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new, ingenious instruments of wholesale inurder, the Congreve rockets, and the Shrapnel shot, burn ships, arsenals, towns, and villages, and spread destruction and misery amongst the inhabitants ; but we entreat our countrymen seriously, to put the important question-Will such an expedition tend to accelerate the important work of peace ? If pot-if it only tends, as too many of our successful expeditions have tended, to prolong the war, · our countrymen may rest assured that whatever may be the success of the present expedition, it will prove to the nation not a blessing, but a curse !
The inactivity of our army in Spain under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, excites surprise, and it may not be improper for ministers to make some inquiries on the subject. The Spaniards have now had another opportunity of expelling the French; they have been a second time assisted with ample supplies, and a considerable British army; from the little that has been effected during the present year, while Napoleon has had his attention fixed on Austria, what reasonable ground is there to suppose more will be effected, when he will be able to turn his attention towards Spain? It is evident that to a great majority of the Spanish pation it is a matter of indifference, whether the executive authority is lodged in the hands of Joseph BONAPARTE, or FERDINAND : but we fear that a second British army will be sacrificed before the people of this country will be cured of the folly of assisting those who have no heart to assist themselves.
The PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS towards the close of the session demand our reflections; but our limits prevent us from proceeding. We must, however, request the attention of our readers to the late important debates in the senate; ministers do doubt wish them to be considered as mere, temporary subjects; they will however, we hope, engage the serious consideration of the people throughout the united kingdom, who with one voice, should urge them to the re-consideration of our senators. This is the only peaceable, and effectual mode by which we may rationally hope to bring about that REFORM, without which the RUIN of the British empire is INEVITABLE! Harlow, July 29.
On the 15th. Instant was published, price 1s. 6d. 'THE SUPPLEMENT TO VOL. V. of this work: Contuining among other articles, The Addresses, Resolutions, &c. .voted in consequence of a late Inquiry in the House of Commons, with Remarks on the same. Also the Preface, Title, and Index to the Volume. Those of our Readers who have not received the same, are requested to order it of their respective booksellers.
AFFAIRS OF SPAIN:-BATTLES OF. TALAVERA.
T the commencement of the Spanish revolution, we expressed our doubts respecting the justice, and the policy of the British nation in interfering in the affairs of a people who had for ages been enslaved and vitiated by a corrupt civil, and a still more corrupt ecclesiastical government; at the same time we were firmly of opinion that the Spanish nation had a right at all times to change its dynasty; that no nation had a right to dictate to them, or inter. fere with them whilst either reforming or changing their ancient government, for constitution they had none, except in name; despotic authority having loug since annihilated the Spanish representative body, which had not for many years assembled, and whose powers were entirely usurped by the crown. Whether this usurpation commenced by first abridging the right of the people in the frequent choice of a Cortez, or allowing them the exercise of their right once in seven years only, instead of every year, or every three years, we shall not now inquire. The people, however, tamely submitted to the yoke prepared for them, and under which they remained for ages. The “ regular government" of Spain at length met the fate of many other of the “regular governments" of Europe, and the people at large, having no interest in its preservation, beheld its fall, if not with satisfaction, at least with indifference.
That there might be a few people scattered over the Spanish empire, sufficiently enlightened to aspire to that glorious titledeliverers of their country, we are not disposed to deny; and if the juntas of Spain had been formed of such characters; had they like the constituent assembly of France, published to their countrymen, A Declaration of the Rights OF MAN; had they followed, if only in part, the steps of that enlightened body, and improved on their experience'; had they broken the chains of political, civil, and
ecclesiastical slavery, in which their countrymen had been so long fettered, we should ardently have wished, and prayed for their success, and most cordially approved of suitable measures being pursued in our own country for liberally assisting a people rising in the cause of freedom and independence, and who were proving by their actions, that they were seriously, and resolutely determined to live free or die!
But the proceedings of the juntas, and the general conduct of the people of Spain, too soon convinced us, that the former were only desirous to preserve their old dynasty, and that the latter beheld those proceedings with comparative indifference. The ruling powers were content to resign the government into the hands of a despotic prince ; a man destitute of soul, the mere changeling of existing circumstances, who assumed, resigned, re-assumed, and re-resigned the governaient, and who at length weakly and voluntarily abandoned his country, and threw himself into the arms of France. Although this unhappy prince had formally subscribed an abdication of the throne, and has ever since been confined to the estate granted hiin by NAPOLEON, the Spanish juntas have continued to make use of his name in all their proceedings, whether with the
approbation or knowledge of the royal prisoner is still a matter of - doubt. Their proceedings however 'too plainly proved, that they
either did not understand, or did not value the blessings of freedom themselves, and had no design to impart them to their countrymen. If in one or two of their proclamations they have uttered the lispings of freedom, its radical principles have been cautiously guarded against. That prime engine of a free constitution the PRESS, the full and complete exercise of which is indispensibly requisite, more especially during a period of revolution in which a brave people are contending for the glorious privilege of forming for theniselves a free and independent government, has been during the whole contest entirely suppressed. The people have indeed been amused with intimations of the restoration of their ancient representative body—the Cortez ; but the supreme junta of Spain, like many of the professed friends to parliamentary reform iu Britain, appear all along to have entertained the opinion that-, This is not the time ; and accordingly, after all the promises of assembling the Cortez, that important work is adjourned-sine die !
The contest between the Emperor of France and the Spanish junta being brought to this simple question—Whether JOSEPH BONAPARTE, or FERDINAND VII. should be placed on the thirone ? it' need not excite surprise if the great body of the Spanish nation have beheld the struggle with apathy, and that when compelled into the field, they have fought with languor, or, as has been, not
unfrequently, the case, avoided fighting altogether, by throwing down their arms, and hurrying from the scene of action.
The disorders attending the various changes of the government of Spain, and the prospect of opposition, however partial or feeble, or on whatever principles conducted, inspired our ministers with renewed hopes of accomplishing that project which had haunted the brains of every administration for these sixteen years past, --" the Deliverance of "Europe;" that is the restoring the old governments on the continent to their former state, and confining the French empire within its former limits. The opportunity afforded for this longed for purpose, bv the Spanish revolution, was embraced with equal eagerness and precipitation, both by ministers, 'aud their opponents in the senate, the leaders of opposition; both parties have been forward in adding fuel to the flames of war, not only in Spain but in Austria ; and although their partisans, the ministerial prints on the one side, and the Morning Chronicle, and the Edinburgh Reviewers on the other, have been squabbling about the conduct of the war, nei-' ther of the parties seem to have had leisure or inclination to bestow, during the whole contest, much consideration on its justice. Ministers and opposition united on this occasion, and without be. ing properly acquainted with the prevailing inclinations, and real state of the Spanish nation, resolved that the junta should be assisted with British soldiers, British money, and British supplies of all kinds, A large army under an able general, Sir JOHN MOORE, was sent into Spain. All the plans of ministers respecting the assistance to be granted to the Spaniards were voted in the senate, una. nimously; and the voice of opposition was not heard from one end of the kingdom to the other. The experiment was fairly made: how it succeeded the history of one of the most melancholy campaigus in which a British army was ever engaged, has too fatally proved. After experiencing not only the apathy, but the ill treatment of the Spaniards, in almost every town and village through which the army was doomed to pass; after being forced to retreat, from a pursuing enemy, under the most disastrous circumstances, loss of artillery, baggage, military chest &c, the roads being strewed with the bodies of men and horses, the army was at length compelled to fight, whilst endeavouring to effect its escape on board the vessels appointed to convey it back to its own country: our soldiers, although so long harrassed, and almost worn out with hardships and fatigue, fought with their usual bravery, and their com mander fell gloriously. After suffering the loss of 7, or 8000 men, the remainder effected their embarkation, and their escape to their own country. The opinion of Sir John Moore, whose experience so well qualified him to give an opinion on this subject, contained in one of Mis official dispatches, written a short time previous to his decease,
one might þave thought would have been sufficient to rectify the ideas even of those who had proved themselves so thoroughly mistaķen respecting the affairs of Spain.--" I conceived it necessary to “ risk this army to convince the people of England, as well as the “ rest of Europe, that the Spaniards bad neither the power, nor the “ inclinatioy to make any efforts for themselves."* But such was the ipfatuation of the British cabinet, that they resolved on sending additional supplies, and risking a second British army for the sake of those whose apathy in the cause of freedom, could only be equalled by their ingratitude to the people who had shewn so much zeal in their service.
Although it was evident to every one attentive to the dictates of . common sense, that the Spaniards, as a nation, were by no means desirous of our assistance, and that they were at least as well affected to Joseph Bonaparte as to Ferdinand, we were gravely informed by certain lords and gentlemen in both houses of parliament, that the « universal Spanish nation,” were still determined on the restora, tion of their beloved sovereign, and that they only wanted some farther assistance from the British nation to enable them “ to be ul. “timately victorious, and finally to expel their juvaders.” The war with Austria still farther encouraged our ministers to try another campaign in Spain; and their writers again held out the most sanguine hiopes to the nation, that now, when the power of the “ Cor.
. sican Ruffian, and Monster, would be attacked not only by the .“ whole people of Spain, but by half a million of brave Austrians,
“ all determined to conquer or die in defence of their beloved sove. “ reign, there was every reason to hope, that the happy and long. “ wished for period was at hand, when the liberties, and indepen“ dence of Europe,” that is the old systems of civil and ecclesiastical despotism, “ would be agaip restored;" and it was predicted in very confident language, that Britain would be covered with glory, and hailed by the rest of Europe, as the power who by her glorious perseverance had principally contributed to accomplish so great and desirable a work!
Sir Arthur Wellesley who had so distinguished himself in his bro. . ther's honourable wars in the East Indies, and as one of the Copen. « hagen heroes; who had likewise equally distinguished himself by .. his pompous accounts of the victories in Portugal, which were im mediately succeeded by the glorious convention of Cintra, was the favourite selected by mipisters to accomplish “ the deliverance of the “ universal and united Spanish pation!” He was accordingly sent out in April last with an army of 30,000 men into Portugal, Short . ly after his arrival he met with sone trivial successes, which en