- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 134MB
"How many battles had been fought there?"
Marshal Villars, like the French plenipotentiaries, had made a great display of forces, pretty certain, from private information, that there was little fear of being attacked. The Allies had a fine army of one hundred and twenty thousand men opposed to him; but so far as the English were concerned, their commander had his hands tied. The Duke of Ormonde was sent to take the place of the Duke of Marlborougha certain indication that he was meant only for a mere show general. He was a staunch Jacobite, but no general of talents or experience fit to succeed a man like Marlborough. On arriving at the Hague he assured the States General that his instructions were to act zealously with the Allies, and especially the Dutch, and from his letters it would appear that such were his orders. But before his arrival, Mr. Thomas Harley, a relative of Oxford's, and the Abb Gualtier, had reached the Hague, and had assured the plenipotentiaries that the Government had determined on peace, and would not allow the army to fight. They also brought over with them the scheme of the Treaty, which was not yet to be made known to the Dutch. But the States General were too well aware of the hollow proceedings of the English Court, and, disgusted at the withdrawal of Marlborough and the substitution of Ormonde, they would not entrust their troops to him, but appointed Eugene as their own general. Thus, instead of one generalissimo of consummate genius, the army was divided under two chiefs, the abler chief, the Prince Eugene, having the utmost contempt for the martial talents of his colleague. All on the part of England, both in the conference and in the army, was hollow, treacherous, and disgraceful. Yet, though there was to be no fighting, the pretence of it was kept up. The Earl of Albemarle marched with a detachment of the army to Arras, where he burnt and destroyed some magazines of the French. Ormonde, too, joined Prince Eugene on the 26th of May, and the united army passed the Scheldt, and encamped between Haspres and Solennes. Eugene proposed to attack Villars in his lines, and Ormonde consented to it, but he immediately received a peremptory order from Mr. Secretary St. John against engaging in any siege or battle, and he was directed to keep this order profoundly secret from the Allies. Ormonde was also instructed that if Villars should intimate that he was aware of these secret proceedings, he was to take no notice of them; nor was Villars long in letting him know that they might now consider each other as friends. The situation of Ormonde thus became one of extreme embarrassment. On the one hand, Eugene urged him to prepare for an engagement; on the other, the Dutch were impatient to see some stroke which should humble the French and make negotiation more easy; but Ormonde was as unable to move, notwithstanding previous assurances, as if he had been a mere image of wood. He wrote to St. John, expressing in strong terms the embarrassing nature of his situation, assuring him that the Dutch were exclaiming that they were betrayed; but St. John encouraged him to hold out as well as he could, and Ormonde condescended to play this false and degrading part, equally disgraceful to him as a general and a man of any pretences to honour. The prince urged forward the necessity of laying siege to Quesnoy, and Ormonde was allowed, for the sake of keeping up appearances, to furnish a considerable detachment for the purpose. But there was so evident a backwardness in the duke's movements, that the Dutch deputies complained vehemently to the English plenipotentiaries at Utrecht of his refusal to act in earnest against the enemy. Thereupon Robinson, the bishop, took high ground, and retorted that the States General had met the queen's proposals for peace so strangely, that her Majesty now felt herself released from any further obligation to maintain the treaties and engagements between herself and them. This roused the States to great and indignant activity. They entered into communication with the Electors of Hanover, of Hesse-Cassel, and other princes of the Empire, regarding the effective service of their troops in the pay of Great Britain. They sent off warm remonstrances to the Queen of England, and Anne was obliged to summon a council, in which it was agreed that Ormonde should appear as much as possible to concur with Eugene in the siege.Undoubtedly, as she said, the American was ugly and unattractive; but the Mexican was pretty and decidedly engaging. Cairness had been too nearly trapped once before to be lured now. He met the piece of brown femininity upon her own ground. "You are quite right, querida mia. She is ugly and old, and you are beautiful and young, and I will take you with me to the States and buy a pink dress with lovely green ribbons, if you will tell me where the old woman is."
Chapter 2The moment became twothree