Imatges de pÓgina



ful engravings by Callot of the miseries of war are reflected in these pages - and when read in cold blood are truly terrible: much of this feeling ‘vanishes, we are told, in the real dangers and anxieties of the actual scene ; and when the • novelty' is over, “the sameness of starvation wounds,' — malesuada fames, and the plurima mortis imago harden the most sensitive soul and sentimental stomach. « We cannot ride a few miles without the alternate smells which succeed each other of dead horses, dead mules, and dead men.

А ' nice judge can tell each by their particular goût - and that

of men is much the strongest.' (Vol. ii. p. 60.) We saw ' about a dozen French just killed close to St. Estevan, but ' got comfortable quarters, and went to dinner: so we go on * you see. (Vol. ii. p. 29.) Cosas de España, where time out of mind the dead are thought to be best off in their grave, and the living at the table : Los muertos en la huesa, los vivos a la mesa. The negations endured by our civilian attached to head-quarters and the Commissariat were trifling indeed when compared to the privations suffered by the English army in general, and the Spanish in particular, always wanting in

every thing at the critical moment. And even our soldiers, as when Henry V. encamped before Agincourt, were so‘shrewdly

out of beef,' that when the Commissary-General, with tears in his eyes, told the Duke that we had eaten nearly all the oxen in the country,-“Well then,” said he, “ we must now set

— « « about eating all the sheep; and when they are gone I suppose we must go.” (Vol. i.

p. 129.) When Massena was besieged in Genoa, and on shortest commons, he gave a grand dinner to the Austrian envoy, sent to propose surrender, who told him that the cuisine was excellent, but the horseflesh • unmistakable.' You forget,' said his host, that we have the

mules and monks to fall back on.' Massena, albeit bred of the Shylock tribe, might not deem this pound so estimable or profitable either as flesh of mutton, was not the man easily to be starved out, as the Duke found at Santarem ; and he had the highest opinion of his military power of resistance. Mons. le • Maréchal,' said he to him, when they met at Paris, do you • know that I never undressed when you were in my front.' • My Lord, was the reply of the swarthy hirsute Italian, in * that campaign you did not leave me one black hair on my • whole body;' so completely had care bleached the bear into the badger.

Mr. Larpent soon discovered the merits of the pork and pigs of Spain, which, on the whole, he prefers to the local ladies. · The flesh of the former is far sweeter and richer than ours.'

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Of the latter, he paints the Governor's daughter at Almeida as 'a sawney Spanish signora (señora) who breakfasted on beefsteaks, onions, partridges, and wine, and did nothing all day.' (Vol. i. p. 71.) Soon a Portuguese, neice to the principal inhabitant, is pronounced ugly, and said to be perfumed too strongly with oily salt fish (vol, i. p. 146.), was the judgment of our Paris touching the so-called bacalao, this certainly has an ancient fish-like smell. At Guinaldo the signoras ‘go about and tie strings to the coats of the officers, and even of the general* dance about, sup and drink with them, and are alive both ' with them and the men.' (Vol. i. p. 102.) Such, alas! it seems, are the degenerate daughters of those Spanish Ladies' of old, who, with their · Loves,' have been so sung in ballads, and so delicately delineated by Lady Dalmeny. There is no disputing about tastes; possibly Mr. Larpent belonged to that juventus,non tantum Veneris quantum studiosa culinæ.

In the midst of all Mr. Larpent's varied bodily privations, his spiritual condition was kept in mind by his English female correspondents. The clerical staff of the church militant in Spin was, it must be confessed, small: four or five clergymen,'

- no one now at head-quarters ; the one stationed here went away ill about a twelvemonth ago.' (Vol. i. p. 121.) This Mr. Briscall -- described by the Duke as an excellent young

man, and who never befere had been absent from his duty one ‘moment,'— came back, be it said, and, having served to the end of the war, became the curate at Strathfieldsaye, and chaplain to his patron, and his temporary vacancy was not filled up, in the hopes of his speedy return, and the fear of any other occupant. The Duke's Despatch (Feb. 6. 1811) exhausts the religious subject. It was most difficult to incline respectable clergymen to remain, not, indeed, in an army of martyrs, but where the dogs of war let slip, had changed a paradise into a pandemonium ; the Duke was anxious to secure religious instruction,' both for itself, and as the greatest support and aid to military discipline and * order. Rituals were sadly in abeyance; the sign of the cross was, indeed, made by the Irish soldier, but solely to incline his brother Roman Catholic Spaniards to give him more wine.' (Desp. Sept. 8. 1809.) Mr. Larpent describes the first time he goes to church' for fourteen months, Nov. 6., and much to Dr. Macgregor’s displeasure, who prognosticated cramp, agues, and the ills to which flesh is heir. The next drum ecclesiastic was beat on the sea-sands' Nov. 29., the Duke --ever regular at early service as a curate—attending at both, the guards in white * trowsers; it was rather cold work.' So much for Protestant ceremonies ; meantime the priests and nuns in Spain were offering prayers — up early at heaven's gate for the Duke's preservation.

With this and other great facts pages might be filled, did our limited space permit. Ever in the front when the tug of war began, Mr. Larpent's adventurous curiosity led him once too far. He was taken prisoner, and marched into France, soon to be exchanged by the exertions of the Duke, who missed him at court-martials and the mess, when they chatted about the last review ‘not quite so good,' or the letters in the · Times' by Vetus ' not to be compared to Junius.' The army after the capture of Toulouse disbanded, and Mr. Larpent, his occupation gone, killed the enemy, Time, by fiddling duets, copying notes from · Æschylus,' culling simples, and criticising churches. Those exciting days were over, when gentlemen rode up to generals in front, and as shells burst between them, • a shell, Sir, — very animating,'— was the only notice, or when civilians sat down to desks, 'the ball passed between pen and • nose, and where the head had been two seconds before, and

one cheek was spattered by the door splinters, and the other * by the wall-plaister where the ball struck.' (Vol. ii. p. 205.) There is a satiety in such delights; and when a legal brother who practised in the Peninsula sent Mr. Larpent, 'out of cu* riosity,' a history of his latest casualties; 'nine members out

of fifteen and the judge-advocate killed, and several wounded, since the 22nd of May,' our Journalist decided that it was better to stay at home, as one fight is much like any other.'


. Accordingly he returned to taste the blessings of peace, commissionerships, and a pension; and, having fought his battles again and again over his wine and walnuts, died full of years and honours in his comfortable bed.

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ART. IX.- Enquête Parlementaire sur la Situation et l'Organi

sation des Services de la Marine Militaire ordonnée la Loi du 31 Octobre, 1849. Paris : Imprimerie Nationale. Two vols, 4to. 1852. [Not published.] TIE "HESE volumes are a posthumous work of the National

Assembly of France, and the copy of them now before us is one of the few rescued from proscription since Louis Napoleon abrogated this Parliamentary Commission and the legislative body from which it derived its authority. On the 31st of October, 1849, the Legislative Assembly of the French Republic passed a law ordering that an investigation should be instituted into the whole state of the navy by a commission of fifteen members of the Assembly itself, to be elected by ballot from the whole number. The Commission thus appointed comprised, amongst other eminent men, Admiral Hernoux, ViceAdmiral Lainé, and Captain Charner of the Marine service; the Duke of Montebello, M. Daru, and M. Lacrosse, who had been, or were about to be, Ministers of Marine; and M. Jules de Lasteyrie, M. Lanjuinais, Baron Charles Dupin, and M. Dufaure, of parliamentary celebrity. M. Dufaure was chosen president and reporter of the Commission. In the course of two years, from November 1849 to November 1851, the Commission visited all the naval arsenals of France, and held 203 sittings, sometimes at the ports themselves, sometimes in Paris ; it examined eighty-nine witnesses, whose depositions were taken down in short-hand. The evidence was, in fact, complete, and M. Dufaure had already made some progress in the preparation of his report, when the coup-d'état of the 2nd of December 1851 took place. The Commission and its labours were of course extinguished by the same blow which annihilated the Constitution, the Legislature, and the liberties of the nation. The Minister of Marine, however, who took office under Louis Napoleon, expressed a desire that these important and assiduous labours should not be altogether wasted, and that the Minutes and Evidence collected by the Commission should at least be put upon record. The greater part of this valuable matter was already in type, and more than 1000l. had been spent in printing it. Under these circumstances M. Collas, the secretary, was induced to complete his task, upon condition that he was allowed to print the whole evidence and proceedings precisely as the Commission had left it, without alteration or omission to suit the convenience of the Admiralty. The Report by M. Dufaure was to have formed a third volume, but we understand that only about one-fourth part of this Report has been written, and even if it were complete it could no longer receive the assent of the whole Committee. The materials on which this Report was to have been drawn up are, however, wholly before us, and this important evidence has already been more minutely examined, and may become better known, in this country than in France; for although the Government of Louis Napoleon allowed the investigation to be completed and the evidence to be printed, very few copies of this work have been permitted to leave the Imprimerie Nationale, and we rejoice that one of them has fallen into our hands. We are therefore enabled to consider this interesting subject of the present condition and future prospects of the French Navy with materials to which few, even of those who have paid most attention to it, VOL. XCVIII. NO. CXCIX.




can have had access *; and, without attempting to engage in the conflict of adverse and unsettled opinions on technical points, we shall lay before our readers the most important parts of these curious volumes.

In entering upon this discussion we have no desire to aggravate the apprehensions which have sometimes been excited by a comparison of the land and sea forces of France and England; nor shall we make it any subject of complaint that a Committee of naval officers and politicians, engaged in the consideration of the defensive and offensive resources of their native country, should have spoken amongst themselves of a powerful neighbour and rival in terms which do not imply confidence in the permanent duration of peace. All military and naval preparations assume ex hypothesi the possibility of war; and although Eng. land is habitually spoken of and alluded to in these volumes as • the enemy' against whom it is most important to be prepared, the same considerations might be used in a political sense, to demonstrate that England is for that very reason the country with which it is most useful for the French to be at peace. But the subject before us does not necessarily embrace these political considerations. We have merely to consider what the French nation, nearest to ourselves in position, and second only to ourselves in maritime strength, have done, and propose to do, for the maintenance and augmentation of their fleet. It will be found, we think, from this evidence, that the material elements of the French Navy, in ships of all sizes, steam-machinery, stores, and means of construction, are considerably below our own, and in some respects below what they have been at former periods. But it will also be found, that the superiority which we may justly claim in these material conditions of a great naval power belongs rather to the French than to ourselves, in what is of equal importance, - namely, the supply and the instruction of seamen. For in spite of the great disproportion between the maritime population and habits of the two nations, the admirable organisation of the maritime conscription gives France a power of raising men beyond that which we could exercise on a sudden emergency. Such as the French fleet is, it can undoubtedly be manned and sent to sea in a short period of time, whilst our own enormous preparations, in the shape of vessels in ordinary and stores for the navy, have outgrown the power we

paper was drawn

up for the use of Her Majesty's Government by Sir Howard Douglas from the same materials to which we have had access, and some articles have also appeared in the Times' newspaper, containing portions of the same evidence.

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