« PreviousContinue »
Has there appeared one with the name of communication of that protest to the officers either the writer or the receiver ? No: and of the army. Attempt no shume, I be Xeech the man, who, in the letter before me, you. Let your friend be where he is. You takes upon him to argue upon the pretended bave already besinleared hiin from liead to facts contained in those letters; takes upon foot; and, if your efforts at whitewashing him to assert that their authors are all per- are continued much longer, he will come sons of high honour ; even this mign has the out of your hands as black as a crow. prudence not to favour either me or the
Upon the affairs of this now public with his name. Is it after this fashion most interesting part of the world there is a that I proceed? Have I dealt in such name- letter, written by Major Cartwright, and Jess, unowned, bastard-like documents published in the last number of the Register, No: I have taken the vicial papers, have to which I beg leave to refer the reader. He reasoned from their contents, and bove, as will there see how the people of Spain forpremises, resorted to no facts, which are merly thought and with what spirit they not universally adonitted to be true. - By ac:ed, in matters 'elating to domestic free. way of conclusion, I will point out a light, dom. It is surprizing bow strong a resemin which this pretended protest did nur blance there is between what they solight to before strike me, and in which it does not establish, in the reign of Charles V, and appear to have stricken even the editor of what was established in England a century the Times news-paper, who has displayed so later. I sincerely wish, that Major Caria much acuteness and literary powers of every wright, who with the experience of threekind, in the course of this interesting dis- score, writes with the clearness and the cussion. The statement of the friends of vigour of the prime of life, and whose reaWellesley, which statement is, in substance, soning and eloqience come recommended repeated by my correspondent, is this: by unquestionable disinterestedness and Obedience is the soul of an army; a com- integrity, may succeed in his zealous and mander of an army must be as absolute as the unwearied endeavours to rouse 'the feel. Grand Turk; Sir Arthur Wellesley has been ings and direct the judgment of the prebrought up in the school of obedience; he sent patriots of Spain.--I am not, nor knew how great an injury it must be to the can any rational man be, without sonje service, if he publickly protested against the very serious apprehensions as to the convention; and, therefore, be confined result of the contest that is now about his opposition to a protest privately made to to begin; but, if a provisional government, the commander in chief. This is what they capable of calling out and directing the force have said in bis defence, over and over of the country, be speedily organized, I again, in various forms of words. Now, shall bave great bopes of final success, note then, without asking whether the Wel- withstanding any reverses that may, at the Jesleys were remarkable for their obe- out-set, be experienced by the Spaniards. dience to the East India Directors, let us For, we seldom have heard of a whole pco. put the sincerity of this defence to the test. ple being subuned, if they were aniinated He protested privately, lest, by a public with one soul, and if that soul was bent protest, he should create a division in the
upon obtaining freedom The thing to be army, and thereby do great injury to the most feared is, that this all-powerful motive service. Now, ye canting hypocrites, if may not universally prevail; that the nobles, such were the fact and such the motive, how or the priests, or both, may look beyond the came you in possession of ihe knowledge of immediate object of the struggle, and may this protest? You are his close friends, per- be grudging in their offers to the people, chavice, and so he wrole home, unlucking and also in point of confidence in their interhis bosom to you, easing bis agonized heart course with them. If this should unhappily by communicatiin; to you the proof of his be the case; if the people should be treated innocence ? No. This will not do ; this with coolness, disgust will speedily succeed, will not serve your turn; for, you have the cause will soon fall to ruin, and those told us before, that the facts relating to this attacks, which in the other case, would have protest have been communicated by the of- called forib the latent fire of patriotism, 1a. ficers of the army.
So that, taking the lent, and valour, will at oncé, extinguish whole of your own statement as true ; ad- every motive of resistance. It is quite shock. mitting all that you assert, Wellesley, who ing to think of an ancient nation consisting was convinced that the making of a public of so many willions of people being made protest would be greatly injurious to the ser- over to, and taken possession of by, a man vice, made a private proiest to the comman- who was, but yesterday, a person unknown der-in-chief, and then, made an underband in the world; but, he comes backed with
terrible power, and to resist that power there England in particular that one ought to have must be a motive, and an adequate motive at heart. I observe, that, in several of our too.--- In speaking of the operations of the writers, a hatred of Napoleon is the predowar, the Fabian example of the Americans minant feeling; and, what is the worst of has been cited. But, we should bear in it, the far greater part of them do not dismind ihe vast difference in the circumstances. cover hatred of him in his character of desThe nature of the two countries is, in the pot, but in his character of conqueror. first place, very different. America was as- Now, it is, I presume, in the former cha. sailed by an enemy, who had all his troops, racter, that he is the most decidedly entihis horses, and his artillery, to send across tled to our hatred; but, then, the difficulty the sea, a distance of, at least, a thousand is, that there are other despots, whom we leagues, and, it sometimes happened, that profess not to hate at all." We ourselves five or six months elapsed between the em- have been great conquerors in our day. barkation and the landing. Besides, the There are the Nabob Viziers, tbe Nizams, eneiny whoin America had to resist was of a the Sultauns, and a long list of sovereigns of very different character. We used no fire ; one sort and another, whom we have con. we sacked no towns; we did not carry the quered, whose territories we have invaded, torch in one band and the sword in the other. and whose subjects we have taken to our. Our generals were not Massenas and Junots. selves, not forgetting some small portion A standing toast at our head-quarters used to of their property; and we have seen, that, be, a long war and a mercitul one." The instead of curses upon the head of the Launeses do not give such toasts No: the divers congoerors, we have heaped thanks, Spaniards will want men very different from praises unbounded, and pensions and titles the Washingtons and the Jees. They will not a few. Come, come, then ; let us not have to fight day after day and every day, be so unjust as to hate and execrate this man and to withstand that terror, which the in his character of conqueror. In his chadesiructive progress of an army, accustomed racter of despot, with all my soul; in bis to pillage and to all sorts of cruelly, cannot character of despot-maker ; in his character fuil to inspire in the minds of the weaker of ally of Russia of the rabble of rascals part of the nation. - We must not, there- upon the Rhine ; in this character i agree fore, conclude, that the Spaniards will suce to him as much as any man living - If ceed, because the Americans did. If, in- we hate him as a despot, we cannot wish to deed, we could prevail upon Buonaparte to see a despotism, of any sort re-established send against them sucb generals as we sent in Spain. The name of the man who is to to America (and we might be able, perhaps, be at the head of the despotism, if a desto point ont some such for the service), the potism it is to be, is of no consequence to the Spanish cause would be safe ; but, as things Spaniards, nor is of but very little conseare, it must be confessed, that the struggle quence to us. People have often carried on is an object of the ulmost anxiety; and, it bloody wars for a choice of despots ; but, beboves us to think betimes of what our then, each despot was present and active measures ought to be, if the result should himself. In short, it is absurd to suppose, seat a Buonaparte upon the throne. -- Ithat, at this day, any nation will uudergo like not, I must confess, the seeming hank fire and sword for the sake of :n absent perering after FERDINAND VII. The Spaniards son, whose former government they have have declared the late government to have called infamous ; and, if this absurdity been an iolainous one. What sense is should be attempted to be persevered io, ! inere, when, in their talk about a man, in think, it is very clear, that the Spaniards whose person they must intend (if they in. will be subdued.-This, it seems to me, tend 10 do any thing with him) to restore is the point, upon which the fate of Spain that government? I do not understand this. will turn. Uncommon, unheard-of, excrHe has abricated the ibrone ; he has given tions are required; new courage, new ta: up his claims to the sovereignty of Spain, lents, new genius, are demanded. To call in terms as explicit as a nan can possibly these forth powerful motives must ex. use. There appears to be something like | ist, and these motives must make their way, ivfatuation in carrying on a bloody war for at once, to the hearts of even the lowest or. him, or in making his restoration any part ders of the people. A choice of despots ; of the objects of such a war.
a mere choice of persons to whom the peowith me, a chilling circumstance. It takes ple are to be slaves, appears to me to be no birgely from ihe arduur I should feel in the motive at all; and hence I conclude, that, if Spinish cause ; for, after all, it is the good the leaders in Spain persevere in professing to vi the world in general and of Spain and of make war for the restoration of iheir former
despot, they will be defeated, and that Josephi connected, should very great circumspecNapoleon, though the son of a green-grocer, tion, much consideration, and infinite care will stand at the head of their new family and anxiety be shewn?-If that be so, and sovereigos. Gud forbid that this should be when a commander-in-chief of such an the case; but, if the struggle he made for army is appointed, ought not his character no better purpose, the failure of the Spani- to be perfecily well known, and his name ards will be a subject of regret with those quite familiar to the public? Should they not only, whose fears of the conqueror have de- also be familiar with his former glory and prived them of the power of reflection. exploits, with his talents, his vigour, bis Botley, 6th October, 1909.
enterprise, and his prudence? Above all,
ought not the army to be, (that is the CONVENTIONS IN PORTUGAL. soldiers) very well acquainted with him? SIR; -Ought the firing of the Park and Orght they not to have a confidence in him? Tower guns to be considered as a signal of Ought they not to feel that he is able to joy or ot grief, Mr. Cobbett! ---Ought command ihem? -Was there ever an they ever to be fired, or can they be so, occasion, when all these things should have without an express order from the ministers? been more particularly attended to than in And when the public do hear these guins, selecting a general to command our brave are they bound to conclude that ministers | troops in Portugal ? Was it not upon the see cause for rejoicing; that they are thus success of the first blow we were to strike informed off the arrival of some glorious
in this glorious contest, that almost every news; and that the firing of the guns is the thing depended? If it failed, and failed means by which the ministers intend to through dishonour and baseness, what could convey to the people their own joy and exul- we expect? Had we a right any longer to tation at the happy tidings they have re- look for trust or confidence on the Conticeived !-Is nine o'clock at night an nent? Coula the brave people in whose unusual hour for these guns to be fired ? cause we were fighting look upon our miliAnd if unusual, is it reasonable for the lary assistance, but with mistrust and appeople to expect news unusually good prehension? In effect, they might say and glorious! -n such a caie is it natural in Timeo Dianaös et dona ferentes."'- I to be unusually anxious, and impatient for now come, Mr Cobbelt, to a very importhe Gazette ? -The next question I would tant part of the subject, and one which, at beg leave to ask you, Mr. Cobbett, is this the present moment, occupies no small Who is Sir Hew Dalrymple? This is a share of public attention ; I mean the ques. question I have in vain asked of all I am tion with respect to Sir Hew and Sir acquainted with, and I fear it is a question Arthur, which I think will resolve itself which will puzzle all the big wigs in this into this: either that Sir Arthur is como kingdom. There is no doubt, however, but pletely innocent, or infinitely more guilty that Junot and Kellermann could answer it. ihan Sir Hew Dalrymple. Let us inquire Sir Hew's name became immortal (to men. the truth. Was the actual command tion no one else at present) on the memorable taken from Sir Arthur the instint that the 30th of Aug. lastí a day which never can batile of Vimeira had terminated? And if be forgotten. Who can wish to know more 80, by whom was it taken ? Certainly of Sir Hew? Read nis Convention. Is that Not by Sir Hew, for his own dispatch denot enough? Is it the Commander-in- clares the contrary, and begins i bus: “I Chief, or the ministers who appoint, or « have the honour to inform your lordship, ought to appoint the general, who is to act " that I landed in Portugal, and took the in the important situation of commander of “ command of the army, on Mondły the 30,000 men; and to have the sole and entire “ 22d of Aug. the next day after the batt: disposal of so large and fine an arıny as the " of Vimeira." Now, then, we have the British forces in Portugal - Are those fact that Sir Hew only landed on the 22d. who do appoint in such a case responsible,
Who therefore had the command of our entirely, or in any degree, for the conduce army, our victorious army, from the actual of him whom they have appointed ? If | termivation of hostilities on the 21st till the they are not responsible for his acts, who is ? arrival at Cintra of Sir Hew on the 22d? and to whom are the people to look for re- And what was done duriug that period ? dress ? --In selecting a general fit for a duty Upon the answer to these questions the of so high, so important, and so honourable whole will turn. Till we hear the contrary, a nature, in the execution of which, the we are bound to believe that Sir Arthur reinterests of the country at large, and the tained the command, I will
, therefore ask, bouous of Great Britain, are so intimately what was Sir Arthur doing? How was his
army employed, during that most important | mand from Sir Harry, and then, as his interval? His friends say, that he was
a few hours after my arriburning to push on. Was he so ? That pre. “ val, General Kellermann came in with a cious interval then, was so employed ? Did flag of truce, &c. and immediately after, he, then, after his splendid victory, and " The inclo-ed contains the several articles without losing an instant, give orders for “ at first agreed upon and signed iy Sir the troops following up their well carried “Arthur Wellesloy an:1 General Kliersuccess, by immediate pursuit ? Did he mano."-Pray now wereibese articles agreed prove that he was “ burning to push on?" upon and signed by Sir Aithur, whom we Did he instantly march towards Lisbon in have supposed to have had no command since order to cut of the retreat of the vanquished the ter vivation of the battle of Vimeira? Junot (I beg his grace's pardon, I mean Are we to suppose, thai Sir Hew requested le Duc D’Abrantes) and in order to prevent Sir Arthur, as being conversant with the the possibility of his concentrating his force ther state of affairs, to enter into one in strong positions ? Was, or was not, all terms of agreement; and are we to suppose or any of these things done? Was that very that he was left entirely to his owujudgment precious interval in any way made use of? and discretion? Or, are we to suppose that I have not asserted ihat Sir Arthur did
on being so requested, he strongly urged to hove the command during this period, but Sir Hew, the fatal consequences to be as we know that Sir Hew had not, it remains dreaded from any suspension of hostilities, to be shewd whether upon this occasion the that he implored bim to listen to nothing cuiprit was Sir Arthur, or Sir Harry. On short of unconditional surrender, and that the head of one or the other of these two, he did every thing in his power to prevent will fall the whole consequences resulting any Convention from being acceded to !from the inactivity, or want of decision and That Sir Hew then commanded him to siga promptness which then took place, which that which his heart revolted at? Are we to must have prevented our gallant army fron suppose ihis?-And are we then to suppose intercepting the French trom Lisbon, and that tamely and tacitly, with much gentle from following up the decisive blow which resignation, the gallant Sir Arthur obeyed had been struck. The not baving done the detested order? -Now wbich of these which, and the not having intercepted the two), is the most probable case? The former French from Lisbon, are allowed to be the which supposes him to be only requested, only reasons why any Convention became and left to act according to his own judgenecessary, (or ratber was thought necessary). ment; or the latter in which he is harshly he therefore, (be lie who he may) the man com manded and left withont a particle of who produced this state of things, whose diecieionary power? Is it not on this, that scandalous conduct rendered such a humilia- the whole merit or demerit of his conduct ting alternative necessary, is far more guilty as to the signature rests? Bat I will now than the man who merely ratified the damned ask you, dlr. Cobbeti, whether you would agreenient. Whilst I am always for per- consider the request of a commander-io. miting fully “ Palmain qui meruil ferat," chief as tantamount to a command ? Nest, at the same time I am equally desirous that whether a command ever, should always, Culpam qui meruit ferat. And grieved as and without exception, be implicity and I should be to blast the fresh laurels on the tacitly obeyed? --Shind the cornmand of victorious brow of Sir Arthur, siill, justice, a superior in no instance be departed from and the injured honour of this country, re- Is there no latitude in any case allowed ? And quire, that the culprit, le he who he may, supposing all these to be answered by decla. should be openly dragged forth to public ring that nothing but passive and implicit view and to pablic investigation. We bave obedience, can be tolerated by the military already seen that there must huve been most lauti, I would ask you, are there no situations criminal conduct somewhere between the in which it would be buih bonourable and 21si and the 22d, that Sir Hew is conipletely eren nuble to disobey an express con mand ? out of that scrape, and that it is entirely And if it might be honourable and even between Sir Harry and Sir Arthur. Now noble in some situations to disobey a com. let 11s sup; e se ibat Sir Harry, notwithstand mani, might there not also be circumstances ing his generosity on the field of baitle, uuder which it would be both criininai and did hower superseile Sir Arthur the mo- bnse to obey au express command? Indeed, nienti at ve French began to retreat ; and your last Register has already deciared your let us suppose that Sir Arthur's advice was opinion on this subject. If any one insisted rejected -100), on the following day, the on ibis meek, humble, non-resisting obe. 220, Sir Hew arrives, and takes the com- dicuce, as being indispensable according to
the military law, I would beg to know that is any way connected with it, fires me where such womapish ubedience could stop. with indignation, and chilis me with horror For instance: when Kellermaun was fairly at the bare recollection, still, notwithstandabout il, stipulating on the one hand, and ing this, I have been able to read your getting every stipulation as quickly agreed | excellent account of the ignominous transto on the other no matter how framed or actions in that quarter with some degree of how worded—why did it not occur to him, . pleasure and satisfaction ; a melancholy to stipulate that the duke his master, with pleasure indeed and a mournful satisfaction! the whole of the French army, artillery, &c. Your plain, but nervous language; your should be immediately conveyed in English unbiassed, bat manly conclusions; your trans, onts to the cast of Ireland, (a frigate just, but ardent colouring, give to the whole or 74 being provided for bis grace) and there of your statement a tone and character, be disemb. rked with all their baggage, plun- which cannot fail, even to the remotest times, der, &c. &c. and be supplied with suty rounds to make every true Briton's heart bleed per map and gun? Why did this not occur within him wben he peri ses it-whilst at 10 bim? Of course it would have been Those honest bursts of indignation which it agreed to, and by the convenient non-resisle here and there exbibiis, he will be roused to ing rule of obedience, the victorious Sir madness, will feel bis whole soul on fire, Arthur would, good pliant soul, have put and will call down curses and vengeance on his band, when so required, to such a stipu- those who were the authors of his poor latiop!!! Having so done, he might then country's disgrace and ignominy. To have have resumed his situation a commander, all the circumstances which preceded this in-chief in Ireland with great éclat-and fatal Convention (at which name " horresco with “ No Popery" as his watch-word, have referrens ") fairly detailed, and recorded in had the infinite satisfaction of again encoun- clear and unambiguous language, was fit, tering his Portuguese antagonists on British was necessary. Everyone who has read ground. Indeed he might, in that case, your fast week's Register, will, if ther do possibly, have bebeld, the imperial flag, of you justice, readily admit, that few could "his imperial and royal majesty Napoleon I. have executed this so well, and none, I am waving over the turrets of Dublin castle!
- I am always, Sir, P. C. And his grace of Abrantes might have tben himself become an emperor, a catholic em. CONVENTIONS IN PORTUGAL. peror. Strange that all this did not occur to Sie,- Amidst the burst of general and Kellermann; whose tertile and comprehen- violent indignation, which is so universally sive mind seems to have been always " in felt by the whole nation, at the termination " utrumque paratus." --Since writing the of the campaign in Portugal, and in which above, a most unfortunale letter of Sir you so largely participate ; permit me to Arihur's has made its appearance before the point out soine circumstances, which have public, in which (mirabile dictu !) he even been either designedly or inadvertently overcongratulates the Portuigeese on the Conven- looked. All the public writers have poured lion, in which he sees
out the most virulent invectives against every ABLE"!!! Gracious God! Can the con- part of the Conventions, without once adqueror of Vimeira think sod-As to the verting to the very important advantages conduct of ministers on this occasion, I which have been gained. This is not just. think we bave yet no reason to doubt, that I am not, Mr. Cobbett, about to defend the they will act with the same vigour and conventious; Iibink with you that they are promptitude, which, happily for this coun- highly disgracefol, to those in particular try, has already marked their career. It is who concluded them, and, aiso, to the but doing them justice to say, that as a whole nation at large, as far as it can be considered (however much I may object to certain as a party to thein. But, let us not shut our component parts) they have done more, and eyey to the services which have been perwith more pirit, in iheir short reign, than formed ; let not a blind and inconsiderate any administration, which I can recollect, to passion, burry us on in deprive ourselves. have done in the same period. The firing of the consolasjon of thinking, at least, that of the guns ought to be accounted for! something really essential has been effeciell. I cannot entirely dismiss this subject without We certainly had a j!4t right to expect the taking notice of what you bave written, Mr. absolute surrender of the French army. The Cowell, respecting it. And although that general atrocity which bas marked the condaoined Convention in Portugal, which can duct of the French in every part of Europe,' Dever cease to be thought of with curses and and in Porrugat in particnjar, together with secrations by every Englishman, and all the victories of Sir Arthur Wellesley, down