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decisive, as might have been expected, in consequence of the intervention of night. The Duke of Marlborough having, at length, established his line between Chobon and Diepenbech, prepared for a complete victory; to avert which Vendome dismounted from his horse, and led on the enemy near Mullen, to the rescue of their companions; but all his efforts proved but of little avail.
“ In this crisis, darkness enveloped the contending hosts, and the positions were discernible only by the flashes of musketry, which rolled round the narrowing circle of the devoted army, till the right of Eugene and the left of the Prince of Orange approached the same point. They mistook each other for enemies, and their conflict might have produced the most deplorable effects amidst the victorious ranks, had not the generals “exerted themselves with unusual activity, to put a timely stop to the fire. About nine, orders were given to the troops, to halt as they stood, and suffer the enemy to escape, rather than expose themselves to mutual destruction. To this order, numbers of the enemy owed their safety. Favoured by the obscurity, the broken corps forced their way in tumultuous crowds, as they were impelled by fear or despair. Some thousands slipped unperceived through an opening in the allied lines, near the castle of Bevere, and directed their flight towards the French frontier: others endeavoured to rejoin their left wing, in the direction of Mullem ; and a considerable number wandered to the posts of the allies, and were captured."
The bravery of the English general on this occasion could only be equalled by his humanity; for on perceiving next morning a prodigious number of wounded of different nations, enveloped in carnage, and surrounded with the wreck of war, he gave orders to collect the survivors, and to bestow on all,
66 without distinction, the care and relief which circumstances would permit. The agonies of suffering nature,” it is added,
were thus soothed, and many were snatched from a lingering and painful death, to acknowledge the beneficence and bless the name of their conqueror."
The third volume of this respectable work affords the most ample and curious account of the petty intrigues that prevailed in the court of Queen Anne; the jealousies of the Whigs, who had lost Her Majesty's favour, and the petty perplexities of the greatest general of his age, who dreaded the influence of Mrs. Masham far more than the armies of Louis XIV., and courted the smiles of his duchess with still greater ardour than glory itself. We find, that this spirited dame and her son-inlaw, Godolphin, were now both in disgrace; while Oxford and Bolingbroke, through the agency of the female alluded to above, monopolised the entire favour of the Queen, who had consented to a secret and dishonourable negociation with France, without the privity of the renowned commander, who had so often led the armies of the allies to victory.
This great general, however, was still continued in the command, and, in the campaign of 1709, besieged and took Tournay. The battle of Malplaquet and the capture of Mons added to his laurels. In 1710, he once more took the field, forced the Freneh lines by a series of masterly manæuvres, and besieged Douay and Fort Scarpe, in presence of a superior enemy, with his usual success. But he was foiled less by Marshal Villars than the intrigues of his own court, in his designs against Arras, and his intentions of penetrating into the heart of France.
In 1711, all his plans were deranged, and all his hopes blasted, by the sudden demise of the Emperor of Germany. The capture of Bouchain, accompanied by his generous interposition in favour of Fenelon, terminated the military career of this hero, whose glory experienced a sudden eclipse : for he was charged with fraud and peculation, dismissed from all his employments, and, with some difficulty, obtained a passport for the continent, where he actually lived as an exile, in great obscurity.
On the accession of George I., the Duke returned to his native land, was re-invested with the office of commander-inchief, and died, immensely rich, June 16, 1732, in the 79d
year of his age, after having been some years afflicted with the palsy, and reduced to the most deplorable state of imbecility.
Mr. Coxe, in the concluding chapter, presents us with a very fair and impartial account of his hero. As a private individual, we are assured that he exhibited all the domestic virtues in an eminent degree, being a dutiful son, a tender husband, an affectionate father, a firm friend, and an indulgent master. He is allowed by all to have possessed the graces; and is here praised “ for his generous magnanimity.”
66 Human nature, however,” adds his biographer, “is not perfect, and it is with regret we acknowledge, that one virtue was wanting to the Duke of Marlborough, which we naturally attach to the character of a great man.
This was a want of liberality, which in him amounted to parsimony.” It is also admitted, that his political career was not free from blemish, in consequence of his clandestine correspondence with the exiled family; but as a warrior, his praise is unbounded, while the familiar appellation of “ Corporal John” serves to denote the love borne him by the army. Even Bolingbroke, after his death, acknowledges him to be the “greatest general and the greatest minister, that our country, or any other, has produced.”
We lament that we are unable to consign a longer space to the notice of a work, which fills up an important chasm in British biography. We congratulate the Archdeacon on the conclusion of his labours, and differ only with him in respect to his opinion of the Duchess of Marlborough, whose faults he carefully enumerates without, perhaps, doing sufficient jus tice to her talents, her merits, and her public spirit.
LETTERS FROM THE ABBE EDGEWORTH TO HIS FRIENDS,
HENRY ESSEX EDGEWORTH, generally known here as the "Abbe Edgeworth," was born in Edgeworth's town in Ireland, some time in the year 1745. Robert his father, a clergyman of the established church, and for some time Rector of Edgeworth's town in the county of Longford, married Miss Usher, a grand-daughter of the celebrated archbishop of that name. Having resigned his preferment, he left Ireland in 1749, and became a convert to the religion of the church of Rome. Some landed property appertaining to him in his native county was afterwards sold, and Henry, at his ordination, assumed the title of Abbé de Fermont, from the name of one of those farms.
After residing some time at Toulouse, where he completed the usual course of belles-lettres and rhetoric, at the instance of the late Dr. Moylan, afterwards titular Bishop of Cork, the 'subject of this memoir was sent to Paris, and, while there, resided in the seminary of Trente-Trois, while he attended at the philosophical and theological lectures at the colleges of Navarre and the Sorbonne.
In due time, the young student was ordained a priest, on which he removed to the seminary of Les Missions Etrangères, Rue de Baeq. "Each morning found him in the tribunal of penance, the patient confessor, the zealous instructor, the meek and humble spiritual director and friend of all who sought his assistance or counsel."
During the “ reign of terror,” this pious minister of the gospel was nominated by the Archbishop of Paris to superintend his diocese; and he was soon after recommended by the good and virtuous Princess Elizabeth to the notice of Louis XVI., at whose execution he assisted in quality of confessor. No mention of the melancholy particulars of that day is here made: we find, however, that his body was sprinkled with royal blood, and being dressed, not in canonicals, but in a common surtout, he escaped without any difficulty from the fatal scaffold, and was soon lost in the crowd.
After experiencing a variety of perils, the good Abbé found means to leave France, and was soon after taken under the protection of Louis XVIII., whom he accompanied to Mittau in Courland. In 1800, he observes in a letter to a correspondent, “ I am confident that the French will, sooner or later, return to their former masters, though it be impossible at present, to say by what means or when.” Of his present majesty, he expresses himself thus in 1804: “ The King is not only a believer, but to the whole extent of the word, a truly religious prince, endowed with every virtue that makes (adorns) the saints, and with a capacity far superior to what I have met with in any other men (man) upon earth. Unfortunately, he is, as to body, of a most corpulent disposition, which renders him less fit than he would otherwise be for restoring matters in France.”
This pious and worthy clergyman was seized with the gaolfever, in consequence of his attentions to the French prisoners at Mittau, where he died after a short illness, on May 22, 1807. On this occasion, the Duchess of Angouleme administered his medicines to him with her own hand.