תמונות בעמוד

find most of those that are proper for war absolutely necessary for filling up the laborious part of life, and carrying on the underwork of the nation. They have already contributed all their superfluous hands, and every new levy they make inust be at the expence of their farms and vineyards, their manufactures and commerce. ;

., On the contrary, the grand alliance have innumerable sources of recruits, not only in Britain and Ireland, the United Provinces, and Flanders; but in all the populous parts of Germany that have little trade or manufactures, in proportion to the number of their inhabitants. : We may add, that the French have only Switzerland, besides their own country, to recruit in; and we know the difficulties they meet with in getting thence a single regiment: whereas the allies have not only the same resource, but may be supplied for money from Denmark and other neutral states. In short, the confederates may bring to the field what forces they please, if they will be at the charge of them: but France, let her wealth be what it will, must content herself with the product of her own country. ;

The French are still in greater straits for supplies of horse than men. The breed of their country is neither so good nor numerous as what are to be found in most of the countries of the allies. They had, last şummer, about threescore thousand in their several armies, and could not perhaps bring into the field thirty thousand more, if they were disposed to make such an augmentation, »! 13 ' bobo sita ...!

The French horse are not only few, but weak in comparison of ours. Their cavalry in the battle of Blenhein could not sustain the shock, of the British horse. For this reason, our late way of attacking their troops, sword in hand, is very much to the advantage of our nation, as our men are more robust, and our horses of a stronger make than the French; and in such attacks it is the weight of the forces, supposing equal courage and conduct, that will always carry it

The English strength turned very much to account in our wars against the French of old, when we used to gall them with our long bows, at a greater distance than they could shoot their arrows: this advantage we Jost upon the invention of fire-arms, but, by the present method, our strength as well as bravery may agailt be of use to us in the day of battle.

"Prva 21 * We have very great encouragement to send' what numbers we are able into the field, because our generals at present are such as are likely to make the best use of them, without throwing them away on any fresh attempts or ill-concerted projects. The confederate armies have the happiness of being commanded by persons who are esteemed the greatest leaders of the present'age, and are perhaps equal to any that have preceded them. There is a sort of resemblance in their characters; a particular sedateness in their conversation and behaviour, that qualifies theni for couneil, with a great intrepidity and resolution that fits themy for action. so They are all of them ment of concealed fire, that doth not break out with noise and heat in the ordinary circumstances of life ; but shows itself sufficiently in all great enterprises that require it.'. It is true, the general upon the Rhine hath not had the same occasions as the others to siga nalise himself; but if we consider the great vigilance, activity, and courage, with the consummate prudence, and the nice sense of honour which appears in that prince's character, we have great reason to hope, that as he purchased the first success in the present war;' by forcing into the service of the confederates an army that was raised against them in the very heart of the empire, he will give one of the finishing strokes to it, and help to conclude the great work which he so happily begun. The sudden check that he gave to the French army, the last campaign, and the good order he established in that of the Germans, look like the happy presages of what we may expect from his conduct. I shall not pretend to give any character of the

[ocr errors]

generals on the enemies side; but I think we may say this, that, in the eyes of their own nation, they are inferior to several that have formerly commanded the French armies. If then we have greater numbers than the French, and at the same time better generals, it must be our own fault if we will not reap the fruit of such advantages.

Per It would be loss of time to explain any further our superiority to the enemy in numbers of men and horse. We see plainly that we have the means in our hands, and that nothing but the application of them is wanting. Let us only consider what use the enemy would make of the advantage we have mentioned, if it fell on their side; and is it not very strange that we should not be as active and industrious for, our security, as they would certainly be for our destruction Bụt before we consider more distinctly the method we ought to take in the prosecution of the war, under this particular view, let us reflect a little upon those we have already, taken in the course of it for these six years past. es ., :; ; a distantsis ..

Thę allies, after a successful summer, are too apt, upon the strength of it, to neglect their preparations for the ensuing campaign, while the French leave no art nor stratagem untried to fill up the empty spaces of their armies, and swell them to an equal bulk with those of the confederates. By this means our advantage is lost, and the fate of Europe brought to a ses cond decision. It is now become an observation, that we are to expect a very indifferent year after a very successful one. Blenheim was followed by a summer that makes no noise in the war. Ramilies, Turin, and Barcelona, were the parents of our last campaign. So many dreadful blows alarmed the enemy, and raised their whole country up in arms. Had we on our side made proportionable preparations, the war by this time had been brought to a happy issue. If, after having gained the great victories of Blenheim and Ramillies, we had made the same efforts as we should have done

had we lost them, the power of France could not have withstood us.' ..' !.!.!.si,'s. :

In the beginning of the winter we, usually get what intelligence we can of the force which the enemy in tends to employ in the campaigns of the succeeding year, and immediately cast about for a sufficient numa ber of troops to face them in the field of battle. This, I must confess, would be a good method, if we were engaged in a defensive war. We might maintain our ground with an equal number of forces; but our business is not only to secure what we are already in possession of; we are to wrest the whole Spanish monarchy out of the hands of the enemy; and, in order to it; to work our way into the heart of his country by dint of arms. « We should therefore put forth all our strength, and without having an eye to his preparations, make the greatest push that we are able on our own side. We are told that the enemy at present thinks of raising threescore thousand men for the next suma mer: if we regulate our levies in that view, we do nothing; let.us perform our utmost, as they do, and we shall overwhelm them with our multitudes. We have it in our power to be at least four times as strong as the French; but if ten men are in war with forty, and the latter detach only an equal number to the engagement, what benefit do they receiver from their superiority? jat; i .,.', . . p

It seems therefore to be the business of the confea derates to turn to their advantage their apparent odds in men and horse; and by that means to out-number the enemy in all rencounters and engagements. For the same reason it must be for the interest of the allies to seek alt opportunities of battle, because all losses on the opposite side are made up with infinitely more difficulty than on ours; besides, that the French do their business by lying still, and have no other concern in the war than to hold fast what they have already got into their hands. • The miscarriage of the noblest project that ever was (formed in Europe, can be ascribed to nothing else but our want of numbers in the several quarters of the war. If our armies on all sides had begun to busy and insult the enemy, at the same time that the forces marched out of Piedmont, Toulon had been at present in the hands of the duke of Savoy... But could that prince ever have imagined that the French would have been at liberty to detach whole armies against him? or will it'appear/credible to posterity, that, in a war carried on by the point force of so many populous and powerful nations, France could send so great a part of its troops. to one seat of the war, without sufa fering in any of the rest? Whereas it is well known, that, if the duke of Savoy had continued before Tout lon eight days longer, he had been attacked by an army of sixty thousand men, whichi was more than double the number of his own; and yet the enemy was strong enough every where else to prevent the confederates from making any impression upon them. However, let us fall into the right measures, and we may hope that the stroke is only deferred. The duke of Savoy hath secured a passage into Dauphiny, and if the allies make such efforts in all parts, as we may reasonably expect from them, that prince may still inake himself master of the French dominions on the other side of the Rhone.' is to . ...

There is another part of our conduct which may perhaps deserve to be considered. As soon as we have agreed with the states-general upon any augmentation of our forces, we immediately negotiate with some or other of the German princes, who are in the same confederacy, to furnish out our quota in mercenaries. This may be doubly prejudicial to the alliances; First, as it may have an ill influence on the resolutions of those princes in the diet of the empire, who may be willing to settle as small a quota as they can for themselves, that they may have more troops to hire out; and, in the next place, as it may hinder them from contributing the whole quota which they have

« הקודםהמשך »