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In the interval between the publication of those Memoirs and of the Supplement, it is probable that the accuracy of this statement had been, in some way, called in question ; since in that Supplement we find the following very positive repetition of it:
“My friend Sir Charles Douglas, upon his return to England, told me, that the merit of cutting the French line rested entirely with his admiral, and that his own opinion even went against it. In my assertion of this fact, I am strictly correct.'
Now this is certainly a very strong statement; and, considering the honourable character of Mr Cumberland, must have appeared not a little embarrassing to Sir Howard. It is noticed accordingly in his Additional Statement,--and how is it that he deals with it? We cannot venture to answer the question otherwise than in his own words. They are,
"With respect to what is stated in Mr Cumberland's Memoirs, I was not ignorant of that work; and the anecdote therein related is one of the circumstances to which I adverted, in what I state, at page 37, (Preface Naral Gunnery,) upon the subject of my Father's delicacy in waving the question, when pressed or complimented verbally upon it. As there was no medium course between actually claiming and tacitly disclaiming the merit, this anecdote proves nothing more than I have already mentioned !'
Now this we confess did not a little surprise us, even after the passage in the original Statement; as we certainly were not prepared to find that the intimation there made about "delicately wa
ving the subject when pressed,' was meant to extend to a positive and direct disclaimer of a known right, and an equally distinct assertion of it in behalf of another, to whom it was known not to belong. The inference, however, from the circumstance as now explained, on the question in hand, is direct and conclusive. If Sir Charles Douglas thought it right thus to give up all his own rights to his admiral, what was there to restrain him from giving up Mr Clerk's also ? If he could thus, deliberately, and in imposing detail, ascribe his own suggestions and exploits to his commander, and that, as it would appear, spontaneously, and when no one was calling the admiral's merits or glories in question,-is it not reasonable to suppose, that he may have dealt in the same way with the merits or suggestions of another; especially when he found them put forward for the purpose of reclaiming from that glorious chief, and his whole profession, the very brightest and freshest of their laurels? It is true, that in the sequel of the passage we have just quoted, Sir Howard adds, that Mr Cumberland must have been mistaken in some parts of his statement, and that he appears to have confounded the admiral with his captain. But what we have transcribed is his leading and substantial explanation : And we are in the judgment of our readers, whether it does not full-
admit the general truth of Mr Cumberland's report, and his own conviction that Sir Charles had positively disclaimed having suggested the maneuvre in question, and positively asserted that it had originated with his commander. It will always be borne in mind, in estimating the value of this admission, not only that Sir Howard Douglas now contends, that the fact was precisely the reverse, but that we think it incontestably proved to have
We never saw any reason to doubt the very striking and minute testimony of Captain Dashwood upon this subject; but, after the host of additional witnesses brought forward by Sir Howard in his Second Statement, we think it perfectly impossible that any one should have a doubt on the subject. But the more certain this is, the more startling is the fact of Sir Charles's singular disclamation; and the more direct and instructive the analogy between that disclamation and his disavowal of any knowledge of Mr Clerk's previous discovery. Both had obviously the same motives and apology-and both, we humbly apprehend, must now be ascribed to that motive exclusively. That motive was plainly stronger, and more likely to operate, in the case of Mr Clerk, than in his own case; and as the delusive nature of the one statement is now not only admitted, but successfully urged by the son of the man who made it, we trust he will not take it amiss that we should allege a similar inaccuracy in the other -especially as we too refer to evidence, not less conclusive, we will venture to say, than that brought forward by bimself, to prove that the matter could not really have been as his father's extreme zeal for his superior had, in both instances, led him to represent it.
We are the last persons in the world to quarrel with the capricious or exaggerated views of a man of unquestionable hon -upon points, especially, that touch upon the esprit de corp sour the etiquette of a noble profession. But if the reckless and excessive indulgence of those views interferes with the just rights of others, we must be allowed to set them aside, and fearlessly to expose the fallacies and misconceptions to which they must otherwise lead. We honour, though certainly without fully understanding or approving it, the unbounded zeal and chivalrous devotion which led Sir Charles Douglas to sacrifice every thing to the glory of his gallant commander: But as we do not join in bis creed, nor acknowledge the divinity of his idol, we must be permitted to snatch the fame of our distinguished countryman from the altar on which he had thrown it, with his own,-and to decline for him the glory of a martyrdom to which he certainly had no vocation.
We have dwelt longer upon this subject, we fear, than some of our readers will think reasonable; and we shall detain them
but with one word more. The result of the whole is, that there is not one fact proved, from which it can be reasonably inferred that Sir Charles Douglas was the inventor of this celebrated mapeuvre. The testimony of Lord Rodney is unequivocally and conclusively hostile to his claims : But by far the worst witness against them is—himself! We have refused to take his own word against himself, as in competition with his commanderand we cannot take it, therefore, against Mr Clerk-against whom it is only given with a view to such a competition. He has been unjust to both, through deference and regard for the same distinguished individual, and the injustice must not be partially repaired. We cannot allow Sir Howard Douglas to restore his father against the sacrifices he made of his own fame to the glory of his commander, without insisting on a similar retribution to Mr Clerk. It is admitted to have been Sir Charles's principle and practice, to discredit any interference, even on just grounds, with the credit assumed by, or ascribed to, bis Commander-in-chief; and it will be particularly observed, that the letter from St Lucie, which is as yet the only proof of his having so discredited the claims of Mr Clerk, is confessedly written to answer this public or ostensible purpose. It is not a private note or memorandum, made for the purpose of recording the true state of a recent transaction, or a spontaneous account of it transmitted to a private friend. It is a demi-official answer to a claim, which, even though just, we now know he would have thought it his duty to discredit, even to the prejudice of his own glory; and its object is distinctly spoken out in the concluding instructions to his correspondent,' which Sir Howard Douglas bas extracted—viz. to treat the claim so intimated for Mr Clerk as offensive to himself, and as highly injurious to the
person who commanded in chief on that celebrated day.” The object and motive of the discredit thrown upon these claims is thus openly professed in the body of the letter itself; and the case of Mr Clerk, thereforc, brought unequivocally within that interdicted sphere, of competition with the sacred rights of a commander-in-chief, within which, in his estimation, no inferior person was entitled to maintain any claims, whether just or unjust.
Sir Howard intimates, in his Additional Statement, that though Sir Charles persisted to the last in his public disclamation of any farther merit than Lord Rodney bad publicly ascribed to him, he did communicate confidentially, to his family and intimate friends, his sense of having had less than justice rendered to him on that occasion; and even insinuates, that, if he had not been suddenly cut off by death, he would probably have publicly asserted
his rights. All this we are most willing to believe; and we think nothing more probable than that he should have at last repented of his extravagant devotion to his admiral, and meditated the disclosure of those truths which he had been too long accessory in suppressing, but which Sir Howard has fortunately been still enabled to establish. In this retractation, however, of these virtual misrepresentations, we cannot but believe that he would have included what related to Mr Clerk, as well as what more immediately concerned himself: And while all the statements of Sir Howard are correctly explicable on that supposition, we must confess that we shall be grievously disappointed, and very painfully surprised, if a single private document ever sees the light, under the hand of Sir Charles Douglas, or a single confidential word of his is ever put in evidence by any surviving friend, importing that he seriously claimed for himself any thing more than what we have now allowed him-or ever denied that both he and his commander had been instructed by Mr Clerk in the general nature of the manœuvre in question, long before his individual services were required to secure its first execution.
ART. II.-Memoirs of his own Life and Times. 1632-70. By
Sir James Turner. 4to. Edinburgh, 1829.
N o period of the history of England is so deeply and so de
servedly interesting as that which embraces the events of the civil war during the seventeenth century, in which Scotland and Ireland were equally involved. In consequence of the rival claims of successive competitors for the crown, or the turbulence of powerful and ambitious vassals, the country had often before been the theatre of internal conflicts, the interest of which, how great soever at the time, gradually subsided and was forgotten. But there was something magnificent, though terrible, in the spectacle of the people of three kingdoms, who owned the authority of one prince, and resembled one another so closely in language and manners, rising in arms, and ranging themselves under opposite standards, not in sudden tumult, nor to decide whether this or the other individual or family should inherit the crown, but in a contest which involved, on the one side, the prerogatives of an ancient monarchy and a richly endowed clergy, and on the other, national rights, liberty, laws, and religion; one branch of the legislature in open hostility with the other two, and dividing between them the allegiance and affections of the subjects; a king and his parliament, after long negotiation and mutual preparations, deliberately and formally proclaiming war against one another, and waging it for a course of years with dubious success; while the surrounding nations, as if awe-struck, stood at a distance, and remained passive spectators of the struggle. It is impossible to contemplate this scene with indifference, though we should not take into view the unexampled fermentation of opinion, in politics and religion, excited during the progress of this war of principle, which burst forth at last with such fury as to overturn the monarchy and the whole frame of the constitution, and to produce a commonwealth, with a military Protector at its head, whose death paved the way for the restoration of the royal family, and the re-establishment of the ancient order of things. Earlier portions of English history borrow much of their interest from extrinsic causes. Events which happened ages after the humiliation of King John, emblazoned Magna Charta, and consecrated the plain of Runnemede. In spite of Cressy, and Poictiers, and Agincourt, the reigns of the Edwards, and Henries, and Richards, would have been read by comparatively few, had they not been immortalised by the pen of Shakspeare, from whose pages, rather than those of Rapin or Hume, we recollect the order of their succession, and of the principal events connected with their names. But the transactions during the reign of Charles I. and the Commonwealth, stand in need of no adventitious aids to render them memorable. They have been recorded by many historians, and they have also furnished materials for fictitious composition ; but we do not detract from the splendid talents possessed by some of these authors, when we say, they have been indebted to their subject for the interest excited by their writings, more than their subject is indebted to them.
Such being the case, we need not wonder that the documents illustrative of this period should be numerous.
Whether the history of it has yet been written in a manner worthy of its importance, we shall not presume here to determine, but sure we are, there is no lack of materials for such a work. This is no doubt to be ascribed, in a great degree, to the anxiety felt by the parties, political and religious, which grew out of the confusions of that time, to bring forward what they deemed favourable to their respective views. But even at present, when the violence of party-spirit bas subsided, and the parties themselves are nearly confounded and lost, additions are daily making to the mass which is already collected. It would be unreasonable to expect, that recent discoveries should supply facts entirely now, or furnish grounds for a representation of events substan