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      [2] Meules au Ministre, 6 Oct., 1682.

      [Pg 63]

      [1] Memoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier, I. 358-363 (ed. 1859).

      * Professor Sterry Hunt, whose intimate knowledge of

      [10] Lalemant, Relation, 1664, 33.

      (extract in Faillon).The French allowed the retreating Allies no rest. There was no want of men. The Convention, by the menace of the guillotine at home, and the promises of plunder and licence abroad, could raise any number of thousands of men, could find millions of money, and they had not a single feeling of humanity, as the streaming axes of the executioners all over the country showed. They could also fight and daunt their enemies by the same unhesitating ferocity. They had long published to all their armies that no quarter was to be given to British or Hanoveriansthey were to be massacred to a man; and they now sent word to the fortresses of Valenciennes, Cond, Quesnoy, and Landrecies, that unless the garrisons surrendered every soul on their being taken should be butchered. The fortresses were immediately surrendered, for the menace was backed by one hundred and fifty thousand menthe combined troops of Pichegru and Jourdain. Besides, the fortresses in the hands of the Allies were so badly supplied both with ammunition and stores, that they were but dens of famine and impotence. On the 5th of July Ghent opened its gates to the French; on the 9th the French entered Brussels, having driven the Duke of Coburg out of his entrenchments in the wood of Soignies, near which the battle of Waterloo was afterwards fought. They next attacked the Duke of York and Lord Moira at Mechlin, and after a sharp conflict drove them thence. The very next day Clairfait was defeated and obliged to abandon both Louvain and Lige. General Beaulieu was driven out of Namur, solely because he had no provisions there for his army, though otherwise the place could have made a long defence. The Duke of York was compelled to abandon the strong and important citadel of Antwerp from the same cause, and to cross the Scheldt into Dutch territory, leaving the French to make their triumphant entry into Antwerp on the 23rd of July. Such was the brilliant campaign of the French in the[435] Netherlands in the summer of 1794such the ignominious defeat of the Allies, with an army of two hundred thousand men. Pitt, however, bravely struggled to keep up the Coalition. A loan of four million pounds was granted to Austria. At the same time, in addition to the Hessian soldiers engaged, the Duke of Brunswick, the king's relative, was to furnish two thousand two hundred and eighty-nine men on the same liberal terms, and was himself to have an annual allowance of sixteen thousand pounds sterling.


      For a few brief years, his reign was indeed salutary to France. His judgment of men, when not obscured by his pride and his passion for flattery, was good; and he had at his service the generals and statesmen formed in the freer and bolder epoch that had ended with his accession. Among them was Jean Baptiste Colbert, formerly the intendant of Mazarins household, a man whose energies matched his talents, and who had preserved his rectitude in the midst of corruption. It was a hard task that Colbert imposed on his proud and violent nature to serve the imperious king, morbidly jealous of his authority, and resolved to 1642-1644.


      consent to the appointment of the vicar apostolic.


      **** Ibid, 6 Ao?t, 1661.