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• For I perceive, Monsieur Moore, that 'you are an upright man, who flatters no• body; you are a little reserved, and don't
give your confidence easily : I esteem you * on that account the more. I hope, however, • at last to acquire your confidence, and I
shall be flattered by it.' This atonement made by the Queen was no corrective of the slanderous representations sent formerly to the English ministers.
After leaving her Majesty, Moore had a visit from Circello, who addressed him with the utmost cordiality. He requested that he would correspond with General Bourrand, to instruct him in military matters; and hoped also, that in future there should be between themselves the best understanding, and a frequent communication of each other's sentiments on the affairs of government. Such sudden alterations, from open enmity to seeming amity, are no way singular in this court; for no well-poised, well-oiled weathercock shifts more nimbly with the slightest breath of wind, than a versatile
Italian courtier, when the will of his sovereign changes. Moore replied politely to his ámicable protestations, and returned to Messina, to occupy himself sedulously in putting the fortresses in good order, and in taking measures for the defence of Sicily. From this time there continued the utmost concord between Moore and the Sicilian government; and the minister assured him that every military regulation which he recommended was implicitly adopted.
While thus engaged, an order came to Sir John Moore from England to embark a number of regiments, which formed seven thousand men, and proceed with them to Gibraltar, where he should receive further directions.
Before he sailed, the garrison of Alexandria was brought back for the security of Sicily; and he left the command to General Sherbrock, to whom he imparted his opinions relative to the disposition of the troops, and the measures to be taken for the defence of the island.
AFFAIRS OF PORTUGAL AND SWEDEN.
WHEN Sir John Moore arrived at Gibraltar, he was informed by Sir Hew Dalrymple, the Lieutenant-Governor, that he had been sent for in aid of Portugal. No actions of Bonaparte, either previous or subsequent, surpassed in perfidy his treatment of the Prince Regent who governed that kingdom. He had been forced to pay an exorbitant annual tribute to France for six years, for permission to remain neutral. But as soon as all Germany to the Baltic, and Russia, were prostrate at Napoleon's feet, his boundless ambition prompted him to turn his arms to the south, to subject the Peninsula of Spain and Portugal. He commenced with the latter; which, by lying on the western flank of Spain, would facilitate his future operations. And as he always employed artifices in aid of aggressions, he compelled the degraded Spanish
monarch to join him in this enterprise ; alarming him by threats of vengeance, if he refused, and tempting him by promises of a share in the spoils of the conquered country, if he consented.
A French army, under Marshal Junot, being assembled at Bayonne, a note was delivered by the Envoy of France to the Regent of Portugal, enjoining him to declare war against Great Britain, to confiscate all British merchandise, and to seize as hostages all the English merchants residing in Portugal. Should these injunctions not be acceded to, war with France was denounced.
This uncivilized proceeding was a regression to the usages of barbarous times. The pacific Regent tried to temporize. He promised to shut his ports against British vessels; but protested that his equity and religion would not permit him to plunder the property and imprison the persons of the unoffending merchants. This mild reply provoked the invasion of his dominions; and when the danger became imminent, he
yielded to the unjust demands; but nothing stopped his insatiable enemy, who insolently proclaimed that the House of Braganza • had ceased to reign.' The Prince Regent, as if fascinated, attempted no resistance : and when the advanced guard of the French were within a few leagues of Lisbon, he embarked with his family and courtiers, and was transported to the Brazils by a squadron of men-of-war, commanded by Captain Moore.
In the distress of their ally, the British Government, faithful to treaties, had sent a fleet to the Tagus ; a corps of eight thousand men, under General Spencer, were ordered from Ireland; and above seven thousand, under Sir John Moore, 'were recalled from Sicily, to assist Portugal. But the panicstruck Regent continuing passive, and the people not stirring in their own defence, rendered these measures abortive.
Junot had rushed rapidly onward. But his army, in the long and toilsome march over mountains, and across torrents, in tem.