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On the termination of the Swedish war, he returned to his native country. Here, however, he did not long remain, before our present contest afforded him an extensive field for the exercise of his talents. He was soon deftined to take part in the hostilities of Britain against France. Upon this undertaking he entered with alacrity. The effects of his zeal were apparent at the unhappy business of Toulon. It is well known, that when the British forces were obliged to quit that famous port, every thing was done to effect the destruction of its arse nal and fhipping. In this most arduous talk, Sir Sydney displayed an astonishing activity. His exertions on that memorable occasion have been recounted with admiration. Lord Hood honourably acknowledged them. Testimonies of merit from so respectable a quarter, are indubitable proofs of superior merit. In this light were his services considered by his grateful countrymen.
The quitting of Toulon was an act of necelfity on the part of the British forces. To Sir Sydney, no reflections can be attached respecting this affair. When the relinquishment of this place became absolutely neceffary, the only question agitated was, how the enemy could be at the same time most distressed and annoyed. To de stroy every thing was the desperate resolution. In the accomplishment of this end he lent his hand with a furprising fuccefs. His exertions against the foe were remembered with gratitude.
In the courfe of this war, it was determined by admi. nistration to keep at sea small squadrons. The design of this scheme was, the protection of trade, and the annoy ance of the enemy. To this destination he was appointed. A more suitable individual could not have been selected. The expectations formed respecting him were answered. He realized the hopes of those who had employed him, and gave them great satisfaction.
In this service, for which he was thus well fitted, he exhibited various traits of intrepidity. The most remarkable, were his attacking a French convoy at Her. qui, together with the demolition of its fortifications ; and also, his proceeding so far into Brest, as to reconnoitre the enemy, they not having the most distant idea of it, till his intentions were accomplished. These exer. tions are not forgotten. Commissioned on such hazardous enterprizes, few persons poffefs talents commensurate with the undertaking. But Sir Sydney, setting danger at defiance, is intent only on the accomplishment of his purposes. To obtain his ends he braves every danger. Rising superior to the obstacles which embarrass common minds, he springs forward to the attainment of his fa. vourite object. Such a spirit must be productive of brave actions ;-and these actions will extend his mili. tary reputation.
It must, however, be confessed, that, amidst this dir. play of heroism, Sir Sydney has been accused of rashness. The justice of this accusation cannot be denied. Impetuosity naturally leads us to despise prudential considera. tions. But we must remark in his behalf, that courage is not unallied to rashness. With him, however, it remains to determine the propriety of the measures which he chooses to undertake. We think him possessed of an understanding capable of directing him in his military profeffion. We are also of opinion, that his increasing experience will teach him how to conduct himself in his hazardous expeditions. Nor should his age be forgotten, when we offer an apology for that part of his conduct which even some of his friends have deemed tinctured with rashness. The redundancy of youth will be corrected by the fedateness of advancing years. We have been credibly informed, that Sir Sydney, when in the Swedish service, formed himself on the model of Charles the Twelfth. This monarch's character and exploits are well known. The history of him by Voltaire, is reckoned the best production of that celebrated and voluminous writer. Should our hero keep this extraordinary character in his eye, this circumstance will' account for many of his eccentricities. However, we are confident, that
in the Swedish king many things were deserving of imi, tation. Among others, his refolution to defend his por. féffions must be commended. Of this virtue, in a very considerable degree, he had reason to boaft: for Voltaire tells us, that one day Charles was diverting himself in the king's apartment with looking upon two plans, the one of a town in Hungary, and the other of Riga, the capital of Livonia, a province conquered by the Swedes, about a century ago.
Under the plan of the town of Hungary, were placed these words, taken from the Book of Job :- The Lord gave it to me: the Lord hatt taken it from me: blessed be the name of the Lord. The young prince upon reading this, strait took a pencil, and wrote under the plan of RIGA, The Lord hath given it to me; and the Devil shall not take it from me. Thus," adds Voltaire, “ in the most indifferent actions of childhood, fome little traces of his refolute difpofition would often fall from him, which would discover what he would one day be.
We now proceed to mention that circuřstance of Sir Sydney's life, by which he fell into the hands of the enemy. On the 18th of April, 1796, he succeeded in capturing a French armed vessel, in the outer harbour of Havre de Grace. The tide, however, drove her up the Seine, near the French forts. In the night he carried her off, and was actually towing her down the river when the alarm was given. The enemy instantly disa patched gun-boats, to attack Sir Sydney, when, after a most obftinate struggle, he, fixteen of his people, and three officers, were captured. He was conveyed to the capital, and imprisoned with severity. He was not even to be exchanged, except for four thousand of their best feamen. Every offer short of this was disdainfully re, jected. His spirited opposition at Toulon fill rankled in the hearts of Frenchmon. To this cause we ascribe the harshness with which this brave officer has been treated. In durance vile” was he held almoft with. out the expectation of deliverance. The writer of this
article has seen exhibited in this metropolis, a representation of him in this ignominious confinement, which could not fail of exciting in the spectator's breast a generous compassion.
His recent escape from France, is now the subject of conversation with all ranks and classes of people. The mode by which it was effected, demands our admiration. A great mind is ever fertile of expedients. There are various accounts of his flight. We present to our readers the following short detail, taken from a respectable print. It is stamped with the marks of authenticity :
" Sir Sydney Smith landed at Portsmouth, on Saturday, May 5th, from his Majesty's ship Argo, of 44 guns, Captain Brown. He made his escape in an open boat from the coast of France, and was picked up by the Argo. After taking some refreshment at the George Inn, he set off in a post chaise for London. However, before he could poffibly get away, his arrival was publicly known, when a vast number of the inhabitants assembled at the inn, and insisted to draw him to the outside of the gates before they would allow the horses to be put to the carriage. They then testified their joy of his return to his native country by loud and repeated huzzas.
The accident by which he and two others obtained their liberty is somewhat extraordinary. For greater security, they had been removed from their late prison, and were on their way to a place in the interior, with the usual escort. A vast concourse of people being collected to see Sir SYDNEY pass, and a dangerous tumult hav. ing arisen, the prisoners found an opportunity to escape from the coach, and immediately mingled with the crowd. Their knowledge of the French language, and presence of mind, precluded detection, and they easily obtained a writer in the woods, where they happily remained con. racter in hiwo days and two nights. Fortune continuing of his eccentir efforts, they at last obtained a passage by
committing themselves, in an open boat, to the sea, and were taken up by the Argo, who landed them at Portfmouth on Saturday evening, whence, at ten o'clock, they immediately set off for London.
Two expresses were sent off on their arrival at the Admiralty, one to Sir Sydney's father, at Dover, and the other to Lord Spencer, then at Windsor, who immediately returned to town, with whom Sir Sydney yesterday dined. He soon after his arrival paid his respects to the PRINCE OF WALES."
Such are the particulars of Sir Sydney's escape which bave yet transpired. Should a more circumstantial account be laid before the public, we shall present it to our readers in our next Number. In the mean time, we cannot but remark, that with the success of his attempt it is impossible not be pleased. We applaud the adroitness with which it must have been planned, and the alacrity by which it was fully accomplished. Indeed we offer the liberated captive our sincere congratulations. Nor can we close this narrative, without expressing a persuasion, that ere long we shall have to record some still more eminent services, performed by this hero in behalf of his country.
[No. XV.] " The passion excited by beauty is, in fact, nearer to a species of melancholy, than to jollity or mirth.”
Burke on the Sublime and Beautiful. "HE melancholy of lovers has been a subject of gea quality so replete with felicity, as is understood of love, should prove, in the first instance, little more than milery to its poffeffor? It would appear, however, as our