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dismissed, he was still, in the eyes of Marlborough," more important, and more to be trusted, than Middleton.

Melfort was not, then, "dismissed" at all. In January, February, April, and May 1694, the Nairne Papers show Melfort acting as agent between James and Louis. Thus Marlborough's letter cannot be "a design of Melfort's" to keep up his importance. The theory is absurd. Louis needed only to ask James, "Had you a letter, of which I possess a translation, from my Lord Churchill?” and Melfort was ruined if he had forged.

The colonel has another string to his bow. The letter "forms the apex of the pyramid of falsehood under which Macpherson has striven to bury Marlborough." But if the design was Melfort's, what has the wretched Macpherson to do with the matter? Why, Colonel Parnell, nimbly shifting his ground, suggests that Macpherson forged the French draft of the letter of Marlborough, a draft in Nairne's hand, with a dishonest interpolation in Melfort's! No expert's evidence is cited for the forgery. Clearly the letter cannot be an imposture by Melfort, and also by Macpherson.

How did the Celtic bard, ex hypothesi, work the forgery? Thus, in the Life of King James II.' (taken from his Memoirs, now lost) occurs a copy of part of Marlborough's letter. This Macpherson read, copied, and forged the rest, doing it into French, in Nairne's hand, and adding, with infernal cunning, a roguish interpolation, in Melfort's interest, and in the hand of Melfort. But how did the copy of

Marlborough's letter get into the Life of James'? Is that a forgery too, and, if so, to what end? For the author of the Life, while giving the letter (as far as essential), states his doubt as to whether Marlborough, after all, was sincere.

Unluckily, Macpherson, constitutionally false, added to his copy of the Nairne French draft translation of Marlborough's letter this note: "In King James's Memoirs there is the following memorandum, written, upon receipt of the letter, in his own hand: 'May 4th, Lord Churchill informed the King of the design on Brest (p. 521, ann. 1694).

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Macpherson lied. He never saw James's autograph Memoirs. He merely copies the marginal note of the Life. What did he mean by "p. 521"? The references in the Life to the original Memoirs, from 1694 to 1696, cite the Memoirs from "vol. ix. p. 390" to "vol. ix. p. 395." There is no room for "p. 521"! We admit Macpherson's roguery, but a complete forgery needs proof by experts' evidence. Nor is Marlborough's letter in the Life accounted for by Colonel Parnell, unless by a suggestion that it is a Jacobite slander, and it is enough to damn him.

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There is another puzzle. Macpherson dates Sackville's letter May 3." The Life dates it " May 4." Colonel Parnell has a theory to account for Macpherson's forging the date "May 3," but it fails, for Macpherson himself dates it "May 4" in his History, founded on the papers, and published in the same year. More, he gives the date

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May 4" in his "Extracts from the Life of King James."1 The date May 3 is a blunder by some

1 Original Papers, i. 244.

body, not a fresh supercherie of Macpherson's. We have no doubt whatever that Marlborough wrote the letter of May 4, and that the Nairne draft of a French translation is no forgery of Macpherson's. Not that he had a grain of honesty, but because no kind of proof of forgery is adduced.

Colonel Parnell has yet another means of exculpating all William's treacherous servants. They were in correspondence with James, but by William's permission, and for the purpose of extracting, for William's use, information as to his designs. It is a pretty employment for English gentlemen who first betray their king, and then act as spies on him, and as agents provocateurs. Colonel Parnell proves his point by "the Ailesbury admission "—that is, assertion. Lord Ailesbury says, "It is very certain that King William gave leave to" the old set "to correspond with my Lord Middleton at St Germains. . . . The plausible pretext was that Lord Middleton should be deluded, that he should know nothing of what passed in England of high secret moment, but that they four would wiredraw all out of my Lord Middleton." This pretext Ailesbury attributes to Sunderland. His meaning is clear. By the pretext of "wire-drawing " Middleton, the old set of double-dyed traitors got William's leave to correspond with James. Having got it, they could use it exactly as suited them; could betray William to James or James to William ; and, at least, could "hedge" against a Restoration. Colonel Parnell assigns to Marlborough the noble part of swindling James, even when he was in William's disgrace -"to complete the great work of

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This is the disclosure to which I have been leading up, while stating the arguments of Marlborough's defenders. The case is clear. Marlborough wrote his warning on May 4. Russell set sail on May 5. He might have been in Camaret Bay, say, on May 8. He must have found Brest undermanned and undefended. For Vauban himself did not reach Brest till May 13, and, later, reported that "as yet no reinforcements have arrived." He then, after May 13, made all the subterranean passages bomb-proof; mounted ninety mortars and three hundred guns in good positions; removed the ships beyond the reach of English shells; and had large reinforcements.1 All this was done on the first possible moment after the intelligence sent by Marlborough could reach Vauban from Versailles, and not till then. Before that moment, before Marlborough's letter arrived, nothing was done. Till that fatal letter had been received by Louis, Vauban made no preparations at all.

Louis's letter to Vauban, announcing the intended English assault on Brest, is indeed of April 14. But, for reasons best

1 Wolseley's Marlborough, ii. 315.


3 I

known to himself, Louis does not enjoin haste. Vauban is not to go to Brest till "he has seen the other ports of Normandy," which were not threatened.1 Vauban got Louis's letter on April 18. He answered it next day, "saying that as the king had mentioned no date for his arrival at Brest, he would" first "finish his work at St Malo." For some reason known to Louis, there was no occasion for hurry. Nor, in fact, did Vauban go to Brest at all, till after receipt of Marlborough's letter. He found it without reinforcements. He found it devoid of the bomb-proof subterranean passages. He found the shipping exposed to our guns. He found the "good positions" unsupplied with artillery. He got the reinforcements. He made the bombproof passages. He mounted ninety mortars and three hundred guns. He placed the French ships beyond the reach of English shells. He organised victory-all after receipt of Marlborough's letter, and, on June 7, he defeated England.

Thus it is certain that, even if Vauban's arrival at Brest just after Marlborough's news must have come to him is a casual coincidence, yet Marlborough gave his warning in time. It reached Louis before Brest was ready to meet our attack.

To quote Lord Wolseley again, William held "that Brest might be taken by open assault if suddenly attacked before the French could have had time to strengthen the works or to reinforce the garrison." Marlborough's traitorous letter came to Louis before the garrison was reinforced, or the works strengthened. On receipt of the letter conveying the certainty and

imminence of Russell's approach, the works of Brest were strengthened, and the garrison reinforced, and not before. Marlborough had over-finessed. Trying to save himself with James by sending news which was stale,-betraying James, in fact, he betrayed William and his country. Such were the statesmen of the Glorious Revolution. Spies, by their friends' admission, on the king whom they had betrayed, in Marlborough's case they also betrayed the prince to whom they had betrayed him!

The one hope for Marlborough, then, is in Colonel Parnell's plan— namely, to denounce the Nairne Letters as of uncertain provenance, concoctions, forgeries by the Celtic bard in the interest of the Tories of 1775. This Colonel Parnell does, with what success we have tried to explain. We have shown that Nairne's handwriting is certain; that the possession of the papers by Carte is easily accounted for; that they could only be what they profess to be, brouillons, drafts, translations, projects; that Lloyd really trafficked with Russell; that Melfort had not the supposed motive for forging Marlborough's letter; that there is no kind of attempt to prove it a forgery of Macpherson's in the only possible way - by expert evidence; and that, if the letter were a forgery of Macpherson's, that does not invalidate the copy of the letter in the 'Life of James II.'

Thus Marlborough is left with the stain on his renown of a crime which he committed, but probably did not intend to commit. Marlborough thought, we may say, that he was only sending news which Louis had already received and acted on. The news was not acted on, however, till after it was received, as a

1 Wolseley's Marlborough, ii. 314.

certainty, from Marlborough. So tragically fares the man who tries to serve two masters.

But probably there was other treason, there were other traitors. Why did Russell on May 5 sail away, and "return after an absence of eighteen days, having ascertained that the French fleet had quitted Brest"? Why did he again dally "for a few days with his whole fleet, troopships included"? Why did he give Vauban a delay of three weeks? According to Oldmixon, whose version Macaulay, as Mr Paget shows, unscrupulously perverts, the dying Talmash "named the traitors, . those pernicious counsellors who had retarded the descent,1 and by that means given

France time so to fortify Brest as to render all approaches to it impracticable." 2 Oldmixon is a bad authority, but-the advance was retarded! Macaulay inconsistently enough (if he believes Oldmixon) attributes the delays to bad weather. An instant blow, by Russell, would have left Marlborough's letter as innocuous as he may have intended it to be. Who were the traitors in council? We have from Captain Lloyd a view of the loyalty of Godolphin. According to Colonel Parnell, Godolphin, then First Lord of the Treasury, was one of the most faithful Ministers of William," and was Marlborough's "congenial rade." Arcades ambo!



1 Marlborough could not be one of these counsellors. He was in William's


2 Oldmixon, iii. 92.


"In der Liebe ist anders. Du verdienst sie weil du dich nicht darum bewirbst."-GOETHE.

As he sat in the Pavillon Henri Quatre waiting for his déjeuner, Everard West was wondering why he had come to St Germain. It could not be the conventional joy of obeying the guide-book; for that does not appeal with exhilarating force to a man who has roamed over three-fourths of the globe: no, it was clear that his chief reason had been the commonplace desire to extinguish one phase of boredom by another. For bored he certainly was, in spite of surroundings worthy of inspiriting even a blasé traveller. Here was a glorious morning in May, a comfortable seat, and a unique landscape. The trees of the forest in their tenderest green smiled coquettishly from the Terrace down the vine-clad slopes to the glittering Seine basking in lazy loops at their feet; thence over the plain the hot white roads stretched pitilessly under an ultramarine sky, past villages and chateaux, until they were lost in the sullen heights of Montmartre and Mont Valérien -a quivering horizon of battlemented haze only broken by the impudent tracery of the Eiffel Tower. Yet from this scene West turned away wearily, with the blasphemous comment that it would provide a fine artillery-ground. Within the salle-à-manger man was commendably vile. Tourists eating or expecting to eat are not fascinating, even when they include a French party whose père de famille was naïvely conscious of his red button, a couple of English parsons squabbling over Baedeker and their bill, three shrill emancipated American young ladies quarrelling with the waiter be

cause he did not understand Americanese, and a quartette of French bicyclists in the most irrational English costumes. Το this bilingual assemblage West formed a grim contrast. His wiry figure and keen face, tanned as only an Eastern sun can tan, not to speak of that honourable scar seaming his left cheek, proclaimed that he had some right to look as soldierly as he did. As he sat beating a tattoo on the tablecloth, his wandering attention was arrested by the entrance of an obviously English pair,—the man a delicate intellectual - looking young fellow, but as uninteresting as average intellectuality always is; the woman-well! despite her severely plain black and white dress and hat, there floated about her something of the subtle witchery with which birth and breeding when aided by art will always invest womanhood. She could not be more than five-and-twenty; "beautiful" she could hardly be called, and "good-looking" was an outrageously commonplace term to apply to that refined profile and girlish figure, which seemed so conscious of their sex. She was laughing merrily enough as she and her companion strove to convey their wishes in intelligible French; but with the sudden intuition which sometimes flashes across even men, West felt that those joyous eyes and smiling lips were at best a mask. What lay behind, who could say? But it was certainly not laughter. Yes; Life-Life which had carelessly scrawled its trite text on his own face had begun early with her As she sat down she had


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