§ The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House, for the purpose of taking into consideration the Prince Regent's Message, relative to the marquis of Wellington. On the Message being read by the chairman,
said, that in calling the attention of the House to the Message which his Royal Highness had been graciously pleased to lay before them, he might, he believed, feel and express a confidence that, at least upon the principle of the Message, there could exist but little, if any variety of opinion. There was, he was convinced, no person who then heard him, that could feel any unwillingness to repay the services of so gallant and so distinguished an officer as the marquis of Wellington, with every title of honour that the crown could confer, and every pecuniary reward the country could afford to bestow. Whatever difficulty there might exist in the calculation of what was due to his services, and what was due to the nation; whatever might be the limits they would feel it necessary to impose upon the principle of the Message, and the generosity that dictated it, upon the claims of 202 the gallant general, upon his signal services, upon his high merits and great achievements, there could exist no difference of opinion. The House should recollect, that the honours which had been hitherto conferred on lord Wellington by his sovereign, were not sought for by him; that such honours were not conferred merely for the gratification of the individual, to be worn by him as memorials of his military greatness, and testimonies of his sovereign's regard, they were conferred as an example to others—that they might feel those motives to noble exertion, to gallant service, and military fame, which could not fail to hold out a generous excitement to every person that had the happiness to live under our free and happy constitution. Honours of such a nature should be always conferred less with a view to the individual than to their general effects; but the House must also feel, that in conferring such honours, there was at least an implied engagement that they should be neither burthensome nor painful to the person who received them, but conferred in such a way as to make them worthy both of the crown and of the people. The honours with which the marquis of Wellington had been graced, were not merely bestowed by the crown, but were called for by the voice of the nation. And he might say with truth, that the sanction and approbation of that House had followed so closely upon the gift of the sovereign, that the honours of the brave general were not less under the sanction of parliament than of the crown. By such conduct they had, at least, marked the extent of his claims. Lord Wellington, though yet a young man, though much he hoped of his valuable life would be yet spent in the service of his country; however, young as he was, he had received more testimonies of his sovereign's favour than any subject who lived before his time, not excepting even the great duke of Marlborough. It was the singular fortune of that distinguished officer, that in addition to the rewards and honours bestowed by his sovereign, he had received upon six different occasions what was not less flattering or less honourable, the thanks of that House:—on lord Wellington, who was younger in years but not in experience, the thanks of that House had been conferred not less than eight times, six of which had been for his services on the peninsula, where he was opposed, not as he had been before to an Indian enemy, but to armies long accus- 203 tomed to victory, to armies commanded by men of the first military talents, trained in the school of danger and experience, confident of success, for they had been accustomed to conquest, with their laurels fresh and yet blooming round them. Such were the armies, such were the captains whose laurels withered before the brightness of his fame. Fortunately for the world, those laurels had been transplanted to another region where they would flourish, he hoped, for ever, not for the destruction of mankind, but for the protection of their liberties and their religion, and their rights. Never did the country produce a man who had received so large a measure of parliamentary and national approbation. No man had been ever so greatly and so justly distinguished. In the peninsula, taking all together, his catalogue of successes unchequered by any thing to diminish their glory, was the greatest that any individual ever before had to boast of. Those successes were in the recollection of the House. Every person who heard him must recollect the battle of Busaço, in which a victory was gained over nearly double numbers; the battle of Fuente de Honore, and other battles which, if not fought immediately under his eye, were fought at least under his direction; also the battle of Albuera; but, above all, the attack upon the bridge of Almarez, conducted by general Hill, under the direction of lord Wellington. Soult confessed, that from the moment of that successful attack, the measures he had planned with Marmorn were completely deranged. The army of Spain was forced to act in two divisions, and its generals were prevented from their intended cooperation. It was indeed true, that his splendid course of military successes was not unchequered by retreat. Retreat, however, was not defeat: and in the retreat to which circumstances obliged him, he still gave evidence that the resources of a great mind did not forsake him. In short, within the space of four years, he had beaten the proudest marshals of France. He had beaten Marmont, he had beaten Soult, who was himself considered as a host; he had beaten Massena and Key, and Jourdan. In no one instance did he lead a British army into the field, in which they were not crowned with glory and success. He presented the new and grand spectacle of four years successes, without any of the disasters that are naturally attendant upon military 204 operations. It was not necessary to press these things upon the attention of the House, they were in the recollection of every person. The questions now for them to consider were; first, What was the policy; and, 2dly, What were the means of rewarding such services? With respect to the policy of rewarding military services, although there were many questions of policy, in the consideration of which he would not refer for examples to the councils of the enemy, there could not however be a better policy than theirs, in so far as it regarded rewards for military service. Let them look to France; could they find in that country one general of any merit, who was not loaded with all the rewards and the honours that it was in the power of their ruler to confer? Different, indeed, far different were they from the rewards and the honours of the gallant marquis; different in the grace that belonged to them; different in the services that gained them, and in the principle on which they were bestowed. They, it was true, were highly rewarded, but their rewards were such as the brave Wellington would disdain to accept. A right hon. gentleman (Mr. Canning) had truly stated upon a former occasion, that though placed at the head of the Portuguese army, the pay attendant upon which situation was not less than 8,000l. a year, when asked to accept that pay, he answered, that whatever services were in his power, he would be always willing to perform for Portugal; but as he received the pay of his own sovereign, he would not accept of it from another. The pay had been suffered to accumulate in the expectation that his feelings might at some time be prevailed upon to accept it. He was apprised that the money was to be delivered to him, but with a generosity never before excelled, with the noble self-denial of a soldier, he begged it should be disposed of for the Portuguese army.—Reverting to the system of the French army, the noble lord observed, that not only were the successful officers of that army rewarded with such honours as could be bestowed on them, but with possessions (which it was a disgrace to accept) granted out of the countries which they had devastated, in pursuance of that unjustifiable principle on which modern France had uniformly acted, of making the territory of one sovereign afford the means of desolating the dominions of another—Happily a different system pre- 205 vailed, and he trusted would ever prevail in this country. The troops of Great. Britain went forth to fight for the interests and tranquillity of other nations as well as of their own; and their officers, although they might accept the honours conferred on them by the legitimate sovereigns of the countries in whose cause they were contending, were not disposed to avail themselves of any pecuniary advantage, unless it flowed from the country to which they belonged.—He now came to consider what, under all the circumstances of the case, it appeared to him to be becoming in parliament to grant in the present instance. If he had to consider lord Wellington's services in a similar point of view to that which called forth the munificence of parliament on a former occasion—if he had to consider them under circumstances similar to those under which lord Nelson's services had been considered—if such a calamity had occurred as the death of the noble marquis (and no greater calamity could befall the country than the loss of such a treasure);'if the noble marquis were by such a melancholy occurrence put out of the reach of the further favour of the crown and the further notice of parliament, he should then, in submitting a proposition to the Committee on behalf of the noble marquis's family, be influenced by a very different feeling; but, considering that lord Wellington was comparatively young in the service, considering that he was placed in a great crisis, which had, indeed, principally arisen out of the noble lord's own exertions in the peninsula; considering that he might yet render important advantages to his country and to the world, he was not willing, however high his merit, that the honours of the crown and the bounty of parliament should be at once exhausted upon him. Under these circumstances he was anxious to submit to the Committee such a proposition as should at once mark their sense of his great and glorious services, and their recollection that he might, and in all probability would, experience the further favour of the sovereign and the further bounty of parliament. An additional motive to a concurrence in the vote which he should have the honour to propose, and which he was sure that the Committee would seize with avidity, was, that by a happy coincidence of circumstances, the manor of Wellington, from which the noble lord derived his title, had passed from its former owner 206 into the possession of an individual who would be too happy, if parliament agreed to the proposed vote, to surrender it in order that it might be handed down to posterity, as the spot granted by the legislature in testimony of their approbation of the services of that illustrious individual by whom that title was first assumed. With this view, he was persuaded that the Committee would deem that he best discharged his duty by proposing that a sum of money should be vested in trustees for the purchase of lands to descend with the title of Wellington, and to be enjoyed by the future representatives of the noble marquis. He would, therefore, not trespass further on the time of the House, but conclude with moving, "That it is the opinion of this Committee, that a sum, not exceeding 100,000l. be granted to his Majesty, to be vested in trustees, for the use of the marquis of Wellington and such other persons on whom the title of marquis of Wellington shall descend, and to be employed in the purchase of lands, tenements and hereditaments to accompany the said title, and that the said sum be issued and paid without any fee or other deduction whatsoever."
§ Mr. Whitshed Keene
did not rise for the purpose of opposing the motion. In all military cases, when a reward was asked, proper attention should be paid in proportioning it to the quantity of forces by which the achievement had been performed; but the success of the marquis of Wellington, especially considering the means he had at his disposal, had far surpassed the most sanguine expectations. Considering the price of landed property, he did not conceive the present grant as too considerable, and when he reflected that the marquis of Wellington's services were warm in the minds of every one he even thought that the House might have gone farther.
Sir Francis Burdett
said, that however strong the claims of lord Wellington might be, he could not think that they were much advanced by the advocacy of the noble lord or of the hon. gentleman who had just sat down. The noble lord had dwelt, with much satisfaction, on the peculiar advantages and blessings of our happy constitution, under which such opportunities were afforded of rewarding merit; but before this praise was entirely acquiesced in, there were two considerations which presented themselves to those who were appointed the guardians of the pub- 207 lic property—namely, the merit of the claimant in the first place, and in the second, one of not inferior importance, out of what fund the proposed remuneration ought to come. On this last point he was of opinion, that while such enormous funds were in the hands and at the disposal of government, and while the amount of taxation was so great and so complicated, as to render its collection in a great degree impossible—while all this was the case, ministers ought to be ashamed to apply to the public purse. In the resources and the patronage they possessed, there were surely abundant means of remuneration; and it should be recollected, that when there was a general outcry against the number of sinecure places, the ready and constant answer was, that these places in the hands of government enabled them to reward the services performed by the servants of the public. If this were the defence, there could be no doubt that the funds accruing from those places should be appropriated as they were said to be. But there was also another fund on which it would have been more becoming in ministers to have drawn—he meant the Droits of Admiralty, which strictly ought to be appropriated to reward the services of naval officers, except where they were applied to the purpose which had been stated the other night, of indemnity in the case of American captures, in the event of a peace with that power. But when this fund was employed in grants to the princes of the blood, who did not hesitate to accept of them, and in other purposes equally foreign from their original and proper designation, he then thought that it might also be found fit to apply them on the present occasion also. With respect to the conduct of the noble marquis who was the subject of the present motion, the noble lord had told them that retreat was no proof of demerit; unquestionably not; and there were many instances on record of late years, in which retreats had been conducted in such a manner, and under such circumstances, as placed them far beyond the most brilliant victories; but this was the first time he ever heard that there was merit or glory in a most disastrous retreat. He was not perfectly sure that the military hospitals had not been abandoned, but from all that could be known from returns, private letters, &c. there was reason to believe that the losses incurred in the retreat from Burgos were not much less than in 208 that of general Moore. Though a retreat might be no proof of demerit on the part of a general, he could not think it furnished grounds on which to call for parliamentary remuneration. To him, as a man of a plain way of thinking, it appeared, that the results of the campaign had been disaster and defeat. The victory of Salamanca appeared to be a victory forced upon lord Wellington. After that victory he could wish it to be explained whether it was good conduct to proceed against Burgos, whether in the conduct of that siege there was a want of ability in the commander, whether the project was a bad one, or whether the ministers of this country had given him positive orders to advance against it without furnishing him with the means of taking it. In one of lord Wellington's dispatches there was a singular paragraph; "Your lordship is aware I had little hopes of success at Burgos; yet after the battle of Salamanca it was necessary to proceed against Burgos, to ensure the success of the campaign." Thus, then, the consequence of that victory was disaster. He did not wish to undervalue the services of Lord Wellington, but the victories he had gained in Spain had none of the characteristics which distinguished those of the duke of Marlborough. The advantages that general gained he retained; yet it was not till after the decisive battle of Blenheim that parliament rewarded his services. Now in the peninsula it had been observed, and by military men too, that marquis Wellington had brought his army into difficulties, but his men had fought him out of them again, and that in the capture of the fortresses which he had won, a waste of life was to be complained of. This he understood to have been the case at Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz, which places had been stormed without a breach being previously made. A similar complaint he had heard respecting Burgos. He did not wish to divide the House on the grant, but he wished to move that the consideration of the grant should be deferred till some enquiry had been made into this extraordinary campaign. He did not see that flattering success which the noble lord thought he saw in the siege of Cadiz having been raised by the enemy. The cause of Spain to him appeared infinitely more hopeless than it was at the commencement of the campaign. If lord Wellington had never marched to Madrid, and if he had not 209 gained the battle of Salamanca, there would have been infinitely more hope than there was after those events had taken place, seeing the Spaniards had not joined us with that spirit with which ministers deluded themselves, and would fain delude the House to believe in existence. The reverse of this appeared to him to be the fact, and therefore he thought the case of the peninsula more deplorable than ever. He wished to move, "that the consideration of the grant be deferred till after the holidays."
observed, that though the hon. baronet had professed his ignorance of military affairs, he had nevertheless dealt with no sparing hand in military censures. The hon. baronet's opinions were so erroneous, that he could not possibly conceive how he had formed them, or where he had procured his information. He had talked indeed of military authorities, but without naming them, and he was aware that it would be useless to press the hon. baronet on that head. He had asserted that Ciudad Rodrigo had been stormed before a breach had been effected; the contrary was notorious; a breach had been first effected, and that breach, although most gallantly defended, was stormed afterwards; nor did he think that all the anonymous military authorities, quoted by the hon. baronet, could point out to him any other way of taking a town. At Badajoz two breaches had been effected, and it was owing to the attention of the enemy being diverted by a front attack on those very breaches, that general Picton succeeded in converting his false attack on the castle into a real one—a case not unfrequent in war, and always within the calculations of the general, as was the case with the marquis of Wellington. The same mistake seemed as if fatally to follow the hon. baronet when talking of the attack on Burgos, for no less than five breaches had been effected in that fortress, by sapping and mining. It was true the storming did not succeed, because the place was most bravely and ably defended; indeed such a resistance seldom was exhibited; but in the failure of that enterprize, of which he never entertained any sanguine hopes, he was at a loss to discover how lord Wellington was to blame. The hon. gentleman next adverted to the picture drawn of lord Wellington's retreat by the hon. baronet, at which he could not sufficiently express his astonishment. Where could the hon. 210 baronet possibly have got his information? He had talked of our hospitals having been abandoned; in this, however, he could assure him, that he had been completely misinformed. Some few of our sick, whose removal would have been attended with certain death, had been, perhaps, left behind in the hospitals, as was usual in such cases; but he could assure the hon. baronet for his satisfaction, that the retreat had been effected in the most complete order. There was no haste, no trepidation, no uncertainty; the measure had been foreseen, formed a part of a general plan, and all the necessary precautions had been taken. The enemy did not come up in force against our army—there were only partial affairs between the van-guards and the rearguards, and the amount of the loss on each day, except the last, had been transmitted by the marquis of Wellington, and regularly inserted in the Gazette. On that last day, the noble general had indeed mentioned that our troops had suffered severely, but nothing very disastrous could be concluded from that expression, as the distant cannonading had lasted only one day, and as the enemy had afterwards desisted from following our troops.—Adverting next to the hon. baronet's historical recollections, the hon. gentleman was sorry to find that in this he was no more at home than he was on military affairs.—The hon. baronet had stated that it was not till after the battle of Blenheim that the duke of Marlborough had received parliamentary remuneration; it was a fact, however, that long before that battle, and as early as the 10th of December in the year 1702, the duke of Marlborough had received from parliament an annuity of 5,000l.;* and Blenheim was, besides, the first victory of any importance he had obtained. Not so with the marquis of Wellington: it was not for the victory of Salamanca alone that the vote of 100,000l. was demanded for the noble marquis. The whole of his life had been devoted to the service of his country. All the advantages obtained in Spain were owing to his military genius, and if ever there was a case which called for an expression of national gratitude, it was the case of the marquis of Wellington.
§ Sir Frederick Flood
was sorry that the defalcation in the revenue, during the two* See the Parliamentary History, vol. 6, p. 57.211 last years, prevented him from making the motion he at first intended to submit to the House, which was to double the sum proposed to be voted for lord Wellington, besides a monument to be erected in the country which gave him birth, he meant Ireland, for he was Ireland's pride and England's hope. It was cruel to impose titles on men who had served their country, without at the same time giving them the means of supporting them. He was now a marquis: he might next be made a duke, without the means of supporting those high dignities. It was a maiden grant, and ought to be vigorously executed (a laugh.) We should have in this metropolis a Wellington-house, as well as a Marlborough-house, and he should give his most hearty assent to a proposition for such an object.
§ Mr. Protheroe,
in a maiden speech, said he should not follow the noble lord, or the hon. baronet, through the military details into which they had entered; but he must say, that he thought the hon. baronet had been guilty of the indiscretion which he unfoundedly charged on the marquis of Wellington—he had made an attack where there was no breach. Had the hon. baronet considered the subject with more deliberation, he must have seen, that there might be such a thing as a bold advance without rashness, and a skilful retreat without disgrace. He thought the House should cheerfully agree to the Message of the Prince Regent. Even posthumous honours were useful, and were paid to the immortal lord Nelson, as a stimulus to naval exertion: but with how much greater satisfaction should we be struck, if we could see the Nelson of the army,—the man whose name, like his, might become the common appellative of a hero,—living among us, and reaping the honours due to his services, in the munifificence, the admiration, and affection of his countrymen? He hoped that nothing would interfere to detract from that munificence, and to diminish that admiring affection. The hon. baronet had alluded to the distresses of the country; but, although he thought himself as well acquainted with them, at least with the mercantile distresses, as the hon. baronet, he should not enter on the topic at present, as a fitter time would by and bye occur for that discussion: he felt as deeply for them, and wished as ardently to relieve them, as any of those persons who most indulged in lamentations over them; yet he 212 thought, with respect to those distresses, that there was a time to speak of them, and a time to forbear. And he was sure, that the commercial interests of the country would feel indignant, were they to hear that their distresses stood in the way of the munificence of parliament. Instead of looking upon these distresses as a reason for a small or inadequate remuneration to lord Wellington, he would recommend to his Majesty's ministers a rigid economy in the several departments of the state and in the public expenditure, and this was the source from which he thought that a well-timed generosity might most effectually arise. By an union of the one and other, this would not only be a great and a powerful, but a prosperous, an united, and a happy nation.
expressed his regret, that instead of internal warfare, a system of external annoyance was not adopted, which, he contended, would be productive of the greatest advantages to the country, and would not only be more serviceable to the cause of Russia, but would enable government to dictate terms of peace to Buonaparté. This the noble lord thought so plain, as to preclude the necessity of demonstration. He concluded by assenting to the motion, as he was convinced that lord Wellington had done every thing which he could possibly have done, under all the circumstances in which he was placed.
§ Mr. Whitbread
had had the misfortune to differ heretofore with a majority of the House, both with respect to the merits and services of lord Wellington, and the remuneration which was bestowed upon them. With respect, however, to the grant which was now proposed, it met with his entire approbation. By acceding to this vote, he did not conceive that he was expressing any opinion with respect to the situation of things in Spain: he at present wished to be considered as having consented to the vote merely in consideration of lord Wellington's own merits. If he had differed in opinion with others when the thanks of the House were asked for lord Wellington after the battle of Talavera, it was not because he did not think that the battle of Talavera was a great affair, but because he thought that lord Wellington had got his army into a great scrape, and that his army had fought bravely and extricated him. But he did not wish now to repeat what he had thought or said on former occasions. He 213 was not a military man; and when he was called on in his place to decide on the merits of military men, it was his duty to give the best opinion which he could form under all the circumstances of the case. It was the less to be wondered at that he had not formed a correct estimate of the merits of lord Wellington at that time, as his plan had not developed itself till the first retreat of marshal Massena, which led to operations at last terminating in the battle of Salamanca. By this development he had stamped his character as a great general. The operations of both the French and the English generals were masterly. It had been acknowledged by lord Wellington, that he had never seen a more masterly retreat than Massena's; and the emperor of the French was understood to have been well pleased with that retreat. It had in particular been recorded of the part which marshal Ney had had in that affair, that it was one of the most meritorious military retreats ever known. With respect to the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz and Burgos, never was more consummate valour and desperate courage shewn than on these occasions. At the siege of Badajoz, Philippon, and his brave troops, did every thing it was possible for men to do, before surrendering; but by the masterly conduct of the British, and in a particular manner by the efforts made by general Picton, that important fortress fell into the hands of lord Wellington. In war, the commander who attempted such daring achievements as these had only to show that they had succeeded to justify the undertaking them. He must pity the brave men who fell in the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo; but my lord Wellington had succeeded in that undertaking; and by that noble daring he had saved many lives which would have been lost at other places, so that the waste of lives during the whole campaign was on that account less than if that siege had not taken place. The plan of lord Wellington had been brought to a close, at the battle of Salamanca. He believed he had never intended to fight that battle; he was then in full retreat, and determined to continue that retreat. The most skilful manœuvring took place on both sides for two days, till at the last an opportunity was given him, by the fault of the French general, which led to the victory. The pursuit of the French was carried on for some time, and at last abandoned. Its object was the liberation of Madrid, and that object had been at- 214 tained. He had beaten Marmont, Massena, and the pretended king of Spain; and he thought that by the taking of Madrid he would rouse that spirit in the Spaniards, which then lay dormant, and which is still latent. He hoped that they would begin to do better than they had formerly done. He afterwards advanced and commenced the siege of Burgos, and during that advance he believed that general Clausel had shewn himself a worthy antagonist. In the siege of Burgos he had certainly failed,—not because he had not made both breaches and assaults;—for, from the account of the gallant Dubreton himself, which he had that day seen in the newspaper, it appeared that no fewer than five breaches and assaults had been made,—but because these breaches and assaults had all been successfully withstood. An hon. gentleman who had spoken before him, and who always spoke well on every question (Mr. Robinson), took off from the merit of lord Wellington, by not stating the case as it exactly was. Whether the siege of Burgos was proper or not was a military question, which it was not for him to decide; but he was bound to suppose that lord Wellington had good reasons for the siege. After what he had seen, he thought it was no wonder if he expected to make up in celerity what he wanted in strength. He certainly had in the course of this campaign afforded Spain a great opportunity of making exertions in its own cause. He could not agree with the noble lord in the soliloquy which he, the other night, put into the mouth of that gallant commander, beginning with My great genius;" but he believed that the noble lord had conducted the campaign with considerable military skill; and it appeared by intercepted communications and other channels of information, that the French marshals themselves, entertained an high opinion of his lordship's military skill, from the manner in which he conducted his retreating army across the Agueda. He was convinced that the House and the country at large, were fully sensible that lord Wellington had performed great military services; and if the crown thought proper to reward them with the honour of a marquisate, the House and the public would think it right to vote him immediately the means of supporting that dignity, without waiting for the discussion of what might be spared from indirect and precarious funds, the application of which might 215 form a subject of distinct consideration on a future occasion. He did not like the comparisons which had been made between the noble lord and the duke of Marlborough. Each of those illustrious commanders had sufficient merits of their own, upon which their fame might rest; but since the comparison had been made, he would say, that it was precisely upon pecuniary points that the character of the duke of Marlborough was vulnerable; whereas upon those points the disinterestedness of lord Wellington was perfectly known; and in those points he was a truly meritorious servant of the public. We were told that some great statesmen were somewhere to be found who would have done a great deal more in the peninsula, if they had been in office. He did not wish to see those conjurors in office, as he thought that the resources of the country were already strained as far as they would bear in the prosecution of the war. The right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer had, in his defence of ministers, told the House, the other night, that they had spent upwards of eleven millions on this war, in the course of the last eleven months. Now as he was sure that every thing confided to lord Wellington had been employed with judgment, he thought a vote of 10,000l. not too much to reward his great services. He, therefore, entirely concurred in the grant of the sum proposed, and thought that it should be given by a direct vote.
declared, that he should deem it an encroachment upon the time and a waste of the attention of the House, if after the opinions expressed and the military criticisms delivered on this occasion, he were to attempt to do more than to state how fully he participated in the admiration felt at lord Wellington's achievements, and in a sense of the justness of that remuneration which had been proposed. He was inclined to concur most cordially with the proposition, not only on those grounds which had been adverted to, particularly by an hon. gentleman (Mr. Protheroe) who formed one example of the acquisitions which the new parliament had made, but on others of a more general nature. He concurred in it from a feeling, that we had within the last few years raised ourselves to the same equality at land, more than which we had possessed at sea, and that to the individual to whom we owed this augmentation of glory and advantage, no remuneration could be too 216 splendid or too generous. No man who looked back at what our military policy was some time ago, and compared it with our present views and character, but must see that through the success and merits of lord Wellington we had become a military people, and that by a series of achievements, each rising above the other in grandeur, he had, although yet in the youth of his glory, acquired for himself a renown equal to that of the first captain of his age. When the House looked back to that period at which our warlike preparations were confined to plans of fortifying the Thames instead of driving the enemy beyond the Tormes and the Ebro, they could not fail, not merely to recognise in lord Wellington the decus et tutamen patriæ,' as one who had not merely formed a school in which others might be taught to succeed and follow him in his career of glory, but to perceive in him at the same time the hero, who, whilst he wielded the thunder of his native land, was the tutelar genius of allied and dependent states, the protector of oppressed and prostrate powers. The picture which history would trace, for the instruction of posterity, would unite, therefore, with the figure of the successful commander, the attributes of a benevolent spirit, extending a guardian influence over recovering, though fallen nations. All must admit, that by the exertion in Spain, Europe had been enabled to reflect on her condition; and when Buonaparté's situation, though perhaps not irretrievable, was contemplated, we had not only evidence of this, but an illustration of the different principles on which the war was conducted. Lord "Wellington advancing to the succour and liberation of Spain—Buonaparté marching to the devastation of Russia, exhibited striking examples of the different objects by which the two empires were directed in their mutual hostility. At such a moment, whenExpectation sits in the air And hides a sword from hilt unto the point, With crowns, imperial crowns and coronets—it might not be useless to compare the rewards which Buonaparté was anticipating from conquest and desolation, with those pure enjoyments which lord Wellington sought for in the acknowledgments of a benefited and grateful country. An hon. baronet had expressed a wish that the sum proposed to be voted should be taken from other funds. For his own part he was confident that the people would feel de- 217 frauded, were they to be deprived of the opportunity of doing justice to their great commander, and if the House were to attempt to scrape up a provision out of the leavings of obscure and secret funds, he felt that they ought not to pollute the vote, by seeming to apologise for the gratitude they evinced, or by endeavouring to show that they were grateful at no expence. He rather hoped that they would be anxious to show, that as the crown had run before them in one instance, they were resolved to keep pace with its wishes in another. He understood it was proposed to lay out the 100,000l. in the purchase of lands to be attached to the title of Wellington. Now, lord Wellington's children were all sons, but they might have only female issue. He presumed that it was not intended the title should fail in that case. He thought it necessary not only that the immediate descendants of such a man should be provided for, but that the grant of that night should insure to their posterity that result which Englishmen could not but wish to see,—as a lasting monument to the memory of their great ancestor.
observed, that matter would come to be considered in the Bill. It was the wish of ministers that the grant should be made on the most liberal principles.
Sir F. Burdett's Amendment was then put and negatived without a division. After which the original Resolution was agreed to.