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no farther attempt was made upon the hill, which was now covered with dead, dying, wounded, and exhausted troops.
“ The attack upon the centre was made at the same time. General Campbell was supported by Eguia and Henestrosa, and by a regiment of Spanish horse ; the allies repulsed the enemy, and while the Spaniards turned their flank, the English took their
A column, chiefly consisting of Germans, advanced with excellent steadiness through a heavy fire of artillery, like men who, having obtained the highest military character, were resolved to keep it. They were received by Lieutenant-General Sherbrooke's men with a volley of musketry which staggered them: the whole British division then rushed forward with the bayonet, and by that irresistible charge the enemy were driven back with great slaughter. But the brigade of Guards advanced too far in pursuit ; they were attacked by the French reserve, they were cut down by a close fire of artillery from a wood; in a few minutes all their mounted officers were killed, with more than 500 men, and at that moment the fate of the day appeared worse than doubtful. But Sir Arthur's foresight secured the victory which had been so long contested. Seeing the advance, and apprehending the consequence, he moved a battalion of the 48th from the heights to their support ; and this timely succour, with the assistance of the second line of General Cotton's cavalry, saved the brigade from that total destruction which must else have been inevitable. The broken Guards passed through the intervals of the 48th, re-formed behind it, and then in their turn supported the regiment which had preserved them. Upon their advance, the enemy, whose heart now failed them, retired; the Guards renewed the huzzas with which they had advanced, and the cry was taken up along the whole line. It was the shout of victory on the part of the allies : for though the light troops continued to fire, and from time to time a heavy cannonade was renewed, the enemy made no further attempt.
“ A circumstance more horrid than unfrequent in war, occurred toward the close of the action ; the long dry grass took fire, and many of the wounded were scorched to death. It was night before the battle ended, and the allies were far from certain that it would not be renewed on the morrow. The moon rose dimly, the night was chill and damp because of the heavy dew; the troops lay in position on the ground, without covering, and without food; even water was scarce; but the officers and the generals were faring alike, and neither murmuring was heard for their privations, nor apprehension felt for what the morrow might bring forth. The French had made large fires along the whole front of their line. At day-light the troops were under arms, and in order of battle, but the enemy had disappeared, a rear-guard only being in sight on the left of the Alberche. The Intruder had been a spectator of the whole action. During the night contradictory reports were brought him, some affirming that another attack must ensure the victory, others that Victor's right had been turned, and he could not possibly keep his ground. In this dilemma Joseph sent to ascertain the true report, and retired to rest, in expectation of having the favorable one confirmed, the reserve bivouacking round bim. At day-break he was awakened by Sebastiani, who had fallen back with his corps upon the reserve during the night, and who came with tidings that he had been compelled to make this retrograde movement, because Victor was retreating along the foot of the hills to Casalegas. This intelligence left no time for deliberation. The Inc truder began to retreat also, but in perfect order ; Milhaud's division formed the rear, and Latour Maubourg brought off many of the wounded. Twenty pieces of cannon were taken by the conquerors ; the prisoners were not many.
The remainder of the 24th chapter and the 25th, comprise the recitals of the misfortunes of the Spanish armies at Almonacid, at Ocana, and at Alba de Tormes, and the preparations of Lord Wellington for his retreat upon the lines of Torres Vedras. The 26th is devoted to the siege of Gerona, which is another of those remarkable events that so ennoble the Spanish character. We have no rooin for extracts from this portion of the work ; and, in fact, the whole of it should be read together; the 27th, gives us the history of the deliberations which in France and England influenced the fortunes of the Peninsula; the 28th, the march of the French on Cadiz; and the total conquest of Spain, except that comparatively little nook, by
their armies ; nor is there any thing, but a view of the disaster after disaster borne up against by the Spaniards with astonishing perseverance, till the 32nd chapter, when the “ Favorite Child of Victory" appears upon the scene, with the vaunt of driving the English legions into the sea. The battle of Busaco gave him the first doubt of his success ;—which the formidable aspect of the ever-memorable fortification of Torres Vedras soon reduced into certainty. We give Dr. Southey's animated narrative of the battle, with which we shall conclude our extracts and remarks.
“ Busaco, which was now to become famous in British and Portugueze history, had long been a venerable name in Portugal. It is the only place in that kingdom where the barefooted Carmelites possessed what, in monastic language, is called a desert; by which term an establishment is designated where those brethren, whose piety flies the highest pitch, may at once enjoy the advantages of the eremite and the discipline of the cænobite life, and thus indulge the heroism of ascetic devotion in security. The convent, surrounded by an extensive and almost impervious wood, stands in, what may be called, the crater of the loftiest part of the ridge : its precincts, which included a circumference of about four miles, were walled in. Within that circuit were various chapels and religious stations; and, on the summit of the mountain, which is within the inclosure, a stone cross was erected of enormous size, upon so huge a foundation, that three thousand cart-loads of stone were employed in constructing its base. The cells of the brethren were round the church *, not in a regular building, but accommodated to the irregularities of the ground, and lined with cork, which was every where used, instead of wood, because of the dampness of the situation. Every cell had its garden and its water-course for irrigating it, the cultivation of these little spots being the only recreation which the inhabitants allowed themselves as lawful. In one of these gardens the first cedars which grew in Portugal were raised. It was, indeed, one of those places where man has converted an earthly Paradise into a Purgatory for himself, but where superstition almost seems sanctified by every thing around it. Lord Wellington's head-quarters were in the convent; and the solitude and silence of Busaco were now broken by events, in which its hermits, dead as they were to the world, might be permitted to partake all the agitations of earthly hope and fear.
“ On the 26th Generals Hill and Leith joined the army. This corps had made so rapid and arduous a march, that Massena regarded its junction as impossible, and reckoned, therefore, that the force which he wished to attack must necessarily be weak in front, if indeed Lord Wellington should venture to give him battle. That general arrived on the same day at Mortagoa, and the bridge over the Criz was re-established for his artillery, the army having crossed at a ford at a little way above. Some skirmishing took place, and, at S. Antonio do Cantaro, the French were resisted in a manner which made them first apprehend that a determined stand was to be made against them. Massena himself upon this, reconnoitred the position, after which he asked one of the unworthy Portugueze who accompanied him, if he thought the allies would give him battle? He was answered, that undoubtedly they would, seeing they showed themselves in such strength. The French Marshal replied, I cannot persuade myself that Lord Wellington will risk the loss of his reputation ; but if he does, I have him !---To-morrow we shall effect the conquest of Portugal; and in a few days I shall drown the leopard !
" About two on the following morning the French army was in motion. Ney's corps formed in close column on the right, at the foot of the hill, and on the road which leads to the convent; Regnier's on the left, upon the southern road which passes by S. Antonio do Cantaro ; Junot's was in the centre, and in reserve; the cavalry was in the rear, the ground not permitting it to act. The allied British and Portugueze army was posted along the ridge of the Serra, forming the segment of a circle, the extreme points
• " The author of Der Feldsug von Portugal in den Jahren 1811 and 1812 (Stutgard und Tubingen, 1816) is mistaken in calling it the burial-place of the kings of Portugal.
of which embraced every part of the enemy's position, and from whence every movement on their part could be immediately observed. The troops had bivouacked that night in position, as they stood : Lord Wellington in the wood near the centre, the general officers at the heads of their divisions and brigades. The orders were that all should stand to their arms before day-light; and the whole army were in high spirits, deeming themselves sure of an action, and of success. Before day-break the rattling of the enemy's carriages was heard, and a few of their guns were brought to fire upon a smaller number of British ones which had been placed to command the road. At dawn the action began on the right, and after some firing by the light troops in advance of the position, the enemy attacked a village which was in front of the light division, and which, though its possession was of advantage to the French, Lord Wellington chose rather to let them occupy, than suffer an action to be brought on upon less favorable ground than that which he had chosen, and where he was sure of success. The nature of the ground, upon which this assurance was founded, facilitated the enemy's movements to a certain degree, but no further ; its steepness and its inequalities covered their ascent, and they gained the summit with little loss. Regnier's corps was the first that was seriously engaged : it ascended at a part where there were only a few light troops ; and being thus enabled to deploy without opposition, the French possessed themselves for a moment, in considerable strength, of a point within the line. Their first column was received by the 88th regiment alone, part of Major-General Mackinnon's brigade, which was presently reinforced by half the 45th, and soon afterwards by the 8th Portugueze : their second found the 74th, with the 9th and 21st Portugueze, ready to receive them on the right. Being repulsed there, they tried the centre with no better fortune : the remainder of Major-General Picton's division coming up, he charged them with the bayonet, and dislodged them, greatly superior in numbers as they were, from the strong ground which they had gained ; at the same time, Major-General Leith arriving with a brigade on their flank, joined in the charge, and they were driven down the bill with great slaughter, leaving 700 dead upon the ground. Few prisoners were taken.
“ Marshal Ney meantime was not more fortunate with his division. Part of it he formed in column of mass, and ordered it to ascend upon the right of the village which he had occupied. They came up in the best possible order, though not without suffering considerably from the light infantry; the ground, however, covered them in part by its steepness. Major-General Craufurd, who commanded on that side, judiciously made his troops withdraw just behind the crest of the ridge whereon they were formed : he bimself remained in front, on horseback, observing the enemy. No sooner had they reached the summit than the guns of his division opened a destructive fire upon them; and the men appearing suddenly at a distance only of some twenty paces, advanced and charged. Instantly the French were broken ; the foremost regiments of the column were almost destroyed, and those who escaped fled down the steep declivity, running, sliding, or rolling, as they could. General Simon, who commanded the column, was wounded and taken. Massena was now convinced that the attack could not succeed, and, therefore, halted the support at the foot of the hill. He endeavoured to decoy Lord Wellington out of a position which had been proved impregnable: but the British commander persisted in the sure system on which he had resolved, and the remainder of the day was employed in skirmishing between the light troops. They were directed to retire when pressed, and give the enemy an opportunity of repeating the attack. But the enemy had received too severe a lesson to venture upon a repetition, and, as night approached, they were drawn off to some distance, near the ground where Junot and the reserve were stationed. The village which they had been allowed to occupy in the morning still remained in their possession. Major-General Craufurd sent to the officer who commanded there, saying it was necessary for his corps, and requiring him to abandon it. The reply was, that he would die in defence of the post with which he was intrusted. This tone was neither called for by the occasion nor justified by the event. Six
guns were immediately opened upon him; some companies of the 43d and of the Rifle Corps were ordered to charge the village ; the French were instantly driven out, and the advanced post of the light division resumed possession.
" Victories of greater result at the time have been gained in Portugal, but never was a battle fought there of more eventual importance the Portugueze nation ; for the Portugueze troops, whom the French despised, whom the enemies of the ministry in England reviled, and whom perhaps many of the British army till then mistrusted, established
that day their character both for courage and for discipline, and proved, that however the government and the institutions of that kingdom had been perverted and debased, the people had not degenerated. Lord Wellington bore testimony to their deserts : he declared that he had never seen a more gallant attack than that which they made upon the enemy who had reached the ridge of the Serra; they were worthy, he said, of contending in the same ranks with the British troops in that good cause, which they afforded the best hopes of saving. Marshal Beresford bestowed high and deserved praise upon them in general orders ; and the opportunity was taken of granting a free pardon to all who were under arrest for military offences, that they might rejoin their regiments, and emulate their comrades to whose good conduct they were indebted for this forgiveness ; but persons who had been apprehended for robbery or murder were excepted from the amnesty, for these, it was properly observed, were not to be considered merely as military crimes. After this battle, the knighthood of the Bath was conferred on Marshal Beresford, in consideration of those exertions by which the Portugueze troops had been qualified to bear their part in it so honorably.
“ The loss of the British in this memorable action amounted to 107 killed, 493 wounded, and 31 taken; that of the Portugueze to 90 killed, 552 wounded, and twenty taken. One French general, three colonels, thirty-three officers, and 250 men were made prisoners ; 2000 were left dead on the field ; the number was ascertained, because Massena sent a flag of truce requesting permission to bury them; it was not thought proper to comply with the request, and they were buried by the conquerors. Most of their wounded, who were very numerous, were left to the mercy of the peasants ; General Craufurd, whose division was the last that withdrew from the Serra, saved as many as he could from their hands, and lodged them in the convent. Unground maize was found in the knapsacks of the French.”
Sonnets, and other Poems ; partly written in India , by David Leicester
Richardson, Esq. pp. 144. Third Edition. Jones and Co., Acton Place. Sold by T. and G. Underwood, Fleet Street, London. 1827.
It is well known that the sonnet is of Italian origin , Petrarca, Casci, Bembo, &c. have all produced the most beautiful specimens of this elegant species of poetry. The peculiar construction of the verse in the sonnet renders its adaptation to the Italian language far more congenial than it can ever be to the English. The frequent recurrence of vowels, the musical flow of its syllabic divisions, in short, the predominating euphony of the Italian tongue, are attributes of the highest importance in constructing a sonnet. Our language, though by no means inharmonious or incapable of melodious modification, is more generally characterized for its sternness, rigid manliness of expressive diction, and vigorous capabilities in blank verse, the heroic measure, &c. Perhaps the only language that at once combines the qualifications required for the tenderest and the sternest, the humblest and sublimest composition, is the Greek.
From the somewhat complex nature of the sonnet it necessarily follows, that a good legitimate one is rare. It now is very common for diurnal poets to preface “ sonnet” to fourteen lines, without any
Some of the Portugueze charging a superior force got so wedged in among the French, that they had not room to use their bayonets ; they turned up the butt ends of their muskets, and plied them with such vigour, that they presently cleared the way.
regard to the structure of the verse : this is an assuming absurdity that really ought not to be tolerated; it throws a false air of facility around that which is really arduous to complete. The sonnet may be divided into two parts,—the first eight lines, and the concluding six, the former contain four different rhymes, two of which are twice repeated; the concluding six rhyme alternately: this is the real Italian sonnet, though some of the best English sonnets frequently vary from the exact model. In addition to the peculiarity of its structure, something else requires the attention of the poet ;-he ought to let one striking thought pervade the whole; its conclusion should be not altogether so epigrammatical as sweepingly reflective,-if we may use the expression. Thus it will easily be perceived, that a thought must have some vigor to permit of its presiding through fourteen lines : to keep it from flagging and dwindling into laborious monotony, is the chief art of the composer.
Although we are ourselves not much attached to the sonnet, we are most ready to read a good one, and to applaud the talents of its writer. We have not been disappointed in the perusal of Mr. Richardson's volume. We remember the appearance of a former edition of his poems, and then participated with the public feelings of approbation with which they were received.
The present edition is considerably enlarged and improved, and cannot fail of yielding delight wherever it is read. Mr. Richardson appears the poet of feeling ; one who loves to view Nature in her mildly attractive graces, and to describe the varied emotions of the heart with a fancy mellowed by unaffected melancholy. He is never strained through labor, or tempestuous through the unfettered ravings of a wild imagination. We may compare his poetry to a sweet romantic stream, that winds its limpid current in all the loveliness of a sequestered calm ; rippling gently to the fanning breezes, but still flowing on in its ever beautiful self-will. His verse is equable, without being monotonous, and pathetic without being drivelling---something very rare in these days of everlasting chime. We never find any glaring error, grossness, or affectation. Mr. Richardson seems to write, not because he wishes to show himself a poet, but because he cannot help feeling as one: thus his language is inspired by the subject, and his poetry becomes the interpreter of his heart. No man was ever yet a real poet without this portion of feeling. There is one more virtue we must mention---one that not only graces the highest strain of poësy, but is likewise the omen of a warm and benevolent soul,-we allude to the philanthropical and tender sentiment that pervades his poems; and which is at times aptly rendered subservient to lofty and consolatory allusions to the Architect of nature, and the home of
peace that shall hereafter mansion the blessed. Having thus stated our opinion of Mr. Richardson, we shall have no need to comment on the merits of the succeeding extracts; they will, we are assured, be their own eulogium. We may be allowed, however, to add, that many of the sonnets are charmingly descriptive of Indian scenery.; that the “ Father's Address” is overwhelmingly tender, and that the “ Soldier's “ Dream” breathes quite a Byronial spirit.