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censure and reproach which invariably attend the want of
An effort transcendently bold yet remained to be tried. A plan was formed in concert with the naval commander, admiral SAUNDERS, for landing the troops on the northern bank of the river above the city, and, by scaling the heights hitherto deemed inaccessible, to gain possession of the grounds at the back of the town, where it was but slightly fortified. The admiral, in order to deceive the enemy moved up the river several leagues beyond the spot fixed for the landing; but, during the night, he fell down with the stream, in order to protect the disembarkment of the troops, which was happily accomplished in secrecy and silence. The precipice now remained to be ascended; and, with infinite labor and difficulty, the troops sustaining themselves by the rugged projections of the rock, and the branches of the trees and plants which sprang
from the innumerable clefts into which it was every where broken, they at last obtained the summit, and immediately formed in order of battle. The intelligence being quickly conveyed to M. DE MONTCALM, that the English army was in actual possession of the Heights of Abraham, that commander declared himself unable to express his astonishment, and immediately comprehended the necessity of abandoning his strong camp, and of risking an engagement, in order to save the city. It was just before this dreadful conflict, that WOLFE, in the front of the line, is supposed by the ingenious Aikin to have harangued his army thus :
“ I congratulate you, my brave countrymen, and fellow-soldiers ! on the spirit and success with which you have executed this important part of our enterprize. The formidable Heights of Abraham are now surmounted; and the city of Quebec, the object of all our toils, now stands in full view before us. A perfidious enemy who have dared to exasperate you by their cruelties, but not to op
pose you on equal ground, are now constrained to face you on the open plain, without ramparts or entrenchments to shelter them.
• You know too well the forces which compose their army to dread their superior numbers. A few regular troops from Old France, weakened by hunger and sickness, who, when fresh, were unable to withstand the British soldiers, are their General's chief dependence. Those numerous companies of Canadians, insolent, mutinous, unsteady, and ill-disciplined, have exercised his utmost skill to keep them together to this time ; and as soon as their irregular ardor is damped by one firm fire, they will instantly turn their backs, and give you no further trouble but in the pursuit. As for those savage tribes of Indians, whose horrid yells in the forests have struck many a bold heart with affright, terrible as they are with a tomahawk and scalping-knife to a flying and prostrate foe, you have experienced how little their ferocity is to be dreaded by resolute men upon fair and open ground: you can now only consider them as the just objects of a severe revenge for the unhappy fate of many slaughtered countrymen.
" This day puts it into your power to terminate the fatigues of a siege which has so long employed your courage and patience. Possessed with a full confidence of the certain success which British valor must gain over such enemies, I have led you up these steep and dangerous rocks; only solicitous to shew you the foe within your reach. The impossibility of a retreat makes no difference in the situation of men resolved to conquer or die : and, believe me, my friends, if your conquest could be bought with the blood of your general, he would most cheerfully resign a life which he has long devoted to his country.”
The blood, indeed, of this heroic commander was the dear price at which so brilliant a victory was to be purchased. Wolfe, who stood conspicuous in the front of
the line, received a shot in the wrist, which wrapping a handkerchief round it, he seemed not to notice, and continued giving orders without the least emotion. But advancing at the head of the grenadiers, another ball pierced his breast, and compelled him to retire to a spot a little distant from the field of action, where he expressed the most eager anxiety to learn the fate of the battle. He was, after an interval of suspense, told that the enemy were visibly broken: and reclining, from extreme faintness, his · head on the arm of an officer standing near him, he was in a short time aroused with the distant sound of, They fly! they fly! Who fly?' exclaimed the dying heroOn being told, The French, Then,' said he, . I depart content;' and almost immediately expired in the arms of victory.
EXPRESSING HIS MAJESTY'S APPRROBATION OF THE
ISSUED BY THE DUKE OF YORK ;
HORSE-GUARDS, OCT. 12, 1803.
It will be remembered, that upon the renewal of the war with France, the preparations of our government were vigorously seconded by the heroism of the people. Though in addition to other defensive measures, an act had been passed for enabling his MAJESTY to call out the whole mass fit to bear arms, in different classes, and to put a certain proportion of them into immediate training, their spontaneous zeal rendered this measure unnecessary. In some cases, the inclination of government was anticipated, and volunteer associations were formed even before they knew that their services would be accepted. It was enough for them to hear that a vaunting enemy had dared to hold out the threat of invasion : they instantly rose, as with one heart and one arm, to defy his impotent menaces. The ardor of their first offers could only be equalled by their subsequent endeavours to improve themselves in military discipline, and two general reviews of all the volunteer corps in and near the metropolis, on the twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth of October, their soldier-like appearance, their regularity, and expertness, gave such satisfaction to the King who reviewed them, that the following acknowledgment of their merit, and incitement to their perseverance, were conveyed in the general orders of the twentyninth, the morning after the second review.
“ His royal Highness, the Commander in Chief, has received the King's command to convey to the several volunteers and associated corps which were reviewed in Hyde Park on the twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth inst. his Majesty's high approbation of their appearance, which has equalled his Majesty's utmost expectation.
“ His Majesty perceives, with heart-felt satisfaction, that the spirit of loyalty and patriotism, on which the system of the armed volunteers throughout the kingdom was originally founded, has risen with the exigencies of the times, and at this moment forms such a bulwark to the constitution and liberties of the country, as will enable us, under the protection of Providence, to bid defiance to the unprovoked malice of our enemies, and to hurl back with becoming indignation, the threats which they have presumed to vent against our independence, and even our existence as a nation.
“ His Majesty has observed, with peculiar pleasure that, amongst the unprecedented exertions which the present circumstances of the country have called forth, those of the capital of the United Kingdom have been eminently conspicuous: the appearance of its numerous and wellregulated volunteer 'corps, which were reviewed on the twenty-sixth and twenty-eighth instant, indicates a degree
of attention and emulation, both in officers and men, which can proceed only from a deep sense of the important objects for which they have enrolled themselves, a just estimation of the blessings we have so long enjoyed, and a firm and manly determination to defend them like Britons, and transmit them unimpaired to posterity.
“ The Commander in Chief has the highest satisfaction in discharging his duty, by communicating these his Majesty's most gracious sentiments, and requests that the commanding Officers will have recourse to the readiest means of making the same known to their respective corps.
The delineations of eminent characters, with which many of our best historians adorn their narratives, are finished so much in the style of popular eloquence, that we are induced to give one or two of them as examples of our former remark on those interesting portraits, where the pencil of truth traces the outlines, and genius lays on the vivid coloring.
CHARACTER OF ALFRED:
“ The merit of this Prince, both in private and public life, may with advantage be set in opposition to that of any Monarch or Citizen, which the annals of any age or any nation can present to us. He seems, indeed, to be the model of that perfect character, which, under the denomination of a sage, or wise man, philosophers have been