Many's the time we went down there when our names had been marked, a crowd of us, Harry Peard and little Jack Mountain and Bob Dyas and Maurice Moriarty, the Frenchman, and Tom O'Grady and Mick Lacy that I told you of this morning and Joey Corbet and poor little good-hearted Johnny Keevers of the Tantiles. The leaves of the trees along the Mardyke were astir and whispering in the sunlight.
But as an associate in the war, Cromwell demanded a share in the spoil, and that share was nothing less than the possession of Mardyke and Dunkirk, as soon as they could be reduced by the allies. To this proposal the strongest opposition had been made in the French cabinet.
The duke of York, from his former service in the French army, was well known to some of the French officers. They occasionally met and exchanged compliments in their rides, he from Dunkirk, they from Mardyke. By one of them Reynolds solicited permission to pay his respects to the young prince.
I have discovered the magnificent promenade called the Mardyke, a wide, gravelled road overarched with trees, running along by the river. When the evening lamps are lit, the susceptibility of Cork wander here in pairs and "in couples agree."
Another day, walking in the Mardyke, I followed three boys, not half so well drest as London errand-boys: one was telling the other about Captain Ross's voyages, and spoke with as much brightness and intelligence as the best-read gentleman's son in England could do.
The Spanish Ambassador, Batteville, had, at his very first audience, pressed for the surrender of Jamaica, which had been taken from Spain by the King's rebellious subjects. He claimed also that Dunkirk and Mardyke, which had been handed over to Cromwell in virtue of his treaty with France, should be restored to their rightful sovereign. These demands he made, seemingly as matters of form.
But the Spaniards lay strongly intrenched behind the canal of Bergues, between Mardyke and Dunkirk; and by common consent the design was abandoned, and the siege of Gravelines substituted in its place. Mardyke received a garrison, partly of English, and partly of French, under the command of Sir John Reynolds; but that officer in a short time incurred the suspicion of the protector.
Here I am bound to interpolate a word of qualification. The Mardyke promenade of Cork, a mile-long avenue of elms, has many comfortable seats, whereon perpetually do sit the "millingtary" of the sacrilegious Saxon, holding sweet converse with the Milesian counterparts of the Saxon Sarah Ann.
The scheme of foreign politics adopted by the protector was highly imprudent, but was suitable to that magnanimity and enterprise with which he was so signally endowed. In the former campaign, Mardyke was taken, and put into the hands of the English. * He aspired to get possession of Elsinore and the passage of the Sound. See World's Mistake in Oliver Cromwell.
If, on the one hand, the duke of York was repulsed with loss in his attempt to storm by night the works at Mardyke; on the other, the Marshal D'Aumont was made prisoner with fifteen hundred men by the Spanish governor of Ostend, who, under the pretence of delivering up the place, had decoyed him within the fortifications. In February, the offensive treaty