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are not very nice in these respects; the cheapness with them is the great object; and those who can pay more liberally for their intellectual repast may have it served up in better style. This, by the way, exceeds all that Voltaire himself, with all his vanity, could have anticipated; for he often speaks in his letters of the difficulty of inoculating the less educated ranks of the community with his doctrines. He writes to D'Alembert, in September 1768: “Both you and Damilaville must be well pleased to see the contempt in which the wretch is fallen among the better sort of people throughout Europe; their suffrages are all we wished for or thought necessary; we never pretended to enlighten housemaids and shoemakers; we leave them to the apostles.” There were at this time no thirty franc editions; the higher departments of society and the more exalted ranks of intellect were alone exposed to the poison. Voltaire and his allies employed the elaborate machinery of an Encyclopedia; but “Satan now is wiser than of yore," and has taught the art of condensing the “ leperous distilments” of blasphemy, irreligion, and sedition, into two-penny pamphlets and nursery ballads. This indeed does not surprize us in an age in which the powers of the steam engine are employed to chop minced meat;* and penny subscriptions are set on foot to buy seats in the imperial parliament. Our Hones, and Woolers, and Cobbetts, are wiser than their precursor of Ferney; they do not confine themselves to men of condition or men of letters; but rely upon a levy en massé, and hope to make up by physical force what they want in intellect and moral worth. Frederic of Prussia used to ridicule the political system of Voltaire and his fraternity, as a project which bore more the marks of a scheme framed by a knot of literary speculators than by men acquainted with the actual business of the world. Thus, he remarks in his Refutation of the System of Nature: • The Encyclopedists are universal reformers. France, according to their plan, is to form a republic, and a mathematician is to be its legislator. Mathematicians are to govern it, and to work all the operations of the new republic by fluxions. This republic is to live in perpetual peace, and to support itself without an army!” Our working infidels surpass Voltaire in their political wisdom; for Voltaire was not himself a republican, though he could not control his followers; and was willing to sacrifice his cooler political sentiments to the common object of extirpating Christianity. This, with him, was always " le grand poisson qui mange tous les petits.” But setting this, his ulterior view, aside, Voltaire might have learned from Montesquieu that his egotism was likely to be less pampered in a state of which virtue was necessarily the basis.
* This is literally a fact, at several shops in the metropolis.
Art. IV.-Memoirs of the Rebellion in 1745 and 1746.
Chevalier de Johnstone, Aid-de-Camp to Lord George Murray, General of the Rebel Army, &c. Containing a Narrative of the Progress of the Rebellion, from its Commencement to the Battle of Culloden; the Characters of the principal Persons engaged in it, and Anecdotes respecting them; and various important particulars relating to that Contest, hitherto either unknown or imperfectly understood. With an Account of the Sufferings and Privations experienced by the Author after the Battle of Culloden, before he effected his Escape to the Continent, &c. &c. Translated from a French MS. originally deposited in the Scots College at Paris, and now in the Hands of the Publishers. Longman and Co.
London, 1820. THE Chevalier de Johnstone was the only son of a respectable family at Edinburgh. After a youth spent in frivolity and debauchery, he went at the age of eighteen into Russia to visit his two uncles, who had risen high in the Russian service. The advantages of their protection and of that of their friend, Field Marshal Keith, inspired him with the wish of pursuing a military career in the same country:. but the authority of his father, who opposed the measure, and threatened to punish his disobedience by disinheriting him, put a stop to the project. He returned to London; and after four or five months of dissipation, spent without plan or aim, he returned to Edinburgh, where he seems to have remained till Charles Stuart descended from the highlands into the lowlands of Scotland; Johnstone was at that time about five-and-twenty years of age. He had been educated in Jacobite principles, and his sister had married into the family of Lord Rolls, who had taken an active share in the preceding rebellion. Accordingly, when the rebels approached Perth, Johnstone joined their standard, received a captain's commission, and continued with them till their final dispersion. After the battle of Culloden he escaped into Holland in the suite of Lady Jane Douglas, who afterwards attracted so much public notice in the contested succession to the estates of her brother the Duke of Douglas: but instead of proceeding immediately to Russia and availing himself of the influence of his uncles in that country, he hastened to Paris, in the expectation that the French court would ere long make a powerful effort to replace the family of Stuart on the English throne. In 1749, a pension was granted him of 2,000 livres. He soon afterwards accepted an ensigncy in the French service, in the hopes and with the assurance of speedy promotion. With this rank he was sent to Louisbourg, where he had not
long been, when his name was struck off the pension list, and his means of subsistence were reduced to the mere amount of his pay,
that is, to 480 livres per annum. He therefore paid a visit to Europe to solicit promotion, but he was soon obliged to return to his station, where, to beguile the solitude to which his poverty doomed him, he had recourse to the study of the principal French authors, who have written on the military art. In 1754 he received a lieutenancy; but not long afterwards the capture of Louisbourg by those very English regiments which he had assisted in routing at Preston-Pans, forced him to withdraw into Canada : and from that province, when the French were driven out of it, he retired into France, where he spent the remainder of his days in penury and discontent.
These memoirs seem to have been written in the latter period of his life, though there is no internal evidence to fix the precise time. One part of them contains an account of the proceedings of the rebels up to the time of their final rout: the other and , much more interesting half is occupied with his own personal adventures in effecting his escape into France, and with the course of his fortunes in that country. The editor and translator (for the memoirs were written in French) regards them as furnishing important materials for future historians. In this opinion, inspired by a very natural partiality for a work on' which he has spent his time and labour, we cannot altogether coincide: for these Memoirs do not, so far as we can observe, throw any additional light on the leading transactions in the Rebellion of 1745. Mr. Johnstone was too young and too inexperienced a man, we may add also, of too shallow a capacity, to be admitted into the councils of the leaders, or to form a sound opinion of what was going on from the parts which fell under his immediate observation. Zeal, courage, and a good constitution seem to have been his principal military qualifications: his subsequent misfortunes, indeed, forced him to seek amusement in the cultivation of his intellect, but that cultivation never extended beyond the usual limits of the attainments of a French subaltern, that is, the perusal of a few writers on tactics, with some scraps of morals and history. The narrow range of Mr. Johnstone's ideas is conspicuous in every part of his book, and never more so than when he would fain soar to general and philosophical truth. It is not from such a writer that we can expect much information on the progress of a civil war; besides, his accuracy is not always to be depended on; he frequently falls into mistakes concerning times, places, and persons. Whatever he himself believed he seems to have given as a fact, without taking the trouble to state the species of evidence on which his belief rested: and in particular he appears to have often confounded what he had heard with
what he knew from his own observation. As he wrote after the lapse of a considerable interval, it is not wonderful that he should have fallen into errors; still, this occasional inaccuracy, though arising from a very natural and pardonable cause, is not on that account the less injurious to the value of the work, considered as supplying materials for history; because, wherever its statements differ from other narratives, the credibility due to them cannot be easily ascertained.
At the same time that we are of opinion that these memoirs might have slumbered in manuscript without exciting much regret in the historic muse, we are far from thinking their publication either useless or superfluous. A book may be read with both pleasure and advantage, though every fact mentioned in it, which is of any consequence as a matter of history, may be found more correctly stated elsewhere. The Rebellion of 1745 well deserves to occupy both the understanding and the imagination of Englishmen: it is a scene to which all who take an interest in the history of their country must often revert. Home's account of it is deficient in animation, and though in general accurate so far as it goes, too often shrinks from declaring the whole truth. Johnstone tells his story under the influence of different prejudices and feelings; and though he instructs us less, he perhaps interests
A man who relates transactions in which he himself had a share, can scarcely avoid touching upon circumstances and expressing views, which will often convey to the mind of the reader more than suggested itself to that of the writer. That part of these memoirs, which, descending from history to biography, is occupied with the personal adventures of the author, will be read with peculiar pleasure. It possesses all the interest of a romance, and exhibits traits of the character and feelings of the times, which are of much more value than elaborate developements of the intrigues of cabinets or of the plans of campaigns.
The achievements of the rebels in 1745 have been the theme of much vulgar admiration. It has been deemed little else than a species of miracle, that a few thousands of half-armed highlanders should baffle the military power, and shake the throne of the British empire. Here, as in most other cases, our wonder is the fruit of our ignorance. If we look to the actual circumstances of the times, every result will be easily explained.
The only part of the enterprise in which there is any thing that can seem wonderful, is the success with which the first commencement of it was crowned: for the old saying, “ that what is well begun is half ended," may be applied with more truth to rebellion than to any thing else. On the 25th of July, Charles Stuart landed in the western highlands with seven followers.
On the 19th of August he was at Glenfinnin with a thousand followers; two days afterwards he received an accession of four hundred men. On the 5th of September he reached Perth; and on the 17th he entered Edinburgh to take possession of the palace of his ancestors. Hitherto there is nothing wonderful in the rapidity of his movements, the prudence of his measures, or the numbers and valour of his followers. The only subject of surprise therefore must be, that the royal army did not prevent so insignificant a band of mountaineers from obtaining possession of the capital of Scotland. But before we blame either the troops or their commanders, let us consider whether they did not do all that, considering their numbers and circumstances, could fairly be expected. It has often been asked, why did they not march immediately to quench the spark of rebellion in its first glimmering? They did so. The intelligence of Charles's landing reached Edinburgh on the 9th of August; and Sir John Cope the commander in chief, in compliance with his own opinions and the advice of the ablest men in Scotland, adopted instantly the resolution of proceeding northwards. But why did he not make more haste? Because the state of the country, and the situation in which he was left by the administration, rendered celerity impossible. He had in the course of the summer repeatedly urged the ministry to put Scotland in a state of defence, but no attention was paid to his communications. Accordingly, when the news of Charles's landing reached Edinburgh, no preparations had been made. Cope had neither troops, nor money, nor provisions. In ten days he could muster only about 1400 men. Though he had written for money on the 3d of August, it was not till the 17th that he received a letter of credit. The poverty of the country which was intended to be the scene of operations, made it necessary to provide sufficient supplies of bread for the army; but though all the biscuits in Leith and Edinburgh were bought up, and the bakers there, as well as in Stirling and Perth, kept in constant employment; he was obliged to begin his march before he could obtain the requisite quantity. He left Stirling on the 11th day after the arrival of the Pretender was known at Edinburgh; and it is not easy to see how Cope, situated as he was, could have used more dispatch, unless he had committed the greatest folly of which a general can be guilty, by taking the field with forces obviously inadequate to the end in view. It would have been easy for him to have begun his march three or four days sooner without money or provisions, but what would have been the advantage of plunging into the midst of the mountains and defiles of the Highlands, with the certainty that to obtain food he must almost immediately have retraced his steps? He took the road towards Fort Augustus, and on the sixth day of