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the roads. In a low and damp situation, in cold and Chap.
. „* . XXXII.
rainy weather, the soldiery, without sufficient food, v.. v ../ clothing, or fuel, and without any medicines provided by the surgeons except for wounds, became in their encampment every day more distempered, afflicted with dysenteries, and a burning fever, communicated by contagion from the garrison of Derry. The sick were at first removed to Carlingford; but their increasing numbers soon precluded that resource. Dejection of spirit, despondency, and superstitious terrors, prognosticating their own ruin from fancied omens of foul import, and a place conceived in their disturbed imaginations to be supernaturally inauspicious, prevented exertions for their own relief in the drooping soldiers, who, commanded by the general to build huts for their shelter, too long neglected his orders. So familiarized with death were they at length become, so listless and insensible, that the bodies of the dead were used for seats or shelter by the survivors, who murmured at being deprived of these conveniences by an interment which prevented a still more horrible contamination of the atmosphere.
While sickness was enfeebling the English army Military the enemy advanced against it, but without any at-°^TM^!" tempt of a vigorous attack. A party, detached to seiae the pass of Newry for the annoyance of Schomberg's rear, avoided the encounter, and fled to Sligo. Another, having approached the camp with a menacing aspect, retreated on the advance of some cavalry toward them. The main army next, commanded by James in person, displaying the royal
c H A p. standard, marched in such array as seemed to indiv„v-^/cate a resolution to storm the English entrenchments. Schomberg, while his officers were impatient for the combat, declared his disbelief of any serious design of assault; but at length, on the near approach of the enemy, the infantry were commanded to stand to their arms, and the cavalry to return from foraging on a signal appointed. These orders were obeyed with such alacrity, that even the sick, roused from their languor, seized their muskets, and were ardent for battle; but in the moment of highest expectation James retired, and led his army to Ardee. Some catholic writers affect, to attribute this conduct of James to a mistaken tenderness for his countrymen, the English; and Rosen is said to have exclaimed, "Had your Majesty ten kingdoms you would lose them." But the storming of the entrenchments would have been extremely hazardous; and the English, who were confident of victory, suspected this motion of the Irish to have been made with a design to favour a conspiracy formed within the camp by some French catholics, whose machinations were on the following day discovered. The principal conspirators were executed, and a considerable number of catholic soldiers disarmed and sent to Holland.
Whether king James was blamed seriously or not for his abstaining from the hazard of an assault, the English were certainly in a high degree discontented with the caution of their skilful commander, who, in their opinion, ought to have led them to attack an enemy whom they were confident of defeating,
instead of confining; them to an insalubrious camp. Chap.
r xxxn. Schomberg, however, had his reasons for a6iing on v—v~*.
the defensive; but he permitted the Enniskilleners to make excursions in their usual mode of irregular warfare. A thousand of these, by a sudden onset, routed a superior body of Jacobites on their march to Sligo, slew their leader, and acquired much booty. But the enemy gained ground notwithstanding by the conquest of Sligo and Jamestown, whose garrisons were obliged to retreat from the forces of Sarsfield. At one fortress was an obstinate resistance made by a French officer in the service of William, and an honourable capitulation obtained from Sarsfield, who attempted, after the surrendry, to bribe the garrison to enlist with his master, but prevailed on one man only; and even this man deserted, on the following day, to his former associates at Dundalk, with the money, the horse, and accoutrements, with which he had been furnished. On the arrival of some reinforcements from Britain, Schomberg removed his army to a new encampment beyond the town, and ordered the sick to be conveyed on board the ships; but, as these could not contain their numbers, waggons were provided to carry them to Belfast. In the arrangement and execution of this melancholy business, the general, though eighty years of age, exerted a persevering activity, standing for hours at the bridge of Dundalk, in a tempestuous season, giving directions and exhortations. Of the sick some expired in the first efforts to remove them; others on the first shock of
Chap- the waggons; and others in the progress of the v-vwjourney, insomuch that the roads were strewed with their carcases. In the midst of their distresses the troops received intelligence that the enemy was advancing to attack them. Still confident of success, all who had any remains of strength seized their arms with eagerness, and cried aloud that the foe should now suffer for their long confinement to a pestilential spot. The alarm proved false. The catholic troops, who, encamped on high and firm ground, had ascribed the sickness of the heretical army to the vengeance of Heaven, found themselves also at length invaded by disease, «and obliged to retire, with diminished and enfeebled numbers, into winter quarters. Retiring in like manner, unmolested by the foe, except in an abortive attempt to seize the pass of Newry, Schomberg distributed his men, reduced to half their complement, in the towns of Ulster, whither unhappily was conveyed the infection of his camp. Discontent* In England, where high expectations had been m ngan 'entertained of the success of Schomberg's arms, violent discontents arose on the news of his misfortunes. The house of commons in that kingdom, from the first rise of the war in Ireland, had shewn attention to Irish affairs, and the relief of Irish protestants who had taken refuge among the English. Their artificers were allowed to trade in English corporations; their clergy to hold benefices in England, consistently with their Irish preferments, till the latter should be recovered; and their gentry + recommended recommended to receive subsistence out of the es- Chap.
tates of those who were in arms against king Wil- v—y—* liam. When this prince declined to lay before the commons the minute books of that committee of the privy-council who managed the affairs of Ireland, they voted that his Majesty's advisers were enemies to die king and kingdom. When they were indulged with the inspection of these books, and found little for their purpose, they examined witnesses, and prayed his Majesty, that Lundy, who had been sent prisoner from Scotland to the tower of London, should be transmitted to Derry, where his misconduct had been flagrant, for trial by a court-martial. On the arrival of George Walker, the sacerdotal warrior, in London, in the November of 1689, with an address to the king from the people of Derry, he was presented with five thousand pounds, invited to an entertainment by the city of London, and received through their speaker, for himself and those who had served under him, the thanks of the commons, who, on his petition for the relief of the orphans and widows of the combatants killed in the defence of Derry, addressed the king to distribute for this purpose ten thousand pounds. Informed that the misfortunes of Schomberg had been caused by the misconduct of one Shales, purveyor to the army, who had failed to supply the troops with necessaries, the commons presented addresses repeatedly to his Majesty. Shales was committed to prison; but the king declined to inform them by whose advice he had been employed. They,