Page images
PDF
EPUB

' I need scarcely add that depots of ordnance, arms and ammunition, approvisionment and forage, clothing and equipment, should be formed at the same time, and placed at a secure distance behind the armies, with some safe and easy communication between them. All roads and canals, necessary for the armies to communicate, should be opened, and the time requisite for such movements be calculated with precision.

We may then securely brave any invasion of our territory; for before the enemy can have made an impression on those important points, which deserve to attract his efforts, and which will, by that time, be fortified, a corps of experienced soldiers, led by military chiefs, and supported by the militia of the neighbouring states, will move against him; and we trust that, in the contest, the spirit of patriotism and the consciousness of the noble cause which they defend, will ensure victory to our troops and to the American flag.,

We cannot however entirely prevent England from harassing our coasts by small predatory expeditions, putting us thereby to great trouble and expense, and fatiguing our militia by frequent duty, marches and countermarches. But we can severely retaliate upon her. Our numerous privateers and our navy can pursue and almost destroy her trade on every sea, alarm her on her own coasts, and oblige her to divide her naval forces in every quarter. We can menace her colonies, we can conquer Canada. Invasion and conquest may seem a measure contrary to our republican institutions. But in fact this movement would be a defensive measure; for by the natural situation of Canada, the British keep our whole northern frontier from Maine to Illinois in a constant state of alarm, and carry their hostilities in every part of it, oblige us to maintain on that immense frontier a great naval and military force, divide our means and attention, and surround our country; whilst by occupying Quebec, or Montreal, or any single point on the eastern extremity of that line, we secure the whole of our northern and western frontier for ever, and are enabled to turn all our means and attention to the protection of our sea-coast. The rest of Canada must fall under the well managed efforts of any one of our western states. We trust that, by a system of defence thus organized and conducted, Britain would soon be weary of a fruitless and hopeless contest, where the only injury she could do us, interrupting our trade, would be returned upon her tenfold, and where she would find herself unable to stop the

progress our country, or hurt its vital interests.

Such, in the moment of war, will be the result of forming a good military establishment. But is it necessary, even in time of peace, that the army should remain a dead load upon the nation? Undoubtedly not. The life of a soldier should be a life of constant labour and exercise. Turn these to the public account. The Romans occupied with incessant labours, never suffered from diseases in their armies, whilst in Europe they are more destructive than war. And the listless indolence of a garrison life, in the wilderness of our

of

frontiers, would be insupportable, without some employment, to keep up the health and spirits of the soldier.

• In summer they should be employed under the direction of en. gineers in opening roads and canals, and constructing bridges and fortifications. The axe and shovel should be as familiar to their hands as the musket and bayonet. And as the officers should all be acquainted with the elements of field fortification, these habits would be of incalculable value in time of war. In the intervals of labour, military exercises, swimming, shooting at a mark, &c. should fill every moment, and the scrubbing, polishing, and all the coxcombry of dress with which they are kept occupied in Europe, be given up. It is a fact, however ridiculous, that elegant white undresses were given to several British regiments of cavalry, to employ the soldiers in cleaning them. Nothing should be plainer than a soldier's dress. Convenience and uniformity should be its sole beauty.

• It will be highly useful to accustom them to remain under tents during a part of that season. Tents were latterly quite unknown in the French army. During five years service I never saw one. Cur. tailing all the necessaries of life in that manner, certainly facilitated the rapidity of our movements, but at an immense waste of health and life.

• The leisure of winter should be consecrated to forming the moral character and habits of the soldier, and instructing him theoretically in his service. The sub-officers especially should be examined on all the branches of their duty. Regimental schools on the Lancasterian plan, where all the soldiers should be taught at least to read, write, and account, regimental libraries for the use of the officers, where books of history, geography, mathematics, and all kinds of military works should be at their disposal, would be of incalculable benefit, and serve to substitute the habits of decency, order, discipline and morality, to that drunkenness, to that gambling and dissipation in which ignorance and indolence so frequently plunge the military. Libraries might even be established for the men; it is done in England. That idea might be carried much farther. These schools might be of use to the neighbouring population, in those remote districts where our troops are usually quartered, and the regiments become centres of morality and instruction, instead of being, as they usually are, centres of vice and corruption.

And would an order of men so constituted and so employed be dangerous to the liberties of their country? Would the money expended in qualifying them to lead and direct the efforts of their inexperienced fellow-citizens, in the moment of danger, be wasted? No. Far from forming a heterogeneous element in the constitution of the republic, such an army would be the most powerful instrument of her defence in time of war, and in time of peace a most useful, respectable and honourable class of citizens. If attacked by regular and disciplined forces, we must have forces of the same

nature to repel them, and if it is better to have a good than a bad army, better to beat than to be beaten, we mnst train and discipline them in time of peace to render their service effective in time of

war.

“Let us, therefore, in viewing the ambitious and disorganizing designs of Britain, her immense means, her preparations for war. fare,

and the rapid improvements of her military system, neither abandon ourselves to supine indolence, remain unarmed and unprepared until the blow be struck, nor yield to terror and despondency on measuring the present disparity of our forces. Let us beware of any insidious attack against our union; let us never separate our interests, but organize ourselves, and fortify our frontiers, diffuse military knowledge by means of our military schools, and remedy the radical defects of our militia system, foster the infant establishments of our navy, and give every encouragement to those brave men who defend the republic in the hour of danger. Let us not take parsimony for economy, nor indolence for security, and we have nothing to fear. We have the noblest country and cause to defend that ever nerved the hand or fired the heart of patriot soldier. The future happiness and liberty of the human race are perhaps confided to America. She will not betray the trust. If we do not fail to ourselves, we may defy every enemy, and support against an opposing world the standard of freedom and Washington.' ART. II.-Newly Discovered Antiquities in Arabia Petræa.

[From the Monthly Magazine.] WHEN the graphic illustrations of the ruins of Palmyra, by

Wood and Dawkins, made their appearance, the public received them as surprising discoveries; so little had the western regions of Asia been visited by European travellers after the time of the Holy Wars. Since the publication of those enterprising artists, scarcely any important addition has been made to their information: for the travels of Dr. Clarke are too much interwoven with speculative dissertations to be trusted on all occasions; por did he deviate so far from the common tracks of the caravanş, as to have it in his power materially to enlarge our knowledge, even had he been sufficiently free from hypothetical opinions to have done so to advantage. But we have now reason to expect, that the world will soon be gratified with still more striking illustrations of other and more superb antiquities than those which it owes to Wood and Dawkins.

. Mr. Bankes, who has visited some of the most celebrated scenes in Arabia, intends, we understand, to publish, on his return home, an account of his excursion to Wadi Moosa (the valley of Moses), with engravings of the drawings which he made of the hithertoundescribed excavated temples

there; as well as of the ruins of Jarrasch, which excel in grandeur and beauty even those of Palmyra and Balbec,

This gentleman, in company with several other English travel. bers, left Jerusalem for Hebron, where they viewed the mosque erected over the tomb of Abraham; an edifice constructed in the lower part of such enormous masses of stone, (many of them upwards of twenty feet in length,) that it must be ascribed to that remote age in which durability was the principle chiefly consulted in the formation of all edifices of the monumental kind.

They then proceeded to Karrac, through a country broken into hills and pinnacles of the most fantastic form, and along the foot of mountains, where fragments of rock-salt indicated the natural origin of that intense brine, which is peculiarly descriptive of the neighbouring waters of the Dead Sea.

Karrae is a fortress situated on the top of a hill. The entrance is formed by a winding passage, cut through the living rock. It may be described, like all the other castellated works in the possession of the professors of the Mahomedan religion, as a mass of ruins. The mosque is in that state; and a church which it also contains, as well as the ancient keep or citadel, are in a similar condition. In the vicinity, the travellers saw several sepulchres hollowed out of the rock; and they found the inhabitants of the place a mingled race of Mahomedans and Christians, remarkably hospitable, and living together in terms of freer intercourse than at Jerusalem. The women were not veiled, nor seemed to be subject to any particular restraints.

Mr. Bankes and his companions, after leaving Karrac, sojourned for a short time with a party of Bedoueen Arabs; by whom they were regaled with mutton boiled in milk, a circumstance which will remind our readers of the command in Exodus, chap, xxiii. 8. 19: “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. But we must not here pause to comment on biblical antiquities.

After quitting the tents of these Bedoueens, they passed into the valley of Ellasar, where they noticed some relics of antiquity, which they conjectured were of Roman origin. Here again they rested with a tribe of Arabs. The next day they pursued their journey, partly over a road paved with lava, and which, by its appearance, was evidently a Roman work; and stopped that evening at Shubac, a fortress in a commanding situation, but incapable, by decay, of any effectual defence against European tactics.

In the neighbourhood of this place, they encountered some difficulties from the Arabs, but which, by their spirit and firmness, they overcame; and proceeded unmolested till they reached the tents of a chieftain called Eben Raschib, who took them under his protection. This encampment was situated on the edge of a precipice, from which they had a magnificent view of Mount Gebel Nebe-Haroun, the hill of the prophet Aaron, (Mount Hor;) and a distant prospect of Gebel Tour (Mount Sinai), was also pointed out to them. In the fore-ground, on the plain below, they saw the tents of the hostile Arabs, who were determined to oppose their passage to Wadi Moosa, the ruins of which were also in sight.

34

VOL. XIV.

Perceiving themselves thus as it were waylaid, they sent a messenger to the chief, requesting permission to pass; but he returned for answer, that they should neither cross his lands nor taste his water. They were in fact in the land of Edom, to the king of which Moses sent messengers from Kadish: . Let us pass (said he), I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards; neither will we drink of the waters of the well: we will go by the king's highway; we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders. But Edom said unto him: “ Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.' Numbers, xx. 17-18.

The travellers, after some captious negociation, at last obtained permission to pass; but not to drink of the waters: they did not, however, very faithfully observe this stipulation, for, on reaching the borders of a clear bright sparkling rivulet, which had occasioned so much controversy, their horses would taste the cooling freshness of its waters, and Eben Raschib, their protector, insisted also that the horses should be gratified. On crossing this stream, they entered on the wonders of Wadi Moosa.

The first object that attracted their attention, was a mausoleum, at the entrance of which stood two colossal animals, but whether lions or sphinxes they could not ascertain, as they were much defaced and mutilated. They then, advancing towards the principal ruins, entered a narrow pass, varying from fifteen to twenty feet in width, overhung by precipices, which rose to the general height of two hundred, sometimes reaching five hundred, feet, and darkening the path by their projecting ledges. In some places, niches were sculptured in the sides of this stupendous gallery, and here and there rude masses stood forward, that bore a remote and mysteri. ous resemblance to the figures of living things, but over which, time and oblivion had drawn an inscrutable and everlasting veil. About a mile within this pass, they rode under an arch, perhaps that of an aqueduct, which connected the two sides together; and they noticed several earthen pipes, which had formerly distributed water.

Having continued to explore the gloomy windings of this awful corridore for about two miles, the front of a superb temple burst on their view. A statue of Victory, with wings, filled the centre of an aperture in the upper part, and groups of colossal figures, representing a centaur, and a young man, stood on each side of the lofty portico. This magnificent structure is entirely excavated from the solid rock, and preserved from the ravages the weather by the projections of the overhanging precipices About three hundred yards beyond this temple they met with other astonishing excavations; and, on reaching the termination of the rock on their left, they found an amphitheatre, which had also been ex. cavated, with the exception of the proscenium: and this had fallen into ruins. On all sides the rocks were hollowed into innumerable chambers and sepulchres; and a silent waste of desolated palaces,

« PreviousContinue »