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Derby, allowing for the English accessions obtained in Lancashire, was very little short of 5500 men. It follows, that had they marched onward, or given battle to the Duke of Cumberland before Wade could come up from Newcastle, and before the paper army at Finchley could be turned into a real one, they would have had a superiority in numbers; and I think that, looking at things as they stood then, with Preston Pans in our retrospect and Falkirk in our anticipation, we may fairly claim for them an equality in valour. This is no doubt very different from the computations that were spread about at the time by the friends of the Established Government, and with good effect, for these computations certainly imposed on some of the Highland chiefs. The ablest of them all, Lord George Murray (in his own narrative as published with Bishop Forbes's papers), tells us, I remember, of the opinion which he gave at the Derby Council; and it was that if they did decide on marching southwards, they would speedily find themselves surrounded by above 30,000 men On the other hand, the lesser chiefs, as well as the rank and file of the Highland army, were in excellent spirits, and fully prepared for an advance. Of this I could judge by somewhere about a hundred letters from officers and men. Many had availed themselves of
them in the skirmish of Clifton on criterion, since on the one hand the 18th of December, his force the Duke had left part of his inwas estimated at 4000 men. See fantry behind him, and on the the Memoirs of Chevalier John- other hand was joined upon his stone, who was present (p. 94, ed. march by some of Wade's horse. 1822). But this affords no exact
their day of rest to write home, and they had put their epistles into the Derby post-office. But on their retreat next day, all these communications were seized and sent to London, and they have since found a place in the State Paper Office, where I had the opportunity of seeing them. This then, I thought as I gazed around me, is the room in which the decision, so fraught with interest to England, was finally taken. Yonder stands the very mantelpiece against which the Duke of Perth, as is recorded, was mournfully leaning his head during the debate; until at length looking up, he said that he was still convinced that marching onward would be their ruin, but that as the Prince so passionately desired it, he would give his vote to follow him—through life or to death. It is painful to reflect—for even while condemning the cause, we cannot but give our sympathy to the gallant spirits engaged in it—how few of those that sat in council at Derby but were reserved for some grievous form of death or of distress. Far from accomplishing the triumph which they sought in their advance, they did not even secure the safety for which their retreat was designed. How some fell amidst the war-cry of Culloden; how some, less fortunate, died by the hangman's hands at Kennington or Hairriby; how some had to pine away their lives, and consume as it were their very hearts in hopeless exile; while one or two of them perhaps, like their ill-fated chief, may have in the course of their darkening years incurred self-inflicted degradation, and added intemperance to their other woes; all this, in their own Scottish phrase, would be “an ower-true tale.” But my letter is already much longer than I had intended, and I must hasten to subscribe myself,
Ever affectionately yours,
Returning to Derby some years afterwards, I found that this house had meanwhile been levelled to the ground, in order to enlarge the wharf. I inquired as to the oak panels of the drawing-room, which I thought might have been kept together and put up elsewhere, but I was informed that they had been sold in lots and so dispersed. None of the gentlemen at Derby seemed to have felt the least interest in the matter.—S.
M. DE SISMONDI ON HISTORY AND
M. de Sismondi à Lord Mahon.
Chesne, près Genève, 29 mai, 1835.
Je profite d'une occasion pour vous envoyer quelques-uns de mes petits écrits qui vous feront mieux connaître ma politique spéculative. La vôtre, je le suppose, vous laissera libre de recommencer cette année vos voyages; oserai-je vous dire que je le désire ? Il y a quelque chose de bien alarmant dans l'état social de toute l'Europe, et de bien vague et de bien présomptueux dans les projets de ceux qui veulent donner aux États des bases toutes nouvelles. Combien dans ces circonstances une Monarchie doit redouter de changer fréquemment de Ministère ! Combien chacune de ces convulsions l'affaiblit ! A mon sens le vrai patriotisme pour vous, my Lord, et vos amis, c'est de soutenir le Ministère actuel, quoique vous ne l'aimiez pas, crainte d'un pire. C'est surtout de conserver ce ton d'égard, de convenance, de confiance dans l'honneur, entre les hommes de partis différents, que les journaux Anglais foulent aux pieds, mais que les hommes Parlementaires conservent encore, tandis que les Français l'ont complétement perdu. C'est l'abolition de tout sentiment de respect qui met en France la Société elle-même en danger. En Angleterre ce culte des convenances est confié à l'Aristocratie. Tant qu'elle la respectera et la fera respecter j'aurai espoir dans l'avenir.
M. de Sismondi à Lord Mahon.
Chesne, près Genève, 6 dec., 1835.
Je crois en effet avoir pris congé de l'Histoire. J'ai amené celle des Français jusqu'à la paix de Verviers, 1598; mon xxi°. volume paraîtra avant la fin de l'année, et je n'en puis plus. Je n'ai plus le courage d'ouvrir une chronique, de penser à des batailles ou des perfidies. Ma tête est tellement fatiguée que je ne doute pas qu'un effort pour continuer me coûterait la vie. Je ne renonce pas encore à tout travail cependant; je me suis rejeté sur ceux que je puis faire sans étudier de nouveau. Je prépare des Etudes sur la Science Sociale, dont le prémier volume, * Théorie des Constitutions Libres,' paraîtra j'espère avant la fin de l'hiver. Il se composera en partie de brochures auxquelles vous avez bien voulu accorder votre suffrage, en partie d'autres, mais destinées à combler les vuides que celles-là laisseraient entr'elles. Mon but est surtout de prouver que chaque peuple doit autant que possible travailler sur le fonds qu'il possède, au lieu de se donner des institutions nouvelles; qu'il y a dans le caractère, dans les affections, dans les préjugés, des peuples, une