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hare chosen for the first time to appear u the collector of productions, the general strain of which is more suitable to an earlier period of life, yet he thought he aught, without impropriety, avail himself of the opportunity of making a new and much more extensive selection of competitions which will not cease to be favourites with the lovers of elegant poetry, whatever be the vicissitudes of general taste.""
In the singular predicament of reviewing two rival editions of the same work, and without pretending to give a decision against Mr. Evans, although we think he has treated Dr. Aikin with somewhat less attention than his age, situation, and talents perhaps demanded, we cannot regret that we are possessed of both editions of the book, and trust that fas the old song runs) «the wwrld s wide and there's rjoom for as all." We are particularly glad to have an opportunity of comparing Dr. Aikin's original ideas upon the subject of song writing, with those which he has since adopted. His four essays upon songs in general, upon ballads and pastoral songs, upon passionate and descriptive songs, upon ingenious and witty songs, are now blended into one general essay; but we love the classical turn of these little discourses so well, that we are glad they are preserved in their original state. Such directions and rules of composition,^ whether in their separate and detailed, or in their new moulded shape, were never more necessary than at the present day. The marriage between Harmony and "Immortal Verse," has, like fashionable wedlock, frequently made some very ill-matched pairs; and we suspect that Poetry must soon sue for a separate maintenance The ladies, who ought, in common charity, to feel for her situation, are those who aggravate her hardships; for it is rare to hear a fair songstress utter fee -words of the son ft which sho
quavers forth. But where taste and feeling for poetry happen to be united with a sweet and flexible voice, it is scarcely possible to mention a higher power of imparting and heightening social pleasure We have heard Dr. Aikin's simple ballad: " It was a winter's evening, and fast came down the snow," set by Dr. Clarke, sung with such beautiful simplicity as to draw tears even from the eyes of reviewers. But the consideration of modern song opens to the critick a stronger ground of complaint, from the degeneracy of the compositions which have been popular under that name. Sufely it is time to make some stand against the deluge of nonsense and indecency which has of late supplanted, in the higher circles, the songs of our best poets. Wo say nothing of the « Nancies of the hills and vales." Peace to all such! let the milliner and apprentice have their ballad, and have it such as they can understand. Let the seaman have his « tight main-decker," and Uie countess her tinseled canzonet. But when we hear words which convey to every man, and we fear to most of the women in society, a sense beyond what effrontery itself would venture to avow; when we hear such flowing from the lips, or addressed to the ears, of unsuspecting innocence, we can barely suppress our execration. This elegant collection presents, to those who admire musick, a means of escaping from the too general pollution, and of indulging a pleasure which we are taught to regard as equally advantageous to the heart, taste, and understanding. Both editions are considerably enlarged by various songs extracted from the best modern poets, and in either shape the work maintains its right to rank as one of the most classical collections of songs in any language.
MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE OF PRINCE EUGENE, OF SAVOY, WRITTEN
[Continued from vol. 4. p. 336.]
1708—AS I was sure that Marlborough could make no arrangements butwhatwere excellent, I went the day after the battle of Oudenarde to see my mother, at Brussels. What tears of afFection did she shed on beholding me again with some addition of glory! I told her, however, that Marlborough's portion seemed greater than mine, as at Hochstett. The joy of revenge had some share in that, occasioned by our victory. She was glad to see the king humbled, who had left her, for another woman, in his youth, and exiled her in his old age. It is remarkable that in hers, she married the duke d'Ursel, without assuming his name. Nobody knew this; it could not have been a match of conscience or convenience, but probably of ennui and idleness.
The fifteen days which I thus passed with her, were the most agreeable of my life. I parted from her with the more pain, as it was probable that we should not see each other again. On the last day of my visit the troops from the Moselle arrived. We were then as strong as the French. I sent eight battalions to reenforce Marlborough's corps, which covered Flanders. I left the rest to cover Brussels, and rejoined him at the camp of Elchin. He, Ouverkirke, and myself, agreed upon sending a stroug detachment fo lay waste Artois and Picardy, and
thus compel Vcndome to leave his camp. Vendome, who guessed our intention, remained immovable. I proposed the siege of Lisle; the deputies of the states-general thought fit to be of a different opinion. Marlborough was with me, and they were obliged to hold their tongues. The siege was committed to me, while Marlborough was to cover it against the army of the duke of Burgundy. The latter with 60,000 men, encamped near Pont des Pierres; and I with 40,000, after investing the city, took up my head quarters at the abbey of Loos, on the 13th of August. The brave and skilful Bouiflers, with a garrison of sixteen battalions, and four regiments of dragoons, cut out plenty of work for me. The job, so far from being easy, was a dangerous one; for Mons was not in our possession. My first attack on fort Cateleau was repulsed; the works undertaken the same day to drain a large pond which was m my way, also failed. I ordered epauIements to be made, for the fire of the place annoyed us to such a degree, that a cannon-ball carried off the head of the valet of the prince of Orange, at the moment when lie was putting on his master's shirt. It may easily be supposed that he was obliged to take another, and to remove his quarters. I opened the trenches, and on the 23d the besieged made
a sortie, when lieutenant-general Betendorff, who commanded there, was taken prisoner. Boufflers treated him exceedingly well. The festival «f St. Louis, which he celebrated •with three general discharges of all his artillery, cost us some men. In the night between the 26th and 27th, the besieged made a terrible sortie; I gained the post of the mill of St. Andrew; Boufflers retook it; and I there lost 600 men.
Marlborough sent me word that Berwick having reenforced the duke of Burgundy, the army, now 120,000 strong, was marching to the relief of Lisle. The deputies of the statesgeneral, always interfering in every thing, and always dying of fear, asked me for a reenforcement for him. I went to his camp to offer him one. He said: "Let us go together, and reconnoitre the ground between the Deule and the Marck." After we had examined it, he said: " I have no occasion for one, I shall only move my camp nearer to your's." Vendome proposed not to lose a day, but instantly attack the army of observation, and the besieging force. « I cannot," said the duke of Burgundy; "I have sent a courier to my grandfather to inquire his pleasure." Conferences were held at Versailles, and the king sent his booby Chabillard to his grandson's camp. He went up with him into the steeple of the village of Sedin, to view our two armies, and he decided against giving us battle.
I cannot conceive how Vendome could forbear running mad; another, -with less zeal, would have sent every thing to the devil; and he, a better grandson of a king of France than the other, took the trouble, the day before, to go so close to Marlborough's position to reconnoitre, that be was grazed by a cannon-ball. I had returned to Marlborough's camp to be his volunteer, if he had been attacked.
But (while I think of it) a Chumillard, that is, in one word, a
Voi.. v. a
young prince of no character, and an old king who had lost his, were quite sufficient to fill Vendome's heart with rage. He was obliged by them to retreat, as if he had been beaten. I continued the siege, sure of not being interrupted, and took the redoubt of the gate of Flanders, and some others; but after three hours fighting for one of the most essential, I was driven back, and pursued to my trenches. I scarcely stirred from them, having the king of Poland and all my young princes at my side; for it was necessary to set an example, and to give orders. I ordered two assaults to facilitate the taking of the covered way; always repulsed, but a horrible carnage. Five thousand English, sent me by Marlborough to repair my losses, performed wonders, but were thrown into disorder. We heard the cry of Vive le Rot et Boufflers! I said a few words in English to those brave fellows who rallied round me; I led them back into the fire; but a ball below the left eye knocked mc down senseless. Every body thought me dead, and so did I too. They found a dung-cart, in which I was conveyed to my quarters. First my life, and then my sight, was despaired of. I recovered both. The ball had struck me obliquely. Here was another unsuccessful attack; out of 5,000 men, not 1,500 returned, and 1,200 workmen were there killed.
Being prevented for some time, by my wound from interfering in any thing, 1 left the command of the siege to Marlborough, who delivered his to Ouverkerke. He effected a lodgment in a tenaillon on the left; but a mine baffled the assault and the assailants. Marlborough countermined some of them, and took all possible pains to spare me trouble on my return. He was obliged to eat in pu'olick, in order to cheer my army, and returned to his own.
The chevalier de Luxembourg deceived me by introducing ammunit ion, of which the besieged were in great want; and a captain, named Dubois, deceived me by swimming with a note from Boufflers to the duke of Burgundy, informing him, that though the trenches had been opened forty days, I was not yet completely master of any of the works. "Nevertheless, Monseigneur," added he, "I cannot hold out beyond the 15th or 20th of October."
I was in want of powder. A single letter from Marlbbrough to his friend, queen Anne, occasioned a quantity to be sent me, with fourteen battalions, by the 'fleet of viceadmiral Byng, who landed them at Ostend. Every body is acquainted with the stupidity of Lamoite, who not only suffered this convoy to reach me, but got a sound drubbing for his whole corps that was intended to prevent it. Being completely recovered from my wound, I was night and day at the works, which Boufflers, also present every where, was incessantly interrupting or annoying.
1 bethought me of a stratagem to give frequent alarms for several nights, at a half moon, with a view to attack it afterwards in open day, being persuaded that the wearied soldiers would take that time for repose. This scheme succeeded. I ordered an assault upon a salient angle; and that succeeded. I directed the covered way to be attacked, and again succeeded. I thence made a breach in the curtain, and enlarged another in a bastion; and when I was at length working at the descent of the ditch, the marshal, who had every day invented some new artifice, sometimes tin boxes, at others earthen pots filled with grenades, and done all that valour and science could suggest, offered to capitulate on the 22d of September. Without mentioning any conditions, I promised to sign such as he should propose to me. "This, M. le Marechal," so I wrote to him, «is ^o show you my perfect regard for
your person, and I am sure that a brave man like you will not abus£ it. I congratulate you on your excellent defence."
My council of war, which I summoned out of politeness, objected to the article that the citadel should not be attacked on the side next the town. I yielded, having my plan in my head, and wrote to Boufflers: "Certain reasons, M. le Marechal, prevent me from signing this article, but I give you my word of honour to observe it. I hope in six weeks to give you fresh proofs of my admiration." Boufflers retired into the citadel, and I entered the city with Marlborough, the king of Poland, the landgrave of Hesse, Sec. In the morning we went to church, and at night to the play, and all the business of the capitulation being finished on the 29th of October, I the same day ordered the trenches to be opened before the citadel.
Before I proceed to this siege, I ought to relate a circumstance that happened to me during that of the city. A clerk of the post-office wrote to the secretary of general Dopf, desiring him to deliver to me two letters, one from the Hague, and the other I know not whence. 1 opened the letter, and found nothing; but a greasy, paper. Persuaded, as 1 still am, that it was a mistake, or something of no consequence, which I might, perhaps, have been able t» read had I taken the trouble to hold the paper to the fire, I threw it away. Somebody picked it up, and it was said that a dog, about whose neck it was tied, died poisoned in the space of twenty-four hours. VVrhat makes me think this untrue, is, that at Versailles they were too generous, and at Vienna too religious, for such a trick.
The ninth day the besieged made a vigorous sortie. The prince of Brunswick, who repulsed it, received a wound from a musket-ball in the head. The eleventh, a still more vigorous sortie of the chevalier dc Luxembourg, who drove my troops from the branches of the trenches, and made us fall back to St. Catherine's. An excellent officer of my staff had his head shot off by a cannon-ball by my side. The enemy lost a great number of men before he returned to the citadel. I caused every thing to be repaired.
I was now suddenly obliged to abandon the siege, leaving the direction of it to prince Alexander of Wiirtemberg. The elector of Bavaria was engaged in that of Brussels. Marlborough and I made him raise it after a pretty battle, and some excellent, well combined manoeuvres, of which he had all the honour, for I could not pass the Scheldt where I wanted. The elector of Bavaria was somewhat ashamed. The French princes would have keen so too, had not their joy on returning to Versailles prevented them.
I went back to the siege; but what ft change! The marshal had taken advantage of my absence to drive the besiegers from the first covered way, of which I had left them in possession. After regaining it, as well as the other posts that had been abandoned, I wrote as follows to the brave Boufflers: "The French army has retired, M. le Marechal, toward Tournay, the elector of Bavaria to Namur, and the princes to their courts. Spare yourself and your brave garrison. I will again sign whatever you please." His answer was: "There is yet no occasion to be in a. hurry. Permit me to defend myself as long as I can. I have still enough left to do to render myself more worthy of the esteem of the man whom I respect above all others." I gave orders for the assault of the second covered way. The king of France apparently anticipated this, for he wrote to the marshal to surrender. Notwithstanding his repugnance to such a step, he was on the point of obeying, when, in a note which the duke of Burgundy had subjoined to the
king's letter, he read: " I know from a certain quarter, that they want to make you a prisoner of war." I know not where he picked up this information; but that prince, respectable as he was in peace, could neither say nor do any but foolish things in war. This note, however, produced some impression for a moment. Generals, soldiers, and all, swore rather to perish in the breach. BoufHers wept for joy, as I have been told; and when on the point of embracing this alternative, he recollected my note, which got the better of the duke of Burgundy's; and after the trenches had been opened four months before the city and citadel, he sent me on the 8th of December, all the articles that he wished me to sign, which 1 did without any restriction. I went very soon with the prince of Orange to pay him a visit, and in truth to do homage to his merit. I cordially embraced him, and accepted an invitation to supper; " on condition," said I, "that it be that of a famished citadel, to see what you may eat without an express order from the king." Roasted horse-flesh was set before us; the epicures in my suite were far from relishing the joke, but were quickly consoled by the arrival of provisions from the city, on which we made an excellent repast.
The following day I gave him as good a dinner as I could, at my abbey, where he paid me a visit. We were very merry and communicative. We talked of war, politicks, and Louis XIV. On the latter subject I was highly amused with the flatteries of the states-general, .vho thinking themselves very cunning, were in hopes by these means to dispose him to peace, of which they were ardently desirous. I durst nol be alone a moment with the marshal, lest idle stories should be circulated respectiug us; and one or the other might appear suspicious to our courts, where people are always sure to have good friends, who are