Obrázky stránek

1823. April 18. Mr Plunkett's motion for a Committee. Sir Francis Burdett, and

several other Whigs, abruptly left the House. Motion met by a countermotion for an adjournment. Ayes, 313; Noes, 111. Majority against the

Catholics, 202. 1824. Question not brought forward. 1825. Feb. 28. Sir Francis Burdett's motion for a Committee. Ayes, 247 ; Noes, 234.

-Majority for the Catholics, 13.
April 22. Second reading of the Bill. Ayes, 268; Noes, 241.-Majority for

the Catholics, 27.
May 10. Third reading of the Bill. . Ayes, 248; noes, 227. Majority for the

Catholics, 21..Bill passed.
May 17. House of Lords. Contents, 130; Non-contents, 178.-Majority against

the Catholics, 48..Bill thrown out. 1826. Question not brought forward. Parliament dissolved. 1827. New Parliament.--March 5. Sir Francie Burdett's motion for a Committee,

Ayes, 272; Noes, 276. Majority against the Catholics, 4.

[ocr errors]



Letter from an Infantry Officer. SIR, I OBSERVE in your last Number a to decide without trial. Certain I am, letter from “. A Bengal Engineer,” The Bengal Engineer" had seldom complaining of the article in your (if ever) an opportunity of seeing a April Number, "The Siege of Bhurte ditch, such as that at Bhurtpore, full pore,” as attaching much blame to the of water, crossed in the neat way he operations of the engineers. Being the undoubtedly could have advised. author of the journal referred to, con- Speaking of the curtains being low, sequently, the culpable person, I re- was in reference to the bastions, sevequest you will insert, for his informa- ral of which were from 80 to 93 feet tion, in your next Number, the follow- high--by his own account the curtains ing explanation and remarks :

were from 50 to 55 feet. The journal in question was never That the points of attack, at first intended as a full and minute account, chosen, were two curtains, I now well but merely a rough sketch taken on remember, and stand corrected accordthe spot, when duty permitted, during ingly; still I cannot refrain from think, the siege. The little information con- ing it would have proved equally protained therein I was in nowise indebte fitable to his comments, had he been ed to the engineers for, who, by the blessed with a short memory on this by, were singularly reserved in their occasion, unless he had explained, communications to infantry officers on why two curtains” were fixed on, the most trivial subjects. Before I in preference to two salient bastions. proceed further, I must disclaim any That the two curtains were ill selectintention of throwing blame to the ed, and contrary to the common prin. degree stated on that distinguished ciples of fortification to form breaches corps, " The Bengal Engineers." The in, is indisputable, when the flank fire operations were, generally speaking, of the bastions, as well as the bastions carried on with talent, as the result themselves, were complete and occuproved, and with zeal, as no one can pied. That I am borne out in this deny. That an engineer should necese statement, is evident from the fact, sarily be better acquainted with his pe- that, after eight days' struggling to culiar department and details than an form a sort of breach, they were given infantry officer, no one will question, up entirely, and the bastions, which but that he is not liable to error in ought to have been attacked at first, judgment at times, he will scarcely were at last determined on. The


breach to the left of the long-necked Regarding his remark," that had bastion I examined the day after the the ditch been filled with water, no fort fell, and have no hesitation in failure would have taken place,” it is a stating, that had it been attacked, there strong assertion--at best, a matter of was great chance of failure in that opinion-failures not many years since quarter, from the impossibility of a occurred under as favourable circum- sufficient number of men being able stances, and this is a point impossible to reach its summit at once. At the

[ocr errors]


bottom was a great quantity of fine His next paragraph requires notice. dust, that hid an entire escarp of 30. The sap crowning the counterscarp feet, although at a distance it had the opposite the left breach, (if it could be appearance of an easy slope up to the so called,) was very badly constructed, breach. To the remark, that the ta- and without excavation, on the mornking of Kuddum Kundie, &c. is ex- ing of 12th January, (unless a foot tremely incorrect, I answer, the chances in depth, and as much in breadth, are, the “ Bengal Engineer" was not is deemed sufficient.) The gabions, at the post during the day, or he would stuffed with cotton, were in no part have seen four guns instead of two, musket proof, “having no earth beunder Lieutenant H. of the artillery; hind them." I had the pleasure of also the guns in question were frem twenty-four hours duty in it, soon afquently fired that day against the fort. ter its construction, and can speak to That an attempt to make a battery of its qualities, and found it necessary to sand-bags and cotton-bales, is correct, request both sand bags and tools might I assert, and was only prevented by be sent to complete it-it was by the the heavy fire from the fort. Had the soldiers in it, that it was rendered fit engineer been behind these bales a few to hold the firing party, after some hours, he would have had an opportu- loss. nity of seeing specimens of Bhurtpore I do not mean to say the sap leadgunnery, and witnessed round shot ing to it was not tolerable, or the corpass through them, though two am ner where the shafts were sinking a breast, at 600 to 700 yards; that the very snug birth, and where I observed loss is exaggerated in regard to men I the engineers most part of the day, of am aware, and was occasioned by mis- course superintending the mining. take ; but many bullocks were de- That the quantity of water at the foot stroyed. His remarks concerning the of the gun-breach, on the left attack, ramparts. I have since learnt to be to. was known on 8th January, I was not lerably exact; still the breach at the

On the 12th, at four o'clock long-necked bastion was composed of in the evening, an attempt was in a heap of stones and masonry, mixed contemplation, but laid aside. The onwith mud, &c. Two days after the ly method I had of obtaining an idea storming I was obliged to leave Bhurt of the powder used in the various pore, and could not ascertain how far mines, was, by observing the number the above description answered the of bags passing, and making a calcularamparts in general.

tion from them. When the engineer My observation, regarding the es- states 280 to be the angle the left carp being 60 feet, was a matter of breach formed with the horizon, his conjecture. This remark I noted down instrument must have been out of ore on 6th January. Now, by his own der, or he took his base-line at the account, the real height was not known extreme clod thrown into the ditch; before the 8th January. Considering it appeared nearer 38° or 40°, than that my view was from the advanced 28o. This I had no time to determine: trenches, and his, perhaps, quietly Not being certain of the disposition measured after the place was in our made for the two small columns, I possession, the difference of six feet omitted mention of them on that acwas not worth mentioning—this re- count only. In conclusion, I humbly mark is equally applicable to the coun- conceive, that, had the “Bengal Engi. terscarp.

neer" waited till the full account ap. His next remark refers to what was peared, he so exultingly announces to evidently an error in printing from the be at hand, he would have had at manuscript, (it scarcely requires an least more chance of triumph than has engineer's abilities or education to dis- attended his present attempt. tinguish between scarp and countera Sir, I am, yours, &c. scarp, much less to suppose a mine un

An INFANTRY OFFICER. der a bastion could blow in the coun. 12th June, 1828. terscarp,) and adds no weight to his review by noticing it. The loss of ma- P.S.-If the 66 Bengal Engineer" terials by the explosion, I had no

could inform me when the Bhurtpore means of ascertaining the amount of, prize-money is to be paid, I shall and thought it of no importance to do willingly excuse, and patiently bear so, when abundance of wood was at his corrections. hand to replace them.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

his auditory that the case of the peti. of the men who could venture to bring
tioners rested upon two grounds, the forward such arguments upon such a
Treaty of Limeric, and the pledges subject. As to the treaty of Limeric,
entered into at the Union. He assu. clear as the case is against the con-
red the honourable members, that he struction sought to be put upon it by
should establish the violation of the Sir Francis and some of his friends,
one and of the other; and on this yet he might perhaps have expected
ground he called for their decision in that, from the remoteness of its date,
his favour. Then he talks on for six he should be able, notwithstanding the
columns good measure, addressing presence of Mr Peel and the Solicitora
himself to these topics, and to these General, to make something of the
topics only, and subjoins, that “ this “ambiguities," as Mr Brougham was
is the case on the part of the Roman pleased to call them, which must-at-
Catholics," and he hopes and trusts tend the circumstances of a treaty
he has made it out to the satisfaction made in a disturbed country nearly
of the House. Such was the Quinbus 140 years ago. Buť to attempt to
Flestrin of the Catholic claims which argue the House into what Mr Pitt's
Sir Francis set up, adorning his cham- pledge was at the Union, while those
pion with a curious quilted garmenty were still living and sitting in the
composed of numerous irrelevant quo- House, who had heard Mr Pitt declare,
tations, pedantically culled from all in words as plain as words could be,
manner of Latin authors. But lo! on that no pledge at all was given--this,
the third day of the debate we find him indeed, was a stretch of oratorical au.
genubus minor, down on his knees, dacity that Sir Francis and the Knight
cheated of his fair proportions, biting of Kerry have some reason to take
the dust, with North, and Huskisson, credit for. I shall pass over the in-
and Brougham, (et tu, Brute!) pelting decent-attack of Sir Francis upon the
him into contempt and derision. Mr venerable ornamentof the Upper House
North, while he takes up the helmet of Parliament, the late Lord Chancellor.
of necessity, and the sword of expe. If he be not himself sorry and ashamed
diency, hopes that the advocates of by this time that he was betrayed into
this measure will never again found such indecency, Sir Francis is not the
any argument upon such untenable man I took him for. With all the vio
footing as the Treaty of Limeric, or lence of his party spirit, I thought he
the Articles of Union, and deeply de possessed some of the good feelings of
plores that these shambling legs were the class to which he belongs, and as
ever allowed to put their foot into the one of the landed gentlemen of Enge
debate. Mr Huskisson most unkind- land, I believed him incapable of the
ly protests that he agrees not in Sir low malignity which a deliberate ap-
Francis's view of these questions, but probation of his own language con
in Mr Peel's, and the Solicitor-Genea cerning the late Lord Chancellor would
ral's; but Winchelsea Harry gives the indicate.
unkindest cut of all, by hastening to Another matter seemingly ratherout
say, that though he still thinks there of the record, into which Sir Francis
are perhaps some ambiguities, which thought proper to travel after the six
might be favourably construed, he columns on the treaty and the pleda
will not drag back the honourable ges were got over, was the “scandal
members to the consideration of argu- about Queen Elizabeth ;" for if she
ments, which are now below par on indeed had displayed any favour or
every side of the House. Such was affection for the Roman Catholic body,
the fate of this grand case, ushered in she would have shewn herself a very
with so pompous an air of irrefragabi- foolish old woman, and not what she
lity. These notable arguments, which most certainly was, one of the greate
occupied the attention of the House of est sovereigns that ever a great people
Commons of the United Kingdom for was blessed withal. How sickening
the greater part of two nights' debate, it is to hear such stuff talked in the
are on the third abandoned by all as House of Commons! Who does not
too absurd and ridiculous to be worth know, that Elizabeth, (glory and ho-
any consideration in the question at nour to her memory,) after a long and

patient endurance of Popish plots for Nor is there any wonder in this, her assassivation, for insurrection, and but rather in the extraordinary front invasion, was at length compelled to


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



make root and branch-work with the It is now time to come to the other Papists, after a fashion consistent with branch of the argument of the Roman the vigour of her character. There is Catholic advocates, as applied to the a curious and interesting treatise still present state of Ireland. I am inte extant, known by the style and title rested in the welfare of Ireland, and of Hume's History of England, which, I know the country well. With that notwithstanding the more modern and interest and that knowledge I do not shining lights, afforded by Doctors hesitate to pronounce the late descripLingard and Hallam, is still much tions of its present state, the most asread, and most potently believed by toundingly audacious artifice to carry a the major part of the reading popula- measure by storm that ever was ata tion of this kingdom. Now this Hume tempted to be palmed upon the counflatly affirms, that after the seminary try. It was worthy of the ferocious of Rheims pronounced, in its wisdom, genius of the Times newspaper, which that the Pope's bull, excommunica- boasts, I believe, the honour or the ting and deposing Elizabeth, was dic. infamy of the device. If any English tated by the immediate inspiration of gentleman, who does not much conthe Holy Spirit, and after they had cern himself about the peculiar afsent cargoes of ecclesiastics to her do. fairs of Ireland, and there are many minions to preach up sedition, and of the worthiest to whom the descriptreason, and murder, the Queen

found tion will apply, could bring himself to it expedient to hang up fifty Popish believe one tittle of the representapriests, and to banish a yet greater tions he listened to on that debate, rem number, within a very few years, for presentations, too, made by men who the good of the nation, and the secu- had an opportunity of knowing and rity of her Majesty's government. judging of the truth, he must have That this terrible woman, whom carried away with him an impression Sir Francis would impose on them for of the existing state of Ireland, so a wise and magnanimous confider in grossly exaggerated, as to lose all rePapists, actually declared to her Par- semblance to a true picture, in the liament, that she considered the Roa mis-shapen proportions of a hideous manists inveterate enemies to her per- caricature. son; and obtained their concurrence It is very unfortunate for the

reputo a law by which the exercise of the tation of Ireland, that those who are Roman Catholic religion, was now at pleased to be oratorical upon her polength totally suppressed. That the litical and domestic condition, to law for the capital punishment of whatever party they may belong, think priests, and of such as harboured them, they find their account in magnifying was enacted and executed on account with all the force of their eloquence, of the treasonable views and attempts that which is bad in the country, and of the Roman Catholic sect, and did lightly passing over the other parts of not require any other overt act of the picture. The Roman Catholic adtreason to be proved against the indi- vocate says, “ look at the dreadful viduals who suffered the penalty. So state of the country, and then if you much for the love and regard which can," or some say, "' if you dare, rethe good Queen Bess bore to the Pa- fuse that emancipation, which is the pists.

only cure.”—The opponent of the CaIt may, moreover, be found in the tholic claims draws a similar picture narrative of the same Hume, that up of the dreadful state of the country, to the period of the Revolution, cele- but founds an opposite' argument upbrating, or attending mass, was an in- on it, and asks, “will you place power dictable offence; that during the reign in the hands of wretches so wicked of Charles II., " the old persecu- and ferocious ?"-And these worthy ting laws of Elizabeth,” as the liberal people, irreverently ycleped saints, historian expresses it, “ still subsisted shocked at the Popish superstitions, in their full vigour,” and that the im- describe Ireland as the very sink of munities which the law now guaran- all that is corrupt and abominable, tees to Roman Catholics, in the exer- and call upon their brethren to subcise of their religion, are as much su- scribe for Bibles and other good books, perior to the privileges they were en- to send some of the light of religious titled to, in Charles the II.'s reign, as knowledge into a place where the

most the temporal power of the Pope was horrible deeds are continually enactthen superior to what it is now. ing under cover of the thick cloud of VOL. XXIV.



[ocr errors][merged small]

spiritual darkness. Thus, on every come to that dreadful state, (which hand, Ireland is assailed by exagge God forbid they should come to,) and ration of her faults and her misfor, which there is in reality and truth no tunes, and the already monstrous heap reason to apprehend, that it were neof her imputed misdeeds gradually cessary to withdraw the English increases, like those cairns upon spots troops, and leave the population of where some horrid murder has been Ireland to fight for the sovereignty of committed, upon which, by supersti- it; I maintain, and the Catholics tious custom, every hand as it passes themselves know it to be true, that flings another stone. Again and again, they would be conquered. What I say, that there is nothing in Ireland means this imposing word “organito warrant these dark and terrifying zation ?" If Mr Fitzgerald wishes the descriptions. The country is still fere country to believe, that the respecta tile, and beautiful beyond compare; able and wealthy part of the Roman, the people are in general kind-heart- Catholic body, are organized in such ed, hospitable, and good-natured, and a way as to be wielded as one man, though they are unsteady, passionate, he wishes it to believe that which is and easily. led into wrong, yet they not the fact. The Catholic Associaare perfectly manageable by a union tion, which those who have been on of kindness with firmness; and if the the spot, and have looked at the mate, mass be turbulent, it is chiefly because ter with their own eyes, know very a few men are allowed to exercise, well does not comprise the real strength without control or punishment, their of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, foolish and wicked plans, for the dis- but is, with some dozen or two of turbance of the people.

exceptions, a'crew of vulgar, illiterate, Nor is it to be wondered at that they uninfluential brawlers-this Catho persevere, since not only are they left lic Association is no doubt in regular unpunished, but their power and their communication with the priests, and importance is everywhere, even in the the priests have considerable influence Houses of Parliament, spoken of so over the very lowest of the people, seriously, and yet so erroneously, that whose ignorance they may take adthey must feel their vanity most ex. vantage of to lead them into error ; ceedingly gratified, and they are in- but here is the whole machinery of vited to go on in a course which places this wonderful “ organization.” No them, according to the orators, not doubt to certain Irish members this only on a level with, but above, the organization appears a very formilegitimate government of the country. dable affair, for by means of it the

“ The people," says the Knight of Association may keep them in, or Kerry, in his place in Parliament, turn them out of, their seats; but the

are organized, the country is orga- reason it can do this, is because the. nized." " He did not mean to say, law unfortunately places the elective that this organization was intended franchise in the hands of the very for bad purposes, but he did say that lowest of the people ; and, if this law it existed, and that was an awful were amended as it ought to be, I circumstance, that a country in such a have no doubt that the importance of state of disaffection to the Government, this dreaded organization would sink from disappointed hope and protractvery fast in Parliamentary estimation. cd expectations, could be wielded and But if it were true, that this organizadirected as one man.”. Now this is tion and wonderful power did really said of all Ireland, and undoubtedly, exist, and, if it be also true, that the if it were true, it would be a fact very people are so extremely wicked as frightfuland alarming;

butit isnot true they are described to be, what are we that the country could be wielded as to think of the persons who wield oneman;on the contrary, it is true, that this power, and yet who take no steps whatever preponderance the Roman to prevent the frequent commission of Catholics of Ireland may have in nu- dreadful crimes ? merical force, yet-for I am forced to If the Popish leaders have not the the painful comparison, by the way in power ascribed to them, then the arwhich Mr Fitzgerald has thought fit gument for emancipation, grounded to state the matter-it is more than upon it, falls to the ground; if, on balanced by the superior wealth, in- the other hand, they have the power, telligence, and firmness of the oppo- and will not exercise it for the presite party; and if the affairs of Ireland vention of crime in the country, then


« PředchozíPokračovat »