worthless accomplishment of practised oratory ; he, our guest, being also in his own person, as I by long experience and observation can attest, among our most powerful, most efficient, and most successful debaters? Julius Cæsar led the disciplined and accomplished armies of Rome, through the almost unresisting medium of savages, without knowledge, without discipline, without rule, without art—illcommanded and worse equipped. He led his Roman legions through them almost as a boat cuts through the wave, or an eagle cleaves the air ; and it was only after he had brought them back in triumph, and inured them to war by many campaigns, that for the first time he met a disciplined force, but under a warrior exhausted by years; and crossed that river, which all the confidence of all the armies in the world would never have tempted our illustrious Chief ever to let a thought cross his mind that he should ever dream of crossing it-I mean that Rubicon which separates the obedient, the peaceful, loyal citizen from the traitor to his country and the usurper. Shall the comparison be made or hinted at, only in order instantly to be dismissed, with the greatest of all the Captains

of antiquity-I mean the Carthaginian leader ? But his consummate talents were debased, and their extraordinary growth was stunted and stifled by an undergrowth of the most abominable vices that can debase or deprave humanity. Or shall it be to the modern Chief-the greatest next to him of modern warriors ? But he, Napoleon, commanded, and did not conflict with the armies of France ; he commanded, but did not meet in battle his own disciplined Marshals ; but our Chief, after defeating all those Marshals, one after another, ended his glorious career by overthrowing that chief himself. But

it is true—it is a more striking truth, and it is more useful to all public purposes, to contemplate, that I should recollect the other, the vaster differences which separate the chiefs of ancient days, and of other countries, by an impassable gulf from ours; they were conquerors inflamed with the thirst of ambition ; they spilt rivers of blood to attain their guilty end ; they were tyrants, and nothing could satiate their ambition at home, but the slavery of their fellow-creatures, as nothing could satiate it abroad, but the deluge they poured out, of their blood. Our Chief has never drawn the sword but in that defensive war, which alone of all warfare is not a great crime. He has never drawn his sword against the liberty of any people, but he has constantly unsheathed it, and blessed be God, he has triumphantly unsheathed it, to secure the liberty of all. The servant of his Prince to command his troops, but the soldier and defender of his country ; the enemy of her enemies, be they foreign or domestic, but the fast friend of the rights of his fellow-subjects, and the champion of their lawful Constitution. The tempest which resounded all over the world, is now, thanks to him, hushed ; the shock which made the thrones of Europe to quake, and the horns of the altar themselves to tremble, has now, thanks to him, expended its force. We may, thanks to him, expect to pass the residue of our days without that turmoil of war in which our

youth was brought up ; but if ever the materials of some fell explosion should once more be collected by human wickedness, in any quarter of the globe—if the hushed tempest should again break loose from its cavem if the shock which is felt not now, should once more make our institutions to quiver, happy this nation that knows to what wise counsels to look.



[ocr errors]

Happy the Sovereign that has at command, the right arm which has carried in triumph the English standard all over the globe-happy the people who may yet again confide, not their liberties indced, for that is a trust which he would spurn from him with indignation—but who would confide in his matchless valour for their safety against all the perils which Providence may have in store for them. You of the Cinque Ports stand at the advanced post of danger ; if that danger should ever approach, through your lines the enemy that would dare to defile our shores, must pierce; and over your bodies I know he will walk should he pursue his career towards the heart of the realm. But upon whom have we placed the command, and who is he whom we oppose face to face to the peril ? As some gallant ship which is destined to convey the thunders of England against any hostile power, has planted on her prow the image of a Nelson, or a Jervis, but only, as they have been taken from us, to remind their descendants of their great feats in arms, to stimulate them to exertion, whereby those deeds may be emulated, so have you not the lifeless image, but the living warrior—the conqueror of a hundred fields-planted on the outermost point of the island-on the advanced posts—in face and front of all enemies—to command you, encourage his country, to make his Sovereign secure, to make the independence of England perpetual, and to hurl as great dismay among all ranks of the landtroops as the cannon and the might of Nelson and Jervis hurled defiance and destruction among the fleets of our enemies. Then would be seen-what God forbid I should ever live to witness the necessity of, or feel the occasion for— Wellington coming forth a veteran warrior, to add one bright page more to the history of his imperishable renown.'




“ The information which we obtain regarding the position of an enemy whom we intend to attack is in general very imperfect. We cannot send out natives in the Company's service, who, from long habit, might be able to give an accurate account, because they, being inhabitants of the Carnatic, or Mysore, are as well known in this part of the country as if they were Europeans ; and we cannot view their positions ourselves, till we can bring up the main body of our armies, because the enemy are always surrounded by immense bodies of horse. The consequence is, that we are obliged to employ as hircarrahs the natives of the country, and to trust to their reports. . All the hircarrahs reported that the enemy's camp, which I had concerted with Colonel Stevenson to attack, was at Bokerdun, I was to attack their left, where I knew the infantry was posted ; and Colonel Stevenson their right. Their camp, however, instead of being at Bokerdun, had its right to that village, and extended above six miles to Assaye, where was its left ; it was all in the district of Bokerdun, which was the cause of the mistake.

“My march on the 23rd was so directed that I should be within twelve or fourteen miles of the enemy's camp on that day, which I supposed to be at Bokerdun. Instead of that, by the extension of their line to the eastward, I found myself within six miles of them. I here received intelligence that they were going off ; at all events, whether they were about to go or stay, I must have reconnoitred. I could not have reconnoitred without taking the whole of my small force ; and when I got near them, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to retire in front of their numerous cavalry. But I determined to attack them, as I really believed the intelligence I received at Naulniah to be true. When I found the intelligence I received at Naulniah was false, that I had their whole army in my front, and that they had a most formidable position, three or four times my number of infantry only, and a vast quantity of cannon, I deliberated whether I should withdraw, and attack on the following morning according to the plan. The consequence of my withdrawing would have been, that I should have been followed to Naulniah by their cavalry, and possibly should have found it difficult to get there. They would have harassed me all that day; and as I had only ground fortified by myself to secure my baggage in, it was ten to one whether I should not have lost a part of it during the attack on the following morning ; and at all events, I should have been obliged to leave more than one battalion to secure it. During the attack on the 23rd the enemy did not know where the baggage was ; and, although it was so close to them, they never went near it. Besides this, on the other hand, there was a chance, indeed a certainty, that the enemy would hear that Colonel

« ForrigeFortsett »