Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

fortifications which neither you nor he had the courage to scale. But thanks to the vigilance of our centinels, the attempt was discovered ; and we are yet to learn whether the traitors will escape the punishment they deserve.

The consequences of this treachery, however, I presume you foresaw, would attach you more closely to your party. They have seen with delight yonr zeal in their cause, and they deter, mine to support you at every hazard. But I trust in God, there is yet a spirit of determined integrity in the majority of the people of this state, which will resist the"encroachment of such infamous principles : and I have too good an opinion of the mi, litia officers to suppose they ever could have united with you in subverting the laws of the country. But I believe I understand you ; you are willing to favour the summary method of a military execution. If such are your wishes, I have only to add, that with a trifling change of person in the criminal, who is to suffer, I should not repine if they were gratified tomorrow.

MARCUS BRUTUS.

Mr. JEFFERSON's Answer to the Citizens of Wilmington, and its

vicinity.

THE composition of this greatest man in America,' has always been the theme of my panegyrick; I have ever considered him to be the first statesman and purest writer, that this country ever produced. I have lately discovered another gem for the cabinet of his literary reputation. The following METAPHOR, taken from the answer of that illustrious man to the citizens of Wilmington, will afford us ample illustration of the clearness of that head, which has discovered an inexhaustible source of wealth in the salt mountains of Louisiana, and a powerful coercion on foreign nations in the ever memorable embargo laws. CIBBER.

• The storm, which, with little intermission, has been raging for so many years, which has immolated the ancient dynasties and institutions of Europe, and prostrated the principles of publick law heretofore respected, has hitherto been felt but in a secondary degree by us.'

Here Mr. Jefferson gives us a storm, which aas in a double capacity. First merely as a storm, as all storms should act ; and second, as a priest at a sacrifice, who has immolated the ancient dynasties, &c. I was at a loss at first to account for this change of character in the storm, which by doubling the metaphor, is contrary to the grovelling rules of fine writing ; but the president has very wisely anticipated the objection, and introduces an expression which reconciles the whole : • with little intermis. sion. Now it is evident that during the period of this little intermission, the storm must have changed to the priest ; though it must be confessed he had hardly sufficient time in that capacity, to immolate all the ancient dynasties and institutions of Eu. rope : however, our illustrious author, sensible of this, soon metamorphoses him back again into a mere storm, to prostrate the principles of publick law heretofore respected.' Besides this, we have hitherto felt the storm as such only in a secondary degree."

ARBUTH, This commentator has omitted to mention whether the great rage of the storm storm continued under the character of the priest storm. This is a necessary point to be understood, since to be in a rage for many years' is inconsistent with the dignity of priesthood.

M. SCRIBLERUS. • But threatening at length to involve us in its vortex,- it is time for all good citizens to rally round the constituted authori. ties,-by a publick expression of their determination to support the laws and government of their choice and to frown into silence all disorganizing movements.'

The first idea which this quotation affords, is the propriety of applying to a storm what common readers would refer to å zuhirlpool ; now it is evident that though whirlpools or vortexes exist without storms, yet they may easily exist with them. Therefore it is peculiarly elegant to say the vortex of a storm.' But the main singularity of the expression is the easy departure of the President from the metaphorical to the literal, and his return to the metaphorical again ; but without the same metaphor. Thus, for example. But threatening at length to involve us in its vortex, it is time for (what, the storm? oh no,) all good citizens to rally round the constituted authorities. Well ; having left the storm, for all good citizens, how do they contrive to rally? why, .by a publick expression,' yes, rally by an expression of their determination to support the laws and government of their -choice,' and rally by frowning into silence all disorganizing movements. The last metaphor of frowning a movement into silence was reserved for the ever illuminated mind of Mr. Jef. ferson.

ARBUTH. The threatening of the storm comes to nothing at last ; because the President dismisses it where he found it. M. SCRIBLERUS.

WHIG AND TORY.

*THE security of property is the great end of government. Surely then such measures as tend to render right and property precarious, tend to destroy both property and government. (Letter from the house of representatives of Massachusetts Bay, to the Right Honourable the Earl of SHELBURN, one of His Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, dated 16th of January, 1768.]

• Your Lordship will allow us to say, that it is an essential right of a British subject, ingrafted into the constitution ; or if your Lordship will admit the expression, a sacred and unalienable natural right, quietly to enjoy and have the disposal of his own property. (Letter from the same to the Marquis of ROCKINGHAM, January 22, 1768.]

If the men who supported and maintain such doctrines, were whigs, were such persons as the democrats are willing to set up as the pat. terns to which we should conform ; how can they, with any tolerable consistency, deny the propriety of opposing the embargo laws, which evidently infringe the principles above laid down. The epithet Tory, therefore should now be shifted from the Essex to the Middlesex Junto, with Samuel Dana and Levi Lincoln at the head of it, for they are the avowed supporters of tyranny, violence and oppression,

PARALLEL We will now offer an extract from the Instructions of the Town of Boston, in June 1768, to James Otis, Esqr. Mr. Samuel Adams, and John Hancock, Esq. members of the town in the General Court, which we think very strongly applies to the present state of affairs.

• In addition to all this, we are continually alarmed with rumours and reports of new acts to be passed, new importations of officers and pensioners, to suck the life blood of the body politick while it is streaming from their veins; fresh arrivals of ships of war to be a still severer restraint upon cur trade, and the arrival of a military force to dragoon. us into passive obedience.'

How striking is this Parallel ; the only difference is that our revolutionary forefathers felt themselves justified in condemning the evils before they happened, it was reserved for us not to make our remonstran. ces until the " life blood' had been long flowing from our veins in copious streams.

MORE YET. These measures excite in our minds the strongest sense of PUBLICK DANGER. On the one hand we hear claims set up destructive to our rights, on the other, threatenings uttered if we offer to oppose those claims. But no ministerial rhetorick can persuade us that a denial of the authority of parliament in cases pernicious to liberty is to subvert the principles of the constitution, or that to be deeply sensible of op, pressions, humbly to complain of them and peaceably to seek redress of them is “a faétious and flagitious attempt to disturb the publick peace.' (Instructions to the Representatives of the city and county of Philadelphia. July 30, 1768.)

THE SPANISH CAUSE.

WE briefly noticed in our last number, some of the reasons drawn from the French bulletins, which induced us to conclude that General Blake had not been so completely overthrown as many people, who do not examine places and the movements of the armies, are ready to believe. The inferences to be drawn from such sources, however, always rest upon some peculiar construction of phrase in the bulletins, which are more remarkable for ambiguity of style and expression, for cautiously concealing every disaster, and magnifying every success, than perhaps can be found in the official statements of any other nation that ever existed. We do not therefore place a very strong

reliance

upon conclusions necessarily founded upon so unsure bases; but as the posts which the armies are said to occupy, are substantially correct in the French accounts, there are certain results which can always be drawn. from an attentive perusal of the bulletins. It appears clearly that Bonaparte has proceeded with the utmost caution, in the present campaign, that his victories have cost him dearly, and that he has made no great progress after he had pretended to have obtained them. Thus from the 25th of October, at which time we may date the begin. ning of the operation of the armies, to the ist of December, the progress of the French has been so uncommonly dilatory, or has been so greatly impeded, that they had advanced only 120 geographical miles ; that is from Vittoria to Aranda de Duero. How different this, from

the conquest of Prussia, after the battle of Jena, or indeed from any other campaign of Bonaparte. We cannot but think the peculiar warfare of the Spanish generals to have been the cause of all this delay. They kept their armies distinct from each other, so that the French were in a manner hemmed in a kind of triangle ; on one angle, at the heights of Bilboa, Blake was posted, Castanos and Palafox were stationed at Viana and Tudella, whilst the army of Estramadura, under Frias, occupied Burgos and the neighbourhood. The head quarters of the French were at Vittoria, and from this place their movements were directed against the advanced guards of Castanos' army, who were driven from Lerin and Logrono, on the borders of Ebro, by Marshal Moncey. The next operations were against Blake, which we have already given in detail.

The army of Estramadura, consisting of nearly 20,000 men accor, ding to the French account, were at Burgos, and were attacked on the Ioth of November by the Duke of Dalmatia, and the Duke of Itria. The Spaniards made no stand. They dispersed almost at the first one set. The French say there were only 300 men killed, and 3000 made prisoners. They were new raised recruits, consisting of the students

of the universities of Salamanca and Leon, and the other militia corps, 1 and probably as far inferiour in point of numbers to the French army,

as they certainly must have been in steadiness and discipline. The head quarters of the French, immediately after this battle were remov. ed to Burgos. We have not heard where the Spanish army have retreated, but suppose even if they have been dispersed they will rise again at the approach of the English, and make a more formidable resistance, as the discipline of real service increases.

No military operations of any importance after this took place until the 22d, when the French, directed their hostility against the army commanded by Generals Castanos and Palafox, stationed at Tudella and Calhorra. The French had waited quietly from the roth to the 22d of November, until they could ascertain the retreat of Blake after the battle of Espinosa, that they might without much hazard require the services of the division of the Dukes of Belluno and Dantzick; who had been employed against him. The inactivity of the Spaniards during this time can only be accounted for, on the idea of their acting entirely on the defensive, until they should become convinced of the firmness and conduct of their forces in time of action ; else it might fairly be presumed that an attack made upon the French whilst so large a proportion of the army were engaged in the mountains of Valmaseda, would have been eminently successful. In the battle of Tudella, the French brought their ablest generals and most veteran troops. Lannes was commander in chief, under him were Victor, Moncey and Ney; but Ney did not come up to his expected position in time. The Spaniards formed an oblique line from Cascante to Tudella. The

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »