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While those gentlemen plead for deference to Bonaparte, and crave
Reipeci for bit Ijtni jilocc— and )>M the Deri)
Bcdnlj hoDOar'd for hi* Ijuruiufj tlir»fie,
it may not be altogether unreasonable to claim some modification of censure upon those who have been long and to a gre.it extent successfully resisting this great enemy of mankind. That the energy of Spain has not uniformly been directed by conduct equal to its vigour, has been too obvious; that her armies, under their complicated disadvantages, have shared the fate of such as were defeated after taking the field with every possible advantage of arms and discipline, is surely not to be wondered at. But that a nation, under the circumstances of repeated discomfiture, internal treason, and the mismanagement incident to a temporary and hastily-adopted government, should have wasted, by its stubborn, uniform, and prolonged resistance, myriads after myriads of those soldiers who had overrun the world—that some of its provinces should, like Galicia, after being abandoned by their allies, and overrun by their enemies, have recovered their freedom by their own unassisted exertions: that others, like Catalonia, undismayed by the treason which betrayed some fortresses, and the force which subdued others, should not only have continued their resistance, but have attained over their victorious enemy a superiority, which is even now enabling them to besiege and retake the places of strength which had been wrested from them, —is a tale hitherto untold in the revolutionary war. To say that such a people cannot be subdued, would be presumption similar to that of those who protested that Spain could not defend herself for a year, or Portugal for a month; but that a resistance which has been continued for so long a space, when the usurper, except during the short-lived Austrian campaign, had ,no other enemies on the Continent, should be now less successful, when repeated defeats have broken the reputation of the French armies, and when they are likely (it would seem almost in desperation) to seek occupation elsewhere, is a prophecy as improbable as ungracious. And while we are in the humour of severely censuring our allies, gallant and devoted as they have shown themselves in the cause of national liberty, because they may not instantly adopt those measures which we in our wisdom may deem essential to success, it might be well, if we endeavoured first to resolve the previous questions,— ist, Whether we do not at this moment know much less of the Spanish armies than of those of Portugal, which were so promptly condemned as totally inadequate to assist in the preservation of their country? 2d, Whether, independently of any right we have to offer more than advice and assistance to our independent allies, we can expect that they should renounce entirely the national pride, which is inseparable from patriotism, and at once condescend not only to be saved by our assistance, but to be saved in our own way? 3d, Whether, if it bean object (as undoubtedly it is a main one), that the Spanish troops should be trained under British discipline, to the flexibility of movement, and power of rapid concert and combination, which is essential to modern war, such a consummation is likely to be produced by abusing them in newspapers and periodical publications? Lastly, Since the undoubted authority of British officers makes us now acquainted with part of the
horrors tliat attend invasion, and which the Providme? of Cod, the valour of our navy, and perhaps tlw t-rr efforts of these Spaniards, hare hitherto diverted fwn us, it may bi* modestly questioned whether we oo£ht to be too forward to estimate and condemn die feeuof of temporary stupefaction which they create; lm,ta so doing, we should resemble the worthy clergrmu, who. while he had himself never snuffed a candle nth his fingers, was disposed severely to criticise the or* duct of a martyr who winced a little among fan flan*
Notc 13. Statin 11.
Tbey won 001 Zarafio.a. but her child Mi's t-loodj tail.
The interesting account of Mr Vaughan has ru. most readers acquainted with the first siege of Irsgoza. The last and fatal siege of that gallant aa^ bvoted city is detailed with great eloquence and pitas** in the 1* Edinburgh Annual Register* for I5**.-j work in which the affairs of Spain have been treaudi' with attention corresponding to their deep ioterro. ic to the peculiar sources of information open to u>k> torian. The following are a few brief extracts fr.a this splendid historical narrative:—
« A breach was soon made in the mud snJU. tat then, as in the former siege, the war wa3 carried ci a the streets and houses; but the French bad j«a taught, by experience, that in this species of wirhr? the Zaragozaus derived a superiority from thefaiae and principle which inspired them, and the estaefc* which they fought. The only means of cooqs^Jj Zaragoza was to destroy it house by bouse, and Jnrf by street, and upon this system of destruction thrj proceeded. Three companies of miners and eight «»panies of sappers carried on this subterraneous ■*" the Spaniards, it is said, attempted to oppose tbrr t» counter-mines: these were operations 10 which 1* were wholly unused, and, according to the f^"» statement, their miners were every day dUcoverti*^ suffocated. Meantime the bombardment va* *k* santly kept up. * Within the last forty-eight b*r\ said Palafox, in a letter to his friend General D-"**. '6000 shells have been thrown in. Two-*hinh *rf as town are in ruins; but we shall perish under tbr r* of the remaining third rather than surrender." hi *' course of the siege above 17,000 bombs were throve* the town; the stock of powder with which Zanf-* had been stored was exhausted; they had none at m but what they manufactured day by day; and ooortrf cannon-balls than those which were shot into xbelovs. and which they collected and fired back opofi w enemy.»
In the midst of these horrors and privations, *» pestilence broke out in Zaragoza. To various cuss* enumerated by the annalist, he adds, «*cantinr* ^ food, crowded quarters, unusual exertion of bs*s anxiety of mind, and the impossibility of rernis.sJ their exhausted strength by needful rest in a cirrwkri was almost incessantly bombarded, and where rwi hour their sleep was broken by the tremendmiwn: * sion of mines. There was now no respite, either faydiv or night, for this devoted city; even the natural <*d* of light and darkness was destroyed in Zaragwa. l» day it was involved in a red sulphureous utmo*pbe" * smoke, which hid the face of heaven; by night tlie w of cannons and mortars, and the flames of fasrtiwj houses, kept it in a state of terrific illumination.
• When once the pestilence had begun, it was impossible to check its progress, or confine it to one quarter of [he city. Hospitals were immediately established,—there were above thirty of them; as soon as one was destroyed by the bombardment, the patients were removed lo another, and thus the infection was carried to every part of Zaragoza. Famine aggravated the evil; the city had probably not been sufficiently provided at the commencement of the siege, and of ibe provisions which it contained, much was destroyed in die daily ruin which the mines and bombs effected. Hji) the Zaragozans and their garrison proceeded according to military rules, they would have surrendered Wore the end of Jauuary; their batteries had then been demolished, there were open breaches in many part* of their weak walls, and the enemy were already ntliin the ciry. On the 3oth above sixty houses were blom up, and the French obtained possession of the monasteries of the Augustines and Les Monicas, which adjoined each other, two of the last defensible places Wi. The enemy forced their way into the church; «ty column, every chapel, every altar, became a point of defence, which was repeatedly attacked, taken, and Waken: the pavement was covered with blood, the ndei and body of the church strewed with the dead, who were trampled under fool by the combatants. In tlii midst of this conflict, the roof, shattered by repeated b«mbs, fell in; the few who were not crushed, after * 'tiort pause, which this tremendous shock and ilicir wn unexpected escape occasioned, renewed the fight with rekindling fury: fresh parlies of the enemy poured in; monks, and citizens, and soldiers came to (he 'l*-f' nee, and the contest was continued upon the ruins, ■od the bodies of the dead and the dying.»
^et, leveoteeu days after sustaining those extremities did the heroic inhabitants of Zaragoza continue *keir defence; nor did they then surrender until their detpair had extracted from the French generals a capitulation, more honourable than has been granted to fortresses of the first order.
Who '•hall venture to refuse the Zaragozans the eulopum conferred upon ihein by the eloquence of AYordsurtli"'—« Most gloriously have the citizens of ZarapBaproTed that the true army of Spain, in a contest °f litis nature, is the whole people. The same city lusal«> exemplified a melancholy, yea, a dismal truth, -yet consolatory and full of joy,—that when a people u* called suddenlv to fight for their liberty, and are iwvly pressed upon, their best field of battle is the So"t* ufrou which their children have played; the 'ii"iibers where the family of e*rh man has slept (his »»u or his neighbours); upon or under the roofs by ■ bidi they have bceu sheltered; in the gardens of their ttfition; in the street, or in the market-place; before Ike altars of their temples, and among their congre)*iti\ dwellings, blazing or up-rooted.
'Tlie government of Spaiu must never forget Zara)'•& for a moment. Nothing is wanting to produce ■ke same effects everywhere, but a leading mind, such w tlut city was blessed with. In the latter contest this ■w been proved; for Zaragoza contained, at that time. *"Jirs of men from almost all parts of Spain. The ■native of those two sieges should be the manual of *fTSpaniard. He may add to it the ancient stories ,f Niimantia and Sa gun him; let him sleep upon the *■*>* as a pillow, and, if he be a devout adherent to
the religion of his country, let him wear it in his bosom for his crucifix lo rest upon.o
Note 13. Stanza Ixiii.
the Vault of Deiliny.
Before finally dismissing the enchanted cavern of Don Roderick, it may he noticed, that the legend occurs in one of Caldcron's plays, entitled, La Virgin del Sagario. The scene opens with t'.c noise of the chase, and Recisundo, a predecessor of Roderick upon the Gothic throne, enters pursuing a stag. The animal assumes the form of a man, and defies the king lo enter the cave, which forms the bottom of the scene, and engage with him in single combat. The king accepts the challenge, and they engage accordingly, but without advantage on cither side, which induces the Genie to inform Hecisundo, tli.it hei s not the monarch for whom the adventure of the enchanted cavern is reserved, and he proceeds to predict the downfall of the Gothic monarchy, and of the christian religion, which shall attend the discovery of its mysteries. Recisundo, appalled by these prophecies, orders the cavern to be secured by a gale and bolts of iron. In the second part of the same play we are informed, that Don Roderick had removed the harrier and transgressed the prohibition of bis ancestor, and had been apprised by the pro digics which he discovered of the approaching ruin of his kingdom.
Note i.'(. (Conclusion. Stanza ii.
Wliilr downward on the land fait Irgiont prest,
And nmilr.1 like K.i.o in her lanncr drew;—
I have ventured lo apply to the movements of the French army that sublime passage in the prophecies of Joel, which seems applicable to them in more respects than that I have adopted in the text. One would think their ravages, their military appointments, the teaor which they spread among invaded nations, their military discipline, their arts of political intrigue and deceit, were distinctly pointed out in the following verses of Scripture;
2. M A day of darknessc and gloominessc, a day of clouds and of thick darknessc. as the morning spread upon the mountains, a great people and a strong, there bath not been ever (he like, neither shall be any more after it, even to (lie years of many generations.
3. «»A fire devourcth before them, and behind them a flame burnetii: the land is as the garden of Kdeti hefore them, and Itehinde them a desolate wildernesse, yea, and nothing shall escape them.
4- >« The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses and as horsemen, so shall they ruune.
5. « Like the noise of chariots on the lops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devourcth the stubble, as a strong people set in battel array
ft. * Before their face shall the people be moch pained: all faces shall gather blacknesse.
7. *t They shall run like mighty men, they shall climbe the wall like men of warre.and they shall march every one in his wayes, and (hey shall not break their ranks.
8. u Neither shall one thrust another, they shall walk every one in his path: and when they full upon the sword Ihey shall not be wounded.
9. « They shall run to arid fro in the citic: they shall run upon the wall, they shall climbe up upon the houses: they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
10. « The earth shall quake before them, the heavens shall tremble, the sunnc and the moon shall be dark, and the starres shall withdraw their shining.»
In verse 10th also, which announces the retreat of the northern army, described in such dreadful colours, into a «land barren and desolate," and the dishonour with which God afflicted them for having « magnified themselves to do great things," there are particulars not inapplicable to the retreat of Massena; Divine Providence having, in all ages, attached disgrace as the natural puuishment of cruelly and prcsumptiou.
Note 15. Conclusion. Stanza vii.
Tbe rndeit ■cniinel, in Britain born,
C«to hit poor crual 10 feed tome wrctcfa forlorn.
Even the unexampled gallantry of the British army* in the campaign of i8to-u, although they never fought but to conquer, will do them less honour iu history than their humanity, attentive to soften to the utmost of their power the horrors which war, in its mildest aspect, must always inflict upon the defenceless inhabitants of the country in which it is waged, and which, on this occasion, were teufold augmented by the barbarous cruelties of the French. Soupkitchens were established by subscription among the officers, wherever the troops were quartered for any length of time. The commissaries contributed the heads, feet, etc. of the cattle slaughtered for the soldiery; rice, vegetables, aud bread, where it could be had, were purchased by the ofiiccrs. Fifty or sixty starving peasants were daily fed at one of these regimental establishments, and carried home the relics to their famished households. The emaciated wretches, who could not crawl from weakness, were speedily employed in pruning their viues. While pursuiug Massena, the soldiers evinced the same spirit of humanity; and, in many instances, wheu reduced themselves to short allowance, from having out-marched their supplies, they shared their pittance with the starving inhabitants who had ventured back to view the ruins of their habitations, burnt by the retreating enemv, and to bury the bodies of their relations whom they had butchered.— Is it possible to know such facts without feeling a sort of confidence, that those who so well deserve victory arc most likely to nttain it?—It is not the least of Lord Wellington's military merits, that the slightest disposition towards marauding meets immediate punishment. Independently of all moral obligation, the army which is most orderly in a friendly country, has always proved most formidable to an armed enemy.
Note ii'. Conclusion. Stanza viii.
The French conducted this memorable retreat with much of the/<in/irirronn<ie proper to their country, by which they attempt to impose upon others, aiul perhaps on themselves, a belief that tkejr are triumphing in the very moment of their discomfiture. Ontheliotli March, tSt 1, their rear-guard was overtaken uear I'ega by the British cavalry. Being well posted, and conceiving theinsches safe from infantry (who were indeed many miles in the rear), and from artillery, they in- ground at the point of the bayonet.
dulgcd themselves in parading their bands of mosw, and actually performed « Cod save the King.* TW minstrelsy was however deranged by the undesiml if companiment of the British horse-artillery, 00 »liG-*part in the concert they had not calculated. TV <nr prise was sudden, and the rout complete; for the iriillery and cavalry did execution upon them for abcHii four miles, pursuing at the gallop as often as they p* beyond the range of the guns.
Note 17. Conclusion. Stanza x.
Vainly thy squadron* bide AuaaTi't plain.
In the sevcjre action of Fuentes d'Honoro, upon A May, 1811, the grand mass of the French cavalry utacked the right of the British position, covered by tw* guns of the horse-artillery, and two squadrons ofo| valry. After suffering considerably from tbe fire of ]■ the guns, which annoyed them in every attempt u j formation, the enemy turned their wrath entirely towards them, distributed brandy among their trooper, aud advanced to carry the field-pieces with tbe desperation of drunken fury. They were in Do waysebecked 1 by the heavy loss which they sustained in this dans; 1 attempt, but closed, and fairly mingled with the Bntt^ cavalry, to whom they bore the proportion of trt w ■ one. Captain Bamsay (let me he permitted to aaw « 1 gallant countryman), who commanded the two f**. dismissed them at the gallop, and, putting himself it ( the head of the mounted artillerymen, ordered thew w J fall upon the French, sabre in hand. This very oarv | pectcd conversion of artillerymen into dragoons iooti> huted greatly to the defeat of the enemy, already 01* j concerted by the reception tliey had met from the tvsBritish squadrons- and the appcaraucc of some a^Ji reinforcements, notwithstanding the immcn« dbjo portion of force, put them to absolute rout. Aeolean < or major of their cavalry, aud many prisoners ;'i.e..< all intoxicated), remained in our possession. TV-** j who consider for a momeut the difference of the **H vices,and bow much an artilleryman is necessarilyrJ| naturally led to identify his own safety and utility » *| abiding by the tremendous implement of war. 19 ux1 exercise of which he is chiefly, if not exclusively, trffcd. will know how to climate the presence of»n* which commanded so bold a manoeuvre,and tbeUeaJ' ness and confidence with which it was executed.
Note 18. Conclusion. Stanxa x.
And wbat avail* thee that, fordaaaea alaia.
The gallant Colonel Cameron was wounded nnrruy during the desperate contest in the streets of theviitop called Fuentes d'Honoro. He fell at tbe bead ef ■» native Highlanders, the 71ft and 7;jth, wb« m*» a dreadful shriek of grief and rage. Thrv cbars**t with irresistible fury, tbe finest bodv of French #■"-» diers ever seen, being a part of Buonapartes <*'.-■'-~^ guard. The officer who led the Freucli, a manpenu liable for stature and symmetry, was killed cm the ip* The Frenchman who stepped out of his rank ta tiki aim at Colonel Cameron, was also bayoneted, pweed with a thousand wouuds, and almost torn to pietr* Li the furious Highlanders, who, under the comaurvt cd Colonel Cadog.in, bore the enemy out of the cowteued
countrymen a singular compliment in his account of the attack and defence of this village, in which he says, (be British lost many officers, and Scotch.
JJote ig. Conclusion. Stanza xiv.
O who shall grudge him Alhuera's bays.
Rooted tbem to emulate iheir fathers' praUe,
Teaaper'd their headlong rage, their courage iteel'd.
Nothing during the war of Portugal seems, to a distinct observer, more deserving of praise, than the selfdevotion of Field-Marshal Beresford, who was contented lo undertake all the hazard of obloquy which might have been founded upon any miscarriage in the highly important experiment of training the Portuguese troops to an improved state of discipline. In exposing his military reputation to the censure of imprudence from the most moderate, and all manner of unutterable calamines from the ignorant and malignant, he placed at stake the dearest pledge which a military man had to offer, and nothing but the deepest conviction of the high and essential importance attached to success can be supposed an adequate motive. How great the chance of miscarriage was supposed, may be estimated from the generaPopinion of officers of unquestioned talents and experience, possessed of every opportunity of information; how completely the experiment has succeeded, and how much die spirit and patriotism of our ancient allies had been under-rated, is evident, not only from those victories in which they have borne a distinguished share, but from the liberal and highly honour
able manner in which these opinious have been retracted. The success of this plan, with all its important consequences, we owe to the indefatigable exertions of Field-Marshal Beresford.
Note 20. Conclusion. Stanza xvii.
■ a rare renown'd of old,
This stanza alludes to the various achievements of the warlike family of Grxmc, or Graham. They are said, by tradition, to have descended from the Scottish chief, under whose command his countrymen stormed the wall built by the Emperor Scvcrus between the friths of Forth and Clyde, the fragments of which are still popularly called Gwmes Dyke. Sir John the Gra?me, « the hardy, wight, and wisc,» is well known as the friend of Sir William Wallace. Alderno, Kilsyth, and Tihbermuir, were scenes of the victories of the heroic Marquis of Montrose. The pass of Killycrankie is famous for the action between King William's forces and the Highlanders in 1689,
Wbere glad Dundee in faint hnziat expired.
It is seldom that one line can number so many heroes, and yet more rare when it cau appeal to the glory of a living descendant in support of its ancient renown.
The allusions to the private history and character of General Graham may be illustrated by referring to the eloquent and affecting speech of Mr Sheridan, upon the vote of thanks to the victor of Barrossa.
TO HER GRACE THE DUCHESS OF WELLINGTON,
PRINCESS OF WATERLOO, ETC, ETC., ETC.
Oc folIoUiinn Qcrsrs arc most rrsprctfnlli) jBnarribru,
BY THE ALTI10K.
FIELD OF WATERLOO.
Fan Brussels, thou art far behind, Though, lingering on the morning wind,
We yet may hear the hour Peal'd over orchard and canal, With voice prolong d and measured fall.
From proud Saint Michael's tower.
Thy wood, dark Soignies, holds us now,
Of tangled forest ground.
For access sci-ks in vain! And the brown tapestry of leaves, Strew'd on the blighted ground, receives
Nor sun, nor air, nor rain.
No opening glade dawns on our way,
Our woodland path has cross "d;
Until in distance lost.
A brighter, livelier scene succeeds;
And corn-fields glance between;
But when these ears were green, Placed close within destruction's scope. Full little was that rustic's hope
Their ripening to have seen!
Their architecture view;
Looks on the field below,
111 easier curves can (low.
Forms an opposing screen,
The soften'd vale between
On that wide stubble-ground.
Nor fosse nor fence are found,
Now, sees! thou aught in this lone scene
A stranger might reply,
Wheu harvrst-homc was nigh.
As Teniers loved to draw;
And where the earth seems scorch'd by name.
Around her fire of straw.*—
But other harvest here
With bayonet, blade, and spear.
Fell thick as ripcu'd grain;
The corpses of the slain.
So often lost and won;
Dash'd the hot war-horse on.
From yonder trenched mound?
Her garner-house profound.
On those scorch'd fields were known'
A summons of his own.
Distinguish every tone
Down to the dying groan. Aud the last sob of life's decay
Wheu breath was all but tlown
Feast on, stern foe of mortal life.
Protracted space may last;
And cease when tbeae are passd.