Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/63

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in rapid succession were not likely to restore the tone of a mind so pitiably unnerved. His wife was already in France with the little which remained of his once ample fortune: his own wish was to follow her thither: his voice was therefore given for abandoning the city.

At last a compromise was made. Lauzun and Tyrconnel, with the French troops, retired to Galway. The great body of the native army, about twenty thousand strong, remained at Limerick. The chief command there was entrusted to Boisseleau, who understood the character of the Irish better, and consequently, judged them more favourably, than any of his countrymen. In general, the French captains spoke of their unfortunate allies with boundless contempt and abhorrence, and thus made themselves as hateful as the English.[1]

Lauzun and Tyrconnel had scarcely departed when the advanced guard of William's army came in sight. Soon the King himself, accompanied by Auverquerque and Ginkell, and escorted by three hundred horse, rode forward to examine the fortifications. The city, then the second in Ireland, though less altered since that time than most large cities in the British isles, has undergone a great change. The new town did not then exist. The ground now covered by those smooth and broad pavements, those neat gardens, those stately shops flaming with red brick, and gay with shawls and china, was then an open meadow lying without the walls. The city consisted of two parts, which had been designated during several centuries as the English and the Irish town. The English town stands on an island surrounded by the Shannon, and consists of a knot of antique houses with gable ends, crowding thick round a venerable cathedral. The aspect of the streets is such that a traveller who wanders through them may easily fancy himself in Normandy or Flanders. Not far from the cathedral, an ancient castle overgrown with weeds and ivy looks down on the

  1. Desgrigny says of the Irish: "Ils sont toujours prêts de nous égorger par l'antipathie qu'ils ont pour nous. C'est la nation du monde la plus brutale, et qui a le moins d'humanité." Aug. 12/22, 1690.