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of imposture that has appeared in print for ing at what, until some great act of national many years, but I have not time; and, be justice has taken place, must be considered sides, nothing should be mixed with this as fixing a most hateful stain upon the nadiscussion relative to the Convention. It is tional character. But, Mr. Cobbett, I have what is doing and to be done here, here, looked in vain amongst all the writers on our here at home, that ought to engage our present subject for any thing amounting to a great care and attention. Whal care l about pretence of justification of ibe Conventions; Ferdinand and Joseph. I am not to have still less bave I been able to find what could my wits drawn away by this tub to the be called a plausible excuse for the persons whale... Little room as I have, however, I implicated in the conclusion of them. The I cannot help pointing out to the attention exception above alluded to is the Morning of the reader, a pamphlet, just published, Post, the only print that has endeavoured to under the following title: An appeal to screen one of the actors in this drama from “ the Public and á farewell Address to the public indignation by the means (equally " Army, ly BREVET MAJOR Hogan, who discreditable to the principal and his agent)
resigned his commission, in consequence of of transferring the blame to an absent and " the treatment he experienced from the a weaker party. This print has, however, “ Duke of York, and of the system that so perpetually shifted its ground of argu “ prevails in the army, ResTECTING PRO- ment; bas so often stated facts and revoked MOTIONS." This, I scruple not to say,
has had so often recourse to insinua is the most interesting publication that has tion and misrepresentation where plain and appeared in England for many years. It direct language would not suit its purpose should be read by every individual in the and bay now taken such undue advantage nation. Oh, what a story does this genile- the hackvied device of forging letters trom man tell !
What a picture does he exhibit ! the fleet and army in Portugal;--that it is in What facts does he unfold! If this pro- possible to say how it would now state the duce no effect upon the public, why, then, case of its patron if called upon to make we are so base and rascally a crew, that it is short summary, of his apology. We are no matter what becomes of us.
moreover, entitled to entertain this doubt unworthy of the name of men, and are from the conduct of the Morning Post since beneath the beasts that perish.
as well as before, Sir A. Wellesley's retur Botley, 2014 Oct. 180S.
from Portugal. That event has afforded the
public vo more satisfactory ground than CONVENTION IN PORTUGAL. already possessed for thinking well of the SIR ;-When I addressed you on the 19th Conventions. In fact, notbing has been ult. under the ihen recent impression which said by Sir A. Wellesley or his friends, sida the Conventions in Poringal had made upun his arrival in England, to justify his conduct me, I noticed every circunstance of thein they have abandoned their original ground that seemed to call for animadversion. I the famous Protest and Sir Arthur's passist have since attended to the public discussions agency; and they have sabstiluted nothing on this important subject, and in particular in lieu thereof ; so that Sir Arthur standa to those very judicious and dispassionate ob- at this moment, arraigned for miscondud servations which bave appeared under your before the British public, and not a pled name. I have there seen my own opinions nor any thing that deserves the name of confirmed and strengthened by an able de- gument, is offered in his defence. It may velopement of topics on which I had only said that bisgreat minddisdainstoanswer wha briefly commented; I have derived audi- he calls the petty captious bickerings of tional information from the exposition of vulgar; that he reserves his justification in several incidental points connected with the the grand military inquisition ihai will bere mais question; and I have, in general, ob- alter set at the Horse Guards. Be it so gerred, with a satisfaction which is to me but, if this contempt of public opinion by the source of much bope and sanguine ex- really the motive of bis silence, his friers peciation for the public weal, the periodical have strangely mistaken his character in the and political writers of the United King. many awkward attempts that they have dom (with one solitary and despicable ex- made in his favour. It has been said the ception) zealously employing their pens and Sir A arrived in England quite ignorant presses, in holding op io universal indigna- the impression made amongst us by bis pro tion, the transactions of our commanders ceedings, and thinking that he had accon in Portugal, in calling for justice upon the plished an amazing feat in getting the Frezdi guilty, and in ihus rescuing the British na- out of Portugal by means of his Convention lion from the " deep damnation" of conniv- I very much doubt this. I beliere, ont
contrary, that he well knew, before he left shall be called upon for his public defeuce Portugal, how those acts had been received, and justification ?-Having told you what I not only by the nation at large but also by believe that he has not done, only because his majesty's government, and that bis he could not do it, I will tell you what I as coming over, without being recalled, was firmly believe will happen upon the occasion owing to the advice of his friends here, who, to which I look forward.Whenever a pubin conformity to the old adage that "the lic inquiry into this business takes place, you "absent are always in the wrong," thought may depend upon it that we shall be told that he would do well to come and make that the nation has been labouring under a good his own story, leaving his saperior most strange and unaccountable mistake; for officers to the chance of what their friends that, instead of a calamity, which they seem might be able to do for them. It is at the (poor, silly, ignorant people!) to think bas same time but justice to Sir A. to observe, befallen them, they have received a great and that the circumstance of bis plan of defence signal benefit from the very person on whom by recrimination being abandoned, does look they are now calling for judgnient. In wbat that as if he were unwilling to sanction so base benefit will be made to consist might indeed a proceeding, though he has brought his be difficult to guess, were it not that we have a
ridding mon to injudicious friends,-that of being at any rate of the French army was to be conbetrayed into meanness which their very sidered as such. This,thea, is thegreatnational patron is ashamed of and obliged to disavow. | advantage, that we Englishmen have deAt all events, if iç should be true that Sir rived from the immense expence of an arArthur came away from Portugal in the be- mament, such as was never before set out of lief thut he had acted meritoriously, and British ports, and from the gallantry of our had only to receive on his arrival the plaudits soldiers displayed in two signal defeats of of a grateful country, he could swt have the enemy -- Yes, Sir, this, we shall be told, been long in England without being unde- was the main end and object of the expediceived. The very boatmen who landed his this has been accoinplished, and therebaggage, the porter who strapped it on fore we ought to be satistied. To give plauhis carriage, must have stared reproof iv his ' sibility to this story, you see that Junot's face; the looks of every creature he met " whole army" is already magnified from would apprise him of bis fallen estate. 1.1,000, which were all he could muster at When he reached town, he must have learn. Vimeira, to 25 or even 27,000, which are to ed froin his friends the many atrocious ca be conveyed in our transports from Lisbon to lumnies (as they would call chem) that had Rochefort ; but you very well know too, issued against him froin the press since the that if tonnage has really been demanded Conventions were known ; or even it, for this number of men, they wil consist of through deficacy, his friends should not any thing but combatants : probably sick, have told him all, the tirst file of newspapers woanded, civilians, and a very large prothat he laid his band upon would shew hiin portion of renegado Portuguese. Neverthehow much lee-way he had to make up in less shall we be told, that these noted Conthe public opinion. Is it theo probable, ventions have driven out of Portugal the Sir, that under these circumstances any man whole 25,000 men, just as Lord Castleeven of ordinary ambition, and although reagh gravely informed us last year that you do adivit him in some sort to despise Lord Cathcart had achieved the conquest of the vulgar bias of the public mind, should Zealand, when there were 35,000 Danes in be so far in different to his fame, as to nego armıs to oppose him, though every drummer lect
any means he inight possess of giving in our army knew, that, excepting the garria favourable turn to his case ? in short, Sir, risons of Copenhagen ane Cronberg, amount. had Sir A. Wellesley had any thing that ing altogether 19 6,000 men, there was not, conld make in his favour, that would be at the time of the capitul:tion, nor, for many sufficient, I will not say to stop, but even to days previous to it, a single man in arms in suspend for a moment, or to slacken the cur. The whole island ; and that there had at no Tentthat now so strongly runs against him, do time been one regular battalion without the you think that he would have withheld it? I walls of the above-mentioned towns? That am convinced ıhat he would not; and I there This ckeliverance of Portugal was not available fure infer, that he has nothing of this nature for the farther operations of the war ; to advance. What, then, you!
that it did not set a man of, ours at liberty must become of him when, in the hour of to assist the Spaniards, but on the contrary public trial, which hour (I differ from you deprived our army of the transports in which Mr. Cobbelt in thinking) must come, he it might have been conveyed near the scene of action on the Pyrenees; that it does ac- der of the French at discretion, and that tually give the French a large and well ap- the vessel that brought ihose advices would pointed disposable force which they would also bring two or three of the principal not otherwise have possessed; -- these conside- | French generals by way of a sac.iple of sations are to be regarded as trifling when what ours had been able to achieve.-This, compared to the main object. ---- We have I can at least vouch, was the general sentigot Portugal, though not ail belonging to it: ment throughout the metropolis, and it we have got rid of the French there; no should seem what the counties were to the maiter what becomes of then-charity be- full as sanguine.—But, since we are on the gins at hone-and if these same French subject of * secret motives," I will suggest should march over the Pyrenees and help to for your consideration one which I think beat the Spanish Patriots, why we are very more likely than any other to have influer.c. sorry for it, but cur business was to get ed the determination of our commanders; them out of Portugal : and as to the few one which must not only have enibarrassed luule advantages which the French obtained them greatly at the time of framing the in the course of the negociation and in Conventions, but which will, if they are wording the Conventions, besides that they good courtiers as I take them to be, enibar. also are very subordinate considerations, is rass them still more when they come to un. it our fault that Kellermann was the best fold their motives to the people of England negociator of the two? Sir Arthur is a sol- -Did you never hear, Mr. Cobbett, of such dier, not a statesman ; he has shewn that a thing as an Instructiox to a commander he could fight and beat the French too; is drawn up with studied ambiguity, or so erhe to be blamed because he cannot wield cumbered with a multitude of expletives-the pen as well as the sword, or because with paragraph within paragraph--parenthe Kellermann, who is probably some doll sis within parenthesis - hypothesis built plodding German as his name indicates, and upon hypothesis--and the whole so internever fought a successful batile in his life, larded with its and buts that it might be should get and keep the whip band of him construed any and every way save into a in the course of a long, intricate, and most direct, clear, and positive meaning? And difficult negociation ? "--This, I make no did you never hear, Sir, that Lord Castle doubt, is the sort of reasoning with which rcagh was famous for giving such Ipstrac. we shall be hereafter edited. But it will tions? There is no act of any description not, I dare say, Sir, bave escaped your ob- for which a saving clause may not be found servation, that your correspondent C. bas, in in such a dispatch ; and there is no clause your last number, brought forward sone in it by which any one act can be positively in secret motives, and those very strong ones, justified. Yet it is such a dispatch under to influence the determination of our com- whose influence I am toid our commanders mandiers to agree to a conditional surrender.” acted; and if my information be correct, This Mr. C. must surely be one of Sir Ar- as I have no doubt it is, their embarrassment, thur's indiscreet injudicious friends, or he as to what defence they shall set up, will be never would even have hiuted at secret mo. most naturally accounted for.-But, Sir, tives in a case, from which, of allot.ers, se- let us now look a little farther forward into crecy seems most necessary to be banished. the consequences of this business ; let us What, in the name of heaven, could be sec whether it be uot possible to extract the secret moires in such a case, unless some eventual good out of the evil that we tbey consisted in the very convenient, though thus grievously lament. I quite agree with not very honourable, preference given to you, that to lose our timein fruisless w hinics
be sort of service that was to follow the and complaints is to act in a manner very Conventions, orer that which must have been unbecoming men and good citizens. We undertaken to turce Junot and his army to are, if we do our duty, to see if some pracunconditional surrender? As to C.'s quib- tical good may not hereafier result from the bling about your expression of " next arri- confidence of the nation having been thus vul," it may, together with his other mi. shamefully abusedl.- We know from the serable shifts and subterfuges, be safely left language of the throne that an inquiry is to to the corrective energy of your own pen, take place. Whatever may be the senwhich has very properly characterized him tence pronounced in a military view, and the cause in which he is embarked. it nust be obvious to every body that the The wbole nation will bear you testimony source of the evil is not altogether of a mithat it did expect (and not without reason), litary nattire, and that it is one which a that the next advices of any, iinportance nilitary court of inquiry is not very likely from the army would announce the surren- io notice or to animadvert upon with much
barshness.- What I allude to, Sir, is the this sort should be made, was absolutely to practice that has obtained of late years of say to ourally the Prince liegent, “ You shall military and naval commanders negociating be no longer master of your country We and binding their country to stipulatious have done yout he favour of driving out ibe which are altogether beyond the competency French for you, but you have no business of their functions. It is a question in my to inquire how they came there, or by mind how far the country is, in honour and whom they have been aided or abetted. good faith, obliged to abide by conditions You shall be nominal sovereign of Portugal, thus subscribed to. I am very niuch of opi- but we will carry on the police for yon." nion that the country is under no such obli- In short, it is as completely dethroning the gation ; for if you carry the same principle Prince Regent as if we had sent him word but a little farther, it would be a necessary
that he should not return to Europe now consequence that if Lord Cathcart, or Gen. that he has a comfortable home at the Bra. Wbitelocke, or Sir H. Dalrymple, or any
zils.--You, Sir, have asked a very pertinent ether of your Convention-making generals question : “ What would the French gohad, besides giving up the advantages they vernment have done had its generals made respectively possessed, chosen to surrender such a Convention as ours bave made ?" Portsmouth, or Chatham lines, we must In the first place, Buonaparte, who knows how equally have been bound to admit an enemy's to choose his men, would harvily have emgarrison into them. The Duke of York's ployed a general capable of such a transacstipulating for the surrender of 8,000 French tion; or if, from favouritism or any family prisoners who were well and securely lodged consideration,-for these do sometimes prein our prison-ships and barracks does come vail at St. Cloud also,-he did send such a as near as possible to such a supposition person to command an army, he would have. But if this be a question open for the dis placed a proper check upon him in the secussions of the learned in the law of na- cond in command, or in the chief of the tions, Limagine that it is not a matter of statt. If, bowever, after all, such an act doubt whether it would be better to restrict had been committed, I have very little our generals in future froin committing doubt that he would have instantly distheir country by similar engagement.--Some graced all the parties concerned in it. discretionary power is no doubt necessary
-The warning he has given Dupont to the command of an army: but then that of what is to be his fate sutfic entiy indicates power should be as much as possible of a
what would have been his conduct in the military nature. The extreme of an evil case you have contemplated.- I think then, is in some cases its best cure; and it will Sir, that some practical good may arise out now be felt that there is a point beyond of the Conventions; because I think that which a general may not transgress the li- they will serve as a warning to ministers what mits of his command. --To apply this oh. Instructions they give generals; and as a servation to the Conventions, I would ask, warning to generals not to exceed ure pouva what could be so entirely extra-military, so ers intrusted to them. They must, I think, exclusively a political consideration as the be productive of a new system in these resacknowledgement contained in the first arti- pects; for even it Lordi Casilereagh should, cle of Sir A. Wellesley's armistice, of his for the misfortune of the country, continue imperial and royal majesty Napoleon I.? to direct the war department, he must still It is no matter whether the said Napoleon
see that he will, in the end, run too great a would or would not, at some furre day, risk should be always give ob'cure uvintelli. bare been acknowledged by us in that capa- gible instructions, and should his generals, city; it could never belong to a general for want of a better guide, always blunder Commanding an army on a foreign station over their business in the way we have so to determine the time or mode of so doing.-- often wimessed. The inquiry that will take If I am told that it is an unmeining complio place about the Portugal Conventions will mentary article, and that Buonaparte is not set these matters in their proper light, and it the more an emperor because Sir A. Wel- will also, I trust, expose to public reprobalesley chose to call him so, I have only to tion that other part of our intercourse with reply, then why do not you upon the same foreign powers, which, luder the specious plea get rid of the Conventious altogether? name of conciliariou, moderation, &c. would --Again, what could be more an un-mili- sacrifice the dignity and often the best inte, tary and political concern than the inquiry i rests of the country to a niistaken notion of into the conduct of the Portuguese during personal feeling and propriety.--) expect to the French occupation of their country? hear upon this subject, that it was perfectly Lo stipulate moreover that no inquiry of genteel and well-bred to treat Junut and his
having beat them in the field : that it was the ihan how he should land his army; when bias of a great and generous mind, soaring Ibat is done he njust take time to look about above little narrow and voigar national preju- him ; and if unmolested by the enemy ile dices, to slew that as we were great so we sits quietly down upon the shore to consume could be merciful; and that it might conci- the provisions brought for him in a fleet of liate the good-will of other countries--of | victuallers. It is then fortunate if he does France and of Russia, for instance - to let not think it necessary to send bome for fresh them see that wheil victorious we could set instructions before he proceeds any fartber. bounds to our triumphs, and not carry our At length up comes the enemy. You ouresentment to extremes. You may believe served, no doubt, at the time, that on the 21st me, Sir, it is not with this amiable part of August our army was the attacked not the the British character that the nations of the attucking party ; and I have been informed, world want to be made acquainted. They from very credible authority, that our general: gire us full credit for disinterestedness, mo- knew so little of bis oppinent's moremenis, deration, and generosity ; they know that that the troops were three times pat under we would nerer strike or insuli a fallen ene- arms and as often dismissed in the night my; but they are not so certain of our acting ibe 20th; and that it was only at six o'cloci with that rigour that would convince boin in the morning, wien Junior's main body w friends and foes that we are not to be insulted soen within a very short distance of ours with impuni!y; that we are resolved io obtain that we discovered what his intentions really satisfaction proportioned to the injuries that were.- If it had not been for Juvot's adople we receive ; that our exertions will not slack- ing the spirited resolution of marching out en until the just object of our undertakings Lisbon to give us tatile, he night, according be accomplished ; and that, at any rate, we to our mode of proceeding, of which the are not to be gulled by the artitices of the having three different commanders-in-chid first intrigner with whom we may bappen to in the course of 30 hours is no immaterie have to deal. This is what the people of trait, have puzzled them all three so as per the continent want to see; they feel that haps to be at this moment in possession instead of our being Machiavelists, as Buo- that capital. As it was, we were forced napaite calls us, allihe Machiavelism is on fight, and our soidiers fought as they alway his side, and that we have too ofien carried have done. But was it enough to beat the on our concerns with other powers with an enemy in an encounter which in the seves awkwardness, and a want of system border- years' war would have been considered as 3 ing upon silliness. They think that we more than a sharp affair of advanced guard make immense efforts to produce very tri- Where would Buonaparte now be, it, after · fling comparative benefits. The nation gives the battle of Auerstadı, he had sat himsel
with profusion money and men; the govern. quietly down before the town, concluded si ment is at times active in employing them ; armistice, and enjoyed for ten days to our soldiers and sailors tiglit most valiantly; tickling compliments which one of the king and yet, in the end, what does it all avail us of Prussia's generals might have paid him -We either fail in our object as at the Hel. the bravery of his troops, or the distinguish der, or obtain it but partially as in the case of ed conduct of any part of them? - Why, Poringal. What can this be owing to but to is probable that the Prussians would have a detect or to a total want of system? We covered from their panic; collected the see things through too small a medium, or scattered corps; and taken up some posilia we do not look far enough into the conse- in which to arrest the conqueror's march: quences of them. Hence it follows, that all events they would not have been devont when we are successful, what will surprise ed pieceneal, or compelled to surrender and joy, we are so confused that we know discretion, before they could reach any teas not what to do next. -The actions of the ble position. But Buonaparte's business we 17th and 21st August, do infinite honour to to take all possible advantage of his victory the bravery of our troops, and we certainly and to reach Berlin by the shortest rest were not behind-hand in bestowing a full Ours was to reach Lisbon. He marched be measure of applause upon their command- distance in a shorlier time than the Prussiats ers; but it is clear to me that those actions 1!e let the French escape and never stirred will be noticed in history, more for the ina- from our ground. He then exemplified the dequate effects which they produced than for principle which we altogether neglect, and any credit that may be due to the persons en- ihe neglect of which is, in my opinion, 1 gaged in them. It really seems as if a Bri- cause of much of our distress. With a tish gencral, going on the command of an ex- exultation, which is only pardonable whead