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1709. accepted. Asfeldt went himself with the officers to the

mine, and told them he could not bear to let so many brave
men perish under the ruins of a place they had so gallantly
defended and gave them twenty-four hours to consider of it.
But the governor being immoveable in his resolution, the
mine was ordered the next day to be fired, which the cen-
tinels, posted on the side of the hill to give notice of it,
perceiving, they made the appointed signal. Upon which
the governor, with several officers, walked to the parade,
and ordered the guard to retire; which was no sooner done,
but the mine was blown up, and with little or no noise made
an opening in the rock on the very parade, of some yards
in length, and about three feet wide, into which the go-
vernor, lieutenant-colonel Thornicroft, major Vignoles,
and other officers fell, and the opening instantly closing
upon them, they all perished, though their bodies were not
entirely funk in. Notwithstanding this accident, lieutenant- -
colonel d'Albon of Syburg's regiment, being the surviving
commander, resolved to hold out as long as he had any pro-
visions; and, to make these last the longer, he reduced hia
men to half allowance. By this time king Charles being
informed, that the garrison was reduced to great extremities,
a council of war was held at Barcelona, to consider of the
most proper means to relieve that place, the result whereof
was, that lieutenant-general Stanhope should imbark for
Port-Mahon, to confer with Sir George Byng on that fub-
ject. The general, being returned the 12th of March,
N. S. to Barcelona, imbarked again, on the 18th, on board
Sir Edward Whitaker, who was arrived there with three
thousand five hundred men from Naples. These troops
were ordered upon this expedition ; and then, sailing for
Port-Mahon, they took there on board four hundred men
more ; and, on the IIth of April, failed for Alicant. But,
a strong easterly wind forcing them to anchor in the bay of
Denia, the enemy suspected their design, and made the ne-
ceffary preparations to prevent its execution. On the 15th
the fleet arrived in fight of Alicant; but the weather continu-
ing fo tempestuous, that the ships could not come near the
Thore ; and besides, don Pedro de Ronquillo had by that time
assembled seven thousand men, cast up intrenchments, and
erected batteries, to oppose the landing of the confederate
troops. However, some men of war were ordered to get as
near the shore as possible, and fire upon the enemy's intrench-
ments, which they did with some execution, but were much
annoyed bo the enemy's batteries. The general and admi-

sals,

rals, feeing the impoffibility of relieving the castle, resolved, 1709. in a council of war, to endeavour to fave so brave a garrison from being made prisoners of war; and accordingly general Stanhope sent a boat on fhore with a flag of truce, and an officer, with a letter for don Pedro de Ronquillo, offering to surrender the castle of Alicant upon honourable terms. This proposal being accepted, several articles were demanded, and most of them granted. Pursuant to the capitulation, the garrison marched out, on the 18th of April, with two pieces of cannon, and all other marks of honour, imbarked on board the feet, and were landed in Minorca to refresh themselves.

General Stanhope having laid a design to surprize Cadiz, either by means of a secret correspondence he had in the place, or merely upon the encouragement of the weakness of the garrison, concerted measures for that purpose with Sir George Byng, on board whose squadron he imbarked at PortMahon with two regiments of foot; and, about the middle of August, failed for Gibraltar. Here he expected to be joined by the forces, which, about the same time, imbarked at Portsmouth on board a squadron, commanded by rear-admiral Baker, consisting of one battalion of Scots guards, the regiments of foot of tiie lord Tyrawley, brigadier Whetham, colonel Gore, colonel Bowles, colonel Capel, colonel Munden, colonel Dormer, and the earl of Rochford's dragoons. But this squadron being long detained on the coast of England by contrary winds, so that they did not make the coast of Portugal till the beginning of October, the Spaniards, in the mean time, being apprehensive of general Stanhope's design, made detachments from Estremadura for the security of the coast of Andalusia ; and the season being too far advanced to undertake any thing on that fide, that general returned to Port-Mahon, thence to Barcelona, and not long after failed for Italy, from whence he came over to England by the way of Germany and Holland. On the other hand, rear-admiral Baker having on the roth of O&tober, fent a man of war to Lisbon for orders, lord Galway gave him directions to fail directly for Barcelona with the forces he had on board. The court of Portugal (who expected that these troops would have staid in that kingdom) having expostulated with lord Galway about their being sent to Catalonia, he took that opportunity to complain of the ill provision that was made for the subsistence and accommodation of the British regiments in Portugal ; and said, that nevertheless, her Britannic majesty would

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1709. take care to recruit these forces, and, if the court of Portuurgal would be as diligent in raising the men for fix regiments

of dragoons in the pay of Great Britain (which levies were at last resolved upon) the Portuguese army would then be in a condition to act offensively. He added, that the forces on board rear-admiral Baker would be of far greater service in Catalonia, even with respect to Portugal itself, by giving a strong diversion to the enemy; which argument had certainly great weight in it; for the Portuguese were senfible, that general Stanhope's bare coming to Gibraltar with two regiments, had occafioned the weakening of the Spanish forces in Estremadura, and disabled them from undertaking any thing on that fide, in the autumn campaign.

The rejoicings made at the court of Madrid, upon the easy and inconsiderable victory gained by the marquis de Bay in Eftremadura, and on the birth of a second son to king Philip, were foon damped, both by the death of that young prince, and their misfortunes on the frontiers of Catalonia. For general Staremberg, after he received the reinforcements from Italy, having paffed the Segra without oppofition, made himself master of Balaguer, and took nine hundred men prisoners ; the marshal de Bezons having refused to fecond the Condé d'Aguilar, who was for attacking the allies. Upon notice of these transactions, king Philip thought it necessary to leave Madrid, and go to the army.

When he came there, Bezons justified himself, by producing the French king's orders for avoiding all engagements. King Philip seemed much mortified at this, and not thinking it adviseable to attempt the attacking of Staremberg, in his advantageous poft near Balaguer, returned to Madrid, where cardinal Portocarrero died some days before, to the great regret of that prince, and his partizans. Not long after, Staremberg, having put a strong garrison into Balaguer, repassed

the Segra, and 10 both armies went into winter quarters. The king

This summer brought a catastrophe on the affairs of the of Sweden's king of Sweden. He resolved to invade Muscovy, and inJulys. n.s. gaged himself so far in the Ukrain, that there was no pof

fibility of his retreating, or of having reinforcements brought to him. He engaged a great body of Coffacks to join him, who were easily drawn to revolt from the czar.

He met with great misfortunes in the end of the former year; but nothing could divert him from his designs against Muscovy. He passed the Nieper, and besieged Pultoway. The czar marched to raise the fiege, with an army much fuperior to the Swedes ; but the king of Sweden resolved to venture on

a battle,

a battle, in which he received such a total defeat, that he 1709. lost his camp, his artillery, and baggage. A great part of my his army got off, but being closely pursued by the Muscovites, and having neither bread nor ammunition, they were all made prisoners of war. The king himself, with a sinall He flies into number about him, passed the Nieper, and got into the Turkey, Turkish dominions, and settled at Bender, a town in Mol. davia. Upon this great reverse of his affairs, king Augustus pretended, that the resignation of the crown of Poland was extorted from him by force, and that it was not in his power to resign the crown, by which he was tied to the republic of Poland, without their consent. He marched therefore into Poland, and Stanillaus was not able to make any resistance, but continued under the protection of the Swedes, waiting for another reverse of fortune. A project was formed to engage the kings of Denmark and Prussia, with king Augustus and the czar, to attack the Swedes in so many different places, that the extravagant humour of their king was like now to draw a heavy storm upon them, if England and the states-general, with the court of Vienna, had not crushed all this, and entered into a guaranty, for preserving the peace of the empire, and by consequence of the Swedish dominions in Germany (c).

The

(c) Burnet says, this fudden, is little curious about his repose: and, as it seemed, total reverse of his chief and almoft only exercise all the designs of the king of has been riding, in which he Sweden, who had been for many has been extremely excessive. years the terror of all his neigh- He usually eats with a good apbours, made me write to Dr. petite, especially in the mornRobinson, who had lived above ing, which is the best of his thirty years in that court, and is three meals : he never drinks now bishop of Bristol, for a par- any thing but small beer, and is ticular character of that king. not much concerned whether it

I shall set it down in his own be good or bad: he speaks litwords :

tle, is very thoughtful, and is He is now in the twenty- observed to mind nothing lo eighth year of his age, tall and much as his own affairs, laying sender, stoops a little, and in his designs, and contriving the his walking discovers, though ways of acting, without comin no great degree, the effect of '

municating them to any, till breaking his thigh-bone about they are to be put in execution : eight years ago : he is of a very he holds few or no councils of * vigorous and healthy constitu war; and though in civil affairs tion, takes a pleasure in endu- his ministers have leave to exring the greatest fatigues, and plain their thoughts, and are

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heard

1709.

Denmark.

The king of Denmark fpent a great part of this summer in a very expensive course of travelling through the courts of Germany and Italy; and it was believed that he intended to go to Rome, where great preparations were making for giving him a splendid reception ; for it was given out, that he intended to change his religion. But whether these reports were altogether groundless, or whether, being so commonly believed, was like to produce some disorders in his own kingdom, is not certainly known ; but thus much is certain, that he stopped at Florence, and went no farther, but returned home, and, upon the king of Sweden's misfortunes, entered into measures to attack Sweden with king Auguftus, who had called a diet in Poland, in which he was acknowledged their king, and all things were settled there according to his wishes. The king of Denmark, upon his return home, sent an army over the Sound ta heard very patiently; yet he re- them) that he came to have less lies more on his own judgment value for their judgments, and than on theirs, and frequently more for his own, and at last to falls on such methods, as are think nothing impoffible. Sa farthest from their thoughts: it may be truly faid, that, under so that both his ministers and God, as well all his glorious fucgenerals have had hitherto the cesses, as the late fatal reverfe of glory of obedience, without them, have been owing folely either the praise or blame of hav to his own conduct. As to his ing advised prudently or other piety, it cannot be faid, but that wile. The reason of his refer- the outward appearances have vedness in consulting others may highly recommended it, only it be thus accounted for ; he came, is not very easy to account for at the age of fifteen, to succeed the excess of his revenge against in an absolute monarchy, and, king Auguftus, and some other by the forward zeal of the states instances; but he is not suspected of the kingdom, was in a few of any bodily indulgences. It is months declared to be of age : most certain, he has along withed there were those about him, that well to the allies, and not at all magnified his understanding as to France, which he never inmuch as his authority, and infi- tended to serve by any steps he nuated, that he neither needed has made. We hear the Turks advice, nor could submit his af- use him well, but time must fairs to the deliberation of others, shew what use they will make without some diminution of his of him, and how he will get own fupreme power. These back into his own kingdom. If impreffions had not all their ef- this misfortune does not quite sest, eill after the war was be- ruin him, it may temper his fire, gun; in course of which he fur- and then he may become one mounted so many impoffibilities of the greatest princes of the (as those about him thought age.

Schoneng

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