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• Æmilius fell, oppreffed with wounds; and that life which had on all occafions been devoted to the fervice of his country, was loft in its defence. The Romans, though furrounded <- thus on every fide, turned their faces to the enemy, and re-r fifted yet for fome time longer. But as the troops on the outfide fell, their body, by degrees, was more and more di• minifhed; till at laft they were preffed together within a very < narrow space, and were there all deftroyed. Among them • fell Regulus and Servilius, the Confuls of the former year; • both eminent for their virtue, and whose behaviour in the action was such, as fhewed them to be worthy the name of Romans.
During the time of all this flaughter, the Numidians purfuing the cavalry of the left, who fled before them, killed. the greatest part, and threw many from their horfes.A small number only escaped fafe to Venufia; among whom was Varro, that bafe and worthlefs Conful, whofe govern-c ⚫ment proved fo pernicious to his country.
Such was the battle of Cannæ : in which both fides long • contended for the victory, with the greateft bravery. Of this the action itself affords the cleareft proof. For of fix "thousand horfe, which was the whole cavalry of the Roman army, seventy only fled with Varro to Venufia; and three "hundred more of the allies escaped to different cities. Of ❝ the infantry, ten thousand men, indeed, were taken prisoners; but these had no part in the action. And about three thousand alfo found means to escape to fome of the cities < that were near. But the reft, to the amount of feventy thou• fand men, all died with honour in the field of battle.On ⚫ the fide of Annibal were flain four thousand Gauls, fifteen hundred Africans, and Spaniards, with about two hundred • horfe.'
Thus did that brave, and numerous army fall a facrifice to the ignorance and rafhness of their General. By Annibal's fituation, it appears, that if Varro had poffeffed a little more patience, the Carthaginians muft, for want of provifions, in a fhort time, have been reduced to fight upon his own terms. But, in fact, the Roman Senate itself was equally culpable; Having, in their letters to the army, fignified their defire that a decifive battle fhould be attempted. This was more than fufficient to kindle Varro's natural impetuofity into a flame : a flame that went near to have burnt the whole Roman Re public to afhes. We have had many fubfequent examples of the fatal confequences of States and Minifters interfering in the command of their Generals, A Minifter of State may be
abwife home-politician, yet be entirely ignorant in military. politics. Befides, no man can poffibly judge of what is proper or improper, in the field, if he is not upon the fpot. The many mistakes committed by the Roman General on this occafion, are so flagrant, that it may feem unneceffary to point them out: nevertheless, to fome of our young military Readers, (for military Readers we have) it may not be entirely ufelefs....
Firft then, as we hinted before, he ought not, by any means, to have rifqued a general engagement; as the enemy muft inevitably have fallen into his hands without it. When the Carthaginians advanced their center, he ought not to have weakened his wings to affift his own; particularly as their ranks in that part, muft have appeared extremely thin. When he found their center retreat within their front line, he ought not, om any account, to have fuffered his own to exceed the line of battle, by advancing before their wings. Then, as his number of infantry was greatly fuperior to that of the enemy, he ought, after the battle was begun, instead of drawing them towards his center, to have extended them on the extremities of each flank, with orders to wheel to the right and left inwards, and to flank the Carthaginian cavalry and as his cavalry were inferior in numbers, they fhould have been fupported by the remainder of his light-armed troops, which continued useless in the rear. If he had followed those plain and eafy maxims, which the first principles of his profeffion feem to dictate, Annibal, with his whole army, muft unavoidably have fallen into the very fnare in which the Romans were caught.
Both antient and modern Writers of the Roman Hiftory, have been extremely lavish in praifing the inflexible conftancy, and conduct of that people during the fecond Punic war: and on the opinions of those Hiftorians it is, that our univerfal admiration is founded. But when we come to confider the facts themfelves, we find that the councils of this wife people were, beyond measure, foolish; and that their misfortunes were entirely owing to their want of judgment. It appears, that they had very early intelligence of Annibal's intention to invade Italy: full as early as we had, that the French defigned to attack Minorca. It was likewife their own fault, if they were not acquainted with his route. Why did they not attempt to oppofe his entrance into Piedmont? If they had taken care to fecure the narrow paffes of the Alps, they might have deftroyed his whole army with a very inconfiderable force. And, after Annibal's arrival in the plains of Italy, what a ftrange judgment did the Romans form of the capacity of those
men, to whom they gave the command of their armies! On juge (fays Mr. Folard) du merite des Princes, et des Republiques, par le choix des fujets qu'ils employent dans la conduite d'une guerre: which being tranflated into modern English, runs thus; We judge of the merit of an Admiralty, by their choice of an Admiral to command a fleet. This Varro, fo famous for his defeat at Cannæ, happened to be related to Bebius, Tribune of the people; who, by the affiftance of a little money, properly applied, together with his great popularity, and feditious eloquence, raised his noble kinfman to the Confulate and we have feen the confequences! Ariftophanes, in one of his comedies, intro duces a gentleman, endeavouring to perfuade a maker of saufages to push for the miniftry but the honeft man, too modeft, and too fenfible of his own inability, declined. Pho!" fays the gentleman, inability-stuff, and nonfenfe. There is nothing in the world fo eafy; for a man ⚫ of your profeffion especially. Continue to act as you have been used to do. Mix and jumble all things together. Mince your words as you did your meat; it will be thought affability. Continue to talk of your cookery; your profeffion has made you popular, and taught you knavery. In fhort, my friend, you have every qualification requifite in a minifter of ftate, except affurance.'
Another proof of the confummate wisdom of the Roman senate, was, the dividing the command of their troops between two men fo oppofite in character, fentiments, and difpofition. Our own memories, without having recourfe to hiftory, will furnifh us with inftances of this fort. The Romans being a wife nation, we were certainly right in following their example; and it was alfo juft, that the effect fhould be the fame. What could be the reason, that this great people, fo well skilled in the art of war, did not fooner attempt to draw Annibal out of Italy, by making a diverfion in Spain, or on the African coaft? It is very aftonishing, that they fhould chufe to act upon the defenfive, when it was in their power to have acted offenfively; but it is ftill more aftonishing, that other nations fhould chufe to copy their mistakes. In fhort, upon an impartial examination, we find, they were fo far from being the people they are generally reprefented, that they appear to have purfued every measure that was most likely to complete their deftruction. Comparisons, they fay, are odious; therefore we fhall draw no parallel: otherwife, it would be an eafy tafk to find a nation, which, for fome time paff, feems to have acted upon the fame principles, To what, then, did the
Romans owe their deliverance? To fortune, and to the fpirit and resolution of one man. Scipio was their redeemer home The ftrange conduct of the Romans, fays M. Folard, reminds me of Anacharfis obfervation to Solon, as they were returning from a public affembly; viz. That he could not help being greatly aftonifhed to find, that, in their deliberations, it was the WISE that spoke, and the Fools that decided. Which in publick affemblies, is commonly the cafe, where party governs, and the moft powerful cabal is generally compofed of the least rational.
As fome of our Readers may poffibly think, that we ought not to take our leave of this work, without mentioning a word or two, concerning the merit of Mr. Hampton's per formance, we may here obferve, that this has been rendered unneceffary, by the various fpecimens given; and which the learned perufer may, for his own fatisfaction, compare with the original: whilft Readers lefs qualified, or less curious, will, perhaps, deem it fufficient, if we affure them, without enumerating particulars, that we look upon Mr. Hampton's Polybius as one of the best translations that has appeared in the Englith language.
193 For DECEMBER, 1756, continued. -oqub E
Onfiderations on the present State of Affairs, with fome
This pamphlet feems to be the work of an Author, who has more than once, this winter, appeared in the fervice of the Public; and never in the occafional way, without a reasonable claim to public acknowlegements; which are particularly due to him for thefe Confiderations, as they contain an unanswerable refutation of the falfhoods and calumnies difcharged against this nation, by the French partizan, indicated in his title-page. It is this part of his undertaking, which he firft carries into exccution; and he enters upon it with this remark, That Europe has more to apprehend from the filent policy of Lewis XV. than from the open manifestations of Cr power, which rather gratified the pride, than ferved the intereft, of Lewis XIV. The indignities offered to fome powers, ferving sd to exafperate all against him; while the more refined fyltem of the prefent French court, has had fuch a foporific effect on its neighbours, that they have flept fecurely, till they are in a fair way to be fecured, forever, in the fetters of France.
Whether this is precisely true, or not, we need not stay to enquire-France is, and long has been, fo formidable, that we can never be too much upon our guard against her.And that the French management of Holland, and of the anti ftadtholderate party, in particular, by the means of Van Haaren's corrupt eloquence, and the Obfervator's equally corrupt writings, is the triumph of their politics, as the Confiderer phrafes it, may allo be taken upon content. We have loft the long-boasted, dearbought benefits of our Dutch alliance, it is plain; and whether through French practice, or English mifconduct, makes but little difference in the event. Our national character we may poffibly revive, but our footing in that Republic, it is to be feared, we fhall never recover: and it is in this light the Confiderer is entitled to our acknowlegements.-The wicked web of the last of the above mentioned two deceivers, he has certainly untwitted, in the fairest and fulleft manner; and it is only to be lamented, that a piece fo well calculated to take off the odious imputations caft upon us abroad, fhould be written in a language which is underflood only at home.
We have been charged, it feems, by thefe French emiffaries, not only with forming defigns on the liberties of the Republic, but even with aiming at univerfal commerce; and the Dutch have been fimple enough to believe it which is fo much the more ftrange, as all the world might have known, that we have aimed at nothing for many years paft, but barely keeping a crazy veffel afloat, as long as we could. We have been charged farther, with being the firft aggreffors in the prefent war, becaufe we were the firft in Europe to commence hoftilities; whereas it has been over and over again proved, that we commenced hoftilities only to correct their aggreffions; and even then, as a Jaft refource, when all other expedients had failed. And, indeed, 1 from the whole of the Confiderations before us, and all that might be added to them, it is but foo plain, that we have more to answer for to ourfelves, than to any other power upon earth.
What follows in the fubfequent part of the pamphlet, and which is comprehended under the first part of the title, is of too mifcellaneous a nature to be reprefented any other way, than by a flying sketch of the topics contained in it: which are-The mifchiefs reciprocally refulting to Britain and Hanover, from an over close connection; the common duty, both of Hanoverian and British Minifters, to make fuitable reprefentations ;—the **Fittle danger refulting to the latter from a proper discharge of that duty, and the difgrace which he fuppofes has befallen them from a neglect of it; the neceflity of an entire change of measures, and a new fpirit of councils, preferable to any inferior or fecondary point, fuch as a diftafteful enquiry into paft miscarriages, &c.the probability that in fuch cafe, other Powers would 2 think us worth faving, and really affift in forming a common caufe against a common enemy ;-the ufe to be made of our prefent misfortunes, by a thorough fenfe of the impolicy of over in