Abbildungen der Seite


Now, why should you be in such a rage | lost in population or in power? Is she erwith me? If I were to propose that the hausted? Has she become feeble? We are same should be done here as is now doing still struggling with her; and do we find in Austria, what would there be, in my her grow weaker and weaker ? proposition, injurious to either the station or character of the king or the clergy? Am Well, then, this doctrine of RUIN from I to suppose, that the Crown depends a depreciated paper-money is a false docupon the possession of a parcel of plate by trine. It was engendered in a shallow the king and Royal Family; that a throne, brain, and brought forth by arrogant the seat of kingly power, is supported by emptiness. But, suppose it to be sound as a waggon load, perhaps, of gold and silver applied to us; suppose, for arguments' dishes and plates and spoons and knives sake, that the destruction of the paper and forks and salvers and candlesticks and system should take place, and should sauce boats and tea-pots and cream-jugs ? prove the utter ruin of the country; or, Good heavens! what a vile opinion must suppose, at any rate, that it should send they have of the throne, who look upon all the Fundholders into beggary, should such things as tending to its support! cause all the Church and Collegiate proAnd, then, as to the Church, what could perty to be sold as in Austria, should send her sons wish for more earnestly than an the Royal Plate to the Mint, should anniopportunity of giving us a proof of their hilate all the remaining feudal rights and disregard of things temporal ? Besides, tenures; and, in short, should produce a there would be, in this case, a striking species of revolution. I say, that it need proof of the truth of the good maxim, that do none of this: I say, that not one of “ Justice, though slow, is sure;" for, it is these is a necessary consequence of the well known, that the Paper System, which overthrow of the paper system: but, for would thus draw upon the Church, was arguments’ sake, suppose the contrary, and the invention of A BISHOP of that same suppose that such overthrow were to take Church!

place; WHO, in that case, would be t.

blame? But, the Courtiers and the Clergy may be tranquil; for I do not think it at all This is a question that every man ought, likely that such measures will become ne as soon as may be, to answer in his own cessary in England, though they have mind; for, if any of these consequences been adopted at Vienna, and, as would were to come upon us, it would be of the seem, with such singular success. I am of greatest utility to be able to say, at once, opinion, that there would be found ample who it was that had been the real authors mcans, elsewhere, for a due compensation of the calamity. Certainly, then, the Reto those Fundholders, who had been com- formers, commonly called Jacobins and Lepelled to vest their property in that way. vellers, have had nothing to do with the matIn short, I am quite satisfied, that we have ter. They have bad no power. They have nothing at all to fear from the destruction been carefully shut out from all authority. of the paper-system if that should take They have filled no offices of any sort. They place; and, as the friends of the system have been' held forth as a sort of enemy in assert, that we have nothing to fear from the bosom of the country. There is no its continuing to exist, we are, I think, creature who has had power, of any sort, tolerably safe. The RUIN of America and no matter what, who has not employed France were foretold because their paper that power upon them. They have money was falling; but, the prophecy been either killed, banished, ruined, or, at proved false. They were both victorious; the least, beaten down and kept down. both became prosperous; and, what is Well, then, they will not come in for any odd enough, both have since become re of the blame, if things should turn out ceptacles of the coin that is gone from wrong at last. They have had no hand England ; aye, from that country, who in declaring war against the regicides of hoped to triumph over them by the means France; they have had no hand in forming of that same coin! How many times did leagues, in voting subsidies, in sending out Pitt predict the time when France would expeditions; they have had no hand in be what he called exhausted, and how was making loans or grants; and, therefore, he hallooed on by his numerous under they will, surely, not come in for any strappers of all sorts, verbally as well as share of the blame which shall attach to in print! Has she been ruined? Has she the consequences. They have been re

[ocr errors]

presented as an ignorant and factious herd, to the safety of the throne, or to the liberà “lore, degraded crew;” while those who ties or the happiness of the people. have thus described them have had all the

I remain, Gentlemen, powers and the resources of the country

Your friend at their command ; and, therefore, let what

and obedient Servant, will happen, the Reformers will have to

WM. COBBETT. bear no portion of the blame. The full Stale Prison, Newgate, blooded Anti-Jacobins; the members of Friday, 2nd August, 1811. the Pitt Club; all the numerous herd of the enemies to Reform may be fairly called upon for a share of the responsibility;

SUMMARY OF POLITICS. but, to the Reformers, who have had no TALAVERA's Wars' in SPAIN AND Portypower, and who have been hardly able to GAL. - Continued from page 82.) There exist in peace, no man can reasonably look. are two facts, connected with this subject,

which, by the daily prints, have been I shall now, Gentlemen, after nearly a passed over almost in silence : I allude to twelvemonth's correspondence, take my the removal, or movement, of GENERAL leave of you, and with the conviction, that GRAHAM and MARSHAL BERBSFORD. The I have done much towards giving you a former, we see, is arrived in the army of clear view of the subject, of which I have Lord Talavera, where he is said to be sebeen treating. I had long entertained the cond in command, the post which Mare desigo to make the subject familiar; to shal Beresford held before; and the latter put my countrymen in general beyond is gone to Lisbon to form new corps of Porihe reach of deception on this score; to tuguese Troops. After what we had enable them to avoid being cheated, if been before told, this seems, and must they chose to avoid it; and a sufficiency seem, somewhat surprizing; for, in cases of time for the purpose being furnished such as we had been led to suppose to me, it would have been greatly blameable exist with regard to these two officers, it in me, if I had neglected to avail myself would, one would think, have been of it: I have not been guilty of this nega natural for both to remain where they had lect; I have, with great care and research, achieved so much glory; glory, in each brought together what appears to me to case, sufficient to entitle them to the thanks be the whole, or very nearly the whole, of the two Houses of Parliament.I shall of the useful information relating to the leave these facts, however, to the reflecpaper system; I bare laboured most zea- tion of the reader, contenting myself with lously and anxiously for the accomplish- having merely pointed them out; but, at ment of the great object in view; and it the same time, I cannot refrain from just more than repays me for every thing to observing, that there does appear to have hear, to see, to know, that I have not la- been something of a disagreeable nature boured in vain.

happened between our commander and

the Spaniards respecting the Battle of BarIn the course of these Letters, I have rusa. Indeed, I have now before me a elearly expressed my opinions as to the publication that contains proof of this. It fate of the paper-money : those opinions is entitled : “ A Reply io the Statement are in direct opposition to many of those “ of General GRAHAM's Letter of the persons, in parliament as well as out of “ 24th of March, 1811, on General LA parliament, who have delivered their sen “ Pena's Manifesto and Representation to timents upon the subject : TIME, the “ the Cortes. By GENBRAL Lacy.” This trier of all things, must now decide be

paper, which has been printed, in the form tween us; and, if I am wrong, I have, at of a pamphlet, by VOGEL AND SCHULZE, least, taken eflectual means to make my No. 13, Poland Street, Oxford Street, is a error as conspicuous and as Botorious as very elaborate and very able performpossible. One thing, above all others, ance, and, as a literary production, at least, however, I am desirous of leaving strongly it certainly discovers great superiority impressed upon your minds, and that is, over the Letter of General Graham. I that it is my decided opinion, that, let have read it with all the attention I am what will be the fate of the paper-money, master of; and, if its facts be true, the that fate, however destructive, does not Spaniard bas, unquestionably, the best of Accessarily include any, even the smallest, the dispute ; and, of this opinion every danger to the independence of England, or one will be, I am satisfied, who will take


139) POLITICAL REGISTLR.-- Talavera's Wurs in Spain and Portugal. the pains to read the publication. To sapernatural means of some sort or other ; return to our army on the confines of Por and, at any rate, the second attempt at tugal, the reader will see, by the subjoined storming an impracticable breach must, I official papers, what its movements have think, be regarded as an occurrence, under been since the raising of the siege of Ba such circumstances, extremely rare, if not dajoz, of which we must now say a few without an equal in the anuals of modern words. On the oth of June VISCOUNT TA warfare.---The Duke of DALMATIA has, LAVERA informs us (see pages 32 and 50) through the French news-papers, given us that the siege is going on in a very pros

his account of this siege. He tells us, that perous way, under bis own eye; and, at there were three practicable breaches (see p: the time when this dispatch arrived, the 127), one in the body of the place, and newspapers assured us, that the place two in the out-work St. Christoval. But, could not hold out more than ten days, and he says, one of the latter was rendered ime that, then, all that part of the country practicable by the clearing out of the dilche would be swept clean of the enemy's and by an interior entrenchment; and troops. Seven days after this, however, that our assaults were attempted at the another dispatch (see p. 54,) gives us an ac other breach in this out-work, which does, count of the actual raising of the siege, and of indeed, seem very probable. The two atthe loss sustained in two attempts to storm tempts were made, he says, on the 7th and an out-work, called St. Christoval, in which on the 10ih of June. The first with 1,500 a breach had been made.---This storm men, who, according to his own account, ing attracted my attention, and I cannot behaved very gallantly, but who were rehelp thinking the circumstances very cu- pulsed with great loss

. In the night of rious. There was, it seems, a breach made, the 10th, he says, the English renewed the and a detachment sent 10 storm; but, at assault with 2,000 men, the garrison of each time, when they arrived at the edge St. Christoval consisting of only. 140 of the ditch, they found it empried, and Frenchmen; that every soldier had four could not mount the rampart, though they loaded muskets by his side ; that a vast had ladders with them for the purpose. quantity of charged bombs had been placed This appears to me very strange; for, if on the parapets; that the English had apa breach was made, the same battery plied 40 ladders at the head of iheir column, which made it could still have played and were mounting the breach, when the upon it, if any attempt had been made to bombs and grenades were thrown down clear out the ditch. Besides, if the ditch ainongst them, and, exploding, broke the was cleared out, the materials must have ladders and spread death and disınay been thrown up on one side or on the amongst the assailants, while, with the other of the ditch, and, of course, this must bayonet, the garrison drove them down have been perceived by the besiegers, who, in to the bottom of the breach; the ditch, he that case, oughi not to have atteinpted the says, was filled with killed and wounded; storm. But, it appears, that they found that, in this confusion, some English offi. the ditch emptied a second time, a thing cers demanded succour, and that they wholly unaecountable, after the warning were nmade to ascend their own ladders, they had before received. It does, how now refilted, in order to surrender to the ever, appear to me passing strange, that commandant as prisoners of war. He says, our batteries, by which a breach deemed that we lost 600 men in this affair, that we practicable had been made, should have begged a truce of three hours to carry off allowed the enemy to clear out the ditch. our woundied, and the French did not lose To clear out the ditch of a fortification is ten men.---That this was a most bloody no trifting atlair; it requires much time and disastrous ailair no one can doubt; and numerous workmen; and as the rub. and, there can be as little doubt that the bish must have been thrown up on the French General has onnitted nothing fa. one side or the other, the operation must vourable to the besieged; but, the story have been visible, and, of course, might about the English Officers, at the head of (one would think at least) have been put an 2,000 men, begying for yuarter from 140 end to, in a moment, by the same baiteries meu is not, I hope, to be believed for one that had made the breach.---This single moment; and especially, that they emptying the ditch does, therefore, I must condescended lo reft their own ladders for confess, puzzle me very much; nor can I the purpose of ascending into the fortress, account for it unless upon the supposition, there to surrender themselves prisoners of war! that the French work by witchcraft, or by Yet, there does, from LORD TALAVERA'S

[ocr errors]

account appear, that there were three of our army got to Almeida, that its retreat ficers missing, a captain, a lieutenant, and from that point must be very speedy ; an ensign; but, let us hope, that they and, for this event, though at the expence actually mounted the breach, got upon of an infinite quantity of abuse, I endeathe ramparts, and were made prisoners voured to prepare the public; but I be. ! there. There is one omission in the lieve that my endeavours were totally account of Lord Talavera, which is, in- useless. One could meet with scarcely a deed, common to all his accounts of bat- man, who did not look upon it, that the tles ; and that is, the number of men em- French were in a state of humiliation and ployed in the enterprize is not stated. disgrace, an opinion which derived much It appears that the storming party was strength from the journey of Massena and composed of men taken from sixteen or King Joseph to France, which journey seventeen battalions; but it does not, any was looked upon as a flight and which where, say, how many men. Two thou- flight was looked upon as the fore-runner sand men is a great number for such an of a total evacuation of the peninsula by undertaking; and it is certain, that, at the the French, who it was confidently asmouth of a breach a small number of men, serted in almost all our news-papers, with such means as the French appear to were preparing to collect the whole of bave prepared, would be sufficient to keep their troops on the north of the rider Ebro; : back, for a time at least, almost any that is to say, on the confines of France ! force; but, still it does appear something This assertion and assertions similar to it, wonderful that, the carnage should have were scarcely dry from the press in Engbeen so dreadful, if the number of the ene- land, when we heard of the battle near my was really so small. It would be very Almeida, which was immediately followdesirable to ascertain the numbers employ- ed by what has told for the French more ed by our General upon this occasion. than any victory in the field could have But something still more desirable would told, namely, that wonderful exploit, the be, such information as should enable us evacuation of Almeida by Brennier, which to judge of the prudence of making the exploit not to envy the enemy is impossiattempt. The Duke of Dalmatia says, how- hle. This was immediately followed by a ever, ihat the breach was practicable, and, movement on the part of the enemy which as the attempt was made, it is evident that compelled Lord Talavera to fly to the asLord Talavera thought it was practicable; sistance of Marshal Beresford; but he bul, then, the question comes, how came that came too late, the battle of Albuera had attempt to fuit? The reader will recollect, been fought, tbe army had lost many with regard to this Town, that it cost the thousands, in killed wounded and prisoners, Duke of Dalmatia, a few months ago, less and the siege of Badajoz which the French than a week to take it from the Spaniards; had raised by giving that battle, bad, now, and, he will also recollect, the disapproba to be recommenced with numerous disadtion of the conduct of the Spaniards express- vantages. - This siege was going on in ed by Lord Talavera upon that occasion. the manner we have seen, when the eneBut, certainly, from every account, Bada- my, that same enemy whom the good joz is not a place calculated to make a people of England looked upon as hum. very stout resistance against an army well bled and disgraced, and whom our venal supplied and ably commanded. I do not prints described as hastening from all parts say, that it was possible to take the Town towards the north of the Ebro, was found, before the French army came up ; but, all at once, to be pouring down towards this is pretty evident, that, if there was Badajoz, five hundred miles in the opposite not a moral certainty of taking it, the direction, driving, in their way, the resiege should never have been attempted; mains of our army out from near Almeida, because, to commence the siege and and in a few days raising the siege of Baabandon it at the approach of a French dajoz, and compelling our whole army to army was the strongest proof that it was re-enter Portugal to place itself on the possible to give of a consciousness of in great road towards the lines of Torres Veferiority of force on our side; and the dras. In this situation the armies now reader cannot fail to have perceived, that are, re-inforcements being daily arriving this abandonment of Badajoz has produced from England, while, on the other hand, an effect more depressing than any which the French appear to be collecting togehas been produced by the former unto ther at that point all the troops they can ward events of the campaign. It was spare from other quarters. ---How lon easy to perceive from the moment that our general will be able to maintain thie

position, I cannot pretend to say; but, office of a public writer is more useful to supposing him to remain where he is; his country than all others put together, it supposing him to lose not another inch of is that of checking the too sanguine exground during this campaign, what has pectations of the people. Indeed, there been guined, I should like to know, since is one and tut one safe rule of conduct for he last quitted the lines of Torres Vedras; him to pursue, and that is, to speak the this is a question which I put to all those truth (us fur as he dares) upon every subwho extolled so bighly the pursuit of Mas-ject with which he thinks proper to medsena, and especially to all those, who, like dle, let it please or displease whom it may. Mr. Whitbread, read their recantation with respect to the war in Portugal. · IMPOSTOR PAPBR.-Amongst all the What has been gained, then, I say, symptoms of mortality, which corruption since our army last quitted the lines of has exhibited of late years, there is none Torres Vedras? I am not one of those more strong than the imposture, to which wh8 delight in dwelling upon the numbers it is constantly resorting. Some months of killed and wounded, and who speak of ago, “the most thinking people” were inmen killed in battle as men that are mur cessantly plied with intercepted letters from dered. He who enters the army knows Spain and Portugal, containing the most that his business is to fight, and, if neces. distressing accounts of the state of the sary, io die. But, one cannot help re French armies, Some of these letters flecting on the number of deaths which purported to be written by King JOSEPH this campaign has already occasioned ; to his brother the Emperor, in which the one cannot help reflecting on the number former complained to the latter of the peof our countrymen whom it has sent to rilous situation, in which he had placed the grave, and the far greater number that him. In short, there has not been, for it may bave disabled for life, or subjected many years past, one week without some to great bodily sufferings; and, so reflect attempt of this sort, for the purpose of ing, one cannot help asking what has been cheating this " most thinking people.” The gained by all this; and, to put this ques- other day, when the venal press was com. tion those especially are entitled who pelled to confess that Lord Talavera had have constantly endeavoured to convince raised the siege of Badajoz, and bad, in their readers that the species of warfare fact, retreated before that enemy, whom, carried on in Portugal was not calculated it was confidently predicted but a few to insure ultimate benefit.-—--For my part, days before, that he would speedily attack I never could see, in the retreat of Mas- and overthrow; when the venal writers sena, any thing favourable to the English were compelled to confess this, they did, army, nor any thing for that army to be as they always do in like cases, fabricate proud of, especially as that same English some most bare faced falsehoods for the army, under that same commander, had, purpose of breaking the effect of their bad not nine months before retreated over news. Upon this occasion they fabricated nearly the same distance of ground before two falsehoods: one was, glorious news that same French army, with that same " from the Mediterranean!" And then fol. Massena at its head, with this difference lowed an account of a great victory over only in the circumstances, that our army a French fleet, with the capture of nine seil had in the interim received most abundant of the line. The other falsehood was, that supplies, while that of the French, accord. General Blake, who, with bis Spanish ing to our own account, had been able to army, had quitted Lord Talavera, had receive no supplies at all. In the pursuit proceeded towards Seville, and having of Massena, i saw no official account of been joined by General Graham from Caprisoners taken. I saw none of the usual diz, had entered Seville and there captured indications of defeat or dispersion. I saw an immense quantity of provisions and them moving back, indeed, but I saw military stores.No sea fight has there them constantly ready to turn about, and been; General Blake has not moved an I could not persuade myself that there inch toward Seville; and General Gra. were any real grounds for that exultation, tam was, at the time when this lie was fawhich so generally prevailed, and, for not bricated in England, actually landed in joining in which I was so atrociously Portugal, and proceeding, as we have abused. There is, however, nothing been since informed, to take a command rare in this: it has been but loo often my in the army of Lord Talavera. It must lot ty experience abuse when I ought to have been known, to those who fabricated, have received thanks; for certainly if any or who abelted the fabricating, these false

« ZurückWeiter »