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calumniated here, the fate of the Portuguese has been still harder. The writers who have been most successful in slandering the Spaniards, and deadening that generous ardour in their cause, which was at one time as universal in Great Britain, as it was honourable to the British character, are persons, who, having professed the most opposite opinions, as they happened to suit their own immediate purposes, have proved themselves to have no other principle whatever, than that of selfinterest. But the Portuguese have been hastily condemned by men of a far different stamp. Even so truly profound and philosophical a writer as Ardnt, speaks of them with contemptuous injustice, in the work for which Palm was murdered. “The Spaniards,” he says, “will again become what they once were, one of the most admired and powerful nations in Europe; but Portugal will remain in a state of servitude, as it deserves; for, separated from Spain, it is a wen on a sound body.” The German philosopher truly prophesyed the regeneration of the Spaniards; and had he known the character of the Portuguese equally well, his opinion of them would have been more favourable and less erroneous. The people are uncorrupted, and their courage and patriotism were abundantly proved by the manner in which they rose against the French, at a time, when, to use the words of lord Wellington, their troops had been completely dispersed; their officers had gone off to Brazil; and their arsenals had been pillaged; or were in the power of the enemy. “Their revolt,” says that competent judge, “under the circumstances in which it has taken place, is still more extraordinary than that of the Spanish nation.” While Kellerman and Avril were ravaging Alem-Tejo, Margaron attacked Leiria, where a handful of students from Coimbra had proclaimed the prince regent. Six hunVol. v. x.
dred patriots, according to the French bulletin, were left upon the field of battle. According to the Portuguese, the French, while they were opposed to an undisciplined and half armed peasantry, divided their force, which consisted of nearly 5000 men, entered the city on every side, and put to the sword all whom they found in the streets, without distinction of age or sex. It was stated in the bulletin that the banners of the insurgents were taken and presented to his excellency the duke of Abrantes. The real history of these banners is a curious proof of the manner in which the French bulletins are fabricated. The soldiers, on their march, fell in with a party of devotees going to the Cirio da Ameixoeira, mounted upon mules and asses, with musick playing, and flags flying, such as are to be seen at an English puppet show. The sight of the French put the whole procession to the rout, and the flags which they threw away in their flight were picked up, to form an article in the next bulletin. Loison, mean time, was laying waste the north of Portugal. Alfedrinha was burnt by him, and above 3000 patriots killed in battle. His own loss was said to be only twenty killed, and from thirty to forty wounded. This bulletin, however, is said, by the Portuguese author, to be notoriously false. That which followed will only provoke a smile in England. “On the 10th of July, forty English landed at the foot of the village of Costa, to obtain provisions. That post was defended by only five of the 31st regiment of light infantry. Notwithstanding the disproportion of numbers, these five men, in sight of all the inhabitants, attacked the forty English, forced them to leave upon the beach all that they had purchased, and pursued them to the sea. Three conscript lads of the 66th regiment saw a boat from the English squadron making towards the land, near Cascaes. They hid themselves till it reached the shore, then rose up from their ambush, fired upon it, killed the pilot, who was the master of admiral Cotton’s ship, and obliged two English officers, and six sailors, or marines, who were in the boat, to lay down their arms and surrender as prisoners of war, an instance of presence of mind and courage, which does great honour to these three lads.” When the French admiral Latouche, during the blockade of Toulon, boasted, in an official letter, that the whole British fleet had fled before him, Nelson said, if his character for not being apt to run away, were not established by that time, it was not worth his while to put the world right Nevertheless, he swore that if he took the Frenchman, he would make him eat his letter. General Thiebault, who signed the bulletin, fell at Vimieria; had he been made prisoner, it certainly ought to have been administered to him in a sandwich. If the victories of the French over the Portuguese, be not more truly related than these exploits against our sailors, the patriots sustained little loss. It was not, however, possible that they could withstand such a force of regular troops, and the French soldiers made full use of the license which their rascally commanders allow them in the field. They returned to Lisbon with cart loads of plunder, and every man with his knapsack full. The pillage which Loison and Margaron brought back, amounted to more than half a million of cruzados. This, however, was the least mischief which they committed. Junot talked of houses delivered over to desolation and death; of flourishing cities transformed into heaps of ashes and wide sepulchres. He did not enumerate, among the triumphs of his troops, the outrages committed upon the women. Their vengeance fell next upon Evora. Loison, with Margaron and Solignac under his com
mand, and a powerful detachment marched for that city. The patriots had collected a few regular troops, with the militia of the country, and some Spaniards came to their assistance; they posted themselves advantageously about a mile from the town, and sustained an attack of some hours, before the position was forced. Junot asserted that 1000 were left dead in the field, 4000 wounded, and 300C made prisoners; the Portuguese, with equal exaggeration, affirmed, the victory cost the French 3000 slain. The city was given up to be pillaged; nine hundred persons, of different sexes and ages, were put to the sword in the streets and churches; eight and thirty clergymen were murdered; among them the bishop of Maranham. The nunneries were broke open, and wo— men were equally the victims of their cruelty and their lust. Loison himself shook his sabre over the head of the archbishop, a venerable man, nearly ninety years of age, of distinguished learning, and still more eminent for his virtues. He promised him, however, that his property should not be touched; yet, after this promise, Loison himself, with some of his favourite officers, entered by night the archbishop’s library, which was one of the finest in Portugal; threw down every book, in hopes of discovering valuables behind them; broke off the gold and silver clasps from the magnificent bindings of the rarest part of the collection; and in their rage that they found so little plunder, tore in pieces a whole file of manuscripts. They took every gold and silver coin from his cabinet of medals, and every jewel and bit of the precious metals, in which the relicks were set, or which decorated any thing in his oratory. And when the archbishop was taking his afternoon sleep, and had laid his episcopal ring upon the table, as usual at such times, Loison’s prowling eye fixed upon the jewel as he passed through
the room, and he was seen to pocket it. These facts are not mentioned in the work before us; but they are related upon the most unquestionabie authority. Evora was sacked on the 30th of July. Two days afterwards sir Arthur Wellesley landed, and the subsequent events are sufficiently notorious. The iniquity of Buonaparte's conduct towards Portugal has been put out of sight by his blacker wickedness towards Spain. Conscience, says a state-villain in one of Ben Jonson’s plays:
Poor plodding priests and preaching friars
may make Their hollow pulpits and the empty aisles Of churches ring with that round word:
but we That draw the subtile and more piercing
all - In that sublimed region of a court, Rnow all is good we make so, and go on, Secured by the prosperity of our crimes.”
At present this might be the Corsican’s motto. Such has been the career of that imperial barbarian, that he obtains an amnesty for his old crimes by perpetrating new ones; and his perjuries and assassinations have ceased to excite asto
nishment in Europe, because they are now looked upon as regular parts of his political system. Even in this country, there are men, who, when they are reminded of his guilt, think it a sufficient reply, to tell is of his greatness; and would have us fall down and worship the golden image, at the very time when the Spaniards are walking through the burning, fiery furnace. These men serve the tyrant whom they flatter, and are more truly and efficiently his agents, than the miserable wretches in his pay. They are never weary of exaggerating the wisdom and the power of Buonaparte. According to them, it is still the English who disturb the quiet of the continent. He is the regenerator and benefactor of Spain and Portugal,
, who reforms their laws, purifies
their religion, and puts an end to the abuses of their governments. The Spanish chiefs “ have only a little hour to strut and fret,” and we ought to congratulate ourselves upon their fall. Callous and cowardly sophists! it is thus, that while they belie the feelings, they labour to deaden the courage, and sacrifice the honour of England.
FROM THE QUARTERLY REVIEW.
Voyage de Découvertes, aux Terres Australes, exécuté par ordre de sa Majesté L’Empereur et Roi, sur les Corvettes Le Géographe, Le Naturaliste, et la Goëlette Le Casuarina, pendant les Années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803, et 1804, publié par Décret Impérial, et Rédigé, par M. F. Péron, Naturaliste, &c. &c. 4to. Tome premier
avec Atlas. A Paris. 1807.
A FEW months after the retirement of Mr. Pitt, and the succession of Mr. Addington, that is, in June, 1800, M. Otto, the resident commissary for French prisoners of war, addressed an application to the lords of the admiralty, to obtain the necessary passports, for two armed vessels, Le Géograft he and Le Matu
raliste, which the French government had appointed for a voyage of discovery round the world, “ pour mettre le capitaine Baudin à l'abri de toute attague hostile, et lui procurer une reception favorable dans les établissemens Britanniques off il pourra étre obligé de relächer momentanément.” In consequence of this, application, the good natured minister, without farther inquiry into the tenour of captain Baudin’s instructions, or the particular object of his mission, obtained his majesty's commands, that the French vessels “should be permitted to put into any of his majesty's ports, in case of stress of weather, or to procure assistance, if necessary, to enable them to prosecute their voyage.” The perusal of M. Péron's book, has convinced us that M. Otto's application was grounded on false pretences, and that the passport was fraudulently obtained; that there never was any intention to send these vessels on a voyage of discovery round the world, as stated by M. Otto, but that the sole object of it was, to ascertain the real state of New Holland; to discover what our colonists were doing, and what was left for the French to do, on this great continent, in the event of a peace; to find some port in the neighbourhood of our settlements, which should be to them what Pondicherry was to Hindoostan; to rear the standard of Buonaparte, then first consul, on the first convenient spot; and, finally, that the only circumnavigation intended in this voyage d’essionage, was that of Australia. If any doubt could be entertained, that such was the sole intention of the French government, the heads of captain Baudin’s instructions, as stated by M. Péron, and, indeed, the whole proceedings of the voyage, are amply sufficient to set this point at rest. By these instructions, they were directed to touch, in the first instance, at the Isle of France; thence to proceed to the southern extremity of Van Dieman's land; visit Dentrecasteaux’s channel; examine the eastern coast; enter the strait of Bass, through that of Banks; complete the discovery of Hunter's islands; examine the southwest coast of New Holland; penetrate behind the islands of St. Peter and St. Francis; and visit that part of the conti cording to the report of the professors of the museum, amounts to above two thousand five hundred. When it is recollected,” continues the reporter, “that the second voyage of Cook, the most brilliant, in this respect, which has ever been made to this day, did not furnish more than two hundred and fifty new species, and that the combined voyages of Carteret, Wallis, Furneaux, Meares, and Vancouver, have not, altogether, produced so great a number; when it is observed, that the case is the same with regard to all the French expeditions, it will follow, that MM. Péron and Lesueur alone, have discovered more new animals, than all the natural historians who have travelled in these latter times.”
nent concealed by those islands, where a strait was supposed to exist, by which a communication was opened with the great gulph of Carpentaria. This being accomplished, they were to direct their course to cape Leuwen; examine the unknown parts of the coast, to the northward; visit the coasts of the land of Edels and Endracht; make a particular survey of the island of Rottenest and Shark’s bay; terminating their first campaign at the N. W. cape of New Holland. From Timor, or Amboyna (at one of which places they were te winter) they were directed to proceed through Endeavour Strait, te the eastern point of the great gulph of Carpentaria; to examine the whole circuit of its coast, to the land of Arnheim, terminating the second campaign at the same northwest cape at which their first was completed. From hence they were to cross the Indian ocean to the Isle of France, and make the best of their way to Europe. So much for the voyage of discovery round the world, of which M. Peron has been employed to write the history. The perusal of his book has certainly afforded us considerable pleasure, although, in the course of our examination of it, we shall feel ourselves called upon to reprobate, in the strongest manner, the mean and illiberal conduct into which he must have been betrayed, by superiour influence. Of M. Péron, as a man of general science, we are disposed to think highly; but, we repeat, that in the publication of the work before us, we de not, and cannot, consider him as a free agent. It is brought forward, in the first place, under the immediate sanction of Buonaparte, in consequence of a report of the imperial institute, which states:
that part only of his memoir on the seal fishery, how far his researches on this subject are of importance, and with what sagacity the author of it has been able to develop them. His labours, in this respect, appear worthy, in every point of view, of the attention of the philosopher and the statesman. Never, perhaps, did a subject of greater interest or curiosity offer itself to their contemplation. Never, perhaps, was a more striking example afforded of the omnipotence of laws and institutions on the character of individuals and nations. To transform the most formidable robbers, and the most abandoned thieves of England, into honest and peaceable citizens, and into industrious planters; to operate the same revolution among the vilest prostitutes; to compel them, by infallible means, to become virtuous wives, and exemplary mothers; to bring under subordination and control a nascent population; to preserve it, by assiduous care, from the contagious example of its parents; and thus to lay the groundwork of a race more virtuous, than that which at present exists; such is the affecting picture that the new English colonies present. But the statesman, in the very constitution of this new empire, and in the detail of its organization, too surely discovers the real views of the founder, and the formidable germ of those revolutions, which must, of necessity, be produced.” Page 12.
This “Voyage Historique” commences with observing, that the efforts which England has made in scientifick discoveries have been pcculiarly distinguished in these latter times; and that, in this glorious struggle among nations for promoting science, France alone has been able to dispute, with advantage, her superiority and her triumphs: that, notwithstanding this, the numbers of enlightened Englishmen, placed on the immense theatre of a fifth part of the globe, might, perhaps, decide the opinion of Europe in favour of their country; that the national honour of France, therefore, called for an expedition of discovery to the South Seas, and that the institute felt it a duty to propose the measure to government.
“The war, at this period, appeared to have redoubled its fury; the political ex