, ‘which makes me speak quick; but my
orders are positive; the French
are in confusion; here is a glorious opportunity for the English
to distinguish themselves.’
‘It is impossible,’ repeated Lord George, ‘that the Prince
could mean to break the line.’
‘I give you his orders,’ rejoined Fitzroy
, ‘word for word.’
‘Who will be the guide to the cavalry’ asked Lord George. ‘I,’ said the brave boy, and led the way. Lord George, pretending to be puzzled, was reminded by Smith
, one of his aids, of the necessity of immediate obedience; on which, he sent Smith
to lead on the British
cavalry, while he himself rode to the Prince
Ferdinand, in scorn, renewed his orders to the Marquis
, the second in command, and was obeyed with alacrity; but the decisive moment was lost.
‘Lord George's fall was prodigious,’ said Horace Walpole
; ‘nobody stood higher; nobody had more ambition or more sense.’
softened his misfortune with all the offices of humanity, but condemned his conduct.
George the Second dismissed him from all his posts.
A courtmartial, the next year, found him guilty of disobeying orders, and unfit for employment in any military capacity; on which, the king struck his name out of the council-book and forbade his appearance at court.
The ability of Sackville
had been greatly overrated.
He was restless, and loved intrigue; ambitious, opinionated, and full of envy; when he spoke, it was arrogantly, as if to set others right; his nature combined haughtiness and meanness of spirit; without fidelity, fixed principles, or logical clearness of mind, unfit to conduct armies or affairs, he joined cowardice with love of superiority and ‘malevolence.’1