Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

DOMESTIC OCCURRENCES-CAMP AT SANDGATE,
IN KENT—CONFERENCE WITH THE MINISTERS,
AND THE RESULT-FERROL.

The return of General Moore, cured of his wound, and preserved from the dangers he had been exposed to, was the greatest consolation possible to his dying father. Doctor Moore was on the verge of old age, and affected with an incurable malady of the heart. He had retired to Richmond, with his wife and only daughter. The arrival of his eldest son, covered with honour, shed a gleam of happiness on his last days, before he descended into the grave.

He was still able to take airings in an open

VOL. II.

B

carriage; and to defend himself from the frosts of winter, he always wore that sable pelisse which was the gift of the Grand Vizir to his son. He was tended by his wife, who through life performed her duties to her husband, her children, and her neighbours, with that constant assiduity which is exerted by many in the pursuit of interest and pleasure. She appeared to her family and to her friends to have been created devoid of selfishness.

In the latter period of his life Dr. Moore's thoughts were much turned to the contemplation of a future state, in which he firmly believed. His decay was gradual, and with little suffering. One day, after questioning me earnestly respecting the opinions of two eminent physicians whom he had consulted, and expressing a wish for the trial of more potent remedies, he said, “James, you may • wonder that at my age, and with my in· firmities, I should be desirous of protracting • life; but I assure you, in truth, that at no period of my youth was I ever happier.' Not many weeks after this, he expired, in

[ocr errors]

the presence of his wife, his daughter, and his eldest son.

By his will his property was bequeathed, ultimately, to his six children, in divisions proportioned to their circumstances. The widow's jointure being necessarily moderate, the General pressed his mother's acceptance of an additional annuity from himself; but he could only prevail upon her to receive one half of what he urged. These were private concerns, which are noticed briefly, Moore's life being involved in public affairs.

The British nation, with the inconstancy inherent in the people, had first been clamorous for war, and latterly for peace; and that of Amiens had been concluded, with little expectation of its permanency; for the empire of France had been usurped by Napoleon,—whose character was then only indicated, but in a few years became fully developed. However extended that empire had already been, he was infatuated with the frenzy of acquiring boundless dominion ; and no neighbouring state, indeed none

[ocr errors]

in the world within his reach, were unmolested, or uninsulted by his arrogant demands.

Mr. Addington *, our Prime Minister, had penetrated into his designs, yet, from motives of economy, reduced both the

army
and

navy. But Napoleon, uncontrolled by a House of Commons, augmented his army; and organized his law of conscription to convert the soil of France into a hot-bed of soldiers.

During the precarious cessation of hostilities our military affairs were not neglected by the Duke of York. He sent Moore to command at Brighthelmstone, where the Prince of Wales's regiment of cavalry was stationed; and his Royal Highness signed the reports to him, like other colonels. On one occasion, the regular form not being observed, the proper information was obtained from the lieutenant-colonel, without animadversion

upon

the royal superior. Moore was afterwards removed to Chatham, where a larger force was assembled,

* Since, Lord Viscount Sidmouth.

and he was frequently consulted by the Commander-in-Chief on military subjects. . The Duke mentioned to him a design of enlisting some regiments of riflemen, a species of troops which had never been raised in this country.

On which Moore observed, that our army was not so numerous as to admit of having enough of those for each detached force, which the nature of our warfare required. He, therefore, advised, that some good regiments should be practised as marksmen, with the usual muskets, and instructed both in light infantry manæuvres, and also to act, when required, as a firm battalion. His Royal Highness approved of this idea, and requested him to form his own regiment on that plan ; and as many of the men were unfit for these complex duties, he was empowered to exchange them for more powerful and active soldiers, selected from another battalion.

He then commenced this new discipline, and in a short time formed a regiment, which for celerity and expertness was ad

« PoprzedniaDalej »