Imatges de pàgina

per annum, on a mortgage in America, paid punctually. An estate of two hundred pounds per annum in Middlesex, for another gentleman's life; but whose life he had insured against his own. A thousand pounds on a turnpike in England, at four per cent. interest. One thousand five hundred pounds, at five per cent. His half-pay, one hundred and thirty-fix pounds per annum: in all, nine hundred and thirty-one pounds per annum, clear income. He had, besides, in his agent's hands, and different debts, about twelve hundred pounds; with ten thousand acres of land in the island of St. John, which had been settled at the expence of seven hundred pounds; and a mandamus for twenty thousand acres in East Florida.

It appears, that general Lee died at an inn, after an illness of a few days, in O&tober, 1782: his happiness did not encrease with his labours for establishing the independence of America. Disappointment, we are told, had foured his temper; and numerous instances of private defamation had so provoked him, that he became, in a degree, angry with all mankind.

Of the miscellaneous pieces, now published from his papers, the first is a sketch of a plan for the formation of a military colony. This is succeeded by an essay on the Coup d'Oeil; a picture of the countess of- ; an account of a conversation, chiefly relative to the army; an epistle to David Hume esq; and a political essay.

We next meet with a paper entitled, a breakfast for Rivington; to the people of America, to the gentlemen of the pro... vincial congress of Virginia; on a famous trial in the court of common pleas, between general Mostyn, governor of Minorca, and an inhabitant of that island; a short history of the treatment of major-general Conway, late in the fervice of America ; proposals for the formation of a body of light troops, ready to be detached on an emergent occasion; some queries, political and military, humbly offered to the consideration of the public; with a copy of general Lee's last will. Then follows a series of letters to general Lee from several eminent characters both in Europe and America. Among these is a letter from Dr. Franklin, dated Feb. 11th, 1776, where he writes in these terms:

• They still talk big in England, and threaten hard; but their language is somewhat civiller, at least, not quite so disrespectful to us. By degrees they come to their senses, but too late, I fancy, for their interest.

. We have got a large quantity of salt-petre, one hundred and twenty ton, and thirty more expected. Powder-mills are now wanting ; I believe we must fet to work and make it by hand.


But I still with, with you that pikes could be introduced, and I would add bows and arrows: these were good weapons, not wisely laid aside:

'it. Because a man may shoot as truly with a bow as with a common muket.

• 2d. He can discharge four arrows in the time of charging and discharging one bullet.

• 3d. His object is not taken from his view by the smoke of his own Gde.

4th. A Night of arrows seen coming upon them, terrifies and disturbs the enemies' attention to his business.

• sth. An arrow striking in any part of a man, puts him hors du combat till it is extracted.

• 6th. Bows and arrows are more easily provided everywhere than mukets and ammunition.

• Polydore Virgil, speaking of one of our battles against the French in Edward the Third's reign, mentions the great confusion the enemy was thrown into, fagistarum nube, from the English ; and concludes, EA res profeéto dietu mirabiles, ut tantus ac potens exercirus a folis fere Anglicis fagittariis vi&tus fuerit; adio Anglus of fagirri potens, et id genus armorum valet. If so much execution was done by arrows when men wore some defensive armonr, how much more might be done now that is out of use !

Among the letters from general Lee, the first is addressed to the king of Poland; in which the writer expresses his afto. nishment at Mr. Pitt's having accepted a peerage ; and goes fo far as to ascribe that incident to a real failure of understande ing.

• It is manifest, says he, from a thousand circumstances, that with the health and frame of this extraordinary man, the underftanding is likewise worn out. Before I came to England, I did pot lay much stress on those parts of his conduct which the newspapers have so worried ; and I recollect your majesty was of the same way of thinking, that there was nothing very monstrous in his acceptance of a peerage, but that it might be imprudent, and argued a senselessness of glory, to forfeit the name of Pitt for any title the king could bestow. But since I am a little more behind the scenes, and am made acquainted with several circumstances previous, concomitant, and subsequent to this event, I am apt to agree with the majority of the better sort, that this once noble mind is quite overthrown. Can it be reconciled to reason, that the same man who had rendered his name so illustrious and so tremendous to the greatest part of the globe, should split upon sib. bons and titles ; that when he had arrived at a higher pinnacle of glory than ever citizen did fince the days of Epaminondas, he

Thould should be captivated by such a bauble, even though it should be attended with no ill consequences to the affairs of his country but when such terrible ones were visible, it must be construed downright madness. Mr. Pitt, fay they, was the only man who had capacity, spirit, and power to affert the honour and interest of the nation with foreign states, correct the abuses, and item the torrent of corruption ac home. His power was not founded on vaft property or cabinet favour, but on his popularity. By finking into a peerage, his popularity would vanish of course, and with it all power of rendering, at a most critical time, any farther services to his country.'

• Lord Camden, in particular, concluding this resolution to be a short fit of compliance, and that his friend would soon see the danger of the measure, delayed the signing of the patent for two days. But his lordship was mistaken, the disorder had taken deeper root ihan he imagined ; no girl could shew more impatience for a new toy, than this first of men did, till the testimony of his folly was signed and scaled to the whole world. Your majesty will probably object, that though Mr. Pilt played the child in one article, ic is no proof of the general failure of his understanding; that no inan was ever blessed with so entire faculties, as not, og fome particular occalion, and in some unlucky moment, to betray weakness. But this is not the case with Pitt, the decay of his parts is not only indicated by the act itself, but confirmed by his conduct in pubiic and private character: in public the doctrines he bioaches are diametrically the reverse of what he has, through the whole course of his life, asserted : in private, he is totally metamorphosed from the extreme of plainness and fimplicity, he is all parade, magnificence and oftentation.'.

In a letter to Mr. Coleman, dated Warsaw, May ist, 1767, we meet with the following pafiage, Atrongly expreslive of the general's peculiarity of sentiment, and forming a direct con• • trast to an opinion delivered respecting an amiable sovereign, in a preceding part of the volume. He writes thus :

- The fituation of thek is really to be lamented, notwithstanding he wears a crown. He is an honest, virtuous man, and a friend to the rights of mankind. I wish we could persuade a prince of my acquaintance, who is taught, (as far as he can be taught any thing), to hate them, to exchange with him. I know a nation that could spare a whole family, mother, and all to the Poles, and only take in exchange this one man. I could say many things on this subject, digna literis noftris, fed non committenda ejusmodi periculo, ut aut interire, aut aperiri, aut intercipi poffint.'

· In a letter to Mrs. M'Cauley, he speaks of a celebrated character in the following terms:

i ti is impossible, says he, to have the least connection with Fox, either of a political or a private nature; without smarting for it: every thing he touches becomes putrid and prostitute. I hope your brother will have the grace to break this accursed conpection, which has diverted such excellent parts from their true use, blafted all the hopes which his real friends and his country had a right to entertain of him; that he will see, in its proper colours, the odiousness of dependency and venality, particularly in a man of fortune ; and that he may, by his future conduct, make an ample recompence to the opulent county which has chose him for their hitherio disappointment.'

In a letter to Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, he delineates the character of general Howe, in colours which at least are exa preffive.

• You will think it odd, that I Mould seem to be an apologist for general Howe : I know not how it happens, but when I have taken prejudices in favour, or against a man, I find it a difficulty in Making them off. From my first acquaintance with Mr. Howe, I liked him : I thought him friendly, candid, good natured, brave, and rather sensible than the reverse. I believe fill, that he is na. turally so; but a corrupt, or, more properly, no education, the Sashion of the times, and the reigning idolatry amongst the Eng. Jish, (particularly the soldiery ;) for every sceptered calf, wolf, bog, or ass, have so totally perverted his understanding and heart, that privale friendship has not force sufficient to keep a door open for the admittance of mercy towards political heretics. He was, besides, persuaded that I was doubly criminal, both as a traitor and Jeferter. In mort, so totally was he enebriated with this idca, that I am convinced he would have thought himself both politically and morally damned had he acted any other part than what he did. He is, besides, the most indolent of mortals: never took farther pains to examine the merits or demerits of the caure in which he was engaged, than merely to recollect, that Great Britain was said to be the mother country, George the Third king of Great Britain, that the parliament was called the representatives of Great Britain, that the king and parliament formed the supreme power, that a supreme power is absolute and uncontrolable, that all resistance muit, consequently, be rebellion ; but, above all, that he was a soldier, and bound to obey in all cases whatever.

• There are his notions, and this his logic;, but through these absurdities I could distinguish, when he was left to himself, rays of friendship and good nature breaking out. It is true, he was seldom left to bimself; for never poor mortal, thrust into high flation, was surrounded by such fools and scoundrels. M'Kensey, C. R. N. AR. (IV.) March, 1792. z

Balfour, Balfour, Galloway, were his counsellors : they urged him to all his acts of harshness ; they were his scribes : all the damned stuff which was issued to the astonished world was theirs. I believe he scarcely ever read the letters he signed. You will scarcely believe it, but I can assure you as a fact, that he never read the curious proclamation, issued at the head of Elk, till three days after it was published. You will say, that I am drawing my friend Howe in more ridiculous colours than he has yet been represented in ; but this is his real character. He is naturally good humoured, complaisant, but illiterate and indolent to the last degree, unless as an executive soldier, in which capacity he is all fire and activity, brave and cool as Julius Cæsar. His understanding is, as I observed before, rather good than otherwise; but was totally confounded and stupified by the immensity of the task imposed upon him. He fout his eyes, fought his battles, drank his bottle, had bis little whore, advised with his counsellors, received his orders from North and Germain, (one more absurd than the other,) took Galloway's opinion, Thut his eyes, fought again, and is now, I suppose, to be called on account for acting according to instructions; but, I believe, his eyes are now opened; he fees he has been an instrument of wickedness and folly : indeed, when I observed it to him, he not only took patiently the observation, but indirectly assented to the truth of it. He made, at the same time, as far as his mauvais honte would permit, an apology for his treatment of me.'

Respecting the opinion which general Lee entertained of the Americans at Midsummer, 1782, we find the following evidence, in a letter to his fifter, in England.

• You are curious, my dear fifter, on the subject, of my finances, and are defirous to know whether these people, to whom I have sacrificed every thing, have shewn the same black ingratirude with respect to my circumitances as they have in other matters; I can assure you, then, that their actions are all of a piece. Was is not for the friendship of Mr. Robert Morris and a fortunate purchase I made, more by luck than cunning, I might have bega ged in the streets, but without much chance of being relieved ; not but that, to be just, there are many exceptions to the general character of the Americans, both in and out of the army, and I think the greater number are of the latter class, men of some ho. nour, and who, I believe, have, from the beginning, acted on principle.'

Having thus laid before our readers the most prominent parts of the prefent volume, we shall conclude with observing, that *the general evinces in his writings the same spirit of freedom with which he usually acted. His remarks, on different oc


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