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Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia. In the Mediterranean the consulate intends to keep up'a navy of 65 sail of line of battle ships; to which will no doubt be added, a considerable number of smaller vessels. With this navy the coasts of the Turkish dominions, and of the Barbary states will be sufficiently covered to secure the de pendence and obedience of those governments to the will of the consulate. And when the period to deprive Great Britain of ber foreign possessions shall come, this fleet will cover the rear of any transport of men from France and Italy, which may be thought necessary to employ against our interests, either in Sicily, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, or Persia; or against our settlements in Indostan.
To maintain the liberty of the Mediterranean, to cover our possessions in India from any attack from the side of Europe by land; to secure the friendship of Russia, and to prevent France from fixing herself in Sicily, Candia, and on the coast of Africa; or in short to prevent our expulsion from the trade of the Mediterranean, from Asia and Africa, we have only to maintain the isand of Malta, or other such invulnerable naval stations between Toulon and the Dardanelles*.
In America the hostility of the republic will, we presume, be principally carried on by flotillas, or light squadrons; and it will be directed, more immediately, towards the security of the Spanish settlements, and the acquisition of Brasil, than to the conquest of any of the few rocks we now possess there.
To secure our possessions in America, as well as in other quarters of the world, we must forthwith, without loss of time, acquire as many more as shall maintain an army abroad, sufficient to defend them; and as may likewise enable us to keep up a marine, superior to that of France and her do
along the British coast, for three weeks together, and all human exertion could not carry the British feet then under his command, to sea.
To block in port, a fleet whose coinmander wishes to go to sea, is likewise extremely difficult, and very seldom succeeds; but to block in the hostile line that is now preparing to act against us, would, by cruizing on the enemy's coast, be impossible; the attempt would be one of our usual measures, from which the French would endeavour to derive some advantage, for they believe that the closer we keep on their coast, the more wo expose our own. But our navy on our own coasts, so stationed, as to be able to move with all sorts of winds, were every French sailor and soldier a Jean Bart, and every Ruse sjan a Czar Peter, our British dames might sleep at ease.
* To guarantee by trcaly the neutrality of Malta and the Cape, or such military posts, whose proprietors cannot guarantee them by force, is an idea, we think, too absurd for the most besotted statesman, of even this infatuated age. Would a hostile fleet, going out either to save, or to conquer our empire of India, spare its antagonist in False, or Table bay? Or would the noble Bronti at the head of a British fleet, quietly pass 'Buonaparte with another wing of the army of England under his command, on the shores of Sicily or Malta? Were such treason possible, we believe there would, in the world, be only ope opinion on its merits.
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russin. pendents*. To do this, we have only to prevent the republic possessing herself of the Missisipi, from putting garrisons in the Havannah, Carthagena, and from approaching Brasil. Nothing is more practicable. The United States, certain of our assistance in good faith, will possess themselves of Louisianat, and garrison Cuba; we can ourselves protect Brasil, open the trade, and explore the treasures of that invaluable, and to the shame of the civilized world, unknown countryt; and then the Spanish settlements, as well as the rest of the world, will have but little to apprehend from the naval power of France.
* It certainly requires no great share of geographical knowledge, to see and be convinced, that the sources of maritime trade now possessed by Great Britain, when compared to those of France, are no more able to maintain a marine equal to what she may maintain, tban Holland is at present able to maintain a navy equal to that of England; and every Englishman knows, that should the navies of our enemies be suffered to rise nearly to a level with our own, their preponderance on the land, and the immensity of their possessions, would soon make our scale on the balance of political Europe, kick the beam. It is therefore the duty of every man who prefers British liberty, to the heaviest maledictiou that ever cursed mankind, (we mean the dominion of France), to crert all his powers, while it is yet time, to secure the independence of his country. To rely upon the superior address and bravery of our generous and noble seamen, is criminal; others may learn address, and despotism can drive them to the fight; but we must provide effectual and lasting sources to maintain a sufficiency of men who fight for glory, to a grateful country, and for a beloved king.
* It would seem as if the leading men in America were no better geographers than ether folks. Or perhaps their political organization is something like our own now-adays, that every province, county, borough, and sea-port town, have their provident patriots, and the state has none. The Missisippi and the Floridas in the bands of the French, by what route or conveyance are hali the settlers in America to get to the sea? Nothing more simple, says Talleyrand, by becoming French citizens."
To take possession of Brasil would be, says honest John Bull," an unjust thing, for the Queen of Portugal has done us no harm.” It might, however, not be amiss to inforns bim, that Portugal has forfeited Brasil and Goa, by exactly the saine inisdemeavour that Spain and Holland lost Trinidad and Ceylon; unable to protect her capital, and certain that we would not do it for her, she committed her dominions to the discretion of the French republic. The First Consul, perhaps not certain what the issue of his war in St. Domingo may be, knows, that charged as he is, with the government of France, it is his indispensable duty to secure for the republic possessions sufficient to give her a preponderance by sea, proportionate to the rank he has given ber on land. To do this, the most eligible country on the globe is Brasil: and to have a plausible pretext to garrison that settlement, Buonaparte has, it is said, instructed his ambassador of peace, General Lasnes, to make a French footman quarrel with the Queen of Portugal's prime minister, ur rather with her majesty's ministre de finance. Now, if our worthy neighbour get once possession of Brasil, he will, very soon after, make our credulous cockneys buy their rom and turtle, their sugar and muslin, at Bourdeaux and Rouen!
Amongst our definitions of political morality, the following answer of the late Einpress of Russia to a Polish bishop, might, on some occasions, make a useful ingredient. Prior to the final partition of Poland, a prelate of high rank in that country, endeavoured to
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia. To conclude these sketches, in as far as they relate to France and Russia, we shall now only observe, that as these two great continental monarchies were seen to improve their national consistence at home, and to extend their political influence abroud, it should have been the most invariable system of Great Brituin, as it was the sacred duty of her government, to have directed all the power and influence of the British nation, towards the support and 'augmentation of the lesser states of Europe, whose situation was such, as could warrant the possibility of their being rendered permanent. These were, prior to the peace of Utrecht, Holland, Spain, and Austria ; and, until the capitulation of Nystad in 1721, Denmark and Sweden came under the same descriptiou. To raise and keep up the maritime states, to extend their dominions at honie, and their possessions abroad, should have been our peculiar care; their interests were our own, and upon our prosperity depevded their existence. This sort of policy was, however, 100 wide, and its princi. ple too liberal for our contracted views; the spirit of commerce seldom looks beyond the prospect of immediate gain; instead of guiding, as the legislature should have done, the national spirit of commercial enterprise, towards the consolidation of the British empire, and the independence of Europe, the Bri. tish government itself has long been influenced by the narrow projects of mercantile speculation: thus we have lost our natural maritime allies without having gained a nutmeg by their fall. On the contrary, instead of having increased the sources of our commerce, wealth, and power, we have greatly declined; the powers of the British einpire, compared to those of France alone, bear a far less proportion now, than they did a hundred years ago. When compared to those of Fravce and Russia united, our inferiority appears. still more alarming.
However, although the secondary powers of Europe, and amongst them our maritime allies, are subjugated, or rendered dependent upon France and Russia, the world must not be given up for lost. The Russian nation cannot yet have forgotten what it owes to the glorious memory of its great founder, and to that of Catherine II. Nor can the court of Petersburgh compromise the dignity of a sovereign, and so far divest royalty of honour, honesty, and of all the attributes of a legitimate government, as to countenance the crimes of the rulers of France. Besides, Great Britain herself, now brought to the alternative, tamely tu submit to the domineering spirit of France, or, to un
convince Catherine II, that the monarchical republic of Poland was a sovereign state, independent of all other earthly power; and that there was an injustice in her majesty's proceedings against it. The empress answered, “Reverend father, if Poland was an independent state, you would not have been here to intercede for it. As it is, you can give me po security that your country will not fall under the dominion of those who may one day attempt to disturb the peace of my people. To care for the present, and to provide for the future safety of this empire, the Almighty has imposed upun me the heavy duty of a sovereign; and you know, reverend father, that to the accomplishment of our divine mission, all earthly considerations must give way.”
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia. shackle the natural vigour of the nation, by adopting a liberal system of politics, may yet confine the dominion of those rapacious republicans within such frontiers as may secure the peace of the world. In extraordinary cases, to use extraordinary means is not only lawful, but it is a duty. Iu the present political state of the civilized world, France is in Europe already too powerful; it is therefore the duty of all other powers, and of Great Britain in par. ticular, to prevent that republic augmenting its force by the acquisition of foreign settlements. If the courts of Lisbon and Madrid cannot be roused up to a sense of the duty they owe to the great commonwealth of polished nations, their possessions must be taken from under the leaden bands of their torpid governments, and made subservient, as nature designed them, to the happiness of mankind, and to the independence of Europe. Likewise those luxuriant countries, that may be said to groan under the chilling authority of that monstrous government of Turkey and the Barbary states, should forthwith be appropriated to the same beneficial purpose.
Instead of that comnion-place phrase, balance of power, which never existed but on sheep-skin treaties, Great Britain has yet the means to raise, in Europe, in Anerica, and on the ocoan, such powers as would establish a real balance or barrier, which all the force and frantic rage of disappointed jacobinişn, could never break down. Then we would have no need to proclaim ourselves the saviours of Europe! A grateful world would do it for us.
It should, however, not be forgotten, that we have only one alternative now remaining; to wit, to consign our children and the nation to a state, of all others the most repugnant to the feelings of men, and the most degrading to human nature, that of a subordination to the French: or, to break through those conteinptible formalities which bind the bands of government, and render all the glorious efforts of our irresistible powers of no effect.
Are the King of Spain, and the Prince of Brasil, as vassals to Buonaparte, more related to us, than were the King of Sardinia, and the Prince of Orange, who both fought our battles? And is the correspondence of the Grand Signior, of the Emperor of Morocco, and the Dey of Algiers, with the First Consul, less hostile to our interests, than that of the Nabob of Arcọt was with Tippoo Sultan? What are Spain, Portugal, Turkey, and Morocco to us, when como pared to the safely of the British empire? or what are all our miserable calo sulations on financial economy compared with British liberty?
Rather than risk the possibility of ever being obliged to acknowledge : superior on earth, our last shilling, the moveable property of the empire, the national debt, and if necessary the blood of our darling children, must be to Britons no consideration.
State of French and Spanish Armies.
STATE OF FRENCH AND SPANISH ARMIES.
IVoolwich, July 15.-SIR, 1r the following observations on the state of affairs in Spain, are worth inserting in the Military Chronicle, you are very welconie to them.
H. K. The French forces which have lately occupied the Austurias; those opposed to the Galician arıny, and the troops under the immediate command of Marmont at Salamanca, do not exceed 35,000 effective inen. The French army in the south, under Soult, Drouet, &c. is not more than 30,000 strong. Suchet, who occupied Valencia with an arıny of 20,000-men, bas sustained so many losses by battles and sieges, by sending 7,000 men into Arragon and Catalonia, and by the garrisons he is obliged to maintain in Valencia, Penascola, &c. that he is unable to advance into Murcia. The French hold strong garrisons in Madrid, Tortosa, Pampeluna, Sarragossa, &c. which may amount to near 20,000 inen. Thus the French force in Spain appears to be 100 or 110,000 men, which is a formidable force, if the state of their affairs would allow the French generals to act offensively; but that is denied them. In the present diminished state of their armies, neither Marmont, Soult, or Suchet, are able to strike any blow (and indeed they dare not attempt it) that might give them the upper band in the peninsula. For instance, if Lord Wellinglon moves into Andalusia to attack Soult, Marinont cannot create any serious diversion, by advancing upon Ciudad Rodrigo, and Almeida, without exposing all that part of Spain, which is north of the Douro, to the Galician army, wbich would then be able to threaten the communication of Madrid with France*. If, on the contrary, Lord Wellington advances along the valley of the Tagus, upon Madrid, Soult cannot move any very considerable force from Andalusia, without risking the loss of the whole province.
Heuce, it is evident, that the French marshals are reduced to the severe uecessity of acting on the defensive; and that all they can possibly do, is to watch Lord W's movements, endeavour to counteract bis plans, and to preses ve what they hold till their master can spare them a reinforcement suffie cient to restore their affairs.
If Lord Wellington advances into Andalusia with a large force, Soult will not dare to risk a general action; he will be obliged to abandon the whole country as Lord W. advances; for, if he fights at Seville, be inight be driven back upon Greuada, and consequently lose his line of retreat through the Sierra Morelia. If he fights at Cordova and is beat, he is utterly ruined; Cordova is but two or three days march from Sierra Morena; an army, dri
Marmont, when he lately entered Portugal, had not 16,000 men with bim; which proves that the French force in the north of Spain is very small; or that a great propose tion of it is required to keep the Galicians io check. VOL. IV.NO. 22