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Clare side. This canopy of cloud is said to have presented a very grand appearance on that evening.
The evening was calm and beautiful; and the light was sufficient, when the smoke had ascended, to exhibit somewhat of the wreck which surrounded the city, and lay scattered round the camp. The dead and the dying of almost every nation in Europe strewed the space between the wall and the camp. Scattered limbs, and fragments of human bodies, and torn accoutrements, and broken arms, and the rubbish of crumbled walls and castles, encumbered the ground on every side. An entire battalion of Brandenburgers lay blackened and burnt upon the ground. They had succeeded in scaling the wall of the black battery, as it was called, the fire from which had done great execution upon the assailants. As they had bravely gained their point, a powder-magazine, that supplied the battery, was fired, and blew the regiment into the air.
William had directed the attack of this battery, and all the other movements of the assault, from his position at Cromwell's fort. When all was over, he walked quietly from the fort to the camp. He was not a man to be greatly affected by a reverse of this nature. He had been too much acquainted with the vicissitudes of war. Though often successful, his successes seemed
to be wrenched from fortune, by the steady prudence and energy of his character, rather than gifts conferred freely upon a favourite child.
Anger and sorrow, we are told, were upon the faces of the soldiers. They were amazed at their defeat; and a good deal puzzled to reconcile the overthrow they had experienced with the contempt which it was the fashion in the British army to express, if not to feel, for the Irish troops. They had felt the same awkward embarrassment at the Boyne; where they were compelled to throw the blame of the reverses they had sustained from the Irish horse upon the half pint of brandy administered to the soldiers in the early part of the day.
The British army, and especially the grenadiers, which were almost the only British portion of it, had done their duty well and bravely. More was hardly possible. They had lost more than two thousand men, in killed and wounded, of the flower of their force. The grenadiers were almost entirely destroyed. The loss of the Irish was not ascertained, but it must have been comparatively small. It was said that William's soldiers were willing to risk another attack; but the king knew that another attempt would be the annihilation of his army. The bravest of his force had perished; he had no longer any grenadiers to lead the way; his
the day following the attack, the rains set in with great violence, and put an interdict upon further operations. The king called a council of war; and it was resolved to raise the siege. The heavy cannon were drawn off; and on Saturday, the 30th of August, the army commenced its retreat.
THE RETREAT FROM LIMERICK, AND SIEGE
THERE could not be a more melancholy train than now began to make their way through the mud and marshes which surround Limerick. It rained heavily, and the roads were deep and broken. The Shannon rose suddenly, and began to overflow its banks, and flood the surrounding country, as if to annoy the retreating enemy. This river, like the great streams of America, flows, for a great part of its course, through a flat country, and in the rainy season converts the low grounds into a marsh.
There was a scarcity of waggons and horses, in consequence of the loss sustained by Sarsefield's successful enterprise. The few that remained were not enough to convey the wounded men. Great part of the stores were, therefore, obliged to be abandoned for want of any means of transport; some were buried, and some blown up and destroyed. Many of the wounded were obliged to walk; for only those who were wholly unable to travel could be furnished with means of transport.
As the whole moved slowly along in the mud, they were joined by a still more dismal train, consisting of the entire Protestant inhabitants of the neighbourhood of Limerick and the surrounding country, with their wives, children, servants, and household goods, as far as they were able to find means of bearing them along. These unfortunate people, in their zeal for the protestant cause, had followed the same course in every respect as the Protestants of Athlone had so lately done, and with the same melancholy consequences. As soon as William had appeared before the walls of Limerick, they had renounced their Irish protections and joined the king's army. They had the warning example of the people of Athlone before their eyes; but they considered that Athlone had been attacked by a division only of the army under a lieutenantgeneral; whereas the whole royal army of England sat down before Limerick, and the king himself commanded. They did not suffer themselves to doubt the success of an enterprise directed by such ability and power. The fugitives of Limerick were now joined to the fugitives of Athlone, and both together brought up the melancholy rear of the army.
There can hardly be imagined greater misery than what those unhappy people had now to endure. They were taking leave of their homes, perhaps for ever. They were, at all events, aban