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subject drawn up by M. de Jarry, which is now published. But Lord Grenville confines himself to saying that the memoir is written with knowledge and judgment; and there is no proof that the British Government ever adopted this Austrian scheme of dismembering France to the Somme.*
On the occasion of Mr. Pitt's death, Lord Sheffield, a shrewd though rather an eccentric observer, declared that much as he regretted the loss of such an extraordinary creature as he 'really was, he had never thought him infallible, but on the 'contrary always expressed an opinion that he was eminently 'deficient in respect to the conduct of the war and of foreign 'affairs.' This opinion has in these later times prevailed, and Lord Macaulay went so far as to say that his military adminis'tration was that of a driveller, until the British army under 'Pitt became the laughing stock of Europe.' These accusations are, we think, expressed with too much vehemence, and there is one exception to this sweeping censure which Lord Macaulay unaccountably overlooked- we mean the expedition to Egypt, which was ably and boldly designed, well conducted, and gloriously terminated. But it is indisputable that Mr. Pitt's genius did not lie in the same direction as the genius of Lord Chatham, and that at the outset of the war he knew no more than a spinster of the division of a battle. Parliamentary ministers are not bound to have a minute knowledge of military details, though this is no superfluous accomplishment to any statesman. But the great principles of strategical science, which are to be learned from history, and the art of selecting men competent to command armies, which is only to be learned from life, are indispensable elements of the highest order of statesmanship. Lord Chatham owed the conquest of Canada to the happy mixture of audacity and judgment with which he entrusted the command of an army to Colonel Wolfe; Mr. Pitt owed the disastrous issue of the campaigns in Holland to the incredible subserviency with which he had allowed the King twice to place an army under the command of the Duke of York. Contrast the pitiable appearance of the British army at this very
M. de Jarry, the author of the 'Memoir on the Partition of 'France to the line of Somme,' was a scientific officer of some reputation. He was afterwards employed as an instructor at the Military School at Wycomb, and contributed, with Colonel Lemarchant, to the establishment of Sandhurst. Whatever may be thought of the policy of such a scheme of partition, which has justly been denounced as extravagant, there is this peculiarity about it, that the author of the proposal for the dismemberment of France was a Frenchman. The whole document is published in the 'Auckland Papers,' vol. iii. p. 86.
time in Europe, with the splendid achievements of the British army in India-contrast Dunkirk with Seringapatam, and you have the measure of the administrative genius of a Wellesley guiding an army to victory, with the administrative genius of the British Government sending similar forces to humiliation and defeat. The navy, it is true, did by a series of splendid victories maintain the honour of the country, and effectually defend these islands from invasion by sweeping the enemy from the seas. Howe, Duncan, and Nelson rose triumphant over every obstacle to the highest point of naval greatness; but it is now almost incredible how little they owed to the organisation and equipment of their fleets by the Admiralty: and that very navy which was the terror of our enemies, was goaded to acts of desperation by the detestable home administration, until it became, for a moment, even more formidable to ourselves.
We must pause for an instant on the campaign of 1799, because the highly interesting and ingenuous Memoir of Sir Ralph Abercromby,' written by his son, and recently published by the present Lord Dunfermline, throws considerable light on the mode in which Pitt's Cabinet engaged in these military operations. On the 8th June 1799 Mr. Dundas wrote to Abercromby, who was then in Edinburgh, to announce the intended campaign in Holland, adding, "if you wish to command 'the expedition, you must come away as soon as you can after the receipt of this letter.' Upon his arrival in London he found that the expedition was not to be under his command, but under that of the Duke of York, and that the nature of the operations had been changed. In fact, throughout this affair Ministers had a vague notion that something was to be done in Holland, without knowing what.
'Sir Ralph,' says Lord Dunfermline, was from the first strongly impressed with the difficulties that were to be encountered, and he was of opinion that the risk which must be run, and the perils to which the army must be exposed were so great, that they could not be justified by the importance of the objects to which our efforts were to be directed. He stated his views to the Ministers most frankly and unreservedly, so much so indeed, that Mr. Pitt, who was wholly unacquainted with the details of military operations, and with the means that were required to afford a reasonable chance of success, could not always repress his impatience, and on one occasion remarked, very pointedly, "There are some persons who have a pleasure in opposing whatever is proposed." Sir Ralph was not moved by this hint, and he persevered in expressing his opinions with calmness and firmness.' (Memoir, &c., p. 148.)
In this manner the deliberate judgment and counsel of the ablest soldier then in England were overruled by the Cabinet.
Sir Ralph executed with consummate prudence and skill the hopeless task on which he had been sent; on his return a peerage was offered to him for the battle of Egmont, which he declined. But assuredly it required no great military experience or sagacity to perceive that an expedition of a few thousand men, pent up in the Dutch islands, could lead to no result, and must eventually be outnumbered by the enemy. Lord Stanhope says that Pitt was not responsible for the greatest of all our blunders that of Walcheren: certainly not, but on the other hand the expedition of 1799 was the precursor of Walcheren; it had originally been intended for Walcheren, and it was sent in direct opposition to the advice of the best officer in it.
It may fairly be questioned also, whether Mr. Pitt ever possessed a thorough insight into the mechanism of foreign affairs, or that command of the relations of foreign states with each other and with this country, which resembles the coup d'œil of a general on a field of battle. In the sphere of foreign politics and international law, Lord Grenville must, we think, be ranked above Mr. Pitt; but it is just to add, that for many of these momentous years Lord Grenville was the Foreign Secretary of Pitt's Government. We still think that
a more accurate examination of the diplomatic correspondence of the times, especially with reference to the alliances negotiated by Mr. Pitt during the war, will throw much additional light on this portion of his administration, whenever the state papers of the period are laid open to historical research. At present our knowledge of these transactions is chiefly derived from the publication of private correspondence.
Lord Macaulay has drawn a brilliant and a flattering picture of the first portion of Mr. Pitt's ministerial career, beginning in 1784 and ending in 1792. He styles him during this period ' a fortunate, and in many respects a skilful administrator;' he attributes to him all but absolute power over the Court and over the House of Commons: and with the single exception of his vote on the Test Act, Lord Macaulay avers that his con'duct from 1783 to the middle of 1792 was that of an honest 'friend of civil and religious liberty.' Even Lord Russell affirms that Mr. Pitt's administration during peace was marked 'by large public views, was founded on grand principles, and led to happy results.' These opinions, to which even the political adversaries of Mr. Pitt have given the stamp of authority, are naturally shared by Lord Stanhope, who vindicates Mr. Pitt even from the strictures which are passed on the later years of his government. We confess that we ourselves entered
VOL. CXVI. NO. CCXXXV.
upon this inquiry with the same disposition of mind, and entirely free from any desire to disparage the exalted character of Mr. Pitt. But a careful and dispassionate review of the transactions which we have just laid before our readers, has satisfied us that Mr. Pitt cannot be termed a fortunate administrator, since every one of his leading proposals ended in defeat or disappointment; and although we do not question that he was animated by large public views and by grand principles, the results were so far from happy, that the outbreak of war in 1793 found Parliament unreformed, Ireland unreconciled, the religious tests unrepealed, tithes uncommuted, the finances encumbered with the fiction of a sinking fund, the slave trade in full activity, free trade annihilated by foreign war, and the army and navy in the same deplorable condition in which they had been left at the close of the American struggle. How comes it, then, that Mr. Pitt, with a full and clear perception of the measures by which these evils might have been cured, contented himself with a few abortive attempts to remove them, and continued to carry on the government with apparent vigour, although almost every one of the important measures he urged upon Parliament had failed? We can only conclude that when Mr. Pitt's enlightened views and sagacious mind placed him in opposition to the bigotry and ignorance of the Court or of his own party in Parliament, he was in reality powerless; and that his omnipotence began when he made himself the instrument of the prejudices of George III. and the passions of the nation, inflamed to madness by the spectacle of the French Revolution. George III. did not treat Mr. Pitt as he had treated Lord North: the correspondence with the latter Minister, published by Lord Brougham in his "Biographical Sketches,' differs altogether in tone and substance from the highly interesting collection of the King's letters to Pitt, now published by Lord Stanhope. But upon a nice examination of these transactions, the King's influence may everywhere be discovered. It is melancholy to see the great intellect of Pitt fettered and foiled by the petty contrivances of George III., whose diseased mind was affected sometimes to madness by the intrigues of such men as Thurlow, Loughborough, Auckland, the Irish Chancellor Clare, and the English Primate Moore. In spite of Mr. Pitt's haughty bearing and inflexible character, he was compelled to stoop, and he did stoop, to prejudices which he did not share, and to objects which he despised. It is well known to what a catastrophe this state of things led when Mr. Pitt quitted office on the Catholic question in 1801. There is in Lord Malmesbury's
Journal a passage written at that time, which might, we believe, be extended to a much longer period of Mr. Pitt's life. Canning is described as saying
That for several years so many concessions (as he called them) had been made, and so many important measures overruled from the King's opposition to them, that Government had been weakened exceedingly; and if on this particular occasion a stand was not made, Pitt would retain only a nominal power, while the real one would pass into the hands of those who influenced the King's mind and opinion out of sight.' (Malmesbury's Diaries, iv. p. 4.)
Our limits forbid us to follow Lord Stanhope into the dark and terrible narrative of the ensuing years, when every calamity that could be endured by a nation, except that of foreign invasion (and even that was not wanting in Ireland), fell upon this country. Bishop Tomline had announced his design (which he did not live to complete) of following Mr. Pitt in the wise 'and vigorous conduct of the war;' and Lord Stanhope endorses these epithets as rightly descriptive of the task before him. He even thinks that it was mainly the sap and strength im'parted by the measures of the preceding years which enabled 'the nation to sustain, and finally triumph over, the perils of 'the conflict.' We regret that we cannot share his Lordship's opinion. For the reasons we have already given, we hold that the nation.was frightfully ill-prepared to enter upon any conflict at all; and that many of the measures resorted to in that conflict only tended to aggravate the dangers of our position. No sooner was war declared, than symptoms of internal discontent, which had been allayed since the American war, broke out with extreme violence, inflamed no doubt by the detestable excesses and extravagant doctrines of the French Revolution. From that moment, and for many years, every liberal opinion, including those which Mr. Pitt had himself professed, was denounced as Jacobinical, subversive of the monarchy, repugnant to all religion and law. State prosecutions of unexampled rigour followed, especially in the northern part of this island; and measures more repressive than any which had been known in Britain since the flight of James II. were employed to crush every manifestation of opinion on the part of the minority. Yet we are convinced that the minority which espoused revolutionary opinions was a contemptible one, and that nothing it could have said or done in England or Scotland would have been so injurious to the British Constitution and the character of Government, as the means taken to persecute and subdue it. The immoderate violence of the nation against what were called Jacobinical