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the Peninsula, from inferiority of force,* he was obliged to retreat before Masséna. By marching upon a single line, when pursued, he arrived, with little loss, at the position of Torres Vedras.
“ The whole extent of the position was strong in the most emphatic sense of that term. To call it impregnable would be idle ; because no accessible position is so." vol. ii. p. 225.
At Torres Vedras the whole of the allied army could be concentrated by secure and easy communications, and brought in a short time, to the defence of any point which might be attackest. But the attack was never made; and Portugal was saved without a battle. The Duke of Wellington then drove the French from the frontier fortresses, by alternately carrying his masses across the Tagus; and his line being shorter than that of his enemies, be forced them to operate exteriorly. After the victory of Salamanca, he advanced into Spain, by two interior lines, and though, subsequently, under the necessity of retreating before superior numbers, he yet compelled the French, in order to pursue him, to abandon the south, or one half of Spain. His next operation was upon a single line, by moving upon which, he encountered the French at Vittoria, before they could unite their divisions, cut them off from their base, and drove them out of the Spanish territories.
Fortunately for the cause of Spain, military operations, by the Duke of Wellington, were conducted in a manner very differently from her civil administration. Whilst the Provincial Juntas existed (the first national assemblies resorted to) they acted without concert or system. Like isolated and independent bodies, they were extensively guided by sectional interests, as if they had not been engaged in a common quarrel. Jealousies were perpetually arising among the authorities, which generated rivalry, resentment and distrust. Their inefficiency being apparent, they were superseded by a Provisional Government; but this substitute produced no change for the better. The Provisional Government never devised any measures adapted to the exigency of the occasion. Deficient in wisdom to plan, and in vigour to execute, it was soon discovered, that they possessed all the defects, whilst they were destitute of the local influence of the Provincial Juntas. To remedy the evils of their former incompetent councils, the assemby of the Cortes was
* The French army consisted of upwards 100,000 men, and that of the Duke of Wellington of between 70 and 80,000; ten thousand of whom were Portuguese, and 10,000 Spaniards, under Ronana.
convened in 1810. This was a representative parliament, and to be entitled to a seat in it, the only qualifications were, that the persons elected should have attained the age of twenty-five, and should neither receive a pension nor hold any office of profit under the government. From their first acts, a favourable augury was formed of their future proceedings. They proclaimed the invalidity of the cession of the crown to the French emperor, prohibited their members from accepting pensions, honours or rewards from the executive, and removed many obstructions from the freedom of the press. They, however, soon deviated from the promise which they had given. Instead of organizing their armies, of providing for the collection of a revenue, of appealing to the energy of the people, and thus consolidating their strength and resources against an inveterate and powerful enemy in the heart of the kingdom, they employed themselves in legislating for the despatch of judicial litigation, for the speedy trial of accused persons, for obtaining accurate returns of causes depending in courts of law, and of the number of prisoners charged with criminal offences. Although some of the members of the Cortes were enlightened and learned men; and although the great majority of them were, unquestionably, attached to their country and desirous to advance its interests, they were devoid of that experience, and uninfluenced by those animating motives, which were necessary to qualify them for their arduous stations. Familiarity with the principles of rational liberty, and the spirit of freedom would have compensated for the want of political and legislative experience; but the principles of liberty, and the spirit of freedom were unknown and unfelt under the leaden monarchy of Spain, and her subjects did not rise in arms to rescue themselves from despotism, but to restore a despot to the throne of bis ancestors.
In these volumes we met with an incident which was altogether new to us. We had always understood that the Duke of Orleans (now the king of the French,) had resolved, under no circumstances, to bear arms against his countrymen ; but it appears, that he offered his services to the Central Junta in 1809. Though his offer had been then declined, he was afterwards invited to assume the command in the provinces on the northern frontier.
“He immediately prepared to take advantage of the opportunity thus afforded. He sailed froin Malta, and from thence to Tarragona, where he issued a proclamation, inviting all true Frenchmen, as well as Spaniards, to rally round the standard raised by a Bourbon for the subversion of that tyrannical usurpation by which both nations were oppress
ed. The Duke then proceeded to Cadiz, and was received with all the honours due to his rank, but the Cortes refused to sanction the appointment of the regency; and he shortly afterwards returned to Palermo." vol. iii. pp. 9, 10. ..
In the year 1810 a principle of war, unheard of among civilized nations, was attempted to be established by the French in the Peninsula; and we know not of any act of Bonaparte's which ought to attach a fouler stigma to his memory.
" It was declared by Marshal Soult, in a public edict, that none but regular armies had a right to defend their towns, their houses, and their families, from violence and plunder; and that as no legitimate army could exist but that of his Catholic Majesty, Joseph Napoleon, all bodies of armed Spaniards, of whatever number or description, which existed in the provinces, should be treated as banditti, whose object was robbery and murder. Every individual taken in arms, was immediately to be condemned and shot, and his body exposed on the highway.
" When it was discovered by the regency that this most infamous decree was actually carried into effect, they reprinted it with a counterdecree, in French and Spanish, declaring that in these times every Spaniard, capable of bearing arms, was a soldier; and ordaining, that for every person who should be murdered by the enemy, the first three Frenchmen taken in arxs should be hanged; three should also be excuted for every house burned, and three for every one who should perish in the flames. Soult himself they declared unworthy of the law of nations till this decree had been repealed; and orders were issued that if taken, he should be treated like a common robber.
“ In the bands of Guerillas, which existed in every mountainous district of the country, the regency found willing agents in the execution of their retributive enactments. Few acts of outrage on the part of the enemy escaped without reprisal. In one instance, a Guerilla leader hung several Frenchmen on the trees bordering the high-road near Madrid, in retaliation for several of his own men, whom the invaders had put to death; and made known his intention of treating in a similar manner all the superior officers who should fall into his power. Thus did blood beget blood, and cruelty on the one side generate exasperation on the other; of this truth most of the French leaders, by degrees, became convinced, and alarmed at the prospect before them, the system of extermination was happily allowed to sink into desuetude." vol. ii. pp. 188, 189.
We have been peculiarly struck with the clearness and spirit with wbich the author describes the detail and circumstances of battles, which are usually so represented, even by distinguished officers, as to leave but vague and imperfect impressions upon the mind of the reader. As a specimen of his talent, we shall extract his account of the battle of the Nivelle, which took place on the 10th of November, 1813.
“ Soon after midnight, the troops having fallen under arms without. the signal of trumpet or drum, began to descend the Pyrenean mountains by moonlight, by the different passes, and advanced to the verge of the line of out piquets, preparatory to the attack at day-dawn. This grand movement was made in the most profound silence. As the columns moved onward, the stillness was felt by all to be impressive. The village clocks striking the hours amid the darkness increased the general anxiety for break of day; and the first streaks of light which dappled the east were watched by many thousand eyes with strong and almost feverish impatience. On reaching their stations the troops were ordered to lie extended on the ground, and the columns were so posted that the intervening ground concealed them from the enemy.
“ It was the object of Lord Wellington, in the approaching attack, to occupy the attention of the enemy by false attacks on his right wing, where the position was too strong to be seriously assailed, while his chief efforts should be directed to penetrating the centre, and thus to separate the wings of the French army. This object attained, it was even possible, that by establishing his troops in rear of the enemy's right wing, its retreat on Bayonne might be cut off. * *
* The attack began at daylight by a brisk cannonade, and a skirmish of the piquets along the whole line. The fourth division then advanced to attack a strong redoubt of the enemy in front of the village of Sarre, and carried it with little opposition. Sarre was then abandoned by the enemy without any attempt at resistance. At the same time, the light division, advancing with the greatest impetuosity, forced the lines on Petite La Rhune, and, having driven the enemy from the different redoubts, formed on the summit of the hill.
" These preliminary attacks having proved successful, the centre columns continued their advance against the heights, in rear of Sarre, ander a heavy fire from the various lines of retrenchment by which this point of the position had been secured. On the approach of the columns, however, these were successively abandoned, with scarcely an effort at defence, and the enemy fled in great disorder towards the bridges on the Nivelle. The garrison of one redoubt alone attempted to repulse the assailants. While the light division were escalading the work, the column of Marshal Berresford succeeded in intercepting the retreat of the garrison, and an entire French battalion, nearly six hundred strong, was in consequence made prisoners.
"In the meanwhile, Sir Rowland Hill made a powerful attack on the heights of Ainhoe. The troops moved on in echelons of divisions ; and the sixth division, supported by that of Sir John Hamilton, having first crossed the Nivelle, came in contact with the enemy's right, posted behind the village, and at once carried the whole of his defences on that flank. The second division was equally successful in its attack on a redoubt on a parallel ridge in the rear; and both divisions then advanced to Espellate, when the enemy, afraid of being intercepted, abandoned their advanced line in front of Ainhoe, and retreated in some confusion towards Cambo.
VOL. VIII.-NO. 15
“ During these operations, a detachment of fifteen hundred Spaniards of Mina's division moved along the heights of Maya, and attacked the advanced post of the enemy in that direction. Their onset was vigorous, and the French were at first forced to retire ; but being reinforced, they again returned to the assault, and beat the Spaniards back nearly to the village of Maya.
“ The heights on both sides of the Nivelle being thus carried, the third and seventh divisions were directed to move by the left, and the sixth division by the right of the river, against a ridge of fortified heights near St. Pe, where the enemy was observed to be collecting in considerable force. These divisions came up, and, after a smart engagement with the enemy, drove them in confusion from the position. By this success the troops of the centre were established in rear of the enemy's right, which still remained in their works. But the extreme extent of the line of movement, and the great difficulty of part of the ground to be crossed, joined to the approach of night, prevented Lord Wellington from pushing farther the advantages he had acquired. Marshal Soult took advantage of the darkness to retire the force from his right, and resigned his whole line to the victorious army." vol. ïïi. pp. 243-6.
We do not propose to enter into a detail of the civil and military transactions of the Peninsular Campaigns, of the obstaclacles which Lord Wellington overcame by his diplomacy and strategy, of his sagacity in detecting the design of his adversaries, of his skill in baffling the efforts of superior numbers, of his daring and judicious enterprise when he turned upon bis pursuers, of his tactic, and combination, and prescience in the day of battle, which prevented his enemies from taking any advantage of his position, or bis being involved in any difficulties, which he was unprepared to meet and to surmount; nor of that moral courage, which sustained him in the most perilous conjunctures, and enabled him to disregard censure and reproach, and to regulate all his actions by the dictates of cool and deliberate reflection. He was never over-reached by any stratagem of the enemy, either when advancing or retreating-he was never beaten in any pitched battle, though opposed by six French marshals, among whom were Masséna, Marmont, Ney, and Soult; and he acquired the splendid reputation, of having driven the French out of Spain and Portugal, and of afterwards vanquishing them upon their own territory, at Nivelle and Toulouse. All these particulars are set forth in a lucid and interesting manner by the author. lt, nevertheless, appears to us, tbat upon some occasions, his national predilections have induced him, without sufficient grounds, to assign the victory to bis countrymen. From his own representation of the affairs at Albuera and at Fuertes d'Honore, we should infer that they