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departure of the transports, it would have been sacrificed for no purpose.
Another alternative indeed occurred, that of cutting the Dykes, and inundating the country beyond the Zuype, but this could not be resorted to without destroying that country, possibly for centuries, and nothing but a persuasion that the preservation of his army could be obtained by no other means would have induced H. R. H. to adopt it. To have transported his army to another part of the United Provinces would, under all circumstances, not have been advisable, and in fact the great embarrassment of embarking the army would not have been obviated by its
These considerations, and the indispensable duty of preserving his brave troops to the country, when no object could be attained by incurring further risk or loss, induced H. R. H. to try the effect of negociation.
The result and the terms of the agreement, which was concluded with General Brune, are too well known to require introduction here, suffice it to say that in this instance, as in others, H. R. H. acted by the advice and with the unqualified concurrence of Sir R. Abercrombie and the other Lieutenant Generals, who felt that, even in a cold calculation of lives, the numbers of his army, which in all probability would have been sacrificed by a different line of conduct, would have exceeded that of the prisoners whose services were restored to the enemy. There was no other condition which could admit of hesitation; no restriction on the employment of the British or Russian troops which were at once disposable for other objects ; no restoration of the captured ships, which though proposed and urged by General Brune, was firmly resisted by H. R. H. even to the length of authorizing General Knox, to break off the negociation if it should be further insisted upon.
The agreement was finally concluded on the 18th of October, and from that day hostilities ceased. H.R. H. was to evacuate the territory and seas of Holland before the 30th November, The greater part of the troops were on board before the end of October, and the Duke of York embarked on the 1st November leaving to Sir James Pulteney the final execution of the agreement. The latter left the Texel on the 19th November, with
the troops and ships which still remained in the road, and the enemy re-occupied the Helder on the same day.
Various misrepresentations of the events of this expedition have raised so great a prejudice in those who have not taken the trouble of ascertaining facts, against its projectors and executors, that we have thought it necessary to extend our narrative of it beyond the intended limits of this work. We have already referred our readers to the history of this campaign published in 1801, and we shall conclude our observations, many of which are drawn from that publication, with the following extracts from it:
“ The first striking circumstance is the effect which adverse winds had in delaying the disembarkation. This delay was fatal in a double sense, first, because when the armament sailed, the season was already so far advanced as not to admit of loss of time, and secondly, as it afforded to the enemy leisure to prepare for a defence, which, if greater expedition could have been used, he neither could, nor probably would have attempted. The bad effects of this delay were felt during the whole course of the expedition. Had the disembarkation taken place seven days sooner, the troops could not have experienced, until they had proceeded beyond the Zuype, that resistance which was opposed to them upon the very beach where they landed. When they afterwards reached that position, the enemy bad had time to strengthen himself, had acquired greater confidence, and adopted more effectual measures. Five weeks elapsed between the period when the armament put to sea, and that of the general attack which was made on the 19th of September.
“ The losses and fatigues which resulted from its failure, contributed with the subsequent inclemency of the weather, to render a speedy renewal of it impracticable. The attempt made on the 2d October was attended with more success ; but the season was then so far advanced, and so unfavorable, and the enemy's force so much increased, as to destroy every prospect on the part of the allios of following up their victory, and of course every hope of obtaining fresh advantages. Hence naturally resulted the abandonment of the enterprise, and the evacuation of North Holland."
Upon his return to England, the Duke of York again directed his time and attention to the amelioration of the military system ; each successive year afforded fresh proofs of the benefits arising from his unabated exertions, and it must be admitted that owing to these and the many wise regulations established by his Royal Highness, the British army in a few years presented a model of perfection to every military nation. Its efficiency, consistency, and the noble spirit of emulation which pervades every department and every ránk, enabled it, under the direction of distinguished chiefs, to present insuperable bars to the boundless ambition of Buonaparte, whose policy it was, while he admitted the value of our navy, to depreciate in the eyes of Europe the military character and resources of Great Britain. But the events of recent
have placed the exploits of the army on the same splendid preeminence which the navy had so justly acquired; and they had produced a material change in the tone in which Buonaparte and his Generals affected to speak of British troops long before even their successful efforts in supporting the independence of Portugal and Spain, had encouraged the other powers of the continent to maintain a struggle, which has ended in the downfall of tyranny, and the restoration of legitimate authority.
From the proud feeling inspired by these reflections, we turn with regret to state that, in the midst of the cares 'attendant upon his official duties, and while exerting himself to in crease the glory of Great Britain by the improvement and consolidation of her vast military resources, an attempt was preparing to deprive his country of the services of this meritorious Commander in Chief. A becoming deference to the respectable assembly where certain charges originated, and were allowed to be exhibited against the Duke of York, compels a forbearance of those observations which a dispassionate view of the conduct of the principal performer must excite. Indeed these have long since been consigned to public contempt.
On this painful occasion the Duke of York behaved with the greatest magnanimity, and finding that the efforts of some individuals had succeeded in raising a prejudice against him in R. M. Cal.
the public mind, which might have been productive of embarrassment to his Majesty's government in its further endeavours to maintain him in his official situation, H.R. H. waited upon the King, and tendered his resignation on the 18th March, 1809. Copy of the Duke of York's Letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons, on the above occasion.
“ Horse Guards, February 23, 1809. “I have waited, with the greatest anxiety, until the Committee appointed by the House of Commons, to inquire into my couduct as Commander in Chief of bis Majesty's army, had closed its examination; and I now hope that it will not be deemed improper to address this Letter, through you, to the House of Commons.
“ I observe with the deepest concern, that, in the course of this Inquiry, my name has been coupled with transactions the most criminal and disgraceful; and I must ever regret and lament, that a connexion should ever have existed, which has thus exposed my character and honour to public animadversion.
“ With respect to any alleged offences connected with the discharge of official duties, I do, in the most solemn manner, upon my honor as a Prince, distinctly assert my innocence, not only by denying all corrupt participation in any of the infamous transactions which have appeared in evidence at the bar of the House of Commons, or any connivance at their existence, but also the slightest knowledge or suspicion that they existed at all.”
Few events in the life of our revered Sovereign were of a nature to have wounded his feelings so deeply. He beheld in this sad moment his beloved son, whose every exertion had been made for the security of his crown and advancement of his kingdom's military glory, driven by the effects of the intrigue and persecution of a few contemptible individuals, whom he had never injured, and by a keen sense of injured honor, to resign the high situation which no one had ever previously filled with such distinguished credit and success.
While the unprejudiced part of the community deplored the retirement of H. R. H. the whole army deeply participated in
that feeling ; but the habits of 'subordination which had been so essentially promoted by the individual whose misfortune they regretted, and which were upon this occasion enforced by his advice to those corps which expressed a desire to address him, taught them to bear it in silence, confident that the time was approaching when the mists of prejudice would vanish before a conviction of the truth.
That day at length arrived, when the wishes of the country at large were eagerly met by the illustrious beir apparent, and the Duke of York once more consented to fill the situation to which his extraordinary merits so justly entitle him.
The King's lamented malady deprived him of the satisfaction and happiness which he would have felt in being the immediate instrument of restoring the Duke of York to his office; but the communication of the Prince Regent's act was made to His Majesty during that interval of amelioration, which afforded hopes that the prayers of his people for his recovery would be heard, and it was hailed by his Majesty with a degree of joy which strongly marked both his affection for the Duke of York, and the high opinion which he had not ceased to entertain of his character and conduct.
During the interval of H. R. H.'s retirement, the office of Commander in Chief had been filled by General Sir David Dundas, whose study it was to conform in all respects to the system and the regulations established by H. R. H. He had accepted the office with regret, had continued in it from a sense of public duty, and he resigned it with the most unequivocal satisfaction,
During the same interval the Duke of York's conduct was marked by a moderation, and a manly forbearance, which obtained for it the admiration even of those who had been most ardent in supporting the accusations against him ; nor was it less remarkable for the caution with which he abstained from all interference in the arrangements and promotions of the army.
In a mind so constituted, the circumstances which had occurred could leave no inspression of ill-humor or disgust which could operate as a check to future exertions. These have been continued with renewed zeal and vigor; the improvement of