图书图片
PDF
ePub

grafted on the stock of British supremacy, which, like an overshadowing plant, interrupts those genial rays so necessary to fructify the incipient growth of this kingdom-1 affirm, that the infant manufacture, like the infant bud, requires shelter and heat to forward its erpansion ; and when the pale is once broken down, it is in vain for the watchiman of the orchard to provide against the nightly incursions of the thief, who throws a sop to the dogs

to stop their barking. Before this chilling exposure, Ireland had flourished like a well cultivated garden ; but now, alas! her walks have grown green for want of feet to tread them and a beauteous flower, that promised such fine fruit, has drooped its head, become sickly, and died. And as for the deadly nightshade, the weeds at the Castle, and the great garden Hop-Pole, they are all so rotten as only to be fit to manure the soil."'-(Dublin Evening Post.)

FRENCH INFANT MARINE.

[From the sanie, Oct. 12.] AS S Buonaparte has at last begun to think seriously

of beating us at sea, the subject, on our part, is surely not unworthy of serious consideration.

The following Decree, contained in the last French papers, must excite alarm in British breasts, and cause our fearful politicians to dart an anxious glance into the terrible futurity that shall sce so proarising a plan fully matured. It runs thus : Fontainbleau, Sept. 27.

We, Napoleon, Em. peror of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. have decreed, and do decree as follow :

66. Art. I. There shall be formed, in each of our ports of Brest and Toulon, à special School of Marine,

« Art.

** Art, II. These schools shall be under the orders of the Maritime Prefects.

« Art. 111. No one shall be admitted to these schools but by a decree; he must not be under the age of 13, nor above 15, of a good constitution, and without bodily deformity.

« Art. IV. The number of pupils at cach port is. fixed at 300, and each shall pay an annual pension of 800 francs."

Those who are inclined to superstition will remark, that there is something prophetic as well as remarkable in the name of tlie place whence is issued this awful Decree Fontainbleau," or Blue Water, is very curiously adapted to the promulgators of Marine Edicts, and seems to predestinate, either that the water shall really be blue, or that these new naval beroes will be made to look blue on the water by our brave Blue Jackets !- Proceeding to analyze this Dem? orep, the same bigots will please to observe, that Napoleon does not presume io style himself Empefor, &c. “ by the grace of God;" and this, though a modest abstinence, truly showing that he can have no such pretensions, must be a further consolation to the devout and holy. In the further wording of it, another anticipation of its nature and description is implied by the ist Article, where it is said, “ There shall be formed, at each of our ports of Brest and Toulnn, a special School of Marine.” Lord knows they will indeed, as we shall endeavour to show, be special Schools ! for in this way must the poor lads be taught: First, on entering, their masters will explain. to them, that they come there to be instructed in the best and newest mode of drubbing the English at sea, wbich species of knowledge is of course the most systematically and readily to be acquired in port, or on shore !--Health being necessary for the pursuit of all learning, it is not to be supposed, that sending boys

to

to sea to make them sick, is at all a fit way of

preparing them for the acquisition of the very difficult science of navigation; and neither can it be imagined, that to debilitate them by disease is a process calculated to inure them to thrash the hardy Tars of Old England. It is not clearly stated in the Decree who are to be appointed instructors of the youths; only that the Maritime Prefects are to be the supreme pedagogues. In addition to these, we must suppose that a few of the best Admirals and Captains of the French Navy, as they have now nothing else to do, will be selected as ushers and assistants. Their experience, tinited to the theory of the landsmen, will consequently com.. plete the admirable system of education, far superior to Lancaster's, though in discipline and regularity formed upon that model. Iu teaching victoriousness, there are two modes of imparting instruction to the scholar: either by showing bim how he may conquer his opponent; or, how he may avoid being conquered by his opponent. About the first of these modes, it cannot be expected that the ushers, &c. of the New School can give their pupils any information ; for how can a person impart a knowledge which he has never in his life been able to acquire? In the second, however, they may more successfully exert themselves in the

“ Delightful task to rear the tender thought,
And teach the young French SAILOR how to shoot !"

They may tell how well they escaped on the first of June in the battle of Camperdown--in the battle of the Nile in the battle of Trafalgar-off Cape St. Vincent, and a dozen or two otber memorable occasions, when they (the happy few !) baffled the British thunder, and got into port. They may prove their superiority in the art of sailing, by ihe frequent sallies made from Brest and Toulon, and their safe return.

King Murat's Neapolitan Bulletins, being the latest and most approved productions for the use of schools, will afford a fine source of study, and examples of heroic achievements in defeating the British! Should any acute boy be tempted to ask, wherefore, since victory over these islanders is so easy, such a number of vessels as he daily sees should remain in the harbour? he must be flogged for prating of things far above his comprehension, even should he have reached the first form; for an understanding of this part of the system is only to be acquired practically, and after be leaves school he will be taught it fast enough. As the Romans, during the first Punic War, learnt navigation by erecting benches on the shore, so these young Gauls, in this puny war, improving upon the hiat of the Romans, to whoni they are so vain of comparing themselves, will, doubtless, not only erect benches on the shore, but launch tubs, buckets, deals, and rafts, on the smooth surface of the inner harbour, reciting or singing, with all the gaiety and courage in the world,

Illi robur et æs triplex
Circa pectus erat, qui fragilem truci
Commisit pelago ratem

Primus, nec timuit ! But after all these exploits, like the Roman Benchers, they cannot expect to be at first very successful on a larger scale. It was a long time before Duilius ob. tained the first triumph ever received by Roman after a naval victory; and the historians of Rome themselves confess, that “ the successes they met by sea were trivial, and little advantage could be gained over an enemy that were sailors by actual practice, and long experience.! It may be observed by the way, that this period of ancient history bears a very striking resemblance in many points to the present era. are not without our modern Mamertina, in Sicily;

and

We

[ocr errors]

and we' trust that the fate of Regulus's descent on Africa awaits every threatened expedition of our enemy, who endeavours to ape the Romans of that age, in sixty day's cutting down timber, building, manning, and provisioning a fleet of 120 gallies-about as completely as Boney bimself can accomplish!

But to return to our juvenile heroes of Marine, and their accomplished preceptors. The Brest and Toulon fleets, which they will have continually before their eyes, and indeed near enough the shore to admit of their sometimes going on board to make experiments, will furnish numerous topics for information. The Indefatigable being laid up in dock, and rotten for wart of action, will, by contrast, elucidate the favourite theme of the ruinous waste and expense of the blockading system to which the excellent maneuvres and policy of the grand Napoleon has reduced his eneniy.

The Belliqueux dismasted, and warlike no Jonger, will serve as a hulk for the salt-water schoolroom ; and, though education on board the hulks is a system pot much admired on this side of the Herringpond, who knows but it may answer better on the other side? The Raisonalile may be their logic classroom, in which they will acquire the science of writing bulletins, which may give all the features of victory to a defeat. The Invincible, the Indomptable, the Redoubtable, and other vessels of equally formidable names, will inspire them with ardour and valour to realize their heretofore imaginary baptismal rites, and render them worthy of their appellations. The ci-devant Commanders of these ships will explain the causes why, up to the present moment, the Invincible has been beaten, the Indomptable compelled to seek safety in flight, or the Redoubtable to remain in port under the protection of batteries; and from these lessons will deduce theories how the same may hereafter be avoided. Being fully instructed in every thing per

taining

« 上一页继续 »