Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 2 (London).djvu/160

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BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.

CHAPTER XI.

THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM, 1704.

The decisive blow struck at Blenheim resounded through every part of Europe: it at once destroyed the vast fabric of power which it had taken Louis XIV., aided by the talents of Turenne and the genius of Vauban, so long to construct.— Alison.

Though more slowly moulded and less imposingly vast than the empire of Napoleon, the power which Louis XIV. had acquired and was acquiring at the commencement of the eighteenth century, was almost equally menacing to the general liberties of Europe. If tested by the amount of permanent aggrandisement which each procured for France, the ambition of the royal Bourbon was more successful than were the enterprises of the imperial Corsican. All the provinces that Bonaparte conquered, were rent again from France within twenty years from the date when the very earliest of them was acquired. France is not stronger by a single city or a single acre for all the devastating wars of the Consulate and the