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Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia.
to allow him, he must certainly see that their present cordiality cannot be of long duration * j and he is no doubt likewise aware, that while Great Britain can powerfully interfere, to risk a quarrel with Russia would be imprudent and dangerous.
Buonaparte's opinion on the finances of England has been repeatedly expressed to the following effect :—
1. That the annual expenditure amounting to such an immense sum, the ministry dared not augment it; and therefore they made the peace of Amiens. *
2. That should a ministry obtain the confidence of the public, so as to be able to raise the funds, to re-equip the navy and organize the army, with the other essences attendant on war-like preparations, would, in the course of a very few years, absorb a capital, the interest of which would require ten or twenty millions sterling to be raised annually upon the public; a sum that, added to the present expenditure, would either revolutionize the country, or make a national bankruptcy inevitable.
It is said and industriously propagated, that Buonapnrte having established his authority in France, it is become his personal interest to cultivate a pacific understanding with all his neighbours. And that, as he is now capable of maintaining ties of political relationship with other powers, it is their interests to support his authority.
This reasoning has no doubt originated with Buonaparte's confessor. Bishop Talleyrand. That it should have gained admittance and approbation in the councils of Europe and America, seems to be owing to the baneful influence of that hideous genius, which jacobinism and rebellion have set loose upon mankind. The fact is, when Buonaparte signified his desire for peace, his authority was not
* ft is truly pitiful to set public minister? and men charged u ilh the defence of nations, cajoling themselves in the hope, that Russia and France will quarrel and fight'. Quarrel they certainly will, but when that event takes place, woe to their neighbours! While at peace, their mutual preponderance requires only dependency and obedience: at war, their hostilities will impose upon the eastern Continent submission and slavery.
When the Czar and Buonaparte draw forth their lesions in hostile array, mediation, armed coalitions, neutral conventions and demarcation lines, will be of little avail. Those powers have Ion; been unused to cabinet warfare, and to courtier etiquette, in the field. The intervention of other states may hasten their own subjection, but cannot ward off their fate. The chieftains of Russia and France will meet nearly on the centre of the world: the object of their quarrel will not be a bishop, lie, a sugar island, nor who shall read their mass in Latin, or say their prayers i.i Greek: they will fight for the possession of the Hellespont and Bospkorus, two posts on which hangs note suspended, the empire of our eastern hemisphere. Such contending parties will not come out to skirmish and then mutually retire; nor will they fight for conquests to give away; the one will keep the field, and with it, the dictatorship of the world.
VOL. IV. NO. 20. K
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia.
established; his situation, as well as that of France, was, as we have mentioned, extremely critical; he sought peace with his neighbours, that he might have time to establish his authority, and to save France from what he considered, and what might have easily been brought about, its almost certain destruction. Buonaparte foresaw the effects which the conquest of Egypt was to produce in both England and France; he saw the still greater effects, which, Great Britain holding the destiny of the Turkish empire in her hand, might then have produced at Petersburgh; and he knew that in America, a single word to the purpose would have obliged President Jefferson to change his system or his place, and might have barred France for ever from that side of the Atlantic; nor could he consider Portugal an equivalent for Brazil. Besides, the arms of both Portugal and Spain might have been turned against him *. Under these circumstances was peace obtained, and it is no wonder Buonaparte should wish to preserve it; at least until he acquire the means to command peace, or to defy war. When he believes himself in that situation, we shall see how far, and upon what terms, he is disposed to maintain his pacific relationship with his neighbours f.
• In this position, Buonaparte knew, that to have adapted a certain system of politics (which may yet be necessary when it will be more difficult to carry it into practice) the British government might, in the space of six months, after the surrender of Alexandria, have drawn forth into action all tbe dower of Austria, Russia, America, and Spain, against France: not to fight for subsidy, nor for the commercial interests of Great Britain, but to fight for their own interests.
It may be said, that had Buonaparte felt himself in the predicament we have mentioned, he would not have been so haughty and imperious during the negociation. The contempt with which Buonaparte seemed to treat the negoriation, and his arrogance upon that occasion, might be accounted for by several reasons; but that to mask his anxiety was one leading motive is certain.
t Buonaparte has great advantages over his cotemporaries. He was brought up in the world, and inactive life. Beginning his career as a subaltern, his profession obliged him to think ; and the habit of thinking no doubt taught him to calculate. The revolution enabled him to ace men of all descriptions exposed without disguise , and now Emperor, he easily sees through the masks of those who have the vanity or folly to attempt to deceive him. This adventurer is in possession of absolute power, has the means to make that power irresistible, and has experience at an early period of life. He is the patron and protector of all sorts of principles, professions, and prejudices; and is himself bound by none.
Amongst the absurdities of the times, it is not one of the least, to hear the legislates of Great Britain propping up the power of the British empire by the discontent and broils which they foresee generating in France, and with the'jealousy which the politics of France is said to be raising amongst other continental i ■ ■ ■ .in.cut*. The ohslioary of infatuation if astonishing! Should the people of L aw i be angry with the man who snatched their country from the precipice of inevitable ruin, and who raised them to the dictatorship of the world? And will they oppose his endeavours to consolidate their situation? But they arc oppressed, says John Ball' If we ask with what? the whole of John's corps dijilomatinut.
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia,
It must be evident to the world, that the present rulers of France, from whatever point of view they are taken, can only be considered as rebel chiefs. They were born subjects of their King, most of them held offices in his service, and at mature age, swore allegiance to his government; he is alive, and at this time is morally as well entitled to sit on the throne of France as any hereditary monarch can be to sit on the throne of his ancestors. These usurpers know, that, however pliable and passive the politics of other governments may have now and then appeared, it cannot be presumed that legitimate sovereigns' should prostitute the dignity of their stations, and expose the safety of their persons and families in so palpable a manner as voluntarily to sanction the rebellion, robberies, pillage and plunder of France; and associate in treaties of friendship and mutual support, with the irreconcileable enemies of all legal government. Buonaparte knows, that the treaties which he has imposed upon other states are extorted bonds, and will never bind the conscience. He is well aware, that when his authority in France has occasion for help from abroad, his part of the drama will be nearly out. Nor can he suppose that his neighbours are less sensible, that the support of France, implies her dominion. In^hort, rebels know that rebellion can only be legalized by ultimate success; and, that while any legal government possesses the means of opposition and resistance, the success of the French government cannot be considered as secure. Buonaparte may profess peace and friendship with all states; and he may offer alliances to the great, and protection to weak; but every legitimate sovereign should know, that when the missionaries of Buonaparte approach his throne, they come either to spoil, crush, or undermine it. The destruction or subjugation of all independent nations, especially of all rival powers, is with the rulers of France a principle of self-preservation, and is therefore interwoven with the very existence of their military community.
We would not be understood to stay, that the present government of France intends to conquer and incorporate with it all other European states: on the contrary, we do not suppose that Buonaparte would wish Holland, Spain, nor perhaps Italy, more immediately under the police of France than those countries now are: nor do we believe, that while Great Britain and Russia continue in their present posture,
cannot tell. In politics and in public society, oppression is relative. To attempt to scare Buonaparte with the jealousy of other powers, is perhaps still more ridiculous. Those who have any power are his associates in despoiling those who have none. What benefit could the change of the name of a chief produce to Great Britain, or to Europe? Would a General Moreau or a Messena be less a Frenchman than Buonaparte? No, but we say they may be less habile ■' When the ability of enemies becomes a consideration with Britons, then alas! our legislators may go home and plant potatoes.
JJuo'.apcirre would countenance a further reduction of Austria, nor the expulsion of the Turkish government from Europe. We consider the real system of the French government to be neither more nor less, than, an universal ascendency raised upon natural sources sufficient to maintain a preponderant power. Such an ascendency is essential to the existence of France, and it will be pursued as long as that fabric does exist. The obstacle which stands most directly in the way of that pursuit, is the naval empire of Great Britain; its reduction is therefore the object upon which the hero of the nineteenth century must first employ his natural and moral faculties, and all his supernatural talents.
End of the First Part.—The Second Part in our next.
EMOLUMENTS OF STAFF OFFICERS.
SIR,—The extensive circulation already acquired by the Military Chronicle (not ouly among the members of the profession, but with those who are friendly to its interest, and who, it is to be hoped, have in some instances the power, as well as the inclination, to correct and ameliorate our system, where it is proved to be erroneous or unjust), will plead a sufficient apology for the present address, which, should it find a ready insertion, will perhaps be only a prelude to hints on other parts of our military system.
The point to which I more immediately wish to call your attention is the very marked difference that is shewn, without any apparent, or at least reasonable motive, in respect to the emoluments of Staff officers equal in rank, and having equally important duties to execute.
It is now many years since the intention Whs professed, of making all Staff Officers of kl certain rank either vacate their regimental commissions* or retire ou the half-pay of their rank. The reason assigned for this new regulation was,, not that their staff appointments were before too lucrative, but that it was desirable that the field officers of regiments should be effective with their corps; and in the propriety of such a mo* tive uo military man could, for one moment, hesitate to acquiesce.
Considered, therefore, abstractedly, as a matter of general regulation, it would probably have received the applause of most military men; for such is the disinterested feeling of officers in general, that they would have overlooked the reduction thereby made in the emoluments of the staff, and have reconciled themselves to the measure, as productive of benefit to the service, and of hardship to none, because alike applicable to all.
This, however, has not been the result. The rule has never been acted upon generally, but partially, and therefore oppressively. Of thi«
Emoluments of Staff Officers.
it is in any man's power to satisfy himself, by referring to the foreign staff appointments for the last sen years. He will there find, that, while officers whose talents and services merited superior consideration, have been obliged to go on half pay in consequence of their staff appointments, others, without equal claims, have been permitted to retain their full pay. He will tind that in some instances (that of the late lamented M. Gen. V y is one) officers having staff appointments
have been placed on the half pay, without giving them even an option; while others have been deprived of their full pay, and kept in suspcnce far years before they were placed on half pay.
What is no less singular, and worthy of remark, as proving the want of reflection that has prevailed on this point, is, that the officers placed on the half pay have almost universally been those of the quarter-mustergeneral's department, while those of the adjutant-general's have been nearly exempt from the operation of the rule. Now it would be almost insulting to the readers of the Chronicle to observe what is known to every tyro in the art of war, that, although the duties of the former demand a variety of talent and instruction rarely to be met with, in an eminent degree, the latter requires little more than a good penman and arithmetician. The officer employed in the former branch of the service must have dedicated much time, and probably have incurred much expence, in obtaining necessary and indispensable qualifications ; whilst the other may, as adjutant, have acquired all that is requisite to his executing the duties of adjutant-general. But even were it otherwise, their situations are equal, and why not their advantages.
It may perhaps be replied, that in some instances these officers obtaiu rank by their appointment, and that therefore they are placed on the half pay.
To this I might answer, that in both departments alike rank is obtained by the appointments of deputy or chief, and what is fair for the one is just to the other. But admitting it were not so, I contend that the pay of the situation is either calculated at such a rate as will enable the person holding it to support his rank and station, or it is too great. If the latter, then it ought to be diminished. If only the former, on what principle would you reduce a man of honour, who may not be possessed of private fortune, to the dilemma of either incurring debts, or suffering his rank to be thrown in the shade? If the making officers purchase rank is not to be justified, surely this is the most indefensible mode of making them do it.
Nor does the evil to the individual stop here. We will suppose the case of a major, the eldest of his regiment, whose former services on the staff have procured him the offer of being made a deputy with an army on foreign service. His regiment being at home, he does not feel himself at liberty to decline an offer of being sent on foreign service, though saddled with the condition of his going on half pay. He therefore ac