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GENERAL SIR THOMAS GRAHAM.
Sir Thomas Graham is a strong proof of the power of natural propensity, and the existence of innate talent; the existence of which has been held in doubt by Mr. Adam Smith, and most of thç fashionable philosophers of modern times*.
It has been held that education, or information obtained by means of the senses, constitutes almost the only difference between men, in regard to talents, abilities, and reasoning faculties.
* There are few stronger examples of natural genius, and innate propensities, than Mr. Smith himself, who surpassed, in his inquiry nto the nature and causes of the wealth of nations, all the writers on political economy that had gone beføre, or were his cotemporaries, though many amongst them had far better opportunities of under. standing the subject. Neither bis line of life, nor the country in which he lived, were the most fit for giving that knowledge in which he excelled. He did not collect it from men, nor from books, nor experience: it was in great part original, and the produce of his own genius. Were Sir Isaac Newton, or Lord Bacon, or Locke, or Hume, better educated than other men? Was Mr. Herschel educated half so well as half the men bred at the universities, who are not to be compared to him in any one way whatever? What was the education of Shakespeare:
It is not very necessary to trace the connection between this doctrine, and that of materialism, for that is pretty evident; but it
well to shew the absurdity of a doctrine of which this able and brave general is a strong example.
Mr. Graham of Balgowan was only distinguished, in the early part of his life, for elegance of manners, an uncommonly correct taste in literature, and, in general, a love of the arts. Having occasion to go to Italy, for the health of one of the most amiable of wives, whom he had the misfortune to lose in the early part of the revolution, his mind became incapable of enjoying quiet and repose in still life. He songht relief for his 'secret grief, not in the misery of others, (for never man had a heart more alive to compassion), but in scenes that interest the mind, and call it from the melancholy contemplation on a past object of affection, that is lost, to scenes where attention might solace the mind, by consciousness of actual utility. Mr. Graham elucidates what Pope says -
The same adust complexion has impelled
Charles to the convent, Philip to the field. He took refuge from his grief in Toulon, when besieged, and there he, though no military man, gave assistance, the value of which was appreciated at the time, and acknowledged afterwards. That place surrendered to the enemy;
Mr. Graham still finding that post equitem sedet atra cura, took refuge a second time in a besieged city, and Mantua served to gratify his turn for the military art, and to occupy
mind*. At Mantua, as at Toulon, his military genius assisted, while his liberal mind, and ample fortune, administered all the relief to the suffering inhabitants that could be procured in so circumscribed and painful a situation, till that strong fortress fell. Though his genius was prized, and his services appreciated, yet being of a line of politics in opposition to ministers, neither the one nor the other met with any reward, till, by perseverance, he obtained a
* Nothing is tnore natural than for a good man, of fine feelings, to seek solace froin living active sorrow and grief, where his participation may be of some use. Barren sorrow for a dear object irretrievably gone is the most insufferable of all mental sensations, and nature, in pity to mankind, makes it, in general, of short dura+ tion; but, unfortunatély for Mr. Graham, that was not his case, and he had no reniedy but to seek for some interesting object. Ordinary men, with his ample fortune, would have sought relief in gaming, or hunting, or in dissipation; but " Mr. Graham cared for none of these things."
regiment, with the rank of colonel; and he at last fought his
till he became a general officer.Once more it was his - fortune to be in a besieged city, and assist in preserving the liberties of the oppressed and much injured people of Spain. On every occasion he displayed abilities of the first rate, and a mind superior to every difficulty; and the whole nation was proud of his conduct at the battle of Barossa, one of the most perilous in which British troops were ever engaged, and from which they came off victorious, by an uncommon display of abilities, courage, and conduct.
, At last this general became the companion in arms of the brave Wellington, one of the ablest captains of the age, and had the glory of assisting in expelling the French from the peninsula of Spain.
It was in that fine, and much injured country, that French audacity first met with a check, and that the revolutionary armies found a foe that converted their glory into shame, and taught the world to know that they were not invincible.
The bayonet was used now to wrest from the oppressors of mankind victories obtained by the practice of intrigue, and the use of gun-powder and gold, which three things gave the French a superiority
over other nations, till they endangered the liberties of mankind; and absolute necessity obliged the great nations on the continent to unite cordially and firmly to crush the monster that threatened them all with destruction.
Spare your powder, and give them plenty of steel," were the words of General Graham, when he attacked the French on the heights of Barossa. It is by powder the French have conquered, and it is by steel they must be resisted, and till this truth is firmly believed and acted upon, Europe will enjoy no permanent security; no secure repose.
The importance of preventing the French from again troubling the repose of Europe in the manner that they have done, is great beyond description; and as no guarantee can be obtained from a nation in such a state of fermentation, so lost to honour and to moral principle, and so misled by wicked and designing men, other nations should seek security in another way, and that can only be found in depriving that people of the means of conquering others, for of the will and inclination it is impossible to deprive the inhabitants of that ambitious nation.
Previous to the reign of Louis XIV. France might properly enough be said to have been on an equality