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of soon effacing the disgrace-if disgrace there be in suffering defeat, when doing all that merits victory-of the Boyne Water, and their subsequent disasters; and the vision of replacing on the throne of his dominions, the king whom they loved so devotedly, although with so small cause for their undeviating loyalty, possessed the hearts of those brave men; and keen was the anxiety with which they watched the ocean, whereon the hostile fleets were soon expected to


The gallant Tourville had set sail, some time before, with sixty-three ships of the line, hoisting his own flag in the Rising Sun, a first-rate, of a hundred and four cannon; while Russel, the brave English admiral, was known to be at sea, with the intent of joining the Dutch squadrons under Allemonde, Callemberg, and Vandergoes; so that the Irish were with good cause hourly expecting to receive the news of a general engagement. Here, then, the brothers were all in arms together; all resolutely set on achieving honor, although but one was sit uated so as to have cause for hoping an immediate opportunity of displaying the wild valor of his race-and this one, Ulick, who with a strong detachment of musqueteers of the marine, had been embarked on board the flagship of the admiral. Such was the state of things, when on a glorious day, in the latter part of May, a rumor reached the camp that many sails were in sight in the offing; and, as it may be readily believed, there needed not a repetition of this long-wished intelligence to send every soul, private or officer, of the Irish host, hurrying down like madmen to the rocky shore of the deep bay, which at this point indents the coast of Normandy. It was a glorious day, as bright as a clear at mosphere and blazing sun could make it; the sea was ruffled into a thousand sparkling waves, that tossed their foamcapt crests to meet the glorious sunshine; and the long line of triple breakers came dashing in upon the white and dazzling sands, with a glad roar that echoed like a giant's laughter among the caverned rocks that line that iron coast. A thousand sea-birds were abroad and on the wing, fanning the light air with their snowy pinions; and as the fleecy clouds swept over the

sun's disk before the freshening breeze, vast massive shadows would sail across the bosom of the deep, leaving it now all glittering in life and lustre, now veiling it in sullen gloom. A gayer spectacle can hardly be imagined, than was afforded by the lovely view-the little town of La Hogue lying among the black rocks on the left, with its fishing boats and crowded quays, and commodious haven; a few small barks dancing out merrily from the harbor's mouth toward the advancing fleet; and all the foreground of the scene brilliant with the gay uniforms and dazzling armor of the assembled soldiery.

It was not long before a dull and heavy roar might be heard far to seaward, increasing constantly as the breeze freshened, and making itself to be recognized clearly as the voice of ordnance. Anon the ships, which had been seen at first but indistinctly in the remote offing, loomed up one after another, till by the aid of glasses above a hundred sail could be distinguished at one moment, though at the next they would be lost to sight, enveloped in the dense wreaths of the mighty cannonade. Louder and louder grew the voice of battle, and nigher drew the combatants, and fiercer and more fiery waxed the impatient spirits of the brave spectators. The morning passed, and noon was on the waters; and, faster yet and faster pealed the incessant din across the shuddering billows

and now so near had drawn the ships, that their distinctive colors might be made out at their mast-heads. Alas, for the brave lookers on! for soon it became but too evident that the French fleet was in full flight, before the combined Dutch and English squadrons. By three of the clock, they had distinguished the great flag-ship of the Count de Tourville, with all her topmasts shot away, drifting in bodily toward Cherbourg, and quite unmanageable; though she was fighting still with desperate resolution, and vomiting forth broadside after broadside against Sir Ralph Delaval's division, which crowded all sail in pursuing the French admiral, who was in company with the Conquérant of eighty guns, and another first-rate. Scarce had the Irish made out this, before a large division of store-ships and transports laden with ammunition ran in, and dropped their anchors just off the haven of La Hogue,

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eighteen sail of the line covering their retreat, and keeping up a running fight against Sir George Rooke's division. Just at this moment, when the total defeat of the French navy appeared to be inevitable, two officers were standing at some distance to the westward of the town of La Hogue, nearer to Cherbourg, watching the incidents of that disastrous day with the most eager scrutiny. One was a tall and powerful man, splendidly equipped as a major of the Guards, the other an ensign in the same honorable corps. Fate goes against us, Spencer," said the elder officer, who was no other than Gerald Desmond-" Fate goes against us. Here is the whole fleet crushed, and all our hopes of carrying the war into Ireland blighted for this year. And see! there goes the Rising Sun, dismantled and half-beaten, with our poor Ulick on board of her! Take my horse, Spencer, and ride up to the General-yonder he stands with his staff about him-and ask leave, in my name, for yourself and me to ride toward Cherbourg, and see what comes of it. I will go after our men and fresh horses."

The young man galloped off, and ere he had returned with the permission, which was readily accorded, Gerald had collected four or five of his attendants, well armed and mounted, and was awaiting him with two fresh chargers ready saddled. Mounting at once, they galloped, at the top of their speed, along the summit of the huge black rocks toward Cherbourg, the whole of the sad spectacle spreading out more and more distinct and maplike before their eyes, as they turned the point of Cape la Hogue, and could descry that narrow dangerous strait, known as the Race of Alderney, with the main body of the French fleet steering with all sail set among its perilous reefs and shoals, so as to escape the close pursuit of Sir John Ashby, and the Dutch squadron of Allemonde. And now the Rising Sun was fairly abreast of them, drifting in with the tide of flood, all her masts having by this time been shot away sheer to the deck, at about a mile's distance from the coast. She came in, broadside on, still desperately fighting against three large English ships which under full sail hovered round her, raking her constantly, and fairly sweeping her

decks at every fresh discharge; and now she struck, stern foremost, on the sands, swung round, thumped heavily upon the ground, and rolling over on her beam ends, lay with her deck to seaward, a mere wreck at the mercy of the waves. The moment they perceived this, all the English ships hove to, and hoisting out their boats, manned them, and sent them off for the dismasted admiral. "Spur! spur!" cried Gerald, "spur for your lives!" and with the words, he wheeled his horse; and dashing down a deep cleft or gully in the rocks, reached the smooth beach at the base of the cliffs, just as the English boats boarded the helpless wreck. For a few moments the crew fought desperately hand to hand with the boarders; but seeing that no good was to be derived from further desperation, the officers drew off their men, who were seen leaping into the waves and struggling as best they might toward the shore, among the English boats, which had pulled in between the stranded vessel and the beach, and were now making terrible havoc with the fugitives.

The ship was now completely in the possession of the enemy, who were already setting it on fire in many places, except that a small knot of musqueteers were still drawn up about the flag-staff on the poop, and were maintaining a vigorous fire of small arms on the English sailors. Charge after charge was made against that dauntless handful; and thinned, divided, and surrounded, they were fast falling before their enemies, when a young officer, bare-headed, but magnificently dressed in the uniform of the French Marine, darted out from among them, and severing the ensign from the staff, wrapped it about his body like a scarf, and cut his way desperately through the English sailors who opposed him, toward the gangway. The eyes of Gerald and his brother were rivetted upon the daring soldier-rivetted, oh! with what keen and agonizing interest

for both had recognized the form of Ulick Desmond. They saw him, hacked with a dozen wounds, weak, tottering, and faint, yet make his way through the dense throng, and plunge into the water. Reviving from his momentary faintness, he struck out for the shore, and would assuredly have reached it, but that the English, furious

at the loss of the ensign, hailed some of their boat crews and pointed out the swimmer. A furious struggle followed, and just as the young man had arrived within ten yards, at furthest, of the shore, he was pierced by a thrust from a boat-hook; and they were hauling him into the launch with that murderous implement, when, with a wild shout, Gerald Desmond plunged his spurs in the flanks of his charger, and followed by his brother and his train, dashed headlong into the foamy billows. Fiercely the noble horses strove through the roaring surf-the long straight broadswords of the riders were flashing in a moment among the pikes and cutlasses of the boat's crew; pistol shots rang, and bullets whizzed in the melée, but in less than ten minutes the gallant boy was rescued by his brother's hand, and borne in safety to the shore.

"Is it safe-is it safe, Gerald ?" he asked wildly, as he recovered his senses, lying with his head on hisbrother's knee, -and, as he spoke, he strove to clear away the hair matted and clogged with gore from his dim eyes, and grappled with his other hand at his breast in search of the colors.

"It is it is safe-Ulick," exclaimed Gerald, "gallantly, nobly saved !-but you, my glorious boy-my gallant brother

"Have done my duty," answered the noble youth, "have done my duty living and die as becomes a Desmond!"


"No! no! it must not be," exclaimed the elder, with a frantic gesture, you shall not die, my brother! Oh, Heaven! that there were but a surgeon."

"Not all the surgeons in the world could save me--nor would I wish it-Gerald-but help me, help me to stand up. I would die standing."

And, with the words, he struggled to his feet, and by the aid of his brothers stood up erect and stately, looking to ward the vessel, which was now wrapt in one sheet of devouring flame, and the boats of the English squadron, which were collecting in a cluster to pull out to their vessels. Meantime the French sailors who had escaped from the wreck, with many of the officers and the Count de Jourville himself, had collected round the dying youth; but he saw none of them, nor heeded; he fixed his glazing eyes upon



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the flames that were devouring the proud ship, and tearing the ensign from his breast, and waving it triumphantly aloft France! France! et la gloire!" he shouted. "God save King James Huzza! huzza for Ireland!" Not a man there but joined in that wild shout of mingled triumph and defiance. "France, France, and Ireland! Huzza!" the mighty shout pealed far to seaward; and the blunt English sailors, touched by the daring gallantry of the bold action, tossed their oars up, and answered the wild acclamation of their national hereditary foemen by a loud, spontaneous burst of regular cheering. The brief fire waned in the eyes of the Irish stripling-his haughty gesture ceasedhis proud arm sank-he was deaddead in that moment of sad triumph! They raised him from the sands; they hore him, with that ensign for his pall, and captains of the fleet for his bearers, and the brave admiral for mourner, to the old church at Cherbourg, and there they laid him in his glory, far from his native land and on a foreign shore; and the proud standard which he rescued, still waves above his tomb, and there still may be read, the brief, bold epitaph:

"True until death, Ulick Desmond."

Not a word beyond this is there recorded; but still tradition has preserved the most minute particulars of that grand exploit; and the rude fishermen still point to the spot where the young gallant stranger died, prodigal of life for France's glory!

A darker cloud, yet darker than before, was on the life of Gerald Desmond. But one was now left to himbut one of that fair brotherhood that sported erst so joyously together on the green hills of Connaught; and in that one it now seemed that the whole life and soul of Gerald was wrapped up. No father ever toiled for a loved child, no lover for an idolized mistress, as he did for that youngest orphan. Side by side, at the feast, in the fight, in the same tent, at the same board, in the same company upon the battle plain, those gallant brothers lived. Yet still would Gerald say, as the deep shadow crossed his brow, "Fate! it is fate that we shall die asunder!" Years passed, long years, and they waxed full of scars

and glory. In every battle that was fought in those days of continual warfare, the Irish Guards were foremost; and foremost of the Guards were those bold Desinonds. It boots not to record the several actions; for every year had its campaign, every campaign its series of desperate battles; Steenkirke, and Larden, and the sieges of Namur had, each and all, afforded opportunities to those brave men to gain fresh laurels. William the Third was dead, and Anne of Denmark had succeeded the usurper, and a new star appeared upon the military horizon-the great Marlborough; and Hochstaelt, Oude narde, and Malplaquet, and Blenheim, showed that the game of war was ever changeful, and that blind fortune is still fickle, even to mightiest monarchs; yet still the Desmonds bore, as it would seem, charmed lives, while all their comrades fell around them. The hapless James himself had died in exile, and his son was proclaimed King of England at St. Germain's, and recognized for such at Versailles. Anne passed away; and the first king of the house of Brunswick sat on the throne of England; yet still the fourteenth Louis upheld the exiled Stuarts, and still among the firmest of the adherents of that noble house were the two Irish brothers. In the unfortunate and illconcerted rising of Fifteen, both were engaged, having accompanied the Pretender to Peterhead, served through the whole of that brief and disastrous campaign, and finally made good their escape with him from the wild shores of Badenoch. Years passed-long years; and Gerald Desmond, now a grey-headed veteran, covered with scars and orders, commanded as lieutenant-colonel the second regiment of the French Guard; his brother Spencer, a weather-beaten soldier likewise, serving immediately below him as a senior major in the same battalionand it was war-still war! A second George was on the throne of England; and still the Stuarts maintained their claims with stubborn resolution, and still the king of France supported them. Flanders, unhappy Flanders, was still, as ever, the battle ground of nations. Bent on its conquest, the French king had there assembled a prodigious army under the famous Marshal Saxe, and had invested the strong town of Tournay on the last day of April. The

Duke of Cumberland, who had assumed the chief command of the allied army at Soignies with the Count Konigoll and the Prince of Waldeck, resolved to march, although inferior far in strength, to the relief of Tournay. On the twenty-eighth day of April he took post at Maulbre in sight of the French army, which was encamped on an eminence extending from the village of Antoine to a large wood beyond Vezon, having Fontenoy in its front. Two days were also consumed in skirmishing, and affairs of outposts, but on the morning of the thirtieth a furious cannonade commenced a general action. The British infantry in force, with the household brigade of the footguards at their head, rushed resolutely in upon Fontenoy, and drove the French foot back beyond their batteries, of which they actually gained possession for a few moments; but being unsupported by their own horse on both flanks, and being at the same time threatened by the French cavalry, they fell back regularly, although under a tremendous fire of artillery which did prodigious execution. It was not long, however, before those gallant forces were rallied, and returned to the shock with redoubled ardor; and now the French Guards were advanced to meet the shock of their rivals. It was an awful, yet at the same time a spiritstirring sight, to see those two superb brigades, the body guards of the two rival kings of one fair island, drawn up in deadly opposition; the self-same uniforms of scarlet with the same royal facings, their very buttons and embroidery of the same fashion, their plumes and standards, sashes and swords and gorgets-all, in their most minute details, the very same; yet ranged with level arms, in hostile armies; natives of the same kingdom, with the same glorious banner, the red cross of St. George, floating above their heads, yet armed against each other-armed and determined! Yet was there no blind rage, no fierce fanaticism among the high-bred gentlemen who led those choice brigades. The glittering battalions of the French Guard were drawn up in magnificent array along the crest of a low hill, the officers standing a little way in front of the several lines, while up the gentle slope their English rivals were advanc ing with a determined front in slow

and regular order. And then a circumstance occurred, more wildly and romantically singular than the most fanciful conception of the poet; so singular, indeed, that history scarce dares record it. For, when the two brigades were within thirty paces-the muskets on both sides already levelled, but not a shot having as yet been interchanged-when they were so close that every man could see the face and read the features of every individual antagonist, features wherein they could detect no sign of wavering or trepidation, the officers of the French Guard, Count d'Auteroche and Gerald Desmond, commanding the battalions, stepped forward and saluted the colors of their enemies. Instantly, at a word, the British brigade halted; and Lord John Hay, who led them, and all his officers, took off their plumed hats and bowed low to their chivalric foemen; and then, recover ing their arms, slowly advanced to the onset. They were not twenty yards apart, when Lord John Hay cried out in a clear, trumpet-like voice, "Gentlemen of the French Guard, we await your fire!" But the Count d'Auteroche replied, "Gentlemen of the English Guard, the French Guard never give, but receive the first fire!" Then those punctilious foes addressed themselves to act in earnest. The officers at that time bore long canes, and the French Guard might see them, with these and their spontoons, ranging the firelocks of their men to a lower and more deadly level, and hear the stern deep orders, "Steady, men, steady. Aim low! Present!" They heard, and waited that deliberate volley with their own muskets levelled, and every eye glaring along the polished barrel to single out its victim; but not one private soldier so much as thought of anticipating that decisive shot. "Fire!" and one quick simultaneous flash burst from above three thousand muskets, and the sharp roar of the platoon came singly as if from one gun. Fatal, most fatal, was that slaughtering volley! Above one-third of the whole force of the French Guard, with far more than the same proportion of the officers, dropped in the places where they stood, either slain outright or disabled; but the well disciplined and gallant Irish, of whom the ranks consisted, closed up over the dead and dying,

poured in their answering volley with terrible, although by no means equal execution, for the smoke hindered them from taking aim so surely; and then fixing their bayonets, with the wild thrilling yell of Ireland, and the deep charging shout of England, they dashed to the encounter. Four bullets of that fatal volley had pierced the noble form of Spencer Desmond, though, strange to say, Gerald, who stood in front, more exposed even than his brother, escaped unharmed from that tremendous hail-storm. Without a groan or cry, he sprang three feet into the air, and fell, dead as a stone, at the feet of his brother. Terrific was the cry that rang from the pale lips of that grey-headed veteran, "Revenge! Revenge Desmond and Ireland! Revenge!" and with the levelled steel, he and his fiery followers poured, like the torrents of their native hills, upon the stubborn foe. Tremendous was the havoc, but in vain! Both those brigades of Guards did well sustain their honor. Not a man turned on his heel to save his life; not a rank was broken; not a line wavered; not a drum nor a stand of colors on either side was taken. Each man fell in his place where shot or bayonet found him. Four several times they paused for breath, and dressed and re-organized their shattered companies; and four times they renewed the terrible encounter. The sword of Gerald Desmond was wet from point to hilt with the blood of the noblest of the foe; none could withstand the concentrated fury of his onset, no skill could parry his impetuous thrusts, no strength ward off his downright blows. His tongue, indeed, clave to his jaws, and his arm was literally weary with havoc; when, finding that the Dutch and Hanoverian horse would not sustain the British, unwillingly the Duke of Cumberland gave orders to retreat, leaving twelve thousand men upon the field, but drawing off his army in good order, and though he lost the battle, losing no honor on the dread day of Fontenoy.

And Spencer, too, was dead,dead in the arms of victory; and Gerald was, as he had ever prophesied, alone,-alone, the last of his race, in that broad barren wilderness, the world! Where shall he find a grave? Spencer lay where he fell;

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