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Lieutenant General Sir Rowland Hill.
Sir John Hill, the third and present baronet, was born July 21, 1740. He married one of the daughters and co-heiresses of John Chambre, of Petton, in Shropshire, Esq. by whom he has had sixteen children. He, for thirteen years, represented the town of Shrewsbury in parliament, in which situation we well remember him. As an able and upright senator, it is to be lamented that he should have ever been opposed !
Lieutenant-General Sir Rowland Hill, who is colonel of the 94th regiment; is the fourth son of the above-mentioned baronet. He was born August 1, 1772, and entered the army at an early period of his life. 'He passed through all the gradations of military rank with that credit and esteem which are the certain accompaniments of correct conduct and gentlemanly manners. He did not find it necessary to recommend himself to his younger companions by partaking with them in vicious and frivolous pursuits. He did not dissipate his time, and contract the habits of idleness by consuming his mornings at the billiard room: he relieved study and amusement by alternating them with each other. His piety assisted, rather than impeded bim in the performance of all the active duties of life; and, by a peculiar sweetness of temper, he shewed the practical fruit and effect which are ap pended to true religion, as their natural stock: and he recommended his example to the imitation of others by embellishing it with the ornamental graces of the manners of an officer and a gentleman.
General Hill accompanied General Abercrombie on the expedition to Egyp. It was certainly no slight distinction to be mentioned with peculiar praise, as one of the officers upon this service. The thanks of the houses of parliament were voted to the navy and army, and each regiment which had served during the campaign, was permitted to add an embroidered sphinx to its colours, and to have the word Egypt inscribed on them. The Grand Seignior likewise testified his gratitude, by instituting for this special purpose, the Order of the Crescent. The principal commanders were admitted 10 the honour of this knighthood, and gold medals were distributed among the field officers, captains, and subalterns of the victorious army.
General Hill's next service was in the war of the peninsula. In the battle of Talavera he eminently distinguished himself. He was wounded after having repulsed the French in repeated attacks. It is well known that it is the established practice of the French generals to select some point in the enemy's line, and to endeavour to bear it down, as well by superior numbers as by repeated attacks. They not only usually commence their battles according to this practice, but in the course of the action, and in the attacks of the reserve, they govern themselves upon the same principle. The superiority of the English bayonet, which has enabled our men to support themselves a longer time against a great superiority of numbers, and thereby afforded time for distant succour to be brought up, has hitherto foiled this manæuvre croavned with so much success against the Prussians and Austrians. But it evidently requires a very considerable degree of firmness and dexterity to support the first attack. It is for this firmness, therefore, that Gene
Military Education. ral Hill deserves praise. He is said to bave displayed it eminently in the battle of which we are speaking. Mr. Perceval moved the thanks of the House of Commons for this victory; he took occasion in his speech upon this subject to mention the distinguished manner in which General Hill bad repulsed the French at the point of the bayonet. In the late affairs of the surprise of General Girard, and of the bridge of Almaraz, General Hill has crowned his former reputation; but as the documents of these actions have already been given in full in the Military Chronicle, we now pass them over,
MR. EdsToR.-ST. PHILIP, your córrespondent, appears to write with judgment on the confined system of Military Education in this country, Possibly one reason why those officers who have studied abroad are found more competent, is, because the very act of a temporary residence in a foreign land insensibly expands the mind, leads it to comparisons, and gives it some insight into men and manners. A restricted education is ill calculated to form a character of discrimination, and firinness; men so instructed will require a precedent for all their actions, and unless the able General Dundas, or some author of their acquaintance, has provided a remedy for any accidental dilemma, the dearth of grand and fertile conceptions renders them undecided, and their arrangements consequently without energy.
A solid foundation should therefore be laid of the elemental parts of learning; and as all the branches of knowledge have a mutual connection and dependance, the only way to prevent narrow prejudices in favour of one is to afford, at the same time, a prospect of several, and alternately to exercise the mind upon each. A general frames his designs according to the measure of his talents and the means within his reach; the great and cultivated spirit rises superior to difficulties, and dares resources which would appal the weak and barren understanding. A Spanish couplet well expresses this idea
Si impossibles parecen empressas altas
Gloria consisteI would maintain that an education on the plan now adopted cannot fit & man for the command of an army, although it may render bim competent to the mechanism of moving or fighting a brigade under the eye and orders of more comprebensive heads, any more than what is termed a classical education, viz, a knowledge of Latin and Greek, can form a statesman. Have we not a recent and lamentable example, that a fertile memory in capping verses is not a sufficient qualification for the representative of Majesty in a oreign cabinet.
Character of Pluturch In the morning of our days, the sceds of general knowledge should be sown, and the mind be induced to nurture the plants as they spring, and to grasp at information on many subjects. Then, though unforeseen difficulties and disappointments arise, it will not lose itself in astonishment and surprise, but retire to its own resources with confidence; and, relying on its innate strength, will dare lofty and original acts.
I submit to the judgment of the more experienced, whether the system of education now in use at public schools does not tend to enlarge the ideas and expand the mind, and consequently to form great military characters, rather than the establishments of Marlow and Wycomb,(into which interest alone can open admittance). Could not a professor of nilitary tactics be added to the masters of Eton, Westminster, &c. &c. in order tbat youths intended for the arıny might imbibe professional instruction without being deprived of the general knowledge essential for those who are to figure in the grand world? Although characters' competent to the task are difficult to be found, yet some few surely may be selected, and if royal patronage followed their exertions, others would rise from obscurity, warmed hy the rays which beam kindly on their bumble merit.
CHARACTER OF PLUTARCH.
SIR– I have seen with a great deal of pleasure, that in your last number of the MiLITARY Classics you are giving Plutarch to the army, and I hope every officer will avail himself of this cheap method of obtaining a copy of this most inestimable author, (whether we consider him as a soldier, a statesmen, or historian), which the stream of time has brought down to us without merging him in its wave. The following, Sir, is an extract from a speech of the great Lord Chatham, when Mr. Pitt, in the House of Commons“ The book from which I have quoted, Sir, in enforcement of my sentiments, " is one of those which has ays been my study and delight. No book, I say, Sir,
was ever perused by me with equal satisfaction to that which I experienced from the “ lives of Plutarch.” Another great and learned man expressed himself equally warmly in praise of this admirable author. The following is an extract from the works of Guy Patin.—" Pliny's Natural History is one of the best books in the world, and is of itse!f
a library; but if to this you add Plutarch and Seneca, you have then the whole family “ of good books; the father, mother, and son."
The praise of Budæus, however, another very eminent scholar, is still more pointed. Budæus was the favourite and chancellor of Francis the first, King of France; he was always with this sovereign in his hours of leisure, and accompanied him to the splendid interview he had with Henry the Eighth, near Ardres. He asked him one day-Were all the books to be burned, which book he would choose to have exempted from the general destruction. “ The works of Plutarch, Sir,” replied he, “ for they contain the ele" ments of every thing that is known.” It may not be amiss to mention, for the encou. ragement of some of your military readers, that Budæus, to use his own words, was “ both self-taught, and late taught.” He supplied these defects by bis great pains, and became one of the profoundest scholars of bis age, and this witbout neglecting the duties of his chancellorship. He was at the same time, as I have said, the favourite of Francis the first, and the correspondent of Erasmus.
Concluded from page . THE Russian cabinet knew, that in terminating a war such as that carried on by revolutionary France, no government could be at liberty to adhere so far to hacknied precedents and principles long disregarded by all its neighbours, as to compromise the safety of the state. Who first settled at the cape of Good Hope, colonized Brasil and Surinam, or conquered St. Domingo*, and to whom had belonged Malta, Candia, Egypt, and Bassora,
Since the House of Bourbon ascended the throne of Spain, the separation of the colony of Șt. Domingo from France, was, in as far as relates to Great Britain, the most important event that has occurred in the politics of the world. I should have been considered by the British government as brought about by the guardian-angel of the empire, to affirm our national existence, and perpetuate our maritime grandeur!
Of every twenty years that have elapsed since the peace of Utrecht, we have had to fight ten with monarchical France, in defence of our foreign possessions and maritime trade. In that period all that we have acquired is Canada in farm, and late lost in property that immense empire which now makes the United States of America; we have incurred a debt that absorbs twenty millions sterling annually, of the industry of the public; we have lost the naval support of Holland, the markets of Europe for our manufactures, and all political connexion with the continent. In the mean time, France is become a military state, has doubled her pational powers, tripled heč military force, disembarrassed herself froin debt, roused the moral energy of the public by her conquests, extended her political influence from Washington to Moscow, and her military command froın Bergen in Norway to Madagascar. In this relative situation we had the most indisputable of all rights, that of self-preservation, to have used every means in our power to prevent the French republic ever again acquiring possessions abroad. The revolution of France in itself was a matter of indifference to Great Britain as a state; her Jacobinism was a bugbear wherewith to frightea fools; or had she conqnered continental Europe, what was that to us? It was our business to care, that neither France nor any power under ber influence and authority should either conquer or retaio 8 single post or settlement out of Europe; and above all things, Great Britain should have spent her last shilling to maintain a separation between France, republic or monarchy, and St. Domingo. Rather than suffer that island to fall under the dominion of ibe consulate, it would be good policy on our part to give to any power, Russia or America, no matter which, that would protect it, either independent or as a colony, the island of Jamaica as a douceur.
At war with France, she being anable to conquer odr possessions, could, not impose upon us any obligation to respect bers. Or, for what purpose go to war? If we went out to fight merely in our own desence, in that case, we bad certainty, when it was in our power, a right to provide for our future safety. Our allies subdued, and the contident of Europe under the doidinion of our enemies, the future safety of the Britisha VOL. IV: NO. 22.
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia. were, in the court of Petersburgh, considerations of no sort of political import i the government of Russia believed, that it was now the question, who should hereafter possess those and other such sertlements that concerned the interests and safety of the British empire; and it was thought that overtures drawn up, upon that principle, would have been made by the British ministry. Indeed all Europe expected that such would have been our line of conduct at this auspicious moment. Those who were in anywise interested for the future prosperity of the British empire and peace of the world, ardently wished that a cordial and solid arrangement between the governments of Great Britain and Russia might take place, and our enemies almost trembled for the consequence“. But here again Buonaparle's stars came
empire undoubtedly required, that sources of maritime trade and naval power, sufficient to oblige those very enemies to open their ports to our commerce, and their councils eu our political influence, should have been retained. As France extended hier doninions in Europe, it was our duty to have confined her to that continent, and to bave increased and secured our own possessions abroad. If the republic should recover the island of Hispaniola, that settlement alone, will, in spite of the world, give her a preponderance upon the ocean, equal to the superiority she now assumes on land!
• When the Chief Consul heard that our fleet was returniog from the Baltic through the Belts and the Sound unmolested, knowing that his army in Egypt could neither hold out, nor he reinforced, he looked upon an alliance between Great Britain and Russia as certain. It is no secret, that under this apprehension, Buonaparte hastened to offer his mediation between the Bashaw of Widdin and the Grand Signior; he at the same time, proposed to His Sublime Highness, to seud a troop of French soldiers and engineers from Otranto in Italy, through Macedonia, to defend the canal of Constanti. nople; and he sent his most confidential adherents loaded with intrigues and diamonds to Petersburgh, Berlin, Copenhagen, and to other quarters; as we skall particularize in the second part of these sketches. He lavished his eulogies on the Prince Royal of Denmark, and pressed him to accept succours of men, officers, and arms; and he used all his art to bring about an accord, or rather a co-operation between the courts of Berlin and Vienna. In this last negociation the Consul was secunded bg certain men, who little suspected his motives !
What made the French government more anxious, and almost alarmed at the proba. bility of an alliance between Great Britain and Russia was, that in a correspondence between General Duroc and some persons near the court of Berlin, a grand treaty was stated to be really in agitation aud far advanced, and which was said to have for its basis a plan, that had been proposed to the First Consul, and demurred upon, during the life of Paul I. viz.-1. To re-establish the Greek crupire, to be confined to the Turkish dominions in Europe. 2. To erect Natulia, Candia, and Cyprus, into an hereditary mo. narchy for the exiled princes of the House of Bourbon, uuder the guarantee of Russia. 3. That the lorian Republic of the Seven Islands, and the island of Malta be given to the order of the St. John of Jerusalem. 4. That Egypt be au independent state under 'The prolection of Russia and France. • To these four articles Great Britain was said to have acceded, taking upon herself the guarantees which the Emperor Paul bad offered to France; and to have likewise agreed with Russia and Denmark upon the following clauses, to wit:--St. Domingo, (or the tha Island of Cuba if America should prefer St. Domingo) ceded to Russia. Porte