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lightest and most voluble weapons: and proper care will be taken to give them at least a superficial tincture of the ancient and modern Amazonian tactics. Of these military performances, the direction is undertaken by Epicene *, the writer of “ Memoirs from the Mediterranean," who by the help of some artificial poisons conveyed by smells, has within these few weeks brought many persons of both sexes to an untimely fate; and, what is more surprising, has, contrary to her profession, with the same odours, revived others who had long since been drowned in the whirlpools of Lethe. Another of the professors is to be a certain lady, who is now publishing two of the choicest Saxon novels, which are said to have been in as great repute with the ladies of queen Emma's court, as the ic Memoirs from the New Atalantis” are with those of ours.' I shall make it my business to inquire into the progress of this learned institution, and give you the first notice of their “ Philosophical Transactions, and Searches after Nature.”
St. James's Coffee-house, September 2. This day we have received advices by the way of Ostend, which give an account of an engagement between the French and the allies, on the eleventh instant, N.S. - Marshal Boufflers arrived in the enemy's camp on the fifth, and acquainted marshal Villars, that he did not come in any character, but to receive his commands for the king's service and communicate to him his orders upon the present posture of affairs. On the ninth both armies advanced towards each other, and cannonaded all the
* Epicene means Mrs. D. Manly.
ensuing day, until the close of the evening, and stood on their arms all that night. On the day of battle, the cannonading was renewed about seven : the duke of Argyle had orders to attack the wood Sart on the right, which he executed so successfully, that he pierced through it, and won a considerable post. The prince of Orange had the same good fortune in a wood on the left : after which the whole body of the confederates, joined by the forces from the siege, marched up and engaged the enemy, who were drawn up at some distance from these woods. The dispute was very warm for some time ; but towards noon the French began to give ground from one wing to the other; which advantage being observed by our generals, the whole army was urged on with fresh vigour, and in a few hours the day ended with the entire defeat of the enemy.
· N° 64. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1709.
Quæ curet ora cruore nostro ?
Hor. 1 Od. ii. 36.
From my own Apartment, September 5. WHEN I lately spoke of triumphs, and the behaviour of the Romans on those occasions, I knew, by my skill in astrology, that there was a great event approaching to our advantage ; but not having yet taken upon me to tell fortunes, I thought fit to defer
the mention of the battle near Mons until it happened; which moderation was no small pain to me : but I should wrong my art, if I concealed that some of my aèrial intelligencers had signified to me the news of it even from Paris, before the arrival of lieutenant-colonel Graham in England*. All nations as well as persons, have their good and evil genius attending them ; but the kingdom of France has three, the last of which is neither for it nor against it in reality ; but has for some months past acted an ambiguous part, and attempted to save its ward from the incursion of its powerful enemies, by little subterfuges and tricks, which a nation is more than undone, when it is reduced to practise.
Thus instead of giving exact accounts and representations of things, they tell what is indeed true, but at the same time a falsehood when all the circumstances come to be related. Pacolet was at the court of France, on Friday night last, when this genius of that kingdom came thither in the shape of a post-boy, and cried out, that Mons was relieved, and the duke of Marlborough marched. Pacolet was much astonished at this account, and immediately changed his form, and flew to the neighbourhood of Mons, from whence he found the allies had really marched ; and began to inquire into the reasons of this sudden change, and half feared he had heard a truth of the posture of the French affairs, even in their own country. But, upon diligent inquiry among the aërials who attend those regions, and consultation with the neighbouring peasants, he was able to bring me the following account of the motions of the armies since they re
* Lieut. col. Graham came express with an account of the battle of Malplaquet.
tired from about that place, and the action which followed thereupon.
On Saturday, the seventh of September, N. S. the confederate army was alarmed in their camp at Havre by intelligence, that the enemy were marching to attack the prince of Hesse. Upon this advice, the duke of Marlborough commanded that the troops should immediately move ; which was accordingly performed, and they were all joined on Sunday the eighth at noon. On that day in the morning it appeared, that instead of being attacked, the advanced guard of the detachment, commanded by the prince of Hesse, had dispersed and taken prisoners a party of the enemy's horse, which was sent out to observe the march of the confederates. The French moved from Quiverain on Sunday in the morning, and inclined to the right from thence all that day. The ninth, the Monday following, they continued their march, until, on Tuesday, the tenth, they possessed themselves of the woods of Dour and Blaugies. As soon as they came into that ground, they threw up entrenchments with all expedition. The allies arrived within few hours after the enemy was posted; but the duke of Marlborough thought fit to wait for the arrival of the reinforcement which he expected from the siege of Tournay. Upon notice that these troops were so advanced as to be depended on for an action the next day, it was accordingly resolved to engage the enemy.
It will be necessary for understanding the greatness of the action, and the several motions made in the time of the engagement, that you have in your mind an idea of the place. The two armies on the eleventh instant were both drawn up before the woods of Dour, Blaugies, Sart, and Jansart; the army of the prince of Savoy on the right before that of Blaugies; the forces of Great Britain in the centre on his left; those of the high allies, with the wood Sart, as well as a large interval of plain ground, and Jansart on the left of the whole. The enemy were entrenched in the paths of the woods, and drawn up behind two intrenchments overagainst them, opposite to the armies of the duke of Marlborough and prince Eugene. There were also two lines entrenched in the plains over-against the army of the States. This was the posture of the French and confederate forces when the signal was given, and the whole line moved on to the charge.
The Dutch army, commanded by the prince of Hesse, attacked with the most undaunted bravery, and after a very obstinate resistance, forced the first entrenchment of the enemy in the plain between Sart and Jansart; but were repulsed in their attack on the second with great slaughter on both sides. The duke of Marlborough, while this was transacting on the left, had with very much difficulty marched through Sart, and beaten the enemy from the several intrenchments they had thrown up in it. As soon as the duke had marched into the plain, he observed the main body of the enemy drawn up and intrenched in the front of his army. This situation of the enemy, in the ordinary course of war, is usually thought an advantage hardly to be surmounted; and might appear impracticable to any, but that army which had just overcome greater difficulties. The duke commanded the troops to form, but to forbear charging until further order. In the mean time he visited the left of our line, where the troops of the States had been engaged. The slaughter on this side had been very great, and the Dutch incapable of making further progress, except they were suddenly reinforced. The right of our line was attacked soon after their coming upon the plain; but