Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. John Egerton, who undertook to superintend the publishing, and become a co-proprietor. The work, after printing, being by some means neglected, added to the death of Mr. E. it never was regularly published, and the copies that were in Mr. Waight's possession, he purchased at Mr. Chapman's sale, who subscribed for them.

It was not until the editor of the late edition applied to me, that he had any intelligence, or even supposed a copy right existed in any of C.'s pieces, and Mr. K.'s express permission was obtained to republish the work in question. This statement will, I trust, prove sufficiently explanatory to Mr. P. and that, in attempting to correct the advertisement published by Waight, the further mis-statement rests only with the printer of C.'s works.

Yours, &c.

J. Haslewood.

LORD WIMBLETON'S DEFENCE OF ENGLAND,
IN CASE OF INVASION. 1628.

Mr. Editor, Oct. 14.

Among the royal MSS. in the Museum, I beg to point out one of peculiar interest at the present moment, by Lieutenant-General Viscount Wimbleton, marked 18 A. lxxviii. It contains a recommendatory proposal to Charles I. "How the coasts of this kingdome may be defended against an enemie, if in case the royal navie should be otherwise employed." This proposal bears date 1628, and, according to the military tactics of that period, suggests various plans of defence, which may merit the perusal, if not the adoption, of our present secretary at war. "In a multitude of counsellors," says Solomon, "there is wisdom:" and all the wisdom and all the sagacity of our statists and commanders will be required, to cope with the deep policy and veteran experience of our infuriate foe.

After recommending several expedients for the defence of the coast, his Lordship proceeds to shew in what manner the country may be best governed, in case an enemy should land, and he advises, what is not very likely to be followed at this time, that the enemy be not offered battle, for these reasons.

"First: It is no policy to offer that which an enemy will seek for; there being no greater advantage for such an enemy than to fight a battle. Likewise, if he come to conquer, he is prepared for it, as his best game: therefore, the sooner he doth fight, the less will be his necessity, and the more his hope, to make his conquest quickly, which will be better for him, than to stay longer, and hazard his fortune sundry times; by that means diminishing his troops and victuals, without any hope to reinforce or relieve them.

* The true rules of war are,—never to fight bat upon two occasions: the one, upon a great advantage; the other on a great necessity. But if an enemy should land (as God forbid !) he must be entertained in this manner. There must.be divers armies made: some of 10,000, 9,000, 7,000, and 6,000, as they will fall out; and all be entrenched, so soon as they approach the enemy. For, by reason of fortification, that may be suddenly made, there will be good time given to draw store of troops together, without danger: and it is held as a maxim in war, that he is the best soldier that can keep his enemy from fighting, and be able to fight when be pleaseth. These armies must be disposed in sundry places, round about the enemy; there being no such amazement to an enemy, as to see themselves environed about: and it is most certain, that a battle cannot fight every way. Wherefore, by this means, he shall be charged in the rear, flank, and front, which will trouble the bravest enemy in the world. Besides, he must be kept watching, with often skirmishes and alarms; that he may never be in rest: and if he will needs fight, let him; for he shall fight on all these disadvantages, if those who command know how to command."

This noble author farther advises, that all directions be a-ritten, in order to prevent mistakes; because " the errors of the war may prove the loss of a kingdom." But the great danger of all, he adds, is, that a people not used to war, may be led to believe, "that no enemy dare venture upon them, which may make them neglect it the more: and tlie difference between those that are soldiers and those that are not, is,—that the one prepares aforehand; the other, too late."

As Rumour, with her hundred tongues, will be employed in spreading as many unfounded reports, in the course of every day, it is humbly recommended, by your present correspondent, in case of actual descent upon our coast, that a daily journal be published, accredited by our government, comprising a genuine statement of each day's transactions between the armies and navies of England and France. I am, Mr. Editor,

Yours, &C.

S.K.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE.

Qui monet quasi adittvnt.

MISCELLANEOUS.

The Trial of John Peltier, Esq. for a Libel against Napoleon Buonaparte. Taken in Short-hand by Mr. Adams, and the Defence revised by Mr. Mackintosh.

It seldom occurs that a trial for a crime not materially affecting the public welfare excites so lively and permanent an interest as that of M. Peltier. This, however, claims peculiar notice, from the novelties attending every part of it; the ruler of the French republic prosecuting, in a British court of justice, a French royalist; that royalist defended by a gentleman who first displayed his abilities by writing in favour of the French revolution, who has since raised a splendid reputation, but whose talents as a professional advocate were little known till he pleaded for one who had been an early and persevering opponent of that revolution; the day fixed for the trial, that on which Colonel Despard and his desperadoes underwent the punishment due to treason;—all these circumstances rendered the trial, at the moment when it took place, a subject of peculiar attention. Facts, which have since come to light, have contributed to increase the interest previously excited. It was known, at the time of the trial, that the French papers had teemed with the most scurrilous abuse against the king and his government, and it was generally believed that the prosecution of Peltier was undertaken at the express request of the French embassador, but it has since appeared that the request was not for a legal process against an offender, but for a general change of system, imposing fetters on the British press, and that the abuse in the French papers did not flow from the wanton malignity of Gallic libellers or British traitors, but formed part of a digested system of aggression, or, as the French are pleased to call it, retaliation, arising out of the resentment against our ministry, for daring to maintain the laws and liberties of England in defiance of French'influence.

The trial took place a fortnight before the king sent his message to parliament which led to the present war, but its progress was in all respects honourable to the court. The principles laid down by the attorney general are wise, liberal, and dignified, calculated alike to protect foreign potentates against the licentious malice of individuals, and to assure those who are disposed to engage fairly in his

H H—voL. XVI.

torical or political investigations, that no impediments will be opposed to the prosecution of their labours. The speech of Mr. Mackintosh is a most eloquent and pathetic appeal to a British jury, in behalf of the only free press remaining in Europe, rendered interesting by an uncommon display of historical and political research.

These speeches form the most important part of the present publication, but they appear under circumstances widely different. The address and reply of the attorney general are given as they proceeded from the pen of the short-hand writer, and, allowing something for incorrectness in him, and a little for those verbal errors which insinuate themselves into the speeches of the most correct orators, it cannot occasion surprise that they are extremely incorrect. The address of Mr. Mackintosh, on the contrary, which was in itself a most masterly, and evidently a prepared effort, has received the benefit of revisal, from the hand of its author, and may be confidently presented as one of the best specimens extant of forensic oratory. The information, the evidence, and other documents relating to the trial, are in no respect worthy notice.

Besides these, M. Peltier has re-published the libels, one of which, " a parody on the speech of Lepidus against Sylla, attributed to Camille Jourdan," is extremely ingenious; he has endeavoured to interest the public in his fate, by an address, which is a strange mixture of complaint and pleasantry; a reiteration, in much inferior terms, of Mr. Mackintosh's speech, with the whimsical graces, and eccentric digressions which mark the genius and temper of a Frenchman. An appendix of fifteen articles, including the three libels for which he was tried, completes the volume; but they have all repeatedly appeared in print, and, although in themselves sufficiently interesting, add more to the bulk than to the value of this publication.

Select Poems; by the Author of Indian Antiquities, Hvo. 7s, White. 1803. Concluded from page 106. The particular situation of the country, at this moment, having induced us to quote very extensively from the Crisis, the first poem in this collection, and by no means exhibiting an inferior specimen of their general excellence, we shall not detain our readers by any very prolonged strictures on the remainder. The Elegy on Sir William Jones speaks, energetically, the sentiments concerning that very distinguished character of all who knew him. The author's complaint of the general neglect of the Muse of Britain, is written, we trust, with more feeling than truth, and was the result, possibly, of some moment of aggravated disappointment experienced by himself at the period. To the poetry, however, we shall do justice, by inserting the passage, as well as that spirited description of the Genius of the East, in the subsequent stanzas.

Deeper than Gothic glooms o'er Britain bang,

Where toiling Science wails her ravish'd meed;
An,d, wounded deep, withinany a secret pang,

The agonizing Muse is doom'd to bleed!
Ye bards of Britain, break the useless lyre,

And rend, disdainful, your detested bays;
Who now shall dare to letter'd fame aspire

Devotes to penury his hapless days!
Hear slighted Butler his hard fate bemoan!

O'er famish'd Otway shed the generous tear!
Hark! frantic Chatter.ton's expiring groan

Still vibrates dreadful on the tortur'd ear!
And are there who the glitt'ring wreath would tear,

Immortal Genius! from thy sacred brow;
Who jealous Heav'n's avenging thunder dare,

Whence all the radiant fires of Genius flow?
Are there, who, while they quaff the sparkling wines,

And load with eastern pomp the groaning board,
Wreck not that famish'd worth, unfriended, pines,

And bar, with hearts of steel, th* unbounded hoard?
Ye wretched pageants of a summer's morn,

Howe'er ioshrln'd in wealth or thron'd in power,
Genius surveys you with retorted scorn,

Above your rage th' immortal Muses tower!
Can all the joys the genial grape inspires

One transport to the throbbing breast impart,
Like his, who burns with fancy's genuine fires,

And wakes the strain that warms the bounding heart.
In dungeon-glooms behold the bard sublime!

No sufferings can repress his inborn flame;
Darkling, in chains, he pours th' indignant ryhme,

And, wanting all things, throbs alone for fame!
He knows not famine's direful pangs to feel,

iEtherial viands feed his ardent soul;
He looks, with scorn, on bonds of triple steel,

Whose spirit soars where worlds unnumber'd roll!
While thus, with honest pride, my bosom glow'd,

More vivid stream'd the lightning's dreadful glare";
In wilder waves tumultuous Ganges flow'd,

And rolling thunders shook the turbid air!
A flood of glory from th* expanding skies

Full on the tomb of shrouded Genius play'd;
And, floating in th« blaze,, my raptured eye*

A form immortal and sublime survey'd.

« PreviousContinue »