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Thou) is quoted; but he died in 1617, when he had not carried his annals further than 1607; nor did his only continuator, Nicholas Rigault, proceed beyond the death of Henry IV. in 1610. The quotation is consequently illusive; as are several anterior ones from O'Sullivan Beare's Historia Catholica, or Bellum Quindecim Annorum, and from Peter Lombard, whose works, printed and lost abroad, while prohibited at home, like other most rare volumes, are in the possession certainly of very few, were probably derived at second hand from Mac Geoghegan, so marked and uniform is their accordance. The family library, collected chiefly by the excellent and learned Charles O'Conor, no doubt, contained these books; but it had been disposed of to the Marquis of Buckingham, by his son and namesake, known as Columbanus. Mr. O'Conor, however, may have consulted them in the University Library of Dublin.
Again, in allusion to Turenne's rival and antagonist (at page 91,) Montecucculli, (Raimondo di,) that imperial commander is represented as trained to war in the schools of Farnese and Spinola, while the former's death, in 1592, was prior to Montecucculli's birth, in 1608, by sixteen years; and, though not thus necessarily precluded from the lessons of the other great master of the art, for Spinola survived till 1630, it does not appear that Montecucculli (the proper orthography) ever served under that adversary of Maurice of Nassau.*
Many faults of the press may here likewise be noted, as indeed throughout the entire of the volume, particularly in the French and Latin citations, at pages 154, 196, 207-212, &c.; and altogether the book, while of very creditable typographical execution, displays to an inexcusable degree, either negligence, or, we are compelled to say, incompetency on the part of the editor.
The battle of the Boyne, which decided the fate of Ireland, by the forcible transfer of the crown from the monarch of her choice to the husband of his unnatural daughter, in 1690, was one of the most momentous events of contemporaneous, perhaps of modern history. Without, however, dwelling on its consequences otherwise than as associated with the formation of the Irish brigade in the service of France, we will not withhold from the reader our author's spirited exposition of the chief cause of its loss, in the impaired energies and betrayed pusillanimity of James, on that memorable day, which made Sarsfield, according to Mr. O'Conor, (page 226,) in answer to some disparaging remarks on Irish bravery, say, "Exchange but kings, and we will fight you over again." These exculpatory words are, however, more generally ascribed to Teige O'Regan. Our historian thus concludes, at page 115, his description of the conflict, preceded, we must observe, by an error at its outset, where the 30th of July instead of June, is represented as the eve of the engagement, in page 105.
"James beheld from the hill of Donore, his left wing outflanked, his centre broken, his right inactive. The spirit of his youth was frozen; the elasticity which gives nerve to enterprise was relaxed; old age and the impression made by unwarlike advisers had chilled those feelings which, in his earlier years, impelled him to encounter the dangers of the field. The hero, who in Flanders excited the admiration of Turenne, sunk into the coward on the banks of the Boyne, and declined leading the charges of his own horse, when he might have restored the battle, and prevented an inglorious retreat. Panic-struck, and guided by counsels suggested by selfishness and fear, he abandoned an army that was beaten, not broken; that yielded to superiority of numbers and generalship, but had still resources and determination to prolong the contest indefinitely. Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Youghal, and the line of the
Shannon, all of which were in the hands of the Irish, presented obstacles to William's success, that should have inspired James with confidence in maintaining the contest; but Lausun sensible of his own incapacity in camps, but conscious of his admirable talents for courts, was eager to quit a country where he could reap no harvest of glory, and where he had no field to exercise those arts, and practise those intrigues, which had raised him to the pinnacle of favour at Versailles. He therefore advised James to seek safety in flight, to return to France, and thus escape being made prisoner by William. He would give his right hand to have accompanied him, but his duty commanded him to guide the retreat of the French troops, or perish with them. This ill-judged counsel was seconded by Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel. Talbot was brave in danger, pusillanimous in disaster. In the rout of the Boyne he viewed the cause of James as hopeless, that of William as triumphant. He had estates and dignities to preserve, and only in an accommodation could he see security for them. If James remained, the contest would be prolonged beyond the hope of an accommodation. He therefore sent his chaplain to him to press his flight to France, and to work on his fears of falling into the hands of William. James reached Dublin on that same day; and, conscious that his flight would be construed into cowardice, he sought to shelter his fame, not only under the cover of the suggestions of his officers, but likewise under that of the advice of his privy council."
In connexion with this epoch and catastrophe, we have again to point out a few inaccuracies. The French commander, Lauzun, (so it should be written,) is asserted (page 106,) to have aspired to the hand of the king, Louis the Fourteenth's, sister. Now that sovereign never had a sister, and the lady, whose affections this cadet de Gascogne, as he was called, (Antonin Nompar de Caumont,) had gained, was the cousin-german of Louis, daughter of his father's only brother, the weak and versatile Gaston, Duke of Orleans, who died in 1660, leaving, with three more daughters, (married respectively to the Dukes of Tuscany, Guise, and Savoy,) this, his eldest child, “La
Grande Mademoiselle," as she was distinguished, and duchess of Montpensier in right of her mother, Marie de Bourbon, whose inherited estates made her the richest heiress in Europe, as, indeed, she was one of the most remarkable characters in the court of Louis. Her own memoirs are curious, but not explicit on this circumstance; and we only know that the marriage, at first assented to, was afterwards interdicted, and that Lauzun suffered a long imprisonment for his bold aspiration. Subsequently again, on his return to France after his Irish expedition, "he would," Mr. O'Conor adds, "have been sent to the Bastile, only for the interference of the Queen;" but no queen was then, in 1691, living; for the royal consort, Maria Teresa of Spain, died in 1683, and was never succeeded on the throne. A marriage, it is now little doubted, did take place in 1685, between the "Grand Monarque" and the burlesque poet Scarron's widow, Madame de Maintenon, but was never acknowledged, nor even just then believed, insomuch that, from the absence of all official record of the fact, Napoleon was not disposed to credit it. In either case there was no queen. But reverting cursorily to the princess, erroneously named the king's sister, we may observe, that most of her great estates became, through channels which it would occupy too much space to detail, the property of the Orleans dynasty (not hers,) on the French throne; and thence flow the titles of Aumale, Jöinville, Montpensier, if not of Nemours.
After the conflict of the Boyne, Ireland became divided into dissentient parties, and adverse councils. "The natives, those of Milesian race, the O'Neals, McGuires, McMahons, &c., with the Irish bishops
and discontented officers, the Sarsfields, Luttrells, and Purcells, desired a separation from England, and continuance of the war, supported, affirms Mr. O'Conor, by the common soldiers, enthusiasts in the cause of their country and religion. Lord Tyrconnell headed the peace party, sustained by the Hamiltons, Talbots, Nugents, Dillons, Burkes, Rices, Butlers, Plowdens, Sheldons, all of English descent, who preferred William, as King of Great Britain and Ireland, to James as King of Ireland only, and, in despair of reinstating the latter on his ancestral throne, sought to preserve their possessions by accommodation." antagonism of parties, and array of the original against the superinduced races, are similarly presented in the nuncio Rinuccini's memoir of his mission to Ireland in 1642.
But, proceeds our author, "Nor was James adverse to a settlement. He hated the native Irish, because he had, at the restoration, plundered them of 150,000 acres, which he appropriated to himself as his private patrimony. He had reaped the harvest of their valour in his exile: he repaid them by decrying their courage at the battle of Dunkirk. He saw them shedding their blood at the battle of the Boyne in his cause; he maligned them to the French nation as cowards. He had called into action the energies of Ireland with the sole view of regaining the throne of Great Britain, and when he found his chances of success in that direction hopeless, he abandoned his ill-requited adherents to the scourge of conquest, and the horrors of military devastation."
Yet, though this infatuated and ungrateful prince thus consulted his own safety or ease, and abandoned a people so ardently devoted to him, but who, from