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and who, consequently, was but a spectator, felt his arm

time:2023-11-29 14:20:02Classification:personsource:xsn

"So furious was that first charge of his; 'MAISON-DU-ROI covering itself with glory,'--for a short while. MAISON-DU-ROI broke three lines of the Enemy [three, not "Five"]; did in some places actually break through; in others 'could not, but galloped along the front.' Three of their lines: but the fourth line would not break; much the contrary, it advanced (Austrians and English) with steady fire, hotter and hotter: upon this fourth line MAISON-DU-ROI had, itself, to break, pretty much altogether, and rush home again, in ruinous condition. 'Our front lines made lanes for them; terribly maltreating them with musketry on right and left, as they galloped through.' And this was the end of Grammont's successes, this charge of horse; for his infantry had no luck anywhere; and the essential crisis of the Battle had been here. It continued still a good while; plenty of cannonading, fusillading, but in sporadic detached form; a confused series of small shocks and knocks; which were mostly, or all, unfortunate for Grammont; and which at length knocked him quite off the field. 'He was now interlaced with the English,' moans Noailles; 'so that my cannon, not to shoot Grammont as well as the English, had to cease firing!' Well, yes, that is true, M. le Marechal; but that is not so important as you would have it. The English had stood nine hours in this fire of yours; by degrees, leaning well away from it; answering it with counter- batteries;--and were not yet ruined by it, when the Grammont crisis came! Noailles should have dashed fresh troops across his Bridges, and tried to handle them well. Noailles did not do that; or do anything but wring his hands.

and who, consequently, was but a spectator, felt his arm

"The Fight lasted four hours; ever hotter on the English part, ever less hot on the French [fire of anthracite-coal VERSUS flame of dry wood, which latter at last sinks ASHY!]--and ended in total defeat of the French. The French Infantry by no means behaved as their Cavalry had done. The GARDES FRANCAISES [fire burning ashy, after seven hours of flaming], when Grammont ordered them up to take the English in flank, would hardly come on at all, or stand one push. They threw away their arms, and plunged into the River, like a drove of swimmers; getting drowned in great numbers. So that their comrades nicknamed them 'CANARDS DU MEIN (Ducks of the Mayn):' and in English mess-rooms, there went afterwards a saying: 'The French had, in reality, Three Bridges; one of them NOT wooden, and carpeted with blue cloth!' Such the wit of military mankind.

and who, consequently, was but a spectator, felt his arm

"... The English, it appears, did something by mere shouting. Partial huzzas and counter-huzzas between the Infantries were going on at one time, when Stair happened to gallop up: 'Stop that,' said Stair; 'let us do it right. Silence; then, One and all, when I give you signal!' And Stair, at the right moment, lifting his hat, there burst out such a thunder-growl, edged with melodious ire in alt, as quite seemed to strike a damp into the French, says my authority, 'and they never shouted more. ... Our ground in many parts was under rye,' hedgeless fields of rye, chief grain-crop of that sandy country. 'We had already wasted above 120,000 acres of it,' still in the unripe state, so hungry were we, man and horse, 'since crossing to Aschaffenburg;'--fighting for your Cause of Liberty, ye benighted ones!

and who, consequently, was but a spectator, felt his arm

"King Friedrich's private accounts, deformed by ridicule, are, That the Britannic Majesty, his respectable old Uncle, finding the French there barring his way to breakfast, understood simply that there must and should be fighting, of the toughest; but had no plan or counsel farther: that he did at first ride up, to see what was what with his own eyes; but that his horse ran away with him, frightened at the cannon; upon which he hastily got down; drew sword; put himself at the head of his Hanoverian Infantry [on the right wing], and stood,--left foot drawn back, sword pushed out, in the form of a fencing-master doing lunge,--steadily in that defensive attitude, inexpugnable like the rocks, till all was over, and victory gained. This is defaced by the spirit of ridicule, and not quite correct. Britannic Majesty's horse [one of those 500 fine animals] did, it is certain, at last dangerously run away with him; upon which he took to his feet and his Hanoverians. But he had been repeatedly on horseback, in the earlier stages; galloping about, to look with his own eyes, could they have availed him; and was heard encouraging his people, and speaking even in the English language, 'Steady, my boys; fire, my brave boys, give them fire; they will soon run!' [ OEuvres de Frederic, (iii. 14): compare Anonymous, Life of the Duke of Cumberland (p. 64 n.); Henderson's LIFE of ditto; &c.] Latterly, there can be no doubt, he stands [and to our imagination, he may fitly stand throughout] in the above attitude of lunge; no fear in him, and no plan; 'SANS PEUR ET SANS AVIS,' as me might term it. Like a real Hanoverian Sovereign of England; like England itself, and its ways in those German Wars. A typical epitome of long sections of English History, that attitude of lunge!--

"The English Officers also, it is evident, behaved in their usual way:--without knowledge of war, without fear of death, or regard to utmost peril or difficulty; cheering their men, and keeping them steady upon the throats of the French, so far as might be. And always, after that first stumble with the French Horse was mended, they kept gaining ground, thrusting back the Enemy, not over the Dettingen Brook and Moor-ground only, but, knock after knock, out of his woody or other coverts, back and ever back, towards Welzheim, Kahl, and those Two Bridges of his. The flamy French [ligneous fire burning lower and lower, VERSUS anthracitic glowing brighter and brighter] found that they had a bad time of it;--found, in fact, that they could not stand it; and tumbled finally, in great torrents, across their Bridges on the Mayn, many leaping into the River, the English sitting dreadfully on the skirts of them. So that had the English had their Cavalry in readiness to pursue, Noailles's Army, in the humor it had sunk to, was ruined, and the Victory would have been conspicuously great. But they had, as too common, nothing ready. Impetuous Stair strove to get ready; "pushed out the Grey Dragoons" for one item. But the Authorities refused Stair's counsel, as rash again; and made no effectual pursuit at all;--too glad that they had brushed their Battle-field triumphantly clear, and got out of that fatal pinfold in an honorable manner.

MAP: BOOK XIV, Chap V, page 257 GOES HERE--------------------------

"They stayed on the ground till 10 at night; settling, or trying to settle, many things. The Surgeons were busy as bees, but able for Officers only;--'Dress HIM first!' said the glorious Duke of Cumberland, pointing to a young Frenchman [Excellency Fenelon's Son, grand-nephew of TELEMAQUE] who was worse wounded than his Highness. Quite in the Philip-Sydney fashion; which was much taken notice of. 'All this while, we had next to nothing to eat' (says one informant).--Ten P.M.: after which, leaving a polite Letter to Noailles, 'That he would take care of our Wounded, and bury our Slain as well as his own,' we march [through a pour of rain] to Hanau, where our victuals are, and 12,000 new Hessians and Hanoverians by this time.

"Noailles politely bandaged the Wounded, buried the Dead. Noailles, gathering his scattered battalions, found that he had lost 2,659 men; no ruinous loss to him,--the Enemy's being at least equal, and all his Wounded fallen Prisoners of War. No ruinous loss to Noailles, had it not been the loss of Victory,--which was a sore blow to French feeling; and, adding itself to those Broglio disgraces, a new discouragement to Most Christian Majesty. Victory indisputably lost:--but is it not Grammont's blame altogether? Grammont bears it, as we saw; and it is heavily laid on him. But my own conjecture is, forty thousand enraged people, of English and other Platt-Teutsch type, would have been very difficult to pin up, into captivity or death instead of breakfast, in that manner: and it is possible if poor Grammont had not mistaken, some other would have done so, and the hungry Baresarks (their blood fairly up, as is evident) would have ended in getting through." [Espagnac, i. 193; Guerre de Boheme, i. 231.-- Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xiii. (for 1743), pp. 328-481;--containing Carteret's Despatch from the field; followed by many other Letters and indistinct Narrations from Officers present (p. 434, "Plan of the Battle," blotchy, indecipherable in parts, but essentially rather true),--is worth examining. See likewise Anonymous, Memoirs of the late Duke of Cumberland (Lond. 1767; the Author an ignorant, much-adoring military-man, who has made some study, and is not so stupid as he looks), pp. 56-78; and Henderson (ignorant he too, much-adoring, and not military), Life of the Duke of Cumberland (Lond. 1766), pp. 32-48. Noailles's Official Account (ingenuously at a loss what to say), in Campagnes, ii. B, 242-253, 306-310. OEuvres de Frederic, iii. 11-14 (incorrect in many of the DETAILS).


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