Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/173

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were enlivened by a crowd of splendid equipages and by a rapid succession of sumptuous banquets. For among the high born and high spirited youths who repaired to his standard were some who, though quite willing to face a battery, were not at all disposed to deny themselves the luxuries with which they had been surrounded in Soho Square. In a few months Shadwell brought these valiant fops and epicures on the stage. The town was made merry with the character of a courageous but prodigal and effeminate coxcomb, who is impatient to cross swords with the best men in the French household troops, but who is much dejected by learning that he may find it difficult to have his champagne iced daily during the summer. He carries with him cooks, confectioners and laundresses, a waggonload of plate, a wardrobe of laced and embroidered suits, and much rich tent furniture, of which the patterns have been chosen by a committee of fine ladies.[1]

While the hostile armies watched each other in Flanders, hostilities were carried on with somewhat more vigour in other parts of Europe. The French gained some advantages in Catalonia and in Piedmont. Their Turkish allies, who in the east menaced the dominions of the Emperor, were defeated by Lewis of Baden in a great battle. But nowhere were the events of the summer so important as in Ireland.

From October 1690 till May 1691, no military operation on a large scale was attempted in that kingdom. The area of the island was, during the winter and spring, not unequally divided between the contending races. The whole of Ulster, the greater part of Leinster and about one third of Munster had submitted to the English. The whole of Connaught, the greater part of Munster, and two or three counties of Leinster were held by the Irish. The tortuous boundary formed by William's garrisons ran in a north eastern direction from the bay of Castlehaven to Mallow, and then, inclining still further eastward, proceeded to Cashel. From Cashel the line went to Mullingar,

  1. Shadwell's Volunteers. The description of this young hero in the list of the Dramatis Personæ is amusing: Sir Nicholas Dainty, A most conceited fantastic Beau, of drolling, affected Speech; a very Coxcomb, but stout; a most luxurious effeminate Volunteer."