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VOL. XX. No. 16.]
LONDON, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1811.
" Captain Harris of the Iris, just arrived at Liverpool, has DEPOSED, that, on the 30th, when he " left Lisbon, a Telegraphic message bad been received of the defeat of the French, after two days " hard fighting, with the loss of 20,000 in killed and wounded.”. -COURIER News-paper, 14th Oct. 1811. 481)
(482 SUMMARY OF POLITICS.
the border of Spain and Portugal and near
the city of Rodrigo. - These fabricators Talavera's Wars. -Long as the peo. of falshoods had, for more than a month beple of this country have been accustomed fore, been telling the people of England, that to be abused with falselioods as to these our Commander had safely blockaded Rowars; nanifold as these falsehoods have drigo. At one time they said he had laid been and gross and impudent as they have siege to it; and, at another time, they acbeen in their manner and extent; still, I tually asserted, that he had taken it. Then think, that the last ten days have, in this again be had left it in his rear, and was respect, surpassed all former periods. A upon high march towards Salamanca. little while ago there were published, in But, the very least they taught us 10 exthe Moniteur, two articles upon the sub pect was, a blockade of Rodrigo, which set ject of the Impostor Paper, which had been the enemy et defiance, and which it was, circulated through our venal prits, under in short, impossible for him to raise. pretence of its having been copied from At the same time, we were told, that our an American news-paper, and upon the Commander was daily receiving great reletters between Napoleon and his brother inforcements from the sea-ports; that his Joseph, pretended to have been intercepted army amounted to 47,000 British troops, in Spain. In these articles the Moniteur and that the Portuguese part of the army goes into a description of the ways in (equal, it was said, in quality to our own) which the people of England are cheated amounted to upwards of 30,000 regulars, and kept in ignorance by means of a ser making an army of 77,000 exclusive of vile press; and, its observations were so the large bodies of militia, which were cutting, because so true, that one might under arms in all parts of Portugal. And, have hoped, that, for the future, shame to this was added, that the Spaniards had would have had some power in restraining recently gained such advantages over the fabricating fingers of these venal men. the French, that the latter, harrassed One might have hoped, that, when they in all quarters, beset with enemies saw proofs of the contempt, which, from from every hill, hedge, ditch, and brake, ail foreign nations, they were, by and wasted exceedingly by sickness, were their miserable forgeries, daily bring. not in a state to force their way into Roding upon themselves and their country, rigo; and that, therefore, in a sbort time, they would have desisted from the dis- without any loss of lives, that important graceful practice. Bat, nothing of this city and fortress must fall into our hands. sort has any effect upon them. They seem -Having thus prepared the public to wholly insensible to shame; and they still expect the fall of this place sooner or laler affect to laugh at the hood-winked state of during the campaign; having made such the people of France, while they themselves a representation as, if believed, must neare continually labouring to hoodwink and cessarily lead the public to rely upon the cheat the people of England, and while capture of one of the most important fortheir publications are the scorn and con tresses in the Peninsula, and having, intempt, and they themselves know that deed, so represented the state of the hosthey are the scorn and contempt, of all lile armies, that every one who credited Europe and all America. This much I the representation must have been in daily couti not refrain from saying by way of hopes of hearing of some great achievepreface to the analysis that I am about to ment, and, if a battle did take place, must endeavour to give of the falshoods which have made sure of decisive victory; have have appeared in these prints, during the ing thus stuffed the heads of the “ most last ten days, upon the subject of the mili “thinking people of all Europe,” in a pretary operations of the hostile armies on paratory way, there remained nothing but
to come to the account of the promised “" a passenger, has favoured us with the and expected victories, and, in doing this, following grateful information, which 'very little time was lost. On the 10th " " was communicated to him by Colonel instant, the important news was announced ““ Fagan, on the authority of Colonel to the public, through the channel of the “ “ Trant, governor of the place. On the news-papers, but especially the COURIER, ““ 25th ult. six leagues from Ciudad Rod. in the following words: Intelligence "-"rigo, Lord Wellington defeated the “of the highest importance, has been brought ““ French army under Marmont and kill“ to Liverpool by a vessel from Oporto. • « ed and took prisoners 20,000 men.". “The following is the account from Li. This was accompanied with a column and “ verpool : Liverpool, October 8. The a half of observations in the Courier, tho “v.4. Briton, Ward, is arrived at Hoylake jet of which was, that the news was likely ““ from Oporto, sailed from thence the to be true. Every thing was here said that ““ 2d instant; reports that an account the writer could think of calculated to "" was received there just as they sailed, make the public believe the news to be ““ that a general engagement had taken true. He went into reasoning to show
place on the 25th or 26th September, that, if the French advanced for the re" " between the British army under Lord lief of Rodrigo, it was not only reasonable
Wellington, and the French army, in to suppose that a battle must take place, «« « which the latter were defeated with but, that it would be his duty to fight them ““ great loss, and was driven six leagues in opposition to such an enterprize. This " " beyond Ciudad Rodrigo."-In addi- was acting a friendly part towards him with " tion to the above letter we have received a vengeance! The passage I allude to “ the following from the respectable Pro was in these words : Taking all these “ prietor of the Liverpool Advertiser : “ circumstances into our consideration;
Liverpool, October 8. Sır, The brig“ hearing, from previous accounts, that *“ Briton, Captain Ward, has just arriv “ Marmont was on the advance, and a «« « ed here, in five days from Oporto, convoy coming from Salamanca; hav
bringing a Mr. James Welsh, of this "ing no reason to beliede that Lord Welling"“ town, passenger, who gives the fol. “ ton had INVESTED Ciudad Rodrigo «« « lowing account, which he received “ MERELY TO RETIRE THE MO““ from Colonel Fagan, who obtained it “ MENT MARMONT ADVANCED; 164 « from Colonel Trant, Governor of that « an advance which it was of NO USE "" place: Lord Wellington has had a bat " TO PRODUCE IF WE DID NOT «« tle with the French, and has killed and “ FIGHT HIM; finding from reports at «.« taken prisoners 20,000 of the enemy.
“ Lisbon that a battle was expected; and “ “ The battle was fought five days before " last of all receiving from Oporto an ac" ".about' six leagues from Ciudad Rod “ count that a battle had been fought, and
rigo. Captain Ward further says that “ that accounts brought by the Captain “" the account came to Oporto on Thurs." of a British vessel, and by a passenger
day morning last, just before he sailed, " in that vessel, an inhabitant of Liver. "" and was fully believed by the inha “ pool, who SOLEMNLY DECLARES, o os bitants there, who were rejoicing on the
" that he had it FROM A BRITISH " " occasion I think the account will “ OFFICER, WHOSE VERACITY IT
prove true, though possibly not to “ WERE IMPOSSIBLE TO QUES. «« ihe extent. I am, Gentlemen, yours, TION; taking all these circumstances “ “ &c. THOMAS,BILLINGE.” -This o into consideration, we have no doubt that was the first publication upon the subject. " the intelligence is correct. The statement The Courier adds a paragraph of its own, “ of the enemy's loss
be exaggeratin which the truth of the news is insisted ed; the account may not be correct to upon. Truh! why, after such solemnity " the extent, but that a battle has been of statement, who, that did not know these fought, and our arms been successful, people, could have wanted any thing ir. we repeat, we have no doubt." This confirmation of what had been said i. was not only inculcating a belief in the On the next day, the 11th instant, the news; but, in his eagerness to inculcate former accounts were backed up by the such belief, the writer reasons in a way following: “ Liverpool, October 9. completely to commit, as far as he is able, ““ DEFEAT OF MARMONT.-The the reputation of the General, wbose " " Briton, Ward, arrived here yesterday praises it is his main object to sing forth “." from Oporto in six days, Mr. Welsb, in the promulgation of this news. -02
the 12th instant, the same paper gave the disgraceful than this conduct in our press public the following additional assurance : was ever heard of in the world ? It was
-“ SECOND EDITION. Courier Of- not the Courier only, but the Sun, the "fice, four o'clock. A gentleman HIGH Morning Post, and all the prints of that * IN OFFICE, has received from one description, making, at least, four fifths of * of the first Merchants of Liverpool, a the daily London Papers. And this is “ letter of which the following is the sub. what they call serving the cause, is it? This " stance': That he sincerely congratulated is the way for a writer to give proof of his “ him on the news from Oporto; that loyalty ? It is truly an infamy on the " he did not give implicit credit to it in the nation. What must foreigners think of a " first instance ; but that he had since seen country where such publications are tole& the Captain of the vessel, who had as rated and encouraged? What must they r sured him that he was AUTHORISED think of our morals, our taste, and our un“ BY THE BRITISH CONSUL AT derstandings ? For my part, I have long « OPORTO TO USE HIS NAME, and thought and often said, that a press, con“ to state that the intelligence of Lord ducted as ours is, is the greatest scourge a
Wellington's Victory came from him.” nation can endure. The taste of the people “ The conclusion of the Letter is the most becomes vitiated through it; the public “ important.' “ And I have now to add, mind is debauched; and, at last, there * THAT A FRESH ARRIVAL, THIS grows up a love for lies, while truth is coarse“ MOMENT, BRINGS A CONFIRMA ness and libelling.--Having pointed out « TION OF THE INTELLIGENCE.” these shameful publications to the indigna
After this it would have seemed to be tion of those who retain a hatred of fals. á complete proof not only of jacobinism, hood, and which I thought it absolutely. but of treason, to doubt. Yet, as if this necessary to do, let us now take a look at were not enough, the same writer, having the real intelligence, as contained in the had the Sabbath to repose and to reflect Gazette, which, I shall publish at full on his moral daties, came out with the fol- length in my next. --The Dispatches of Towing: .“ We had hoped in this day's Lord Talavera are dated from the places « Paper to have been able to have com- farther in the rear than the position which "municated official intelligence from Por- he held at the date of his former Dis.
tugal, confirming the accounts brought patches. It appears that the French, per“ to Liverpool. But no dispatches have ceiving that he had invested Rodrigo, and “ yet been received, nor any later ac. wishing to throw into it supplies, marched a counts either from Oporto or · Lisbon, against him and compelled him to retreat, " than those we inserted on Saturday. while they effected their object of relieve “ There is, however another dessel, the Iris, ing Rodrigo; and that, having done this, “ arrived at Liverpool, from Lisbon, the they again distributed their army in nearly Captain of which, whose name is Harris
, the same way in which it was distributed “ has DEPOSED, that on the 30th, when before. This appears to be the true, not “ he left the Portuguese Capital, a tele- | the venal, not the lying, not the hireling, “ graphic message had been received of the history of the transaction. The dispatch of “ defeat of the French after two days hard the viscount gives a pretty minute, though “ fighting with the loss of 20,000) men in killed not a very clear, account of the different “ and wounded, and 5,000 on the side of the movements and rencontres, none of which " allies.” So it was with Petek. Hav seem to have been of much importance : ing told a lie, and being closely taxed and mere skirmishes between an army whose in danger of détection, a he began to curse object was to retreat unbroken and one " and to swear, saying, I know not the who does not appear to have been very “man: and, instantly the cock crew.” desirous of a battle, though superior in And, so it was here ; for scarcely had mumbers. But, the closing paragraph Captain Harris's deposition got forth, when of the dispatch ought to be read atten. out came the official intelligence, telling tively; because it not only states the reaus, that the French had advanced, had re sons for our retreating, but also glances at the lieved Rodrigo, and had compelled our army utility of our having invested Rodrigo. This to retreat, with some loss ; instead of our is very material indeed; and, in fact, it is having fought the arnay for two days, all that is of much consequence in the completely defeated him, killing and dispatch. Let us, therefore, take the wounding 20,000 of his army. -Now, I words :-The enemy having collected ask the reader, whether any thing more “ for the object of relieving Ciudad - Row
“drigo, the army of the North which nate lord Talavera is in his literary friends; “ were withdrawn from the attack which and, if we wanted a complete proof
they commenced on General Abadia, of it here it is. It must be a reputa: “ in Gallicia, in which are included 22 tion like that of a Marlborough or a Na. “ battalions of the Imperial Guard, and poleon to withstand the efforts of friends “ General Souham’s division of Infantry, ship like this. And so, Mr. Courier,
composed of troops recently arrived in you could see “no reason to believe that
Spain from the army of Naples, and Lord Wellington had invested Rodrigo “ now drawn from the frontiers of Na. “ merely to retire the monient Marmont ad• varre, where they had been employed in ope “vanced;" and you could see " no use in “rations against Mina, together with five producing the adoance if we did not fight “ divisions, and all the cavalry of the “ him!". Come, now, do not eat your “ army called of Portugal, composing al- words. Stand to this. You have said it, “ together an army of not less than sixty and that, too, within these seven days ; " thousand men, of which six thousand therefore, stand to it. It is now your " were cavalry and 125 pieces of artillery; affair; and I leave it to you, with this in " I could not pretend to maintain the your ear: that before you laugh at any o blockade of Ciudad Rodrigo, nor could act imputed to a general whom you are “ any efforts which I could make, prevent, or incessantly extolling, take care, another “ materially impede the collection of the suplime, to ascertain that he has not complies, or the march of the convoy for the re- mitted that very act. -It was truly " lief of that pluce. I did all that I could amusing to observe the Courier, when, on
expect to effect without incurring the risk of Wednesday night, it brought out the offi"great loss for NO OBJECT, and as the cial dispatch, announcing that that very * reports, as usual, were so various in re-thing which he had ridiculed upon a sup“gard to the enemy's real strength, it position that it could not have taken place, “ was necessary that I should sce their really had taken place; it was truly
army.”. -The Morning Chronicle finds curious to observe his change of manner fault of the obscur ily of this passage, and cer- and of tone. Only the day before, when tainly it is less clear than the importance of he was tooting forth the leiter of the man the subject rendered desirable. The first high in office;" the “ solemn declaration” part, however, ofitleaves us to infer, that the of one British Captain, and the deposition" French armies were drawn away from tbeir of another, he was all life and talk; but, hostilities against the Spaniards by our in- now, out he comes, dull as a clod; bis vesting of Rodrigo; and that, therefore, long ears, that were, the day before, we are to look upon that as the price of pricked up like a brace of bayonets, now the efforts before Rodrigo. Then, when hap his jowls; and, instead of the incesthose armies were so drawn away, there sant noise which we heard from him bewas no longer any object in invesiing Ro- fore, he, with seeming difficulty, faintly drigo. If this be not the meaning of the brays out this laconic introduction to the passage, I must confess that I am unable to official dispatch: Lord Wellington dive into it, and shall leave it to be got at « retired 10 Sabugal after one or two smart by some of those who have had's the ad o skirmishes. The following supplement “vantage of a liberal education," and who, " to last night's gazette was published this of course can repeat fifty or sixty words: morning And not another word ! of Latin and Greek as glibly as any magpie Well; it is a symptom that there are some or parrot in the United kingdom. The small remains of shame. The Sun and Courier, however, as we have seen, in the the Morning Post have no scruple to above extracts, has taken care to shut the come round, smack, at once, and to com; door, as far as it is able, against every rea. mend as a proof of the greatest skill and son for not fighting upon this occasion. courage, that which they but the very day
Having,” says he, " no reason to be before laughed at, when they had no idea “ lieve that Lord Wellington had invested that it had taken place. The Courier is
Rodrigo merely to retire the moment NIar- not quite so bad as these ; and, though I " mont advanced, an advance which it was dare say lie will noro be able to find out a “no use to produce if we did not fight him, reason, and a very good reason " for invest
we have no doubt that a battle has been ing Rodrigo merely to retire the moment “ fought.” -What a slap in the face was “ Marmont advanced;" though I dare here? What a salutation from a friend! I say he will now find out that there was have more than once observed how unfortu- great " utility is producing the advance
“ if we did not mean to fight;" though I too, commanded by the most experienced dare say he will now lose no time in making and intrepid generals that Europe ever these discoveries; still, he has taken one saw? Aye, but this defence of his conduct day to do it in, and, considering who and cannot be made by the venal writers, who what he is, that is more than was to be call theinselves his “ friends ;" for they expected ; and I beg leare to point it out have said, that he had 47,000 British troops to the reader' as something worthy not besides niany thousands of Portuguese only of notice but of commendation. equal in valour and discipline to British Leaving Lord Talavera's “ friends” to Troops, and, in so saying, they have con. settle amongst themselves these ques. demned him beforeliand. tions as to the reasons for “ investing Rod“rigo and retiring the moment that Marmont
*** Owing to a mistake in estimating the " advanced,” and the " utility of produc-space
, we are obliged to leave out matter anit "ing that advance without fighting when break off thus abruptly. it was produced, let us now look a little at Spanish CONSTITUTION. - The plan of wbat he himself says about the relative the New Spanish Constitution I have inforce of the armies. And here we see a serted entire in this Number to the exclustriking instance of what it is to be carsed sion of some other inatter that I very much with fools and parasites for partizans. He wished to insert; but, it was desirable to says, that the enemy, had a force of have the whole of this important document 60,000 men, 6,000 of whom were cavalry, in an undivided state. I request the and that the enemy had an artillery of reader's particular attention to it. I shall 125 pieces brought into the field. He hereafter have to offer some observations says, that he was unable to meet this force on it; but, in the meanwhile, I beg the without “ incurring the risk of great loss." reader to notice the principle upon which Very well; and I dare say that this was it sets out, a principle, for inculcating the case, though he does not give a state- which in the shape of a toast, the Duke of ment of his own numbers. But, how Norfolk has reason to remember. The does this square with the representations provisions also for the election of the of those writers in England, who have set Cortes ; the right of suffrage, and many themselves up as his " friends ?" They other points deserve particular attention ; have told us, within these fifteen days, but, I have no room for any thing more at that he bad, under his immediate con- present. mand, 47,000 British Troops; and we see
WM. COBBETT. that he has many corps of Portuguese.
State Prison, Newgate. Friday,
OFFICIAL PAPERS. fair claim to a battle, and even a success.
SPANISH CONSTITUTION, fal battle upon the advance of the French with an army of 60,000 men; because Plan. of a Political Constitution for the our Commander had the great advantage
Spanish Monarchy, presented to the Geof having chosen his position, having en
neral and Extraordinary Cortes, by their trenched his ground, and having had tine
Constitutional Committee. to provide every thing for the occasion; INTRODUCTION.—In the name of Aland we were told, through his “ friends” mighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the press, how well he was supplied the Author and Supreme Legislator of Sowith cannon, ammunition, provisions, and ciety.—The general and extraordinary stores of all sorts. But, if he had no Cortes of the Spanish Nation, convinced, such force as 47,000 British Troops be- afier the most minute examination and sides large bodies of Portuguese; then mature deliberation, that the ancient funthe case is wholly altered ; and, my damental laws of this Monarchy, accomreal belief is, that he bad not much panied with suitable provisions, to resume more than half that number of officlite iheir regular and permanent execution, men ; though we have been so often told are adequate to accomplish the great obto the contrary, and though my beliefject of promoting the glory, prosperity, is, tbat, as to the Portuguese, he has and welfare of the whole nation, decree not, to bring into the field, 10,000 the following Political Constitution, for
If this be so, then, how was be the good government and right adı inisto face 60,000 men, and desciplined troops, tratiou of the State.