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Lord Granby's hands. It was taken from him much against his inclination, some two or three years before Lord Granby was commander in chief. As to the state of the army, I should be glad to know where you have received your intelligence. Was it in the rooms at Bath, or at your retreat at Clifton? The reports of reviewing generals comprehend only a few regiments in England, which, as they are immediately under the royal inspection, are perhaps in some tolerable order. But, do you know any thing of the troops in the West Indies, the Mediterranean, and North America, to say nothing of a whole army absolutely ruined in Ireland? Inquire a little into facts, Sir William, before you publish your next panegyric upon Lord Granby; and be. lieve me, you will find there is a fault at head-quarters, which even the acknowledged care and abilities of the adjutant-general cannot correct.
Permit me now, Sir William, to address myself personally to you, by way of thanks for the honour of your correspondence. You are by no means undeserving of notice; and it may be of consequence, even to Lord Granby, to have it determined, whether or no the man, who has praised him so lavishly, be himself deserving of praise. When you returned to Europe, you zealously undertook the cause of that gallant army, by whose bravery at Manilla your own fortune had been established. You complained, you threatened, you even appealed to the public in print. By what accident did it happen, that, in the midst of all this bustle, and all these clamours for justice to your injured troops, the name of the Manilla ransom was suddenly buried in a profound, and, since that time, an uninterrupted silence? Did the ministry suggest any motives to you, strong enough to tempt a man of honour to desert and betray the cause of his fellow-soldiers? Was it that blushing ribbon, wbich is now the perpetual ornament of your person? Or, was it that regiment, which you afterwards (a thing unprecedented among soldiers) sold to Colonel Gisborne? Or, was it that government, the full pay of which you are contented to hold, with the half-pay of an Irish colonel? And do you now, after a retreat not very like that of Scipio, presume to intrude youself, unthought of, uncalled for, upon the patience of the public? Are your flatteries of the commander in chief directed to another regiment, which you may again dispose of on the same honourable terms? We know your prudence, Sir William, and I should be sorry to stop your preferment.
February 17, 1769. I RECEIVED Junius's favour last night: he is determined to keep his advantage by the help of his mask: it is an excellent protection; it has saved many a man from an untimely end. But whenever he will be honest enough to lay it aside, ayow himself, and produce the face which has so long lurked behind it, the world will be able to judge of his motives for writing such infamous invectives. His real name will discover his freedom and independency, or his servility to a faction. Disappointed ambition, resentment for defeated hopes, and desire of revenge, assume but too often the appearance of public spirit: but be his designs wicked or charitable, Junius should learn, that it
is possible to condemn measures, without a barbarous and criminal outrage against men. Junius delights to mangle carcases with a hatchet; his language and instrument have a great connexion with Clare-market, and, to do him justice, he handles his weapon most admirably. One would imagine, he had been taught to throw it by the savages of America. It is therefore high time for me to step in once more to shield my friend from this merciless weapon, although I may be wounded in the attempt. But I must first ask Június; by what forced analogy and construction the moments of convivial mirth are made to signify indecency, a violation of engagements, a drunken landlord, and a desire, that every one in company should be drunk likewise? He must have culled all the flowers of St. Giles's and Billingsgate, to have produced such a piece of oratory. Here the hatchet descends with tenfold vengeance; but alas! it hurts no one but its master! For, Junius must not think to put words into my mouth, that seem too foul even for his own.
My friend's political engagements I know not; so cannot pretend to explain them, or assert their consistency. I know not whether Junius be considerable enough to belong to any party. If he should be so, can he affirm, that he always adhered to one set of men and measures? Is he sure, that he has never sided with those whom he was first hired to abuse? Has he never abused those he was hired to praise? To say the truth, most men's politics' sit much too loosely about them. But, as my friend's military character was the chief object that engaged me in this controversy, to that I shall return.
Junius asks, What instances my friend has given of his military skill and capacity as a general ? When and where he gained his honour? When he deserved his
emoluments ? The united voice of the army which served under him, the glorious testimony of Prince Ferdinand, and of vanquished enemies, all Germany will tell him. Junius repeats the complaints of the army against parliamentary influence. I love the army too well, not to wish that such influence were less. Let Junius point out the time when it has not prevailed. It was of the least force in the time of that great man, the late Duke of Cumberland, who, as a prince of the blood, was able, as well as willing, to stem a torrent which would have overborne any private subject. In time of war, this influence is small. In peace, when discontent and faction have the surest means to operate, especially in this country, and when, from a scarcity of public spirit, the wheels of government are rarely moved but by the power and force of obligations, its weight is always too great. Yet, if this influence, at present, has done no greater harm than the placing Earl Percy at the head of a regiment, I do not think that either the rights, or best interests, of the army, are sacrificed and betrayed, or the nation undone. Let me ask Junius, If he knows any one nobleman in the army, who has had a regiment by seniority? I feel myself happy, in seeing young noblemen of illustrious name, and great property, come among us. They are an additional security to the kingdom from foreign or domestic slavery. Junius needs not be told, that, should the time ever come, when this nation is to be defended only by those, who have nothing more to lose than their arms and their pay, its danger will be great indeed. A happy mixture of men of quality with soldiers of fortune, is always to be wished for. But the main point is still to be contended for,--I mean, the discipline and condition of the army; and I must still maintain, though contradicted by Junius, that it was never upon a more respectable footing, as to all the essentials that can form good soldiers, than it is at present. Junius is forced to allow, that our army at home may be in some tolerable order; yet, bow kindly does he invite our late enemies to the invasion of Ireland, by assuring them, that the army in that kingdom is totally ruined! (The colonels of that army are much obliged to him.) I have too great an opinion of the military talents of the lord-lieutenant, and of all their diligence and capacity, to believe it. If, from some strange, unaccountable fatality, the people of that kingdom cannot be induced to consult their own security, by such an effectual augmentation as may enable the troops there to act with power and energy, is the commander in chief here to blaine? Or, is he to blame, because the troops in the Mediterranean, in the West Indies, in America, labour under great difficulties, from the scarcity of men, which is but too visible all over these kingdoms? Many of our forces are in climates unfavourable to British constitutions: their loss is in proportion. Britain must recruit all these regiments from her own emaciated bosom; or, more precariously, by Catholics from Ireland. We are likewise subject to the fatal drains to the East Indies, to Senegal, and the -alarming emigrations of our people to other countries.: Such depopulation can only be repaired by a long peace, or by some sensible bill of naturalization.
I must now take the liberty to talk to Juniús on my own account. He is pleased to tell me, that he addresses himself to me personally: I shall be glad to see him. It is his impersonality that I complain of, and his invisible attacks; for his dagger in the air is only to be regarded, because one cannot see the hand which holds it; but, had it not wounded other people more deeply than myself, I should not have obtruded myself at all on the patience of the public.