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we shall have little chance of successfully opposing our enemy in the field. And there is not one public writer in the kingdom, unless influenced by sinister motives, and having sinister views, nor one individual who really loves his country, who will refuse to contribute his efforts to the accomplishment of an object of sucłı vital importance to the dearest interests of the state. He must be a wretch, indeed, and wholly unworthy the name and character of an Englishman, who, in the discussion of such a subject, can suffer himself to be intluenced by party-spirit, or biassed by selfish motives. It is the pure, noble, unadulterated sentiment and feeling of genuine patriotism, that should fire the heart and invigorate the mind, when an object of this paramount consequence is to be considered. All prejudice and all partiality to ministers, or to
oposition, should be sunk in the discussion; and the country alone be allowed to occupy our thoughts, to animate our efforts, and direct our judgment. In the investigation, as in the decision, all consideration for individuals, of whatever rank or party, should be disregarded; and truth, honour, and justice, employed in the best of causes, and directed to the best of purposes, should assert their undivided sway over the mind. We are well disposed to the present ministers, we admire the principles on which they came into power, and we approve the greater part of their conduct since they have been in office; but the support of them must be a subordinate consideration to the support of our country, and depend entirely on the tendency of their measures to forward her interests, and to promote her prosperity. A support so regulated, and so principled (if the expression may be allowed), is the only support which honest men will consent to give, or which honest ministers can wish to receive. Hence it follows, of' nécessity, that if they could have recourse to a system of policy, wholly or partially inimical to the public welfare, which, we feel persuaded, the present ministers never will, they would have us for their opponents. If, for instance, they could connive at the bestowal of blank commissions, extending even to the commission of a field officer, on a common prostitute, to be filled up with the names of any person to whom she might sell them practice from the disgrace of which this country is happily rescued by the known purity which prevails in her military department--would it not be our duty to raise our voice against these faithless servants of the crown, who could basely violate the trust reposed in them by their sove
reign, by the toleration of an abuse so well calculated to bring his authority into contempt, and so highly dangerous to the state? We hope never to be put to such a trial; but if, in some luckless hour, when the genius of Britain slumbered, it should be the case, we feel sufficient firmness to discharge that duty. Though we may not have to dread the existence of so flagrant an abuse, the occurrence of such an extreme case as that which we have suggested—and though we be ready to admit that the present commander-in-chief introduced many salutary regulations into the army-still it cannot be denied that there yet remains abundant necessity for farther and more extensive reforms.
Besides the mode of appointing commanders, of the fatal tendency of which we have recently had such flagrant instances, there are many other abuses which call for immediate and effectual regulation. The fantastic mode of drilling and manæuvring our troops, fashioned after the distinguished system of the German school, which has brought that country to the brink of ruin, is not only ridiculous but prejudicial; and should be made to yield to a more simple and natural mode of training men for offensive warfare. The arbitrary power, too, assumed by the colonels of regiments, to alter the dress of their officers at their pleasure, and too often most capriciously exercised in a manner ruinous to the subalterns, should be either wholly removed, or effectually checked. If colonels paid more attention to the principles of their officers, and less to their uniforms, we should not be so frequently disgusted by the sight of a determined jacobin in regimentals, or by hearing sentiments of disloyalty from a man bearing his majesty's commission! We trust we shall live to see the day, when no military commission will be sold, and when merit (not interest or favour) will be the only means of promotion.
Before these strictures can meet the public eye, the two houses of Parliament will probably have come to some decision on the Convention of Cintra. There is one point connected with this question, on which, we confess, we cannot desise any mode of justification to which the secretary for the war department can have
From the papers laid before the Court of Inquiry, it appeared, that, on the appointment of Sir Hew Dalrymple to the command of the army in Portugal, Lord Castlereagh expressly recommended him to listen to the advice of Sir Arthur Wellesley, whom he was sent to supersede, Whence could this recommen?
dation proceed, if not from a conviction, in his lordship's mind, that Sir Arthur was the most able commander of the two; for otherwise, the recommendation would be ridiculous, as a military man is not directed to take advice from another less able than himself. And if this were the case, as it evidently must have been, on what plea, or on what principle, could Lord Castlereagh justify the appointment of Sir Hew Dalrymple to supersede Sir Arthur Wellesley; or, in other words, the least able commander to supersede the most able one? We do not see the possibility of avoiding the obvious inference to be drawn from the extraordinary letter in question ; which already proves Lord Castlereagh's opinion of the superiority of Sir Arthur to Sir Hew, at the very moment when he appointed the latter to supersede the former. When this circumstance is coupled with the incapacity subsequently displayed, it forms a case so strong as to require some very powerful facts indeed to overthrow it.
The parliamentary campaign has opened, and we are glad to find, in the speech from the throne, that it is the determination of ministers to increase our military force. The necessity for that has been long manifest' to us; and indeed has appeared to us so pressing as to call for the meeting of Parliament at a more early period for that specific object. Mr. Ponsonby, who leads the opposition, is as ill qualified for his office as any gentleman need to be; and if the newspapers should fail to supply him with materials for his speeches, we fear that he will soon be reduced to silence.
In the upper house, Earl St. Vincent, in a strain of eloquence peculiar to himself, though not extremely well adapted to the senate, pronounced the destruction of the country inevitable, unless ministers were speedily removed. The most satisfactory part of his lordship's speech, however, was the closing paragraph; in which he informed the world, that he was in his seventy-fifth year, and should probably never speak again in that house! It is to be lamented, indeed, that time and experience do not always produce their natural fruits; and that an old man may have retained the intemperance of youth without having acquired the wisdom of age.
It was a matter of astonishment to us that Lord Grenville should have entered his protest against sending a single soldier to Spain. We should have thought, indeed, that there had not been one
man in the kingdom who would have regretted the expense of either blood or treasure, in the support of a cause, which is peculiarly the cause of a country in which Freedom has established her favourite seat.
The news from Spain, though disheartening in one point of view (for it will ever be a disheartening circumstance to an Englishman to witness the retreat of a British army), is encouraging in another. Sir John Moore's retreat and subsequent embarkation with a loss so comparatively small, when all the circumstances of his situation are considered, is highly creditable to his skill and perseverance, as well as to the fortitude and resolution of his troops. He must have created a very powerfuļ diversion; and by drawing the main army of the enemy very far from the south of Spain, have left the patriots in that quarter ample time to assemble a powerful force. The news of the success of the Duke de l'Infantado in expelling the French from Madrid, and of their defeat at Saragossa by Palafox, will, we trust, be confirmed. The British army will, of course, be landed in a southern part, there to render more effective service than it has yet been able to perform. But the ultimate success of this great struggle must depend upon the Spaniards themselves, without whose cordial co-operation all our efforts must prove
abortive. We confess, we dread the arts of Buonaparte more than his arms; and consider treachery as a more fatal weapon than either the sword or the musket. That Morla was bribed by French gold to betray the capital of his country into the bands of the enemy, does not, unfortunately, admit of a doubt. And there is too much reason to believe that Castanos also has sold his honour to the base destroyers of Spanish independence. The ruffian Buonaparte, who always acts as an assassin wherever he goes, has published a list of proscription, which, we hope, we may regard as a certificate of patriotism : the Duke de l'Infantado may feel an honest pride at being placed at the head of it. But should the tyrant execute his threats, and niurder a single Spaniard, whom the chance of war may place in his hands, for his fidelity to his lawful sovereign, and for the defence of his country's independence, we trust that signal retaliation will be inflicted on every Frenchman who may fall into the hands of the patriots. It is only by reprisals, and the fear which they inspire, that the savage heart of this abandoned ruffian can be made to relent. He was bred in the school of Robespierre, who was virtuous when compared with him: he has found the benefits of a
system of terror; and he will continue to enforce it, until he finds some power with sense and resolution enough to make him feel is effects. Forbearance, in such cases, is not only cowardice, but cruelty; it encourages crime, and lends a sanction to murder.
The correspondence which has been laid before Parliament, between the British 'minister on the one hand, and the French and Russian ministers on the other; while it demonstrates the firmness and wisdom of our cabinet, proves the absolute subserviency of the Russian emperor to the Corsican tyrant. This wretched prince is studying French politics in the adulterous lap of a French prostitute. Madame Chevalier bas successfully pleaded the cause of Napoleon in the court of Alexander! Delirant reges, pleciuntur achivi ! - Are , the kings of the continent resolved to justify, by their conduct, all the foul accusations of the regicides? Is the Russian empire to be sank not only in slavery, but in disgrace, by the senseless profligacy of an ignorant boy? Will the Russian nobility suffer the murderer Caulaincourt to reign triumphant in the palace of their sovereign? Are French influence and French poison to extend to the remotest regions of the North, to infect all minds, and to spread death and desolation around, without restriction and without controul?
There is one part of a letter from Monsieur Champagny to Mr. Canning, in which the wily Frenchman has not exercised the usaal circumspection of his cabinet. He has given the most formal contradiction to the assertions of loyalty and attachment so repeatedly made in the names of all the Catholics of Ireland. With " the Catholic insurgents," as he uncourteously calls them, “ France has been in communication, has made them proruises, and has Fre- , QUENTLY sent them succours." This, indeed, is no news to us: but how strongly, and how systematically, has it been denied by the advocates for the Catholics! What will their pleader, Dr. Milner, say to this? --- For our part, we thank Monsieur Champagny for his candour, while we cannot but wonder at his imprudence.
The whole of this short negociation reflects honour on our ministers; and while they rigidly adhere to so wise, firm, and judicious a system of policy, they will, we are persuaded, secure the support and enjoy the confidence of the country,
JANUARY 21st. -The anniversary of the murder of the lawful KING OF FRANCE, by the friends and patrons of the usurper Buonaparte.
P. S.-- Our arniy in Spain, it seems; bas been obliged to risk an action under the walls of Corunna, before they could em