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gentle, reflecting face, and wearing the long lovelocks and deep point-lace collar and cuffs characteristic of Queen Henrietta's Court. Lindsay was called General-in-chief, but the king had imprudently exempted the cavalry from his command, its general, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, taking orders only from himself. Rupert was only three-and-twenty, and his education in the wild school of the Thirty Years' War had not taught him to lay aside his arrogance and opinionativeness ; indeed, he had shown great petulance at receiving orders from the king through Lord Falkland.
At eight o'clock, on the morning of the 23d of October, King Charles was riding along the ridge of Edgehill, and looking down into the Vale of Red Horse, a fair meadow land, here and there broken by hedges and copses. His troops were mustering around him, and in the valley he could see with his telescope the various Parliamentary regiments, as they poured out of the town of Keinton, and took up their positions in three lines. “I never saw the rebels in a body before,” he said, as he gazed sadly at the subjects arrayed against him. “I shall give them battle. God, and the prayers of good men to Him, assist the justice of my cause.” The whole of his forces, about 11,000 in number, were not assembled till two o'clock in the afternoon, for the gentlemen who had become officers found it no easy matter to call their farmers and retainers together, and marshal them into any sort of order. But while one troop after another came trampling, clanking, and shouting in, trying to find and take their proper place, there were hot words round the royal standard.
Lord Lindsay, who was an old comrade of the Earl of Essex, the commander of the rebel forces, knew that he would follow the tactics they had both together studied in Holland, little thinking that one day they should be arrayed one against the other in their own native England. He had a high opinion of Essex's generalship, and insisted that the situation of the Royal army required the utmost caution. Rupert, on the other hand, had seen the swift fiery charges of the fierce troopers of the Thirty Years' War, and was backed up by Patrick, Lord Ruthven, one of the many Scots who had won honor under the great Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus. A sudden charge of the Royal horse would, Rupert argued, sweep the Roundheads from the field, and the foot would have nothing to do but to follow up the victory. The great portrait at Windsor shows us exactly how the king must have stood, with his charger' by his side, and his grave, melancholy face, sad enough at having to fight at all with his subjects, and never having seen a battle, entirely bewildered between the ardent words of his spirited nephew and the grave replies of the well-seasoned old Earl. At last, as time went on, and some decision was necessary, the perplexed king, willing at least not to irritate Rupert, desired that Ruthven should array the troops in the Swedish fashion.
It was a greater affront to the General-in-Chief than the king was likely to understand, but it could not shake the old soldier's loyalty. He gravely resigned the empty title of General, which only made confusion worse confounded, and rode away to act as colonel of his own Lincoln regiment, pitying his master's perplexity, and resolved that no private pique should hinder him from doing his duty. His regiment was of foot-soldiers, and was just opposite to the standard of the Earl of Essex.
The church bell was ringing for afternoon service when the royal forces marched down the hill. The last hurried prayer before the charge was stout old Sir Jacob Astley's, “ O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day; if I forget Thee, do not
Thou forget me”; then, rising, he said, “March on, boys. And, amid prayer and exhortation, the other side awaited the shock, as men whom a strong and deeply embittered sense of wrong had roused to take up arms. Prince Rupert's charge was, however, fully successful. No one even waited to cross swords with his troopers, but all the Roundhead horse galloped headlong off the field, hotly pursued by the Royalists. But the main body of the army stood firm, and for some time the battle was nearly equal, until a large troop of the enemy's cavalry who had been kept in reserve, wheeled round and fell upon the Royal forces just when their scanty supply of ammunition was exhausted.
Step by step, however, they retreated bravely, and Rupert, who had returned from his charge, sought in vain to collect his scattered troopers, so as to fall again on the rebels ; but some were plundering, some chasing the enemy, and none could be got together. Lord Lindsay was shot through the thigh bone, and fell. He was instantly surrounded by the rebels on horseback ; but his son, Lord Willoughby, seeing his danger, flung himself alone among the enemy, and forcing his way forward, raised his father in his arms, thinking of nothing else, and unheeding his own peril. The throng of enemy around called to him to surrender, and, hastily giving up his sword, he carried the Earl into the nearest shed, and laid him on a heap of straw, vainly striving to stanch the blood. was a bitterly cold night, and the frosty wind came howling through the darkness. Far above, on the ridge of the hill, the fires of the king's army shone with red light, and some way off on the other side twinkled those of the Parliamentary forces. Glimmering lanterns or torches moved about the battle-field, those of the savage plunderers who crept about to despoil the dead. Whether the battle were won or lost, the father and son knew not, and the guard who watched them knew as little. Lord Lindsay himself murmured, “If it please God I should survive, I never will fight in the same field with boys again ! ” – no doubt deeming that young Rupert had wrought all the mischief. His thoughts were all on the cause, his son's all on him; and piteous was that night, as the blood continued to flow, and nothing availed to check it, nor was any aid near to restore the old man's ebbing strength.
Towards midnight the Earl's old comrade, Essex, had time to understand his condition, and sent some officers to inquire for him, and promise speedy surgical attendance. Lindsay was still full of spirit, and spoke to them so strongly of their broken faith, and of the sin of disloyalty and rebellion, that they slunk away one by one out of the hut, and dissuaded Essex from coming himself to see his old friend, as he had intended. The surgeon, however, arrived, but too late, Lindsay was already so much exhausted by cold and loss of blood, that he died early in the morning of the 24th, all his son's gallant devotion having failed to save him.
The sorrowing son received an affectionate note the next day from the king, full of regret for his father and esteem for himself. Charles made every effort to obtain his exchange, but could not succeed for a whole year.
He was afterwards one of the four noblemen who, seven years later, followed the king's white, silent, snowy funeral in the dismantled St. George's Chapel ; and from first to last he was one of the bravest, purest, and most devoted of those who did honor to the Cavalier cause.
We have still another brave son to describe, and for him we must turn away from these sad pages of our history, when we were a house divided against itself, to one of the hours of our brightest glory, when the cause we fought in was the cause of all the oppressed, and nearly alone we upheld the rights of oppressed countries against the invader. And thus it is that the battle of the Nile is one of the exploits to which we look back with the greatest exultation, when we think of the triumph of the British flag.
Let us think of all that was at stake. Napoleon Bonaparte was climbing to power in France, by directing her successful arms against the world. He had beaten Germany and conquered Italy; he had threatened England, and his dream was of the conquest of the East. Like another Alexander, he hoped to subdue Asia, and overthrow the hated British power by depriving it of India. Hitherto, his dreams had become earnest by the force of his marvellous genius, and by the ardor which he breathed into the whole French nation ; and when he set sail from Toulon, with 40,000 tried and victorious soldiers and a magnificent fleet, all were filled with vague and unbounded expectations of almost fabulous glories. He swept away as it were the degenerațe knights of St. John from their rock of Malta, and sailed for Alexandria in Egypt, in the latter end of June, 1798.
His intentions had not become known, and the English Mediterranean fleet was watching the course of this great armament. Sir Horatio Nelson was in pursuit, with the English vessels, and wrote to the First Lord of the Admiralty : bound to the Antipodes, your lordship may rely that I will not lose a moment in bringing them to action.”
Nelson had, however, not ships enough to be detached to reconnoitre, and he actually overpassed the French, whom he guessed to be on the way to Egypt. He arrived at the port of Alexandria on the 28th of June, and saw its blue waters and flat coast lying still in their sunny torpor, as if no enemy were on the seas. Back he went to Syracuse, but could learn no more there ; he obtained provisions with
“ Be they