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Marlborough was deeply chagrined; but although with unconquerable patience and tact he excused Opdam’s conduct in his public despatches, he could not deceive the troops, who were loud in their indignation against both deputies and generals. There was now nothing left but to reduce the fortresses on the Meuse, a part of the army being detached for the siege while the remainder covered the operations under the command of Marlborough. Even over their favourite pastime of a siege, however, the Dutch were dilatory beyond measure. “England is famous for negligence,” wrote Marlborough, “but if Englishmen were half as negligent as the people here, they would be torn to pieces by Parliament.”[292] Venloo was at length invested on the 29th of August,[293] and after a siege of eighteen [405] days compelled to capitulate. The English distinguished themselves after their own peculiar fashion. In the assault on the principal defence General Cutts, who from his love of a hot fire was known as the Salamander, gave orders that the attacking force, if it carried the covered way, should not stop there but rush forward and carry as much more as it could. It was a mad design, criminally so in the opinion of officers who took part in it,[294] but it was madly executed, with the result that the whole fort was captured out of hand.
Sept. 26
October 7.
Oct. 1 12 .

The reduction of Stevenswaert, Maseyk, and Ruremond quickly followed; and the French now became alarmed lest Marlborough should transfer operations to the Rhine. Tallard was therefore sent back with a large force to Cologne and Bonn, while Boufflers, much weakened by this and by other detachments, lay helpless at Tongres. But the season was now far advanced, and Marlborough had no intention of leaving Boufflers for the winter in a position from which he might at any moment move out and bombard Maestricht. So no sooner were his troops released by the capture of Ruremond than he prepared to oust him. The French, according to their usual practice, had barred the eastern entrance to Brabant by fortified lines, which followed the line of the Geete to its head-waters, and were thence carried across to that of the Mehaigne. In his position at Tongres Boufflers lay midway between these lines and Liège, in the hope of covering both; but after the fall of so many fortresses on the Meuse he became specially anxious for Liège, and resolved to post himself under its walls. He accordingly examined the defences, selected his camping-ground, and on the 12th of October marched up with his army to occupy it. Quite unconscious of any danger he arrived within cannon-shot of his chosen position, and there stood Marlborough, calmly awaiting him

with a superior force. For the fourth time Marlborough held his enemy within his grasp, but the Dutch deputies, as usual,[406] interposed to forbid an attack; and Boufflers, a fourth time delivered, hurried away in the night to his lines at Landen. Had he thrown himself into Liège Marlborough would have made him equally uncomfortable by marching on the lines; as things were the French marshal perforce left the city to its fate.
Oct. 12 23 .

The town of Liège, which was unfortified, at once opened its gates to the Allies; and within a week Marlborough’s batteries were playing on the citadel. On the 23rd of October the citadel was stormed, the English being first in the breach, and a few days later Liège, with the whole line of the Meuse, had passed into the hands of the Allies. Thus brilliantly, in spite of four great opportunities marred by the Dutch, ended Marlborough’s first campaign. Athlone, like an honest man,

confessed that as second in command he had opposed every one of Marlborough’s projects, and that the success was due entirely to his incomparable chief. He at any rate had an inkling that in Turenne’s handsome Englishman there had arisen one of the great captains of all time.

Nevertheless the French had not been without their consolations in other quarters. Towards the end of the campaign the Elector of Bavaria had declared himself for France against the Empire, and, surprising the all-important position of Ulm on the Danube, had opened communication with the French force on the Upper Rhine. Villars, who commanded in that quarter, had seconded him by defeating his opponent, Prince Lewis of Baden, at Friedlingen, and had cleared the passages of the Black Forest; while Tallard had, almost without an effort, possessed himself of Treves and Trarbach on the Moselle. The rival competitors for the crown of Spain were France and the Empire, and the centre of the struggle, as no one saw more clearly than Marlborough, was for the

present moving steadily towards the territory of the Empire.

While Marlborough was engaged in his operations on the Meuse, ten thousand English and Dutch, under[407] the Duke of Ormonde and Admiral Sir George Rooke, had been despatched to make a descent upon Cadiz. The expedition was so complete a failure that there is no object in dwelling on it. Rooke would not support Ormonde, and Ormonde was not strong enough to master Rooke; landsmen quarrelled with seamen, and English with Dutch. No discipline was maintained, and after some weeks of feeble operations and shameful scenes of indiscipline and pillage, the commanders found that they could do no more than return to England. They were fortunate enough, however, on their way, to fall in with the plate-fleet at Vigo, of which they captured twenty-five galleons containing treasure worth a million sterling. Comforted by this good fortune Rooke and Ormonde sailed homeward, and dropped anchor safely in Portsmouth harbour.

Meanwhile a mishap, which Marlborough called an accident, had gone near to neutralise all the success of the past campaign. At the close of operations the Earl, together with the Dutch deputies, had taken ship down the Meuse, with a guard of twenty-five men on board and an escort of fifty horse on the bank. In the night the horse lost their way, and the boat was surprised and overpowered by a French partisan with a following of marauders. The Dutch deputies produced French passes, but Marlborough had none and was therefore a prisoner. Fortunately his servant slipped into his hand an old pass that had been made out for his brother Charles Churchill. With perfect serenity Marlborough presented it as genuine, and was allowed to go on his way, the French contenting themselves with the capture of the guard and the plunder of the vessel, and never dreaming of the prize that they had let slip. The news of his escape reached the Hague, where on his arrival rich and poor came out to welcome him, men and women weeping for joy over his safety. So deep was the fascination exerted 佛山桑拿介绍 on all of his kind by this extraordinary man.

A few days later he returned to England, where a[408] new Parliament had already congratulated Queen Anne on the retrieving of England’s honour by the success of his arms. The word retrieving was warmly resented, but though doubtless suggested by unworthy and factious animosity against the memory of William, it was strictly true. The nation felt that it was not in the fitness of things that Englishmen should be beaten by Frenchmen, and they rejoiced to see the wrong set right. Nevertheless party spirit found a still meaner level when Parliament extended to Rooke and Ormonde the same vote of thanks that they tendered to Marlborough. This precious pair owed even this honour to the wisdom and good sense of their far greater comrade, for they would have carried their quarrel over the expedition within the walls of Parliament, had 佛山桑拿按摩论坛网 not Marlborough told them gently that the whole of their operations were indefensible and that the less they called attention to themselves the better. The Queen, with more discernment, created Marlborough a Duke and settled on him a pension of £5000 a year. With the exaggerated bounty of a woman she wished Parliament to attach that sum forthwith permanently to the title, but this the Commons most properly refused to do. Moreover, the House was engaged just then on a work of greater utility to the Army than the granting of pensions even to such a man as Marlborough.
Nov 11.

On the 11th of November, the day before the public thanksgiving for the first campaign, the Committee of Public Accounts presented its report on the books of Lord Ranelagh, the paymaster-general. Ranelagh, according to their statement, had evinced great unwillingness to produce his accounts, and had met 佛山桑拿价格2012 their inquiries with endless shuffling and evasion. In his office, too, an unusual epidemic of sudden illness, and an unprecedented multitude of pressing engagements, had rendered his clerks strangely inaccessible to examination. The commissioners, however, had persisted, and were now able to tell a long story of irregular book-keeping,[409] false accounts, forged vouchers, and the clumsiest and most transparent methods of embezzlement and fraud.

Ranelagh defended himself against their charges not without spirit and efficiency, but the commissioners declined to discuss the matter with him. The Commons spent two days in examination of proofs, and then without hesitation voted that the Paymaster-General had been guilty of misappropriation of public money. It was thought by many at the time that Ranelagh was very hardly used; and it is certain that factious desire to discredit the late Government played a larger part than common 佛山桑拿js honesty in this sudden zeal against corruption. Whig writers[295] assert without hesitation that there was no foundation whatever for the charges; and it is indubitable that many of the conclusions of the commissioners were strained and exaggerated. It is beyond question too that much of the financial confusion was due to the House of Commons, which had voted large sums without naming the sources from whence they should be raised, and where it had named the source had absurdly over-estimated the receipts. But it is none the less certain that Ranelagh’s accounts were in disorder, and that, though his patrimony was small, he was reputed to have spent more money on buildings, gardens, and furniture than any man in England. Without attempting to calculate the measure of his guilt, it cannot be denied that his dismissal was for the good of the Army.

Had the House of Commons followed up this preliminary inquiry by further investigation much good might have been done, but its motives not being pure its actions could not be consistent. 佛山桑拿按摩全套 Ranelagh, for instance, had made one statement in self-defence which gravely inculpated the Secretary-at-War; but the House showed no alacrity to turn against that functionary. Very soon the question of the accounts degenerated into a wrangle with the House of Lords; and in March[410] 1704 the Commons were still debating what should be done with Ranelagh, while poor Mitchelburne of Londonderry, a prisoner in the Fleet 佛山桑拿上门服务 for debt, was petitioning piteously for the arrears due to him since 1689.
May 10.
dated April
20, 1704.

It will, however, be convenient to anticipate matters a little, and to speak at once of the reforms that were brought about by this scandal in the paymaster’s office. First, on the expulsion of Ranelagh the office was divided and two paymasters-general were appointed, one for the troops abroad, the other for those at home. Secondly, two new officers were established, with salaries of £1500 a year and the title of Controllers of the Accounts of the Army, Sir Joseph Tredenham and William Duncombe being the first holders of the office. Lastly, the Secretary-at-War definitely ceased to be mere secretary to the Commander-in-Chief, and became the civil head of the War Department. In William’s time he had taken 佛山桑拿蒲友网 the field with the King, but from henceforth he stayed at home; while a secretary to the Commander-in-Chief, not yet a military secretary, accompanied the general on active service on a stipend of ten shillings a day. William Blathwayt, who had been Secretary-at-War since the days of Charles the Second, was got rid of, with no disadvantage to the service, and his place was taken by the brilliant but unprofitable Henry St. John.
The force voted by Parliament for the campaign of 1703 consisted, as in the previous year, of eighteen thousand British and twenty-two thousand Germans. There had been much talk of an increase of the Army, and indeed Parliament had agreed to make an augmentation subject to certain conditions to be yielded by the Dutch; but when the session closed no provision had been made for it, and the 佛山夜生活论坛 details required to be settled, as indeed such details generally were, by Marlborough himself. Four new British regiments formed part of the augmentation, and accordingly five new battalions were raised, which, as they were all disbanded subsequently, remain known to us only by the names of their colonels, Gorges, Pearce, Evans, Elliott, and Macartney. Finally, small contingents from a host of petty German states brought the total of mercenaries to twenty-eight thousand, which, added to twenty thousand British, made up a nominal total of fifty thousand men in the pay of England. But none of these additional troops could take the field until late in the campaign.

Such efforts were not confined to the side of the Allies. The French successes to the eastward of the Rhine had encouraged them to projects for a grand campaign, so their 佛山桑拿网论坛 army too was increased, and every nerve was strained to make the preparations as complete as possible. The grand army under Villeroy and Boufflers, numbering fifty-four battalions and one hundred and three squadrons, was designed to recapture the strong places on the Meuse and to threaten the[412] Dutch frontier. The frontiers towards Ostend and Antwerp were guarded by flying columns under the Marquis of Bedmar, Count de la Mothe, and the Spanish Count Tserclaes de Tilly. The entire force of the Bourbons in the Low Countries, including garrisons and field-army, included ninety thousand men in infantry alone.[296] With such a force to occupy the Allies in Flanders and with Marshal Tallard to hold Prince Lewis of Baden in check at Stollhofen on the Upper Rhine, Marshal Villars was to push through the Black Forest and join 佛山南海区桑拿娱乐会所 hands with the Elector of Bavaria. Finally, the joint forces of France and Savoy were to advance through the Tyrol to the valley of the Inn and combine with Villars and the Elector for a march on Vienna.
March 6 17 .
May 7 18 .

The design was grand enough in conception; but Marlborough too had formed plans for striking at the enemy in a vital part. A campaign of sieges was not to his mind, for he conceived that to bring his enemy to action and beat him was worth the capture of twenty petty fortresses; and accordingly on his arrival at the Hague he advocated immediate invasion of French Flanders and Brabant. But the project was too bold for the Dutch, whose commanders had changed and changed for the worse. Old Athlone was dead, and in his stead had risen up three new generals—Overkirk, who had few faults except mediocrity and age; Slangenberg, who combined ability with a villainous temper; and Opdam, who was alike cantankerous and incapable. Very reluctantly Marlborough was compelled to undertake the siege of Bonn, he himself commanding the besiegers, while Overkirk handled the covering army. Notwithstanding Dutch procrastination, Marlborough’s energy had succeeded in bringing the Allies first into the field; and before Villeroy could strike a blow to hinder it, Bonn had capitulated, and Marlborough had rejoined Overkirk and was ready for active operations in the field.


The Duke now reverted to his original scheme of carrying the war into the heart of Brabant and West Flanders, and with this view ordered every preparation to be made for an attack on Antwerp. Cohorn, the famous engineer, was to distract the French by the capture of Ostend on the west side, a second force was to be concentrated under Opdam at Bergen-op-Zoom to the north, while Marlborough was to hold Villeroy in check in the east until all was ready.

The Duke’s own share of the operations was conducted with his usual skill. Pressing back Villeroy into the space between the heads of the Jaar and the Mehaigne he kept him in continual suspense as to whether his design lay eastward or westward, against Huy or against Antwerp. Unfortunately, in an evil hour he imparted to Cohorn that he thought he might manage both.[297] The covetous old engineer had laid his own plans for filling his pockets; and no sooner did he hear of Marlborough’s idea of attacking Huy than, fearful lest Villeroy should interrupt his private schemes for making money, he threw the capture of Ostend to the winds, and marched into West Flanders to levy contributions before it should be too late.
June 15 26 .

Still Marlborough was patient. He had hoped for Ostend first and Antwerp afterwards, but a reversal of the arrangement would serve. Cohorn having filled his pockets returned to the east of the Scheldt at Stabrock; Spaar, another Dutch general, took up his position at Hulst; Opdam remained at Bergen-op-Zoom; and thus the three armies lay in wait round the north and west of Antwerp, ready to move forward as soon as Marlborough should come up on the south-east. The Duke did not keep them long waiting. On the night of the 26th of June he suddenly broke up his camp, crossed the Jaar, and made for the bridge over the Demer at Hasselt. Villeroy, his eyes now thoroughly opened, hastened with all speed for Diest in order to be before him; and the two armies raced for Antwerp.[414] The Duke had hastened his army forward on its way by great exertions for six days, when the news reached him that Cohorn, unable to resist the temptation of making a little more money, had made a second raid into West Flanders, leaving Opdam in the air on the other side of the Scheldt. The Dutch were jubilant over Cohorn’s supposed success, but Marlborough took a very different view. “If Opdam be not on his guard,” he said, “he will be beaten before we can reach him”; and he despatched messengers instantly to give Opdam warning. As usual he was perfectly right. Villeroy hit the blot at once, and detached a force under Boufflers to take advantage of it. Opdam, in spite of Marlborough’s warning, took no precautions, and finding himself surprised took to his heels, leaving Slangenberg to save his army. Thus the whole of Marlborough’s combinations were broken up.[298]

The quarrels of the Dutch generals among themselves[415] left no hope of success in further operations. Failing to persuade the Dutch to undertake anything but petty sieges he returned to the Meuse, and after the capture of Huy and Limburg closed the campaign. Thus a second year was wasted through the perversity of the Dutch.
Sept. 9 20 .

Meanwhile things had gone ill with the Grand Alliance in other quarters. The King of Portugal had indeed been gained for the Austrian side and had offered troops for active operations in Spain, an event which will presently lead us to the Peninsula. The Duke of Savoy again had been detached from the French party, and the intended march over the Tyrol had been defeated by the valour of the Tyrolese; but elsewhere the French arms had been triumphant. Early in March Villars had seized the fort and bridge of Kehl on the Rhine, had traversed the Black Forest, joined hands with the Elector of Bavaria, and in spite of bitter quarrels with him had won in his company the victory of Hochst?dt. Tallard too, though he took the field but late, had captured Old Brisach on the Upper Rhine, defeated the Prince of Hessen-Cassel at Spires, and recaptured Landau. The communications between the Rhine and the Danube were thus secured, and the march upon Vienna could be counted on for the next year. With her armies defeated in her front, and the Hungarian revolt eating at her vitals from within, the situation of the Empire was well-nigh desperate.

Marlborough, for his part, had made up his mind to resign the command, for he saw no prospect of success while his subordinates systematically disobeyed his orders. “Our want of success,” he wrote, “is due to the want of discipline in the army, and until this is remedied I see no prospect of improvement.”[299] Nevertheless a short stay in England seems to have restored him to a more contented frame of mind, while even before the close of the campaign he had begun to plan[416] a great stroke for the ensuing year, and to discuss it with the one able general in the Imperial service, Prince Eugene of Savoy. Frail and delicate in constitution, Eugene had originally been destined for the Church, and for a short time had been known as the Abbé of Savoy, but he had early shown a preference for the military profession and had offered his sword first to Lewis the Fourteenth. It was refused. Then Eugene turned to the Imperial Court, and after ten years of active service against Hungarians, Turks, and French, found himself at the age of thirty a field-marshal. At thirty-four he had won the great victory of Zenta against the Turks, and in the War of the Succession had made himself dreaded in Italy by the best of the French marshals. He was now forty years of age, having spent fully half of his life in war, and fully a quarter of it in high command. Marlborough was fifty-three, and until two years before had never commanded an army in chief.

Marlborough’s design was nothing less than to commit the Low Countries to the protection of the Dutch, and, leaving the old seat of war with all its armies and fortresses in rear, to carry the campaign into the heart of Germany. The two great captains decided that it could and must be done; but it would be no easy task to persuade the timid States-General and a factious House of Commons to a plan which was bold almost to rashness.

Marlborough began his share of the work in England forthwith. Without dropping a hint of his great scheme he contrived to put some heart into the English ministers, and so into their supporters in Parliament. The Houses met on the 9th of November, and the Commons, after just criticism of the want of concert shown by the Allies, cheerfully voted money and men for the augmented force that had been proposed in the previous session. Then came a new difficulty which had been added to Marlborough’s many troubles in the autumn. The treaty lately concluded with Portugal[417] required the despatch of seven thousand troops to the Peninsula; and these it was decided to draw from the best British regiments in the Low Countries.[300] It was therefore necessary to raise one new regiment of dragoons and seven new battalions of foot,[301] a task which was no light one from the increasing difficulty of obtaining recruits.
January 15.

But while the recruiting officers were busily beating their drums, and convicted felons were awaiting the decision which should send them either in a cart to Tyburn or in a transport to the Low Countries, the indefatigable Marlborough crossed the North Sea in the bitterest weather to see how the Dutch preparations were going forward. He found them in a state which caused him sad misgivings for the coming campaign, but he managed to stir up the authorities to increase supplies of men and money, and suggested operations on the Moselle for the next campaign. The same phrase, operations on the Moselle, was passed on to the King of Prussia and to other allies, and was repeated to the Queen and ministers on his return to England. Finally, early in April the Duke embarked for the Low Countries once more in company with his brother Charles, with general instructions in his pocket to concert measures with Holland for the relief of the Emperor.
April 24
May 5.
May 7 18 .

Three weeks were then spent in gaining the consent of the States-General to operations on the Moselle, a consent which the Duke only extorted by threatening to march thither with the British troops alone, and in consultation with the solid but slow commander of the Imperial forces, Prince Lewis of Baden. To be quit of Dutch obstruction Marlborough asked only for the auxiliary troops in the pay of the Dutch, and obtained for his brother Charles the rank of General with the [418] command of the British infantry. In the last week of April the British regiments began to stream out of their winter quarters to a bridge that had been thrown over the Meuse at Ruremonde, and a fortnight later sixteen thousand of them made rendezvous at Bedbourgh. Not a man of them knew whither he was bound, for it was only within the last fortnight that the Duke had so much as hinted his destination even to the Emperor or to Prince Lewis of Baden.

It is now time to glance at the enemy, who had entered on the campaign with the highest hopes of success. The dispositions of the French were little altered from those of the previous year. Villeroy with one army lay within the lines of the Mehaigne; Tallard with another army was in the vicinity of Strasburg, his passage of the Rhine secured by the possession of Landau and Old Brisach; and the Count of Coignies was stationed with ten thousand men on the Moselle, ready to act in Flanders or in Germany as occasion might demand. At Ulm lay the Elector of Bavaria and his French allies under Marsin, who had replaced Villars during the winter. The whole of this last force, forty-five thousand men in all, stood ready to march to the head-waters of the Danube, and there unite with the French that should be pushed through the Black Forest to meet it. The Elector, by the operations of the past campaign, had mastered the line of the Danube from its source to Linz within the Austrian frontier; he held also the keys of the country between the Iller and the Inn; and he asked only for a French reinforcement to enable him to march straight on Vienna.

To the passage of this reinforcement there was no obstacle but a weak Imperial force under Prince Lewis of Baden, which made shift to guard the country from Philipsburg southward to Lake Constance. The principal obstruction was certain fortified lines, of which the reader should take note, on the right bank of the Rhine, which ran from Stollhofen south-eastward to Bühl, and, since they covered the entrance into[419] Baden from the north-west, were naturally most jealously guarded by Prince Lewis. From that point southward the most important points were held by weak detachments of regular troops, but a vast extent of the most difficult country was entrusted to raw militia and peasantry. To escort a reinforcement successfully through the defiles from Fribourg to Donaueschingen and to return with the escort in safety was no easy task, but it was adroitly accomplished by Tallard within the space of twelve days. The feat was lauded at the time with ridiculous extravagance, for, apart from the fact that Prince Lewis of Baden was remarkable neither for swiftness nor for vigilance, Tallard had hustled his unhappy recruits forward so unmercifully, along bad roads and in bad weather, that the greater part of them perished by the way.[302] Nevertheless the French had scored the first point of the game and were proportionately elated, while poor Tallard’s head was, to his great misfortune, completely turned.
May 8 19 .

Marlborough meanwhile had begun his famous march, the direction lying up the Rhine towards Bonn. On the very day after he started he received urgent messages from Overkirk that Villeroy had crossed the Meuse and was menacing Huy, and from Prince Lewis that Tallard was threatening the lines of Stollhofen, both commanders of course entreating him to return to their assistance. Halting for one day to reassure them, the Duke told Overkirk that Villeroy had no designs against any but himself, and that the sooner reinforcements were sent to join the British the better. Prince Lewis he answered by giving him a rendezvous where his Hessians and Danes might also unite with his own army. This done he continued his march.
May 12 23 .
May 18 29 .
May 21
June 1.