Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/182

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though eminently brave and active in the field, was little skilled in the administration of war, and still less skilled in civil business. Those who were most desirous to support his authority were forced to own that his nature was too unsuspicious and indulgent for a post in which it was hardly possible to be too distrustful or too severe. He believed whatever was told him. He signed whatever was set before him. The commissaries, encouraged by his lenity, robbed and embezzled more shamelessly than ever. They sallied forth daily, guarded by pikes and firelocks, to seize, nominally for the public service, but really for themselves, wool, linen, leather, tallow, domestic utensils, instruments of husbandry, searched every pantry, every wardrobe, every cellar, and even laid sacrilegious hands on the property of priests and prelates.[1]

Early in the spring the government, if it is to be so called, of which Berwick was the ostensible head, was dissolved by the return of Tyrconnel. The Luttrells had, in the name of their countrymen, implored James not to subject so loyal a people to so odious and incapable a viceroy. Tyrconnel, they said, was old; he was infirm; he needed much sleep; he knew nothing of war; he was dilatory; he was partial; he was rapacious; he was distrusted and hated by the whole nation. The Irish, deserted by him, had made a gallant stand, and had compelled the victorious army of the Prince of Orange to retreat. They hoped soon to take the field again, thirty thousand strong; and they adjured their King to send them some captain worthy to command such a force. Tyrconnel and Maxwell, on the other hand, represented the delegates as mutineers, demagogues, traitors, and pressed James to send Henry Luttrell to keep Mountjoy company in the Bastille. James, bewildered by these criminations and recriminations, hesitated long, and at last, with characteristic wisdom, relieved himself from trouble by giving all the quarrellers fair words and by sending them all back to have their fight out in Ireland. Berwick was at the same time recalled to France.[2]

  1. Macariæ Excidium.
  2. Life of James, ii. 422, 423; Mémoires de Berwick.