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But, upon the very face of the thing, this excuse is worth nothing. They were in a friendly country; they wanted no force for foraging, or for obtaining accommodations of every sort; the sea was not only open to them, but they had the exclusive posses. sion of all its shores; if the “surf" prevalled to-day, or this week, why, it would not continue for ever, and, when it ceased, any flour or other provisions that might have ben got from the Portuguese, could have been returned with interest, for, it is not pretended, that there was not an abundance on board the ships. But, how did the Duke D'Abrantes, as Wellesley calls him (for the first time that any Englishman has called him so); how did the Duke D'Abrantes, to call whom by that title was a cruel insult to the oppressed and plundered Portuguese; how did Wellesley's Duke D'Abrantes make shift to get provisions, not only for the “ for wight or three weeks" to come ; not only as long as he might remain besieged; but how had be made shift to find provisions for many months before, and that, too, let it be observed, without the possibility of any cow munication with the sea 2 he Duke D'Abrantes, a title taken from a city and territory of Portugal, and which Wel. lesley acknowledges to be his due; the Duke D'Abranies had fourteen thousand men, about a thousand horses, and, probably, about six or seven thousand men, on board the Russian fleet and other ships; all these Wellesley's Duke D'Abrantes made shift to provide with every thing, and to lay up stores for a sige, and that, too, amongst a people decidedly hostile to him, and all this in that very country, where our “Cheva“liers du bain" were under mortal apprehensions of being starved to death from the mere hostility of the surf, though they had a friendly people to apply to, a sea always open, and an England at the distance of ten days' sail.——Dalrymple will hardly pretend, that Junot had collected all the provisions of the country and carried them to his “ strong position." But, “ they were be“ come scarce.” May be so. But, will any man believe, that just at the end of harvest, or indeed, at any time, provisions for such an army for a few weeks, might not have been borrowed in Portugal, where our inclination to, and our means of, repayment were so well known : What avail these, our reputation and our means, if they were not to be resorted LO upon an occasion like this 2 Is it not notorious that there are other ports in Portugal besides Lisbon ; that in othese ports we could have entered; that •ut means of evaveyance, in all manner of jo's £ o, s

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vehicles, was so great as to leave nothing to fear upon that score; and, would the Portuguese have wanted any thing but the simple promise of repayment to induce them to atford our army ample supplies of provisions, as to the kind of which there could have been no difficulty to apprehend, seeing that the position of our army must necessarily have remained nearly the same 2 So that, view it in whatever light we please, this excuse about provisions appears to be the most futile ever made by mortal man. The great plea, however; that upon which the “ Chevaliers du bain" mean to make their stand, appears to be that of gaining time. So eager were they to be in Spain, that they thought nothing at all of Portugal. Their capacious minds, accuston:ed to travel over

under the confinement to a little plot of land on the shores of the Atlantic. Now, as to gaining time, if that is to be considered as a positive good, then one way of obtaining it

is to decamp; and, if they had shipped off, if they had not caught a Tartar in Wellesley's Duke D'Ablantes, they would certainly have gained time, though they would, it must be confessed, have left Portugal just as they found it, except that the land would have been enriched with the bodies and the blood of some of the bravest of their countrymen. Well, then, this gaining of time may be an evil; and now let us see what it was in this case.— Dalrymple says: “my “ opinion in favour of the Clov, etion was “ principally founded " [nut founded principally, and I wish he had set Janot at defiance as much as he does sense] “on the “great importance of time, which the sea“ son of the year rendered peculiarly valuable, and which the enemy could easily have consumed in the protracted defence of the strong places they occupied, had terms of Convention been refused them.” Terms of Convention, Sir Knight, is a new phrase, invented, I presume, to avoid the assertion, that the terms of the convention were the only terms that the Duke would accept of at your hands. But, to continue in proceeding backwards, in the examination of this excuse, on what is founded the assertion, the wnqualified assertion, that Junot could easily have consumed time in a protracted defence? Is it founded upon your knowledge, or your opinion, that he had plentiful stores of provisions for his men, horses, and fleet, supplies got in a country whereiu you were afraid of starving : Or, did you apprehend, that he would be able to obtain supplies in | defiance of Coon', fleet, your army, and the universal hatred and hostility of the peo

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the vast regions of the East, were impatientpe of the whole of Portugal “ Strong “ places " I rever before heard of any in Portugal. Had you been before Lisle, Brissac, or Maestricht, you could not have written in language more desponding, even if the country around had been filled with your enemy's friends and adherents. Hăd you not battering cannon Had you not an ample portion of artillery, the best constituted 1 and the best supplied in Europe; an abun| dance of ammunition of all sorts; a large fleet to apply to for aid of every description; your word to pass as current as gold and silver for the hire of labour, materials and implements of every kind; were you not as well situated, in every respect, as if you had had to carry on a siege of Dover ? And yet, you talk of strong places, easily defended to a protracted duration. The question now comes: since when did these places become so very strong? Junot found no difficulty in getting into them, when he entered Portugal with that same army, which Wellesley told us, he had beaten so only a few days before you made the convention ; nay, he marched into them, or, rather, over them. They have been very quick, then, it seeins, in growing into places of such adamantine materials. Well, now for the time that was to be gained. You do not tell us what good purpose that time was to answer; but, some person, who has taken upon him your defence, has suggested it to the public in the following words, to which the Courier newspoper says it is “ desired to give insertion.” Now, then, let us see this great purpose that you had in view in this sacrifice of honour to the gaining of time.—“The public “seem much disappointed that the terms “ of capitulation granted Junot and his “forces have been so disadvantageous to our “interests, and perhaps justly, were it not “ that there might have been some secret “motives and very strong ones : supposing, ‘ for instance, Junot had possession of a “strong post, and it was doubtful if he ‘ might not have defended it for a fortnight, “ three weeks, or a month, or perhaps “much longer, was it no object to gain that “ time in the situation that Spain is, with reinforcements pouring down from all “quarters of France, to strengthen the “enemy in Biscay and Navarre, and to “ have a disposeable force so large as that “ which would otherwise be employed in

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“Portugal, to throw into the assistance of

“ the Spaniards in that quarter Were “ they able by our assistance to drive the

“enemy beyond the passes of the Pyren

“nets, before he has time to collect his

“ forces, would not that be a greater object

“in the ultimate success of the war, and “ does it not materially add to the probability of doing this by assisting thes, with “ this force three weeks or a month sooner “ than we could have done had we not accept“ed of the terms so complained of as granted to Junot." Mark here; we accept of terms in one line, and grant them in the next. No, no. The “ Chevaliers du bain" did not grant. They accepted, and in that sort of way in which an apprentice boy accepts of a Monday morning's threatening, while the strap or the walking-stick is shaken over his shoulders. — So, these heroes might have their secret motives 2 They might want to get into Spain to stop the progress of the armies of Napoleon But, would it not have been as well to send Junot and his army and the Russian fleet to England first, with a request to be ordered to march into Spain; for, even now we shall see, that the army will be able to leave Portugal very little sooner than they would, if they had waited the result of a siege of even a month's duration, while there appear no grounds for believing, that the siege could have lasted for a week, under the direction' of brave and skilful assailants. This is the least part of the objection, however; for, the army of Junot, an army so formidable as to produce the convention that we have been examining, is to be landed precisely at that point, whence they can most easily march into Spain; and so, finding ourselves unable to dislodge him from a place where we were certain of capturing him and preventing the possibility of his doing further mischief either to Spain or Portugal, we let him loose, in order to have the chance of beating him in the Pyrennees. No, not so : we do not let him loose; we carry him round at our proper expence; we carry all his arms, horses, baggage, plunder, and we put him down in a condition, not only to march off to Spain, but we fill even his pouches with sixty rounds each, that he may be ready instantly to begin the battle. Besides, is it not evident, that, though Portugal is evacuated, it must still, in a certain degree, be left to our defence. Can the whole of our army quit Portugal instantly Can that country, in the state in which it now is, be left without from ten to twenty thousand English troops ? We shall see that it cannot ; and we shall see; that we have carried, in Junot's army, more men to fight against Spain, than we cars send from Portugal to the assistance of the Spanish People —If this be so, where shall we find words to express our indignation at this pitiful plea of

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491] gaining time, when we take into view the other part of the Convention, which makes us carry, at our expence, five or six thousand Russian seamen to fight against the Swedes; when we reflect on the vast means of conveyance and of acceleration, in every way, that we lose by the employment of our ships of war and transports in carrying home the Russians and the French; and when we consider how much more ten thousand of the conquerors of Junot would have been worth in Spain than twenty thousand of those who have purchased his return home with sacrifices so great What we wanted, what our allies wanted, what the general cause wanted, was, not a month sooner possession of the fortresses of Portugal, but a signal defeat, a humiliation, of a part of Napoleon's army. We wanted an instance of triumph, a proof of victory, which no one could gainsay. We wanted the boasting threateners of invasion brought hither; we wanted Junot and his army in England, and to hear our commanders say to the people: “There are your invaders, go and look at Yo them.” This is what we wanted. This would have spoken conviction to the minds of Englishmen, of Frenchmen, of our Allies, and of the whole world. This is what true policy dictated; this is what would, at once, have presented itself to a high and enlightened mind, though it appears never, for one. moment, to have entered the mind of either our generals or our admiral. Such an example, such an irrefragable proof, of the great power of England, would have given her such consequence in the world; would have placed her so high in the opinion of all mankind, that it is impossible for a man who loves his country not to hate those who have prevented its existence. In speaking of the victories in Portugal, I reckoned (at page 386) amongst its consequences, this: “that “ it would diminish that dread, in which “ the French arms had been so long held in “ other nations, and particularly in the * Southern parts of Europe.” But, this miserable Convention, dictated to us in terms so haughty and insolent, and in which we recognize the title of Emperor and King in Napoleon, will not only undo all that was done by those victories, but will confirm - that dread which it was so great an object to remove; for, to what cause, other than that of a conviction of a decided superiority in the French armies, can this convention possibly be ascribed And, after this, after seeing us thus act; after seeing us so shamefully betray the interests of our allies of Portugal and Sweden; after seein, ns make a convention, in which all the dearest interests

POLITICAL REGISTER—conventions in Portugal.

| i

[49] of the Portuguese were so deeply involved, without even consulting any one of the Portuguese commanders or chiefs, who can be weak enough to believe, that the Spaniards will trust a British commander 2 If they imbibe a distrust of us, and that they must is but too evident, who knows what effect that may have upon their councils; how t many it may cause to waver, who would otherwise be firm; how many it may lead to abandon the contest; in how many ways it may operate in favour of Buonaparte's plan of subjugation Never can we expect

such another opportunity of turning the

tide of the war. The power of doing this

was put completely in our hands; that

power we have most shamefully thrown

away, and we must take the coast quences

of such foolish and dastardly conduct – The sorry lives of those, who have thus dis. graced our country, and ruined our cause, would do us no good. They would not re

store to this world one of the brave men who

fell in acquiring the means of terminating

the war in Portugal with so much honour and advantage as might have met in its termio

nation, nor would they restore to the pockets of us at home the immense sums which have been, in that war, expended for a mischie:

vous purpose; but, no one will deny, that something ought to be done; that law and justice, in some shape or other, ought to call these commanders before them. Whitelockesuffered (slightly indeed) for his silliness, of . his cowardice, or both together; but, he

was beaten, at any rate. He did stop 'till of was beaten, before he signed terms, do which none but a beaten army could submit; These commanders have not waited for that imperious cause of submission. They had volunteered in disgrace. They have made

a sacrifice of their country's honour and in: terests, without being able to set up to simallest plea of necessity. Whitelocke's ex: pedition was a thing of dubious importance, There were many, among whom 1 was one's who thought that all that there was to regret : in his failure was the mere loss of lives. But, here was an object of such vast consequence,

and of a nature so unequivocal, that it was impossible for any man, having only a com: mon feeling for the honour of his country, not to have it deeply at heart. Every mat seemed to say, overy countenance bespoke the sentiment: “ Now is the time; we arts “ now striking the blow, that is to fix th:

‘ character of our country, and that is to

“ be the source of noble emulation in the

bearts of our children's children.” This blow our gallant countrymen had proved

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that they were able to strike ; their swo


they were about to let it fall, their arm is unnerved, and those whom their valour destined to be the captives of their country, may now become its plundering invaders—— With respect to this enterprize there was an

unanimity of sentiment, a cordiality of

wishes, an absence of party feeling, such as I do not recollect to have witnessed upon

any former occasion.

Amongst us, who

have opportunities of addressing the public in print, there was not a man, as far as I could perceive, who did not discover great

anxiety for the result, and who did not join

in hearty applause as far as applause was due,


both the commanders and the ministers.

Such is the unanimity and such the feeling of disapprotation now ; and, while I do not wish to insinuate that the ministers have any desire to withhold justice from the nation, I must express my opinion, that, if they were to make the attempt, they would be

uilty of an act of insolence so outrageous,

tha would deserve to be swept from the face of the earth.—Leaving the responsibility of

t, if the people were to bear it, they

the War-Secretary as a subject fur future discussion, the only point, upon which, at present, there appears to be any difference


opinion, is this: whether IWellesley is a

participator with Dalrymple, or not 2 The negative has been strongly insisted upon by the numerous, the powerful, the active,

and the audacious friends of the former, who, after having used their influence for

thepurpose of obtaining detached paragraphs in the newspapers, beginning with an assertion that he was at fort, miles distance when the armistice was signed, have at last, in the Morning Post newspaper, found a person, who, in his capacity of editor, has inserted,

his own, a defence evidently written by

some one closely connected with the person defended.—Now, then, let us see what

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it. t

to a . to it is on to our
those ter.ns which the greatiness of Pis
force intitled him to demand, they are
totally unimpeachable. It is, therefore.
on the commander of the forces, that
the whole 1esponsibility remains. Both
the Convent.ons, hoogh tie one was
signed by Sir Arthur Wellesley, and the
other by Col. Murray, are to be con-
sidered as the work of Sir Hew Dairy:-
ple, and of Sir Hew Dalrymple alone.
The commander-in-chief of an army
is alone responsible to the nation for what.
is done by the army. He acts under the
king's orders, and all the army under
their commander's orders. The suppo-
sing any other principle, the supposing
that there was a separate responsibility in
any part or member of an army from
that of its commander-in-chief, would
be to set up distinct commands and
authorities, and would justify division
and mutiny. Supposing Col. Murray's,
name had been subscribed to the first,
Convention, would any man have con-
sidered Col. Murray as responsible for
the treaty 2 No ; he would have con-
sidered Col. Murray as merely ministerial,
and as giving authentication to the dic-
tates of his commander. Upon what
principle then is Sir A. Wellesley to be.
esteemed responsible, if Col. Murray
would not have been so 2 Had Sir A.
Wellesley a distinct, separate, indepen-
dent authority to unake Conventions with
the enemy Could he take a measure,
or agree to an expression of his own,
without the commander-in-chief's appro-
bation Could he have modelled an
article, proposed a condition, or insisted
on a principle, which the commander-in-
chief did not sanction ? Could he have
refused to have let the treaty in all its
parts have been managed and worded as
the commander-in-chief pleased : It is ob-
vious, he had no such power. It is clear, . .
then, that, as to the Convention, whether
he proved or disapproved of it, wbether he
negociated every line, or never read a

. . ~ * +... •
* - - -

word of it, he is in no sense whatsoever

responsible. Sir H. Dalrymple was colnmander of the forces; in him alone all discretion, all authority was placed, and on him alone all responsibility rests. But it is said, if Sir A. Wellesley did not approve the Convention he ought not to have Is it meant by this, that when an inferior general officer differs in opinion with his commander, be is to disobey him : Or if he obeys, is he to couple that obedience with a public dis

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: play of his disapprobation An inferior general will oftei, chearfully acquiesce in .. the decision of his superior, when perhaps, were he himself commander i:chief, he would act very differently. This flows from the very nature of two situations, the commander and the cons manded. The later not being responsible for his opinions will not be tenacious of them; He will easily submit to the decision of hi- superior, because his acquiescence neither leads to censure nor to praise, nor is he vested with responsibility, or lieble to examination or trial. With re gard to Sir A. Wellesley's opinion, it is known, that if his advice had been followed on the 21st, he wooid have pursued the routed army of Junot, and never have let him rest till he had destroyed it. When the line of pursuing the enemy was dropped, and negociation admitted, he was then superseded in command, and had only to follow the plans of Sir Hew Dalry ope, for he had no plans of his own to follow. This subject, however, lies in a short compass. Con Sir A. Weli oley be brought to trial, so signing a Convention according to the instruc “tions of his commanding general He “ cannot. How absurd then to impute * blame to an officer, for an obedience to “ the invariate rules of discipline, and for “ his submission to which it is not possible “ he can be brought to trial 1'. I can go ...o fur, her. What ' The Wellesleys; the high Wellesleys; the haughty Wellesleys, accept of this Oli. Bailey-like defence This worse than any defence ever set up by pinioned coff, tutored by attorney that ought to have been hanged as many times as he has hairs upon his h 1'. What? “Ah! “ you may say what you like, but you can“ not take the law of him. He is not in“ dictablo. There is a flaw in your pro“ ceedi' os. His head is safe from the “noose : " Why, if there be any thing that can add to the joist indignation and resentment of the public, it is a defence like this. “You cannot get hold of him : you “cannot bring him to trial " I appeal to the reader, whether he everheard, or read, 9f any thing so base as this, Yes, there is a very wide difference indeed between Wellesley and Murray. The latter was merely the agent of the conymorder-in-li f; he was a fic id officer, and had no cominand in the army ; he was not one of those who would be consulted as to what ought to be done, or who would be called into a council of war. Whe eas the former was not only one of that rank to be consult

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ed, to be one of a council of war, but he had had the previous command ; he had been commander-in-chief until but a few hours before he entercd upon the negociation of the armistice; he was in possession of all the local knowledge, of all the knowledge relative to the force and condition of the enemy, that was possessed in our army; and, of course, if he agreed to, or sanctioned by his signature, what was injurious to his country, he was, and must be held to be responsible for the act; or, at least, must come in for his full share of the responsibiliy Great pains, the reader will perceive, is taken to produce the belief, that Wellesley was a more instrument ; a thing having no will of its own ; a machine moved by the great Holrymple; and, in a subsequent part of the article above quoted, the writer says, that he was no more responsible “ than an attorney's or booker's clerk would be for signing an obligation of his master.” Oh! the gentic, the submissive, the humbleminded Wellesley ! Well, this man, whenever he dies, ought to be preserved in pickle; for such a Wellesley I never heard of before. “ An attorney's or banker's clerk!” This is a defence well worthy of him who signed the armistice with General Kcilerman.But, come, let us see to what point this doctrine of automaton subomission would carry us. The proposition is this that an officer, onferior in command, is not, and cannot becore responsible, for any thing, be it what it may which he does by he command of his su, erior, if the thing done be not con: trary to “the articles of ror.” Articles of war. Oh, s.ame . So then, bec use the express statute cannot be cited against him, he is to be holden up as an innocent n an! But, to illustrate the effect of this doctrine, suppose Dalrymple were to order Wellesley to shoot the king. Would not the latter, as well as the former, be hanged for high treason Well, then, there are things which an inferior may not do at the command of his superior; yet, the shooting of the king is nowhere expressly prohibited “in the ar. “ ticles of war.” Suppose, in the armistice, it had been agreed upon to surrender the whole of the British army, in Portugal, to Junot, at discretion. Would not every one of the generals, nay every colonel or com: mander of a corps, who should have obeyed an order to fulfil such an agreement, have been shot, in a few days after his landing in England Yet, there is, in the “art“cles of war,” nothing expressly forbid. ding such surrender. Both these spposed acts, and all other acts contrary to the honour and interests of the country, aro

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