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shot. The French were in the end de forces in the center and south of Spain, feated, with the loss of eight thousand men who advanced against him to the number and seventeen guns; but the fruits of of sixty thousand men. But, though victory were in a great measure lost to Wellington withdrew into Portugal on the English by the arrival of Marshals this occasion, it was only soon to return Soult, Ney, and Mortier, with the whole into Spain. In the depth of winter he forces in the provinces of Galicia, Leon, secretly prepared a battering train, which and Asturias, in their rear, which forced he directed against Ciudad Rodrigo, when them to retreat to the Portuguese frontier. Marmont's army, charged with its defense, But one lasting good effect resulted from was dispersed in winter quarters, and after this movement, that these provinces were a siege of six days, took it by storm in liberated from the enemy, who never after January, 1812. No sooner was this done regained their footing in them. The year than he directed his forces against Bada1810 witnessed the invasion of Portugal joz, which he also carried by storm, after by a huge French army, eighty thousand a dreadful assault, which cost the victors strong, under Marshal Massena, which, four thousand men. Directing then his after capturing the fortresses of Ciudad footsteps to the north, he defeated MarRodrigo and Almeida, penetrated into mont, with the loss of twenty thousand the very heart of that country. Sir Ar- men, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, thur, who had now been created Viscount near Salamanca; and advancing to Madrid, Wellington, had only thirty-five thousand he entered that capital in triumph, and men under his command, with which it compelled the evacuation of the whole of was impossible to prevent the fall of those the south of Spain by the French troops. fortresses. But he took so strong a posi- He then turned again to the north, and tion on the ridge of Busaco that he re- advanced to Burgos, the castle of which pulsed, with great slaughter, an attack he attempted to carry, but in vain. He upon it by two corps of the French army, was obliged again to retire, by a general and when at length obliged to retire, from concentration of the whole French troops his flank being turned after the battle was in Spain, one hundred thousand strong, over, he did so to the position of Torres against him, and regained the Portuguese Vedras, thirty miles in front of Lisbon, frontier, after having sustained very heavy which, by the advantages of nature and losses during his retreat. The next camthe resources of art had been rendered paign, that of 1813, was a continual triimpregnable. Six hundred guns were umph. Early in May, Wellington, whose mounted on the redoubts, which were de- army had now been raised to seventy fended by sixty thousand armed men. thousand men, of whom forty thousand After wasting five months in front of this were native Englishmen, moved forward, formidable barrier, the French general and driving every thing before him, caine was forced to retreat, which he did, closely up with the French army of equal strength, followed by Wellington to the Spanish which was concentrated from all parts of froutier. There Massena turned on his Spain in the Plain of Vittoria. The battle pursuer, and he reëntered Spain with a which ensued was decisive of the fate of view to bring away the garrison of Al- the peninsula. The French, who were meida, which was now invested; but he under King Joseph in person, were totally was met and defeated at Fuentes d'Onore defeated, with the loss of one hundred and by Wellington, and forced to retire with fifty-six pieces of cannon, four hundred out effecting his object to Ciudad Rod- and fifteen tumbrils, their whole baggage, rigo. The remainder of the year 1810 and an amount of spoil never before won and the whole of 1811 passed over with in modern times by an army. The accuout any very important events, although mulated plunder of five years in Spain was a desperate battle took place in the latter wrenched from them at one fell swoop. year at Albuera, where Marshal Soult was For several miles the soldiers literally defeated, with the loss of seven thousand marched on dollars and Napoleons which men, by Marshal Beresford, in an attempt strewed the ground. The French reto raise the siege of Badajoz, which Wel- gained their frontier with only one gun, lington was besieging. He was compelled and in the deepest dejection. St. Sebasto desist from that enterprise after he had tian was immediately besieged, and taken, made great progress in the siege, by a after two bloody assaults, Pampeluna general concentration of the whole French I blockaded, and a gallant army, thirty
five thousand strong, which Soult had action ensued at Quatre Bras, in which collected in the south of France to raise the French were at length repulsed with the blockade, defeated with the loss of the loss of five thousand men; and, on twelve thousand men. Wellington next the eighteenth, Wellington having coldefeated an attempt of the French again lected all his forces at the post of Waterto penetrate into France at St. Marcial, loo, gave battle to Napoleon in person, and following up his successes, crossed the who was at the head of eighty thousand Bidassoa, stormed the lines they had con- men. His force was only sixty-seven structed on the mountains, which were thousand, with one hundred and fifty-six deemed impregnable, and after repeated guns--whereas, the French had two hunactions, which were most obstinately con- dred and fifty; and of these troops only tested through the winter, drove them forty-three thousand were English, and entirely from the neighborhood of Ba- Hanoverians, and Brunswickers, who yonne, and completed the investment of could be relied on, the remainder being that fortress, while Soult retired, with Belgians, who ran away the moment the forty thousand men, towards Toulouse. action was seriously engaged. NotwithThither he was followed next spring by standing this great inequality, the British Wellington, who again defeated bim at army maintained its ground with invinciOrthes, in a pitched battle, after which he ble firmness till seven o'clock, when the detached his left wing, under Lord Dal- arrival of fifty thousand Prussians, under housie, which occupied Bordeaux. The Blücher, on Napoleon's flank, enabled main army, under Wellington in person, Wellington to take the offensive. The followed Soult and brought him to action, result was the total defeat of the French in a fortified position of immense strength, army, with the loss of forty thousand men on the hights of Toulouse. The battle and one hundred and fifty-six guns. Na took place four days after peace had been poleon fled to Paris, which he soon after signed, but when it was unknown to the left, and surrendered to the English, and allies : it graced the close of Wellington's Louis XVIII. having returned to his capipeninsular career by a glorious victory. tal, his dynasty, and with it peace, was Honors and emoluments of all kinds were restored. The allies having determined now showered upon the English general. to occupy the frontier fortresses, with an He received a field-marshal's baton from army of one hundred and fifty thousand George IV., in return for Marshal Jour- men during five years, the command of dan's, taken on the memorable field of the whole was bestowed on the Duke of Vittoria; he was made a duke at the Wellington; thus affording the clearest conclusion of the peace; received the proof that his was the master-mind which thanks of both Houses of Parliament, and had come to direct the European alliance. grants at different times to the amount Wellington resigned his command, and of five hundred thousand pounds to pur- with it his magnificent appointments in chase an estate and build a palace. He October, 1818, and returned to England, was chiefly at Paris during the year 1814, to the retirement of a comparatively conducting the negotiations for peace; but private station, terminating thus a career on the return of Napoleon from Elba in of unbroken military glory by the yet March, 1815, he was appointed to the purer lustre arising from relieving the command of the united army of British, difficulties and assuaging the sufferings of Hanoverians, and Belgians, seventy thou- his vanquished enemies. In 1819 he was sand strong, formed in the Netherlands, appointed commander-in-chief of the army, to resist the anticipated attack of the which situation he held during the whole French Emperor. The French Emperor anxious years which followed, and by his was not long in making the anticipated able and far-seeing arrangements, conirruption; and on the fifteenth June, tributed, in an essential manner, to bring 1815, he crossed the frontier, and drove the nation, without effusion of blood, in the Prussian outposts, with one hun- through the long years of distress which dred and thirty thousand men. Next followed. His long and honored life, after day he attacked the Prussians, under having been prolonged beyond the usual Blücher, with eighty thousand, and dis- period of human existence, at length drew patched Ney with thirty thousand against to a close. He had, some years before his Wellington's army, which was only begin. death, alarming symptoms in his head ; so ning to be concentrated. A desperate loften the consequence of long-continued
VOL. XLIX-NO. 2
intellectual effort; but by strict abstemi- | a million of persons witnessed the procesousness and perfect regularity of life, he sion, which went from the Horse Guards, succeeded in subduing the dangerous by Apsley House, Piccadilly, and the symptoms, and he was enabled to continue Strand, to St. Paul's, and not a head was and discharge his duties regularly at the covered, and few eyes dry, when the proHorse Guards till the time of his death, cession appeared in the streets. Wellingwhich took place on September 18, 1852, ton was only once married. He left two at the advanced age of eighty-three years. sons, the eldest of whom succeeded to his He was honored with a public funeral, and titles and estates, the fruits of his transburied in St. Paul's, in the most magnifi- cendent abilities and great patriotic cent manner, beside Nelson. The Queen services. and all the noblest in the land were there;
THE Massachusetts Historical Society two first-class historical works, which, alheld a special meeting on Thursday eve though from their subjects they possess a ning, at the residence of Hon. David peculiar attraction for the people of the Sears, to pay a tribute of respect to the United States, are yet, in general interest, late Washington Irving.
second to no contemporary works in that After a formal announcement of the department of literature. I allude, of death of Mr. Irving, by Mr. Sears, Prof. course, to the History of the Life and Longfellow made a few remarks, alluding, Voyages of Columbus and the Life of in affecting terms, to his personal inter- Washington. course with the deceased, and concluded Although Mr. Irving's devotion to literby offering a series of appropriate resolu- ature as a profession — and a profession tions,
pursued with almost unequaled success Hon. Edward Everett, in seconding was caused by untoward events, which in the resolution, read the following memoir ordinary cases would have proved the of Irving:
ruin of a life-a rare good fortune attend. I cordially concur in the resolutions ed his literary career. Without having which Mr. Longfellow has submitted to received a collegiate education, and desthe Society. They do no more than jus- tined first to the legal profession, which tice to the merits and character of Mr. he abandoned as uncongenial, he had in Irving, as a man and as a writer, and it is very early life given promise of attaining to me, sir, a very pleasing circumstance a brilliant reputation as a writer. Some that a tribute like this to the Nestor of the essays from his pen attracted notice beprose writers of America—so just and so fore he reached his majority. A few happily expressed – should be paid by years later, the numbers of the Salmagunthe most distinguished of our American di, to which he was a principal contribupoets.
tor, enjoyed a success throughout the If the year 1769 is distinguished, above United States far beyond any former simievery other year of the last century, for lar work, and not surpassed, if equaled, the number of eminent men to which it by any thing which has since appeared. gave birth, that of 1859 is thus far signal This was followed by Knickerbocker's ized in this century for the number of bright History of New York, which at once names which it has taken from us; and placed Mr. Irving at the head of Amerisurely that of Washington Irving may be can humorists. In the class of composiaccounted with the brightest on the list. tions to which it belongs, I know of no
It is eminently proper that we should thing happier than this work in our lantake a respectful notice of his decease. guage. It has probably been read as He has stood for many years on the roll widely and with as keen a relish as any of our honorary members, and he has en- thing from Mr Irving's pen. It would riched the literature of the country with seem cynical to subject a work of this
kind to an austere commentary, at least have never read any thing so closely resembling while we are paying a tribute to the mem- the style of Dean Swift as the annals of Diedrich vry of its lamented author. But I may Knickerbocker. I have been employed these few be permitted to observe that, while this evenings in reading them aloud to Mrs. S., and kind of writing fits well with the joyous have been absolutely sore with laughing.
two ladies who are our guests, and our sides
I temperament of youth, in the first flush of think, too, there are passages which indicate that successful authorship, and is managed by that the author possesses powers of a different Mr. Irving with great delicacy and skill
, kind, and has some touches which remind me it is, in my opinion, better adapted for a much of Sterne. I beg you will have the kindjeu d'esprit in a magazine than for a work ness to let me know when Mr. Irving takes his of considerable compass. To travesty an pen in hand again, for assuredly I shall expect entire history seems to me a mistaken ef. a very great treat, which I may chance never to
hear of but through your kindness. fort of ingenuity, and not well applied to
“Believe me, dear sir, the countrymen of William of Orange,
“Your obliged humble sertit, Grotius, the De Witts and Van Tromp.
WALTER Scott. This work first made Mr. Irving known “ Abbotsford, 28d April 1813." in Europe. His friend Mr. Henry Brevoort, one of the associate wits of the Sal After Mr. Irving had been led to take magundi, had sent a copy of it to Sir Wal- up his residence abroad, and to adopt ter Scott, himself chiefly known at that time literature as a profession and a lirelihood as the most popular of the English poets a resource to which he was driven by of the day, though as such beginning to the failure of the commercial house of his be outdone by the fresher brightness of relatives, of which he was nominally a Byron's inspiration. Scott, though neces- partner-he produced in rapid succession sarily ignorant of the piquant allusions a series of works which stood the test of to topics of contemporary interest, and English criticism, and attained a popularwholly destitute of sympathy with the ity not surpassed — hardly equaled — by spirit of the work, entered fully into its that of any of his European contemporahumor as a literary effort, and spoke of it ries. This fact, besides being attested by with discrimination and warmth. His let- the critical journals of the day, may be ter to Mr. Henry Brevoort is now in the safely inferred from the munificent prices possession of his son, our esteemed corres- paid by the great London bookseller, the ponding associate, Mr. J. Carson Brevoort, elder Murray, for the copy-right of several to whose liberality we are indebted for of his productions. He wrote, among the curious panoramic drawing of the other subjects, of English manners, sports, military works in the environs of Boston, and traditions national traits of characexecuted by a British officer in 1775, ter-certainly the most difficult topics for which I have had the pleasure, on behalf a foreigner to treat, and he wrote at a of Mr. Brevoort, of tendering to the Socie- time when Scott was almost annually ty this evening. Mr. Carson Brevoort sending forth one of his marvelous novels; has caused a lithographic fac simile of when the poetical reputation of Moore, Sir Walter Scott's letter to be executed, Byron, Campbell, and Rogers was at the and of this interesting relic he also offers zenith; and the public appetite was cona copy to the acceptance of the Society. sequently fed almost to satiety by these The letter has been inserted in the very familiar domestic favorites. But notwithinstructive article on Mr. Irving in Alli- standing these disadvantages and obstabone's invaluable Dictionary of English cles to success, he rose at once to a popand American Authors; but as it is short ularity of the most brilliant and enviable and may not be generally known to the kind; and this, too, in a branch of literaSociety, I will read it from the fac sim- ture which had not been cultivated with ile :
distinguished success in England since the
time of Goldsmith, and with the exception “My Dear Sir: I beg you to accept my of Goldsmith, not since the days of Addibest thanks for the uncommon degree of enter and Steele. tainment which I have received from the most
Mr. Irving's manner is often compared excellently jocose history of New-York. I am sensible that as a stranger to American parties with Addison's, though, closely examined, and politics, I must lose much of the concealed there is no great resemblance between satire of the piece; but I must own that, look- them, except that they both write in a ing at the simple and obvious meaning only, I simple unaffected style, remote from the
tiresome stateliness of Johnson and Gib- | Irving in the far less important quality of bon. It was one of the witty, but rather classical tincture; while as a great nationill-natured sayings of Mr. Samuel Rogers, al historian, our countryman reaped in a whose epigrams sometimes did as much field which Addison nerer entered. injustice to his kind and generous nature Mr. Irving's first great historical work, as they did to the victims of his pleasant- The Life and Voyages of Columbus, ry, that Washington Irving was Addison appeared at London and New-York in and Water—a judgment which, if serious- 1828. Being at Bordeaux in the winter ly dealt with, is altogether aside from the of 1825–6, he received a letter from Mr. merits of the two writers, who have very Alexander H. Everett, then Minister of little in common. Addison had received the United States in Spain, informing him a finished classical education at the Char- that a work was passing through the press, ter House and at Oxford, was eminently a containing a collection of documents relaman of books, and had a decided taste for tive to the voyages of Columbus, among literary criticism. Mr. Irving, for a man which were many of a highly important of letters, was not a great reader, and if nature recently discovered in the public he possessed the critical faculty never archives. This was the now well-known exercised it. Addison quoted the Latin work of Navarette, the Secretary of the poets freely and wrote correct Latin verses Royal Spanish Academy of History. Mr. himself. Mr. Irving made no preten- Everett, in making this communication to sions to a familiar acquaintance with the Mr. Irving, suggested that the translation classics, and probably never made a hex- of Navarette's volumes into English, by ameter in his life. Addison wrote some some American scholar, would be very smooth English poetry, which Mr. Irving desirable. Mr. Irving concurred in this I believe, never attempted; but with the opinion, and, having previously intended exception of two or three exquisite hymns, to visit Madrid, shortly afterwards re(which will last as long as the English paired to that capital, with a view to unlanguage does, one brilliant simile of six dertake the proposed translation. lines in the campaign, and one or two Navarette's collection was published sententious but not very brilliant passages soon after Mr. Irving's arrival at Madrid, from Cato, not a line of Addison's poetry and finding it rich in original documents has been quoted for a hundred years. hitherto unknown, which threw additional But Mr. Irving's peculiar vein of bumor light on the discovery of America, he conis not inferior in playful raciness to Addi- ceived the happy idea (instead of a simple son's; his nicety of characterization is translation) of preparing from them and quite equal; his judgment upon all moral other materials liberally placed at his disrelations as sound and true; his human posal, in the public and private libraries sympathies more comprehensive, tenderer, of Spain, and especially that of Mr. and chaster; and his poetical faculty, Obadiah Rich, our Consul at Valencia, though never developed in verse, vastly with whom Mr. Irving was domesticated above Addison's. One chord in the hu- at Madrid, and who possessed a collection man heart, the pathetic, for whose sweet of manuscripts and books of extreme music Addison had no ear, Irving touched value,) a new history of the greatest event with the hand of a master. He learned of modern times, drawn up in the form of that skill in the school of early disappoint- a life of Columbus. He addressed himself ment.
with zeal and assiduity to the execution In this respect the writer was in both of this happy conception, and in about cases reflected in the man. Addison, two years the work, in four octavo volafter a protracted suit, made an “ ambi- umes, was ready for the press. When it tious match” with a termagant peeress; is considered that much of the material Irving, who would as soon have married was to be drawn from ancient manuscripts Hecate as a woman like the Countess of and black-letter chronicles in a foreign Warwick, buried a blighted hope, never tongue, it is a noble monument of the into be rekindled, in the grave of a youthful dustry, as well as the literary talent, of
its author. As miscellaneous essayists, in which That these newly-discovered materials capacity only they can be compared, Ir- for a life of Columbus, and a history of ving exceeds Addison in versatility and the great discovery, should have fallen range, quite as much as Addison exceeds directly into the hands of an American