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was perforated with triangular loop-holes for shooting and casting missiles. The battlements seen at the top were each furnished with a shutter. The large bridge which is suspended in the air from two upright timbers at the summit of the tower was used not only to protect the soldiers from the arrows of the besieged, but when brought closer to the walls, was poised in a horizontal direction, and projected upon the ramparts; when the men-at-arms, hitherto inactive, mounted and rushed over it, and thus the town or fortification was, in many cases, carried by storm. Portable fire-arms were not invented until the commencement of the sixteenth century.
Mortars and bombs were invented in England in 1544, by foreigners employed by Henry the Eighth; red-hot balls were first used by the Duke of Gloucester in besieging Cherbourg in 1418; howitzers (an improvement on mortars) in 1697; carronades (a long kind of howitzers) were invented by General Melville, in 1779; iron (or Congreve) rockets, by Sir William Congreve, and were first used at the bombardment of Copenhagen. A rocket-establishment forms a branch of the military service of Great Britain at the present period.
The first muskets mounted on stocks are believed to have been used in 1521, at the siege of Parma. The pistol was invented in Tuscany, and introduced into England about the middle of the sixteenth century. The bayonet was invented in France in 1671; but it was not fastened to the muzzle of the firelock until 1690. About that time, or shortly after, it was adopted in the British army.
But we must revert to our rapid historical sketch of the progress of our military force. With each succeeding reign, a gradual but distinct separation between the duties of the citizen and the soldier, to the utter disunion, at length, of the one from the other, appears to have gone on. Charles the Seventh of France (1455) was the first European monarch that set the example of supporting a standing army; this was subsequently followed by other princes; but the first permanent forces-if such they may be called -employed by our kings, consisted of their immediate body-guards; and it was not till the reign of Henry the Seventh and Eighth, when the corps of Gentlemen Pensioners, Yeomen of the Guard, and the Artillery Company were established, that they even possessed this force. During the troublous reign of Charles the First, the royal army consisted chiefly of regiments raised by the nobility and gentry, who adhered to the cause of their sovereign, from amongst their tenants and dependants, and the cavaliers in the country towns.
SECTION III. 1660-1834.
THE Restoration, in 1660, ushered in what may be virtually termed a new era in the constitution of the British army. Before that period, as we have seen, there existed no regular standing military force in England; but Charles the Second, after wholly abolishing the remaining military tenures, organized a permanent army of about 5000 men, including the garrisons which were then maintained in the fortresses in this country; though, as a modern writer has observed, a portion of the military establishment then formed was taken "from corps raised during the Civil War, such as the 1st regiment of Foot and the Coldstream Guards, which came with General Monk from Scotland; the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, commonly called the Oxford Blues, is amongst the first on this establishment. The two troops of Horse Guards, embodied by Charles about the same time, and of which the privates were all gentlemen, were abolished in 1788, and the two fine regiments of cavalry, called the first and second regiments of Life Guards have been raised in their place."
dethronement, the resistance towards the prerogative set up by the crown became stronger. The House of Lords took a bolder course in its opposition to his designs than the Commons; and the Bench of Bishops, casting asid- every private and personal consideration, stood nobly and prominently forward in defence of the religious and civil liberties of the people at that dangerous crisis. In the course of this reign the standing army was increased to 30,000 men by the king, in order the better to carry his ultimate designs into effect; but the defection of this force afterwards contributed, amongst other causes, to hurl him from the throne; for, in 1688, on the landing of the Prince of Orange (William the Third,) on the British coast, with an army of 14,000 men, the English troops joined his standard. After the Revolution, the disputed prerogative of the crown was finally settled on a basis which upheld the rights of the former, while, at the same time, it secured the liberties of the people from danger. This was effected by the declaration in the memorable Bill of Rights, (1689,) which sets forth that the raising and keeping a standing army in time of peace, without the consent of Parliament, is contrary to law." The wars in which the country was subsequently engaged, caused a large augmentation to be made in the military force of Great Britain; but at the conclusion of peace with France, in 1697, (though not without a severe struggle with the king,) the Parliament reduced the military force to 7000 men for England, and 12,000 men for the establishment in Ireland*.
In consequence of the abolition of the military tenures, it became necessary to provide a force for internal defence, answering the purpose of the feudal militia as originally established. An Act of Parliament was, therefore, passed, establishing a national militia, which, although it has undergone various changes in its constitution at different periods, still forms a part of the military system of the country.
The principle involved in the establishment of the standing army, which was paid out of the royal revenue, and over which the crown asserted a supreme power, led to frequent disputes with the parliament. On the succession of James the Second, whose despotic principles and hatred towards the Protestant religion, justly led to his ultimate
The standing army has since varied in numbers, according to the exigencies of the period, or the altered circumstances of the country. In the early part of the last century, the reputation of the British armies under that illustrious hero, the Duke of Marlborough, arrived at the highest pitch. The peace establishment, in the reign of George the First, varied from 16,000 to 22,000 men. It was not until 1746 that the Light Dragoons were introduced into the English cavalry. In 1763, in the early part of the reign of that prince of glorious memory, George the Third, the standing army was reduced to 17,532 men. The rebellion in America caused a large increase to be made in the military force of the country; and, at the conclusion of that contest, the peace establishment for Great Britain and Ireland was fixed at 40,000 men. But the army did not long remain on this footing. The war with France, which, in a few years succeeded the Revolution in that country, gave a new and extraordinary impulse to military affairs.
From various causes, the reputation of our army had long been on the decline; our ill success in America, and the unfortunate result of the campaigns in Holland against the French Republicans, contributed to confirm an impression as erroneous as it was undeserved. But the cloud which prejudice had cast over our army rapidly cleared away. The events in Egypt-the various successes on the Continent during the latter part of the war-the glorious achievements in the Peninsula under the immortal WELLINGTON against the veterans of France, and the crowning consummation of the glories of more than a hundred victories, at WATERLOO, have raised the reputation of our brave troops to an equality with that of the sisterservice-Britain's naval heroes.
The peace-establishment of the British army in 1802, amounted to 128,999 men, including 17,000 cavalry, six regiments of colour in the West Indies, and the foreign corps of Swiss, &c., estimated at 5,350. During the subsequent war, from 1803 to 1815, our military, like our naval force, reached a magnitude to which there existed no precedent in the former history of the country. And in addition to the troops of the line, Great Britain possessed an effective force of immense magnitude in the yeomanry, militia, and volunteers, for its internal defence. The yeomanry and volunteer corps alone, in 1803, amounted to 463,134 effective men. In 1808, the troops of the line amounted to 220,000, including 30,000 cavalry and 14,000 artillery. Of this force, nearly 60,000 men were employed in India and the Colonies. In 1813, the whole of the regular and irregular land forces of Great Britain amounted to 680,000. If to this force we add 140,000 seamen and marines, the military and naval power of Great Britain at that period, amounted to 820,000 men. A vast reduction
*The first established force in Ireland was in the fourteenth year of the reign of Edward the Fourth, when 120 archers on horseback, 40 horsemen, and 40 pages were established by Parliament there ;2 curious contrast to later armies.
† See the articles in this work on the Welington Shield,
took place 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, as well as in the complicated operations required in besieging fortified
The Royal which forms another most im
Great Britain India
88,516 20,156 108,672ተ
The number of commissioned officers in this force, is, Great Britain, 4404; India, 1208: total 5612. Considerable changes have been made in the equipments and arms of our cavalry since the peace. Armour has been introduced into the Life Guards, and four regiments have been converted into Lancers. The use of armour has been strongly objected to on account of its weight. "The largest sized cuirass," we are told, "worn by the Life Guards, weighs 15 lbs.; the smallest, 12 lbs. 6 oz. A Life Guardsman in marching order, weighs upwards of 25 stone, supposing the man to weigh 13 stone!"
The corps of Engineers forms a most important part of the military force of the country. This department, during the greater part of the late war, was in a very defective state; the loss of life, especially in the Peninsula, was, consequently, extremely great, and in this respect the French engineers were infinitely superior to the British. Great improvements have, however, taken place in the organization of this corps, which are chiefly attributable to the exertions of the Duke of Wellington.
In 1814 his Grace caused a brigade of Engineers, comprising a company of Sappers and Miners, with horses,
portant branch of the military service, has also been materially improved in its discipline since the peace. It consists of only one regiment, which, during the war, extended to twenty-four thousand men. This comprises a brigade of horse-artillery, and that serving on foot. The former is divided into companies, termed troops, varying from six to ten in number; the foot artillery is divided into battalions, each consisting of ten companies.
Grenadiers originated in France; they were originally employed in throwing hand grenades in the attack of the covert-way, or trenches, in time of siege. The exact period when Marines were introduced into the naval service of the country, cannot accurately be ascertained. In the list of the army for 1684, we find the third regiment of infantry thus designated :-" the Lord High Admiral of England's maritime Regiment of Foot, commanded by the Hon. Sir Charles Littleton, also called the Admiral's Regiment." William the Third appears to have employed several regiments of marines, and they now form a most material branch of our naval service in time of war.
The King, by the Constitution of Great Britain, has the supreme command of the army within and without the realm. All orders and directions, as to its employment, both in war and in peace, legally emanate from him. He has the sole power of raising and enlisting troops, and of appointing, promoting, or removing, military officers; and the whole of the military establishment is paid by his authority. The army, in short, is compelled to obey all the orders of the Crown, so long as they do not deviate from the fundamental laws of the country. But by the Bill of Rights, as previously noticed, there is a most important check on the prerogative of the crown; and the funds to pay and maintain the army, are exclusively in the power of Parliament. Bills are, therefore, passed for this purpose every session; without which, although its sole direction is in the hands of the sovereign, the standing army, of course, could not be kept up. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the British Constitution.
LONDON: Published by JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND, and sold by all Booksellers.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION
PRICE ONE PENNY.
THE CANARY, OR FORTUNATE ISLANDS. | benefits derived from the conquered islands remained
in private hands, until in the year 1476, the privi-
Of growth, its fruits; unpruned the fancied vine,
At once, flowered, fruited, filled, and gushed with genereus wine. by the cruelty and bad faith of the Spaniards, and
great loss on both sides, the inhabitants finally sub-
THE Happy Isles, the Fortunate, so styled,
And golden honeys from old oaks distil,
And here are placed the Elysian Fields, where rest
Although these islands were known, and accurately described by the ancients, yet no notice of them occurs in modern history, until the middle of the fourteenth century, when Pope Clement the Sixth granted them to Don Louis de la Cerda, Infant of Spain, with the title of King, on condition of his causing Christianity to be preached to the natives. This nobleman dying shortly afterwards, nothing was done towards their conquest until the year 1400, when a fleet was fitted out for the express purpose of visiting the Fortunate Islands, at the expense of John de Betancour, a Norman nobleman, and Gadifer de la Sala, an inhabitant of Rochelle.
On the landing of the expedition at Lancerota, the most northerly of the group, the natives, having been recently plundered by European pirates, were fearful of the intentions of the new comers, and retired into the woods, but after a time they returned, and even assisted the French in erecting a fort at an anchoringplace, since called Rubicon. Encouraged by the peaceable demeanour of the inhabitants, the commander of the expedition passed over to the neighbouring island, but finding the natives there of a more warlike character, and in great numbers, he returned to Europe for reinforcements and supplies, leaving a garrison in the fort of Rubicon.
The conquest of Teneriffe was next attempted, but here the brutal conduct that had marked the career of the invaders, had raised so violent a spirit of rage and opposition in the inhabitants, that in the first conflict, the Spanish army was completely routed, and a great part of it cut to pieces. The invaders, after this defeat, were obliged to leave the island, and return to Canary; and having there increased their forces to one thousand foot and seventy horse, they again repaired to Teneriffe. The natives, astonished at seeing their losses so suddenly repaired, came to terms, and on the 25th of July, 1495, were assured of the safe possession of their lands and cattle, on condition of their embracing the Christian faith. Since this time, the islands have continued in possession of the Spaniards.
The condition of the natives of these islands, before their conquest, was similar to that of the people of Otaheite on their first discovery, and although in many instances their conduct was cruel and sanguinary, several of their customs, without their rude ceremonies, would not be unworthy of imitation. The language and manners of the inhabitants at the present day, are nearly the same as that of their conquerors, and excepting some few local customs, their laws and religion are entirely Spanish.
We have described the climate of these islands as peculiarly fine and healthy, and this is true for the greatest portion of the year, when the luxuriance and beauty of the vegetable productions is almost beyond description; but at times they are visited by fearful tornadoes, which sweep before them the dwellings of the inhabitants. The floods from the mountains in the rainy season bring down huge blocks of stone, which crush every object they meet with in their course, and inundate the country to a fearful extent. At other times, they are visited by the plague of locusts, which devour every green thing on the earth, attack the palms, and strip the trees of their bark.
The chief produce of Teneriffe, and that for which it is most famed, is a celebrated wine, of which great quantities are annually exported. Sugar has also been cultivated here to a considerable extent; and the silk-worm is reared by the inhabitants, but not in any great number: tropical fruits also of every description grow here in great abundance. Another of their exports is orchil, a substance used by dyers; and in former times, a great quantity of a wine called Malmsey, was made in this island. At present, owing to its lying so far out of the usual track of voyagers, its exports are very trifling, if we except the wine to which it gives a name, and its orchil, which is esteemed excellent. We may also mention a kind of filtering-stone brought from Grand Canary.
The geological character of the whole 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
On the return of Betancour, his first efforts were directed to the re-establishment of tranquillity, which had been disturbed by the licentious conduct of the men whom he had left behind, and this being soon effected by his judicious measures, a church was built at Rubicon, and the King of the Islands, with many of his subjects, embraced Christianity, an example which was followed by the inhabitants of the island of Forte Ventura.
to be impregnated with sulphur. The island itself is a collection of mountains of various heights, in the midst of which is seen towering the gigantic Peak, casting its evening shadow over the surface of the ocean for leagues in extent; and, while the shades of evening are hanging over the lower part of the island, having its summit lighted up by the rays of the setting sun.
Among the numerous volcanoes which, in the lapse of time, have become wholly or partially extinct, the Peak of Teneriffe is celebrated for its great altitude, its singular form, and its conspicuous and isolated situation. Its summit is between 12 and 13,000 feet above the level of the sea, and its conical crest can be seen in the air from the distance of 150 miles.
We have no record of the principal crater, represented in the engraving, at p. 136, having been in a state of activity, although present appearances evidently show that at some remote period such was the case. At present it merely discharges sulphurous vapours from fissures on its surface. But although the summit has been at rest, eruptions have taken place from its sides: several of these, which occurred at the beginning of the eighteenth century, destroyed the principal harbour, and did much other damage.
The summit of the Peak has at different periods been reached by enterprising travellers. The following is the substance of an account by one of these hazardous adventurers.
I set forward from the port of Oratava, in company with four more English and one Dutchman, with horses and servants to carry our provision, together with the usual guide; the night being somewhat cloudy, and the moon nearly at full. After travelling till three in the morning, we came to a little wooden cross, called the Cross of Soltara; and although we had been continually ascending the whole road from the port, the Peak seemed almost as high here as when we started, a white cloud still hiding the greatest part of the sugar-loaf*. Among the trees, not far above us, we saw the sulphur discharge itself like a squib or serpent made of gunpowder, the fire running downwards in a stream, and the smoke ascending from the place where
it first took fire.
At three quarters after four we came to the top of a high, rough, and steep mountain, where grows a tree which the Spaniards call the pine-tree of the afternoon's meal.' This hill is very sandy, and a great many rabbits breed here: there is also much sand found a great way up the Peak itself, and not much below the foot of the sugar-loaf. At six we came to the Portillo, which in Spanish signifies a breach, or gap; we saw the Peak about two leagues and a half before us, still covered with a cloud at top, and the Spaniards told us we had come about two leagues and a half from the port.
At half-past seven we came to the skirts of the Peak, from whence we rode over small white stones about the size of the fist, and a great many not much broader than a shilling. Here, if we kept the beaten track, the road was good, but if we turned out of it, the horses' feet sunk in nearly to the fetlock.
After we arrived at the top of the second mountain, we came to a way that was almost level, but rather ascending, and about a furlong further is the foot of the sugar-loaf, which we soon reached, at three o'clock in the morning. The night was clear where we were, and the moon shone very bright, but below, over the sea, we could see the clouds, which looked like a valley at a prodigious depth below. While we sat at the foot of the sugar-loaf, we saw the smoke break out in several places: at first it looked like little clouds, but these soon vanished, and were succeeded by others from the same or other places.
We set forward to ascend the last and steepest part of our journey, namely, the sugar-loaf, exactly at half-past three, and resting two or three times, we all arrived at the summit by four.
The shape of the top of the Peak is partly oval, the
Whenever the mountain in general is free from vapours, and a white cloud is seen to hang like a cap over the very summit, the natives predict rainy weather, and generally with truth. At these times the Spaniards say, "the Peak has got his little hat on."
longest diameter lying N.N.W. and S.S.E., as near as I can guess; it is about 140 yards long, the breadth the other way being about 110. Within the top of the Peak is a very deep hole called the caldera, or kettle; and this is the extinct crater. The deepest part of it lies at the south end, and is about forty yards deep. Having descended to the bottom, we found a great number of large stones, some higher than our heads. If a portion of the earth within this hollow is rolled up in a long form, and applied to a lighted candle, it will burn like brimstone. Several places within the top of the Peak are burning in the same manner as on the outside.
The report about the difficulty of breathing on the top of this place is false, for we breathed as well as if we had been below. Before the sun rose, the air was as cold as in England, during the sharpest frost. A little after sunrising we saw the shadow of the Peak on the sea, reaching over the island of Gomera."
Speaking of the prospect from the summit of the Peak, Humboldt says,
The Peak of Teneriffe, from its slender form and local position, unites the advantages of less lofty summits to those which arise from very great heights. We not only discover from its top a vast expanse of sea, but we see also the forests of Teneriffe, and the inhabited parts of the contrasts of form and colour. coast, in a proximity fitted to produce the most beautiful We might say that the volcano crushes with its mass the little isle which serves as its basis, and shoots up from the bosom of the waters, to a height three times loftier than the region where the clouds float in summer. If its crater, half-extinguished for ages past, were to shoot forth flakes of fire like that of Stromboli in the Eolian Islands, the Peak of Teneriffe would serve as a light-house to the mariner in a circuit of more than 780 miles.
When seated on the external edge of the crater, we turned our eyes towards the north-west, where the coasts of vapour, constantly driven by the winds, afforded us the are decked with villages and hamlets: at our feet masses most variable spectacle.
described, and which separated us from the lower regions A uniform structure of clouds, the same as we have just of the island, had been pierced in several places by the effect of the small currents of air, which the earth, heated by the sun, began to send towards us. From the summit
of these solitary regions, our eyes hovered over an inhabited world; we enjoyed the striking contrast between the bare sides of the Peak, its steep declivities covered with scoriæ, its elevated plains destitute of vegetation, and the smiling aspect of the cultivated country beneath.
Notwithstanding the great distance, we distinguished not only the houses, the sails of the vessels, and the trunks plains, enamelled with the most vivid colouring. of trees, but our eyes dwelt on the rich vegetation of the
Peak, to wait the moment when we might enjoy the view We prolonged in vain our stay on the summit of the of the whole of the Archipelago of the Fortunate Islands. We discovered Palma, Gomera, and the great Canary at our feet; but the mountains of Lancerota, which were free from vapours at sun-rise, were soon enveloped in thick clouds.
THERE are no rivulets or springs in the island of Ferro, the westmost of the Canaries, except on a part of the beach which is nearly inaccessible. To supply the place of a fountain, however, Nature, ever bountiful, has bestowed upon this island a species of tree, unknown to all other parts of the world. It is of moderate size, and its leaves are straight, long, and evergreen. Around its summit a small cloud perpetually rests, which so drenches the leaves with moisture, that they continually distil upon the ground a stream of fine clear water. To these trees, as to perennial springs, the inhabitants of Ferro resort; and are thus supplied with an abundance of water for themselves and for their cattle.
The trunk of this tree is about nine feet in circumference; the top branches are not higher than thirty feet from the ground; the circumference of all the branches together is one hundred and twenty feet; the branches are thick, and extended, the leaves being about three feet nine inches from the ground. Its fruit is shaped like that of the oak, but tastes like the kernel of a pine-apple, and the leaves resemble those of the laurel, but are longer, wider, and curved. Notes to WHITE's Selborne.