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Francis L Clarke.

The life of the most noble Arthur, marquis and earl of Wellington ... : with copious details and delineations, historical, political, and military of the various important services in which he has bee online

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Online LibraryFrancis L ClarkeThe life of the most noble Arthur, marquis and earl of Wellington ... : with copious details and delineations, historical, political, and military of the various important services in which he has bee → online text (page 1 of 54)
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h>l'li..-hr,i hif J.K- J . aimU'e .London.



THF,

LIFE

OF

THE MOST NOBLE

ARTHUR
MARQUIS AND EARL OF

WELLINGTON,

VISCOUNT WELLINGTON OF TALAVKRA AND OF WELLINGTON,

AND BAllON DOURO OF WKLLESLEY, ALL IN THE COUNTY

OF SOMERSET, K. B.

LIEUTENANT-GENETtAI-; MAKSHA L GENERAL OFTIIE PORTUGUESE, AXD
CAITAIN-GEKERAL OF THE SPANISH AKMIES;

Conunaudei'-in-Chicf of his Britannic Arajesty's Forces str\'in£;iii the Pcniiuiiia; also
DUKE OF ClUDAl) RODHIGO, K. 0. S. &c. &c.



COPIOUS DETAILS AND DELINEATIONS,

HISTORICAL,
Political, and 3Jilifary,

OF THE VARIOUS

IMPORTANT SERVICES

In which lie has been engaged in



FLANDERS,
INIHA,



IRELAND,
DENMARK.

Also,

NUMEROUS INTERESiTNG



SPAIN, AND

PORTUGAL,



^rofe0stonal ^necDotes;

^"OT ONLY OF HIS BRETHUr.N IN A StMS, HUT ALSO OF THE GREAT GENE-
RALS OPPOSED TO IIIM IN VARIOUS PARTS OFTI?E WORLD.

A Complete and General P'ieic of his Services,

AND, OFTHEIR BENEFICIAL CONSEQUENCES AS TO THE POI.ITKA f.

SITUy\TION, AND IIONOUKABLE CHARACTEH,

OF THE BRITISH NATION.



BY FRANCIS L. CLARKE



.JCLJ



LONDON:
rUlNTED BY AND FOR J. AND J.CUNDEE,



IVV-LANE, PATrRNOSTEIl-nOW.



W^.



V; t»,




JJreface.



JL HERE never 7vas a question in politics ^ per hajys,
in which there has been a (jreaterf a moye extreme, dif-
ferenccy than on that of the war in the Peninsula ;
and it is not less worthy of notice, that, perhaps, there
never was a greater degree of unanimity of approval
than at present upon this very question.

When all Spain rose, as it wei^e hy a miracle, (for
the effect was simultaneous and without combination ,)
in opposition to the insidious thraldom, of France, her
exertions were looked on by many in this country
with coldness, and even apathy. It was supposed im-
possible for a degraded, and almost enslaved, popular
tion to resist, even for a moment, the military power
a ltd political machinations of him who had conquered
more than half of the civilized world. All feared

her
1



IV PREFACE.

her eventual success, and some prognosticated, with
the most determined assertions, her eternal suhjuga-
tion. Yet, in the space of a few short years, horv
changed is the scene! — so changed, that even onr most
desponding statesmen venture tolook forivard toher re-
storation to her ancient ranli among the kingdoms of
Europe, and to her resuming that rank accompanied
with feelings of esteem and gratitude to Britain;
feelings which, in future political connections, may
idtimately tend highly both to the political welfare and
internal comfort of each country. To what, then,
has this wonderfid, this extraordinary, change been
owing ? To what, indeed, but to the liberal and
friendly assistance of this country ; — to the gallantry
of our troops, and to the consummate skill and ap-
proved valour of him who has so frequently led them
on to glory ! During the whole j^rogress of this ar-
duous, this almost unequalled contest, the gcdlant
Wellington has unequivocally afforded grounds for
the highest honors that his Sovereign coidd shower
down upon him, or his grateful country could bestow.
He has, by his example, given spirit and enthusiasm*
mot only to his own troops, but to those of the sister
kingdoms of the Peninsula. By his consummate skill,
indefatigahle exertions, and excellent judgment, he
has foiled the best Generals of France, overcome dif-
ficulties considered insuperable, and directed the exer-
tions of Britain, and the force of her unfortunate
allies, to those points where, in all cases, they were
most available.

By his steadiness, and his Fabius movements, he
has preserved his own strength unbroken, whilst that

of



J?REFACE.



of his enemy was on the decline^ and enabled tlie
scattered bands of Patriots i6 acquire both discipline
and numbers, and thus to produce a hardy race of sol-
diers, who, as Guerillas, have learned to despise
French couraye, and to counteract even French dis-
cipline. At the same time, by the well-timed rapidity
of his manoeuvres, 7vhen necessary, as well as by their
secrecy and determined jjurposes, he has beat cdl the
calculations of the enemy, accordiny even to their own
confessions ; a proof of which, if proof were wantiny
would be found on the fact of his haviny taken
CiUDAD RoDRiGO in half the time which the
French yeneral had considered possible; and thus, by
its capture, connected with that of Almeida, always
a military post of importance, not only formed a pow-
erful defence for Portuyal, but opened a way into the
very heart of Spain.

This latter excellence of rapidity and determina-
tion was, indeed, always expected by his friends; and
we shall have occasion to see, in the proyress of this
Bioyraphy, particulaily in detailiny his brilliancy of
thouyht at the ylorious battle of Assye, on the plains
of Hindoostan, that their expectations were well
founded ; but the steadiness of his other oj^erations,
the self-denial with which he has delayed to pluck the
laurels which Victory held out to him with open hand,
are traits in his character which miyht have been con-
sidered as unlikely to appear, and that without dero-
yatinyfrom the hiyh character which he had acquired
previous to his present distinyuished rank in the Pe-
ninsula.

But it is to this latter part of his character that
9 much



Tl PREFACE.

much of the success of the 2)^esent contest has he^n
owing ; and it is entirely 07ving to it that he has been
enabled to overcome the various difficulties he had to
encounter, as^ opposed to the almost overwhelming
power of France, commanded by her best generals,
with a force of British troops, even no7V little more
than half the number of French concentrated in any
one spot. For, much as the Spanish and Portuguese
troops have of late improved in discipline, and much
as might have, eveii at first, been expected from their
native courage, yet Lord Wellington could not trust
the safety of his army, or the ultimate success of the
cause, to an absolute dependence on their almost untried
exertions; he has, nevertheless, known how to avail him-
self even of their inefficient state with a degree of
judgment and spirit hajJj^ily justified by the event.

We may then aver, without fear of contradiction,
that on the valour of our troops, and on the skill of
our general, (as it has been most eloquently said by one
of our inost exalted statesmen,) have depended the-
cause of Liberty in Spain, in Portugal, in Europe, nay
in Britain herself, and throughout the whole Universe.

Li the late brilliant campaigns, the conduct of our
soldiers, too, has been unequalled, and our Parliamen-
tary records justify that opinion which we heard a gal-
lant general, and one well skilled in desultory warfare,
and, of course, well qualified to judge, declare, " that
he believed he might defy any other jiation to produce
soldiers so steady under arms, or so silent in a night
attack.^^ But it is not on the courage of our troops
alone, that we have learned to depend , for we may
add, that there is now no part of military arrange-
ment



PREFACE. Vll

tnent in which our army does not, at least, equal that of
any other : and well might the Earl of Liverpool lately
boast in the House of Lords, that in our infantry, in
cavalry, in our artillery, and enyineeriny, and even
in our commissariat, in the Peninsida, our superiority
had been strikingly apparent. Such, as he justly
added, was the effect of the excellent military disci"
pline estahlished at home, and put in practice and in
action there, by the admirable judgment of the Earl
f Wellington; a superiority not only enjoyed by the
British, bid also severely felt by the enemy.

The good consequences of all this it is almost un^
necessary to point -out. There was no end of French
boasting of driving us into the sea; and of inmting us
from our ships to the contest on land : but we have
taught them to respect and fear us. In some points,
though we have sacrificed much, yet the advantages
gained have been equal to that sacrifce. Even the de-
fence of Portugal, the possession of the ports of Spain,
or at least their occupancy and preservation by the Pa-
triots, and the neutralization of the Spanish Fleet,
are objects of high importance, when we consider tJie
facilities which the possession of all these things would
have afforded to France. The stimulus, too, thus
given to the population of Spain and Fortugal, the
militarg ardor infused into their bosoms, the love of li-
berly thus ingrafted into their hearts, will all tend to
form and establish a new era in those countries, and in
Europe, which may be expected to lead to the future
internal welfare of each, and to the future equaliza-
tion of political power, and consequent extension of li-
berty and promotion of peace.

we



VI II PREFACE.

We must now close this slight sketch of the subject^
with one observation on the character of our gallant
fellow citizen. If we look at him, as will be exempli'
fed in the course of this work, whether commanding',
or commanded, we shall always find the same great-
ness of mind, whether checked in his pursuit in the
moment of victori/, as at Vimeira, by the orders of a
superior ; or prompted to delay the accomplishment of
hi'illiant ineasures, where victory was certain, in order
io spare the blood of his gallant comrades in arms.



Online LibraryFrancis L ClarkeThe life of the most noble Arthur, marquis and earl of Wellington ... : with copious details and delineations, historical, political, and military of the various important services in which he has bee → online text (page 1 of 54)