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thronged with mighty trees, full of tangled brushwood, and torn and charmed by constant rains and waterfalls. When you add to this that there had been pleachings of the branches, piling of stones, and other fortifyings after the manner of the natives; 'twill appear that there was no other course for my Lord than the forcing by the whole army of the deep ford at Arklow.
Now was it drawing towards evening; and the tide was still rising, and recent floods had flushed the river. Yet my Lord gave the word to march in order thoro' the stream.
First, there was a round of our artillery to clear the way; and then a rattling volley of the musketry, in the midst of which Sir Christopher St. Lawrence, leaping into the water, swam across. Him, with a shout, followed the Vanguard under my Lord Southampton; and the horse, charging repeatedly as the enemy approached, kept the passage safe till all, even the baggage waggons, had crossed over.
Then did the natives in more volumes than we yet had seen, and in numbers far exceeding the quadruple of our little army, form themselves in line. 'Twas something new in their mode of warfare; but these had been trained somewhat, having been armed and levied by the Lord Eustace and the Earl of Kildare when in rebellion; and aforetime had crossed their pikes against her Grace's troops. Which, when the English Gentles saw, they craved of my Lord-General leave to volunteer a charge against the enemy. 'Twas in the Earl's vein: and the trumpet sounded for a general halt.
Now the commanders, witting nothing less than action on that day, were lightly armed; having not their close beavers, but tilting helmets only, with their pretty crests and graceful feathers. Na'th'less they formed in double line, English and Irish, Nobles and Knights, Esquires and Gendes; and, as a reserve, my Lord himself with William's regiment of yeomanry. The Clarion calls a charge; and with lance in rest, at a full gallop over the dry turfy sand, the little band rush on amain. Bravely and firmly met that terrific shock the angry natives! The Clarion recalls. The troop reforms. The enemy now strips off the cloak, leaving the body naked. Wrapping the vesture round and round his left arm as a target, he prepares to meet the onslaught with the sword. "Charge!" shouteth Essex; and away sltirrs the gentle troop, followed by the whole reserve! Battle of the Plumes. 139
'Twas but a moment's work, and all was over! The enemy was overthrown and beaten down, through and through; for the horsemen passed their ranks in many places, and those who could not fly, which the most part did confusedly, casting away their very arms for lightness, were fain to come in presently upon protection. But my Lord would not take less than absolute submission from those chiefs, the O'Beirnes, OTooles, MacHughs, knowing her Grace would so require it at his hands.
And now the Lord-Lieutenant and General Governor of Ireland, by her Grace's leave, and in virtue of the precedent, created Knights upon the field. Here, from that loved hand, young Cheney received the coveted honour: and 'twas Essex who, with his own drawn sword, cut square the Cheney banner, and threw the baldrick over William's shoulder openly before the army: and in their tent that night, playfully himself buckled on his life's friend the proud gilt spurs of a gentle knight.
And this was the Battle of the Plumes!
"Have ye no mercy?
No pity in your bloods to use a wretch thus?
Upon his broken back that Jinks with sorrows?
Heaven may reward you too: and an hour come
And your hearts plucked like mine"
Women Pleased, act v. sc. in.
H, what a pest is an exacting woman! Sir Thomas would tell of that wife who so plagued good Richard Hooker, he writing his Polity, "Rock the cradle with your toe!" Then, the babe squalling, provoked by its mother's sour milk per case, "Why dost not sing lullaby ?" till the poor clerk was well The Deputy his Report. 141
nigh distraught. When thou art like to be irritate by domestical jars, or thinkest thou art hardly used where thou expectedst comfort, think on this judicious divine his patience!
And Essex had need of some such godly ensample: for, as will appear, his mistress was not content, notwithstanding his devoir. You shall conquer all her Grace's enemies at your own cost: you shall follow to the letter all her impossible directions: you shall spend and be spent in her service; yet shall you get neither praise nor recompense of thanks! Go to! Body and soul—your all, shall it compare with that duty you owe the Queen?
From Arklow, flushed with success, the whole business of the Munster campaign having been brought to a triumphant close, Essex had written to her Majesty. Nor had her Majesty, from the wisest or most faithful of Deputies, ever had so exact and full a statement of the Affairs of Ireland. The qualities of the people: their physical and moral natures: their religious state: their rebellious motions: their quarrel with all English rule. The resources of the country: the expectations of the people. Their factions among each other, and their general hope in Spain. The