France had for a long time claim. But, as there was an inveterate ed a right over Genoa; but after the and implacable hatred between those battle of Pavia, when the French two nations, this treaty did not long were forced intirely to abandon Italy, subsist; and upon Henry's death the that claim had become of no effect. same oppression as formerly became Henry the Second however, having flagrant in Corsica. commenced a new war in Italy, a- 'Sampiero di Ornano, who had gainst the Emperor Charles V, re been again for some time in France, solved to assert his power in Corsica; returned to Corsica, where his preSampiero di Ornano encouraged this sence inspired the islanders with fordisposition, that he might avail him- titude, and occasioned a very geneself of it, to free the island from a ral revolt. yoke which galled it so much. He carried on his glorious enter

An expedition was therefore or- prise with considerable effect; and dered to Corsica in the year 1553, the more so, that, as he had now under the command of General Paul no foreign assistance, he was not de Thermes, accompanied by Sam- looked upon as very formidable, and piero di Ornano, Jourdain des Ur- the republic made little preparations sins, and several other able com- against him. But he was stopped in manders. Henry had also the Turks his career by the treachery of the joined with him in this expedition, Genoese, who had him basely assashaving prevailed with their fourth sinated, by a wretch of the name of Emperor, Solyman, stiled the Mag. Vitolli, in 1567. nificent, to send out a large fleet to His son Alphonso di Ornano, who the Tuscan sea.

had been brought up in the court of This expedition was powerfully Henry II. kept alive the patriotic opposed by the Genoese. The great struggle for a short while; but, un. Andrew Doria, though then in his able to make head against the reeighty-seventh year, bid defiance to public, he retired from the island age and infirmities, and, since Cor- and settled in France. . sica was an object of importance to The Genoese were thus again put bis country, the gallant veteran' em- in possession of Corsica. Enraged barked with all the spirit of his glo at what they had suffered from a rious youth, having a formidable daring rebellion, as they termed it; armament under his command. and, still dreading a new insurrec

The war was carried on with vi- tion, they thought only of avenging gour on both sides. The Corsicans themselves on the Corsicans; and joined in the common cause, and the plunging that people still lower than greatest part of the island was once ever in ignorance and slavery. fairly delivered from the tyrant. But Their oppression became now, if the Geonese were so well command possible, worse than before. They ed by the intrepid Doria, and had were inflamed with hotter resentbesides such assistance from Charles ment, and their tyranny formed itV. who sent strong reinforcements, self into something of a regular sysboth of Spanish and German troops, tem. They permitted nothing to be that the expedition was not intirely exported from the island, but to effectual.

Genoa, where, of necessity, the CorAt length, a treaty was concluded sicans were obliged to sell their merbetween the Corsicans and Genoese, chandise at a very low rate; and, in advantageous and honourable for years of scarcity, the island was the former, having, for guarantee, drained of provisions by a sort of bis most Christian Majesty. legal plunder. For the inhabitants were forced to bring them to Genoa, ing themselves altogether unable for so that actual famine was often oc- it, while the Corsicans were every casioned in Corsica.

day growing stronger, cutting to Long despised, plundered and op- pieces the poor reinforcements of pressed, the Corsicans again revived Genoese troops, and thereby supin 1729, when the war commenced, plying theniselves with more arms; which, with some intervals, has con- the republic was under the necessity tinued till now.

of seeking foreign assistance. It is wonderful to see how great They applied to the Emperor events are produced by little causes. Charles VI. who sent to Corsica a

The rise of the Corsicans, in 1729, body of auxiliaries under the comwas occasioned by a single paolo, a mand of General Wachtendonck. piece worth about five pence En- These harrassed the island, without glish. A Genoese collector went to being powerful enough to overawe the house of a poor old woman, and it. They had continual rencounters demanded this triling sum, as the with the Corsicans, who, in one acmoney for which she was assessed. tion, killed 1200 of them. The EmBeing in extreme penury, she had not peror then sent a strong army of wherewithal to satisfy the demand. Germans, with the Prince of WirUpon which, the collector began to temberg at their head. The Corsiabuse her, and to seize some of her cans were not in a condition to resist furniture. She begged him to have such a force. They laid down their patience, and said, she hoped in a arms upon condition, that a treaty sew days to be able to pay him. He should be made between them and persisted in his severity, and the the Genoese, having for guarantee poor woman made a great lamenta- the Emperor. tion. Two or three people hearing This treaty, which had been forthe noise entered the house, took mally concluded between the Corsithe part of the woman, and ex- cans and the Genoese, having been claimed against the barbarity of the broken by the latter, there was a collector. He threatened them with very short suspension of hostilities; punishment, for having hindered and in 1734 the Corsicans rose anew. him in the execution of his office, Giafferi, their former general, was This provoked the villagers, and again elected, and got for his colthey drove him away with stones. league Signor Giacinto Paoli, father The Genoese sent troops to support of the present general. their collector, and the Corsicans Giacinto Paoli was a Corsican assembled in large bodies to defend gentleman of a good family. But themselves. The tumult increased. his merit distinguished him more A spark was sufficient to kindle the than his rank. He was a man of generous fame, in a people who had learning, religion, and bravery; well so often glowed with the enthusiasm qualified to serve his country, either of liberty; and, in a very short time in politics or in war. the whole island was in motion. The Genoese had paid very dear

The Corsicans immediately rushed for their victory in the former strugupon the capital, which they took gles. It was computed that it had almost without resistance; and they cost them above thirty milions of would have been masters of the cas- livres, besides costly presents to the tle of Corte, had they been a little Prince of Wirtemberg, and to the better regulated.

other general officers. The Genoese at first endeavoured The Marquis d'Argens very pleato overcome the Corsicans by the santly applies to the Genoese the sole force of the republic; but find. French fable of a gardener, who comof his station in society. Can the characterizes no other nation in Eubrave man, and he endowed with rope.* any generosity of feeling, forget the When a commanding officer finds mortifying vile condition in which disorder in the regiment, instead of he was exposed ? Does not there applying himself to discover and refore the cat-o'-nine-tails defeat the move the cause, by prudent and chief object of punishment ?* And conciliating arrangements, he too is not a mode of punishinent too se- frequently considers the cat-o'-pinevere which for ever degrades and tails as the only vis medicatrir; and renders abject--lustead of uphold by an intemperate use produces a ing the character of the soldier as general disorganization, rendering entitled to the respect of the com- the good bad, instead of amending munity, this system renders him the profligate. despicable in his own eyes, and the How many regiments have gained object of opprobrium in the state, or admiration when passing in review, of mortifying commisseration,

for their appearance and maneuvre, Military punishments, more se- whilst the high and exalted feelings vere than the common penalties of of the soldier had long been extir. civil law, are undoubtedly required, pated by a system of terror? How the soldier knows well the necessity, many officers have established a false but when they exceed the bounds reputation, whose registers of puniswhich a due regard to justice and ment should have branded them mercy prescribes, they only deprave with disgrace, and rendered them the mind, and operate as an encou- unworthy of their stations in the ragement to perseverance in miscon- service ? duct. Pain will not reform; the In proportion as officers are ignodiscipline of the mind is far more rant of their duty, and unequal to efficacious than the discipline of the command of men, punishment the body, and how much more sa- is more frequent, notwithstanding tisfactory?

there are such strong proofs of the It is a melancholy truth that pu- inefficacy of such severity. The 52d nishments have considerably aug. regiment is at this moment indispumented, that ignorant and fatal no- tably one of the first corps in the tions of discipline have been intro- service, in every respect. The cat. duced into the service, subduing all oʻ-nine-tails is never used, and yet the amiable emotions of human na. discipline is there seen in the highest ture. Gentlemen who justly boast state of perfection. In other corps the most liberal education in the continual punishments are taking world, have familiarized themselves place on the fruitless attempt of rito a degree of punishment, which valling the 52d, whereas the very

means employed for ever prevent the * It is to be remembered that flog. possibility of their attaining medioging is the common treatment, not an crity. awful extraordinary example. If the The 10th battalion of reserve was practice of some militia regiments was

raised and formed within six months, imitated throughout all, the whole see

as a most complete corps, regular venty thousand would be logged round

in its conduct, and fit for any serin something less than six years; but even the average of the common practice in many corps would reach to that * It must also be adınitted that of amount at no very distant date; there ficers who have been raised from the are, however, some regiments most ranks are generally more severe than kindly treated, and consequently better other members of a court-martial, or as regulated.

commanding officers.

vice, with only the punishment of the moral effects of punishment; three old offenders, who had come they are familiarized to severity, by from other regiments, and none even the recorded instances of their preof these reccived more than fifty decessors. They are instructed to lashes. A different system was how- consider particular offences as forcever followed in other corps, and a ing de se* a precise award, without number of men punished beyond the consideration of a man's prewhat I feel myself at liberty to vious character : they are accustomstate. *

ed to trust to the mercy of the comWhence comes this indifference to manding officer, when the presence our fellow species? This neglect of of the lieutenant colonel or the mamen, on whose excrtions the life and jor may from the different disposi. character of officers must depend, tion of these officers make a variaa by whose blood they acquire their tion of the punishment of the most fame, and by whose generous sacris serious nature; they too frequently fice they expect the reward of vic- assemble without a thought upon ,tory?

the important trust committed to There is a great distinction be- them, they hear with levity, and tween the romantic theory of false decide without reflection. philosophy and practical conduct. When General Fox commanded No person can deny, that as in in the Mediterranean, he sent back the community there are many vj. those courts martial which awarded cious members, there must also be excessive sentences, observing that many bad men interspersed in the punishment should never be cruel, army, whom kind treatment will and that no court should sentence not influence, and who are callous a soldier to receive inore lashes to the sentiment of gratitude. Pro- than what the members themselves fligate beings must and should suffer thought right to be actually inflicted. without commiseration, but the ge.. How different were such maxims neral principle should be lenity, and and conduct to the intemperate rethe general abhorrence tyranny. Sentment of other officers, who have

Nor does the requisite judgment threatened courts martial with the of a regimental court martial inter- accusation of contumely, for refu. pose a sufficient check upon the severity of some commanding officers.

* Punishment affects men very difYoung men are allowed to be mem

ferently: some bear a great many lashes

without suffering much; others would bers, who have never considered

die under the same nuinber. But there

is a great cruelty in bringing men out * Brigadier General Levison Gower at different times to receive the remainwas once ordered to take the command der of a sentence as soon as the tender of the flank companies of the line, in skin has covered former wounds. I which great disorder had prevailed, and could mention some terrible instances where the men had been most severely if evident reasons did not check me, punished. He reformed the battalion, and if the correction of such abuses can and put it into the best order without be secured in future, there is no necesany Hogging whatever. The 2d balla- sity to distress the mind with circumlion of the 53d is now in Ireland, and stances which have had already their in the highest possible condition, and full operation; but only in very aggraalthough 1100 strong, has never had vated cases of criminality indeed should but eight courts martial. These are the remainder of a sentence be inflicted credible instances, and bear unques- at different periods, particularly as the tionable evidence that excess of punish excess and not the prescribed mode of ment may be in most instances attributed punishment, as is frequently the case in to the mismanagement of:be command, civil law, prevents the execution of the ing officer.

whole sentence in the first instance.

sing to augmentan already awarded build; but the defects are so palsentence, when their reasons for le- pable, and the improvements so nity were but too well founded evident, that there is no fear of the

There is scarcely a general offi- attempt at reformation failing. In cer in the service who does not la- the interim, I presume to propose ment the flippancy with which the that the following regulations would cat-o'-nine-tails is used; but they materially contribute to diminish have no power of preventing regi- the frequency of corporal punish. mental punishments either in the ment. line or the militia.

: No officer under age should be England should not be the last allowed to sit as a member of a nation to adopt humane improve- court martial. ments; France allows of flogging All witnesses should be sworn to only in her marine; for men con- evidence. fined together on toard ship, require No commanding officer should a peculiar discipline, and the pu- send back a sentence for augmenta: nishment is very different from mi- tion of corporal punishment. litary severity. The Germans make Commanding officers should be great criminals run the gauntlet, a instructed to avoid as much as posmode of punishment by which every sible the ordering of courts martial one of their comrades becomes their for slight offences, but to use their corrector, and thus a greater oppro- own discretion as to the direction brium is inflicted; but in their courts of offenders suffering the minor pumartial a private always sits where nishments ;* such as imprisonment, a private is to be judged, and a non- temporary marks of disgrace, in. commissioned officer when a non- crease of fatigue duty, deprivation commissioned officer is the prisoner of all food but bread and water, &c It is true that a field officer may or That with every general return a der his serjeant to inflict upon bis statement of the offences committed, own authority, for petty misdemea. the sentences of the courts martial nors thirty blows with a cane; a and ihe inflicted punishments should a captain, twenty; a subaltern, be transmitted to head quarters; twelve; but as this punishment is and that there should occasionally instantaneous, the offender escapes appear in the general orders of the imprisonment, and his comrades have, army some remarks upon the extent in consequence no additional duty.* or diminution of crimes and punish

The introduction of that practice ments grounded upon these reports. of striking soldiers might not be Such preventive checks would not congenial to the sentiments of Eng. be displeasing to the officer who relishmen, who are accustomed, from gulates his regiment upon proper infancy, to consider trial as pre- principles; on the contrary, he viously necessary to any execution would feel laudable pride in this ex, of punishment; but it is absolutely position of the good conduct of the necessary that there should be some corps, which the army would attri, revision of the military penal code, bute to his management; but the as it is faulty in many respects. No doubt it is easier to destroy than to Artaxerxes used to whip sometimes

only the garments of the culprits, and * The Germans bave an horrorof being many a man has been saved to the sertied up to receive punishment. In a vice by only suffering the discredit of German regiment, in our service, where the preparation, and who afterwards punishment was very rare, two men de- bas declared, that if a lash had been stroyed themselves to avoid this increase given he never should have regarded bis ed disgrace,

juture conduct.

« VorigeDoorgaan »