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she had entered into subsisted no longer than while King Charles was in Spain, but that prince, having advanced to the imperial dignity, and having himself abandoned the Catalans, she could do no more than interpose her good offices in their behalf;" and the affair dropped out of notice in an assurance by the queen, in answer to an address from the Lords, “that at the time she concluded her peace with Spain she resolved to continue her interpositions, upon every occasion, for obtaining those liberties, and to prevent, if possible, the misfortunes to which that people were exposed by the conduct of those more nearly concerned to help them.”1
The war in Spain had, of course, a material influence on the conditions that made the Treaty of Utrecht practicable. Had we succeeded in making our position there stronger than it was, our strength would have been a serious embarrassment after the death of the Emperor had disqualified our candidate for the throne of Spain. Whether or not the pompous folly of the Archduke, by losing the happy moment for a march on Madrid, had been the predominant cause of such a result, it was true that his cause was rapidly becoming hopeless, and had been merely nominally supported by Britain down to the death of the Emperor, in the spirit that, having adopted a cause when such adoption may have encouraged our comrades in the venture, it would be, if not treacherous, at least indecorous, to abandon it because the tide had strongly set against it. The Spanish people were steadily adopting King Philip. And in Castile, the great heart of Spain, his cause was accepted with a loyal fanaticism peculiar to the hot temperament of the people. For a time no competent leader was at hand to concentrate the enthusiasm as it gathered : but now the great Duke of Berwick was advancing to meet with reinforcements such troops as King Philip could collect. The troops in Madrid, under Galway, were wasting under dissipation and disease, and were led out to a point of junction with Peterborough. Our old friend, his raillery unabated by a gloomy prospect, notes as he begins his march : “It is hard I should be thought mad among the rest. After the taking of Reguena, twenty horse might have gone to Madrid; and all the places were offering to acknowledge the king upon condition I would protect them from Miguelets and the thieves and rogues
1 Tindal, iv. 347.
under Basset.” The reality of these hopes that had been may be doubted; but the adverse reality, whence he looked back on them, was doubtless real. “But now many thousand men were in arms to oppose our passing the river Xucar; and they broke down all the bridges, and flung up earth, and stockaded many passes, and have given us the most narrow and foolish marks of ill-will, and would have made it very uneasy for us to pass but for the drought, which had made many places fordable.” 1
But a decisive battle was at hand. It was fought at Almanza, in the province of Mercia. There the allies were routed. This disaster, as we have seen, had not in it enough of the British element to be counted among our national humiliations. It might be for our country, indeed, to claim closer connection with the victorious side, since the commander was of English birth, his father having been James Stewart, the exiled king, and his mother a sister of Marlborough. We have seen this battle the object of a memorable parliamentary inquiry, with the result of adding a fresh touch of paradox to the motley career of Peterborough, in the discovery that the disaster might not have befallen had his sage and cautious counsel been adopted.1
1 Cited by Lord Stanhope, from MS. War of the Succession, 205.
The war lingered on with inconclusive oscillations. Its chief peculiarity was the restlessness of the force on either side, and the sudden apparition of either of them in some spot far distant from its previous haunts, after it had apparently disappeared and almost been forgotten. The army of the allies, as they were still by courtesy called, in their wanderings carried their “King Charles " to Madrid in September of the year 1711. The absence of a military force gave him the opportunity for the visit ; and the civil establishment of the Spanish monarch-or so much as remained of it--left the city open and deserted. The end, so far as the British contingent was engaged in the war, was a calamity, but not a ḥumiliation. Stanhope, with troops numbering about 4000, had found his position in Spain gradually shifting from that of the ally of one of the parties in a stiffly contested war, to that of the commander of a trifling force in the middle of a hostile people. He was surprised and crushed. The commander who suffers in a surprise can scarcely clear himself absolutely from a charge of insufficient watchfulness and caution. But for Stanhope there was the mitigating excuse that he was surrounded by a hostile population who would give him no intelligence. In the small town of Brihuega, in New Castile, Stanhope's little force found itself surrounded by an army four times its strength, commanded by the illustrious Vendôme. The little force had no artillery ; but as the town was surrounded by an old brick wall, they defended it fiercely until their ammunition was exhausted and the blazing town threatened to devour them. The general performed the only sad duty remaining to him when he surrendered with his party as prisoners of war, leaving, in the words following, a pleasant and generous testimony to the conduct of his little army: “I must do that justice to all the officers and men, that all was done by them which could be done, the horse and dragoons having taken their share of the business on foot. Should I ever, after this misfortune, be again intrusted with troops, I never desire to be served by better men than all showed themselves to be ; and whatever other things I may
1 See above, vol. ii. p. 168, and vol. iii.
have failed in through ignorance, I am truly conscious to myself that, in the condition we were reduced to, I could not do a better service to the queen than endeavour to preserve them by the only way that was left.” 1
1 Lord Mahon-War of the Succession, 337.
DIFFERENCE IN THE RELATIONS TO ENGLAND OF SCOTLAND
AND OF IRELAND QUESTION OF INCLUDING IRELAND IN THE UNION OF 1707—THE EARLY CIVILISATION OF IRELAND -QUESTION OF SUSCEPTIBILITIES TO INCIPIENT CIVILISATION AND INABILITY TO ADVANCE THE TRADE JEALOUSIES OF ENGLAND PROMPT OUTRAGES IN IRELAND THE WOOLLEN TRADE PUT DOWN IN IRELAND, AND LINEN SUBSTITUTEDHOW THE PRIVILEGES FELL TO SCOTSMEN INSTEAD OF IRISHMEN--COMPARATIVE FERTILITY IN IRELAND AND BARRENNESS IN SCOTLAND-SUBSEQUENT REVERSAL OF THE CONDITIONSPENAL LAWS IN IRELAND.
Ar the opening of our history, England and Scotland were separate, independent, sovereign States. The common sovereignty of Queen Anne did no more to unite them under one political nationality than the Revolution with King William did for the union of England with Holland. Scotland, as we have seen, was curiously reminded of her alienation and independence when she desired to participate, like Ireland, in the privileges of the English Navigation Act. Among the hardy speculations that have been ventilated by "original thinkers” in affairs of national history, one has been, that the War of Independence was a calamity to Scotland, never retrieved