked oat its own 

Rmn ' 28 

5. Chnrchill's Marriage, and rapid Rise at Conrt . . .29 

6. His important Services on Momnooth's Rebellion . . .30 

7. His Endeavors to arrest the headlong Course of James . . 30 

8. He deserts James II. on the Invasion of the Prince of Orange 31 

9. Parallel between his Treachery and that of Ney . .33 

10. Honors and Commands bestowed on Churchill. He signs 

the Apt of Association in favor of William . . . .34 

11. His first Services in foreign War under William . .35 

12. Discreditable Intrigues soon afterwith the exiled Royal Family 35 

13. He is liberated from Prison, and ere long restored to Favor . 37 

14. And appointed to the supreme Command in the Netherlande 38 

15. At which Period the Blenheim Papen commenced . . 39 

16. Great Power of the Bourbons at this Period, and general 

Alarm which it excited 39 

17. Vast Ability by which the Gkivemment of France was directed 40 

18. Extraordinary Success which had hitherto attended Louis in 

all his Enterprises 41 

19. Hopes and Schemes of the Catholic Party throughout Eu- 

rope at this Time. Their ultimate Failure . . .42 

20. Simultaneous Attacks on the Protestants in France and En- 

gland irrevocably separate .the two Countries . . .43 

21. Efforts ofWilliamllL to avert the Danger .... 44 

22. Manner in which the Bequest of Spain to the Duke of Anjou 

had been obtained .' . 44 

23. Fresh Treaty of Partition between France, England, and 

Holland 45 

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Sect ?■{•- 

24. The Knowledge of this Treaty of Partition determines the 

King of Spain to the Bequest in Favor of the Bourbons . 47 

25. Extent of the Danger which threatened the Continental Pow- 

ers from this Accession to the Power of France . . . 47 

26. Comparative Strength of the Forces on the opposite Sides . 49 



1 . Strange Diversity in the Characters drawn by Historians of 

Louis XIV 50 

2. Which arose from the Greatness of his Deeds . . .51 

3. Remarkable Diversities and seeming Contradictions of his 

Character 51 

4. Vast Changes which he effected on France during his Reign 52 

5. Which arose from his Turn of Mind coinciding with the 

Spirit of the Age ........ 53 

6. His Virtues and Vices were alike those of his People . . 54 

7. His Government was essentially feudal and monarchical . 55 

8. Unity and centralization were his great Objects . . .55 

9. His Efforts to give Unity to Thought . . . . .56 

10. General Resemblance of his Ideas of Government to those of 

Napoleon 58 

11. Magnificent Ideas of each as shown in their public Works . 59 

12. Atrocity of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes . . .59 

13. Which produced the Reaction against him that checked his 

Power 60 

14. Opposite Characters of Louis XIV. and William HI. . .61 

15. Heroic Resistance of William to the French Invasion . . 62 

16. Adaptation of the Character of William to his Destiny in Life 63 

17. His Policy in War, which at length proved Victorious . .64 

18. His Character in Private 65 

19. Cliaracter of James II. of England 66 

20. His good and heroic Qualities €6 

21. The Rashness and Imprudence which cost him his Throne . 67 

22. Commencement of the War 68 

23. Forces on the Side of France .69 

24. Forces of. the Allies . . . . . . . .69 

25. Marlborough's first Mission to the Continent, and first Cam- 

paign . ... . . • • • • .71 

26. Storming of Liege and the Chartreuse, and Conclusion of the 

Campaign 71 

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'i- CONTENTS. ^ 9^ 

Sect Paee 

27. Narrow Escape of Marlborough from being made Prisoner . 72 

28. Alliance with Sweden, and Campaign of 1703. Capture of 

Bonn ..,.,..... 73 

29. The Dutch prevent Marlborough from Fighting, and the Cam- 

paign concludes with the taking of Limbom-g . . .74 

30. Disasters on the Upper Rhine and in Bavaria . . .75 

31. Extreme Danger of the Empire from these Successes . ■ • 76 

32. French Plan of the Campaign in Germany , \^ , .. 77 

33. Plan of the Allies to counteract it . . . "*' ; , .78 

34. Marlborough's cross March into Germany . . . '79 

35. Subsequent Successes in Bavaria ...... 80 

36. Marshal Tallard joins the Elector of Bavaria, who determines 

to fight . . 81 

37. Vendome is defeated in his Attempt to penetrate through the 

Tyrol . 82 

38. Forces on both Sides, and their comparative Merits . . 83 

39. Division of the Command between Marlborough and Eugene 83 

40. French Position and Dispositions, with its Dangers . . 85 

41. And Advantages . . • • • • • • .86 

42. Disposition of the Allies for the Attack 86 

43. Commencement of the Battle 87 

44. Attiick on Blenheim, which is repulsed . . . - 88 

45. Crossing of the Nebel by the- Allies . . .'"r^^ - ^ . 89 

46. The Cavalry with great Difficulty are got across . . "^ . 90 

47. Rout of Prince Holstein in the Attack on Oberglau . .91 

48. Operations of Eugene on the Right 92 

49. Grand and decisive Charge by Marlborough in the Center . 93 

50. Eugene's Success on the Right 94 

51. Total Rout of Tallard, who is made Prisoner . . .95 

52. Mistake by which the French Left escaped Destruction . 96 

53. Capture of all the Troops in Blenheim, and Conclusion of the 

Battle -97 

54. Results of the Battle . . . . '/i'-", . '. *8 

55. Causes of the Defeat of the French . . . . '*. 99 

56. Vast Results of the Victory 99 

57. Capture of Landau and Traerbach, and Conclusion of the 

Campaign . " ^^^ 

58. Its marvelous Results • 101 

69. Honors and Rewards bestowed on Marlborough . . .102 


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B9Ct Ph« 

1. Backwardness of the English Parliament in voting Supplies . 104 

2. Bitter Sense which Marlborough entertained of this parsimo- 

nious disposition 105 

3. Reasons for converting the War into one of Sieges, and plac- 

ing its Seat in Flanders 106 

4. Examples of the same Necessity being felt in subsequent Times 1 07 
6. Extraordinary Talent of Marlborough for keeping together the 

Alliance 108 

6. Caution which the same Cause imprinted on Marlborough's 

military Conduct 109 

7. Strange Fetters which the Alliance imposed on his Conduct 

of the War 110 

8. Vigorous Efforts of the French Government , . . .112 

9. Bold Plan of Marlborough and Eugene for the Invasion of 

France 112 

10. Commencement of Operations early in June on the Moselle 114 

11. Successes of ViUeroi over the Allies in Flanders . . .114 

12. Sudden March of Marlborough to their Relief . .115 

13. The Disasters of the German Troops in the Circle of Treves 

render the Design abortive 116 

14. Position occupied by ViUeroi 117 

15. His able Plan to overreach the Enemy 118 

16. Entire Success of the Attack on Villeroi's Lines . . .119 

17. Obstinacy and Backwardness of the Dutch prevents a com- 

plete Victory 119 

18. Dutch Deputies continue their Opposition . . . .120 

19. Whiish mars all the subsequent Operations of the Campaign 121 

20. The Dutch treacherously desert him 122 

21. Marlborough's Operations on the Field of Waterloo . . 123 

22. Immense Advantage thus gained by Marlborough, who had 

turned the French . . . . . . . , 123 

23. Marlborough prepares to attack the French at Waterloo . 124 

24. But is again thwarted by the Dutch Deputies . . 125 

25. Marlborough is obliged to forego his Advantages . . 126 

26. Complaints of the Dutch against Marlborough . . 126 

27. Vexation and magnanimous Conduct of Marlborough . . 127 

28. Jealousies of the Cabinet of Vienna, and the German Powers 128 

29. Extraordinary Success of Marlborough in appeasing them at 

Vienna 129 

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Sect F«» 

30. And at Berlin and Hanover 130 

31. Similarity between his present Sitaation and that of Welling- 

ton in his early Campaigns . . . - . . . 131 

32. Universal Backwardness of the Allies in the Commencement 

ofl706 132 

33. Forces on the opposite Sides in Flanders • . . . 133 

34. Position of the French at Baminies . . . . .134 

35. Marlborough's Maneuvers before the Battle, and Plan of 

Attack 135 

36. Commencement of the Battle, and skillful Feint of Marl- 

borough 136 

37. Repulse of Overkirk, and imminent Danger of Marlborough 

when hastening to his Relief 137 

38. The twenty Squadrons ordered up from the Right restore 

the Battle 188 

39. Villeroi's Efforts to restore the Battle, which wee unsuccessful 139 

40. The. Enemy, though thrown into Disorder, endeavor to rally 139 

41. Greneral Advance of the Allies, which completes the Victory 140 

42. Losses of the French and the Allies in the Battle . .141 

43. And its great Results 142 

44. Retreat of the French from Flanders, and uniyerMl Joy at 

its Liberation . 143 

45. Magnanimous Wisdom of Marlborough in pretBcting the 

Flemings from Oppression . 143 

46. Capitulation of Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, and Oudenarde . 144 

47. Mariborough's Hopes for a speedy Peace .... 145 

48. Siege and Capture of Ostend 146 

49. Commencement of the Siege of Menin, and its great Diffi- 

culties • . 146 

50. It is at length carried by Assault 147 

^ 51. Siege and Fall of Dendermonde 148 

52. And of Ath, which concludes the Campaign . . . 149 

53. Splendid Reception of Marlborough at Brussels, and great 

Results of the Campaign 150 

54. Splendid and disinterested Conduct of Marlborough in re- 

fusing the Government of the Netherlands ^ . . .151 

55. Jealousies of the Dutch, and continued Disinterestedness of 

Marlborough . 153 

56. Opening of a separate secret Negotiation between the Dutch 

and French 153 

57. Marlborough's Address obtains a renewal of the Alliance . 154 

58. His Retain to Engird, and splendid Reception there . . 1*55 

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59. Jealousy againet him arises among both the Whigs and To- 

ries, but he prevails at Court 156 

60. Great Error in the subsequent Policy of England . . .157 



1. Great Disasters experienced by France in the preceding 

Campaign 158 

2. Appearance of Charles XII. of Sweden in Germany . . 159 

3. His Character 159 

4. Great Military Abilities 160 

5. His Faults, Rashness, and Cruelty 161 

6. Efforts of Louis XIV. to win him to his Side . . .162 

7. Measures of Marlborough to counteract his Efforts . . 163 

8. Visit of Marlborough to Charles at Dresden .... 164 

9. His Address, and Success with that Monarch . . , 165 

10. Singular Skill with which he avoided rousing religious Dif- 

ferences . . 165 

11. His satisfactory Arrangement of the Difficulties regarding 

Poland 166 

12. Renewed Jealousies and Procrastinations of the Allied 

Powers 167 

13. The Dutch Deputies thwart Marlborough near Nivelles . 167 

14. Which causes the Campaign to be wasted in useless Man- 

euvers 168 

15. Disasters of the AUies in Spain and on the Rhine . . . 169 

16. Marlborough, in consequence, strongly urges an Invasion in 

the South of France 170 

17. Selfish Conduct of Austria, which ruins the Expedition . 170 

18. Invasion of Provence by Eugene . . . . . .171 

19. Failure there, and Retreat of Eugene 172 

20. Marlborough closes the Campaign, and returns to England 172 

21. Causes of the Reaction against Marlborough and the War at 

this Tune ^ . . 173 

22. Change in the System of Government by the Revolution . 174 

23. Vast Increase of Loans, Taxes, and Corruption . . .174 

24. Decline of Marlborough's Influence at Court, and Rise of Mrs. 

Masham . 176 

25. Her great Influence 177 

26. Violence of the Party Contests in England . . . .178 

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27. Marlborough's . Measures defeat a -threatened Invasion of 

Scotland by the Pretender . . . . . . 178 

28. Vigorous Preparations made by Louis XIV. for the Cam- 

paign in the Low Countries 179 

29. Preparations and Forces of the Allies in Flanders . . 180 

30. Vend^me's Movements to Aid a Revolt in Antwerp . .181 

31. Continued Procrastination of the 6erman Powers . . 181 

32. Venddme's able Plan to Aid a Rising in Ghent and Bruges 182 

33. He makes himself Master of Ghent and Bruges . . . 183 

34. Marlborough's Activity secures Oudenarde against a Coujh 

de-main 183 

35. Extreme Vexation and serious Illness of Marlborough . . 184 

36. Marlborough's Cross-march on Venddme's^ Communications 185 

37. Venddme moves off, followed by the Allies .... 186 

38. Description of the Field of Battle 187 

39. Preliminary Movements on both Sides, and Capture of the 

French advanced Guard 188 

40. Forces on both Sides, and Commencement of the Battle . 189 

41. Brilliant Success of the French Right . . . . . 190 

42. Operations of Eugene on the Right . . . . .191 

43. And of Marlborough on the Left 192 

44. Decisive Movement by Marlborough against the French Left 192 

45. Vigor with which it was executed by Overkirk, who entire- 

ly turns them 193 

46. Gallant, but ineffectual Efforts of Venddme to arrest the Dis- 

order . . . . . ... . . 193 

47. Results of the Battle 195 

48. Purstiit of the Enemy, and Arrival of Re-enforcements on 

both Sides . . 195 

49. Marlborough's Advice to march to Paris is overruled, and it 

is resolved to lay Siege to Lille 196 

50. Preparations of the Allies for the Siege .... 197 

51. Commencement of the Siege, and Position of the covering 

Army . 198 

52. Marlborough arrests Venddme and Berwick when trying to 

raise the Siege 199 

53. Progress of the Siege, and Eugene wounded, which throws 

the Direction of the Siege on Marlborough . . . 200 

54. Efforts on both Sides to obtsdn Supplies of Ammunition . 201 

65. Capitulation of the Town of Lille . . . . .202 

66. Siege of the Citadel of LiUe, and Diversion of Venddme 

against Brussels ■ . . . - 202 

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57. Marlborough's brilliant March, which defeats it . . .203 

58. Marlborough recovers Ghent 204 

59. And Bruges. Ooncludes the Oampaign, and again refuses 

the Government of the Netherlands 205 

60. Glorious Results of the Campaign, and great Ability of Marl- 

borough 206 

61. His bold offensive Measures, and extraordinary Capture of 

LiUe 206 



1. Marlborough's renewed Difliculties with the Allied Courts 208 

2. Extravagant Ideas of the Cabinets of Berlin and Turin . 208 

3. His cold Reception from the Court of England, and Mission 

to the Hague 209 

4. Great Concessions offered by Louis 210 

5. Vain Endeavors of Louis to bribe Marlborough . . .211 

6. Ultimatum of the Allies, which is rejected by France . . 212 

7. Noble Efforts of Louis to save France 214 

8. Forces on both Sides at the Opening of the Campaign . . 214 

9. Marlborough's Efforts to obtain an Augmentation of Force in 

the Low Countries 215 

10. Which at length are partially successful. The Forces at his 

Disposal 217 

11. Marlborough's Measures to deceive Yillars . . , .217 

12. And lays Siege to Toumay * . 218 

13. Description of Toumay 219 

14. Siege and Capture of that Town 219 

15. Siege of the Citadel, and its desperate Chances . . . 220 

16. Alarms of the Troops at the subterraneous War&re . . 221 

17. Its real Horrors 222 

18. But the Citadel is at length taken 223 

19. Vigorous Movements of Marlborough toward Mons . . 223 

20. He turns Villars's Lines, and gets between them and France 224 

21. Concentration of the Allied and Villars's Amq^ . . . 225 

22. Composition and Strength of the French Army . . . 227 

23. Description of the Field of Battle 228 

24. Noble Force on both Sides 229 

25. Preparatory Movements on both Sides, and Xnterference of 

the Dutch Deputies 229 

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26. Villare fortifies his Position . 230 

27. Plan of Attack by the Allied Generals 231 

28. Feelings of the Soldiers on both Sides 232 

29. Commencement of the Battle 233 

30. Marlborough, after a desperate Conflict, carries the Wood of 

Taisni^re 234 

31. Bloody Repulse of the Prince of Orange on the Left . . 235 

32. Heroic but ineffectual Efforts of the Prince of Orange to re- 

store the Combat 235 

33. Marlborough hastens to the Spot, and restores the Battle . 236 

34. A yigorous Attack of Villars on the Bight weakens his Center, 

. . which Marlborough prepares to attack .... 237 

35. Decisive Attack by Lord Orkney on the Center . . . 238 

36. Admirable Efforts of Boufflers to regain the Day . . . 238 

37. His able and orderly Retreat .239 

38. Results ofthe Battle to the Allies 240 

39. Loss of the French, and Humanity of Marlborough . . 241 

40. Capture of Mons, and Conclusion of the Campaign . . 242 

41. Continued Decline of Marlborough's Influence at Court . 243 

42. Unjust Criticisms and Censures on the Campaign . . . 244 

43. Injudicious Request of Marlborough to be made Captain-gen- 

-vOTal for Life . . 245 

44. His flattering Reception from the Houses of Parliament . 245 

45. Increasing Jealousies of him at Court 246 

46. His Remonstrances with the Queen 247 

47. He determines to resign if Mrs. Masham is not removed . 248 

48. But is persuaded to yield, and is seemingly reconcUed to the 

Queen 248 

49. Battle of Pultowa, and overthrow of Charles XII. . . 249 

50. Character of Peter the Great of Russia .... 250 
5^1. His Errors, and Delusions regarding him . . . .251 
52. Real Charact^ of his Changes 252 





1. Renewal ofthe Negotiations at the Hague . . .253 

2. Rigorous Demands of the Allies 254 

3. Plan of the. Campaign agreed on between Eugene and Marl- 

borough 255 


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4. Passage of the Lines of &e Scarpe 256 

5. Description of Douay 257 

6. Its Investment and Siege, which VillarB tries to raise . . 257 

7. Both Armies expect another Battle 258 

8. Villars retires without fighting 259 

9. Fall of Douay 260 

10. The Allies are unable to reach Arras . . . ; . 260 

1 1. Great Skill with which Villars averted the Invasion of France 

on this Occasion. Fall of Bethune 261 

12. Increasing Animosity to Marlborough in England. He in- 

tends to besiege Calais 262 

13. Siege and Capture of St. Venant 263 

14. And of Aire 264 

15. lucrease of Marlborough's Difficulties at Home . . . 264 

16. Creneral Alarm at the Augmentation of the Public Burdens . 265 

17. Argument of Bolingbroke on the Subject .... 266 

18. Real Causes of the Evils complained of ... . 267 

19. Envy of him among his own Party . • . . . . 268 

20. Paltry Difficulties thrown in the Way of the Completion of 

Blenheim 269 

21. Attempts to gam over Marlborough to the Tories . • . 269 

22. Ungrateful Beception of Marlborough by the Ministers and 

Country 270 

23. Dismissal of the Duchess of Marlborough . • . .271 

24. Marlborough, with great Reluctance, withholds his intended 

Resignation 272 

25. Prosperous Condition of the Army in the Low Countries . 273 

26. Death. of the Emperor Joseph, and Election of Charles YI. as 

Emperor 274 

27. Great Lines constructed by Villars 274 

28. Plan of the Campaign 276 

2.9. Fatal Separation of Eugene, with his Troops, from Marlbor- 
ough 276 

30. Villars avoids a Battle by Orders of Louis .... 277 

31. Who had begun a separate and secret Negotiation with En- 

gland 278 

32. Marlborough determines to pass the Enemy's Lines . . 278 

33. His Project for achieving this 279 

34. Preparations for Executing it and Deceiving the Enemy . 280 

35. He passes the Lines with entire Success .... 281 

36. Extraordinary Success thus gained 281 

37. Commencement.of the Siege of Bouchain ■ . . . . 282 

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38. Interesting Operations on both SISbb daring its Progress . 283 

39. Fall of Bouohain 284 

40. Ostensible PrepsLrations for War, and real secret Negotiations 

for Peace by the Ministry 285 

,41. Conditions of the Preliminaries which were agreed to . . 286 

42. Marlborongh returns Home deeply hurt at this clandestine 

Aci^ommpdatipn . . . ... . . . 287 

43. Marlborough's noble Speech against it in the House of Peers 288 

44. Resolution carried agahist Ministers in the Peers . . . 288 

45. Counter Address carried to the Commons, and Irresolntion 

of the Queen 289 

46. The Tories dismiss Marlborough, charge him with Pecula* 

tion, and swamp the House of Peers .... 289 

47. Universal Joy among the Enemies of England, and generous 

Conduct of Eugene 290 

48. Machinations of the Tories to inflame the Queen against 

Marlborough . . 291 

49. Louis rises in his Demands at Utrecht, which turns into a 

private Treaty between Frtmce and England . . . 292 
50; Forces of the Allies and French in Flanders, and desperate 

Situation of Louis . , 294 

51. The Defection of Britain saves France . . . r . .295 

52. Siege and Capture of Quesnby 296 

53. Universal Indignation which this excites in the Allied Powers 296 

54. Eloquent Speech of Lord Halifax in the House of Peers 

against the Peace 297 

55. Marlborough's Speech in seconding the Motion of Halifax . 298 

56. The Ministers falsely declare the Allies to be Parties to the 

Negotiation ......... 299 

57. Conditions of the Treaty of Utrecht ... . . . 299 

58. Mournful Separation of the English Contingent from the 

Allies 301 

59. Great Difficulties now experienced in the Negotiation with 

France . ^ 302 

6d. Landrecies is ineffectually besieged by Eugene, who sustains 

a Reverse at Denain 302 

61. Conclusion of the War between Austria and France at Ras- 

tadt, and the Dutch at Utrecht 303 

62. Marlborough is received with the highest Honors on the 

Continent 305 

63. Base Ingratitude of the Imperial Court to him . . . 306 

64. Continued Malice against him at Home .... 307 

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65. Sospensioii of the building of Blenheim at the Pablic Expenie 307 

66. Which arose from a Flan for the Restoration of the Stuarts . 308 

67. Death of Anne, and Marlboroagh*B Conduct on the Acces- 

sion oi the Hanover Family 309 

68. His domestic Bereavements, and Stroke of Palsy . . 309 

69. His last Years and Death 310 

70. And Funeral 310 



1. Change in the System of War in Marlborough's Time . . 312 

2. Nature of the Feudal Wars 313 

3. Great Change when Armies were paid by Government . 314 

4. Turenne introduced this System and brought it to Perfection 314 

5. Character of Cond6 315 

6. Peculiar Character of Marlborough as a General . . .316 

7. His extraordinary Prudence and Address . . . .317 

8. Though inferior in Force-, he always maintained the Initiative 317 

9. Nature of War in the Time of Marlborough . . . .318 

10. Circumspection was in him a Matter of Necessity . .319 

11. He was compelled to adopt the System of Sieges and fix the 

War in Flanders 320 

12. Dangers of the opposite System 321 

13. Reasons why Marlborough*s Genius was underrated in his 

Life 321 

14. He was the Perfection of Genius matured by Experience . 322 

15. His great Address and Suavity of Manner .... 323 

16. His Character as a Statesman and in Private . . . 324 

17. His political Character after the Revolution .... 325 

18. His Faults and Weaknesses 326 

19. Circumstances which palliate these Faults in him . 327 

20. His private Character and elevated Ideas in the Disposal of 

Money 327 

21. His Magnanimity and Humanity 328 

22. His Character, as drawn by Adam Smith and Bolingbroke . 329 

23. Thefive great Generals of Modem Times . . .330 

24. Leading Characteristics of each . . . . 330 
95. Early Life of Eugene .331 

26. Character of his Warfare, and his first great Victory over the 

Turks 332 

27. His Camptngns in Italy and Germany 333 

28. And with Marlborough in Flanders 333 

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29. His aBtonishing Successes over the Turks . . . 334 

30. Narrow Escape from Ruin, and wonderful Victoiy at Belgrade 335 

31. His Character as a General, and Parallel to Napoleon . . 336 

32. Daring and Skill with wluch he extricated himself from 

Dangers , 336 

33. Early LHe of Frederic the Great 337 

34. His Accession to the Throne, and vigorous Application to its 

Duties 338 

35. His Aggression on, and Conquest of Silesia, and first Victory 

atMoUwitz 339 

.36. His glorious Successes over the Austrians .... 340 

37. Who are at length obliged to make Peace . . . .' 340 

38. His decided and indomitable Character already appears . 341 

39. His great Services to his Kingdom during the next ten Years 

of Peace 342 

40. Coalition of Austria, Russia, France, Saxony, and Sweden 

against Prussia . . 342 

41. Frederic invades Saxony and conquers that Country . . 943 

42. He defeats the Austrians at Prague, and is defeated at Kolin 344 

43. Desperate Situation of the Prussian Monarchy . . . 344 

44. The King's marvelous Victories at Rosbach and Lenthen . 845 

45. Disasters sustained by his Troops in other Quarters, and Vic- 

tory of Zomdorf 346 

46. Frederic's Defeat at Hohenkin^en 347 

47. Terrible Battle of Cunnersdorf, in which Frederic is de- 

feated 317 

48. Overwhelming Misfortunes in other Quarters . « . 348 

49. Victory of Frederic over Landon at Lignetz . . , 348 

50. DreadfulBattleand Victory of the Prussians at Torgau . 349 

51. Desperate State of Prussia at this Time .... 349 

52. Operations in the Camp of Bunzelwitz .... 350 

53. The Death of the Empress of Russia restores his Affairs . 351 

54. Wonderful Result of the Struggle 352 

55. His Character as a General 353 

56. Comparison oi Fjederic and Napoleon 354 

57. Of Marlborough and Wellington 355 

58. Points in which their Situations differed .... S66 

59. Great Superiority of Force with which Wellington had to 

contend 357 

60. Their respective Characteristics 358 

61. Wellington's PoUcy was more daring but more hazardous 

than Marlborough's .•»*..•• 359 

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9«ct Pag* 

62. Marlborough made more use of Cavalry than Wellington, 

and why 3.59 

C3. Marlborough was more Successful than Wellington in Siegev, 

and why 361 

64. Great and remarkable Land Triumphs of England over 

France 362 

65. Long Series of Land Disasters sustained by France from En- 

gland 363 

66. What have been the Causes of this? 364 



1. Moral Character of the Duke of Marlborough's Wars . . 365 

2. Opposite Interests and Causes for which the Parties con- 

tended . . . 365 

3. Magnitude of the Danger which threatened Europe if France 

had proved successful 366 

4. Results which might have followed the Triumph of France . 367 

5. Opposite Sides on Political Questions on which the Parties 

were ranged siniilar to what afterward occurred . . 368 

6. Yet fundamentally the Allies and France were in Jboth Cases 

ranged on the same Sides . . . . . . . 368 

7. Impoi'tant Difference in the Parties by whom the War was 

opposed in the Time of Marlborough and Napoleon . . 369 

8. State of the opposite Parties in Great Britain since the Great 

Rebellion 370 

9. The Union of Parties had brought about the Revolution . 371 

10. Dangers which flowed from the Revolution .... 372 

11. The Funding System is introduced by William III. . . 373 

12. General Terrors it excited in Great Britain . . . .374 

13. Bolingbroke's Account of its Dangers 375 

14. General Corruption which was induced in the Country . 375 

15. Bolingbroke's Account of the general Indignation at this de- 

moralizing System ........ 377 

16. Strong Principles of Freedom and Loyalty in the English 

Character . . . .378 

17. Reaction of generous Feelings in &vor of the Tories in the 

advanced Period of the War . . . . . . 379 

18. Which distinctly appeared in the Votes and Composition of 

the House of. Commons ... . . . . . 380 

19. Character of Bolingbroke 381 

20. His Inconsistencies and Faults ...... 382 

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21. Character of Harley, Earl of Oxford 384 

22. Swift and the Tory Writers in the Press . . . .384 

23. It was these general Causes which overturned Marlborough 385 

24. Great Violations of moral Rectitude in the Mode of their 

Attack on Marlborough 387 

25. What was the Danger to be guided against in the Peace . 388 

26. The Result has proved the Tories were wrong in their Policy 

regarding it 389 

27. Disastrous Effects and Serious Dangers to England which 

followed the leaving a Bourbon on the Spanish Throne . 390 

28. Examples of this in later Times 391 

29. These Dangers have arisen solely from the Spanish Alliance . 392 

30. It was a Sense of this Advantage which made Napoleon en- 

gage in the Peninsular War 393 

31. Causes which render the Alliance of Spain of such vital Im- 

portance to France 394 

32. Instance of the same Political Infatuation in our Times . 395 

33. Results which have followed from it in the last Instance -. 396 

34. Strange Insensibility to National Sins which often prevails . 397 

35. Analogy between the Situation of the Tories in the War of 

the Succession, and the Whigs in that of the Revolution . 398 

36. Extraordinary Coincidence in the Crisis of the two Contests 399 

37. Real Causes of this Identity of Conduct of the opposite Parties 

on these Occasions 400 

38. Excuses which existed for the Policy of the Tories at the 

Treaty of Utrecht from the Dread of Spain . . .401 

39. Bolingbroke*s Picture of the ruined State of the Spanish 

Monarchy at this Period 402 

40. What Course the Tories should have pursued at the Treaty 

of Utrecht 403 

41. But no Excuse can be found for our Violation of the Treaty of 

Utrecht by the Quadruple Alliance in 1834 . . . 404 

42. Answer to the common Argument used in behalf of the 

Qaadmple Alliance 405 

43. Our active Interference to put down Don Carlos and the 

Male Line was still more unjustifiable .... 406 

44. What Enghmd should have done on the Occasion . . 407 

45. Just Punishment we have now received .... 407 

46. England has lost ^.U Title to complain of any Violation of the 

Treaty of Utrecht 408 

47. Great Change which the Substitution of the Female Line for 

the Male in Spain made in this Respect on the Interests of 
other Powers 409 

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PLANS. &c. 


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John Churchill, afterward Duke of Marlborough, was 
"bom on the 5th of July, 1 650 (new style), at Ash, in i. 

the county of Devon. His father was Sir Winston ^^eS»^ 
Churchill, a gallant cavaHer who had drawn his ^">^^ 
sword in behalf of Charles I., and had, in consequence, he&OL 
deprived of his fortune and driven into exile by Cromwell. 
His paternal family was very ancient, and boasted its descent 
from the CourcUs de Poitou, who came .into. England with 
the Conqueror. His mother was Elizabeth Drake, who claim*^ 
ed a collateral connection with the descendants of the Ukts- 
trious Sir Francis Drake, the great navigator. Young Church- 
ill received the rudiments of his education &om the parish 
clergyman in Devonshire, Jfrom whom he imbibed that firm 
attachment to the Protestant faith by which he was ever aft* 
erward distinguished, and which determined his conduct in 
the most important crisis of his life. He was afterward 
placed at the school of St. Paul's ; and it was there that he 
first discovered, on reading Vegetius, that his bent of mind 
was decidedly for the military life. " What is usually called 
genius," says Johnson, " is nothing but strong natural parts 
accidentally turned in one direotion." Like many other men 


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destined to future distinction, he made no great figure as a 
scholar, a circumstance easily explained, if we recollect that 
it is on the knowledge of words that the reputation of a school- 
toy is founded — of a man, on that of things. But the dis- 
patches now published demonstrate that, before he attained 
middle life, he was a proficient in at least Latin, French, 
and English composition; for letters in each, written in a 
very pure style, are to be found in all parts of his corre- 

From his first youth, young Churchill was distinguished by 

2. the eleff ance of his manners, and the beauty of his 

msfiritap. ° - _ . . . J' 

pearance and countenance and figure ; advantages which, coup- 

tion at court led with the known loyal principles and the sufier- 
ings of his father in the royal cause, procured for him, at the 
early age of fifteen, the situation of page in the household of 
the Duke of York, afterward James II. His inclination for 
arms was then so decided, that the prince procured for him 
a eommissicm in one of the regiments of Guards when he was 
only sixteen years old. His uncommonly handsome figure 
then attracted no small share of notice from the beauties of 
the court of Charles II., and even awakened a passion in on6 
of the royal mistresses herself. Impatient to signalize him- 
self, however, he lefi their seductions, and embarked as a vol- 
unteer in the expediticm against Tangiers in 1666. Thus his 
first essay in artns was made in actions against the Moors. 
Having returned to Great Britain, he attracted the notice of 
the Countess of Castlemaine, afterward Duchess of Cleveland, 
then the favorite mistress of Charles II., who had distinguish- 
ed him by her regard before he embarked for Africa, and wh6 
made him a present of £5000, with which the young soldier 
bought an annuity of £500, which laid the foundation, says 
Chesterfield, of all his subsequent fortunes. Charles, to re- 
move a dangerous rival in her unsteady afiections, gave him 
a company in the Guards, and s^it him to the Continent 
with the auxihary force which, in those days of English hu- 
miliation, the cabinet of St. James's furnished to Louis XIV. 

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to aid him in subduing the United Fh)vinoes. Thus, by a 
singular coindd^ce> it was undet Turbine, Cond^) and Vau* 
ban that the foture eonquezot <^ the Bourbons first learned 
the art of scientifie war&re. Wellingt(»i went through the 
same disoijdine, but in the Averse order : his first Campaigns 
vrete made against the Fr^ich in Flanders, his next against 
the bastions of Tippoo and the Mahratta horse in Hindostan. 
Churchill had not been long in Flanders before his taleiM 
and gallantry won &r him deserved distinctibn. 3. 
llie campaign of 1672, which brought the French Sde^^L^S 
axmies to the gates of Ainsterdam, and placed the ^^M^ia 
IMted Provinces within a hair's breadth of de- *^<*«^ 
struction, was to him &uitful in valuable lessons. He distin- 
guished himself afterward 86 much at the mege of Nimegu^i, 
that Turenne, who constantly caUed him by the wubriquf^ 
of ^' the haiidsDme Englishman," predicted that he would one 
day be a great man. In the &llowuig year he had the good 
fertune to save thd life <^ his co1<»m1, the Duke of Monmouth, 
and acquired so mttch renown at the siege of Maestridit, that 
Louis XIV. publicly thanked him at the head of his army, 
and p»»nised him his powerful influence with Charles II. 
£» future promo1;iDn. He little thought what a fi>rmidable 
enemy he was then fostering at the court of his obsequious 
brother sovereign. The result of Louis XIV. 's intercession 
was, that Churchill was made l^tenant-cdond ; and he om- 
tinued to serve with the En^sh auxiliary £>rce in Flanders, 
under the French generals, tiU 1677, when he returned VfHh, 
his regiment to London^ Beyond aU doubt, it was these five 
yeais' service imder the g^eat masters of the military art, who 
then sustained the power and cast a halo round the crown ^ 
LouirXrV., which rend^ed Marlborough t^e comummate 
commands that he ^owed himself to liave become, from the 
moment he was placed at the head of the allied armies. One 
6f the most intetestmg and instructive lessons to be learned 
fiom biography is derived from observing the long steps, the 
vast amount of previous preparation, the numerous chaiigos, 

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gome prosperous, others adverse, by whicli the powers of a 
great man are formed, and he is prepared for playing the im- 
portant part which it is intended he should perform on the 
theater of the world. Providence does nothing in vain, and 
when it has selected a particular mind for a great achieve- 
ment, the events which happen to it all seem to con^ire in a 
mysterious way for its development. Were any one omitted, 
Bome essential quality in the character of the future hearo, 
statesman, or philosopher would he foimd to be wanting. 
Here also, as in every other period of history, we may see 
4. how unprincipled ambition ovenraults itself, and 

Manner in * * . ' n • ^ 

which Louis the measures which seem at nrst si^ht most se- 
tion worked curely to estabush its oppressive reign are the as 
ruin. yet unperceived means by which an overruling Pow- 

er works out its destruction. Doubtless the other ministers 
of Louis XIV. deemed their master's power secure when this 
English alliance was concluded ; when the English monarch 
had become a state pensioner of the court of Versailles ; when 
a secret treaty had united them by apparently indissoluble 
bonds; when the ministers, alike with the patriots "of En- 
gland, were corrupted by his bribes ; when the dreaded fleets 
of Britain were to be seen in union with those of France, 
leagued to overpower the squadrons oi an inconsiderable re- 
pubHc ; when the descendants of the conquerors of Cressy, 
Poitiers, and Azincour stood side by side with the successors 
of the vanqtdshed in those disastrous fields, ready to achieve 
the conquest of Flanders and Holland. Without doubt, so 
far as human foresight could go, Louvois and Colbert were 
right. Nothing could appear so decidedly calculated to fix 
the power of Louis XIV. on an immovable foundation. But 
how vain are the calculations of the great human intellects 
when put in opposition to the overruling will of Omnipotence I 
It was that very English alliance which ruined Louis XIV., 
as the Austrian alliance and marriage, which seemed to put 
the keystone in the airch of his greatness, afterward ruined 
Napoleon. By the efiect, and one of the most desired efiects, 

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of the Engli^ alliance, a strong body of British auxiliaries 
were sent to Flanders ; the English officers learned the the* 
ory and practice of war in the best of all schools, and under 
the best of all teachers ; that ignorance of the military art, 
the result in every age of our insular situation, and which 
generally causes the first four or five years of every war to 
terminate in disaster, was for the time removed ; and that 
mighty genius was developed under the eye of Louis XIV., 
and by the example of Turenne, which was destined to hurl 
back to its own fix>ntiers the tide of Gallic invasion, and 
dose in mourning the reign of the Grand Monarqtte, " Les 
hommes agissent," says Bossuet, " mais Dieu les mene." 

Upon Churchill's return to London, the brilhant reputation 
which had preceded, and the even augmented per- _ 5-„„ 

, , ^ ' , rTi . . Churchill's 

sonal advantages which accompamed him, mune- marriap and 
diately rendered him the idol of beauty and fashion, court 
The ladies of the palace vied for his homage, the nobles of 
the land hastened to cultivate his society. Like Julius C€b- 
sar, he was carried away by the stream, ^d jdunged into 
the vortex of courtly dissipation with the ardor which marks 
an energetic character in the pursuit either of good or evil. 
The elegance of his pelrson and manners, and the charms of 
his conversation, prevailed so far with Charles II. and the 
Duke of York, that soon after, though not yet thirty years of 
age, he obtained a regiment. In 1680 he married the cele- 
brated Sarah Jennings, the favorite lady in attendance on the 
Princess Anne, second daughter of the Duke of York, one of 
the most admired beauties of the court. This alliance in- 
creased his influence, already great, with that prince, and laid 
the foundation of the future grandeur of his fortunes. Short- 
ly after his marriage he accompanied the Duke of York to 
Scotland, in the course of which they were both nearly flhip- 
wrecked on the coast of Fife. , On this occasion the duke 
made the greatest efibrts to preserve his favorite's life, and 
succeeded in doing so, although the danger was such that 
many of the Scottish nobles perished under his eye. On their 

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return to Lond«n in 1682, ChurcliiU was presented by hia 
patron to the king, who made hkn colonel of the third regi* 
ment of Guards. When the Duke of York aso^aded the 
throne in 1685, on the demise of his brother, Churchill kept 
his place as one of the gentlemen of the hed'H>hamber, and wan 
raised to the rank of brigadier-general. He was sent to Paris 
to notify his sovereign's accesuon to Louis XIY,, and on hi^ 
return he was created a peer by the title of Baron ChurchiU 
of SajEidbridge, in the county of Hertford : a title whidi he 
took firom an estate there lyhich he had aoquired in right pf 
his wife. 

On the revolt of the Duke of Moiunouth, he had an oppor^ 
^ 6. _ tunity of showing at onoe his military ability, and, 

KB important . . , . . i , . i « 

•enrice* on by a Signal servicc, his gratitude to bis benefactor. 

Monmouth ■ • -> v 

rebeiiioiL Lord Feversham had the command of the royal 
forces, and Churchill was his major-g^iieral. The general-in- 
chief, however, kept so bad a loct-out that he was on the 
point of being surprised and cut to pieces by the rebel foroes, 
who, on this occasion at least, were ecmduoted with ability. 
The general and almost all his officers were in their beds* and 
sound asleep, when Monmouth, at the head of all his forces, 
silently issued from his camp, and suddenly fell on the royal 
army. The rout would have been complete, and James II, 
probably dethroned, had not Churchill, whose vigilant eye 
nothing escaped, observed the movement, and hai<tily collected 
a handfiil of men, with whom he made so vigorous a resist* 
ance as gave time for the r^inainder of the army to form, and 
repel this well-concerted enterprise. 

Churchill's mind was too sagacious, and his knowledge of 
the feelings of the iiation too eitensive, not to be 

ore to 

M?St Aware of the perilous nature of the course upon 
SS/cSSiro which James soon after advwitured. in wideavoring 

of JfU 

to bring about, if not the absolute re-establishment 
of the Catholic religion, at least such a quasi-establishment 
of it as the people deemed, and probably with reason, was, 
with so aspiring a body of ecclesiastics, in e^t the same 

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thing. When he saw the hesud^rtrong monaich break throiigii 
all bondc, and openly trample on the liberties, while he shock* 
ed the religious feelings of his people, he wrote to him to point 
out, in firm but respectful terms, the danger of his conduct. 
He declared to Lord Galway, when James's innovations be* 
ga4, that if he persisted in his design of overturning the con- 
stitution and xeligion bf his country, he would leave his service. 
So far his conduct was perfectly unexceptionable. Our first 
duty is to our country, our second only to our benefactor. If 
they are brought into collision, as they oft^n are during the 
melancholy vicissitudes of a civil war, an honorable man, 
whatever it may cost him, ha« but oi^e part to take. He 
must not aband(Hi his public duty for his private feelings, but 
he must never betray ofiSlcial duty. If Churchill, perceiving 
the firantic course of his master, had withdrawn firom big 
service, and then either taken no part in the revolution which 
£)llowed, or even appeared iil anps against him, the most 
scrupulous moralist could have discovered nothing reprehensi* 
ble in his ccmduet. History has in every, age applauded the 
virtue, while it haa commiserated the anguish, of the elder 
Brutus, who sacrificed his sons to the perhaps too rigorous 
laws of his country. 

But Churchill did not do this, and thence has arisen an in- 
efiaceable Hot on his memory. He did not relin- e. 
quish the service of the infatuated monarch ; he re- ^aeg n. oq 
tained his office and commands ; but he employed SaSftiaoi 
the infiuence and authority thance derived to ruin o^o^a»««- 
his benefactor. Information was sent to James that he was 
not to be trusted ; but so far were those representations from 
having inspired any doubts of his fidelity, that that deluded 
m^iarch, when the Prince of Orange landed, confided to him 
the command of a corps of five thousand men destined to op- 
pose hi3 progress, and raised him to the rank of lieutenant^ 
general. He led this -Soree in person as far as Salisbury to 
meet "William, who was advancing through Devonshire. And 
yet he had before that written to William a letter, still extantt 

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in which he expressed entire devotion to his cause,* Nay, 
he at this- time, if we may believe his panegyrist Ledyard, 
signed a letter, along with several other peers, addressed to 
the Prince of Orange,, inviting him to come over, and had 
actually concluded with Major-general Kirk, who commanded 
at Axminster, a convention for the seizure of the king and 
giving him up to his hostile son-in-law.l James was secretly 
warned that Churchill was about to betray him, but he re- 
fused to believe it of one from whom he had hitherto experi- 
enced such devotion, and was only awakened fix>m his dream 
of security by learning that his favorite had gone over, with 
the Duke of Grafton and the principal officers of his regiment, 
to the Prince of Orange. Not content with this, he shortly 
after employed his influence with his own regiment, and others 
stationed near London, to induce them to desert James and 
join the invading candidate for the throne.f Nay, it was his 
arguments, joined to those of his wife, which induced James's 
own daughter, the Princess Anne, and Prince Greorge of Den- 
mark, to detach themselves fix)m the cause of the falling mon- 
arch, and drew from that unhappy sovereign the mournful 
exclamation, " My Grod ! my very children have forsaken 
me." Thus his example was the signal for a general defec- 

* " Sib, — ^Mr. Sidney will let yon know how I intend to behave myself. I 
think it is what I owe to God and my comitry. My honor I take leave to 
put into yonr highness's bands, where I think it is safe. If yon think there 
is any thing which I onght to do, yon have bat to command me. I shall pay 
an entire obedience to it, being resolved to die in that religion that it hath 
pleased God to give you both the will and the power to protect." — Lord 
Churchill to the Prince of Orange* Aug. 4, 1688. William landed at Torbay 
on Nov. 5, 1688, so that three months before Marlborough accepted the com- 
mand of the forces destined to oppose, he had secretly agreed to join him. 
— See Gleig's Military Commanders, i., 332. 

t On the approach of William to the capital, and the flig^ht of James to 
Feversham, Lord Churchill was sent forward to reassemble his own troop 
of Horse Guards, and to bring over the soldiers quartered in and about the 
metropdis. He executed the commission with equal prudence and activity, 
and carried back so favorable a report concerning the disposition <^ the peo- 
ple and army as induced the prince to hasten to the capital. After the dis- 
comfiture of James, Lord Churchill assisted in the convention of Parliament. 
— CoxE, v., 43. 

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tion, not only of those Who were openly hostile to James, but 
even of those who were connected with him by blood. 

In what does this conduct di^r firom that of Labedoydre, 
who, at the head of the garrison of Grenoble, de- »• 

1 T..T , , , . *. Parallelbe- 

serted to Napoleon when sent out to oppose him ? tween Us 
or Lavalette, who employed his influence, as post- that <3^4y. 
master under Louis XVIII., to forward the imperial conspir- 
acy ? or Mar^al Ney, who, after promising at the Tuileries 
to bring the ex-emperor back in an iron cage, no sooner reach- 
ed the royal camp at M elun, than he issued a proclamation 
calling on the troops to desert the Bourbons, and mount the 
tricolor cockade ? Nay, is not Churohill*s conduct, in a moral 
point of view, worse than that of Ney ? for the latter aban- 
doned the trust reposed in him by a new master, forced upon 
an unwilling nation, to rejoin his old benefkctor and companion 
in arms ; but the former betrayed the trust reposed in him by 
his old master and tried benefactor, td range himself imder 
the banner of a competitor for the throne to whom he was 
bound neither by duty nor obligation. And yet, such is often 
the inequality of crimes and punishments in this world, that 
Churchill was raised to the pinnacle of greatness by the very 
conduct which consigned Ney, with justice, so far as his con- 
duct is concerned, to an ignominious death. 

"Treason ne'er prospers ; for when it doei^ 
None dare call it treason." 

History forgets its first and noblest duty when it fails, by 
its distribution of praise and blame, to counterbalance, so far 
as its verdict can, this inequality, which, for inscrutable but 
doubtless wise purposes. Providence has permitted in this tran- 
sient scene. Charity forbids us to scrutinize such conduct too 
severely. It is the deplorable consequence of a successful rev- 
olution, even when commenced for the most necessary pur- 
poses, to obliterate the ideas of man on right and wrong, and 
to leave no other test in the general case for public conduct 
but success : its first effect, to place men in such trymg cir- 
cumstances that nothing but the most confirmed and resolute 


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virtue can pasB tmacathed through the ordeal. He knew the 
human heart well who comxnanded u« in our daily prayen to 
supplicate not to be led into temptation, even before asking 
for deliverance from evil. Let^ no man be sure, however 
much, on a calm survey, he may condemn the conduct of 
Marlborough and Ney, that in similar circumstances he would 
not have done the same.* 

The magnitude of the service rendered by Churchill to the 
10. Prince of Orange immediately appeared in the 
commMidib*- commands conferred upon him. Hardly was he 
cburchui. He settled at William's headquarters when be was di»- 
Tamoc)*^ patched to Ijondon to assume the command of the 
Yfixom^ Horse Guards ; and, while there, he signed, on the 
20th of December, 1688, the famous ^t of Association in fkr 
vor of the Prince of Orange. Shortly aftery-^he was named 
lieutenant-general of the armies of William, and immediately 
made a new organization of the troops, under officers whom 
he could trust, which proved of the utmost service to William 

* Marlborough, on leaving the king, sent the following letter to him: 
" Sir, — Since men are seldom sospected of sincerity when they act contrary 
to their interests, and tiiough my d«tifol behaTior to your majesty in the 
worst of times (for which I acknowledge my poor services much overpaid) 
may not be sufficient to incline yon to a charitable interpretation of my ac- 
tions, yet I hope the great advantage I ex^y under your majesty, which I 
can not expect to e^joy under any odier government, may reasonably con- 
vince your mi^esty and the world that I am actuated by a higher principle 
when I offer that violence to my inpUnation and interest as to desert your 
majesty at a time when your affairs seem to challenge the strictest obedience 
from all your subjects, much more from one who lies under such obligations 
So your mi^)eaty. This, sir, oould proceed irom nothing but the tnvidablie 
dictsites of n^ conscience, and a necessary concern for my religion (which 
BO good man can oppose), and with which, I am Instructed, nothing can 
come in competition. Heaven knows with what partiality my dutiful re- 
gard for your mc^Mty has hitherto represented those unhappy dangers wkaxii 
inconsiderate and self-interested men have framed against your majesty's 
true interest and the Protestant religion; but as I can no longer join with 
such to give a pretense by conduct to bring them to effect, so I will always, 
with the hazard of my life and fortune (so much your majesty's due), eft- 
^avor to preserve your royal person and lawfol ri^ts with all the tender 
oonoem and duttfol respect that becomes me."— Lord Churchill to James II» 
ITov. 12, 1688. Ledyard, i., 75. 

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oa the uBfitable throne on which he was soon after seated^ 
He was present at most of the long and momentous debatei 
which took place in the House of Peers on the question on 
whom the crown should be conferred, and at first inclined to 
a regency ; but with a commendable delicacy he absented him- 
setf on the night of the decisive vote on the yaoancy of tho 
throne. He voted, howeyer, on the 6th of February for the 
jresolutMHi which settled the crown on William and Mary ; and 
he assisted at their coronation, imder the title of Earl of Marl- 
borough, to which he had shortly b6fi>re been elevated by 

England having, on the accession of the new monarch, join- 
^ the continental league against France, Marlbor- _ u. 
ough received the command of the British auxUia- ices in for- 

1 1 1 -I . -i cigB war tin- 

ry force in the Netherlands, and by his courage and der wiiiivn. 
abihty contributed in a rwnarkable manner to the victory of 
Walcourt. In 1 690 he received orders to return firom Flandeni 
in order to assume a command in Ireland, then agitated by & 
general insurrection in {avor of James ; but,*actuated by scnne 
remnant of attachment to his old benefactor, he eluded on va- 
rious pretenses complying with the order tiU the battle of the 
Boyne had extinguished the hopes of the dethroned monarch, 
when he came over and made himself master of Cork and Kin- 
sale. In 1691 he was sent again into Flanders, in order to aet 
under the immediate orders of William, who was then, with 
heroic constancy, contending with the still superior forces of 
France ; but hardly bad he landed there when he was ar- 
lestedf deprived of all his commands, and sent to the Towef 
of London, along with several of the noWemen of distinction 
in the British Senate. 

Upon this part of the history of Marlborough there hangs 
a veil of mystery, which all the papers brought to 12. 
light m more recent times have not entirely remov- intngueB aooa 
ed. At the time, his disgrace was by many attrib- ^Jl^^^ 
uted to some cutting sarcasms in which he had in- *"™"3r. 
dulged on the plredile^tion of WlUiam for the continei^tal troops, 

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and especially the Dutch ; by others, to intrigues conducted by 
Lady Marlborough and him, to obtain fi^r ike Princess Apne 
a larger pension than the king was disposed to allow her. 
But neither of these causes is sufficient to explain the fall 
and arrest of a man so eminent as Marlborough, and who had 
vend^ed such important services to the nei^y-eatablished mon- 
arch. It would appear, from what has transpired in later 
times, that a much more serious cause had produced the rup- 
ture between him and WiUiam. The charge brought against 
him at the time, but not prosecuted, as it was found to rest on 
false or insufficient evidence, was that of having, along with 
L^ds Salisbury, Combury, the Bishop of Rochester, and Sir 
Basil Ferebrace, signed the scheme of an association for the 
restoration of James. Sir John Fenwick, who wa« executed 
§ot a treasonable correspondence vrith James II. shortly after 
Marlborough's arrest, declared that he was privy to the design, 
had received the pardon of the exiled monarch, and had en- 
gaged to jHTOcure for him the adhesion of the army. The pa- 
pers, published hf Coxe, rather corroborate the view that he 
was privy to iti and it is supported by those £)und at Rome 
in the possession of Cardinal York.* That Mariborough, 

* ''About a ft)rtiiight ago, I wrote a letter to acquaint you with what I 
had observed of some people, in hopes Mr. Arden would have called upon 
HEM as he promised ; but I did not care to send it by the post, so it was burn- 
ed. We had ye$terda2f Sir John Fenwick at the houae^ and I think it all 
went as you could wish* I do not send you the particulars, knowing you 
must ha^e it more exactly from others ; but I should be wanting if I did not 
let you know that Lord Rochester has behaved himself, on aU this occasion, 
like a Mend. In a conversation he had with me, he expressed himself as a 
real servant of yours ; and I think it would not be amiss if you took notice 
of it to him. Jf you think me capable of any commands, I shall endeavor to 
approve myself what I am, with much truth," &c.— Marlborough to the Duke 
of Shrewsbury (a Catholic leader and Royalist). Wednesday night, no date. 
Shretosbury Papers, and Coze, i., 85. 

" During the interval between the liberation of Marlborough and the death 
of Q,ueen Mary, we find him, in conjunction with Qodolphin and many othera, 
maintaining a clandestine intercourse with the exiled family. On the 2d of 
May, 1694, only a few days before he oflTered his services to King William, 
he communicated to James, through Colonel Sackville, intelligence of an ex- 
pedition then fitting out for tiie purpose of destroymg the fleet in Brest har. 

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disgusted with l^e partiatlity of William fcr his Dutch troops, 
and irritated at the open severity of his government, should 
have repenteA of hl» abandonment of hia former sovereign and 
beneiactor, is highly probable. But jt can scarcely be taken 
as an apology fe one act of treason that he meditated the com- 
mission of another. It only shows how perilous, in public as in 
private life, is any deviation from the pa^ of integrity, that it 
impelled such a man into so tortuous and disreputable a path. 
But Marlborough was a man whose services were too val- 
uaUe to the newly-established dynasty to be per- 13. 
mitted to remain long in disgrace. He was soon fi^^^ 
Hberated from the Tower, as no sufficient evidence 1™"^^^ 
of his alleged accession to the conspiracy had been ^ ^^^• 
obtained. Several years elapsed, however, before he emerged 
frt)m the privacy into which he prudently retired on his. libera 
ation from confinement. Queen Mary having been carried 
off by the small-pox on the 17th of January, 1696, Marlbor^ 
ough wisely abstained from even taking part in the debates 
which followed in Parliament, during which some of the mal- 
contents dropped hints as to the propriety of cenferring the 
crown on his immediate patroness, the Princess Aane* This 
prudent reserve, together with the absence of any decided 
proofs at the time ci Marlborough's correspondence with 
James, seems to have at length weakened William's resent- 
ment, and. by d^rees he was taken back into favor. The 
peace of Ryswick, signed on Ae 20th of September, 1697, 
having o(Hisolidated the power of that monarch, Marlborough 
was, on th^ 19th of June, 1698, made preceptor of IJie young 
Duke of Gloucester, his nephew, son (^ the Princess Anne, aad 
heir-presumptive to the throne ; and this appointment, which 
at once rest(»red his credit at court, was accompanied by the 
gracious egression, " My lord, make my nephew to resem- 

bor/* — Coxe's Marlborough, i., 75. " Marlboroogh's conduct to the Stuarts," 
■ays Lord Mahan, " was & tool blot on his memory. To the last he persever- 
ed in those deplorably intrigoea.. In October, 1713, he protested to a Jaco- 
bite agent he would rather have his hands cut off than do any thing to pre|- 
udice King James."^]ifAHON, i., 21, 22. 

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Ud yourself, and h^ will be every thing which I o«n desire." 
On the same day he was restored to his rank as a privy coim.- 
selor, and took the oaths and his seat accordingly. 

So fiilly had he now regained the confidence of William* 
14. that be was three times named one of the nine 
ed te^^lSJ" lords justiciars to whom the administration of at 
E^ta*S' &iM va. Great Britain was subsequently intrusted 
Nethcrianda. during the temporary absence of William in Hot 
land ; and the War of the Succession having become certain 

tha year 1700, that monarch, who was po^ariiiig to t^ 
an active part in it, appointed Marlb<»N)ugh, on the 1st of Jum^, 
1701, his ^oabassador extraordinary at the Uague, and ocmx^ 
mander-in-chief of the allied forces in Flanders. This douUe 
l^ppointment in efiect invested Marlborough with the entire 
direction of afiairs, civil and military, so fcfx as England wa« 
eoncemed, oa the Continent. William, who was highly in- 
dignant at the recognition of the Chevalier St. Goorge aa 
King of England on the death of his father, James 11., in 
September, 1701, was preparing to prosecute the war with 
tiie vigor and perseverance which so eminently distinguished 
his character, when he was carried off by the effects of a fall 
from his horse, on the 19th of March, 1702. But that event 
made no alteration in the part which England took in the war 
which was commencing, and it augmented rather than dimin- 
ished the iniluaice which Marlborough had in its direction. 
The Princess Anne, with whom, both individually sjimI through 
Lady Marlborough, he was so intimately connected, mounted 
the throne without opposition ; and by one of her first acts the 
queen bestowed on Marlborough the order of the Garter, con." 
firmed him in his former offices, and appointed him, in addi- 
tion, her plenipotentiary to the Hague* War was declared 
on the 15th of May, 1702, and Marlborough immediately went 
over to the Netherlands to take the command of the allied 
arm^, sixty thousand strong, then lying before Nimegu«:i, 
which was threatened by a superior force on the part of the 

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It 10 at thus periocU^une, 1702 — ^that the great and meni^ 
oraUe, and, withal, Wameless pmod of Marlbor- ^^ ^i^ 
•uffh's fife commenced. The nei:t ten years were iioda«Bieii- 
one ttnhrok^i B«ne0 of e^ffts, viQtones, and glory. comHoaoecU 
He arrived in the camp at Nim6gu^ go, tJm ey^aing of the 
2d of July, having heen a few weeks be&re at the Hague, and 
immediately aasiuned the command. Lord Athlone, who 
had previously ei\|oyed that situation, at first laid claim to 
an equal authority with him ; hut this ruinous division, which 
never is safe save wi& men so great m he and £ug«ne, and 
would unquestionahly have proved ruinous to the c^onmon 
cause had Athlone heen his partner in command, was {ure- 
voited hy the States Geni^ral, who insisted up<m the undi- 
vided direction heing conferred on Miiprlhorough, Most fo-> 
tunately, it is precisely at this period that ^ Dispatches 
commence, which present an unhrok^i series of his letters to 
persons of every description, down to his dismissal from office 
in May, 1712. They thus embrace the early successes in 
Flanders, the cross march into Bavaria and battle o£ Blen« 
heim, the expulsion of the French from Germany, the battle 
of Ramillies, and taking of Brussels and Antwerp, the mission 
to the King of Sweden at Dresden, the battle of Ahnanza in 
Spain, those of Oudenarde, Malplaqnet, and all the sieges in 
Flanders, and all the important events of the war down to its 
dose. More weighty and momentous materials for history 
never were pres^ited to the pubfic; andvtheir import^ce 
will not be propwly apj^eeiated if Ihe previous condition of 
Europe, and imminent hazard to the indep^dence of all the 
a^cMjung states, from the unmeasured ambition and vast pow- 
v: of Louis XIV., are not taken into coiisideratic»i. 

Accustomed as we are to regard the BourboQs as a fallen 
and un&rtunate race, the objects rather of c<Hn- le. ; 
miseration than apprehension, and Napdeon as ofth«^? 
the only sovereign who has really threatened our ^oi^S^ 
independence, and all but ej5ect^ the subjugation S^^ifJT 
of the Continent, we can scarcely conceive the ter- ^^^^ 

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ror with which, a century and a half ago, the monarch of 
that race, with reason, inspired all Europe, or the narrow 
escape which the continental states, at least, then made &om 
being reduced to the condition of provinces of France. The 
forces of that monarchy, at all times formidable to its neigh- 
bors, from the warlike spirit of its inhabitants, and their rar 
pacious disposition, conspicuous alike in the earliest and the 
latest times ;* its central situation, forming, as it were, the 
salient angle of a bastion projecting into the center of Ger- 
many, and its numerous population, were then, in a peculiar 
manner, to be dreaded, from the concentraticm of the elements 
of power thus a£[brded in the hands of an able and ambitious 
monarch, who had succeeded for the first time, fer two hund- 
red years, in healing the divisions and stilling the feuds of its 
nobles, and turning ^eir buoyant energy into the channel of 
foreign conquest. Immense was the force which, in conse- 
quence of this able policy, was found to exist in France, and 
terrible the danger to which it at once exposed the neighbor- 
ing states. 

France was rendered the more formidable in the time of 
17. Louis XrV. from the remarkable talents which he 
ibywWch^e himself possessed, and the imbounded ambition by 
SfF?S^M which he was actuated, the extraordinary ccmeen- 
^^^^^ tration of talent which his discernment or good for- 
. tune had collected round his throne, and the consummate 
abilities, civil and military, with which afiairs were directed. 
Turenne, Boufflers, and Cond6 were his generals ; Vauban 
was his engineer ; Louvois and Torcy were his statesmen. 
The luster of the exploits of these illustrious men, in itself 
great, was much enhanced by the still greater blaze of fame 
which encircled his throne, from the genius of the literary 
men who have given such immortal celebrity to his reign. 
Comeille and Racine were his tragedians ; Molidre wrote his 
comedies ; Bossuet, F6n61on, and Bourdaloue were his theo- 

" "Galii tarpe esae docant frmnentam maDu qaasrere; itaqae armatl 
alieDos agros demetnnt."— Cjesar. 

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logians ; Masnllon his preacher ; Boileau his critic ; Le No- 
tre laid out his gardenB ; Le Brun painted his halls. . Great- 
ness had come upon France, as, in truth, it does to most other 
states, in all departments at the same time ; and the adjoin- 
ing nations, alike intimidated by a power which they could 
not resist, and dazzled by a glory which they could not emu- 
late, had come almost to despair of maintaining their inde- 
pendence, and were sinking into that state of apathy which 
is at once the consequence and the cause of extraordinary re- 

' The influence of these causes had distinctly appeared in 
the extraoihiinary good fortune which had attended ig. 
the enterprises of Louis, and the numerous con- n^5^^e«i 
quests he had made since he had lanched into the J^ertoat 
career of foreign aggrandizement. Nothing had ^^^fLk^CT! 
been able, to resist his victorious arms. At the *»^ri«e8- 
head of an army of a hundred thousand men, directed by Tu- 
r^one, he.-had speedily overrun Flanders. Its fortified cities 
yielded to the science of Vauban, or the terrors of his name. 
The boasted barrier of the Netherlands was passed in a few 
weeks ; hardly any of its far-famed fortresses made any re- 
sistance. The passage of the Hhine was achieved under the 
eyes of the monarch with little loss, and with melo-dramatic 
efiect. One half of Holland was soon subdued, and the pres- 
ence of the French army at the gates of Amsterdam seemed 
to presage immediate destruction to the United Provinces ; 
and, but for the firmness of their leaders, and a fortunate 
combifiation of circimistances, unquestionably would have 
done so. The alliance with England in the early part of his 
reign, and the junction of the fleets of Britain and France to 
ruin their fleets and blockade their harbors, seemed to de- 
prive these states of their last resource, derived firom their 
energetic industry. Nor were substantial finiits wanting 
fiN)m these conquests. Alsace and Franche Comt6 were 
overrun, and, with Lorraine, permanently annexed to the 
French monarchy ; and although, by the treaties of Aix-la- 


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42 T8B UPB OF 

Chapelle and Nimegueo, part of the aaquintions of Louis in 
Flanders were abandoned, enough was letained by the de* 
Touring mcmarchy to deprive the Dutch of the barrier they 
had so ardently desired, and render their situation to the last 
degree precarious in the neighborhood of so fonnidaUe a 

It was the ambition and detestable cruelty of the Church 
Ho ^and ^^ B^nic which first produced, and probaUy al(me 
^MQ^oftbQ oould have pipduced, a reaction against theso 
throughout dangers. Intoxicated with the success whidi 

Europe attfais ' 

time. Their had in many quarters attended its efforUi, and in 

ultimate fail- ^ ^ . -r^ n , • •' 

ure. an especial manner m France, f(»r the extirpation 

of heresy, its leaders thought nothing could resist their powcar , 
The long triumphs and weU-known orthodoxy of Louis XIV. 
gave them the greatest hopes that he would employ his vast 
power and great capacity in eating that unity in the Church 
which he had so long labored to produce in the temporal ad- 
ministration of his monarchy ; while the secret incUuation of 
James II., revealed to his spiritual guides, made the leaders 
of the Romish Church aware that he was resolutely bent Pft 
re-establishing the Catholic faith in his dominions, or, at least, 
in restoring it to such a degree of power and consideration, as 
with so aspiring a body would have amounted, in effect, to 
the same thing. His character — bold, sincere, and enterprise, 
ing, but withal rash, bigoted, and inconsiderate — appeared tQ 
promise the fairest chance of success to such a design. T^h^ 
moment seemed beyond all hope favorable for a general ag^ 
gression on the Protestant faith ; for in France was a^ ablQ 
and powerful monarch, who considered, and perhaps with 
reason, unity in religion as indispensable to bis great object of 
centralization in temporal power ; and in England a devout 
and daring Catholic was on the throne, whose efii^rts, sup- 
ported by a considerable party in Great Britain and a very 
large one in Ireland, promised ere long to render the British 
empire, hitherto the strong hold of the Reformed, the chief 
outwork of the ancient faith. The two rival powers,, whose 

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jealousy aad rival j^tensioiis had 80 long desolated Europe, 
and whose opposite creeds had recently still more ividely sev- 
ered them from each other, were now united in close alliance, 
under governments alike anxious for the restoration of unity 
in matters of religion. And yet so Aort-«ighted are often the 
oonplu^on* of hum^n sagacity, even when founded on the 
most apparently reasonahle grounds, or so entirety are they 
overruled hy a Superior Power, that to the consequence of 
this veery aggression may he traced, hy a clear chain of causes 
and efiects, the curhing of the power qf Louis XIV., and the 
estahlishm^t of the JS^eformed faith on a 9oUd fi>undation Ia 
the north of Europe. 

The onset of the Church of Rome against that of Luthet 
commenced in hoth countries at the same time. ^niuSaneoag 
In 1685 the Edict of Nantes was revoked hy Louis S^P^'i!^ 

•' ^ ProtestantB in 

XIV., and those sanguinary military executions ^^S?f^^ 
begaA which have reflected such disgrace on his vocabiy aep^ 

. . to ■ yj^ ^g ^^^ 

reign. In 1687 ther persecution of the Protesta«^t», counters, 
aud measures evidently designed for the re*estahlishment pf 
the Romish faith, commenced in Great Britain, The result 
was different in the two countries. In France, four hundred 
thousand weeping citizens were sent into exUe, who carried 
into fereign states their industry, their arts, their hatred of 
Eoman CathoUo oppression^ In England, the reigning dy« 
nasty wag expelled from the throne, and carried to foreign 
courts the inextinguishahle desire to regain its inheritance. 
Europe was permanently divided hy these great events. The 
wrongs committed, the injuries suffered on hoth sides, were 
too great to he forgiven. On the one side was a throne over- 
ttimed, a taee of sovereigns in exile ; on the other were half 
a million of persecuted human heings wandering in foreign 
lands. Temporal wrongs of the deepest dye had come to he 
superadded to religious divisions. Alliances on hoth sides fol- 
bwed, aad revealed the vehement passions which were felt. 
The League of Augshurg, first signed on the 9th of July, 
1686, united Austria, Spain, Holland, Saxony, Swahia— ^to 

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which, after the revolution of 1688, was added England — 
against France ; while Louis XIV. contracted an alliance of 
the closest kind with the exiled James, now established at 
St. Grermains, entered into correspondence with the Royalists 
and Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland, and commenced 
those dark intrigues at the court of Madrid which ere loog 
led to the War of the Succession. 

The heroic William struggled not in vain for the inde- 
21. pendence of his country. The distant powers of 
wmiamra. Europe, at length awakened to a sense of their dan- 
danger, ger, made strenuous eflforts to coerce the ambition 
of France. The revolution of 1688 had restored England to 
its natural place in the van of the contest for continental free* 
dom ; and the peace of Ryswick in 1697 saw the trophies of 
conquest in some degree more equally balanced between the 
contending parties. But still it was with difficulty that the 
alliance kept its ground against Louis ; any imtoward event, 
the defection of any considerable power, would at once, it was 
felt, cast the balance in his favor ; and all history had demon- 
strated how many are the chances against any considerable 
confederacy keeping for any length of time together, when the 
immediate danger which had stilled their jealousies, and bound 
together their separate interests, is in appearance removed. 
Such was the dubious and anxious state of Europe when the 
death of Charles II. at Madrid, on the 1st of November, 1700, 
and the bequest of his vast territories to PhiKp, duke of Anjou, 
second son of the dauphin, and grandson of Louis XIV., 
threatened at once to place the immense resources of the Cas- 
tilian monarchy at the disposal of the ambitious monarch of 
France, whose passion for glory had not diminished with his 
advancing years, and whose want of moderation was soon 
evinced by his accepting, after an afiected hesitation, the 
splendid bequest. 

The manner in Which this bequest in favor of the Bourbons 
had been brought about was very curious, and i^ore cred- 
itable to the astuteness and ability of the diplomatists of 

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Manner in 

Louis XIY. than either the integrity or foresight 

of the allied cabinets. At first sight, it seemed the wUchtii^be. 

. . tjueat of Spam 

most extraordinary thing unaginatue that an Aus- ^ the Duke oL 

, T ^^ Anjou had 

trian prince, the descendant of Charles V., shoidd been obtained, 
have bequeathed his dominions to the grandson of Louis XIY., 
the hereditary enemy of his house, in preference to his own 
£umly , seated on the archducal throne of Austria. But the se- 
cret has been revealed by the publication, in later times, of the 
secrets of diplomacy, of which Smollett and our earUer writers 
were either ignorant, or whidi they were guilty of concealing.* 
It appears that the principal powers of Europe, aware of the 
approaching demise df the Spanish king without descendants, 
had come not only to speculate on the chances of the succes- 
sion, but had actually entered into secret treaties among each 
other for ihe partition of his dominions. In this nefarious 
scheme of spoliation, Louis XIY. and William III. of England 
took a prominent part, and the accecHion of Holland was ob- 
tained by promising her government a large share of the spoils. 
The first conference on the subject took place between the 
embassadors of the three great powers at the time of the treaty 
of Ryswick, and. the first formal treaty was signed at the 
Hague on the 11th of October, 1698. By it, the Spanish 
monarchy in the Peninsula was to be ceded to the Prince 
Electoral of Bavaria, with Flanders and ^e Low Countries. 
Naples, Sicily, Tuscany, and Guipuscoa fell to France, and 
the Duchy of Milan to the Archduke Charles, second son of 
the Emperor of Germany. England, to its credit be it said, 
was to gain nothing by this partiticxi.t 

What care soever the contracting parties took to keep this 
treaty secret, it transpired, and excited, as well it might, the 
most vehement indignation in the cabinets of Vienna and 
Madrid. William secretly informed the emperor of its sig- 

* S^ Smollitt, voL i., c. vii., § 37, where not a werd if laid of the 
formal treaty of partition of Spain. 

t Bee the treaty in Memoiret de Torey, P. i., p. 57; Sismondi, Hut. de 
Fraiue, xxvi, 276 ; and CAPJcrx«ujc, HUtaire de LouU XlV.t iv., »70, 871, 

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,,_?^^ nature ^ lUid the result of the deliberatioBs df th« 
^^^^ Austrian family wais, that Uie King of SpaLft maa« 
France, Ea- a testament, in which he bequeathed his whole do- 

fflund, and .^ 

Hoiia&d. minions to the Electoral Prince of Bararia, imder 
the solemn injunction to resist any attempt at partition. Had 
this prin(» lived, all the calamities which followed might have 
been averted ; but his deadi, idnch hi^pened on the 8th of 
February, 1699, threw erescy thing op^ again, jmd exposed 
Spain afresh to the cupidity of the allied powers. Negotia^ 
tions again began aflresh at the Hague, and on this occaskm 
England became a participator in the expected spoil. The 
result was a second treaty of partition, signed ^m. the 13th of 
March, 1700, at the Hague, between England, France, and 
Holland, without the privity of the emperor* By it, the whc^ 
Spanish dramnions were tp be divided between the oontract- 
ing parties in the Allowing proportions. France was to re- 
ceive Naples, Sicily, Guipuscoa, and Lorraine ; and Archduke 
Charles, second son d the Archduke of Austria, was to obtain 
Spain, the Low Countries, and the Indies, on condition of re- 
nouncing any other succession. But by secret articles annexed 
to this treaty, the Spanish colonies beyond seas were to be di« 
vided between England and HoUand.f Both of the latter 
powers were at the moment in alliance with Spain, and had 
fought by her side in the very last war, which lasted &om 
1689 to 1697. It may safely be affirmed that a more in- 
famous proceeding is not recorded in history ; and it reveals 
the melancholy truth that the human heart is ever the same, 
imder whatever banners it may be enlisted ; and that, under 
the mask of zeal £»: liberty and the reformed religion^ may be 

* S»aiONDl, xxvi., 277. 

t Pars des articles joints da traits, les cobnies Bspagnoles etaient ced^eg 
a la Qtande Br^tague 61 d. la Hollaiide, setile avanta^d ttiaterieUe qa'elle 
et Tautre retiraient de cea atipalationa. On donnait beauooup & la France, 
piBXteqtie hffaJM XIV. reooonaisaait Qxiillanine III. et lea gtniTemelnena 
noaveaox, qui veulent le faire admettre par lei vcrax «ont oblig^f & des s«e> 
tifiees.~C^Brravs, Hiet. dt i^owk 2ClV.i iy., 277; Jjmbcvri/y, i., 97; 
SCHODI., ii., 13) 14. 

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MAtlLBOtlOUGH. 47 

Oonc^ealed ambition M grogping, and perfidy ait black, as ever 
Itttk^ under the croAvn of IdngB or the cowl oi priestly 

Uniting duplidty toward hid new allies with ambition to* 
ward his old enemies, Lonis had no sooner ctm- 94. 
eluded this treaty than he secretly caused it to be ^^^^ 
communicated to Charles II., king of Spain, SS^d^rS^ 
through bis secretary of state, Abilles. The in- SspSSt^ 
telligence threw the declining iUonarch* as well it ^S^^^^J ^ 
might, into the utmost consternation^ Headdress- Bourbonc 
ed iu rain 1^ most pressing remonstrances to the calnnets of 
Vinsailles^ Lcmdon, and the Hague, pointing out, in just and 
emphatic terms, the glaring injustice of Mendly and aUied 
powers concluding a treaty for the partition of the dominions 
of a sovereign before he had yet sunk into the grave. It was 
all in vain. The ambition of France, England, and Holland 
Was proof against every consideration of hcmor, or faith, or 
justice. The French embassador at Madrid got orders to 
quit that capital ; the Spanish embassador at London receiv- 
ed his passpcnrts ; a large Fren<^ army was collecting on the 
Guipuscoa frontier of the Pyrenees. War se^oaed inevit- 
able ; the &te which subsequently befell Pdand seemed to 
threaten Spain the moment its present sovereign t^ould be 
no more. In this extremity, Charies II. tonvened his oouncil 
of state, and submitted the matter to their decision. By a 
large majority, they determined that a bequest in &rot of the 
Duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIY., was th6 most ad- 
visable step, as he was the only monarch capable of preventing 
a partition; and the old king, sacrificing the partiality of 
family and race to aroused indignation and sentiments of na- 
tionality, consented to do so, and signed the bequest which in- 
vdved Europe in conflagration. 

But though the cmgin of the evil was to b^' found in their 
own unjustiiiaHe ambition, it was not the less real, or deserv- 
ing of immediate consideration. Threatened with so serious 
a dmger, it is not surprising that the powers of Eurojpe were 

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35. in the utmost alarm, and ere long took stepe to 
danger which endeavor to avert it. All had ii^juries to avenge, 
^^^en- o^ inheritances to regain. Austria aimed to re- 
froS'STao- fi^ ^® Spanish succession, reft from its family by 
TOTO*o?*^ the ambition and diplomatic ability of the cabinet 
Franco. ^£ Versailles. England had a double motive for 
hostility : she had danger to avert, and the* mortification of 
being duped to avenge. Holland saw the enemy at her gates : 
the white flag floated on the bastions of Antwerp. Such, 
however, was the terror inspired by of Louis XIV., 
and the magnitude of the addition made by this bequest tp his 
power, that the new monarch, in the first instance, ascended 
the throne of Spain and the Indies without any opposition. 
The Spanish Netherlands, so important both from their in- 
trinsic riches, their situation as the certain theater of war, and 
the numerous fortified towns with which they were studded, 
had been early secured for the young Bourbon prince by the 
Elector of Bavaria, who was at that time the governor of 
those valuable possessions. The distant colonies of the crown 
of Castile in America and the Indies sent in their adhesion. 
Sardinia, Naples, Sicily, the Milanese, and the other Spanish 
possessions in Italy, speedily followed the example. The 
young Prince of Anjou made his formal entry into Spain in the 
beginning of 1701, and was crowned at Madrid under the title 
of Philip V. The principal continental powers, with the ex- 
ception of the Emperor of Germany, acknowledged his title to 
the throne. Bavaria united itself in a cordial alliance with 
France and Spain. The Dutch were in despair ; they beheld 
the power of Louis XIV. brouglit to their frontier. Flanders, 
instead of being the barrier of Europe against France, had 
become the outwork of France against Europe. Bavaria was 
an important advanced post, which gave the armies of Louis 
an entrance into the heart of Germany. Italy, France, Spain, 
Flanders, and part of Germany were united in one close league, 
and, in &ct, formed but one dominion. It was the empire of 
Charlemagne over again, directed with equal ability, founded 

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on greater power, and backed by the boundless treasures of the 
Indies. Spain had threatened the liberties of Europe in the 
end of the sixteenth century : France had aU but overthrown 
theiQ in the close of the seventeenth. What hope was there 
of being able to make head against them both, united under 
such a monarch as Louis XIV. ? 

Great as these dangers were, however, they had no efieot 
in daunting the heroic spirit of William III. Ip. gg. 
concert with the emperor and the United Prov- S^S*^ 
inces, who were too nearly threatened to be back- ^ opwaJS' 
ward in falling into his views, he labored for the •*^®^ 
formation of a great confederacy, which might prevent the 
union of the crowns of France and Castile in one family, and 
prevent, before it was too late, the ccmsolidation of a power 
which threatened to be so formidable to the liberties of Eu- 
rope. The death of that intrepid monarch in March, 1702, 
which, had it tfiken place earlier, might have prevented the 
formation of the confederacy, proved no impediment, but rath- 
er the reverse. His measures had been SP well taken, his 
resolute spirit had labored with such efiect, that the alliance, 
offensive and defensive, between the Emperor, England, and 
HoUand, had been already, signed. The accession of the 
Princess Anne, without weakening its bonds, added another 
power of no mean importance to its ranks. Her husband. 
Prince George of Denmark, brought the forces of that king- 
dom to aid the common cause. Prussia soon after followed 
the example. On the other hand, Bavaria, closely connected 
wth the French and Spanish monarchies, both by the influ- 
ence of its jealousy of Austria, and by the government of the 
Netherlands, which its elector held, adhered to France. Thus 
the forces of Europe were mutually arrayed and divided, much 
as they afterward were in the coalition against Napoleon in 
1813. It might already be foreseen that Flanders, the Ba- 
varian plains, Spain, and Lombardy, would, as in the great 
contest which followed a century after, be the theater of war. 
But the forces of France and Spain possessed this advantage, 


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tmknown in fOTmer wars, but immenBe in a military point of 
view, tliat they were in possession of the whole of the Nether- 
lands, the numerous fortresses of which were alike valuable 
as a basis of ofiensive operalions, and as afi^ding asylums ffXL 
but inq>regnable in cases of disaster. The allied generala, 
whether they commenced their operations in Flanders or on 
the side of Greiinany, had to begin on the Rhine, and cut their 
way through the long barrier of fortresses with which the ge- 
nius of Vauban had encircled the fwmtiers of the monarchy. 



Louis XIV., whose unmeasured ambition and diplomatic 

1. address had procured the splendid bequest of the 

rersi^r in tiie Spanish succession for his family, was one of the 


drawn by his- most remariLable sovereigns who ever sat upon the 
LouiaXiv. throne of France. Yet there is none of whose 
character, even at this comparatively remote period, it is 
more difficult to form a just estimate. Beyond measure eulo- 
gized by the poets, orators, and annalists of his own age, who 
lived on his bounty, or were flattered by his address, he has 
been proportionally vilified by the historians, both foreign and 
national, of subsequent times. The Homan Catholic writers, 
with some truth, represent him as the champion of their faith, 
the sovereign who extirpated the demon of heresy in his do^ 
minions, and restored to the Church, in undivided unity, the 
realm of France. The Protestant authors, with not less rea- 
son, regard him as the deadliest enemy of their religion, and 
the cruellest foe of those who had embraced it ; as a faithless 
tyrant, who scrupled not, at the bidding of bigoted priests, to 
violate the national faith plighted by the Edict of Nantes, and 

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IfAitLBO&OUOH. 51 

to peisecute with unieleiitiiig seventy the unhappy people 
who, from conscientiotis motives, had hroken off fiom the 
Church of E<mie. One set of writeis paint him as a mag^ 
nanimbus monaoeh, whose mind, set tm great things, and 
sws^ed hy lofty desiies, finrodiadowed those vast designs which 
Napoteon, axmed with the forces of the Revoli^on, afterward 
£)r a hiief spwoe realized. Anoth^ «et dwell on the feihles or 
the vices of his private character— depict him as alternately 
swayed by priests, on influenced by women ; selfish in his de- 
sire^ relentless in his hatred, and sacrificing the peace of Eu- 
rope, and endangeoriag the independence of France, for the 
gratification of p^rscmal vanity, or fiK>m the thirst of unboimd- 
ed ambition* 

It is the fate of all men who have made a great and durar 
ble impresKon on homan afiairs, and powerfully af* a 

« -I , . , 1 , . . « Which Ki« 

fected the mterests, or thwarted the opmi(»i of from the 
large bodies of men, to be represented in these c^ Ssdeedi.^ 
poate colors to future times. The party, whether in church 
or state, which they hav« elevated, the nati<m whose power 
or glory they have augm^ited, praise as much as those whom 
they have oppressed and injured, whether at hcmie or abroad, 
strive to vilify their memory. But in the case oi Louis XIV. , 
this general prc^p^udty has been greatly increased by the op- 
posite, and, at first sight, inccmsiBtent features of his character. 
There is almost equal truth in the mi^niloquent eulogies of 
his admirers, and in the impassioned invective of his aiemies. 
He was not less great and magnanimous than he is represent- 
ed by the elq^ant flattery of Kacine or Boileau, nor less cruel 
and hard-hearted than he is painted by the austere justice of 
SismcMidi or D'Aubign6. 

Lake miany other men, but more than most, he was made 
up of lofty and elevated, of selfish and ifrivolous ^^^^^^ 
qualities. He could alternately hoast, with truth, ^Y^S^SLwr 
that there was no longer any Pyrenees, and rival contradic. 

. 1 IS. 1 tionaofhM 

his youngest courtiers in fiivolous and often heartless character. 
gallantry. In his younger years he was equally assiduous in 

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his application to business, and engrossed with personal vani- 
ty. When he ascended the throne, his first words were, ** I 
intend that every paper, fi»m a diplomatic dispatch to a pri- 
vate petition, shall be submitted to me ;" and his vast pow- 
ers of application enabled him to compass the task. Like 
Louis Phihppe, he was his own prime minister ; and eren 
when he acted through others, he never fisdled to communi- 
cate the impress of his own lofty mind and great capacity to 
the conduct of all his subordinate authorities. ^ Discerning in 
the choice of his ministers, swayed only, at least in matters of 
state, by powerful intellects, patriotic and unselfish in the 
choice of his ministers, he collected round himself the first tal- 
ent in France, and yet preserved his ascendency over them 
alL Yet, at the same time, he deserted the queen ibr Ma- 
dame la VaUidre, and soon after broke La VaUiere^s heait by 
abandoning her for Madame de Montespan. In mature Ufe^ 
his ambition to extend the bounds and enhance the glory of 
France was equaled by his desire to win the admiration or 
gain the favor of the fair sex. Li his later days he alternate- 
ly engaged in devout austerities with Madame de Maintenon, 
and, with moumfiil resolution, asserted the independence of 
France against Europe in arms. Never was evinced a more 
striking exemplification of the saying, so well known among 
men of the world, that no one is a hero to his valet-de-cham- 
bre ; nor a more remarkable confirmation of the truth, so oft- 
en proclaimed by divines, that characters of imperfect good- 
ness constitute the great majority of mankind. 

That he was a great man, as well as a successful sovereign, 
4. is decisively demonstrated by the mighty changes 
which he"S^' which he efiected in his own realm, as well as in 
^Smoj^dur. ^^^ neighboring states of Europe. Wh^ he as- 
inghis rdgn. tended the throne, France, though it contained the 
elements of greatness, had never yet become great. It had 
been alternately wasted by the ravages of the En^ish, and 
torn by the fury of the religious wars. The insurrection of 
the Fronde had shortly before involved the capital in all the 

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honors of civil conflict ; barticfules had been erected in the 
streetis ; alternate victory and -defeat had by turns elevated 
and depressed the rival faction. Turemie and Cond6 had dis^ 
^ played their consummate talents in miniature warfare within 
sight of N6tre Dame. Never had the monarchy been depress- 
ed to a. greater pitch of weakness than during the reign of 
Louiff Xin> and the minority of Louis XIV. But from the 
time the latter sovereign ascended the throne, order seemed to 
arise out of chaos. The ascendency of a great mind made it- 
self felt in every departnlent. Civil war ceased ; the rival 
faction disappeared ; even the bitterness of religious hatred 
seemed for a time to be stilled by the influence of patriotic feel- 
ing. The energies of France; drawn fcnrth during the agonies 
of civil conflict, were turned to public objects and the career 
of national aggrandizement, as those of England had been 
after the conclusion of the Great Rebellion^ by the firm hand 
and magnanimous mind of Cromwell. From a pitiable state 
of anarchy, France at once appeared on the 4Jieater of Eu- 
rope, great, powerful, and united. It is no common capacity 
which can thus seize .the^helm and right the ship when it is 
reeling most violently, and the fury of contending elements 
has i&ll but torn it in peces. It is the highest proof of polit- 
ical capacity to discern the bent of the public mind, when most 
violently excited, and, by falling in with the prevailing desire 
of the majority, to convert the desolating vehemence of social . 
conflict into the steady passion for national advanc^saent. 
Napoleon did this with the poUtical aqnrations of the eight- 
eenth, Louis XrV: with the religious fervor of the seventeenth 

It was because his character and turn of mind coincided 
with the national desires at the moment of his as- ___ . J; 

vvmcb arose 

oendin^ the throne, that this cnreat monarch was fiwnbistum 

" ° ° ^ /. • ofmindcoin- 

cxnabled to achieve this marvelous transformation, ciding wini 

' the spirit.of 

If Napoleon was the incarnation of the Revolution, the age. 
with not less truth it may be said that Louis XIV. was the 
incarnation of the monarchy. The feudal spirit, modified, but 


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not dee^Kiyed, by the changes of time, appeared to be o(xieenr 
trated, with its highest luster^ in his person. He was still the 
head of the Franks — ^the luster of the historio families yet sor* 
romided his thrcme ; but he was the head of the Franks only 
— ^that is, of a hundred thousand conquering warriors. Twen- 
ty millions of conquered Gauls were neither regarded nor con- 
sidered in his administration, except in so &x as they augment* 
ed the national strength, or added to the national resources. 
But this distinction was then neither perceived nor regarded. 
Worn out with civil dissension, torn tapieces by religious pas- 
sions, the fervent minds and restless ambition of the French 
longed for a national field for exertion — an arena in which 
social dissensums might be forgotten. Louis XIV. gave them 
this field — ^he opened this arena. 

He ascended the throne at the time when this desire had 
6. become so strong and general as in a manner to 
^v^eif' concentrate on its objects the national will. Hia 
£o^^f^ character, equally in all its parts, was adapted to 
people- the general want. He took the lead alike in the 
greatness and the foibles of his sulgects. Were they ambi- 
tious ? BO was he : were they desirous of renown ? so was he : 
were they set on national aggrandizement ? so was he : were 
they desirous of protection to industry ? so was he : were they 
prone to gallantry ? so was he. His figure stately, and coun- 
tenance majestic; his manner lofty and commanding; hia 
ocmversation dignified, but enlightened ; his spirit ardent, but 
patriotic— qualified him to take the lead and preserve his as- 
cendency among a proud body of ancient nobles, whom the 
disasters of preceding reigns, and the astute policy of Cardinal 
Richelieu, had driven into the ante-chambers of Paris, but 
who preserved in their ideas and habits the pride and recol- 
lections of the conquerors who followed the banners of Clovis. 
And the great body of the people, proud of their sovereign, 
proud of his victories, proud of his magnificence, proud of his 
fame, proud of his national spirit, proud of the literary glory 
which environed his throne, in secret proud oi his gallantries^ 

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joyfully followed their nobles in the bnlLiant career which hi$ 
ambition opened, and submitted with as much docility to hi« 
government as they had once ranged themselves round the 
banners of their respective chiefs on the day of battle. 

It was the peculiarity of the government of Louis XIV., 
arising from this fortuitous, but to him fortunate 7. 
combination of circumstances, that it united the dis- ^^tweaea- 
tinctiona of rank, family attachments, and ancient SS^d^m^' 
ideas of feud^ times, with the vigor and efficiency n»«5^*««^ 
of monarchical government, and the luster and brilliancy of 
literary glory. . Such a combination could not, in the nature 
of things, last long ; it must soon work out its own destruc* 
tion. In truth, it w?w sensibly weakened during the course of 
the latter part of the half century that he sat upon the throne. 
But while it endured, it produced a most formidable union ; 
it engendered an extraordinary and hitherto unprecedented 
phalanx of talent. The feudal ideas still lingering in the 
hearts of the nation produced ^ubprdination ; the national 
spirit, excited by the genius of the sovereign, induced unanimr 
ity ; the development at talent, eHcited by his discernment, 
conferred power ; the Hterary celebrity, encouraged by his mu- 
nificence, diffiised fame. The pecuhar character of Louis, in 
which great talent was united with great pride, and unbound- 
ed ambition with heroic magnanimity, qualified him to turn 
to th0 best account this singular combination of circumstances, 
and to xmita in France, for a brief period, the lofty aspirations 
and dignified manners of chivalry, with the energy of rising 
talent and the luster of literary renown. 

XiCHiis XrV. was essentially monarchical. That was the se- 
cret of his success : it was because he first gave the ^, ,^ 8. 

^ ° Unity and oeo- 

poWers of unity to the monarchy that he render- tnMization 

1 -r, ^ .,,. 1 PI 411 1 • werebiflgrett 

ed France so brilhant and powerfiu. All his objects, 
changes — and they were many — ^fi:om the dress of soldiers to 
the instructions to embassadors, we?e characterized by th^ 
pame spirit. He first introduced p. uniform in the army; 
BeSare his time, th^ soldiers merely ^ qre a banderole over their 

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66 THE LIFE or 

Bteel breast-plates and ordinary dresses. That was a great 
and symptomatic improvement : it at once induced an esprit 
de corps dJoA. a sense of responsibility. He first made the 
troops march with a measured step, and caused large bodies 
of men to move with the precisLop of a single company. The 
artillery and engineer service, under his auspices, made aston- 
ishing progress. His discerning eye selected the genius of 
Vauban, which invented, as it were, the modem sjrstem of 
fortification, and well^iigh brought it to its greatest elevation 
'• — and rsused to the highest command that of Turenne, which 
carried the miUtary art to the most consummate perfection. 
SMllfiilly turning the martial and enterprising genius of the 
Franks into the career of conquest, he multipHed tenfold their 
power, by conferring on them the inestimable advantages of 
skilled discipline and imity of action. He gathered the feudal 
array around his banner ; he roused the ancient barons from 
their chateaux, the old retainers from their villages. But he 
arranged them in disciplined battalions of regular troops, who 
received the pay and obeyed the orders of government, and 
never left their banners. His regular army was ail enrolled 
by voluntary enlistment, and served for pay. The militia {done 
was raised by conscription. When he siunmoned the miUta- 
ry forces of France to undertake the conquest of the Low 
Countries, he appeared at the head of a hundred and twenty 
thousand men, all regular and disciplined troops, with a hund- 
red pieces of cannon. Modem Europe had never seen sudi 
an array. It was irresistible, and speedily brought the mon- 
arch to the gates of Amsterdam. 

The same imity which the genius of Louis and his minis- 
9. ters conmumicated to the military power of France, 
^e^ty to ^^ gfi'Ve also to its naval forces and intemal strength, 
fliought ip^ g^^jj ^ p-^^jj^ ^^ greatness did he raise the ma- 
rine of the monarchy, that it all but outnimibered that of En- 
gland ; and the battle of La Hogue, in 1692, alone determin- 
ed, as Trafalgar did a century after, to which of th^e rival 
powers the dominion of the seas was to belong. His Ordi- 

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nances of the Marine, pFomulgated in 1781, form the best code 
of maritime law yet known, and one which is still referred to, 
like the Code NatK)leon, as a ruling authority in all commer- 
cial states. He introduced astonishing reforms into the pro- 
ceedings of the courts of law, and to his efibrts the great per- 
fection of the French law, as it now appear in the admiraUe 
works of Pothier, is in a great degree to be ascribed. He re- 
duced the government of the interior to that regular and me- 
thodical system of governors of provinces, mayors of caties, and 
other subordinate authorities, aU receiving their instructions 
fiN>m the Tuileries, which, under no subsequent change of gov- 
emm^at, imperial or royal, has been abandoned, and which 
has, in every succeeding age, formed the main source of its 
strength. He concentrated around the monarchy, the rays of 
genius from all parts of the country, and threw around its 
head a luster of Hterary renown, which, more even than the 
exploits oi his armies, dazzled and fascinated the minds of 
men. He arrayed the scholars, philosophers, and poets of his 
dominions like soldiers and sailors ; almost all the academies 
of France, which have since become so famous, were of his in- 
stitution : he sought to give discipline to thought, as he had 
done to his fleets «nd armies, and rewarded distinction in lit- 
erary eflbrts not less than warlike achievement. No mon- 
arch ever knew better the magical influence of intellectual 
str^ogth on genial opinion, or felt more strongly the expedi- 
ence of enlisting it on the side of authority. Not less than 
HLLdebrand or Napoleon, he aimed at drawing, not over his 
own country alone, but the whole of Europe, the meshes of 
regulated and centralized thought ; and more durably than 
mther he attained his object. The religious persecution, which 
constitutes the great blot on his reign, and caused its brilliant 
csireer to dose in mourning, was the result of the same desire. 
He longed to give the same unity to the Church which he had 
done to the army, navy, and civil strength of the monarchy. 
He saw no reason why the Huguenots should not, at the roy- 
al command, face about like one of Tuxenne's battaliqiui. 

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Schism in the Chnrch was viewed by him in exactly the sanid 
light as rebellion in the state. No efibrts were spared by in- 
duoements, good deeds^ and fair promises, to make proselytes ; 
but when twelve hundred thousand Protestants resisted his se- 
ductions, the sword, the fagot, and the wheel were resorted to 
without mercy for their destruction. 

Napoleon, it is well known, had the highest admiration of 
10. Louis XIV. Nor is this surprionir : th^ princi*- 

Genenlre- * ° '■ 

•embiance of pies of government and leading objects of amHtion 

hiB ideaB of o ^ 

goTemmeat were the same. ** L*^tat— <;*es^ moiy*' Was the 
Napoiieon. principle of this grandson of Henry IV. : " Your 
first duty is to me, your second to France,** said the emperor 
to his nephew, Prince Louis Napoleon. Li different words, 
the idea was the same. To concentrate Europe in France, 
France in Paris, Paris in the government, and the govem- 
meht in himself, was the ruling idea of each. But it was no 
concentratic»i for sel^sh or unworthy purposes which was thus 
desired. It was for great and lofty objects that'this undi- 
vided power was sought by both. It was neither to gratify 
the desire of an Eastern seraglio, nor exercise the tyranny of 
a Roman emperor, that either coveted unboimded authority. 
It was to exalt the nation of which they formed the head, to 
uugment its pow^, extend its dominirai, enhance its fame, 
magnify its resources, that they both denned themselves sent 
into the world. It was the general sense that this was the 
object of their administration which constituted the strength of 
both. Equally with the popular party in the present day, 
they r^arded society as a pyramid, of which the multitude 
formed the base, and the monarch the head. Equally vnth the 
most ard^it d^noc^at, they desired the augmentation of the 
national resources, the in<7«a8e of public felicity. But they 
both thought that these Uessings must descend frcnn the sover- 
eign to his subject, not ascend from the subjects to their sover- 
■eign. " Ev«y thing y5?r the pec^, nothing by th^oa,** which 
Napoleon dest^bed as the secret of good government, was not 
lefts the maxkn of the imperious despot of the Bourlxm race; 

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The identity of their ideas, the siiiiiiarity of their ol^'ects of 
ambition, appears in the monuments which both ^u. 
have left at Pans. Great as was the desire of the w^fS* 

emperor to add to its embeUishment, magniiiceiit as Seir pubii? 
were his ideas in the attempt, he has yet been un- ^**^^- 
able to equal the noble structures of the Bourbon dynasty. 
The splendid pile of Versailles, the glittering dome of the In- 
valides, still, after the lapse of a century and a half, over- 
shadow all the other monuments in the metropolis, though 
the confiscations of the Revolution, and the victories of the 
emperor, gave succeeding governments the resources of the 
half of Europe for their construction. The inscription on the 
arch of Louis, ** Ludovico Magno," still seems to embody the 
gratitude of the citizens to the greatest benefactor of the cap- 
ital ; and it is not generally known that the two edifices 
which have added most since his time to the embellishment 
of the metropolis, and of which the Revolution and the Empire 
would fain take the credit — the Pantheon and the Madeleine 
*— were begun in 1764 by Louis XV., and owe their origin to 
the magnificent ideas which Loiiis XIV. transmitted to his, 
in other respects, unworthy descendant.* 

Had one dark and atrocious transaction not taken place, 
the annalist might have stopped here, and painted 12. . 

*he French monarch, with a few foibles and weak- the revocation 

^ -. .,, of the Edict of 

B, the common bequest of mortiUity, yet still, Kantos. 

aipon the whole, a noble and magnanimous ruler. His ambi- 
tion, great as it was, and desolating as it proved, both to the 
" adjoining states, and, in the end, to his own subjects, was the 
"last infirmity of noble minds." He shared it mth Cajsar 
and Alexander, with Charlemagne and Napoleon. Even his 
cruel and mmecessary ravaging of the Palatinate, though at- 
tended with dxeadlid private sufieriug, has too many parallels 

* "La Madeleine comme le Pantheon avait ^te commonc^e la m6me an- 
ii6e en 1764, pax les ordres de Louis XV,, le roi dos grands nvoniimens, et 
dont le regne a 6t^ travesti par la petite liistoire."— CAPEFiGUE//fwto«rfl 
de Lmiu Philippe, viii., 291, - .• - . , 

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in the annals of military cruelty. His accession to tke league 
of 17t)0 for tl^e partition of Spain was a violent stretch of am* 
bition, and cflrried into execution with equal duphcity and 
perfidy ; but these were directed against the hereditary enemy 
of France, and the annals of diplomacy in all ages prove that 
violations of state morality are too frequent among govern- 
ments. His personal vanities and weaknesses, his love of 
show, his passion for women, his extravagant expenses, were 
compOLon to him with his grandfather, Henry IV. : they seem- 
ed inherent in the Bourbon race, and are the frailties to which 
heroic minds iii every age have been most subject. But, for 
the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and the heart-rending 
cruelties with which it was carried into execution, no such 
apology can be found : it admits neither of paUiation nor 
excuse. Were it not for the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 
and the expulsion of the Morescoes from Spain, it would stand 
foremost in the annals of the world as an example of kingly 
perfidy and priestly cruelty. 

The expulsion of four himdred thousand innocent human 
b^ngs from their country, for no other cause but . i3. 
difierence of religious opinion ; the destruction of duced the ro- 
nearly a .hundred thousand, of whom it is said a him that 
tenth perished by the frightfiil torture^ of the power, 
wheel and the stake — ^the wholesale desolation of provinces 
and destruction of cities for conscience' sake, never will and 
never should be forgotten. It is the eternal disgrace of the 
Boman CathoHc religion — a disgrace to which the " execra- 
tions of ages have not yet affixed an adequate censure" — -that 
all these infamous state crimes took their origin in the bigot- 
ed zeal or sanguinary ambition of the Church of Rome. Nor 
have any of them passed without their just reward. The ex- 
pulsion of the Moors, the most industrious and valuable inhab- 
itants of the Peninsula, has entailed a weakness upon the 
Spanish monarchy, which the subsequent lapse of two centu- 
ries has been unable tp repair. The reaction against the 
Romish atrocities produced the great league of which Will- 

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iam III. was the head ; it sharpened the swords of Eugene 
and Marlborough ; it closed in mourning the rdgn of Louis 
XV. Nor did the national punishment stop h^e. The mas- 
sacre of St. Bartholomew and revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes were the chief among reiiK)te, hut certain, causes of 
Ihe French Revolution, and all the unutterable miseries which 
it brought both upon the Bourbon race and the profes^rs of 
the Romish faith. Nations have no immortality ; their pirn- 
ishment i^ inflicted in this world ; it is visited with unerring 
certainty on the third and fourth generations. Providence 
has a certain way of dealing with the political sins of men, 
which is, tcf leave them to the consequences of their own 

K ever the characters of two important actors on the the- 
ater of human affairs stood forth in striking and 14. 
emphatic contrast to each other, they were those ^JJ^ of 
of Louis XIV. and WilHam III. They were, in ^SwmL 
truth, the representatives of the principles for which ^• 
they respectively so long contended ; their' characters embod- 
ied the doctrines, and were distinguished by the features, 
of the causes for which they fought through life. As much 
bJb the turn of mind — stately, magnanimous, and ambitious, 
but bigoted and unscrupulou&7~of Louis XIV. personified the 
Romish, did the firm and simjde, but persevering and imcon- 
querable soul of William, embody the principles of the Prot- 
estant £edth. The positions they rej^)ectively held through 
life, the stations they occupied, the resources, moral and polit- 
ical, which they wielded, were not less charactenstic of the 
causes of which they were severally the head. Louis led on 
the feudal energies of the French monarchy. Inured to rigid 
discipline, directed by consummate talent, supported by im- 
mense resources, his armies, uniting the courage of feudal to 
the organization of civilized times, had at first, like those of 
CsBsar, only to appear to conquer. From his gorgeous pal- 
aces at Paris, he seemed able, like the Church of Rome from 
the halls of the Quirinal, to pve law to the whole Christian 


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world. William b^gau the contest under very diflerent cir* 
cumstanceB, Sunk in obscure marshes, cooped up in a nar« 
row territory, driyen into a comer of Europe, the fo^Koa at his 
c(«mnand appeared as nothing before the stupendous array of 
his adversary. He was the emblem of the Protestant faith, 
arising £rom small beginnings, springing ficom the energy of 
the middle classes, but destined to grow with ceaseless vigor 
until it reached the gigantic strength of its aw£il antagonist. 
The result soon proved the prodigious di&rence in the early 
15 resources of the parties. Down went tower and 
^^ofWiS town before the apparition ofLouis in hi* krength. 
^ch^va- Th® ^^^ barriers of Flanders yielded, almost withr 
flion. Qut a struggle, to his anns. The genius of Tu« 

xienne ajid Vauban, the presence of Louis, proved for the time 
irreastibie. The Hhine was crossed ; fifty thousand men ap* 
peared before the gates of Amsterdam. Dissension had par^ 
alyzed its strength, terror aU Init mastered its resolution; 
England, influenced by Frwch mistresses, bought by Fraich 
gold, in secret won over to the French faith, held back, and 
ere long openly joined the oppressor, alike of its hberties and 
its religion. AU seemed lost for the liberties of Europe and 
the Protestant faith. But William was not dismayed. He 
had a certain resource against subjugaticHi lef):. In his own 
words, " he could die in the last ditch." He conununicated 
his unconquerable f^irit to his fainting Mlow-citizens ; he in*" 
8i»i?ed tiiem with the noble resolution to aband(Hi their coirn* 
try rather than submit to the invaders, and " seek in a new 
hemispheare that Uberty of which Europe had became unworf 
thy." The generous eSbit was not made in vain. The 
Dutch rallied round a leader who was not wanting to him* 
self in such a crisis. The dikes were out ; the labor of een« 
turies was lost ; the oceaa resumed its sway xwer the fields 
r^ fi:om its domain. But the cause of freedcnn, o£ reUgicm, 
was gained. The French ajmues recoiled £rom the watery 
waste, us those of Napoleon afterward did firom the flames of 
Moscow. An^«terdam was the limit of iiie conquests of Louis 

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XIV. He tkere fi>und the power which said, '* Hitherto shalt 
thou come, and no further, and here shall thy proud waves 
be stayed." The manifest danger to Europe caused the triple 
league to he fenned; even Charles U. became alarmed at 
the fearful progress of his great rival. The German armies 
threatened the communioationB of ike French in Holland 
with their own country, Jjouis XIV. was obliged to give 
(»rders to retreat ; his ecNaquests in the Low Countries were 
lost as fast as they had been won. But the snake was scotch- 
ed, not killed : its strength and daring were unabated. Long, 
and ofteaft doubtful, wa« the contest ; it was bequeathed to a 
fljQcoeeding generation and another reign. But frcmi the time 
of the invasicm of Holland, the French aims and Romish 
dominAti(»i perman^itly receded ; and but for the deserticm, 
of ^ allknoe by England at the peace of- Utrecht, the allies 
would have given law in the palace of the Grand Monarque, 
bridled the tyra^y <^ Bossuet and Tellier, and permanently 
establiidied the Protestant faith in nearly the half of Europe. 
Like many oth» men who are called en to play an impor- 
tant part in the a&drs of the world, William seem- iq. 
ed formed by nature for the duties he was destined ^ebuac^ 
to perform. Had his mind be^ stamped by a dif- ^^^^£ 
ferent die, his (^aiacter cast in a different mold> ^^ 
he would have ^iled in his mission. He was not a monardi 
of the most IndlUant, nor a g^:ieral <^ the most iaxmg kind. 
Had he he&x either the one or the other, he would have been 
shattered against the colossal strength d* Louis XIV., and 
tsrushed in the very outset of his career. But he possessed in 
the highest perfecticax that great quality vrithout which, in 
the hour of trial, all others prove of no avail — moral courage 
and invincible detezmuaation. His enterprises, dften designed 
with abihty and executed wiOi daring, were yet all based, 
hke those of Wellington aflearwaxd in Portugal, cm a just sense 
of the necessity of husbanding his resources, arising from the 
constant inferiority of his £>rces and means to those of the eur 
emy. He vtras perseverance itself. Nothing could shake his 

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resolution, nothing divert his purpose. With equal ener^ he 
labored in the cabinet to construct and keep together the vast 
alliance necessary to restrain the ambition of the Prench mon- 
arch, and toiled in the field to baffle the enterprises of his 
abl6 generals. 

With a force generally inferior in number, al:v(rays less pow- 
17. erful than that of his adversaries in its discipline, 

HUpoUcyin . . _ , ■ , ^ 

war, which at composition, and resources, he nevertheless con- 
victoriotifl. trived to sustain the contest, and gradually wrested 
from his powerftd fenemy the more important fortresses, which, 
in the first tumult of invasion, had submitted to his arms. 
He was frequently worsted^ but scarcely ever entirely defeated 
in pitched battle&> for his troops were for the most part infe- 
rior in composition to those of the French, while his tenacity 
and skill never failed to interpose so as to avert a total disas- 
ter. But he generally contrived to inflict on them a loss 
equal to his own, and the barren honors of a well-contested 
field were all that remained to the victors. Like Washing- 
ton, he made great uge of the mattock and the spade, and 
pflen, though in the end victorious, th6 gallant chivalry of 
France were decimated before his well-constructed intrench- 
ments. At length he worked his way up to a superiority, 
when the capture of Namur, in 1695, in the face of the 
French army, and the garrison commanded by Majrshal Bouf- 
flers, proved that the armies of the Grand Monarque had by 
great exertions been overmatched. If the treaty of Nimeguen 
was less detrimental to the French power than that of Utrecht 
iEifterward proved, it was more glorious to the arms of the 
Dutch commonwealth and the guidance of William, for it 
was the result of efforts in which the weight of the conflict 
generally fell on Holland alon^ ; and its honors were not to be 
shared with those won by the wisdom of a Marlborough or 
the daring of a Eugene. And at length the treaty of Rya- 
wick put a bridle in the mouth of Louis, and France openly 
receded before her once-despised foe. 

In private life William was distinguished by the same 

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qualities wliich.marked liis public career. Hekad ^^ hfracter 
not the cliivalrous ardor which bespoke the nobles *» piiv«t«. 
of France, nor the stately magnificence oi their haughty sov- 
ereign. His manners and habits were such as itrose &om, and 
suited, the austere and laborious people among whom his VSe 
was passed. Without being insenidble to the softer passions, 
he never permitted them to influence his conduct or encroach 
upon his time. He was patient, laborious, and indefatigable. 
To courtiers accustomed to the polished elegance of Paris, or 
the profligate gallantry of St. James's, his manners appeared 
cold and unbending. It was easy to see he had not been bred 
in the saloons of Versailles or the soirSes of Charles II. But 
he was steady and unwavering in his resolutions ; his desires 
were set on great objects; and his external demeanor wa« 
correct, and often dignified. He was reproached by the En- 
glish, not without reason, with being unduly partial, after his 
accessicm to the British throne, to his Dutch subjects ; and he 
was influenced through life by a love of money, which, though 
at first arising firom a bitter sense of its necessity in his long 
and arduous conflicts, degenerated in his older years into an 
avaricious turn. The national debt of England has been im- 
properly ascribed to his policy. It arose unavoidably from 
the Revolution, and is the price which every nation pays fi>r 
a lasting change, how necessary soever, in its ruling dynasty. 
When the sovereign can no longer depend on the unbought 
loyalty of his subjects, he has no resource but in their inter- 
ested attachment. The selfish desires of the holders of stock 
must come in place of the disinterested attachment of nations. 
Louis Philippie*s government has done the same, under the 
influence of the same necessity. Yet William was not a per- 
fect character. More than one dark transaction has left a 
stain on his memory ; his accession to the treaties with France 
for the partition of Spain proved that his ambition could at 
times render him insensible to all the dictates of public moral- 
ity ; and the massacre of Glencoe, if it did not equal the rev- 
ocation of the Edict of Nantes in the wide-spread misery with 


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which it was attended, rivaled it in the perfidy in which it 
was conceived, and the cruelty with which it was executed. 

Less distinguished than either of his great regal cotanpoh 
19. rariea by genius or success, James II. of England 
j^fij'of^ was yet a sovereign of no ordinary character, a^d, 
^^^^^ the important events of his reign have impressed 
his name in an indelible manner on the records of history. In 
his person a dynasty was overturned, a form of government 
changed, a race of sovereigns sent into exile, and a new im- 
pulse communicated to the Refimned religion. He consimi-? 
mated the Waterloo of the royal dynasty of the Stuarts ; he 
established, without intending it, the Protestant feith in the 
British empire on an imperishable foundation. Such deed^ 
for good or for 6vil necessarily give immortality to their aur 
thors ; for they lift them from the common herd of men, the 
efiect of whose actions perish with themselves, to the rank of 
those who have made durable and indelible changes in humai^ 
affairs. James did this, like Charles X. in after times, from 
the force of his will, and the absence of corresponding strength 
of understanding ; from the sincerity of his conscientious opin- 
ions, and the want of that intermixture of worldly prudence 
which was, necessary to give his measures lasting success. 4- 
less honest man would never have thought of hazarding the 
name of royalty for that of religion; — a more able one would 
probably have succeeded in renderiag his religion victorioup. 
It is the mixture of zeal with rashness, sincerity with imprur 
dence, courage with incapacity, which has generally induced 
royal martyrdom. 

Yet James II. was not destitute of abilities, and he was ao- 
30. tuated by that sincerity pf intention and eamest- 
^(Sr^? ness of purpose which is so important an element 
**®^ in every elevated character, . He had none of the 

levity or insouciance of his brother Charles. That light* 
hearted monarch was his superior in penetration, and greatly 
his superior in prudence, but had less of the hero, and iiiccnnr 
paraUy less of the martyr in his composition. Charles wad 

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at liearl; a Catkolic, but he would never have sacrificed tliree 
cro-wns for a mass. In the arms of the Duchesa of Portsmouth 
he forgot alike the cares and the duties of royalty, James 
WBS not without his personal frailties aa well aa Charles, but 
they did not form a ruling part of his character. Cast ia a 
ruder mold, moved by more serious feelings, he wa^ actuated 
in every period of life by lofty and laspectable, because gener- 
ous and disdnt^rested, passions. Patriotism at first was his 
ruling motive : England had not a more gallant admiral ; and 
in his combats with De Rujrter and Van Tromp, he edubited 
a degree of nautical skill rarely witnessed in those who have 
been bred in palaces. Nelson or CoUingwood did not more 
gallantly steer into the midst of the enemy's fleet, or engager 
with more dogged resolution, yard-arm to yard-arm, with a 
poweriul and redoubtable foe. When he ascended the throne^ 
this daring and obstinate disposition was entirely directed 
toward religion. A sincere, even a bigoted Catholic, he deem- 
dd his duty to his faith far superior to aU worldly considera- 
tions. Frcmi the moment of his accession, he labored assidu- 
ously to efiect, if not the re-establishment of Romish suprem- 
acy, at least such an equal partition of power with the Church 
of England as was probably, in the case of so ambitious i^ 
body as the B/omish ecdesiastics, the same thing. 

In the prosecution of this object he wa« rash, vehement, 
and inconsiderate ; deterred by no consideration of 21. 
prudence, influenced by no calculation of his means J^ w^"* 
to his end, he permitted, if he did not actually sane- ^*him^^ 
tion, atrocious cruelty and oj^ression toward his ^°°^ 
unhappy Protestant subjects ; and drove on his own objects 
without the slightest regard to the means of eflecting them 
which he possessed, or the chances of success which they pre- 
sented. He uniformly maintained, to the last hour of his life, 
jhat it was perfoct liberty of conscience, and not any exclusive 
supremacy, which he intended to estabHsh for his Roman 
Cathblic subjects ; and several acts of his reign unquestionably 
£ivor this^ opinion. If so, it is a curious historical fact, lUus- 

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trative of the silent changes of time on human afiairs, that the 
Whigs of 1688 took the crown from his head, and placed a 
new dynasty on the throne, for attempting to do the very 
thing which their saccessors in 1829, after thirty years' in- 
cessant e^rts, actually accomplished. As it was, the attempt 
lost James and his family the throne, threw England perma- 
nently into the Protestant alliance, and, by giving her the lead 
in the great confederacy against France, contributed more 
than any other cause to place her on that lofty eminence 
which she has ever since maintained in European afiairs. 
The constancy of James in misfortune was as remarkable and 
more respectable than his vehemence in prosperity; with 
moumftd resolution he continued to assert to his dying hour 
the cause of legitimacy against that of revolution, and died 
an exile in a foreign land, the martyr of religious fidelity and 
royal resolution. 

"War having been resolved on, the first stisp was taken by 
22. ^^^ emperor, who laid claim to Milan as a fief of 
mCTttoTS ^^® empire, and supported his pretensions by mov- 
^''' ing an army into Italy under the command of 

Prince Eug^ie of Savoy, who afterward became so celebrated 
as the brother and worthy rival in arms of Marlborough. 
The French and Spaniards assembled an army in the Milan- 
ese to resist his advance ; and the Duke of Mantua having 
joined the cause, that important city was garrisoned by the 
French troops. But Prince Eugene ere long obliged them to 
j(alll)ack ftom the banks of the Adige to the line of the Oglio, 
on which they made a stand. But though hostilities had 
thus commenced in Italy, negotiations were still carried on 
at the Hague. It was soon found, however, that the preten- 
sions of the French king were of so exorbitant a character 
that an accommodation was impossible. He had recently 
taken a step which showed how much his ambition had in- 
creased with the vast accession of power he had receiveo. 
Charles II. had declared in his testament that the Duke of 
* Anjou should renounce his rights to the crown of France be- 

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fere receiving that of Spain ; but Louis would not permit 
him to make «uch a renunciation, and he accepted the Span- 
ish crown without any qualification. The resolution to unite 
the two crowns on the same head was therefore not attempt- 
ed to be disguised. 

When the contest commenced, the forces which the con- 
tending parties could command seemed nearly equal 33. 
to each other, and the result showed that they were Si?^^ 
very equally matched. On the side of Louis was ^"°<^ 
France, which, with a population of twenty miUions, could 
maintain two hundred thousand soldiers in arms, and Spain, 
with its vast add varied possessions ill the Peninsula, Flan- 
ders, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia,* containing at least thirty mill- 
ions of inhabitants, besides the colonies beymid seas, of great 
importance firom the revenue— -not less than five milHons sta- 
ling — which they fiimished to the Spanish government. Ba- 
varia, too, was an important outwork, not merely firom the 
courageous disposition of its inhabitants, and the firm adher- 
ence of its government, through jealousy of Austria, to the 
Frraich interest, but firom the entrance which it afibrded to 
hostile armies into the heart of Germany. The central posi- 
tion, however, of France, and the close proximity of its fron- 
tiers to the seat of war in Flanders, Italy, and on the Rhine, 
rendered it easy to foresee, what the event soon demcmstrated, 
that the weight of the contest, save in the Peninsula, would 
fall on its forces. But they were numerous and efi^ient, ad- 
miraUy disciplined, and led by generals of talent and experi- 
ence ; and, above aU, they were inspired with that confidence 
in themselves, and justifiable pride, which is the invariable 
consequence of a long train of military success. 

On the other hand, the allies had the troops of Austria, 
England, Holland, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, and the 94. 
lesser states of Grermany, with snght succor firom theaiiiea. 
Prussia and Denmark. These powers had a numerical 

• 81SMONDI, xxvi., 286, 290. CAFiriQUE, Hist de Louit XIV., iv., 296, 

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ajnount of inhabitants little inferior, if put together, to thoie 
of the French and Spanish monarchies, bat they were incom- 
parably more divided and distracted by separate interests and 
necessities, and the military resources of none of them, except 
Austria, had been fully drawn forth. The latter power had 
its forces, great. as they were, divided by the pressure of a 
Hungarian insurrection and the dangers of a Turkish inva- 
sion, which the activity of French diplomacy kept continually 
impending over it ; and they were at such a distance from 
the scene of action that tliey could seldom be relied on to ap- 
pear in requisite time at the decisive point. The interests of 
the diHerent powers were as various as their territories were 
far severed. England was sincerely set on preventing the 
union of the French and Spanish monarchies, because its in- 
dependence was seriously threatened by their junction. But 
the other powers were actuated by very dilierent motives, 
Austria was intent on regaining in whole the splendid inher- 
itance of the Spanish monarchy, of which she regarded her- 
self, not without reason, as defrauded by the testament of 
Charles II. Holland longed for a barrier of fortresses to shel- 
ter her from the invasion of France, which had at no distant 
period brought her to the very verge of destruction ; while 
Prussia and Denmark were so far removed from the danger, 
that it was with difficulty they could be induced to make any 
considerable efforts in the common cause. England, albeit 
placed in the very front of the conflict, was so ignorant of her 
strength, and so Httle accustomed to exert it, that with a 
population, including Ireland, of little less than ten millions 
of souls, she had only forty thousand men under arms ; while 
France, with her twenty millions, had two hundred thousand. 
Thus, though the physical resources on the two sides were 
not materially different, yet the superiority in point of numer- 
ical amount of forces, central situation, and homogeneity of 
descent, was decisively on the side of France ; and the dan- 
ger was very great that the coalition would be dissolved by 
weighty strokes received by its exposed members, before the 

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lequisite succor c^uld arrive &om its distant and less menaced 

Marlborouj^'s first mission to the Continent, ailer the ac- 

oesBion of Anne, was of a diplomatic character; 35. 

and it was by his unwearied eUbrts, suavity of fiSSfto 
manner, and singular talents for negotiation, that J^^ firs^^cwn-'' 
the difficulties which attend the formation of all ^^^' 
such extensive confederacies were overcome. It was not, 
however, till war was declared, on the 4th of May, 1702, 
. that he first became commander-in-chief of the allied armies. 

The first operation of the alhes was an attack on the small 
fort of Kaiserworth, on the right bank of the Rhine, belong- 
ing to the Elector of Cologne, which siirrendered on the 1 5th 
of May. The main French army, nominally under the di- 
rection of the Duke of Burgundy, really of Marshal Boufflers, 
entered the duchy of Cleves in the end of the same month, 
and soon became engaged with the allied forces, which at first, 
behig inferior in numbers, fell back. Marlborough reached 
head-quarters when the French lay before Nimeguen ; and 
the Dutch trembled for that frontier town. Re-enforcements, 
however, rapidly came in from all quarters to join the aUied 
army, and Marlborough, finding himself at the head of a gal- 
lant force sixty thousand strong, resolved to commence offens- 
ive operations. His first operation was the siege of Venloo, 
which was carried by storm on the 18th of September, after 
various actions in the course of the siege. *' My Lord Cutts," 
says Marlborough, " commanded at one of the breaches ; and 
the English grenadiers had the honor of being the first that 
entered the fort."* Ruremonde was next besieged ; and the 
allies, steadily advancing, opened the navigation of the Meuse 
as far as Maestricht. Stevenswart was taken on the 1st of 
October, and on the 6th Ruremonde surrendered. 

Liege was the next object of attack ; and the breaches of 
the citadel were, by the skillfiil operations of Cohom, who 
commanded the allied engmeers and artiUery, declared prac- 
^Dupatches, 21 at of September, 1702. 

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28. ticable on the 23d of the same month. The a»- 
Lte^imS^ sault was immediately ordered, and, " by the ex- 
2d^?k?- traordinary bravery," says Marlborough, "of the 
cMnpdmf officers and soldiers, the citadel was parried by 
23d Sept storm ; and, for the honor of her majesty's sub- 
jects, the English were the first that got upon the breach.*'* 
So early in this, as in every other war where ignorance and 
infatuation has not led them into the field, did the native-bom 
valor of the Anglo-Saxon race make itself known ! Seven 
battalions and a half were made prisoners on this occasion ; 
and so disheartened was the enemy by the fall of the citadel, 
that the castle of the Chartreuse, with its garrison of fifteen 
hundred men, capitulated a few days afterward. This last 
success gave the allies the entire command of Liege, and con- 
cluded this short but glorious campaign, in the course of 
which they had made themselves masters, by main force, in 
the presence of the French army, of four fortified towns, con- 
quered all Spanish Guelderland, opened the Mouse as far as 
Maestricht, carried the strong castles of Liege by storm, ad- 
vanced their standards from the Rhine far into Flanders, and 
became enabled to take up their winter quarters in the ene- 
my's territory, amid fertile fields. 

The campaign being now concluded, and. both parties hav- 
27, ing gone into winter quarters, Marlborough em- 
dJe^Miffi- barked on the Mouse to return to London, where 
beSgmade"* ^ presence was much required to steady the au- 
v^^^^^' thority and direct the cabinet of the queen, who 
had so recently taken her seat on the throne. When drop- 
ping down the Mouse, in company of the Dutch commission- 
ers, he was made prisoner by a French partisan, who had 
made an incursion into those parts ; and owed his escape to 
the presence of mind of a servant named Gill, who, unper- 
ceived, put into his master's hands an old passport in the 
name of Greneral Churchill. The Frenchman, intent only on 
plunder, seized aU the plate and valuables m the boat, and 
* Dispaichet, 23d oi October, 1703. 

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made priaoners the small detachment of soldiem who accom* 
panied them ; but, ignoraat of the inestimable piize within his 
grasp, allowed the remainder of the party, including Maii* 
borough, to pioceed on their way. On this occasion, it ms^ 
truly be said, the boat carried CsBsar and his fortunes. He 
arrived in safety at the Hague, where the people, who regard- 
ed him as thdr guardian angel, and had heard of his narrow 
escape, received him with the most enliiusiastic aoclamatioiuL 
From thence, having concerted the plan for the ensuing can> 
paign with the Dutch government, he crossed over to London, 
where his reception by the queen and nation was of the most 
grati^ring description. Her majesty inferred on him the 
title oi Duke of Marlborough and Marquis of Blandibrd, and 
sent a message to the House of Commons suggesting a pen* 
sion to him of £5000 a year, secured on the revenue of the 
post-office ; but that house refused to consent to the aliena^ 
tion of so considerate a part of the public revenue. He waji 
amply compensated, however, for this disappointment by the 
asiithusiastic rec^ptirai he met with firbm all classes o£ the na- 
tion, who, long unaccustomed to military sfiocess, at least in 
any cause in which they could sympathize, hailed with trans* 
pcwrts of joy this first revival of triumph in supp(»rt of the Prot- 
estant fiuth, and over that power with which Ibr centuries 
they had maintained so constmt a rivalry. 

The campaign of 1703 was not finiitful of great events. 
Taug^ by Che untoward issue ofthe preceding one, gg. 
the quality of the ges^rsl and army with whom s^S^,^ 
he had to contend, the French general cautiously SSS*^^ 
r^QHained on the defensive, and ably carried into **«o^Boiui, 
execution the p^ of the Fr«aich king, which was to remain 
cm the defensive in Flandefs, and reserve the weight of his 
strokes Ibr the valley of the Danube, where a great eSGsit 
threatening Vienna was to be made. So ddllfully were tha 
measures df Marshal Boufflers taken, that all the ej^nrts ef 
MaxlboroQgh to force him to a general action proved abortive. 
The war in Flandeis was thus limited te one tf posts and 


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'74 THE LiPE OP 

sieges ; but in that the superiority of the allied arms was suo^ 
cessfully asserted, Parliament having been prevailed on to 
consent to an augpientation of the British contingent. But 
^ treaty having been cohcluded with Sweden, and various re- 
enforcements having been received from the lesser powers, 
preparations were made for the siege of Bonn, on the Rhine, 
a frontier town of Flanders, of great importance from its com- 
manding the passage of that artery of Germany, and stopping, 
while in. the enemy's hands, all transit of mihtary stores or 
provisions for the use of the armies in Bavaria, or on the Up- 
per Rhine. The batteries opened with seventy heavy guns 
and English mortioirs'on the 14th of May, 1703 ; a vigorous 
sortie with a thousand foot was repulsed, after having at first 
gained some success, on the fc^owing day, and on the 16th, 
two breaches having been declared practicable, the garrison 
surrendered, at discretion. After this sucijess the army moved 
against Huys, which was taken, with its garrison of 900 men, 
on the 23d of August! i ♦ . 

Marlborough and the English generals, after this success, 
29. were decidedly of opinion that it would be advisa* 
melent'*' ^ble at all hazard to attempt forcing the French 
fr^'figh^, lines, which were strongly fortified between Me- 

^fg^co^* -haigne and Leu we, and a strong opinion to that 
Setok^'^f ®^®^* was transmitted to the Hague on the very 
Li«»i>ourg. day after the fell of Huys.* They alleged, with 
reason, that the allies being superior in Flanders, and the 
French having the upper hand in Germany and Italy, it was 
of the utmost importance to follow up the present tide of suc- 
cess in the only quarter where it flowed in their favor, and 
counterbalance ^disasters elsewhere by decisive events in the 
quarter where it was most material to obtain it. The Dutch 
government, however, set on getting a barrier for themselves, 
oould not be brought to a^ee to this course, how great so- 
ever the advantages which it promised, and insisted instead 
that Marlborough should imdertake the siege of Limbourg, 
* Memorial, 24'& August, noz.—Dispatcheij i., 165. 

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which lay open to attack. This was accordingly done ; the 
trenches were commenced in the middle of Septemher, and 
the garrison capitulated on the 27th of the same month : a 
poor compensation for the total defeat of the French army, 
which would, in all probability, have ensued if the bolder plan 
of operation he had so earnestly counseled had been adopted.* 
This terminated the campaign of 1703, which, though suc- 
cessful, had led to very different results from what might 
have been anticipated if Marlborough's advice had been fol- 
lowed, and an earUer victory of Ramilhes laid open the whole 
Flemish plains. Having dispatched eight battalions to re-en- 
force the Prince of Hesse, who had sustained serious disaster 
on the Moselle, he had an interview with the Archduke 
Charles, whom the allies had acknowledged as King of Spain, 
and by whom he was presented with a magnificent sword set 
with diamonds ; he went next to the Hague, and from thence 
proceeded to London to concert measures for the ensuing cam- 
paign, and stimulate the British government to the efibrts ne- 
cessary for its successful prosecution. 

But while success had thu^ attended all the operations of 
the allies in. Flanders, where the English contin- jvi^J" 
cent acted, and Marlborough had the command, %e Upper 

Rhiiie and in 

affairs had assumed a very difierent aspect in Grer- Bavaria. 
many rand Italy, where the principal el^rts of Louis had been 
made. The French were there superior alike in the number 
and quality of their troops, and, in Germany at least, in the 

* Marlboroag^h was mach chagrined at being intermpted in his meditated 
decisive operations by the States General on this occasion. On the 6th of 
September he wrote to them, '* Vos Haates Puissances jageront bien par le 
camp que nons venons de prendre, qa'on n'a pas vonla se r^sondre It tenter 
les lignes. J'a €U convaincn de plus en plas, depnis Thonneor que j'ai en 
de voas ^crire» par les avis que j'ai re<^ jonmellement de la situation des 
enenues, qne cette entreprise n'^tait pas senlement practicable, mais m^e 
qa'on ponrrait en esp^er tont le sncc^ qne je m'^tais propose : enfin I'occa- 
sion en est perdne, et je soohaite de tout mon coenr qn'elle n'ait aacane 
f&chense suite, et qn'on n'ait pas lieu de s'en repentir quand il sera trop 
tard."— Marlborough aux Etati Oeniraux, 6 Sepiembre, 1703. Dit- 
pakhat U 173. 

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Bldll with which they were commanded. Early in June, 
Marshal Ta}lard assumed the comma^ of the French forces 
in Alsaoe, passed the Rhine at Strasburg on the 16th of July, 
took Prissac on the 7th of September, and invested Landau on 
the 16th of October. The allies, under the Prince of Hesse, 
attempted to raise the siege, but were defeated with consid- 
erable loss ; and, soon afler. Landau suireiidered, thus tenn- 
inating with disaster the campaign on the Upper Rhine. Still 
more considerable were the losses sustained in Bavaria. Mar* 
shal ViUars commanded there, and, at the head of the French 
and Bavarians, defeated Greneral Stirum, who headed the Im- 
perialists, on the 20th of September. Li December, Marshal 
Marsin, who had succeeded Villars in the command, made 
himself master of the important city of Augsburg, and in Jan- 
nary, 1704, the Bavarians got possession of Passau. Mean- 
while, a fi>rmidable insurrection had broken out in Hungary, 
whidi so distracted the cabinet of Vienna, that the capital 
seemed to be threatened by the combined forces of the French 
and Bavarians after the fall of Passau. 

No event of importance took place in Italy during the oam- 
31, paign, Count Strahremberg, who commanded the 
Swof^lS- Imperial forces, having with great ability forced 
^^u^. *^® ^"*» ^® Venddme, who was at the head of a 
•^ superior body of Fr^ich troops, to retire. But in 

Bavaria and on the Danube, it was evident that the allies 
were overmatdied ; and to the restoration of the balance in 
that quarter^ the anxious attention of the confederates was 
turned during the winter of 1703-4. The dangerous state 
c^ the emperor and the empire awakened the greatest solici- 
tude at the Hague, as well as unbounded terror at Vienna, 
from whence the most urgent representations were made on 
the necessity rf re-enforcements being sent from Marlborough 
to their support. But, though this was agreed to by England 
and Holland, so straitened were the Dutch finances, that they 
were wholly unable to form the necessary magazines to ena- 
ble the allies to commence operations. Marlborough, during 

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the whole of January and February, 1704, was indefatigable 
in his efibrts to overcome these difficulties ; and the prepara^ 
tions having at length been completed, it was agreed by the 
States, according to a plan of the campaign laid down by Marl- 
borough, that he himself should proceed into^ Bavaria with the 
great body of the aUied army in Flanders, leaving only a corps 
of observaticm in the Low Countries, to restrain any imnirsion 
which the Frendh troops might attempt during his absence. 

The plan of the campaign which px)mi8ed thesis brillia&t 
results to France had been magnificently conceived „ ^- , 

. Frencb puui 

by the cabinet ci Versailles. The great gemus of of the ctm^ 

. . paigniaGer- 

Louis XIV. in strategy there ebone foiih in full lus- many, 
t^. Lastead of confining the war to one of posts and sieges 
in Flanders and Italy, it was resolved to throw the bulk of 
their forces at once into Bavaria, and operate against Austria 
from the heart of Germany, by pouring down the valley of 
Ihe Danube. The advanced post held there, by the Elector 
of Bavaria in front, forming a saUent angle, penetrating, as it 
were, into the Imperial dominions, the menacing aspect ^ the 
Himgarian insurrection in the rear, pressed the most sno- 
oesdul issue to this deci^vd operation. For this purpose. Mar- 
shal Tallard, with the French army on the Upper Rhine, re- 
ceived orders to cross the Black Forest and advance into Swa- 
bia, and unite with the Elector of Bavaria, which he accord* 
ingly did at Donawerth, in the beginning of July. Marshal 
Villeroy, with forty battalions and thirty-nine squadrons, wds 
to break ofi* from the army in Flanders and support the ad- 
vance by a mov^Qoent on the MoseUe, so as to be in a c(»idi- 
tion to join the main army on the Danube, of which it would 
form, as it were, ihe left wing ; while Venddme, with the 
army of Italy, was to penetrate into the Tjrrol, ai^ advance 
by Innspruck on Salzburg. The united armies, which it was 
calculated, after deducting all the losses of the oampai^ 
would muster eighty thousand combatants, was then to move 
direct by Lintz and the valley of the Danube ^n Vienna, y<Aal» 
a large detachment penetrated into Hungary to lend a hand 


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to the already formidable insurrection in that kingdom. The. 
plan was grandly conceived : it extended from Verona to Brus- 
gels, and brought the forces over that vast extent to converge 
to the decisive point in the valley of the Danube. The ge- 
nius of Louis XrV. had outstripped the march of time ; a war 
of sieges was to be turned into one of strategy, and 1704 prom- 
ised the triumphs which were realized on the same ground,^ 
and by following the same plan, by. Napoleon in 1805.* 
But if the plan of the campaign was ably conceived on the 
33. part of the French cabinet, it presented, firom the 
Uestocomi^ multipHcity of its combinations, serious difficulties 
teractit ^ execution, and it required, to insure success, a 
larger force than was at their disposal. Attempted with in- 
adequate forces or unskiMil generals, it presented the great- 
est danger to the invading party, and, like all other daring op- 
erations in war, staked the campaign on a single throw, in 
which decisive success or total ruin awaited the unlucky ad- 
venturer. Marlborough, by means of the secret informati(m 
which he obtained firom the French head-quarters, had got fiill 
intelligence of it, and its dangers to the allies, if it succeeded, 
struck him as much as the chances of great advantage to them 
if ably thwarted. His line was instantly taken. He repair- 
ed forthwith to the Hague, where his great influence and en- 
gaging manners, joined to the evident peril of the empire, pro- 
cured a ready acquiescence in all his proposals. It was agreed 
that the English general was to advance vigorously against 
Villeroy in the Low Countries, and force him either to accept 
battle, or retire to the Moselle or the Rhine. Li either case, 
as success was not doubted, he was to cross over intd Germa- 
ny by the Electorate of Cologne, advance as rapidly as possi- 
ble into Bavaria, and either form a junction with Prince Eu- 
gene, who commanded the Imperial army in that quarter, or, 
by threatening the oommimications of the French army in 
Swabia, compel it to fall back to the Rhine. The great ob- 
ject was p) save Vienna, and prevent the advance of the 
* Capkfioui. Hist de Louu XJV.» v., 208, 809. 

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:Frencli into Hungary, where a few of their regiments might 
fan the sparks of insurrection into an inextinguishable flame. 
This plan, by weakening the allies in the Low Countries, 
might expose them, and especiially the Dutch, to disadvan- 
tage in that quarter, but that was of little consequence. The 
vital point was in the valley of the Danube : it was there that 
the decisive blows were to be struck. Marlborough, in resist- 
ing theFrench invasion, proceeded on exactly the same prin- 
ciples, and showed the. same decision of mind as Napoleon in 
.1796, when he raised the siege of Mantua to meet thie Austri- 
an armies under Wurmser descending' from the Tyrol ; or 
Suwarroff in 1799, when he raised that of Turin to march 
against Macdonald advancing froin Southern Italy toward the 
fatal field of the Trebbia. 

Marlborough began his march with the great body of his 
forces on the 8th of May, and, crossing the Mouse 34. 
at Maeslxichti proceeded with the utmost expedi- J^M^mMi?'* 
tion toward the Rhine by Bedbourg and Kirpen, i^^ Germany. 
and arrived at Bonn on the 28th of the same month. Mean- 
while, the French were also powerfully re-enforcing their army 
on the Danube. ViUeroy, with the French forces on the 
Mouse, retired before him toward the MoseUe, and eluded all 
attempts to bring him to battle. Early in the same month 
strong re-enforcements of French troops joined the Elector of 
Bavaria, while Villeroy, with the army of Flanders, was has- 
tening in the same direction. , Marlborough having obtained 
intelligence of these great additions to the enemy's forces in 
the vital quarter, wrote to the States General that, unless they 
promptly sent him succor, the emperor would be entirely ru- 
ined.* Meanwhile, however, relying chiefly on himself, he 
redoubled his activity and diligence. Continuing his march 

* " Ce matin j'ai appria par one estafette qne lea ennemis avaient joint 
TElectear de Baviere avec 26,000 hommes, et que M. de Villeroi a passe la 
Mease avec la meiUeare paitie de I'arm^e dos Pays Bas, et qa'il poossait 
sa marche en toute diligence vers la Moselle, de sorte que, sans an prompt 
s^cours, Tempire court risque d'etre entierement abim4."--^MARLB0R0U0B 
,aus EtaU G^niroMX; Bonn, S Mai, 1704. Dispatehe$, i/274. 

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Up the Rhine by Coblentz and Cassel, opposite Mayenoe, he 
crossed the Necker near Ladenbourg on the 3d of June. 
From thence he pursued his march without mfennission by 
Mimdelshene, where he had, on the 10th of June, his first 

-^ interview vvith Prince Eugene, who had been called from 

«l Italy to command the Imperial forces, in the hope he might 

* * succeed in stemming the torrent of disaster in Germany. 

From thence he advanced by Great Heppach to Langenau, 
and first came in contact with the enemy on the 2d of Jtdy, 
on the SchuUenberg, near Donawert. Marlborough, at the 
head of the advanced guard of nine thousand men, there at- 
tacked the French and Bavarians, twelve thousand strong, in 
their intrenched camp, which was extremely strong, and, after 
a desperate resistance, aided by an opportune attack by the 
Prince of Baden, who commanded the emperor's forces, car- 
ried the intrenchments, with the whole artillery which they 
mounted, and the loss of seven thousand men and thirteen 
standards to the vanquished. He was inclined to venture upon 
this hazardous attempt by having received intelligence on the 
same day from Prince Eugene, that Marshal Tallard, at the 
head of fifty battalions and sixty squadrons of the best French 
troops, had arrived at Strasburg, and was using the utmost dil- 
igence to reach the Bavarian forces through the defiles of the 
Black Forest. But tliis advantage was not purchased with- 
out a severe loss ; the allies lost one thousand Rre hundred 
killed and four thousand wounded ; and Marlborough him- 
self, who headed the decisive attack, and was among the first 
to enter the trenches, was in the greatest danger. 

This brilliant opening of the German campaign was soon 
35. followed by substantial results. A few days after 
eucc^s^ Rain surrendered ; Aicha was carried by assault ; 
in Havana. ^^^^ foUoviang up his career of success, Marlborough 
, advanced to within a league of Augsburg, under the cannon of 
which the Elector of Bavaria was placed vrith the remnant 
of his forces, in a situation too strong to admit of its being 
forced. He here made several attempts to detach the elector, 

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who vrtB aow imluced to the grefttest straits, from tlie French 
allianee ; Ibot that prince, relying oa the gieat army, forty-dye 
thousaiid Strang, which Marshal Tallard was iHringing up to 
his sufiport firom the B/hine, adheired with honoraUe fidelity 
to his ^igagements. Upon this Marlborough took post near 
Friburg, in such a situation a« to cut him ofi*&6m all ecnnmu* 
nication with his dominioBS, and ravaged the country with his 
Hgbt troops, levying contributions wherever they went, and 
burning the villages with savage ferocity as &r as the gates 
of Munich. Thus vnB avenged the barbarous desolation of 
the Palatinate, thirty years before, by the French army under 
Ihe orders of Manhal Turenne. Overc<Hne by the cries of his 
mfiering subjects, the elector at length consented to enter into 
a negiotiation, which made some progress ; but the rapid ap- 
IHToach of Marshal Tallard with the Frendi army through the 
Black Forest caused him to break it oS, and hazard all on 
the fortune of war. 

Unable to induce the elector, by the barbarities imhaj^y, 
at that time, too firequwit on all sides in war, either ^ ^e. 

. - . . , , 1 , r Marshal Tal- 

to quit his mtr^iched camp under the canncm of lard joins ^ 

- 1 T-i 1 11- Elector of Ba. 

Angwuxff, or abandon the French alliance, the ▼aria.wkode- 

termines to 

English general undertook the aege of lugoktadt ; fight. 
Jie hizQself, with the main bedy of tiie army, covering the mge, 
and Prince Xiouis c^ Baden conducting the (^rations in the 
tr^sdhes. Upcm thi^, the Elector of Bavaria broke up j&om 
his str<»ig poiltion, and abandoning, with heroic resohition, his 
own country, marched to Biberach, where he efiected his 
junction with Marshal Tallard, who now threatened Prince 
Eugene with an immediate attack. No sooner had he receiv- 
ed intell^^Loe of this, than Marlborough, on the 10th of Au- 
gust, sent the Duke of WirtOTaburg, with twenty-seven squad- 
rons of horse, to re-^iforce the prince ; and early next morning 
detached General Churchill, with tw^ty battalions, across the 
Danube, to be in a situation to support him in case of need. 
He himself immediatdy a^ier fdlowed, and joined the prince 
with his whole army on the 1 1th. Every thing now presaged 

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82 'THE LIFE or 

decisive avents. The elector had holdly quitted Bavaria, 
leaving his whole dominions at the mercy of the enemy, except 
the fortified cities of Munich and Augsburg, and periled his 
crown upon the issue of war at the French head-quarters ; 
while Marlborough and Eugene had united their forces, with 
a determination to give battle in the heart of Germany, in ths 
enemy's territory, with their communications exposed to the 
utmost hazard, under circumstances where defeat could be 
attended with nothing short of total ruin. 

By the rapidity of his march, which had altogether out- 
„ 37. stripped the slower movements of Majshal Villeroy, 

Venddme is . . . 

defeated in who waa Still in the neighborhood of the Moselle, 
to penetrate Marlborough had defeated one important part of the 
o^roJ? combinations of the French king. But if Vend6me 
had succeeded in penetrating through the Tyrol, and joining 
the French and Bavarian armies to the north of the Alps, 
their united forces would have greatly poreponderated over 
those of Marlborough and Eugene, and given them a decisive 
superiority for the whole remainder of the campaign. On this 
occasion, however, as subsequently in the wars of 1805 and 
1809, the courage and loyalty of the Tyrolese proved the sal- 
vation of the Austrian monarchy. These sturdy mountaineers 
flew to arms ; every defile was disputed ; every castle required 
a separate si^e. Accustomed to the use of arms from their 
earhest years^ admirable marksmen, indefatigable in bearing . 
fatigue, perfectly acquainted with the intricacies of their rug- 
ged country, they opposed so formidable a resistance to the ad- 
vance of the French troops, that all the skill and perseverance 
of Vendome were unable to overcome them. He got as far 
as Brixen, but could not succeed in forcing the passage above 
that town, or surmounting the crest of the Brenner. Thus 
Marshal Tallard and the Elector of Bavaria were left alone 
to make head against Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marl- 
borough.* ...... 

In numerical amount, however, they were decidedly supo- 
* CAPjtriGUK, Z,cwt# iX/F, v., 211, 918. 

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nor to the allies. The French and Bavarian army ^ 
.consisted of sixty thousand men, of whom nearly bo5f«i<tei 
forty-five thousand were French troops, the very best cSmStr^ 
which the monarchy could produce, and they had tivemerittL 
sixty-one guns. Marlborough and Eugene had sixty-six bat- 
tahons and one hundred and sixty squadrons, which, with the 
artillery, might be about fifty-six thousand combatants, with 
fifty-one guns. The forces on the opposite sides were thus 
nearly equal in point of numerical amount, but there was a 
wide difierence in their composition. Four fifths of the French 
army were national troops, speaking the same language, ani- 
mated by the same feelings, accustomed to the same discipHne, 
and the most of whom" had been accustomed to act together. 
The allies, on the other hand, were a motley assemblage, like 
Hannibal's at Cannae, or "Wellington's at "Waterloo, composed 
-of the troops of many different nations, speaking different laur 
guages, trained to different discipline, but recently assembled 
together, and under the orders of a stranger general, one of 
those haughty islanders, little in general inured to war, but 
-whose cold or supercilious manners had so often caused jeal- 
ousies to arise in tiiie best-cemented confederacies. Enghsh, 
Prussians, Danes, "Wirtemburgers, Dutch, Hanoverians, and 
; Hessians were blended in such nearly equal proportions, that 
the arms of no one state could be said by its numerical pre- 
ponderance to be entitled to the precedence. But the consum- 
mate address, splendid talents, and conciliatory manners of 
.Marlborough, as.,the brilliant valor which the English 
auxihary force had displayed on many occasions, had won for 
them the lead, as they had formerly done when in no greater 
force among the confederates of Richard CoBur de Lion in the 
Holy "War.. \ It waa universally felt that upon them, as on the 
Tenth Legion of Caesar, or the Old Guard of Napoleon, the . 
weight of the contest at the decisive moment would fall. 

"^Iie army was divided into two «>/*^s (Tarmee; the first 
commanded by the duke in person, being by fitr the strongest, 
destined to bear the weight of the contest, and carry in front 

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39. tlie ^nemy*8 positiosi. These two corps, ^urag^ 
^JJ^^a co-operating, were at such a distwice fipom «adi 
^SbSroofh o^®r» t^^t "^y "Were xnadi in the sitit&tioii'of thb 
mtdfiugeae. English and Pruisians at Wattrioo, w Napolecm 
and Nej's corps at Bautz^i. The second, under Prince £a* 
gene, which consisted chieily of caTahry, "was mnoh -weaker vk 
jpomt of numerical amount, ai»l was intended &r a suliKndi* 
Hate attack; to distract the enemy's attention from the prinei- 
Ipal 'Onset in front imder Marlborough.* With ordinary offi- 
eeis» or even eminent generals of a second order, a dangerous 
livalry for the supreme conmumd would unquestionably haTis 
Arisen, and added to the many seeds of division and causes of 
weakness which already existed in so multifario^s an array. 
But these great men were superior to all such petty jeaJouries. 
Each, conscious of powers to do great things, and proud of 
&ne already ac<;[aired, was willing to yield what was necech 
■axy for the common good to l^e other. They had no riraky^ 
Mtve a noble emulation who should do most for the commcA 
cause in which they were jointly eaigaged. From the moment 
of their junction it was agreed that they should take the com- 
mand of the whole army day about ; and so perfectly did their 
Tiews on all points coincide, and so entbely did their noble 
liearts beat in unison, that during eight subsequent campaiglMi 

* 'Sh9 allied BndFreiioh armie* litood tlitis : 
L Kight wing, Eagene. 

BM. Squad. 

'PrassiaD8 . . .11 15' 

JHxMm .... 7 

Auitriaaa ... 24 

Smpire'a . . . J5 ^^ 

18 74 


n. Center tuid left, Marlbonragh. 
fingiuh .... 14 14^ 
Hatch .... 14 22 ] 
SeMMAB ... 7 7\ 36,000 
HaQOVteiianB . . 13 25 { 
Daueft .... 22; 


48 B6 
. 66 160 



I. Left wing, Manin. 

Butt tOlMd. 

French .... 29 SO 
BiiTiuiwaa ... Id S7 


n. Eight and center, TaHard. 
Fr«&eh . . . ,J^ ^ 30,000 
S4 147 60,000 

lUuiLXit, wr, loe. Ma»l., Dhp^ i, 40t. 

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S C A I- b S 
"Mihtarv SfciTs J* i Pert cat-K 
^ft„ loco o ' iit« 

^"^y ^^-^ \^ -^- o r ~ — 

A linvliBh. Mile* 8 

f«r— 1 .'f/7},',9 .Irrny iiiuhi' 'Sfuf^lbiyt^Lrutfh&TnficeEu^enr 
^^^^aycw^uwis S>.Fr<3T,aK uvular Vrvi.ce McucDnituoi 

■ Csvalry Bii^l-nfAnti'y Wl ArtiJleirjr 

gpOTrttRS^ NtW YORK. 

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MAtlLBOIigrUQ'H. 66 

th&t they finr tine most pwrt acted togetfier, there was never . 
the idightest divi8i(»L between them, nor any interruption of 
the hann<my with which the operadcms c£ the aflies were 

The Frendb poeitMm was in jdaoes strong, and their dispo- 
sition &r imstanoe at each point wh«re they were 40, 
threatened by atta^ &om the allied foices, judi- ^^i^ 
eious ; bnt there was a fatal defect in the general S^^^ 
eonceptian of their plan. • Marshal Tallaxd was on <^"- 
the right, resting on the Danube, which secured him fiom 
being turned in that quarter, having the village of Blehhsbi 
in his front, wiuoh was stroaigly gaxnsoned by twenlyHBx bat- 
talicms and twelve squadrons, all native French troops. In 
the oenter was the TiUage of Oberglau, which was occupied 
by £>urtemi battalions, among whom were three Irish corps of 
celebrated veteians. The communication between £lenheiin 
and Oberglau was kept up by a screen consisting of eighty 
squadrons, in two lines, haipng two brigades of foot, consisting 
of seven battalions, in its carter. The left, opposite Prince 
Eugene, was under the orders of Marshal Marsin, aad con- 
sisted of twaity-two battalions of in&ntry and thirty-six squad* 
rcms, ooflaisting for the most part of fiavarbns and Marshal 
Marsin's nwn, posted in &Gat of the village of Lutaingen. 
Thus the French consisted of sixty-nine battalions and a hun- 
dred and thirty^four squadrons, vdth ninety gnna, and they 
mustered sixty tiioueand combatants, about ^ve thcmsaxid 
more than the allies, and with a, great sup^rkoity of artillery* 
They were posted in a line stroaigly supported at ea^ es^rem- 
ity, but weak m the center, and with the wings, where the 
great body of the in£mtry was placed, at such a distance from 
each other, that if the c^ter was broken through, each ran 
the risk of being enveloped by the enemy, without the other 
being able to render any assistflnce. Ths danger as to the 
tnx^ in Blenheim, the Bowec of their army, was much aug- ; 
mented hf the drcumstance that, if their center was forced 
where it was ftrmed of cavalry only, and the victors turned 

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iBharp round toward Blenheim, the horse would be driven 
headlong into the Danube, and the foot in that village would 
run the hazard of being surrounded or pushed into the river, 
which waa not fordable, even for horse, in any part. 

But, though these circumstances would, to a far-seeing gen- 

41. eral, have presaged serious disaster in the event of 

And advant- ,_ _ .. ••■•/.ii 

ages. defeat, yet the position was strong m itself, and the 

French generals, long accustomed to victory, had some excuse 
for not having taken sufficiently into view the contingencies 
Jikely to occur in the event of defeat. Both the villages at 
the extremity of their line had been strengthened, not only 
with intrenchments hastily thrown up around them, thickly 
mounted with heavy cannon, but with barricades erected at 
all their principal entrances, formed of overturned carts, and 
all the furniture of the houses, which they had seized upon, as 
the insurgents did at Paris in 1830, for that purpose. The 
army stood upon a hill or gentle eminence, the guns from 
which commanded the whole plain by which alone it could be 
approached. This plain was low, and intersected on the right, 
in front of Blenheim, by a rivulet which flows down by a 
gentle descent to the Danube, and in front of Oberglau by 
another rivulet, which runs in two branches tiU within a few 
paces of the Danube, into which it also empties itself. These 
rivulets had bridges over them at the points where they flowed 
through villages, but they were difiicult of passage at other 
points for cavalry and artillery, and, with the ditches cut in 
the swampy meadows through which they flowed, proved no 
small impediment to the advance of the allied army. 

The Duke of Marlborough, before the action began, visited 

42. in person each important battery, in order to ascer- 
S^^S^for^ tain the range" of the guns. The troops under his 
the attack. command Were drawn up in four lines ; the in- 
fantry being in front, and the cavalry behind, in each line. 
This arrangement was adopted in order that the infantry, 
who would get easiest through the streaim, might £)rm on 
the other side, and cover the formation of the horse, who 

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might be more impeded. The fire of caimon soon became 
very animated on both sides, and the infantry advanced to 
the edge of the rivulets with that cheerful air and confident 
step which is so often the forerunner of success. On Prince 
Eugene's side, however, the impediments proved' serious ; the 
beds of the rivulets were so broad that they required to be 
filled up with fascines before they could be passed by the guns ; 
and when they did get across, though they repHed, it was 
without much efiect to the French cannon thundering firom 
the heights, which commanded the whole field. At half past 
twelve, nevertheless, these difficulties were, by great e^rts 
on the part of Prince Eugene and his wing, overcome, and he 
sent word to Marlborough that he was ready. During this 
interval, divine service had been performed at the head of 
every regiment and squadron in the allied army ; Marlbor- 
ough fabnself had received the sacrament with great solemnity 
at midnight on the preceding day. He was seated on the 
ground, in the midst of his staff, eating a slender meal, when 
Eugene's aid-de-camp arrived. "Now, gentlemen, to your 
posts," said he, with the cheerful voice which betokened the 
confidence of victory, aa he mounted his horse, and his aids- 
de-camp in every direction galloped off to warn the troops to 
be ready. Instantly the soldiers every where stood to their 
arms, and the signal was given to advance. The rivulets 
and mar^y ground in firont of Blenheim and Unterglau were 
passed by the first line without much difficulty, though the 
men were exposed to a heavy fire of artillery firom the French 
batteries ; and the firm ground on the slope being reached, 
they advanced in the finest order to the attack, the cavalry 
in firont having now defiled to a side, so as to let the English 
infantry take the lead. 

The French did not expect, and were in a great measure 
imprepared for, an attack, when the heads of the ^ ^ 
allied colimms were seen advancing against them, ment of the 
Their generalB had taken up the idea that the ene- isth Aug. ' 
my were about to retire to Nordlingen, and, as the morning 

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was hazy, the akinniahen of Eugene were dose upon them 
he&ire tli^y were peroeivecL''^ Alarm gtuu weie then imme- 
diately fii«d, officers galloped off in every direction, and Tal- 
lard and Marsin, hastily mounting their horses, did their ut- 
most to put the troops in proper order. But no plan of de- 
fense had previously be«i arranged, and the troops were hast- 
ily thrown into the nearest villages, or such as seemed destined 
to be first the object of attack. Seven-and-tw^ity battalicms 
in all were crowded into Blenheim, against which the En- 
glish colimm of grenadiers was seen to be steadily advancing. 
Thirty battalions were posted in and around Oberglau ; and 
Lutsagea was also strongly occupied, while eighteen French 
and Bavarian battalions were drawn up in an obHque hne in 
the woods in its vicinity, on the extreme left of the cavalry. 
The guns were judiciously posted along the froat of the line, 
in situations the best calculated to impede the enemy's ad- 
vance. But th^» was the essential defect already noticed in 
the position, that its two keys, Blenheim and Oberglau, where 
the main body of the infantry was posted, were at sudi a 
distance finom each other, that neither their defenders nor 
their cannon could render any mutual assistance ; while the 
long intervening space was filled up by a line of horse, for the 
most part imauppcnrted by foot soldiers, and incapal^ o£ re- 
sisting a vigorous attack firom the united bodies of in&ntry 
and cavalry which were posted opposite them on the side of 
the enemy.t 

Marlborough's eagle eye at once descried this glaring defect 

44. in the enemy's distribution of his forces, and he 

h^^lSich fa prepared to turn it to the best account. Loird 

repixiaed. q^^ commanded the division of British whicJi 

* Ce 13, ao point do jour les ennemis ont batta la gin^rale jl 2 hewreo, k 
3 raBsembli6e. On les voit en bataille & la tdte de l^xa camp, et fnivant les 
apparences ils rtutrcheront aajoord'hoi. Le bruit du pays est qn'ils yont k 
KordUagen. Si cela est, lis nous laisseront entre le Dannbe et eux, et par 
consequent ils anront 4e la peine ^ soutenir les ^taUissemens qn'ils ont prii 
en Bavre.— Manbal Tallard an Boi de France, 13th August, 1704. Cam- 
pagne* de Tallard, iu 140. 

t CoxK, i., 396, 397. Capefioue, Hittoire de Louis XI V^ v., 216, 217. 

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advanoed again^ BlenheiQi. Grenetml Rowe led the first line, 
supported by a brigade of Hesaans. Rowe was witkin thirty 
yards of the palisades which the French had conBtnicted at 
all the eatranees of the village, when the rai^ny delivered 
their first fire. It was so close and well directed that a great 
number of officers and men fell ; but their oomrades, nothing 
daimted, held bravely on, and Rowe, moving straight fer- 
ward, struck his sword on the palisades befcHne he gave the 
word to fire. His (Nxler was to force an entrance with the 
bayonet, but the strraigth of the barriers and the vast numei^ 
ical ffuperionly of the ^lemy in the village rendered this iai- 
possible ; and the assailants, imable to advance, unwilling to 
retire, remained striving against the palisades, endeavoring to 
break them down by sheer strength, until half their number 
were struck down. Rowe himself fell badly woimded at the 
foot of the pales, and his Heutenant-colonel and mii^jor were 
killed in endeavoring to carry him ofi*. At this critical mo- 
ment some squadrons of Fr^ich gens d'armes charged their 
fiank, threw the assailants into confusion, and took the colors 
of Rowe's regiment, which, however, were immediately re- 
gained by liie Hessians who advanced to its support Lord 
Cutts, however, seeing fresh squadrons of cavalry preparing 
to charge, sent ferward to Lnmley, who commanded the near- 
est allied horse, for a re-en£>rcement of cavalry to cover his 
exposed fiank, and five squadrons were immediately dispatch- 
ed across the Nebel to their supped. They charged the ene- 
my's horse gallantly, though double their force, and drove 
them headlong back ; but fi:esh squadrons succeeded on the 
part of the French ; a murderous fire in flank firom the in- 
dosures of Blenheim mowed dovm great numbers, and the 
whole recoiled in disorder to the allied lines.^ 

The En gliftt^ general, foreseeing that this success would be 
followed up by the enemy, and being satisfied that 45. 
Blenheim waa too strcmgly garrisoned to be carried 2SNe£ci°^ 
by an assault of infantry unsupported by cavalry, ^^ "*^*®*- 

* Hari's JotimaL Disp., I, 402, 403. CoXE, L, 400, 401. 


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90 THE LIFE or 

resolved to bring his whole cavalry across the Nebel, and 
mak^ a general attack upon the weak part of the enemy's line 
between Blenheim and Oberglau. Midway between the two, 
on the center of a bend of that stream toward the English po- 
sition, was situated the village of Unterglau, which, of course, 
was first reached by the aUies. Marlborough sent forward 
Churchill with his division of infantry to attack that post ; but 
before he reached it, the whole houses were in flames, having 
been set on fire by the French to retard the advance of the 
allies. The brave troops, however, rushed forward through 
the conflagration, and having gained the bridge, which was 
of stone, soon began to deploy on the other side. No sooner 
did he see this than Marlborough gave orders for the whole 
cavalry to advance. They descended rapidly and in good or- 
der to the edge of the stream ; but the difiiculties of the pas- 
sage were there greater than had been expected, as they had 
to cross the rivulet where it was divided, and the meadow be- 
tween the branches was wet and very soft, and the streams 
themselves deep and muddy. However, by casting in fascines 
and boards, the bottom was at length rendered comparatively 
hard, and by great exertions the horses struggled through, 
though exposed all the while to a galling fire firom the heavy 
guns posted around Blenheim. They were still in disorder on 
the opposite bank, and with their ranks yet unformed, when 
they were suddenly charged by the whole firont line of the 
French cavalry, which bore down upon them in compact or- 
der and with flying banners.* 

Formidable as this attack was, it was rendered still more 
46. so by the heavy fire of cannon and musketry which 

The cavalry •' •' , . •' 

with great at the Same time issued firom the inclosures of Blen- 

difficultyare . iii n ^ o i ^ 

got acroaa. heun, and threw the whole nearest flank of the al- 
lied horse into confiision. The Danish and Hanoverian squad- 
rons, however, were at length got across and brought up by 
Marlborough to the support of the English dragoons ; anct 

* Coz«, i., 409, 403. Habx'8 Journal MarL Ditp., 403, 404. Kauslxb, 
110, IIL 

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Marlborough. 91 

Churchill's men, intermingled with the horse near Oberglau, 
threw in their volleys with great effect upon the advancing 
cavalry of the enemy. It was only by their well-timed aid 
that a fatal rout was prevented before the horsemen could form. 
on the opposite side. They could not, however, extend their 
succor far. Near Blenheim the dragoons were forced back in 
disorder to the very edge of the morass by the charges of 
French cavalry, aided by the terrible fire Irpm the batteriet 
at that village ; and it was only by great exertions, and con- 
stantly supporting the worsted squadrons by fresh troops as 
they were successively got across, that Marlborough succeeded 
in preventing an entire repulse in that quarter. But while 
the conflict was maintained with difficulty between Blenheim 
and Oberglau, a serious disaster had occurred on the British 
right, where Prince Holstein, with his Hanoverians, was di- 
recting the attack on Oberglau, and the presence of the com- 
mander-in-chief was loudly called for to prevent entire ruin in 
that quarter.* 

Prince Holstein had no sooner crossed the stream at the 
head of eleven battalions, and ere his^^ men had „ *^ 

. . .1 Routof Prince 

time to form m good order on the opposite side, Hoisteinintbo 

ftttAck on 

than he was charged with great vigor by the obergiau. 
French infantry in Oberglau, nine thousand strong, including 
the Irish brigade, who debouched with loud shouts out of the 
village. This brave body of veterans, who had become ad- 
mirable troops from the superinducing of French discipline 
and guidance on native Irish valor, charged with such vehe- 
mence, and threw in volleys so quick and well directed, that 
the prince's men were utterly routed, he himself taken prison- 
er, and the center of the aUies entirely brok^i through. There 
was not a moment to be lost, for the communication with 
Prince Eugene and the right wing of the army was on the 
point of being cut off". But Marlborough was at hand to re- 
pair the disaster ; and he not only did so, but converted it into 
an advantage to his own side, which proved decisive. Gal- 

* Mitrl Di$p,, I, 403, 404. Coxe, i., 404, 405. CAPKFxayE, t., 218. a 

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loping instantly to the spot, he led up in person some squad- 
rons of British cavalry, closely followed by three battalions 
-which had not been engaged. With the horse he charged the 
Irish, who, with the inconsiderate ardor of their nation, were 
pursuing their advantage in disorder, and quickly threw thaoa 
into confusion. The iniantry he posted so advantageou^y 
that their fire raked the column as it recoiled from the charge, 
Mid oocasioned dreadful slaughter. The Irish were by this 
double attadc driven back into Oberglau, while SQme squad- 
rons of horse, whom Marshal Marsin sent up to their relief, 
w^re repelled by the fire of a battery which Marlborough 
brought forward from Weilhdm, and a powerful body of Im- 
perial horse whi<^ he stationed on its flank. By this well- 
timed vigor, af&irs were entirely re-established in the center, 
and the oommuniimtion with Prince Eugene was completely 
Having achieved this great advantage, Marlborough re- 
48. turned to his cavalry between Oberglau and Blen- 
EngcS^on ^^ heim, and found it all firmly established on soUd 
^® "***• ground, on the other side of the Nebel. Mean- 
while, Eugene had been actively engaged on the extreme 
right, where he* too, had crossed the Nebel, in finont of Lut- 
zingen. His first attack with the Danes and Prussiaiifl car- 
ried a battery o£ six guns, and the Imperial horse broke the 
first line ofTrench cavalry ; but, having advanced somewhat in 
disorder against the second line, they were not only repulsed, 
but driven back across the Nebel, and the guns were retaken. 
The victorious infantry were now isolated in the midst of en- 
emies, and being charged veh^oiently <m each flank, at the 
same time that a heavy fire in front shodc their line, the 
Prussians and' Danes were thrown into confusion, and with 
difiiculty regained their original ground cm the other side of 
the river. Nothing daunted by this reverse, Eugesie raUied 
his cavalry, and led them again to the charge ; but though at 

* Harx'8 Journal. Marl* DUp., l, 404-406. Cozi, L, 404, 405. KaU8- 


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first suooessfol, they were at length checked by the stout Ba- 
varian horse, bravely headed by the elector, and recoiled in 
disorder. A third time Eugene re-formed his horsem^i^ and 
led them to the attack, himself heading the charge. But 
this time the onset was feeble ; the men were daunted by 
their double repulse ; their line was speedily, broken, and they 
again fled, comfdetely routed, across the Nebel. In utter 
despair, Eugene left the Prince of Hanover and Duke of 
Wirtemberg to rally the horse, and galloped off to put him- 
self at the head of the infantry, which had also advanced 
with the cavalry. That brave body of men, admirably dis* 
dptined, and encouraged by tl^ presence of their goieral, 
stood their ground with heroic resolution. But they were 
charged with desperate hardihood by the enemy. Eugene 
himself was in the most imminent danger of being shot by a 
Bavarian dragoon, who was cut down while dehberately tak- 
ing aim at him within a few paces. The admiraUe steadi- 
ness d* the Prussians, who on this occasion gave tokens of 
what they were to become under the great Frederic, pre- 
vented a total defeat in this quarter. Immovable, they stood 
their ground amid the thundering charges of horse, the &ont 
rank kneeling, and the rear maintaining a ceaseless rolling 
£re^ till at length the enemy, wearied with fiuitlesB eflbrts, 
drew off, leaving the ground covered with their wounded and 

Marlborough, however, had now gained firm footing both 
with his infantry and cavalry on the other side of 49. 
the Nebel, and had made his dispo6iti<»3S for a gen- di^^vl^ 
eral attack between Blenheim and Oberglau. The ^ISSoi^h 
cavalry were drawn up in two lines directly in front ^ *^® *^'^- 
of the exxemj ; the infantry immediately in their rear, chiefly 
to the left, to make head against the numerous battalions 
which occupied Blenheim. Tallard, seeing the weakness of 
his line ftom want of in&ntry, had drawn nine battalions ftom 

* MiM . HE TallaKD, it, 834-241. Coxx, U 407, 408. HARx't Jcunud, 
Marl Disp., I, 406, 407. 

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the reserve, and posted them near the center, between Blen- 
heim and Oberglau, behind the horse. Marlborough brought 
up three Hessian battalions to firont them, and then, drawing 
his sword, ordered the trumpets to soimd the advance, he him- 
self leading them on. Indescribably grand was the spectacle 
which ensued. . In compact order, and the finest array, the 
allied cavalry, mustering eight thousand sabers, moved up the 
gentle slope in two lines — at first slowly, as on a field day, 
but gradually more quickly, as they drew nearer, and the fire 
of the artillery became more violent. The French horse, ten 
thousand strong, stood their ground firmly: the first and 
brayest of their chivalry were there : the banderoles of almost 
all the nobles in France floated over their squadrons. So hot 
was the fire of musketry and cannon when the assailants drew 
near, that their advance was checked : they retired sixty 
paces, and the battle was kept up for a few minutes only by 
a fire of artillery. Gradually, however,, the fire of the enemy 
slackened, and Marlborough, taking advantage of the pause, 
led his cavalry again to the charge. With irresistible vehe- 
mence, the line dashed forward at fiill speed, and soon the 
crest of the ridge was passed. The French horsemen dis- 
charged their carbines at a considerable distance wdth little 
eflect, and immediately wheeled about and fled. The battle 
was gained ; the alUed horse rapidly inundated the open space 
between the two villages ; the nine battalions in the middle 
were surrounded, cut to pieces, or taken. They made a noble 
resistance, and the men were found lying on their backs in 
their ranks as they had stood in the field.* 
,, The consequences of this great disaster on the right were 
50. speedily felt along the whole French line. Mar- 
^wmi^^ sin*s cavalry, now entirely uncovered on their 
^^^ flaoks, rapidly fell back to avoid being turned, and 

rendered the position of the infantry in firont of Eugene no 
longer tenable. That skillfiil general, perceiving the rout of 

. * K^usLXR, 109, 111. Coxx, i., 408, 409. Harb'8 Journal Marl Disp., 
l, 406, 407. 

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the enemy on his left, and correctly judging that they could no 
longer maintain their ground, prepared his ftroops for a finirth 
charge, and soon issued forth at their head. The impulse of 
victory was now communicated to the whole line. After an 
arduous struggle in the plain, the enemy fell back at all points 
toward Oberglau and Lutzingen. Soon the flames, which 
barst forth from their buildings, announced that they were 
about to be evacuated. At this sight, loud cheers arose from 
the whole right, and the Danes and Prussians rushed forward 
with irresistible vigor against the burning villages. After an 
obstinate conflict, Lutzingen was carried, and the Bavarians 
were driven to a fresh position in rear, b^iind the :gtreamlet 
of the same name. They still - preserved their ranks> how- 
ever, and faced about fiercely on their pursuers ; but Marsin, 
having lost the pivot of his left, and seeing his flank entirely 
uncovered by Marlborough's advance, and the center drivenr 
back in disorder, gave orders for the general retreat of his 
wing.* • 

Meanwhile Tallard was bravely exerting himself, but in 
vain, to arrest the disorder in the right and center. 5i. 

f . . Total rout of 

He drew up the remams of his cavalry in battle TaUard, who 

, .... is made piis* 

array, behind the tents of his camp, m a single line oner, 
stretching toward Blenheim, in order, if possible, to extricate 
the infantry posted in that village, which were now wellnigh 
cut off*. At the same time, he sent pressing requests to Mar- 
sin for assistance. But, ere succor could arrive, or time had 
even been gained for the delivery of his messages, the hand of 
Fate was upon him. Marlboirough, observing that ihe Hne 
was unsupported in rear, and imcovered on its right, gave or- 
ders for a general charge of all his cavalry. When the trump- 
et sounded, seven thousand horsemen, flushed vrith victory, 
bore down with irresistible force on the now dispirited and at- 
tenuated line of the enemy. The immense body of the French 
force broke without awaitiiig the shock, and the allied caval- 
ry rapidly piercing their center, they were divided into two 
• • Kauslir, 113. Coil, i., 412. Hari's Journal. Disp., I, 407, 408; » 

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parts, ono of which fled in wild disorder toward the Danube, 
and the other toward Sonderheim. Marlborough, in person, 
followed the first with fifty squadrons, while Hompesch, with 
thirty, pressed upon the second. Both pursuits proved entire- 
ly successful. Marlborough drove the broken mass before him 
headlong to the Danube, where great numbers were drowned 
in attempting to cross, and the remainder were made prison* 
ers on the brink. Marshal Tallsuni himself, with a small 
body of horse, which still kqpt their ranks, threw himself into 
the village of Scmderheim, on the margin of the river, but be- 
ing speedily surrounded by the victorious squadrons of the en- 
emy, he was obliged to surrender, and delivered his sword to 
the Prince of Hesse. Hompesch, at the same time, vigorous* 
ly pressed on the broken fugitives who had fled toward Ilbeh* 
stedt, and on the way surrounded three battalions of infantry, 
who were striving to escape, and made them prisoners. TJpoa 
seeing this, the cavalry entirely broke their ranks, and fled as 
fast as their horses could carry them toward Morselingen, 
without attempting any further resistance.* 

When Ti^ard was taken, Marlborough immediately s^it 
93. his own carriage to accommodate him, and dispatch- 
JS^ttw^ ed a pencil note, written on the parapet of a bridge, 
^?^^J^ to the du<^ess, to say the battle was gained.! But 
BtructioB. jjp flooaer was this done than he set himself to ren- 
der hia '^tory compete, by turning all the fcaroes he could 
collect against the portions <^ the enemy's anny which still 
held their ground. He first directed his attention to the left 
ndng of the enemy, which was &lling back, closely fdlowed 
by Eugene's horse, in the direction of Morselingen. Several 

* Kauslkr, 112. CojUE, i., 410, 411. Mem. de TaUard, U., 248-252. MarL 
ZHsp., I, 418. 

t Thu note u BtOl preseived at Blenlieiin t ''I have not time to lay more, 
but beg you will give my doty to die qaeeo, aad let her know that her aniqr 
has had a gkirioas victory. Moniieor f allard and two other generak are ia 
my coach, and I am following the rest. The Bearer, my aid-de-camp. Col- 
onel Park, wffl give her an aooocmt of what hai pasted. I ihaQ de it in a 
day or twq by awither, aod more •( laiYe.-^MA^i«BO|toVGii."-<k>^. i., 413. 

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squadrons were adde^i to Hompesch's division, and the duke 
was preparing to lead them on in person upon the flank of thQ 
column, which was 4efiliug along the skirt of the wood. In 
the dusk of the evening, howesrer, and with the yiew obscured 
by the volumes of smoke which were wafted from the field, 
the Bavarian and French troopa were mistaken by Marlbor- 
ough and his staff £br Sugene's men in pursuit, and the charge, 
when on the point of being executed, was theref<wre counter- 
manded. . Thup the enemy on that side escaped without se- 
rious Iqss. This accidental mistake alone saved the Frenph 
l^ft from the utter ruin which had already overtaken the cen- 
tf5r, and lyas soon to invdve the right wing.* 

Marlboromgh now turned all his forces againjst the troppf 
in Blenheim, which, entirely cut off from the re^ jb. 
mainder of the army, and enveloped in darkness, S?tSoiSfi? 
were in a situation weUnigh desperate. To pre- cS^J^ 
vent the possibility of their escape, Webb, with the ^® ^****^®* 
queen's regiment, took possession of a barrier the enemy had 
constructed at one of the outlets of the village, to cover their 
retreat toward the eastward, and having posted his men across 
the street which led to the Danul?e, several hundred of the 
enemy, who were attempting to m^ke their escape that way, 
were made prisoners. Prince George's regiment, in like man- 
ner, occupied the other issue toward the Danube, ^nd all who 
came out that way were immediately captured. Otherg «n- 
deavpred to break out at other places ; but Lord John Hay, at 
the head of his pegiment of Scots Greys,i speedily met then^i 
9^t the top of a rising ground, and, making them believe his 
troops Tve?e but the advanced guard of a larger force, stopped 
them on that side. When Churchill saw th^ defeat of the 
enemy's hon^ ip. the cen^ decided, he sent to request hox^ 
Cutts to attack Blenheim in front, while he himself assailed 

* Kavslzh, 113. Coxi:, i., 412, 413. 

t This r^gimei^t mig^t have Blenheim |ui4 Waterloo, the tF<? Igf^,9^ de- 
feats France eyer experienced in fair fight, on tlieir colori, joined to Napqr 
leoo's words, "Ces terribles chevaax gris, cojnme ils travaillent." Tpyf 
regiments in Eorope would have so glorioos an emblazonry. 


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it in flank. This was accordingly done : Orkney and Gen- 
eral Ingolsby entering the village at the same time, in two 
different places, at the head of their respective regiments. 
But the French made so vigorous a resistance, especially at 
the church-yard, that they were forced to retire. Marlbor- 
ough, however, now brought up his guns on all sides, and 
opened a fire on the village. Soon several houses took fire, 
and the flames casting a red light over the sky, enabled the 
gunners to direct their fire with unerring aim. M. Cleram- 
bault, their commander, had already fled^ and the troops hav- 
ing lost all hope, and being entirely cut off, at length, after 
vainly endeavoring to obtain a capitulation, surrendered at 
discretion. With despair and indignation the soldiers sub- 
mitted to their fate ; the regiment of Navarre burned their 
colors and buried their arms, that such trophies might not re- 
main to grace the triumph of their enemies.* 

In this battle Marlborough's wing lost five thousand men, 
54- and Euffene's six thousand, in all eleven thousand. 

Results of 

the battle. The French lost thirteen thousand prisoners, includ- 
ing twelve hundred officers, almost all taken by Marlbor- 
ough's wing, besides thirty-four pieces of cannon, twenty-five 
standards, and ninety colors ; Eugene took thirteen pieces. 
The killed and wounded amounted to fourteen thousand. 
But the total loss of the French and Bavarians, including 
those who deserted during their calamitous retreat through 
the Black Forest, was not less than forty thousand men ;t a 
number greater than any which they sustained till the still 
more disastrous day of Waterloo. It is remarkable that by 
far the greatest defeats ever experienced by the French on 
land, Cressy, Azincour, Poitiers, Blenheim, Ramillies, Oude- 
narde, Salamanca, Vittoria, Waterloo, all came from the 

* Hare's Journal. Marl. Disp., i, 408, 409. Kausler, 112. CoxE, i, 
415. Capefigue, Hist de Louis XIV., v., 218, 219. 

t Cardonnell, Disp. to Lord Harley, 25th Sept, 1740, Ditp., i., 410, By 
intercepted letters it appeared the enemy admitted a loss of forty thousand 
menbe^e they reached the Rhine. — Marlborough to the Doke of Shrews- 
bury, 28tii Aug., 1704, Diap., i, 439. 

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anns of England. At Leipsic they were not beaten in a fair 
field, but overthrown by an overwhelming superiority offeree. 

It is quite evident to what cause the overwhelming mag- 
nitude of this defeat of the French army was owing. 55. 
The strength of the position consisted solely in the SSt'o?^ 
rivulets and marshy grounds in its front, and when ^"^^ 
they were passed, the error of Marshal Tallard's disposition 
of his troops was at once apparent. The infantry was accu- 
mulated in useless numbers in the villages. Of the twenty- 
seven battalions in Blenheim, twenty were of no service, and 
could not get into action, while the long line of cavalry from 
thence to Oberglau was sustained only by a few battalions of 
foot, incapable of making any effective resistance. This was 
the more inexcusable, as the French, having sixteen battal- 
ions of infantry more than the allies, should at no point have 
shown themselves inferior in foot soldiers to their opponents. 
When the curtain of horse which stretched from Blenheim to 
Oberglau was broken through and driven off the field, the 
thirteen thousand infantry accumulated in the former of these 
villages could not escape falling into the enemy's hands ; for 
they were pressed between Marlborough's victorious foot and 
horse on the one side, and the unfordable stream of the Dan- 
ube on the other. But Marlborough, it is evident, evinced 
the capacity of a great general in the manner in which he 
surmoimted these obstacles and took advantage of these faulty 
dispositions ; resolutely, in the first instance, overcoming the 
numerous impediments which opposed the passage of the rivu- 
lets, and then accumulating his horse and foot for a grand 
attack on the enemy's center, which, besides de8tro3ring above 
half the troops assembled there, and driving thirty squadrons 
into the Danube, cut ofi* and isolated the powerful body of 
infantry now ruinously crowded together in Blenheim, and 
compelled them to surrender. 

Immense were the results of this transcendent victory. The 
French army, lately so confident in its numbers « ^ ^ 
and prowess, retreated, " or rather fled," as Marl- the vtotory. 

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bOTough saysi thxdugh the Black Forest, otbandcHiiiig the 
Elector of BaviBiria and all the fortre69e8 on the Danube to 
their ^.t^. In the deepest dejection and th^ utmost disorder, 
they reached the Rhine, scarce twelye thousand strong, on 
the 25th of August^ and immediately began defiling over Iby 
the bridge of Strasburg.* How difierent from the triumpj^uit 
army, forty*five thousand strong, which, with drums beating 
and colors flying, had crossed at the same place aix, weelM 
before ! Marlboroughi having detached part of his force tp 
besiege Ulm, drew near with the bulk c^ hi^ army to the 
Rhipe, which he passed near Phihpsburg on the 6th of Sep* 
tember, and soon after commenced the dege of I^andau, ox^ 
the French side ; Prince Louis, with twenty thousand men* 
forming the besieging force, and Eugene and M&rlborough, 
with thirty thousand, the covering army. Villeroi, with the 
French army, abandoned an intrenched camp which he had 
constructed to cover the town. MarllxHrough followed, and 
made every efibrt to bring the French marshal to battle, but 
in vain. He fell back first behind the Lauter, and then be* 
hind the Molfer, abandoning a rugged wooded couptry, one oi 

* The (bllowiog letter, from an officer in the French army, paints the con- 
Btemation which followed the battle of Blenheim : 

" Je voofl dirai qjae Mercredi 19 Aout il n'eo doun^ la phu aaoglante ha- 
taille qu'on ait vue de m^moire d'homme, et dans laqneUe houb arons 6t^ 
enti^rement defaits. M. de TaUard est bless^, et fait prisopnier avec beacu 
ooap d'aatres g6n6raax; MM. de Surianbe et Blainville morta; tonte Tin- 
fanterie abixni^ oa faite ^pnaoDidkte ; M. de Tavanes, colonel, le Comte de 
Verne, g6ner|d de la cavalerie, et le Marqais de Bellefoq^le to^s aur le 
place. M. de Montpevon, autre giin^al de la cavalerie, blesa^. Nons coa* 
rona k perdre haleine depaia deux jouni, et nous ne sommea arrir^ a Ulm 
(rendezvoDS au d^brii de Tarmde) que tout h, I'heare, y ayant neuf bonnes 
henres dela au diamp de bataille. Nous etious deniere Tinfaiktefie, qui a 
6t6 repotL$ge tix foitf et nous rarions tonjours soutenue : elle est entire* 
ment defaite, tous las officiers tu^ ou blesses, hors M. de Precher, qui se 
povte aassi Uen que moi, qui ai fait oomme beaQcoup d'aotres, las gfo^muz 
nous donnant Texample. Ce matin MM. de <)oartebQnne de Bonig, et 
B'Huricieres sont 6chapp6s, s'etant sanv^s sur le diemin d'Ulm ; enfin toute 
I'arm^e est dans une consternation terrible ; nous avons perdus nos timbalea 
6t etendardj|."^Le#^ OriginaU dant Capxvioifx, Hitioire 4e Louu XIV^ 
v., 321. 

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tha strongest m Europe, ^nthout firing n shot. The cannoA 
of Blenheim still resoonded in his ears. Uhn surrendered on 
the 16th of September, with two hundred and fifty pieces of 
cannon and twelte hundred barrels of powder, which gaire 
the allies a solid foundation on the Danube, and efiectuaUy 
erushed the power of the Elector of Bavaria, who, isolated 
now in the midst of his enemies, had no alternative but to 
abandon his dominions and seek refuge^ in Brussels^ where he 
arrived in the end of September. 

Meanwhile, as the siege of Landau was ^und to require 
more time^than had been anticipated, owing to the ^ ^- ^ 
extraordinary dimculties experienced m getting up LandMA&d 
supplies and forage for the troops, Marlborough re- lad conoiw 
paired to HanoVer and Berun to stunulate the Prus- campidgik 
sian and Hanoverian cabinets to greater exertions in the com- 
mqn cause ; and he succeeded in making arrangements for the 
addhion of eight thousand Prussian troops to their valuaHe 
auxiliary force, to be added to the army of the Imperialists in 
Italy, which stood much in need of re-enforcement. The 
Electress of Bavaria, who had been left regent of that state in 
the absence of the elector in Flanders, had now no resource 
left but submission ; and a treaty was accordingly concluded 
in the beginning of November, by which she agreed to dis- 
band all her troops. Treves and Traerbach were -taken in 
the end of December ; the Hungarian insurrection was sup- 
pressed ; Landau capitulated in the beginning of the same 
month ; a diversion which the enemy attempted toward 
Treves was defeated by Marlborough's activity and vigilance, 
and that city put in a sufficient posture of defense ; and the 
campaign being now finished, that accomplished commander 
returned to the Hague and London to receive the honor due 
for his past services, and urge their respective cabinets to the 
efiorts necessary to turn them to good account. 

Thus by the operations of one single campaign was Bava* 
ria crushed, Austria saved, and Germany delivered. 38. 
Marlborough's cross march from Flanders to the ousresoiM. 


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Danube had extricated the Imperialists from a state of the 
utmost peril, and elevated them at once to security, victery, 
and conquest. The decisive blow struck at Blenheim resound- 
ed through every part of Europe : it at wice destroyed the 
vast fabric of power which it had taken Louis XIV., aided 
by the talents of Turenne and the genius of Vauban, so long 
to construct. Instead of proudly descending the valley of the 
Danube, and threatening Vienna, as Napoleon afterward did in 
1805 and 1809, the French were driven in the utmost disor- 
der across the Rhine. The surrender of Traerbach and Lan- 
dau gave the aUies a firm footing on the left bank of that 
river. The submission of Bavaria deprived the French of 
that great outwork, of which they have made such good use 
in their German wars ; the Hungarian insurrection, disap- 
pointed of the expected aid from the armies of the Rhine^ 
was pacified. Prussia was induced by this great triumph to 
co-operate in a more efficient manner in the common cause ; 
the parsimony of the Dutch gave way before the joy of suc- 
cess ; and the empire, deHvered from invasion, was preparing 
to carry its victorious arms into the heart of France. Such 
achievements require no comment ; they speak for themselves, 
and deservedly place Marlborough in the very highest rank 
of mihtary commanders. The campaigns of Napoleon ex- 
hibit no more decisive or important results. 

Honors and anoluments of every description were showered 
on the English hero for this glorious success. He was creat- 
ed a prince of the Holy Roman empire,* and a tract of land 

* The hobgraph letter of the emperor, annooncing thia honor, said, with 
equal tmth and jastice, "I am induced to assign to your highness a place 
among the princes of the empire, in order that it ihay universally appear 
how much I acknowledge myself and ihe empire to be indebted to the Queen 
of Qrest Britain, who sent her arms as far as Bavaria at a time when the 
affairs of the empire, by the defection of the Bavarians to the French, most 
needed that assistance and support. And to your grace, likewise, to whose 
prudence and courage, together with the bravery of the forces fighting under 
your command, the two victories lately granted by Providence to the allies 
are principally attributed, not only by the voice of fame, but by tiie general offi- 
oers in my army who had their share in your labor and your glory." — Thx 
Bmpsror Leopold to Marlborough, 2Bik ofAuguit, nOi,—Di$p., U 538. 

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in Germany, at Mindelsheim, erected into a prin- »• 

Honors and 

cipality in his favor. His humanity to the wound- rewards be- 
ed, alike of the enemy's army and his own, and his Mariborotigh. 
courtesy to the vanquished, were the theme of universal ad- 
miration. The coolness with which he gave his orders in the 
hottest of the fire, and the admirable presence of niind with 
which he carried succor to every part of the field which re- 
quired it, were admitted by all to have caused the triumph. 
His reception at the courts of Berlin and Hanover resembled 
that of a sovereign prince ; the acclamations of the people, in 
all the towns through which he passed, rent the air ; at the 
Hague his influence was such that he was regarded as the 
real stadtholder. More substantial rewards awaited him in. 
his own country. The munificence of the queen and the grat- 
itude of Parliament conferred upon him the extensive honor 
and manor of Woodstock, long a royal palace, and once the 
scene of the loves of Henry II. and the Fair Kosamond. . 
By order of the queen, not only was this noble estate settled 
on the duke and his heirs, but the royal controller commenc- 
ed a magnificent palace for the duke on a scale worthy of his 
services and England's gratitude. From this origin the su- 
perb palace of Blenheim has taken its rise, which, although 
not built in the purest taste or afler the most approved mod- 
els, remains, ^nd will long remain, a splendid monument of a 
nation's gratitude, and of the genius of Vanbrugh. But a 
yet more enduring monument was raised in the lines of the 
poet, which, even at this distance of time, are felt to be de- 
served : 

•"Twas then great Marlboroagh's mighty soul was proved. 
That in the shock of charging hosts onmoTed, 
Amid uonfosion, horror, and despair. 
Examined all the dreadftil scenes of war. 
In peaceftd thought the field of death surveyed. 
To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid; 
Inspired repulsed battalions to engage, 
And taught the doubtful battle where to rage. 
So when an angel, by ddvine command, 
With rising^ tempests shakes a guilty lond— 

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Sooh if of Ute o'*r pild Britft&nit ptta'd— 
Calm and sarene he drires tha forioaa blaat; 
And pleased the Almighty's orders to perform. 
Rides in the wMrlwi&d, and directs the storm.'' 




NoTWiTfiSTANDmo the iniraluable wrvioes thus rendered hf 
1. Marlborough, both to the Emperor of Grermfi^y 

^^TSa^ ^^^ ^^^ Queen of Great Britain, he was far horn 
T Jtol^p^ ^ eatperienoing from either potentate that liberal sup- 
P"^- port for the future prosecution of the war which 

the inestimable opportunity now placed in their hands, and 
the formidable power still at the disposal of the enemy, so 
loudly required. As usual, the English Parliament were ex^ 
oeedingly backward in voting supphes either of men or money ; 
nor was the cabinet of Vienna or that of the Hague inclined 
to be more Uberal in their exertions. Though the House of 
Commons agreed to give £4,670,000 for the service of th« 
^isuing year, yet the land forces voted were only forty thou* 
aand men. The population of Great Britain and Ireland 
could not be at that period imder ten millions, while France* 
with about twenty millions, had above two hundred thousand 
under arms. It is this excessive and invariable reluctance of 
the English Parliament ever to make those efibrts at the com- 
mencement of a war, which are necessary to turn to a good 
account the inherent bravery of its commanders, that is the 
cause of the long duration of our Continental contests, and of 
three fourths of the national debt which now oppresses the 
empire, and, in its ultimate results, will .endanger its existence. 
The national forces are, by the cry for economy and reduction 
which invariably is raised in peace, reduced to so low an ebb, 

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liict it it only by Sttoceaare additions, made in many difieront 
years, that they can be raided up to any thing like the amount 
requisite inr successfiil OperationSb^ In the mean time, and 
befi>re the requisite additions can be made to the land and 
sea fi)rce8, disasters, sometimes serious and irreparable, are 
sustained on, both elements. Thus disaster generally occunr 
in the commencement of e^ery wax ; or if, by the genius of 
any extraordinary commands, as by that of Marlborough, 
unlooked-&r. success is achieved in the outset, the nation is 
unable to follow it up ; the war languishes for want of the 
requisite support. The enemy gets time to recoyer firom his 
consternation ; his danger stimulates him to greater exerticms ; 
and many long years of warfare, deeply, checkered with disas- 
ter, and attended with enormous expense, are required to ob- 
viate the ejQects of previous undue pacific reduction. 

How bittesly Marlborough felt this want of support, on the 
part of ^e cabinets both of London and Vienna, 3. 
which prevented him firom following up the victory ^^^ Mai? 
of Blenheim with the decisive operations against fe^^^' 
France which he would otherwise have undoubtedly ^^IJJ^i^ 
c<»nmenoed, is proved by various parts of his cor- po«i*»on- 
respondence, On the 16th of December^ 1704, he wrote to 
Mr. Secretary Harley : " I am sorry to see nothing has been 
offered yet, nor any care Uiken by Parliament for recruiting 
the anmy. I mean chiefly the foot. It is of that consequence 
£>r an early campaign, that without it we ma/y run the ha^tard 
of losing, in a greal measK/re^ the frmts of the last; and, 
therefore, I pray leave to recommend it to you to advise with 
your firiends if any proper method can be thought of, that 
may be laid before the House immediately, without waiting 
my arrival."* Nor was the cabinet of Vienna, notwithstand- 
ing the imminiNOit danger they had recently run, more active 
in making the necessaxy eficnrts to repair the losses of the cam- 
paign : " You can not," says Marlborough, " say nwwe to us 
of the supine negligence of the cawrt of Viemuiy with refer- 

* Maiiborougk to Mr, Secretary Harley, 16tih Dec., 1704. ZHep., I, W6. 

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ence to yomr afikirsj than we are sensible of every where dse; 
and certainly if the Duke of Savoy's good conduct and brav- 
ery at Verue had not reduced the French to a very low ebb, 
the game must have been over before any help could come to 
you."* It is ever' thus, especially with states such as Great 
Britain, in which the democratic elmnent is so powerful as to 
imprint upon the measures. of government that disregard of 
the future, and aversion to present efforts or burdens, which 
invariably characterizes the mass of mankind. If Marlbor- 
ough had been adequately supported and strengthened after 
the decisive blow struck at Blenheim, that is, if the govem- 
m^its of Vienna and London, with that of the Ha^e, had 
by a great and timely efibrt doubled his effective force when 
the French were broken and disheartened by defeat, he would 
have marched to Paris in the next campaign, and dictated 
peace to the Grand Monarque in his gorgeous halls of Ver- 
sailles. It was short-sighted economy which entailed upon 
the allied nations the costs and burdens of the next ten yeans 
of the "War of the Succession, as it did the stiU greater costs 
and burdens of the Revolutionary contest, after the still more 
decisive successes of the aUies in the summer of 1793, when 
the iron frontier of the Netherlands had been entirely broken 
through, and their advanced posts, without any force to oppose 
them, were within a hundred and sixty miles of Paris. 

This parsimony of the aUied governments, and their invin- 
^^3. cible repugnance to the efibrts and sacrifices which 

converting the could alone bring, and certainly would have 

war into one . n , . . 

of BiegcB, and brought, the war to an early and glonous issue, is 

placing its seat i» i .^ c 

In Fiandera. the cause of the Subsequent conversion of the war 
into one of blockades and sieges, and of its being transfelred 
to Flanders, where its progress was necessarily slow, and cost 
enormous, from the vast number of strongholds which requir- 
ed to be reduced at every stage of the allied advance. It was 
said at the time, that in attacking Flanders in that quarter, 
Marlborough took the bull by the horns ; that France on the 
* Marlborough to Mr. HiU at Turin, 6th Feb., 1705. Ditp., i., 591. 

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side of the Rhine was far more vuhierable, and that the war 
was fixed in Flanders for the purpose of augmenting the profits 
of the generals employed, by protracting it. . Subsequent 
writers, not reflecting ou the diflerence of the circumstances, 
have observed the successful issue of the invasions of France 
firom Switzerland and the Upper Rhine in 1814, and Flanders 
and the Lower Rhine in 1815, and concluded that a similar 
result would have attended a like bold invasion under Marl- 
borough and Eugene. There never was a greater mistake. 
The great object of the war was to wrest Flanders from 
France. While the lilied standard floated on Brussels and 
Antwerp, the United Provinces were constantly in danger of 
being swallowed up ; and there was no security for the inde- 
pendence of England, HoUand, or any of the German States. 
If Marlborough and Eugene had had two hundred thousand 
efiective men at their disposal, as We]lington and Blucher 
had in 1815, or three hundred thousand, as Schwartzenberg 
and Blucher had in 1814, they might doubtless have left half 
their forces behind them to blockade the fortresses, and with 
the other half marched direct to Paris. But as they never 
had more than a hundred thousand on their muster-rolls, and 
could not at any time bring more than eighty thousand efiect- 
ive men into the field, this bold and decisive course was im- 
possible. The French army in their front was rarely inferior 
to theirs, oflen superior ; and how was it possible, in these 
circumstances, to venture on the perilous course of pushing oa. 
into the heart of the enemy's territory, leaving the firontier 
fortresses yet unsubdued in their rear ? 

The disastrous issue of the Blenheim campaign to the 
French, even when supported by the firiendly arms 4. 
and all the fortresses of Bavaria, in the preceding lelS^nf. 
year, had shown what was the danger of such a fcu'l^aubS 
course. The still more calamitous issue of the Mos- q^ent tmei. 
cow campaign to the army of Napoleon demonstrated that 
even the greatest military talents, and most enormous accu- 
mulation of military force, afibrds no security against the in- 

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108 THK LlfS-OF 

calculable danger of an undue advance beyond the bihse of 
military operations. The greatest generals of the last age, 
fruitful beyond all others in military talent, have acted on thoee 
principles whenever they had not an overwhehning superiority 
of fi>rces at their command. Wellington never invaded Spain 
till he was master of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajos, nor France 
till he had subdued San Sebastian and Pampeluna. The first 
use which Napoleon made of his victories at Montenotte and 
Dego was to compel the court of Turin to surrender their for- 
tresses in Piedmont ; of the victory of Marengo, to f(m;e the 
Imperialists to abandon the whole strongholds of Lombardy 
as far as the Adige. The possession of the single fortress of 
Maptua, in 1796, enabled the Austrians to arrest the course 
of Napoleon's victories, and gain time to assemble four di^r- 
ent armies for the defense of the monarchy. The case of haif 
a nullion of men, flushed by victory, and led by able and ex* 
perienced leaders, assailing a single state, is the exception, not 
the rule. 

Circumstances, therefore, of paramount importance and ir- 
5. resistible force, compelled Marlborough to fix the 

S^^^J^Mitfi^ "^^^ ^ Flanders, and convert it into one of sieges 
kSe^t^th- *^^ blockades. In entering upon such a system 
er t£e oiiiance. ^f hostility, suTc, and Comparatively free firom risk, 
but slow and extremely costly, the alliance ran the greatest 
risk of being shipwrecked in consequence of the num,erous dis- 
cords, jealousies, and separate interests which, in the case of 
almost every coalition recorded in history, have proved fatal to 
a great confederacy, if it does not obtain decisive success at 
the outset, before these seeds of division have had time to 
come to maturity. With what admirable skill and incom- 
parable address Marlborough kept together the unwieldy al- 
liance, will hereafter appear. Never was a man so qualified 
by nature for such a task. He was courtesy and graoe per- 
sonified. It was a common saying at the time, that neither 
man nor w(»nan could resist him. " Of all the m^ I ever 
knew,'' says one who was himself a perfect master of the ele- 

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gaaeefl he so muoh admired, '* the late Duke of Marlborough 
posM&ied the graces in the highest degree, not to say engross- 
ed them. Indeed, h& got the most by them^; and, contrary 
to the custom of profound historians, who always assign deep 
causes for great events, I ascribe the bett^ half of the Duke 
of Marlborough's greatness to those graces. He had no bright- 
ness, nothing shining in his genius. He had, most undoubted- 
ly, an excellent plain understanding, and sound judgment. 
But. these qualities alone would probably have never raised 
him higher than they found him, which was page to James 
the Second's queen. But there the gOices protected and jnto- 
moted him. His figure was beautiM, but his mannw was ir- 
resistible, either by man or woman. It was by this engaging^ 
graceM manner, that he'waji enabled, during all the war, to 
connect the various and jarring powers of the Grand AUiance, 
and to carry them on to the main object of the war, notwith- 
standing their private and separate views, jealousies, and 
wrong-headedness. Whatever court he went to (and he was 
often obliged to go to restive and refractory ones), he brought 
them into his measures. The Pensionary Heinsius, who had 
governed the United Provinces for forty years, was absolutely 
governed by him. He was^ always cool, and nobody ever ob- 
served the least variation in his countenance ; he could refuse 
more graoefidly than others could grant ; and those who went 
from him the most dissatisfied as to the substance of their bu- 
fflness, were yet charmed by his manner, and, as it were, oom« 
fcrted by it."* 

The same circumstance of necessity imprinted a peculiar 
character upon the generalship of Marlborough, ^^ t which 
as it has subsequently done on that of Wellington, ^aamecauM 
and must ever do on tiie commander who is to head Marlborough's. 

military con* 

the forces of a great confederacy, especially if pop- duct 
tdar states enter into its composition. Caution and prudence, 
in such a situation, are not cmly important, but indispensable. 
The jealousies of calwets are such, their interests are in gen* 
* Lord Cke$t9i^idd*9 Uttert, Lord Mthoif 8 edltkm, i., fSl-SM. 

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eral so much at varianoe, that nothing can k^ the alliance 
together for any length of time but either an unbroken career 
of success, or the presence of some uniyersally-felt and over- 
whehning danger. Such is the impatience of disaster or tax- 
ation, and such the fickleness of disposition in the people of 
every country, that they can never be brought to carry on a 
contest for any considerable length of time, if danger is not 
evident from its cessation, or their imaginations are not excit- 
ed by a constant series of triumphs. Both these difficulties 
existed in the case of Marlborough, for he was the gener^ of 
a free state, which, unless in the excitement of victory, is con- 
stantly impatient of taxation, and the leader of the forces of 
an alliance which it required all his address and all the ter- 
rors of Louis XIV. to hinder every year from falling to pieces, 
from the jealousies and separate views of its members. With 
him, therefore, a prudent line of conduct was not only advisar 
ble, but indispensable. A single defeat would overturn the 
ministry in England, and dissolve the alliance. Unbroken 
success was the condition on which alone the contest could be 
maintained ; and the event proved that even this condition, 
which he constantly secured, could not, in the end, insure its 
continuance. And from this very success arose a new set of 
dangers ; for it took away the stimulus of fear, and brought 
into activity the usual selfishness of mankind, which leads ev- 
ery one to strive to throw the burden of efibrts for the com- 
mon cause on his neighbor. 

A striking proof of the action of these principles of weak- 
7. ness, inherent in all confederacies, in the alliance 

w^^u^^" of which he was the head, occurred in the v«ry 
SrS'Zd^t i^ext campaign. It might have been expected, 
of the war. ^^^^ ^^^j. ^^ march into Bavaria had demon- 
strated the military genius of the Duke of Marlborough, and 
the battle of Blenheim had, in so decisive a manner, broken 
the enemy's power, the principal direction of military afiairs 
would have been intrusted to that consummate tM>mmander, 
and that the allied cabinets, without presuming to interfere in 

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the management of the campaigns, would have tmned all their 
efibrts to place at his disposal forces adequate to carry into 
execution the mighty designs which he meditated, and had 
shown himself so weU qualified to carry into execution. It 
was quite the reverse. The allied cahinets did nothing — 
they did worse than nothing : they interfered only to do mis- 
chief Their principal object after this appeared to be to 
cramp the efibrts of this great general, to overrule his bold 
designs, to tie down his aspiring genius. Each looked only to 
his own separate objects, and nothing could make them see 
that these were to be gained only by promoting the general 
objects of the alhance. Relieved firom the danger of instant 
subjugation by the victory of Blenheim and the retreat of the 
French army across the Rhine, the German powers relapsed 
into their usual state of supineness, lukewarmness, and indif- 
ference. No e^rts of Marlborough could induce the Dutch 
either to enlarge their contingent, or even render that already 
in the field fit for actiVe service. The English force was not 
half of what the national strength was capable of sending 
forth. Parliament would not hear of any thing like an ade- 
quate expenditure. Thus the golden opportunity, never likely 
to be regained, of profiting by the consternation of the enemy 
ailer the battle of Blenheim, and their weakness after forty 
thousand of their best troops had been lost to their ermies, 
was allowed to pass away, and the war permitted to dwin- 
dle into one of posts and sieges, when, by a vigorous efibrt, it 
flight have been concluded in the next campaign.^ 

It was not thus with the French. The same cause which 

* " C'est le retard de toates lea ttoopea Allemandes qui d^ange xxm af- 
faires. Je ne faorais yoob expliqaer la sitaatioii on nooa ■ommes qa'en votui 
envoyfl&t lea deux lettrea ci jointea — ^I'lme que je viena de recevoir da Prince 
de Bade, et I'autre la r^ponse que je lai faia. £d y6rit6 notre 6tat eat plaa 
& plaindre qae voua ne croyez ; 'maia je yooa prie que cela n'aille paa oittre. 
Nous pardon* la plus belle occcuion du monde— manque de* troupe* qui de- 
vaiant Hre iciilya dt^a longtemp*. Poor le reate de Tartillerie Hollandaiae, 
et lea proviaiona qui peuvent arriver de Mayence, voua lea art^terex, a'il toos 
plait, poor qoelquea joora, jnaqo'd oe que je yon ^cnve:*"^M€n'Vborough, a A£ 
Peiter*; Treves, 31 Mai, 1705. Diapatdie*, ii., 60-1. 

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112 THE LtFB Of 

0. hftd looMoed the eftottn of the confedAt&tM, had 
fortt of tiie infipired unwonted vigor into their councils. The 
•fmnentT^ Rhine was crossed by the aUies ; the French ar- 
mies had been hurled with disgrace out of Germany ; l^e ter^ 
ritory of the Grand Monarque was threatened both from the 
nde of Alsace and Flanders ; and a formidable insurrection in 
the Cevennes distracted the force and threatened the peace of 
the kingdom. But against aU these evils Louis made head. 
Never had the superior vigor and perseverance of a monarchy 
over those of a confederacy been more clearly evinced. Mar* 
shal ViUars had been employed in the close of the preceding 
year in appeasing the insurrection in the Cevennes, and his 
measures were at once so vigorous and conciliatory, that b^ 
fore the end of the following winter the disturbances were en- 
tirely at an end. In consequence of this, the forces em^oyed 
in that quarter became disposable ; and by this means, and the 
immense efforts made by the government over the whole king- 
dom, the armies on the frontier were so considerably augment* 
ed, that Villeroi and the Elector of Bavaria took the field in 
the Low Countries at the head of seventy-five thousand men, 
while Marshal Marsin, on the Upper Rhine, covered Alsace 
with thirty thousand. Those armies were much larger than 
any which the alHes could bring against them ; for althoiigh 
it had been calculated that Marlborough wus to be at the 
head of ninety thousand men on the Moselle on the 1st of 
May, yet, such had been the dilatory conduct of the States 
General and the German princes, in the beginning of June 
there were scarcely thirty thousand men collected round his 
standards ; and in Flanders and on the Upper Rhine the en- 
emy's relative superiority was still greater. 

The plan of the campaign of 1705, based on the supposition 
« ,^ ®; ^ *^t these great forces, were to be at his disposal, 

Bold plan of ° , ^ . *, r ™» 

Marlborough concerted between him and Prmce Eugene, was m 

and Eugene ^ . . i 

for the invar the highest degree bold and decisive. It waa fixed 
France. that, eaxly in spring, ninety thousand men should 
be assembled in the country between the Moselle and the Saar, 

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StAtlL^Okd^OH. lift 

khdi aftet establiBhing their magadhes and base of operations at 
TreTes and Traerbach, l^ey should penetrate, in two colimms, 
into Lotraine ; that the column under Marlborough in person 
should advance along the course of the Moselle, and the other, 
under the Margtave of Baden, by the valley of the Saar, and 
that Saar-Louis should be invested before the French army had 
time to take the Md. In this way the whole fortresses of 
Flanders Would be avoided, and the war, carried into the ene^ 
my's territory, would assail France on the side where her irctt 
barrier was most easily pierced through. But the slowness of 
the Dutch and backwardness of the Grermans rendered this 
well-eoticeived plan abortive, and doomed the Engli^ general, 
i^ the whole of a campaign which promised such important 
advantages, to little else but difficulty, delay, and vexation. 
Marlborough's enthusiasm, great as it was, nearly sank under 
the repeated disappointments which he experienced at this juno^ 
ture ; and, guarded as he was, his chagrin exhaled in several 
Iritter complaints in his confidential correspondence * But, 
like a true patriot and man of perseverance, he did not give 
way to despair when he found nearly all that had been prom« 
ised him wanting ; but, perceiving the greater designs imprac^ 
tioable, from the want of all the means by which they could 
be oiurried into executiDn, prepared to make the most of the 
insufficient force which alone was at his disposal. 

• Even lolate as the 8th of Jane, Marlborough wrote, ** J'ai d'abord pri« 
poste dans ce camp, ou je me trouve k port^e d'entreprendre la siege d« 
Baar-Loois, si les trottpes qai devident avoir 6t6 id il y a qnelqaes Joan 
m'avaient joint Dependant je n'ai pas josqa'ici an seal bomme qai ne soit 
& la soldo d'Angleterre on de la Hollande. Les troapes de Bade ne pea- 
vent arriver avant le 21 aa platot ; quelqaes-ans des Prussiens sont encore 
plas en anridre ; et pour les trois mille chevaox qae les princes voisins de- 
vaient nous foamier poor ra^ner I'artiUerie et les mtinitions, et sans qooi il 
noas sera impossible d'agir, je n'en ai ancone noavclle, nonobstant toutes 
mes instances. J'ai grand pear mSme qa'il n^y ait, a Theare m^me qae je 
voas 6cris celle-ci, des regulations en chemin de la Hayo qui d^truiront en- 
tiirement tons nos projets de ce b6t6. Cette dtaation me donne tant d'in- 
^oi^tude que je ne saarais me dispenser de voos prior d'en vooloir part 4 s* 
majesty ImpiritAe."— Marlborough au ConUe de Wrotetlau, Elfl, 8 Juin, 
1705. DUpiUhei.M,^^ 


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At length, some of the Gennan re-enforcements having ar-* 
10. rived, Marlborough, in the beginning of June, 
SSntof ope. though Still greatly inferior to the enemy, com- 
S jtme^on^ menced operations. Such was the terror inspired 
the Moaciie. |,y y^ uBiaey and the tried valor of the En^h 
troops, that Villars remained on the defensive, and soon re- 
treated. Without firing a shot, he evacuated a strong woody 
country which he occupied, and retired to a defensive position, 
extending from Haute Sirk <hi the right to the Nevelle on the 
left, and communicating^in the rear with Luxembourg, Thion- 
ville, and Saar-Louis. This position was so weU chosen, that 
it was hopeless to attempt to force it without heavy cannon ; 
and Marlborough's had not yet arrived, from the failure of the 
German princes to furnish the draught-horses they had prom- 
ised. For nine weary days he remained in front of the French 
position, counting the hours till the guns and re-enforcements 
came up ; but such was the tardiness of the German powers, 
and the universal inefficiency of the inferior princes and po- 
tentates, that they never made their appearance. The En- 
glish general was still anxiously awaiting the promised sup- 
plies, when intelligence arrived from the right of so alarming 
a character as at once changed the theater of operations, and 
fixed him for the remainder of the campaign in the plains of 

It-wafi the rapid progress which Marshal Villeroi and the 
11.* Elector of Bavaria, at the head of seventy-five thou- 

Sacceaees of , . . i i t* t -r 

Villeroi oyer sand men, were making m the heart of the Low 
Fiaaders. Countries, which rendered this change necessary. 
General Overkirk was there intrusted with the army intended 
to cover Holland ; but it was greatly inferior to the enemy in 
point of numerical amount, and still more so in the quality 
and composition of the troops of which it was made up. 
Aware of his superiority, arid of the timid character of the 
government which was principally interested in that army, 
ViUeroi pushed his advantages to the utmost. He advanced 
boldly upon the Meuse, carried by assault the fortress of Huys, 

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and, maJcchiiig upon Liege, occupied the towil without much 
resistance, and laid siege to the citadel. Overkirk, cautiously 
remaining -within his lines hefore Maestricht, was unahle even 
to keep the field. The utmost alarm seized upon the United 
Provinces. They already, in imagination, saw Louis XIV. a 
second time at the gates of Amsterdam. Courier after courier 
was dispatched to Marlborough, soHciting relief in the most 
urgent terms ; and it was hinted, that if effectual protection 
were not immediately given, HoUand would be under the ne- 
cessity of negotiating for a separate peace. There was not a 
moment to be lost :- the Dutch were now as hard pressed as 
the Austrians had been in the preceding year, and in greater 
alarm than the emperor was before the battle of Blenheim. 
A cross-march like that into Bavaria could alone reinstate 
affairs. Without a moment's hesitation, Marlborough took 
his determination. 

On the 17th of June, without communicating his designs 
to any one, or even without saying a word of the X2. 

\ . ^ , Suddenmaroh 

alarming intelligence he had received, he ordered of Maribor- 

, , 11 .1 . 1 oughtatheir 

the whole army to be under arms at midnight, relief: 
and, setting out shortly after, he marched, without intermis- 
sion, eighteen miles to the rear. Having thus gained a march 
upon the enemy, so as to avoid the risk of being pursued or 
harassed in his retreat, he left General D' Aubach, with eleven 
battalions and twelve squadrons, to cover the important mag- 
azinJBS at Treves and Saarbruck, and himself, with the re- 
mainder of the army, about thirty thousand strong, marched 
rapidly in the direction of Maestricht. He was in hopes of 
being able, like the Consul Nero, in the memorable cross- 
march from Apulia to the Metaurus, in Roman story, to sur- 
prise the French with his own army tinited to that of Over- 
kirk before they were aware of his approach ; but in this he 
was disappointed. ViUeroi got notice of his movement, and, 
instantly raising the siege of the citadel of Liege, withdrew, 
though still superior in number to the united forces of the 
enemy, within the shelter of the lines he had prepared and 

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110 tHK LIFE OT 

fortified with great cAte on the Meuae. ' Marlborofogh instantly 
attacked and carried Huys on the 1 1th of July. But the sat* 
isfaction derived from having thus arrested the progress of tho 
enemy in Flanders, and wrested from him the only conquest 
of the campaign, soon received a bitter aUoy. Like Frederic 
in his marvelous campaigns, and Napoleon in his later years, 
the successes he gained in person were almost always over^ 
balanced by the disasters sustained through the blunders mr 
treachery of his heuten&nts. 

Hardly had Huys opened its gates, when advices were re* 
13. ceived that D*Aubach, instead of obeying his or* 
^the gctS2i <^®"> '^^^ defending the magazines at Treves and 
^^S ^ Saarbruck to the last extremity, had fled on the 
S^derim*^ fitst appearance of a weak French detaohment, and 
•***^^*- burned the whole stores which it had cost so much 
time and money to collect. This was a severe blow to Marl- 
borough, for it at once rendered impracticable the ofiensive 
movement into Lorraine, on which his heart was so set, and 
from which he had anticipated such important results. It 
was no longer possible to carry the war into the enemy's ter^ 
ritory, or turn, by an irruption into Lorraine, the whole for* 
tresses of the enemy in Flanders. The tardiness of the Qet- 
man powers in the first instance, the terrors of the Dutch, and 
ihe misconduct of D' Aubach in the last, had caused that ably- 
conceived design entirely to miscarry. Great was the morti- 
fication of the EngUsh general at this signal disappointment 
of his most warmly-cherished hopes ; it even went so far that 
he had thoughts of resigning his command.* But, instead of 

* " Par ces contretemps Uma nos projets de ce cdte-ci 8ont ^ranoctM, ftu 
inoiai pour le present; et j'espero qtie V. A. me fera la jostioc de aroire 
qae j'ai fait tout oe qui a dependa de moi poor let faire r^ossir. Si je poa- 
vaia avoir rhonneor d'entretenir V. A. poor one senle heure, je lui dirai bien 
des choses, par ou elle verrait combien je dttis, & plaindre. J'avais 94 es- 
cadronfl et 73 bataillons, tons & le idde de I'Angleterre et dc la HoUaode; 
de florte que, si Ton m*avait second^, doos aarioDfl ea nne des plus glorieosee 
oampagnea qa'<m pouvait souhaiter. Apres on tel traitment, V. A., je snia 
■ur, ne m'aorait pas blAm6 si j'avais pris la rfisolution de ne jamais plus iertir, 
oomme je ne ferai pas aossf, je tocm assve, apres cette otmpa^e, flmoinf 

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abafidomiig bioifielf to deepair, he set about, like the King of 
Prussia ii^ after times, the preparation c^a stroke which.^ould 
reinstate his affairs by the tern^ i^th which it inspired the 
»i^aay,«and the d^oiopstration of jkexh^ufsftible resources it af> 
ferded in hiipself. 

The position taken up by the Elector of Bavaria ond Mar^ 
shal Villeroi, when Marlborough's cross-march u. 
forced them to d^ens^ve measures, was sp strong ^^*by vS£ 
that it was regarde4 as imiH^cgnable ; and, in truth, ^^ 
it was so to a £:oiit attack. With its right resting on March© 
aux Pfunes on the Meu^e, it stretched thi^ough Leau to the 
strong and important fortress of Antwerp. This line wan 
long, aad, of course, liable to be l^oken through at various 
points ; but such was the skill with which every vulnerable 
part had been strengthened anjd fortified by ike Fr^ich en? 
g^eers, that it was no ea^y matter to say where an impression 
could be made. Wherever a mar^ or a stream intervened, 
the most s)dllful use had be^n made of it ; while forts and re- 
doubts, -pJbntifoUy mounted wijJ^ heavy caiuion, both com- 
manded all the approaches to th? lines, and formed so many 
points tTappui tQ the defenders in case of disaster. 8uch a 
positioii, defended by seventy thousand m^, directed by able 
gen^als, might well be deeined impregnable, !@ut Marlbcn:- 
ough, with au inferior ^rce, resolved to attenipt its conquest. 
Jle WW at the head of seventy-two battahons and ninty-four 
iquadrcmS) mustering thirty-six thousand &ot and fbiirteen 
thousand h<^^; and with them he determined to assail the 
^lemy in their strc^ position. In doing ^p, however, he had 
difficulties more formidable to overcome than even the resist- 
ance <^ the enemy in front ; the timidity of the authori^e^ at 
the Hague, and the nervousness under responsibility of the 
generals of the United Provinces, were mpye to be dreaded 
thaa Viileroi'g redoubts. It required all the cppjsrummate ad- 

qae de poavoir prendre des m^sures avec remperenr snr leiqaeUef je poor- 
rata entidrement me &er.*'~'M(»rlbar^gh d Eugene, 81 Juin, 1705. Dit^ 
fcUcke$, il, 124. 

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118 THE L^FE OP 

dress of the English general, aided by the able co-operation of . 
General Overkirk, to obtain liberty from the Dutch authori- 
ties to engage in any ofiensive- undertaking. At length, how- 
ever, after infinite difficulty, a council of war, at head-quar- 
ters, agreed to support any measure which might be deemed 
advisable ; and Marlborough instantly set about putting his 
design in execution. 

The better to conceal the real point of attack, he gave out 
15, that a march to the MoseUe was to be immediately 
too^n««S undertaken ; and, to give a color to the r^wrt, the 
the enemy, gorpg which had been employed in the siege of Huys 
was not brought "forward to the front. _ At the same time, 
Overkirk was detached to the allied left toward Bourdine, 
and Marlborough followed with a considerable force, ostensibly 
to support him. So completely was Villeroi imposed upon, 
that he drew large re-enforcements from the center to his ex- 
treme right; and soon forty thousand men were grouped 
round the sources of the Little Gheet on his extreme right. 
By this means the middle of his line was seriously weakened ; 
and Marlborough instantly assembled, with every imaginable 
precaution to avoid discovery, aU his disposable forces to at- 
tack the most vulnerable part of the lines. The corps hith- 
erto stationed on the Meuse was silently brought up to the 
fix)nt ; Marlborough put himself at the head of his own En- 
glish and German troops, whom he had carried with him from 
the MoseUe ; and at eight at night on the 17th of July, the 
whole began to march, all profoundly ignorant of the service 
on which they were to be engaged. Each trooper was order- 
ed to carry a truss of hay at his saddle-bow, as if a long match 
was in contemplation. At the same instant on which the 
columns under Marlborough's orders commenced their march, 
Overkirk repassed the Mehaigne on the left, and, concealed by 
darkness, fell into the general line of the advance of the allied 
troops. No fascines or gabions had been brought along to fill 
up the ditch, for fear of exciting alarm in the lines. The 
trusses of hay alone were trusted to for that purpose, which 

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would be equally e^ctual, and less likely to awaken sus- 

At four in the morning, the heads of the colunms, wholly 
uni)erceived, were in front of the French works, 16. 

1 11 I'll* 1^ Entire 8ucoe«« 

and, covered by a thick log, traversed the morass, of the attack 
passed the Gheet despite its steep banks, carried lines, jniy 17. 
the castle of Wange, and, rushing forward with a swiil pace, 
crossed the ditch on the trusses of hay, and, in three massy 
columns, scaled the rampart, and broke into the enemy's 
works. Hitherto entire success had attended this admirably- 
planned attack ; but the alann was now given : a fresh corps 
of fifteen thousand men, under M. D'Allegr6, hastily assem- 
bled, and- a heavy fire was opened upon the aUies, now dis- 
tinctly visible in the morning light, from a commanding bat- 
tery. Upon this, Marlborough put himself at the head of 
Lumley*s EngHsh horse, and, charging vigorously, succeeded, 
though not till he had sustained one repulse, in breaking 
through the hue thus hastily formed. In this charge the 
duke narrowly escaped with his life in a personal conflict 
with a Bavarian officer. The allies now crowded in in great 
numbers, and the French, panic-struck, fled on aU sides, aban- 
doning the whole center of their intrenchments to the bold 
assailants. Villeroi, who had become aware, from the retreat 
of Overkirk in his fix)nt, that some attack was in contempla- 
tion, but was ignorant where the tempest was to fall, remain- 
ed all night under arms. At length, attracted by the heavy 
fire, he approached the scene of action in the center only in 
time to see that the position was broken through, and the lines 
no longer tenable. He drew ofi'his whole troops accordingly, 
and took up a new position, nearly at right angles to the 
fbnner, stretching from Elixheim towardrTirlemont. 

It was part of the design of the duke to have intercepted 
the line of retreat of the French, and prevented ^^ i'''- 

' ^ Obstinacy and 

them from reaching the Dyle, to which they were backwardn«w 

° •' ' *- J of the Dutch 



. u. M.e Dutcl 

tending ; but such was the obstinacy and slow- prevents a 

complete vie* 

ness of the Dutch generals, that nothing could per- tory. 

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Buade them to make any further exertion, aQd, in defiance c^ 
the orders and remonstrances alike of Marlborough and Oveir 
kirk, they pitched their tents, and refused to take any part 
in the pursuit. The consequ^ice was, that Yilleioi collected 
his scattered forces, crossed the Dyle in hei^te, and took up 
new ground, about eighteen miles in the rear, with his left 
sheltered by the caniu>n of Louyain. 3ut, though the diso? 
bedieiice and obstinacy of the Dutch thus intercepted Marl^ 
borough in the career of victory, and rendered his pucee^ 
mueh less complete than it otherwise would have been, « 
^Ughty blew had yet been strucki reflecting the highest credit 
on the skill and resolution of the Snglish genernJ- The far 
mous lines, oa whieh the French ^bA been laboring ibr months, 
had been broken through and carried* during a nocturnal eon? 
flict of a few hours ; they had lost all their redoubts, iand the 
cannon with which they were armed ; M. D' Allegre, with 
twelve himdred prisoners, had been taken; and the army 
^hich lately besieged Liege and threatened Maest^icht was 
now driven back, defeated and discouyaged, tP seek refuge 
under the cannon of Louyain. 

Overkirk, who had so ably co-operated with Marlbprough 
Dutchf'deou- ^ *^ glorious victory, had the magnanimity as 
tieacoptinue "wrell as candor, in his dispateh to the States Gen- 

their opposi- . . 

tipp. er^l, to ascribe the miccess which had been gained 

en^ely to the skill and courage of the £!nglish general.^ 
]^t the Putch generals, who had interrupted his career of 
success, had the malignity to charge the consequences of their 
mij^nduet on his head, and even carried their efirontery so 
far as to accuse him of suphieness in not following up his sue* 
c^, and cutting off the enemy's retre^^t tq the Byle, when it 
was themselves who ha4 ^^ised to pl^y his prd{^ to do so. 
Rains of e^aordinary ai^venty fell firc^ tije }9l}i to the 23d 
of July, which rendered all (^^nsve o^ratipn# impractjiealdf, 

• " It if |i jmtice I owe to the Dake of Marlborough to state, that the 
honor of the eaterprue, executed vith so much skill axul coorage, is eatirdy 
dae to hmL"-'Ovrkirk to Statw Qmural, 19thof Jol^r, 1705. C^zf , li., 151 

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and gave ViUeroi time, of which he ably availed himself) to 
strengthen his position behind the Dyle to such a degree as 
to render it no longer assailable with any prospect of success. 
The precious moment, when the enemy m^^ht have been 
driven ftom it in the fbrst tumult of success, had been lost. 

The subeequ^it success in the Flemish campaign by no 
means corresponded to its brilliant commencement. 19. 
The jealousy of the Dutch ruined every thing. S^^iSSl 
This gave rise to recriminations and jealousies, 2om ofST 
which rendered it impracticable even for the great «*=*?*»«»»• 
abilities and ccmsummate address of Marlborough to efiect any 
thing of importance with the heterogeneous array, with the 
nominal command of which he was invested. Hie English 
general dispatched his adjutant-general^ Baron Hompesch, to 
represent to the States Greneral the impossibility of going on 
longer with such a divided responsiUlity ; but, though they 
hstened to Ips representations, nothing could induce them to 
put their troops under the direct orders of the coimnander-in* 
chief They still had "field deputies," as they were called, 
who were invested with the entire direction of the Dutch 
troops ; and as they were civilians, wholly unacquainted with 
military afiairs, they had recourse on ev^ occasion to the 
very fractious generals who already had done so much mis- 
chief to the common cause. In vain Marlborough repeatedly 
endeavored, as l^e himself said, " to cheat them into victory," 
by getting their consult to measures of which they did not 
see the bearing, calculated to achieve that object. Their 
timid, jealous spirit intorposed on every occasion to mar im- 
portant operations, and the corps they commanded was too 
ooniddiNrable to admit of these operations being undertaken 
without theiar eo-operation. After nine days' watohing the 
enemy across the t)yle, Marlborough proposed to cross the 
liver near Louvain, and attack the enemy ; the Dutdi deputies 
intOTposed ihek native, to Madborou^'s infinite mortifica- 
tion, as, in his own ^^ords, " it sptnled the whole campaign."* 

* ''On Wednesday, it was nnaniiBcnudy resolved we should pass die 


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Worn out with these long delays, Marlborough at length 
20. resolved, at aU hazards, to pass the river, trust- 
2^chS^8iy mg that the Dutch, when they saw the conflict 
^®*^**^™* once seriously engaged, would not desert him. 
But in this he was mistaken. The deputies of the United 
Provinces not only failed to execute the part assigned them in 
the combined enterprise, but sent information of his designs to 
the enemy. The consequence was, Villeroi was on his guard. 
All the duke's demonstrations could not draw his attention 
from his left, where the real attack was intended ; but, nev- 
ertheless, he pushed on the EngUsh and Germans under his 
orders, who forced the passage in the most gallant style. But 
when the duke ordered the Dutch generals to support the at- 
tack of the Duke of Wirtemberg, who had crossed the river, 
and established himself in force on the opposite bank, they re- 
i^ised to move their men. The oonitequence was, that this at- 
tack, as weU planned and likely to succeed as the famous forcing 
of the lines a fortnight before, proved abortive ; and Marlbor- 
ough, burning with indignation, was obliged to recall his troops 
when on the high road to victory, and when the river had 
been crossed without the loss of a hundred men. So general 
was the indignation at this shameful return on the part of the 
Dutch generals to Marlborough for all the services he had 
rendered their country, that it drew forth the strongest ex- 
pressions from one of his ablest but most determined oppo- 
nents, Lord Bolingbroke, who wrote to him at this juncture : 
" It was very melancholy to find the malice of Slangenberg; 

Dyle, but that afternoon there fell so much rain as rendered it impracticable ; 
bat the fair weather this morning made me determine to attempt it. Upon 
this the deputies held a council with all the generals of Overkirk's army; 
who have onanimoasly retracted their opinions, and declared the passage of 
the river too dangerous, which resolution, in my opinion, vnll ruin the whole 
campaign. They have, at the same time, proposed to me to attack tlie 
French on their left ; but I know they will let that fall also, ac soon as tbey 
see the groxmd. It is veiy mortifying to meet more obstruction from friends 
than from enemies ; but that is now the case with me ; yet I dare not show 
my resentment for fear of alarming the DxxXx^i.** -^Marlborough to OotU^ 
pkm, 89^ of July, 1705, CoxE, ii., 158. 

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the fears of Dopf, and the ignoranee of the d^uties, to men- 
tion no more, prevail so to disappoint your grace, to their 
prejudice as well as ours. We hope the Dutch have agreed 
to what your grace desires of them, without which the wax 
becomes a jest to our enemies, and can end in nothing but an 
iU peace, which is certain ruin to tis"* 

Still the English general was not discouraged. His public 
spirit and patriotism prevailed over his lust pri- '^ 2l 
Vate resentment, r mdin£r it unpossible to prevail operations on 

XI. Ti.-Li.J X- Z • thefieldofWaP 

on the Imtch' deputies, who, m every sense, were terioo. 
so many viceroys oVer ,him, to agree to any attempt to force 
the passage of the Dyle, he resolved to turn it. For this pur- 
pose, the army was put in motion on the 14th of Au- 
gust ; and, defiling to the left, he directed it in three 
columns toward tiie sources o£ the Dyle. The march vras 
rapid, as the duke had in£mnation that strong re-^iforcements, 
detached horn, the army at Alsace, would jwn Villeroi on the 
18th. The troopa soon came to ground subsequently immor- 
talized in English story. On the 16th they reached Genappe, 
where, on the i7th of June, 1815, the Life-guards under Lord 
Anglesea defeated the French lancers ; oa the day following, 
the enemy retired into the forest of Soignies, still covering 
Brussels, and the allied head-quarters were moved to Braine 
la Leude. On the 17th of August, a skirmish took place on 
the plain in firont of Waterloo ; and the alarm being given, 
the duke hastened to the spot, and r6de over the field where 
Wellington and Napoleon contended a hundred and ten years 
afterward. The French, upon this, retired into the forest of 
Soignies, and rested at Waterloo foi the night. 

The slightest glance at the map must be sufiieient to show 
that, by this cross-march to G-enappe and Water- ^ «. 

• ^^ Inimeiise ad- 

loo, Marlborough had gained an immense advan- vtntoje thu« 
tage over the enemy. He had interposed between Siuriboroui^ 
them amd France, He had relinquished for the edthePrenchi 
time, it is true, his own base of operations, and was out of 
• Bdinghrohe to Marlborough, Aaguat 18, 1705. Ck)XE, ii, 160. 

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communication, with his magazines ; but he had provided for 
this by taking six days' provisions for the army with him ; and 
he could now force the French either to fight or to abandon 
Brussels, and retire toward Antwerp, the alUes being between 
them and France. Still chnging to their fortified lines on the 
Dyle, and desirous of covering Brussels, they had only occu- 
pied the wood of Soignies with their right wing, while the 
alhes occupied all the open country from Genappe to Frisch- 
ermont and Braine la Leude, with their advanced posts push- 
ed up to La Haye Sainte and Mont St. Jean. The allies now 
occupied the ground afterward covered by Napoleon's army ; 
the forest of Soignies and approaches to Brussels were guard- 
ed by the French. Incalculable were the results of a victory 
gained in such a position : it was by success gained overman 
army of half the size that Napoleon established his power in 
80 surprising a manner at Marengo. Impressed with such 
ideas, Marlborough, on the 18th of August, anxiously recon- 
noitered the ground, and, finding the front practicable for the 
passage of troops, moved up his men in three columns to the 
attack. The artillery was sent to Wavre ; the allied columns 
traversed at right angles the line of march by which Blucher 
advanced to the support of Wellington on the 18th of Jmie, 
Had Marlborough's orders been executed, it is probable he 
23. would have gained a victory which, from the rel- 

pr^are^toV ^-tive position of the two armies, could not but 
S wSoT*" have been decisive ; and possibly the 18th of Au- 
isthAuguat ^g|.^ 1705, might have become as celebrated in 
history as the 18th of June, 1815. Overkirk, to whom he 
showed the ground at Over-Ische which he had destined for 
the scene of attack, perfectly concurred in the expedience of 
it, and orders were given to bring the artiUery forward to 
commence a cannonade. By the malice or neghgence of 
Slangenberg, who had again violated his express instructions, 
and permitted the baggage to intermmgle with the artillery 
train, the guns had not arrived, and some hours were lost be- 

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fi>re they could be pushed up. At length, but not till noon, 
Ihe guns were Immght forward, and the troqpg being in line, 
Marlborough rode along the front to give his last orders. The 
English and Grermans were in the highest spirits, anticipating 
certain victory from the relative position of the armies ; the 
French fi^iting with their £ices to Paris, the alUes with theirs 
to Brussels. 

But again the Dutch deputies and generals interposed, al- 
leging that the enemy was too strongly posted to 2*k«dii 
be attadced with any prospect of success. " Gen- thwiurt^Tby 

^ n the Dutch 

tlemen,'' said Marlborough to the circle of gener- deputiM. 
als which surrounded him, '' I have reconnoitered the ground, 
and made dispositions for an attack. I am convinced that 
conscientiously, and as men of honor, we can not now retire 
without an action. Should we neglect this oppc^tunity, we 
must be responsible before Grod and man. You see the confri- 
sion which pervades the ranks of the enemy, and their em- 
barrassment at our maneuvers. I leave you to judge whether 
we should attack to-day, or wait till to-morrow. It is indeed 
late ; but you must consider that, by throvnng up intrench- 
ments during the night, the enemy vnll render their positi<m 
far more difficult to force.'' ** Murder and massacre," replied 
Slangenberg. Marlborough, upon this, c^red him two En- 
glish for every Dutch battalion ; but this, too, the Dutchman 
refrised, on the plea that he did not understand EngHsh. Upon 
this the duke ofiered to give him Grerman regiments ; but even 
this was dedin^, upon the pretense that the attack would be 
too hazardous. Marlborough, upon this, turned to the depu- 
ties and said, *' I disdain to send troops to dangers which I 
will not myself encounter. I vnll lead them where the peril 
is most imminaat. I adjure you, gentlemen ! for the love of 
Grod and your country, do not let us neglect so favorable an op- 
portunity.'' But it was all in vain ; and instead of acting, 
the Dutch deputies and generals spent three hours in debat- 
ing, until night came on, and it was too late to attempt any 
thing. Such was Marlborough's chagrin at this disappoint* 

L2 . 

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ment, that he said, on retiring from the field, *' I am at this 
moment ten years older than I was four days a^o.** 
. Next day, as Marlborough had foreseen, the enemy had 

25. strenffthened their position with field-works, so that 

MarlborouErh ° 

ia obliged to it was Utterly hopeless to attempt getting the Dutch 
vantagefl. to agree to an attack which had now become haz- 
ardous, though it was not so the evening before. The case 
was now irremediable. The six days* bread which had been 
provided was on the point of being exhausted, and a protract- 
ed campaign without communication with the magazines was 
impracticable. With a heavy heart, therefore, the Enghsh 
general remeasured his steps to the ground he had left in front 
of the Dyle, and gave orders for destroying the Imes of Leau, 
which he had carried with so much ability. His vexation 
was increased afterward by finding that the consternation of 
the French had been such on the 1 8th of August, when he 
was so urgent to attack them, that they intended only to have 
made a show of resistance, to gain time for their baggage and 
heavy guns being removed to Brussels. To all appearance, 
Marlborough, if he had not been so shamefuUy thwarted, 
would have signalized the forest of Soignies by a victory as de- 
cisive as that of Blenheim, and realized the triumphant en- 
trance into Brussels which Napoleon anticipated from his at- 
tack on WelHngton on the same ground a hundred and ten 
years afterward. 

Nothing further, of any moment, was done in this cam- 

26. paign, except capturing Leau, and leveling the en- 
of the Dutch emy's lines on the Gheet. Marlborough wrote a 

against Marl- . . 

borough. formal letter to the States, in which he regretted 
the opportunity which had been lost, which General Overkirk 
had coincided with him in thinking promised a great and glo- 
rious victory ; and he added, *' My heart is so fiill that I can 
not forbear representing to your high mightinesses on this oc- 
casion that I find my authority here to be much less than 
when I had the honor to command your troops in Germany."* 
• Marlborough to the States, Wavre, 19th of August, 1705. Dup., ii., 224, 



The counter-memorial which the Dutch generals transmitted 
at the same time contains a curious picture of their idea of 
the subordination and direction of an army, and furnishes a 
key to the jealousy which had proved so fetal to the common 
cause. They complained that the Duke of Marlborough, 
" without holding a council of war, made two or three march- 
es for the execution of some design formed by his grace ; and 
we can not conceal from your high mightinesses that all the 
generals of our army think it very strange that they shotdd 
not have the least notice of the said marches"* It has been 
already mentioned that Marlborough, like every other good 
general, kept his designs to himself, from the im|)ossibihty of 
otherwise keeping th^n from the enemy ; and that he had 
the additional motive for this reserve, in the case of the Dutch 
deputies and generals, of being desirous to ** cheat them. into 

Chagrined by disappointment, and frilly convinced, as Wel- 
lington was after his campaign with Cuesta and 27. 
the Spaniards at Talavera, that it was in vain to magnanimoiu 

1 ' n t ' t n /»!• conduct of 

attempt any thing frirther m the face of such un- Marlborough, 
pediments thrown in his way by the aUies, Marlborpugh re- 
tired, in the beginning of September, to Tirlemont, the min- 
eral waters of which had been recommended to him ; and, in 
the end of October, the troops on both sides went into winter 
quarters. His vexation at the conduct of the Dutch at this 
time was strongly expressed in private letters to his intimate 
friends ;t but, thou^ he exerted himself to the utmost during 

* Dutch Generals' Mem. Coxe, ii., 174. 

t " Several priBonera whom we have taken, bm well as the deserters, as- 
sure us that they should have made no other defense but such as might 
have given them time to draw off their army to Brussels, where their bag- 
gage was ahready gone. By this you may imagine how I am vexed, seeing 
very plainly I am joined with people who will never do any thing."--AfarZ- 
borough to Oodolpkint August 24, 1705. 

" M. Overkirk et moi avons d'abord 6t6 reconnaitre les postes que nous 
▼oulions attaquer, et rarm^e etant rang6e en battaille war le midi, nous 
avions tout id'esperer, avec la benediction du ciel, vu notre superiority, et la 
bonte des troupes, une heoreuse jonrn^e ; mais MM. les deputes de I'^tat 

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the Baspension of operationB in the field, both by memorials to 
his own goTemment, and repreeentations to the Dutch rulers, 
to get the direction of the army put upon a better fitting, yet 
he had magnanimity and patriotism enough to sacrifice his 
private feelings to the public good. Instead of attempting, 
therefore, to infiame the resentment of the English cabinet at 
the conduct of the Dutch generals, he strove only to moderate 
it ; and prevailed on them to suspend the sending of a £>rmal 
remonstrance, which they had prepared, to the States General, 
till the efiect of his own private representations in that quar* 
ter was first ascertained. The result proved that he had 
judged wisely, and his disinterested conduct met with its de- 
served reward. The patriotic party, both in England and at 
the Hague, was strongly roused in his favor ,* the factious ac* 
cusations of the English Tories, like those of the Whigs a 
century after against Wellington, were silenced ; the States 
General were compelled by the public indignation to with- 
draw from their coarniands the generals who had thwarted 
his measures ; and, without endangering the union of the two 
powers, the factious, selfish men who had periled the object 
of their alliance, were forever deprived of the means of doing 

But while the danger was thus abated in one quarter, it 
2g, only became more serious in another. The Dutch 
SfcSinet*^ had been protected, and hindered from breaking off 
md AeGer- ^^"^ *^ alliance, only by endangering the fidelity 
manpoweri. of the Austrians ; and it had now become indis- 
pensable, at all hazards, to do something to appease their jeal- 
ousies. The Imperial cabinet, in addition to the war in Italy, 

ayaot Toala oonsolter lean g^niraxoi, et les tronvast de differentes seod- 
ments d'avec M. Overkirk et moi, ils n'ont pas voala passer outro. De sorte 
que toat notre dessein, apres I'avoir m^n^ jasqae Ml, a 6choa^, et ncras avoiui 
rebroass^ chexnin poor aller oommencer la demolition des Lignes, et prendre 
Lean. Vons poavez bien croire. Monsieur, que je snis an d^sefpoir d'etre 
ohhg^ d'essayer encore ce contretemps ; mais je vois bien qa'il ne faxit paa 
phis songper & agir offensivement avec ces messienrs, polsqn' lis ne Teolent 
rien risqner qaand mtoie lis ont font I'avantage de lenr o6tie." — Marlborough 
am, Comte de Wartenberg, Wavre, 20 AaAif 1705. Ditpatdim, ii., 9M. 

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on the Upper Rhine, and in the Low Countries, had become 
involved in serious hostilities in Hungary ; and they felt the 
difficulty, or rather impossibiHty, of maintaining the contest 
at once in so many difierent quarters. The cross-march of 
Mariborough from the Moselle to Flanders, however loudly 
called for by the danger and necessities of the States, had been 
viewed with a jealous eye by the emperor, as tending to lead 
the war away from the side of Lorraine, with which the 
Grerman interests were wound up ; and his demands were 
loud and frequent, now that the interests of the Dutch were 
sufficiently provided for, that the duke should return with the 
English contingent to this, the proper theater of ofiensive op- 
erations. But Marlborough's experience had taught him that 
as little reUance was to be placed on the co-operation of the 
Margrave of Baden, and the lesser German powers, as on that 
of the Dutch ; and he felt that it was altogether in vain to 
attempt another campaign, either in Germany or Flanders, 
unless some more efiectual measures were taken to appease 
the jealousies, and secure the co-operation of this discordant 
alliance, than had hitherto been adopted. With this view, 
after having arranged matters to his satisfaction at the Hague, 
and after Slangenberg had been removed from the command, 
he repaired to Vienna in November, and thence soon after to 

Marlborough's extraordinary address and powers of persua* 
sion did not desert him on this critical occasion. ^^ 

_. _ _ Eztraordina* 

Never was more strongly exemplified the truth of ry racceM of 
Chesterfield's remark, that manner had as much tnappeftdn^ 

. , . . , . 1 tt»em at Vi- 

weight as matter m procurmg him success, and 

that he was elevated to greatness as much on the wings of the 
Graces as by the strength of Minerva. Great as were the 
difficulties which attended the holding together the grand al* 
liance, they all yielded to the magic of his name and the fasci- 
nation of his manner. At Bemsberg he succeeded in obtaining 
from the elector a promise §ot the increase of his contingent, 
and leave for sending it into Italy, where its eo^eratioa wai 

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required ; at Frankfort he overcame, by persuasion and ad- 
dress, the difficulties of the Margrave of Baden ; and at Vienna 
he was magnificently received, and soon acquired unbounded 
credit with the emperor. Besides being raised to the rank of 
a prince of the empire, with the most flattering assurances of 
esteem, he was feted by the nobles, who vied with each other 
in demonstrations of respect to the illustrious conqueror of 
Blenheim. During his short sojourn of a fortnight there, he 
succeeded in allaying the suspicions and quieting the appre- 
hensions of the emperor, which no other man could have done ; 
and, having arranged the plan of the next campaign, and rais- 
ed, on his own credit, a loan from the bankers, for the Imperial 
court, of 100,000 crowns, as well as the promise of another of 
£250,000, which he afterward obtained in Lcmdon, he set 
out for Berlin, where his presence was not less necessary to 
stimulate the exertions and appease the complaints of the King 
of Prussia. 

He arrived there on the 30th of November, and on the 
30. same evening had an audience of the king, to whose 
Uniiidaun^ Strange and capricious temper he so completely ac- 
**^®''* commodated himself, that he allayed all his discon- 

tents, and brought him over completely to his views. He pre- 
vailed on him to renew the treaty for the furnishing of eight 
thousand men to aid the comj[non cause, and to repair the 
chasms in their ranks produced by the campaign, as well as 
to revoke the orders which had been issued for the return of 
the troops from Italy, where their removal would have proved 
of essential detriment. This concession, in the words of the 
prime minister who announced it, was granted " as a mark 
of respect to the queen, and of particular friendship to the 
duke." From Berlin he proceeded, loaded with honors and 
presents, to Hanover, where jealousies of a difierent kind, but 
not less dangerous, had arisen in consequence of the appre- 
hensions there entertained that the Whigs were endeavoring 
to thwart the eventual succession of the house of Hanover to 
the throne of England. Here also Marlborough's addrois 

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succeeded in overcoming all difficulties ; and, after a sojourn 
of only a few days, he departed in the highest favor both with 
the elector and his mother. From thence he hastened to the 
Hagjije, where he remained a fortnight, and succeeded in a 
great degree in removing those difficulties, and smoothing 
down those jealousies, which had proved so injurious to the 
common cause in the preceding campaign. He prevailed on 
the Dutch to reject the separate offers of accommodation 
whiah had been made them by the French government. Hav- 
ing thus put all things on as favorable a footing as could be 
hoped for on the Continent, he embarked for England in the 
beginning of January, 1706, having overcome greater diffi- 
culties and obtained greater advantages in the course of this 
winter campaign, and with divided aUies, than he ever did 
during a summer campaign with the enemy. 

Every one, however cursorily he may be acquainted with 
Wellington's campaigns, must be struck with the 31. 
great similarity between the difficulties which thus beS^lia 
beset the Duke of Marlborough in the earher^pe- golT^dt^ 
riods of his career, and those which at a subsequent ^ JlJ^^eariy*^ 
period so long hampered the genius and thwarted camp»iapfl- 
the efforts of England's greatest general. Slangenberg's jeal- 
ousy was an exact counterpart of that of Cuesta at Talavera ; 
the timidity of the Dutch authorities was precisely similar to 
that of the Portuguese regency ; the difficulty of appeasing 
the jealousy of Austria and Prussia, identical with that which 
so often compelled Wellington to hurry from the field to Lis- 
bon and Cadiz. Such is the selfishness of human nature, that 
it seems impossible to get men, actuated by different interests, 
to concur in any measures for the general good but under the 
pressure of immediate danger so threatening as to be obvious 
to every imderstanding, or by the influence of ability and ad- 
dress of the very highest order. It is this which in every age 
has caused the weakness of the best-cemented confederacies, 
and so often enabled single powers, not possessing a fourth 
part of their material resources, to triumph over them ; and 

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it is in the power of overcoming these difficulties and jealoivs* 
ies that one of the most important qualities of the general of 
an alliance is to be found. 

Marlborough sailed for the Continent, to take the eonu|ian4 

3S. of the armies in the Low Countries, on the 20th 

backward- of April, 1706. His design was to have transfer- 

Bess of the _ m ' ■» i t 

aiiiot in the red the seat of war mto Italy, as anairs had be- 
ment of 170& comc 80 unpromisiug m that quarter as to be well- 
nigh desperate. The Imperialists had been surprised hf the 
French general yend6me, in their quarters near Como, and 
driven into the mountains behind that town with the loss of 
three thousand men, so that all hold of the plain of Lombar- 
dy was lost. The Duke of Savoy was even threatened with 
a siege in hii capital of Turin. The Margrave of Baden waa 
displaying his usual factious and impracticable disposition ^n 
the Upper Rhine : it seemed, in Marlborough's words, " as 
if he had no other object in view but to cover his own capital 
and residence/' In Flanders, the habitual procrastination 
and tardiness of the Dutch had so thrown back the prepara- 
tions, that it was impossible to begin the campaign so early 
as he had intended ; and the jealousies of the cabinets of Ber- 
liji and Copenhagen had again revived to such a degree, that 
no aid was to be expected either from the Prussian or Danish 
contingents. It was chiefly to get beyond the reach of such 
troublesome and inconstant neighbors that Marlborough was 
80 desirous of transferring the seat of war to Italy. But all 
his e^rts to induce the States General to allow any part of 
their troops to be employed to the south of the Alps were un- 
availing ;: nor, indeed, could it reaaonably have been expected 
that they would consent to hazard their forces in an expedi- 
tion to so d^ant a quarter, not immediately connected with 
their interests. The resentment of the Elector of Hanover at 
the conduct of Queen Anne had become so excessive, that he 
positively refused to let his contingent march. The Danes 
'and Hessians excused themselves on various pretenses from 
moving their tro<^ to the south ; and the emperor, instead 

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H An rr K & »r 07 

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S C JlT, e s 

MDitairjr Steps ZVz 1b ct eadt 

ji>6a siise^ 


Eng ^ Irv- IV. Knalile . 


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of contnbiitiiig any thing to the vkx in Flanders, was urgent 
that Buocor should be sent to him, and that the English gen* 
eral should in person take the command on the Moselle. 
Marlborough was thus reduced to the English troops, and 
those in the pay of Holland ; but they amounted to nearly 
sixty thousand men ; and, on the i9th of May, he set out 
from the Hague to take the command of this force, which lay 
in front of the old Frendi frontier on the River Dyle. Mar- 
shal Villeroi had there collected sixty-two thousand men ; so 
that the two armies, in point of numerical strength, were very 
nearly equal. 

The English general had estabMied a secret correspond- 
ence with one Pasquini, an inhabitant of Namur, 33. 
through whose agency, and that of some other cit- oppoSterid^ 
izens of the town who were inclined to the Impe- ^ f^^*"- 
rial interest, he hoped to be able to make himself master of 
that important fortress. To facilitate that attempt, and have 
troops at hand ready to take advantage of any opening that 
might be afibrded them in that quarter, he moved toward 
Tirlemont, directing his march by the sources of the Little 
Gheet. Determined to cover ^amur, and knowing that the 
Hanoverians and Hessians were abs^it, Villeroi marched out 
of his lines in order to stop the advance of the allies, and gave 
battle in the op^i field. On the 20th of May, the English 
and Dutch iaioes eflected their junction at Bitsia ; and on the 
day following the Danish contingent arrived, Marlborough 
having, by great exertions, persuaded them to come up from 
the Rhine, upon receiving a guarantee for their pay frcmi the 
Dutch government. Thia raised his force to seventy-three 
battalions and one hundred and twenty-three squadrons. The 
French had seventy-^^ur battalions and cme hundred and 
twenty-eight squadrons. But they had a much greater ad- 
vantage in the homogeneous quality of their troops, who were 
all of one country, while the forces of the confederates were 
drawn froin three different nations, speaking difierent lan- 
guages, and many of whom had never acted in the field to- 


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134 TH8 LIFE OF 

gether. Cadogan, with six hundred horse, formed the van- 
guard of Marlborough's army ; and at daybreak on the 22d, 
he discovered the enemy's army grouped in dense masses in 
the strong camp of Mont St. Andr^ . As their position stretch- 
ed directly across the allied line of march, a battle was una- 
voidable ; and Marlborough was no sooner informed of it, than 
with a joyous heart he prepared for the conflict.* 

The ground occupied by the enemy, and which has become 
» J'^ . 80 famous by the battle of Kamillies which foUow- 

Posltionof , -•; . ^ , 1 , 

the French ed, was ou the summit of an elevated plateau form- 
at Ramilliet, . , , _ , 

22dofMa7. ing the highest ground in Brabant, unmediately 
above the two sources of the Little Gheet. The elevated 
ground above is varied by gentle undulations, interspersed 
with garden grounds, and dotted with coppice woods. From 
it the two Gheets, the Mehaigne and the Dyle, take their rise, 
and flow in diflerent directions, so that it is the highest sur- 
face in the whole country. The descents flx>m the summit 
of the plateau to the Great Gheet are steep and abrupt ; but 
the other rivers rise in marshes and mosses, which are very 
wet, and in some places impassable. Marlborough was well 
aware oi the strength of the position on the summit of this 
eminence, and he had used all the dispatch in his power to 
reach it before the enemy ; but Villeroi had less ground to go 
over, and had his troops in battle array on the summit before 
the English appeared in sight The position occupied by the 
French ran along the front of a curve facing inward, and 
overhanging the sources of the Little Gheet. The troops 
were posted on the crest of the ridge above the marshes, hav- 
ing the village of Autre Eglise in front of the extreme lef^ 
and the villages of Ofliiz and Ramillies opposite their center. 
The extreme right occupied the high grounds which overhang 

* The composition and f trength of the two armies was as follows ; 

French. Men. 

Battalions . . 73 
Sqaadrons . . 123 

I 60,000. 
Oona . . . .180. 

Battalions . . 74 ) 
Squadrons . . 128 J *^^^- 
Ghins . . . .130. 

Kauslkb, 765. 

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the Mehaigne, along the course of which, at a short distance, 
and nearly pa]:allel to its hanks, runs the old chatissee, which, 
afler the lapse of more than a thousand years, still retains the 
name of Queen Brunehault. The right wing occupied the in- 
termediate space, and rested on the Mehaigne, while the vil- 
lage of Tavieres, on the hanks of that river, was garrisoned 
by a large hody of foot soldiers. The infantry were drawn up 
in two lines, the villages in their front heing strongly occupied 
hy separate detachments of foot. In Ramillies alone twenty 
hattalions were posted. The great hulk of the horse was also 
arranged in twa lines on the right, across the chauss6e of 
Brunehault, along which part of the allied columns was ex- 
pected to advance. On the highest point of the ridge thus 
occupied hy the French, hut immediately behind their ex- 
treme right and the mass of their cavalry, and in a position 
commanding the whole field of battle, the tomb or barrow of 
the ancient Grerman hero Ottomond was situated. This po- 
sition, it was evident, would become the subject of a desperate 
strife between the contending parties in the approaching 

Marlborough no sooner came in sight of the enemy's position 
than he formed his own plan of attack. His troops 35. 
were divided into ten columns, the cavalry being m^euJewbe! 
in two lines on each wing, the infantry in six col- l^^^*^fJS 
unms in the center. He at once saw that the'**^ 
French right, surmounted by the lofty plateau on which the 
tomb of Ottomond was placed, was the key of their position, 
and against that he resolved to direct the weight of his onset ; 
but, the better to conceal his real design, he determined to 
make a vehement false attack on the village of Autre Eglise 
and their left. The nature of the groimd occupied by the 
allies and the enemy respectively, favored this design ; for the 
French were posted round the circumference of a segment of 
a circle, while the allies occupied the center and chord, so that 
they could move with greater rapidity than their opponents 

* ELlUSLXR, 765, 766. Coxx, u., 339, 340. 

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from one part of the field to another. ^Marlborough's strata- 
gem was entirely successfiil. He formed, in the first instance, 
with some ostentation, a weighty column of attack opposite to 
the French left, which menaced the Tillage of Autre Eglise. 
No sooner did Villeroi perceive this, than he drew a consider- 
able body of infantry firom his center behind Offuz, and march- 
ed them with the utmost expedition to re-enforce the threat- 
ened point on his left. When Marlborough saw this cross- 
movement fairly commenced, he skillfiiUy availed himself of a 
rising ground on which the firont of his colimm of attack on 
the right was placed, by directing the second line and the col- 
umns which supported it, just as the firont had reached the 
edge of the plateau, where they obstructed the view of those 
behind them, to halt in a hollow, where they could not be 
seen, and immediately after, still concealed firom the euOTay's 
light, to defile rapidly to the left till they came into the rear 
of the left center. The Danish horse, twenty squadrons strong, 
under the Duke of Wirtemberg, were at the same time placed 
in a third line, behind the cavalry of the left wing, so as to 
bring the weight of his horse as well as foot into that quarter.* 
At half past twelve the cannonade began on both sides, and 
w. that of the French played heavily on the columns 

Commence- *. •> <i 

numt of the of the Confederates advancing to the attack. The 

bottk, and , ° 

BkmAa] fidnt allied right wing, directed against Autre Eglise, 
ough. steadily advanced up the slopes firom the banks of 

the Little Gheet to the edge of the plateau, where they halt- 
ed, deployed into line, and opened their fire in such a position 
as to conceal entirely the transfer of the infantry and cavalry 
in their rear to the allied left. No sooner had those columns 
in support reached it, than the attack began in real earnest, 
and with a preponderating force in that direction. Colonel 
Wertonville, with four Dutch battalions, advanced against 
Tavi^res, while twelve battalions in colmnns of companies, 
supported by a strong reserve, began the attack on RamiUieil 
in the left center. The vehemence of this assault soon ooo- 

♦ COXI, il; 343-944, 345. KausliR, 766. 

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vinced Villeioi that the real attack of the allies was in that 

quarter ; but he had no reserve of foot to support the troops in * 

the villages, every disposable man having been sent off to the 
left in the direction of Autre Eglise. In this dilemma, he \Ai^ 
hastily ordered fourteen squadrons of horse to dismount, and, 
supported by two Swiss battalions, moved them up to the sup- ** 

port of the troops in Tavieres. Before they could arrive, 
however, the Dutch battalions had with great gallantry car- 
ried that village ; and Marlborough, directing the Danish 
horse, imder the brave Duke of Wirtemberg, against the flank 
of the dismounted dragoons, as they were in column and 
marching up, the Swiss were speedily cut to pieces, and hurled , ^ 
back in confusion on the French horse, who were advancing 
to their support.* 

Following up his success, Overkirk next charged the first 
line of advancing French cavalry with the first 37. 

line of the allied horse, and such was the vigor of overki?k° and 
his onset, that the enemy were broken and thrown ^f Maribw- 
back. But the second Hne of French and Bava- S'^ten^g U) 
rian horse soon came up, and assailing Overkirk's *^ "^^^ 
men when they were disordered by success, and Uttle expect- 
ing another struggle, overthrew them without difficulty, drove 
them back in great confusion, and almost entirely restored the 
battle in that quarter. The chances were, that the victorious ,^\^ , 
French horse, having cleared the open ground of their oppo- 
nents, would wheel about and attack in rear the twelve bat- 
talions who were warmly engaged with the attack on Uamil- 
lies. Marlborough instantly saw the danger, and, putting 
himself at the head of seventeen squadrons at hand, led them 
on himself to arrest the progress of the victorious horse, while, 
at the same time, he sent orders for every disposable saber to 
come up from his right with the utmost expedition. Twenty 
squadrons were there in reserve ; they instantly wheeled threes 
about, and galloped off to the support of their leader. The ^ 
moment was critical, and nothing but the admirable intrepidity / 

* Kaxjsler, 346. CoxK, ii., 345-347. 

M 2 

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and presence af mind of the English general could have re- 
trieved the allied afiairs. As he was leading on this reserve 
with his wonted gallantry, and under a dreadful fire from the 
French batteries on the heights behind RamilUes, he was rec- 
ognized by some French troopers, with whom he had formerly 
served in the time of Charles II., who made a sudden rush at 
him. They had wellnigh made him prisoner, for they suc- 
ceeded in surrounding him before his men could come up to 
the rescue ; but he extricated himself from the throng of as- 
sailants by fighting his way out, like the knights of old, sword 
in hand. He next tried to leap a ditch, but his horse fell in 
the attempt ; and, when mounting another horse given hira 
by his aid-de-camp Captain Molesworth, Colonel Bingfield, 
his equerry, who held the stirrup, had his head carried ofi* by 
a cannon baU. The inuninent danger of their beloved gen- 
eral, however, revived the spirit of the troops. The dreadfiil 
severity of the cannonade had, during the scufiie, thrown them 
into disorder ; but, re-forming with great celerity, they again 
returned with desperate resolution to the charge.* 

In this emergency, when nothing was as yet decided, the 
38. twenty fresh squadrons which Marlborough had so 

The twenty <i *. o 

•quadroM or- opportunely Called up from the aUied right were 

dcredupfrom n • /» n i -i mi • 

the right re- Seen gallopmg at toll speed, but still m regular 
1^. order, on the plain behind this desperate conflict. 

Halting directly in rear of the spot where the horse on both 
sides were so vehemently engaged, they wheeled into line, and 
advanced in close order and admirable array to the support 
of the duke. Encouraged by this powerfiil re-enforcement, 
the whole allied cavalry re-formed, and swept forward in 
three lines, with loud shouts, to the attack of the now intim- 
idated and disheartened Frentdi, who no longer withstood the 
onset, but, turning their horses' heads, fled with precipitation. 
The low grounds between B'amillies and the old chauss^ 
were quickly passed, and the victorious horse, pressing up the 
iLope on the opposite side, ere long reached the summit of the 

* C0X£, VL, 347. KaUSLJBB, 766, 767. 

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plateau. The tomb of Ottomond, the highest point, and vis- 
ible from the whole field of battle, was soon resplendent with 
sabers and cuirasses, amid a throng of horse ; and deafening 
shouts, heard over the whole extent of both armies, annoimced 
that the crowning point and key of the whole position had 
been gained.* 

But Villeroi was an able and determined general, and his 
soldiers fought with the mherent bravery of the 39. 

French nation. The contest, thus virtually de- formoresLe 
cided, was not yet over. A fierce fight was raging whicr^e im- •>* 
around Hamillies, where the garrison of twenty ^^^^^^^^^^ 
French battalions opposed a stout resistance to Schultz's gren- 
adiers. By degrees, however, the latter gained ground ; two 
Swiss battalions, which had long and resolutely held their 
ground, were at length forced back into the village, and some 
of the nearest houses fell into the hands of the allies. Upon 
this the whole rushed forward, and drove the enemy in a mass 
out toward the high grounds in the rear. The Marquis 
Mafiei, however, rallied two regiments of Cologne guards, in 
a hollow way leading up from the village to the plateau, and 
opposed so vigorous a resistance, that he not only checked the 
pursuit, but regained part of the village ; but Marlborough, 
whose eye was every where, no sooner saw this than he order- ,r 
ed up twenty battalions which had been stationed in reserve 
behind the center, and speedily cleared the village. Mafiei, 
with his gallant troops, being charged in flank by the victori- 
ous horse at the very time that he was driven out of the village 
by the infantry, was made prisoner, and almost all his men 
were taken or destroyed.! 

The victory was now decided on the British left and cen- ^' 
ter, where alone the real attack had been made ; 40. 
but so vehement had been the onset, so desperate though 

., /» 1 • T 1 1 1 1 1 thrown into 

tne passage 01 arms which had taken place, that, disorder, en- 
though the battle had lasted little more than three ly. 

* KatJSLKR, 767, 768. CoxE, ii., 348. ^ 

t CoxE, ii., 348. Kausler, 767, 768. Maffei, Memoirs, 347. 

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140 THE LIF£ OF 

houn, the victors were nearly in as great disorder as the van- 
quished. Horse, foot, and artillery were every where hlended 
together in confusion, more especially between RamilUes and 
' the Mehaigne, and thence up to the tomV of Ottomond, in 
consequ^ice of the various charges of all arms which had so 
rapidly succeeded each other on the same narrow space. 
Marlborough, seeing this, and before attempting any thing 
more, halted his troops on the ground where they stood, which, 
in the left and center, had been occupied by the enemy at the 
commencement of the action. Villeroi skiU^illy availed him- 
self of this breathing-time to endeavor to re-form his broken 
tro<^, and to take up a new line from Greest-a-Gerompont^ on 
his right, through Offiiz to Autre Eglise, still held by its orig- 
inal garrison, on his left. But in making the retrograde move* 
ment so as to get his men into this obUque position, he was 
even more impeded and thrown into disorder by the baggie- 
wagons and dismounted guns on the heights, than the allies 
bad been on the plain below. 

On observing this, Marlborough resolved to give the enemy 
41. no time to rally, but again soimding the charge, or- 
▼^ceof^o dered infantry and cavalry to advance. A strong 
SSptetes^^ column passed the morass in which the Little Gheet 
thevict»ry. takos its rise, directing their stcps toward Offiiiz ; but 
the enemy, panic-struck, as at Waterloo, by the general ad- 
vance of the victors, gave way on all sides. Ofiuz .was aban- 
doned without a shot being fired, the cavalry pursued the fti- 
gitives with headlong fury, and the plateau of Mont St. An- 
dr6 was soon covered with the flying enemy. The trq$q[>s in 
observation on the right, seeing the victory gained on the left 
and center, of their own accord joined in the pursuit, and soon 
made themselves masters of Autre Eglise and the heights be- 
hind it. The Spanish and Bavarian Horse-guards made a 
gallant atten^t to stem the flood of disaster, but without at- 
takung their object. This only led to their own destruction. 
General Wood and Colonel Wyndham, at the head of the En- 
glish Horse-guards, charged them, and they were immediately 

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eut to pieces. The rout now became universal, and all resist* 

auce ceased. In fidghtful courusluu, a iliyorganized mays of 
horse and foot, abandoning their guns, streamed over the pla- 
teau, poured headlong, on the other side, down the banks of 
the Great Gheet, and fled toward Louvain, which they reach- 
ed in the most dreadful disorder at two o'clock in the morning. 
The British horse, under Lord Orkney, did not draw bridle 
from the pursuit till they reached the neighborhood of that for- 
tress, having, besides fighting the battle, ridden fuU five-and- 
twenty miles that day. Marlborough halted for the night, 
and established head-quarters at Mildert, tliirteen miles from 
the field of battle, and five from Louvain.* 

The trophies of the battle of Ramilhes were immense ; but 
they were even exceeded by its results. The loss ^a. 

•^ 11 11- Losses of the 

of the French in killed and wounded was seven French and 

1 . 1 T . -1 the allies in 

thousand men, and, m additiou to that, six thou- the battle. 
sand prisoners were taken. With the desertions which took 
place after the battle, they were weakened by fully fifteen 
thousand men. They lost fifty-two guns, their whole bag- 
gage and pontoon train, all their caissons, and eighty stand- 
ards wrested from them in fair fight. Among the prisoners 
were the Princes de Soubise and Rohan, and a son of Mar- 
shal Tallard. The victors lost one thousand and sixty-six kill- 
ed, and two thousand five hundred and sixty-seven wounded, 
in all, three thousand six hundred and thirty-three. The 
great and unusual proportion of the killed to the wounded 
shows how desperate the fightmg had been, and how much 
of it, as in ancient warfare, had been in hand-to-hand contest. 
Overkirk nobly supported the duke in this action, and not 
only repeatedly charged at the head of his horse, but contin- 
ued on horseback in the pursuit till one in the morning, when 
he narrowly escaped death from a Bavarian officer he had 
made prisoner, and to whom he had given back his sword, say- 
ing, " You are a gentleman, and may keep it." The base 
wretch no sooner got it into his hand than he made a lounge 
* CoXB, ii, 348, 349. Mm. de Marquis Mct^ei, 349, 350. Kausler, 768. 

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at the Dutch general, but fortunately migsed his blow, and 
was immediately cut down for his treachery by Overkirk's 

The immediate result of this splendid victory was the ac- 
.43. quisition of nearly aU Austrian Flanders. Brus- 

resuitfl. sels, Louvain, Mechlin, Alort, Luise, and nearly all 

the great towns of Brabant, opened their gates immediately 
after it. Ghent and Bruges speedily followed the example ; 
and Daun and Oudenarde soon declared for the Austrian 
cause. Of all the towns in Flanders, Antwerp, Ostend, Nieu- 
port, and Dunkirk alone held out for the French ; and to their 
reduction the duke immediately turned his attention. The 
public transports in Holland knew no bounds ; they much 
/ ' exceeded what had been felt for the victory of Blenheim, for 

that only saved Germany, but this delivered themselves. The 
wretched jealousy which had so long thwarted the duke, as it 
^ does every other really great man, was fairly overpowered in 

" the electric shock of a nation's gratitude." In England, the 
rejoicings were equally enthusiastic, and a solemn thanksgiv- 
ing at St. Paul's, which the queen attended in person, gave a 
willing vent to the general thankfulness. '* Faction and the 
French," as Bolingbroke expressed it,t were aU that Marlbor- 
A\ ough had to fear, and he had fairly conquered both. Above 

. , all, the magnitude of his renown rid him for a time, at least, 

f of those vexatious councils of war which had so often thwart- 

^ ed his best-laid plans. But the snake, though scotched, was 

not killed, and but replenished its venom and prepared future 
stings even during the roar of triumphant cannon and the 
festive blaze of rejoicing cities.^ 

* Kauslek, 769. CoxE, ii., 350-353. -• ' ' ' 

' t " Thia vast addition of renown which your grace has acquired, and the 

wonderful preservation of your life, are subjects upon which I can never ex- 
press a thousandth part of what I feel. France and faction are the only en- 
emies England has to fear, and your grace wiU conquer both ; at least, while 
you beat the French, you give a strength to the government which the oth- 
er dares not contend with." — Bolingbroke to Marlborough, May 28, 1706. 
CoxK, ii., 358. 

t " I shall attend the queen at the thajiksgiving on Thursday next : I as- 


^ _ Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The French, after this terrible defeat, retired in the deep- 
est dejection toward French Flanders, leaving gar- ^4. 

risons in the principal fortresses which still held French irum 

-urn 11* • 1 Flandert?, and 

out for them. Marlborough made his triumphant univerani joy- 
entry into Brussels in great pomp on the 28 th of tion. 
May, amid the acclamations of the inhabitants. The Three 
Estates of Brabant, assembled there, acknowledged Charles 
III. for their sovereign, and received, in return, a guaran- 
tee from the English government and the States General 
that the joy ease entree, the Magna Charta of Flanders, 
should be faithfully observed. " Every where," says Marl- 
borough, *' the joy was great at being delivered from the inso- 
lence and exactions of the French.*' The victory of Ramil- 
lies produced no less efiect on the northern courts, whose jeal- 
ousies and lukewarmness had hitherto proved so pernicious to 
the common cause. The King of Prussia, who had hitherto 
kept aloof, and suspended the march of his troops, now, on 
the mediation of Marlborough, became reconciled to the em- 
peror and the States General ; and the Elector of Hanover, 
forgetting his apprehensions about the English succession, was 
among the foremost to offer his congratulations, and make a 
tender of his forces to the now triumphant cause. It is sel- 
dom that the prosperous want friends. 

The Dutch, upon the submission of Brabant, were anxious 
to levy contributions on it as a conquered country, 45. 
for the purpose of relieving themselves of part of wKS'S""' 
the expenses of the war ; and Godolphin, actuated ^ pj-otectifg 
by the same short-sighted views, was eager to re- fro^o^e? 
plenish the English exchequer from the same ^°°- 
source ; but Marlborough, like Wellington in after days, had 
magnanimity and wisdom enough to see the folly, as well as 
injustice, of thus alienating infant allies at the moment of 
sure yoa I shall do it, from every vein within me, having scarce any thing else 
to support either my head or heart. The animosity and inveteracy one has 
to struggle against is unimaginable, not to mention the difficulty of obtaining 
things to be done that are reasonable, or of satisfying people with reason 
when they are done," -^Godolphin to Marlborough , May 24, 1706. 

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144 TKE LIFE OF . 

their conversioH, and he combated the project so fiucceasfuUy 
that it was abandoned.* At the same time, he preserved 
the strictest discipliue on the part of his troops, and took every 
imaginable precaution to secure the affections and allay the 
apprehensions of the inhabitants of the ceded provinces. The 
good effects of this wise and conciliatory policy were soon ap- 
parent. Without firing a shot, the allies gained greater ad- 
vantages during the remainder of the campaign than they 
could have done by a series of bloody sieges, and the sacrifice 
of thirty thousand men. Nor was it less advantageous to the 
English general than to the common cause ; for it delivered 
him, for that season at least, from the thraldom of a council 
of war, the invariable resource of a weak, as it is the aversion 
of a lofty mind.f 

The Estates of Brabant, assembled at Brussels, sent in- 
46. iimctions to the ffovernor of Antwerp, Ghent, and 

Capitulation of ** ^ .,.,... 

Ghent, Bruges, all the Other fortrcsscs withm their territories, to 
Oudenfirde. declare for Charles III., and admit their troops. 
The effect of this, in connection vdth the well-knowTi disci- 
pline preserved by the alHed army, and the protection from 
contributions, was very decided. No sooner were the orders 
received at Antwerp, than a schism broke out between the 
Erench regiments in the garrison and the Walloon Guards. 
The latter declared for Charles III. ; and the approach of 
Marlborough's army, and the intelligence of the submission of 
the other cities of Brabant, brought matters to a crisis. After 
some altercation, it was agreed that the French troops should 
march out with the honors of war, and be escorted to Bou- 
chain, within the frontier of their own country. Accordingly, 

* Duke of Marlborough to Mr. Secretary Barley, Jane 14, 1706. 

t " The consequences of this battle are likely to be greater than that of 
Blenheim ; for we have now the whole summer before us, and, with the 
blessing of Q^d, I will make the best use of it. For as I have had no conn- 
eil of war before this battle, so I hope to hofe 7wm drtrirtg the whole cawi- 
paig^ ; and I think we may make such work of it as may give the queen 
the glory of making a safe and honorable peace, for the blessing of God if 
certainly with na.''— Marlborough to Loid Godolphin, May 27, 1706. CoXK, 
ii., 365. 

2 • - :i^ 

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MA&l^BO&QUGH. 14^ 

cm the 6tii of June, this magiiiiicenlb £>rtrefi8, whidi it liad 

cost the Prince of Parma so vast an expenditure of Mood and 
treasure to reduce, and which Napoleon said was itself worth 
a kingdom, was gained without firing a shot. Oudenarde, 
which had been in vain besieged in the last war by William 
III., at the head of sixty thousand men, immediately followed 
the same example ; and Ghent and Bruges, besides, speedily 
opened their gates. Flanders, bristHng with fortresses, the ^ 

possession of which in the early part of the war had been of 
• such signal service to the French, was, with the exception of 
Ostend, Dunkirk, and two or three smaller places, entirely 
gained by the consternation produced by this single battle. 
Well might Marlborough say, " The consequences of our vic- 
tory are almost incredible. A whole country, with so many 
strong places, dehvered up without the least resistance, shows, 
not only the great loss they must have sustained, but likewise \^ 
the terror and consternation they are in."* 

At this period, Marlborough hoped the war would be ■• 

speedily brought to a close, and that a glorious 47. 

peace would reward his own and his coimtry's ef- hopes for"! 
forts. His thoughte constantly reverted, as his ^^^""^^ ^^'^' 
private correspondence shows, to home, quiet, and domestic 
happiness. To the duchess he wrote at this period, " You 
are very kind in desiring I would not expose myself. Be as- 
sured, I love you so well, and am so desirous of ending my 
days quietly with you, that I shall not venture myself but 
when it is absolutely necessary ; and I am sure you are so 
kind to me, and wish so well to the common cause, that you 
had rather see me dead than not do my duty. I am per- 
suaded that this campaign will bring in a good peace ; and I 
beg of you to do all that you can, that the house of Wood- 
stock may be carried up as much as possible, that I may have 
the prospect of living in it."t But these anticipations were ^ 

not to be realized ; and before he sank into old age, the hero * 

* Marlborough to Mr. Secretary Harhy, 3d Jane, 1706. Marl Disp., ii., '^U^ 
554. t Marlliorough to DucHesi of Marlborough, May 31, 1706, ''^. 


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146 THE LIFE OF ' 

was destined to drain to the dregs the cup of envy, jealousy, 
and ingratitude. 

His first step of importance, after consolidating these im- 
48. portant conquests, and preventing the cupidity of the 
Spture^f Dutch firom forcing contributions on the inhabitants, 
Ostend. -^^hich would only hare endangered Ms conquests be- 
fore they were well secured, was to undertake the siege of Os- 
tend, the most considerable place in Flanders whiA still held 
out for the French interest. This jdace, celebrated for its 
great strength and the long siege of three years which it had • 
stood against the Spanish under Spinola, was expected to make 
a very protracted resistance ; but such was the terror now in* 
spired by Marlborough's name, that it was reduced much 
sooner than had been anticipated. Every preparation had 
been made for a vigorous defense. A fleet of nine ships of 
the line lay ofl* the harbor, and a formidable besieging train 
was brought up firom Antwerp and Brussels. Trenches were 
opened on the 28th of June ; the counterscarp was blown in 
on the 6th of July ; and the day following, the besieged,. after 
a firuitless sally, capitulated, and the Flemish part of the gar- 
rison entered the service of the aUies. The garrison was five 
thousand strong when it surrendered ; two ships of the line 
were taken in the harbor ; and the total loss of the besiegers 
was only five hundred men. 

Menin was next besieged ; but it made a more protracted 
49. resistance. Its great strength pomosted in the means 

ment of the which the govemor of the fortress possessed of flood- 
siege of Me- . .11 1 n 1 . , . . 
nin, ana ita mg at will the flat and extensive plains m which it 

ties. is situated. Its fortifications had always been reck- 

oned among one of Vauban's masterpieces ; the garrison was 
ample ; and the govemor, who was a man of resolution, was 
encouraged to make a vigorous resistance by assurances of 
succor made to him by the French government. - In short, 
Louis XIV. had made the greatest eflbrts to repair the con- 
sequences of the disaster at RamiUies. Marshal Marsin had 
been detached from the Hhine with eighteen battalions and 

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fourteen squadrons ; and, in addition to that, thirty -battalions 
and forty squadrons were marching firom Alsace. These^ great 
re-enforcements, with the addition o( nine battalions which 
were in the lines on the Dyle when the battle of RamiUies 
was fought, woidd, when all assembled, have raised the French 
army to one hundred and ten battaUons and one hundred and 
forty squadrons, or above ninety thousand men ; whereas Marl- 
borough, after employing thirty-two battalions in the siege, 
could only spare for the covering army about seventy-two bat- 
taHons and eighty squadrons. The numerical superiority, 
therefore, was very great on the side of the enemy, especially 
when the allies were divided by the necessity of carrying on 
the siege ; and Villeroi, who had lost the confidence of his 
men, had been replaced by one of the best generals in the 
French service, the Duke de Vendome, already illustrious by 
his reeent victory over the Imperialists in Italy. He openly 
avowed his intention to raise the siege, and, as if with that 
view,- he approached the covering army closely. But Marl- 
borough persevered in his design ; for, to use his own words, 
** the Elector of Bavaria says, he is promised a hundred and 
ten battalions, and they are certainly strcmger in horse than 
we. But, even if they had greater numbers, I neither think 
it is their interest nor their inclination to venture a battle, for 
our men are in heart, and theirs are cowed."* 

Considerable difficulties were experienced in the first in- 
stance in bringing forward the siege equipage, in 50. 
consequence of the inundations which the governor carried^S^ 
had let loose ; but a drought having set in in the ■*^'' Aug. 22. 
beginning of August, before the blockade began, these obsta- 
cles were soon overcome, and on the 9th of August the besieg- 
ers' fire opened, while Marlborough took post at Helchin to 
cover the siege. On the 18th, the fire of the breaching bat- 
teries had been so e^ctual, that it was deemed practicable to 
make an assault on the covered way ; and as a determined re- 

* Mofeibonrngk to Secretary Harley, Helchin, 9tii of Avgoft, 1706. IHip^ 
fit, 99. 

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146 XMK hiwE or 

msttaa^ wm doti^pi^, tba duke repaired to the spot to su^ 
peiintend the iUt«ok. At sey^ in tha erening, the mganl 
wiM given by the ejq^oiiou ef two mines, and the troops, Mrith 
the Engli^ in bmU rubbed to the aesault. Thej ioon out 
down th^ palisadee, and, throwing their grenades helbre th^», 
ere loag got into the covered way ; but they were there eX" 
posed to a dreadful fire ffom two ravelins which enfiladed it. 
For two hours they bore it without flinching, laboring hard to 
&j[^% barrieadoB so as to get xuadex coyer ; but this waB not 
aoeomplisbed before fourteen hundred of the brave a^siulants 
hfA been struck down* The success, though so dearly pur- 
ehased, was decisive. The estaUishment of the Imegers in 
this important lodgm^t, in the heart, aa it w^re, of their 
works, so distressed the enemy, that on the 29d they hoisted 
the white flag, and captulated on the following day, though 
still four thousand three hundred strong. The reduction of 
this strong and celebrated fortress gave the most unbounded 
satisfoctioii to the allies, as it not only materially strengthen- 
ed the biurrier against France, but, having taken place in pres- 
ence of the Duke de Venddn^e and his powerful army, drawn 
together with such diligence to raise the siege, it aflbrded the 
atrongest proof of the superio^ty the allies had now a^uirod 
over their enemy in the field.* 

Upon the fall of Menin, Vend6|ne collected his troopSi and 
took up a position behind the Lys and the Pyle, in si. 
order to cover Lille, against winch he supposed the l^i^^. 
intentions of Marlborough were next to be directed. g^SS^ 
But the duke had another olyect in view, &¥ he imr ^' 
mediately sat down before Dendermonde, still koeping post 
with his covering army at Helehin, so as to bar the aceess to 
that fortress. Being situated on the baaiks of the ^beldt, it 
was so oompletely within the power of the governor to hinder 
the afqproaches of the b^aiegei^, by letting out tho waters, that 
the King of France said, on hearing they bad oommmced iti 

ZHsp^ m^ 101. 

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fliege, ** They mutt have afi ktmf ^ ducket td fake it/' Ati 
e3ttra^*dinary brought at this period, howerer, "whicih lasted 
seven weeks, had so lowered the Seheldt and cai^, that th« 
approadies were ]^hed with ^eat celerity^ and on the 5th 
(^September ^le garrison surrendered at discretioii. Miui^l« 
horough wrote to Godolphm en this ooeasi<m, " The tsi^ of 
Dvndermonde, making the garrison prisoners of war, was mme 
^mn eofold have been expected ; but I saw i^e^ wer« in a 
e<»istertt8ti<M. That place could never have^ be^ taken hot 
by the hand of God, which gave us seven weeks withoui rain* 
The rain began the day. after we had takeii possession, knd 
ocntinaed wi^iout intermission for the three next days/''*^ 

Ath was the next object of attack. This small but strong 
fetiesB was of great importance, as lying on the di- 5», . 
rwit road from Mens to Brussekby Halle ; and, in twc?^- 
oonseqacoiee e^ that circumstance, it wa» rendered a ^^^j^ 
Ibftress of the fittt ord^, when the barrier of strong- <^*»^t>« *• 
holds, insanely demohshed by Joseph II. before tl^ wur of th# 
Rev<^ittion, was restored by the allies, under the direction of ^ 
W^ington, after its terminatimi. Marlborotigh intrusted the 
cBrec^AL oi the attack to OrerMrk, while he Inmself occti|aed, 
with the covering army, the position of Leuze, Yenddme's 
anny was so mnich discouraged that he did not venture to dis^ 
tiab the operati^s of Marlborough, but, retiring belnnd the 
Bchdldt, betwe^i Cend^ and Montague, contented hhnself 
with throwing strong garrisons into Mens and Charkroi, which 
he apprehended would be the next objects of attack. The 
operations of the besiegers against Ath were pushed with great 
vigor till the 4th of October, when the garrison, eight hundred 
strong, all that remained out of two thousand who maained 
the works when the siege began, surrendered as prisoners of 
war. Marlborough was very urgent after this success to un« 
dertake the siege ai Mons, whicdi would have eoo^leted tlM 
conquest of Brabant and Flanders ; but he could not persuade 

* Maniborough to Qodolphin, September 4, 1706. Costt, Mi., M. 


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the Dutch authorities to furnish him 'with the requisite stores.^ 
After a parade o£ his army in the open field near Cambron, 
in the hope of drawing Venddme, who boasted of having one 
hundred and forty battalions and one hundred and eighty 
squadrons at his command, to a battle, in which he was dis- 
appointed, Marlborough resigned the command to Overidrk, 
put the army into winter quarters, and hastened to Brussels, 
to commence the arduous duty of endeavoring to compose the 
jealousies and secure the union of the discordant powers of the 

Marlborough was received in the most splendid manner, and 
53. with imbounded demonstrations of joy, at Bruss^, 
oS)tion of ^ not only by the inconstant populace, but by the dep- 
2^!^2u?'' uties of the Three Estates of Brabant, which were 
•uil/ofUr assembled there. in regular and permanent sover- 
campaign. ^ignty. WeU might they lavish their demonstra- 
tions of respect and gratitude on the English general; for 
never, in modem times, had more important or glorious events 
signalized a successful campaign. In five months the power 
of France lia4 been so completely broken, and the towering 
temper of its inhabitants so lowered, that their best general, 
at the head of above a hundred thousand men, did not venture 
to measure swords with the allies, who were only about two 
thirds of their numerical strength in the field. By the efiects 
of a single victory, the whole of Brabant and Flanders, stud- 

* " If the Datch can famish ammanition for t^e siege of Mods, we shall un- 
dertake it ; for if the weather continues fair, we shall have it much cheaper 
this year than the next, when they have had time to recmit their army. 
The taking of that town would be a very great advantage to ns for the open- 
ing of next campaign, which we most mkke if we would bring France to 
such a peace as will give tis qoiet hereafter." — Marlborough to Qodolphin, 
October 14, 1706. Coze, iii., 14. 

t " M. de Vend6me tdlls his officers he has one hondred and forty battal- 
ions and one bmidred and eighty sqoadrons, and that, if my Lord Marlbor- 
ough gives him an opportunity, he will pay him a visit before this campaign 
ends. I believe he has neither will nor power to do it, which we shall see 
quickly, for we are now camped in so open a country that if he marches to 
ns we can not refuse fighting." — Marlborough to Lord Qodolphin, October 
14, 1706. Ibid, 

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ded with the strongest fortresses in Europe, each of which, in 
former wars, had required months — some, years — for their re- 
duction, had been gained to the allied arms. Between those 
taken on the field of Ramillies, and subsequently in the be- 
sieged fortresses, above twenty thousand men had been made 
prisoners, and twice that number lost to the enemy by the 
sword, sickness, and desertion. France now made head 
against the allies in Flanders only by drawing together her 
forces from all other quarters, and starving the war in Italy 
and on the Rhine, besides straining every nerve in the inte- 
rior. This state of frenzied exertion could not last. Already 
the effects of Marlborough's triumph at the commencement of 
the campaign had appeared, in the total defeat of the French 
in their hues before Turin, by Prince Eugene, on the 18th of 
September, and their expulsion from Italy. It was the re- 
enforcements procured for him, and withheld from his oppo- 
nents> by Marlborough, which obtained for the prince this glo- 
rious victory, at which the English general, with the gener- 
osity of true greatness, rejoiced even more sincerely than he 
had done in any triumphs of his own ;* while Eugene, with 
equal greatness of mind, was the first to ascribe his success 
mainly to the succors sent him by the Duke of Marlborough.f 
But all are not Marlboroughs or Eugenes : the really great 
alone can witness success without envy, or achieve it without 
selfishness. In the base herd of ignoble men who profited by 

* " I have now received confinnation of the success io Italy from the Dake 
of Savoy and Prince Eugene, and it is impossible for me to express the joy 
it has given me ; for I not only esteem, but really love, that prince. This 
glorious action must bring France so low, that if our friends can be per- 
suaded to carry on the war one year longer with vigor, we could not fail, 
M'ith God's blessing, to have such a peace as would give us quiet in our 
days. But the Dutch are at this time unaccountable."— MarZZforoi/^'A to the 
i>ttc/i£s.v Sept. 26, 1706. CoXE, iii., 20, 21. 

t " Your highness, I am sure, will rejoice at the signal adrantage which 
the arms of his Imperial majesty and the allies have gained. Yov. have 
had &o great a hand in it, by the succors you have procured, that you must 
permit me to thank you again." — Eugene to Marlborough, 20th Sept., 1706. 
CoXE, iii., 20. 

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biei^and *^® efforts of these great leaders, the malignant 
i«^tererted passions Were rapidly gaining strength by the very 
liariboiwig^ magnitude of the triumphs. The removal of dan- 
the govern- ffer was producinir its usual effect of revivinff jeal^ 
Netheriandfl. ousy among the alues. Conquest was spreadmg its 
invanahle discord by inciting cupidity in th* distributicm of its 
fruits. These divisions had appeared soon after the battle of 
RamilHes, when ^e Emperor Joseph, as a natural mark of 
gratitude to the general who had deliver^ his people £pam 
their oppressors* as well as from a regard to his own int^ests, 
appointed Marlborough to the general command as viceroy of 
the Netherlands. The English general was highly gratified 
by this mark of confidence and gratitude ; and the appoint- 
ment was cordially approved of by Queen Anne and the En- 
gli^ cabinet, who without hesitation authorized Marlborough 
to accept the proved dignity. But the Dutch, who had al* 
ready begun to conceive projects of ambition by an acoea^cn 
of territory to themselves on the ttde of Flanders, evinced sueh 
dislike to this aj^pointment, as t^iding to throw the adminis^ 
tration of the Netherlands entirely into the hands of the En- 
glish and Austrians, that Marlborough had the magnanimity 
to solicit permission to decline an honor which threatened i» 
breed disunion in the alliance.')*' This conduct was as disin- 
terested as it was patriotic ; for the emohim^its of the govern- 
ment, thus refiised firom a desire for the pubHc good, were no 
less than sixty thousand pounds a year. 

* '' This appointment by the empennr bas given sdme nneftsineaa in Hoi- 
land, by tiiinking that the emperw baa a mind to pat the power in thia 
eoontry into the quel's bands, in order that they may have nothing to do 
with it. If I thoold find tha fame thing by the pensionary, and that nothing 
can core tins jealoasy bat my desiring to be excased from accepting thia 
commission, I hope the 4]aeen will allow of it; finrthe advantage and honor 
I have by this commission is ifery insigw^icani in comparison of the fatal 
consequences that might be if it should cause a jealousy between the two na» 
tions. And though the appc^ntmants of this goTemment are siwty thousand 
pounds a year, I shall with plaasore ezcase myself, since I am convinced 
it is for her service, if ^e Btatea sboold not make it their request; which 
tfaey are very far from ^xAxk^J^^^Madborougk to Chdolpkin, Jaly 1 and 8, 
1706. Ck>ZK,iii., 391-393. 

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Al^iaiigli^ howevet, Marllxmiagh thxn xeuaaiEced thk sjdeo- 
dSd. appointment^ tbe court. of Vienna wete not 55- 

__ ,_ T • 1 1 . i Jealousies of 

equally tractable. It evmeed the- utmost jealouBy tfaeDiatofa^Kui 

, , T .-11. n -, -M^ -, contiimed dis- 

at the no longer disgmsed desire of the Dutch to intereBtsdww 
gain an accession of teiixtory, and the barrier of ough. 
"which they were so passionately defiatc»ii» at the expense of that 
Austrian Netherlands. The projeet aLso got wind, and tiie 
CatlK)lic inhabitants of Brabant, whom di^rence of religion 
and old-established national rivalry had long alienated &ont 
the Dutch, were so much alarmed at the prDE^>ect of being 
transferred to their hated Protestant neighboxs, that the pro-^ 
poeal at once cooled their ardor in the cause of the aJlianftft,, 
and went &r to sow the seeds of i^nrepressibie dJaaensi'Mi among 
them. The emperor, there&re, again pressed the appointment 
on Mariborongh ; but, from the same Lbfly motiv-es, he con- 
tinued to dedine, professing a wiilingness,^ at the some time,, 
to give the emperor privately every asaatanee in his p^wer in 
tbe exercise of the new government, so liiat the empert»r was 
olidiged to .give a rdxietant conaent. Notwrthstanding this 
lefiasal, the jealousy of the Dutdi wa& such, that on the re- 
vrcral of a report that the agfrpointment had been actuaUy con- 
ferred on the Duke of Marlborough, they were thrown into 
such a §Bxmeat^ that in tb& publix: caagreeii the p^asionary 
eould not avoid exclaiming in the presence of the English em- 
lossador, ^ Mon Dieu ! «Bt-il possi]^ ^'on. voudrait i^e^ ce 
paa sant notre participaticiL V'^ 

The Fienidi government were soon informed of this jealouty, 
and of the open desire of €ie Ihjitdt for an acoes- ^ ?•• ^ 

* (^)ening of a 

MWL of temtury on l^e side of Flamdersp at the &Sr aeparate s^ 

„ , cret negotia- 

pense of Austria ; and they todt advantage of it» tioabe i wem 

r j^ -o the Dutch 

early in the summec of 1706, to open s Boeiet ne* atid Fre&cb. 
gotiation with the States^ Greneral for the conclusion of a s^ 
arate peace with that repabHic. The: ba«a of this ^Moommo* 
Ration was to be a renunciation by l^e Dnie of Anrjou of hi» 

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154 ' THE LIFE OF 

claim to the crown of Spain, upon receiving an equivalent in 
Italy : he ofiered to recognize Anne as Queen of England, and 
professed the utmost readiness to secure for the Dutch, at the 
expense of Austricu, that barrier in the Netherlands to whicl^ 
he conceived them to be so well entitled. These proposals 
elated the Dutch government to such a degree, that they be- 
gan to take a high hand, and assume a dictatorial tone at the 
Hague ; and it was the secret beUef that they would, if mat- 
ters came to extremities, be supported by France in this ex- 
orbitant demand for a sHce of Austria, that made them resist 
80 strenuously the government of the Low Countries being 
placed in such firm and vigorous hands as those of Marlbor- 
ough. Matters had therefore come to such a pass in October 
and November, 1706, that Godolphin regarded the state of 
afiairs as desperate, and thought that the alliance was on the 
point of being dissolved.* Thus was Marlborough's usual 
winter campaign with the confederates rendered more difficult 
on this than it had been on any preceding occasion ; for he 
had now to contend with the consequences of his own success, 
allay the jealousies and stide the cupidity which had sprung 
up in the prospect of that magnificent spoil which he himself 
had laid at the feet of the allies. 
. But in this dangerous crisis, Marlborough's great diplomatic 
OT. abihty, consummate address, and thorough devo- 
^dress^^*^' tioii 'to the common good, stood him in as good 
aiof irSS^ stead as his military talents had done him in the 
"***'. preceding campaign with Villeroi and Vendome. 

In the beginning of November he repaired to the Hague, 
and though he found the Dutch, in the first instance, so extrav- 
agant in their ideas of the barrier they were to obtain that 
he despaired of efiecting any settlement of the difierences be- 

" " Lord Somen haa ghown me a long letter which he has had from the 
penskmary, yery intent upon settling the barrier. The inclination^ of the 
Dutch are lo violent and plain, that I am of opinion nothing will be able to 
prevent their taking effect but onr being ai plain with them upon the same 
suliject, and threatening to publish to the whole world the terms for which 
they aoMci%.'*^Lord Oodolphin to Marlborough, Oct. 34, 1706. Coze, iii, 74.. 

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tween them ana the emperor,* yet he at length succeeded, 
though with very great difficulty, in appeasing, for the time, 
the jealousies between them and the cabinet of Vienna, and 
also in obtaining a public renewal of the alliance for the pros- 
ecution of the war. The publication of this treaty diffused 
the utmost satisfaction among the ministers of the allied pow- 
ers assembled at the Hague ; and this was further increased 
by the breaking off, at the same time, of a negotiation which 
had been pending for some months between Marlborough and 
the Elector of Bavaria, for a separate treaty with that prince, 
who had become disgusted with the French alliance. But 
all Marlborough's efforts failed to accomplish any adjustment 
of the disputed matter of the barrier, on which the Dutch 
were so obstinately set ; and, finding them equally unreason- 
able and intractable on that subject, he deemed himself fortu- 
nate when he obtained the adjourning of the question, by the 
consent of all concerned, till the conclusion of a general peace. 
After the adjustment of this delicate and perilous negotia- 
tion, Marlborough returned to England, where he ^^. 58. 

' ° ° . His return to - 

was received with transports of exultation by all England, and 

' . splendid recep- 

• classes. He was conducted in one ot the royal tion there, 
carriages, amid a splendid procession of all the nobility of the 
kingdom, to Temple Bar, where he was received by the city 
authorities, who feasted him in the most magnificent manner 
at Vintners' Hall. Thanks were voted to him by both houses 
of Parliament ; and when he took his seat in the House of 
Peers, the lord-keeper addressed him in these just and appro- 
priate terms : " What your grace has performed in this last 

* "My inclinations will lead me to stay as little as possible at the Hague, 

- though the pensionary tells me I must stay to finish the succession treaty 

and their barrier, which, should I stay the whole winter, I am very confident 

would not be brought to perfection ; for they are of so many minds, and are 

^ all so very extravagant about their barrier, that I despair of doing any thing 

-good till they are more reasonable, which they will not be till they see that 

.-they have it not in their power to dispose of the whole Low Countries at 

their will and pleasure, in which the French flatter them."— Marlborough 

to Godolpkin, Oct. 29, 1706. Coxk, iii., 79. 




^ - .^pigitized by 


IM TRfi X.1TS or . 

r^irrxT^igtt h^ &r 6xceeded all hopee, even of soda aa wett 
moBt affectionate and partial to thpir country's interest and 
glory. The advantages you have gained against the ^i^oay 
are of such a nature, so oonspiouous in themselves, so un- 
doubtedly oving to your eourage and conduct, so sensibly and 
universally beneficial to the whole confederacy, that to at- 
tempt to adorn them with the coloring of word« would be vain 
and inexcusable. Therefore I decline it> the rather becau89 
I should certainly ofiend that great modesty which alone caa 
and does add luster to your actions, and which in your grace'* 
example has successfiilly withstood as gres^t trials as that vu> 
tue has met with in any instance whatsoever." The House 
of Commons passed a similar resolution ; and the better tQ 
testify the national gratitude, an annuity of £5000 a year, 
charged upon the Post-office, was settled upon the duke and 
dachess, and their descendants male or Iknale ; and his duke- 
dom, which stood limited to heirs-male, was extended ah^ t^ 
heirs-female, "in order," as it was finely expressed, "that 
England might never be without a title which might recall 
the remembrance of so much glory." 

So much glory, however, produced its usual effect in engen** 
jeaio*^ deifing jealousy in little minds. The Whigs bad 
against him grown cuvious of that illustrious pillar of their 

anses among " . i - 

boUi Hbe paxty ; they were tired of hearing liim called the 

Tories, but just. Both Godolphin and Marlborough became 
•he prevails 9t . .. . - . . , 

court the objects of excesave jealcftisy to their own party ; 

and thiS) combined vrith the rancor of the Tories, who could 
aever forgive his desertioii of his early patron the Duke of 
York, had wellnigh proved fatal to him when at the very zen- 
ith of his usefulness and popularity. Intrigue was rife at St. 
James's. Parties were strangely intermixed and disjointed. 
Some of the moderate Tories were in power ; many ambitious 
Whigs were out of it. Neither party stood on great public 
principles : a sure sign of instability in the national councils, 
and tending to the ultimate neglect of the national interests. ; 
Harley's intrigues had become serious, and tlie prime minister, 

Digitized by 


GodoI|^iiB, had threatened to resign.. In this aU^rmn^ juno* 
tme of domestic afiaira, the presence of Miurlborough produced 
its nsoal pacifying and benign influence. In a long interview 
which he had with the queen cm his first prirate audience, hd 
settled all diflerences ; Grodolphin was persuaded to withdraw 
his resignation ; the cabinet was reconstructed on a new and 
harmonious batts ; Harley and Bolingbrpke were the only 
Tories of any note who remained in power ; and these new 
perils to the prosecution of the war and the cause of Euro- 
pean independence were removed. 

Marlborough's services to England, and the iaterests of 
European freedom in this campaign, recall one ^- 
mournful feeling to the British annalist: All that ia the suba^- 
he had won for his country<*-aIl that Wellington, of Eo^mhL 
with still greater difficulty, and amid yet bdi^ter glories, re- 
gained for it, has been lost. It has been lost, too, not by the 
enmnies of the- nation, but by itself; not by an opposite fac- 
tion, but by~ the very party over whom his ovm great exploits 
had shed such imperishable luster ; not afnid natioiial homilr* 
iation, Imt at the height of national glory; not in faith&illy 
defending, but in basely partitioning an ally. Antwerp, the 
ficst firuitB of Ramillie»-^Antwerp, the last reward of Water^ 
l0o>-^Antwerp, to hold wbioh against England Napoleon heb 
his cfown, hap been abandoned to Franee.^ An Eng^iidf 
fleet has combined with a Fr^ich army to tear from Hollaiuk 
the barrier of Dutch independence, and the key to the Low 
Countries. The baxner so passionat^y sought by the Dutch 
has b^en wrested from them, and wrested from them by £lit^ 
isi^ hands ; a revdLuti<uiary power has been placed on the 
throne of Belgium, the theater of Ramillies and Malplaquet^- 
of Oudenarde and Waterloo. Flanders, instead of the out* 
work of Europe against France, has become the outwork of 
France against £)urope. The tricolor flag waves in sight of 
B^cgen^p-Zoom ; within a month after the first European 

* " If I could have nude up my mind to give up Antwerp, I might have 
concluded peace U Ciunillon."— iVbpo/c^m m Las Ca«B9. 


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158 THB LirB or 

war, the whole coast fipom Bayonne to the Texel will be ar- 
rayed against Britain ! Such is the way in which empires 
are ruined by the blindness of faction. It ia in moments of 
domestic convulsion that irrevocable and fatal mistakes in 
policy are committed by naticms, for it is then that the na^ 
tional are absorbed in the social passicms, and durable public 
interests forgotten in passing party contenticms. 



The campaign of 1707 opened under auspices very difierent 
1. to the aUies firom any which had preceded it : 

Speriemccd" Blenheim ha4 saved Germany, Ramillies had de- 
Si»^c?d£g livered Brabant. The power of the Grand Mo- 
««op«*«n. narque no longer made Europe tremble. The 
immense advantage which he had gained in the outset of the 
contest, by the declaration of the governor of Flanders for the 
cause of the Bourbons, and the consequent transference of the 
Flemish fortresses into his hands, had been lost. It was more 
than lost— it had been won to the, enemy. Brussels, Ant- 
werp, Menin, Ath, Ostend, Ghent,, Dendermonde, Louvain, 
now acknowledged the Archduke Charles for their sovereign ; 
the states of Brabant had sent in their adhesion to the Grand 
AlHaace. Italy had been lost as rapidly as it had been won ; 
the stroke of Marlborough at RamiUies had been re-echoed at 
Turin ; and Eugene had expelled the Frendi arms from Pied- 
mont as efiectually as Marlborough had from Flanders. Re- 
duced on all sides to his own resources, wakened from his 
dream of foreign conquests, Louis XIV. now sought only to 
defend his own frontier ; and the arms which had formerly 
reached the gates of Amsterdam, and recently carried terror 
into the center of Germany, were now reduced to a painfiU 
defensive on the Scheldt and the Rhine. 

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• These great advantages would, in all probability, notwith- 
standing the usual supineness and divisions of the 2. 

° . . Appefirance of 

allied powers, have insured them the most signal chaxies xii. 

, , . of Sweden in 

success m the next campaign, had not their atten- Germany. 
tion been, early in spring, arrested, and their efforts paralyzed, 
by a new and formidable actor on the theater of affairs. This 
was no less a man than Charles XII., king of Sweden, 
who, after having defeated the coalition of the northern sover- 
eigns formed for his destruction, dictated peace to Denmark 
at Copenhagen, dethroned the King of Poland, and wellnigh 
overturned the empire of Russia, had now planted his vic- 
torious standards in the center of Germany, and at the head 
of an army fifty thousand strong, and hitherto invincible, had 
stationed himself at Dresden. There he had become the ar- 
biter of Europe, and in a position to threaten the destruction 
of either of the parties engaged in the contest on the Rhine 
against whom he chose to direct his hostility. 

This extraordinary man approached closer than any war- 
rior of modern times to the great men of antiquity. 3 * 
More nearly than even Napoleon, he realized the ^^ character. 
heroes of Plutarch. A Stoic in pacific, he was a Caesar in 
military hfe. He had all their virtues, and a considerable 
share of their barbarism. Achilles did not surpass him in the 
thirst for warlike renown, nor Hannibal in the perseverance 
of hia character and the fruitfulness of his resources ; like 
Alexander, he would have wept because a world did not re- 
main to conquer. Almost unconquerable by fatigue, resolute 
in determination, and a hon in heart, he knew no fear but 
that of his glory being tarnished. Endowed by nature with 
a dauntless soul, a constitution of iron, he vi'^as capable of un- 
dergoing a greater amount of exertion than any of his soldiers. 
At the siege of Stralsund, when some of his officers were sink- 
ing under the exhaustion of protracted watching, he desired 
them to retire to rest, and himself took their place. Out- 
stripping his followers in speed, at one time he rode across 
Germany, dmost alone, in an incredibly short space of time , 


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At aiooiheTy he deleiided himself for days together, at Ite head 
of a handful of attendants, in a barricaded houae, against 
twenty thonsand Turks. Wrapped up in the paasiDn fer 
fame, he was inaendble to the inferior desires which usually^ 
rouse or mislead manjdnd. Wine had no attractions^ won^a 
BO seductions for him : he was indifferent to personal eomfbrta 
ox accommodations ; his fare was as simple, his dress a» plain, 
his lodging as rude, as those of the meanest of his ibiloweni. 
To one end akme his attention was exchuavely directed, oa 
(me acquisition alone his heart was set. Glory, military glory^ 
was the ceaseless object of hie ambition ; all lesser deiixeft 
were ooicentrated ijEi^.this ruling passicm. ; for this he lived, Hot 
this he died. 

" A frame of adamant, a goal of fire, 

No d^tngers. fright hiio, and no dangeni tire i 

O'er love, o'er ^ear, extandaius wide domaio, 

Unconqaer'd lord of pleasare and of pain ; 

No joya to him pacific acepters yield, 
' War ioaxidt tbo tmmp, he n^aa to the field ; 

Behold aanoonding kings their pow'rs oombuMi, 

And one capitnlate, and one resign; 

Peace courts his hand, bat spreads her charms in vwn ; - 

' Think nothing gained,' he cries, ' till naught remain : 

On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly, 

And all be mine beneath the polar sky.' "* 

That his military abilities were of the very highest otrdef , 
atiiiitarv "^*^ ^ j^idged of by the fact that, with the re- 
abmties. sources of the poor monarchy of Sweden,, at that 
period containing less than two milhc^ of inhahitaut8> ha 
long arrested the effi>rts of a coalition composed of Russia^ 
Penmaa^, iemd Poland, headed by the vast capacity and pev- 
severing eoeixgy of Peter the Gieat, and backed by not lesa 
than £)fty miliums of subjects imder its various seveareigx^s. 
Nor let it be said that these nations weare rude m the miUtary 
art, and \mfit to contend in the field with the descendants of 
the followers of Gustavus Adolphus. The Danes are the 
neighbors and old enemies of the Swedes ; their equals 
* JoassoN's Vanity cf Human Wuhu, 

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maHlbosoitgh. 161 

in popnlatioiL, disoipUne, and warlike reeonroes. Tliirty yean 
had not elap6ed since the Poles had delivered Evucc^ firom 
Mussuhnan bondage by the glorious victory of Vienna, gained 
under John Sobieski, ovi^ two hundred thousand Turks. 
Europe has since had too much reason to know what are the 
mihtary resources of Russia, against which all the power of 
Western Europe, in recent times, has lieen so signally shat- 
tered ; and though the soldiers of Peter the Great were very 
difierent, in pmnt of discipline, from those that repelled the 
legions of Na|K>leQn, yet their native courage was the 8ame» 
and they were directed by an energy and perseverance, on the 
part of the Czar, which, never has been exceeded in warlike 
annals. What, then, must have been the capacity of the 
sovereign who, with the resourcea ci a monarchy not equaling 
those of Scotland at this time, could gain such extraordinary 
success over so powerful a coalition, ficom the mere force of 
military aUH^, inde&tigable en^gy, and heroio determina- 
tion I 

Charles, however, iiad many &ults. He was proud, over- 
bearing, and self-willed. Like all men of powerful 5 
original genius, he was conMent in his own opinr ^^^ioia 
Um, and took counsel fi:«n none ; but, unfortunate^ cnxeit?. 
)y, he often forgot also to take counsel firom himsel£ He did 
not always weigh the objections against Ms designs with suffi- 
cient calmness to give them fair play, or allow hia heroic fol- 
lowers a practical opportunity of crowning his enterprises with 
success. He had so oflen succeeded against desperate, and 
apparently hq>db8S odds, that he thought himself invincible, 
and m^ed hea^ong into the most dreadful perils, with no 
other preparati(Hi to ward them off but his own cabnnesa in 
danger, his mexhaustible fecundity of resources, and the un- 
daunted courage, as well as patience of fotigue and privation, 
with which he had in^ired his followers. It is surprising, 
however, how oheit he was extricated from his difficulties by 
such means. Even in hk last expedition against Russia, 
which terminated in the disaster of Pultowa, he would, to all 

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appearance, have been successftil, had the Tartar chief, Ma- 
zeppa, proved faithful to his engagement. Like Hannibal, 
his heroic qualities had inspired a multifarious army — coUu' 
vies omniv/m, gentium—with, one homogeneous spirit, and 
rendered them subject to his discipline, faithful to his stand- 
aard, obedi^it to his will. But in some particulars his private 
character was still more exceptionable, for it was stained by 
the vices as well as adorned with the virtues of the savage 
character. Though not habitually cruel, he was stem, vin- 
dictive, and implacable ; and his government was sullied by 
acts of atrocious barbarity at which hiunanity shudders, and 
which must ever leave an indehble blot on his memory. 
Louis XIV., in his distress, was naturally anxious to gain 
6. the support of an ally so powerful as the Swedish 
Loui« XIV. monarch, who was now at Dresden at the head of 
tohifBide. fifty-three thousand veteran soldiers, ready to fall 
on the rear of Marlborough's army, then threatening the de- 
fensive barrier of France in the Low Countries. Every ef- 
fort, accordingly, was made to gain Charles over to the French 
interest. The ancient alliance of France with Sweden, their 
mutual cause of complaint against the emperor, the glories of 
Gustavus Adolphus and the thirty years' war, in which their 
amnea had fought side by side, were held forth to dazzle his 
imagination or convince his judgment. The Swedish mon- 
arch appeared ready to yield to these efibrts. He brought 
forward various real or imaginary grounds of complaint against 
the German powers for infractions of the constitution of the 
empire, of which he put himself forth as the guarantee, in the 
capacity of heir to the crown and fame of Gustavus Adolphus, 
and for sundry insults alleged to have been ofiered to the Swed- 
ish crown or subjects. These various subjects of complaint 
were sedulously inflamed by the French agents; and the 
weight of their arguments was not a little increased by the 
knowledge of the fact that they were authorized to offer Count 
Piper, the prime minister of Charles, 300,000 livres (£12,000) 
to quicken his movements in favor of the cabinet of VersaiUeSi 

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MARLBOROUGH. 163 - ' '^ 

besides bribes in proportion to the subordinate ministers of the 
court of Sweden.* 

Marlborough very naturally felt extremely uneasy at this 
negotiation, which he soon discovered by secret in- 7. 

r- ' f T T-11 Mensures of 

formation, as well as irom the undisguised reluct- Marlborough 

n T r-i f - 1 1 .to counteract 

ance oi the (jrerman powers to lurmsh the contm- his efforts. 
gents which they were bound to supply for the ensuing cam- 
paign. Indeed, it could hardly be expected that the Northern 
powers in Germany should send their chief disposable forces 
to swell Marlborough's army beyond the Rhine, when so 
warlike a monarch, at the head of fifty thousand men, was in 
the center of the empire, with his intentions as yet undeclared, 
and exposed to the influence of every imaginable seduction. 
General Grumbkow, an adroit and intelligent diplomatist, who 
had been sent by the King of Prussia on a mission to the al- 
Hed head-quarters, was accordingly dispatched to Dresden, to 
endeavor to ascertain the real intentions of the Swedish mon- 
arch. He was not long of discovering that Charles had as- 
sumed an angry tone toward the confederates only in order to 
extract favorable terms of accommodation from them, and 
that Muscovy was the real object on which the king's heart , ^ 

was set. The dispatches which the general transmitted to 
Marlborough convey a curious and highly-interesting picture 
of Charles and the Swedish court and army at this important 
juncture. t The negotiation went on for some time with va- 

* CoXE, Hi., 156. histntctions pour le Sieur Recoux. CardoneU Pa- 
pers, 137-149. 

t " Count Piper said, ' We made war on Poland only to subsist ; our de- ^* • ^ 

Bign in Saxony is only to terminate the war; but for the Muscovite he shall 
pay le$ pots cassees, and we will treat the Czar in a manner which posteri- 
ty will hardly believe/ I secretly wished that already he was in the heart 
of Muscovy. After dinner he conveyed me to head-quarters, and intro- 
duced me to his majesty. He asked me whence I came, and where I had 
served. I replied, and mentioned my good fortune in having served three 
campaigns under your highness. He questioned me much, particularly con- 
cerning your highness and the English troops ; and you may readily believe 
that I delineated my hero in the most lively and natural colors. Among ** 

other particulars, he asked me if your highness yourself led the troops to the 
charge. I replied, that as all the troops were animated with the sama ar- 


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ryu^ sueceas ; but at length matters were brought to a enoB 
by the King of Sweden declaring that he would treat with 
none but Marlborough in person. 

This immediately led ta the Englirfi general repairing to 
,„ • h.. . *^ <5ourt of Cbaries XII. at Dresden. He teft the 

Vint of Marl- y ^ ' n ' 

boroHfi^ to Hague (m the 20th of Apm accordingly, and after 

Charles at ... . ^ -^ 

DeeMUa. visiting HanoTor on the way, where, as usual, there 
were some jealousies to appease, arrived at the Swedish camp 
of Ak-Ranstadt cm the 28th. The duke drove immediately 
to the head^quarters of Qonnt Piper, from whom he received 
the most flattering aBsuraoces of the gratification Yrlojch th» 
Swedish monarch had feh at his arrival. He was shortly a^« 
er introdnced to the monarchy to whom he delivered a letter 
from the Queen oi England, and at the same time addressed 
Km in the fiikrwing flattering terms : " I present to your maj- 
esty a letter, not from the Chancery, but frcnn the heart, of 
the queen my mistress, and written with h^ own hand. Had 
not her sex prevented it, she would have crossed the sea to see 
a prince admired by the whole universe. I am in this particu* , 
kr more happy than the queen, and I wish I could serve M»ne 
campaigns under so great a general as your majesty, that I 
might learn what I yet want to know in the art of war."* 

dor for fighting, that wi^ not neceeiarjr; hot that yoa were every where, 
mad alwuyt in the hottest of the actiosy and gave yodir orders wit^ that co(d- 
nesA which excites general admiration. I then related to him that you had 
heen thrown from your horse, the death of year aid-de-camp Borafield, and 
many other things. He took great pleaeore in this reeital^ and made me re- 
peat the same thing twice. I also said that your highness always ipok* 
of his mtgesty widi esteem and admiration, and ardently desired to pagr yoa 
his respects. He ohsenred, 'That is not hhely ; hut I should be delighted 
to see a general of whom I have heard so mueh.' They intend vigorouely 
to attack the Mnscovites, and expeet to detkurone the Czar, compeUmg him 
to ^scharge all hie ibeeign oflBcers, and pay several nuUions as an indemni- 
ty. Should he refuse smch coBditioiM, the king is resolved to exteimixkate 
the Maseovites» and make their coontry a desert. Qod grant he may persist 
itt this decision^ rather than demand the restitntion, as some assert, of. the 
Ftoterrtant cfanrches in Silesia ! The Swedes in general are modest, hot do 
.not MKaple to declare titemselves invincible whoi the king is at their head." 
•^-OsM. ehuwtbiuHa to MarlborougkfJtOk. 11 and 31, 1707. Ck>XB, iii^ 15»-161. 
* Oozs, iii, 167>169. The anthratieity of di^ i^peedi is placed beyeod^ 

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Tim adroit compliment from a commander io great and 
justly ceUbrated, inroduoed an immediate e^ct oa ^ 9. 
the Swediui monarch, who was paifdomately desiroiui ami miooMf 
of military glory. His satis&ction was visible in his ndnarcb. 
ooontenance, and he retiimed a gracious answer in these terms : 
*' Tlie Queen of Great Britain's letter and your perscm are 
both Ysry acceptable to me, and I shall always have the ut- 
most regard for the interposition of her Britannic majesty and 
the interests of the Grand Alliance. It is much against my 
will that I have been obliged to give umbrage to any of the 
parties engaged in it I have had just cause to come into 
this oonntry with my troops ; but you may assure Uie queen* 
my snter, that my design is to depart £rem hence aa soon a# I 
have obtained the satisfaction I demand, but not till l^ox. 
However, I shall dlQ nothing that can tend to the prejudice ef 
the common cause in general, er of the Protestant religion, of 
which I shall always gl<»y to be a zealous ]^rotector/' Tim 
favorable answer was immediately followed by an invitation 
to dine with the king, who placed him at his rig^t hand, and 
honored him with the most flatteringjatten^ott. In the course 
of the evening the conversation turned chiefly on military mat- 
ters, in which Marlborough exerted himself with such skill and 
success, that he obtained another kng private audi^ice oi 
Charles ; and before his departure, that monarch even etceed- 
ed his vievra by declaring that there could be no security for 
the peace of Europe till France was reduced to the rank she 
held at the date of the treaty of Westphalia. 

Though the address and ahilities of Marlborough, however, 
had thus removed the chief danger to be appre- lo. 
bended £com the presence of the! Swedii^ monarch ^^^uchha 
at I)resdea, yet other matters of great delicacy re* 1^^^^ 
mained behind for adjustment, requiring all his pru- <*^«^™^®* 
denee and skill to bring to a satisfactory issue. Not the lea«^ 
of ^lese difficulties arose ihnn the zeal ef the King of fiwer 

doubt by Lediard, who was theti in Saxony, and givei it ver^aHm.—^ic^ 
LbdujU), ii, 196. 

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166 THE LIF£ OF 

den for the protection of the Protestant religion, and Jiis de- 
sire to revive and secure the privileges granted to the German 
Protestants by the treaty of West|^alia. As Marlborough 
justly apprehended that the court of Vienna might take um- 
brage at these demands, and so be diverted from the objects 
of the Grand Alliance, he exerted himself to the utmost to 
convince his majesty that the great object in the mean time, 
even as regarded the Protestant faith, was to humble tho 
French monarch, who had shown himsdf its inveterate ene- 
my by the atrocicnis persecutions consequent on the revocation 
of the £dict of Nantes ; and thitt, if this were once done, the 
emperor would be~ unable to prevent the insertion of the requi- 
site stipulations in favor of :the Reformed faith in ihe general 
treaty of peace wluch would follow. Charles was convinced 
by these arguments, which, in truth, were well £}unded, and 
even went so far as to propose a secret convention with En- 
gland for the promotion of the Protestant interest : a proposal 
most embarrassing at the moment when Great Britain was in 
close alliance with the emperor, wluch Marlborough contrived 
to elude with admirable dexterity. 

Another matter of great deUcacy was the conduct to box»b- 
served toward the dethroned King of Poland, Au- 
gustus, who was also at Dresden, and of course 
viewed the close intimacy between Marlborough 
and his formidable enemy Charles with the utmost 
jealousy. But here, also, the diplomatic skill of the English 
general overcame all difficulties ; for by skillfully taking ad- 
vantage of the pecuniary embarrassments into which the king 
had fallen after his territories had been ravaged and exhaust- 
ed by tiie Swedish forces, and by engaging that the emperor 
should take a large part of the PoHsh forces into his pay, he 
iucceeded at once in gaining over the dethroned monarch, and 
jecaring a considerable body of fresh troops fi>r the service of 
the aUies. By these means, aided by judiciously bestowing on 
Count Piper and the chief Swedish ministCTs considerable pen- 
sions, which were paid in advance, Marlborough succeeded in 

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«itirely allaying the stonn that had threatened his rear. He 
accordingly lefl the Saxon capital, after a residence oi ten days, 
perfectly confident in the pacific intentions of the Swedish 
monarch, and having iiilly divined the intended direction of 
his forces toward Moscow.* 

The hnUiant success with which this delicate and impor- 
tant negotiation had been concluded, naturally in- 13. 
duced a hope that vigorous operations would be SSesandpri 
undertaken by the allied powers, and that the of^ai^J^ST 
great successes of the preceding campaign would v^^^^ 
be so far improved as to compel the court of France to sub- 
mit to such terms^as the peace of Europe, and the independ- 
ence of the adjoining states, required. The result, however, 
was quite the reverse, and Marlborough had again the inde- 
scribable mortification of seeing month after month of the 
summer of 1707 gUde away, without a single measure con- 
ducive to the success of the common cause, or worthy of the 
real strength of the allied powers, having been attempted. 
They had all relapsed into their former and fatal jealousies 
and procrastination. The Dutch, notwithstanding the ines- 
timable services which Marlborough had rendered to their re- 
pubHc, had again become distrustfiil, and authorized their 
field-deputies to thwart and mar all his operaticms. They 
made no secret of their resolution, that their interests being 
now secured, the blood and treasure of the United Provinces 
should no longer be expended on enterprises in which the em- 
peror or Queen of England was alcme concerned. 

They never failed, accordingly, to interfere when any ag« 
gressive movement was in. contemplation. -Even 13. 

when the duke, in the course of his sfcillfiil mardi- '^^^(^^ 
es and countermarches, had gained the opportunity J^^^^^^eSw. 
for which he longed, of bringing the enemy to ^***^*y- 
an engagement on terms approaching to an equality, th»y 
never failed to interpose with their fatal negative, and pre- 
vent any thing being attempted. They did this, in'particu- 
* CoxB, Ui., 174-182. 

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168 THE LIFE or 

lar, under the moit vexatioiu oiroumstaaocA, on th« 27tii of 
May, near NiTellei, where Marlborough had brought his 
troops into the pretence- of the ^lemy with every proipect of 
BignaHzing the jdace by a glorious victory. A council <^ war 
was h^d, which forbade the engagement in Epte of Marlbor* 
eugh's most earnest entreatieB, and eompdM him, in oonse- 
quenee, to fall back on Rranheim, to protect Louvain and 
Brussels. The indignation q{ the Eo^ish gieneral at this un- 
worthy treatment, and at ibe univeisal selfishness of the al- 
Hed powers, exhaled in titter terms in his private c<»rrespond- 

The eonsequenee of this detenxmMttion <^ the part of the 
14. Dutch field-deputies to prevent the undertaking of 
a!e1;ttn^dffr uiy BoriouB operation was, that the whole summw 
SiJ^^Sa- passed away in a species of armed truoe, or a so* 
'*•**'*"• ries of maneuvers too insignificant to entitle thesoi 
to the name of a campaign. Vend6me, who commanded the 
French, though at the head of a gallant army above eighty 
thousand strong, had too much reqpect &x his formidi^le an- 
tagonist to hazard any ofiensive operations, or run the risk of 
a pitched battle, unless in defense of his own territoiy. On 
the other hand, IVlarlborough, harassed by the incessant iyppo" 
sition of the Dutch deputies, and yet not strong enou|^ to un* 
dertake any operation of importance without the sup^rt <^ 
their troops, was reduced to merely nominal or d^nsive ef* 
forts. The secret of this ruinous system, whi(^ was, at the 
time, the subjeet of loud ecnnplaints, and aj^ared wholly in* 
explicable, is now fiilly revealed by the pubhshed dispatches. 
The Dutch were absolutely set on getting an aoces^on of ter^ 
ritory, and a stveng line of barrier towns to be set apart f<^ 

* " I ean not veqtare oxileM I am certain of soccess ; for the inclinations 
in Holland are so strong for peace, that, if we had the least diiadvantage, it 
ipDt&ld make tfaem act very extravagant. I must own eveiy couitiy we 
luMM ^ do ^*il^ •«(*» ui xny epiaioD, so coi|traiy to the general good, that it 
makeg ntt guite toeary of terving. The emperor is in the wxong in almost 
every tiling he doeB.*'—Marlborvugh ta GodolpMn, June 27, 1707. Goxx, 
iii., 961. 

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them out of the Austrian Netherlands ; &nd as the emperor, 
not umiaturally, objected to being thus shorn of his territories, 
as the return for his efibrts in favor of European independence, 
they resolved to thwart all the measures of the allied gener- 
als, in the hope that, in the end, they would in this manner 
prevail in their demands with the allied cabinets.* 

It was not, however, in the Low Countries alone that the 
selfish views and jealousies of the allies prevented 15. 
any operation of importance from being undertaken, the aiues in 
and blasted all the fair prospects which the brilliant tiu> RUae.^*^ 
victories of the preceding campaign had afibrded. In Spain, 
the aUies had sufiered a fearful reverse by the battle of Al- 
manza, which in a manner ruined the Austrian prospects in 
the Peninsula, and rendered s(mie operation indispensable to 
reheve the pressure experienced in that quarter. Peterbor- 
ough, whose great military abilities had hitherto sustained, 
nearly alone, their sinking cause in Spain, had been deprived 
of his command in Cat^onia, from that absurd jealousy of 
foreigners which in every age has formed so marked a feature 
in the Spanish character. His successor, Lord Galway, was 
&r from possessing his military abilities ; and every thing pre- 
saged that, unless a great efibrt was immediately made, the 
crown of Spain, the prize for which all contended in the wa;r, 
would be lost to the allied powers, ^or was the aspect of 
afiairs more promising on the Rhine. The Margrave of 
Baden had died there ; and his army, before a successor could 
be appointed, sustained a signal defeat at Stodhofien. This 
disaster having opened the gates of Grermany, Marshal Villars, 

* DispcUches, iii., 142-207. So much were the Dutch alienated from the 
oommon cauae at thia time, and set on acquisitidna of their own, that thiQf 
beheld with ondiagoiaed satisfaction the battle of Almanza, and the other 
disastera in Spain, as Ukely to render the emperor more tractable in conaid- 
ering their proceedings in Flanders. " The States," aaya Mailboroagh, ** re - 
ceived the news of tMi^ fatal stroke with less concern than I expected. TfaiH 
blow has made so little impression in the great towns in thia ooimtry, that the 
gtneroLity of the people heme shown satitf action at it rather than otkertoise, 
which I attribute mainly to the aversion to the present govemment"~ilaW- 
borough to Godolphin, May 13, 1707. CoxE, iii., 204. 


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170 THB LIFE or 

at the head of a powerful French army, burst mto the Palat* 
inate, whiph he ravaged with fire and sword. To complete 
the catalogue of disasters, the disputes between the King of 
Sweden and the emperor were again renewed, and conducted 
with such ajcrimony, that it required all the weight and ad^ 
dress of Marlborough to prevent a rupture between these 
powers, which would have been attended with the most fatal 

Surrounded by so many difficulties, Marlborough wisely 
16. judged that the most pressing danger was that in 

SSS^yurgw Stop the progress of the Bourbon armies in that 
^e^oTl^y^ quarter. As the forces of the Peninsula afforded 
France. j^ hopes of efiectiug that object, he conceived, with 

reason, that the only way to make an efiectual diversion in 
that quurter was to take advantage of the superiority the al- 
lies had enjoyed in Piedmont, since the decisive victory of 
Turin in the preceding year, and to threaten Provence with a 
serious irruption. For this purpose, Marlborough no sooner 
heard of the disasters in Spain, than he urged in the strongest 
manner upon the allied courts to push Prince Eugene with his 
victorious ariny across the Maritime Alps, and lay liege to 
Toulon. Such an ofiensive movem^it, which might be pow- 
erfidly aided by the Enghsh fleet in the Mediterranean, would 
at once remove the war firom the ItaUan plains, fix it in the 
south of France, and lead to the recall of a considerable part 
of the French forces now employed beyond the Pyrenees. 
But, though the reasons for this expedition were thus press- 
17. ing, and Marlborough's project afforded the only 
duc/of^Aufl. feasible prospect of bringing affairs round in the 
rSnatbeex- Peninsula, yet the usual jealousies of the coalesced 
P*^^°*^ powers, the moment it was proposed, opposed insur- 
mountable objections to its being carried into effect with the 
force adequate to insure its success. It was objected to the 
siege of Toulon that it was a maritime operation, of value to 
E n g l and alone : the emperor insisted on the allied forces being 

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exclusively employed in the redaction of the finrtresfleft yet re- 
maining in the hands of the French in the Milanese ; while ■ 
Victor Amadeus, duke of Savoy, between whom and the Im- 
perialists the most violent jealousy had arisen, threatened to 
withdraw altogether inm the alliance unless Eogene's army 
was directed to the protection and consolidation of his domin- 
ions. The real object of the emperor, in throwing such ob- 
stacles in the way of these operations, was, that he had am- 
bi^ous designs of his own on Najdes, and he had, to fadhtate 
their accomplishment, concluded a secret convention with 
Louis for a sort of neutrality in Italy, which enabled that 
monarch to direct the forces employed, or destined to be em- 
ployed there, to the Spanish peninsula. Marlborough's ener- 
getic representations, however, at length prevailed over all 
these difficulties ; and the reduction of the Milanese having 
been completed, the emperor, in the end of June, consented 
to Prince Eugene invading Provence, at the head of thirty-five 
thousand men.* But twelve thousand men, which the em- 
peror had at his disposal in Italy, were, despite the utmost re- 
monstrances of MarlbOTOUgh and Eugene, withheld fix>m the 
Toulon expedition, in order to being employed in the reduction 
of Naples : a dispersion of forces worse than useless, since, as 
Bolingbroke justly observes, if Toulon fell, Naples eould not 
have held out a month, while, by attacking both at the same 
time, the £}rce directed against each was so weakened as to 
render success more than doubtful.f 

The invasion of the territory of ihe Grand Monarque ac- 
cordingly took place, and was supported by a pow- j ^ ^ - 
erful English squadron, which, as Eugene's army Provence br 

,. ^ _ ,--,1. Tnii Eugene, 27th 

advanced mto Provence by the Col di Tende, kept jniy. 
the seacoast in a constant state of alarm. No resistance, as 
Marlborough had predicted, was attempted ; and the allies, 
almost without firing a shot, arrived at the heights of Vilate, 
'in the neighborhood of Toulon, cm the 27th of July. Had 

• COXl, m., 196-203. 

t BpUKOBBOxs's State of Partm. Workt, iii., 42. 

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172 . THE LIFE OF ' 

Eugene been awaxe of the real condition of the defenses, and 
the insubordination which prevailed in the garrison^ he might, 
without difficulty, have made himself master of this important 
fortress ; but, from ignorance of these propitious circumstan- 
ces, he deemed it necessary to commence operations against it 
in form, and the time occupied in the necessary preparations 
for a siege proved fatal to the enterprise. The French made 
extraordinary efforts to bring troops to the menaced point ; 
and, among other re-enforcements, thirt^n battaUons and 
nine squadrons were detached from Vend6me's army in the 

No sooner did Marlborough hear of this detachment, than 
X9. he concentrated his forces, and maAe a forward 
Ind^t^^f movement to bring Vendome to battle, to which 
Eugene. ^^^ Dutch deputies had at length consented ; but 
that general, after some skillfulmarches and countermarches, 
retired to an intrenched camp imder the guns of Lille, of such 
strength as to bid defiance to every attack for the remainder 
of the campaign. Meanwhile, the troops, converging toward 
Toulon, having formed a respectable array in his rear, Eugene 
.was imder the necessity of raising the siege, and he retired, as 
he had entered the country, by the Col di Tende, having first 
embarked his heavy artillery and stores on board tte Enghsh 
fleet. But, though th« expedition thus failed in its ostensible 
object, it fiiUy succeeded in its real one, which was to effect a 
diversion in the south of France, and relieve the pressure on 
the Spanish peninsula, by giving the armies of Louis employ- 
ment in the defense of their own territory. 

Marlborough led his army into winter quarters in the end 
,, ,J^' ^ of October, and Vendome did the same, the weath- 

Marlborough ■,■,■, -, , . . 

cioeesthe er bemg SO thoroughly broken as to render it un- 

campfiign and ,, ■.••." 

retornstoEn- possible to keep ^e field. He. repaired first to 
f ember. ^ Frankfort, where he met the Elector of Hanover, 
and then to the Hague, where he exerted himself to inspire a 
better feeling in the Dutch government, and to get Eugene 
appointed to the supreme command in Spain : a project which 

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aiSbrded the only feasible prospect of retrieving afiairs in the 
Peninsula, and which, if adopted, might have changed the 
fate and ultimate issue of the war. Neither the emperor nor 
the court of Madridf however, would consent to this arrange- 
inent ; the former, because he feared to lose that great general 
in Italy, the latter, because they feared to gain him in Spain. 
Marlborough, meanwhile, embarked for England on th& 7th 
of November, where his presence had now be(tome indispens- 
ably necessary for arresting the progress of public discontent, 
fanned as it was by court and parliamentary intrigues, asid 
threatening to prove immediately fatal to his own influence 
and ascendency, as^well as the best interests of England.- 

The origin of these intrigues are to be found not merely in 
the asperity of party feeling, wluch at that time, 2l 

JT .F -o' Causes of the 

ewing to the recent revolution, prevailed to a degree reaction 
never before paralleled in English history, and the borough and 
peculiar obloquy to which Marlborough was expos- this time, 
ed, owing to the part he had taken in that transaction, but 
to other causes of a general nature, which, more or less, in 
every age, have exercised an important influence in English 
history. Notwithstanding the -powerful elements of popular 
administration which from the earliest times have been at 
work in this country, the Eng^h are at bottom a loyal' and 
orderly pe<^le. FideUty to their sovereigns is Unked in their 
minds with obedience to their Grod ; their prayers rarely cease 
to be aj once for their king and country. It was a race wan- 
binationof circumstances which, for a brief space during the 
reign of Charles I., brought the sacred names of king and Par- 
hament into collision ; and the imi versa! grief which followed 
the death of that unhappy monarch, the transports of joy 
which attended the Restoration, showed how deep were the 
foundation^ of loyalty in the English heart. The tyrannical 
conduct of James II., and his undisguised attempt to re-estab- 
lish the Romish feith in his dominions, had for a time united 
tC& parties against him, and made them all feel the necessity 
of his expulsion. But when the deed was done, and the dan- 


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ger was removed — ^when the mcmarch was in exile, and a new 
djn^asty on the throne, the roinds of men began to return to 
their original dispositions. Old feelings revived, former asso- 
ciations regained their sway, time softened animosities, mis* 
fortune banished fear, and many who had been foremost in the 
dethronement of the former monarch, in secret mourned over 
their triumph, now that he was in exile and distress.* 
In addition to these generous, and therefore honorable feel- 
29. ings, there were others springing more immediately 
■yttem of gor- £rom the seliish afiections, but the influence of 

ernmentbythe _ . , , t i i-i i 

Bevoiution. which was not, on that account, the less likely to 
be in the long run powerful in their operation. It never had 
been intended, at least by the great body of those who united 
in bringing about the Hevolution, to make any change either 
in the structure or administration of the government. What 
they designed was to restore and secure the government, eccle* 
siastical and civil, on its old and true foundations. '' What- 
ever might happen,*' says Bolingbroke, "to the king, there 
was no room to suspect any change in the Constitution, "t 
But with whatever intentions it may be set about, no estab- 
lished government can be overturned, without inducing a very 
great alteration in the subsequent administration of public af- 
fairs. ThB new dynasty rests not merely on a di^rent party, 
but di^ent principles from the old one : new passions are 
awakened, new interests created, new classes brought into po- 
litical power. This was immediately felt on the Revolution. 
The principle of the former government had been loyalty; 
that being destroyed, the principle of the new one was mtere$U 
To attach men to the new order of things by the strong bond 
of individual ambiticm became the great object of administra- 
tion ; and this was accomjdished in a way, and to an ext^it, 
which ere long excited the. most serious alarm through the 

William brought with him from Holland, where expe- 
rience had long made them known, a perfect acquaintance 

* BoLiNaBBOKX's StoU qfPartiei. Work; iil, 123, 184. t Ibid. 


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"With tlie prmcdples on which, in republican states, ^^^ ^-^ 
the influential classes are to be attached to the ffov- of ionn», tux- 

° ea, and cor- 

emment. He was aware that self-interest is all- mption. 
powerful in the long run with mankind ; that, in repubHcaa 
states, money, as the sole power, is omnipotent. He knew, 
also, the wonderftd, and, except to the Dutch, then unknown 
influence of industry in creating Capital, as well as the power 
of the borrowing system in ehciting it. On liiese two founda- 
tions the new government was built up. Extensive and cost- 
ly wars were undertaken, both to uphold the new dynasty 
and to maintain the balance of power in Europe. The am- 
bition of Louis XIV., and his atrocious persecution of the 
Protestant religion, served at once to furnish too good a 
ground for these contests, and to inflame the national feelings 
to caarry them on. But in their prosecution, the great change 
made by the Revolution was immediately seen. Loans to an 
immense extent were contracted every year ; the national 
debt, which had been £664,000 at the Revolution, was al- 
ready nearly £60,000,000 sterling. The taxes annually rais- 
ed had increased jBrom £2,000,000, their extent when. James 
was dethroned, to above £5,000,000. This prod^;ious in- 
crease not only formed a material addition to the pubhc bur- 
dens, but inspired the most dismal apprehensions as to the ul- 
timate, and, as it was then thought, not remote absorption of 
the whole property of the nation into the hands of the pubhc 
creditors. Men could see no hope of salvation under a system 
which had augmented the national debt eighty fold in twen- 
ty years. The large addition which these loans brought to 
the national resources had given the government a vast in- 
crease of patronage, of which they made an unsparing use, for 
securing their influence in the constituencies, and maintaining 
a majority in the House of Commons. Every office, from the 
premiership to the lowest excise appointment, was bestowed 
as the reward of poUtical support, and could be obtained in no 
other way ; and to such extent was actual corruption carried 
on in the constituencies, that the public mind was generally 

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176 > TH« LIFE OF 

debauched, and patriots of all parties mourned in secret over 
the unbounded delugo ofseifiahneBs which had overspread the 
nation since the Revolution.*^ 

In addition to these powerful causes of general discontent, 
94. which were all visited on Marlborough's head as 
MariiMr-^^ an important agent in bringing • about the Revolu- 
fluenci^t *^°^» *^^ ^^® visible and acknbiyledged head of the 
rScof M« ^^^ party* there were others in operation, which, at 
Matham. gji times and in all courts, .but especially imder a fe- 
male reign, are lUcely to produce . important public results. 
During Marlborough's absence from 'court, in the command 
of the armies in Flanders, his 'influence with the queen' had 
sensibly declined, and that. of another had materially increas 
ed. Queen Anne had become alienated from her former fa- 
vorite, the Duchess of Marlborough, ' and, what is veiy re- 
markable, in consequence , of the growing ascendency of a per- 
son recommended by thexLuchess herself. Worn' out with the 
incessant fatigue of attendance on the royal peifson, the duch- 
ess had recommended a 'poor relative of her own, named Abi- 
gail Hill, to relieve her of part of that lab(»rious duty. This 
young lady, who possessed considerable talents, and a stnmg 
relish for intrigue and elevation, had been educated in High 
Church and Tory principles, and she had not been long 
about the royal person before she began to acquire an influ- 
ence over the queen, who, like most of the sovereigns raised to 
a throne by a successful revolution, was in secret attached 
to those monarchical principles, which they never desire to see 
in abeyance except when it is for their own elevation. Har- 
ley, whose aanbition and spirit of intrigue were at least equal 
to her own, was not dow in perceiving the new source of in- 
fluence thus opened up in the royal household, and a close al- 
liance was soon established between them. These matters 
are not beneath the dignity of history ; they are the secret 
springs on which its most important changes sometimes de- 
pend. Abigail Hill soon after bestowed her hand on Mr. 

• BoLXNOBaoKx On ParUes. Work; iii, 394-807. 

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Masham, who had also been placed in the queen's household 
by the duchess, and, under the name of Mrs. Masham, be- 
came the principal instrument in Marlborough's fall, and the 
main cause of the fruit of the glorious victories of the Enghsh 
general being lost by the treaty of Utrecht. 

Though the ascendency of Mrs. Masham, and the treach- 
erous part she was playing to her benefactress, had 25. 
long been evident to others, yet the Duchess of Marl- influence, 
borough unaccountably continued blind to it. Her marriage, 
however, opened the eyes of the duchess ; and soon after the 
promotion of Davies and Blackball, both avowed Tories, and 
not free from the imputation of Jacobitism, to the Episcopal 
bench, ih oppoffltion to the recommendation of Marlborough 
and Godolphin, gave ccaivincing proof that their influence at 
court, in the disposal even of the highest offices, had been sup- 
planted by that of the new favorite. The consequences were 
highly prejudicial to Marlborough. The Whigs, who were 
not ftdly aware of this secret influence, who had long distrust- 
ed him on account of his former connection with James II., 
and envied him on accoimt of his great services to the coim- 
try, and the reputation he had so long enjoyed at court, now 
joined the Tories in bitter enmity against him. He was 
charged with protracting the war for his own private pur- 
poses ; and the man who had reftised the govemm^t of the 
Netherlands, and £60,000 a year, lest his acceptance should 
breed jealousies in the aUiance, was accused of checking the 
career of victory from sordid motives connected with the prof- 
its of the war. His brother Churchill was prosecuted by Hal- 
ifax and the Whigs on the charge of neglect of duty ; and 
the intercession of the duke, though made in humble terms, 
was not so much as even honored with a reply. The conse- 
quences of this decline of court favor were soon apparent : re- 
cruits and supplies were forwarded to the army with a very 
scanty hand; the military plans and proposals of thd duke 
were either overruled, or subjected to a rigid and often inim- 
ical examination; and that division of respoosibiUty and 

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weakoning of pow«r became apparent, whicli is so often in 
military, as well bb political transactions, the forermmer of 

Matters were in this untoward state, whrai Marlborough, 
52e. in the middle of November, returned from the 
pi^°inteS? Ha^e to London. The failure before Toulon, 
In England. ^j^g disasters in Spain, the nullity of the campaign 
in Flanders,^ were made the subject of imbounded outcry in 
the country ; and the most acrimonious debates took place in 
Parliament, in the course of which violesit reproaches were 
thrown on Marlborough, and all his great services to his coun- 
try seemed to be Snrgotten. Matters even w^it so far that 
it was seriously proposed to draft fifteen thousand men from 
Flanders to re-enforce the armies in the Peninsula, although 
it might easily be foreseen that the only efiect of this would 
be to drive the Dutch to a separate peace, and lose the whole 
of Brabant, wrested at such an expense of blood and treasure 
from the French arms. The session of Parliament was one 
incessant scene of vehement contention ; but at length the se- 
cret league of Harley with Mrs. Masham and the Tories be- 
came so apparent, that all his colleagues refused to attend a 
cabinet council to which he was summoned, and he was oblig- 
ed to retire. This decisive step restored oonfid«ice between 
Marlborough and the Whigs, and for a time re-established his 
influence in the government ; but Mrs. Masham's sway over 
the queen was not so easily subverted, ai^, in the end, it proved 
fatal both to his fortune and the career of glory he had open- 
ed to his country. 

Desirous of retaliating upon Ei^land the insult which the 
„ _^27. allied armies had inflicted upon France by the in- 

mcwwreaSti- vasion of Proveuce, Louis XIV. now made serious 

feat a threaten- 

•d invadon of preparations for the invasion of Great Britain, with 
the Pretender, the avowed object of re-cstablidiing the Chevalier 
of St. George, the heir of James II., on the throne from which 
that unhappy monarch had been expelled. Under Marlbor- 
w^'s able diirecti<»i, to whom, as conmiander-in-dhief, the 

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defensiTe measures w^re intrusted, every thmg was soon put 
in a train to avert the threatened danger. Scotland was the 
soene where an outbreak was to be af^rehended, and all the 
disposable forces of the empire, including ten battalions brought 
over from Flanders, were quickly sent to that country. The 
Habeas Corpiis Act was suspended. Edinburgh Castle was 
strongly garrisoned, and the British squadron so skillfully dis- 
posed in the North Seas, that when the chevalier, with a 
French squadron, put to sea, he was so closely watched, that 
after vainly attempting to land, both in the Firth of Forth 
and the neighborhood of Inverness, he was obliged to return 
to Dunkirk. This auspicious event entirely restored Marl- 
borough's credit with the nation, a,nd dispelled every remnant 
<tf suspcion with which the Whigs regarded him in relation 
to the exiled family ; and though his influence with the court 
wbjs secretly undermined, his power, to outward appearance, 
was unbounded. He resumed, in consequence, the command 
of the army«in the beginning of April, 1708, with authority 
AS paramount as he had enjoyed on any former occasion. 

Every thing announced a more important campaign than 
the preceding had proved in the Low Countries. ,,. 28. 

'^ or Vigoroiwprepa- 

Encouraged by the little progress which the al- rauona mwie by 
lies had made in the former campaign, Louis the campaign in 

^____ , , , •11 1 * • ^^ Low Coun- 

Xrv . had been mduced to make the most vigor- tries. 
ous efibrts to accumulate a preponderating force, and re-estab- 
lish his affairs in that quarter. Vendome's army had, by 
great exertion, been raised to a hundred thousand men, and 
at the same time secret commimications were opened with a 
considerable portion of the inhabitants in some of the frontier 
fortresses of Brabant, in order to induce them, on the first fa- 
vorable opportunity, to surrender their strongholds to the 
French arms. The unpopularity of the Dutch authorities in 
thos^ towns, and the open pretensions which they put forth of 
wresting them from the emperor, and delivering them over at 
a general peace to the hated rule of Protestant Holland, ren- 
dered those advances peculiarly acceptable. Venddme's in- 

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structions were to act on the ofiensive, though in a cautioas 
maimer ; to push forward in order to take advantage of these 
faviorable dispositions, and endeavor to regain the important 
ground which had been lost during the panic that had follow- 
ed the battle of Ramillies. 

On thdir side the allies had not been idle, and preparation! 
29. ' had been made for transferring the weight of the 

Prepto^tions -. -r ^ m-i • t i 

•ad forces of contest to the Low Countries. The war m Italy 
Fianden. being in a manner terminated by the entire ex- 
pulsion of the French from that peninsula, and by the secret 
convention for a sort of suspension of active operations in that 
quarter. Prince Eugene had been brought to the theater of 
real hostilities on the northern frontier of France. It was 
agreed between Marlborough and the prince that two great 
armies should be formed, one in Brabant under the former, 
and the other on the Moselle under the latter ; that the Elect- 
or of Hanover should act on the defensive on the Rhine ; 
that Eugene should join the English general, and that with 
their united force they should force the French general to a 
battle. This well-conceived plan having met with the usual 
resistance on the part of the allied powers, Marlborough was 
compelled to repair in person to Hanover, to smooth over the 
objections of its elector. Meanwhile, the dissensions and dif* 
ficulties of the cabinet in London increased to such a degree, 
that he had scarcely quitted England when he was urged by 
Godolphin, and the majority of his own party, to return, as 
the only means of saving them from shipwreck. Marlborough, 
however, with that patriotic spirit which ever distingtushed 
him, and not less than his splendid abilities formed so honor- 
able a feature in his character, refused to leave the seat of 
war, and left his political friends to shift for themiselves as they 
best could. Having obtained a promise from Eugene that he 
would meet him before the month expired, he joined the army 
4t Ghent on the 9th of May, 1708, and on the same day re- 
viewed the British division stationed in that city. 

An event soon occurred which showed how wide-spread 

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were the intrigues of the French in the Flemish 30. 
towns, and how insecure was the feundatiMi on m^emeni 
which the authority of the allies rested there. An ^ouu^Inl 
accidental circumstance led to the discovery of a let- ^*^^ 
ter put into the post-office of Ghent, containing the whole par- 
ticulars of a plan for admitting Ihe French troops into the cit- 
adel of Antwerp. Venddme at the same time made a forward 
movement to take advantage of these attempts ; but Marlbor* 
ough was on his guard, and both frustrated the intended ris- 
ing in Antwerp, and barred the way against the attempted 
advance of the French army. Disconcerted by the failure 
of this enterprise, Venddme moved to Soignies at the head of 
a hundred thousand men, whwe he halted at the distance of 
three leagues from the alHed armies. A great and decisive 
action was confidently expected in both armies ; as, although 
Marlborough could not muster above eighty thousand combat- 
ants, it was well known he would not decline a battle, although 
he was not as yet sufficiently strong to assume the offensive. 
Vend6me, however, declined attacking the alHes where they 
stood, and, filing to the right to Braine-le-Leude, close to the 
field of Waterloo, again halted in a position threatening at 
(Hice both LouvjEun and Brussels. Moving parallel to him, 
but still keeping on the defensive, Marlborough retired to An- 
derleet. No sooner had he arrived there, than intelligence 
was received of a fiirther movement to the right on the part 
of the French general, which indicated an intention to make 
Louvain the object of attack. Without losing an instant, 
Marlborough marched on that very night, with the utmost ex- 
pedition, amid torrents of rain, to Pare, where he established 
himself in a position, covering that fortress, of such strength, 
that Venddme, finding himself anticipated in his movements, 
fell back to Braine^le-Leude without firing a shot.^ 

Though Marlborough, however, had in this manner foiled 
the movement of the French g^ieral, he was not in a condi- 
tion to undertake ofiehsive operations until the arrival of £u- 
* Mdrlbortnigk'g Di»patck€S}W.,A9. ■ 


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183 THX LiFB or 

^* Irene's anny from the Moeelle would raise Us force 

Continued pro- ° ^ i- • i v j • 

craetination of nearer to an equality with the preponderating 
power*. masses of the enemy, headed as these were by so 

able a general as Venddme. The usual delays, however, of 
the German powers, long prevented this object being attained. 
For about a month Marlborough was on this account retained 
in a state of forced inactivity, during which period he bitterly 
complained '' that the slowness of the German powers was 
such as to threaten the worst consequences." At length, how* 
ever, the pressing representations of the English general, see* 
onded by the earnest entreaties of Prince Eugene, overcame 
the tardiness of the German electors, and the army of the Mo- 
gelle began its march toward Brabant. But the prince was 
too £ur distant to bring up his troops to the theater of active 
operations before decisive events had taken place ; and, for- 
tunately for the glory of England, to Marlborough alone and 
to his army belcmgs the honor of one of the most decisive vict- 
tories recorded in its annals. 

Encouraged by his superiority of numb^ns, and the assur- 
32. ances of support he received from the malcontents in 
SS^S^to ^^^ Flemish towns, Venddme, who was an able and 
inGhe^t^ enterprising general, put in execution, in the begin- 
and Bruges. jjj[jjg q£ July, a design which he had long meditated 
for the purpose of expelling the allies from Brabant. This 
was by a sudden irruption to make himself master of Gh^it, 
with several of the citizens of which he had established a se- 
cret correspondence. This city commanded the course of the 
Scheldt and the Lys, and lay in the very center of Marlbor- 
ough's water communications ; and as the fortifications of Oo- 
denaxde were in a very dilapidated state, it was reasonable to 
suppose that its reduction would speedily follow. The cap- 
ture of these fortresses would at onoe break up Marlborough's 
communications, and sever the connecting link between Flan- 
ders and Brabant, so as to compel the English army to fall 
back to Antwerp and the line of the Scheldt, and thus de- 
prive them of the whole iiruits of the victory of Bamillies. 

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Such was the aUe and well-conoeived design of the French 
general,, which promised the most brilliant results, and which, 
against a general less wary and able than Marlborough, would 
unquestionably have obtained them. 

Venddme executed the first part of this design with vigor 
and success. On the eveninff of the 4th of July 33. 

^ . 11 He makes 

he suddenly broke up from Braine-le-Leude, and, himieitmaa- 
marching rapidly all night, advanced toward Halle and Bruges, 
and Tubise, dispatching, at the same time, parties toward 
such towns in that quarter as had maintained a correspond- 
ence with him. One of these parties, by the connivance of 
the watch, by whom they were admitted within the gates 
without firing a shot, made itself master of Ghent. At the 
same time, Bruges was surrendered to another party under 
the Count de la Motte ; the small but important fort of Plas- 
sendael was carried by storm, and a detachment sent to re- 
cover Ghent found the gates shut by the inhabitants, who 
had now openly joined the enemy, and mvested the allied gar- 
rison in the citadel. Marlborough no sooner heard of tliis 
movement than he followed with his army ; but he arrived 
in the neighborhood of Tubise in time only to witness the 
passage of the enemy over the Senne, near that place. Giving 
orders to his troops to prepare for battle, he put himself in 
motion at one the next morning, intending to bring the enemy 
to an immediate action. The activity of Venddme, however, 
baffled his design. He made his men, weary as they were, 
march all night, and cross the Dender at several points, break- 
ing down the bridges between Alort and Oerdegim, and the 
allies only arrived in time to make three hundred prisoners 
from the rear guard. 

Scarcely had they recovered from this disappointment, when 
intelligence arrived of the surprise of Ghent and 34. 

Bruges ; while, at the same time, the ferment in actiVity'te-^ 
Brussels, owing to the near approach of the French nardeag^sta 
to that capital, became so great, that there was ^^"^•'^'^^'^^«- 
every reason to apprehend a similar disaster, from the disaf- 

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fection of some of its inhabitants. The most serious appre^ 
hensions, also, were entertained for Oud^mrde, the garrison 
being feeble, and the works dilapidated. Marlborough's meas- 
ures at this crisis were prompt and decided. He dispatched 
instant orders to Lord Chandos, who commanded at Ath, to 
collect all the detachments he could from the garrisons in the 
neighborhood, and throw himself into that fortress ; and with 
such diligence were these orders executed, that Oudenarde 
was secured against a coup-de-main before the French out- 
posts appeared before it. Venddme, however, felt himself 
strong enough to undertake its siege in form. He drew his 
army round it ; the investment was completed on the evening 
of the 9th, and a train of heavy artillery was ordered fh)m 
Toumay to commence the siege,* while he himself, with the 
covering army, took post in a strong camp at Lessines, on the 
River Dender. 

Such was* the chagrin experienced by Marlborough at these 
35. untoward events, that he was thrown into a fever, 

Extreme vex- inn' i • -i • -r 

ationandseri- the result of fatigue, watchuig, and anxiety. He 

oufl illness of •iiti iiii n r^t 

Marlborough, was particularly disheartened by the loss oi Ghent 
and Bruges, as they lay in the very center of his water com- 
munications, on which he mainly reUed for getting up his pro- 
visions and military stores. His physician earnestly coimseled 
him to leave the Camp, and retire to Brussels, as the only 
means of arresting his distemper ; but nothing could induce 
him to abandon his post at such a crisis. He continued in his 
tent accordingly, and the orders were issued by Marshal Over- 
kirk. He was greatly relieved on the 7th by the arrival of 
Prince Eugene, who, finding his troops could not come up in 
time, had left his cavalry at Maestricht, and hastened in per- 
son, though without any followers but hb private suite, to 
take a paxt in the approaching conflict. Great was the joy 
of Marlborough on learning the arrival of so illustrious a gen- 
eral : not a feeling of jealousy crossed the breast of either of 
these great men. His first words to Eugene were, " I am not 

• DUp., iv., 95-101. CoxK, iv., 128-131. 

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.« ^''!- •' 

^ ""^ .- Digitized by Google 


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ExL g ?^ "b y "W K«ti^\1p. 

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Google ij 


without hopes of congratulating your highness on a great vie* 
tory, for my troops will he animated hy the presence of bo 
distinguished a commander.'* Eugene warmly approved the 
resolution he had taken of instantly attacking the enemy ; and 
a council of war having heen summoned, their united opinion 
prevailed over the ohjections of the Dutch deputies, who were 
less obstinate in resisting vigorous measures than usual, from 
having become seriously alarmed for their barrier. It was 
leeohred to attack the enemy in their position in fix>nt of Ou- 


The plan resolved on for this purpose by Marlborough and -^ 
Eugene was as able as its execution was felicitous. 3^ 

Instead of moving direct on the cofvering army of ^^^S^'" 
Vend6me, which lay between them and Oude- cJi^^lJf * 
mucde, they resolved to throw themselves on his tiong, 9th July. 
communications^ and, by interposing between him and the 
French frontier, compel him to fight with his fee© toward 
Paris and his back to Antwerp. It was precisely a repeti- 
tion of what Marlborough had already done in the campaign 
of 1705» when the results which would have arisen fix>m such 
a plan were frustrated by the Dutch deputies.! Every thing 
Here depended on activity and rapidity of movement, and these 
were not wanting. The allies broke up at two in the morning 
of thia 9th of July, and advanced, in four great columns, to- 
ward the French frontiers at Lessines. So rapid and well 
ordered was the march, that before noon the heads of the col- 
mnns had reached Herfilingen, fourteen miles from Asche, 
whence they had started. Bridges were rapidly thrown over 
the Dender, and it was crossed early on the following morn- 
ing in presence of Eugene and Marlborough, whom the ani- 
mation of the great events in progress had, in a manner, raisk 
ed from the bed of sicknes&t Here the duke halted, and the 

* Disp., iv., 79-102. Coxs» iv., 130-132. t Ante, chap, iii., sec. 21. 

t " The treachery of Ghent, oontiuQal marching, and some letters I have 
received from England (from the queen and the duchess), have so vexed me, 
tliat I was yesterday in so great a fever, that the doctor would have per^ 

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166 THE LIFE OF - 

troops encamped in their order of march, with their right on 
the Dender, and their front covered by a small stream which 
falls into that river. By this bold and rapid movement, Yen- 
ddme's well-concerted plan was entirely disconcerted : Marl- 
borough had thrown himself between the French and theix 
own frontier ; he had rendered himself master of their com- 
munications ; and, instead of seeking merely to cover his own 
fortresses, his measures threatened to compel the enemy to fall 
back, in order to regain the connection with their own coun- 
try, and to abandon the whole enterprise, which they had 
commenced with such prospects of success. 

Vendome was extremely disconcerted at this able move- 
^. ment, and immediately ordered his troops to fall 
move»dr,foi. ^>^^ ^pon Gavre, situated on the Scheldt below 
^Telf luh^o^f Oudenarde, where he had resolved to cross tlM.t 
July. river. No sooner was this design made manifest, 

than Marlborough followed with all his forces, with the 
double design of raising the investment of Oudenarde, and, if 
possible, forcing the enemy to give battle, under the disad- 
vantage of doing so in a retreat. Anxious to improve their 
advantage, the allied g^ierals marched with the utmost ex- 
pedition, hoping to come up with the enemy when their col- 
umns and baggage were close upon the Scheldt, or at least 
while they were in the very act of crossing that river. Col- 
onel Cadogan, with a strong advanced guard, was pushed for- 
ward by daybreak on the 11th toward the Scheldt, which he 
reached by eleven. Having inmiediately thrown bridges over 
it, he crossed with the whole cavalry and twelve battalions 
of foot. This body advanced to the summit of the plateau on 
the left bank of the river, and formed in battle array, the in- 
fontry opposite Eynes, the cavalry extending on the left to- 
ward Schaerken. Advancing slowly on in this regular array 

saaded me to have gone to Brasself ; bat I thank God I am now better, and 
by Ihe next post I faope to answer your letters. The States have used this 
ooQDtry so ill, that I noways doobt bat all the towns in it will play as the 
nune trick m Ghent if they have the ^wer,"— Marlborough to Oodolpfdn, 
July 9, 1708. Ck>zj|, iv., 88. 

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down the coarse of the river on its left bank, Cadogan wag 
not long of ccHning in sight of the French rear guard under 
Birc»L, with which he had some sharp skirmishing. Mean- 
while Marlborough and Eugene were pressing the passage at 
the bridges with all imaginable actiirity ; but the greater part 
of their army had not yet got across. The main body was 
still half a league from the Scheldt, and the huge clouds of 
dust which arose from the passage of the artillery and car« 
riages in that direction, inspired Vend6me with the hope that 
he might cut off the advanced guard which was over the 
Scheldt, before the bulk of the allied forces could get across to 
their rdief With this view he halted his troops, and drew 
them up hastily in order of battle. This brought on the 
great and glorious aetion which followed, toward the due un- 
derstanding of which, a description of the theater of combat 
18 indii^nsable.* 

" At the distance of a mile north of Oudenarde is the vil- 
lage of Eynes. Here the ground rises into a spe- 39. 
eies of low but qpacious amphitheater. From Slefi^JSidrba^ 
thence it swe^ along a small plain till it nearly ^' 
reaches the glacis of Oudenarde, where it terminates in the 
village of Bevere. To the west the slope ascends to another 
broad hill called the Bosercanter ; and at the highest point 
of the eminence stands a wind^ooill, shaded by a lofty lime- 
tree, forming conspicuous objects from the whole ai^acent 
country. From thence the ground gradually declines toward 
Mardlen ; and the eye, glancing over the humid valley wa^ 
tered by the Noiken, rests on another range of uplands, which, 
gently sinking, at length terminates near Asper. Within this 
space, two small streams, descending from the lower part of 
the hill of Oydte, embrace a low tongue of land, the center 
;of which rises to a gentle elevation. The borders of these 
rivulets are crossed by frequent inclosures, surrounding the 
farm-yards of Barwaen, Chobon, and Diepenbeck. Near the 
source of one of these streams is a castellated mansion ; at 

* COXB, iy., 130-133. Kauslkr, 713. 

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that of the other is the hamlet of Rhetelhouk, unbosomed in 
a wooded nook. These streams unite at the hamlet of Schaer- 
ken, and their united current flows in a marshy bed to the 
Scheldt, which it reaches near Eynes. The Norken, another 
river traversing the field, runs for a considerable distance paral- 
lel to the Scheldt, until, passing by Asper, it terminates in a 
stagnant canal, which joins the Scheldt below Gavre. Its bor- 
ders, like those of the other streams, are skirted with coppice- 
wood thickets ; behind are the inclosures surrounding the lit- 
tle plain. Generally speaking, this part of Flanders is evea 
not merely of picturesque beauty and high cultivation, but 
great military strength ; and it is hard to say whether its nu- 
merous streams, hanging banks, and umbrageous woods, add 
most to its interest in the eye of a painter, or to its intricacy 
and defensive character in warlike operations."* 

As fast as the allies got across the Scheldt, Marlborough 
39. formed them along the high grounds stretching 
^^^te frona Bevere to Mooreghem Mill, with their right 
Sdt^ti^r' resting on the Scheldt. Venddme's men extend- 
SdJ^f/r*^ ed across the plain, from the hill of Asper on the 
v^^' left, to Warr^hem on the right. A considerable 

body of cavalry and infantry lay in front of their position in 
Eynes, of which they had retained possession after repulsing 
Cadogan*s horse. No sooner had the English general got a 
suflicient number of troops up, than he ordered that gallant 
oflicer to advance and retake the village. The infantry at- 
tacked in front, crossing the rivulet near Eynes ; while the 
horse, making a circuit higher up, descended on the enemy's 
rear, while the conflict was warmly going on in front. The 
consequence was, that the village was carried with great loss 
to the enemy ; three entbe battalions were surroimded and 
made prisoners, and eight squadrons were cut to pieces in. 
striving to make their way across the steep and tangled banks 

* The above description of the field of Oudenanie ii mainly taken fiom 
CoxE, iv., 134, 135 ; but the aathor, from personal inspection of the field, can 
attest its accoracy. 

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of the NoAen. This sharp blow convinced the French lead- 
ers thftt a general action was unavoidable ; and though, from 
the vigor with which it had been struck, there remained but 
littlft; hope of overpowering the aUied advanced guard before 
the main body came up, yet they resolved, contrary to the 
opinion of Venddme, who had become seriously alarmed, to 
persist in the attack, and risk all on the issue of a general en- 

. It was four in the afternoon when the French commenced 
the action in good earnest. The forces of the con- „ 40, 

-. . - 1.1,., Forces on both 

tending parties were nearly equal, with a slight sides, and com- 

. . , /» , -n 1 , 1 1 mencementof 

superiority on the part of the French ; they had the battle. 
eighty-five thousand, Marlborough eighty thousand men.f 
The Duke of Burgundy, who had a joint command with Ven- 
ddme, ordered General Grimaldi to lead Sistem's squadron 
across the Norken, apparently with the view of feeling his 
way preparatory to a general attack. That general set out 
to do so ; but when, after passing the Norken, and arriving 
on the margin of the rivulet of Diepenbeck, he saw the Prus- 
sian cavalry already formed on the other side, he fell back to 
the small plain near the mill of Royeghem. Venddme, mean- 
while, directed his left to advance, deeming that the most 
favorable side for an attack ; but the Duke of Burgundy, who 
nominally had the supreme command, and who was jealous 
of Venddme*s reputation, countermanded this order, alleging 
' that an impassable morass separated the two armies in that 
quarter. These contradictory orders produced indecision in 
the French lines ; and Marlborough, divining its cause, in- 
stantly took advantage of it. Judging with reason that the 
real attack of the enemy would be made on his left by their 
right, on his own left wing, in front of the castle of Severe, he 

* CoXE, iv., 140-145. Kausler, 713. 
t The forces stood as foUows : 

JJIwa. Men. 


Sqaadrons . . 180 f 


Battalions . . 121 ; 
Bqaadrons . . 198 I 

Kausler, 71S. 

. I 85,000. 

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ordered up the twelve battalions of foot under Cadogan from 
Heume and Eynes, which they occupied, to re-enforce the left. 
In the mean time, he placed a strong guard on the bridges of 
the Norken, and disposed musketeers in the woods on its sides. 
Marlborough himself, at the head of the Prussian horse, ad- 
vanced by Heume, and took post on the right flank of the Kt- 
tle plain of Diepenbeck, where it was evident that the heat 
of the action would ensue. A reserve of twenty Britirfi bat- 
talions, with a few guns, was stationed under Argyle, near 
Schaerken, which proved of the most essential service in the 
ensuing struggle. Few pieces of artillery were brought up on 
either side, the rapidity of the movements of both having out- 
Btri|^>ed the slow pace at which those p(»iderous implements 
of destruction were then ccmveyed.* 

Hardly were these defensive arrangements completed when 
41. the tempest was upon them. The whole French 
TOMof fllT^ right wing, consisting of thirty battalions, embrac- 
Frenchright ^ ^ French and Swiss guards, and the flower 
of their army, debouched from the woods and hedges near 
Groenvelde, and attacking four battalions stati<med there, 
quickly compelled them to retreat. Advancing then in the 
open plain by echelon, the right in front, along the downward 
bed of the Norken, they followed up their advantage with the 
utmost vigor. The action ran Hke a running fire along the 
course of this stream ; the French ccmstantly pressing chi and 
outflanking the allies, till they completely turned their lefl, and 
made themselves masters of the hamlets of BsQ'waen and Bar- 
lancy. Their advance entirely uncovered the allied left. Al- 
ready the cries of victory were heard in the French right, 
which advanced in good order through the tangled and brc^- 
on ground around those villages, with a rajnd and well-sus- 
tained Are issuing from its ranks. This success exposed the 
allies to imminent danger ; for in their rear was the Scheldt, 
flowing lazily in a deep and impassable current, through 

* MaHhor^ugh to Count Piper, 15th of July, 1708. Ditp., W., 115. Cdxi, 
|7^M4, 140. ILmjslkb, 713. 

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marshy meadows, crossed only by a few bridges, over whick 
retreat would be impossible in presence of a victorious enemy ; 
and the defeat already sustained by the left exposed them to 
the danger of being cut off from the friendly ramparts of Ou- 
denarde, their only resource in that direction * 

This alarming success of the French attracted the immedi- 
ate attention of the vigilant English general. He 4.>. 
instantly hastened in person to the scene of dan"-er *^P?f«^ons 

4.1 1 n 1 t b or Lugene 

on the lett, where the Dutch and Hanoverians were, o^^^ight 
dispatching Eugene to take the command on the right, where 
the British troops, whose valor the prince had often observed 
and praised, were posted. Marlborough then directed Count 
Lottnow, with his twenty battahons, to extend his right to 
support Eugene ; so that the Imperial general had now^ sixty 
battalions under his orders, while Marlborough had only twen- 
ty left. This re-enforcement came up just in time ; for the 
prince was at first assailed by such superior numbers that he 
was welhiigh overwhelmed. Cadogan's men, under his or- 
ders, had been driven, after a stout resistance, out of the wood- 
ed coverts which they occupied near Herlelem, and were retir- 
ing somewhat in disorder over the plain in its front. He-en- 
forced, however, by the twenty battalions under Lottnow, 
Eugene again advanced in good order, and broke the first line 
of the enemy. General Natzmer, at the head of the Prus- 
sian cuirassiers, took advantage of their disorder, and charged 
headlong through the second line of the enemy's left, so as to 
reach the Httle plain near the chapel of Royeghem. But here 
their career was stopped by a line of the French Horse-guards 
in reserve, while a dreadful fire of musketry streamed out of 
every hedgerow and copse with which the plain was environ- 
ed. Half his men were speedily stretched on the plain ; the 
remainder recoiled in disorder, and Natzmer himself with dif- 
ficulty escaped by leaping over a broad ditch, while the French 
household troops were thundering in pursuit.! 

* Kausler, 714. CoxE, iv., 140-145. 

t Coxs, iv,, 146, 147. Kausler, 717, 718. 


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192 . THE LIFE or 

While Eugene was thus combating with various success 
43 on the right, Marlborough had a more arduous con- 
b?ro2|h*ra* flict to mamtain on the left. Placing himself at 
the left. ^Q heaA of the Dutch and Hanoverian battalions, 
which were with difficulty maintaining their ground against 
the advancing line and increasing vehemence of the enemy, 
the English general led them again to the attack. But it is 
no easy matter to make the French recede firom the enthusi- 
asm of victory to the hesitation which precedes defeat. They 
opposed a most desperate resistance to this onset. The ground 
on which the hostile lines met was so broken, that the battle 
in that quarter turned almost into a series of partial conflicts, 
and even personal encounters. Every bridge, every ditch, 
every wood, every hamlet, every inclosure, was obstinately 
contested; and so incessant was the roll of musketry, and 
so intermingled did the hostile lines become, that the field, 
seen from a distance, appeared an unbroken line of fire. If 
the resistance, however, was obstinate, the attack was no less 
vigorous ; and at length the enthusiastic ardor of the French 
yielded to the steady valor of the Germans. Gradually they 
were driven back, literally at the bayonet's point ; and at 
length, recoiling at every point, they yielded all the ground 
they had won at the commencement of the action.* 

Barlancy and Barwaen were soon regsdn^, but not with- 
44. out the most desperate resistance ; for not only did 
ni^ementby ^^^ enemy obstinately contest every field and in- 
i^Snsf^e*^ closure, but, in their fiiry, they set fire to such of 
French left, ^j^^ houses as could no longer be maintained. De- 
spite aU these obstacles, however, the English fairly drove 
them back, at the musket's point, firom one inclosure to an- 
other, till they reached the hamlet of Diepenbeck, where the 
resistance proved so violent that he was compelled to pause. 
His vigilant eye, however, ere long observed that the hill of 
Oycke, which flanked the enemy's extreme right, was unoc- 
cupied. Conceiving that their right might be turned by this 
. * COXE, iv., 14«, 147. Kausler, 718. 

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eminence, he directed Overkirk, with the reserve cavalry, and 
twenty Dutch and Danish hattalions, to occupy it. The vet- 
eran general executed this important, and, as it proved, deci- 
sive movement with his wonted alacrity and spirit. The 
wooded dells round the castle of Bevere soon rang with mus- 
ketry ; the enemy, forced out of them, were driven over the 
shoulder of the Bosercanter, which being soon passed, the mill 
of Oycke, and the plateau behind it, were immediately occu- 
pied by the Danish and Dutch battalions.* 

Arrived on the smnmit, Overkirk made his men bring up 
their left shoulders, so as to wheel inward, and form ,„ 45. 

. . \^gor with 

a vast seimcircle round the right wimr of the French, wWch it wm 

, . , ^ , , , T , executedby 

wmcn, tar advanced beyond the center, was now Overidrk, 
thrown back, and grouped into the little plain of turns them. 
Diepenbeck. Observing the effect of this movement, Marl- 
borough directed Overkirk to press forward his left still fur- 
ther, so as to seize the passes of Mullem and mill of Royeghem, 
by which the communication between the enemy's right and 
center vsras maintained. This order was executed with vigor 
and success by the Prince of Orange and General Oxenstiem. 
The progress of the extreme aUied left round the rear of the 
French right was observed by the frequent flashes of their 
musketry on the heights above Mullem, to which they began 
to descend, driving the enemy before them with loud cheers, 
which re-echoed over the whole field of battle. The victory 
was now gained. Refluent firom all quarters, enveloped on 
every side, the whole French right was hurled together, in 
wild confusion^ into the plain of Diepenbeck, where seven reg- 
iments of horse, which made a noble efibrt to stem the flood 
o[ disaster, were all cut to pieces or taken. 

Seeing his right wing on the verge of destruction, Venddme 
made a gallant efibrt to rescue it. Dismounting 46. 
fix)m his horse, he led the infantry of his left near effe^ai ef- 
MuUem, to the aid of their devoted comrades. But dSme to Barest 
the thick and frequent inclosures broke their array ; **** disorder. 
* Kausler, 715. CoxE, iv., 146, 147. 


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the soldiers were dismayed by the loud shouts of victory fix)m 
their right ; and when they emerged from the inclosures, and 
approached the plain of Diepenbeck, the firm countenance of 
the British horse, drawn up on its edge, and the sturdy anray 
of their infantry under Eugene, which advanced to meet them, 
rendered the effort abortive. Meanwhile darkness set in, 
though the battle still raged on all sides. The frequent flashes 
of the musketry on the heights around, intermingled with the 
shouts of the victors, showed but too clearly how nearly the 
extremity of danger was approaching to the whole French 
army. So completely were they enveloped, that the advance 
guard of the right under Eugene, and the left under the Prince 
of Orange, met on the heights in the Frendi rear, when they 
exchanged several volleys, and it was only after great exer- 
tions had been made by the respective commanders that their 
error was discovered, and a stop waa put to such us^ss butch- 
ery. To prevent a repetition of such disasters, orders were 
given to the whole troops to halt where they stood ; and to 
this precaution many owed their safety, as it was impossible, 
in the darkness, to distinguish friend from foe. But it enabled 
great part of the center and left of the French to escape un- 
observed, which, had daylight continued for two hours longer, 
would have been all taken or destroyed. Their gallant right 
was left to its fate ; while Eugene, by directing the drums of 
his regiments to beat the French asseinUee, made great nimi- 
bers of their left and center prisoners. Some thousands of the 
right, by slipping unobserved to the westward, near the Castle 
of Bevere, made their way in a confrised body, in the interval 
between the allied left and center, toward France, but the 
greater part of that wing were killed or taken. Venddme, 
with characteristic presence of mind, formed a rear guard of 
a few battalions and twenty-five squadrons, with which he 
covered the retreat of the center and left ; but the remainder 
of those parts of the army fell into total confusion, and fled 
headlong in wild disorder toward Ghent.* 

* CoxE, iv., 146-151. Marlborough to Count Piper, 16th of July, 1708. 
Disp,, iv., 115. Duke of Bertoick's Mem., H, 12. 

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vMie MarlbcHPough himself, with characteristic hu- ^li^^md* 
majiity, visited the field of battle, doing his utmost ^^ements 


We have the authoritj of Marlhorou^ fer the assertiQii 
that, " if he had had two hours more of daylight, the 47. 
French army would have been irretrievably routed, the batti*. 
great part of it killed or taken, and the war terminated on that 
day."* As it was, the eflfects of the blow ^diich had be«i 
fstruck were prodigious, and entirely altered the character and 
fate of the campaign. The French lost six thousand men in 
killed and wounded, besides nine thousand prisoners, and one 
hundred standards wrested £rom them in &ir fight. The al- 
lies were weakened by five thousand men ; for the French 
w^e superior in numbers, and fought well, having been de- 
feated solely by the superior generalship of the allied com- 

No sooner did daylight appear than forty squadrons were 
detached toward Ghent in pursuit of the enesiy, 46. 

Pursuit oi 
eneany, and 
■ val " 

to assuage the sufierings, and provide for the cure <»*>o'^*^<ie^ 
of the numerous wounded, alike friend and &e, who encum- 
bered its bloody expanse. Count Lottnow was sent wilji 
thirty battalions and fifty squadrons to possess hinu^l^ of the 
lines which the enemy had constructed between Ypres and 
Wameton, which that officer did with vigor and suecess, 
making five hundred prisoners. This was the mare fortunate, 
as, at the moment they were taken, the Duke of Berwick, 
with the French army firran the Moselle, was hastwiing up, 
and had exhorted the garrison to defend the Hues to the last 
extr^mty. At the same time, the c(»rresqponding allied army, 
commanded by Eugene, arrived at Brussels, so that both sides 
were largely re-enforced. Berwick's corps, which consisted of 
thirty-four battalions and fifty-five squadrons, was so consid- 
erate, that it raised Venddme's army again to a hundred 
thousand men. With this imposing mass that able general 

* Marlborough a M. De Tkemgue, 15th of July, 1708. Disp., ir., HI. 
t i>up.t !▼., 111. Berwicli himself ttatefl the priwmen at 9000.— Marl- 
borough, ii., 13. Marlborough to the Duehets, Inly 16, 1706. Coxi, iy., 15Z. 

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took poft in a camp which he strongly fortified, situated be- 
hind the canal of Bruges, in the vicinity of Ghent, and com- 
manding the navigation both of the Scheldt and the Lys. 
He rightly judgfed that, as long as he was there at the head 
of such a force, the allies would not venture to advance into 
France, though it lay entirely open to their incursions, Marl- 
borough being between him and Paxis.* 

Encouraged by this singular posture of the armies, Marl- 
49. borough strongly urged upon the allied council of 
■d^^to"*^ * war the propriety of rehnquishing all lesser objects, 
UovotSic?^ passing the whole fortified towns on the frontier, 
ed^^iayriege *"^^ advancing straight toward the French capi- 
ta Liiio. tjj I This bold coimsel, however — ^which, if acted 
on, was precisely what Wellington and Blucher did a century 
after in advancing firom the same country, and would have 
been, perhaps, attended with similar success-^was rejeoted. 
Eugene, and the remainder of the council, considered the tie- 
sign too hazardous, while Yenddme with so great an army lay 
intrenched in their rear and threatening their communica- 
tions. It was resolved, therefore, to commence the invasion 
of the territory of the Grand Monarque by the siege of the 
great frontier fortress of Lille, the strongest and most im- 
portant place in French Flanders, and the possession of which 
would give the allies a solid footing in the enemy*s territory. 
This, however, was a most formidable undertaking ; for not 
only was the place itself of great strength, but the citadel 
within its walls was still stronger, and it was garrisoned by 
Marshal Boufiflers, one of the ablest officers in the French 

* MarUxyrough to Lord Godolphin, July 16 and 17, 1708. CoxE, iv., 158, 

t C<»«ciocui of the panic which prevaUed in France, and aware that some 
brilliant enterprise was requisite to prevent the Datch from listening to sep- 
arate overtares for peace, Marlborough proposed to meet at Lille, and pen- 
etrate by (he northern frontier into the heart of France. An expedition 
fitted oat in England was to co-operate on the coast. Bat the design of 
penetrating direct into France seemed too bold even to Eogene, and, of 
coorse, enooontered strong opposition from a government so timid and vacil- 
lating as tiiat of Holland.— Coze, iv., 165. 

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. r^ 

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Entf 4ly'W. Kenfbl© . 


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" .K . 


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MAai«BO&OU«H.* 197 

service, with fifteen thousand ^oice troops, and every requisite 
for a vigorous defense. On the other hand, Venddme, at the 
head of a hundred thousand men, lay in an impregnable camp 
between Ghent and Bruges, ready to interrupt or rake the 
siege ; and his positiim there hampered Marlborough extremely 
in bringing forward the requisite equipage for so great an un*> 
dertaking, by interrupting the whole water navigation of tht 
country, which was the only practicable mode of conveyance^ 
for the dragging it up by land would reqiiire sixteen thousand 
horses. Nevertheless, it was resolved to undertake the enters 
prise, sanguine hopes being entertained that, rather than see 
so important a fortress iaU, Venddme would leave his intrench- 
ed camp, and give the ^es an opportunity of bringing him 
again to battle on equal terms. "^^ 

No sooner was the undertaking resolved on, than the most 
vigorous measures were adopted to carry it into ex- 50. 
ecutioa. The obstacles which presented them- ^SJ^^ST 
•elves, however, were great indeed, and proved even **' ^ ■*"** 
more formidable than had been at first anticipated. Every 
gun^ every wagon, every round o[ ammunition, required to be 
transported almost all the way by land carriage from Holland ; 
and BmsselB, the nearest dep6t for ordinary and military stores 
for the allies, was situated twenty-five leagues off. Then was 
felt in its fiiU force the immense loss sustained by the allies in 
the interruption of the water communications of the army by 
the capture of Ghent and Bruges. Sixteen thousand horses 
were requisite to transport the train which brought these 
stores, partly from Msestricht, partly from Holland; and 
when in a line of march it stretched over fifteen miles. 
Prince Eugene, with fifty-three battalions and ninety squad- 
rons, covered the vast moving mass ; Marlborough himself 
being ready, at a moment's notice, in his camp near Menin, 
to support him, if necessary. Between these two great men 
there existed then, as ever, the most entire cordiality.! Their 

* MarHortmgh to Godolpkiu, July 83, 1708. Ck>xx, iv., 165. 
t " I need Mt UU 709. how mach I desire the nation may be afclant ea«ad 
R 2 

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WMOvaes were all taken in concord, and with such ability, 
that tibough Vend6me with a hundred thousand men lay on 
tile flank of the line of march, which extended over above 
seventy miles, not a gun was taken uot a carriage lost ; and 
the whole arrived in safety on the 12th of August at the camp 
at Helohin, whither Marlborough had goae to me»t it. So 
marvelous were the arrangements made fbt the safe conduct 
of this important convoy, and so entire their success, that they 
excited the admiration of the French, and in no shght d^ree 
augmented the alarm of their generals, who had hitherto treat- 
ed the idea of Lille being besieged with perfect derision. 
" Posterity," says the French annalist Feuqueres, " wiU scarce- 
hf beheve the fact, though it is an undoubted truth. Never 
was a great enterprise conducted with more skill and circum* 

Prince Eugene was intrusted with the conduct of the siege, 
5L while Marlborough commanded the covering army. 
SSofSe 'T^® prince commenced the investment of the place 
S§tio?of ^^ *^® 1^*^ ^ August, while Madborough remained 
SmT^^S* at Helchin, taking measures for the protection of the 
Auguat convoys, which were incessantly coming up firam 
Brussds. At length the whole, eighty-one, arrived in safety 
in the camp before Lille, amounting to one hundred and 
twenty heavy guns, forty mortars, twenty howitzers, and four 
hundred ammunition wagons. Eugene's army for the siege 
eonsisted of fifty-three battahons and ninety squadrons, in all 
about £»rty thousand men. Marlborough's covering foorce was 
sixty-nine battalions and one hundred and forty squadrcm^ 
numbering neariy sixty thousand men. But the force of the 
French was still more considerable in the field. Venddme 
and Berwick united on the 30th, on the plain between Gram- 

of a bardensome war by an bonorable peace ; and no one can judge better 
than yoorself of the nncerity of mj wishen to enjoy a little retirement at a 
place yon have contributed in a great measure to make ao desirable. I thank 
yoa for your good wishes to myself on this occasion. / dare say, Prince 
Eugene and I shall never differ about our Untrds.^-^MarUHmmgh to Mr. 
Trovers, July 30, 1708. • Com, ir., 216-919. 

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MARLBOROlf6H« 199 

mont ai«d liessiiies, and on the 2d of September advanced 
toward LUle with one hundred and forty battalions and two 
hundred and fifty squadrons, mustering one hundred thousand 
eombatants, besides twenty thousand left, under Count de la 
Motte, to cover Ghent and Bruges. But Marlborough had 
no fears for the result, and ardently longed for a general ao- 
ticHi, whi<^ he hoped would one way or other conclude the 
war. " If we have a second action," says he, '* and God 
blesses our just cause, this, in all likelihood, will be our last 
campaign ; £>r I think they would not venture a battle, but 
are resolved to submit to any condition, if the success be on 
our side ; and if they get the better, they will think them- 
selves masters ; so that, if there should be an action, it is like 
to be the last this war. If Gt)d continues on our side, we 
have nothing to fear, our troops being good, though not so nu- 
merous as theirs. I dare say, before half the troops have 
ibught, success will declare, I trust in God, on our side ; and 
then I may have what I earnestly wish for quick."* 

No sooner was Marlborough informed of the junction of 
Vend^me and Berwick, than, anticipating the di- 52. 

rection they would follow, and the point at which «rre«8 ven- 

ddme and Ber> 

they would endeavor to penetrate through to raise wick when try- 
the siege, he marched parallel to the enemy, and liege. 
arrived on the 4th of September at a position previously se> 
lected, having his right at Noyelle, and his left at Peronne. 
So correctly had he divined the designs of the able generals to 
wh<»n he was opposed, that, within two hours after he had 
tBkea up his ground, the united French army appeared in his 
front. Notwithstanding their great superiority of forces, the 
enemy, however, did not venture to attack, and the two ar- 
mies remained watching each other for the next fortnight, 
without any motement being attempted on either side.f 
Meanwhile, Eugene was actively prosecuting the siege of 
Lille. Trenches were opened on the 22d, and a heavy fire 

* Marlborough to Oodolphin, Aagost 30, 1708. Cozx, iv., S33. 
t Ditp., ir., 841-960. 

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was opened firom eighty pieces of cannon. On the following 
night, an outwork, called the Chapel of St. Magdalene, was 
stormed and taken. The second parallel was soon completed, 
and some further outworks carried ; and the whole battering 
guns having at length been mounted, a breach was efiected in 
the salient angle of one of the horn-works, and on the same 
night a lodgment was efiected. A vigorous sortie, on the 10 th 
of September, hardly retarded the progress of the operations, 
and a sap was made under the covered way. Marlborough, 
however, who visited the besiegers' lines on the 18th, express- 
ed some displeasure at the slow progress of the siege, and an- 
other assault was in consequence hazarded on the 20th of Sep- 

This assault was most obstinately resisted ; but at length 
53. the assailants overcame all opposition, and burst- 

•S^S^^fS^ ing in, carried a demi-bastion and several adjoin- 
wS^^ws' ing works, though with a loss of two thousand 
Se riTge^^on**^ men. Great as this loss was, it was rendered 
Marlborough, more severe in consequence of the temporary loss 
of one officer who fell ; for Eugene himself, trani^rted with 
ardor, had taken part in the assault, and was seriously wound- 
ed. This grievous casualty not only gave the utmost distress 
to Marlborough, but immensely augmented his labors, for it 
threw upon him at once the direction of the siege and, the 
command of the covering army. Every morning at break of 
day he was on horseback, reconnoitering Venddme's army ; 
and if all was quiet in front, he rode to the lines and directed 
the siege in person till evening, when he again returned to 
the camp of the covering force. By thus in a manner doub- 
ling himself, this great man succeeded in preventing any seri- 
ous inconvenience being experienced even &Gm so great a ca- 
tastrophe as Eugene's wound ; and he infused such vigor into 
the operations of the siege, that, on the 23d of September, 
great part of the tenaillons and a large portion of the cover- 
ed way were broken through. At the same time, the ammu- 
nition of the garrison began to fail so much, in consequence of 

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the constant fire they had kept up for a month, that Marshal 
Boufiiers sent intimation to Vend6me, that unless a supply of 
that necessary article was speedily ohtained, he would be 
obliged to surrender.* 

The French generals, aware how much the fortress was 
straitened, were meanwhile straininsr every nerve 54. 

, , , . . EfFoitB on both 

to raise the siege ; but such was the terror mspir- sides to obtain 

J -L -n/r n i 5 it i m ■ t supplies of am- 

ed by Marlborough s presence, and the skui with munition. 
which his defensive measures were taken, that they did not 
venture to hazard an attack on the covering army. A well- 
conceived project of Venddme's, however, for throwing a sup- 
ply of powder into the fortress, in part succeeded. Many of 
the horsemen engaged in this attempt were cut off, but some 
succeeded in making their way in through the allied lines ; 
and their success, and the stores which they had brought, 
raised the spirits of the garrison, and prolonged their means 
of defense. But meanwhile the ammunition of the besiegers 
was also falling short ; and as the enemy, since the concen- 
tration of Marlborough's army in front of Vend6me, had be- 
come completely masters of the communication with Brussels, 
no resource remained but to get it up from Ostend. A convoy 
was accorduigly formed there by General Erie, which set out 
on the 27th of September, and consisted of seven hundred 
wagons, escorted by General Webb and ten thousand men. 
Count de la Motte instantly set out with the troops under his 
command from the vicinity of Ghent, and came up with the 
convoy in the defile of Wynandals, when a sharp action en- 
sued. The French advanced to the attack with their wonted 
impetuosity ; but Webb's defensive arrangements were so skill- 
ful, and the fire kept up by his troops so vigorous, that the 
enemy were utterly routed ; and the convoy, forcing its way 
through the enemy's forces, reached Menin on the following 
day, and then, amid the acclamations of the whole army, 
reached the allied camp on the 30th of September.f 

* Disp., iv., 260-271. Marlborough to Godolpkin, Sept. 24, 1708. CoxK, 
iv., 243. t Marlborough to Godolphin, Oct. 1, 1708. CoxE, iv., 254. 

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The safe arrival of these gupplies gave new energy to the 
55. beeiegerB, while the recovery of Eugene reHered 
of the town of Maxlhoroogh of half the labor under whidi, to use 
tober. his own words, he had been for a £)rtnight ** rather 

dead ihaxi alive." Three days afterward the whole tenaillon 
was carried, and the troops were established directly c^posite 
the breaches of the ramparts. Meanwhile Vaad6me opened 
the sluices, and inundated the coimtry to the very borders of 
the dike, so as to intercept Marlborough's communication with 
Ostend* and prevent the arrival of stores firom it. But the 
English general defeated this device by bringing the stores up 
in flat-bottomed boats itom Ostend to Leflinghen, and thenoe 
conveying them in carriages^ mounted on very high wheels, to 
the eamp. Cadogan greatly distinguished himself in this dif* 
ficult service. At this critical juncture General Overidrk died, 
to the great regret of Mariborough, who could then iU spare 
such an ardent and patriotic spirit. Meanwhile, however, the 
siege continued to advance ; and fifty-five heavy guns thuur 
dered firom the counterscarp on the breaches, while thirty-six 
mortars swept all the works which commanded them. Find- 
ing himself unable to withstand the assault which was now 
hourly expected, Boujffiers, on the 22d of October, beat a par- 
ley and capitulated^ having sustained, with unparalleled reso* 
luti(Hi, a siege of jixty days, of which thirty were with open 
trenches, Eugene was filled with admiration at his gallant 
defense, and therefore granted the French general and his 
brave gaxrison the mofA honorable tenns. The gates were 
aurr^idered on the 23d, and the remainder of the garrison, 
still five thousand strong, retired into the citadel,* where they 
prolonged th^ defense for six weeks more. 

The fall of the external walls of Lille did not terminate the 

^ struggle £bt that important fortress. Marshal 

citadel of Lille Boufflers Still held the citadel, a stronghold in it- 

iud dirersioQ 

of vendome sdf ectual to most fortresBcs of the first order. No 
aeii. sooner, however, were the allies in possession of 

* IKigv., iY.^871. Mlttlb9rw0htoCMkflphin,Oiit,9i,nOB. Coxlc, It., 2C9, 264^ 

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the town, than the attack on the citadel commenced with all 
the vigor wliich the exhausted state of the magazines would 
permit. Detached parties were sent into France, which, by- 
levying contributions to a great extent, not only replenished 
the stores of the allies, but depressed the spirits of the French, 
by making them feel, in a manner not to be misunderstood, 
that the war had at length approached their own doors. To 
divert, if possible, Marlborough from his enterprise, the Elect- 
or of Bavaria, who had recently returned from the Rhine, 
was detached by Vendome, with fifteen thousand men, against 
Brussels, while he himself remained in his intrenched camp 
on the Scheldt, barring the road from Lille to that city, so as 
to stop the communication, and be ready to profit by any ad- 
vantage afforded by the measures which the English general 
might make for its rehef The governor of Brussels, M. Pas- 
chal, who had seven thousand men under his orders, rejected 
the summons to surrender, and prepared for a vigorous de- 
fense ; and meanwhile Marlborough prepared for its relief, by 
one of those brilliant strokes which, m so pecuhar a manner, 
characterize his campaigns. 

Giving out that he was going to separate his army into 4 

winter quarters, he dispatched the field-artillery 57, 

toward Menin, and he himself set out with his brilliant ^ 
staff in rather an ostentatious manner for Cour- dlfeataiL *^ 
tray ; but no sooner had he lulled the vigilance of the enemy 
by these steps, than, wheeling suddenly round, he advanced * 

with the bulk of his forces toward the Scheldt, and directed 
them against that part of the French general's lines where he 
knew them to be weakest. The army, upon seeing these 
movements, anticipated on the following day the bloodiest bat- 
tle they had yet had during the war ; but the skill of the En- 
ghsh general rendered resistance hopeless, and gained his ob- 
ject with wonderfully httle loss. The passage of the river 
was rapidly effected at three points ; and the French corps 
stationed at Oudenarde were vigoroixsly assailed and driven 
back on Grammont, vdth the loss of twelve hundred men, so 

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as to leave the road uncovered, and the communication with 
Brussels unimpeded. Having thus cleared the way, Marlbor- 
ough cent back Eugene to resume the siege of the citadel of 
Lille, while he himself, with the greater part of his forces, 
proceeded on to Brussels, which he entered in triumph on the 
29th of November. The Elector of Bavaria was too happy 
to escape, leaving his guns and wounded behind ; and the cit- 
adel of Lille at length, despairing of succor, capitulated on the 
11th of December. Thus was this memorable campaign 
terminated by the capture of the strongest frontier fcnrtress of 
France, under the eyes of its best general and most powerful 

But Marlborough, Hke Oeesar, deemed nothing done while 
M 1^ h ^^^ ^^^g remained to do. Nihil actum credens, 
recovers dzMTi quid su/peresset asendtmi. Though his troops 

Ghent 2d t^Tji. i.- ^ n -T - , 

Jan.. 1709. Were exhausted by marching and fightmg almost 
without intermission for five months, and he himself was la- 
boring under severe illness in consequence of his fatigues, he 
resolved, in the depth of winter, to make an attempt for the 
recovery of Ghent, the loss of which in the early part of the 
campaign had been the subject of such deep mortification. 
The enemy, after the citadel of Lille capitulated, had natu- 
rally broken up their army into cantonments, under the be- 
lief that the campaign was concluded ; but Marlborough sud- 
denly collected his forces, and drew round Ghent on the 18th 
of December. Eugene formed the covering force with the 
corps lately employed in the reduction of Lille. The garrison 
was very strong, consisting of no less than thirty battalions 
and nineteen squadrons, mustering eighteen thousand combat- 
ants.! The governor had been instructed by Vendome to 
defend this important stronghold to the last extremity ; but 
he was inadequately suppUed with provisions and forage, and 

* Marlborough to Mr. Secretary Boyk, 17th of December, 1708. Dup,, 
iv., 362. 

t DUp., iv., 31^^23-345. Marlborougk to Duke de Mole, 10th of Decern- 
ber, 1708. Ibid., 346. Coxe, iv., 278. 

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the result signally belied the expectations formed of his resist- 
ance. The approaches were vigorously pushed. On the 24th 

the trenches were opened ; on the 2oth a sortie was repulsed ; 
on the 28th of December the fire began with great vigor from 
the breaching and mortar batteries ; and at noon the governor . 
sent a flag of truce, offering to capitulate if not relieved before 
the 2d of January. This was agreed to ; and on the latter 
day, as no friendly force approached, the garrison opened their 
gates and marched out, in such strength that they were de- 
filing incessantly from ten in the morning till seven at 
night I* 

Bruges immediately followed this example ; the garrison 
capitulated, and the town again hoisted the Aus- |^- 
trian flaff. The minor forts of Plassendael and concludes the 

° ^ ^ campaign, 

Leffiuffhen were immediately evacuated by the en- and again re- 

,. -, , . . fusee the gov- 

emy. With such expedition were these important emment of 
operations conducted, that before Vendome could lands. 
even assemble a force adequate to interrupt the besiegers' op- 
erations, both towns were taken, and the French were entire- 
ly dispossessed of all the important strongholds they had gain- 
ed in the early part of the campaign in the heart of Brabant. 
Having closed his labors with these glorious successes, Marl- 
borough put the army into winter quarters, now rendered se- 
cure on the Flemish frontiers, and himself repaired to the 
Hague to resume his usual contest with the timidity and 
selfishness of the Dutch allies. Thus had Marlborough the 
glory, in one campaign, of defeating in a pitched battle the 
best general and most powerful army possessed, by France, 
and capturing its strongest frontier fortress, the masterpiece 
of Vauban, under the eyes of one hundred and twenty thou- 
sand men assembled from all quarters for its relief He put 
the keystone at the same time into tliis arch of glory by again 
declining the magnificent offer of the government of the Low 
Countries, with its appointment of sixty thousand a year for 

• MarUforough to Mr. Secretary Boyk, 3d of January, 1709. Dup., iv., 


^^ ^ Digitizec^ by Google 

206 THE LIFE or 

life, a lecond time preiasd upon him hj King Cbailat, fimm 
aa apprehension that saeh an ofier might giye umbrage to the 
government of Holland, or exdte jealousy in the queen's gov- 
ernment at home.* 

Such was the memorable campaign of 1708, (me ot the 
00. most glorious in the military annals of England, 
^[^Sfd^ and the ime in which the extraordinary capacity 
mtf^t^ of the British general perhaps shone forth with 
Sariboroufh. the brightest lustwf. The vigor and talent of Ven- 
dAme, joined to the secret communication which he had with 
those disaffected to the Austrian government in Ghent and 
Bruges, procured for him, in the commencement of the cam- 
paign, a great, and what, if opposed by less abihty, might 
have proved a decisive advantage. By the acquisition c^ 
these towns, he gained the immense advantage of obtaining 
the entire command of the water c(»nmunication of Brabant, 
and estabhdiing himself in a sohd manner in the heart oi the 
enemy's territory. The entire eaqpulacm oi the allies from 
Austrian Flanders seined the unavmdaUe result of such a 
success, by so enterprismg a g&aeral at the head of a hundred 
thousand combatants. But Marlb(»ough was not discour* 
aged ; on the contrary, he built on the enemy's early successes 
a course of maneuvers, which in the end wrested all his con- 
quests fimn him, and inflicted a series of disasters greater than 
eould poesiUy have been antidpated from a campaign of un- 
broken success. 

Boldly assuming the lead, he struck such a Uow at Onden- 
ox. aide as resounded from one end of EurqM to the 
^^^^ other, infused a terror into the enemy ttom which 
m/cSpS^ they never recovered during the remainder of the 
^ "^ campaign, paralyzed Venddme in the midst of his 

success, and reduced him from a vigorous oSsumye to a pain- 

* "Yoa wifl ilad me, my prfauM, tlvnyn ready to renew the patent ^ 
the govermnent of the Low Coontriei formerly f ent to yon, and to extend 
it for your J^J'-^^ing Ckariet ta MaHbotvugh, Avgoft 8, ITOi. Coxx, 
ir^ 345. 

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fill defensiye struggle. While the cabinet of Versailles were 
dreaxning ci expelling the allies from Flanders, and detaching 

Holland, partly Iby intrigue, partly by force of arms, from the 
coalition, he boldly entered the territory of the Grand Mo- 
narque, laid siege to his chief frontier fortress, and captured it 
in sight of his greatest army commanded by his best general. 
In vain was the water communication of the Netherlands in- 
terrupted by the enemy's possession of Ghent and Bruges ; 
with incredible activity he got together, and with matchless 
skill conducted to the besiegers' lines before Lille, a huge con- 
voy fifteen miles long, drawn by sixteen thousand horses, in 
the very teeth of Vend6me, at the head of a hundred and 
twenty thousand men. Lille captured, Ghent and Bruges 
recovered, the alhed standards solidly planted on the walls of 
the strongest fortress of France, terminated a campaign in 
which the British, overmatched and surrounded by lukewarm 
or disaffected friends, had wellnigh lost at the outset by for- 
eign treachery all the fruits of the victory of RamilHes. 

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The glorious termination of this campaign, and, above all, 
1. ^ the addition made to the immediate security of 
renewed (&- Holland by the recovery of Ghent and Bruges, 
allied coima. sensibly augmented Marlborough's influence at 
the Hague, and at length overcame the timidity and vacil- 
lation of the Dutch government. When the English gen- 
eral repaired there in the beginning of 1709, he quickly over- 
awed the adherents of France, regained liis wonted influence 
over the mind of the Pensionary Heinsius, and at length suc- 
ceeded in persuading the government and the States to aug- 
ment their forces by six thousand men. This, though by no 
means so great an accession of niunbers as was required to 
meet the vast efforts which France was making, was still a 
considerable addition ; and by the influence of Prince Eugene, 
who was well aware that the principal effort of the enemy in 
the next campaign would be made in the Netherlands, he ob- 
tained a promise that the Imperial troops should winter there, 
and be recruited, so as to compensate their losses in the pre- 
ceding campaign. Great difficulties were experienced with 
the court of Turin, which had conceived the most extrava- 
gant hopes from the project of an invasion of France on the 
side both of Lyons and Franche Comte, and for this purpose 
demanded a large subsidy in money, and the aid of fifty thou- 
sand men, under Prince Eugene, to operate on the Upper 

Marlborough was well aware, from past experience, of the 
little reUance to be placed on any military operations in 


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which the emperor and the Italian powers were to 2. 
be placed in co-operation. He waa therefore far idSs^o^Se 
from sanguine ,of the success of their design ; but S^Sa and 
as it was material ^ keep the cowff. of Turin in '^'^°* 
good-humor, he gave the proposal the most respectful atten- 
tion, and sent General Palmer on a special mission to the 
Duke of Savoy, to arrange the plan of the proposed irruption 
into the Lyonnois. With the cabinet of Berlin the difficul- 
ties were greater than ever, and, in fact, had become so ui^- 
ent, that nothing but the presence of the English general, or 
an immediate agent from liim, could prevent Prussia from se- 
ceding altogether from the alliance. General Grumbkow 
was sent there accordingly in March, and found the king in 
such ill humor at the repeated disappointments he had expe- 
rienced from the emperor and the Dutch, that he declared he 
could only spare three battalions for the approaching cam- 
paign.* By great exertions, however, and the aid of Marl- 
borough's letters and influence, the king was at length pre- 
vailed on to continue his present troops in the Low Countries, 
and to increase them by fourteen squadrons of horse. t 

But it was not on the Continent only that open enemies or 
lukewarm and treacherous friends were striving to 3. 

arrest the course of Marlborough s victories. His ception from 
difficulties at home, both with his own party and England, and 

, . , 11- • T .' mission to 

his opponents, were hourly increasmg ; and it was the Hague. 
already foreseen that they had become so formidable that, at no 
very remote period, they would cause his fall. Though he M'as 
publicly thanked, as well he might, by both houses of Parlia- 
ment, when he came to London on the 1st of March, 1709, 

* " ' Can I do more than I do now V said the king. 'I make treaties, bat 
the emperor breaks his word with me, as well as Holland, every moment. 
Besides, it is impossible, without great inconvenience, to give more than 
three battalions ; and he is a wretch who would advise me otherwise.' I 
aaid he was a wretch who should advise him not to do it. He replied, 
' You speak very boldly, and may perhaps repent it, if your arguments are 
not conclusive.* " — General Grximbkow to Marlborough, March 9, 1709, 
CoxB, iv., 341. 

t King of Prussia to Marlborough, March 9, 1709. Coxe, iv., 346. 



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yet he received ^o mark of fkvor from the queen, and was 
treated with studied coldness at court.* Envy, the insepara- 
ble attendant on exalted merit — ^ingratitude, the usual result 
of irrequitable services, ^had oompl^tely alienated the qUeea 
from him. Mrs. Masham omitted nothing which could alien* 
ate her royal mistress from so fermidable a rival ; and it was 
hard to say whether she was most cordially aided in her e^rts 
by the open Opposition, or the half Tory- Whigs who formed 
the administration. Both Grodolphin and the duke speedily 
found that they were merely tolerated in office ; while, in or- 
der to weaken their influence with the people, every efibrt was 
made to depreciate even the glorious victories which had shed 
such imperi^able luster over the British Arms. Deeply mor* 
tified by this ingratitude, Marlborough gladly embraced an 
offer which was made to him by the government, in order to 
remove him from court, to conduct the negotiation now pend* 
ing at the Hague with Louis XIV. for the conclusion of a gen." 
eral peaoe.f 

The pride of the French monarch was now so much hum« 
4. bled that he sent the President Rouil6 to Holland, 
2oM o^Sd^ "with public instructions to ofier terms to the allies, 
by Louis. ^^^ private directions to do every thing possible to 
BOW dissensions among them, and, if possible, detach Holland 
from the alliance. His proposals were to give up Spain, thd 
Indies, and the Milanese to King Charles, and cede the Ital- 
ian islands, reserving Naples and Sicily for his grandson. In 
the Netherlands and Germany, he ofiered to restore matters 
to the state in which they were at the peace of Ryswiok ; 
and though he was very reluctant to give up Lille, he ofiered 
to cede Menin in its place. These terms being communicated 

* In oommnnicating the thanki of the Home of Lordf . the ohaneellor said, 
*' I ihall not be tboogbt to exceed my present oomnussion, i^ being tfaos led 
to oontempUte the mighty thiogf which yoor grace haa done finr as, I caa 
not but conclude with acknowledging, with all gratitude, the providence of 
God Ln raising yoo np to be an instrament of so much good, in so oritioal a 
Jonctare, when it was so much wanted."— ^0X£, iv., 375. 

t CSXX, iv., 352-366-^77. 

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to the court of London^ they returned an answer in8i«ting on 
the restoration of the whole Spanish monarchy to the house 
of Austria, the acknowledgment of the title of Queen Anne 

to the crown of England, and the Protestant succession, the 
removal of the Pretender, the destruction of the harbor of 
Dunkirk, and that an adequate barrier should be secured to 
the Dutch. In their ideas upon this barrier, however, they 
went much beyond what Marlborough was disposed to sanc- 
tion, and he therefore maintained a prudent reserve on the 
subject. As the French plenipotentiary could not agree to 
these terms, Marlborough returned to England, and Lord 
Townsend was associated with him as plenipotentiary. They 
were instructed to insist that Fumes, Ypres, Menin, Lille, 
Toumay, Conde, Valenciennes, and Maubeuge, should be giv- 
'en up to form a barrier, and that Newfoundland and Hudson's 
Bay should be restored. Alarmed at the exaction of such rig- 
orous terms, Louis sent M. de Torcy, who made large conces- 
sions ; and Marlborough, who was seriously desirous of bring- 
ing the war to a conclusion, exerted all his influence with the 
States to induce them to accept the barrier offered. He so 
far succeeded, that on the very day after his return to the 
Hague, he wrote both to Lord Godolphin and the Duchess of 
Marlborough, that he had prevailed on the Dutch commission- 
ers to accede to the principal articles, and that he had no doubt 
the negotiation would terminate in an honorable peace.* 

These flattering prospects, however, were soon overcast. 
The Dutch renewed their demand of having their 5. 

barrier strengthened at the expeme of Austria, J/LoStobriS 
and insisted that the Flemish fortress of Dender- ^^iborough. 

* '* M. De Torcy has offered so much, that I have no doubt it will end in a 
good ^QBce" ^Marlborough to Godolphin, 19th of May, 1707. 

"Every thing goes on so well here, that there is no doubt of its ending in 
a good peace. Grovemment have in readiness the sideboard of plate, and 
the chairs of state and canopy ; and I beg it may be made so as to form 
part of a bed when I am done with it here, which I hope may he hy the end 
of this summer, so that I may enjoy your dear society in quiet, which is the 
greatest satisfaction I am capable of hsivm^." ^Marlborough to the Zhichesa, 
mh of May, 1709. CoxK, iv., 393. 

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monde and Ghent, forming part of the Imperial dommionB^ 
should be included in it. To this both Eugene and Marlbor- 
ough objected, and the Dutch, in spite, revised to stipulate finr 
the demoUtion of Dunkirk. So violent an altercation took 
place on the subject between the Pensionary Heinsius and 
MarlbOTough, that it had wellnigh produced a schism in the 
Grand Alliance. M. de Torcy at first endeavored to mitigate 
the demands of the Dutch government ; but, finding them Al- 
together immovable, he addressed himself privately to Marl- 
borough, ofiering him enormous bribes if he could procmre 
more favorable terms for France. The ofiers were 2,00Q,000 
Hvres (£80,000) if he could secure Naples and Sicily, ot even 
Naples alone, for the grandson of the King of France ; and 
4,000»000 livres (£160,000) if, in addition to this, he could 
save Strasburg, Dunkirk, and Landau for France. Marlbor- 
ough turned away from the disgracefiil proposal with coldness 
and contempt,* but enforced in the most earnest maimer (hl 
the French king the prudence and even necessity of yielding 
to the profiered terms, if he would save his country fix)m dis- 
memberment, and himself firom' ruin. His efibrts, however, 
to bring matters to an accommodation with France proved in- 
e&actual, and, after some weeks spent in proposals and counter- 
proposals, the ultimatum of the allies was finally delivered to 
the French plenipotentiary by the Pensionary of HoUand.f 
By this ultimatum, Charles was to be acknowledged King 
6. of Spain and the Indies, and the whole Spanish 
of the allies, monarchy was to be ceded by France. All the con- 
Jcted^^ quests of Louis in the Low Countries were to be 
^^^'^^ given up ; the Duke of Anjou was to surr^ider Spain 
and Sicily in two months, and if these kingdoms were not 
then delivered, Louis was to concur vrith the allies for his 
expulsion. The barrier towns, so eagerly coveted by the 
Dutch, were to be given up to them. Namur, Menin, XUhar- 
leroi, Luxembourg, Cond6, Toumay, Maubeuge, Nieuport, 

* Mitnoire M. de Torcy, ii., 104^11. 

t Swift's Conduct of the Allies, 72. Cox», ir., 395-415. 

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Fismes, and Ypres, were to be put into the possession of the 
allies. De Torcy objected to the articles regarding the cession 

of the whole Spanish monarchy in two months, though he de- 
clared his willingness to go to Paris, in order to persuade the 
French monarch to comply with them, and actually set off 
for that purpose. On the way to the French capital, how- 
ever, he was met by a messenger from the French king, who 
rejected the proposals. ** If I must continue the war," said 
Louis, with a spirit worthy of his race, " it is better to contend 
with my enemies than my own family." So firmly had it 
been beheved, both at the Hague and in London, that peace 
was not only probable, but actually concluded, that letters of 
congratulation poured in on the duke from all quarters, cele- 
brating his dexterity and address in negotiation not less than 
his prowess in arms. So confident, indeed, was Marlborough 
that peace would be concluded, that he was grievously disap- 
pointed by the rupture of the negotiations ; and never ceased 
to strive, during the whole summer, to smooth away difficul- 
ties, and bring the allies to such terms as the French king 
would accept. He was overruled, however, by the ministry 
at home, who concluded the celebrated barrier treaty with 
the Dutch, which Marlborough refused to sign, and which was 
accordingly signed by TowTisend alone, without his concur- 
rence I And it is now decisively proved by the publication of 
his private correspondence with Lord Godolphin, that he dis- : 
approved of the severe articles insisted upon by the aUies antjl^ 
his own cabinet ; and that if the uncontrolled management of 
the negotiation had been committed to him, it would have 
been brought to a favorable issue on terms highly advantageous 
to England, and wliich would have prevented the treaty of 
Utrecht from forming a stain on its aim.als.* 

* " I have as nrnch mistrast for Ui© sincerity of France as any body living 
can have ; but I will own to you, that in my opinion, if France had delivered 
the towns promised by the plenipotentiaries, and demolished Dunkirk and 
the other towns mentioned, they must have been at our discretion ; so that 
if they had played tricks, so much the worse for themselves."' — Marlhor- 
oug-h io Lord Godolpkiiiy June 10, 1709. Coxe, iv., 405. , y- 


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The rigorous tenna demanded, howevwr, if the allied cah- 
7. iiiets, and the lesoidte eondoet of the King of France 
SiSuta'tjr i^ rejecting them, had an important effect upon the 
MvvFmice. .^^^^^ g^^ called for more vigonms efibrts on the 
part of the confederates than they had yet put forth, or were 
even now disposed to make. Lotus made a touching appeal 
to the patriotic spirit of his people^ in an doquent circular 
which he addressed to the prelates and noUes of his reahn. 
He there set ferth the great sacrifice which he had o^red to 
make to secure a generfd peace ; showed how willing be had 
heen to divest hims^ of all his conquests, and abandon all 
his dreams ci ambition ; and concluded by observing, that he 
was now compelled to continue the contest, because the allies 
insisted upon his descending to the humiliation of joining his 
armies to theirs, for the purpose of die^wssessing his own grand- 
scm. The appeal was not made in vain to the fipirit <^a gal- 
lant nobility, and the patriotism of a brave people. It kindled 
a flame of general enthusiasm and loyalty. All ranks and 
parties vied with each other in contributing ibm property 
and personal service for the maintenance of the war ; and the 
campaign which opened under such disastrous auspices, was 
commenced with a degree of energy and imanimity on the 
part of the French people which had never hitherto been 
evinced in the course of the contest.*' As afterward, in the 
wars of the Revoluti<Mi, too, the misfortunes of the state tend- 
ed to the mcrease of its military forces. The sttoppage of 
commerce, and diock to credit, threw numbers out of empby- 
ment; and starving multitudes crowded to the fixmtiw, to 
find that subsistence amid the dangers oi war which they 
could no longer find in the occupations of peace.f 

Skillfully availing themselves of this burst of patriotic fer- 
®- . ^ vor, the ministers of Louis were enabled to open 

Forcesonbolb /» i t , -i 

•idetattfae the campaign with greater forces than they had 

cn^ailn. cver Collected since the beginning of the war. The 

principal efibrt was made in Flanders, where the chief danger 

* Coxx, ir., 401. t Cafstkiux, Hutoire de Louis XI V^ ri, 42-iS. 

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was to be apprehended, and the enemy's most powerful army 
and greatest general were to be faced. Fifty-one battalions 
and forty-nine squadrons were drawn from the E/hine to Flan- 
ders ; and this large re-enforcement, joined to the crowds of 
recruits which the public distress impelled to his standards, ■ 
enabled the renowned Marshal Villars, who had received the 
command of the French, to take the field at the head of one 
hundred and twelve thousand men. With this imposing 
force, he took a position, strong both by nature and art, ex- 
tending from Douay to the Lye, the right resting on the canal 
of Douay, the center covered by the village of La Bassie, the 
left supported by Bethune and its circumjacent marshes. The 
whole line was strengthened by redoubts and partial inunda- 
tions. Never at any former period had France sent such an 
army into the field ; never had she one animated with so en- 
thusiastic and gallant a spirit. The soldiers, equally with the 
nobles, were aware that this was the last effort for the inde- 
pendence of France. All felt, in the words afterward used by 
Napoleon at Waterloo, *' that the moment had arrived when 
it behooved every Frenchman to conquer or die." 

Aware of the great augmentation of the enemy's force which 
was in progress in Flanders, seeing clearly that it ^■ 
was there that the vital point of the contest was efiorts to obtain 
to be, and not less convinced of the necessity of tion of force ia 

„ n T • thel-owCoun- 

re-emorcements to stem the progress oi disaster m tries. 
Spain, Marlborough made the most vigorous efforts to obtain, 
both from the British government and the alhed powers, an 
increase of forces for carrying on the war. He knew well 
that the enemy was bringing forth his last reserve ; that the 
ban and a?'riere-ban of France was in the field ; that this was 
their final effort ; and that victory in this protracted struggle 
•would remain with the party in war, as in a battle, which 
could throw in a reserve, to which the enemy had nothmg at 
the moment to oppose. By dint of vigorous representations, 
and by still having the majority of the cabinet and House of 
'«# • * Commons on his side, though in a minority at court, he suc- 



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ceeded in obtaining a re-enforcement of ten thousand men to 
the English army ; and the supplies voted for the ensuing 
year reached the unprecedented, and, as it was then thought, 
enormous amount of £7,000,000 sterling.* But the other 
powers could not be prevailed on to make any similar addi- 
tions to their contingents : and so little was the Britidi gov- 
ernment aware of the necessity of augmenting the forces at 
the vital point, that instead of making any addition to their 
troops in the Netherlands, they proposed to tvithdraw seven 
regiments from Antwerp, and send them to Spain. Marlbor- 
ough expressed, as well he might, the utmost uneasiness at 
this extravagant proposal : a proposal which shows what so 
many other events in English history demonstrate, how igno- 
rant its government in general is of the first principles of mil- 
itary operations.* 

But aU that he could obtain from the British government 

* CoxE, iv., 351. 

t " I received last night the favor of yours of the 7th of Janaary, in which 
you coDtinae of opinion that the seven regiments at Antwerp shoald be sent 
to England. I can say no more on that subject You will see what the in- 
closed letter sayt as to the designs of France. As they draw their troops 
from all parts to strengthen their army in this country, if we, at the same 
time, are to be obliged to leave our troops where they can not be of much 
ttse, therp can be no doubt but at length my Lard Favenham loill be grat- 
ified by our being beaten, for so great a superiority toiU undo us. I am of 
your opinion, that one reason for the enemy marching their troops from all 
parts so early into this country is in hope they may incline the Dutch to 
hearken to fieaoeJ' ^Marlborough to Godolphin, Brussels, Feb. 7, 1710. 
CoXE, iv., 372. Again : " I know not what you may reason in England, but 
I am fully persuaded that it is of the last consequence to have the troops of 
Wirtemberg and the seven regiments serve in this country in the next cam- 
paign ; for with those all the troops that we may be able to get for the sum 
of money voted by Parliament for the troops of augmentation, will fall very 
much short of the number of men the enemy will have in this country. Is 
it possible that men of good sense, and that mean sincerely well to the com- 
mon cause, cad be in the least doubt, that if the enemy make their greatest, 
indeed their only effort in this country, we most do the same, or expect to 
be beaten ! which I pray Almighty God to avert, for it would be a fatal blow. 
If any orders have been sent for the mart:h of these seven regiments, 1 do 
niost earnestly beg you will lay before her majesty and the lords of the c*- 
met my apprehensions." ^Marlborough to the Lord Treasurer, BrusseUL 
l'ebruaryll,l710. CoxE, iv., 37S. 

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was a promise that the seven battaHons should be lo. 

retained in Flanders, and should not be removed il^g^i5i\re par- 
at the commencement of the campaign in the Low fta.'Tht forces 
Countries. At the same time, he made such vig- *^ ^^ diaposaL 
orous representations to the Dutch ministry of the danger of 
taking the field with an inferior force/ that he succeeded in 
obtaining a re-enforcement of four thousand Wirtemberghers, 
in their pay, who were to be drawn from the Rhine. Yet 
w^ith all this he was still inferior to the enemy when the cam- 
paign commenced ; and but for the re-enforcements thus tar- 
dily yielded to his urgent representations, he would have been 
so much so, that the campaign, so far from leading to a pros- 
perous result, would m all probability have terminated in 
nothing but disaster.* At length, however, Marlborough 
took the field at the head of one himdred and ten thousand 
men ; and although his force was composed of a heterogeneous 
mixture of the troops of different nations, yet, like the colltivies 
(minium gentium which followed the standards of Hannibal, 
it was held together by the firm bond of military success, and 
inspired with that unbounded confidence which is founded on 
experience of the resources and capacity of its chief Events 
of the greatest and most interesting kind could not but be an- 
ticipated, from the contest of two armies of such magnitude, 
headed by such leaders, and when the patriotic ardor of the 
French nation, now roused to the uttermost, was matched 
against the military strength of the confederates, matured by 
a series of victories so long and brilliant.! 

Though relying with confidence on the skill and intrepidity 
of his troops, Marlborough, according, to his usual n. 

system, resolved, if possible, to circumvent the meUmStode- 
enemy by maneuvcrmg, so as to reserve nis hard 
blows for the time when success was to be won in no other 
way. His design was to begin the campaign either with a 
general battle or by the reduction of Tournay, lying on the 
direct road from Brussels by Mons to Paris, which would 
* CoxE, iv,, 371, 372 ^ t Ibid., L, 5. 

T K 

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break through, in the most important part, the harrier for- 
tresses. To prepare for either event, and divert the enemy's 
attention, strong demonstrations were made against yi^ar8'» 

intrenched position. If it had been praclicabie, he would have 
been attacked ; but after a close reconiioiter, both generals 
deemed it too hazardous an enterprise, and it was resolved to 
besiege the fortress. On the 23d of June, the right under 
Eugene crossed the lower Dyle below Lille ; while the left, 
with which were the whole English and Dutch contingents, 
crossed the upper Dyle, and Marlborough fixed his head-quar- 
ters at the castle of Looz. So threatening were the masses 
which the allies now accumulated in his front, that Villars 
never doubted he was about to be attacked ; and, in conse- 
quence, he strengthened his position to the utmost of his power, 
called in ail his detachments, and drew considerable re-en- 
forcements from the garrisons of Tournay and the other for- 
tresses in his vicinity. 

Having thus fixed his antagonist's attention, and concen- ' 
12. trated his force in his intrenched lines between Douav 

And lays '' 

eiege to aud Bcthunc, Marlborough suddenly moved off to the 
£7thjune. left, in the direction of Tournay. This w^as done, 
however, with every imaginable precaution to impose upon the 
enemy. The allied army decamped at nightfall on the 27th *^ 
in dead silence, and advanced part of the night straight toward ♦ 
the French lines ; but at two in the morning, the troops w^ere 
suddenly halted, wheeled to the left, and marched in two col- ^ 
umns, by Pont a Bovines and Pont a Tressins, toward Tour- • p 
nay. So expeditiously was the change in the line of march 
managed, and so complete the surprise, that by seven in the 
morning the troops were drawn round Tournay, and the i^- . 
vestment complete, while half of the garrison being absent in * 
the lines of Marshal Villars, it was thereby rendered incapable 
of making any effectual defense. Meanwhile, that commander 
was so deceived, that he was congratulating himself that the 
enemy had '* fixed on the siege of Tournay, wliich should oc- • 
cupy them the whole remainder of the campaign, when it is "• 

W . ^# « - • Digitized by VjOO^IC 

MilllLBOROUGH. 219 

evident their design had been, after defeating me, to thunder 
against Aire la Yenant with their heavy artillery, penetrate 
as far as Boulogne, and, after laying all Picardy under contri- 
bution, push on even to Paris."* 

Toumay is an old town, the ancient walls of which are of 
wide circuit ; but it had a series of advanced works i ^ 
erected by Vauban, and its citadel, a regular pentar ofTouniay. 
gon, was considered by the great Conde as one of the most 
perfect specimens of modem fortification in existence. So Httle 
did the governor expect their approach, that many of the of- 
ficers were absent, and a detachment of the garrison, sent out 
to forage, were made prisoners by General Lumley, who com- 
manded the investing corps. The fortifications, however, 
were in the best state, and the magazines well stored with 
ammunition and military stores. It was the ancient capital 
of the Nervii, so celebrated for their valor in the wars with 
Caesar ; and an inscription on its walls testified that Louis 
XIV., after taking it in four days, had assisted in the con- 
struction of additional works which it was supposed would 
render it impregnable. The attempt to take such a place 
with a force no greater than that which Villars had at hand 
to interrupt the operations, would have been an enterprise of 
the utmost temerity, and probably terminated in disaster, had 
it not been for the admirable skill with which the attention 
of the enemy had been fixed on another quarter, and the siege 
commenced with one half of its garrison absent, and the other 
imperfectly supplied with provisions.! 

The heavy artillery and siege equipage required to be 
brought up the Scheldt firom Ghent, which in the ^, 14. 
outset occasioned some delay in the operations. Marl- capture of 

-.IT T • T-t 1 thattown, 

borough commanded the attacking, Eugene the cov- 29th July. 
ering forces. By the 6th of July, however, the approaches 
were commenced; on the 10th the battering train arrived, 

• MSm. de Viliars, ii., 63. Marlborough to GodolpUn, June 27, 1709. 
CoxK, iv., 5, 6. 

t Marlborough to Mr. Secretary BoyU, 27th of Jane, 1709. Ptsp., iv., 
520. CoxE, v., 7, 8. 

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and the trenches were armed ; repeated sallies of the enemy 
to interrupt the operations were repulsed, and several of the 
outworks were carried between that time and the 21st, on 
which last occasion the besiegers succeeded in establishing 
themselves in the covered w^ays. The breaching batteries 
continued to thunder with terrible effect upon the walls ; and 
on the 27th, a strong horn-work, called the Seven Fountains, 
was carried, and the alhes were masters of nearly the whole 
line of the counterscarp. Meanwhile, ViUars made no seri- 
ous movement to interrupt the besiegers, contenting liimself 
with making demonstrations between the Scarpe and the 
Scheldt to alarm the covering forces. Eugene, however, 
narrowly watched all his proceedings ; and, in truth, the 
French marshal, far from really intending to disquiet the allies 
in their operations, was busied with an immense army of pi- 
oneers and laborers in constructing a new set of lines from 
Don ay along the Scarpe to the Scheldt near Conde, in order 
to arrest their progress in the direction they had now taken. 
Seeing no prospect of being relieved, the governor, on the 29th, 
surrendered the town, and retii'ed with the i-emains of the 
garrison, still four thousand strong, into the citadel.* 

On the surrender of the tovni, no time was lost in prosecu- 

15. ting operations against the citadel, and the line of 

citedeiand circumvallation was traced out that very evening. 

chance^'''^ But this undertaking proved more difficult than had 

been expected, and several weeks elapsed before any material 

* Marlborough to Lord Galway, 4th of July, 1709 ; and to the QMec«,29th 
of July, 1709. Disp., iv., 530 and 556. Coxe, v., 8-13. Marlborough's pri- 
vate letters to the duchess at this period, as, indeed, throughout all his cam- 
paigns, prove bow tired he was of the war, and how ardently he sighed for 
repose at Blenheim. "The taking of the citadel of Toumay will, I fear, 
cost us more men and time than that of the town ; but that which gives me 
the greatest prospect for the happiness of being with you is, that certainly 
the misery of France increases, which must bring us a peace. The misery 
of the poor people we see is such, that one must be a brute not to pity 
them. May you be ever happy, and I enjoy some few yeara of quiet with 
you, is what I daily pray for." — Marlborough to the Duchess, July 30, 1709. 
Coxfi, v., 12. 


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progress was made in the operations, during which Villars 
made good use of his time in completing his new lines to cover 
Valenciemies and Conde . The garrison of the citadel, though 
unequal to the defense of the town of Toumay, was quite ad- 
equate to that of the citadel ; and the vast mines with which 
the whole outworks and glacis were perforated, rendered the 
approaches in the liighest degree perilous and difficult. The 
governor, M. De SurviHe, proposed, on the 5th of August, to 
capitulate in a month if not relieved ; and to this proposition 
Marlborough and Eugene, with praiseworthy humanity, at 
once agreed ; but the King of France refused to ratify the 
terras proposed, unless the suspension of arms was made gen- 
eral to the whole Netherlands, to which the allied general 
would not accede. The military operations consequently 
went on, and soon acquired a degree of horror hitherto unpar- 
alleled even in that long and bloody contest. 

The art of countermining, and of counteracting the danger 
of mines exploding, was then very imperfectly un- i6. 

derstood, though that of besieging above ground troops at tiie 

1-11 r subterraneous 

had been brought to the very highest degree oi per- warfare, 
fection. The soldiers, in consequence, entertained a great and 
almost superstitious dread of the perils of that subterraneous 
warfare, where prowess and courage were alike unavailing, 
and the bravest, equally vdth the most pusillanimous, were 
hable to be at any moment bioviaa into the air, or smothered 
under ground, by the explosions of an imseen, and, therefore, 
appalling enemy. The allies M^ere inferior in regular sappers 
and miners to the besieged, who were singularly well supphed 
with that important arm of the service. The ordinary sol- 
diers, how brave soever in the field, evinced a repugnance at 
engaging in this novel and terrific species of warfare ; and it 
was only by the officers personally visiting the trenches in the 
very hottest of the fire, and offering high rewards to the sol- 
diers who would enter into the mines, that men could be got 
to venture on the perilous service.* 

* DuMONT's Military History, ii., 104. Coxe, v., 15, 16. . 
T 2 

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It was not surprising that even the bravest of the alHcd 
17. troops were appalled at the new and extraordina- 

rS-r^uffS ry dangers which now awaited them, for they were 
15-23. truly of the most formidable description. What 

rendered them peculiarly so was, that the perils in a pecuHar 
maimer affected the bold and the forward. The first to 
mount a broach, to effect a lodgment in a horn-work, to pene- 
trate into a mine, was sure to perish. First a hollow, rum- 
bling noise was heard, which Iroze the bravest hearts with 
horror ; a violent rush as of a subterraneous cataract succeed- 
ed ; and inunediately the earth heaved, and whole companies, 
and even battalions, were destroyed in a frightful explosion. 
On the 15th of August a sally by M. De Surville was brave- 
ly repulsed, and the besiegers, pursuing their advantage, effect- 
ed a lodgment in the outwork ; but immediately a mine was 
sprung, and a hundred and fifty men were blown into the air. 
In the night between the 16th and 17th, a long and fiirious 
conflict took place below ground and in utter daritness, be- 
tween the contending parties, which at length terminated to 
the advantage of the besiegers.* On the 23d a mine was 
discovered, sixty feet long by twenty broad, which would have 
blown up a whole battahon of Hanoverian troops placed above 
it ; but while the allies were in the mine, congratulating 
themselves on the discovery, a mine below it was suddenly 
sprung, and all within the upper one were buried in the ru- 
ins. On the night of the 25th, three hundred men, posted iu 

* A very striking incident occurred in the siege, which shows to what a 
height the heroic spirit with which the troops were animated had risen. 
An officer commanding a detachment was sent by Lord Albemarle to occu- 
py a certain lunette which had been captured from the enemy ; and though 
it was concealed from the men, the commander told the oflScer he had 
every reason to believe the post was undermined, and that the party would 
be blown up. Knowing this, he proceeded with perfect calmness to the 
place of his destination ; and when provisions and wine were served out to 
the men, he desired them to fill their calashes, and said, " Here is a health 
to those who die the death of tlie brave." The mine was immediately after 
sprung ; but, fortmiately, the explosion failed, and his comrades survived to 
relate their commander's noble oonduct. 

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mAHlborough. 2Zo 

a large mine discovered to the allies by an inhabitant of Tonr- 
nay, were crushed in a similar manner by the explosion of an- 
other mine directly below ; and on the same night, one hmid- 
red men posted in the town ditch were suddenly buried UTider 
a bastion blown out upon them. 

Great was the dismay which these dreadful and unheard- 
of disasters produced among the allied troops. But le. 
at length the resolution and energy of Marlbor- ia^t length tal- 
bugh and Eugene triumphed over every obstacle. ^°' ^*^^** ^' 
Early on the morning of the 31st of August, the white flag 
'was displayed, and a conference took place between the two 
commanders in the house of the Earl of Albemarle ; but the 
governor having refused to accede to the terms demanded — 
that the garrison should surrender as prisoners of war — the 
fire recommenced, and a tremendous discharge from all the • 
batteries took place for the next three days. This compelled 
the brave De Surville to submit ; and Marlborough, in con- 
sideration of his gallant defense, permitted the garrison to 
march out with the honors of war, and return to France, on ^ 
condition of not serving again till they were exchanged. On 
the 3d of September the gates were surrendered, and the en- 
tire command of this strong fortress and rich city, which en- 
tirely covered Spanish Flanders, was gained by the allies.* 

No sooner was Tournay taken than the allied generals ^ 
turned their eyes to Mens, the next great for- 19- 

J '^ Vigorous move- 

tress on the road to Paris, and which, ^^ith Va- ments of Mari- 

. . borough toward 

lenciennes, constituted the only remaming strong- Mone. 
holds that lay on that line between them and Paris. So ^* 
anxious was Marlborough to hasten operations against this ^ 
important town, that on the very day on which the white flag 
was displayed from the citadel of Tournay, he dispatched 
Lord Orkney with all the grenadiers of the army, and twen- 
ty squadrons, to surprise Ghislain, and secure the passage of 

* Marlbm-augh to Mr. Secretary Boyle, 31st of August and 3d of Sep- 
tember, 1709. Dhp., iv., 585-588. CoxE, v., 14-18. Dumont's MUUary 
History, ii., 103. 

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J I J 


the Haine. On the 3d, the Prince of Hesse-Cassel was di^ 
patched after him with four thousand foot and sixty squadrons. 
Lord Orkney, on arriving on the banks of the Haine, found 
the passage so strongly guarded that he did not deem it pru- 
dent to alarm the enemy by attempting to force it. The 
Prince of Hesse-Cassel, however, was more fortunate. He 
marched with such extraordinary diligence, that he got over 
forty-nine English miles in fifty-six successive hours ; a rapid- 
ity of advance, for such a distance, that had never been pre- 
viously surpassed, though it has been outdone in later times.* 
By this means he reached the Haine on the other side of 
Mens, and surprised the passage near Obourg, at two in the 
morning of the 6th, and at noon entered the French lines of 
the Trouille without opposition, the enemy retiring with pre- 

% cipitation as he advanced. He immediately extended his 

forces over the valley of the TrouiUc, fixed his head-quarters 
at the abbey of Belian, and with his right occupied in strength 
the important plateau of Jemappes, which intercepted the 
communication between Mons and Valenciennes. It was on 
this height that the famous battle was fought with the French 
E-epubhcans under Dumourier in 1792 : another proof, among 
the many which history affords, how frequently the crisis of 
war, at long distances of time from each other, takes place in 
\ the same vicinity. By this decisive movement, Marlborough 
gained an immense advantage ; Mons was now passed and 
invested on the side of France; and the formidable Imes, 
thirty leagues in length, on which Marshal Villars had been 

^ ^ laboring with such assiduity during the two preceding months, 
: * were turned, and made of no avail. f 

While the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, with the advanced guard 
of the army, gained this brilliant success, Marlborough was 
rapidly following with the main body in the same direction. 

* Mackenzie's brigade, which joined Wellington's army after the battle of 
Talavera, marched sixty-two English miles in twentj--six honrs.— Napier, 
ii., 412. 

t CoxE, v., 20-25. Marlborough to Mn Secretary Boyle, 7th of Septem- 
ber, 1709. Disp., iv., 590. 

, t 

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The force besieging Toumay crosseki the Scheldt 20. 
at the bridge of that town, and joined the covering i^.JSL,^i 
force under Eugene. From thence they advanced ^Sn**^^^^'' 
to Sirant, where they were joined by Lord Orkney ^^^^• 
with his detachment, which had failed ia passing the Haine. 
On the 6th, having learned the success of the Prince of Hesse- 
Cassel in turning the enemy's lines, and getting between Mons 
and France, the allied generals pushed on with the utmost ex- 
pedition, and leaving their army to form the investment of 
Mons, joined the prince in the abbey of Belian. Both com- 
manders complimented his royal higlmess highly on the ad- 
vantages he had gained ; but he replied, " The French have 
deprived me of the glory due to such a compliment, since they 
have not even waited my arrival." In truth, such had been 
the celerity and skill of his dispositions, that they had render- 
ed resistance hopeless, and aclueved success without the neces- 
sity of striking a blow. Meanwhile, Marshal Boufflers, hear- 
ing a battle was imminent, arrived in the camp as a volunteer, 
to serve under Villars, his junior in military service ; a noble ex- 
ample of disinterested patriotism, which, not less than the just- 
ly popular character of that distinguished general, raised the 
enthusiasm of the French soldiers to the very highest pitch.* 
Every thing amiounced a more important and sanguinary con- 
flict between the renowned commanders and gallant armies 
now arrayed on the opposite sides than had yet taken place 
since the commencement of the war.f 

During those rapid and vigorous movements, which entirely 
turned and broke through his much- vaunted lines 2i- 

^ Concentratioa 

of defense, Villars remained with the great body of the aiued 

^ •'and ViUara's 

of his forces in a state of inactivity. Aware that amiy,7thSept 

* A similar incident occurred in the British service when Sir Henry, now 
Lord Hardinge, and Governor- general of India, served as second in command 
to Sir Hugh Gough, his senior in military rank, but subordinate in station, 
at the glorious battles of Ferozepore and Sobraon, with the Sikhs. How 
identical is the noble and heroic spirit in all ages and countries ! It forms 
a freemasonry throughout the world. ^ 

t COXE, v., 24, 25. Dup., iv., 588-595, •^•^'' ••" ^ 

,j\ ^ Digitized by VjOOQ IC 


he was to be attacked, but ignorant where the blow was likely 
to fall first, he judged, and perhaps rightly, that it would be 
hazardom to weaken his lines 4it any one point by accumulat- 
ing forces at another. No sooner, however, did he receive in- 
telligence of the march of the Prince of Heste-Cassel, than ha 
broke up £rom the lines of Douay, and, hastily eollecting his 
forces, advanced toward that adventurous commander. At 
two in the morning of the 4th, his cavalry approached the 
front of the prince's position ; but, conceiving the whole allied 
army was before him, he did not venture to make an attack 
at a time when his great superiority of finrce would have en- 
abled him to do it with every chance of success. The move- 
ment of ViUars, however, and the general feu-de^oie which 
resounded through the French lines on the arrival of Marshal 
Boufflers, warned the allied leaders that a general battle was 
at hand, and orders were in consequence given to the whole 
army to advance at four o'clock on the afternoon of the 7th. 
A detachment of Eugene's troops waaleft to watdi Mons, the 
garrison ofL which consisted only of deven weak battaHons and 
a regiment of horse, not mustering above five thousand com- 
batants ; and the whole remainder of the allied army, ninety 
thousand strong, pressed forward in dense mass^ into the level 
and marshy plain in the middle of which Mons is situated* 
They advanced in difier^it columns, headed by Marlborough 
and Eugene ; and never was a more magnificent i^>ectade 
presented than when the troops, consisting of cavalry, artille* 
xy, and infantry, defiled in the finest order firom the woods into 
the plain, and ascended the undulating ground which lies t« 
the south of that town. Tliey arrived at night, and bivou- 
acked in a line stret^ing along the heights of Quaregncm, near 
Gealy, to the village of Quevy, about three miles in length, 
and wily %7^ distant firom the enemy ; so that it was evident 
that a general battle would take place on the following day» 
unless Villais was pvepaxed to almiidon Mons to its fate.* 

* Marlborough to Mr. Secretary BoyU, 7tfa and 11th of SeptemlMr, 1709. 
IH9p,r iv., 591, 592. COXK, v., 25, 2«. 

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The French marshal, however, had no intention of declin- 
insT the combat. His army was entirely fresh, and 22. 

. , ^ , . , / 1 . . CompQBitioa 

m the finest order : it had engaged m no previous and strength 

i_, J • J r^ ^ oftheFrench 

operations ; whereas a bloody siege, and subsequent army, 
fatiguing marches in bad weather, had sensibly weakened the 
strength, though they had not depressed the spirits, of the 
allied soldiers. The vast efforts of the French government, 
joined to the multitude of recruits which the public distress 
had impelled into the army, had in an extraordinary degree * 
strengthened its ranks. After making provision for all the 
garrisons and detached posts with which he was charged, Vil- 
lars could bring into the field no less than one hundred and 
thirty battalions and two hundred and sixty squadrons, and 
all raised to their full complement, mustering sixty-five thou- 
sand infantry and twenty-six thousand horse, with eighty guns ; 
in all, "svith the artillery, ninety-five thousand combatants. 
This vast array had the advantages of being almost entirely 
of one nation, speaking one language, and animated by one * \ 

spirit ; while the allied force was a motley assemblage of many 
different races and nations of men, held together only by the y 
strong tie of military success and confidence in their generals. 
Both armies were of nearly equal strength ; they were under • 
the command of the ablest and most intrepid commanders of 
" their day ; the soldiers of both had long acted together, and ' ^ 

acquired confidence in each other ; and each contained that *^ 
intermixture of the fire of young, vnih the caution of veteran 
-ytroops, which affords the happiest augury of military success. 
' It was hard to predict, between such antagonists, to which . 
fdde the scales of victory would inchne.* 

The face of the country occupied by the French army, soon 

^ * Mim. M, de Villars, ii.. 167-184. Coxe, v., 26-28. ^^^- J 

The relative force of the two armieB was as follows : 



/ ^^, ^ Allies. 

i y. •' '••* Battalions . . 139 J 

• • -• Squadrons . . 252 S 

Guns .... 105. 


French and BavariaDi. Men. 

Battalions . . 130 ; 
Squadrons . . 260 ! 
Guns .... 80. 

95,000. .• «S 

KaUSLER, 769, 

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33, to be the theater of the great battle which was ap- 
J^JJ^of preaching, is an irregular plateau, interspersed by 
***^®- woods, intersected by streams, and elevated from a 

kundred and fifty to two himdred feet above the meadows of 
the Trouille. Mens and Bavay, the villages of Quevrain and 
Giory, formed the angular points of this broken surface. Ex- 
tensive woods on all the principal eminences gave diversily 
and beauty to the landscape, and, in a mihtary point of view, 
added much to the strength of the position as defensible groimd 
against an enemy. Near Malplaqxiet, on the west of the 
ridge, is a small heath, and immediately to the south of it the 
ground descends by a rapid slope to the Hon, which finds its 
way to the Trouille, which it joins near Conde, by a circuit- 
ous route in the rear of the French position. The streams 
from Majplaquet to the northward all flow by a gentle slope 
through steep wooded banks to the Trouille, into which they 
fall near Mens. The woods on the plateau are the r^nains 
of » great natural forest which had formerly covered the 
whole of these uplands, and out of which the clearings round 
the villages and hamlets which now exist have been cut by 
the hands of laborious industry. Two woods near the sum- 
mit level of the ground are of great extent, and deserve par- 
ticular notice. The first, called the wood of Louviere, stretch- 
es from LongueviDe in a northeasterly direction to Cauchie ; 
the second, named the wood Taisniere^ of still larger size, ex- 
tends from the Chauss^e de Bois to the village of Bouson. 
Between these woods are two openings, or Trou6es, as they 
are called in the country — ^the Trouee de la Louviere, and 
the Trouee d'Aulnoet Generally speaking, the ground occu- 
pied by the French and which was to be the theater of the 
battle, may be described as a rough and woody natural bar- 
rier, strestching across the high plateau which separates the 
Haine and the Trouille, and pervious only by the two open- 
ings of Louviere and Aulnoet, both of which were in a very 
great degree susceptible of defense.* 

* Coxx. v., 99, 30. The author hag ptMed over the groond, and can at- 
test the accuracy of the deicriptioQ here given. 

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r , 

-.. i 


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TL Septeml>erT709 . 



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Jiiij^''hyrVV Komhl 


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Digitized by 


' . MARLBOJtOVOH. 229 

The allied aimy consisted of one Imndced andr thirtyHfUB0 
battalions and two hundred and fifty-two squad- „ ^, 2i. 

•' * Noble force 

rons, with one hundred and five guns, mustering mhoOxtidm. 
ninety-tklree thouiand combatants. The two armies, there- 
&lBf were as nearly te possible equal in point of military 
strength, a slight numerical superiority on the part of the 
French lieing compensated by a superiority of twenty-five guns 
cm that of th^ allies. Among the French nobles present at 
the battle were no less than twelve who were afterward mar- 
ffhi^ of Ftaiicc.* The son of James II., undef the name of 
the Chevalier de St George, who combined the graces of youth 
■ with th© hereditary valor of his race, was there ; St. Hikiie 
and Folard, whose works afterward threw such hght on mili- 
tary" sci^ice, wer» to be found in its ranks. The Gajcde-du- 
oorpa, Mousquetatres gris, Grenadiers a cheval, French, Swiss, 
and Bavarian- guards, as well as the Irish brigade, stood among 
the combatants. The.Montmorencies were there, and the De 
Guiches, the De Grammonts, and De Coignys. The reverses 
of Louis had called forth the flower of the nobility, as well as 
the la^ reserves of the monarchy ^t 

JEarly oa the morning of the 9th, Marlborough and Eugpne 
w&ce on the look-out at the Mill of Sart, with 25. 

. . n 1 ' 1 /» Preparatory 

a strong oBcort, consisting of thirty squadrons of movementaon 
horse. From the reports bitought in, it was soon mterfiarenceof 
ascertained that the whole forces (^ the French utLs. ^^ 
ll^re marching toward the plain of Malplaquet, on the west 
of the plajteau, and that Villars himself was occupying the 
woods of Lasni^re and Taisniere. His head-quarters were at 
Blaugnies, in the rear of the center. The two armies were 
now only a league and a half separate, and Mailborough and 
Eugene were clear for immediately attacking the enemy, be- 
fore they could add* to the natural strength of their position by 

* Vt7., ArtagnaB, Mav6chal de Montesquieu; De Gkiiche, Mar6chal de 
Orammoot; Paygegtu; Montoqprenci^ Coigny, Broglio, Chaxilnes, Kaagii, 
Isenghien, Doras, Houdancoort, and Sanneterre. The monarchy never sent 
forth ft nobler array. 

t CoxE, v., Z% Mem. AC <fe ViOars, \l, 280. 


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intrenchments. But the Dutch deputies, Ho<^ bbA Goslmga, 
interfered, as they had done cm a similar occasion hetweeii 
Wavre and Waterloo, and so iar modified this resolutiim as 
to induee a council of war, summoned on the occasion, to de- 
termine not to fight till the troops from Toumay were withm 
reach, and St. Ghislain, which commanded a passage over the 
Haine, was taken. This was done n^ct day, the £>rt heing 
carried by escalade, and its garrison of two hundred men made 
prisoners; and on the day following, all the reserves from 
Toumay came up. But these advantages, which in them^- 
selves were not inconsiderable, were dearly purchased by the 
time which Villars gained £or strengthening his position. In- 
stead of pushing on to attack the aUies, as Marlborough and Eu- 
gene had expected, in order to raise the siege of Mons, that abk 
commander employed himself with the utmost skill and vigor 
in throwing up intrenchments in every part of his position. 
The nature of the ground singularly favored his efiR)rts. 
96. The heights he occupied, plentifully interspersed 

Villan fortifies . i -i i . /» i . 

his poiitioti. With woods and emmences, formed a concave semi- 
circle, the artillery from which enfiladed on all sides the little 
plain of Malplaquet, so as to fender it literally, in Dumont's 
words, "une troupe d'enfer." Around this semicircle, re- 
doubts, palisades, abattis, and stockades were disposed with 
WLcb. skill and judgment, that, Uterally speaking, there was 
not a single inequality of ground (and there were many) whkh 
was not turned to good account. The two tr&uies or open- 
mgs, in particular, already mentioned, by which it was ioro^ 
seen the allies would endeavor to force an entrance, were so 
enfiladed by cross batteries as to be wellnigh unassailable. 
Twenty pieces of artillery were placed on a redoubt situated 
on an eminence near the center of the field ; the remainder 
were arranged along the field-works, C(»struoted along the 
lines. Half the army labcnred at these wotks without a mo- 
ment's intermission during the whole of the 9th and 10th, 
while the other were under arms, ready to repel any attack 
whi<*i might be hazarded. Wi^ such Vigor were the opera- 

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tions Oonducted, that by the night of the 10th the poeitiaii was 

deemed impregnable.* <^r 

The allied forces passed these two days in inactivity, await- •• 

inor the arrival of the re-enforcements from Tour- 27. 

!_■ 1 n 1 • T Plan of attack " 

nay, which the council of war had deemed indispen- by the allied • . 

■Li 1 P • TIT genenOe, 10th . < 

gable to the commencement oi operations. Mean- Sept , 

while, Marlborough and Eugene had repeatedly reconnoitered • 

the enemy's position, and were fully aware of its growing 
strength. Despairing of openly forcing such formidable lines, * 
defended by an army so numerous and gallant, they resolved 
to combine their first attack vnth a powerful demonstration in 
rear. With this view, the rear guard, of nineteen battalions 
and ten squadrons, which was coming up from Toumay un- 
der General Withers, received orders not to join the main • Jj 
body of the army, but, stopping short at St. Ghislain, to cross ^*^* ^ 
the Haine there, and, traversing the wood of Blangris by a'*«> • 
Country road, assail the extreme left of the enemy at the farm ' ^ • 
of La Fohe, when the combat had been seriously begun in 
front. Baron Schulemberg was to attack the wood of Tais- 
niere with forty of Eugene's battahons, supported by forty 
pieces of cannon, so placed that their shot reached every part 
of the wood. To distract the enemy's attention, other attacks ^^ ^ 
were directed along the whole line ; but the main effort was ''^ • 
to be made by Eugene's corps on the wood of Taisniere ; and ' ' 
it was from the co-operation of the attack of Schulemberg on s \ 
its flank that decisive success was expected.! All the corps '' * ' 
had reached their respective points of destination on the even- ' 
ing of the 10th. Schulemberg was near La Fohe ; Eugene 
was grouped, in four lines, in front of Taisniere ; and the men ^^ 
lay down to sleep, anxiously awaiting the dawn of the event- 
ful morrow, t ' ^^" -r-^'.-v 

At three in the morning of the 11th, divine Serdee "WRi 


* CoXE, v., 34-37. DuMONT's Military History, ii., 381-387. Kauslkk,^ f 
770. '" , 

t Marlborough's Gmeral Orders, Sept. 20, 1709. KaUSLER, 784, 785. f^ '^ 
\ COXK, v., 40-44. 

r t 

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232 , THE LIFE OF 

28. performed with the utmost decorum at the head 

^wii?i?on'iS5i of every regiment, and Hstened to by the soldiers, 
■idea, nth Sept g^^^j^ ^g example of their chief, with the most 
devout attention. The awful nature of the occasion, the mo- 
mentous interests at stake, the uncertainty who might survive 
to the close of the day, the protracted struggle soon to be 
brought to a decisive issue, had banished all lighter feelings, 
and impressed a noble character on that impressive solemnity. 
A thick fog overspread the field, under cover of which the 
troops marched, with the utmost regularity, to their appoint- 
ed stations : the guns were brought forward to the grand bat- 
tery in the center, which was protected on either side by an 
epaidement to prevent an enfilade. No sooner did the French 
outposts give notice that the alhes were preparing for an at- 
* tack, than the whole army stood to their arms, and aU the 
working parties, who were still toiling in the trenches, cast 
aside their tools, and joyfully resumed their places in the 
ranks. Never, since the commencement of the war, had the 
spirit of the French soldiers been so high, or had so enthu- 
siastic a feeling been infused into every bosom. They looked 
fi)rward with confidence to regaining, under their beloved com- 
mander, Marshal Yillars, the laurels which had been wither- 
ed in eight successive campaigns, and arresting the flood of 
conquest which threatened to overwhelm their country. When 
the general mounted his horse at seven, loud cries of " Vive 
le Roi !" " Vive le Mar^chal de Villars I" burst from their 
ranks. He himself took the command of the lefl, giving the 
pott of honor on the right, in courtesy, to Marshal Boufilers. 
On the allied side, enthusiasm was not so loudly expressed, 
but confidence was not the less strongly felt. They rehed 
with reason on the tried and splendid abihties of their chiefs, 
on their own experienced constancy and success in the field. 
They had the confidence of veteran soldiers, who had long 
fougkt and conquered together. In allusion to the ntmierous 
field-works before them, which almost concealed the enemy's 
ranks from their view, the sarcastic expression passed through 

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the ranks, " We are again about to make war on moles." 
The fog still lingered on the ground, so as to prevent the gun- 
ners seeing to take aim ; but at half past seven it cleared up, 
the sun broke forth with uncommon brilliancy, and imme- 
diately the fire commenced with the utmost vigor from the 
artillery on both sides.* 

For about half an hour the caiuion continued to thunder, 
BO as to reach every part of the field of battle with 39. 
their balls, when Marlborough moved forward his meS'^Tufe 
troops in echelon, the right in front, in order to com- ^^'^^■ 
mence his projected attack on the French center and left. 
The Dutch, who were on the left, agreeably to the orders 
they had received, halted when within range of grape, and a 
violent camionade was merely exchanged on both sides ; but 
Count Lottum, who commanded the center of twenty battal- 
ions, continued to press on, regardless of the storm of shot and 
grape with which he was assailed, and when well into the en- 
emy's line, he brought up his left shoulders, and in three lines 
attacked the right of the wood of Taisniere. Schulemberg, 
at the same time, with his forty battalions to the right of 
Lottum, advanced against the wood of Taisniere in front, 
while Lord Orkney, with liis fifteen battalions, as Lottum's 
men mclined to the right, marched straight forward to the 
ground they had occupied, and attacked the mtrenchment be- 
fore him m the opening. Eugene, who was with Schulem- 
berg' s men, advanced without firmg a shot, though suffering 
dreadfully from the grape of the batteries, till within pistol- 
shot of the batteries. They were there, however, received by 
so terrible a discharge of all arms from the intrenchments — " 

the French soldiers laying their pieces deliberately over the ^, 

parapet, and taking aim within twenty yards of their oppo- 
nents — that they recoiled about two hundred yards, and were 
only brought back to the charge by the heroic efforts of Eu- 
gene, who exposed his person in the very front of the hue. 
During this conflict, three battalions, brought up jfrom the *^ 
* Lkdiard. Life of Marlborough, ii., 172-180. Coxe, v., 45-47. 




Idockade of Mons, stole Hnperceived, as&id the tumult in l&ont, 
into the southeastern angle of the wood of Taisnidre, and were 
making some progress, when they were met by three hattal^ 
ions of French troops, and a vehement ^te of musketry soon 
rang in the recesses of ihe wood.* 

Meanwhile, Marlborough in person led on D'Auvergne-s 
1^' u cavalry in support of Lottum's men, 'svho speedily 
after iadeape- were engaged in a most terrific conflict. They 
carries tfce borc without flinching the fire of the French bri- 
nidre. gftde du Roi, which manned the opposite Wcn^ks, 

and, crossing a ravine and small morass, rushed with fixed 
bayonets, and the most determined resolution, i^ht against 
the intrenchment. So vehement was the cmset, so impetuouis 
the rush, that stwne of the leading files actually reached the 
summit of the parapet, and those behind pushing vehemently 
on, the redoubt was carried amid deafening chee^4S. But Vil- 
lars was directly in its rear, and he immediately led up in per- 
son a brigade in the finest order, which expelled the assailants 
at the point of the bayonet, and regained the work. Marl- 
borough, upon this, charged at the head of D' Auvergne's cav- 
alry; and that gallant body of men, throe thousand strong, 
dashed forward, and enteired the intrenchments, which wwe, 
at the same time, surrounded by some of Lottum's battahons. 
While this desperate conflict was going on in firont and flank 
of the wood. Withers, with his corps brought up jfrom Tour- 
nay, was silently, and with great caution, entering the wood 
on the side of La Folic, and had already made ccaisiderable 
progress before any great effi>rt8 were made to expel them. 
The advance of this corps in his rear rendered it impossible 
for Villars any Icmger to maintain the advanced line of works 
in the fix)nt of the wood ; it was therefore abandoned, but 
slowly, and in admirable order, the l^oops retiring through the 
trees to the second line of wOTks in th^r rear, which they pre- 
pared to def<»id to the last extremity.f 

• Kauslke, 786, 787. CoxK, v., 44-48. 
t COXB, v., 48-52. KAt7SC.BR, tS6, ^87. 

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.*• ' 


While this bloody conflict was raging in and around the 
ivood of Taisniere. the half hour durinsr which the 3i. 

" Bloody repulse 

Prince of Orange had been directed to suspend of the Prince of 

!• 1111 1 11 n 1 ' n ■ Orange on the 

ms attack nad elapsed, and that gallant chiel, im- left 
patient of mactivity when the battle was raging with such 
fury on his right, resolved to move forward in good earnest. 
The Scotch brigade, led on by the Marquis of TuUibardine, 
headed the colunm on the left ; to their right were the Dutch, 
under Spaar and Oxenstiem ; while the Prmce of Hesse-Cas^ 
sel, with twenty-one squadrons, was in reserve to support and 
follow the infantry into the works, when an opening was made. 
On the word " march" being given, the troops of these various 
nations, with rival courage, advanced to the attack. The 
Scotch Highlanders, headed by the gallant Tulhbardine,* 
rushed impetuously forward to the attack, despite a tremen- 
dous fire of grape and musketry which issued from the works, 
and succeeded in reaching the top of the intrenclnnent ; but, 
before they could deploy, they were charged by the French 
infantry in close order, and driven out. TuUibardine met a 
glorious death in the redoubt he had won. Equally gallant 
was the assault, and unpropitious the result of the Prince of 
Orange's attack on the right of the left toward the French 
center. There, too, by a vehement rush, the intrenchment 
was carried ; but the troops which surmounted it had no 
sooner penetrated it than they were attacked by Boufflers, at 
the head of fresh troops in close order in front, while a power- 
ful battery opened with grape on their flank. This double 
attack proved irresistible ; the assailants were pushed out of 
the works with dreadful slaughter. Spaar lay dead on the 
spot ; Hamilton was carried off wounded, t 

Seeing his men recoil, the Prince of Orange seized a stand- 
ard, and, advancing alone to the slope of the intrenchment, 
gaid aloud, ** FoUow me, my friends ; here is your post." But 
it was all in vain. BoufEers' men from the French second 

* The regiments of TuUibardine and Hepburn were almost all AthoU High* 
landers. t Kausler, 788. Coxe, v., 53, 54. 

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236 THE LIFE OP • • 

^ . ^ . _* line had »ow closed up ynih the first, which lined 

Heroic but inef. *^ -^ 

fectuai efforts the woxks, and a demse mass «f i)datonet», six 
Orange to re- deep,. DHStled at their -iBUDanut benind the «m- 
bat. brasures of the guns. , A dread&l rolling fire is- 

sued irom them ; their position could be marked by the cease- 
less line of flame, even through the volumes of smoke which 
enveloped them on all sides ; and at length, after displaying 
the most heroic valor, the Prince of Orange was obliged to 
draw off his men, with the loss of three thousand killed, and 
twice that number wounded. Instantly the brigade of Na- 
varre issued with loud shouts out of the hitrenchments. Sev- 
eral Dutch battaUons were driven back, and some colors, with 
an advanced battery, fell into the enemy's hands. Boufflers 
supported this sally by his grenadiers a cheval ; but the Prince 
of Hesse-Cassel came up with his well-appointed squadron on 
the other side, and, after a short struggle, drove the French 
back into their works.* 

Hearing that matters were in this precarious state on the 
33, left, Marlborough galloped from the right center, 
JuStemTtoAe accompanied by his staff, where Lottum's infantry 
flto^*&e iSt- ^^^ D'Auvergne's horse had gained such important 
^®- advantages. Matters ere long became so alarm- 

ing, that Eugene also followed in the same direction. On his 
way along the rear of the line, the English general had a 
painful proof of the enthusiastic spirit with which his troops 
were animated, by seeing numbers of the wounded Dutch and 
Hanoverians, whose hurts had just been bound up by the 
surgeons, again hastening to the front, to join their comrades, 
though some, faint firom the loss of blood, yet tottered under 
the weight of their muskets. The reserves were hastily di- 
rected to the tnenaced front, and by their aid the combat was 
in some degree restored in that ~ quarter, while Marlborough 
and Eugene labored to persuade the Prince of Orange, who 
was burning with anxiety at all hazards to renew the attack, 
that his operations were only intended as a feint, and that the 

* COX£, v., 55. LediaRD, ii., 182-185. 

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leal e^rt was to be made on the right, where considerable 
progress ktd already been made.^ 

Order was hardly restored in this quarter, when inteUi- 

ffence arrived from the riffht that the enemy were . . ^• 

•= "^ /A ngorouB nt- 

assuminjj the initiative in the wood of Taisni^re, tack of vmara 

*= _ on the rieht 

and were pressing hard upon the troops both at La weakens his 

T . -, r TT-n center, which 

Folie and in front of the wood. In fact, Villars, MHriborough 

, 1 . T c . prepares to at- 

alarmed at the progress oi the enemy on his ielt m tack. 
the wood, had drawn considerable re-enforcements from his 
center, and sent them to the threatened quarter. Marlbor- 
ough instantly saw the advantage which this weakening of 
the enemy's center was likely to give him. While he hasten- 
ed back, therefore, with all imaginable expedition to the right, 
to arrest the progress of the enemy in that quarter, he direct- 
ed Lord Orkney to advance, supported by a powerful body of 
horse on each flank, directly in at the opening between the 
two woods, and, if possible, force the enemy's intrenchments 
in the center, now stripped of their principal defenders. 
These dispositions, adopted on the spur of the moment, and 
instantly acted upon, proved entirely successful. Eugene gal- 
loped to the extreme right, and renewed the attack with 
Schulemberg's men, while Withers again pressed on the rear 
of the wood near La Folie. So vigorous was the onset, that 
the aUies gained ground on both sides of the wood, and Villars, 
hastemng up with the French guards to restore the combat 
near La Folie, received a woimd in the knee, when gallantly 
heading a charge of bayonets, which obliged him to quit the 
field. Unable any longer to sit on horseback, he was placed, 
at his earnest desire, in a chair, that he might see the battle, 
and continue in the field ; but the pain of the wound and loss 
of blood soon became such that he faulted, and was carried 
senseless to Quesnoy. Eugene also was woimded on the head 
while rallying his men and leading them gallantly to the 
charge. His attendants pressed him to retire that the wound 
might be dressed ; but he rephed, " If I am fated to die here, 

-* COXE, v., 56, 57, Kauslek, 78», 790. 

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239 THE LIPfi OF * < 

to what purpose dress the wound ? If I surviTe, it wiH he 
time enough in the evening." With these vords be adnuto- 
ed again to the head of the line, and the tioops, animated hy 
the heroism of their beloved g«ieml» who pressed on though 
the Uood was streaming over his shoulders, followed with stt<^ 
impetuosity that the wraks weie carried, and the victors re- 
entered the wood pell-meU with the broken enemy.* 

In the center, still more decisive advantages were gained. 
^ ^^35. tcMfd Orkney there made the attack vidth such 

D6clmT6 attack . ■■ . . , 

by Lord ork- vig(», that the wtrenchmeats^ now not adequatdy 

ney on Uio ocsn* * «f 

tor. manned, were at once carried ; and the horse, fol- 

lowing rapidly on the traces of the foot soldiean, broke Ijirough 
at seiraral openings made by tiie artillery, aad spread thean^ 
s^ves over 1^ plain, cutting down the i&igitives in every di- 
rection. Madborough, upon seeing this advantoge, instantly 
gave tha grand battery of forty cannon in the aUied center 
orders to advance. With, the utmost rapidity tte guns were 
limbered up, and moving oa at a quick txpt. They soon 
passed the iatreschments in the center, aiid &cittg to the right 
and left, opened a tremendous fire of canister aad grape on the 
dense masses of the French ca-valry which stood in the rear of 
the infantry, who were almost all in finmt amcoig the works. 
These noble troops,^ however, bore up gallantly against the 
stonn, and ev^x charged the aHied hcnrse befcnre they had time 
to fi)rm within the lines ; but they were unable to ma^e any 
impression, and retired fiN)m the attack, sorely shattered by the 
allied artillery.f 

The battle was now gained. Villars's position, how strong 
36. and gallantly defended soever, lomrer ten- 

Admirable ef- , , _ . , _ _ . _ . , _ 

fort! of Bonf- able. Pierced through, m the center, with a n>r- 
tiJday. midable enemy's battery on- ei^er side, thundering 
oa the reserve squadrons^ in the very heart of Ins line, and 
turned and menaced with rout on the left, it was no longer 
possible to keep ihe field. Boufflers, upon whom, in the ab^ 

• CoxB, v., 57. Lediard, ii., 289-291. Kausleb, 789. 
t CoZ£, v., 59, 60. Kavslkb, 788, 789. "-' 

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sence of TiUars in OHtaequence of his i^ound, the direction of 
afiaiis had devolved, accordingly prepazed for a retreat ; and 
he conducted it with consummate skill, as well as the most 
undaunted firnmess. Collecting a body of two thousand chos- 
en horse yet I'resh, consisting of the elite of the horse-guards ' ^, 
and garde-du-corps, he charged the alhed horse which had 
penetrated into the center, at this time much blown by its 
severe fatigues in the preceding part of the day. It was ac- 
cordingly worsted and put to flight ; but all the efforts of this 
noble body of horsemen were shattered against Orkney's in- 
fantry, which, posted on the reverse of the works they had 
won, poured in, when charged, so close and destructive a fire, 
that half of the gallant cavaUers were stretched on the plain, 
and the remainder were forced to make a precipitate retreat.* 
Still the indefatigable Boufilers made another effort. Draw- 
ing a larffe body of infantry from the works on his 37. 

^ ^. -^ . 11. His able and or- 

extrerae right, which had been little engaged, he deriy retreat 
marched them to the left, and, re-forming his squadrons again, ^ 

advanced to the charge ; but Marlborough no sooner saw this, ^' 

than he charged the garde-du-corps with a body of English * 

horse which he himself led on, and drove them back, while ^ 

the infantry staggered and reeled, like a sinking ship, under 
the terrific fire of the aUied guns, which had penetrated the 
center. At the same time, the Prince of Orange and the 
Prince of Hesse-Cassel, perceiving that the intrenchments be- 
fore them were stripped of great part of their defenders, re- 
newed the attack ; in ten minutes these works were carried ; 
and a tremendous shout, heard along the whole line, annoimc- 
ed that the whole left of the position had fallen into the hands 
of the allies. In these desperate circumstances, Boufflers and 
his brave troops did all that skill or courage could to arrest 
the progress of the victors, and withdraw from the field with- 
out any additional losses. Forming his troops into three great 
masses, with the cavalry which had suffered least in the rear, 
he slowly, and in perfect regularity, commenced his retreat. 

* Coxa, v., 59, 60. KiUSLSR, 789, 790. 

/J • • - 




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240 THE LIFE OP ' 

The allies had suffered so much, and were so completely ex- 
hausted by the fatigue of this bloody and protracted battle,' 
that they gave them very little molestation. Contenting' 
themselves with pursuing as far as the heath of. Malplaquet, 
and the level ground around Taisnidre, they halted, and the 
men lay down to sleep. Meanwhile the French, in the best 
order, but in dee^ dejection, continued their retreat still in 
three columns ; and after crossing the Hon in their rear, re- 
united below Quesnoy and Valenciennes, about twelve miles 
from the field of battle.* 

Such was the desperate battle of Malplaquet, the most 
3g, bloody and obstinately contested which had yet oc- 
h^^t^ curred in the war, and in which it is hard to say 
■"^■- to which of the gallant antagonists the palm of 

valor and heroism is to be given. The victory was unques- 
tionably gained by the allies, since they forced the enemy's po- 
sition, drove them te a considerable distance firom the field of 
battle, and hindered the siege of Mons, the object for which 
both parties fought, firom being raised. The valor they dis- 
played had extorted the admiration of their gallant and gen- 
erous enemies.! Both Eugene and Marlborough exposed 
themselves more constantly than they had ever done in any 
former action ; and cordial as had been their understanding 
on all previous occasions, it was generally observed that on 
this they seemed animated only by a generous emulation which 
should most aid and support the other. On the other hand, 
these advantages had been purchased at an enormous sacnfice, 

^ * CoXE, v., 54-63. Visp., v., 562, Marlborough to Mr. Secretary Boyle^ 
Sept. 11, 1709, and to Mr. Wauchope, same date, v., 598. 

t "The Eugenes and Marlborougha ought to be well satisfied with ag 
during that day, since till then they had not met with resistance worthy of 
them. They may now say with justice that notliing can stand before them ; 
and, indeed, what shall be able to stay the rapid progress of these heroes, 
if an army of one hundred thousand men of the best troops, strongly posted 
between two woods, trebly intrenched, and perfonning their duty as well 
as any bravo men could do, were not able to stop them one day ? Will you 
bot then own with mc that they surpass all the heroes of former ages ?"— 
Letter of a French Officer wlu> fought at Malplaquet. CoJtE, v., 65. 

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^^r •! ."■ -^V-: MARLBOROUGH. 241 

and never since the commencement of the contest had the 
scales hung so even between the contending parties. In truth, 
the battle of Malplaquet was a desperate duel between France 
and England, in which the whole strength of each nation was 
put forth, and the successful result was rather owing to the 
superior talent of the EngHsh general, and the unconquerable 
resolution he had communicated to his followers, than to any 
superiority either of military skill or national resources enjoyed 
by the victorious party. Nothing had occurred like it since 
Azincour ; nothing occurred like it again till Waterloo. Blen- 
heim itself was not nearly so hard fought. The alhes lost, 
killed in the infantry alone, five thousand five hundred and 
forty-four ; wounded and missing, twelve thousand seven hun- 
dred and six ; in all, eighteen thousand two hundred and fifty, 
of whom two hundred and eighty-six were officers killed, and 
seven hundred and sixty-two wounded. Including the casu- 
alties in the cavalry and artillery, their total loss was not less 
than twenty thousand men, or nearly a fifth of the number 

The French loss, though they were worsted in the fight, 
was less considerable ; it did not exceed fourteen 39. 

Loss of the 

thousand men : an unusual circumstance with a French.andhu- 

., T ., T n 'n 1 n maiiity of Marl- 

beaten army, but easily accounted tor, u the for- borough. 
midable nature of the intrenchments which the allies had to 
storm in the first part of the action is taken into considera- 
tion. In proportion to the numbers engaged, the loss to the 
victors was not, however, nearly so great as at Waterloo.! 
Then was seen the prophetic wisdom with which Marlborough 
had so strongly urged upon the British government the propri- 
ety of augmenting the allied force at the commencement of the 

* KauSLER, 791. CoxK, v., 64. 

t At Waterloo, there were sixty-nine thousand six hundred and eighty- 
six men in Wellington's army, and the loss was twenty-two thousand four 
hundred and sixty-nine, or one in three nearly; at Malplaquet, it was one 
in five; atTalavera, one in four— five thousand being killed and wounded 
out of nineteen thousand eight hundred engaged.— Sikorke's Waierloo, ii,, 
352 and 519. 


/:•• .: 

Y .. Digitized by Go'Ogle 



campaign. But for these, the campaign would hare been in- 
decisive, or tenninated in misfortune. With the additional 
troops he so strongly pleaded for, it would have terminated in 
a deciwve victory, and Malplaquet had been Waterloo. Few 
prisoners, not above five hundred, were made on the field ; Imt 
the woods and intrenchments were filled with wounded French, 
whom Marlborough, with characteristic humanity, proposed 
to Villars to remove to the French head-quarters, on ccmdition 
of their being considered prisoners of war— an offer which that 
•general thankfiilly acc^ted; A solemn thanksgiving was read 
in all the regiments of the army two days after the battle, 
after which the soldiers of both armies joined in removing the 
Woimded French on two himdred wagons to the French camp. 
Thus, after the conclusicm of one of the bloodiest fights r^ 
corded in modem history, the first acts of the viotqrs were in 
raising the voice of thanksgiving, and doing deeds of mercy.* 
No sooner were these pious cares concluded, than the allies 
40. resumed the investment of Mons ; Marlborough, 
M^^dcon. with the English and Dutch, having his head- 
c^XpS^,^ quarters at Belian, and Eugene, with the Ger- 
October. mans, at Quaregnon. The Prince of Orange, 

with thirty battalions and aa many squadrons, was intrusted 
with the blockade. Great efforts were immediately made to 
get the necessary stores and siege equipage up fix)m Brussels ; 
but the heavy rains of autumn set in with such severity, that 
it was not tiU the 25th of September that the trenches could 
be opened. Boufilers, though at no great distance, did not 
venture to disturb the operations. On the 9th of October, a 
lodgment was effected in the covered way ; on the 17th, the 
outworks were stormed ; and c«i the 26th, the place surren- 
dered with its garrison, still three thousand five hundred strong. 
By this important success, the conquest of Brabant was finish- 
ed ; the burden and expense of the war removed from the 
Dutch provinces ; the barrier which they had so long sought 

* Marlborough to Marshal Villars, 13tb of September, 1709, and to Mr. 
Secretary Boyle, 16th of September, 1709 ; Disp., v., 596-599. Cox£, v., 64. 

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after was rendered nearly complete ; and the defenses of Frauds 
were so far laid bare, that by the reduction of Valenciennes and 
Quesnoy, in the next campaign, no fortified place would re- 
main on this great road between the allies and Paris. Having 
achieved this important success, the allied generals put their 
army into winter quarters at Ghent, Bruges, Brussels, and <m 
the Meuse, while fifty battalions of the French, with one h\uid- 
red squadrcms, were quartered, under the command of the Duke 
of Berwick, in the i^ghborhood of Maubeuge, and the remain- 
der of their great army in and around Valenciennes and Ques- 

During the progress of this «hort but brilliant campaign, 
Marlborough was more than ever annoyed and dis- , 4i. , ' 

° . 1 ,. Continued de- 

heartened by the evident and mcreasiag decline ciineofMari. 

^ , . borough's influ- 

of his influence at home. Harley and Mrs. Ma- ence at court 
dbam continued to thwart him in every way in their power, 
and scarcely disguised their desire to make the situation of the 
duke and Godoljdiin so uncomfortable, that out of splemi they 
might i^esign, in which case the ^itire direction oi affairs would 
have fallen into their hands.f Infiu^»;ed by these new far 
vorites, the queen became oold and resentfiiL to the Duchess 
of Marlborough, to whom she had formerly been so much at- 
tached ; and the duke, perceiving this, strongly advised her to 
abstain finmi any correspondence with her majesty, bemg cc»»- 
vinced that to continue it would be more likely to increase 
than diminish the estrangem^it so rapidly growing between 
them. The duchess, however, was hersdf of too irritable a 
t^uper to follow this wise advice ; reproaches, e3q[danati0ns, and 
renewed axtnplaints ensued oa. both sides ; and, as usual in such 

* Marlborough to Mr. Secretary Boyle, October SV 1709. Disp^ v., 617;- 

t " Be aMared that Mrs. Masham and Mr. Harley wiS, underhand, do ev- 
vfy tiling that can make the bosineM aneaay, particalarly to yon the Iord> 
Ireararer, and me, fiar |;hey know well that if we wero removed every thing 
would be in their power. This ii what they labor for, believing it would 
make 1i»em both great and happy ; but I am very well persuaded it would be 
their ^e§tmctaon:*^Marlborou.gk to Godoljahm, Mov. 1, 1709« CoxE, v., 105. 

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oases, where excessive fondness has heen succeeded by cold- 
ness, all attempts to repair the breach had only the effect of 
widening it. Numerous events at court, trifles in themselves, 
but to the jealous " confirmation strong,** served to show in 
what direction the wind was setting. The duchess took the 
strong and injudicious step of intruding herself on the queen, 
and asking what crime she had committed to produce so great 
an estrangement between them. This drew from her majes- 
ty a letter, exculpating her from any fault, but ascribing their 
ahenation to a discordance in poUtical opinion, adding, ** I do 
not think it a crime in any one not to be of my mind, or blam- 
able, because you can not see with my eyes, or hear with my 
ears.** While this reUeved Marlborough from the dread of a 
personal quarrel between the duchess and her royal mistress, 
it only aggravated the precarious nature of his situation, by 
showing that the spHt was owing to a wider and more irre- 
mediable division on political subjects.* 

Encouraged by this powerful support at court, Harley now 

42. openly pursued his design of efiecting the downfall 

cismsandcen- of Marlborough, and his removal from office and 

surea on the . -i n t • mi i i 

campaign. the Command oi the armies. The whole cam- 
paign, which had terminated so gloriously, was criticised in 
the most imjust and malignant spirit. The siege of Toumay 
was useless and expensive ; the battle of Malplaquet an un- 
necessary carnage. It was even insinuated that the duke had 
purposely exposed the officers to slaughter, that he might ob- 
tain a profit by the sale of their commissions. The prelim- 
inaries first agreed to at the Hague were too favorable to 
France ; when Louis rejected them, the rupture of the nego- 
tiations rested with Marlborough. In a word, there was 
nothing done by the EngUsh general, successful or unsuccess- 
ful, pacific or warlike, which was not made the subject of 
strong condemnation and unmeasured invective. Harley 
even corresponded with the disaffected party in Holland, 
in order to induce them to cut short the duke's career of 

• CJOXB, v., 105-111. 

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victory by clamoring for a general peace. Louis was repre- 
sented as inyincible, and rising stronger &om every defeat ; 
and the prolongation of the war was alleged to be entirely 
owing to the selfish interests and ambition of the allied chief. 
These and similar accusations, loudly re-echoed by all the To- 
ries, and sedulously poured into the royal ear by Harley and 
Mrs. Masham, made such an impressicm on the queen, that 
she did not ofier the smaQest congratulation to the duchess on 
the victory of Malplaquet, nor express the least satisfaction at 
the duke's escape from the innumerable dangers which he had 
incurred.''*' / 

An ill-timed and injudicious step of Marlborough at this 
juncture, and one of the lew which can be imputed 43. 
to him in his whole public career, inflamed against q^st of^Mari' 
him the jealousy of the queen and the Tories. Per- made laptaiS^ 
ceiving the decline of his influence at court, and fi^era^^o^^'®- 
anticipating his dismissal from the command of the army at 
no distant period, he solicited from the queen a patent consti- 
tuting him captain-general for life. In vain he was assured 
by the lord-chancellor that such an^ appointment was wholly 
unprecedented in English history ; he persisted in laying the 
petition before her majesty, by whom it was of course refused. 
Piqued at this disappointment, he wrote an acrimoijious letter 
to the queen, in which he reproached her with the neglect of 
his public services, and bitterly complained of the neglect of 
the duchess, and the transfer of the royal favor to Mrs. Ma- 
sham. .So deeply did Marlborough feel this disappointment, 
that on leaving the Hague to return to England, he said pub* 
licly to the deputies of the States, " I am grieved that I am 
obliged to return i;o England, where my services to your, re- 
public wiU be turned to my disgrace."! 

Marlborough was received in the most flattering mann^ 
by the people, when he landed on the 15th of November, and 

* Com, v., 115-116. 

t Swift, Mem. on Qtieen's Change of Ministry in 1710, p. 37. Coxx, 
v., 117, 118. 


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44. the thanks of both houses of Parliament were 

recep^n^m tendered to him for his great and glonons senr- 
par^ent, ^^^^' ^^^ queen declared, in her speech fix)m the 
^^^ ^°^' throne, that this campaign had been at least as glo- 
rious as any which had preceded it ; and the chancellor, in 
communicating the thanks of the House of Lords, added, 
** This high eulogium must be looked upon as added to, and 
standing upon the foundation already laid in the records of 
this House, £>r preserving your memory fresh to all future 
times ; so that your grace has also the satisfaction of seeing 
this everlasting monument of your glory rise every year much 
higher/' Such was the ^ect produced on both houses by the 
presence of the duke, and the recollection of his gbrious serv- 
ices, that hberal suppUes for carrying on the war were grant- 
ed by them. The Commons voted £6,000,000 for the serv- 
ice of the ensuing year, and on the earnest representation of 
Marlborough, an addition was made to the military forces. 
But in the midst of all these flattering appearances, the 

49. hand of destruction was already impending over 

JSSwffi^' the British hero. It was mainly caused by the 
ftt court greatness and invaluable nature of his services. 

Envy, the invariable attendant on exalted merit, had already 
singled him out as her victim ; jealousy, the prevailing weak- 
ness of Uttle minds, had prepared his ruin. The queen had 
become uneasy at the greatness of her subject. There had 
even been a talk of the Duke of Argyll arresting him in her 
name, when in command of the army. Anne lent a ready 
ear to an insinuation of her flatterers, especially Mrs. Masham, 
that she was inthralled by a single family ; that Marlborough 
was the real sovereign of England, and that the ^rown was 
overshadowed by the field-marshal's baton. Godolphin hav- 
ing been violently Hbeled in a sermon by Dr. Sacheverell, at 
St. Savior's, Southwark^ the doctor was impeached before the 
House of Lords for the ofiense. The government of the Tow- 
er, usually placed at the disposal of the commander-in-chief, 
was, to mortify Marlborough, bestowed, without consulting 

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him, on Lord Rivers. At length matters came to such a 
pass, and the ascendency of Mrs. Masham was so evident, 
while her influence, was exercised in so undisguised a manner 
to humiliate him, that he prepared the draft of a letter of res- 
ignation of his commands to her majesty, in which, after enu- 
merating his services, and the abuse which. Mrs. Masham 
continued to heap on him and his relations, he concluded with 
saying, " I hope your majesty wlU either dismiss her or my- 

Sunderland and several of the Wliig leaders warmly ap- 
proved of this vigorous step ; but Godolphiii, who 45. 
foresaw the total ruin of the ministry and himself ^nces^witii 
in the resignation of the general, had influence t^e queen. 
enough to prevent its being sent. Instead of doing so, that 
nobleman had a long private audience with her majesty on 
the subject, in which, notwithstanding the warmest profes- 
sions on her part, and the strong sense she entertained of his 
great and lasting services, it was not difficult to perceive that 
a reserve as to future intentions was manifested, which indi- 
cated a loss of confidence. Marlborough declared he would 
be governed in the whole matter by the advice and opinion 
of his friends, but strongly expressed his own opinion " that all 
must be undone if this poison continues about the queen, "t 
Such, however, was the agony of apprehension of Godolphin 
at the effects of the duke's resignation, that he persuaded him 
to adopt a middle course, the usual resource of second-rate men 
in critical circumstances, but generally the most hazardous ^-^^ 
that can be adopted. This plan was to write a warm remon- 
strance to the queen, but without making Mrs. Masham's re- 
moval a condition of his remaiiung in office. In tiiis letter, 
after many invectives against Mrs. Masham, and a full enu- 
meration of his grievances, he concludes with these words i 
" This is only one of many mortifications that I liave met 

* COXE, v., 124-133. 

t Duchess of Marlborough to Maymcaring, January 18, 1710. Coxe, v^ 

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with ; and as I may not have many opportimities of writing' 
to you, let me beg of your majesty to reflect what your own 
people and the rest of the world must think, who have been 
witnesses of the love, zeal, and duty with which I have serv- 
ed you, when they shall see that, after all I have done, it has 
not been able to protect me against the malice of a bed-cham- 
ber woman. But your majesty may be assured that my zeal 
for you and my comitry is so great, that in my retirement I 
shall daily pray for your prosperity, and that those who serve 
you as faithfully as I have done may never feel the hard re- 
turn I have met with."* 

These expressions, how just soever in themselves, and natu- 
47. ral in one whose great services had been reqiiited 

He determinet 

toresignifMrs. as Marlborough*s had been, were not likely to 
removed. make a favorable impression on the royal mind, 
and, accordingly, at a private audience which he had soon 
after of the queen, he was received in the coldest manner.f 
He retired, in consequence, to Blenheim, determined to resign 
all his commands imless Mrs. Masham was removed from the 
royal presence. Matters seemed so near a rupture, that the 
queen personally applied to several of the Tcndes, and even 
Jacobites, who had long kept aloof fixHn court, to support her 
in opposition to the address expected from both houses of Par- 
liament 6n the duke's resignation. 

Godolj^iin and Somers, however, did their utmost to bend 
the firm general ; and they so far succeeded in opposition td 
bis better judgment, and the decided opinions of the duchess, 

* Marlborough to Queen Anne, January 19, 1710. 

t " On Wednesday se'nnight 1 waited apon the qaeen, in order to repre- 
lent the mischief of such recommendations in die army, and before I came 
away I expressed all the concern for her change to me that is natural to a 
man that has served her so faithfully for many years, which made no im- 
pression, nor was her majesty pleased to take so much notice of me as to 
ask my lord-treasurer where I was upon her missing me at council. I have 
had several letters from him since I came here, and I can not find that her 
majesty has ever thought me worth naming ; when my lord-treasurer onoe 
endeavored to show her the mischief that would happen, she made him no 
answer but a hovr.'*— Marlborough to Lord Somers, January 21, 1710. 

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as to induce him to continue in office without re- 43. 

quiring the removal of Mrs. Masham from court. ^dtoyS?^ 
The queen, dehghted at this victoty over so for- ^c^^^isYo 
midable an opponent, received him at his next au- ^® ^^^^' 
dience in the most flattering manner, and with a degree of 
apparent regard which she had scarcely ever evinced to him 
in the days of his highest favor. But in the midst of these 
deceitful appearances his ruin was secretly resolved on ; and 
in order to accelerate his departure from court, the queen in- 
serted in her reply to the address of the Commons at the close 
of the session of Parliament, a statement of her resolution to 
send him immediately to Holland, as *' I shall always esteem 
him the chief instrument of my glory and of my people's hap- 
piness." He embarked accordingly, and landed at the Brill 
on the 18th of March, in appearance possessing the same 
credit and authority as before, but in reality thwarted and op- 
posed by a jealous and ambitious faction at home, which re^ 
strained his most important measures, and prevented him from 
effecting any thing in future on a level with his former glori- 
ous achievements. 

The year 1709 was signalized by the decisive victory of 
the Czar Peter over Charles XII. at Pultowa, 49. 

1 n 11- •-.,.,, Battleof Pul- 

who was totally routed and irretrievably rumed by towa. and 
the Muscovite forces, commanded by the Czar in chariee xn. 
person on that disastrous day. This overthrow was one of 
the most momentous which has occurred in modem times. 
Not only was a great and dreaded conqueror at once over- -• 
turned, and, ere long, reduced to captivity, but a new balance 
of power was established in the north which has never since < 
been shaken. Sweden was reduced to her natural rank as a 
third-rate power, from which she had been only raised by the 
extraordinary valor and military talents of a series of warlike 
sovereigns, who had succeeded in rendering the Scandinavian 
warriors, like the Macedonians of old, a race of heroes. Hus- 
sia, by the same event, acquired the entire ascendency over 
the other Baltic powers, and obtained that preponderance 

^ " Digitized by VjOOQIC 


which she has erer since maintained in the affiiiis of Europa. 
Marlborough sympathized warmly with the misiortmies of the 
heroic sovereign, for whose genius and gallantry he had con- 
ceived the highest admiration. But he was too sagacious not 
to see that his disasters, like those of Napolecm afterward in 
the same regions, were ^itirely the result c^ his own impru- 
dence, and that, if he had judiciously taken advantage of tha 
terror of his name and the success of his arms in the outset 
of his invasion, he might have gained all the objects for whidh 
he contended without incurring any serious evil.^ 

Peter the Great, who gained this astonishing and dedsive 
5a success, was one of the most remarkable men who 

PelSrSw Great «ver appeared on . the theater of public affairs, 
of Russia. jj^ ^^ nothing by halves. For good or for evil 
he was gigantic. Vigor seems to have been the great chaf' 
■aoteristic of his mind ; but it was often feaif ully disfigured by 
passion, and he was not unfirequently misled by the examj^ 
of more advanced states. To elevate E/Ussia to an exalted 
place among nations, and give her the influence whi(^ hq^ 
vast extent and physical resources seemed to put within her 
reach, was throughout life the great object of his ambition ; 
and he succeeded in it< to an extent which naturally acquired 
for him the unbounded admiration of msuakind. His ov^- 
throw of the Strelitzes, long the PraBtorian guards and terr<^ 
of the czars of Muscovy, was efiected with a vigor and stain^ 
ed by a cruelty similar to that witii which Sultan Mah- 
moud, a century after, destroyed the Janizaries at Constanti- 
nople. The sight of a young and despotic sovereign leaving 
the glittering toys and real enjoyments of royalty to labor in 
the dock-yards of Saardem with his own hands, and instruct 

* " If this anfortonate king had been so well advised as to have made 
peace the beginning ef this summer, he might, in a great measure, have in- 
flaenced the peace between France and the alliea, and made other king- 
doms happy. I am extremely tooched with the misfortunes of this young 
king. His continued successes, and the contempt he had of his enemies, 
hare been his TVL\n."-^Metrlborough to Ooddpkmt August S6, 1709. IHtp., 

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his subjects in ship-building by first teaching liimself, was too 
striking and remarkable not to excite universal attention. 
And when the result of this was seen — when the Czar was 
found introducing among his subjects the military discipline, 
naval architecture, nautical skill, as well as other arts and 
warlike institutions of Europe, and, in consequence, long re- 
sisting, and at length destroying, the mighty conqueror who 
had so long been the terror of Northern Europe, the astonish- 
ment of men knew no bounds. He was celebrated as at once 
the Solon and Scipio of modern times ; and literary servility, 
vying with great and disinterested admiration, extolled him 
as one of the greatest heroes and benefactors of his species 
who had ever appeared among men. 

But time, the great dispeller of illusions, whose mighty arm 
no individual greatness^ how great soever, can long 51. 

withstand, has begun to abate much of this colos- dbUiliion're-'^** 
sal reputation. His temper was violent in the g^^'^^'g ^ii™- 
extreme ; frequent acts of hideous cruelty, and occasional op- 
pression, signalized his reign : he was often unpelled, by ill- 
directed zeal for the advancement of his people, into measures 
which in reahty and in the end retarded their improvement. 
More than any other man, he did evil that good might come 
of it. He impelled his people, as he thought, to civilization, 
though, while launching into the stream, hundreds of thousands 
perished in the waves. " Peter the Great," says Mackintosh, 
" did not civilize Russia : that undertakmg was beyond his 
genius, great as it was ; he ordy gave the Russians the art of 
civilized watr." The truth was, he attempted what was al- 
together impracticable. No one man can at once civilize a 
nation : he can only put it in the way of civilization. To 
complete the fabric must be the work of continued efibrt and 
sustained industry during many successive generations. That 
Peter failed in raising his people to a level with the other na- 
tions of Europe in refinement and industry, is no reproach to 
him. It was impossible to do so in less than several centu- 
ries. The real particular in which he erred was, that he de- 

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parted from the national spirit, that he tore up the national 
institutions, and violated, in numerous instances, the strongest 
national feelings. He clothed his court and capital in Eu- 
ropean dresses ; but men do not put off old feelings with the 
costume of th^r fathers. 

Peter's civilization extended no further than the surface. 
52. He succeeded in inducing an extraordinary deffree 

Realcharacter .... , J o 

of bi« changes, of discipline in his army, and the appearance of 
considerable refinement among his courtiers. He effected no 
material ameliorations in the condition of his subjects ; and 
by endeavoring to force them at once up to a levePwith the 
states of Western Eiurope, he not only rendered his govern- 
ment unpopular with the rural population, but also prevented 
his improvements from penetrating the great body of the peo- 
ple. It is easier to remodel an army than change a nation ; 
and the celebrated Ixmymot of Diderot, that the Russians were 
"rotten before they were ripe," is too happy an expression, 
indicating how much easier it is to introduce the vices than 
the virtues of civilization among an unlettered people. To 
this day the civilization of Russia has never descended below 
the higher ranks ; and the efforts of the really patriotic czars 
who have since wielded the Muscovite scepter, Alexander and 
Nicholas, have been mainly in abandoning the fictitious ca- 
reer into which Peter turned the people,' and the reviving 
with the old institutions the true spirit and inherent aspira- 
tions of the nation. The immense, though less obtrusive suc- 
cess with which their efforts have been attended, arid the- 
gradual, though still slow descent of civilization flnd improve- 
ment through the great body of the people, prove the wisdom 
of the principles on which they have proceeded. Possibly 
Russia is yet destined to afford another illustration of the 
truth of Montesquieu's maxim, that no nation ever yet rose 
to durable greatness but through institutions in harmony with 
its spirit. Yet was Peter's attempt, though in many respects 
a mistaken, a great and glorious one : it was the effort .of a 
rude, but lofty and magnanimous mind, which attributes to 

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mankind in general that vigor and ambition of which it is 
itself conscious. And without shutting our eyes to his many 
and serious errors, in charity let us hope that the words of 
Peter on his death-bed have been realized : '* I trust that, in 
respect of the good I have striven to do my people, God will 

pardon my sins.'* 

% .t . ) •> ... '* 


vo *u: -i •:>... ^ CHAPTER VI. ^^.-v^r^ 





On his arrival iii Holland on the 18th of March, 1710, 
Marlborough again found himself practically in- i. 

volved in the still pending negotiations for peace, ne^gotiltionB at 
over which, from the decHne of hi^ influence at ^^®' i 

court, he had ceased to have any real control. StiU exposed 
to the blasting imputation of seeking to prolong the war for ^ 
his own private purposes, he was, in realit}^ doing his utmost 
to terminate hostilities. As the negotiation with the osten- 
sible plenipotentiaries of the different courts was at an end, 
though Louis still continued to make private overtures to the 
Dutch, in the hope of detaching them from the confederacy, 
Marlborough took advantage of this circumstance to endeavor 
to effect an accommodation. At his request, the Dutch agent, 
Petcum, had again returned to Paris in the end of 1709, to 
resume the negotiation ; and the Marlbormigh Papers con- 
. tain numerous letters from liim to the duke, detailing the 
progress of the overtures.^'*' On the very day after Marlbor- 

* Marlborough to the Earl of Sunderland, 8th of Nov., 1709. Disp,, jv., 
647. CojtE. iv., 167. 

rf - Y 

>^ " M^ Digitized by LjOQQIC 



ough's arrival at the Hague, t)ie pl^ppt^tiams made their 
report of tiie. issue of the negotiatbn ; but the views of tha 
parties were stiU so much at variance, that it l¥as evidesit jao 
hopes of peace could he entertained. Louis waa not yet suffi- 
ciently humbled to stibmit to the arrogant demands of the al- 
hes, which went to strip him of nearly all his conquests ; and 
the difierent powers of the confederacy were each set upon 
turning the general success of the alHance to their own pri- 
vate advantage. 

Zenzindorf, on the part of Austria, insisted that ^ not the 
2. smallest portion c^ the Spanish territories in Italy 
SSd» of ^ should be ceded to k prince of the house of Bour- 
^^**** bon, and declared the resolution of his Imperial mas- 

ter to perish with arms in his hands rather than submit to 
a partition which would lead to his inevitable ruin. King 
Charles expressed the same determination, and cont«Q:ded 
further for the cession of Roussillon, which had been wrested 
jfrom Spain .since the treaty of the Pyrenees. The Duke of 
Savoy, who aimed at the acquisition of Sicily &om the spdls 
of^ the fallen monarch, was equally obstinate for the proseour 
tion of the war. Godolphin, Somers, and the Dutch Pen- 
sionary inclined to peace, and were willing, to purchase it by 
the cession of Sicily to Louis ; and Marlborough gave this his 
entire support, ^provided ihe evacuation of Spain, the great ob^ 
ject of the war, could be secured.''*' But aU their effinrts were 
in vain. The ambitious designs of Austria and Savoy pre- 
vailed over their pacific counsels ; ajod we have the valuable 
authority of De l^orcy, who in the former congress had ac- 
cused the duke ci breaking off the n^otiation, that in this 
year the rupture was entirely owing to the efibrts of Count 
Zenzindorf.f Madborou^, however, never ceased to laUg 
for a tenninati<HL of hostilities, and took the £eld with a heavy 
heart, relieved only by the hope that one more sucoessfiil cam- 

* CoxK, iv., 169. LA.MBERTI, vi., 37-49. 

t Note to Fetcum» Attgwt 10, 1710. AHmiboni^t^ Papev^i S9d Ooxb, 
Iv., 173. 

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paigE would give ium what he so axdently desired, the rest 
oonsequ^it upon a general peace.*" 

War bemg resdved on, Marlborough and Eugene met at 
Toumay on the 28th of April, and coinmenoed 3. 

the campaign by beaegi^g the fort of Mortagne, Sgil^'^ 
Which capitulated on the same day. Their force ^^b^?^ 
already amounted to sixty thousand m^ai, and as ^^^' 
the troops were daily coming up from their cantonments, it 
was ei^>eoted soon to amount to double that numb^. The 
plan of operations was socm settled between these two great 
men ; no difierence of opinicm ever occurred between them, no 
jealousy ever marred their co-op^ation. They determined to 
commence serious operations by attacking Douay, a strong 
Ibrtress, and one of the last of the £rst order which in that 
quarter guarded the French territory. To succeed in this, 
however, it was necessary to pass the French hnxa^ which 
were of great strength, and were gua^rded by Marshal Mon- 
tesquieu at the head of forty battalicms and twenty squadrons. 
Douay itself was also strongly protected both by nature and 
art. On the one side lay the Haine and the Scarpe ; in the 
center was the canal of Douay ; on the other side were the 
lines of La Bassie, which had been strengthened with addi- 
tional works since the close of the campaign. Marlborough 
was v«ry sanguine of success, as the French force was not yet 
collected, «nd he was considerably superior in number ; and he 
w]rote to Godo^hin on the same night, " The <»:der8 are giv- 
en for marching this night, so that I hope my jiext wiU give 
you an accoimt of our being in Artois.'^t 

* "I «m rery tony to tell ^cm that the behavior of tiie French looki as if 
they had no other desire than that of carrying on the war. I hope God wiM 
bless this campaign, for I see nothing else that can give u* peace either at 
home or abroad. I am so diseooraged by ereiy Aing I see« that I have nev- 
er, darmg this war, gone into the field with so heavy a heart as at this time. 
I own to you that the present homor in Sngland gives me a good dieal of 
tiooble, for I can not see how it is possible they should mend till every 
thing is yet \rone "--Marlborough to the Duckeee, Hague, 14th of April, 1710. 
CiMU, iv., 179. 
. t Mitfiborougk to Godolphin, 90th of April, 1710. Ck>zs, iv., 1S3. 

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The duke operated at once by both wings. On the one 
4. wing he detached the Prince of Wirtembwrg, -^th 

Pnsi^age of the it^ m' i-* 

fine 8 of the fifteen thousand men, by Pont-a-Tessin to Pont-a- 

Sc&roe. 28th 

ApriL Vendin, where the French lines met theDyle and 

the canal of Douay, while on the other Prince Eugene moved 
forward Count Fels, with a considerable corps, toward Pont 
Auby on the saihe canal. The whole army followed in two 
colimms, the right commanded by Eugene, and the left by 
Marlborough. The English general secured the passage at 
Pont-a- Vendin without resistance ; and Eugene, though baf- 
fled at Pont Auby, succeeded in getting over the canal at 
Sant and Courieres without serious loss. The first defenses 
were thus forced ; and that night the two wings having form- 
ed a junction, lay on their arms in the plain of Lens, "^hile 
Montesquieu precipitately retired behind the Scarpe, in the 
neighborhood of Vitry. Next morning, the troops, overjoyed 
at their success, continued their advance. Marlborough sent 
forward General Cadogan, at the head of the English troops, 
to Pont-a-Rache, to circumscribe the garrison of Douay, on 
the canal of Marchiennes, on the north, while Eugene, en- 
camping on the other side of the Scarpe, completed the invest- 
ment on the west. The perfect success of this enterprise with- 
out any loss was matter of equal surprise and joy to the duke, 
who wrote to the duchess in the highest strain of satisfacticm 
at his bloodless triumph. It was entirely owing to the sud- 
denness and secrecy of his movements, which took the en^my 
completely unawares ; for had the enterprise be«i delayed 
four days longer, its issue would have been extremely doubt-: 
ful, and thousands of men must, at all events, have been sac- 

* " In my last I had but just time to tell yoa we had passed &e lines. I 
hope tiiis happy beginning will produce such success this campaign as most 
pat an end to the war. I bless Gk>d for putting it into their beads not to de- 
fend their lines ; for at Pont-a- Vendin, when I passed, iAie Marshal D'Artag- 
nan was with twenty thonsand men, which, if he had stayed, most have 
rendered the event very doubtful. But, God be praised> we are come with- 
out the loss of any men. The excuse the French make is, that we eama 

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Douay, which was immediately invested afler this success, 
is a fortress of considerable strength, in the second 5. 

. . Description 

line which covers the French province of Artois. of Douay. 
Less populous thjm Lille, it embraces a wider circuit within 
its ample walls. Its principal defense consists in the marshes, 
which, on the ade of Toumay, where the attack might be ex- 
pected, render it extremely difficult of approach, especially in 
the rainy season. Access to it is defended by Fort Scarpe, a 
powerful outwork, capable of standing a separate siege. The 
garrison consisted of eight thousand men under the command 
of the Marquis Albergotti, an officer of the highest talent and 
bravery ; and under him were the renowned Valory, to direct 
the engineers, and the hot less celebrated Chevalier de Jau- 
eourt, to command the artillery. From a fortress bf such 
strength, so defended, the most resolute resistance might be 
expected, and no efibrts were spared on the part of the allied 
generals to overcome it. 

The investment was completed on the 4th, and the trenches 
opened on the 5th of May. On the 7th, the head s. 

of the sap was advanced to within- two hundred J^^ d^^°* 
and fifty yards of the exterior palisades; but the ^es^^^^Jj;* 
besiegers that night experienced a severe check from ^^ ^y- 
a vigorous sally of the besieged with twelve hundred men, by 
which two English regiments were nearly cut to pieces. But, 
on the-6th, a great train of artillery, consisting of two bund- 
led pieces, with a large supply of ammunition, arrived firom 
Toumay ; on the 1 1th, the advanced works were strongly 
armed, and the batteries were pushed up to the covered way, 
where they thundered across the ditch against the rampart. 
The imminent danger of this important stronghold now seri- 
ously alarmed the French court ; and Marshal Villars, who 
commanded their great army on the Flemish frontier, received 
the most positive orders to advance to its relief. By great ex- 
ertions, he had now collected one hundred and fifty-three bat- 

fimr dmyi before they expected nB^-^Marlboraugh to the Duehe$$, Slat of 
April, 1710. CoxM, iz., 184. 

Y 2 

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268 TBS LIF£ OP 

talionB and two hundred and sixty-two squadiDns, which wero 
pompously announced as mustering on^ hundred and fifty thou* 
sand comhatants, and certainly amounted to nu»re than ninety 
thousand. The allied force was almost exactly equal in bat- 
talions and squadrons ; it consisted of one hundred ai^ fifty- 
five battalions and two hundred and sixty-<»ie squadrons, but 
the number of men was lees than that of the^ French, being 
only eighty thousand. 

Villars broke up firom the vicinity of Cambray m the 2l8t 
7, of May, and advanced in gioeat strength toward 
ito^M^ Douay. Marlborough and Eugene immediately 
ocber batua. ^uule the most vigorous preparations to receive him. 
Thirty battalions only were left to prosecute the siege ; tw^vf 
iquadrcms were placed in observation at Pont-a-Kache ; an4 
the r^Qoainder of the axmy, about sixty thousand strong, wez^ 
ooncentrated in a strong position^ so as to cover the aege, <a^ 
which all the resources of art, so far as the short time would 
admit, had been lavished. Every thing was prepared for a 
mighty struggle. The whole guns were mounted on batteries 
fi)ur hundred paces ftom each other ; the infantry was dr^^^^^ 
up in a single line along the intrenchmM:it, and filled up th^ 
entire interval between the artillery; the cavalry were ar« 
ranged in two lines, seven hundred paces in rear of ih» &o% 
soldiers. It seemed another Malpkquet, in which the rela^ 
tive position of the two armies was reversed, and the FreneH 
were to storm the intrenched position of the allies. Every 
man in both armies expected a decisive battle ; and M^lboir- 
ough, who was heartily tired of the wax, wrote to the diicheai 
that he helped for a victory which should at once end the War 
and restore him to private life.* 

* " I bope Ood will lo bleM oar efibrti, that if the qaeen iboald not be 19 
happy as to have a proipect Of peace beCbre the opening of the next session 
of Parliament, she and all her snbjects may be convinced we do oar best 
here in the army to pat a speedy and good period to this bloody war." — 
Marlborough to the Duchea, May IS, 1710. 

" I hear of so many disagreeable things, that make it very reasonable, both 
far myself and yoa, to take no steps bat what may lead to a quiet life. TbiB 
Iwing the case, am I not to be pitied that am every day in danger of eacpoa- 

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Yet there was no battle. The luster of Blenheim and 
RamiUies played round Marlborough's bayonets, a 

and the recoUection of Turin tripled the effective ^^Jg^ 
force of Eugene's squ^i^ns. Villars advanced on ^*' 
the 1st of June» with all the pomp and circumstance of war, 
to within musket-shot of the aUied position ; and he had not 
odIj the authority, but the recommendation of Loihs to hazard 
a battle. He boasted that his force amounted to a hundred 
and sixty thousand men.'if' But he did not venture to make 
the attack. To Marlborough's great regret, he retired with- 
out fighting ; and the English general, at the age of threescore, 
was Mt to pursue the fiitigues and the labors of a protracted 
campaign, in which, for the first time in his hfe, he was doubt- 
fid of success, firom knowing the malignant eyes with which 
he was regarded by the ruling fiictions in his own country. 
'* I long," said he, '' for an end of the war, so Grod's will bo 
done; whatever the event may bo, I shall have nothing to 
reproach myself with, having, with all my heart, done my 
duty, and being hitherto blessed with more success than was 
ever known before. My wishes and duty are the same ; but 
I can't say I have the same prophetic spirit I used to have ; 
for in all the former actions I never did doubt of success, wo 
having had oonstantly the great blessing of being of one mind. 
I can not say it is so now ; for I fear sokne are run so fiur into 
villainous faction, that it would more content them to see us 
beaten ; but if I live, I will bo watchfiil that it shall not be 
in their power to do much hmii. The discourse of the Duko 
of Argyll is, that when I please there, will then be peace. I 
suppose his finends speak the same language in England ; so 
that I must every summer venture my lifo in a battle, and be 
found fault with in winter for not bringing hmne peace. No, 
I wish for it with all my heart and 8oul."t 

ingr my life fisr the good of tboie who are leeking my mint God's will be 
done. If I can be so blesied as to end this campaign with success, tbin^ 
mast very much alter to persuade me to come again at the bead of the army." 
-^Mcniborough to the Duchesit 19th of May» 1710. Coxe, iv., 191, 193. 

* Marlborough to Qodolphin, a6th of May and ad of Jane. 1710. 

t Marlborough to the Ihtchetif 12th of June, 1710. Coxi, iv., 107. 

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Villars having retired without fighting, the operationB of 
9. the siege were, resumed with redoubled vigor. On 

FallofDoiiay, ° . 

aeth June. the 16th of June, signals of distress were sent up 
from the town, which the French marshal perceived, and he 
made, in consequence, a show of returning to interrupt the 
siege ; but his movements came to nothing. Marlborough, 
to counteract his movement, repassed the Scarpe at Vitry, 
and took up a position directly barring the line of advance of 
the French marshal, while Eugene prosecuted the siege. Vil- 
lars again retired without fighting. Oil the 22d, the fort of 
Scarpe was breached, and the sap was advanced to the coun- 
terscarp of the fortress, the walls of which wejre violently shak- 
en ; and on the 26th, Albergotti, who had no longer any hope 
of being relieved, and who saw preparations made for a gen- 
eral assault, capitulated with the garrison, now reduced to 
four thousand five hundred men.* 

On the surrender of Douay, the allied generals intended to 
la besiege Arras, the last of the triple line of fortress- 
ttnS)ietoreach ©s which on that side covered France, and between 
rie^^Bethime, which and Paris no fortified place remained to ar- 
i5&juiy. j^g^ ^j^g march of an invader. On the 10th of 
July, Marlborough crossed the Scarpe at Vitry, and, joining 
Eugene, their united forces, nearly ninety thousand strong, 
advanced toward Arras. But Villars, who £eit the extreme 
importance of this last stronghold, had exerted himself to the 
utmost for its defense. He had long employed hiff troops on 
the construction of new lines of great strength on the Crin- 
chon, stretching from Arras to the Somme, and here he had 
collected nearly a hundred thousand men, and a hundred and 
thirty pieces of cannon. After reconnoitering this position, 
the aUied generals concurred in thinking that it was equally 
impossible to force it, and to undertake the. siege of Arras, 
while the enemy, in snch strength and so strongly posted, lay 
on its flank. Their first intention, on finding themselves baf- 
fled in this project, was to seize Hesdin on the Cancher, which 
• Marlborough to Oodolphin, 36th of June, 1710. Di9p.,iy, 696. 

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would have left the enemy no strong place between them and 
the coast. But the skillful dispositions of ViUars, who on this 
occasion displayed uncommon abihties and foieaght, rendered 
this design abortive, and it was therefore determined to attack 
Bethune. This place, which was surrounded with very strong 
works, was garrisoned by nine thousand men, under the- com- 
mand of M. Puy Vauban, nephew of the celebrated marshal 
of the same name. But as an attack on it had not been ex- 
pected^ the necessary supplies for a protracted resistance had 
not been fiiUy introduced when the investment was completed 
on the 15th of July.* 

Villars, upon seeing the point of attack now folly declared, 
moved in right colimms upon Horbarques, near i^ 
Montenencourt. Eug^ie and Marlborough, upon with which ^2l• 
this, assembled their coverinsf army, and chanf^ed invaaion of 

TV ^ ,. ,. , . ^^ France on thia 

theur front, taking up a new line stretching from occaaion. FaU 
Mont St. Eloi to Le Comte. Upon advancing to re- 28th Auguat 
connoiter the enemy, Marlborough discovered that the French, 
advancing to raise the siege, were busy constructing a new 
get of lines, which stretched across the plain from the rivulet 
Ugie to the Lorraine, and the center of which, at Avesnes le 
Comte, was already strongly fortified. It now appeared how 
much Villars had gained by the ddllfol measures which had 
diverted the allies from their projected attack upoii Arras. It 
lay upon the direct road to Paris. Bethune, though of im- 
portance to the ultimate issue of the war, was not of the same 
present moment. It lay on the fiank on the second line, Ar- 
ras in front, and was the only remaining fortress in the last. 
By means of the new lines which he had constructed, the 
able French marshal had erected a fresh protection for his 
. country, when its last defenses were weUnigh broken through. 
By simply holding them, the interior of France was covered 
from incursion, time was gained not only for raising fresh ar- 
maments in the interior for its defense, but, what was of more 

• Considerat. kur la Camp, de 1710, par M. le Martkal ViUam and 
CJoxi, iv., 192. 

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^2 TH£ LIFE Ol* 

importance to Louie, kr waiting the issue oi the intiigues in 
KpgUT>H, which' w«re soon expected to overthrow the Whig 
cabinet. YiUars, on this occasion, prored the salvation of his 
country, and justly raised himself to the very hig^t rank 
among its miHtary commanders. His meastires were the 
more to be ecmunended that they exposed him to the obloquy 
of leaving Bethune to its fate, -vidiich surrottdered by ci^dtti- 
lation, with its numerous garrison and accomjdodied c<an- 
mander, cm the 26th of August.*" 

Notwithstanding the loss of so many fortresses on th* eur 
12. dangered frontier of his territory, Louis XIV, was 

mo^^tofiaii^ SO muchencouragod by what he knew of 1h« great 
gitm^^ He in- change which was going on in tdss coundk of 
ifege cioate. Quecn Anne, that, expecting daily an oitire rev- 
olution in the ministry, and the overthrow of the war party 
in the cabinet, he resolved cm the most vigorous prosecution 
of the contest. He made clandestine overtures to the secret 
advisers of the queen, in the hope oi establishing that separate 
negotiation which at no distant period proved so successful. 
Torcy, the duke's enemy, triumphantly declared, " what we 
lose in Flanders, we dbaU gain in England, "f To frustrate 
these machinations, and, if possible, rouse the national feeling 
xoote strongly in favor of a vigorcms prosecution of the war, 
Marlborough determined to lay siege to Aire and Bt. Venant, 
whioh, though off the line of direct attack on Fran(»^ laid 
open the way to Calais, which, if suj^ported at home, he 
hoped to reduce before the conclusion of thje campaign.! Ha 
entertained the most sanguine hopes of success from th^ de^ 
sig^, which was warmly approved of by Godolphin ; but he 

* Marlborough to Godolphin^ 29th of Aogiut, 1710. Diap^ vr., 581. 
CoxE, iv., 294. " t CoxE, iv., 343, 344. 

t " X am of opinion that, after the siege of Aire, I shall have it in my pow* 
er to attack Calais. TMs is a conquest Vhich would very mnoh prejadice 
France, and oagfat to have a good effigct for the qaeen'i service m Saglaad ; 
but I see so much malice leveled at me, that I am afraid it ui not safe for 
me to make any proposition, lest, if it should not succeed, my enemies 
■hould torn it to my disadvantage."— Mar2tor0ti^& Qi^doiphim, llth of 
August, 1710. Coze, iv., 343. 

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MAB.L!BO&dtr(IH. 263 

leeraTed at tkis time goch dkcouraging accounts of the preca- 
licras oonditioii of his influence at court, that he justly conclud- 
ed he wotdd not receiye adequate support from England, out 
t>f which the main sup|4ies for the enterprise must be drawn. 
He, in concert with Eugene, therefore, wisely resolved to fore- 
go this dazzling but perilous ^project for the present, and to 
coiiieiii iiijiiaulf with the solid advantageb, uiiaLlciided with 
risk, of reducing Aire and St. Veiiant. 

Having taken their resolution, the confederate generals be- 
gan their inarch in the beginning of September, 13. 

1 1 r- 1 Till Siege and cap- 

and on the 6th oi that month both places were ture of st Ve- 

II- 1 • 1 • • 1 £• 11 nant, 29^1 Sep* 

mvested. Aire, which is comparatively oi small tember. 
extent, was garrisoned by only five thousand seven hundred 
men ; but Venant was a place of great size and strength, and 
had a garrison of fourteen battalions of foot and three regi- 
ments of dragoons, mustering eight thousand combatants. 
They were under the com^mand of the Count de Guebriant, a 
brave and skillful commander. Both were at this time pro- , % 

tected by inundations, which retarded extremely the opera* 
tions of the besiegers, the more especially as the autumnal 
rains had set in early this year, and with more than usual se- 
verity. While anxiously awaiting the cessation of this obsta- 
cle, and the arrival of a great convoy of heavy cannon and 
ammunition which was coming up from Ghent, the allied gen- 
erals received the disheartening intelligence of the total defeat 
of this important convoy, which, though guarded by sixteen 
hundred men, was attacked and destroyed by a French corps 
on the 19th of September. This loss affected Marlborough 
the more sensibly, that it was the first disaster of moment 
which had befallen him during nine years of incessant war- 
fere.* But, notwithstanding this loss, St. Venant was so se- * 

* " Till within these few days, during these nine years I have never had 
occasion to send ill news. Our powder and other stores, for the carrying on 
these two sieges, left Ghent last Thursday^ under the convoy of twelve 
hundred foot and four hundred and fifty horse. They were attacked by the 
enemy and beaten, so that they blew up the powder and sunk the store- 
ho&ta:*^Marlbarough to the Duchess, 22d Sept., 1710. Coxe, iv, 365. ' ' 


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verely prfessed by the fire of the besiegers, under the Prince of 
Anhalt, -who conducted the operations with uncommon vigor 
and abiUty, that the garrison was compelled to capitulate On 
the 29th, on condition of being conducted to St. Qmer, not to 
serve again till regularly exchanged. 

Aire still held out, as the loss of the convoy from Ghent, 
^1}- and the dreadful rains which fell almost without in- 

Andof Aire, ' ~* . . 

12th Nov. termission during the whole of October, very greatly 
retarded the progress of the siege. The garrison, too, under 
the command of the brave governor, made a most; resolute de- 
fense. Sickness prevailed to a great extent in the aUied 
army ; the troops were for the most part up to the knees in 
mud and water ; and the rains, which fell night and day with- 
out intermission, precluded the possibihty of finding a dry 
place for their lodging. It was absolutely necessary, however, 
to continue the siege ; for, independent of the credit of the 
army being staked on its success, it had become impossible, as 
Marlborough himself said, to draw the cannon fi*om the trench- 
es.* The perseverance of the aUied commanders lyas at length 
rewarded by success. On the 12th of November the fortress 
capitulated, and ^e garrison, still three thousand six hundred 
and twenty-eight strong, marched out prisoners, leaving six- 
teen hundred sick and wounded in the town. This conquest, 
tiilich concluded the campaign, ,was, however, dearly pur- 
chaffed by the loss of nearly seven thousand men killed and 
wounded in the allied ranks, exclusive of the sick, who, amid 
those pestilential marshes, had now swelled to double that 

Although the capture of four such important fortresses as 
Douay, Bethune, St. Venant, and Aire, with their garrisons, 
amoimting to thirty thousand men, who had been taken in 

* " Take it we must, for we can not draw the gona from the batteries. 
Bat God knows when we shall have it ; night and day our poor men are np 
to the knees in mad and wtAer." ^Marlborough to Godolpkin, 27th of Octo- 
ber, 1710. 

t Marlborough to Godolpkin, 13th of November, 1710. Disp., iv.^ 685- 
689. Com, iv., 366, 367. 

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them during the campaign, was a most substantial i^^^^ ^ 
advantage, and could not fail to have a most im- JjjJf^^J®^'* 
portantefiect on the final issue of the war, yet these home, 
results were not productive of so much natural exultation as 

the victories of the preceding campaigns. Tliere had been no 
brilliant victory like Blenheim, Hamillies, or Oudenarde, to 
silence envy and defy malignity ; the successes, though Httle 
less real, had not been so dazzling. The intriguers about the 
court, the malcontents in the country, eagerly seized on this 
circumstance to calumniate the duke, and accused him of im- 
worthy motives in the conduct of the war : he was protract- 
ing it for his own private purposes, reducing it to a strife of 
lines and sieges, when he might at once terminate it by a de- 
cisive battle, and gratifying his ruling passion of avarice by 
the lucrative appointments which he enjoyed himself, or di- 
vided among his friends. 

The great increase in the pubHc burdens of the country, a 
subiect which never fails to find a responsive echo „ ^f- ^ 

*' ^ ^ General alarm *'.W- 

in the English breast, added tenfold weight to at the augmen- 

'^ ^ tation of the 

these representations. Such was the clamor public burdens. 
against the augmentation of the public debt and taxes, that 
it had become absolutely stunning. It must be confessed there 
was great foundation for the complaints so generally made on 
this subject. The annual expenditure of the nation in the ^ 
last year of the reign of James II. had been, as Bolingbroke ▼^> 
tells us, about £2,000,000 ; and the supplies voted by the 
Commons had already for several years been six, and had this ^ 

year reached the unprecedented amount of seven millions. 
Large loans were annually contracted, the interest of which 
was not only burdensome in itself, but threatened, as it was 
thought, at no distant period entirely to swallow up the whole 
landed and realized property of the country. Men could see 
no end to this constant increase of taxation and such additions 
to the public debt. They began to think they might pay too 
dear for glory, for independence, or even for freedom. The 
pubUc debt, which was only £664,000 at the Revolution, had 


• * Digitized by GoOgte 

266 THE LIFE Ot 

since increaged so rapidly that it was swelled by £16,000,000 
duriiig the reign of William, and that contracted in the teigtk 
of Anne already exceeded £34,000,000, yjv^e at her death it 
amounted to £57,000,000 * The public tax^.had nearly 
tripled during the same period. Where, it was asked, is this 
to end ? Of twenty-two years which have elapsed since the 
Revolution, eighteen have been spent in constant alid expens- 
ive wars. What national resources, what public freedom 
ean stand such a strain ? 
'" It is impossible," says Bolingbroke, " to look back without 
17. indignation at the mysterious iniquity by which 
^SS^roke *bis system has been matured, or horror to the con- 
OB the subject, sequences that may ensue from it. The ordinary 
expenses of government are defrayed, even in time of peace, 
in great part by anticipations and mortgages. In time of 
peace — ^in days of prosperity, as we boast them to be — w6 
contract new debts, we create new frinds. What must hap- 
pen when we go to war, or are in national distress ? What 
will happen when We have mortgaged and funded all we 
have to mortgage and fund ; when we have mortgaged aU 
the produce of land, and all the land itself? Who can Un- 
Bwer that, when we come to such extremities, or have them 
more tiearly in prospect, ten millions of people will consent fo 
be mere hewers of wood and drawert of water, to maintain 
the two hundredth part of that number in ease and plenty ? 
Who can answer that the whole body of the people will suffer 
themselves to be treated, in favor of a handful of men, as the 
poor Indians are in favor of the Spaniards ; to be parceled 
out in lots, as it were, and to be asagned, like these Indians, 
to the Spanish planter, to toil and starve for the proprietort 

• National Debt at the Revoltition 
Increase daring William's reigli 
Debt at Anne's aocessibn . . 
Increase daring Anne's reign . 
Debt at the 4eath of Anne . . 

Debt Interest. Revenue. 

£664,253 £39,86^ £2,001,865 

16,394,702 1,810,956 
^"^'"^^^^^l 8.040,216 
54,145,363 3,351,368 5,641,803 
Alison's Europe^ v., 538. Revenue Tables, 70-89. 

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tof the flevetal fomds ?*** Prohiibly most perscms will be of 
opimOii that these queistionB suggest matter for serious and 
antious thought, ^yen with all the experience we have since 
had of the prodigious r^Bouroes which tiie industry and activ- 
ity of Great Britain can develop. It may be conceived, then, 
what a sensation they produced, when the funding system, J^i 

introduced with the Revolution, was yet in its infancy ; when 
the capability of the nation to bear an increase of burdens 
was unknown, and when all the obloquy arising from so rapid 
and alarming an increase of the public debts and burdens 
was, alike by friends and enemies, directed against the victo- 
rious general, who alone, it was said, profited by them I 

And, in truth, Marlborough bore the brunt of the whole. 
Yet nothing could be more unjust than this con- ^g ' * 

centration of the public discontent on his head, ^^eXTom^ 
when, in reality, the etils complained of were the P^^^^** °*- • 

direct and unavoidable consequences of the great revulsion by ** 

which the family on the throne had been changed. It was 
no fault of Marlborough that the nation since the Revolution 
had been involved in almost constant wars : they had only to 
thank him for having rendered them for the last ten years 
constantly successful. The real cause of the warfare, and of 
the enormous increase of the debt to which it had given rise, 
was the ambition of Louis XIV., which had arrayed all Eu- 
rope in a league against him, and the Revolution of 1688, 
which had placed England at its head. Great as had been, 
and were destined to be, the benefits of that change, it was 
attended in the first instance by most disastrous consequences. 
No nation, even for the most just of causes, can overturn an 
existing goveniment without suffering deeply for it, especially ^ 

in its pecuruary interests. France felt this bitterly after its ^ 

two successful revolutions in 1789 and 1830 ; England felt it 
with almost equal severity after the expulsion of the Stuarts. ^ 

The " unbought loyalty of men, the cheap defense of nations,'* 

* A Dmertation upon Parties. Bolingbeoke's Works, ui.» 296, 297. 
Ed. 1809. 

/ 'I 


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was at an end. Generous attachment to the crown being no 
longer to be relied on, the foundations of government required 
to be laid in the selfish interests of its supporters. CoiTuption 
on a great scale became necessary to maintain the authority 
of government ; the contraction of debt became a part of its 
policy to interest the public creditors in the ei^ting order of 
things. Parliamentary influence had come in place of pre- 
rogative. The king did nothing of his own authority, but he 
got an obsequious Parliament to do whatever he desired:. The 
national debt and public taxes gr&w alike with the e^Ltemal 
dangers and internal insecurity of the hew government. 
These evils had no connection with Marlborough ; but they 
were all imputed to him* because of his great influence and 
colossal famei and because he was the visible head of the war 
party. Hence the general obloquy with which he was as^ 
sailed. Men will impute evils under which they sufier t6 
any thing but the real cause— their own conduct. 

But it was not only among the populace and his political 
19. opponents that these prejudices prevailed ; his great- 
wnoSgWs™ ^®^ and feme had become an object of envy to his 
own party. ^^^^ party. Aford, Wharton, and Halifax had on 
many occasions evihc^ their distrust of him ; and even Som- 
ers, who had long stood his friend, was inclined to think the 
power of thf3 Duke of Marlborough too great, and the emolu- 
ments and offices of his family and connections immoderate.*" 
The duchess inflamed the discord between him and the queen 
by positively refusing to come to any conciliation with her 
rival, Mrs. Masham. Tlie discord increased daily, and great 
were the eflbrts made to aggravate it. To the queen, the 
never-failing device was adopted of representing the victorious 
general as lording it over the throne ; as likely to eclipse even 
the crown by the luster of his fame ; as too dangerous and 
powerful a subject for a sovereign to tolerate. Matters came 
to such a pass, in the course of the summer of 1710, that 
Marlborough found himself thwarted in every request he 

* CUJININGHAM, ii., 305. 

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made, every project he proposed ; and he expressed his entire 
nullity to the duchess by the emphatic expression that he was 
a "mere sheet of white paper, upon which his friends might 
write what they pleased."* 

The envy at the duke appeared in the difficulties which 
were now started by the Lords of the Treasury in 90. 
regard to the prosecution of the works at Blen- tie»^ownin 
heim. This noble monument of a nation's grat- TOnmfetion'^ 
itude had hitherto proceeded rapidly ; the stat^ BienWm. 
design of Vanbrugh was rapidly approaching its completion ; 
and so anxious had the queen at first been to see it finished, 
thaf she got a model of it placed in the royal palace of Ken- ^ 
nngton. Now, however, petty and unworthy objections were 
started on the score of expense, and attempts were made, by 
delaying paj^ment of the sums from the treasury, to throw the 
cost of completmg the building on the great general. He had 
penetration enough, however, to avoid Ailing into the snare, 
and actually suspended the progress of the work when the 
treasury warrants were withheld. He constantly directed 
that the management of the building should be left to the 
queen's officers ; and, by steadily adhering to this system, he 
fihamed them into continuing the work.t 

Marlborough's name and influence, however, were too great 
to be entirely neglected, and the party which was 21, 
now rising into supremacy at court were anxious, if eain orer 

^ ^ ^ , m Marlborough 

possible, to secure them for their own side. They totheToriea. 
made, accordingly, secret overtures to him ; and it was even 
insinuated that, if he would abandon the Whigs and coalesce 
with them, he would entirely regain the royal favor, and 
might aspire to the highest situation^ which a subject could 
hold. Lord Bolingbroke has told us what the conditions of 
this aUiance were to be : "He was to abandon the WJiigs, 
his new friends, and take up with the Tories, his old friends ; 

* Marlborough to the Duchesi, 26th of July, 1710. Coxe, iv., 299. 
t Marlborough to the Duchess, 25th of October and 24th of November, 
1710. Coxe, iv., 351, 352. 


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to engage haaxtily m the tnie intezeets, aad no longer lei^ve 
hift country a prey to raping and faction. He was, beaideg* 
required to restrain the rage and fury of his wife. Their of- 
fers were coupled with threats of an impeachment, and hoast$ 
thai sufficiwit evidence could he adduced to carry a prosecu- 
tion through hoth houses."* To terms so degrading^ the 
duke answered in a manner worthy of his high reputati(»%. 
He declared his resolution to be of no party, to vote accordillg 
to his conscience, and to he as hearty as his new colleagues m 
support of the queen's government and the welfare of the coun- 
try. This manly reply increased the repulsive leelinga with 
which he was regarded by the ministry, who seem npw to 
have finally resolved on his ruin ; whila the int^igeno^ thftt 
such overtures had been made having got windr sowed distrust 
between him and the Whig leaders, which was never after- 
ward entirely removed. But he honorably declared that he 
would be governed by the Whigs, whom he would never de- 
sert ; and that they could not suspect the purity of his mo- 
tives in so doing, as they had now lost their msgority in the 
House of Commons.t 

. ParHament met on the 25th of November ; and Marlhor- 
22. ough, in the end of the year, returned to London. 

^pSJ^SmSi- S^* ^® ^^^ received decisive proof of the altered 
SSSJ^**^** temper both of government and the country toward 
country. j^jjjj »phe majority in the House of Commons 

was now against him, as it had for some time been in the 
country. The last election had turned the scale in fav6rof 
the Tories. In the queen's speech, no notice was taken of the 
late successes in Flanders, no vote of thanks for his servioes 

* BoLiNOBROKK's Corresp., i., 41 } Mr. Secretary St. John to Mr. Drum- 
n&nd, 20th of Dec., 1710. 

t '' I beg yoa to bse no time in sending me, to the Hague, tUe opinion 
of our friend mentioned in my letter ; for I would be governed by the Whigs, 
fiiom whose principle and interest I will never depart. While thesFiiad a 
majority in the House of Commons, they might suspect it might be my in- 
terest ; but now they must do me the Justice to see that it is my ineKnation 
and principle which makes me act." — Merlbarouffh to the DuekMs^ Nov. 9» 
1710. CoxE, iv., 360. 

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ia the campaign was moyed by the inuiisters ; aud they evea 
CQntrived, by a side wind, to get quit of one proposed, to their 
no small ^nabarrasspaent, by Ziord Scarborough. The duch- 
ess, too, was threatened with removal from her situation at 
C50urt ; and Marlborough avowed that he ^new the queen waa 
** as desirous for her removal as Mr. Harley and Mrs. Masham 
ean be." The violent temper, and proud, unbending spirit 
pf the duche^, were ill calculated to heal such, a breach^ 
which in the course of the winter became so wide, that her 
removal from the ^tuation she held, as xnistress of the robes, 
waa only prevented by the fear that, in the vehemence of her 
resentment, she might publish the queen's correspondence, and 
that the duk§, whose n^litary services could not yet be spared, 
inight resign his ooi^mand. Libels against both the. duke and 
the duchess daily appeared, a^d passed entirely unpunished, 
though the freedom of the press was far from being estabiished. 
Three officers were dismissed from the army for drinking his 
health. When he waited on the queen, on his arrival in En- 
gland, in the end of December, she said, " I must request you 
will not suffer any vote of thanks to you to be moved in Par- 
liament this year, as my ministers taill certainly oppose it,'* 
Such was the return made by government to the hero who had 
raised the power and glory of England to an unprecedented 
pitch, and who, in that very campaign;^ had put deeper into 
the iron frontier of France than had ever been done in any 
former one.* 

The female coterie who aided at St. James's the mal^ op- 
ponents of Marlborough, were naturally extremely ^ i^ 
solicitous to get the duchess removed from her situ- the Duchesa 
fitions as head of the queen's household and keeper ougb. 
of the privy purse ; and minister^ were only prevented from 
carrying their wishes into effect by their apprehension, if these 
wishes were executed, of the duke's resigning his command of 
the army. In an audience on the I7th of January, 1711, 
Marlborough presented a letter to her majesty from the duch- 

* Conx, iv., 405. 

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ess, couched in terms of extreme humility, in which she declar- 
ed that his anxiety was such at the requital his services had 
received, that she apprehended he would not hv© six months.* 
The queen at first refused to read it ; and when at length, at 
the duke's earnest request, she agreed to do so, she coldly oh- 
served, " I can not change my resdution.'* MarlWough, in 
the most moving terms, and with touching eloquence, entreat- 
ed her majesty not to dismiss the duchess till she had no more 
need of her >service8, by the war being finished, which, he hop- 
ed, would be in less than a year ; but he received no other an- 
swer than a peremptory demand for the surrender of the gold 
key, the symbol of her oflice, within three days. - Unable to 
obtain any relaxation in his sovereign's resolution, Marlbor- 
ough withdrew with the deepest emotions of indignation and 
sorrow. The duchess, in a worthy spirit, immediately took 
her resolution ; she sent in her resignation, with the gold key, 
that very night. So deeply was Marlborough hurt at this ex- 
traordinary ingratitude for all his services, that he at first re- 
solved to resign his whole commands, and retire altogether into 
private Hfe. 

From this intention he was only diverted, and that with 

24. great difficulty, by the efibrts of Godolphin and 

with great re- the Whigs at homc, and Prince Eugene and the 

luctance with- -r-. . tt • • i t 

holds his in- Pensionary Hemsius abroad, who earnestly be- 

tendcd resig- ii« ii-i 

nation. sougnt him not to abandon the command, as that 

would at once dissolve the Grand Alliance, and ruin the com- 
mon cause. We can sympathize with the feelings of a vic- 
torious warrior who felt reluctant to forego, by one hasty step, 
the fruit of nine years of victories : we can not but respect the 
self-sacrifice of the patriot who preferred enduring mortifica- 
^ tions himself to endangering the great cause of religious firCe- 

* " Thoagh I never thought of troabliug your majesty again in this man- 
ner, yet the circamstances I see my Lord Marlborough in, and the appre- 
hension I have that he can not live six months, if there is not some end put 
to his sufferings on my account, make it impossiUe for me to resist doing 
every thing in my power to ease Um^'—DuchesB of Marlborough to Qv^em 
Anne, 17th of Jan., 1711. Ooxk, iv., 410. 

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dom and European independence. Influenced by these con- 
siderations, Marlborough withheld his intended resignation. 
The Duchess of Somerset was made mistress of the robes, and 
Mrs. Masham obtained the confidential situation of keeper of 
the privy purse. Malignity, now sure of impunity, heaped up 
invectives on the falling hero. EQs integrity was calumniated, 
his courage even was questioned, and the most consummate 
general of that, or perhaps any other age, was represented aa 
the lowest of mankind.* It soon appeared how unfounded 
had been the aspersions cast upon the duchess, as well as the 
duke, for their conduct in office. Her accounts, after bemg 
rigidly scrutinized, were returned to her without any objec- 
tion being stated against them ; and Marlborough, anxious to 
quit that scene of ingratitude and intrigue for the real thea- 
ter of his glory, soon after set out for the army in Flanders, t 

He arrived at the Hague on the 4th of March ; and, al- 
though no longer possessmg the confidence of gov- 05. 
emment, or intrusted with any control over diplo- conSSmuff 
matic measures, he immediately set himself with ^l JX^' ^" 
the utmost vigor to prepare for military operations. Countries. 
Great efibrts had been made by both parties, during the 
winter, for the resumption of hostilities on even a more ex- 
tended scale than in the preceding campaign. Marlborough 
found the army in the Low Countries extremely efficient and 
powerful ; diversions were promised on the side both of Spain 
and Piedmont ; and a treaty had been concluded with the Span- 
ish malcontents, in consequence of which a large part of the 
Imperial forces were rendered disposable, and Prince Eugene 
was preparing to lead them into the Low Countries. But, in 
the midst of these flattering prospects, an event occurred which 
suddenly deranged them all, postponed for above a month the 
opening of the campaign, and, in its final result, changed the 
late of Europe. 

This was the death, by the small-pox, of the Emperor Jo- 

,♦" * Smollet, ex., § 20. 
^ v> t Marlborough to tfie Duchess, 24th of May, 1711. Coxe, v., 417-431. 

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^ ,28. ^ aeph, which happened at Vienna on the 16th of 

Death of th6 . 

Emperor Jo- April : an event which was immediately followed 
tionofChuiM by Charles, king of Spain, declaring himself a can- 
or, i«thA^ didate for the Imperial throne. As his pretensions 
required to be supported by a powerful demonstration of troops, 
the march of a large part of Eugene's men to the Netherlands 
was immediately stopped, dmd that prince himself was hastily 
recalled from Mentz, to take the command at Hatisbon, as 
marshal of the forces of the empire. Charles was soon after 
elected emperor. Thus Marlborough was left to conun^iee 
the campaign alone, which was the more to be regretted, as 
the preparations of Louis, during the winter, for the defonso 
of his domini<m8, had been made on the most extensiye scale, 
and Marshal Villars's lines had come to be r^arded as the 
ne plvA vUrd of field fortification. Yet were Marlborough's 
forces most fc»rmidable ; for, when reviewed at Ordiies on the 
30th of April, between LiDe and Pouay, they were found, m* 
eluding Eugene's troops which had come up, to amount to <^i0 
hundred and eighty*four battalions and three hundred and six'* 
ty-four squadrons, mustering above one hundred thousand gool'^ 
batants.* But forty^one battali^is and forty squadrons w^e 
in garrison, which reduced the effoctive force in the field te 
eighty thousand men. 

The great object of Louis and his generals had be^i to con* 
27. struct such a line of defenses as nnght prevent the 
S3S!SfrSted irruption of the enemy into the French territory, 
by vmara. ^^^ ^j^^t the interior and last line of fortresses was 
80 nearly broken through. In pursuance of this design, Vil? 
lars had, with the aid <^ all the most experienced engineers 
m France, and at a vast expi^ise of lab<nr and money, construct^ 
ed during the winter a series of lines and field-works, exceeding 
iemy &ing yet seen in modem Europe in magnitude and strength, 
and to which the still more famous works of Torres VediES 
have akme, in subsequent times, afibjded a parallel. The for- 

* Eugene to Marlborough, 23d of April, 1710 ; Marlborotigk to ^. John, 
S9th ef April, 1710. ^OM, vi., l«. Disjk, ,▼., »!•. 

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ttfioatioQS extjended from Namur on the Meu^, by a sort of 
irregular line, to the coast of Picardy. Eoinning first along 
the marshy line of the Canehe, they rested on the forts of 
Montreuil, Hesdin, and Trevant ; while the great fortresses of 
Ypres, Calais, Gravelines, and St. Omer, lying in their front, 
and still in the hands of the French, rendered any attempt to 
approach them both difficult ai^d hazardous. Along the whole 
of this immense Kne, extending over so ^eat a variety of 
ground, for above forty miles, every effort had been made, by 
joining the resources of art to the defenses of nature, to ren- 
der the position impregnable. The lines were not continuous, 
as in many places the ground was so rugged, or the obstadeg 
ef rocks, precipices,. ad[id ravines were so formidable, that it was 
evidently impossible to pvercome them ; but, wherever a pasp 
lage was practicable, the approaches to it were protected in 
the most imposing manner. If a streamlet ran along the line, 
it was carefully dammed up, so as to become impassable, 
{hrery morass was deepened, by stopping up its drains, or let- 
ting in the water of the larger rivers by artificial canals ; re- 
doubts were placed on the beights, so as to enfilade the plains 
between them ; "while in the open country, where no advan- 
tage of ground was to be met with, field-works were erected, 
armed with abundance of heavy cannon. To man these for- 
piidable lines, Villars had under his command one hundred 
and fifty-six battalions and two hundred and twenty-seven 
squadrons in the field, numbering seventy thousand infantry 
and twenty thousand horse. He had ninety field guns and 
twelve howitzers. There were, besides, thirtyrfive battahona 
wai eighty squadnms detached or in the forts ; and, as Eugene 
floon took away twelve battalions and fifty squadrons from the 
alli^ army, the forces on the opposite sides, when they came 
to blows, were very nearly equal.* 

Mariborou^ took the field on the 1st of May wiHi eighty 
thousand men ; and his whole force was soon group- ^^J^^ 
^ in and around Douay, The head-quarters of campaign. 
* Lbdiaiu), H., 496. CoxB, vi, 81, 88. 

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"Villars were at Cambray ; but, seeing the forces of his adver- 
sary thus accumulated at one point, he made a corresponding 
concentration, and arranged his whole disposable forces be* 
tween Bouchain on the right, and Monchy le Preux on the 
left. The position of the French marshal, which extended in 
a concave semicircle, with the fortresses covering either flank, 
he considered, and with reason, as beyond the reach of attack. 
The English general was meditating a great enterprise, which 
should at once deprive the enemy of all his defenses, and re- 
duce him to the necessity of fighting a decisive battle, or losing 
his last frontier fortresses. But he was overwhelmed with 
gloomy anticipations ; he felt his strength sinking under his 
incessant and protracted fatigues, and knew well ha was aerv- 
ing a party who, envious of his {tone, were only ready to de- 
cry his achievements.* He lay, accordingly, for three weeks, 
waiting &r his illustrious colleague. Prince Eugene, who ar- 
rived on the 23d of May, in time to engage in a great celebra- 
tion of the anniversary of the victory at Ramillies, which had 
taken place on that day. 

The plans of the allied generals were soon formed ; and, 

89. taking advantage of the enthusiasm excited by that 

lion of Eu- commemoration, and the arrival of so illustrious a 

gene with his . . , /. i • i. 

troopB from wamor, preparations were made for the mimediate 

Marlborough, n ■ . .rx i ^^ i 

13th June. commencement of active operations. On me 28th, 
the two generals reviewed the whole army. But their de- 
signs were soon interrupted by an event which changed th« 
whole fortune of the campaign. Early in June, Eugene re* 
oelved positive orders to march to Germany, witii a consider- 
able part of his troops, to oppose a French force which watf 
moving toward the Rhine to influence the approaching elec- 

• '• I see my Lord Rochester has gone where we all must follow. I be- 
lieve my jouraey will be hastened by the many vexations I meet with. I 
•m sore I wish well to my country, and if I could do good, I should think 
DO pains too great ; but I find myself decay so very fast, that from my heart 
and soul I wish the queen and my country a peace by which I mig^ht have 
the advantage of enjoying a little quiet, which is my greatest ambition." — 
Marlborough to the puchets, 25th of May, 1711. Coxe, vi., 28. 

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tion of the emperoif. On the 13th ctf Jtrne^ Eugene and 
Mariboacough s^)arated, for the last time, with the deepest ex- 
|H!<e88i]on8 of regret on both sides, ajad with gloomy foreboding* 
of the future. The former marched toiiiCard the Rhine with 
twelve battalions and fifty squadron^, while Marlborough^ 
whole Temaining force moved to the right in six divisions.* 

Though Villars was reUeved by the depart;ure of Eugene 
from^a ecmsid^rable part of the force opposed to 30. 
him, aad he nu,tiirallyjfelt desirous of nowmeasuiv ^rttelTyOT- 
ing his strength with his great aatagonist in a de- ^"©^ Lo"i«» 
cisive affair, yet he was restrained -£:om hazarding a general 
engagement. Louis, trusting to the progress of the Tory in- 
t^cigoes in England, and daily expecting t& see Maidborougk 
and the war party overthrown; sent him positive ofdexs wA to 
•fight ; and soon after dets^died twenty-five battahons.and forty 
squadrons, in two divisions, to the Upper Rhine, to, watch the 
movements of Eugene. Villars encouraged this separation, 
representing that the strength of his positian was such liiat he 
could afibrd to send a third detachm^it to the Upper Rhine, 
if it was thought proper. Msrlborcmgh, therefore^ in vain of- 
fered battle, and drew up his army in the plain of Lens for 
that purpose. Villars cautiously remained on the deleniive ; 
and, though he threw eighteen bridges over the Scarpe, and 
made a show of intending to fight, he cautiously abstiined 
firom any steps which might bring on a general battle.f It- 
was not without good reason that Louis thus .joined his lieu- 
tenant tl» avoid oompiomising his army. The progress of the 
negotiations v(dth England g^ve him the fairest ground foe 
bdieving that he Would obtain nearly all he desired, from the 
favor with which he vras regarded by the British cabinet, 
without running any risk. He had commenced a separate 
negotiation with the court of St. James, which had been fa- 
vorably tisceived ; and Mr. Secretary St. John had already 
transmitted to Lord Raby, the Uew plenipotentiary at the 

* Marlborough to St. John, 14th of June, 1711. IHtp., ▼., 428. Cox% 
vi, 99, 30. t ViLLARS'8 Mem., torn, ii., ann. 1711. 


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Hague, a aketeh of six prelimiitaYy artides pittpose(l \if 4b| 
French king, which were to he the hasb of n generiU p^^ee.f 

The high tone of these proposals proYod how largely Lottin 
3L counted upon the altered dispositi(ms of the Britishi 
f^fti^a^ cahinet. The Spanish succesaon, the real oljject 
ptiSS^^*^ of the war, wa« evaded. EFery thing was directr 
*^'*«**^ ed to British objects, and legulated by the desire 
to tempt the commercial cupidity of England to the abandon- 
ment of the great objects of her national poHcy. Real secu^ 
lity was promised to the British commerce with Spain, the 
Indies, and the Mediterranean ; the barrier the Dutch had ao 
long contended for was agreed to ; a reas^Hiable satis&c^cHi- 
was tendered to the allies of England and Holland ; and, a9 
to the Spanish succession, it was to be left to ^' new e^edi- 
ents to the satisfaction of all parties interested." These pro- 
posals were favorably received by the British minist]^ ; theiy 
were in secret communicated to the Pensionary Heinsiu^, bi^ 
ooncealed from the Austrian and Piedmontese plenipotentia^ 
lies ; and they were not communicated to Marlborough : a 
decisive proof both of the altered fbeling of the cabinet toward 
that general, and of the consciousness on their part of the tor- 
tuous path on which they were now entering.* 

Afi^r much ddiberation, and a due consideraticHL of what 
aa. could be efiected by the diminished ibrce still at 


determiaesto his disposal, which, by the successive drafts to Eu- 

pass the ene* 

my'siinas. gene's anuy, was now reduced to one hundred 
and nineteen battalions and two hundred and fity-six squad- 
nms, not mustering above seventy-^ve thousand combatants, 
Marlborough determined to break through the enemy's boast- 
ed lines, and, after doing so, imdertake the siege of Bouchain* 
the possession of which would give him a soHd footing within 
the French frontier. With tiiis view, he had long aad mi- 

• B<^inobrokk'8 Corretp., i., 172. 

t "The Dake of Marlborough commanication from home on this 
tfUdr ; I mppote be will have none from ^e Hague."— 36*. Secrttarff St. 
John to Lord Raby, 97th of April, 1711, Bolinqbroki's Cofrt$p., i., 175. 

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M4RI.BO^OUG|I. 27? 

nutely studied the lines p£ Villars ; and he hoped that, ev^ 
with the foree at his di^[H)Bal, they might be broken through. 
To accKJmplish this, bawever, required an extraordinary combi- 
nation (^stratagem and force ; and the manner in which Marl- 
borough contrived to unite them, and bring the ardent mind 
and lively imagination of his adversfiury to play into his hands, 
to the de^at of all the objects he had most at heart, is perhaps 
the most wonderfol part of his whole military achievements.^ 
DunDLg his encampment a.t Lewarde, qf^posite Villars, the 
!E^nglish general had observed that a triangular 33. 

' . o 1 . n n -, -w^ 1 . . , Hisprojectfor 

piece of ground m trcmt of the French positirai^ be- acUbevingthia. 
twe«^ C|U[4bray, Aubanchocil-au-bac, and the junction of the 
Sauzet and Scheldt, ofiered a position so strong, that a small 
body of pien might defend it against a very considerable ferce. 
He resolved to mfike th^ occupation of this inconsid^able piece 
of ground the pivot on which tha whole passage of the lines 
should be ejected. A redoubt at Aubigny, which command- 
ed the approach to this position, was first carried without dif- 
ficvdty. Arleux, which also was fortified, was next attacked 
by seven hundred men, who issued from Douay in the night.. 
That post also was taken, with one hundred and tw^ty pris- 
oners. Marlborough instantly used all imaginable expedition 
in strengthening it ; and Villars, jealous of a fortified post so 
plose to his lines remaining in the hands of the allies, attacked 
it in the night of the 9th of July ; and, though he failed ia 
^retaking the work* he surprised the allies at that point, and 
made two himdred men and four hundred hojrses j»risoners. 
Though much chagrined at the success of this noctijrnal at- 
tack, the English general now saw his designs advancing to 
maturity. He therefore left Arleux to its own r^soiirces, md 
marched toward Bethune. That fort was inunediately at- 
tacked by Marshal Montesquieu, and, after a stout resistance, 
carried by the French, who made the garrison, five hundred 
strong, prisoners. ViUars immediately razed Arleux to the 
ground, and withdrew has troops ; while Marlborough, who 

• CoxE, vi., 52-54. 

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was in hopes the lure of these successes -would induce Villars 
to hazard a general engagement, shut, himself up in his tent, 
and appeared to he overwhelmed with mortification at the 
checks he had received.* 

Villars was so much elated with these successes, and the 
34. accounts he received of Marlhorough's chagrin, 
ftn^e^uSig ^^^^ ^® wrote to the King of France a vainglori- 
L"3ite^y; o^ letter, in which he hoasted that he had at 
4th August length brought his antagonist to a we plus ultra. 
Meanwhile, Marlborough sent off his heavy baggage to Douay, 
dispatched his artillery imder a proper guard to the rear, and, 
with all imaginable secrecy, obtained supplies of bread for 
the whole troops for six days. Thus disencumbered and pre- 
pared, he broke up at four in the morning on the Ist of Au- 
gust, and marched in eight columns toward the front. Dur- 
ing the three following days the troops were kept collected, 
and menacing sometimes one part of the French lines and 
sometimes another, so as to leave the real point of attack in 
a state of uncertainty. Seriously alarmed, Villars concentra- 
ted his whole force opposite the alUes, and drew in all his de- 
tachments, evacuating even Aubigny and Arleux, the olgect of 
so much eager contention some days before. On the evening of 
the 4th, Marlborough, affecting great chagrin at the check he 
had received, spoke openly to those around him of his inten- 
tion of avenging them by a general action, and pointed to the 
direction the attacking columns were to take. He then re- 
turned to the camp, and gave orders to prepare for battle. 
Gloom hung on every countenance of those around him ; it 
appeared nothing short of an act of madness to attack an en- 
emy superior in nmnber, and strongly posted in a camp sur- 
rounded with intrenchments and bristling with cannon. They 
ascribed it to desperation, produced by the mortifications re* 
ceived from the government, and feared that, by one rash act, 
he would lose the fruit of all his victories. Proportionally 
great was the joy in the French camp, when the men, never 
* Kane's ABmairs, p. 89. Coxe, vi., 53-55. Disp., v., 421-428. 

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doubtmg they were, on the eve of a glorious victory, spent the 
night in the exultation which, in that excitable people, has so 
often been the prelude to disaster.''^ 

Having brought the feeling of both armies to this point, 

and produced a concentration of Villars's anny di- 35. 

rectly in his front, Marlborough, at dusk on the uner^th en- 
4th, ordered the drums to beat, and, before the roll *^^*^ succesB. 
had ceased, directions were given for the tents to be struck. 
Meanwhile Cadogan secretly left the camp, and met twenty- 
three battahoiis and seventeen squadrons, drawn from the gar- 
risons of Lille and Tournay, and other towns in the rear, 
which instantly marched ; and, continuing to advance all 
night, they passed the lines rapidly to the left, at Arleux, and 
without opposition, at break of day. A little before nine, the 
allied main army began to defile rapidly to the left, through 
the woods of Villers and Neuville, Marlborough himself lead- 
ing the van at the head of fifty squadrons. With such expe- 
dition did they march, still holding steadily on to the left, that 
before Ryb in the morning of the 0th they reached Vitry on 
the Scarpe, where they found pontoons ready for their passage, 
and a considerable train of field artillery. At the same time, 
the Enghsh general received the welcome intelligence of Ca- 
dogan's success. He instantly dispatched orders to every man 
and horse to press forward without delay. Such was the ar- 
dor of the troops, who all saw the brilliant maneuver by which 
they had outwitted the enemy, and rendered all their labor 
abortive, that they marched sixteen Jwurs without once halt- 
ing ; and by ten next moniing, the whole had passed the en- 
emy's lines without opposition, and without firing a shot.f 

Villars received intelligence of the night-march having be- 
gun at eleven at night ; but so utterly was he in 35. 
the dark as to the plan his opponent was pursuing, ^y^success"**' 
that he came up to Verger, when Marlborough had ^^'^^ s«ined. 

* Kane's Memoirs, p. 92. Marlborough to Mr. Secretary St, John, 6tU 
of Auerust, 1711. Disp., v.. 428. 

t COXB, vi., 60-63. Kame, 96-99. Makl., Disp^t v., 428. 



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drawn up ids axmy on the inner side of the lines in order of 
battle, attended only by a hundred dragoons, and narrowly es- 
caped being made prisoner. Altogether, the aUied troops 
marched thirty-six miles in sixteen hours, the most part of 
them in the dark« and crossed several rivers, without either 
falling into confusion or sustaining any loss. The aimals of 
war scarcely affinrd an example of such a success being gained 
in so bloodless a manner. The famous French lines, which 
Villars boasted would form the ne jplm ultra of Marlbcoough, 
had been passed without losing a man ; the labor of nuAO 
months was at once rendered of no avail ; and the French 
aimy, in deep dejection, had no altemativ^e but to retire wder 
the cannon of Cambray.* 
This great success at once restored the luster of Marlbp^^ 
^. ough's reputation, and fojr a short season put to m 
SSm^fX* l®»ce his detractors. Eugene, with the gefterosd^ 
^Sn,°8A ^ which formed so striking a feature in his character, 
August wrote to congratulate him on his achiev^meut ;t 
and even Bolingbroke admitted that this bloodless triumph 
rivaled his greatest achievements.^ Marlbor6ugh immedir 
fitely commenced the siege of Bouchain ; but this was an en; 
terprise of no small difficulty, as it was to be accomplished on 
very difficult ground, in presence of an army superior in force. 

* Marlborough to Mr. Secretary St. John, 6th of August, 1711. Disp., v., 
428. CoxK, vi., 60-65. Kane's Mil. Mem., 96-99. 

t "Nd person takes a greater interept in your coocems thanmysetf; your 
mglmeis has penetrated into th^ ne phi uUrq. I hope the siege of bou- 
chain will not last long." — Eugene to Marlborough, 17th of August, 1771. 
CoxE, vi;, 66. 

t " My Lord Stair opened tt) us the gener^ steps which your grac^ in- 
tended to take, in order to pass the linei in one part or another. It was, 
however, hard to imagine, and too much to hope, tliat a plan, which consist- 
ed of so many parts, wherein so many diflterent corps were to co-operate 
personally together, should entirely succeed, and no one article fail of what 
your grace had ptqjected. I most heartily congratulate your" grace opi thip 
great event, of which I think no more needs be said, than that you have ob- 
tained, without losing a man, such an advantage as we sboold haye been 
glad to have purchased with the loss of several thousand ^Ye9."-^Mr. 89^ 
retary St, John to Marlbqraugh, 31it of July, 1711. HfUp-t v.» 439* 

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The investment was formed on the very day after the Hnea 
had been passed, and an important piece of ground occupied, 
which might have enabled Villars to communicate with the 
town, and regain the defensible position. On the morning of 
the 8th of August a bridge was thrown over the Scheldt at 
Neuville, and sixty squadrons passed over, which barred the 
road from Douay. Villars, upon this, threw thirty battalions 
across the Senzet, and made himself master of a hill above, 
on which he began to erect works, which would have kept 
open his communications with the town on its southern front. 
Marlborough at once saw this design, and at first determined 
to storm the works ere they were completed ; and, with this 
view, General Fagel, with a strong body of troops, was se- 
cretly passed over the river. But Villars having heard of the 
design, attacked the allied posts at Ivry with such vigor, that 
Marlborough was obliged to countermarch in haste to be ali 
hand to support them. Baffled in this attempt, Marlborough 
erected a chain of works on the right bank of the Scheldt, 
from Houdain, through Ivry, to the Sette, near Haspres, while 
Cadogan strengthened himself with similar works on the left, 
Villars, however, still retained the fortified position which has 
been mentioned, and which kept up liis communication with 
the town ; and the cutting him off from this was another, and 
the last, of Marlborough's brilliant field operations.* 

Notwithstanding all the diligence with which Villars la- 
bored to strengthen his men on this important po- 33. 
sition, he could not equal the activity with wliich e^ationsol"^ 
the English general strove to supplant them, ingitepro^^ 
During the night of the 13th three redoubts were ^*'^^- 
marked out, which would have completed the French mar- 
shal's communication with the town ; but on the morning of 
the 14th they were all stormed by a large body of the aUied 
[troops before the works could be armed. That very day the 
aUies carried their zigzag down to the very edge of a morass 
which adjoined Bouchain on the south, so as to command a 

* Marlbarottgh to Secretary St. John, 10th of Ausrust, 1711 . Disp',y^> 437, 

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causeway through the marshes from that town to Oambray, 
which the French still held, commimicating with the be- 
sieged town. But, to complete the investment, it was neces- 
sary to win this causeway ; and this last object was gained 
by Marlborough with equal daring and success. ' A battery, 
commanding the road, had been placed by ViUars in a re- 
doubt garrisoned by six hundred men, supported by three 
thousand more close in their rear. Marlborough, with incred- 
ible labor and diligence, constructed two roads, made of fas- 
cines, through part of the marsh, so as to render it passable 
to foot soldiers ; and, on the night of the 16th, six hundred 
chosen grenadiers were sent across them to attack the in- 
trenched battery. They rapidly advanced in the dark till the 
fascine path ended, and then boldly plimging into the marsh, 
struggled on, with the water often up to their arm-pits, till 
they reached the foot of the intrenchment, into which they 
rushed, without firing a shot, with fixed bayonets. So com- 
plete was the surprise, that the enemy were driven from their 
guns with the loss only of six men ; the work was carried ; 
and with such diligence were its defenses strengthened, that, 
before rnoming, it was in a condition to Hd defiance to any 

Villars was now efTectually cut off from Bouchain, and the 
39 operations oi the siege were conducted with the ut- 

cS^^^t ^^^ ^^^' ^ *^® ^^^ ^^ *^® 2^^ *^® trenches 
^ were opened ; three separate attacks were pushed 

at the same time against the eastern, western, and southern 
faces of the town, and a huge train of heavy guns and mor- 
tars thundered upon the works without intermission. The 
progress of the operations, notwithstanding a vigorous defense 
by the besieged, was imusually rapid. . As fast as the out- 
works were breached they were sto^ned ; and repeated at- 
tempts on the part of Villars to raise the siege were baffled 
by the skillful disposition and strong ground taken by Marl- 

• Coxi, vi., 71-80. Marlborough to Mr. Secretary St. John, 14th, 17th, 
tndSOUiof Augiut, 1711. Di8p.,v., 4A5-^50-4S3. 

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borough with the covering army. At length, on the 12th of 
September, as the counterscarp was blown down, the rampart 
breached, and an assault of the fortress in preparation, the 
governor agreed to capitulate ; and the garrison, still three 
thousand strong, marched out upon the glacis, laid down their 
arms, and were conducted prisoners to Tournay.* The two 
armies then remained in their respective positions, the French 
under the cannon of CambKiy, the allied in the middle of 
their Hnes, resting on Bouchain. Marlborough here gave 
proof of the courtesy of his disposition, as well as of his re- 
spect for exalted learning and piety, by planting a detachment 
of his troops to protect the estates of Fenelon, archbishop of 
Cambray, and to conduct the grain from thence to the dwell- 
ing of the illustrious prelate in the town, which now began to 
be straitened for provisions.! ^^ 

After the reduction of Bouchain, Marlborough was anxious 
to commence without delay the siege of Quesnoy, 40. 

. ^ Ostensible 

the capture of which would, in that quarter, have preparations 

, , -. T 1 T-i 11' ^-r tor war, and 

entirely broken through the French barrier. Ho roai secret 

,.,-,,. . J negotiations 

vigorously stimulated his own government accord- for peace, by 
ingly, as well as that at the Hague, to prepare the sTtiTsept. ^' 
necessary supplies and magazines, and expressed a sanguine 
hope that the capture of this last stronghold would be the 
means of bringing about the grand object' of his ambition, a 
general peace. t The ministry, to appearance, went with 
alacrity into his projects, and every thing seemed to promise 
another great success, closing the campaign with honor, and 
probably leading to a glorious and lasting peace. Mr. Secre- 

* Marlharough to Mr, Secretary St. John, 14th of Sept., 1711. Dkp^ v., 
490. CoXE, vi., 78-88. 

t Victoires de Marlborough, iii., 22. Coxe, vi., 87. 

t '*The siege, so far as it depends on me, shall be pushed with all possi- 
ble vigor, and I do not altogether despair but that, from the success of this 
campaign, we may hear of some advances made toward that which we so 
much desire. And I shall esteem it much the happiest part of my life if I 
can be instrumental in putting a good end to the war, which grows so burden- 
some to our country, as well as to our allies." — Marlborough to Lord Oxford, 
Aug. 20, 1711. CoxE, vi., 92. . - 

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tary St. John, in particular, tm>te m ^e wa^nae^ Mjiie of 
ocnrdiality, approving the project in his own name iw well at 
in that of the queen, and Teiteraling the assnraxices that the 
vtYongest ref^esentalions had been made to the Dutch, witi^ » 
view to their hearty concurrence. But all tiiis Was a mere 
cover to conceal what the Tories had really been doing to 
ov ert uir n Marlborough, and abandon the main ol^ects xf( the 
war. Unknown to him, the- secret negotiation with the 
French cabinet, through Torcy and the Britidi mmistera, by 
the agency of Mesnager, had been making rajnd progress. 
No re^Npesentations about paroviding supplies were made to the 
Dutch, Who were fully in tiie secret of the pending negotia- 
tion ; and on the 27th of S^ptonber, prdimintoes of peace, 
xHa the basis of the seven artides prc^^osed by Louis, were 
signed by Mesnager on the part of France, «ind by the two 
EngHfdi seeretaiies of state, in virtue oi a special warrant 
from the que^.* 

The conditions of these preliminaries, whi<^ were aftOT- 
4i. ward imbodied in 4^e Treaty of Utredit, were the 
£?^^^f adcttowledgment o£ the queen's title to the tlurone, 
m« ii^Md ^^^ ^^ ^^ Protectant sudcession, l^ Louis ; an en* 
^* gSi^gement to take all just and reasonaUe measures 

that the crowns o£ France juld Spain should never be united 
on the same head ; the providing a sufficient hairier to the 
Dutch, the empire, anA the house of Austria ; and the demo- 
lition of Dunkirk, cm. a prc^r «quival^it. But the crown of 
Spain was left to the Duke of Anjou, imd no provision whatev- 
er was meule to exclude a Bourbon prince from succeeding to it. 
Thus the main object of the contest — ^the exclusion of the Bour- 
bon family from the throne of Spain-^was abandoned ; and at 
the close of the most imp^tant, successful, a^d gkaious war 
ever waged by England, terms were agreed to which lefl to 
France advantages which could scarcely have been hoped by 
the oabmet of Versailles as the fruit df a long s^ies of victories. 

Marlborough felt deeply chagrined at this elandelstine no* 
• Cbxi, vi., 93. 

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^tkition, which not only dqfnrived him of the main 42. 
Dbject for which, during his great career, he had fetorne home 
been contending, but evinced a du|$licity and want t^^cLides- 
of confidence on the part x>£ his own government at mwiation™ 
its^ close, which was a melancholy return for such inestimable 
public services.* But it was of no avail ; the secession of 
England proved, as he had foreseen from the outset, a death- 
blow to the confederacy. Finding that nothing more was to 
be done, either at the head of the army or in directing the 
negotiations, he returned home by the Brille, after putting his 
army into winter quarters, and landed at Greenwich on the 
17th of November. Though well aware of the private envy, 
as well as political hostility of which he was the object, he 
did nothing that could lower or compromise his high charac- 
ter and lofty position ; but in an hiterview with the queen, 
fully expressed his opiiiion on the impolicy of the course which 
her ministers were now adopting.! He adopted the same 
manly course in the noble speech which he made in his place 
in Parliament, on the debate on the address. Ministers had 
put into the royal speech the miworthy expression, " I am 
glad to tell you, that notwithstanding tite arts of those wlio 
delight in wa)\ both place and time are appointed for openmg 
the treaty of a general peace." Lord Auglesea followed this 
up by declaring, in the course of the debate, that the country 
might have enjoyed the blessing of peace soon after the battle 
of RamiUies, " if it had not been deferred by some person 
whose interest it was to prolong the war." 

* "As you have given rae encoaragement to enter into the strictest couft. 
dence with yoa, I beg your friendly advice in what manner I am to condnct 
myself. You can not but imagine it would be a terrible mortification for me 
to pass by the Hague when our plenipotentiaries are there, and myself a 
stranger to their transactions ; and what hopes can I have of any counte- 
nance at home if I am not thought fit to be trusted abroad ?" — Marlborough 
to the Lor A Treasurer, 21st of Oct., 1711. 

t " I hear that, in his conversation with the queen, the Duke of Marlbor- 
ough has spoken against what we are doing ; in short, his fate hangs heavy 
upon him, and he has of late pursued every counsel which was worst for 
Um.''~Bolingbroke*s Letters, l, 430, Nov. 24, 1711. 

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Rising upoii this, with inexpressible dignity, and turzung to 
43. where the queen sat, MarlbcHrough said, " I appeal 

noWe'^J^*' to the queen whether I did not constantly, whila 
^SJVf^^ I was plenipotentiary, give her majesty and her 
iothDQc^i7u. council an accoiint of all the propositio]»s which 
were made, and whether I did not desire instruction for my 
conduct on this subject. I can declare with a good conscience, 
in the presence of her majesty, of this illustrious assembly, 
and of God himself, who is infinitely superior to all the pow- 
ers of the earth, and before whom, by the ordinary course of 
nature, I shall soon appear to render account of my actions, 
that I was very desirous of a safe, honorable, and lasting 
peace, and was very far from wishing to prolong ihe war fas 
my own private advantage, at sevesal libek and discourses 
have most falsely insinuated. My great age, and my numer- 
ous fatigues in war, make me ardently wish for the power to 
enjoy a quiet repose, in order to think of eternity. As to oth- 
er matters, I have not the least inducement, on any accoimt, 
to desire the continuance of the war for my own interest, since 
my services have been so generously rewarded by her majesty 
and her Patliament ; but I think myself obhged to make such 
an acknowledgment to her majesty and my country, that I 
am always ready to serve them, whenever my duty may re- 
quire, to obtain an honorable and lasting peace. Yet I can 
by no means acquiesce in the measures th^t have be^i taken 
to enter into a negotiation o£ peace with France, upon the 
foot of some pretended preliminaries, which are now circula- 
ted, since my opinion is the same as that of most of the allies, 
that to leave Spain and the West Indies to the house of Bour- 
bon vdU be the entire ruin of Europe, which I have with all 
£delity and humility declared to her majesty, when I had the 
honor to wait upon her after my arrival from Holland."* 

This manly declaration, dehvered in the most emphatic 
manner, produced a great impression ; a resolution against min- 
isters, and an address imbodying these sentiments, were car- 
* Pari, HUe., lOth of December, 1711. 

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ried in the Hocuse of Peers by 8Lmajority of twelve. 44. 

mi- n 1 I'l-ri Resolution car- 

, To this address the queen rephed, "J take your ried against 
thanks kindly, but should be sorry that any one the Peen. 
should think I wovM not do my utmost to recover Spam and 
the West Indies from the house of Bourbon'' In the Com- 
mons, however, they had a large majority, and igi address 
containing expressions similar to those used by Lord Anglesea^ 
reflecting on Marlborough, was introduced and carried. 

The Whig majority, however, continued firm in the Upper 
House, and the leaders of that party began to en- 45. 

tertain sanguine hopes of success. The queen ci^Tin^aJe" 
had let fall some peevish expressions in regard to SSSSSSn^ 
her ministers. She had given her hand, in re- ^^ ^"®^* 
tiring from the House of Peer* on the 15th of December, to 
the Duke of Somerset instead of her own lord-treasurer ; it 
was apprehended that her old partiality for Marlborough was 
about to return ; Mrs. Masham wa» in the greatest alarm ; 
and St. John declared to Swift that the queen was false.* 
The ministers of the whole alliance seconded the efibrts of the 
Whigs, and strongly represented the injurious efiects which 
would ensue to the cause of European independenoe in gw« 
eral, and the interests of England in particular, if the prelim- 
inaries which had been agreed to should be made the basis 
of a general peace. The Dutch made strong and repeated 
representations on the subject, and the JElector of Hanover 
dehvered a memorial strongly urging the danger which would 
ensue if Spain and the Indies were allowed to remain in the 
hands of a Bourbon prince. 

Deeming themselves pushed to extremities, and having fail^ 
ed in all attempts to detach Marlborough from the Whigs, 
JBohngbroke and the ministers resolved on the desperate meas- 
ure of bringing forward an accusation against him, of fraud 

♦ Swift's Journal to Stella, Dec. 8, 1711. Swift said to the krd-treaB- 
urer, in his usual ironica] style, " If there is no remedy, your lordship will 
loM your head ; but I shall only be hung, and so carry my body entire to th» 
grave."— Coxs, vi^ 148-157. 


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SdO THE mi's OF 

^ . and peculation in the management of the public 

The Tories dia- ^ . _ , . ° .^ , 

missMaribor- moneys mtrusted to his management m the 
hhn with pec- Flemish campaign. The charges were founded 
ffve^pthe on the report of certain commissioners to whom 
3i8?Dec. ^"' the matter had been remitted, and which charged 
the duke with having appropriated £63,319 of the public 
moneys destined for the use of the EngUsh troops, and 
£282,366, as a per centage of two per cent, on the sum paid 
to foreign embassadors during the ten years of the war. In 
reply to these abominable insinuations, the letter of the duke 
to the conrniissioners was published on the 27th of December, 
in which he entirely refuted the charges, and showed that he 
had never received any sums or perquisites not sanctioned by 
previous and uniform usage, and far fewer than had been re- 
ceived by the general in the reign of WiUiam III. And ill 
regard to the £282,000 of per centage on foreign subsidies, 
this was proved to have been a voluntary gift from those pow- 
ers to the English general, authorized by their si^atures and 
sanctioned by warrants from the queen. This ansWei made 
a great impression ; but ministers had gone too far to retreat, 
and they ventured on a step which, for the honor of the coun- 
try, has never, even in the worst times, been since repeated 
Trusting to their majority in the Commons, they dismissed 
the duke from all his situations on the 31st of December, and 
in order to stifle the voice of justice in the Upper House, on 
the following day patents were issued calling Uodve new peers 
to the Upper House. On the following day they were intro- 
duced, amid the groans of the House ; the Whig noblemen, 
says a cotemporary annalist, " casting their eyes on the ground, 
as if they had been invited to the funeral of the peerage."^ 

Unbounded was the joy difliised among the enemies of En- 
T, . ^\ . gland by these unparalleled measures. On heai> 

Universal joy . n -liir t 

among the en- mg of Marlborouffh's fall, Louis XIV. said with 

emies of En- . ,. . 

gland, and een- triumph, " The dismissiou of Marlborough will do 

eroxM conduct ,, i . „ rrri /. ^ ^ 

«f EogeiM. all we can desire. The court of St. Grexmam a 

* CUNNINOHAM, U., 367. 

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vm& in exultation ; and the general joy ef the Jacobites, both 
at home and abroad, -was sufficient to demonstrate how formi- 
daUe an enemy to their cause they regarded the duke ; and 
how destitute of truth are the attempts to show that he had 
been engaged in a secret design to restore the exiled family. 
Marlborough disdained to make any defense of himself in Par- 
liament ; but an able answer on his part was prepared and 
circulated, which entirely refuted the whole charges against 
the illustrious general. So convinced were ministers of this, 
that, contenting themselves with resolutions against him in 
the House of Commons, where their influence was predomi- 
nant, they declined to prefer any impeachment or accusation 
in the Upper House, swamped even as it was by their recent 
creations. In the midst of this disgraceful scene of passion, 
envy, and ingratitude, Prince Eugene arrived in London for 
the purpose of trying to stem the torrent, and, if possible, pre- 
vent the secession of England from the confederacy. He was 
lodged with the lord-treasurer, and the generous prince omit- 
ted no opportunity of testifying, in the day of his tribulation, 
his undiminished respect for his illustrious rival. The treas- 
urer having said to him at a great dinner, *' I consider this 
day as the happiest of my life, since I have the honor to see 
in my house the greatest captain of the age." " If it be so,'* 
replied Eugene, ** I owe it to your lordship ;" alluding to his 
dismissal of Marlborough, which had caused him to cease to 
be one. On another occasion, some one having pointed out a 
passage in one of the libels against Marlborough, in which he 
was said to have been ** perhaps Ofice fortunate," *' It is true," 
said Eugene, ** he was <mce fortunate, and it is the greatest 
praise which can be. bestowed on him ; for, as he was always 
successful, that imphes that all his other successes were owing 
to his own conduct."* 

Alarmed at the weight which Marlborough might derive 
from the presence and support of so great a commander, and 
the natural sympathy of all generous minds at the cordial ad- 
* Burnet's History of his own Times, vi., lie. 

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292 THE LIFE t)F 

48. miration which these two great mai entertained 
of die Tories* for ^ach other, the ministers had recourse to a pre-. 
J^n^inst tended conspiracy, which it was alleged had been 
Marlborough, ^gcovered, on the part of Marlborough and Eugene, 
to seize the government and dethrone the queen, on the 17 th 
of ^November. St. John and Oxford had too much sense to 
pubHsh such a ridiculous statement ; but it was made the 
subject of several secret examinations before the Privy Coun- 
cil, in order to augment the apprehensions and secure the 
concurrence of the queen in their measures. * Such as it was, 
the tale was treated as a mere malicious invention even by 
the cotemporary foreign annaUsts,* though it has since been 
repeated as true by more than one party historian of our own 
country.! This ridiculous calumny, and the atrocious libels 
fts to the embezzlement of the public money, however, pro- 
duced the desired efiect. They inflamed the mind of the 
queen, and removed that vacillation in regard to the meas- 
ures of governinent, from which so much danger had been ap- 
prehended by the Tory administration; Having answered 
the desired end, they were allowed quietly to go to sleep. No 
proceedings in the House of Peers, or elsewhere, followed the 
resolutiwis of the Commons condemnatory of Marlborough's 
financial administration in the Low Countries. His defense, 
published in the newspapers, though abundantly vigorous, 
was neither answered nor prosecuted as a hbel on the com- 
missioners or House of Conunons ; and the alleged Stuart 
conspiracy was never more heard of, till it was long after 
drawn from its slumber by the malice of English party spirit. 

Meanwhile the negotiations at Utrecht for a general peace 

49. continued, and St. John and Oxford soon found 
hkdcrSttdsat themselves embarrassed by the extravagant pre- 
SmS^toapS tensions which their own favor had revived in the 
t^^en F^iSiS" plenipotentiaries of Louis. So great was the gen- 
■nd England, graj indignation excited by the publication, of the 

» Mem. De Tordy, iii., 268, 269. 
. t Swift's Last Years of Queen Anne, 59, Contin, of Bafin, xviii., 468, Svo. 

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preliminaries at Utrecht, that St. John felt the necessity of 
discontinuing any general negotiation, and converting it into 
a private correspondence between the plenipotentiaries of the 
English and French crowns.* Great difficulty was experi- 
enced in coming to an accommodation, in consequence of the 
rising demands of the French plenipotentiaries, who, deeming 
themselves secure of support firom the English ministry, not 
only positively refused to abandon Spain and the Indies, but 
now demanded the Netherlands for the Elector of Bavaria, 
and the cession of Lille and Toumay in return 'for the seizure 
of Dunkirk. The sadden death, however, first of the Dau- 
phiness of France, and then of the dauphin, the former of 
■yhom was carried ofi'by a mahgnant fever on the. 12th, the 
latter on the 18th of February, 1712, followed by the death 
of their eldest son on the 23d, produced feelings of commis- 
eration for the aged monarch, now in his seventy-third year, 
and broken down by misfortunes, which rendered the progress 
of the separate negotiations more easy. England agreed to 
abandon its allies, and the main object of the war, on condi- 
tion that a guarantee should be obtained against the crowns 
of France and Spain being united on the same head. On 
this firail security, and the promised demoHtion of Dunkirk, 
the English ministry agreed to withdraw their contingent 
from the alUed army ; and to induce the Dutch to follow their 
example, Ypres was offered to them on the same terms as 
Dunkirk had been to Great Britain.! So overjoyed was 
Louis at the signing of these conditions on the part of Bol- 
ingbroke, that he immediately sent Queen Anne a present of 
six splendid dresses, and two thousand five hundred bottle of 
The disastrous effects of this secret and dishonorable seces- 

* "The French will see that there is a possibility of reviving the love of 
' vrar in our people, by the indie^nation that has been expressed at the plan 
given in at Utrecht. "—ilfr. Secretary Si. John to Brit. Flenip., Dec. 28, 
1711. BoLiNQBROKfe's Corvesp., ii., 93«^ 

- t Coxx, vi, 189, 194.. X Capefigue, Louis XIV., vi, 249. - 

Bb 2 

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goL 8ion> on thje part of England, from the oonfederaGy, 
S?S*dFSn^" ^''^^r® soon apparent. Great had been the prep- 
^eJJSfate'StS?. arations of the COTitinental allies for continuing 
tum of Loui.. ^Q contest ; and while the English contingent re- 
mained with them, their force was irresistible. , Prince Eu* 
gene was at the head of the army in Flanders, and, including 
the British forces under the Duke of Ormond, it amounted to 
the immense force of one hundred and twenty-two thousand 
afiective men, with one himdred and twenty guns, sixteen 
howitzers, and an ample pontoon train. To oppose this, by 
far the largest army the French had yet had to confront in 
the Low Countries, Yillars had scarcely at his command ono 
hundred thousand men, and they were ill equipped, imper- 
fectly supplied with artillery, and grievously depressed in 
spirit by a long series of disasters. Eugene commanded the 
forces of the confederates ; for although the Enghsh ministry 
had been lavish^ in their promises of imqualified support, tho 
Dutch had begun to entertain serious suspicions of their sin- 
cerity, and bestowed the command on that tried officer in- 
stead of the Duke of Ormond, who had succeeded Marlbor- 
ough in the command of the English contingent. But Marl- 
borough's soul still directed the movements of the army ; and 
Eugene's plan of the campaign was precisely that which that 
great commander had chalked out at the close of the preced- 
ing one. This was to besiege Quesnoy and Landrecies, the 
last of those fortresses forming the iron barrier of France 
which in this quarter protected the frontier, and immediately 
afler to inundate the open coimtry, and advance as rapidly as 
possible to Paris. It was calculated they might reach it in 
ten marches from Landrecies ; and it was well known that 
there was neither a defensible position nor fortress of any sort 
to arrest the invaders' march. Already the light hors^ had 
overspread the country as far as the Oise, within forty miles 
of Paris, and a plan had even been formed for surprising the 
king in his palace of Versailles by a body of hussars, which 

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had very nearly succeeded.* The court of Versailles was in 
despair ; the general opinion was, that the king should leave 
Paris and retire to Blois ; and although the proud spirit of 
Louis recoiled at such a proposal, yet, in taking leave of Mar- 
shal Villars, he declared, " Should a disaster occur, I will go 
to Peronne or St. Quentin, collect all my troops, and with you 
risk a last effort, determined to perish or save the state."! 

But the French monarch was spared this last desperate 
alternative. The defection of the British cabinet ^^ 

ii'i 1 mi- n t ^ The defection 

saved his throne when all ms means oi defense of Britain 

, -. T^ . - saves France, 

were exhausted. Ji.ugene, on openmg the cam- Mayio. 
paign on the 1st of May, anxiously inquired of the Duke of 
Ormond whether he had authority to act vigorously in the 
campaign, and received an answer that he had the same au- 
thority as the Duke of Marlborough, and was prepared to join 
in attacking the enemy. Preparations were immediately made 
for forcing the enemy's lines, which covered Quesnoy, previous 
to an attack on that fortress. But at the very time that this 
was going on, the work of perfidious defection was consum- 
mated. On the 1 0th of May, Mr. Secretary St. Jolm sent 
positive orders to Ormond to take no part in any general en- 
gagement, as the questions at issue between the contending 
parties were on the point of adjustment. | Intimation of this 

* La Scarpe une fois pass^e, toute la province de Picardie fut couverte 
de partisans ermemies ; on vit des hussards AUemands sur les bords de 
rOise, des hardia cavaliers vinrent m^me k quelquis lieues de Versailles 
pour eiFrayer le vieax monarque, dans sou palais de Versailles, pie in de 
grandeur et de merveilles.— Capefigue, Louis XIV., vi., 147» 148. 

t Mim. de Villars, ii., 197. 

{ " Her mnjest}', my lord, has reason to believe that we shall come td an 
agreement upon the great article of the union of the monarchies as soon as 
a courier sent from Versailles to Madrid can return. It is, therefore, the 
queen's positive command to your grace that you avoid engaging in any 
siege, ar hazarding a battle, till you have further orders from her majesty. 
I am, at the same time, directed to let your trrace know that you are to dis- 
guine the receipt of this order ; and her majesty thinks you can not want pre- 
tenses for conducting- yourself, without owning^ that which might at present 
have an ill effect if it was pubUcly known. P. 6^. — I had almost forgot to tell 
your grace that communication is made of this order to tJie court of France, 

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private order was sent to the court of France, but it was di- 
rected to be kept a positive secret from the allied generals. 
Ormond, upon the receipt of these orders, opened a private 
correspondence with Villars, informing him that their troops 
were, no longer enemies, and that the future movements of the 
forces under his command would only be to get forage and 

This correspondence was unknown to Eugene ; but circum- 
52. stances soon brought the defection of England to 
S?fofQueT ligbt. In the middle of it, the aUied forces had 
noy, July 16. paggg^ ^he Scheldt, and taken post between NoyeK 
ler and the Boiase, close to Villars' s position. To bring the 
sincerity of the Enghsh to a test, Eugene proposed a general 
attack on the enemy's hues, which was open and exposed, 
on the 28th of May. But Ormond declined^ requesting the 
operation might be delayed for a few days. The defection 
was now apfparent, and the Dutch deputies loudly condemned 
such dishonorable conduct ; but Eugene, anxious to make the 
most of the presence of the British troops, though ^eir co-op- 
eration could no longer be relied on, proposed to besiege Ques- 
noy, which was laid open by Villars' s retreat. Ormond, who 
felt acutely the painful and discreditable situation in which, 
without any fault of his own, he was placed, could not refuse, 
and the investment took place that very day. The opera- 
tions were conducted by the Dutch and Imperial troops alone; 
and the town was taken, after a siege of six weeks, on the 
16th of July.* 

This disgraceful defection on the part of the EngHsh gov- 
53 ' emment excited, as well it might, the utmost in- 
S^ation ^^ dignation among the aUies, and produced mingled 
cites ^n&e* feelings of shame and mortification among all real 
aiiiedpowers. patriots or men of honor in Great Britain. By 
abandoning the contest in this manner, when it was on the 

so that if Marshal de Villars takes, in any private way, notice of it to yoa» 
yonr grace will answer it accordingly." — Mr. Secretary St. John to the f>vke 
of Ormond, May 10, 17K. Bolingbroke's Correspondence, ii., 320. 
* Eug-ene to Marlborough, June 9, 1712. CoxE, vi., 199. 

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very point of being crowned with success, the English lost the 
fruit of TEN costly and bloody campaigns, and suiiered the war 
to terminate without attaining the main object for which it 
had been undertaken. Louis XIY., defeated, and all but 
ruined, was permitted to retain for his grandson the Spanish 
succession ; and England, Adctorious and within sight, as it 
were, of Paris, was content to halt m the career of victory, 
and lost the opportunity, never to be regained for a century to 
come, of permanently restraining the ambition of France. It 
was the same as if, a few days after the battle of Waterloo, 
England had concluded a separate peace, guaranteemg the 
throne of Spain to Joseph Bonaparte, and providing only for 
its not being held also by the Emperor of France. 

Lord Halifax gave vent to the general indignation of all 
generous and patriotic men, when he said, in the 54^ -; 

debate on the address, on the 28th of May, after fpelcroiLord 
enumerating the proud hst of victories wliich, Jhe^peaf>efn'Sfe 
since the commencement of the war, had attend- iiouse of Peers. 
ed the arms of England, " But all this pleasing prospect is 
totally effaced by the orders given to the queen's general not 
to act ofiensively against the enemy. I pity that heroic and 
gallant general, who, on other occasions, took delight to charge 
the most formidable corps and strongest squadrons,^ and can 
not but be uneasy at his bemg fettered with shackles, and 
thereby prevented from reaping the glory which he might well 
expect from leading on troops so long accustomed to conquer. 
I pity the allies, who have relied upon the aid and friendship 
of the British nation, perceiving that what they had done at 
so great an expense of blood and treasure is of no effect, as 
they will be exposed to the revenge of that power against 
whom they have been so active. I pity the queen, her royal 
successors, and the present and future generations of Britain, 
when they shall find the nation deeply involved ui debt, and 
that the common enemy who occasioned it, though once near 
being sufficiently humbled, does still triumph, and design their 
ruin ; and are informed that this proceeds from the conduct 

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296 TKK LiFB or 

of the British cabinet, in neglecting to make, a right vm of 
thoee advantages and happy occarionB which thttr own ooiu> 
age and Grod's blessing had put into their hands."* 

Marlborough seconded the motion of Halifax in a speech of 
M- peculiar interest, as the last which he made on tho 


•peM^ in tec- oonduct of this evcntful war. *' Although," said 
tionofHaiifiac. he, ''the negotiations for peace may be far ad» 
▼anced, yet I can see no reason which should induce the allies 
or ourselves to remain inactive, and not push on the war with 
the utmost vigor, as we have incurred the expense of recruit- 
ing the army for the service of another year. That army is 
BOW in the field ; and it has often occurred that a victory or a 
siege produced good efiects and mani^^ld advantages whem 
treats were still further advanced than in the present nego- 
tiation. 4^d as I am of opinion that we sho«dd make the 
most we can for ourselves, the only infallible way to &rco 
France to an entire submission is to besiege and occupy Cam* 
bray or Arras, and to carry the war into the heart of the 
kingdom. But as the troops of the enemy cure now encamped, 
it is impossible to execute that design, unless they are with- 
drawn &om their position ; and as they can not be reduced to 
retire from want of provisicms, they must be attacked and 
fixroed. For the truth of what I say, I appeal to a noble duka 
(Argyll), whom I rejoice to see in this house, because he knows 
the country, and is as good a judge of these matters as any 
person now alive." Argyll, though a bitter personal enemy 
of Marlborough, thus appealed to, said, '' I ^ indeed know 
that country, and the situaticHL of the enemy in their present 
eamp, and I agree with the noUe duke that it is impossible 
to remove them without attacking and driving them away ; 
and, until that is efiected, neither of the two si^es alluded to 
can be undertaken. I likewise agree that the capture of these 
two towns is the most efiectual way to carry on the war with 
advantage, and would be a fatal bbw to France."! 

* Pari Hut., May 28, 1712. Lockhart Paper$, U 99i, 
t Coxa, Ti., 198, 183. 

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Notwithstanding the creation of twelve peers to swamp the 
Upper House, it is doubtful how the division would 55^ 

have gone, had not Lord Strafford, a cabinet min- Sfei^'d'iciSs 
ister, observed, in reply to the charge that the p^^^''^ the^ 
British government was about to conclude a sep- negotiation, 
arate peace, '' Nothing of that nature has ever been intended ; 
for such a peace would he bo foolish, villainmis, and knavish^ 
that every servant of the queen must answer for it, with his 
head, to the nation. The allies are acquainted with our pro- 
cecdings, and satisfied 2m th our terms.'' This statement was 
made by a British minister, in his place in Parliament, on the 
28th of May, eighteen days after the private letter had been 
dispatched from Mr. Secretary St. John to the Duke of Or- 
mond, already quoted, mentioning the private treaty with 
Louis, enjoining him to keep it secret from the allies, and com- 
municate clandestinely with Villars. But such a declaration, 
coming from an accredited minister of the crown, produced a 
great impression, and ministers prevailed by a majority of six- 
ty-eight to forty. In the course of the debate. Earl Poulett 
let fall such cutting expressions against Marlborough for hav- 
ing, as he alleged, led his troops to certain destruction, in or- 
der to profit by the sale of the officers' conumissions,* that the 
duke, without deigning a reply, sent him a challenge on leav- 
ing the house. The agitation, however, of the earl, who was 
less cool than the iron veteran in the prospect of such a meet- 
ing, revealed what was going forward, and, by an order from 
the queen, the affair was terminated without bloodshed.! 

It soon appeared what fomidation there was for the asser- 
tion of the queen's ministers, that England was en- ^ 57- 

^ . . ^ Conditions 

gaged in no separate negotiation for a peace< On oitheTreRty 
the 6th of June, the outlines of the treaty, which 6th June, 
afterward became so famous as the Peace of Utrecht, were 

* *' No one can doubt the Dake of Ormond's bravery ; but be is not like 
a certain general wlio led troops to tlie slaughter, to cause a great number 
of officers to be knocked on the head in a battle, or against stone walls, in or- 
der to fill his pockets by the sale of their commissions." — Coxe, vi., 196, 

t hackkaH Papers, i., 392.^^ CoxE, vi., 196-199. . . , / 

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300 THE LIFE or 

divu^ed. The Buke of Angou was to renounce forever, for him?, 
self and his descendants, all daim to the French crown ; and 
the crown of Spain was to descend, by t^ tmle line only, to 
the Duke of- Anjou, and failing them, to certain princes of the 
Boui^hon line hy niale descent, always exchiding him who waft 
possessed of the French crown * Gibraltar and Minorca re- 
mained to England; Dunkirk was to be demolished; the 
Spanish Netherlands were to be ceded to Austria, with Na- 
^es, Milan, and Sardinia ; the barrier towns were to be eed- 
ed to the Dutch, as required in 1709, with the exertion of 
two or three places. Spain and her Indian oolonies remamed 
with the Duke of Anjou and his male heirs, asKing of Spain. 
And thus, at tl» eonclusion of the most glorious and suc<je88- 
ftil war recorded in English history, did the English cabinet 
leave to France the great object of the contest — the crown of 
Spain placed on the head of a prince of the Bourbon race, and 
of its magnificent Indian colonies. With truth did Marlbor- 
ough observe, in the debate on the preliminaries, " The meas- 
ures pursued in England for the last year are directly contra- 
ry to her majesty's engagements with the aUies, sully the tri- 
umphs and glories of her reign, and will render tha English 
name odious to all other nations."! It was all in vain. The 
people loudly cldmored for. peace; the cry against the tax6s 
was irresistible. The Tory ministry was seconded by a vast 
n,mnerical majority throughout the country. The peace was 

' • The words of the treaty, which subsequent events have rendered of im- 
portance on this point, were these : Philippe V., king of Spain, renounced 
"a tontes pretensions, droits, et titres qui lui et sa po8t6rit6 avaient ou poor- 
raient avoir a I'avenir a la couronne de France. II consentit pour lui et sa 
post6rit4 que ce droit fut tenu et consid6r6 comme pass6 au Due de Berry 
son fr^re et d ses descendants et post6rit6 male et au defaut de ce prince; 
et de sa post^rit^ male, au Due de Bourbon sou cousin et a ses heritwrsj et 
aussi successivement a tons les princes du sang de France." The Duke of 
Saxony and his rnale heirs were Called to the siaccessioa, failing Philippe V. 
and his male heirs. This act of renitnciation and entail of the crown of 
Spain on viole heirs was ratified by the Cortes of Castile and Arragon ; by 
the Parliament of PariA, by Great Britain and France in the sixth article of 
the Treatyof Utrecht.— FtVfe Schoell, Hist, de Trait., ii., 99-105, and Du- 
MONT, Corp. Dipt., torn. wiiL, p. I, p. 339. ^ t CoXE,. vi., 205. 

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-approved of by laxge majorities in both houses. Parliament 
was soon after prorogued ; and Marlborough, seeing his pub- 
lic career termLnated, solicited 'and obtained passports to go 
abroad, which he soon afterward did. 
• W' Great was the mourning, and loud the lamentations, both 

in the British and allied troops, when the fatal 59, 

day arrived that the former were to separate from ratSif of rtfe *" 
their old companions m arms. On the 16th of g^^Jif fromthe^" 
* - July, the very day on which Quesnoy surrendered, ^^^^* 
>• • the last of their long line of triumphs, Ormond having exhaust- 
V* ed every sort of procrastination to postpone the dreaded hour, 

- , was compelled to order the English troops to march. He in 
« ' ♦ Tain, however, gave a similar order to the auxiliaries in Brit- 
' ieh pay. The hereditary Prince of Cassel replied, "^he Hes- 
' '\ • fiians would gladly march if it were to fight the French.*' An- 
' •' ether, "We do not serve for pay, but fame." The native 

^'English, however, were compelled to obey the order of their 
sovereign, and they set out, twelve thousand strong, from the 
? <>amp at Cambresis. Of all the Germans in British pay, only 

one battaHon of Holstein men, and a regiment of dragoons 
from Liege, accompanied them. Silent and dejected they took 
their way ; the men kept their eyes on the ground ; the offi- 
cers did not venture to return the parting salute of the com- 
rades who had so long fought and conquered by their side. 
Not a word was spoken on either side ; the hearts of all were 
too full for utterance ; but the averted eye, the mournful air, 
the blush of indignation, told the deep emotion which was ev- 
ery where felt. It seemed as if the allies were following to 
the grave, with profound affliction, the whole body of their 
British comrades. But when the troops reached their resting- 
place for the night, and the suspension of arms was proclaim- 
ed at the head of each regiment, the general indignation be- 
came so vehement, that even the bonds of military disciplme 
were unable to restrain it. A universal cry, succeeded by a 
• loud murmur, was heard through the camp. The British 
soldiers were seen tearing their hair, casting their muskets on 

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the ground, and rending their clothesi uttering all the while) 
furious exclamations against the government which had so 
ihamefuUy betrayed them. The officers were so overwhehn- 
ed with vexation, that they sat apart in their tenti looking on 
tne ground, through very shame ; and for. several days they 
shrunk from the sight even of their fellow-soldiers* Many left 
their colors to serve with the aUies ; others withdrew ;, and 
whenever they thought of Marlborough and^ their days of glo- 
ry, tears filled their eyes.* 

It Mm appeared that it was not without reason that these 
59. gloomy presentiments prevailed on both sides, as 
SSTSo^x'S" ^ *^ consequences of the British withdrawing 
rifio^ixi^the ^Q^ the contest. So elated were the French by 
with France, ^j^jg withdrawal, that they speedily lo^t all sense 
of gratitude and even honesty, and refused to give up Dun- 
kirk to the British ; and the cession was only efi^cted with 
great difficulty, on the earnest entreaties of the British gov- 
ernment So great were the difficulties which beset the ne- 
gotiation, that St. John was obliged to repair in person to 
Paris, where ho remained incognito for a considerable time» 
and efiected a compromise with regard to the objects still in 
dilute betwe^i the parties. The secession of England from 
the confederacy was now openly announced ; and, as the al- 
lies refused to abide by her preliminaries, the separate nego- 
tiation continued between the two countries, and lingered on 
for nearly a year after the suspension of arms. 

Meanwhile, Eugene, after the departure of the British, con- 
eo. tinned his operations, and laid siege to Landrecies, 
io^ct^y** ^® ^^^ o^ t^® barrier ftartlfesses on the road to Pans, 
Et^nlf who in the «id of July. But it soon appeared that En- 
vSr^tDe^ gland had been the soul of the c<mfedera^y, and 
"^^^^ Ihat it was the tutelary arm of Marlborough which 

had so long averted disaster, and chained victory to its stand-« 
ards. Nothing but defeat and misfc^rtune att^ided the allies 
after its secession. Even the great and tried abilities of Eu- 

* CVMMtMBAM, ii, 34S. IULMKM, 399. 

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gene were inadequate to procure for them one single succeaa, 
after the Golors of England ceased to wave in their ranks. 
During the investment of Landrecies, Villars drew together 
the garrisons from the neighboring towns, no bnger threat* 

ened by the English troops, and surprised at Denain a body 
of twelve thousand men, stationed there, for the purpose of fa- 
cilitating the passage of convoys to the besieging army. This 
body was totally defeated, with a loss of eight thousand. The 
blow was considerable in itself, but it was rendered doubly so 
by the position of Denain, a fortified post on the Scheldt, 
which kept up the communication between the portion of his 
army which was besieging Landrecies and that before Mar- 
chiennes. It cut his army in two ; and Eugene had the mor- 
tification of arriving in person on the opposite side of the 
Scheldt at the close of the action, and witnessing the surren- 
der of Lord Albemarle and three thousand men, without be- 
ing able to render any assistance. This disaster rendered it 
necessary to raise the siege of Landrecies, and Villars imme- 
diately resumed the offensive. Douay was speedily invested : 
a fruitless effort of Eugene to retain it only exposed him to 
the mortification of witnessing its surrender. Not expecting 
so sudden a reverse of fortune, the fortresses recently taken were 
not provided with provisions or ammunition, and were in no con- 
dition to make any effectual resistance. Quesnoy soon fell from 
this cause ; and Bouchain, the last trophy of Marlborough's vic- 
tories, opened its gate on the 10th of October. The coalition 
was paralyzed ; and Louis, who so lately trembled for his cap- 
ital, foxmd his armies advancing from conquest to conquest, 
and tearing from the aUies the fruits of all their victories.* ^ 

These disasters, and the evident inabihy tof the allied ar- 
mies, without the aid of the English, to keep their ei. 
ground in Flanders, in a manner compelled the the^w^rb"*^ 
Dutch, however unwilling, to follow the example of ^d^Fr^ce^at 
Great Britain, in treating separately with France. Si?Duteh"at 
They became parties, accordingly, to the pacifica- uta-eciiL 
* Mem, de Villars, ii., 396-421. Capefigue, Louis XIV., vi., 272-275. 



" ' - I 

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tion at Utrecht ; and Savoy also concluded peace therer But 
the barrier for which they had so ardently contended was, by 
the desertion of England, so much reduced, that it ceased to af- 
ford any eilectual security against the encroachments of France. 
That power held the most important fortresses in Flanders 
which had been conquered by Louis XIV. — Cambray, Valen- 
ciennes, and Arras. Lille, the conquest on which Marlbor- 
ough most prided himself, was restored by the allies, and with 
it Bethuue, Aire, St. Venant, and many other places. The 
Dutch felt, in the strongest manner, the evil consequences of 
*" a treaty which thug, in a maimer, left the enemy at their 
^ gates ; and the irritation consequently produced against En- 

gland was so violent, that it continued through the greater 
* part of the eighteenth century. Austria, indignant at being 
thu5 deserted by all her allies, continued the contest alone 
tlu'ough another campaign. But she was overmatched ui the 
struggle ; her resources , were exhausted ; and, by the advice 
of Eugene, conferences were opened at P^astadt, from which, 
as a just reward for her perfidy, England was excluded. A 
treaty was soon concluded on the basis of the Treaty of E.ys- 
, wick. It left Charles the Low Comitries, and all the Spanish 
'territories in Italy, except SicOy ; but, with Sardinia, Bavaria 
^ M ^^^ restored. France retained Landau, but restored New 
^ Brisach, Fribourg, and Kelil. Thus was that great power 

left in possession of the whole conquests ceded to Louis XIV. 
by the treaties of Aix la Chapelle, Niraeguen, and Ryswick, 
^ '- with the vast addition of the family alliance with a Bourbon 
..^ prince, possessing Spain and the Indies. A century of repeat- 
^. ed wars on the part of England and the European powers, 
with France, followed by the dreadful struggle of the Revo- 
lutionary contest, and the costly campaigns of WelHngton, 
were the legacy bequeathed to the nation by Bolingbroke and 
Ilarley, in arresting the course of Marlborough's victories, and 
restoring France to a preponderance, when on the eve of be- 
, iiig reduced to a level consistent with the independence of oth- 



i -. 

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^ - 



er states. Well might Mr. Pitt style the Treaty of Utrecht 
" the indelible reproach of the age."* 

Marlborough's public career was now terminated ; and the 
dissensions which cast hun down from power had 62. 

N 1 1 • • -111- f . 1 . ^ Marlborough is 

so completely extmffuished his pontical mnuence, i^ceivedwith' 

, 1 • V . . n -, ' -^-n ■, the highest hon- 

tnat, (tunng the remaming years joi his life, he ors on the coo- 
rarely appeared at all in pubHc hfe. On landing Nov" nis. 
on the Continent, at-^Brille, on the 24th of Novem'ber, he was 
received with such demonstrations of gratitude and respect as 
showed how deeply his public services had sunk into the hearts 
of men, and how warmly they appreciated his efforts to avert 
from England- and the Coalition the evils likely to flow from 
the Treaty of Utrecht. At Maestricht he was welcomed v^ith 
the honors usually reserved for sovereign princes ; and al- 
though he did his utmost, on the journey to Aix la Chapelle, 
to avoid attracting the public attention, and to shp unobserv- 
ed through by-ways, yet the eagerness of the public, or the 
gratitude of his old soldiers, discovered him wherever he went. 
Wherever he passed, crowds of all ranks were waiting to see 
him, were it only to get a glimpse of the hero who had saved 
the empire, and filled the world with his renown. All "Were 
struck wdth his noble air and demeanor, softened, though not 
weakened, by the approach of age. They declared that his 
appearance wras not less overpowering than his sword. Many 
burst into tears when they recollected what he had been and 
what he was, and how unaccountably the great nation to 
which he belonged had fallen from the height of glory to such 
degradation. Yet was the maimer of Marlborough so cour- 
teous and yet animated, his conversation so simple and yet 
cheerful, that it was commonly said at the time, " that tho 
only things he had forgotten were his own deeds, and- the oidy 
things he remembered were the misfortunes of others.'* 
Crowds of all ranks, from the highest to the lowest, hastened 
to attend his levee at Aix la Chapelle on the 17th of Janu- 

• Mr. Pitt to Sir Benjamin Keene. CoxK'a Memoirt of the Spani$k 
Kings of 0te House of Bourbon, c. 57. 

C c 2 

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304 THE LIT^ OF 

ary, 1713 ; and the Duke de Ledeguires, on leaving it, said, 

with equal justice and felicity, **I can now say that I have 

seen the man who is equal to the Mareschal de Turenne in 

conduct, to the Prince of Cond6 in courage, and superior to 

the Mareschal de Luxembourg in success."* 

But if the veteran hero found some compensation in the 

^ unanimous admiration of f<»reign nations for the in- 
Base ingrati- 
todeoftheim- gjratitude with which he had been treated by the 

mm. government of his own, he was soon destined to 

find that gratitude for past services was not to be looked for 
among foreign potentates any more than his own countrymen. 
Upon the restoration of the elector, by the treaty of Rastadt, 
the principality of Mendleheim, which had been bestowed 
upon him after the battle of Blenheim by the Emperor Jo- 
seph, was resumed by the elector. No stipulation in his fa- 
vor was made either by the British government or the Impe- 
rial court, and therefore the estate, which yielded a clear rev- 
enue of £200Q a year, was lost to Marlborough. He trans- 
mitted, through Prince Eugene, a memorial to the emperor, 
claiming an indemnity for hid loss ; but, though it was earn- 
estly supported by that generous prince, yet, being imaided by 
any efibrts on the part of the English ministry, it was allow- 
ed to iall asleep. An indemnity was often promised, even by 
the emperor in writing,! but performance of the promise was 
always evaded. The duke was made a prince of the Holy 
Roman Empire, but obtained nothing but empty honors for 
his services ; and at this moment these high-sounding titles 
are all that remain in the Marlborough family to testify the 
gratitude of the Caesars to the hero who saved their Imperial 
and royal thrones.^ 

* Life of Marlborough^ 1 75. 

t " At the fature congress, his Imperial majesty will do all that is possi- 
ble to SQstain my lord duke in the principality of Mendleheim ; bnt if it 
ffhoold so happen that any invincihle difficulty should occor in that affair, his 
Imperial highness will give his highness an equivalent out of his own Jiered- 
itary dominions."— iSfftpcTW Charle$ VI. to Dttehsts cf Marlborough, Au- 
goit B, 1712. Cozx, vi., 848. \ Ca^, vi., 849-S51. 

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The same oblivioii o£ past and. invaluable services, when 
they were no longer required, pursued the illustrir 64 

ous general in his declining years, on the part of S^^^aSfs^SS 
his own countrymen. The got-up stories about ^^o™®- 
embezzlement and dilapidation of the public money in Flan- 
ders were allowed to go to sleep when they had answered their 
destined purpose of bringing about his fall from political pow- 
er. No grounds were found for a prosecution, or which could 
afford a chance of success, even in the swamped and now 
subservient House of Peers. But every thing that malice 
could suggest, or party bitterness effect, was employed to fill 
the last days of the immortal hero with anxiety and disquiet. 
Additional charges were brought against him by the commis- 
sioners, founded on the allegation that he had draMn a pistole 
per troop, and ten shillings a company, for mustering the sol- 
diers, though, in the foreign auxiHaries, it was often not done. 
Marlborough at once transmitted a refutation of these fresh 
charges, so clear and decisive, that it entirely silenced those 
accusations.* But his enemies, though driven from this 
ground, still persecuted him with unrelenting malice. The 
noble pile of Blenheim, standing, as it did, an enduring monu- 
ment at once of the duke's services and the nation's gratitude, , 
was a grievous eyesore to the dominant majority in England, 
and they did all in their power to prevent its completion. 

Orders were first given to the Treasury on the 1st of June, 
1712, to suspend any further payments from the 65. 

royal exchequer, and commissioners were appoint- thJbundhTgof 
ed to investigate the claims of the creditors and ex- Slrpu'iJuc^ex- 
pense of the work. They recommended the ad- p®"^^" 
vance of a third to each claimant, which was accordingly 
made ; but as many years elapsed, suid no further payments 
to account were made, the principal creditors brought an ac- 
tion in the Court of Exchequer against the duke, as personally 
liable for the amount, and the court pronounced decree in fa- 
vor of the plaintiffs, which was afRrmed, after a long litiga- 
* Duke of Marlbotxmgh's Ansfc^, June 2, 1713. 

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tdon,- in the House of Lords. Meanwhile, the building itself, 
for want of any paymaster, was at a stand ; and this noble 
pile, this proud monument of a nation's gratitude, would have 
remained a modem ruin to this day, had it not been completed 
from the private funds of the hero whose services it was in- 
tended to commemorate. But the Duke of Marlborwigh, Ǥ 
well as the duchess, were too much interested il^ the work to 
allow it to remain unfinished. He left by his will fifty thou- 
sand pounds to complete the building, which was still in a 
very unfinished state at the time of his death, and the duty 
was faithfiilly performed by the duchess after his decease. 
From the accoimts of the total expense, preserved at Blen- 
heim^ it appears that out of three hundred thousand pounds, 
which the whole edifice cost, no less than sixty thousand 
pounds were provided from the private funds of the Duke of 

It may readily be believed that so long-continued and unre- 
66. lenting a persecution of a man, so great and so dis- 
from^apimj^ tinguished a benefactor of his country, proceeded 
rart^^ofSs fi'o"^ something more than mere. envy at greatness, 
Stuarts. powerful as that principle ever is in little minds. In 
truth, it was part of the deep-laid plan for the restoration of 
the Stuart Hne^ which the declining state of the queen's liealth, 
and the probable unpopularity of the Hanover family, now re- 
vived in greater vigor than ever. During this critical pe- 
riod, Marlborough, who was still on the Continent, remained 
perfectly firm to the Act of Settlement and the Protestant 
cause. Convinced that England was threatened with a coun- 
ter-revolution, he used his endeavors to secure the fidehty of 
the garrison of Dunkirk, and offered to embark at their head 
in support of the Protestant succession. He sent General Ca- 
dogan to make the necessary arrangements with General 
Stanhope for transporting troops to England to support the 
Hanoveriaa succession, and ofiered to lend the Elector of 
Hanover £20,Q0O to aid him in his endeavor to secure the 

* COXE, vi., 369-373. 

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Bucoession. So sensible was the electoral house of the mag- 
nitude of his sendees, and his zeal in theit behalf, that the 
Electress Sophia intrusted him with a blank warrant, ap- 
pointing him commander-in-chief of her troops and garrisons, 
on her accession to the crown.* 

On the death of Queen Anne, on the 1st of August, 1714, 
Marlborough returned to England, and was soon g?. 

/v ' X T J. • 1 J J. Death of Anne, 

alter appointed captam-general and master-gener- ft„(j Maribor- 
al of the ordnance. BoHngbroke and Oxford were Cn^the «:ces^^* 
shortly after impeached, and the former then threw HSoTC?faim- 
off the mask by flpng to France, where he open- ^^* 
ly entered into the service of the Pretender at St. Germain's. . • 
The duke's great popularity with the army was soon after 
the means of enabling him to appease a mutiny in the Guards, 
which at first threatened to be alarming. During the rebell- 
ion in 1715, he directed, in a great degree, the operations 
against the rebels, though he did not actually take the field ; 
and to his exertions its rapid suppression is in a great measure 
to be ascribed. 

But the period had now arrived when the usual fate of mor- 
tality awaited this illustrious man. Severe do- gg. 
mestic bereavements preceded his dissolution, and bereavS^ente 
in a manner weaned him from a world which he ^^sy^^^g^ of & 
had passed through with so much glory. His ^*'^' ^^'^^■ 
daughter, Lady Bridgewater, died in March, 1714 ; and this 
was soon followed by the death of his favorite daughter Anne^ 
Countess of Simderland, who united uncommon elegance and 
beauty to unaffected piety and exemplary virtue. Marlbor- 
ough himself was not long of following his beloved relatives 
to the grave. On tile 28th of May, 1716, he was seized vdth 
a fit of palsy, so severe that it deprived him, for a time, alike 
of speech and resolution. He recovered, however, in a cer- 
tain degree, and went to Bath for the benefit of the waters ; 
and a gleam of returning light shone upon his mind when he 
visited Blenheim on the 1 8th of October. He expressed great 
satisfaction at the survey of the plan, which reminded him of 

-«««^**5 • Coxi, vi.. 263. *AiX»J'' 

' -' ti. \ 

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his great achieyem^itB, and in which he had always felt so deep 
an interest ; hut when he saw, in one o£ the few rooms which 
were finished, a pictujre of himself at the hattle of Blenheim* 
he turned away with a mournful air, with the words, ** Some> 
thing then, hut now — *' 

On the 18th of Novemher he was attacked hy another 
^ stroke, more severe than the fonner, and his £uni- 
Hi«iM^»w ly hastened to pay the last duties, as they oonceiv* 
June 16, 17S2. ed, to their departing parent. The strength of bis 
constitution, however, triumphed for a time even over thii 
violent attack ; hut though he continued, contrary to his own 
wishes, in conformity with those of his friends, who needed 
the support of his great reputation, to hc^d office, and oceor 
sionally appeared in ParUament, yet his puhlic career was at 
an end. A considerahle addition was made to his fortune hy 
the sagacity of the duchess, who persuaded him to emhark 
part of his funds in the South Sea scheme ; hut$ foreseeing 
the crai^ which was 9.pproaching, they sold out so opportune- 
ly, that instead of losing, she gained £lOO,OOOhy the trans* 
action. On the 27th of Novemher, 1721, he made his last 
appearance in the House of Lords ; hut in June, 1722, he was 
again attacked with paralysis so violently, that he lay for some 
days nearly motionless, though in perfect possession of his fao» 
ulties. To a question from the duchess whether he heard the 
prayers read as usual at night, on the 15th of June, in his 
apartment, he replied, ** Yes ; and I joined in them.'' These 
were his last words. On the morning of the 16th he sank 
rapidly, and calmly hreathed his last at four o'clock* in the 
72d year of his age.* 

Envy is generally extinguished hy death, hecause the object 
70. of it has ceased to stand in the way of those who 
ttthofJtS ^®®^ ^** Marlborough's funeral obsequies were cele- 
1722. brated with uncommon magnificence, and all ranks 

and parties joined in doing hiim honor. His body lay in state 
£>r several days at Marlborough House, and crowds ilooked 
together from all the throe kingdoms to witaass the imposing 

* LlDlAJtl), 4M. Cogu, Ti, 3S4, 36S. 

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ceremony of his funeral, which was performed with the ut- 
most magnificence, on the 28th of June. The procession was 
opened by a long array of miHtary, among whom were Gen- 
eral, now Lord Cadogan, and many other officers who had 
suffered and bled in his cause. Long files of heralds, officers- 
at-arms, and pursuivants followed, bearing banners emblazon- \ ^ 
ed with his armorial achievements, among which appeared, in 
uncoimnon luster, the standard of Woodstock exhibiting the 
arms of France on the cross of St. George. In the center of 

' the cavalcade was a lofty car, drawn by eight horses, which 
bore the mortal remains of the hero, under a splendid canopy 
adorned by plumes, miUtary trophies, and heraldic devices of 
conquest. Shields were affixed to the sides, bearing the names 
of the towns he had taken and the fields he had won. Blen- 
heim was there, and Oudenarde, Ramillies and Malplaquet, 
Lille and Touniay, Bethune, Douay, and E-uremonde, Bou- 
chain and Mons, Aire, St. Venant and Liege, Maestricht and 
Ghent. The number made the English blush for the manner 
in which they had treated their hero. On either side were 
five generals in military mourning, bearing aloft banderoles, 
on which were emblazoned the arms of the family. Eight 
dukes supported the pall ; besides the relatives of the deceased, 
the noblest and proudest of England's nobility joined in the 
procession. Yet the most moving part of the ceremony was 
the number of old soldiers who had combated with the hero 
on his fields of fame, and who might now be known, in the ^ 

dense crowds which thronged the streets, by their uncovered 
heads, gray hairs, and the tears which trickled down their ^ 
cheeks. The body was deposited, with great solemnity, in *' 

Westminster Abbey, at the east end of the tomb of Henry 
VII. ; but this was not its final resting-place in this world. 
It was soon after removed to the chapel at Blenheim, where 

' it was deposited in a magnificent mausoleum, and there it still 
remains, sm-momited by the noble pile which the genius of a * 

Vanbrugh had conceived to express a nation's gratitude.* 

* COXE, vL, 384-387. ^ ^'^ 

■ i . i^ 

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The extraordinary merit of Marlborough's military talents 
L . will not be duly appreciated, unless the peculiar 

Change in the /» , i n j ^ j* 

•yttemofwar nature of the contest he was called on to direct, 
oiigh'« time, and the character which he assumed in his time, 
are taken into consideration. The feudal times had ceased, at 
least so far as the raising of a mihtary force by its machinery 
was concerned. Louis XIV., indeed, when pressed f<Mr men, 
more than once summoned the ban and the arriere-ban of 
France to his standards, and he always had a gallant array 
of feudal nobility in his ante-chambers or aroimd his head- 
quarters. But war, both on his part and that of his antago- 
nists, was carried on, generally speaking, with standing armies, 
and supported by the belligerent state. The vast, though gen- 
erally tumultuary array which the Plantagenet or Valois sov* 
ereigns summoned to their support, but which, bound only to 
serve for forty days, generally disappeared before a few months 
of hostilities were over, coidd no longer be jrelied on. The 
modem system invented by revolutionary France, of making 
war maintain war, and sending forth starving multitudes with 
arms in their hands, to subsist by the plunder of the adjoining 
states, was imknown. The national passions had not been 
roused, which alone could bring it into operation. The de- 
cline of the feudal system foibaAe the hope that contests could 
be maintained by the chivalrous attachment of a faithful no- 
bility : the democratic spirit had not been so aroused as to 
supply its place by popular fervor. Religious passions, indeed, 
had been strongly excited ; but they had prompted men rather 
to sufier than to act : the disputations of the pulpit were their 

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natural arena : in the last extremity, they were more allied to 
the resignatioh of the martyr than the heroism of the soldier. 
Between the two, there extended a long period of ahove a 
o^itury and a half, during which governments. had acquired 
the force, and mainly relied on the power, of standing armies ; 
but l^e resources at their disposal for their support were so 
limited, that the greatest economy in the husbanding both of 
men and money was indispensalije. 

E/ichard Coeur de lion, Edward III., and Heniy V. were 
the models of feudal leaders, and their wars were a 3. 
&ithful mirror of the feudal contests. Betting forth feudal wan. 
at the head of a force, which^ if not formidable in point of 
numbers, was generally extremely so from equipment and the 
use of arms, the nobles around them were generally too proud 
and high-spirited to decline a combat, even on any possible 
terms of disadvantage. They took the fieldj^ as the Imighta 
went to a champ doSy to engage their adversaries in single 
conflict ; and it was deemed equally dishonorable to retire 
without fighting from the one as the other. But they had no 
pennanent force at their disposal to secure a lasting fruit, even 
from the greatest victories. The conquest of a petty prov- 
ince, a diminutive fortress, was often their only restdt. Haiod 
the desperate battles, so memorable in warlike annals, which 
they fought, and hence ihe miserable and almost nugatory re- 
sults which almost invariably followed the greatest triimiphs. 
Cressy, Poictiers, and Azincour, followed by the expulsion of 
the English from France ; Methven and Dtmbar, by their 
ignominious retreat from Scotland ; Ascalon and Ptolemais, 
by their being driven fix)m the Holy Land, must immediately 
occur to every reader. This state of war necessarily imprint- 
ed a corresponding character on the feudal generals. They 
were high-spirited and daring in action ; often skillful in tac- 
tics ; generally ignorant of strategy ; covetous of military re- 
nown, but careless of national advancement ; and often more 
solicitous to conquer an adversary in sin^e conflict, than to 
reduce a fortress- or win a province. ' 


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814 . THE LIFE or 

But when annies were raised at the expense, not of nobles, 
3. but of kings — ^when their cost became a lasting and 
when armies heavy drain on the royal exchequer, and they were 
JorervmenL yet felt to be indispensable to national security— 
sovereigns grew desirous of a more durable and profitable re« 
suit from their viptories. Standing armies, though commonly 
powerful— often irresistible when accumulated in large bodies 
— ^were yet extremely expensive. Their expense was felt the 
more from the great difficulty of getting the people in every 
coimtry, at that period, to submit to any considerable amount 
of direct taxation. More than one flourishing province had 
been lost, or powerful monarchy overturned, in the attempt to 
increase such burdens ; as, for example, the loss of Holland to 
Spain, and the execution of Charles I. in England. In this 
dilemma, arising from the experienced necessity of raising 
standing armies on the one hand, and the extreme difficulty 
of permanently providing for them on the other, the only re- 
source was to spare both the blood of the soldiers and the ex^ 
penees of the govemmient as much as possible. Durable con- 
quests, acquisitions of towns and provinces which could yield 
revenues and furnish men, became the great object of ambi- 
tion. The point of feudal honor was forgotten in the inanity 
of its consequences ; the benefits of modem conquests were felt 
in the reality of their results. A methodical cautious system 
of war was thus made imperative upon generals by the neces- 
sities of their situation, and the objects expected from them 
by their respective governments. To risk httle and gain much 
became the great object : skill and stratagem gradually took 
the place of reckless daring ; and the reputation of a genera] 
came to be measured rather by the permanent addition which 
his successes made to the revenues of his sovereign, than by the 
note with which the trumpet of Fameliad proclaimed his own 
exploits. 1 

Turenne was the first, and, in his day, the greatest general 
in this new. and scientific system of war. He first apphed to 
the mihtary art the resources of prudent foresight, deep thought, 

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and profound combination ; 9iid the results of his 4, 
Successes completely justified the discernment which SSd^"?d Sia 
had prompted Louis XIV. in placing him at the SS^t k'to 
head of his armies. His methodical and far-seeing P«»"fectioiL 
campaigns in Flanders, Franche Comte, Alsace, and liorraine, 
in the early part of th*e reign of that monatch, added these 
valuable provinces to France, which have never since been 
lost. His conquests have proved more durable than those of 
the great emperor, all of which were lost during the lifetime 
of their author. Napoleon's legions passed like a desolating 
whirlwind over Europe, but they gave only fleeting celebrity, 
and entailed lasting womids on France. Turenne's slow, or 
more methodical and cautious conquests, have proved lasting 
acquisitions to the monarchy. Nancy still owns the French # 
allegiance ; Besangou and Strasbourg are to this day two of 
its frontier fortresses ; LiUe is yet a leading stronghold in its 
iron barrier. Napoleon, it is well known, had the highest ,^^ 
possible opinion of Tureime. He was disposed to place him 
at the head of modem generals ; and his veiy interesting 
analysis of his campaigns is not the least important part of '-^ 

his invaluable memoirs. 

Conde, though hving in the same age, and alternately the - 
enemy and comrade of Turenne, belonged to a totally 5- 
difierent class of generals, and, indeed, seemed to per- of Condg. 
tain to another age of the world. He was warmed by the 
spirit of chivalry ; he bore its terrors on his sword's point. 
Heart and soul he was heroic. Like Clive or Alexander, he 
was consumed by that thirst for fame, that ardent passion for 
glorious achievements, which is the invariable characteristic 
of elevated, and the most inconceivable quality to ordinary 
minds. In the prosecution of this object, no difficulties could ' * j,' 
deter, no dangers daunt him. Though his spirit was chival- 
rous ; though cavalry was the arm which suited his genius, 
and in which he chiefly deHghted, he brought to the military 
art the power of genius and the resources of art ; and no man - 
could make better use of the power which the expiring spirit 

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of feudality bequeathed to its scientific successors. He de- 
stroyed the Spanish infantry at Rocroy and Lens, not by mere 
desultory charges of the French horse, but by efibrts of that 
gallant body as skillfully directed as those by which Haanibal 
overthrew the Roman legions at Thrasymens and CannsB. 
His genius was animated by the spirit of the fourteenth, but 
it was guided by the knowledge of the seventeenth century. 
Bred in the school of Turenne, placed, like him, at the head 
6. of a £)rce raised with difficulty, and maintained with 
character of stiU greater trouble, Marlborough was the greatest 
M^gener^ general of the methodical or scientific school which 
modem Europe has produced. No man knew better the im- 
portance of deeds which fascinate the minds of men ; none 
could decide quicker, or strike harder, when the proper time 
for doing so arrived. None, when the decisive crisis of the 
struggle approached, could expose his person more fearlessly, 
or lead his reserves more gallantly into the very hottest of the 
enemy's fire. To his combined intrepidity and quickness in 
thus bringing the reserves, at the decisive moment, into action, 
all his wonderful victories, and, in particular, Ramillies and 
Malplaquet, are to be ascribed. But, in the ordinary case, 
he preferred the bloodless methods of skill and arrangement. 
Combination was his gresd forte; .and in this he was not ex- 
ceeded by Napoleon himself. To deceive the enemy b& to the 
real point of attack ; to perplex him by marches and counter- 
marches ; to assume and constantly maintain the initiative ; 
to win by skill what could not be achieved by force, was his 
great delight ; and in that, the highest branch of the military 
art, he was unrivaled in modem times. He did not despise 
stratagem. Like Hannibal, he resorted to that arm frequent- 
ly, and with never-failing success. His campaigns, in that 
respect, bear a closer resemblance to those of the illustrious 
Carthaginian than to those of any general in modem Europe. 
Like him, too, his administrative and diplomatic qualities 
were equal to his military powers. By his winning manners 
he retailxed in unwilling, but still efiective unkni, an alliancjBr 

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unwieldy from its magnitude* and diBcordant by its jealousioft ; 
and kept, in willing multitudes, aroimd his standards, a cdtvr 
vies omrmim gentium, of yarious languages, hajbits, and re* 
ligion, held in subjection by nothing else but the strcmg bond 
of admiration for their general, and a desire to share in his 
triiunphs. . 

C(msimmiate address and nevep-failing prudence were the 
great characteristics of the English commander. 7 

With sudi judgment did he measure his strength ^®^*^ 
against that of his adversary ; so skillfully did he *°<^ address, 
choose the pcant of attack, whether in stra4;egy or tactics ; so 
well weighed were ail his enterprises, and so admirably pre- 
pared the means of cairying them into execution, that none 
of his arrangements oyer miscarried. It was a ccmunon say- 
ing at the time, and the preceding narratiYe amply justifies it, 
that he never fought a battle which he did not gain, nor laid 
siege to a town which he did not take. This extraordinary 
and unnroken success extended to all his maneuvers, however 
trivial; and it has been already noticed, that the first disaster 
of any moment which occurred to his arms during nine suc- 
cessive and active campaigns, was the destlruction of a convoy 
destined fc^ the siege of St. Venant, in October, 1710, by one 
of Villars's detachments.* It was the admirable powers of 
arrangeijoent ^d combination which he bro^ht to bear on 
ail parts of his army, equally &om the highest to the lowest 
parts, which was the cause of this extraordinary and uninter* 
rupted success. 

He was ofW outnumbered l^ the enemy, and was always 
opposed by a homogeneous army, animated by one a 

strong national and military spirit ; while he was 2?S^w^^« 
himself at the head of a discordant array of many u^^SaiaU 
difierent nations, some of them with httle turn for ^^"^^ 
warlike expbit, others lukewarm, or even treaeherous in tho 
cause. But, notwithstanding thi8> he never lost the ascend* 
ant. From the time when he first began the war on the. 

♦ AiUe, chap, vi., § 13, page 963. 

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banks 'of the Maese in 1702, till his military career was closed 
in 1711, within the iron barrier of France, by the intrigues 
of hiff political opponents at home, he never abandoned the 
initiative. He was constantly on the offensive. When infe- 
rior in force, as he often was, he supplied the deficiency of 
military strength by skiU and combination ; when his position 
was endangered by the errors or treachery of others, as was 
still more frequently the case, he waited till a false move on 
the part of his advet-saries enabled him to retrieve his affairs 
by some brilliant and decisive stroke. It was thus that he 
restored the war in Grermany, after the cause of the emperor 
had beeji wellnigh ruined, by means of the brilliant cross- 
march into Bavaria, and the splendid victory at Blenheim. 
Thus, also, he regained Flanders for the archduke by the 
stroke at Ramilhes, after the imperial cause in that quarter 
had been aU but lost by the treacherous surrender of Ghent 
and Bruges, in the very center of his water communications. 
War, in the days of Marlborough, was a totally different 
9. art from what it had been or afterward became. 

in'*Se*tSnrof The conqueror neither swept over the world with 
Marlborough, ^y^^ fierce tempest of Scythian war, nor mastered it 
by the steady superiority of Roman discipline. No vehement 
and universal passions had brought whole nations into the 
field ; mankind were roused neither by the fanaticism of Mo- 
hammedan delusion nor the dreams of French democracy. 
Europe had not-^risen up as one man to shake off* the cruel 
despotism of a Napoleon. The forces of the powers on either 
side were very nearly matched, and the armies which their 
generals led into action were almost constantly equal to each 
other. Any superiority that did exist in point of numbers 
was almost invariably on the side of the French ; and, in the 
homogeneous quality of" their troops, they always had the ad- 
vantage. Success in these nicely-balanced circumstances 
could be gained only by superiority of skill ; and the smiles 
of fortune were reserved, not for the most daring, but the most, 
judicious. A campaign resembled a protracted game at chesg 

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between t^'p players of nearly equal ability, in. which the an- 
tagonists set out at first uniformly with equal forces, and the 
victory could only be gained by a skillful plan laid on the one 
side, or the felicitous advantage taken of a false move on the 
other. The campaigns of Marlborough and Villars or Ven- 
dome were exactly of this description. And perhaps in no 
other contests, since the dawn of the military art, was so much 
talent exerted by the commanders on either side, or was suc- 
cess so evidently the result of the superior generalship of the 
one who in the end proved victorious. 

Prudence and circumspection in the conduct of such a war 
was not less imposed on Marlborough by his situa- ^. i^. 

^ o ^ Circumspec- 

tion than in unison with his character. The gen- tion was in 

~^ him a matter 

eral of a coalition has one duty which beyond all ofneceasity. 
others it behooves him to discharge, and that is, to avoid dis- 
aster. The leader of the troops of a popular state must al- 
ways regard his domestic enemies at home at least as formi- 
dable as those to whom he is opposed in the field. They 
proved more so to Marlborough ; he conquered France and 
Louis XIV., but he was overturned by the Tories and Bol- 
ingbroke. Such are the jealousies of governments, so diverse 
and opposite the interests of nations, that a coalition, unless 
in the tumult of unhoped-for success, or under the terrors of 
instant danger, is always on the verge of dissolution. It 
proved so both vnih that which Marlborough led, and that 
which Castlereagh guided. A single considerable disaster at 
once breaks it up. Long-continued success, by averting dan- 
ger, has not less certainly the same effect. Of eveiy coalition 
it may be truly said what Wellington, in a moment of irrita- 
tion, said of the English army, that it is liable to be dissolved 
equally by victory or defeat. The general of a confederacy 
is constantly surrounded by lukewarm, selfish allies ready to 
fall off; and envenomed domestic factions ready to fall on- 
Such was the position of Marlborough ; such, a century after- 
ward, was the situation of Wellington. Unbroken success 
was to both the condition of existence. Marlborough was 

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ruined by the indecisive result of the campaign of 1711 ; 
Wellington all but ruined by the retreat finom Talavera in 
1809. A fourth part of the defeats firom whieh Frederic or 
Napoleon recovered, and whieh were the price at which they 
purchased their astonishing triumphs, would, firom the clamor 
they raised at home, have destroyed Marlbozough or Welling^ 
ton. A despotic monarch commanding his own armies can 
afibrd to be daring in the field, for he has to take counsel 
only from the intrepidity of his owi:i breast ; the general of a 
coalition must be circumspect, ibr he is depei^ant on the fears, 
and liable to be thwarted by the jealousies of others* 

The same necessity was the cause of the adoption of the 
11. system of sieges, and of the filing of the war in 

He waa com- •' " /^^ 

polled to adopt Flandcrs, which formed such striking features in 

the Bystem of ^ " 

sieges, and fix the mihtary career of Marlborough. This matt^ 

the war in " ^ 

Fiandera. has been the pubject of e:](traorainaxy misconcep^ 
tion and unbounded misrepresentation, firom the cotempcnrary 
period to the {»esent time. It was said that in attacking th« 
enemy in the Low Omntries, he took the bull 1^ the iuHms, 
while in assaulting him firom Lorraine or Alsace, he would 
have taken him on his defenseless side ; and the saccessfiil 
results of the invasions of 1814 and 1815 axe referred tp as 
proving what may be expected firom disregarding firontier for- 
tresses, and striking at once at the heart of the enemy's pow- 
er. Those who make these > remarks would do well to eon* 
sider what ferce Marlborough had at his disposal to make 
such a daring invasicm. He viras constantly inferior to the 
enefimfs ann/y immediately opposed to him. The successes 
which he gained were entirely the result of superior skill in 
strategy or tactics on his part ; their constant recurrence made 
men forget, and has made posterity forget, the extraordinary 
difficulties which had to be overcome before they were attain- 
ed. If we would see what Would have bead the issue of the 
war if his tutelary arm and fiur-seeing genius^ad been want- 
ing, we have only to look at Denain and the campaign of 
1713, even when the ardent genius of Eugefie diluted the 
allied forces. 

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MARI^BOROVail. 331 

To have invaded a compact mosiarehy Hke Franoe, pos^ 
sessiiig such vast military resources, and aniibated 22. 
by so strong a military spirit, "with an in^srior force, S^SoSL 
leaving the whcde triple line of firontier fsrtzesses •y^^™* 
behind, would have been to expose the allied army to ^sertain 
destmeticm. It must have left half ita numbers b^iind to 
blockade the fortresses and keep up the communications ; the 
enemy's force, by ialling back to the center of his resources, 
would have been doubled. Arrived on the C^, Marlborough 
would have found himself with fifty thousand man in presence 
oi a hundred th(»3sand. The result of the invaiaons of Get* 
many in 1704 by Tallaid, of France in 1792 by the Duke of 
Brui»swiek, of Russia in 1812 by Napokon, demonstrate the 
extreme danger of penc^tratiog into an enemy's country, even 
with the greatest force, without adequate regard to the com- 
munications of the invading army. The cases of 1814 and 
1815, when a million of experienced soldiers fell on a single 
and exhausted state, is the exception, not the rule ; and their 
narrow escape frem. defoat in the first of these years proves 
the hazard of such a proceeding. By assailing France on the 
Slide of the Low Ountries, and working by degrees through 
its iron firontier, Marlborough took the only cwtain way of re^ 
ducing its pow^, because he secured his rear as he advanced, 
and reduced the enemy's strength by the successive captures 
ef the firontiear garrisons, till, when the line was l»roken through, 
like a knight when his iirmor wa§ uncased, it lay without de- 

Lord GhesterfieM, who knew him well, said that Marl- 
borough was a man of excellwit parts^ and strong 13^ 
good sease, but of no very shining genius. The SSrib^roug^'s 
uninterrupted success of his campaigns, however, S^Jgd^Ws 
joined to the unexampled address with which he ^®* 
allayed the jealousies and Stilled the discords of the confodera- 
cy whose armies he led, decisively dem(mstrates that the pot 
ished earl's opinion was not a just one, and that his partiality 
for the graces led him to ascribe an undue influ^iee in the 

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great duke*s career to the inimitable suavity and courtesy of 
his manner. His enterprises and stratagems, his devices to 
deceive the enemy, and counterbalance inferiority of force by 
superiority of conduct ; the eagle eye, which in the decisive 
moment he brought to bear on the field of battle, and the ra- 
pidity with which in person he struck the final blow from 
which the enemy never recovered, bespeak the intuitive genius 
of war. It was the admirable balance of his mental quahtiea 
which caused his originality to be undervalued : no one pow- 
er stood, out in such bold reUef as to overshadow all the oth- 
ers, and rivet the eye by tho magnitude of its proportions. 
Thus his consummate judgment made the world overlook his 
invention ; his uniform prudence caused his daring to be for- 
gotten ; his incomparable combinations often concealed the ca- 
pacious mind which had put the whole in motion. He was so 
invariably successful, that men forgot how difficult it is al- 
ways to succeed in war. It was not till he was withdrawn 
firom the conduct of the campaign, when disaster immediate- 
ly attended the aUied arms, and France resumed the ascend- 
ant over the coalition, that Europe became sensible who had 
been its soul, and how much had been lost when his mighty 
understanding was no longer at the head of afiairs. 

Lord Bohngbroke, whose great abilities caus^ him to dis- 
14. . cem exalted merit, even through all the mists of 
^rflction of ps-rty prejudice, said that Marlborough was the 
to^d^b?*Jx. '' perfection of gemus matured by eajpmcwcc." He 
pcrience. ^^^ ^q^ gg^y jjy knowledge. This was really his 
character : Bolingbroke has said neit^r more nor les6 than 
the truth. Marlborough had received a very limited educa- 
tion ; he had never be^i at a university ; he. had none of the 
varied and extensive erudition which enriched the minds of 
his great rivals in poUtics, St. John and Harley, Thrown 
into the Guards at the age of sixteen^ having been previously 
only at a grammar school, and afterward a page to the JDuke 
of York, he entered upon fife without any of the vast advan- 
tages which knowledge affords. What he subsequwitly gain- 

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ed was acquired in courts and camps. It is the strongest 
proof of the extraordinary strength and sagacity of his rnind, 
that with such limited advantages he became what he was — 
the first in arms, and second to none in poHtics of the age in 
which he Hved. He made admirable use of the opportuni- 
ties he afterward enjoyed. In the school of Turenne he im- 
bibed the art of war ; in the palace of St. James he learned 
the mysteries of courts ; in the House of Peers and at the 
Hague he became master of the art of diplomacy. In these 
varied situations he acquired the knowledf^e, of all others the 
most valuable, which can nowhere be learned so well — that 
of the world and the human heart. His career affords the 
most striking proof of how much the real education of every 
mind depends upon itself, and how much it is in the power 
of strong sense, accompanied by vigilant observation in after 
life, to compensate the want of those advantages which, un- 
der more favorable circumstances, give to early youth the ben- 
efit of the acquirements and experience of others. 

A most inadequate opinion would be formed of Marlbor- 
ough's mental character if his military exploits 15. 
alone are taken into consideration. Like all dresSsuaT- 
other intellects of the first order, he was equally i^y of manner, 
capable of great achievements in peace as in war, and shone 
forth with not less luster in the deliberations of the cabinet or 
in the correspondence of diplomacy, than in directing columns 
' on the field of battle, or tracing out the line of approaches for 
the attack of fortified towns. Nothing could exceed the judg- 
ment and temper with which he reconciled the jarring inter- 
ests, and smoothed down the rival pretensions of the coalesced 
cabinets. The danger was not so pressing as to unite their 
rival governments, as it afterward did those of the Grand 
Alliance in 1813, which overthrew Napoleon ; and incessant 
exertions, joined to the highest possible diplomatic address, 
judgment of conduct, and suavity of manner, were required to 
prevent the coahtion, on various occasions during the course 
of the war, from falling to pieces. As it was, the intrigues 

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824 TH^E fcIPE OF 

of BoHjof biojie and the Tories in Engtaad, imd the ascendency 
of Mrs. Mwihftm in the queen's bed-chainber councils, at last 
counterbalanced all his ac^vements, and led to a peace 
which abandoned the most important objects of the war, and 
was fraught, as the event has proved, with serious danger to 
the independence and even the existence of England. ]ffis 
winter campaign at the allied courts, as he himself said, alwajpB 
equaled in duration, and often exceeded in importance and di£- 
ficuhy, that in summer with the enemy ; and noihing is more 
certain than that, if a man of less capacity had been intrusted 
with the direction of its di|d(Hnatic relations, the coaUtion 
would have soon bn^en up without having acoomplii^ed any 
of the objects for which the war had been undertaken, ftaax 
the mere selfishness and dissensions of the cabinets by whom 
it was conducted. 

With one blot, for which the justice of history, or the par- 
le. tiality of biography neither can nor should at- 
SIbSSSSIL, tOTapt to make any apology, Marlborough's pri- 
MdinpriTate. ^^^ character seems to have been unexc^tion- 
able, and was evidently distinguished by several noble and 
amiable qualities. That he was Inred a courtier, and owed his 
first elevation to the fitvor with which he w«is regarded by 
one of the king's mistresses, was not his fault : it arose, per* 
haps, necessarily fiK)m his situation, and the graces and beauty 
with which he had been, so j^rodigally endowed by nature. 
The young oflicer of the Guards, who in the army of Louis ' 
XIV. passed by the name of the handsome Englishman, could 
hardly be expected to be firee firom the consequences of female 
partiahty at the court of Charles II. Shortly after the Rev- 
olution he was undoubtedly involved in many diark intrigues 
for the restoration of the exiled family : he seemed to be de? 
sirous to undo what he himself had done. It is the fatal ef- 
fect of one deviation fix)m rectitude that it renders subsequent 
ones almost unavoidable, or so confounds the moral sense sis to 
make their turpitude be un&h. But in maturer years, hia 
conduct in public, after Anne had placed him in high corn- 

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maud, wat iiBi£)nnly consttteat, Btraigbt&rwaid, ftnd bonor^ 
able. He was a suceTe patriot, and aidently attached both 
to his eountry and to the principles of freedom, at a time when 
both were wellnigh forgottaa in the struggles of party, and 
the fierce eontests for royal or popular favor. Though bred 
np in a licentious ecmrt, and early exposed to tl^e most en* 
trancing of its seducticms, he was in mature life strictly cor* 
reet, both in his conduct and ocmyersatioa. He resisted every 
temptation to which his undiminished beauty exposed him 
after his marriage, and was never known either to utter, or 
permit to be uttered in his presence, a light or indecent ex- 
pression. He discouraged to the utmost degree all intemper* 
ance and HcenriousneBB in his soldiers, and constantly labored 
to impress upcm them a sense of moral duty and mipreme su- 
perintendence. Divine service was regularly performed in all 
his camps, both morning and evening ; previous to a battle^ 
jHrayers were read at the head of every regiment, and the first 
act, after a victory, was a solemn thanksgiving. ** By those 
means,'* says a cotemporary Hographer, who served in his 
army, " his camp resembled a quiet, well-governed city. 
Cursing and swearing were seldom heard among the ofiicers ; 
a drunkard was the object of scorn ; and even the soldiers^ 
many of them the refuse and dregs of the nation, became, at 
the close of one or two campaigns, tractable, civil, sensible^ 
and clean, and had an air and spirit above the vulgar.'' 

In p^ticaL life, during his career after the Revolution, he 
was consistent and firm; faithfiil to his party, 17. 

but more faithfid still to his country. He was a SLS^S^'Stor 
generous friend, an attached, perhaps atpo fond theRevoiutiou. 
husband. During the whole of his active career he retained 
a constant sense of the superintendence of the Supreme Being, 
and was ev^ the first to ascribe the successes which he had 
gained to Divine protection ; a disposition which shone forth 
with peculiar grace amid the din of arms and the flourish of 
trumpets lor his own mighty achievements. Even the one 
occasion, on which, Uke David, he fell from his high princi- 


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pies, will be regarded by the equitable observer with chari-^ 
table, if not forgiving eyes. He will recollect that perfection 
never yet belonged to a child of Adam ; he will measure the 
dreadful nature of the struggle which awaits an upright and 
generous mind when loyalty and gratitude impel one way, and 
religion and patriotism another. Without atteinpting to jus- 
tify an officer who employs the power bestowed by one gov- 
ernment to elevate another on its ruins, he will yet reflect, 
that in such a crisis even the firmest heads and the best hearts 
may be led astray : he will recollect that, as already noticed, 
the heroic Ney, in another age, did the same. If he is wise, 
he will ascribe the fault, for fault it was^ not so much to the 
individual, as to the time in which he lived ; and feel bl deeper 
thankfulness that his own lot has been cast in a haj^ier age, 
when the great moving passions of the human heart act in the 
same direction, and a public man need not fear that he is 
wanting in his duty to his sovereign because he is performing^ 
that due to his country. 

• Marlborough, however, was but a man, and therefore not 
, ^18. without the usual blemishes and weaknesses of hu- 

TT<« fiiults and 

weaimeaeefl. manity. The great blot on his character, the in- 
excusable act in his Ufe — that of having accepted a command 
from James II., and afterward betrayed him— will be found, 
on examination, to be but a part, though doubtless the most 
conspicuous one, of the prevailing disposition and secret weak- 
ness of his character. He was extremely ambitious, and lit- 
tle scrupulous about the means by which elevation was to be 
attained or prolonged. He repeatedly yielded to the solicita/- 
tions of those around him from the desire to avoid ruining his 
party, under circimistances when the dignity of his character 
required a more independent and resolute conduct. He was 
not by nature a bad, or by habit a dishonorable man, and yet 
he did a most base iand dishonorable thing ; he abandoned his 
king and benefactor when holding an important command 
under him. He did not possess the mental independence, the 
strong sense of rectitude, the keen feelings of honor, which lead 

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pure and elevated minds to make shipwreck of their fortunes 
in the cause of duty. He was possessed by strong moral and 
religious principle ; but when a crisis arrived, they yielded to 
the whisperings of expiedience, or, rather, the deceitfiilness of 
sin made him believe that his duty pointed to the course which 
his interest demanded. He had more of Csesar in him than 
Cato. It never would be said of him, 

Victrix causa Deis placait sed victa Catoni. *'. 

In justice to Marlborough, however, it must be recollected 
that he lived in an age of revolutions, when the 19- 


crown had been recently twice subverted, and a which paJiiate 

these faulta in 

new dynasty placed on the throne ; when men s Mm. 
minds were confused and their ideas unhinged with regard to 
public duty ; and when that fatal effect of revolutionary sac- 
cess had taken place — the ascribing to public actions no other 
test but success. And yet, so mixed is the condition of man- 
kind, and so great the ascendency of selfishness in human af- 
fairs, that Marlborough's extraordinary rise and long-continu- 
ed power is in great part to be ascribed to these moral weak- 
nesses in his character. Had he possessed the noble spirit of 
one of the old cavaliers, he would have adhered to James in 
his misfortune, and become a respectable but unknown exile 
at St. Germain's, instead of the illustrious leader of the coali- 
tion. He thus affords another instance to the many which 
history affords of the truth of Johnson's saying, " that no man 
ever rose from a private station to exalted power among men, 
in whom great and commanding qualities were not combined 
with meannesses that would be inconceivable in ordinary Hfe." 
Marlborough was often accused of avarice ; but his con- 
duct through life sufficiently demonstrated that in 20. 
him the natural desire to accumulate a fortime, S^aSIrand 
which belongs to every rational mind, was kept in fn^tiTJdispoS 
subjection to more elevated principles. The great ^on of money. 
wealth which he acquired from his numerous appointments, 
and the royal and parliamentary rewards bestowed on him for 
his services, were sufficient to excite the envy of the vulgar, 
and this feeling was eagerly fed by those who pandered to 

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their passions. Swift contnusted, in a popular c^tribe, the 
scanty rewards of Roman triumph with the half milhon which 
had attested British gratitude. But there was no real foun* 
dation for this aspersion. His conduct beUed it His repeat* 
ed refusal of the govenunent of the Netherlands, with its mag- 
nificent appointment <^ X6Q,0(H) a year, wbb a sufficient proof 
how much he despised money when it interfered wi& public 
duty ; his splendid edifices, both in Lm^oa and Blenheim, at- 
test how httle he valued it for any other purpose but as it 
might be applied to noble and worthy objects.* 

He possessed the magnanimity in judging of others which 

21. is the inrariable characteristic of real greatneas. 
|^^f^3[ Envy was unknown, su^icion Joathsome to him. 
humanity, jj^ often sufi»red by the generous caafidenoe with 
which he trusted his enemies. He was patient under contra* 
diction ; placid and courteous both: in his mannera and de- 
meanor ; and owed great part of his success, both in the field 
and in the cabinet, to the iuYariable suavity and charm o£ his 
manners. His humanity was uniformly conspicuous. Not 
^y his own soldiers^ but his enemies, never failed to experi- 
ence it. Like Wellington, his attention to the health and 
comforts of his men was incessant ; which, withr his daring in 
the field and uniform success in strategy, endeared him in the 
highest degree to the men. Troops ofall nations equally trusts 
him ; and the commcm saying, when they were in any difficu^ 
ty, " Never mind„ * Corporal^John' will get us out of it," was 
heard a& firequently in the Dutch, Dani^ or Greiman, as in 
the English language. He firequently gave the weary soldiers 
a place in his carriage, and got out himself to accommodate 
more ; and his first care, after an engagement, invarialdy was 
to visit the field of battle, and do his- utmost to assuage the suf- 
ferings of the wounded, both saxM>ag Im own men and those 
of the enemy. After the battle of Malptaquet, he divided all 
the money at his private disposal among the wounded officers 
of the enemy.t 

* Marlborough's bouse in Loodoti co«t aboat jCl6o,000. CoxB, tI, 999i 

t Capefigue, Louis XIV., vl, 125. 

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The character of this illustrious man has been thus portray- 
ed by two of the greatest writers in the Engliah aa. 
language, the latter of whom will not be accused S^c£^^^^ 
©r undue partiality to his political enemy. ** It is t^B^S^ 
a characteristic/' says Adam Smith, " almost pe- ^^°^* 
culiar to the great Duke of Marlborough, that ten. years of 
such uninterrupted and sj^ndid successes as scarce any other 
general coidd boast of, never betrayed him into a single rash 
action, scarce into a single rash word or eicpression. The 
same temperate coolness and self-command can not, I think, 
be ascribed to any other great warned of later times, not to 
Prince Eugene, nor to the late King of Prussia, nor to the 
Great Prince of Cond6, nor even to Gustavus Adolphug. Tu^ 
r^Mie seems to have approached the nearest to it ; but sever- 
al actions of bis life demonstrate that it was in him by no 
means so perfect as in the great Puke of Marlborough."* 
♦* By King WiUiam's death," says Bohngbroke, " the Duke 
of Marlborough was raised to the head of the army, and, in- 
deed, of the confederacy, where he, a private man, a subject, 
obtained by merit and by management a more decided influ* 
ence than high birth, confirmed authority,. and ev«i the crown 
of Great Britain had given to King WilHam. Not only aU 
the parts^ of that vast machine, the Grand Alliance, were kept 
more compact ,and entire, but a more vigorous motion was 
given tO'the whole ; and instead of languishing or disastrous 
campaigns, we saw every scene, of the war full of action. All 
those wherein he appeared, and many of those wherein he 
wais not then an actor, but abettor, however, of their actions, 
were crowned with the most triumphaodt success. I take with 
pleasure this, opportunity of doiug justice to that great man, 
whose &.ult8 1 know, whose virtues I admite, and whose mem> 
ory, as the gr^o^^ geineral and greatest minister that our 
countrtf or ani/ other hxis produced, I honor."t 

* Smith's Morai Sentiments, ii., 158. 

t BoLinaBROKE't Letters an the Study of History, ii, 179. 


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Five generals, by the common consent of men, stand £)rth 
33. preeminent in modem times for the magnitude of 
generfSoT^ the achievements they efiected, and the splendor 
modemtimei. ^£ ^j^^ talents they displayed— Eugene, Marlbor- 
ough, Frederic, Napoleon, and Wellington. It is hard to say 
which appears the greatest, whether we regard the services 
they have rendered to their respective countries, or the dura* 
ble impress their deeds have left on himian afiairs. All had 
difficulties the most serious to contend with, obstacles appar- 
ently insurmountable to overcome, and all proved in the bright- 
est parts of their career victorious over them. All have im- 
xnortalized their names by exploits far exceeding those record- 
ed of other men. All have left the efiects of their exploits 
durably imprinted in the subsequent fate of nations. The 
relative position of the European states, the preservation of 
public rights, the maintehance of the balance of power, the 
salvation of the weak firom the grasp of the strong, have been, 
mainly owing to their exertions. To their biography is at- 
tached not merely the fortune of the countries to which they 
belonged, but the general destinies of Europe, and, through it^ 
of the human race. 

To give a faithful picture, in a few pages, of such men, may 
24. seem a hopeless, and to their merits an invidious 
wterislMrf **^- -A. brief summary of the chief actions of 
®*^ those of them to ordinary readers least known, is, 

however, indispensable to lay a foundation for their compari- 
son with the character of those whose deeds are as household 
words. It is not impossible to convey to those who are famil- 
iar with their exploits, a pleasing restime of their leading fea- 
tures and salient points of difference i to those who are not, to 
give some idea of the pleasure which the study of their char- 
acters is calculated to afibrd. Generals, like writers or art- 
ists, have certain leading characteristics which may be traced 
through all their achievements ; a peculiar impress has been 
communicated by nature to their minds, which. appears, not 
lass than on the painter's canvass or in the poet's lines, in all 

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their actions. As muck as grandeur of conception distin- 
guish^ Honiei*, tenderness of feeling Virgil, and sublimity of 
thought Milton, does impetuous daring characterize !Eugene» 
consumittate^ generalship Marlborough, indomitable firmness 
Frederic, lofty genius Napoleon, unerring wisdom Wellington, 
Greatness in the military, as in every other art, is to be attain- 
ed only by strong natural talents, perseveriiigly directed to one 
object, undistracted by other pursuits, undivided by inferior 
ambition. The men who have risen to the highest eminence 
in war, have done so by the exercise of faculties as great, and 
the force of genius as transcendent, as those which produced 
a Homer, a Bacon, or a Newton., Success, doubtless, com- 
mands the admiration of the multitude ; military glory capti- 
vates the unthinking throng ; but to those who know the mil- 
itary art, and can appreciate real merit, the chief ground for 
admiration of its great masters is a sense of the difficulties, to 
most unknown, which they have overcome,' 

Peince Eugene, though belonging to the same age, often 
actinff in the same army, and sometimes command- 25. 

r -1 r. Early life of 

ing alternately with Marlborough, was a general of Eugene. 

an essentially different character. A descendant of the house 

of Savoy, born at Paris in 1663, and originally destined for 

the Church, he early evinced a repugnance to theological stud- 

XJ^ ies, and instead of his breviary, was devouring in secret Plu- 

^ A tarch's Hves of ancient heroes. His figure was slender, and 

jL his constitution at first weak ; but these disadvantages, which 

t\^ ■' ' caused Louis XIV. to refuse him a regiment, from an opinion 

that he was not equal to its duties, were soon overcome by the 

ardor of his mind. Immediately upon this refusal, setting 

out for Vieima, he entered the Imperial service ; but he was 

still pursued by the enmity of Louvois, who procured from 

Louis a decree which pronounced sentence of banishment on 

all Frenchmen in the armies of foreign powers who should 

fail to return to their country. '* I will re-enter France in 

spite of him," said Eugene ; and he was more than once as 

good as his word. 

^ -• 


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332 THE LIFE or 

Hiff genius for wax was not methodical 6r scientific, hka 
2s. that of Turenne and Mariborough, nor essentially 
wS^J^^d chivalrous, like that of the Black Prince or the 
5ktS?o^e ^'^^^ Cond^. It was more akin to th^ terrible 
^^^ sweep of the Tartar chiefe; it savored more of 

Oriental daring. He was as prodigal of the blood of hk sol- 
diers as Napoleon ; but, unlike him, he never failed to eipose 
his own person with equal readiness in the fight. He did not 
reserve his attack in person for the close of the affiray, like the 
French emperor, but was generally to be seen in the fire firom the 
very otitset. It was with difiSiculty he could be restrained firom 
heading the first assault of grenadiers, or leading on the first 
charge of horse. His earUest distinguished command was in 
Italy, in 1691, and his abilities soon gave his kinsman, the 
Duke of Savoy, an ascendant there over the French. But 
it was at the great battle of Zenta, on the Teife, where he 
surprised and totally defeated Cara Mustapha, at the head of 
<me hundred and twenty thousand Turks, that his woisderful 
genius for war first shone forth in its fiill luster. He there 
killed or wounded twenty thousand of the enemy, drove ten 
thousand into the river, took their -^ole artillery and stand- 
ards, and entirely dispersed their mighty array. Like Nelson 
at Copenhagen, Eugene had gained this glorious victory by 
acting in opposition to his orders, which' were positively to 
avoid a general engagement. This, circumstance, joined to 
the envy excited by his unparalleled triumph, ra;ised a storm 
at court against the illustrious general, and led to his being 
deprived of his command, and even threatened i»vith a iourt- 
martial. The public vwce, however, at Vienna, loudly con- 
demned such base ingratitude toward so great a benefactor to 
the Imperial dominions ; and the want of his directing eye be- 
ing speedily felt in the campaign with the Turks, the emperor 
was obliged to restore him to the command, which he, how- 
over, only agreed to accept on receiving a carte hlancke for the 
conduct ofTihe war. 

The peai5e of Carlowetz, in 1699, between the Imperialists 

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and the Ottomans, soon after restored him to a 27. 
pacific hfe, and the study of history, in which, S'uX^ 
above any other, he delighted. But on the break- Germany. 
ing out of the War of the Succession in 1701 , he was restored 
to his mihtary duties, and during two campaigns measured 
his strength, always with success, in the plains of Lombardy, 
with the scientific abilities of Marshal Catinat, and the learn- 
ed experience of Marshal Villeroi, the latter of whom he made 
prisoner during a nocturnal attack on Cremona in 1703. In 
1704 he was transferred to the north of the Alps, to imite 
with Marlborough in making head against the great army of 
Marshal Tallard, which was advancing, in so threatening a 
manner, through Bavaria ; and he shared with the illustrious 
Enghshman the glorious victory of Blenheim, w^hich at once 
dehvered Germany, and hurled the French armies, with dis- 
grace, behind the Rhine. Then commenced that steady 
friendship, and sincere and mutual regard, between these il- 
lustrious men, which continued unbroken till the time of their 
death, and is not the least honorable trait in the character of 
each. But the want of his protecting arm was long felt in 
Italy. The great abilities of the Duke de Vendome had well- 
nigh counterbalanced there all the advantages of the allies in 
Germany ; and the issue of the war in the plains of Piedmont 
continued doubtful till the glorious victory of Eugene, on the 
7th of September, 1706, when he stormed the French in- 
trenchments around Turin, defended by eighty thousand men, 
at the head of thirty thousand only, and totally defeated Mar- 
shal Marsin and the Duke of Orleans, wdth such loss, that the 
French armies were speedily driven across the Alps. ^. 

Eugene was now received in the most flatteruig manner at 
Vicmia ; the luster of his exploits had put to si- gg. 
lence, if not to shame, the malignity of his enemies. MarCrough 
" I have but one fault to find with you," said the ^^^<^^'' 
emperor, when he was first presented to him after his victory, 
*' and that is, that you expose yourself too much." He was 
next placed at the head of the Imperial armies in Flanderw, 

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and shared with Marlborough in the conduct, as he did in the 
glories, of Oudenarde and Malplaquet. Intrusted with the 
command of the corps which besieged Lille, he was penetrated 
with the utmost admiration for Marshal Boufilers, and evinced 
the native generosity of his disposition by the readiness with 
which he granted the most favorable terms to the iUustrious 
besieged chief, who had, with equal skill and valor, conducted 
the defense. When the articles of capitulation ^proposed by 
Boufflers were placed before him, he said immediately, with- 
out looking at them, *^ I will subscribe them at once, know- 
ing well you would propose nothing unworthy of you and mer" 
The delicacy of his subsequent attentions to his noble prisoner 
evinced the sincerity of his admiration. When Mariborough's 
influence at the Enghsh court was sensibly declining, in 1711, 
he repaired to London, and exerted all his talents and address 
to bring the EngH^ council back to the common cause, and 
restore his great rival to his former ascendency with Queen 
Anne. When it was all in vain, and the English armies 
withdrew from the coalition, Eugene did all that skill and 
genius could achieve to make up for the great deficiency aris- 
ing from the withdrawal of Marlborough and his gallant fol- 
lowers ; and when it had become apparent that he was over- 
matched by the French armies, he was the first to counsel his 
Imperial master to conclude peace, which was done at Rastadt 
on the 6th of March, 1714. 

Great as had been the services then performed by Eugene 
29. for the Imperialists, they were outdone by those 
Bucc^Sea over which he Subsequently rendered in the wars with 
the Turks. ^^ie Turks. In truth, it was he who first efiectu- 
ftUy broke their power, and forever delivered Europe firom the 
sabers of the Osmanlis, by which, it had been incessantly 
threatened for three hundred years. Intrusted with the com- 
mand of the Austrian army in Hungary, sixty thousand strong, 
he gained at Peterwardin, in 1716, a complete victory over a 
hundred and fifty thousand Turks. This glorious success led 
iam to resume the o^isive, and in the following yeai he laid 

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siege, with forty thousand men, to Belgrade, the great firontier 
foirtress of Turkey, in presence of the whole strength of the 
Ottoman empire. The obstinate resistance of the Turks, as 
famous then as they have ever since been in the defense of 
fortified places, joined to the dysenteries and fevers usual on 
the marshy banks of;, the Danube in the autumnal months, 
soon reduced his efiective force to twenty-five thousand men, 
whi}e that of the enepiy, by prodigious efibrts, had been swell- 
ed to a hundred and fifty thousand around the besiegers* lines, 
besides thirty thousand within the walls. 

Every thing presaged that Eugene was about to undergo 
the fate of Marshal Marsin twelve years before . 30. 
at Turin, and even his most experienced ofiicers frSmroiSI*^ 
dieemed a capitulation the only way of extricating ^^^^^1.^*^ 
them from their perilous situation. Eugene him- «^**^®- 
self was attacked and seriously weakened by the prevailing 
dysentery, and aU seemed lost in the Austrian camp. It was 
in these circumstances, with this weakened and dispirited 
force, that he achieved one of the most glorious victories ever 
gained by the Cross over the Crescent. With admirable skill 
he collected his Httle army together, divided it into columns 
of attack, and, though scarcely able to sit on horseback him- 
self, led them to the assault of the Turkish intrenchments. 
The result was equal to the success of Cassar over the Gauls 
at the blockade of Alesia, seventeen centuries before. The 
innumerable host of the Turks was totally defeated ; aU. their 
artillery and baggage was taken, and their troops were entirely 
dispersed. Belgrade, immediately after, opened its gates, and 
has since remained, with some mutations of fortune, the great 
frontier bulwark of Europe against the Turks. The successes 
which he gained in the following campaign of 1718 were so 
decisive, that they entirely broke the Ottoman power ; and he 
was preparing to march to Constantinople, when the treaty 
of Passarowitz put a period to his conquests, and gave a breath- 
ing tinie to the exhausted Ottoman empire.* 

- * Bioff. Univ., xiii., 483-491 (Eugene).. 

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From this brief sketch of his exploits, it may readily he xul" 
_. 31* derstood what wub the eharact^ of Euirene as a 

His character 

m a general, general. He had none of the methodical prudence 
Kapoieon. of Tnrenne, Mariborongh, or Villaxs. His gemos 
was entirely difierent ; it was more akin to that of Napoleon, 
when he was reduced to counterbalance inferiority of num- 
bers by superiority of skill. The immortal campaigns of 1 796 
in Italy, and of 1614 in Champagne, bear a strong resem- 
blance to those of Eugene. like the French emperc^', his 
strokes were xapid and fercible ; his coupHTcsil was at once 
quick and just ; his activity indefatigable ; his courage un- 
daunted , his resources equal to any undertaking. He did 
nc4; lay much stress on previous arrangements, and. seldom 
attempted the extensive combinatiims which enabled Marl- 
borough to command success, but dashed fearlessly on, trust- 
ing to his own resources to extricate him out of any difficulty 
— to kis genius, in any circumstances, to oommabd victory. 
Yet was this daring disposition not without peril. His au- 
32. dacity often bordered <m rashness, hir rapidity oa 

SiS^wSch*^ haste ; and he repeatedly brought his armies into 
MtffrSS^^iiSr situations all but despCTate, and which, to a gen- 
^^'' eral of less capacity, would unquestionably have 

^v«d so. But in these difBculties no one could exceed him 
in the energy and vigor *with which he extricated himself from 
the toils ; and many of his greatest victories, particularly those 
of Turin and Belgrade, were gained undeir circumstances 
where even the. boldest officers in his axmy had givei^ him 
over for lost. He was prodigal of the blood of his soldiers, 
and, like Napoleon, indifierent to the sacrifices at which he 
purchased his successes ; but he was still more lavish of his 
own, and never &iled to share the hardships and dajogers of 
ther meanest of his followers. Engaged durii^ his active 
life in thirteen pitched battles, in aJl he fought like a commmi 
soldier. He was, in consequence, repeatedly, sometimes dan- 
gerously, wounded ; and it was extraordinary that he escaped 
the reiterated perils to which he was exposed. He raised the 

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Austrian monarchy by his triumphs to the very highest pitch 
of glory, and finally broke the power of the Turks, the most 
persevering and not the least formidable of its enemies. But 
the enterprises Which his genius prompted the calnnet of Vi- 
enna to imdertake, were beyond the strength of the heredita- 
ry states ; and for nearly a century after, it accomplished 
nothing worthy either of its growing resources, or of the nnli- 
tary renown which he had achieved for it. 

Frederic II., sumamed the Great, with more justice 
than any other to whom that title has been applied 33. 
in modem times, was bom at Berlin on t^he 24th of predeJte iSi 
January, 1712. His education was as much neg- ^^^ 
lected as ill directed. Destined fix)m early youth for the milr 
itary profession, he was, in the first instance, subjected to a 
discipline so rigorous, that he conceived the utmost aversion 
for a career in which he was ultimately to shine with such 
eclat, and, as his only resource, threw himself with ardor into 
the study of French Hterature, for which he retained a strong 
predilection through the whole of his subsequent life. Unfor- 
tunately, his knowledge was almost entirely confined to that 
literature. That of his own country, since so illustrious, had 
not started into existence. Of ItaHan and Spanish he was 
ignorant. He oould not read Greek ; and with Latin his a<S 
quaintance was so imperfect as to be of no practical service to 
him through life. To this unfortunate contraction of his ed- 
ucation, his limited taste in literature, in subsequent life, is 
chiefly to be ascribed. He at first was desirous of espousing 
an English princess ; but his father, who was most imperious 
in his disposition, decided otherwise, and he was compelled, in 
1733, to marry the Princess Elizabeth of Branswick. This 
union, like most others contracted under restraint, proved un- 
fortunate ; and it did not give Frederic the blessing of an 
heir to the throne. Debarred from domestic enjoyments, the 
young prince took refuge with more eagerness than ever in 
literary pursuits ; the chateau of Rhinsberg, which was his 
fevorite abode, was styled by him in his transport the ** Pal- 

F F 

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338 • THE LIFE CfP - 

ace of the Muses ;** and the greatest general and most hardy 
soldier of modem times spent some years of his youth in corre- 
sponding with Maupertuis, Voltaire, and other French philos- 
ophers, and in making indifierent verses and madrigals, which 
gave no token of any remarkahle genius. He had already 
prepared for the press a book entitled "Reftitation of the 
Prince of Machiavel," when, in 1740, the death of his father 
called him to the throne, its dutiep, its dangers, and its am- 

The phiktophers were in transports when they beheld " one 
34. of themselves," as they styled him, elevated to a 
toUiJ^Sro^ throne ; they indulged in hopes that he would coft- 
r*^ikaSn^ tinue in his literary pursuits, and acknowledge 
iu dutiei. .their influence, when surrounded by the attractions, 
and wielding the patronage of the crown. They soon found 
their mistake. Frederic retained through life his literary 
tastes : he corresponded with Voltaire and the philosophers 
through all his campaigns ; he made French verses in his 
tent, after tracing out the plans of the battles of Leuthen and 
Rosbach. But his heart was in his kingdom ; his ambition 
was set on its aggrandizement ; his passion was war, by which 
alone that aggrandizement could be achieved. Without be- 
ing forgotten, the philosophers and madrigals were soon com- 
paratively discarded. The finances and the army occupied 
his whole attention. The former were in excellent order, and 
his father had even accumulated a large treasure which re- 
mained in the exchequer. The army, admirably equipped and 
disciplined, already amounted to sixty thousand men : he aug- 
mented it to eighty thousand. Nothing could exceed the 
vigor he displayed in. every department, or the unceasing at- 
tention he paid to public afTairs. Indefatigable day and night, 
sober and temperate in his habits, he employed even artificial 
means to augment the time during the day he could devote to 
business. Finding that he was constitutionally inclined to 
more rest tl^an he deemed consistent with the full discharge 
of all his regal duties, he ordered his servants to waken him 

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at five in the morning ; and if words were not efiectual to 
rouse him from his sleep, he commanded them, on pain of dis- 
missal, to apply linen steeped in cold water "to his person. 
This order was punctually executed, even in the depth of win- 
ter, till nature was fisurly subdued, and the king had gained 
the time he desired from his slumbers. 

It was not long before he had an opportunity of evincing 
at once the vigor and unscrupulous character of 35. 

his mind. The Emperor Charles VI. having died ^J^t^ 
on the 20th of October, 1740, the immense pos- ffiSJv^?^ 
sessions of the house of Austria devolved to his «*MoUwitz. 
daughter, since so famous by the name of Maria Theresa. 
The defenseless condition of the Imperial dominions, consist- 
ing of so many different and discordant states, some of them 
but recently imited under one head, when under the guidance 
of a young unmarried princess, suggested to the neighboring 
powers the idea of a partition. Frederic eagerly united with 
France .in this project. He revived some old and obsolete 
claims of Fru^a to Silesia ; but in his manifesto to the Eu- 
ropean powers upon invading that province, he was scarcely 
at the pains to conceal the real motives of his aggression. 
" It is," said he, " an army ready to take the field, treasures 
long accumulated, and perhaps the desire to acquire glory.'' 
He was not long in succeeding in the object of his ambition, 
though it was at first rather ovdng to the skill of his generals, 
and discipline of his soldiers, than to his own capacity. On 
the 10th of April, 1741, the army under his command gained 
a complete victory over the Austrians, at Mollwitz, in Silesia^ 
which led to the entire reduction of that rich and important 
province. The king owed little to his own courage, however, 
on this occasion. Like Wellington, the first essay in arms of 
so indomitable a hero was unfortunate. He fled firom the 
field of battle at the first repulse of his cavalry ; and he was 
already seven miles off, where he was resting in a miU, when 
he received intelligence that his troops had regained the 
day ; and at the earnest entreaties of Greneral, a^rwaid 

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340 THi: LIFE OF 

Marshal, Schweiin, he returned to take the command of the 

Next year, however, he evinced equal courage and capacity 

36. in the battle of Czaslau, which he gained ovetthe 
anc£ne»o^et PTince of Lorraine. Austria, on the brink of ruin, 
the AuBtrians. jjasteued to disarm the' most fdrmidable of her as- 
sailants ; and by a separate peace, concluded at Breslau on 
the 11th of June, 1742, she ceded to Prussia nearly the. whde 
of Sileaa. This cruel loss, however, was too plainly the re- 
sult of necessity to be acquiesced in without a struggle by the 
cabinet of Vienna. Maria Theresa made no secret of her de- 
termination to resume possession of the lost province on the 
first convenient opportunity. Austria soon united the whole 
of Grermany in a league against Frederic, who had no ally 
but the King of France. Assailed by such a host of enemies, 
however, the young king was not discouraged, and, boldly as- 
smning the initiative, he gained at Hohenfriedberg a Com- 
plete victory over his old antagonist, the Prince of Lorraine. 
This triumph was won entirely by the extraordinary genius 
displayed by the King of Prussia. "It was one of those bat- 
tles," says the military historian Guibert, "where a great 
master makes every thing give way before him, and which is 
gained from the very banning, because he never gives the 
enemy time to recover from their disorder." 

The Austrians made great exertions t(y repair the conse- 

37. quences of fliis disaster, and with such success, that 
lengthoh^ged ^ four mohths Prkice Charles of Lorrainer again . 
tomakepeace. attacked him, at the head of fifty thousand men, 
near Soor. Frederic had not twenty-five thousand, but with 
these he again defeated the Austrians with immense loss, and 
took up his winter quarters in Silesia. So vast were the re- 
sources, however, of the great German League, of which Aib- 
tria was the head, that they were enabled to keep the field 
during winter, and even meditated a coup-de-main against 
the king, in his capital of Berlin. Informed of this design, 
Frederic lost not a moment in anticipating it by a sudden at* 

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tack^ on his part, on his enemies. Assembling his troqps in 
the depth of winter .with perfect secrecy, he surprised a large 
Ixxly of Saxons at Naumberg, made himsdif master of their 
magazines at Gorlitz, and soon after made his triumphant 
entry into bresden, where he dictated a glorious peace, on tho 
25th of December, 1745, to his enemies, Twdiich permanently 
secured Silesia to Prussia. It was full time for the Imperial- 
ists to come tp an accommodation.. In eighteen n^cmths Fred- 
eric had defeated them in four pitched battles, besides several 
combats ; taken forty-five thousand prisoners, and killed or 
wpunded an equal number of his enemies. ' His own armies 
had not sustained losses to a fifth part of this amount^ and the 
chasms in his ranks were more than compensated by the mul** 
titude of the prisoners who enlisted under his banners, anxious 
to share the fortunes of the hero who had already filled Eu- 
rope with his renown. 

The ambitious and decided, and, above all, indomitable 
character of Frederic, had already beccnne conspio- 38. 
uous during these brief campaigns. His corre* andin^mitft. 
spondenee, all conducted by himself, evinced a vig- aiready^^ 
or and tranchant style at that period unknown in p®*"* 
European diplomacy, but to which the world has since been 
abundantly accustomed in the proclamations of Napoleon. 
Already he spoke on every occasion as the hero and the con- 
queror-T-to conquer or die was his invariable maxim. On the 
eve of his invasion of Saxony, he wrote to the Empress of 
Russia, who was endeavoring to dissuade him from that de- 
sign : **^I wish nothing from the King pf Poland (Elector of 
Saxony) but to punish him in his electorate, and make him 
sign an acknowledgment of repentance in his capital." Dur- 
ing the negotiations for peace, he wrote to the King of En- 
gland, who had proposed the mediation of Great Britain : 
" These are my ccmditions. . I will perish with my army be- 
fore departing fifom one iota of them : if the empress does not. 
accept them, I will rise in my demands." 

The peace of Dresden lasted t^i years ; and these were o£. 

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^. inestimable importance to 'Frederic. He employ- 

S^towikiJ^- ^ *^8,t precious interval in consolidating his con- 
2eS teJ^Iws quests, securing the afiections by protecting the 
of peace. interests of his subjects, and pursuing every de- 

sign which could conduce to their welfare. Marshes were 
drained, lands were broken up and cultivated, manufactures 
established, the finances were put in the best order, and agri- 
culture, as the great staple of the kingdom, was sedulously 
encouraged. His capital was embellished, and the fame of 
his exjdoits attracted the greatest and most celebrated men in 
Europe. Voltaire, among the rest, became for years his guest ; 
but the aspiring genius and irascible temper of the military 
monarch could iU accord^with the vanity and insatiable thirst 
for praise of the French author, and they parted with mutual 
respect, but irretrievable alienation. Meanwhile, the strength 
of the monarchy was daily increasing under Frederic's wise 
and provident administration. The population nearly reached 
six millions of souls ; the cavalry mustered thirty thousand, all 
in the highest state of discipline and equipment ; and the in- 
fantry, esteemed with reason the most perfect in Europe, num- 
bered a hundred and twenty thousand bayonets. 

These troops had long been accustomed to act together in 
„ ,. .^- , large bodies ; the best training next to actual serv- 
Au8triii,RiiB«ia, ice in the field which an army can receive. They 

France, Sax- 

ony, and Swe- had need of all their skill, and discipline, and cour- 
PtumS^ age ; for Prussia was ere long threatened by the 
most formidable confedeiUcy that ever yet had been directed 
in modem times against a single state. Austria, Russia, 
France, Sweden, and Saxony united in alliance for the pur- 
pose of partitioning the Prussian territories. These allies had 
ninety millions of men in their dominions, and could with ease 
brhig four hundred thousand men into the field. Prussia had 
less than six millions of inhabitants, who were strained to the 
uttermost to array a hundred and twenty thousand combat- 
ants ; and even with the aid of England and Hanover, not 
more than fifty thousand auxiliaries could be relied on. Prua- 

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sia had neither steong fortresses like Flanders, nor mountain 
chains like Spain, nor a frontier stream like France. Its ter- 
ritory, open on every side, was entirely composied of fiat plains, 
unprotected by great rivers, and surrounded on the south, east, 
and north by its enemies. The contest seemed utterly des- 
perate, and there did not seem a chance of escape for the Prus- 
sian monarchy. 

Frederic began the contest by one of those strokes which 
demoiistrated t^e strength of 4iis understanding 4l 

and the vigor of his determination. Instead of vades Saxony, 

- arid conquers 

waiting to be attacked, he earned the war at once that country. 
into the enemy's territories, and converted the resources of the 
nearest of them to his own advantage. Having received au- 
thentic^intelligence of the signature of a treaty for the partition 
of his kingdom by the great powers, on the 9th of May, 1 766, 
he suddenly entered the Saxon territories, made himself mas- 
ter of Dresden, and shut up the >vhole forces of Saxoiiy in the 
intrenched camp at Pirna. Marshal Bi*own having advanced 
at the head of sixty thousand men to reUeve them, he en- 
countered and totally defeated him at Lowositz, with the loss 
of fifteen thousand men. Deprived of all hope of succor, the 
Saxons in Pima, after having made vain eSbits to escape, 
were obliged to lay do^^Vn their anns, still fourteen thousand 
dtrong^ The whole of Saxony submitted to the victor, who 
thenceforward, during the whole war, turned its entire re- 
sources to his own support. Beyond aU question, it was this 
masterly and successftd stroke, in the very outset, and in the 
teeth of his enemies, which added above a third to his war- 
like resources, and enabled him subsequently to maintain his 
ground against the desperate odds by which he was assailed, 
Most of the Saxons taken at Pima, dazzled by their conquer- 
or's fame, entered his service : the Saxon youth hastened in 
crowds to enroU themselves under the banners of the hero of 
the North of Grermany. Frederic, at the same time, effectu- 
ally vindicated the step he had taken in the eyes of all £u- 
lopoi hy the publication of the secret treaty of partition, which 

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he had discovered in the archives at Dresden, in spite of th^ 
eflorts of the electress to conceal it. Whatever might have 
been the case in the former war, when he siezed on Silesia, it 
was a{)parent to the world that he now, at least, was strictly 
in the right, and that his invasion of Saxony was not les§ jus* 
tifiable on the score of pubhc moraHty, than important in its 
consequences to the great contest in which he was eagSLged. • 

The aUies made the utmost efibrts to regain the advantages 
42. they had lost. France, instead of the twenty-four 

AiLSwIfa?* thousand men she was bound to furnish by the 
£S^atK^ treaty of partition, put a hundred thousand on 
^^ foot ; the Diet of K/atisbon placed sixty thousand 

troops of the empire at the disposal of Austria ; but Frederic 
still preserved the ascendant. Breaking into Bohemia in 
March, 1757, he defeated the Austrians in a great battle lui- 
der the walls of Prague, shut up forty thousand of their best 
troops in that town, and soon reduced them to such extremi- 
ties, that it was evident, if not succored, they must surrender. 
The cabinet of Vienna made the greatest efibrts for their re- 
lief Marshal Daim, whose caution and scientific pohcy wag 
peculiarly calculated to thwart the designs and bafiie ^e au- 
dacity of his youthful antagonist, advanced at the head of six- 
ty thousand men to their relief. Frederic advanc^ to meet 
them with less than twenty thousand combatants. He at- 
tacked the Imperialists in a strong position at Kolin, oa the 
18th of July, and, for the first time in his life, met with a 
bloody defeat. His army, especially that division commanded 
by his brother, the prince royal, sustained severe losses in the 
retreat, which became unavoidable, out of Bohemia ; and the 
king confessed in his private correspondence tha,t im honora^ 
ble death alone remained to him. 

Disaster accimiulated on every side. The English and 

4a ^^ Hanoverian army, his only alhes, capitulated at 

uation of the Clostcrseven, and left the French ^.rmy, sixty thou- 

Prossianmon- ,-r^. 

archj. sand strong, at hberty to follow the Prussians ; 

the French and the troops of the empre, with the Duke of 

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Richelieu at their head, menaced Magdebutg, where the roy- 
al family of Prussia had taken refuge, and advanced toward 
Dresden. The Russians, seventy thousand strong, were mak- 
ing serious progress on the side of Pcdand, and had recently 
defeated the Prussians opposed to them. The king was put 
to the ban of the empire ; and the army of the empire, mus- 
tering forty thousand, was moving against him. Four huge 
armies, each stronger than his own, were advancing to qrush a 
prince who could not collect thirty thousand men round ^ht& 
banners. At that period he carried a sure poison always with 
hka, determined not to fall alive into the hands of his &a.e- 
mies. He seriously contemplated suicide, and gave vent ta 
the n^umiul, bilt yet heroic sentiments with which he was 
inspired, in a letter to Voltaire, terminating with the lines, 

Pour i^oi, mena96 de naufrage, 
- Je doia, en afirontant Torage, 
Penser, vivre, et moarir en roi. 

Then it was that the astonishing vigor and powers of his 
mind shone forth with their full luster. Collect- 44. 

The king's mar- 

imr hastily twenty-five thousand men out of his ▼eious victories 

. ^ , . at Roabach and 

shattered battalions, he marched agamst the Lcuthen. 
Prince of Soubiae, who, at the head of an army of sixty thou- 
sand French and Imperial troops, was advancing against him 
through Thuringia, and totally defeated him, with the loss of 
eighteen thousand men, on the memorable field of Rosbach. 
Hardly was this triumph achieved, when he was called, with 
his indefatigable followers, to stem the progress of the Prince 
of Lorraine and Marshal Daun, who were making the most 
alarming progress in Silesia. Schweidnitz, its cajHtal^ had 
fellcn ; a lar^e body of Prussians, under the Duke de Bevom, 
had been defeated at Breslau. That rich and important prov- 
ince seemed on the point di falling again into the hands of the 
Austrians, when Frederic reinstated his afiairs, which seemed 
whdily desperate, by one of those astcmiBhing strokes which 
distinguish him, perhaps, above any general of modem times. 
|n the 4ep!th of wintar he attadi^ed, at Leuthen, on the Sth 

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of December, 1757, Marshal Daun and the Prince of Lor- 
raine, who had sixty thousand admirable troops under their 
orders, and, by the skillful application of the oblique method 
of attack, defeated them entirely, with the loss of thirty thou- 
sand men, of whom eighteen thousand were prisoners ! It 
was the greatest victory that had been gained in Europe since 
the battle of Blenheim. Its effects were immense : the Aus- 
trians were driven headlong out of Silesia ; Schweidnitz was 
regained ; the King of Prussia, pursuing them, carried the 
war into Moravia, and laid siege to Olmutz ; and England, 
awakening, at the voice of Chatham, firom its unworthy slum- 
ber, refused to ratify the capitulation of Closterseven, resumed 
the war on the Continent with more vigor than ever, and in- 
trusted its direction to Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, who 
soon rivaled Turenne in th^ skill and science of his method- 
ical warfare. 

But it WM the destiny of the King of Prussia — a destiny 
45. which displayed his great qualities in their full lus- 

DlMMtSBTS 8118* 

tained by hia ter — ^to be perpetually involved in difficulties, jBrom 

troops in otli* . _ . 

er quarters, the enormous numerical preponderance of his ene- 

Zomdor£ mics, or the misfortunes of the lieutenants to whom 
his subordinate armies were intrusted. Frederic could not 
be personally present every where at the same time ; and 
wherever he was absent, disaster revealed the overwhelming 
superiority of the force by which he was assailed. The siege 
of Olmutz, commenced in March, 1768, proved unfortunate. 
The battering train at the disposal of the king was unequal 
to its reduction, and it became necessary to raise it on the ap- 
proach of Daun with a formidable Austrian army. During 
this unsuccessful irruption into the south, the J^ussians had 
been making alarming progress in the northeast, where the 
feeble force opposed to them was wellnigli overwhelmed by 
their enormous superiority of numbers. Frederic led back 
the flower of his army from Olmutz, in Moravia, crossed all 
Silesia and Prussia, and encountered the sturdy barbarians at 
Zorndorf, defeating them with the loss of seventeen thousand 

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men, an advantage which delivered the eastern provinces of 
the monarchy from this formidable invasion. This victory 
was dearly purchased, however, by the sacrifice of ten thou- 
sand of his own best soldiers. 

But, during the king's absence, Prince Efenry of Prussia, 
whom he had left in command of sixteen thousand 4^. 
men, to keep Marshal Daun in check, was well- featltlSi^ 
nigh overwhelmed^ by that able commander, who ^^^*»®°- 
was again at thf? head of an army of fifty thousand. Fred- 
eric flew back to his support, and, having joined his brother, 
took post at Hohenkirchen. The position was unfavorable ; 
the army inferior to the enemy. " If Daun does not attack 
us here," said Marshal Keith, " he deserves to. be hanged." 
" 1 hope," answered Frederic, " he will be more afraid of us 
than the rope." The Austrian veteran, however, saw his ad- 
vantage, and attacked the Prussians during the night with 
such skill, that he threw them into momentary confusion, took 
one hundred and fifty pieces of cannon, and drove them from 
their ground, with the loss of seven thousand men. Then it. 
Was that the courage and genius of the king shone forth with ' 
their ftiU luster. Though grievously wounded in the conflict, 
and after having seen his best generals fall around him, he ral- 
lied his troops at daybreak, formed them in good order behind 
the village which had been surprised, and led them leisurely 
to a position a mile from the field of conflict, where he ofier- 
ed battle to the enemy, who did not venture to accept it. 
Having remained two days in this position to reorganize his 
troops, he decamped, raised the siege of Neiss, and succeeded 
in taking up his winter quarters at Breslau, in the very mid- 
dle of the province he had wrested from the enemy. 

The campaign of 1759 was still more perilous to Frederic ; 
but, if possible, it displayed his extraordinary 47. 

talents in still brighter colors. He began by ob- ofcunnersdoi^ 

. ° •^. in which Fred- 

serving the Austnans, under Daun and the Prmce eric is defeated, 
of Lorraine, in Silesia, and reserved his strength to combat 
the Russians, who were advancing, eighty thousand strong, 

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through East Prussia. Frederic attacked them at Cunnera* 
dorf, with forty thousand only, in an intrenched position, guard- 
ed by two hundred pieces of cannon. The first onset of the 
Prussians was entirely successful : they forced the front line 
of the Russian intrenchment^ and took sev^ity-two pieces 
of cannon. The victory seemed gained : he wrote to BerUn 
that they might soon expect to hear of a glorious triumph. 
But the situation of the king was such, pressed on all sides 
by superior armies, that he could not stop short with (ordinary 
success ; and, in the attempt to gain a decisive victory, he had 
wellnigh lost all. The heroism of his troops wa# shattered 
against the strength of the second line of the Russians ; a 
large body of Austrians came up to their support during th^ 
battle, and, after having exhausted all the resources of conrr 
|ige and genius, he was driven from the field with the loss of 
twenty thousand men and all his artillery. 

The Russians lost eighteen thousand men in this terrible 

48. battle, the most bloody which had been fought 
Srf^toJ^S^ ^or centuries in Europe, and were in nq c(Hiditio][i 
other quarters. ^ ^^^Low up their victory. Other misfortunes, 
however, in appearance overwhelming, succeeded each oth^r. 
Greneral Schmettau capitulated in Dresden; and Greneral 
Finch, with seventeen thousand men, was obliged to lay down 
his arms in the defiles of the Bohemian mountains. All seem^ 
ed lost ; but the king still persevered, and the victory of Min- 
den ^labled Prince Ferdinand to dfitach twelve thousand men 
to hid support. The Prussians . nobly stood by their heroic 
sovereign in the hgur of trial ; new levies supphed the wide 
chasms in hip ranks. Frederic's great skill averted all fixture 
disasters, and the campaign of 1759, the fourth of the war, 
^ooncluded. with the king still in possession of all his dominions 
in the midst of the enormous forces of his enenaies. 

The campaign ,of 1760 b^an in March by another disaster 

49. at Landshech, where ten thousand Prussians 
erkf^^TCT w** ^^^^ cut to pieccs Under one of his generals, an(jl 
donatLignetz. ^j^^ important fortress of Glatz wm invested by 

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the Austrians. Frederic advanced to relieve it, but soon re- 
measured his stepp to attempt the siege of Dresden. Daun, 
in his turn, followed him, and obliged the Pruggian monarch 
to raise the mege. Frederic then resumed his march into Si- 
le^a, closely followed by three armies, each more numerous 
than his own, under Laudon, Daun, and Lacy, without their 
being able to obtain, the slightest advantage over him. Lau- 
don> the most active pf them, attempted to surprise him ; but 
Frederic waa aware of his design, and rec^ved the attacking 
eoliimns at Lignetz in so masterly a manner, that they w^» 
totally defeated, with the loss of twelve thousand men. 

Scarcely had he achieved this victory^ when be had to make 
head against Lacy, withstand Paun, repel an ^ »■ , 

1 , p i . , 1 . Dreadful battle, 

enormous body <h xlussians, who w^e advancing and victory of 

1 1-n T-k • 111- -n f i.i*® Prussians 

through Ji>ast Prussia, and deliver Berlin, which at Torgm. 
had been a second time occupied by his enemies. Driven to 
desperate meaaures by such an unparalleled succession of dan- 
gers, he extricated himself from them by the terrible battle 
and extraordinary victory of Torgaai, on the 3d of November, 
1761, in which, after a, dreadful struggle, he defeated Daun^ 
though intrenched to the teeth, with the loss of twenty-five 
th(»isand men : an advantage dearly purchased by the loss of 
eighteen thousand of his own brave soldiers^ But this victory 
saved the Prussian monarchy : Daun, severely wounded in 
the battle, retired to Vienna; the army withdrew into Bo- 
hemia ; two thirds of Saxony was regained by the Prussians ; 
the Russians and Swedes retired ; Berlin was dehvered from 
the enemy ; and the fifrh campaign terminated with the un* 
conquerable mona^h stiU in possession of nearly his whole 

The military strength of Prussia was now all but exhausted 
by the unparalleled and heroio efforts she had 51. 
made* Frederic has left ns ^ fidlowing picture SS^pSSiada 
of the state of his kingdom and army at this difr »tthi«time. 
wArous period : '* Our condition at that period can only be 
'^likaied to that of a man riddled with baHs^ weakened by the 


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350 THE LI7B 07 

I068 of blood, and ready to sink under the -weight of hie sufier- 
ings. The noblesse was exhausted, the lower people ruined ; 
numbers of villages burned, many towns destroyed ; a com- 
plete anarchy had overturned the whole order and pdice of 
government ; in a word, desolation was universal. The army 
was in no better situation. Seventeen pitched battles had 
mowed down the flower of the officers and soldiers ; the regi- 
ments were broken down, and composed in part of deserters 
and prisoners ; order had disappeared, and discipline relaxed 
to Ach a degree, that the old infantry was little better than 
a body of newly-raised militia."* Necessity, not less than 
prudence, in these circumstances, which to any other man 
would have seemed desperate, prescribed a cautious defensive 
policy ; and it is doubtful whether in it his greatness did not 
appear more conspicuous than in the bolder parts of his for- 
mer ciureer. 

The campaign of 1761 passed in skillful marches and coun- 
S9. termarches, without his numerous enemies beinff 

Operations in . . •. . 

die camp of able to obtain a single advantage, where the king 

Bunzelwitz it- tt ^^ ti 

in 1761. commanded m person. He was now, hterally 
speaking, assailed on all sides ; the immense masses of the 
Austrians and Russians were converging to one point ; and 
Frederic, who could not muster forty thousand men imder his 
banners, found himself assailed by one hundred thousand allies, 
whom dx campaigns had trained to perfection in t^e military 
art. It seemed impossible he could escape; yet he did. so, 
and compelled his enemies to retire without gaining the slight- 
est advantage over him. Taking post in an intrenched camp 
at Bunzelwitz, fortified with the utmost skill, defended with 
the utmost vigilance, he succeeded in maintaining himself tmd 
{HTOViding food £)r his troops for two months within canncm- 
shot of the enormous masses of the Russians and Austrians, 
till want of provisions obliged them to separate. " It has just 
come to this," said Frederic, " who will starve first ?" He 
made his enemies do so. Burning with shame, they w^re 
• Hktakc de mon Temps, par Prederic IV., p. 174. 

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forced to retire to their respective territories, so that he was 
enabled to take up his winter quarters at Breslau in Silesia. 
But, during this astonishing struggle, disaster had accumula- 
ted in other quarters. His camp at Bunzelwitz had only 
been maintained by concentrating in it nearly the whole 
strength of the monarchy, and its more distant provinces suf- 
fered severely under the drain. Schweidnitz, the capital of 
Silesia, was surjHrised by the Austrians, with its garrison of 
four thousand men. Prince Henry, after the loss of Dresden, 
had the utmost difficulty in maintaining himself in the^ j»rt 
of Saxony which still remained to the Prussians ; in Silesia 
they had lost all but Glogau, Breslau, and Neiss ; and, to 
complete hi& misfortune, the dismissal of Lord Chatjiam firon^ 
office in England had led to the stoppage of the wonted sub- 
sidy of £760,000 a year. The resolution of the king did not 
sink, but his judgment almost despaired of success under such 
a complication of disasters. Determined not to yield, he dis- 
covered a conspiracy at his head-quarters to seize him, and 
deliver him to his enemies. Dreading such a calamity more 
than death, he carried with him, as formerly in similar 6ir- 
cumstances, a sure poison, intended, in the last extremity, to 
terminate his days. 

." Nevertheless," as he himself said, " afiairs which seemed 
desperate, in reality were not so ; and perseverance 53. 
at length surmounted every peril." Fortune often, tS^Em'^rew 
in real life, as well as in romance, favors the brave. StoS^JS' 
In the case of Frederic, however, it would be unjust ^^^ 
to say he was favored by Fortune. On the contrary, she long 
proved adverse to him ; and he recovered her smiles only by 
heroically persevering till the ordinary chances of human sS* 
fairs turned in his favor. He accompHshed what in serious 
cases is the great aim of medicine ; he made the patient sur- 
vive the disease. In the winter of 1761, the Empress of 
Russia died, and was succeeded by Peter III. That prince 
had long conceived the most ardent admiration for Frederic, 
and he manifested it in the most decisive msoij^esr on his ac- 

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Qoaeion to the throng, by not only withdrawing firom th6 alli- 
ance, but uniting his forces with those of Frusta against Aus- 
tria. This great event speedily changed the face of affairs* 
The united Prusfiians and Russians under Frederic, seventy 
thousand strong, retook Schweidiiitz, in the face of Daun, who 
had only sixty thousand men ; and, although the sudden death 
of the Czar Peter in a few months degprived him of the aid of 
his pow^ul neighbors, yet Russia took no further part in the 
contest. France, exhausted and defeated in every quarter of 
the globe by England, could raider no aid to Austria, upon 
whom the whole wei^t of the contest feU. It was soon ap- 
parent that she Turas overmatched by the Prussian hero. Re- 
lieved from the load which had so long (^pressed him, Fred- 
eric vigorously resumed the offensive. Silesia was whoUy re- 
gained by the king in person ; the battle -of Freyberg^ve his 
brother. Prince Henry, the ascendant in Saxony ; and the 
cabinet of Vienna, seeing the contest hopeless, were glad to 
make peace at Hubertsbourg, on thevl5th of February, 1763, 
on terms which, besides Silesia, left entire the whole domin- 
ions of the King of Prusi^ia. , 

He entered Berlin in triimiph after six years* absence, in an 
54. open chariot, with Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick 
wStSSfe seated by his side. No words can paint the enthu- 
fltruggie. siaam of the spectators at the august spectacle, or 
the admiration with which they regarded the hero who had 
filled the world with his renown. It was no wonder they 
were proud of their sovereign. His like had never been seen 
since the fall. of the Roman empire. He had founded and 
saved a kingdom. He had conquered Europe in arms. With 
six millions of subjects he had vanquished powers possessing 
ninety millions. He had created a new era in the art of war. 
His peopk were exhausted, pillaged, ruined; their numbers 
l^ad dechned a tenth during the contest. But what then ? 
They had oomo victorious out of a struggle unparalleled in 
modern times : the halo of Leuthen and Roebach, of Zomdorf 
^d ToigsuVL, played round their bayonets ; they were in^ired 

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with the energy which so speedily repairs any disaster. Fred- 
eric wisely jind m^^animously laid aside the sword when he 
resumed the pacific scepter, ilis subsequent reign was almost 
entirely spent in tranquillity ; all the wounds of war were 
speedily healed imder his sage and beneficent administration. 
Before his death, his subjects had been doubled, the national 
wealth had been made triple of what it had been at the com- 
mencement of his reign, and Prussia now boasts of sijcteen 
miUions of inhabitants, and a population increasing faster in 
numbers and resources than that of any other state in Europe. 
No labored character, no studied eulogium, can paint Fred- 
eric like this brief and simple narrative of his ex- 55. 

* Hischaraotmr 

ploitfi. It places him at once at the head of mod- w a general. 
em generals ; if Hannibal te excepted, perhaps of ancient and 
modem. He was not uniformly successful ; on the contrary, 
he sustained several dreadful defeats. But that arose from 
the enormous superiority of force by which he was assailed, 
and the desperate state of his affairs, which were generally so 
pressing, that even a respite in one quarter could be obtained 
only by a victory instantly gained, under whatever circum- 
stances, in another. What appears rashness was often in him 
the height of wisdom. He had no Parhament or coahtion to 
consider, no adverse faction was pn the watch to convert cas- 
ual disaster into the means of ruin. He was at hberty to take 
counsel only from his own heroic breast. He could protract 
the struggle, however, by no other means but strong and vig^ 
orous strokes,* and the luster of instant success, and they could 
not be dealt out without the risk of receiving as many. The 
fact of his maintaining the struggle against such desperate 
odds proves the general wisdom of his policy. No man ever 
jXiade more skiUM use of an interior Hue of comn^miication, or 
flew with such rapidity from one threatened part of his do- 
minions to another. None ever, by the force of skill in tac- 
tics and sagacity in strategy, gained such astonishing success* 
es with forces so infeiior. And if some generala hav^ com- 
mitted fewer faults, none were impelled by such desperate cir- 

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cumstances to a hazardous course, and none had ever greater 
magnanimity in confessing and explaining them for the bene- 
fit of future times. 

The only general in modem times who can bear a compar- 
56. ison with Frederic, if the difficulties of his situa- 

Frederic^d*^ tion are considered, is Napoleon. It is a part only 
Napoleon. ^£ j^-^ campaigns, however, which sustains the 
analogy. There is no resemblance between the mighty con- 
queror pouring down the valley of the Danube, at the head 
of one himdred and eighty thousand men, invading Russia 
with five hundred thousand, or overrunning Spain with three 
hundred thousand, and Frederic the Great, with thirty thou- 
sand or forty thousand, turning every way against quadruple 
the number of Austrians, French, Swedes, and Russians. Yet 
a part, and the most brilliant part of Napoleon's career, bears 
a close resemblance to that of the Prussian hero. In Lom- 
bardy in 1796, in Saxony in 1813, and in the plain of Cham- 
pagne in 1814, he was, upon the whole, inferior in force to 
his opponents, and owed the superiority which he generally 
enjoyed on the point of attack to the rapidity of his move- 
ments, and the skill with which, like Frederic, he availed 
himself of an interior Une of commimication. His immortal 
campaign in France in 1814, in particular, where he bore up 
with seventy thousand men against two hundred and fifty 
thousand enemies, bears the closest resemblance to those which 
Frederic sustained for six years against the forces- of the coa- 
lition. Both were often to appearance rash, because the af- 
fairs of each were so desperate that nothing could save them 
but an audacious poUcy. Both were indomitable in resolu- 
tion, and preferred ruin and death to sitting down on a dis- 
honored throne. Both were from the outset of the struggle 
placed in circumstances apparently hopeless, and each succeed- 
ed in protracting it solely by his astonishing talent and reso- 
lution. The fate of the two was widely different : the one 
transmitted an honored and aggrandized throne to his success- 
ors; the other, overthrown and discrowned, terminated his 

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Marlborough. 355 

days on the rock of St. Helena. But success is not always 
the test of real merit : the verdict of ages is often different 
from the judgment or fate of present times. Hannibal con- 
quered, has left a greater name among men than Scipio vic- 
torious. In depth of thought, force of genius, variety of infor- 
mation, and splendor of success, Frederic will bear no compar- 
ison with Napoleon. But Frederic's deeds, as a general, were 
more extraordinary than those of the French emperor, because 
he bore up longer against greater odds. It is the highest 
praise of Napoleon to say, that he did in one campaign-^his 
last and greatest — ^what Frederic had done in six. 

If the campaigns of Eugene and Frederic' suggest a cottt- 
parison with those of Napoleon, those of Maribor- ct. 

ough challenge a parallel with those of the other and Wellington. 
great commander of our day — Wellington. Their political 
and military situations were in many respects alike. Both 
combated at the head of the forces of a coaUtion, composed of 
dissimilar nations, actuated by separate interests, inflamed by 
difierent passions. Both had the utmost difficulty in soothing 
the jealousies and stifling the selfishness of these nations ; and 
both found themselves often more seriously impeded by the 
allied cabinets in their rear, than by the enemy's forces in 
their front. Both were the generals of a nation which, albeit 
covetous of military glory, and proud of warlike renown, is to 
the last degree impatient of previous preparation ; which ever 
frets at the cost of wars that its poHtical position renders un- 
avoidable, or that in its ambitious spirit it had readily under- 
taken. Both were compelled to husband the blood of their 
soldiers, and q)are the resources of their governments, from 
the consciousness that they had already been stro^ined to the 
uttermost in the cause, and that any further demands would 
render the war so unpopular as speedily to lead to its termina- 
tion. The- career of both occurred at a time when political 
passions were strongly roused in their country ; when the war 
in which they were engaged was waged against the inclina- 
tion, and, in appearance at least, against the interests, of a 

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large and powerful party at lunne, who sympathized fiom po« 
jitical feeHng with their enemies, and w^ne ready to decry 
every success and magnify every disaster of their -own arms, 
from a secret feding that their party elevation was identified 
rather wilii the successes of the enemy than with those of 
their own countrymen. The Tories were to Marlb(»ough 
precisely what the Whigs were to Wellington. Both were 
opposed to the armies of the most powerful monarch, led by 
the most renowned generals of Europe, whose forces, prepon* 
derating over those of the adjoining states, had' come to threat- 
en the Hberties of all Europe, and against whom there had at 
last been formed a general coaHtion, to restrain the ambition 
from which so much detriment had already been experienced. 
But while in these respects the two British heroes were 
58. placed very much in the same circumstances, in 

Seb^iSiaSJM other particulars, not less material, their situa- 
4iflered. ^-^j^ ^^^^ widely difierent. Marlborough had 

never any difficulties in the field to struggle with, approach- 
ing those which beset Wellington. By great exertions, both 
on his own part and that of the British and Dutch govern- 
ment, his force was generally ahnost equal to that with which 
he had to contend. It was often exactly so. War at that 
period, in the Low Coimtries at least, consisted chiefly of a 
single battle during a campaign, follow^ by the siege of two 
or three frontier fortresses. The number of strongholds -^th 
which the coimtry bristled, rendered any further or more ex- 
tensive operations, in general, impossible. This state of mat- 
ters at once rendered success more probable to a general of 
superior abilities, and made it more easy to repair disaster. 
No vehement passions had been roused, bringing whole na- 
tions into the field, and giving one state, where they had burn- 
ed the fiercest, a vast superiority in point of numbers over its 
more pacific or less excited neighbors. But in all these re- 
spects, the circumstances in which Wellington was placed 
were not only not parallel — they were contrasted. From first 
,to last, in the Peninsula, he was enormously outnumbered by 

Digitized by 



the enemy. Until the campaign of 1813, when his force in 
the field was, for the first time, equal to that of the French, 
the. superiority to whieh he was opposed was so prodigious, 
that the only surprising thing is, how he was not driven into 
the sea at the very first encounter. 

While the French had never less than two hundred thou- 
sand elective troops at their disposal, after pro- 59. 
viding for all their garrisons and communications, ityof fore? wi£ 
the English general had never more than thirty Jon had to con- 
thousand effective British, and twenty thousand *^^ 
Portuguese around his standard. The French were direct- 
ed by the emperor, who, intent on the subjugation of the Pen- 
insula, and wielding the inexhaustible powers given by the 
conscription for the supply of his armies, cared not though he 
lost a hundred thousand men in every campaign, provided he 
purchased success by their sacrifice. Wellington was sup- 
ported at home by a government which, raising its soldiers by 
voluntary enrollment, could with difficulty supply a drain of 
fifteen thousand men a year from their ranks for service in 
every quarter of the globe. He was watched by a party 
which decried every advantage and magnified every disaster, 
in order to induce the entire withdrawal of the troops from 
the Peninsula. Napoleon sent into Spain a host of veterans 
trained in fifteen years' combats, who had carried the French 
standards into every capital of Europe. Wellington led to 
their encounter troops admirably disciplined indeed, but al- 
most all unacquainted with actual war, and having often to 
learn the rudiments even of the most necessary field opera- 
tions in presence of the enemy. Marlborough's troops, though 
heterogeneous and dissimilar, had been trained to their prac- 
tical duties in the preceding wars under William III., and " J. 
brought into the field a degree of experience noways inferior , - 
to that, of their opponents. Bolingbroke tells us that, from 
the very outset of his command, in the wars of the Succession, 
Marlborough placed his main reliance on this circtimstance. 
Whoever weighs with impartiality those diilerent circum- 

Digitized Ijy 


858 Tfi£ LIFE OP 

stances, can not avoid arriving at the conclusion, that as Wel- 
lington's difficulties were incomparably more formidable than 
Marlborough's, so his merit, in surmoun:ting them, was pro- 
portionally greater. 

Though similar in many respects, so far as the general <;on- 
duct of their campaigns is concerned, from the ne- (jq. 
cessity under which both labored of husbanding ^^J^Ster^ 
the blood of their soldiers, the miUtary qualities of ^^^ 
England's two chiefs were essentially different, and each pos- 
sessed some points in which he was superior to the other. By 
nature Wellington was more daring than Marlborough, and 
though soon constrained, by necesdty, to adopt a cautious sys- 
tem, he continued, throughout all his career, to incline more 
to a hazardous poHcy than his great predecessor. The in- 
trepid advance and fight at Assaye ; the crossing of the Douro 
and movement on Talavera in 1809 ; the advance to Madrid 
and Burgos in 1812 ; the actions before Bayonne in 1813 ; 
the desperate stand made at Waterloo in 1815, place this be- 
yond a doubt. Marlborough never hazarded so much on the 
success of a single enterprise ; he evpr aimed at compassing his 
objects by skiU and combination, rather than risking them on 
the chance of arms. Wellington was a mixture of Turenne 
and Eugene ; Marlborough was the perfection of the Turenne 
school alone. No man could fight more ably and gallantly 
than Marlborough ; his talent and rapidity of eye in. tactics 
were at least equal to his skill in strategy and previous com- 
bination. But he was not partial to such desperate passages 
at arms, and never resorted to them but firom necessity, or 
when encouraged by a happy opportunity for striking a blow. 
The proof of this is decisive. Marlborough, during ten cam- 
paigns, fought oidy five pitched battles. Wellington, in sev- 
en, fought fifteen, in every one of which he proved victorious.* 

Marlborough'^ consummate generalship throughout his 

* Viz., Vimiera, the Donro, Talavera, Basaco, Fuentes d'Onoro, Sala- 
manca, Vittoria, the Pyrenees, the Bidassoa, the Nive, the Nivello, Orthes, 
Toakrtue, aaatre Bras, and Waterloo. 

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whole career kept him out of disaster. It was 6i. 

said, with justice, that he never fought a battle policy wm 
which, he did not gain, nor laid siege to a town but morrSM- 
which he did not take. He took above twenty Mariborou^'s. 

fortified places of the first order, generally in presence of an 
enemy's army superior to his own. Wellington's bolder dis- 
position more frequently involved him in peril, and on some 
occasions caused serious losses to his army ; but they were the 
price at which he purchased his transcendent successes. Wel- 
lington's bolder strategy gained for him advantages which the 
more circumspect measures of his predecessor never could have 
attained. Marlborough would never, with scarcely any artil- 
lery, have hazarded the attack on Burgos, nor incurred the 
perilous chances of the retreat from that town ; but he never 
would have delivered the south of the Peninsula in a single 
campaign, by throwing himself, with forty thousand men, upon 
the communications in the north, of a hundred and fifty thou- 
sand. It is hard to say which was the greater general, if 
their merits in the field alone are considered ; but Welling- 
ton's successes were the more vital to his cou4itry, for they 
dehvered it from the greater peril ; and they were more hon- 
orable to himself, for they were achieved against greater odds. 
And his fame, in future times, will be proportionally brighter ; 
for the final overthrow of Napoleon, and the destruction of 
the revolutionary power, in a single battle, present an object 
of surpassing interest, to which there is nothing in history, 
perhaps, parallel, and which, to the latest generation, will fas- 
cinate the mhids of men. 

Marlborough laid great stress on cavalry in war ; his chief 
successes in the field were owing to the skillful go, 

use made of a powerful reserve body of horse in mademonfuse 
the decisive point and at the decisive moment. It weiUm-toi?^ 
was thus that he overthrew the French center at ^^ ^^^■ 
Blenheim by the charge of six thousand cavalry, headed by 
himself in person, in the interval between that viUage and 
Oberglau ; struck the decisive blow at Ramillies by the charge 


Digitized by VaOOQ IC 


of a reserve of twenty squadrons drawn from the rear of the 
right; and broke through the formidable intrenchmeitta at 
Malplaquet by instantly following up the irruption of Lor?l 
Orkney into the center of the lines by a vigorous charge of 
thirty squadrons of cavalry in at the opening. The propor- 
tion of horse to in&ntry was much greater in his armies than 
it has since been in the British service ; it was never under 
eighty, and at last as high as a hundred and sixty squadrons, 
which, at the usual rate of a hundred and-i)f^ to a squadron^ 
must, when complete, have mustered twelve and twenty-four 
thousand sabers. This was irom a £nirth to a fifth of their 
amount at each 'time. His horse, in great port composed of 
the steady German drago<»is, was in general of the very best 
desciiption. Wellington's victories were, for the most part, 
less owing to the action of cavalry ; but that was because the 
country, which was the theater of war — ^Portugal, Spain, and 
the south of Franee — ^was commonly too rocky or mountain- 
ous to admit of the use of horse on an extended scale, and he 
had not nearly so large a body of cavalry at his disposal. 
Where they eouM be rendered aVailal^e, he made the best 
use of thk powerful arm, as was shown in Le Marchant's no^ 
bfo charge at Balamanca, Bock's with the heavy GrermanB 
nejif day, and Ponsonby's and Somerset's at Waterloo. In 
recant times, and especially since the campugns oi Frederic 
the Great, the importance of cavalry has been too much un- 
derrated by military men. Napdeon had the highest opinion 
cf the value of cavahy in war ; he constantly said, that if the 
courage and leading on both sides were equal, horse should 
break the steadiest infantry. Ahnost all his great victories — 
Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, Borodino, Dresden, Montmirail, 
Vauchamps — ^were owing to the terrible charge at the close 
of the day by Murat or his successors, with his immense body 
of heavy horse. This vehemence all but reft the day fronr 
the British at Waterloo ; oj^>08ed by any other infantry, it 
unquestionably would have done so. Hannibal's victories 
were all gained by his Numidian cavalry ; the sight of tho 

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imifdim of two or three of them was suffici«af after Caim» 
to make a whole Roman legion stand to arms. This is ad^ 
vene to ihe g^eral doctrine of military men at this period, 
but there are phases in opinitm on war as in other things ; 
what is commonly thou^t at a |«articular time is not always 
ri^t. Ti» receo^ victories ^ Aliwal and Sobraon in India 
kayo gone far to shake the validity of the more current opn- 
ion ; and if authority is to decide the matter, he is a bold man 
who gainsays the united judgment of Hannibal, Marlborough, 
arid Napoleon. 

Marlborough was mc»re fc^rtunate than Wellington, perhaps 
more so tjian any genei^ of modem times, in sieffw. «. ^J^- ^ 

, Marlborongn 

He to(^ twenty of the strongest places m Europe wasotorosiio- 
in presence of an enemy's army, always equal, gea- wciungton in, 

^11 • X !-• 1- 1 -J • sieges, and 

entay superior to his own ; he never once laid siege why. 
to a fortress that he did not subdue. His reduction of Lille, 
with its noble garriscm of fifteen thousand men, in presence of 
Vendome at the head of a hundred and twenty thousand, was 
the most wonderfol achievement of the kind wTiich modem Eu- 
rope had witnessed. Wellii^^ten was less fortunate in this 
branch of warfare. He made three successful sieges, those of 
Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, and St. Sebastian ; but he sustained 
three bloody repulses, at Badajoz in 1811, Burgos in 1812, and 
St. Sebastian in the first siege in 1 8 1 3 . But, in justice to Wel- 
lington, the essential difierence between his situation and that 
of Marlborough in this respect must be considered. The latter 
carried on the war in Flanders close to the strongholds of Aus- 
tria and Holland, at no great distance firom the arsenals of En- 
gland, and with the facilities of water-carriage in general for 
bnnging up his battering trains. His troops, trained by ex- 
perienoe in the long war which terminated with the peace of 
Ryswick in 1697, had become as expert as their enemi^ in all 
the Inranchee of the military art. Wellington carried on the 
war at a great distance from the resources of Great Britain, 
with little aid firom the ineflSlcierit or distracted councils of Por- 
tugal or Spain, in a mountainous country, where water oom- 


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d6i THE -LIFE OF : 

munication could only penetrate a short way into the interior, 
in presence of an enemy's force always douhle, often triple his 
own, and with troops whom a century of domestic peace» 
bought by Marlborough's victories, had caused so completely 
to forget the practical details of war, that even some of the 
best of the general officers, wh^a they embarked for the Pen- 
insula, had to be told what a ravelin and a counterscarp 
were.* He was compelled by the pressure of time, and the 
approach of forces greatly superior to his own, to make as- 
saults as his last chance, when the breaches were scarcely 
prajcticable, and the parapets and defenses around them had 
not even been knocked away. The attacks on Ciudad Rod- 
rigo and Badajoz were not regular sieges ; they were sudden 
assaults on strong places by a sort of coup-de-maiUf under cir- 
cumstances where methodical approaches were impossible. 
Whoever weighs these circumstances, so far from wondering 
at the checkered fortune of Wellington in sieges, will rather 
be surprised that he was successful at all. 

The examination of the comparative merits of these two il- 
04. lustrious generals, and the enumeration of. the 
m^kaWe^iSd names of their glorious triumphs, suggests one re- 
EJTg^d'ovtt flection of a very peculiar kind. That England 
France. ^ ^ maritime power, that the spirit of her inhab- 

itants is essentially nautical, and that the sea is the element 
on which her power has chiefly been developed, need be told 
to none, who reflect on the magnitude of her present colonial 
empire, and how long she has vrielded the. empire of the 
waves. The French are the first to teU us that her strength 
is confined to that element ; that she is, at land, cmly a tiiird- 
rate power ; and that the military career does not suit the 
genius of her people. How, then, has it happened that En- 
gland, the nautical power, and little inured to land operations, 

* This was literally tnie of the generals of infantry. Picton, whose gal- 
lant assaalt won the castle of Badajoz, and closed its terrible siege, spent 
some days with a celebrated officer, still alive, whose knowledge of fortifi- 
cation and gunnery is well known, in learning the rudiments of fortification 
end the attack of places. 

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has inflicted greater wounds upon France by military success 
than any other power,- and that in almost all the pitched bat- 
tles which the two nations have fought during five centuries, 
the English have proved victorious ? That England's mili- 
tary force is absorbed in the defense of a colonial empire whioh 
encircles the earth, is indeed certain ; and, in every age, the 
impatience of taxation in her people has starved down her 
military establishment, during peace, to so low a point, as 
rendered the occurrence of disaster, in the first years subse- 
quent to the breaking out of war, a matter of certainty. On 
the other hand, the military spirit of her neighbors has al- 
most constantly kept theirs at the level which insures early 
success. Yet with all these disadvantages, and with a pop- 
ulation which, down to the close of the last war, was Httle 
more than half that of France, she has inflicted far greater 
land disasters on her redoubtable neighbor than all the mili- 
tary monarchies of Europe put together. ^ 

English armies, for a hundred and twenty years, ravaged 
France ; but England has not seen the fires of a 55, 
French camp since the battle of Hastings. En- i^nd^dfaaster^ 
glish troops have twice taken the French capital ; p'^rSJe from 
an English king was crowned at Paris ; a French E"g^^<^ 
king rode captive through London ; a French emperor died in 
English captivity, and his remains were surrendered by En- . VA 

glish generosity. Twice the English horse marched from Ca- 
lais to the Pyrenees ; once from the Pyrenees to Calais ; the 
monuments of Napoleon in the French capital at this moment 
owe their preservation from German revenge to an English 
general. All the great disasters and days of mourning for 
France, since the battle of Hastings — Tenchebray, Cressy, 
Poitiers, Azincour, Vemeuil, Crevont, Blenheim, Oudenarde, 
llamillies, Malplaquet, Minden, Dettingen, Quebec, Egypt, ' % 

Talavera, Salamanca, Vittoria, Orthes, the Pyrenees, Water- 
loo — ^were gained by English generals, and won, for the most 
part, by English soldiers. Even at Fontenoy, the greatest 
victory over England of which France can boast since Has- 


^^ ' Digitized by GoOglC 

364 THB LirE OF ' 

tings, CTery regiment in the Fiench anny^was, on their cjwii 
admisfflon, ronted by the terrible English .column, and victory 
"was snatched from its grasp solely by want of support on the 
part of the Dutch and Austrtans. No coaliticm against France 
has ever been successful, in which England did not take a 
prominent part ; none, in the end, has failed of gaining its 
objects, in which she stood foremost in the fight. This ^t 
is so a^^rent on the most sirperficial survey of history, that it 
is admitted by the ablest French historians, though they pro* 
fess themselves imable to explain it. 

Is it that there is a degree of hardihood and courage in the 
06. Anglo-Saxon race, which renders them, without 
beenthe cau8- the benefit of previous experience in war, adequate 
w of this f ^ ^1^^ conquest, on land, even of the most wariike 
C^tinental military nations ? Is it that the quality of dog« 
ged resolution, determination not to be conquered-— dat;^^;?^, in 
the familiar English phrase — ^is of such value in war, that it 
compensates almost any degree of inferiority in the practical 
acquaintance with war ? Is it that the North brings forth a 
bolder race of men than the South, and that, other things 
being equal, the people nursed under a more rigorous climate 
will vanquish those of a more genial ? Is it that the fise 
qiirit which, in isvery age, has dietinguisl^ the English peo« 
pie, has communicated a degree of vigor and resolution to their 
warlike operations, which has rendered them so ofl^i victori- 
ous in land-%hts, albeit nautical and commercial in their 
ideas, over their military neighbors ? Or is it that this cour- 
age in war, and this vigor in peace, and this passion for free- 
dom at all times, arise from, and are but s3rmptoms of, an ar- 
dent and aspiring di^osition, imprinted by Nature on the race 
to whom tke dominion of half the globe has been destined ? 
Experience has not yet determined to which of these causes 
this most extraordinary fact has, been owing; but it is one 
Qpbn which our military nei^bors, and especially the French^ 
would do well to ponder, now that the population of the Brit* 
ish isles will» oa the next oetisns, bis thifty mUHom. jf Enr 

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gland haa done such itdngs in Contunraital waxfare» with an 
anny which never brought fifty thousand native British Babe» 
and bayonets into the :fidd, what would be the result if na- 
tional distress or necessities, ot a change in the objects of geia^ 
eral desire, wore to sestd two hundred t3»)usand ? 



Tas. wars in which the Duke of Mailborough was ehgafed 
were not contests produced merely by the ambi- , i. 

/. , . , . , /. . . , Moral charac- 

taons of kings or the nvalry of muusters; Ihey teroftheDid* 

^^ T n , ... ,. . ofMarlbor- 

were not waged lor the acquisition of a province' ougfa*8 wan. 
or the capture of a fortress ; they were, not incurred, Hke those 
of Frederic, for the gain of Silesia, or impelled to, like those 
of Charl^ XII., by the thirst for glory. Great moral parinci^- 
pies were invdved in the contest. The League of Augsburg, 
which terminated in the peace of Ryswick, and first put a 
bridle on the amlntion of France, was the direct and immedi* 
ate consequence of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and 
the exile of the persecuted Protestants by Loins XIV. The 
War of the Succesaon arose unavoidably firom this selfish am- 
bition, and desire to appropriate the whole magnificent spoila 
jof the Spanish monarchy, wbich he had won by diplomatic 
astuteness, for the aggrandizement of the house of Bourbon. 
The great interests of religious freedom and national independ- 
ence were at stake in the struggle. 

Freedom o£ thought, emancipation from Romkh tyranny, 
liberty in the ch<Hoe of worship, the preaching of g. 

the Gospel to the poor, were b<TOe alpft on Marl- ^^t^^JS^ 
borough's banners ; national independence, death ^J^cSn^* 
to the Bourbons, hatred to France, were inscribed *ended- 
on those of Eugene. The Church of Rome, indeed, had few 
|xioie faithful sulgects than the house of Hapsbuii; ; but dretd 

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of the ambition of Louis XIV., and the glittering prospect of 
the Spanish succession, had brought her Catholic sovereigns 
into a close union with the Protestants of the north ; and the 
admirable temper and judgment of the ^English and Austrian 
chiefs kept their troops in* a state of concord and amity, rarely 
witnessed in the best-cemented alliances. Feudal honor, chiv- 
alrous loyalty, the unity of the Church, were the principles 
which had roused the armies and directed the councils of Louis 
XIV. The exaltation of France, the glory of their sovereign, 
the spoils of Spain, awakened the ambition of its government, 
and animated the spirit of its people. The influence of these 
opposite principles was felt not only in the council, but in the 
field ; not only in the minister's cabinet, but in the soldier's 
tent. Divine service, after the Protestant form, was regularly 
performed, morning and evening, in every regiment of Marl-^ 
borough's army; they prepared for battle by taking the sacra- 
ment ; they terminated their victories by thanksgiving. The 
armies of Louis, in a gay and gallant spirit, set out for the 
conflict. If any ecclesiastic appeared to bless their armft, it 
was the gorgeous priests of the ancient faith ; they struck rath- 
er for the honor of their country, or the glory of their sovereign, 
than the unity in Church and State on which he Was so strong- 
ly bent ; and went to battle dreaming more of the splendor of 
Versailles or the smiles of beauty, than the dogmas of religion 
or the crusade of the Church of Rome. 

As the principles and passions which animated the contend- 
3. ing parties were thus opposite, proportionately great 
tte^meer was the peril alike to the cause of religious fireedom 
easd\^opey *^^ European independence, if the coalition had not 
provS*Sic^ proved successful. That no danger was to be ap- 
ccBsfui. prehended from its triumph has been decisively prov- 
ed by the event ; the allies were victorious, and both have been 
preserved. But very dificrent would have^ been the results if 
a power, animated by the ambition, guided by the fanaticism, 
and directed by the ability of that of Louis XIV., had gained 
tha ascendency in Europe. Beyond all question, a universal 

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•despotic dominion wouM have been established over the bod- 
ieSi a cruel spiritual thraldom over the minds of men. France 
and Spain united under Bourbon princes, and in a close family 
alliance— the empire of Charlemagne with that of Charles V. 
— ^the power which revoked the Edict of Nantes, and perpe- 
trated the massacre of St. Bartholomew, with that wluch ban- 
ished the Moriscoes, and estabhshed the Inquisition, would 
have proved irresistible, and beyond example destructive to the 
best interests of mankind. 

The Protestants might have b6en driven, like the Pagan 
heathens of old by the son of Pepin, beyond the ^ , ^- . , 

•' ... Results which 

Elbe ; the Stuart race, and with them Romish might have foi- 

•1/ ., , , iTii. lowed the tri- 

ascendency, might have been re-estabhshed m mnph of France. 
England ; the fire Hghted by Latimer and Ridley might have 
b^n extinguished in blood ; and the energy breathed by relig- 
ious freedom into the Anglo-Saxon race might have expired. 
The destinies of the world would have been changed. Eu- 
rope, instead of a variety of independent states, whose mutual 
hostihty kept alive courage, while their national rivaby stim- 
ulated tilent, would have sunk into the slumber attendant on 
imiversal dominion. The colonial empire of England, woiild 
have withered away and perished, as that of Spain has done 
in the grasp of the Inquisition. The Anglo-Saxon race would 
have been arrested in its mission to overspread the earth and 
subdue it. The centralized despotism of the Roman empire 
would have been renewed on Continental Europe ; the chains 
^f Romish tyranny, and with them the general infidehty of 
France before the Revolution, would have extinguished or per- 
verted thought in the British Islands. There, too, the event 
has proved the justice of these anticipations. France, during 
the eighteenth century, has taught us in what state our minds 
would have been had Mjaxlborough been Overthrown ; the in- 
fidehty -of Voltaire, to what a state of anarchy our reUgioug 
opinions would have been reduced; the despotism of Napo» 
leon at its cjpse, to what tyxauny our persons would have been 
subjected. . . 

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The apponte princ^>leB which animated the ocmtebdiiig pal^ 
9, ties were very similar to those which a century aft- 

OT pJuticri^ er ranged Europe against France, in the wars of 
wwShXpSr- ^® French Ee volution ; the great conflict pf the 
SlrSii*ttf' «igliteeiit*^ century was hut an extwision, to the 
ward occur- Political and social relations of men, of the rehg- 
*^ iouB divisions which distracted the seventeenth. 

But in one respect the antagonists were on appoaie sides. In 
00 far as they were handed together against the amhition of 
France, the ooahtion of 1689 was guided hy the same princi- 
ples as that of 1793 ; the armies of Eugene struck for the 
same cause as those of the Archduke Charles. But in ao fax 
as they contended for a moral princijde, their relative position 
was in a great measure reversed : England, in the wnfrs of 
WiUiam and Anno, was on the side of civil and religious free- 
dom ; she stood foremost in the contest ibr lihorty of thought 
and the free choice of worship ; she was herself the first and 
greatest of revoluti(mary powers. France supported the des- 
potism of the Romish faith, and that systraa of unity in dvil 
government which aimed at extending claims as strong over 
the temporal concerns of men. The industry of towns, the 
wealth of commerce, arrayed a numerous hut motley array of 
many nations around the hanner of St. George ; the strength 
of feudal attachment, the loyalty of chivahoua devotion, hroi:^t 
. the strength of a gallant people round the oriflamme of St. 

Yet, though apparently on opposite, the forces of the Coali- 
,, ^ ^ tion and of France were in Teahty ranged on the 

tJij the aUi«i same Sides m the War of the Succession as m that 

and France _, 

were in both <^ the French Revolution. In hoth, religicm and 

cases ranged on « , , • • i i • i t n. 

the same sides, treedom Were the prmciples on which the ftlhes 
rested, and unity of government and miUtary glory were the 
moving springs of effi)rt in France. The iron rule of the Con- 
reatioTL, the despotism of Napoleon, were essentially identical, 
though wielded by di^r^it hands and in a diflertnt aatne, 
with the government of Louis XIV . National indepMidiBile#» 

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MA.jiLBORauGda. 969 

xeligious duty, breathed in t^ proclamations of Alexaauler, not 
less than the daily services amid the tents of Marlborough. It 
matters not by whom despots are elected, provided they are 
despots and support power. The absolute na.ture of a contest 
is not to te judged of merely by the war-cries which the par- 
ties raise, or the banners under which their ibrces are nomin- 
aJly enrolled. The true test i^ to be found in the practical 
tendency and social results of the institutions for which iU 
partisans contend. The cause of real freedom is often |id- 
vanced by the victories gained by a monarch's armies ; thtf 
march of practical despotism is never so accelerated as by the 
trimnph of E^epublican bayonets. William III. was the head 
of a revolutionary dynasty, but he established the government 
of Great Britain x)u a far more aristocratic basis during tii» 
succeeding century than it had ever before attained. Louis 
XIY. vms the leader of a crusade of the faithful against the 
Protestant party, but he bequeathed a century of irreHgion to 
France, whicdi ended in the overthrow of its government. 
The Committee of Public Salvation, wielding the forces of the 
Revolution, established a centralized military despotism in 
France, far exceeding any thing dreamed of by Richelieu or 
Louvois, and which has never since been shaken off in that 
country. The q)read of political power, the popularization 
of social in^tutions, have. never been so rapid in Gcreat Brit- 
ain as during the thirty years which immediately succeeded 
the glorious termination of the anti-revolutionary war, 

But from this ranging of the contending parties, in name at 
least, on opposite sides, and the important fact of Tj^-Q-L^Aif 
the legitimate dynasty having been di^aced by a 5^^® J? ^^ 
revolutionary monarch cm ,the throne of Engiand, whomthewar 

° was opposed 

there arose a most miportant dinerence betwe^i in the time of 

, . . , - , Marlborough 

the respective parties who opposed the war, com- and Napoleon. 
mencing in 1679, and that which began in 1793. The war 
which t^minated with the Treaty of Ryswick was waged by 
William^ himself the Louis PhiUppeof the younger biranah dT 
the Stuart dynasty ; that of the Succession was heftd^l hjf 

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370 THE LIFE or 

Anne, his- successor on the revolutionary throne. It was car- 
ried on for the freedom of conscience and liberty of wor^p, 
and supported by the whole strength of the Whig aristocracy, 
and the whole vehemence of the Protestant fervor. Hence, 
the enemies of the war, the opposition to the government, nat- 
urally espoused the other side. The Tory and High-Church 
party gradually became estranged from the government, and 
at length openly came into hostihty with it, in consequence of 
the continued increase which the prosecution of the war gave 
to the influence of its opponents, and the dreadful and interm- 
inable dangers with which it seemed to threaten the finances 
of the country. Then the positions of parties became precise- 
ly the reverse of what they subsequently were during the war 
with revolutionary France ; and yet both at heart were actu- 
ated by the same motives. The Tories opposed the War of 
the Succession and decried Marlborough's victories as warmly 
as the Whigs resisted the contest with France, and strove to 
lessen Wellington's fame, a century later. Both put forth 
public principle and the interest of the nation as the ostensible 
grounds of their conduct ; but both in secret were actuated, 
perhaps imconsciously, by different and more pressing motives. 
The Tories opposed the war with Louis XIV. because it tend- 
ed to confirm their opponents in power, and postpone, if not 
destroy, their hopes of restoring the exiled family. The 
Whigs opposed the war with Napoleon because it was waged 
against a power which at least began with the principles of 
democracy, and because they expected its successful issue 
would, for perhaps more than a g^ieration, confirm the Tories 
in possession of the reins of government. 

Political parties, and the alliances of cabinets in Europe, 
8. had been long ^actuated and regulated by these 

poeitepartiesE principles, which had, in an especial manner, be- 
Sc?th^^at ^Q"^® predominant since the terrible conflict of the 
Rebellion, q^^^ RebelHon in England. All the foreign al- 
liances of Charles II. had^in secret been suggested by jealousy 
of the Republican party, fiora whidb his family had sustained 

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Buch grievious injuries at home. French mistresses, the charms 
of the Duchess of Portsmouth, were not disregarded by the 
amorous monarch ; but the chief^otive of his conduct was a 
desire to extinguish the Puritan faction and the Protestant 
faith in his dominions. It was an article of the secret treaty 
between Charles and Louis XIV., that the Republican forms 
of government, as existing in Holland, should be superseded 
by an hereditary monarchy in the person of the stadtholder 
and his family ; and that the English monarch should, as soon 
as prudent, do what was possible for the re-establishment of 
the Roman CathoHc religion in Great Britain.* These so- 
cial and political divisions, naturally arising from the vehe- 
ment contests of the seventeenth centuryi derived additional 
strength from the expulsion of the ancient dynasty, and the 
successful result of the Revolution of 1688 in Great Britain. 
Personal animosity and party ambition were inunediately add- 
ed to the flames of political hostility. It was felt by all that 
the change of dynasty had been brought about by many dis- 
graceful acts of treachery in the leaders of the movement, as 
well as by the generous indignation of a nation at, attempts to 
enslave them. The bitterness of lost influence, the recollec- 
tion of shattered power, were added to the broad lines of po- 
litical distinction ; and a cast-down party, which had generous 
feelings and profound attachments to rest upon, ere long gath- 
ered strength from the very circumstances, in the external 
condition of the nation, which to appearance had established 
the power of their opponents on an immovable foundation. 

The Revolution had been brought about by a coalition of 
parties, arising from the general feeling of unbear- 9. 
able oppression experienced by the nation. The paniShad 
Tories had joined in it as cordially as the Whigs ; aS Ae 
the High-Church party as much as the Dissenters. R«^oi««i<»- 
It began with sending the seven bishops to the Tower; it 
was ended by the cheers of the troops at their acquittal on 
Hounslow Heath. Bolingbroke has well expressed the views 
• 04Pi»iau«, Hitt, de Iamu XIV., U., 167. 

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37$ TH* LIFl OT 

-wfai^ indueed the Tory party «ad a^doftt eftvi^iMsi •£ th* 
xealm to take part ia this great moYemeia^, Bxd there is no 
reason to believe that h^was insincere in what he said. 
" Many/' says he, '' of the most distinguished Tories, some of 
those who carried highest the doctrines of passi^re obedience 
and non-resistance, were engaged in it, and the whole nation 
was ripe fer it. The Whigs were jealous in the same cause, 
bat their zeal was not such as I think it had be^ sqd^ yeaxi 
be&re, a zeal without knowledge. I mean, it was better tem- 
pered and more prudently conducted. Though the king wa« 
not the better for his experience, parties were. Both saw 
their errors. The Tories stopped short in pursuit of a bad 
principle ; the Whigs reformed the abuse of a good one. Both 
had sacrificed their country to their party ; both, chi this oc- 
casion, sa<^rificed their party to their country. The cause of 
liberty was no longer made the cause of a party, by being set 
on such a bottom as one party alone ai^oved. The IVeyohi- 
tion was plainly designed to restore and secure the government, 
ecclesiastical and civil, on true fbimdations; and whatever 
might happen to the king, there was no room to apprehend 
any change in the Constitution. The Republican whimsies, 
indeed, that reigned in the days of usurpation and coniu»on, 
still prevailed among some of that party. But this leaven 
was so near worn out, that it could neither corrupt, nor seem 
any leader to corrupt, the mass of the Whig party. That 
party never had been Bepublicans ot Presbyterians any more 
than they had been Quakers — any more than the Tory party 
had been Papists when, i^twithstanding their aversion to 
popery, they were imdenialdy under the accidental influence 
of popish councils. But even the appearances were now rec- 
tified. The Revolution was a fire which purged off the dross 
of both parties ; and the dross being purged off, they appeared 
to be the same metal, and answered the same staudard.""*^ 

But it is a dangerous thing for the people, even for the best- 
fininded causes of dissatisfaction, to overturn an established 
• A IHiietfatian en Pxwim. BoLuroBRoss'f Wivrln, in., 186. 

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fgoffhrtotteat. Such a sUfp gm&ttiOY remedies the ^ ^• 
immediate evils which produced thexlisconteikt, but whicbflowea 
it does so <mly by mtroducmg a host of o^ers, cdatum. 
often still more injurious, and which become, by ^e triumph 
of the first convulsion, wholly irremovable. No nation ever 
had juster cause for dispossessing a sovereign than England 
had in 1688 ; for James was striving at once and by force to 
subvert the civil 4ibMies, and change the estabiished religion 
of his ptople. . Yet from this just and necessary chatige, as 
nil parties th^i folt it to be, were Bcxm found to flow a series 
of causes and efiects which induced a host of evils so seriocn 
and appalling, that the cotemporary age was seized wi^ oaof 
ttemation at their magnitude, and the efiects of whioh wiM 
be felt to the latest g^ieration in Groat Britain. 

The first efiect which immediately followed was -the com- 
menc^EBent of the great war with France, whidi, li. . 

... . ^^ . , . >^ The funding 

beginmng m 1689, contmued, ^ith a cessation only ajemm iaki- 
<^ five years, till 1713^. England was now the wiiinmuZ 
head of tile Protestant and independent league, and upon ha 
foil the weight of the contest with RcHnish and despotic France. 
The finances of Great Britaiii, as they were managed in for- 
m^ times, could never have sustained the cost of such a war 
fin: a tenth part of the time. But eoqpense now seemed to be 
no obstacle to the government. A new ^igine of surpassing 
strength had been discovered for extracting capital out of a 
country ; and the able statesmen who had it in their hai^yds, 
felt it to be not less serviceable in oonsoHdalijQg the internal 
power than in meeting the ext«nial expenses of the new dy- 
nasty. The revenue at the dethnmement of James II. was 
only £2,000,000 a year, a sum not equal to three months' ex- 
penditure of the war ; and long expenence had pxrred, the 
extreme difficulty of getting the people, oven under the most 
pressing emergencies of government, to make any addition to 
the pul^o burdens. But William brought wiih him fn»n 
Holland the secret of the Fmnding System, He showed the 
nation what may be done by forestalling ^Ke reeoiiroee of futnie 


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yeare in the present, by pledging the industry of a people to 
its capital. It was this marvelous discovery, then new to the 
world, which at once occasioned the successes which signal- 
ized the external government of the Revolution, and engea* 
dered the internal disconteht which all but produced its down- 

When this system first began, the nation was not sensible 
12. of the important consequences to which it could 

S^SSdta*" lead. They thought that it could only be a tern- 
QrettBriuiiL p^yary expedient; and that, though ^perhaps it 
might lead to a few millions being unnecessarily added to the 
national debt, yet that would be all. Though from the first, 
accordingly, its progress was viewed with a jealous eye by the 
thinking few, it made but Httle impression upon the unthink- 
ing many before the peace of -Ryswick. But when the War 
of the Succession began in 1702, and continuied without in- 
termissiiHi, and' attended by daily increasing ^expenditure for 
ten years, the apprehensions of a large part of the nation be- 
came excessive. At the Revolution, the national debt, as al- 
ready mentioned, was £661,000 ; by the year 1710 it exceed- 
ed £50,000,000 sterling. Though this sum may seem incon- 
siderable to us who have become accustomed to the much 
greater debts which have ^ince been contracted, yet it appear- 
ed prodigious to a people then beginning to learn for the first 
time to what burden the finances of a nation may, by the fund- 
ing sjrstem, be subjected. It was a terrible thing to think that 
in twenty years the public debt had been augmented eighty- 
fold ; that in that short time it had come to amount to twen- 
ty^five times the revenue of the nation at its commencement. 
And it had, in reality, become a formidable burden, as com- 
pared with the resources of the state even at that time ; for 
the public income, which had been two millions at the de- 
thronement of James, had only risen to £5,691,000 at the 
death of Anne, while the debt was £54,000,000, being near- 
ly ten times its amount, and about half in proportion to the 
national revenue of what it is at this time. - i 

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^ BoUngbvoke has left us the following vivid picture of the 
apprehensions with which, in the. latter years of 13. 
the War of the Succiession, the minds of men were 22^m™f ?» 
filled^n this dismal subject. " It is impossible to ^^s^- 
look back without grief on the necessary and unavoidable con- 
sequences of this estabhshment, or without indignation on thiat 
mysteiy of iniquity which hath been raised upon it, and car- 
ried (HI by means of it. > Who can answer that a scheme which 
oppresses the farmer, ruins the manufacturer, breaks thd mer- 
chant, discourages industry, and reduces fraud to a system ; 
whi(ih drains continually a portion of our national wealth 
away to foreigners, and draws most perniciously the rest of 
that immense property that was difRised among thousands into 
the pockets of a few — ^who can answer that such a scheme 
will always endure ? The whole art of stock-jobbing, the 
whole mystery of iniquity mentioned above, arises from this 
estabhshment, and is employed about the funds ; and the maiur 
springs which turn or may turn the artificial wheel of credit, 
and make the paper estates that are fastened to it rise or fall, 
lurk behind the veil of the treasury.- That luxury which be- 
gan to spread after the restoration of Charles II. hath increas- 
ed ever since from the growth of wealth among- the stock-job- 
bers from this system. Nothing can be more certain than 
this, that national luxury and national poverty may in time 
establish national prbstitution. The immense wealth of par- 
ticular men is a circumstance which always attends national 
poverty, and is, in a great measure, the cause of it. We may 
already apply to our country what Sallust makes Cato say of 
the state of Rome, and I wish we could apply no more : * Pro 
his nos habemus luxuriam ; pubHc^ egestat^oi, privatim opu- 
lentiam.*, 'Public want and private wealth abound in all 
declining states.* "* 

What rendered this system pecuHarly alarming wa^ the 
simultaneous development of a new and apparently intermin- 
able system of government by which it was to be carried 
* Bolihobeoxe's DUtertation on Partiet. Worki, iii., 998, 399. 

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_ M. on. The Stuarts had tiled to reign by pren^oitive : 

Gener»a cor- , . i , , . , i i^ , 

raptioo which and as one monarcn had lost his aeiKl and anoth^ 

wa." induced in .. .-. i/».i/.«, 

the coontry. er 1118 CTOwn in the attempt, the mends of freedom 
flattered themselves that the liberties o£ the nation were now 
established on a foundation which no &iture sovereign woul 
attempt to sdiake. But the accession of WiUiam soon showed 
that there are ether ways of managing a ipeoipie than by open 
feree. The Stuarts had failed because they had been bred 
under monarehioal habits, and had no other ideas c^ govern- 
ment than those of prerogative and power, Experi^ce had 
not taught them the secret, so weU known to the Roman em- 
peror, of veiling authority under the fiame of freedom, and dis- 
arming oppositKA by attending to the interests of its leaders. 
William brought frcnn the oommercial repuiblic of Holland, 
where tjiey had been l<«g practiced and were perfectly under- 
stood, a thorough knowledge of both these imp<»rtant state se- 
crets. Introduced by Parhament, having no legitimate title 
to the throne, standing solely on the choice of the nation, he 
was caieM in all his measures not to run counter either in 
ibnn or substance to the power which had raised him to the 
throne. Every thing originated with the Legi^ture. llie 
House of Commons stood forth in appearance as the ruler of 
the state. But th^i he contrived, by a simple expedient, to 
rule the House of Commons. The wars in which he was of 
necessity engaged ; the loans which they rendered unavoida- 
ble, and which the ccnnmercial wealth of the nation enabled 
it to advance, ; and the great increase in the g^ieral ei^pendi- 
ture of the Exchequer, all conspired to jdaee a vast and un- 
precedented amount of patrcmage in the hands of government. 
This w%s systematical^ directed to buy ofl* opposition in Par- 
liament, and secure a ms^ority in the ecHMtituencies. Corrup- 
tion in every possible form, from the highest to the lowest, was 
employed in ail parts of Great Britain, especially among tho 
urban electors ; and with such succesii, that almost every meas- 
nss of gov^mnent passed without difficulty through both 
houses of Parliament. The nation had shaken ofl* the prerog- 

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stives of the c^own, but they had faUen under the doimnatio& 
of its influence. The gold of the Exchequer wa^ found to be 
more powerful than the penalties c^ the Star Chamber, and 
the last state of the realm was worse than the first 

If this enormous increase in the pubHc debt, imder the in- 
fluence of the funding system, awakened the ap- ^^ / 
prehei^on of the tiunightful, not leas did the un- •ccountotth© 

f 1-1 in • -I'T • general indie- 

bounded Spread of corruption excite the mdigna;tion natioa at thb 

/. , . /. , . mi r> • t demoralizing 

of the virtuous part of the nation. The first might iystem. 
ttoabarrass the revenue and cripple the resources of the nation, 
but this threatened to sap the foundations of its ppo^rity 
by undermining its virtue. Bolingbroke, whose genius, how^ 
ev^ brilliant, seldom did more than reflect the ideas of that 
part of the empire which constituted his section of the cent- 
munity, has left the £}llowing account of tl^ sentim^its with 
which this new and demc^ralizii^ «yst^n of influence was re- 
garded by the sturdy English or country party. " As the 
means of influencing by prerogative and of governing by force 
were considered^ to be increased formeily upon every addi^on 
to the power of the crown, so are the means of influ^cihg by 
money and of governing by coiruption to be considered as in- 
creased now, upon that increase of power which hath accrued 
to the crown by the new constitution of the revenue since the 
Revolution, Not only the means of corrupting are increased 
on the part of the crown, but the facihty of employing- these 
means with success is increased, on the part of the people, on 
the part of the electors, and the part of the elected. The 
power of the crown to corrupt, and the proneness of the peo- 
ple to be corrupted, must continue to increase on the same 
principles, until a stop be put to the growing wealth and 
power of the one, and the growing depravity of the other. 
The ministers, though never so weak, are always impudent 
enough to act, and able enough to get Sequent suppUes <m na- 
tional pretenses for private purposes. The consequences of 
^is are manilbld ; fer the more mcmey passes through ikeir 
hands, the moie oppoctunitiM 4hey have of gain ; and, in par-. 

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tionlar, they may share it, if they please, in every bad bar- 
gain th^ make for the pubUc ; and the worse their bargain, 
the better their share will be. Then an immense subsidy 
given to some little prince who deals in soldiers, or an im- 
mense arrear stated infcwor of these little merchants of hvr 
man flesh, may be so ordered as to steal enough firom the pub- 
lic to replenish the royal cofiers, glut the ministers, feed some 
of their hungry creatures, and bribe a ParUament besides. 
The establishment of public funds on the credit of these taxes 
hath been productive. of far greater mischiefs than the taxes 
themselves, not only by increasing the means of corruption 
and the power of corruption, but the eflect it hath had on the 
iqpirit of the nation, its manners and morals. Britain will soon 
be in the state described by Phihp II. of his own court : 
' They all take money except myself and Sapona.' Britain 
may ere long be in that ve^y condition in which, and in which 
alone, her Constitution and her liberty, in consequence, may 
be destroyed, because the people may, in a state of universal 
corruption, and will in no other, either sufier others to betray 
them or betray themselves. How near a progress we had 
made to this, I determine not. This I say, that it is time for 
every man who is desirous to preserve the British Constitu- 
tion, to contribute all he can to prevent the ill efiects of that 
new influence and power which has gained strength in every 
reign since the Revolution ; of those means of corruption that 
may be employed one time or other on the part of the crown ; 
and of that proneness to corruption on the part of the people 
that hath been long growing, and still grows. "^ 

Independent of these considerations, which were so obvious 
^ 16- _, that they forced themselves oa the consideraticm of 

Strong: prin- \ ^ 

cipies of free, every thinking person in the country, there were a 

dom and loy- . . 

aityintheEu- powcdul Bct of feelings, which ere long began to 

glish charac- . ,, ,.. > i ' t t . ■».▼ 

ter. unpel the pubuc mmd in the same direction. Not- 

withstanding the strong love of freedom which has in every 
age characterized the English people, and which has been 

* BoMMOBROKB'f Ditiertatwn on Pariies. Worh$, iiU 30t. 

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evinced for nearly a thousand years by the constant struggles 
ih.ey have made to maintain and extend their liberties, there 
is no nation in whom the principle^ of loyalty has taken a 
stronger root, or in which the precept to " fear God and honor 
the King" is more thoroughly interwoven with their domestic 
afiections. It -is the contest of these opposite principles which 
has produced such constant struggles in every period of En- 
glish history ; for not only has the strife repeatedly been fierce 
between them while it lasted^ but the temporary triumph of 
the one has invariably and speedily been followed by a decided 
reaction- in favor of the other. Vehement and energetic in 
whatever it undertakes, the Anglo-Saxon race rush alternate- 
ly into the extreme of RepubUcan licentiousness and the en- 
thusiasm of chivalrous loyalty. It was thus that the general 
and unaccountable submission to their Norman rulers was 
succeeded by the rebellion of Jack Cade ; the fervor of the 
Heformation by the slavish crouching to Henry VIII., and 
devoted loyalty to Elizabeth ; the bloodshed of the Great Re- 
bellion by the transports of the Restoration ; and that, after 
running wellnigh mad on occasion of the Popish plot in the 
reign of Charles II., the people flew into excesses as great 
against the other party on occasion of the Rye-house conspiracy. 
A similar reaction took place after James II. was expelled 
and William III. seated on the throne. The im- n. 
minent danger which the civil and religious liber- ^©rouif/ei. 
ties of the country had run of being subverted by Sf Torils to^ 
the arbitrary measures of that sincere and consci- ^h^^S?^ 
entious, but headstrong and senseless prince, had ^"'• 
produced a general combination of parties, which rendered the 
monarch powerless, and occasioned his bloodless fall from the 
throne. But after the deed was accomplished, and the king 
dethroned, the nation began to reflect on what it had done. 
Divisions, as usual, were consequent on success. A reaction, 
similar in kind, though inferior in degree, to what took place 
when the head of Charles I. fell on the scafibld, took place 
over the whole country. ' Surrounded by his guards, directed 

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by his priests, preceded by his lawyers^ aided by. Je^ies, 
James had been regarded with deserved hatied and dread. 
Exiled from his country, east cbwn from his throne, eating 
the bread of the stranger, he became the object of pity. The 
loyal and generous feelings revived with' additional force <hi 
the oessaticm of the dangers which had for a time restrained 
their manifestation. These feelings became peculiarly strong 
in the rural or country party, which beheld, with undisguised 
indignaticm, their fortunes ecl^sed and tlmr infki^ace destroy- 
ed by the sycc^hants and capitalists who crowded the royal 
imte-chamber, and participleited in the gains of the treasury. 
It was soon found that the Revolution had raoooved one set 
of dangers only to introduce anolher. Protestantism was se» 
cure, but public morality was sinking; the Star Chamber 
was no Icmger to be feared, but corruption had become gener* 
al ; nothing was heard of the prerogative, but ParHament had 
become so obsequious that its submis^on seemed almost a mat- 
ter of course, even to a despotic prince. When to tHs natu- 
ral reaction against a great and violent change in the govern- 
ment was added the spontaneous return of a loyal pecf^ te 
that attachment to their sovereign from which Ihey could not 
be long estranged, and the enormous and seemingly intermina- 
He expenses of a protracted and burdaisome contest, it is not 
surprising Uiat the war became daily more unpopular, and. 
Marlborough, who was with justice. regarded as its head, th# 
object of general obloquy. 

Voltaire, who nevw lost an opportunity of representing hu- 
Whichdi9tinc^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^ governed entirely by caprices ao 
Jy speared to cideut, would make his readers believe that the 

iue votes ana 

composition of whole change was the result of a bed-chamber 

the House of . . ^ _ _^ . _ , 

Commons. mtnguc at the court of Queen Amie, and that a 
fit of passion in Mrs. Masham arrested^ &e course of Marlbor- 
ough's victories, and preserved the tottering throne of Louis 
XIV. But the considerations which have now been stat^ 
demonstrate that this was very &r from being tiie case ; that 
fAneral causes c<H>perated with special ones in produdng th# 

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grand result ; and that the palace intrigue was not so much 
the cause bb the efieot of that general change in the public 
mind, which h£^ come over the nation in the later years of 
the war, and which all the luster of Marlborough's victories 
had not been able to arrest. And this appealed in the moist 
decisiye manner in the votes of the House during the progress 
of the contest. When the war begaU) it was supported by a 
lai^e majority in both houses ; but as the ccmtost rolled on 
and its expenses increased, the majority in the lower House 
gradually drc^ped o£f; when Harley and St. John w^:e in^ 
troduced into the ministry, it assumed that transition charac- 
ter which is seldom of long duration, but which always ao^ 
companies a coaUtion ; and when at length the. Whigs, witk 
the exception of Marlborough, were entirely turned out, and 
he W9L& left alone to conduct the war, amid his political en^ 
mies, the government was supported by a large majority in 
the House of Conmons. All the violent and ungenerous pfo* 
ceedings against that great general, his. dismisfial from oilce, 
the innumerable vexations to which he was exposed, and tha 
accusations of peculaticn which were brought against him, 
were carried by large majorities in the House of Commons ; 
the House of Peers, after it had been swamped by the crea- 
tion of twelve, ceased to struggle any longer with the declared 
voice of the pubUc ; and, whatever posterity may have thon^it 
of it, nothing is more certain than that the peace of Utrecht 
itself was, despite the cutting strictures of a few indignant 
patriots, cordially approved c^ at the time by a great majority 
in the nation. 

Bolingbroke, whose great abilities, both as a statesman, an 
orator, and a writer, rendered him the real head of 19. 
the party in England liiat ultimately efiected the fioimgbroke. 
great change in its foreign policy iidiich alteced the whole &ce 
of Europe, was one of the most remaxkaUe men, even among 
the brilliant wits of Queen Azme's reign. It could not be 
said of him, aa he said of Marllxnrough, that he was the per- 
fection of genius aided only by experience. On the contrary, 

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382 THE LIFE or ' 

he shared largely in the advantages of a refined education, and 
his native abilities acquired additional luster firom the briUiaat 
ibreign setting in which they never failed to^ appear. An ac- 
complished classical scholar, profoundly versed in the philoso- 
phy, history, and poetry of Greece and Rome, he not only 
made use of the treasures of ancient genius to enrich his 
thoughts, hut brought forward their expressions with the hap- 
piest efiect, to aid and adorn his eloquence. Nature had been 
prodigal to him of those gifts, without which the most brilliant 
genius can seldom produce any lasting effect on popular asr 
semblies. His countenance was in the highest degree express- 
ive^ his elocution rapid and easy, his memory ready and te- 
nacious, his imagination vivid and impassioned. Such was 
the power of extempore composition which he possessed, that 
on the testimony, even of the most inveterate of his poHtical 
opponents, you might have printed what fell from him, during 
the warmth of convivial conversation, without any inelegance 
or inaccuracy being perceptible. These brilliant qualities 
shone forth with pecuUar luster in the ease and abandon of 
social intercourse with the illustrious Hterary men who adorn- 
ed the reign of Queen Anne, and the early part of that of 
Greorge I. Pope, it is well known, almost idolized him ; and 
the thoughts in the " Essay on Man'' are said to have been in 
great part suggested by his ccmversation. 

" Awake, my St. John, leave all meaner tbing^ii 
To low ambition and the pride of kings ; 
Let Of, since life can little more supply, 
Than just to look aboat as and to die. 
Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man, 
A mighty maze ! but not without a plan ; 
Laugh where we must, be candid where we can. 
Bat vindicate the ways of Gk)d to man." 

Had Bolingbroke's steadiness of principle and con^tency 
sa of conduct been equal to these shining abilities. 

Hisinconsisten- ** ° ^ 

des and ftiuits. he would have been one of the most eminent men 
that England ever produced. But this, unfortunately, was 
very far firom being the case. In him, more truly than any 

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other man, might be seen the truth of the words of Scripture, 
" unstable as water, thou shalt not excel." Inconsistency and 
want of rectitude were the bane at once of his poHtical con- 
duct and Hterary coihpositionB. He was so changeable in his 
partialities, so variable in his declamations, that there is hardly 
an eminent man, and certainly not a pditical party of his 
time, that he has not alternately praised to the skies, and load- 
ed with vituperation. . It is scarcely possible to say what his 
principles were, for at difierent periods of his life he espoused 
those of all men. His only steady aversion seemed to have 
been to Christianity ; and Voltaire acquired almost all the ar- 
guments which he afterward wielded with so much efiect 
against rehgion from his conversation and knowledge. Yet 
he was not an atheist. Pope's ** Essay on Man," kad many 
otiier passages in his own writings, demonstrate that he had 
exalted but vague and dreamy ideas of natural rehgion. 
Horace Walpole said of him, " With the most agreeable tal- 
ents in the world, and with great parts, he was neither happy 
nor successfiil. He wrote against the king who had forgiven 
him, against Sir Robert Walpole who did forgive him, against 
the Pretender and the clergy who never will forgive him. He 
is one of our best writers, though his attacks on all govern- 
ments and all religions (neither of which he cared directly to 
own) have necessarily involved his style in a want of perspi- 
cuity. One must know the man before we can often guess 
his meaning."* This inconsistency tainted his private and 
moral, as well as pubHc and political character. He was am- 
bitious, and unscrupulous as to the meaiis of elevation ; vehe- 
ment in hatred ; variable in principle. Capable of profound 
^ssimulation, he occasionally exercised it, and effectually de- 
ceived the most penetrating of his opponents. But, in gen- 
eral, the liveliness of his imaginatioh and quickness of his tem- 
per caused him to give vent to the desire or feeling of the 
moment with an ardor which admitted neither of concealment 
nor moderation. And hence the otherwise inexplicable inoon- 
* Royal and Noble Autfms, 74. ' 

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oMtemsKM aad ocmtradictions both of his public lifb and piimit* 

Harley, aftervaid created Earl of Cbcfinrd, brought to the 
SI. sui^rt of the same party talents of a much infe* 
^S^Xri^f ^°'> ^^* '^^^ ^^'^ serviceable land. He had not 
Oxford. ^jjg brilliancy oi St. John's imaginaticm, his vast 
stows of erudition, or his power of ready and extempore elo- 
quence ;' but he wag mcHre {nrudent and sagacious, had. more 
vinrldly wisdom, aild incomparably more of a statesman's tact 
than his brilliant ooadjut(»r. His wisdom and discretion, like 
that of Sir Robert Peel in the reconstruction of the same 
par^ afbr its discomfiture by the Eevolution of 16S2, brought 
the Tories up &aai a small minority in the oommencenuat of 
the War of the Succession, to a decided nu^rity heiare its 
ekxie, in the C!ommons, Loiiis, and ^pieen's council. He "Wafl 
no oommon man who, in the £su» of a laige Whig majority 
at the commeno^ooent of the struggle, and desj^te the luster 
of JViarlborough's victories, could so take advantage of the mu* 
tatioBs of fortune, the changes of public (pinion, and the still 
more variable gales of court &v(»:, as, under sudi eiroumstaa- 
oes, to acccNoiplish such a success. 

It was not, however, either in Parliam^it or the calnnet 
98. that the main strength of Idie party which otbt* 
T^^iS *l»rew Marlborough, and brought about the peace 
in the press, ^f Utrecht, was ibund. It was tlie vast alnl- 
tly and saarcastio powers of thmr allies in the press which 
gbiff&Y produced the result. The Tories were supported by 
• band of writers who, in the war of pamjddets by which 
the contests of parties out of Parliament at thi^ period 
were carried on, never have been exceeded as regards the 
versatility of liieir powers, and thorough knowledge th^ 
possessed of the means of rousing and inflaming the general 
mind. Swift was liie most powerful of that determined 
band ; and never did intellectual g^diator bring to the dead- 
ly strife of envenomed rapiers qualities more admirably adapt* 
ed for success. AUe, penetrating^ and sagacious ; possessed 

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of great powers of argument ; greater still of sarcasm ; thor- 
oughly acquainted with human nature, and unfettered by any 
of the delicacies which, in men of more refined minds, often 
prevent the stirring of its passions, he knew how to excite the 
public mind by awakening their jealousy in regard to matters 
which came home to every understanding. Disregarding all 
remote considerations adapted only for the thoughtfiil, drawn 
from the balance of power, matters of foreign pohoy, «r the 
uHiBiate danger of England, he at once fastened on Marlbor* 
ough the damning charge of pecuniary cupidity ; held^ forth 
the continuance of the war as entirely owing to his sordid 
thirst of gain ; and all the wealth which flowed into the cof- 
fers of the great commander a«r wrung from the labors of hard- 
wrought Englishmen. Concealing and perverting what he 
knew was the truth of ancient history, he represented the Ro- 
man consul as rewarded for his victories by a triumph which 
cost less than a thousand pounds, and Marlborough eiyoying 
five hundred thousand as the fruit of his laurels. He forgot 
to add, that such were the means of amassing a fortune which 
victory gave to the Rwnan proconsuls, that Caesar, before ob- 
taining the province of Gaul, was enabled, on its prospect, to 
contract £2,500,000 of debt. It may be conceived what ef- 
fect such misrepresentations had upon a people already groan- 
ing under new taxes, terrified at the growth of the national 
debt, and inflamed with that envy which the rapid rise, even 
of the most exalted merit, scarce ever fails to produce in the 
great majority of men. The Whigs had able writers, too, on 
their side, but they were no match for their adversaries in the 
power of producing a present eflect on the multitude, what- 
ever they might be on the cultivated in fiiture ages ; and the 
elegant papers of Addison and Steele, in the Spectator and 
Freeholder, were but a poor set-off' to the coarse invectives 
and withering sarcasms of Swift. 

Bolingbroke and Harley were Tory and monarchical ii 
their ideas : they belonged to the High-Church party in relig- 
ion ; and in secret, they dreamed of the restoration of the ex- 

K K 

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23. iled dynasty. Being actuated by such principles, 
Jl^rLi^aiJ^ it is not surprising that they viewed with jealousy, 
tira^ mS. *^ ^* 1^* ^^^ ®P^^ **^d undisguised aversion, 
borough. ^jjg course of Marlborough's victories, and lent all 
the weight of their talents and influence to aid in the propa- 
gation of the Ubels calculated to destroy him. Those tri- 
lunphs, however glorious to England* however vital to its ex- 
istence as an independent state, were all adverse to their pb- 
htical principles. They threatened to extinguish tke mo- 
narchical wjd Roman Cathohc principles in the person of Louis 
XIV., and erect in supremacy, in their stead, the morose doc- 
trines of the Covenanters, the solemn league and covenaht, 
the principles of the Dutch Repubhcans. Queen Anne, with 
the usual instinct of crowned heads, when in secure possession 
of power, inclined to the same opinions. Site felt the same 
repugnance to the Whigs, who had placed her after William 
on the throne, that Louis Philippe, in after times, did to La- 
fiiyette and the patriots of 1880, who had erected the throne 
of the Barricades. The warmest partisans of royalty in Great 
Britain and Ireland were to be found in the Freo^ ranks ; 
they embraced many of the most generoug and exalted, be- 
cause disinterested, persons in the Briti^ dominioiis. Their 
appearance excited profound sympathy and admiration wher- 
ever they appeared on the Continent.* The Pretender him- 

* "Leurs aventures furent dignes des beaax Jours do Spaite et d'Aih- 
hneu. lis ^aient tons d'une naissance honorable ; attaches & leurs chefs, et 
affectioiiD^s les uds aux autres ; irr^procbables en toot. lis te IbrmaiaDt 
en ane compagnie de soldats an service de France. lis farent passes en 
r6vae par le Roi d St. Germain en Laye : le roi salna les troapes par una 
inclination de la t^te et le chapeaa bas. H r^nt, salua de noaveaa. et fon- 
dit en larmes. Us se mirent ^ genoax* baissants la t^te contre la terre, puis 
■e r^levants tout k la fois, ils lui iirent le salat militaire. lis furent envoy^s 
dela a les fronti^res d'Espagne, ce que formait nn march6 de 900 milles. 
Pirtoat ou ils passaient ils tiraient des larmes des yeaX des femmes, ob- 
teuaient le respect de quelqnes hommes, et en faisant rire d'aatres par la 
jnoquerie qui s'attache an malbeur. Us ^taient tonjours les premiers dans 
iui#bataille, et les demiers dans un^ retraite. lis manquerent souvent des 
choses let plos necessaires & la vie, oependant on ne les entendit jamais se 
fUiadf, dx«*pti des sqaffitmces de celoi qo'ils regaidaient oomme lev 

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self combated at Malplaquet against Mailborough in the 
midst of the chivahry of France. It would be erroneous, 
therefore, to consider the intrigues and animosity which at 
length efiected the downfall of Marlborough and brought about 
the peace of Utrecht as entirely the result of a revolution du 
JPalais — a bed-chamber aifair, in which the interests and glo- 
ry of nations were sacrificed to the spite or the jealousies of 
women ; and still more unjust would it be to stigmatize Bo- 
lingbroke and Harley as worthless adventurers, who were act- 
uated in their opposition, to the great hero of the age by mere 
persf^nal envy or poUtical hostihty. Mrs. Masham's bed-cham- 
ber intrigue and Bolingbroke's cabinet measures were merely 
the form which a great principle, at all times strong in En- 
ghsh society, and then peculiarly active, took in order to avert 
a danger with which, in their estimation, English institutions 
were threatened. And that principle is expressed in the 
words, " Fear God and honor the King." 

It is evident, ftom what has been said, that the Tory party 
had much argument on their side in this great 24. 

controversy ; and thatthough we, iitstructed by ofmorrf°recti^ 
the event, may now see very clearly that they SJ^jg^^^S 
erred on the occasion, yet there is much to be said Mari^rough. 
on their behalf; and the strongest judgment, as well as the 
purest patriotism, might at the time have found it difficult to 
say to which side the scales of reason preponderated. But 
there is one point for which no apology can be made, and for 
which all the heat of party and all the reality of impending 
danger can afibrd no excuse. This was the marmer in which 
they prosecuted their hostiHty against Marlborough and the 
war. Hiey did not dispossess the one and terminate the oth- 
er, as they might have done, by a simple vote of the House 
of Commons. They did not venture for long on any open at- 
tack on either. They were afi^il to measure their strength 
in open eombat with the conqiieror of Blenheim. They pte- 

•oaverain."— Chatbaubriand, Memoire* sur k Due de Berry, CEinvre^ 

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ferred the covert attacks of envy, malioe, and unoharitable- 
ness. Their weapons, with the people, were malignant libels ; 
at court, underhand bed-chamber intrigues. They did not de- 
prive the hero of his command, but they ftrove to thwart hia 
measures so that they might prove unsuccessM. Openly 
they declared that any minister deserved to lose his head who 
should propose to abandon Spain and the Indies to a Bourbon 
prince ; in secret they were negotiating with Ijouis at that 
very moment a treaty of peace, the basis of which was that 
very relinquishment. Ostensibly they still paid to Marlbor- 
ough the external marks of respect, but they ceased to admit 
him to their confidential councils ; they denied him the thanks 
of Parliament for his services ; they encouraged the circuit 
tion of the most malignant f^ehoods regarding his character; 
tiiey did their utmost to load hkn with indignities and mortis 
fications at court. Their object seems to hare been to induce 
him, through disgust at their ingratitude, to resign, and thus 
to have spared liiem the discredit of removing the greatest 
general of England from a command which he had held with 
so much glory. And when the temper or patriotism of Marl- 
borough was proof against their attack, they descended to the 
infamy of charging him with peculation, on grounds so lalse 
that they did not venture to bring them to judicial investiga- 
tion, even in the House of Peers, which they had swamped 
fcr his overthrow. At last they drove the greatest general of 
England, and the most signal benefactor that had ever arisen 
to his country, into disgrace, in order to bring about a dis- 
creditable peace, which deprived the nation of the chief fruit 
of his victories. 

And the result has now decisively proved that Bolingbroke 
«« ^ ^ and the Tories wwe as wrong on this occasi<»i in 

WbatwMlb* . . 

danger to b9 their general policy, as in the means for its accom- 

ffuardedtgainlt o * v 

ia the peace, plishmcnt ; and that the course which Godolphin 
and Marlborough contended for, and, but for the change of 
ministry, undoubtedly would have carried into effect, was the 
one imperatively required by the honor and interests of En- 

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gland. Spain and France were the two powers by whx»n 
the independence of England had been st^arately threatened 
for two centuries. The narrow escape made firom invasion, 
aad pessibly dismemberment, on occasion of the Spanish Ar- 
mada in 1588, and the battle of La Hogue in 1692, suffi- 
ciently demonstrate this. The Union of the two under one 
head, therefore, could not but prove in the highest degree par- 
ibus to the independence of England. Both parties seemed 
to admit this ; but they proposed difierent means to avert the 
danger. Marlborough and the Whigs maintained that it 
could be ^ectually done only by separating, in a^ permanent 
manner, the reigning fcvmUies in France aiid Spain ; and to 
efiect this, they proposed to settle the crown of Spain on 
Charles VI., archduke of Austria. Provided this was done, 
they had no objections that an appanage for the Duke of An- 
jou, the other competitor for the throne, should be carved out 
of the other possessi(ms of the Spanidi crown in Italy and 
Sicily. This was substantially the basis they assumed in the 
conferences oi Gertruydenberg in 1709. Bolingbroke and the 
Tories, again, contended that it was necessary to separate th« 
reigning fjamilies, provided only that tiie tux) crotons were pre- 
vented from imiting on one head ; and to prevent this, they 
introduced the stringent clauses into the Treaty of Utrecht, 
already mentioned, providing that the Salic law, which ex- 
dudes females from the succession^ should be the law of the 
Spanish throne, and that in no event, and under no circum- 
Btanees, should the crowns of Spain and France be imited on 
the same head. 

These provisions appeared, at first sight, to guard, in part 
at least, against the danger which threatened ; and ^ 

,.. Vi'ii 11. Therestilthai 

this circumstance, coupled with the natural desire proved uw 
of men to. terminate a long and burdensome war, wrong ia their 
rendered the peace of Utrecht generally acceptable mgTt '^^ 
to the nation. It was foreseen, however, at the time, and 
loudly declared by the Whigs, both in Parliament and the 
country, th^^t this security was seeming only, and that leavijBgr 

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390 -THE LIFE OF* 

a grandson of Louk XIV. on tho throne of Spain, wiA the 
name of an independent kingdom, was in reality more danger- 
ous to the security of England than the junction of the two 
crowns on the same head would have been. The event has 
now decisively proved the justice of this view. Had the crown 
of Spain been (^penly placed on the same head as that of 
France, the alliance of the two powers could not have been 
of long continuance. Castilian pride would have'Tevolted at 
the idea of being subjected to the government of Paris ; the 
war of independence in 1808 has shown what results follow 
the open assertion over the Peninsula of French domination. 
But by leaving Spain a crown nominally independent, but 
eioMiy united by blood and interest with the French monarchy, 
the object of Louis XIV. was gained, and in a way more safe 
and certain than even the union of the crowns could have af- 
forded. The family compact succeeded. A close and indis- 
soluble alliance between France and Spain, which subsisted 
unbroken for above a century, was the result. Spanish pride 
was soothed by the appearance of an independent government 
at Madrid ; French ambition was gratifiod by the substantial 
devotion of the whole resources of Spain to the purposes of 

The ejects were soon apparent. In every war which en- 
27. sued between France and England for the next 

Disastrous ef- ^ 

fects and scri- ccutury — ^that of 1739, that of 1756, the Ameri- 

ous doneers to , _ ^ „^^ r>. . i -rn 

England which can War, that of 1793 — Spam and France ere 
leariig n Boar- long united in hostilities against Great Britain. 
Spanish throne. Astonishing exertions of vigor and bravery on tho 
part of our countrymen alone prevented the alliance proving 
fatal to the independence of England. We were worsted by 
them in the very next contest which followed the Treaty of 
Utrecht, that which was terminated by the peace of Aix la 
Chapelle. The extraordinary genius of Frederic of Prussia 
and of Lord Chatham, joined to corresponding incapacity in 
the government of Louis XIV., gave us, indeed, a glorious ca- 
reer of triumphs during the Seven Years* War. But when 

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another power was added to theii league, it became evident 
iJmt England was overmatched by France and Spain. En- 
gland was brought by the forces of France, Spain, and Amer- 
ica, to the brink of ruin in the American war. The want of 
any popular historian to recount the events of that calamitous 
period, has rendered the nation insensible to the dangers it 
then ran ; when the American colonies were in open and fierce 
revolt, when Hyder Ali had driveu the English into Madras, 
and preparations were making for crossing the surf and aban- 
doning India forever ; and wh«i our colonial empire in the 
East was saved solely by the firmaiess of one ihan, whom En- 
gland rewarded for his conduct by an impeachment ! At that 
dreadful moment, the French and Spanish armies and fleets 
besieged Gibraltar, which was saved only by an extraordi- 
nary efibrt of skill on the part of Lord Howe, and soon after 
the coml»&ed fleets rode triumphant in the Channel, and 
blockaded Plymouth vrith forty-seven sail of the line, where 
the English fleet had sought refuge with twenty-one sail only. 
- At the commenceme][it of the Revolutionary war, the French 
and Spanish navies greatly outnumbered those of 3g. 
Great Britain,* and in every one of the actions |^^/^' 
which followed from that of St. Vincent, where the *^^* 
English fleet was fifteen sail to twenty-seven, to that of Traf- 
algar, where it was twenty-seven to thirty-three, the combin- 
ed fleets were superior in numerical amount to. our own. It 
is not generally knowm, but it is historically oertain, that En- 
gland was brought nearer to destruction by the alliance of 
Louis XVI. and the Spanish monarchy in 1782, than she af- 
terward was by the arms and power of Napoleon. And who- 
ever contemplates these events with calnmess and impartiali- 


Line fitibr Service. FrigAtes. 

French . .82 79 

Spanish _76 68 

158 , 147 

English ........ 115 83 

Bxceis of French and Spanish ... 43 63 

James's Naval HigUyry, U 49^1«53. Appx. 11, 6 and 7. 

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ty, will hare little difficulty in arriTing at the conclusion that, 
had not the naval resources of France been destroyed by the 
confiflcations and disasters of the Revolution, and the strength 
of the Peninsula been bound to our side by the unprovoked at- 
tack of Napoleon on Spanish independence in 1808^ it is more 
than doubtful whether, ere this, the maritime superiority and 
colonial empire of England would not have been destroyed, 
and with them our national independeiM^ £)rever lost. Such 
and so real were the dangers which Marlborough strove to 
avert ; such and so great the perils brought upon the state by 
the Tories in 1 7 1 2, from sufiering poUtical passions and private 
interests to render them insensible to the calls of public duty. 
And it is worthy of especial observation, that this danger, 
39. from the close alliance of France and Spain, was 
havTar^n^" entirely otdng to the family compact, arising from 
8pJlSrt[°S^*' the Bourbons having been permitted by the Treaty 
«^ce. ^ Utrecht to remain on the throne of Spain. Pri- 

or to that succession, France and Spain were not only nev^ 
in alliance, but always on terms of the most bitter and ran- 
oarotts hostility. " My father's hemes would rise from theit 
grave,*' was a common saying in Castile^ " if he could foresee 
a war with France." All the greatest wars in which France, 
prior to the succesaon of 1703, had engaged with continental 
powers, had been with Spain. A French monarch had be^ 
made prisoner at Pavia, and conducted to Madrid : Frmick 
chivalry avafiged the insult at Rocroy and Lens ; Henry IV. 
and the Prince of Parma had exerted their rival taints against 
each other ; and even in the eady part of the reign of Louis 
XIV., the Spaniards were the most formidable enemies with 
which that monarch had to contend on the Ckmtinent^ So 
late as 1688, the same disposition of the cabinets of Madrid 
and Paris continued ; and it was the knowledge that Spain 
had iu secret joined the league of Augsbuig in that year against 
him, which determined Louis XIV. to exert all his influence 
to obtain the Spanish succession for his grandson.* With an 
* Capifiqux, Hist, de Loui$ XIV,, iii., 39dr 

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Austrian prince seated^on the thione at Madrid, this al]uui09 
i)i France and Spain was not only impossible, bat it was cer- 
tain that the resources of the Peninsula would be mainly di- 
rected in hostility to French interests. Mutual necessity, and 
jealousy of th^ formidable common enemy, would have made 
Spain and England as cordial allies during the whole of tlie 
eighteenth o^itury, as Scotland and France were in the da3rs 
of Scottish independence ; as Turkey and France were during 
the long wars of the latter power with the Imperiahsts in 6ep- 
many ; or as Spain and England became oa the occasion of 
the invasion <^ the Peninsula by Napoleon in 1808. It was 
this great benefit which Maribo9ugh*s victories had secured 
for his countty ; it is this alliance which his diplomacy,' had 
it been unopposed at home, would have secured, instead of the 
subservient government which, for a whole century after, 
placed its fleets and annies at the disposal of the French gov- 
ernment, and brought Great Britain to the verge of perdition 
in consequ^ace. 

If any doubt could exist on this subject, and with regard to 
Hfie imminent danger of a family alliance between .. ^•. 

Xv ^Vft8 a B^USG OX 

France and Spain to Great Britain, it would be ^ adrwitaM 

-itinT-i' •-! • rm i wluchmadeNa- 

removed by the following consideration. Though poieon eogfege 

f^ . . , « . • • -t 1 !• • in the Peuinsu- 

Spain, m the nrst instance, jomed the coaution lar w«r. 
against the French republic, she soon foil off irom it ; and the 
treaty between the two countries in 1795 was immediat^y 
followed by the accession of the court of Madrid to ihe league 
of our enemies. With Spain by his side. Napoleon was con- 
stantly victorious ; but from the moment that,^ thr(»igh liis 
perfidious aggression, he converted the Peninsular power into 
an enemy« his fortunes declined^ until, from the efiects of the 
double strain on his resources, he was mvolved in ruin.^ Taught 
by this great example, we shaU no longer wonder that Louis 
Xiy . made it the ehief boast of his reign, ** £nfin il n'y a plus 
de Pyrenees ;" and braved the hostility of combined Europe, 
and risked destruction from MarlbcHroii^h'B victories, in ord^ 
to secure the sucoession for his grandson. It will no longev 

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394 TUB LIFE Ol*. 

appear surprisiiig that Napoleon hazarded all upon preserving 
his hold of the Peninsula, and incurred destruction rather than 
abandon its stronghokls when he set fut on his Russian expe- 
dition. It vnLl cease to be a matter of wonder that Parisian 
diplomacy has been so incessantly directed since 183() to se- 
cure this benefit for the King of the French, and that Louis 
Philippe regards the Montpensier alliance as the brightest 
event of his reign. United by family compact to Spain, 
France has been proved by experience to be so strong is to 
become formidable to the liberties of all Europe. Severed 
fipom Spain, she is deprived of her chief means of aggrandize- 
ment, and in an especial manner ceases to be dangerous to the 
independence of Great Britain. 

The circumstance which, in every age, and in the opinion 
^31- of the most penetrating statesmen of Europe, has 
render tfcc ti- rendered the Spanish alliance of such vital import- 

Uance at Spain 

of such vitri ance to the French monarchy, is not merely the ac- 
France. oession of power whicli it brings, considerable 

though that has often proved, to the court of the Tuilleries. 
It is the securing it in rear which is the great advantage. In 
alliance with Spain, France can send her whole military force 
to the Rhine ; the weight of thirty-four millions of men is at 
once felt by Grermany. In hostility to Spain, half the force 
of France must be r^rved at home, or placed in observation 
on the Pyrenees to secure the southern provinces of the mon- 
archy from insult. The doubtful chance of ihe War of the 
Succession, the disastrous termination of the Peninsular con- 
test, has shown France but too clearly what a dangerous bat- 
tle-field for foreign hostility the mountains of Spain and Por- 
tugal afibrd. If we would duly estimate the addition the 
Spanish alliance makes, even without any actual increase of 
soldiers or sailors, to. the power of France, we have only to re- 
flect on the vast increase which the strength of England re- 
ceived without any great addition to its material resources, 
from the mere union with Scptland, and conaequent termina- 
tkm oC those mischievous intrigues which, befcHre that auspi- 

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ciooB eyent, constantly, on the breaking out of hostilities with 
France, occasioned a distracting warfare on the banks of the 
Tweed. Or perhaps a still apter illustration may be found in 
the present state of Great Britain and Ireland. Certainly no 
minister ever could add so much to the power of Great Britain 
as that one who, without drawing any supplies from the Em- 
erald Isle, should merely prevent the constant distraction of 
the resources of the empire from the alternately turbulent and 
miserable state of its inhabitants ; and whatever cause the 
people of Great Britain might have to applaud, most certainly 
its enemies would have little reason to thank the statesman 
who kindly provided a princess, the marriage of whom with 
an English prince might render real an alliance which all the 
efibrts of six centuries had been unable to consummate. 

If any surprise should exist as to the blindness of Boling- 
broke and the Tories, when they arrested the 32. 

- _ _ -- 1 , • . 1 1 , Instance of the 

course of Marlborough s victories and secured the same poUticai 

_.,-_. 1 x-« 1 1 infatuation in 

Spanish auiance to the French monarchy, or any our times. 
doubt as to political passion being the real cause which in- 
duced this insensibility to national interests, it would be re- 
moved by what has occurred in our own time. The heroic 
and persevering efforts of the nation during the Revolutionary 
war, the victories of Nelson and Wellington, had again re- 
duced France to its original limits ; and though the Bourbon 
dynasty was still on the throne of Madrid, yet the exaspera- 
tion and exhaustion of the Peninsula, consequent on the dread- 
ful war it had sustained with France, had rendered it no long- 
er formidable, at least for the present, as an ally of that poVer. 
But political passions in 1830, as in 1712, got possession of 
England, and with an infatuation which would be incredible, 
if the bUndness ever produced by those passions was not con- 
sidered, we surrendered the whole objects for which we had 
so long been contending, and which had, in part, at least, 
been secured by the triumphs of Marlborough and Welling- 
ton. With one hand we favored the partition of the kingdom 
of the Netherlands, which we ourselves had created to be ft 

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396 THE LIF£ QF 

«heck on France, and had goaraateed by the Treaty of Vieima 
in 1615 as a united power ; aided with our fleets the army 
of Louii Philippe in restoring Antwerp, the great outwork of 
Napoleon against this country, to the sway of the tn-color 
flag ; and converted the Flemish fortresses, the outwork of 
Europe against France, into the outwork of France against 
Europe. With the other we have crushed the eficwtts of the 
Spanish people to place a king of their choice on the throne ; 
kept alive for years a frightful and desolating civil war in the 
Basque provinces ; concluded the Quadruple Alliance, in or- 
der to change the Salic law, which we ourselves had stipula- 
ted for Spain, and solemnly guaranteed by the Treaty of ^ 
Utrecht ; and violated our pledged national faith, in order to 
place a succession of revolutionary queens oa the throne of the 

We have got our reward. The result has foHowed which 
33. the few thoughtful persons, whom liie prevailing 
have followed mania of the day had not carried away, clearly an- 
4wtki8t^e«. ticipated at the very first, from our revolutionary 
propagandism. Our whole policy, for the ten years during 
which it was dictated by pohtical passions — ^not regulated by 
regard to national interest»*-has turned to the advantage of 
our enemies. Louis Philippe has profited, as well he might, 
by the temporary eclipse of our reason. He has secured the 
Netherlands for France, with its magnificent fortresses, and 
noble harbor of Antwerp, by the marriage of a daughter ; 
and to all a^^pearance gained Spain, with its vast sea-coast 
and boundless capabilities, by the marriage of a son. He has 
tmited these powers to France by a more enduring bond than 
even family alliance — -the lasting tie of common interest aris- 
ing fixHU a conutton origin. Through all the changes of £)r- 
tune, revolutionary powers wiU hold by each other, because 
they feel that mutual support is essential to their defense 
against legitimate monarchies. He has condescended to ac- 
cept the princess, whom our strange and perfidious policy had 
rendered the heiress-presumptive of the throne of Madrkl, for 

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a BOH of France. The dream of Louis XIV. is realized t 
th^re are no longer any Pyrenees. By erecting the revolu* 
tionary thrcme of Belgium, and dit^^ossessing the male line in 
Spain, we have at one blow abandoned the whole secuiity 
gained by the victories of Marlborough and Wellington. We 
have done that for France which neither the ambition oi 
Louis XIV. nor the arms of Napoleon could efiect. We have 
abandoned even the idight secuiity against the «uiion of the 
French; and Spanish powers which Bdingbrok» stipulated by 
the Treaty of Utrecht. Th^e is no longer any red impedi- 
ment to the unk)n of the Fraich and Spanish crowns. £acb> 
od by th« Belgian and^Spanish alliances, Louis Philippe may 
deride our impotent protests. And when next we go to wai 
witU France^ we shall have to confront a power stretching 
from the. Scheldt to Gibraltar, and to combat fleets which 
in 1782 blockaded Plymouth with forty-seven sail of the line, 
and in 1793 outnumbefed the English navy by forty-three 
line of battle ships ! 

It is stated by Capefigue, in his admif^ble History of Lotw 
XIV.,* that w^ should en much if we itaagined 34. 
that the revocation of the Edict of Nantes wa* re- ^^i^ to 
garded-in the same light by its cotemporaries with ^^hi^htfji" 
which it is viewed by ourselves. Notwithstanding prevail*, 
its frightful cruelty, it was universally regarded by the domi- 
nant CathoHc majority over all Europe as a master-piece of 
political wisdom ; a measure alike called for by its evident 
justice and its palpaHe ezpedience.f Even the massacre of 
St. Bartholomew is never menticmed by the cotemporary Cath- 
olic historians save with exultation ; .and Charles IX., who 
perpetrated it, is the ol^t of universal eulogium.:^ It was 
the. same in 1793. The expatriation of a hundred thou- 
sand emigrants, the confiscation of their estates, the mur- 
d^ of a tithe of their nsunber oa the scaflbld^ the destruction 

* By far the best histoiy of that eventfal reign which has yet appoared 
In'Barope. t Ca1»efigue, Hist, cte Louis X/V., iii^ 179. 

\ GArxnovit, Hitt, M ht JR^orme, iiu» S3», 240. 

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of a million of lives during the Revolution, excited neither in- 
dignation nor oommiaeration in the Jacobin majority in France. 
It was universally regarded by them as a measure equally ex- 
pedient, justifiable, and necessary. The entire abandonment 
at once of oiir public faith and national policy, in like manner, 
during the fervor of political passions in this country, some 
years ago, in relation both to Spain and the Netherlands ; the 
nourishing a frightful civil war for years together on the banks 
of the Ebro ; the dispossessing a sovereign we were pledged 
as a nation to maintain on the throne of Spain, excited no 
general feeling, either of pity or indignation, in Great Britain. 
It was thought to be quite natural and proper that vre should 
supplant legitimate kings by revolutionary queons in every 
country around us. Examples of this sort are fitted to awaken 
at once feelings of charity and distrust in our breasts— charity 
to others, distrust of ourselves. They may teach us to view 
with a lenient, if not a forgiving eye, the aberrations of those 
nations which have yielded to the force of those passions un- 
der which, with so 'many more means of resistance, our own 
understandings have so violently reeled ; and to examine anx- 
iously whether many of the pubhc measures which at the 
time are the subject of the most general approbation in Great 
Britain, are not in reality as unjust, and will not be condemn- 
ed by posterity as unanimously, as the revocation of the Edict 
of Nantes, or any other of the most atrocious acts by which 
the pages of history are stained. 

The remarkable analogy must strike even the most super- 
35. ficial observer, between the positimi of the Tories, 
^ee!?3ierit- w^^ ^^^ poUcy which they adopted during the con- 
ToriS in^^e test of the Succession, and that ^v^ch th6 Whigs 
Succession, occupiod, and their conduct during the war of the 
that of tfw "^ Revolution. On both occasions, the opposition was 
Revolution, determinedly set against a war, which a ministry 
in power was carrjdng on with vigor and success against a 
preponderating power in France, that threatened, and had 
wellnigh overturned, the independence of all the adjoining 

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■tates in Europe. In both, the contest was one of life or death 
for the liberties and even the existence of England ; and yet 
the opposition in both exerted their whole influence and aehil- 
ities to mar its progress and impede its success. In both, a 
great and victorious English general headed the forces of the 
alliance ; and in both, for a series of years, his successes were 
imderrated, his achievements vilified, his eflbrts thwarted, by 
the opposition in the very country whose glory he was daily 
augmenting, and securely e^blishing on a more durable foun* 
dation. In both, Great Britain was combating a power which 
had proved itself to be the deadliest enemy to real freedom, 
for it is hard to say whether Louis XIV.'s persecution of the 
Protestants, or the atrocities of the Convention at Paris a cen- 
tury after, inflicted the crudest wounds on the cause of liber- 
ty. In both, the league of the allies, though originally spring- 
ing out of this unbearable oppression, had come to hinge main- 
ly on the necessity of preventing the political power of France 
being extended over Spain. In both, the chief seats of war 
for the English and French armies were Spain and the Low 
Countries; and in both, the decisive blows were at length 
struck on the Flemish plains. 

And the crisis in both brings the parallel still closer, and 
to a most sincfular, and some may think almost „ 36. 

. j' Extraordinary 

providential, coincidence: for tn May, 1712, the coincidence in 

■^ , . Ihecriaiaoftho 

Tories consummated the war on which they had two contests. 
so long been engaged, by eflecting the separation a£ England 
from the alliance, when the iron barrier of France was at last 
efiectually broken through, and nothing remained to prevent 
Marlborough and Eugene firom marching in triumph to Paris ; 
and in May, 1812, just a hundred years after, the Whigs had 
the means put into their hands of eflecting their long-desired 
paeiflcation with France, by the prince regent sending for their 
leaders to form a ministry on the expiry of the year of restric- 
tion enforced on him by act of Parliament, on his assuming 
the power of king. If the Whigs had* succeeded in forming 
a government at that period, if the apparently trivial dispute 

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400 THfi LIFE OF 

about the household appointmeiitB had not rest(»red their cep^ 
ponents to power, there can be no doubt that a peace, similar 
to that of Utrecht, would have stopped the war for a time, 
and bequeathed its dangers and its burdens to another, per- 
haps the present a^. And this was on the ere of the Sala- 
manca campaign, at the opening of the Moscow expedition !^ 
It nmst appear, at first sight, iM)t a httk extraordinary, that 
« , ^"^^ . conduct so precisely similar, and in both cases so 

Rem causes of r j ' 

tiiis identitrof diametrically at variance with the real interests of 

conduct of the , , i . , . , •, , 

opposite par- the Country, should m this manner have been al- 

tfes on these ■,•»-,', • i 

oocadoDs. temately pursued by the two great parties whose 
contests have for nearly two himdred years so ^itirely en- 
grossed Eugh^ domestic history. But tiie marvel ceases when 
their internal poHtical situation is considered. In both eases, 
the opposition whjo resisted the war and strove to arrest its 
progress, which was conducted with glory and success by their 
• opponents, had recently before been dispossessed of power. 
The Tories, by the Revolutien of 1688, had been so com^ete- 
ly driven from the helm, that, as the event proved, they did 
not recover their ground for seventy years, and a change of 
dynasty at the time could alone secure them in it. The 
Whigs had, by the ministerial revolutions of 1784, been, aft- 
er the most strenuous efibrts on their part, so efiectually dis- 
possessed of power, that they had no pro^fiect of recovering it 
but by the national calamity of a failure kt the war in which 
their antagonists were engaged. Thus, by a singular cambi- 
nation of circumstance, the two parties, at the interval of a 
century from each other, stood in precis^y the same situation^ 
so far as the foreign war and its reacticms uposi their domes- 
tic prospects was concerned. The interests of both were iden-^ 
tified with the misfortunes of their country and the triumphs of 

* " The negotiatioa between tbe prince regent «nd l^e Wliigt was broken 
off on the 6th of Jane, 1813. On the 13th of the same monUi Wellington 
crossed the Portagaese frontier and commenced the Salamanca campaign, 
while on the 23d Napoleon paflsed the Niemen, and periled his crown and 
iiii Ufe on tiae preomriona iMue of a Rnsiian imraiicm."— Ainoir'a Europe, 
chap, bdv., $ .45. 

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its en^nies. Their wisheft, as is genersiUy the case, followed 
in the same direction. The secret incUnations of the Tories, 
in the War of the Successimi) were with the court of St. GJer- 
main's, hecause its restoration to royalty would at once have 
replaced them at the helm ; the secret wishes of the Whigs, 
in the war of the Revolution, were with the. tricolor flag, he- 
cause its triumphs would at cmce have ruined the Tories, and 
restored them to the much-coveted possession of power. In 
both cases the selfish prevailed over the generous, the party 
over the patriotic, feelings of our nature. In both the party 
in opposition were false to their comitry, but true, as they 
thought, at least to themselves. And both have obtained 
their just punishment by receiving the merited condemnation 
of succeeding times. 

Though the event, however, has deciavely proved that Bo* 
lingbroke and Oxford judged wrmig in detaching 33. 

England from the Grand Alliance in 1712, and exited fo^^he 
that their measures, by securing to France the ^^a^^flrea'. 
family compact with the Spanish Bourbcms, Som^S^ad 
brought the country to the brink of ruin in 1782, o^^spain. 
yet it must be admitted, in their vindicaticm, that plausible 
arguments were not wantmg to justify the unpatriotic course 
which they adopted. Great a« was the power of France in 
the tnne of Louis XIV., it was comparatively of recent growth. 
Serious as had been the perils of the naticm fr(»n his ambition, 
it had been placed in yet ^eater danger by the enterprises of 
the Spani^ monarchy. The terrors of the Amiada were yet 
fresh in the minds of the people ; the mcmarchy of Charles V. 
was the nearest approach to imiversal dominion whidi had 
been made since the days of Charlemagne. If the Whigs had 
succeeded in making Louis XIV. accept the terms ofiered to 
him by the allies at Gertruydenberg in 1709, M^ch they were 
within a hair-breadth of doing, the rmnmrchy of Charles V. 
was reconstructed in favor of the Emperor of Germany, with 
an apparently considerable accession of power. The whole 
present dominicnis of Austria in Germany and Lombardy, Na- 

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pies and Sicily, Flanders, Spain, and South America, would 
have constituted the hereditary dominions of a power to which 
the imperial crown would, as a matter of course, have come 
to he permanently united. 

The Tories, however, in the time of Queen Anne, were too 
^ ,. ?• ^ . clear-sighted not to see that the danger from the 
picture of th« Spanish monarchy, great as it had been a century 

ruined Btate ,*^. ^_ V ,/. ,.• a, 

oftheSpaniah before, had passed away before their time, and that 
thi*"peri<KL* France was the power by which the independence 
of England was really threatened. If circumstances had ren- 
dered the junction, of the Spanish dominions to one or other 
imavoidable, it was evidently for the interest of Great Britain 
that it should be united to the distant and inland territories of 
the house of Austria, destitute of fleets and harbors, and con- 
stantly engrossed with wars with the Turks, rather than to 
the great and flourishing monarchy of France, with an ex- 
tensive sea-coast, and a navy rivahng our own, in close vicin- 
ity, and actuated by a jealousy of England of many centuries* 
standing. Bolingbroke has shown that he perceived these ob- 
vious truths as cleanly as any man, and consequently that the 
terrors expressed by the Tories on occasion of the peace of 
Utrecht, at the prospect of reconstructing the empireof Charles 
v., were h)rpocritical, and had been got up to conceal olgects 
fundamentally different. " Phihp II.," says he, " left his suc- 
cessors a ruined monarchy. He left them something worse ; 
he left them his example and his principles of government* 
founded in ambition, pride, ignorance, bigotry, and all the ped- 
antry of state. The war in the Low Countries cost him, by 
his own confession, five hundred and sixty-four millions, a pro- 
digious sum, in whatever specie he reckoned. At home, there 
was much form, but no good order, no economy or wisdom of 
poUcy in the state. The Church continued to devour its re- 
sources; and that monster, the Inquisition, to dispeople the 
coimtry, even more than perpetual war, and all the numerous 
colonies that Spain had sent out to the West Indies ; for 
Philip III. drove more than nine himdred thousand Moria- 

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coes out of his dominions by one edict, with such circumstances 
of inhitoanity as the Spaniards alone could exercise, and that 
tribunal, which had provoked that unhappy race to revolt, 
could alone approve. Abroad, the conduct of that prince was 
directed by the same wild spirit of ambition. Rash in un- 
dertaking, though slow to execute, obstinate in pursuing, thoughr 
unable to succeed, they opened a new sluice to let out the Httle 
life and vigor that remained in the monarchy. What com- 
pleted their ruin was this, they knew not how to lose nor 
when to yield. They acknowledged the independence of the 
Dutch commonwealth, and became the alHes jof their ancient 
subjects by the Treaty of Munster ; but they would not fore- 
go their usurped claims on Portugal, and they persisted in car- 
rying on singly the war against France. Thus they were 
reduced to such a lowness of power as can scarcely be parol' 
leled in any other kingdom. As to France, this era of tho 
entire faU of the Spanish power is likewise that from which 
we may reckon that France grew as formidable as we have 
seen her to her neighbors in power and pretensions."* 

Notwithstanding ail this, which subsequent events have 
TMToved to be entirely well founded, it is not surpris- „^ 40. 

m • ' f r^ Whatcourae 

ing that the Tones, m the days of Queen Anne, the Tories 

._ should have 

paused before contributing to such a result, as the pursued at 
consequence of the national efforts during ten cam- Utrecht 
paigns for the preservation of the balance of power in Europe. 
There were difficulties, and those, too, of a very serious na- 
ture, on all sides. They were right in their dread of recon- 
structing the monarchy of Charles V* ; their great error con- 
sisted in the way they set about preventing it. They did this 
by giving Spain and the Indies to a Bourbon prince, which at 
once closely united two great maritime powers, far more for- 
midable to Britain than the union of one of these with the irir 
land and far-severed monarchy of Charles V. ever could have 
been. What ihey should have done was to have given the 
crown of Spain and the Indies to the Austrian archduke, but 

♦ BoLiKOBROKE, On the Study of History, Let. 6. Worki, iii, 464, 4«5. 

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to have stipulated that it i^ould never be placed on the same 
head as the Imperial crown, or on that which wore the dia- 
dem of the hereditary dominions in Germany. But, though 
this would have preserved the balance of power, it would not 
have answered their secret views for rescuing Louis XIV. fnmi 
his difficulties, in order to prop the exiled throne of St. Grer- 
main's. Thence it was that they preferred all tke risks of 
leaving Spain and the Indies in the hands of a Bourbon 
prince, the result of which, seventy years afterward, brought 
England to the verge of ruin in consequence. Thence it is 
that they hava incurred the merited condenmation of all sub- 
sequent ages. 

It is difficult, however, to see even a plausible reason on the 
^. surface of things for the conduct of Great Britain 

2S^**foiSdfor in 1^34, in violating the Treaty of Utrecht, and 
S'e T?i!tySf*^ forming the Quadruple Alliance with France, for 
Qu^rSpie AiS- *^® purposo of dispossessing the male line,- which 
tace in 1834. g]j^ ^idud. herself established in Spain, as a security 
against its crown falling into the hands of a Fr^ich prince, 
and estaWishing the finale succession in its stead. Was it 
that the experience of tlie preceding forty years had shown 
that revolutionary dynasties were so very staWe, that it was 
necessary to violate our faith plighted at Utrecht in order to 
estabhsh a lasting democratic sovereign power in the Peninsu- 
la ? Was it that revolutionary governments had been found 
by experience to be so strict and honoraUe in their dealings, 
so correct and punctual in their payments, so abhorrent to any 
thing like repudiation of debts, that it was for the interest' of 
the commercial and money-lending state to uphold their estab- 
lidiment ? Was it that the annals of the French Revolution 
had demonstrated that the universal suffirage by whidi the 
Spanish Cortes was elected was so very safe and workable a 
state engine, that it might securely be intrusted to the fiery 
passions of Spain, in its apprenticeship to fireedom ? Was it 
'^at we were so very secure, that a queen or princess of Spain, 
heiress presumptive to the throne, would not attract the no- 

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tioe and win the regard of a piince of France ; and that thus 
the slender security provided even by the Treaty of Utreeht 
against the union of the two crowns on the same head might 
not be entirely destroyed ? Was it that French princes had 
been proved by history to be so singularly repulsive in their 
manners, or ungainly in their appearance, that there was no 
risk of th^ir attracting the notice of the heiress of Spain ? We 
know not what the motive wa» which led this nation to inter* 
fere in breaking through the male succession as settled by the 
Treaty of Utreeht, and establishing the female line in its stead. 
We know only that the thing was done, and by ourselves. It 
is for the authors of the Quadruple Alliance of 1834 to ex« 
plain its motives, and point out its advantages. 

The common argument used on this head, viz., tha^ the 
young queen» to whom the crown of Spain had 42. 
been bequeathed by Ferdinand VII., had been ac- oowmon tvrfor 
knowledged by the Cortes and constitutional au- behalf of 019 
thorities in Spain, aad that we, a constitutional uww©. ?^ 
raoftarohy, could not oppose a sovereign of the people's choice, 
is obviouid^y devoid of foundatu»|. The ^ttlement of the crown 
of Spain on tl\e male line, by the Treaty of Utrecht, was a 
public act guaranteed by cdl the powers of Europe, for pur* 
poses of general poHcy and the preservation of the balance of 
power. It was meant to guard against the precise danger 
which has since occurred, viz., the marriage of a Spanish 
pnnoBss, h^ess presumptive to the throne, to a prince of 
France. Serious dehberations, a congress of all the powei^ 
which had signed the Treaty of Utrecht, were requisite, be- 
fore the main security it provided against the dangers which 
had rendered the War of the Siiccession necessary was aban- 
doned. But nothing of that sort \i^as thought of The thing 
was done at once, without either congress or dehbefation, and 
in defiance of a solemn protest by Don Carlos, 1^ the head of 
the male line, against such an invasion of his rights and those 
of his family. The northern jpowers of Europe have never 

yet recognized the female line in Spain. And yet the Englisl) 

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406 THE LIFE or 

nation never seems to have been awakened to the impolicy, as 
well as bad faith, of these proceedings, till a Spanish princess, 
as the result to be naturally expected from such a splendid en- 
dowment of English creation, dropped into the arms of a piince 
of France. 

But the matter does not rest here. It would be well Ibr 
43. the honor and future fate of England if it did. 
terferroce to We not Only recognized the Queen of Spain in de- 
SarkSrdSS fiance of the Treaty of Utrecht, but we concluded 
SSi more"^ with France the Quadlruple Alliance, to uphold 
jiutifiiib^e. iiej jujj[ ^e Queen of Portugal on the throne, in 
opposition to the male and legitimate line in both countries. 
We followed this up by an axmed intervention, to put down 
the Carlists and Royalists in the northern provinces. Lord 
John Hay was sent with the royal marines ; General Evans 
was allowed to go with ten thousand volunteeris, armed with 
Tower muskets, and in the scarlet uniform. Warlike stores, 
to the amount of £450,000, were sent to Queen Christina in 
the space of three years. We thus succeeded, after a dread- 
ftil civil war of four years* duration, in beating down the he- 
roic mountaineers in the Basque provinces, and fixing a dy- 
nasty hateful to nine tenths of the Spanish nation on the 
throne of Madrid. Was this non-intervention ? Was this 
following up the principles of our Revolution, that every na- 
tion may dioose its own dynasty ? Did we not rather imitate 
the conduct of Louis XIV., who for twenty years strove to 
impose the Chevalier St. Greorge and the Stuart line on an 
unwilling people ? Can there be a doubt, that if the Span- 
iards and Portuguese had been let alone by France and En- 
gland, the revolutionary dynasty of queens, with all its at- 
tendant dangers of French princes, would long since have 
been sunk to the earth in both parts of the Peninsula ? If 
not, why did we interfere, and nourish for four long years a 
firightiul civil war on the Ebro ? In concluding the Quadru- 
ple Alliance, and aiding the Spanish revolutionists to estaUiah 
a queen upon the throne of Madrid, we forced a hated ifynaaty 

,_ DigMz£dJ3fi^^OOQlC 


Upon an unwilling nation, as much bj& th6 allies did when, in 
1815, they restored the Bourbons to the throne of France by 
the force of English and Prussian bayonets. And we acted 
not less in opposition to the principles of our own Revolution 
than to the national faith pledged at Utrecht, or the plainest 
national mterests, demonstrated by the most important events 
of the subsequent period. . ^ 

What we should have done is quite plain. It was prescrib- 
ed alike by national faith and public expedience. 44. 

•^ •^, -"^ Wbat England 

We should have done what Cardinal Mazarine should h«ve 

done oil the oc* 

did during the English, Mr. Pitt during the early casion. 
part of the French, Revolution. We should have interfered 
neither in favor of the one party nor the other ; but, preserv- 
ing a strict neutrality, recognized and continued the national 
treaties with that government which the nation ultimately 
adopted, as the one suited to the wishes, and protective of the 
interests, of the majority of its inhabitants. If driven by 
necessity to interfere, it should Have been in support of that 
line of descent which our own security and the interests of Eu- 
rope required, and the faith of treaties guaranteed, rather than 
of that which endangered the former and violated the latter. 
We did none of these things. We interfered by the weight 
of diplomacy and the force of arms to force a hateftd demo* 
cratib regime upon a people whose hearts were essentially 
monarchical ; and we succeeded in establishing a government 
at Madrid against the wishes of nine tenths of the people of 
the country. • 

We now see the result. We have received our just pun- 
ishment in behdlding the consummation of the 45. 
Montpensier alliance, and the dream of Louis webayen^w! 
XIV. and Napoleon realized, by the extension of *^*^«<^ 
FreiKjh influence from the Schddt to Gibraltar. At on# 
blow we have undone the whole wort of the wars of the 
Succession and Revolution. We have lost, by a single act, 
the fruit of the victories of Marlborough and the triumphs of 
Welljpgtim. The barrier in the Netherlands, the teounter- 

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408 THB hir^ Of 

poioe in tbe Peninsuia, have been alike lost, or, rather, thm 
weight has been added to the power of our ^mmies. Snghtnd 
leeB cleadj enough now the erroneous policy in which hot 
rulers have got themselves involved, and the manner in whkli 
they have played into the hands of our enemies ; but she does 
not see as yet where the fault really lay, and of what we re- 
ally ought to be a^amed. She is ashamed of having been 
deceived, but not of having been the deceiver. It in £)r the 
latter, however, she should really feel humiliation. To be 
duped in negotiation, or outdone in love, is no unusual occur- 
rence ; diplomatic cunning is frequently the reseur^ pf iiip, 
weak against the strong, of the perfidious against the unsus- 
pecting. To break treaties, oppress allies, and foment direful 
eivil wars for the propagation d political opinions or supposed 
party advantages — ^these are the real onuses fc»r which na- 
tions must answer, and which call down a righteous retribu- 
tion upon their rulers and themselves. 

By the course which England has of late years adopted in 

4^ regard to Spain, sba has deprived herself of all ti- 

loitau title to tie to com]>lain, even of any real violation of the 

complain of , xt • 

aay violation Treaty of Utreoht by any other power. Havmg 

of the Treaty , « , n • , • » . • • • 

of utrocht set the first example of violatmg its {urovisLcnis, m 
the essential article of the suceeasicni to the throne, ^ob can no 
longer, with efiect, uplnraid France fc« ii^firingement of it in in- 
fericHT particulars. But, in truth, Louis Philippe, in the Mont- 
pensier marriage, violated none of the provisions of the Treaty 
of Utrecht ; whether he deviated firom any promises made at 
the Chateau d'£u is fi matter of comparatively little import- 
ance, concerning which the statesmen of the two countries are 
at variance. There is no prohibition in the Treaty of Utrecht 
of the marriage of French princes with Spanish princesses, or 
vice versa; there is not a word said about such marriages at 
all. It was as unnecessary as it would have been ungracious ; 
for when the sucoessicm to the crown of Madrid was strictly 
entailed on heirs male, no princfe of the French blood, by mar- 
rying an Infanta oi Spain, coul4 endanger the peace of Eu- 

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xope b^ succeeding^ through her, to the throne. Accordingly, 
Domerous instances have since occurred of fiuch marriages, 
vdthout their having excited any attention, or been ever deem- 
ed infringements of the Treaty of Utrecht.* 

But when England joined with France in 1834 to alter the 
order of succession in Spain, and- to force a dynas- 47. 
ty of queens, surroimded by Republican. institu- wh^Serab- 
tions, on an unwilling people, the case was entire- ^^Snefor 
ly altered. The marriage of a prince of France ^^SS^ja 
with an Infanta of Spain became then a matter ^^?^*3 
of tjie very highest importance ; it threatened the °^^ powcw. 
precise danger which the War of the Successicm was under- 
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though in an imperfect manner, to prevent. There is, indeed, 
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" Bach marriages between French princes and Spanish princesses took 
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—were too impatient to wait till it could with propriety be solemnized ; and 
he married, in consequence, Maria Leckzinske, daughter of the King of Po- 
land.~8ee Di Toc^vitilli's Hist de LauU XV,, l, p. 178. 
M M 

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The principle by which the author has been governed was to admit few, if anr^ 
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Applications of the Science of Mechanics ta Practical Purposes. 
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Being a familiar Introduction to tlie Study of that Science. Wittx 
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This work contains tt«atises on the sciences of statics and hydrostatics, eonprising 
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