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themselves without artillery and without tools to en-
trench themselves with ; their park [of artillery] had
been accidentally delayed on the road".

That evening Turenne says he "sent orders to
all the quarters to rendezvous at his order, two hours
beforeday "— 2>., at 1.45 a.m., as the sun rises at 3.45
on the 14th of June — being "presently sensible that
there was nothing to be done but to fight " the enemy
the next day.

The Spanish generals were in no such hurry. As
he says himself, the Duke of York, being at supper
with the Marquis of Caracena, "expressed his dislike
of their encamping without lines or the least thing to
cover them, and his fixed belief that if the French did
not attack them that night, they would infallibly give
them battle next morning". Caracena replied : "That
is what I desire ". " I am well acquainted with M. de
Turenne," said the Duke of York, "and I venture to
promise that your desire shall be gratified."

i658 ^T. 47] BATTLE OF THE DUNES 261

At about 5 A.M. the next morning the Duke of battle
York and Conde, hearina that the French were on the dunes,

14th June,

move, mounted their horses and rode to the outposts, 1658.
where they saw artillery and cavalry marching towards
them. They galloped back to tell Caracena, who,
annoyed at being disturbed so early — it was one of
the hours for being in bed ; so in bed, of course, he
was lying — pettishly replied that no doubt the French
were only going to attack the outposts. Provoked at
Caracena's indolence, Conde said: "Artillery are not
generally used in capturing outposts " ; and turning
to the young Duke of Gloucester, he said sharply :
"Have you ever seen a battle won?" Receiving a
reply in the negative he said: "Then in half an hour
you will see one lost!" Further reports confirmed
the approach of the French, and delay for another
moment became impossible even to the Spanish

The rival armies were numerically pretty even,
each numbering about 14,000, but the French had
8,000 infantry to 6,000 cavalry, while the Spaniards
had 6,000 infantry to 8,000 cavalry ; and, as Napoleon
observes, the ground was "ill adapted to horse";
therefore, in his larger proportion of infantry, Turenne
had a decided advantage. Another, and a great, ad-
vantage on the side of Turenne was that he not only
had his own artillery on the field, but also the support
of the guns from the English ships, which kept annoy-
ing the right flank of the Spaniards, whereas the
Spanish artillery had not yet arrived and the enemy


had not a single gun with which to defend himself.
Moreover, the Spaniards had not been expecting an
attack that morning, therefore they must almost in-
evitably have formed themselves into battle array with
undue hurry, and undue hurry generally entails con-

The Battle of the Dunes, as it was afterwards
called, was fought on the sands between the sea on the
north, and the Furnes and Dunkirk canal on the south.
Turenne drew up his army in three lines. He placed
the English troops on his left, next to the sea, and the
French on the right, resting on the canal. His guns
were in front of either flank. In the opposing army
Don John was on the right and Conde was on the left.
Where there was cavalry, and cavalry largely prepon-
derated, there was a line of infantry in front of it.

Turenne had five guns at each wing of his army,
and they were fired four or five times before the rival
infantry and cavalry came into contact. Two battalions
of English pikemen, on Turenne's left, began the
attack, and began it too soon, by running forward,
ofettinCT out of line with the front rank of the French
army, and advancing against a Spanish battalion which
was posted upon the highest of the sandhills. Colonel
Fenwick, who was in command, halted at the foot of
the sandhill to give his pikemen time to take breath
before charging up the hill. Meanwhile his musketeers
opened fire upon the Spaniards, who returned it with
vigour, Colonel Fenwick falling to one of their bullets.
His second in command, Major Hinton, then led the

i658 ^T. 47] BATTLE OF THE DUNES 263

attack. The Englishmen scrambled up the soft,
yielding surface of the mound, says the Duke of York,
who was watching them from the Spanish ranks, and
they " stopped not till they came to push of pike ; where
notwithstanding the great resistance which was made
by the Spaniards, and the advantage they had on the
higher ground, as well as that of being well in breath,
when their enemies were almost spent with climbing,
the English gained the hill and drove them from off
it ". He might have added that these English soldiers
had been marching all night ; for such was the fact.

When the English came down the hill, on the
Spanish side, the Duke of York charged them with his
civalry; but the sandhills afforded very unsuitable
ground for horses to gallop over, and the pikemen
made such a stolid resistance that, says the Duke, " I
was beaten off, and all who were at the head of my
own troop were either killed or wounded, of which
number I had been, had not the goodness of my armour
preserved me ".

If, says he, "they whose business it was to have
taken advantage of it " had sent some cavalry to the
flank and rear of the English infantry, which had out-
marched the French, those Englishmen "might have
paid dear for their rash bravery " ; but " the opportunity
was let slip " by the Spanish officers. The Duke met
the Marquis of Caracena, who asked him why he had
not charged the enemy. " I have already done so,"
replied the Duke, "and I have been worsted for my


The English were now advancing out of sight
behind some sandhills, and the Duke of York, who
had rallied some cavalry, ordered a Spanish officer to
attack them in front with some infantry, while he
attacked them in their flank with his small body of
cavalry. Although the Spanish infantry only appeared
in front of the English without attacking them, the
distraction prevented the Englishmen from noticing
that the Duke of York, with his horse, was charging
upon their flank. " I charged that battalion so home,"
says he, "that I broke them, doing great execution
upon them to the edge of the sandhill next the sea"
It seems that the ranks, which he "broke," were those
not of pikemen, but of musketeers ; for he continues :
"not so much as one single man of them asked quarter
or threw down his arms ; but every man defended him-
self to the last : so that we ran as great danger by the
butt end of their muskets, as by the volley they had
given us ".

Conde, on the Spanish left, was meanwhile making
a valiant effort with his cavalry; but the Spanish
centre soon fell into hopeless confusion before the
vigorous onslaught of Turenne's troops. Conde's
cavalry, alarmed at seeing the rout of the Spanish
troops on their right, were still further discouraged at
seeing Conde himself hurled to the ground ; and they
turned and joined in the flight before Conde, who, as
it happened, was unhurt, had had time to mount
another horse in place of the one which had been shot
under him.

i658 Mt. 47] BATTLE OF THE DUNES 265

As to the Spanish infantry, which the Duke of
York had ordered to charge the English front, while
he attacked its flank, "discovering from the top of the
sandhill, where they were, that our whole army was in
rout, they scattered, and every man endeavoured to
get off, which few of them were so lucky as to per-
form ". It was indeed something like a rout ! Turenne
says that "there were between three and four thousand
of the enemy made prisoners, and a thousand killed
and wounded " ; but the French loss was comparatively

On the evening after this great victory, Turenne
wrote the following laconic description of it to his wife :
" The enemy came to us and God be praised they
have been defeated : I was pretty busy all day, which
has fatigued me : I wish you good night : I am going
to bed ".

A letter of a very different nature about this battle

is said to have been sueeested to him. It is asserted

that he was offered some of the highest dignities as a
bribe, if he would consent to write a letter attributing
to Mazarin the credit of having conceived the entire
plan of operations which led to the victory. Turenne
replied that his signature should never cover a

Napoleon's criticisms of this affair are interesting.
"Don John," he says, "deserved his defeat for ad-
vancing within sight of Turenne, without artillery or
tools to entrench himself with. It was not with such

^ Zives of Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin (1854), p. 104.


culpable negligence that Turenne presented himself
before the lines of Arras " (as we saw in Chapter
XVII.). " He," that is to say Turenne, before Arras,
"might have occupied the position of Mouchy by ten
o'clock in the morning ; but he took care not to do so :
he remained all day behind a rivulet, and, in the
evening took up his position : he therefore had the
whole night in which to entrench himself."

But, while describing the Battle of the Dunes as
"Turenne's most brilliant action," he says that his
victory " was to be expected". He had a superiority
of three to two in infantry, over "ground ill adapted to
horse, which rendered the superiority of the Spaniards
in cavalry useless to them. Turenne had artillery, and
his enemy had none." And "the English ships, at
anchor in the roads, cannonaded the right flank of the
Spaniards ". Turenne's "order of battle was parallel,
he had no manoeuvre to execute, nor anything out of
the ordinary course to perform ". When he resolved
to attack he was unaware that the enemy's artillery had
not yet arrived ; but he was right in attacking before
the enemy had had "time to entrench themselves".
Yet he has a fault to find with Turenne.

After the Battle of the Dunes Turenne continued
the siege of Dunkirk, which fell in ten days. Now
Napoleon says: "After the taking of Dunkirk, and
so brilliant a victory as that of the Downs, . . .
Turenne might have done more than he did. He
ought to have struck a grand blow and taken Brussels,
which would have rendered the French arms far more


illustrious, and accelerated the conclusion of peace.
An event of such importance would have produced
the fall of all the smaller places. Turenne infringed
the rule which says : ' Avail yourself of the favour of
Fortune, while she is in the humour : beware that she
does not change, through resentment of your neglect :
she is a woman '."

Great credit had been given to the English troops
in the description of this victory in these pages ; but
it is only fair to say that there were several English,
Scotch and Irish regiments in the vanquished army —
Lord Ormonde's, Lord Bristol's, the Duke of York's,
Lord Middleton's and King Charles's royal regiment
of Guards, afterwards called the i st Guards, and now
known as the Grenadier Guards.

If the takings of Dunkirk did honour to the French
army, the delivery of Dunkirk to England was a
humiliation to French pride. Turenne endeavoured
to make up for its loss by capturing for France, Furnes,
Dixmunde, Gravelines (after a siege of twenty-six
days), Ypres, ^ and Oudenarde, an unfortified city on
the Scheldt, within thirty-five miles of Brussels. It
was then generally expected that he would advance to
Brussels, but Turenne himself explains his reasons for
not doing so. " Having only some field-pieces, and
but two or three days' provisions, he could not enter
upon a siege." He chose the alternative of proceeding

^ At the siege of Ypres the English delivered such a brilliant
assault that, when it was over, Turenne embraced their leader and
called him one of the bravest captains of the period.


against the maritime towns, and conquered the whole
country between the Lys and the Scheldt, two rivers
which are twenty-five miles apart on the present
Belgium frontier, but join at Ghent. Leaving garrisons
in the important fortresses, Turenne went to Paris in
December, about six months after the Batde of the
Dunes. This campaign had been long and wearying ;
but its effects, if not immediate, were eventually
decisive ; for, as there were no fortresses beyond those
already captured by Turenne, the King of Spain was
afraid lest, in another campaign, the French troops
should capture all his territory in the Low Countries.
Before the end of the year 1658 an event had
happened which had a considerable influence upon
European politics. Within three months of the Battle
of the Dunes Cromwell lay dead. Little less influential
upon the affairs of Western Europe was the recovery from
the jaws of death of a neighbouring potentate. For
ten days in July the young King of France had lain
in a most critical condition ; and, when his health and
strength were completely restored, the Queen-Mother
told Mazarin that she felt it to be a matter of conscience
to show her thankfulness by putting a stop to the
effusion of Christian blood and making peace with her
brother, the King of Spain.


'Tis less to conquer, than to make wars cease,

And, without fighting, awe the world to peace. — Halifax.

It appeared, at the end of the last chapter, that
Turenne's victories had made the King of Spain desire
peace with France, and Mazarin, again, on his part,
had his own reasons for desiring peace with Spain.
He still cherished his project of a marriage between
the young King of France and Maria Theresa, the
Infanta of Spain, and he thought that Spain's present
embarrassments offered a peculiarly favourable op-
portunity of accomplishing it.

To France the year 1659 was one not of warfare
but of diplomacy. After negotiations, which lasted
during many months, the Peace of the Pyrenees — so
called because the conferences between the repre-
sentatives of France and Spain were held near that
boundary between the two kingdoms — was concluded
in November, after a war which had lasted twenty-four-
years. By this agreement France retained many of the
places she had conquered, such as Philippsburg, Mont-
medy. Arras, Lens, Gravelines, Landre^ies, and all the
fortresses in Artois, as well as some on the frontiers of




At about the same time a marriage contract was
made between Louis XIV. and the Infanta, Maria
Theresa, with the agreement that she was to renounce
her rights to the Crown of Spain. Conde was for-
given and his honours and estates were to be restored
to him ; but he was to be Governor of Burgundy
instead of Guienne. The Duke of Lorraine was to
retain his duchy, but his capital was no longer to be
fortified ; and, in order to put him out of the tempta-
tion of placing his military services and those of his
troops at the disposal of the highest bidder, he was to
have no troops at all for the future. As will be seen
later, however, he contrived to raise some.

The choice of a spot among the Pyrenees for
negotiating the peace, and the marriage with the
Infanta, brought both diplomatists and the Court from
Paris to those mountains. In these days of admira-
tion for mountain scenery, it is interesting to observe
how differently it was regarded in the seventeenth cen-
tury. Madame de Motteville writes of the "frightful
mountains" which she saw on this occasion. " I was
amazed," she says, "to find that the agreeable and the
horrible made an admirable blending of the different
beauties of nature. From space to space among
these high and monstrous mountains are very beauti-
ful valleys". Of Lourdes, a place now celebrated for
such different reasons, she says: " It appears to have
been placed on the French side to defend the entrance
and the exit against the Spaniards, in case they had
the audacity to attempt to enter France on that side ".

i66o ^T. 49] MARRIAGE OF LOUIS XIV. 271

After the peace had been finally settled, Turenne
spent much time in seeing to the defence of the for-
tresses. He had also the difficult task thrown upon
him of the reduction of the army, which he carried out
with every possible consideration for his officers and
his men. He also arranged for the reception of the
troops of Conde into the army of the King.

In the spring of 1660 Louis XIV. was married to
Maria Theresa. At the dinner which followed, the
King of Spain asked the Queen-Dowager of France
if Turenne was present ; and, when she had pointed
him out, the King said in a low voice: "That man
has given me many bad nights ".^

Louis XIV. was anxious to make Turenne Con-
stable of France, the highest dignity in the gift of the
Crown, and he deputed Mazarin to inform him that
it would be offered to him, but that it was a post which
could only be held by a Catholic. On hearing of this
condition, Turenne, gratefully and respectfully, but
very firmly, declined it. The King then made him
" Marshal General of his Majesty's Camps and Armies"
and Governor of Limousin.

" It appears by several letters to the King of Great
Britain and the Duke of York," that Turenne "was
in close correspondence," after the death of Oliver
Cromwell, "with the Royalists in England, and that
he contributed more than any other stranger to the

^ On the other hand, De Retz declares that he never slept so
soundly as he did in misfortune ; and, curiously enough, St.
Evremond makes a similar statement about their contemporary,
Mademoiselle de Beverweert,


happy restoration of Charles 11."^ Probably his
personal friendship with the Duke of York may have
influenced Turenne in this direction. He not only
corresponded with General Monk, but sent a special
envoy to England to confer with him. Having ob-
tained the consent of Louis XIV. he proposed, "at
his own expense to assist the King of England in
ascending the throne of his ancestors : he requested
the Duke of York to come to Amiens and offered him
his regiment of foot, consisting of 1,200 effective men,
togrether with the Scots wndarmes, ammunition and
arms for 4,000 or 5,000 men ; provisions to subsist
them two months ; ships to transport them into Eng-
land ; passports to embark at Boulogne the troops the
Duke had in Flanders, and lastly all his credit for
borrowing the necessary sums. The Duke of York
having joyfully accepted these offers, Turenne sent
him a letter for the King's Lieutenant at Boulogne,
who promised to furnish all the vessels belonging to the
ports of his government even to his fishing smacks."
And the Duke of York, in his own Memoirs, says
that, besides all this, Turenne insisted upon his accept-
ing a personal present of 300 pistoles, or about £1^0
sterlincy. The Restoration of Kin^ Charles H., how-
ever, was effected without any necessity for foreign
intervention or assistance.

Peace had not long been made between France
and Spain, before Turenne, who "was ever fond of
procuring succour for distressed Princes," advised
^ Ramsay,

i66o ^T. 49] ROYAL MARRIAGES 273

Louis XIV. to assist Alfonso, King of Portugal, in
his war with the King of Spain. Richelieu had
always supported and encouraged Portugal, in order
that it might reduce the power of Spain by proving a
constant thorn in her side, just as he had supported
and encouraged Scotland, for the purpose of serving
as a thorn in the side of England ; and Mazarin, in his
wars with Spain, had practically supported Portugal
by giving the armies of Spain more than enough to
occupy their attention in Flanders, as well as on the
northern frontier of Spain itself. But, now that peace
had been made between Spain and France, Spain was
able to concentrate its army for the destruction of
Portugal. Louis XIV., without nominally breaking
his treaty of peace with Spain, agreed to send money
and a general to the assistance of Portugal against her
powerful neighbour. Turenne proposed the Count of
Schomberg as a general for this purpose, for being a
German by birth, although he had served in the
French army, his appointment was likely to give less
offence to Spain than that of a Frenchman. Schom-
berg, although already a distinguished general, was
somewhat out of favour at Court, not on account of
any demerits of his own, but because his wife and the
Queen-Dowager had quarrelled about a chemise.

Meanwhile, Charles II. of England arranged a
marriage between himself and the Infanta of Portugal ;
and another match was made between Henrietta, the
sister of Charles II., and Philip, the new Duke of
Orleans; for Gaston was dead. Charles II. had no


money to give as a dowry to his sister ; but Louis was
clever enough to offer to buy Dunkirk from Charles,
thus providing him with funds for his sister's dowry
and a large balance in hand. To this bargain Charles
agreed. In the course of his life Louis XIV. showed
many kindnesses to the Stuarts; but he never lost
si^ht of his own interests in so doing ; and he once
observed that he felt the natural antipathy towards the
English, which was said always to have existed be-
tween England and France.

The period during which these events took place
was essentially a period of intrigues, and while they were
yet in progress the arch-intriguer of Europe showed
unmistakable symptoms of being about to intrigue no
more. As a result, intrigues were doubled ! Never,
says Voltaire, was there more intriguing in any Court
than durino the fatal illness of Cardinal Mazarin.
Every beautiful lady at the Court flattered herself
that she would become a sort of governess to a prince
of only twenty-two, who had already nearly sunk so
low as to offer his crown to his mistress ; all the young
courtiers expected that the reign of Louis XIV. would
now become a reign of favourites ; each Minister of
the Crown hoped to take the place of Mazarin ; and
nobody believed that a King, brought up without any
knowledge or cares of business, would either care or dare
to take upon his own shoulders the burden of the Govern-
ment of his country.^ They were all mistaken !

Cardinal Mazarin died in 1661. "He showed no
^Steele de Louis XIV. (ed. 1835), vol., i., p. 112.


i66i ^T. 50] DEATH OF MAZARIN 275

fear of death, "said Montglat, "but an incomprehensible
attachment to money to his last breath."^ "When-
ever," says Madame de Motteville, who hated him,
"he had moments of reprieve, he was often seen to be
busy weighing the pistoles which he won at cards, in
order to stake the lightest of them on the morrow."
But there is rebutting evidence. It is said that he ex-
claimed : " I feel my end approaching ; I pray God to
be merciful to me," and that he asked forgiveness of
all whom he might have offended. His last words are
reported to have been, "My hope is in Jesus Christ".
If this be true, his end was very different from the
deathbed scene of Richelieu, who, when the viaticum
was brought to him, has the reputation of having
said : " Behold the judge, who will soon pronounce my
sentence. I supplicate him to condemn me, if during
my ministry I have had any other object than the good
of my country, the service of my sovereign, the glory
of God, and the advancement of religion." The con-
fidence of the dying Richelieu, said the Bishop of
Lisieux, who was present, "filled me with terror"."
Louis XIV., who had already begun to grow tired of
being governed by Mazarin, from the time of his death
took the reins of government entirely into his own
hands. This he did at the advice of Mazarin himself,
who, when he felt that he was dying, warned the King
against the great dangers of ever raising a minister

^Memoirs of Madame de Motteville, vol. iii., p. 226.
'^ Lives of Cardinals Richelieu atid Mazarin (1854), pp. 52
and 113.


2/6 Mx\RSHAL TURExNNE [1661

again to the height of power which he, Mazarin, had

The King occasionally employed Turenne on dip-
lomatic errands, for which he may have been less fitted
than for war. One of these, if not directly dictated by
the King, yet at his instigation, was to persuade
Mademoiselle de Montpensier to consent to a marriage
with the young King of Portugal. We have her own
account of it. After telling her that he had always
loved her as a daughter and expressing a hope that
she would yield to his advice in the most important
affairs in life, Turenne informed her that he was
anxious to make her Queen of Portugal. Her reply
was discouraging: "Get away with you! I will have
nothing to do with your Queen of Portugal."

Turenne then said that young ladies of her rank ought

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