Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XV.: THE CONTINENT WHILE WILLIAM III. WAS INVADING ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND, TILL THE YEAR 1697—BURNING OF THE PALATINATE—VICTORIES OF MARSHALS CATINAT AND LUXEMBOURG. - The Works of Voltaire, Vol. XII (Age of Louis XIV)
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CHAPTER XV.: THE CONTINENT WHILE WILLIAM III. WAS INVADING ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND, TILL THE YEAR 1697—BURNING OF THE PALATINATE—VICTORIES OF MARSHALS CATINAT AND LUXEMBOURG. - Voltaire, The Works of Voltaire, Vol. XII (Age of Louis XIV) 
The Works of Voltaire. A Contemporary Version. A Critique and Biography by John Morley, notes by Tobias Smollett, trans. William F. Fleming (New York: E.R. DuMont, 1901). In 21 vols. Vol. XII.
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THE CONTINENT WHILE WILLIAM III. WAS INVADING ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND, TILL THE YEAR 1697—BURNING OF THE PALATINATE—VICTORIES OF MARSHALS CATINAT AND LUXEMBOURG.
Not having been willing to break in upon the chain of affairs in England in the preceding chapter, I now return to what passed on the continent.
While Louis was thus forming a maritime force that had never been exceeded by any state, he had to make head against the emperor and princes of the empire, Spain, the two maritime powers of England and Holland become both more formidable under one chief, Savoy, and almost all Italy. One such enemy as England and Spain would have been quite sufficient in former times to ruin France; and yet all of them united would not now make any impression upon her. The king had almost constantly five different armies on foot during the course of this war; sometimes six, but never less than four. The armies in Germany and Flanders frequently amounted to one hundred thousand effective men. The frontier places were at the same time provided with garrisons. Louis had four hundred and fifty thousand men in arms, including the marine troops. The Turkish Empire, so powerful in Europe, never had so great a number; and even the Roman Empire had not more; nor were there ever so many wars carried on at a time. Those who blame Louis XIV. for having made himself so many enemies cannot but admire the measures which he took to defend himself, and even to be beforehand with his enemies.
These had not as yet entirely declared themselves, nor were they all united. The prince of Orange had not yet sailed from Texel on his expedition against his father-in-law, when France had armies upon the frontiers of Holland, and on the borders of the Rhine. The king had sent his son, the dauphin, who was called Monseigneur, into Germany, with an army of twenty thousand men. This prince was gentle in his manners, modest in his deportment, and seemed greatly to resemble his mother. He was then twenty-seven years old, and this was the first time he had been intrusted with a command, after his behavior had given sufficient proofs that he would not make an ill use of his power. The king spoke to him in public thus, at his departure: “My son, in sending you to command my armies, I give you an opportunity of making your merit known; go and display it to all Europe, that when I depart this life it may not be perceived that the king is dead.”
The prince had a special commission for this command, as if he had been only a private general whom the king had made choice of. The king’s letters were directed “To our son, the dauphin, our lieutenant-general, commanding our armies in Germany.”
Everything had been so ordered and disposed beforehand, that the son of Louis XIV. who assisted in this expedition with his name and presence, might not be apt to meet with an affront. Marshal de Duras had in fact the command of the army. Bouflers had a body of troops on this side of the Rhine, and Marshal d’Humières another near Cologne, to watch the movements of the enemy. Heidelberg and Mentz were taken: the siege of Philippsburg, which is always the first step to be taken when the French make war in Germany, was already begun, under the inspection of Vauban. Such matters as were not in his department fell to the share of Catinat, then lieutenant-general, a man capable of everything, and formed for all exploits. Monseigneur arrived six days after the trenches had been opened. He exactly observed his father’s conduct, exposing his person as much as was necessary, but never rashly; treating everyone with affability, and extending his liberality even to the private soldier. The king felt a sincere joy in having a son who thus imitated, without exceeding him, and who made himself beloved by everyone, without giving his father any occasion to fear him.
Philippsburg was taken in nineteen days, and Mannheim in three; Frankenthal surrendered in two; and Spires, Trier, Worms, and Oppenheim threw open their gates at the first approach of the French.
The king had resolved to make a desert of the Palatinate as soon as those towns were taken. His design in this was rather to cut off all means of subsistence from the enemy, than to take vengeance on the elector, whose only crime was that of having done his duty in joining with the rest of Germany against France. An order came to the army from the king, signed Louvois, to reduce the whole country to ashes. The French generals were then obliged to obey; and though it was in the very midst of winter, caused notice to be sent to the inhabitants of all these flourishing towns, and the villages round about, and to the masters of above fifty castles, to quit their dwellings; that they were going to destroy everything with fire and sword. Upon this dreadful summons, men, women, old people, and children, hurried out in the utmost haste: some of whom wandered up and down in the fields, and the rest took refuge in neighboring countries, while the soldiery, who always exceed commands of rigor, and seldom or never execute those of clemency, burned and pillaged their country. They began with Mannheim, the residence of the electors, whose palaces they levelled to the ground, as well as the private houses of the citizens; broke open their very tombs, thinking to satisfy their avarice with the immense treasures they expected to find there, and scattered their ashes abroad. This was the second time that this beautiful country had been laid waste by Louis’s orders; but the burning of two cities and twenty villages by Turenne was but a spark in comparison to this conflagration. All Europe was struck with horror at this action. The very officers who executed it were ashamed of being the instruments of such cruelty. The blame was thrown on the marquis of Louvois, who had contracted that insensibility of heart which arises from a long administration. He was certainly the person who advised this proceeding; but Louis had it in his power to reject or follow his counsel. Had the king been a witness to this spectacle, he would have gone in person to extinguish the flames. From his palace in Versailles, where he was surrounded by pleasures, he signed the destruction of a whole country, because he there beheld only his own glory and the fatal right of conquest in the order he gave; but had he been nearer to the spot, he would have seen all the horror of it. The nations, who till then had only blamed his ambition, and admired his other qualifications, now cried out against his cruelty, and even condemned his politics: for had his enemies penetrated into his dominions, as he did into theirs, they would have set all the cities in his kingdom on fire.
Nor was this a very remote danger; Louis, in covering his frontiers with one hundred thousand soldiers, taught Germany to make the same efforts. This country, being better peopled than France, may be able to raise larger armies. They have more difficulty indeed in raising, getting together, and paying them, and they are longer before they take the field; but their strict discipline and patience under fatigues make them at the end of a campaign as formidable as the French are at the beginning. The army of the empire was commanded by the duke of Lorraine, Charles V. This prince, who was still kept out of his dominions by Louis XIV., had preserved the empire for Leopold, and given him the victory over the Turks and Hungarians. He now came, with the elector of Brandenburg, to put a check to the success of the French king’s arms. He retook Bonn and Mentz, two towns which were very badly fortified, but defended in a manner which was esteemed a model for the future defence of places. Bonn did not surrender till after a siege of nearly four months, and the baron d’Asfeld who commanded there, was mortally wounded in a general assault.
The marquis d’Uxelles, afterward marshal of France, a most prudent and wary general, had made such excellent dispositions for the defence of Mentz, that his garrison suffered hardly any fatigue in the great service it performed: besides the care he took to provide for the safety of the place, he made twenty-one sallies on the enemy, and killed over five thousand of their men. He sometimes made one or two sallies in open daylight: in short, he maintained the place for seven weeks, and surrendered at length only for want of powder. This vigorous defence deserves a place in history, both on account of its own merit, and the approbation it met with from the world. Paris, that immense city, whose indolent inhabitants pretend to judge of everything, and who have so many ears and tongues, with so few eyes, looked upon d’Uxelles as a timorous man, and deficient in judgment. When this great commander, on whom every good officer will bestow just praise, after his return from the campaign, went to the theatre, the populace hooted him, and cried out “Mentz!” upon which he was obliged to retire, not without heartily contemning, as every wise man must, a people who are such bad judges of merit, and whose praise, nevertheless, is so greedily sought after.
About the same time—June, 1689—Marshal d’Humières was beaten at Walcourt, on the Sambre, in the Netherlands, by the prince of Waldeck; but this check, though it hurt his reputation, very little affected the French arms. Louvois, whose creature and friend he was, found himself under the necessity of taking from him the command of this army, which was conferred on Marshal Luxembourg, whom neither the king nor Louvois liked; but their regard for the state got the better of their aversion to the man, and they made use of his services, though with some repugnance. He was therefore appointed commander in the Netherlands. Louvois was remarkable for correcting a too hasty choice, or for making a good one. Catinat was sent with a command into Italy. Marshal de Lorges defended himself everywhere in Germany. The duke de Noailles had some little success in Catalonia; but under Luxembourg in Flanders, and Catinat in Italy, there was a continual succession of victories. These two generals were at that time esteemed the greatest in Europe.
The marshal duke of Luxembourg, in some parts of his character, resembled the great Condé, whose pupil he was in the art of war. He had a fiery genius, a prompt execution, a quick discernment, a mind greedy for knowledge, but too extensive and irregular: he was continually engaged in intrigues with the ladies, always in love, and frequently beloved, though deformed and ill-favored, and had more of the qualifications of a hero than a wise man.
Catinat had an application and activity in his disposition that made him capable of everything, though he never piqued himself upon any one particular qualification. He would have been equally as good a minister and chancellor as he was a general. In the earlier part of his life he followed the law; but quitted that profession at the age of twenty-three, because he lost a cause in which he had justice on his side. He then took up arms, and was at first an ensign in the French guards. In the year 1667, at the attack on the counterscarp of Lille, he performed an action in the presence of the king, which required both understanding and courage. The king took notice of him, and this was the beginning of his good fortune. He rose by degrees, without making any interest: he was a philosopher in the midst of war and grandeur, those two fatal rocks to moderation; exempt from all kind of prejudice, without the affectation of appearing to despise them too much; and an utter stranger to gallantry and the arts of courts, but a sincere friend, and an honest man. He lived a professed foe to interest and vainglory, and was equally the philosopher in all respects at the hour of his death that he was through the course of his life.
Catinat commanded at that time in Italy, where he was opposed by Victor Amadeus, duke of Savoy; who was then a wise, politic, and still more unfortunate prince; a warrior of remarkable courage, who always led his own armies, and exposed his person like a common man; no one better understood that deceitful kind of war which is carried on in a mountainous and uneven country, such as his was; he was active, vigilant, a lover of order, but sometimes guilty of errors, both as a prince and a general. He is said to have committed an essential one in the bad manner in which he drew up his army in presence of that of Catinat. The French general took advantage of his mistake, and gained a complete victory over him, in sight of Saluzzo, near the abbey of Stafarola, from which that battle took its name. When there are a number of men killed on one side and hardly any on the other, it is a certain proof that the army which is beaten was drawn up on a ground where it must necessarily be overpowered. The French had only three hundred men killed, and the allied army, commanded by the duke of Savoy, more than four thousand. After this battle, all Savoy, except Montmêlian, submitted to the king. Catinat then marched into Piedmont, in 1691, forced the enemy’s intrenchments near Susa; took that town, together with Villafranca, Montalban, Nice, deemed impregnable, Veillano, and Carmagnola, and returned to Montmélian, of which he made himself master after an obstinate siege.
After all these successes the ministry lessened the army which he commanded, and the duke of Savoy augmented his. Catinat, inferior in numbers to his conquered enemy, remained a long time on the defensive; but at length having received reinforcements, he descended the Alps, near Marsala, and there, on Oct. 4, 1693, gained a second pitched battle which was the more glorious, as Prince Eugene of Savoy was then one of the enemy’s generals.
At the other extremity of France, toward the Netherlands, Marshal Luxembourg gained the battle of Fleurus, and by the confession of all the officers, this victory was entirely owing to the superiority of genius in the French general over Prince Waldeck, who then commanded the allied army. Eight thousand men taken prisoners, six thousand killed, two hundred stands of colors, almost all the cannon and baggage, and the flight of the enemy, were sufficient proofs of the victory.
King William had just returned from his victory over his father-in-law. This great genius, ever fertile in resources, made more advantage of the defeat of his party than the French often did of their victories. He had been obliged to have recourse to intrigues and negotiations, to procure men and money sufficient to oppose a king who had only to say, “I will.” Nevertheless, after the defeat at Fleurus—Sept. 19, 1691—he came to meet Marshal Luxembourg with an army as strong as that of the French.
They each consisted of about eighty thousand men; but the marshal had already invested Mons, when William thought the French had hardly left their winter quarters. Louis himself came to be present at the siege, and entered the town the ninth day after opening the trenches, in sight of the enemy’s army. After that he returned to Versailles, and left Luxembourg to dispute the field during the whole campaign, which ended with the battle of Liège, a very extraordinary action, in which twenty-eight squadrons of the king’s household troops and the gendarmerie defeated seventy-five squadrons of the enemy’s army.
The king next repaired to the siege of Namur, the strongest place in the Netherlands, both by its situation, which is at the confluence of the Sambre and the Meuse, and by its citadel, which is built on rocks. He took the town in eight days, and the castles in twenty-two, while the duke of Luxembourg prevented King William from passing the Mehaigne, at the head of eighty thousand men, to raise the siege. After this conquest Louis returned again to Versailles, and Luxembourg still continued to make head against the enemy’s force. Now it was that the battle of Steinkirk was fought, so famous for the art and courage displayed therein. A spy, whom the French king had sent to watch the motions of King William, was discovered, and compelled, before he was led to execution, to write false information to Marshal Luxembourg, who, immediately upon receipt of this intelligence, made such dispositions as must necessarily bring on a battle. His army was attacked at daybreak, while everyone was asleep, and one entire brigade cut to pieces before the general knew anything of the matter. Without the extremest diligence and bravery, all would have been lost.
It was not enough to be a great general to prevent a total defeat; it likewise required well-disciplined troops, capable of rallying in an instant, general officers sufficiently skilful to recover these troops from the disorder into which they were thrown, and willing to do their duty; for a single officer of rank who had a mind to take advantage of the general confusion to cause his general’s defeat might easily have done it without exposing himself to detection.
The marshal was then ill, a fatal circumstance, at a time when uncommon activity was required; but the greatness of the danger restored him to his strength: it was necessary to perform prodigies not to be overcome, and he performed them; he changed his ground, gave a field of battle to his army, which before had none, recovered the right wing, which was all in confusion, rallied his men three times, and three times charged at the head of the household troops, and all this in less than two hours. He had with him in his army the duke of Chartres, afterward regent of the kingdom, a grandson of France, who was then not above fifteen years old. He could be of no service in striking a decisive blow; but it contributed not a little to animate the soldiers, when they saw a grandson of France charging at the head of the king’s household troops, and, though wounded in the fight, returning again to the charge.
A grandson and grandnephew of the great Condé both served in this army as lieutenant-generals; one of these was Louis of Bourbon; called Monsieur, the duke, and the other Armand, prince of Conti, both rivals in courage, wit, ambition, and fame. Monsieur was of a more austere disposition, and had perhaps more solid qualifications, and the prince of Conti more brilliant ones. Being both called by the public voice to the command of armies, they earnestly longed for that honor, which, however, they never obtained; because Louis, who was as well acquainted with their ambition as their merit, always remembered that the prince of Condé had made war against him.
The prince of Conti was the first who recovered the army from its confusion, by rallying some of the brigades, and making the rest advance. Monsieur did just the same, without standing in need of emulation. The duke of Vendôme, grandson of Henry IV., was also a lieutenant-general in this army; he had served ever since he was twelve years of age, and though he was then over forty, he had never yet commanded in chief. His brother, the grand prior, was by his side.
It was necessary that all these princes should put themselves at the head of the king’s household troops in order to drive a body of English from an advantageous post, on which the success of the battle depended. The French household troops and the English were the best troops in the world. The slaughter was great; but the French, animated by the crowd of princes and young noblemen who fought about the general’s person, at length carried the post; and when the English were defeated, the rest were obliged to yield.
Bouflers, who was afterward marshal of France, flew with a body of dragoons from a place where he was, at some distance from the field of battle, and his arrival completed the victory. King William, after having lost about seven thousand men, retired in as good order as he had attacked; and always beaten, and always formidable, he still kept the field. This victory, which was due to the valor of the young princes and the flower of the nobility of the kingdom, produced an effect at court, in the city, and in the provinces, that no former victory had ever done.
Monsieur, the duke, the prince of Conti, M. de Vendôme, and their friends, on their return home from this campaign, found the roads lined with people, whose acclamations and expressions of joy were carried even to a degree of madness. The women all strove to attract their regard. The men at that time wore lace cravats, which took some time and pains to adjust. The princes, having dressed themselves in a hurry, threw these cravats negligently about their necks. The ladies wore handkerchiefs made in this fashion, which they called Steinkirks. Every new toy was a Steinkirk. Any young man who happened to have been present at this battle was looked upon with delight. The populace followed the princes everywhere in crowds, and they were the more beloved because the court did not show them favor equal to their reputation and merit.
In the ensuing campaign the same general, the same princes, with the same troops, who had been surprised and yet victorious at Steinkirk, made a forced march of seven leagues, and came unexpectedly upon William at Neerwinden, and beat him. Neerwinden is a village near the Layette, a few leagues distant from Brussels. William had time to put his army in order of battle. Luxembourg and the princes carried the village, sword in hand, two different times, and the instant the marshal turned another way, the enemy retook it; at length the general and the princes carried it a third time, and the battle was won, on July 29, 1693. Few actions proved more bloody. There were about twenty thousand killed on both sides; the allies lost twelve thousand, and the French eight. On this occasion, it was said there was more room to sing De profundis, than Te Deum.
These numerous victories were productive of much glory, but few great advantages. The allies, though defeated at Fleurus, Steinkirk, and Neerwinden, had never been completely beaten; King William always made fine retreats; and, in a fortnight’s time after one battle it was necessary to fight another with him to be master of the campaign. The cathedral of Paris was filled with colors taken from the enemy. The prince of Conti called Marshal Luxembourg “the Upholsterer of Notre Dame.” Nothing was talked of but victories, and yet Louis XIV. had formerly conquered one-half of Holland and Flanders, and all Franche-Comté, without fighting a single battle; whereas now, after the greatest efforts and the most bloody victories, they could hardly force an entrance into the United Provinces; they could not even lay siege to Brussels.
Marshal de Lorges had also gained a considerable advantage over the allies near Spirebach, and had even taken the old duke of Würtemberg prisoner, and penetrated into his country; but, after having invaded it as a conqueror, he was obliged to quit it again. Monseigneur took and plundered the city of Heidelberg a second time, which the enemy had retaken, and after all was obliged to act upon the defensive against the imperialists.
Marshal Catinat, notwithstanding his great victory at Stafarde, and his having conquered Savoy, could not prevent the duke of that country from making an irruption into Dauphiny, nor, after his victory at Marsala, could he save the important city of Casale.
In Spain Marshal de Noailles gained a battle on the banks of the Ter, on May 27, 1694; he took Gironde and some small places; but his army was weak, and he was obliged, after his victory, to retire from before Barcelona. The French, everywhere victorious, and weakened by their successes, had a hydra to engage in the allies, that was continually rising up afresh. France began to find it difficult to raise recruits, and still more so to procure money. The rigor of the season, by which the fruits of the earth were at that time wholly destroyed, brought on a famine. Numbers perished for want, while the whole kingdom resounded with Te Deums and rejoicings. The spirit of confidence and superiority, which had been the soul of the French troops, began visibly to diminish. Louis XIV. no longer appeared at their head. Louvois was dead, and Barbésieux, his son, was generally disliked by them. To crown all, the death, in January, 1695, of Marshal Luxembourg, under whom they thought themselves invincible, seemed to put an end to the rapid victories of the French.
The art of bombarding towns with ships now turned upon its inventors; not that the engine called “Infernal,” with which the English attempted to burn St. Malo, and that failed of success, was of French invention; machines of this kind had been for a long time in use in Europe. It was the art of throwing bombs with as much certainty from a moving vessel as from the solid ground, that the French invented; and it was by this art that the English had from their ships bombarded the towns of Dieppe, Havre-de-Grâce, St. Malo, Dunkirk, and Calais; Dieppe, as being the most easy of access, was the place which suffered the most damage. This town, which was now so delightful on account of the regularity of its buildings, and which seems to owe its beauty to its misfortunes, was almost reduced to ashes. There were not above twenty houses beaten down and burned in Havre-de-Grâce; but the fortifications of the place were entirely destroyed. In this sense it is that the medal struck by the Dutch is true, notwithstanding that so many French writers have inveighed against its falsity. In the exergue we find these words in Latin: “The harbor of Havre burned and destroyed,” etc. This inscription does not tell us that the town was burned; that would have been false; it only says that the harbor was burned, which is true.
Soon afterward the French lost Namur, which they had taken. The nation had lavished encomiums on Louis XIV., for having conquered this place; and the most indecent sallies had been thrown out against King William for not having succored it with an army of eighty thousand men. William at length became master of it, by the same manner in which it had been lost. He attacked it in the face of an army much stronger than his own was at the time that Louis XIV. laid siege to it. He now met with new fortifications of Vauban’s raising. The French garrison which defended this town was an army of itself; for while they were preparing matters to invest it, Marshal Bouflers found means to throw himself into it with seven regiments of dragoons; so that Namur was not only defended by sixteen thousand men, but was daily in expectation of being relieved by an army of a hundred thousand.
Marshal Bouflers had a great share of merit, was an active and diligent general, and a good citizen, who had nothing so much at heart as the welfare of the service, to promote which he valued neither his pains nor his life. The marquis de Feuquières, in his memoirs, accuses him of several faults in the defence of the town and citadel, and even blames his conduct in the defence of Lille, by which he gained so much honor. Those who have written the history of Louis XIV. have servilely copied Marquis de Feuquières in military matters, and Abbé de Choisi in private anecdotes. They could not know that Feuquières, who was an excellent officer, and perfectly well versed both in the theory and practice of war, was of a disposition as morose as discerning, and sometimes the Aristarchus, sometimes the Zoilus of generals. He alters facts, to have the pleasure of censuring; he complains of everyone, and everyone of him; he was esteemed the bravest man in Europe, because he slept quietly in the midst of a hundred thousand of his enemies. His merit not having been rewarded with the staff of marshal of France, he employed his talents too much against the servants of the state, which would have been extremely useful, had he been as mild and charitable as he was discerning, diligent, and bold.
He charged Marshal de Villeroi with a greater number of faults, and those more essential, than even Bouflers. Villeroi, at the head of twenty thousand men, was to have relieved Namur; but even had the two marshals, Villeroi and Bouflers, done everything, generally speaking, they might have done—which is very seldom the case—the situation of the ground was such that Namur could not be relieved, and must be taken sooner or later. An army of observation posted along the banks of the Mehaigne had prevented King William from bringing up his reinforcements; the same thing now necessarily happened to Marshal Villeroi.
Though Marshal Bouflers, the count de Guiscard, governor of the town, the count de Laumont du Châtelet, commandant of the infantry, and all the officers and soldiers in the place defended it with remarkable obstinacy and bravery, it retarded the capitulation only two days. When a town is besieged by a superior army, when the works are well carried on, and the season favorable, they can judge nearly within what time it will be taken, be the defence ever so vigorous. King William made himself master of the town and citadel in September, 1695, though not in so short a time as Louis XIV.
The king, while he was thus losing Namur, bombarded Brussels; a poor revenge, which he took on the emperor for his towns which had been bombarded by the English; all this occasioned a war equally ruinous and fatal to both parties.
One of the effects of human industry and fury, of these two centuries past, has been that of not confining the havoc of war to our own continent of Europe. We drain ourselves of men and money to carry destruction against each other in Asia and America. The Indians, whom we have compelled by force or artifice to admit our settlements among them, and the Americans, from whom we have wrested their continent, after having dyed it with their blood, look upon us as the foes of humankind, who came from the farthest part of the globe to butcher them, and afterward to destroy one another.
The French had no other colony in the East Indies but Pondicherry, which had been formed by Colbert with great pains, and at an immense expense, and whence no considerable advantage could be drawn for several years; the Dutch easily made themselves masters of it, and thus destroyed the trade of the French in the East Indies, almost in its infancy.
Our plantations in San Domingo were destroyed by the English, in 1695, and one of the Brest privateers laid waste theirs at Gambia, on the coast of Africa. The privateers of St. Malo carried fire and sword into the eastern part of Newfoundland, of which they were in possession; and our squadrons insulted their island of Jamaica, took and burned their shipping there, and ravaged the coast.
Pointis, commander of a squadron of ships of war and some privateers off America, sailed as far as the line, and surprised the town of Cartagena, the magazine and staple for the Spanish treasures, which come from Mexico, in May, 1697; the damage he did there was computed at twenty million livres, and the booty he got at about half that sum. There is always some deduction to be made from such calculations, but little or none from the grievous calamities occasioned by these glorious expeditions.
The French privateers, and especially Duguay-Trouin, were every day making prizes of the English and Dutch merchant ships. This man was very extraordinary in his way, and wanted only a numerous fleet to have acquired as great reputation as Dragut or Barbarossa. The enemy made less rich prizes from the French, because they had less to be taken. Our trade was greatly impaired by the death of Colbert and the war.
A general misery was the result of these expeditions by sea and land. Those who delight more in humanity than politics will readily observe that in this war Louis XIV. took up arms against his brother-in-law, the king of Spain, against the elector of Bavaria, to whose sister he had married his son, the dauphin, and against the elector palatine, whose country he ravaged, though his brother was married to the princess palatine. King James was driven from his throne by his son-in-law and his own daughter; and since that time we have seen the duke of Savoy in league against France, where he had one daughter a dauphiness, and against Spain, where another was queen. Most of the wars between Christian princes are, in some sort, civil wars.
The most criminal enterprise in all this war proved the only truly fortunate one; William was perfectly successful in England and Ireland; in other places the successes were more equal. When I call this a criminal undertaking, I do not examine whether the nation, after having shed the blood of the father, were right or wrong in banishing the son, and maintaining its religion and privileges; I only say that, if there is any justice on earth, the daughter and son-in-law of King James should not have driven him from his throne and kingdom.