The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5)
by Thomas Babington Macaulay
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His offer was not accepted. Indeed, the plan of dividing the naval command between a man of quality who did not know the points of the compass, and two weatherbeaten old seamen who had risen from being cabin boys to be Admirals, was very wisely laid aside. Active exertions were made to prepare the allied squadrons for service. Nothing was omitted which could assuage the natural resentment of the Dutch. The Queen sent a Privy Councillor, charged with a special mission to the States General. He was the bearer of a letter to them in which she extolled the valour of Evertsen's gallant squadron. She assured them that their ships should be repaired in the English dockyards, and that the wounded Dutchmen should be as carefully tended as wounded Englishmen. It was announced that a strict inquiry would be instituted into the causes of the late disaster; and Torrington, who indeed could not at that moment have appeared in public without risk of being torn in pieces, was sent to the Tower, [675]

During the three days which followed the arrival of the disastrous tidings from Beachy Head the aspect of London was gloomy and agitated. But on the fourth day all was changed. Bells were pealing: flags were flying: candles were arranged in the windows for an illumination; men were eagerly shaking hands with each other in the streets. A courier had that morning arrived at Whitehall with great news from Ireland.


William lands at Carrickfergus, and proceeds to Belfast—State of Dublin; William's military Arrangements—William marches southward—The Irish Army retreats—The Irish make a Stand at the Boyne—The Army of James—The Army of William—Walker, now Bishop of Derry, accompanies the Army—William reconnoitres the Irish Position; William is wounded—Battle of the Boyne—Flight of James—Loss of the two Armies—Fall of Drogheda; State of Dublin—James flies to France; Dublin evacuated by the French and Irish Troops—Entry of William into Dublin—Effect produced in France by the News from Ireland—Effect produced at Rome by the News from Ireland—Effect produced in London by the News from Ireland—James arrives in France; his Reception there—Tourville attempts a Descent on England—Teignmouth destroyed—Excitement of the English Nation against the French—The Jacobite Press—The Jacobite Form of Prayer and Humiliation—Clamour against the nonjuring Bishops—Military Operations in Ireland; Waterford taken—The Irish Army collected at Limerick; Lauzun pronounces that the Place cannot be defended—The Irish insist on defending Limerick—Tyrconnel is against defending Limerick; Limerick defended by the Irish alone—Sarsfield surprises the English Artillery—Arrival of Baldearg O'Donnel at Limerick—The Besiegers suffer from the Rains—Unsuccessful Assault on Limerick; The Siege raised—Tyrconnel and Lauzun go to France; William returns to England; Reception of William in England—Expedition to the South of Ireland—Marlborough takes Cork—Marlborough takes Kinsale—Affairs of Scotland; Intrigues of Montgomery with the Jacobites—War in the Highlands—Fort William built; Meeting of the Scottish Parliament—Melville Lord High Commissioner; the Government obtains a Majority—Ecclesiastical Legislation—The Coalition between the Club and the Jacobites dissolved—The Chiefs of the Club betray each other—General Acquiescence in the new Ecclesiastical Polity—Complaints of the Episcopalians—The Presbyterian Conjurors—William dissatisfied with the Ecclesiastical Arrangements in Scotland—Meeting of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland—State of Affairs on the Continent—The Duke of Savoy joins the Coalition—Supplies voted; Ways and Means—Proceedings against Torrington—Torrington's Trial and Acquittal—Animosity of the Whigs against Caermarthen—Jacobite Plot—Meeting of the leading Conspirators—The Conspirators determine to send Preston to Saint Germains—Papers entrusted to Preston—Information of the Plot given to Caermarthen—Arrest of Preston and his Companions

WILLIAM had been, during the whole spring, impatiently expected in Ulster. The Protestant settlements along the coast of that province had, in the course of the month of May, been repeatedly agitated by false reports of his arrival. It was not, however, till the afternoon of the fourteenth of June that he landed at Carrickfergus. The inhabitants of the town crowded the main street and greeted him with loud acclamations: but they caught only a glimpse of him. As soon as he was on dry ground he mounted and set off for Belfast. On the road he was met by Schomberg. The meeting took place close to a white house, the only human dwelling then visible, in the space of many miles, on the dreary strand of the estuary of the Laggan. A village and a cotton mill now rise where the white house then stood alone; and all the shore is adorned by a gay succession of country houses, shrubberies and flower beds. Belfast has become one of the greatest and most flourishing seats of industry in the British isles. A busy population of eighty thousand souls is collected there. The duties annually paid at the Custom House exceed the duties annually paid at the Custom House of London in the most prosperous years of the reign of Charles the Second. Other Irish towns may present more picturesque forms to the eye. But Belfast is the only large Irish town in which the traveller is not disgusted by the loathsome aspect and odour of long lines of human dens far inferior in comfort and cleanliness to the dwellings which, in happier countries, are provided for cattle. No other large Irish town is so well cleaned, so well paved, so brilliantly lighted. The place of domes and spires is supplied by edifices, less pleasing to the taste, but not less indicative of prosperity, huge factories, towering many stories above the chimneys of the houses, and resounding with the roar of machinery. The Belfast which William entered was a small English settlement of about three hundred houses, commanded by a stately castle which has long disappeared, the seat of the noble family of Chichester. In this mansion, which is said to have borne some resemblance to the palace of Whitehall, and which was celebrated for its terraces and orchards stretching down to the river side, preparations had been made for the King's reception. He was welcomed at the Northern Gate by the magistrates and burgesses in their robes of office. The multitude pressed on his carriage with shouts of "God save the Protestant King." For the town was one of the strongholds of the Reformed Faith, and, when, two generations later, the inhabitants were, for the first time, numbered, it was found that the Roman Catholics were not more than one in fifteen, [676]

The night came; but the Protestant counties were awake and up. A royal salute had been fired from the castle of Belfast. It had been echoed and reechoed by guns which Schomberg had placed at wide intervals for the purpose of conveying signals from post to post. Wherever the peal was heard, it was known that King William was come. Before midnight all the heights of Antrim and Down were blazing with bonfires. The light was seen across the bays of Carlingford and Dundalk, and gave notice to the outposts of the enemy that the decisive hour was at hand. Within forty-eight hours after William had landed, James set out from Dublin for the Irish camp, which was pitched near the northern frontier of Leinster, [677]

In Dublin the agitation was fearful. None could doubt that the decisive crisis was approaching; and the agony of suspense stimulated to the highest point the passions of both the hostile castes. The majority could easily detect, in the looks and tones of the oppressed minority, signs which indicated the hope of a speedy deliverance and of a terrible revenge. Simon Luttrell, to whom the care of the capital was entrusted, hastened to take such precautions as fear and hatred dictated. A proclamation appeared, enjoining all Protestants to remain in their houses from nightfall to dawn, and prohibiting them, on pain of death, from assembling in any place or for any purpose to the number of more than five. No indulgence was granted even to those divines of the Established Church who had never ceased to teach the doctrine of non resistance. Doctor William King, who had, after long holding out, lately begun to waver in his political creed, was committed to custody. There was no gaol large enough to hold one half of those whom the governor suspected of evil designs. The College and several parish churches were used as prisons; and into those buildings men accused of no crime but their religion were crowded in such numbers that they could hardly breathe, [678]

The two rival princes meanwhile were busied in collecting their forces. Loughbrickland was the place appointed by William for the rendezvous of the scattered divisions of his army. While his troops were assembling, he exerted himself indefatigably to improve their discipline and to provide for their subsistence. He had brought from England two hundred thousand pounds in money and a great quantity of ammunition and provisions. Pillaging was prohibited under severe penalties. At the same time supplies were liberally dispensed; and all the paymasters of regiments were directed to send in their accounts without delay, in order that there might be no arrears, [679] Thomas Coningsby, Member of Parliament for Leominster, a busy and unscrupulous Whig, accompanied the King, and acted as Paymaster General. It deserves to be mentioned that William, at this time, authorised the Collector of Customs at Belfast to pay every year twelve hundred pounds into the hands of some of the principal dissenting ministers of Down and Antrim, who were to be trustees for their brethren. The King declared that he bestowed this sum on the nonconformist divines, partly as a reward for their eminent loyalty to him, and partly as a compensation for their recent losses. Such was the origin of that donation which is still annually bestowed by the government on the Presbyterian clergy of Ulster, [680]

William was all himself again. His spirits, depressed by eighteen months passed in dull state, amidst factions and intrigues which he but half understood, rose high as soon as he was surrounded by tents and standards, [681] It was strange to see how rapidly this man, so unpopular at Westminster, obtained a complete mastery over the hearts of his brethren in arms. They observed with delight that, infirm as he was, he took his share of every hardship which they underwent; that he thought more of their comfort than of his own, that he sharply reprimanded some officers, who were so anxious to procure luxuries for his table as to forget the wants of the common soldiers; that he never once, from the day on which he took the field, lodged in a house, but, even in the neighbourhood of cities and palaces, slept in his small moveable hut of wood; that no solicitations could induce him, on a hot day and in a high wind, to move out of the choking cloud of dust, which overhung the line of march, and which severely tried lungs less delicate than his. Every man under his command became familiar with his looks and with his voice; for there was not a regiment which he did not inspect with minute attention. His pleasant looks and sayings were long remembered. One brave soldier has recorded in his journal the kind and courteous manner in which a basket of the first cherries of the year was accepted from him by the King, and the sprightliness with which His Majesty conversed at supper with those who stood round the table, [682]

On the twenty-fourth of June, the tenth day after William's landing, he marched southward from Loughbrickland with all his forces. He was fully determined to take the first opportunity of fighting. Schomberg and some other officers recommended caution and delay. But the King answered that he had not come to Ireland to let the grass grow under his feet. The event seems to prove that he judged rightly as a general. That he judged rightly as a statesman cannot be doubted. He knew that the English nation was discontented with the way in which the war had hitherto been conducted; that nothing but rapid and splendid success could revive the enthusiasm of his friends and quell the spirit of his enemies; and that a defeat could scarcely be more injurious to his fame and to his interests than a languid and indecisive campaign.

The country through which he advanced had, during eighteen months, been fearfully wasted both by soldiers and by Rapparees. The cattle had been slaughtered: the plantations had been cut down: the fences and houses were in ruins. Not a human being was to be found near the road, except a few naked and meagre wretches who had no food but the husks of oats, and who were seen picking those husks, like chickens, from amidst dust and cinders, [683] Yet, even under such disadvantages, the natural fertility of the country, the rich green of the earth, the bays and rivers so admirably fitted for trade, could not but strike the King's observant eye. Perhaps he thought how different an aspect that unhappy region would have presented if it had been blessed with such a government and such a religion as had made his native Holland the wonder of the world; how endless a succession of pleasure houses, tulip gardens and dairy farms would have lined the road from Lisburn to Belfast; how many hundreds of barges would have been constantly passing up and down the Laggan; what a forest of masts would have bristled in the desolate port of Newry; and what vast warehouses and stately mansions would have covered the space occupied by the noisome alleys of Dundalk. "The country," he was heard to say, "is worth fighting for."

The original intention of James seems to have been to try the chances of a pitched field on the border between Leinster and Ulster. But this design was abandoned, in consequence, apparently, of the representations of Lauzun, who, though very little disposed and very little qualified to conduct a campaign on the Fabian system, had the admonitions of Louvois still in his ears, [684] James, though resolved not to give up Dublin without a battle, consented to retreat till he should reach some spot where he might have the vantage of ground. When therefore William's advanced guard reached Dundalk, nothing was to be seen of the Irish Army, except a great cloud of dust which was slowly rolling southwards towards Ardee. The English halted one night near the ground on which Schomberg's camp had been pitched in the preceding year; and many sad recollections were awakened by the sight of that dreary marsh, the sepulchre of thousands of brave men, [685]

Still William continued to push forward, and still the Irish receded before him, till, on the morning of Monday the thirtieth of June, his army, marching in three columns, reached the summit of a rising ground near the southern frontier of the county of Louth. Beneath lay a valley, now so rich and so cheerful that the Englishman who gazes on it may imagine himself to be in one of the most highly favoured parts of his own highly favoured country. Fields of wheat, woodlands, meadows bright with daisies and clover, slope gently down to the edge of the Boyne. That bright and tranquil stream, the boundary of Louth and Meath, having flowed many miles between verdant banks crowned by modern palaces, and by the ruined keeps of old Norman barons of the pale, is here about to mingle with the sea. Five miles to the west of the place from which William looked down on the river, now stands, on a verdant bank, amidst noble woods, Slane Castle, the mansion of the Marquess of Conyngham. Two miles to the east, a cloud of smoke from factories and steam vessels overhangs the busy town and port of Drogheda. On the Meath side of the Boyne, the ground, still all corn, grass, flowers, and foliage, rises with a gentle swell to an eminence surmounted by a conspicuous tuft of ash trees which overshades the ruined church and desolate graveyard of Donore, [686]

In the seventeenth century the landscape presented a very different aspect. The traces of art and industry were few. Scarcely a vessel was on the river except those rude coracles of wickerwork covered with the skins of horses, in which the Celtic peasantry fished for trout and salmon. Drogheda, now peopled by twenty thousand industrious inhabitants, was a small knot of narrow, crooked and filthy lanes, encircled by a ditch and a mound. The houses were built of wood with high gables and projecting upper stories. Without the walls of the town, scarcely a dwelling was to be seen except at a place called Oldbridge. At Oldbridge the river was fordable; and on the south of the ford were a few mud cabins, and a single house built of more solid materials.

When William caught sight of the valley of the Boyne, he could not suppress an exclamation and a gesture of delight. He had been apprehensive that the enemy would avoid a decisive action, and would protract the war till the autumnal rains should return with pestilence in their train. He was now at ease. It was plain that the contest would be sharp and short. The pavilion of James was pitched on the eminence of Donore. The flags of the House of Stuart and of the House of Bourbon waved together in defiance on the walls of Drogheda. All the southern bank of the river was lined by the camp and batteries of the hostile army. Thousands of armed men were moving about among the tents; and every one, horse soldier or foot soldier, French or Irish, had a white badge in his hat. That colour had been chosen in compliment to the House of Bourbon. "I am glad to see you, gentlemen," said the King, as his keen eye surveyed the Irish lines. "If you escape me now, the fault will be mine." [687]

Each of the contending princes had some advantages over his rival. James, standing on the defensive, behind entrenchments, with a river before him, had the stronger position; [688] but his troops were inferior both in number and in quality to those which were opposed to him. He probably had thirty thousand men. About a third part of this force consisted of excellent French infantry and excellent Irish cavalry. But the rest of his army was the scoff of all Europe. The Irish dragoons were bad; the Irish infantry worse. It was said that their ordinary way of fighting was to discharge their pieces once, and then to run away bawling "Quarter" and "Murder." Their inefficiency was, in that age, commonly imputed, both by their enemies and by their allies, to natural poltroonery. How little ground there was for such an imputation has since been signally proved by many heroic achievements in every part of the globe. It ought, indeed, even in the seventeenth century, to have occurred to reasonable men, that a race which furnished some of the best horse soldiers in the world would certainly, with judicious training, furnish good foot soldiers. But the Irish foot soldiers had not merely not been well trained; they had been elaborately ill trained. The greatest of our generals repeatedly and emphatically declared that even the admirable army which fought its way, under his command, from Torres Vedras to Toulouse, would, if he had suffered it to contract habits of pillage, have become, in a few weeks, unfit for all military purposes. What then was likely to be the character of troops who, from the day on which they enlisted, were not merely permitted, but invited, to supply the deficiencies of pay by marauding? They were, as might have been expected, a mere mob, furious indeed and clamorous in their zeal for the cause which they had espoused, but incapable of opposing a stedfast resistance to a well ordered force. In truth, all that the discipline, if it is to be so called, of James's army had done for the Celtic kerne had been to debase and enervate him. After eighteen months of nominal soldiership, he was positively farther from being a soldier than on the day on which he quilted his hovel for the camp.

William had under his command near thirty-six thousand men, born in many lands, and speaking many tongues. Scarcely one Protestant Church, scarcely one Protestant nation, was unrepresented in the army which a strange series of events had brought to fight for the Protestant religion in the remotest island of the west. About half the troops were natives of England. Ormond was there with the Life Guards, and Oxford with the Blues. Sir John Lanier, an officer who had acquired military experience on the Continent, and whose prudence was held in high esteem, was at the head of the Queen's regiment of horse, now the First Dragoon Guards. There were Beaumont's foot, who had, in defiance of the mandate of James, refused to admit Irish papists among them, and Hastings's foot, who had, on the disastrous day of Killiecrankie, maintained the military reputation of the Saxon race. There were the two Tangier battalions, hitherto known only by deeds of violence and rapine, but destined to begin on the following morning a long career of glory. The Scotch Guards marched under the command of their countryman James Douglas. Two fine British regiments, which had been in the service of the States General, and had often looked death in the face under William's leading, followed him in this campaign, not only as their general, but as their native King. They now rank as the fifth and sixth of the line. The former was led by an officer who had no skill in the higher parts of military science, but whom the whole army allowed to be the bravest of all the brave, John Cutts. Conspicuous among the Dutch troops were Portland's and Ginkell's Horse, and Solmes's Blue regiment, consisting of two thousand of the finest infantry in Europe. Germany had sent to the field some warriors, sprung from her noblest houses. Prince George of Hesse Darmstadt, a gallant youth who was serving his apprenticeship in the military art, rode near the King. A strong brigade of Danish mercenaries was commanded by Duke Charles Frederic of Wirtemberg, a near kinsman of the head of his illustrious family. It was reported that of all the soldiers of William these were most dreaded by the Irish. For centuries of Saxon domination had not effaced the recollection of the violence and cruelty of the Scandinavian sea kings; and an ancient prophecy that the Danes would one day destroy the children of the soil was still repeated with superstitious horror, [689] Among the foreign auxiliaries were a Brandenburg regiment and a Finland regiment. But in that great array, so variously composed, were two bodies of men animated by a spirit peculiarly fierce and implacable, the Huguenots of France thirsting for the blood of the French, and the Englishry of Ireland impatient to trample down the Irish. The ranks of the refugees had been effectually purged of spies and traitors, and were made up of men such as had contended in the preceding century against the power of the House of Valois and the genius of the House of Lorraine. All the boldest spirits of the unconquerable colony had repaired to William's camp. Mitchelburne was there with the stubborn defenders of Londonderry, and Wolseley with the warriors who had raised the unanimous shout of "Advance" on the day of Newton Butler. Sir Albert Conyngham, the ancestor of the noble family whose seat now overlooks the Boyne, had brought from the neighbourhood of Lough Erne a gallant regiment of dragoons which still glories in the name of Enniskillen, and which has proved on the shores of the Euxine that it has not degenerated since the day of the Boyne, [690]

Walker, notwithstanding his advanced age and his peaceful profession, accompanied the men of Londonderry, and tried to animate their zeal by exhortation and by example. He was now a great prelate. Ezekiel Hopkins had taken refuge from Popish persecutors and Presbyterian rebels in the city of London, had brought himself to swear allegiance to the government, had obtained a cure, and had died in the performance of the humble duties of a parish priest, [691] William, on his march through Louth, learned that the rich see of Derry was at his disposal. He instantly made choice of Walker to be the new Bishop. The brave old man, during the few hours of life which remained to him, was overwhelmed with salutations and congratulations. Unhappily he had, during the siege in which he had so highly distinguished himself, contracted a passion for war; and he easily persuaded himself that, in indulging this passion, he was discharging a duty to his country and his religion. He ought to have remembered that the peculiar circumstances which had justified him in becoming a combatant had ceased to exist, and that, in a disciplined army led by generals of long experience and great fame a fighting divine was likely to give less help than scandal. The Bishop elect was determined to be wherever danger was; and the way in which he exposed himself excited the extreme disgust of his royal patron, who hated a meddler almost as much as a coward. A soldier who ran away from a battle and a gownsman who pushed himself into a battle were the two objects which most strongly excited William's spleen.

It was still early in the day. The King rode slowly along the northern bank of the river, and closely examined the position of the Irish, from whom he was sometimes separated by an interval of little more than two hundred feet. He was accompanied by Schomberg, Ormond, Sidney, Solmes, Prince George of Hesse, Coningsby, and others. "Their army is but small;" said one of the Dutch officers. Indeed it did not appear to consist of more than sixteen thousand men. But it was well known, from the reports brought by deserters, that many regiments were concealed from view by the undulations of the ground. "They may be stronger than they look," said William; "but, weak or strong, I will soon know all about them." [692]

At length he alighted at a spot nearly opposite to Oldbridge, sate down on the turf to rest himself, and called for breakfast. The sumpter horses were unloaded: the canteens were opened; and a tablecloth was spread on the grass. The place is marked by an obelisk, built while many veterans who could well remember the events of that day were still living.

While William was at his repast, a group of horsemen appeared close to the water on the opposite shore. Among them his attendants could discern some who had once been conspicuous at reviews in Hyde Park and at balls in the gallery of Whitehall, the youthful Berwick, the small, fairhaired Lauzun, Tyrconnel, once admired by maids of honour as the model of manly vigour and beauty, but now bent down by years and crippled by gout, and, overtopping all, the stately head of Sarsfield.

The chiefs of the Irish army soon discovered that the person who, surrounded by a splendid circle, was breakfasting on the opposite bank, was the Prince of Orange. They sent for artillery. Two field pieces, screened from view by a troop of cavalry, were brought down almost to the brink of the river, and placed behind a hedge. William, who had just risen from his meal, and was again in the saddle, was the mark of both guns. The first shot struck one of the holsters of Prince George of Hesse, and brought his horse to the ground. "Ah!" cried the King; "the poor Prince is killed." As the words passed his lips, he was himself hit by a second ball, a sixpounder. It merely tore his coat, grazed his shoulder, and drew two or three ounces of blood. Both armies saw that the shot had taken effect; for the King sank down for a moment on his horse's neck. A yell of exultation rose from the Irish camp. The English and their allies were in dismay. Solmes flung himself prostrate on the earth, and burst into tears. But William's deportment soon reassured his friends. "There is no harm done," he said: "but the bullet came quite near enough." Coningsby put his handkerchief to the wound: a surgeon was sent for: a plaster was applied; and the King, as soon as the dressing was finished, rode round all the posts of his army amidst loud acclamations. Such was the energy of his spirit that, in spite of his feeble health, in spite of his recent hurt, he was that day nineteen hours on horseback, [693]

A cannonade was kept up on both sides till the evening. William observed with especial attention the effect produced by the Irish shots on the English regiments which had never been in action, and declared himself satisfied with the result. "All is right," he said; "they stand fire well." Long after sunset he made a final inspection of his forces by torchlight, and gave orders that every thing should be ready for forcing a passage across the river on the morrow. Every soldier was to put a green bough in his hat. The baggage and great coats were to be left under a guard. The word was Westminster.

The King's resolution to attack the Irish was not approved by all his lieutenants. Schomberg, in particular, pronounced the experiment too hazardous, and, when his opinion was overruled, retired to his tent in no very good humour. When the order of battle was delivered to him, he muttered that he had been more used to give such orders than to receive them. For this little fit of sullenness, very pardonable in a general who had won great victories when his master was still a child, the brave veteran made, on the following morning, a noble atonement.

The first of July dawned, a day which has never since returned without exciting strong emotions of very different kinds in the two populations which divide Ireland. The sun rose bright and cloudless. Soon after four both armies were in motion. William ordered his right wing, under the command of Meinhart Schomberg, one of the Duke's sons, to march to the bridge of Slane, some miles up the river, to cross there, and to turn the left flank of the Irish army. Meinhart Schomberg was assisted by Portland and Douglas. James, anticipating some such design, had already sent to the bridge a regiment of dragoons, commanded by Sir Neil O'Neil. O'Neil behaved himself like a brave gentleman: but he soon received a mortal wound; his men fled; and the English right wing passed the river.

This move made Lauzun uneasy. What if the English right wing should get into the rear of the army of James? About four miles south of the Boyne was a place called Duleek, where the road to Dublin was so narrow, that two cars could not pass each other, and where on both sides of the road lay a morass which afforded no firm footing. If Meinhart Schomberg should occupy this spot, it would be impossible for the Irish to retreat. They must either conquer, or be cut off to a man. Disturbed by this apprehension, the French general marched with his countrymen and with Sarsfield's horse in the direction of Slane Bridge. Thus the fords near Oldbridge were left to be defended by the Irish alone.

It was now near ten o'clock. William put himself at the head of his left wing, which was composed exclusively of cavalry, and prepared to pass the river not far above Drogheda. The centre of his army, which consisted almost exclusively of foot, was entrusted to the command of Schomberg, and was marshalled opposite to Oldbridge. At Oldbridge the whole Irish infantry had been collected. The Meath bank bristled with pikes and bayonets. A fortification had been made by French engineers out of the hedges and buildings; and a breastwork had been thrown up close to the water side, [694] Tyrconnel was there; and under him were Richard Hamilton and Antrim.

Schomberg gave the word. Solmes's Blues were the first to move. They marched gallantly, with drums beating, to the brink of the Boyne. Then the drums stopped; and the men, ten abreast, descended into the water. Next plunged Londonderry and Enniskillen. A little to the left of Londonderry and Enniskillen, Caillemot crossed, at the head of a long column of French refugees. A little to the left of Caillemot and his refugees, the main body of the English infantry struggled through the river, up to their armpits in water. Still further down the stream the Danes found another ford. In a few minutes the Boyne, for a quarter of a mile, was alive with muskets and green boughs.

It was not till the assailants had reached the middle of the channel that they became aware of the whole difficulty and danger of the service in which they were engaged. They had as yet seen little more than half the hostile army. Now whole regiments of foot and horse seemed to start out of the earth. A wild shout of defiance rose from the whole shore: during one moment the event seemed doubtful: but the Protestants pressed resolutely forward; and in another moment the whole Irish line gave way. Tyrconnel looked on in helpless despair. He did not want personal courage; but his military skill was so small that he hardly ever reviewed his regiment in the Phoenix Park without committing some blunder; and to rally the ranks which were breaking all round him was no task for a general who had survived the energy of his body and of his mind, and yet had still the rudiments of his profession to learn. Several of his best officers fell while vainly endeavouring to prevail on their soldiers to look the Dutch Blues in the face. Richard Hamilton ordered a body of foot to fall on the French refugees, who were still deep in water. He led the way, and, accompanied by several courageous gentlemen, advanced, sword in hand, into the river. But neither his commands nor his example could infuse courage into that mob of cowstealers. He was left almost alone, and retired from the bank in despair. Further down the river Antrim's division ran like sheep at the approach of the English column. Whole regiments flung away arms, colours and cloaks, and scampered off to the hills without striking a blow or firing a shot, [695]

It required many years and many heroic exploits to take away the reproach which that ignominious rout left on the Irish name. Yet, even before the day closed, it was abundantly proved that the reproach was unjust. Richard Hamilton put himself at the head of the cavalry, and, under his command, they made a gallant, though an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve the day. They maintained a desperate fight in the bed of the river with Sulmes's Blues. They drove the Danish brigade back into the stream. They fell impetuously on the Huguenot regiments, which, not being provided with pikes, then ordinarily used by foot to repel horse, began to give ground. Caillemot, while encouraging his fellow exiles, received a mortal wound in the thigh. Four of his men carried him back across the ford to his tent. As he passed, he continued to urge forward the rear ranks which were still up to the breast in the water. "On; on; my lads: to glory; to glory." Schomberg, who had remained on the northern bank, and who had thence watched the progress of his troops with the eye of a general, now thought that the emergency required from him the personal exertion of a soldier. Those who stood about him besought him in vain to put on his cuirass. Without defensive armour he rode through the river, and rallied the refugees whom the fall of Caillemot had dismayed. "Come on," he cried in French, pointing to the Popish squadrons; "come on, gentlemen; there are your persecutors." Those were his last words. As he spoke, a band of Irish horsemen rushed upon him and encircled him for a moment. When they retired, he was on the ground. His friends raised him; but he was already a corpse. Two sabre wounds were on his head; and a bullet from a carbine was lodged in his neck. Almost at the same moment Walker, while exhorting the colonists of Ulster to play the men, was shot dead. During near half an hour the battle continued to rage along the southern shore of the river. All was smoke, dust and din. Old soldiers were heard to say that they had seldom seen sharper work in the Low Countries. But, just at this conjuncture, William came up with the left wing. He had found much difficulty in crossing. The tide was running fast. His charger had been forced to swim, and had been almost lost in the mud. As soon as the King was on firm ground he took his sword in his left hand,—for his right arm was stiff with his wound and his bandage,—and led his men to the place where the fight was the hottest. His arrival decided the fate of the day. Yet the Irish horse retired fighting obstinately. It was long remembered among the Protestants of Ulster that, in the midst of the tumult, William rode to the head of the Enniskilleners. "What will you do for me?" he cried. He was not immediately recognised; and one trooper, taking him for an enemy, was about to fire. William gently put aside the carbine. "What," said he, "do you not know your friends?" "It is His Majesty;" said the Colonel. The ranks of sturdy Protestant yeomen set up a shout of joy. "Gentlemen," said William, "you shall be my guards to day. I have heard much of you. Let me see something of you." One of the most remarkable peculiarities of this man, ordinarily so saturnine and reserved, was that danger acted on him like wine, opened his heart, loosened his tongue, and took away all appearance of constraint from his manner. On this memorable day he was seen wherever the peril was greatest. One ball struck the cap of his pistol: another carried off the heel of his jackboot: but his lieutenants in vain implored him to retire to some station from which he could give his orders without exposing a life so valuable to Europe. His troops, animated by his example, gained ground fast. The Irish cavalry made their last stand at a house called Plottin Castle, about a mile and a half south of Oldbridge. There the Enniskilleners were repelled with the loss of fifty men, and were hotly pursued, till William rallied them and turned the chase back. In this encounter Richard Hamilton, who had done all that could be done by valour to retrieve a reputation forfeited by perfidy, [696] was severely wounded, taken prisoner, and instantly brought, through the smoke and over the carnage, before the prince whom he had foully wronged. On no occasion did the character of William show itself in a more striking manner. "Is this business over?" he said; "or will your horse make more fight?" "On my honour, Sir," answered Hamilton, "I believe that they will." "Your honour!" muttered William; "your honour!" That half suppressed exclamation was the only revenge which he condescended to take for an injury for which many sovereigns, far more affable and gracious in their ordinary deportment, would have exacted a terrible retribution. Then, restraining himself, he ordered his own surgeon to look to the hurts of the captive, [697]

And now the battle was over. Hamilton was mistaken in thinking that his horse would continue to fight. Whole troops had been cut to pieces. One fine regiment had only thirty unwounded men left. It was enough that these gallant soldiers had disputed the field till they were left without support, or hope, or guidance, till their bravest leader was a captive, and till their King had fled.

Whether James had owed his early reputation for valour to accident and flattery, or whether, as he advanced in life, his character underwent a change, may be doubted. But it is certain that, in his youth, he was generally believed to possess, not merely that average measure of fortitude which qualifies a soldier to go through a campaign without disgrace, but that high and serene intrepidity which is the virtue of great commanders, [698] It is equally certain that, in his later years, he repeatedly, at conjunctures such as have often inspired timorous and delicate women with heroic courage, showed a pusillanimous anxiety about his personal safety. Of the most powerful motives which can induce human beings to encounter peril none was wanting to him on the day of the Boyne. The eyes of his contemporaries and of posterity, of friends devoted to his cause and of enemies eager to witness his humiliation, were fixed upon him. He had, in his own opinion, sacred rights to maintain and cruel wrongs to revenge. He was a King come to fight for three kingdoms. He was a father come to fight for the birthright of his child. He was a zealous Roman Catholic, come to fight in the holiest of crusades. If all this was not enough, he saw, from the secure position which he occupied on the height of Donore, a sight which, it might have been thought, would have roused the most torpid of mankind to emulation. He saw his rival, weak, sickly, wounded, swimming the river, struggling through the mud, leading the charge, stopping the flight, grasping the sword with the left hand, managing the bridle with a bandaged arm. But none of these things moved that sluggish and ignoble nature. He watched, from a safe distance, the beginning of the battle on which his fate and the fate of his race depended. When it became clear that the day was going against Ireland, he was seized with an apprehension that his flight might be intercepted, and galloped towards Dublin. He was escorted by a bodyguard under the command of Sarsfield, who had, on that day, had no opportunity of displaying the skill and courage which his enemies allowed that he possessed, [699] The French auxiliaries, who had been employed the whole morning in keeping William's right wing in check, covered the flight of the beaten army. They were indeed in some danger of being broken and swept away by the torrent of runaways, all pressing to get first to the pass of Duleek, and were forced to fire repeatedly on these despicable allies, [700] The retreat was, however, effected with less loss than might have been expected. For even the admirers of William owned that he did not show in the pursuit the energy which even his detractors acknowledged that he had shown in the battle. Perhaps his physical infirmities, his hurt, and the fatigue which he had undergone, had made him incapable of bodily or mental exertion. Of the last forty hours he had passed thirty-five on horseback. Schomberg, who might have supplied his place, was no more. It was said in the camp that the King could not do every thing, and that what was not done by him was not done at all.

The slaughter had been less than on any battle field of equal importance and celebrity. Of the Irish only about fifteen hundred had fallen; but they were almost all cavalry, the flower of the army, brave and well disciplined men, whose place could not easily be supplied. William gave strict orders that there should be no unnecessary bloodshed, and enforced those orders by an act of laudable severity. One of his soldiers, after the fight was over, butchered three defenceless Irishmen who asked for quarter. The King ordered the murderer to be hanged on the spot, [701]

The loss of the conquerors did not exceed five hundred men but among them was the first captain in Europe. To his corpse every honour was paid. The only cemetery in which so illustrious a warrior, slain in arms for the liberties and religion of England, could properly be laid was that venerable Abbey, hallowed by the dust of many generations of princes, heroes and poets. It was announced that the brave veteran should have a public funeral at Westminster. In the mean time his corpse was embalmed with such skill as could be found in the camp, and was deposited in a leaden coffin, [702]

Walker was treated less respectfully. William thought him a busybody who had been properly punished for running into danger without any call of duty, and expressed that feeling, with characteristic bluntness, on the field of battle. "Sir," said an attendant, "the Bishop of Derry has been killed by a shot at the ford." "What took him there?" growled the King.

The victorious army advanced that day to Duleek, and passed the warm summer night there under the open sky. The tents and the baggage waggons were still on the north of the river. William's coach had been brought over; and he slept in it surrounded by his soldiers. On the following day, Drogheda surrendered without a blow, and the garrison, thirteen hundred strong, marched out unarmed, [703]

Meanwhile Dublin had been in violent commotion. On the thirtieth of June it was known that the armies were face to face with the Boyne between them, and that a battle was almost inevitable. The news that William had been wounded came that evening. The first report was that the wound was mortal. It was believed, and confidently repeated, that the usurper was no more; and couriers started bearing the glad tidings of his death to the French ships which lay in the ports of Munster. From daybreak on the first of July the streets of Dublin were filled with persons eagerly asking and telling news. A thousand wild rumours wandered to and fro among the crowd. A fleet of men of war under the white flag had been seen from the hill of Howth. An army commanded by a Marshal of France had landed in Kent. There had been hard fighting at the Boyne; but the Irish had won the day; the English right wing had been routed; the Prince of Orange was a prisoner. While the Roman Catholics heard and repeated these stories in all the places of public resort, the few Protestants who were still out of prison, afraid of being torn to pieces, shut themselves up in their inner chambers. But, towards five in the afternoon, a few runaways on tired horses came straggling in with evil tidings. By six it was known that all was lost. Soon after sunset, James, escorted by two hundred cavalry, rode into the Castle. At the threshold he was met by the wife of Tyrconnel, once the gay and beautiful Fanny Jennings, the loveliest coquette in the brilliant Whitehall of the Restoration. To her the vanquished King had to announce the ruin of her fortunes and of his own. And now the tide of fugitives came in fast. Till midnight all the northern avenues of the capital were choked by trains of cars and by bands of dragoons, spent with running and riding, and begrimed with dust. Some had lost their fire arms, and some their swords. Some were disfigured by recent wounds. At two in the morning Dublin was still: but, before the early dawn of midsummer, the sleepers were roused by the peal of trumpets; and the horse, who had, on the preceding day, so well supported the honour of their country, came pouring through the streets, with ranks fearfully thinned, yet preserving, even in that extremity, some show of military order. Two hours later Lauzun's drums were heard; and the French regiments, in unbroken array, marched into the city, [704] Many thought that, with such a force, a stand might still be made. But, before six o'clock, the Lord Mayor and some of the principal Roman Catholic citizens were summoned in haste to the Castle. James took leave of them with a speech which did him little honour. He had often, he said, been warned that Irishmen, however well they might look, would never acquit themselves well on a field of battle; and he had now found that the warning was but too true. He had been so unfortunate as to see himself in less than two years abandoned by two armies. His English troops had not wanted courage; but they had wanted loyalty. His Irish troops were, no doubt, attached to his cause, which was their own. But as soon as they were brought front to front with an enemy, they ran away. The loss indeed had been little. More shame for those who had fled with so little loss. "I will never command an Irish army again. I must shift for myself; and so must you." After thus reviling his soldiers for being the rabble which his own mismanagement had made them, and for following the example of cowardice which he had himself set them, he uttered a few words more worthy of a King. He knew, he said, that some of his adherents had declared that they would burn Dublin down rather than suffer it to fall into the hands of the English. Such an act would disgrace him in the eyes of all mankind: for nobody would believe that his friends would venture so far without his sanction. Such an act would also draw on those who committed it severities which otherwise they had no cause to apprehend: for inhumanity to vanquished enemies was not among the faults of the Prince of Orange. For these reasons James charged his hearers on their allegiance neither to sack nor to destroy the city, [705] He then took his departure, crossed the Wicklow hills with all speed, and never stopped till he was fifty miles from Dublin. Scarcely had he alighted to take some refreshment when he was scared by an absurd report that the pursuers were close upon him. He started again, rode hard all night, and gave orders that the bridges should be pulled down behind him. At sunrise on the third of July he reached the harbour of Waterford. Thence he went by sea to Kinsale, where he embarked on board of a French frigate, and sailed for Brest, [706]

After his departure the confusion in Dublin increased hourly. During the whole of the day which followed the battle, flying foot soldiers, weary and soiled with travel, were constantly coming in. Roman Catholic citizens, with their wives, their families and their household stuff, were constantly going out. In some parts of the capital there was still an appearance of martial order and preparedness. Guards were posted at the gates: the Castle was occupied by a strong body of troops; and it was generally supposed that the enemy would not be admitted without a struggle. Indeed some swaggerers, who had, a few hours before, run from the breastwork at Oldbridge without drawing a trigger, now swore that they would lay the town in ashes rather than leave it to the Prince of Orange. But towards the evening Tyrconnel and Lauzun collected all their forces, and marched out of the city by the road leading to that vast sheepwalk which extends over the table land of Kildare. Instantly the face of things in Dublin was changed. The Protestants every where came forth from their hiding places. Some of them entered the houses of their persecutors and demanded arms. The doors of the prisons were opened. The Bishops of Meath and Limerick, Doctor King, and others, who had long held the doctrine of passive obedience, but who had at length been converted by oppression into moderate Whigs, formed themselves into a provisional government, and sent a messenger to William's camp, with the news that Dublin was prepared to welcome him. At eight that evening a troop of English dragoons arrived. They were met by the whole Protestant population on College Green, where the statue of the deliverer now stands. Hundreds embraced the soldiers, hung fondly about the necks of the horses, and ran wildly about, shaking hands with each other. On the morrow a large body of cavalry arrived; and soon from every side came news of the effects which the victory of the Boyne had produced. James had quitted the island. Wexford had declared for William. Within twenty-five miles of the capital there was not a Papist in arms. Almost all the baggage and stores of the defeated army had been seized by the conquerors. The Enniskilleners had taken not less than three hundred cars, and had found among the booty ten thousand pounds in money, much plate, many valuable trinkets, and all the rich camp equipage of Tyrconnel and Lauzun, [707]

William fixed his head quarters at Ferns, about two miles from Dublin. Thence, on the morning of Sunday, the sixth of July, he rode in great state to the cathedral, and there, with the crown on his head, returned public thanks to God in the choir which is now hung with the banners of the Knights of Saint Patrick. King preached, with all the fervour of a neophyte, on the great deliverance which God had wrought for the Church. The Protestant magistrates of the city appeared again, after a long interval, in the pomp of office. William could not be persuaded to repose himself at the Castle, but in the evening returned to his camp, and slept there in his wooden cabin, [708]

The fame of these great events flew fast, and excited strong emotions all over Europe. The news of William's wound every where preceded by a few hours the news of his victory. Paris was roused at dead of night by the arrival of a courier who brought the joyful intelligence that the heretic, the parricide, the mortal enemy of the greatness of France, had been struck dead by a cannon ball in the sight of the two armies. The commissaries of police ran about the city, knocked at the doors, and called the people up to illuminate. In an hour streets, quays and bridges were in a blaze: drums were beating and trumpets sounding: the bells of Notre Dame were ringing; peals of cannon were resounding from the batteries of the Bastile. Tables were set out in the streets; and wine was served to all who passed. A Prince of Orange, made of straw, was trailed through the mud, and at last committed to the flames. He was attended by a hideous effigy of the devil, carrying a scroll, on which was written, "I have been waiting for thee these two years." The shops of several Huguenots who had been dragooned into calling themselves Catholics, but were suspected of being still heretics at heart, were sacked by the rabble. It was hardly safe to question the truth of the report which had been so eagerly welcomed by the multitude. Soon, however, some coolheaded people ventured to remark that the fact of the tyrant's death was not quite so certain as might be wished. Then arose a vehement controversy about the effect of such wounds; for the vulgar notion was that no person struck by a cannon ball on the shoulder could recover. The disputants appealed to medical authority; and the doors of the great surgeons and physicians were thronged, it was jocosely said, as if there had been a pestilence in Paris. The question was soon settled by a letter from James, which announced his defeat and his arrival at Brest, [709]

At Rome the news from Ireland produced a sensation of a very different kind. There too the report of William's death was, during a short time, credited. At the French embassy all was joy and triumph: but the Ambassadors of the House of Austria were in despair; and the aspect of the Pontifical Court by no means indicated exultation, [710] Melfort, in a transport of joy, sate down to write a letter of congratulation to Mary of Modena. That letter is still extant, and would alone suffice to explain why he was the favourite of James. Herod,—so William was designated, was gone. There must be a restoration; and that restoration ought to be followed by a terrible revenge and by the establishment of despotism. The power of the purse must be taken away from the Commons. Political offenders must be tried, not by juries, but by judges on whom the Crown could depend. The Habeas Corpus Act must be rescinded. The authors of the Revolution must be punished with merciless severity. "If," the cruel apostate wrote, "if the King is forced to pardon, let it be as few rogues as he can." [711] After the lapse of some anxious hours, a messenger bearing later and more authentic intelligence alighted at the palace occupied by the representative of the Catholic King. In a moment all was changed. The enemies of France,—and all the population, except Frenchmen and British Jacobites, were her enemies, eagerly felicitated one another. All the clerks of the Spanish legation were too few to make transcripts of the despatches for the Cardinals and Bishops who were impatient to know the details of the victory. The first copy was sent to the Pope, and was doubtless welcome to him, [712]

The good news from Ireland reached London at a moment when good news was needed. The English flag had been disgraced in the English seas. A foreign enemy threatened the coast. Traitors were at work within the realm. Mary had exerted herself beyond her strength. Her gentle nature was unequal to the cruel anxieties of her position; and she complained that she could scarcely snatch a moment from business to calm herself by prayer. Her distress rose to the highest point when she learned that the camps of her father and her husband were pitched near to each other, and that tidings of a battle might be hourly expected. She stole time for a visit to Kensington, and had three hours of quiet in the garden, then a rural solitude, [713] But the recollection of days passed there with him whom she might never see again overpowered her. "The place," she wrote to him, "made me think how happy I was there when I had your dear company. But now I will say no more; for I shall hurt my own eyes, which I want now more than ever. Adieu. Think of me, and love me as much as I shall you, whom I love more than my life." [714]

Early on the morning after these tender lines had been despatched, Whitehall was roused by the arrival of a post from Ireland. Nottingham was called out of bed. The Queen, who was just going to the chapel where she daily attended divine service, was informed that William had been wounded. She had wept much; but till that moment she had wept alone, and had constrained herself to show a cheerful countenance to her Court and Council. But when Nottingham put her husband's letter into her hands, she burst into tears. She was still trembling with the violence of her emotions, and had scarcely finished a letter to William in which she poured out her love, her fears and her thankfulness, with the sweet natural eloquence of her sex, when another messenger arrived with the news that the English army had forced a passage across the Boyne, that the Irish were flying in confusion, and that the King was well. Yet she was visibly uneasy till Nottingham had assured her that James was safe. The grave Secretary, who seems to have really esteemed and loved her, afterwards described with much feeling that struggle of filial duty with conjugal affection. On the same day she wrote to adjure her husband to see that no harm befell her father. "I know," she said, "I need not beg you to let him be taken care of; for I am confident you will for your own sake; yet add that to all your kindness; and, for my sake, let people know you would have no hurt happen to his person." [715] This solicitude, though amiable, was superfluous. Her father was perfectly competent to take care of himself. He had never, during the battle, run the smallest risk of hurt; and, while his daughter was shuddering at the dangers to which she fancied that he was exposed in Ireland, he was half way on his voyage to France.

It chanced that the glad tidings arrived at Whitehall on the day to which the Parliament stood prorogued. The Speaker and several members of the House of Commons who were in London met, according to form, at ten in the morning, and were summoned by Black Rod to the bar of the Peers. The Parliament was then again prorogued by commission. As soon as this ceremony had been performed, the Chancellor of the Exchequer put into the hands of the Clerk the despatch which had just arrived from Ireland, and the Clerk read it with a loud voice to the lords and gentlemen present, [716] The good news spread rapidly from Westminster Hall to all the coffeehouses, and was received with transports of joy. For those Englishmen who wished to see an English army beaten and an English colony extirpated by the French and Irish were a minority even of the Jacobite party.

On the ninth day after the battle of the Boyne James landed at Brest, with an excellent appetite, in high spirits, and in a talkative humour. He told the history of his defeat to everybody who would listen to him. But French officers who understood war, and who compared his story with other accounts, pronounced that, though His Majesty had witnessed the battle, he knew nothing about it, except that his army had been routed, [717] From Brest he proceeded to Saint Germains, where, a few hours after his arrival, he was visited by Lewis. The French King had too much delicacy and generosity to utter a word which could sound like reproach. Nothing, he declared, that could conduce to the comfort of the royal family of England should be wanting, as far as his power extended. But he was by no means disposed to listen to the political and military projects of his unlucky guest. James recommended an immediate descent on England. That kingdom, he said, had been drained of troops by the demands of Ireland. The seven or eight thousand regular soldiers who were left would be unable to withstand a great French army. The people were ashamed of their error and impatient to repair it. As soon as their rightful King showed himself, they would rally round him in multitudes, [718] Lewis was too polite and goodnatured to express what he must have felt. He contented himself with answering coldly that he could not decide upon any plan about the British islands till he had heard from his generals in Ireland. James was importunate, and seemed to think himself ill used, because, a fortnight after he had run away from one army, he was not entrusted with another. Lewis was not to be provoked into uttering an unkind or uncourteous word: but he was resolute and, in order to avoid solicitation which gave him pain, he pretended to be unwell. During some time, whenever James came to Versailles, he was respectfully informed that His Most Christian Majesty was not equal to the transaction of business. The highspirited and quickwitted nobles who daily crowded the antechambers could not help sneering while they bowed low to the royal visitor, whose poltroonery and stupidity had a second time made him an exile and a mendicant. They even whispered their sarcasms loud enough to call up the haughty blood of the Guelphs in the cheeks of Mary of Modena. But the insensibility of James was of no common kind. It had long been found proof against reason and against pity. It now sustained a still harder trial, and was found proof even against contempt, [719]

While he was enduring with ignominious fortitude the polite scorn of the French aristocracy, and doing his best to weary out his benefactor's patience and good breeding by repeating that this was the very moment for an invasion of England, and that the whole island was impatiently expecting its foreign deliverers, events were passing which signally proved how little the banished oppressor understood the character of his countrymen.

Tourville had, since the battle of Beachy Head, ranged the Channel unopposed. On the twenty-first of July his masts were seen from the rocks of Portland. On the twenty-second he anchored in the harbour of Torbay, under the same heights which had, not many months before, sheltered the armament of William. The French fleet, which now had a considerable number of troops on board, consisted of a hundred and eleven sail. The galleys, which formed a large part of this force, resembled rather those ships with which Alcibiades and Lysander disputed the sovereignty of the Aegean than those which contended at the Nile and at Trafalgar. The galley was very long and very narrow, the deck not more than two feet from the water edge. Each galley was propelled by fifty or sixty huge oars, and each oar was tugged by five or six slaves. The full complement of slaves to a vessel was three hundred and thirty-six; the full complement of officers and soldiers a hundred and fifty. Of the unhappy rowers some were criminals who had been justly condemned to a life of hardship and danger; a few had been guilty only of adhering obstinately to the Huguenot worship; the great majority were purchased bondsmen, generally Turks and Moors. They were of course always forming plans for massacring their tyrants and escaping from servitude, and could be kept in order only by constant stripes and by the frequent infliction of death in horrible forms. An Englishman, who happened to fall in with about twelve hundred of these most miserable and most desperate of human beings on their road from Marseilles to join Tourville's squadron, heard them vowing that, if they came near a man of war bearing the cross of Saint George, they would never again see a French dockyard, [720]

In the Mediterranean galleys were in ordinary use: but none had ever before been seen on the stormy ocean which roars round our island. The flatterers of Lewis said that the appearance of such a squadron on the Atlantic was one of those wonders which were reserved for his reign; and a medal was struck at Paris to commemorate this bold experiment in maritime war, [721] English sailors, with more reason, predicted that the first gale would send the whole of this fairweather armament to the bottom of the Channel. Indeed the galley, like the ancient trireme, generally kept close to the shore, and ventured out of sight of land only when the water was unruffled and the sky serene. But the qualities which made this sort of ship unfit to brave tempests and billows made it peculiarly fit for the purpose of landing soldiers. Tourville determined to try what effect would be produced by a disembarkation. The English Jacobites who had taken refuge in France were all confident that the whole population of the island was ready to rally round an invading army; and he probably gave them credit for understanding the temper of their countrymen.

Never was there a greater error. Indeed the French admiral is said by tradition to have received, while he was still out at sea, a lesson which might have taught him not to rely on the assurances of exiles. He picked up a fishing boat, and interrogated the owner, a plain Sussex man, about the sentiments of the nation. "Are you," he said, "for King James?" "I do not know much about such matters," answered the fisherman. "I have nothing to say against King James. He is a very worthy gentleman, I believe. God bless him!" "A good fellow!" said Tourville: "then I am sure you will have no objection to take service with us." "What!" cried the prisoner; "I go with the French to fight against the English! Your honour must excuse me; I could not do it to save my life." [722] This poor fisherman, whether he was a real or an imaginary person, spoke the sense of the nation. The beacon on the ridge overlooking Teignmouth was kindled; the High Tor and Causland made answer; and soon all the hill tops of the West were on re, Messengers were riding hard all night from Deputy Lieutenant to Deputy Lieutenant. Early the next morning, without chief, without summons, five hundred gentlemen and yeomen, armed and mounted, had assembled on the summit of Haldon Hill. In twenty-four hours all Devonshire was up. Every road in the county from sea to sea was covered by multitudes of fighting men, all with their faces set towards Torbay. The lords of a hundred manors, proud of their long pedigrees and old coats of arms, took the field at the head of their tenantry, Drakes, Prideauxes and Rolles, Fowell of Fowelscombe and Fulford of Fulford, Sir Bourchier Wray of Tawstock Park and Sir William Courtenay of Powderham Castle. Letters written by several of the Deputy Lieutenants who were most active during this anxious week are still preserved. All these letters agree in extolling the courage and enthusiasm of the people. But all agree also in expressing the most painful solicitude as to the result of an encounter between a raw militia and veterans who had served under Turenne and Luxemburg; and all call for the help of regular troops, in language very unlike that which, when the pressure of danger was not felt, country gentlemen were then in the habit of using about standing armies.

Tourville, finding that the whole population was united as one man against him, contented himself with sending his galleys to ravage Teignmouth, now a gay watering place consisting of twelve hundred houses, then an obscure village of about forty cottages. The inhabitants had fled. Their dwellings were burned; the venerable parish church was sacked, the pulpit and the communion table demolished, the Bibles and Prayer Books torn and scattered about the roads; the cattle and pigs were slaughtered; and a few small vessels which were employed in fishing or in the coasting trade, were destroyed. By this time sixteen or seventeen thousand Devonshire men had encamped close to the shore; and all the neighbouring counties had risen. The tin mines of Cornwall had sent forth a great multitude of rude and hardy men mortally hostile to Popery. Ten thousand of them had just signed an address to the Queen, in which they had promised to stand by her against every enemy; and they now kept their word, [723] In truth, the whole nation was stirred. Two and twenty troops of cavalry, furnished by Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, were reviewed by Mary at Hounslow, and were complimented by Marlborough on their martial appearance. The militia of Kent and Surrey encamped on Blackheath, [724] Van Citters informed the States General that all England was up in arms, on foot or on horseback, that the disastrous event of the battle of Beachy Head had not cowed, but exasperated the people, and that every company of soldiers which he passed on the road was shouting with one voice, "God bless King William and Queen Mary." [725]

Charles Granville, Lord Lansdowne, eldest son of the Earl of Bath, came with some troops from the garrison of Plymouth to take the command of the tumultuary army which had assembled round the basin of Torbay. Lansdowne was no novice. He had served several hard campaigns against the common enemy of Christendom, and had been created a Count of the Roman Empire in reward of the valour which he had displayed on that memorable day, sung by Filicaja and by Waller, when the infidels retired from the walls of Vienna. He made preparations for action; but the French did not choose to attack him, and were indeed impatient to depart. They found some difficulty in getting away. One day the wind was adverse to the sailing vessels. Another day the water was too rough for the galleys. At length the fleet stood out to sea. As the line of ships turned the lofty cape which overlooks Torquay, an incident happened which, though slight in itself, greatly interested the thousands who lined the coast. Two wretched slaves disengaged themselves from an oar, and sprang overboard. One of them perished. The other, after struggling more than an hour in the water, came safe to English ground, and was cordially welcomed by a population to which the discipline of the galleys was a thing strange and shocking. He proved to be a Turk, and was humanely sent back to his own country.

A pompous description of the expedition appeared in the Paris Gazette. But in truth Tourville's exploits had been inglorious, and yet less inglorious than impolitic. The injury which he had done bore no proportion to the resentment which he had roused. Hitherto the Jacobites had tried to persuade the nation that the French would come as friends and deliverers, would observe strict discipline, would respect the temples and the ceremonies of the established religion, and would depart as soon as the Dutch oppressors had been expelled and the ancient constitution of the realm restored. The short visit of Tourville to our coast had shown how little reason there was to expect such moderation from the soldiers of Lewis. They had been in our island only a few hours, and had occupied only a few acres. But within a few hours and a few acres had been exhibited in miniature the devastation of the Palatinate. What had happened was communicated to the whole kingdom far more rapidly than by gazettes or news letters. A brief for the relief of the people of Teignmouth was read in all the ten thousand parish churches of the land. No congregation could hear without emotion that the Popish marauders had made desolate the habitations of quiet and humble peasants, had outraged the altars of God, had torn to pieces the Gospels and the Communion service. A street, built out of the contributions of the charitable, on the site of the dwellings which the invaders had destroyed, still retains the name of French Street, [726]

The outcry against those who were, with good reason, suspected of having invited the enemy to make a descent on our shores was vehement and general, and was swollen by many voices which had recently been loud in clamour against the government of William. The question had ceased to be a question between two dynasties, and had become a question between England and France. So strong was the national sentiment that nonjurors and Papists shared or affected to share it. Dryden, not long after the burning of Teignmouth, laid a play at the feet of Halifax, with a dedication eminently ingenious, artful, and eloquent. The dramatist congratulated his patron on having taken shelter in a calm haven from the storms of public life, and, with great force and beauty of diction, magnified the felicity of the statesman who exchanges the bustle of office and the fame of oratory for philosophic studies and domestic endearments. England could not complain that she was defrauded of the service to which she had a right. Even the severe discipline of ancient Rome permitted a soldier, after many campaigns, to claim his dismission; and Halifax had surely done enough for his country to be entitled to the same privilege. But the poet added that there was one case in which the Roman veteran, even after his discharge, was required to resume his shield and his pilum; and that one case was an invasion of the Gauls. That a writer who had purchased the smiles of James by apostasy, who had been driven in disgrace from the court of William, and who had a deeper interest in the restoration of the exiled House than any man who made letters his calling, should have used, whether sincerely or insincerely, such language as this, is a fact which may convince us that the determination never to be subjugated by foreigners was fixed in the hearts of the people, [727]

There was indeed a Jacobite literature in which no trace of this patriotic spirit can be detected, a literature the remains of which prove that there were Englishmen perfectly willing to see the English flag dishonoured, the English soil invaded, the English capital sacked, the English crown worn by a vassal of Lewis, if only they might avenge themselves on their enemies, and especially on William, whom they hated with a hatred half frightful half ludicrous. But this literature was altogether a work of darkness. The law by which the Parliament of James had subjected the press to the control of censors was still in force; and, though the officers whose business it was to prevent the infraction of that law were not extreme to mark every irregularity committed by a bookseller who understood the art of conveying a guinea in a squeeze of the hand, they could not wink at the open vending of unlicensed pamphlets filled with ribald insults to the Sovereign, and with direct instigations to rebellion. But there had long lurked in the garrets of London a class of printers who worked steadily at their calling with precautions resembling those employed by coiners and forgers. Women were on the watch to give the alarm by their screams if an officer appeared near the workshop. The press was immediately pushed into a closet behind the bed; the types were flung into the coalhole, and covered with cinders: the compositor disappeared through a trapdoor in the roof, and made off over the tiles of the neighbouring houses. In these dens were manufactured treasonable works of all classes and sizes, from halfpenny broadsides of doggrel verse up to massy quartos filled with Hebrew quotations. It was not safe to exhibit such publications openly on a counter. They were sold only by trusty agents, and in secret places. Some tracts which were thought likely to produce a great effect were given away in immense numbers at the expense of wealthy Jacobites. Sometimes a paper was thrust under a door, sometimes dropped on the table of a coffeehouse. One day a thousand copies of a scurrilous pamphlet went out by the postbags. On another day, when the shopkeepers rose early to take down their shutters, they found the whole of Fleet Street and the Strand white with seditious handbills, [728]

Of the numerous performances which were ushered into the world by such shifts as these, none produced a greater sensation than a little book which purported to be a form of prayer and humiliation for the use of the persecuted Church. It was impossible to doubt that a considerable sum had been expended on this work. Ten thousand copies were, by various means, scattered over the kingdom. No more mendacious, more malignant or more impious lampoon was ever penned. Though the government had as yet treated its enemies with a lenity unprecedented in the history of our country, though not a single person had, since the Revolution, suffered death for any political offence, the authors of this liturgy were not ashamed to pray that God would assuage their enemy's insatiable thirst for blood, or would, if any more of them were to be brought through the Red Sea to the Land of Promise, prepare them for the passage, [729] They complained that the Church of England, once the perfection of beauty, had become a scorn and derision, a heap of ruins, a vineyard of wild grapes; that her services had ceased to deserve the name of public worship; that the bread and wine which she dispensed had no longer any sacramental virtue; that her priests, in the act of swearing fealty to the usurper, had lost the sacred character which had been conferred on them by their ordination, [730] James was profanely described as the stone which foolish builders had rejected; and a fervent petition was put up that Providence would again make him the head of the corner. The blessings which were called down on our country were of a singular description. There was something very like a prayer for another Bloody Circuit; "Give the King the necks of his enemies;" there was something very like a prayer for a French invasion; "Raise him up friends abroad;" and there was a more mysterious prayer, the best comment on which was afterwards furnished by the Assassination Plot; "Do some great thing for him; which we in particular know not how to pray for." [731]

This liturgy was composed, circulated, and read, it is said, in some congregations of Jacobite schismatics, before William set out for Ireland, but did not attract general notice till the appearance of a foreign armament on our coast had roused the national spirit. Then rose a roar of indignation against the Englishmen who had dared, under the hypocritical pretence of devotion, to imprecate curses on England. The deprived Prelates were suspected, and not without some show of reason. For the nonjurors were, to a man, zealous Episcopalians. Their doctrine was that, in ecclesiastical matters of grave moment, nothing could be well done without the sanction of the Bishop. And could it be believed that any who held this doctrine would compose a service, print it, circulate it, and actually use it in public worship, without the approbation of Sancroft, whom the whole party revered, not only as the true Primate of all England, but also as a Saint and a Confessor? It was known that the Prelates who had refused the oaths had lately held several consultations at Lambeth. The subject of those consultations, it was now said, might easily be guessed. The holy fathers had been engaged in framing prayers for the destruction of the Protestant colony in Ireland, for the defeat of the English fleet in the Channel, and for the speedy arrival of a French army in Kent. The extreme section of the Whig party pressed this accusation with vindictive eagerness. This then, said those implacable politicians, was the fruit of King William's merciful policy. Never had he committed a greater error than when he had conceived the hope that the hearts of the clergy were to be won by clemency and moderation. He had not chosen to give credit to men who had learned by a long and bitter experience that no kindness will tame the sullen ferocity of a priesthood. He had stroked and pampered when he should have tried the effect of chains and hunger. He had hazarded the good will of his best friends by protecting his worst enemies. Those Bishops who had publicly refused to acknowledge him as their Sovereign, and who, by that refusal, had forfeited their dignities and revenues, still continued to live unmolested in palaces which ought to be occupied by better men: and for this indulgence, an indulgence unexampled in the history of revolutions, what return had been made to him? Even this, that the men whom he had, with so much tenderness, screened from just punishment, had the insolence to describe him in their prayers as a persecutor defiled with the blood of the righteous; they asked for grace to endure with fortitude his sanguinary tyranny; they cried to heaven for a foreign fleet and army to deliver them from his yoke; nay, they hinted at a wish so odious that even they had not the front to speak it plainly. One writer, in a pamphlet which produced a great sensation, expressed his wonder that the people had not, when Tourville was riding victorious in the Channel, bewitted the nonjuring Prelates. Excited as the public mind then was, there was some danger that this suggestion might bring a furious mob to Lambeth. At Norwich indeed the people actually rose, attacked the palace which the Bishop was still suffered to occupy, and would have pulled it down but for the timely arrival of the trainbands, [732] The government very properly instituted criminal proceedings against the publisher of the work which had produced this alarming breach of the peace, [733] The deprived Prelates meanwhile put forth a defence of their conduct. In this document they declared, with all solemnity, and as in the presence of God, that they had no hand in the new liturgy, that they knew not who had framed it, that they had never used it, that they had never held any correspondence directly or indirectly with the French court, that they were engaged in no plot against the existing government, and that they would willingly shed their blood rather than see England subjugated by a foreign prince, who had, in his own kingdom, cruelly persecuted their Protestant brethren. As to the write who had marked them out to the public vengeance by a fearful word, but too well understood, they commended him to the Divine mercy, and heartily prayed that his great sin might be forgiven him. Most of those who signed this paper did so doubtless with perfect sincerity: but it soon appeared that one at least of the subscribers had added to the crime of betraying his country the crime of calling God to witness a falsehood, [734]

The events which were passing in the Channel and on the Continent compelled William to make repeated changes in his plans. During the week which followed his triumphal entry into Dublin, messengers charged with evil tidings arrived from England in rapid succession. First came the account of Waldeck's defeat at Fleurus. The King was much disturbed. All the pleasure, he said, which his own victory had given him was at an end. Yet, with that generosity which was hidden under his austere aspect, he sate down, even in the moment of his first vexation, to write a kind and encouraging letter to the unfortunate general, [735] Three days later came intelligence more alarming still. The allied fleet had been ignominiously beaten. The sea from the Downs to the Land's End was in possession of the enemy. The next post might bring news that Kent was invaded. A French squadron might appear in Saint George's Channel, and might without difficulty burn all the transports which were anchored in the Bay of Dublin. William determined to return to England; but he wished to obtain, before he went, the command of a safe haven on the eastern coast of Ireland. Waterford was the place best suited to his purpose; and towards Waterford he immediately proceeded. Clonmel and Kilkenny were abandoned by the Irish troops as soon as it was known that he was approaching. At Kilkenny he was entertained, on the nineteenth of July, by the Duke of Ormond in the ancient castle of the Butlers, which had not long before been occupied by Lauzun, and which therefore, in the midst of the general devastation, still had tables and chairs, hangings on the walls, and claret in the cellars. On the twenty-first two regiments which garrisoned Waterford consented to march out after a faint show of resistance; a few hours later, the fort of Duncannon, which, towering on a rocky promontory, commanded the entrance of the harbour, was surrendered; and William was master of the whole of that secure and spacious basin which is formed by the united waters of the Suir, the Nore and the Barrow. He then announced his intention of instantly returning to England, and, having declared Count Solmes Commander in Chief of the army of Ireland, set out for Dublin, [736]

But good news met him on the road. Tourville had appeared on the coast of Devonshire, had put some troops on shore, and had sacked Teignmouth; but the only effect of this insult had been to raise the whole population of the western counties in arms against the invaders. The enemy had departed, after doing just mischief enough to make the cause of James as odious for a time to Tories as to Whigs. William therefore again changed his plans, and hastened back to his army, which, during his absence, had moved westward, and which he rejoined in the neighbourhood of Cashel, [737]

About this time he received from Mary a letter requesting him to decide an important question on which the Council of Nine was divided. Marlborough was of opinion that all danger of invasion was over for that year. The sea, he said, was open; for the French ships had returned into port, and were refitting. Now was the time to send an English fleet, with five thousand troops on board, to the southern extremity of Ireland. Such a force might easily reduce Cork and Kinsale, two of the most important strongholds still occupied by the forces of James. Marlborough was strenuously supported by Nottingham, and as strenuously opposed by the other members of the interior council with Caermarthen at their head. The Queen referred the matter to her husband. He highly approved of the plan, and gave orders that it should be executed by the General who had formed it. Caermarthen submitted, though with a bad grace, and with some murmurs at the extraordinary partiality of His Majesty for Marlborough, [738]

William meanwhile was advancing towards Limerick. In that city the army which he had put to rout at the Boyne had taken refuge, discomfited, indeed, and disgraced, but very little diminished. He would not have had the trouble of besieging the place, if the advice of Lauzun and of Lauzun's countrymen had been followed. They laughed at the thought of defending such fortifications, and indeed would not admit that the name of fortifications could properly be given to heaps of dirt, which certainly bore little resemblance to the works of Valenciennes and Philipsburg. "It is unnecessary," said Lauzun, with an oath, "for the English to bring cannon against such a place as this. What you call your ramparts might be battered down with roasted apples." He therefore gave his voice for evacuating Limerick, and declared that, at all events, he was determined not to throw away in a hopeless resistance the lives of the brave men who had been entrusted to his care by his master, [739] The truth is, that the judgment of the brilliant and adventurous Frenchman was biassed by his inclinations. He and his companions were sick of Ireland. They were ready to face death with courage, nay, with gaiety, on a field of battle. But the dull, squalid, barbarous life, which they had now been leading during several months, was more than they could bear. They were as much out of the pale of the civilised world as if they had been banished to Dahomey or Spitzbergen. The climate affected their health and spirits. In that unhappy country, wasted by years of predatory war, hospitality could offer little more than a couch of straw, a trencher of meat half raw and half burned, and a draught of sour milk. A crust of bread, a pint of wine, could hardly be purchased for money. A year of such hardships seemed a century to men who had always been accustomed to carry with them to the camp the luxuries of Paris, soft bedding, rich tapestry, sideboards of plate, hampers of Champagne, opera dancers, cooks and musicians. Better to be a prisoner in the Bastille, better to be a recluse at La Trappe, than to be generalissimo of the half naked savages who burrowed in the dreary swamps of Munster. Any plea was welcome which would serve as an excuse for returning from that miserable exile to the land of cornfields and vineyards, of gilded coaches and laced cravats, of ballrooms and theatres, [740]

Very different was the feeling of the children of the soil. The island, which to French courtiers was a disconsolate place of banishment, was the Irishman's home. There were collected all the objects of his love and of his ambition; and there he hoped that his dust would one day mingle with the dust of his fathers. To him even the heaven dark with the vapours of the ocean, the wildernesses of black rushes and stagnant water, the mud cabins where the peasants and the swine shared their meal of roots, had a charm which was wanting to the sunny skies, the cultured fields and the stately mansions of the Seine. He could imagine no fairer spot than his country, if only his country could be freed from the tyranny of the Saxons; and all hope that his country would be freed from the tyranny of the Saxons must be abandoned if Limerick were surrendered.

The conduct of the Irish during the last two months had sunk their military reputation to the lowest point. They had, with the exception of some gallant regiments of cavalry, fled disgracefully at the Boyne, and had thus incurred the bitter contempt both of their enemies and of their allies. The English who were at Saint Germains never spoke of the Irish but as a people of dastards and traitors, [741] The French were so much exasperated against the unfortunate nation, that Irish merchants, who had been many years settled at Paris, durst not walk the streets for fear of being insulted by the populace, [742] So strong was the prejudice, that absurd stories were invented to explain the intrepidity with which the horse had fought. It was said that the troopers were not men of Celtic blood, but descendants of the old English of the pale, [743] It was also said that they had been intoxicated with brandy just before the battle, [744] Yet nothing can be more certain than that they must have been generally of Irish race; nor did the steady valour which they displayed in a long and almost hopeless conflict against great odds bear any resemblance to the fury of a coward maddened by strong drink into momentary hardihood. Even in the infantry, undisciplined and disorganized as it was, there was much spirit, though little firmness. Fits of enthusiasm and fits of faintheartedness succeeded each other. The same battalion, which at one time threw away its arms in a panic and shrieked for quarter, would on another occasion fight valiantly. On the day of the Boyne the courage of the ill trained and ill commanded kernes had ebbed to the lowest point. When they had rallied at Limerick, their blood was up. Patriotism, fanaticism, shame, revenge, despair, had raised them above themselves. With one voice officers and men insisted that the city should be defended to the last. At the head of those who were for resisting was the brave Sarsfield; and his exhortations diffused through all ranks a spirit resembling his own. To save his country was beyond his power. All that he could do was to prolong her last agony through one bloody and disastrous year, [745]

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