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From hence our regiment received orders to march to Dixmuyd, where we lay some time employed in fortifying that place. While we were there, I had one morning stedfastly fixed my eyes upon some ducks, that were swimming in a large water before me; when all on a sudden, in the midst of a perfect calm, I observed such a strange and strong agitation in the waters, that prodigiously surprised me. I was at the same moment seized with such a giddiness in my head, that, for a minute or two, I was scarce sensible, and had much ado to keep on my legs. I had never felt any thing of an earthquake before, which, as I soon after understood from others, this was; and it left, indeed, very apparent marks of its force, in a great rent in the body of the great church, which remains to this day.
Having brought the intended fortificatione into some tolerable order, we received a command out of hand to reimbark for England. And, upon our landing, directions met us to march for Ipswich, where
we had our quarters all that winter. From thence we were ordered up to London, to do duty in the Tower. I had not been there long, before an accident happened, as little to be accounted for, without a divine Providence, as some would make that Providence to be, that only can account
for it. A danger
There was at that time, as I was assured dent at the by my Lord Lucas, constable of it, up
wards of twenty thousand barrels of gun-
other barrels of powder, together with many of the same combustible matter which had been placed upon it. It was a Providence strangely neglected at that time, and hardly thought of since: but let any considerate man consult the consequences, if it had taken fire; perhaps to the destruction of the whole city, or, at least, as far as the bridge and parts adja. cent. Let his thoughts proceed to ex
amine, why or how, in that precipitate fall, not one nail, nor one piece of iron, in that large fabric, should afford one little spark to enflame that mass of sulphurous matter it was loaded with; and if he is at a loss to find a Providence, I fear his friends will be more at a loss to find his understanding. But the battle of Landen happening while our regiment was here on duty, we were soon removed, to our satisfaction, from that pacific station, to one more active in Flanders.
Notwithstanding that fatal battle the year preceding, namely, A.D. 1694, the confederate
army under King William lay encamped at Mont St André, an open place, and much exposed; while the French were entrenched up to their very teeth, at Vignamont, a little distance from us. This afforded matter of great reflection to the politicians of those times, who could hardly allow, that, if the confederate
suffered so much, as it really did in the battle of Landen, it could consist with right conduct
to tempt, or rather dare a new engagement. But those sage objectors had forgot the well-known courage of that brave prince, and were as little capable of fathoming his designs. The enemy, who, to their sorrow, had by experience been made better judges, was resolved to traverse both; for which purpose they kept close within their entrenchments ; so that after all his efforts, King William finding he could no way draw them to a battle, suddenly decamped, and marched directly to Pont Espiers, by long marches, with a design to pass the French lines at that place.
But, notwithstanding our army marched in a direct line, to our great surprise, we found the enemy had first taken possession of it. They gave this the name of the Long March, and very deservedly; for though our army marched upon the string, and the enemy upon the bow, sensible of the importance of the post, and the necessity of securing it, by double horseing with their foot, and by leaving their weary and
weak in their garrisons, and supplying their places with fresh men out of them, they gained their point in disappointing us. Though certain it is, that march cost them as many men and horses as a battle. However, their master, the French king, was so pleased with their indefatigable and auspicious diligence, that he wrote, with his own hand, a letter of thanks to the officers, for the great zeal and care they had taken to prevent the confederate army from entering into French Flanders.
King William, thus disappointed in that noble design, gave immediate orders for his whole army to march through Oudenard, and then encamped at Rosendale; after some little stay at that camp, we were removed to the Camerlins, between Newport and Ostend, once more to take our winter quarters there among the boors.
We were now in the year 1695, when the strong fortress of Namur, taken by the the Earl of French in 1692, and since made by them much stronger, was invested by the Earl of