Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

'Isti, tud, at i ninten! ben 1" bilan hoe fair to ostis they were about to let it fall, their arm is “ those terms which the greaiitts3 w his uonerved, and those whom their valour des- " force intitled him to demand, they are tined to be the captives of their country, mayor totally unimpeachable li is, therefore, now become its plundering invaders " on the commander of the forces, that, With respect to this enterprize there was an “ the whole responsibility remains. Both unanimity of sentiment, a cordiality of “ the Conventions, burgh the one was wishes, an absence of party feeling, such as “ signed by Sir Arthur Wellesley, and the I do not recollect to have witnessed upon " other by Col. Murray, are to be con. any former occasion. Amongst us, wbo « sidered as the work of Sir Hew Dairynbare opportunities of addressing the public “ ple, and of Sir Hew Dalrymple alone. in print, there was not a man, as far as I " The cominander-in-chief of an arms could perceive, who did not discover great " is alone responsible to the nation for wbat. anxiety for the result, and who did not join “ is done by ihe army. He acts under the in hearty applause as far as applause was due, “ king's orders, and all the army under of both the commanders and the ministers. " their commander's orders. The suppoSuch is the unanimity and such the feeling "sing any other principle, the supposing of disapprolation now; and, while I do not " that there was a separate responsibility in wish to insiquate that the ministers have any “ any part or member of an army from desire to withhoid justice from the nation, I " that of its commander-in-chief, would must express my opinion, that, if they | “ be to set up distinct commands and were to make the attempt, they would be « authorities, and would justify division guilty of an act of insolence so outrageous, ! " and mutiny. Supposing Col. Murray's. that, if the people were to bear it, they " name had been subscribed to the first would deserve to be swept from the face of " Convention, would any man have conthe earth. Leaving the responsibility of or sidered Col. Murray as responsible for, the War-Secretary as a subject for future " the treaty ? No; be would have condiscussion, the only point, upon wbich, at “sidered Col. Murray as nierely ministerial, present, there appears to be any difference 1" and as giving authentication to the dice of opinion, is this: whether Wellesley is a “tates of his commander. Upon what participator wilh Dalrymple, or not? The principle then is Sir A. Wellesley to be. negative has been strongly insisted upon by “ esteemed responsible, if Col. Murray the numerous, the powerful, the active, " would not have been so ? Had Sir A. and the audacious friends of the former, "Wellesley a distinct, separate, indepenwho, after having used their influence for " dent authority to make Conventions with the purpose of obtaining detached paragraphs ! " the enemy? Could he take a measure, in the newspapers, beginning with an asser 1" or agree to an expression of his own, tion that he was at forta miles distance when “ without the commander-in-chief's appro. the armistice was signed, have at last, in the l • bation ? Could he have modelled an Morning Post newspaper, found a person, "article, proposed a condition, or insisted who, in his capacity of editor, has inserted, 1. “ on a principle, which the commander-inas his own, a defence evideuily writien by " chief diri not sanction? Could he have some one closely connected with the person or refused to have let the treaty in all its defended. Now, ihen, let us see what i " parts have been managed and worded as this defence is made of The pretended " the coinmander-in-chief pleased ? It is obeditor sets out with a few silly remarks upon ac vions, he had no such power. It is clear, the measures themselves ; but, very quick. " then, that, as to the Convention, whether ly comes to the chief, and, indeed, the " he proved or disapproved of it, wbether he cnly, object of his writing, thus :

" 13ociated every line, or never read a " Here it becomes us to consider who " word of it, he is in no sense whatsoever ", are the persons responsible. The respon- " responsible. Sir H. Dalrymple was com“sibility attaches to bis, majesty's minis. - mander of the forces; in biin alone all " ters, on the one hand, and the cum- / discreto:, all authority was placed, and "mander of the forces on the other. It " on him alone all responsibilisy rests. But " is presumable that when minisiers sent it is said, if Sir A. Wellesley did not “ such an immense force to Portugal as approve the Convention he ought not to " near 37,000 men, their object was to have signed it. Is it meant by this, that " enable the general to whom they gave " when an inferior geoeral officer differs in " the command, completely lo reduce the opinion with his commander, he is to " enemy, and compel them to surrender ; 1“ disobey him? Or if he obeys, 'is he ta " and if they have not limited and died op " couple that obedience with a public dis

[ocr errors]

" play of his disapprobation? An inferior | ed, to be one of a council of war, bat be “ger:eral will often cheatfully acquiesce in bad had the previous command; he had " the decision of his superior, when pero | been commander-in-chief until but a few "haps, were he himself commander-ice hours before he entered upon the negociation chief, he would act very differently. This of the armistice ; he was in possession of fiows from the very nature of iwo situa all the local knowledge, of all the knowledge tions, the coumander und the command relative to the force and condition of the " ed. The latter not being responsible for enemy, that was possessed in our army; and, his opinions will not be tenacious of them; l of course, if he agreed to, or sanctioned by “ he will easily subinit to the decision of I his signature, what was injurious to his coun" hoia superior, because his acquiescence try, he was, and must be held to be respon. neither leads to censure nor to praise, sible for the act; or, at least, must come in vor is he vesied with responsibility, or for his full share of the responsibiliy — “ liable to examination or trial. With re Great pains, the reade: will perceive, is taken gard to Sir A. Wellesley's opinion, it is to produce the belief, that Wellesley was a “ known, itat if his advice had been fol. / mure instrument ; a thing having no will of lowed on the 21st, he would have pur- iis own; a machine moved by the great 6 sued the rouled army of Junot, and never Dalrymple; and, in a subsequent part of " have let him rest till he had destroyed it, the article above quoted, the writer says, " When the line of pursuing the enemy that he was no more responsible " than an " was dropped, and negociation adiniited, 1 " allorney's or lonker's clerk would be for " he was then superseded in comand, and I « sigoing an obligation of his na ter." Oh! “ had only to follow the plans of Sir Hew the gentle, the submissive, the humible. " Dalry.ple, for he had no plans of his min led Wellesley! Well, this man, when. “ own to follow. This subject, however, ever he dies, ought to be preserved in pickl:; “ lies in a short compass. ( Sir A. I for such a Wellesley I never heard of before. " Wellsley be broughilo trial, for sign. | « An attorney's or banker's clerk!” This "ing a Convention according to the instrucis a defence well worthy of him who signed " tions of his commanding general ? He l the armistice with General Kollerinan.o cronot. How absurd then to impute | But, come, let us see to what point this doc• blame to an officer, for an obedience to l trine of automaton suborission would carry " the invariatie rules of discipline, and for us. The proposition is this : that an officer, his submission lo wlich it is not possible inferiur in command, is not, and cannot be. " he can be lirought to trial! I can gozo con responsible, for any tbing, be it wbat furiber. What! The Wellesleys; the little thich he does by he command of high Wellesleys; the haughty Wellesleys, I his su trisr, if the thing done be not cop. accept of this Olj. Bailey-like defence ! trary in " the articles of any." Articles of This worse iban any defence ever set up by / war! Oh, shame! 30 then, bec: is the pinioned call it, tutored by aitorney that express statute cannot be cited againsi bim, ought to have been hanged as many times as he is to be bolden up as an innocent nian! he has hairs upon his blä!! What! " Ah! | But, to illustrate the effect of this doctrine, •' you may say what you like, but you can. suppose Dalrymple were to order Wellesley not take th: law of him. He is not in- ' io shoot the king. Would not the latter, as “ dictable. There is a flaw in your pro. well as the former, be hanged for high treaceedings. His head is safe from the son? Well, then, there are things which “ noose!" W5v, if there be any thing an inferior may not do at the command of that can add to the just indignation and re- 1 bis superior; yet, the shooting of the king sentment of the public, it is a defence like is nowhere expressly prohibited “ in the arthis. “ You cannot get hold of him : you | * ticles of war." Suppose, in the armistice, cannot bring him to trial!" I appeal to 1 it had been agreed upon to surrender the the reader, whether be everh eard, or read, whole of the British ariy, in Portugal, 10 of any thing so hase as this.-- Yes, there Janot, at discretion. Would not every one is a very wide difference indeed between of the generals, nay every colonel or comWellesley and Murray. The latter was mander of a corps, who should have obeyed merely the agent of the conimander-ivelif; an order to full such an agreement, have he was a tiid officer, and bad no com wand | been shot, in a few days alter his landing in the army; he was. not one of those | in England ? Yet, there is, in the "artiwho would be consulted as to what ought " cles of war," nothing expressly forbide to be one, or who would be called into | ding such surrender. Both these sip. a council of war. Whereas the former | posed acts, and all other acts contrary to the was not only one of that rank to be consult- honour and interests of the country, are

T i ll the educa ..
fideli. " enemy. Sit A.

Dy tinities are .. idi vitse peltiin !! She'i prijal, nor lui auý concern whatever

ļ aborceva uni budetean 110 “ in writingihe armistice: it was negocia'ed where expressly pointed out. The real qnes " with Kellermann by Sir H. Dalrymple lion is, then, whether the agreeing to the “ himself indeed it was dictated and write armistic? was, or was not, an act, which, « ten in French by Keilermann), and was to every rational orind, must have manifestly " afterwards signed by Sir A. Wellesley, appeared to be detrimental to the nation. in obedience lo the positive order of Sir H. if ibis question be decided in the negative, Dalrymily the commandri-in-chief: It is then, not only Wellesley, but all the par. 1 " a curious fact, not unworthy of remark, ties concerned are innocent; but, if it be " that Sir H. Dalrymple had intended in decided in the affirmative, they are all guila " the first instance to atfix his owo signature ty, and he :be inost guilty, because he, wie " to the armistice; but that he refrained alone could possibly be well acquainted with ! " from doing so, and ordered Sir A Wels! the Incal and other circumstances, was “ lesley to sign it, at the instigation of the the first to set his hand to ile agreement. “ French general, whose views in such a - The writer of this defence says, in “ requisition it does not require much pe. another place, that very great mischiet might " petration to discover. Sir A. Wellesley live arisen from an open rupture between ." Therefore is no more responsible for the our commanders. In the plural, observe, “ terms of the armistice, than col. Murray 1;?gh, but a noment betore, we h'bee! " is for the terms of the Convention; or to old, that there was but one communer. “ carry the comparison still ther, tban We are told, that if Wellesley had piibiicly “ an attorney, or banker's clerk would be declared bis disapprobation of the terms of " for signing an obligation of his master. he agreement, " the discord, which must " It has been urged, that Sir A. Wellesley

have ensued between : m and the com " night have told the commander-in-chief, *mander-in-chief woul! have unquestion " that he would sooner go into arrest than "ably embarrassed all infuture operations “ put bis naine to such an instrument, but

of the army." What! i cind probation " under "he firmest conviction in his own of so inild, so gentle, so dass wing, so i "mind (which, if coolly considered, will humble, so submissive a thing is :) " attor. 1 " be found to be the simple fact), that he "ney's or banker's clerk"! Could this was merely acting under the positive oro thing's disapprobation have embarras: od all *ders of ihe commander-in-chief, be the operations of an army, jinder a chief “ signed it as he would have done any whose pod was law? Incredible! No: we other military order which did not appear tacnot be made to believe, thal · inuchine, " to him 1o be contrary to the articles of tagh composed of flesh and blood or of '" war, or the established laws of his counA hand bunes father, could have produced ! " try, in preference to commencing open 30: embarrassment in the operations of an « bostilitirs with his commander-in-chief. 11405. If it siood in his way, Sir Hew " the very day after he superseded him. (what a name!) could have put it into an “ Sir A. Wellesley's refusal to sign the armi chest, or thrusted it into any hole or “ armistice, would by no means have pre-, corner, and amongst any of the lead stock " vented the conclusion of it, but the disof the army. When a man has a bad cause; “i cord which must have ensued between when he is put to the inventing of reasons, “ him and the commander-in-chief would ho is pretty sure to contradict himself.--- 1" have uuquestionably embarrassed all the Hitherto I have proceeded upon the s po- " future operations of the army. These sition, that Wellesley really did no niore “ are strong facts; but they are most sub, th:10 obey the orders of Dalrymple; that " stantially and literally true, and perfectly " latter was the great mover in the af.. " corroborated by numerous letters from far; and that the former only aided and " the most distinguished officers of the aby sted. The contrary, however, I think, “ British army in Portugal. These letters cerly ap: ears to have been the fact; but, « also all agree in stating, that Sir A, fit let us hear what further this famous Wellesley most distinctly declared his delander has to say. ----" Sir Arthur “ opinion that the expediency of per, "Wellesley, in faci, privntely protested " mitring the French to capitulate at " against ille armistice in the strongest " all, was occasioned solely by the di. " terins; he distinctly declared his objec « lemma into which the ariny had been " tions to the commander-in chief, and brought by its being prevented, contrary "tried all in his power to prevent him to his plans and wishes repeatedly urged,

from granting the terms be did to the " from following up the victory of the 21st,

“ in which case,, the whole French army | mistice ; seeing thai, before the latter look " must inevitably have been destroyed, place, the French bad had time “ to retreat " instead of being enabled by that fatal delay 1" to the passes, and to concentrate them " to retreat to the passes, and to concen “ selves in the strong forts? " Who would " trate theniselves in forts in their rear, not suppose, that several days, at least, " which it might consume the whole of the bad elapsed? But, the fact is, that the

winter monihs to beat them out of At 1 battle was fought on the 21st, and the “ the conclusion of the action of the 21st, armistice agreed upon and signed on the 22d. " the head quarters of the French at There could not possibly be any more than " Torres Vedras were four miles nearer to twenty four hours between the baltle and the " the right wing of the English army, armistice; and, observe, Sir Burrard left " which had not been engaged, than to the Wellesley to do as he pleased on the 21st ; le French defeated army, in consequence of | had all the then army under his command; be - Junot's having exclusively attacked our might have gone on if he would ; and his i centre and left wing. It therefore amounts stupid defender, appearing to forget these " alinost to a certainty, that if Sir A. Wel really strong and undeniable facts, calls the ir lesley had been permitted to push forward 21st a fatal day.---Now, as to poor Sir " agieeably to his plan and request, he Hew, when did he come upon the “ must inevitably have arrived before them, stage? Not till the 22d ; not till the day " occupied their posts, and annihilated after the fatal day ; " not, to use his own " them as an army." There is, after words, till " a few hours before genere! this, a crying paragraph about parly ani. “ Kellerman came." So that, it is, I think, mosily," than which charge nothing ever as clear as day-light, that Wellesley was was more false, as every man in the country controuled by nobody, that he was beld back will testify. So, here, the few weeks of | by nobody; that he was, as to all practical Sir Hew are swelled out into “ the whole purposes, the commander-in-chief, until the “ of the winter months "! And where was very moment of General Kellerman's arrival, Junot to find provisions for the whole of the 1 and that, as he has had all the praise, so he winter months ? Were his army and his is entitled, to all the blame for whatever, dehorses and his fleet to be fed by ravens'; or serving blame, took place previous to that had they collected food sufficient, in that moment. There remains now to be po very country where our fine commanders ticed; what this defender says about prirali were afraid of being starved in a week protests and private letters. He asserts, that or two?- So, if Wellesley liad been per: Wellesley privately protested against the armilled to go on, he would have destroyed the mistice, and that Dalrymple turned a deal French army. Now, who prevented him ? ear to his advice. Against this assertion, His victory was won on the 21st of August. which is quite bare of all authority, let us Sir Harry (another slang name !) tells us, put the probabilities of the case. And, I ask that thoughi be arrived while the battle was. the reader ; I put it to the pain good sense going on, he left all to Wellesley; and Wel of the public, whether it be probable, or Jesley's friends in England took special care hardly possible, that Sir Dalrymple, who to inform the public, that he, and he alone, bad arrived at head quarters but a few had the claim to the merit. Accordingly, I hours, and who had been in the country those who express their joy and approbation not many hours ; who could know little, of by the use of the bottle, drank" the brave I nothing, of local circumstances or of other " Sir Arthur Wellesley and his army." No-, circumstances to be taken into considerabody's name was heard of but his. Sir Bur. tion; who was a person of no great fame, rard did not pretend to have any share in the and who carried with him no other weight : merit, and we gave him credit for his mol than that of his mere rank : I put it to an desty. Well, then, who stopped Wellesley? | impartial public, whether it was probable, Who prevented him fro:n " pushing on " | whether it was possible, that this man, The Duke D'Abrantes. That cruel Tartar. should, under such circumstances, come in It was lie, or it was nobody, that so suddenly with his boots on, and his hands and face unarrested the progress of our dashing “Cheva. washed, and take, not only the actual ope“ lier du bain." For only look at the dates, rative comniand upon him, but take up the which are always very troublesome things, pen, before he sai down to eat or to drink, when men have to lie through a cause. Who, ( and settle, upon his own unassisted opinion, upon reading what I have quoted above, an agreement which was to determine the would not suppose, that a month, or, at fate of the wiole of the enemy's ariny and least, many days, bad elapsed between the fleet ; ibat he should do this, not only with battle of the 21anú the signing of the about advice, but against the advice and the se.

lemn protest of one notoriously the fai puritam ist paper anainst him, the perso!,0 ofibe ministers, notoriously backed by a nosi i ateur, vocc ngole was 10,8!IREN. and of powerful friends at home in and out of par- l who lived in Devonshire }.ce, acknowliament, and not less notoriously of ro very ledged, in a letter to Mr. Paull that ine 2015 a unassuming disposition, especially on the part proprietor, which letter I saw and read. morrow of his gaining a brilliant victory ; that I have not heard, that the paper has changed he, a prudent old man, should not deign to proprietors, and my firm belief is, thai it consult with, but should reject the advice of has not. The second fact is, that, in the such a person, nay, and make him, like an Gazette Extraordinary, containing the doattorney's or baiker's clerk, set his hand to, cumenis relating to the late transactions in as being the pegociator of, terms penned Portugal, that document, that most importby the French General, and against which ant document of all, the armistice, which hateful terms he had made a solemn protest; was signed by, and which was evidently the I put it to the sense of any man who hears | work of, Wellesley, was inserted in the me, whether this be possible ? Away, French language, unaccompanied with a then, with all the lies about private protests translation, wbile all the other documents, and private letters. There is no proof pro- | to none of which his name and seal were duced of the existence of any such protest ; affixed, were inserted in English only ; while there is the strongest presumptive a thing as unprecedented as the motive of proof, that no such protest ever was made. it must be obvious to all the worid. Un. Besides, have we not the internal eviderce til the ministers have had time to show. of Dalrymple's dispatch ? What does the that they had no hand in this ; that some old gentleman say? Why : “As I land.' of their underlings were bribed to do it; “ ed in Portugal entirely unacquainted with I will not accuse them, or suppose them " the actual state of the French army, and guilty, of an act of partiality so shock. " many circumstances of a local and inci- ingly base ; but, unless this be done by " dental nature, which, DOUBTLESS, them, upon their heads the charge must “bad great weight in deciding the question, finally fall, and, in the mean while we " my OWN opinion in favour of expelling should be upon our guard, every man should " the French army from Portugal, by means endeavour io warn his neighbour, against 1 of the Convention, was, such and such." | the effect of that powerful and infamous in. Why this " doubtless.?" He does not fluence which is now at work for the purpretend to have had a decided opinion of his pose of bringing Wellesley off in safety own. Would he have thus spoken, if he'over the mangled reputations of the other had despised the protest of Wellesley! The commanders. thing is not to be believed by even the most Bolley, 22 Sept. 1808. credulous and most stupid of mankind ; and P. S. I have below, inserted, upon this I beseech the honest part of the public, I subject, a letler, and an article from the beseech all those who feel for the honour of Times newspaper, both which I beg to retheir abused country, to be upon their commend to the perusal of my readers. guard against the arts of that sink of false. lood and corruption, which is now stirring

CONVENTIONS IN PORTUGAL. to its very entrails for the purpose of mis SIR, I cannot doubt that you, who have leading the public mind and palsying the been so often the evlogist of British valour, arm of justice.- " Privale letters from and the assertor of British honour, and who " the ariny" bave been trumped up, and have lately descanted with so much force published without signatures ; it was stated, I and justice upon both, will open the pages in several of the papers, that, when the of your Register to whoever shall wish to armistice was signed, Wellesley was at the expose to public observation transactions distance of forty miles from head quarters; by which the honour of our country is imbut, there are two facis, which I am parti. paired, and the glory of her brave defenders cularly anxious to impress upon the minds tarnished. That this has happened by the of my readers ; the first of which is, that Convention concluded by our commander the Morning Post news paper, in which in Portugal is, unfortunately, not a matter of has appeared the dirty defence of Welles- doubtful surmise or by pobesis ; it is a fact ley, was, in the autumn of 1806, the notorious to every class of the community; propery of a company of pörsons, it is felt by every man throughout England, chiefly East Indians, and that Mr. Paull ha from the cabinet nzinister to the cotiager; ving accused one of these persons, a mao it is at this moment the subject of universal who had been high in office under lørd grief and indignant reprobation in all parts Wellesley, of causing certain articles to be of this capital. How is it, Sir, that mi

« AnteriorContinuar »