Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/38

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was believed, and confidently repeated, that the usurper was no more; and couriers started bearing the glad tidings of his death to the French ships which lay in the ports of Munster. From daybreak on the first of July the streets of Dublin were filled with persons eagerly asking and telling news. A thousand wild rumours wandered to and fro among the crowd. A fleet of men of war under the white flag had been seen from the hill of Howth. An army commanded by a Marshal of France had landed in Kent. There had been hard fighting at the Boyne; but the Irish had won the day; the English right wing had been routed; the Prince of Orange was a prisoner. While the Roman Catholics heard and repeated these stories in all the places of public resort, the few Protestants who were still out of prison, afraid of being torn to pieces, shut themselves up in their inner chambers. But, towards five in the afternoon, a few runaways on tired horses came straggling in with evil tidings. By six it was known that all was lost. Soon after sunset, James, escorted by two hundred cavalry, rode into the Castle. At the threshold he was met by the wife of Tyrconnel, once the gay and beautiful Fanny Jennings, the loveliest coquette in the brilliant Whitehall of the Restoration. To her the vanquished King had to announce the ruin of her fortunes and of his own. And now the tide of fugitives came in fast. Till midnight all the northern avenues of the capital were choked by trains of cars and by bands of dragoons, spent with running and riding, and begrimed with dust. Some had lost their fire arms, and some their swords. Some were disfigured by recent wounds. At two in the morning Dublin was still: but, before the early dawn of midsummer, the sleepers were roused by the peal of trumpets; and the horse, who had, on the preceding day, so well supported the honour of their country, came pouring through the streets, with ranks fearfully thinned, yet preserving, even in that extremity, some show of military order. Two hours later Lauzun's drums were heard; and the French regiments, in unbroken array, marched into the city.[1] Many thought that, with such a force, a stand might still be made.

  1. True and Perfect Journal; Villare Hibernicum; Story's Impartial History.