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Soldiers of Fortune
Prince Eugene


EUGENE of Savoy may be fairly styled a soldier of fortune, for though ever constant to the colours under which he entered on his military career, like an illustrious contemporary, the Duke of Berwick, he abandoned the land of his birth to win fame and fortune by the sword. The story of his career would fill volumes ; there is matter in it, not only for the student of the art of war, but for the romancist delighting in sensation and adventure. Yet the most meagre sketch shows a typical leader of the times, throwing side-lights on the changes in camps, courts, and campaigning since the close of the Thirty Years' War had given temporary peace to Europe. Eugene was a link between the past and the present ; he was the preux chevalier, the Edler Ritter, of the imperial camp songs which found responsive echo from the hostile lines. A medieval knight and modern general born with the genius of war, in qualities he was the complement of his colleague Marlborough in the decisive battles of his time.

A scion of the house of Savoy, his grandfather had been more a soldier of fortune than himself. Thomas Francis, youngest son of the then Duke of Savoy, "of restless temperament and great political and military ability," constant to no cause and only consulting his own interests, had finally settled in France. The founder of the branch of Carignan had married a Bourbon, heiress of the last Count of Soissons. His younger son, Eugene Maurice, took his uncle's title of Count of Soissons, was naturalised as a Frenchman, and had the honours of a prince of the blood. The easy-going Prince, a courtier and complaisant husband, married one of the most turbulent and ambitious women of a time when feminine Court intrigue was swaying Court policy. The love affairs of the beautiful Olympia Mancini, the niece of Cardinal Mazarin, and of the young and hot- blooded King, are matters of history and of romance as well; Dumas, in the prelude to the "Vicomte de Bragelonne," has described the love-making on the banks of the Loire. Olympia missed the crown she had set her heart upon, and never altogether forgave her royal adorer, though, with alternate interludes of war and peace, there were intervals in which she ruled his Court and led the fashions. There was a final fall from favour on the rise of Louise de la Valliere, and on that occasion, by forging a letter from Spain, the Countess gave offence which was never forgiven. She and her husband were banished to their estates, a command equivalent to social extinction. The death of her husband drove her to despair. Not that she greatly regretted him, but she lost the revenues of his government of Champagne, found her means inconveniently straitened, and saw the prospects of her children gravely compromised. She gave herself license to return to Paris, but although it was tolerated her presence was ignored. In desperation she took to consulting soothsayers and the wizards who peeped and who muttered. She went farther, and undoubtedly entered into relations with those notorious women, Voisin and the traders in crime. She may have sought only philtres and charms, but it was said she became an expert in deadly poisons, and among other crimes laid to her charge was the subsequent poisoning of the French Queen of Spain at the instigation of the Imperial Ambassador. The question of her guilt or innocence is a mystery that can never be cleared up ; most reliable writers are inclined to acquit her; the author of the preface to Eugene's own brief memoirs condemns her without hesitation or reserve. It is certain she fled from France to Flanders to escape a process instituted against her and a lettre de cachet for the Bastille. So there arc different versions of the story of her retreat to Brussels and her residence there. One avers that she kept open salon for all that was most select in the society of Flanders ; another that, reduced to greater straits than ever, she was grateful to her kinsman, the Duc de Mazarin, for an occasional dole of a few score of louis.

Be the truth as it may, she bequeathed to her sons a tarnished name and the royal dislike to the family. They were left behind in Paris on her precipitate flight, and Louis seems to have regarded them with mingled feelings. As acknowledged princes of the blood, they had a claim to a certain recognition, nevertheless he was inclined to cross and spite them. Eugene, the third and the youngest, was imperiously destined to the Church. The young abbe, as he was somewhat sarcastically styled by the great King, was gratified in boyhood with clerical endowments, and might have counted on a plurality of lucrative benefices with archiepiscopal mitres and a cardinal's hat in reversion. But if ever a boy had a vocation, it was the young Eugene, and his tastes did not incline to the soutane or the breviary. He was born a soldier and a soldier he meant to be. As his predilections were all for the profession of arms, he seems to have taken his own education in charge. He was always studying military treatises or immersed in the biographies of the heroes he admired. To mathematics and engineering science he paid special attention, and it was an age when the engineer was in the ascendant and the fortress the pivot of the campaign. Nor did he neglect to exercise his slight but active person in all sorts of athletic exercises. The time came when he passed out of the tutelage of tutors and governors. He took his courage in his hands and sought an audience of the royal autocrat. Thanking him for all the favours bestowed or intended, he begged instead for a place in the army befitting his rank. The request was peremptorily refused in scornful terms ; and Louis, generally so sagacious in selecting capable officers, seldom made a more fatal mistake. Eugene in the Memoirs, which only begin with his arrival at Vienna, says nothing of the matter. In reality his fiery temperament boiled over; he remembered the griefs of his mother and the slights inflicted on his family, and his decision was made on the spur of the moment. The man who might have done more than any other to forward the French monarch's far-reaching schemes became one of the most unflinching enemies of France and the most formidable champions of European liberties.

Eugene was then a youth of nineteen. He was somewhat below the middle height, with the olive Italian complexion, refined features, a somewhat retrousse nose, and a short upper lip which, displaying his teeth, was apt to give an unfavourable impression at first sight; but all was redeemed by the bright flashing eyes which softened easily into genial smiles or blazed when lit up with the fire of battle. Once decided to turn his back on the land of his birth, he had little hesitation as to where to seek a career. The ambition of Louis had troubled the peace of nations, and Europe was ranging itself in hostile camps, headed respectively by the Bourbons and the Hapsburgs. An elder brother of Eugene had gone already to place his sword at the disposal of the Emperor; he had been well received, and immediately presented with a regiment. Eugene resolved to follow the example. The Chevalier de Soissons had had a gracious reception, but the welcome of Eugene was even more cordial, for Leopold from the first took a strong liking to him. Political considerations, besides, were strong recommendations. Eugene was a near kinsman of the house of Savoy, and in the wars between France and the Empire the Dukes played a conspicuous part, and not infrequently swayed the balance. Seated upon the crests of the Western Alps, they locked the passes which led from France into Italy. In subsequent campaigns that cousinship of Eugene was eminently serviceable to the Empire, though it landed himself in embarrassments which went far to compromise his operations. The reigning Duke was a gallant soldier who never shirked fighting, and who might have been as honourable as he was brave in less difficult circumstances. As it was, under pressure from Versailles he passed from double-dealing to actual treachery, and had it not been for very shame, would have taken a more active part against the kinsman he betrayed when he had come to his help in the Duke's extremity.

Eugene's noble birth helped him at least as much as his genius and his courage. Times had changed since the Thirty Years' War, when a simple Bohemian gentleman overshadowed the Emperor, defying the open enmity of the Elector of Bavaria, and when a soldier of fortune from the Low Countries became the leader of the Catholic League. Towards the close of the seventeenth century blood and birth counted for everything. The contingents who swelled the motley armies of the allies were commanded by their own princes, who stood punctiliously upon precedence and the prerogatives of their rank. For the most part they had courage enough, but with the exception of the Bavarian Elector, and perhaps Louis of Baden, seldom boasted any higher qualities. When Marlborough marched from the Moselle to the Danube his fame as a general was already unrivalled among his colleagues, and he represented besides the combined strength of England and Holland. Yet had it not been for his tact, suavity, and diplomacy, Blenheim might never have been fought, and that decisive campaign might have ended in disaster. Louis of Baden, who was satirised in a Flemish caricature as nodding over money bags—he was suspected of venality, and charged more certainly with supineness—claimed the command in virtue of his rank. Marlborough kept his temper, temporised suavely, and conceded the command upon alternate days. Yet, as it was, the concession made as a sacrifice to punctilio precipitated the sanguinary storm of the Schellenburg, and the key of the hostile position was won at the critical moment, but at a useless cost.

Eugene was to have a more varied experience of war than any general of his time. Napoleon scarcely made himself more familiar by personal survey with the strategical topography of Europe. For the Empire extended from the North Sea to the Lower Danube, from the Hanse towns and the Elbe to the Mincio and the Milanese, and the imperial pretensions embraced Spain and the Sicilies. As subaltern, chief of division, and general in command, Eugene had been everywhere where fighting was going forward, and had seen two very different sorts of service. In the West the wars were waged by rules—by rules which he seldom dared to violate. They were the well-considered moves on a chessboard, where mistake might be fatal, and where he was pitted against the veteran generals of France. In the East he was confronting the Turkish hordes, where the staunch and disciplined battalions of the Janissaries were supported by a rabble of wild horsemen, and there, as at Zenta and at Belgrade, he won decisive battles by venturing on liberties professionally unwarrantable as matters of cool calculation. In the West it was a war of sieges, with incessant marching and countermarching. The French and Flemish frontiers bristled with fortresses; the banks of the Rhine were scarcely less strongly defended. Louis, on the one side, had the invaluable assistance of Vauban and Maigrigna, and they were rivalled by Cohorn, whose talent was at the service of the allies. Such sieges as those of Namur, Tournai, and Mons were protracted by every sort of work and counterwork that engineering skill could devise ; military science even then was replete with deadly surprises. Places of comparative insignificance, whose names are now almost forgotten, became points of vital importance in the plans of operations. When the town had been taken, after slow though sanguinary approaches, the garrison would withdraw to the citadel, where the whole bloody business was to recommence, on conditions often arranged—as at Namur—to spare the townspeople and their dwellings. So, while operations in-definitely dragged, there was ample time to arrange for possible relief. Covering armies slowly manoeuvred on a system of outlying defence. The spade and the pickaxe were as much in request as the cannon and the musket. Wherever an army bivouacked for more than a day, if an enemy were anywhere in the neighbourhood, trenches were dug and parapets thrown up. Longer delay meant the construction of formidable field works. What shows the power or the weakness of the field artillery of the day is the fact that " cannon-proof " defences were often constructed in a single night.

When the summer campaign was indefinitely prolonged, and armies lay in leaguer before fortresses deemed im-pregnable, threatened by others entrenched behind lines of circumvallation, the commissariat question was of urgent importance. The system was that war must support itself, and the countries were laid under ruthless contribution. Yet necessity suggested some sort of method. Frequently, before the winter camps were broken up, contracts were made with the local authorities, and the supplies, when practicable, were stored in magazines. When the magazines gave out, the troops had recourse to pillage, and often when the crops had failed they were reduced to dire extremities. Epidemics followed on famine or scarcity ; then the starving soldiers would break out in open mutiny, and never could it be said with greater truth that an army marches on its belly. The fate of the unfortunate prisoners of war was deplorable. In such circumstances the personality of the leader counted for much. Eugene, like Marshal Villars, won the hearts of his soldiers not only by the dauntless courage which may have been almost a fault, but by his kindly attention to their comforts. What prescience could do to provide for their wants, that he did, though at the best it was no easy matter when the portable biscuit had not been invented, and when the army had to live by bread and the bakeries.

If he was beloved and trusted by the rank and file, he won the confidence of the intelligent officers who were to carry out his instructions. He had the eye and the instinct of the born strategist, could discern at a glance the capabilities of a battle ground, and he knew as much of fortification as the most capable of his engineers. He proved his science over and over again at the siege of Belgrade, when, at once beleaguering and beleaguered, his position had become well-nigh desperate. In such extremities he never trusted to others, but did the scouting and surveying for himself, and in such exceptional circumstances his carelessness of life may have been justified, though he often escaped death by a miracle. Louis took the field in state, with all the pomp and ceremonial of Versailles; but though he may be credited with the courage of his race, he seldom risked his sacred person. It may have been a venial weakness, but Eugene loved the pomp of war as much as the great King, and there was no lack of eager elves to follow when he rode out on one of his reconnoitring expeditions, taking shallow trenches in the stride of his horse and running the gauntlet of the hostile batteries. At the siege of Belgrade, when he put his foot in the stirrup, crown princes and nobles and high-born volunteers were emulously crowding in his train, though wounds were common enough and saddles were often emptied. In the hottest fire he had a happy turn for paying graceful or inspiriting compliments; nor did he ever miss the opportunity of praising the gallantry of a subaltern in presence of the chief on whom he depended for promotion. He was blessed besides with the memory for faces which served Napoleon so well, when the friendly recognition of an old comrade gratified the veteran more than the cross of the Legion, with pension to correspond.

Eugene was welcomed to Vienna in an anxious hour. The Magyars had risen in open revolt, and had summoned the Moslems to their aid. For the last time the Kaiserstadt, the eastern bulwark of Christendom, was threatened by the Ottoman advance. Kara Mustapha, the famous Vizier, at the head of 200,000 men, was approaching the gates. Eugene, with his commission as colonel of cavalry, left the Court to join the army of the Duke of Lorraine. Lorraine, finding his communications threatened by the Turks, had broken up his camp on the Raab, sending his infantry back to the capital, while with his cavalry he withdrew to a position on the left bank of the river opposite Presburg. From thence he was compelled to a farther retreat. With the rearguard was the regiment of the Savoy dragoons, commanded by Eugene's brother. Within a few miles of Vienna, Eugene was for the first time under fire, when the Turkish vanguard made a desperate onset before the prey it was pursuing escaped. The attack was repelled after some fierce fighting, but Eugene had to lament the loss of his brother. The Turks, closing in upon the city, forced Lorraine from position to position. Avoiding a battle, Lorraine manceuvred on their flanks or rear, challenging them to sundry sharp engagements. At length, in the early autumn, he could draw breath, when he formed a junction with the forces of Sobieski. Moreover, supports were coming up from Germany. When the combined forces mustered over 80,000 strong, a rocket from the Kahlenberg gave the signal for the advance, and the excitement in Vienna was raised to fever pitch. The battle, though sharp, was short, and it was decisive. The rout of the Turks was complete, for panic succeeded to surprise, though they rallied and fell back very reluctantly from a campaign which they had expected to be crowned with victory. In all the fighting Eugene had been to the front under the command of his cousin, Louis of Baden, who at that time showed none of the lack of energy with which he was subsequently charged. But after the great battle on the Marchfeld, there was a brief rest in Vienna, when the young soldier made the acquaintance of the most renowned leaders of the imperial armies.

After a few days of repose the army was following the enemy, and Eugene, attached to the staff of his cousin, distinguished himself in various cavalry actions, in which, as he says in his Memoirs, "the Turks were cut to pieces without mercy." The Emperor received him graciously, and, what was more to the purpose, promised him the first vacant command. While the army was in winter quarters the promise was redeemed, and he was gazetted to the colonelcy of a regiment of Tyrolese dragoons.

Next summer, when the tables had been turned on the Turks, Lorraine was laying siege to Buda. In a battle in which a relieving army was routed, Eugene covered himself with fresh laurels, and was specially named by the Duke in despatches. That summer's campaign brought him both credit and promotion. He was given the rank of major- general, for princes could rise rapidly in those days, and his cousin Louis wrote to the Kaiser: "This youth will in time take his place with those who are regarded as great leaders of armies." It was not only his cousin who held him in high estimation ; next summer, after another brilliant victory before Buda against an army led by the new Grand Vizier, Eugene was selected by the fighting Elector of Bavaria to carry the news to Vienna. Having delivered his message, he did not loiter. A grand assault on the fortress was imminent, and he would not miss the chance of glory. So far he had his wish that he arrived in time to take his post in the storm. It is needless to follow him through the complicated operations in detail. But at the second battle of Mohacs, when the defeat of the Magyars on the former memorable field was terribly avenged on the Turks, Eugene, at the head of a cavalry brigade, charged the trenches and cleared the ditches behind when the flower of the Turkish infantry were making a last desperate stand, pursuing the chase, sabring and slaughtering, till his troopers had to draw rein from sheer exhaustion. First in the trenches, he says himself: "I took a crescent and planted the imperial eagle." Again he was sent to carry the news to the Emperor. Nor did he lose anything by the departure of his two special patrons, the Elector of Bavaria and Louis of Baden, whose susceptibilities had been ruffled, and who had resigned in disgust. The loss brought him into personal relations with the Duke of Lorraine, who was not slow to appreciate his merits. Already, indeed, his fame had been spreading far and wide, so much so that his time-serving kinsman, Victor Amadeus of Savoy, deemed it worth while to pay him a substantial compliment. Nk ith consent of the Pope the dashing young cavalry leader was rewarded with the revenues of two of the best Piedmontcse benefices. Simultaneously Leopold advanced the mitred major-general to the rank of lieutenant-general. "A colonel at twenty," so he writes complacently, "I was a lieutenant-general at twenty-five."

The event of 1688 was the storm of Belgrade. Max Emmanuel of Bavaria was in command; he had been conciliated by the generous conduct of Lorraine, who had retired rather than alienate so important an ally. The siege was pressed with ceaseless fire from the batteries, and with breaches pronounced barely practicable a morning was fixed for the assault. To Eugene's disappointment and surprise the command of the five attacking columns was given to other generals. He remonstrated with his friend, the Commander-in-Chief. "You shall remain with me in reserve," said the Elector, "and in this I am neither taking away nor giving you a bad commission. God knows what may happen" (sic). As Eugene goes on, "He had guessed the result." The stormers under Stahrenberg were brought up unexpectedly by a deep ditch, strongly stockaded. "All the assailants were repulsed. Sword in hand, this brave prince and myself rallied and cheered them. I mounted the breach; a Janissary cleft my helmet with a stroke of his sabre; I passed my sword through his body, and the Elector had an arrow in his cheek. Nothing could be more brilliant or more sanguinary. How strangely one may find amusement amidst scenes of the greatest horror. I shall never forget the grimaces of the Jews, who had to throw into the Danube the bodies of 12,000 men, to save the trouble and expense of burying them."

Sorely against his will, Eugene had to quit the camp charged with a diplomatic mission. The victories of the Emperor, which had recovered Hungary and Transylvania, had alarmed Louis, who, easily finding a pretext, sent his armies into the field to assail the western frontier of Germany. It was then the Palatinate was overrun and ruthlessly ravaged. Assailed on both sides, for he declined to come to honourable terms with the Turks, Leopold was casting about for new alliances. That of the Duke of Savoy became of great importance, and Eugene, under pretence of renewing relations with his family, was to travel to Turin. He was under no delusion as to the character of his cousin, although he made allowances. "Those petty princes," as he remarks elsewhere, "such as the Dukes of Lorraine and Bavaria, are prevented by their geography from being men of honour." He knew Victor Amadeus " to be sordid, ambitious, deceitful, implacable, &c.," detesting and dreading Louis, indifferent to Leopold, and always ready to betray both. The way to influence him was through his mistresses or his ministers, and the envoy could count upon support from neither, Eugene was half Italian, and though, soldier-like, he went straight to the point, it was with some suggestion of Machiavellian subtlety. He bluntly told the Duke he would always be the slave of his mortal enemy, unless he cast in his lot with the Emperor, who promised magnificent rewards, counselling him at the same time to dissemble till he was ready to throw off the mask. Later the envoy was to have many trying experiences of the duplicity he advised. He flattered the Duke by giving him the title of Royal Highness. "Sign the treaty with the Emperor at Venice," he added; "there in the festivities of the Carnival you will meet the Bavarian Elector, who is fond of amusement like yourself." Eugene did not foresee that his friend the Elector was to wreck his fortunes by a change of policy to which he was to be more constant than the vacillating Duke.

Eugene on his return to Vienna was warmly congratulated by the Emperor on his success. Characteristically, he only asked, by way of reward, permission to pay a flying visit to the Rhine frontier, where he had the luck to arrive in time to see the storm of Mayence and carry away a musket ball in the shoulder by way of souvenir.

Payment of the subsidies stipulated with the allies converted for the time the Duke of Savoy into "the staunchest Austrian in the world." Eugene was to be sent to his assistance and to confirm him in his new resolution, and was promised a force of 7000 men. With his experience of imperial delays, he would not wait, and left them to follow. "Eager to engage the French, whom I had never yet seen opposed to me," he hurried to the Piedmontese camp. The Duke was all fire; to do him justice he always delighted in battle. "I am going to give Catinat battle," he said, "and you are just in time." With all his headlong courage in action, Eugene was never rash. "Be cautious," he said; "Catinat is an able general, and commands the flower of the French army." The caution was justified. Catinat took the initiative, led his men across morasses deemed impassable, and Eugene, who had stubbornly held his own on the left, found his flank turned, and, withdrawing his division, was reduced to covering the retreat. Catinat carried all before him ; the Duke had lost everything but his capital, and Eugene went back to Vienna with a most disheartening report of the campaign. For himself, he had had some satisfaction for the discomfiture in the battle. He laid an ambuscade for a large French detachment returning loaded with plunder from the pillage of a town. Thoughtless of danger, they gave notice of their approach by singing in light-hearted French fashion "at the stretch of their throats." They changed their note when they were being cut to pieces almost to a man, though the Prince "scolded the soldiers severely for treating the prisoners a la Turque. They had forgotten that it is usual to give quarter to Christians," and indeed, in the wars of the time, the rule was as often honoured in the breach as in the observance.

No general did more generous justice to his opponents. When baffled or checked in the game of war he had only admiration for the tactics which foiled him. He owns that he sometimes let his ardour get the better of his judgment, whereas Catinat, always cool, performed prodigies both as a general and soldier. But in the campaigns in Piedmont he was constantly embarrassed by the treachery of the double-faced and plausible Duke. Victor Amadeus, with his fortresses in the hands of the French, unscrupulously took the money of the allies while selling their secrets to Catinat. Once Eugene, arriving unexpectedly, found him closeted with a French envoy. The lame explanation was that he was negotiating with Catinat, but only with a view to deceive him the better. When Eugene undertook any enterprise, he had to mislead the Duke as well as the enemy. "It was impossible to determine whether this unaccountable Duke wished or did not wish to gain the battles which he fought." Summer after summer, he saw the military fame which was as the breath of his nostrils imperilled by conditions he could not control. Hot as he was in action, he showed the sweetness of a temper which strove to make the best of things and of a patience which was training itself to wait and hope. At last, in 1696, matters came to a head. The Duke confessed that, weary of hostilities, he had concluded a treaty with Louis. He marched his troops to the camp of Catinat, and with the French general beleaguered the Imperialists in Valence. Disgusted with the war and outmanoeuvred in negotiation, Eugene for the time turned his back on Piedmont. The Emperor understood the situation and was cordial as before. The Prince, with unfettered hands, was to have command of the army in Hungary, and he could have desired nothing better. At the same time there was an incident which could have been scarcely less gratifying. Louis, who had contemptuously refused "the little Abbe" a commission, taking it for granted that he had been disgusted by the treachery of the Duke and the success of the French intrigues, made him the most flattering overtures if he would pass into his service. Eugene remarks that his reception of the proposals was certainly never textually reported at Versailles.

Heart and soul he was devoted to his profession. During these latter years there had been various interludes in which he had taken some sort of holiday, though business of the Empire was always the object. More than once he had visited Venice, where dissipation and luxury reigned supreme, in company of the Elector of Bavaria and other princes, who threw themselves into all the follies of the place. Eugene makes no profession of morality ; he merely remarks that he might have had his amours like the others, had he been so inclined—that there were many complaisant husbands who would have welcomed him in the role of Cicisbeo to their wives, but as it happened he had other matters to attend to.

The Emperor would have done better to make terms with the Turks when they were in conciliatory mood after the capture of Belgrade. The strength and finances of the Empire were overtaxed by the triple war on the Rhine, in Italy, and on the Danube. The pride of the Sultan had been piqued by his humiliating reverses, and above all by the loss of Belgrade. Within two years of the loss, Belgrade had been recovered, and in 1696 the steady Turkish approaches had again become very threatening. Another siege of Vienna seemed not impossible. Various leaders had lost credit in successive campaigns, and after some hesitation, for he had powerful enemies at Court, Eugene had at last been selected, as the most fortunate of the imperial generals. It was not till midsummer of 1697 that he received his commission, and he set out immediately for the army. The army had been starved, and if his predecessors in command had been unlucky, it was not altogether their own fault. The troops were destitute of everything—their pay was long in arrear, their clothing was in rags, and the arsenals were empty. As with Napoleon's marshals in the Peninsula, jealousies were rife and the divisional commanders were at open enmity. Happily, as Eugene remarks, the Turks were never in a hurry, and he had already arrived at headquarters before the grand army of the Ottomans under the Grand Signior himself had reached Sofia. But if the march was as slow as the methods of mobilisation, the motley host was none the less formidable. From the Asiatic and European provinces Kara Mustapha had mustered the most numerous army the Turks had put in the field since their sanguinary defeat at Mohacs. Eugene improved the delay to the utmost. He sent pressing demands to Vienna for supplies, which in the emergency were more or less satisfactorily responded to, and imperative orders to the divisional generals to concentrate.

He had had his earlier experiences of Oriental cam-paigning, although without the responsibilities of supreme command. He had to adapt himself to unfamiliar conditions and combinations, for it was a very different warfare from that he had directed in Italy and witnessed on the Rhine. We get a vivid idea of it in the picturesque pages of M. de la Colonie, "the old campaigner," whose chronicles were recently published. It is true that M. de la Colonic speaks of twenty years later, when he served under the Prince at the last memorable siege of Belgrade, but the Oriental methods had changed but little since Charles Martel routed the Saracens on the plain of Tours. They understood nothing of scientific war as it had been studied and developed in Western Europe. Leisurely as their movements might be, when they faced the foe they were always keen to force the fighting ; if they once broke the enemy's ranks defeat became irretrievable disaster ; with their flying squadrons of light horse they followed up the advantage so swiftly that the fugitives had not a moment to rally. Invariably the Christians were greatly outnumbered, but, fortunately for them, there was little discipline in the raw levies raised on the feudal system. Each was headed by its own Pacha or Seraskier, who, without regard to the numbers of his contingent, occupied the central pavilion in an encampment of his own. He was supposed to relieve the Porte of all details as to clothing, pay, or transport, which were left very much to haphazard. The most formidable arm of the irregulars was the horse, admirably adapted for scouting or foraging, and terrible in the resistless onset when ranks were broken. They prided themselves on the keenness of their sabres, which they used with a dexterity which was almost sleight of hand, and so the German troopers who came from the Netherlands lined the hats they had worn there with solid steel plating. As for the Turkish and Tartar horse, they guarded the head, as native cavalry in India do at the present day, with the cumbrous folds of a turban, impervious alike to sunstroke and the sabre. That was likewise the head- wear of the Janissaries, who, as Kinglake described the Zouavcs in the Crimea, were the steel point of the Turkish lance. The Janissaries had the discipline the others lacked, with the indomitable pride of a military caste who preferred death to dishonour. Bred from boyhood to warfare in their barracks, with the nerves and strong limbs of Rayahs from the Christian provinces, fatalists as far as they had any faith, they were unequalled in the stubborn defence of entrenchments, and they rushed to the escalade of fortifications as to a fete. It was with the Janissaries Eugene had chiefly to reckon, and they were never spared when protecting the retreat in the days of disaster they were now to experience.

When he reached the camp the general belief was that the Grand Signior intended to lay siege to Peterwardein on the Danube. But with the advancing army screened behind clouds of light horse, it was difficult to obtain reliable intelligence. Suddenly, and to his surprise, Eugene learned that, in place of passing the Save, the Turks had crossed the Danube lower down, and by a crafty move had placed themselves in a position either to intercept Count Rabutin, who was on his march to headquarters with his detachment, or to strike at Peterwardein. Eugene had been deceived; he had marched up the Theiss to meet Rabutin, but he hurried back in time to save Peterwardein —"too late," as he remarks, to assist General Nehem, who had been holding the covering fortress of Titel. The episode is worth mentioning for his comments on it. "I arrived too late, but nevertheless praised him, for he could not have held out any longer. God be praised, I never complained of any one, neither did I ever throw upon another the blame of a fault or a misfortune." Nor does lie say so much without reason. In Piedmont, among the imperial generals, no one had been more unfriendly than the Prince of Commercy, and he had more than once been embarrassed by his jealousy or Yet in the Memoirs he never misses an opportunity of speaking of Commercy in the highest terms.

There is nothing to note in the manoeuvres which pre-ceded the decisive battle of Zenta. Eugene was always embarrassed by the swarms of cavalry he had difficulty in keeping at bay. At length he had the luck to catch a Pacha who had been sent on a reconnoitring expedition. The Pacha was obstinately silent, till he found his tongue when "surrounded by four hussars with drawn sabres, ready to cut him in pieces." Then Eugene learned that the bulk of the Ottoman army was at Zenta on the Theiss, entrenched behind formidable field-works. "I was marching to attack them when a cursed courier brought me an order from the Emperor not to give battle under any circumstances." He had advanced, as he says, too far to draw back. As Nelson put the telescope to his blind eye at Copenhagen, Eugene thrust the imperial letter into his pocket and rode on to reconnoitre at the head of six regiments of dragoons. He saw the Turks were preparing to pass the river, and galloped back to his army in high spirits. His look of elation, he says, was accepted by them as a good omen. He began the battle by heading a charge which sent 2000 Spahis back to their entrenchments. Then he directed a slow and complicated movement which was to envelop the whole Turkish army in a semi-circular onslaught. It was a decision taken on the spur of the moment, one of the impromptu flashes of genius which mark the born general. It was one of those liberties in violation of the accepted rules of war on which he ventured when he counted with the character of the leader opposed to him. "I should not have dared to do so before Catinat," he remarks half apologetically. The encircling movement slowly developed. Meantime Eugene in the centre, having driven in the Spahis, advanced with some light field-pieces in the line to reply to the tremendous fire from the Turkish batteries. The Turkish camp was a half crescent, covering the bridge which spanned the river. Below the bridge the banks were steep ; above the Theiss ran shallow, and in the middle was a sandbank, which was to be used afterwards with fatal effect for the turning movement that took the enemy's entrenchments in the rear. A long train of loaded waggons, serving Boer-fashion as a second line of defence, were in waiting to pass the bridge. The battle was going with the Imperialists but the day was drawing on, and Eugene was alarmed lest the darkness should mask the Turkish retreat. It was six in the evening ere the entrenchments were breached, but then they were being broken and assaulted at many points. The Turks crowded in panic to the bridge and choked it; they had to choose between drowning and falling by the sword. "On every side was heard the cry of ArnanI Aman! which signifies quarter," but little quarter was given. "At ten of the night the slaughter still continued; I could not take more than 4000 prisoners, but 20,000 were left dead on the field and 10,000 were drowned. I did not lose I000 men." The Janissaries fought it out to the last with the indomitable spirit of the corps. Assailed on every side, they were forced back at last, and then they found their retreat to the bridge intercepted by a body of pikemen under Guido Stahrenberg. They were virtually annihilated. The few who escaped saved themselves by swimming, but most of those who threw themselves into the water were swept away on the current, for the river was in flood.

An immense booty fell into the hands of the victors. The Grand Signior and all his feudal aristocracy had taken the field in state. The pavilions with their rich contents had been abandoned. Among the spoils was the great seal of the Empire, to which special solemnity attached, and which should have been worn round the neck of the Grand Vizier. All the weapons of the motley host had been abandoned, with the great train of artillery and innumerable horses and animals of transport. There were the treasure chests as well, but though the contents sound formidable in piastres, they barely amounted to 25,000 of our money.

The loss of prestige, with the demoralisation that followed, was even more serious. Thenceforth between Osmanli and Christian the situation was to be reversed. The Imperialists pushed their successes and encroachments, and the Turks in their turn had to stand on the defensive, parrying the strokes that were dealt them in rapid succession. Immediately after the victory it was full late in the year to carry the campaign into the malarious fiats of the Danube. Eugene, impetuous as he was, never ventured his foot farther than he could safely draw it back. He contented himself with raiding Bosnia, taking the castles and burning the towns, and then he scattered his men in their winter quarters.

There was no safe reckoning with the Court of Vienna, where whisperers and backbiters had the Emperor's ear. Eugene repaired thither in the highest spirits, confidently expecting a welcome "a hundred times warmer" than he had ever received before. On the contrary, "Leopold gave me the coldest of audiences; more dry than ever, he listened without saying a word." The victor of Zenta was actually asked to surrender his sword. "My rage was silent; I was put under arrest in my hotel." He heard he was to be court-martialled for disobedience of orders, with probable condemnation to death. The popular indignation at the injustice was intense; Eugene says that with tears in his eyes he had to use his influence to prevent an e'nteute. But the popular demonstration was effective, and Eugene had a speedy revenge. The pride of the Hapsburg was humbled; the Emperor not only returned him his sword, but prayed him to continue to command in Hungary. He consented, on the understanding that thenceforth he should have absolute carte blanche—a stipulation accepted, though subsequently broken. "The poor Emperor dared not concede so much publicly," but the General compromised for a private note to that effect, signed by the Emperor's own hand. The renewed appointment led to little, for again the war was starved, and next year the Imperialists were comparatively inactive. But the Prince's services had had more substantial recognition; he had the grant of large domains in Hungary, and was becoming a wealthy man. He built or bought a palace in the Kaiserstadt, laid out gardens, began a noble library, and collected paintings and drawings for his galleries. He gave sumptuous entertainments, and had his private band, "to relieve me during dinner from the necessity of listening to tiresome persons."

Not unwillingly he was disturbed in his Viennese Capua by the War of the Spanish Succession, for never was he so happy or so much at home as in the tented field. In 17or he was in Italy, facing his old opponent Catinat "with 30,000 good veteran troops." "I was now in the full career of war, after ten days of incredible labour among mountains and precipices with 2000 pioneers." He had crossed the mountains from Roveredo to Vicenza by one of the most daring marches on record, and Catinat for once was taken completely by surprise. The Prince had sealed the Tyrolese passes so that no news of his movement should escape, and had lavished money on spies who had brought him sure intelligence. Catinat fell back, leaving him all the country between the Mincio and the Adige. He passed the Mincio. Catinat, though still with the army, had been superseded by the incapable Villeroi, but the double-faced Duke of Savoy was in nominal command. There is a comic element in that campaign, and Eugene, who knew his cousin well by this time, had begun to manipulate him. Catinat, before the desperate battle near Chiari, had advised retreat; the Duke, "who wished Villeroi to get a sound drubbing," was all for the battle. "Never," says Eugene, "did I witness such valour " as on the 1st September. He won the victory, but "Victor Amadeus was everywhere, exposing himself like the most deter-mined of the soldiers. What a singular character ! He wished to lose the battle, but habitual courage stifled the suggestions of policy." Success after success kept the French on the retreat, but the season closed with the exhaustion of both armies. The French were deserting by hundreds. Eugene's forces were also dwindling perceptibly, "but my men were attached to me, and endured their hardships with patience." His horses, fed on dead leaves, were dying for lack of forage, powder and lead were giving out, no money was forthcoming, and his urgent appeals for supplies and reinforcements were, as usual, only answered by delusive promises. These were indeed the invariable conditions under which he fought his campaigns. An empty treasury always crippled the operations ; when, after a summer of straits and shifts, the troops were in winter quarters, their general either hurried to Vienna to press for means or despatched a confidential officer on the mission.

But this is not a life of Eugene; it is simply an episodical sketch. Enough has been given in detail to show something of his character and capacity, and the rest may be more summarily dismissed, the rather that his greatest campaigns in conjunction with Marlborough belong to familiar English history. But this winter, while he remained in Italy with the army, there was an incident notably characteristic of deredle Ritter, whose romantic daring made him the hero of the camp songs, for even in the winter camp he could not hibernate like other commanders. One of these incidents was the surprise of the fortress of Cremona, held by a strong garrison under Marshal Villeroi. It came off in a night of rain and storm, and had nearly been a signal success; as at the surprise of Bergen-op-Zoom under Lord Lynedoch, the assailants had actually penetrated to the heart of the town, and they were only repulsed through a failure in combination, when the garrison rallied and discovered their weakness. As it was, Villeroi himself was carried away a prisoner, though in the end that proved a doubtful gain, for the incompetent courtier of Versailles was replaced by Vendome, an antagonist in every way worthy of Eugene, and who, like him, seldom or ever blundered. After much manceuvring and some sharp fighting in the early spring, so fully did Eugene recognise this that he resolved to attempt a repetition of the Cremona exploit, and send VendOme to keep Villeroi company at Vienna. VenclOrne in action was the soul of energy, but he was careless of danger, and indolence was his besetting sin. He occupied a solitary villa on the Mincio, at no great distance from the imperial lines. A water-party of 200 men had well-nigh caught him napping when an untimely shot gave the alarm prematurely, and the party, which were under the windows of the villa, had to beat a hasty retreat. There was suspicion of treachery, and every man of them was court-martialled and closely examined, but all were acquitted with the Scotch verdict of "Not proven." The narrow escape effectually roused Vendome, and the skill of Eugene was taxed to the utmost to hold his positions against a general eager for revenge and with far superior forces. After a summer of feints and counterfeints the French fell back, and Eugene could write to the Emperor that he had worn the enemy out, though he admitted that he had not gained the smallest advantage.

In 1703 the scene shifts to the other side of the Alps. The political situation had been changing likewise, and not to the advantage of the Emperor. There were five French armies in the field, all under more or less able marshals. Eugene's old leader, Max Emanuel, a dangerous enemy, had finally decided for the French, opening a way for them into the heart of the Austrian dominions. It is true that Marlborough was on the Meuse, having broken the defensive barrier of the French fortresses, and the Dutch and Prussians had been victorious on the Lower Rhine. But on the other hand Hungary had risen in revolt, Vienna was in alarm, and Presburg in imminent danger. Eugene explained the situation briefly, and spoke out bluntly as was his custom. "The Emperor made me War Minister. I told him that war could not be carried on without troops or money. . . I put a stop to the peculations in every department. . . . I said to the Emperor, ' Your army, sire, is your monarchy; your capital is your frontier town. Your Majesty has no fortress ; every one is paid except those who serve you. Make peace, sire, if you cannot carry on war, and it is evident that you cannot do without the money of England.' "It outlined the policy he advocated, and indicated the alliance he negotiated. He gained his point and persuaded the Emperor, but ex nihilo nihil fit, and no money was immediately forthcoming. He took the field in Hungary in person, but "though Minister at War, I could not even give myself the army which Leopold had promised, and was unable to do anything." Next year the Hungarian rebels were actually in the suburbs of Vienna, and it was all Eugene could do to repulse them with his slender garrison and a muster of the burghers behind entrenchments hastily thrown up.

Again he urged his views on the Emperor, and now he had carte blanche to negotiate. Indeed the situation had become so critical that there seemed but a single course to pursue. Three of the French armies were directly threatening Germany, and the Bavarian Elector held the country up to the Inn, and had seized some of the strong places in Upper Austria. If effective help did not come from the allies the Emperor was lost. Eugene put himself in immediate communication with Marlborough. He explained that the Empire could do nothing in the Netherlands, where the advances of the enemy threatened its very existence, but that his plans might be baffled by anticipating them and fighting him on his own chosen ground. Those great generals, surveying the field of action, had simultaneously penetrated the French designs and come to identical conclusions. Marlborough answered Eugene by a march which took him over the Rhine to Heilbronn on the Neckar. Thither Eugene rode in hot haste, and it was the scene of the memorable meeting which had such momentous results. They were to act in the meantime apart, although in concert. Eugene, with characteristic modesty and self-abnegation, placed himself at once under the orders of his English friend. For friends they were from the first. Eugene says, "We sincerely loved and esteemed each other. He was indeed a great statesman and general." But he gives a curious explanation of the circumstance which first clenched that new friendship, as it finally cost him another. He had given Marlborough license to ravage Bavaria uncontrolled, and the Bavarian Elector was naturally "furious."

Few battles have been more fiercely contested than Blenheim or Hochstadt. Seldom has the balance swayed more doubtfully as the tide of battle ebbed or flowed. Tallard to the last had good hopes of victory, and both the allied generals risked themselves recklessly, as matter of cool calculation, to inspirit their shattered battalions. All four of the leaders had their reputations at stake and something more. Marlborough, overriding timid counsels, had marched into the heart of Europe with lengthening communications which made retreat almost impossible in the event of disaster. Eugene, in bringing him thither, had staked his credit with his master on the success of the grand stroke. Tallard, with his many enemies at Versailles, had been as eager to advance as either of his adversaries, and he hazarded as much as they on the issue of the battle. As for the Elector of Bavaria, he had staked everything on the event. Nor did the soldiers who faced each other in the lists need much inspiriting. Marl-borough's men had blind confidence in the leader who had never known a check, and in almost similar case were Tallard's stubborn veterans, who held staunchly to their entrenchments in Hochstadt till they were enveloped and practically annihilated. But nowhere along the line was there a more tremendous shock and counter-shock than where Eugene found himself opposed to the Bavarians. Horse and foot, the Bavarians were in a white heat against the invaders who had sacked their towns and burned their homesteads. Their Elector himself headed the horse, and Eugene with the imperial cavalry scattered before them. He pistolled more than one of the fugitives, but they were panic-stricken and not to be rallied. Fortunately he had the picked Prussian brigades under Leopold of AnhaltDessau to fall back upon. Bavarians and Prussians met in close grips, and it was then that Eugene fought like a common soldier, having more than one miraculous escape before the stolid persistence of the Brandenburg veterans prevailed. The hard-won victory was due to the unremitting energy and vigilance of two sympathetic generals of rare penetration, ever ready to lend each other assistance where the strain was most severe. "I was under the greatest obligations to Marlborough," writes Eugene, "for his changes in the dispositions according to circumstances." Tallard had matter for sad reflection on the luck of war; twice, he wrote in his despatches, he had nearly won the battle, and twice he was balked by misadventures which could neither be foreseen nor avoided. Most to be pitied was the unfortunate Bavarian Elector, who had done through the battle all that man could do. He saved him self with the relics of his gallant regiments, falling back upon Villeroi, who was coming up too late. It was a mournful greeting he gave the Marshal: "I have sacrificed my dominions for your king, and now I am ready to sacrifice the life which is all that is left me."

Marlborough was made a Duke, and a Prince of the Empire. "Louis of Baden and I went to amuse ourselves at Stuttgard." But away from his books or his cherished art-collections, Eugene was restless in repose, and next spring he reminded the Emperor that the Duke of Savoy, who had become thoroughly Austrian, had been brought to the brink of ruin. "Well," was the answer, "take him reinforcements and the command in Italy." Eugene knew his man and made his bargain. He reminded him again of the extremities to which he had been reduced in previous Italian campaigns. He got his troops, with the promise of their being punctually paid, but saw them out of Vienna before starting himself. It was then he made the memorable march when, as Mrs. Christian Davies—or Defoe— remarks, notwithstanding all Vendome could do to impede it, "he broke through all the obstacles the French threw in his way, and subsisted his men in an enemy's country which he was obliged to cross ; passed several large rivers, and in thirty-four marches joined the Duke of Savoy " when Turin was in the last extremity. The battle of Cassano, at the bridge over the Adda, was almost as bloody as Blenheim. He and Vendome were striving to outwit each other. "I had been informed that Vendome took a nap in the afternoon, from which no one durst awake him from fear of putting him in an ill-humour." Eugene took advantage of the siesta and had pierced the French left before the Duke galloped up at the head of the household troops. Vendome was shot in the boot, Eugene in the neck and the knee; both leaders performed prodigies of valour, but it was pretty much a drawn battle. Again the Prince does his enemy justice. "Not to be beaten by such a man is more glorious than to beat another."

The following summer saw the famous campaign on the Riviera, when he had been made a lieutenant-general and field-marshal. He dismisses it briefly himself as without success, though his advance and masterly retreat through the mountains added greatly to his fame.

Then again his campaigns in the Netherlands blend with English history and the career of Marlborough. In 1708 he was busily recruiting for the Emperor. •He met Marlborough at the Hague with a cordial embrace, and both were preoccupied in stimulating the zeal of the sluggish Dutch envoys, promising that they would give the enemy immediate battle in defence of the strong places of the frontier barrier. Then Eugene resumed his recruiting tour, beating up for reinforcements from the Electors and petty princes. Soon he had gathered an army at Coblentz, and the original understanding had been that he should act separately on the Moselle. The plan had to be reconsidered when they were informed of the superior strength of the French, who could operate moreover on inner lines, and that Berwick was on the march from Alsace to reinforce Vendome and the Duke of Burgundy. A hundred thousand French were opposed to little more than half the number under Marlborough, and hastily he summoned Eugene to his assistance. He found Marlborough encamped between Brussels and Alost, and asked on the moment of his arrival if he did not mean to give battle. "I think I ought," was Marlborough's answer, for the French were threatening the important fortress of Oudenarde, and its fall must have a depressing effect on the wavering Dutch allies. The upshot of the conference was the great and bloody and confused battle, which should have been decisive could they only have arrested the movements of the sun like Joshua at Ajalon. Eugene, though he had come without any of his own troops, was in command of the allied right. Much of the day was passed in manoeuvring, misunderstandings, and skirmishing, till the Duke of Argyle brought up the British infantry, to be followed more leisurely by the Dutch battalions. At last the battle was aligned, when the im-petuous Eugene exclaimed to his cooler colleague, "And now we are in a condition to fight." Already it was six in the evening, with but three hours of daylight. The battle became general along the line, and Eugene says, "The spectacle was magnificent. It was one sheet of fire." Matters, he added, were going ill where he commanded, when Marlborough sent a reinforcement of eighteen battalions, "without which I should have been scarcely able to hold my ground." Thus reinforced, he drove in the first line, but before the second was VendOme on foot, with pike in hand, showing a gallant example to his soldiers. Before that vigorous resistance Eugene owns he would have failed, had it not been for the gallant charge of Natzer with the Prussian gendarmes, who broke the enemy's line and won the victory. For Eugene, very unlike Napoleon, never grudged a friend or an inferior the full credit he deserved. Meantime the centre had been carried, and Marlborough had been making his way on the left, though at dearer cost. Behind the hedges and ditches, the French house-hold troops, who had been held in reserve, were still offering desperate resistance, till Eugene, as he says, settled the business by sending a detachment by a great circuit to take them in rear. The battle became a rout when falling darkness threw a curtain over the fugitives and stopped the pursuit.

Feeling sure that Marlborough would make all necessary arrangements to follow up the success, Eugene went next day to Brussels to visit his mother. She welcomed him with warm congratulations on his latest acquisitions of glory, but "I told her that, as at Blenheim, Marlborough's share was greater than my own." The venerable lady, always rancorously vindictive, was delighted at this new humiliation inflicted on her old lover. "The fifteen days which I passed with her were the most agreeable of my life, and we parted with the greater pain" that it was probable we should never meet again."

When he returned to camp.. he found that his troops from the Moselle had preceded him. He says that it was he who suggested the siege of Lille, the bulwark of French Flanders, and he was charged with its conduct, while Marlborough was to command the covering army. "The brave and skilful Boufflers cut out plenty of work for me." Two assaults were repelled "with horrible carnage." Five thousand English sent by Marlborough to repair the losses were likewise repulsed. "I said a few words in English to those brave fellows who rallied round me; I led them back into the fire, but a ball below the left eye knocked me senseless. Everybody thought me dead, and so did I. They found a dung-cart, in which I was carried to my quarters: first my life and then my sight was despaired of." Life and sight being saved, he returned to the siege. On the 22nd September the resourceful Boufflers, having exhausted every method of defence, offered to surrender the town unconditionally. Eugene promised to sign anything he should propose. "This, M. le Marechal,' so I wrote to him, is to show my perfect regard, and I am sure that a brave man like you will not abuse it. I congratulate you on your resistance.' " Boufflers protracted the defence of the citadel, but the citadel had to capitulate in turn. The Prince signed the articles the Marshal asked " without any restriction," and went with the Prince of Orange to pay him a visit in the battered fortress. Eugene was persuaded to stay for supper—"on condition that it may be that of a famished citadel. Roasted horse-flesh was set before us, and the epicures in my suite were far from relishing the joke." The fall of Lille was followed by that of Ghent and Bruges, when the armies went into winter quarters.

The Dutch, who had hitherto been lukewarm, were now delighted, and the generals had an extraordinary reception at the Hague. "It was nothing but a succession of honours and festivities; presents for Marlborough and fireworks for me." The tributes paid them respectively sound ironically significant. In spring they were in the field again with 100,000 men, pitted against the same number under Villars. They decided on beginning with the siege of Tournai. The fortress surrendered "after the most terrible subterraneous war I ever witnessed." Villars had never moved for the relief. "Let us go and take Mons,' said I to Marlborough ; perhaps this devil of a fellow will tire of being so cautious.' " That was agreed upon, and "as soon as our troops from Tournai had arrived, Let us lose no time,' said I, and in spite of 120,000 men [for Villars had been reinforced by Boufflers], hedges, villages, triple entrenchments, abattis, and a hundred pieces of cannon, let us end the war in a day.'" Accordingly the battle of Malplaquet was decided upon. A dense mist on the morning of the 11th of September veiled their dispositions. It was dispelled at eight by a general discharge of the guns. Then they saw Villars riding down the ranks, greeted by shouts of "Vive le roi et M. de Villars." Eugene advanced to the attack in silence. He says his English Guards were scattered, some from excess of courage, others from a lack of it, but bringing up his German battalions he rallied them. Even then the onslaught would have been beaten back had it not been for the division of the Duke of Argyle, who scaled the parapets of the second entrenchments, seizing the covering wood. Eugene was again hit in the head, and lost blood so fast that those about him urged him to have the wound dressed. "If I am beaten," he said, "it will not be worth while ; if the French win, I shall have plenty of time for that." We hardly see the logic, but it marks the spirit of the man. On the right with Eugene all was going well ; but for six hours Marlborough had found it hard to hold his own against the enemy's right and centre. The Prince of Orange had pushed gallantly to the front and planted a flag on the inner entrenchment, but his Dutch for the most part had been killed or wounded. Eugene, when the stress lightened on him, sent his cavalry to his colleagues' help, but they were met and overthrown by the French Household Brigade, who were broken in turn by the fire of some flanking batteries. Nevertheless Marlborough stubbornly forged ahead, and as the French centre was being forced back, Eugene, having routed their left, found it easy to outflank it. "Boufflers rendered the same service to Villars as I did to Marlborough, and when he saw him fall from his horse dangerously wounded and the battle lost, thought of nothing but making the first retreat in the best possible order. I think it not too much to estimate the loss of both armies at 40,000; those who were not killed died of fatigue."

The three succeeding years were comparatively un-eventful, occupied by manoeuvring and occasional sharp skirmishing among the fortresses, when operations were hampered by political complications. The war in the Low Countries ended when, in March 1713, the allies and France signed the Treaty of Utrecht—with an important exception. Leopold was dead, Joseph had passed like a shadow, and Charles now filled the imperial throne, inflated with pride and the incarnation of obstinacy. But it was with the assent and at the instigation of Eugene that the Emperor declined to subscribe. Eugene pledged himself that, by prolonging the war on the Rhine, he would keep the French in check there and obtain neutrality for the Spanish Netherlands. Experience should have taught him that he promised more than he could perform ; the money came in by driblets, the German princes hung back, and Villars, always on the alert, was pressing him with far superior forces. He lost Landau and then Freiburg, when he had failed to hold the mountain passes. By no fault of his, he protests, but "Farewell to the Empire; farewell to its two bulwarks,' was the cry at all the courts of Germany." "The title of Emperor," he bitterly adds, "does not bring a man or a single kreutzer." Louis, weary of the war, came unexpectedly to his relief; after the Peace of Utrecht he could afford to make the first advances, and now the Emperor was not unwilling to meet him half-way. Eugene and Villars were charged with the negotiations, and they met at Rastadt, in peace instead of battle. There is a picturesque and humorous account in the Memoirs of the meeting of these chivalrous foes. "Villars was at Rastadt first, to do the honours of the place, as he told me, and received me at the foot of the stairs. Never did men embrace with more military sincerity, and I may add, with more esteem and attachment. Our juvenile friendship when companions in arms in Hungary, and our intimacy in Vienna when he was ambassador there, interrupted by military exploits on both sides, rendered this interview so affecting that the officers and men of the escorts also cordially embraced." In the talk of an hour, they had settled the basis of the treaty. Couriers were sent off to secure the ratifications of their masters. "Then," said Eugene, "while we are waiting, allow me, my dear Marshal, to spend the Carnival at Stuttgard. My body needs recreation, but for these two years past, owing to you, my mind has been in still greater need of it." "With all my heart," was the answer, "and I will go and amuse myself at Strasburg." Before parting, they exchanged dances and banquets, in which Eugene admits that the Frenchmen had the best of it. And they freely discussed the qualities of their respective nations, for Eugene seems by this time to have forgotten that he was virtually French.

Both gave the rein to their mordant humour. The French marshal did not scruple to ridicule Madame de Maintenon, and Eugene laughed at the plethora of empty titles assumed by Charles in his magniloquent self-deification. His parting words to Villars were, "We shall probably fight no more battles and sign no more treaties together, but we shall never cease to love and esteem each other." It was at the Swiss Baden that the Treaty of Baden had been signed.

Neither had any regret for Queen Anne, who died before the signatures, but when Louis the Great followed her next year, Eugene paid him a generous tribute. The old griefs and insults were all forgotten. The death "produced the same effect on me as the fall of an old stately oak uprooted by a tempest. He had stood so long! Death, before it erases great recollections, revives them all in the first moment. History is indulgent to princes. That of the great monarch needed no indulgence; but age had blunted the talons of the lion. A regency was destined to give us time to breathe. But then a circumstance occurred which cut out plenty of work for us again."

Eugene and Villars had been discussing the Turks. "Are they as stupid as in my time, when I began to admire you, Monseigneur?" asked the Marshal. "They have never changed their system and they never will," answered Eugene; "nevertheless they might turn it to good account." And he explained how if they were to change their order of battle, when advancing with their Spahis on their wings, and "their accursed shouts of Allah! Allah! " they might be invincible. When discussing them quietly he did not foresee how soon he was to have another opportunity of testing their tactics, and how nearly they were to crush the victor of so many campaigns, notwithstanding their antiquated methods of fighting.

For if he had hoped for a spell of rest he was doomed to disappointment. Nor had he even time to assume the Governor-Generalship of the Netherlands which had been conferred on him. The Sultan had declared war with Venice and sent an army to the AIorea. To the Emperor he was full of peaceful professions, but Charles was wise enough to know that it was his interest to ally himself with the menaced republic against the hereditary enemy. The answer of the Grand Vizier to the imperial rebuff was to levy a second great army and to set it on the march for the imperial frontiers. Count Palffy, then in command in Hungary, concentrated at Peterwardein. At midsummer of 1715 Eugene hastened thither ; there he learned that the Vizier was already in the vicinity of Belgrade with 200,000 men, and that supports were coming up fast. The Turks crossed the Save, and by the 1st of August had entrenched themselves at Carlowitz on the Danube. Eugene sent Palffy forward to reconnoitre with two or three cavalry regiments and a handful of infantry. He had orders not to be drawn into an action, but with the swarms of the Turkish irregular horse, action was often inevitable. Enveloped in front and on the flanks, he fought it out, and set the crown that day on a brilliant career by bringing the remnants of his little force within the lines of Peterwardein. It was the prelude to the great battle fought by Eugene a few days after. The Turks were always gathering strength, and he decided to attack them in their formidable works, against the opinion of his best generals. The battle illustrates the invariable fashions of the time in making war. Eugene often remarks on the Turkish custom of immediately entrenching themselves, but like all his contemporaries he made as much use of the spade himself. Here, however, he had been spared the trouble, for advancing to Carlowitz, he occupied entrenchments which had been thrown up by Caprara two and twenty years before. So two field fortifications were facing each other, both heavily armed with guns. Eugene adapted his tactics to the Turkish formation, forced upon them by the contour of their camp. He sums up the action in a few lines. His right wing, thrown into disorder by the narrow outlets from the works, was broken before it had time to re-form ; his centre was shaken by the Turkish fire, which paved the way for the tremendous onslaught of the Janissaries; but meantime his left, under the Prince of Wiirtemberg, carrying all before it, had turned the Turkish right. He launched Palffy with woo horse on the cavalry in the rear of the hitherto victorious Janissaries. They looked back to see the scattering of the Spahis—they saw, too, that the key of the position was lost; the Grand Vizier himself had fallen at the foot of the sacred standard; and then sullenly retiring, retreat was turned to flight. Before noon the five-hours battle had been lost and won, and the field was abandoned. Great was the booty, for in the sudden rout and panic nothing was saved. "I entered the tent of the Grand Vizier, and there the chaplains of the nearest regiments in a loud voice returned thanks to the God of armies in prayers repeated by the soldiers." The victory caused a joyful sensation in Christendom. The Pope sent a consecrated hat and sword, and Marshal Villars a letter of warm congratulation. Strangely enough, Eugene makes no mention of the terrible storm which burst upon his troops while taking up their positions, tore the floating mills from their moorings, driving them against the boat-bridges, and, by delaying the passage of the columns, threatened to upset his combinations.

Other operations followed, but winter was coming on, and all was only the prelude to the great siege of 1717. Eugene prepared for it by a tax laid on the Empire, which he counterbalanced, as he claims, by openings for commerce which no one else would have dreamed of. But in his preparations for the war he spent lavishly, and there, as he admits, the Jews got the better of him. He was set upon the capture of Belgrade, which for three centuries, as he says, had been a constant bone of contention. The news of the Crusade drew princely and noble adventurers to his standard from all the countries of Europe. Bavaria was again in alliance with the Empire, and the Elector sent his two sons to the camp. The new Grand Vizier was a more formidable antagonist than his hot-headed predecessor, and Eugene remarks that "he cost me a deal of trouble." On the 10th of June he crossed the Danube, his volunteer princes tumbling into the boats that they might be the first over to cross swords with the Spahis. On the 19th Eugene himself had a narrow escape from their light horsemen, when reconnoitring the ground for his camp.

Belgrade is in the angle between the meeting of the Danube and the Save. Where it faces westward it is in the form of an amphitheatre. So the lines of the Imperialists corresponded in shape of a crescent, one horn resting on the Danube, the other on the Save, and each communicating with the opposite bank by a boat-bridge which was guarded by a heavily-armed redoubt. The camp lay between double lines of contravallation and of circumvallation, for sorties from the fortress were an imminent danger, and the Vizier's relieving army, much magnified of course by rumour, was known to be on the march. The bridges were further protected by a flotilla of so-called frigates. The fortress mounted 100 guns, besides those on shallow boats which were practically floating batteries, and Eugene had involuntarily strengthened the garrison by driving in an outlying corps of infantry. There were known to be ample supplies of food and ammunition, and everything foreboded a protracted defence had no succour been at hand. Even with a weaker garrison the place was eminently defensible. The citadel towered above the lower town ; two suburbs were embraced in the fortified enceinte, with gardens and enclosures that were so many earthworks, and all of them swept by the batteries above. The Governor, known for a gallant veteran, had 30,000 seasoned soldiers. Eugene's venture seemed the desperate one it proved, but he had reckoned with his knowledge of the Turks. The Turks behind walls were little given to the initiative, and perhaps the commandant was the more supine that he counted confidently on speedy relief. The besiegers were little troubled by sorties, and there was only one of any consequence. That was when the commandant woke up to the fact that Eugene had broken ground beyond the Save, whence he could bombard the town on the slopes of the amphitheatre. From the heights the enemy could see all that went on. He knew that the imperial batteries in embryo were isolated by marshes, both from the camp and from the town of Semlin behind. Under cover of night the Turks slipped across the river, bringing light field-pieces with them. Their rush came as a complete surprise; except the few who had time to bolt not a man escaped. The Turks cleared the trenches and were gone before any help could come, and their boats were ballasted with the heads of the fallen. The "Old Campaigner" tells us that then there was a ducat set on every Christian head, which fired the fanaticism of a soldiery whose pay was invariably in arrear.

Time was pressing, and the Prince, though he puts a smiling face on it, must have had many an anxious hour. On the 22nd of July he writes, "I bombarded, burned, and battered down the city at such a rate that it must have capitulated had it not been for the expected approach of the Grand Vizier." In fact, within a week his advanced parties made their appearance. On August 1st the semicircle of hills was crowned by the Mussulman host, "a charming view for a painter but a most execrable one for a general." Eugene had been hard at work on his outer lines of circumvallation. The Turks, as was their custom, began immediately to entrench themselves, and now the besieger had become the besieged, held fast as in a vice between the lines of his enemies. There were 30,000 in Belgrade; there were 200,000 with the Vizier at the lowest calculation. Allowing for those on detachment duty and for the fever and dysentery which had filled the hospitals, he had barely 50,000 valid soldiers under his hand. Eugene was himself prostrated by the fever. He was compelled to defer the attack he had meditated, but meantime "our condition was daily growing worse"; and he adds, "I must needs think they were rather uneasy at Court, in the city, and even in my own army." Heavily bombarded from both sides, the sick leader had to shift his tent continually, and each hour he was losing men by the score, either by gun-fire or dysentery. Nevertheless he says, "My princes loved me like a father." For once there was advantage in an army made up of corps from different countries. A generous rivalry was stimulated, and all were eager for opportunities. Yet all were alive to the impending crisis. "Eugene alone," says one of his officers, "remained unmoved;" he was confident his chance would come, and waited for the moment of action. Nor could it be long deferred, though meantime the pressure from without urged him to fresh efforts. He stormed outlying works, he opened new parallels, and as a consequence blocked the garrison closely within their walls.

He had expected that the Vizier would deliver an immediate onslaught. But the Turks had learned caution from the tremendous defeats he had inflicted on them, and now they adopted more deliberate methods. Under direction of renegade engineers, they made elaborate preparations for the storm of his camp, till they had actually pushed their last parallels within gunshot. No one of the defenders dared show his head without being the mark for a shower of bullets. From gunshot the parallels were advanced to pistol-fire, and showers of bursting shells each night were making the Christian positions almost untenable. The Prince had waited long for the opening which had never been offered. On the 15th of August he summoned a council, and "in spite of the bad advice of people who are not fond of war, I determined upon an engagement."

Everything was arranged for a nocturnal attack. The troops were to fall into order before dark, that there might be as little confusion as possible. There were four openings through which they were to issue, so as to deploy in the cramped space between the lines, and the cavalry from the extreme right and left were to act upon the Turkish flanks when the central attack was being pushed home. The cavalry found their passage obstructed by unexpected obstacles, and so there was delay and confusion. The day was already breaking before all the infantry had left their entrenchments. It seemed that discovery was sure and destruction inevitable when Christendom was spared a crushing catastrophe by what was piously regarded as a miracle. For the first time for many mornings the scene of action was enveloped in a dense fog. It not only concealed movements from the Turkish sentinels but smothered sounds. The enemy had fancied something was passing behind the imperial works, and opened a tremendous fire. Shot and shell passed over the heads of the stormers, leaving them almost unscathed. When the fog lifted and the sun blazed out, the stormers were already rushing the hostile parapets. Eugene admits that there was little to choose between the confusion on either side, and so it became a sort of Inkerman—a soldier's battle. He gives chief credit for the winning of the day to La Colonie, "the Old Campaigner," and his Bavarians, confirming all that La Colonie tells us in his chronicles. The Bavarians, ignoring orders from inferior generals to halt and dress the line, in four long hours fought their way from trench to trench, till they stormed the great oval entrenchment, the key of the enemy's position, and turned its cannon on the flying Turks. The first intimation of the change of the direction of the guns was a shot sent into a group surrounding the Grand Vizier, which dropped three of the number. Their prompt retreat was imitated by all the horse and foot within sight. The Bavarian Electoral Prince fell on La Colonie's neck, and Eugene galloped up with his tactful compliments. All was over by eleven o'clock. Fair terms were granted to the Belgrade garrison, which they had earned by their abstention from all interference with the action.

In fact there is a good deal that is suggestive in Eugene's report of his reception in Vienna. He says that the Emperor agreed with the devout who ascribed his success to a miracle, and that Stahrenberg was the mouthpiece of the envious who attributed it to pure luck. Not only was the fog a most providential interposition, but the inaction of the governor Mustapha, renowned as a good soldier, is incomprehensible. Had he co-operated with his 30,000 men at the critical moment, General Viard, who was left with but 5000 to hold the lines, could never have made head against him. And it was well the great battle came off when it did, for strong Turkish reinforcements were rapidly advancing, and one of the imperial generals had faltered at their approach.

Eugene rested on his laurels for sixteen years. He honestly owns that, being "fond of war," he regretted the conciliatory dispositions of the Sultan and the Emperor. For those sixteen years he amused himself in his palace, passing much of the time in the library, which contained many rare and curious volumes. But in 1733, with the death of Augustus, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, there was another disputed succession with a call to arms.

The French were again in the field, for France and the Emperor supported rival candidates. The aged Villars was sent to Italy, while a powerful army under the Duke of Berwick prepared to pass the Rhine. Eugene, war-lover as he was, reminded his master that he had neither army nor allies, but the Emperor turned a deaf car. Tauntingly, perhaps, as Eugene hints, he offered him the command of what troops there were, in the expectation that he would decline. If so, he was disappointed. Eugene repeats that he was fond of war, and was willing besides to court the fate that had befallen the great Turenne and was soon to overtake Berwick. He was at Heilbronn before the end of April. He was touched to the heart by the greeting of his old soldiers, who received him ,with shouts of " Long live our father ! " and the tossing of hats by thousands in the air. The result of the roll-call was less satisfactory, for he found he had no sort of strength to face the forces of Berwick. He boasts that with numbers of one to three he forced Berwick to confine himself to the siege of Philippsburg. It was an unlucky siege for the French Marshal, who had his head carried away by a cannon-ball, though Eugene envied his glorious end. Nor did the Prince gain by the change of commanders. He found d'Asfeldt, as he says, "a devil of a fellow, who had all his wits about him." He was compelled to abandon the lines of Philippsburg and to look on helplessly at the fall of the fortress. Meantime, however, reinforcements had been coming up, and with them, as usual, the young princes and nobles, who came to school under the famous master of war. Among these was the Prince Royal of Prussia, the future Frederick the Great, "who appeared a young man of infinite promise."

Reinforced and in no unfavourable position, Eugene has been severely criticised for not risking a battle. Had it been the Eugene of the march to Turin or of Zenta, it is more than probable he might have done so and had reason to regret it. But with years and experience had come a grave sense of responsibility, and his own defence seems incontestable—"The first that attacked must have been beaten, and had that been my lot, the French might have gone to Vienna, for there was no fortified place on the way. There was no Sobieski then to save the capital." The campaign ended with cautious manoeuvring on both sides, and next year saw the signature of a peace at Eugene's urgent instigation. Fond as he may have been of war, he heartily congratulated, the Emperor on having got creditably out of "such an awkward scrape." He might have had greater political influence at Court, had he not invariably spoken his mind with the bluntness of a soldier.

He saw the signing of the peace in the autumn and he only survived till the spring. If he did not fall in battle as he desired, his death was as sudden as it was painless and easy. He dropped his cards one evening, complaining of indisposition. Taken home, he was put to bed, and was found dead in the morning. Napoleon, who in a double sense followed in his footsteps, has assigned him the highest rank among generals of genius.


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