Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/70

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

respects, a remarkable analogy to the history of the siege of Londonderry. The southern city was, like the northern city, the last asylum of a Church and of a nation. Both places were crowded by fugitives from all parts of Ireland. Both places appeared to men who had made a regular study of the art of war incapable of resisting an enemy. Both were, in the moment of extreme danger, abandoned by those commanders who should have defended them. Lauzun and Tyrconnel deserted Limerick as Cunningham and Lundy had deserted Londonderry. In both cases, religious and patriotic enthusiasm struggled unassisted against great odds; and, in both cases, religious and patriotic enthusiasm did what veteran warriors had pronounced it absurd to attempt.

It was with no pleasurable emotions that Lauzun and Tyrconnel learned at Galway the fortunate issue of the conflict in which they had refused to take a part. They were weary of Ireland; they were apprehensive that their conduct might be unfavourably represented in France; they therefore determined to be beforehand with their accusers, and took ship together for the Continent.

Tyrconnel, before he departed, delegated his civil authority to one council, and his military authority to another. The young Duke of Berwick was declared Commander in Chief; but this dignity was merely nominal. Sarsfield, undoubtedly the first of Irish soldiers, was placed last in the list of the councillors to whom the conduct of the war was entrusted; and some believed that he would not have been in the list at all, had not the Viceroy feared that the omission of so popular a name might produce a mutiny.

William meanwhile had reached Waterford, and had sailed thence for England. Before he embarked, he entrusted the government of Ireland to three Lords Justices. Henry Sydney, now Viscount Sydney, stood first in the commission; and with him were joined Coningsby and Sir Charles Porter. Porter had formerly held the Great Seal of the kingdom, had, merely because he was a Protestant, been deprived of it by James, and had now received it again from the hand of William.