« ForrigeFortsæt »
This was per
received advices from Madrid, that on the seventh of this month the States of Spain had with much magnificence acknowledged the Prince of Asturias presumptive heir to the Crown. formed at Buen-Retiro : the Deputies took the oaths on that occasion from the hands of Cardinal Portocariero. These advices add, that it was signified to the Pope's Nuncio by order of Council, to. depart from that Court in twenty-four hours, and that a guard was accordingly appointed to conduct him to Bayonne.
Letters from the Hague of the twenty-sixth instant in orm us, that Prince Eugene was to set out the next day for Brussels, to put all things in a readiness for opening the campaign. They add, that the grand Pensioner having reported to the Duke of Marlborough what passed in the last conference with Mr. Rouille, his Grace had taken a resolution immediately to return to Great Britain, to communicate to her Majesty all that has been transacted in that important affair.
From my own Apartment, April 20. The nature of my miscellaneous work is such, that I shall always take the liberty to tell for news such things (let them have happened never so much before the time of writing) as have escaped public notiče, or have been misrepresented to the world; provided that I am still within rules, and trespass not as a Tatler any farther than in an incorrectness of style, and writing in an air of common speech. Thus, if any thing that is said, even of old Anchises or Eneas, be set by me in a different light than has hitherto been hit upon, in order to inspire the love and admiration of worthy actions, you will, gentle reader, I hope, accept of it for intelligence you had not before.
But I am going upon a narrative, the matter of which I know to be true: it is not only doing justice to the deceased merit of such persons as, had they lived, would not have had it in their power to thank me, but also an instance of the greatness of spirit in the lowest of her Majesty's subjects. Take it as follows:
At the siege of Namur by the allies, there were in the ranks of the company commanded by Captain Pincent, in Colonel Frederick Hamilton's regiment, one Unnion a corporal, and one Valentine a private centinel ; there happened between these two men a dispute about a matter of love, which, upon sone aggravations, grew to an irreconcileable hatred. Unnion, being the officer of Valentine, took all opportunities even to strike his rival, and profess the spite and revenge which moved him to it. The centinel bore it without resistance; but frequently said, he would die to be revenged of that tyrant. They had spent whole months thus, one injuring, the other complaining; when, in the midst of this rage towards each other, they were commanded upon the attack of the castle, where the corporal received a shot in the thigh, and fell; the French pressing on, and he expecting to be trampled to death, called out to his enemy, Ah, Valentine ! can you leave me here ? Valentine immediately ran back, and in the midst of a thick fire of the French took the corporal upon his back, and brought him through all that danger as far as the Abbey of Salsine, where a cannon ball took off his head: his body fell under his enemy whom he was carrying off. Unnion immediately forgot his wound, rose up, tearing his hair, and then threw himself upon the bleeding carcase, crying, Ah, Valentine! was it for me, who have so barbarously used thee, that thou hast died? I will not live after thee." He was not by any means to be forced from the body, but was removed with it bleeding in his arms, and attended with tears by all their comrades who knew their enmity. When he was brought to a tent, his wounds were dressed by force ; but the next day, still calling upon Valentine, and lamenting his cruelties to him, he died in the
pang's of remorse and despair. It may be a question among men of noble sentiments, whether of these unfortunate persons had the greater soul; he that was so generous as to venture his life for his enemy, or he who could not survive the man that died, in laying upon him such an obligation?
When we see spirits like these in a people, to what heights may we not suppose their glory may rise ! but (as it is excellently observed by Sallust) it is not only to the general bent of a nation that great revolutions are owing, but to the extraordinary genio's that lead them. On which occasion, he proceeds to say, that the Roman greatness was neither to be attributed to their superior policy, for in that the Carthaginians excelled; nor to their valour, for in that the Gauls were preferable ; but to particular men, who were born for the good of their country, and formed for great atteinpts. This he says to introduce the characters of Cæsar and Cato. It would be entering into too weighty a discourse for this place, if I attempted to shew, that our nation has produced as great and able men for public affairs as any other. But I believe the reader outruns me, and fixes his imagination upon the Duke of Marlborough. It is, methinks, a pleasing reflection to consider the dispensations of Providence in the fortune of this illustrious man, who, in the space of forty years, has passed through all the gradations of human life, until he has ascended to the character of a Prince *, and become the scourge of a tyrant, who sat on one of the greatest thrones of Europe, before the man who was to have the greatest part in his downfall had made one step in the world. But such elevations are the natural consequences of an exact prudence, a calm courage, a well-governed temper, a patient ambition, and an affable behaviour. These arts, as they were the steps to his greatness, so they are the pillars of it now it is raised. To this, her glorious son, Great Britain is indebted for the happy conduct of her arms, in whom she can boast, that she has produced a ran formed by Nature to lead a nation of heroes.
N° 6. SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 1709.
Quicquid agunt bomines
nostri est farrago libelli.
JUV. Sat. I. 85, 86.
Will's Coffee-house, April 22. I am just come from visiting Sappho, a fine lady, who writes verses, sings, dances, and can say and do whatever she pleases, without the imputation of any thing that can injure her character; for she is so well known to have no passion but self-love; or folly, but affectation; that now, upon any occasion, they only cry, It is her way!” and,
* In the year 1704, in consequence of the memorable victory at Hochsted, the Duke of Marlborough was appointed a Prince of the Empire; and had Mildenheim assigned for his principality, Nov. 12, 1705.
“ That is so like her!" without farther reflection. As I came into the room, she cries, “Oh! Mr. Bickerstaff, I am utterly undone; I have broke that pretty Italian fan I shewed you when you were here last, wherein were so admirably drawn our first parents in Paradise, atleep in each other's arms. But there is such an affinity between painting and poetry, that I have been improving the images which were raised by that picture, by reading the same representation in two of our greatest poets. Look you, here are the same passages in Milton and in Dryden. All Milton's thoughts are wonderfully just and natural, in that inimitable description which Adam makes of himself in the eighth book of Paradise Lost. But there is none of them finer than that contained in the following lines, where he tells us his thoughts, when he was falling asleep a little after the creation :
While thus I callid, and stray'd I knew not wlither,
But now I cannot forgive this odious thing, this Dryden, who, in his “ State of Innocence,” has given my great-grandmother Eve the same apprehension of annihilation on a very different occasion ; as Adam pronounces it of himself, when he