« AnteriorContinuar »
was perforated with triangular loop-holes for shooting and dethronement, the resistance towards the prerogative set up casting missiles. The battlements seen at the top were by the crown became stronger, The House of Lords took each furnished with a shutter. The large bridge which is a bolder course in its opposition to his designs than the suspended in the air from two upright timbers at the sum Commons; and the Bench of Bishops, casting asid. every mit of the tower was used not only to protect the soldiers private and personal consideration, stood nobly and promifrom the arrows of the besieged, but when brought closer nently forward in defence of the religious and civil liberties to the walls, was poised in a horizontal direction, and pro- of the people at that dangerous crisis. In the course of jected upon the ramparts; when the men-at-arms, hitherto this reign the standing army was increased to 30,000 men inactive, mounted and rushed over it, and thus the town or by the king, in order the better to carry his ultimate defortification was, in many cases, carried by storm. Port- signs into effect; but the defection of this forre afterwards able fire-arms were not invented until the commencement contributed, amongst other causes, to hurl lim froin the of the sixteenth century.
throne; for, in 1688, on the landing of the Prince of Mortars and bombs were invented in England in 1544, Orange (William the Third,) on the British coast, with an by foreigners employed by Henry the Eighth ; red-hot balls army of 14,000 men, the English troops joined his standard. were first used by the Duke of Gloucester in besieging After the Revolution, the disputed prerogative of the Cherbourg in 1418; howitzers (an improvement on mor crown was finally settled on a basis which upheld the rights tars) in 1697; carronades (a long kind of howitzers) were of the former, while, at the same time, it secured the liberinvented by General Melville, in 1779; iron (or Congreve) ties of the people from danger. ,,This was effected by the rockets, by Sir William Congreve, and were first used at declaration in the memorable Bill of Rights, (1689,) which the bombardment of Copenhagen. A rocket-establish sets forth “that the raising and keeping a standing army ment forms a branch of the military service of Great in time of peace, without the consent of Parliament, is Britain at the present period.
contrary to law." The wars in which the country was subThe first muskets mounted on stocks are believed to have sequently engaged, caused a large augmentation to be been used in 1521, at the siege of Parma. The pistol was made in the military force of Great Britain ; but at the coninvented in Tuscany, and introduced into England about clusion of peace with France, in 1697, (though not withthe middle of the sixteenth century. The bayonet was in-out a severe struggle with the king,) the Parliament vented in France in 1671; but it was not fastened to the recluced the military force to 7000 men for England, and muzzle of the firelock until 1690. About that time, or 12,000 men for the establishment in Ireland*. shortly after, it was adopted in the British army.
The standing army has since varied in numbers, But we must revert to our rapid historical sketch of the according to the exigencies of the period, or the altered progress of our military force. With each suecceding circumstances of the country. In the early part of the last reign, a gradual but distinct separation between the duties century, the reputation of the British armies under that of the citizen and the soldier, to the utter disunion, at illustrious hero, the Duke of Marlborough, arrived at length, of the one from the other, appears to have gone on. the highest pitch. The peace establishment, in the Charles the Seventh of France (1455) was the first Euro- reign of George the First, varied from 16,000 to 22,000 pean monarch that set the example of supporting a stand men. It was not until 1746 that the Light Dragoons ing army; this was subsequently followed by other princes; were introduced into the English cavalry.
In 1763, but the first permanent forces—if such they may be called in the early part of the reign of that prince of glorious -employed by our kings, consisted of their immediate
memory, George the Third, the standing army was body-guards; and it was not till the reign of Henry the reduced to 17,532 men. The rebellion in America caused Seventh and Eighth, when the corps of Gentlemen Pen a large increase to be made in the military force of the sioners, Yeomen of the Guard, and the Artillery Company country; and, at the conclusion of that contest, the peace were establisherl, that they even possessed this force. establishment for Great Britain and Ireland was fixed at During the troublous reign of Charles the First, the royal | 40,000 men. But the army did not long remain on this army consisted chietly of regiments raised by the nobility footing. The war with France, which, in a few years sucand gentry, who adhered to the cause of their sovereign, ceeded the Revolution in that country, gave a new and from amongst their tenants and dependants, and the cava- extraordinary impulse to military affairs. liers in the country towns.
From various causes, the reputation of our army had
long been on the decline; our ill success in America, and SECTION JII. 1660-1834.
the unfortunate result of the campaigns in Holland against
the French Republicans, contributed to confirm an imThe Restoration, in 1660, ushered in what may be virtu- pression as erroneous as it was undeserved. But the ally termed a new era in the constitution of the British cloud which prejudice had cast over our army rapidly army. Before that period, as we have seen, there existed cleared away. The events in Egypt—the various successes no regular standing military force in England; but Charles on the Continent during the latter part of the war—the the Second, after wholly abolishing the remaining military glorious achievements in the Peninsular under the immortal tenures, organized a permanent army of about 5000 men, WELLINGTON against the veterans of France, and the including the garrisons which were then maintained in the crowning consummation of the glories of more than a fortresses in this country; though, as a modern writer has hundred victories, at WATERLOO, have raised the reputation observed, a portion of the military establishment then of our brave troops to an equalitv with that of the sisterformed was taken “from corps raised during the Civil service-Britain's naval heroes. War,--such as the 1st regiment of Foot and the Cold The peace-establishment of the British army in 1802, stream Guards, which came with General Monk from amounted to 128,999 men, including 17,000 cavalry, six Scotland; the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, com regiments of colour in the West Indies, and the foreign monly called the Oxford Blues, is amongst the first on corps of Swiss, &c., estimated at 5,350. During the this establishment. The two troops of Horse Guards, em subsequent war, from 1803 to 1815, our military, like our bodied by Charles about the same time, and of which the naval force, reached a magnitude to which there existed no privates were all gentlemen, were abolished in 1788, and precedent in the former history of the country. And in the two fine regiments of cavalry, called the first and addition to the troops of the line, Great Britain possessed second regiments of Life Guards have been raised in an effective force of immense magnitude in the yeomanry, their place."
militia, and volunteers, for its internal defence. The In consequence of the abolition of the military tenures, yeomanry and volunteer corps alone, in 1803, announted to it became necessary to provide a force for internal defence, 463,134 effective men. In 1808, the troops of the line answering the purpose of the feudal militia as originally amounted to 220,000, including 30,000 cavalry and 14,000 established. An Act of Parliament was, therefore, passed, artillery. Of this force, nearly 60,000 men were employed establishing a national militia, which, although it has in India and the Colonies. In 1813, the whole of the regular undergone various changes in its constitution at different and irregular land forces of Great Britain amounted to periods, still forms a part of the military system of the 680,000. If to this force we add 140,000 seamen and country.
marines, the military and naval power of Great Britain at The principle involved in the establishment of the that period, amounted to 820,000 men. A vast reduction standing army, which was paid out of the royal revenue, and over which the crown asserted a supreme power, led to
* The first established force in Ireland was in the fourteenth year frequent disputes with the parliament. On the succession
of the reign of Edward the Fourth, when 120 archers on horseback,
40 horsemen, and 40 pages were established by Parliament there ;of James the Second, whose despotic principles and hatred 2. curious contrast to later armies. towards the Protestant religion, justly led to his ultimate + See the articles in this work on the Welhngton Shield.
took p.ace after the peace, and the standing army at the cars, and drivers, to be attached to each division of the present period, may be thus stated :
army. These men are regularly exercised in field-duties, Great Britain
as well as in the complicated operations required in be. India
20,156 sieging fortified places.
The Royal Artillery, which forms another most im
108,6721 portant branch of the military service, has also been mateThe number of commissioned officers in this force, is, rially improved in its discipline since the peace. It conGreat Britain, 4404; India, 1208: total 5612.
sists of only one regiment, which, during the war, extended Considerable changes have been made in the equipments to twenty-four thousand men. This comprises a brigade and arms of our cavalry since the peace. Armour has of horse-artillery, and that serving on foot. The former is been introduced into the Life Guards, and four regiments divided into companies, termed troops, varying from six to have been converted into Lancers. The use of armour has ten in number; the foot artillery is divided into battalions, been strongly objected to on account of its weight. “The each consisting of ten companies. largest sized cuirass," we are told, “ worn by the Life Grenadiers originated in France; they were originally Guards, weighs 15 lbs.; the smallest, 12 lbs. 6 oz. A Life employed in throwing hand grenades in the attack of the Guardsman in marching order, weighs upwards of 25 stone, covert-way, or trenches, in time of siege. The exact period supposing the man to weigh 13 stone!"
when Marines were introduced into the naval service of The corps of Engineers forms a most important part of the country, cannot accurately be ascertained. In the list the military force of the country. This department, during of the army for 1684, we find the third regiment of infantry the greater part of the late war, was in a very defective thus designated :-" the Lord High Admiral of England's state; the loss of life, especially in the Peninsula, was, maritime Regiment of Foot, commanded by the Hon. Sir consequently, extremely great, and in this respect the Charles Littleton, also called the Admiral's Regiment." French engineers were infinitely superior to the British. William the Third appears to have employed several Great improvements have, however, taken place in the regiments of marines, and they now form a most material organization of this corps, which are chiefly attributable to branch of our naval service in time of war. the exertions of the Duke of Wellington.
The King, by the Constitution of Great Britain, has the In 1814 his Grace caused a brigade of Engineers, com- supreme command of the army within and without the prising a company of Sappers and Miners, with horses, realm. All orders and directions, as to its employment,
both in war and in peace, legally emanate from him. He According to a writer in the new edition of the Encyclopædia has the sole power of raising and enlisting troops, and of Britannica, the European troops in the East India Company's appointing, promoting, or removing, military officers; and service, "consist of 8000 infantry, and 4000 artillery ; while the the whole of the military establishment is paid by his native regular troops are composed of 10,000 cavalry, 130,000 authority. The army, in short, is compelled to obey all the infantry, and 8,000 artillery, and the native irregular force of 7000 orders of the Crown, so long as they do not deviate from considered to amount in all, to about 200,000 men, similarly orga- the fundamental laws of the country. But by the Bill of nized, in all essential respects, to the British army.
Rights, as previously noticed, there is a most important The French army in 1834, amounts to 360,000 regular troops, check on the prerogative of the crown; and the funds to and 3,639,700 national guards. The Russian army to 690,000 men; pay and maintain the army, are exclusively in the power of the Austrian army to 271,400 regular troops, and 470,000 militia ; | Parliament. Bills are, therefore, passed for this purpose and the Prussian army to 122,000 regular troops, and 400,000 militia. every session ; without which, although its sole direction is It has been computed, that Prussia has one soldier in every sixty in the hands of the sovereign, the standing army, of one hundred; France, one in one hundred and ten ; and England, I course, could not be kept up. This is one of the most one in one hundred and forty inhabitants.
beautiful parts of the British Constitution.
LONDON: Publishod by JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, West STRAND, and sold by all Booksellers.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION
APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
THE CANARY, OR FORTUNATE ISLANDS., benefits derived from the conquered islands remained
in private hands, until in the year 1476, the priviTue Happy Isles, the Fortunate, so styled, By the fond lyrists of the antique age;
leges were purchased by the Spanish government, Which warrior, sophist, priest, and gifted sage,
which immediately despatched an armament for the Believed so favoured by the heavens benign
reduction of Grand Canary. The expedition landed As to produce, untilled, in every stage Of growth, its fruits; unpruned the fancied vine,
in June, 1477, and after a protracted warfare, caused At once, flowered, fruited, filled, and gushed with generous wine. by the cruelty and bad faith of the Spaniards, and Here the fat olive ever buds and blooms,
great loss on both sides, the inhabitants finally subAnd golden honeys from old oaks distil, And rivers slide from mountain-greens and glooms,
mitted in April, 1483. Palma and Teneriffe still In silver streams, with murmurs sweet and shrill;
remained unconquered. An attack was first made And here cool winds and dews, all summer chill
on Palma, and after effecting a landing, the Spaniards, The heats, and the calm Halcyon builds her nest, With every beauteous bird of tuneful bill;
by a vile act of treachery, succeeded in butchering the And here are placed the Elysian Fields, where rest
whole of the inhabitants. In fair unfading youth, the spirits of the blest.-Wiffen's Tasso.
The conquest of Teneriffe was next attempted, but The Canary, or Fortunate Islands, is a group of here the brutal conduct that had marked the career thirteen islands, situated in the Atlantic Ocean, near of the invaders, had raised so violent a spirit of the western coast of Africa. The principal islands rage and opposition in the inhabitants, that in the
seven in number, of which Teneriffe, Grand first conflict, the Spanish army was completely Canary, and Forteventura, are the largest ; Palma, routed, and a great part of it cut to pieces. The Ferro, Gomera, and Lancerota, of secondary mag-invaders, after this defeat, were obliged to leave the nitude; and the remaining six little more than island, and return to Canary; and having there rocks. They were known to the ancients, and increased their forces to one thousand foot and seventy called by them the Fortunate Isles, on account horse, they again repaired to Teneriffe. The natives, of the beauty of their climate, “ They are situated,” | astonished at seeing their losses so suddenly repaired, says a French author, “in that part of the northern came to terms, and on the 25th of July, 1495, were temperate zone, where the snows of winter are never assured of the safe possession of their lands and known, and where, at the summer solstice, the sun cattle, on condition of their embracing the Christian is nearly in the zenith ; on the same parallel of lon- faith. Since this time, the islands have continued gitude as the most delightful portions of China and in possession of the Spaniards. Persia, and the fertile fields which are watered by The condition of the natives of these islands, before the delta of the Ganges, but possessing an advantage their conquest, was similar to that of the people of over those beautiful countries, in being surrounded Otaheite on their first discovery, and although in by the sea, the asylum of the winds, whose breezes many instances their conduct was cruel and sancool down the ardent temperature of the air.” guinary, several of their customs, without their rude
Although these islands were known, and accurately ceremonies, would not be unworthy of imitation. described by the ancients, yet no notice of them The language and manners of the inhabitants at the occurs in modern history, until the middle of the present day, are nearly the same as that of their fourteenth century, when Pope Clement the Sixth conquerors, and excepting some few local customs, granted them to Don Louis de la Cerda, Infant of their laws and religion are entirely Spanish. causing Christianity to be preached to the natives. peculiarly fine and healthy, and this is true for the This nobleman dying shortly afterwards, nothing was greatest portion of the year, when the luxuriance and done towards their conquest until the year 1400, when beauty of the vegetable productions is almost beyond a fleet was fitted out for the express purpose of visiting description; but at times they are visited by fearful the Fortunate Islands, at the expense of John de tornadoes, which sweep before them the dwellings of Betancour, a Norman nobleman, and Gadifer de la the inhabitants. The foods from the mountains in Sala, an inhabitant of Rochelle.
the rainy season bring down huge blocks of stone, On the landing of the expedition at Lancerota, the which crush every object they meet with in their most northerly of the group, the natives, having been course, and inundate the country to a fearful extent. recently plundered by European pirates, were fearful At other times, they are visited by the plague of of the intentions of the new comers, and retired into locusts, which devour every green thing on the earth, the woods, but after a time they returned, and even attack the palms, and strip the trees of their bark. assisted the French in erecting a fort at an anchoring The chief produce of Teneriffe, and that for which place, since called Rubicon. Encouraged by the peace- it is most famed, is a celebrated wine, of which able demeanour of the inhabitants, the commander of great quantities are annually exported. Sugar has the expedition passed over to the neighbouring island, also been cultivated here to a considerable extent; but finding the natives there of a more warlike cha- and the silk-worm is reared by the inhabitants, racter, and in great numbers, he returned to Europe but not in any great number: tropical fruits also for reinforcements and supplies, leaving a garrison of every description grow here in great abundance. in the fort of Rubicon.
Another of their exports is orchil, a substance used On the return of Betancour, his first efforts were by dyers; and in former times, a great quantity of directed to the re-establishment of tranquillity, which a wine called Malmsey, was made in this island. At had been disturbed by the licentious conduct of the present, owing to its lying so far out of the usual men whom he had left behind, and this being soon track of voyagers, its exports are very trifling, if we effected by his judicious measures, a church was built except the wine to which it gives a name, and its at Rubicon, and the King of the Islands, with many orchil, which is esteemed excellent. We may also of his subjects, embraced Christianity, an example mention a kind of filtering-stone brought from Grand which was followed by the inhabitants of the island Canary. of Forte Ventura.
The geological character of the whcle of these In his attack on Grand Canary and Palma he was islands proves them to be of volcanic origin, and their unsuccessful, and was obliged to retire with consider- surface is composed of lavas of different kinds, while able loss, but Gomera and Ferro quietly submitted the craters of extinct volcanoes are visible in many to his government. For some years after this, the places. In Teneriffe, the whole of the earth is said
SOWNW PANKR, Prator. We Burund. London
1 j 1
to be impregnated with sulphur. The island itself longest diameter lying N.N.W. and S.S.E., as near as I is a collection of mountains of various heights, in can guess; it is about 140 yards long, the breadth the other the midst of which is seen towering the gigantic
way being about 110. Within the top of the Peak is a Peak, casting its evening shadow over the surface of
very deep hole called the caldera, or kettle; and this is the
extinct crater. The deepest part of it lies at the south the ocean for leagues in extent; and, while the shades
end, and about forty yards deep. Having descended to of evening are hanging over the lower part of the the bottom, we found a great number of large stones, some island, having its summit lighted up by the rays of higher than our heads. If a portion of the earth within the setting sun.
this hollow is rolled up in a long form, and applied to a Among the numerous volcanoes which, in the lighted candle, it will burn like brimstone. Several places lapse of time, have become wholly or partially extinct,
within the top of the Peak are burning in the same manner
as on the outside. the Peak of Teneriffe is celebrated for its great altitude,
The report about the difficulty of breathing on the top its singular form, and its conspicuous and isolated
of this place is false, for we breathed as well as if we had situation. Its summit is between 12 and 13,000 feet been below. Before the sun rose, the air was as cold as in above the level of the sea, and its conical crest can be England, during the sharpest frost. A little after sunseen in the air from the distance of 150 miles. rising we saw the shadow of the Peak on the sea, reaching We have no record of the principal crater, repre
over the island of Gomera." sented in the engraving, at p. 136, having been in Speaking of the prospect from the summit of the a state of activity, although present appearances Peak, Humboldt says, evidently show that at some remote period such was The Peak of Teneriffe, from its slender form and local the case. At present it merely discharges sulphurous position, unites the advantages of less lofty summits to vapours from fissures on its surface.
those which arise from very great heights. We not only the summit has been at rest, eruptions have taken discover from its top a vast expanse of sea, but we see also
the forests of Teneriffe, and the inhabited parts of the place from its sides: several of these, which occurred at the beginning of the eighteenth century, destroyed contrasts of form and colour.
coast, in a proximity fitted to produce the most beautiful
We might say that the the principal harbour, and did much other damage. volcano crushes with its mass the little isle which serves
The summit of the Peak has at different periods as its basis, and shoots up from the bosom of the waters, to been reached by enterprising travellers. The follow a height three times loftier than the region where the ing is the substance of an account by one of these clouds float in summer. If its crater, half-extinguished
for ages past, were to shoot forth flakes of fire like that of hazardous adventurers.
Stromboli in the Æolian Islands, the Peak of Teneriffe I set forward from the port of Oratava, in company would serve as a light-house to the mariner in a circuit of with four more English and one Dutchman, with horses
more than 780 miles. and servants to carry our provision, together with the usual
When seated on the external edge of the crater, we guide; the night being somewhat cloudy, and the moon
turned our eyes towards the north-west, where the coasts nearly at full. After travelling till three in the morning,
are decked with villages and hamlets : at our feet masses we came to a little wooden cross, called the Cross of Soltara; of vapour, constantly driven by the winds, afforded us the and although we had been continually ascending the whole
most variable spectacle. road from the port, the Peak seemed almost as high here as when we started, a white cloud still hiding the greatest described, and which separated us from the lower regions
A uniform structure of clouds, the same as we have just part of the sugar-loaf*. Among the trees, not far above of the island, had been pierced in several places by the us, we saw the sulphur discharge itself like a squib or
effect of the small currents of air, which the earth, heated serpent made of gunpowder, the fire running downwards in by the sun, began to send towards us. From the summit a stream, and the smoke ascending from the place where of these solitary regions, our eyes hovered over an inhabited it first took fire.
world; we enjoyed the striking contrast between the bare At three quarters after four we came to the top of a
sides of the Peak, its steep declivities covered with scoriæ, high, rough, and steep mountain, where grows a tree which its elevated plains destitute of vegetation, and the smiling the Spaniards call the pine-tree of the afternoon's meal.'
aspect of the cultivated country beneath. This hill is very sandy, and a great many rabbits breed here: there is also much sand found a great way up the
Notwithstanding the great distance, we distinguished Peak itself, and not much below the foot of the sugar-loaf. of trees, but our eyes dwelt on the rich vegetation of the
not only the houses, the sails of the vessels, and the trunks At six we came to the Portillo, which in Spanish signifies plains, enamelled with the most vivid colouring. a breach, or gap; we saw the Peak about two leagues and
We prolonged in vain our stay on the summit of the a half before us, still covered with a cloud at top, and the
Peak, to wait the moment when we might enjoy the view Spaniards told us we had come about two leagues and a
of the whole of the Archipelago of the Fortunate Islanrls. half from the port.
We discovered Palma, Gomera, and the great Canary at At half-past seven we came to the skirts of the Peak,
our feet; but the mountains of Lancerota, which were free from whence we rode over small white stones about the size from vapours at sun-rise, were soon enveloped in thick of the fist, and a great many not much broader than a
clouds. shilling. Here, if we kept the beaten track, the road was good, but if we turned out of it, the horses' feet sunk in
THERE are no rivulets or springs in the island of Ferro, nearly to the fetlock.
the westmost of the Canaries, except on a part of the beach After we arrived at the top of the second mountain, we which is nearly inaccessible. To supply place of a came to a way that was almost level, but rather ascending, fountain, however, Nature, ever bountiful, has bestowed and about a furlong further is the foot of the sugar-loaf, upon this island a species of tree, unknown to all other which we soon reached, at three o'clock in the morning. parts of the world. It is of moderate size, and its leaves The night was clear where we were, and the moon shone are straight, long, and evergreen. Around its summit a very bright, but below, over the sea, we could see the small cloud perpetually rests, which so drenches the leaves clouds, which looked like a valley at a prodigious depth with moisture, that they continually distil upon the ground below. While we sat at the foot of the sugar-loaf, we saw a stream of fine clear water. To these trees, as to perenthe smoke break out in several places: at first it looked nial springs, the inhabitants of Ferro resort; and are thus like little clouds, but these soon vanished, and were suc
supplied with an abundance of water for themselves and for ceeded by others from the same or other places.
their cattle. We set forward to ascend the last and steepest part of The trunk of this tree is about nine feet in circumference; our journey, namely, the sugar-loaf, exactly at half-past the top branches are not higher than thirty feet from the three, and resting two or three times, we all arrived at the ground; the circumference of all the branches together is summit by four.
one hundred and twenty feet; the branches are thick, and The shape of the top of the Peak is partly oval, the extended, the leaves being about three feet nine inches Whenever the mountain in general is free from vapours, and a
from the ground. Its fruit is shaped like that of the oak, white cloud is seen to hang like a cap over the very summit, the
but tastes like the kernel of a pine-apple, and the leares natives predict rainy weather, and generally with truth. At these
resemble those of the laurel, but are longer, wider, and times the Spaniards say, “ the Peak has got his little hat on.” curved.-Notes to White's Selborne.