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CoN v ENT Iox IN PORTUGAL.
Isoodcote House, Ilants, Oct. 24. SiR —Had Î not concluded, that your invitation of the 1st of this mouth, to the freeholders of this county, to joir, you in a requisition to the high sheriff to call a county meeting, upon the present toost exasperating and mortifying occasion, the inexplicable infamy of this Portogal Convention, would, of course, have been accepted by scores of indignant individuals, I had certa, toy answered your challenge to remonstrate, as soon as I had lead your Register of that day. Since, hewever, I rather collect from your k, xister since that date, that such has not beca the case; though I am Ilot in the habit of putting myself forward on such occasions, I conso forbear, though thus late, (if none other has or will) to c. *se with your invitation to petition the king, in respectful, but firm language, for time earliest and the strictest scrutiny into tuis uaiseous transaction; to the gnd that the author or anoors of such an indelible disgrace and scandai to our country, and to manhood itself, may be brought to summary justice, and the most condign punish.cnt; le, thea turn out to 92 who they tury. In
stead of parliament being prorogued till Christmas, I cannot but think, as a preliminary to an effectual inquiry into this mysterious business, that it most undoubtedly ought to meet.as soon as possible, at least on the day originally fixed topon in next month ; that ministers may have an opportunity in their places of setting the public light, whether their doughty generals or themselves, are the fictest objects of blame. I, therefore, Sir, with the deepest indignation at the whole proceedings (the more particulars of which we come at, the worse the case seems to be) do thus formally accept your invitation to remonstrate in ti.e. stro.ogest language, and to demand in the firmest tone, the earliest and the most rigid inquiry of the nation assembled in pariament, to rescue, if possible, the insulted and prostituted honour of the country ; and on whomsoever the base-born act shall eventually attach, that his or their dastardly heads may fall, as a poor compensation and satisfaction for the gross suojection and prostration of Old Eugland, to the insolent pretensions and intrigues of this execrable Corsican. It is impossible to find language to express one hundredth part of one's feelings on the subject; and how these generals could forbear jumping down Keilerman's throat when he had the consummate impudence to presume to dictate to those who had but the day before drubbed him soundly, I cannot for the life and soul of me conceive. I have not yet heard it asked, how Kellerman came to have such free egress and regress to and from his té!e à tête with Sir Hew, without (as has as yet appeared) any previous leave or introduction asked ; but without even a ‘‘ by your leave" or “ with “ your leave,” he seems to have cooliy dropped in upon Sir Hew's head quarters with all the easy familiarity of a b. other officer, instead of the cautious and ceremopious admittance of a treacherous and beaten foe. And how Sir Arthur Wellesley (if he really felt as he professes, and wishes us to beireve he did, confident of having done his duty) how he could possivly think of quitting the army immediately after two such creditable victories. and get leave of assence to come home, I can as little conceive, as for what purpose; unless (if he felt that he mad acted right) impatient perhops to receive the planslits and homage of his noble relation the most nobie Marquis Wellesley, and his Eastern admirers ; or rather, if he feit (as I suspect he did feel. and must have felt), that on tile contrary he had blasted his military laurels, in his civil ca, acity as a conventionist ; in which case he would very naturally wish to get smuggled home, that he might get (as he did) the first
CoNv ENTio N IN Portug AL. Sir ;—As I have noticed in one of the
word with the ministers, and make his now late Addresses to his majesty, a wish ex
a rainst him from this very coustacee, in a stion to the violent prejudice previously er - rta -el of his conduct in the Portugal cabinet, sow to pations will instify their conduct on most ...... atly outruding him tion is kno's notice at the very moment a Petrict, was actually presenting in the same ro, ra, to have his conduct inquired into ; and then, as it should seein, in mere contempt and defiance of the avowed sense and feeling of the nation, not only screening, but honouring and rewarding him (while labouring under this public stigmay by re-dubbing him a member of the Irish cabinet, I confess I have some curiosity to see. With respect to the Address of the city of London, however the good citizens may have, from their previous conduct, nerited a rap on the knuckles, it is no justification whatever of the most insulting folly in the ministers in their palming so thoroughly ungracious, not to say harsh a reproof upon the king, with the additional preposterous aggravation and contradiction, of calling it his majesty's most gracious A:swer. I trust the witty wags will not by-and-bye pretend to say it was only meant as a neat piece of irony on the Corsican's manner of baptizing his replies to his good city of Paris. Though there be among the ministers, some three or four, deeming themselves cleverish lawyers, surely my learned friends have in this instance travelled out of the record; if not gone beyond their instructions likewise.—Hitherto, whenever I have thought upon the annual threat of invasion, I have always been disposed to consider it as impracticable : but, if this kind of tunnel be carried under the bed of the constitution, if this species of subterraneous and infernal passage be made through the bowels of the country, if this sort of fatal shaft be sunk to the heart and vitals of its existence, as this Portugal Convention is calculated to do ; if it be not instantly and effectually dammed up, nothing more practicable than our invasion, nothing easier than Old Hono, ruin l—l remain, Sir, yours, —R. L.
pressed, that those who are guilty, with regard to the late unfortunate Convention, may experience the royal displeasure ; and as I think it natural to suppose, that a man would rather subject himself to . .e displeasure of all the potentates in Europe, than submit to lose the joi... of his little finger, I think it toy duty to request the insertion of the inclosed plain statement of facts in your justly popular paper, or something cf a similar nature in your own energetic language. For my own part, I am so well
convinced that in cases of this nature, indi
vidual mercy is public cruelty, that I do to hesitate to affirm my belief, that ho I -, nounced sentence upon General Wor the Convention of Cintra never votijo, received the sanction of a B to b officer ; at least, he must necessarily have been p 'ssessed of more courage than I ever knew man possessed of, who would dare even to inston to such an infamous proposal. And as the reason which deters the northern counties from addressing his majesty on this subject, is a belief that a petition with respect to the Convention is a censure on his Majesty's ministers, I have conceived it necessary to remove this prejudice and without the smallest injury to truth; for, if ever there was a time when the honour of the country and the preservation of the constitution required the sacrifice of partial interests, it never was more necessary than at this moment.— I am, respectfully, Sir, &c.—M.—London, Nov. 4, 1808.
TO THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAN ID.
To be truly loyal, my countrymen, it is not always necessary to be passive; circumstances sometimes, nay frequently occur, on which, it is the indispensable duty of alk honest and loyal Englishmen to make known their sentiments to his majesty. First, because his majesty, being a human being like ourselves, is not infallible; and second, because it sometimes happens, that the partial interests of the nobles are put in competition with the true interests and permanent security of his majesty and his people: in the latter case, it surely is the duty of the people to support his majesty against the undue and improper iafluence of the nobles, and to express unanimously and publicly this their determination.—Whether the Convention of Cintra is one of those occurrences which precludes the necessity of publicly addressing his majesty, I leave you to determine; but certain I am, that it is
the true interest of his majesty, and of his majesty's people to endeavour to prevent a repetition of the alarming, dreadful, and disgraceful disasters, which have so frequently occurred with respect to the military expeditions of this country : this can only be accomplished, by a discovery of the causes which have produced such fatal effects.It is neither my intention to inflame your passions by eloquence, nor to sway your judgment by argument; but I shall take the liberty of stating a few memorable facts for your consideration. Previous to the battle 3f Minden, British soldiers were invariably successful in the field; the victories obtained xy British armies in those days, were victoties; expedition was then expedition; and nerit at that time was merit. Since that peiod you cannot be ignorant, that victory as frequently assurned the disguise of deeat; that expedition has become a mere reeping thing; and that merit is now undertood to mean, rank, fortune, and influence. Do not imagine, my countrymen, that I onsider the result of Lord George Sackille's trial the (sole) cause of these extrardinary “occurrences;" indeed I really do ot: at the same time I must state, that had he people of England, during the progress f Lord G. S.'s trial been animated with the ame laudable feeling with which they are low animated — or kid the members of that ourt martial been such men as I could have wished,—I am perfecuy convinced, that the requent repetitions of similar misfortunes would not have disgraced the pages of Briish history. I shall not affirm that Lord F. S. escaped just and salutary punishment, ecause the truth is, that at this moment, am not qualified to decide whether disgrace s, or is not, a punishment: however, for he purpose of forming a just conclusion on his subject, I am now studying moral philoophy, and should I find it proved to my atisfaction—that men who deserve extreme junishment, are capable of feeling disgrace is the greatest of “all possible punishments,” I shall immediately communicate the important discovery to his majesty's attorney general, who will without doubt recommend it to the consideration of the judges at the Old Bailey. I have long been of opinion, that disgrace to an innocent, to an honourable man, is the greatest evil which can possibly befal him ; and I am confirmed in this opinion, by the demonstration of an eminent moral philosopher, who also assures me, that what is an evil to the innocent, is not always a punishment to the guilty. However this may be, 1 shall not at present hazard any remarks upon such a tender sub
ject.—In thus addressing you, I am neither actuated by party motives, nor private feelings. I am by no means dissati-fied with his majesty's present ministers; on the contrary, when I consider the nominal opposition of their enemies, and the real oppo rion of their friends, I am compelled to applaud their conduct, and on the whole, from my own knowledge of the vast abilities of some British generals, their secretaries, cominissaries, &c. &c. I heartily acquit ministers of all charges which have been urged against them, with respect to the late dismal and unfortunate Convention. I now implore you, oh! my countrymen' no longer to remain silent, and passive spectators of events which involve the dearest interests of your country; but to make known, in a respectful manner, to a justly beloved sovereign, the disappointed hopes of a loyal people.—Soc, JNo. Homes PUN. Defence of The Convention. S1R,-The penetrating genius of Hudibras discovered that one spur was sufficient to make both sides of a horse go ; wisely reasoning, that while one side of the animal was in action, the other could not be at rest.—You appear to have also made a discovery, though not equal to Hudibras'; his reasoning was incontrovertible ; yours will only convince those who conclude withou inv, stigation ; and who will consequently read Îy believe, that you would not devote a dozen lines of your Register of the 15th inst. to explain what you intended by the expression “next arrival," unless your meaning had been misrepresented ; that you would not contend, unless opposed ; appeal, unless resisted ; or triumph, unless victorious. But, it is impossible to repel where no attack is made, and ridiculous to attack where no vulnerable point presents itself; and I felt perfectly satisfied that it was impos
sible to extract from my letter to you of the
30th ult. any one sentence from which, when properly considered with its context, you, possessing no moderate share of ingenuity, could make it appear, that the fair and natural inference coincided with what, in your explanation, you state you never intended. My meaning evidently was, that “the public could not reasonably expect that an unconditional surrender of the French forces in Portugal would be the immediate consequence of their defeat at Roleia and Vimiera,” that “ the defeats sustained by the French on the 17th and 21st Sept. did not materially increase the probability of eventually expelling them from Portugal more speedily, or on terms more advantageous, English army, had no victory been obtained.” – I stated my reasons for so thinking, and the fallacy of them has not been estaLlished. The question then was, considering the relative situation of the armies, according to the info nation of which the public was possessed at the title of the pub. lication of the Gazette, at nouncing the victory at Vimiera, whether terms might 1, t be granted, which would be preferable either to consuming time, and encountering the difficulties that must necessarily be experienced in blockading them, or to sustaining a great loss in forcibly expelling them from their forts and entrenchments. Indeed, so clear and obvious was my meaning, that I concluxled no Englishman could be found so perversely stupid, as not to coniprehend it; and under the influence of this conviction, added to the expectation I entertained, that, on the arrival of Sir Hew Dalrymple, some additional particulars would be communicated to the public, I determined neither to reply to your explanation, nor to the other observations which you made upon what I advanced. In both instances I have been disappointed ; and shall therefore now shortly reply to those observations, and assure you, that, as you are well acquainted with mankind, I now begin to incling to the opinion, that you thought *iere might be some for whose benefit it was recessary to elucidate what was not ambiguous, and expound what was not mysterious.
And now this fustian stuff is done, Let's fairly to th’ argument come.
You ask was it a reasonable expectation ? First : If you mean by it, “ was the victory at Vin.iera such as to render reasonable the expectation generally entertained that an unconditional surrender would be the immediate result 2." I answer, no ; and from the general tendency of your observations in the Register, I should conclude that you are a convert to this negation, were it not impossible to deduce this inference from your statement, that the whole of Junot's force (14 000) was repulsed by part (9,000) of Sir Arthur Wellesley's army, announting to 18,000. Now, Sir, this is a phenomenon (if you please) in military aifa rs, for the existence of which a skilful tactician, even supposing the bravery of the contending granies to be equal, would experience no difficulty to account. But neither does necessity urge, nor inclination prompt me, to detail the demonstrations
than they would have been expelled by the .
the relative situation of the two armies, 4
of theory, or crowd your pages with mill
tary axioms. It is with peculiar satisfaction I admit, that the superior bravery as firmness of our troops repulsed the attacks of superior numbers of the French. Bit was their ability to do so first discovered r Withiera No. Fortunately many : *** have occurred, in which the is a sp., and resolution of Engli h troops have redered abortive the impetuous and vigous attacks of the French. They have res. where cautious prudence retreat, or advise surrender ; they has assailed, where cold calculation would p'odict defeat, or foretel destruction. 1 a. people of England well knew the charica. of their soldiers ; the retrospective view to their exploits was cheering and d lightfu but what reason was there to suppose thi they had degenerated 2 Was the spirit so courage, displayed by our soldiers at M. plaquet, at the commencernent of tie eighteenth century, less apparent at it: attack at Lincelles and other places, at a close 2 Was the glory acquired at Ailil, to obliterated at Maida 2 We were curroi with glory at Viniera—but obtained lost else. The battle of Alexandria was goes by our troops, in nearly the same prop o: to the French, as the battle of Vimieri, The retreat of the French in both cases : not prevented. Was the unconditional sus. render of Abdallah Menou's troops to immediate and necessary consequence Was it the eventual consequence after Sir David Bni d had joined with the Indian aim, i. and Ceneral Belliard had surrendered on Cairo, to the particulars of which o and the circumstances under which it wo negociated, I beg leave to refer you To return, however ; was it the immediate a and necessary consequence 2 No, and or a only possible reply is, that after the bato of Alexandria the English army receive: no rei., forcements; after the battle of W. mier, it did. Tilis reply concedes the point, that, with the troops Sir Arthur Wellesler, had at the battle of the 21st, it was not rea sonable to expect an unconditional surrendo We have now to examine, with the augmen. " tation of force on the part of the Englis,
nable to expect it, and shall now offer ch observations as your remarks on that iter seem to require. It is necessary to emise, that it was generally known that 1,000 men bad sailed for Portugal, yet till e news of the victory at Vimiera arrived, singuine expectations of unconditional trender were entertained by the public ; d that, at the time I wrote my former leto, no accounts had reached this country of
e numbers for which transports had been
manded. I purposely admitted as correct • number which you acknowledged Junot d re-conducted into Lisbon : I stated the inner in which I accounted for the numr of men Junot could collect ; it was what one could misunders' and or deny ; and I | continue to believe that Junot had 2009) on on whose active services he could rely. ru do not prove that there is even a strong bability of the contrary. I cannot avoid ressing my surprise that you should so far fe misunderstood as to misrepresent what tated with respect to the advantage to be ived from a superiority of numbers in a ckade. I started no difficulties, but even nted, that immediately after the battle of miera, “ the English army was enad to blockade him, and prevent his incorns into the country; Junot could not in meet them in the field." Further ement is unnecessary. I shall now coner what you advance respecting the advane to be derived from a superiority of mbers in a storm, remiuding you that I on aid : “I do not mean to insinuate tour troops could not reduce Junot, but ir amounting to 30 000 men would not vent a great effusion of blood.” Estiting, then, the actual military force of ant at only 20,000 men, and increasing • 30,000 English troops in the proportion 14 to 0, the ratio established at Vimiera, i which is conceding to you every advanfe you can possibly expect from your ar. ment, we shall gain an additional force of ,000 imaginary met, phantasmagoria sol•rs, Philipstal hussars, phantoms who >uld have been a long time in clearing reubts, ramparts, counterscarps, &c. and ye done little to enable our 30,000 subintial English soldiers to possess themselves Junot's intrenchments. [“Risum teneatis, aici 2".) It is important however to be seris in considering a serious subject. t us e form and substance to airy nothing. t us suppose that 30,000 English soldiers ntain materials sufficient for the manuto re of 50 000 Frenchmen : here, then,
CCO Frenchmen in intrenchments have resist the attack of 59,009 Frenchmen.
tion which secured to them very considerable advantages to small bodies of men shut up in forts not more formidable than those of Portugal, the greater part of which wou sny, if your information is correct, were things to be taken by storm with perhaps the loss of a thousand men for each attack. --Bravo ' Mr Col, bett Excellent weli Let the public read this, and every cool reslecting man will be vexed that he has so if red his feelings to get the better of his judgn:ent, that he anticipated what was either impossible or what policy could not justify. I have a strong suspicion, that, with all your pretended contempt for the learned languages, you are well acquainted with the classics, and that, in writing the preceding sentence, you had in view the followin passage of Cicero de Oratore : “ Si quae premat res vehementius, ità cedere solere, ut non mcdo non abjecto, sed ne rejecto quiden sento fugere videar; sed adhibere quandum in diceado speciem atque pomp m et pugnac similem sugam.” The application is not difficult; and proceed to reply to what you alvance respecting the successful defence of Saragossa and Valencia. You say it has not been owing to the strength of the place, but to the strength and courage of the defenders. I thought I had provided against an answer of this sort by instancing the defeat of the defeat of the Spaniards at Rio Seco by a third of their number; and it so happened, that the undisciplined defenders of these places were vanquished in the field, com