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determined to make war upon us. I had rather your highness would do like those gentlemen who have turned their backs upon me here, as they will do elsewhere, if I command an army.” This was truly an expression à la Villars. “You hope that the Turks will interfere, because the abbé Joachim has predicted that the empress would be delivered of twins, one of whom should sit on the throne of Constantinople.” “I am not angry
with you, M. de Villars,” replied I,
“for in your correspondence, which, to be sure, is somewhat tinctured with levity, after the manner of your nation, you have transmitted to your court a portrait of me drawn by the hand of friendship. Others complain of certain inadvertencies, and the court of having read in one of your despatches: “We shall see if the Christ in Leopold's chapel will speak to him as he did to Ferdinand II.” Private individuals never forgive a satire: judge then of the effect which a severe thing, said against a sovereign, must produce upon him.” “It is only by great reserve in conversation,” said he, “that I have supported myself in this country. I am angry with your Austrians, who, among the tales which they invent concerning me, assert that I conspired with Ragotzi against the person of the emperour.” “I can tell you,” answered I, “what gave rise to this stupid idea. People recollected an expression in a letter intercepted while you were a volunteer in our service: “I am an Austrian with the army, but a Frenchman at Vienna.’ This means a great deal, said the fools. No conspiracies have ever been formed against our emperours; they have never been assassinated. We have no Clements or Ravaillacs. The people are not enthusiasts, as with you, but for
that very reason, they do not pass from one sentiment to another.— Crimes, indeed, are very rare in Austria. Last year some persons wanted to persuade Leopold that a design had been formed to kill him because a ball went through his hat while hunting. “Seek the man, said he, with his Spanish air; he is awkward one way or other; he is dying of fear or of hunger; give him a thousand ducats.” 1704. The only time to tell Leopold plain truths was when he was frightened. Where is the mistress or friend to whom they can be told with impunity! and much less a great sovereign, spoiled by slaves who accompany him every day to church, but not his generals to war. In urgent cases, I requested an extraordinary audience of him, as if I had been the ambassadour of a foreign power,” and this occurred but very seldom. What I obtained was the power of negotiating quite alone, and I gained over to our side queen Anne and Marlborough. I went to meet him at Heilbronn, to concert measures with him and prince Louis of Baden, whom I had not seen for a considerable time. I took upon myself the defence of the lines of Behel; and left them to follow Tallard, who was endeavouring to join the elector of Bavaria. If I am not fortunate enough to prevent their junction, thought I, the worst that can befal me is to fight both together, which will save me the trouble of engaging them separately. Tallard and Marsin had two other sorts of presumption than Villeroy, and more wit. The presumption of the one, was founded “ sur sa Shire,”f that of the other on the divine protection, which, by the cabals of the pious, had certainly proved as beneficial
* The prince had been the preceding year appointed president of war.
# The translator has here inserted the words of the original, which he frankly
acknowledges he does not understand.
to him as the patronage of the court. Tallard was as short-sighted morally as he was physically. Marsin was more clear-sighted, possessed more talents, but, luckily, no prudence. Had they exercised patience, without fighting me, they would have obliged me to abandon Bavaria, for I had no place in that country where I could form my magazines, except Nordlingen; but these gentlemen were in a great hurry, and the elector was furious at the plunder which I had suffered Marlborough to make, and who, in consequence, became my firm friend. We sincerely loved and esteemed each other. He was, indeed, a great statesman and warriour. . They had eighty thousand men, and so had we. Why did the French separate from the Bavarians? Why did they encamp so far from the rivulet which would have embarrassed us in the attack? Why did they place twenty seven battalions and twelve squadrons in Blenheim? Why
did they scatter so many troops in
other villages? Marlborough was more fortunate than I in his passage of the rivulet, and his fine attack. A little ascent occasioned my being half an hour later. My infantry behaved very well, but my cavalry very ill. I had a horse killed under me. Marlborough was checked, but not repulsed. I succeeded in rallying the regiments, which were shy at first, and led them four times to the charge. Marlborough, with his infantry and artillery, and sometimes with his cavalry, cleared away that of the enemy, and took Blenheim. We were beatten for a moment by the gendarmerie; but at length we threw them into the Danube. I was under the greatest obligations to Marlboroagh for his changes of disposition according to circumstances. A Bavarian dragoon took aim at me. One of my Danes fortunately anticipated him. We lost 9,000 men; but 12,800 French killed, and 20,800 taken prisoners, prevented them, this
time, from singing their usual Zoe Deum for their defeats, which they never acknowledge. The poor elector, with his corpsy joined Villeroy, who had marched to favour his retreat. They mournfully embraced. “I have sacrificed my dominions for the king,” said the first, “and I am ready to sacrifice my life for him.” The duke and prince (for Marlborongh was now created a prince of the empire) Louis of Baden, and I, went to amuse ourselves at Stuttgard. The second took Landau, the first Trarbach, while I narrowly missed the two Brisachs: the one because the governour of Fribourg mistook his way, and the other from the false delicacy of the lieutenant colonel, whom I had directed to enter as a courier with the others, and who being unable to endure a caning from an overseer of the works of the place, ordered him to be fired upon. This was, indeed, insisting very unseasonably on a point of honour, and the only occasion on which a man might, without disgrace, receive a thrashing. Had we succeeded, he would rather have been envied than reproached for it. I proceeded to Ingolstadt, which was on the point of surrendering, but was prevented by the valour of a French regiment, composed of brave deserters in the Bavarian service. They disregarded alike my promises and my threats: but astonishing them by the generous offer of sending them Ahome under an escort, that nothing might happen to them, they evacuated o: and with the exception of Munich, all Bavaria was ours, thanks to the treaty which I concluded with the electress. The conditions were hard: she refused them: but by means of father Schuhmacher, a good Jesuit, her confessor, I prevailed on her to sign them, and set out for Vienna. 1708–On the 31st of March I was at Dresden, and obtained a proInise of king Augustus to send me a body of his troops. I then went to Hanover, and received the same promise from the elector. I proceeded to the Hague, where with all my heart I embraced Marlborough, who had come thither on the same business. We both pressed Heinsius and Fagel for assistance; assuring them, that to prevent the enemy from laying siege to the strong places, we would gain a battle as speedily as possible. I appeased, as well as I could, those gentlemen, who were dissatisfied, because the emperour had not made peace with the Hungarian rebels, nor appropriated to his own use the revenues of Naples, the Milanese, and Bavaria. I went next to Dusseldorf, to pacify the elector Palatine, who was likewise angry with the emperour Joseph I. respecting the Upper Pallatinate. I Returned to Hanover with Marlbowough, to press the elector; went to Leipsick to urge king Augustus, whom I found there, once more; and after proceeding to Vienna to give an account of my successful negotiations, I was immediately sent off again to Frankfurt, to confer with the electors of Mentz and Hanover, and Rechteren, the Dutch minister. I circulated a report that this journey was undertaken for the sake of Tmy health, and that the physicians had ordered me to use the waters of Schlangenbad. I said to all these petty allies: “It is your interest; a great emperour would live at your expense, if you did not exist, and would perhaps be better off on that account. If you do not protect yourselves by defending him, beware Best another Louvois lay waste the empire with fire and sword.” I have always taken for the foundation of my politicks, the interest of the persons with whom I had to do, and have detested court flattewers, who say: “ These princes are Personally attached to your majesty.” It is thus they strengthen the self-love of sovereigns, who, besides, like to be told, “every thing is go
ing on well, in the best manner, or is likely to be retrieved.” Villars was not duped by the prescriptions of the faculty for the cure of diseases with which I was not afflicted. He wrote to a prisoner whom he sent back to me: “If you belong to the army which prince Eugene is going to command, assure him of my respect. I understand that he is going to the baths on the 20th of June; but if I recollectright, he was not formerly so attentive to his health. We shall soon see what sort of baths he means to take.” I assembled my army of Austrians and German allies at Coblentz, where I had a long conference with the elector of Treves. The French had one hundred thousand men in the low countries. Marlborough had but sixty thousand. I received orders to march to his support. I directed my troops to proceed by forced marches, while I went post myself, fearful lest a battle should be fought without me. Cadogan came to compliment me to Maestricht. He told me that the French had surprised Ghent, Bruges, and Plaskendall, and that my presence was wanted. } passed through Brussels, where my interview with my mother, after a separation of twenty five years, was very affecting, but very short; and found Marlborough in camp at Asch, between Brussels and Alost; and learning that the enemy had their left on the other side of the Dendre, I asked Marlborough, on my arrival, “if it was not his intention to give battle.” “I think I ought,” replied he immediately, “ and I find with pleasure, but without astonishment, that we have both made the reflection, that without this, Our communication with Brussels would be cut off; but I would have waited for your troops.” “I would not advise you to wait,” replied I, “for the French would have time to retreat.” Vendome wanted to dispute the passage of the Dendre. He told the duke of Burgundy, that evil advisers persuaded him to march to Ghent. “When you perceive in prince Eugene a desire to avoid an engagement, he knows how to force you to one.” This expression I saw in the vindication of his conduct, which he printed on his return to Paris. Cadogan went to Oudenarde, and in a few hours threw a bridge across the Scheldt. “It is still time,” said Vendome to the duke of Burgundy, “to discontinue your march, and to attack, with the troops which we have here, that part of the allied army which has passed the river.” The latter hesitated, lost time, would have turned back, sent twenty squadrons to dispute the passage, recalled them, and said: “Let us march to Ghent.” “ It is too late,” said Vendome, “ you cannot now; in half an hour, perhaps, you will have the enemy upon you.” “Why then did you stop me?” rejoined the duke of Burgundy. “To begin the attack immediately,” replied he, “Cadogan yonder, is already master of the village of Hurne, and of six battalions. Let us form at least in the best manner we can.” Rantzau commenced the attack. He overthrew a column of cavalry, and would have been routed in his turn, had it not been for the electoral prince of Hanover,” who had his horse killed under him. Grimaldi too soon, and injudiciously, ordered a charge. “What are you doing?” cried Vendome, coming up at full gallop, “you are wrong.” “It is by the duke of Burgundy’s orders,” replied he. The latter, vexed at being contradicted, thought only how to cross the other. Vendome was giving orders to charge the left. “What are you doing?” said the duke of Burgundy. “I forbid it; there is an impassable ravine and morass.” Let any one judge of the indignation of Vendome, who had passed over the spot but a moment
before. Had it not been for this misunderstanding, we should, perhaps, have been defeated; for our
cavalry was engaged a full half hour
before the infantry could join it. For the same reason, I directed the village of Hurne to be abandoned, that I might send the battalions by which it was occupied, to support the squadrons on the left wing. But the duke of Argyle arrived with all possible expedition, at the head of the English infantry; and then came the Dutch, though much more slowly. “Now,” said I to Marlborough, “we are in a condition to fight.”— It was six in the evening of the 11th of July; we had yet three hours of day-light. I was on the right at the head of the Prussians. Some battalions turned their backs after having been attacked with unequalled fury. They rallied, retrieved their fault, and we recovered the ground they had lost. The battle then become general along the whole line. The spectacle was magnificent. It was one sheet of fire. That of our artillery made a powerful impression; that of the French, being very injudiciously posted, in consequence of the uncertainty which prevailed in the army on account of the disunion of its commanders, produced very little effect. With us it was quite the contrary. We loved and esteemed one another, not excepting the Dutch marshal Ouverkerke, venerable for his age and services, my old friend and Marlborough's, who obeyed and fought to admiration. The following circumstance may serve to prove our harmony. Matters were going wrong on the right, where I commanded. Marlborough, who perceived it, sent me a reenforcement of eighteen battalions, without which, I should scarcely have been able to keep my ground. I then advanced, and drove in the first line; but at the head of the second, I found Vendome on foot, with a pike in his hand, encouraging the troops. He made so vigorous a resistance, that I should not have accomplished my purpose, had it not been for Natzmer, at the head of the king of Prussia’s gendarmes, who broke through the line, and enabled me to obtain complete success. Marlborough purchased his more dearly on the right, where he attacked in front, while Ouverkerke dislodged the enemy from the hedges and villages. Nassau, Fries, and Oxenstiern, drove the infantry beyond the defiles, but they were roughly handled by the king's household troops, who came to its assistance. I rendered the same service to the duke. I sent Tilly, who making a considerable circuit, took the brave household troops, which had nearly snatched the victory from us, in the rear; but this decided the business. The darkness of the night prevented our pursuit, and enabled me to execute a scheme for increasing the number of our prisonersI sent out drummers in different directions, with orders to beat the retreat, after the French manner, and posted my French refugee officers, with directions to shout on all sides: A moi, Picardie J A moi Champagne : A moi Piemont / The French soldiers ran to these posts, and I picked up a pretty round nnmber.
* Afterwards George II.
We took in all about seven thousand. The duke of Burgundy, and his evil counsellors, had long before withdrawn. Vendome collected the relicks of the army, and took charge of the rear. As the firing had recommenced while it was still dark, Marlborough waited for daylight to attack the enemy before he reached Ghent— His detachment found him but too soon. Vendome had posted his grenadiers to the right and left of the high road, and they put our cavalry, which pursued them, to the rout. Vendome, by this, saved the remnant of his army, which entered Ghent in the utmost confusion, with the dukes of Burgundy and Berry, and the count of Toulouse. His presence pacified and cheered the soldiers. They all held a council of war at the inn called the Golden Apple.— The opinion of the princes and their courtiers was, as usual, detestable.— Vendome grew warm, expressed his indignation at having been crossed by them, and declared, that as he was determined not to be served in the same manner again, he should order the army to encamp behind the canal from Bruges to Lovendeghem. I pitied him from the bottom of my heart, as I had done the elector of Bavaria in 1704, and the duke of Orleans in 1706.
ON THE VOLCANOS OF JORULLO. BY ALEXANDER HUMBOLDT."
THE grand catastrophe in which this volcanick mountain issued from the earth, and by which the face of a considerable extent of ground was totally altered, was, perhaps, one of the most extensive physical changes, that the history of our globe exhibits. Geology points out spots in the ocean, where, within the last
two thousand years, volcanick islets have arisen above the surface of the sea, as near as the Azores, in the Archipelago, and on the south of Iceland: but it records no instance of a mountain of scoriae and ashes, 517 met. [563 yards] above the old level of the neighbouring plains, suddenly formed in the centre of a
* Extracted from his Essay on New Spain. Journal de Physique, vol. LXIX, p. 149.