« ПредишнаНапред »
stance, really, if not formally, on the possessor of the throne immediately defensive ; and that it was in the over. attempted to sustain at once his reputhrow of the coalitions formed for tation and his power_by war, and their destruction, or the necessary de- chiefly war against the British. Withfence of the allies whom previous in twenty-four years from the attack victory had brought to their side, on Calcutta, Hyder Ali invaded the that the real cause of all their Indian presidency, beat the two armies of acquisitions is to be found.”
Baillie and Monro, who had been It is demonstrative of this total thrown in his way with singularly inabsence of the spirit of aggression, adequate forces, and burned the counthat the Company continued not mas- try up to the gates of Madras. After ters of a foot of Indian territory, be- a long succession of desperate actions, yond the walls of a few trifling facto- Hyder, at the moment when he had ries, for 150 years, from their incore secured the aid of a French fleet, was poration by Elizabeth down to the fortunately, swept away by an enemy victory of Plassey; and that, in the which neither kings nor armies can year 1756, when their chief factory, resist. He died; yet this desperate Calcutta, was seized by Surajee Dow. warrior, whose life was one scene of lab, the whole garrison, including stratagem, march, and battle, had surclerks and servants, amounted to but vived till the age of eighty-two. 146 people, whom the tyrant flung A more fortunate circumstance still into one dungeon to die. It is equally was the character of his successor. remarkable, that from this single act Hyder Ali himself declared of his of barbarity followed the ruin of the son Tippoo, that he would lose all the tyrant and his dynasty ; that the hor- dominions which his own life of labour ror inspired by the compendious mur. had gained. Tippoo had all the couder first turned the British eye on the rage of his father without his underEast; and that, in the “ Black-hole standing, and all his treachery withof Calcutta," may be said to have out his knowledge of mankind. His been moulded the massive diadem of ferocity plunged him into immediate our Indian empire.
conflict with the British, and his rashBut in the succession of those con. ness ensured his ruin. quests the perseverance of the con- Mr Alison conceives that the chief querors was as much to be tried as part of this ruin was due to his having their ability or their courage. With- deserted the military tactics of his fain a few years the British possessions ther. “ He was not equally impressed had begun to taste of opulence, and to as his great predecessor with the exexcite the habitual propensities of the pediency of combating the invaders native powers to plunder. The cha- with the national arms of the East, racter of gentleness has been unac- and wearing out the disciplined batcountably ascribed to the Indian; for talions of Europe by those innumerable of all the countries, even of the bar. horsemen, in whom, from the earliest barian world, India has been the most times, the real strength of Asia has embittered by faction, torn by civil consisted. Almost all Hyder's sucwar, and trampled by mutual invasion. cesses were gained by his cavalry. The native chieftains, knowing no use It was when severed from his infan. of wealth but to waste it, of property try and heavy artillery, and attended but to plunder it, or of power but to only by a few flying guns, that his turn it into an instrument of havoc, forces were most formidable ; and it lived in constant war, or the prepara- augments our admiration of the firmtion for war. Despising the British ness and discipline with which the Se. as merchants, and less fearing than poy regiments under Coote withstood detesting them in their capacity of his assaults, when we recollect that warriors; and adding to all this the they had to resist, for days and weeks abhorrence created by the brute fero- together, under the rays of a tropical city of Mahometanism, and the subtle sun, the incessant charges of a cavalry bigotry of the Hindoo, war seemed to rivalling that of the Parthians in swiftbe the new, but natural element, in ness, equalling that of the Mamelukes which the inhabitants and the strangers in daring, and approaching that of the were to live. When the old dynasties Tartars in numbers.” were subverted by the sword of a gene- We shall not venture to lecture the ral or the dagger of a slave, the new
clever author on tactics, nor do we
mean to dispute the power of vast tem- among
all nations who have had opporpests and whirlwinds of cavalry, in a tunities of seeing the services comcountry fitted for their operation; but pared in actual warfare, is likely to the remark is old and true, that cavalry have arisen wholly from the passion is, in its nature, a fugitive force, that it for novelty. The example which the can never attack with effect where in historian himself gives, of the total fantry are on their guard, and that all defiance of the immense host of Hythat can be accomplished, by the most der's cavalry by a few companies of powerful cavalry, is to follow when they well-disciplined infantry, and to make march, cut off stragglers when they the evidence more distinct, those comstray, come to a stand when they face panies chiefly natives, had a right to about, and look on while they take have produced a strong conviction of fortresses, enter capitals, and make the superiority of defence on foot. themselves masters of the country. It The evident result is, that cavalry is is not to be forgotten that, though of great value to assist the advance, Tartar against Tartar may be a fit the retreat, or the maintenance of inmatch, the horseman has never been fantry ; but that it is the infantry able to prevail against the disciplined that must fight the battle, storm the man on foot ; that the Greek infan- towns, and establish the empire. In try uniformly beat the masses of the the East, cavalry has often done great Persian horse, who were probably su- things; but this was chiefly by the perior to any that India has ever seen. rapidity with which it can pass over The Saracen cavalry could make but great spaces in a short time. Cavalry slight impression even on the Greek has marched seventy miles a day in infantry of the Lower Empire. The the East—a march wholly beyond the Tartars, who were in the habit of power of foot soldiers-and the ease scouring the Russian provinces every with which it carries its own sustehalf dozen years, have never succeed- nance, and brings a powerful force to ed, since Russia established a regular an extremely distant and unprepared infantry; and, as a case perfectly de- point, renders it capable of the most cisive, the Turks, whose force was es- striking enterprises. But Tippoo, who pecially cavalry down to the fifteenth knew from long experience all that century, while they had scarcely any cavalry could do, is scarcely to be antagonists but the levies of the expi- suspected of having voluntarily risked ring Greek empire to combat, found his throne and life, through the folly themselves compelled to abandon their of misconceiving the true uses of that cavalry as the main branch of their arm by which Hyder had won an em. army from the time when they had to pire. If the Turks have changed their face infantry. The Janizaries were discipline in our day, it is not the first raised from their European subjects, instance of the attempt ; Mahmoud is or were purchased slaves from the not the only innovator. Ever since North, expressly for the purpose of Russia and Austria have become forforming troops capable of meeting the midable to Turkey, the Sultans have soldiery of Europe. It is perfectly attempted to throw their strength into true that Crassus was destroyed on the infantry. The jealousies of the Janiplains bordering on the Tigris by the zaries, who had sunk from soldiers into Parthian cavalry; but it was because slipper-makers, citizens, and aldermen he left himself without provisions, and, of Constantinople, prohibited this being surrounded by cavalry, was un change until Mahmoud cut off their able to procure them, or move his heads—the only logic, the exclusive army till it was exhausted by heat and mode of argument, which seems to hunger, and thus compelled to give convince a Turk; and raised infantry way. It is equally true that the heavy- on the European model. His much armed cavalry of the Crusaders were greater want of sagacity seems to have unfit to follow the light-armed Arab been discoverable in his stripping the over the sands of the Houran, but Turk (the lover of all the pomps and their infantry marched through the vanities of the eye) of that costume desert and stormed Jerusalem. We which made him the most splendid of are also to consider whether we may barbarians. The pomp of the Turk's not draw our conclusion too hastily, habiliments inspired ideas of pomp, in supposing that the universal habit his splendours inculcated the idea of of abandoning cavalry for infantry supremacy; and if Mahmoud were now
critical about any thing but the will not, of itself, explain the phenomenon. strength of his brandy or the flavour This strenuous virtue itself is the wonder of his claret, he ought to turn his which requires solution. How did it hapthoughts to the restoration of the pen that Great Britain, during the space shawl, the turban, the diamond-hilted of eighty years, should have been able to dagger, and the yellow morocco boots, furnish a race of statesmen adequate to which once made the Turk look like a the conception of such mighty projects, of king, and think himself one- -the born
warriors equal to the execution of such lord of the race who wore hats, short glorious deeds ? Still more, how was this
constellation of talent exhibited when the coats, and the general mendicant measurement of our European dege conflicts in the Western hemisphere? It
state was involved in arduous and bloody neracy. But these are passing speculations, republican constitution, by training all the
was the boast of the Romans that their which we offer as open to every man ; and trivial differences of idea, fully ded an inexhaustible fund of ability for
citizens to civil or military duties, proviconsistent with high respect for the
the service of the state ; and that the loss manliness and intelligence of the vo
even of the largest army or the most skil. lume. The close of the sketch of In.
ful commander could, without difficulty, dian affairs gives an admirable solution be supplied by the multitudes in every of an old difficulty in our theories of rank, whom the avocations of freedom Oriental triumph. " It has seemed
had prepared for every pacific or warlike almost inexplicable, to what cause the duty. In British India, equally as in anmarvellous progress of the British cient Rome, the influence of the same Indian empire has been owing. It undying energy and universal capacity may was not to the magnitude of the forces be descried. The natives say that the sent out by the mother country, for Company has always conquered, because they were few, and furnished in the
it was always young. And such, in truth, most parsimonious spirit. It was not was ever its character,” to the weakness of the conquered The secret of both the British and states, for they were vast and opulent the Roman, has been the constant empires ; nor to their want of courage combination of aristocratic decision and discipline, for they often had all with republican energy ; the resoluthe resources of European art, and tion and tenacity of purpose which often fought with a courage which distinguishes patrician council, and rivalled the prowess of British sol- the vigour and inexhaustible resources diers."
which are produced in plebeian goHe then proceeds to explain the vernments. And it is to the failure problem, and does it with equal in- of either of those supports, that we sight into fact and theory. He shows shall have to look for the fall of the that her means of combating, with Indian empire, if it is to fall. The resources thus slender, were found in prospect at this moment is gloomy. the moral courage and far. seeing sa- The enterprises of Russia, a treacher gacity of our Eastern administration, ous and grasping power, and which and unconquerable valour of our offi- will yet pay, in many a trial of blood cers, who brought a degenerate race and misery, her insane passion for into the field, and taught them, by conquests which she can never' keep, their spirit and their example, to emu- and triumphs won only over weakness late the heroic deeds of their European and barbarism, are turning towards brethren in arms.
Hindostan. But the worse symptom is The history of the world can hardly at home, in the wretched impolicy exhibit a parallel to the vigour and which stoops Government to the rab. intrepidity of that political administra- ble, and makes penury the policy of tion, or the courage and daring of the state ; which cultivates popularity those military exploits. Some portion as the purchase of office, and starves of this is allowed to be due to the the national establishments, to bribe virtue and talent of a few of the lead- the beggarliness of partisanship; ing men. But the true cause is to which gives a bastard influence to the be sought and found deeper.
Joseph Humes of this world, and " Much as the strenuous virtue of indi.
thinks the barter of a Radical vote viduals may have contributed to the great
well worth the hazard of an empire. ness of the British empire in Asia, as it
We must now return to Europe. did of the Roman dominion in Europe, it from the year 1805 until the year 1808, France had gone on from con.
tation of the word; gifted with a sagaquest to conquest; Austria had been cious intellect, a clear perception, and a all but destroyed, Prussia had been sound judgment; profoundly versed in extinguished as a kingdom, and the the secrets of diplomacy, and the chageneral face of the Continent, which racters of the leading political men had been swept by the French inva- with whom he was brought into consion like a forest by a whirlwind, ex- tact in the European cabinets ; persehibited only, in its vast tracts of vering in his policy, far-seeing in his desolation, the course which had been views, unrivalled in his discrimination, taken by the storm. This was the unbounded in application, richly en. dark age of the great conquest; but dowed with knowledge, and enjoying though the power of Europe seemed the rare faculty of veiling those great to have been broken, and the time had acquirements under the veil of polished undoubtedly come when a tempered manners, and causing his superiority despotism in France might have de- to be forgotten in the charms of a stroyed every hope of liberty among varied and intellectual conversation." nations; yet, fortunately for mankind, But, striking as the services were French despotism grew more violent which this distinguished minister renfrom hour to hour, and the question dered to his country in restoring her was pressed constantly upon the minds from the tremendous losses of the of all men, whether it was not better Frenchinvasions, he has since rendered to die in the field, than perish of still more important services in supbroken hearts even at the fireside. In pressing the jacobinism of Europe, in this sense, we see something like the saving Italy from being the seat of operation of retributive justice, the civil war, in preventing the bloody weight of the chain itself tormenting feuds of Spain from spreading alike the slave into resistance, and the reck- over Italy and Germany; and still less depression of humankind to the more, in showing to all existing moearth, giving a new spring and resto- narchs and ministers, that the true way rative power to the nations. It is a to preserve the public tranquillity is remarkable characteristic of France, by refusing to traffic with its disturbers, that what she has gained by the sword by giving over the profligacy which she has almost universally lost by the affects patriotism for the sake of its sceptre; that, overwhelming all by the celebrity to condign punishment, and boldness of her attack, she has, like a by sending the conspirator to the chain tide, seemed to ebb by the course of and the rebel to the scaffold. By this nature ; that great victories have only manliness he has saved Austria for the taught her to lose kingdoms; and that last five-and-twenty years; in the midst the boldest ambition in the world has of perpetual contagion, with France on twice, within her own day, brought all one side breaking out every third the nations of Europe to her capital, year into revolutionary disease, with and twice made her the public victim Italy continually nurturing the fever, of the justice of mankind.
and with Spain and Portugal before The insults and oppressions heaped her eyes racked with paroxysms, and by Napoleon upon Austria, at length dying of their agony, Metternich's compelled that power to try the simple policy has been no negotiation chances of fortune once more. At with the rebel, no traffic with the this period two distinguished indivi. traitor; cure the jacobin by the duals came forward in the service of scourge if he will be cured_if he is the monarchy ; Schwartzenberg, who not, disable the disturber by the scafwas dispatched to the Russian em- fold. He has thus reigned almost peror, and Metternich, appointed am- without the employment of thescaffold; bassador at Paris. The latter name and the woes of Italy are chiefly restill stands at the head of European tricted to the complainings of bad diplomacy, and its illustrious bearer poets, who hoped to have risen from will go down to the future as the bad politicians into comfortable placesecond founder of the Austrian throne. Thus poets have been incarMr Alison naturally expatiates in the cerated, but the population have been praise of this great sustainer of the kept in safety; the walls of Spielspeace and power of the balance of berg have sent forth sonnets and tales Europe, whom he justly characterises of woe, but the fields of the Milanese as “ a statesman, in the widest accep- have been kept unstained by blood;
Cicisbeism has been perhaps mulcted dous hostilities taking a more defined of some of its heroes by those come form, and approaching nearer their mitments, but there has been no mas- confines. •Napoleon waited but for sacre for this quarter of a century. one event-the return of his courier We condole with Jacobinism, but from St Petersburg, announcing the congratulate every thing else on the refusal of Alexander to make common exchange!
cause with England and Austria. But the Spanish war had begun. The intelligence came, and the war The 200,000 legionaries, whom Napo- began by a thunderclap. The great leon had retained as the garrison of battle of Eckmuhl was fought on the Germany, began to defile towards the 22d of April. Mr Alison's descripPyrenees; and the hope of trying the tions of battles are always admirable; chance of battle again revived in the they are animated without confusion, breast of Austria. Formidable pre- and minute without losing the grandparations were silently but steadily er characters of the conflict. But he made. A regular army of 350,000 can occasionally use the pencil of a men was supported by an irregular, powerful painter of scenery; and nobut brave and tolerably disciplined thing can be more graphic than his force of 480,000. Such is the enor. landscape of this mighty field of batmous power of the military nations of tle before the shock came. Germany, even after the havoc of
“ As they arrived on the top of the hills successive and sweeping wars; or
of Lintach, which separate the valley of rather, such was the horrible calamity the Iser from that of the Laber, the of human ambition, which, from the French, who came up from Landshut, bethrone of a single despot in France, held the field of battle stretched out like a could thus compel almost a million of map before them. From the marshy meahuman beings to leave their peaceful dows which bordered the shores of the Lapursuits for the dreadful chances and ber, rose a succession of hills, one above sufferings of the field.
another, in the form of an amphitheatre, Napoleon was instantly aware of the with their slopes cultivated and diversified new system of Austrian politics ; and by hamlets, and beautiful forests clothing he assailed Metternich in one of those the higher ground. The villages of Eckcurious, and apparently unpremedita- muchl and Laichling, separated by a large ted bursts of passion, which he occa- copse wood, appeared to view, with the sionally adopted, to astonish the great road to Ratisbon winding up the acworld by his ferocious candour.
clivities behind them. The meadows were - What, M. Metternich !” he ex.
green with the first colours of spring: the claimed in the midst of the circle at
osiers and willows which fringed the streams the Tuileries Here is fine news
that intersected them, were just bursting
into leaf; and the trees which bordered the from Vienna! What does all this
roadside already cast an agreeable shade mean ? Have they been stung by
upon the dusty and beaten highway, scorpions? Who threatens you ?
which lay beneath their boughs. The what would you be at ? As long as I
French soldiers involuntarily paused as had my army in Germany, you con.
they arrived at the summit, ceived no disquietude for your existe on this varied and interesting scene. But ence; but the moment it is transfer-
soon other emotions than those of admiration red to Spain, you consider yourselves of nature swelled the breasts of the warlike endangered. What can be the end multitude who thronged the spot. In the of these things ? What, but that I intervals of these woods artillery was to be must arm as you arm; for at length seen; amidst those villages standards were I am seriously menaced. Have you, visible, and long white lines, with the glansir, communicated your pretended ap- cing of helmets and bayonets on the higher prehensions to your court? If you ground, showed the columns of Rosenberg have done so, you have disturbed the
and "Hohenzollern already in battle array, peace of mine, and will probably in very advantageous positions on the oppoplunge Europe. into numberless cala- site side of the valley. Joyfully the French mities."
troops descended into the lower grounds, This was decisive-the oracle had
while the Emperor galloped to the front, uttered its voice; and from that mo
and, hastily surveying the splendid but in.
tricate scene, immediately formed his plan ment war must be foreseen. Still, there
of attack.” were hesitations in the cabinet, as they saw the shadows of those tremen. In the latter part of this engage.