Page images

inciblemelood, For

[ocr errors]

took; the long Series of their good Fortune made them arrogate to themselves the Titles of Intrepid and Invincible; but the destin'di Time came, and they were to their Cofts as fully convinced of their Mistake by the Brave. ry of the Britis Troops, under the Conduct of her Majesty's lare General, the great Duke of Marlborough.

As this wonderful Instrument of Providence carried in his Fortune the Fate of the British People, who can forbear to run over the good Events that happened under him, and the Honours paid to him ; both which are recited not as they are personal to himself, but as they concern the British Name and Nation, which he represented.

The first thing that meets my Imagination is, the French Army broken, routed, Aying over the Plains of Blenheim, and chusing rather to throw themselves headlong into the Danube, than face about upon their Conqueror. I see the just Honours done him by the Emperor and the whole Empire: I hear him with loud Acclamations acknowledged the Deliverer of Europe. He isintroduced into the College of Princes, and takes Poffeffion of the Principality of Mindelo beim. Triomphant Columns are ere&ted in the Plains of Blenheim, recording the feasonable Affiltance of the British Arms, and the Glories of that immortal Day.

The British Leader returns from the Danube to the Rhine'; he and his brave Companions are the Delight of the Nations through whom they march, and are ftiled their Good, their Guardian Angels. —- After passing so many different Nations in a triumphant manner, he lands in his own Country, an humble, unat


tended Subject; honouring and adorning his Nation by Privacy and Modesty at Home, much more than by the highest Triumphs and Oftentations Abroad.

The Queen and Senate pass in Religious Pomp to thank the Almighty for Vi&ory over the then Common Oppressor. But the Prospect does not end here; ihe Plains of Ramillies are a new Scene of Glory to the Confederate, Arms; and a second happy Day ends the Bon. dage of many Cities!

His Moft Christian Majesty conceives new Hopes from changing his Generals, and from the Conduct of Vendosme, promises himself to repair the Diminution of his Glory by Villeroy.

The Branches of his Royal Family, the Dukes of Burgundy and Berry, are to animate the Soldiery by their Presence; by Vendosme,Bure, gundy and Berry, one not strong enough for the Genius of the Duke of Marlborong b at Ouderard,

The French still change their General, and Villars is in Command. He soon shares the same Fate with his Predeceffors, by being beaten out of his Camp by an inferior Number of Troops. A Camp so strong by Nature and Art, that as none but the Duke of Marlborough would have attempted it, so none but that consummate Captain at the Head of his brave Countrymen could have succeeded in it. in short, methinks I see Ostend, Menin, Lise, Tournay, Mons, Aire, Doway, and innumera.. ! ble other Towns held impregnable, all belieg. I ed, taken and restored to their lawful Prince and Ancient Liberties. ,

The English General, during the Course of ten Campaigns, besieged no Town but


what he took, attacked no Army but what he routed, and returned each Year with the Huinility of a private Man.

If beating the Enemy in the field, and being too vigilant for their Councils in Foreign Caurts, were effe&ual Means towards ending the War, and reducing them to a Condition too iow for giving fresh Disturbance to Europe; the Duke of Marlborough, took just Measures ; but, however unaccountable it may appear to Posterity, that General was not permitted to enjoy the Fruits of his Glorious Labour; but as France changed her Generals for want of Success in their Condud, so Britain changes hers after an uninterrupted Series of Conquest. The Minds of the People, against all common Sense, are debauch'd with Impressions of the Duke's Affectation of prolonging the War for his own Glory; and his Adversaries attack a Reputation, which could not well be impaired without fullying the Glory of Great Britain it self; his Enemies were not to be softned by that Confideration; he is dismissed, and soon after a Suspension of Arms between Great Britain and France is Proclaimed at the Head of the Armies. The British, in the midst of the Enemies Garrisons, withdraw themselves from their Confederates. The French, now no longer having the Britons, or their great Leader to fear, affe& no more strong Garrisons and fore tify'd Camps; but attack and rout the Earl of Albemarle at Denain, and neceffitate the brave Prince Eugene to abandon Landrecy, a Place of sucha importance that it gave Entrance into the Heart of Frunce, of which the French King was so sensible, chat before he was recovered from his Fright, he acknowlegded he in a


[ocr errors]

manner owed his Crown to the Sufpenfion of Arms between him and Great Britain. The Suspension is followed by a Treaty of Peace ar Utrecht. The Peace is concluded between Great Britain and France; and between France and the States General. The Emperor and the Empire continue the War! I Thall not presume to enter into an Examination of the Articles of Peace between us and France; but there can be no Crime in affirming, (if it be a Truth) that the House of Bourbon is at this Jun&ture become more formidable, and bids fairer' for an Univerfal Monarchy, and to engross the whole Trade of Europe, than it did before the War.

All the World knows with what Frankness the Dutch have been treated to deliver up Traerbach to the Imperialists, as an Expedient for the French to beliege it; because, forsooth, it lay convenient for their Incursions upon the Empire. This extravagant Demand must give a melancholly Profpect to other Nations.

The most important Article between France and England is the Demolition of Dunkirk, which they have began Contemptuously and Arbitrarily, their own way: The Mole and Harbour, which only are dreadful to us, are yet untouched, and just Suspicions given that They ever will be.

Landau and Fribourg are taken; and in case there is no intermediate Peace, which may Aill be more immediately fatal to us, Two hundred thousand French may be ready in the Spring to invade the Empire, and restore the Duke of Bavaria to his forfeited Dominions...

These Incidents happen, when the Capital of Anfria, the Refidence of his Imperial Ma


jesty, is visited with the Plague. The Male Line of that House is likely to terminate in himself; and should it please God to take him off, and no King of the Romans. chosen, a Prince of the House of Bourbon would proba. bly bid fair for the Imperial Dignity; after which Day farewel Liberty, Europe would be French, · But the Scene is not yet closed. Portugal, which during the War supplied to us the place of Spain, by sending us vaft Quantities of Gold in exchange for our Woollen Manufa&ures, has only at present a Suspension of Arms for its Prote&ion, which Suspension may possibly lalt no longer than 'till the Catalonians are reduced ; and who knows but the old Pretenfi. ons of Spain to Portugal may be then revived. I mention the Catalonians, but who can name the Gatalonians without a Tear! Brave unhap. py People! drawn into the War by the Encouragement of the Maritime Powers, from which only a Nation encompassed by Land by France and Spain could hope for Relief and Protection, now abandoned and exposed to the Resentment of an enraged Prince, whose Person and lotereft they have always opposed; and yet still, so fond of their Ancient Liberties, that cho' hemmed up in a Nook of Land by the Forces of the two Crowns, and closely besieged in Barcelona, they chuse rather, like their Countrymen, the famous Saguntines of old, to perish with their Wives and Children, than live in Slavery. Did the French King, with a Conquering Sword in his Hand, ever abandon the least and most inconsiderable of ah his Allies? No. When these very Catalonians had assisted him against the King of Spain,


« PreviousContinue »