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* Rolliad,' but now converted) were the authors of the pieces best remembered; but Jenkinson, Morpeth, Hammond, Baron, Macdonald, and Mornington (afterwards Lord Wellesley) were also writers in the 'Anti-Jacobin.' Gifford, afterwards editor of the Quarterly Review,' was the editor. Great mystery was affected, and the contributors entered the editorial room in Bond Street through the door of the neighbouring house, but there was little mystery about the authorship of the pieces, which seem to have been attributed to their real authors with tolerable correctness as soon as they appeared.
With the exception of The New Morality,' the serious part of the 'Anti-Jacobin' has been forgotten, but a large part of it was serious; it is the fun, however, that has made it live. Canning and Frere saw the ridiculous side of the revolutionary fanatics, and as the Directory after the 18th Fructidor was not composed of fanatics at all, but designing scoundrels masquerading as fanatics, the contrast between Jacobin theory and practice was even greater than in earlier years. The Jacobins who triumphed after the fall of the Girondins were marvellously successful for a time because they had a narrow creed, which they believed in and promulgated with ruthless logic, but after the fall of Robespierre the real Jacobinism had ceased to exist, and what succeeded was the cant of Jacobinism, which was being adroitly employed by Barras, Rewbell, and his friends to maintain their ascendency at home, and by the victorious generals of the Republic to push their own fortunes abroad. It was this system against which the renewal of the war obliged England to fight to the death in 1797.
In the face of what was taking place in Europe, the contrast between Jacobin words and deeds was strong enough to have inspired less nimble wits than those of Canning and his friends. Their first victims were hardly those whose names are now associated with ideas of hatred towards kings and priests.
It is as difficult to remember now that Southey was once a revolutionary poet as that the Archbishop of Canterbury was once looked upon by many pious souls as a heretic or worse, but the first number of the Anti-Jacobin' contained an attack upon him in the form of a parody of some verses which he had published as an Inscription for the Apartment in Chepstow Castle where Henry Martin, the Regicide, was imprisoned thirty years. To fully
appreciate the parody in this case, it must be preceded by the original :
For thirty years secluded from mankind
The imitation, of which Canning and Frere were the joint authors, ran thus:
Inscription for the door of the cell in Newgate where Mrs. Brownrigg, the 'prenticecide, was confined previous to her execution :
For one long term, or e'er her trial came,
When France shall reign, and laws be all repealed ! One does not know whether to admire more the literary skill of the parody or the ingenuity with which the revolutionary doctrines are associated with the most execrated criminal of the day.
The next week's number (November 27) contained the verses best remembered by posterity of all that appeared in the periodical during its existence, The Friend of Humanity and the Knifegrinder,' preceded by a dissertation on Jacobin poetry hardly less telling than the verses themselves. The authors (Canning and
Frere again) note that according to Jacobin ideas “the animadversion of human laws upon human action is for the most part nothing but gross oppression, and that in all cases of the administration of criminal justice the truly benevolent mind will consider only the severity of the punishment without any reference to the malignity of the crime.' "Another principle is the natural and eternal warfare of the poor and the rich. A human being, in the lowest stage of penury and distress, is a treasure to a reasoner of this cast. He contemplates, he examines, he turns him in every possible light, with a view of extracting from the variety of his wretchedness new topics of invective against the pride of property. He, indeed (if he is a true Jacobin), refrains from relieving the object of his compassionate contemplation, as well knowing that every diminution from the general mass of human misery must proportionably diminish the force of his argument.'
It will probably be said that their ideas as to the natural antagonism between rich and poor, and the moral superiority of the latter, have not been, and are not, exclusively confined to Jacobins. This is true, but to a Jacobin the small proportion of the population of France which agreed with him, and the ruffianly element which made itself most conspicuous, constituted 'the people,' and in their name he guillotined and conquered.
The Knife-grinder' is the most successful attempt existing to adapt English words to the Sapphic metre. It was a parody of a similar attempt of Southey's, of which the following lines are an example. They are probably unknown even to some of the devoted band who have fought their way through The Curse of Kehama :'
I had a home once--I had once a husband-
On went the chariot.
On went the horseman,
I give thee sixpence! I will see thee d-d first,
Spiritless outcast ! - which is as perfect a Sapphic verse as the English language is capable of forming. The Anti-Jacobins never put the case against
glittering from end to end with shining bayonets at the charge. But the French were hardy veterans, and broke instantly into an angry fire of musketry. Their guns, too, swung round and poured a tempest of grape on the steady British lines.
These never wavered or halted. The gaps in their front were filled instantly. On they came, their disciplined tread sounding louder and nearer, till they burst into dreadful and fast-following volleys, and the French were swept away as with the blast of a whirlwind. The French officers were gallant men, and did desperate acts to keep their men steady. The colonel of a French regiment, for example, snatched a musket from a grenadier, ran forward a few yards, and shot Major Murphy, in command of the 88th or Connaught Rangers, who was in advance of his men. One of the 88th in return shot the Frenchman dead; but Murphy's horse galloped wildly across the front of the regiment, dragging his dead rider, whose foot was entangled in the stirrup, with him.
The sight kindled the 88th to madness. The line began to sway forward with the eager fury of the men; and Pakenham, who rode near, shouted to Wallace, who commanded the brigade, to let them loose.' The word of command ran down the line, repeated from officer to officer; the bayonets fell as with one impulse to the level; and, 'let loose,' the men with a stern deep shout dashed at the enemy. Amid the smoke of the French line a single officer could be seen lingering to fire the last gun. But, crushed as though smitten with a tempest of aërolites, the French columns broke in hopeless flight. The French cavalry rode at the flanks of the victorious British, and for a few minutes horsemen and footmen were mingled in desperate fight. The French cavalry, however, was quickly driven off; and, steadily moving on its dreadful path, the third division smote with its fire the second line of the French, while the fifth division was pouring its volleys at the same moment into the French flank.
Then came one of the most memorable cavalry charges in the history of war. The heavy brigade—the 3rd and 4th dragoons, and the 5th dragoon guards—under Le Marchant, and Anson's light cavalry, found the opportunity of a decisive attack. The squadrons were launched at speed. Then came a dramatic spectacle :
While Pakenham, bearing onward with a conquering violence, was closing on their flank, and the fifth division advancing with a storm of fire on their front, the interval between the two attacks was suddenly filled with a whirling cloud of dust, moving swiftly forward and carrying within its womb the trampling
sound of a charging multitude. As it passed the left of the third division, Le Marchant's heavy horsemen, flanked by Anson's light cavalry, broke forth from it at full speed, and the next instant 1,200 French infantry, though formed in several lines, were trampled down with a terrible clamour and disturbance. Bewildered and blinded, they cast away their arms and ran through the openings of the British squadrons, stooping and demanding quarter ; while the dragoons, big men on big horses, rode onwards, smiting with their long glittering swords in uncone trollable power; and the third division followed at speed, shouting as the French masses fell in succession before this dreadful charge.
The charging cavalry struck first the 66th regiment of the French, formed in a sort of column of half battalions, thus presenting six successive lines which broke into a heavy musketry fire as the cavalry dashed on their front. Over these the British horsemen rode at a gallop, simply trampling them out of existence. A second battalion of six hundred was served in the same fashion. Onward swept the eager horsemen. By this time the open trees, under which the British cavalry was galloping, grew closer, and the front of the charging line was greatly broken. A solid French brigade, which stood in the shelter of the trees, poured a stream of fire into the galloping squadrons, and scores of saddles were emptied. Yet the stubborn horsemen kept on, and crushed to fragments this, the third body they had encountered; and Lord Edward Somerset, with a single squadron, seeing beyond him a battery of five guns, swept on in his attack and captured them.
This memorable charge destroyed Maucune's three divisions, as a military body, and captured five guns and 2,000 prisoners. But Le Marchant himself, perhaps the best cavalry leader in the British army, had fallen, and the three regiments of the heavy brigade at nightfall could muster only three squadrons.
One curious incident marked the cavalry charge. Captain Mackie of the 88th, who acted as aide-de-camp to Wallace, the commander of the brigade, was, about this stage of the battle, feported as 'missing.' No one had seen him fall, but he had disappeared. Some half-hour later he reappeared through the smoke from the enemy's front covered with dust and blood, his horse stumbling from fatigue, and nothing left of his sword but the hilt. As the English cavalry swept past the 88th, on their great charge, Mackie's Highland blood had kindled to flame; he galloped to the flank of the cavalry, shared in the tumult and rapture of their mad ride, and, when it was over, returned to his regiment in the fashion we have described.
It was five o'clock when Pakenham attacked, and before six o'clock Marmont had been carried disabled off the field ; his suc