Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

ther native or acquired, which the most relaxing forms of life cannot destroy, or yet prevent from acting with wonderful elasticity on particular occasions. To whatever cause it be owing, Cowardice in battle is probably a species of dishonour that will seldoon be incurred by our British youth, under leaders in whom they place a confidence.

With how much pleasure could we tell of the laurels they have often reaped, in contending against the enemies of their country! With what peculiar satisfaction, I had almost said Pride, could we expatiate on the daring enterprises, and astonishing exertions, both of our fleets and armies in the last ever-memorable war! Above all the rest, how would imagination glow at the remembrance of that Young Man, 6Who" (in the nobly emphatic words made use of by an admiring and grateful Nation, when the voted a Monument to his Memory) « surmounting, by ability

VOL. II.

os and valour, all obstacles of Art and Na“ ture, was sain in the moment of victory, " at the head of his conquering troops, 6 in the arduous and decisive battle against " the French army near.Quebec, fighting

“ for their capital of Canada !”—Glorious ; and inestimable suffrage! inspired by sen

timent, and bestowed with fervour, as well as expressed with force and dignity! A fuffrage re-echoed by every voice, and felt by every heart to this day! - A suffrage which the future fons of Britain will read with tender veneration, and which so well became an occasion that will shed lustre on her annals to the latest posterity ! Happy land, that gave birth and education to the Youth, who thus died in the arms of Victory, as he had lived in the bosom of Virtue! General Wolfe was not less virtuous than brave. His sobriety, his gravity, his strict attention to military discipline, his ardent thirst after know- , ledge, after those branches of it more especially that were connected with his

profession, had marked him out an object of public esteem and reliance, before that lalt and most distinguished opportunity of proving to the world, how completely he deserved them. With what emulation ought his example to inflame our young men of the army! Or will they chuse sather to forget him like Voltaire, who, in recording the very engagement now mentioned, is pleased to suppress the name of Wolfe?

But we have not the smallest doubt, that many of them are persons of honour and capacity, no less than of spirit and resolution. We could point to one of this class, who is known, by his very numerous acquaintance, to unite in his single character the best qualities of the soldier, of the gentleman, of the scholar, of the friend, of the man of hospitality without show, of the man of piety without pretence, who is bigoted to no sect, but not ashamed before any company to wor

ship the Almighty at home after having worshipped him in his temple. Where is the man who can withold his respect from such a character? Were there a wretch so worthless as to deride it-the amiable Oughton would be the first to do him good.

Of the greater part in the same profeffion, what shall we say? How debauched, profane, and frivolous! We have been told, that no other army in Europe is dishonoured by so many profligates, and triflers, as the British. If this be true, what a reproach to our country! Were it the fashion for the troops of other nations to neglect the forms of piety and decency, we should less wonder at the behaviour of many among our own. But that is by no means the case. We should wonder at it yet less, did not their Sovereign set them so different a pattern. At least it might be expected, that our officers of rank would show a little more dispo

sition to imitate his fobriety, his regularity, and his many private virtues. Or do they imagine, they may be equally acceptable to him, though they pursue a conduct the reverse of his own ? Could they once be made sensible, that it would give him pleasure, if they copied, for instance, the punctuality with which he ato tends on the public offices of religion, one would hope that, instead of treating these with open and habitual contempt, they might be willing from good policy, if not from purer motives at first, to wait, as often as their situation allowed them, on the Lord of Hofts, and the God of battles, in his sanctuary. Purer motives might influence them afterwards. Mean while, there is no doubt but those next under them would think it prudent to adopt their practice, and that the effects would soon extend to the lowest man in the army. Would the army suffer in its discipline, in its character, or in its valourg from such an alteration ?

.

« PoprzedniaDalej »