Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

keeping; he had been so generous to me, as not || tunate prince, and had the year before pusbed to ask what money I had about me, though I our army upon many occasions ; but his good had not much, if he had; but I lost by his civi- fortune began to fail him a little this year, for lity, for then I could not have the assurance to our army was not only more numerous than his, ask him for his money, though I understood he but the duke was in the field before him; and had near a hundred pistoles about him ; but as the prince had held Mantua closely blocked hc very handsomely at night, when we came up all the winter, the duke resolved to relieve to our tents, made me a present of twenty pis the town, cost what it would : as I said, the toles, and in return, I obtained leave for him to duke was first in the field, the prince was in no go to Prince Eugene's camp upon his parole, condition to prevent his raising the blockade by which he did, and so got himself exchanged. force ; so he drew off his troops, and leaving

It was after this campaign that I was quar several strong bodies of troops to protect Bertered at Cremona, when the action happened sello, which the Duke de Vendome threatened, there, of which I have spoken already, and where and Borgo-Forte, where his magazine lay, he drew our Irish regiment did such service that they all the rest of his forces together, to make head saved the town from being really surprised, and against us; by this time the King of Spain was indeed beat the Germans out again, after they come into the army, and the Duke de Vendôme had been masters of three quarters of the town lay, with about thirty-five thousand men, near six hours, and by which they gained a very Luzara, which he had resolved to attack, to great reputation.

bring Prince Eugene to a battle : the Prince of Vaudemont lay entrenched with twenty thousand

more at Rivalto, behind Mantua, to cover the CHAPTER XIV.

frontiers of Milan, and there were near twelve FURTHER OPERATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN.-AM|| thousand in Mantua itself; and Monsieur Pra

QUARTERED AT TRENT, AND MARRY MY LAND contal lay with ten thousand men just under the LORD'S DAUGHTER.-I SELL MY COMPANY, AND cannon of one of the forts which guard the EMBARK IN THE FRENCH FLEET.-PARTICULARS causeway which leads into the city of Mantua : OF THEIR EXPEDITION. I RETURN UNEXPECTED so that had all these joined, as they could have LY TO PARIS, AND MAKE A DISAGREEABLE DIS done in a few days more, the prince must have COVERY RELATING TO MY WIFE.—I CHALLENGE been put to his shists, and would have had enough AND WOUND HER GALLANT.

to do to have maintained himself in Italy; for But I hasten on to my own history, for I am not he was master of no one place in the country writing a journal of the wars, in which I had no that could have held out a formal siege of fifteen long share.

days, and he knew all this very well, and thereThe summer after this our two Irish regi- fore, it seems, while the Duke of Vendôme rements were drawn out into the field, and had solved, if possible, to bring him to a battle, and many a sorc brush with the Germans; for Prince to that end made dispositions to attack Luzara; Eugene, a vigilant general, gave us little rest, we were surprised to find, the 15th of June, and gained many advantages by his continual || | 1702, the whole imperial army appeared in Bamoving up and down, harassing his own men talia, and in full march to attack us. and ours too; and whoever will do the French As it happened, our army was all marching in justice, and knew how they behaved, must ac- columns towards them, as we had done for two knowledge they never declined the Germans, || days before, and I should have told you, that but fought them upon all occasions, with the three days before, the duke having notice that utmost resolution and courage; and though it General Visconti, with three imperial regiments cost the blood of an infinite number of fine of horse, and one of dragoons, was posted at gentlemen, as well as private soldiers, yet the San- Victoria, on the Tessona; he resolved to Duke de Vendôme, who now commanded, though | attack them, and this design was carried so King Philip was himself in the army this cam- || secretly, that while Monsieur Visconti, though paign, made the Prince of Savoy a full return our army was three leagues another way, was in his own kind, and drove him from post to passing towards the Modenese, he found himself post, till he was just at the point of quitting the unexpectedly attacked by six thousand horse and whole country of Italy; all that gallant army dragoons of the French army: he defended Prince Eugene brought with him into Italy, || himself very bravely for pear an hour; when which was the best without doubt, for the good being overpowered, and finding he should be ness of the troops, that ever were there, laid forced into disorder, he sounded a retreat; but their bones in that country, and many thousands | the squadrons had not faced about to make more after them; till the affairs of France de- || their retreat scarce a quarter of an hour, when clining in other places, they were forced in their || they found themselves surrounded by a great turn to give way to their fate, as may be seen | body of infantry, who had entirely cut off their in the histories of those times, as above; but it| retreat, except over the bridge of 'Tessona, which is none of my business.

being thronged with their baggage, they could The part that I bore in these affairs was but || neither get backward nor forward ; so they short and sharp; we took the field about the thrust and tumbled over one another, in such a beginning of July, 1702, and the Duke de Ven- || manner, that they could preserve no kind of dôme ordered the whole army to draw the order ; but abundance fell into the river, and sooner together, in order to relieve the city of were drowned, many were killed, and more taken Mantua, which was blocked up by the imperial- || prisoners; so that, in a word, the whole three ists.

regiments of horse, and one of dragoons, were Prince Eugene was a politic, and indeed a for-Il entirely defeated.

This was a great blow to the prince, because || flower of the French cavalry; namely, the gensthey were some of the choicest troops of his d'armes, the royal carabincers, and the queen's whole arıy: we took about four hundred pri- || horse-guards, with four hundred horse more, soners, and all their baggage, which was a very and next them the infantry, among which were considerable booty, and about eight hundred our brigade ; the horse advanced first to charge, horses ; and no doubt these troops were very || and they carried all before them sword in hand, much wanted in the battle that ensued on the receiving the fire of two imperial regiments of 15th, as I have said: our army being in full cuirassiers, without firing a shot, and falling in march (as above) to attack Luzara, a party of among them, bore them down by the strength of Germans appeared, being about six hundred their horses, putting them into confusion, and horse, and in less than an hour more, their whole left so clear a field for us to follow, that the first army in order of battle.

1 line of our infantry stood drawn up upon the Our army formed immediately, and the duke ground which the enemy at first possessed. posted the regiments as they came up, so much in this first attack the Marquis de Crequi, to their advantage, that Prince Eugene was || wno commanded the whole right wing, was obliged to alter his dispositions, and had this killed; a loss which fully balanced the death of particular inconvenience upon his hands, viz. to the Prince de Commercy, on the side of the attack an army superior to his own, in all their | Germans; after we had thus pushed the enemost advantageous posts; whereas, had he my's cavalry (as above), their troops, being thought fit to have waited but one day, we rallied by the dexterity of their generals, and should have met him half way; but this was supported by threc imperial regiments of foot, owing to the pride of the German generals, and came on again to the charge with such fury that their being so opinionated of the goodness of nothing could withstand them; and here two their troops ; the royal army was posted with battalions of our Irish regiments were put into the left to the great river Po, on the other side | disorder, and abundance of our men killed; and of which the Prince of Vaudemont's army lay, here also I had the misfortune to receive a muscannonading the entrenchments which the im- | quct-shot, which broke my left arm; and that perialists had made at Borgo-Forte; and hearing was not all, for I was knocked down by a giantthat there was like to be a general battle, he like German soldier, who, when he thought he detached twelve battalions, and about one had killed me, set his foot upon me, but was imthousand horse, to reinforce the royal army; | mediately shot dead by one of my men, and fell all which, to our great encouragement, had time just upon me, which, my arm being broken, to join the army, while Prince Eugene was ) was a very great mischief to me; for the very making his new dispositions for the attack; and weight of the fellow, who was almost as big as a yet it was the coming of these troops which horse, was such that I was not able to stir. caused Prince Eugene to resolve to begin the || Our men were beaten back after this from the fight, expecting to have come to an action before place where they stood, and so I was left in posthey could come up, but he was disappointed in session of the enemy, but was not their prithe reason of fighting, and yet was obliged to soner (that is to say, was not found) till the fight too, which was an error in the prince, that next morning, when a party being sent, as usual, it was too late to retrieve.

with surgeons to look after the wounded men, It was five o'clock in the evening before he among the dead found me, almost smothered could bring up his whole line to engage; and with the dead Germans, and others that lay then, after having cannonaded us to no great near me; however, to do them justice, they purpose for half an hour, his right, commanded used me with humanity, and the surgeons set by the Prince de Commercy, attacked our left my arm very skilfully and well; and after four wing with great fury: our men received them or five days I had liberty to go to Parma upon so well, and seconded one another so punctually, my parole. that they were repulsed with a very great “Both the armies continued fighting, especially slaughter, and the Prince de Commercy being on our left, till it was so dark that it was impos(unhappily for them) killed in the first onset, sible to know who they fired at, or for the gethe regiments, for want of orders, and surprised nerals to see what they did; so they abated with the fall of so great a man, were pushed into firing gradually, and, as it may be truly said, the disorder, and one whole brigade was entirely night parted them. broke.

!! Both sides claimed the victory, and both conBut their second linc advancing, under General | cealed their losses as much as was possible ; but Herbeville, restored things in the first; the bat- it is certain, that never battle was fought with talions rallied, and they came boldly on to charge greater bravery and obstinacy than this was ; a second time, and being seconded with new re- and had there been day-light to have fought it inforcements from their main body, our men had out, doubtless there would have been many their turn, and were pushed to a canal, which thousand more men killed on both sides. lay on their left flank, between them and the All the Germans had to entitle them to the Po, behind which they rallied, and being sup- | victory was, that they made our left retire, as I ported by new troops, as well horse as foot, they have said, to the canal, and to the high banks fought on both sides with the utmost obstinacy, or mounds on the edge of the Po; but they and with such courage and skill, that it was not had so much advantage in the retreat--they possible to judge who should have had the fired from thence among the thickest of the better, could they have been able to have fought enemy, and could never be forced from their it ont.

posts. On the right of the royal army was posted the l' The best testimony the royal ariny had of the

victory, and which was certainly the better of The time came soon after that I was released the two. was, that two days after the fight they | by the cartel, and so was obliged to go to the attacked Guastalla, as it were in view of the regiment, which then was in quarters in the MiGerman army, and forced the garrison to sur- || lanese, and from thence I got leave to go to render, and to swear not to serve again for six || Paris, upon my promise to raise some recruits in months, which, they being one thousand five | England for the Irish regiments, by the help of hundred men, was a great loss to the Germans, my correspondents there. Having thus leave to and yet Prince Eugene did not offer to relieve it; go to Paris, I took a passport from the enemy's and after that we took several other posts which army, to go to Trent, and making a long circuit, the imperialists had possession of, but were I went back thither, and very honestly packed obliged to quit them upon the approach of the up my baggage, wife and all, and brought her French army, not being in a condition to fight away through Tyrol, into Bavaria, and so another battle that year.

through Suabia, and the Black Forest, into My campaign was now at an end, and though | Alsace, from thence I came into Lorraine, and I came off lame, I came off much better than so to Paris. abundance of gentlemen ; for in that bloody I had now a secret design to quit the war, for battle we had above four hundred officers killed || I really had had enough of fighting ; but it was or wounded, whereof three were general officers. counted so dishonourable a thing to quit while

The campaign held on till December, and the the army was in the field, that I could not disDuke de Vendôme took Borgo-Forte, and several | pense with it; but an intervening accident made other places, from the Germans, who, in shiort, that part easy to me: the war was now relost ground every day in Italy; I was a prisoner newed between France, and England, and Hola great while, and there being no cartel settled, land, just as it was before ; and the French king Prince Eugene ordered the French prisoners to meditating nothing more than how to give the be sent into Hungary, which was a cruelty that || English a diversion, fitted out a strong squadron could not be reasonably exercised on them; l of men of war and frigates, at Dunkirk, on board however, a great many, by that banishment, ll of which he embarked a body of troops, of about found means to make their escape to the Turks, six thousand five hundred men, besides volunby whom they were kindly received, and the teers; and the new king, as we called him, French ambassador at Constantinople took care of|| | though more generally he was called the Chevathem, and shipped them back again into Italy at lier de St George, was shipped along with them, the king's charge.

and all for Scotland. But the Duke de Vendôme now took so many | | I pretended a great deal of zeal for this serGerman prisoners, that Prince Eugene was tiredvice, and that if I might be permitted to sell my of sending his prisoners to Hungary, and was company in the Irish regiment I was in, and have obliged to be at the charge of bringing some || the chevalier's brevet for a colonel, in case of of them back again whom he had sent thither, raising troops for him in Great Britain, after and come to agree to a general exchange of | his arrival, I would embark volunteer and serve prisoners.

at my own expense : the latter gave me a great I was, as I have said, allowed for a time to go ll advantage with the chevalier; for now I was esto Parma, upon my parole, where I continued, teemed as a man of consideration, and one that for the recovery of my wound and broken arm, must have a considerable interest in my own forty days, and was then obliged to render myself country; so I obtained leave to sell my comto the commanding officer at Ferrara, where | pany, and having had a good round sum of money Prince Eugene coming soon after, I was, with remitted me from London, by the way of Holland, several other prisoners of war, sent away into | I prepared a very handsome equipage, and away the Milanese, to be kept for an exchange of I went to Dunkirk to embark. prisoners.

I was very well received by the chevalier; It was in the city of Trent that I continued and, as he had an account that I was an officer about cight months; the man in whose house 1 in the Irish brigade, and had served in Italy, and quartered was exceedingly civil to me, and took i consequently was an old soldier, all this added a great deal of care of me, and I lived very easy. || to the character which I had before, and made Here I contracted a kind of familiarity, perfectly me have a great deal of honour paid me, though undesigned by me, with the daughter of the at the same time I had no particular attachment burgher, at whose house I had lodged, and to his person or to his cause; nor indeed did know not by what fatality that was upon me, II much consider the cause of one side or other ; was prevailed with afterward to marry her: this if I had, I should hardly have risked, not my was a piece of honesty on my side which life only, but effects too, which were all, as 1 must acknowledge I never intended to be guilty might say, from that moment, forfeited to the of; but the girl was too cunning for me; for she | English government, and were too evidently in found means to get some wine into my head their power to confiscate at their pleasure. more than I used to drink, and though I was not | However, having just received a remittance so disordered with it but that I knew very well from London, of 3001. sterling, and sold my comwhat I did, yet in an unusual height of good pany in the Irish regiment for very near as much, humour I consented to be married. This im- I was not only insensibly drawn in, but was perpolitic piece of honesty put me to many incon- fectly volunteer in that dull cause, and awar veniences, for I knew not what to do with this I went with them at all hazards; it belongs very new clog which i had loaded myself with; 1 little to my history to give an account of that could neither stay with her, nor take her with || fruitless expedition, only to tell you, that, being me, so that I was exceedingly perplexed.

so closely and effectually chased by the English

fleet, which was superior in force to the French, ll considering what I should do to her, and espeI may say, that in escaping them I escaped being | cially what I should do to the villain, whoever he hanged.

was, that had thus abused and supplanted me: It was the good fortune of the French that here indeed I committed murder more than once, they overshot the port they aimed at, and in. | or indeed than a hundred times, in my imaginatending for the frith of Forth, or, as it is called, 1 tion; and as the devil is certainly an apparent the frith of Edinburgh, the first land they made prompter to wickedness, if he is not the first was as far north as a place called Montrose, || mover of it in our minds, he seized me night and where it was not their business to land, and so day, with proposals to kill my wife. they were obliged to come back to the frith, and I This horrid project he carried up so high, by were gotten to the entrance of it, and came to an | raising fierce thoughts, and fomenting the blood anchor for the tide ; but this delay or hinderance upon my contemplation of the word cuckold, gave time to the English, under Sir George Byng, that, in short, I left debating whether I should to come to the frith, and they came to an anchor murder her or no, as a thing out of the question just as we did, only waiting to go up the frith and determined ; and my thoughts were then with the flood.

taken up only with the management how I should Had we not overshot the port, as above, all || kill her, and how to make my escape after I had our squadron had been destroyed in two days, I done it. and all we could have done had been to have | All this while I had no sufficient cvidence of gotten into the pier or haven at Leith, with the her guilt, neither had I so much as charged her smaller frigates, and have landed the troops and with it, or let her know I suspected her, otherammunition ; but we must have set fire to the wise than as she might perceive it in my conduct men of war, for the English squadron was not and in the change of my behaviour to her, which above 24 hours behind us, or thereabouts. was such, that she could not but perceive that

Upon this surprise the French admiral set sail something troubled me, yet she took no notice of from the north point of the frith where we lay, | it to me, but received me very well, and showed and crowding away to the north, got the start of herself to be glad of my return; nor did I find the English feet, and made their escape with the she had been extravagant in her expenses while loss of one ship only, which being behind the || I was abroad; but jealousy, as the wise man rest, could not get away. When we were satis- | says, is the wrath of a man; ber being so good fied the English left chasing us, which was not a housewife of what money I had left her gave till the third night, when we altered our course, | my distempered fancy an opinion that she had and lost sight of them, we stood over to the coast been maintained by other people, and so had had of Norway, and keeping that shore on board all | no occasion to spend. the way to the mouth of the Baltic, we came to l I must confess she had a difficult point here an anchor again, and sent two scouts abroad to upon her, though she had been really honest; learn news, to see if the sea was clear, and being for as my head was prepossessed of her dissatisfied that the enemy did not chase us, we honesty, if she had been lavish, I should have kept on with an easier sail, and came all back said she had spent it upon her gentlemen ; and again to Dunkirk, and glad I was to set my foot as she had been frugal, I said, she had been on shore again; for all the wbile we were thus maintained by them: thus, I say, my head was flying for our lives, I was under the greatest distempered; I believed myself abused, and terror imaginable, and nothing but halters and nothing could put it out of my thoughts night gibbets run in my head, concluding that if I or day. had been taken I should certainly have been | All this while, it was not visibly broken out hanged.

between us; but I was so fully possessed with But the care was now over, I took my leave of the belief of it, that I seemed to want no evidence, the chevalier and of the army, and made haste to and I looked with an evil eye upon everybody Paris : I came so unexpectedly to Paris, and to that came near her, or that she conversed with : my own lodgings, that it was my misfortune to there was an officer of the garde du corps, that make a discovery relating to my wife which was I lodged in the same house with us, a very honest not at all to my satisfaction; for I found her gentleman and a man of quality ; I happened to ladyship had kept some company that I had be in a little drawing-room adjoining to a parreason to believe were not such as an honest lour where my wife sat at that time, and this woman ought to have conversed with, and as gentleman came into the parlour, which, as he I knew her temper, by what I had found of her was one of the family, he might have done withmyself, I grew very jealous and uneasy about her; || out offence, but he not knowing that I was in the I must own it touched me very nearly, for I began | drawing-room, sat down and talked with my to have an extraordinary value for her, and her | wife; I heard every word they said, for the door behaviour was very takiny, especially after I had || between us was open, nor could I say that there brought her into France; but having a vein of passed anything between them but cursory dislevity, it was impossible to prevent her running course ; they talked of casual things, of a young into such things in a town so full of what they lady, a burgher's daughter of nineteen, that had call gallantry as Paris.

been married the week before to an advocate in It vexed me also to think that it should be my the parliament of Paris, vastly rich, and about fate to be a cuckold both abroad and at home, thirty-six : and of another, a widow lady of and sometimes I would be in such a rage about fortune in Paris, that had married her deceased it that I had no government of myself when | husband's valet de chambre, and of such casual I thought of it; whole days, and, I may say, matters, that I could find no fault with her now sometimes whole nights, I spent musing and I at all.

But it filled my head with jealous thoughts, ll have me give him satisfaction, as he called it. and fired my temper; now I fancied he used too || I told him I was a stranger in the country, and much freedom with her, then that she used too | perhaps should find little mercy in their course of much freedom to him, and once or twice I was justice; that it was not my business to fight any upon the point of breaking in upon them, and man in his vindicating his keeping company with affronting them both, but I restrained myself; at my wife, for that the injury was mine, in having length he talked something merrily of the lady a bad woman to deal with; that there was no throwing away her maidenhead, as I understood reason in the thing, that after any man should it, upon an old man; but still it was nothing in have found the way into my bed, I, who am decent; but I, who was all on fire alreads, could injured, should go and stake my life upon an bear it no longer, but started up, and came into | equal hazard against the man who has abused the room, and catching at my wife's words, “Say me. you so, madam," said I ; " was he too old for Nothing would prevail with this person to be her ?" and giving the officer a look that I fancy quiet for all this; but I had affronted him, and was something akin to the face on the sign called no satisfaction could be made him but that at the Bull and Mouth, within Aldersgate, I went the point of the sword; so we agreed to go away out into the street.

together to Lisle in Flanders. I was now soldier The marquis, so he was styled, a man of honour || enough not to be afraid to look a man in the and of spirit too, took it as I meant it, and fol face, and as the rage at my wife inspired me with lowed me in a moment, and hemm'd after me in N courage, so he let fall a word that fired and prothe street; upon which I stopped, and he came voked me beyond all patience ; for, speaking of the up to me. “ Sir," said he, “our circumstances distrust I had of my wife, he said, unless I had are very unhappy in France, that we cannot do good information I ought not to suspect my wife : ourselves justice here without the most scvere I told him, if I had good-information, I should be treatment in the world; but, come on it what past suspicion ; he replied, if he was the happy will, you must explain yourself to me on the sub man that had so much of her favour, he would ject of your behaviour just now."

take care then to put me past the suspicion; I was a little cooled as to the point of my con I gave him as rough an answer as he could duct to him in the very few moments that had desire, and he returned in French, nous verrons d passed, and was very sensible that I was wrong to Lisle, that is to say, we will talk further of it at him, and I said, therefore, to him, very frankly, || Lisle. “ Sir, you are a gentleman, whom I know very | I told him I did not see the benefit either to well, and I have a very great respect for you; him or me of going so far as Lisle to decide this but I had been disturbed a little about the con quarrel, since now I perceived he was the man duct of my wife, and, were it your own case, I wanted, that we might decide this quarrel, what would you have done less ?"

au champ, upon the spot, and whoever had the “ I am sorry for any dislike between you and || fortune to fell the other, might make his cscape your wife," says he ; “but what is that to me? || to Lisle, as well afterwards as before. Can you charge me with any indecency to her, || Thus we walked on, talking very ill-naturedly except my talking so and so (at which he re- || on both sides, and yet very mannerly, till we came peated the words), and, as I knew you were in clear of the suburbs of Paris, and on the way to the next room, and heard every word, and that || Charenton ; when, seeing the way clear, I told all the doors were open, I thought no man could | him, under those trees was a very fit place for us, have taken amiss so innocent an expression.” pointing to a row of trees adjoining to Monsicur

“ I could no otherwise take it amiss;” said | - 's garden wall; so we went thither, and fell I, “ than as I thought it implied a farther fami- || to work immediately; after some fencing, he liarity, and that you cannot expect should be || made a home thrust at me, and run me, into my borne by any man of honour; however, sir," arm, a long slanting wound, but at the same said I, “ I spoke only to my wife ; I said nothing time received my point into his body, and soon to you, but gave you my hat as I passed you." after fell; he spoke some words before he dropped;

“ Yes," said he, “ and a look as full of rage first, he told me I had killed him ; then he said, as the devil; are there no words in such looks?" || he had indeed wronged me, and as he knew it,

“ I can say nothing to that,” said I, “ for 1 he ought not to have fought me; he desired cannot see my own countenance; but my rage, || I would make my escape immediately, which as you call it, was at my wife, not at you." || I did into the city, but no farther, nobody as

“ But hark you, sir," said he (growing warm || I thought, having seen us together. In the as I grew calm), “ your anger at your wife was || afternoon, about six hours after the action, mesfor her discourse with me, and I think that con- || sengers brought news, one on the heels of anocerns me too, and I ought to resent it."

ther, that the marquis was mortally wounded, "I think not, sir,” said I ; “ nor, had I found | and carried into a house at Charenton; that you in bed with my wife, would I have quarrelled | account, saying he was not dead, surprised me with you; for if my wife will let you lic with her, a little, not doubting but that, concluding I had it is she is the offender, what have I to do with | made my escape, he would own who it was; you? You could not lie with her if she was not | however, I discovered nothing of my concern, willing, and if she is willing to be a w-me, but going up into my chamber, I took out of a Tought to punish her ; but I shonld have no il cabinet there what money I had, which indeed quarrel with you; I will lie with your wife if I was so much as I thought would be sufficient for I can, and then I am even with you."

my expenses; but having an accepted bill for I spoke this all in good-humour, and in order || 2,000 livres, I walked sedately to a merchant to pacify him, but it would not do; but he would llwho knew me, and got 50 pistoles of him upon my

« VorigeDoorgaan »