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ment's reflection, which is enough to convince us that though we may talk of “ rising in a mass,” and of a “nation in arms,” it is in fact but a comparatively small proportion of the inhabitants physically capable of acting in arms, that can at any time, in any civilized country, be brought into military operation. Instead of the innumerable myriads, which many of us seemed to imagine would drive on like the moving sand of the Arabian desert, and absolutely overwhelm the first large French army that should venture to present its front in Spain ; it was very doubtful whether the Spanish nation, even if as generally inspired with patriotic ardour as it is possible for any nation to be, and carrying to its utmost practicable extent the principle of rising in a mass, could have met the invader with a force numerically equal to what he could without much difficulty bring, considering the immense number of his veterans at every moment in the posture of war, the authority and promptitude of his decrees of conscription, and the vast extent of populous territory over which those conscriptions operate. And as to the nature of this popular levy, it was to be considered what an uncouth element of armies it would continue to be for months, what a want there was of men of commanding military talents, to throw the rude though brave masses into system, and at the same time how soon their quality, and the capacity of their leaders, were likely to be brought to the test by the unremitting assault of their rapid and pertinacious enemy. It was also to be inquired, where were arsenals and magazines ? whence were half the requisite number of fire-arms to be obtained ? for as to other arms there can be no greater folly than to talk of them. Possibly there are, in every country, a very small number of men so firm and so fierce that, without any other weapons than pikes, they would resolutely advance to the encounter with musketry and artillery ; but as to the generality of the men that armies must be composed of, we think their defeat is infallible, whatever their numbers may be, if under no other protection than their pikes they are confronted with lines of fire-arms. For,
setting aside the real difference of power between the two kinds of weapons, setting aside too the effect of manævres, the influence of imagination will be great and fatal. To unpractised troops, at least, guns seem something more than mere weapons ; both by those that hold them, and those that meet them, it is almost felt as if they had a kind of formidable efficacy in themselves, their operation is so totally different from any other instrument that can be wielded by human hands. The explosion, the flash, and the infliction of death, at a great distance, by a missile that cannot be seen or avoided, inspire in the possessor of the weapon a certain consciousness of being a much more powerful agent, than he could have been by an implement, which had no other force than just that which he could give it by the grasp and movement of his hand, and no effect at a distance. And this influence of imagination operates with double force on the man who is advancing against these firearms, while himself has only an inert piece of wood or iron; he will look with despondency and contempt on his pointed stick, while the lines in his front seem to be arrayed in thunder and lightning, while he is startling at the frequent hiss of bullets, and seeing his companions begin to fall.
But there would be no end of enumerating the disadvantages, under which the Spanish insurrection was to encounter such a tremendous invasion; and, even admitting that insurrection to be as general and as enthusiatic as it was represented, a sanguine expectation of its success was probably entertained by very few of our countrymen, after it was ascertained to the conviction of all that Bonaparte had nothing to fear on the side of Germany, though the earnest desire did sometimes assume the language of confident hope. Still, however, it was not the less certain, that a great and resolute nation might accomplish wonders, against the largest regular armies, and the most experienced commanders; as history was at hand to show, by various examples, and eminently above all others, that of the war of the French revolution. Certainly indeed, there was an ominous difference, in point of genius and system, between the leaders of the war against Spain and the commanders who had invaded France; the highest genius, however cannot work literally by magic; and if the French legions could have been commanded by even still greater talents
. than those actually at their head, it was evident they must receive a dreadful shock if they were to be fallen upon by several hundred thousand men, impelled by the same enthusiasm of valour and obstinacy of perseverance which first confounded and finally routed the grand armies of Brunswick, Clairfait, and Saxe Coburg; in the varieties of the conflict, besides, all the latent genius in the patriotic army would flame out, and declare whom nature had appointed, in contempt of all laws of rank, to the command. But then, there must be an adequate cause to inspire the popular levies with this heroic fury, which should persist to burn and to fight, in spite of all checks and disasters, in fortress and in field, whether the battalions were in order or confusion, whether they found themselves separated into small bodies, or thrown together in a ponderous mass. And it might fairly be assumed, at the commencement of the Spanish revolution, that no less cause, no other cause, than that which had produced this grand effect in the French levy en masse, would now produce it in that of Spain. All know that the cause which operated thus on the revolụtionary armies of France, was the passion for liberty, continually inflamed to a state of enthusiasm, by having the object most simply and conspicuously placed in view. The object was placed before them, if we may so express it, “full orbed ;” it was liberty, not in the partial sense merely of being freed from the power and interference of the foreign monarchs who had sent the armies they were combating, and whose design, they had little doubt, it was to divide France among them as a conquest, and its people as slaves; but in the animating sense, also, of being no longer the subjects of a despot at home. A general could circulate through his camp an address like the following :-“ Brave citizens, soldiers of liberty! prepare for battle; to drive these legions of
Austria and Prussia from your country, which is henceforth to be the land of freedom. Your ancestors, in such times as those of Louis the Fourteenth, were sent to war on these very plains, at the mandate of a cruel tyrant, and his detestable minions ; while they fought, with a forlorn and melancholy valour, their countrymen were all in chains, and a grand object for which they were to fight and bleed was, that their master might lose none of his power to keep them so. You, soldiers of liberty, are called to celebrate in arms the commencement of a new era. By the heroic charge that shall dash these armies of insolent invaders in wrecks and fragments back on the countries from which they came, you will confirm the doom that has crushed the internal despotism of our country in the dust. The Bastile is down, there is an end of a profligate court and arbitrary power, of the exclusive rights and the arrogance of nobles, of the rapaeity of farmers-general, and the domination of papal priests. The impositions that so long fixed our slavery, by fettering our minds, are broken away; we have exploded the notions, as well as defied the power, of despotism ; we have proclaimed that all political power essentially resides in the people, and that those to whom its exercise is to be entrusted, shall be chosen by the people, and most strictly accountable to them. We are a part of this emancipated and elevated people, and are boldly come forth to maintain their cause and our
Is it not worthy of us to be brave in such a cause ?
Does not this land of new-born liberty deserve that we should fight for it like lions ? There, in our sight, are the armies that are come to make us all slaves again. Let us fall upon them directly, and drive them into the Rhine."
Every mind responded to such an appeal ; though im. perfectly organised at first, though in various instances unskilfully or unfaithfully commanded, and though many times in a state of confusion and defeat, these half-disciplined battalions were “fraught with fire unquenchable ;” they astonished, and after a while intimidated, their veteran antagonists, by returning incessantly to the
charge; they were continually re-enforced by more of their countrymen, animated with the same powerful sentiment, till at length the most famous legions and generals of Europe were overpowered, and driven away by an irresistible torrent. We can remember to have read, in the accounts of those times, that one morning, after several days of severe conflict, and very partial success, in Alsace, General Pichegru signified to the army that he felt it needful to give them repose that day; on which he was informed that they testified their disappointment, and expressed a strong and general wish to be led again to battle; they were led accordingly.-It would be as much beside the purpose to discuss here the correctness of that idea of liberty, which created such an almost preternatural energy in the people and the armies of France, as to notice what a wretched disappointment, and what a hateful despotism, were in reserve to terminate all their prospects. It is sufficient for our object, that a bold, grand idea of liberty, involving the annihilation of every thing that had oppressed and galled the people, and sent their advocates to the Bastile, under the old despotism, and quite clear of all counteractive considerations of this and the other aristocratical distinction or monopoly to be held sacred, and this or the other individual or family to be maintained in power,-it is enough that this idea inspired the energy, which flung the relics of the invading armies at the palace gates of those who had sent them. It is enough that every one can imagine in an instant, what would have been the effect in the camp of Jourdan or Pichegru, if information had come from Paris, of the provisional government, anxious to secure the rights and happiness of the people, having settled that, though neither a prince of Austria or Prussia, nor exactly Louis the Sixteenth, must be king, yet the allegiance of the nation was in violably due to some individual of the family, the Duke of Chartres for instance, on whose accession the government would go on in the same wise and popular manner that it had done a hundred years past. The reader has anticipated all we could say