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long on that service, that they had forgot that it was usual to give quarter to Christians.”
“ But the description of Oudenarde is still better: it makes one an actor in the bustle and the business of the battle:”
“The French had 100,000 men in the Low Countries ; Marlborough had only 60,000. I received orders to march to his assistance. I pushed on my troops by forced marches, and rode post myself, fearing that a battle might be fought without me. Cadogan came to compliment me at Maestrich. He told me that the French had surprised Ghent, Bruges, and Plaskendael, and that I was wanted. I passed through Brussels, where my interview with my mother, after a separation of twenty-five years, was very touching, but very short. I found Marlborough encamped at Asch, between Brussels and Alost; and, learning that the enemy had their left on the other side of the Dender, I asked Marlborough, on arriving, whether he did not intend to give battle? It is my intention,' said he, 'immediately; and I see with pleasure, but without surprise, that the same reflection has occurred to us both, that, without fighting, they might cut off our communication with Brussels. I should like, however, to wait for your troops.” “I would not advise it,' replied I; ‘for the French would have time to retreat.'
“ Vendome wished to oppose our passage of the Dender. He said to the Duke of Burgundy, whom bad advisers inclined to march towards Ghent, 'When you let Prince Eugene see that you wish to avoid an action, he knows how to force you to it. I saw this phrase in his justificatory letter, which he printed on his return to Paris.
“ Cadogan went to Oudenarde ; and, in a few hours,
passed them that part of to attack,
threw a bridge across the Scheldt. “It is still time,' said Vendome to the Duke of Burgundy, to countermand your march, and to attack, with the troops we have here, that part of the enemy's army which has passed the river.' The Duke hesitated,-stopped on the height of Garves,-lost time,-wished to turn back, sent twenty squadrons to dispute the passage, recalled them, and finally said, “Let us march to Ghent.'—' It is now too late,' said Vendome; ' you cannot move at present,-in half an hour you will have the enemy upon your hands.'—Why did you stop me then ?' said the Duke of Burgundy. In the hope that you would attack immediately,' replied he ; but there is Cadogan already master of the village of Hurne with six battalions. Let us draw up at least as well as we can.' Rantzaw began the attack. He overthrew a column of cavalry, and would have been defeated in his turn, but for the electoral Prince of Hanover, who, in the charge, had his horse killed under him. Grimaldi ordered a charge too early and unskilfully. " What are you doing ?' cried Vendome, who came up at full speed,
you are wrong:- The Duke of Burgundy has ordered it,' replied he.- Ah! the Duke is angry at having been contradicted, and only thinks of contradicting others. Vendome wished the left to charge. • What are you doing?' said the Duke of Burgundy, - I forbid it,—there is a ravine, and an impassable marsh. One may imagine the anger of Vendome, who had passed over the ground a moment before. Without this misunderstanding, we should perhaps have been beaten; for our cavalry was more than half an hour in order of battle before the infantry could join. For this reason, I abandoned the village of Hurne to send the battalions to support the squadrons on the right wing. But the Duke of Argyle came up, with all possible speed, at the head of the
English infantry_afterwards the Dutch, though much more slowly. Now,' said I to Marlborough, 'we are at last ready to fight.' It was six o'clock in the evening, on the 11th of July, so that we had still three hours of daylight. I was on the right at the head of the Prussians. Some battalions turned their backs on being attacked with unexampled fury. They rallied, and repaired their fault, and we regained the ground we had lost. The battle then began along the whole of the line. The sight was superb,-it was one sheet of fire. Our artillery produced a vast effect. That of the French, by the uncertainty which prevailed in their army, from the disunion of the commanders, was very ill posted, and did little execution. With us it was very different, - we loved and esteemed each other. Even Marshal Ouverkerke, venerable for his age and services, an old friend of mine and Marlborough, obeyed us, and fought ardently.
“ As a proof of our good harmony, affairs were going ill on the right, where I commanded. Marlborough perceived it, and sent me a reinforcement of eighteen battalions, without which I could scarcely have supported myself. I then advanced, and made the first line give way; but I found, at the head of the second, Vendome on foot, with pike in hand, encouraging his soldiers. He made so vigorous a resistance, that I should never have succeeded, but for Natzmer, who, at the head of the Prussian gendarmes, pierced, broke the enemy, and gave me a complete victory. Marlborough purchased his success more dearly on the left, where he attacked in front. While Ouverkerke dislodged the enemy from the hedges and villages, Nassau, Fries, and Oxenstiern, pushed their infantry beyond the defiles, but were roughly handled by the household troops who came to its assistance. I now returned my obligation to the Duke. I sent Tilly, who, making a great cir
cuit, took the brave household troops in the rear, when they had almost snatched the victory from us; but at length it was decided. The darkness of the night hin. dered our pursuit, and suggested to me a method of increasing the number of prisoners. I sent drums to different places, with orders to beat the French retreat ; and I placed my French refugee officers to call, on all sides, Here, Picardy !-Here, Champagne !-Here, Piedmont! The French soldiers flocked in, and I made a good harvest of them ; we took seven thousand in all.”
ONE afternoon, as the Nymph and the Bachelor were comparing ideas with respect to the durability of human fame, Egeria remarked, that popularity was undoubtedly the most agreeable sort of renown. 66 All celebrity,” said she, “ is more or less but temporary. The fame of a modern, such is the haste with which all things are now rushing forward, can hardly be expected to survive himself above twenty years. Authors are the only persons who acquire posthumous celebrity ;-heroes and statesmen belong to their own time; when they have made their exit, they all naturally cease to be remembered; and were it not for the literary merits of those who choose to commemorate their exploits, they would soon be utterly forgotten. But nothing is more curious than the difference between literary popularity and posthumous fame: the former is the opinion of contemporaries, formed upon their own knowledge; the latter is the decision of posterity, formed upon a comparison with the merits of those who have been from age to age admired. " Thomson,' says Gray, in one of his letters, ' has lately published a poem called the Castle of Indolence, in which there are some good stanzas. Who would have expected such a cold sentence from Gray on such a poem as the masterpiece of one of the most exquisite and original poets in the language? And the celebrated Waller also tells one of his friends, that the old blind schoolmaster, John Milton, hath published a tedious poem on the fall of man ;-if its length be not considered as merit, it has no other.' Such is the taste and spirit of contemporary criticism ; such the admonition with which, through the opinions of the existing time, the spirit of posterity at once rebukes the overweening conceits of popularity, and encourages conscious genius amidst neglect, contumely, and solitude.
“ The odour of few names was at one time more diffused than that of Sir William Jones ;-of a renown so general there is scarcely an example of a comparative oblivion so sudden. This eclipse of a luminary, once regarded as of the first magnitude, is very mortifying to every one who happens to enjoy any particular share of public interest, and it is vain to palliate the harshness of the truth, by saying, that Sir William Jones was overrated. Few men of genius have, from the beginning of their career, been more justly estimated. He was never considered as endowed with a remarkable degree of original talent of any kind; but always, only as an accomplished