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discovered, on the acutest examina- pelled by necessity, or provoked by tion, that they had any direct hand unjust aggression or neglect. It was in the last mutiny any more than in impatient of authority, factious, sethe first: though, doubtless, they ditious, progressive in its demands, heartily rejoiced in both, and would, intent on civil discord and convulhad they been able, have acted in fion : it was, in a word, combined the manner imputed to them by with the same spirit on shore which those who indulged their fufpicions, the mutineers at Portsmouth and
For the combinations' at Porti- Plymouth had raised to an unusual mouth and Plymouth there certainly pitch of daring infolence. It was was not only a plausible pretext, but, not the genuine spirit of the true in truth, too much reason: but for that English failors; but that of malat Sheerness, which may be called content incendiaries: * finally, it was the third, and most formidable, muti- the most emphatic proof that had ny among the seamen, it was not im- yet been given to our nation of the
At this time, the character of a British seaman liad fallen very much in the public eftimation. It was on this account; that a periodical writer, profefredly unconnected with any party (and whose professions are, in truth, realized, hy the thrusts he made very often at all parties), published the following Character of an English Sailor, which was copied into almost every newspaper and magazine in Great Britain and Ireland :
“ Having thus reprobated the mutiny at the Nore, we may be allowed to exhibit a true portrait of what an English seaman was, and, we hope, still is, or with good treatment ftill likely to be. Such a portrait, if contemplated with candour, will tend to awaken in all Britons a love of sailors, and in sailors a love of Britain.
“ A British failor is thoughtless, and inattentive to what concerns his own happiness; but not indifferent either to the interest of his country, the glory of the navy, or the rerown of the individual thip to which he belongs. He is cheerfully active, and prompt in the execution of his duty; patient of fatigue, as well as of the viciffitudes of weather and climate; steady and collected at his poft, in the hour of danger; obedient, respectful, and attached, to the officer worthy to command him; faithful and true to his king and country. He has an open, honest, and faithful, heart; he is courageous in action, and humane in victory; he is the life and soul of our commerce, the guardian and bulwark of the nation: yet, these men, the pride and the safety of their country, are, for the most part, preffed into the service, and too much exposed, when in it, to neglect, to misery, and to distress. They are exposed to an imperious, harsh, and illnatured, mode of dispensing orders and carrying on duty, which sometimes drives. generous spirits to despondency and despair: they are--but it is not our business to enumerate grievances, we would only observe, that for the eccentricities and ebullitions of feamen, especially, when, through the improvidence of government, they are contaminated by a mixture of the outcasts of the earth, there is some degree of excuse and indulgence. An universal verality and corruption, the natural offspring of luxury, has seized on all ranks at land; the greatest estates, united with the highest honours, have not exempted the greater part, by far, of our nobility, and, among there, even some of good private characters, from the imputation of selfithness, and a total disregard of the commonwealthy; intrigue and effrontery are prominent in the conduct of our politicians at land; but many, nay most of these are lawyers and cautious, the sailors feta redress of grievances in their own way; full of danger
Quorfum hæc tam putida lendunt not to excuse mutiny, but to admonish the executive and judicial powers to temper authority, Arengthened by the suppression of bellion, with a recollection of what is due to the sailors, and a!so of what is prudent and life for government.
“ The statesman ought to attend, not only to what is morally juft, but to what is pos litically expedient. As cases are more numerous than lawa, it becomes the legislator
influence of French opinion and It is not often that governments example, and the rapid progress of anticipate the just complaints of popular claims and combinations. the people, or any class of the
The suppression of this rebellion people, 'by unconftrained acts of illustrated the prudence and vigour juftice. It is not, commonly, until of adminiftration more than any fome intolerable grievance be on the other of their transactions at home point of an explofion, that must or abroad had ever done. On the endanger the fiability of their own other hand, the systematic order power that they do much for the reand moderation of the failors, and lief of human mifery. The mutiny
. the cheerful re'urn to obedience, in the fleet would scarcely, perhaps, of at least the great body of seamen, have suíliced, to have turned the their claims being granted, illustrate attention of our ministry to the the mighty advantages of a free milerable pittance to which the government, in which men can af gradual depreciation in the value sume the manly air of freedom, with- of money lad reduced the pay of out abandoning themselves to the the foldiers, that is, from privates licentiou ness and phrenzy of slaves to ferjeants inclusive, if a difpofition broken loose from bondage. From to claim a redress of this great evil this event, it was said, by many can- had not become quite apparent in did persons, far removed from enthu- the whole army, particularly in the fiasm of any kind, that there might corps stationed in the near vieinity not improbably be much less danger of London, and in other populous in complying with the numerous cities and towns; and if the inpetitions, which had been prefented, terelts and claims of the army had in the course of 1797, for a par- not been taken care of by the comliamentary reform, than was gene- mander-in-chief, his royal highness rally apprehended.
the duke of York.*
to mount up from the particular circumstances of particular fituations, to general principles, common to all. What is the effect of punishment? Is it the same in all cases. No: but different in different cases. When men are conscious of guilt, even a few examples of punishment strike terror. Where no such consciousness exists, whether from truth, error, or insensibility of disposition, even multiplied examples of severity: serve only to heighten the resolution, and add fuel to the flame of martyrdom.
as In co scious virtue men are hold.” *
" Grief is bold, and makes its owners tout." + " Let not our design be misunderstood ---we mean not to extenuate the guilt of the lead. ing mutineers: but let the nature and the evidence of their crime be made plain to the whole world; and let every allowance be made to the unsuspicious credulity of failors, wlio may, posibly, have been seduced to espouse a had, under the idea of its being a juft and honourable, cause. If delegates were to be punished, quoad delegates, this might occasion disapprobation, perhaps, and alarm! But the overt-acts of rebellion, and particularly the efforts to carry the British fhips of war into the ports of France, may with safety, and ought, in justice and found policy, to be punished."
The industry of journalists is seldom more happily directed than it was, at such a time, in the publication of this paper.
* Afta:ement of the former, and the advanced pay of the soldiers will be found anong the State-Papers in this volume, page 252.
C H A P. XII.
State of Ireland, in its Relations, external and internal, a Subjce in Debate
in both Houses of Parliament.- Motion, by Mr. Whiibread, in the House of Commons, relalive to the Invasion of Ireland.-Negatired. -- Motion relalice to the internal State and Discontents of Ireland, in the House of Peers, by the Earl of Moira.- Negatived.- Motion on the fame Subject in the Houle of Commons, by Mr. Fox.--Negatived.
T the same time that the oppo- “No man in this house, sir, or in this
country, can have a higher opinion raigned the conduct of government, than I have, of the courage, the respecting events, still pregnant gallantry, the skill, and ability of with danger, they condemned it, the gallant admiral, and the officers
, not less feverely, respecting an and leamen acting under him, who event, the danger of which was have atchieved of action fo enihappily paft. This was the attempt nently glorious. No man can be to invade Ireland, of which we have more detirous of conserring on him given fome account in our last 10- and then every praile, and every lame, and which was frustrated, it exalted distinction which such brila was alleged, through physical ac- liant conduct deserves. At the same cidents, and the folly of the enemy, time, fir, that I lay this, I muft beg rather than any prudence and pró- leave to observe, that such glorious vidence in the British councils. It annals of the events are by no means is proper to observe, in this place, unprecedented in the Britim navy. that, on the third of March, the However, fir, willing and defirous thanks of the house of commons as I am lo allow to this gallant action were voted to admiral fir John every pollible degree of merit, and Jervis, for his gallant and merito- every praise which the most enthu. rious exertions, on the fourteenth of fiastic admirer of extraordinary vicFebruary last; and allo to the vice. tories can wish for or desire, I muit admiral, captains, and officers of beg leave to call the attention of the the feel under his command, for house to the circumstances which their gallant conduct and bravery have just been related to us, conon that most glorious occasion. The cerning the situation and number of services of the feamen, marines, and ships with which this gallant admiral foldiers, were also approved and ac- has acquired so great, so brilliant, knowledged.
and so decisive a fuperiority. The On the fame day, after these votes inequality of thips on our part, unwere palled, Mr. Whitbread rose, and der the command of fir John Jervis, addresling himself to the speaker, faid, is very great, almost, fr, in a pro
portion of two to one. While, discipline, the judgement, and glory therefore, we, view the fplendour of fir John Jervis—for glory, I of this victory with every degree of maintain, fir, does not always conadmiration, and joyful exultation it fift in fuccess-what would they fo eminently delerves, it becomes have said, if, in defiance of all those us seriously to consider, whether superior abilities for which the chathe circumstance alone does not, racter of the British officers and sealoudly call on us to institute an in- men are fo eminently conspicuous, quiry into the conduct of the first the reverse of the pleasing picture lord of the admiralty, for his neglect of this brilliant victory had this night of reinforcing the squadron which been held up to us, and we had was in a service so distant as that of been told that fir John Jervis had the Mediterranean, when he knew been defeated, in consequence of that the Spaniards added to the list the immense superiority of numbers of our naval adverfarics. In my in the fleet which the enemy brought opinion, in the same degree of pro- into action against us? I have no portion in which we praise and ad-' doubt, fir, but the voice of the mire the glorious victory which fir country at large would undoubtedly John Jervis has obtained--a victory, and inevitably have called loudly the consequences of which must be and universally for an impeachment so valuable and important to the of the first lord of the admiralty. I. first interests of this country; in an think, sir, that this house would, equal degree ought we to affix in such a case, have been pretty blame and culpability for fo gross ready to join the voice of the people, and glaring a neglect as that of and to second them in so neceflary leaving him with fuch a prodigious a measure. The unparalleled sucinferiority of force. We are told, cess which has attended the skill fir, by the right honourable secre- and bravery, of our fleet, by, no tary of Itate, in the detail which he means alter the state of the question. has just given the house of this for- It was the duty of the first lord of tunate and gallant atchievement, the admiralty, and of his majesty's that with fifteen ships fir John Jervis ministers in general, to have taken has defeated a fleet of the Spaniards, care that our
flect Mould bear fome which consisted of twenty-seven degree of proportion to that of the line of battle ships, of which he has enemy; and, therefore, it evidently
; taken four. Fortunate and glorious appears, that the inferiority being as this action has proved, to the re
very great, it is high time an inputation of the British navy, and quiry into the conduct of ministers those who command and conduct it, thould immediately take place, I we cannot help calling to mind how hope, sir, the time is not far distant, dreadful it would have been the nay, I flatter myself it is very near, reverse of the fate of that memora- indeed, when this house will think ble day, had victory declared itself it neceflary to go seriously and acin favour of the enemy. What, fir, tively into an extensive and deep at this moment must have been the inquiry into the nation at large. sensations of the people of this such an inquiry has long been country? What would they have wanted. The very momentous ins: faid, if, in spite of the bravery, the formation which has been laid bem
fure the house, and which has en- like an adequate force for her degaged their most serious and deli- fence: not more, if so many, as berate, as well as anxious consider three thousand regular troops, to ation, fince Monday laft, shews, be- oppose to the whole force of the yond a possibility of doubt, the ine- French. The city of Cork was, vitable necessity of inquiry, upon therefore, in danger of falling into the broadest and most efficacious their hands, with all its stores bafis.” Mr. Whitbread proceeded and provisions : to the amount of 10 notice the melancholy change nearly, if not quite, a million and that had taken place in the aspect a half. Mr. Whitbread, after of public affairs in the space of one these and other obfervations, went week : public credit shaken to its through a regular statement of the foundation. The mismanagement, numbers of the French fleet, and he said, of his majesty's ministers, those of our own, from the time of had become notorious to every be- the enemy quitting the harbour of holder, and the cry of inquiry into Brest, and a thort time before. On their conduct was not now con- the twenty-first, the enemy cast fined to the members of opposition anchor in Bantry-Bay; so that they in that house alone, but was echoed were at sea, and on the coast of back
upon them from every corner Ireland, from the eighteenth of of the kingdom. Having touched December, to tie fixth of January: on the expences of the war, and on the twentieth of December, the numerous captures of news arrived in England, that the merchant ships, though we had a French fleet had quitted Brest. fleet of more than five hundred From the twenty-third to the twenThips of war, of various denomina- ty-fifth, the wind was favourable tions, he came to speak of that par for the squadron, under the comticular neglect and misconduct, mand of lord Bridport, to have failwhich more immediately gave rise . ed. It continued fair on the twento the present motion. The first ty-fixth and twenty-seventh, after intimation, on authority, he said, which it came a-head, and the fleet which that house received relative could not fail for some days. On to the intention of the enemy to in- the thirty-first, intelligence came vade this country, was conveyed by to this country, that the French his majesty's speech on the opening fleet was off the coast of Ireland; of the present session of parliament. and, on the same day, exactly, adInformation had been received, miral Colpoys, with the fleet under through various channels, that Ire- his command, arrived at Portsmouth. land was one object of the medi- The reasons given for his return, tated attack. Yet it appeared from with this squadron, are various and a letter from general Dalrymple, contradictory. One was, that his that, instead of
effectual means force was not sufficient to encounter having been previously taken for those of the enemy. If that was a an efficient defence, 'every thing true reason, it furnishes an additional remained to be done, even after cause of inquiry into the conduct of the appearance of the enemy in' ministers, and of the first lord of the Bantry-Bay: in which part of the admiralty in particular. What, country there was not anything wlien they had received'iriformation Vol. XXXIX.