Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

ib.

page

page Best means of national defence 403 || Table of the new French measures 410 Neapolitan post office 409 On translation

441 An emigrant in America 411 || Captain Lewis's expedition 442 Meteoric stones

412 | Remarks on the Russian empire 445 Henry IV's project of a christian Pestilence and bad government com. republic

413
pared

448 Charlemagne and his successors 417 || The Sorrows of Werter

451 Anecdote of Sterne

418 || Commercial sketches Vaccination 419 The honest man

459 Are theatrical exhibitions useful? 420 || On the number of books

461 On short-hand writing 421 Arts of London gamblers

464 Use of almanacs 424 || The Reflector, No. XIV

466 Anglo-German dialect in Philadel.

Prevailing ignorance of geography 467 phia 427 Socratic conversation

469 Reasonable love

428 Growth and consumption of timber French history 429 in Great Britain

471 Spirit of political conversation 430 Easton Delaware bridge Modes of historical writing

431

Literary and philosophical intelliOrigin of plants

433
gence

472 American newspapers

434

POETRY. Wisdom of spiders 438 To Hubert

479 Dr. Johnson 439 || To readers and correspondents

480

ib.

PUBLISHED BY

JOHN CONRAD & co. PHILADELPHIA; M. & J. CONRAD & co. BALTIMORE;

SOMERVELL & CONRAD, PETERSBURG; AND BONSAL, CONRAD, & co.

NORFOLK.

PRINTED BY T. & G. PALMER, 116, nIGH STREET.

1806.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

THERE is no subject of political authentic record. It is therefore vereflection of more importance than ty material to inquire, what are the that of national defence. Happily, peculiar qualities which characteAmerica is, at the present moment; rize soldiers, and in what manner more likely to be engaged in enlarg. those qualities naturally arise out of ing than defending her territories, the peculiar constitution which arbut how long her present security mies have in all ages assumed from regular invasion may last, it is The constitution of an army is not impossible to conjecture. No disqui- the fanciful device of any rash prositions on this subject can, at any jector ; its fundamental principles time, be quite unseasonable, as peace are grounded on the unchangeable is the only period of preparation and qualities of the human mind, and provision against future danger. have on that account remained sta.

The following ingenious thoughts tionary, amid the varying fashions, on this subject, by a British politi- manners, and improvements of mancian, were designed for the present kind; it has, indeed, grown out of situation of affairs in Great Britain, the nature of society, and has been but they will not be found unworthy found, by the universal experience to excite interest and curiosity in of mankind, to be well calculated to the statesmen of every nation. fit those who are trained under its

It appears, from the most careful regulations for the purposes of war. survey of historical evidence, that a The perfection of a military force well disciplined army has, in all consists in an instant and complete ages, been a sure foundation of po- obedience to command ; not indeed litical importance and power; and on a parade, where any man may, that such' armies have been the im- without much exertion, yield a reamediate and efficient instruments in dy compliance with whatever is enbringing about all those important joined him; but it is in braving everevolutions in the affairs of mankind, ry mode of peril and of death, in of which history has preserved any obedience to orders, that the militaNO. XXXIX, VOL. VI,

1

ry character is exhibited in its ge- diers and men employed in peacenuine perfection. It is therefore the ful occupations; and that superioobject of discipline. not only to esta. rity in the field which has always blish authority on a solid foundation, enabled armies to discomfit and disby training men to a constant fami• perse every kind of irregular force liarity with the peremptory decrees which has been rashly exposed to of martial law, but also to facilitate their attack. and secure obedience. by forming It is, therefore, highly dangerous and bringing to maturity those ha- and impolitic in any state to rely bits of mind which enable them, for its security on the efforts of men bravely and cheerfully, to confront who are not soldiers; who employ danger. There arises, besides, in themselves only occasionally in acall armies, when they are engaged quiring mechanical dexterity in the in the operations of war, and expos. use of arms, but who devote the ed to its perils, a peculiar system chief portion of their time and atof manners, which very materially tention to pursuits wholly different. assists the effect of positive institu. It is impossible that men, placed in tions. From the ardour of zeal, such circumstances, can ever acemulation, and honour, which the si- quire the characteristic habits and tuation in which soldiers are placed feelings of soldiers; and it has been naturally produces, men are animat. found, by experience, that they have ed to unusual exertions of valour ; never been able to withstand the they glory and rejoice in scenes, shock of a regular army. Whenwhich the mind, in its natural state, ever, therefore, the military force contemplates with horror. It is on- of any state is formed, either wholly, also, in the perilous emergencies ly or in part, of the unwarlike poof real service, that a commander pulation of the country, who may, has an opportunity of securing the no doubt, be very easily assimilated confidence, and conciliating the af. in external appearance, but who nefections of his troops ; by displaying ver can acquire the real character ceurage, capacity, and presence of of soldiers, great inconvenience and mind, in the midst of danger ; by an danger must result. In contriving unwearied attention to the comforts a scheme of warlike operations, it is of the soldiers ; by showing, on all necessary to consider the nature occasions, a zealous attachment to and character of the troops to be the character and profession, and employed. It would, no doubt, be by cheerfully participating in all the extreniely cuipable in a commander, dangers and privations to which to waste the energies of a veteran they are exposed. By these means, force in feeble and indecisive warall great generals have contrived to fare ; but it would evidently lead to con municate to their troops an ex consequences still more disastrous, traordinary portion of heroic zeal: if raw and inexperienced levies by employing peculiar incentives, were appointed to execute bold and they have given new energy to all offensive plans. But if the same arthose principles on which the excel. my is composed of opposite kinds of lence of the military character de. troops, how is it possible to combine pends, and have called forth in their their exertions in the prosecution of service all those enthusiastic feel. one object? The mode of warfare ings which, in the hour of danger, to be pursued must either be adapte al imate the passions and fortify the ed to the one sort of force or to the heart. Men accustomed to this sort other. The regular army must eiof training very soon acquire all ther be clogged by the incumbrance those habits which teach them fear- of an inferior force, and the general lessly to expose themselves to dan-, system of military operations conseger, and on those qualities of the quently enfeebled; or troops, im mind entirely rests that grand dis- perfectly disciplined, must be ornction wbich exists between sol. dered on service which they are not.

[ocr errors]

qualified to perform, and may in, ry a system of defensive tactics ; yolve, in their defeat, the ruin of the they might force their enemy to a whole body.

battle in defence of some capital obTo assimilate new levies to regu. ject ; and how uncertain and preca. lar soldiers, and to arrange them in rious would such a contest be, if solid battalions in the same line, is a success depended on the persevering very dangerous experiment. In all valour of inexperienced troops ! the various and unlonked for Aluctu. An invader, who possesses an arations of affairs which may occur in my excellently trained and discia battle, the new levies might be plined, and who is opposed by a force left alone to sustain the fiercest of an inferior character, will ulti. onset ; and on their steadiness the mately susceed in his views, if he is event of the day might depend. By sufficiently rapid and enterprising in unforeseen accidents, they might be his movements, so as to prevent surrounded by perils, which it would both the spirit of adventure from 'require the collected fortitude of ve. languishing among his followers, and terans to repel ; they might be pla• the invaded country from concenced in positions which they could not trating its physical strength; and maintain, or appointed to services where invasions in similar cir. which they could not perform. They cumstances have not succeeded, it cannot be qualified for any scheme has only been because the hostile of offensive hostility, or the attack commander, instead of pursuing a of any important post, which, being system of bold and sanguinary hosdefended by veteran troops adyan. tility, has wasted the energies of his tageously posted, might not perhaps troops in feeble, indecisive, and probe carried but by the reiterated ef. tracted warfare, which, in his situaforts of desperate intrepidity. The tion, leads more surely to destrucdanger, therefore, of conjoining new tion than the blindest temerity. Howy levies in any great proportion with quickly did Suwarrow subdue the regular soldiers is manifest; and ei-. Polish insurgents, by the celerity of ther in this case, or where the his motions, and the unparalleled whole force of a country is compos.. boldness of his designs ! ed of troops imperfectly disciplined, The events of war are determinthere is no chance of safety, in case ed by the united influence of disciof invasion, but by resorting to a pline and tactics; and, consequentsystem of defensive warfare, which, ly, the perfection of the military art in an open or level country, can ne. is produced by a combination of ver be ultimately successful, except skilful tactics with a high state of through the misconduct of the ene. discipline. Were the distinction bemy, and which, even in a country tween those two sources of excelabounding in strong positions, is of lence well understood, and sufficientvery doubtful issue. With a force ly attended to, it might lead to a imperfectly disciplined to check ve more clear elucidation of events teran troops by a judicious combina- which have been but imperfectly action of scientific movements; to counted for on general principles, chuse positions so excellent as to bid and have, for that reason, led to defiance to the efforts of the most much mistake. A general may have enterprising enemy, and so to fortify brought his troops to the highest and secure them, that superior gal- possible degree of discipline, but he lantry should be only a passport to may not have perfected a system of destruction, requires such skill and tactics in' a corresponding degree; talents, and such a series of prospe or an unskilful general may be enrous chances, that it would be quite trusted with the command of excel. unsafe for any state to hazard its lent troops, and may be opposed by safety on such a rare conjunction. a more skilful commander with an The invading army might, by rapid army interior in discipline ; and the and daring hostility, render nugato uperiority of tactics on one side

« PreviousContinue »