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cape, if possible, from being sharers in its engaged in a contest which is without a catastrophe. In support of these opinions parallel in the history of the world. It is they now appeal to events. Hope, they ibe assertion of their historians, and I recontends has vanished, and that there member, that it is repeated by Dr. Rois no longer room for prediction, but that bertson, without any expression of their history has already recorded, and that in disbelief, that the expulsion of the Moors, letters of blood, the fate that awaits our which took place so late as in the reign perseverance. They admit, indeed, that of our Henry 7th, was the fruits of seven the consideration of what plans we are to centuries of fighting uninterrupted, and of pursue, is inseparably connected with the 3,600 battles, and in most of which I bepolicy of what we have hitherto adopted. lieve the Spaniards had been defeated. And that to Portugal alone, we cannot con- In the beaten but persevering Spaniards fine our view, but that it is for the penin- of these days, I think we may trace the sula we have fought, and that it is on the descendants of these peculiar warriors, as prospects of the peninsula we are now to easily as we recognise the sons of the condeliberate.-It is easy to pass over a coun- querors of Cressey and of Agincourt in the try, and to say " it is all barren,” it is easy English who fought at Talavera. We may for a gentleman from Waterford, to cha trace the same individual fortitude, and paa racterise the Spanish nation as freebooters lience, the same enthusiastic superstition, and plunderers, and for others to pro- the same persevering insensibility of fainounce them in a mass, to be soldiers in lure, and, I will add, the same absolute indifdisunion or patriots in disgust. To me ference as to liberty,constitution, or cortes these wholesale opinions appear not that distinguished the expellers of the merely unfounded but unsafe; to me I Moors. It is too much, (because we feel and confess the aspect of the peninsula ap acknowledge that freedom is the first of pears nothing less than an enigma, which blessings) it is too much to say that other it is no reflection on any ministers not nations are to be raised in arms by no perfectly to have understood; a revolution other motives than its influence. The bursting out at a period the least expected, history of Europe and of England should exhibiting events in its progress, the most have taught us, that there is another spirit singularly contradictory and pregnant prompting men to war, and which once with results, which I still think no man poured als Europe forth in the Crusades; living can foresee.--If on the one hand and however we may pronounce on the we are referred to the apathy of Gallicia motives of our ancestors, the fact we canduring the retreat of sir John Moore, if not deny, that the greatest spectacle of we are denied to remember Ocana and embattled nations ever exhibited on the Tudela, and all the other scenes of the theatre of war, was under governments defeats which the Spaniards have endured, and systems which indeed were not worth and endured without despondency, must the defending. But because we can look we not in candour remember that there back with wonder on the conduct of our was a battle of Baylen, and a battle of ancestors, is that a reason why the SpaniValencia ? are we to shut our eyes to the ards, who are to the full as ignorant, and extraordinary phenomenon, that in Cata far more barbarous, should not be actuated Jonia, the very next province to France, by similar motives !--Sir, I believe, we the French, at this hour, appear to be as might more accurately consider the in. often the besieged as the besiegers; and habitants of the peninsula, first, as a mulcan we forget Saragossa and Gerona? Sir, titude of hardy and patient peasantry, they never shall be forgotten; but above buried in ignorance and superstition, and all, shall we not do justice to that singular peculiarly accustomed from their cradles obstinacy, to give it no more glorious a by the traditions and the songs of their character, which has sustained their spirit ancestors, to consider the sword as the naunder two hundred defeats, and which in tural companion of the cross; and almost every period of the history of Spain, has inseparably to connect in idea the deformed its distinguishing characteristic? fence to their religion, with the slaughter It is the boast of Englishmen, that they of their enemies; and with these predisinherit and exhibit the spirit of their an- positions goaded into madness by sixteen cestors, who fought under our Henrys myriads of ecclesiastics, as ignorant almost and our Edwards. In candour we should as their flocks; but without an idea or a remember that during the same period, wish for freedom, with Fernando Settimo the forefathers of those Spaniards were in their mouths, as an unmeaning watchword, and fighting, if you will, for the con- justification of a battle by the mere fruits tinuance of the Inquisition. And with of victory, yet even on this ground I must these qualifications it is my most firm contend that never were there laurels the conviction, that they would have over- more opposite of barren, than those which whelmed all the armies of France, but that we all admit to have been reaped by our it was their misfortune to be cursed with countrymen in Spain. We, indeed, wanted a nobility in all respects the opposite of not to be convinced, that our army, equally the peasantry I have described, differing as our navy, equalled in science and exfrom them, not merely in their moral ceeded in courage, that of any other naqualities, but even in their physical ap- tion in the world; but if we have any pearance; a nobility of various degrees of anxiety for our character with other worthlessness, but with a few brilliant ex armies, if reputation is strength, and if the ceptions, generally proportioned to the reputation of a nation, as well as of an in. rank of their nobility, and further cursed dividual, consists not in the estimation in by a government, (I speak not of their which it holds itself, but in the estimation kings but of the Junta,) both in its form in which it is held by others, is a false and in its substance, the most abominable vanity, to cause us to shut our eyes and that ever repressed or betrayed the ener. cars to the opinions of other nations, Sir, gies of a nation. Hence desperate from I say, without much fear of contradic. repeated treason, destitute of confidence tion, that in the beginning of these not in themselves but in their commanders, events, Spain at least had been conunable to stand before the French in battle, vinced by the exertions of her governbut still more unable to abstain from fight- ment, misrepresenting our failure at Buoing. A very serious task it was for England nes Ayres, and other scenes of our misfor. to determine what to do with such mate- tunes, that Great Britain, omnipotent by rials. One rare and unquestionable fea- sea, was ever ridiculous on land. So ture they presented, a nation that would much so, that when the army of general fight with France, and however some may Spencer was landed near Cadiz, than deplore the events that have taken place, which a finer army never left the Eng. certain I am, that if we had not, at least, lish shore, it was the wonder as well as tried the experiment of fighting by their the pity of the Spaniards, that such side, these very men who now most loudly noble-looking soldiers should be so abcondemn the course we have pursued, solutely incapable of fighting; the“ beauwould be calling for the impeachment of tiful” army was even the emphatic denothese ministers who had neglected such mination by which the British forces were glorious opportunities; who in the crisis of distinguished; and when sir John Moore the fate of France had shrunk from the was known to be at length on his march, only field where there was a prospect of that the beautiful army, the “ hermoso contending with success; who had coldly exercito" was actually advancing, was a refused our aid to the only allies who were subject of Spanish surprise, at least as much ever worthy of British co-operation. Sir, of Spanish' exultation, but when that I think it is too much an habit to call for army had commenced its retreat, old imthe fruits of our battles, tacitly assuming pressions were revived with tenfold force, that nothing but the absolute and complete hermoso' was no longer the epithet beattainment of our object can justify having stowed on it, but one which it is impossifought them. I confess I take a different ble for me to repeat. Nor let it be said, view of this subject; that men should that Corunna was a full vindication of its foresee events and command fate is im fame. We, indeed, know that British possible : it is enough for me, if under the heriosm never shone more conspicuous circumstances when the decision was than on that day, but the ray of glory adopted, there were grounds sufficient to which illuminated that last scene of our decide fair judging men to resolve on as- retreat, was but feebly reflected through sisting with a British army, the cause of the the rest of Spain from that distant part of peninsula; and if that resolution being the peninsula; the French returned in once taken, there was enough to decide a triumph to Madrid, and boasted they had prudentcommander to advance from the sea driven us into the sea,' it was certain we shore, and share ihe fortune of our allies. were no longer on the land, and under I cannot therefore subscribe to the phrase such circumstances it is not surprising that of the barren laurels' of our victories; yet a nation, which like Spain, must feel conwbile l never can agree to measure the scious that it is in the daily habit of assum.
ing victory to itself on the lightest | avoided by their predecessors, and have grounds, should have declined to have brought our armies to a meeting with the given to us all the credit which we really finest armies of France; and after lamentdeserved. Some gentlemen, I see, are of ing the heroes that have fallen, may we opinion that is no great matter what the not reflect that the heroes who survive, Spaniards thought about us, but are we by the mere consciousness of their own equally indifferent to the opinions of the excellence, form a more efficient strength French ? Let us not too hastily conclude than while their numbers were entire ? that they did full justice to our me. This sentiment will be communicated to rits. We are told, indeed, that at Maida their comrades who shall join them in and in Egypt we had set that point at arms, and justifies me, I think, in conclud. rest. Of the first, I shall only say, that it ing, that the present ministers have added is within the last month that it has been, more to our strength, as well as to our for the first time, mentioned in any news- glory, by fighting in Spain, than their paper of France, and that I believe nine predecessors by abstaining from it in PoTenths of the French soldiers have never land.--Such is the view which I take of heard either of the battle, or of the exis- what is past: With respect to the second tence of such a place; and as to Egypt, point, whether the time is indeed come, surely every gentleman who has con- when our further assistance can only be versed in France upon that subject, must destruction to ourselves, without being have found that their opinion is univer- serviceable to our allies? I cannot but sally that which general Regnier in his express a more hesitating opinion; but most able, but untrue representation, of this, I say, a very little time must shew us those events has laboured to impress, that; and if there are indeed good grounds of namely, that the treachery of Menou, and hope, any premature expression of our dethe detestation in which the army held spondency will certainly extinguish them. the service in Egypt, and their anxiety to The Junta is at length fortunately demo. return to France, were the real causes of lished. The French are again dispersed their expulsión; and that an overwhelming over every part of the peninsula, the peo force of ninety thousand men, of English, ple are still every where in arms, and pe. Turks, and Indians, which he says, and culiarly unsubdued in those provinces, which they believe, we brought against the largest in possession of the French them, furnished a decent excuse for their Let us not damp that spirit which may surrender. Let us remember too, that it still effect much, and which must effect was after these proofs of British military something, which must at least give long excellence, that Buonaparté, on the heighis employment to the forces of our enemy. of Boulogne, parcelled out in promise to „On this subject of thus employing our his soldiers the estates of the nation bou. enemy, I confess I agree with the hon, tiquiere'; let us remember also our own gent, who has last spoken, that, if indeed opinions in those days, how general én- it depended solely upon us, whether out engagements were to be avoided; how a allies should continue that sacrifice of system of bush fighting was to be adopted blood, which they have so profusely in Kent; and our hopes that England shed, I should not think us justifiable in might be saved after London might be lost, purchasing our quiet at such a price; but or what inundations we should make to convinced as I am on the contrary, that protect it. Such language was then term- whether we stand by them, or whether ed caution,' but on the proud eminence on we forsake them, those gallant nations which we are now placed, we may afford will still continue to bleed at every pore. to acknowledge there was in it some mix. I say that under such circumstances, our ture of distrust in the good old bayonet of assistance assumes a new character, and Britain.
are the promises of that independent of the advantages to be Buonaparté now? The very ridicule of derived to ourselves ; independent of, I besuch assertions; ridicule, perhaps the liere, 200,000 Frenchmen already fallen ; only restraint of such a despot, would ren independent of not, less than 300,000 der it impossible for him to repeat them. more required even to preserve existence Sir, it is these guilty ministers who have in the peninsula; independent of Brazil taught to him, and what I think of much and South America, for ever severed from more consequence, have taught to Eng- our enemies; and independent of the fleets land, another stile of conversation. They of the peninsula, I trust rescued from their have fairly tried that point, so carefully grasp ; independent of these gains to our
selves, there is another feeling binding | Portuguese troops in case of ill success. upon a nation, as well as upon an indivi- He should be glad to know, whether he dual, not to forsake our friend because he meant to bring them here, or to send them is in his greatest danger.-Still, however, to Ireland. Was it wished to send Roman I acknowledge a limit there must be, be- Catholic soldiers there? If so, it was only yond which we cannot go, and whenever in the extremes of bigotry that ministers we can agree in declaring that
could find security. He would ask miFunditus occidimus neque habet Fortuna regressum, nisters whether they had employed transthen, indeed, the first laws of self-pre- ports to carry away our cavalry from servation will call on us to discontinue thence? In this service our money would the contest. But surely Great Britain be better employed. If we sent an army will not utter such a sentiment until her to Portugal, it must be able to take the allies shall be disposed to join in it. They field independently, and without occasion do not despair, and I will never despair of for assistance. When he saw ministers them so long as they do not despair of going to commit extravagancies like the themselves, so long as I should leave it in present, he thought that that House should their power to say to us at a future day, interfere to prevent the effects of such " whence these chains? If you had stood insanity. As to any benefit to be derived firm a little longer, if you had not so soon from these levies against the common fainted, we should not at this day be in enemy, he fully concurred in opinion with the power of our enemies.".
the gallant officer who had just sat down, Gencral Ferguson rose to make a few He had, indeed, never heard of any observations upon the subject under dis-achievement performed by the Portuguese, cussion. Much had been said by the with the exception of that in which 2,000 right bon. gent. who brought forward the men, headed by the bishop of Oporto, Resolution, of the importance of taking entered Oporto and took 24 Frenchmen 30,000 Portuguese troops into British pay. prisoners. The idea of retaining Portugal, As he had been in that country, he therefore, appeared to him to be quite thought it his duty to tell the House what chimerical; while our keeping up a force he had reason to believe on the subject. there would be attended with enormous In the first place, then, he did not think expence. Indeed, he had lately seen a there were 30,000 soldiers in Portugal : military memoir, presented to Louis XIV. those that were there, had, certainly, by at the time of the contest for the Spanish the exertions and skill of general Beres. succession, from which it appeared, that ford, and other British 'officers, attained our maintaining a force in Portugal, withan appearance of discipline; but he out advancing into Spain, was the very feared that an army adequate to the task course of policy which it was considered of now defending Portugal, must be able for the interest of the French that our to make a stand in the first instance, and government should pursue ; and it would if obliged to retreat, must still, as oppor. not be denied that there was a considerable tunity offered, return to the charge, and analogy between the conduct of that war thus make resistance after resistance. He and of the present. was decidedly of opinion, from what he Mr. C. Beresford thought he should not had seen and heard of them, that on the do his duty, if he silently passed by a very first defeat, the little discipline of disparagement of the bravery and exertion the Portuguese army would vanish, and of a nation, which, if we did not assist, a dispersion would be the consequence. must be reduced to the necessity of having
Mr. Fitzgerald said, that with respect its troops disbanded. The hon. gent. then to the character of the Portuguese nation, mentioned the connection which the emhe agreed with the gallant general who peror of France was about to form, and had just sat down. If they were insensi- which he thought could not fail to affect ble to loyalty, religion, and the love of the politics of Europe : and this surely country, when that country was first was not a time for us to abandon a faithful invaded by the enemy, he would have no ally. He should therefore vote for the opinion of them even under British motion. officers. This very circumstance must Lord Milton had approved of our shew them that they had not a man in original interposition in the cause of their own country who could lead an Spain; but he disapproved of the conduct army. He begged to ask the right hon of the war, and particularly of the system gent. where he meant to remove the now proposed, which would convert us jato principals, instead of acting merely, himself to assent to such a motion; and, as auxiliaries. In fact, if this system were among many other reasons, for these two, acted upon, the Portuguese must rasher which were obvious; first, that we had consider us as fighting for ourselves than not a million of money to spare; and sefor them, and what degree of efficient condly, that if we even had, this was not zeal were they likely to feel in such a the way in which we ought to dispose of eontest? But, with what prospects of it. For any efficient purpose of war, he success could we in the present situation really believed that 3,000 British soldiers of affairs upon the peninsula, any longer would be of more use than 30,000 Portu. persevere in such a contest? With the guese, and why, then, should the country French under the walls of Cadiz, and with be burthened for the support of such a all the circumstances of the peninsula in force ? He very much doubted whether view, how could any reasonable man be our conduct towards both the Spaniards reconciled to vote a million of the public and Portuguese, was not calculated to inmoney for the purpose referred to in the duce an opinion among those people that motion ? But if success were even prac- every thing was to be done for them and ticable, was it wise to vote such a grant nothing by them. It would probably for such a purpose ? It had often been the have been better if not a single British practice of this country to subsidize regiment had been sent to the peninsula, foreign troops ; but, he believed, that it and that means had been taken to excite never before entered the head of any these people to struggle for themselves, English statesman, to grant subsidies to a than to take so much of the struggle into Portuguese force, to those, in fact, among our own hands. Too much money, perwhom the materials for an army could haps, had been furnished to them. They not be found.
ought to have been urged to look to their Mr. Tierney spoke against the motion, own exertions, and if an adequate spirit and proposed an amendment, That the had existed, they would have found gold chairman should leave the chair, report themselves, or created a substitute for it, progress, and ask leave to sit again. as was the case in the popular struggles of
Lord Desart vindicated the character of America and France. Throughout the the Portuguese people, among whom, he whole of the contest he thought that the contended, there had been many noble people of Spain and Portugal had been displays of genuine patriotism and mili- encouraged too much to look to this countary spirit. In proof of this, he could try, and too little to themselves. This refer to many officers who had bad op- was a mischief which, as far as was pracportunities of observation, and particu- ticable, ought to be remedied. But for Jarly to sir Robert Wilson, for whose con- this purpose the present motion was ill duct at the head of the Portuguese troops, calculated, because it proposed that we it would be recollected that there was should become principals in the war, and before the House a notice of motion for a take the Portuguese people into our pay. vote of thanks.
Where, however, he would ask gentlemen, Mr. Bankes approved of the amend- were the means to be found of advancing ment; and if it had not been put, he should this payment ? He begged it to be consinot have hesitated to give a direct nega dered that only 125,000l. in gold and tive to the original motion. He lamented silver could by any means be procured to the state of difficulty and embarrassment pay our troops in the Expedition to in which the House was placed by this Walcheren; and it should be borne in motion--but that state was owing to the mind, that money must be sent to Portuconduct of ministers. It must be in the gal; for that alone, particularly in the remembrance of many gentlemen who event of invasion, could serve for the pay, heard him, that this project of a Portu. ment of our military force. Paper would guese levy was first formed in November, not answer. In the present scarcity of 1808; yet not a word about it was men- bullion then, he requested the particular tioned in the subsequent sessions, nor until consideration of the committee to this very. lately, when the project was, it ap- point. The enemy were now, perhaps, peared, but very imperfectly carried into in the possession of Cadiz, which in fact execution. In fact, the House was called escaped immediate capture only through upon for a vote to provide for 30,000 men, an accident. All the calculations of mi. before any of that body appeared to have nisters had been disappointed. All their been raised. But he could never persuade predictions were falsified; even that of