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Title: The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, Vol. I

Author: Earl of Thomas Barnes Cochrane Dundonald

H. R. Fox Bourne

Release date: September 2, 2004 [eBook #13351]
Most recently updated: January 15, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Ted Garvin, Daniel Watkins and PG Distributed Proofreaders






Published 1869.




In these Volumes is recounted the public life of my late father from the period to which the narrative was brought down by himself in his unfinished "Autobiography of a Seaman." The completion of that work was prevented by his death, which occurred almost immediately after the publication of the Second Volume, eight years and a half ago. I had hoped to supplement it sooner; but in this hope I have been thwarted.

My father's papers were, at the time of his death, in the hands of a gentleman who had assisted him in the preparation of his "Autobiography," and to this gentleman was entrusted the completion of the work. Illness and other occupations, however, interfered, and, after a lapse of about two years, he died, leaving the papers, of which no use had been made by him, to fall into the possession of others. Only after long delay and considerable trouble and expense was I able to recover them and realize my long-cherished purpose.

Further delay in the publication of this book has arisen from my having been compelled, as my father's executor, to make three long and laborious journeys to Brazil, which have engrossed much time.

At length, however, I find myself able to pay the debt which I owe both to my father's memory and to the public, by whom the "Autobiography of a Seaman" was read with so much interest. At the beginning of last year I placed all the necessary documents in the hands of my friend, Mr. H.R. Fox Bourne, asking him to handle them with the same zeal of research and impartiality of judgment which he has shown in his already published works. I have also furnished him with my own reminiscences of so much of my father's life as was personally known to me; and he has availed himself of all the help that could be obtained from other sources of information, both private and public. He has written the book to the best of his ability, and I have done my utmost to help him in making it as complete and accurate as possible. We hope that the late Earl of Dundonald's life and character have been all the better delineated in that the work has grown out of the personal knowledge of his son and the unbiassed judgment of a stranger.

A long time having elapsed since the publication of the "Autobiography of a Seaman," it has been thought well to give a brief recapitulation of its story in an opening chapter.

The four following chapters recount my father's history during the five years following the cruel Stock Exchange trial, the subject last treated of in the "Autobiography." It is not strange that the harsh treatment to which he was subjected should have led him into opposition, in which there was some violence, which he afterwards condemned, against the Government of the day. But, if there were circumstances to be regretted in this portion of his career, it shows almost more plainly than any other with what strength of philanthropy he sought to aid the poor and the oppressed.

His occupations as Chief Admiral, first of Chili and afterwards of Brazil, were described by himself in two volumes, entitled, "A Narrative of Services in Chili, Peru, and Brazil." Therefore, the seven chapters of the present work which describe these episodes have been made as concise as possible. Only the most memorable circumstances have been dwelt upon, and the details introduced have been drawn to some extent from documents not included in the volumes referred to.

There was no reason for abridgment in treating of my father's connection with Greece. In the service of that country he was less able to achieve beneficial results than in Chili and Brazil; but as, on that ground, he has been frequently traduced by critics and historians, it seemed especially important to show how his successes were greater than these critics and historians have represented, and how his failures sprang from the faults of others and from misfortunes by which he was the chief sufferer. The documents left by him, moreover, afford abundant material for illustrating an eventful period in modern history. The chapters referring to Greece and Greek affairs, accordingly, enter with especial fullness into the circumstances of Lord Dundonald's life at this time, and his connection with contemporary politics.

Eight other chapters recount all that was of most public interest in the thirty years of my father's life after his return from Greece. Except during a brief period of active service in his profession, when he had command of the British squadron in North American and West Indian waters, those thirty years were chiefly spent in efforts—by scientific research, by mechanical experiment, and by persevering argument—to increase the naval power of his country, and in efforts no less zealous to secure for himself that full reversal of the wrongful sentence passed upon him in a former generation, which could only be attained by public restitution of the official rank and national honours of which he had been deprived.

This restitution was begun by his Majesty King William IV., and completed by our present most gracious Queen and the Prince Consort. By the kindnesses which he received from these illustrious persons, my father's later years were cheered; and I can never cease to be profoundly grateful to my Sovereign, and her revered husband, for the personal interest with which they listened to my prayer immediately after his death. Through their gracious influence, the same banner of the Bath that had been taken from him nearly fifty years before, was restored to its place in Westminster Abbey, and allowed to float over his remains at their time of burial. Thus the last stain upon my father's memory was wiped out.

DUNDONALD. London, May 24th, 1869.




Introduction.—Lord Cochrane's Ancestry.—His First Occupations in the Navy.—His Cruise in the Speedy and Capture of the Gamo.—His Exploits in the Pallas.—The beginning of his Parliamentary Life.—His two Elections as Member for Honiton.—His Election for Westminster.—Further Seamanship.—The Basque Roads Affair.—The Court-Martial on Lord Gambier, and its injurious effects on Lord Cochrane's Naval Career.—His Parliamentary Occupations.—His Visit to Malta and its Issues.—The Antecedents and Consequences of the Stock Exchange Trial - 1



The Issue of the Stock Exchange Trial.—Lord Cochrane's Committal to the King's Bench Prison.—The Debate upon his Case in the House of Commons, and his Speech on that Occasion.—His Expulsion from the House, and Re-election as Member for Westminster.—The Withdrawal of his Sentence to the Pillory.—The Removal of his Insignia as a Knight of the Bath - 35



Lord Cochrane's Bearing in the King's Bench Prison.—His Street Lamps.—His Escape, and the Motives for it.—His Capture in the House of Commons, and subsequent Treatment.—His Confinement in the Strong Room of the King's Bench Prison.—His Release - 48



Lord Cochrane's Return to the House of Commons.—His Share in the Refusal of the Duke of Cumberland's Marriage Pension.—His Charges against Lord Ellenborough, and their Rejection by the House.—His Popularity.—The Part taken by him in Public Meetings for the Relief of the People.—The London Tavern Meeting.—His further Prosecution, Trial at Guildford, and subsequent Imprisonment.—The Payment of his Fines by a Penny Subscription.—The Congratulations of his Westminster Constituents - 74



The State of Politics in England in 1817 and 1818, and Lord Cochrane's Share in them.—His Work as a Radical in and out of Parliament.—His futile Efforts to obtain the Prize Money due for his Services at Basque Roads.—The Holly Hill Siege.—The Preparations for his Enterprise in South America.—His last Speech in Parliament - 109



The Antecedents of Lord Cochrane's Employments in South America.—The War of Independence in the Spanish Colonies.—Mexico.—Venezuela.—Colombia.—Chili.—The first Chilian Insurrection.—The Carreras and O'Higgins.—The Battle of Rancagua.—O'Higgins's Successes.—The Establishment of the Chilian Republic.—Lord Cochrane invited to enter the Chilian Service - 137



Lord Cochrane's Voyage to Chili.—His Reception at Valparaiso and Santiago.—The Disorganization of the Chilian Fleet.—First Signs of Disaffection.—The Naval Forces of the Chilians and the Spaniards.—Lord Cochrane's first Expedition to Peru.—His Attack on Callao.—"Drake the Dragon" and "Cochrane the Devil."—Lord Cochrane's Successes in Overawing the Spaniards, in Treasure-taking, and in Encouragement of the Peruvians to join in the War of Independence.—His Plan for another Attack on Callao.—His Difficulties in Equipping the Expedition.—The Failure of the Attempt.—His Plan for Storming Valdivia.—Its Successful Accomplishment - 148



Lord Cochrane's Return to Valparaiso.—His Relations with the Chilian Senate.—The third Expedition to Peru.—General San Martin.—The Capture of the Esmeralda, and its Issue.—Lord Cochrane's subsequent Work.—San Martin's Treachery.—His Assumption of the Protectorate of Peru.—His Base Proposals to Lord Cochrane.—Lord Cochrane's Condemnation of them.—The Troubles of the Chilian Squadron.—Lord Cochrane's Seizure of Treasure at Ancon, and Employment of it in Paying his Officers and Men.—His Stay at Guayaquil.—The Advantages of Free Trade.—Lord Cochrane's Cruise along the Mexican Coast in Search of the remaining Spanish Frigates.—Their Annexation by Peru.—Lord Cochrane's last Visit to Callao - 177



Lord Cochrane's Return to Valparaiso,—The Conduct of the Chilian Government towards him.—His Resignation of Chilian Employment, and Acceptance of Employment under the Emperor of Brazil.—His subsequent Correspondence with the Government of Chili.—The Results of his Chilian Service. - 208



The Antecedents of Brazilian Independence.—Pedro I.'s Accession.—The Internal and External Troubles of the New Empire.—Lord Cochrane's Invitation to Brazil.—His Arrival at Rio de Janeiro, and Acceptance of Brazilian Service.—His first Occupations.—The bad condition of the Squadron, and the consequent Failure of his first Attack on the Portuguese off Bahia.—His Plans for Improving the Fleet, and their Success.—His Night Visit to Bahia, and the consequent Flight of the Enemy.—Lord Cochrane's Pursuit of them.—His Visit to Maranham, and Annexation of that Province and of Para.—His Return to Rio de Janeiro.—The Honours conferred upon him. - 223



The Nature of the Rewards bestowed on Lord Cochrane for his first Services to Brazil.—Pedro I. and the Portuguese Faction.—Lord Cochrane's Advice to the Emperor.—The Troubles brought upon him by it.—The Conduct of the Government towards him and the Fleet.—The withholding of Prize-money and Pay.—Personal Indignities to Lord Cochrane.—An Amusing Episode.—Lord Cochrane's Threat of Resignation, and its Effect.—Sir James Mackintosh's Allusion to him in the House of Commons - 246



The Insurrection in Pernambuco.—Lord Cochrane's Expedition to suppress it.—The Success of his Work.—His Stay at Maranham.—The Disorganized State of Affairs in that Province.—Lord Cochrane's efforts to restore Order and good Government.—Their result in further Trouble to himself.—His Cruise in the Piranga, and Return to England.—His Treatment there.—His Retirement from Brazilian Service.—His Letter to the Emperor Pedro I.—The End of his South American Employments - 266



The Greek Revolution and its Antecedents.—The Modern Greeks.—The Friendly Society.—Sultan Mahmud and Ali Pasha's Rebellion.—The Beginning of the Greek Insurrection.—Count John Capodistrias.—Prince Alexander Hypsilantes.—The Revolution in the Morca.—Theodore Kolokotrones.—The Revolution in the Islands.—The Greek Navy and its Character.—The Excesses of the Greeks.—Their bad Government.—Prince Alexander Mavrocordatos.—The Progress of the Revolution.—The Spoliation of Chios.—English Philhellenes; Thomas Gordon, Frank Abney Hastings, Lord Byron.—The first Greek Loan, and the bad uses to which it was put.—Reverses of the Greeks.—Ibrahim and his Successes.—Mavrocordatos's Letter to Lord Cochrane - 286



Lord Cochrane's Dismissal from Brazilian Service, and his Acceptance of Employment as Chief Admiral of the Greeks.—The Greek Committee and the Greek Deputies in London.—The Terms of Lord Cochrane's Agreement, and the consequent Preparations.—His Visit to Scotland.—Sir Walter Scott's Verses on Lady Cochrane.—Lord Cochrane's forced Retirement to Boulogne, and thence to Brussels.—The Delays in fitting out the Greek Armament.—Captain Hastings, Mr. Hobhouse, and Sir Francis Burdett.—Captain Hastings's Memoir on the Greek Leaders and their Characters.—The first Consequences of Lord Cochrane's new Enterprise.—The Duke of Wellington's Message to Lord Cochrane.—The Greek Deputies' Proposal to Lord Cochrane and his Answer.—The Final Arrangements for his Departure.—The Messiah of the Greeks. - 318



Lord Cochrane's Departure for Greece.—His Visit to London and Voyage to the Mediterranean.—His Stay at Messina, and afterwards at Marseilles.—The Delays in Completing the Steamships, and the consequent Injury to the Greek Cause, and serious Embarrassment to Lord Cochrane.—His Correspondence with Messrs. J. and S. Ricardo.—His Letter to the Greek Government.—Chevalíer Eynard, and the Continental Philhellenes.—Lord Cochrane's Final Departure and Arrival in Greece. - 355



The Progress of Affairs in Greece.—The Siege of Missolonghi.—Its Fall.—The Bad Government and Mismanagement of the Greeks.—General Ponsonby's Account of them.—The Effect of Lord Cochrane's Promised Assistance.—The Fears of the Turks, as shown in their Correspondence with Mr. Canning.—The Arrival of Captain Hastings in Greece, with the Karteria.—His Opinion of Greek Captains and Sailors.—The Frigate Hellas,—Letters to Lord Cochrane from Admiral Miaoulis and the Governing Commission of Greece. - 368


I. (Page 22.)—"Resumé of the Services of the late Earl of Dundonald, none of which have been Requited or Officially Recognised," by Thomas, Eleventh Earl of Dundonald. - 389

II. (Page 23.)—Part of a Speech delivered by Lord Cochrane in the House of Commons, on the 11th of May, 1809, on Naval Abuses. - 397

III. (Page 258.)—A Letter written by Lord Cochrane to the Secretary of State of Brazil on the 3rd of May, 1824. - 400





Thomas, Loud Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald, was born at Annsfield, in Lanark, on the 14th of December, 1775, and died in London on the 31st of October, 1860. Shortly before his death he wrote two volumes, styled "The Autobiography of a Seaman," which set forth his history down to 1814, the fortieth year of his age. To those volumes the present work, recounting his career during the ensuing six-and-forty years, is intended to serve as a sequel. Before entering upon the later narrative, however, it will be necessary briefly to recapitulate the incidents that have been already detailed.

The Earl of Dundonald was descended from a long line of knights and barons, chiefly resident in Renfrew and Ayr, many of whom were men of mark in Scottish history during the thirteenth and following centuries. Robert Cochran was the especial favourite and foremost counsellor of James III., who made him Earl of Mar; but the favours heaped upon him, and perhaps a certain arrogance in the use of those favours, led to so much opposition from his peers and rivals that he was assassinated by them in 1480.[A]

[Footnote A: Pinkerton, the historian, gives some curious details, illustrating not only Robert Cochran's character, but also the condition of government and society in Scotland four centuries ago. "The Scottish army," he says, "amounting to about fifty thousand, had crowded to the royal banner at Burrough Muir, near Edinburgh, whence they marched to Soutray and to Lauder, at which place they encamped between the church and the village. Cochran, Earl of Mar, conducted the artillery. On the morning after their arrival at Lauder, the peers assembled in a secret council, in the church, and deliberated upon their designs of revenge…. Cochran, ignorant of their designs, left the royal presence to proceed to the council. The earl was attended by three hundred men, armed with light battle-axes, and distinguished by his livery of white with black fillets. He was clothed in a riding cloak of black velvet, and wore a large chain of gold around his neck; his horn of the chase, or of battle, was adorned with gold and precious stones, and his helmet, overlaid with the same valuable metal, was borne before him. Approaching the door of the church, he commanded an attendant to knock with authority; and Sir Robert Douglas, of Lochleven, who guarded the passage, inquiring the name, was answered, 'Tis I, the Earl of Mar.' Cochran and some of his friends were admitted. Angus advanced to him, and pulling the gold chain from his neck, said, 'A rope will become thee better,' while Douglas of Lochleven seized his hunting-horn, declaring that he had been too long a hunter of mischief. Rather astonished than alarmed, Cochran said, 'My lords, is it jest or earnest?' To which it was replied, 'It is good earnest, and so thou shalt find it; for thou and thy accomplices have too long abused our prince's favour. But no longer expect such advantage, for thou and thy followers shall now reap the deserved reward.' Having secured Mar, the lords despatched some men-at-arms to the king's pavilion, conducted by two or three moderate leaders, who amused James, while their followers seized the favourites. Sir William Roger and others were instantly hanged over the bridge at Lauder. Cochran was now brought out, his hands bound with a rope, and thus conducted to the bridge, and hanged above his fellows."] Later scions of the family prospered, and in 1641, Sir William Cochrane was raised to the peerage, as Lord Cochrane of Cowden, by Charles I. For his adherence to the royal cause this nobleman was fined 5000£ by the Long Parliament in 1654; and, in recompense for his loyalty, he was made first Earl of Dundonald by Charles II. in 1669. His successors were faithful to the Stuarts, and thereby they suffered heavily. Archibald, the ninth Earl, inheriting a patrimony much reduced by the loyalty and zeal of his ancestors, spent it all in the scientific pursuits to which he devoted himself, and in which he was the friendly rival of Watt, Priestley, Cavendish, and other leading chemists and mechanicians of two or three generations ago. His eldest son, heir to little more than a famous name and a chivalrous and enterprising disposition, had to fight his own way in the world.

Lord Cochrane—as the subject of these memoirs was styled in courtesy until his accession to the peerage in 1831—was intended by his father for the army, in which he received a captain's commission. But his own predilections were in favour of a seaman's life, and accordingly, after brief schooling, he joined the Hind, as a midshipman, in June, 1793, when he was nearly eighteen years of age.

During the next seven years he learnt his craft in various ships and seas, being helped in many ways by his uncle, the Hon. Alexander Cochrane, but profiting most by his own ready wit and hearty love of his profession. Having been promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1794, he was made commander of the Speedy early in 1800. This little sloop, not larger than a coasting brig, but crowded with eighty-four men and six officers, seemed to be intended only for playing at war. Her whole armament consisted of fourteen 4-pounders. When her new commander tried to add to these a couple of 12-pounders, the deck proved too small and the timbers too weak for them, and they had to be returned. So Lilliputian was his cabin, that, to shave himself, Lord Cochrane was obliged to thrust his head out of the skylight and make a dressing-table of the quarter-deck.

Yet the Speedy, ably commanded, was quite large enough to be of good service. Cruising in her along the Spanish coast, Lord Cochrane succeeded in capturing many gunboats and merchantmen, and the enemy soon learnt to regard her with especial dread. On one memorable occasion, the 6th of May, 1801, he fell in with the Gamo, a Spanish frigate furnished with six times as many men as were in the Speedy and with seven times her weight of shot. Lord Cochrane, boldly advancing, locked his little craft in the enemy's rigging. It was, in miniature, a contest as unequal as that by which Sir Francis Drake and his fellows overcame the Great Armada of Spain in 1588, and with like result. The heavy shot of the Gamo riddled the Speedy's sails, but, passing overhead, did no mischief to her hulk or her men. During an hour there was desperate fighting with small arms, and twice the Spaniards tried in vain to board their sturdy little foe. Lord Cochrane then determined to meet them on their own deck, and the daring project was facilitated by one of the smart expedients in which he was never wanting. Before going into action, "knowing," as he said, "that the final struggle would be a desperate one, and calculating on the superstitious wonder which forms an element in the Spanish character," he had ordered his crew to blacken their faces; and, "what with this and the excitement of combat, more ferocious-looking objects could scarcely be imagined." With these men following him he promptly gained the frigate's deck, and then their strong arms and hideous faces soon frightened the Spaniards into submission.

The senior officer of the Gamo asked for a certificate of his bravery, and received one testifying that he had conducted himself "like a true Spaniard." To Spain, of course, this was no sarcasm, and on the strength of the document its holder soon obtained further promotion.

That achievement, which cost only three men's lives, led to consequences greater than could have been expected. Lord Cochrane, after three months' waiting, received the rank of post captain. But his desire that the services of Lieutenant Parker, his second in command, should also be recompensed led to a correspondence with Earl St. Vincent which turned him from a jealous superior into a bitter enemy. In reply to Lord Cochrane's recommendation, Earl St. Vincent alleged that "it was unusual to promote two officers for such a service,—besides which the small number of men killed on board the Speedy did not warrant the application." Lord Cochrane answered, with incautious honesty, that "his lordship's reasons for not promoting Lieutenant Parker, because there were only three men killed on board the Speedy, were in opposition to his lordship's own promotion to an earldom, as well as that of his flag-captain to knighthood, and his other officers to increased rank and honours; for that, in the battle from which his lordship derived his title there was only one man killed on board his own flagship." That was language too plain to be forgiven.

In July, 1801, the Speedy was captured by three French line-of-battle ships, whose senior in command, Captain Pallière, declined to accept the sword of an officer "who had," as he said, "for so many hours struggled against impossibility," and asked Lord Cochrane, though a prisoner, still to wear it. He, however, was refused employment as commander of another ship. Thereupon, with characteristic energy, he devoted his forced leisure from professional pursuits to a year of student life at Edinburgh, where, in 1802, Lord Palmerston was his class-fellow under Professor Dugald Stewart.

This occupation, however, was disturbed by the renewal of war with France in 1803. Lord Cochrane, though with difficulty, then obtained permission to return to active service, the Arab, one of the craziest little ships in the navy, being assigned to him. On his representing that she was too rotten for use off the French coast, he was ordered to employ her in cruising in the North Sea and protecting the fisheries north-east of the Orkneys, "where," as he said, "no vessel fished, and consequently there were no fisheries to protect." This ignominious work lasted for a year. It was brought to a close in December, 1804, soon after the appointment of Lord Melville, in succession to Earl St. Vincent, as First Lord of the Admiralty.

By him Lord Cochrane was transferred from the Arab to the Pallas, a new and smart frigate of thirty-two guns, and allowed to use her in a famous cruise of prize-taking among the Azores and off the coast of Portugal. This was followed in 1806 by farther work in the same frigate, the closing portion of which was especially memorable. Being off the Basque Roads at the end of April he fixed his attention upon a frigate, the Minerve, and three brigs, forming an important part of the French squadron in the Mediterranean. After three weeks' waiting, on the 14th of May, he saw the frigate and the brigs approaching him, and promptly prepared to attack them. He was not deterred by knowing that the Minerve alone, carrying forty guns, was far stronger than the Pallas, which had also to withstand the force of the three brigs, each with sixteen guns, and to be prepared for the fire of the batteries on the Isle d'Aix. "This morning, when close to Isle d'Aix, reconnoitring the French squadron," he wrote concisely to his admiral, "it gave me great joy to find our late opponent, the black frigate, and her companions, the three brigs, getting under sail. We formed high expectations that the long wished-for opportunity was at last arrived. The Pallas remained under topsails by the wind to await them. At half-past eleven a smart point-blank firing commenced on both sides, which was severely felt by the enemy. The main topsail-yard of one of the brigs was cut through, and the frigate lost her after-sails. The batteries on I'lsle d'Aix opened on the Pallas, and a cannonade continued, interrupted on our part only by the necessity we were under to make various tacks to avoid the shoals, till one o'clock, when our endeavour to gain the wind of the enemy and get between him and the batteries proved successful. An effectual distance was now chosen. A few broadsides were poured in. The enemy's fire slackened. I ordered ours to cease, and directed Mr. Sutherland, the master, to run the frigate on board, with intention effectually to prevent her retreat. The enemy's side thrust our guns back into the ports. The whole were then discharged. The effect and crash were dreadful. Their decks were deserted. Three pistol-shots were the unequal return. With confidence I say that the frigate would have been lost to France, had not the unequal collision torn away our fore-topmast, jib-boom, fore and maintop-sails, spritsail-yards, bumpkin, cathead, chainplates, fore-rigging, foresail, and bower anchor, with which last I intended to hook on; but all proved insufficient. She would yet have been lost to France, had not the French admiral, seeing his frigate's foreyard gone, her rigging ruined, and the danger she was in, sent two others to her assistance. The Pallas being a wreck, we came out with what sail could be set, and his Majesty's sloop the Kingfisher afterwards took us in tow." The exploit was none the less valiant in that it was partly a failure.

The waiting-times before and after that cruise were occupied by Lord Cochrane with brief commencement of parliamentary life. Long before this time Lord Cochrane had resolved on entering the House of Commons, in order to expose the naval abuses which were then rife, and which he had never been deterred, by consideration of his own interests, from boldly denouncing. He stood for Honiton in 1805, and was defeated through his refusal to vie with his opponent in the art of bribery. He contrived, however, to profit by corruption while he punished it. As soon as the election was over, he gave ten guineas to each of the constituents who had freely voted for him. The consequence of this was his triumphant return at the new election, which took place in July, 1806. When his supporters asked for like payment to that made in the previous instance, it was bluntly refused. "The former gift," said Lord Cochrane, "was for your disinterested conduct in not taking the bribe of five pounds from the agents of my opponent. For me now to pay you would be a violation of my principles."

A short cruise in the Basque Roads prevented Lord Cochrane from occupying in the House of Commons the seat thus won, and in April, 1807, very soon after his return, Parliament was again dissolved. He then resolved to stand for Westminster, with Sir Francis Burdett for his associate. Both were returned, and Lord Cochrane held his seat for eleven years. In 1807, however, he had only time to bring forward two motions respecting sinecures and naval abuses, which issued in violent but unproductive discussion, when he received orders to join the fleet in the Mediterranean as captain of the Imperiéuse. Naval employment was grudgingly accorded to him; but it was thought wiser to give him work abroad than to suffer under his free speech at home.

This employment was marked by many brilliant deeds, which procured for him, on his surrendering his command of the Imperiéuse after eighteen months' duration, the reproach of having spent more sails, stores, gunpowder, and shot than had been used by any other captain in the service.

The most brilliant deed of all, one of the most brilliant deeds in the whole naval history of England, was his well-known exploit in the Basque Roads on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of April, 1809. Much against his will, he was persuaded by Lord Mulgrave, at that time First Lord of the Admiralty, to bear the responsibility of attacking and attempting to destroy the French squadron by means of fireships and explosion-vessels. The project was opposed by Lord Gambier, the Admiral of the Fleet, as being at once "hazardous, if not desperate," and "a horrible and anti-Christian mode of warfare;" and consequently he gave no hearty co-operation. On Lord Cochrane devolved the whole duty of preparing for and executing the project. His own words will best tell the story.

"On the 11th of April," he said, "it blew hard, with a high sea. As all preparations were complete, I did not consider the state of the weather a justifiable impediment to the attack; so that, after nightfall, the officers who volunteered to command the fireships were assembled on board the Caledonia, and supplied with instructions according to the plan previously laid down by myself. The Impérieuse had proceeded to the edge of the Boyart Shoal, close to which she anchored with an explosion-vessel made fast to her stern, it being my intention, after firing the one of which I was about to take charge, to return to her for the other, to be employed as circumstances might require. At a short distance from the Impérieuse were anchored the frigates Aigle, Unicorn, and Pallas, for the purpose of receiving the crews of the fireships on their return, as well as to support the boats of the fleet assembled alongside the Cæsar, to assist the fireships. The boats of the fleet were not, however, for some reason or other made use of at all.

"Having myself embarked on board the largest explosion-vessel, accompanied by Lieut. Bissel and a volunteer crew of four men only, we led the way to the attack. The night was dark, and, as the wind was fair, though blowing hard, we soon neared the estimated position of the advanced French ships, for it was too dark to discern them. Judging our distance, therefore, as well as we could, with regard to the time the fuse was calculated to burn, the crew of four men entered the gig, under the direction of Lieut. Bissel, whilst I kindled the portfires, and then, descending into the boat, urged the men to pull for their lives, which they did with a will, though, as wind and sea were strong against us, without making the expected progress.

"To our consternation, the fuses, which had been constructed to burn fifteen minutes, lasted little more than half that time, when the vessel blew up, filling the air with shells, grenades, and rockets; whilst the downward and lateral force of the explosion raised a solitary mountain of water, from the breaking of which in all directions our little boat narrowly escaped being swamped. The explosion-vessel did her work well, the effect constituting one of the grandest artificial spectacles imaginable. For a moment, the sky was red with the lurid glare arising from the simultaneous ignition of fifteen hundred barrels of powder. On this gigantic flash subsiding, the air seemed alive with shells, grenades, rockets, and masses of timber, the wreck of the shattered vessel. The sea was convulsed as by an earthquake, rising, as has been said, in a huge wave, on whose crest our boat was lifted like a cork, and as suddenly dropped into a vast trough, out of which as it closed upon us with the rush of a whirlpool, none expected to emerge. In a few minutes nothing but a heavy rolling sea had to be encountered, all having again become silence and darkness."

In spite of its bursting too soon, the explosion-vessel did excellent work. The strong boom, composed of large spars bound by heavy chains, and firmly anchored at various points in its length of more than a mile, which was supposed to constitute an impassable barrier between the English ships that were outside and the French ships locked behind it, was broken in several parts. The enemy's ships were thoroughly disorganised by the sudden and appalling occurrence of the explosion. In their alarm and confusion, many of them fired into one another, and all might have been easily destroyed had the first success of the explosion-vessel been properly followed up. Unfortunately, however, on returning to the Impérieuse, Lord Cochrane found that there had been gross mismanagement of the fireships, which, according to his plans, were to have been despatched against various sections of the French fleet while it was too confused to protect itself. One of them, fired at the wrong time and sent in a wrong direction, nearly destroyed the Impérieuse and caused the wasting of a second explosion-vessel, which was meant to be held in reserve. The others, if not as mischievous in their effects, were almost as useless. "Of all the fire-ships, upwards of twenty in number," said Lord Cochrane, "only four reached the enemy's position, and not one did any damage. The Impérieuse lay three miles from the enemy, so that the one which was near setting fire to her became useless at the outset; whilst several others were kindled a mile and a half to the windward of this, or four miles and a half from the enemy. Of the remainder, many were at once rendered harmless from being brought to on the wrong tack. Six passed a mile to windward of the French fleet, and one grounded on Oleron."

Though the full success of Lord Cochrane's scheme was thus prevented, however, the work done by it was considerable. "As the fireships began to light up the roads," he said, "we could observe the enemy's fleet in great confusion. Without doubt, taking every fireship for an explosion-vessel, and being deceived as to their distance, not only did the French make no effort to divert them from their course, but some of their ships cut their cables and were seen drifting away broadside on to the wind and tide, whilst others made sail, as the only alternative to escape from what they evidently considered certain destruction. At daylight on the morning of the 12th, not a spar of the boom was anywhere visible, and, with the exception of the Foudroyant and Cassard, the whole of the enemy's vessels were helplessly aground. The flag-ship, L'Océan, a three-decker, drawing the most water, lay outermost on the north-west edge of the Palles Shoal, nearest the deep water, where she was most exposed to attack; whilst all, by the fall of the tide, were lying on their bilge, with their bottoms completely exposed to shot, and therefore beyond the possibility of resistance."

The French fleet had not been destroyed; yet it was so paralysed by the shock that its utter defeat seemed easy to Lord Cochrane. To the mast of the Impérieuse, between six o'clock in the morning of the 12th and one in the afternoon, he hoisted signal after signal, urging Lord Gambier, who was with the main body of the fleet about fourteen miles off, to make an attack. Failing in all these, and growing desperate in his zeal, especially as every hour of delay was enabling the French to recover themselves and rendering success less sure, he suffered his single frigate to drift towards the enemy. "I did not venture to make sail," wrote Lord Cochrane, in his very modest account of this daring exploit, "lest the movement might be seen from the flag-ship, and a signal of recall should defeat my purpose of making an attack with the Impérieuse ; my object being to compel the Commander-in-Chief to send vessels to our assistance. We drifted by the wind and tide slowly past the fortifications on Isle d'Aix; but, though they fired at us with every gun that could be brought to bear, the distance was too great to inflict damage. Proceeding thus till 1.30 p.m., we then suddenly made sail after the nearest of the enemy's vessels escaping. In order to divert our attention from the vessels we were pursuing, these having thrown their guns overboard, the Calcutta, a store-ship carrying fifty-six guns, which was still aground, broadside on, began firing at us. Before proceeding further, it became therefore necessary to attack her, and at 1.50 we shortened sail and returned the fire. At 2.0 the Impérieuse came to an anchor in five fathoms, and, veering to half a cable, kept fast the spring, firing upon the Calcutta with our broadside, and at the same time upon the Aquillon and Ville de Varsovie, two line-of-battle ships, each of seventy-four guns, with our forecastle and bow guns, both these ships being aground stern on, in an opposite direction. After some time we had the satisfaction of observing several ships sent to our assistance, namely, the Emerald, the Unicorn, the Indefatigable, the Valiant, the Revenge, the Pallas, and the Aigle. On seeing this, the captain and the crew of the Calcutta abandoned their vessel, of which the boats of the Impérieuse took possession before the vessels sent to our assistance came down." Soon after the arrival of the new ships, the two other vessels were also forced to surrender.

Most of the ships sent to his assistance returned to Lord Grambier on the 13th. Lord Cochrane, seeing that it would be easy for him to do much further mischief, made ready for the work on the morrow. But from this he was prevented by the inexcusable conduct of Lord Gambier, who, having discountenanced the attempt with the fireships, now not only refused to take part in the victory which his comrade had made possible, but also hindered its achievement by him.

Lord Cochrane had already overstepped the strict duty of a subordinate, though acting only as became an English sailor. The fireships with which he had been ordered to ruin the enemy's fleet had partly failed through the error of others. "It was then," he said, "a question with me whether I should disappoint the expectations of my country, be set down as a charlatan by the Admiralty, whose hopes had been raised by my plan, and have my future prospects destroyed, or force on an action which some had induced an easy Commander-in-Chief to believe impracticable." He did force on some fighting, which was altogether disastrous to the enemy, and rich in tokens of his unflinching heroism; but it was in violation of repeated orders, dubiously worded, from Lord Grambier, and, when at last an order was issued in terms too distinct to allow of any further evasion, he had no alternative but to abandon the enterprise. He was at once sent back to England, to be rewarded with much popular favour, and with a knighthood of the Order of the Bath, conferred by George III., but to become the victim of an official persecution, which, embittering his whole life, lasted almost to its close.

It must be admitted that this persecution was in great measure provoked by Lord Cochrane's own fearless conduct. He was reasonably aggrieved at the effort made by the Admiralty authorities to attribute to Lord Gambier, who had taken no part at all in the achievements in Basque Roads, all the merit of their success. To use his own caustic but accurate words, "The only victory gained by Lord Gambier in Basque Roads was that of bringing his ships to anchor there, whilst the enemy's ships were quietly heaving off from the banks on which they had been driven nine miles distant from the fleet." When for this proceeding it was determined to honour Lord Gambier with the thanks of Parliament, Lord Cochrane, as member for Westminster, announced his intention of opposing the motion. As a bribe to silence he was offered an important command by Lord Mulgrave, and it was proposed that his name should be included in the vote of thanks. The bribe being refused and the opposition persisted in, Lord Gambier demanded a court-martial, in which, as he alleged, to controvert the insinuations thrown out against him by Lord Cochrane.

The history of this court-martial, its antecedents and its consequences, furnishes an episode almost unique in the annals of official injustice. As a preparation for it, Lord Gambier, in obedience to orders from the Admiralty, supplemented his first account of the victory by another of entirely different tenour. In the first, written on the spot, he had avowed that he could not speak highly enough of Lord Cochrane's vigour and gallantry in approaching the enemy,—conduct, he said, "which could not be exceeded by any feat of valour hitherto achieved by the British Navy." In the record, written four weeks later and in London, he altogether ignored Lord Cochrane's services, and transferred the entire merit to himself.

The whole conduct of the court-martial was in keeping with that prelude. No effort was spared in stifling all the evidence on Lord Cochrane's side, and in adducing false testimony against him. Logbooks and witnesses alike were tampered with. In support of his scheme for annihilating the whole French fleet, Lord Cochrane produced in court a chart showing the relative position of the various points in Aix Roads, and of the overhanging fort which was to protect the French ships. This chart, left lying upon the table, was tacitly accepted by the authorities of the Admiralty as a trustworthy document, and duly preserved among the official records. But at the time the court refused to receive it in evidence, and adopted instead two falsified charts, in which, by the introduction of imaginary shoals and the narrowing of the channel to Aix Roads from two miles to one, the success of the scheme appeared impossible. Although this gross deception was more than suspected, both then and afterwards, by Lord Cochrane, his repeated applications to the Admiralty for permission to inspect the documents were steadily refused. It was not till more than fifty years after the period of the court-martial that he was able to prove the scandalous fraud.[A]

[Footnote A: Readers of "The Autobiography of a Seaman" need not be reminded of the copious and convincing evidence of the way in which he was treated by this court-martial that was adduced by Lord Dundonald in that work.]

The result of the court-martial was, of course, such as from the first had been intended. Lord Grambier was acquitted, and unlimited blame was, by inference, thrown upon Lord Cochrane. The coveted vote of thanks was promptly obtained from the House of Commons; Lord Cochrane's proposal that the minutes of the court-martial be first investigated being, through ministerial influence, summarily rejected.

These proceedings determined the course which men in power were to adopt, and fixed Lord Cochrane's future. It was a future to be made up of cruel disregard and of revengeful persecution.[A]

[Footnote A: See Appendix (I.).]

Soon after the close of the trial, the brave seaman applied to the Admiralty for permission to rejoin his old frigate, the Impérieuse, and accompanied his application with a bold plan for attacking the French fleet in the Scheldt. He received an insulting answer to the effect that, if he would be ready to quit the country in a week, and then to occupy a position subordinate to that which he had formerly held, his services would be accepted. On his replying that his great desire to be employed in his profession made him willing to do anything, and that all he wished for was a little longer time for preparation, no further communication was vouchsafed to him. He was quietly superseded in the command of the Impérieuse, and received no other ship.

Out of this ill-treatment, however, resulted some benefit to the nation. Lord Cochrane employed much of his forced leisure, during the next few years, in exposing abuses that were then over-abundant, and in strenuously advocating reform. In Parliament, voting always with his friend Sir Francis Burdett and the Radical party, he limited his exertions to naval matters, and such as were within his own experience. Herein there was plenty to occupy him, and much that it is now amusing to look back upon.[A]

[Footnote A: See Appendix (II.).]

One scandalous grievance led to a memorable episode in his life. The many prizes taken by him in the Mediterranean, which, according to rule, had been sent to the Maltese Admiralty Court for condemnation, had been encumbered with such preposterous charges that, instead of realizing anything by his captures, he was made out to be largely in debt to the Court. The principal agent of this Court was a Mr. Jackson, who illegally held office as at the same time marshal and proctor. "The consequence was," said Lord Cochrane, "that every prize placed in his hands as proctor had to pass through his hands as marshal; whilst as proctor it was further in his power to consult himself as marshal as often as he pleased, and to any extent he pleased. The amount of self-consultation may be imagined." As proctor he charged for visiting himself, and as marshal he charged for receiving visits from himself. As marshal he was paid for instructing himself, and as proctor he was paid for listening to his own instructions. Ten shillings and twopence three farthings was the customary charge for an oath to the effect that he had served a monition on himself. Of the sheets composing the bill for services of these sorts presented to him, Lord Cochrane formed a roll which, when unfolded and exhibited in Parliament, stretched from the Speaker's table to the bar of the House.

Not content, however, with laughing at the official robberies committed upon him, he determined, early in 1811, to proceed to Malta and personally investigate the matter. Reaching Valetta long before he was expected, he immediately presented himself at the court-house, and asked for a copy of the table of fees authorized by the Crown, and which, according to directions, ought to have been placed conspicuously in the public room. The existence of such a document being denied, he proceeded to hunt for it himself, and, after long and careful search, found it concealed in an out-of-the-way corner of the building. Having taken possession of it, he was carrying off the prize, which he intended to exhibit in the House of Commons, in token of the extent to which he and others had been defrauded, when he was arrested for contempt of court. He protested that the arrest was illegal, seeing that, as the court had not been sitting, no insult could have been offered to it. The plea was not accepted, and he was sent to gaol. No ground for punishment, however, could be found against him; and, after refusing to help the authorities out of their embarrassment by going at large on bail, and insisting on a proper exculpation or nothing at all, he let himself out of window by means of a rope. A gig was waiting for him, by which he was enabled to overtake the packet-boat that had quitted Malta shortly before, to return to London, and to present the document seized by him to Parliament a month before the official report of his escapade reached home.[A]

[Footnote A: This letter from the Duke of Kent to Lord Cochrane will help to show that, even after the time of his Admiralty persecution, he was not without friends and admirers in high quarters:—"Kensington Palace, 7th July, 1812. My dear Lord,—I trust the acquaintance I have the satisfaction to possess with your lordship, and the long and intimate friendship subsisting between myself and your brother, Lieut.-Colonel Basil Cochrane, will warrant my intruding upon you for the purpose of seconding the wishes expressed by a young naval protégé of mine, and I cannot help adding my earnest request that when your distinguished zeal and talents in your profession are again called into action by Government, you will kindly oblige me by taking Lieutenant Edgar under your wing and protection; he is a fine young man, and I think would not disgrace the wardroom of your lordship's ship. I remain, with my sincere regard, my dear lord, yours faithfully, EDWARD.

" The Right Honourable Lord Cochrane."]

An imprisonment of very different character occurred after an interval of nearly three years. This was in consequence of the famous Stock Exchange trial, the episode last treated of by the Earl of Dundonald in his Autobiography, and not quite recounted to the end before death stayed his hand.

From 1809 to 1813, Lord Cochrane was allowed to take no active part in the work of his profession. But at the close of the latter year, his uncle, Sir Alexander Cochrane, having been selected for the command of the fleet on the North American station, appointed him his flag-captain—an appointment resting only with the Commander-in-Chief, and one with which the Government could not interfere. It was always Lord Cochrane's belief that the implacable enmity of his foes in the Admiralty Office—determined to prevent by irregular means, since no regular course was open to them, his return to naval work—helped to bring about the cruel persecution by which his whole life was embittered. But it must be admitted that the dishonesty of one of his own kinsmen—about which a chivalrous sense of honour caused him to be reticent during nearly fifty years—conduced to this result.

The chief agent of the fraud practised upon him was a foreigner, named De Berenger. This man, clever and unscrupulous, had been associated with Mr. Cochrane Johnstone, an uncle of Lord Cochrane's, in certain stock-jobbing transactions. In that or in some other way he became known to Lord Cochrane and to his other uncle, Sir Alexander Cochrane; and, being a smart chemist and pyrotechnist, it was proposed that he should accompany Lord Cochrane to North America, and assist him in the trial of his recently-discovered method of attacking forts and fleets in a secret and irresistible manner. With that object—of course clandestine—Sir Alexander Cochrane sought the permission of the Admiralty to employ De Berenger as a teacher of sharp-shooting, in which he was a well-known adept. This was not granted, and near the end of 1813, Sir Alexander set sail for Halifax, leaving Lord Cochrane to follow in the Tonnant, in charge of a convoy, and in getting the Tonnant ready for sea his lordship was busy during January and February, 1814. In the former month De Berenger sought him out and earnestly requested that, his official appointment being refused, he might be taken on board in a private capacity and allowed to rely upon the success of his work for recompense. Lord Cochrane declined to employ him without some sort of sanction from the Admiralty, and De Berenger left him with the avowed intention of doing his utmost to procure this sanction.

He was otherwise occupied. Being in urgent need of money, with which to evade the grasp of his numerous creditors, he returned to his stock-jobbing pursuits—if indeed he had not been engaging in them all along; using his proposal for employment under Lord Cochrane as a blind or as a secondary resource. Instead of furthering his efforts to obtain this employment, he contrived a plan for causing a sudden rise in the funds, and thereby securing a large profit to himself and his accomplices. On the 20th of February he presented himself at the Ship Hotel at Dover, disguised as a foreigner and calling himself Colonel De Bourg, professing that he brought intelligence from France to the effect that Buonaparte had been killed by the Cossacks, that the allied armies were in full march towards Paris, and that a speedy cessation of the war was certain. Thence he hurried up to London and was traced to have gone, on the following morning, to Lord Cochrane's house. The ostensible object of that visit was to renew his application for employment on board the Tonnant. The real object was, by means of a trick, to get possession of a hat and cloak, with which to disguise himself afresh, and thus try to elude the pursuit of agents of the Stock Exchange, who would soon seek to punish him for his fraud. The disguise was given to him in all innocence, and might have been successful, had not Lord Cochrane, on finding how grossly he had been deceived, volunteered to assist in punishing the culprit. Leaving the Tonnant, in which he was about to start from Chatham, he returned to London, and gave full information as to his share in the transaction, with the view of furthering the cause of justice and clearing himself from all blame.

That was prevented by as wanton a prosecution and as malicious a perverting of the forms of justice and the principles of equity as the annals of English law, not often abused even in a much less degree, can show. The straightforward evidence furnished by him was made the handle to an elaborate machinery of falsehood and perjury for effecting his own ruin. The solicitor who had managed the cause of the Admiralty at the court-martial on Lord Gambier, and therein proved his skill, was entrusted with the ugly work. By him an elaborate case for prosecution was trumped up, and Lord Cochrane, hindered from sailing to North America in the Tonnant, and hindered from obtaining any other employment in his country's service during four-and-thirty years, was, on the 8th of June, placed in the prisoner's dock at the Court of King's Bench on a charge of conspiring with his uncle, Mr. Cochrane Johnstone, with De Berenger, and with some other persons, to defraud the Stock Exchange. Lord Ellenborough, who presided at the trial, delivered a charge which was even more virulent and more marked by political spite than was his wont, and the too compliant jury brought in a verdict of "guilty." Lord Cochrane vainly sought for a new trial, and vainly adduced abundant proof of his innocence. The chance of justice that is every Englishman's right was denied to him. He was sentenced to an hour's detention in the pillory at the entrance of the Royal Exchange, to a year's imprisonment in the King's Bench Prison, and to a fine of a thousand pounds.

The first part of the sentence was not insisted upon, as Sir Francis Burdett, Lord Cochrane's noble-hearted colleague as member for Westminster, avowed his intention of standing also in the pillory, if his friend was subjected to that indignity, and of thus encouraging the storm of popular indignation, that, without any such encouragement, would probably have led to consequences which the Government, already hated by all Englishmen who loved their birthright, dared not brook. But the unworthy vengeance of his persecutors was amply satisfied in other ways. He had already suffered more than most men. "Neglect," he said, "I was accustomed to. But when an alleged offence was laid to my charge, in which, on the honour of a man now on the brink of the grave, I had not the slightest participation, and from which I never benefited, nor thought to benefit one farthing, and when this allegation was, by political rancour and legal chicanery, consummated in an unmerited conviction and an outrageous sentence, my heart for the first time sank within me, as conscious of a blow, the effect of which it has required all my energies to sustain."

It is needless now to say anything in proof of Lord Cochrane's innocence of the charge brought against him. The world has long since reversed the verdict passed at Lord Ellenborough's dictation. That an officer and a gentleman of Lord Cochrane's reputation should have demeaned himself by becoming a party to the fraud of which he was accused, is, to say the least, improbable. That, if he had been guilty of that fraud, he should not have availed himself of the only benefit that could be derived from it by investing in the stocks when they were low and selling out during the brief time of their artificial value, is far more improbable. That, when the fraud was perpetrated, and its chief instrument was undiscovered, he should have left the Tonnant in order to expose him, instead of taking him away from England, and so almost ensuring the preservation of the secret, is utterly impossible.

His only faults were too great faith in his own innocence and a too chivalrous desire to protect, or rather to abstain from injuring, his unworthy kinsman. "I must be here distinctly understood," it was said by Lord Brougham, in his "Historic Sketches of British Statesmen," "to deny the accuracy of the opinion which Lord Ellenborough appears to have formed in this case, and deeply to lament the verdict of 'guilty' which the jury returned after three hours' consultation and hesitation. If Lord Cochrane was at all aware of his uncle Mr. Cochrane Johnstone's proceedings, it was the whole extent of his privity to the fact. Having been one of the counsel engaged in the cause, I can speak with some confidence respecting it, and I take upon me to assert that Lord Cochrane's conviction was mainly owing to the extreme repugnance which he felt to giving up his uncle, or taking those precautions for his own safety which would have operated against that near relation. Even when he, the real criminal, had confessed his guilt by taking to flight, and the other defendants were brought up for judgment, we, the counsel, could not persuade Lord Cochrane to shake himself loose from the contamination by abandoning him."

Part of a letter addressed to the Earl of Dundonald in 1859, on the anniversary of his eighty-fourth birthday, and shortly after the publication of the first volume of his "Autobiography of a Seaman," by the daughter of the man whose wrong-doing had conduced so terribly to his misfortunes, may here be fitly quoted:—"You are still active, still in health," says the writer, "and you have just given to the world a striking proof of the vigour of your mind and intellect. Many years I cannot wish for you; but may you live to finish your book, and, if it please God, may you and I have a peaceful death-bed. We have both suffered much mental anguish, though in various degrees; for yours was indeed the hardest lot that an honourable man can be called on to bear. Oh, my dear cousin, let me say once more, whilst we are still here, how, ever since that miserable time, I have felt that you suffered for my poor father's fault—how agonizing that conviction was—how thankful I am that tardy justice was done you. May God return you fourfold for your generous though misplaced confidence in him, and for all your subsequent forbearance!"

Another extract from a letter, from one out of a multitude of tributes to the Earl of Dundonald's honourable bearing, which were tendered after his death, shall close this introductory chapter. "Five years after the trial of Lord Cochrane," wrote Sir Fitzroy Kelly, now Lord Chief Baron, on the 17th of December, 1860, "I began to study for the bar, and very soon became acquainted with and interested in his case, and I have thought of it much and long during more than forty years; and I am profoundly convinced that, had he been defended singly and separately from the others accused, or had he at the last moment, before judgment was pronounced, applied, with competent legal advice and assistance, for a new trial, he would have been unhesitatingly and honourably acquitted. We cannot blot out this dark page from our legal and judicial history."




The famous and infamous Stock Exchange trial occupied the 8th and 9th of June, 1814; but the sentence was deferred until the 21st of the same month, in consequence of Lord Cochrane's demand for a new trial. That demand was not complied with, in spite of the production of overwhelming evidence to justify it; and the victim of Lord Ellenborough and the tyrannical Government of the day was at once conveyed to the King's Bench Prison. No time was lost in heaping upon him all the indignities which, in accordance with precedent and in excess of all precedent, might supplement his degradation.

The first was a notice of motion which would result in his expulsion from the House of Commons. Lord Cochrane promptly availed himself of the opening thus afforded for a public avowal of his innocence. To the Hon. Charles Abbot, then Speaker of the House, he wrote from his prison on the 23rd of June. "Sir," runs the letter, "I respectfully entreat you to communicate to the Honourable House of Commons my earnest desire and prayer that no question arising out of the late convictions in the Court of King's Bench may be agitated without affording me timely notice and full opportunity of attending in my place for the justification of my character. From the House of Commons I hope to obtain that justice of which too implicit reliance on the consciousness of my innocence, and circumstances over which I had no control, have hitherto deprived me. The painful situation in which I am placed is known to the House, and I trust that I shall be enabled to demonstrate that a more injured man has never sought redress from those to whose justice I now appeal for the preservation of my character and existence."

In compliance with that request, and with parliamentary rules, Lord Cochrane was conveyed from the King's Bench Prison to the House of Commons, and allowed to read a carefully-prepared statement of his case, on the 5th of July, the day fixed for investigation of the subject. From this statement it is not necessary to cite the clear and conclusive recapitulation of the evidence adduced at the trial, or refused admission therein because it was too convincing, in proof of Lord Cochrane's innocence; but room must be found for some passages illustrating the independent temper of the speaker and the perversions of justice to which he fell a victim.

"I am not here, sir," he said, "to bespeak compassion or to pave the way to pardon. Both ideas are alike repugnant to my feelings. That the public in general have felt indignation at the sentence that has been passed upon me does honour to their hearts, and tends still to make my country dear to me, in spite of what I have suffered from the malignity of persons in power. But, sir, I am not here to complain of the hardship of my case or about the cruelty of judges, who, for an act which was never till now ever known or thought to be a legal offence, have laid upon me a sentence more heavy than they have ever yet laid upon persons clearly convicted of the most horrid of crimes—crimes of which nature herself cries aloud against the commission. If, therefore, it was my object to complain of the cruelty of my judges, I should bid the public look into the calendar, and see if they could find a punishment like that inflicted on me; inflicted by these same judges on any one of these unnatural wretches. It is not, however, my business to complain of the cruelty of this sentence. I am here to assert, for the third time, my innocence in the most unqualified and solemn manner; I am here to expose the unfairness of the proceedings against me previous to the trial, at the trial, and subsequent to it; I am here to expose the long train of artful villainies which have been practised against me hitherto with so much success.

"I am persuaded, sir, that the House will easily perceive, and every honourable man, I am sure, participate in my feelings, that the fine, the imprisonment, the pillory—even that pillory to which I am condemned—are nothing, that they weigh not as a feather, when put in the balance against my desire to show that I have been unjustly condemned. Therefore, sir, I trust that the House will give a fair and impartial hearing to what I have to say respecting the conduct of my enemies, to expose which conduct is a duty which I owe to my constituents, and to my country, not less than to myself.

"In the first place, sir, I here, in the presence of this House, and with the eyes of the country fixed upon me, most solemnly declare that I am wholly innocent of the crime which has been laid to my charge, and for which I have been condemned to the most infamous of punishments. Having repeated this assertion of my innocence, I next proceed to complain of the means that have been made use of to effect my destruction. And first, sir, was it ever before known in this or in any other country, that the prosecutor should form a sort of court of his own erection, call witnesses before it of his own choosing, and, under offers of great rewards, take minutes of the evidence of such witnesses, and publish those minutes to the world under the forms and appearances of a judicial proceeding? Was it ever before known, that steps like these were taken previous to an indictment,—previous to the bringing of an intended victim into a court of justice? Was there ever before known so regular, so systematic a scheme for exciting suspicion against a man, and for implanting an immovable prejudice against him in the minds of a whole nation, previous to the preferring a Bill of Indictment, in order that the grand jury, be it composed of whomsoever it might, should be predisposed to find the bill? I ask you, sir, and I ask the House, whether it was ever before known, that means like these were resorted to, previous to a man's being legally accused? But, sir, what must the world think, when they see some of those to whom the welfare and the honour of the nation are committed covertly co-operating with a Committee of the Stock Exchange, and becoming their associates in so nefarious a scheme? Nevertheless, sir, this fact is now notorious to the whole world. I must confess I was not prepared to believe the thing possible."

Thereupon followed a detailed examination of the charges brought against Lord Cochrane, and of the way in which those charges were handled, special complaint being made concerning the malicious bearing of Lord Ellenborough. "It must be in the recollection of the House," said Lord Cochrane, "as it is in that of the public, that he urged, that he compelled, the counsel to enter upon my defence after midnight, at the end of fifteen hours from the commencement of the trial, when that counsel declared himself quite exhausted, and when the jury, who were to decide, were in a state of such weariness as to render attention to what was said totally impossible. The speeches of the counsel being ended, the judge, at half-past three in the morning, adjourned the court till ten; thus separating the evidence from the argument, and reserving his own strength, and the strength of my adversaries' advocates, for the close; giving to both the great advantage of time to consider the reply, and to insert and arrange arguments to meet those which had been urged in my defence."

All his treatment by Lord Ellenborough, as Lord Cochrane urged, was of that sort, or worse. "Of all tyrannies, sir," he said, "the worst is that which exercises its vengeance under the guise of judicial proceedings, and especially if a jury make part of the means by which its base purposes are effected. The man who is flung into prison, or sent to the scaffold, at the nod of an avowed despotism, has at least the consolation to know that his sufferings bring down upon that despotism the execration of mankind; but he who is entrapped and entangled in the meshes of a crafty and corrupt system of jurisprudence; who is pursued imperceptibly by a law with leaden feet and iron jaws; who is not put upon his trial till the ear of the public has been poisoned, and its heart steeled against him,—falls, at last, without being cheered with a hope of seeing his tyrants execrated even by the warmest of his friends. In their principle, the ancient and settled laws of England are excellent; but of late years, so many injurious and fatal alterations in the law have taken place, that any man who ventures to meddle with public affairs, and to oppose persons in power, is sure and certain, sooner or later, to suffer in some way or other.

"Sir, the punishment which the malice of my enemies has procured to be inflicted on me is not, in my mind, worth a moment's reflection. The judge supposed, apparently, that the sentence of the pillory would disgrace and mortify me. I can assure him, and I now solemnly assure this House, my constituents, and my country, that I would rather stand in my own name, in the pillory, every day of my life, under such a sentence, than I would sit upon the bench in the name and with the real character of Lord Ellenborough for one single hour.

"Something has been said, sir, in this House, as I have heard, about an application for a mitigation of my sentence, in a certain quarter, where, it is observed, that mercy never failed to flow; but I can assure the House that an application for pardon, extorted from me, is one of the things which even a partial judge and a packed jury have not the power to accomplish. No, sir; I will seek for, and I look for, pardon nowhere, for I have committed no crime. I have sought for, I still seek for, and I confidently expect JUSTICE; not, however, at the hands of those by whose machinations I have been brought to what they regard as my ruin, but at the hands of my enlightened and virtuous constituents, to whose exertions the nation owes that there is still a voice to cry out against that haughty and inexorable tyranny which commands silence to all but parasites and hypocrites."

Thus ended Lord Cochrane's written argument. It was followed by, a few words spoken on the spur of the moment: "Having so long occupied its time, I will not trouble the House longer than to implore it to investigate the circumstances of my case. I think I have stated enough to induce it to call for the minutes of the trial. All I wish is an inquiry. Many important facts yet remain to be considered, and I trust that the House will not come to a decision with its eyes shut. I entreat, I implore investigation. It is true that a sentence of a court of law has been pronounced against me; but that punishment is nothing, and will to me seem nothing, in comparison with what it is in the power of the House to inflict. I have already suffered much; but if after a deliberate and a fair investigation the House shall determine that I am guilty, then let me be deserted and abandoned by the world. I shall submit without repining to any the most dreadful penalty that the House can assign. I solemnly declare before Almighty God that I am ignorant of the whole transaction. Into the hearts of men we cannot penetrate; we cannot dive into their inmost thoughts; but my heart I lay open, and my most secret thoughts I disclose to the House. I entreat the strictest scrutiny and a patient hearing. I implore it at your hands, as an act of justice, and once more I call upon my Maker, upon Almighty God, to bear witness that I am innocent. He knows my heart, He knows all its secrets, and He knows that I am innocent."

An animated debate followed upon that eloquent address. Viscount Castlereagh complained that Lord Cochrane, instead of defending himself, had only libelled Lord Ellenborough and the noblest institutions of the land. Other speakers expressed similar opinions; but others testified to the consistent character of Lord Cochrane, rendering it impossible that he should be guilty of the offence with which he was charged; and others again confessed that, having previously had doubts in the matter, those doubts had been removed by the high-minded tone and the powerful arguments of his defence. But in the end the House adopted the view set forth by Lord Castlereagh; that its duty was simply to accept the verdict of the Court of the King's Bench, and, according to precedent, to expel the member declared guilty by that court, without daring to revive the question of his guilt or innocence; and that it would be better for an innocent man thus to suffer, than for the House to assail "the bulwarks of English liberty," by turning itself into a Star Chamber, or an Inquisition, and attempting to interfere with "the regular administration of justice." The proposal that Lord Cochrane's case should be referred to a Select Committee was rejected without a division. The motion that he should be expelled from the House was carried by a hundred and forty members, against forty-four dissentients.

That new act of injustice, however, though it added much to Lord Cochrane's suffering, brought him no fresh disgrace. It only led to his triumphant re-election as member for Westminster, under circumstances that were reasonably consoling to him. His seat having been taken from him on the 5th of July, a great meeting of the electors, attended by five thousand people, was held on the 11th. It was there unanimously resolved that Lord Cochrane was perfectly innocent of the Stock Exchange fraud, that he was a fit and proper person to represent the City of Westminster in Parliament, and that his re-election should be secured without any expense to him. Richard Brinsley Sheridan, his stout opponent at the previous election, who was now urged to oppose him again, honourably refused to do so; and therefore the election passed without a contest. But contest would only have added to its glory; unless, indeed, the people, over-zealous in their expression of sympathy for their representative, had been provoked thereby to violent exhibition of their temper. Even without such provocation the turmoil of the re-election day, the 16th of July, was great; angry crowds assembled in the streets, and menacing words against the Government and its myrmidons were loudly uttered. The wisdom of Sir Francis Burdett and other leaders of the popular party, however, prevented anything worse than angry speech.

"Amongst all the occurrences of my life," said Lord Cochrane, writing from the King's Bench Prison to thank the electors for their confidence in him, "I can call to memory no one which has produced so great a degree of exultation in my breast as this, that, after all the machinations of corruption have been able to effect against me, the citizens of Westminster have, with unanimous voice, pronounced me worthy of continuing to be one of their representatives in Parliament. With regard to the case, the agitation of which has been the cause of this most gratifying result, I am in no apprehension as to the opinions and feelings of the world, and especially of the people of England, who, though they may be occasionally misled, are never deliberately cruel or unjust. Only let it be said of me: 'The Stock Exchange has accused; Lord Ellenborough has charged for guilty; the special jury have found that guilt; the Court have sentenced to the pillory; the House of Commons have expelled; and the Citizens of Westminster have re-elected,'—only let this be the record placed against my name, and I shall be proud to stand in the calendar of criminals all the days of my life."

The worst part of the sentence passed upon Lord Cochrane, as has been already said, was not carried out. The 10th of August had been fixed as the day on which he was to stand in the pillory for an hour in front of the Royal Exchange. But the danger of a disturbance among the people, and of fierce opposition in the House of Commons hindered the perpetration of this indignity. Some sentences of a letter addressed to Lord Ebrington, deprecating his motion in Parliament for a remission of this part of the sentence, are too characteristic, however, to be left unquoted. "I did not expect," said Lord Cochrane, "to be treated by your lordship as an object of mercy, on the grounds of past services, or severity of sentence. I cannot allow myself to be indebted to that tenderness of disposition which has led your lordship to form an erroneous estimate of the amount of punishment due to the crimes of which I have been accused; nor can I for a moment consent that any past services of mine should be prostituted to the purpose of protecting me from any part of the vengeance of the laws against which I, if at all, have grossly offended. If I am guilty, I richly merit the whole of the sentence that has been passed upon me. If innocent, one penalty cannot be inflicted with more justice than another."

If the degradation of the pillory was remitted, another degradation quite as painful to Lord Cochrane was substituted for it. His name having, on the 25th of June, been struck off the list of naval officers in the Admiralty, the Knights Companions of the Bath promptly held a chapter to consider the propriety of expelling him from their ranks. That was soon done, and no time was lost in making the insult as thorough as possible. At one o'clock in the morning of the 11th of August, the Bath King at Arms repaired to King Henry the Seventh's Chapel in Westminster Abbey, and there, under a warrant signed by Lord Sidmouth, the Secretary of State, removed the banner of Lord Cochrane, which was suspended between those of Lord Beresford and Sir Brent Spencer. His arms were next unscrewed, and his helmet, sword, and other insignia were taken down from the stall. The banner was then kicked out of the chapel and down the steps by the official, eager to omit no possible indignity. It was an indignity unparalleled since the establishment of the order in 1725.




During the first period of his imprisonment Lord Cochrane was not treated with more than usual severity. Two rooms in the King's Bench State House were provided for him, in which, of course, all the expenses of his maintenance devolved upon himself. He was led to understand that, if he chose to ask for it, he might have the privilege of "the rules," which would have allowed him, on certain conditions, a range of about half-a-mile round the prison. But he did not choose to ask. Rather, he said, than seek any favour from the Government, he would lie in a dungeon all through the term of his unjust imprisonment. Throughout that period he resolutely avowed his perfect innocence, to friends and foes alike; and the consciousness of his innocence helped him to bear up under a degradation that, to a nature as sensitive and chivalrous as his, was doubly bitter. Good friends, like Sir Francis Burdett, came to cheer him in his solitude, and over-zealous, yet honest, friends, like William Cobbett, came to take counsel with him as to ways of keeping alive and quickening the popular indignation which, without any stimulants from headstrong demagogues, was strong enough on his behalf.

The tedium of his captivity was further relieved by his devotion to those scientific and mechanical pursuits which, all through life, yielded employment very solacing to himself, and very profitable to the world. While in the King's Bench Prison he was especially occupied in completing a plan for lighting the public streets by means of a lamp invented by him, in which the main principle was the introduction of a steady current of fresh air into the globes, whereby all the oil was fairly burnt, and a brilliant light was always maintained. In this way lamps much cheaper than those previously in use were found to have a far greater illuminating power. Early in October, 1814, the lamps in St. Ann's parish, Westminster, numbering eight hundred in all, were taken down and replaced by four hundred constructed on Lord Cochrane's plan; and even political opponents spoke in acknowledgment of the excellent result of the change. Had it not been for the introduction of gas, the superiority of these new lamps must soon have compelled their adoption all over London. It is curious that the discovery of the illuminating power of gas—undoubtedly due to his father—should have superseded one of Lord Cochrane's most promising inventions as soon as it had been brought to recognized perfection.

In such pursuits nine months of the unjust imprisonment were passed. "Lord Cochrane has hitherto borne all his hardships with great fortitude," wrote one of his most intimate friends on the 10th of November, "and, if there are any more in store for him, I hope he will continue to be cheerful and courageous." "His lordship always hopes for the best, and is never afraid of the worst," said the same authority on the 9th of December, "and therefore he is in good spirits."

This fearless disposition led, in March, 1815, to a bold step, which some of Lord Cochrane's best friends deprecated. Knowing that he was unjustly imprisoned, he conceived that, since his re-election as member for Westminster, the imprisonment was illegal as well as unjust, in that it was contrary to the privilege of Parliament. The law provides that "no Member of Parliament can be imprisoned either for non-payment of a fine to the King, or for any other cause than treason, felony, or refusing to give security for the peace." It may be questioned whether, in the presence of this law, his first imprisonment, even under the sentence of the Court of King's Bench, was legal. But having been imprisoned, and having been expelled from the House of Commons, it is clear that his subsequent re-election could not interfere with the fulfilment, of the sentence passed against him, especially as he had not been able to make good his title to membership by taking the prescribed oaths and claiming a seat in the House. He, however—acting as it would seem under the advice of William Cobbett and other unsafe counsellors—thought otherwise, and considered that he was only vindicating a high constitutional principle, against the exercise of despotic power by the Government, in making his escape from the King's Bench Prison. "I did not quit these walls," he said in a letter addressed to the electors of Westminster, on the 12th of April, "to escape from personal oppression, but, at the hazard of my life, to assert that right to liberty which, as a member of the community, I have never forfeited, and that right, which I received from you, to attack in its very den the corruption which threatens to annihilate the liberties of us all. I did not quit them to fly from the justice of my country, but to expose the wickedness, fraud, and hypocrisy of those who elude that justice by committing their enormities under the colour of its name. I did not quit them from the childish motive of impatience under suffering. I stayed long enough to evince that I could endure restraint as a pain, but not as a penalty. I stayed long enough to be certain that my persecutors were conscious of their injustice, and to feel that my submission to their unmerited inflictions was losing the dignity of resignation, and sinking into the ignominious endurance of an insult."

The escape was effected on the 6th of March, and by the same means which had proved successful in Lord Cochrane's retreat from the gaol at Malta, just four years before. His rooms in the King's Bench Prison, being on the upper storey of the building known as the State House, were nearly as high as the wall which formed the prison boundary, and the windows were only a few feet distant from it. The possibility of escape by this way, however, had never been contemplated, and therefore the windows were unprotected by bars. Accordingly Lord Cochrane, having been supplied, from time to time, by the same servant who had aided him at Malta, with a quantity of small strong rope, managed, soon after midnight, and while the watchman going his rounds was in a distant part of the prison, to get out of window and climb on to the roof of the building. Thence he threw a running noose over the iron spikes placed on the wall, and, exercising the agility that he had acquired during his seaman's occupations, easily gained the summit—to be somewhat discomfited by having to sit upon the iron spikes while he fastened his rope to one of them and prepared, with its help, to slip down to the pavement on the outer side of the wall. The rope was not strong enough, however, to bear his weight; it snapped when he was some twenty-five feet from the ground, and caused him to fall with his back upon the stone pavement. There he lay, in an almost unconscious state, for a considerable time. But no passer-by observed him; and before daylight he was able to crawl to the house of an old nurse of his eldest son's, who gladly afforded him concealment.

Long concealment was not intended by him. "If it had not been," he said, "for the commotion excited by that obnoxious, injurious, and arbitrary measure, the Corn Bill, which began to evince itself on the day of my departure from prison, I should have lost no time in proceeding to the House of Commons; but, conjecturing that the spirit of disturbance might derive some encouragement from my unexpected appearance at that time, and having no inclination to promote tumult, I resolved to defer my appearance at the House, and, if possible, to conceal my departure from the prison, until the order of the metropolis should be restored."

To the same effect was a letter addressed by Lord Cochrane to the Speaker of the House of Commons on the 9th of March. "I respectfully request," he said therein, "that you will state to the honourable the House of Commons, that I should immediately and personally have communicated to them my departure from the custody of Lord Ellenborough, by whom I have been long most unjustly detained; but I judged it better to endeavour to conceal my absence, and to defer my appearance in the House until the public agitation excited by the Corn Bill should subside. And I have further to request that you will also communicate to the House that it is my intention, on an early day, to present myself for the purpose of taking my seat and moving an inquiry into the conduct of Lord Ellenborough."

On the day of that letter's delivery, the 10th of March—also famous as the day on which Buonaparte's escape from Elba was published in England—Lord Cochrane's gaolers discovered that he was no longer in his prison. Immediately a hue and cry was raised. This notice was issued: "Escaped from the King's Bench Prison, on Monday the 6th day of March, instant, Lord Cochrane. He is about five feet eleven inches in height,[A] thin and narrow-chested, with sandy hair and full eyes, red whiskers and eyebrows. Whoever will apprehend and secure Lord Cochrane in any of His Majesty's gaols in the kingdom shall have a reward of three hundred guineas from William Jones, Marshal of the King's Bench."

[Footnote A: He was really about six feet two inches in height, and broad in proportion.]

Great search was made in consequence of that notice, and Lord Cochrane's disappearance was an eleven days' wonder. Every newspaper had each day a new statement as to his whereabouts. Some declared that he had gone mad, and, as a madman's freak, was hiding himself in some corner of the prison; others that he was lodging at an apothecary's shop in London. According to one report, he had been seen at Hastings, according to another, at Farnham, and according to another, in Jersey; while others declared that he had been discovered in France and elsewhere on the Continent.

None of the thousands whom political spite or the hope of reward set in search of him thought of looking for him in his real resting-place. "As soon as I had written to the Speaker," he said, "I went into Hampshire, where I remained eleven days, and till within one day of my appearance in the House of Commons. During that period I was occupied in regulating my affairs in that county, and in riding about the county, as was well known to the people of the neighbourhood, none of whom were base enough to be seduced by a bribe to deliver an injured man into the hands of his oppressors."

At his own house, known as Holly Hill, in the south of Hampshire, Lord Cochrane remained quietly, though with no attempt to hide himself, until the 20th of March. He then, in fulfilment of his original purpose, returned to London, and on the following day entered the House of Commons at about two o'clock in the afternoon. Very great was the astonishment among the officials in attendance caused by his appearance, "dressed," according to one of the newspaper reports, "in his usual costume, grey pantaloons, frogged great-coat, &c.;" and by some of them the intelligence of his arrival was promptly communicated to the Marshal of the King's Bench. In the meanwhile, considering himself safe within the precincts of the House at any rate, he proceeded to occupy his customary seat. To that it was objected that, until he had taken the oaths and complied with the prescribed forms consequent on his re-election, he had no right within the building. He answered that he was willing to do this, and, to see that all was according to rule, went at once to the clerks' office. There it was pretended that the writ of his re-election had not yet been received, and that it must first be procured from the Crown Office, in Chancery Lane. Awaiting the return of the messenger, ostensibly despatched for this purpose, he again entered the House, and there he was found, at a few minutes before four, by Mr. Jones, the marshal, who, on receiving the information sent to him, had hurried up, with a Bow Street runner and some tipstaves. The runner, walking up to Lord Cochrane and touching him on the shoulder, bluntly claimed him as his prisoner. Lord Cochrane asked by what authority he dared to arrest a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons. "My lord," answered the man, "my authority is the public proclamation of the Marshal of the King's Bench Prison, offering a reward for your apprehension." Lord Cochrane declared that he neither acknowledged, nor would yield to, any such authority, that he was there to resume his seat as one of the representatives of the City of Westminster, and that any who dared to touch him would do so at their peril. Two tipstaves thereupon rudely seized him by the arms. He again cautioned them that the Marshal of the King's Bench had no authority within those walls, and that their conduct was altogether illegal. The answer was that he had better go quietly; his reply that he would not go at all. Other officers, however, came up. After a short struggle, he was overpowered, and, on his refusing to walk, he was carried out of the House on the shoulders of the tipstaves and constables.

There was a halt, however, in this disgraceful march. The Bow Street runner expressed a fear that Lord Cochrane had firearms concealed under his clothes, and he was accordingly taken into one of the committee-rooms to be searched. Nothing more dangerous was found about him than a packet of snuff. "If I had thought of that before," said Lord Cochrane, not quite wisely, "you should have had it in your eyes!" On this incident was founded a foolish story, to be told next day, amid a score of exaggerations and falsehoods, in the Government newspapers. "Being asked why he had provided himself with such a quantity of snuff," we there read, "he said he had bought a canister for the purpose of throwing it in the eyes of those who might attempt to secure him, unless the opposing force should be too strong for resistance, observing that he had found the use of a similar weapon when he was in the Bay of Rosas, as he had thrown a mixture of lime, sand, &c., upon the Frenchmen who attempted to board his ship, and found it effectual." Another zealous organ of the Government added that he had also provided himself with a bottle of vitriol, to be used in the same way.

Had a penknife been found in his pocket, perhaps the Marshal of the King's Bench, the Bow Street runner, the tipstaves, and the constables would all have fled, deeming that the possession of so deadly an instrument made the retention of their captive too dangerous a thing to be attempted. The snuff having been seized, however, he was again lodged on the officers' shoulders and so conveyed into the courtyard. He then said that, being now beyond the privilege of the House, he was willing to proceed quietly. A coach was called, and he was taken back to the King's Bench Prison.

The indignity thus offered to him was small indeed in comparison with the indignity offered to the Parliament of England. In former times the slightest encroachment by the Crown, by the Government, or by any humbler part of the executive, was fiercely resented; and to this resentment some of the greatest and most memorable crises in the long fight for English liberty are due. But rarely had there been a more flagrant, never a more wanton, infringement of the hardly-won privileges of the House of Commons. Had Lord Cochrane been detected and seized violently in some out-of-the-way hiding-place, the over-zealous servants of the Crown would have had some excuse for their conduct. But in appearing publicly in the House, he showed to all the world that he was no runaway from justice, that he was willing to submit to its honest administration by honest hands, that all he sought was a fair hearing and a fair judgment upon his case, and that, believing it impossible to obtain that through the elaborate machinery of oppression which then went by the name of administration of justice, he now only asserted his right, the right of every Englishman, and especially the right of a Member of Parliament, to appeal from the agents of the law to the makers of the law, to call upon the legislators of his country to see whether he had not been wrongfully used by the men who, though practically too much their masters, were in theory only their servants.

"I did not go to the House of Commons," he said, "to complain about losses or sufferings, about fine or imprisonment; or of property, to the amount of ten times the fine, of which I had been cheated by this malicious prosecution. I did not go to the House to complain of the mockery of having been heard in my defence, and answered by a reference to the decision from which that defence was an appeal. I did not go there to complain of those who expelled me from my profession. I did not go to the House to complain generally of the advisers of the Crown. But I went there to complain of the conduct of him who has indeed the right of recommending to mercy, but whose privilege, as a Privy Councillor, of advising the confirmation of his own condemnations, and of interposing between the victims of legal vengeance and the justice of the throne, is spurious and unconstitutional. When it is considered that my intention of going to the House of Commons was announced on the day on which my absence from the prison was discovered; I say, when it is considered that, as soon as it was known that I had left the prison, it was also known that I had left it for the express purpose of going to the House of Commons to move for an inquiry into the conduct of Lord Ellenborough; when it is considered that every engine was set to work to tempt or intimidate me from that purpose, to frighten me out of the country or allure me back to the custody of the marshal, that assurances were given that the doors should be kept open for my admission at any hour of the night, and that I should be received with secresy, courtesy, and indemnity; and when it is considered that I was afterwards seized in the House of Commons, in defiance of the privileges of the House—can there be a doubt that the object of that apprehension was less the accomplishment of the sentence of the court than the prevention of the exposure which I was prepared to make of the injustice of that sentence? That recourse should have been had to violence to stifle the accusations which I was prepared to bring forward, that terror of the truth should have so superseded a wonted reverence for parliamentary privileges as to have admitted the intrusion of tipstaves and thief-takers into the House of Commons, to seize the person of an individual elected to serve as a member of that House, and avowedly attendant for that purpose, is extraordinary, though not unnatural."

It must be admitted that the question of breach of privilege was somewhat more complicated than Lord Cochrane considered. His opponents did not think with him that he was still a member of the House of Commons. That membership had been taken from him, formally, though wrongfully, by his expulsion on the 5th of July, and he had himself recognized the expulsion by accepting re-election from the constituents of Westminster on the 16th of the same month. According to precedent, however, that re-election could not be perfected until the customary oaths had been taken; and, through a trick contrived in the clerks' office, he was hindered from taking them before the arrival of the marshal and his consequent arrest. Yet there can be no doubt that, in the special circumstances of the case, this arrest was especially indecorous, and, in the method of effecting it, altogether illegal. If he had no right in the House of Commons, he was a common trespasser, and ought to have been at once removed by the servants of the House, who alone could have power to touch him within the walls. To allow him a seat therein, without molestation, until the arrival of the servants of the King's Bench Prison, and then to allow those servants to enter the House and act upon an authority that could there be no authority, was wholly unwarrantable, a gross insult to Lord Cochrane, and, to the customs of the House of Commons, an insult yet more gross. But to the hardship and the insult alike the House of Commons, servile in its devotion to the Government of the day, was blind.

A miserable farce ensued. While the House was sitting, a few hours after Lord Cochrane's capture, a letter from the Marshal of the King's Bench was read by the Speaker, in which his bold act was formally reported and apologized for. "I humbly hope," he there said, "that I have not committed any breach of privilege by the steps I have taken; and that, if I have done wrong, it will be attributed to error in judgment, and not to any intention of doing anything that might give offence."

The short debate that followed the reading of that letter is very noteworthy. Lord Castlereagh spoke first, and dictated the view to be taken by all loyal members of the House. "From the nature of the arrest and the circumstances attending it, I do not think, sir," he said, "that the House is called upon to interfere. I am not aware, as the House was not actually sitting, with the mace on the table and the Speaker in the chair, when the arrest took place, that any breach of privilege has been committed. It must be quite obvious to every man that the marshal has not acted wilfully in violation of the privileges of the House. No blame can attach to him, since he has submitted himself to the judgment of the House of Commons after having done that which he considered his duty as a civil officer. Having had Lord Cochrane in his custody, from which he escaped, the marshal was bound not to pass over any justifiable means of putting him under arrest whenever a fair opportunity occurred."

Most of the members thought, with Lord Castlereagh, that this was a "fair opportunity." Only one, Mr. Tierney—and he very feebly—ventured to express an opposite opinion. "I consider this," he said, "to be the case of a member regularly elected to serve in Parliament, and coming down to take his seat. Now, sir, the House is regularly adjourned until ten o'clock in the morning; and I recollect occasions when the Speaker did take the chair at that hour. Suppose, then, a member, about to take his seat, came down here at an early hour, with the proper documents in his hand, and desired to be instructed in the mode of proceeding, and, while waiting, an officer entered, arrested him, and took his person away, would not this be a case to call for the interference of the House?" Mr. Tierney admitted that he approved of Lord Cochrane's arrest, but feared it might become a precedent and be put to the "improper purpose" of sanctioning the arrest of members more deserving of consideration.

To please him, and to satisfy the formalities, therefore, the question was referred to a committee of privileges. This committee reported, on the 23rd of March, "that, under the particular circumstances, it did not appear that the privileges of Parliament had been violated, so as to call for the interposition of the House;" and the House of Commons being satisfied with that opinion, no further attention was paid to the subject.

In the meanwhile Lord Cochrane was being punished, with inexcusable severity, for his contempt of the authority of Lord Ellenborough and Mr. Jones. A member of the House, during the discussion of the 21st of March, had said that he had just come from the King's Bench Prison. "I found Lord Cochrane," he had averred, "confined there in a strong room, fourteen feet square, without windows, fireplace, table, or bed. I do not think it can be necessary for the purpose of security to confine him in this manner. According to my own feelings, it is a place unfit for the noble lord, or for any other person whatsoever."

In this Strong Room, however, Lord Cochrane was detained for more than three weeks. It was partly underground, devoid of ventilation or necessary warmth, and, according to the testimony of Dr. Buchan, one of the physicians who visited him in it, "rendered extremely damp and unpleasant by the exudations coming through the wall."

On being taken to this den immediately after his capture, Lord Cochrane was informed by Mr. Jones that he would be detained in it for a short time only, until the apartments over the lobby of the prison were prepared for his reception. That was done in a few days; but no intimation of a change was made until the 1st of April, when a message to that effect was sent to the prisoner. On the following day he received a letter from Mr. Jones informing him that, if he would anticipate the payment of the fine of 1000£ levied against him, and would also pledge himself, and give security for the keeping of the promise, to make no further effort to escape, he might be allowed to occupy the more comfortable quarters. "It is no new thing," said Lord Cochrane, "for a prisoner to escape or to be retaken; but to require of any prisoner a bond and securities not to repeat such escape was, I think, a proposition without precedent, and such as the marshal knew could not be complied with by me without humiliation, and therefore could not be proposed by him without insult. Besides, he had my assurance that if I were again to quit his custody (which I gave him no reason to believe I should attempt, and which, as I observed and believe, it was as easy for me to effect from that room as from any other part of the prison), I should proceed no further than to the House of Commons, and that where he found me before he might find me again; I having had no other object in view than that of expressing, by some peculiar act, the keen sense which I entertained of peculiar injustice, and of endeavouring to bring such additional proofs of that injustice before the House as were not in my possession when I was heard in my defence." Mr. Jones, however, resolved to keep his captive in the Strong Room, unless he would promise to resign himself to captivity in a less obnoxious part of the prison.

Even for that negative favour the marshal took great credit to himself in a document which he issued at the time. "If a humane and kind concern for this unfortunate nobleman," he there averred, "had not softened the solicitude which I naturally felt for my own security, I could have committed him, on my own warrant for the escape, to the new gaol in Horsemonger Lane, for the space of a month; and that power is still within my jurisdiction. Had I thought proper to exercise it, Lord Cochrane would then have been confined in a solitary cell with a stone floor, with windows impenetrably barred and without glass; nor would it have proved half the size of the Strong Room in the King's Bench, which has a boarded floor and glazed lights." That statement reasonably stirred the anger of Lord Cochrane. "Though the solitary cell in Horsemonger Lane," he answered, "may be half the size of the Strong Room, it could not, I apprehend, have been more gloomy, damp, filthy, or injurious to health than the last-mentioned dungeon. And since Mr. Jones could only have confined me in the former place for a month, and did confine me in the latter for twenty-six days, I can scarcely see that degree of difference which should entitle him to those 'grateful sentiments for his mode of acting on the occasion' which, he submits to the public, it is my duty to entertain. The 'glazed lights' mentioned by Mr. Jones were not put up till I had been thirty hours in the place, and I have always understood that I was indebted for them to the good offices of Mr. Bennet and Mr. Lambton, who happened [as part of a Parliamentary Committee] to be prosecuting their inquiry into the state of the prison at the time of my return. For these and all other mercies of the said marshal, my gratitude is due to their friendship and sense of duty, and to his dread of their discoveries and proceedings."

It is clear that nothing but fear of the consequences induced Mr. Jones to remove Lord Cochrane from the Strong Room, after twenty-six days of confinement therein. On the 12th of April the prisoner issued an address to the electors of Westminster, detailing some of the hardships to which he was being subjected; and its publication immediately roused so much popular interest that the authorities of King's Bench Prison deemed it necessary to make at any rate a show of amelioration in his treatment. On the 13th, his physician, Dr. Buchan, was allowed to visit him, and his report was such that another medical man of eminence, Mr. Saumarez, was sent to examine into the state of the prisoner's health. Part of Dr. Buchan's certificate has already been quoted. The rest was as follows: "This is to certify that I have this day visited Lord Cochrane, who is affected with severe pain of the breast. His pulse is low, his hands cold, and he has many symptoms of a person about to have typhus or putrid fever. These symptoms are, in my opinion, produced by the stagnant air of the Strong Room in which he is now confined." "I hereby certify," wrote Mr. Saumarez, "that I have visited Lord Cochrane, and am of opinion, from the state of his health at this time, that it is essentially necessary that he should be removed from the room which he now inhabits to one which is better ventilated, and in which there is a fireplace. His lordship complains of pain in the chest, with difficulty of respiration, accompanied with great coldness of the hands; and, from the general state of his health, there is great reason to fear that a low typhus may come on."

The only result of those medical opinions was a renewal of the offer to remove Lord Cochrane to the rooms prepared for him, on the conditions previously specified by Mr. Jones. Lord Cochrane answered that he would rather die than submit to such an insulting arrangement. He published the doctors' certificates, however, on the 15th of April, and their effect upon the public was so great that the authorities were forced on the following day to take him out of his dungeon. Mr. Jones's account of this step is worth quoting. "I again tried," he reported, "to induce Lord Cochrane's friends and relations to give me any kind of undertaking against another escape. On their refusal, I determined myself to become his friend, and, at my own risk, to remove him to the rooms which have been already mentioned, and where, I am confident, he can have no cause of complaint. These rooms not being altogether safe against such a person as Lord Cochrane, should he determine to risk another escape, I must look to the laws of my country as a safeguard, in the hope that the terrors of them will discourage him from attempting a repetition of his offence, and prevent him from incurring the penalties of another indictment."

Lord Cochrane never really intended to attempt a second escape. Had it been otherwise, the illness induced by his confinement in the Strong Room would have restrained him. Being placed in healthier apartments on the 16th of April, he quietly remained there for the remainder of his term of imprisonment. On the 20th of June he was informed that, the term being now at an end, he was at liberty to depart on payment of the fine of 1000£ levied against him. This he at first refused to do, and accordingly he was detained in prison for a fortnight more; but at length the entreaties of his friends prevailed. On the 3rd of July he tendered to the Marshal of the King's Bench a 1000£ note, with this memorable endorsement: "My health having suffered by long and close confinement, and my oppressors being resolved to deprive me of property or life, I submit to robbery to protect myself from murder, in the hope that I shall live to bring the delinquents to justice." Upon that the prison doors were opened for him, and he was able once more to fight for the justice so cruelly withheld from him, and to make his innocence entirely clear to all whose selfish interests did not force them to be blind to the truth.




Released from imprisonment on Monday, the 3rd of July, Lord Cochrane resumed his seat in the House of Commons on the evening of the same day, just in time to secure the defeat of a measure which was especially obnoxious to his Radical friends. The Duke of Cumberland having lately married a daughter of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, it was proposed to augment his income of about 20,000£ a year by a further pension of 6000£ A bill to that effect was brought in by Lord Castlereagh, and, after much sullen opposition from independent members, allowed a first reading by a majority of seventeen. On the second division the majority was reduced to twelve. The bill was brought on for the third reading on the 3rd of July, and would have been passed through the House of Commons by the Speaker's casting vote but for Lord Cochrane's sudden appearance. His vote secured a majority against it, and thereby it was finally overthrown. Great, on the morrow, were the rejoicings of his supporters. "What a triumph," it was said in a friendly newspaper, "is this to innocence! After being sentenced to the scandalous and disgraceful punishment of the pillory, after being confined in a loathsome dungeon, fined 1000£ in money to the king, disgracefully removed from that service in which he had attained such high honours and rendered to his country such essential service, his escutcheon kicked out of Westminster Abbey, his order of knighthood taken from him; in short, after having every possible indignity which the most malignant imagination could invent heaped upon him in every way, his single vote, on the very first day of his returning to his parliamentary duties, has been the means of obtaining a signal victory over those under whose persecution he had been so long suffering."

The one victory upon which Lord Cochrane set his heart, however—the reversal of the unjust sentence passed upon him, and the consequent restoration of the honours and offices that were now doubly dear to him—he was not able to obtain. On the 6th of July, just before the prorogation of Parliament, he gave notice that, early in the next session, he should move for the appointment of a committee to inquire into the conduct of Lord Ellenborough and others towards him during the Stock Exchange trial. In arranging for this new effort at self-justification, he was partly occupied during the ensuing autumn and winter, and the question was brought prominently before the House of Commons in the spring of 1816; only to issue, however, in further injustice and disappointment.

His purpose from the first was, of course, virtually the impeachment of Lord Ellenborough; and that object was yet more apparent from the altered shape which the question assumed when introduced in the new session. During the recess, Lord Cochrane, with the help of advisers, some of whom were more zealous than wise, William Cobbett being the chief, had prepared an elaborate series of "charges of partiality, misrepresentation, injustice, and oppression against the Lord Chief Justice;" and these were formally introduced to the House of Commons on the 5th of March. "When I recollect," said Lord Cochrane on that occasion, "the imputations cast upon my character, and circulated industriously previous to any legal proceedings, the conduct pursued at my trial, the verdict obtained, the ineffectual endeavours; to procure a revision of my case in the Court of King's Bench, and the infamous sentence there pronounced, together with my expulsion from this House without being suffered to expose its injustice—when I call to mind my dismissal from a service in which I have spent the fairest portion of my life, at least without reproach, and my illegal and unmerited deprivation of the order of the Bath—it is impossible to speak without emotion. I have but one course now left to pursue, namely, to show that the charge of the Lord Chief Justice, on which he directed the jury to decide, was not only unsupported by, but was in direct contradiction to, the evidence on which it professed to be founded. This is the best course to pursue both in justice to the learned judge and to myself. Either I am unfit to sit in this House, or the judge has no right to his place on the bench. I have courted investigation in every shape; and I trust that the learned lord will not shrink from it or suffer his friends on the opposite side to evade the consideration of these charges by 'the previous question.'"

Lord Cochrane thereupon tendered to the House thirteen charges against Lord Ellenborough, in which every point of importance in the Stock Exchange trial was minutely detailed and discussed; and these charges being read, therein occupying nearly three hours, were ordered to be printed. A fourteenth charge, bearing upon Lord Ellenborough's conduct subsequent to the trial, was introduced on the 29th of March; but this, as it included aspersions upon the character of another judge, Sir Simon Le Blanc, was objected to and withdrawn. There was further discussion on the subject on the 1st and the 29th of April; but not much was done until the 30th of April.

On that evening, Lord Cochrane formally moved that his charges against Lord Ellenborough should be referred to a Committee of the whole House, and that evidence in support of them should be heard at the bar. A lengthy discussion then ensued, the most notable speeches being made by the Solicitor-General, Sir Francis Burdett, and the Attorney-General.

The Solicitor-General of course opposed the motion. "As the House, on the one hand," he said, "should jealously watch over the conduct of judges, so, on the other, it should protect them when deserving of protection, not only as a debt of justice due to the judges, but as a debt due to justice herself, in order that the public confidence in the purity of the administration of our laws may not be disappointed, and that the course of that administration may continue the admiration of the world; for, unless the judges are protected in the exercise of their functions, the public opinion of the excellence of our laws will be inevitably weakened,—and to weaken public opinion is to weaken justice herself."

That sort of argument, too frivolous and faulty, it might be supposed, to influence any one, had weight with the House of Commons to which it was addressed; and the Solicitor-General adduced much more of it. To him the spotless character of Lord Ellenborough appeared to be an ample defence against Lord Cochrane's charges. "Never," he said, with a truthfulness that posterity can appreciate, "never was there an individual at the bar or on the bench less liable to the imputation of corrupt motives; never was there one more remarkable for independence—I will say, sturdy independence—of character, than the noble and learned lord. For twelve years he has presided on the bench with unsullied honour, displaying a perfect knowledge of the law; evincing as much legal knowledge as was ever amassed by any individual; and now, in the latter part of his life, when he has arrived at the highest dignity to which a man can arrive, by a promotion well-earned at the bar, and doubly well-earned at the bench, we are told that he has sacrificed all his honours by acting from corrupt motives!"

Sir Francis Burdett replied effectively to the speeches of the Solicitor-General and others who sided with him, and nobly defended his friend. He showed that the proposal to refuse investigation of this case because it might weaken the cause of justice, by making the conduct of the administrators of justice contemptible, was worse than frivolous. "Such language," he averred, "would operate against the investigation of any charges whatever against any judge; would indeed form a barrier against the exercise of the best privilege of this House—the privilege of inquiring into the conduct of courts of justice. It would serve equally well to shelter even those judges who have been dragged from the bench for their misconduct." He then reviewed the incidents of the Stock Exchange trial, and urged that Lord Cochrane had good reason for bringing forward his charges. "The question for the House to consider is, 'Do these charges, if admitted, contain criminal matter for the consideration of the House?' I conceive that they do. No doubt the judges who condemned Russell and Sidney were, at the time, spoken of as men of high character, who could not be supposed to suffer any base motives to influence their conduct. Such arguments as those ought to be banished from this House. It is our duty to look, with constitutional suspicion on jealousy, on the proceedings of the judges; and, when a grave charge is solemnly brought forward, justice to the country, as well as to the judge, demands an inquiry into it."

That, however, was refused. After a long speech from the Attorney-General, and an eloquent reply by Lord Cochrane, the House divided on the motion. Eighty-nine members voted against it. Its only supporters were Sir Francis Burdett and Lord Cochrane himself. Not only did the House refuse to listen to the allegations against Lord Ellenborough; in the excess of its devotion to such law and such order as the Government of the day appointed, it even resolved that all the entries in its record of proceedings which referred to this subject should be expunged from the journals. Lord Cochrane made no resistance to this further insult thrown upon him. "It gives me great satisfaction," he said, in the brief and dignified speech with which he closed the discussion, "to think that the vote which has been come to has been come to without any of my charges having been disproved. Whatever may be done with them now, they will find their way to posterity, and posterity will form a different judgment concerning them than that which has been adopted by this House. So long as I have a seat in this House, however, I will continue to bring them forward, year by year and time after time, until I am allowed the opportunity of establishing the truth of my allegations."

Other occupations prevented the full realization of that purpose. But to the end of his life Lord Cochrane used every occasion of asserting his innocence and courting a full investigation of all the incidents on which his assertion was based. Posterity, as he truly prophesied, has learnt to endorse his judgment; and therefore, in the ensuing pages, it will not be necessary to adduce from his letters and actions more than occasional illustrations of the temper which animated him throughout with reference to this heaviest of all his heavy troubles.

By these troubles, however, even in the time of their greatest pressure, he was not overcome; and in the midst of them he found time and heart for active labour in the good work of various sorts that was always dear to him. He used the advantages of his liberty in striving to perfect the invention of improved street lamps and lighting material that had occupied him while in prison, and to procure their general adoption. His place in Parliament, moreover, all through the session of 1816, was employed not only in seeking justice for himself, but also in furthering every project advanced for benefiting the community and checking the pernicious action of the Government. A zealous, honest Whig before, he was now as zealous and as honest as ever in all his political conduct. And his devotion to the best interests of the people was yet more apparent in his unflagging labours, out of Parliament, for the public good. His great abilities, rendered all the more prominent by the cruel persecution to which he had been and still was subjected, made him a leading champion of the people during the turmoil to which misgovernment at home, and the distracted state of foreign politics, gave a special stimulus in 1816.

A long list might be made of the great meetings which he attended, and took part in, both among his own constituents of Westminster and elsewhere, for the consideration of popular grievances and their remedies. One such meeting, attended by Henry Brougham and Sir Francis Burdett among others, was held in Palace Yard, Westminster, on the 1st of March, for the purpose of petitioning Parliament against the renewal of the property-tax and the maintenance of a standing army in time of peace. Lord Cochrane, the hero of the day, on account of "the spirit of opposition which he had shown to the infringement of the constitution and the grievances of the people," won for himself new favour by the boldness with which he denounced the policy of the Government, which, boasting that it was ruining the French nation, was at the same time bringing misery also upon Englishmen by the excessive taxation and the reckless extravagance to which it resorted.

A smaller, but much more momentous meeting assembled at the City of London Tavern on the 29th of July, under the auspices of the Association for the Relief of the Manufacturing and Labouring Poor. Instigated in a spirit of praiseworthy charity by many of the most influential persons of the day, it was used by Lord Cochrane for the enforcement of the views as to public right and public duty, and the mutual relations of the rich and the poor, which were forced upon him by his recent troubles, and the relations in which he was at this time placed with some over-zealous champions of popular reform, and some unreasonable exponents of popular grievances. That his conduct on this occasion was extravagant and even factious, he afterwards heartily regretted. Yet as a memorable illustration of the power and earnestness with which he fought for what seemed to him to be right, as well with word as with sword, its details, as reported at the time, may be here set forth at length.

About half-past one o'clock the Duke of York entered and took the chair, supported on his right by the Duke of Kent, and on his left by the Duke of Cambridge. He was accompanied on his entrance by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, the Duke of Rutland, Lord Manvers, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Wilberforce, and other distinguished individuals.

His Royal Highness the Duke of York immediately proceeded to open the business of the day, by observing that the present meeting had been called to consider and, as far as possible, to alleviate the present distress and sufferings of the labouring classes of the community. These distresses were, he feared, too well known to all who heard him to require any description; and all he had to add to the bare statement of them was the expression of his confidence that the liberality which had been so signally manifested in the course of foreign distress would not be found wanting when the direction of it was to be towards the comfort and relief of our own countrymen at home.

THE DUKE OF KENT, after alluding to the exertions of the Committee of 1812, observed that the immediate object was to raise a fund, in the subsequent accumulation and management of which many ulterior arrangements might be projected, and from which charity might soon emanate in a thousand directions. He doubted not that every county and every town would be quick to imitate the example of the metropolis. The association of 1812 had at least the merit of producing this effect, and had spread through the whole land that spirit of active benevolence which he was feebly invoking on this occasion. He trusted that it was necessary for him to say but little more to insure the adoption of the resolution which he should have the honour to propose. He confessed he felt gratified when he saw so great a concourse of his countrymen assembled together for such a purpose, and additional gratification at seeing by whom they were supported. He was sure, then, that he should not plead in vain to the national liberality; but that the remedy would be promptly afforded to an evil which he trusted would be found but temporary. If they should be so happy as but to succeed in discovering new sources of employment to supply the place of those channels which had been suddenly shut up, he should indeed despond if we did not soon restore the country to that same flourishing condition which had long made her the envy of the world. The royal Duke then moved the first resolution, as follows:—"That the transition from a state of extensive warfare to a system of peace has occasioned a stagnation of employment and a revulsion of trade, deeply affecting the situation of many parts of the community, and producing many instances of great local distress."

The resolution was seconded by Mr. Harman.

Lord Cochrane offered himself to the attention of the meeting, but was for some time unable to proceed, his voice being lost in the huzzas and hisses which his presence called forth. Silence being at length in some measure obtained, his lordship said he would not have addressed the meeting but that, having received a circular letter from the committee, and feeling the importance of the subject, he would have thought it a dereliction of his duty if he refrained from attending. He rose thus early because the observations he had to submit would not be suitable if made when the other resolutions were put. The first resolution was, in his opinion, founded on a gross fallacy; and this was his reason for saying so. The existing distresses could not be truly ascribed to any sudden transition from war to peace. Could it be pretended that it was peace which had occasioned the fall in the value of all agricultural produce? Or could any man venture to assert that the difficulties and sufferings of the manufacturing classes had any other cause than a prodigious and enormous burthen of taxation? He was much gratified at seeing the royal Dukes so active in promoting a generous and laudable undertaking, and he hoped he should not be understood as treating them with disrespect when he repeated that the resolution was founded on an entire fallacy. But, not to content himself with a mere assertion of his own belief, he had brought official documents to prove the correctness of his statements; and if he should be wrong, he saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer near him, who would have the opportunity of correcting his misrepresentation. This brief statement, he believed, would be quite sufficient to show that the financial situation of the country was such as to render any attempts of that meeting for the purpose of extending general relief utterly ineffectual. The whole revenue of the kingdom was 62,267,450£, deducting the property-tax, and the revenue was thus expended. The interest of the national debt, including the interest of unfunded exchequer bills, was upwards of 40,300,000£, leaving to support the expenses of Government only about 22,000,000£ It was this enormous sum which now hung round our necks—it was this, which unnecessary extravagance had caused to increase from year to year to its present terrible amount, which was the cause of all the evils of the country at this moment. This taxation, and extravagance, for which the country was now suffering, was supported and sanctioned by those who had derived and still derived large emoluments from them. These were truths that the people ought to know; for they were the source of their burthens, and the origin of all the mischief. It was this profuse expenditure of the public money, to say no worse of it, that occasioned the present calamities. It was the lavish expenditure to meet a compliant list of placemen that brought the country to its present state. The deficiency in the revenue occasioned by the enormous interest of the national debt, which ministers would have to supply, would, according to the present disbursements and receipts, amount to 11,578,000£ unless that expenditure were reduced, every such attempt as they were at present making would, he was convinced, prove abortive: it was a mere topical application while a mortal distemper was raging within. He had taken no notice in his estimate of the charges for sinecures or the bounties on exports and imports: and yet the returns upon which he went, exclusive of these charges, showed a deficit for the ensuing year of 3,500,000£ Were those who heard him prepared to make this good? It was, he believed, undeniable that nothing could equalize our revenue with our expenditure, but the putting down entirely the army and navy, or the extinction of one half of the national debt; but when he looked to the actual receipt of the last quarter and found a falling off of 2,400,000£, which, with a corresponding decrease in the three succeeding quarters, must create a new deficit of 10,000,000£, and, added to the 3,500,000£ to which he had alluded, would form a sum equal to the whole amount of the boasted sinking-fund, he felt that it was worse than trifling to suppose we could go on upon the present system. Were they prepared to make up this enormous deficiency? [A voice from the crowd cried "Yes."] He was happy to hear it: he supposed it was some fund-holder who answered, and if any class could do so, it was the fund-holders. They alone had the ability, they alone now derived any returns from their property; but even if they should be both able and willing, still it would only remain a positive deficit made good, and no new facility would be derived for alleviating the existing burthens. The burthens and distresses must still remain what they were before. He spoke not now upon conjecture, or loose calculation, he had brought his authority with him. These were the records from which he derived his statements—the official returns of the Treasury; and if false, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was present to contradict them. He was glad, he confessed, to see him, for those who heard him were, no doubt, aware that it was not always in the House of Commons that a minister could discover the genuine sentiments of the people. If, therefore, no other person should move an amendment, he should feel it his duty to propose an omission of that part of the resolution which ascribed the distressed state of the country to the transition from a state of war to a state of peace, and to state the cause to be an enormous debt, and a lavish expenditure. He had come there with the expectation of seeing the Duke of Rutland in the chair; and with some hopes, as he took the lead upon this occasion, that it was his intention to surrender that sinecure of 9,000£ a-year which he was now in the habit of putting in his pocket. He still trusted that all who were present and were also holders of sinecures had it in their intention to sacrifice them to their liberality and their justice; and that they did not come there to aid the distresses of their country by paying half-a-crown per cent, out of the hundreds which they took from it. If they did not, all he could say was, that to him their pretended charity was little better than a fraud. Without, however, taking up more of their time, he should move his amendment, with this one additional observation, that it would be a disgrace to an enlightened meeting, and particularly to a meeting which might be considered as comprising an aggregate mass of the property and intellect of the country, to place a fallacy upon the record of their proceedings, and to build all their following resolutions upon an assertion which had no foundation in truth. He concluded by moving the following amendment to the first resolution:—"That the enormous load of the national debt, together with the large military establishment and the profuse expenditure of public money, was the real cause of the present public distress."

Mr. Wilberforce said he was himself too much of an Englishman, and had been too long engaged in political discussions to feel any surprise that those who felt warmly on such a subject as the present should be anxious to give expression to their sentiments: but he could not help thinking that, upon cool reflection, the noble lord would be of opinion that his own object would be better attained if he confined himself, on this occasion, to the distinct question under consideration. The noble lord said the country was in a crisis, and would they apply a mere topical remedy? but he might ask the noble lord if he would refuse to assuage the pain of a temporary distemper because he had it not in his power at once to cure it radically? To him the existing distress appeared to be a distemper which rather called for immediate alleviation, than for the speculative discussion of its cause. He thought the most charitable and manly course to be pursued—and that which must be most congenial to what he knew to be the noble lord's own charitable and manly disposition—was not to call upon the meeting to give any opinion upon a political question not under consideration, so as to divert them from pursuing it with diligence and confidence, but to postpone to a better opportunity a discussion of this nature, and to unite cordially in the general cause of finding employment and encouragement for our suffering fellow-citizens. If the noble lord would reflect upon the best mode of relieving the distresses of the people, he would find his amendment not likely to have that tendency. Let him reserve all discussion on the question it involved until he could do it without interrupting the stream of charity, and until he could enter upon it under fair and proper circumstances. He (Mr. Wilberforce), in a proper place, would not shrink from meeting the noble lord on that inquiry; he was twice as old in public life as the noble lord could pretend to be, and fully as independent; yet he would not have easily supposed any man, however young in politics, could have started such topics there. For his part, he should be sorry to take advantage of any credit which might be to supposed to belong to him upon such an occasion as this to cast reproaches upon those who were concurring with him in a benevolent design. The meeting must on the present occasion feel how much indebted it stood to the royal personages for their attendance. They had come to listen to a discussion which had for its avowed and direct object the relief of the people, and they were in the room suddenly called upon to lay aside the practical part of their inquiry and to enter upon a distinct pursuit. Was such a course fair towards those illustrious individuals? Was it that which was likely to induce them to listen to proposals for their personal co-operation on occasions of benevolence, if they had no security against the occupation of their time for discussions of a different character? In conclusion, he entreated the noble lord, of whose real disposition to relieve the people of England he had no doubt, and whose motives he could justly appreciate, to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Cochrane thanked the honourable gentleman for his personal civilities towards him, and said that he would feel no hesitation in withdrawing his amendment if the honourable gentleman would state to the meeting, on his own personal veracity and honour, that he believed that the original resolution contained the true cause of the public distress, and the amendment the false one. If the honourable gentleman would say that—if any respectable man present would say it—he would be satisfied.

Mr. Cotes said he was entirely unconnected with the noble lord, and had never even had the honour of speaking, to him. He agreed, however, with him in thinking that this was a moment when the eyes of the public ought to be open to their real situation. The amendment harmonized entirely with all the opinions which he had been able to form upon subject. Mr. Wilberforce, to whose humane and benevolent Mr. character he was happy to pay his acknowledgments, had attempted to get rid of the noble lord's amendment by a sort of side-wind; but to his judgment there was no incompatibility between the object of the meeting and the amendment. There was nothing irrelevant in it; it naturally grew out of the course adopted by the chair, and in which a cause of the prevailing distress was distinctly specified. The question was, then, ought their resolutions to go forth to the public with a falsehood upon the face of them? Ought they not to state the true cause, since His Royal Highness by mistake had assigned a fallacious one? Mr. Wilberforce, with his usual ability, but in a manner that still marked its duplicity—he meant the word in no offensive sense—had asked, would he enter into a political discussion when we were called upon to extend relief? He begged to state this was not the true question: it was whether they would found all the future proceedings upon error and misstatement, or upon incontrovertible facts. Another question was, would they be satisfied to patch up the wounds of the country for a short period or seek to remedy the disease in its spring and in its sources before it became still more alarming and incurable? The Duke of Kent said he had offered the resolution as it had been put into his hand; and if he had conceived there had been any mention of a course upon which difference of opinion could exist, he hoped they knew him sufficiently to believe that he should have been incapable of requiring their assent to it. He now, therefore, proposed an omission of all that part of the resolution which had any reference whatever to the cause of the present distress. He knew the noble lord well enough—and he had known him in early life—to be assured that he would agree with him, at least in a declaration as to the fact. Their common object, he believed, was to afford relief and to admit its necessity without assigning either one cause or another. For his own part, it had not been his intention to attend a political discussion. He would never enter the arena of politics with the noble lord; but he begged leave to say, he considered himself as competent to plead the cause of humanity, to advocate the interests of the weather-beaten sufferer, as the noble lord could be. There were, however, other times and other places for men to engage in discussion of party politics, and he therefore implored the noble lord not to distract the attention of the meeting by the introduction of these; and to keep solely in view that they had met as the friends of benevolence, not as the advocates of a party. His Royal Highness then proposed to alter the motion as follows:—

"Resolved that there do at this moment exist a stagnation of employment and a revulsion of trade, deeply affecting the situation of many parts of the community, and producing many instances of great local distress."

Lord Cochrane, in reply, stated that he had no wish to excite a difference of opinion on such an occasion, and that, after the alteration in the resolution, nothing gave him more pleasure than the opportunity of withdrawing his amendment; but, in justification of what he had done, it became necessary for him to say that he never would have thought of his amendment if it had not been for the assertion as to the cause of existing distress—he had no doubt in his mind as to the nature of that cause, and he held it but just and honourable that if a cause must be assigned, it should be the true one. After returning thanks to Mr. Wilberforce and the Duke of Kent for their expressions of personal civility, the noble lord consented to withdraw his motion so far as he was personally concerned in it.

Considerable opposition, however, from various parts of the hall was manifested to this mode of withdrawing the amendment, and a great deal of disturbance took place. At last the resolution, as altered by the Duke of Kent, was put and carried.

The Duke of Cambridge, in his speech, which followed, returned his warm thanks to the noble lord for the handsome manner in which he had withdrawn his amendment. He moved the following resolution, which was unanimously agreed to:—

"From the experienced generosity of the British nation it may be confidently expected that those who are able to afford the means of relief to their fellow-subjects will contribute their utmost endeavours to remedy or alleviate the sufferings of those who are particularly distressed."

The Archbishop of Canterbury moved the following resolution, which was seconded and carried unanimously: "That although it is obviously impossible for any association of individuals to attempt a general relief of difficulties affecting so large a proportion of the public, yet that it has been proved by the experience of this association that most important and extensive benefits may be derived from the co-operation and correspondence of a society in the metropolis encouraging the efforts of those benevolent individuals who may be disposed to associate themselves in the different districts for the relief of their several neighbourhoods."

The Duke of Rutland afterwards addressed the meeting, and moved that a subscription be immediately opened, and contributions generally solicited for carrying into effect the objects of this association; which was seconded, and agreed to.

The Earl of Manvers, after stating that he had opposed the amendment of the noble lord (Lord Cochrane) solely from his anxiety to preserve the unanimity of the meeting, as it was only by becoming unanimous they could gain their object, moved: "That subscribers of 100£ and upwards be added to the committee of the Association for the Relief of the Manufacturing and Labouring Poor; that the committee have full power to dispose of the funds to be collected, and to name sub-committees for correspondence."

    The motion was seconded by Sir T. Bell, and unanimously     carried.

    The Bishop of London proposed a vote of thanks to the Duke of     York, which Mr. C. Barclay was about to second, but—

Lord Cochrane again stepped forward and gained the attention of the meeting. He repeated the explanation of the motives for withdrawing his proposed amendment, adding, that he had no wish again to press that amendment upon the consideration of the meeting. But he could not forbear from observing what would have been the fate of such a proposition, if brought forward in another place, which he need not name. For there, instead of being requested to withdraw the proposition, it would have been met by a direct negative or by 'the previous question,' in support of which, no doubt, a majority of that assembly, miscalled the representatives of the people, would have voted. Yet the manner in which this, a meeting of the people, would have decided, was pretty obvious; and hence it might be inferred how far the people concurred in sentiment and feeling with the House of Commons. That the proposed, or any charitable subscription, must be inadequate to relieve the actual distress of the country was a proposition which could not be disputed, but yet he did not intend to oppose that subscription; on the contrary, he should give it every possible support in his power; and it was, he felt, a consolation to them that there were still some persons in this country who could afford something to relieve the poor; but he was afraid that neither the landowner nor the mercantile interest had the means of doing so; for the former could obtain no rent, and the latter no trade—the only persons, in fact, who were able to assist the poor under present circumstances were the placemen, the sinecurists, and the fund-holders, who must give up at least half of their ill-gotten gains in order to effect the object. With this impression fixed upon his mind, he felt it his duty to propose an additional resolution, that the ministers of the crown, that the Government of the country, who wielded the power of Parliament, were alone competent to remove and to alleviate the national distress. This, indeed, was evident from the statement of our financial situation which he had already made. He had called upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was present, to contradict that statement if he could; but the right honourable gentleman had felt it expedient not to utter one word, as the meeting had witnessed. Yet from that statement it must be obvious, as he had already observed, that the military and naval situation of the country must be abandoned, or at least half the national debt must be extinguished, for the resources of the empire could not endure such burthens. The noble lord concluded with expressing his intention when the present resolutions were got over, to move another, stating the real cause of the present distress, and that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his majesty's ministers were alone capable of affording serious relief to the present distress.

    Mr. Barclay seconded the motion of the Right Reverend the     Bishop of London, to which Lord Cochrane assured the meeting     he entertained no objection.

    Great confusion prevailed in the meeting, some crying out     for Lord Cochrane's motion, while others were equally loud in     testifying their anxiety for the vote of thanks.

The Duke of Kent then put the motion.

Lord Cochrane said that his sole object was to have an opportunity of moving his resolution after the present was disposed of.

A person from a distant part of the room exclaimed: "That resolution shall not be put, for it is a libel on the Parliament." Several other remarks were made, but they were generally unintelligible from the violent uproar and confusion that prevailed. Loud cries of "Put Lord Cochrane's motion first" were mixed with the cry of "Chair, chair."

The Duke of Kent said that he had attended this meeting with a view to assist in promoting an object of charity, and he had no doubt that such was the intention of the noble lord (Cochrane). Of this he was sure from the noble lord's own declaration, as well as from his knowledge of the noble lord's feelings. The noble lord had, indeed, himself stated that he had no wish to introduce any political, or to press any, measure likely to interfere with the object of the meeting. Therefore, he called upon the noble lord, in consistency, in politeness and urbanity, not to urge any political principle; and the noble lord must be aware that his proposition had a strong political tendency. The proposition was indeed such, that the noble lord must be aware that it was calculated to injure the subscription, for those who were not of the noble lord's opinion in politics were but too likely to leave the room if that proposition were pressed to a vote, and thus a material object of charity would suffer through a desire to urge a declaration of a mere political opinion.

Lord Cochrane disclaimed any wish to provoke political discussion. He expressed his desire merely to declare a truth which no man could venture to dispute in any popular assembly, in order that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and others present, might have an opportunity of reporting to Government the decided sentiment and real feeling of the people.

The Archbishop of Canterbury begged leave to call back the attention of the meeting to the motion before it, and which, he had no doubt, would be unanimously adopted. This motion, the most reverend prelate added, was not intended in any degree to interfere with the motion of the noble lord.

Amid loud cries of "Put Lord Cochrane's motion first, for if the motion of thanks be disposed of, the Duke of York will leave the chair, and the noble lord's motion will not be put at all," the Duke of Kent declared that there could be no intention to get rid of the noble lord's motion by any side-wind.

The motion of thanks was then passed while Lord Cochrane was engaged in writing his motion, and the Duke of York, having bowed to the meeting, immediately withdrew, amidst loud hissings, and cries of "Shame! shame! a trick! a trick!"

The Duke of Kent, whose head was turned towards Lord Cochrane, was much surprised and disappointed at discovering the absence of the chairman.

The general cry was then raised: "The Duke of Kent to the chair."

His Royal Highness addressed the meeting. Having, he said, pledged himself on proposing the last resolution that there was no intention of getting rid of Lord Cochrane's motion by any side-wind, he felt himself in a very awkward predicament. "But," he added, "I hope that, as liberal Englishmen, you will consider my situation and who I am; and that after my illustrious relatives have retired from the meeting, you will not insist upon my taking the chair for the purpose of pressing the declaration of a political opinion; but that you will commend my motives, and do justice to those feelings which determine the propriety of my immediate departure." His Royal Highness accordingly withdrew.

The majority of the meeting still remained, calling for the nomination of another chairman, and pressing the adoption of Lord Cochrane's motion; but the noble lord also withdrew, and the meeting separated.

That meeting was memorable. If Lord Cochrane's bearing at it was factious, it must be remembered how greatly he had suffered and how earnestly he desired to save the people at large from the sufferings entailed upon them by the Government which he and they had learnt to regard with a common dislike. By exposing what appeared to him and many others to be the hypocrisy of seeming philanthropists, and showing what he deemed the only real cause and the only real remedy of the national distress, he only acted as a brave and honest man, and his work was appreciated by the masses in whose interest it was done. A thrill of satisfaction ran through the land. During the ensuing weeks and months congratulations were heaped upon him from all quarters, and from nearly every class of society. If he had lessened the resources of the Association for the Belief of the Manufacturing and Labouring Poor, he was thanked even for this, since it was believed to be a good thing for shallow charity to be stayed, in order that the cause of real justice might be promoted.

The thanks were all the heartier because of the fresh persecution to which Lord Cochrane was subjected on account of his patriotism. This persecution was in the shape of legal proceedings instituted against him by the Marshal of the King's Bench Prison for his escape therefrom on the 10th of March, 1815. The action had been formally commenced almost immediately after the alleged offence, but on technical grounds, and perhaps from the consciousness that he was already punished enough, it was delayed for more than a year. As the previous punishment, however, had not been enough to silence him, the Government determined to revive the old charge as a further act of vengeance. At the special instigation of Lord Ellenborough, as it was averred, the prosecution had been renewed in May, 1816, almost immediately after the rejection by the House of Commons of Lord Cochrane's charges against the vindictive and unprincipled judge; but the time was too far gone for trial to take place during the summer term. It was again renewed, and at length successfully, directly after Lord Cochrane's fresh exhibition of his hostility to the Government at the London Tavern meeting.

The trial was at Guildford, on the 17th of August. Its history and issue may best be told in the words of an autobiographical fragment, written by Lord Dundonald shortly before his death. "I was accompanied to Guildford," he said, "by Sir Francis Burdett and several other leading inhabitants of Westminster, whose names are forgotten by me. I took neither counsel nor witnesses, having determined to rest my case on the point of law that 'no Member of Parliament can be imprisoned, either for non-payment of a fine to the king, or for any other cause than treason or felony, or refusing to give security to keep the peace,' my inference being that as I was illegally imprisoned, I had committed no illegality in escaping. I read to the jury a general statement, on which they unequivocally expressed their conviction that the trial had better not have been instituted, for that the punishment already sustained was more than adequate to the offence alleged to have been committed. The judge, however, interfered, and told the jury that, as I had admitted the escape in my statement, they had no alternative but to bring in a verdict of guilty, which was reluctantly done, and judgment was deferred.

"After the trial I returned to my house in Hampshire, and not hearing anything more of the affair, naturally concluded that, in the face of the opinion expressed by the jury, the Government would be ashamed to prosecute the matter further. Not liking, however, to trust to their mercy, whilst their malevolence might be exercised at an inconvenient season, or made to depend upon my political conduct, I directed my attorney to inquire whether it was intended to put in execution the sentence at Guildford. The reply was that no steps had been taken, and the impression was, that Government would be against further proceedings, lest they should tend to increase my popularity. Considering that this might be a feint to put me off my guard, I went to London for the purpose of attending a large political meeting, in the conduct of which I participated. Shortly afterwards I received a summons to appear at Westminster Hall and receive judgment on the verdict; the judgment being that I was condemned to pay a fine of 100£ to the Crown.

"On my refusal to pay the fine, on the 21st of November, I was again taken into custody, I alleging that the sentence would amount to perpetual imprisonment, for that I would never pay a fine imposed for escaping from an illegal detention.

"On my being taken back to prison, however, a meeting of the electors of Westminster was held, at which it was determined that the amount of the fine should be paid by a penny subscription, no person being allowed to subscribe more. This plan was adopted in order that the public throughout the kingdom might have an opportunity of manifesting their disapprobation of the oppressive way in which I was being treated. Though I knew nothing of the intentions of the committee at the time, it was expected that the subscription would amount to a much larger sum than the fine, and resolved that the surplus should be devoted to the re-imbursement of the former fine of 1000£ and of the expenses to which I had been put at the trial. Receiving-houses were accordingly opened in the metropolis and in various other large towns, and the amount of the fine of 100£ was speedily collected in London alone.

"Meanwhile meetings were constantly being held to petition Parliament for reform, and at these my name and sufferings formed a prominent topic, so that the Government would have been glad to be rid of me. After one of these meetings in Spafields, for the purpose of requesting Sir Francis Burdett and myself to present a petition to Parliament, a serious riot took place in the city of London, in which a gentleman was shot by the military. The Government, in alarm lest the people should proceed to the King's Bench and liberate me, did me the honour to send a company of infantry to guard me, the officers of the prison being ordered to admit no strangers whatever. The troops were further ordered to continue their attendance till I was released from custody.

"The subscription having been completed in pence, sent from all parts of the kingdom, my secretary, Mr. Jackson, applied to the Master of the Crown Office to receive the amount of the fine in coppers. This was refused, as not being a legal tender. The Master, however, in token of the suffering to which I had so unworthily been subjected, said that, as payment of the fine in such a manner marked the sense of the people on my case, he would not oppose himself to the expression of public sentiment, but would take 10£ of the sum in coppers. This was accordingly paid, and the remainder in notes and silver, which were given by various tradesmen in exchange for the coppers of the people, whose money was thus literally appropriated to the payment of the fine.

"Finding, on my liberation, whole chests filled with penny pieces, I wrote to the committee, stating that sufficient had been collected. The reply was that the subscription should go on till the amount of the fine of 1000£ was paid in addition. The whole of the amount of the fine was thus realized, with something beyond—I do not recollect how much—towards my law expenses, which had necessarily been excessive. Taking, however, the 1100£ paid in pence, this alone showed that two million six hundred and forty thousand persons—composing a very large portion of the adult population of the kingdom—sympathised with me. Not one of my persecutors could have elicited such an expression of public sympathy."

The fine being thus paid, Lord Cochrane was released from the King's Bench Prison on the 7th of December, after a confinement of sixteen days, which was attended by all the wanton severity shown to him during his previous incarceration. Having been apprehended on a Thursday, he was, on his arrival at the King's Bench, placed in an unhealthy room protected by an iron grating. In the evening, having complained of such unusual treatment, he was informed that it was under the express directions of the Marshal. Next day, being seriously unwell, a physician was sent to him, who reported that he was suffering from palpitation of the heart and other symptoms of dangerous excitement, which made it necessary that he should be removed to better quarters. Accordingly, worse quarters were found for him, in a damp, dark, and very imperfectly-ventilated room, entirely devoid of furniture, in the middle of the building. Stedfastly refusing to go there, he was allowed to remain for that night in the room, first assigned to him. On Saturday morning, just as he was sitting down to breakfast, he was ordered to proceed to his new dungeon. Again refusing, his untasted breakfast was forcibly taken from him until he consented to eat it in the appointed place. Thither he accordingly went, and there he was detained for the fortnight that passed before his liberation.

On the 17th of December an enthusiastic meeting of the citizens of Westminster was held to congratulate Lord Cochrane upon his release. "We, your lordship's constituents," it was stated in an address adopted by that meeting, "beg leave, on the present occasion, to declare that, after having had long and ample means for inquiry and reflection, we remain in the full and entire conviction of the perfect innocence of your lordship of every part of the offence laid to your charge at the outset of that series of persecutions by which, during the last three years of your life, you have been incessantly harassed. But, indeed, those persons must have very little knowledge of public affairs, and particularly of your distinguished naval and political career, who do not clearly perceive that all those persecutions have arisen from your public virtues, and who are not well convinced that, if you had not served the people by your exposure of the abuses in the prize courts, by your endeavours to restore to the right owners the immense sums unjustly alienated under the names of Droits of Admiralty, by your honest explanation of the causes which prevented the naval renown of your country being complete at Basque Roads, and by having caused to be produced in Parliament, and published to the nation, that memorable account of sinecures, pensions, and grants which so usefully enlightened the public, you never would have been prosecuted for a pretended fraud on the funds. Your lordship's constituents, being thus fully sensible that you have suffered and are still suffering solely for their and their country's sake, would deem themselves amongst the most ungrateful of mankind were they to neglect this occasion to tender you the most solemn assurances of their unabated attachment and their most resolute support, and, whilst they are endeavouring to discharge their duty towards your lordship, they entertain the consoling reflection that the day is not distant when you will mainly assist in carrying forward that measure of radical parliamentary reform which alone can be a safeguard against all sorts of oppressions, and especially oppressions under which your lordship has so long and so severely suffered."

To that honourable address an honourable reply was penned by Lord Cochrane on the 24th of December, and presented to the electors of Westminster at another meeting assembled for the purpose on the 1st of January ensuing.

The direct persecution which began with the Stock Exchange trial and its antecedents was now at an end, after three years of gross and untiring vindictiveness. Indirect persecution was to continue for more than thirty years.




The years 1817 and 1818 were years of great political turmoil. The English people, weary of the European wars, which in two-and-twenty years had raised the national debt from 230,000,000£ to 860,000,000£, thus causing a taxation which amounted, in the average, to 25£ a year upon every family of five persons, were in no mood to be made happy even by the restitution of peace. Partly by necessity, partly by the bad management of the Government and its officials, the war-burdens were continued, and to the starving multitudes they were more burdensome than ever. Angry complaints were uttered openly, and repeated again and again with steadily-increasing vehemence, in all parts of the country. That the ministers and agents of the Crown were grievously at fault was patent to all; and it is not strange that, in the excitement and the misery that prevailed, they should be blamed even more than was their due. But the men in power did not choose to be blamed at all; they denied that any fault attached to them, and fiercely reprobated every complaint as sedition, every opponent as a lawless and unpatriotic demagogue. Hence the Government and the people came to be at deadly feud. Most right was with the people, and their bold assertion of that right, albeit sometimes in wrong ways, has secured memorable benefits in later times; but power was still with the Government, and it was used even more roughly than in former years.

That Lord Cochrane, having suffered so much from the vindictive persecution of the Tories, should have thrown in his lot with its most extreme opponents, is not to be wondered at. During 1817 he was intimately associated with the popular party in all its efforts for the redress of grievances and in all the assertions of its real and fancied rights. In and out of Parliament he was alike active and outspoken. The history of his public conduct at this time forms no small section of the history of the Radical movement during the period. It resulted naturally from the circumstances in which he had lately been placed. Energetic in thought and action, a ready writer and an able speaker, his recent sufferings helped to place him in the foremost rank of patriots, as they were called by friends—demagogues, as they were called by enemies. With the exception of Sir Francis Burdett, than whom he even went further, the people had, outside their own ranks, no sturdier champion.

If there had been any doubt before as to his line of action, there could be no doubt after the re-assembling of Parliament in January, 1817. During the recess, monster meetings had been held in all parts of the country to consider the popular troubles and to insist upon popular reforms. Lord Cochrane agreed to present to the House of Commons many of the petitions that resulted from these meetings, and this he did on the 29th of January, the very day of the re-opening of Parliament.

In anticipation of this measure, there was a great assembling of reform delegates from all parts of England, and of others favourable to their purpose, in front of Lord Cochrane's residence at No. 7, Palace Yard, Westminster. Shortly before two o'clock Lord Cochrane showed himself at the window, and announced that he was now on his way to the House, there to watch over the rights and liberties of the people, and that he would shortly return and let them know what was passing. This he did at four o'clock, part of the interval being occupied with a fervid address from Henry Hunt. On his reappearance, Lord Cochrane stated that the speech with which the Prince Regent had opened Parliament had not disappointed his expectations, for it was wholly disappointing to the people. The Regent had complained of the disaffection pervading the country, and had announced his intention of using all the power given him by the Constitution for its suppression. Lord Cochrane expressed his confident hope that the people, having the right on their side, would so demean themselves as to give their enemies no ground of charge against them; for those enemies desired nothing so much as riot and disorder.

Thereupon an immense bundle of petitions was handed him, and he himself was placed in a chair, and so conveyed on men's shoulders to the door of Westminster Hall, where the crowd dispersed in an orderly way.

In the House, before the motion for an address in answer to the Prince Regent's speech, Lord Cochrane rose to present a petition, signed by more than twenty thousand inhabitants of Bristol, setting forth the present distress of the country, the increase of paupers and beggars, the grievous lack of employment for industrious persons, and the misery that resulted from this state of things. In these circumstances, the petitioners urged, it was in vain to pretend to relieve the sufferers by giving them soup, while, for the support of sinecure placemen, pensioners without number, and an insatiable civil list, half their earnings were taken from them by the enormous taxation under which the country groaned. After considerable opposition, the petition was allowed to lie on the table.

Lord Cochrane then presented a smaller but much more outspoken petition from the inhabitants of Quirk, in Yorkshire. "The petitioners," it was there urged, "have a full and immovable conviction—a conviction which they believe to be universal throughout the kingdom—that the House does not, in any constitutional or rational sense, represent the nation; that, when the people have ceased to be represented, the Constitution is subverted; that taxation without representation is a state of slavery; that the scourge of taxation without representation has now reached a severity too harassing and vexatious, too intolerable and degrading, to be longer endured without resistance by all possible means warranted by the Constitution; that such a condition of affairs has now been reached that contending factions are alike guilty of their country's wrongs, alike forgetful of her rights, mocking the public patience with repeated, protracted, and disgusting debates on questions of refinement in the complicated and abstruse science of taxation, as if in such refinement, and not in a reformed representation, as if in a consolidated corruption, and not in a renovated Constitution, relief were to be found; that thus there are left no human means of redressing the people's wrongs or composing their distracted minds, or of preventing the subversion of liberty and the establishment of despotism, unless by calling the collected wisdom and virtue of the community into counsel by the election of a free Parliament; and therefore, considering that, through the usurpation of borough factions and other causes, the people have been put even out of a condition to consent to taxes; and considering also that, until their sacred right of election shall be restored, no free Parliament can have existence, it is necessary that the House shall, without delay, pass a law for putting the aggrieved and much-aroused people in possession of their undoubted right to representation co-extensive with taxation, to an equal distribution of such representation throughout the community, and to Parliaments of a continuance according to the Constitution, namely, not exceeding one year."

A long discussion ensued as to whether this petition should be accepted by the House or rejected as an insulting libel. Several members of the House denounced it. Other members, while objecting to its terms, urged its acceptance. Among them the most notable was Mr. Brougham. The petition, he said, was rudely worded, and its recommendations were such as no wise lover of the English Constitution could wholly subscribe to; but it pointed to real grievances and recommended improvements which were necessary to the well-being of the State, and therefore it ought to be admitted. Mr. Canning was one of those who insisted upon its rejection, and this was ultimately done by a majority of 87, 48 being in favour of the petition, and 135 against it.

Four other petitions presented by Lord Cochrane, being to the same effect, were also rejected; and two, more moderate in their language, were accepted. Lord Cochrane thus succeeded, at any rate, in forcing the House during several hours to take into consideration the troubled state of the country, and the pressing need, as it seemed to great masses of the people, of thorough parliamentary reform.

"You will see by the 'Debates,'" he wrote next day to a friend, "that I presented a number of petitions last night, and had a hard battle to fight. Today I am quite indisposed, by reason of the corruption of the Honourable House. It is impossible to support a bad cause by honest means. God knows where all these base projects will end." That his own cause was a good one, and that the means used by him were honest, he had no doubt. In the same letter he referred to the opposition offered to him, even by some of his own relatives, on account of his conduct. "Mr. Cochrane has thought proper to disavow, through the public papers, any connection with my politics. The consciousness that I am acting as I ought makes that light which I should otherwise feel as a heavy clog in following that course which I think honour and justice require."

Therefore he persevered in his Herculean task. Having presented and spoken upon others in the interval, he presented another monster petition to the House on the 5th of February. It was signed, he said, by twenty-four thousand inhabitants of London and the neighbourhood. It complained of the unbearable weight of taxation and the distresses of the country, and of the squandering of the money extracted from the pockets of an oppressed and impoverished people to support sinecure placemen and pensioners. "It appears to me," he said, "surprising that there should be any set of men so cruel and unjust as to wallow in wealth at the public expense while poor wretches are starving at every corner of the streets." He represented that the petition was drawn up in temperate, respectful language,—more temperate, indeed, than he should have employed had he dictated its phrases. He urged that the people had good cause for complaint as to the way in which Parliament neglected their interests, and good ground for asserting that the system of parliamentary representation then afforded them was no real representation at all. Members entered the House only in pursuit of their own selfish ends, and the Government encouraged this state of things by fostering a system of wholesale bribery and corruption, degrading in itself and fraught with terrible mischief to the community. What wonder, then, that the people should pray, as they did in this petition, for a thorough reform, and should point to annual Parliaments and universal suffrage as the only efficient remedies?

It is needless to recapitulate all the arguments offered again and again by Lord Cochrane, with ever fresh-force and cogency, in presenting massive petitions to the House, and in introducing into the occasional debates on reform with which the House amused itself a vigour and practicalness in which few other members cared to sympathize. Nor need we enumerate all the meetings, in London and the provinces, in which he took prominent part. It is enough to say that in Parliament he always spoke with exceeding boldness, and that upon the people, notwithstanding the contrary assertions of his detractors, he always enjoined, if not conciliation and forbearance, at any rate such action as was within the strict letter of the law, and most likely, in the end, to obtain the realization of their wishes. On all occasions he defended them from the charges of sedition and conspiracy brought against them by their opponents, and proved, to all who were open to proof, that their objects were patriotic, and were being sought in patriotic ways.

Of this, however, the Government did not choose to be convinced. Taking advantage of some intemperate speeches of demagogues, making much of some violent handbills circulated by police-officers under secret instructions, mightily exaggerating a few lawless acts,—as when a drunken old sailor summoned the keepers of the Tower of London to surrender,—they procured, on the 26th of February, the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. Therefrom resulted, at any rate, some good. The Whigs, who had hitherto mainly supported the Tory Government, were now turned against it, and with them the wiser Radicals, like Lord Cochrane, sought to effect a coalition. "You will perceive by the papers," he said in a letter dated February the 28th, "that I have resolved to steer another political course, seeing that the only means of averting military despotism from the country is to unite the people and the Whigs, so far as they can be induced to co-operate, which they must do if they wish to preserve the remainder of the Constitution. The 'Times' of yesterday contains the fullest account of the late debates on the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and by that report you will perceive that the Whigs really made a good stand."

In that temper, Lord Cochrane spoke at a Westminster meeting, held on the 11th of March, "to take into consideration the propriety of agreeing to an address to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, beseeching that he will, in his well-known solicitude for the freedom and happiness of His Majesty's subjects, remove from his royal councils those ministers who appear resolved to adopt no effectual measures of economy and retrenchment, but, on the contrary, to persevere in measures calculated to drive a suffering people to despair."

There was some flattery or some mockery, or something of both, in that announcement; and both, with much earnest enunciation of popular grievances, were in Lord Cochrane's speech on the subject. He said that the Regent had as much cause as the people to complain of his present ministers, seeing how shamelessly they sought to hide from him the real state of the country. It was to be expected, from the early habits and character of the Regent, that he would anxiously pursue the interests of the nation, if, instead of being in the hands of an odious oligarchy, he could act for himself. This, at any rate, Lord Cochrane maintained should be urged upon him, for if something were not quickly done for the relief of the nation, trade and commerce would soon be utterly ruined, and the whole community would share the misery that had so long oppressed the lower orders. He again dwelt forcibly on the causes of this misery, and again denounced the conduct of the ministers and placemen who, while squandering the hardly-earned pounds of the people, claimed respect for their exemplary charity in doling out a few farthings for "the relief of the poor." In the previous year, he showed, Lord Castlereagh, "the bell-wether of the House of Commons," and thirteen other persons, had drawn from the revenues of the country 309,861£, and out of that amount had given back, in "sinecure soup," only 1505£

On a hundred other occasions, both outside of the House of Commons and within its walls, Lord Cochrane continued fearlessly to set forth the troubles of the people and the wrong-doing of its governors. In Parliament petitions without number were presented, and, amid all sorts of contumely, defended by him; and he took a no less active part in various important discussions, of which it will suffice, by way of illustration, to name the debates of the 3rd, 14th, and 28th of March, on the famous Seditious Meetings Bill, and that of the 13th of March on the depressed condition of English trade and its causes—a subject which was recurred to by Mr. Brougham in his memorable motion of the 11th of July on the state of the nation.

Six weeks before that, on the 20th of May, Lord Cochrane spoke on another famous motion—that made by his friend Sir Francis Burdett in favour of parliamentary reform. Once more, he complained that the existing House of Commons in no way represented the people, and was entirely regardless of its interests. Nothing better, he alleged, could be hoped for, without a radical change in the system of representation. "But," he continued, "reform we must have, whether we will or no. The state of the country is such that things cannot much longer be conducted as they now are. There is a general call for reform. If the call is not obeyed, thank God the evil will produce its own remedy, the mass of corruption will destroy itself, for the maggots it engenders will eat it up. The members of this House are the maggots of the Constitution. They are the locusts that devour it and cause all the evils that are complained of. There is nothing wicked which does not emanate from this House. In it originate all knavery, perjury, and fraud. You well know all this. You also know that the means by which the great majority of the House is returned is one great cause of the corruption of the whole people. It has been said, 'Let the people reform themselves;' but if sums of money are offered for seats within these walls, there will always be found men ready to receive them. It is impossible to imagine that the profuse expenditure of the late war would have taken place, had it not been for a corrupt majority devoted to their selfish interests. At least it would have had a shorter duration, from being carried on in a more effective manner, had it not been conducive to the views of many to prevent its speedy termination. Much has been said about the glorious result of the war; but has not lavish expenditure loaded us with taxation which is impoverishing the people and annihilating commerce? Are not vessels seen everywhere with brooms at their mastheads? Are not sailors starving? Is not agriculture languishing? Are not our manufactures in the most distressed state?"

Lord Cochrane asserted that the real revolutionists of England were the ministers and their followers. "I am persuaded that no man without doors wishes the subversion of the Constitution; but within it, bribery and corruption stand for the Constitution. Mr. Pitt himself confessed that no honest man could hold the situation of minister for any length of time. There can be no honest minister until measures have been taken to purge and purify the House. If this be not done, it is in vain to hope for a renewal of successful enterprise in this country: the sun of the country is set for ever. It may indeed exist as a petty military German despotism, with horsemen parading up and down, with large whiskers, with sabres ringing by their horses' sides, with fantastically-shaped caps of fantastical colours on their heads; but this country cannot thus be made a great military power. A previous speaker has instanced juries as one of the benefits of the Constitution; but I will affirm, with respect to the manner in which juries are chosen under the present system, that justice is much better administered, in a more summary manner, with less expense, and no chicanery, by the Dey of Algiers. If this country were erected at once into a downright, honest, open despotism, the people would be gainers. If a judge or despot then proved a rogue, he would at once appear in his true character; but now villany can be artfully concealed under the verdict of a packed jury. I am satisfied that the present system of corruption is more detrimental to the country than a despotism."

No other speaker spoke so boldly as Lord Cochrane; but his eloquent words were substantially endorsed by many; by Sir Samuel Romilly and Mr. Brougham in especial; and on a division, though 265 voted against Sir Francis Burdett's motion, it was supported by a minority—unusually large for the time—of 77.

Slowly but surely the better principles of government for which Lord Cochrane fought so persistently were gaining ground, destined ultimately to produce the changes in national temper which made plain the duty and expediency of adopting the changes in political systems in which the years 1832 and 1867 are epochs. In after years, Lord Cochrane himself clearly saw that he had been rash in his advocacy of the sweeping reforms which the excited people deemed necessary for their welfare in the years of trouble and misgovernment consequent on the tedious war-time ending with the battle of Waterloo. But he never had cause to regret the honest zeal and the generous sympathy with which he strove, though in violent ways, to lessen the weight of the popular distresses.

Distresses were not wanting to himself during this period. The weight of his former troubles still hung heavily upon him. He could not forget the terrible disgrace—none the less terrible because it was unmerited—that had befallen him. And in pecuniary ways he was a grievous sufferer by them. In losing his naval employment he lost the income on which he had counted. His resources were thus seriously crippled; and the scientific pursuits, in which he still persevered, failed to bring to him the profit that he anticipated.

In one characteristic way—only one among many—the Government persecution still clung to him. In the distribution of prize-money for the achievement at Basque Roads all the officers and crews of Lord Grambier's fleet had been considered entitled to share. To this arrangement Lord Cochrane objected. He urged that as the whole triumph was due to the Impérieuse and the few ships actually engaged with her, the reward ought to be limited to them. "I am preparing to proceed in the Court of Admiralty on the question of head-money for Basque Roads," he wrote on the 5th of November, 1816; "my affidavit has reluctantly been admitted, though strenuously opposed, on the ground that I was not to be believed on my oath!"

Lord Cochrane's council in this case was Dr. Lushington, afterwards the eminent judge of the Admiralty Court. Dr. Lushington showed plainly that the greater part of the fleet, having taken no share in the action, had no right to head-money, and that therefore all ought to be divided among those who actually shared with Lord Cochrane the danger and the success of the enterprise. But Sir William Scott (afterwards Lord Stowell), the judge at that time, was not disposed to sanction this view. Therefore he thwarted it by delays. The case having been postponed from November, 1816, was brought up again in the first term of 1817. "The judge has again delayed his decision," wrote Lord Cochrane on the 28th of February, the day of the announcement, "and I believe has done so until next session. He gave a curious reason for this, namely, that I took part at the Westminster meeting against the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act!"

At the next session it was again postponed, all the time available for its consideration being taken up with a frivolous discussion as to Lord Cochrane's right to give evidence. "They have gone the length," wrote his secretary, Mr. Jackson, on the 3rd of May, "of denying Lord Cochrane's credibility in a court of justice. They had no other way of answering his affidavit, which would have gained his cause in the Court of Admiralty, as it proved that the French ships in Basque Roads were destroyed by his own exertions in fighting without orders from the Admiral. The denial-of Lord Cochrane's competency to give evidence has excited a great deal of interest, and the Court of Admiralty was quite crowded on Tuesday, when the question came on to be discussed. I thought that our counsel had much the best of the argument, and I believe the judge, Sir William Scott, thought so too, as he put off his sentence to a future day." On the future day the judge admitted as much. "We have gained a bit of a victory in the Admiralty Court," said the same writer in a letter dated the 9th of June, "the judge having been compelled to pronounce in favour of his lordship's right to be believed on his oath." The time taken by him to arrive at this decision, however, was so long that the case had to be adjourned to November term, and thereby Lord Cochrane's enemies so far attained their object, that it was impossible for him, in November term, to renew the suit.

In the interval he had gone to France, preparatory to a much longer and more momentous journey to South America, in anticipation of which he was winding up his affairs and realizing his property during and after the summer of 1817.

In this settlement of accounts there was at any rate one amusing incident. It will be remembered that, on the occasion of his being elected Member of Parliament for Honiton in 1806, Lord Cochrane had refused to follow the almost universal fashion of bribery, but, after the election was over, had thoughtlessly yielded to the proposal of his agent that he should entertain his constituents at a public supper.[A] This entertainment, either through spite or through wanton extravagance, was turned by those to whom the management of it was assigned into a great occasion of feasting for all the inhabitants of the town; and for defrayment of the expenses thus incurred a claim for more than 1200£ was afterwards made upon Lord Cochrane. Through eleven years he bluntly refused to pay the preposterous demand; but his creditors had the law upon their side, and in the spring of 1817 an order was granted for putting an execution into his house at Holly Hill.

[Footnote A: 'The Autobiography of a Seaman,' vol. i. pp. 203, 204.]

Lord Cochrane, however, having resisted the demand thus far, determined to resist to the end. For more than six weeks he prevented the agents of the law from entering the house. "I still hold out," he said in a letter to his secretary, "though the castle has several times been threatened in great force. The trumpeter is now blowing for a parley, but no one appears on the ramparts. Explosion-bags are set in the lower embrasures, and all the garrison is under arms." In the explosion-bags there was nothing more dangerous than powdered charcoal; but, supposing they contained gunpowder or some other combustible, the sheriff of Hampshire and twenty-five officers were held at bay by them, until at length one official, more daring than the rest, jumped in at an open window, to find Lord Cochrane sitting at breakfast and to be complimented by him upon the wonderful bravery which he had shown in coming up to a building defended by charcoal dust.

That battle with the sheriff and bailiffs of Hampshire occupied nearly the whole of April and May, 1817. In the latter month, if not before, Lord Cochrane began to think seriously of proceeding to join in battles of a more serious sort in South America, under inducements and with issues that will presently be detailed. "His lordship has made up his mind to go to South America," wrote his secretary on the 31st of May. "Numbers of gentlemen of great respectability are desirous of accompanying him, and even Sir Francis Burdett has declared that he feels a great temptation to do so; but Lord Cochrane discourages all. They think he is going to immolate the Spaniards by his secret plans; but he is not going to do anything of the kind, having promised the Prince Regent not to divulge or use them otherwise than in the service of his country."

With this expedition in view, and purposing to start upon it nearly a year sooner than he found himself able to do, Lord Cochrane sold Holly Hill and his other property in Hampshire, in July. In August he went for a few months to France, partly for the benefit of Lady Cochrane's health, partly, as it would seem, in the hope of introducing into that country the lamps which he had lately invented, and from which he hoped to derive considerable profit.

To this matter, and to his efforts to obtain some share, at any rate, of his rights from the English Government, the letters written by him from France chiefly refer. But there are in them some notes and illustrations of more general interest. "I am quite astonished at the state of Boulogne," he wrote thence on the 14th of August. "Neither the town nor the heights are fortified; so great was Napoleon's confidence in the terror of his name and the knowledge he possessed of the stupidity and ignorance of our Government." In a letter from Paris, dated the 23rd of August, we read: "Everything is looking much more settled than when I was formerly here, and I do really think that the Government, from the conciliatory measures wisely adopted, will stand their ground against the adherents of Buonaparte. We are to have a great rejoicing to-morrow. All Paris will be dancing, fiddling, and singing. They are a light-hearted people. I wish I could join in their fun. I was hopeful that I should; but the cursed recollection of the injustice that has been done to me is never out of my mind; so that all my pleasures are blasted, from whatever source they might be expected to arise."

That last sentence fairly indicates the state of Lord Cochrane's mind during these painful years. Weighed down by troubles heavy enough to break the heart of an ordinary man, he fought nobly for the thorough justification of his character and for the protection of others from such persecution as had befallen him. In both objects, altogether praise-worthy in themselves, he may have sometimes been intemperate; but ample excuse for far greater intemperance would be found in the troubles that oppressed him. "The cursed recollection of the injustice that has been done to me is never out of my mind; all my pleasures are blasted!"

In the same temper, after a lapse of nine months, about which it is only necessary to say that, like their forerunners, they were employed in private cares, and, especially after the reassembling of Parliament, in zealous action for the public good, he made his last speech in the House of Commons on the 2nd of June, 1818. The occasion was a debate upon a second motion by Sir Francis Burdett in favour of parliamentary reform, more cogent and effective than that of the 20th of May, 1817, to Lord Cochrane's share in which we have already referred. The former speech was wholly of public interest. This has a personal significance, very painful and very memorable. It brings to a pathetic close the saddest epoch in Lord Cochrane's life—so very full of sadness.

"I rise, sir," he said, "to second the motion of my honourable friend. In what I have to say, I do not presume to think that I can add to the able arguments that have just been uttered; but it is my duty distinctly to declare my opinions on the subject. When I recollect all the proceedings of this House, I confess that I do not entertain much hope of a favourable result to the present motion. To me it seems chiefly serviceable as an exhibition of sound principles, and as showing the people for what they ought to petition. I shall perhaps be told that it is unparliamentary to say there are any representatives of the people in this House who have sold themselves to the purposes and views of any set of men in power; but the history of the degenerate senate of that once free people, the Romans, will serve to show how far corruption may make inroads upon public virtue or patriotism. The tyranny inflicted on the Roman people, and on mankind in general, under the form of acts passed by the Roman senate, will ever prove a useful memento to nations which have any freedom to lose. It is not for me to prophesy when our case will be like theirs; but this I will say, that those who are the slaves of a despotic monarch are far less reprehensible for their actions than those who voluntarily sell themselves when they have the means of remaining free.

"And here," he continued, in sentences broken by his emotions, "as it is probably the last time I shall ever have the honour of addressing the House on any subject, I am anxious to tell its members what I think of their conduct. It is now nearly eleven years since I have had the honour of a seat in this House, and since then there have been very few measures in which I could agree with the opinions of the majority. To say that these measures were contrary to justice would not be parliamentary. I will not even go into the inquiry whether they tend to the national good or not; but I will merely appeal to the feelings of the landholders present, I will appeal to the knowledge of those members who are engaged in commerce, and ask them whether the acts of the legislative body have not been of a description, during the late war, that would, if not for the timely intervention of the use of machinery, have sent this nation to total ruin? The country is burthened to a degree which, but for this intervention, it would have been impossible for the people to bear. The cause of these measures having such an effect upon the country has been examined and gone into by my honourable colleague (Sir Francis Burdett); they are to be traced to that patronage and influence which, a number of powerful individuals possess over the nomination of a great proportion of the members of this House; a power which, devolving on a few, becomes thereby the more liable to be affected by the influence of the Crown; and which has in fact been rendered almost entirely subservient to that influence. To reform the abuses which arise out of this system is the object of my honourable friend's motion. I will not, cannot, anticipate the success of the motion; but I will say, as has been said before by the great Chatham, the father of Mr. Pitt, that, if the House does not reform itself from within, it will be reformed with a vengeance from without. The people will take up the subject, and a reform will take place which will make many members regret their apathy in now refusing that reform which might be rendered efficient and permanent. But, unfortunately, in the present formation of the House, it appears to me that from within no reform can be expected, and for the truth of this I appeal to the experience of the few members, less than a hundred, who are now present, nearly six hundred being absent; I appeal to their experience to say whether they have ever known of any one instance in which a petition of the people for reform has been taken into consideration, or any redress afforded in consequence of such a petition? This I regret, because I foresee the consequence which must necessarily result from it. I do trust and hope that before it is too late some measures shall be adopted for redressing the grievances of the people; for certain I am that unless some measures are taken to stop the feelings which the people entertain towards this House and to restore their confidence in it, you will one day have ample cause to repent the line of conduct you have pursued. The gentlemen who now sit on the benches opposite with such triumphant feelings will one day repent their conduct. The commotions to which that conduct will inevitably give rise will shake, not only this House, but the whole framework of Government and society to its foundations. I have been actuated by the wish to prevent this, and I have had no other intention.

"I shall not trespass longer on your time," he continued, in a few broken sentences, uttered painfully and with agitation that aroused much sympathy in the House. "The situation I have held for eleven years in this House I owe to the favour of the electors of Westminster. The feelings of my heart are gratified by the manner in which they have acted towards me. They have rescued me from a desperate and wicked conspiracy which has nearly involved me in total ruin. I forgive those who have so done; and I hope when they depart to their graves they will be equally able to forgive themselves. All this is foreign to the subject before the House, but I trust you will forgive me. I shall not trespass on your time longer now—perhaps never again on any subject. I hope his Majesty's ministers will take into their serious consideration what I now say. I do not utter it with any feelings of hostility—such feelings have now left me—but I trust they will take my warning, and save the country by abandoning the present system before it is too late."




To an understanding of Lord Cochrane's share in the South American wars of independence a brief recapitulation of their antecedents, and of the state of affairs at the time of his first connection with them, is necessary.

The Spanish possessions in both North and South America, which had reached nearly their full dimensions before the close of the sixteenth century, had been retained, with little opposition from without, and with still less from within, down to the close of the eighteenth century. These possessions, including Mexico and Central America, New Granada, Venezuela, Peru, La Plata, and Chili, covered an area larger than that of Europe, more than twice as large as that of the present United States. Through half a dozen generations they had been governed with all the short-sighted tyranny for which the Spanish Government is famous; the resources of the countries had been crippled in order that each day's greed might be satisfied; and the inhabitants, who, for the most part, were the mixed offspring of Spanish and native parents, had been kept in abject dependence and in ignorant ferocity. There was plenty of internal hatred and strife; but no serious thought of winning their liberty and working out their own regeneration seems to have existed among the people of the several provinces, until it was suggested by the triumphant success of the United States in throwing off the stronger but much less oppressive thraldom of Great Britain. That success having been achieved, however, it was soon emulated by the colonial subjects of Spain.

The first leader of agitation was Francisco Miranda, a Venezuelan Creole. He visited England in 1790, and received some encouragement in his revolutionary projects from Pitt. He went to France in 1792, and there, while waiting some years for fit occasion of prosecuting the work on which his heart was set, he helped to fight the battle of the revolution against the Bourbons and the worn-out feudalism of which they were representatives. During his absence, in 1794, conspiracies against Spain arose in Mexico and New Granada, and, these continuing, he went in 1794, armed by secret promises of assistance from Pitt, to help in fomenting them. They prospered for several years; and in 1806 Miranda obtained substantial aid from Sir Alexander Cochrane, Lord Cochrane's uncle, then the admiral in command of the West India station. But in 1806 Pitt died. The Whigs came into power, and with their coming occurred a change in the English policy. In 1807, General Crawfurd was ordered to throw obstacles in the way of Miranda, then heading a formidable insurrection. The result was a temporary check to the work of revolution. In 1810 Miranda renewed his enterprise in Venezuela, still with poor success; and in the same year a fresh revolt was stirred up in Mexico by Miguel Hidalgo, of Costilla, a priest of Dolores. Hidalgo's insurrection was foolish in design and bloodthirsty in execution. It was continued, in better spirit, but with poor success, by Morelos and Rayon, who, sustaining a serious defeat in 1815, left the strife to degenerate into a coarse bandit struggle, very disastrous to Spain, but hardly beneficial to the cause of Mexican independence.

In the meanwhile a more prosperous and worthier contest was being waged in South America. Besides the efforts of Miranda in Venezuela, which were renewed between 1810 and 1812, when he was taken prisoner and sent to Spain, there to die in a dungeon, a separate standard of revolt was raised in Quito by Narinno and his friends in 1809. After fighting desperately, in guerilla fashion, for five years, Narinno was captured and forced to share Miranda's lot. A greater man, the greatest hero of South American independence, Simon Bolivar, succeeded them.

Bolivar, a native of Caraccas, had passed many years in Europe, when in 1810, at the age of twenty-seven, he went to serve under Miranda in Venezuela. Miranda's defeat in 1812 compelled him to retire to New Granada, but there he did good service. He improved the fighting ways and extended the fighting area, and in December, 1814, was appointed captain-general of Venezuela and New Granada, soon, however, to be driven back and forced to take shelter in Jamaica by the superior strength of Morillo, the Spanish general, who arrived with a formidable army in 1815. In 1816 Bolivar again showed himself in the field at the head of his famous liberating army, which, crossing over from Trinidad, and gaining reinforcements at every step, planted freedom, such as it was, all along the northern parts of South America, in which the new republic of Colombia was founded under his presidency, in the neighbouring district of New Granada, and down to the La Plata province, where he established the republic of Bolivia, so named in his honour. With these patriotic labours he was busied upon land, while Lord Cochrane was securing the independence of the Spanish colonies by his brave warfare on the sea.

As the cause of liberty progressed in South America, it became apparent that it had poor chance of permanence, while the revolutionists were unable to cope with the Spaniards in naval strife or to wrest from Spain her strongholds on the coast. This was especially the case with the maritime provinces of Chili and Peru. Peru, held firmly by the army garrisoned in Lima, to which Callao served as an almost impregnable port, had been unable to share in the contest waged on the other side of the Andes; and Chili, though strong enough to declare its independence, was too weak to maintain it without foreign aid.

The Chilian struggle began in 1810, when the Spanish captain-general, Carrasco, was deposed, and a native government set up under Count de la Conquista. By this government the sovereignty of Spain was still recognised, although various reforms were adopted which Spain could not be expected to endorse. Accordingly, in April, 1811, an attempt was made by the Spanish soldiers to overturn the new order of things. The result was that, after brief fighting, the revolutionists triumphed, and the yoke of Spain was thrown off.

But the independence of Chili, thus easily begun, was not easily continued. Three brothers, Jose Miguel, Juan Jose, and Luis Carreras, and their sister, styled the Anne Boleyn of Chili, determined to pervert the public weal to their own aggrandisement. Winning their way into popularity, they overturned the national congress that had been established in June, and in December set up a new junta, with Jose Miguel Carrera at its head. A dismal period of misrule ensued, which encouraged the Spanish generals, Pareja and Sanchez, to attempt the reconquest of Chili in 1813. Pareja and Sanchez were successfully resisted, and a better man, General Bernardo O'Higgins, the republican son of an Irishman who had been Viceroy of Peru, was put at the head of affairs. He succeeded to the command of the Chilian army in November, 1813, when a fresh attack from the Spaniards was expected. At first his good soldiership was successful. The enemy, having come almost to the gates of Santiago, was forced to retire in May, 1814; and the Chilian cause might have continued to prosper under O'Higgins, had not the Carreras contrived, in hopes of reinstating themselves in power, to divide the republican interests, and so, while encouraging renewed invasion by the Spaniards from Lima, make their resistance more difficult. Wisely deeming it right to set aside every other consideration than the necessity of saving Chili from the danger pressing upon it from without, O'Higgins effected a junction with the Carreras, hoping thus to bring the whole force of the republic against the royalist army, larger than its predecessors, which was marching towards Santiago and Valparaiso. Had his magnanimous proposals been properly acted upon, the issue might have been very different. But the Carreras, even in the most urgent hour of danger, could not forget their private ambitions. Holding aloof with their part of the army, they allowed O'Higgins and his force of nine hundred to be defeated by four thousand royalists under General Osorio, in the preliminary fight which took place at the end of September. They were guilty of like treachery during the great battle of the 1st of October. On that day the royalists entered Rancagua, the town in which O'Higgins and his little band had taken shelter. They were fiercely resisted, and the fighting lasted through thirty-six hours. So brave was the conduct of the patriots that the Spanish general was, after some hours' contest, on the point of retreating. He saw that he would have no chance of success, had the Carreras brought up their troops, as was expected by both sides of the combatants. But the Carreras, short-sighted in their selfishness, and nothing loth that O'Higgins should be defeated, still held aloof. Thereupon the Spaniards took heart, and made one more desperate effort. With hatchets and swords they forced their way, inch by inch and hour by hour, into the centre of the town. There, in an open square, O'Higgins, with two hundred men—all the remnant of his little army—made a last resistance. When only a few dozen of his soldiers were left alive, and when he himself was seriously wounded, he determined, not to surrender, but to end the battle. The residue of the patriots dashed through the town, cutting a road through the astonished crowd of their opponents, and effected a retreat in which those opponents, though more than twenty times as numerous, durst not pursue them.

That memorable battle of Rancagua caused throughout the American continent, and, across the Atlantic, through Europe, a thrill of sympathy for the Chilian war of independence. But its immediate effects were most disastrous. The Carreras, too selfish to fight before, were now too cowardly. They and their followers fled. O'Higgins had barely soldiers enough left to serve as a weak escort to the fourteen hundred old men, women, and children who crossed the Andes with him on foot, to pass two years and a half in voluntary exile at Mendoza.

During those two years and a half the Spaniards were masters in Santiago, and Chili was once more a Spanish province, in which the inhabitants were punished terribly in confiscations, imprisonments, and executions for their recent defection. Deliverance, however, was at hand. General San Martin, through whom chiefly La Plata had achieved its freedom, gave assistance to O'Higgins and the Chilian patriots. The main body of the Spanish army, numbering about five thousand, had been stationed on the heights of Chacabuco, whence Santiago, Valparaiso, and the other leading towns of Chili were overawed. On the 12th of February, 1817, San Martin and O'Higgins, with a force nearly as large, surprised this garrison, and, with excellent strategy and very little loss of life, to the patriots at any rate, it was entirely subdued. Santiago was entered in triumph on the 14th of February, and a few weeks served for the entire dispersion of the royalist forces. The supreme directorship of the renovated republic was offered to San Martin. On his declining the honour, it was assigned, to the satisfaction of all parties, to O'Higgins.

The new dictator and the wisest of his counsellors, however, were not satisfied with the temporary advantage that they had achieved. They knew that armies would continue to come down from Peru, the defeat of which, even if that could be relied upon, would waste all the resources of the republic. They knew, too, that the Spanish war-ships which supplied Peru with troops and ammunition from home, passing the Chilian coast on their way, would seriously hinder the commerce on which the young state had to depend for its development, even if they did not destroy that commerce at its starting-point by seizing Valparaiso and the other ports. Therefore they resolved to seek for efficient help from Europe. With that end Don Jose Alvarez, a high-minded patriot, who had done much good service to Chili in previous years, was immediately sent to Europe, commissioned to borrow money, to build or buy warships, and in all the ways in his power to enlist the sympathies of the English people in the republican cause. In the last of these projects, at any rate, he succeeded beyond all reasonable expectation.

Beaching London in April, 1817, Alvarez was welcomed by many friends of South American freedom—Sir Francis Burdett, Sir James Mackintosh, Mr. Henry Brougham, and Mr. Edward Ellice among the number. Lord Cochrane was just then out of London, fighting his amusing battle with the sheriffs and bailiffs of Hampshire; but as soon as that business was over he took foremost place among the friends of Don Alvarez and the Chilian cause which he represented. With a message to him, indeed, Alvarez was specially commissioned. He was invited by the Chilian Government to undertake the organization and command of an improved naval force, and so, by exercise of the prowess which he had displayed in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, to render invaluable service to the young republic.

He promptly accepted the invitation, being induced thereto by many sufficient reasons. Sick at heart, as we have seen, under the cruel treatment to which for so many years he had been subjected by his enemies in power, he saw here an opportunity of, at the same time, escaping from his persecutors, returning to active work in a profession very dear to him, and giving efficient aid to a noble enterprise.




Having accepted, in May, 1817, the offer conveyed to him by the Chilian Government through Don Jose Alvarez, Lord Cochrane's departure from England was delayed for more than a year. This was chiefly on account of the war-steamer, the Rising Star, which it was arranged to build and equip in London under his superintendence. But the work proceeded so slowly, in consequence of the difficulty experienced by Alvarez in raising the requisite funds, that, at last, Lord Cochrane, being urgently needed in South America, where the Spaniards were steadily gaining ground, was requested to leave the superintendence of the Rising Star in other hands, and to cross the Atlantic without her.

Accompanied by Lady Cochrane and his two children, he went first from Rye to Boulogne, and there, on the 15th of August, 1818, embarked in the Rose, a merchantman which had formerly been a warsloop. The long voyage was uninteresting until Cape Horn was reached. There, and in passing along the rugged coast-line of Tierra del Fuego, Lord Cochrane was struck by its wild scenery. He watched the lazy penguins that crowded on the rocks, among evergreens that showed brightly amid the imposing mass of snow, and caught with hooks the lazier sea-pigeons that skimmed the heavy waves and hovered round the bulwarks and got entangled among the rigging of the Rose. He shot several of the huge albatrosses that floated fearlessly over the deck, but was not successful in his efforts to catch the fish that were seen coming to the surface of the troubled sea. The sea was made so boisterous by rain and snow, and such a stiff wind blew from the west, that for two or three days the Rose could not double the Cape. She was forced to tack towards the south until a favourable gale set in, which carried her safely to Valparaiso.

Valparaiso was reached on the 28th of November, after ten weeks passed on shipboard. There and at Santiago, the seat of government, to which he proceeded as soon as the congratulations of his new friends would allow him, Lord Cochrane was heartily welcomed. So profuse and prolonged were the entertainments in his favour—splendid dinners, at which zealous patriots tendered their hearty compliments, being followed by yet more splendid balls, at which handsome women showed their gratitude in smiles, and eagerly sought the honour of being led by him through the dances which were their chief delight—that he had to remind his guests that he had come to Chili not to feast but to fight.

There was prompt need of fighting. The Spaniards had a strong land force pressing up from the south and threatening to invest Santiago. Their formidable fleet swept the seas, and was being organized for an attack on Valparaiso. Admiral Blanco Encalada had just returned from a cruise in which he had succeeded in capturing, in Talcuanho Bay, a fine Spanish fifty-gun frigate, the Maria Isabel; but his fleet was ill-ordered and poorly equipped, quite unable, without thorough re-organization, to withstand the superior force of the enemy. An instance of the bad state of affairs was induced by Lord Cochrane's arrival, and seemed likely to cause serious trouble to him and worse misfortune to his Chilian employers. One of the republican vessels was the Hecate, a sloop of eighteen guns which had been sold out of the British navy and bought as a speculation by Captains Guise and Spry. Having first offered her in vain to the Buenos Ayrean Government, they had brought her on to Chili, and there contrived to sell her with advantage and to be themselves taken into the Chilian service. They and another volunteer, Captain Worcester, a North American, liking the ascendancy over Admiral Bianco which their experience had won for them, formed a cabal with the object of securing Admiral Blanco's continuance in the chief command, or its equal division between him and Lord Cochrane. Nothing but the Chilian admiral's disinterested patriotism prevented a serious rupture. He steadily withstood all temptations to his vanity, and avowed his determination to accept no greater honour—if there could be a greater—than that of serving as second in command under the brave Englishman who had come to fight for the independence of Chili. Thus, though some troubles afterwards sprang from the disaffections of Guise, Spry, and Worcester, the mischief schemed by them was prevented at starting.

A few days after his arrival Lord Cochrane received his commission as "Vice-Admiral of Chili, Admiral, and Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces of the Republic." His flag was hoisted, on the 22nd of December, on board the Maria Isabel, now rechristened the O'Higgins, and fitted out as the principal ship in the small Chilian fleet. The other vessels of the fleet were the San Martin, formerly an Indiaman in the English service, of fifty-six guns; the Lautaro, also an old Indiaman, of forty-four guns; the Galvarino, as the Hecate of Captains Cruise and Spry was now styled, of eighteen guns; the Chacabuco, of twenty guns; the Aracauno, of sixteen guns; and a sloop of fourteen guns named the Puyrredon.

The Spanish fleet, which these seven ships had to withstand, comprised fourteen vessels and twenty-seven gunboats. Of the former three were frigates, the Esmeralda, of forty-four guns, the Venganza, of forty-two guns, and the Sebastiana, of twenty-eight guns; four were brigs, the Maypeu, of eighteen guns, the Pezuela, of twenty-two guns, the Potrilla, of eighteen guns, and another, whose name is not recorded, also of eighteen guns. There was a schooner, name unknown, which carried one large gun and twenty culverins. The rest were armed merchantmen, the Resolution, of thirty-six guns; the Cleopatra, of twenty-eight guns; the La Focha, of twenty guns; the Guarmey, of eighteen guns; the Fernando, of twenty-six guns, and the San Antonio, of eighteen guns. Only ten out of the fourteen, however, were ready for sea; and before the whole naval force could be got ready for service, it had been partly broken up by Lord Cochrane.

There was delay, also, in getting the Chilian fleet under sail. After waiting at Valparaiso as long as he deemed prudent, Lord Cochrane left the three smaller vessels to complete their equipment under Admiral Blanco's direction, and passed out of port on the 16th of January, with the O'Higgins, the San Martin, the Lautaro, and the Chacabuco. He had hardly started before a mutiny broke out on board the last-named vessel, which compelled him to halt at Coquimbo long enough to try and punish the mutineers. Resuming the voyage, he proceeded along the Chilian and Peruvian coast as far northward as Callao Bay, where he cruised about for some days, awaiting an opportunity of attacking the Spanish shipping there collected in considerable force.

While thus waiting he employed his leisure in observations, great and small, of the sort and in the way characteristic of him all through life. One of his rough notes runs thus:—"Cormorants resort in enormous nights, coming in the morning from the northward to Callao Bay, and proceeding along shore to the southward, diving in regular succession one after another on the fish which, driven at the same time from below by shoals of porpoises, seem to have no chance but to be devoured under water or scooped up in the large bags pendent from the enormous bills of the cormorants." "Prodigious seals," we read in another note, "inhabit the rocks, whose grave faces and grey beards look more like the human countenance than the faces of most other animals. They are very unwieldy in their movements when on shore, but most expert in the water. There is a small kind of duck in the bay, which, from the clearness of the water, can be seen flying with its wings under water in chase of small fry, which it speedily overtakes from its prodigious speed."

From note-making of that sort, Lord Cochrane turned to more serious business. The batteries of Callao and of San Lorenzo, a little island in the bay which helped to form the port, mounted one hundred and sixty guns, and more than twice as many were at the command of vessels there lying-to. Direct attack of a force so very much superior to that of the Chilian fleet seemed out of the question. Therefore Lord Cochrane bethought him of a subterfuge. Learning that two North American war-ships were expected at Callao, he determined to personate them with the O'Higgins and Lautaro, and so enter the port under alien colours. It was then carnival-time, and on the 21st of February, deeming that the Spaniards were more likely to be off their guard, he proposed "to make a feint of sending a boat ashore with despatches, and in the mean time suddenly to dash at the frigates and cut them out." Unfortunately a dense fog set in, which lasted till the 28th, and made it impossible for him to effect his purpose before the carnival was over. Let the sequel be told in his own words.

"On the 28th, hearing heavy firing and imagining that one of the ships was engaged with the enemy, I stood with the flag-ship into the bay. The other ships, imagining the same thing, also steered in the direction of the firing, when, the fog clearing for a moment, we discovered each other, as well as a strange sail near us. This proved to be a Spanish gunboat, with a lieutenant and twenty men, who, on being made prisoners, informed us that the firing was a salute in honour of the Viceroy, who had that morning been on a visit of inspection to the batteries and shipping, and was then on board the brig-of-war Pezuela, which we saw crowding sail in the direction of the batteries. The fog, again coming on, suggested to me the possibility of a direct attack. Accordingly, still maintaining our disguise under American colours, the O'Higgins and Lautaro stood towards the batteries, narrowly escaping going ashore in the fog. The Viceroy, having no doubt witnessed the capture of the gunboat, had, however, provided for our reception, the garrison being at their guns, and the crews of the ships-of-war at their quarters. Notwithstanding the great odds, I determined to persist in an attack, as our withdrawing, without firing a shot, would produce an effect upon the minds of the Spaniards the reverse of that intended. I had sufficient experience in war to know that moral effect, even if the result of a degree of temerity, will not unfrequently supply the place of superior force.

"The wind falling light, I did not venture on laying the flag-ship and the Lautaro alongside the Spanish frigates, as I at first intended, but anchored with springs on our cables, abreast of the shipping, which was arranged in a half-moon of two lines, the rear-rank being judiciously disposed so as to cover the intervals of the ships in the front line. A dead calm succeeded, and we were for two hours exposed to a heavy fire from the batteries, in addition to that from the two frigates, the brigs Pezuela and Maypeu, and seven or eight gunboats. Nevertheless the northern angle of one of the principal forts was silenced by our fire. As soon as a breeze sprang up, we weighed anchor, standing to and fro in front of the batteries, and returning their fire, until Captain Guise, who commanded the Lautaro, being severely wounded, that ship sheered off and never again came within range. As, from want of wind, or doubt of the result, neither the San Martin nor the Chacabuco had ever got within fire, the flag-ship was thus left alone, and I was reluctantly compelled to relinquish the attack. I withdrew to the island of San Lorenzo, about three miles distant from the forts; the Spaniards, though nearly quadruple our numbers, exclusive of their gunboats, not venturing to follow us.

"The action having been commenced in a fog, the Spaniards imagined that all the Chilian vessels were engaged. They were not a little surprised, as it again cleared, to find that their own frigate, the quondam Maria Isabella, was almost their only opponent. So much were they dispirited by this discovery that, as soon as possible after the close of the contest, their ships-of-war were dismantled, the topmasts and spars being formed into a double boom across the anchorage, so as to prevent approach. The Spaniards were also previously unaware of my being in command of the Chilian squadron. On becoming acquainted with this fact, they bestowed upon me the not very complimentary title of 'El Diablo,' by which I was afterwards known amongst them."

Two hundred and forty years before, almost to a day, Sir Francis Drake—whom, of all English seamen, Lord Cochrane most resembled in chivalrous daring and in chivalrous hatred of oppression—had secretly led his little Golden Hind into the harbour of Callao, and there despoiled a Spanish fleet of seventeen vessels; for which and for his other brave achievements he won the nickname of El Dracone. Drake the Dragon and Cochrane the Devil were kinsmen in noble hatred, and noble punishment, of Spanish wrong-doing.

Retiring to San Lorenzo, after the fight in Callao Bay on the 28th of February, Lord Cochrane occupied the island, and from it blockaded Callao for five weeks. On the island he found thirty-seven Chilian soldiers, whom the Spaniards had made prisoners eight years before. "The unhappy men," he said, "had ever since been forced to work in chains under the supervision of a military guard—now prisoners in turn; their sleeping-place during the whole of this period being a filthy shed, in which they were every night chained by one leg to an iron bar." Yet worse, as he was informed by the poor fellows whom he freed from their misery, was the condition of some Chilian officers and seamen imprisoned in Lima, and so cruelly chained that the fetters had worn bare their ankles to the bone. He accordingly, under a flag of truce, sent to the Spanish Viceroy, Don Joaquim de la Pezuela, offering to exchange for these Chilian prisoners a larger number of Spaniards captured by himself and others. This proposal was bluntly refused by the Viceroy, who took occasion, in his letter, to avow his surprise that a British nobleman should come to fight for a rebel community "unacknowledged by all the powers of the globe." Lord Cochrane replied that "a British nobleman was a free man, and therefore had a right to assist any country which was endeavouring to re-establish the rights of aggrieved humanity." "I have," he added, "adopted the cause of Chili with the same freedom of judgment that I previously exercised when refusing the offer of an admiral's rank in Spain, made to me not long ago by the Spanish ambassador in London."

Except in blockading Callao and repairing his ships little was done by Lord Cochrane during his stay at San Lorenzo. On the 1st of March he went into the harbour again and opened a destructive fire upon the Spanish gunboats, but as these soon sought shelter under the batteries, which the O'Higgins and the Lautaro were not strong enough to oppose, the demonstration did not last long. Unsuccessful also was an attempt made upon the batteries, with the aid of an explosion-vessel, on the 22nd of March. The explosion-vessel, when just within musket-range, was struck by a round shot, and foundered, thus spoiling the intended enterprise. But other plans fared better.

At the beginning of April, Lord Cochrane left San Lorenzo and proceeded to Huacho, a few leagues north of Callao. Its inhabitants were for the most part in sympathy with the republican cause, and the Spanish garrison fled at almost the first gunshot, leaving a large quantity of government property and specie in the hands of the assailants. Much other treasure, which proved very serviceable to the impoverished Chilian exchequer, was captured by the little fleet during a two months' cruise about the coast of Peru, both north and south of Callao. Everywhere, too, the Spanish cause was weakened, and the natives were encouraged to share in the great work of South American rebellion against a tyranny of three centuries' duration. "It was my object," said Lord Cochrane, "to make friends of the Peruvian people, by adopting towards them a conciliatory course, and by strict care that none but Spanish property should be taken. Confidence was thus inspired, and the universal dissatisfaction with Spanish rule speedily became changed into an earnest desire to be freed from it."

Having cruised about the Peruvian coast during April and May, Lord Cochrane returned to Valparaiso on the 16th of June. "The objects of the first expedition," he said, "had been fully accomplished, namely, to reconnoitre, with a view to future operations, when the squadron should be rendered efficient; but more especially to ascertain the inclinations of the Peruvians—a point of the first importance to Chili, as being obliged to be constantly on the alert for her own newly-acquired liberties so long as the Spaniards were in undisturbed possession of Peru. To the accomplishment of these objects had been superadded the restriction of the Spanish naval force to the shelter of the forts, the defeat of their military forces wherever encountered, and the capture of no inconsiderable amount of treasure." That was work enough to be done by four small ships, ill-manned and ill-provisioned, during a five months' absence from Valparaiso; and the Chilians were not ungrateful.

Their gratitude, however, was not strong enough to make them zealous co-operators in his schemes for their benefit. Lord Cochrane was eager to start upon another expedition, in which he hoped for yet greater success. But for this were needed preparations which the poverty and mismanagement of the Chilian Government made almost impossible. He asked for a thousand troops with which to facilitate a second attack on Callao. This force, certainly not a large one, was promised, but, when he was about to embark, only ninety soldiers were ready, and even then a private subscription had to be raised for giving them decent clothing instead of the rags in which they appeared. For the assault on Callao, also, an ample supply of rockets was required. An engineer named Goldsack had gone from England to construct them, and, that there might be no stinting in the work, Lord Cochrane offered to surrender all his share of prize-money. The offer was refused; but, to save money, their manufacture was assigned to some Spanish prisoners, who showed their patriotism in making them so badly that, when tried, they were found utterly worthless. There were other instances of false economy, whereby Lord Cochrane's intended services to his Chilian employers were seriously hindered. The vessels were refitted, however, and a new one, an American-built corvette, named the Independencia, of twenty-eight guns, was added to the number.

After nearly three months' stay at Valparaiso, he again set sail on the 12th of September, 1819. Admiral Blanco was his second in command, and his squadron consisted of the O'Higgins, the San Martin, the Lautaro, the Independencia, the Galvarino, the Araucano, and the Puyrredon, mounting two hundred and twenty guns in all. There were also two old vessels, to be used as fireships.

The fleet entered Callao Roads on the 29th of September. On this occasion there was no subterfuge. On the 30th Lord Cochrane despatched a boat to Callao with a flag of truce, and a challenge to the Viceroy to send out his ships—nearly twice as strong as those of Chili in guns and men—for a fair fight in the open sea. The challenge was bluntly rejected, and an attack on the batteries and the ships in harbour was then planned. On the 1st of October, the smaller vessels reconnoitred the bay, and there was some fighting, in which the Araucano was damaged. Throughout the night of the 2nd, a formidable attack was attempted, in which the main reliance was placed in the Goldsack rockets; but, in consequence of the treacherous handling of the Spanish soldiers who had filled them, they proved worse than useless, doing nearly as much injury to the men who fired them as to the enemy. Only one gunboat was sunk by the shells from a raft commanded by Major Miller, who also did some damage to the forts and shipping. On the night of the 4th, Lord Cochrane amused himself, while a fireship was being prepared, by causing a burning tar-barrel to be drifted with the tide towards the enemy's shipping. It was, in the darkness, supposed to be a much more formidable antagonist, and volleys of Spanish shot were spent upon it. On the following evening a fireship was despatched; but this also was a failure. A sudden calm prevented her progress. She was riddled through and through by the enemy's guns, and, rapidly gaining water in consequence, had to be fired so much too soon that she exploded before getting near enough to work any serious mischief among the Spanish shipping.

By these misfortunes Lord Cochrane was altogether disheartened. The rockets, on which he had chiefly relied, had proved worthless, and, one fireship having been wasted, he did not care to risk the loss of the other. He found too that the Spaniards, profiting by the warning which he had previously given, had so strengthened their booms that it was quite impossible, with the small force at his command, to get at them or to reach the port. His store of provisions, also, was nearly exhausted, and the fresh supply promised from Chili had not arrived. He therefore reluctantly, for the time, abandoned his project for taking Callao.

He continued to watch the port for a few weeks, however, hoping for some chance opportunity of injuring it; and, in the interval, sent three hundred and fifty soldiers and marines, under Lieutenant-Colonel Charles and Major Miller, in the Lautaro, the Galvarino, and the remaining fireship, commanded by Captain Guise, to attack Pisco and procure from it and the neighbourhood the requisite provisions. This was satisfactorily done; but the sickness of many of his men caused his further detention at Santa, whither he had gone from Callao. On the 21st of November the sick were sent to Valparaiso, in the charge of the San Martin, the Independencia, and the Araucano. With the remaining ships, the O'Higgins, the Lautaro, the Galvarino, and the Puyrredon, Lord Cochrane proceeded to the mouth of the River Guayaquil. There, on the 28th of the month, he captured two large Spanish vessels, one of twenty and the other of sixteen guns, laden with timber, and took possession of the village of Puna. At Guayaquil there was another delay of a fortnight, owing to a mutiny attempted by Captains Guise and Spry, whose treacherous disposition has already been mentioned.

Not till the middle of December was he able to escape from the troubles brought upon him by others, and to return to work worthy of his great name and character. Then, however, sending one of his ships, with the prizes, to Valparaiso, and leaving two others to watch the Peruvian coast, he started, with only his flag-ship, upon an enterprise as brilliant in conception and execution as any in his whole eventful history. "The Chilian people," he said, "expected impossibilities; and I. had for some time been revolving in my mind a plan to achieve one which should gratify them, and allay my own wounded feelings. I had now only one ship, so that there were no other inclinations to consult; and I felt quite sure of Major Miller's concurrence where there was any fighting to be done. My design was, with the flag-ship alone, to capture by a coup de main the numerous forts and garrison of Valdivia, a fortress previously deemed impregnable, and thus to counteract the disappointment which would ensue in Chili from our want of success at Callao. The enterprise was a desperate one; nevertheless, I was not about to do anything desperate, having resolved that, unless I was fully satisfied as to its practicability, I would not attempt it. Rashness, though often imputed to me, forms no part of my composition. There is a rashness without calculation of consequences; but with that calculation well-founded, it is no longer rashness. And thus, now that I was unfettered by people who did not second my operations as they ought to have done, I made up my mind to take Valdivia, if the attempt came within the scope of my calculations."

Valdivia was the stronghold and centre of Spanish attack upon Chili from the south, just as were Lima and Callao on the north. To reach it Lord Cochrane had to sail northwards along the coast of Peru and Chili to some distance below Valparaiso. This he did without loss of time, to work out an excellent strategy which will be best understood from his own report of it.

"The first step," he said, "clearly was to reconnoitre Valdivia. The flag-ship arrived on the 18th of January, 1820, under Spanish colours, and made a signal for a pilot, who—as the Spaniards mistook the O'Higgins for a ship of their own—promptly came off, together with a complimentary retinue of an officer and four soldiers, all of whom were made prisoners as soon as they came on board. The pilot was ordered to take us into the channels leading to the forts, whilst the officer and his men, knowing there was little chance of their finding their way on shore again, thought it most conducive to their interests to supply all the information demanded, the result being increased confidence on my part as to the possibility of a successful attack. Amongst other information obtained was the expected arrival of the Spanish brig Potrillo, with money on board for the payment of the garrison.

"As we were busily employing ourselves in inspecting the channels, the officer commanding the garrison began to suspect that our object might not altogether be pacific, a suspicion which was confirmed by the detention of his officer. Suddenly a heavy fire was opened upon us from the various forts, to which we did not reply, but, our reconnoissance being now complete, withdrew beyond its reach. Two days were occupied in reconnoitring. On the third day the Potrillo hove in sight, and she, being also deceived by our Spanish colours, was captured without a shot, twenty thousand dollars and some important despatches being found on board."

That first business having been satisfactorily achieved, Lord Cochrane proceeded to Concepcion, there to ask and obtain from its Chilian governor, General Freire, a force of two hundred and fifty soldiers, under Major Beauchef, a French volunteer. In Talcahuano Bay, moreover, he found a Chilian schooner, the Montezuma, and a Brazilian brig, the Intrepido. He attached the former to his service, and accepted the volunteered aid of the latter. With this augmented but still insignificant force, very defective in some important respects, he returned to Valdivia. "The flag-ship," he said, "had only two naval officers on board, one of these being under arrest for disobedience of orders, whilst the other was incapable of performing the duty of lieutenant; so that I had to act as admiral, captain and lieutenant, taking my turn in the watch—or rather being constantly on the watch—as the only available officer was so incompetent."

"We sailed from Talcahuano on the 25th of January," the narrative proceeds, "when I communicated my intentions to the military officers, who displayed great eagerness in the cause—alone questioning their success from motives of prudence. On my explaining to them that, if unexpected projects are energetically put in execution, they almost invariably succeed in spite of odds, they willingly entered into my plans.

"On the night of the 29th, we were off the island of Quiriquina, in a dead calm. From excessive fatigue in the execution of subordinate duties, I had lain down to rest, leaving the ship in charge of the lieutenant, who took advantage of my absence to retire also, surrendering the watch to the care of a midshipman, who fell asleep. Knowing our dangerous position, I had left strict orders that I was to be called the moment a breeze sprang up; but these orders were neglected. A sudden wind took the ship unawares, and the midshipman, in attempting to bring her round, ran her upon the sharp edge of a rock, where she lay beating, suspended, as it were, upon her keel; and, had the swell increased, she must inevitably have gone to pieces.

"We were forty miles from the mainland, the brig and schooner being both out of sight. The first impulse, both of officers and crew, was to abandon the ship, but, as we had six hundred men on board, whilst not more than a hundred and fifty could have entered the boats, this would have been but a scramble for life. Pointing out to the men that those who escaped could only reach the coast of Arauco, where they would meet nothing but torture and inevitable death at the hands of the Indians, I with some difficulty got them to adopt the alternative of attempting to save the ship. The first sounding gave five feet of water in the hold, and the pumps were entirely out of order. Our carpenter, who was only one by name, was incompetent to repair them; but, having myself some skill in carpentry, I took off my coat, and by midnight, got them into working order, the water in the meanwhile gaining on us, though the whole crew were engaged in baling it out with buckets.

"To our great delight, the leak did not increase, upon which I got out the stream anchor and commenced heaving off the ship; the officers clamoured first to ascertain the extent of the leak; but this I expressly forbade, as calculated to damp the energy of the men, whilst, as we now gained on the leak, there was no doubt the ship would swim as far as Valdivia, which was the chief point to be regarded, the capture of the fortress being my object, after which the ship might be repaired at leisure. As there was no lack of physical force on board, she was at length floated; but the powder magazine having been under water, the ammunition of every kind, except a little upon deck and in the cartouche-boxes of the troops, was rendered unserviceable; though about this I cared little, as it involved the necessity of using the bayonet in our anticipated attack; and to facing this weapon the Spaniards had, in every case, evinced a rooted aversion."

The O'Higgins, thus bravely saved from wreck, was soon joined by the Intrepido and the Montezuma, and these vessels being now most fit for action, as many men as possible were transferred to them, and the O'Higgins was ordered to stand out to sea, only to be made use of in case of need. The Montezuma now became the flag-ship, and with her and her consort Lord Cochrane sailed into Valdivia Harbour on the 2nd of February.

"The fortifications of Valdivia," he said, "are placed on both sides of a channel three quarters of a mile in width, and command the entrance, anchorage, and river leading to the town, crossing their fire in all directions so effectually that, with proper caution on the part of the garrison, no ship could enter without suffering severely, while she would be equally exposed at anchor. The principal forts on the western shore are placed in the following order:—El Ingles, San Carlos, Amargos, Chorocomayo, Alto, and Corral Castle. Those on the eastern side are Niebla, directly opposite Amargos, and Piojo; whilst on the island of Manzanera is a strong fort mounted with guns of large calibre, commanding the whole range of the entrance channel. These forts and a few others, fifteen in all, would render the place in the hands of a skilful garrison almost impregnable, the shores on which they stand being inaccessible by reason of the surf, with the exception of a small landing-place at Fort Ingles.

"It was to this landing-place that we first directed our attention, anchoring the brig and schooner off the guns of Fort Ingles on the afternoon of February the 3rd, amidst a swell which rendered immediate disembarkation impracticable. The troops were carefully kept below; and, to avert the suspicion of the Spaniards, we had trumped up a story of our having just arrived from Cadiz and being in want of a pilot. They told us to send a boat for one. To this we replied that our boats had been washed away in the passage round Cape Horn. Not being quite satisfied, they began to assemble troops at the landing-place, firing alarm-guns, and rapidly bringing up the garrisons of the western forts to Fort Ingles, but not molesting us.

"Unfortunately for the credit of the story about the loss of the boats, which were at the time carefully concealed under the lee of the vessels, one drifted astern, so that our object became apparent, and the guns of Fort Ingles, under which we lay, forthwith opened upon us, the first shots passing through the sides of the Intrepido and killing two men, so that it became necessary to land in spite of the swell. We had only two launches and a gig. I directed the operation in the gig, whilst Major Miller, with forty-four marines, pushed off in the first launch, under the fire of the party at the landing-place, on to which they soon leaped, driving the Spaniards before them at the point of the bayonet. The second launch then pushed off from the Intrepido, while the other was returning; and in this way, in less than an hour, three hundred men had made good their footing on shore.

"The most difficult task, the capture of the forts, was to come. The only way in which the first, Fort Ingles, could be approached, was by a precipitous path, along which the men could only pass in single file, the fort itself being inaccessible except by a ladder, which the enemy, after being routed by Major Miller, had drawn up.

"As soon as it was dark, a picked party, under the guidance of one of the Spanish prisoners, silently advanced to the attack. This party having taken up its position, the main body moved forward, cheering and firing in the air, to intimate to the Spaniards that their chief reliance was on the bayonet. The enemy, meanwhile, kept up an incessant fire of artillery and musketry in the direction of the shouts, but without effect, as no aim could be taken in the dark.

"Whilst the patriots were thus noisily advancing, a gallant young officer, Ensign Vidal, got under the inland flank of the fort, and, with a few men, contrived to tear up some pallisades, by which a bridge was made across the ditch. In that way he and his small party entered and formed noiselessly under cover of some branches of trees, while the garrison, numbering about eight hundred soldiers, were directing their whole attention in an opposite direction.

"A volley from Vidal's party convinced the Spaniards that they had been taken in flank. Without waiting to ascertain the number of those who had outflanked them, they instantly took to flight, filling with a like panic a column of three hundred men drawn up behind the fort. The Chilians, who were now well up, bayoneted them by dozens as they attempted to gain the forts; and when the forts were opened to receive them the patriots entered at the same time, and thus drove them from fort to fort into the Castle of Corral, together with two hundred more who had abandoned some guns advantageously placed on a height at Fort Chorocomayo. The Corral was stormed with equal rapidity, a number of the enemy escaping in boats to Valdivia, others plunging into the forest. Upwards of a hundred fell into our hands, and on the following morning the like number were found to have been bayoneted. Our loss was seven men killed and nineteen wounded.

"On the 5th, the Intrepido and Montezuma, which had been left near Fort Ingles, entered the harbour, being fired at in their passage by Fort Niebla, on the eastern shore. On their coming to an anchor at the Corral, two hundred men were again embarked to attack Forts Niebla, Carbonero, and Piojo. The O'Higgins also appeared in sight off the mouth of the harbour. The Spaniards thereupon summarily abandoned the forts on the eastern side; no doubt judging that, as the western forts had been captured without the aid of the frigate, they had, now that she had arrived, no chance of successfully defending them.

"On the 6th, the troops were again embarked to pursue the flying garrison up the river, when we received a flag of truce, informing us that the enemy had abandoned the town, after plundering the private houses and magazines, and with the governor, Colonel Montoya, had fled in the direction of Chiloe. The booty which fell into our hands, exclusive of the value of the forts and public buildings, was considerable, Valdivia being the chief military depôt in the southern side of the continent. Amongst the military stores were upwards of 50 tons of gunpowder, 10,000 cannon-shot, 170,000 musket-cartridges, a large quantity of small arms, 128 guns, of which 53 were brass and the remainder iron, the ship Dolores —afterwards sold at Valparaiso for twenty thousand dollars—with public stores sold for the like value, and plate, of which General Sanchez had previously stripped the churches of Concepcion, valued at sixteen thousand dollars." Those prizes compensated over and over again for the loss of the Intrepido, which grounded in the channel, and the injuries done to the O'Higgins on her way to Valdivia.

But the value of Lord Cochrane's capture of this stronghold was not to be counted in money. By its daring conception and easy completion the Spaniards, besides losing their great southern starting-point for attacks on Chili and the other states that were fighting for their freedom, lost heart, to a great extent, in their whole South American warfare. They saw that their insurgent colonists had now found a champion too bold, too cautious, too honest, and too prosperous for them any longer to hope that they could succeed in their efforts to win back the dependencies which were shaking off the thraldom of three centuries.




Lord Cochrane returned to Valparaiso on the 27th of February, 1820. By General O'Higgins, the Supreme Director, and by the populace he was enthusiastically received. But Zenteno, the Minister of Marine, and other members of the Government, jealous of the fresh renown which he had won by his conquest of Valdivia, showed their jealousy in various offensive ways.

In anticipation of his failure they had prepared an elaborate charge of insubordination, in that he had not come back direct from Callao. Now that he had triumphed, they sought at first to have him reprimanded for attempting so hazardous an exploit, and afterwards to rob him of his due on the ground that his achievement was insignificant and valueless. When they were compelled by the voice of the people to declare publicly that "the capture of Valdivia was the happy result of an admirably-arranged plan and of the most daring execution," they refused to award either to him or to his comrades any other recompense than was contained in the verbal compliment; and, on his refusing to give up his prizes until the seamen had been paid their arrears of wages, he was threatened with prosecution for detention of the national property.

The threat was impotent, as the people of Chili would not for a moment have permitted such an indignity to their champion. But so irritating were this and other attempted persecutions to Lord Cochrane that, on the 14th of May, he tendered to the Supreme Director his resignation of service under the Chilian Government. That proposal was, of course, rejected; but with the rejection came a promise of better treatment. The seamen were paid in July, and the Valdivian prize-money was nominally awarded. Lord Cochrane's share amounted to 67,000 dollars, and to this was added a grant of land at Rio Clara. But the money was never paid, and the estate was forcibly seized a few years afterwards.

Other annoyances, which need not here be detailed, were offered to Lord Cochrane, and thus six months were wasted by Zenteno and his associates in the Chilian senate. "The senate," said Lord Cochrane, "was an anomaly in state government. It consisted of five members, whose functions were to remain only during the first struggles of the country for independence; but this body had now assumed a permanent right to dictatorial control, whilst there was no appeal from their arbitrary conduct, except to themselves. They arrogated the title of 'Most Excellent,' whilst the Supreme Director was simply 'His Excellency;' his position, though nominally head of the executive, being really that of mouthpiece to the senate, which, assuming all power, deprived the Executive Government of its legitimate influence, so that no armament could be equipped, no public work undertaken, no troops raised, and no taxes levied, except by the consent of this irresponsible body. For such a clique the plain, simple good sense of the Supreme Director was no match. He was led to believe that a crooked policy was a necessary evil of government, and, as such a policy was adverse to his own nature, he was the more easily induced to surrender its administration to others who were free from his conscientious principles." Those sentences explain the treatment to which, now and afterwards, Lord Cochrane was subjected.

He was allowed, however, to do further excellent service to the nation which had already begun to reward him with nothing but ingratitude. As soon as the Chilian Government could turn from its spiteful exercise to its proper duty of consolidating the independence of the insurgents from Spanish dominion, it was resolved to despatch as strong a force as could be raised for another and more formidable expedition to Peru, whereby at the same time the Peruvians should be freed from the tyranny by which they were still oppressed, and the Chilians should be rid of the constant danger that they incurred from the presence of a Spanish army in Lima, Callao, and other garrisons, ready to bear down upon them again and again, as it had often done before. In 1819 Lord Cochrane had vainly asked for a suitable land force with which to aid his attack upon Callao. It was now resolved to organize a Liberating Army, after the fashion of that with which Bolivar had nobly scoured the northern districts of South America, and to place it under the direction of General San Martin, in co-operation with whom Lord Cochrane was to pursue his work as chief admiral of the fleet. San Martin had fought worthily in La Plata, and he had earned the gratitude of the Chilians by winning back their freedom in conjunction with O'Higgins in 1817. Vanity and ambition, however, had since unhinged him, and he now proved himself a champion of liberty very inferior, both in prowess and in honesty, to Bolivar.

His army, numbering four thousand two hundred men, was collected by the 21st of August, and on that day it was embarked at Valparaiso in the whole Chilian squadron. Lord Cochrane proposed to go at once to Chilca, the nearest point both to Lima and to Callao. San Martin, however, decided upon Pisco as a safer landing-place, and there the troops were deposited on the 8th of September. For fifty days they were detained there, and the fleet was forced to share their idleness, capturing only a few passing merchantmen. On the 28th of October they were re-embarked, and Lord Cochrane again urged a vigorous attack on the capital and its port. Again he was thwarted by San Martin, who requested to be landed at Ancon, considerably to the north of Callao, and as unsuitable a halting-place as was the southerly town of Pisco. Lord Cochrane had to comply; but he bethought him of a plan for achieving a great work, in spite of San Martin. Sending the main body of his fleet to Ancon with the troops, no the 20th, he retained the O'Higgins, the Independencia, and the Lautaro, with the professed object of merely blockading Callao at a safe distance. "The fact was," he said, "that, annoyed, in common with the whole expedition, at this irresolution on the part of General San Martin, I determined that the means of Chili, furnished with great difficulty, should not be wholly wasted, without some attempt at accomplishing the object of the expedition. I accordingly formed a plan of attack with the three ships which I had kept back, though, being apprehensive that my design would be opposed by General San Martin, I had not even mentioned to him my intentions. This design was, to cut out the Esmeralda frigate from under the fortifications, and also to get possession of another ship, on board of which we had learned that a million of dollars was embarked."

The plan was certainly a bold one. The Esmeralda, of forty-four guns, was the finest Spanish ship in the Pacific Ocean. Now especially well armed and manned, in readiness for any work that had to be done, she was lying in Callao Harbour, protected by three hundred pieces of artillery on shore and by a strong boom with chain moorings, by twenty-seven gunboats and several armed block-ships. These considerations, however, only induced Lord Cochrane to proceed cautiously upon his enterprise. Three days were spent in preparations, the purpose of which was known only to himself and to his chief officers. On the afternoon of the 5th of November he issued this proclamation:—"Marines and seamen,—This night we shall give the enemy a mortal blow. To-morrow you will present yourself proudly before Callao, and all your comrades will envy your good fortune. One hour of courage and resolution is all that is required for you to triumph. Remember that you have conquered in Valdivia, and have no fear of those who have hitherto fled from you. The value of all the vessels captured in Callao will be yours, and the same reward will be distributed amongst you as has been offered by the Spaniards in Lima to those who should capture any of the Chilian squadron. The moment of glory is approaching. I hope that the Chilians will fight as they have been accustomed to do, and that the English will act as they have ever done at home and abroad."

A request was made for volunteers, and the whole body of seamen and marines on board the three ships offered to follow Lord Cochrane wherever he might lead. This was more than he wanted. "A hundred and sixty seamen and eighty marines," said Lord Cochrane, whose own narrative of the sequel will best describe it, "were placed, after dark, in fourteen boats alongside the flag-ship, each man, armed with cutlass and pistol, being, for distinction's sake, dressed in white, with a blue band on the left arm. The Spaniards, I expected, would be off their guard, and consider themselves safe from attack for that night, since, by way of ruse, the other ships had been sent out of the bay under the charge of Captain Foster, as though in pursuit of some vessels in the offing.

"At ten o'clock all was in readiness, the boats being formed in two divisions, the first commanded by Flag-Captain Crosbie and the second by Captain Gruise,—my boat leading. The strictest silence and the exclusive use of cutlasses were enjoined; so that, as the oars were muffled and the night was dark, the enemy had not the least suspicion of the impending attack.

"It was just upon midnight when we neared the small opening left in the boom, our plan being well-nigh frustrated by the vigilance of a guard-boat upon which my launch had unluckily stumbled. The challenge was given, upon which, in an undertone, I threatened the occupants of the boat with instant death if they made the least alarm. No reply was made to the threat, and in a few minutes our gallant fellows were alongside the frigate in line, boarding at several points simultaneously. The Spaniards were completely taken by surprise, the whole, with the exception of the sentries, being asleep at their quarters; and great was the havoc made amongst them by the Chilian cutlasses whilst they were recovering themselves. Retreating to the forecastle, they there made a gallant stand, and it was not until the third charge that the position was carried. The fight was for a short time renewed on the quarterdeck, where the Spanish marines fell to a man, the rest of the enemy leaping overboard and into the hold to escape slaughter.

"On boarding the ship by the main-chains, I was knocked back by the sentry's musket, and falling on the tholl-pin of the boat, it entered my back near the spine, inflicting a severe injury, which caused me many years of subsequent suffering. Immediately regaining my footing, I reascended the side, and, when on deck, was shot through the thigh. But, binding a handkerchief tightly round the wound, I managed, though with great difficulty, to direct the contest to its close.

"The whole affair, from beginning to end, occupied only a quarter of an hour, our loss being eleven killed and thirty wounded, whilst that of the Spaniards was a hundred and sixty, many of whom fell under the cutlasses of the Chilians before they could stand to their arms. Greater bravery I never saw displayed than by our gallant fellows. Before boarding, the duties of all had been appointed, and a party was told off to take possession of the tops. We had not been on deck a minute, when I hailed the foretop, and was instantly answered by our own men, an equally prompt answer being returned from the frigate's main-top. No British man-of-war's crew could have excelled this minute attention to orders.

"The uproar speedily alarmed the garrison, who, hastening to their guns, opened fire on their own frigate, thus paying us the compliment of having taken it; though, even in this case, their own men must still have been on board, so that firing on them was a wanton proceeding. Several Spaniards were killed or wounded by the shot of the fortress. Amongst the wounded was Captain Coig, the commander of the Esmeralda, who, after he was made prisoner, received a severe contusion by a shot from his own party.

"The fire from the fortress was, however, neutralized by a successful expedient. There were two foreign ships of war present during the contest, the United States frigate Macedonian and the British frigate Hyperion ; and these, as had been previously agreed upon with the Spanish authorities in case of a night attack, hoisted peculiar lights as signals, to prevent being fired upon. This contingency being provided for by us, as soon as the fortress commenced its fire on the Esmeralda, we also ran up similar lights, so that the garrison did not know which vessel to fire at. The Hyperion and Macedonian were several times struck, while the Esmeralda was comparatively untouched. Upon this the neutral vessels cut their cables and moved away. Contrary to my orders, Captain Gruise then cut the Esmeralda's cables also, so that there was nothing to be done but to loose her topsails and follow. The fortress thereupon ceased its fire.

"I had distinctly ordered that the cables of the Esmeralda were not to be cut, but that after taking her, the force was to capture the Maypeu, a brig of war previously taken from Chili, and then to attack and cut adrift every ship near, there being plenty of time before us. I had no doubt that, when the Esmeralda was taken, the Spaniards would desert the other ships as fast as their boats would permit them, so that the whole might have been either captured or burnt. To this end all my previous plans had been arranged; but, on my being placed hors de combat by my wounds, Captain Gruise, on whom the command of the prize devolved, chose to interpose his own judgment and content himself with the Esmeralda alone; the reason assigned being that the English had broken into her spirit-room and were getting drunk, whilst the Chilians were disorganized by plundering. It was a great mistake. If we could capture the Esmeralda with her picked and well-appointed crew, there would have been little or no difficulty in cutting the other ships adrift in succession. It would only have been the rout of Valdivia over again, chasing the enemy, without loss, from ship to ship instead of from fort to fort."

Lord Cochrane's exploit, however, though less complete than he had intended, was as successful in its issue as it was brilliant in its achievement. "This loss of the Esmeralda," wrote Captain Basil Hall, then commanding a British war-ship in South American waters, "was a death-blow to the Spanish naval force in that quarter of the world; for, although there were still two Spanish frigates and some smaller vessels in the Pacific, they never afterwards ventured to show themselves, but left Lord Cochrane undisputed master of the coast." The speedy liberation of Peru was its direct consequence, although that good work was seriously impaired by the continued and increasing misconduct of General San Martin, inducing troubles, of which Lord Cochrane received his full share.

In the first burst of his enthusiasm at the intelligence of Lord Cochrane's action, San Martin was generous for once. "The importance of the service you have rendered to the country, my lord," he wrote on the 10th of November, "by the capture of the frigate Esmeralda, and the brilliant manner in which you conducted the gallant officers and seamen under your orders to accomplish that noble enterprise, have augmented the gratitude due to your former services by the Government, as well as that of all interested in the public welfare and in your fame. All those who participated in the risks and glory of the deed also deserve well of their countrymen; and I have the satisfaction to be the medium of transmitting the sentiments of admiration which such transcendent success has excited in the chiefs of the army under my command." "It is impossible for me to eulogize in proper language," he also wrote to the Chilian administration, "the daring enterprise of the 5th of November, by which Lord Cochrane has decided the superiority of our naval forces, augmented the splendour and power of Chili, and secured the success of this campaign."

A few days later, however, San Martin wrote in very different terms. "Before the General-in-Chief left the Vice-Admiral of the squadron," he said, in a bulletin to the army, "they agreed on the execution of a memorable project, sufficient to astonish intrepidity itself, and to make the history of the liberating expedition of Peru eternal." "This glory," he added, "was reserved for the Liberating Army, whose efforts have snatched the victims of tyranny from its hands." Thus impudently did he arrogate to himself a share, at any rate, in the initiation of a project which Lord Cochrane, knowing that he would oppose it, had purposely kept secret from him, and assign the whole merit of its completion to the army which his vacillation and incompetence were holding in unwelcome inactivity.

Lord Cochrane was too much accustomed to personal injustice, however, to be very greatly troubled by that fresh indignity. It was a far heavier trouble to him that his first triumph was not allowed to be supplemented by prompt completion of the work on which, and not on any individual aggrandisement, his heart was set—the establishment of Peruvian as well as Chilian freedom.

San Martin, having done nothing hitherto but allow his army to waste its strength and squander its resources, first at Pisco and afterwards at Ancon, now fixed upon Huacha as another loitering-place. Thither Lord Cochrane had to convey it, before he was permitted to resume the blockade of Callao. This blockade lasted, though not all the while under his personal direction, for eight months.

"Several attempts were now made," said Lord Cochrane, with reference to the first few weeks of the blockade, "to entice the remaining Spanish naval force from their shelter under the batteries by placing the Esmeralda apparently within reach, and the flagship herself in situations of some danger. One day I carried her through an intricate strait called the Boqueron, in which nothing beyond a fifty-ton schooner was ever seen. The Spaniards, expecting every moment to see the ship strike, manned their gunboats, ready to attack as soon as she was aground; of which there was little danger, for we had found, and buoyed off with small bits of wood invisible to the enemy, a channel through which a vessel could pass without much difficulty. At another time, the Esmeralda being in a more than usually tempting position, the Spanish gunboats ventured out in the hope of recapturing her, and for an hour maintained a smart fire; but on seeing the O'Higgins manoeuvring to cut them off, they precipitately retreated."

In ways like those the Spaniards were locked in, and harassed, in Callao Bay. Good result came in the steady weakening of the Spanish cause. On the 3rd of December, six hundred and fifty soldiers deserted to the Chilian army. On the 8th they were followed by forty officers; and after that hardly a day passed without some important defections to the patriot force.'

Unfortunately, however, there was weakness also among the patriots. San Martin, idle himself, determined to profit by the advantages, direct and indirect, which Lord Cochrane's prowess had secured and was securing. It began to be no secret that, as soon as Peru was freed from the Spanish yoke, he proposed to subject it to a military despotism of his own. This being resented by Lord Cochrane, who on other grounds could have little sympathy or respect for his associate, coolness arose between the leaders. Lord Cochrane, anxious to do some more important work, if only a few troops might be allowed to co-operate with his sailors, was forced to share some of San Martin's inactivity. In March, 1821, he offered, if two thousand soldiers were assigned to him, to capture Lima; and when this offer was rejected, he declared himself willing to undertake the work with half the number of men. With difficulty he at last obtained a force of six hundred; and by them and the fleet nearly all the subsequent fighting in Peru was done. Lord Cochrane did not venture upon a direct assault on the capital with so small an army; but he used it vigorously from point to point on the coast, between Callao and Arica, and thus compelled the capitulation of Lima on the 6th of July.

Again, as heretofore, he was thanked in the first moment of triumph, to be slighted at leisure. Lord Cochrane, on entering the city, was welcomed as the great deliverer of Peru: the medals distributed on the 28th of July—the day on which Peru's independence was proclaimed—testified that the honour was due to General San Martin and his Liberating Army. That, however, was only part of a policy long before devised. "It is now became evident to me," said Lord Cochrane, "that the army had been kept inert for the purpose of preserving it entire to further the ambitious views of the General, and that, with the whole force now at Lima, the inhabitants were completely at the mercy of their pretended liberator, but in reality their conqueror."

With that policy, however much he reprobated it, Lord Cochrane wisely judged that it was not for him to quarrel. "As the existence of this self-constituted authority," he said, "was no less at variance with the institutions of the Chilian Republic than with its solemn promises to the Peruvians, I hoisted my flag on board the O'Higgins, determined to adhere solely to the interests of Chili; but not interfering in any way with General San Martin's proceedings till they interfered with me in my capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Chilian navy." He was not, therefore, in Lima on the 3rd of August, when San Martin issued a proclamation declaring himself Protector of Peru, and appointing three of his creatures as his Ministers of State. Of the way in which he became acquainted of this violent and lawless measure, a precise description has been given by an eye-witness, Mr. W.B. Stevenson.

"On the following morning, the 4th of August," he says, "Lord Cochrane, uninformed of the change which had taken place in the title of San Martin, visited the palace, and began to beg the General-in-Chief to propose some means for the payment of the seamen who had served their time and fulfilled their contract. To this San Martin answered that 'he would never pay the Chilian squadron unless it was sold to Peru, and then the payment should be considered part of the purchase-money.' Lord Cochrane replied that 'by such a transaction the squadron of Chili would be transferred to Peru by merely paying what was due to the officers and crews for services done to that State.' San Martin knit his brows and, turning to his ministers, Garcia and Monteagudo, ordered them to retire; to which his lordship objected, stating that, 'as he was not master of the Spanish language, he wished them to remain as interpreters, being fearful that some expression, not rightly understood, might be considered offensive.' San Martin now turned round to the Admiral and said, 'Are you aware, my lord, that I am Protector of Peru?' 'No,' said his lordship. 'I ordered my secretaries to inform you of it,' returned San Martin. 'That is now unnecessary, for you have personally informed me,' said his lordship: 'I hope that the friendship which has existed between General San Martin and myself will continue to exist between the Protector of Peru and myself.' San Martin then, rubbing his hands, said, 'I have only to say that I am Protector of Peru.' The manner in which this last sentence was expressed roused the Admiral, who, advancing, said, 'Then it becomes me, as senior officer of Chili, and consequently the representative of the nation, to request the fulfilment of all the promises made to Chili and the squadron; but first, and principally, the squadron.' San Martin returned, 'Chili! Chili! I will never pay a single real to Chili! As to the squadron, you may take it where you please, and go where you choose. A couple of schooners are quite enough for me.' On hearing this Garcia left the room, and Monteagudo walked to the balcony. San Martin paced the room for a short time, and, turning to his lordship, said, 'Forget, my lord, what is past.' The Admiral replied, 'I will when I can,' and immediately left the palace.[A] "One thing has been omitted in the preceding narrative," said Lord Cochrane. "General San Martin, following me to the staircase, had the temerity to propose to me to follow his example—namely, to break faith with the Chilian Government, to which we had both sworn, to abandon the squadron to his interests, and to accept the higher grade of First Admiral of Peru. I need scarcely say that a proposition so dishonourable was declined; when, in a tone of irritation, he declared that 'he would neither give the seamen their arrears of pay nor the gratuity he had promised.'"

[Footnote A: W.B. Stevenson, "Twenty Years' Residence in South America." 1825.]

Lord Cochrane lost no time in returning to his flagship in Callao Roads. Thence, however, on the 7th of August, he wrote a letter to San Martin, couched in terms as temperate and persuasive as he could bring himself to use. "My dear General," he there said, "I address you for the last time under your late designation, being aware that the liberty I may take as a friend might not be deemed decorous to you under the title of Protector, for I shall not, with a gentleman of your understanding, take into account, as a motive for abstaining to speak truth, any chance of your resentment. Nay, were I certain that such would be the effect of this letter, I would nevertheless perform such an act of friendship, in repayment of the support you gave me at a time when the basest plots were laid for my dismissal from the Chilian service. Permit me to give you the experience of eleven years, during which I sat in the first senate in the world, and to say what I anticipate on the one hand, and what I fear on the other—nay, what I foresee. You have it in your power to be the Napoleon of South America; but you have also the power to choose your course, and if the first steps are false, the eminence on which you stand will, as though from the brink of a precipice, make your fall the more heavy and the more certain. The real strength of government is public opinion. What would the world say, were the Protector of Peru, as his first act, to cancel the bonds of San Martin, even though gratitude may be a private and not a public virtue? What would they say, were the Protector to refuse to pay the expense of that expedition which placed him in his present elevated situation? What would they say, were it promulgated to the world that he intended not even to remunerate those employed in the navy which contributed to his success?" Much more to the same effect Lord Cochrane wrote, urging honesty upon San Martin as the only path by which he could win for himself a permanent success, and making a special claim upon his honesty in the interests of the seamen and naval officers, to whom neither pay nor prize-money had been given since their departure from Chili nearly a year before.

It was all in vain. San Martin wrote, on the 9th of August, a letter making professions of virtue and acknowledging much personal indebtedness to Lord Cochrane and the fleet, but evading the whole question at issue. "I am disposed," he said, "to recompense valour displayed in the cause of the country. But you know, my lord, that the wages of the crews do not come under these circumstances, and that I, never having engaged to pay the amount, am not obliged to do so. That debt is due from Chili, whose Government engaged the seamen."

Lord Cochrane knew that Chili would decline to pay for work that, if intended to be done in its interests, had been perverted from that intention; and his crews, also knowing it, became reasonably mutinous. After much further correspondence—in which San Martin suggested as his only remedy that Lord Cochrane should accept the dishonourable proposal made to him, and, becoming himself First Admiral of Peru, should induce the fleet to join in the same rebellion against Chili to which the army had been brought by its general, and in which Captains Guise and Spry, always evil-minded, had already joined—Lord Cochrane adopted a bold but altogether justifiable manoeuvre. A large quantity of treasure, seized from the Spaniards, having been deposited by San Martin at Ancon, he sailed thither, in the middle of September, and quietly took possession of it. So much as lawful owners could be found for was given up to them. With the residue, amounting to 285,000 dollars, Lord Cochrane paid off the year's arrears to every officer and man in his employ, taking nothing for himself, but reserving the small surplus for the pressing exigencies and re-equipment of the squadron.

It is unnecessary to detail the angry correspondence that arose out of that rough act of justice. Before the money was distributed, treacherous offers to restore it and enter into rebellious league with San Martin were made to Lord Cochrane; and with these were alternated mock-virtuous complaints and bombastic threats. Both bribes and threats were treated by him with equal contempt.

"After a lapse of nearly forty years' anxious consideration," he wrote in 1858, "I cannot reproach myself with having done any wrong in the seizure of the money of the Protectorial Government. General San Martin and myself had been in our respective departments deputed to liberate Peru from Spain, and to give to the Peruvians the same free institutions which Chili herself enjoyed. The first part of our object had been fully effected by the achievements and vigilance of the squadron; the second part was frustrated by General San Martin arrogating to himself despotic power, which set at naught the wishes and voice of the people. As 'my fortune in common with his own' was only to be secured by acquiescence in the wrong he had done to Chili by casting off his allegiance to her, and by upholding him in the still greater wrong he was inflicting on Peru, I did not choose to sacrifice my self-esteem and professional character by lending myself as an instrument to purposes so unworthy. I did all in my power to warn General San Martin of the consequences of ambition so ill-directed, but the warning was neglected, if not despised. Chili trusted to him to defray the expenses of the squadron, when its objects, as laid down by the Supreme Director, should be accomplished; but, in place of fulfilling the obligation, he permitted the squadron to starve, its crews to go in rags, and the ships to be in perpetual danger for want of the proper equipment which Chili could not afford to give them when they sailed from Valparaiso. The pretence for this neglect was want of means, though, at the same time, money to a vast amount was sent away from the capital to Ancon. Seeing that no intention existed on the part of the Protector's Government to do justice to the Chilian squadron, whilst every effort was made to excite discontent among the officers and men with the purpose of procuring their transfer to Peru, I seized the public money, satisfied the men, and saved the navy to the Chilian Republic, which afterwards warmly thanked me for what I had done. Despite the obloquy cast upon me by the Protector's Government, there was nothing wrong in the course I pursued, if only for the reason that, if the Chilian squadron was to be preserved, it was impossible for me to have done otherwise. Years of reflection have only produced the conviction that, were I again placed in similar circumstances, I should adopt precisely the same course."

In spite of his treachery to the Chilian Government, General San Martin professed to retain his functions as Commander-in-Chief of the Chilian liberating expedition to Peru; and, accordingly, when he found it useless to make further efforts, by bribes or threats, to seduce Lord Cochrane from his allegiance, he ordered him to return at once to Valparaiso. This order Lord Cochrane refused to obey, seeing that the work entrusted to him—the entire destruction of the Spanish squadron in the Pacific—had not yet been completed.

He determined to complete that work, first going to Guayaquil to repair and refit his ships, which San Martin would not allow him to do in any Peruvian port. He was thus employed during six weeks following the 18th of October, 1821.

On his departure, a complimentary address from the townsmen afforded him an opportunity of offering some good advice on a matter in which his long and intelligent political experience showed him that they were especially at fault. The inhabitants of Guayaquil, like many other young communities, sought to increase their revenues and strengthen their independence by violent restrictions upon foreign commerce and arbitrary support of native monopolists. Lord Cochrane eloquently propounded to them the doctrine of free trade. "Let your public press," he said, "declare the consequences of monopoly, and affix your names to the defence of your enlightened system. Let it show, if your province contains eighty thousand inhabitants, and if eighty of these are privileged merchants according to the old system, that nine hundred and ninety-nine persons out of a thousand must suffer because their cotton, coffee, tobacco, timber, and other productions, must come into the hands of the monopolist, as the only purchaser of what they have to sell, and the only seller of what they must necessarily buy; the effect being that he will buy at the lowest possible rate and sell at the dearest, so that not only are the nine hundred and ninety-nine injured, but the lands will remain waste, the manufactories without workmen, and the people will be lazy and poor for want of a stimulus, it being a law of nature that no man will labour solely for the gain of another. Tell the monopolist that the true method of acquiring general riches, political power, and even his own private advantage, is to sell his country's produce as high, and foreign goods as low, as possible, and that public competition can alone accomplish this. Let foreign merchants, who bring capital, and those who practise any art or handicraft, be permitted to settle freely. Thus a competition will be formed, from which all must reap advantage. Then will land and fixed property increase in value. The magazines, instead of being the receptacles of filth and crime, will be full of the richest foreign and domestic productions; and all will be energy and activity, because the reward will be in proportion to the labour. Your river will be filled with ships, and the monopolist degraded and shamed. You will bless the day in which Omnipotence permitted to be rent asunder the veil of obscurity, under which the despotism of Spain, the abominable tyranny of the Inquisition, and the want of liberty of the press, so long hid the truth from your sight. Let your customs' duties be moderate, in order to promote the greatest possible consumption of foreign and domestic goods; then smuggling will cease and the returns to the treasury increase. Let every man do as he pleases as regards his own property, views, and interests; because each individual will watch over his own with more zeal than senates, ministers, or kings. By your enlarged views set an example to the New World; and thus, as Guayaquil is, from its situation, the central republic, it will become the centre of the agriculture, commerce, and riches of the Pacific."

Lord Cochrane left Guayaquil on the 3rd of December, and cruised northwards in search of the Prueba and the Venganza, the only two remaining Spanish frigates, which had made their escape from Callao and gone in the direction of Mexico. He sailed along the Colombian and Mexican coasts as far as Acapulco, where he called on the 29th of January, 1822, without finding the objects of his search. He there learned, on the 2nd of February, from an in-coming merchantman, that the frigates had eluded him and were now somewhere to the southwards. Upon that he at once retraced his course, and, in spite of a storm which nearly wrecked his two best ships, one of them being the captured Esmeralda, now christened the Valdivia, was at Guayaquil again on the 13th of March. There, as he expected, from information received on the passage, he found the Venganza. Both the frigates had been compelled, by want of provisions, to run the risk of halting at Guayaquil, whither also an envoy from San Martin had arrived, instructed to tempt the Guayaquilians into friendship with Peru and jealousy of Chili. On the appearance of the Spanish frigates, he had persuaded their captains, as the only means of averting the certain ruin that Lord Cochrane was planning for them, quietly to surrender to the Peruvian Government. In this way Chili was cheated of its prizes, although Lord Cochrane's main object, the entire overthrow of the Spanish war shipping in the Pacific, was accomplished without further use of powder and shot. The Prueba had been sent to Callao, and the Venganza was now being refitted at Guayaquil.

Lord Cochrane had now done all that it was possible for him to do in fulfilment of the naval mission on which he had quitted Chili a year and a half before. Proceeding southward, he anchored in Callao Roads from the 25th of April till the 10th of May. San Martin's Government, fearing punishment for their misdeeds, prepared to defend Callao. Lord Cochrane, however, wrote to say that he had no intention of making war upon the Peruvians; that all he asked was adequate payment for the services rendered to them by his officers and seamen. In the same letter he denounced the new treachery that had been shown with reference to the Venganza and the Prueba.

The answer to that letter was a visit from San Martin's chief minister, who begged Lord Cochrane to recall it, and impudently repeated the old offers of service under the Peruvian Government, adding that San Martin had written a private letter to the same effect. "Tell the Protector from me," said Lord Cochrane, "that if, after the conduct he has pursued, he had sent me a private letter, it would certainly have been returned unanswered. You may also tell him that it is not my wish to injure him, that I neither fear him nor hate him, but that I disapprove of his conduct."

Lord Cochrane's brief stay off Callao sufficed to convince him that, though the people of Peru were being for the time subjected to a tyranny almost equal to that practised by Spain, no one was likely to be long in fear of San Martin, as his treacheries and his vices were already bringing upon him well-deserved disgrace and punishment. To that purport Lord Cochrane wrote to O'Higgins on the 2nd of May. "As the attached and sincere friend of your excellency," he said, "I hope you will take into your serious consideration the propriety of at once fixing the Chilian Government upon a base not to be shaken by the fall of the present tyranny in Peru, of which there are not only indications, but the result is inevitable—unless, indeed, the mischievous counsels of vain and mercenary men can suffice to prop up a fabric of the most barbarous political architecture, serving as a screen from whence to dart their weapons against the heart of liberty. Thank God, my hands are free from the stain of labouring in any such work; and having finished all you gave me to do, I may now rest till you shall command my further endeavours for the honour and security of my adopted land."




Lord Cochrane returned to Valparaiso on the 3rd of June, 1822, having been absent more than twenty months. An enthusiastic welcome awaited him. Medals were struck in his honour, and in various ephemeral ways the public gratitude was expressed.

It was, however, only ephemeral. There was no substantial recognition of his great services. His men were left unpaid, and he himself was subjected to further indignities of the sort already described. It is not necessary here to give any detailed account of them, or to enter into a particular rehearsal of his efforts during the next six months to continue his beneficial services to Chili. He had done the great service for which he had been invited to South America. In the course of about three years he had scoured the Pacific of the Spanish ships, which had offered an obstacle too serious for the patriots to overcome by any force or wisdom of their own. He had made it possible for them to assert their independence of a foreign yoke, and, if their patriotism had been genuine enough, to work out internal reforms, by which the sometime colonies of Spain in South America might have been able to vie in greatness with the sometime colonies of England in the northern continent. The benefits which he conferred especially upon Chili were shared by all the liberated communities along the whole Pacific coastline up to Mexico. But all were alike ungrateful, except in fitful words and in sentiments that prompted to no action.

Shortly after his return to Chili, Lord Cochrane went to live upon the estates that had been conferred upon him. Soon, however, he was forced to go back to Valparaiso, there to look after the interests of the officers and crews who had served him and Chili during the previous fighting time. His earnest arguments on their behalf were not heeded. The poor fellows were left to starve and be perished by the cold of a South American winter, against which the pitiful rags in which they were clothed afforded no protection. And before long fresh incidents arose which made it impossible for him to persevere in fighting their battle.

General San Martin, having run his course of petty tyranny in Peru, was soon forced to resign his protectorate and seek safety in Chili. He reached Valparaiso on the 12th of October, and then Lord Cochrane, who had long before seen good reasons for suspecting it, was convinced that Zenteno and many other influential men in Chili were in league with him. He claimed that San Martin should be tried by court-martial for his treasons, known to all the world. Instead of that San Martin was loaded with honours, and fresh indignities were heaped upon his chief accuser. This monstrous action of the ministers led to a revolution, which, if Lord Cochrane had stayed to the end, might have proved much to his advantage. But the revolution, headed by General Freire, an honest man, had for its object the overthrow of O'Higgins, also an honest man, though too weak to withstand the influences brought to bear upon him by the bad men by whom he was surrounded. Lord Cochrane refused Freire's offers to join in opposition to O'Higgins, always, as far as his small powers permitted, his good friend. He preferred to abandon Chili, or rather to allow it to abandon one who had done for it so much and had received so little in return. "The difficulties," he said, in a dignified letter addressed to General O'Higgins, still nominally the Supreme Director, in which he virtually resigned his appointment as Vice-Admiral of the Republic, "the difficulties which I have experienced in accomplishing the naval enterprises successfully achieved during the period of my command as Admiral of Chili have not been mastered without responsibility such as I would scarcely again undertake, not because I would hesitate to make any personal sacrifice in a cause of so much interest, but because even these favourable results have led to the total alienation of the sympathies of meritorious officers—whose co-operation was indispensable—in consequence of the conduct of the Government. That which has made most impression on their minds has been, not the privations they have suffered, nor the withholding of their pay and other dues, but the absence of any public acknowledgment by the Government of the honours and distinctions promised for their fidelity and constancy to Chili; especially at a time when no temptation was withheld that could induce them to abandon the cause of Chili for the service of the Protector of Peru. Ever since that time, though there was no want of means or knowledge of facts on the part of the Chilian Government, it has submitted itself to the influence of the agents of an individual whose power, having ceased in Peru, has been again resumed in Chili. The effect of this on me is so keen that I cannot trust myself in words to express my personal feelings. Whatever I have recommended or asked for the good of the naval service has been scouted or denied, though acquiescence would have placed Chili in the first rank of maritime states in this quarter of the globe. My requisitions and suggestions were founded on the practice of the first naval service in the world—that of England. They have, however, met with no consideration, as though their object had been directed to my own personal benefit. Until now I have never eaten the bread of idleness. I cannot reconcile to my mind a state of inactivity which might even now impose upon the Chilian Republic an annual pension for past services; especially as an Admiral of Peru is actually in command of a portion of the Chilian squadron, whilst other vessels are sent to sea without the orders under which they act being communicated to me, and are despatched through the instrumentality of the governor of Valparaiso [Zenteno]. I mention these circumstances incidentally as having confirmed me in the resolution to withdraw myself from Chili for a time, asking nothing for myself during my absence; whilst, as regards the sums owing to me, I forbear to press for their payment till the Government shall be more freed from its difficulties. I have complied with all that my public duty demanded, and, if I have not been able to accomplish more, the deficiency has arisen from circumstances beyond my control. At any rate, having the world still before me, I hope to prove that it is not owing to me. I have received proposals from Mexico, from Brazil, and from a European state, but have not as yet accepted any of these offers. Nevertheless, the habits of my life do not permit me to refuse my services to those labouring under oppression, as Chili was before the annihilation of the Spanish naval force in the Pacific. In this I am prepared to justify whatever course I may pursue. In thus taking leave of Chili, I do so with sentiments of deep regret that I have not been suffered to be more useful to the cause of liberty, and that I am compelled to separate myself from individuals with whom I hoped to live for a long period, without violating such sentiments of honour as, were they broken, would render me odious to myself and despicable in their eyes."

That letter sufficiently explains the reasons which induced Lord Cochrane to resign his Chilian command. He had, as he said, received invitations to enter the service of Brazil, of Mexico, and of Greece. The Mexican offer he declined at once, as acceptance of it would involve little of the active work in fighting which, if for a good cause, was always attractive to him. Assistance of the Greeks who, a year and a half before, had begun to throw off their long servitude to Turkey, and who were now fighting desperately for their freedom, was an enterprise on which he would gladly have embarked, but the invitation from Brazil was more pressing, and he therefore conditionally accepted it. "The war in the Pacific," he said, on the 29th of November, in answer to two letters written on behalf of the newly-elected Emperor of Brazil, "having been happily terminated by the total destruction of the Spanish naval force, I am, of course, free for the crusade of liberty in any other quarter of the globe. I confess, however, that I have not hitherto directed my attention to the Brazils; considering that the struggle for the liberties of Greece, the most oppressed of modern states, afforded the fairest opportunity for enterprise and exertion. I have to-day tendered my ultimate resignation to the Government of Chili, and am not at this moment aware that any material delay will be necessary previous to my setting off, by way of Cape Horn, for Rio de Janeiro; it being, in the meantime, understood that I hold myself free to decline, as well as entitled to accept, the offer which has, through you, been made to me by his Imperial Majesty. I only mention this from a desire to preserve a consistency of character, should the Government (which I by no means anticipate) differ so widely in its nature from those which I have been in the habit of supporting as to render the proposed situation repugnant to my principles, and so justly expose me to suspicion, and render me unworthy the confidence of his Majesty and the nation."

In accordance with the terms of that letter, Lord Cochrane wrote as we have seen to the Supreme Director of Chili, not completely resigning his employment, but proposing to absent himself for an indefinite period. His proposal was at once accepted by the Chilian Government, to whom his honesty and his popularity with the people made him particularly obnoxious. He thereupon made prompt arrangements for his departure. He quitted Valparaiso on the 18th of January, 1823, in a vessel chartered for his own use and that of several European officers and seamen, who, like him, were tired of Chilian ingratitude, and who begged to be employed under him wherever he might serve.

Of the subsequent occurrences in the Western States, for which he had done so much, and tried to do so much more than was permitted, it is enough to say that Peru, sadly abused by San Martin, and almost won back to Spain, was rescued by the valour and wisdom of Bolivar, and that Chili, destined to much future trouble through the bad action of its false patriots, was temporarily benefited by the successful revolution which placed General Freire in the Supreme Directorship.

Lord Cochrane had not been absent three months before a new Minister of Marine wrote to inform him of Freire's accession and to solicit his return. From this, however, he excused himself, on the grounds that he had now entered into engagements with Brazil which he was bound to fulfil, and that his past treatment by the Chilian Government discouraged him from renewal of relations which had been so full of annoyance to him. "On my quitting Chili," he said in his reply, "there was no looking to the past without regret, nor to the future without despair, for I had learned by experience what were the views and motives which guided the counsels of the State. Believe me that nothing but a thorough conviction that it was impracticable to render the good people of Chili any further service under existing circumstances, or to live in tranquillity under such a system, could have induced me to remove myself from a country which I had vainly hoped would have afforded me that tranquil asylum which, after the anxieties I had suffered, I felt needful to my repose. My inclinations, too, were decidedly in favour of a residence in Chili, from a feeling of the congeniality which subsisted between my own habits and the manners and customs of the people, those few only excepted who were corrupted by contiguity with the court, or debased in their minds and practices by that species of Spanish colonial education which inculcates duplicity as the chief qualification of statesmen in all their dealings, both with individuals and the public. I now speak more particularly of the persons lately in power, excepting, however, the Supreme Director, whom I believe to have been the dupe of their deceit. Point out to me one engagement that has been honourably fulfilled, one military enterprise of which the professed object has not been perverted, or one solemn pledge that has not been forfeited. Look at my representations on the necessities of the navy, and see how they were relieved. Look at my memorial, proposing to establish a nursery for seamen by encouraging the coasting trade, and compare its principles with the code of Rodriguez, which annihilated both. You will see in this, as in all other cases, that whatever I recommended, in regard to the promotion of the good of the marine, was set at nought, or opposed by measures directly the reverse. Look to the orders which I received, and see whether I had more liberty of action than a schoolboy in the execution of his task. Sir, that which I suffered from anxiety of mind whilst in the Chilian service, I will never again endure for any consideration. To organize new crews, to navigate ships destitute of sails, cordage, provisions, and stores, to secure them in port without anchors and cables, except so far as I could supply these essentials by accidental means, were difficulties sufficiently harassing; but to live amongst officers and men discontented and mutinous on account of arrears of pay and other numerous privations, to be compelled to incur the responsibility of seizing by force from Peru funds for their payment, in order to prevent worse consequences to Chili, and then to be exposed to the reproach of one party for such seizure, and the suspicions of another that the sums were not duly applied, are all circumstances so disagreeable and so disgusting that, until I have certain proof that the present ministers are disposed to act in another manner, I cannot possibly consent to renew my services where, under such circumstances, they would be wholly unavailing to the true interests of the people."

Writing thus to the Minister of Marine, Lord Cochrane wrote also at the same time to General Freire, who, as has been said, asked him to join his revolutionary movement. "It would give me great pleasure, my respected friend, to learn that the change which has been effected in the government of Chili proves alike conducive to your happiness and to the interests of the State. For my own part, like yourself, I have suffered so long and so much that I could not bear the neglect and double-dealing of those in power any longer, but adopted other means of freeing myself from an unpleasant situation. Not being under those imperious obligations which, as a native Chilian, rendered it incumbent on you to rescue your country from the mischiefs with which it was assailed, I could not accept your offer. My heart was with you in the measures you adopted for their removal; and my hand was only restrained by a conviction that my interference, as a foreigner, in the internal affairs of the State would not only have been improper in itself, but would have tended to shake that confidence in my undeviating rectitude which it was my ambition that the people of Chili should ever justly entertain. Permit me to add my opinion that, whoever may possess the supreme authority in Chili, until after the present generation, educated as it has been under the Spanish colonial yoke, shall have passed away, will have to contend with so much error and so many prejudices as to be disappointed in his utmost endeavours to pursue steadily the course best calculated to promote the freedom and happiness of the people. I admire the middle and lower classes of Chili, but I have ever found the senate, the ministers, and the convention actuated by the narrowest policy, which led them to adopt the worst measures. It is my earnest wish that you may find better men to co-operate with you. If so, you may be fortunate and may succeed in what you have most at heart, the promotion of your country's good."

For the real welfare of Chili Lord Cochrane was always eager; but in the treatment which he himself experienced he had strong proof, both during his four years' active service under the republic and in all after times, of the difficulties in the way of its advancement. Not only was he subjected to the contumely and neglect of which he complained in the letters just quoted from: he was also directly mulcted to a very large extent in the scanty recompense for his services to which he was legally entitled, and indirectly injured to a yet larger extent. "I was compelled to quit Chili," he wrote at a later date, "without any of the emoluments due to my position as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, or any share of the sums belonging to myself and the officers and seamen; which sums, on the faith of repayment, had, at my solicitation, been appropriated to the repairs and maintenance of the squadron generally, but more especially at Guayaquil and Acapulco, when in pursuit of the Prueba and the Venganza. Neither was any compensation made for the value of stores captured and collected by the squadron, whereby its efficiency was chiefly maintained during the whole period of the Peruvian blockade. The Supreme Director of Chili, recognizing the justice of payment being made by the Peruvians for at least the value of the Esmeralda, the capture of which inflicted the death-blow on Spanish power, sent me a bill on the Peruvian Government for 120,000 dollars, which was dishonoured, and has never since been paid by any succeeding Government. Even the 40,000 dollars stipulated by the authorities at Guayaquil as the penalty for giving up the Venganza was never liquidated. No compensation for the severe wounds received during the capture of the Esmeralda was either offered or received. Shortly after my departure for Brazil, the Government forcibly and indefensibly resumed the estate at Rio Clara, which had been awarded to me and my family in perpetuity, as a remuneration for the capture of Valdivia, and my bailiff, who had been left upon it for its management and direction, was summarily ejected. Unhappily, this ingratitude for services rendered was the least misfortune which my devotedness to Chili brought upon me. On my return to England in 1825, after the termination of my services in Brazil, I found myself involved in litigation on account of the seizure of neutral vessels by authority of the then unacknowledged Government of Chili. These litigations cost me, directly, upwards of 14,000£, and, indirectly, more than double that amount. Thus, in place of receiving anything for my efforts in the cause of Chilian and Peruvian independence, I was a loser of upwards of 25,000£, this being more than double the whole amount I had received as pay whilst in command of the Chilian squadron."




In 1808, King John VI. of Portugal, driven by Buonaparte from his European dominions, took refuge in his great colonial possession of Brazil, and the result of his emigration was considerable enlargement of the liberties of the Brazilians. Thereby the immense Portuguese colony in South America was prevented from following in the revolutionary steps of the numerous Spanish provinces adjoining it. In Brazil, however, during the ensuing years party faction produced nearly as much turmoil as attended the struggle for independence in Chili and the other Spanish, colonies. Those Brazilians who were still intimately connected with the inhabitants of the mother country rallied under Portuguese leaders, and did their utmost to maintain the Portuguese supremacy over the colony. Quite as many, on the other hand, were eager to take advantage of the new state of things as a means of consolidating the freedom of Brazil. Plots and counterplots, broils and insurrections, lasted, almost without intermission, until 1821, when King John returned to Portugal, leaving his son, Don Pedro, as lieutenant and regent, to cope with yet greater difficulties. The Cortes of Portugal, able to get back their king, desired also to bring back Brazil to all its former servitude. So great was the opposition thus provoked that the native or true Brazilian party induced Don Pedro to throw off allegiance to his father. In October, 1822, the independence of the colony was publicly declared, and on the 1st of December Don Pedro assumed the title of Emperor of Brazil.

Only the southern part of Brazil, however, acknowledged his authority. The northern provinces, including Bahia, Maranham, and Para, were ruled by the Portuguese faction and held by Portuguese troops. A formidable fleet, moreover, swept the seas, and the independent provinces were threatened with speedy subjection to the sway of Portugal.

That was the state of affairs in the young empire of Brazil during the months in which Lord Cochrane, having destroyed the Spanish fleet in the Pacific, was being subjected to the worst ingratitude of his Chilian employers. Don Pedro and his advisers, hearing of this, lost no time in inviting him to enter the service of the Brazilian nation. Equal rank and position to those held by him under Chili were offered to him. "Abandonnez vous, milord," wrote the official who conveyed the Emperor's message, on the 4th of November, 1822, "à la reconnaisance Brésilienne, à la munificence du Prince, à la probité sans tache de l'actuel Gouvernement; on vous fera justice; on ne rabaissera d'un seul point la haute considération, rang, grade, caractère, et avantages qui vous sont dûs." In yet stronger terms a second letter was written soon afterwards. "Venez, milord; l'honneur vous invite; la gloire vous appelle. Venez donner à nos armes navales cet ordre merveilleux et discipline incomparable de puissante Albion."

Lord Cochrane, as we have seen, accepted this invitation; not, however, without some misgivings, which, in the end, were fully justified. Having quitted Valparaiso on the 18th of January, 1823, he arrived at Rio de Janeiro on the 13th of March. He had not been there a week before he discovered that, while all classes were anxious to secure his aid, the Emperor Pedro I. stood almost alone in the desire to treat him honourably and in a way worthy of his character and reputation. Vague promises were made to him; but, when a statement of his position was asked for in writing, very different terms were employed. He was only to have the rank of a subordinate admiral, with pay of less amount than the Chilian pension that he had resigned. His employment was to be temporary and informal, subjecting him to the chance of dismissal at any moment. When, however, resenting these trickeries, he announced his intention of proceeding at once to Europe, and accepting the Greek service offered to him, a different tone was adopted. Under the Emperor's signature he was appointed, on the 21st of March, First Admiral of the National and Imperial Navy, with emoluments equal to those he had received from Chili.

He did not then know, though he was soon to learn it by hard experience, how strong, even at the imperial court, was the influence of the Portuguese party, and by what meanness and trickery it sought to maintain and augment that influence. "Where the Portuguese party was really to blame," he afterwards said, "was in this,—that, seeing disorder everywhere more or less prevalent, they strained every nerve to increase it, hoping to paralyze further attempts at independence by exposing whole provinces to the evils of anarchy and confusion. Their loyalty also partook more of self-interest than of attachment to the supremacy of Portugal; for the commercial classes, which formed the real strength of the Portuguese faction, hoped, by preserving the authority of the mother country in her distant provinces, to obtain as their reward the revival of old trade monopolies which, twelve years before, had been thrown open, enabling the English traders—whom they cordially hated—to supersede them in their own markets. Being a citizen of the rival nation, their aversion to me personally was undisguised—the more so, perhaps, that they believed me capable of achieving at Bahia, whither the squadron was destined, that irreparable injury to their own cause which the imperial troops had been unable to effect. Had I, at the time, been aware of the influence and latent power of the Portuguese party in the empire, nothing would have induced me to accept the command of the Brazilian navy; for to contend with faction is more dangerous than to engage an enemy, and a contest of intrigue is foreign to my nature and inclination."

Having entered the Brazilian service, however, Lord Cochrane applied himself to his work with characteristic energy and success. He hoisted his flag on board the Pedro Primiero on the 21st of March, and put to sea on the 3rd of April. His squadron consisted of the Pedro Primiero, a fine and well-appointed ship, rated rather too highly for seventy-four guns, commanded by Captain Crosbie; of the Piranga, a fine frigate, entrusted to Captain Jowett; of the Maria de Gloria, a showy but comparatively worthless clipper, mounting thirty-two small guns, under Captain Beaurepaire; of the Liberal, under Captain Garcaõ. He was accompanied by two old vessels, the Guarani and the Real, to be used as fireships. Two other ships of war, the Nitherohy, assigned to Captain Taylor, and the Carolina, were left behind to complete their equipment, and the first of these joined the squadron on its way to Bahia, which, being the nearest of the disaffected provinces, was the first to be subdued.

The coast of Bahia was reached on the 1st of May, and Lord Cochrane was arranging to blockade its capital and port, on the 4th, when the Portuguese fleet came out of the harbour. It comprised the Don Joaõ, of seventy-four guns; the Constitucaõ, of fifty; the Perola, of forty-four; the Princeza Real, of twenty-eight; the Regeneracaõ, the Dez de Fevereiro, the San Gaulter, the Principe de Brazil, and the Restauracaõ, of twenty-six each; the Calypso and the Activa, of twenty-two; the Audaz, of twenty; and the Canceicaõ, of eight; being one line-of-battle ship, five frigates, five corvettes, a brig, and a schooner. Lord Cochrane did not venture with his small and as yet untried force to attack the whole squadron, but he proceeded to cut off the four rearmost ships. This he did with the Pedro Primiero, but, to his disgust, the other vessels, heedless of his orders, failed to follow him. "Had the rest of the Brazilian squadron," he said, "come down in obedience to signals, the ships cut off might have been taken or dismantled, as with the flag-ship I could have kept the others at bay, and no doubt have crippled all in a position to render them assistance. To my astonishment, the signals were disregarded, and no efforts were made to second my operations." The Pedro Primiero, after fighting alone for some time, and during that time even doing but little mischief, by reason of the clumsy way in which her guns were handled, had to be withdrawn.

At that failure Lord Cochrane was reasonably chagrined. Worse than the fact that the Portuguese had escaped uninjured for this once, was the knowledge that he could not hope thoroughly to punish them without first effecting great reform in the materials at his disposal. On the 5th of May he wrote to the Government to complain of the miserable condition of the ships and crews provided for him by the Brazilian Government. "From the defective sailing and manning of the squadron," he said, "it seems to me that the Pedro Primiero is the only one that can assail an enemy's ship-of-war, or act in the face of a superior force so as not to compromise the interests of the empire and the character of the officers commanding. Even this ship, in common with the rest, is so ill-equipped as to be much less efficient than she otherwise would be. Our cartridges are all unfit for service, and I have been obliged to cut up every flag and ensign that could be spared to render them serviceable, so as to prevent the men's arms being blown off whilst working the guns. The guns are without locks. The bed of the mortar which I received on board this ship was crushed on the first fire, being entirely rotten. The fuses for the shells are formed of such wretched composition that it will not take fire with the discharge of the mortar. Even the powder is so bad that six pounds will not throw out shells more than a thousand yards. The marines understand neither gun exercise, the use of small arms, nor the sword, and yet have so high an opinion of themselves that they will not assist to wash the decks, or even to clean out their own berths, but sit and look on whilst these operations are being performed by seamen. I warned the Minister of Marine that every native of Portugal put on board the squadron, with the exception of officers of known character, would prove prejudicial to the expedition, and yesterday we had clear proof of the fact. The Portuguese stationed in the magazine actually withheld the powder whilst this ship was in the midst of the enemy, and I have since learnt that they did so from feelings of attachment to their own countrymen. I enclose two letters, one from the officer commanding the Real, whose crew were on the point of carrying that vessel into the enemy's squadron for the purpose of delivering her up. I have also reason to believe that the conduct of the Liberal yesterday in not bearing down upon the enemy, and not complying with the signal which I had made to break the line, was owing to her being manned by Portuguese. The Maria de Gloria also has a great number of Portuguese, which is the more to be regretted as otherwise her superior sailing, with the zeal and activity of her captain, would render her an effective vessel. To disclose to you the truth, it appears to me that one half of the squadron is necessary to watch over the other half. Assuredly this is a system which ought to be put an end to without delay."

Other indignant complaints of that sort, which need not here be repeated, were reasonably made by Lord Cochrane. The bad equipment of his squadron, both in men and in material, had hindered him, at starting, from achieving a brilliant success over the enemy, and though his subsequent achievements were of unsurpassed brilliance, he was to the end seriously hindered by the wilful and accidental mismanagement of his employers.

Lord Cochrane lost no time, however, in correcting by his own prudent action the evil effects of this mismanagement. Not choosing to run the risk of a second failure, and believing that two good ships would be more serviceable than any number of bad ones, he took his squadron to the Moro San Paulo, where he transferred all the best men and the most serviceable fittings to the flag-ship and the Maria de Gloria. There he left the other vessels to be improved as far as possible, directing that instruction should be given in seamanship to all the incompetent men who showed any promise of being made efficient, and that several small prizes which he had taken on his way from Rio de Janeiro should be turned into fireships for future use. With the two refitted ships he then went back to Bahia, to watch its whole coast and blockade the port.

The wisdom of this course was at once apparent. Several minor captures were made; the supplies of Bahia were cut off, and the enemy's squadron was locked in the harbour for three weeks. Lord Cochrane went to the Moro San Paulo on the 26th, leaving the Maria de Gloria to overlook the port, and then the Portuguese fleet ventured out for a few days. It dared not show fight, however, and was driven back by the flag-ship, which returned on the 2nd of June. "On the 11th of June," said Lord Cochrane, "information was received that the enemy was seriously thinking of evacuating the port before the fireships were completed. I therefore ordered the Maria de Gloria to water and re-victual for three months, so as to be in readiness for anything which might occur, as, in case the rumour proved correct, our operations might take a different turn to those previous intended. The Piranga was also directed to have everything in readiness for weighing immediately on the flag-ship appearing off the Moro and making signals to that effect. The whole squadron was at the same time ordered to re-victual, and to place its surplus articles in a large shed constructed of trees and branches felled in the neighbourhood of the Moro. Whilst the other ships were thus engaged, I determined to increase the panic of the enemy with the flag-ship alone. The position of their fleet was about nine miles up the bay, under shelter of fortifications, so that an attack by day would have been more perilous than prudent. Nevertheless, it appeared practicable to pay them a hostile visit on the first dark night, when, if we were unable to effect any serious mischief, it would at least be possible to ascertain their exact position, and to judge what could be accomplished when the fireships were brought to bear upon them.

"Accordingly," the narrative proceeds, "having during the day carefully taken bearings at the mouth of the river, on the night of the 12th of June, I decided on making the attempt, which might possibly result in the destruction of part of the enemy's fleet, in consequence of the confused manner in which the ships were anchored. As soon as it became dark we proceeded up the river; but, unfortunately, when we were within hail of the outermost ship, the wind failed, and, the tide soon after turning, our plan of attack was rendered abortive. Determined, however, to complete the reconnoisance, we threaded our way amongst the outermost vessels. In spite of the darkness, the presence of a strange ship under sail was discovered, and some beat to quarters, hailing to know what ship it was. The reply, 'An English vessel,' satisfied them, however, and so our investigation was not molested. The chief object thus accomplished, we succeeded in dropping out with the ebb-tide, now rapidly running, and were enabled to steady our course stern-foremost with the stream anchor adrag, whereby we reached our former position."

That exploit was more daring than Lord Cochrane's modest description would imply; and, though the bold hope that it might be possible for a single invading ship to conquer the whole Portuguese squadron in its moorings was not realized, the effect was all that could be desired. The Portuguese Admiral and his chief officers were at a ball in Bahia while Lord Cochrane was quietly sailing round and amongst their squadron, and the report of this achievement was brought to them in the midst of their festivities. "What!" exclaimed the Admiral, "Lord Cochrane's line-of-battle ship in the very midst of our fleet! Impossible! No large ship can have come up in the dark." When it was known that the thing had really been done, and that the construction of fireships at the Moro San Paulo was being rapidly proceeded with, the Portuguese authorities, both naval and military, considered that it would be no longer safe to remain in Bahia Harbour. They were seriously inconvenienced, moreover, by the success with which Lord Cochrane had blockaded the port and all its approaches. "The means of subsistence fail us, and we cannot secure the entrance of any provisions," said the Commander-in-Chief, in the proclamation intimating that the so-called defenders of the province were thinking of abandoning their post. This they did after a fortnight's consideration. On the 2nd of July the whole squadron of thirteen war-vessels and about seventy merchantmen and transports, filled with a large body of troops, evacuated the port.

That was a movement with which Lord Cochrane was well pleased. He had been in doubt as to the prudence of leading his small fleet into a desperate action in the harbour, by which the inexperience of his crews might ruin everything, and which might have to be followed by fighting on land. But now that the Portuguese, both soldiers and sailors, were in the open sea, he could give them chase without much risk, as, in the event of their turning round upon him with more valour than he gave them credit for, the worst that could happen would be his forced abandonment of the pursuit. The valour was not shown. No sooner were the Portuguese out of port, with their sails set for Maranham, where they hoped to join other ships and troops, and so augment their strength, than Lord Cochrane proceeded to follow them and dog their progress.

His scheme was a bold one, but as successful as it was bold. Attended first by the Maria de Gloria alone, and afterwards by the Carolina, the Nitherohy, and a small merchant brig, the Colonel Allen, in which he had placed a few guns, he pursued and harassed the cumbrous crowd of Portuguese warships, troop-ships, and trading vessels, about eighty in all, through fourteen days. The chase, indeed, was practically conducted by his flag-ship, the Pedro Primiero, alone. The other vessels were ordered to look out for any of the enemy's fleet that lagged behind or were borne away from the main body of the fugitives, either to the right hand or to the left. Of these there were plenty, and none were allowed to escape. The pursuers had easy work in prize-taking. "I have the honour to inform you," wrote Lord Cochrane in a concise despatch to the Brazilian Minister of Marine, on the 7th of July, "that half the enemy's army, their colours, cannon, ammunition, stores, and baggage have been taken. We are still in pursuit, and shall endeavour to intercept the remainder of the troops, and shall then look after the ships of war, which would have been my first object but that, in pursuing this course, the military would have escaped to occasion further hostilities against the Brazilian empire."

Most of his prizes and prisoners Lord Cochrane sent into Pernambuco, the port then nearest to him, and he despatched two officers to hold Bahia for Brazil. With his flag-ship he continued his pursuit of the enemy, losing them once during a fog, and, when, he found them, being prevented from doing all the mischief which he hoped, as a calm enabled them to keep close together and present a front too formidable for attack by a single assailant. The Portuguese, however, continued their flight as soon as the wind permitted. Lord Cochrane did not trouble them much during the day, but each night he swept down on them, like a hawk upon its prey, and harassed them with wonderful effect. They were chased past Fernando Island, past the Equator, and more than half way to Cape Verde. Then, on the 16th of July, Lord Cochrane, after a parting broadside, left them to make their way in peace to Lisbon, there to tell how, by one daring vessel, thirteen ships of war had been ignominiously driven home, accompanied by only thirteen out of the seventy vessels that had placed themselves under their protection.

Lord Cochrane would have continued the pursuit still farther, had not some of the troop-ships contrived to escape; and as he was anxious that these should not get into shelter at Maranham, or, if there, should not have time to recover their spirits, he deemed it best to hasten thither. He reached Maranham before them, and thus found it possible to carry through an excellent expedient which he had devised on the way.

Maranham, the wealthiest province of the old Brazilian colony, was best guarded by the Portuguese, and now served as the centre and stronghold of resistance to the authority of the new Emperor. Lord Cochrane's plan had for its object nothing less than the annexation of the whole province singlehanded and without a blow. With this intent, he entered the River Maranham, which served as a harbour to the port of the same name, on the 26th of July, with Portuguese colours flying from the mast of the Pedro Primiero. The authorities, deceived thereby, promptly sent a messenger with despatches and congratulations on the safe arrival of what was supposed to be a valuable reinforcement from Portugal. The messenger was soon undeceived, but Lord Cochrane at once made him the agent of a much more elaborate and altogether justifiable deception Announcing to him that the swift sailing of the Pedro Primiero had brought her first to Maranham, but that she was being followed by a formidable squadron, intended for the invasion of the province, he sent him back with letters to the same effect, addressed to the Portuguese commandant and to the local Junta of Maranham. "The naval and military forces under my command," he wrote to the former, "leave me no room to doubt the success of the enterprise in which I am about to engage, in order to free the province of Maranham from foreign domination, and to allow the people free choice of government. Of the flight of the Portuguese naval and military forces from Bahia you are aware. I have now to inform you of the capture of two-thirds of the transports and troops, with all their stores and ammunition. I am anxious not to let loose the imperial troops of Bahia upon Maranham, exasperated as they are at the injuries and cruelties exercised towards themselves and their countrymen, as well as by the plunder of the people and churches of Bahia. It is for you to decide whether the inhabitants of these countries shall be further exasperated by resistance, which appears to me unavailing, and alike prejudicial to the best interests of Portugal and Brazil," "The forces of his Imperial Majesty," he said to the Junta, "having freed the city and province of Bahia from the enemies of independence, I now hasten—in conformity with the will of his Majesty that the beautiful province of Maranham should be free also—to offer to the oppressed inhabitants whatever aid and protection they need against a foreign yoke; desiring to accomplish their liberation and to hail them as brethren and friends. Should there, however, be any who, from self-interested motives, oppose themselves to the deliverance of their country, let such be assured that the naval and military forces which have driven the Portuguese from the south are again ready to draw the sword in the like just cause, and the result cannot be long doubtful."

Those mingled promises and threats took prompt effect. On the following day, the 27th of July, after a conditional offer of capitulation had been rejected, the members of the Junta, the Bishop of Maranham, and other leading persons, went on board the Pedro Primiero to tender their submission to the Emperor of Brazil. The city and forts were surrendered without reserve, and in less than twenty-four hours from Lord Cochrane's first appearance in the river the flag of Portugal was replaced by that of Brazil. A great province had been added to the dominions of Pedro I. without bloodshed, and with no more expenditure of ammunition than was needed for the volleys discharged in honour of the triumph.

The liberation of Maranham was publicly celebrated on the 28th of July, and on the following day the Portuguese troops embarked for Europe, special concessions being made to them by Lord Cochrane, who deemed it well that they should be out of the way before the device by which he had outwitted them was made known. No resentment was to be expected from the civilians, as even those most hearty in their adherence to the Portuguese faction in Brazil would not dare to offer direct opposition to the sentiments of the majority. But Lord Cochrane wisely set himself to conciliate all. "To the inhabitants of the city," he said, "I was careful to accord complete liberty, claiming in return that perfect order should be preserved and property of all kinds respected. The delight of the people was unbounded at being freed from a terrible system of exaction and imprisonment which, when I entered the river, was being carried on with unrelenting rigour by the Portuguese authorities towards all suspected of a leaning to the Imperial Government. Instead of retaliating, as would have been gratifying to those so recently labouring under oppression, I directed oaths to the constitution to be administered, not to Brazilians only, but also to all Portuguese who chose to remain and conform to the new order of things; a privilege of which many influential persons of that nation availed themselves."

With the capture of Maranham alone, however, Lord Cochrane was not satisfied. Without a day's delay, he despatched a Portuguese brig which he had seized in the river and christened by its name, under Captain Grenfell, to follow at Parà, the only important province of Brazil still under the Portuguese yoke, the same course which he had just adopted with such wonderful success. He himself found it necessary to remain at Maranham for more than two months, where he had to curb with a strong hand the passions of the liberated inhabitants, eager to use their liberty in lawless ways and to retaliate upon the Portuguese still resident among them for all the hardships which they had hitherto endured.

On the 20th of September, having heard that Captain Grenfell had entirely succeeded in his designs on Parà, he started for Rio de Janeiro, and there he arrived on the 9th of November. "I immediately forwarded to the Minister of Marine," he said, "a recapitulation of all transactions since my departure seven months before; namely,—the evacuation of Bahia by the Portuguese in consequence of our nocturnal visit, connected with the dread of my reputed skill in the use of fireships, arising from the affair of Basque Roads; the pursuit of their fleet beyond the Equator, and the dispersion of its convoy; the capture and disabling of the transports filled with troops intended to maintain Portuguese domination on Maranham and Parà; the device adopted to obtain the surrender, to the Pedro Primiero alone, of the enemy's naval and military forces at Maranham; the capitulation of Parà, with the ships of war, to my summons sent by Captain Grenfell; the deliverance of the Brazilian patriots whom the Portuguese had imprisoned; the declaration of independence by the intermediate provinces thus liberated, and their union with the empire; the appointment of provisional governments; the embarkation and departure of every Portuguese soldier from Brazil; and the enthusiasm with which all my measures—though unauthorised and therefore extra-official—had been, received by the people of the northern provinces, who, thus relieved from the dread of further oppression, had everywhere acknowledged and proclaimed his Majesty as constitutional Emperor."

Lord Cochrane's services had, indeed, been, many of them, "unauthorised and therefore extra-official." He had been sent out merely to recover Bahia; but, besides doing that, he had gained for Brazil other territories more than half as large as Europe. For this, however, nothing but gratitude could be shown, and the gratitude was, for the time at any rate, unalloyed. On the very day of the Pedro Primiero's return, the Emperor went on board to offer his thanks in person. Further, thanks were voted by the legislature, and tendered by all classes of the people.

"Taking into consideration the great services which your excellency has just rendered to the nation," wrote the Emperor on the 25th of November, "and desiring to give your excellency a public testimonial of gratitude for those high and extraordinary services on behalf of the generous Brazilian people, who will ever preserve a lively remembrance of such illustrious acts, I deem it right to confer upon your excellency the title of Marquis of Maranham." The decoration of the Imperial Order of the Cruizeiro was also bestowed upon Lord Cochrane, and on the 19th of December he was made a Privy Councillor of Brazil, the highest honour which it was in the Emperor's power to grant. On the same day he also received from the Emperor a charter confirming his rank and emoluments as First Admiral of Brazil, "seeing how advantageous it would be for the interests of this empire to avail itself of the skill of so valuable an officer," and in recognition of "the valour, intelligence, and activity by which he had distinguished himself in the different services with which he had been entrusted."




All the rewards bestowed upon Lord Cochrane for his wonderful successes in the northern part of Brazil, except the confirmation of his patent as First Admiral, be it noted, were unsubstantial. He had for ever crushed the power of Portugal in South America; he had added vast provinces to the imperial dominion, and had thus augmented the imperial revenues by considerably more than a million dollars a-year, besides the great and immediate profits of his prize-taking. And all this had been done with a small fleet, poorly equipped and unpaid. The ships entrusted to him had been rendered efficient by his own ingenuity, unaided by the Government, and with scant addition to his resources from the numerous captures made by him. In excess of his instructions, and with nothing but cheap compliments and cheaper promises to encourage him, he had acquired Maranham and Parà, and all the provinces dependent upon them, as well as Bahia. Relying on the honour of his employers, he had pledged his own honour, that on their returning to Rio de Janeiro, his crews, who were clamouring for some part, at any rate, of the wages due to them, should be fully recompensed, and he had the reasonable expectation, that, out of the abundant wealth that he had gained for Brazil, he himself should receive his lawful share of the prize-money gained by his exertions. Instead of that he and his subordinates, both officers and men, were subjected to an unparalleled course of meanness, trickery, and fraud.

This partly resulted from an unfortunate change in the Government that had occurred during his absence. When he left Rio de Janeiro, Pedro I.'s chief secretary of state had been Don José Bonifacio de Andrada y Silva, a wise and patriotic Brazilian. The Emperor and his minister had all along been seriously crippled in fulfilment of their good purposes by subordinates of the Portuguese faction, who persistently twisted their instructions, when they did not act in direct opposition to those instructions, so as to promote their own and their countrymen's selfish and unpatriotic objects; but there had been hope that the zeal of Pedro and José de Andrada would overcome these evil devices, and secure the healthy consolidation of the empire. When Lord Cochrane returned, however, he found that the honest minister had been deposed, that his party had been ousted, and that the Emperor was surrounded by bad counsellors, who, unable to pervert his judgment, were strong enough to restrain its action, and who were robbing him, one by one, of all his constitutional functions, and doing their best to bring Brazil into a state of anarchy, with a view to the re-establishment of Portuguese authority in its old or in some new but no less obnoxious form. The Emperor, desiring to do well, had hardly improved his position, a few days before the Pedro Primiero's arrival, by violently dissolving the Legislative Assembly, banishing some of its members, and threatening to place Rio de Janeiro itself under military law.

That was the state of affairs when Lord Cochrane entered the port. Only five days afterwards, on the 14th of November, 1823, he wrote a bold letter to the Emperor. "My sense of the impropriety of intruding myself on the attention of your Imperial Majesty on any subject unconnected with the official position with which your Majesty has been pleased to honour me," he said, "could only have been overcome by an irresistible desire, under existing circumstances, to contribute to the service of your Majesty, and the empire. The conduct of the late Legislative Assembly, which sought to derogate from the dignity and prerogatives of your Majesty, even presuming to require you to divest yourself of your crown in their presence—which deprived you of your Council of State and denied you a voice in the enactment of laws and the formation of the constitution—and which dared to object to your exercising the only remaining function of royalty, that of rewarding services and conferring honours—could no longer be tolerated; and the justice and wisdom of your Imperial Majesty in dissolving such an assembly will be duly appreciated by discerning men, and by those whose love of good order and their country supersedes their ambition or personal interests. There are, however, individuals who will wickedly take advantage of the late proceedings to kindle the flames of discord, and throw the empire into anarchy and confusion, unless timely prevented by the wisdom and energy of your Imperial Majesty. The declaration that you will give to your people a practical constitution, more free even than that which the late Assembly professed an intention to establish, cannot—considering the spirit which now pervades South America—have the effect of averting impending evils, unless your Imperial Majesty shall be pleased to dissipate all doubts by at once declaring—before the news of the recent events can be dispersed throughout the provinces, and before the discontented members of the late congress can return to their constituents—what is the precise nature of that constitution which your Imperial Majesty intends to bestow. As no monarch is more happy or more truly powerful than the limited monarch of England, surrounded by a free people, enriched by that industry which the security of property by means of just laws never fails to create, permit me humbly and respectfully to suggest, that if your Majesty were to decree that the English constitution, in its most perfect practical form—which, with slight alteration, and chiefly in name, is also the constitution of the United States of North America—shall be the model for the government of Brazil under your Imperial Majesty, with power to the Constituent Assembly to alter particular parts as local circumstances may render advisable, it would excite the sympathy of powerful states abroad, and the firm allegiance of the Brazilian people to your Majesty's throne. Were your Majesty, by a few brief lines in the 'Gazette,' to announce your intention so to do, and were you to banish all distrust from the public mind by removing from your person for a time, and finding employment on honourable missions abroad for, those Portuguese individuals of whom the Brazilians are jealous, the purity of your Majesty's motives would be secured from the possibility of misrepresentation, the factions which disturb the country would be silenced or converted, and the feelings of the world, especially those of England and North America, would be interested in promoting the glory, happiness, and prosperity of your Imperial Majesty."

That advice, in the main adopted by the Emperor, led to a reconstruction of the Brazilian Constitution in its present shape, and so added another to the many great benefits which Brazil owes to Lord Cochrane. But the whole, and especially the last part of it, being directly at variance with the plans and interests of the Portuguese faction, it won for him much hatred and many personal troubles.

"That I, a foreigner, having nothing to do with national politics," he said, "should have counselled his Majesty to banish those who opposed him, was not to be borne, and the resentment caused by my recent services was increased to bitter enmity for meddling in affairs which, it was considered, did not concern me; though I could have had no other object than the good of the empire by the establishment of a constitution which should give it stability in the estimation of European states."

Consequently, in return for the great services he had conferred to Brazil, he received, as had been the case in Chili, little but insult and injury, the course of insult and injury being hardly stayed even during the period in which he was needed to engage in further services. The Emperor honestly tried to be generous; but he could not rid himself of the Portuguese faction, generally dominant in Brazil, and his worthy intentions were thwarted in every possible way. With difficulty could he secure for Lord Cochrane the confirmation of his patent as First Admiral, which has been already referred to. No great resistance was made to his conferment of the empty title of Marquis of Maranham, but he was not allowed to make the grant of land which was intended to go with the title and enable it to be borne with dignity. Prevented from being generous, he was even hindered from exercising the barest justice.

The injustice was shown not only to Lord Cochrane, but also to all the officers and crews who, serving under him, had enabled Brazil to maintain its resistance to the tyranny of Portugal, though not to shake off the tyranny of the faction which still had the interests of Portugal at heart. It is not necessary to describe in detail the long course of ill-usage to which he and his subordinates were exposed. Part of that ill-usage will be best and most briefly indicated by citing a portion of an eloquent memorial which Lord Cochrane addressed to the Imperial Government on the 30th of January, 1825.

The memorial began by enumerating the achievements of the fleet at Bahia, Maranham, Parà, and elsewhere. "The imperial squadron," it proceeds, "made sail for Rio de Janeiro, in the full expectation of reaping a reward for their labours; not only because they had been mainly instrumental in rescuing from the hands of the Portuguese, and adding to the imperial dominion, one half of the empire; but also because their hopes seemed to be firmly grounded, independently of such services, on the capture of upwards of one hundred transports and merchant vessels, exclusive of ships of war, all of which, they had a just right to expect, would, under the existing laws, be adjudged to the captors. The whole of them were seized under Portuguese colours, with Portuguese registers, manned by Portuguese seamen, having on board Portuguese troops and ammunition or Portuguese produce and manufacture. On arriving at Rio de Janeiro, there was no feeling but one of satisfaction among the officers and seamen, and the Brazilian marine might from that moment, without the expense of one milrei to the nation, have been rapidly raised to a state of efficiency and discipline which had not yet been attained in any marine in South America, and which the navies of Portugal and Spain do not possess. It could not, however, be long concealed from the knowledge of the squadron that political or other reasons had prevented any proceedings being had in the adjudication of their prizes; and the extraordinary declaration that was made by the Tribunal of Prizes,—'that they were not aware that hostilities existed between Brazil and Portugal'—led to an inquiry of whom that tribunal was composed. All surprise at so extraordinary a declaration then ceased; but other sentiments injurious to the imperial service, arose,—those of indignation and disgust that the power of withholding their rights should be placed in the hands of persons who were natives of that very nation against which they were employed in war. His Imperial Majesty, however, having signified to this tribunal his pleasure that they should delay no longer in proceeding to the adjudication of the captured vessels, the result was that, in almost every instance, at the commencement of their proceedings, the vessels were condemned, not as lawful prizes to the captors, but as droits to the Crown. His Majesty was then pleased to desire that the said droits should be granted to the squadron, and about one-fifth part of the value of the prizes taken was eventually paid under the denomination of a 'grant of the droits of the Crown.' But when this decree of his Imperial Majesty was promulgated, the tribunal altered their course of proceeding, and, instead of condemning to the Crown, did, in almost every remaining instance, pronounce the acquittal of the vessels captured, and adjudged them to be given up to pretended Brazilian owners, notwithstanding that Brazilian property embarked in enemy's vessels was, by the law, declared to be forfeited; and that, too, with such indecent precipitancy that, in cases where the hull only had been claimed, the cargo also was decreed to be given up to the claimants of the hull, without any part of it having, at any time, been even pretended to be their property. Other ships and cargoes were given up without any form of trial, and without any intimation whatever to the captors and their agents; and, in most cases, costs and quadruple damages were unjustly decreed against the captors, to the amount of 300,000 milreis. That the prizes of which the captors were thus fraudulently deprived, chiefly under the unlawful and false pretence of their belonging to Brazilians, were really the property of Portuguese and well known so to be by the said tribunal, has since been fully demonstrated, by the arrival in Lisbon of the whole of the vessels liberated by their decisions. Thus the charge of a system of wilful injustice, brought by the squadron against the Portuguese Tribunal of Prizes at Rio de Janeiro, is established beyond the possibility of contradiction."

It was only an aggravation of that injustice that, when Lord Cochrane claimed the prompt and equitable adjudication of the prizes, an attempt was made to silence him on the 24th of November by a message from the Minister of Marine, to the effect that the Emperor would do everything in his power for him personally. "His Majesty," answered Lord Cochrane, "has already conferred honours upon me quite equal to my merits, and the greatest personal favour he can bestow is to urge on the speedy adjudication of the prizes, so that the officers and seamen may reap the reward decreed by the Emperor's own authority."

A hardship to the fleet even greater than the withholding of its prize-money was the withholding of the arrears of pay, which had been accumulating ever since the departure from Rio de Janeiro in April. On the 27th of November, three months' wages were offered to men to whom more than twice the amount was due. This they indignantly refused, and all Lord Cochrane's tact was needed to restrain them from open mutiny.

In spite of the Emperor's friendship towards Lord Cochrane, or rather in consequence of it, he was in all sorts of ways insulted by the ministry, the head of which was now Severiano da Costa. A new ship, the Atulanta, was on the 27th of December, without reference to him, ordered for service at Monte Video. He was on the same day publicly described as "Commander of the Naval Forces in the Port of Rio de Janeiro," being thus placed on a level with other officers in the service of which, by the Emperor's patent, he was First Admiral, and no notice was taken of his protest against that insult. On the 24th of February he was gazetted as "Commander-in-Chief of all the Naval Forces of the Empire during the present war," by which his functions, though not now limited in extent, were limited in time. At length, reasonably indignant at these and other violations of the contract made with him, he offered to resign his command altogether. "If I thought that the course pursued towards me was dictated by his Imperial Majesty," he wrote to the Minister of Marine on the 20th of March, "it would be impossible for me to remain an hour longer in his service, and I should feel it my duty, at the earliest possible moment, to lay my commission at his feet. If I have not done so before, from the treatment which, in common with the navy. I have experienced, it has been solely from an anxious desire to promote his Majesty's real interests. Indeed, to struggle against prejudices, and at the same time against those in power whose prepossessions are at variance with the interests of his Majesty and the tranquillity and independence of Brazil, is a task to which I am by no means equal. I am, therefore, perfectly willing to resign the situation I hold, rather than contend against difficulties which appear to me insurmountable."[A]

[Footnote A: See Appendix (III).]

That letter was answered with complimentary phrases, and Lord Cochrane was induced to continue in the employment from which he could not be spared; but there was no diminution of the ill-treatment to which he was subjected. One special indignity was attended by some amusing incidents. On the 3rd of June, while he was residing on shore, it was proposed to search his flag-ship, on the pretext that he had there concealed large sums of money which were the property of the nation. "Late in the evening," he said, "I received a visit from Madame Bonpland, the talented wife of the distinguished French naturalist. This lady, who had singular opportunities for becoming acquainted with state secrets, came expressly to inform me that my house was at that moment surrounded by a guard of soldiers. She further informed me that, under the pretence of a review to be held at the opposite side of the harbour early in the following morning, preparations had been made by the ministers to board the flag-ship, which was to be thoroughly overhauled whilst I was detained on shore, and all the money found taken possession of. Thanking my friend for her timely warning, I clambered over my garden fence, as the only practicable way to the stables, selected a horse, and, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, proceeded to San Christoval, the country palace of the Emperor, where, on my arrival, I demanded to see his Majesty. The request being refused by the gentleman in waiting, in such a way as to confirm the statement of Madame Bonpland, I dared him at his peril to refuse me admission, adding that the matter on which I had come was fraught with grave consequences to his Majesty and the empire. 'But,' said he, 'his Majesty has retired to bed long ago.' 'No matter,' I replied; 'in bed or not in bed, I demand to see him, in virtue of my privilege of access to him at all times, and, if you refuse to concede permission, look to the consequences.' His Majesty was not, however, asleep, and, the royal chamber being close at hand, he recognized my voice in the altercation with the attendant. Hastily coming out of his apartments, he asked what could have brought me there at that time of night. My reply was that, understanding that the troops ordered for review were destined to proceed to the flag-ship in search of supposed treasure, I had come to request his Majesty immediately to appoint confidential persons to accompany me on board, when the keys of every chest in the ship should be placed in their hands and every place thrown open to inspection, but that, if any of his anti-Brazilian administration ventured to board the ship in perpetration of the contemplated insult, they would certainly be regarded as pirates and treated as such; adding at the same time, 'Depend upon it, they are not more my enemies than the enemies of your Majesty and the empire, and an intrusion so unwarrantable the officers and crew are bound to resist.' 'Well,' replied his Majesty, 'you seem to be apprised of everything; but the plot is not mine, being, as far as I am concerned, convinced that no money would be found more than we already know of from yourself.' I then entreated his Majesty to take such steps for my justification as would be satisfactory to the public. 'There is no necessity for any,' he replied. 'But how to dispense with the review is the puzzle. I will be ill in the morning; so go home and think no more of the matter. I give you my word, your flag shall not be outraged.' The Emperor kept his word, and in the night was taken suddenly ill. As his Majesty was really beloved by his Brazilian subjects, all the native respectability of Rio was early next day on its way to the palace to inquire after the royal health, and ordering my carriage, I also proceeded to the palace, lest my absence might seem singular. On my entering the room,—where the Emperor was in the act of explaining the nature of his disease to the anxious inquirers,—his Majesty burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, in which I as heartily joined, the bystanders evidently, from the gravity of their countenances, considering that we had both taken leave of our senses. The ministers looked astounded, but said nothing. His Majesty kept his secret, and I was silent."

That anecdote fairly illustrates the treatment adopted towards Lord Cochrane, and the straits to which the Emperor was reduced in his efforts to protect him from his enemies in power. The ill-treatment both of himself and of the whole fleet continuing, he addressed an indignant protest to his Majesty in July. "The time has at length arrived," he there said, "when it is impossible to doubt that the influence which the Portuguese faction has so long exerted, with the view of depriving the officers and seamen of their stipulated rights, has succeeded in its object, and has even prevailed against the expressed wishes and intentions of your Majesty. The determined perseverance in a course so opposed to justice must come to an end. The general discontent which prevails in the squadron has rendered the situation in which I am placed one of the most embarrassing description; for, though a few may be aware that my own cause of complaint is equal to theirs, many cannot perceive the consistency of my patient continuance in the service with disapprobation of the measures pursued. Even the honours which your Majesty has been pleased to bestow upon me are deemed by most of the officers, and by the whole of the men, who know not the assiduity with which I have persevered in earnest but unavailing remonstrance, as a bribe by which I have been induced to abandon their interests. Much, therefore, as I prize those honours, as the gracious gift of your Imperial Majesty, yet, holding in still dearer estimation my character as an officer and a man, I cannot hesitate in choosing which to sacrifice when the retention of both is evidently incompatible. I can, therefore, no longer delay to demonstrate to the squadron and the world that I am no partner in the deceptions and oppressions which are practised on the naval service; and, as the first and most painful step in the performance of this imperious duty, I crave permission, with all humility and respect, to return those honours, and lay them at the feet of your Imperial Majesty. I should, however, fall short of my duty to those who were induced to enter the service by my example or invitation, were I to do nothing more than convince them that I had been deceived. It is incumbent on me to make every effort to obtain for them the fulfilment of engagements for which I made myself responsible. As far as I am personally concerned, I could be content to quit the service of your Imperial Majesty, either with or without the expectation of obtaining compensation at a future period. After effectually fighting the battles of freedom and independence on both sides of South America, and clearing the two seas of every vessel of war, I could submit to return to my native country unrewarded; but I cannot submit to adopt any course which shall not redeem my pledge to my brother officers and seamen."

That and other arguments contained in the same letter, aided by inducements of a different sort, to be presently referred to, had partial effect. A small portion of the prize-money and wages due to the squadron was issued, and Lord Cochrane remained for another year in the service of Brazil. His weary waiting-time at Rio de Janeiro, however, extending over nearly nine months, was almost at an end. On the 2nd of August he left it, never to return.

While the ingratitude shown to him in Brazil was at its worst it is interesting to notice that a few, at any rate, of his own countrymen were remembering his past troubles and his present worth. On the 21st of June, Sir James Mackintosh, in one of the many speeches in the British House of Commons in which he nobly advocated the recognition of the independence of the South American states, both as a political duty and as a necessary measure in the interests of commerce, made a graceful allusion to Lord Cochrane. "I know," he said, "that I am here touching on a topic of great delicacy; but I must say that commerce has been gallantly protected by that extraordinary man who was once a British officer, who once filled a distinguished post in the British navy at the brightest period of its annals. I mention this circumstance with struggling and mingled emotions—emotions of pride that the individual I speak of is a Briton, emotions of regret that he is no longer a British officer. Can any one imagine a more gallant action than the cutting out of the Esmeralda from Callao? Never was there a greater display of judgment, calmness, and enterprising British valour than was shown on that memorable occasion. No man ever felt a more ardent, a more inextinguishable love of country, a more anxious desire to promote its interests and extend its prosperity, than the gallant individual to whom I allude. I speak for myself. No person is responsible for the opinions which I now utter. But ask, what native of this country can help wishing that such a man were again amongst us? I hope I shall be excused for saying thus much; but I cannot avoid fervently wishing that such advice may be given to the Crown by his Majesty's constitutional advisers as will induce his Majesty graciously to restore Lord Cochrane to the country which he so warmly loves, and to that noble service to the glory of which, I am convinced, he willingly would sacrifice every earthly consideration."




The political turmoils which Lord Cochrane found to be prevalent in Rio de Janeiro, on his return from Maranham, were, as he had anticipated, very disastrous to the whole Brazilian empire. The unpatriotic action of men in power at head-quarters encouraged yet more unpatriotic action in the outlying and newly-acquired provinces. Portuguese sympathizers in Pernambuco, in Maranham, and in the neighbouring districts, following the policy of the Portuguese faction at the centre of government, and acting even more unworthily, induced serious trouble; and the trouble was aggravated by the fierce opposition which was in many cases offered to them. Before the end of 1823 information arrived that an insurrection, having for its object the establishment in the northern provinces of a government distinct from both Brazil and Portugal, had broken out in Pernambuco, and nearly every week brought fresh intelligence of the spread of this insurrection and of the troubles induced by it. The Emperor Pedro I. was eager to send thither the squadron under Lord Cochrane, and so to win back the allegiance of the inhabitants; and for this Lord Cochrane was no less eager. To the Portuguese partizans, however, whose great effort was to weaken the resources of the empire, the news of the insurrection was welcome; and perhaps their strongest inducement to the long course of injustice detailed in the last chapter was the knowledge that by so doing they were most successfully preventing the despatch of an armament strong enough to restore order in the northern provinces. Herein they prospered. For more than six months the Emperor was prevented from suppressing the insurrection, which all through that time was extending and becoming more and more formidable. Not till July was anything done to satisfy the claims of the seamen for payment of their prize-money and the arrears of wages due to them, without which they refused to return to their work and render possible the equipment and despatch of the squadron; and even then only 200,000 milreis—less than a tenth of the prize-money that was owing—were granted as an instalment of the payment to be made to them.

With that money, however, Lord Cochrane, using his great personal influence with the officers and crews, induced them to rejoin the fleet. The funds were placed in his hands on the 12th of July, 1824, and equitably disbursed by him during the following three weeks. On the 2nd of August he set sail in the Pedro Primiero from Rio de Janeiro, attended by the Maranham and three transports containing twelve hundred soldiers.

Having landed General Lima and the troops at Alagoas on the 16th, he arrived off Pernambuco on the 18th. There he found that a strong republican Government had been set up under the presidentship of Manoel de Carvalho Pais d'Andrade, whose authority, secret or open, extended far into the interior and along the adjoining coasts. "Knowing that it would take some time for the troops to come up," he said, "I determined to try the effect of a threat of bombardment, and issued a proclamation remonstrating with the inhabitants on the folly of permitting themselves to be deceived by men who lacked the ability to execute their schemes; pointing out, moreover, that persistence in revolt would involve both the town and its rulers in one common ruin, for, if forced to the necessity of bombardment, I would reduce the port and city to insignificance. On the other hand, I assured them that, if they retraced their steps and rallied round the imperial throne, thus aiding to protect it from foreign influence, it would be more gratifying to me to act the part of a mediator, and to restore Pernambuco to peace, prosperity, and happiness, than to carry out the work of destruction which would be my only remaining alternative. In another proclamation I called the attention of the inhabitants to the distracted state of the Spanish republics on the other side of the continent, asking whether it would be wise to risk the benefits of orderly government for social and political confusion, and entreating them not to compel me to proceed to extremities, as it would become my duty to destroy their shipping and block up their port, unless, within eight days, the integrity of the empire were acknowledged."

While waiting to see the result of those proclamations Lord Cochrane received a message from Carvalho, offering him immediate payment of 400,000 milreis if he would abandon the imperial cause and go over to the republicans. "Frankness is the distinguishing character of free men," wrote Carvalho, "but your excellency has not found it in your connection with the Imperial Government. Your not having been rewarded for the first expedition affords a justifiable inference that you will get nothing for the second." That audacious proposal, it need hardly be said, was indignantly resented by Lord Cochrane. "If I shall have an opportunity of becoming personally known to your excellency," he wrote, "I can afford you proof that the opinion you have formed of me has had its origin in the misrepresentations of those in power, whose purposes I was incapable of serving."

The threats and promises of Lord Cochrane's proclamation did not lead to the peaceable surrender of Pernambuco, and at the end of the eight days' waiting-time he proceeded to bombard the town. In that, however, he was hindered by bad weather, which made it impossible for him to enter the shallow water without great risk of shipwreck. He was in urgent need, also, of anchors and other fittings. Therefore, after a brief show of attack, which frightened the inhabitants, but had no other effect, he left the smaller vessels to maintain the blockade, and went on the 4th of September in the flag-ship to Bahia, there to procure the necessary articles. On his return he found that General Lima had marched against Pernambuco on the 11th, and, with the assistance of the blockading vessels, made an easy capture of it.

There was plenty of other work, however, to be done. All the northern provinces were disaffected, if not in actual revolt, and, in compliance with the Emperor's directions, Lord Cochrane proceeded to visit their ports and reduce them to order. Some other ships having arrived from Rio de Janeiro, he selected the Piranga and two smaller vessels for service with the flag-ship, leaving the others at the disposal of General Lima, and sailed from Pernambuco on the 10th of October.

He reached Cearà on the 18th, and then, by his mere presence, compelled the insurgents, who had seized the city, to retire, and enabled the well-disposed inhabitants to organize a vigorous scheme of self-protection.

A harder task awaited him at Maranham, at which he arrived on the 9th of November. There the utmost confusion prevailed. The Portuguese faction had the supremacy, and there were special causes of animosity and misconduct among the members of the opposite party of native Brazilians.

"In Maranham," said Lord Cochrane, "as in the other northern provinces of the empire, there had been no amelioration whatever in the condition of the people, and, without such amelioration, it was absurd to place reliance on the hyperbolical professions of devotion to the Emperor which were now abundantly avowed by those who, before my arrival, had been foremost in promoting and cherishing disturbance. The condition of the province, and indeed of all the provinces, was in no way better than they had been under the dominion of Portugal, though they presented one of the finest fields imaginable for improvement. All the old colonial imports and duties remained without alteration; the manifold hindrances to commerce and agriculture still existed; and arbitrary power was everywhere exercised uncontrolled: so that, in place of being benefited by emancipation from the Portuguese yoke, the condition of the great mass of the population was literally worse than before. To amend this state of things it was necessary to begin with the officers of Government, of whose corruption and arbitrary conduct complaints, signed by whole communities, were daily arriving from every part of the province. To such an extent, indeed, wad this misrule carried that neither the lives nor the property of the inhabitants were safe."

This state of things Lord Cochrane set himself zealously to remedy; and, during his six months' stay at Maranham, he did all that, with the bad materials at his disposal and in the harassing circumstances of his position, it was possible for him to do. Unable to break down the cabals and intrigues, the mutual jealousies and the unworthy ambitions that had prevailed previous to his arrival, he held them all in check while he was present and secured the observance of law and the freedom of all classes of the community.

Thereby, however, he brought upon himself much fresh hatred. The governor of the province, being devoted to the Portuguese party and a chief cause of the existing troubles, had to be suspended and sent to Rio de Janeiro; and though the suspension occurred after orders had been despatched by the Emperor for his recall, it afforded an excuse to the governor and his friends in office for denunciation of Lord Cochrane's conduct, alleged to be greatly in excess of his powers and in contempt of the constituted authority. In fact, the same bad policy that had embarrassed him before, while he was in Rio de Janeiro, continued to embarrass him yet more during his service in Maranham. That that service was very helpful to the best interests of Brazil no one attempted to deny. The French and English consuls, speaking on behalf of all their countrymen resident in the northern provinces, overstepped the line of strict neutrality, and entreated him to persevere in the measures by which he was making it possible for commerce to prosper and the rules of civilized life to be observed. The Emperor sent to thank him for his work. "His Majesty," wrote the secretary on the 2nd of December, "approves of the First Admiral's determination to establish order and obedience in the northern provinces, a duty which he has so wisely and judiciously undertaken, and in which he must continue until the provinces submit themselves to the authorities lately appointed, and enjoy the benefits of the paternal government of his Imperial Majesty."

The Emperor, however, was at this time almost powerless. The leaders of the Portuguese faction reigned, and by them Lord Cochrane continued to be treated with every possible indignity and insult. Not daring openly to dismiss him or even to accept the resignation which he frequently offered, they determined to wear out his patience, and, if possible, to drive him to some act on which they could fasten as an excuse for degrading him. They partly succeeded, though the only wonder is that Lord Cochrane should have been, for so long a time, as patient as he proved. His temper is well shown in the numerous letters which he addressed to Pedro I. and the Government during these harassing months. "The condescension," he wrote, "with which your Imperial Majesty has been pleased to permit me to approach your royal person, on matters regarding the public service, and even on those more particularly relating to myself, emboldens me to adopt the only means in my power, at this distance, of craving that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to judge of my conduct in the imperial service by the result of my endeavours to promote your Majesty's interests, and not by the false reports spread by those who, for reasons best known to themselves, desire to alienate your Majesty's mind from me, and thus to bring about my removal from your Majesty's service. I trust that your Imperial Majesty will please to believe me to be sensible that the honours which you have so graciously bestowed upon me it is my duty not to tarnish, and that your Majesty will further believe that, highly as I prize those honours, I hold the maintenance of my reputation in my native country in equal estimation. I respectfully crave permission to add that, perceiving it is impossible to continue in the service of your Imperial Majesty without at all times subjecting my professional character, under the present management of the Marine Department, to great risks, I trust your Majesty will be graciously pleased to grant me leave to retire from your imperial service, in which it appears to me I have now accomplished all that can be expected from me, the authority of your Imperial Majesty being established throughout the whole extent of Brazil."

That request was not granted, or in any way answered; and the statement that the whole of Brazil was finally subjected to the Emperor's authority proved to be not quite correct. Fresh turmoils arose in Parà, and Lord Cochrane had to send thither a small force, by which order was restored. He himself found ample employment in restraining the factions that could not be suppressed at Maranham.

That was the state of things in the early months of 1825, until unlooked-for circumstances arose, by which Lord Cochrane's Brazilian employment was brought to a termination in a way that he had not anticipated. "The anxiety occasioned by the constant harassing which I had undergone, unalleviated by any acknowledgment on the part of the Imperial Government of the services which had a second time saved the empire from intestine war, anarchy, and revolution," he said, "began to make serious inroads on my health; whilst that of the officers and men, in consequence of the great heat and pestilential exhalations of the climate, and of the double duty which they had to perform afloat and ashore, was even less satisfactory. As I saw no advantage in longer contending with factious intrigues at Maranham, unsupported and neglected as I was by the Administration at Rio de Janeiro, I resolved upon a short run into a more bracing northerly atmosphere, which would answer the double purpose of restoring our health and of giving us a clear offing for our subsequent voyage to the capital.

"Accordingly," the narrative proceeds, "I shifted my flag into the Piranga, despatched the Pedro Primiero to Rio, and, leaving Captain Manson, of the Cacique, in charge of the naval department at Maranham, put to sea on the 18th of May. On the 21st we crossed the Equator, and, meeting with a succession of easterly winds, were carried to the northward of the Azores, passing St. Michael's on the 11th of June. It had been my intention to sail into the latitude of the Azores, and then to return to Rio de Janeiro. But, strong gales coming on, we made the unpleasant discovery that the frigate's main-topmast was sprung, and, when putting her about, the main and main-topsail yards were discovered to be unserviceable. For the condition of the ship's spars I had depended on others, not deeming it necessary to take upon myself such investigation. It was, however, possible that we might have patched these up, had not the running rigging been as rotten as the masts, and we had no spare cordage on board. A still worse disaster was that the salt provisions shipped at Maranham were reported bad, mercantile ingenuity having resorted to the device of placing good meat at the top and bottom of the barrels, whilst the middle, being composed of unsound articles, had tainted the whole, thereby rendering it not only unpalatable but positively dangerous to health. The good provisions on board being little more than sufficient for a week's subsistence, a direct return to Rio de Janeiro was out of the question."

It was therefore absolutely necessary to seek some nearer harbour; but Lord Cochrane was considerably embarrassed in his choice of a port. Portugal was an enemy's country, and Spain, by reason of his achievements in Chili and Peru, was no less hostile to him. France had not yet recognised the independence of Brazil, and therefore a stay on any part of its coast might lead to difficulties. England afforded the only safe halting-place, though there Lord Cochrane was uncertain as to the way in which, in consequence of the Foreign Enlistment Act, he might be received. To England, however, he resolved to go; and, sighting its coast on the 25th of June, he anchored at Spithead on the following day. Salutes were exchanged with a British ship lying in harbour, and in the afternoon he landed at Portsmouth, to be enthusiastically welcomed by nearly all classes of his countrymen, whose admiration for his personal character and his excellence as a naval officer was heightened by the renown of his exploits in South America during an absence of six years and a half.

His subsequent relations with Brazil can be briefly told. His unavoidable return to England afforded just the excuse which his enemies in Brazil had been seeking for ousting him from his command. They and the Chevalier Manoel Rodriguez Gameiro Pessoa, the Brazilian Envoy in London, who altogether sympathised with them, chose to regard this occurrence as an act of desertion. Lord Cochrane lost no time in reporting his arrival and requesting to be provided with the necessary means for refitting the Piranga and preparing for a speedy return to Rio de Janeiro. To expedite matters, he even advanced 2000£ out of his own property—which was never repaid to him—for this purpose. His repeated applications for instructions were either unheeded or only answered with insult. He was ordered to return to Brazil at once, towards which no assistance was given to him; and at the same time his officers and crew were ordered to repudiate his authority and to return without him.

Lord Cochrane had no room to doubt that by going back to Brazil he should only expose himself to yet worse treatment than that from which he had been suffering during nearly two years; but at the same time he was resolved to do nothing at variance with his duty to the Emperor from whom he had received his commission, and nothing invalidating his claims to the recompense which was clearly due to him. At length he was relieved from some of his perplexities, after they had lasted more than three months. On the 3rd of November, 1825, peace was declared between Brazil and Portugal; and thereby his relations with his employers were materially altered. The work which he had pledged himself to do was completed, and he was justified in resigning his command, or at any rate in declining to resume it until the causes of his recent troubles were removed.

This he did in a letter addressed to the Emperor Pedro I., from London, on the 10th of November. "The gracious condescension which I experienced from your Imperial Majesty, from the first moment of my arrival in the Brazils, the honorary distinctions which I received from your Majesty, and the attention with which you were pleased to listen to all my personal representations relating to the promotion of the naval power of your empire," he wrote, "have impressed upon my mind a high sense of the honour which your Majesty conferred, and forbid my entertaining any other sentiments than those of attachment to your Majesty and devotion to your true interests. But, whilst I express these my unfeigned sentiments towards your Imperial Majesty, it is with infinite pain and regret that I recall to my recollection the conduct that has been pursued towards the naval service, and to myself personally, since the members of the Brazilian administration of José Bonifacio de Andrade were superseded by persons devoted to the views and interests of Portugal,—views and interests which are directly opposed to the adoption of that line of conduct which can alone promote and secure the true interests and glory of your Imperial Majesty, founded on the tranquillity and happiness of the Brazilian people. Without imputing to such ministers as Severiano, Gomez, and Barboza disaffection to the person of your Imperial Majesty, it is sufficient to know that they are men bigoted to the unenlightened opinions of their ancestors of four centuries ago, that they are men who, from their limited intercourse with the world, from the paucity of the literature of their native language, and from their want of all rational instruction in the service of government and political economy, have no conception of governing Brazil by any other than the same wretched and crooked policy to which the nation had been so long subjected in its condition as a colony. Nothing further need be said, while we acquit them of treason, to convict them of unfitness to be the counsellors of your Imperial Majesty.

"None but such ministers as these could have endeavoured to impress upon the mind of your Imperial Majesty that the refugee Portuguese from the provinces and many thousands from Europe, collected in Rio de Janeiro, were the only true friends and supporters of the imperial crown of Brazil. None but such ministers would have endeavoured to impress your Imperial Majesty with a belief that the Brazilian people were inimical to your person and the imperial crown, merely because they were hostile to the system pursued by those ministers. None but such ministers would have placed in important offices of trust the natives of a nation with which your Imperial Majesty was at war. None but such ministers would have endeavoured to induce your Imperial Majesty to believe that officers who had abandoned their King and native country for their own private interests could be depended on as faithful servants to a hostile Government and a foreign land. None but such ministers could have induced your Imperial Majesty to place in the command of your fortresses, regiments, and ships of war such individuals as these. None but such ministers would have attempted to excite in the breast of your Imperial Majesty suspicions with respect to the fidelity of myself and of those other officers who, by the most zealous exertions, had proved our devotion to the best interests of your Imperial Majesty and your Brazilian people. None but such ministers would have endeavoured by insults and acts of the grossest injustice, to drive us from the service of your Imperial Majesty and to place Portuguese officers in our stead. And, above all, none but such ministers could have suggested to your Imperial Majesty that extraordinary proceeding which was projected to take place on the night of the 3rd of June, 1824, a proceeding which, had it not been averted by a timely discovery and prompt interposition on my part, would have tarnished for ever the glory of your Imperial Majesty, and which, if it had failed to prove fatal to myself and officers, must inevitably have driven us from your imperial service. When placed in competition with this plot of these ministers and the false insinuations by which they induced your Imperial Majesty to listen to their insidious counsel, all their previous intrigues, and those of the whole Portuguese faction, to ruin the naval power of Brazil, sink into insignificance. But for the advancement of Portuguese interests there was nothing too treacherous or malignant for such ministers and such men as these to insinuate to your Imperial Majesty, especially when they had discovered that it was not possible by their unjust conduct to provoke me to abandon the service of Brazil so long as my exertions could be useful to secure its independence, which I believed to be alike the object of your Imperial Majesty and the interest of the Brazilian people.

"If the counsels of such persons should prove fatal to the interests of your Imperial Majesty, no one will regret the event more sincerely than myself. My only consolation will be the knowledge that your Imperial Majesty cannot but be conscious that I, individually, have discharged my duty, both in a military and in a private capacity, towards your Majesty, whose true interest, I may venture to add, I have held in greater regard than my own; for, had I connived at the views of the Portuguese faction, even without dereliction of my duty as an officer, I might have shared amply in the honours and emoluments which such influence has enabled these persons to obtain, instead of being deprived, by their means, of even the ordinary rewards of my labours in the cause of independence which your Imperial Majesty had engaged me to maintain,—which cause I neither have abandoned nor will abandon, if ever it should be in my power successfully to renew my exertions for the true interests of your Imperial Majesty and those of the Brazilian people.

"Meanwhile my office as Commander-in-Chief of your Imperial Majesty's Naval Forces having terminated by the conclusion of peace and by the decree promulgated on the 28th of February, 1824, I have notified to your Imperial Majesty's Envoy, the Chevalier de Gameiro, that I have directed my flag to be struck this day. Praying that the war now terminated abroad may be accompanied by tranquillity at home, I respectfully take leave of your Imperial Majesty."

All Lord Cochrane's subsequent correspondence with Brazil had for its object the recovery of the payments due to him and to his officers and crews for the great services done by them to the empire. Lord Cochrane had saved that empire from being brought back to the position of a Portuguese colony, and had enabled it to enter on a career of independence. In return for it he was subjected to more than two years of galling insult, was deprived of his proper share of the prizes taken by him and his squadron, was refused the estate in Maranham which the Emperor, more grateful than his ministers, had bestowed upon him, and was mulcted of a portion of his pay and of all the pension to which he was entitled by imperial decree and the ordinances of the Government. His services to Brazil, like his services to Chili, adding much to his renown as a disinterested champion of liberty and an unrivalled seaman and warrior, brought upon him personally little but trouble and misfortune. Only near the end of his life, when a worthy Emperor and honest ministers succeeded to power, was any recompence accorded to him.




While Lord Cochrane was rendering efficient service to the cause of freedom in South America, another war of independence was being waged in Europe; and he had hardly been at home a week before solicitations pressed upon him from all quarters that he should lend his great name and great abilities to this war also. As he consented to do so, and almost from the moment of his arrival was intimately connected with the Greek Revolution, the previous stages of this memorable episode, the incidents that occurred during his absence in Chili and Brazil, need to be here reviewed and recapitulated.

The Greek Revolution began openly in 1821. But there had been long previous forebodings of it. The dwellers in the land once peopled by the noble race which planned and perfected the arts and graces, the true refinements and the solid virtues that are the basis of our modern civilization, had been for four centuries and more the slaves of the Turks. They were hardly Greeks, if by that name is implied descent from the inhabitants of classic Greece. With the old stock had been blended, from generation to generation, so many foreign elements that nearly all trace of the original blood had disappeared, and the modern Greeks had nothing but their residence and their language to justify them in maintaining the old title. But their slavery was only too real. Oppressed by the Ottomans on account of their race and their religion, the oppression was none the less in that it induced many of them to cast off the last shreds of freedom and deck themselves in the coarser, but, to slavish minds, the pleasanter bondage of trickery and meanness. During the eighteenth century, many Greeks rose to eminence in the Turkish service, and proved harder task-masters to their brethren than the Turks themselves generally were. The hope of further aggrandisement, however, led them to scheme the overthrow of their Ottoman employers, and their projects were greatly aided by the truer, albeit short-sighted, patriotism that animated the greater number of their kinsmen. They groaned under Turkish thraldom, and yearned to be freed from it, in the temper so well described and so worthily denounced by Lord Byron in 1811:—

  "And many dream withal the hour is nigh   That gives them back their fathers' heritage:   For foreign arms and aid they loudly sigh,   Nor solely dare encounter hostile rage.   Hereditary bondsmen! know ye not   Who would be free themselves must strike the blow?   By their right arm the conquest must be wrought.   Will Gaul or Muscovite redress ye?—No!   True, they may lay your proud despoilers low,   But not for you will Freedom's altars flame."

The Greeks, all but a few genuine patriots, thought otherwise. They sought deliverance at the hands of Gauls and Muscovites; and, as the Muscovites had good reason for desiring the overthrow of Turkey, they listened to their prayers, and other ties than that of community in religion bound the persecuted Greeks to Russia. The Philiké Hetaira, or Friendly Society, chief representative of a very general movement, was founded at Odessa in 1814. It was a secret society, which speedily had ramifications among the Greek Christians in every part of Turkey, encouraging them to prepare for insurrection as soon as the Czar Alexander I. deemed it expedient to aid them by open invasion of Turkey, or as soon as they themselves could take the initiative, trusting to Russia to complete the work of revolution. The Friendly Society increased its influence and multiplied its visionary schemes during many years previous to 1821.

Its strength was augmented by the political condition of Turkey at the time. The Sultan Mahmud—a true type of the Ottoman sovereign at his worst—had attempted to perfect his power by a long train of cruelties, of which murder was the lightest. Defeating his own purpose thereby, he aroused the opposition of Mahometan as well as Christian subjects, and induced the rebellious schemes of Ali Pasha of Joannina, the boldest of his vassals. In Albania Ali ruled with a cruelty that was hardly inferior to Mahmud's. Byron tells how his

  "dread command   Is lawless law; for with a bloody hand   He sways a nation turbulent and told."

The cruelty could be tolerated; but not opposition to Mahmud's will. Long and growing jealousy existed between the Sultan and his tributary. At length, in 1820, there was an open rupture. Ali was denounced as a traitor, and ordered to surrender his pashalik. Instead of so doing, he organized his army for prompt rebellion, trusting for success partly to the support of the Greeks. Most of the Greeks held aloof; but the Suliots, a race of Christian marauders, the fiercest of the fierce community of Albanians, sided with him, and for more than a year rendered him valuable aid by reason of their hereditary skill in lawless warfare. Not till January, 1822, was Ali forced to surrender, and then only, perhaps, through the defection of the Suliots.

The Suliots, dissatisfied with Ali's recompense for their services, had gone over to the Greeks, who, not caring to serve under Ali in his rebellion, had welcomed that rebellion as a Heaven-sent opportunity for realising their long-cherished hopes. The Turkish garrisons in Greece being half unmanned in order that the strongest possible force might be used in subduing Ali, and Turkish government in the peninsula being at a standstill, the Greeks found themselves in an excellent position for asserting their freedom. Had they been less degraded than they were by their long centuries of slavery, or had there been some better organization than that which the purposes and the methods of the Friendly Society afforded for developing the latent patriotism which was honest and wide-spread, they might have achieved a triumph worthy of the classic name they bore and the heroic ancestry that they claimed.

Unfortunately, the Friendly Society, already degenerated from the unworthy aim with which it started, now an elaborate machinery of personal ambition, private greed, and local spite, the willing tool of Russia, was master of the situation. The mastery, however, was by no means thorough. The society had dispossessed all other organizations, but had no organization of its own adequate to the working out of a successful rebellion. Its machinery was tolerably perfect, but efficient motive-power was wanting. Its exchequer was empty; its counsels were divided; above all, it had alienated the sympathies of the worthiest patriots of Greece. Finding itself suddenly in the way of triumph, it was incapable of rightly progressing in that way. Obstacles of its own raising, and obstacles raised by others, stood in the path, and only a very wise man had the chance of successfully removing them.

The wise man did not exist, or was not to be obtained. Perhaps the wisest, though, as later history proved, not very wise, was Count John Capodistrias, a native of Corfu. Born in 1777, he had gone to Italy to study and practise medicine. There also he studied, afterwards to put in practice, the effete Machiavellianism then in vogue. In 1803 he entered political life as secretary to the lately-founded republic of the Ionian Islands. Napoleon's annexation of the Ionian Islands in 1807 drove him into the service of Russia, and, as Russian agent, he advocated, at the Vienna Conference of 1815, the reconstruction of the Ionian republic. The partial concession of Great Britain towards that project, by which the Ionian Islands were established as a sort of commonwealth, dependent upon England, enabled him to live and work in Corfu, awaiting the realization of his own patriotic schemes, and watching the patriotic movement in Greece. Italian in his education, and Russian in his sympathies, he was still an honest Greek, worthier and abler than most other influential Greeks. "He had many virtues and great abilities," says a competent critic. "His conduct was firm and disinterested, his manners simple and dignified. His personal feelings were warm, and, as a consequence of this virtue, they were sometimes so strong as to warp his judgment. He wanted the equanimity and impartiality of mind, and the elevation of soul necessary to make a great man."[A] In spite of his defects, he might have done good service to the Greek Revolution, had he accepted the offer of its leadership, shrewdly tendered to him by the Friendly Society. But this he declined, having no liking for the society, and no trust in its methods and designs.

[Footnote A: Finlay, "History of the Greek Revolution" (1861), vol. ii., p. 196. Mr. Finlay served as a volunteer in Greece under Captain Abney Hastings. His work is certainly the best on the subject, though we shall have in later pages to differ widely from its strictures on Lord Cochrane's motives and action. But our complaints will be less against his history than against the two other leading ones—General Gordon's "History of the Greek Revolution" (1832), and M. Trikoupes's "[Greek: Historia tês Hellênikês Epanastaseôs]" (1853-6), which is not very much more than a paraphrase of Gordon's work.]

The Friendly Society then sought and found a leader, far inferior to Count Capodistrias, in Prince Alexander Hypsilantes, the son of a Hospodar of Wallachia who had been deposed in 1806. Hypsilantes had been educated in Russia, and had there risen to some rank, high enough at any rate to quicken his ambition and vanity, both as a soldier and as a courtier. He was not without virtues; but he was utterly unfit for the duties imposed upon him as leader of the Greek Revolution. Not a Greek himself, his purpose in accepting the office seems to have been to make Greece an appendage of the despotic monarchy, which, by means of the political crisis, he hoped to establish in Wallachia, under Russian protection. With that view, in March 1821, he led the first crude army of Greek and other Christian rebels into Moldavia. There and in Wallachia he stirred up a brief revolt, attended by military blunders and lawless atrocities which soon brought vengeance upon himself and made a false beginning of the revolutionary work. Moldavia and Wallachia were quickly restored to Turkish rule, and Hypsilantes had in June to fly for safety into Austria. But the bad example that he set, and the evil influence that he and his promoters and followers of the Friendly Society exerted, initiated a false policy and encouraged a pernicious course of action, by which the cause of the Greeks was injured for years.

The real Greek revolution began in the Morea. There the Friendly Society did good work in showing the people that the hour for action had come; but its direction of that action was for the most part mischievous. The worst Greeks were the leaders, and, under their guidance, the play of evil passions—inevitable in all efforts of the oppressed to overturn their oppressors—was developed to a grievous extent. Turkish blood was first shed on the 25th of March, 1821, and within a week the whole of the Morea was in a ferment of rebellion. By the 22nd of April, which was Easter Sunday, it is reckoned that from ten to fifteen thousand Mahometans had been slaughtered in cold blood, and about three thousand Turkish homes destroyed.

The promoters of all that wanton atrocity were the directors of the Friendly Society, among whom the Archimandrate Gregorios Dikaios, nicknamed Pappa Phlesas, and Petros Mavromichales, or Petro-Bey, were the most conspicuous. Its principal agents were the klepht or brigand chieftains, best represented by Theodore Kolokotrones.

Born about 1770, of a family devoted to the use of arms in predatory ways, Kolokotrones had led a lawless life until 1806, when the Greek peasantry called in the assistance of their Turkish rulers in hunting down their persecutors of their own race, and when, several of his family being slain, he himself had to seek refuge in Zante. There he maintained himself, partly by piracy, partly by cattle-dealing. In 1810 the English annexation of the Ionian Islands led to his employment, first as captain and afterwards as major, in the Greek contingent of the British army. He had amassed much wealth, and was in the prime of life when, in January, 1821, he returned to his early home, to revive his old brigand life under the name of legitimate warfare. His thorough knowledge of the country, its passes and its strongholds, and his familiarity with the modes of fighting proper to them, his handsome person and agreeable deportment, his shrewd wit and persuasive oratory, made him one of the most influential agents of the Revolution at its commencement, and his influence grew during the ensuing years.

The flame of rebellion, having spread through the Morea during the early weeks of April, extended rapidly over the adjoining districts of the mainland. By the end of June the insurgents were masters of nearly all the country now possessed by modern Greece. Their cause was heartily espoused by the Suliots of Albania and other fellow-Christians in the various Turkish provinces, and their kinsmen of the outlying islands were eager to join in the work of national regeneration, and to contribute largely to the completion of that work by their naval prowess.

It was naval prowess, as our later pages will abundantly show, of a very barbarous and undeveloped sort. Besides the two principal seaports on the mainland, Tricheri on Mount Pelion and Galaxidhi on the Gulf of Corinth, there were famous colonies of Greek seamen in the islands of Psara and Kasos, and similar colonies of Albanians in Hydra and Spetzas. These and the other islands had long practised irregular commerce, and protected that commerce by irregular fighting with the Turks. At the first sound of revolution they threw in their lot with the insurgents of the mainland, and thus a nondescript navy of some four hundred brigs and schooners, of from sixty to four hundred tons' burthen, and manned by about twelve thousand sailors, adepts alike in trade and piracy, but very unskilled in orderly warfare, and very feebly inspired by anything like disinterested patriotism, was ready to use and abuse its powers during the ensuing seven years' fight for Greek independence.

During the summer of 1821, while the continental Greeks were rushing to arms, murdering the Turkish residents among them by thousands, and thus bringing down upon themselves, or upon those of their own race who, as peasants and burghers, took no important share in actual fighting, the murderous vengeance of the Turkish troops sent to attempt the suppression of the revolt, these sailors were pursuing an easier and more profitable game. The Turkish ports were not warlike, and the Turkish trading ships were not prepared for fighting. In May, a formidable crowd of vessels left the islands on a cruise, from which they soon returned with an immense store of booty. Early in June, the best Turkish fleet that could be brought together, consisting of two line-of-battle ships, three frigates, and three sloops, went out to harass, if not to destroy, the swarm of smaller enemies. Jakomaki Tombazes, with thirty-seven of these smaller enemies, set off to meet them, and falling in with one of the ships, gave her chase, till, in the roads of Eripos, she was attacked on the 8th of June, and, with the help of a fireship, destroyed with a loss of nearly four hundred men. That victory caused the flight of the other Turkish vessels, and was the beginning of much cruel work at sea and with ships, which, not often daring to meet in open fight, wrought terrible mischief to unprotected ports and islands.

The mischief wrought upon the land was yet more terrible. A seething tide of Greek and Moslem blood heaved to and fro, as, during the second half of 1821, each party in turn gained temporary ascendency in one district after another. Greeks murdered Turks, and Turks murdered Greeks, with equal ferocity; or perhaps the ferocity of the Greeks, stirred by bad leaders to revenge themselves for all their previous sufferings, even surpassed that of the Turks. Of their cruelty a glaring instance occurred in their capture of Navarino. The Turkish inhabitants having held out as long as a mouthful of food was left in the town, were forced to capitulate on the 19th of August. It was promised that, upon their surrendering, the Greek vessels were to convey them, their wearing apparel, and their household furniture, either to Egypt or to Tunis. No sooner were the gates opened than a wholesale plunder and slaughter ensued. A Greek ecclesiastic has described the scene. "Women wounded with musket-balls and sabre-cuts rushed to the sea, seeking to escape, and were deliberately shot. Mothers robbed of their clothes, with infants in their arms, plunged into the water to conceal themselves from shame, and they were then made a mark for inhuman riflemen. Greeks seized infants from their mothers' breasts and dashed them against the rocks. Children, three and four years old, were hurled, living, into the sea, and left to drown. When the massacre was ended, the dead bodies washed ashore, or piled on the beach, threatened to cause a pestilence."[A] At the sack of Tripolitza, on the 8th of October, about eight thousand Moslems were murdered, the last two thousand, chiefly women and children, being taken into a neighbouring ravine, there to be slaughtered at leisure. Two years afterwards a ghastly heap of bones attested the inhuman deed.

[Footnote A: Finlay, vol. i.; p. 263, citing Phrantzes.]

In ways like these the first stage of the Greek Revolution was achieved. Before the close of 1821, it appeared to the Greeks themselves, to their Moslem enemies, and to their many friends in England, France, and other countries, that the triumph was complete. Unfortunately, the same bad motives and the same bad methods that had so grievously polluted the torrent of patriotism continued to poison and disturb the stream which might otherwise have been henceforth clear, steady, and health-giving. Greece was free, but, unless another and a much harder revolution could be effected in the temper and conduct of its own people, unfit to put its freedom to good use or even to maintain it. "The rapid success of the Greeks during the first few weeks of the revolution," says their ablest historian, "threw the management of much civil and financial business into the hands of the proësti and demogeronts in office. The primates, who already exercised great official authority, instantly appropriated that which had been hitherto exercised by murdered voivodes and beys. Every primate strove to make himself a little independent potentate, and every captain of a district assumed the powers of a commander-in-chief. The Revolution, before six months had passed, seemed to have peopled Greece with a host of little Ali Pashas. When the primate and the captain acted in concert, they collected the public revenues; administered the Turkish property, which was declared national; enrolled, paid, and provisioned as many troops as circumstances required, or as they thought fit; named officers; formed a local guard for the primate of the best soldiers in the place, who were thus often withdrawn from the public service; and organised a local police and a local treasury. This I system of local self-government, constituted in a very self-willed manner, and relieved from almost all responsibility, was soon established as a natural result of the Revolution over all Greece. The Sultan's authority having ceased, every primate assumed the prerogatives of the Sultan. For a few weeks this state of things was unavoidable, and, to an able and honest chief or government, it would have facilitated the establishment of a strong central authority; but by the vices of Greek society it was perpetuated into an organised anarchy. No improvement was made in financial arrangements, or in the system of taxation; no measures were adopted for rendering property more secure; no attempt was made to create an equitable administration of justice; no courts of law were established; and no financial accounts were published. Governments were formed, constitutions were drawn up, national assemblies met, orators debated, and laws were passed according to the political fashion patronised by the liberals of the day. But no effort was made to prevent the Government being virtually absolute, unless it was by rendering it absolutely powerless. The constitutions were framed to remain a dead letter. The national assemblies were nothing but conferences of parties, and the laws passed were intended to fascinate Western Europe, not to operate with effect in Greece."[A]

[Footnote A: Finlay, vol. i., pp. 280, 281.]

The supreme government of Greece had been assumed in June by Prince Demetrius Hypsilantes, a worthier man than his brother Alexander, but by no means equal to the task he took in hand. At first the brigand chiefs and local potentates, not willing to surrender any of the power they had acquired, were disposed to render to him nominal submission, believing that his name and his Russian influence would be serviceable to the cause of Greece. But Hypsilantes showed himself utterly incompetent, and it was soon apparent that his sympathies were wholly alien to those both of the Greek people and of their military and civil leaders. Therefore another master had to be chosen. Kolokotrones might have succeeded to the dignity, and he certainly had vigour enough of disposition, and enough honesty and dishonesty combined, to make the position one of power as well as of dignity. For that very reason, however, his comrades and rivals were unwilling to place him in it. They desired a president skilful enough to hold the reins of government with a very loose hand, yet so as to keep them from getting hopelessly entangled—one who should be a smart secretary and adviser, without assuming the functions of a director.

Such a man they found in Prince Alexander Mavrocordatos, then about thirty-two years old. He was a kinsman of a Hospodar of Wallachia, by whom he had in his youth been employed in political matters. After that he had resided in France, where he acquired much fresh knowledge, and where his popularity helped to quicken sympathy on behalf of the Greek Revolution at its first outburst. He had lately come to Missolonghi with a ship-load of ammunition and other material, procured and brought at his own expense, and soon attained considerable influence. Always courteous in his manners, only ungenerous in his actions where the interests of others came into collision with his own, less strong-willed and less ambitious than most of his associates, those associates were hardly jealous of his popularity at home, and wholly pleased with his popularity among foreigners. It was a clear gain to their cause to have Shelley writing his "Hellas," and dedicating the poem to Mavrocordatos, as "a token of admiration, sympathy, and friendship."

Mavrocordatos was named President of Greece in the Constitution of Epidaurus, chiefly his own workmanship, which was proclaimed on the 13th of January—New Year's Day, according to the reckoning of the Greek Church—1822. It is not necessary here to detail his own acts or those of his real or professing subordinates. All we have to do is to furnish a general account, and a few characteristic illustrations, of the course of events during the Greek Revolution, in explanation of the state of parties and of politics at the time of Lord Cochrane's advent among them. These events were marked by continuance of the same selfish policy, divided interests, class prejudice, and individual jealousy that have been already referred to. The mass of the Greek people were, as they had been from the first, zealous in their desire for freedom, and, having won it, they were not unwilling to use it honestly. For their faults their leaders are chiefly to be blamed; and in apology for those leaders, it must be remembered that they were an assemblage of soldiers who had been schooled in oriental brigandage, of priests whose education had been in a corrupt form of Christianity made more corrupt by persecution, of merchants who had found it hard to trade without trickery, and of seamen who had been taught to regard piracy as an honourable vocation. Perhaps we have less cause to condemn them for the errors and vices that they exhibited during their fight for freedom, than to wonder that those errors and vices were not more reprehensible in themselves and disastrous in their issues.

For about six years the fight was maintained without foreign aid, save that given by private volunteers and generous champions in Western Europe, against a state numerically nearly twenty times as strong as the little community of revolutionists. In it, along with much wanton cruelty, was displayed much excellent heroism. But the heroism was reckless and undisciplined, and therefore often worse than useless.

Memorable instances both of recklessness and of want of discipline appeared in the attempts made to wrest Chios from the Turks in 1822. The Greek inhabitants of this island, on whom the Turkish yoke pressed lightly, had refused to join in the insurgent movement of their brethren on the mainland and in the neighbouring islands. But it was considered that a little coercion would induce them to share in the Revolution and convert their prosperous island into a Greek possession. Therefore, in March, a small force of two thousand five hundred men crossed the archipelago, took possession of Koutari, the principal town, and proceeded to invest the Turkish citadel. The Chiots, though perhaps not very willingly, took part in the enterprise; but the invading party was quite unequal to the work it had undertaken. In April a formidable Turkish squadron arrived, and by it Chios was easily recovered, to become the scene of vindictive atrocities, which brought all the terrified inhabitants who were not slaughtered, or who could not escape, into abject submission. Thereupon, on the 10th of May, a Greek fleet of fifty-six vessels was despatched by Mavrocordatos to attempt a more thorough capture of the island. Its commander was Andreas Miaoulis, a Hydriot merchant, who proved himself the best sea-captain among the Greeks. Had Miaoulis been able, as he wished, to start sooner and meet the Turkish squadron on its way to Chios, a brilliant victory might have resulted, instead of one of the saddest catastrophes in the whole Greek war. Being deterred therefrom by the vacillation of Mavrocordatos and the insubordination of his captains and their crews, he was only able to reach the island when it was again in the hands of the enemy, and when all was ready for withstanding him. There was useless fighting on the 31st of May and the two following days. On the 18th of June, Miaoulis made another attack; but he was only able to destroy the Turkish flag-ship, and nearly all on board, by means of a fire-vessel. His fleet was unmanageable, and he had to abandon the enterprise and to leave the unfortunate Chiots to endure further punishment for offences that were not their own. This punishment was so terrible that, in six months, the population of Chios was reduced from one hundred thousand to thirty thousand. Twenty thousand managed to escape. Fifty thousand were either put to death or sold as slaves in Asia Minor.

That failure of the Greeks at Chios, quickly followed by their defeat on land at Petta, greatly disheartened the revolutionists. Mavrocordatos virtually resigned his presidentship, and there was anarchy in Greece till 1828. Athens, captured from the Turks in June, 1822, became the centre of jealous rivalry and visionary scheming, mismanagement, and government that was worse than no government at all. Odysseus, the vilest of the vile men whom the Revolution brought to the surface, was its master for some time; and, when he played traitor to the Turks, he was succeeded by others hardly better than himself.

In spite of some heavy disasters, however, the Greeks were so far successful during 1822 that in 1823 they were able to hold their newly-acquired territory and to wrest some more fortresses from their enemies. The real heroism that they had displayed, moreover—the foul cruelties of which they were guilty and the selfish courses which they pursued being hardly reported to their friends, and, when reported, hardly believed—awakened keen sympathy on their behalf. Shelley and Byron, and many others of less note, had sung their virtues and their sufferings in noble verse and enlarged upon them in eloquent prose, and in England and France, in Switzerland, Germany, and the United States, a strong party of Philhellenes was organized to collect money and send recruits for their assistance.

The two Philhellenes of greatest note who served in Greece during the earlier years of the Revolution were Thomas Gordon and Frank Abney Hastings. Gordon, who attained the rank of general in the army of independence, had the advantage of a long previous and thorough acquaintance with the character of both Turks and Greeks and with the languages that they spoke. He watched all the revolutionary movements from the beginning, and took part in many of them. In the "History of the Greek Revolution," which he published in 1832, he gave such a vivid and, in the main, so accurate an account of them that his narrative has formed the basis of the more ambitious work of the native historian, Mr. Trikoupes. Of the vices and errors of the people on whose behalf he fought and wrote he spoke boldly. "Whatever national or individual wrong the Greeks may have endured," he said in one place, "it is impossible to justify the ferocity of their vengeance or to deny that a comparison instituted between them and the Ottoman generals, Mehemet Aboulaboud, Omer Vrioni, and the Kehaya Bey of Kurshid, would give to the latter the palm of humanity. Humanity, however, is a word quite out of place when applied either to them or to their opponents." In another page, further denouncing the Greek leaders, he wrote: "Panourias was the worst of these local despots, whom some writers have elevated into heroes. He was, in fact, an ignoble robber, hardened in evil. He enriched himself with the spoils of the Mahometans; yet he and his retinue of brigands compelled the people to maintain them at free quarters, in idleness and luxury, exacting not only bread, meat, wine, and forage, but also sugar and coffee. Hence springs the reflection that the Greeks had cause to repent their early predilection for the klephts, who were almost all, beginning with Kolokotrones, infamous for the sordid perversity of their dispositions."[A] Gordon's disinterested and brave efforts to bring about a better state of things and to help on the cause of real patriotism in Greece were highly praiseworthy; but, as another historian has truly said, "he did not possess the activity and decision of character necessary to obtain commanding influence in council, or to initiate daring measures in the field."[B]

[Footnote A: Gordon, vol. i., pp. 313, 400.]

[Footnote B: Finlay, vol. ii., p. 129.]

Frank Abney Hastings was an abler man. Born in 1794, he was started in the naval profession when only eleven years old. Six months after the commencement of his midshipman's life he was present, on board the Neptune, at the battle of Trafalgar, and during the ensuing fourteen years he served in nearly every quarter of the globe. His independent spirit, however—something akin to Lord Cochrane's—brought him into disfavour, and, in 1819, for challenging a superior officer who had insulted him, he was dismissed from the British navy. Disheartened and disgusted, he resided in France for about three years. At length he resolved to go and fight for the Greeks, partly out of sympathy for their cause, partly as a relief from the misery of forced idleness, partly with the view of developing a plan which he had been devising for extending the use of steamships in naval warfare,—to which last excellent improvement he greatly contributed. He arrived at Hydra in April, 1822, just in time to take part in the fighting off Chios. One of his ingenious suggestions, made to Andreas Miaoulis, and its reception, have been described by himself. "I proposed to direct a fireship and three other vessels upon the frigate, and, when near the enemy, to set fire to certain combustibles which should throw out a great flame. The enemy would naturally conclude they were all fireships. The vessels were then to attach themselves to the frigate, fire broadsides, double-shotted, throwing on board the enemy at the same time combustible balls which gave a great smoke without flame. This would doubtless induce him to believe he was on fire, and give a most favourable opportunity for boarding him. However, the admiral returned my plan, saying only [Greek: kalo], without asking a single question, or wishing me to explain its details; and I observed a kind of insolent contempt in his manner. This interview with the admiral disgusted me. They place you in a position in which it is impossible to render any service, and then they boast of their own superiority, and of the uselessness of the Franks, as they call us, in Turkish warfare." Miaoulis, however, soon gained wisdom and made good use of Captain Hastings, who spent more than 7000£—all his patrimony—in serving the Greeks. He was almost the only officer in their employ who, during the earlier years of the Revolution, succeeded in establishing any sort of discipline or good management.

Lord Byron, the most illustrious of all the early Philhellenes, used to say, shortly before his death, that with Napier at the head of the army and Hastings in command of a fleet the triumph of Greece might be insured. Byron was then at Missolonghi, whither he had gone in January, 1824, to die in April. Long before, while stirring up the sympathy of all lovers of liberty for the cause of regeneration in Greece, he had shown that regeneration could be by no means a short or easy work, and now he had to report that the real work was hardly yet begun—nay, that it seemed almost further off than ever. "Of the Greeks," he wrote, "I can't say much good hitherto, and I do not like to speak ill of them, though they do of one another."

It was chiefly at Byron's instigation that the first Greek loan was contracted, in London, early in 1824. Its proceeds, 300,000£, were spent partly in unprofitable outlay upon ships, ammunition, and the like, of which the people were in no position to make good use, but mostly in civil war and in pandering to the greed and vanity of the members of the Government and their subordinate officials. "Phanariots and doctors in medicine," says an eye-witness, "who, in the month of April, 1824, were clad in ragged coats, and who lived on scanty rations, threw off that patriotic chrysalis before summer was past, and emerged in all the splendour of brigand life, fluttering about in rich Albanian habiliments, refulgent with brilliant and unused arms, and followed by diminutive pipe-bearers and tall henchmen."[A]

[Footnote A: Finky, vol. ii. p. 39.]

Even the scanty allowance made by the Greek Government out of its newly-acquired wealth for fighting purposes was for the most part squandered almost as frivolously. One general who drew pay and rations for seven hundred soldiers went to fight and die at Sphakteria at the head of seventeen armed peasants.[A] And that is only a glaring instance of peculations that were all but universal.

[Footnote A: Trikoupes, vol. iii., p. 206.]

That being the degradation to which the leaders of the Greek Revolution had sunk, it is not strange that its gains in previous years should have begun in 1824 to be followed by heavy losses. The Greek people—the peasants and burghers—were still patriots, though ill-trained and misdirected. They could defend their own homesteads with unsurpassed heroism, and hold their own mountains and valleys with fierce persistency. But they were unfit for distant fighting, even when their chiefs consented to employ them in it. Sultan Mahmud, therefore, who had been profiting by the hard experience of former years, and whose strength had been steadily growing while the power of the insurgents had been rapidly weakening, entered on a new and successful policy. He left the Greeks to waste their energies in their own possessions, and resolved to recapture, one after another, the outposts and ill-protected islands. For this he took especial care in augmenting his navy, and, besides developing his own resources, induced his powerful and turbulent vassal, Mohammed Ali, the Pasha of Egypt, to equip a formidable fleet and entrust it to his son Ibrahim, on whom was conferred the title of Vizier of the Morea.

Even without that aid Mahmud was able to do much in furtherance of his purpose. The island of Kasos was easily recovered, and full vengeance was wreaked on its Greek inhabitants on the 20th of June. Soon afterwards Psara was seized and punished yet more hardly.

On the 19th of July Ibrahim left Alexandria with a naval force which swept the southern seas of Greek pirates or privateers. On the 1st of September he effected a junction with the Turkish fleet at Budrun. Their united strength comprised forty-six ships, frigates, and corvettes, and about three hundred transports, large and small. The Greek fleet, between seventy and eighty sail, would have been strong enough to withstand it under any sort of good management; but good management was wanting, and the crews were quite beyond the control of their masters. The result was that in a series of small battles during the autumn of 1824 the Mahometans were generally successful, and their enemies found themselves at the close of the year terribly discomfited The little organization previously existing was destroyed, and the revolutionists felt that they had no prospect of advantageously carrying on their strife at sea without assistance and guidance that could not be looked for among themselves.

Their troubles were increased in the following year. In February and March, 1825, Ibrahim landed a formidable army in the Morea, and began a course of operations in which the land forces and the fleet combined to dispossess the Greeks of their chief strongholds. The strongly-fortified island of Sphakteria, the portal of Navarino and Pylos, was taken on the 8th of May. Pylos capitulated on the 11th, and Navarino on the 21st of the same month. Other citadels, one after another, were surrendered; and Ibrahim and his army spent the summer in scouring the Morea and punishing its inhabitants, with the utmost severity, for the lawless brigandage and the devoted patriotism of which they had been guilty during the past four years.

The result was altogether disheartening to the Greeks. They saw that their condition was indeed desperate. George Konduriottes, a Hydriot merchant, an Albanian who could not speak Greek, and who was alike unable to govern himself or others, had, in June, 1824, been named president of the republic, and since then the rival interests of the primates, the priests, and the military leaders had been steadily causing the decay of all that was left of patriotism and increase of the selfishness that had so long been rampant.

There was one consequence of this degradation, however, which promised to be very beneficial. Seeing that their cause was being rapidly weakened, and that their hard-fought battle for liberty was in danger of speedy and ignominious reversal by their own divisions, by the stealthy encroachments of the Ottomans in the north, and by the more energetic advances of the Egyptians in the south, the Greeks resolved to abandon some of their jealousies and greeds, to look for a saviour from without, and, on his coming, to try and submit themselves honestly and heartily to his leadership. The issue of that resolution was the following letter, written by Mavrocordatos, then Secretary to the National Assembly:—

"Milord,—Tandis que vos rares talens étaient consacrés à procurer le bonheur d'un pays séparé par un espace immense de la Grèce, celle-ci ne voyait pas sans admiration, sans intérêt, sans une espèce de jalousie secrète même, les succès brillants qui ont toujours couronné vos nobles efforts, et rendu à l'indépendance un des plus beaux, des plus riches pays du monde. Votre retour en Angleterre a excité la plus vive joie dans le coeur du citoyen Grèc et de ses représentans par l'espoir flattereur qu'ils commencent à concevoir que, celui qui s'est si noblement dédié à procurer le bonheur d'une nation, ne refusera pas d'en faire autant pour celui d'une autre, qui ne lui offre pas une carrière moins brillante et moins digne de lui et par son nom historique, et par ses malheurs passés et par ses efforts actuels pour reconquérir sa liberté et son indépendance. Les mers qui rappellent les victoires des Thémistocles et des Timon, ne seront pas un théâtre indifférent pour celui qui sait apprécier les grands hommes, et un des premiers amiraux de notre siècle ne verra qu' avec plaisir qu'il est appellé à renouveler les beaux jours de Salamine et de Mycale à la tête des Miaoulis, des Sachtouris et des Kanaris.

"C'est avec la plus grande satisfaction, milord, que je me vois chargé de faire, au nom du Gouvernement, à votre seigneurie, la proposition du commandement général des forces navales de la Grèce. Si votre seigneurie est disposée à l'accepter, Messieurs les Deputés du Gouvernement Grèc à Londres ont toute l'autorisation et les instructions nécessaires pour combiner avec elle sur les moyens à mettre à sa disposition, afin d'utiliser le plutôt possible votre noble décision et accélérer l'heureux moment que la Grèce reconnaissante et enthousiasmée vous verra combattre pour la cause de sa liberté.

"Je profite de cette occasion pour prier votre seigneurie de vouloir bien agréer l'assurance de mon respect et de la plus haute estime avec laquelle j'ai l'honneur d'être, milord, de votre seigneurie le très humble et très obéissant serviteur,

"A. Mavrocordatos,

"Naples de Romanie,

"Secre-genl d'Etat.

" le 20 Août, —————- 1825 1er 7bre

"A Sa Seigneurie le très Honorable Lord Cochrane, à Londres."




The letter from Mavrocordatos quoted in the last chapter was only part of a series of negotiations that had been long pending. Lord Cochrane, as we have seen, had arrived at Portsmouth on the 26th of June, 1825, in command of a Brazilian war-ship and still holding office as First Admiral of the Empire of Brazil. His intention in visiting England had been only to effect the necessary repairs in his ship before going back to Rio de Janeiro. He had no sooner arrived, however, than it was clear to him, from the vague and insolent language of the Brazilian envoy in London, that it was designed by that official, if not by the authorities in Rio de Janeiro, to oust him from his command. During four months he remained in uncertainty, determined not willingly to retire from his Brazilian service, but gradually convinced by the increasing insolence of the envoy's treatment of him that it would be inexpedient for him hastily to return to Brazil, where, before his departure, he had experienced the grossest ingratitude for his brilliant achievements and neglect and abuse of all sorts. At length, in November, upon learning that his captain and crew had been formally instructed to "cast off all subordination" to him, he deemed that he had no alternative but to consider himself dismissed from Brazilian employment and free to enter upon a new engagement.

That engagement had been urged upon him even while he was in South America by his friends in England, who were also devoted friends to the cause of Greek independence, and the proposal had been renewed very soon after his arrival at Portsmouth. It was so freely talked of among all classes of the English public and so openly discussed in the newspapers before the middle of August that by it Lord Cochrane's last relations with the Brazilian envoy were seriously complicated. "Lord Cochrane is looking very well, after eight years of harassing and ungrateful service," wrote Sir Francis Burdett on the 20th of August, "and, I trust, will be the liberator of Greece. What a glorious title!"

It is needless to say that Sir Francis Burdett, always the noble and disinterested champion of the oppressed, and the far-seeing and fearless advocate of liberty both at home and abroad, was a leading member of the Greek Committee in London. This committee was a counterpart—though composed of more illustrious members than any of the others—of Philhellenic associations that had been organized in nearly every capital of Europe and in the chief towns of the United States. Everywhere a keen sympathy was aroused on behalf of the down-trodden Greeks; and the sympathy only showed itself more zealously when it appeared that the Greeks were still burdened with the moral degradation of their long centuries of slavery, and needed the guidance and support of men more fortunately trained than they had been in ways of freedom. Such a man, and foremost among such men, always generous, wise, and earnest, was Sir Francis Burdett, Lord Cochrane's oldest and best political friend, his readiest adviser and stoutest defender all through the weary time of his subjection to unmerited disgrace and heartless contumely. Another leading member of the Greek Committee was Mr. John Cam Hobhouse, afterwards Lord Broughton, Lord Byron's friend and fellow-traveller, now Sir Francis Burdett's colleague in the representation of Westminster as successor to Lord Cochrane. Another of high note was Mr. Edward Ellice, eminent alike as a merchant and as a statesman. Another, no less eminent, was Joseph Hume. Another was Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Bowring, secretary to the Greek Committee. By them and many others the progress of the Greek Revolution was carefully watched and its best interests were strenuously advocated, and by all the return of Lord Cochrane to England and the prospect of his enlistment in the Philhellenic enterprise afforded hearty satisfaction. To them the real liberty of Greece was a cherished object; and one and all united in welcoming the great promoter of Chilian and Brazilian independence as the liberator of Greece.

Other honest friends of Greece were less sanguine, and more disposed to urge caution upon Lord Cochrane. "My very dear friend," wrote one of them, Dr. William Porter, from Bristol on the 25th of August, "I will not suffer you to be longer in England without welcoming you; for your health, happiness, and fame are all dear to me. I have followed you in your Transatlantic career with deep feelings of anxiety for your life, but none for your glory: I know you too well to entertain a fear for that. I had hoped that you would repose on your laurels and enjoy the evening of life in peace, but am told that you are about to launch a thunderbolt against the Grand Seignior on behalf of Greece. I wish to see Greece free; but could also wish you to rest from your labours. For a sexagenarian to command a fleet in ordinary war is an easy task, and even threescore and ten might do it; but fifty years are too many to conduct a naval war for a people whose pretensions to nautical skill you will find on a thousand occasions to give rise to jealousies against you. You will also find that on some important day they will withhold their co-operation, in order to rob you of your glory. The cause of Greece is, nevertheless, a glorious cause. Our remembrance of what their ancestors did at Salamis, at Marathon, at Thermopylae, gives an additional interest to all that concerns them. But, to say the truth of them, they are a race of tigers, and their ancestors were the same. I shall be glad to see them fall upon their aigretted keeper and his pashas; but, confound them! I would not answer for their destroying the man that would break their fetters and set them loose in all the power of recognised freedom."

There was much truth in those opinions, and Lord Cochrane was not blind to it. That he, though now in his fiftieth year, was too old for any difficult seamanship or daring warfare that came in his way he certainly was not inclined to admit; but he was not quite as enthusiastic as Sir Francis Burdett and many of his other friends regarding the immediate purposes and the ultimate issue of the Greek Revolution. He was now as hearty a lover of liberty, and as willing to employ all his great experience and his excellent ability in its service, as he had been eight years before when he went to aid the cause of South American independence. But both in Chili and in Brazil he had suffered much himself, and, what was yet more galling to one of his generous disposition, had seen how grievously his disinterested efforts for the benefit of others had been stultified, by the selfishness and imprudence, the meanness and treachery of those whom he had done his utmost to direct in a sure and rapid way of freedom. He feared, and had good reason for fearing, like disappointments in any relations into which he might enter with Greece. Therefore, though he readily consented to work for the Hellenic revolutionists, as he had worked for the Chilians and Brazilians, he did so with something of a forlorn hope, with a fear—which in the end was fully justified—that thereby his own troubles might only be augmented, and that his philanthropic plans might in great measure be frustrated. Coming newly to England, where the real state of affairs in Greece, the selfishness of the leaders, the want of discipline among the masses, and the consequent weakness and embarrassment to the revolutionary cause, were not thoroughly understood, and where this understanding was especially difficult for him without previous acquaintance even with all the details that were known and apprehended by his friends, he yet saw enough to lead him to the belief that the work they wished him to do in Greece would be harder and more thankless than they supposed.

This must be remembered as an answer to the first of the misstatements—misstatements that will have to be controverted at every stage of the ensuing narrative—which were carefully disseminated, and have been persistently recorded by political opponents and jealous rivals of Lord Cochrane. It has been alleged that he was induced by mercenary motives, and by them alone, to enter the service of the Greeks. His sole inducements were a desire to do his best on all occasions towards the punishment of oppressors and the relief of the oppressed, and a desire, hardly less strong, to seek relief in the naval enterprise that was always very dear to him from the oppression under which he himself suffered so heavily. The ingratitude that he had lately experienced in Chili and Brazil, however, bringing upon him much present embarrassment in lawsuits and other troubles, led him to use what was only common prudence in his negotiations with the Greek Committee and with the Greek deputies, John Orlando and Andreas Luriottis, who were in London at the time, and on whom devolved the formal arrangements for employing him and providing him with suitable equipments for his work.

These were done with help of a second Greek loan, contracted in London in 1825, for 2,000,000£ Out of this sum it was agreed that Lord Cochrane was to receive 37,000£ at starting, and a further sum of 20,000£ on the completion of his services; and that he was to be provided with a suitable squadron, for which purpose 150,000£ were to be expended in the construction of six steamships in England, and a like sum on the building and fitting out of two sixty-gun frigates in the United States. With the disappointments that he had experienced in Chili and Brazil fresh in his mind, he refused to enter on this new engagement without a formidable little fleet, manned by English and American seamen, and under his exclusive direction; and he further stipulated that the entire Greek fleet should be at his sole command, and that he should have full power to carry out his views independently of the Greek Government.

These arrangements were completed on the 16th of August, except that Lord Cochrane, not having yet been actually dismissed by the Brazilian envoy, refused formally to pledge himself to his new employers. In conjunction with Sir Francis Burdett, Mr. Hobhouse, Mr. Ellice, and the Ricardos, as contractors, however, he made all the preliminary arrangements, and before the end of August he went for a two months' visit to his native county and other parts of Scotland, from which he had been absent more than twenty years.

One incident in that visit was noteworthy. On the 3rd of October, Lord and Lady Cochrane, being in Edinburgh, went to the theatre, where an eager crowd assembled to do them honour. Into the after-piece an allusion to South America was specially introduced. Upon that the whole audience rose and, turning to the seats occupied by the visitors, showed their admiration by plaudits so long and so vehement that Lady Cochrane, overpowered by her feelings, burst into tears. Thereupon Sir Walter Scott, who was in the theatre, wrote the following verses:—

  "I knew thee, lady, by that glorious eye,   By that pure brow and those dark locks of thine,   I knew thee for a soldier's bride, and high   My full heart bounded: for the golden mine   Of heavenly thought kindled at sight of thee,   Radiant with all the stars of memory.

  "I knew thee, and, albeit, myself unknown,   I called on Heaven to bless thee for thy love,   The strength, the constancy thou long hast shown,   Each selfish aim, each womanish fear above:   And, lady, Heaven is with thee; thou art blest,   Blest in whatever thy immortal soul loves best.

  "Thy name, ask Brazil, for she knows it well;   It is a name a hero gave to thee;   In every letter lurks there not a spell,—   The mighty spell of immortality?   Ye sail together down time's glittering stream;   Around your heads two glittering haloes gleam.

  "Even now, as through the air the plaudits rung,   I marked the smiles that in her features came;   She caught the word that fell from every tongue,   And her eye brightened at her Cochrane's name;   And brighter yet became her bright eyes' blaze;   It was his country, and she felt the praise,—

  "Ay, even as a woman, and his bride, should feel,   With all the warmth of an o'erflowing soul:   Unshaken she had seen the ensanguined steel,   Unshaken she had heard war's thunders roll,   But now her noble heart could find relief   In tears alone, though not the tears of grief.

  "May the gods guard thee, lady, whereso'er   Thou wanderest in thy love and loveliness!   For thee may every scene and sky be fair,   Each hour instinct with more than happiness!   May all thou valuest be good and great,   And be thy wishes thy own future fate!"

Those aspirations were very far from realised. Even during his brief holiday in Scotland, Lord Cochrane was troubled by the news that Mr. Galloway, the engineer to whom had been entrusted the chief work in constructing steam-boilers for the Greek vessels, was proceeding very slowly with his task. "My conviction is," wrote Mr. Ellice, "that Galloway, in undertaking so much, has promised what he can never perform, and that it will be Christmas, if not later, before the whole work is completed. No engines are to be got either in Glasgow or Liverpool. You know I am not sanguine, and the sooner you are here to judge for yourself the better. There has been no hesitation about the means from the beginning, but money will not produce steam-engines and vessels in these times."

In consequence of that letter, Lord Cochrane hurried up to London at once, intending personally to superintend and hasten on the work. He arrived on the 3rd of November; but only to find that fresh troubles were in store for him. He had already been exposed to vexatious litigation, arising out of groundless and malicious prosecutions with reference to his Brazilian enterprise. He was now informed that a more serious prosecution was being initiated. The Foreign Enlistment Act, passed shortly after his acceptance of service under the Chilian Republic, and at the special instigation of the Spanish Government, had made his work in South America an indictable offence; but it was supposed that no action would be taken against him now that he had returned to England. As soon as it was publicly known, however, that he was about to embark in a new enterprise, on behalf of Greece, steps were taken to restrain him by means of an indictment on the score of his former employment. "There is a most unchristian league against us," he wrote to his secretary, "and fearful odds too. To be prosecuted at home, and not permitted to go abroad, is the devil. How can I be prosecuted for fighting in Brazil for the heir-apparent to the throne, who, whilst his father was held in restraint by the rebellious Cortes, contended for the legitimate rights of the royal House of Braganza, then the ally of England, who had, during the contest, by the presence of her consuls and other official agents, sanctioned the acts of the Prince Regent of Brazil?"

It soon became clear, however, that the Government had found some justification of its conduct, and that active measures were being adopted for Lord Cochrane's punishment. He was warned by Mr. Brougham that, if he stayed many days longer in England, he would be arrested and so prevented not only from facilitating the construction of the Greek vessels, but even from going to Greece at all. Therefore, at the earnest advice of his friends, he left London for Calais on the 9th of November, soon to proceed to Boulogne, where he was joined by his family, and where he waited for six weeks, vainly hoping that in his absence the contractors and their overseers would see that the ship-building was promptly and properly executed.

While at Boulogne, foreseeing the troubles that would ensue from these new difficulties, he was half inclined to abandon his Greek engagement, and in that temper he wrote to Sir Francis Burdett for advice. "I have taken four-and-twenty hours," wrote his good friend in answer, on the 18th of November, "to consider your last letter, and have not one moment varied in my first opinion as to the propriety of your persevering in your glorious career. According to Brougham's opinion, you cannot be put in a worse situation,—that is, more in peril of Government here,—by continuing foreign service in the Greek cause than you already stand in by having served the Emperor of the Brazils. In my opinion you will be in a great deal less; for, the greater your renown, the less power will your enemies have, whatever may be their inclination, to meddle with you. Perhaps they only at present desist to look out for a better opportunity, 'reculer pour mieux sauter,' like the tiger. I don't mean to accuse them of this baseness; but, should it be the case, the less you do the more power they will have to injure you, if so inclined. Were they to prosecute you for having served the Brazilian Emperor, it would call forth no public sympathy, or but slight, in your favour. The case would be thought very hard, to be sure; but that would be all. Not so, should you triumph in the Greek cause. Transcendent glory would not only crown but protect you. No minister would dare to wag a finger—no, nor even Crown lawyer a tongue—against you; and, if they did, the feeling of the whole English public would surround you with an impenetrable shield. Fines would be paid; imprisonment protested and petitioned against; in short, I am convinced the nation would be in a flame, and you in far less danger of any attempt to your injury than at present. This, my dear Lord Cochrane, is my firm conviction."

Encouraged by that letter and other like expressions of opinion from his English friends, Lord Cochrane determined to persevere in his Greek enterprise, and to reside at Boulogne until the fleet that was being prepared for him was ready for service. He had to wait, however, very much longer than had been anticipated, and he was unable to wait all the time in Boulogne. There also prosecution threatened him. About the middle of December he heard that proceedings were about to be instituted against him for his detention, while in the Pacific, of a French brig named La Gazelle, the real inducement thereto being in the fact, as it was reported, that the French Government had espoused the cause of the Pasha of Egypt, and so was averse to such a plan for destroying the Egyptian fleet under Ibrahim as Lord Cochrane was concocting. Therefore, he deemed it expedient to quit French territory, and accordingly he left Boulogne on the 23rd of December, and took up his residence at Brussels, with his family, on the 28th of the same month.

Through four weary months and more he was waiting at Brussels, harassed by the prosecutions arising out of the lawsuits that have been already alluded to, in reference to which he said in one letter, "I think I must make up my mind, though it is a hard task, to quit England for ever;" harassed even more by the knowledge that the building and fitting out of the vessels for his Greek expedition were being delayed on frivolous pretexts and for selfish ends, which his presence in London, if that had been possible, might, to a great extent, have averted. "The welfare of Greece at this moment rests much on your lordship," wrote Orlando, the chief deputy in London, "and I dare hope that you will hasten her triumph:" yet Orlando and his fellows were idling in London, profiting by delays that increased their opportunities of peculation, and doing nothing to quicken the construction of the fleet. Galloway, the engineer, wrote again and again to promise that his work should be done in three weeks,—it was always "three weeks hence;" yet he was well informed that Galloway was wilfully negligent, though he did not know till afterwards that Galloway, having private connections with the Pasha of Egypt, never intended to do the work which he was employed to do. Lord Cochrane had good friends at home in Sir Francis Burdett, Mr. Hobhouse, and others; but they were not competent to take personal supervision of the details. He had an experienced deputy in Captain Abney Hastings, who had come from Greece some time before, and who was now to return as Lord Cochrane's second in command; but Captain Hastings, single-handed, could not exert much influence upon the rogues with whom he had to deal. "The Perseverance," he wrote of the largest of the ships, which was to be ready first, on the 10th of December, "may perhaps be ready to sail in six weeks—Mr. Galloway has said three weeks for the last month; but to his professions I do not, and have not for a length of time, paid the slightest attention. I believe he does all he can do; all I object against him is that he promises more than he can perform, and promises with the determination of not performing it. The Perseverance is a fine vessel. Her power of two forty-horses will, however, be feeble. I suspect you are not quite aware of the delay which will take place." Lord Cochrane soon became quite aware of the delay, but was unable to prevent it, and the next few months were passed by him in tedious anxiety and ceaseless chagrin.

There was one desperate mode of lessening the delay—for Lord Cochrane to go out in the Perseverance as soon as it was ready to start, leaving the other vessels to follow as soon as they were ready. Captain Abney Hastings went to Brussels on purpose to urge him to that course, and Mr. Hobhouse also recommended it. "There are two points," he wrote on the 23rd of December, "to which your attention will probably be chiefly directed by Captain Hastings. These are, the expediency of your going with the Perseverance, instead of waiting for the other boats, and the propriety of immediately disposing of the two frigates in America"—about which frequent reports had arrived, showing that their preparation was in even worse hands than was that of the London vessels—"to the highest bidder. As to the first, I am confident that, although it would have been desirable to have got together the whole force in the first instance, yet, as the salvation of Greece is a question of time only, and as it will be probably so late either as May or June next before the two larger boats can leave the river, it would be in every way inexpedient for you to wait until you could have the whole armament under your orders. Be assured, your presence in Greece would do more than the activity of any man living, and, as far as anything can be done in pushing forward the business at home, neither time nor pains shall be spared. I wish indeed you could have the whole of the boats at once; but Galloway has determined otherwise, and we must do the next best thing. Captain Hastings will tell you how much may be done even by one steam-vessel, commanded by you, and directing the operations of the fire-vessels. On such a topic I should not have the presumption to enlarge to you. As to the American frigates, it is Mr. Ellice's decided opinion, as well as my own, that you should have the money instead of the frigates. First and last, the frigates never will be finished. The rogues at New York demand 60,000£ above the 157,000£ which they have already received, and protest they will not complete their work without the additional sum. Now 70,000£ in your hands will be better than the hopes —and they will be nothing but hopes —of having the frigates. If you agree in this view, perhaps you will be so good as to state it in writing, which may remove Mr. Ricardo's objections."

Lord Cochrane was tempted to follow Captain Hastings's and Mr. Hobhouse's advice; but he first, as was his wont, sought Sir Francis Burdett's opinion; and Sir Francis dissuaded him, for the time, at any rate. "I would by no means have you proceed with the first vessel, nor at all without adequate means," he wrote on the 15th of January, 1826; "for besides thinking of the Greeks, for whom I am, I own, greatly interested, I must think, and certainly not with less interest, of you, and, I may add, in some degree of myself too; for I am placed under much responsibility, and I don't mean to be a party to making shipwreck of you and your great naval reputation; nor will I ever consent to your going upon a forlorn and desperate attempt—that is, without the means necessary for the fair chance of success—in other words, adequate means. Although you have worked miracles, we can never be justified in expecting them, and still less in requiring them."

Following that sound advice, Lord Cochrane resolved to wait until, at any rate, a good part of his fleet was ready. He wrote to that effect, and in as good spirits as he could muster, to Mr. Hobhouse, who in the answer which he despatched on the 5th of February acknowledged the wisdom of the decision. "I am very glad to perceive," he said in that answer, "that you have good heart and hope for the great cause. I assure you we have been doing all we can to induce the parties concerned to second your wishes in every respect; and I now learn from Mr. Hastings, who is our sheet anchor, that matters go on pretty well. I hope you write every now and then to Galloway, in whose hands is the fate of Greece—the worse our luck, for he is the great cause of our sad delay."

"You see our House is opened," said Mr. Hobhouse in the same letter. "Not a word of Greece in the Speech, and I spoke to Hume and Wilson, and begged them not to touch upon the subject. It is much better to keep all quiet, in order to prevent angry words from the ministers, who, if nothing is said, will, I think, shut their eyes at what we are doing. There is a very prevalent notion here that the (Holy) Alliance have resolved to recommend something to Turkey in favour of the Greeks. Whether this is true or not signifies nothing. The Turks will promise anything, and do just what suits them. They have always lost in war, for more than a hundred years, and have uniformly gained by diplomacy. They will never abandon the hope of reconquering Greece until driven out of Europe themselves, which they ought to be. By the way, the Greeks really appear to have been doing a little better lately; but I still fear these disciplined Arabians. I have written a very strong letter to Prince Mavrocordatos, telling them to hold out:—no surrender on any terms. I have not mentioned your name; but I have stated vaguely that they may expect the promised assistance early in the spring. It would indeed be a fine thing if you could commence operations during the Rhamadan; but I fear that is impossible. Any time, however, will do against the stupid, besotted Turks. Were they not led by Frenchmen, even the Greeks would beat them."

Of the leisure forced upon him, Lord Cochrane made good use in studying for himself the character of "the stupid, besotted Turks," and the nature of the war that was being waged against them by the Greeks; and he asked Mr. Hobhouse to procure for him all the books published on the subject or in any way related to it, of which he was not already master. "With respect to books," wrote Mr. Hobhouse, in reply to this request, "there are very few that are not what you have found those you have read to be, namely, romances; but I will take care to send out with you such as are the best, together with the most useful map that can be got." More than fifty volumes were thus collected for Lord Cochrane's use.

From Captain Abney Hastings, moreover, he obtained precise information about Greek waters, forts, and armaments, as well as "a list of the names of the principal persons in Greece, with their characters." This list, as showing the opinions of an intelligent Englishman, based on personal knowledge, as to the parties and persons with whom Lord Cochrane was soon to deal, is worth quoting entire, especially as it was the chief basis of Lord Cochrane's own judgment during this time of study and preparation.

I. Archontes, or men influential by their riches.

Lazaros Konduriottes.—A Hydriot merchant, the elder of the two brothers, who are the most wealthy men in that island, and even in all Greece. This one, by intrigue, by distributing his money adroitly in Hydra, and keeping in pay the most dissolute and unruly of the sailors, and protecting them in the commission of their crimes, has acquired almost unlimited power at Hydra. He asserts democracy, appealing on all occasions to the people, who are his creatures. The other primates hate him, of course. Lazaros has the reputation of being clever. He never quits Hydra for an instant, for fear of finding himself supplanted on his return.

George Konduriottes.—Brother of the former, and, like him a Hydriot merchant; an ignorant weak man; said to be vindictive; espouses the party of his brother at Hydra, by which means he has obtained the Presidency [of Greece]. He made the land captains his enemies, and had not good men enough to form an army of his own, viz., regular troops. His penetration went no further than bribing one captain to destroy another; which had for effect merely the changing the names of chieftains without diminishing the power. I understand he has lately retired to Hydra, and takes no active part in affairs.

EMANUEL TOMBAZES.—A Hydriot merchant and captain. There are two brothers, at the head of the party opposed to Konduriottes. This man was the first who ventured on the voyage from the Black Sea to Marseilles in a latteen-rigged vessel. This traffic afterwards gave birth to the colossal fortunes in Hydra. These men are the most enlightened in Hydra. This one is dignified, energetic, and a good sailor. However, he lost in Candia much of the reputation he had previously acquired; but with all the errors he committed there, the loss of that island is not attributable to him. 'Twould have been lost, under similar circumstances, had Cæsar commanded there. Konduriottes and his adherents hate him, of course, and did all they could to paralyze his operations in Crete. All considered, this man is more capable of introducing order and regularity into the ships than any other Greek.

JAKOMAKI TOMBAZES.—A Hydriot merchant and captain, brother of the former. He commanded the fleet the first year of the Revolution, and to him is due the introduction of fire-vessels, by which he destroyed the first Turkish line-of-battle ship at Mytelene. He is perhaps the best-informed Hydriot; but he wants decision, and demands the advice of everybody at the moment he should be acting. This man takes little part in politics and follows his mercantile pursuits. His hobby-horse is ship-building, in which art he is such a proficient as to be quite the Seppings of Hydra. As to the rest, he is a very worthy, warm-hearted man, but excessively phlegmatic.

MIAOULIS.—A Hydriot merchant and captain, who obtained command of the Hydriot fleet after Jakomaki resigned. He is a very dignified, worthy old man, possesses personal courage and decision, and is less intriguing than any Greek that I know.

SAKTOURES.—A Hydriot captain. He has risen from a sailor, and is considered by the Archontes rather in the light of a parvenu. He is courageous and enterprising, but a bit of a pirate.

BONDOMES, SAMADHOFF, GHIKA, ORLANDO.—Hydriot merchants without anything but their money to recommend them.

PEPINOS.—A Hydriot sailor of the clan of Tombazes, who has distinguished himself frequently in fireships.

KANARIS.—A Psarian sailor; the most distinguished of the commanders of fire-vessels.

BOTAZES.—A Spetziot merchant; the most influential person in his island. But the Hydriot merchants possess so much property in Spetziot vessels that, in some measure, they rule that island.

PETRO-BEY [or PETROS MAVROMICHALES].—The principal Archonte of Maina; was governor of that province under the Turks. A fat, stupid, worthy man; is sincere in the cause, in which he has lost two if not three sons.

DELIYANNES.—A Moreot Archonte, and one of the most intriguing and ambitious; was formerly sworn enemy to Kolokotrones and the captains, but, having betrothed his daughter to Kolokotrones's son, they have become allies. This man, if not the richest Archonte in the Morea, is the one who affected the most pomp in the time of the Turks, and he cannot now easily brook his diminished influence. He is reported clever and unprincipled.

NOTABAS.—A Moreot Archonte, considered the most ancient of the noble families in the Morea; is a well-meaning old blockhead; has a son, a good-looking youth, who commanded the Government forces against the captains in 1824; is said to be an egregious coward.

LONDOS.—A Moreot Archonte; was much flattered by the Government, but afterwards leagued against them. He is a drunkard, and a man of no consideration but for his wealth.[A]

[Footnote A: Lord Byron used to describe an evening passed in the company of Londos at Vostitza, when both were young men. After supper Londos, who had the face and figure of a chimpanzee, sprang upon a table, and commenced singing through his nose Rhiga's "Hymn to Liberty." A new cadi, passing near the house, inquired the cause of the discordant hubbub. A native Mussulman replied, "It is only the young primate Londos, who is drunk, and is singing hymns to the new franaghia of the Greeks, whom they call 'Eleftheria.'"—Finlay, vol. ii., p. 35.]

ZAIMES.—A Moreot Archonte; said to possess considerable talent, and he exercises a very considerable influence. His brother was formerly a deputy in England.

SISSINES.—A Moreot Archonte; was formerly a doctor at Patras; has risen into wealth and consequence since the Revolution; has great talent, and is a great rogue.

SOTIRES XARALAMBI.—A Moreot Archonte of influence. I do not know his character.

SPELIOTOPOLOS.—A Moreot Archonte, whose name would never have been heard by a foreigner, if he had not been made a member of the executive body; a stupid old man, possessing little influence of any kind.

KOLETTES.—A Romeliot; was formerly doctor to Ali Pasha; possesses some talent; has held various situations in the ministry; is detested, yet I know not why. I never could ascertain any act of his that merited the dislike he has inspired a large party with. I fancy 'tis alone attributable to jealousy—the peculiar feature of the Greek character. It must nevertheless be acknowledged that he has sometimes made himself ridiculous by assuming the sword, for which profession he is totally incapacitated by want of courage. He is, however, poor, although in employment since the commencement of the Revolution.

THIKOUPES.—An Archonte of Missolonghi; of some importance from the English education he has received from Lord Guildford; a worthy man, possessed of instruction, but, I think, not genius. He has married Mavrocordatos's sister.

II. Phanaeiots.

[DEMETRIUS] HYPSILANTES.—Is of a Phanariot family; was a Russian officer; although young, is bald and feeble. His appearance and voice are much against him. He does not so much want talent as ferocity. He possesses personal courage and probity, and may be said to be the only honest man that has figured upon the stage of the Revolution. He does not favour, but has never openly opposed, the party of the captains. He felt he had not the power to do it with success, and therefore showed his good sense in refraining. The Archontes, fearing the influence he might acquire would destroy theirs, have uniformly opposed him, secretly and openly; and they hate one another so cordially now that it is impossible they should ever unite.

MAVROCORDATOS.—Of a Phanariot family; came forward under the auspices of Hypsilantes, and then tried to supplant him; and to do this he made himself the tool of the Hydriots, who, as soon as they had obtained all power in their hands, endeavoured to kick down the stepping-stool by which they had mounted. Perceiving this, he entered into negotiations with the captains, and frightened the Hydriots into an acknowledgment of some power for himself. He possesses quickness and intrigue; but I doubt if he has solid talent, and it is reported that he is particularly careful not to court danger.

III. Captains or Land-Chieftains.

KOLOKOTRONES.—A captain of the Morea, and the most powerful one in all Greece. He owes this partly to the numerous ramifications of his family, partly to his reputation as a hereditary robber, and also to the wealth he has amassed in his vocation. He is a fine, decided-looking man, and knows perfectly all the localities of the country for carrying on mountain warfare, and he knows also, better than any other, how to manage the Greek mountaineers. He is, however, entirely ignorant of any other species of warfare, and is not sufficiently civilized to look forward for any other advantage to himself or his country than that of possessing the mountains and keeping the Turks at bay. He proposed destroying all the fortresses except Nauplia. 'Twas an error of Mavrocordatos to have made this man an open enemy to himself and to organization. Had he been allowed to have profited by order, he would have espoused it. At present he may be considered irreconcilably opposed to order and the Hydriot party.

NIKETAS.—There are two of this name; but the only one that merits notice is the Moreot captain, a relation of Kolokrotones. He is as ignorant and dirty as the rest of his brethren, but bears the reputation of being disinterested and courageous. He is always poor. All the chieftains are good bottle-men; but this one excels them so much that 'tis confidently asserted he drinks three bottles of rum per day.

STAIKOS.—A Moreot captain who took part early with the Hydriot party from jealousy of Kolokotrones. When that party gained the ascendency, not finding himself sufficiently rewarded, he joined the captains.

MOMGINOS.—A Mainot chieftain, a rival of Petro-Bey; is undistinguished, except by his colossal stature and ferocious countenance.

GOURA.—A Romeliot captain; was a soldier of Odysseus, and employed by him in various assassinations, and thus he rose to preferment and supplanted his protector, and at length assassinated him. This man possesses courage and extreme ferocity, but is remarkably ignorant. In the hands of a similar master, he would have been a perfect Tristan l'Hermite. To supplant Odysseus, he was obliged to range himself with the Hydriot party.

CONSTANTINE BOTZARES.—A Suliot captain; nephew to the celebrated Makrys, who, from all accounts, was a phenomenon among the captains. This man bears a good character.

KARAÏSKAKES, RANGO, KALTZAS, ZAVELLA, &c. &c.—Romeliot captains; all more or less opposed to order, according as they see it suits their immediate interest.

That estimate of the Greek heroes—in the main wonderfully accurate—was certainly not encouraging to Lord Cochrane. He determined, however, to go on with the work he had entered upon, and in doing his duty to the Greeks, to try to bring into healthy play the real patriotism that was being perverted by such unworthy leaders.

Great benefit was conferred upon the Greeks by his entering into their service from its very beginning, in spite of the obstacles which were thrown in his way at starting, and which materially damaged all his subsequent work on their behalf. No sooner was it known that he was coming to aid them with his unsurpassed bravery and his unrivalled genius than they took heart and held out against the Turkish and Egyptian foes to whom they had just before been inclined to yield. And his enlistment in their cause had another effect, of which they themselves were ignorant. The mere announcement that he intended to fight and win for them, as he had fought and won for Chili, for Peru, and for Brazil, while it caused both England and France to do their utmost in hindering him from achieving an end which was more thorough than they desired, forced both England and France to shake off the listlessness with which they had regarded the contest during nearly five years, and initiate the temporizing action by which Greece was prevented from becoming as great and independent a state as it might have been, yet by which a smaller independence was secured for it. Hardly had Lord Cochrane consented to serve as admiral of the Greeks than the Duke of Wellington was despatched, in the beginning of 1826, on a mission to Russia, which issued in the protocol of April, 1826, and the treaty of July, 1827—both having for their avowed object the pacification of Greece—and in the battle of Navarino, by which that pacification was secured.

The Duke of Wellington passed through Brussels, on his way to St. Petersburg, in March, 1826. Halting there, he informed the hotel-keeper that he could see no one except Lord Cochrane, which was as distinct an intimation that he desired an interview as, in accordance with the rules of etiquette, he could make. The hotel-keeper, however, was too dull to take the hint. He did not acquaint Lord Cochrane of the indirect message intended for him until the Duke of Wellington had proceeded on his journey. Thus was prevented a meeting between one of England's greatest soldiers and one of her greatest sailors, which could not but have been very memorable in itself, and which might have been far more memorable in its political consequences.

The meeting was hindered, and, without listening either to the personal courtesies or to the diplomatic arguments of the Duke of Wellington, Lord Cochrane continued his preparations for active service in Greek waters. The details of these preparations and their practical execution, as has been shown, he was forced to leave in other and less competent hands, and their actual supervision was still impossible to him. Gradually the irritating and wasteful obstacles for which Mr. Galloway was chiefly responsible induced him to resolve upon following the advice tendered in December by Mr. Hobhouse and Captain Hastings—that is, to go to Greece with a small portion only of the naval armament for which he had stipulated, and which his most cautious friends deemed necessary to his enterprise. To this he was driven, not only by a desire to do something worthy of his great name, and something really helpful to the cause which he had espoused, but also by the knowledge that the tedious delays that arose were squandering all the money with which he had counted upon rendering his work efficient when he could get to Greece.

Of this he received frequent and clear intimation from all his friends in London, though from none so emphatically as from the Greek deputies, Orlando and Luriottis, who, being themselves grievously to blame for their peculations and their bad management, threw all the blame upon Mr. Galloway and the other defaulters. Finding that the proceeds of the second Greek loan were being rapidly exhausted by their own and others' wrong-doing, they were even audacious enough to propose to Lord Cochrane that, not abandoning his Greek engagement, but rather continuing it under conditions involving much greater risk and anxiety than had been anticipated, he should return the 37,000£ which had been handed over to Sir Francis Burdett on his account, and take as sole security for his ultimate recompense the two frigates half built in America, acknowledged to be of so little value that no purchaser could be found for them. "Our only desire." they said, "is to rescue the millions of souls that are praying with a thousand supplications that they may not fall victims to the despair which is only averted by the hope of your lordship's arrival."

To that preposterous request Lord Cochrane made a very temperate answer. "I have perused your letter of the 18th," he wrote on the 28th of February, "with the utmost attention, and have since considered its contents with the most anxious desire to promote the objects you have in view in all ways in my power. But I have not been able to convince myself that, under existing circumstances, there is any means by which Greece can be so readily saved as by steady perseverance in equipping the steam-vessels, which are so admirably calculated to cut off the enemies' communication with Alexandria and Constantinople, and for towing fire-vessels and explosion-vessels by night into ports and places where the hostile squadrons anchor on the shores of Greece. With steam-vessels constructed for such purposes, and a few gunboats carrying heavy cannon, I have no doubt but that the Morea might in a few weeks be cleared of the enemy's naval force. I wish I could give you, without writing a volume, a clear view of the numerous reasons, derived from thirty-five years' experience, which induce me to prefer a force that can move in all directions in the obscurity of night through narrow channels, in shoal water, and with silence and celerity, over a naval armament of the usual kind, though of far superior force. You would then perceive with what efficacy the counsel of Demosthenes to your countrymen might be carried into effect by desultory attacks on the enemy; and, in fact, you would perceive that steam-vessels, whenever they shall be brought into war for hostile purposes, will prove the most formidable means that ever has been employed in naval warfare. Indeed, it is my opinion that twenty-four vessels moved by steam (such as the largest constructed for your service) could commence at St. Petersburg, and finish at Constantinople, the destruction of every ship of war in the European ports. I therefore hold that you ought to strain every nerve to get the steam-vessels equipped. For on these, next to the valour of the Greeks themselves, depends the fate of Greece, and not on large unwieldy ships, immovable in calms, and ill-calculated for nocturnal operations on the shores of the Morea and adjacent islands. Having thus repeated to you my opinions, I have only to add that, if you judge you can follow a better course, I release you from the engagement you entered into with me, and I am ready to return you the 37,000£ on your receiving as part thereof 72,500 Greek scrip, at the price I gave for it on the day following my engagement (under the faith of the stipulations then entered into), as a further stimulus to my exertion, by casting my property, as well as my life, into the scale with Greece. This release I am ready to make at once; but I cannot consent to accept as security, for the fruits of seven years' toil, vessels manned by Americans, whose pay and provisions I see no adequate or regular means of providing. But should the 150,000£ placed at the disposal of the Committee not prove sufficient for the objects I have required, I will advance the 37,000£ for the pay and provisions necessary for the steamboats on the security of the boats themselves. Thus you have the option of releasing me from the service, or of continuing my engagement, although I shall lose severely by my temporary acceptance of your offer."

In that letter Lord Cochrane conceded more than ought to have been expected of him. In a supplementary letter written on the same day he added: "I again assure you that I am ready to do whatever is reasonable for the interest of Greece; but it cannot be expected that for such interest I ought to sacrifice totally those of my family and myself, as would be the case were I to give up both the means I possess to obtain justice in South America and my indemnification, on so slender a security as that offered to me. Believe me, I should have tendered the 37,000£, without reference to the Greek scrip I had purchased, had it not been evident to me that, under such circumstances, the security of your public funds would be dependent on chances which I cannot foresee, and over which I should have no control."

Thus temperately rebuked, the Greek deputies did not urge their proposal any further. They only wrote to promise all possible expedition in completing the steam-vessels. Lord Cochrane, however, voluntarily acceded to one of their wishes. Hearing that the largest of the steamers, the Perseverance, was nearly ready for sea, and that Mr. Galloway had again solemnly pledged himself to complete the others in a short time, he determined not to wait for the whole force, but to start at once for the Mediterranean. It had been all along decided that the Perseverance should be placed under Captain Hastings's command; and it was now arranged that he should take her to Greece as soon as she was ready, and that Lord Cochrane should follow in a schooner, the Unicorn, of 158 tons. It was not intended, of course, that with that boat alone he should go all the way to Greece; but it was considered—perhaps not very wisely—that if he were actually on his way to Greece, the completion of the other five steamships would be proceeded with more rapidly; and he agreed that, as soon as he was joined in the Mediterranean by the first two of these, the Enterprise and the Irresistible, he would hasten on to the Archipelago, and there make the best of the small force at his disposal. Not only was it supposed that Mr. Galloway and the other agents would thus be induced to more vigorous action: it was also deemed that the effect of this step upon the Hellenic nation would be very beneficial. "As soon as the Greek Government know that your lordship is on your way to Greece," wrote the London deputies on the 13th of April, "their courage will be animated, and their confidence renewed. We may with truth assert that your lordship is regarded by all classes of our countrymen as a Messiah, who is to come to their deliverance; and, from the enthusiasm which will prevail amongst the people, we may venture to predict that your lordship's valour and success at sea will give energy and victory to their arms on land."

With the new arrangements necessitated by this change of plans the last two or three weeks of April and the first of May were occupied. Lord Cochrane put to sea on the 8th of May. "As a Greek citizen," one of the deputies in London, Andreas Luriottis, had written on the 17th of April, "I cannot refrain from expressing my sincere gratitude towards your lordship for the resolution which you have taken to depart almost immediately for Greece. This generous determination, at a moment when my country is really in want of every assistance, cannot be regarded with indifference by my countrymen, who already look upon your lordship as a Messiah. Your talents and intrepidity cannot allow us for a moment to doubt of success. My countrymen will afford you every assistance, and confer on you all the powers necessary for your undertaking; although your lordship must be aware that Greece, after five years' struggle, cannot be expected to present a very favourable aspect to a stranger. Your lordship will, however, find men full of devotion and courage—men who have founded, their best hopes on you, and from whom, under such a leader, everything may be expected. Your lordship's previous exploits encourage me to hope that Greece will not be less successful than the Brazils, since the materials she offers for cultivation are superior. With patience and perseverance in the outset, all difficulties will soon vanish, and the course will be direct and unimpeded. The resources of Greece are not to be despised, and, if successful, she will find ample means to reward those who will have devoted themselves to her service and to the cause of liberty."




Lord Cochrane, having passed from Brussels to Flushing, sailed thence in the Unicorn on the 8th of May, 1826. Before proceeding to the Mediterranean, he determined, in spite of the personal risk he would thus be subjected to through the Foreign Enlistment Act, to see for himself in what state were the preparations for his enterprise in Greece. He accordingly landed at Weymouth, and hurrying up to London, spent the greater part of Sunday, the 16th of May, in Mr. Galloway's building yard at Greenwich.

He found that the Perseverance was apparently completed, though waiting for some finishing touches to be put to her boilers. "The two other vessels," he said, "were filled with pieces of the high-pressure engines, all unfixed, and scattered about in the engine-room and on deck. The boilers were in the small boats, and occupied nearly one half of their length, Mr. Galloway having, through inattention or otherwise, caused them to be made of the same dimensions as the boilers for the great vessels, which, by the by, had been improperly increased from sixteen feet, the length determined on, to twenty-three feet." The inspection was unsatisfactory; but Mr. Galloway pledged himself on his honour that the Perseverance should start in a day or two, that the Enterprise and the Irresistible should be completed and sent to sea within a fortnight, and that the other three vessels should be out of hand in less than a month.

Trusting to that promise, or at any rate hoping that it might be fulfilled, and after a parting interview with Sir Francis Burdett, Mr. Ellice, and other friends, Lord Cochrane left London on Monday, and joined the Unicorn, at Dartford, on the 20th of May. It had been arranged that he should wait in British waters for the first instalment of his little fleet, at any rate. With that object he called at Falmouth, and, receiving no satisfactory information there, went to make a longer halt in Bantry Bay. At length, hearing that the Perseverance had actually started, with Captain Hastings for its commander, and that the other two large vessels were on the point of leaving the Thames, he left the coast of Ireland on the 12th of June.

He vainly hoped that the vessels would promptly join him in the Mediterranean, and that within four or five weeks' time he should be at work in Greek waters. The journey, however, was to last nine months. The mismanagement and the wilful delays of Mr. Galloway and the other contractors and agents continued as before. The urgent need of Greece was unsatisfied; the funds collected for promoting her deliverance were wantonly perverted; and the looked-for deliverer was doomed to nearly a year of further inactivity—hateful to him at all times, but now a special source of annoyance, as it involved not only idleness to himself, but also serious injury to the cause he had espoused.

He passed Oporto on the 18th, Lisbon on the 20th, and Gibraltar on the 26th of June. He was off Algiers on the 3rd of July, and on the 12th he anchored in the harbour of Messina. There, and in the adjoining waters, he waited nearly three months, in daily expectation of the arrival of his vessels, Messina having been the appointed meeting-place. No vessels came, but instead only dismal and procrastinating letters. "We deeply lament," wrote Messrs. J. and S. Ricardo, the contractors for the Greek loan, in one of them, dated the 9th of September, "that, after all the exertions which have been used, we have not yet been able to despatch the two large steam-vessels. Everything has been ready for some time; but Mr. Galloway's failure in the engines will now occasion a much longer detention. We leave to your brother, who writes by the same opportunity, to explain fully to your lordship how all this has arisen, and what measures it has been considered expedient to adopt. In the whole of this unfortunate affair we have endeavoured to follow your wishes; and our conduct towards Mr. Galloway, who has much to answer for, has been chiefly directed by his representations." "Galloway is the evil genius that pursues us everywhere," wrote the same correspondents on the 25th of September; "his presumption is only equalled by his incompetency. Whatever he has to do with is miserably deficient. We do not think his misconduct has been intentional; but it has proved most fatal to the interests of Greece, and of those engaged in her behalf. On your lordship it has pressed peculiarly hard; and most sincerely do we lament that an undertaking, which promised so fairly in the commencement should hitherto have proved unavailing, and that your power of assisting this unhappy country should have been rendered nugatory by the want of means to put it in effect."

Those letters, and others written before and after, did not reach Lord Cochrane till the end of October. In the meanwhile, finding that the expected vessels did not arrive at Messina, and that in that place it was impossible even for him to receive accurate information as to the progress of affairs in London, he called at Malta about the middle of September, and thence proceeded to Marseilles, as a convenient halting-place, in which he had better chance of hearing how matters were proceeding, and from which he could easily go to meet the vessels when, if ever, they were ready to join him. He reached Marseilles on the 12th of October, and on the same day he forwarded a letter to Messrs. Ricardo. "I wrote to you a few days ago," he said, "from Malta, and, as the packet sailed with a fair wind, you will receive that letter very shortly. You will thereby perceive the distressing suspense in which I have been held, and the inconvenience to which I have been exposed, by remaining on board this small vessel for a period of five months, during all the heat of a Mediterranean summer, without exercise or recreation. This situation has been rendered the more unpleasant, as I have had no means to inform myself, except through the public papers, relative to the concern in which we are now engaged. My patience, however, is now worn out, and I have come here to learn whether I am to expect the steam-vessels or not,—whether the scandalous blunders of Mr. Galloway are to be remedied by those concerned, or if an ill-timed parsimony is to doom Greece to inevitable destruction; for such will be the consequence, if Ibrahim's resources are not cut up before the period at which it is usual for him to commence operations. You know my opinions so well, that it is unnecessary to repeat them to you. I shall, however, add, that the intelligence and plans I have obtained since my arrival in the Mediterranean confirm these opinions, and enable me to predict, with as much certainty as I ever could do on any enterprise, that if the vessels and the means to pay six months' expenses are forwarded, there shall not be a Turkish or Egyptian ship in the Archipelago at the termination of the winter. It may have been expected that I should immediately proceed to Greece in this vessel. I might have done so at an earlier period of my life, before I had proved by experience that advice is thrown away upon persons in the situation and circumstances in which the Greek rulers and their people are unfortunately placed. Having made up my mind on this subject, I must entreat you to let me know by the earliest possible means what I am to expect in regard to the steamships. I see by the 'Globe' of the 2nd of last month that the holders of Greek stock were to have a meeting. I conclude they came to some resolution, and this resolution I want to know. I wish I could give them my eyes to see with—they would then pursue a course which would secure their interests. This, however, is impossible; therefore they must, like the Greeks, be left to follow their own notions. I have, however, no objections to your stating to these gentlemen, either publicly or privately, that I pledge my reputation to free Greece if they will, by the smallest additional sacrifice that may be required, put the stipulated force at my disposal."[A]

[Footnote A: This letter, like some others of this nature, is partly written in cypher, the key to which is lost. Its concluding sentences, therefore, are not given.]

At Marseilles, Lord Cochrane received information, disheartening enough, though more encouraging than was justified by the real state of affairs, with reference to his intended fleet. On the 14th of October he wrote to explain his position, as he himself understood it, to the Greek Government. "By the most fortunate accident," he said, "I have met Mr. Hobhouse here, who, from his correspondence with Messrs. Ricardo and others in London, enables me to state to you that the two large steamboats will be completed on the 28th day of this month, and that they will proceed on the following day for the rendezvous which I had assigned to them previous to my departure. You may, therefore, count on their being in Greece about the 14th of next month. The American frigate is said to be completed and on her way, and I feel a confident hope that I shall be able here to add a very efficient ship of war to the before-mentioned vessels.[A] It is probable," he added, "that many idle reports will be circulated here and through the public prints, because, under existing circumstances, I find it necessary to appear now as a person travelling about for private amusement. I can assure you, however, that the hundred and sixty days which I have already spent in this small vessel, without ever having my foot on shore till the day before yesterday, has been a sacrifice which I should not have made for any other cause than that in which I am engaged; but I considered it essential to conceal the real insignificance of my situation and allow rumours to circulate of squadrons collecting in various parts, judging that the effect would be to embarrass the operations of the enemy."

[Footnote A: It should here be explained that the building and fitting out of the two frigates contracted for in New York, at a cost of 150,000£, having been assigned to persons whose mismanagement was as scandalous as that which perplexed the Greek cause in London, one of them had been sold, and with the proceeds and some other funds the other had been completed and fitted out, more than 200,000£ having been spent upon her. She reached Greece at the end of 1826, there to be known as the Hellas.]

That concealment had to be maintained, and the wearisome delays continued, for three months more. All the promises of Mr. Galloway and all the efforts, real or pretended, of the Greek deputies in London, were vain. The completion of the steam-vessels was retarded on all sorts of pretexts, and when each little portion of the work was said to be done, it was found to be so badly executed that it had to be cancelled and the whole thing done afresh. In this way all the residue of the loan of 1825 was exhausted, and all for worse than nothing.

Lord Cochrane would never have been able to proceed to Greece at all, had the Greek deputies, Orlando and Luriottis, who had contracted for his employment, been his only supporters. Fortunately, however, he had other and worthier coadjutors. The Greek Committee in Paris did much on his behalf, and yet more was done by the Philhellenes of Switzerland, with Chevalier Eynard at their head, of whom one zealous member, Dr. L.A. Gosse, of Geneva, "well-informed, very zealous, full of genuine enthusiasm for the cause of humanity, and an excellent physician," as M. Eynard described him, was about to go in person to Greece, as administrator of the funds collected by the Swiss Committee. Lord Cochrane's disconsolate arrival at Marseilles, and the miserable failure of the plans for his enterprise, had not been known to M. Eynard and his friends a week, before they set themselves to remedy the mischief as far as lay in their power. As a first and chief movement they proposed to buy a French corvette, then lying in Marseilles Harbour, and fit her out as a stout auxiliary to Lord Cochrane's little force expected from London and New York. Lord Cochrane, being consulted on the scheme, eagerly acceded to it in a letter written on the 25th of October. "As I have yet no certainty," he said, "that the person employed to fit the machinery of the steam-vessels will now perform his task better than he has heretofore done, I recommend purchasing the corvette, provided that she can be purchased for the sum of 200,000 francs, and, if funds are wanting, I personally am willing to advance enough to provision the corvette, and am ready to proceed in that or any fit vessel. But I am quite resolved, without a moral certainty of something following me, not to ruin and disgrace the cause by presenting myself in Greece in a schooner of two carronades of the smallest calibre."

The corvette was bought and equipped; but in this several weeks were employed. In the interval, for a week or two after the 8th of December, Lord Cochrane went to Geneva, there to be the guest of Chevalier Eynard, to be introduced to Dr. Gosse, and to become personally acquainted with many other Philhellenes.

Neither Lord Cochrane nor his friends could quite abandon hope of the ultimate completion of the London steam-vessels. They felt, too, that with nothing but the new vessel, the American frigate, and the Perseverance, Lord Cochrane would have very poor provision for his undertaking. "I have this moment received a letter from his lordship," wrote M. Eynard to Mr. Hobhouse on the 12th of January, 1827, "wherein he appears rather disappointed with respect to the scantiness of the forces and the means placed at his disposal. He informs me that he has no officers, few sailors; and that, in case the steamers should not arrive, he will not feel qualified to encounter the Turkish and Egyptian naval forces, as well as the Algerines, who of all are the best manned. 'I therefore shall not be able to undertake anything of moment,' continues his lordship. 'Thus to stake my character and existence would be a mere Quixotic act. I will put to sea, however, but still with a heavy heart; yet not until I have with me all requisites, and my stores and ammunition be embarked likewise.' Discouragement appears throughout his lordship's letter."

The discouragement is not to be wondered at. It is hardly necessary, however, to give further illustration of it, or of the troubles incident to this long waiting-time. Enough has been said to show Lord Cochrane's position in relation to this deplorable state of affairs, and to exonerate him from all blame in the matter. That he should have been blamed at all is only part of the wanton injustice that attended him nearly all through his life. He had consented, in the autumn of 1825, to enter the service of the Greeks, on the distinct understanding that six English-built steamships should be placed at his disposal, and to facilitate the arrangements he did and bore far more than could have been expected of him. For the delays and disasters that befel those arrangements he was in no way responsible: he was only thereby a very great sufferer. But his sufferings would have been greater, and he would have been really at fault, had he consented to go to Greece without any sort of provision, as a few rash friends and many eager enemies desired him to do, and afterwards blamed him for not doing.

As it was, he greatly increased his difficulties by at last proceeding to Greece with the miserable equipment provided for him. In his little schooner, the Unicorn, he left Marseilles on the 14th of February, 1827, and proceeded to St. Tropezy, where the French corvette, the Sauveur, was being fitted out under the direction of Captain Thomas, a brave and energetic officer. Thence he set sail, with the two vessels, on the 23rd of February. He reached Poros, and entered upon his service in Greek waters, on the 19th of March. "He had been wandering about the Mediterranean in a fine English yacht, purchased for him out of the proceeds of the loan, in order to accelerate his arrival in Greece, ever since the month of June, 1826," says the ablest historian of the Greek Revolution.[A] The preceding paragraphs will show how much truth is contained in that sarcastic sentence.

[Footnote A: Finlay, vol. ii., p. 137.]




During the one-and-twenty weary months that elapsed between Lord Cochrane's acceptance of service in the Greek War of Independence and his actual participation in the work, the Revolution passed through a new and disastrous stage. In the summer of 1825, when the invitation was sent to him, the disorganisation of the Greeks and the superior strength of the Turks, and yet more of their Egyptian and Arabian allies under Ibrahim Pasha, were threatening to undo all that had been achieved in the previous years. One bold stand had begun to be made, in which, throughout nearly a whole year, the Greeks fought with unsurpassed heroism, and then the whole struggle for liberty fell into the lawless and disordered condition which already had prevailed in many districts, and which was then to become universal and to offer obstacles too great even for Lord Cochrane's genius to overcome in his efforts to revive genuine patriotism and to render thoroughly successful the cause that he had espoused.

The last great stand was at Missolonghi. Built on the edge of a marshy plain, bounded on the north by the high hills of Zygos and protected on the south by shallow lagoons at the mouth of the Gulf of Lepanto, and chiefly tenanted by hardy fishermen, this town had been the first in Western Greece to take part in the Revolution. Here in June, 1821, nearly all the Moslem residents had been slaughtered, the wealthiest and most serviceable only being spared to become the slaves of their Christian masters. In the last two months of 1822 the Ottomans had made a desperate attempt to win back the stronghold; but its inhabitants, led by Mavrocordatos, who had lately come to join in the work of regeneration, had resolutely beaten off the invaders and taken revenge upon the few Turks still resident among them. "The wife of one of the Turkish inhabitants of Missolonghi," said an English visitor in 1824, "imploring my pity, begged me to allow her to remain under my roof, in order to shelter her from the brutality and cruelty of the Greeks. They had murdered all her relations. A little girl, nine years old, remained to be the only companion of her misery."[A] Missolonghi continued to be one of the chief strongholds of independence in continental Greece; and, the revolutionists being forced into it by the Turks, who scoured the districts north and east of it in 1824 and 1825, it became in the latter year the main object of attack and the scene of most desperate resistance. Here were concentrated the chief energies of the Greek warriors and of their Moslem antagonists, and here was exhibited the last and most heroic effort of the patriots, unaided by foreign champions of note, in their long and hard-fought battle for freedom.

[Footnote A: Millingen, "Memoirs on the Affairs of Greece," p. 99.]

Reshid Pasha, the ablest of the Turkish generals, having advanced into the neighbourhood of Missolonghi towards the end of April, began to besiege it in good earnest, at the head of an army of some seven or eight thousand picked followers, on the 7th of May. While he was forming his entrenchments and erecting his batteries, the townsmen, augmented by a number of fierce Suliots and others, were strengthening their defences. They increased their ramparts, and organised a garrison of four thousand soldiers and armed peasants, with a thousand citizens and boatmen as auxiliaries. At first the tide of fortune was with them. The Turks had to defend themselves as best they could from numerous sorties, well-planned and well-executed, in May and June; and fresh courage came to the Greeks with the intelligence that Admiral Miaoulis was on his way to the port, with as powerful a fleet as he could muster. While he was being expected, however, on the 10th of July, the Turkish Capitan Pasha of Greece arrived with fifty-five vessels. Miaoulis, with forty Greek sail, made his appearance on the 2nd of August. Thus the naval and military forces of both sides were brought into formidable opposition.

At first the Greeks triumphed on the sea. In the night of the 3rd of August, Miaoulis, finding that Missolonghi was being greatly troubled by the blockade established by the Turks, cleverly placed himself to windward of the enemy's line, and at daybreak on the 4th he dispersed the squadron nearest the shore. At noon the whole Turkish force came against him. He met them bravely, but being able to do no more than hold his own by the ordinary method of warfare, he sent three fireships against them in the afternoon. The Turks did not wait to be injured by them. They fled at once, going all the way to Alexandria in search of safety. Miaoulis then lost no time in seconding his first exploit by another. A detachment of the army of Eastern Greece, under the brave generals Karaïskakes and Zavellas, having been sent to harass Reshid Pasha's operations, the admiral assisted them in a successful piece of strategy. The Turks were, on the 6th of August, attacked simultaneously by the ships and by the outlying battalion of Greeks, while fifteen hundred of the garrison rushed out upon the invaders. Four Turkish batteries were seized, and a great number of their defenders were killed and captured; the remainder, after tough fighting during three hours and a half, being driven so far back that much of the besieging work had to be done over again.

Miaoulis then went in search of the Ottoman fleet, leaving the townsmen, who were enabled, by the raising of the blockade, to receive fresh supplies of food, ammunition, and men, to continue their defence with a good heart. Reshid Pasha vigorously restored his siege operations, but, attempting to force his way into the town on the 21st of September, was again seriously repulsed. The Turks were allowed, and even tempted, to advance to a point which had been skilfully undermined by the besieged. The mine was then fired, and a great number of Moslems were blown into the air, while their comrades, fleeing in disorder, were further injured by a storm of shot from the ramparts. A similar device was resorted to, with like success, on the 13th of October. Reshid had to retire to a safe distance and there build winter quarters for his diminished and starving army. Karaïskakes and Zavellas entered Missolonghi without hindrance, there to concert measures which, had they been promptly adopted, might have utterly destroyed the besieging force.

They delayed their plans too long. The Capitan Pasha having in August fled in a cowardly way to Alexandria, there effected a junction with the Egyptians, and returned to the neighbourhood of Missolonghi in the middle of November with a huge fleet of a hundred and thirty-five vessels, well supplied with troops and provisions. These he landed at Patras on the 18th, just in time to be free from any annoyance that might have been occasioned by Miaoulis, who returned to Missolonghi on the 28th with a fleet of only thirty-three sail. He had vainly attacked a part of the Moslem force on its way, and now, after landing some stores at Missolonghi, made several vain attempts to overcome a force four times as strong as his own. He soon retired, intending to return as promptly as he could collect a large fleet and bring with him further supplies of the provisions of which the Missolonghites were beginning to be in need.

The need was greater even than he imagined. Not only had the Capitan Pasha brought temporary assistance, in men and food, to the besieging force. Yet greater assistance soon came in the shape of an Egyptian army, led by Ibrahim Pasha himself. An overwhelming power was thus organized during the last weeks of 1825, and the defenders of Missolonghi were left to succumb to it, almost unaided. Their previous successes had induced the Greeks of other districts to believe that they could continue their defence alone, and almost the only relief obtained by them was from the Zantiots, who had all along been zealous in the despatch of money and provisions, and from Miaoulis and the small fleet and equipment that he was able to collect from the islands of the Archipelago. Miaoulis returned in January, 1826, and did much injury to the Turkish and Egyptian vessels. But he could offer no hindrance to the action of the Turks and Egyptians upon land. The rainy months of December and January, in which no important attack could be entered upon, were spent by Ibrahim and his companions in preparation for future work. The invaders were now well provided with every requisite. The besieged were in want of nearly everything. "Invested for ten months," says the contemporary historian, "frequently on the verge of starvation, thinned by fatigue, watching, and wounds, they had already buried fifteen hundred soldiers. The town was in ruins, and they lived amongst the mire and water of their ditches, exposed to the inclemency of a rigorous season, without shoes and in tattered clothing. As far as their vision stretched over the waves they beheld only Turkish flags. The plain was studded with Mussulman tents and standards; and the gradual appearance of new batteries more skilfully disposed, the field days of the Arabs, and the noise of saws and hammers, gave fearful warning. Yet these gallant Acarnanians, Etolians, and Epirots never flinched for an instant."[A]

[Footnote A: Gordon, vol. ii., p. 253.]

On the 13th of January, Ibrahim Pasha sent to say that he was willing to treat with them for an honourable surrender if they would convey their terms by deputies who could speak Albanian, Turkish, and French. "We are illiterate, and do not understand so many languages," was their blunt reply; "pashas we do not recognize; but we know how to handle the sword and gun."[A]

[Footnote A: Ibid.]

Sword and gun were handled with desperate prowess during February and March and the early part of April. In April, offers of capitulation were renewed by Ibrahim, and more disinterested attempts to avert the worst calamity were made by Sir Frederick Adam, the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. Both proposals were stoutly rejected. The Missolonghiotes declared that they would defend their town to the last, and trust only in God and in their own strong arms. But on the 1st of April the last scanty distribution of public rations was exhausted. For three weeks the inhabitants subsisted upon nothing but cats, rats, hides, seaweed, and whatever other refuse and vermin they could collect. At length, on the 22nd of April, finding it impossible to hold out for a day longer, they resolved to evacuate the town in a body, and, cutting their way through the enemy, to try to join Karaïskakes and his small force, who, hiding among the mountain fastnesses, were vainly seeking for some way of assisting them, and to whom they now despatched a message, asking them to advance and help to clear a passage for their flight.

After sunset four bridges of planks were secretly laid over the outer ditch of Missolonghi, and the inhabitants were ordered to prepare to leave in two hours. Many—about two thousand—lost heart at last; some betaking themselves to the powder stores, there, when all hope was over, to end their lives by easier death than the enemy might allow them; others, crouching in corners of their homesteads, deeming it better to be murdered there than in the open country. The rest obeyed the orders of the generals. All the women dressed themselves as men, with swords or daggers at their waists. Every child who could hold a weapon had one placed in his hand. There was bitter leave-taking, and desperate words of encouragement passed from one to another, as the patriots were marshalled in the order of their departure;—three thousand fighting men to open a passage and four thousand women and children to follow;—the whole being divided into three separate parties. At length all was ready, and the first party silently passed out of the town and advanced to the bridges. To their amazement, they no sooner appeared than they were met by volley after volley of Turkish fire. A traitor had revealed their plan, and every measure had been taken for their destruction. Some rushed on in despite; others hurried back, to fall into confusion, which it was hard indeed to overcome. They felt, however, that this deadly chance was their only chance of life, and they pressed on through the fire, and the swords of their foes, and by the sheer heroism of despair forced a passage to the mountains. Karaiskakes's aid—apparently through no fault of his—was only obtained when the worst dangers had been surmounted or succumbed to. Of the nine thousand persons who were in Missolonghi on the day of the evacuation, four thousand were killed in the town or on the way out of it. Only thirteen hundred men and two hundred women and children lived to reach Salona after more than a week of wandering and hiding among the mountains.

The long siege of Missolonghi illustrates all the best and some of the worst features of the Greek Revolution. In it there was patriotism worthy, in its bursts of splendour, of the nation that claimed descent from the heroes of Plataea and Thermopylae. But the patriotism was often fitful in its working, and oftener wholly wanting. The Greeks could not shake off the pernicious influences that sprang, almost necessarily, from their long centuries of thraldom. Heroism was closely linked with treachery and meanness. The worthiest and most disinterested energy was intimately associated with ignorance as to the right methods of action, and with wilful action in wrong ways. The elements of weakness that had been apparent from the first were more and more developed as the painful struggle reached its termination. It seems as if, in spite of Reshid Pasha and Ibrahim and their fierce armies, it would have been easy for Missolonghi and its brave defenders to have been saved. But rival ambitions and paltry jealousies divided the leaders of the Revolution. They were quarrelling while the power that each one coveted for himself was, step by step, being wrested from them all; and when they tried to do well their want of discipline often rendered their efforts of small avail. No adequate attempt was made to relieve Missolonghi by land, and the brave conduct of Miaoulis on the sea was almost neutralized by the disorganization of his crews and the selfish policy of the islanders who sent him out.

"With respect to the Greek army," wrote General Ponsonby to the Duke of Wellington, from Corfu, on the 15th of June, "it is, generally speaking, a mob; and a chief can only calculate upon keeping it together as long as he has provisions to give it or the prospect of plunder without danger. There is nothing to oppose the Egyptian army but a mob kept together by the small sums sent by the different committees in foreign countries. The Greeks have a great horror of the bayonet, which, however, they have never seen near, except at Missolonghi. The Suliots, who chiefly formed the garrison of that place, are fine men, and certainly fought with great courage. Much has been said of naval actions, but there is no truth in any of the accounts. The Greeks are better sailors than the Turks, but no action has been fought since the beginning of the war, if it is understood by action that there is risk and loss on both sides. The Greeks, however, have done wonders with their fleet. They have destroyed many large ships, and, in the month of February last, with twenty-three brigs, they out-manoeuvred the Turkish fleet of sixty sail, and threw provisions into Missolonghi. This, though done by seamanship, and not fighting, was called a great battle and a great victory. I was within two miles of the fleets, and the cannonade for six hours was tremendous; but when I spoke to Miaoulis the following morning he told me he had not lost a man in his fleet."[A]

[Footnote A: "Despatches of the Duke of Wellington," vol. iii., p. 338.]

During the summer and winter following the fall of Missolonghi a series of small disasters, the aggregate of which was by no means small, befel the Greeks. It was the opinion of all parties, and admitted even by jealous rivals, that the tottering cause of independence was only sustained by the constant and eager expectation of the arrival of the powerful fleet which was supposed to be on its way to the Archipelago, under the able leadership of Lord Cochrane, the world-famous champion of Chilian and Brazilian freedom.

His approach was hardly more a cause of hope to the Greeks than a subject of fear to the Turks. No sooner was it publicly known that he had espoused the cause of the insurgents than angry complaints were made by the Turkish Government to the British ministry, and Mr. Canning, then Foreign Secretary, had more than once to avow that the authorities in England knew nothing of his movements, and had done all that the law rendered possible to restrain him. He had also to promise that everything legal should be done to keep him in check on his arrival in Greek waters. "We have heard," he wrote in August to his cousin, Mr. Stratford Canning, afterwards Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, the ambassador at Constantinople, "that Lord Cochrane is gone to the Mediterranean; whether it be really so, we know not." He then proceeded to define the bearing of English and international law in the existing circumstances. "Lord Cochrane may enter the Greek service, and continue therein. He may even, as a Greek commander, institute (as he did in Brazil) blockades which British officers will respect, and exercise the belligerent rights of search on British merchant-ships, without exposing himself to any other penalty than that which the law will inflict upon him if ever hereafter he shall again bring himself within its reach, and be duly convicted of the offence for the punishment of which that law was enacted. If, indeed, he should do any of such things without a commission he would become a pirate, and liable to the summary justice to which, without reference to the municipal laws of his country, he would, as an enemy of the human race, be liable; and liable just as much from the officers of any other country as of his own."[A]

[Footnote A: "Despatches of the Duke of Wellington," vol. iii., pp. 357, 358.]

While that correspondence was going on, Lord Cochrane, as we have seen, was battling with a long series of delays, as irksome to himself as they were unfortunate to the Greeks. It was not till the 14th of September, about eight months after the time fixed for the arrival of his whole fleet, that the first instalment of it, the Perseverance, which he had sent on as soon as it was completed, with Captain Abney Hastings as its commander, entered the harbour of Nauplia. On the 26th of October, Captain Hastings wrote a letter, giving curious evidence of the estimate formed by him of the Greek character. It was left at Nauplia and addressed to "the commander of the first American or English vessel that arrives in Greece to join the Greeks." "An apprenticeship in Greece tolerably long," he wrote, "has taught me the risks to which anybody newly arrived, and possessed of some place and power, is exposed. They know me, and they also know that I know them; yet they have not ceased, and never will cease, intriguing to get this vessel out of my hands and into their own, which would be tantamount to ruining her. Knowing all this, I take the liberty of leaving this letter, to be delivered to the first officer that arrives in Greece in the command of a vessel, to caution him not to receive on board his vessel any Greek captain. They will endeavour, under various pretences, to introduce themselves on board, and when once they have got a footing, they will gradually encroach until they feel themselves strong enough to turn out the original commander. The presence of such men can only be attended with inconvenience, for, if you are obliged to take a certain number of Greek sailors, these captains will render subordination among them impossible by their own irregularity and bad example. If you want seamen, take some from Hydra, Spetzas, Kranidi, or Poros. The Psarians may be trusted in very small numbers. Take a few men from one, a few from another island, and thus you will be best enabled to establish some kind of discipline. Take a good number of marines. Choose them from the peasantry and foreign Greeks, and you may make something of them. You must see, sir, that, in this my advice to the first officer arriving in command of a vessel, I can have no interest any further than inasmuch as I wish well to the Greek cause, and therefore do not wish to see a force that can be of great service rendered ineffective by falling into the hands of people totally incapable and unwilling to adopt a single right measure. In Greece there cannot be any military operations except such as are carried on by foreigners in their service."

That letter was written after Captain Hastings had endured a month's annoyance from the trouble brought upon him by the Hydriot officers and seamen who tried to oust him from the command of his fine vessel, whose name was now changed from the Perseverance to the Karteria. Unfortunately, his letter, left at Nauplia, did not reach the captain of the next reinforcement, the American frigate, which arrived at Egina on the 8th of December. "She was one of the finest ships in the world," we are told, "carrying sixty-four guns—long 32-pounders on the main, and 42-pound carronades on the upper deck—and was filled with flour, ammunition, medicines, and marine stores for eighteen months' consumption. The Greeks contemplated her with delight, but, upon the departure of the American officers and seamen who navigated her out, they discovered that she would be more embarrassing than useful to them. To manage vessels of such a size was beyond their capacity, and the mutual jealousy of the islanders suggested to the Government the absurd notion of putting the frigate into commission, Hydra, Spetzas, and the Psarian community being desired to send quotas of men. This plan was now found to be impracticable. Repeated fights occurred on board. The ship was twice in danger of being wrecked at Egina, and at Poros she actually drifted ashore, luckily on soft mud. She was finally given up to Miaoulis, with a Hydriot crew of his own selection."[A]

[Footnote A: Gordon, vol. ii., p. 326.]

This frigate, christened the Hellas, came too late to be of much service to Admiral Miaoulis, before the arrival of Lord Cochrane. In the previous summer and autumn, however, he had been harassing and keeping at bay the Turkish and Egyptian fleets—work in which Hastings was in time to assist him.

Andreas Miaoulis, one of the least obtrusive, was almost the worthiest of all the Greek patriots. During five years he had never ceased to do the best that it was possible for him to do with the bad materials at his disposal. When the Greek Revolution was at its height, he had contributed largely to its success; and in the ensuing years of disaster upon land, he had maintained its dignity on the sea by offering bold resistance to the great naval power of the combined Turkish and Egyptian fleets. No better proof of his patriotism could be given than in the zeal with which he surrendered to Lord Cochrane the leadership of the fleet which had devolved upon him for so long and been so ably conducted by him. "I received four days ago," he wrote from Poros on the 23rd of February, 1827, "your amiable letter of the 19th of last month, and my great satisfaction at the announcement of your approaching arrival in Greece is joined with a special pleasure at the honour you do me in associating me with your important operations. I shall be happy, my admiral, if, in serving you, I can do my duty. I await you with impatience."

Just a month before that, on the 23rd of January, a like letter of congratulation was addressed to Lord Cochrane from Egina by the Governing Commission of Greece. "The intelligence of your speedy coming to Greece," they said, "has awakened the liveliest joy and satisfaction, and has already begun to rekindle in the hearts of the Greeks that enthusiasm which is the most powerful weapon and the surest support of a nation that has devoted itself to the recovery of its most sacred rights. The Government of Greece is waiting with the utmost impatience for the most zealous defender of the nation's liberty. It hopes to see you in its midst as soon as possible after your arrival at Hydra, and then to make you acquainted with the actual state of Greece, and to furnish you with all the means in its power for the achievement of the grand results proposed by your lordship." The letter was signed by Andreas Zaimes, as President of the Commission, and by seven of its members, among whom were Mavromichales, or Petro-Bey, who, with Zaimes and two others, represented the Morea, Spiridion Trikoupes, the deputy for Roumelia, Zamados from Hydra, Monarchides from Psara, and Demetrakopoulos from the islands of the Egean Sea.

By the same body was issued, on the 21st of February, a preliminary commission, intended to protect him in case of any opposition being raised to his progress by the authorities of other nations. "The Governing Commission of Greece," it was written, "makes known that Admiral Lord Cochrane is recognised as being in the service of Greece, and accordingly has the permission of the Government to hoist the Greek flag on all the vessels that are under his command. He has power, also, to fight the enemies of Greece to the utmost of his power. Therefore the officers of neutral powers, being informed of this, are implored, not only to offer no opposition to his movements, but also, if necessary, to supply him with any assistance he may require, seeing that it is our custom to do the same to all friendly nations." Armed with this document, and provided with the necessary means by the Philhellenes of England, France, and Switzerland, Lord Cochrane proceeded from Marseilles to Greece.



(Page 22.)

The following "Resumé of the Services of the late Earl of Dundonald, none of which have been Requited or Officially Recognized," was written by his son, one of the authors of the present work, and printed for private circulation in 1861.

1. The destruction of three heavily-armed French corvettes, near the mouth of the Garonne, the crew of Lord Cochrane's frigate, Pallas, being at the time, with the exception of forty men, engaged in cutting out the Tapageuse, lying under the protection of two batteries thirty miles up the river, in which operation they were also successful, four ships of war being thus captured or destroyed in a single day. For these services Lord Cochrane obtained nothing but his share of the Tapageuse, sold by auction for a trifling sum, the Government refusing to purchase her as a ship of war, though of admirable build and construction. Contrary to the usual rule, no ship ever taken by Lord Cochrane, throughout his whole career, was ever allowed to be bought into the navy. For the corvettes, which Lord Cochrane destroyed with so small a crew, he never received reward or thanks, the alleged reason being, that, having become wrecks, they were not in existence, and therefore could not have value attached to them. This decision of the Admiralty was contrary to custom, as admitted to the present day. In the late Russian war a gunboat of the enemy having been driven on shore and wrecked, compensation is said to have been awarded to the officers and crew of the British vessel which drove her on shore. The importance of wrecking a gunboat, in comparison with the destruction of three fast-sailing ships, which were picking up our merchantmen, in all directions, needs no comment.

2. Lord Cochrane's services on the coast of Catalonia, of which Lord Collingwood, then commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, testified of his lordship to the Admiralty that by his energy and foresight he had, with a single frigate, stopped a French army from occupying Eastern Spain. The services by which this was effected were as follows:—Preventing the reinforcement of the French garrison in Barcelona, by harassing the newly-arrived troops in their march along the coast, and organising and assisting the Spanish militia to oppose their progress, Lord Cochrane himself capturing one of their forts on shore, and taking the garrison prisoners.

On the approach of a powerful French corps d'armée towards Barcelona, Lord Cochrane blew up the roads along the coast, and taught the Spanish peasantry how to do so inland. By blowing up the cliff roads, near Mongat, Lord Cochrane interposed an insurmountable obstacle between the army and its artillery, capturing and throwing into the sea a considerable number of field-pieces, so that the operations of the French were rendered nugatory. For these services, Lord Cochrane, notwithstanding the strong representations of Lord Collingwood to the Board of Admiralty, neither received thanks nor reward of any kind; notwithstanding that whilst so engaged, and that voluntarily, in successfully accomplishing the work of an army, he patriotically gave up all chances of prize money, though easily to be obtained by cruising after the enemy's vessels. In place of this, he neither searched for nor captured a single prize, whilst engaged in harassing the French army on shore, devoting his whole energies towards the enterprise which he considered most conducive to the interests of his country.

3. Having effected his object, Lord Cochrane sailed for the Gulf of Lyons, with the intention of cutting off the enemy's shore communications. This he accomplished by destroying their signal stations, telegraphs, and shore batteries along nearly the whole coast, navigating his frigate with perfect safety throughout this proverbially perilous part of the Mediterranean. In order further to paralyse the enemy's movements, Lord Cochrane made a practice of burning paper near the demolished stations, so as to deceive the French into the belief that he had burned their signal books; he rightly judging that from this circumstance they might not deem it necessary to alter their code of signals. The ruse succeeded, and, transmitting the signal books to Lord Collingwood, then watching the enemy's preparations in Toulon, the commander-in-chief was thus fully apprised, by the enemy's signals, not only of all their naval movements, but also of the position and movements of all British ships of war on the French coast. Lord Cochrane's single frigate thus performed the work of many vessels of observation, and Lord Collingwood testified of him to the Admiralty that "his resources seemed to have no end." Notwithstanding this testimony from his commander-in-chief, Lord Cochrane neither received reward nor thanks for the service rendered.

4. On his return to the Spanish coast, Lord Cochrane found the French besieging Rosas, the Spaniards maintaining possession of the citadel, whilst Fort Trinidad had just been evacuated by the British officer who had been co-operating with the Spaniards in the larger fortress. Lord Cochrane, believing that if Fort Trinidad were held till reinforcements arrived, the French must be compelled to raise the siege of Rosas, persuaded the Spanish Governor not to surrender, as he was about to do, on its evacuation by the British officer aforesaid, and threw himself into the fort with a detachment from the seamen and marines of the Impérieuse, with which frigate he maintained uninterrupted communication, in spite of the enemy, who, on ascertaining it to be Lord Cochrane who was keeping them at bay, redoubled their efforts to capture the fort, the gallant defence of which is amongst the most remarkable events of naval warfare. Lord Cochrane held Fort Trinidad till, the Spaniards surrendering the citadel, he would not allow his men to run further risk in their behalf, and withdrew the seamen and marines in safety. For this remarkable exploit Lord Cochrane, though himself severely wounded, neither received reward nor thanks, except from Lord Collingwood, who again, without effect, warmly applauded his gallantry to the Admiralty.

5. Immediately on his arrival at Plymouth, on leave of absence in consequence of ill health from his extraordinary exertions, Lord Cochrane was immediately summoned by the Admiralty to Whitehall, and asked for a plan whereby the French fleet in Basque Roads, then threatening our West India possessions, might be destroyed at one blow; this extraordinary request from a junior captain, after the most experienced officers in the navy had pronounced its impracticability, forcibly proving the very high opinion entertained by the Admiralty of Lord Cochrane's skill and resources. He gave in a plan, and was ordered to execute it, which order he reluctantly obeyed, having done all in his power to decline an invidious command, for fear of arousing the jealousy of officers to whom he was junior in the service. What followed is matter of history, and needs not to be recapitulated. Yet for the destruction of that powerful armament he neither received reward nor thanks from the Admiralty, though rewarded by his sovereign with the highest order of the Bath, a distinction which marked his Majesty's sense of the important service rendered.

Nine years afterwards head money was awarded to the whole fleet, of which only the vessels directed by Lord Cochrane and a few sent afterwards, when too late for effective measures, took part in the action. The alleged reason of this award was that the Calcutta, one of the ships driven ashore by Lord Cochrane, did not surrender to him, but to ships sent to his assistance. This was not true, though after protracted deliberation so ruled by the Admiralty Court, and officers now living and present in the action have recently come forward to testify to the ship being in Lord Cochrane's possession before the arrival of the ships which subsequently came to his assistance. A small sum was therefore only awarded to him as a junior captain, in common with those who had been spectators only, and this he declined to receive. Such was his recompense for a service to the high merit of which Napoleon himself afterwards testified in the warmest manner; and it may be mentioned as a further testimony that a French Court Martial shot Captain Lafont, the commander of the Calcutta, because he surrendered to a vessel of inferior power, viz., Lord Cochrane's frigate, the Impérieuse of forty-four guns, the Calcutta carrying sixty guns.[A]

[Footnote A: Captain Lafont was shot on board the Ocean, on September 9, 1809, for surrendering the Calcutta to a ship of inferior force, thus proving that she surrendered to Lord Cochrane alone, though Sir William Scott ruled in opposition to the facts adopted by the French Court Martial, which condemned Captain Lafont to death for the act. The surrender to Lord Cochrane alone is further proved by the additional fact, that the captains of the Ville de Varsovie and Aquilon, which did surrender to the other ships in conjunction with Lord Cochrane's frigate, were not even accused, much less punished for so doing.]

The exploits of Lord Cochrane in the Speedy and Pallas are too well known in naval history to require recapitulation, and of these it may be said that the numerous prizes captured by these vessels constituted their own reward. It may here be mentioned in confirmation of what has previously been said, that the Gamo, a magnificent xebeque frigate of thirty-two guns, was not allowed to be bought into the navy, but was sold for a small sum to one of the piratical Barbary States, notwithstanding that Lord Cochrane had said that if he were allowed to have her in place of the Speedy, then in a very dilapidated condition, he would sweep the Mediterranean of the enemy's cruisers and privateers. His capacity so to do may be judged from what he effected with the Speedy, mounting only fourteen 4-pounders.

With regard to the services previously enumerated, the case is different, notwithstanding their national importance in comparison with his minor acts, which may be classed as brilliant exploits only. But that no reward should have been conferred for doing effectively the work of an army, and that without the cost of a shilling to the nation beyond the ordinary expenditure of a small frigate, necessary to be disbursed whether she performed any effective service or not, is a neglect which, unless repaired in the persons of his successors, will for ever remain a blot on the British Government. Still more so will the worse neglect of not having in any way rewarded him for the destruction of the French fleet in Basque Roads, for though only four ships were destroyed at the moment, the whole fleet of the enemy was so damaged by having been driven on shore from terror of the explosive vessel, fired with Lord Cochrane's own hand, that it eventually became a wreck; and thus our West India commerce, then the most important branch of national export and import, was in a month after Lord Cochrane's arrival from the Mediterranean relieved from the panic which paralysed it, and restored to its wonted security;—a service which can only be estimated by the gloom and panic which had previously pervaded the whole country.

Were reference made to the pension list, and note taken of the pensions granted to other officers and their successors for services which in point of national importance do not admit of comparison with those of Lord Cochrane, the present generation would be surprised at the national ingratitude manifested towards one, who, in his great exploits, had so patriotically sacrificed every consideration of private interest to his country's service. His cruise in the Impérieuse, which has no parallel in naval history, procured for Lord Cochrane nothing whatever but shattered health from the incessant anxiety and exertion he had undergone in the profitless but high-minded course he adopted to thwart the French in their attempts to establish a permanent footing in Eastern Spain. His exploits in Basque Roads procured him nothing but absolute ruin; for, from his refusal as a Member of Parliament to acquiesce in a vote of thanks to Lord Gambier, even though the same thanks were promised to himself, may be dated that active political persecution which commenced by depriving him of further naval employment and did not cease till it had accomplished his utter ruin, even to striking his name out of the Navy List.

The animosity of this political partisanship towards one who had effected so much for his country is an anomaly even in political history. That amended representation of the people in Parliament, for which he strove up to 1818, had only fourteen years afterwards become the law of the land, and the boast of some who had persecuted Lord Cochrane for no offence beyond having been amongst the first to give expression to the popular will subsequently adopted by themselves.

The efforts of Lord Cochrane in favour of reforming the abuses of the Navy and of Greenwich Hospital, which at that time brought upon him the wrath of the Administration, are at this moment seriously engaging the attention of parliament, as being of paramount national necessity. The doctrine then openly laid down, that no naval officer in parliament had a right to interfere with naval administration, has long been abrogated, and many of the brightest ornaments of the navy are now amongst the foremost to denounce naval abuses in the House of Commons. It is, in fact, to them that the country now looks for that vigilance which shall preserve the navy in a proper state of efficiency. Yet for these very things was Lord Cochrane persecuted, though modern Governments, which have been liberal enough to acquiesce in popular reforms, of which he was the early advocate, have not been liberal enough to make him amends for the wrongs he suffered as one of the indefatigable originators of their now-cherished measures. Still less have they deemed it inconsistent with the honour of this great country to refrain from rewarding him in the ordinary manner for his most important services, rendered when others shrank from them, as was the case at Basque Roads, where his plans, declined by his seniors in the service, were successfully executed by himself under the greatest possible discouragement and disadvantage.

But the injustice manifested towards the late Earl of Dundonald did not end here. Driven from the service of his own country, and without fortune, he was compelled by his necessities to embark in the service of foreign states. With his own hand, directed by his own genius, which had to supply the place of adequate naval force, he liberated Chili, Peru, and Brazil from thraldom, consolidating the rebellious provinces of the latter empire on so permanent a basis, that its internal peace has never again been disturbed. Yet not one of these states has to this day satisfied the stipulated and indisputable arrangements by which he was induced to espouse their cause; the reason of their breach of contract being distinctly traceable to the course pursued towards Lord Dundonald in England. Seeing that the British Government paid no attention to the yet more important claims he had upon its gratitude, the South American States believed that they might with impunity disregard their own stipulations, and the dictates of national honour; the chief of one of them having had the audacity to tell Lord Cochrane that he would find no sympathy in the British Government.

Three of the most distinguished officers in the British service, Sir Thomas Hastings, Sir John Burgoyne, and Colonel Colquhoun, have felt it their duty, when officially reporting on the efficacy of Lord Dundonald's war plans, to give him the highest credit for having kept his secret " under peculiarly trying circumstances," and from pure love of his native country. The "trying circumstances" were these,—that he had been driven from the service of that country by the machinations of a political faction, which, in the conscientious performance of his parliamentary duties, he had offended. Even this injury, which blasted his whole life and prospects, did not detract one iota from the love of country, which to the day of his death was with him a passion; his acute mind well knowing how to draw the distinction between his country and those who were sacrificing its best interests to their love of power, if not to less worthy purposes. Never was praise more honourably given, than in the Ordnance Report of the above-named distinguished officers, and never was it more nobly deserved.

Another "peculiarly trying circumstance" alluded to by those officers, was that, when compelled by actual pecuniary necessity, in consequence of the deprivation of his rank and pay, and the demands of increasing family, to accept service under a foreign state as his only means of subsistence, he lay before the castles of Callao, into which had been removed for security the whole wealth of the rich capital of Peru, including bullion and plate, estimated at upwards of a million sterling, he preserved his war secret, though strongly urged to put it in execution. Had he listened to the temptation, in six hours the whole of that wealth must have been in his possession. For not listening to it, he incurred the enmity of his employers, who urged that they were entitled to all his professional skill and knowledge, as a part of his bargain with them; and his non-compliance with their wishes is doubtless amongst the chief reasons why they have not, to this day, satisfied their own offered stipulations for his services. Yet, at the very moment when he was displaying this self-sacrificing patriotism, lest his country might suffer from his secret being divulged, the Government of Great Britain had, at the suggestion of the Spanish Government, passed a "Foreign Enlistment Act," with the express intention of enveloping him in its meshes.[A]

[Footnote A: On Lord Cochrane's return from Brazil, having occasion to go before the Attorney-General, on the subject of a patent, that learned functionary rudely asked him, " Whether he was not afraid to appear in his presence? " Lord Cochrane's reply was, " No, nor in the presence of any man living." Evidence exists that the Attorney-General asked the Ministry if he should prosecute Lord Cochrane under the Foreign Enlistment Act, the reply being in the negative.]


(Page 23.)

As a striking instance of Lord Cochrane's method of exposing naval abuses, part of a speech delivered by him in the House of Commons, on the 11th of May, 1809, is here copied from his "Autobiography," vol. ii. pp. 142-144.

An admiral, worn out in the service, is superannuated at 410£. a year, a captain at 210£., a clerk of the ticket office retires on 700£. a year! The widow of Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell has one third of the allowance given to the widow of a Commissioner of the Navy.

I will give the House another instance. Four daughters of the gallant Captain Courtenay have 12£. 10s. each, the daughter of Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell has 25£., two daughters of Admiral Epworth have 25l. each, the daughter of Admiral Keppel 24£., the daughter of Captain Mann, who was killed in action, 25£., four children of Admiral Moriarty 25£. each. That is—thirteen daughters of admirals and captains, several of whose fathers fell in the service of their country, receive from the gratitude of the nation a sum less than Dame Mary Saxton, the widow of a commissioner.

The pension list is not formed on any comparative rank or merit, length of service, or other rational principle, but appears to me to be dependent on parliamentary influence alone. Lieutenant Ellison, who lost his arm, is allowed 91£. 5s., Captain Johnstone, who lost his arm, has only 45£. 12s. 6d., Lieutenant Arden, who lost his arm, has 9£. 5s., Lieutenant Campbell, who lost his leg, 40£., and poor Lieutenant Chambers, who lost both his legs, has only 80£., whilst Sir A.S. Hamond retires on 1500£. per annum. The brave Sir Samuel Hood, who lost his arm, has only 500£., whilst the late Secretary of the Admiralty retires, in full health, on a pension of 1500£. per annum.

To speak less in detail, 32 flag officers, 22 captains, 50 lieutenants, 180 masters, 36 surgeons, 23 pursers, 91 boatswains, 97 gunners, 202 carpenters, and 41 cooks, in all 774 persons, cost the country 4028l. less than the nett proceeds of the sinecures of Lords Arden (20,358£), Camden (20,536£), and Buckingham (20,693£).

All the superannuated admirals, captains, and lieutenants put together, have but 1012l. more than Earl Camden's sinecure alone! All that is paid to the wounded officers of the whole British navy, and to the wives and children of those dead or killed in action, do not amount by 214l. to as much as Lord Arden's sinecure alone, viz. 20,358£. What is paid to the mutilated officers themselves is but half as much.

Is this justice? Is this the treatment which the officers of the navy deserve at the hands of those who call themselves his Majesty's Government? Does the country know of this injustice? Will this too be defended? If I express myself with warmth I trust in the indulgence of the House. I cannot suppress my feelings. Should 31 commissioners, commissioners' wives, and clerks have 3899l. more amongst them than all the wounded officers of the navy of England?

I find upon examination that the Wellesleys receive from the public 34,729£, a sum equal to 426 pairs of lieutenants' legs, calculated at the rate of allowance of Lieutenant Chambers's legs. Calculating for the pension of Captain Johnstone's arm, viz. 45l., Lord Arden's sinecure is equal to the value of 1022 captains' arms. The Marquis of Buckingham's sinecure alone will maintain the whole ordinary establishment of the victualling department at Chatham, Dover, Gibraltar, Sheerness, Downs, Heligoland, Cork, Malta, Mediterranean, Cape of Good Hope, Rio de Janeiro, and leave 5460£ in the Treasury. Two of these comfortable sinecures would victual the officers and men serving in all the ships in ordinary in Great Britain, viz. 117 sail of the line, 105 frigates, 27 sloops, and 50 hulks. Three of them would maintain the dockyard establishments at Portsmouth and Plymouth. The addition of a few more would amount to as much as the whole ordinary establishments of the royal dockyards at Chatham, Woolwich, Deptford, and Sheerness; whilst the sinecures and offices executed wholly by deputy would more than maintain the ordinary establishment of all the royal dockyards in the kingdom.

Even Mr. Ponsonby, who lately made so pathetic an appeal to the good sense of the people of England against those whom he was pleased to term demagogues, actually receives, for having been thirteen months in office, a sum equal to nine admirals who have spent their lives in the service of their country; three times as much as all the pensions given to all the daughters and children of all the admirals, captains, lieutenants, and other officers who have died in indigent circumstances, or who have been killed in the service.


(Page 258.)

The following letter, too long to be quoted in the body of the work, but too important to be omitted, was addressed by Lord Cochrane to the Brazilian Secretary of State. It gives memorable evidence of the treatment to which he was subjected by the Portuguese faction in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro, May 3rd, 1824.


I have received the honour of your excellency's reply to my letter of the 30th of March, and as I am thereby taught that the subjects on which I wrote are not now considered so intimately connected with your excellency's department as they were by your immediate predecessor, nor even so far relevant as to justify a direct communication to your excellency, I should feel it my duty to avoid troubling you farther on those subjects, were it not that you at the same time have freely expressed such opinions with respect to my conduct and motives as justice to myself requires me to controvert and refute.

With regard to your excellency's assurance that it has ever been the intention of his Imperial Majesty and Council to act favourably towards me, I can in return assure your excellency that I have never doubted the just and benign intention of his Imperial Majesty himself, neither have I doubted that a part of his Privy Council has thought well of my services; and if I have imagined that a majority has been prejudiced against me, I have formed that conclusion merely from the effects which I have seen and experienced, and not from any undue prepossession against particular individuals, whether Brazilian or Portuguese. But when your excellency adds that those transactions between the late minister and myself, which, owing to their having been conducted verbally, have been ill-understood, have invariably been decided in a manner favourable to me, I confess myself at a loss to understand your excellency's meaning, not having any recollection of such favourable decisions, and therefore not feeling myself competent either to admit or deny unless in the first place your excellency shall be pleased to descend to particulars. I do indeed recollect that the late ministers, professing to have the authority of his Imperial Majesty, and which, from the personal countenance I have experienced from that august personage, I am sure they did not clandestinely assume, proffered to me the command of the imperial squadron, with every privilege, emolument, and advantage which I possessed in the command of the navy of Chili; and this, your excellency is desired to observe, was not a verbal transaction, but a written one, and therefore not liable to any of those misunderstandings to which verbal transactions, as your excellency observes, are naturally subject. Now, in Chili my commission was that of commander-in-chief of the squadron, without limitation as to time or any other restriction. My command, of course, was only to cease by my own voluntary resignation, or by sentence of court-martial, or by death, or other uncontrollable event. And accordingly the appointment which I accepted in the service of his Imperial Majesty, and in virtue of which I sailed in command of the expedition to Bahia, was that of commander-in-chief of the whole squadron, without limitation as to time or otherwise; and this, too, your excellency will be pleased to observe, was not a verbal transaction, but a solemn engagement in writing, bearing date the 26th day of March, 1823, and now in my possession. I had also the assurance in writing of the Minister of Marine, that the formalities of engrossment and registration of such appointment were only deferred from want of time, and should be executed immediately after my return.

And now I most respectfully put it home to your excellency whether these engagements have or have not been fully confirmed and complied with under the present administration. I ask your excellency whether the patent which I received, bearing date the 25th November, 1823, did not contain a clause of limitation by which I might at any time be dismissed from the service under any pretence or without any pretence whatever—without even the form of a hearing in my own defence. Then again I ask your excellency whether my office as commander-in-chief of the squadron was not reduced for a period of three months—as appears by every official communication of the Minister of Marine to me during that period—to the command only of the vessels of war anchored in this port?[A] and further on this subject I ask your excellency whether after my repeated remonstrances against this injurious limitation of my stipulated authority, it was not pretended by the decree published in the Gazette of the 28th February, that I was then for the first time, as a mark of special favour, elevated to the rank of commander-in-chief of the squadron, and that too during the period only of the existing war: although nothing less than the chief command had been offered to me at the first, without any restriction as to time, and although it was only in that capacity I had consented to enter into the service, and under a written appointment as such I had then been in the service nearly twelve months. And then I ask your excellency whether the limitation introduced into the patent of the 25th of November last, in violation of the original agreement, and confirmed and defined by the decree published on the 28th of February following; to which may be added the communication which I received from your excellency, excluding me from taking the oath, and becoming a party to the constitution, the 149th article of which provides for the protection of officers until lawfully deprived by sentence of court-martial; I say that I respectfully ask your excellency whether these proceedings were not well adapted for the purpose of casting me off with the utmost facility at the earliest moment that convenience might dictate; either with or without the admission of those claims for the future to which past services are usually considered entitled, as might best suit the inclination of those with whom my dismissal might originate. And is it not most probable that their inclination would run counter to those claims, especially when it is considered that my letter of the 6th of March to the Minister of Marine, in which I made the inquiry whether my right to half-pay would be recognized on the termination of the war, has never been answered, although my application for a reply has been repeated?[B] If then the explicit engagements in writing between the late minister of his Imperial Majesty and myself have, as I have shown, been set aside by the present ministry and council, and other arrangements far less favourable to me, and destructive of the lawful security of my present and future rights, have without my consent been substituted in their stead, where, I entreat your excellency, am I to look for those favourable constructions of "ill-understood verbal transactions," which your excellency requires me to accept as a proof that the intentions of the present ministry and council, in respect to me, have ever been of the most favourable and obliging nature?

[Footnote A: This was resorted to, in order to prevent Lord Cochrane from stationing the cruisers to annoy the enemy, to deprive him of any interest in future captures, and prevent his opposition to the unlawful restoration of enemy's property.]

[Footnote B: An answer was at last given, a few days before Lord Cochrane's assistance was called for to put down the revolution at Pernambuco; and half of the originally-granted half-pay was decreed when he should return, after the termination of hostilities, to his native country.]

I would beg permission, too, to inquire how it happened that portarias[A] from the Minister of Marine, charging me unjustly from time to time with neglecting to obey the command of his Imperial Majesty, were constantly made public, while my answers in refutation were always suppressed. And why, when I remonstrated against this injustice, was I answered that the same course should be persisted in, and that I had no alternative but to acquiesce, or to descend to a newspaper controversy by publishing my exculpations myself? Is it possible not to perceive that the ex parte publication of these accusatory portarias was intended to lower me in the public estimation, and to prepare the way for the exercise of that power of summary dismissal which was so unfairly acquired by the means above described?

[Footnote A: Official communications.]

On the subject of the prizes your excellency is pleased to state: "Les difficultés survenues dans le jugement des prizes ont eu des motifs si connus et positifs qu'il est assez doloureux de les voir attribuir à la mauvaise volonté du Conseil de S.M.I." To this I reply that I know of no just cause for the delay which has arisen in the decision of the prizes, and consequently I have a right to impute blame for that delay to those who have the power to cause it or remove it. If the majority of the voices in council had been for a prompt condemnation to the captors of the prizes taken from the Portuguese nation, is it possible that individuals of that nation would be suffered to continue to be the judges of those prizes after an experience of many months has demonstrated either their determination to do nothing, or nothing favourable to the captors? The repugnance of Portuguese judges to condemn property captured from their fellow-countrymen, as a reward to those who have engaged in hostilities against Portugal, is natural enough, and is the only well-known and positive cause of the delay with which I am acquainted; but it is not such a cause for delay as ought to have been permitted to operate by the ministers and council of his Imperial Majesty, who are bound in honour and duty to act with fidelity towards those who have been engaged as auxiliaries in the attainment and maintenance of the independence of the empire. I did, however, inform your excellency that I had heard it stated that another difficulty had arisen in the apprehension that this Government might be under the necessity of eventually restoring the prizes to the original Portuguese owners as a condition of peace. But this, your excellency assures me, proves nothing but that I am a listener to "rapporteurs," whom I ought to drive from my presence. Unfortunately, however, for this bold explanation of your excellency, the individual whom I heard make the observation was no other than his excellency the present Minister of Marine, Francisco Villala Barboza. If your excellency considers that gentleman in the light of a "rapporteur," or talebearer, it is not for me to object; but the imputation of being a listener to or encourager of talebearers, so rashly advanced by your excellency against me, is without foundation in truth. It may be necessary for ministers of state to have their eavesdroppers and informers, but mine is a straightforward course, which needs no such precautions. And if there be any who volunteer information or advice, I can appreciate the value of it, and the motives of those who offer it. Those who know me much better than your excellency does, will admit that I am in the habit of thinking for myself, and not apt to act on the suggestions of others, especially if officiously tendered.

As to the successive appointment and removal of incompetent auditors of marine, for which your excellency gives credit to the council, I can only say that the benefit of such repeated changes is by no means apparent. And to revert again to the difficulty of decision, for which your excellency intimates there is sufficient cause, I beg leave to ask your excellency what just reason can exist for not condemning these prizes to the captors. Can it be denied that the orders under which I sailed for the blockade of Bahia authorized me to act hostilely against the ships and property of the crown and subjects of Portugal? Can it be denied that war was regularly declared between the two nations? Was it not even promulgated under the sanction of his Imperial Majesty in a document giving to privateers certain privileges which it is admitted were possessed by the ships of war in the making and sale of captures? And yet did not the Prize Tribunal (consisting chiefly, as I before observed, of Portuguese), on the return of the squadron, eight months afterwards, pretend to be ignorant whether his Imperial Majesty was at war or at peace with the kingdom of Portugal? And did they not under that pretence avoid proceeding to adjudication? Was not this pretence a false one, or is it one of those well-founded causes of difficulty to which your excellency alludes? Can it be denied that the squadron sailed and acted in the full expectation, grounded on the assurance and engagements of the Government, that all captures made under the flag of the enemy, whether ships of war or merchant vessels, were to be prize to the captors? and yet when the prize judges were at length under the necessity of commencing proceedings, did they not endeavour to set aside the claims of the captors by the monstrous pretence that they had no interest in their captures when made within the distance of two leagues from the shore? Will your excellency contend that this was a good and sufficient reason? Was it founded in common sense, or on any rational precedent, or indeed any precedent whatever? Was it either honest to the squadron or faithful to the country? Was it not calculated to prevent the squadron from ever again assailing an invading enemy, or again expelling him from the shores of the empire? Then, in the next place, did not these most extraordinary judges pretend that at least all vessels taken in ports and harbours should be condemned as droits to the crown, and not as prize to the captors? Was not this another most pernicious attempt to deprive the imperial squadron not only of its reward for the past but of any adequate motive for the risk of future enterprise? And in effect, were not these successive pretences calculated to operate as invitations to invasions? Did they not tend to encourage the enemy to resume his occupation of the port of Bahia, and generally to renew his aggressions against the independence of the empire on her shores and in her ports without the probability of resistance by the squadrons of his Imperial Majesty? And have not these same judges actually condemned almost every prize as a droit to the crown, thereby doing as much as in them lay to defraud the squadron and to damp its zeal and destroy its energies? Nay, have not the auditors of marine actually issued decrees pronouncing the captures made at Maranhão to have been illegal, alleging that they were seized under the Brazilian flag, although in truth the flag of the enemy was flying at the time both in the forts and ships; declaring me a violator of the law of nations and law of the land; accusing me of having been guilty of an insult to the Emperor and the empire, and decreeing costs and damages against me under these infamous pretences? Can your excellency perceive either justice or decency in these decrees? Do they in any degree breathe the spirit of gratitude for the union of so important a province to the empire, or are they at all in accordance with the distinguished approbation which his Imperial Majesty himself has evinced of my services at Maranhão?

Can it be unknown to your excellency that the late ministers, acting doubtless under the sanction of his Imperial Majesty, and assuredly under the guidance of common sense, held out that the value of ships of war taken from the enemy was to be the reward of the enterprise of the captors? And yet are we not now told that a law exists decreeing all captured men-of-war to the crown, and so rendering the engagements of the late ministers illegal and nugatory? Can anything be more contrary to justice, to good faith, to common sense, or to sound policy? Was it ever expected by any government employing foreign seamen in a war in which they can have no personal rights at stake, that those seamen will incur the risk of attacking a superior, or even an equal, force, without prospect of other reward than their ordinary pay? Is it not notorious that even in England it is found essential, or at least highly advantageous, to reward the officers and seamen, though fighting their own battles, not only with the full value of captured vessels of war, but even with additional premiums; and was it ever doubted that such liberal policy has mainly contributed to the surpassing magnitude of the naval power of that little island, and her consequent greatness as a nation?

Can your excellency deny that the delay, the neglect, and the conduct generally of the prize judges, have been the cause of an immense diminution in the value of the captures? Have not the consequences been a wanton and shameful waste of property by decay and plunder? Can your excellency really believe in the existence of a good and sufficient motive for consigning such property to destruction, rather than at once awarding it to the captors in recompense for their services to the empire? Is it not true that all control over the sales and cargoes of the vessels, most of which are without invoices, have been taken from the captors and their agents and placed in the hands of individuals over whom they have no authority or influence, and from whom they can have no security of receiving a just account? And can it be doubted that the gracious intentions of his Imperial Majesty, as announced by himself, of rewarding the captors with the value of the prizes, are in the utmost danger of being defeated by such proceedings?

Since the 12th day of February, when his Imperial Majesty was graciously pleased to signify his pleasure in his own handwriting that the prizes, though condemned to the crown, should be paid for to the captors, and that valuators should be appointed to estimate the amount, is it not true that nothing whatever, up to the date of my former letter to your excellency, had been done by his ministers and council in furtherance of such his gracious intentions? On the contrary, is it not notorious that, since the announcement of the imperial intention, numerous vessels and cargoes have been arbitrarily disposed of by authority of the auditors of marine, by being delivered to pretended owners and others without legal adjudication, and even without the decency of acquainting the captors or their agents that the property had been so transferred? And has not the whole cost of litigation, watching and guarding the vessels and cargoes, been entirely at the expense of the captors, notwithstanding the disposal of the property and the receipt of the proceeds by the agents of Government and others?

So little hope of justice has been presented by the proceedings of the Prize Tribunal, that it has appeared quite useless to label the stores found in the naval and military arsenals of Maranhão, or the 66,000 dollars in the chests of the Treasury and Custom House, with double that sum in bills, all of which was left for the use of the province, or permitted to be disbursed to satisfy the clamorous troops of Ceara and Pianhy. Has any remuneration been offered to the navy for these sacrifices, of which ministers were duly informed by my official despatches? or has any recompense been awarded for the Portuguese brig and schooner of war, both completely stored and equipped, which were surrendered at Maranhão, and which have ever since been employed in the naval service? To a proportion of all this I should have been entitled in Chili, as well as in the English service; and why, I ask, must I here be contented to be deprived of every hope of these the fruits of my labours? In addition to the prize vessels delivered to claimants without trial, have not the ministers appropriated others to the uses of the state without valuation or recompense?[A]

[Footnote A: This conduct was afterwards more flagrantly exemplified on the arrival of the new and noble prize frigate Imperatrice, the equipment whereof had cost the captors 12,000 milreas, which sum has never been returned.]

In short, is it not true that though more than a year has elapsed since the sailing of the imperial squadron under my command, and nearly half a year since its return, after succeeding in expelling the naval and military forces of the enemy from Bahia, and liberating the northern provinces, and uniting them to the empire; I say is it not true that not one shilling of prize money has yet been distributed to the squadron, and that no prospect is even now apparent of any distribution being speedily made? Is it not true that the only substantial reward of the officers and seamen of the squadron for the important services they have rendered has hitherto been nothing more than their mere pittance of ordinary pay; and even that in many instances vexatiously delayed and miserably curtailed? And with respect to myself individually, is it not notorious that I necessarily consume my whole pay in my current expenses; that my official rank cannot be upheld with less, and that it is wholly inadequate to the due support of the dignity of those high honours which his Imperial Majesty has been graciously pleased to confer?

Under all these circumstances, it is in vain that I endeavour to make that discovery which your excellency assures me requires only a moment's reflection: "Au reste" (your excellency says), "que V'e. Ex'ce. réfléchisse un moment, celle trouverá que le Gouvernement de S.M.I. simplement et uniquement pour faire plaisir à V'e. Ex'ce. á s'est attiré une enormé responsabilité dans les engagemens pris avec V'e. Ex'ce." It is not one moment only nor one hour that I have reflected on these words, but without making the promised discovery, or any probable guess at your excellency's meaning. I would therefore entreat your excellency to tell me what it is that the Government has engaged to do. All that I know is they have engaged to pay me a certain sum per annum as commander-in-chief of the squadron; and this engagement, I admit, they have so far fulfilled. But the amount is little more than is received by the commander-in-chief of an English squadron; and is it not found in that service, and in every regular or established naval service, that for one officer qualified for any considerable command there are probably ten that are not qualified; though all have necessarily been reared and paid at the national expense? Whereas, in this case, so far from your having been at the expense of money in order to procure a few that are effective, you obtained at once, without any previous cost whatever, the services of myself and the officers that accompanied me, all of whom were experienced and efficient. Now, the united amount of the salaries you are engaged to pay to myself and the officers whom I brought with me does not exceed 25,000 dollars a year. To speak of this as an "enormous responsibility" as an empire, requires more than a "moment's reflection" to be clearly understood. The Government did, however, engage to pay to myself and my brother officers and seamen the value of our captures from the enemy, pursuant to the practice of all maritime belligerents, but this engagement has not hitherto been fulfilled. If, however, your excellency admits the responsibility of the Government to fulfil this engagement also, I am still equally at a loss to conceive in what sense that responsibility can be considered enormous, inasmuch as these prizes were not the property of the state, nor of individuals belonging to this nation, but were the property of Portugal, with whom this nation was and is engaged in lawful war. The payment, therefore, of the value of these prizes to the captors, supposing even the full value to be paid, does not in effect take one penny out of the national treasury, or out of the pocket of any Brazilian. If it be false—and your excellency appears to scout the idea—that any danger exists of having to pay twice for these prizes; if there really is no danger of being compelled to purchase peace with a defeated enemy by restoring them their forfeited property—it follows that the responsibility of the Government in fulfilling its engagement with the captors is so far from being enormous, that it is literally nothing. How the fulfilment of a lawful engagement by the simple act of paying over to the squadron the value of its prizes taken in time of war from the foreign enemies of the state (such payment occasioning no expense, and no loss to the state itself) can be attended with an enormous responsibility, I am utterly unable to comprehend. So far as the engagements of the Government with me, or with the captors in general of the Portuguese prizes, are of a pecuniary nature, they appear to me to lay no great weight of responsibility on the herculean shoulders of this vast empire. And it is only in a pecuniary sense that I can conceive it to be possible for your excellency to have thought of complaining of the responsibility attending the fulfilment of the engagements of the Government with me.

It is no less difficult to comprehend how this supposed enormous responsibility has been incurred, "simplement et uniquement pour faire plaisir" to me; and it is still more difficult to comprehend how it happens that your excellency, "after all that you have heard and seen" (après ce que j'ai entendu et vu), should be at a loss to know in what manner I am to be contented (je ne saurais pas dequelle maniére on puisse vous contenter). If, indeed, your excellency imagines that I ought to be contented with honorary distinctions alone, however highly I may prize them as the free gift of his Imperial Majesty; if your excellency is of opinion that I ought with "remercimens et satisfaction" to put up with those honours in lieu of those stipulated substantial rewards, which even those very honours render more necessary; if your excellency thinks that I ought, like the dog in the fable, to resign the substance for a grasp at the shadow; if this is all that your excellency knows on the subject of giving me content, it is then very true that your excellency does not know in what manner it is to be done. But if, "after all that your excellency has heard and seen," you would be pleased to render yourself conversant with those written engagements under which I was induced to enter into the service, all that your excellency and the rest of the ministers and council of his Imperial Majesty would then have to do in order to content me to the full, would be to desist from evading the performance of those engagements, and to cause them at once to be fully and honourably fulfilled. And I do believe that my "Correspondance Officielle une fais rendue publique, en faira foi;" for I am not conscious that I have ever called on the Government to incur one farthing of expense on my account beyond the fulfilment of their written engagements, which were the same as those which I had with Chili, which were formed precisely on the practice of England. There was, indeed, a verbal and conditional engagement with the late ministers that certain losses which I might incur in consequence of leaving the service of Chili should be made good;[A] and the question as to the obligation of fulfilling that engagement I submitted (in my letter of the 6th of March to the Minister of Marine) to the consideration of their successors. It will be fortunate for me if this should prove to be one of those "ill-understood verbal transactions" which your excellency assures me the present ministers and council always decide in my favour. I shall not in that case be backward to receive the benefit of the decision with "thanks and satisfaction;" but I am willing to resign it rather than it should add an overwhelming weight to that "enormous responsibility" which your excellency complains has already been incurred with a view to my contentment. I repeat that I have never asked for more than I possessed in Chili, or than any officer of the same rank is entitled to in England; though British officers have heretofore received in the service of Portugal double the amount of their English pay; and though the burning climate of Brazil is injurious to health, while those of Chili and Portugal are salubrious. Your excellency, therefore, is perfectly welcome to publish the whole of my official correspondence, because instead of proving, as your excellency asserts, the great difficulty of contenting me, it would go far to prove the much greater difficulty of inducing those with whom I have to do to take any one step for that purpose.

[Footnote A: As the Brazilian Government had obtained possession of a new corvette, named the Maria de Gloria, which cost the Government of Chili 90,000 dollars, without reimbursing to that State one single farthing; and by the said act had deprived Lord Cochrane of the benefit he would have derived, as commander-in-chief, from the services of that ship in the Pacific, the non-fulfilment of this engagement seems the more unjust.]

I confess, however, that in order to content me effectually it is necessary to fulfil not only all written engagements with myself individually, but generally with all the officers and seamen with whom, while I hold the command, I consider myself identified; and the more particularly because, in my own firm reliance on the good faith of the Government, I did in some sort become responsible for that good faith to my brother officers and seamen. But with whom, I put it to your excellency, has good faith been kept? Is it not notorious that previous to the departure of the expedition to Bahia, declarations were made to the seamen in writing by the late Minister of Marine, through my medium, and in printed proclamations, that their dues should be paid with all possible regularity, and all their arrears discharged immediately on their return? And is not your excellency aware that specific contracts were entered into by the accredited agent of his Imperial Majesty in England, with a number of officers and seamen, who, in consequence, were induced to quit their native country and enter into the employ of his Imperial Majesty? Can it be denied that these declarations and contracts, written and printed, were known to, and are actually in the possession of the ministers, or in the hands of the officers of the pay department, and yet is it not true that they were neglected to be fulfilled for a period of upwards of three months after the return of the Pedro Primiero ; and was not the tardy fulfilment which at length took place procured by my incessant representations and remonstrances?

Permit me also to ask whether the good effects of prompt payment were not illustrated on the arrival of the frigates Nitherohy and Caroline, which happened just at the period I had succeeded in procuring payment to be made. Was it not in consequence of immediate payment that the greater part of the English crew of the Nitherohy remained quietly on board, and are now actually engaged on an important service to his Imperial Majesty? And, on the other hand, is it not equally true that the English seamen of the Pedro Primiero were so disheartened and disgusted with the long delay which in their case had occurred, and the manifest bad faith which had been evinced, that by far the greater part of them actually abandoned the ship? And generally, is it not true that the violations of promise, the obstructions of justice, and the arbitrary acts of severity, have produced dissatisfaction and irritation in the minds of the officers and seamen, and done infinite prejudice to the service of his Imperial Majesty and to the interests and prospects of the empire?

Can it be denied that the treatment to which the officers are exposed is in the highest degree cruel and unjust? Have they not in many instances been confined in a fortress or prison-ship without being told who is their accuser or what is the accusation? And are they not kept for many months at a time in that cruel state of suspense and restraint without the means or opportunity of justification or defence? Have not some of them while incarcerated in the fortress of the Island of Cobras been deprived of their pay for a great length of time, and even denied the provisions necessary for their subsistence? And if, after all, they are brought to trial, are not their judges composed of the natives of a nation with whom they are at war? Is it possible that English, or other foreign officers in the service, can be satisfied with such a system? Can your excellency entertain a doubt, that open accusation, prompt trial, unsuspected justice, and speedy punishment, if merited, are essential to the good government of a naval service? Nay, is it possible that your excellency should not know that the system of government in the naval service of Portugal is the most wretched in the world, and consequently the last that ought to have been adopted for the naval service of Brazil?

And here I would respectfully ask your excellency whether you know of any one thing recommended by me for the benefit of the naval service being complied with? Have the laws been revised to adapt them to the better government of the service? Has a corps of marine artillery been formed and taught their duty? Have young gentlemen intended for officers been sent on board to learn their profession? Have young men been enlisted and sent on board to be bred up as seamen? Or has any encouragement been given to the employment of Brazilians in the commerce of the coast?[A]

[Footnote A: It was the policy of Portugal to navigate the coasting-trade of Brazil by slaves; and that of Spain to allow none but Indians to exercise the trade of fishermen on the shores of their South American colonies.]

With regard to those difficulties, delays, and other impediments of which I have complained as existing in the arsenal and other offices, and which your excellency supposes me to have represented as being caused, or at least tolerated, by the minister, and which you are pleased to characterise as "tout a fait imaginaires, et n'ayant d'outré source que l'ambition sordide de quelque intrigant," I shall not now enter into them again at any length, as much that I have already written tends to refute your excellency's notions on the subject. That such abuses do really exist I have proved beyond the power of contradiction; and that they are at least tolerated by those—whoever they may be—who possess without exercising the means of preventing, does not require the ingenuity of an "intrigant" to discover, as the fact is self-evident. I cannot, therefore, admit that either my complaints or suspicions are "tout a fait imaginaires," or that they are "des petitesses," as your excellency is pleased contemptuously to term them; but whatever they are, they originate in my own observation, without any assistance from the spectacles of an "intrigant," with which I am so gratuitously accommodated by your excellency.

In still further proof, however, of the real existence of the evils in question, I may just observe that since the return of the Pedro Primiero, that ship has been kept in constant disorder by the delay in commencing and the idle and negligent mode of executing even the trifling alterations in the channels, which were necessary to enable the rigging to be set up, and which, after the lapse of upwards of five months, is now scarcely finished, though it might have been accomplished in forty-eight hours. Even the time of caulking was spun out to a period nearly as long as was occupied last year in the accomplishment of that thorough repair which the ship then underwent; and the painting is far from being completed after sixteen or eighteen days' labour, though a British ship of war is usually painted in a day. Even my own cabin is in such a state that when I am on board I have no place to sit down in. All these things may appear to your excellency as "des petitesses," or even "tout a fait imaginaires," but to me they appear matters of a serious nature, injurious and disgraceful to the service.

I may not, perhaps, succeed in convincing your excellency, but I have the satisfaction of being inwardly conscious that, independent of my natural desire to obtain justice for myself and for all the officers and men of the squadron, no small part of my anxiety for the fulfilment of the engagements of the Government proceeds from a desire to see the navy of his Imperial Majesty rendered efficient; which it can never be unless the same good faith is observed with the officers and men as is kept between the Government and navy of England, and unless indeed many other important considerations are attended to, which appear to have hitherto escaped the regard of the Imperial Government. Why, for instance, is there that indifference in regard to the clothing of the men? What but discontent, debasement, and enervation, can be the effects of that ragged and almost naked condition in which they have so long been suffered to remain, notwithstanding the numerous applications that have been made for the necessary clothing? I would also inquire the reason that officers and men, strangers to each other, and destitute of attachment and mutual confidence, are hastily shipped together in vessels of war going on active service, when better arrangements might easily be made. What can be expected from the vessels of war just gone out, in case they should meet with any serious opposition, but disgrace to those by whom they were so imperfectly and improperly equipped?

If this communication were not already too long, or if, after the letter I have received from your excellency, it were possible for me to continue my representations in the hope of redress, I could add to the list of those causes of complaint which I have already pointed out many particulars which none but those who are blindly attached to that wretched system which has been so injurious to the marine and kingdom of Portugal could consider either trifling or imaginary. But as my present object has been chiefly to repel those imputations in which your excellency has so freely indulged, and believing that I have fully succeeded in that object, and have shown clearly that your excellency has unjustly and untruly accused me of encouraging talebearers, making unfounded complaints, and of being of a nature so avaricious as never to be satisfied—which latter, by-the-by, is an extraordinary accusation to prefer against me—a man whom your excellency must know has not hitherto been benefited, after being more than a year in the service, to the amount of one shilling for the important services he has rendered, but who, on the contrary, as he can show by his accounts, has necessarily expended more in his official situation than he has received in the service; so that the "remercimens" and the "satisfaction," which your excellency accuses him of being deficient in, can scarcely yet be due, unless it is proper to be satisfied and grateful too for less than nothing—having, I say, fully repelled and refuted these unjust accusations, I shall avoid troubling your excellency with any further detail. But I repeat that your excellency has my free consent to cause the whole of my official correspondence to be published; for in all that I have advanced with respect to the violations of contracts, and on the subject of the unsatisfied claims of the squadron, and relative to the ill-usage of officers under arrest, and to the misconduct of the judges of prizes, and of those who have the management of the civil department of the marine,[A] and in all matters whatever in question between the Government of Brazil and myself, I am confident I may safely rely on the decision of the public. And if, at the same time, your excellency can give a satisfactory explanation of the motives of that line of conduct on the part of the ministers and council, which, without such explanation, would have the appearance of originating in bad faith, the publication would be doubly beneficial by placing the conduct and character of all parties in a proper point of view.

[Footnote A: Also Portuguese.]

    I have the honour to be, Most excellent sir, Your respectful     and most obedient Servant, COCHRANE AND MARANHAM.

    His Excellency, João Sereriano Maciele da Costa, Secretary of     State for the Home Department, &c., &c., &c.