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on him a conviction of their superior qualities; and he produces other reasons with those we have named above, why a French army, under sudden disaster or dispersion, can re-assemble and pick up their stragglers much more rapidly than an English force would be enabled to do under the same circumstances. Neither did the average of sick in hospital, in Lord Wellington's army, during the Peninsular campaigns, exceed that of the French divisions opposed to him, as a reference to the different returns will show. During the latter years, the Allies were under canvas, while the French continued the usual practice of bivouacking in the open air. Many lives were saved, and much sickness avoided by the use of tents, which, although they much increased the difficulty and expense of transport, amply repaid the inconvenience of both.
Mr. Larpent relates a curious anecdote of Lord Wellington, that the Prince Regent was very anxious that he should correspond with him directly, and inuch hurt that he never did so. "But," says his Lordship, "I wrote to his ministers, and that was enough. What had I to do with him? However, his late favour was a reason for my writing, and I have had a most gracious answer, evidently courting further correspondence, but which shall not comply with." He afterwards changed this resolution, being completely won over by the autograph letter from the Regent after Vittoria, in which he presented his general with the staff of a marshal of England, in return for that of Jourdan taken on the field, and forwarded to him as a trophy.
The situation of judge advocategeneral in an army composed of many nations, such as that under Lord Wellington, must at all times have been a very busy one. Mr. Larpent's courts-martial were many and important, but he seems to have got through his official business with great intelligence and activity, and, by dint of hanging and flogging, at the end of a year a respectable state of moral discipline was tolerably well restored. But he had difficulties to encounter, which might have been avoided. He says—
"The new Mutiny Act has been sent out to me. There are several changes-one I see which I suggested; but the business is Overy much bungled. The Mutiny Act and Articles of War are now at variance, as the
And this discrepancy remained unaltered, when half-an-hour's attention on the part of the home officials, seated at a desk, would have set all right, and removed a puzzling contradiction. Before the appointment of Mr. Larpent, Lord Wellington, in addition to his other multifarious duties, seems to have had the arrangement of the courtsmartial entirely thrown upon his own hands, which irked him not a little, and sometimes made him lose his temper. The members occasionally were either unacquainted with their duty, or unwilling to do it. Once he swore angrily, and said his whole table was covered with details of robbery, mutiny, and complaints from all quarters, in all languages, and that he should soon be nothing but a general of courts-martial. He was more easily excited to anger on this disagreeable subject than on any other. Religious observances seem to have been less rigorously attended to in the Peninsula, than in the armies under Marlborough in the Low Countries. author says:
"You ask about our religious duties. Portugal, but no one now at head-quarters. There are four or five more clergymen in
The one stationed there, went away ill about a twelvemonth since, as I hear."
At all times during the last war, the number of military chaplains attached to the different corps on service, and settled at foreign stations, was much too limited for the purpose. A little trait of personal peculiarity in the Great Captain, is thus noticed:
"In one instance, Lord Wellington is not like Frederick the Great. He is remarkably neat, and most particular in his dress, considering his situation. He is well made, knows it, and is willing to set off to the best what nature has bestowed. In short, like every great man, present or past, almost without exception, he is vain. He cuts the skirts of his own coats shorter to make them look smarter; and, only a short time since, I found him discussing the cut of his halfboots, and suggesting alterations to his servant when I went in upon business. The vanity of great men shows itself in different ways, but, I believe, always exists in some shape or other."
We have not been accustomed to look upon the Duke as remarkably sedulous of dress, although on grand occasions he made a sufficient display, when he wore his principal orders and decorations blazing on a coat more gorgeous than the celebrated habit of Prince Esterhazy, which, it was said, cost him £200 in repairs and damages every time it was put on. The Duke
had a custom of wearing a white neckcloth in uniform, which gave him rather a slovenly look; and a flippant French duchess once called him "Le Duc de Vilain-ton," because he appeared at a full-dress party in something less than grande tenue. He was also familiarly called in the army, "the Beau," from his usual plain attire, and apparent negligence of outward splendour. That vanity is an inherent compound or attendant of greatness, is a wide position, which admits of much argument Land endless demonstration. Many distinguished men affect or adopt eccentricities, of which vanity may be the inciting cause. Lord Nelson was fond of exhibiting his stars, and delighted in having his horses taken out, and his carriage drawn by the mob. The celebrated Lord Peterborough, though light, and vain, and proud, had no weakness of this kind. Once, the populace taking him for the Duke of Marlborough, insisted on dragging him through the streets in triumph. "Gentlemen," said he, "I can assure you by two reasons, that I am not the Duke of Marlborough. In the first place, I have only five guineas in my pocket; and, in the second, they are heartily at your service." So, throwing his purse amongst them, he got out of their hands with loud huzzas and acclamations. Richardson, in his Anecdotes, says: "The great Earl of Peterborough, who had much sense, much wit, and much whim, leaped out of his chariot one day on seeing a dancingmaster with pearl-coloured silk stockings, lightly stepping over the broad stones, and picking his way in extremely dirty weather, and ran after him (who soon took to his heels) with his drawn sword, in order to drive him into the mud, but into which he, of course, followed himself."
All singularities may be traced home to a certain degree of vanity, of which prevailing weakness, the old leather breeches of Frederick the Great, the coarse coat and brass
buttons of Charles XII., the small cocked hat and grey capote of Napoleon, the blanket and tub of Diogenes, and even the pious beaver and modest drab of the Quaker, may be included as samples. Philosophy itself has no objection to an occasional flourish of trumpets. The ancient sages taught in the schools, and modern philomaths lecture at public institutions, but who shall say that they are not as much incited by the vanity of showing their acquirements, as by the desire of instructing their fellow-citizens. Even Seneca declared, that if knowledge was bestowed on him, on condition that he should not impart it, he would decline the gift.
The Guards, or, as they were usually denominated, "the gentlemen's sons," are not considered by Mr. Larpent as more effective for ". roughing it " a long campaign than the Household Cavalry. They were too much accustomed to luxuries, and less patient under privations than the hardier and unpampered mass who constituted the ordinary food for powder. Our author says:
"Both men and officers are only fit for our old style of expedition-a landing, a short march, and a good fight, and then a lounge home agaip."
Certainly, the chosen cohorts enjoyed a good dinner more than a bivouac fire, and a bottle of port in preference to a canteen full of muddy water; but in the field of battle their inherent gallantry never failed to show itself, and conventional fopperies and delicacies retired at once into the background. In the early and unlaurelled campaigns of the Low Countries at the commencement of the French Revolution, in Egypt, at Talavera, at Barossa, at Waterloo, wherever the Prætorian bands were brought in close contact with the enemy, they exhibited the courage of true British soldiers, and the constancy under fire of experienced veterans. It has been often urged by well qualified military authorities, that the institution of guards is in itself unnecessay and detrimental to sound military discipline, as creating jealousies and distinctions which impede rather than advance the true interests and efficiency of the service. The question is complicated, and open to long discussion, but the measure of
abolition is not likely to be adopted under any monarchical government. We shall soon see that the new sovereign of France will restore the Imperial Guards, with all their distinguished privileges and external brilliancy. There is one point, however, which we never could understand why our Household Cavalry, having beaten the picked cuirassiers of Napoleon at Waterloo without defensive armour, should afterwards be made to adopt the useless incumbrance which had proved as weak as silk before their brawny arms and well-poised weapons. We conclude it must have been for the imposing nature of the pageant, and to gladden the eyes of the Cockneys on a gala-day. The cuirasses will assuredly be laid aside whenever the gallant wearers are called into the field of action. Man and horse are equally impeded by the additional weight with which both are overloaded.
We subjoin one more extract, which presents a comprehensive summary of Lord Wellington's feelings, views, and position, at the time when it was written, during his last brilliant campaign, previous to the general peace of 1814:
"You ask me if Lord Wellington has recollected with regard? He seems to have had a great opinion of him, but has scarcely ever mentioned him to me. In truth, I think Lord Wellington has an active, busy mind, always looking to the future, and is so used to lose a useful man, that as soon as gone, he seldom thinks more of him. He would be always, I have no doubt, ready to serve any one who had been about him, who was gone, or the friend of a deceased friend, but he seems not to think much about you when once out of the way. He has too much of everything and everybody always in his way to think much of the absent." (The fact was, he had neither time nor fancy for the parade of sentiment. He was not a man to get up such parting scenes as the last interview of Napoleon with Lannes at Essling, and Duroc at Bautzen. He was in every respect the antipodes of theatrical effect.) "He said the other day he had got advantages now over every other general. He could do what others dare not attempt, and he had got the confidence of the three allied powers, so that what he said or ordered was, right or wrong, always thought right. And the same, said he, with regard to the troops; when I come myself the soldiers think what they have to do the most important as I am there, and that all will depend on their exertions; of course these are increased in proportion,
and they will do for me what perhaps no one else can make them do He said he had several of the advantages possessed by Buonaparte, from his freedom of action, and power of acting without being constantly called to account. Buonaparte was quite free from all inquiry-he was himself, in fact, very much so. The other advantages Buonaparte possessed, and which he made so much use of (Lord Wellington said), was his full latitude of lying, that, if so disposed, he added, he could not do."
It is certain that English generals are often deprived of half their free judgment and power of command, by the dread of responsibility, and the certainty that a single failure will for ever shut them out from all hopes of future advancement. Sir John Moore, in particular, was much fettered and thwarted by these impediments, as also by the undue interference of incompetent or ill-informed political officials, who, as often as they meddled, were sure to mislead. Lord Wellington
soared above all this when he had achieved a colossal reputation by a long course of victory, and thus, many obstacles, as he himself freely admitted, were swept out of his path. At all times his intelligence was constant and accurate. He knew every movement and intended operation of the enemy almost as soon as they were conceived, while they, on the other hand, were totally in the dark as to his plans, except by what they could collect from the English newspapers in opposition, who never failed to supply them to the best of their abilities. The Duke, in the Peninsula, had an unlimited command of secret-service money, which was most effectively employed, while it has never appeared that the expenditure was excessive. Correct information is the base of all brilliant strokes in war, and must be obtained, coute qui couté, by the commander who means to astonish the world and his opponents by an unexpected blow. Napoleon, during his first Italian campaign in 1796, gave £900 to a spy, who informed him of the intended combination of the different Austrian corps for the relief of Mantua, and this enabled him to anticipate and divide them, and to win Rivoli and Arcola. The Duke had faithful correspondents on whom he could depend even at the head-quarters, and in the immediate families of the generals opposed to him.
Our limits warn us that we must elose
Mr. Larpent's volumes, which we do, recommending them to all readers who wish to be amused while they are instructed, and who will find them to combine the utile cum dulci in very agreeable proportions. They have rapidly gone through the first edition, a second is announced, and their popularity cannot fail to be enduring. They will last and be referred to as a valuable appendage to the history of the greatest warrior of our age, and as containing anecdotes equally interesting and authentic of his private character and transactions. He was not a man of warm, enthusiastic impulse. Had he been so moulded he would have been less fitted for his post; but he was invariably just, honourable, and consistent, governed by sound principle and habitual self-control. If not given to inordinate praise, he was equally sparing of censure, and one leading reason which, in conversation, he assigned for not writing the history of his own campaigns was, that he should be compelled to speak the truth, and pare down reputations which had been inflated beyond their wholesome bulk. Voltaire, who delighted in undervaluing human nature, said, that no man was a hero to his valet-de-chambre-meaning that close intimacy unveils infirmities, and dissipates the halo of superiority with which greatness appears to be surrounded when viewed from a distance. The phrase has become proverbial, but is rather a pungent sarcasm than an aphoristic truth. There are characters which will endure the test of the most familiar scrutiny, and retain their pretensions even when we are introduced to them behind the scenes of every day life. The Duke was one of these rare examples. His nearest associates never felt their respect diminished by intimacy, and the veneration which all acknowledged for the patriot, the legis. lator, and the victorious commander, is increased rather than diminished as we become better acquainted with the manners, opinions, and domestic habits of the individual man.
Baron Muffling's volume, entitled "Passages from my Life," ably edited by Colonel Philip Yorke, was origi
nally published in the early part of 1851, soon after the decease of the author. The book was reviewed at great length in the Quarterly Review for December, 1851, and especially recommended as deserving translation. The author left these memoirs as an inheritance to his children, and says himself, in his preface, that he considers them more in the light of family property than as documents suited for publication. In many respects they soar beyond personal anecdotes or private memoranda, and reach the importance of authentic history. There are points we shall select in which they are particularly valuable. portion of this work pre-eminently interesting to English readers, is that which treats of the campaign of Waterloo, where the author first came in contact with the Duke of Wellington, being attached to his headquarters to keep up the correspondence and connexion between the English commander-in-chief and the Prussian Field-Marshal Blucher. He proceeded to his appointment without much empressement, not anticipating that it would prove particularly satisfactory or important. The result equally falsified his expectations. By some strange misconception, General Von Gneisenau, the chief of the Prussian staff, had adopted a very erroneous estimate of the Duke of Wellington's character, which he endeavoured to impress on the envoy. He warned him on his departure to be much on his guard with the Duke, for, as he said, by his early relations with India, and his transactions with the deceitful nabobs, this distinguished general had so accustomed himself to duplicity, that he had at last becomé such a master in the art, as even to outwit the nabobs themselves. Englishmen can afford to smile while they are a little astonished at the extraordinary mistakes of foreigners, even when friends and allies. A more straightforward, guileless person than the Duke of Wellingtor never existed in the annals of public life. His unswerving honesty and singleness of purpose, is, perhaps, his highest distinguishing quality, a great secret of his constant success, and the undoubted
The memorable order after the retreat from Burgos may be quoted as an exception, but it was issued under very trying circumstances and a great disappointment. The Duke himself subsequently admitted that in some points it exceeded in harshness.
charm by which he won the confidence, of all who came in contact with him, either when joined in command, associated in diplomacy, or entirely subordinate to his controlling genius. Baron Muffling soon found that Gneisenau (who in fact really commanded the Prussian army, while Blucher merely acted the part of "Marshal Forwards," as the bravest in battle and most indefatigable in exertion), had led him into a gross misconception as to the great man with whom he was now in constant intercourse. In a short time he won his entire confidence, which the Duke bestowed on him without reserve, when he found the Prussian officer, in every point discussed between them, told him the simple truth. Muffling says, "he had seen that I had the wellfare of all at heart, and that I entertained towards him the reverence due to those talents as a commander, which did not more distinguish him than the openness and rectitude of his character." The following remarks on the unlimited authority exercised by the English general are well worthy of being transcribed and remembered:
"I perceived" (says Baron Muffling), "that the Duke exercised far greater power in the army he commanded than Prince Blucher in the one committed to his care. The rules of the English service permitted the suspension of any officer, and sending him back to England. The Duke had used this power during the war in Spain, when disobedience showed itself amongst the higher officers. Sir Robert Wilson was an instance of this. Amongst all the generals, from the leaders of corps to the commanders of brigades, not one was to be found in the allied army who had been known as refractory. It was not the custom in this army to criticise or control the commander-in-chief. Discipline was strictly enforced, every one knew his rights and his duties. The Duke, in matters of servico, was very short and decided. He allowed questions, but dismissed all such as were unnecessary. His detractors have accused him of being inclined to encroach on the functions of others, a charge which is at variance with my experience."
We have been so accustomed to think the code of military discipline in the Prussian service, established by Frederick William, and carried out with additional severity under his son and successor, Frederick the Great, as so stern and peremptory, so absolute in principle and detail, that we are rather surprised to find an unquestion
able authority representing it as lax and indulgent, when compared with our own. During the battle of Waterloo, Baron Muffling saw a very striking illustration of the uncompromising spirit with which English officers carry out the orders delivered to them. Two brigades of British cavalry stood on the left wing. He rode up to the commanders of both, and urged them at a critical moment to cut in upon the scattered infantry of the enemy, observing that they could not fail to bring back at least 3,000 prisoners. Both agreed with him fully, but, shrugging their shoulders, answered, "Alas! we dare not; the Duke of Wellington is very strict in enforcing obedience to prescribed regulations.
The Prussian general had afterwards an opportunity of speaking with the Duke on this point, which he did with the less reserve, as the two officers in question were amongst the most distinguished of the army, and had rendered signal services with their brigades in the proceedings of the day. The Duke replied at once, that the two generals were perfectly correct in their answer, for had they made such a gratuitous attack without his permission, even though the greatest success had crowned their attempt, he must have brought them to a court-martial. "With us," he added, "it is a fixed rule, that a general placed in a prearranged position has unlimited power to act within it, according to his judgment; for instance, if the enemy assails him, he may defend himself on the spot, or meet the foe from a covered position; and in both cases he may pursue them, but never further than the obstacle behind which the position assigned him lay; in one word, such obstacle, until fresh orders, is the limit of his action."
The idle tales that the allies were surprised at the opening of the campaign of 1815, their forces dislocated, and that the Prussians won the great fight, while the English only with difficulty held their position, have long been refuted by ample military investigation, and the sound conclusions are now fully confirmed by this memoir of Baron Muffling, which corroborates and enlarges on the opinion he delivered long since in a former published account of the battle of Waterloo. His testimony is most explicit as to the fact, "that the battle could have af