Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/42

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


dead by a cannon ball in the sight of the two armies. The commissaries of police ran about the city, knocked at the doors, and called the people up to illuminate. In an hour streets, quays and bridges were in a blaze: drums were beating and trumpets sounding: the bells of Notre Dame were ringing; peals of cannon were resounding from the batteries of the Bastile. Tables were set out in the streets; and wine was served to all who passed. A Prince of Orange, made of straw, was trailed through the mud, and at last committed to the flames. He was attended by a hideous effigy of the devil, carrying a scroll, on which was written, "I have been waiting for thee these two years." The shops of several Huguenots who had been dragooned into calling themselves Catholics, but were suspected of being still heretics at heart, were sacked by the rabble. It was hardly safe to question the truth of the report which had been so eagerly welcomed by the multitude. Soon, however, some coolheaded people ventured to remark that the fact of the tyrant's death was not quite so certain as might be wished. Then arose a vehement controversy about the effect of such wounds; for the vulgar notion was that no person struck by a cannon ball on the shoulder could recover. The disputants appealed to medical authority; and the doors of the great surgeons and physicians were thronged, it was jocosely said, as if there had been a pestilence in Paris. The question was soon settled by a letter from James, which announced his defeat and his arrival at Brest.[1]

At Rome the news from Ireland produced a sensation of a very different kind. There too the report of William's death was, during a short time, credited. At the French embassy all was joy and triumph: but the Ambassadors of the House of Austria were in despair; and the aspect of the Pontifical Court by no means indicated exultation.[2] Melfort, in a transport of

  1. Monthly Mercury for August 1690; Burnet, ii. 50; Dangeau, Aug. 2, 1690, and Saint Simon's note; The Follies of France, or a true Relation of the extravagant Rejoicings, &c., dated Paris, Aug. 8, 1690.
  2. "Me tiene," the Marquis of Cogolludo, Spanish minister at Rome, says of this report, "en sumo cuidado y desconsuelo, pues esta seria la ultima ruina de la causa comun." — Cogolludo to Ronquillo, Rome, Aug. 2, 1690.