Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Mr. Dunning came into Parliament later than Mr. Burke, and had his at the same time with Mr. Barre. Mr. Burke came in at the end of 1765—near thirty years ago. Many since then have been raised to honours and emoluments, whose labours have not been greater.

Lord Auckland is another instance. His figure in Parliament was never considerable. It may not be perfectly good policy to consider no services as of any high estimation except those done in office. Perhaps the most essential are those done in the House of Commons; and rank there (though not a thing to be exactly defined) ought to stand as high as rank that is official. It is not meant in the least to depreciate Lord Auckland's talents or services. Both are respectable. The services, however, received some part of their recompense as they were performed. Almost ever since he came into Parliament he has been in lucrative situations. He has something in present possession not contemptible. He has something secured. He has a peerage: and all this in the prime and vigour of his life. Mr. Burke does not conceive that whatever His Majesty may be graciously pleased to do for Mr. Burke in the present temper of the public mind would be more unpopular or ill received in the nation than what has been done for any of these gentlemen.

MR. WINDHAM ON THE MARTELLO
TOWERS.

1803.

Mr. Windham, in his speech of December 9, 1803, observes of the Martello towers that they were so called from a place of that name in Corsica; and I have quoted that sentence from him in my 'Life of Pitt.'

Since my own publication, however, there has been suggested to me, by a very high authority upon all such subjects, a derivation far more probable than Mr. Windham's, and certainly, as I conceive, the right one.

S.

Bight Hon. Sir George C. Lewis to Earl Stanhope.

[Extract.]

April 2, 1862.

The origin of Martello towers I believe to have been that when piracy was common in the Mediterranean, and pirates like the Danes made plundering descents upon the coasts, the Italians built towers near the sea in order to keep watch and give warning if a pirate ship was seen to approach the land. This warning was given by striking on a bell with a hammer; and hence these towers were called Torri da Martello.

The same to the same.

May 7, 1862.

I think that I have discovered, with the assistance of a friend, the origin of Windham's statement respecting Martello towers. An attack was made on' the tower of Mortella, in Corsica, by the British forces both by sea and land, in February, 1794. The tower was taken after an obstinate defence, but the two attacking ships were beaten off. This circumstance is likely to have given rise to the confusion between Martello towers generally and this tower of Mortella.

See James's ' Naval History of Great Britain,' vol. i., p. 286, ed. 1822, where the event is described.

Note.

Since the date of Sir G. C. Lewis's letters, that is, during the summer of 1862, I chanced to be reading in Ariosto, and met with two lines which entirely bear out Sir George's explanation. They occur in the 'Orlando,' canto x., stanza 51:—

"E la campana martellando tocca
Onde il soccorso vien subito al porto."

Thus, again, in canto xiv., stanza 100,—

"Le campane si sentono a martello
Di epessi colpi e spaventosi tocche."

SIR JOHN MOOEE IN SPAIN.

1808.

Sir John Moore to Lady Hester Stanhope,

Salamanca, November 23, 1808.

I have very little time to write; but I cannot help writing to you, in answer to your very kind letter of the 26th October, which reached me a few days ago.

You will perhaps think me very saucy for doubting your information on such a point, but I, however, do doubt that Ministers at this moment mean to throw blame of any kind upon me. They have thrust me, from their want of information, into a most critical situation here, and I believe they will make no attack upon me until they see how I extricate myself. But at any rate, I should take no steps in my defence until I saw the attack begun, and then my defence will be their and my correspondence. I should lay that before the public. My letters contain a plain narrative of all that passed, with my reasons for every step I took. I should publish that without comment, and leave every one to draw his own conclusion. If ever I have the pleasure of seeing you again, and you have a curiosity to see them, I shall give you all the papers. They are in England. It would be impossible, if I wished it, for me to recollect particulars sufficient for a memorial at this distance of time. Believe me that I never stood on stronger ground than in the whole business of Sweden, and of this I believe Ministers are sufficiently convinced to let me alone upon it. I made my escape after mature deliberation: personally I was little concerned, as I had no apprehension of anything disagreeable happening to myself; but I thought by escaping I should relieve Government from an unpleasant dilemma, as they could not well help demanding the release of an officer sent by them to command their troops. Had Mr. Pitt been Minister, I should have remained, knowing that he would have sent a squadron to Stockholm to demand me, and to demand satisfaction for the insult offered, in my person, to the country; but I had no such confidence in the new administration, and knowing they had not spirit to act as they should do, in civility to them I made my escape. There was no dignity in my staying or going, but by escaping I gratified a feeling, by showing a contempt of the authority which had attempted to detain me. You must not be angry with me for not following your advice: I am not the less sensible of the kindness which dictated it: but I am an odd, obstinate fellow, who in things which regard myself alone am apt to follow my own opinion. I must, however, tell you that I am upon the best terms with those you say mean to attack me; nothing can exceed their politeness and consideration.

I received some time ago your letter of the 24th

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »