THE MEMOIRS OF
Majr. Alexander Ramkins,
A HIGHLAND OFFICER,
Now in Prison at AVIGNON.
An Account of several remarkable Adventures during about Twenty Eight Years Service in Scotland, Germany, Italy, Flanders and Ireland; exhibiting a very agreeable and instructive Lesson of Human Life, both in a Publick and Private Capacity, in several pleasant Instances of his Amours, Gallantry, Oeconomy, &c.
LONDON: Printed for R. King at the Queen's-head, and W. Boreham at the Angel in Pater-noster-row, 1719.
Price 1s. 6d. Stich'd, and 2s. Bound.
THE PUBLISHER TO THE READER
I Think it proper to inform the Reader that these Papers were deliver'd into my Hands by a near Kinsman of the Authors, who lately came from the Southern Parts of France. His Design in imparting these Memoirs to me, was (as I quickly perceiv'd) to know my Sentiments of the Performance. It seems the Gentleman had been sour'd by French Practises, and was willing that the World should be no longer a Stranger to what was the ground of his distast. The Author appears very well qualify d for his Task, and opens a Scene of Politicks which the good natur'd part of Mankind will scarce think human Race capable of. Those that are acquainted with the Person of Major Ramkins, assure me, that the late King fames never had a more active and diligent Servant, and that he was one never wanting in his Station. If I am of a contrary Opinion to the Publick in judging these Remarks worthy of the Press, 'tis what I do not at present find my self convinc'd of. One Benefit at least may be expected from 'em, that they will induce all true Britains to be cautious, and not imbark themselves in a foreign Interest for the future, if not for the sake of their Country, at least for their own Sakes. I will not anticipate the Contents, but only take the freedom to acquaint the Reader in General. That it will be one of the greatest Paradoxes in future Ages to read, that the Court of St. Germains should have been a Sleep, and impos'd upon for Twenty Eight Years successively, unless their being trick'd by the greatest of Politicians, be a Circumstance to take off from the Surprize.
THE MEMOIRS OF
Alexander Ramkins, &c.
I was not above Seventeen Years of Age when the Battle of Gillycranky was fought between the Two Highland Generals, the Lord Viscount Dundee and Mackay. And being then a Stripling at the University of Aberdeen and understanding that several Clans were gathering into a Body in defence of King James III sold my Books and Furniture of my Lodgings, and equipp'd my self to observe the Martial Call, I found my self prompted with. I arriv'd in a few Days near the Field of Battle, and joyn'd my self with a broken Body of Men who were making up towards the Mountains to recover themselves after the Fatigue of Battle. The Noviceship I went through in the Highlands, was no improper Foundation for the course Method of living I have been since engag'd in for above Twenty Seven Years; during which Time, I have run through all those Hardships which are incident to one who seeks a Preferment in Fire and Smoak.
While I strolled about in the Highlands, it was my good Fortune to be under the Tuition of an old Officer, who let me into many of those little Secrets which are not unserviceable to such as Design to make the whole Earth the Theatre of their Life; but what I chiefly valued this old Gentleman's Conversation for, was the Happiness I had to be a Hearer of some of his Politick Lessons, of which he was a great Master, having furnish'd himself by Fifty Years Practice, with the best Idea's of that kind.
Upon a certain Day when our Party were out, some upon Foraging, and others to get Intelligence, I being alone in a Cottage with this old Captain, and being desirous to know his Opinion of the Affairs of Europe in general, as also what was like to be the Issue of that Cause we had undertaken. The old Captain willing to satisfy my Curiosity as far as his Skill would reach, pulled out some Remarks he had made upon the Year 1640. Observe, says he, Child what I say to you, 'tis a Maxim never to be neglected among Politicians to keep up Divisions in an Enemies Country; you may, perhaps, imagine that this will be a short Game that is a playing, but depend upon it my Grey Hairs will not see an end of it. I allow the King of France has declar'd himself a Friend to King James II; He is a very powerful Prince, and if he would turn his Forces this Way, and be upon the Defensive near Home, a few Months would bring the War to a Period. But that Monarch has things in his Head which I must not mention. There will be great Skirmishing in the Dominions of Great Britain, but no decisive Action if Lewis le Grand can hinder it. He takes Cardinal Richlieu's Conduct for a Precedent. It would have been no difficult Task for the French to have joyn'd their Forces with King Charles I. and have made a short Hand of that Contest between the King and Parliament; but that Politick Cardinal instead of this Method, had Emissaries in the English Cabinet to exaggerate Matters between them. The same Method has been observ'd by that Nation ever since; and if Lewis le Grand does not make a Politick Use of King James II. without doing him any real Service, I shall be very willing to correct my self, and cancel that Paragraph in my Observations.
This was the first Politick Lesson I was entertain'd with by my old Master; which, though at that time my want of Experience did not permit me thoroughly to comprehend, yet since, a Resemblance of Circumstances has often reviv'd it my Mind; nor could I ever be well reconcil'd to that Piece of Morality, That it was a laudable Practice to set People by the Ears together.
The hopes of being releas'd, is the best Support to Men in Misery, and our small Body of Three Hundred Men wou'd not have remain'd so long under Discipline, if Expectation had not been nourish'd with daily Alarms of Assistance from France. Our commanding Officer was Romantickly Loyal, and look'd upon every little Hill we scrambled over, as an impregnable Fortress, from whose Summit he often took occasion to Harangue us, as if the Eyes of all Europe were upon us, and the Fate of the Three Kingdoms hung at our Swords Points. But the Truth was, I believe, we were unknown to all Mankind, and if those Villages we march'd by you'd but secure the Cattle from us, the State was in no great Danger from our Quarter.
As for the Hopes of being assisted from France, though our Commander neglected no Pains to instill such a Belief into the Generality of the Soldiers, in order to prolong his Reign in that honourable Post he enjoy'd, yet I read it plainly in my old Captain's Forehead, that France was not accustom'd to open their Treasures in countenancing Chimerical Adventures, and that the most we could expect from thence, would be a small Dunkirk Privateer, with a Hogshead or two of Brandy to keep the Cause alive, while he was pushing on his Conquests in other Parts of the Globe, in which the Glory and Interest of France was more immediately concern'd. For my own Part, as I was resolv'd to pursue my Fortune in the way of Arms, and finding that there was no appearance of Scotland's being a Place of Action, so I advis'd with my old Master what course I should steer to answer the Ends of my Call. The old Gentleman, though he might have deterr'd me from such an Undertaking, by proposing himself as an Instance how little you'd be gain'd that way, having nothing to show for near Sixty Years Service in the War, but a Bundle of Politick Remarks drawn from the false Steps he and others have made in endeavouring to make their Fortune, yet since every Man must spin out his Thread of Life one way or other, and that that was most likely to succeed well to which a Person found himself most inclinable, so he humour'd my present Dispositions; but at the same time, counsell'd me to Transport my self over to the Continent, where I might meet with something worthy my Curiosity. Islands, says he, are commonly won and lost in a Day, nor will they afford you that variety of Stratagems which will make you perfect in the Art of War. After this I only waited for a fit Opportunity to quit the Service I was in, for though I was no farther engaged than in the Quality of a Gentleman Volunteer, yet a Strain of Honour would not permit me to forsake my Companions, unless some more plausible Reason occurr'd to me than what I could invent at that Time. But it was not long before an occasion offered it self to put my Project in Execution. By moving too and fro our little Army, I was within Twenty Miles of my Mother's House, (for my Father had been dead some Years) having therefor first communicated my Design to my old Master, whom I intended to invite along with me, if he approv'd of my Undertaking.
In conclusion, Things were order'd so, that the old Captain, with myself, and another, were detatch'd out towards the Coast to get Intelligence, and that Night about Eleven we agreeably surpriz'd my Mother who had for several Months been lamenting the Loss of her darling Son, whom she suppos'd to be kill'd at the Battle of Gillycranky; for she had not justly inform'd herself of the precise Time I ran away from the College at Aberdeen.
I had Two elder Brothers, who both inherited the martial Spirit of our Family, had been a long time absent from Home; one of them was prefer'd in the Emperor's Army in Hungary, the other belonging to the Guards of King James II follow'd his Fate into France and Ireland, and afterwards was kill'd in Ireland. My father had three small Lordships, which we were equally to be Sharers of, allowing proportionably for my Mothers maintenance, with a Thousand Pounds to be rais'd to marry our only Sister.
Now, as it was my Intention to Travel and gain Experience in the World, so my old Captain put it into my Head to raise a Sum of Money upon the Credit of my Land, assuring me it would prove my best Friend upon all Occasions, for that the World had but a very mean Opinion of Merit when strip'd of other Advantages to recommend it. This Affair took up more Time than my warm Temper could well bear, and the Lawyers threw in so many Delays, that had not the old Captain (who was well acquainted with Business) been at my Elbow to forward Things, I might have lost my Vocation of being a Soldier before any Agreement cou'd have been made. But after two Months were expir'd, I found my self Master of fifteen Hundred Pound, the Price of my share of Land after the Deductions made for my Mother and Sister; Twelve Hundred Pounds I lodg'd with a Banker at Amsterdam, the other Three was employ'd for an Equipage, and to supply my Necessities in the Tour I design'd to take. The old Captain I intended to take along with me to be my Guide as well as Adviser; for I saw so many Perfections in him, which the ungrateful World had neglected, That I judg'd it would be an honourable Omen in one that was beginning the World, not to let him leave the Stage of Life unrewarded: But as his Years had render'd him incapable to attend me in my Rambles, so Death came in to release him, and this worthy Person was taken from me about Ten Days before the Time I had fix'd for my Travels. However, I must not let his Memory die, but give the World an Account of him as far as I cou'd gather from the Gentleman when he was disposed to Answer to Questions concerning himself, in which he always behaved himself with a well guarded Modesty.
I learn'd from him, That his Father was the Head of a Clan which was one half cut off by Oliver Cromwell, and the other half Transported into the West-Indies, with the fifteen Hundred Scots, that were condemn'd thither to Slavery by the Protector. My Friend being at that time about Twelve Years old, chose rather to share his Fathers Fate, and view the Western parts of the Worlds, than fall into the Hands of a Person who would stain the Beauty of his tender Mind, by giving him an unsuitable Education. After he had buried his Father in Virginia, he took the Opportunity of a French Vessel to pass over to Brest, and so to Paris, who by the Assistance of a Scotch Nobleman, who was acquainted with his Family, he pick'd up a liberal Education, and made himself Master of the French and Latin, and having it in his Election whether he wou'd engage himself to the Church or follow the Camp, he chose the latter, and after some Months spent in the Academy, he enter'd himself among the Gens d'Arms, and made very useful Observations in two or three Campaigns in Germany, in the last of which he was taken Prisoner and seduc'd into the Emperors Service by some of his Countrymen, who persuaded him the Germans were more accustom'd to advance Strangers than the French. In a little time he was observ'd by his Colonel to be a Person of Parts and Resolution, and so was gradually advanc'd from a Cornet to a Captain of Horse; and as a Man of Spirit and Action never wants Opportunity to shew himself, so this Gentleman met with many brave Adventures in the way of Soldiery, which some time he would occasionally recount to me, but they would be too tedious to insert in these Remarks. When King James II came to the Crown of England, he desired to throw up his Commission, it being suggested to him, that the Prince stood in need of some old experienc'd Officers to model an Army he was raising. Upon this Prospect he pass'd over to England, but being destitute of Acquaintance he loiter'd about the Court, till one of the Duke of Berwick's Retinue, who had heard of him at the Siege of Buda, made the King acquainted with him. So he was order'd down into Scotland with the Promise of a Colonels Commission, but the Revolution following soon after, he acted only as a Captain of Foot at the Battle of Gillycranky.
But to cut short this Digression, the time now drew near that I was to undertake my intended Ramble, and indeed it was high time; for it being whisper'd about in the Neighbourhood that I had been in Arms for King James II. Home, as the saying is, was too hot a Place for me; so I sent my Servant to enquire for a Conveniency to pass over to Flanders, and in two Days I was provided with a Roterdam Vessel, and so with very little Ceremony took leave of my Mother, who though she was unwilling to part with me, yet she prefer'd the lesser Danger to the greater, and rather wish'd me expos'd to the Waves, than to the Insults of my Enemies at Home.
The Wind blew very fresh, but tacking about too much to the North East, it drove us upon Shore with that violence that we were oblig'd to put in twice to Land, once at Scarborough, and again at Yarmouth.
At this latter Place, a Pragmatical Searcher came aboard us with an Air of Authority as if he design'd to visit my Trunks; but one of the Sailors informing me that this was stretching his Commission, for he ought not to search after any Goods unless the Cargo was design'd for that Port, so I ridded my self of this Spark with a Half-Crown Piece; for I had no mind to enter much into a Parley with him lest he might discover my Highland Expedition, for Fear never wants Apprehensions. After two Days stay in this Port, the Wind proving favourable, we were not very long in making a Trip to Roterdam, where I only refresh'd myself a few Hours, and pass'd on to Amsterdam to visit my Bank, and settle a Correspondence as to Returns of money.
I met with nothing in this City that made any Impression upon me to stay any longer than settling the small concern of Money I lodg'd there. The hurry of Business was too Mechanical an Entertainment, for one whose Head was filled with high Flights of Honour, Sieges, Battles, and other such like Sports. The French Army at this time lay upon the Rhine, and my Design was to make that Way. When I arriv'd there, I found they had surrounded Mentz in order to Besiege it. I was glad to begin my first Campaign with so glorious an Undertaking, not doubting, but a great deal of Bravery would be shown where the Flower of the Houshold was design'd for Action; but before I could make any Advantage of this Occurrence, I was to make my self known to some Person of Character who might introduce me so as to be a Spectator of that noble Siege. At last I met with a Scotch Gentleman, who rid in among the grand Molquetains, who being fully inform'd of my Warlike Dispositions, assur'd me he would put me into the readiest Method he cou'd to gain Experience; but when he inform'd me that I must not pretend to great Things on a sudden, and that I had at present only two Things in Election, either to carry a Musquet in a Common Foot Regiment, during the Siege, or which he wou'd rather advise me to (in case I had Money to be at that expence) to go to Strasburgh and put my self under Discipline for six Weeks or two Months among the French Cadets.
I must confess this was a great balk upon a double account: It not only depriv'd me of the Satisfaction of seeing the Siege carried on, but it was a sensible check to my aspiring Humour, to think what Drudgery I was to undergo before I could be regarded by the World; but when I reflected on what I had often heard the old Captain (I buried in the Highlands) say upon this Head, it made me easier under the Disappointment, and the next Day I went on to Strasburg, and enter'd my self among the Cadets. 'Tis in the Nature of a College, where young Gentlemen are instructed in the Rudiments of War.
During my stay at Strasburg I omitted no opportunity of improving myself as to the French and High Dutch Fortifications, and other Parts of the Mathematicks which were useful in War. I was also present at some Lectures of Politicks which were given to those more advanc'd in Years, in which they handled the Interest of Nations, and brought down their Reflections to the present Times. This I look'd upon as an excellent Method of educating young Officers; for it qualify'd them to be serviceable to their Country under a double Capacity; that is, as well to Argue as to Fight for it, and defend it equally with their Tongue and Sword.
I remember an Antient Marquis who had a Superintendency over this Academy, entertaining us one Day with the Motives of the present War, and running up the Cause to its Original, laid it before us in this manner: That the Monarchs of France wou'd look upon themselves as injur'd by the rest of the Princes of Europe, till the imperial Diadem was restor'd to France, who were first Possessors of it in the Person of Charles the Great; that they had made several pushes in all Ages to recover it, but without Effect; that while the English had footing in France, they were too lazy to extend their Conquests upon the Empire of the West; and when they had chased out the English, and were rid of that Incumbrance, the House of Austria, by the vast Acquisitions of the Low Countries, and joint Power of Spain, sat so hard upon 'em, that France was not in a Capacity to make any Advances towards recovering their Right to the Empire: What therefore they had been upon these latter Years, was to make a strong Party among the Electoral Princes, and by degrees secure a Majority in the Imperial Diet, in order to set aside the House of Austria, and settle the Imperial Crown upon the French Line, as it was in the Beginning. To this he added, That this invincible Monarch, Lewis XIV, had made considerable Advances of late Years, especially in bringing over several Electors, and now the Chapter of Cologn to chuse Cardinal Fustenberg for their Archbishop, who though a Native of Germany, yet was a Frenchman by Interest, and had given his Word to be very Industrious in settling the Imperial Dignity upon the House of Bourbon. And this Election of Cardinal Fustenberg being contested by the Emperor and Pope Innocent XI. was the Motive of the present War; for they put up the Duke of Bavaria's Brother in opposition against him.
This Account of the occasion of the present War, vary'd very much from the Idea we in Scotland had of Affairs. We were made to believe, That the King of France being a zealous Roman Catholick Monarch, had engag'd himself in a War against the Allies, meerly upon a Religious Motive, to re-establish King James, who was dethron'd upon no other Account but because he was a Roman Catholick. But I have since found by comparing Matters, that the Revolution in England was not the Occasion, but the Consequence of the War between the French and the Allies; for the Emperor, &c. understanding that King James II. was drawn into a Scrape by the French King, and that he made a Property of him to carry on his Ambitious Designs; 'tis not to be wonder'd at, if they prefer'd the general Good of Europe, and immediate Safety of their own People to the private Good of King James II, who had been so indiscreet as to expose himself to Ruin by giving into a French Project. However this unpolitick Management proved very lucky to France upon a double Account; for tho' they had begun a War upon the disedifying bottom of Ambition, it was afterwards consecrated in mny Peoples Thoughts, under a Colour of justifying a dethron'd Roman Catholick Prince, besides the Advantage of causing a considerable Diversion by fomenting a War in the Three Kingdoms of Great-Britain; for as for re-establishing that unfortunate Prince in his Throne, though I was a long Time of Opinion France really design'd it; yet since I have been convinc'd by undeniable Arguments, that it neither was his Interest to bring it about, nor that he ever seriously attempted it. I must own it was never very Intelligible to me, not even in my very darkest State of Bigottry for the French Interest, that the Emperor, the King of Spain, and Duke of Savoy, with many other Roman Catholick Princes, nay, the Pope himself should all fail in their Duty and Zeal for Religion, and the King of France (who was remarkable upon other Occasions for sacrificing it to Politick ends) should be the only one in Europe that wou'd stand up for it. It was not so in the Infancy of the Dutch Republic, when France concurr'd with the Seven Provinces to have them torn from the Spanish Monarchy, and by the same Assistance, enabled 'em to make head against the Church. It was not so when a Frown of Oliver Cromwell cou'd oblige France to lay aside the charitable Maxim of Royal Protection, and send Charles II. and his Brother the Duke of York, out of their Territories by an Infamous Condescension. But James II. had forgotten the Affronts offer'd to the Duke of York, and I suppose had a Mind to make a second Tryal of French Hospitality, and whether they would be more obliging to him in his old Age, than they had been in his Youth. Neither is this plausible Pretence of defending a Prince injur'd upon the Score of Religion, very consistent with their Conduct, in regard of the Turk. To maintain a Catholick Prince at St. Germains, and support the Enemy of Christianity at Constantinople with great Remittances of Moneys, and a constant Supply of Engineers; is a piece of State Casuistry above my Comprehension, and Prince Eugene had a great deal of Reason to knock his Breast, and hold up his Hands to Heaven, when he saw French Engineers dragg'd out of Turkish Mines in Hungary with Agnus Dei's, and Relicks about their Necks as Ensigns of Lewis XIV's Christianity, and Zeal for the Church.
But to proceed to my own concerns. As soon as the Time was expir'd, I propos'd to my self to stay in the Academy at Strasburgh, I provided my self with the Equipage of a grand Musketeer, and for a Present of 50 Pistols, and the strength of good Recommendation from my Countrymen, I was admitted to ride among 'em. But here I had a fresh Difficulty to struggle with. My Countrymen finding me pretty flush of Money, and that I was very generous, was as observant as a Spaniel, and so very Officious both early and late, that I found it impracticable to steal an Hour of Privacy to recollect my self, in order to model my Conduct after the best Precedents I met with in the course of the Day; and what made me yet more uneasy, he was not content to visit me alone, but had often a second or third with him; who as they were very obliging in informing me of the Methods of living in a Camp, so they was always very adroit, and gave me the Preference upon all Occasions; but then as I engross'd all the Ceremony of the Day, so I was thrown into unavoidable Circumstances of paying them for their Attendance. This constant Charge, though in Time it would have made me weary of acting the Grand Signior, yet I could better have bore with it, had I not smelt a Design they had to strip me of my Bank I had at Amsterdam; for I was so unguarded in my Conduct as to have acquainted my Countrymen with my Money concerns, which he and his Associates had already devour'd in their Imagination, and wanted but a fit Opportunity to draw me in at Play, and so at once put me upon a Level with themselves and other Soldiers of Fortune: But being aware of the Trap that was laid for me, my whole Study was how to disengage myself from this Gang, so as to give no Suspicion that I understood their meaning; for this I imagin'd might be the ground of a Quarrel, and to perhaps have worse Consequences than if they really had strip'd me of my Substance. Arm'd with this Caution, I receiv'd 'em in the usual manner, but still kept off when a Motion was made either of high drinking or playing deep; for no Man is secure, when either Liquor or Passion gains the Ascendent over him. But this State of Violence could not continue long, sometimes I was at a loss for an Excuse to baffle their Importunity, other times I found them dispos'd to represent me as of an uncomplying Temper, so that there was no way left but either to draw or withdraw, for I saw plainly that if I staid among them a Quarrel would ensue. This Consideration, with the unheard of Devastation I saw in the Palatinate made by the French Troops, gave me a Surfeit of the Rhine. I am not Ignorant that no Part of the World is free from Sharpers, but I thought in another Place I might better resist their first Onset, and let them gain no ground upon me, while Rule I here neglected for want of Experience. And now I was oblig'd to make a Call upon my Banker at Amsterdam for Two Hundred Pounds, resolving not to break the remaining 1000 Pound Bulk, unless upon some extraordinary Emergency. I had sometime before intimated to my Officers and Comrades the Design I had to quit the Service upon the Rhine, assuring them it was not out of any Disobligation, having experienced their obliging Temper upon all Occasions; but as I understood King James was at the Head of his Army in Ireland, so I look'd upon my self in some Measure inexcusable if I serv'd in a foreign Army, when I might contribute more immediately to succour my Prince. My Reasons were applauded, and I not a little content to depart without giving Disgust. Without delay therefore I posted to Paris, where I design'd to make no very long stay, only what was necessary to recover my self from the Fatigue of the Campaign, and satisfy my Curiosity in taking a View of that noble City. I was happy in one thing during my stay here, that I was agreeably surpriz'd with the fight of my only Sister, whose Husband being under some malignant Court Influence, was oblig'd to withdraw with his Family out of Scotland. Paris is a Place like all other great Cities, where Persons of all Conditions and Characters may spend their Time agreeably, if that useful Trifle call'd Money be not wanting. Hitherto I had no occasion to be Melancholly upon that Score; for though I was not furnish'd to make any extraordinary Figure, yet being only a single Person, and as yet never launch'd out into any Extravagances, so within my narrow Sphere, I made a decent Appearance. But as no Man is prosperous at all Times, so it was not long before I found my self engag'd in an Affair which very much troubled my Repose, and which I would willingly have compounded for with my Amsterdam Bank. The Business was this, my Eldest Brother before he went with King James into Ireland, made some stay at Paris and St. Germains, where he was order'd to collect some Recruits of the Three Nations, which he was to conduct over in the Quality of a Route-Captain. Now as he was a Person who had seen very much of the World, and was somewhat addicted to Gallantry and Intriguing with the Fair Sex, so he could not remain long in a Place without Publishing some Marks of his Vocation that way. It happen'd that a young Lady who lodg'd in the same House with him, had occasion to pay a visit to her Acquaintance; my Brother observing her in a Posture to go out of the House alone, offer'd to usher her to the place she design'd for. The Lady with the usual French Freedom and obliging Air, made him a Courtsey, and accepted the Offer. When he complied with this Piece of Civility, he took his leave, and return'd to his Lodgings. From this Accident my Brother dated an Intrigue. The Ladies Carriage (which by the way was nothing but what is customary there upon a slender Acquaintance) encourag'd him to make Advances; the next Step he made was to drink Tea with her in her Chamber, and afterwards he invited her to the Opera. But the young Lady as she was strictly Virtuous, never gave way to none of these Freedoms, but in the Company of her Landlady or her Daughter, who were both Prudes. In the mean time a Relation of this Gentlewoman's, who was a Lieutenant in the Regiment of Navarre came up to Paris, and had not been long in Town before he was inform'd by some busy Noddle, that his Cousin was either upon the Point of being married, or what was rather suggested to him, that one Captain Ramkins a Scotch Officer, who lodg'd in the same House, had dishonourable Designs upon her. Now as Persons never want Arguments to induce them to take things in the worst Sense, (tho' I will not avouch for my Brothers Intention) so the French Officer being of a suspicious and also a fiery Temper, wanted no body to exasperate him. He took it for granted the Thing was so, and taking Coach he came to his Kinswoman, and after having attack'd her with a great deal of scurrilous Language, he waited not for her Reply, but flung away to find my Brother in order to cut his Throat. My Brother was then at St. Germains receiving his last Orders from the Secretary for his departure for Ireland, but return'd that Night to Paris. His Landlady at his Return gave him a Note, which she said was deliver'd to her by the Post. The Contents were a double Surprize to him, first a bold and daring Challenge, and again, he neither knew whom he was to meet, nor upon what Account, only the Time and Place were mention'd. Thus doubtful with himself what Course to take, he acquainted his Landlady with the Subject of the Letter, but she was also at a loss, having neither seen the Lady's Relation, nor heard that he was come to Town, otherwise it might have created some Suspicion. But after Supper, according to Custom, she went up to have an Hours Chat with the young Lady, and among other Things, mention'd the odd Letter Captain Ramkins had receiv'd that Evening; the Lady suspecting what the matter really was, gave the Landlady sufficient Intimation by the Consternation she was in, that she was not unacquainted with the Occasion of that Letter. In the mean time, my Brother was gone to consult with some of his Acquaintance how he should behave himself in this juncture: Some advis'd him to neglect it as a sham Challenge, whereby some of his Acquaintance being merry dispos'd had a mind to divert themselves; others judg'd it might be a Design to Assassinate him upon account of some old Grudge now worn out of his Memory; in conclusion, 'twas order'd that he should present himself at the Place mention'd in the Challenge, and in case it was a real Thing, and that he escap'd with Life, a Horse should be ready to ride Post to Brest, whether he and his Recruits were order'd to take Shipping. But that he might not Alarm his Lodgings, he spent the remainder of the Night in the Tavern with his Friends, a fitter Preparation than praying for the Work he was about. About Five in the Morning he set out towards the Place of Battle, half a dozen of his Acquaintance following him at a convenient distance, to wait for the Issue, and to see Justice done in case he was assaulted against the usual Method of Duelling. When he came to the Place apointed, he saw a young Gentleman walking and musing under a Hedge with his Arms a Kimbo, whom he rightly judg'd to be his Man. When he came within Speech of him, the French Officer stop'd and ask'd him if his Name was not Ramkins, and whether he had not receiv'd a Note the Evening before upon such an Occasion? my Brother made no other Reply, but that he took himself to be the Person, and that he would indite an Answer with the Point of his Sword; for though, said he, I am a Stranger both to you and the occasion of this Trouble you have given me, yet as I take you to be a Man of Honour, so I suppose you think your self injur'd to that degree, that Satisfaction either cannot or will not be given any other way, and therefore I am here ready to make up this mysterious Quarrel after the Method you have made choice of. It sometimes happens that Peace is struck up between Two Nations Sword in Hand; but my Brother's Antagonist was too warm to stand a Parley and act the Part of a Plenipotentiary; upon which, without making the least Reply, he whips off his Cloaths into his Shirt, and open'd his Breast to show his Adversary he scorn'd to take any ungenerous Advantage. My Brother was also honourable upon the same score; for though he wore a short Buff Waiscoat without Skirts according to the Fashions of those Times, and which might have deadened a Push, yet he threw it off and put himself upon the Level with his Adversary in all respects, so to it they went. My Brother found himself much superior in Strength and Vigour, and that in all probability he cou'd Command his Adversary's Sword, paried with him a considerable Time, and put by several Pushes without attempting the Gentleman's Life, but finding him Resolute, and that one of them must fall, he made one home Thrust, and drove his Sword quite through his Adversary's Body, falling upon him at the same time; and thus fell this unfortunate young Gentleman a Victim to his ungovernable Passion.
It appear'd afterwards, that this French Officer having been often play'd upon by several in his Regiment, that he had been two Years among them and never yet made any Experiment of his personal Courage, told them at his going up to Paris, That they should here in a little Time he had qualify'd himself by killing his Man. Now it is suppos'd he thought the British Nation, not being fam'd for their Skill in handling the Sword, he had an excellent opportunity of showing his Manhood, and the Advantage of making his escape when he had done the Fact, because little or no Enquiry wou'd be made after a Stranger. My Brother being convinc'd his Adversary was incapable to Rally, made haste to gather up his Cloaths, exchanging the Evangelical Advice of burying the dead, to that natural Precept of Self-preservation, and I must leave him pursuing his Journey towards Brest, to return to his Lodgings, and give an account how this Catastrophe came to affect me at my coming to Paris.
The young Lady who was the Innocent occasion of this unfortunate Accident, took little Rest after she was inform'd of the Contents of the Note left by her Kinsman, and her Concern grew upon her when she understood Captain Ramkins was out of his Lodgings all Night; thus she remain'd under great Inquietudes till Three a Clock the next Day, when she, with her Landlady and Daughter, took a Coach privately and drove directly to the Place where the Gentlemen were to meet according to the Contents of the Letter. They discharg'd their Coach upon a pretence of taking a Walk in the Fields, and after a small Tour the Landlady's Daughter put her Foot into a Cake of clotted Blood, but it was so chang'd, as to the Colour, that she could not well distinguish what it was, but at a little distance finding a Glove, and several Blades of Grass ting'd with a Vermillion Dye, being press'd down and ruffled as it were with some Cattle weltring and tumbling about. They had a strong Suspicion one of the Gentlemen had ended his Days upon the Spot, and to clear their Suspicion, they walk'd back into the City till they arrived at the Petite Chastelet, which is a publick Room in the Nature of a Guard Bed, where all Corps are expos'd to view and whither People usually go in quest of any of their Friends, or Acquaintance that are wanting. And here the young Gentlewoman was quickly satisfy'd that her Cousin's Rashness had brought him to his End. This Accident happening not long before I came to Paris, the Discourse of it was very fresh, and what occasion'd me to have an account of it at my first Arrival, was my Lodging at the same House with my Brother, it being the usual Lodgings for English and Scotch. 'Tis true that Landlady and her Daughter where remov'd to Orleans, where they had an Estate belonging to their Family, but the young Lady, Cousin to the deceas'd Officer, was still in her old Apartment. I had not been above three Days, but my Name began to be known as well by the Direction of some Letters I receiv'd out of Germany, as by other means there are of having such Things divulg'd. The young Lady was not so struck with the Horror of the Name of her Cousins Murtherer, as not to have the Curiosity to peep at me as I came in and out of my Lodgings, and the more, because I had so great a Resemblance to him both as to Figure and Features, that without any extraordinary Skill in Physiognomy, she might conclude I was either his Brother or some near Relation. Now whether my Brother's Cavaliers Carriage had left an Idea in the Lady's Head which she could not conveniently part with, or her Inquisitiveness after me was only a Female Curiosity, I am not able to determine, but it was very unfortunate to me to have been so near a Kin to one she admired in case it was so, or that her Inquisitiveness should make me so publick; for I had not been in Paris above Eight Days, but the Archers or City Guards took me out of my Bed at Four a Clock in the Morning, and carried me to Prison upon strong Suspicion of being that very Captain Ramkins who had kill'd the French Officer in a Duel. Captain Ramkins I certainly was call'd at my own Request, having taken that Travelling Name as all Independent Gentlemen do, who cannot tell well what Title to give themselves upon the Road. My case had no very good Aspect at the beginning. There were so many Circumstances to render me suspected, that though I was satisfy'd my Life was not in Danger, yet it was an easy Thing to perceive it wou'd be both a troublesome, and also a chargeable Spot of Work. The first Thing I did was to send for my Brother-in-law, whom I employ'd as my Solicitor, to lay a true Narration of the Fact before the King's Attorney. My Counsel advis'd me to Subpoena the young Lady, who wou'd be a material Witness that I was not the Captain Ramkins chargeable with the Fact, which she seem'd willingly to acquiesce to; but some of the deceased Friends endeavour'd to invalidate her Affidavit, upon a pretence, that there was too great an Intimacy between her and Captain Ramkins. However, to put the Contest upon an Issue which would allow of no Reply, I procured the Testimonies of several Officers in the Army, that I was actually upon the Rhine when the Duel was fought at Paris, besides the corroborating Evidence of several Irish Gentlemen who liv'd in Paris and at St. Germains, who were ready to offer their Oaths I was not the Man. 'Tis incredible to think what Pains the deceas'd Gentleman's Relations took to destroy me, though I have the Charity to think they judg'd I was the Person they sought after, though it is somewhat unintelligible they wou'd not Credit the young Lady their Cousin. This Affair help'd me off with the greatest Part of my ready Money, for 'tis a Blessing which attends all Law-Suits, that the Gainer is oblig'd to refund to the Lawyers what he recovers from his Adversary, and for my part, I pay'd pretty dear for an Authentick Copy of my Innocence; and the Carriage of the Court to me was such, as if I had been particularly favour'd in not being hang'd instead of my Brother.
After this troublesome Business was over, I began to enjoy my self a little in the Diversions of Paris; and by the Assistance of my Brother-in-law, I had a good Guide in him to view several of the Curiosities that City abounds with, though I cannot say I took any extraordinary relish that way, for my Thoughts being chiefly upon War, I digested other Matters as a nice Appetite does improper Food. It was my Intention to go over to Ireland, and to made that undertaking less chargeable to me, I endeavour'd to procure a Commission, which was no difficult matter at that Time, especially to one who was provided with a little Money to facilitate the Grant. I did not stick much upon the Nature of the Commission, for my Years, and small Experience could make no very extraordinary Demands; so I was Registred as a Lieutenant, which I, according to the usual Custom, upon receival dexterously improv'd into Captain. Indeed I had very lofty Expectations, and the Affairs of King James went so well at that time in Ireland, that there was not a Footman who follow'd that Prince, but look'd upon his Fortune as made.
These Considerations put me and some others upon a Project of transporting our selves to the North of England, where King James had a very strong Party, and we were inform'd that immediately upon the Reduction of Ireland, as before, the whole Strength of his Army wou'd power in upon England that way. A Day was fix'd to put my Design in Execution, but falling into Discourse a little after with a Person of Experience, he intimated that the Business wou'd not be so near over in Ireland as I imagin'd; for I can assure you, says he, Three Expresses have arrived lately at Versailles, to solicit the French Court for Cannon and Ammunition, without which it wou'd be impossible for King James's Forces to become Masters in Ireland, but that the French were so dilatory in this Affair upon some Politick Views, that it was great Odds that Nation wou'd be quickly recover'd by King William's Forces. This was a misterious Insinuation to one of my small Experience, for my shallow Brain told me, Expedition was the Business of War; whereas I found afterwards it was the Interest of France to spin on the Irish War, and to order Things so, that King William should always have an Army employ'd there; for they look'd upon it as a Chimerical Notion, that the War could be carry'd on into England, or that an Irish Army was capable to reduce England; for France knew very well their own Designs of not intending to send any French Troops to joyn them in England.
I own I never entirely forgot the Reflexion that Gentleman made upon the present Posture of Affairs; but yet I cannot say I assented to his Opinion, however, it wrought so much upon me as to alter my Resolutions of going directly into the North of England; for I govern'd my self by this Dilemma, that in Case Ireland was not reduc'd till I came there, I might have the Opportunity of having a share in the Reduction, but if it was, the Passage between the North of Ireland and England was very short. Upon this Bottom I began my Journey, I took Shipping at Brest and landed at Cork, pursuing the rest of my Journey by Land, upon account of the Danger I was inform'd of in going by Sea; for that several English Men of War guarded the narrow Seas between Dublin and Holy-head. When I came into King James's Army, my first Enquiry was after my Brother, whom you may be sure I entertain'd in the first place with the Consequence of his Duel at Paris; and though he often sigh'd to reflect upon his Misfortune in being the occasion of the French Officer's Death, which might have been honourably avoided; yet he laugh'd plentifully, when he heard the Part I had afterwards in that Melancholy Farce; and rally'd me home when I insisted upon Charges and desired to be reimburs'd with Sixty Louis d'Ors, which that Affair had cost me upon his Account; all the Satisfaction I could get was, that he thought I put a greater Value upon my being his Brother, than to think it over-rated at that trifling Sum: The Life of a Brother, said he, is the only thing that can answer for a Brotherly Affection.
The Scene of Affairs in Ireland was very much alter'd upon raising the Siege of London-derry; Men and Arms were imported from England on all Sides to make Head against King James, and several bloody Skirmishes happen'd in several Parts of the Kingdom. It wou'd make a Volume to account the Marches and Counter-marches both Parties made in that irregular Country to attack and avoid one another. But where ever it was my Lot to engage, the general Complaint was a want of Money, Ammunition and Arms; this (as it cou'd not be otherwise) made us unsuccessful under many promising Advantages. We had Men enough, and those not destitute of Zeal or Courage; but to expose themselves Naked against Arms and Discipline, was a desperate way of Engaging. But France still went upon the old Politick Scheme to gain Advantages upon the Continent by dilatory Proceedings in King James's Affairs; for unless this was their Prospect, was it not a supine Piece of Management to suffer a Body of near Thirty Thousand brave Men to lie unarm'd in the Field above half a Year, when France had Magazines and Stores to furnish above a Million of Soldiers? But as King James was not only to be the Dupe of their great Monarch, but the Sport and Game of his Ministers, besides a general Topick of refusing him an Assistance upon the Politick Motive of prolonging the War. It seems the Chief Minister of State had some private Ends in these dilatory Proceedings, and King James's Cause in Ireland was also to be sacrific'd to this Gentleman's Resentments. The Case was this, Lewis XIV upon great Importunity, and to put a Gloss upon, and lay deep Colours upon his Politicks, condescended so far, as to order five or six Thousand despicable Foot Soldiers for King James's Service in Ireland, with a General at their Head, who had been more accustom'd to lead up a Country Dance than an Army, and better qualify'd to break a Jest than look in upon an Enemy. This General, however, was according to King James's own liking, though contrary to the Chief Minister's Design, who wanted that Post for a Relation of his own. This undesign'd Affront of King James in preferring C.L. to the Minister's Favourite, lost the Battle of the Boyne, and perhaps all Ireland; for the Chief Minister would neither send Arms nor Money to supply that brave Body of Men, but threw them into the Circumstances of either dying unreveng'd, or saving their Lives by Flight. The History of that Battle has so many Eye Witnesses still alive for me to dwell upon it; I shall only make bold to relate what my Fate was upon that unfortunate Day, and how inglorious France withdrew the sham Succours they sent King James. My Post was to Head a Company of Fingalian Granadiers, who were plac'd in an Orchard which hung over a Defilee, through which we expected the Enemy would march after they had pass'd the River. I make bold to stile my Company Granadiers, because they were design'd to be so when first rais'd, but were now arm'd rather like Pioneers than Grenadiers; we had not above a dozen Granadoes, no Bayonets, and several without any Fire-arms; and if the Chief Men of the Action were no better equipp'd, 'tis easy to guess how the Gross of the Army was provided. According to our Expectation, a Party of the Enemy fell into the Trap, and what Shot we had, we let it successively fly at them out of the Orchard; in the mean time, we heard a great Noise behind us, and turning my self about, I saw the Orchard almost surrounded with Horse, which I expected were some of our own Party coming up to support us, but found them to be a Squadron of the Enemy, who immediately summon'd us to yield, or we must expect the last Fate of War. There was no time to Parley, upon which I made a Sign to the Commanding Officer of the Enemy not to proceed to Slaughter, and so out of Twenty Two Men with which I defended that Post, Nine of us fell into the Enemies Hands, the rest dying bravely in the Engagement. Our Entertaintment was what is usually with Prisoners of War, Hunger and hard Lodgings, but in a little Time being remov'd to Dublin, Things were better with me; I had the Liberty of a large Prison and civil Usage. And here it was I met with an excellent Friend, who never fail'd those who make Application to him, I mean a small Bank of Money which my Brother left me, and which I had sent to Dublin per Bill from Newry, that I might run no hazard of being plunder'd in case of a Defeat, and in this I have often applauded my own Caution, that though I have frequently hazarded my Life, I never risqu'd my Substance; if Death happen'd, I was certain of being provided for; and if Imprisonment, I had what wou'd make my Captivity easy, and perhaps, purchase my Enlargement.
'Tis not a being in a Battle that makes a Person a capable Judge how to describe it; every Officer has his Post which he must not depart from, and though he may be able to describe the Situation of the Troops before an Engagement, yet afterwards during the Fight, there is so much Noise, Smoak and Confusion, that for my part, I scarce can give a true Narration of what happen'd within a dozen Yards compass. Upon this Account, I cannot tell in what manner the French Troops behav'd themselves, but I was inform'd they made a tollerable Stand against King William's Army, but that they quickly chang'd it into a running Fight, and very dexterously convey'd both King James and themselves out of Danger, and in a little time out of the Kingdom, directing their March to the next Seaport Town, which was not in the Enemies Hands, from whence they found their way Home. If these Troops were serviceable at the Boyne, they certainly might have been much more useful, if they had remain'd and assisted the Irish the remainder of the War; but they had shown themselves, and that was enough to answer the politick Ends for which they were sent. 'Tis suppos'd after this Defeat at the Boyne, that King James was aware of the French Politics, and so would ne'er think of returning in Person again into Ireland, it being abundantly sufficient if he left two or three active Generals among 'em to Alarm the Enemy and do the Drudgery of the French Court, in making a Diversion to favour his Conquests in other Parts of the World. But to return to the Series of my own Story, I had now obtain'd Liberty of the City of Dublin upon Paroll, and spent my Life pretty agreeable, especially when I understood that a kind of a Cartel was fix'd, and there was no Danger of a Halter. My long stay in Dublin brought me acquainted with several General Officers of King William's Army, who were my Countrymen and well acquainted with my Family. The great Respect they showed me, was, as I perceiv'd at long run, in order to debauch me from King James's Service; but it was not in my power at that time, to remove the Scruples I was entangled in as to the Revolution; besides I had other Motives urgent enough not to engage in the English Service, till I had seen a little more Abroad. But in the midst of all the Disasters I met with, nothing affected me with a more sensible Grief than the Thoughts of Lewis the XIVth's Insincerity, for though it only rid my Mind in the Nature of a Scruple or first Impression, yet I found it grow daily more and more upon me, and often in the height of my Diversions it lay upon my Stomach like an indigested Meal; yet at the same time I durst not mutter the least of this Matter to the greatest Confident I had in the World; for I was sensible what would be the Consequence of such a Liberty of Speech, and that nothing less than perpetual Imprisonment in the Bastile must have atton'd for the Crime, and that King James wou'd have look'd upon himself as oblig'd to have justify'd the Conduct of France, though perhaps he lay under the same Jealousies with myself in regard of French Politics. How often have I, when I have been alone, exaggerated my Folly in engaging in a Cause, which the principal Agent never design'd to bring to an Issue? but then again I have corrected my self for giving way to a false Impression, and condemning the Conduct of so many Thousands who had more Experience than I could lay claim to, and yet willingly went all the Lengths of the French Court. Now as I always had a great Respect for Men of Years and Experience, so I was resolv'd to silence all the Scruples relating to French Politicks, and see an end of the Irish War, not so much under the Influence of a French Power (which never did any real Service to King James in Ireland) but because so many worthy Gentlemen eagerly pursue the Cause, whom I had Reason to think were better Judges of such high Matters than my self. And what in the next place I was to undertake, was how to be releas'd from my Confinement, in which I cou'd find no Difficulty besides a breach of Paroll, my Person being every Day at Liberty, but understanding that several Persons in the same Circumstances with my self, were partly conniv'd at when they made their Escape. I took the same Method, and rather chose to walk off, than wait to be exchang'd, or Bribe for my Enlargement. Perhaps the Reader will expect here to be entertain'd with the remaining Part of the Irish War, especially where I was employ'd; but he must be content to be inform'd in General, That as I made it a Law with my self ne'er to omit any Occasion of improving my self in the Art of War, so I took particular care not to be upon any Foreign Duty in the Day of Action. I was wounded at the Battle of Aghram, where I had one of my Legs broke, and lost two Fingers with the cut of a Sabre. I was at the first Siege of Limerick, and help'd to surprize the Enemy's flying Camp and Provisions they were carrying to supply the main Army that was carrying on the Siege. Afterwards I entred the Town, and remain'd there during the Siege, having the Liberty to pass over into France with the rest of the Irish Troops upon the Articles of Limerick; but there was one remarkable Passage happen'd to me during the Siege of that Town, which I cannot dispense with my self to pass over in Silence; it was rather a casual Matter, than a Design laid, however it equally answer'd the end. At one of the Sallies, in which we design'd to overthrow a Mount they had made to raise a Battery upon, after a smart Engagement, it being in the Night, I had the opportunity to step aside and strip a Dutch Granadier, and immediately putting on his Cloaths I mingled my self with the Enemy's Battalions as they drew back towards their Camp, thus unperceiv'd I had the opportunity the next Morning to view their Works and make my Remarks. But now I was somewhat at a loss how to make a hand of this Stratagem and get back into the Town, nor was I less concern'd how to avoid being discover'd as not belonging to the Enemy; but the Confusion they were in the next Day in burying their Dead and repairing their Works, made me pass undiscover'd till Night, so about Nine at Night when it was throughly dark, I stole to that Side of the Town which lies next to the Sea, and swimming over undiscover'd, I crept under the Wall, and calling softly upon the next Centinel, I inform'd him who I was, bidding him call to the Captain of the next Guard, and bring a Rope and two or three Soldiers to hall me up. I was very welcome to the Garrison, for 'twas suppos'd, I was either kill'd or taken Prisoner in the Sally. This Stratagem, though I had no Design in it at our attacking the Enemy, it being only a sudden Thought, yet it had a very good Event; for the next Sally we made, as I had observ'd, the weakest Part of the Besiegers Works, so I lead a Party of Resolute Men that way, who lost no Time, but levell'd all their Works, and dragg'd a considerable Booty into the Town.
The Wars of Ireland being at an End, and the Articles of Limerick Sign'd, about 15000 regular Troops were Transported into France, besides several Thousands of others, who all proved as useful to the Monarch of France in his Wars in Italy, Spain, Germany, &c. as they had been in making a Three Years Diversion in Ireland, so happy was France in making a Politick use of King James's Misfortune, that Lewis XIV was much a greater Gainer by his being Banish'd, than if he had remain'd in the quiet Possession of his Throne. And now there were several Speculations, what Method the French King wou'd take to make the World believe he had a Design to reinstall King James. The most direct Means was to attempt a Descent, but this was impracticable by the way of Ireland; for if an Army of 30000 Men cou'd not keep it when they were actually in Possession of it, there was no likelyhood of their succeeding in a Descent, nor was it probable, that France would add more Force to them who had so often refus'd them when they were in Circumstances to receive. The most favourable Interpreters of the French King's Politicks, began now to think he had laid all Thoughts of a Restoration aside. King James's Troops were employ'd and scatter'd where they were useless upon that Design, and his Court was modell'd, as if nothing more should be attempted. However it was thought convenient still to carry the Juggle on, and several Methods were made use of to seduce the poor Jacobites in England and St. Germains, that their Work was still going on. Great Respect was shown to the Court of St. Germains by his Most Christian Majesty, with repeated Assurances to stand by them: In the mean time I was permitted to leave the Army, and solace my self for two or three Months at Paris, where, by the Assistance of my old Friend ready Money, I made my self very acceptable. It was my Happiness hitherto never to be engaged in an Intrigue with the Fair Sex; for though several of my Station have diverted themselves that way with much prejudice to their Business, yet I was always so bent upon War, that I cou'd never find spare Hours for such trifling Conversation, for that was the Notion I had of it. A general Whining and Pining away for a Trolloping Girl, was to me a very awker'd and inconsistent Piece of Pageantry; however, I had been often told by Persons of Experience, that no Man had so just an Idea of the World, as he that had been well hamper'd and sower'd by a Love Intrigue; for though Women appear to be only Spectators, and to bear no Sway in the Politicks of the World, yet underhand, the Fate of Kingdoms often hung at their Girdles, and the wisest of Princes often hazarded the Repose of his People for an Hours Dalliance with some Coquet and diverting Creature of the fair Sex. I cannot tell well how it happen'd, but I suppose by not resisting the first impressions of this kind, I found my self far gone in an Intrigue, and that without either Thought or Design; but I understood afterwards that a Breach of Idleness being espy'd in my Conduct, the Roving Deity seiz'd the Advantage and enter'd Sword in Hand. The Gentlewoman who drew me into this Snare, was no otherwise my Acquaintance than by an accidental Visit; but I was so much a Philosopher, as to know that where there is a Sympathy of Humours, all other Considerations are neglected, and a Turk with those Advantages, is as capable to make a Conquest as a Christian. I had at my first entrance upon the Stage of the World made a double Promise to my self, the one was never to hearken to a Love Affair till I had acquired a Stock of Experience, and Money to make that Passion Serviceable and of real Use in an honourable Way; the other was not to graft upon a Foreign Stock; but I was forc'd to humble my self under a violation of both these Purposes; for the Object of my Passion was a Spanish young Lady though of Irish Extraction, her Family Transporting themselves thither about the middle of Queen Elizabeth's Reign. Now I had two or three Difficulties to struggle with relating to this Affair: in the first place, I had not as yet imparted the Secret to the young Lady; again, my Brother's Example gave me grounds to think I cou'd not avoid a Quarrel with some of her Relations; but what chiefly frighted me, was the Plague of Wedding, in case we were both of a Mind, for a keen Hound is not easily call'd off from a hot Scent, till he has either caught or lost his Game. In the midst of these Perplexities, I judg'd 'twou'd be a wise Part to disclose my self to some Persons of Experience in these Matters; for in all the Skirmishes and Sieges I had been at, they never threw me into such a Consternation and Absence of Thought; and accordingly I met with an old Adept in these Affairs. When he heard my Case, after two or three Turns he approach'd me with the serious Air of a Physician, and I thinking he had Design to feel my Pulse, I offer'd him my Hand, which he only shook very gently, saying, Young Man, all the Comfort I can give you is, that you must buy your Knowledge by Experience as I and many others have done before you. All Advice is lost upon a Person in Love. Should I advice you to quit the Enterprize, I know you would not do it. A Halter or an East-India Voyage may do you Service in Case you are refused. In a Word, whatever I advised you to you will certainly do the contrary; However, that you may be said to have lost your Time in coming hither, hasten to the young Lady, tell her in a Franck Cavalier way how Things are with you; give all the vent you can to your Passion; if it blows over, you will be a wary Man hereafter, if it ends in Wedlock, any Body will inform you of the Consequences. While the old Gentleman was entertaining me with this Lesson, my Head grew so dizy, as if some invisible Hand had turn'd it round like a Gigg, so I left him abruptly, and went directly to my Lodgings to Bed, but to this Day I cannot tell, whether I went a Foot or in a Coach my Head was in such a Confusion. The next Morning finding my ideas better rang'd, I propos'd to seize the first Opportunity to let the Lady understand the Difficulties I struggled under upon her Account; but the Nature of our Visits was such, that I cou'd not do it any otherwise than by Letter: Thus when I had once broke the Ice, and that too with a fair Prospect of making Advances, in the next Place I gain'd the Maid by the usual Methods that such Creatures are render'd Obsequious, and under her Conduct methoughts I sail'd prosperously on without the least Rub to my suppos'd Happiness; 'tis true I was at a constant Charge of Presents, Treats, and now and then a Serenade according to the Spanish Customs. But I remember at one of these Midnight Scenes of Gallantry, I saw something that gave me a great deal of Uneasiness; drawing up my Musick under the Lady's Window, besides her Face, which was at the Casement wide open, I saw the Reflexion of a Periwig move towards the Corner of the Window; this made me vehemently suspect somebody had a better place in her Affections than my self, for there was no Male kind belonging to the Family, her Father and Brother, as she told me at other Times, being in Spain, to take care of some Effects they expected by the Flota from the West Indies. However, I endeavour'd to smother this Impression of Jealousy, attributing the Mistake to the Circumstances of Night, Candle Light, or some other false Medium that might ground it, so I was resolv'd to take no notice of it at my next Visit. But it was not long before I met with another Occasion of Jealousy, which cou'd not so easily be banish'd out of my Head. Sitting in the Chocolate House, a young Gentleman was giving himself Airs with a Snuff-box, which to my Eye (and it was my Interest to observe it very narrowly) appear'd to be the very same I had some time before presented the Lady with, and as an aggravating Circumstance, in taking Notice of the Gentleman's Periwig, it had the same Form with the Reflexion I saw up in the Lady's Chamber Window, vid. a flat Top, neither rais'd nor parted in the Middle, which spoke it to be a Piece of English Furniture. The Sight of the snuff-box drew all my Blood into my Heart, and left my pale Cheeks to account for the Consternation, wherefore not able to contain my self had I kept my Ground, I flung out of the Chocolate House, not unobserv'd by the Company to be in some Disorder; but when they look'd out of the Window and saw me stand gazing in the middle of the Street, (for my Motion thither was purely Animal, having no thought whither I was going) it encreas'd their Surprise. However, at three Steps I was got again into the Chocolate House, and with a galliard Air, addressing my self to the Gentleman with the Snuff box, Sir, said I, I confirm the Gift, and may all sniffling Fools that are in Love be serv'd like me. I allow'd no Time for a Reply, but bolting again into the Street, it came into my Head that perhaps two Snuff-boxes might be so much alike, as not to observe the difference without confronting 'em. This Thought gave me a Curiosity to step into a Toyshop, where I desired to have a Sight of the newest fashion'd Snuff-boxes, and when among others, I saw above half a Dozen exactly like that I had made the Lady a Present of, a Secret Confusion spread it self over my Soul to have given way to such Suspicions. The Matyrdom accustom'd by such like Thoughts as these being the usual Entertainment of Persons in my Condition, and I having read in several Moralists, That there can be no true Love without a Mixture of Jealousy, which two rose proportionably, and that Jealousy was the greatest Plague of Human Life. These Considerations, I say, made me Struggle hard to throw off the Tyranny I groan'd under, and it happen'd very luckily for me that within a few Days after the young Lady was sent for into Spain, so that I had in Election either to throw up all my Expectations in France, and follow her, or Moralize a Week or two; upon the Disappointment, and so recover my self again to my Senses, which I quickly did by spending my Time in a Treatise of Algebra and Fortifications. As for the Lady she parted without any Reluctance, and it mortify'd me sensibly, that what I had made a Study and Business of, was only her Diversion and Amusement; but I kept my Resolution never more to divert my self that way, till I was effectually tramell'd.
And now I was preparing to visit Italy, where some of the Irish Forces were then employ'd, and my Company expected me; but before I set out, I had a mind to inform my self better of a certain Report wisper'd at St. Germains, That in a little Time King James would make another Push, and that a Descent in England was certainly in Agitation. Now I was at a Loss how to be truly inform'd of this Matter; the King's Fleet rendevouzing upon the Coast of Normandy, and several Battalions marching that way, look'd something like a Descent, but this was not sufficient to convince me, who knew that such Alarms were often given upon a quite different Score, to what the Generality of People had in View. However, the French laid strong Colours upon this Preparative; first they gave out, That they had bribed most of the English Fleet, so there wou'd be no Danger from that Quarter nor Body to oppose the Descent; again, King James set forth a solemn Manifesto, inviting all his Subjects to rise and take Arms, granting an Amnesty only to such as were specify'd in his Proclamation, and to put the last Stroke to this Master-piece of Policy; the King himself was perswaded to appear at the Head of some Troops upon the Coast of Normandy. The Pill thus guilded, was swallow'd by every Body; I own I was my self charm'd with the Beauty of the Project, and it look'd so like the dawning of a Restoration, that I was resolv'd to make Interest with our General, that I might not return to my Company upon the Borders of Italy; but rather accompany my Prince, and contribute more immediately to conclude the happy Work. While these Matters were in Agitation, I had an Invitation to see the Palace and Gardens of St. Clou, from an old Acquaintance, whom I knew an Officer upon the Rhine, but now was one of the Duke of Orlean's Secretaries. This Gentleman, as we walk'd in St. Clou's Gardens, being inquisitive how I had spent my Time since our last parting, and how my Affairs stood at present, I gave him a short Narration of my Travels and Actions, telling him I was now a Captain of Foot, and had a Promise of a Lieutenant Colonels Commission the next Vacancy, but that I design'd to throw up my Pretensions, and accompany King James. The Gentleman surpriz'd at what I said, I suppose Sir, said he, you must have a fair Prospect of a Place at Court to put it at Ballance with a Lieutenant Colonels Commission, and then turning his Discourse into Raillery, or perhaps says he, you are so taken with the beautiful Enclosures of Normandy, as to think a Tour in that Country will recompence all other Losses. No Sir, said I, but I am in hopes, that as I am one who have been useful to his Majesty in several Capacities, so being near his Person in the Descent, if it prove Successful, as no Body seems to question, so I shall be more in his Majesty's Eye, and in fairer Prospect of climbing, than if I were doing him Service at a Distance. Well, Sir, said he, I am sorry our former Intimacy does oblige me to use the Freedom of disabusing you of this vulgar Error of most of King James's Subjects. I cannot blame them for being desirous to return Home, but they are so Infatuated in their Zeal that way, that they imagine every Step our Monarch takes, tends immediately towards their Master's Restoration; believe me, old Friend, Kings have commonly long Heads, and 'tis well known Lewis XIV has led all Europe through so many Politick Mazes for these Forty or Fifty Years, that he never lets any Body know he is doing a Thing till 'tis in a manner done. All Masters in Politicks look one way and Row another. I own the Preparatives upon the Coast of Normandy look like a Descent, but there are false Attacks upon Kingdoms as well as upon Towns: You are not Ignorant that King William is now at the Head of a powerful Army in Flanders, and that our King is not so well provided there as he expected; Now if King William receives the Reinforcement he expects out of England and Scotland, it will give him that Superiority, that France will not be able to make the last stand on that Quarter; so that 'tis no Secret for us at Versailles, that all this Alarm of a Descent upon England, is a meer blind to make a Diversion, and to hinder the Transportation of the British Forces. But you Jacobites and English are so ragingly dispos'd, to give every Thing a favourable turn towards King James's Cause, that I have frequently observ'd, there can scare be two Men of War sent out of any Port of France, let it be towards the Indies, Mediterranean, or other Places, but you make a Descent of it. But as I insinuated Sir, I am glad I have the Opportunity to set you to Rights as to this Affair, that you may not risque a seeming promising Fortune, by catching a Shadow. The Thoughts of having King James made such a Tool of, would not permit me immediately to be civil to the Gentleman, and return him Thanks for the seasonable Advice; however, after I had recollected my self, I did my Duty in that Respect: But the Idea he gave me of his Masters Politicks left a Deep Resentment on my Soul. Afterwards, as I return'd to Paris, I ruminated upon this Subject, and I saw a thousand Contradictions and Improbabilities in the pretended Descent. The Troops design'd for this Business was very few, and the worst in France; the King's own Subjects were not to be employ'd, unless a few Straglers; besides there were no Transportships, nor in fine, any Thing that look'd like an Attempt to Conquer three Potent Kingdoms. King William had in a manner the whole Kingdom in his Design at his Descent, he also had the English Army secur'd to him, he brought over 15000 Veterans in a Fleet of 600 Sail, but this sham Descent was destitute of all these Advantages. I don't question but Lewis XIV, as he proposed an End in this Politick Amusement, so it answer'd accordingly; but as for poor King James, I know no Benefit either He or his Friends reap'd from it, besides the Fatigue of a Norman Progress, and having all the Jacobites in England imprison'd, fin'd, and plunder'd; so that to gain a few Acres of Land to France, England must be exasperated to let all the Laws loose upon both Protestants and Roman Catholicks that were Well-wishers to King James. And yet though the French Court obtain'd their Ends in one Respect, they suffer'd from the Hand of Providence in another. I wou'd not be thought to pry with too much Curiosity into the hidden Paths of Providence, otherwise I should be apt to judge that the Destruction of the French Fleet at the Hague, look'd somewhat like a Judgment from Heaven for amusing an unfortunate Prince with a false Prospect of Happiness, and yet that loss has been sometimes objected to King James, as marr'd upon his Account, so dextrous are the French in turning Things to their own Credit.
After this you may well imagine I took a new Resolution not to part with the Prospect I had of making my Fortune in the Post I was in, joyning Company therefore with three or four more Officers who belong'd to the same Army in which I serv'd, we set out with all Expedition. I don't remember to have been better diverted upon the Road, since I first knew what it was to Travel; one of our Company was a Provincial, and the very Quintessence of Wit and Gaiety. There was not the most trivial Occurrence but he dexterously made use of it to divert us, particularly at a small Village within a Days Journey of Lions. The Bailiff of the Village coming to our Inn to gather a kind of Tax (as it happen'd to be a Day pitch'd upon for that end) for the Relief of the Poor, the Provincial Gentleman being deputed, the Steward of our Company, fell into some Discourse with the Bailiff in the Kitchin. Among other Things, the Bailiff being mellow, gave him to understand, that though his Mien and Equipage was not extraordinary, yet he was the Chief Man in the Town, and immediately represented the King's Majesty, so that if any of the Company were of Quality, it was his Business to show them that Respect which was due to them. The Provincial had a good Cue to give us a Comical Scene, which all was contriv'd upon the Spot, to drive away a deep Melancholy from one of our Company, who had not spoke a Word in two Days. With that he took the Bailiff aside, Sir, said the Person, we all attend here on the Prince of —— Eldest Son, who is going to Travel into Italy. Had there been a Garison here, it ought to have been drawn up at his Entrance, and the Keys of the Town deliver'd to him; but since you are not so provided, you may exert yourselves as much as you can; I suppose you have Musick in the Town? yes Sir said the Bailiff, we have three Violins, a grand Bass, and a Citherne. Do you never exhibit any Plays says the Provincial, or other Antick Performance? No replies the Bailiff, but we have a Sport that comes very near it, which we entertain the Country with twice a Year, viz. at Easter and Whitsunday, and the Parts are now fresh in the Actors Memory. This will do says the Provincial, but see all Things are ready to give the Young Prince the Diversion immediately after Supper, because he durst not sit up very late. As for the Prologue, wherein you are to Address your selves to his Highness, I will furnish you with the Method and Form in which it must be spoke by the School-master of the Town. Now all this was carried on in Privacy from us, tell we were call'd out one by one, all excepting the Chagrin Gentleman, who lay dozing in an two arm'd Chair, to whom we were instructed to pay a singular Respect to during Supper, to blind the Matter. And now the whole Village was drawn about the Inn, to have a Sight of the young Prince. After Supper all the Tables and Chairs were remov'd; the Bailiff enters with his Staff, and according to Information given him, Kneels down and pays his Respects to the suppos'd Prince; After him comes in the Actors in their proper Dresses; and then the School-master, who open'd the Farce with a Comical Address made by the Provincial Officer, which in every Line hinted at some Passage of the Melancholy Gentleman's Life, but with such an Ambiguous turn, and yet home to the Man, that it was an excellent Piece of Diversion, to observe the variety of Motions in the Princes Countenance, who thought all to be Witchcraft and Inchantment. The Force being over, and we left to our selves, the Provincial returning up Stairs from conducting his Troop to the Door, Well, Gentlemen, says he, how do you relish your Diversion? Et vous Monsieur le Prince, if this will not bring you to your self, you shall be Dethron'd at Lyons, and put upon a Level with the rest of the Company; for he that pretends to put on a starch'd reserv'd Air upon a Journey, make himself a Prince by his Distance, and so must either lose his Dignity by being good Humour'd, or pay the Reckoning like a Prince, and that we have Decreed shall be your Choice the Remainder of the Journey. The Provincial gain'd his End, for either this comical Accident was the Occasion, or the Term of the Gentleman's Melancholy was expired; for afterwards he put on a gay Temper, and proved tollerable Company.
We cou'd not content our selves with a single Nights Lodging in Lyons, that City is furnish'd with too many Rarities for the amusement of Strangers, not to partake of a little more of their Money than any Vulgar Inn upon the Road. And as we none of us desired to carry more with us than what wou'd Answer our Travelling Expences, so we joyn'd in a Resolution to divert our selves one Week or ten Days in that Populous Place. I had a Recommendation from Paris to an Irish Clergyman, who was a Prependary here, and a Person of Repute. This Gentleman wou'd oblige me to take a Bed with him during my stay there, which I was very unwilling to accept of upon Account of my Company, however, he said that would be no Inconvenience, since I might take my freedom with them all the Day, in case I wou'd favour him with my Company half an Hour before Bed time in the Evening. I perceiv'd this Goatly Clergyman was of a different Stamp to the Generality of his Countrymen, and had a true Idea of the French Politicks, for discoursing one Night upon the Subject of a Restoration, and finding I was a Person he might deliver his Mind freely to. Certainly, said he, never Prince was more the Game of Politicians and Fools than King James II. His own Friends at home threw him out of his Throne by their forward and indiscreet Management, and now he is bubbled with daily Hopes of Recovering it, when in reality there was never any Design to bring it about. But King James will always be King James, and Judge every Man Honest, who does but pretend to be so; for pray, gave me leave Sir, will it pass for a seizable Story in future Ages. That Lewis XIV should make War in order to Restore James II and keep above 40000 Men in constant Pay, and never employ any of them that way. Twenty thousand Horse would have laid the Three Kingdoms desolate in a few Weeks, but was there so much as one single Dragoon employ'd that way? Was not King James forced to melt his Canon and debase the Coin with it, whilst Lewis XIV could send vast Remittances to Constantinople to Support the Turk? Were not 300000 Men driven like Sheep from the Banks of the Boyne for want of Arms, while what wou'd have furnish'd a Million of Men, were Rusting in the Magazines of France? Were not the Highlanders constantly neglected, and fed with nothing but Promises, till they were reduc'd from a Victorious Army to a Troop of Banditti? Have not the Lives and Fortunes of Thousands in England payed very dear for these French Politics, by being encourag'd to rise up and Precipitate themselves into Ruin, by the Motions of Fleets and Armies upon sham Pretences of making Descents. I own Sir, I am transported when I find an Opportunity to vent my self upon this Subject. Had Lewis XIV been streightned by the Allies, he might have some pretence of not affording so much Assistance as otherwise he might; but in the last War, he was always Victorious both upon the Rhine and in Flanders, and if after the Battle of Steenheer, Fleurs, Landen, and Victories at Sea, besides the vast number of Towns he reduced, he did not think fit to employ his Arms towards restoring King James, I must take the Liberty to think the War was not begun upon his Account, nor that it can be judg'd the Interest of France (unless they act against their own interest, which they are too wise a Nation to do) to have him reestablish'd. But all this, Sir, I speak under the Rose; the Honour of the French Court is too much touch'd by such Reflections as these to suffer them to go unpunish'd if I should be discover'd. But I conclude from my worthy Friend at Paris who gave me your Character, that I might use any freedom in your Company. It may perhaps look like Ingratitude in me to reflect upon a Person by whose Benevolence I possess this Post I have in the Church, which does not only afford me a decent Maintenance, but the Opportunity of obliging a Friend, but as I was a greater sufferer in Ireland, by giving too much into French Projects, so I look upon both this or any other Kindness they can do me, as a piece of Restitution. The Frank and open Satyr of this Clergyman against the French Conduct was very agreeable to my Temper, and I was not backward in seconding him in the same Key. But while we were entertaining our selves with these dismal Reflections, a Servant knock'd at the Chamber Door, so the Gentleman step'd to know his Business, and after about half a Quarter of an Hour return'd again. I have been, says he, this Fortnight engaged in a very troublesome Affair, which is like to have an ill Consequence to the Party concern'd. Here is, says he in Town an Englishman, who has, as he informs me, been studying at a College of that Nation of Rome, but for want of Health is oblig'd to break off his Studies, to have the Benefit of his own Country Air, which the Physicians prescribe to him as the only Remedy to patch up his decaying Constitution: But the poor Gentleman, about Three Leagues out of Town, as he was steering his Course towards Paris, and so Homeward, met with a very unfortunate Accident. Walking on the Road about half an Hour before Sun setting, he was overtaken by a Gentleman who kept pace with him, and ask'd him among other Things how far he design'd to Travel that Night, the Englishman told him he was a Stranger to the Stages upon the Road, but he believ'd he should take the Opportunity of the next Inn, for that it began to grow late. The French Man appear'd very obliging in his Conversation, and told him he should have been glad of his Company, but that he was oblig'd to turn off on the Right Hand to a Friends House, whither he was going to divert himself a Day or Two. They had not gone a Hundred Rood farther, but he stop'd and desired the Englishman if he wou'd take a pinch of Snuff, and then look'd backward and forward with an ominous Countenance, he Collar'd the Englishman, and drawing a small Pistol out of his Pocket, without any farther Ceremony, he cry'd Ou la vie, ou la Bourse. The Business was quickly over, and the Englishman robb'd of all his Stock, which was to the value of Nine Pounds English, besides a little Box of Roman Coin, which were small Pieces of Money he kept for Counters. The Foot-pad, after he had got his Booty, alters his Course, and turns back towards Lyons, charging the Englishman not to pursue him, nor yet go forward till he saw him out of Sight; for if he did, he wou'd certainly return upon him and deprive him of his Life as well as his Money. There was no arguing the Case, and the Surprize was so great, that had there been any way of escaping this Accident, 'tis probable it wou'd not have occurr'd at that time.
As soon as the Villain was out of sight, the Englishman loitered his Time too and fro till it was dark, and then return'd backward towards Lyons, hoping to meet either with Credit or Charity for a small Sum to bear his Charges home, but not being able to reach the Town that Night, he put in at a poor Cabaret, where he open'd his dismal Condition to the Master of the House, who being a very Compassionate Man, promis'd to entertain him Gratis that Night, and conduct him to Lyons the next Morning. His first Application was to me; I promis'd to get him some Relief in a Day or Two, and the mean Time I procur'd him a Lodging. The next Day coming up a Street which leads to my House, he accidently cast his Eyes into a Habadasher's Shop, where he saw a Person sitting upon a Stool at the side of the Counter chaffering for a Hat; his Back, and a Silk Bag his Wigg was tied up in, had so much the Resemblance with the Person that rob'd him, that he stood gazing into the Shop so long, that the shop-keeper step'd to the Door, and call'd to him if he would come in and please to buy any Thing, upon which the Gentleman upon the Stool turning himself about to look out of the Shop, he was known to be the same Man who had committed the Robbery, and being in a Consternation to see the Person he had assaulted stand directly before the Shop, he threw down the Hat he had in his Hand, and leaving his Money upon the Counter, bolted out of the Door; but the Englishman immediately alarm'd the whole Street, and the Rogue was taken and carried before a Magistrate. In the mean time I was sent for to assist the Englishman in the Narrative of this Fact. At first the Foot-pad denied he ever saw the Person, and as for the Money it cou'd not be sworn too; but the Box with little Roman Pieces being found upon him, he cou'd not stand that Proof, besides, it appears he can give no Account where he was the Evening of the Robbery, and the Innkeeper upon the Road, is positive he was one of the Persons which pass'd by his House that Evening; and to compleat all, several Persons who came in to see him out of Curiosity, depos'd, that he is very like the Man, by Description, has follow'd that Road several Years. To conclude, the Englishman only stays in Town now to be Witness against this Malhoneux. Hanging is certainly his Doom; but if other Suspicions are made out, of his being that noted Offender, who had infested the Road for a considerable Time, it will be his Fate to be broke upon the Wheel. However, the Englishman has recover'd most of his Money, but he will be forc'd to expend it on Charges; but I will see to ease him in that Point. I was very much edify'd with this Clergyman's Generous and Christian Temper in being obliging and endeavouring to do good to every Body. But now the Time drew near that we were to leave Lyons, we had but one Day more to stay, and that the Irish Prebendary challenged to himself, desiring I and my Companions would accept of a small Treat and Dine with him. We had every thing that was good in its kind, but he wou'd not press his Wine upon us, for the Churchman's Character, was not to be Sacrific'd to the Soldiers Appetite; for he who urges the Glass too far, if he is not himself suspected of Insobriety, is certainly obnoxious to the immoral Part of the Ceremony.
When an Army is not upon Action, the Camp is a tedious Place to spend a Mans time in; but we, who are Subjects of Great Britain, had some additional Circumstances to make our Time lie heavy upon our Hands; For my own part, I always look'd upon my self as a banish'd Man, and my Thoughts always look'd homeward. There are a great many Charms in some sort of Delusions, especially, if they flatter Inclination. It was now almost grown into a settled Opinion with me, that France would never make any farther Attempt to restore King James, than by way of Amusement, to drive on some other Project; and yet upon the least Intimation of a Descent, my Inclinations willingly carry'd me over to another Belief: And of this my wavering Temper I soon after gave a very remarkable Instance. My Brother-in-law inform'd me by Letter from Paris, that there was a deep Design laid to make us all Happy in a little Time, so he advised me to make what haste I could, for that now the Sea was dividing, and the Children of Israel were upon their march to the Land of Promise. Immediately I answer'd the Summons, and gave into the Advice by taking Post, and had the Satisfaction to Sup with my Brother in five Days time. The very next Day I went to St. Germains, where I was glad to find every thing in such forwardness. The King was preparing himself to go to Callis, where a considerable Body of Men were Rendevouzing, as 'twas generally believ'd, in order to be transported into England; where in and about London, several Persons were privately engag'd, and ready with Arms to receive the King at Landing. In the Town of St. Germains, several Persons dispos'd of their Lodgings and Furniture and turn'd them into Money for this Expedition. The Day came that the King was to take leave of the Queen, and here I was resolv'd to play the Physiogminist, and observe in their Countenances, whether I cou'd see any thing that look'd like a Descent, for I did not think it improbable, but the King by this time might be so far habituated to the French Politicks, as to concur to be made a Fool of, and I was not the only one of that Opinion, that the King himself was let into the Secret, and knew very well his Journey to Callis; and hovering about the Coast, was only to keep back ten Thousand English and Scotch, whose Presence, that Campaign, would have done the French no kindness in Flanders. An old Project; and thus much I read both in the King and Queen's Face, for neither at parting, nor afterwards, did the Queen signify that Disturbance which she could not have conceal'd, had the Project been real. I need not give the Reader any farther Account of this Matter for it shewed it self upon the Kings returning to St. Germains. Had this Design been attended with no worse Circumstances than harassing a Monarch, and fooling his Subjects at Paris, and St. Germains, it might here be regarded as an Innocent stroke of Politicks, though very disobliging and improper; but if we look on the other side the Channel, it had occasion'd very Cruel and Barbarous Consequences. Those unfortunate Gentlemen who went upon the Strength of this sham Project to raise Men, provide Arms and Horses, and attempt seizing of King William's Person, are dear Instances of French Policy; for 'tis not to be suppos'd that Church, King, Sir William Perkins, Sir John Friend, Sir John Fenwick, or half a hundred of their Adherents, wou'd either have attempted the Conquering of three Kingdoms, or been discover'd by any of the Confederacy, had not the French both encourag'd 'em and left 'em in the lurch.
It was observable after this Peregrination, that King James began to ride with a very loose Rein, and throwing the Bridle in the Neck, managed his Concerns with a great deal of Indifference. He saw clearly how fatal a Thing it was for one King to fall into the Hands of another; and that under the plausible Cloak of Hospitality, and Royal Protection, a Person might be lull'd a Sleep in the Arms of an Enslaver. When Princes are detain'd Prisoners, they generally wear all the Symptoms of their Royalty besides that of Freedom, which cannot be distinguish'd so much by the Eye as, the Judgment; and if some of King James's Subjects regarded their Master with the same Compassion at the Castle of St. Germains as if he had been in the Bastile, there was very little Difference to be found besides the largeness of the Enclosure. And if King James has not often been heard to let drop Expressions as if he regarded himself no otherwise than a Politick Prisoner, I am very much misinform'd by those who constantly attended his Person. The denying him his own Guards, the number of Spies he had upon all his Actions, the Uneasiness he often shew'd that he cou'd enjoy no Privacy, are Circumstances that smell very strong of a Prison. However, the Pretence of protecting a Person in Distress, was a noble Sham, and so well dress'd up, that the Generallity ne'er look'd through the Disguise. The Salary allow'd him, and frequent Protestations of standing by him with unpolitick Heads, were look'd upon as undeniable Proofs of Lewis XIV.' Sincerity; but those who were better acquainted with French Stratagems, easily pull'd off the Vizard. King James fell into the Hands of France, and was a rich Opportunity in the French Hands, from whence they might raise a Thousand Advantages. He was too great a Treasure to be parted with only upon good Terms. A Tool no less useful to make a Diversion in time of War, than to obtain a beneficial Article at the Conclusion of Peace; and if upon the Foot of this Maxim he was not thrown into one side of the Scales at the Peace of Reswick, when France cou'd have no other Motive but being gratified with an Equivalent for the disclaim of his Title, I shall own my self a Stranger to the Spirit and Design of that Treaty. Two things surpris'd all Europe upon that Treaty, the first was, that France should be so inclinable to hearken to a Peace after a War, in which he had always been successful. The other was, that no regard shou'd be had to King James, not so much as to be admitted to speak, though France pretended to have undertaken the War meerly upon his Account, and that his Quarrel seem'd to be the only Circumstance to justify his Conduct in the War. The Hopes of gaining Time to work his Ends upon Spain, will easily account for his forwardness in clapping up a Peace, and giving up more Towns than he had been Master of by the War; for thus like a through pac'd Politician, he humbled himself by little Condescensions to the Feet of the Allies, and sacrifices these Excrescencies of his Glory, in hopes very speedily to make good all such Deficiences by the larger Acquisition of Spain: But nothing will answer the other Part of People's Expectations. Lewis XIV had often made solemn Protestations, that as the War was principally undertaking to do right to K. James, so Peace should not be made unless he was consider'd; and unless it were a few near the Person of Lewis XIV who were in the Secret concerning the Design upon Spain, there was not a Man in France but who had a better Opinion of their Monarch's Honour, than to think he wou'd desert King James the Second's Cause in so scandalous a Manner, as not to admit his Plenipotentiaries to speak at Reswick: Yes, so undefensible was the Conduct of France upon this Head, that they commonly own'd they were asham'd to look any that belong to the Court of St. Germains in the Face, since all their lofty Protestations for restoring King James ended in the self-ended Design of securing the Spanish Monarchy in the House of Bourbon. And thus poor King James had implicitely devoted himself to the French King's Politicks, first by suffering himself to be led blindfolded, and after he had pull'd off the Veil, (though some will have it he died with the Film upon his Eyes) caress'd the Opportunity, and made it a principal Ingredient among those Misfortunes which he was in hopes to raise his Merits hereafter, and if he question'd the French King's Sincerity, he either durst not tell him, or scrupled to publish his Insincerity.