Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/184

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viceregal authority; but he had been assured by James that Tyrconnel should have secret instructions not to intermeddle in the conduct of the war. Saint Ruth was assisted by another general officer named D'Usson. The French ships brought some arms, some ammunition, and a plentiful supply of corn and flour. The spirits of the Irish rose; and the Te Deum was chaunted with fervent devotion in the cathedral of Limerick.[1]

Tyrconnel had made no preparations for the approaching campaign. But Saint Ruth, as soon as he had landed, exerted himself strenuously to redeem the time which had been lost. He was a man of courage, activity and resolution, but of a harsh and imperious nature. In his own country he was celebrated as the most merciless persecutor that had ever dragooned the Huguenots to mass. It was asserted by English Whigs that he was known in France by the nickname of the Hangman; that, at Rome, the very cardinals had shown their abhorrence of his cruelty; and that even Queen Christina, who had little right to be squeamish about bloodshed, had turned away from him with loathing. He had recently held a command in Savoy. The Irish regiments in the French service had formed part of his army, and had behaved extremely well. It was therefore supposed that he had a peculiar talent for managing Irish troops. But there was a wide difference between the well clad, well armed, and well drilled Irish, with whom he was familiar, and the ragged marauders whom be found swarming in the alleys of Limerick. Accustomed to the splendour and the discipline of French camps and garrisons, he was disgusted by finding that, in the country to which he had been sent, a regiment of infantry meant a mob of people as naked, as dirty and as disorderly as the beggars, whom he had been accustomed to see on the Continent besieging the door of a monastery or pursuing a diligence up hill. With ill concealed contempt, however, he addressed himself vigorously to the task of disciplining these strange soldiers, and was day and night in the saddle, galloping from post to post, from Limerick to Athlone,

  1. Macariæ Excidium; Mémoires de Berwick; Life of James, ii. 451, 452.