Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

missions they undergo two very severe examinations. One of the peculiar features of this system is, that it developes the moral as well as the physical powers of the soldier. On joining his corps, every recruit is taught to read and write, and may study if he chooses, in the regimental school, the higher branches of his profession: the corps of non-commissioned officers is by this means excellent. Nothing can convey a higher idea of the superiority of the Prussian military system, than the operations of her army in the year 1815. Defeated at Ligny, they retreated in good order upon Wavre, and while their rear-guard, under Thielmann, held Grouchy in check, they on the 18th effected a rapid march across a difficult country, and by their timely co-operation decided the battle of Waterloo. Still it may be urged, that at Jena the Prussian discipline was equal to what it is at the present day. Allowing this to have been the case, the composition of her ármies at that unfortunate period was vastly different; and again, it was rather the strategy of Napoleon than the superiority of the French military system that prostrated the military power of Prussia. It is to this superiority in strategies that Baron de Jomini, in his Considérations sur les Guerres de la Revolution, attributes the success of the French; the leading features of which consisted in a masterly and rapid concentration of an overwhelming force on one point. It must be recollected that the tactique of Napoleon and his marshals is now as well understood by the military leaders of Prussia as by those of France, while the system of which we have given a faint and imperfect outline renders her one of the most formidable military powers in the world.

The Prussian dominion in the Rhenish provinces is represented as unpopular. The inhabitants loudly complain of the intolerable hardship of the landwehr service, and of the general stagnation of commerce. The Prussian officers are, moreover, said to be haughty, vain, and tyrannical. I have, I must confess, often heard this charge applied to the Prussian military, but I never could discover that it was magle with either the shadow of truth or justice. It is a complaint made of all troops who hold military occupation of a country. In my intercourse with the officers of that nation, I have always been struck with the high cultivation both of mind and manner which distinguishes them. The master of the Hôtel du Rhin, at Cologne, complained to me that they spent no money. “The French," said he,

spent napoleons where the Prussians barely spend thalers." The passage of the French armies into Germany enriched this class of people. Hinc illæ lachryme.

A similar complaint was made to me some years ago in South America, by a Frenchman who had established a café at one of the ports. Monsieur,” said he, making me a low bow, “ I make more money by a single English gun-brig than by a whole French squadron.” My curiosity was excited, and I requested him to explain this seeming anomaly. “Voici le cas," he rejoined, " the English officers drink nothing but champagne and claret, while Messieurs les officiers Français content themselves with lemonade and eau sucrée. Et Monsieur conviendra,” he continued, with an expressive shrug, “ que fa ne fait pas mon affaire." Still these provinces in their habits and feelings are decidedly German; and it has been the policy of the

Prussian government to eradicate, as far as they can, all traces of the French, and, more particularly, of their language.

But whatever may be the political feeling at present prevailing in the Rhenish provinces, Prussia is too strongly intrenched in the country to heed a re-action, or a movement in favour of France. Were her armies wasted in the field to-morrow, it would be impossible to drive her from her stronghold at Coblentz, the Gibraltar of the Rhine. What the course of a few months may produce, it is impossible to predict. Prussia has lately been silently preparing for war, re-inforcing her armies on the French frontier, and provisioning her fortresses. She is decidedly hostile to the new order of things in that country—a feeling in which her army largely participates. Should the warlike spirit which at present animates the French people oblige the government to depart at too early a period from their temporizing system, on Prussia will the storm burst; but she will be found prepared ; and we confidently predict that in the first instance her armies would be victorious. The French army, formidable as it may appear on paper, notwithstanding the activity and skill of Soult, is still imperfectly organized-a fact which Sebastiani was obliged to admit in his speech to the Chamber, on the recent question of intervention in favour of the Poles.

A. B.

THE SIMPKIN PAPERS.

A QUANTITY of letters, the property of Jonas Simpkin, Esq., of Montague Square, has been put into the hands of our publishers, with a full licence to select any that may suit us for publication. They are upon all subjects, and embrace events of the last thirty years. Some of them contain verse as well as prose, from eminent or wealthy men ; others are from the less assuming ranks of society. Mr. Simpkin is one of those good-natured persons, who, having few opinions himself, never quarrels with others about theirs, whether on political, religious, moral, philosophical, or æsthetical subjects. We shall give these letters to our readers as we happen to extract them from the weighty bundle before us, without regard to dates, it being just the same to us or our readers whether we begin at the first or the last, the middle or the top of the bundle. The following is one of the latest date : we shall make it

No, I.

Rottenborongh Court-House,
Sur,

October 6, 1831.
I supose you and t'other out-lying voters for this town in Lunóun
wont be sorry to here how matters are goin with us, since the nuse of my
Lord Gray's bil for the diddling of our burow has comed to hand. Our

Prussia is ruled by an unmitigated despotism, and is of course in deadly enmity, as far as she may be in time of peace, with freedom and free countries. Were the population of France, in case of a war, again generally excited, we think the Prussian monarchy, single-handed, would fall as she fell before. ller arıny at Jena was the finest and best-disciplined on parade, in Europe,

town is in the gratest confushun you ever seen, all the rable as does not belong to the copperation, are starck starin mad, and thretens to ston the mare and jewrats, and i hav quarreld with six of my best costumers, because they says as how i hav no vestry rite to my vote for a member of parlymint. You nose very well that i and mine has bin on the vestry since the memory of man; and if i hav no rite to my vote, the squir has no rite to Chuclehed hol, nor his Revrence has no rite to his tith pig, witch is shear blasfemy. Last nite we had a meetin at the miter and cushin, unbenost to the comon folks, Mr. Mare in the chare, attended by all the burgisses and the town clark secetary; and who shud make them a spitch but your humbel sarvent? and so, says i, Mr. Mare says i, this here bil says i is a grate sham, so it is, to go for to tak away our rites; and will blow up the constitution sky high, as was funded by Magna Carter and William the Conkeror. Wat cawl i shud like to now has Lord Gray and his wigs to our copperation ? aint we lawyell quite respecktibel peple, as you woud see in a sumer's day?-(Her him, her him, from all parts of the room, as they says in the howse ;) and if so be as we does get a five pound note oncet in sevn ears, at a generil elecksun, i shud like to now, weather we has “not a rite to do what we likes with our own?” i am shure any won as says the contrary is a democrack and a athest, and deserves a oltur-(Chaering on all sides)-is not our constitution mad of kings, lords, and copperations? and they mite as well tak the crown from King Willum's one majesty, as tuch an air of our heads. Mr. Mare, says i, the church is in dangir ; and hav not i dressed his revrence's wig, man and boy, this twenty ears; and hav not i a rite to be hangry wen my relidgun is attacked in its tinderest pint? Rifform, says i, may be a very gud thing, for any thing I nose, (her the mare shook his head, and cried “ neigh") for our last member never didn't pay me my bil, witch was a grate abus :—(Her him again)—but then, says i, give an hinge, and they'll tack an hell. Now it is, they ax for rifform in parlymint; and if we grants that ere, the next thing will be to put down churchwarden's diners, witch wuld be quite unnataril. I never new no god come of change. I nos, if you chang a pund not, its gon in a minuet, and so will our constitushun :-(grate laffing and chairs)—and then, they are awl for retrinchmen ; but if so be as we hav no taxes, why there'll be no more tacks gathers; and then, wat will becum of my bruther, and of his wurship what is an x sizeman? So i muves your wurship and this here meatin, that we petishuns the King against no rifforms: and so down i sits amidst the most tremendious applaws you ever herd in your borne days; you mite ear it to the won-mile hous, and the moshun was caried, quit unhanimus like, and we awl got cumfurtable with brandy punsh ; and Lord Luggerhed is to tak our petishun to the king, who will send Lord Gray to the tour of Lunnun.

They says as parlymint will be dissolute again ; and then you may come down and see us at the xpens of the candid date, free, gratis, and not cost you nothing. I hop you will be trew blew to the last, and vot for the rite man, the sam as befour ; and we will hav a gollifigcation together at the sevn bels; and so, with love to your missess, no moor at presint from

Your humbel Servent,

TH N.B. We luk to the House of Lords for selvation agin this her bill ; we shal not luk in vain. The know better then for to gie up their proffets under the tru ould constitushun for a new one without a matter of sixpence of gain commin from it. God bless um! We shal git our tin pounder notes sun agin, spite of that dam Lord Gray.

No. II.

to us.

FROM THE HON. MRS. SINGLESPEECH, TO MR. SIMPKIN

IN DUBLIN.
My dear Brother,

Baker Street, October 12, 1831. The House will be up in a few days, I hope and trust; and you may soon expect us all at the Castle. Singlespeech is quite worn out with fatigue, and swears that if parliament sat a month longer we should have an execution in the house our house, I mean, and not St. Stephen's. The expence of our election was a serious matter, and we find living in London very different from living at home, where we kill our own beef, drink our own poteen, and do not pay our tradesmen once a month. By-the-bye, I hear that now Tom is of age, he and his father mean to join in raising money off the estate. In this case do try and persuade them to take up a couple of thousands additional, and lend them

We will pay any interest, and Singlespeech shall insure his life. We have dashed away this winter bravely, and crept on a little in London society ; but it is all vanity and vexation of spirit: and I have serious thoughts of remaining in Dublin next session, and letting S. take lodgings in that new St. Giles's, Manchester Buildings, with the rest of his honourable countrymen and colleagues-You can have no idea of the conceit and impertinence of the exclusives here. Their own county members, who are only members, cannot get on with them, but are left by themselves in their furnished houses north of Oxford Road, where they herd together as if they were so many lepers. We of the green island must give good entertainments to get even into this coterie ; and if it were not for my aristocratic prefix to my name, and my father's English connexions, I should be much better off in Merrion Square, where Orange politics and ten descents of a peerage are not quite overlooked amidst the crowd of officials and Union Lords. Not a word of this, for your life, in Dublin. I am obliged to put a good face on the matter, and to brag to our neighbours in the country of our success at Almack's, &c. &c. to keep up our interest in the county. There too, I suspect, we have done ourselves no good by S.'s support of the Whigs; but since the Clare election, we must do something to please the people, or we shall be turned out, in spite of all the family interest in the world—Sad times these! Our box at the Opera is up next week; and as we took the alternate nights from Lady M. herself, whose_box it is, it must be paid for. So do, my dear brother, drive over to T at the Castle, and tell him to send more money immediately. I cannot think what he means by talking of lowering the rents—and we so distressed! Can't he break the leases, and turn out the refractory tenants ? What else is the use of the police ? I gave a great ball last week, and invited all the world, of which the worst half only came. The Duke of D. opened his house on the same evening; and the O'S.'s, and the W.'s, and Lady Georgina Nstaid away, to make folks believe they were there.

But they may tell that to the marines, as Judge Hard-and-sharp says. S. had some hopes of a commissioner's place from the government; but though the Irish secretary was very civil, and promised mountains, retrenchment is the order of the day; and so the matter is adjourned, and, as I fear, “ to this day six months. How do they expect to be supported ? I hear this winter has not been gay in Dublin. What sort of people are your new Household—and have you any marrying nuilitary? These things, alas! begin to interest me, when I talk of not returning to London. Adieu, dearest-love to the children, from yours,

LAURA S.

No. III.

Dear Simpkin,

Athenæum, Pall Mall, 22 Sept. 1831. You, as well as myself, belong to the Roxburghe collectors, and have spent some money upon scarce editions of works, and the beauties of ancient typography. I lately picked up in this club, among the members, the following rare lots; and now I challenge your collection, or Lord Spencer's either. Let me know what you think of them, and whether have behaved dishonourably in making their acquaintance for my own gratification's sake. We have ladies to coffee frequently, and a good sprinkling of Indigo. 1. A Clerk.-Folio.

No place, 1831. 2. A Bachelor.-In rich old pig-skin binding, stained and wormed. Vineg. 1775. 3, Le Comte de M ---French calf, elegant,

Paris, 1802. “De cette édition,” says Lady J-,“ les dames font assez de cas.

This was a presentation copy, and has Princess E.'s autograph in the

fly-leaf. 4. Six Fellows of Colleges.-In old monastic binding, with massive brass clasps.

Oxon. 1770. 5. An Admiral.-Large folio broadside.

1805. 6. A Cheesemonger.-Uncut.

Parma, 7. Three Old Maids.-A clean old matchless set, fine impressions, partly effaced.

Junta. 8. A Hottentot.-Large plate, with part of the bottom cut off, curious and rare.

Coloniæ per Bumgart. 9. A Watchman.-In the original wooden cover.

Lucernæ, 1829. This is now scarce and nearly out of print. 10. Four Law Commissioners.-Fine impressions, large paper.

Sine anno aut loco, sed circà 1828. 11. A Butcher.-Red calf, many cuts.

Ruddiman. 12. A Henpecked Husband.-Cuts, ruled throughout, bound in embossed calf extra. 13, A Sly Jew.

Wynkyn de Worde. 14. Mother and Child. From the Rocking'em collection, with arms.--Neat, scarce, and interesting:

Omers. 15. A Guardsman.- Top edges gilt, uniform, extremely neat. London, 1830. 16. Commissioner of Customs.--Neat, uncut, rare. 17. Ditto of Stamps.-Stampatus in stampaturâ stampatorum. 18. A Brewer.-Neat and entire, rare, quart.

Ex ædibus Vat.
This is a reprint of the celebrated editions of Oliver Cromwell, Col. Pride,

Santerre, James D'Artaveldt of Ghent, and Sam Whitbread of London.
It contains a curious story, by Bishop Beveridge, of crim. con. between
Lady Barleycorn (formerly Miss Hop) and the well-known roué Sir

Coculus Indicus.
19. A Timber Merchant.-In the original wooden binding.

Deal, 20. A Soprano.-Uncut, very rare.

Firenze, 1827. 21. A Turk.-Elegantly mounted, numerous cuts, bound in Russia extra.

Varna, 1828. 22. An Attorney.-In the old parchment wrapper.

6s. 8d. 23. Ditto.--Vellum, wormed.

6s. 80. 24. A Solicitor.-Calf extra.

13s. 4d. 25. Three Attachés.-Strongly bound, unlettered.

Vienne, 1824. 26. A Jockey.--Several plates and cuts.

Newmarket. 27. An African Slave.- Black letter, in the original impressed morocco.

M. Le Noir. 28. A Belgian.-In Dutch prize vellum.

Louvain, 1831. 29. An Austrian Prince.--Lady E.'s arms impressed on the sides. Vienne, 1829. 30. Nine Tailors.--Boards, with cloth backs. 31. A Spanish Patriot.-Fine impressions, in the original binding. Mad. 1830. 32. A Builder.-Wood-cuts, in double columns, boards.

Brixiæ. 33. Seven School Girls.-A clean, tall, sound set, lined with silk, with MS. notes on slips of paper, first impressions.

Lips. 1814. The above set is in the most desirable condition. 34. An Irishman asleep.

Dorpat. 35. An Agriculturist. -From Dr. Farmer's Collection, sewed. Plantin. La Haie. 36. A Welshman.-Curious genealogical plates, rough calf. No place or date. 37. A Cantatrice.- Perfect, but stained, many spirited wood-cuts, sheets.

Hôtel des Courtisannes, 1830.

« AnteriorContinuar »