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d'ors, a sum far beyond its value, the next day.
They returned the ring to him, and, on the following
afternoon, one of them was bold enough to q-q to his
house and, although it so happened that a number of
people were visiting him, the man whispered his claim
to Turenne, who ordered 100 Louis-d'ors to be paid
to him, and, when the robber had had ample time to
get clear away, he told the story of his adventure to
his friends, saying: "A promise ought to be kept
inviolably, and an honest man should never break his
word, even when it has been given to knaves ".

Of this period of Turenne's life — the quietest period
— the Abbot Flechier said : "When he returned from
those glorious campaigns that will make his name
immortal, he shunned the acclamations of the people,

i669 ^T. 58] "SWEET REPOSE" 293

blushed at his victories, came to hear himself applauded
as one comes to make an apology, and was almost
afraid to approach the King, because he was obliged,
out of respect to him, to suffer patiently the praises
with which his Majesty never failed to honour him.
It was then that, in the sweet repose of a private
condition, this Prince divested himself of all the glory
which he had acquired during the war, and confined
himself to the conversation of a few chosen friends,
exercised himself without noise in civil virtues, and
being sincere in word, plain and simple in action,
faithful in friendship, and great even in the smallest
things, he concealed himself; but his reputation dis-
covered him ; he went without a train and without
equipage ; but everybody in thought sot him upon a
triumphal car. People when they saw him, counted
the number of enemies he had conquered, not of
servants that followed him. . . . There is a nobleness
in that simplicity. The less he was proud, the more
he commanded respect." With all his humility and
love of retirement, Turenne, as will presently be seen,
was not long to be allowed to enjoy "the sweet repose
of a private condition ".

Besides Turenne, another great warrior was prov-
ing, as a contemporary writer describes him, " as grand
in his humility and gendeness as he had been in his
victories ". It seemed as if Conde could not do enough


to show his loyalty. After the King and the Duke of
Orleans, he was the greatest prince in France ; but he
now took delight in servile, if highly honourable, duties.


The King, the two queens and the Duchess of Orleans
used often to take a collation on their splendid gilded
boat, shaped like a galley, on the canal. On such
occasions Conde, in his office of grand-master, used to
wait upon them and serve them with so much respect
that it was difficult to remember that he had lately
been a rebel. As to that earliest of all the Frondeurs,
Beaufort, he was ever following the King and un-
wearying in his efforts to please him.

The years which followed the Peace of the Pyrenees
provided a period of prosperity to France, buildings and
public works made great progress, the arts flourished,
and, as has already been observed, while the kingdom
was embellished, its fortifications were strengthened ;
its army was increased, and its navy enlarged. But
meanwhile a neighbouring country had risen in pro-
portion to its size even more rapidly than France.
The States-General were now at the very summit of
their glory and their greatness.

Louis XIV. had not forgotten that their minute
country had practically obliged him to make peace
with Spain against his will, nor had he forgiven it for
so doing. The Dutch, on the other hand, were still
boasting of having been the peacemakers of Europe,
and of having compelled the most powerful kingdoms
in the world to lay down their arms. They were
yet prouder of being the rulers of the seas, and of
having sailed up the river Thames and burned the
English batde-ships. Their trade was enormous, and
their colonies dwarfed those of France. But laro-e

i670 Mt. 59] A SECRET TREATY 295

as were their colonies, important as was their com-
merce, and powerful as was their navy, their army
was insignificant, and Louis hoped to annihilate it.
To do this it was necessary to break up the triple

In 1670 his first step in this direction was to make
a secret treaty with England, and for this purpose he
employed Turenne. Owing to the services which he
had rendered to the House of Stuart, both before and
after the death of Cromwell, Turenne enjoyed the
intimacy of King Charles's sister, the young Duchess
of Orleans. In making her his friend, the veteran and
staid Turenne now found himself associated much against
his will with the gayest and most frivolous party in the
Court, a party, moreover, strongly disliked both by the
Queen and the Queen-Mother. Madame, as she was
called, beinor the wife of the King's brother, remem-
bered, says Madame de Motteville, "with a certain
noble vexation, that the King had formerly disdained
her when she might have expected him to marry her ;
and the pleasure bestowed by vengeance made her
welcome joyfully the contrary sentiments which ap-
peared to be rising in the King's soul towards her.
. . . The daily pleasures, the repasts, the excursions
into the woods lasting till two or three o'clock in the
morning, began to be practised in a manner that had
more than a gallant air, and as if the best of pleasure
would presently corrupt a virtue which had been, with
good reason, all the more admired, because it was
a rare possession at the King's age. But the sight


alarmed the Queen, who was distressed to find the
King so occupied with other objects."

Whatever may have been the King's personal feel-
ing towards Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, he was
anxious to make her useful for political purposes, and
he made Turenne visit her every day, and instructed
him to spare no pains in enlisting her services as an
intermediary with her brother, the King of England.
As everybody know^s, she eventually did so and the secret
treaty was accomplished ; but, in the course of the pro-
cess, there occurred a rather unfortunate incident, or
rather an incident which might have proved unfortunate.

The favourite lady-in-waiting of the Duchess of
Orleans was a young Marchioness who was even
more remarkable for her intelligence than for her
beauty, which was very great. Great also was her
influence over the Duchess, and Turenne determined
to obtain the use of that influence for the political
purpose with which he had been entrusted by the
King. Accordingly he began to show her a fatherly

But even increasing years — ^Turenne was in his
sixtieth year — are not an infallible defence against the
charms of a pretty woman. It so happened that, in this
particular instance, the pretty woman made full use of
those charms, and Turenne fell in love with her without
being in the least aware of it. One result of this was
that he believed he could place the most implicit con-
fidence in her fidelity and secrecy. In the course of
his diplomatic endeavours to obtain her influence over

i67o ^T. 59] PUT OUT THE CANDLES 297

the Duchess of Orleans, he incautiously confided to her
a secret known only to himself, to the King" and to
Louvois. The pretty Marchioness could not resist
the pleasure of telling it to Lorraine ; Lorraine told
it to the Duke of Orleans, and the Duke of Orleans
informed his brother, the King, that he knew all about it,
and complained at not having been taken into confi-
dence on the subject by the King himself. As the King
had confided his secret to nobody except Louvois and
Turenne, and felt absolutely certain of the trustworthi-
ness of the latter, he sent for Turenne and told him
that Louvois had betrayed his trust. Now Turenne
disliked Louvois, but he at once declared him to be
innocent of all blame in the matter, and confessed his
own weakness in having entrusted a State secret to a
woman. His candour delio-hted the Kino-, whose con-
fidence in him was increased, instead of diminishing by
this untoward incident.

Turenne would have nothing more to do with the
beautiful Marchioness. He studiously kept out of her
way, and to the end of his life he felt ashamed of an
adventure in which there was nothing immoral, but by
which he might have lost the favour of the King. It
is said that some time afterwards Lorraine wished to
talk about it to Turenne, and that Turenne said :
"Then let us begin by putting out the candles".

After Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, had crossed
over to Dover and there obtained a promise from
Charles l\. to break off the triple alliance, she returned
in triumph to Paris and then went to St. Cloud, taking


with her Turenne, the Duke of Rochefoucauld, and
other friends. In a few days she died very suddenly,
and no one in France was more grieved at her death
than Turenne.

The year 1671 was spent in negotiations. Sweden,
like England, was divorced from the triple alliance with
Holland ; the neutrality of all the German States and
all the Electors, as well as that of the Emperor, was se-
cured, with the exception of the Grand Elector of
Brandenburg ; but Spain sent 6,000 men to the assistance
of the United Provinces. " Thus was the face of
Europe entirely changed : France and England, who
had contributed to the raising and aggrandising the Re-
public, were now endeavouring to ruin her : Spain, on
the contrary, who had been for an age attempting to
destroy the Dutch as revolted subjects, was now their
chief support. " ^ It will have been by this time observed
that, in the seventeenth century, there were very few
allies who had not been formerly enemies, or enemies
who had not been at one time allies.

The Dutch suffered under the disadvantage of
being divided into two factions. One of them desired
a Republic, and at the head of this faction were John
de Witt and his brother Cornelius, who desired the
friendship of France, being well aware that Louis XIV.
was better able to defend them against the King of
England and the Elector of Brandenburg than either
Spain or the Empire, both of whom were hostile, at
heart, to the Dutch. The other faction wished for
1 Ramsay.


there-establishment of the Stadtholdership, in the person
of the young Prince William of Orange, afterwards so
well known as King William III. of England. Unlike
the republican faction, it dreaded the power and ambi-
tion of Louis XIV., and hoped that the young prince
might be able to curb them.

Both factions, however, combined to repel the
invader. If the two De Witts were well-disposed
towards France, they were obliged for the moment to
oppose her when she approached, as an enemy, to
invade their fatherland. They and William of Orange,
with other Dutchmen, formed the staff to arrange the
plan of the approaching campaign ; in which the Prince
of Orange, although only twenty-two, was to be com-

The King of France intended to divide his forces.
Both Turenne and Conde were to have leading com-
mands, thus once more fighting under the same flag,
although not side by side, or even near each other.
Commands were also to be assigned to the Marshals
d'Humieres, Bellefonds and Cr^qui, and, as they were
likely to be within reach of Turenne, the King, to
prevent any dispute on account of rank or precedence,
in the case of their forces joining, ordered that, if this
happened, Turenne was to be in command of either,
or all, of those three marshals. On hearing of this,
all three at once refused to serve under Turenne, an
act of insubordination which the King punished with
banishment. In six months he permitted them to
return to France ; but never to his service.


That considerable jealousy of a general so success-
ful as Turenne is likely to have existed is sufficiently
obvious ; but on what grounds any questions could
arise concerning obedience to a commander-in-chief
appointed by the King is not so clear. That some
such questions were mooted, and that they led to
remonstrances to the King, is shown by the following
memorial of four marshals : —

" Some of the Marshals of France having consulted
us in order to know our sentiments with regard to the
obedience we ought to pay to the absolute command
we have received from the King to take the word from
the Viscount de Turenne, Marshal of France, we say
and declare, that after the most humble remonstrances
which have been made to his Majesty, he persisting in
his will, the Marshals ought to submit to that order,
there being no reason that can or ought to hinder us
from obeying his Majesty's absolute commands. This
is our opinion, and as we say and declare, so we most
willingly sign it. Grammont, Plessis Praslin, Villeroy,
D' Albert."


On several occasions we have seen Turenne com-
manding an army very inferior in numbers to that of
his enemy. We shall now find the relative positions
completely and largely reversed.

In the campaign against Holland in 1672 the
numerical advantage of France was enormous. Louis
XIV. had an army of 100,000 men, to which the
Elector of Cologne and the Bishop of Miinster added
30,000. To oppose the advance of this great army,
the Prince of Orange had an active army of 25,000,
the Spaniards had 6,000, and there was a garrison
of 12,000 at Maestricht. The Grand Elector of
Brandenburg, while nominally supporting Holland,
did nothing during the first months of the war to help
her, although he had a large army at, or near, Berlin.
At most the defending force was much less than half
the size of the invading force.

Vauban was to engineer the sieges ; Louvois, the
Minister of War, was to accompany the King on the
campaign ; 30,000 men were placed under Conde, and
the very large army that remained was put under the
command of Turenne.

Besides the improvements in the art of fortifications


since the earlier campaigns of Turenne, there were now
several important developments in warfare. There
was a great increase in the proportion of infantry to
cavalry. Even in the campaign of 1667 half the army
had consisted of cavalry. Now three-quarters of the
troops were infantry, among which there were far
more musketeers and fewer pikemen. Instead of the
old invariably solid bodies of pikemen — when Turenne
joined his first regiment the pikemen were ten ranks
deep — ^with a few musketeers on either side of them and
running behind them to reload, Napoleon says, even of
the campaign of 1667, that the infantry were drawn up
in four ranks, only the fourth being armed with pikes.
But in the campaign of 1672, although pikes were still
retained,^ the celebrated disciplinarian. Martinet, had
been allowed to equip some regiments with bayonets,
which fitted into the nozzles of the muskets. There
was also an increase in artillery ; there were field guns,
and siege guns, and mortars. Portable bridges were
carried in separate parts, as it was expected that a good
deal of the campaign would take place near the rivers
Rhine, Meuse and Yssel. Perhaps most important of
all, the transport service was reorganised, if not revolu-
tionised ; and, in the matter of stores, Louvois had
secretly outbidden the enemy for large quantities of
provisions, which the Dutch were trying to purchase
in the Low Countries for their own use.

Against the skill of two such experienced generals
as Turenne and Conde, the Dutch army was to be
^ Pikes were used even in Turenne's last battle.

i672 JET. 6i] MAESEYCK 303

commanded by a youth of twenty-two, in the Prince
of Orange, whose troops were very inferior in quality
to those of the French. His soldiers were burghers who
had rarely left their homes for military training, and
most of his officers were sons of burgomasters or
their relatives, without any knowledge of even the
rudiments of warfare.

Conde wished to begin the campaign by taking the
important fortress of Maestricht,^ a city on the Meuse,
about eighteen miles to the north of Liege, and fifteen
to the west of Aix-la-Chapelle. But Turenne per-
suaded the King to leave it behind with 5,000 men to
keep its garrison in check, as he considered that to
take so strong a fortress garrisoned by 12,000 men
would require a very long siege. But he rendered
Maestricht more or less useless in the campaign, by
taking Maeseyck, a small town about twenty miles to
the north of it, which he ordered to be very strongly
fortified and left with a garrison of between 4,000 and
5,000 French soldiers, by this means cutting off the
communications between the fortress of Maestricht and

Turenne then induced the King, after going some
distance down the Meuse, to leave that river, to march
about five and twenty miles north-east to the Rhine,
and take the fortresses on its banks belonging to the
Elector of Brandenburg. All of these — Rhineberg,

^ This fortress has been the scene of sieges in 1579, 1632,
1673, 174S and 1830. It is still one of the strongest fortresses
of Europe. A great part of the land around it can at any time be
put under water, by opening the sluices.


Burich, Wesel, Rees, and a large number of minor
fortified towns — either opened their gates to the French
troops or surrendered in a few days, and Ramsay-
observes that the Dutch "were not much troubled at
the taking of towns which did not belong to them and
were only under their protection ".

The French troops, however, were now in Holland,
and had next to consider the army of the Prince of
Orange drawn up behind the river Yssel, a branch of
the Rhine which, instead of running like the main river
to the west until it joins the Meuse at its mouth, flows
due north into the Zuyder Zee.

The French army crossed the Rhine near where
the Yssel branches from it. The summer was excep-
tionally dry, and the river was abnormally low. Before
a bridge could be thrown across it some of Conde's
cavalry forded it, except for a short space through
which they had to swim. A slight opposition was
made on the opposite side by a small body of
Dutch troops, and the French lost about twenty
men. But the Dutch defence was hopeless against
such numbers, and Conde, who had crossed the river
in a boat with his son, the Duke of Enghien, and
his nephew, the young Duke of Longueville, called
out to the Dutch infantry, who were retiring, that, if
they would lay down their arms, they should have
quarter. Apparently Enghien and Longueville did
not hear this order, for, as Ramsay puts it, "warmed
by the former night's wine," they "advanced impru-
dendy to the enemy," and Longueville, firing a pistol,

1672 ^T. 61] HOLLAND 30s

shouted: "No quarter". This drew upon them the
fire of the enemy ; Longueville was killed on the spot,
and Conde's wrist was broken by a pistol bullet, this
being the only wound that he ever received in his many
campaigns. Notwithstanding his injury, he struggled
on at the head of his troops, till the enemy was
scattered ; but his wound was so severe that he was
obliged to resign his command for a considerable time.
The King now put Conde's army under Turenne,
in addition to the troops already serving under him.
His opponent, the Prince of Orange, left garrisons at
some of the fortresses and retired from the Yssel, with
only 1 2,000 men, into the Province of Utrecht. Over-
yssel and Gelderland were soon overrun by the French
army, and Utrecht gave way a little later. Naarden,
a town on the Zuyder Zee, litde more than a dozen
miles from Amsterdam, was taken. This would have
been a most important capture, if advantage had been
taken of it. Nearly all the fortified places surrendered
without any attempt to defend themselVes. Napoleon
says of this : "The army took sixty fortified places in
a short time ; but there is no glory in conquest where
there is no danger : these places were only garrisoned
by ill-armed militia". The single place where any-
thing like a stand was made was Nimwegen. This
is the first fortress which we read of as havine been
subjected to a bombardment by Turenne, and, accord-
ing to Ramsay, "the bombs had not all the effect
which the Viscount had hoped for," an experience

which has been repeated in the case of many much


later generals and bombardments, even with shells
immeasurably superior to the bombs then in use. And,
although the mortars were probably placed very near
the town, "the distance was so oreat that the orreatest
part of the bombs could not cross the river". In spite
of the difficulty experienced by the bombs in crossing
the river, Nimwegen capitulated early in July.

Napoleon criticises Turenne for his conduct of this
part of the campaign. Instead of besieging Nimwegen,
Napoleon says that he ought to have advanced upon
Amsterdam. " When masters of Utrecht and Naarden,
the French might have possessed themselves of
Amsterdam, which would have ended the war. They
knew not how to profit by occurrences. Louvois
thought proper to send back 20,000 prisoners" — these
must have been chiefly the garrisons of the surrendered
fortresses — "who were immediately armed again and
increased the army of the Prince of Orange. He had
the army dispersed in fifty fortresses, by which means
it was so much weakened that it could perform nothing.
They should have demolished forty-five of these places,
carried all the artillery belonging to them into France,
and preserved four or five to facilitate the communi-
cations of the army. Turenne enjoyed the principal
share of the King's confidence and it is to him that
these errors ought to be ascribed. It does not appear
that he opposed their commission publicly and with
energy. He might have entered Amsterdam, on the
very day that his troops entered Naarden."

Long before Napoleon, Voltaire held this opinion.

1672 ^T. 61] HOLLAND 307

He says {Siecle de Louis XIV., vol. i., p. 160):
"Naarden, in the immediate neighbourhood, had
already been taken. Four cavalry soldiers, marauding,
went to the gates of Muiden, a place within a league of
Amsterdam, where the flood-gates are by which the
country can be inundated." (In reality it is half way
between Naarden and Amsterdam.) " The magistrates
of Muiden, distracted by terror, were going to give up
their keys to these four soldiers ; but, when they saw
that no troops were advancing from Naarden, they took
back their keys and shut their gates. The least energy
would have placed Amsterdam in the hands of the
King." Perhaps St. Evremond may have been right
when he wrote of Turenne : " He does not so well take
those unforeseen opportunities which produce an abso-
lute victory, and this is the reason why his advantages
are not complete ".

The Dutch now betook themselves to their last and
peculiar resource to defend their capital. They opened
their sluices, pierced their dams, broke their bridges,
and laid all their country under water. Holland,
Brabant and Dutch Flanders became one great sea,
with the towns rising, as it were, on islands, in the
vast expanse of waters. It was a desperate expedient :
the Dutchmen's own flocks and herds were drowned
before they could be got in ; even for those that had
been got in there was not sufficient provender to last
long, and famine threatened the inhabitants.

The Prince of Orange was now elected Stadtholder
by the Provinces of Holland and West Friesland ;


though not as yet by all the United Provinces. Nor
were his supporters satisfied without wreaking their
vengeance upon the leaders of the opposite faction.
They cruelly tortured one of the De Witts in prison
and they subsequently assassinated both him and his
brother in a very barbarous manner. "The Prince of
Orange, whose partisans had made him this horrible
sacrifice," according to Ramsay, "seemed touched with
the unfortunate end of the two illustrious brothers : he
made the Pensioner's eulogium, though coldly enough,
and he ordered the murderers to be prosecuted ; but the
clemency he showed them gave cause to suspect that
he had countenanced the murder. The real advantages
he drew from it did not a little contribute to strengthen
the suspicion. Scarce were the De Witts dead when
the Magistrates of all the United Provinces declared
the young Prince, as those of Holland and Friesland
had declared him some days earlier. Governor, Admiral,
and Captain-General : so that by this event he became
master of all the deliberations of the States."

Now that the country was under water, it was im-

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