Slike strani
PDF
ePub

the appearance of the surrounding ent commanding officers have recircle as full of indignation at the nounced the punishment of the lash, cruelty of the infliction. Every eye and have substituted other modes is burning with resentment, and every of enforcing discipline, more con, tongue seems on the point of impré- genial to the high spirit of a Bri. cating curses, not loud, but deep, on tish soldier; and the result is, in our the authors of such barbarity. It is apprehension, decisive of the queswell known that officers, who, by their tion, as the regiments, so governed, proneness to such punishments, have have been found to be among the best incurred the hatred of their men, in the service. The case appears perhave often, when opportunity offered, fectly analogous to that of the edubeen sacrificed to their vengeance. cation of youth, in which the lash Punishments can never be salutary was, till very lately, held to be a very in their effects, if it is not apparent necessary agent.

In the literal and to the spectators that they are justly conscientious application of the sayinflicted, duly proportioned to the ing of Solomon, that “ he who spaoffence, and as free as possible from reth the rod hateth the child," many cruelty. But the punishments in ques- a youth of spirit and talents has had tion produce impressions exactly the his spirit broken, and his talents renreverse of all these. While they are dered useless, for life. It has now often inflicted for offences of a venial been found, however, that the proverb kind, they are barbarous in their na- of Solomon is susceptible of a more ture, and more grievous than even liberal interpretation, and the total death itself, for which, in many in- disappearance of the rods of our pestances, they would willingly be ex. dagogues, which were nearly as terrichanged. When it was once attempt. ble as those that of yore frightened ed to revive, in the French army, the the Egyptians in the shape of serpents, old punishment of beating the culprit -is one of the greatest blessings of with the flat of a sabre, a soldier, on be. our time. We may add, that the ing brought out to receive this punish- scourge

scourge is no longer an instrument of ment, exclaimed, “ Je n'aime du sabre punishment in our judicial sentences. que le tranchant !” A phrase which be- An improvement of manners and feelcame proverbial in the army, and con- ing, without any special legal enact- . tributed to the abolition of that pu- ment, has occasioned its falling into nishment. Is it, then, possible to very general disuse, though once the justify punishments so shocking in como on punishment for petty oftheir character, and baneful in their fences. It is fervently to be hoped, effects, on the ground of necessity ? that the cat-o-nine-tails, both naval Is there no geniler way than this, of and military, will soon disappear in preserving order and discipline among like manner; and we have no appreour gallant soldiers ? Corporal pu- hension that means will not still be pishments have been abolished in the found to preserve the good order and French army, the Prussian army, the discipline of our soldiers, Austrian army; in short, in every army On the 29th of June, it was moved, in Europe but our own. Is this, be- and unanimously agreed to, that an cause the British troops are more address should be presented to the prone to disorder, or more insensible Prince Regent, that he might give to the more liberal incitements to directions that a great national monu. duty, than those of other nations ?' ment should be erected in honour of But the experiment has been tried, the victory of Waterloo, and to comeven in the British army. Differ- memorate the fame of those who fell

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

on the 16th and 18th June, particu- sustained in the death of so many vaJarly Sir Thomas Picton and Sir W. lued friends. The glory of such acPonsonby. It was, besides, suggested tions is no consolation to me, and I and agreed to, that monuments should cannot suggest it as a consolation to be erected to each of those officers in you; but a result so decisive will, in St Paul's Church. It is melancholy all probability, be followed by the to reflect, that, in the case of the gal- early attainment of the just object of lant Picton, these honours came too our wishes and exertions, and this late to cure the anguish of a wounded may afford us some consolation for spirit. It was stated in the House, our loss." that nearly the last words which he A suggestion was made, but most uttered before he left this country, properly rejected, that as Paris was, were to express a hope, that if he in all probability, by that time in should fall, which he seemed to apti. the possession of Wellington, a porcipate, be might not be forgotten, but tion of the plunder of Europe, colreceive the same distinction as had lected in that capital, could not be been conferred upon other officers. better employed than in comme. When it is recollected how marked morating the deliverance of Europe. was the neglect of the former services It was said, that a national monuof this gallant officer, when honours ment to our army ought never to and rewards were showered down on be ornamented by pillage from the all the others who shared in those capital of another country; and that services, it may easily be imagined, the conduct of our illustrious comhow bitter were the feelings wbich mander was a powerful authority wrung from him such an expression. against such a proposition. When From the moment that he left this he was reminded, while advancing country till he joined the army, he into France after his victory, that, on had never slept in a bed. On the the last occasion on which the Engday before the great conflict of the lish army entered France, they be18ih, he had received a wound, from haved with extreme delicacy towards the effects of which his body, it is said, that country, his answer was, “ I was much swelled, and even blacken- promise you that, if it is in my power, ed. Notwithstanding this, he fell at the ihey shall behave with equal delicacy head of his column, firmly maintain- now;" a magnanimous declaration, ing a position, the loss of which might which did as much honour to the have been fatal to our army. It would man as to the soldier. be painful to think that his last mo- Proceedings of precisely the same ments may have been embittered by nature took place in the House of the doubt, whether he had purchased, Lords. even with his blood, those marks of Several high honours and import. public gratitude, which are so dear to ant privileges were conferred on the the mind of a soldier.-In revolving troops who fought at Waterloo. The these great national deprivations, it Prince Regent declared himself colo. is impossible to avoid quoting the ex- nel-in-chief of both the regiments of pressions of the Duke of Wellington Life-guards, as a mark of his full himself to the Earl of Aberdeen, con- approbation of their conduct ; and he doling with him upon the death of granted permission to all the regihis gallant brother, Sir Alexander ments of cavalry and infantry who Gordon. “ I cannot express, in ade. had been engaged in the battle, to quate terms, the grief which I feel in bear on their colours and appointcontemplating the loss which we have ments the word “ WATERLOO,” in addition to the badges or devices this immense subscription has been which they formerly bore. The Earl intrusted, appear to be employing it of Uxbridge was created Marquis of in the most judicious and beneficial Anglesea; and a very extensive pro- manner. They have adopted, as far motion took place of the officers who as possible, the mode of granting anhad been engaged. Besides these puities. Besides annuities for life to honours, several valuable privileges the widows of the killed, and to sol. were conferred both on the officers diers disabled by the loss of limbs, an. and men. Every subaltern officer nuities are granted for limited periods, who served in the battle of Water- not only for the maintenance of the loo, or in any of the actions which orphan-children, but adequate to af. immediately preceded it, was allowed ford them an education suited to their to account two years service in virtue different situations in life. In cases. of that victory, in reckoning his ser. where annuities were not applicable, vices for increase of pay given to donations of money have been given lieutenants of seven years standing to the wounded officers and soldiers,

was also ordered, that every non- and to the parents, and other dependcommissioned officer and private who ent relatives of the killed, who have served in these battles should be borne left no children. The sum invested upon the muster-rolls of their corps in annuities down to the 31st May, as “ Waterloo men;" and that every 1817, amounts to 20,9921. ; and the Waterloo man should be allowed to donations amount to 162,203/.* The count two years in virtue of that vic- gentlemen employed in this most betory, in reckoning his services for in- nevolent work are busily continuing crease of pay, or for pension when their labours; and we are well wardischarged.

ranted in believing, from what we But the most splendid and substan- have seen, that the magnificent fund tial monument of national gratitude in their hands will produce its full to the deliverers of Europe, was the measure of benefit. Such a statement subscription for the relief of the as this requires no commentary. Hapwounded, and of the relatives of those py the nation, who, in her time of who fell at Waterloo. It was set on need, can rely on such troops as those foot immediately after the battle, and who fought at Waterloo ! and happy was eagerly entered into by all classes the troops whose services are so muof the community, from the prince to nificently rewarded by a grateful the peasant. The inhabitants of the country! Who will, after this, talk of most obscure villages, and of the most the hard fate of a soldier, who falls, remote districts, contributed sums al- among thousands like himself, unpitied most incredible, when contrasted with and unknown, to swell the triumph of the circumstances of the contribu. some great commander ? The Duke tors; as an instance of which, it is of Wellington, in a circle of princes worthy of being recorded, that the and nobles, is not greater than the poor inhabitants of the small parish humblest Waterloo man, who, in the of Morven, in the West Highlands, midst of an admiring throng of his old subscribed the sum of twenty-four rustic friends, shews his scars, and pounds. The sum received amounts tells how the field was won. The io above half a million sterling ; and meanest soldier who feil, receives in chose to whom the management of the persons of his dearest relatives,

* See Report of the Committee, dated June 18th, 1817.

the most substantial tokens of his of service before he can be promoted. country's gratitude; and the disabled It was also admitted, that the excel. veteran, who is placed, while he lives, lence of the present system of military beyond the reach of want or distress, tactics is to be attributed to the duke. will receive with pride the bounty of Our readers, who have followed us his country, as the reward for his ex. through the details of the splendid ploits and sufferings at Waterloo. The achievements of our troops, under sword is now in the scabbard, where, the Duke of Wellington, cannot fail we hope and trust, it will long conti. to be struck with the rapidity and nue; but when the day again shall precision, with which they appear to come, as come it must, when Britain have executed the most complicated must array herself to resist foreign movements, and with the confidence aggression or injustice, her soldiers with which these movements were will march to the field with redoubled ordered, when there was hardly an inenergy, when they remember the ho- stant to execute them-circumstances nours and rewards which were shower- which prove the tactics of our army to ed on the heroes of Waterloo.

be of the highest excellence. The On the 4th of July, Sir John Mar- motion, however, was objected to, on joribanks moved a vote of thanks to the grounds, that it ought not to have the Duke of York, for his conduct as been brought forward till the close commander-in-chief of the army. This of the services in which the army was motion produced a long discussion, engaged ; and, besides, that it was arising from several objections, not unconstitutional, in consequence of one of which, however, had the slight- the individual in question uniting the est reference to any doubt as to the character of a member of the royal claims of the duke to the gratitude of family, and that of the commander of the country for his services as com- the forces.-Mr Whitbread, after ex• mander-in-chief. In the greatness of pressing his concurrence, in some dethose services all parties agreed. It gree, in these objections, said, that was universally admitted, that the is still looking to the compliments duke performed the duties of an which had been paid to the Duke of arduous office with unremitting zeal York-compliments, the result, not and assiduity, and that it was by a of partiality, but of conviction, he course of great exertion on his part, conceived the House ought to agree that the British army had attained a to the resolution. When it was recoldegree of discipline, and of organiza- lected, that, by the excellence of the tion, which had contributed, in a system which had been matured by great measure, to the late glorious the Duke of York, a number of troops results. When the duke was placed were enabled to act together, who at the head of the army, the system had never before been employed in of military promotion was unfair and an united operation, no person could unequal. Mere interest could effect deny his royal highness praise ; and, the most rapid promotion; and boys admitting praise to be due, it would frequently were to be seen in the ' be rather extraordinary, when the command of regiments. The Duke question came before them, to say, of York put an end to this system; that, on account of any collateral cirand introduced the present whole- cumstances, it ought to be withheld.” some regulations, by which every of. The resolution was carried without a ficer, whatever his connections may division. be, must go through a certain course

CHAP. XVI.

Buonaparte's Return to Paris.-His Motives for this Measure.-Rise of the

Funds at Paris.-Meeting of the Chamber of Deputies.- Motion of La Fayette.They command the Attendance of the Ministers. Debates in the Sea cret Committee.- The Chamber intimate their desire that Buonaparte should abdicate.-Reflections on their Right to require this Sacrifice. -Conduct of Napoleon, and his Indecision. He holds a Council. Ferment in the Chamber of Deputies.-The Emperor's Abdication is presented to them.-- Their Address on the Occasion.Ney's Speech in the House of Peers.-Furious Debate on acknowledging Napoleon II.-Labedoyere's violent Harangue.-Debate on the same Subject in the other Chamber.

Napoleon II. is indirectly acknowledged. --Buonaparte's farewell Proclamation to the Army. He is removed to Malmaison.-His Situation there.-Placed under the Superintendance of General Beker, and removed to Rochefort.-Proclamation of Louis XVIII.- Reflections on the Principle of Legitimacy, as applied to Mo. narchical Right.

anew.

· The most important effects of the now his downfall seemed to give rise victory of Waterloo were of course to new competitors for the sovereignty expected to manifest themselves at of France, as in some tale of chivalry, Paris, which is to France what Rome when the adventurous knight has po was to the Roman empire. To dis- sooner slain a giant, than the carcase tant politicians it seemed as if the war of his deceased antagonist is convertwas already ended, and that France, ed into a dragon, and opposes him to avoid the humiliation of actual in

Let us, however, take these vasion and conquest, had no other events according to their progress. course than to “ unthread the

eye

of Buonaparte himself brought to Parude rebellion,” recall King Louis ris the news of his own defeat. On XVIII., lay the blame of Buonaparte's the 19th of June the public ear had usurpation on the army which had been stunned by the report of a hun. just perished, and, as the popular dred pieces of cannon, which announphrase goes, make a virtue out of ne- ced the victory at Ligny, and the cessity. But Buonaparte had, in the public prints had contained the most jacobins, evoked out of obscurity a gasconading accounts of that action; party, who possessed his own skill, his of the forcing the passage of the Samown ambition, with more than his ha. bre, the action at Charleroi, and the tred at the house of Bourbon; and battle of Quatre Bras. The impe

« PrejšnjaNaprej »