The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5)
by Thomas Babington Macaulay
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This agent was one of a remarkable family which had sprung from a noble Scottish stock, but which had long been settled in Ireland, and which professed the Roman Catholic religion. In the gay crowd which thronged Whitehall, during those scandalous years of jubilee which immediately followed the Restoration, the Hamiltons were preeminently conspicuous. The long fair ringlets, the radiant bloom, and the languishing blue eyes of the lovely Elizabeth still charm us on the canvass of Lely. She had the glory of achieving no vulgar conquest. It was reserved for her voluptuous beauty and for her flippant wit to overcome the aversion which the coldhearted and scoffing Grammont felt for the indissoluble tie. One of her brothers, Anthony, became the chronicler of that brilliant and dissolute society of which he had been one of the most brilliant and most dissolute members. He deserves the high praise of having, though not a Frenchman, written the book which is, of all books, the most exquisitely French, both in spirit and in manner. Another brother, named Richard, had, in foreign service, gained some military experience. His wit and politeness had distinguished him even in the splendid circle of Versailles. It was whispered that he had dared to lift his eyes to an exalted lady, the natural daughter of the Great King, the wife of a legitimate prince of the House of Bourbon, and that she had not seemed to be displeased by the attentions of her presumptuous admirer, [143] The adventurer had subsequently returned to his native country, had been appointed Brigadier General in the Irish army, and had been sworn of the Irish Privy Council. When the Dutch invasion was expected, he came across Saint George's Channel with the troops which Tyrconnel sent to reinforce the royal army. After the flight of James, those troops submitted to the Prince of Orange. Richard Hamilton not only made his own peace with what was now the ruling power, but declared himself confident that, if he were sent to Dublin, he could conduct the negotiation which had been opened there to a happy close. If he failed, he pledged his word to return to London in three weeks. His influence in Ireland was known to be great: his honour had never been questioned; and he was highly esteemed by the Temple family. John Temple declared that he would answer for Richard Hamilton as for himself. This guarantee was thought sufficient; and Hamilton set out for Ireland, assuring his English friends that he should soon bring Tyrconnel to reason. The offers which he was authorised to make to the Roman Catholics and to the Lord Deputy personally were most liberal, [144]

It is not impossible that Hamilton may have really meant to perform his promise. But when he arrived at Dublin he found that he had undertaken a task which was beyond his power. The hesitation of Tyrconnel, whether genuine or feigned, was at an end. He had found that he had no longer a choice. He had with little difficulty stimulated the ignorant and susceptible Irish to fury. To calm them was beyond his skill. Rumours were abroad that the Viceroy was corresponding with the English; and these rumours had set the nation on fire. The cry of the common people was that, if he dared to sell them for wealth and honours, they would burn the Castle and him in it, and would put themselves under the protection of France, [145] It was necessary for him to protest, truly or falsely, that he had never harboured any thought of submission, and that he had pretended to negotiate only for the purpose of gaining time. Yet, before he openly declared against the English settlers, and against England herself, what must be a war to the death, he wished to rid himself of Mountjoy, who had hitherto been true to the cause of James, but who, it was well known, would never consent to be a party to the spoliation and oppression of the colonists. Hypocritical professions of friendship and of pacific intentions were not spared. It was a sacred duty, Tyrconnel said, to avert the calamities which seemed to be impending. King James himself, if he understood the whole case, would not wish his Irish friends to engage at that moment in an enterprise which must be fatal to them and useless to him. He would permit them, he would command them, to submit to necessity, and to reserve themselves for better times. If any man of weight, loyal, able, and well informed, would repair to Saint Germains and explain the state of things, his Majesty would easily be convinced. Would Mountjoy undertake this most honourable and important mission? Mountjoy hesitated, and suggested that some person more likely to be acceptable to the King should be the messenger. Tyrconnel swore, ranted, declared that, unless King James were well advised, Ireland would sink to the pit of hell, and insisted that Mountjoy should go as the representative of the loyal members of the Established Church, and should be accompanied by Chief Baron Rice, a Roman Catholic high in the royal favour. Mountjoy yielded. The two ambassadors departed together, but with very different commissions. Rice was charged to tell James that Mountjoy was a traitor at heart, and had been sent to France only that the Protestants of Ireland might be deprived of a favourite leader. The King was to be assured that he was impatiently expected in Ireland, and that, if he would show himself there with a French force, he might speedily retrieve his fallen fortunes, [146] The Chief Baron carried with him other instructions which were probably kept secret even from the Court of Saint Germains. If James should be unwilling to put himself at the head of the native population of Ireland, Rice was directed to request a private audience of Lewis, and to offer to make the island a province of France, [147]

As soon as the two envoys had departed, Tyrconnel set himself to prepare for the conflict which had become inevitable; and he was strenuously assisted by the faithless Hamilton. The Irish nation was called to arms; and the call was obeyed with strange promptitude and enthusiasm. The flag on the Castle of Dublin was embroidered with the words, "Now or never: now and for ever:" and those words resounded through the whole island, [148] Never in modern Europe has there been such a rising up of a whole people. The habits of the Celtic peasant were such that he made no sacrifice in quitting his potatoe ground for the camp. He loved excitement and adventure. He feared work far more than danger. His national and religious feelings had, during three years, been exasperated by the constant application of stimulants. At every fair and market he had heard that a good time was at hand, that the tyrants who spoke Saxon and lived in slated houses were about to be swept away, and that the land would again belong to its own children. By the peat fires of a hundred thousand cabins had nightly been sung rude ballads which predicted the deliverance of the oppressed race. The priests, most of whom belonged to those old families which the Act of Settlement had ruined, but which were still revered by the native population, had, from a thousand altars, charged every Catholic to show his zeal for the true Church by providing weapons against the day when it might be necessary to try the chances of battle in her cause. The army, which, under Ormond, had consisted of only eight regiments, was now increased to forty-eight: and the ranks were soon full to overflowing. It was impossible to find at short notice one tenth of the number of good officers which was required. Commissions were scattered profusely among idle cosherers who claimed to be descended from good Irish families. Yet even thus the supply of captains and lieutenants fell short of the demand; and many companies were commanded by cobblers, tailors and footmen, [149]

The pay of the soldiers was very small. The private had only threepence a day. One half only of this pittance was ever given him in money; and that half was often in arrear. But a far more seductive bait than his miserable stipend was the prospect of boundless license. If the government allowed him less than sufficed for his wants, it was not extreme to mark the means by which he supplied the deficiency. Though four fifths of the population of Ireland were Celtic and Roman Catholic, more than four fifths of the property of Ireland belonged to the Protestant Englishry. The garners, the cellars, above all the flocks and herds of the minority, were abandoned to the majority. Whatever the regular troops spared was devoured by bands of marauders who overran almost every barony in the island. For the arming was now universal. No man dared to present himself at mass without some weapon, a pike, a long knife called a skean, or, at the very least, a strong ashen stake, pointed and hardened in the fire. The very women were exhorted by their spiritual directors to carry skeans. Every smith, every carpenter, every cutler, was at constant work on guns and blades. It was scarcely possible to get a horse shod. If any Protestant artisan refused to assist in the manufacture of implements which were to be used against his nation and his religion, he was flung into prison. It seems probable that, at the end of February, at least a hundred thousand Irishmen were in arms. Near fifty thousand of them were soldiers. The rest were banditti, whose violence and licentiousness the Government affected to disapprove, but did not really exert itself to suppress. The Protestants not only were not protected, but were not suffered to protect themselves. It was determined that they should be left unarmed in the midst of an armed and hostile population. A day was fixed on which they were to bring all their swords and firelocks to the parish churches; and it was notified that every Protestant house in which, after that day, a weapon should be found should be given up to be sacked by the soldiers. Bitter complaints were made that any knave might, by hiding a spear head or an old gun barrel in a corner of a mansion, bring utter ruin on the owner, [150]

Chief Justice Keating, himself a Protestant, and almost the only Protestant who still held a great place in Ireland, struggled courageously in the cause of justice and order against the united strength of the government and the populace. At the Wicklow assizes of that spring, he, from the seat of judgment, set forth with great strength of language the miserable state of the country. Whole counties, he said, were devastated by a rabble resembling the vultures and ravens which follow the march of an army. Most of these wretches were not soldiers. They acted under no authority known to the law. Yet it was, he owned, but too evident that they were encouraged and screened by some who were in high command. How else could it be that a market overt for plunder should be held within a short distance of the capital? The stories which travellers told of the savage Hottentots near the Cape of Good Hope were realised in Leinster. Nothing was more common than for an honest man to lie down rich in flocks and herds acquired by the industry of a long life, and to wake a beggar. It was however to small purpose that Keating attempted, in the midst of that fearful anarchy, to uphold the supremacy of the law. Priests and military chiefs appeared on the bench for the purpose of overawing the judge and countenancing the robbers. One ruffian escaped because no prosecutor dared to appear. Another declared that he had armed himself in conformity to the orders of his spiritual guide, and to the example of many persons of higher station than himself, whom he saw at that moment in Court. Two only of the Merry Boys, as they were called, were convicted: the worst criminals escaped; and the Chief justice indignantly told the jurymen that the guilt of the public ruin lay at their door, [151]

When such disorder prevailed in Wicklow, it is easy to imagine what must have been the state of districts more barbarous and more remote from the seat of government. Keating appears to have been the only magistrate who strenuously exerted himself to put the law in force. Indeed Nugent, the Chief justice of the highest criminal court of the realm, declared on the bench at Cork that, without violence and spoliation, the intentions of the Government could not be carried into effect, and that robbery must at that conjuncture be tolerated as a necessary evil, [152]

The destruction of property which took place within a few weeks would be incredible, if it were not attested by witnesses unconnected with each other and attached to very different interests. There is a close, and sometimes almost a verbal, agreement between the description given by Protestants, who, during that reign of terror, escaped, at the hazard of their lives, to England, and the descriptions given by the envoys, commissaries, and captains of Lewis. All agreed in declaring that it would take many years to repair the waste which had been wrought in a few weeks by the armed peasantry, [153] Some of the Saxon aristocracy had mansions richly furnished, and sideboards gorgeous with silver bowls and chargers. All this wealth disappeared. One house, in which there had been three thousand pounds' worth of plate, was left without a spoon, [154] But the chief riches of Ireland consisted in cattle. Innumerable flocks and herds covered that vast expanse of emerald meadow, saturated with the moisture of the Atlantic. More than one gentleman possessed twenty thousand sheep and four thousand oxen. The freebooters who now overspread the country belonged to a class which was accustomed to live on potatoes and sour whey, and which had always regarded meat as a luxury reserved for the rich. These men at first revelled in beef and mutton, as the savage invaders, who of old poured down from the forests of the north on Italy, revelled in Massic and Falernian wines. The Protestants described with contemptuous disgust the strange gluttony of their newly liberated slaves. The carcasses, half raw and half burned to cinders, sometimes still bleeding, sometimes in a state of loathsome decay, were torn to pieces and swallowed without salt, bread, or herbs. Those marauders who preferred boiled meat, being often in want of kettles, contrived to boil the steer in his own skin. An absurd tragicomedy is still extant, which was acted in this and the following year at some low theatre for the amusement of the English populace. A crowd of half naked savages appeared on the stage, howling a Celtic song and dancing round an ox. They then proceeded to cut steaks out of the animal while still alive and to fling the bleeding flesh on the coals. In truth the barbarity and filthiness of the banquets of the Rapparees was such as the dramatists of Grub Street could scarcely caricature. When Lent began, the plunderers generally ceased to devour, but continued to destroy. A peasant would kill a cow merely in order to get a pair of brogues. Often a whole flock of sheep, often a herd of fifty or sixty kine, was slaughtered: the beasts were flayed; the fleeces and hides were carried away; and the bodies were left to poison the air. The French ambassador reported to his master that, in six weeks, fifty thousand horned cattle had been slain in this manner, and were rotting on the ground all over the country. The number of sheep that were butchered during the same time was popularly said to have been three or four hundred thousand, [155]

Any estimate which can now be framed of the value of the property destroyed during this fearful conflict of races must necessarily be very inexact. We are not however absolutely without materials for such an estimate. The Quakers were neither a very numerous nor a very opulent class. We can hardly suppose that they were more than a fiftieth part of the Protestant population of Ireland, or that they possessed more than a fiftieth part of the Protestant wealth of Ireland. They were undoubtedly better treated than any other Protestant sect. James had always been partial to them: they own that Tyrconnel did his best to protect them; and they seem to have found favour even in the sight of the Rapparees, [156] Yet the Quakers computed their pecuniary losses at a hundred thousand pounds, [157]

In Leinster, Munster and Connaught, it was utterly impossible for the English settlers, few as they were and dispersed, to offer any effectual resistance to this terrible outbreak of the aboriginal population. Charleville, Mallow, Sligo, fell into the hands of the natives. Bandon, where the Protestants had mustered in considerable force, was reduced by Lieutenant General Macarthy, an Irish officer who was descended from one of the most illustrious Celtic houses, and who had long served, under a feigned name, in the French Army, [158] The people of Kenmare held out in their little fastness till they were attacked by three thousand regular soldiers, and till it was known that several pieces of ordnance were coming to batter down the turf wall which surrounded the agent's house. Then at length a capitulation was concluded. The colonists were suffered to embark in a small vessel scantily supplied with food and water. They had no experienced navigator on board: but after a voyage of a fortnight, during which they were crowded together like slaves in a Guinea ship, and suffered the extremity of thirst and hunger, they reached Bristol in safety, [159] When such was the fate of the towns, it was evident that the country seats which the Protestant landowners had recently fortified in the three southern provinces could no longer be defended. Many families submitted, delivered up their arms, and thought themselves happy in escaping with life. But many resolute and highspirited gentlemen and yeomen were determined to perish rather than yield. They packed up such valuable property as could easily be carried away, burned whatever they could not remove, and, well armed and mounted, set out for those spots in Ulster which were the strongholds of their race and of their faith. The flower of the Protestant population of Munster and Connaught found shelter at Enniskillen. Whatever was bravest and most truehearted in Leinster took the road to Londonderry, [160]

The spirit of Enniskillen and Londonderry rose higher and higher to meet the danger. At both places the tidings of what had been done by the Convention at Westminster were received with transports of joy. William and Mary were proclaimed at Enniskillen with unanimous enthusiasm, and with such pomp as the little town could furnish, [161] Lundy, who commanded at Londonderry, could not venture to oppose himself to the general sentiment of the citizens and of his own soldiers. He therefore gave in his adhesion to the new government, and signed a declaration by which he bound himself to stand by that government, on pain of being considered a coward and a traitor. A vessel from England soon brought a commission from William and Mary which confirmed him in his office, [162]

To reduce the Protestants of Ulster to submission before aid could arrive from England was now the chief object of Tyrconnel. A great force was ordered to move northward, under the command of Richard Hamilton. This man had violated all the obligations which are held most sacred by gentlemen and soldiers, had broken faith with his friends the Temples, had forfeited his military parole, and was now not ashamed to take the field as a general against the government to which he was bound to render himself up as a prisoner. His march left on the face of the country traces which the most careless eye could not during many years fail to discern. His army was accompanied by a rabble, such as Keating had well compared to the unclean birds of prey which swarm wherever the scent of carrion is strong. The general professed himself anxious to save from ruin and outrage all Protestants who remained quietly at their homes; and he most readily gave them protections tinder his hand. But these protections proved of no avail; and he was forced to own that, whatever power he might be able to exercise over his soldiers, he could not keep order among the mob of campfollowers. The country behind him was a wilderness; and soon the country before him became equally desolate. For at the fame of his approach the colonists burned their furniture, pulled down their houses, and retreated northward. Some of them attempted to make a stand at Dromore, but were broken and scattered. Then the flight became wild and tumultuous. The fugitives broke down the bridges and burned the ferryboats. Whole towns, the seats of the Protestant population, were left in ruins without one inhabitant. The people of Omagh destroyed their own dwellings so utterly that no roof was left to shelter the enemy from the rain and wind. The people of Cavan migrated in one body to Enniskillen. The day was wet and stormy. The road was deep in mire. It was a piteous sight to see, mingled with the armed men, the women and children weeping, famished, and toiling through the mud up to their knees. All Lisburn fled to Antrim; and, as the foes drew nearer, all Lisburn and Antrim together came pouring into Londonderry. Thirty thousand Protestants, of both sexes and of every age, were crowded behind the bulwarks of the City of Refuge. There, at length, on the verge of the ocean, hunted to the last asylum, and baited into a mood in which men may be destroyed, but will not easily be subjugated, the imperial race turned desperately to bay, [163]

Meanwhile Mountjoy and Rice had arrived in France. Mountjoy was instantly put under arrest and thrown into the Bastile. James determined to comply with the invitation which Rice had brought, and applied to Lewis for the help of a French army. But Lewis, though he showed, as to all things which concerned the personal dignity and comfort of his royal guests, a delicacy even romantic, and a liberality approaching to profusion, was unwilling to send a large body of troops to Ireland. He saw that France would have to maintain a long war on the Continent against a formidable coalition: her expenditure must be immense; and, great as were her resources, he felt it to be important that nothing should be wasted. He doubtless regarded with sincere commiseration and good will the unfortunate exiles to whom he had given so princely a welcome. Yet neither commiseration nor good will could prevent him from speedily discovering that his brother of England was the dullest and most perverse of human beings. The folly of James, his incapacity to read the characters of men and the signs of the times, his obstinacy, always most offensively displayed when wisdom enjoined concession, his vacillation, always exhibited most pitiably in emergencies which required firmness, had made him an outcast from England, and might, if his counsels were blindly followed, bring great calamities on France. As a legitimate sovereign expelled by rebels, as a confessor of the true faith persecuted by heretics, as a near kinsman of the House of Bourbon, who had seated himself on the hearth of that House, he was entitled to hospitality, to tenderness, to respect. It was fit that he should have a stately palace and a spacious forest, that the household troops should salute him with the highest military honours, that he should have at his command all the hounds of the Grand Huntsman and all the hawks of the Grand Falconer. But, when a prince, who, at the head of a great fleet and army, had lost an empire without striking a blow, undertook to furnish plans for naval and military expeditions; when a prince, who had been undone by his profound ignorance of the temper of his own countrymen, of his own soldiers, of his own domestics, of his own children, undertook to answer for the zeal and fidelity of the Irish people, whose language he could not speak, and on whose land he had never set his foot; it was necessary to receive his suggestions with caution. Such were the sentiments of Lewis; and in these sentiments he was confirmed by his Minister of War Louvois, who, on private as well as on public grounds, was unwilling that James should be accompanied by a large military force. Louvois hated Lauzun. Lauzun was favourite at Saint Germains. He wore the garter, a badge of honour which has very seldom been conferred on aliens who were not sovereign princes. It was believed indeed at the French Court that, in order to distinguish him from the other knights of the most illustrious of European orders, he had been decorated with that very George which Charles the First had, on the scaffold, put into the hands of Juxon, [164] Lauzun had been encouraged to hope that, if French forces were sent to Ireland, he should command them; and this ambitious hope Louvois was bent on disappointing, [165]

An army was therefore for the present refused; but every thing else was granted. The Brest fleet was ordered to be in readiness to sail. Arms for ten thousand men and great quantities of ammunition were put on board. About four hundred captains, lieutenants, cadets and gunners were selected for the important service of organizing and disciplining the Irish levies. The chief command was held by a veteran warrior, the Count of Rosen. Under him were Maumont, who held the rank of lieutenant general, and a brigadier named Pusignan. Five hundred thousand crowns in gold, equivalent to about a hundred and twelve thousand pounds sterling, were sent to Brest, [166] For James's personal comforts provision was made with anxiety resembling that of a tender mother equipping her son for a first campaign. The cabin furniture, the camp furniture, the tents, the bedding, the plate, were luxurious and superb. Nothing, which could be agreeable or useful to the exile was too costly for the munificence, or too trifling for the attention, of his gracious and splendid host. On the fifteenth of February, James paid a farewell visit to Versailles. He was conducted round the buildings and plantations with every mark of respect and kindness. The fountains played in his honour. It was the season of the Carnival; and never had the vast palace and the sumptuous gardens presented a gayer aspect. In the evening the two kings, after a long and earnest conference in private, made their appearance before a splendid circle of lords and ladies. "I hope," said Lewis, in his noblest and most winning manner, "that we are about to part, never to meet again in this world. That is the best wish that I can form for you. But, if any evil chance should force you to return, be assured that you will find me to the last such as you have found me hitherto." On the seventeenth Lewis paid in return a farewell visit to Saint Germains. At the moment of the parting embrace he said, with his most amiable smile: "We have forgotten one thing, a cuirass for yourself. You shall have mine." The cuirass was brought, and suggested to the wits of the Court ingenious allusions to the Vulcanian panoply which Achilles lent to his feebler friend. James set out for Brest; and his wife, overcome with sickness and sorrow, shut herself up with her child to weep and pray, [167]

James was accompanied or speedily followed by several of his own subjects, among whom the most distinguished were his son Berwick, Cartwright Bishop of Chester, Powis, Dover, and Melfort. Of all the retinue, none was so odious to the people of Great Britain as Melfort. He was an apostate: he was believed by many to be an insincere apostate; and the insolent, arbitrary and menacing language of his state papers disgusted even the Jacobites. He was therefore a favourite with his master: for to James unpopularity, obstinacy, and implacability were the greatest recommendations that a statesman could have.

What Frenchman should attend the King of England in the character of ambassador had been the subject of grave deliberation at Versailles. Barillon could not be passed over without a marked slight. But his selfindulgent habits, his want of energy, and, above all, the credulity with which he had listened to the professions of Sunderland, had made an unfavourable impression on the mind of Lewis. What was to be done in Ireland was not work for a trifler or a dupe. The agent of France in that kingdom must be equal to much more than the ordinary functions of an envoy. It would be his right and his duty to offer advice touching every part of the political and military administration of the country in which he would represent the most powerful and the most beneficent of allies. Barillon was therefore passed over. He affected to bear his disgrace with composure. His political career, though it had brought great calamities both on the House of Stuart and on the House of Bourbon, had been by no means unprofitable to himself. He was old, he said: he was fat: he did not envy younger men the honour of living on potatoes and whiskey among the Irish bogs; he would try to console himself with partridges, with champagne, and with the society of the wittiest men and prettiest women of Paris. It was rumoured, however that he was tortured by painful emotions which he was studious to conceal: his health and spirits failed; and he tried to find consolation in religious duties. Some people were much edified by the piety of the old voluptuary: but others attributed his death, which took place not long after his retreat from public life, to shame and vexation, [168]

The Count of Avaux, whose sagacity had detected all the plans of William, and who had vainly recommended a policy which would probably have frustrated them, was the man on whom the choice of Lewis fell. In abilities Avaux had no superior among the numerous able diplomatists whom his country then possessed. His demeanour was singularly pleasing, his person handsome, his temper bland. His manners and conversation were those of a gentleman who had been bred in the most polite and magnificent of all Courts, who had represented that Court both in Roman Catholic and Protestant countries, and who had acquired in his wanderings the art of catching the tone of any society into which chance might throw him. He was eminently vigilant and adroit, fertile in resources, and skilful in discovering the weak parts of a character. His own character, however, was not without its weak parts. The consciousness that he was of plebeian origin was the torment of his life. He pined for nobility with a pining at once pitiable and ludicrous. Able, experienced and accomplished as he was, he sometimes, under the influence of this mental disease, descended to the level of Moliere's Jourdain, and entertained malicious observers with scenes almost as laughable as that in which the honest draper was made a Mamamouchi, [169] It would have been well if this had been the worst. But it is not too much to say that of the difference between right and wrong Avaux had no more notion than a brute. One sentiment was to him in the place of religion and morality, a superstitious and intolerant devotion to the Crown which he served. This sentiment pervades all his despatches, and gives a colour to all his thoughts and words. Nothing that tended to promote the interest of the French monarchy seemed to him a crime. Indeed he appears to have taken it for granted that not only Frenchmen, but all human beings, owed a natural allegiance to the House of Bourbon, and that whoever hesitated to sacrifice the happiness and freedom of his own native country to the glory of that House was a traitor. While he resided at the Hague, he always designated those Dutchmen who had sold themselves to France as the well intentioned party. In the letters which he wrote from Ireland, the same feeling appears still more strongly. He would have been a more sagacious politician if he had sympathized more with those feelings of moral approbation and disapprobation which prevail among the vulgar. For his own indifference to all considerations of justice and mercy was such that, in his schemes, he made no allowance for the consciences and sensibilities of his neighbours. More than once he deliberately recommended wickedness so horrible that wicked men recoiled from it with indignation. But they could not succeed even in making their scruples intelligible to him. To every remonstrance he listened with a cynical sneer, wondering within himself whether those who lectured him were such fools as they professed to be, or were only shamming.

Such was the man whom Lewis selected to be the companion and monitor of James. Avaux was charged to open, if possible, a communication with the malecontents in the English Parliament; and he was authorised to expend, if necessary, a hundred thousand crowns among them.

James arrived at Brest on the fifth of March, embarked there on board of a man of war called the Saint Michael, and sailed within forty-eight hours. He had ample time, however, before his departure, to exhibit some of the faults by which he had lost England and Scotland, and by which he was about to lose Ireland. Avaux wrote from the harbour of Brest that it would not be easy to conduct any important business in concert with the King of England. His Majesty could not keep any secret from any body. The very foremast men of the Saint Michael had already heard him say things which ought to have been reserved for the ears of his confidential advisers, [170]

The voyage was safely and quietly performed; and, on the afternoon of the twelfth of March, James landed in the harbour of Kinsale. By the Roman Catholic population he was received with shouts of unfeigned transport. The few Protestants who remained in that part of the country joined in greeting him, and perhaps not insincerely. For, though an enemy of their religion, he was not an enemy of their nation; and they might reasonably hope that the worst king would show somewhat more respect for law and property than had been shown by the Merry Boys and Rapparees. The Vicar of Kinsale was among those who went to pay their duty: he was presented by the Bishop of Chester, and was not ungraciously received, [171]

James learned that his cause was prospering. In the three southern provinces of Ireland the Protestants were disarmed, and were so effectually bowed down by terror that he had nothing to apprehend from them. In the North there was some show of resistance: but Hamilton was marching against the malecontents; and there was little doubt that they would easily be crushed. A day was spent at Kinsale in putting the arms and ammunition out of reach of danger. Horses sufficient to carry a few travellers were with some difficulty procured; and, on the fourteenth of March, James proceeded to Cork, [172]

We should greatly err if we imagined that the road by which he entered that city bore any resemblance to the stately approach which strikes the traveller of the nineteenth century with admiration. At present Cork, though deformed by many miserable relics of a former age, holds no mean place among the ports of the empire. The shipping is more than half what the shipping of London was at the time of the Revolution. The customs exceed the whole revenue which the whole kingdom of Ireland, in the most peaceful and prosperous times, yielded to the Stuarts. The town is adorned by broad and well built streets, by fair gardens, by a Corinthian portico which would do honour to Palladio, and by a Gothic college worthy to stand in the High Street of Oxford. In 1689, the city extended over about one tenth part of the space which it now covers, and was intersected by muddy streams, which have long been concealed by arches and buildings. A desolate marsh, in which the sportsman who pursued the waterfowl sank deep in water and mire at every step, covered the area now occupied by stately buildings, the palaces of great commercial societies. There was only a single street in which two wheeled carriages could pass each other. From this street diverged to right and left alleys squalid and noisome beyond the belief of those who have formed their notions of misery from the most miserable parts of Saint Giles's and Whitechapel. One of these alleys, called, and, by comparison, justly called, Broad Lane, is about ten feet wide. From such places, now seats of hunger and pestilence, abandoned to the most wretched of mankind, the citizens poured forth to welcome James. He was received with military honours by Macarthy, who held the chief command in Munster.

It was impossible for the King to proceed immediately to Dublin; for the southern counties had been so completely laid waste by the banditti whom the priests had called to arms, that the means of locomotion were not easily to be procured. Horses had become rarities: in a large district there were only two carts; and those Avaux pronounced good for nothing. Some days elapsed before the money which had been brought from France, though no very formidable mass, could be dragged over the few miles which separated Cork from Kinsale, [173]

While the King and his Council were employed in trying to procure carriages and beasts, Tyrconnel arrived from Dublin. He held encouraging language. The opposition of Enniskillen he seems to have thought deserving of little consideration. Londonderry, he said, was the only important post held by the Protestants; and even Londonderry would not, in his judgment, hold out many days.

At length James was able to leave Cork for the capital. On the road, the shrewd and observant Avaux made many remarks. The first part of the journey was through wild highlands, where it was not strange that there should be few traces of art and industry. But, from Kilkenny to the gates of Dublin, the path of the travellers lay over gently undulating ground rich with natural verdure. That fertile district should have been covered with flocks and herds, orchards and cornfields: but it was an unfilled and unpeopled desert. Even in the towns the artisans were very few. Manufactured articles were hardly to be found, and if found could be procured only at immense prices, [174] The truth was that most of the English inhabitants had fled, and that art, industry, and capital had fled with them.

James received on his progress numerous marks of the goodwill of the peasantry; but marks such as, to men bred in the courts of France and England, had an uncouth and ominous appearance. Though very few labourers were seen at work in the fields, the road was lined by Rapparees armed with skeans, stakes, and half pikes, who crowded to look upon the deliverer of their race. The highway along which he travelled presented the aspect of a street in which a fair is held. Pipers came forth to play before him in a style which was not exactly that of the French opera; and the villagers danced wildly to the music. Long frieze mantles, resembling those which Spenser had, a century before, described as meet beds for rebels, and apt cloaks for thieves, were spread along the path which the cavalcade was to tread; and garlands, in which cabbage stalks supplied the place of laurels, were offered to the royal hand. The women insisted on kissing his Majesty; but it should seem that they bore little resemblance to their posterity; for this compliment was so distasteful to him that he ordered his retinue to keep them at a distance, [175]

On the twenty-fourth of March he entered Dublin. That city was then, in extent and population, the second in the British isles. It contained between six and seven thousand houses, and probably above thirty thousand inhabitants, [176] In wealth and beauty, however, Dublin was inferior to many English towns. Of the graceful and stately public buildings which now adorn both sides of the Liffey scarcely one had been even projected. The College, a very different edifice from that which now stands on the same site, lay quite out of the city, [177] The ground which is at present occupied by Leinster House and Charlemont House, by Sackville Street and Merrion Square, was open meadow. Most of the dwellings were built of timber, and have long given place to more substantial edifices. The Castle had in 1686 been almost uninhabitable. Clarendon had complained that he knew of no gentleman in Pall Mall who was not more conveniently and handsomely lodged than the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. No public ceremony could be performed in a becoming manner under the Viceregal roof. Nay, in spite of constant glazing and tiling, the rain perpetually drenched the apartments, [178] Tyrconnel, since he became Lord Deputy, had erected a new building somewhat more commodious. To this building the King was conducted in state through the southern part of the city. Every exertion had been made to give an air of festivity and splendour to the district which he was to traverse. The streets, which were generally deep in mud, were strewn with gravel. Boughs and flowers were scattered over the path.

Tapestry and arras hung from the windows of those who could afford to exhibit such finery. The poor supplied the place of rich stuffs with blankets and coverlids. In one place was stationed a troop of friars with a cross; in another a company of forty girls dressed in white and carrying nosegays. Pipers and harpers played "The King shall enjoy his own again." The Lord Deputy carried the sword of state before his master. The Judges, the Heralds, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, appeared in all the pomp of office. Soldiers were drawn up on the right and left to keep the passages clear. A procession of twenty coaches belonging to public functionaries was mustered. Before the Castle gate, the King was met by the host under a canopy borne by four bishops of his church. At the sight he fell on his knees, and passed some time in devotion. He then rose and was conducted to the chapel of his palace, once—such are the vicissitudes of human things—the riding house of Henry Cromwell. A Te Deum was performed in honour of his Majesty's arrival. The next morning he held a Privy Council, discharged Chief Justice Keating from any further attendance at the board, ordered Avaux and Bishop Cartwright to be sworn in, and issued a proclamation convoking a Parliament to meet at Dublin on the seventh of May, [179]

When the news that James had arrived in Ireland reached London, the sorrow and alarm were general, and were mingled with serious discontent. The multitude, not making sufficient allowance for the difficulties by which William was encompassed on every side, loudly blamed his neglect. To all the invectives of the ignorant and malicious he opposed, as was his wont, nothing but immutable gravity and the silence of profound disdain. But few minds had received from nature a temper so firm as his; and still fewer had undergone so long and so rigorous a discipline. The reproaches which had no power to shake his fortitude, tried from childhood upwards by both extremes of fortune, inflicted a deadly wound on a less resolute heart.

While all the coffeehouses were unanimously resolving that a fleet and army ought to have been long before sent to Dublin, and wondering how so renowned a politician as his Majesty could have been duped by Hamilton and Tyrconnel, a gentleman went down to the Temple Stairs, called a boat, and desired to be pulled to Greenwich. He took the cover of a letter from his pocket, scratched a few lines with a pencil, and laid the paper on the seat with some silver for his fare. As the boat passed under the dark central arch of London Bridge, he sprang into the water and disappeared. It was found that he had written these words: "My folly in undertaking what I could not execute hath done the King great prejudice which cannot be stopped—No easier way for me than this—May his undertakings prosper—May he have a blessing." There was no signature; but the body was soon found, and proved to be that of John Temple. He was young and highly accomplished: he was heir to an honourable name; he was united to an amiable woman: he was possessed of an ample fortune; and he had in prospect the greatest honours of the state. It does not appear that the public had been at all aware to what an extent he was answerable for the policy which had brought so much obloquy on the government. The King, stern as he was, had far too great a heart to treat an error as a crime. He had just appointed the unfortunate young man Secretary at War; and the commission was actually preparing. It is not improbable that the cold magnanimity of the master was the very thing which made the remorse of the servant insupportable, [180]

But, great as were the vexations which William had to undergo, those by which the temper of his father-in-law was at this time tried were greater still. No court in Europe was distracted by more quarrels and intrigues than were to be found within the walls of Dublin Castle. The numerous petty cabals which sprang from the cupidity, the jealousy, and the malevolence of individuals scarcely deserve mention. But there was one cause of discord which has been too little noticed, and which is the key to much that has been thought mysterious in the history of those times.

Between English Jacobitism and Irish Jacobitism there was nothing in common. The English Jacobite was animated by a strong enthusiasm for the family of Stuart; and in his zeal for the interests of that family he too often forgot the interests of the state. Victory, peace, prosperity, seemed evils to the stanch nonjuror of our island if they tended to make usurpation popular and permanent. Defeat, bankruptcy, famine, invasion, were, in his view, public blessings, if they increased the chance of a restoration. He would rather have seen his country the last of the nations under James the Second or James the Third, than the mistress of the sea, the umpire between contending potentates, the seat of arts, the hive of industry, under a prince of the House of Nassau or of Brunswick.

The sentiments of the Irish Jacobite were very different, and, it must in candour be acknowledged, were of a nobler character. The fallen dynasty was nothing to him. He had not, like a Cheshire or Shropshire cavalier, been taught from his cradle to consider loyalty to that dynasty as the first duty of a Christian and a gentleman. All his family traditions, all the lessons taught him by his foster mother and by his priests, had been of a very different tendency. He had been brought up to regard the foreign sovereigns of his native land with the feeling with which the Jew regarded Caesar, with which the Scot regarded Edward the First, with which the Castilian regarded Joseph Buonaparte, with which the Pole regards the Autocrat of the Russias. It was the boast of the highborn Milesian that, from the twelfth century to the seventeenth, every generation of his family had been in arms against the English crown. His remote ancestors had contended with Fitzstephen and De Burgh. His greatgrandfather had cloven down the soldiers of Elizabeth in the battle of the Blackwater. His grandfather had conspired with O'Donnel against James the First. His father had fought under Sir Phelim O'Neill against Charles the First. The confiscation of the family estate had been ratified by an Act of Charles the Second. No Puritan, who had been cited before the High Commission by Laud, who had charged under Cromwell at Naseby, who had been prosecuted under the Conventicle Act, and who had been in hiding on account of the Rye House Plot, bore less affection to the House of Stuart than the O'Haras and Macmahons, on whose support the fortunes of that House now seemed to depend.

The fixed purpose of these men was to break the foreign yoke, to exterminate the Saxon colony, to sweep away the Protestant Church, and to restore the soil to its ancient proprietors. To obtain these ends they would without the smallest scruple have risen up against James; and to obtain these ends they rose up for him. The Irish Jacobites, therefore, were not at all desirous that he should again reign at Whitehall: for they could not but be aware that a Sovereign of Ireland, who was also Sovereign of England, would not, and, even if he would, could not, long administer the government of the smaller and poorer kingdom in direct opposition to the feeling of the larger and richer. Their real wish was that the Crowns might be completely separated, and that their island might, whether under James or without James they cared little, form a distinct state under the powerful protection of France.

While one party in the Council at Dublin regarded James merely as a tool to be employed for achieving the deliverance of Ireland, another party regarded Ireland merely as a tool to be employed for effecting the restoration of James. To the English and Scotch lords and gentlemen who had accompanied him from Brest, the island in which they sojourned was merely a stepping stone by which they were to reach Great Britain. They were still as much exiles as when they were at Saint Germains; and indeed they thought Saint Germains a far more pleasant place of exile than Dublin Castle. They had no sympathy with the native population of the remote and half barbarous region to which a strange chance had led them. Nay, they were bound by common extraction and by common language to that colony which it was the chief object of the native population to root out. They had indeed, like the great body of their countrymen, always regarded the aboriginal Irish with very unjust contempt, as inferior to other European nations, not only in acquired knowledge, but in natural intelligence and courage; as born Gibeonites who had been liberally treated, in being permitted to hew wood and to draw water for a wiser and mightier people. These politicians also thought,—and here they were undoubtedly in the right,—that, if their master's object was to recover the throne of England, it would be madness in him to give himself up to the guidance of the O's and the Macs who regarded England with mortal enmity. A law declaring the crown of Ireland independent, a law transferring mitres, glebes, and tithes from the Protestant to the Roman Catholic Church, a law transferring ten millions of acres from Saxons to Celts, would doubtless be loudly applauded in Clare and Tipperary. But what would be the effect of such laws at Westminster? What at Oxford? It would be poor policy to alienate such men as Clarendon and Beaufort, Ken and Sherlock, in order to obtain the applause of the Rapparees of the Bog of Allen, [181]

Thus the English and Irish factions in the Council at Dublin were engaged in a dispute which admitted of no compromise. Avaux meanwhile looked on that dispute from a point of view entirely his own. His object was neither the emancipation of Ireland nor the restoration of James, but the greatness of the French monarchy. In what way that object might be best attained was a very complicated problem. Undoubtedly a French statesman could not but wish for a counterrevolution in England. The effect of such a counterrevolution would be that the power which was the most formidable enemy of France would become her firmest ally, that William would sink into insignificance, and that the European coalition of which he was the chief would be dissolved. But what chance was there of such a counterrevolution? The English exiles indeed, after the fashion of exiles, confidently anticipated a speedy return to their country. James himself loudly boasted that his subjects on the other side of the water, though they had been misled for a moment by the specious names of religion, liberty, and property, were warmly attached to him, and would rally round him as soon as he appeared among them. But the wary envoy tried in vain to discover any foundation for these hopes. He was certain that they were not warranted by any intelligence which had arrived from any part of Great Britain; and he considered them as the mere daydreams of a feeble mind. He thought it unlikely that the usurper, whose ability and resolution he had, during an unintermitted conflict of ten years, learned to appreciate, would easily part with the great prize which had been won by such strenuous exertions and profound combinations. It was therefore necessary to consider what arrangements would be most beneficial to France, on the supposition that it proved impossible to dislodge William from England. And it was evident that, if William could not be dislodged from England, the arrangement most beneficial to France would be that which had been contemplated eighteen months before when James had no prospect of a male heir. Ireland must be severed from the English crown, purged of the English colonists, reunited to the Church of Rome, placed under the protection of the House of Bourbon, and made, in every thing but name, a French province. In war, her resources would be absolutely at the command of her Lord Paramount. She would furnish his army with recruits. She would furnish his navy with fine harbours commanding all the great western outlets of the English trade. The strong national and religious antipathy with which her aboriginal population regarded the inhabitants of the neighbouring island would be a sufficient guarantee for their fidelity to that government which could alone protect her against the Saxon.

On the whole, therefore, it appeared to Avaux that, of the two parties into which the Council at Dublin was divided, the Irish party was that which it was for the interest of France to support. He accordingly connected himself closely with the chiefs of that party, obtained from them the fullest avowals of all that they designed, and was soon able to report to his government that neither the gentry nor the common people were at all unwilling to become French, [182]

The views of Louvois, incomparably the greatest statesman that France had produced since Richelieu, seem to have entirely agreed with those of Avaux. The best thing, Louvois wrote, that King James could do would be to forget that he had reigned in Great Britain, and to think only of putting Ireland into a good condition, and of establishing himself firmly there. Whether this were the true interest of the House of Stuart may be doubted. But it was undoubtedly the true interest of the House of Bourbon, [183]

About the Scotch and English exiles, and especially about Melfort, Avaux constantly expressed himself with an asperity hardly to have been expected from a man of so much sense and experience. Melfort was in a singularly unfortunate position. He was a renegade: he was a mortal enemy of the liberties of his country: he was of a bad and tyrannical nature; and yet he was, in some sense, a patriot. The consequence was that he was more universally detested than any man of his time. For, while his apostasy and his arbitrary maxims of government made him the abhorrence of England and Scotland, his anxiety for the dignity and integrity of the empire made him the abhorrence of the Irish and of the French.

The first question to be decided was whether James should remain at Dublin, or should put himself at the head of his army in Ulster. On this question the Irish and British factions joined battle. Reasons of no great weight were adduced on both sides; for neither party ventured to speak out. The point really in issue was whether the King should be in Irish or in British hands. If he remained at Dublin, it would be scarcely possible for him to withhold his assent from any bill presented to him by the Parliament which he had summoned to meet there. He would be forced to plunder, perhaps to attaint, innocent Protestant gentlemen and clergymen by hundreds; and he would thus do irreparable mischief to his cause on the other side of Saint George's Channel. If he repaired to Ulster, he would be within a few hours' sail of Great Britain. As soon as Londonderry had fallen, and it was universally supposed that the fall of Londonderry could not be long delayed, he might cross the sea with part of his forces, and land in Scotland, where his friends were supposed to be numerous. When he was once on British ground, and in the midst of British adherents, it would no longer be in the power of the Irish to extort his consent to their schemes of spoliation and revenge.

The discussions in the Council were long and warm. Tyrconnel, who had just been created a Duke, advised his master to stay in Dublin. Melfort exhorted his Majesty to set out for Ulster. Avaux exerted all his influence in support of Tyrconnel; but James, whose personal inclinations were naturally on the British side of the question, determined to follow the advice of Melfort, [184] Avaux was deeply mortified. In his official letters he expressed with great acrimony his contempt for the King's character and understanding. On Tyrconnel, who had said that he despaired of the fortunes of James, and that the real question was between the King of France and the Prince of Orange, the ambassador pronounced what was meant to be a warm eulogy, but may perhaps be more properly called an invective. "If he were a born Frenchman he could not be more zealous for the interests of France." [185] The conduct of Melfort, on the other hand, was the subject of an invective which much resembles eulogy: "He is neither a good Irishman nor a good Frenchman. All his affections are set on his own country." [186]

Since the King was determined to go northward, Avaux did not choose to be left behind. The royal party set out, leaving Tyrconnel in charge at Dublin, and arrived at Charlemont on the thirteenth of April. The journey was a strange one. The country all along the road had been completely deserted by the industrious population, and laid waste by bands of robbers. "This," said one of the French officers, "is like travelling through the deserts of Arabia." [187] Whatever effects the colonists had been able to remove were at Londonderry or Enniskillen. The rest had been stolen or destroyed. Avaux informed his court that he had not been able to get one truss of hay for his horses without sending five or six miles. No labourer dared bring any thing for sale lest some marauder should lay hands on it by the way. The ambassador was put one night into a miserable taproom full of soldiers smoking, another night into a dismantled house without windows or shutters to keep out the rain. At Charlemont a bag of oatmeal was with great difficulty, and as a matter of favour, procured for the French legation. There was no wheaten bread, except at the table of the King, who had brought a little flour from Dublin, and to whom Avaux had lent a servant who knew how to bake. Those who were honoured with an invitation to the royal table had their bread and wine measured out to them. Every body else, however high in rank, ate horsecorn, and drank water or detestable beer, made with oats instead of barley, and flavoured with some nameless herb as a substitute for hops, [188] Yet report said that the country between Charlemont and Strabane was even more desolate than the country between Dublin and Charlemont. It was impossible to carry a large stock of provisions. The roads were so bad and the horses so weak, that the baggage waggons had all been left far behind. The chief officers of the army were consequently in want of necessaries; and the ill-humour which was the natural effect of these privations was increased by the insensibility of James, who seemed not to be aware that every body about him was not perfectly comfortable, [189]

On the fourteenth of April the King and his train proceeded to Omagh. The rain fell: the wind blew: the horses could scarcely make their way through the mud, and in the face of the storm; and the road was frequently intersected by torrents which might almost be called rivers. The travellers had to pass several fords where the water was breast high. Some of the party fainted from fatigue and hunger. All around lay a frightful wilderness. In a journey of forty miles Avaux counted only three miserable cabins. Every thing else was rock, bog, and moor. When at length the travellers reached Omagh, they found it in ruins. The Protestants, who were the majority of the inhabitants, had abandoned it, leaving not a wisp of straw nor a cask of liquor. The windows had been broken: the chimneys had been beaten in: the very locks and bolts of the doors had been carried away, [190]

Avaux had never ceased to press the King to return to Dublin; but these expostulations had hitherto produced no effect. The obstinacy of James, however, was an obstinacy which had nothing in common with manly resolution, and which, though proof to argument, was easily shaken by caprice. He received at Omagh, early on the sixteenth of April, letters which alarmed him. He learned that a strong body of Protestants was in arms at Strabane, and that English ships of war had been seen near the mouth of Lough Foyle. In one minute three messages were sent to summon Avaux to the ruinous chamber in which the royal bed had been prepared. There James, half dressed, and with the air of a man bewildered by some great shock, announced his resolution to hasten back instantly to Dublin. Avaux listened, wondered, and approved. Melfort seemed prostrated by despair. The travellers retraced their steps, and, late in the evening, reached Charlemont. There the King received despatches very different from those which had terrified him a few hours before. The Protestants who had assembled near Strabane had been attacked by Hamilton. Under a truehearted leader they would doubtless have stood their ground. But Lundy, who commanded them, had told them that all was lost, had ordered them to shift for themselves, and had set them the example of flight, [191] They had accordingly retired in confusion to Londonderry. The King's correspondents pronounced it to be impossible that Londonderry should hold out. His Majesty had only to appear before the gates; and they would instantly fly open. James now changed his mind again, blamed himself for having been persuaded to turn his face southward, and, though it was late in the evening, called for his horses. The horses were in a miserable plight; but, weary and half starved as they were, they were saddled. Melfort, completely victorious, carried off his master to the camp. Avaux, after remonstrating to no purpose, declared that he was resolved to return to Dublin. It may be suspected that the extreme discomfort which he had undergone had something to do with this resolution. For complaints of that discomfort make up a large part of his letters; and, in truth, a life passed in the palaces of Italy, in the neat parlours and gardens of Holland, and in the luxurious pavilions which adorned the suburbs of Paris, was a bad preparation for the ruined hovels of Ulster. He gave, however, to his master a more weighty reason for refusing to proceed northward. The journey of James had been undertaken in opposition to the unanimous sense of the Irish, and had excited great alarm among them. They apprehended that he meant to quit them, and to make a descent on Scotland. They knew that, once landed in Great Britain, he would have neither the will nor the power to do those things which they most desired. Avaux, by refusing to proceed further, gave them an assurance that, whoever might betray them, France would be their constant friend, [192]

While Avaux was on his way to Dublin, James hastened towards Londonderry. He found his army concentrated a few miles south of the city. The French generals who had sailed with him from Brest were in his train; and two of them, Rosen and Maumont, were placed over the head of Richard Hamilton, [193] Rosen was a native of Livonia, who had in early youth become a soldier of fortune, who had fought his way to distinction, and who, though utterly destitute of the graces and accomplishments characteristic of the Court of Versailles, was nevertheless high in favour there. His temper was savage: his manners were coarse: his language was a strange jargon compounded of various dialects of French and German. Even those who thought best of him, and who maintained that his rough exterior covered some good qualities, owned that his looks were against him, and that it would be unpleasant to meet such a figure in the dusk at the corner of a wood, [194] The little that is known of Maumont is to his honour.

In the camp it was generally expected that Londonderry would fall without a blow. Rosen confidently predicted that the mere sight of the Irish army would terrify the garrison into submission. But Richard Hamilton, who knew the temper of the colonists better, had misgivings. The assailants were sure of one important ally within the walls. Lundy, the Governor, professed the Protestant religion, and had joined in proclaiming William and Mary; but he was in secret communication with the enemies of his Church and of the Sovereigns to whom he had sworn lealty. Some have suspected that he was a concealed Jacobite, and that he had affected to acquiesce in the Revolution only in order that he might be better able to assist in bringing about a Restoration: but it is probable that his conduct is rather to be attributed to faintheartedness and poverty of spirit than to zeal for any public cause. He seems to have thought resistance hopeless; and in truth, to a military eye, the defences of Londonderry appeared contemptible. The fortifications consisted of a simple wall overgrown with grass and weeds: there was no ditch even before the gates: the drawbridges had long been neglected: the chains were rusty and could scarcely be used: the parapets and towers were built after a fashion which might well move disciples of Vauban to laughter; and these feeble defences were on almost every side commanded by heights. Indeed those who laid out the city had never meant that it should be able to stand a regular siege, and had contented themselves with throwing up works sufficient to protect the inhabitants against a tumultuary attack of the Celtic peasantry. Avaux assured Louvois that a single French battalion would easily storm such defences. Even if the place should, notwithstanding all disadvantages, be able to repel a large army directed by the science and experience of generals who had served under Conde and Turenne, hunger must soon bring the contest to an end. The stock of provisions was small; and the population had been swollen to seven or eight times the ordinary number by a multitude of colonists flying from the rage of the natives, [195]

Lundy, therefore, from the time when the Irish army entered Ulster, seems to have given up all thought of serious resistance, He talked so despondingly that the citizens and his own soldiers murmured against him. He seemed, they said, to be bent on discouraging them. Meanwhile the enemy drew daily nearer and nearer; and it was known that James himself was coming to take the command of his forces.

Just at this moment a glimpse of hope appeared. On the fourteenth of April ships from England anchored in the bay. They had on board two regiments which had been sent, under the command of a Colonel named Cunningham, to reinforce the garrison. Cunningham and several of his officers went on shore and conferred with Lundy. Lundy dissuaded them from landing their men. The place, he said, could not hold out. To throw more troops into it would therefore be worse than useless: for the more numerous the garrison, the more prisoners would fall into the hands of the enemy. The best thing that the two regiments could do would be to sail back to England. He meant, he said, to withdraw himself privately: and the inhabitants must then try to make good terms for themselves.

He went through the form of holding a council of war; but from this council he excluded all those officers of the garrison whose sentiments he knew to be different from his own. Some, who had ordinarily been summoned on such occasions, and who now came uninvited, were thrust out of the room. Whatever the Governor said was echoed by his creatures. Cunningham and Cunningham's companions could scarcely venture to oppose their opinion to that of a person whose local knowledge was necessarily far superior to theirs, and whom they were by their instructions directed to obey. One brave soldier murmured. "Understand this," he said, "to give up Londonderry is to give up Ireland." But his objections were contemptuously overruled, [196] The meeting broke up. Cunningham and his officers returned to the ships, and made preparations for departing. Meanwhile Lundy privately sent a messenger to the head quarters of the enemy, with assurances that the city should be peaceably surrendered on the first summons.

But as soon as what had passed in the council of war was whispered about the streets, the spirit of the soldiers and citizens swelled up high and fierce against the dastardly and perfidious chief who had betrayed them. Many of his own officers declared that they no longer thought themselves bound to obey him. Voices were heard threatening, some that his brains should be blown out, some that he should be hanged on the walls. A deputation was sent to Cunningham imploring him to assume the command. He excused himself on the plausible ground that his orders were to take directions in all things from the Governor, [197] Meanwhile it was rumoured that the persons most in Lundy's confidence were stealing out of the town one by one. Long after dusk on the evening of the seventeenth it was found that the gates were open and that the keys had disappeared. The officers who made the discovery took on themselves to change the passwords and to double the guards. The night, however, passed over without any assault, [198]

After some anxious hours the day broke. The Irish, with James at their head, were now within four miles of the city. A tumultuous council of the chief inhabitants was called. Some of them vehemently reproached the Governor to his face with his treachery. He had sold them, they cried, to their deadliest enemy: he had refused admission to the force which good King William had sent to defend them. While the altercation was at the height, the sentinels who paced the ramparts announced that the vanguard of the hostile army was in sight. Lundy had given orders that there should be no firing; but his authority was at an end. Two gallant soldiers, Major Henry Baker and Captain Adam Murray, called the people to arms. They were assisted by the eloquence of an aged clergyman, George Walker, rector of the parish of Donaghmore, who had, with many of his neighbours, taken refuge in Londonderry. The whole of the crowded city was moved by one impulse. Soldiers, gentlemen, yeomen, artisans, rushed to the walls and manned the guns. James, who, confident of success, had approached within a hundred yards of the southern gate, was received with a shout of "No surrender," and with a fire from the nearest bastion. An officer of his staff fell dead by his side. The King and his attendants made all haste to get out of reach of the cannon balls. Lundy, who was now in imminent danger of being torn limb from limb by those whom he had betrayed, hid himself in an inner chamber. There he lay during the day, and at night, with the generous and politic connivance of Murray and Walker, made his escape in the disguise of a porter, [199] The part of the wall from which he let himself down is still pointed out; and people still living talk of having tasted the fruit of a pear tree which assisted him in his descent. His name is, to this day, held in execration by the Protestants of the North of Ireland; and his effigy was long, and perhaps still is, annually hung and burned by them with marks of abhorrence similar to those which in England are appropriated to Guy Faux.

And now Londonderry was left destitute of all military and of all civil government. No man in the town had a right to command any other: the defences were weak: the provisions were scanty: an incensed tyrant and a great army were at the gates. But within was that which has often, in desperate extremities, retrieved the fallen fortunes of nations. Betrayed, deserted, disorganized, unprovided with resources, begirt with enemies, the noble city was still no easy conquest. Whatever an engineer might think of the strength of the ramparts, all that was most intelligent, most courageous, most highspirited among the Englishry of Leinster and of Northern Ulster was crowded behind them. The number of men capable of bearing arms within the walls was seven thousand; and the whole world could not have furnished seven thousand men better qualified to meet a terrible emergency with clear judgment, dauntless valour, and stubborn patience. They were all zealous Protestants; and the Protestantism of the majority was tinged with Puritanism. They had much in common with that sober, resolute, and Godfearing class out of which Cromwell had formed his unconquerable army. But the peculiar situation in which they had been placed had developed in them some qualities which, in the mother country, might possibly have remained latent. The English inhabitants of Ireland were an aristocratic caste, which had been enabled, by superior civilisation, by close union, by sleepless vigilance, by cool intrepidity, to keep in subjection a numerous and hostile population. Almost every one of them had been in some measure trained both to military and to political functions. Almost every one was familiar with the use of arms, and was accustomed to bear a part in the administration of justice. It was remarked by contemporary writers that the colonists had something of the Castilian haughtiness of manner, though none of the Castilian indolence, that they spoke English with remarkable purity and correctness, and that they were, both as militiamen and as jurymen, superior to their kindred in the mother country, [200] In all ages, men situated as the Anglosaxons in Ireland were situated have had peculiar vices and peculiar virtues, the vices and virtues of masters, as opposed to the vices and virtues of slaves. The member of a dominant race is, in his dealings with the subject race, seldom indeed fraudulent,—for fraud is the resource of the weak,—but imperious, insolent, and cruel. Towards his brethren, on the other hand, his conduct is generally just, kind, and even noble. His selfrespect leads him to respect all who belong to his own order. His interest impels him to cultivate a good understanding with those whose prompt, strenuous, and courageous assistance may at any moment be necessary to preserve his property and life. It is a truth ever present to his mind that his own wellbeing depends on the ascendency of the class to which he belongs. His very selfishness therefore is sublimed into public spirit: and this public spirit is stimulated to fierce enthusiasm by sympathy, by the desire of applause, and by the dread of infamy. For the only opinion which he values is the opinion of his fellows; and in their opinion devotion to the common cause is the most sacred of duties. The character, thus formed, has two aspects. Seen on one side, it must be regarded by every well constituted mind with disapprobation. Seen on the other, it irresistibly extorts applause. The Spartan, smiting and spurning the wretched Helot, moves our disgust. But the same Spartan, calmly dressing his hair, and uttering his concise jests, on what he well knows to be his last day, in the pass of Thermopylae, is not to be contemplated without admiration. To a superficial observer it may seem strange that so much evil and so much good should be found together. But in truth the good and the evil, which at first sight appear almost incompatible, are closely connected, and have a common origin. It was because the Spartan had been taught to revere himself as one of a race of sovereigns, and to look down on all that was not Spartan as of an inferior species, that he had no fellow feeling for the miserable serfs who crouched before him, and that the thought of submitting to a foreign master, or of turning his back before an enemy, never, even in the last extremity, crossed his mind. Something of the same character, compounded of tyrant and hero, has been found in all nations which have domineered over more numerous nations. But it has nowhere in modern Europe shown itself so conspicuously as in Ireland. With what contempt, with what antipathy, the ruling minority in that country long regarded the subject majority may be best learned from the hateful laws which, within the memory of men still living, disgraced the Irish statute book. Those laws were at length annulled: but the spirit which had dictated them survived them, and even at this day sometimes breaks out in excesses pernicious to the commonwealth and dishonourable to the Protestant religion. Nevertheless it is impossible to deny that the English colonists have had, with too many of the faults, all the noblest virtues of a sovereign caste. The faults have, as was natural, been most offensively exhibited in times of prosperity and security: the virtues have been most resplendent in times of distress and peril; and never were those virtues more signally displayed than by the defenders of Londonderry, when their Governor had abandoned them, and when the camp of their mortal enemy was pitched before their walls.

No sooner had the first burst of the rage excited by the perfidy of Lundy spent itself than those whom he had betrayed proceeded, with a gravity and prudence worthy of the most renowned senates, to provide for the order and defence of the city. Two governors were elected, Baker and Walker. Baker took the chief military command. Walker's especial business was to preserve internal tranquillity, and to dole out supplies from the magazines, [201] The inhabitants capable of bearing arms were distributed into eight regiments. Colonels, captains, and subordinate officers were appointed. In a few hours every man knew his post, and was ready to repair to it as soon as the beat of the drum was heard. That machinery, by which Oliver had, in the preceding generation, kept up among his soldiers so stern and so pertinacious an enthusiasm, was again employed with not less complete success. Preaching and praying occupied a large part of every day. Eighteen clergymen of the Established Church and seven or eight nonconformist ministers were within the walls. They all exerted themselves indefatigably to rouse and sustain the spirit of the people. Among themselves there was for the time entire harmony. All disputes about church government, postures, ceremonies, were forgotten. The Bishop, having found that his lectures on passive obedience were derided even by the Episcopalians, had withdrawn himself, first to Raphoe, and then to England, and was preaching in a chapel in London, [202] On the other hand, a Scotch fanatic named Hewson, who had exhorted the Presbyterians not to ally themselves with such as refused to subscribe the Covenant, had sunk under the well merited disgust and scorn of the whole Protestant community, [203] The aspect of the Cathedral was remarkable. Cannon were planted on the summit of the broad tower which has since given place to a tower of different proportions. Ammunition was stored in the vaults. In the choir the liturgy of the Anglican Church was read every morning. Every afternoon the Dissenters crowded to a simpler worship, [204]

James had waited twenty-four hours, expecting, as it should seem, the performance of Lundy's promises; and in twenty-four hours the arrangements for the defence of Londonderry were complete. On the evening of the nineteenth of April, a trumpeter came to the southern gate, and asked whether the engagements into which the Governor had entered would be fulfilled. The answer was that the men who guarded these walls had nothing to do with the Governor's engagements, and were determined to resist to the last.

On the following day a messenger of higher rank was sent, Claude Hamilton, Lord Strabane, one of the few Roman Catholic peers of Ireland. Murray, who had been appointed to the command of one of the eight regiments into which the garrison was distributed, advanced from the gate to meet the flag of truce; and a short conference was held. Strabane had been authorised to make large promises. The citizens should have a free pardon for all that was past if they would submit to their lawful Sovereign. Murray himself should have a colonel's commission, and a thousand pounds in money. "The men of Londonderry," answered Murray, "have done nothing that requires a pardon, and own no Sovereign but King William and Queen Mary. It will not be safe for your Lordship to stay longer, or to return on the same errand. Let me have the honour of seeing you through the lines." [205]

James had been assured, and had fully expected, that the city would yield as soon as it was known that he was before the walls. Finding himself mistaken, he broke loose from the control of Melfort, and determined to return instantly to Dublin. Rosen accompanied the King. The direction of the siege was intrusted to Maumont. Richard Hamilton was second, and Pusignan third, in command.

The operations now commenced in earnest. The besiegers began by battering the town. It was soon on fire in several places. Roofs and upper stories of houses fell in, and crushed the inmates. During a short time the garrison, many of whom had never before seen the effect of a cannonade, seemed to be discomposed by the crash of chimneys, and by the heaps of ruin mingled with disfigured corpses. But familiarity with danger and horror produced in a few hours the natural effect. The spirit of the people rose so high that their chiefs thought it safe to act on the offensive. On the twenty-first of April a sally was made under the command of Murray. The Irish stood their ground resolutely; and a furious and bloody contest took place. Maumont, at the head of a body of cavalry, flew to the place where the fight was raging. He was struck in the head by a musket ball, and fell a corpse. The besiegers lost several other officers, and about two hundred men, before the colonists could be driven in. Murray escaped with difficulty. His horse was killed under him; and he was beset by enemies: but he was able to defend himself till some of his friends made a rush from the gate to his rescue, with old Walker at their head, [206]

In consequence of the death of Maumont, Hamilton was once more commander of the Irish army. His exploits in that post did not raise his reputation. He was a fine gentleman and a brave soldier; but he had no pretensions to the character of a great general, and had never, in his life, seen a siege, [207] Pusignan had more science and energy. But Pusignan survived Maumont little more than a fortnight. At four in the morning of the sixth of May, the garrison made another sally, took several flags, and killed many of the besiegers. Pusignan, fighting gallantly, was shot through the body. The wound was one which a skilful surgeon might have cured: but there was no such surgeon in the Irish camp; and the communication with Dublin was slow and irregular. The poor Frenchman died, complaining bitterly of the barbarous ignorance and negligence which had shortened his days. A medical man, who had been sent down express from the capital, arrived after the funeral. James, in consequence, as it should seem, of this disaster, established a daily post between Dublin Castle and Hamilton's head quarters. Even by this conveyance letters did not travel very expeditiously: for the couriers went on foot; and, from fear probably of the Enniskilleners, took a circuitous route from military post to military post, [208]

May passed away: June arrived; and still Londonderry held out. There had been many sallies and skirmishes with various success: but, on the whole, the advantage had been with the garrison. Several officers of note had been carried prisoners into the city; and two French banners, torn after hard fighting from the besiegers, had been hung as trophies in the chancel of the Cathedral. It seemed that the siege must be turned into a blockade. But before the hope of reducing the town by main force was relinquished, it was determined to make a great effort. The point selected for assault was an outwork called Windmill Hill, which was not far from the southern gate. Religious stimulants were employed to animate the courage of the forlorn hope. Many volunteers bound themselves by oath to make their way into the works or to perish in the attempt. Captain Butler, son of the Lord Mountgarret, undertook to lead the sworn men to the attack. On the walls the colonists were drawn up in three ranks. The office of those who were behind was to load the muskets of those who were in front. The Irish came on boldly and with a fearful uproar, but after long and hard fighting were driven back. The women of Londonderry were seen amidst the thickest fire serving out water and ammunition to their husbands and brothers. In one place, where the wall was only seven feet high, Butler and some of his sworn men succeeded in reaching the top; but they were all killed or made prisoners. At length, after four hundred of the Irish had fallen, their chiefs ordered a retreat to be sounded, [209]

Nothing was left but to try the effect of hunger. It was known that the stock of food in the city was but slender. Indeed it was thought strange that the supplies should have held out so long. Every precaution was now taken against the introduction of provisions. All the avenues leading to the city by land were closely guarded. On the south were encamped, along the left bank of the Foyle, the horsemen who had followed Lord Galmoy from the valley of the Barrow. Their chief was of all the Irish captains the most dreaded and the most abhorred by the Protestants. For he had disciplined his men with rare skill and care; and many frightful stories were told of his barbarity and perfidy. Long lines of tents, occupied by the infantry of Butler and O'Neil, of Lord Slane and Lord Gormanstown, by Nugent's Westmeath men, by Eustace's Kildare men, and by Cavanagh's Kerry men, extended northward till they again approached the water side, [210] The river was fringed with forts and batteries which no vessel could pass without great peril. After some time it was determined to make the security still more complete by throwing a barricade across the stream, about a mile and a half below the city. Several boats full of stones were sunk. A row of stakes was driven into the bottom of the river. Large pieces of fir wood, strongly bound together, formed a boom which was more than a quarter of a mile in length, and which was firmly fastened to both shores, by cables a foot thick, [211] A huge stone, to which the cable on the left bank was attached, was removed many years later, for the purpose of being polished and shaped into a column. But the intention was abandoned, and the rugged mass still lies, not many yards from its original site, amidst the shades which surround a pleasant country house named Boom Hall. Hard by is the well from which the besiegers drank. A little further off is the burial ground where they laid their slain, and where even in our own time the spade of the gardener has struck upon many sculls and thighbones at a short distance beneath the turf and flowers.

While these things were passing in the North, James was holding his court at Dublin. On his return thither from Londonderry he received intelligence that the French fleet, commanded by the Count of Chateau Renaud, had anchored in Bantry Bay, and had put on shore a large quantity of military stores and a supply of money. Herbert, who had just been sent to those seas with an English squadron for the purpose of intercepting the communications between Britanny and Ireland, learned where the enemy lay, and sailed into the bay with the intention of giving battle. But the wind was unfavourable to him: his force was greatly inferior to that which was opposed to him; and after some firing, which caused no serious loss to either side, he thought it prudent to stand out to sea, while the French retired into the recesses of the harbour. He steered for Scilly, where he expected to find reinforcements; and Chateau Renaud, content with the credit which he had acquired, and afraid of losing it if he staid, hastened back to Brest, though earnestly intreated by James to come round to Dublin.

Both sides claimed the victory. The Commons at Westminster absurdly passed a vote of thanks to Herbert. James, not less absurdly, ordered bonfires to be lighted, and a Te Deum to be sung. But these marks of joy by no means satisfied Avaux, whose national vanity was too strong even for his characteristic prudence and politeness. He complained that James was so unjust and ungrateful as to attribute the result of the late action to the reluctance with which the English seamen fought against their rightful King and their old commander, and that his Majesty did not seem to be well pleased by being told that they were flying over the ocean pursued by the triumphant French. Dover, too, was a bad Frenchman. He seemed to take no pleasure in the defeat of his countrymen, and had been heard to say that the affair in Bantry Bay did not deserve to be called a battle, [212]

On the day after the Te Deum had been sung at Dublin for this indecisive skirmish, the Parliament convoked by James assembled. The number of temporal peers of Ireland, when he arrived in that kingdom, was about a hundred. Of these only fourteen obeyed his summons. Of the fourteen, ten were Roman Catholics. By the reversing of old attainders, and by new creations, seventeen more Lords, all Roman Catholics, were introduced into the Upper House. The Protestant Bishops of Meath, Ossory, Cork, and Limerick, whether from a sincere conviction that they could not lawfully withhold their obedience even from a tyrant, or from a vain hope that the heart even of a tyrant might be softened by their patience, made their appearance in the midst of their mortal enemies.

The House of Commons consisted almost exclusively of Irishmen and Papists. With the writs the returning officers had received from Tyrconnel letters naming the persons whom he wished to see elected. The largest constituent bodies in the kingdom were at this time very small. For scarcely any but Roman Catholics dared to show their faces; and the Roman Catholic freeholders were then very few, not more, it is said, in some counties, than ten or twelve. Even in cities so considerable as Cork, Limerick, and Galway, the number of persons who, under the new Charters, were entitled to vote did not exceed twenty-four. About two hundred and fifty members took their seats. Of these only six were Protestants, [213] The list of the names sufficiently indicates the religious and political temper of the assembly. Alone among the Irish parliaments of that age, this parliament was filled with Dermots and Geohagans, O'Neils and O'Donovans, Macmahons, Macnamaras, and Macgillicuddies. The lead was taken by a few men whose abilities had been improved by the study of the law, or by experience acquired in foreign countries. The Attorney General, Sir Richard Nagle, who represented the county of Cork, was allowed, even by Protestants, to be an acute and learned jurist. Francis Plowden, the Commissioner of Revenue, who sate for Bannow, and acted as chief minister of finance, was an Englishman, and, as he had been a principal agent of the Order of Jesuits in money matters, must be supposed to have been an excellent man of business, [214] Colonel Henry Luttrell, member for the county of Carlow, had served long in France, and had brought back to his native Ireland a sharpened intellect and polished manners, a flattering tongue, some skill in war, and much more skill in intrigue. His elder brother, Colonel Simon Luttrell, who was member for the county of Dublin, and military governor of the capital, had also resided in France, and, though inferior to Henry in parts and activity, made a highly distinguished figure among the adherents of James. The other member for the county of Dublin was Colonel Patrick Sarsfield. This gallant officer was regarded by the natives as one of themselves: for his ancestors on the paternal side, though originally English, were among those early colonists who were proverbially said to have become more Irish than Irishmen. His mother was of noble Celtic blood; and he was firmly attached to the old religion. He had inherited an estate of about two thousand a year, and was therefore one of the wealthiest Roman Catholics in the kingdom. His knowledge of courts and camps was such as few of his countrymen possessed. He had long borne a commission in the English Life Guards, had lived much about Whitehall, and had fought bravely under Monmouth on the Continent, and against Monmouth at Sedgemoor. He had, Avaux wrote, more personal influence than any man in Ireland, and was indeed a gentleman of eminent merit, brave, upright, honourable, careful of his men in quarters, and certain to be always found at their head in the day of battle. His intrepidity, his frankness, his boundless good nature, his stature, which far exceeded that of ordinary men, and the strength which he exerted in personal conflict, gained for him the affectionate admiration of the populace. It is remarkable that the Englishry generally respected him as a valiant, skilful, and generous enemy, and that, even in the most ribald farces which were performed by mountebanks in Smithfield, he was always excepted from the disgraceful imputations which it was then the fashion to throw on the Irish nation, [215]

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