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« Æmiliús fell; oppressed with wounds; and that life which had
on all occasions been devoted to the fervice of his country, was lost in its defence. The Romans, though surrounded
thus on every fide, turned their faces to the enemy, and re6 filed
filted yet for some time longer. But as the troops on the 6 outside fell, their body, by degrees, was more and moredi
minished; till at last they were prefled together within a very
narrow space, and were there all destroyed. Among them • fell Regulus and Servilius, the Confuls of the former yeat ; oboch eminent for their virtue, and whose behaviour in the o action was such, as fhewed them to be worthy the name of « Romans.
During the time of all this flaughter, the Numidians suing the cavalry of the left, who fled before them, killed the greatest part, and threw many from their horses. A
small number only escaped safe to Venufia; among whom * was Varro, that base and worthlefs.Conful, whose govern(ment proved fo pernicious to his country,
* Such was the battle of Cannæ: in which both sides long « contended for the victory, with the greatest bravery. Of (this the action itself affords the clearett proof. For of fix thousand horfe, which was the whole cavalry of the Roman
army, seventy only fled with Varro to Venufia; and three « hundred more of the allies escaped to different cities. Of
the infantry, ten thousand men, indeed, were taken prison
ers; but these had no part in the action. And about three 6 thousand also found means to escape to some of the cities " that were near. But the rest, to the amount of feventy thou“ fand men, all died with honour in the field of battle. ---On « the side of Annibal were flain four thousand Gauls, fifteen Shundred Africans, and Spaniards, with about two hundred 6-horse.'.
Thus did that brave, and numerous army fall a facrifice to the ignorance and rafhness of their General. By Annibal's situation, it appears, that if Varro had possessed a little more pattence, the Carthaginians must, for want of provisions, in a Thort time, have been reduced to fight upon his own terms. But, in fact, the Roman Senate itself was equally culpable; Having, in their letters to the army, signified their defire that a decisive battle should be attempted. This was more than fufficient to kindle Varro's natural impetuofity into a flame : a flame that went near to have burnt the whole Roman Red public to ashes. We have had many subsequent examples of the fatal consequences of States and Ministers interfering in the command of their Generals. A Minister of State may be
a wise home-politician, yet be entirely ignorant in military politics. Besides, no man can possibly judge of what is proper or improper, in the field, if he is not upon the spot. The many mistakes committed by the Roman General on this occasion, are so flagrant, that it may seem unnecessary to point them out: nevertheless, to some of our young military Readers, (for military Readers we have) it may not be entirely useless.
Firft then, as we binted before, he ought not, by any means, to have risqued a general engagement; as the enemy muft iaevitably have fallen into his hands without it. When the Carthaginians advanced their center, he ought not to have weakened his wings to affilt his own; particularly as their ranks in that part, must have appeared extremely thin. When he found their center retreat within their front line, he ought not, on any account, to have suffered his own to exceed the line of battle, by advancing before their wings. Then, as his number of infantry was greatly superior to that of the enemy, he ought, after the battle was begun, instead of drawing them towards his center, to have extended them on the extremities of each flank, with orders to wheel to the right and left inwards, and to flank the Carthaginian cavalry: and as his cavalry were inferior in numbers, they should have been supported by the remainder of his light-armed troops, which continued useless in the rear. If he had followed those plain and easy maxims, which the first principles of his profeffon seem to dictate, Annibal, with his whole army, muft unavoidably have fallen into the very fnare in which the Romans were caught.
Both antient and modern Writers of the Roman History, have been extremely lavish in praising the inflexible constancy, and conduct of that people during the second Punic war: and on the opinions of those Historians it is, that our universal admiration is founded. But when we come to consider the facts themfelves, we find that the councils of this wise people were, beyond measure, foolish; and that their misfortunes were entirely owing to their
want of judgment. It appears, that they had very early intelligence of Annibal's intention to invade İtaly: full as early as we had, that the French designed to attack Minorca. It was likewise their own fault, if they were not acquainted with his route. Why did they not attempt to oppole his entrance into Piedmont? If they had taken care to secure the narrow passes of the Alps, they might have destroyed his whole army with a very inconsiderable force. And, after Annibal's arrival in the plains of Italy, what a strange judgment did the Romans form of the capacity of those
example; and it was
men, to whom they gave the command of their armies! On juge (says Mr. Folard) du merite des Princes, et des Republiques, par le choix des sujets qu'ils employent dans la conduite d'une guerre : which being translated into modern English, runs thus; We judge of the merit of an Admiralty, by their choice of an Admiral to command a fleet. This Varro, fo famous for his defeat at Cannæ, happened to be related to Bebius, Tribune of the people; who, by the affistance of a little money, properly ap. plied, together with his great popularityand seditious eloquence, raised his noble kinsman to the Consulate: and we have seen the consequences ! Aristophanes, in one of his comedies, intro duces a gentleman, endeavouring to persuade a maker of fausages to push for the ministry: but the honest man, too modeft, and too sensible of his own inability, declined. Pho! says the gentleman, inability -stuff, and non : senfe.-Íhere is nothing in the world so eafy; for a man of your profession especially. Continue to act as you have been used to do. Mix and jumble. all things together. Mince your words as you did your meat; it will be thought affability. Continue to talk of your cookery ; your profesion has made you popular, and taught you knavery. In short, • my friend, you have every qualification requisite in a mini• ster of state, except afsurance.'
Another proof of the consummate wisdom of the Roman sénate, was, the dividing the command of their troops between two men so opposite in character, sentiments, and disposition. Our own memories, without having recourse to history, will furnish us with instances of this fort. The Romans being a wise nation, we were certainly right in following their fame." What could be the reason, that this great people, so well skilled in the art of war, did not sooner attempt
t to draw Annibal out of Italy, by making a diversion in Spain, or on the African coast? It is very astonishing, that they should chufe to act upon the defensive, when it was in their power to have acted offensively; but it is stil? more astonishing, that other nations fhould chuse to copy their mistakes. In short, upon an impartial examination, we find, they were fo far from being the people they are generally reprefented, that they appear to have pursued every measure that was most likely to complete their destruction. Comparisons, they say, are odious ; therefore we shall draw no parallet: otherwise, it would be an easy talk to find a nation, which, for some time past, feems to have acted upon the same principles, To what, then, did
Romans owe their deliverance? To fortune, and to the spirit and resolution of one man.. Scipio was their redeemer. Det ** The ftrange conduct of the Romans, says M. Folard," reminds me of Anacharsis' observation to Solon, as they were returning from a public assembly; viz. That he could not help being greatly aftonifhed to find, that, in their deliberations, it was the WISE ihat spoke, and the Fools that decided. Which in publick af femblies, is commonly the case, where party governs, and the most powerful cabal is generally composed of the least rational
As some of our Readers may poffibly think, that we ought not to take our leave of this work, without mentioning a word or two, concerning the merit-of Mr. Hampton's pera formance, we may here observe, that this has been rendered unneceffary, by the various specimens given; and which the learned peruser may, "for his own fatisfaction, compare with the original: whilft Readers less qualified, or less curious, will, perhaps, deem it fufficient, if we assure them, without enume: rating particulars, that we look upon Mr. Hampton's Polybius as one of the best translations that has appeared in the Eng lih language.
M O N T H L Y CATALOGUE
For DECEMBER, 17:56, continued. 67 Loqlib bois diasmitp
silogqo u cium ow.
ng mooolt I. Onfiderations on the present State of Affairs, with some to Reflections on the Dutch Observator.) 8vo. IS: Hooper, wont Bona sdi jana, Stu Qulsenw ti bos slaraxa ol
This pamphlet seems to be the work of an Author, who has w more than once, this winter, appeared in the service of the Pablic:
and never in the occasional way, without a reasonable claim to pubblulic acknowlegements; which are particularly due to him for thefe
Considerations as they contain an unanswerable refutation of the falofhoods and calumnies discharged against this nation, by the French s partizan, indicated in his title-page. It is this part of his underJeaking, which he first carries into execution, and he enters upon ulit with ebis remark, l'hat Earope has more to apprehend from
che filent policy of Lewis XV. than from the open manifettations of o power, which rather gratified the pride, than served the interest,
of Lewis XIV. The indignities offered to fome powers, ferving Co to exasperate all against him; while the more refined fyftem of the present French court, has had such a soporific effekt on its neighbours, that they have slept securely, if they are in a fair way to be fccured, forever, in the ferters of France.
Whether this is precisely true, or not, we need not stay to enquire.--France is, and long bas been, fo formidable, that we can never be too much upon our guard against her. And that the French management of Holland, and of the anti-ftadtholderate party, in particular, 'by the means of Van Haaren's corrupt eloquence, and the Observator's equally corrupt writings, is the triumph of their politics, as the Confiderer phrases it, may also be taken upon content. We have lost the long-boasted, dearbought benefits of our Durch alliance, it is plain ; and whether through French practice, or English misconduct, makes bat litrie difference in the event. Our national character we may posfibly revive, but our footing in that Republic, it is to be feared, we fhall never recover : and it is in this light the Confiderer is entitled to our acknowlegements. —The wicked web of the last of the above mentioned two deceivers, he has certainly untwitted, in the fairest and fulleft manner; and it is only to be lamented, that a piece so well calculated to take off the odioas imputations cast upon us abroad, fhould be written in a language which is understood only at home.
We have been charged, it seems, by these French emiffaries, not only with forming defigns on the liberties of the Republic, but even with aiming at universal commerce ; and the Dutch have been simple enough to believe iç : which is so mach the more strange, as all the world might have known, that we have aimed at nothing for many years paft, but barely keeping a crazy vessel afloat, as long as we could.We have been charged farther, with being the first aggresfors in the present war, because we were the first in Europe to commence hoftilities; whereas it has been over and over again proved, that we commenced hostilities only to correct their aggressions; and even then, as a Jast resource, when all other expedients had failed. And, indeed, from the whole of the Considerations before us, and all that might be added to them, it is but too plain, that we have more to answer for to ourselves, than to any other power upon earth.
What follows in the subsequent part of the pamphlet, and 3 which is comprehended under the first part of the title, is of too
miscellaneous a nature to be represented any other way, than by a flying ketch of the topics contained in it: which are--The mischiefs reciprocally resulting to Britain and Hanover, from an
over close connection the common duty, both of Hanoverian als and British Ministers, to make suitable representations ;-the }" little danger refulting to the latter from a proper discharge of that
duty, and the disgrace which he supposes has befallen them from a neglect of it ; - the neceflity of an entire change of measures,
and a new spirit of councils, preferable to any inferior or secon. dary point, fuch as a distasteful enquiry into pat miscarriages,
&c.--the probability that in fuch case, other Powers would think us worth saving, and really affist in forming a common cause against a common enemy ;-the use to be made of our prea fent misfortunes, by a thorough sense of the impolicy of over in