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ceeded to Brussels (a). The duke having conferred with 1708. veldt-marlhal d'Auverqueque, who, notwithstanding his in- en firm fate of health, preserved a vigorous mind, and seemed resolved to die, like a hero, in the field, gave orders to the troops to march to Andernach near Bruffels, where the Dutch, Pruffians, and Hanoverians, began to form the army the 23d of May. The 26tb they marched to Billengen, where the duke of Marlborough took up his quarters in the abbey of that name; and the veldt-marthai tixed his at Hall, a little town, which lay in the front of the first line. The British forces repaired to this camp likewise with all possible expedition, as did also a considerable body of troops in the service of the States. general from their respective garrisons in Flanders. And, last of all, the field-deputies of their high mightinefles arrived there, who behaved themselves this campaign with so much prudence and resolution, that they contributed very much to the success of it.
Upon notice of these motions, the duke de Vendosme alsembled his army, on the 25th of May, between Mons and St. Ghislain, and took up his head quarters at St. Simpronien, from whence he marched the next day to Soignies, posting his right at Naist, and his left at Canchie Notre Dame, within three leagues of the confederate camp. He was joined the same day by the duke of Burgundy, who had the chief (at least titular) command of the army, together with the duke of Berry, his brother, and the pretender.
(a) Here che duke was ho- Fre:fed to do abroad; and assures noored with a letier from the hiin, that, whatever infinuations queen, dated May 6, by the her enemies might make to the manner of which, as the du contrary, she would never give chess of Marlborough observes her consent to a peace, but upin the account of her conduct, on safe and honourable terms. p. 255, her majesty seemed it:ll She begs the duke to be so just to have retained a great degree to her, as not to let the misrea of regard for Mr. Harley. After presentations made of her have complaining to the duke of being any weight with him; adding, so tired that day with importuni that it would be a greater trouties from the whigs, chat ihe had ble to her than could be expre'not ípirits left to open her affiliat fed ; and concludes with these ed heart so freely and fuily as words; ' I cannot end without the intended, me goes on to lay, begging you to be very carethat she was entirely of his opi- ' ful of yourself, there being nion, thinking it neither for her nobody, I am lure, that prays honour nor intereft to make steps more hearty than her, who (meaning the first steps) towards • will live and die most fincerely a peace, as the duke had been
On the 29th of May, the confederate army, which confifted of a hundred and eighty squadrons of horse, and a hundred and twelve battalions, made a motion from Bellinghen, advancing the right to Herfelingen, the left to Lembecy, and fixing the head quarters at St. Renelle, in hopes of bringing the enemy to an engagement, which, by their bold march to Soignies, they seemed rather to seek than decline, being superior, at least, in number, to the al. lies; for their army consisted of a hundred and ninety-seven squadrons, and a hundred and twenty-four battalions. The same day the enemy received their heavy baggage from Mons, but sent it back thither on the 31st, which Itill gave the confederates hopes they should come to an engagement; and thereupon, the duke of Marlborough ordered the troops to be in a readiness to march at an hour's warning. The same evening the duke received intelligence, that the enemy's heavy baggage, having received a counter-order, was returned to the camp, and that they had foraged for two days ; whence it was reasonably concluded, that they would not march the next day, as the deserters had reported. The duke of Marlborough, having advised with the other generals, resolved to send the horse to forage the next morning; and they went out, before break of day; but they had not been out an hour, before advice came, that the enemy had begun the night before, at ten, to send their heavy baggage to Mons, and decamped without any noise at eleven, marching towards Neville. The foragers were immediately recalled, and to avoid all lofs of time, the infantry marched first of all about noon from St. Renelle, and were followed by the cavalry. About four they formed four colunms, intending to'encamp the right towards Anderlech, and the left to Lake; but upon farther notice, that the enemy had nos incamped at Neville, but had continued their march by Bois Signieur Isaac to Braine la Leu, the duke judged, that they could not have any other design, than to post themselves on the bank of the Deule, to hinder the allies from passing that river, and to fieze Louvain; being the very fame project, which the duke de Vendosme had formed the last year, but miscarried in it. To prevent the enemy, there was no other remedy, but to continue marching all night; so that, on the 3d of June in the afternoon, the army of the allies arrived at the camp of Terbank, very much fatigued, as well by this long march as by the continual rains, which had fallen for four and twenty hours together. The French, having received intelligence of this expeditious march of the con2
federates, did not venture to advance farther than Genap, 1708. but incamped their right to tbat place, and their left to Braine la Leu.' Upon which the duke of Marlborough rook up his quarters in the abbey of Terbank, and monfieur d'Auverquerque his in the suburbs of Louvain. On the 4th, several bridges were laid on the Deule, between Havre and Louvain; and, on the 5th, almost the whole confederate army foraged in the neighbourhood of their camp. The 6th being appointed by the duke as a day of thanksgiving for the past successes of the arms of the allies, and to implore a bleffing upon the present campaign, it was religiously observe ed throughout the whole army.
The enemy continuing quiet in their camp, the duke of Marlborough took that opportunity of reviewing his troops, which he began to do the 7th, and continued for eight or nine days following, when he had the satisfaction to find, that the respective bodies were all very complete, the men'in the most excellent order, animated with their former victo, ries; and eager to engage an enemy, that were despicable in their eyes. In this camp it was, that the electoral prince of Hanover (his late majesty king George II.) came to the army, and was received with the greatest marks of respect and distinction by all the general officers.
It was now plain, that the enemy had no inclination to engage the confederates. They had indeed in view the recovery of the places they had lost in the year 1706; but it was by their usual method of surprize and treachery. Nor were their hopes altogether vain, for the elector of Bavaria, who had gained some interest in the provinces of the Netherlands, among people of all ranks, by his profuseness and popular behaviour, with the affistance of count de Bergeyck, a person of great credit, and no less activity, and other friends of the house of Bourbon, easily found means to practise upon the levity and restless spirits of the chief inhabitants of the cities of Ghent (b), Bru
(b) Ghent is a very large city campaign; but befeged and reand castle, one of the principal covered by the duke of Marlboof the Low-countries, the mar• rough towards the end of the quisare of the earldom of Flan- year. It stands on the river ders, and territory of Ghent, a Scheld and Lys (which divide it bilopric under the archbishop into twenty-fix illards) cwentyof Mechlin. It was surprized seven miles almolt south-west of by, or rather betrayed to the Antwerp, thirty north-west of kreach the beginning of this Brussels, ninety-four almost souh
1703. ges (c), and Antwerp, who promised to open their gates to
the troops of France and Spain, as soon as they could find a fair opportunity (d). The truth was, the Dutch were severe
of Amsterdam, and an hundred spared ; for the event has and fifty-four north-east of Paris. Mewn, he brought no more
(c) Bruges is a. fair, strong, courage with him than he left and noble city of the Low-coun.. behind him ; nor could it be tries, in the earldom of Fand.
' expecied, that their bare preers, the head of the territory of I fence Could make a starved Bruges, a bishopric under the " and naked army act with as archbishop of Mechlin. This • much vigour, as if they had town made its submision to the • been warmly clothed and well duke of Marlborough after the paid. No, we were sure it famous battle of Ramillies; the 'must be something else they French surprized it, or rather had came for, not to gain any jt betrayed to them the begin. ' honour in the field, but to reap ning of this campaign, but a .. the mean glory of some suc. bandoned it upon the approach 'cessful treachery, and so it of the consederates, towards the proved. A design, we found, end of December, the same I had been formed some time to year. It stands twenty-four miles ' surprize Antwerp; all was anorth-west of Ghent, eleven east greed, and every thing within of Oftend, thirty-four rorih-east ' a day or two ripe for execuof Du: kirk, and forty welt of • tion, when the princes joined Antwerp.
• the army; but the plot, which (d) Dr. Hare, in his tha ki • was more than they knew, giving sermon before the hruse
was then actually discovered ; of commons, on Thuriday, Fe ' and this was a design of such bruary 17, 1708-9, tells us, p. II. ' ia portance, we were inclined • That there was a conspiracy to think it was the whole they • to have all the Netherlands be
I aimed at. But the sequel • trayed to the enemy by the in • Tewed the treachery was
terest of that unhappy prince, deeper laid; and, while we 6 who has suffered so much in were waiting the forces from • their caure. When we saw the the Rhine, another part of it
fons of France come into the • fucceeded be Had boch • field, we could not but suspect ' taken effect, what condition
there was something more than ' had our affairs been in? We
ordinary in agitation. It was had then, it is likely, without a • not enough to think they came • blow loit all the fruits of the • to learn the art of war in an • Ramillies campaign; and the
army, that aims at no:hing but consequence of that had been, inaction, or to give courage to not only putting the war two their
troop, which their great or three years back; it is more eit general h:d not been able • than probable the consternato do, though fetched from ' tion it would every where have Taly on purpuse, at a time raised, would have foon frightwhen he least could have been rened the allies into an ill
• peace i
masters, and the Flandrians could not bear it. Though the 1908. French had laid heavier taxes on them, yet they used them better in all other respecs. Their bigotry, being wrought on by their priests, disposed them to change their masters. The duke of Marlborough resolved not to weaken his army by many garrisons ; and therefore put none at all into Bruges, and a very weak one in the citadel of Ghent, reckoning, that there was no danger, as long as he lay between thote places and the French army. The two armies had lain about a month looking on one another, shifting their camps a little, but keeping still in safe ground; the confederates, for their parts, being in expectation of prince Eugene's taking the field, with an army composed of Prusian and Hellian troops, ten thousand Palatines and some imperialists. The motion of this body was retarded by several difficulties about the march of the Palatine forces ; of which the French getting intelligence, they concluded, that the confederates would hardly venture to force them in the passes and defiles they were pofleffed of, and therefore commanded a detachment to march towards Ghent and Bruges, to surprize those towns ; which was effected in this manner:
On the 5th of July, a party of the enemy's troops, com- Bruges manded by the brigadiers Já Faille and Pasteur, advanced andGhent before break of day towards Ghent, and, at the opening of taken by the gates between five and fix in the morning, half a dozen the foot-foldiers, with two or three troopers, who were sent be. French. fore, pretending to be deferters, were admitted into the town by the watch of burghers, who were no more in number than themselves, When they were going to be carried to the main-guard, some of them pretended a weariness, and setting themselves down on the ground, desired some brandy, to delay time ; which being brought, they drank with the burghers, and amused them with a story of the march of the French army, and their own desertion. Soon after another small party of pretended deserters came, and entertained the watch with the like frivolous stories, till brigadier la Faille, who not long before had been high-bailiff of that city, and had ftill a considerable interest there, coming in person, commanded the burghers, who guarded the gates, to lay down their arms, and admit the French troops. They began at first to make a shew of resistance ; but the pre
· peace; or the success of the 'might in another year have
Italian league, which then • forced chem to it.' * could not have miscarried,