Martinet - Encyclopedia




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MARTINET, a military term (more generally used in a disparaging than in a complimentary sense) implying a strict disciplinarian or drill-master. The term originated in the French army about the middle of Louis XIV.'s reign, and was derived from Jean Martinet (d. 1672), who as lieutenant-colonel of the King's regiment of foot and inspector-general of infantry drilled and trained that arm in the model regular army created by Louis and Louvois between 1660 and 1670. Martinet seems also to have introduced the copper pontoons with which Louis bridged the Rhine in 1672. He was killed, as a marechal de camp, at the siege of Duisburg in the same year, being accidentally shot by his own artillery while leading the infantry assault. His death, and that of the Swiss captain Soury by the same discharge gave rise to a bon mot, typical of the polite ingratitude of the age, that Duisburg had only cost the king a martin and a mouse. The "martin" as a matter of fact shares with Vauban and other professional soldiers of Louis XIV. the glory of having made the French army the first and best regular army in Europe. Great nobles, such as Turenne, Conde and Luxemburg, led this army and inspired it, but their fame has obscured that of the men who made it manageable and efficient. It was about this time that the soldier of fortune, who joined a regiment with his own arms and equipment and had learned his trade by varied experience, began to give place to the soldier regularly enlisted as a recruit in permanent regiments and trained by his own officers. The consequence of this was the introduction of a uniform, or nearly uniform system of drill and training, which in all essentials has endured to the present day. Thus Martinet was the forerunner of Leopold of Dessau and Frederick William, just as Jean Jacques de Fourilles, the organizer of the cavalry, who was forced into an untimely charge at Seneffe (1674) by a brutal taunt of Conde, and there met his death, was the forerunner of Zieten and Seydlitz. These men, while differing from the creators of the Prussian army in that they contributed nothing to the tactics of their arms, at least made tactics possible by the thorough drilling and organization they imparted to the formerly heterogeneous and hardly coherent elements of an army.

Martinez De La Rosa, Francisco De Paula (1789-1862), Spanish statesman and dramatist, was born on the 10th of March 1789 at Granada, and educated at the university there. He won popularity with a series of epigrams on local celebrities published under the title of El Cementerio de momo. During the struggle against Napoleon he took the patriotic side, was elected deputy, and at Cadiz produced his first play, Lo que puede un empleo, a prose comedy in the manner of the younger Moratin. La Viuda de Padilla (1814), a tragedy modelled upon Alfieri, was less acceptable to the Spanish public. Meanwhile the author became more and more engulfed in politics, and in 1814 was banished to Africa, where he remained till 1820, when he was suddenly recalled and appointed prime minister. During the next three years he was the most unpopular man in Spain; denounced as a revolutionist by the Conservatives and as a reactionary by the Liberals, he alienated the sympathies of all parties, and his rhetoric earned for him the contemptuous nickname of Rosita la Pastelera. Exiled in 1823, he took refuge in Paris, where he issued his Obras literarias (1827), including his Arte poetica, in which he exaggerated the literary theories already promulgated by Luzan. Returning to Spain in 1831, he became prime minister on the death of Ferdinand VII., but proved incapable of coping with the insurrectionary movement and resigned in 1834. He was ambassador at Paris in1839-1840and at Rome in 1842-1843, joined the Conservative party, held many important offices, and was president of congress and director of the Spanish academy at the time of his death, which took place at Madrid on the 7th of February 1862. As a statesman, Martinez de la Rosa never rose above mediocrity. It was his misfortune to be in place without real power, to struggle against a turbulent pseudo-democratic movement promoted by unscrupulous soldiers, and to contend with the intrigues of the king, the court camarilla and the clergy. But circumstances which hampered him in politics favoured his career in literature. He was not a great natural force; his early plays and poems are influenced by Moratin or by Melendez Valdes; his Espiritu del siglo (1835) is an elegant summary of all the commonplaces concerning the philosophy of history; his Dona Isabel de Solis (1837-1846) is a weak imitation of Walter Scott's historical novels. Still his place in the history of Spanish literature is secure, if not eminent. Through the happy accident of his exile at Paris he was thrown into relations with the leaders of the French'romantic movement, and was so far impressed with the innovations of the new school as to write in French a romantic piece entitled AbenHumeya (1830), which was played at the Porte Saint-Martin. The experiment was not unsuccessful, and on his return to Madrid Martinez de la Rosa produced La Conjuration de Venecia (April 23, 1834), which entitles him to be called the pioneer of the romantic drama in Spain. The play is more reminiscent of Casimir Delavigne than of Victor Hugo; but it was unquestionably effective, and smoothed the way for the bolder essays of Rivas, Garcia Gutierrez and Hartzenbusch.

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