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tingling in our ears the scornful criticism which some parliamentary campaigners made on the 'extraordinary assertion of General Wellesley:' but General Wellesley was destined, within four years, to prove by experience the justice and accuracy of his prior opinion. In 1811, the armies of France and England had exchanged their positions ; Massena was to invade, and Wellesley was to defend the same ground which Junot had before to defend from Wellesley's attack. The result was the brightest page in the career of the Unconquered, which neither accident nor fortune could have produced, and which was at once the result and the proof of his wonderful military foresight. He retreated to those very lines of Torres Vedras, and there substantiated his evidence given in the Court of Inquiry, by baffling and defeating the greatest force and the ablest general that France had ever sent to the peninsula.
But there is another circumstance which, as Mr. Southey observes, should be considered before the Convention is so absolutely censured. Its terms included the surrender of the frontier fortresses held by the French, and which it is very doubtful whether the entire defeat of Junot would have reduced to submit. If they had not been evacuated as they were under the Convention, they might have held out until the enemy, after dispersing the Spanish armies in the following December, would have relieved them; and thus a way would have been opened for the capture of Lisbon at a time when there were neither preparations nor means of resistance. There was also no unreasonable apprehension for the danger to which subsequent events might have exposed the capital; and on a calm review of all the circumstances, we are of opinion that the Convention was perfectly justifiable. Though censured at home, the capitulation of Junot created a great sensation in France, and in every part of the Continent; and who will now venture to say, that the position of Torres Vedras, which baffled Massena, might not have enabled Junot to retrieve his loss, and to obscure for a time the fulness of that glory which has since irradiated the rescued peninsula?
Over the remainder of this deeply interesting volume, we must be contented to hasten in a few words. The period which it embraces extends to the opening of the year 1809* and comprehends the entrance of Buonaparte into Spain, preceded by above 100,000 fresh troops; the resumption of offensive operations by the French in the month of October, 1808, the repeated and total defeat of all the Spanish armies which had been assembled around the French positions near Vittoria; the re-capture of Madrid by the invaders; and our first campaign, under Sir J. Moore, in Spain; the whole closing with the battle of Coruiia.
Disclaiming the ability to follow our author in a few pages through the various and complicated operations of the numerous
F 2 French French armies against the disjointed, ill disciplined, and often ill conducted corps which the patriots were able to oppose to them; we shall be satisfied with expressing our favourable opinion of the clearness and method with which he has conducted a most intricate narrative; and with regard to the subsequent and, to us as a nation, most painfully interesting part of Mr. Southey's subject— the disastrous retreat to Coruna,—the details have already been so carefully examined, and our sentiments on them so fully expressed in one of the earliest Numbers of this journal,* that it cannot be requisite, even could we afford space for the occasion, to repeat either the investigation or the result, in this place. Yet, after the lapse of twelve years we may be permitted to observe, that, looking back on the opinions which we then held, we can discover no reason to modify or change them. Whoever peruses the lucid narrative of Mr. Southey, and remembers our strictures, will have no hesitation in pronouncing that the convictions which we ventured to express, when such things were but subjects of eager and angry discussion, have now calmly subsided into matters of history; and, fully and freely as the historian must award to the memory of Sir John Moore the praise of upright and zealous intentions, and unbounded personal gallantry,—that a tendency to believe in French invincibility thwarted his judgment and fettered his exertions; and that the rapidity and disorder of his retreat through a series of almost impregnable fastnesses, which resulted from this unhappy opinion, will ever be numbered among the misfortunes and errors of our first Spanish campaign.
To the excellencies of this part of the history of the Peninsular war for which we are indebted to Mr. Southey, we have borne testimony in the course of our remarks; and we know not how we can generally sum up its merits in a higher eulogium, than by repeating, that it is in every respect fitted to maintain, and even to extend the reputation of the author. But it is necessary to observe, that in some instances we cannot approve the arrangement of the materials which have crowded upon him: this is, indeed, but a minor blemish, and we point to it with the less reluctance, because, as the work is still in progress, opportunity is afforded for their correction both in the compilation of succeeding volumes, and in future editions of this. It appears to us that Mr. Southey has often unnecessarily lengthened the thread, and thus weakened the strength of his narrative, by the introduction into the text, of entire proclamations, manifestoes, and other state papers, of which his readers would be better satisfied that he should have given the substance only, compressed and abridged according to the relative importance and interest of the documents. We could, for ex
• Quarterly Review, No. III. pp. 203—234.
ample, ample, among other things, have very well spared many of the proclamations of provincial juntas from the text; and if it was not desirable to omit the translation of them altogether, retaining only a passing notice of the spirit of the contents and of their effect upon the people, they would at least have been more appropriately ranged in an Appendix. We make, not without hesitation, the same observation on the frequent introduction of matter of another description, which, though highly entertaining and amusing, is extraneous to political or military history. Mr. Southey's mind is so richly stored with the treasures of Spanish literature; the romantic chronicles, the religious legends, the wild traditions of Spanish lore, the deep seated superstitions, the local associations, the ancient and the present manners and feelings of the people are all so familiar to him, that it would seem as if the temptation to dwell on them were irresistible, whenever the casual mention of church or convent suggested the legend of its saint, or the scene of modern events recalled the memory of' the olden times.' It will easily be believed, that we are far from undervaluing the varied information, the elegant acquirement, and. the cultivated taste, by which Mr. Southey is so eminently distinguished; nor are we insensible to the pleasure which his manner of treating such subjects produces; but we doubt whether they do not occasionally retard the progress of the historical narrative, and whether many readers will not consider them rather as misplaced interruptions than ornaments. The relation of the siege of Zaragoza offers a remarkable illustration of this fact; in the midst of the beautiful chapter which he has devoted to that romantic episode in the war—when every feeling is wrought to intensity of expectation and sympathy—we are twice called upon to suspend our anxiety and restrain our impatience, while Mr. Southey takes occasion to relate popish legends, over which, curious and entertaining as they would elsewhere be, we are persuaded no reader at such a moment can willingly linger. We think too, that the story of the Portugueze is not so effectively told as that of the Spanish insurrection—this arises partly from the inferior interest of the events themselves; but, we think, there is also an abatement of animation in this part of the composition—the details are not only less striking, but they are more carelessly presented to the reader, and want that judicious combination into masses which would have given them both importance and interest. This is, however, a slight blemish in the midst of so many beauties of a superior class; so very slight indeed is it, that a very little trouble would remove it altogether; some compression, and a few ' rapprochemens,' Would give to this portion the same noble energy of march and the same fervid interest which transports the reader through the other divisions of the subject.
Art. IV. A Historical and Topographical Essay upon the Islands of Corfu, Leucadia, Cephalonia, Ithaca and Zante; with Remarks upon the Character, Manners and Customs of the Ionian Greeks: Descriptions of the Scenery and Remains of Antiquity discovered therein; and Reflexions upon the Cyclopean Ruins. By William Goodisson, A. B. Assistant Surgeon in His Majesty's 75th Regiment. London. 18'23.
'11HIS unpretending little volume contains matter not unworthy -*■ the attention of the scholar and the antiquary; and even the political economist may derive some advantage from the view which it takes of the past and present state of the Ionian islands: for our immediate purpose, however, the latter is the only portion to which we more particularly desire to direct the attention of our readers.
We are not over solicitous to meddle with the character or conduct of individuals, not feeling it to be any duty of ours to step forward in defence of every public man who may become the object of libels and misrepresentations; and well knowing that, under a free government and a free press, calumny is a tax that men in high official situations must submit to pay, and which presses heavier in proportion as they are eminent. There are cases, however, in which we conceive ourselves called upon to depart from this rule; and one of these is now before us, in which gross and unfounded calumnies have been circulated with a cold, malignant and obstinate perseverance, against an old and meritorious servant of the crown, and, through him, against the national character and honour. We allude to the rancour which, in various shapes, has, for the last five years, unremittingly pursued Sir Thomas Maitland, in his character of Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands: and as we profess to have some knowledge both of the governor and the governed, we think it due to the individual who has been calumniated, to the government whose measures have been misrepresented, and to the public who have been deceived, to state the real merits of the case, and to refute, as we trust we shall be able to do, those slanders which, in our opinion, have been suffered to remain too long unanswered, through the same channel (the press) in which they are conveyed.
From the first moment that General Sir James Campbell took possession of Corfu, as Commissioner for the four great Allied Powers, the most active intrigues were set on foot, chiefly by a few persons who had hitherto exercised an overweening influence on the island, with the view of creating a distrust in the British government, and of persuading the people, that the islands must ultimately fall to Russia; since the Emperor Alexander, swayed
by the representations of his minister, a native Ionian, would never suffer them to remain under the dominion of any other power, and least of all under that of Great Britain. The first operation of this faction was to procure a petition to be presented to the House of Commons, in the name of a Count Cladan, (one of the greatest miscreants that ever lived,) complaining of the conduct of General Campbell in the most gross and abusive language. Mr. Henry Grey Bennet, by whom it was presented, ignorant no doubt of the character of this Ionian count, seemed to give countenance to the calumnies it contained; which, added to the constant state of irritation and anxiety occasioned by his troublesome subjects, had such an effect on the honourable mind of General Campbell, as, in the opinion of his friends, to contribute in no slight degree to his death. The petition was sent back to enable Sir Thomas Maitland to inquire into the allegations; but the infamous accuser had by this time disappeared, and nobody knew what was become of him.
Though this first petition produced nothing that could gratify the disaffected party, they still continued to encourage the most sanguine expectations of a change; the rapid succession of different systems had led them to believe that no government could be permanent. The Treaty of Paris of 1815, however, put an end to all these hopes; and then it was that the most active and determined opposition was set up by these malecontents to every measure and person connected with the protecting government; they misrepresented all its views and intentions, mistated facts and proceedings, and perverted the obvious meaning of every public document. Falsehoods the most absurd and groundless were invented to serve their purpose. It was stated, for instance, that, among other miseries and oppressions which the Ionians were suffering from their protectors, 'the plague had actually and designedly been imported by them into Corfu, with the view of reducing the people to such a state of despondence and entire submission, as to allow the Lord High Commissioner to avoid the fulfilment of such parts of the treaty as were not exactly to his liking.' Perceiving their political influence and individual advantages slipping from them, the party, joined by the farmers of the revenues and the spoliators of the church property, framed a memorial of their' grievances, which they transmitted to the Russian minister; who, however, either from the situation in which he stood, or from his knowledge of the character of his countrymen, seems to have exercised a due discretion, by taking no further steps in the matter: he must have felt, no doubt, how unbecoming it would have been in him to interfere, after the Emperor his master and the other powers concerned had ' renounced
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