Page images
PDF
EPUB

M

[graphic]

state of our finances, that we should safely afford large sums to an ally, and pay the expense also of large expeditions to assist him. Better employ the whole money either in helping him to draw forth his own resources as he best thinks he can (for without implicit confidence all confederacies are worse than nugatory), or wholly direct the same sums to fit out such expeditions as may really influence the fate of the general operations. In like manner, if it is deemed most advisable to aid the cause with troops of your own, choose well between the only two ways in which those forces can act. You have no chance of raising such armies as may suffice at once to influence the fate of the campaign, in the quarter where the great effort is making, and assist the operations of the allied arms by diversions in other quarters. Attempting both plans is sure to frustrate both, and spoil the whole effect. You will send the show of an army to be beaten with that of your allies, should it reach the field in time to partake of the common disaster; and your diversions will be, on the mass of the enemy's force, only so many feeble punctures,- infinitely costly to you,altogether harmless to him,-hurtful only to your allies, by depriving them of more effectual support.

Having laid down these plain and incontestible principles, so obvious, indeed, that only the utter neglect of them which prevails in our councils could have justified us for stating them at any length, we need not examine which of the three modes of assisting our ally is the best adapted to the circumstances of this country. This is a question which can only be resolved by weighing the peculiarities of each case. And, although some general positions might be laid down applicable to every state of our foreign affairs ;-as, for example, that the subsidy system is liable to the greatest risk of abuse, and, in general, gives the worst return in proportion to the expense ;-that it is scarcely possible to apply it so exactly, as to escape at once the danger of bribing an ally to premature operations of hostility, and to avoid, on the other hand, the risk of delay ;-that it requires, perhaps, too great a degree of submission to the plans and views of our ally ;-that, of the other two modes of cooperating, the direct one is generally the most effectual ;-that it gives our voice a greater weight in the common councils of the confederacy;-that it produces, in this way, the inestimable advantage of making that party, in some sort, an umpire among the allies whose views are necessarily the most free from all suspicion of sinister and selfish policy ;--that it moreover tends, more than any other plan, to the radical improvement of our own military system, whilst it, above all modes of acting, raises our name, and in creases our real influence in the affairs of Europe ;-althoun these, and other maxims equally general, might be illustrated at

P 2

[graphic]
[graphic]

thing wong before all pretence, ca

ould then the season for comme would he himself clearly in

doms in Italy,--to take a province or two from the German

princes,--and to punish, perhaps destroy Prussia. Now, if Bo· naparte's counsellors were taken from the English political caste,

it is very plain what method he would adopt to gain all those points. He would, in the first place, take care to make war without the shadow of a pretence, and put himself clearly in the wrong before all Europe ; he would next delay doing any thing until the season for operations was nearly gone by ;-he would then probably treat a little, and be duped by his allies, and cavil and wrangle a good deal, and quarrel with some of them, and excite a hatred of all of them, and of himself, and a contempt of his plans, among his own subjects. But, all these preliminaries of failure being settled, he would at last come to his operations; and his policy would be, to get up a number of neat little expeditions, equal in number to the things he wants to take, just one for each thing. He would send an expedition towards Sweden; and the sea not being his element, it would probaliy fail of itself. He would then send a tolerably large, and intolerably expensive expedition to some part of Germany,--another towards Italy,-a smaller expedition to Portugal,-a nice little one to take a slice off Bavaria, -besides a sort of by-expedition to plurider Hamburgh ; and burn, for stage effect, some other capital in alliance with him, merely to astonish people and look vigorous.

Instead of inquiring, what would be the probable result of all this drivelling, which is indeed too plain to require any statement, let us remark rather, how Bonaparte does act, not having English politicians to advise him. He leaves Naples alone : if Joseph can support himself, well; if not, he will restore him after the campaign is won. He leaves Sicily alone, filled with English troops, who are just as usefully employed for him as if he had them in his depôt of prisoners,-- filled too with the squabbles and intrigues of his faithful allies, the old royal sovereigns and courtiers of Europe. Portugal he leaves to the English army, there assembled for the precise purpose of doing all sorts of nothings against him. He cares not if the English are mad enough to make a descent upon Calabria in his absence, or childish enough, because it may have a partial success, to reward those who ventured on so useless an enterprize, instead of calling them to an instantaneous and severe account. All other objects of subordinate importance he leaves in like manner to themselves. The Swede is allowed to strut his litile hour of squibs, manifestoes, and bulletins. The Turk is unmolested,-except by his allies. Egypt is occupied by none but English forces. Eager for ships, colonies and commerce, he defers all trading speculations till the season of victory and peace; nor envies us all the plunder and the rajahs of the east; nor once throws away a thought on all the sugars of the west. P 3

But

[graphic]
[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »