« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
It is indeed difficult to believe, that I shall now resume the thread of the collected experience and informa- my observations. Lord Wellington tion of the generals under his com- assumed the command of the British mand, many
of whom are undoubted- forces in the peninsula, under a comly men of the first talents and ac- bination of circumstances peculiarly complishments, could on no occasion favourable. In the constitution of have added any thing of vigour, or our country, it is not sufficient that a of wisdom, to the decisions of a so- general should possess great talents to litary and unaided, however powerful ensure him success. To serve his understanding. But let the question country with advantage, he must enrest with this single observation, that joy the full confidence of the sovehad his efforts been less fortunate, reign and his ministers.
He must this very quality which is now quoted frequently be supported against the in his praise, would then have fur. clamours of the people, which are nished materials for a grave and se sure to arise on the smallest appearrious charge against his conduct of the ance of misfortune or failure. While war.
he fights the battles of the governBut stop.--I have this moment re- ment abroad, the government must ceived another letter from you, and fight his battles at home. He must the intelligence it contains is so im- not be tamely yielded up to the cenportant, that I really must interrupt sure of those, who, necessarily ignothe thread of my story to notice it. rant of the general scope of his plans, So you are married ! What will poor yet scruple not to attack the wisdom Biddy M‘Teague say to this ? Alas, and policy of the individual measures poor girl! like the rest of her sex she he pursues
. Nay, even in many cases loved not wisely but too well
. What of positive and acknowledged failure, can she make of those two thumping he must find a temporary shield in children of which you are the acknow- the unshaken reliance of his governledged father? Who is to pay for ment from the innumerable weapons their board and education at Mr which are sure to be instantly hurled MʻGuire's academy at Mullinafat ? – at his reputation. Without this supThese, my friend, are important ques- port, neither Marlborough nor Wel. tions, and well deserving your most lington could have added as they have serious consideration. Your wife, you done to the triumphs of their country, say, is a Miss Louisa Congo, a young and I may safely challenge any one to lady rich in all the beauties and ac- produce a single instance of a general complishments by which her sex is conducting to a successful issue a adorned. She is a native it seems, long difficult and eventful war, who but whether her complexion be of the did not enjoy in a very ample degree nankeen, the mahogany, or the Day the advantages I have described. In and Martin colour, you do not specify. this respect, Lord Wellington was peHer portion at all events is good, and culiarly fortunate on his assumption of that, you know, compensates for many the command. His brother held a high imperfections. Ninety-seven elephants office, and possessed a very powerfulinteeth, five tiger skins, and forty-three fuence in the cabinet ; and from the pounds of gold dust, form really a frail tenure by which the ministry at tolerable portion for a Senegal belle. that time held their offices, they were The first of these you should consign led to regard the success of the war in to our mutual friend, Doctor Scott, Spain as the only event by which who will either purchase them him- their power could be maintained. self for the benefit of his dowager The continuance of Lord Wellington patients, or dispose of them for you in command was therefore in some deto the best advantage. The second gree identified with the permanence will make capital saddle cloths for co- of their own power, and nothing lonels of yeomanry cavalry, and are which could contribute to his success at present in great demand. The was withheld by those who felt so third I would have you keep your strong an interest in promoting it. It self till you return home, when you is not my intention to enlarge on will be obliged to come down with these circumstances, and I have merethe dust pretty freely for every article ly ventured to glance at them as ad. you purchase.
ventitious causes, which could not fail
to contribute largely to the successful minds of the natives-Do time cate
left on them.
path, and indeed the whole front of to pledge the credit and celebrity of the position, was entirely exposed to Odoherty for the justice of the centhe fire of the enemy, while they were sure I have passed. I am ready to themselves perfectly secure from any appeal any of the general officers retaliation. But their flanks had no who served on that occasion, to depoint d'appui ; and by making a de- cide what weight is due to my obsertour of about three miles, he might vations. Nay, could the question be with ease have turned their position, put to him without impertinence or and forced them to a precipitate re- impropriety, I should most willingly treat. This option, therefore, pre- leave it to the candour of Lord Wel sented itself to Lord Wellington. lington himself, to say whether, in Either to take the enemy in front, attacking the position of Roleia, he, and drive him perforce from his situ was not guilty of a gross military eration, with the certain loss of a con But the error, flagrant as it was, siderable portion of his own army; or,
was one which at that time harmoby taking him in flank, to expel him nized well with the temper of the from it with no loss at all. He must English nation. Our military repuhave known that General Laborde, tation was not then sufficiently esta, with a force of 5000 men, could have blished ; and so long as our generals no intention of giving battle to an did but fight and make the enemy reEnglish army of more than three treat, our homebred politicians cared times his force. He must have known but little whether they retreated car. the position to be untenable, and that, rying off two or three hundred priin all probability, the first movement soners or not. The despatches read in flank of a body of our army would well in the Gazette ; the real victory have been the instant signal for his of Vimiera followed shortly afterretreat. By attacking him in front, wards; and nothing disturbed John there was no object to be gained, but Bull's good humour till the Conven what would have been much easier tion of Cintra, when he only grums obtained by turning the position. bled that the French had not got a Yet Sir Arthur Wellesley did so ; sufficient drubbing, and that they and in fighting his first battle in the were sent home before half enough peninsula, he perhaps committed a of them had got their throats cut. greater error, and was the cause of more So much, my dear Felix, for the gratuitous bloodshed, than in any first military error of Lord Wellingsubsequent operation can be attribut- ton, by which I hope you will take ed to him. Our loss consisted of care to profit, the very first time you upwards of 500 men, with many valu- command an army against the King able officers; and though, with so of Mandingo, or the Emperor of the overwhelming a force, we drove them Caffres, or the Prince Regent of Woolfrom a position which it never had hambra, or any other black potentate. been their intention seriously to main- Always take him in flank when you tain, yet their loss was absolutely no can, and never run ram stam up a thing, and 200 Englishmen were car- hill, where one-half of your men are ried as trophies of their success to sure to be killed by the way, without Lisbon. I have been assured by an being able to fire a shot at the enemy officer now high on the staff in this in return. country, who was made prisoner in the Numbers II. and III. of
letters action, that Gen. Laborde expressed his will consist of a continuation of the astonishment at the manner in which errors of the Duke of Wellington. he had been attacked, which he con- Number IV. will be on the errors of sidered utterly irreconcileable with Marshall Beresford. Number V. on any principle of generalship. He then those of Lord Lynedoch. Number VI. thought lightly of Lord Wellington's on the general policy of the military talents; but General Laborde (like war in America. Numbers VII. and other French generals) has proba- VIII. on the military character of Nably lived to change his opinions. poleon. Number IX. on that of Soult. It may be thought that I have pre- Number X. Marmont. And Number sumed to speak on this subject with XI. Blucher. I beg my best respects more confidence than becomes me, to Mrs Shufflebottom.--I am, &c. and it may be so. But I am willing
nd celebrity ?
ON THE DISCOVERY OF THE REMAINS OF ROBERT BRUCE.
ce of the I am reali general
A Freedome is a noble thing ;
e to my dia he questa
mpertinen most will of Lord
The discovery of the bones of Robert covered ; while the appearance of the
pause in the avocations and amuse-
Curiosity Towards a due understanding, how-
bility. That bold and romantic spirit and valuable body of men which has, of enterprise which led the Norman in every age, contributed as much tó arms to the throne of England, and the stability of the English character, enabled Roger de Hauteville, with as the celebrity of the English arms, thirty followers, to win the crown of and which then composed those territhe 'two Sicilies, still animated the ble archers, whose prowess rendered
English nobles; and to this heredita- them so formidable to all the armies »ry spirit was added the remembrance of Europe. These men, whose valour
of the matchless glories which their was warmed by the consciousness of arms had acquired in the wars of Pa- personal freedom, and whose strength lestine. The barons, who were array- was nursed among the enclosed fields ed against Robert Bruce, were the de- and green pastures of English liberty, scendants of those iron warriors who conferred, till the discovery of fire-arms combated for christendom under the rendered personal acquirements of no wall of Acre, and defeated the whole avail, a matchless advantage on the Saracen strength in the battle of As- English armies. The troops of no calon ; the banners that were unfurl- other nation could produce a body of ed for the conquest of Scotland, were men in the least comparable to them those which had waved victorious over either in strength, discipline, or indithe arms of Saladin; and the sove- vidual valour; and such was the dreadreign who led them, bore the crown ful efficacy with which they used their that had been worn by Richard in the weapons, that not only did they mainHoly Wars, and wielded in his sword ly contribute to the triumphs of Cresthe terror of that mighty name, at sy and Azincour, but at Poitiers and which even the accumulated hosts of Hamildon Hill, they alone gained the Asia were appalled.
victory, with hardly any assistance Nor were the resources of England from the feudal tenantry. less formidable for maintaining and These troops were well known to the nourishing the war. The prosperity Scottish soldiers, and had established which had grown up with the equal their superiority over them in many laws of our Saxon ancestors, and which bloody battles, in which the utmost the tyranny of the early Norman efforts of undisciplined valour had been kings had never completely extinguish- found unavailing against their practised, had revived and spread under the ed discipline and superior equipment. wise and beneficent reigns of Henry The very names of the barons who II. and Edward I. The legislative headed them were associated with an wisdom of the last Monarch had given unbroken career of conquest and reto the English law greater improve- nown, and can hardly be read yet ments than it had ever received in without a feeling of national exultaany subsequent reigns, while his he- tion. roic valour had subdued the rebel
Names that to fear were never known, lious spirit of his barons, and train
Bold Norfolk's Earl de Brotherton, ed their united strength to submis
And Oxford's famed de Vere; sion to the throne. The acquisition Ross, Montague, and Manly came, of Wales had removed the only weak And Courtney's pride, and Percy's fame, point of his wide dominion, and added Names known too well in Scotland's war, a cruel and savage race to the already At Falkirk, Methven, and Dunbar, formidable mass of his armies. The
Blazed broader yet in after years, navy of England already ruled the At Cressy red, and fell Poitiers. seas, and was prepared to carry ra- Against this terrible force, before which, vage and desolation over the wide in the succeeding reign, the military and defenceless Scottish coast ; while power of France was compelled to bow, a hundred thousand men, armed in Bruce had to array the scanty troops the magnificent array of feudal war, of a barren land, and the divided forces and led on by the ambition of a feu- of a turbulent nobility. Scotland was, dal nobility, poured into a country in his time, fallen low indeed from which seemed destined only to be their that state of peace and prosperity in prey.
which she was found at the first inBut most of all, in the ranks of this vasion of Edward I., and on which so army, were found the intrepid Yeo- much light has been thrown by the MANRY of England ; that peculiar industrious research of our times.*.
• Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. i.