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she stood upon her feet, you would have thought she was on her knees; and yet so long-waisted, that when she sat down she appeared a well-sized woman."
Catherine remained in England till the 30th of March 1692, when she returned to her native country. Her long habits of economy had enabled her to accumulate a large fortune, which she bequeathed to her brother Pedro II. She died at Lisbon, 31st December 1705, in the 68th year of her age. She appointed her former Chamberlain, Philip, second Earl of Chesterfield, her chief executor; an honour he declined on account of ill health, but which he gratefully acknowledges in a memorandum in which he records this flattering testimony to his merit.
Military capacity of Prince Rupert-His early Attachment to England -His Services in the German Wars-Taken Prisoner by General Hatzfield-Proposed Marriage with Mademoiselle de Rohan-Her generous Conduct towards him- Military Exertions of Prince Rupert in favour of Charles I.-The Prince's uncalled-for Surrender of Bristol-His Quarrel with the Earl of SouthamptonDistinguishes himself in Naval Warfare-Turns Philosopher-His Skill at Tennis and in Pistol-shooting-Imitates the Fashionable at the Restoration-His Mistress-His natural Children-Notice of his gallant Son, Dudley Rupert-Death and Burial of the Prince.
PRINCE RUPERT, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Holderness, and a Knight of the Garter, was the third son of Frederick King of Bohemia, by Elizabeth, daughter of James the First. He was, consequently, nephew to Charles the First, and first cousin to Charles the Second. He was born at Prague, on the 19th December, 1619.
Prince Rupert was a soldier of fortune, and loved war for its own sake. Had his head been as cool as his heart was valiant, he would probably have changed the fortunes of the civil wars. Unfortunately, however, his headstrong and imprudent valour proved highly injurious to the cause for which he so loyally and gallantly fought. Though generally successful whenever he led the charge, he was ever dissatisfied with present advantages, and, by pushing his fortunes too far, almost invariably lost the superiority he had previously obtained. Rash, enterprising, and opinionated, he turned with contempt from the counsels of others, and yet was generally discomfited whenever he followed his own.
The childhood of Prince Rupert was passed in England, which he ever regarded as the country of his choice. Delighted with its society, and with its rural amusements and sports, he once, in a moment of enthusiasm, exclaimed to a friend in the hunting-field, "Ah! I wish I could break my neck, for then I should at least leave my bones in England."*
Ardently devoted to the military profession, he became in early boyhood a denizen of the camp; and, when only thirteen years of age, distinguished himself under Henry Prince of Orange at the seige of Rheinberg. About three years after this period, in December, 1635, he again. returned to England, where he continued about two years. He again left the English court in 1637, and, having succeeded in raising a small force in conjunction with his brother, the Elector Palatine, found himself at the age of eighteen, in command of a regiment of horse in the German wars. The following year he accompanied his brother in an irruption into Westphalia. Their force, however, proved insufficient, and, at the battle of Vlota, in 1638, they were completely routed by the Imperial General, Hatzfield; and Prince Rupert was taken prisoner. In vain the Imperialists offered him freedom and military preferment, if he would abjure the reformed religion. He continued staunch in his faith, and consequently remained a prisoner about three years.†
Charles the First had been anxious to marry the Prince to Mademoiselle de Rohan, the rich heiress of the celebrated Duke de Sully, and accordingly the Earl of Leicester, the English ambassador at the Court of France, was employed to bring about the match. The letters which passed between the Earl on the one hand,
* Letter from Mr. Gerard to Lord Strafford, 9th October, 1633. + Winstanley's Worthies, apud Lloyd, vol. ii. p. 86.
and Charles and Secretary Windebank, on the other, are not a little amusing. Leicester describes the lady as "far handsomer than is necessary, and much discreeter than is ordinary." But the great obstacle to their union was Cardinal Richelieu, who was naturally averse to confer so wealthy an heiress on a Protestant and a foreigner. The matrimonial treaty was still pending, when the report of Prince Rupert having been taken prisoner was communicated to Mademoiselle de Rohan; accompanied, moreover, by a friendly recommendation that she should abandon him for some more prosperous suitor. To her credit, she turned a deaf ear to the unromantic and unpalatable advice. "It was true," she said, "that she had never been engaged to the Prince, but nevertheless she had entertained her inclinations which still existed. It would be a crime," she added, “to desert a suitor because of his misfortunes; and, on the other hand, it was a generosity to regard him with the same feelings as when he was in prosperity."*
The unfortunate military exertions of Prince Rupert, in the service of Charles the First, are well known. At the commencement of the civil troubles, in 1642, he hastened to England to offer his services to his uncle. He was only in his twenty-fourth year, when he joined the King at York: shortly after which period he was elected a Knight of the Garter, at the last feast of the order which was ever held by that unfortunate monarch. From this period, until 1645, we find him engaged in all the military operations of that eventful time, including the actions of Edgehill, Marston-Moor, and Naseby. In each of these he distinguished himself alike by his usual want of caution, and by his unconquerable intrepidity and fruitless courage.
* Collins, Memorials, vol. ii. pp. 545, 575.
But his uncalled-for and unaccountable surrender of the city of Bristol to Fairfax, in 1645, was as fatal to his character as a soldier, as it proved to the cause which he had embraced. From the strength of the garrison, and from his own reputation for military experience, a vigorous and successful resistance had been anticipated by his friends. He had himself written to the King, undertaking to retain possession of the place for four months, and forces were being actively collected for its relief, when suddenly the astounding news of its having capitulated was communicated to Charles. By the fall of Bristol, the King not only lost his principal magazines, but South Wales and the West of England were also placed at the mercy of the enemy. Notwithstanding their near relationship, Charles, with an energy for which he has rarely received credit, instantly deprived his nephew of all his commissions. The letter, in which he dismisses his luckless nephew from his service is sufficiently curious:
"Though the loss of Bristol be a great blow to me, yet your surrendering it as you did is of so much affliction to me, that it makes me not only forget the consideration of that place, but is also the greatest trial of my constancy that hath yet befallen me. be done, after one that is so near to and friendship, submits himself to so I give it the easiest terms such
For what is to me, both in blood mean an action?
I have so much
to say that I will say no more of it, only lest rashness of judgment be laid to my charge, I must remember you of your letter of the 12th of August, whereby you assured me, that if no mutiny happened you would keep Bristol for four months. Did you keep it four days? Was