of essential service, especially in rendering intelligible the details of the correspondence, otherwise in great part uninteresting, and scarcely intelligible, at least by the ordinary reader. Some of the most valuable parts of the work, particularly a full detail of the battle of Blenheim, have been drawn from Dr. Hare's journal. In addition to this, the bulletins of some of the events, issued by government at the time, are to be found in notes at the proper places; and in the text are occasionally contained short, but correct and luminous, notices of the preceding or cotemporaneous political and military events which are alluded to, but not described, in the Dispatches, and which are necessary for the proper understanding of many of their particulars. Nothing, in a word, has been omitted by the accomplished editor which could illustrate or render intelligible the valuable collection of materials placed at his disposal. Yet, with all his pains and ability, it is often very difficult to follow the detail of events, or understand the matter alluded to in the Dispatches; so great is the lack of information regarding the eventful War of the Succession, from the want of a popular historian to record it, even among well-informed persons in this country; and so true was the observation of Alexander the Great, that but for the genius of Homer, the exploits of Achilles would have been buried under the tumulus which covered his remains! And what should we have known of Alexander himself more than of Attila or Genghis Khan, but for the fascinating pages of Quintus Curtius and Arrian?

To the historian who is to go minutely into the details of Marlborough's campaigns and negotiations, and to whom accurate and authentic information is of inestimable importance, it need hardly be said that these papers are of the utmost value. But to the general reader all such voluminous publications and dispatches must, as a matter of necessity, be comparatively uninteresting. They always contain a great deal of repetition, in consequence of the necessity under which the commander lay of communicating the same event to those with whom he was in correspondence in many different quarters. Great part of them relate to details of discipline, furnishing supplies, getting up stores, and other necessary matters of little value even to the historian, except in so far as they illustrate the industry, energy, and difficulties of the commander. The general reader who plunges into the midst of the Marlborough Dispatches in this age, or into those of Wellington in the next, when cotemporary recollection has failed, will find it impossible to understand the greater part of the matters referred to, and will soon lay aside the volumes in despair. Such works are highly valuable, but they are so to the annalist or historian rather than to the ordinary reader. They are the materials of history, not history itself. They bear the same relation to the works of Livy or Gibbon which the rude blocks in the quarry do to the temples of St. Peter's or the Parthenon. Ordinary readers are not aware of this. When they take up a volume of Dispatches, they expect to be as much fascinated by it as they are by the correspondence of Madame de Sevigné, Cowper, Gibbon, or Arnold. They will soon find their mistake; the booksellers will, ere long, find it in the sale of such works. The matter-of-fact men in ordinary life, and the compilers and drudges in literature that is, nine tenths of the readers and writers in the world are never weary of descanting on the inestimable importance of authentic documents for history; and without

doubt they are right, so far as the collecting of materials goes. There must be quarriers before there can be architects: the hewers of wood and drawers of water are the basis of all civilization. But they are not civilization itself, they are its pioneers. Truth is essential to an estimable character; but many a man is insupportably dull who never told a falsehood.

It was the perusal of these Dispatches when they first appeared which first suggested to the author the composition of the following pages. He was strongly impressed with the greatness of Marlborough's military talents, and the close analogy which many of his exploits bore to those of illustrious generals in subsequent times, whose deeds had long occupied his attention. Having no intention, however, of making a book on the subject, the sketches he composed were at first published in numbers in Blackwood's Magazine during the years 1845 and 1846. The favorable manner in which the series was received, and the increasing interest the author felt in the subject, suggested the idea of uniting them together, and forming a military biography of the great general, of such moderate dimensions as might neither exhaust the patience nor too severely task the purses of that class to whom it is of most value, the

young men who are to succeed Marlborough in the noble profession to which he has given so much luster. The interest of the Spanish question, so prominently brought forward in recent times by the Montpensier alliance, suggested the chapter on the Treaty of Utrecht, with which the present volume closes, and which has not previously appeared.

The Map, illustrative of the Campaigns of Marlborough, is constructed with the greatest care, and is so arranged as to show the positions in every place in

strict accordance with the text; while the Plans of Battles, so essential to the elucidation of Military History, have been accurately reduced, and improved by the addition of the names of commanders, &c., from the great German work of Kausler, so well known from the splendor of its finishing and the accuracy

of its details.

As the work is essentially military and political, it has been deemed advisable not to enter minutely into the complicated domestic events of Queen Anne's reign, or to represent the changes of party in the English cabinet toward its close, which produced fresh and important effects on the fate of the war, and the destinies of Europe, as it is believed they were the result rather of great principles contending in the nation for the mastery than of those intrigues in the palace to which they have in general been almost exclusively ascribed.


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1. Birth and early Life of Marlborough

2. His first Appearance and early Promotion at Court


3. His Services, under Louis XIV. and Turenne, in Flanders 27

4. Manner in which Louis XIV.'s Ambition worked out its own



5. Churchill's Marriage, and rapid Rise at Court


6. His important Services on Monmouth's Rebellion .


7. His Endeavors to arrest the headlong Course of James . 30

8. He deserts James II. on the Invasion of the Prince of Orange 31

9. Parallel between his Treachery and that of Ney.


10. Honors and Commands bestowed on Churchill. He signs

the Act of Association in favor of William .


11. His first Services in foreign War under William


12. Discreditable Intrigues soon after with the exiled Royal Family 35

13. He is liberated from Prison, and ere long restored to Favor

14. And appointed to the supreme Command in the Netherlands 38

15. At which Period the Blenheim Papers commenced


16. Great Power of the Bourbons at this Period, and general

Alarm which it excited


17. Vast Ability by which the Government of France was directed 40

18. Extraordinary Success which had hitherto attended Louis in

all his Enterprises


19. Hopes and Schemes of the Catholic Party throughout Eu-

rope at this Time. Their ultimate Failure


20. Simultaneous Attacks on the Protestants in France and En-

gland irrevocably separate the two countries


21. Efforts of William III. to avert the Danger


22. Manner in which the Bequest of Spain to the Duke of Anjou

had been obtained

23. Fresh Treaty of Partition between France, England, and



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