Page images
PDF

fail to be extremely odious, and to have a powerful tendency to weary people and to put them out of humour and out of patience with the war. This was, however, the splendid measure; the grandest project of the grand projector. It was the measure, in the conception and execution of which was to be exhibited a complete contrast to the “indecision, the incongruity, the im“ becility, and the inefficiency,” which he so loudly attributed to Mr. Addington and his colleagues. This measure and that of the corn bill seem to be the only instances, in which he has even attempted to rise, in point of energy, superior to his predecessor; and, in both he has discovered equal imbecillity, though, unfortunately for the country, not equal inefficiency, for, his partizans may truly assert, that, if he cannot raise men he can raise bread. VoluntEERs. In referring the reader to an article in another part of this sheet, relating to the Loyal Bath Volunteers, I think it right to observe, that the object of inserting such articles is to convince my readers of the utter inefficiency of the Volunteer System, and, by the means of such conviction, to prevail on them to assist, every one according to his rank and power, in furthering the recruiting service of the regular army. The 400,000 volunteers do not one half of them ever attend any duty, or parade. The public prints lament that such and such a corps musters so thin. Several could be named that have fallen off in more than half their original numbers; and it would not be difficult to point out a regiment, which at first consisted of sixteen bundred men, which was highly honoured by royalty itself, and which does not now muster under arms much above three hundred men. Lord Castlereagh, who may, probably, be an eye witness of some of these back-slidings, will, the next time he is called on, be more modest in his statements; at least one would think so, but there is no speaking with confidence upon such a subject. His lordship's famous speech, which will be seen in the Parliamentary Debates, Vol. I. p. 202, and in which he made our military force to amount to a number approaching a million of men, was published in the French and Italian languages, and circulated in all the courts of Europe This was an old trick of George Rost's and Mr. Pitt's. But, can it be supposed, that the nation will finally derive either honour or advantage from thus circulating fallacious and exaggerated statements and calculations 2 In answer to George Rose's pamphlet there was, I have been told, a very able pamphlet published in Italy, exposing the fallaces contained in the former work. To expose

them did not, indeed, require much ability, for fallacies more glaring never were committed to paper.—The volunteers will, however, still be numerous enough for all the purposes for which they are, or can be wanted, or, at least, to which they can be applied; for, as to their going into the field of battle against a regular disciplined army, every one now ridicules the idea. In proper numbers, however, they may be very useful in their several districts, and it is to be hoped that the minister, having seen the evils of attempting to extend the system to far, will keep it within due bounds, and will turn his attention to an improvement and an augmentation of the real army. He has given up the ba'lot: that is much, and, in the course of another year, experience may possibly teach hin the necessity of doing still more in the same way. But, to do any thing effectual, he must give up his favourite project of making the parish-officers re. cruiting serjeants, and must do away all competition of bounties. Milita RY CARs. –— It would sppear, that the project of conveying soldiers to the coast, if need be, in carriages, is to be persevered in, and we are told, in the public prints, that carriages are already prepared sufficient to convey 10,000 men to any given point of the coast, in a few hours. Nay, one of these prints states, that, in consequence of the subscriptions of carriages and horses, we shall have “the means of bring“ing 200,000 men to act against the inva“ ding force of the enemy within 30 hours," and, I am pretty clearly pointed at as “ wishing to induce Buonaparté to come “ over,” because I represent the project as nugatory. This very print, and, indeed, all the others that talk the same language, have a hundred times expressed their wish, that Buonaparté would come over, and that he would come quickly too, thereby echoing the sentiment of Mr. Pitt, who gave, as a toast, “the English Volunteers, and a speedy “ meeting with Buonaparté on our own “ shores.” Now, if this were really their wish so long ago, how could they blame me and others who agree with me in opinion, if we were to “wish to induce Buonaparté to “come over ?" But, as if this proof of inconsistency were not sufficient, this writer, in the very same paragraph, accuses us of endeavouring to persuade Buonaparté, that “ he may stay at home, look on, and see us “ ruined without giving himself any trouble “ at all;" and that his attempt at invading us would be an useless risk. Well, then, as far as our endeavours this way have any efsect upon the enemy, they must tend to pre| vent his “ coming over." Strangel that

[blocks in formation]

consequence, if such and such measures are persevered in, if such and such precautions are not adopted, if such and such exertions are not made and never, upon any occasion, has the position been laid down in the naked state in which it is represented by this writer. As to wishing Buonaparté to come here, from what statement of mine can such a wish be inferred; unless, indeed, it be supposed, that I can wish to see the country conqqered, and then a fool's head as well as a traitor's heart must be attributed to me; for, from the unoment the war was talked of, and even before, I have been almost incessant in my endeavours to prevail upon the government to raise such a force and to make such exertions as would render the conquest of the country next to impossible, though the strength of France were brought against it. — It is said, that we “oppose every thing “ the present minister brings forward for the * advantage of the country, that we coun

“ teract the cause of the country itself, and

“ are regardless of hastening its ruin, pro“ vided the minister fall with it." How

rofligately false this is the readers of the

egister need not be told; but I cannot forbear quoting upon this occasion a passage upon this subject from the last Number, p. 252. "“There can be no harm in prepara“tion, whether the enemy be really coming * or not; and, as to the minister's wearying “ us with his alarms and his projects, we * must not suffer ourselves to be wearied. * If we dislike him, it is our duty so to tell our Sovereign through the regular constitutional channel of Parliament, and, un“less we do this, we can have no reason to * complain, much less to make the circum“stance of his being minister a pretext for

[ocr errors]

“ lukewarminess in the cause of our country.

“No ; we should resolve steadily to perse“vere, till we have defeated both the mi* nister and the enemy; but, at all events, “ the enemy." Again in the Register of the 28th July, p. 118, upon the subject of the Military Project Bill. “The present project “ of the minister must be excessively expen“sive to the country, as well as vexatious “ and oppressive to individuals; and, after “all, I fear, it will prove lamentably ineffi

cient ; but, be this as it may, it is our duty “ strictly to obey the law that has enjoined “ the execution of that project; and, not “ only to obey the law, but to give it all the “aid in our power, and thus, by our loyalty, patriotism, zeal, and activity, to make up “ as far as we are able, for the negligence, “ the incapacity, or the obstinacy of the mi“ nisters." Let what I have, from the first talk of scarcity, said upon that subject be examined, and let it be denied, if any one can deny it, that, as far as my writings are calculated to produce effect, the effect must be to render the people quiet and patient under their suffering. With what decency, then, can this writer assert, that I “ coun“teract the cause of the country, and am “regardless of hastening its ruin, provided “ the minister fall with it?” He is insincere: he does not believe a syllable of what he says: he knows I am as warm a friend to my country as any man that that country contains: but he also knows that I attack the follies and faults of the minister, and he, like a good honest hireling, endeavours to avenge his employer, by representing my attacks as being made against my country. “You oppose," says he, “every thing that “ the present minister brings forward for the advantage of the county." Here we differ: I do not think that what I oppose is for the advantage of the country: on the contrary, I endeavour to prove that many things which he brings forward are likely to produce injury to the country, and however small may be my success in convincing others, most people will believe that I am myself convinced of the correctness of my opinions. But, if you are opposed to the minister, you are opposed to your King and country. Mr. Pitt and his partisans did not, indeed, seem to entertain this way of thinking a few months ago, when they wished to turn out poor Mr. Addington: Mr. Pitt himself could then deal about his degrading epithets at a pretty liberal rate : but, being himself in power, his old maxim is revived: the partisans identify him with the King and country; to oppose him, therefore, is to oppose both King and country, and thus, in due course of reasoning, every one that opposes Mr. Pitt is neither more nor less than a traitor, and, of course, deserves to expiate his crime upon the scaffold In spite of this terrific docurine, however, I shall continue to disapprove of such of the measures of Mr. Pitt as I think either foolish or wicked ; to the former class, it appears to me, the \olitary-Cor Project properly belongs, and I am persuaded that a very little reflection upon the subject will convince the reader that my

[ocr errors]

opinion is not entirely destitute of foundation.—The ministerial writer above referred to argues as if the objection to this project was, that it would afford the army the “ most expeditious conveyance to the field “ of battle;” but, I appeal to the reader, whether my objection was not of an exactly contrary nature: I explicitly gave it as my opinion, that, “if ten thousand men were to “ be moved from Surrey to any part of “ Kent, it would be utterly impossible to “ convey them in carriages, so soon as they “ would march thither on foot.” In support of that opinion I shall now offer such reasons as present themselves upon a first view of the matter, and let me assure the ministerial writer, that if he means to counteract their effect, it must be by showing that they are erroneous, and not by imputing factiousness to the person from whom they proceed.——Ten thousand men have been mentioned as the number to be conveyed to a given point, and mention has been made of two hundred thousand to be conveyed to meet an invading enemy, and, as the invading enemy will most likely be found assembled at one point, the two hundred thousand are, of course, to be conveyed to one point. First let us make a calculation of the space that the necessary cars will occupy. Every four wheeled carriage with four horses, and room to walk round it, will take a space in length of 8 yards, at the very least. As every carr is to carry 12 men, including serjeants and drummers, the space, that is to say, the length of road, necessary for 10,000 men, thus hoisted into cars, would be 4 miles and about half a furlong : suppose it to be four miles, and, then, the space necessary for 200,000 men, would be 50 miles. But, observe; this is the standing space : very different indeed must be the space in which the carrs could move, even as slow as foot could fall, as every one must be convinced whose eye was ever, for one moment, fixed upon a procession of any sort, particularly of four-wheeled carriages. To travel for any distance, taking the effect of hill and dell into account, no carriages, though with horses ever so well disciplined to the business, can be allowed an interval for each of less than thirty yards. This calculation stretches the 10,000 men along 20 miles of road; and, the 200,000 would require a space longer than from Penzance to Dover ! Nay, I am not jesting with Sir Brook Watson, as the ministerial writers seem to suppose. I am in earnest, and I venture to assert, that no man who knows anything at all about the matter, will deny, that, for every such carriage, so travelling, a length of road 14

of 38 yards is absolutely necessary, and that, even with that space, the travelling cannot, if there be only a hundred carriages, be at a rate greater than about four or five miles an hour, stoppages not included. But, quitting these thought less creatures with their carriages for 200,000 men, and even those with their 10,000 men, let us come to something practical, or at least, something within the compass of rational calculation. It will be said, that all the men to be conveyed to any given point will not depart from one spot, and will not arrive by the same road. Trse; but, as they approach the field of battle, they must all come into one or two roads, or they must alight at a day's march from the field, and some of them much more; and, the confusion that must arise from different processions coming here and there into the same road is much more easily imagined than described. To advance by cross-country roads would be absolutely impossible: by such roads a procession of a hundred carriages would not get on at the rate of a mile an hour, to say nothing of oversetting, breaking down, and stoppages from the narrowness of the roads filled with vehicles belonging to the country people, flying in every direction from the enemy. Along the turnpike roads alofie the military carrs could possibly go, and, from what has already been said, it appears that the number destined to any one spot must be very small to advance with speed. I spoke of conveying 10,000 men from Surrey to the extremity of the Kentish coast; and I have shown that the procession would take up 20 miles of road. The van carr would hardly venture, for rea. sons which shall be mentioned by-and by, to approach nearer than within thirty miles of the enemy; so that, supposing the thing to be at all practicable, the men in the rear carr would ride only fifty miles out of the hundred; for, when the van stops, they must all

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

of roads, let us confine ourselves to a calculation of the force to be conveyed by one road; and I am sure it will be readily allowed me, that 12co men at least must, to meet an enemy on the eastern coast of Kent, be conveyed by the great Kentish road, I mean through Rochester and Canterbury, and so to Dover, supposing, for facility of calculation, the enemy to be landed at 80 miles from the Horse Guards, and supposing the Izco men to be quartered in the Barracks in St. James's Park. We are told, that the horses and carrs are now ready; but, allowing another month for preparation, there can be no eucuse on that account. Every thing being prepared, then, news arrives, that the enemy is landing at the distance above supposed. Orders are immediately issued to bring the carrs to the parade in the Park, where, at day light, on Monday morning, the men are ready to mount. Dees any man think that the carrs, a hundred in number, with horses properly harnessed, fed, and mounted, will be ready before nine o'clock; The men are soon seated, and according to the performance of the single carr, with which a trial was made under the inspection of Mr. Pitt, the van carr will get to Welling, eleven miles, in two hours and ten minutes. Then the horses must be changed, or you must stop to bait. If you stop to bait, an hour and a half at least will be required, and then you go on to Dartford, where you must change both horses and drivers, or you must rest six or eight hours. If you change horses at Welling, it will require a relay of 4co horses; and I shall suppose it to be fine weather, that these horses may stand out of doors, for barns and stables for them to stand and feed in there are none. But, the hundred carrs could not go five miles an hour, no nor three miles if you count the arrival of the last carr as the period when this first stage shall be completed. Before the horses of the last carr would be changed, and the procession got clear of Welling it would be one o'clock. At Dartford both horses and drivers must be changed, and here, in addition to 4oo more horses, there will be wanted zoo fresh drivers. The pro

cession, barring all accidents, would arrive at Rochester about nine o'clock at night, and then your riding soldiers must have rest and sleep, for they will be infinitely more fatigued than the 1200 men which I should have marched to the same place, from the very same quarters, in the morning of the very same day. You cannot, you dare not, take your carrs on within 20 miles of the enemy. , You must be in a compact defensive body before you approach so near him,

for a single foraging party, finding you thus mounted and stretched along the road, would cut every man of you to pieces. One shot would plunge all your horses and drivers into distraction. Sixty miles

out of the 80 is the utmost that you could

venture to go in the cars; and at the end of that 60 miles my noiseless battalion would reach long before the van of your procession ; and you would have employed 100 carrs, 1200 horses at least, and at least 409 drivers. You would have filled the road with horses and with forage; you would have obstructed the passage of women and children fleeing towards the capital and towards the centre of the kingdom; and you would have taken 400 draft horses to within a day's march of the enemy, where you must have left them, for six hours at least, to be, in case of necessity, defended by their drivers. This a calculation for 1200 men only let it be recollected; and it has proceeded upon a supposition of fair weather; it has included no allowance for any of those accidents, by which the whole procession might be arrested for hours in its progress; and it has supposed, that soldiers are liable to no calls of nature except eating, drinking, and sleep. Therefore, if we suppose, the enemy landed on the eastern coast of Kent, will any man in his senses contend, that it would be possible to make use of cars in the conveyance of troops from Middlesex, Surrey, or Sussex 2 And, is it not evident, that if the number of men to be conveyed upon any one road amounts to a thousand, they must arrive slower in cars than on foot 2 But, when we come to add to this circumstance the dangers arising from crowding with horses and forage all the roads leading

to the enemy' when we consider that it is .

by thousands and tens of thousands that it is proposed thus to convey soldiers, and when we consider the numbers of cars, horses, and drivers, that would be absolutely necessary for the conveyance, even if there were roads sufficient for the purpose; when we consider all this, it is impossible to refrain from astonishment, that such a project should ever, even for a single moment, have been entertained, especially by some of the persons who appear to have given it countenance. — No : it was very far from me to think of jesting with Sir Brook, whose zeal and activity I applaud, though I cannot agree with him in thinking it a fortunate circum stance, that we have, just at this time is particular, three millions of four-legged creatures that eat a-nights, and that we can

[blocks in formation]

veying seldiers upon planks slower than those soldiers can be marched on foot. It was, indeed, no subject to jest upon ; and s, who am but a very poor jester at any time, felt much more inclination to be sad than merry, when I saw that a project had been broached the most likely sm the world to bring the enemy to our shores; an event which my readers will bear testimony I have never ex. pressed my desire to see. I believe, that the French have no intention to invade us at present; I believe it, because I am fully couvinced, that it is sound policy on their part not to do it, and because I have constantly observed, that they act according to the dictates of sound policy. I feel confident, that our men of war would utterly destroy their flotillas; it appears evident to me, that they would run a great, risk without the possibility of accomplishing anything, which, if our present military and financial systems are persevered in (mark the qualification) time will not accomplish for them : yet, were they well assured, could they possibly regard it as certain, that, in case of their landing, this wild project of military cars would be put in execution, I should not at all be astonished if the temptation were to prove too great for them to resist. These are my reasons for disapproving of the car project, and for wishing our footsoldiers to keep, as they hitherio have kept, upon their legs. - * CoNT, N ENTAL All 1 AN ces.—Upon this subject, the opinions which I have sometimes offered have been so much misrepresented by the ministerial writer before alluded to, that I must beg leave to trouble the reader with a few comments upon what he has said, first citing a passage from him. .." They " [meaning the Register and the Morning Chronicle] “ maintained, that the “great disadvantage under which England “ laboured in the present contest, was the “ total want of continental allies. Mr. “ Fox, for whose authority one, at least, “ of these parties ulight be expected to “ have some respect, afford us the strongest “ argument in favour of the Russian medi“ation, that if France were unreasonable, “we should have the advantage of having “Russia with us against France. We have “ now the prospect of having Russia with “ us, and these persons contend, that the “ co-operation of Russia will be of no avail. “ They say we must have Austria with us, “ or we can do nothing. We are not without “hopes of having Austria too. If we have, “ and Mr. Pitt continues minister, we are sure

• these persons will say 've can do nothing “ without Prussia : if by any unlooked for “operation of interest, we should have * Prussia too with us, we should not be surprized if they should refer us . * Emperor of China.” As to N. argument, how is it inconsistens with the opinion now entertained, that the alliance of Russia, without that of Austria, will produce no practical effect in our favour? Mr. Fox said, “ obtain the mediation of “Russia; agree with her first as to the “ question relative to Malta ; make her ‘ acknowledge that your claims are just, ‘ and you will not only have her heartly ‘ with you, if France reject your claims, ‘ but you will convince all Europe of the “ justice and moderation of your views." Was there no difference between this and the obtaining of the assistance of Russia now, without a mediation, and upon conditions, perhaps, repugnant to the feelings of the other courts of Europe 2 The answer will demand no hesitation. There are, then, hopes, it seems of having Austria too. I am glad of it ;' but I cannot think that it was wise in Mr. Pitt, so very lately, to reproach Austria on account of the interest due upon the Imperial loan: I cannot think that it was wise to say, upon that subject, anything likely to revive the quarrel with the court of Vienna, a quarrel which contributed not a little towards producing the events which led to the ten months peace of Amiens. No : if Mr. Pitt should launch both Austria and Prussia against France, we will not be so unrcasonable as to call upon him to add the Emperor of China to the aliiance ; we will only require of him to find guint as enough to keep regularly paid the subsidies in Germany, and, as a preliminary step absolutely necessary thereto, to remove the restriction of cash payments at the Bank. But, from the language of Mr. Pitt, there is reason to fear, that he has conceived the idea of making the Austrians work out, or rather fight out, their ; debt if so he will be miserably deceived, for artnies never fight for noncy that they have already spent : their views are always prospective: a good soldier never looks behind him.” t

[ocr errors]

P. S. ln consequence of the length of the Narrative and Dotuments relative to the Middlesex Election, in which compilation every thing material is included, the remarks which offer themselves with respect to the Plot at Warsaw are unavoidably postponed.

Printed by Cox and Baylis, No 75, Great Qncen Street, and published by R. Bagshaw, Bow Street, Co
Garden, where former Numbers a y be had 3 sold also by J. Budd, Crown and Mitre, l'all-Mall.

vent

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »