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consequence than any other ship of the British arms was fully sustained war; and by being liable to capture by the operations of that little band by one of our two.deckers, are the of heroes to whom the defence of description of ships, that, if the Ame- Canada was entrusted. The military rican war could long continue, would prowess of the Americans had appear. be too expensive as frigates, and noted contemptible in the eyes of the of force for the line."
world ; nor had their naval efforts Such then was the result of the first gained them any great credit with operations of this second American those who were capable of reflecting war, a war which had been undere on the prodigious advantages under taken by the government of the Uni- which their short-lived triumphs had ted States from the most unworthy been gained, and on the energy and motives ; from a system of policy resolution which had been evinced by which sought to undermine the ener- British sailors, even at a moment when gies of the British empire, and to sup- all the chances of war and every com. port the ambition of France; to over- bination of circumstances conspired whelm the only state which resisted against them to a degree, which must the arrogance of despotism, and stood have repressed the ardour of all but manfully forward in defence of the in- those, in whom heroism is an innate dependence of nations. The glory of and indestructible principle.
Affairs of the Peninsula. Retrospect of the War in that part of the World.
Projects of Lord Wellington. Capture of Ciudad Rodrigom Of Badajos.
He war in Spain exhibited at its he could not have expected more eqcommencement a favourable view of tire submission, than he already rethe Spanish character, and seemed to ceived from the government which he open very brilliant prospects for the thus risked every thing to supersede; continent of Europe. When the while by an act of violence so palpable power of France over the surrounding he could not fail to alarm the pride nations seemed to mock all resistance; and excite the indignation of the mean. when her armies had humbled some est Spaniard. He preferred, howof the greatest monarchies, and blot- ever, the gratification of his arroted others from the list of independent gance to the stability of his power ; states ; when a general feeling of sub- he insulted and outraged the people missive terror seemed to fill the minds of Spain beyond all endurance, and of the continental rulers, the patriots called forth in a bold, but undisciplined of Spain broke the deadly spell, and peasantry, a spirit which, in the first bade defiance to their oppressors. The instance, overthrew the finest of his folly of Buonaparte in provoking a legions. resistance of this character and mag- The enthusiasm of the Spaniardo nitude will be very generally acknow. was warmly seconded by the generoledged. Spain he already retained in sity of the British nation. It is real vassalage ; her fleets, her armies, scarcely too much to say that a deterher resources of all kinds, were at his mination to support this people in disposal ; the decrepid and pusillani. their honourable struggle was univermous despotism which enslaved this sal among Englishmen, since the few fine country knew no law but his will. who hesitated were of a character While he transacted with such a go- that deprived their opinions of all vernment he was safe ; but by an un- title to regard. To what extent such disguised outrage on all laws, he made support might be required, and in his criminal views manifest to Europe, what shape it might be most prudent and raised in the Spanish people that to afford it, were questions on which patriotism, of which the other conti- some difference of opinion did arise, nental nations no longer gave an ex
and which it was difficult to settle, ample. By appointing the lowest till the character and prospects of the minion of his tyranny to govern Spain, war should be developed But that
every nerve should be strained to pro- officers into battle long before they mote this glorious contest, and to had been prepared by a previous take advantage of the spirit which course of discipline ; and they have the madness of the enemy had created, with wonderful facility been routed was the sentiment of every British and dispersed. Down to the period statesman of any eminence, and the of which we are now to give an acenthusiastic desire of the British peo.' count, the regular armies of Spain ple. The English saw with indigna. had done little towards the expulsion tion, scarcely inferior to that of the of the
while the government sufferers, the base and profligate had discovered but a slender portion schemes by which the enemy sought of that wisdom and vigour, which were to subject a great nation ; they recog- 80 loudly called for by the awful cir. nised in the triumph of the Spanish cumstances of the crisis in which they cause, that of justice and morality were destined to act. throughout Europe; they locked The character of the Spanish revo. forward to the deliverance of Spain, lution will account, in some measure, as the emancipation of a fine people for this deplorable inactivity, which from tyranny both foreign and domes- has astonished all Europe. The tic, and the re-establishment of a pow- Spaniards were not roused to action erful state, which might restrain the by the desire of enjoying more liberty overweening ambition of France upon than they already possessed under their the continent. Such were the views, old government--they were not aniequally magnanimous and solid, which mated by these extravagant aspirain this country created a deeper inte- tions, which had given a character of rest in Spanish affairs, than had before ferocious energy to the revolutionary been felt in the transactions of
fo- career of their neighbours. An at. reign state.
tachment to their ancient rulers, and Great reliance was at first placed on to the independence of their country, the efforts of the Spaniards them- formed the basis of their revolution ; selves ; and it must be owned that the wild enthusiasm of individual amthe overwhelming burst of patriotism bition had little or no share in their which, in the first campaign, seemed efforts. The principle of the Spanish to carry every thing before it, might revolution was the most honourable have justified this confidence. These which can animate a people love for expectations, however, were sadly dis- their country and hatred of its opappointed; no vigorous or efficient pressors ; but this principle is never so system was pursued by the Spanish lively and active as that which aspires to authorities ; no men of such talents, individual aggrandizement and glory. as revolutions have called forth in Fighting for the restoration of a go. other countries, appeared, to guide the vernment which systematically checked destinies of Spain The Spanish ar- the growth of talents, the Spanish pamies have never borne any proportion triot could have no hope that his most to the population and resources of the distinguished services would ever secountry; they have been uniformly cure for him the highest rewards: defective in discipline ; while their of- such reflections might not damp the ficers have in general been deficient in honest ardour of real patriotism, but all the qualities of the military charac. must have repressed that exuberance ter, courage alone excepted. The of genius which the difficulties of the Spanish armies, hastily enlisted, were country so imperiously demanded. too often led by their inexperienced The ultimate triumph of the cause
for which so many exertions were re- with truth, that if the defence of Spain quired, must at once have reduced the had been committed to the Guerillas most aspiring to something like his alone, although they might have been original obscurity, and defrauded him unable to expel the invader, they would of the high rewards to which he would never have ceased to disturb him ; and naturally look forward. Had the re- Spain, by their irregular efforts, made volution in Spain resembled that of the only compensation, which in her France had the convulsion been so circumstances could be expected, for great as to resolve society into its ele- that want of system and genius which ments, and cast the chances of future
were to be supplied by the generosity rank and pre-eminence on the decision of her allies. of the sword, the military genius of In the Marquis of Wellington, who Spain might have been developed, and had already become illustrious by his that country might have passed through talents, and renowned for his exploits, a scene of horrors to a higher rank a- the Spanish nation were destined to mong the European states than she
find their deliverer. This great man, seems for the present destined to attain. before his appointment to the comBut there is no chance that even mand of the British armies in the pe. in the most favourable circumstances ninsula, had distinguished himself as she could have rivalled revolutionary an able and enterprising officer ; but France in a display of talent ; for the the field on which he acted was nar. thick darkness which had obscured row in comparison, and the events in her ancient glory, could not have been which he bore so conspicuous a part, instantaneously dissipated even by the were not much regarded in Europe. most fiery revolution. The circum. His friends, however, to whom the stances, however, in which she was extent and fertility of his genius were called upon to resist a powerful inva. in some measure known, hesitated not der, were altogether most unpropiti- to predict something great and extrapus to the evolution of her natural ordinary from his future career; and energies ; and the consequence has one of his political enemies (but that been, that, although the Spanisl pea- one distinguished alike by his penetrasantry are both brave and patriotic, tion and magnanimity) made an ho. they have too often been doomed to nourable confession in the British se. perish by the ignorance and folly of nate of the profound respect and en. their leaders. It was in the irregular tire confidence with which this
young warfare which was now carried on with soldier had inspired him. Little was such zeal by the Guerillas, that the na- it imagined, however, with what splentional qualities of the Spaniards were did rapidity these fond anticipations displayed to the greatest advantage. were to be fulfilled. The mind of This species of warfare required no Lord Wellington, equally solid and very high talents for its management; comprehensive, his genius at once pru. it demanded but the local knowledge, dent and daring, was soon to find am. the courage and constancy of the Spa. ple scope in the affairs of Spain. He nish peasantry, and the resolute and was sent out with a handful of men to daring spirit of enterprise which pre defend Portugal against the overvailed among
their chiefs. Formida. whelming host of the enemy; with a ble indeed were these unexpected and fine sagacity he seized and fortified a invisible enemies to the French, of position, which in the meantime saved whom incredible numbers became vice that country ; and
he calmly waited for tims to their fury. It has been said an opportunity, which he foresaw must
VOL. V. PART I.
Booner or later occur, to make the ene reer, yet did he continue on all occa. my repent of his usurpation. When he sions to add to the splendour of his took the command in the peninsula, he own reputation, and the glory of the found the economy of the army in a British empire. The battles which he state of great confusion ; in an instant had hitherto fought had been brilliant, he remedied every thing, and raised the and it was not the fault of his charac. discipline of his troops to as high a' ter, but of his situation, that they had superiority as their valour. He disco- not proved decisive ; he had acted with vered, through the mist of prejudice, boldness and resolution, and had disthe true character of the Portugueze played a quality which seems essential people ; he saw that they had the mate to British commandersa confidence rials of military excellence; and, in in the valour of his troops, of which spite of clamour and faction, he had he has never had cause to repent. He them turned into soldiers, and rendered entered on the campaign of this year worthy of fighting by the side of Bri- with greater advantages than he had tish troops. He comprehended at once ever before possessed_his army was the character of the Spanish war in all more numerous, and in a higher state its bearings ; he observed that the of discipline--the irregular efforts of numbers of the French armies must, in the Spaniards promised a more active circumstances which he himself could co-operation than they had hitherto create, only ensure their speedy de. afforded, and a prospect begun to open struction ; he drew them round him that the strength of France and her in a country which famine compelled tributary states might find employthem to abandon; and he seized the ment in the north of Europe. Yet were opportunity to destroy them in their the difficulties which presented themretreat. Not dismayed by the prodi. selves of a magnitude to have appalled gious advantages which bis enemy pos. any other general; for not only were sessed over him in the numbers of his there large French armies in the north, troops, in the resources, almost unli. south, centre, and east of Spain, but mited, which enabled him to supply fortresses to reduce, which the enemy his losses with the greatest rapidity, had strengthened by all the ingenious and in the possession of all the strong resources of art. But this great com. places of Spain, he seems, at an early mander was not to be dismayed; he period, to have formed the gigantic formed the bold plan of advancing into project of destroying the French pow. the centre of Spain, with an army, to er, and expelling the invader from the which even one of the enemy's was a peninsula. He knew the disposition of match in point of numbers of storm. his government, and the ardour of his ing and reducing the strongest forcountry to support him in his grand tresses, and of driving out the invaders enterprise ; but he knew also, that the in the course of one brilliant campaign. military resources of England, which It is the highest praise which can be could be conveniently devoted to the bestowed on Lord Wellington to say, war in this quarter, were necessarily that even in the course of this year he limited, and he was sensible of the dif- nearly accomplished his object, and ficulties which he should have to en. failed at last by accidents for which he counter in the ignorance, the false was in no way responsible. But the pride, and the prejudices of the Spanish character of this illustrious warrior, government. He was sometimes una, who rises above his contemporaries pot voidably circumscribed, and often mis- more by the endowments of his mind chievously thwarted in his high ca. than the virtues of his heart, will be