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corruption or faction, and of false views and niggardliness in England, they happily managed to overcome them. So deep and sagacious a scheme of war against such an enemy as Napoleon is without any parallel in history; and had it been seconded as it deserved, its success could never have been doubtful. The governments of the day did much, however, to thwart it, by their vacillation and parsimony; and though they shared in the glory of the triumph, they are only entitled to the negative praise of not having mischievously interfered with the operations connected with the war, and of having permitted their great general to carry out his own views of strategy. Yet, even as it was, the arms of England emerged victorious from the contest; and though, after 1809, the French added to their conquests in Spain, the safety of Portugal and ultimately of the Peninsula, was assured by Wellington at Torres Vedras.

The campaigns of 1810-11, when Massena having invaded Portugal, was driven out of it with enormous loss, are the wellknown proofs of the wisdom of this strategy. On these there are numerous details in these volumes which confirm our general observations, and contain passages of much interest. We wish we had space to transcribe the correspondence between Wellington and Sir Richard Fletcher relating to the lines of Torres Vedras; for it gives perhaps the fullest account which has yet appeared of these memorable constructions. The operations of 1810 commenced with the capture of Ciudad Rodrigo; and though Wellington was strictly on the defensive, he was subjected to much criticism at home for not having advanced to relieve it. The following is his vindication of his conduct:

'I see that the French papers have lately begun to abuse me, and the English newspapers will soon follow their example, and the opposition will follow theirs, because I did not strike a blow against the French before their force was collected for the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo.

'First, it must be observed that I had not 32,000 men, nor even 25,000, in this quarter, till the beginning of summer. The Portuguese troops were not clothed or equipped, and the British troops had not recovered their sickness, till late in the spring; and there was always in my front, since January last, the sixth corps, consisting of 31,000 men. There would have been many difficultiessome, in that season, amounting to impossibilities-in attacking them; and, if I had attacked them, I could not have gained any important success before they would have been joined by the eighth corps, which were never further from them than Leon. There would then have been 57,000 men against 25,000; and whatever might have been my first success, I must have retired with loss, and the army, which would have been exposed to the bad weather early

in spring, would not now have been half so efficient as it is.' (Vol. vi. p. 562.)

Though ill-supplied with men and money, and with an army considerably weaker than that which he had been led to expect, he did not, even at this critical juncture, believe the cause of the Peninsula to be hopeless.

The enemy are wofully strong-I should think not less than 80,000 men, whom they can bring into Portugal; but I don't give the game up as lost, and I think it will be gained if Government will only lend me some infantry to fight the battle near Lisbon. . . . . I see more, and must know more, of what is going on here than others, and I certainly have no prejudice in favour of the continuance of our exertions here, founded upon any partiality for the business of guiding them; but I sincerely feel what I write-that, if the resources of Great Britain were fairly applied to this contest as they have been to any other in which the country has been engaged, the French would yet repent the invasion of Spain.' (Vol. vi. p. 564.)

The hostile armies met at Busaco, where Massena suffered a severe repulse, but afterwards turned the position by Coimbra. M. Thiers takes an opportunity of sneering at English slowness on this occasion: from the following brief remark of Wellington we may estimate the value of the criticism :

The croakers about useless battles will attack me again on that of Busaco, notwithstanding that our loss was really trifling. But I should have been inexcusable if, knowing what I did, I had not endeavoured to stop the enemy there; and I should have stopped him entirely if it had not been for the blunders of the Portuguese general commanding in the north, who was prevented by a small French patrol from sending Trant by the road by which he was ordered to march. If he had come by that road, the French could not have turned our position, and they must have attacked us again; they could not have carried it, and they must have retired. The question is, whether, having it in my power to take such a position, it was right to incur the risk of a general engagement in it? That which has since happened shows that, if not turned, I could have maintained it without loss of importance, and that, if turned, I could retire from it without inconvenience.' (Vol. vi. p. 606.)

The following passage from an intercepted despatch shows how keenly Massena felt the efficacy of the plan adopted by Wellington for cutting off their supplies from the French, and their absolute ignorance of the Lines of Torres Vedras, although within a few marches of them:

'Lord Wellington avec l'armée Anglo-Portugaise est en pleine retraite sur Lisbonne. Il annonce le projet de vouloir nous disputer toutes positions. Je marche réuni, et je ferai tout ce que je pourrai pour le décider à livrer bataille, seul moyen de le détruire, ou de

le forcer à se rembarquer. On porte le nombre des deux armées Anglais et Portugaise à 60,000 ou à.70,000 hommes; parmi lesquels 25,000 Anglais. L'ennemi brûle et détruit tout en évacuant le pays. Il force tous les habitants à abandonner leurs foyers. Coimbra, ville de 20,000 âmes, est déserté. Nous ne trouvons aucunes subsistances. L'armée vit avec le bled de Turquie et les légumes que nous trouvons encore sur plante. Lord Wellington, n'osant nous attendre en rase campagne, cherche à nous détruire en ruinant tout ce qui pourrait nous alimenter. Les habitants des villes et des villages sont trèsmalheureux. Il les contraint à servir sous peine de la vie; enfin aucune époque de l'histoire n'offre d'exemple d'une aussi grande barbarie. (Vol. vi. p. 609.)

The following notice of the effect produced in Europe by Massena's retreat is from an interesting paper in these volumes compiled by an agent of Lord Wellesley:

'Secret information arrived daily from Prussia, Austria, and Russia, of the extraordinary effect produced in those countries by the success of the Spanish cause, and of the British arms in the Peninsula.

'Prussia was then foremost in zeal. Gneisenau was fortifying the lines at Spandau in imitation of Torres Vedras. I have seen many letters from thence, stating the sanguine hope of Gneisenau and Blücher to rival the efforts in the Peninsula. The Hanoverians showed the same spirit. The joy betrayed at Vienna on the retreat of Massena showed that a proper feeling was arising in Austria. And although Russia was not ready, yet from the details brought by Prince Lubomirski of the activity of the Emperor Alexander in recruiting and new-modelling his army, it was clear that she was sincere. These were the first fruits of our efforts in the Peninsula, and they filled Lord Wellesley's mind with hope; and though he still lamented his hands were not free, he was less impatient of his situation.' (Vol. vii. p. 267.)

While Wellington was thus convincing Europe that Portugal could be successfully defended, the English Cabinet remained incredulous. It threw on him the entire responsibility of keeping the army within the lines, and warned him that a retreat to his ships was considered absolutely necessary in England. The following letter from Lord Liverpool is a fair specimen of this correspondence:

'I should apprise you that a very considerable degree of alarm exists in this country respecting the safety of the British army in Portugal; and as it is always some advantage to know, on a question of doubtful policy, on which side it may be best to err, I have no difficulty in stating that, under all the circumstances, you would rather be excused for bringing away the army a little too soon than, by remaining in Portugal a little too long, exposing it to those risks from which no military operations can be wholly exempt.' (Vol. vi. p. 493.)

It is worth remarking that the only favour which Wellington's plans received at this time appears to have come from the old King, then on the point of disappearing from the scene. A letter, written in April 1810,- that is, some months before Massena's advance,- from Sir Herbert Taylor to Lord Liverpool, attests this in a striking manner, and is most creditable to George III.:

'I have had the honour of submitting your Lordship's letter to the King, and of reading to him the private letter from Lord Wellington to which it refers; and His Majesty desires you will accept his thanks for this communication, which has proved in the highest degree interesting and satisfactory to him.

'I think it my duty to acquaint your lordship that, in the course of the reading, the King observed that the arguments and remarks which this letter contains, the general style and spirit in which it is written, and the clearness with which the state of the question and of prospects in Portugal is exposed, have given His Majesty a very high opinion of Lord Wellington's sense, and of the resources of his mind as a soldier; and that, as he appears to have weighed the whole of his situation so coolly and maturely, and to have considered so fully every contingency under which he may be placed, not omitting any necessary preparation, His Majesty trusted that his Ministers would feel with him the advantage of suffering him to proceed according to his judgment and discretion in the adherence to the principles which he has laid down unfettered by any particular instructions, which might embarrass him in the execution of his general plan of operations.' (Vol. vi. p. 515.)

Nor were the obstacles cast in the way of Wellington at this time by his Government those only of vacillation and faintheartedness. At this very time, when the French armies were marching on Cadiz, through Andalusia, and Soult was ordered. to co-operate with Massena, through Estremadura and Alentejo, the Cabinet gave a decided countenance to the revolt of the Spanish-American colonies. This step was calculated, beyond all others, to arouse the jealousy of the Spanish nation, and to open a path to the conquest of Portugal: it actually caused the greatest irritation; and the following letter of Sir A. Wellesley points out the consequences it was producing:

'Thus are petty British objects of commerce suffered to interfere with the great and interesting work of releasing this country from the yoke of France; and unless the British Government takes the decided line of discouraging the spirit which has broken forth in the colonies, and that, too, in the most open manner, it will create such a jealousy here as never can be got under, and will probably be the ruin of the whole cause.

'It is wonderful that they cannot be satisfied in England with a commercial arrangement which would be attended with immense

advantages to ourselves, and would likewise be greatly beneficial to Spain. I apprehend this to be the true spirit of all commercial treaties; and why are we to take advantage of the weakness of Spain to endeavour to impose terms upon her which would be ruinous and disgraceful?' (Vol. vi. p. 589.)

The inability to obtain specie for the military chest and other purposes, was another difficulty to which Wellington was exposed, at this and other periods of the contest. Beyond dispute, the main cause of this was the great depreciation of the currency at home, which, driving away the precious metals, made it no easy matter to recall them. Of course, however, supplies of specie could have been obtained in England and elsewhere by paying for it at the market price — and Wellington actually procured a great deal by buying corn, and re-selling it for gold; but the Government, with peculiar shortsightedness, relied on the trade of Lisbon exclusively to attract gold and silver to Portugal, and this too, exactly at the time when any specie that entered Portugal was almost instantly exported from it, in consequence of the condition of the country. On several occasions Wellington's movements were paralysed by the want of money; and the army of the richest nation in Europe was gene rally in arrear of pay, and comparatively destitute. There are several remonstrances from Wellington on this point as early as 1810; we quote the following, though somewhat later:

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The Commissary-in-Chief and the Treasury have disapproved of my sanctioning bargains for importing specie from Gibraltar, for which bills were to be granted by the Commissary-General at a more disadvantageous rate of exchange than the market rate of Lisbon. have therefore been obliged, within these last three days, to refuse to give my sanction to an offer of 500,000 dollars upon a similar bargain. I can scarcely believe that the Treasury are aware of the distresses of this army. We owe not less than 5,000,000 dollars: the troops are two months in arrears of their pay; and I have been able to allot only 100,000 dollars to the payment of the Portuguese subsidy in this month. The Portuguese troops and establishments are likewise in the greatest distress; and it is my opinion, as well as that of Marshal Beresford, that we must disband part of the army unless I can increase the money payments of the subsidy. The CommissaryGeneral has this day informed me that he is very apprehensive that he shall not be able to make good his engagements for the payment of meat for the troops; and if we are obliged to stop that payment, your Lordship will do well to prepare to recall the army, as it will be quite impossible to carry up salt meat, as well as bread, to the troops from the sea-coast. The Treasury cannot expect that I shall take upon myself to sanction measures of which they have expressed their positive disapprobation; and I hope that they will recall that disapprobation, or that they will adopt some efficient measures to

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