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but even now the common vocabulary | lential marshes of Walcheren! The camcould not supply him with a phrase paign of the noble lord, indeed, disdained strong enough to express his ridicule of any limitations of time; he “ was not then; he had absolutely coined a new bound to a day.” There was a slight difword 10 express his disregard of the evi. ference in this respect between the plan dence of sir W. Erskine it was said the of gen. Brownrigg and his ; the gallant noble lord) grotesque” and “chival general was bound to a day-all his success rous.” Grotesque was a term applied to depended upon being in such a place on a testimony not very intelligible and cer. certain day; and most dismally for his tainly not familiar in the courts. It might campaign, did it fall out that he could not be dullness of comprehension in him, but in the nature of things by possibility, arhe really did not comprehend the mean- rive at that place on that day. He would ing of it.
“ Chivalrous,” however, as for instance, in the arduur of his fancy, might be sir W. Erskine, he was content buoy the river and convey the whole to take him as commander of his army, fleet up the Scheldt channel in a few he would give gen. Brownrigg to the hours. This it required fully a week at noble lord, and they would take the field least to accomplish; and thus the genethus arranged-he had no fear for the ral's famous plan fell to the ground, and issue; and be saw by the noble lord's for this simple reason, because it was im. smile, that he was willing to fight him on possible. Little mistakes in time would his own terms.
The evidence of his ge- not appear surprising. When the whole neral he must defend from the imputations channel was to be buoyed, the general cast on it; and he had no hesitation in said one day would finish the business ; pronouncing it as clear, distinct, and ery- but when the pilot was consulted, he redite, as any he had ever heard. It was quired a week for this purpose. He was now most consistently discredited, be- not disposed to deny gen. Brownrigg's cause it was true; and all his predictions integrity; but he could not avoid suswere ridiculed and denied, because every pecting the deficiency of his judgments. one of them had been calamitously re- Even in attempting to bear up before alized.
Flushing, the two admirals' ships ran The noble lord had very freely con- ashore; and had it not been for the panic demned gentlemen wbo differed from him of the enemy, might have been instantly on this most important question for con- consumed with red-hot shot. Who would ceiving speculative campaigns, and then believe then, that the gallant general, eninsisting that they should have been acted terprising as he was, could, possibly, in a on. He was content, however, to take few hours, convey up above one hundred the campaigns of the ministers themselves ships, through the more extended, more and to try them for their conduct by the intricate and consequently more difficult test of their own absurd projects. They navigation of the whole river. were two in number; the first was the There was, now that he had disposed of campaign of the noble lord and general the gallant general's most chimerical and Brownrigg, They cammenced most va- fanciful campaign, one circumstance in liantly. Our they went, fighting side by the evidence which he must allude to, and side, and bearing down every impedi- which, in his opinion, subjected the noble ment. Nothing could withstand them, lord to the most severe account and the until at last, unfortun itely, the noble lord heaviest responsibity. It appeared that advised the gallant general to take fire-lord Chatham did not know the situation brands, proceed up the Scheldt boldly, of the arsenals at Antwerp. Now, from and burn the ships" Indeed (said the intelligence laid before the secret Comgallant general) that is impossible, I am mittee, it was proved that the noble lord tired," and so 'ended the exploits of the did. What was the reason that he did combined commanders, and the glorious not, as in duty bound, inform lord Chathopes which they had originated. The ham? How would he answer to the coun: other campaign was that of gen. Crau- try for this most culpable neglect. How ford: and most valiantly did that hon. could the right hon. gent. avert the still general cut and dash at every thing which more serious responsibility of allowing came before him, and a most noble issue his incompetent colleague (as he con: had he conjured up; when, unhappily, ceived himn) to remain in office, and to the vision vanished, and the army ap- commit so flagrant a breach of his public peared at a stand, perishing in the pesti- duty ? He did not wish, indeed, to pro
duce any comparison between the noble Sir, (said Mr. W.) how your vigour was lord and the right hon. gentleman. The able to stand it, though my surprise is noble lord had most unquestionably much abated, when I consider the exerthrough the entire progress of tbis ques- tions which you are ever ready to make tion, conducted himself in the most candid for the general interest. I really, howand manly manner; he had declared he ever, had sunk into a slight oblivion during did not shrink froin responsibility, and he some of the sieges ; though, in truth, few had consistently voted for inquiry. The of them took much time. And, when I right hon. gent. on the other hand, had awakened to resume my services, bappen, affected candour, and acted with dupli- ing to ask from a friend near me, bow far city; he had pretended that he sought in- we had got"Oh, (said he) our general vestigation, and yet he voted steady and says, by God, he bias just taken Bergenstaunch against inquiry. He now, in-op-Zoom. Tuis oath would, he hoped, deed, talked of the benefits of this inquiry, never rise in judgment against the gallant when be could no longer avert its prose- officer, but be forgotten by the generosity cution, and pretended to panegyrise that of the angel alluded to by that interestwhich could have no good result, unless ing writer, whose pictures from nature the it involved him in merited condemnation. gallant officer's speech was strikingly cal. Since this inquiry had proceeded, he had culated to call to one's recollection. The only to regret that the names of the dif- gallant officer, whose services he knew ferent members did not go forth coupled and respected, was no doubt as tender, as with the questions which they had sepa- he professed to be of the blood of the sol. rately asked the witnesses : considering dier, as he was known from his conduct from whom many of the questions had upon service to be prodigal of his own. come, the effect would have been ex- The gallant officer however, might, liko tremely diverting. The noble lord, for Mr. Shandy, be anxious to mount his hobby instance, had asked captain Woodroffe horse upon military tactics. The siege (who had surveyed the whole country of Bergen op Zoom might be as familiar from the top of a church steeple,) what to his imagination as that of Namur was good he could foresee from the Expedi- to Mr. Shandy. But neither the gallant getion? The witness answered, “ none at neral nor his friends, the ministers, were all.” Foiled in this, the noble lord beg. fit to cope with Mr. Shandy. Mr. Shandy ged of every one to tell what a desperate bad plans of all the towns he had to invest, weapon Congreve's rockets were. Now but neither the gallant officer nor his this was hardly fair ; it was like a trades- friends had a single plan. The gallant man puffing off goods in which he had a officer, however, expressed a readiness to concern : but in the end, the noble lord forfeit his head if he could not accomplish made no use whatever of these destructive his whole project. But his head was pero instruments, in his speech. But what was fectly safe, for he might rely upon it, that the answer of Mr. Woodroffe with respect he would never be sent to put his project lo them? Why, that these rockets were to trial. No, the country had too much of deemed very troublesome things; but such trials to accede to another, and he that of their effects he knew nothing what- trusted the House was too sensible of the ever-and who did? Of this evidence, nature and consequence of the trial which however, the noble lord made no use, and had taken place, to accede to the gallant no one could see bis object in introducing general's amendment. What, after the it. The noble lord, indeed, seemed to farce and the tragedy which marked this have forgotten the greater part of the Expedition, was it possible that the House evidence and documents which he had could adopt the proposed ameodment, adduced himself. It did not suit his in- which would go to take away the very subterest to refer to them, and therefore he stratum of his noble friend's resolutions ? had most prudently abstained from touch- What, after the noble minister of war's ing upon that irrelevant part of the evi- frequent exhibition of an immense army, dence.
on paper, illustrated by the slow difficult He begged pardon of the hon. gent. op- preparations of a comparatively small posite (general Craufurd), but he really force.—The noble lord, could not therewas led away from his campaign by the fore so easily get rid of his responsibility. noble lord; but to tell the truth, he had He gave him the credit, indeed, of not indulged in a gentle slumber during part shrinking from it; he gave him also the of its fatigues. I have indeed wondered, credit of affording a full and complete pre
paration to the Expedition. The soldiers | agree to the gallant officer's amendment ? were well equipped, and the staff quite This document from the French officer completed. Even (said Mr. W.) even-was indeed a curious article of informathe city staff was perfect. The good tion for the noble lord to rely upon. city of London was represented by the was casually formed in 1808, and de. jolliest of her aldermen. (Loud laughing.) scribed the positions of the French army To him the noble lord paid the most mark- at that time. Yet this document was aded attention. He went to Deal. He was duced to justify a great military move. the last person he saw. Oh! how tender- | ment in 1810 ; because from some loose ly affecting was the interview! The fleet intelligence since obtained, it was infersailed-how sad was the parting! The red that nearly the whole of that army noble lord stood on the shore saluting the had gone to the Danube. Such was the jelly alderman, and catching his last nature of the intelligence upon which the sigh-when the worthy baronet, in the noble lord set our military resources in words of the ballad :
motion. But the noble lord would, it seems, “ Waved his lily hand,
call over the French emperor to bear tes. " And bid his noble friend adieu."
timony in favour of his character and the But at last the envious winds interfered policy of his arrangements. This call, -the Phenix spread her wings, and waft- however, the noble lord must expect now ed the turtles and the alderman to the to be answered according to the old adage, destined port. Last night (said Mr. W.) “ that he was married, and could not I looked about for him, when an allusion come.” And may that marriage, said the was made to the expence at which the hon. gent. be productive of general feli. city estimated the Expedition. The jolly city, by leading to that peace which baronet was away, but another kissed the France has so often attempted, in vain, to rod. He is also a baronet, but that is not establish with this country. sufficient to describe him, there are He had, perhaps not very consistently, many of them; he may be known, how- indulged in some farce on this subject : ever; his face is less round and less ruddy alas! he was now come to pure unmixed than the other. There were no less than tragedy: he was now come to a melanthree of them there huddled together on choly estimate of the prodigality of human the same bench-three baronets, all ele- life, and the wanton extravagance of vated for unheard-of-services. But he human happiness : he was come to consimust leave the aldermen, however reluct- der the cruelty of men who had sent our antly, and return once more to the noble troops to perish unnecessarily and inglolord. The army, it must be allowed, when riously in the most unhealthy climate in it did go, was fully completed in every the world, at its most pestilential season! thing; the more therefore the guilt of It had been said by way of extenuation of the noble lord and his colleagues, to send the conduct of ministers, that the last seait to a place where so many were certain son was remarkably rigorous: he had to of perishing, and consigned to a premature state, from good authority, that it was one and inglorious grave. They might have of the mildest ever known in Walcheren. saved them from that calamity, had they -As to the question of the gallant geneattended to the advice and opinions of the ral, whether the nation would consent to officers they insulted, by asking in mockery give up the West India Islands, because for their opinions, upon which they were their climate was unfavourable to the predetermined not to act. But the noble health of our troops, he would declare for lord dealt hardly by his witnesses, for himself, that he did not know whether he when they gave evidence, such as he would wish to occupy so many of these wished, he would have them believed: but islands. Certainly he never would conif they did not do that, he impeached their sent to retain St. Domingo, at the expence testimony. After the production of such of so many lives as the attempt to obtain witnesses as Mr. Coke, and Mr. Pole, to it had cost this country. Nor would he attest in fact, nothing at all, and the docu- assent to the detention of Walcheren, howment found upon the dead French officer ever important it might be deemed in any in Catalonia, to furnish satisfactory proofs point of view, even at the hazard of such of the noble lord's accuracy of intelligence sacrifices as that island had occasioned. -after the melancholy catastrophe of The retention, indeed, of this island was this ill-concerted and ill-executed Ėxpedifrom the beginning evidently impracticadion, was it possible that the House could ble. Our troops bad not been long there
when they actually became, from the pro- | tracted operations and suspended attacks. gress of disease, quite unfit for active ope- -Whatever might be said of the capture ration, even had the ulterior object of the of Fribourg and Ismael, that of Copenha. Expedition been attainable, and required gen was not surely a coup-de-main, although their aid for its accomplishment. In fact so denominated by the noble lord. As the unhealthy character of this island was well, indeed, might the attack made by not to be doubted. Let the House look to his friends and himself upon the ministers, the evidence of captain Puget, and to that if victorious upon this occasion, be consiof many others; let them look to sir Lucas dered a coup-de-main. They had opened Pepys, to him, who made such a curious their trenches upon the 23d of January, exhibition before the House, who, at first, against ministers; they had frequently stated that he did not know any thing of mounted the glacis, been victorious, and hospital diseases, and came back again to been repelled, but he hoped they would explain his meaning, that he did not know on this discussion finally triunph for the any thing of the internal arrangements of benefit of their country, still their triumph hospitals, as if that could be considered could not be deemed a coup-de-main, unhis original meaning. As, well, indeed, less in the noble lord's singular construcmight a man be supposed to look into a tion of the phrase. pair of empty jack boots to ascertain the Now, as to the retention of Walcheren, state of the legs which once wore them. be declared that he considered that unforBut, yet sir Lucas Pepys, as well as Mr. tunate proceeding attributable principally Keates and Mr. Knight, still asserted, that to the right hon. gent. who spoke last. the misfortune attached to the Expedition | He was to blame, for it was he, who, by owing to the progress of the disease at throwing the apple of discord among his Walcheren, was not attributable to them. colleagues, produced a degree of confuSurely then, this case ought to be inquired sion and disorder in their councils, which into, in order to ascertain the guilt." For unfitted them for some time for almost what guilt could be greater than that any measure of
In fact, as which led to such calamity?
soon as they recovered from that confuBut the noble lord, with his usual sin- sion, that ill-fated island was abandoneda gularity of phrase, called this a specula- The hon. gent. felt that much more might tive disease.' What did he mean by this ? be said upon the subject; but from the Was there any medical man so ignorant, late hour of the night, he was unwilling as not to know that the disease certainly to trespass farther upon the attention of awaited our troops, and was not that cer- the House. ---Exhausted as he then was, tainly soon experienced and fatally ascer- and as the House was, he should conclude tained ? The House had many returns be- by demanding their unanimous and prompt fore it, as to the progress of this disease ; decision. The nation demanded their debut did the noble lord know any thing of cision; the wreck of our brave army dethe state of the troops at this moment ? | manded it; the martyred thousands whom how few of them were now, or even likely we had left to rot in Walcheren demanded to become, fit for service? One fact alone it.-There is, indeed, (said Mr. W.) from which had come to his knowledge was the centre to the circumference of the sufficient to demonstrate the mischievous empire, ene, united, universal, heart-rendeffects of this distemper. Out of 128 men ing cry for justice. Give it then to the composing the light company of the 3rd supplications of the people; give it to the regiment of guards, all picked men, which sorrows of the army; give it as the last went out to Walcheren, not one man was consolation to the widows and orphans of now fit for duty, it being necessary, that the dead; Give it as a pledge of the hothose who survived should be nursed like nour and integrity of the living. To the children. Such then was the consequence people of England, and to the cause of of an Expedition, the main object of humanity, the punishment of those who which was to be achieved suddenly; was have created such enormous evil is a new to be done, as the noble lord termed it, cessary act of duty. The memory of the by a coup de main. But the noble lord dead, and the honour of the army call for had quite a peculiar conception of that vengeance upon the authors of this Expemilitary phrase, instead of regarding it as dition, and I trust in God that the House a prompt decisive effort of courage, he will attend to the call. really seemed to consider it as tantamount Captain Parker said a few words in vin. to a siege ; to the slow progress of pro- dication of the Expedition; after which
the House adjournedo
HOUSE OF LORDS.
pondence by the government of this Friday, March 30.
country, until the period when bis Majes
ty's present ministers, upon a former oc. [CAMPAIGN IN Spain.] Lord Grenville casion, yielded up their offices, and pubrose, in pursuance of his notice, to call lished without discrimination or selection, the attention of the House to certain parts a mass of correspondence with foreign of the correspondence respecting the powers, several parts of which ought never Campaign in Spain, which he contended to have been made public, and the publihad been very improperly made public. çation of which have tended materially He felt himself somewhat embarrassed to injure the interests and the character of with respect to the course he ought to the country. It was then in contemplation pursue his objection being to the publi- to have made a formal complaint to Parcity which had been given to certain parts liament of such extraordinary conduct, of the correspondence; but the mischief and he now most unfeignedly regretted which must arise from the disclosures that he did not upon that occasion agree, made through the strange, unaccountable that such a complaint should be made, as and unpardonable negligence with which it might have prevented a repetition of this correspondence had been thrown on conduct so unworthy and so disgraceful. the table, was, he was afraid, already He felt it to be now an imperative duty le done. This correspondence had been al- make a complaint against the ministers, ready printed and published through that for having published documents of a conHouse, to Europe and the world, and the fidential and private nature, tending to consequences would, he“ much feared, compromise the honour and character of prove highly injurious to the interests of the country, to betray its interests, and to the country. An inconvenience might endanger the lives of individuals. The sometimes necessarily arise with respect papers respecting the Campaign in Spain, to the conduct of negociations from ihat which had been delivered, were full of free discussion which was inherent in the passages which were most improper to be frame and essence of our constitution ; published. It surely ought to be consibut it was an inconvenience greatly over- dered as an incumbent duty of every gobalanced by the advantages derived to the vernment, to refrain from publishing any country from that free discussion. It was, remarks, tending to bring into discredit however, a sacred duty at all times incum: the general in the chief command of the bent upon the government, to take care troops of an allied power, still more to rethat this inconvenience should never be frain from publishing observations to this unnecessarily increased to the detriment effect, which were merely matter of opiof the interests of the country, and the in- nion, or at most but of loose suspicion. jury of its character amongst our allies. His noble friend who moved for these It was peculiarly a sacred duty in the papers had worded his motion so as to King's ministers io take care in the pub- leave to ministers the opportunity, as was lication of papers relative to negociations, their duty, of selecting such parts as were and connected with our transactions with consistent with public safety and indifriendly states, 1. That the public coun- vidual security ; that motion being for cils of their governments should not be copies and extracts. That House was ne betrayed, and that no improper reflections party, therefore, to these disclosures, nor he should be made public upon the govern- was sure, was his Majesty, when he grantments themselves. 2. That no publica- ed leave for their production ; but let the tion should be made of the quarrels or dis. House see what they contained. The unions of the leading persons of such go- whole tenor of them was to show the vernments, or of those confidentially em- wretched weakness of the Supreme Junta, ployed, by them. 3. It was, above all, a and especially to impugn the character and most sacred duty to take care that the conduct of the commander of the Spaniske safety and the lives of persons confiden- armies. Let their lordships turn over all tially employed by them, or on the part the proceedings of parliament, and they of this country, or from whom information could not find an instance in which, just was obtained, should not be lightly com- at the close of a campaign, a foreign compromised, or wantonly put to hazard. mander was thus brought before parlia
The principles of conduct, which this duty ment with whole pages of inrective against imposed, had been uniformly acted upon him. Such shocking injustice had 1106 in the publication of diplomatic corres before stained their proceedings. He knew