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a lady in diamonds, and a long black hood.” Boswell says, with much gravity, “This touch, however, was without any effect.” It was more effectual in a case related by Daines Barrington, of an old man who was witness in a cause, describing how the good queen had touched him when he was a child: “I asked him whether he was really cured ? upon which he answered, with a significant smile, that he believed himself never to have had a complaint, that deserved to be considered as the Evil, but that his parents were poor, and had no objection to the bit of gold” *—the angel of gold, with the impress of St. Michael, which was hung about the patient's neck.

The May-poles that had been set up at the Restoration, -when the Puritan justices and constables who had pulled them down were no longer in a condition to declare war against them,--after the Revolution had the fate always harder than persecution, that of neglect. They had ceased to be indicative of party feelings; and they gradually mouldered away upon the village green, and were displaced from the streets of cities in which commerce was more important than merriment. But when Anne came to the throne there was a revival : “I appeal to common knowledge,” says Defoe, “if in the first half-year of her present majesty, almost all the May-poles in England were not repaired, and re-edified, new painted, new hung with garlands, and beautified.” Defoe as. sociates this with the revival of “drunkenness and revelling." He was looking at the May-poles through the old Puritanical glasses which saw in harmless sports nothing but Popery and vice. But the setters-up of the May-poles probably loved as little the merriment of the people as the non-conformists did. “Up went the May-poles,” writes Defoe, “ that the Church's health might be drunk, till the people not only knew not what they did, but might be ready to do they knew not what, to the demolishing the Church's pretended enemies, the Dissenters.”+ A Puritanical rhymester of 1660 makes “ Sir May-pole” say,

" There's noue as I so near the Pope." The satirist of the extreme opinions of this time is not grossly exaggerating, when he says that Martin, in his * mad fit, looked so like Peter in his air and dress, and talked so like him, that many of the neighbours could not distinguish the one from the other, especially when Martin went up and down strutting in Peter's armour which he had borrowed to fight Jack.” I

• "Observations on our Ancient Statutes."
+ "Review," quoted in Wilson, vol. ii. p 10.

1“ Tale of a Tub." It is scarcely necessary to add a note found in most editions of Swift :---" Peter, Martin, and Jack, represent Popery, Church of England, and Protest ant Dissenters.




Difficulties of recruiting the English army.-The Campaign of 1704.-Marlborough's

secret plan of operations.- His march along the Rhine. -Arrives at the Danube.Battle of the Schellenberg.--Devastation of Bavaria.-- Junction of the French and Bavarian armies.—The battle of Blenheim.-Results of the victory.-- Subsequent operations of the Campaign.-Marlborougk returns to England. - Honours and Rewards.- Party Conflicts. - Parliament dissolved.

The extreme measures taken by the House of Commons in 1699, for reducing the army to a point almost incompatible with the desire of king William to preserve to England its weight and influence abroad, must have proved a serious embarrassment to the government of queen Anne in the first two years of her reign. When, in the spring of 1704, Marlborough, taking no counsel of foreign princes or states, and imparting little of his plans to the civil directors of English affairs, was revolving in the most secret recesses of his own mind the plan of that daring campaign which was to exhibit war on its grandest scale, he must have sometimes contemplated with anxious doubt the insufficient means at his own command. We find him on the 29th of March writing from St James's to M. Hop, the Dutch minister, that the public funds not being sufficient to carry on the war with vigour, the queen had provided additional means out of the privy purse; and he announces that the transports will speedily arrive in the Meuse, with nearly a thousand recruits for the infantry of the English army.* A thousand recruits only, to supply the waste of two campaigns ! But if we have reference to the difficulty of recruiting, we shall not be surprised at the small force which Marlborough could contribute, to be drafted into the regiments which he was contemplating to lead upon the most distant march ever attempted in our Continental wars.

When preparing himself to embark at Harwich, on the 6th of April, he sends to Mr. secretary Hedges, " the list of officers for the two new regiments of foot to be raised under the command of the lord Paston and colonel Heyman Rooke.”+ But how to be raised? An Act of Parliament passed on the 23rd of March will inform us. When Farquhar was gathering that professional experience which he embodied in 1705 in his “ Recruiting Officer," • Dispatches, vol. i. p. 247.

Ibid. p. 248.

the captain Plumes and sergeant Kites, with their drums, and ribbons, and strong ale, were unable to fill the ranks of the army with the “youth of England, all on fire.” A bill was brought into Parliament in 1704 for a forced levy from each parish-a measure which was rejected as unconstitutional. A plan of general conscription being thus refused, an Act was passed, which gave as happy an occasion for favouritism and corrupt influence as when “ Master Corporate Bardolph " had “three pounds to free Mouldy and Bull-calf.” * By the Statute "for raising recruits for the land forces and marines,” justices of the peace, and mayors or other head-officers of boroughs, were empowered “ to raise and levy such ablebodied men as have not any lawful calling or employment, or visible means for their maintenance and livelihood, to serve as soldiers,” † The constables were to receive ten shillings per head for bringing the tattered prodigals before the justices, and the justices were to consign them to the queen's officer, who was to present each of these cankers of a calm world with twenty shillings, and then send them to the wars, to “fill a pit as well as better.” This Statute of 1704 was renewed in 1705; and the system was also tried in the latter end of the reign of George II. That it bad a tendency to lower the military character can scarcely he doubted. But if such recruits were ready to plunder, they were also ready to fight; and for a century and a half England has been contented with such, and has not yet discovered the way to recruit an army by holding out the prospect of honourable distinction and just promotion to the deserving.

The campaign of 1704 was meant by Louis XIV. to decide the great question by which Europe was agitated. The war for two years had been a war of sieges, in which the advantages on the part of the Allies had been more than balanced by advantages on the part of France and Bavaria. If Marlborough had gained some strong places in the Netherlands, the French had taken strong forts on the Upper Rhine and the Moselle, and the Bavarians and the French had defeated the imperial troops and were masters of Augsburg and Passau. By the alliance of France with Bavaria, and through the successes of their joint forces, the way to Vienna was open to a great army to be collected on the Danube. Large detachments from the French army of Flanders were to be led by marshal Villeroy. Marshal Tallard was to leave the Rhine, and ad. yance into Suabia through the Black Forest. The army of Italy was to march through the Tyrol into Austria. The Hungarians, then in a state of insurrection, were to be assisted by French troops • "Henry IV.”. Part II. Act. 3.

† 2&3 Annæ, c. 13.



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Another century was to pass away before Germany should be again threatened by such a formidable concentration of the military power of France. It required the most extraordihary combination in one man of daring and prudence, to conceive the plan of a great war; -to devise a vast series of operations upon a similar scale with those of Louis,—but of operations to be conducted by the union of many discordant interests, and the subjection of many petty and adverse schemes to the policy of a master-mind. Marlborough had not only to mature his designs with small counsel from those who were to join him in carrying it out, but absolutely to conceal it from those who were to render him the most efficient assistance. The difficulties of his course may be traced in his letters; but we also therein trace the indomitable will by which he is determined to surmount them. On the 29th of April he writes from the Hague to Mr. secretary Hedges, “ We are not yet come to any final resolutions here apon the operations of the siege." . On the 2nd of May he again writes to the secretary, t'iat in a conference with the deputies of the States, he had informei them of his resolution of going to the Moselle, “as what may most conduce to the public service.”+ On the 5th of May, the States having consented that Marlborough should lead the joint forces to the Moselle, the troops began to march out of their garrisons. On the roth of May the great general has got to Ruremond.. He now writes confidentially to Mr. Stepney, the English ambassador, that he would not conceal from him “my resolution of marching with the English, some of our auxiliaries, and what other troops can with safety be spared, up to the Danube ; but as I have not yet made any declaration to the States of my design of going so far, and as it behoves us to have particular management for them, I must not only desire your secrecy, but pray you will intimate the same thing to his majesty the emperor." | He next takes an Englishman into his confidence-Mr. St. John. "On Wednesday next, he writes on the 11th of May, the troops will pass the Meuse at Ruremond, on their way to the Moselle ; "and I may venture to tell you, though I would not have it public as yet, I de. sign to march a great deal higher into Germany.” § Heinsius, the friend of William III., knew the plans of Marlborough. So did prince Eugene. But his impenetrable secrecy prevented the Dutch opposing his resolves upon the ground that it would leave their own frontier defenceless. "Under the blind,” says Burnet, “ of the project of carrying the war to the Moselle, everything was prepared that was necessary for executing the true design." The • Dispatches, vol i. p. 251. Ibid., p. 252

I Fid., p. 253. § Ibid., p. 264


movements of Villeroy, who had passed the Meuse at Namur, alarmed the Dutch, and they sent a pressing message to Marlborough to halt. The movements of Tallard frightened the margrave of Baden, and he implored Marlborough to come to his aid. He quieted their fears with smooth words, and went rapidly and steadily on his own march. The French themselves could not understand the movements of Marlborough. Villeroy had been ordered to observe him wheresoever he marched. * The French marshal suddenly lost sight of him altogether, and only learned where he really was, when he received the news of his first victory over the Bavarians. † A contemporary writer accounts for this ignorance, which caused Villeroy to march and countermarch in the neiglibourhood of the Moselle, while Marlborough had pushed on to the Danube: “They make great use of spies; they also stop all passengers they meet, inquire their names, whence they come, what news they hear. They depend upon such rumours and reports, and take their measures accordingly, in matters of the last importance.”' I

Marlborough is now moving amongst scenes as familiar to many English as the banks of their own rivers. From the heights of Ehrenbreitstein, then a strong fortress belonging to the elector of Trèves, he saw his cavalry pass over the Rhine. His infantry soon followed. His artillery and stores were put on board transports at Coblentz, as well as his sick soldiers. Marlborough's attention to detail-which was also one of the distinguishing characteristics of the great commander who came a century after him, with the same mission of arresting the ambition of France-saved his soldiers from many a privation and many a defeat. The allied troops moved along the banks of the Rhine, in the gray dawn and the soft twilight of that early summer. During the noontide heat, they rested under the shadow of slopes clothed with budding vines, “ The Rhine was a great refreshment to the soldiers," says Cunningham. It was a striking change from the dull plains of Flanders, for the English to gaze upon a river far grander than their own Thames or Severn-to hear their •Grenadiers' March, echoed from ruined castles perched upon every rock beneath which they wound their way; to drink huge draughts of the sharp Rheinwein, in quaint villages where money secured a hearty welcome. On they went cheerily through these novel scenes. “ When the confederates had drawn up their ships beyond Andernach, the Mouse Tower, Bingen, and Bacharach, there opened to them on the left * Dispatches, pl. 270.

† Voltaire, "Siècle de Louis XII.' 1 Cunningham, vol. i. p. 373.

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