« ForrigeFortsæt »
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, faclious, 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 hem by with the fame spirit on shore which those who indulged their fufpicions, the mutineers at Portsmouth and
For the combinations at Portl- 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 fpirit of the true in truth, too much reason: but for that English lailors; 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 l:ad 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 Engli! 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 still likely to be. Such a portrait, if contemplated with candour, will tend to awaken in all Britons a love of failors, 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 vicisitudes of weather and climate ; steady and collected at his post, 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, prefred into the service, and too much exposed, when in it, to neglect, to misery, and to diftress. They are exposed to an imperious, harsh, and ill-. natured, mode of dispensing orders and carrying on duty, which sometimes drives generous fpirits to despiondency and despair: they are but it is not our business to enu. merate 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 oltcafts of the earth, there is some degree of excuse and indulgence. An universal venality and corruption, the natural offspring of luxury, has seized on all ranks at land; the greareal estates, united with the highest honours, have not exempted ihe greater part, by far, of our nobility, and, among there, even some of good private characters, from the imputation of selfishness, and a total di fregard of the commonwealth ; intrigue and effrontery are prominent in the conduct of our politicians at land; but many, nay most of these are lawyers and cautious, the failors feek redress of grievances in their own way; full of danger
Quorfum hæc tam futida lendunt not to excufe mutiny, but to admonish the executive and judicial powers to temper authority, frengthened by the suppression of rebellion, 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 just, but to what is pos litically expedient. As cases are more numerous than laws, it becomes the legislator
CHA P. XILI.'
State of Ireland, in its Relations, external and internal, a Subice in Debate
in both Houses of Parliament.-Motion, by Mr. Whilbread, in the House of Commons, relative to the Invasion of Ireland.-Negatired. - Motion relative to the internal State and Discontents of Ireland, in the House of Pecrs, by the Earl of Moira. - Negatived.--Motion on the fame Subject in the House of Commons, by Mr. Fox.--Negatived.
“house, siror in this
a higher opinion raigned the conduct of government, than I have, of the courage, the refpecting events, ftill 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 so emihappily past. This was the attempt nently glorious. No man can be to invade Ireland, of which we have more detirous of conferring on him given some account in our last ro- and then every praile, and every lame, and which was frustrated, it exalted distinction which such brilwas alleged, through phyfical ac- liant conduct delerves. At the same cidents, and the folly of the enemy, time, fir, that I fav this, I mitt beg rather than any prudence and pro- leave to observe, that fuch 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 British 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 posible degree of merit, and Jervis, for his gallant and mcrito- every praise which the most enthatious exertions, on the fourteenth of fiastic admirer of extraordinary vicFebruary laft; and allo to the vice- tories can with for or desire, I must admiral, captains, and officers of beg leave to call the attention of the the fleet 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 fo decisive a fuperiority. The On the same 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, said, is very great, almost, tr, in a pro
portion portion of two to one. While, discipline, the judgement, and glory therefore, we, view the splendour of fir John Jervis--for glory, I of this victory with every degree of maintain, fir, does not always conadmiration, and joyful exultation it fist in success--what would they fo eminently deserves, 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 Britis officers and lealoudly call on us to institute an in- men are so 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 adversaries. In
in the fleet which the enemy brought opinion, in the fame 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 fo 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 necellary leaving him
with tuch a prodigious a measure. The unparalleled fucinferiority of force. We are told, cess which has attended the skill sir, by the right honourable secre- and bravery of our fleet, by no tary of state, 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 minifters in general, to have taken has defeated a fleet of the Spaniards, care that our fleet should bear fome · which consisted of twenty-seven degree of proportion to that of the line of battle Thips, 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- fo
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, should immediately take place, I we cannot help calling to mind how hope, fir, 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 necessary to go seriously and acin favour of the enemy. What, fir, tively into an extenfive 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 said, if, in spite of the bravery, the formation which has been laid bem