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HISTORY OF EUROPE

FROM TUTS

COMMENCEMENT OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

IX M.DCC.LXXXIX.

TO THE RESTORATION OF THE BOURBONS

IX M.DCCC.XV.

BY ARCHIBALD ALISON, F.R.S.E.

AUVOPATE.

VOLUME THE SIXTH.

SEVENTH EDITION.

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH AND LONDON. M.DCCC.XLVII.

EDINBURGH: BALLANTYNE AND HUGHES, PAUL'S WORK, AM) 3 THISTLE STREET.

3.0? fitj.3

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CONTENTS OF VOL. VI.

CHAPTER xxrn.

CAMPAIOX OF 1797—FALL OF VFJflCE.

P»g»

§ 1. Russia recedcs from the contemplated measures of Catharine, - -    1

2.    Plans of the Directory. Bernadotte and Delmas join Napoleon, -    2

3.    Preparations of the Imperialists. Great spirit in the hereditary states,    3

4.    Napoleon anticipates the arrival of the Austrian veterans, and dangers

of that plan, - -- -- -- -- -

5. Errors of the Austrian plan of operations, -----    4 fi. Description of the theatre of war. Its mountains, roads, and rivers,    5

7.    Napoleon resolves to turn the Austrian right,.....ib.

8.    Napoleon’s proclamation to his soldiers,......6

9.    Great interest excited in Europe by the approaching contest, and

character of the opposite generals,.......7

10.    Passage of the Tagliamento, - --------    ib.

11.    Operations of Jlassena on the left, and passage of the Isonzo by Ber

nadotte, ............9

12.    Massena makes himself master of the Col de Taruis on the left. Des

perate actions there. It is finally won by the republicans, - -    10

13.    Bayalitch’s division is surrounded and compelled to surrender, -    ib.

14.    Napoleon crosses the ridge of the Alps. Occupies Klagenfurth, -    11

15.    Successful operations of Joubert in the Tyrol, . ...    12 Ifi. Desperate action at the pass of Clausen, which is at length carried,    ib.

17.    Joubert advances to Sterzing. General alarm in the Tyrol, - - -    13

18.    lie marches across to join Napoleon at Klagenfurth, . ...    ib.

19.    Perilous condition, notwithstanding, of Napoleon, -----    14

20.    He in consequence makes proposals of peace to the Archduke, - -    15

21.    And at the same time severely presses the retreating Imperialists, . 16

22.    Terror excited by these disasters, - .......    17

23.    Preliminaries agreed to at Leoben,........18

21. Disastrous state of the French in Croatia and Tyrol, and extreme

danger of Napoleon,...... - - -    ib.

25. Progress of the negotiation, -........19

26- Conditions of the preliminaries agreed to Dth April at Judcmberg, -    ib.

27. Enormous injustice of this treaty as far as regards Venice, - -    20

Psga

§ 28. State of Venice at this period,........21

29.    Its long continued decline, .........u>.

30.    Description of Venice as a military station,......22

31.    And as an object of taste,.........23

32.    Rapid progress of democratic ideas in the cities of the Venetian terri

tory, which are secretly encouraged by Napoleon, .... 24

33.    Napoleon’s perfidous measures, - - ......ft.

34.    Democratic insurrection breaks put in the Venetian provinces, which

spreads to all the chief towns,........25

35.    Consternation at Venice. Venetians send deputies to Napoleon. His

duplicity, ..........-.26

36.    Venetians at last resolve to act against the insurgents, ... - 27

37.    Hostilities break out between the two parties, ..... 28

38.    The counter insurrection spreads immensely, . .... ib.

39.    Continued indecision of the Senate in regard to France, and affcctcd

anger of Napoleon, -............- 29

40.    Massacre at Verona, ..........30

41.    Which is speedily suppressed by the French troops. Massacre at

Lido,.............31

42.    Efforts of the Venetian Senate to avert the storm, .... 32

43.    Resources still at the command of Venice,......ib-

41. AVar declared by Napoleon against Venice, ...... 33

45.    Universal revolt of all the continental towns of the Venetian territory, 34

46.    Anarchy in Venice itself. The senate abdicate, .... - ib.

47.    The populace still endeavour to resist the subjugation of the state,

but Venice falls,........---33

4i Joy of the democratic party, and treaty of Kith May between Napoleon

and Venice, ....... ..... 36

49.    State of the armies on the Rhine, -..-----37

50.    Passage of that river at Diershiem, and defeat of the Austrians, - 38 5!. Operations cut short by the armistice, ...... -39

52.    Operations of Hoche on the Lower Rhine, Passage of the Rhine, forced

at Neuwicd, ............40

53.    Hostilities stopped by the armistice of Leoben,.....41

64. State of Prussia during this year. Its policy. Death of the King and

his character.............ib.

55.    Accession of Frederick ‘William III. His character. Early measures

and policy, ........... .42

56.    Retrospect cf the astonishing successes of Napoleon, .... 44 67. Commencement of negotiations at Udina, near Milan. Splendour of

Napoleon’s court there, . - - - - -    - - ib.

58.    Revolution at Genoa, brought about by the French.....45

59.    Secret measures of Napoleon to produce it. The revolutionists are

at first defeated, .......    - - - ib.

60.    The French then interfere, and vigorously support the democratic

party. The Senate upon this submits,......46

61.    Violent passions of the people. Rural insurrection, which is suppressed, 47

62.    Deplorable humiliation of Piedmont, - - ..... 48

63.    Negotiations between France and England opened at Lisle," - - ib.

64.    Progress of the negotiations at Udina, - -.....49

65.    The terms are at length agreed to, .......50

66.    Simulated arrogance and real fears of Napoleon,    .... 51

67.    Napoleon’s secret reasons for signing this treaty, ..... 52

68.    Terms of the treaty of Campo Formio, -    ....    53

69.    Sccret articles of the treaty, -........M

Page

§ 70. Disastrous results of the campaign to the Italians, . ...    54

71.    Napoleon’s secret reasons for this treaty, - - ... .55

72.    Horror at Venice at the publication ot'that treaty. . .    5(i

73.    Great sensation excited by this event in Europe, - - ...    id.

74.    Infamous conduct of Napoleon in this transaction, ....    58

75.    Light thus thrown on the character of Napoleon, . ...    00 7G. And of Austria, - .- -- ......Cl

77.    'Weakness of the Venetian aristocracy, ......    6^

78.    Insanity of the democratic party...........

79.    Striking contrast exhibited at the same period by the nobility and

people of Eugland, ....... . . .    {&.

CHAPTER XXIV.

INTERNAL GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE, FROM THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DIRECTORS TO THE REVOLUTION OF 18th FROCT1DOR.

§ 1. Retrospect of the previous changes of the Revolution, - - -    66

2.    Maximum of freedom with minimum of democracy the great object

of government, - -- ........gg

3.    Provision of nature against the evil of democratic anarchy, . .    il.

4.    State of the public mind and manners in France, in the beginning of

1796............................67

5.    First proceedings of the legislature. Choice of the Directory, . -68

6.    Extreme penury of the government,.......69

7.    Barras. iiis character, and that of Rewbcll, Lepaux, and Letourneur,    ib.

8.    First measures of the Directory, and extreme difficulties of their situ

ation..............70

9.    Liberation of the Duchesse d’AngoulEme ; who is exchanged for the

deputies delivered up by Dumourier..........

10.    Cessation of the distribution of food, and territorial mandates, - -    72

11.    Their transient success,..........73

12.    And ultimate fall. Recourse had in despair to barter, ...    ij>.

13.    Starvation ol the fundholders, and all the public functionaries, . -    74

14.    Deplorable state of the armies irom the same cause. Great specula

tions of foreigners,.......... -    75

15.    Open abandonment of the paper system,......7^

16.    Prodigious transference of tortunes which it had occasioned, - .    77

17.    Publ.c bankruptcy finally declared. And two-thirds of the national

debt confiscated,...........^

18.    Successful efforts of the Directory to restore order to France, - -    73

IS. But irreligion continues still triumphant Hie Uhcophilantliropists,    79

20.    Napoleon's tiews on this subject, - -......

21.    Renewed efforts of the Jacobins, - -- -- -- -81

22.    Principles of the new conspirators,........g2

23.    Baboeuf. His extreme revolutionary principles,.....83

24.    Mr Burke’s appreciation of this tendency of the Jacobins, - . .    84

25.    Progress of the insurrection,    - -........

20. But they fail now in rousing the people, ......-    66

27. Renewed efforts of the Revolutionists, and plans of the conspirators, .    87

£8. Ultimate views of the conspirators,.......83

29.    The conspiracy is discovered, and Baboeuf arrested, - ...    8a

30.    His partisans break out at Crenelle, but are defeated, . ...    so

31.    Babceufs address to the jury, . ........

§ 32. Abortive attempts of the royalists, - - - - - - - 91

33.    Singular manners of this period in France, ...... 92

34.    Young generals who there shone in society,    93

35.    But the result of the elections is preparing a catastrophe from the

success of the royalists,..........ib.

36.    Barthelemy is chosen a director in lieu of Letourneur, and joins Carnot, 94

37.    Club of Clichy, and club of Salm. General reaction in favour of the

royalists,.........-...95

38.    The royalists now supported the liberty of the press, .... 96

39.    Measures of the Directory to avert the danger. Camille Jourdan’s

speech in favour of religion, ......... ib.

40.    General return of the emigrants and clergy, ...... 97

41.    Great alarm of the Directory,.....----98

42.    The republican majority of the Directory resolve on decisive mea

sures. They change the ministry and collect troops round Paris, - ib.

43.    Measures of Napoleon. He resolves to support the republicans, and

for that purpose sends Lavalette to Paris, ....... 99

44.    His proclamation to his soldiers, on 14th July,    - - - - 100

45.    The army strongly supports the Directory. Extravagant addresses

from the soldiers,...........101

46.    Strength of the opposite party consisted only in talent and eloquence, 102

47.    Slender military force at their command. Reorganization of the Na

tional Guard decreed by the Councils,    ......ib.

48.    Violent measures of the Directory. They surround the Tuileries

with troops. Revolution of the 18th Fructidor, .... lie

49.    Passive submission of the people............. 104

50.    Address of the Directory to the Councils,......ib.

61.    Tyrannical measures of the minority of the Councils, .... 106

62.    Extinction of the liberty of the press, and transportation of the royalist

leaders,.............ib.

53.    Cruel fate of the exiles,..........107

54.    Escape of Pichegru from Guiana,...........108

55.    Vigorous and despotic measures of the Directory, ... . 10a

56.    This revolution was previously concerted with Napoleon, - - - 110

57.    But he is disgusted with the severe use they make of their victory, 111

58.    Fatal defect of the constitution of 1795,....... 112

59.    A more equitable government was then impossible in France, -    113

60.    This is the true commencement of military despotism in France, - - ib-

61.    Terrible retribution which awaited France, - - - - - - 114

CHAPTER XXV.

FROM THE PEACE OP CAMPO FORMIO TO THE RENEWAL OF WAR.

OCTOBER 1797—MARCH 1799.

§ 1 Views of the different parties on the war........115

2.    If the war had been uninterrupted, it would have been hard to say

which was right, -.....- - - - -116

3.    Fair opportunity afforded to France of pursuing a pacific system after

the peace of Campo Formio, ..... . ..    116

4.    Limited estimates for the year in Britain.....- -    117

5.    Mr Pitt’s new financial policy,.........118

6.    Establishment of the volunteer system in Great Britain, - -    ib.

7.    Noble speech of Mr Dundas on this occasion, - - - - -    119

Page

5 8. The volunteer system is sanctioned by parliament, - - - -120

9. Its great effects, and change in the nature of the war which it indicated,    121

10.    French finances. National bankruptcy,.......122

11.    External policy of the Freni’h Directory,......123

12.    Attack upon Holland. Its situation since the French conquest, - -    124

13.    State of the Dutch assembly at this period,......ib.

14.    Measures of the French Directory to revolutionise the state, - -    125

15.    Tyrannical acts of the new Directory, .......    126

If). Political state of Switzerland, ........    127

17.    Physicial description of Switzerland,.......ib.

18.    Resemblance of the level part of the country to England, - . -    ib.

19.    Causes of this peculiarity,.........128

20.    Extraordinary beauty of the mountain region,.....ib.

21.    Singular failure of the arts in portraying Swiss scenery, ...    129

22.    Gradations of vegetation in the Alps, .... 1 ..    130

23.    The woody, grass, and snowy regions,.......131

24.    Lakes of Switzerland, ....... ...    ft.

25.    Great central chain of the St Gothard,.......132

26.    Great lateral valleys in the Alps,........133

27.    Valleys of the Rhone, the Rhine, and the Inn, ....    ib.

28.    Mountains on either side of these valleys, ......    134

29.    General want of practicable roads through the country at this period,    ib.

30.    Savage state of Switzerland in the time of the Romans, - - -    135

31.    Early influence of the religious houses in spreading cultivation, - .    136

32.    Immense blessings occasioned by the diffusion of land among the

peasants, ............    137

33.    Equity and beneficial effects of the former Swiss government, - -    ib.

34.    Statistics of the Swiss cantons,........138

35.    Their great military reputation,.............139

36.    Ruinous political divisions which at that period prevailed in Switzer

land, ..............140

37.    Secret objects ofthe Swiss democrats in this movement, -    ib.

38.    Inequality of political rights in the different cantons, - ..    141

39.    The French resolve to excite one part of the inhabitants against the

other,.............142

40.    First origin of the revolutionary passion in Switzerland, - - .    ib.

41.    Its rapid growth in the large towns,........143

42.    Their measures to bring on a contest with the Swiss diet, - - .    ib-

43.    Napoleon at length succeeds in exciting a flame,.....144

44.    Powerful effect which his measures produce in the subject cantons, -    145

45.    First open acts of hostility,.........146

46.    This is all done under the direction of Napoleon......ib.

47.    Consternation in consequence excited in Switzerland. They make

some concessions, - .........    147

48.    Hostilities commence in the Pays de Vaud, - - . - - -    148

49.    Resolute conduct of the senate of Berne, ......    ]50

50.    Heroic conduct of the mountaineers, -......ib.

51.    Commencement of hostilities,.........151

52.    Surrender of Soleure and Friburg,........152

53.    Bloody battle before Berne,................153

54.    Dreadful excesses of the Swiss after defeat. Capture of Berne and its

treasures, ..................- .154

55.    Enormous contributions levied by the French every where, - .154

56.    New constitution of Switzerland, -.......155

57.    Generous efforts of the mountaineers, .......156

Para

§ 58. Arguments by which they were roused by the clergy.....157

59.    Aloys Reding,............153

60.    First successes and ultimate disasters of the peasants.....ib-

61.    Heroic defence of the Schwytzers at Morgarten.........

62.    Disasters of the Swiss in other quarters force them to retreat, - - ICO

63.    Bloody conflict in the Valais. Oppressive conduct of the French, . ib.

64.    An alliance offensive and defensive with France is forced upon Switz

erland, .....- - -.....161

C5. Glorious resistance of Uri and Schwytz. Cruel massacre by the

French,..........-    .....1G2

66.    The Grisons invoke the aid of Austria, who occupy their country, . 163

67.    Extreme impolicy as well as iniquity of the attack on Switzerland, . - ib.

68.    Great indignation excited by it in Europe.......]6{

69.    Commencement of measures to revolutionise the Roman states, - 1G5

70.    Attack on the Papal states. Miserable state of the Pope, ... 1(,7

71.    Intrigues of the French embassy at Rome.......ib.

72.    The open steps of the French to overthrow the Papal government, ICS

73.    Duphot is slain in a scuffle at the French ambassador’s, • - - 17C

74.    War is in consequence declared against Rome, and Berthier advances

to Rome, ............171

75.    Revolution at Rome, -    172

76.    Atrocious cruelty of the republicans to the Pope, .... ib.

77.    Their continued severity towards him. He is removed into France,

and there dies, ...........173

7S. Systematic and infamous pillage of Rome by the republicans, . . 174

79.    Confiscation of the whole church property in the Papal territories, - 175

80.    These disorders excite even the indignation of the French army.

Great mutiny at Rome and Mantua......- - ib.

81.    Revolt of the Roman populace. Its rapid suppression, . . - 170

82.    The whole Papal states are revolutionised. New constitution and

alliance with France...........177

83.    Violent revolutions effected by the French in the Cisalpine republic, 173

84.    Excessive discontent excited by these changes in Lombardy, - - 179

85.    The spoliation of the King of Sardinia is resolved on. llis cruel humi

liations,    ISO

S6. Successful intrigues of the republicans, who seize Turin, ... ib.

87. The King is reduced to the state of a prisoner, ..... 181

83. He is at length forced to abdicate, and retire to Sardinia, ... 182

89.    Affairs of Naples.....-......183

90.    Tlifcir military preparations, ......... 184

91.    Intrigues of the French. The Court enters into secret engagements

with Austria, ...........185

92.    And are encouraged to resist by the hattle of the Nile, and on Nelson’s

arrival commence hostilities,........ib.

93.    Forces levied by the French in the affiliated republics, - - - 186

94.    Mack takes the command in Naples, ...... . 1S7

95.    Dispersed situation of the French troops, ...... ib.

96.    Mack commences hostilities, and enters Rome, ..... 183

97.    They are every where defeated when advancing further, - . - 189

98.    Fresh disasters of the Neapolitans, and retreat of Mack, ... 190

99.    The Neapolitan court take refuge on board the English fleet, - - 191

100.    Cliampionet resolves to invade Naples. His plan of operations, - - ib.

101.    His surprising success..............

102.    Critical situation of Championet in front of Capua.....193

103.    Mack proposes an armistice, which is gladly accepted, ... ib.

| 104. Description of Naples. Beauty of the bay, ..... .194

105. Romantic character of the city itself, .......    195

IO.i. Peculiar character of the lazzaroni of Naples,.....196

107. Its capabilities for defence.....

103. Indignation which the armistice excites among the Neapolitan populace,    197

It 9. .Advance of the French against Naples, ......193

110.    Desperate resistance of the Lazzaroni, and frightful combats before

the capital, .............] 99

111.    The French force the gates and forts; bloody conflicts in the streets,    200

112.    Establishment of the Parthenopeian republic......201

113.    State of Ireland. Reflections on the melancholy history of that country, 202

114.    Great effects of the rule of James I. in Ireland,.....203

115.    Causes of this failure of all attempts to pacify it. Confiscation of its

lands..............204

116.    Peculiar causes which have aggravated this evil in Ireland, - .    ib.

117.    The Irish are as yet unfit for free privileges.......205

118.    'Which is the real cause of their misery, ......    20fi

119.    Intimate union formed by Irish malcontents with France, - - .207

120.    Revolutionary organisation established throughout Ireland, - -    ib.

121.    Combination of Orangemen to uphold British connexion, ...    203

122.    Treaty of the Irish rebels with Franco, ......    209

123.    Ignorance of the English government of the danger, . ...    ib

124.    The insurrection at length breaks out, - - ...    210

125.    Various actions with the insurgents, and their total rout at Vinegar

Hill.......................211

126.    Suppression of the rebellion, and imminent danger from which England

then escaped,......... . .    16.

127.    Nugatory efforts of the Directory to revive the insurrection, . .    212

128.    Firmness of the British government at this period.....213

129.    Maritime affairs of the year, .........    214

130.    Disputes of France with the United States.......ib.

131.    Shameful rapacity of the French government,.....215

132.    Contributions levied on the Hanse towns by the Directory, - -    216

133.    Retrospect of the late encroachments of France, ....    ib.

134.    Their system rendered peace impossible: which leads to a general con

federacy against them,    .........217

135.    Progress of the negotiations at Rastadt,.....-    218

133. The secret understanding between France and Austria is made manifest, .............219

137. Universal terror which this treaty awakens in Germany, - - .    220

135. Tumult at Vienna, and insult to the French ambassador, - - -    221

139.    Conferences opened at Scltz, ........    222

140.    Which issue in a rupture between Austria and France, - - -    ib.

141.    Financial measures of the Directory to meet the approaching hos

tilities..............223

142.    Adoption of the law of the conscription by the legislature, ...    224

CHAPTER XXVI.

EXPEDITION TO KQVPT.

P«q«

§ 1. Great political and commercial importanco of Egypt, and its advantages ot sitnation, ..............•£#

Pa?«

§ 2. Its importance early perceived by Leibnitz. Alexander the Great and

Napoleon equally appreciated its value, ------    227

3.    His ideas are matured at Passeriano,    228

4.    Napoleon’s parting address to the Italians,......229

5.    His triumphal journey across Switzerland to Rastadt and Paris. Poli

tical objects of this journey. Its ominous character for Switzerland,    2-K

6.    His retired manner of life at Paris, .......    ib.

7.    His reception in state by the Directory. Talleyrand’s speech, - -    231

8.    Napoleon’s answer, -    232

9.    Successive fetes given by other public hodies, -----    233

10.    Napoleon’s private views in regard to his future life, - - - _    231

11.    Secret views of the Directory. Their desire to get quit of Napoleon.

Preparations for a descent on England,......235

12.    Pompous speech of Barras on giving him the command of the army of

England. Real views of both parties,......'236

13.    Napoleon’s growing horror of the revolutionary system, ...    ib.

14.    His journey to the coasts of the Channel, ------    237

15.    Reasons which determined him against the English expedition, - -    ib.

16.    Defensive preparations of the British government.....238

17.    Napoleon persuades the Directory to undertake the Egyptian expedi

tion. His prodigious activity in preparing it, - - - - -    239

18.    Objects of Napoleon in this expedition,......24U

19.    Magnificent preparations for the expedition, .    ib. The treasure at Berre is sent to Toulon by Napoleon’s orders, - ib.    note

20.    Napoleon is driven to it by necessity, -------    241

21.    Napoleon arrives at Toulon. His proclamation to the soldiers. His

last act a humane one,..........242

22.    Expedition sets sail, - -- --.....243

23.    Arrives off Malta, which capitulates without firing a shot, - - -    244

24.    Its prodigious strength,    .........ib.

25.    Secret of its easy conquest, - - - -.....245

26.    His conversation during the remainder of the voyage, - - .    ib.

27.    Movements of Nelson, who misses the French fleet, - - - -    24ij

28.    Egypt is discovered. Napoleon lands and advances against Alexandria,

which is taken,...........247

29.    His first proclamation in landing to his troops,.....248

30.    Description of Egypt, - -- -......ib.

31.    Astonishing effects of the inundation of the Nile,.....249

32.    Productions of the country. Its foreign commerce, - - - -    25u

33.    Decay of the population since ancient times, and importance of Alex

andria,    251

34.    Account of the inhabitants of the country. The Mamelukes, - -    252

35.    Office of Bey, and the Janizaries, - -- -- -- -    253

36.    The Arabs,............ib.

37.    And the Copts. Ibrahim Bey and Mourad Bey ruled the country, -    254

3S. Policy of Napoleon in invading Egypt, - -.....255

39.    His proclamation to the Egyptians,.......ib.

40.    His arrangements for advancing to Cairo,......256

41.    March of the advanced guard across the desert. Their sufferings, -    257

42.    Arrive on the Nile, and actions with the Mamelukes, ... -    259

43.    Severe combat at Chebreiss, ........    y,.

44.    The army advances towards Cairo, and arrives in sight of the Mame

luke forces,    ....... ----260

45.    Napoleon’s preparations to receive the enemy, -----    261

46.    Battle of the Pyramids, and defeat of Mourad Bey, ....    262

Pago

i 47. Ibrahim Bey retires to the frontiers of Syria; Mourad Bey to Upper

Egypt. Napoleon enters Cairo,........263

48.    Pacific measures of Napoleon, and proclamations of the Seheiks in his

favour,    ............264

49.    His able and impartial civil government. He affects the Mussulman

faith,.............265

50.    Growing discontents of the army.........266

51.    Calamitous expedition to Salahieh on the Syrian frontier. Ibrahim Bey

retires into Syria, ....... - - -    ib.

52.    Intrigues of Napoleon with Ali Pasha, - -.....267

53.    Treachery of France towards Turkey,    268 Turkish declaration of war,........jj,. n0[e

54.    Naval operations. Movements of Nelson. He arrives at Alexandria,    269

55.    Brueys’ position, -    270

56.    Nelson’s plan of attack, and forces on both sides,.....ib.

57.    Battle of the Nile,...........271

58.    Commencement of the action, .......    272

59.    Its dreadful nature, .............

60.    The L’Orient blows up, - _ _    273

61.    Glorious victory in which the action terminates,.....274

62.    Wound of Nelson,...........

63.    Heroic deeds in the French squadron, .......    275

64.    Great results of the victory, .........    276

65.    Honours bestowed on Nelson,........277

Napoleon's correspondence with Brueys as to getting the fleet into the    *

harbour of Alexandria,......._ 279 note

66.    Disastrous effects of this blow to the French army, - - - -    279

67.    Despair of the inferior officers and soldiers, .....    280

68.    It at onee brings on war between France and Turkey, - . .281 69 Passage of the Hellespont by the Russian fleet, .....    282

70. Critical situation of the French army. Vast efforts of Napoleon, -    ib. 71- Expedition of Desaix to Upper Egypt, ......283

72.    Bloody suppression of a revolt at Cairo,......034

73.    Expedition of Napoleon to the Red Sea,    285

74.    Extraordinary proclamation of Napoleon, ......    2S6

75.    lie resolves to penetrate into Syria. His vast designs, - - .    ib.

76.    Limited extent of his forces,    2S7

77.    Passage of the Syrian desert, .........    288

78.    Storming of Jafia. Four thousand of the garrison capitulate, - .    2S9

79.    Massacre of these prisoners,.........290

80.    Terrible scenes which occurred there,.......

81.    Unpardonable atrocity of this act, .......291

82.    The French advance to Acre. Description of that fortress, - -    292

83.    Sir Sidney Smith’s preparations for its defence,.....293

Biography and early history of Sir Sidney Smith, - . . ib.    note

84.    Commencement of the siege, ..............295

85.    Desperate conflicts in the breach. The Ottoman’s advance to its relief,    2<J6

86.    The French advance to meet them,......-    ib

87.    Battlcof Mount Thabor, ..........297

88.    Defeat of the Turks, - -- -......298

89.    Renewal of the siege of Acre, -    .299

90.    Desperate assault of the tower. --------    i&.

91.    Sir Sidney Smith enters the fight, -    300

92.    Last assault by the French,    .301

93.    Napoleon at length retreats, - .    ib

§ 94. Vast designs which this defeat frustrated,......302

95.    His adherence to the same view through life,.....303

96.    Napoleon’s proclamation on raising the siege,.....ib.

97.    Disastrous retreat of the troops to Egypt, ------    304

98.    Poisoning the sick at Jafia. It was justifiable, -----    305

99.    The army regains Egypt,    306 10i>. Contests in Egypt during Napoleon’s absence, - - - - -    307

101.    Great discontents in the army,......-.308

102.    Landing of the Turks in Aboukir Bay, ......309

103.    Force of the invaders, .---. - - - - -    310

104.    Position which the Turks occupied, .......    ib.

105.    Napoleon’s dispositions for an attack. First lice carried, - - -    311

106.    Desperate contest between the lines, .......    ib.

107.    Imprudent irruption and total destruction of the Turks, - - -    312

108.    Napuleon is made acquainted with the disasters of the Republic in

Europe, and secretly sets sail for Europe,......313

109.    He steers along the coast of Africa,.......314

110.    He lands at Ajaccio in Corsica. Sets sail, avoids the English fleet, and

lands in France,...........315

111.    Proof which the Egyptian expedition affords of the superiority of

civilised to savage arms, - -- -- -- --    316

112.    General reflections on the probable fate of an Eastern empire under

Napoleon, ........ . ...    ib.

CHAPTER XXVH.

CAMPAIGN OP 1779. FROM THE RENEWAL OF THE WAR TO THE BATTLE OF THE TREBBIA.

§ 1. Revival of the spirit of Europe by the battle of the Nile, ...    313

2.    Preparations of Austria and Russia, .......    ib.

3.    Treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive, between England and

Russia, - - ...........319

4.    Income tax is imposed by Mr Pitt, .......    320

5.    Observations on the expedience of this tax, ......    ib.

6.    Land and sea forces voted by Parliament, ......    321

7.    Universal discontent at the French government, .....    322

8.    State of the military forces of France, .......    ib.

9.    Their disposition over the theatre of approaching war, - - -    .123

10.    Forces of the Imperialists, and their disposition, - - ; - .    324

11.    Principle of the warfare on both sides, ......    ib.

12.    Ruinous effects of the invasion of Switzerland and Italy to the French

military power,...........325

13.    The French commence hostilities, .......    326

14.    Operations in the Grisons, . ........327

15.    The French are at first successful,.......ib.

16.    The Austrians are driven back with great loss into the Tyrol, - -    328

17.    Great successes of Dessoles and Lecourbe, ----.-    329

18.    But JIassena is defeated in repeated attacks on Feldlurch, - - -    330

19.    Jourdan receives a check from the Archduke Charles, ...    331

20.    Importance of this success..........ib.

21.    Position of the French at Stockach,.......332

22.    Battle of Stockach, ..........333

23.    Defeat of the French, - -- -...-..334

Pa-e

§ 24 Retreat of tbe French across the Rhine,......335

25.    Congress of Rastadt is still sitting,.......ib.

26.    Its dissolution, and assassination of the French plenipotentiaries, -    336

27.    General horror which it excites in France and throughout Europe, .    337

28.    Commencement of hostilities in Italy. Imprudent dispersion of the

French forces there, ...........33s

29.    Position of the Imperialists on the Adige,    339

30.    French plan of operations,    ib-

31.    Preliminary movements of both parties, ------    340

32.    First success of the French on the Adige, ------    34]

33.    Leads to no decisive result.........-    ib.

34.    Selierer experiences a check in endeavouring to cross the Adige, -    342

35.    Counter marches of both parties, -    .....343

36.    Decisive battle at Magnano, -    .......ib.

37.    Brilliant attack of Kray with the reserve, gives the Austrians the

victory,    ............344

38.    Its decisive results. Disorderly retreat of the French, - - -    345

39.    Corfu surrenders to the Russo-Turkish fleet. -----    346

40.    Operations in Germany...........ib.

41.    Massena falls back on the Alps, and takes a defensive position in the

Grisons,    ...    . . -.....ib.

42.    Description of the theatre of war, -------    347

43.    General attack upon Massena’s line in the Grisons, ....    348

44.    Insurrection of the Swiss in his rear ; being unsupported, it is crushed,    ib.

45.    Massena draws back his right wing in the Italian Alps, - - -    349

46.    General attack by the Austrians on the French in the Grisons. Luci-

ensteg is carried,    ..........350

47.    General retreat of the French behind the lake of Zurich, - - -    351

48.    Part of the Austrian left wing is detached into Lombardy, - - -    352

49.    Their right wing is driven from the St Gothard, ... -    353

50.    Massena’s positions at Zurich. He is there unsuccessfully attacked by

the Archduke,...........ib.

51.    The latter prepares a second attack. Massena prevents it by a retreat.

Dissolution of the Swiss forces in the French service, - - -    354

52.    Reflections on the magnitude of the preceding operations in the Alps,    355

53.    Arrival of the Russians under Suwarroff on the Mineio, - - -    356

54.    Character of these troops and their commander, - - - .    357

55.    Early history of Suwarroff,.........358

56.    His wars against the Poles and Turks,.......jk.

57.    His glorious successes at Fokschany and Itimniski.....359

58.    llis peculiarities of manner, - -- -- -- --    360

59.    Ilis character as a general, ---------    ib.

CO. His vast influence with the soldiers,........3t;i

61.    llis ideas of the principles 011 which the war should be carried on, -    362

62.    Allied plan and condition of the French army......363

63.    Moreau retreats behind the Adda,.......

64.    The passage of the Adda is forced with immense loss to the French,    364

65.    Suwarroff enters Milan in triumph........365

66.    Moreau retires to Alexandria and Turin, ......    ih.

67.    Whither he is tardily follow ed by Suwarroff, .....    366

68.    Cheek of the Russians under Rosenberg in endeavouring to cross the

Po, - -    ...........367

69.    Mcreau at length retreats to the crest of the Apponines and Turin, -    363

70.    Suwarroff surprises Turin, and the castle of Milan is taken, -    369

71.    Moreau retreats towards Genoa, - - - - . -    ib.

§ 72. Suwarroff spreads over the whole of Piedmont and Lombardy, - -    370

73.    Reflections on these rapid successes of the Allies, - - - -    371

74.    Errors of the Austrians, who coerced Suwarroff, ....    372

75.    Affairs of the Parthenopeian republic and general revolt at Naples, -    ib.

76.    Macdonald commences his retreat, and retires in safety to Tuscany, -    374

77.    He enters into communication with Moreau, and concerts measures

with him,.......- - .    ib.

78.    Position of the Allies at this juncture, ......    375

79.    Dangers arising from their great dispersion, - - - - -    ib.

80.    Macdonald’s advance. First combats with the Republicans, - -    376

81.    Able and energetic resolution immediately adopted by Suwarroff, -    ib.

82.    The two armies meet on the Trebbia. First and indecisive action there,    377

83.    SuwarrofTs judicious plan of attack, .......    378

fyl. Battle of the Trebbia, and success of the Russians on the second day,    379

85. Singular nocturnal combat on the second night, .....    380

8G. Preparations of both parties for battle on the third day, - - -    ib.

87.    Desperate conflict on the Trebbia, .......    381

88.    Decisive attack of Prince Lichtenstein on the French centre, - -    382

89.    Victory remains with the Russians. Excessive loss on both sides, -    »&.

90.    The disastrous retreat of the French over the Apennines, ...    383

91.    Successful operations during the battle, of Moreau against Bellegarde,    384

92.    Fall of the citadel of Turin.....- ....    ib.

93.    Moreau retreats on Suwarroff turning against him, and Macdonald

regains Genoa after a painful circuit, .......    385

94.    Reorganisation of both French armies under Moreau, ...    ib.

95.    Reflections on SuwarrofTs admirable conduct in the preceding move

ments, .............    386

96.    Naval efforts of the Direotory to get back the army from Egypt, which

come to nothing, ....... ....%b.

97.    Expulsion of the Republicans from Naples, and bloody revenge of the

Royalists, ............387

98.    Violation of the capitulation by the Neapolitan court, and Nelson con

curs in these iniquitous proceedings. Deplorable fate of Prince Carraccioli, ............3S8

99.    Reflections on these unpardonable atrocities, .....    389

100.    And on the inferences to be drawn from the campaign, ...    390

101.    In strategy the possession of the valleys secures that of the mountains,    391

102.    Selfish desires which at this period paralysed all the operations of the

Allies, ..................392

6 -

HISTORY OF EUROPE.

CHAPTER XXIII.

CAMPAIGN OF 1797—FALL OF VENICE.

The year 1797 was far from realising the brilliant pro- chap spects which Mr Pitt had anticipated for the campaign, xxm. and which the recent alliance with the Empress Catharine j797> had rendered so likely to be fulfilled. The death of that j great princess, who, alone with the British statesman, Kussia’re-appreciated the full extent of the danger, and the necessity thewntem. of vigorous measures to counteract it, put an end to all the piat^mea-projected armaments. The Emperor Paul, who succccded Catharine. \ her, countermanded the great levy of a hundred and fifty thousand men which she had ordered for the French war; and so far from evincing any disposition to mingle in the contentions of Southern Europe, seemed absorbed only in the domestic concerns of his vast empire. Prussia was still neutral; and it was ascertained that a considerable time must elapse before the veterans of the Archduke could be drawn from the Upper Rhine to defend the Alpine frontier of the Hereditary States. Every thing, therefore, conspired to indicate, that, by an early and 1Th ix 4n< vigorous effort, a fatal blow might be struck at the heart of j0iu.’s.’is." the Austrian power, before the resources of the monarchy could be collected to repel it.1

Aware of the necessity of commencing operations early in spring, Napoleon had in the beginning of the preceding vol. vi.    A

chap. winter urged tlie Directory to send him powerful rein-xxin. forcements, and put forth the strength of the Republic in a —~— quarter where the barriers of the Imperial dominions were 1<9<’ already in a great measure broken through. A very little plans of the consideration was required to show that that was the most BireCtdotte vu^uera^le s^e 011 which the enemy could be assailed ; and Dehnas but the jealousy of the government prevented them from jeon Xar°‘ placing the greater part of their forces at the disposal of so ambitious and enterprising a general as the Italian conqueror. Obstinately adhering to the plan of Carnot, which all the disasters of the preceding campaign had not taught them to distrust, they directed Hoche to send his forces to the army of the Sambre and Meuse, of which he received the command, while large reinforcements were also dispatched to the army of the Rhine. Their plan was to open the campaign with two armies of eighty thousand men each in Germany, acting independent of each other, and on a parallel and far distant line of operations. The divisions of Bernadotte and Delmas, above twenty thousand strong, were sent from the Rhine to strengthen the Army of Italy. These brave men crossed the Alps in the depth of winter. In ascending Mont Cenis, a violent snow-storm arose, and the guides recommended a halt; but the officers ordered the drums to beat and the charge to sound, and they faced the tempest as they would have rushed upon the enemy. The arrival of these troops raised the army immediately under the command of Napoleon to sixty-one thousand men, independent of sixteen thousand who were scattered from Ancona to Milan, and employed in overawing the Pope, and securing the rear and communications of the army. Four divisions, destined for immediate operations, were assembled in the Trevisane March in the end of February: viz^that of Massena at Bassano, of Serrurier at Castelbranco, of Augereau at Treviso, and of Bernadotte at Padua. Joubert, with his own division, reinforced by those of Delmas and Baraguay D’Hilliers, was stationed in '>iT(’!r' ^’Tyrol, t° make head against the formidable forces which fx. fy,5i, 61. the Imperialists were assembling in that warlike province.1

Meanwhile the Austrian government had been actively employed during the winter in taking measures to repair the losses of the campaign, and make head against the

redoubtable enemy who threatened them on the Carinthian chap. frontiers. The great successes of the Archduke in Germany xxm. had filled th&m with the strongest hopes that the talents i797_ and influence of that youthful general would succeed in 3 stemming the torrent of invasion from the Italian plains. Prepara-As their veteran forces in Italy had almost all perished in the disastrous campaign of 1796, they resolved to bring Great spirit thirty thousand men, under the Archduke in person, from Stary states, the Upper Rhine, to’ oppose Napoleon, leaving only one corps there under Latour, and another under Werneck on the lower part of the river, to make head against the Republican armies. Fresh levies of men were made in Bohemia, Illyria, and Galicia ; the contingents of the Tyrol were quadrupled ; and the Hungarian nobility, imitating the noble example of their ancestors in the time of Maria Theresa, voted twenty thousand infantry and ten thousand cavalry, besides immense stores of provisions and forage, for the ensuing campaign. These forces, speedily raised, were animated by that firm and persevering spirit which 22dNov. has always characterised the Austrian nation ; the enthusiasm of the people, awakened by the near approach of danger, rose to the highest pitch ; and the recruits, hastily moved forward, soon filled the shattered battalions on the banks of the Tagliamento. But new levies, however brave, do not at once form soldiers ; the young recruits were no match for the veterans of Napoleon; and by an inexplicable tardiness, attended with the most disastrous effects, though too common at that period in the Austrian coun- 1 Jonu s 9) cils, the experienced soldiers from the army of the Rhine 27,28. were not brought up till it was too late for them to have any influence on the issue of the campaign.1

Anxious to strike a decisive blow before this great reinforcement arrived, Napoleon commenced operations on the 4 10th March, when the Archduke had only assembled thirty Napoleon thousand men on the Tagliamento, and when three weeks tiioTrr^vni must yet elapse before the like number of veteran troops of the could even begin to arrive from the Rhine. Nothing veteran'! demonstrates more clearly the vital importance of time in a^1d'Jn:~]e” war : to this fatal delay all the disasters of the campaign 0 1 'a 11 were immediately owing. 'What could the Archduke do with half the forces opposed to him in arresting the progress of the conqueror of Italy ? The summits of the

Alps were still glittering with snow and ice, but this only inflamed the ambition of the youthful hero. In commencing operations thus early, however, the French general incurred a fearful risk. The armies of the Republic on the Rhine were not in a condition to take the field for a month afterwards, and Napoleon was about to precipitate himself into the midst of the Austrian monarchy without any other support than what he could derive from his own forces. Had the Archduke, as he earnestly desired, been permitted to collect his army in the Tyrol, instead of Carinthia, there summoned to his standard the enthusiastic peasantry of that province, and fallen back, in case of need, on his reinforcements coming up from the Rhine, he would have covered Vienna just as effectually ;as on the direct road, accelerated by three weeks the junction with those forces, and probably totally changed the fate of the campaign.1

But it is hard to say whether the Aulic Council or the Directory did most to ruin the designs of their victorious generals: for the former obliged the Archduke to assemble his army on the Tagliamento, instead of the Adige ; while the latter refused to ratify the treaty with the King of Sardinia, by which Napoleon had calculated on a subsidiary force of ten thousand men, to protect the rear and maintain the communications of his army. To compensate this loss, he had laboured all the winter to conclude an alliance with the Venetian republic ; but its haughty, yet timid aristocracy, worn out with the French exactions, not only declined his overtures, but manifested some symptoms of alienation from the Republican interest, which obliged the French general to leave a considerable force in the neighbourhood of Verona, to overawe their vacillating councils. Thus Napoleon was left alone to hazard an irruption into the Austrian states, and scale the Noric and Julian Alps with sixty thousand men, leaving on his left the warlike province of the Tyrol, by which his communications with the Adige might be cut off, and . on his right Croatia and the Venetian states, the first of which was warmly attached to the house of Austria, while the last might be expected, on the^least reverse, to join the same standard.2    *

1797.


1 Th. G3, 65. Jem. x 27. Nap. iv

68.

5.

Errors of the Austrian plan of operations.


2 Jom. x. 23 Nap. iv. 69, 71. Th. ix. 6d, 6}.


Three great roads lead from Verona across the Alps to

Vienna ; that of the Tyrol, that of Carinthia, and that of chap. Carniola. The first, following the line of the Adige by xxm. ■Bolzano and Brixen, crosses the ridge of the Brenner into n97 the valley of the Inn, from whence it passes by Salzbourg g ’ into that of the Danube, and descends to Vienna after Description passing the Ens. The second traverses the Vicentine and Trevisane Marches, crosses the Piave and the Tagliamento, its moun-surmounts the Alps by the Col-de-Tarwis, descends into andrivers.*’ Carinthia, crosses the Drave at Villach, and, by Klagen-furtli and the course of the Muer, mounts the Simmering, from whence it descends into the plain of Vienna. The third, by Carniola, passes the Isonzo at Gradisca, goes through Laybach, crosses the Save and the Drave, enters Stvria, passes Gratz, the capital of that province, and joins the immediately preceding road at Bruck. Five lateral roads lead from the chaussee of Tyrol to that of Carinthia : the first, branching off from Brixen, joins the other at Villach ; the second, from Salzbourg, leads to Spital; the third, from Lints, traverses a lofty ridge to Judembourg; the fourth, from Ens, crosses to Leoben ; the fifth, from Pollen, to Bruck. Three cross-roads unite the chaussee of Carinthia with that of Carniola; the first branches off from Goviza, and, following the course of the Isonzo, ioins at Tanvis the route of Carinthia; the second connects Laybach and Klagenfurth ; the third, setting out from Marburg, also terminates at Klagenfurth. The rivers 1 personal which descend from this chain of mountains into the °^egrVNa Adriatic sea, did not present any formidable obstacles. h°7i, 72&P' The Piave and the Tagliamento were hardly defensible: 30“'-^2u and although the line of the Isonzo was far stronger, yet 64,65. it was susceptible of being turned by the Col-de-Tarwis.1

By accumulating the mass of his forces on his own left, and penetrating through the higher ridges, Napoleon per- „ ceived that he would overcome all the obstacles which Napoleon nature had opposed to his advance, and turn all the turn the l° Austrian positions by the Alps which commanded them. Austrian He directed Massena, accordingly, to turn the right flank nsht' of the enemy with his powerful division, while the three others attacked them in front at the same time. Joubert, with seventeen thousand men, received orders to force the passes of the Italian Tyrol, and drive the enemy over the Brenner; and Victor, who was still 011 the Appenines,

chap. was destined to move forward with his division, which xxiii. successive additions would raise to twenty thousand men, I797 to the Adige, to keep in check the Venetian levies, and secure the communications of the army. Thirty-five thousand of the Austrian forces, under the Archduke in person, were assembled 011 the left bank of the Tagliamento; > Jnm. x. 33. the remainder of his army, fifteen thousand strong, was 73*P Th ix *n ^ie Tyrol at Bolzano, while thirty thousand of his best «<■.    troops were only beginning their march from the Upper

Rhine.1

Napoleon moved his headquarters to Bassano on the 8 9th March, and addressed the following order of the day Xapoieon’s to his army—“ Soldiers! The fall of Mantua has terminated nun't^his the war in Italy, which has given you eternal titles to the soldiers. gratitude of your country. You have been victorious in fourteen pitched battles and seventy combats: you have made 100,000 prisoners, taken 500 pieces of field artillery, 2000 of heavy calibre, aud four sets of pontoons. The contributions you have levied 011 the vanquished countries have clothed, fed, and paid the army, and you have, besides,' sent 30,000,000 of francs to the public treasury. You have enriched the Museum of Paris with 300 chefs-d'oeuvre of art, the produce of thirty centuries. You have conquered the finest countries in Europe for the Republic; the Transpadane and Cispadane Republics owe to you their freedom. The French colours now fly, for the first time, on the shores of the Adriatic, in front, and within twenty-four hours’ sail of the country of Alexander! The Kings of Sardinia, of Naples, the Pope, the Duke of Parma, have been detached from the coalition. You have chased the English from Leghorn, Genoa, Corsica; and now still higher destinies await you : you will show yourselves worthy of them ! Of all the enemies who were leagued against the Republic, the Emperor alone maintains the contest; but he is blindly led by that perfidious cabinet, which, a stranger to the evils of war, smiles at the sufferings of the Continent. Peace can no longer be found but in the heart of the Hereditary States: in seeking it there, you will respect the religion, the manners, the property sxap.iv. 76. of a brave people ; you will bring freedom to the valiant Hungarian nation.”2

The approaching contest between the Archduke Charles

and Napoleon excited the utmost interest throughout chap. Europe, both from the magnitude of the cause which they xxm. respectively bore upon their swords, and the great deeds 1797 which, on different theatres, they had severally achieved. 9>

The one appeared resplendent from the conquest of Italy; Great inte-the other illustrious from the deliverance of Germany: ^Europe*1 the age of both was the same ; their courage equal, their by the ap-mutual respect reciprocal. But their dispositions were contest^an.i extremely different, and the resources on which they had character of

. ,    , , • ,    , •    •    the opposite

to rely m the contest which was approaching, as various as generals the causes which they supported. The one was audacious and impetuous; the other, calm and judicious: the first was at the head of troops hitherto unconquered ; the last, of soldiers dispirited by disaster : the former combated not with arms alone, but with the newly-roused passions ; the latter with the weapons only of the ancient faith. The Republican army was the more numerous ; the Imperial the more fully equipped : on the victory of Napoleon depended the maintenance of the Republican sway in Italy ; on the success of the Archduke, the existence of the empire of the Caesars in Germany. On the other hand, the people of the provinces, around and behind the theatre of war, were attached to the Austrians, and hostile to the French; retreat, therefore, was the policy of the former, impetuous advance of the latter : victory by the one was to be won by rapidity of attack ; success could be hoped for by the other only by protracting the contest. Great reinforcements were hastening to the Archduke from the Rhine, the Hereditary States, and Hungary, while his adversary could expect no assistance, beyond what he at first brought into action. Success at first, therefore, seemed within the 1Rot ;i grasp of Napoleon ; but if the contest could be protracted, 172,173. it might be expected to desert the Republican for the Imperial banners.1

On the 10th March all the columns of the army were in motion, though the weather was still rigorous, and snow ]0 to the depth of several feet encumbered the higher passes Passage of of the mountains. Massena’s advanced guard came first into action ; he set out from Bassano, crossed the Piave in the mountains, came up with the division of Lusignan, which he defeated, with the loss of five hundred prisoners, among whom was that general himself. By pressing

CHAP. forward througli the higher Alps, he compelled the Arch-xxin. duke, to avoid his right flank being turned, to fall back *-17g7" from the Piave to the Tagliamento, and concentrate his ’ army behind the latter stream. On the 16th March, at i«thMar. nine o’clock in the morning, the three divisions of the French army, destined to act under Napoleon in person, were drawn up in front of the Austrian force, on the right bank of the Tagliamento. This stream, after descending from the mountains, separates into several branches, all of which are fordable, and covers the ground for a great extent between them with stones and gravel. The Imperial squadrons, numerous and magnificently appointed, were drawn up on the opposite shore, ready to fall on the French infantry the moment that they crossed the stream ; and a vast array of guns already scattered their balls among its numerous branches. Napoleon, seeing the enemy so well prepared, had recourse to a stratagem. He ordered the troops to retire without the reach of the enemy’s fire, establish a bivouac, and begin to cook their victuals; the Archduke, conceiving all chance of attack over for the day, withdrew his forces into their camp in the rear. When all was quiet, the signal was given by the French general: the soldiers ran to arms, and forming with inconceivable rapidity, advanced quickly in columns by echelon, flanking each other in the finest order, and precipitated themselves into the river. The precision, tho beauty of the movements, resembled the exercise of a field day; never did an army advance upon the enemy in a more majestic or imposing manner. The troops vied with each other in the regularity and firmness of their advance. “ Soldiers of the Rhine,” exclaimed Bernadotte,-“the army of Italy is watching your conduct.” The rival divisions reached the stream at the same time, and, fearlessly plunging into the water, soon gained the opposite shore. The Austrian cavalry, hastening to the spot, charged the French infantry on the edge of the water, but it was too late ; they were already established in battle-array on the left bank. Soon the firing became general along the i Nap. iv. 76, whole line ; but the Archduke, seeing the passage achieved, 677iThJom his flank turned, and being unwilling to engage in a deci-s.33.' sive action before the arrival of his divisions from the Rhine, ordered a retreat;1 and the French light troops

pursued him four miles from the field of battle. In this chap. action the Imperialists lost six pieces of cannon and five xxm. hundred men ; and, what was of more importance, the 179-prestige of a first success. In truth, the Archduke never regained the confidence of his soldiers in contending with the conqueror of Italy.

Shortly after Massena, on the central road, effected his passage at St Daniel. Soon after, he made himself n master of Osopo, the key of the chaussee of the Ponteba, Operations which was not occupied in force, pushed on to the Vene- theiefT tian chiusa, a narrow gorge, rudely fortified, which he also and passage carried, and drove the Austrian division of Oeksay before him to the ridge of Tarwis. The occupation of the Ponteba dotte-by Massena, prevented the Archduke from continuing his retreat by the direct chaussee to Carintliia; he resolved, therefore, to regain it by the cross-road which follows the blue and glittering waters of the Isonzo, because the Carinthian road being the most direct, Avas the one which Napoleon Avould probably follow in his advance upon Vienna. For this purpose he dispatched his parks of artillery, and the division of Bayalitch, by the Isonzo towards Tarwis, while the remainder of his forces retired by the Lower Isonzo. The day after the battle of the Taglia- 17th Mar. ’’nento, Napoleon occupied Palma Nuova, where he found immense magazines, and soon after pushed on to Gradisca, 19th Mar. situated on the lower Isonzo, and garrisoned by thivee thousand men. Bernadotte’s division arrived first before the place, and instantly plunging into the torrent, which at that time was uncommonly low. notwithstanding a shower of balls from two thousand Croatians stationed on' the opposite shore, succeeded in forcing the passage, from whence he rashly advanced to assault the place. A terrible fire of grape and musketry, which swept off five hundred men, speedily repulsed this attack ; but Avhile the Imperialists were congratulating themselves upon their success, the division of Serruricr, which had crossed in another quarter, appeared on the heights in the rear, upon which they

laid down their arms, to the number of two thousand, with 1 NaP-iv- 79> 0    81 Til

ten pieces of artillery, and eight standards. This success ix.’72,’73. ’ had most important consequences ; the division of Berna- x- 39, dotte marched upon and took possession of Laybach, while 22’d March, a thousand horse occupied Trieste,1 the greatest harbour of

the Austrian monarchy; and Serrurier ascended the course of the Isonzo, by Caporetto and the Austrian chiusa, to regain'at Tarwis the route of Carinthia.

Meanwhile Massena, pursuing the broken remains of Ocksay’s division, made himself master of the important Col-de-Tarwis, the crest of the Alps, commanding the valleys descending both to Carinthia and Dalmatia. The Archduke immediately foresaw the danger which the division of Bayalitch would incur, pressed in rear by the victorious troops which followed it up the Isonzo, and blocked up in front by the division of Massena, at the upper end of the defile, on the ridge of Tarwis. He resolved, therefore, at all hazards, to retake that important station; and for this purpose, hastened in person to Klagen-furth, on the northern side of the great chain of the Alps, and put himself at the head of a division of five thousand grenadiers, who had arrived at that place the day before from the Rhine, and with these veteran troops advanced to retake the passage. He wTas at first successful; and after a sharp action, established himself on the summit with the grenadiers and the division of Ocksay. But Massena, who was well aware of the importance of this post, upon the possession of which the fate of the Austrian division coming up the Isonzo, and the issue of the campaign depended, made the most vigorous efforts to regain his ground. The troops on both sides fought with the utmost resolution, and both commanders exposed their persons like the meanest of the soldiers ; the cannon thundered above the clouds; the cavalry charged on fields of ice; the infantry struggled through drifts of snow. At length the obstinate courage of Massena prevailed over the persevering resolution of his adversary; and the Archduke, after having exhausted his last reserves, was compelled to give way, and yield the possession of the blood-stained snows of Tarwis to the Republican soldiers.1

1797.

12.

Massena makes himself master of the Col-de-Tarwis on the left. Desperate actions there. It is finally won by the Republicans.


22d March.

i Nap. iv. 80, 81. Th. ix. 74, 75.

13.

Bayalitch’s division is surrounded, and compelled to surrender.


No sooner had the French general established himself on this important station, than he occupied in force both the defiles leading to Villach, whither the Archduke had retired, and those descending to the Austrian chiusa, where Bayalitch’s division was expected soon to appear. Meanwhile, that general, encumbered with artillery and ammunition waggons, was slowly ascending the vine-clad

course of the Isonzo, and, having at length passed the chap. gates of the Austrian chiusa, he deemed himself secure, xxm. ^ under the shelter of that almost impregnable barrier. But 1797^ nothing could withstand the attack of the French. The fourth regiment, surnamed “ the Impetuous,” scaled, with infinite difficulty, the rocks which overhung the left of the position, while a column of* infantry assailed it in front; and the Austrian detachment, finding itself thus turned, laid down its arms. No resource now remained to Bayalitch. Shut up in a narrow valley, between impassable mountains, he was pressed in rear by the victorious troops of Serrurier, and in front found his advance stopped by the vanguard of Massena 011 the slopes of the Tarwis.

A number of Croatians escaped over the mountains by iNap. iv. throwing away their arms; but the greater part of the ®34Sg4'4-Jom' division, consisting of the general himself, 3500 men, Th. ix. 75. twenty-five pieces of cannon, and 400 artillery or baggage-waggons, fell into the hands of the Republicans.1

Napoleon had now gained the crest of the Alps ; headquarters were successively transferred to Caporetto, Tarwis, ^ Villach, and Klagenfurth ; the army passed the Drave 011 Napoleon the bridge of Villach, which the Imperialists had not time to burn ; and, descending the course of the streams, found Alps, oeeu-itself on the valleys which lead to the Danube. The Alps furth!^611" were passed ; the scenery, the manners, the houses, the cultivation, all bore the character of Germany. The soldiers admired the good-humour and honesty of the peasants, the invariable characteristics of the Gothic race ; detached cottages were spread through the valleys, the never-failing mark of general security and long established well-being ; the quantity of vegetables, of horses and chariots, proved of the utmost service to the army. Klagenfurth, surrounded by a ruined rampart, was slightly defended : the French had 110 sooner made themselves masters of that town, than they restored the fortifications, and established magazines 2Nap iv gJj of stores and provisions; while the whole English mer- 88. chandise found in Trieste, was, according to the usual custom of the Republicans, confiscated for their use.2

While these important operations were going forward in Carinthia, Joubert had gained decisive successes in the Italian Tyrol. No sooner had the battle of the Tagliamento expelled the Imperialists from Italy, than that general

chap. received orders to avail himself of his numerical supen-XA'III. ority, and drive the Austrians over the Brenner. He “ 1797 commenced the attack, accordingly, on the 20th March. 15 ’ The Imperialists were in two divisions, one under Kerpen, Successful on the Lavis, in the valley of the Adige; the other under ofJoubertin Laud°n, in the mountains near Neumarkt. The former, the Tyrol, encamped on the plateau of Cembra, on the river Lavis, March 20. wag assaj]cci by Joubert with superior forces, and, after a short action, driven back to Bolsano, with the loss of two thousand five hundred prisoners, and seven pieces of cannon. The French, after this success, separated in two divisions ; the first, under Baraguay D’Hilliers, pursued the broken remains of Kerpen’s forces on the great road to Bolsano, while the second, composed of the elite, of the troops under Joubert in person, advanced against Laudon, who had come up to Neumarkt, in the endeavour to reestablish his communication with Kerpen. The Imperialists, attacked by superior forces, were routed, with the loss of several pieces of cannon and a thousand prisoners; "Thile> on the same day, the other division of the army 52.    entered Bolsano without opposition, and made itself master

of all the magazines it contained.1

Bolsano is situated at the junction of the valleys of the ]6 Adige and the Eisach. To command both, Joubert left Desperate Delmas, with five thousand men, in that town, and him-Passofciau-sc^ advanced in person with the remainder of his forces sen, which is up the narrow and rocky defile which leads by the banks carried*.11 °f the Eisach to Brixen. Kerpen awaited him in the position of Clausen—a romantic and seemingly impregnable pass, three miles above Bolsano, where the mountains approach each other so closely, as to leave only the bed of the stream and the breadth of the road between their frowning brows. An inaccessible precipice shuts in the pass on the southern side, while on the northern a succession of wooded and rocky peaks rise in wild variety from the raging torrent to the naked cliffs, three thousand 21th Mar. feet above. Early in the morning, the French presented themselves at the jaws of this formidable defile; but the Austrian and Tyrolese marksmen, perched on the cliffs and in the woods, kept up so terrible a fire upon the road, that column after column, which advanced to the attack, was swept away. For the whole day the action continued,

without the Republicans gaining any advantage; but chap. towards evening their active light infantry succeedcd in xxiii. scaling the rocky heights on the right of the Imperialists, ~"17g7 aud rolled down great blocks of stone, which rendered the    '

pass no longer tenable. Joubert, at the same time, charged observation, rapidly in front, at the bend of two regiments formed in Jnm. close column ; and the Austrians, unable to withstand this 9ja.pIV'S9’ combined effort, fell back towards Brixen, which was soon after occupied by their indefatigable pursuers.1

The invasion of the Tyrol, so far from daunting, tended only to animate the spirit of the .peasantry in that populous p and warlike district. Kerpen, as he fell back, distributed Joubert numerous proclamations, which soon brought crowds of sterling t0 expert and dauntless marksmen to his standard; and, General' reinforced by these, he took post at Mittenwald, hoping to Tyroi.mthe cover both the great road over Mount Brenner, and the 28th Mar-lateral one which ascended the Pusterthal. But he was attacked with such vigour by General Belliard, at the head of the French infantry in close column, that he was unable to maintain his ground, and driven from the castellated heights of Sterzing to take post on the summit of the Brenner, the last barrier of Innspruck, still covered with the snows of winter. The alarm spread through the whole 2 JoiT). x. 54j of Tyrol; an attack on its capital was hourly expected ; g9'9^rap'iv’ and it was thought the enemy intended to penetrate across ix.’ 76.' ’ the valley of the Inn, and join the invading force 011 the Rhine.2

But Joubert, notwithstanding his successes, was now in a dangerous position. The accounts-he received from lg Bolsano depicted in glowing colours the progress of the He marches levy en masse; and although he was at the head of twelve “otoNapo-thousand men, it was evidently highly dangerous either to leon at Kia-remain where he was, in the midst of a warlike province £th April, in a state of insurrection, or advance unsupported over the higher Alps into the valley of the Inn. There was no alternative, therefore, but to retrace his steps down the Adige, or join Napoleon by the cross-road from Brixen, through the Pusterthal, to Ivlagenfurth. lie preferred the latter ; brought up Delims with his division from Balsano, and, setting out in the beginning of April, joined the main army in Carinthfa with all his forces and five thousand

chap. prisoners, leaving Servier to make head as he best could xxm. against the formidable force which Laudon was organising 179_ in the valley of the Upper Adige. Thus, in twenty days after the campaign opened, the army of the Archduke was driven over the Julian Alps; the French occupied Carniola, Carinthia, Trieste, Fiume, and the Italian Tyrol; and a formidable force of forty-five thousand men, flushed with victory, was on the northern declivity of the Alps, within sixty leagues of Vienna. On the other hand, the Austrians, dispirited by disaster, and weakened by defeat, had lost a fourth of their number in the different actions Uom. x. 53. which had occurred, while the forces on the Rhine were p. i\. 90, ^ go grea£ a (jigtanee as to be unable to take any part in the defence of the capital.1

But notwithstanding all this, the situation of the • 19 Republican armies, in many respects, was highly perilous. Perilous An insurrection was breaking out in the Venetian provin-notwith"’ ces> which it was easy to see would ultimately involve standing, of that poM'er in hostilities with the French government; Napoleon. Lauc[0I1 was advancing by rapid strides in the valley of the Adige, with no adequate force to check his operations ; and the armies of the Rhine were so far from being in a condition to afford any effectual assistance, that they had not yet crossed that frontier river. The French troops could not descend unsupported into the valley of the Danube, for they had not cavalry sufficient to meet the numerous and powerful squadrons of the Imperialists; and what were forty-five thousand men in the heart of the Austrian empire ? These considerations, which had long weighed with Napoleon, became doubly cogent, from a despatch received on the 31st March, at Klagenfurth, which announced that Moreau’s troops could not enter upon the campaign for want of boats to cross the Rhine,, and that the army of Italy must reckon upon no support from the other forces of the Republic. It was evident, notwithstanding the extreme pecuniary distress of the government, that there was something designed in this dilatory Nap. iv. 93, conduct, which endangered the bravest army and all the ;!,5; 61Join^-conquests of the Republic.2 The truth was, they had

ix. 92. already-conceived that jealousy of their victorious general, which subsequent events so fully justified, and apprehend-

ed less danger from a retreat before the Imperial forces, chap. than from a junction of their greatest armies under such xxui. an aspiring leader.    1797.

Deprived of all prospect of that co-operation on which he had relied in crossing the Alps, Napoleon wisely deter- 20 mined to forego all thoughts of dictating peace under the He, in c.m walls of Vienna, and contented himself with making the

makes ]>ro.

most of his recent successes, by obtaining advantageous p<^1sf

.    i    i    1    pCo.CC IU lilt#

terms from the Austrian government. A few hours, Archduke, accordingly, after receiving the despatch of the Directory, he addressed to the Archduke Charles one of those memorable letters, which, almost as much as his campaigns, exhibit his profound and impassioned mind:—

“ General-in-chief,—Brave soldiers make war, and desire 3ist March, peace. Has not this war already continued six years 1 Have we not slain enough of our fellow-creatures, and inflicted a sufficiency of woes on suffering humanity ? It demands repose on all sides. Europe, which took up arms against the French Republic, has laid them aside. Your nation alone remains, and yet blood is about to flow in as great profusion as ever. This sixth campaign has commenced with sinister omens ; but whatever may be its issue, we shall kill, on one side and the other, many thousand men, and, nevertheless, at last come to an accommodation, for every thing has a termination, even the passions of hatred. The Directory has already evinced to the Imperial Government its anxious wish to put a period to hostilities ; the Court of London alone broke off the negotiation. But you, general-in-chief, who, by your birth, approached so near the throne, and arc above all the little passions which too often govern ministers and governments, are you resolved to deserve the title of benefactor of humanity, and of .the real saviour of Germany ? Do not imagine, general, from this, that I conceive that you are not in a situation to save it by force of arms ; but even in such an event, Germany will not be the less

ravaged. As for myself, if the overture which I have the ® * . honour to make shall be the means of saving a single life,

I shall be more proud of the civic crown which I shall be conscious of having deserved, than of the melancholy glory attending military success.” The Archduke returned a polite and dignified answer, in these terms:—“ In the 2d April.

chap. duty which is assigned to me there is no power either to xxiii. scrutinise the causes, or terminate the duration of the 17u7 war; and, as I am not invested with any powers in that ’ respect, you will easily conceive that I can enter into no negotiation without express authority from the Imperial Government.” It is remarkable how much more Napoleon, a Republican general, here assumed the language and exercised the power of an independent sovereign, than his illustrious opponent; a signal proof how early he contemplated that supreme authority which his extraordinary abilities so well qualified him to attain, and which he so ■ soon after reached. The Archduke was strongly impressed with the military talents displayed by Napoleon in this lNa .v brief but even'tful campaign ; he might say with Pompey os, 97. ’ to Sertorius, “ I have learned more by defeat from you than by victory over others.”11

To support his negotiations, the French general pressed 21 the Imperialists with all his might in their retreat. Early And at’the on the 1st April, Massena came up with the Austrian rear-*everei™e &uard in advance of Freisach ; they were instantly attack-presses the ed, routed, and driven into the town pell-mell with the imperialists. victors. Next day Napoleon, continuing his march, found 1st April, himself in presence of the Archduke in person, who had collected the greater part of his army, reinforced by four divisions recently arrived from the Rhine, to defend the gorge of Neumarkt. This terrific defile, which even a traveller can hardly traverse without a feeling of awe, offered the strongest position to a retreating army ; and its mouth, with all the villages in the vicinity, was occupied in force by the Austrian grenadiers. The French general collected his forces ; Massena was directed to assemble all his divisions on the left of the chaussee; the division of Guieux was placed on the heights on the right, and that of Serrurier in reserve. At three in the afternoon the attack commenced at all points ; the soldiers of the Rhine challenged the veterans of the Italian army to equal the swiftness of their advance ; and the rival corps, eagerly watching each chap. other’s steps, precipitated themselves with irresistible force xxm. upon the enemy. The Austrians, after a'short action, fell 1737 back in confusion; and the Archduke took advantage of the approach of night to retire to Hundsmark. In this affair the Imperialists lost fifteen hundred men, although the division of Massena was alone seriously engaged. Napoleon instantly pushed on to Schufling, a military post of great importance, as it was situated at the junction of the cross-road from the Tyrol and the great chaussee to Vienna, which was carried after a rude combat; and on the following day he dispatched Guieux down the rugged defiles of 3d April, the Muer in pursuit of the column of Sporck, which, after a sharp action with the French advanced-guard, succeeded in joining the main army of the Imperialists by the route of Rastadt. Two days after, Napoleon pushed on to Ju-demberg, where headquarters were established on the 6th April, and then halted to collect his scattered forces, while 1 personal the advanced-guard occupied the village of Leoben. The ^^r^ti°4a Archduke now resolved to leave the mountains, and con- 100.’ jom.’ centrate all his divisions in the neighbourhood of Vienna, Th'ix^sc where the whole resources of the monarchy were to be 97. collected, and the last battle fought for the independence of Germany.1

This rapid advance excited the utmost consternation at the Austrian capital. In vain the Aulic Council strove OI) to stem the torrent; in vain the lower orders surrounded Terror the public offices, and demanded with loud cries to be the^disas-enrolled for the defence of the country ; the government ters. yielded to the alarm, terror in high places froze every heart. The Danube was covered with boats conveying the archives and most precious articles beyond the reach of danger ; the young archduke and archduchess were sent to Hungary, and with them was Maria Louisa, then hardly six years of age, who afterwards became ' Empress of France. The old fortifications of Vienna, which had withstood the arms of the Turks, but had since fallen into decay, were hastily put into repair, and the militia directed to the intrenched camp of Marienhalf, 93. to learn the art which might so soon be required for the defence of the capital.2

The Emperor, although endowed with more than ordi-

vol. VI.    11

nary firmness of mind, at length yielded to the torrent. On tlie 7th April, the Archduke’s chief of the staff, Belle-grade, along with General Meerfekl, presented himself at the outposts, and a suspension of arms was agreed on at Leoben for five days. All the mountainous region, as far as the Simmering, was to be occupied by the French troops, as well as Gratz, the capital of Styria. On the 9th, the advanced posts established themselves on that ridge, the last of the Alps before they sink into the Austrian plain, from whence, in a clear day, the steeples of the capital can be discerned ; and on the same day headquarters were established at Leoben to conduct the negotiation. At the same time General Joubert arrived in the valley of the Drave, and Kerpen, by a circuitous route, joined the Archduke. The French army, which lately extended over the whole Alps, from Brixen to Trieste, ■was concentrated in cantonments in a small space, ready to debouche, in case of need, into the plain of Vienna.1

While these decisive events were occurring in the Alps of Carintliia, the prospects of the French in Tyrol, Croatia, and Friuli, were rapidly changing for the worse. An insurrection had taken place among the Croatians. Fiume was wrested from the Republicans, and nothing but the suspension of arms prevented Trieste from falling into the hands of the insurgents. Such was the panic they occasioned, that detached parties of the French fled as far as Gorizia, on the Isonzo. Meanwhile Laudon, whose division was raised to twelve thousand by the insurrection in the Tyrol, descended the Adige, driving the inconsiderable division of Servier before him, who was soon compelled to take refuge within the walls of Verona. Thus, at the moment that the French centre, far advanced in the mountains, was about to bear the whole weight of the Austrian monarchy, its two wings were exposed, 'and an insurrection in progress, which threatened to cut off the remaining communications in its rear. The perilous situation of the French army cannot be better represented than in the words of Napoleon in his despatch to the Directory, inclosing the preliminaries of Leoben. “ The court had evacuated Vienna : the Archduke and his army were falling back on that of the Rhine ; the people of Hungary, and of all the Hereditary States, were rising in

1797.

Preliminaries agreed to at Leo-ben.

7tli April.

1 Jom. x. 61. Tli. ix. 93. Nap.iv. 102, 1U3.

21. Disastrous state of the French in Croatia and Tyrol, and extreme danger of Napoleon. 15th April. l'Jth April.


mass, and at this moment the heads of their columns are chap. on our flanks. The Rhine is not yet passed by our sol- xxui. diers ; the moment it is, the Emperor will put himself at 179-the head of his armies, and although, if they stood their ground, I would, without doubt, have beaten them, yet they eould^still have fallen back on the armies of the Rhine and overwhelmed me. In such a ease retreat would have been difficult, and the loss of the army of Italy would have drawn after it that of the Republic. Impressed with these ideas, I had resolved to levy a contribution in the suburbs of Vienna, and attempt nothing more. I have not four thousand cavalry, and instead of the forty thousand infantry I was to have received, I have never got twenty.

Had I insisted, in the commencement of the campaign, 1 upon entering Turin, I would never have crossed the Po ; 462°.mpu‘<-ei’ had I agreed to the project of going to Rome, I would ^ have lost the Milanese ; had I persisted in advancing to !v! 104. P Vienna, I would probably have ruined the Republic.”1

When such were the views of the victorious and the dangers of the vanquished party, the negotiation could not g. be long in coming to a conclusion. Napoleon, though not Progress of furnished with anypowers to that effect from the Directory, took upon himself to act in the conferences like an independent sovereign. The Austrians attached great importance to the etiquette of proceedings, and offered to recognise the French Republic if they were allowed the precedence; but Napoleon ordered that article to be withdrawn. “ Efface that,” said he : “ the Republic is like the sun, which shines with its own light; so much the worse for the blind, who cannot see it or profit by it. In truth,” he adds, “ such a condition was worse than useless ; because, if one day the French people should wish to create a monarchy, the 2Th ^ lno Emperor might object that he had recognised a Republic :” Nap.’i^.’ u.o.‘ a striking proof how early the ambition of the young general had been fixed upon the throne.2

As the French plenipotentiaries had not arrived, Napoleon, of his own authority, signed the treaty. Its princi- condition pal articles were—1. The cession of Flanders to the ^^,r' Republic, and the extension of its frontier to the Rhine, a^eedTo*’ 011 condition of a suitable indemnity being provided to a^uiem1 the Emperor in some other quarter. 2. The cession of bcr-. " Savoy to the same power, and the extension of its terri-

chap tory to the summit of the Piedmontese Alps. 3. The esta-xxiii. blishment of the Cisalpine Republic, including Lombardy, 179- with the states of Modena, Cremona, and the Bergamasque. 4. The Oglio was fixed on as the boundary of the Austrian possessions in Italy. 5. The Emperor was to receive, in return for so many sacrifices, the whole continental states of Venice, including Illyria, Istria, Friuli, and the Upper Italy, as far as the Oglio. C. Venice was to obtain, in return for the loss of its continental possessions, Romagna, ™on?: x ?8’ Ferrara, and Bologna, which the French had wrested from

69. Nap. iv.

106,107.’ the Pope. 7. The important fortresses of Mantua, Pe-105 1XMar-’ sch*era> Porto-Legnago, and Paltua-Nuova, were to be tens, vi 3b5. restored to the Emperor, on the conclusion of a general peace, with the city and castles of Verona.1

With truth does Napoleon confess, that these arrange-27 ments were made “ in hatred of Venice.”* Thus did that Enormous daring leader, and the Austrian government, take upon tws^reaty1 themselves, without any declaration of war, or any actual as far as hostilities with the Venetian government, to partition out Venice! the territories of that neutral Republic, for no other reason, than because they lay conveniently for one of the contracting powers, and afforded a plausible pretext for an enormous acquisition of territory by the other. The page of history, stained as it is with acts of oppression and violence, has nothing more iniquitous to present. It is darker in atrocity than the partition of Poland, and has only excited less indignation in subsequent years, because it was not wound up with the interest of the democratic party, ever foremost in giving celebrity to any transaction, and was attended with no heroism or dignity in the vanquished. It reveals the melancholy truth, that small states have never so much reason to tremble for their independence, as when large ones in their neighbourhood are arranging the terms of peace ; nor is it easy to say, whether the injustice of the proceeding is most apparent on the first statement of the spoliation, or on a review of the previous transactions which are referred to in its defence.

Venice, the queen of the Adriatic, seated on her throne of waters, had long sought to veil the weakened strength, and diminished courage of age, under a cautious and reserved neutrality. The oldest state in existence, having

* XaPaJcon, iv. 197.

survived for nearly fourteen centuries, she had felt the ciiap. weakness and timidity of declining years, before any xxm. serious reverse had been sustained in her fortunes, and IW was incapable of resisting the slightest attack, while as ^ yet her external aspect exhibited no symptoms of decay, state of The traveller, as he glided through the palaces, which still thi"p^d rose in undecaying beauty from the waters of the Adriatic, no longer wondered at the astonishment with which the stern Crusaders of the north gazed at her marble piles, and felt a rapture like that of the Roman Emperor, when he approached where “ Venice sat in state, throned on her hundred islesbut in the weak and pusillanimous crowd which he beheld on all sides, he looked in vain for the descendants of those brave men who leaped from their galleys on the towers of Constantinople, and stood forth as the bulwark of Christendom against the Ottoman power; and still less, amidst the misery and dejection with which he was surrounded, could he go back in imagination to those days of liberty and valour—

-“ when Venice once was dear,

The pleasant place of all Festivity;

The Revel of the Earth, the Mask of Italy.”

In truth, Venice exhibits one of the most curious and instructive instances which is to be found in modern history, of the decline of a state without any rude external its lonfj. shock, from the mere force of internal corruption, and the decUn”e l long-continued direction of the passions to selfish objects. 6° n6‘ The league of Cambray, indeed, had shaken its power ; the discovery of the Cape of Good Hupe had dried up part of its resources, and the augmentation of the strength of the Transalpine monarchies had diminished its relative importance. Yet were its wealth and population such as to entitle it to a*respectable rank among the European states, and, if directed by energy and courage, might have given it a preponderating weight in the issue of this campaign.

But centuries of peace had dissolved the courage of the higher orders ; ages of corruption had extinguished the patriotism of the people, and the continued pursuit of selfish gratification had rendered all classes incapable of the sacrifices which exertion for their country required.

The arsenals were empty ; the fortifications decayed ; the fleet, which once ruled the Adriatic, was rottimr in

chap. the Lagunse ; and the army, which formerly faced the xxiii. banded strength of Europe in the league of Cambray, was ,7S7 drawn entirely from the semi-barbarous provinces on the Turkish frontier. With such a population, nothing grand or generous could be attempted ; but it was hardly to be i Personal expected that the country of Dandolo and Carmagnola tioifrV j"om suld yield without a struggle, and the eldest born of the

x. lis. European commonwealths sink unpitied into the grave of nations.1

Notwithstanding these disadvantages, however, the very 30 peculiar situation of Venice gave it extraordinary facilities Description for maintaining a defence, and, in fact, rendered it, with the maritime aid of England, altogether impregnable. It station. is situated, as all the world knows, upon a cluster of islands lying at the mouth of the Po, surrounded by the Lagunas, a shallow salt-water lake, in general not more than three . or four feet deep, and separated from the Adriatic by a great sand-bank called the Lido, all the entrances to which were strongly fortified. The most considerable of these, Malmocco and Chiusa, the scene of such desperate contests between the Genoese and Venetians in the sixteenth century, are guarded by strong fortresses, which could only be reduced by a power having the command of the sea. On the land side, an attack on Venice is impracticable, unless to a power which, by long-continued efforts, has succeeded in raising up a body of boatmen capable of contending with the celebrated gondoliers of the Adriatic Queen for the mastery of the green waves of the Lagunas. But this is a very difficult matter, for long practice has given the boatmen of the capital extraordinary skill in the management of their narrow vessels, and the intricacies of the navigation by which the capital is to be reached from the mainland, abounding with shoals and, sand-banks, ■which can be avoided only by devious and circuitous channels, render the approach almost impossible to all but those intimately acquainted with the navigation. The ’Personal (^stance of the capital from the nearest point to the shore observation, being above five miles, renders any attempt at bombardment utterly hopeless.2

When the impatient traveller emerges from the green mounds of the fortifications of Mestri or Fusina, the nearest harbours of the continent, on which he embarks for the

Venetian capital, and first finds himself on the broad wave of the Lagunfe, he perceives its domes and steeples rising, like specks above the water, at the extremity of the horizon, from the bosom of the waves. As he approaches nearer, winding through the channels of the Laguinu clogged with green seaweed, the lower buildings of the capital gradually become visible ; islands stretching out on either side, surmounted by domes, churches, and lofty buildings, give variety to the uniform surface of the water, and numerous pleasure-boats, seen in all directions, indicate the approach to the metropolis. The canals by which the city is at first entered, are bordered by mean brick edifices, which but ill correspond with its imposing aspect when seen from a distance. But this unfavourable impression is soon removed when the traveller reaches the Great Canal, which winds in a serpentine form through the heart of the city, lined on either side by stately palaces of marble, adorned with the richest facjades of'the Palladian style. Independent of the historical associations with which it is connected, Venice is, from the peculiarity of its situation, and the exquisite beauty of its architectural decorations, the most interesting city in Europe. The Place of St Mark, adorned by the genius of Palladio and San-Suvino, with its eastern end filled by the barbaric magnificence of the Church of St Mark, presents the most beautiful square that is any where to be met with ; while the adjoining harbour, the broad expanse of which is reached through the pillared avenue of the Piazzetta, exhibits a scene probably unique in the world. The singular assemblage of ships and galleys, often of the most grotesque construction, from every part of the Mediterranean ; the concourse of Turks, Greeks, and Asiatics on the quay;'the glittering aspect of the barques and gondolas which in every direction traverse the harbour, mark the approach to the eastern world ; but the noble domes of St Georgio Maggiore, the Reddentore, and the Madonna della Salute, bespeak the taste of Italy, and the predominance of the Christian faith. Altogether, Venice produces an impression never to be effaced from the mind of the traveller, the recollection of which recurs to the latest period of life with its bright skies, glassy waves, aud glow-

175)7.

31. And as ati object of taste.


chap. ing sunsets, like the visions of bliss seen in its earlier and xxiii. most enthusiastic days.

1797 The proximity of the Venetian continental provinces to so ’ those which had recently been revolutionised by the Re-Rapid*pro- publican arms, and the sojourning of the French armies democratic among ardent youth of its principal cities, naturally ideas in the and inevitably led to the rapid propagation of democratic Venetian^16 principles among their inhabitants. This took place more territory, particularly, after the victories of Rivoli and the fall of secretij^en- Mantua had dispelled all dread of the return of the Xu^oieoiiby Austrian forces. Every where revolutionary clubs and ‘ ' committees were formed in the towns, who corresponded with the Republican authorities at Milan, and openly expressed a wish to throw off the yoke of the Venetian . oligarchy. During the whole winter of 1796, the democratic party, in all the continental states of Venice, was in a state of unceasing agitation ; and although Napoleon was far from desirous of involving his rear in hostilities, when actively engaged in the defiles of the N’oric Alps, yet he felt anxious to establish a party able to counteract the efforts of the Venetian government, which already began to take umbrage at the menacing language and avowed sedition of their disaffected subjects. For this purpose, he secretly enjoined Captain Landrieux, chief of the staff to Confia? de ^he cavalry, to correspond with the maleeontents, and give Nap. iv. 289. unity and effect to their operations; while, to preserve f£Jn' Bou0’ the appearance of neutrality, he gave orders to General ii. 1S9,190, Kilmaine to direct all the officers and soldiers under his iv.I’i29Nap’ command to give neither counsel nor assistance to the disaffected.1

Landrieux undertook a double part: while, on the one hand, in obedience to Napoleon’s commands, and in eon-Napo'icons junction with the ardent democrats of the Italian towns, perfidious ]ie excited the people to revolt, and organised the means ’ of their resistance ; on the other, he entered into a secret correspondence with the Venetian government, and dispatched his agent, Stephani, to Ottolini, the chief magistrate of Bergamo, to detail the nature and extent of the conspiracy which was on foot, and inform him that it aimed to separate entirely its continental possessions from the Venetian republic. By this double perfidy did this hypocritical chief of the staff render inevitable a rupture between chap. France and Venice ;* for while, on the one hand, he excited xxiii. the democratic party against the government, on the other, 1797_ " he gave the government too good reason to adopt measures of coercion against the democratic party and their French allies. The revolt came on, however, sooner than was either intended or desirable. It is an easy matter to excite the passions of democracy; but it is rarely that the leaders who fan the flame can allay it at the point ■ which they desire. The vehement language and enthu- 1 conf. Cor. siastic conduct of the French soldiers, joined to the secret ^g^Hard. machinations of their chief, brought on an explosion in iv. 226, 228. the Venetian territories sooner than was expedient for the interests either of the general or of the army.1

Napoleon’s constant object was, by the terror of an in- . surrection in their continental possessions, to induce the 34 government to unite cordially in a league with France, Democratic and make the desired concessions to the popular party; brse“"seoutn but having failed in his endeavours, he marched for the intheVene-Tagliamento, leaving the seeds of an insurrection ready to ripen in all the provinces in his rear. On the morning spreads to of the 12th March, the revolt broke out at Bergamo, in ^^se.chief consequence of the arrest of the leaders of the insurrection ; the insurgents declared openly that they were supported by the French, and dispatched couriers to Milan and the principal towns of Lombardy to obtain succour, and besought the Republican commander of the castle to support them with his forces. But he declined to interfere ostensibly in their behalf, though he countenanced their projected union with the Cisalpine Republic. A provisional government was soon established, which instantly ' announced to the newly-born Cispadane Republic that Bergamo had recovered its liberty, and their desire to be united with that state, and concluded with these words :

“ Let us live, let us fight, and, if necessary, die together;    ix

thus should all free people do ; let us then for ever remain 79,80. Nap.’ united ; you, the French, and ourselves.” The example {32 speedily spread to other towns. Brescia, under the insti- 191.' ' gation of Landrieux, openly threw off its allegiance,2 and

• “Landrieux," said Napoleon, in his Secrtt Despatch to the Directory,

“instigated the revolt in Hergaiuo and Brescia, and was paid for it; at the same time he revealed the plot to the Venetian government, and was paid for that also by them.”— Corresp. Confid. iv. 289.

disarmed the Venetian troops in presence of the French soldiers, who neither checked nor supported the insurrection. At Crema, the insurgents were introduced into the gates by a body of French cavalry, and having speedily overturned the Venetian authorities, proclaimed their union with the Cispadane Republic.

These alarming revolts excited the utmost consternation at Venice : and the Senate, not daring to act openly aerainst insurgents who declared themselves supported by the Republican commanders, wrote to the Directory, and dispatched Pesaro to the headquarters of Napoleon, to complain of the countenance given by his troops to the revolt of their subjects. The Venetian deputies came up with the French general at Gorizia; he feigned surprise at the intelligence, but endeavoured to take advantage of the terror of the Republic to induce them to submit to increased exactions. They represented that the French armies had occupied the principal fortresses and castles of the Republic, and that, having thus obtained the vantage-ground, they were bound either to take some steps to show that they disapproved of the revolt, which was organised in their name, or to cede these places to the Republic, and permit them to exert their own strength in restoring order in their dominions. Napoleon positively declined to do either of these things ; but constantly urged the deputies to throw themselves into the arms of France. “That I should arm against our friends, against those who have received us kindly, and wish to defend us, in favour of our enemies, of those who hate and seek to ruin us, is impossible. Never will I turn my arms against the principles of the Revolution ; to them I owe in part all my success. But I offer you, in perfect sincerity, my friendship and my counsels: unite yourselves cordially to France ; make the requisite changes in your constitution ; and, without employing force with the Italian people, I will induce them to yield to order and peace.” They passed from that to the contributions for the use of the army. Hitherto Venice had furnished supplies to the French army, as she had previously done to the Imperial. The Venetian deputies insisted that Napoleon, having now entered the Hereditary States, should cease to be any longer a burden on their resources. This was far from

1797.

35. Consternation at Venice. Venetians send deputies to Napoleon.

His dupli-eity.


being the French general’s intention ; for he was desirous chap. of levying no requisitions on the Austrian territories, for xxiu. fear of rousing a national war among the inhabitants. 1797-The commissaries, whom the Venetian government had secretly commissioned to furnish supplies to the French army, had ceased their contributions, and they had in consequence commenced requisitions in the Venetian territories. “ That is a bad mode of proceeding,” said Napoleon ; “it vexes the inhabitants, and opens the door to innumerable abuses. Give me a million a-montk as long as the campaign lasts; the Republic will account to you for it, and you will receive more than a million’s worth in the cessation of pillage. You have nourished my enemies, you must do the same to me.” The envoys answered that their treasury was exhausted. “ If you have no money,” said he, “take it from the Duke of Modena, or levy it on the property of the Russians, Austrians, and English, which are lying in your depots. But beware of proceeding to hostilities. If, while I am engaged in a distant campaign, you light the flames of war in my rear, you have sealed your own ruin. That which might have been overlooked when I was in Italy, becomes an unpardonable offence when I am in Germany.” Such was the violence with which this haughty conqueror treated a nation which was not only neutral, but had for nine months furnished Bott. ii.201. gratuitously all the supplies for his army; and such the J7h‘ Nap!-degradation which this ancient Republic had prepared for iv. 87. itself, by the timid policy which hoped to avert danger by declining to face it.1

The ATenetian government at length saw that they could

no longer delay taking a decided part. A formidable 3G

insurrection, organised in the name and under the sane- Venetians

tion of the Republican authorities, was rapidly spreading solve totct

in their continental possessions, great part of which had against the

«    insurgents.

already joined the Cisalpine Republic; and the general- 0 in-chief, instead of taking any steps to quench the flame, had only demanded fresh contributions from a state already exhausted by his exactions. They resolved, therefore, by a large majority, to act vigorously against the insurgents, but without venturing to engage in hostilities with the 2io°2nU' French forces;2 an ill-judged step, the result of timidity join. x. 125. and irresolution, which exposed them to all the perils of

chap. war without any of its favourable chances ; which irritated xxm. without endangering the enemy, and allowed the French 1797 general to select his own time for wreaking upon the state, alone and unbefriended, the whole weight of Republican vengeance.

The retreat of the French from the valley of the Adige, 3„ and the irruption of the Croatians into Friuli, encouraged Hostilities the Venetian government to commence hostilities against betvveet^the their refractory subjects. But before that took place, two parties, tumults and bloodshed had arisen spontaneously and about the same time, in many different parts of the territory, in consequence of the furious passions which were roused by the collision of the aristocracy on the one hand, and the populace on the other. Matters were also precipitated by an unworthy fraud, perpetrated by the Republican agents at Milan. This was the preparation and publishing of an address, purporting to be from Battaglia, governor of Verona, calling upon the citizens faithful to Venice to rise in arms, to murder the insurgents, and chase the French soldiers from the Venetian territory. This fabrication, which was written at Milan by a person in the French interest, of the name of Salvador, was extensively diffused by Landrieux, the secret agent of the French general; and though it bore such absurdity on its face as might have detected the forgery, yet, in the agitated state of the country, a spark was sufficient to fire the train ; and hostilities, from the excited condition of men’s minds, would, in all probability, have been commenced, even without this unworthy device. The mountaineers and ijom. x. the inhabitants of the Alpine valleys flew to arms, large i? 211 *215*’ bodies of the peasantry collected together, and every thing Th. ix. ii6. was prepared for the irruption of a considerable force into the plains of Brescia.1    .

The democrats in Brescia, instigated by French agents,' 3g resolved instantly to commence hostilities. A body of The coim-' twelve hundred men issued from their gates, accompanied tion”p”edds ky ^our P'cces °f cannon, served by French gunners, to immensely, attack Salo, a fortified town, occupied by Venetians, on 1st April. westei.n bank of the lake of Guarda. The expedition reached the town, and was about to take possession of it, when they were suddenly attacked and routed by a body of mountaineers, who made prisoners two hundred Poles

of the legion of Dombrowski, and so completely surprised chap. the French that they narrowly escaped the same fate, xxiii. This success contributed immensely to excite the move- ' 1797> ments; large bodies of peasants issued from the valleys, and speedily ten thousand armed men appeared before the gates of Brescia. The inhabitants, however, prepared for 4th April, their defence, and soon a severe cannonade commenced icorresp. on both sides. General Kilmaine, upon this, collected a    ^9

body of fifteen hundred men, chiefly Poles, under General jom. x! 120* Lalioz, attacked and defeated the mountaineers, and drove y2 goof tu. them back to their mountains; they were soon after ix. 90. followed by the French flotilla and land forces, and Salo was taken and sacked.1

The intelligence of these events excited the utmost indignation at Venice. The part taken by the French ^ troops in supporting the revolt could 110 longer be con- continued cealed ; and the advance of Laudon, at the same time, in ^eg^n1°tneof the Tyrol, produced such apparently well-founded hopes of in regard to the approaching overthrow of the Republicans, that nothing effected &nd but the vicinity of Victor’s corps prevented the Senate anger of from openly declaring against the French. The Austrian NaPoleon-general spread, in the vicinity of Verona, the most extravagant reports, that he was advancing at the head of sixty thousand men ; that Napoleon had been defeated in the None Alps, and that the junction of the corps in his rear would speedily compel him to surrender. These statements excited the most vehement agitation at Verona, where the patrician party, from their proximity to the revolutionary cities, were in imminent danger, and a popular insurrection might be hourly expected. The government, however, deeming it too hazardous to come to an open rupture with the French, continued their temporising policy ; they even agreed to give the million a month which the Republican general demanded, and contented themselves with redoubling the vigilance of the police, and arresting such of their own subjects as were most suspected of seditious practices. Meanwhile, Napoleon, having received intelligence of the steps which the Venetian government had adopted to crush the insurrection in their dominions, and the check which the Republican troops, in aiding them, had received at Salo, affected the most violent indignation. Having already concluded his armistice at

chap. Leoben, and agreed to abandon the whole continental xxiii. possessions of Venice to Austria, he foresaw in these events ,-97 the means of satisfying the avidity of the Imperialists, and procuring advantageous terms for the Republic, at the expense of the helpless state of Venice. He therefore sent 10th April, his aide-de-camp, Junot, with a menacing letter to the Senate, in which he threatened them with the whole weight of the Republican vengeance, if they did not instantly liberate the Polish and French prisoners, sur-loth April, render to him the authors of the hostilities, and disband their armaments. Junot was received by the Senate, Th.’ix. Vi2, to whom he read the thundering letter of Napoleon ; but 131JN™p X' they prevailed on him to suspend his threats, and dispatched ir 139. two senators to the Republican headquarters, to endeavour to bring matters to an accommodation.1

But the very day after the deputies set out from Venice 40 for Leoben, an explosion took place on the Adige, which Massacre at gave the French general too fair a pretext to break off the \ erona. negotiation. The levy en masse of the peasants, to the number of twenty thousand, had assembled in the neighbourhood of Verona ; three thousand Venetian troops had been sent into that town by the Senate, and the near approach of the Austrians from the Tyrol promised effectual support. The tocsin sounded ; the people flew to arms, and put to death in cold blood four hundred wounded 17th April. French in the hospitals. Indignant at these atrocious cruelties, General Balland, who commanded the French garrison in the forts, fired on the city writh red-hot balls. Conflagrations soon broke out in several quarters, and J jom. x. although various attempts at accommodation were made, Th’ ix^ioo ^ey were all rendered abortive by the furious passions of Baiiand and the multitude. The cannonade continued on both sides, accouin.S the forts were closely invested, the city in many parts was Confid. in flames, the French already began to feel the pressure isap'.Tu.'m, of hunger, and the garrison of Fort Chiusa, which capitu-,a"-    lated from want of provisions, was inhumanly put to death,

to revenge the ravages of the bombardment.2

But the hour of retribution was at hand ; and a terrible reverse awaited the sanguinary excesses of the Venetian insurrection. The day after hostilities commenced, the intelligence of the armistice was received, and the Austrian troops retired into the Tyrol; two days after, the columns

of General Chabran appeared round the town, and invested chap. its walls ; while, to complete their misfortunes, on the 23d xxm. the accounts of the signature of the preliminaries of Leoben 1797 arrived. The multitude immediately passed from the 4] highest exultation to the deepest dejection ; and they now which is sought only to deprecate the wrath of the conqueror, to suppressed whom they had given so much cause of hostility. Sub- by the mission was immediately made ; the authors of the cruel- t/oops! ties were shot; a general disarming was effected among ^osacre at the peasantry ; and a contribution of 1,100,000 francs isth April. (*£4-1,000) levied on the city. The plains were speedily 2sth APril-covered with French troops ; the united divisions of Victor and Kilmaiue occupied successively Vicenza and Padua, and soon the French standards were discovered from the steeples of Venice on the shores of the Laguna*.

These excesses were the work of popular passion, equally sanguinary and inconstant, when not rightly directed, in all ages and countries ; but an event of the same kind 23d April, stained the last days of the Venetian government itself.

A French vessel of four guns approached the entrance of the harbour of Lido, in opposition to a rule of the Venetian Senate, to which all nations, not excepting the English themselves, were accustomed to yield obedience.

A cannonade ensued between the batteries on shore and

the vessel, and the French ship having been captured

by the galleys on the station, the captain and four of the

crew were massacred, and eleven wounded. Immediately

after, a decree of the Senate publicly applauded this

cruel and unnecessary act. These sanguinary proceedings

sufficiently verify the old observation, that pusillanimity

and cruelty are allied to each other; and that none are

so truly humane as the brave and the free. They do

not in the slightest degree palliate the treachery of the Jom. x"’i39,‘

French, or the rapacity of the Imperialists, the former of i1v°'ulNar’'

whom had instigated the revolt of the Venetian demo- Kiimaine's

crats, and signed the partition of Venice before cither of Iw.'cor.

these events took place;1* but they go far to diminish iii. iso, itrr.

the regret which otherwise would be felt at the success of

» The massacre at Verona took place on the 17th April, that at Lido on the 23d, while the preliminaries of Leoben, which assigned the whole of the continental Venetian territories to Austria, were agreed to on the 9th, at Jndemberff, and the formal treaty was drawn up ou the 16tli, and signed cm the 18th, in Carinthia, before even the first of these events had occurred.

chap. unprincipled ambition, and the fall of the oldest Republic xxm. of the Christian world.

1797 The Venetian senate, thunderstruck by the intelligence 49 " they had received, did their utmost to appease the wrath Efforts'of of the victors. Their situation had become to the last Senatetoianc^egree perilous, for they were precipitated into hostilities avert the with the victorious Republic, at the very time when Aus-storm. ^rja^ ciisc0mfited, was retiring from the strife, and when their own dominions had become a prey to the most furious discord. The democratic party, following the French standards, had revolted at Vicenza, Treviso, Padua, and all the continental cities, while a vehement faction in the capital itself was threatening to overthrow the constitution of the state. A deputation was sent to Gratz to endeavour to pacify the conqueror, and another to Paris, with ample funds at the command of both, to corrupt the sources of influence at these places. They succeeded, by the distribution of a very large sum, in gaining over the Directory ;* but all their efforts with Napoleon were fruitless. His was not only a character totally inaccessible i Nap. iv. to that species of corruption, but was he too deeply impli-J°™-tx-cated in the partition of the Venetian territories, which ii. 223, 224.' he had just signed, to forego so fortunate a pretext for vindicating it as these excesses had afforded.1

Venice had still at its command most formidable means

of defence, if the spirit of the inhabitants had been equal

Resources to the emergency. They had within the city eight thou-

stm at the sand seamen and fourteen thousand regular troops, thirty-command of    °    . 1 / J

Venice. seven galleys aijd one hundred and sixty gun-boats, carry-

Napoleon has given the clearest proof of his sense of the unjustifiable nature of this aggression, by having, in his memoirs on this subject, entirely kept out of view the dates, and made it appear as if his menacing letter by Junot to the Senate was the consequence of the massacre of April 17, at Verona, when in fact it was dated the 9th April, at Judemberg, at a time when, so far from the Venetian government having given any cause of complaint to the French, they had only suffered aggressions at their hands, in the assistance openly lent to the democratic rebels, and the attack by the Republican forces on Salo. Conflicts, indeed, had taken place between the Venetian insurgents, stimulated by the French, and the aristocratic adherents ; but the government had committed no act of hostility, the monthly supplies were in course of regular payment, and the French ambassador was still at Venice.—See Napoleon, iv. 142. By not attending minutely to this matter, Sir W. Scott has totally misrepresented the transactions which led to the fall of Venice, and drawn them in far too favourable colours for the hero whose life he has so ably delineated.—See Scott's Napoleon, iii. 315, 316.

* Two hundred thousand crowns, as a private bribe, were placed at the disposal of Barras.—See Hardenberg, v. 19; and Napoleon in O'Meara, 271.

ing eight hundred cannon for the defence of the Lagunse ; chap. and all the approaches to the capital were commanded by xxm. powerful batteries. Provisions existed for eight months ; rg7 fresh water for two, the nearest islands were beyond the ' ' reach of cannon-shot from the shore, and with the assistance of the fleets of England, they might have bid defiance to all the armies of France. The circumstances of the Republic were not nearly so desperate as they had been in former times, when they extricated themselves with glory from their difficulties; when the league of Cambray had wrested from them all their territorial possessions, or when the Genoese fleet had seized the gates of the Lagunse and blockaded their fleet at Malmocco. But the men were no longer the same. The p.oison of democracy had extinguished every feeling of patriotism in the middling, the enjoyments of luxury, every desire for independence among the senatorial classes ; ages of prosperity had corrupted the sources of virtue, and the insane passion for equality vainly rose like a passing meteor to illuminate the ruins of a falling state.

On the 3d May, Napoleon published from Palma Nuova his declaration of war against Venice. He there complain- 44 ed that the Senate had taken advantage of the holy week War de-to organise a furious war against France : that vast bodies ?!are(?by

®    Napoleon

of peasantry were armed and disciplined by troops sent against out of the capital; that a crusade against the French was preached in all the churches ; their detached bodies murdered, and the sick in the hospitals massacred ; the crew of a French galley slain under the eyes of the Senate, and the authors of the tragedy publicly rewarded for the atrocious act. To this manifesto the Venetians replied, that the massacres complained of were not the work of government, but of individuals whom they could not control ; that the popular passions had been excited by the ungovernable insolence of the Republican soldiery, and of the democratic party whom they had roused to open rebellion ; that the first acts of aggression were committed by the-French commanders, by publicly assisting the rebels in various encounters with the Venetian forces, long before the massacres complained of were committed ;x and oJ^ott^p that the only fault of which they were really guilty, con- fv. uv, I'lii sisted in their not having earlier divined the ambitious

VOL. vi.    c

chap. designs of the French general, and joined all their forces xxiii. to the Austrian armies, when combating for a cause which 1797 must sooner or later be that of every independent state.

The French general was not long in following up his 45 menaces, and preparing the execution of that unjustifiable Universal partition which had been decided upon between him and the°contfiaU ^1C Imperial cabinet. The Republican troops, in pursuance nentai towns of the treaty of Leoben, rapidly evacuated Carinthia, and tian n'rri-ne' returning by forced marches 011 their steps, soon appeared tory. on the confines of the Lagunse, within sight of the tower of St Mark. As they advanced, the Republic became a prey to the passions, and torn by the factions, which are the general forerunners of national ruin. At the news of the proclamation of war, all the towns of the continental possessions of Venice revolted against the capital. Every city proclaimed its independence, and appointed a provisional government; Bergamo, Brescia, Padua, Vicenza, Bassano, Udina, constituted so many separate republics, who organised themselves after the model of the great i5i‘?iV,2V* French model, suppressed the convents, and confiscated Jom. x. H4. their property, abolished all feudal rights, established national guards, and hoisted the tricolor flag.1

Meanwhile Venice, itself a prey to the most vehement 4(. faction, was in a cruel state of perplexity. The senators met Anarcii'v in at the doge’s palace, and endeavoured, by untimely con-seif”CThe cessions, to satisfy the demands and revive the patriotism senateai.ai-of the popular party; a A’ain expedient, founded upon ist^i'nrt 3d utter ignorance of democratic ambition, which concessions, May. • dictated by fear, can never satisfy, but which, in such a successful course, rushes forward, like an individual plunged in the career of passion, upon its own destruction. The patricians found themselves deprived of all the resources of government; a furious rabble filled the-streets, demanding with loud cries the abdication of the Senate, the immediate admission of the French troops, and the establishment of a government formed on a highly democratic basis; a revolutionary committee, formed of the most active of the middling orders, was in open communication with the French army, and rose in audacity with every concession from the government: the sailors of the fleet had manifested symptoms of insubordination; and the fidelity of the Sclavonians, who constituted the strength

of the garrison, could not, it was ascertained, be relied on. chap. These elements of anarchy, sufficient to have shaken the xxiii. courage of the Roman senate, were too powerful for the I797 weak and vacillating councils of the Venetian oligarchy.

Yielding to the tempest which they could not withstand, they assembled in mournful silence on the 12th May, and after passing in review the exhausted resources and distracted state of the Republic, voted, amidst the tears of all friends to their country, by a majority of five hundred and twelve to fourteen voices, the abdication of their authority.

Shouts from the giddy multitude rent the sky; the tree 12th May. of liberty was hoisted 011 the Place of St Mark; the democrats entered, amidst bloodshed and plunder, upon the exercise of their new-born sovereignty; and the revolu- ski's Report tionary party fondly imagined that they were launched to Napoleon, into a boundless career of glory. But the real patriots, the sm! men of sense and firmness, lamented the decision of the frT*'tu'u. Senate, and retiring in silence to their homes, exclaimed i3s! with tears, “ Venice is no more ; St Mark has fallen ! ”1

While the revolutionists were thus bartering their country for the vain chimera of democratic equality, and 4_ the unworthy descendants of Dandolo and Morosini were Thepopu-surrendering without a struggle the glories and the inde- deavoul-*"* pendence of a thousand years, more generous sentiments resist unburst forth among the labouring classes, often the last ofthe^taT" depositaries, in a corrupted age, of public virtue. No but Venire sooner was the mournful act communicated to the people, faUs‘ than they flocked together from all quarters, and with loud cries demanded the restoration of the standard of St Mark, and arms to combat for the independence of their country. Several bloody contests ensued between them and the revolutionary party; but the populace, however 2Bott u ardent, cannot maintain a contest for any length of time 276,278. when destitute of leaders. The cannon of the republicans lxjom’ dispersed the frantic assemblages ; and, amidst the shouts x-l50-„s°i-of the insane revolutionists, the French troops were con-Report to ducted by Venetian boats to the Place of St Mark, where caPf’lecorr a foreign standard had not been' seen for fifteen hundred iii. 235, 241! years, but where the colours of independence were never again destined to wave.2

The French troops were not long of securing to themselves the spoils of their revolutionary allies. The Golden

chap. Book, the record of the Senator of Venice, was burned at xxiii. the foot of the tree of liberty ; and while the democrats 1 ]797 were exulting over the destruction of this emblem of their 4g ancient subjection, their allies were depriving them of all Joy of the the means of future independence. The treasures of the varty"ndC Republic were instantly seized by the French generals ; but treaty of instead of the vast sums which they expected, 1,800,000 between^ fraucs, belonging to the Duke of Modena, were all that and Venice ^ *nto their hands. All that remained in the celebrated 411 em° ’ harbour of St Mark’s was made prize of ; but such was its dilapidated condition, that they with difficulty fitted out two sixty-four gun-ships, and a few frigates, out of the arsenal of the Queen of the Adriatic. The remainder of the fleet, consisting of five sail of the line, six frigates, and eleven galleys, were not in a condition to keep the sea; and Admiral Brueys received orders from the Directory to set sail to secure the fruit of the republican fraternisation. In the middle of July he arrived at Venice, where his fleet was paid, equipped, and fed at the expense of the infant Republic ; a burden which began to open the eyes of the Revolutionary party, when too late, to the consequences of their conduct. The bitter fruits of republican alliance were still more poignantly felt when the conditions of the treaty of Milan, signed by Napoleon, with the new govern-ijom x ment of Venice, became known, which stipulated the i52._ Bo_tt. abolition of the aristocracy; the formation of a popular Th2ix.2i40. government; the introduction of a division of French Seetiie se-^ troops into the capital; a contribution of three millions in in Corresp. money, three millions of naval stores, and the surrender of Napfihidf78 three ships °f the line and two frigates ; with many illus-see the’ ' trious works of art. Among the rest, the famous horses, Marten” brought in the car of victory from Corinth to Rome, thence vi. 391. to Constantinople, and thence to Venice, were carried off in triumph by the conquering Republic.1*

* The seizure of these horses was an act of pure robhery. The Venetians, in the secret articles, agreed to surrender “ twenty pictures and five hundred manuscripts,” but no statues. Nevertheless, the French carried off the horses frnra the Place of St Jlark, and put them on the triumphal arch in the Tuileries. In like manner, the secret articles only bound the Venetians to furnish three millions’ worth of naval stores; but Napoleon ordered the French admiral Brueys, who was sent to superintend the spo. liation, to carry off the trhole stores to Toulon: and the Directory wrote to Bertliier in these terms: “ Que toute l'urtillerie, tous les raagasins, de guerre et de bouche. qui se trouvait a Venise, soient transportes a Corfou, Ancone, et Ferrare, de maniere que vous rendiez Venise sans une seule piSce de canon"—See Secret Corresp. de Napoleon, iii. 170, and iv. 427.

While these memorable’events were going forward on chap. the southern side of the Alps, the war languished 011 the xxm. frontier of the Rhine. Latour commanded the Imperial ,79-army on the Upper Rhine ; his troops, after the departure 49. of the veteran bands under the Archduke, did not exceed armfes on'6 thirty-four thousand infantry and six thousand horse ; the Rhine, while those under the orders of AVerneck, in the Lower Rhine, were about thirty thousand, and twenty thousand were shut up within the fortresses on that stream. The French forces were much more numerous ; the army of the Rhine and Moselle, under Moreau, being sixty thousand • strong; while that of the Sambre and Meuse, cantoned between Dusseldorf and Coblentz, amounted to nearly seventy thousand. The latter was under the command of Hoche, whose vigour and abilities gave every promise of success in the ensuing campaign ; while the possession of the tetes-du-pont at Dusseldorf and Neuwied afforded a facility for commencing operations, which the army on the upper branch of the river did not possess since the loss of Kelil and the tete-du-pont at Huningen. The rapidity and energy with which Napoleon commenced operations on the banks of the Tagliamento before the middle of March, inflamed the rivalry of the generals on the Rhine ; while the interests of the Republic imperiously required that the campaign should simultaneously be commenced in both quarters, in order that the army most advanced should not find itself engaged alone with the strength of the Austrian monarchy. Nevertheless, such was the exhausted state of the treasury, from the total ruin of the paper system, and the dilapidation of the public revenues during the convulsions of the Revolution, that the Directory was unable to furnish Moreau with the equipage necessary for crossing the Rhine ; and he was obliged to go in person to Paris, in the beginning of April, and pledge his private fortune to procure that necessary part of his equipments. At length, the obstacles having been overcome, he returned to the 74. ’ ’ ’ Rhine, and completed his preparations for crossing that river.1    ^

The point selected for this important enterprise was Diersheim ; the preparations of the enemy in the neighbourhood of Strasburg rendering hazardous any attempt to cross near that town. Seventy barks were collected in

the 111, a small stream which falls into the Rhine, and directed to Diersheim on the night of the 19th April, while two false attacks above and below that place were prepared, to distract the attention of the enemy. Delays unavoidable in the collection of the flotilla having retarded the embarkation of the advanced guard till six o’clock on the following morning, it was evident that a surprise was impossible, the Austrians having taken the alarm, and appearing in considerable force on the opposite shore. The boats, however, pulled gallantly across the stream, till they came within reach of the grape-shot from the enemy’s cannon, when the shower of balls forced them to take shelter behind an island, where they landed, and captured three hundred Croatians, who composed its garrison. From this they forded the narrow branch of the Rhine which separates the island from the German shore, and made themselves masters of Diersheim. Towards noon they were there attacked by the Austrians, who had received a reinforcement of four thousand men from a neighbouring camp ; but the attack was gallantly repulsed by Desaix and Davoust,2 who there gave earnest of that cool intre-

1797.

50. Passage of that river at Dicrshiem, and defeat of the Austrians.

20th April.


Biography of Davoust.


pidity and sagacious foresight by which his future career chap. was so eminently distinguished. During the whole day, xxiii the Imperialists renewed their attacks with great intre- ' ]797 pidity, and, in the end, with twelve thousand men ; but they were constantly repulsed by the obstinate valour of the Republican infantry. On the following day, the attack was renewed with increased forces, but no better success ; and the bridge having, in the mean time, been established,

Moreau began to debouche in great strength ; upon which the Austrians commenccd their retreat, during which they sustained considerable loss from the Republican cavalry.

Thus, by a bold and able exertion, was the passage of the Rhine secured, and all the fruits of the bloody sieges of Kehl and Huningen lost to the Imperialists. In these Operation* actions the loss of the Austrians was 3000 prisoners and Iannis*'''' twenty pieces of cannon, besides 2000 killed and wounded, tice.

When it is recollected that this passage was gained not by stratagem but by main force, in presence of a considerable

authority of the Convention. Without a moment’s hesitation, Davoust ordered the leading company to fire on Dumourier and the group of staff officers by whom he was surrounded. The men, knowing he had been denounced by the Convention, obeyed. Dumourier’s horse was shot under him, two of his attendants were killed, and the general himself only escaped by mounting on the horse of a trooper who had fallen, and flying with the utmost haste across the froutier. This decided act at once drove Dumourier into exile and made Davoust’s fortune. Arrested, in the first instance, for such an act of insubordination as firing on his general in command, he was within twenty-four hours liberated by order of the all-powerful Convention, and immediately received rapid promotion. In July 1793 he was promoted to the rank of General of Brigade, and was on the eve of being made General of Division, when the decree, 29th August of that year, which deprived all persons of noble birth in the army of their commands, reduced him to a private station. After the 9th Thermidor, however, in July 1794, he was restored to his rank as General of Brigade, and took an active part in the campaigns of 1794 and 1795, on the Rhine, in the course of which he was made prisoner by the Austrians, but soon after exchanged. Early in 1797 lie distinguished himself by his coolness and decision in the passage of the Khine, under Moreau at Dierslieim; and added to the fame he had already acquired by his intrepidity in the combats of Honneau, Kintzig, and Has-lach, in the preceding campaign The peace, or rather the truce, which followed, suspended all military operations in Germany; and, wearied of inactivity, he followed the footsteps of Napoleon into Egypt Thenceforward he needs no biography: his name will be found associated with all the greatest deeds of the Emperor from the Pyramids to Waterloo. He was cool and collccted in danger, possessing an admirable coup-d’wil on the field, and, by his indefatigable energy and methodical arrangements in a campaign, always had his troops in much better order than any other dorps, except the guards, in the army. But he was inexorable and severe as a general, often cruel and rapacious in military command, coarse and vulgar in his manners, and so passionate in his demeanour, that an officcr, who would not have hesitated to face a battery of Russian cannon, often trembled w’hen brought into the presence of the Prince of Eclimuhl.—See Biographic Universelle,Supplement, lxii. 158, 173: and Dumourier s Memoirs,i\.

173, 175.    ’

ciiap. part of the Austrian army, and that it undid at once all xxm. the advantages gained by them in the preceding winter, it 1797 must ever be regarded as a glorious deed of arms, and one of the most memorable military achievements of the revolutionary war. Taught by the disasters of the preceding campaign, Moreau resolved to pursue the corps of Starray with vigour, and prevent that methodical retreat which had proved so beneficial to the Imperialists in the previous year. For this purpose he pushed his advanced guard i Jom. x. 77 across the Renchen the very day after the passage was 86. Th. ix. completed ; and was in the high-road to further successes, iv. ier>, 184^' when he was interrupted by the intelligence of the armis-19°- tice of Leoben, which terminated the campaign in that quarter.1

The campaign was in like manner cut short in the midst 52 of opening successes on the Lower Rhine. The army put Operations there at the disposition of Hoche, was one of the most

nf Tlnnhp on    i    n    *    i -t • •» ,

on

the Lower Rhine. Passage of the Rhiue forced at Neuwied.


numerous and well appointed which the Republic sent into the field, and particularly remarkable for the numbers and fine condition of the cavalry and artillery. Hoche resolved to effect the passage with the bulk of his forces from Neuwied, and to facilitate that purpose by a simultaneous movement at Dusseldorf. The Austrians were so far deceived by these movements, that they advanced with the greater part of their forces to Altenkirchen, in order to stop the progress of the troops from Dusseldorf, leaving only a small body in front of Neuwied. No sooner did he perceive they had fallen into the snare, than Hoche debouched rapidly from the tete-du-pont at that place at the head of thirty-six thousand men. Kray commanded the Imperialists in that quarter ; and his position, blocking up the roads leading from the bridge, was strongly fortified, and covered with powerful batteries,. The attack of the Republicans was impetuous ; but the resistance of the Imperialists, though greatly inferior in number, was not less vigorous; and no advantage was gained by the assailants till the fortified village of Hulsendorf was carried by a concentric attack from several of the French masses, = Jom. x. 95, after which the other redoubts, taken in flank, were suc-110 ^Ncy^i cessively stormed, and the Austrians driven back, with the 271,276. ’ loss of five thousand men in killed, wounded, and prisoners, twenty-seven pieces of cannon, and sixty caissons.2 At the

18th April.


same time the left wing of the army crossed the Sieg, chap. advanced to Ukcrath and Altenkirehen, which were aban- xxiii. denied as soon a? jt was known that the bulk of the enemy’s 1797 ~ forces was advancing from Neuwied, and on the following night they effected their junction with the victors on the field of battle.

After this disaster, Werneck retired to Neukirclicn, and united the two divisions of his army ; but, finding that he 53 wa> unable to make head against the immense forces of his Hostilities opponent, which were nearly double his own, he fell back ^°eParmis-y behind the Lahn. Thither he was immediately followed tice of Leo-by the victorious general; and the Imperialists having Aprii. continued their retreat towards the Maine, Hoche conceived 2ist April, the design of cutting them off before they crossed that river. For this purpose, he pushed forward his right wing, under Lefebvre, to Frankfort, while the centre and left continued to press the enemy on the high-road, by which they continued their retreat. The advanced guard of Lefebvre was at the gates of that opulent city, when hostilities were suspended, by the intelligence of the preliminaries of Leoben, to the infinite mortification of the French general, who saw himself thus interrupted, by his more }o6°mTh. ix.’ fortunate rival, in a career of success, from which the most no. glorious effects might have been anticipated to the Republic.1

Prussia, during this eventful year, adhered steadily to the system of armed neutrality, inclining rather to France, 54 and supporting the protection of the associated states within state of the prescribed line, which was begun by the treaty of Bale ^ th?sdUr3 in 1795, and consolidated by the convention of 5th August year, its 1796. The health of the King had for some time been Death of the visibly declining, and he at length expired at Berlin, on the 16th November ; having, as his last act, bestowed the ter. decoration of the order of the Black Eagle on his favourite ,6th Nov* minister Haugwitz. Though neither endowed with shining civil nor remarkable military talents, few monarclis have conferred greater benefits on their country than this sovereign* Among the many and valuable territorial

chap. acquisitions which he made, is to be reckoned the import-xxni. ant commercial city and fortress of Dantzig, which com-1797 mands the navigation of the Vistula, and holds the keys ‘ ' of Poland. The army also, during his reign, was increased by twenty-five thousand men ; and, like his great predecessor, he ever considered that arm as the main foundation of the public strength. Much of this increase is doubtless to be ascribed to a fortunate combination of extraneous things ; and it chiefly arose from the monstrous partition of Poland. Yet something also must be admitted to have been due to the wisdom of the cabinet, which skilfully turned these circumstances to its own advantage, and contrived to reap nothing but profit from a stormy period, deeply checkered to other states by disaster. But in the close of his reign, the national jealousy of Austria, and partiality for France, were carried an unreasonable length ; and in the unwise desertion of the cause of Europe by this important monarchy, is to be found one of the principal causes of the disasters which subsequently befell itself. The King was simple and unostentatious in his habits ; addicted to conviviality,but rather on account of the pleasures of the table, than from any capacity to appreciate the refinements of conversation ; good-humoured in general, but subject to occasional and ungovernable fits of passion. Hardly adequate to the consideration of important subjects of policy himself, he at least had the sense to intrust the administration of public affairs to able ministers. He was fond of music, and distinguished by a marked predilection for architecture, which caused his reign to be signalised by the construction of several noble and imposing edifices. But his facility and passions led him into several irregularities in private life ; and the court during his latter years was scandalised by the great ascendancy obtained by

i Hard v his profuse and rapacious mistress, the Countess Lichtenau ; 33,34,37. who was called to a severe account for her malversations, by his successor.

55    Very different was the character of the youthful sove-

Accession of reign who now ascended the throne, Frederick William wuiianTni. afterwards called to such important destinies on the His charac- theatre of Europe. Born on the 3d August 1770, lie was measures^ twenty-seven years of age when he succeeded to the and policy, crown ; and his character and habits already presaged the immortal glories of his reign. Severe and regular in private life, he had continued, amidst a dissolute court, a pattern of every domestic virtue. Married early to a beautiful and high-spirited princess, he bore to her that faithful attachment which her captivating qualities were so well fitted to excite, and which afterwards attracted the admiration, though they could not relax the policy or melt the sternness of Napoleon, or excite a spark of chivalry in his cold and intellectual breast. He entertained a sincere, though undeserved, distrust of his own capacity in judging of state affairs, which at first threw him, to an unreasonable degree, under the government of his ministers, but was gradually removed during the difficulties and necessities of the later periods of his reign. His first acts were in the highest degree popular. On the day of his accession, he wrote a circular to the constituted authorities, informing them that he was aware of the abuses which had crept into various branches of the public service, and was resolved to rectify them ; and at the same time gave an earnest of his sincerity, by abolishing the monopoly of tobacco, which his father had re-established. The public indignation, rather than his own wishes, rendered the trial of the Countess Lichtenau unavoidably necessary: her wealth was known to be enormous, and many of the crown jewels were found in her possession. She was obliged to surrender the greater part of her ill-gotten treasures, and assigned a pension of 15,000 francs ; the remainder of her great fortune being settled on an hospital of Berlin. At the same time, the King, under the directions of Hardenberg, declared, in a circular addressed to all the states in the north of Germany, his resolution to continue those measures for the security of that part of the empire which his father had commenced ; and in a holograph letter to the Directory, his wish to cultivate the good understanding with the French Republic, which ultimately led to such disastrous effects to Prussia and Europe.1

In concluding the survey of these memorable contests, it is impossible to refuse to the genius of Napoleon that tribute which is justly due to it, not only for the triumphs in Italy, but for those in Germany. When he began his immortal campaign upon the summit of the Maritime

1797.


1 Hard. v. 36,43. Nap. in Las Cas. ii. 228.


chap. Alps, the Imperialists, greatly superior to their antagonists,

xxiii. were preparing to cross the Rhine, and carry the war into " U97 the territory of the Republic. It was his brilliant victories

56 ’ in Piedmont and Lombardy, which compelled the Aulic Retrospect Council to detach Wurmser with thirty thousand men tonisiiing fr°m the Upper Rhine to the valley of the Adige; and successes of thus not only reduced the Austrians to the defensive in Napoleon. (}ej.jriai]yj but enabled the Republicans to carry the war into the centre of that country. Subsequently, the desperate conflicts round the walls of Mantua, drew off the whole resources of the Austrian monarchy into that quarter, and the French advance into the Alps of Carinthia, compelled the draft of thirty thousand of the best troops ' from Swabia, to defend the Hereditary States. Thus, with an army which, though frequently reinforced, never at one time amounted to sixty thousand men, he not only vanquished six successive armies in Italy and the Julian Alps, but drew upon himself great part of the weight of the German war; and Anally, without any other aid than that derived from the valour of his own soldiers, carried hostilities into the Hereditary States, and dictated a glorious peace within sight of the steeples of Vienna.

Meanwhile Napoleon, sheathing for a time his victorious sword, established himself at the chateau of Montebello,

o7,    ,    t    ,

Commence- near Milan ; a beautiful summer residence, which over-

^>tiationsat l°°ked great part of the plain of Lombardy. Negotiations udina, near for a final peace were there immediately commenced ; Splendour of before the end of May, the powers of the plenipotentiaries Nnpoieon’s ha(l been verified, and the work of treaties was in progress, court there. rpj]ere tjle futnre Emperor of the West held his court in more than regal splendour; the ambassadors of the Emperor of Germany, of the Pope, of Genoa, Venice, Naples, Piedmont, and the Swiss Republic, assembled to examine the claims of the several states which were the subject of discussion ; and there weightier matters were to be determined, and dearer interests were at stake, than had ever been submitted to European diplomacy, since the iron crown was placed 011 the brows of Charlemagne. Josephine Buonaparte there received the homage due to the transcendent glories of her youthful husband; Pauline displayed those brilliant charms which afterwards shone with so much lustre at the court of the Tuileries; and the ladies

of Italy, captivated by the splendour of the spectacle, chap. hastened to swell the illustrious train, and vied with each xxm. other for the admiration of those warriors whose deeds 179T had filled the world with their renown. Already Napoleon 1 Th. ix. 144, acted as a sovereign prince ; his power exceeded that of ?*5',55Nap' any living monarch ; and he had entered on that dazzling Bour, i. 2aa existence which afterwards entranced and subdued the world.1

The establishment of a republic on a democratic basis on both sides of the Po, the fermentation in the Venetian 58 states, and the general belief of the irresistible power of Revolution the French armies, soon excited an extraordinary degree brought1

• of enthusiasm at Genoa. The government there was    the

vested in an aristocracy, which, though less jealous and ’ exclusive than at Venice, was far more resolute and determined. As in all other old popular constitutions, the influence in the state had, in the progress of time, and from the gradual decay of public spirit, become vested in an inconsiderable number of families; but the principle of government was by no means exclusive, and many plebeians had recently been inscribed in the Golden Book, who had raised themselves to a rank worthy of that distinction. But these gradual changes were far from being sufficient for the fervent spirit of the age. The democratic party, under the secret influence of the French, jom’. x. 160, had long been in activity; and it was calculated by the ^ap*’ friends of revolution, that the resistance of'the aristocratic iv. 160. ’ senators could not possibly be prolonged beyond the end of August.2

A treaty had been concluded with the French Directory, by which Genoa purchased its neutrality by the payment 6g of two millions of francs, a loan to the same amount, and Secret mea-the recall of the families exiled for their political opinions, poleonto a* But the vehemence of the revolutionary club, which met pi oduee it. at the house of an apothecary of the name of Morandi, uonists'are" soon insisted on far greater concessions. Secretly stimulated by Napoleon, and the numerous agents of the French e eate ‘ army,* they openly announced the assistance and protection of the Directory, and insisted for the immediate

* “ Genoa,” said Napoleon in liis confidential despatch to the Directory, on the ISth May 1797, “ loudly demands democracy: the Senate has sent deputies to ine to sound my intentions. It is more than probable that, in teu days, the aristocracy of Genoa will undergo tlie fate of that of Venice.

chap. formation of the constitution on a new and highly demo-xxni. cratic basis ; while the Senate, irresolute and divided, did 1797> not possess either the moral energy or physical strength ‘ ‘' to combat the forces by which they were assailed. The arrest of two of the popular party, who had proceeded to acts of sedition, brought matters to a crisis, and the intervention of the French minister, Faypoult, was sought, to procure their liberation, and prevent the effusion of blood, 22d May. Instead of calming, he rather increased the effervescence ;

and the consequence was, that on the following day a general insurrection took place. The troops of the line wavered, the burgher guard could not be trusted, and the senators, reduced to their own resources, were pursued and massacred, and at length took refuge with the French minister, as the only means of appeasing the tumult. Upon this some of the patrician families, finding themselves deserted by their natural leaders, and seeing the dagger at their throats, put themselves at the head of their followers, with loud cries demanded arms from the Senate, and brought in their faithful followers from the country to 23d April. endeavour to stem the torrent. They soon prevailed over 16°,T:o^ 174.their revolutionary antagonists. The posts, which had m 'XNa43been seize(1 in the first bursts °fthe tumult, were regained, w.'ieofiTi. the club Morandi dispersed, the Genoese colours again 284t-2922S3floated on the eity, and the tricolor flag, which the demo-Conf. Cor. crats had assumed, was torn down from the walls. The noNaseeL firmness of the aristocracy, supported by the courage of the treaty in the rural population, had prevailed over the passions of Martens, vi. (jcm0crficy; an(j the independence of Genoa, but for foreign interference, was preserved.1

But it was no part of the system of republican ambition to allow the revolutionary party to be subdued in any The French country which the arms of France could reach. In the fere’ ami1* eourse °f ^1GSe struggles, some Frenchmen and citizens of vigorously the Cisalpine Republic, who had taken an active part with democratic6 ^ie popular side, were wounded and made prisoners ; and party. Napoleon instantly made this a pretext for throwing the uponS6 weight of his authority into the scale, in favour of the submits. democracy. The French minister peremptorily demanded

Then would there be three democratic repuhlics in the north of Italy, which may hereafter be united into one.”—Confid. Despatch, 19th May 1797 ; Con-fid. Corresp. iii. 170.

their instant liberation ; and Napoleon sent his aide-de- chap. camp, Lavalette, to the city to compel the enlargement of xxm. the prisoners, the disarming of the counter-revolutionists, 1797 and the arrest of all the nobles who had instigated any resistance to the innovators. To support these demands, the French troops advanced to Tortona, while Admiral Brueys, with two sail of the line and two frigates, appeared in the bay. The democratic party, encouraged by this powerful protection, now resumed the ascendancy. In vain the Senate endeavoured, by half measures, to preserve in part the constitution of their country ; they found that the revolutionists were insatiable, and the minister of France demanded his passports, if the whole demands of •the Republican general and his adherents in Genoa were not instantly conceded. Terrified by the menaces of the populace, and the threats of their formidable allies, the senators at length yielded to necessity, and nominated a deputation, who were empowered to submit without reserve to the demands of the conqueror. They signed, on the 6th June, a convention at Montebello, which effected a 6th June, revolution in the government, and put an end to the con- g^01^;^9®’ stitution of Doria. By this deed, the supreme legislative 175jso. ’ ' authority was vested in two councils, one of three hundred, ^GaP-the other of one hundred and fifty members, chosen by all tens,vi.Wi. the citizens ; the executive in a senate of twelve, elected by the councils.1

This prodigious change immediately excited the usual passions of democracy. The people assembled in menacing G] crowds, burned the Golden Book, and destroyed the statue violent pas. of Andrea Doria, the restorer of the freedom of Genoa,and    tl!U

the greatest hero of its history. This outrage to the memory Kimu insur. of so illustrious a man, while it proved how ignorant the ™hicMs people were of the glory of their country, and how unfit suppressed, to be intrusted with its government, greatly displeased Napoleon, who already began to feel that hatred at democratic principles, by which he was ever after so remarkably distinguished.2 Subsequently, the nobles and priests, 2 Nap. iv. finding that they were excluded from all share in the 1G9' administration of affairs, according to the mode of election which was adopted for carrying the constitution into effect excited a revolt in the rural districts of the Republic.

Many parishes refused to adopt the new constitution; the

chap. tocsin was sounded in the valleys, and ten thousand armed

xxiii. peasants assaulted and carried the line of fortified heights 1797 which form the exterior defence of Genoa. General Duphot, however, who commanded the newly organised forces of the infant Republic, having assembled three thousand regular troops, attacked and defeated the insurgents; move-iBottPu ahle columns penetrated into and exacted hostages from 305,320.' the hostile valleys ; and the new constitution was put in }S31’ Nap80’ f°rce *n ^ie teri'itory of Genoa, which thenceforward lost iv. 169, no. even the shadow of independence, and became a mere outwork of the French Republic.1

The kingdom of Piedmont, during the course of this

62. summer, experienced the bitter humiliations to which it

Deplorable was subjected from the forced alliance in which it was held liumiliation    r    .

ofPiedmont,by tlie conqueror of Italy. The Directory, from ulterior 5th April, views as to the revolutionising of these dominions, had refused to ratify the treaty of alliance into which Napoleon had entered with its sovereign : its fortified places were either demolished or in the hands of the French ; the feelings of the nobility and the rural population were outraged

2 Nap. iv. by the increasing vehemence of the popular party in the Bou.li.’ 322 towns; fmd the king, exhausted by humiliation, was already 32s.    beginning to look to Sardinia as the only refuge for the

crown, amidst the troubles by which it was surrounded.2

The British government made another attempt this sum-63 mertoopennegotiationsforpeacewiththeFrench Directory Negotiations Early in July, Lord Malmesbury was sent to Lisle, to renew France'and the attempts at pacification which had failed the year before England at Paris ; and as the abandonment of the Low Countries lisle? a by Austria at Leoben, had removed the principal obstacle to an accommodation, sanguine hopes were entertained of success. The moderation of the demands made by England on this occasion was such as to call forth the commendations even of its adversaries. They proposed to surrender all their conquests, reserving only Trinidad from the Spaniards, and the Cape of Good Hope, with Ceylon and its dependencies, from the Dutch. Such proposals, coming from a power which had been uniformly victorious at sea, and had wrested from its enemies almost all their colonial possessions, were an unequivocal proof of moderation, more especially when, by the separate treaty which Austria had made for itself, they were relieved from the

necessity of demanding any equivalent in their turn for chap. their continental allies. The French plenipotentiaries xxm. insisted that the Republic should be recognised, and the J797 title of King of France renounced by the English monarch ; a vain formality which had been retained by them since it was first assumed by Edward III. These obstacles would probably have been overcome, and the negotiations might have terminated in a general pacification, had it not been for the revolution of the 18th Fruetidor (4th September 1797), to be immediately noticed, and the consequent accession of'violence and presumption which it brought to the French government. Immediately after that event, the former plenipotentiaries were recalled and replaced by Treillard and Bonnier, two furious Republicans, who, from the very outset, assumed such a tone, that it was evident any accommodation was out of the question. Their first step was to demand from Lord Malmesbury production of authority from the British government to him to surrender all the conquests made by Great Britain during the war, without any equivalent, accompanied by an intimation, that if this was not acceded to within twenty-four hours, he must leave Lisle. This 16th Sept. insolent demand, which proved that the new Republican ijom. x. government were as ignorant of the forms of diplomacy, ^n2Reg49' as of their situation in the war with England, was received 1798,' 12,67. as it deserved : Lord Malmesbury demanded his passports, ^mHioo3 and returned to this island, “ leaving Europe,” says the 1012.' " French historian Jomini, “convinced that on this occasion at least, the cabinet of St James’s had evinced more mode- 184. 271. ration than a Directory whose proceedings were worthy of the days of Robespierre.”1 Meanwhile the negotiations for a final treaty at Montebello slowly advanced towards their accomplishment. 64 The cabinet of Vienna, aware of the reaction which was Progress of going forward in France, and which was only prevented t'ons at°tU* from overturning the Revolutionary government by the udina. events of the 18th Fruetidor, took advantage of every circumstance to protract the conferences, in the hopes of a more moderate party obtaining the ascendant in that country, and more reasonable terms of accommodation being in consequence obtained. But when these hopes were annihilated by the result of that disastrous rcvolur VOL. VI.    P

chap. tion, the negotiations proceeded with greater rapidity, and XXIII. the destruction of neighbouring states was commenced without mercy; The French had at first flattered the ’ Venetian commissioners that they should obtain Ferrara, Romagna, and perhaps Ancona, as a compensation for the territories which were taken from the state ; but ultimately they ceded these provinces to the Cisalpine Republic. The republicans of Venice, in despair, endeavoured to effect a junction with that infant state ; but this proposal was instantly rejected. It became evident, in the course of the negotiations, that the high contracting parties had forgot their mutual animosities, and were occupied with no other object but that of arranging their differences at the expense of their neighbours. Exchanges, i n tru Hist or rather spoliations, of foreign territories, were proposed de Ven’ise.v. without hesitation and accepted without compunction: fv8248Jom* provinces were offered and demanded, to which the con-Nap. iv. 248. tracting parties had no right: the value of cessions alone was considered, not their legality.1

But though France and Austria had no sort of difficulty fi5 in agreeing upon the spoliation of their neighbours, they The terms found it not so easy a matter to arrange the division of ^rec<j*to!th their respective acquisitions in the plain of Lombardy.

Mantua, justly regarded as the bulwark of Italy, was the great subject of dispute ; the Republicans contending for it as the frontier of the Cisalpine Republic, the Imperialists as the bulwark of their German possessions. To support their respective pretensions, great preparations were made oil both sides. Thirty regiments and two hundred pieces of cannon, reached the Isonzo from Vienna ; while the French added above fifteen thousand men to their armies in Italy. At length Napoleon, irritated by the interminable aspect of the negotiations, declared, that if the ultimatum of the Directory was not signed in twelve hours, he would denounce the truce to the Archduke Charles. The period having expired, he took a vase of porcelain in his hands, which the Austrian ambassador highly valued, as the gift of the Empress Catharine, and said, “ The die is then cast, the truce is broken, and war declared : but, mark my words ; before the end of autumn, I will break in pieces your monarchy as I now destroy this porcelain and with that he dashed it in pieces on

the ground. Bowing then to the ministers, he retired, chap. mounted his carriage, and dispatched, on the spot, a courier xxm. to the Archduke, to announce that the negotiations were 1797 ~ broken off, and he would commence hostilities in twenty- 17th Oct. four hours. The Austrian plenipotentiary, thunderstruck, g^D.Iru forthwith agreed to the ultimatum of the Directory, and v. 430,4y-2.’ the treaty of Ca.mpo Formio was signed on the following day at five o’clock.1

But though Napoleon assumed this arrogant manner to the Austrian ambassadors, he was very far indeed from gg himself feeling any confidence in the result of hostilities, simulated if actually resumed : and he had, on the contrary, the day “nd°?eaite before, written to the Directory, that the enemy had, on fears of Na-the frontiers of Carinthia, ninety thousand infantry and P°le011, ten thousand horse, besides eighteen thousand Hungarian volunteers, while he had only forty-eight thousand infantry and four thousand cavalry, and that, if they resumed the offensive, every thing would become doubtful.” “ The war,” he adds, “ which was national and popular when the enemy was on our frontiers, is now foreign to the French people ; it has become a war of governments. In the end we should necessarily be overthrown.” In truth, his resolution to sign the treaty was accelerated from his having observed, when he looked out from his windows, on the 13th October, the summit of the Alps covered with snow ; a symptom which too plainly told him that the season for active operations that year was drawing to a close, and he had 110 confidence in the ability of France to resume the contest in the following spring. lie then shut himself up in his cabinet; and after reviewing his forces, said—“ Here are eighty thousand .effective men ; but I shall not have above sixty thousand in the field. Even if I gain the victory, I shall have twenty thousand killed and wounded ; and how, with forty thousand, can I withstand the whole forces of the Austrian monarchy, who will n advance to the relief of Vienna ? The armies of the Despatch, Rhine could not arrive to my succour before the middle of November, and before that time arrives, the Alps will 0ct. Conf. be impassable from snow. It is all over; I will sign the peace ! Venice shall pat/ the expenses of the war, and the bout. i. :sio. extension of France to the Rhino; let the government and the lawyers say what they choose.” 2

chap. But, in addition to these state reasons, Napoleon had xxm. other secret motives for agreeing to the spoliation of

179'7'“ Venice, and being desirous of coming to an accommodation . ' with the Imperialists. Although Carnot and a majority Napoleon’s of the Directory had at first approved of the destruction of Republic, and given it a conditional sanction in the signing this June preceding j1 yet, after the revolution of 18th Fructidor, iconf Cor they ^ia(^ come to the resolution of not acquiescing in that iv. 229. disgraceful seizure of an independent state, and had sent their ultimatum to Napoleon, enjoining him not to admit its surrender to the Emperor; and declaring that rather than have any share in such a perfidious act, they would see their armies driven over the Alps, and all their Italian s Conf. Cor. conquests wrested from the Republic.2 At the same time iv. 233, 234. ^a(j declared their intention, in the event of hostilities being resumed, of sending commissioners to relieve

3    conf. Cor. Napoleon of his diplomatic cares, and allow him to attend HarcMv exclusively to his military duties.3 Napoleon, whose 587.    jealousy of the revolutionary government, established at

Paris by the revolution of 18th Fructidor, had been much increased by the appointment of Augereau in the room of Hoche to the command of the army on the Rhine, was so much disgusted by these restrictions on his authority, that he wrote to Paris on the 25th September, offering to resign the command.* The Directory, on the 29th September, returned an answer, positively forbidding the cession of Venice to Austria;! upon which, Napoleon, seeing his authority slipping from his hands, and a doubtful campaign about to begin, without hesitation violated his

* It is evident,” said he iu that letter, “ that the government is resolved JSth Sept. to act to me as they did to Pichegru. I beseech you, citizen, to appoint a

.    -r. successor to me, and accept my resignation. No power on earth shall

4    (joTind. l)es* ,    ° . , . , , .    ,

patch, 25th make roe continue to serve a government which has given me such a scan-Si pt.’iv. Ida. dalous proof of ingratitude, which I was far indeed from expecting.” 4

f The resolution ot' the Directory, after the 18th Fructidor, not to despoil Venice, was repeatedly and strongly expressed. Barras wrote to Napo-r , Ieon on 8th September: “ Conclude a peace, but let it be an honourable Secret Des- 011 e ’ *et ®Iantua t0 the Cisalpine Republic, but Venice must not go to the pitch, sth " Emperor. That is the wish of the Directory, and of all true Republicans, Sept.    and what the glory of the Republic requires.” 5 Napoleon answered, on

the 18th September:—“If your ultimatum is not to cede Venice to the Emperor, I much fear peace will be impracticable, and yet Venice is the city of Italy most worthy of freedom, and hostilities will be resumed in the 6 Secret Ties- course of October.” 6 The Directory replied, “ The government now is patch, 18th desirous of tracing out to you with precision its ultimatum. Austria has Sept. iv. lol. long desired to swallow up Italy, and to acquire maritime power. It is the interest of France to prevent both these designs. It is evident that, if the Emperor acquires Venice, with its territorial possessions, lie wiU secure an entrance into the whole of Lombardy. We should be treating as if we had

instructions, and signed the treaty fatal to Venice on the chap. 18th October. The whole infamy, therefore, of that xxm. proceeding, rests on his head; the French Directory is 1?97 entirely blameless, except in not having had the courage i Hard. iv. to disown the treaty to which his signature was affixed.1 529> a86>s90' By this treaty the Emperor ceded to France, Flanders and the line of the Rhine; he agreed to the territory of 68 the Republic being extended to the summit of the Mari- Terms of time Alps; he consented to the establishment of the ofeCampoy Cisalpine Republic, comprehending Lombardy, the duchies Formio. of Reggio, Modena, Mirandola, Bologna, Ferrara, Romagno, the Valteline, and the Venetian states as far as the Adige, comprising the territory of Bergamo, Brescia, Crema, and the Polesine. The Ionian Islands, part of'tlie Venetian territory, were ceded to France, which acquired Mantua, on the frontiers of the Imperial states in Italy, and Mayence, the bulwark of the empire on the Rhine. On the other hand, the Republic ceded to the Emperor, in exchange for the states of Flanders, Istria, Dalmatia, the Venetian isles in the Adriatic, the mouths of the Cattaro, the city of Venice, and its continental possessions as far as the eastern shore of the lake of Guarda, the line of the Adige, and that of the Po. By this arrangement, Verona,

Peschiera, and Porto-Legnago, fell into the hands of the Austrians, who lost in Flanders and Lombardy provinces, 2jom. is. rich, indeed, but distant, inhabited by 3,500,000 souls, and ^a'’265 received in the Venetian states a territory of equal riches, 266?’ 'o’aru,’ with a great seaport, and 3,400,000 souls, lying close to the Marlentfvi Hereditary States, besides an acquisition of nearly the 420. ’ ' same amount which they had made during the war,2 on

been conquered,independent ofthe disgrace ofabandoning Venice, which you describe as worthy of being free. What would posterity say of us if we surrender that great city with its naval arsenals to the Emperor ? Better a hundred times restore to him Lomhardy than pay such a price for it.

Let us take the worst view of matters; let us suppose, what your genius and the valour of your army forbid us to fear, that we are conquered and driven out of Italy. In sueli a case, yielding only to force, our honour at least will be safe; we shall still have remained faithful to the true interests of France, and not incurred the disgrace of a perfidy without excuse, as it will induce consequences more disastrous than the most unfavourable results of war. We feel the force of your objection, that you may not be able to resist the forces of the Emperor; but consider that your army would be still less so some months after the peace, so imprudently and shamefully signed. Then would Austria, placed by our own hands "in the centre of Italy, indeed take us at a disadvantage. The w hole question comes to this;

SbaU we give up Italy to the Austrians ? The French government neither can nor will do so; it would in preference incur all the hazards of war."—

See Confid. Corresp. de Napoleon, iv. 233, 235.

chap. the side of Poland. The advantages of the treat}", there-xxni. fore, how great soever to the conquerors, were, in some 1797 " degree, also extended to the vanquished.

Besides these public, the treaty contained many secret

69    articles of nearly equal importance. The most material Secret Arti- of these regarded the cession of Zalzbourg, with itsroman-tieatyfthe tic territory, to Austria, with the important towns of

Inviertil and Wasseburg on the Inn, from Bavaria ; the free navigation of the Rhine and the Meuse, the abandonment of the Frickthal by Austria to Switzerland, and the providing equivalents to the dispossessed princes on the left bank of the Rhine, on the right of that river. But it ■was expressly provided that “ no acquisition should be proposed to the advantage of Prussia” For the arrange-ijom x ment of these complicated objects, a convention was 254,255." appointed to meet at Rastadt to settle the affairs of the em-^f7p- pire. Finally, it was agreed, “ that if either of the con-fv. 591. ’ tracting powers should make acquisitions in Germany, the other should receive equivalents to the same amount.” 1 Thus terminated the Italian campaigns of Napoleon—

70    the most memorable of his military career, and which Disastrous contributed so powerfully to fix his destinies and immor-the^am°-f talise his name- Tlie sufferings of Italy in these contests paign to the were extreme, and deeply did its people rue the fatal pre-Itaiians. cipitance with which they had thrown themselves into

the arms of republican ambition. The enormous sum of 120,000,000 francs, or nearly £5,000,000 sterling, was levied on its territory by the conqueror, in specie, in little more than twelve months—a sum equal to <£12,000,000 in Great Britain ; and the total amount extracted from the peninsula, in contributions and supplies, during the two years the war lasted, was no less than 400,000,000 francs, or £16,000,000 sterling. This immense burden fell almost exclusively on the states to the north of the Tiber, whose republican ardour had been most decidc.d. The Italian 2jom Vie territory was partitioned ; its independence ruined; its deNap.i!6 galleries pillaged; the trophies of art had followed the fv628iNaf> car of Victory; and the works of immortal genius, which Hard. v. ii. no wealth could purchase, had been torn from their native seats, and violently transplanted into a foreign soil.2

Napoleon’s conduct in thus violating the instructions of his government to effect the spoliation of the Venetian

republic, and betray liis democratic allies in that state, chap. would be wholly inexplicable, if evidence did not remain xxm. in his secret correspondence of the formation, even at that 1 1797 early period, of those ulterior views by -which his conduct through life was mainly regulated. It is remarkable Napoleon's how strongly the mind of Napoleon was already set upon ®ives for this two objects, which formed such memorable features in his treaty, future life, the expedition to Egypt, and interminable hostility to Great Britain. “ Why,” said he, in his letter to the Directory, of 13th September 1797, “ do we not lay hold of Malta? Admiral Brueys could easily make himself master of it: 400 knights, and, at the utmost, 500 men, compose the whole garrison of La Yalette. The inhabitants, who amount to 100,000, are already well disposed towards us, for I have confiscated all the possessions of the order in Italy, and they are dying of famine. With Malta and Corfu, we should soon be masters of the Mediterranean. Should we, on making peace with England, be compelled to give up the Cape of Good Hope, it will be absolutely necessary to take possession of Egypt. That country never belonged to any European power : the Venetians even had there only a precarious authority.

We might embark from hence, with 25,000 men, escorted by eight or ten ships of the line, or frigates, and take possession of it. Egypt does not belong to the Grand Seignior.”1 His inveterate hostility to England was iconf. equally early and strongly expressed. In enumerating ^«er,^ap. the reasons which induced him to sign the treaty of Cafnpo 13th sept. Formio, he concludes “ Finally, we are still at war with £°r175?onf' England; that enemy is great enough, without adding another. The Austrians are heavy and avaricious; 110 people 011 earth are less active or dangerous, with a view to our military affairs, than they are ; the English, 011 the contrary, are generous, intriguing, enterprising. It is indispensable for our government to destroy the English monarchy; or it will infallibly be overturned by the intrigues and the corruption of these active islanders. The 2conf. present moment offers to our hands a noble enterprise,

Let us concentrate all our activity on the marine, and torv, isth destroy England; that done, Europe is at our feet”- In confh"' reality, it was his desire to acquire the harbour and naval 212. resources 01 Venice, for his prejected expedition against

chap. Egypt and Great Britain, that was one main inducement

xxiii. with Napoleon to treat with such unexampled severity ]797 that unhappy republic.

No words can paint the horror and consternation which 72 the pronralgation of this treaty excited in Venice. The Horror’in democratic party, in particular, who had allied themselves toep°ubUca    French, compelled the government to abdicate in

tion of that order to make way for a republican regime, and received treaty. a j'renci1 garrison within their walls, broke out into the most vehement invectives against their former allies, and discovered, with tears of unavailing anguish, that those who join a foreigner to effect changes in the constitution of their country, hardly ever escape sacrificing its independence. But, whatever may have been the unanimity of feeling which this union of imperial rapacity with republican treachery awakened among the Venetians, it was too late ; with their own hands they had brought the serpent into their bosom, and they were doomed to perish from the effects of their own revolutionary passions. With speechless sorrow they beheld the French, who occupied Venice, lower the standard of St Mark, demolish the Bucentaur, pillage the arsenal, remove every vestige of independence, and take down the splendid bronze horses, which, for six hundred years, had stood over the portico of the church of St Mark, to commemorate the capture of Constantinople by the Venetian crusaders. When the isth Jan. iftst Doge appeared before the Austrian commissioner to take the oath of homage to the Emperor, his emotion was such that he fell insensible to the ground; honouring

1 Darn. v. thus, by the extremity of grief, the last act of national 442,443. independence.1 Yet even in this catastrophe, the fury of party appeared manifest, and a large portion of the people celebrated with transports 'of joy the victory over the democratic faction, though it was obtained at the expense of the existence of their country.

The fall of the oldest commonwealth in Europe excited a general feeling of commiseration throughout the civilised Greatsensa-world. Many voices were raised, even in the legislative by this event b°dy of France, against this flagrant violation of the law in Europe, of nations. Independen t of the feelings of jealousy, which were naturally awakened by the aggrandisement of two belligerent powers at the expense of a neutral state, it was

impossible to contemplate without emotion the overthrow chap. of that illustrious Republic, which had contributed in so XXIH-powerful a manner to the return of civilisation in Europe. 1797 No modern state, from so feeble an origin, had arisen to such eminence ; nor with such limited resources made so glorious a stand against barbaric invasion. Descended, perhaps alone of all the European states, in a direct and unmixed line, from the Patricians of ancient Rome, they had rivalled the firmness, and already exceeded the duration, of that memorable people. But for their fleets and armies, the standards of Mahomet would have swept over Europe, and Sultaun Bajazet realised his threat, of stabling his steeds in the shrine of St Peter’s. Their Doges had conquered Constantinople, and seated their generals on the throne of the East; their fleets had wafted the Crusaders to Palestine, and arrested in the Holy Land the arms of Saladin. Without inquiring what right either France or Austria had to partition its territories, men contemplated only its long existence, its illustrious deeds, its constancy in misfortune ; they beheld its annihilation with a mingled feeling of terror and pity; and sympathised with the x Daru^ y sufferings of a people, who, after fourteen hundred years 436,437. of independence, were doomed to pass irrevocably under a stranger’s yoke.1

In contemplating this memorable event, it is difficult to say whether most indignation is to be felt at the perfidy of France, the cupidity of Austria, the weakness of the Venetian aristocracy, or the insanity of the Venetian people.

For the conduct of Napoleon no possible apology can be found* He first excited the revolutionary spirit to such

• The French entered the Venetian territory with the declaration—“ The French army, to follow the wreck of the Austrian army, must pass over the Republic of Venice; but it will never forget, that ancient friendship unites the two Republics. Religion, government, customs, and property will be respected. The general-in-chief engages the government to make known these sentiments to the people, in order that confidence may cement that friendship which has so long united the two nations.”* 2Parl. Peb. On’the l()th March 1797, after the democratic revolt had broken out in xniv. 133s. Brescia, Napoleon wrote to the Venetian governor of Verona—“ I am truly grieved at the disturbances which have occurred at Verona, but trust that, through the wisdom of your measures, no blood will be shed. The Senate of Venice need be under no sort of disquietude, as they must be thoroughly persuaded of the loyalty and good faith of the French government, and the desire which we have to live in good friendship with your Republic.” 3 sCor. Conf. On the 24th March 1797, he wrote to the Directory, after giving an account ». *75. of the civil war in the Venetian states—“ M. Visaro, chief sage of the Ke- ' public of Venice, has just been here, regarding the events iu Brescia nnd Bergamo, the people of which towns have disarmed the Venetian garrisons,

a degree in all the Italian possessions of the Republic, at the very time that his troops were fed and clothed by the bounty of its government, that disturbances became unavoidable, and then aided the rebels, and made the efforts of the government to crush the insurrection the pretext for declaring war against the state. He then excited to the uttermost the democratic spirit in the capital, took advantage of it to paralyse the defences and overturn the government of the country; established a new constitution on a highly popular basis, and signed a treaty on the 16th May at Milan, by which, on payment of a heavy ransom, he agreed to maintain the independence of Venice

and overturned their authorities. I had need of all my prudence; for it is not when we require the whole succouis of Friuli, and of the good-will of the Venetian government, to supply us with provisions in the Alpine defiles, that it is expedient to come to a rupture. I told Pisaro, that the Directory would never forget that the Republic of Venice was the ancient ally of France, and that our desire was fixed to protect it to the utmost of our power. I only besought him to spare the effusion of blood. We parted the best of friends. He appeared perfectly satisfied with my reception. The great point in all this affair is to gain time.” l On the 5th April, he wrote again to Pisaro; “ The French Republic does not pretend to interfere in the internal dissensions of Venice; but the safety of the army requires that I should not overlook aiiy enterprises hostile to its interests.” 2

1797.

74. Infamous conduct of Napoleon in this transaction.


1    Cor. Cobi. » 519.

2    Ibid. iii. 30.

9th April.

S Cor. Conf. iii. 37.

4 Ibid. Ui. 159.

6 Ibid. iii. 176.


Having thus, to the very last moment, kept up the pretended system of friendship for Venice, Napoleon no sooner found himself relieved by the armistice of Leoben, on the 8tl\ April, from the weight of the Austrian war, than he threw off the mask. On the day after the armistice was signed, he issued a proclamation to the people of the continental possessions of Venice, in which he said—“ The government of Venice offers you no security either for persons or property; and it has. by indifference to your fate, provoked the just indignation of the French government. If the Venetians rule you by the right of conquest, I will free you; if by usurpation, I will restore your rights.” 3 And having thus roused the whole population of the cities of Venetian terra Jirma to revolt, he nest proceeded to hand over all these towns to Austria, by the third clause of the preliminaries of Leoben, which assigned to the Emperor of Austria “ the whole Venetian territory situated between the Mincio, the Po, and the Austrian States.” 4 Nor did the duplicity of Napoleon end here. On the 16th May, he concluded the treaty with the Venetian Republic, already mentioned, the first article of which was—“ There shall be henceforth peace and good understanding between France and the Venetian Republic.” 4 The object of Napoleon, in signing this treaty, is unfolded in his Secret Despatch to the Directory three days afterwards—“You will receive,” says he,’“herewith the treaty which 1 have concluded with the Republic of Venice, in virtue of which General Baraguay d'Hilliers, with 16,000 men, has taken possession of the city. I have had several objects in view in concluding this treaty. 1. To enter into the town without difficulty, and be in a situation to extract from it whatever we desire, under pretence of executing the secret articles. 2. To be in a situation, if the treaty with the Emperor should not finally be ratified, to apply to our purposes all the resources of the city. 3. To avoid every species of odium in violating the preliminaries relative to the Venetian territory, and, at the same time, to gain pretexts which may facilitate their execution. 4. To calm all that may be said in Europe, since it will appear that our occupation of Venice is but a momentary operation, solicited by the Venetians themselves. The Pope is eighty-three, and alarmingly ill. The moment I heard of that. 1 pushed forward all the Poles in the army to Bologna, from whence I shall advance them to

under its new and revolutionary government. Having chap. thus committed all his supporters in the state irrevocably xxm. in the cause of freedom, and got possession of the capital, 1797 as that of an allied and friendly power, he plundered it of every thing valuable it possessed ; and then united with Austria in partitioning the Republic, took possession of one half of its territories for France and the Cisalpine Re- ipari. Hist, public ; and handed over the other half, with the capital, xxxiv. isw. and its ardent democrats, to the most aristocratic government in Europe.1

These transactions throw as important a light upon the moral as the intellectual character of Napoleon. To find a

Ancona.” 2 His intentions towards Venice were further summed up in I Conf. Ttr*. these words, in his despatch to the Directory of 25th Way—“ Venice must i«»>191 h fall to those to whom we give the Italian continent; bnt meanwhile, we will slbij 25th take its vessels, strip its arsenals, destroy its bank, and keep Corfu and May_' Ancona.” 3    .    , . „ ,

Still keeping up the feigned appearance of protection to Venice, Napoleon wrote to the municipality of that town, on the 26th May—“ The treaty concluded at Milan may, in the mean time, be signed by the municipality, and the secret articles by three members. In every circumstance, I shall do w hat lies in my power to give you proofs of my desire to consolidate your liberties, and to see unhappy Italy at length assume the place to which < Conf. Dea. it is entitled in the theatre of the world, free and independent of all iii.294. strangers.” 4 Soon after he wrote to General Baraguay d’Hilliers, 13th June_“ You will, upon the receipt of this, present yourself to the provisional government of Venice, and represent to them, that, in conformity to the principles which now unite the Republic of France to that of Venice, and the immediate protection which the Republic of France pives to that of Venice, it is indispensable that the maritime forces of the Republic be put on a respectable footing. Under this pretext you will take possession of every thing; taking care, at the same time, to live in good intelligence with the Venetians, and to engage in our service all the sailors of the Republic, making use constantly of the Venetian name. In short, you must manage so as to transport all the naval stores and vessels in the harbour of Venice to Toulon. By a secret article of the treaty, the Venetians are bound to furnish to the French Republic three millions worth of stores for the marine of Toulon : but my intention is, to take possession, for the French Repub- {Ibid. iiL 304. lie, of ai.l the Venetian vessels, and ail the naval stores, for the use of Toulon.” 5

These orders were too faithfully executed; and when every article of naval and military stores had been swept away from Venice. Napoleon, without hesitation, assigned away his revolutionary allied republic, which he had engaged to defend, to the aristocratic power of Austria. The history of the world contains no blacker page of perfidy and dissimulation.

It is in vain to allege, that the spoliation ot Venice was occasioned, and justified, by their attack on the rear of the French army at Verona. The whole continental possessions of the Republic were assigned to Austria by Napoleon at Leoben, four days before that event took place, and when nothing had occurred in the Venetian states, but the contests between the aristocratic and democratic factions, which had been stirred up by the secret emissaries of Napoleon himself.

llis conduct throughout this transaction appears to have been governed by one principle, and that was, to secure such pretexts for a rupture with Venice, as might afford a decent ground for making its territories the. holocaust which would, at any time, bribe Austria into a peace, and extricate the French army from any peril into which it might have fallen. Twice

parallel to the dissimulation and rapacity by which his conduct to Venice was characterised, we must search the annals of Italian treachery ; the history of the nations to the north of the Alps, abounding as it does in deeds of atrocity, is stained by 110 similar act of combined duplicity and violence. This opens a new and hitherto unobserved feature in his character, which is in the highest degree important. The French Republican writers uniformly represent his Italian campaigns as the most pure and glorious period of his history, and portray his character, at first almost perfect, as gradually deteriorated by the ambition and passions consequent on the attainment of

did the glittering prize answer this purpose; once, when it brought about the armistice of Leoben, and saved Napoleon from the ruin which otherwise must have befallen him, bnd again at Campo Formio, by relieving him from a war, to which he himself confesses his forces were unequal.

1797.

75. . Light thus thrown on the character of Napoleon.


When M. Villetort, the secretary of the French legation at Venice, remonstrated with Napoleon upon the abandonment of that Republic, he replied, in words containing, it is to be feared, too faithful a picture of the degradation of modern Italy—“ The French Republic is bound by no treaty to sacrifice its interests and advantages to those of Venice. Never has France adopted the maxim of making war for the sake of other nations. I should like to see the principle of philosophy or morality which should command us to sacrifice forty thousand French, contrary alike to the declared wishes of France and its obvious interests. I know well, that it costs nothing to a handful of declaimers, whom 1 cannot better characterise than by calling them madmen, to rave about the establishment of republics every where. I wish these gentlemen would make a winter campaign. Besides, the Venetian nation no longer exists. 1 Divided into as many separate interests as it contains cities, effeminated aod corrupted, not less cowardly than hypocritical, the people of Italy, but especially the Venetians, are totally unfit for freedom.”

1 Letter, 26th Oct. Conf. Cor. v. 406.


The same idea is expressed in a letter about the same period to Talleyrand—“You little know the people of Italy : they are not worth the sacrifice of forty thousand Frenchmen. I see by your letters that you are constantly labouring under a delusion. You suppose that liberty can do great things for a base, cowardly, and superstitious people. You wish me to perform miracles; I have not the art of doing so. Since coming into Italy 1 have derived little if any support from the love of the Italian people for liberty and equality. I have not in my army a single Italian, excepting fifteen hundred rascals, swept from the streets of its towns, who are good for nothing but pillage. Every thing, excepting what you must.say in proclamations and public speeches, is here mere romance.”—Letter to Talley, rand, Passeriano, 7th Oct. 1797; Corresp. Confid. iv. 206.

It only remains to add to this painful narrative of Italian duplicity, that haviog no further occasion for the services of Landrieux, whom he had employed to stir up the revolt in the Italian cities, and having discovered evidence that he had been in correspondence with the Venetian government, Napoleon himself denounced him to the Directory. Authentic evidence had been discovered of the double part which he acted in that disgraceful transaction, by the French commissioners who examined the Venetian Archives; and Napoleon, in consequence, on the 15th November, wrote to the Directory—“ Landrieux excited the revolt in Brescia and Ber. gamo, and was paid for it; but, at the same time, he privately informed the Venetian government of what was going on, and was paid by them too. Perhaps you will think it right to makp an example of such a rascal; and, at all events, not to employ him again.” 2

2 Letter, 15th Nov. Conl. Cor. iv. 289.


supreme power. This was in some respects true ; but in chap. others the reverse; his character never again appears xxni-so perfidious as during his earlier years; in fact it had j-97i then attained the ne plus ultra of deceit and dissimulation ; and contrary to the usual case, it was in some particulars improved by the possession of supreme power, and to'the last moment of his life the emperor was progressively throwing off many of the unworthy qualities by which he was at first stained. Extraordinary as this may appear, abundant evidence of it will be found in the sequel of this work. It was the same with Augustus, whose early life, disgraced by the proscriptions and horrors of the triumvirate, was almost overlooked in the wisdom and beneficence of his imperial rule. Nor is it difficult to perceive in what principle of our nature the foundation is laid for so singular an inversion of the causes which usually debase the human mind. It is the terrible effect of Revolution, as Madame de Stael has well observed, to obliterate altogether the ideas of right and wrong, and instead of the eternal distinctions of morality and religion, to apply no other test in general estimation to public actions but success.1 It was out of this corrupted iRev. atmosphere that the mind of Napoleon, like that of Augus- oeiT5'U’ tus, at first arose, and it was then tainted by the revolutionary profligacy of the times ; but with the possession of supreme power he was called to nobler employments, and often relieved from the necessity of committing iniquity for the sake of advancement. He was brought into contact with men professing and acting on more elevated principles; and in the discharge of such duties, he cast off, in some instances at least, many of the stains of his early career.

This observation is no impeachment of the character of Napoleon ; on the contrary, it is its best vindication. Ilis virtues and talents were his own ; his vices, in part at least, the fatal bequest of the Revolution.

The conduct of Austria, if less perfidious, was not less a violation of every principle of public right. Venice, _6 though long wavering and irresolute, was at length com- And or mitted in open hostilities with the French Republic. She Austria-had secretly nourished the Imperial as well as the Republican forces ; she had given no cause of offence to the Allied powers; she had been dragged, late indeed and unwillingly,

chap. but irrevocably, into a contest with the Republican forces: xxm. and if she had committed any fault, it was in favour of ' i797_ ' the cause in which Austria was engaged. Generosity in such circumstances would have prompted a noble power to lend the weight of its influence in favour of its unfortunate neighbour. Justice forbade that it should do any ' Prociama. thin? to aggravate its fate. But to share in its spoliation, tinnof the to seize upon its capital, and extinguish its existence, is an VeSce^thact raPacity for which no apology can be offered, and April 1798. which must for ever form a foul stain on the Austrian annals.1

Nor can the aristocracy of Venice be absolved from their 77 full share of the blame consequent on the destruction of weakness of their country. It was clearly pointed out to them, and arktocracy.n ^ey might have known, that the contest in which Europe was engaged with France, was one of such a kind as to admit of no neutrality or compromise ; that those who were not with the democratic party were against them ; that their exclusive and ancient aristocracy was, in an especial manner, the object of Republican jealousy ; and that, if they were fortunate enough to escape destruction at the hands of the French armies, they certainly could not hope to avoid it from their own revolutionary subjects. Often, during the course of the struggle, they held the balance of power in their hands, and might have interposed with decisive effect on behalf of the cause which was ultimately to be their own. Had they put their armies on a war footing, and joined the Austrians when the scales of war hung even at Castiglione, Areola, or Rivoli, they might have rolled back the tide of revolutionary conquest, and secured to themselves and their country an honoured and independent existence. They did not do so ; they pursued that timid policy which is‘ever the most perilous in presence of danger ; they shrunk from a contest which honour and duty alike required, and were, in consequence, assailed by the revolutionary tempest when they had no longer the power to resist it, and doomed to destruction, amidst the maledictions of their countrymen, and the contempt of their enemies. “ Too blind,” as has been finely said, to avert danger, too

* Hailara. cowardly to withstand it, the most ancient government of Europe made not a moment’s resistance :2 the peasants

of Underwaldcn died upon their mountains, the nobles of chap. Venice clung only to their lives.”    xxiii.

Last in the catalogue of political delinquency, the popu- 179» lar party are answerable for the indulgence of that insane „8 and unpatriotic spirit of faction which never fails, in the insanity of end, to bring ruin upon those who indulge it. Following 4,aticparty. the phantom of democratic ambition ; forgetting all the ties of kindred and country in the pursuit of popular exaltation, they leagued with the stranger against their native land, and paralysed the state in the moment of its utmost peril, by the fatal passions which they introduced into its bosom. With their own hands they tore down the venerable ensign of St Mark ; with their own oars the'y ferried the invaders across the Lagunre, which no enemy had passed for fourteen hundred years ;* with their own arms they subjugated the Senate of their country, and compelled, in the last extremity, a perilous and disgraceful submission to the enemy. They received, in consequence, the natural and appropriate reward of such conduct—the contempt of their enemies, the hatred of their friends ; the robbery of their trophies, the partition of their territory, the extinction of their liberties, and the annihilation of their country.

What a contrast to this timid and vacillating conduct in the rulers, and these flagitious passions in the people of 79 Venice, does the firmness of the British government, and striking the spirit of the British people, afford at this juncture ! ^“bUed m*" They, too, were counselled to temporise in danger, and the same pe-yield to the tempter ; they, too, were shaken in credit nobuuywid and paralysed by revolt; they, too, were assailed by demo- people of cratic ambition, and urged to conciliate and yield as the "g n ’ only means of salvation. The Venetian aristocracy did what the British aristocracy were urged to do. They cautiously abstained from hostilities with the revolutionary power ; they did nothing to coerce the spirit of disaffection in their own dominions ; they yielded at length

to the demands of the populace, and admitted, in the moment of danger, a sudden and portentous change in the internal structure of the constitution. Had the British government done the same, they might have expected similar results to those which there took place; to see the revolutionary spirit acquire irresistible force, the means of national resistance become prostrated by the divisions of those who should wield them, and the state become an easy prey to the ambition of those neighbouring powers who had fomented its passions to profit by its weakness. From the glorious result of the firmness of the one, and the miserable consequences of the pusillanimity of the other, a memorable lesson may be learned both by rulers and nations. Thence they may see that courage in danger is often the most prudent as well as the most honourable course ; that periods of foreign peril are never those in which considerable internal changes can with safety be adopted; and that, whatever may be the defects of government, they are the worst enemies of their country who league with foreign nations for their redress.

1797.


CHAPTER XXIV.

INTERNAL GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE, FROM THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DIRECTORY TO THE REVOLUTION OF ISth FRUCTIDOR.

The different eras of the Revolution, which have hitherto been traced, show the progress of the principles of democracy through their natural stages of public transport, moneyed insecurity, financial embarrassment, arbitrary confiscation, general distress, plebeian insurrection, sanguinary oppression, eivil warfare, and military despotism. It remains to examine its progress during the receding tide ; to trace the declining and enfeebled efforts of Republican fury during the years when its desolating effeets had become generally known, and the public strength refused to lend its aid to the ambition and the delusion of individuals. At this period it is evident that the chief desire of the human mind is for repose. The contentions, the miseries of former years rise up in fearful remembrance to all classes of eitizens ; the chimera of‘equality can no longer seduee—the illusion of power no longer mislead; and men, bitterly suffering under the consequences of former error, eagerly range themselves under any government which promises to save them from “ the worst of tyrannies, the tyranny of a multitude of tyrants.”1

CHAP.

XXIV.

1795.

1.

Retrospect of the previous change1* of the Revolution.


1 Aristotle.


To effeet the maximum of freedom, with the minimum of democratic ascendency, is the great problem of eivil government; just as the ehief object of war is to attain the greatest possible national security at the smallest expenditure of human life. Republican passion is frequently necessary to sustain the conflicts of freedom, just as the military

VOL. VI.    e

ciiap. spirit is often indispensable to purchase national inde-xxiv. pendence, and always essential to its security; but it is I79. “ not a less evil in itself, if not kept under due restraint,

2    than the savage passion for the destruction of the species. Maximum of When too vehemently excited, it often becomes an evil wkhmini- incomparably greater than the political grievances which mum of de- awakened its fury. Great national objects sometimes greataobject cannot be achieved without the excitation of this passion, of govern- because it is desire, and not reason, which ever governs the

masses of mankind; but when it becomes the ruling power, the last extremities of suffering are at hand. Like all other passions, however, whether in the individual or society, it cannot be indulged to excess, without inducing evils which speedily terminate its ascendency, and punish the delinquencies to which it has given rise. The democratic passion is to nations what the desire of licentious freedom is to the individual: it bears the same relation to the principle of genuine liberty, that the chastened attachment of marriage, which “ peoples heaven,” does to the wild excesses of lust, which find inmates for hell. The fleeting enjoyments of guilt are speedily lost in its lasting pains; the extravagance of democratic ambition, if it obtains unresisted sway, invariably terminates, before the expiry of a few years, in universal suffering. ,

Nature never intended that the great body of mankind

3    should be immediately concerned in government, because Provision of their intellects and information are unequal to, and their Nature situation inconsistent with, the task. Useful and neces-

against tn«    7    _ , .

evil of de- sary as a check upon the government of others, they bring anarchy0 about the greatest calamities when they become the governors themselves ;—respectable, virtuous, and salutary when employed in their proper sphere, they become dangerous, impassioned, and irrational, when called to the exercise of duties which do not belong to them. The restraint of holding property, and constantly suffering themselves from any shocks it may receive, is the only security against the undue abuse of power. As the great body of the people cannot possess this advantage, and consequently political power cannot be exercised by them without injury, first to others, and at last to themselves, Nature has wisely provided for the speedy and effectual extinction of the passion for it, in the necessary conse-

quonce of the effects which it produces. The insecurity, chap. privations, and suffering which follow in its train, una- xxiv. voidably lead, before the lapse of a very long period, to 1795 military despotism. Some democratic states, as Milan, 5 Florence, and Sienna, to terminate their dissensions, have voluntarily submitted to the yoke of a military leader; others have fallen under his dominion at the close of a sanguinary period of domestic strife. All have, in one way or other, expelled the deadly venom from the system ; and to escape the horrors of anarchy, have shielded themselves under the lasting government of the sword.

The illusions of republicanism were now dispelled in France; men had passed through so many vicissitudes, and lived so long in a few years, that all their pristine state of the ideas were overturned. The rule of the middle class, and andmamlers of the multitude, had successively passed like a rapid and in France in bloody phantasmagoria. The age was far removed from nhigbof n'os that of Franco of the 14th July 1789, with its enthusiastic feelings, its high resolves, its ardent aspirations, its popular magistrates, and its buoyant population. It was still further removed from that of France of the 10th August, when a single class, and that the most licentious, had usurped the whole authority of the state, and borne to the seat of government its vulgar manners and sanguinary ideas—its distrust of all above, and its severity to all beneath itself.

Society emerged, weakened and disjointed, from the chaos of revolution ; and in despair of effecting any real amelioration in the social system, all classes rushed with unbounded vehemence into the enjoyments of private life.

The elegances of opulence, long suspended, were resumed with unprecedented alacrity; balls, festivities, and theatres, were frequented with more avidity than in the most corrupted era of the monarchy; it seemed as if the nation, long famished, was quenching its thirst in the enjoyments of existence. Compassion for suffering was generally felt: those who had recently escaped death themselves had their hearts open to the woes of humanity* Public affairs wore an air of tranquillity which singularly con-

trasted with the disasters of former years: the emigrants returned in crowds, with a confidence which afterwards proved fatal to them. All women were in transports at the auspicious change. Horror at the Jacobins restore ed the sway of the rich ; the recollection of the clubs secured the influence of the saloons ; female charms resumed their ascendency with the return of pacific ideas, and the passion for enjoyment, freed from the dread of death and the restraints of religion, was indulged without control. Manners were never more corrupted than under the rule of the Directory—luxury never more prodigal—passion never more unrestrained. Society resumed its wonted order, not by repentance for crime, but by a change of its direction. This is the natural termination of popular effervescence : the transition is easy from the extravagance of democracy to the corruptions of sensuality, from the fanaticism of the Puritans to the gallantries of Charles II., because these opposite extremes alike proceed from the indulgence of individual passion ; it is extremely difficult from either to the love of genuine freedom, because that implies a sacrifice of both to patriotic feeling. The age of Nero soon succeeded the strife of Gracchus; but ages revolved, and a different race of mankind was established before that of Fabricius was restored.1

The deputies were regarded with the utmost solicitude by all parties upon the completion of the elections. The third part, who were newly chosen, according to the provision of the constitution, represented with tolerable fidelity the opinions and wishes of the party which had now become influential in France. They consisted not of those extraordinary and intrepid men who shine in the outset of the revolutionary tempest; but of those more moderate characters who, in politics equally as the fine arts, succeed to the vehemence of early passion ; who take warning by past error, and are disposed only to turn the existing state of things to the best account for their individual advantage. But their influence was inconsiderable, compared with that of the two-thirds who remained from

1795.


xDeux Amis, xiv. 30,36. llig. net, ii. 401. Th. viii. 67, 75. D’Abr. ii. 86, 94, 158,164.

5.

First proceedings of the legislature. Choice of the Directory. .


O sia che amore in noi.

La somiglianza accenda,

O sia che piu s’intenda

Xel suo 1'altrui dolor.”

3Ii-.TisT.vsio, Guiseppc, parte 1.

the old Assembly, and who, both from their habits of chap. business and acquired celebrity, continued to have the xxiv. principal direction of public affairs. The whole deputies j-95 having assembled, according to the directions of the constitution, chose by ballot two hundred and fifty of their number, all above forty, and married, to form the Council of the Ancients. They afterwards proceeded to the important task of choosing the Directors ; and after some hesitation, the choice fell on Barras, Rewbell, Lareveillere-Lepaux, Letourneur, and Sieyes; but upon the last de-    !?>

dining the proffered honour, Carnot was chosen in his 400. ' stead. These five individuals immediately proceeded to the exercise of their new sovereignty.1

Though placed at the head of so great a state, the situation of the directors was at first surrounded with r difficulties. When they took possession of their apartments Extreme in the Luxembourg, they found scarcely any furniture the "overn-in the rooms ; a single table, an inkstand and paper, and ment. four straw chairs, constituted the whole establishment of those who were about to enter on the management of the greatest Republic in existence. The incredible embar- SBaiiieui, rassment of the finances, the critical state of the armies, ” 2"528j-

_ .    i , Examen de

the increasing discontents of the people, did not deter them Mad. de from undertaking the discharge of their perilous duties. I^Frane?! They resolved unanimously that they would make head Mign. i. 401. against all the difficulties in which the state was involved, or perish in the attempt.2

Barras was the one of the Directory who was most qualified by his character and previous services to take the 7 lead in the government. Naturally indolent, haughty, Barras. His and voluptuous; accessible to corruption, profligate, and andTiiat^f extravagant; ill qualified for the fatigues and the exertion Rewbell, of ordinary business, he was yet possessed of the firmness, Letouniour! decision, and audacity which fitted him to be a leader of importance in perilous emergencies. His lofty stature, commanding air, and insinuating manners, were calculated to impose upon the vulgar, often ready to be governed in civil dissensions as much by personal qualities as by mental superiority; while the eminent services which he had rendered to the Thermidorian party, on the fall of Robespierre, and his distinguished conduct and decisive success on the revolt of the sections, gave him considerable influence with

chap. more rational politicians. Rewbell, an Alsacian by birth, xxiy. an(j a lawyer by profession, was destitute of either firm-1V95 ness or eloquence ; but he owed his elevation to his habits of business, his knowledge of forms, and the pertinacity with which he represented the feelings of the multitude, often in the close of revolutionary convulsions envious of distinguished ability. Lareveillere-Lepaux, a sincere Republican, who had joined the Girondists on the day of their fall, and preserved, under the proscription of the Jacobins, the same principles which he had embraced during their ascendency, was blessed by nature with a mild and gentle disposition, which fitted him to be the ornament of private society; but he was weak and irresolute in public conduct, totally destitute of the qualities requisite in a statesman, strongly tinged with the irreligious fanaticism i Mi"n ii    a?ej an^ perpetually dreaming of establishing the

404,405,:417. authority of natural religion on the ruins of the Christian Cas'i™ 143    Letourneur, an old officer of artillery, had latterly

145.' Lac. ’ supplied the place of Carnot in the Committee of Public Th" viii* 78 Salvation, but without possessing his abilities ; and when 79. ‘ ’ Carnot came in place of Sieyes, he received the department of the marine and the colonies.1

The first object of the Directory was to calm the passions, g the fury of which had so long desolated France. This was First mea- no easy task; the more especially as, with the exception of Directory,16 Carnot, there was not one of them either a man of genius and extreme or of any considerable reputation. This was the cruel “nuL0feflfect of a revolution which in a few years had cut off tion. whole generations of ability, and swept away all, save in the military career, that could either command respect or ensure success. Their principles were republican, and they had all voted for the death of the King in the Convention, and consequently their elevation gave great joy to the Democratic party, who had conceived great disquietude from the recent formidable insurrection, and still menacing language of the Royalists. The leaders of that party, defeated, but not humbled, had great influence in the metropolis, and their followers seemed rather proud of the perils they had incurred, than subdued by the defeat they had sustained. Within and without, the Directors were surrounded by difficulties. The revolution had left every thing in the most miserable situation. The treasury was

empty; tlie people were starving ; the armies destitute; the chap. generals discouraged. The progress of the public disorders xxiv. had induced that extreme abuse of paper money, which 1795 seems the engine employed by nature, in revolutionary disorders, to bring salutary suffering home to every individual, even of the humblest rank in society. The revenue had almost ceased to be collected, and the public necessities were provided for merely by a daily issue of paper, which every morning was sent forth from the public treasury, still dripping wet from the manufactory of the preceding night. Its value was fixed by law, but it would not pass for a hundredth, sometimes a thousandth, part of that amount. The sales of all kinds of commodities had ceased from the effect of the law of the maximum and forced contributions; and the subsistence of Paris and the other great towns was obtained merely by compulsory requisitions, for which the unfortunate peasants received only paper, worth not a thousandth part of the value at which they were compelled to accept it. Finally, the armies, destitute of every thing, and unfortunate at the close of the campaign, were discontented and dejected. The brilliant successes by which Napoleon restored the military affairs of the Republic, have been already considered * But in the course of their labours, they were successively assailed by the different factions whose strife had brought the country to this miserable condition ; and they owed their ^l^,402’ victory over both, only to the public torpor which recent viii. 84, 85. experience of the suffering they had endured had produced.1

One of their first acts was a deed of humanity; the liberation of the daughter of Louis XYI. from the melan- g choly prison where she had been confined since her Liberation parent’s death. This illustrious princess, interesting alike ^usse for her unparalleled misfortunes, and the resignation with <r Angou-which she had borne them, after having discharged, as "Ranged long as the barbarity of her persecutors would permit, for the r>e-every filial and sisterly duty—after having seen her father, }(“£*sd up her mother, her aunt, and her brother, successively torn by Dumou-from her arms, to be consigned to destruction—had been rier" detained in solitary confinement since the fall of Robespierre, and was still ignorant of the fate of those she had

chap. so tenderly loved. The Directory, yielding at length to xxiv. the feelings of humanity, and a sense of the difficulty 17y5 which would be experienced in assigning a suitable station in a Republic to a princess of such exalted birth, agreed to exchange her for the deputies who had been delivered up by Dumourier to the Imperialists. Accordingly, on the 19th Dec. 19th December 1795, this remnant of the royal captives 179a. |efl. prison where she had been detained since the 10th August 1792, and proceeded by rapid journeys to Bale, where she was exchanged for the republican commissioners, and received by the Austrians with the honour due to her i26hLac. rank- Her subsequent restoration and second banishment, xii. 3S8. will form an interesting episode in the concluding part of this work.1*

The earliest measure of the Directory for the relief of the

10 finances, was to obtain a decree authorising the cessation cessation of of the distribution of rations to the people, which were ticmoffood" thenceforward to be continued only to the most necessitous and terri- classes. This great measure, the first symptom of emanci-dates.man" pation from the tyranny of the mob of the metropolis, was boldly adopted ; and though the discontents to which it gave rise appeared in the conspiracy of Babceuf, which shortly after broke forth, it was successfully carried into effect. The state of monetary affairs next occupied their anxious attention. After various ineffectual attempts to return to a metallic circulation, the government found itself obliged to continue the issue of assignats. The quantity in circulation at length rose, in January 1796, to forty-five milliards, or about £2,000,000,000 sterling, and the depreciation became so excessive, that a milliard, or a thousand million of francs, produced only a million in metallic currency: in other words, the paper money had fallen to a thousandth part of its nominal value.- To stop this enormous evil, the government adopted the plan of issuing a new kind of paper money, to be called territorial mandates, which were intended to retire the assignats at the rate of thirty for one. This was in truth creating a new kind of assignats, with an inferior denomination, and was meant to. conceal from the public the enormous depreciation which the first had undergone. It was immediately acted upon ; mandates were declared the currency

* Infra, chap. XC.

of the Republic, and became by law a legal tender; the chap. national domains were forthwith exposed to sale, and xxiv. assigned over to the holder of a mandate without any 1796 other formality than a simple proces verbal. At the same time the most violent measures were adopted to give this new paper a forced circulation ; all payments by and to the government were ordered to be made in it alone; 189! mV ’ severe penalties were enacted against selling the mandate Hist°.6par/. for less than its nominal value in gold or silver, and, to xxxvii. 217. prevent all speculation on their value, the public exchange was closed.1

The only advantage possessed by the mandates over the old assignats was, that they entitled the holder to a n more summary and effectual process for getting his paper Their tran-exchanged for land. As soon as this.became generally ®‘ees"*suc' understood, it procured for them an ephemeral degree of public favour ; a mandate for 100 francs rose, soon after it was issued, from fifteen to eighty francs, and their success procured for government a momentary resource. But this relief was of short duration. Two milliards four hundred millions of mandates, (£100,000,000,) were issued, secured over an extent of land supposed to be of the same value : but before many months had elapsed they began to decline, and were soon nearly at as great a discount in proportion to their value as the old assignats. By no possible measure of finance could paper money, worth nothing in foreign states from a distrust of its security, and redundant at home from its excessive issue, be maintained at any thing like an equality with gold and silver. The mandates were, in truth, a reduction of assignats to a thirtieth part of 2 Th. viii. their value ; but to be on a par with the precious metals, jijg19-’ 407" they should have been issued at one thousandth part, Lac. xiii. 40. being the rate of discount to which the original paper had now fallen.2

Government, therefore, and all the persons who received payment from it, including the public creditors, the army, 12 and the civil servants, were still suffering the most severe Anduiti-privation ; but the crisis had passed with the great bulk of Recourse individuals in the state. Most of the unhappy original had in deholders had become bankrupt, had been guillotined, or barter.0 were in exile. Their distresses, how great soever, had passed away, like those of a deceased generation. The

chap. fall in the value of the assignats had been so excessive, xxiv. that no one would take either them or their successors in 17y6 exchange. Barter, and the actual interchange of one coru-’ modity for another, had come to supply the place of sale ; and all those possessed of any fortune, realised it in the form of the luxuries of life, which were likely to procure a ready sale in the market. The most opulent houses were converted into vast magazines for the storing of silks, velvets, and luxuries of every description, which were retailed sometimes at a profit, and sometimes at a loss, and by which the higher classes were enabled to maintain their families. From the general prevalence of this rude interchange, internal trade and manufactures regained, to a certain degree, their former activity; and though the former opulent quarters were deserted, the Boulevards and Chaussee d’Antin began to exhibit that splendour for which they afterwards became so celebrated under the empire. As the victories of the Republic increased, and gold and silver were obtained from the conquest of Flanders, Italy, and the German states, the government paper entirely ceased to be a medium of exchange ; transfers of every description were effected by barter or exchange for the precious metals, and the territorial mandates were nowhere to be seen but in the hands 337h' Luc sPecu^atorsJ wh° bought them for a twentieth part of xiA! 33,36. their nominal value, and sold them at a small advance to the purchasers of the national domains.

But while all classes were thus emerging from this ter-J3 rible financial crisis, the servants of government, and the starvation public creditors, still paid in mandates at par, were lite-hoiders'and ra^y dying of famine. Employment from government, ail the pub- instead of being solicited, was universally shunned ; per-aries.nctl°n sons *n every kind of service sent in their resignations ;

and the soldiers deserted from the armies in as great crowds as they had flocked to them during the Reign of Terror. "While the armies of Pichegru and Napoleon, who received their allowances in the coin they extracted from the conquered states, were living in luxurious affluence, those on the soil of the Republic, and paid in its depreciated paper, were starving. But most of all, the public creditors, the rentiers, were overwhelmed by unprecedented distress. The opulent capitalists who had fanned

the first triumphs of the Revolution, the annuitants who chap. had swelled the multitude of its votaries, were now crushed xxiv. under its wheels. Then was seen the unutterable bitter- 17W ness of private distress, which inevitably follows such a convulsion. The prospect of famine produced many more suicides among that unhappy class, than all the horrors of the Reign of Terror. Poverty to those unused to it has more terrors than death itself. Many, driven to extremities, had recourse, late in life, to daily labour for their subsistence; others, unable to endure its fatigues, subsisted upon the charity which they obtained from the more fortunate survivors of the Revolution. Under the shadow of night they were to be seen crowding round the doors of the opera and other places of public amusement, 1 Th. via. of which they had formerly been the principal supporters, Mig.3y8'4o2. and in a disguised voice, or with an averted head, implor- Lac. xiii 40. ing charity from crowds, among whom they were fearful of discovering a former acquaintance or dependant.1

The situation of the armies in the interior was not less deplorable. Officers and soldiers, alike unable to procure J4 any thing for their pay, were maintained only by the Deplorable forced requisitions which, under the pressure of necessity, were still continued in the departments. The detach- the same ments were dispersed, and deserted on the road : even the Greatspecu-hospitals were shut up, and the unhappy soldiers who ^e^iiers filled them turned adrift upon the world, from utter in- 0 ‘ ability to procure them either medicines or provisions.

The gendarmerie, or mounted police, were dissolved : the soldiers who composed it, unable to maintain their horses, sold them, and left the service; and the high-roads, infested by numerous brigands, the natural result of the dissolution of society, became the theatre of unheard-of atrocities. Strangers profited by the general distress of France to carry on a commerce with its suffering inhabitants, which contributed in a considerable degree to restore the precious metals to circulation. The Germans, the Swiss, the Russians, and the English, seized the moment when the assignats were lowest, to fall with all the power of metallic riches upon the scattered but splendid moveables of France. Wines of the most costly description were bought up by speculators, and sold cheaper at Hamburg than Paris; diamonds and precious stones,

chap. concealed during the Reign of Terror, were brought forth xxiv. from their places of concealment, and procured for their r% " ruined possessors a transitory relief; and pictures, statues, and furniture of every description, were eagerly purchased for the Russian and English palaces, and by their general dispersion effected a change in the taste for the fine arts over all Europe. A band of speculators, called la Bande Noire, bought up an immense number of public and private edifices, which were sold for almost nothing, and reimbursed themselves by selling a part of the materials ; and numerous families, whose estates had escaped confiscation, retired to the country, and inhabited the buildings y^Th^-in formerly tenanted by their servants, where they lived in 338. seclusion and rustic plenty on the produce of a portion of their estates.1

The excessive fall of the paper, at length made all 15 classes perceive that it was in vain to pursue the chimera openaban- of upholding its value. On the 16th July 1796, the fhepaper°f measure, amounting to an open confession of a bank-system. ruptcy, which had long existed, was adopted. It was lGth July, (jggjgjgjj t]iat ajj persons were    liberty to transact

business in the money which they chose ; that the mandates should be taken at their current value, which should be published every day at the Treasury ; and that the taxes should be received either in coin or mandates at that rate, with the exception of the department bordering on the seat of war, in which it should still be received in kind. The publication of the fall of the mandates rendered it indispensable to make some change as to the purchase of the national domains ; for where the mandate had fallen from one hundred francs to five francs, it was impossible that the holder could be allowed to obtain in exchange for it land worth one hundred francs in 1790, and still, notwithstanding the fall of its value, from the 339lff Th1’ 'llsecure tenure of all possessions, deemed worth thirtv-vui! 346,347. five francs. It was in consequence determined, on the July is. istli July, that the undisposed of national domains should be sold for mandates at their current value.2

Such was the end of the system of paper credit, six years after it had been originally commenced, and after it had effected a greater change in the fortunes of individuals, than had perhaps ever been accomplished in the same time by

any measure of government. It did more to overthrow chap. the existing wealth, to transfer moveable fortunes from one xxi v. hand to another, than even the confiscation of the emigrant 17gG and church estates. All debts were in fact annihilated by the elusory form in which it permitted payment to be Prodigious made. In its later stages, a debtor with one franc in specie ^foruines6 could force a discharge of a debt of two hundred, sometimes which it had even of a thousand ; the public creditors, the government oceasioned-servants, in fact all the classes who formerly were opulent, were reduced to the last stage of misery. On the other hand, the debtors throughout the whole country found themselves liberated from their engagements ; the national domains were purchased almost for nothing by the holders of government paper ; and the land, infinitely subdivided, required little of the expenditure of capital, and became daily more productive from the number and energy of its new cultivators. These vast alterations in the circulation, induced social changes more durable in their influence, and •far more important in their final results, than all the political catastrophes of the Revolution ; for they entirely altered, and that too in a lasting manner, the distribution * Th. m of property, -and made a permanent alteration in the form Xui'. ss. of government unavoidable from a total change in the class possessed of substantial power.1

Deprived of the extraordinary resource of issuing paper, the Directory were compelled to calculate their real r revenue, and endeavour to accommodate their expenditure Public ' to that standard. They had estimated the revenue for To-0'

1796 at 1,100,000,000 francs, or £50,000,000, including an dared, arrear of 300,000,000 francs, or £13,000,000 of the forced th’irds of the loans, which had never yet been recovered. But the event national soon showed that this calculation was fallacious ; the cated™”^" revenue proved greatly less, and the expenditure much greater than had been expected. The land-tax produced only 200 millions, instead of 250 ; the 200 millions expected from the sale of the remainder of the national domains was not half realised, and all the other sources of revenue failed in the same proportion. Meanwhile, the armies of the Rhine, of the Sambre and Meuse, and of the Interior, were in the most extreme state of penury, and all the national establishments on the point of ruin. In these circumstances, it was no longer possible to avoid a

chap. bankruptcy. The public creditors, as usual in all such xxiv. extremities, were the first to be sacrificed. After exhaust-

■ " ing every expedient of delay and procrastination with the ' rentiers, the Directory at length paid them only a fourth in money, and three-fourths in bills, dischargeable on the national domains, called Bons des Trois Quarts. The annual charge of the debt was 248 millions of francs, or nearly £10,000,000 sterling ; so that, by this expedient, the burden was in effect reduced to 62 millions, or <£2,400,000. The bills received for the tliree-fourths were from the first at a ruinous discount, and soon became altogether unsaleable ; and the disorders and partiality consequent on this mode of payment erelong became so excessive, that it could no longer be continued. The income of 1797 was estimated at 616,000,000 francs, or about £27,000,000, but the expenditure could not be reduced to this without taking Aus?. is. a decisive step in regard to the debt. It was therefore finally resolved to continue the payment of a third only of the debt in specie ; and the remaining two-thirds were to be discharged by the payment of a capital in bills, secured . ^ on the national domains, at the rate of twenty years’ 3i9^326i and purchase. These bills, like the Bons des Trois Quarts, viii. 343. immediately fell to a sixth of their value, and shortly after Kin?'ii. 32i\ dwindled away to almost nothing, from the quantity 3iv’ loif0’ simultaneously thrown into the market. As the great Hist. pari, majority of the public creditors were in such circumstances xxxvii"'^! that they could not take land, this was, to all intents, a 327.    national bankruptcy, which cut off at one blow two-tliirds

of their property.1

These attempts of the Directory, though long unsuccess-18 ful, to restore order to the distracted chaos of revolutionary Successful France, were seconded by the efforts of the great majority theDivec- °f the people, to whom a termination of political contests store^onier ^ia(^ become the most imperious of necessities. Such, in in France. truth, is the disposition to right themselves in human affairs when the fever of passion has subsided, that men fall insensibly into order, under any government which promises to save them from the desolating effect of their own passions. Within a few months after the establishment of the new government, the most frightful evils entailed on France by the revolutionary regime, had been removed or alleviated. The odious law of the maximum,

which compelled the industry of the country to pay tribute chap. to the idleness of towns, was abolished; the commerce xxiv. of grain in the interior was free : the assignats were 1797 "" replaced, without any convulsion, by a metallic currency: the press had resumed its independence ; the elections had taken place without violence ; the guillotine no longer shed the noblest blood in France : the roads were secure ; the ancient proprietors lived in peace beside the purchasers of the national domains. Whatever faults they may have afterwards committed, France owes to the Directory, y®e6ltao!’ during the first year, the immense obligation of having Mign.tt.40G. reconstructed the elements of society out of the fusion it had undergone in the revolutionary crucible.1

In one particular alone, the Directory made no approach towards improvement. Religion still remained prostrated 19 as it had been by the strokes of the Decemvirs; the churches Butirre,i-

, , « i 1 i • i i i i •    i    • gi°n con-

were closed; Sunday abolished: baptism and communion tinues still unknown ; the priests in exile, or in hiding under the roofs of the faithful remnant of the Christian flock. The youth phiianthro-of both sexes were brought up without the slightest know- plsts-ledge of the faith of their fathers ; a generation was ushered iuto the world, destitute of the first elements of religious instruction. Subsequently, the immense importance of this deficiency appeared in the clearest manner ; it has left a chasm in the social institutions of France, which all the genius of Napoleon, and all the glories of the empire, have not been able to repair; and which, it is to be feared, is destined to prevent the growth of any thing like rational or steady freedom in that distracted country. In vain Lareveillere eudeavoured to establish a system of Theo-philanthropy, and opened temples, published chants, and promulgated a species of liturgy. All these endeavours to supersede the doctrines of revelation speedily failed ; and Deism remained the religion of the few of the revolutionary party who bestowed any thought on religious concerns. The tenets and ideas of this singular sect were one of the most curious results of the Revolution. Their principles were, for the most part, contained in the following paragraph :—“ We believe in the existence of God, and the immortality of the soul. Worship the Deity: cherish your equals; render yourself useful to your country. Everything is good which tends to preserve and bring to perfection the

chap. liuman race ; every thing which has an opposite tendency xxiv. is the reverse. Children, honqur your fathers and mothers ; obey them with affection, support their declining years. Fathers and mothers, instruct your children. Women, behold in your husbands the heads of your houses; hus-i Mio-n y bands, behold in women the mothers of your children, and 405.° Lac. reciprocally study each other’s happiness.” When men vrd6ette iLa* ^atter themselves that they are laying the foundations of 323,324.’ a new religion, they are, in truth, only dressing up, in a somewhat varied form, the morality of the Gospel.1 * Napoleon viewed these enthusiasts, some of whom were 20 still to be found in Paris when he seized the helm of affairs Napoleon’s in 1799, in their true light. They are good actors,” said subject? thishe.—“What!” answered one of the most enthusiastic of their number, “ is it in such terms that you stigmatise those whose chiefs are among the most virtuous men in Paris, and whose tenets inculcate only universal benevolence and the moral virtues 1”—“What do you mean by that 1 ” replied the First Consul; “ all systems of morality are fine. Apart from certain dogmas, more or less absurd, which were necessary to suit the capacity of the people to whom they were addressed, what do you see in the Veda, the Koran, the Old Testament, or Confucius 1 Every Avhere pure morality; that is to say, a system inculcating protection to the weak, respect to the laws, gratitude to God. The Gospel alone has exhibited a complete assemblage of the principles of morality, divested of absurdity. That is what is truly admirable, and not a few commonplace sentences put into bad verse. Do you wish to see what is truly sublime 1 Repeat the Lord’s Prayer. You and your friends would willingly become martyrs ; I shall do them no such honour. No strokes but those of ridicule shall fall upon them; and, if I know any thing of the French, they will speedily prove effectual!” Napoleon’s

views soon proved correct. The sect lingered on five years : chap. and two of its members had even the courage to publish xxiv. short works in its defence, which speedily died a natural 17% death. Their number gradually declined ; and they were at length so inconsiderable, that, when a decree of govern- t ment, on the 4th October 1801, prohibited them from meeting in the four churches which they had hitherto occupied as their temples, they were unable to raise money enough to hire a room to carry on their worship. The extinction of this sect was not owing merely to the irreligious spirit of the French metropolis; it would have undergone the same fate in any other age or country. It is not by flowers and verses, declamations on the beauty of Spring and the goodness of the Deity, that a permanent impression is to be made on a being exposed to the x D-Abr ^ temptations, liable to the misfortunes, and filled with the 38,41. desires, incident to the human race. Those are the allies . of religion : but not religion itself.1

The shock of parties, however, had been too violent, the wounds inflicted too profound, for society to relapse, 21 without further convulsions, into a state of repose. It was Renewed from the Jacobins that the first efforts proceeded ; and the ®he Jaco-principles of their leaders at this juncture are singularly bins, instructive as to the extremities to which the doctrines of democracy are necessarily pushed, when they take a deep hold of the body of the people. This terrible faction had never ceased to mourn in secret the ninth Thermidor as the commencement of their bondage. They still hoped to establish absolute equality, notwithstanding the variety of human character—universal virtue, despite the general tendency to vice—and complete democracy, without regard to the institutions of modern civilisation. They had been driven from the government by the fall of Robespierre : and deprived of all influence in the metropolis by the defeat and disarming of the faubourgs. But the necessities of government, on occasion of the revolt of the sections on the thirteenth Yendemiaire, had compelled it to invoke the aid of their desperate bands to resist the efforts of the Royalists, and the character of the Directors inspired them with hopes of regaining their influence in the direction of affairs. Flattered by these prospects, the broken faction

VOL. VI.    F re-assembled. They instituted a new club, which held its meetings in a vast subterraneous vault under the Pantheon. This club, they trusted, would rival the far-famed assemblage of the Jacobins ; and they there instituted a species of idolatrous worship of Marat and Robespierre, whom they still upheld as objects of imitation to their followers.1

The principles of this remarkable party were in effect those which Rousseau developed in his social contract, and which were at the bottom of all the miseries and convulsions of the French Revolution. They are thus given in the words of the able historian of their party, himself deeply implicated in the conspiracy. “ Democracy is the public system in which equality and good morals put the people in a situation to exercise with advantage legislative power. Among the men who have appeared with most lustre in the revolutionary arena, there are some, who, from the very beginning, pronounced themselves boldly in favour of the real emancipation of the French people. Marat, Robespierre, and St Just figured gloriously with some others in the honourable list of the defenders of equality. Marat and Robespierre boldly attacked the anti-popular system which prevailed in the Constituent Assembly, directed before and after the 10th August the proceedings of the patriots, struggled in the Convention with the hatred and calumnies of the selfish party which prevailed there, elevated themselves in the condemnation of the King to the highest flights of philosophy, and bore the principal parts in the great events of the 31st of May, and the following days, of which the false friends of equality at last destroyed the happy effects. The principles of this party were, that the chief rights of man consist in the preservation of his existence and of his liberty, and belong equally to all; that property is that, portion of the public good which law permits him to retain; that sovereignty resides in the people, and all public functionaries are their servants; that law is ttie free and solemn expression of the people’s will; that resistance to oppression is the inevitable result of the rights of man; that every institution which is not founded on the principle that the people are good, and the magistrate is corruptible, is erroneous ;2 and that kings, aristocrats, and tyrants, who-

1796.

1 Lac. xiii. 13. Mign. ii. 411.

22. Principles of the new conspirators.


2 Buona-rotti, Conspiration de Baba-uf, i. 23, 33.


ever they are, are slaves who have revolted against the -chap. sovereign of the earth, which is the human race, and against xxiv. the legislature of the universe, which is nature.”    '

These principles the new conspirators had borrowed from Robespierre and the extreme popular party since the 23 beginning of the Revolution. But they now contended Babceuf. for a new and more important element, from the want of revoTvftion'0 which, in their opinion, all the former efforts of thearyprinci-Revolution had failed. This element was, the equal divi- Ples-sion of property. The head of this party was Babceuf, surnamed Gracchus, who aspired to become chief of the fanatical baud. He published a Journal, entitled the Tribune of the People, which advocated the principles of his sect with much ability, and that earnestness of manner which is so important an element in popular eloquence.

His leading principle was, that the friends of freedom had hitherto failed, because they had not ventured to make that use of their power which could alone ensure its lasting success. “Robespierre fell,” said he, “because he did not venture to pronounce the word—£ Agrarian Law.’

He effected the spoliation of a few rich, but without benefiting the poor. The sans-culottes, guided by too timid leaders, piqued themselves on their foolish determination to abstain from enriching themselves at others’ expense. Real aristocracy consists in the possession of riches, and it matters not whether they are in the hands of a Yilliers, a Laborde, a Danton, a Barras, or a Rewbell.

Under different names, it is ever the same aristocracy which oppresses the poor, and keeps them perpetually in the condition of the Spartan Helots. The people are excluded from the chief share in the property of France ; nevertheless, the people, who constitute the whole strength of the state, should be alone invested with it, and that too in equal shares. There is no real equality without an equality of riches. All the great of former times should, in their turn, be reduced to the condition of Helots ; without that, the Revolution is stopped where it should begin. These iLac. xiii. are the principles which Lycurgus or Gracchus would have J^t.B;u^a-applied to Revolutionary or Republican France; and 40. ’ ’ without their adoption, the benefits of the Revolution are a mere chimera.”1 These doctrines of Babceuf, which were nothing more

84    HISTORY OP EUROPE.

cuap. than the maxims of the,Revolution pushed to their legi-xxiv. timate consequences, instead of being stopped short when they had served the purpose of a particular party, show l%' bow correctly Mr Burke had, long before, characterised Mr Burke’s the real Jacobin principles. “Jacobinism,” says he, “is early appre- tbe revo]t 0f the enterprising ‘talents of a country against

ciation of .    A . .    r    .v    i • .

this ten. its property. When private men form themselves into Jacobiusthe associations for the purpose of destroying the laws and ’ institutions of their country; when they secure to themselves an army, by dividing among the people of no property the estates of the ancient and lawful proprietors; when the state recognises those acts; when it does not make confiscation for crimes, but crimes for confiscations ; when it has its principal strength, and all its resources, in such a violation of property ; when it stands chiefly upon such violation, massacring, by judgments or otherwise,

i Thoughts those who make any struggle for their own legal govern-ou a Regi- ment, and their old legal possessions—I call this Jacobinism cide Peace, ^ estakiishment.”1 Such were the professed objects of the Revolutionists: their real designs have been thus eloquently characterised by Sir James Mackintosh : “ These men, Republicans from servility, who published the social panegyric on massacre, and who reduced plunder to a system of ethics, are as ready to preach slavery as anarchy. But the more daring ruffians cannot so easily bow their heads under the yoke. These fierce spirits have not lost

“ The unconquerable will,

The study of revenge, immortal liate.”

They pursue their old end of tyranny under their old pretext of liberty. The recollection o*f their unbounded power renders every inferior condition irksome and vapid ; and their former atrocities form a sort of moral destiny which impels them to the commission of new crimes. They have no place left for penitence on earth: they labour under the most awful proscription of opinion ever pronounced against human beings; they have cut down every bridge by which they could retreat into the society ~ Maekin- of men. Tyrannical power is their only refuge from the torsh s, ... just vengeance of their fellow creatures. Murder is their 2<35.r Sm' only means of usurping power. They have no taste, no occupation, no pursuit., but power and massacre.2 They

have drunk too deep of human blood ever to relinquish chap. their cannibal appetite.”    xxiv.

As the great object of the conspirators was a total over- 179G throw of property, and a division of it in equal, or nearly 25 equal, proportions among the whole people, it was Progress of necessary to procecd with extreme caution, both in divulging their intentions to the public, and in preparing the means of enforcing them by an armed force. The nucleus of the conspiracy was formed in the prisons of Paris, particularly those of Plessis and the four Nations, during the period after the fall of Robespierre, when a large number of the most ardent democrats were confined together. The greater part of these were by degrees liberated by the government which succeeded the ninth Thermidor, and under the auspices of Baboeuf, Darthe, Buonarotti, and others, a new society, composed of the most extreme Jacobins, was formed, who met in a great vault under the Pantheon, where, by the light of flambeaus, and seated on the humid ground, they ruminated on the most likely method of regenerating France. The machinery which they set in motion for this purpose was very extensive, and soon had its ramifications in every department of the country, and in a small part of the army. A chief Revolutionary agent, with several subordinate assistants, was established in each of the twelve divisions of Paris, who soon extended their correspondents into most of the departments of the Republic. A secret directory of public safety was also established, consisting of seven members, viz., D’Antonelle, Baboeuf, Bedon, Buonarrotti, Darthe,

Filipe, Rexellet, and Silvain Marechal. Being well aware, however, that, in order to secure the co-operation of the people, it was necessary to present to them not only the ultimate prospect of social regeneration, but some immediate practical benefits which might incite them to insurrection, they framed a solemn instrument, styled an “ Insurrectional Act,” the publication of which was to be the signal of the new revolution. In this proclamation it was declared that the whole effects of the emigrants, of the conspirators against public freedom, and of the enemies of the people, should be forthwith divided among the poor and the defenders of the cause of freedom ; that the working-classes should be immediately lodged in the

chap. houses of the conspirators against freedom and clothed in xxiv. their dresses ; that the whole effects pledged by the people

1796 with the pawnbrokers should instantly be restored to them ; and that the people should adopt the wives, children, fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters of those who had been slain in support of their cause in the insurrection, and maintain them at the public expense. In addition to this, it was proposed that it should be declared by the sovereign people, that all the property of France was at their disposal, and that the future division of it should be made entirely at their pleasure. Finally, in order to strike terror into the tyrants, it was proposed that the Directory and the principal members of the government should, smrectIn* *nstead °f being publicly executed, be crushed under Buonarotti, the ruins of their palaces, the remains of which were to u^andMM    111 confusion, like a mighty cairn, to mark

155, 157. the spot where tyranny had been finally overthrown in France.1

There was a time when plausible doctrines such as these, 26 so well calculated to excite the passions of the squalid But they fail multitude in great cities, would in all probability have Ing-'tUe pro." produced a great effect on the Parisian populace. But pie.    time extinguishes passion, and discovers illusions, to a

generation as well as an individual. The people were no longer to be deceived by these high-sounding expressions ; they knew, by dear-bought experience, that the equality of democracy is only an equality of subjection, and the equal division of property only a pretence for enriching the popular rulers. The lowest of the populace alone, accordingly, were moved by the efforts of the Jacobins ; and the Directory, finding their government firmly established in the opinion of the better classes, closed the 27th Feb. Club at the Pantheon, and seized several numbers of Baboeuf’s Journal, containing passages tending to overthrow the constitution. To avert the further encroach-

2 Th. viii. ments of the Jacobin party, they endeavoured to intro-ii74iiMLac (^llce a restriction on the liberty of the press ; but the two viii i5. Councils, after a solemn discussion, refused to sanction any such attempt.2

Defeated in this attempt, the democratic chiefs assembled in a place called the Temple of Reason, where they sung songs, deploring the death of Robespierre and the

slavery of the people. They had some communication chap. with the troops in the camp at Grenelle, and admitted to xxiv. their secret meetings a captain in that force, named 1796 Grizel, whom they considered one of their most important 27 adherents. Their design was now to establish at once Renewed what they called the “ Public Good,” and for that end to i^oTutfon-6 divide property of every description, and put at the head ists, and of affairs a government consisting of “ true, pure, and conspira-''0 absolute democrats.” It was unanimously agreed to tors-murder the Directors, disperse the Councils, and put to death the leading members, and erect the sovereignty of the people ; but to whom to intrust the supreme authority of the executive, after this was achieved, was a matter of anxious and difficult deliberation. At length they selected sixty-eight persons who were esteemed the most pure and absolute democrats, in whom the powers of the state were to be invested until the complete democratic regime was established. The day for commencing the insurrection was fixed, and all the means of carrying it into effect arranged. It was to take place on the 21st May. Placards and banners were prepared, bearing the 2istMay. words, “ Liberty, Equality, Constitution of 1793, Common Good ;” and others having the inscription, “ Those who usurp the sovereignty of the people should be put to death by freemen.” The conspirators were to march from different quarters to attack the Directors and the Councils, and make themselves masters of the Luxembourg, the treasury, the telegraph, aud the arsenal of artillery at Meudon ; a correspondence had been opened with the Jacobins in other quarters, so that the revolt would break out simultaneously in all parts of France. To induce the lower classes to take part in the proceedings, proclamations were immediately to be issued, requiring every citizen of any property to lodge and maintain a man who had joined in the insurrection ; and the bakers, butchers, and wino-mercliants were to be obliged to furnish the articles in which they dealt to the citizens, at a low price fixed by j9T,hj9giU-the government. All soldiers who should join the people aiign. ii.412, were to receive instantly a large sum in money, and their ^ui discharge; or, if they preferred remaining by their 20s. ’ ’ ’ colours, they were to get the houses of the lloyalists to pillage.1

chap. The principles of this remarkable sect, however, did not xxiv. ' stop short at these steps, immediately calculated to awaken 1796“ the cupidity and rouse the support of the working-classes.

2g ’ They went a great deal further, and had matured their intimate plans for the ultimate remodeling of the whole social oonspirathe institutions of France, on a footing of the most complete tors. republican equality. They contemplated the erection of a community similar to that of Lycurgus, in the Republic, but without its Kings, its Ephori, or its Helots. They proposed to abolish private property of every description, both landed and moveable ; an entire community of goods and labour being their grand remedy for all social evils, which had wholly sprung, in their estimation, from the concentration of these advantages in the hands of a few. As a consequence of this, labour was to be universal and compulsory. Every man was to belong to some trade, and bring the produce of his toil to its common fund. Parental and domestic education was to be abolished ; every child of either sex was to be considered as belonging to the state, and educated for the public behoof, at great public seminaries. The young of different sexes were not to meet, till married, except at great festivals on stated occasions, when patriotic hymns were to be sung, and the choice of partners was to be made. Every facility was proposed for divorce, the indissolubility of marriage being considered, next to private property, the most-prolific source of evil. The national defence was to be entrusted to all the young men indiscriminately, till they arrived at a certain age, all of whom -were to be armed and marched to the camps on the frontiers ; the legislative functions to be exercised by the same individuals, in primary assemblies, when they returned, to their places of abode after the period of their service was over.' The aged, infirm, and orphans, were to be gratuitously maintained at the public expense. There was to be no capital or central government, no magistrates or teachers, save those appointed by the people. Disease, under such a system, would be rare, law unknown, theology unheard of; luxury, idleness, and oppression, would disappear ; rotti°i'!1208 country would be covered with a succession of villages, 316. ’ ’ the land become a continued garden ;1 and all the privations consequent on the loss of luxury to a few, would be

more than compensated by the diminution of labour, and chap. increase of comfort to all.    xxiv.

These extreme measures, the natural result of a long- 1T% continued revolutionary strife, arc nearly akin to the 29 dreams of Plato, for a perfect Republic, and, amidst all The conspi. their extravagance, they savoured of something grand ^^and and generous. The immediate incitements which they Baboeuf held out, however, universal plunder and division of pro- arrested-perty, were addressed to the basest passions, though they indicated a perfect knowledge of human nature, and the means by which the masses are to be most effectually stimulated. They might at an earlier period have roused the most vehement democratic passions. But, coming as they did at a time when such opinions inspired all men of any property with horror, they failed in producing any considerable effect. The designs of the conspirators were divulged to government by Grizel ; and, on the 20th May, 20th May. the day before the plot was to have been carried into execution, Baboeuf, and all the leaders of the enterprise, were seized, some at their own houses, others at their place of assembly, and with them the documents which indicated the extent of the conspiracy. Baboeuf, though in captivity, abated nothing of his haughty bearing, and would only condcscend to negotiate with the government on a footing of perfect equality. “ Do you consider it beneath you,” said he to the Directory, “ to treat with me as an independent power? You see of what a vast party I am the centre : you see that it nearly balances your own ; you see what immense ramifications it contains. I am well assured that the discovery must have made you tremble.

It is nothing to have arrested the chiefs of the conspiracy ; it will revive in other bosoms, if theirs are extinct.

Abandon the idea of shedding blood in vain ; you have not hitherto made much noise about the affair ; make no more ; treat with the patriots; they recollect that you were once sincere Republicans; they will pardon you, if you concur with them in measures calculated to effect the salvation of the Republic.” Instead of acceding to this cx' travagant proposal, the Directory published the letter, and ordered the trial of the conspirators before the High Court Mign.ii.’4i3. of Veridfime.1 This act of vigour contributed more than

any thing they had yet done to consolidate the authority of government.

The partisans of Baboeuf, however, were not discouraged. Some months afterwards, and before the trial of the chiefs had come on, they marched in the night, to the number of six or seven hundred, armed with sabres and pistols, to the camp at Grenelle. They were received by a regiment of dragoons, which, instead of fraternising with them as they expected, charged and dispersed the motley array. Great numbers were cut down in the fight. Of the prisoners taken, thirty-one were, condemned and executed by a military commission, and thirty transported. This severe blow extinguished, for a long period, the hopes of the revolutionary party, by cutting off all their leaders of resolution and ability; and though it still inspired terror by the recollection of its former excesses, it ceased from this time forward to have any real power to disturb the tranquillity of the state. Despotism is never so secure as after the miseries of anarchy have been recently experienced. The Directory followed up this success by the trial of Baboeuf, Amar, Vadier, Darthe, and the other leaders taken on the 20th May, before the Court of Veudome. Their behaviour on this occasion was that of men who neither feared death nor were ashamed of the cause in which they were to die. At the commencement and conclusion of each day’s proceedings, they sung the Marseillaise hymn; their wives attended them to the court, and encouraged them, by their constancy, to suffer bravely in the cause of freedom.1

1796.

30.

His partisans break out at Grenelle; but are defeated.

20th Aug.


2ath Aug.

1 Buona-rotti, ii. 41, 57. Th.ix. 35, and viii. 349.

31. Baboeuf's address to the Jury.


“ Examine your own heart,” said Baboeuf in addressing the jury ; “ you will find the secret voice which tells you these men aimed only at the happiness of their fellow-creatures. The Revolution was to them no matter of personal interest. Rest assured, citizens, those are men, who regard it as an event interesting to humanity : believe me, it had become to them a true religion, to which they were ready to sacrifice their comfort, their repose, their property, their life. To strike a friend of liberty is to lend a helping-hand to kings. You are sitting in judgment on liberty : it has been fertile in martyrs, and the avengers of their memory. Liberty expires, when the generous passions are extinguished; when to the men whom it has

inflamed, are presented the bloody heads of those who chap. have devoted themselves to its worship. It is in vain to xxiv.

• say, that were our arguments well founded, our intentions 1796 pure, they could be carried into execution only by overturning the constitution. If so strange a proposition is admitted, there is in France neither an institution of jury nor a country. It is not on the conspiring to overturn existing authority,but legitimate authority, that the attention of the jury is to be fixed; for how can they find him guilty, who, albeit conspiring against actual authority, does so only in favour of the.only real authority, the will Of the people ? To what, then, comes the Supreme Law of the Interest of the People, if the depositaries of its power are to reckon as nought the love of country in the hearts of the accused 1 ” Baboeuf and Darthe, at the conclusion of this address, turned towards their wives, and said “ that they should follow them to Mount Cavalry, because they had no reason to blush for the cause for which they suffered.” They were all acquitted except Baboeuf and Darthe, who were condemned to death, and seven others, who were sentenced to transportation The two first, on hearing the sentence, mutually stabbed each, other with Th.’ix. 35, a poniard, but the wounds did not prove fatal, and BUd0fji35489' they were led out next day, bleeding as they were, to 59,61.’ ' ’ the place of execution, where they died with the stoicism of Romans.1

The terror excited by these repeated efforts of the Jacobins was extreme, and totally disproportioned to the 32 real danger with which they were attended. It is the re- Abortive membrance of the danger which is past, not of that which th^RoyJu.^ is future, that ever affects the generality of mankind, ists.

This feeling encouraged the Royalists to make an effort to regain their ascendancy, in the hope that the troops in the camp at Grenelle, who had so firmly resisted the seductions of the democratic, might be more inclined to aid the exertions of the mtinarchical, party. Their conspiracy, however, destitute of any aid in the legislative bodies, though numerously supported by the population of Paris, proved abortive. Its leaders were Brottier, an old counsellor in Parliament, Laville-Heurnois, and Dunau. They mado advances to Malo, the captain of dragoons who had resisted ix. 28. ' the seductions of the Jacobins ;2 but he was equally iliac-

ciiap. cessible to the offers of the Royalists, and delivered up XXIV- their leaders to the Directory. They were handed over to

1796 the civil tribunal, which, being unwilling to renew the reign of blood, humanely suffered them to escape with a short imprisonment.

The manners of 1795 and 1796 were different from any 33 which had yet prevailed in France, and exhibited a singu-Singui&r lar specimen of the love of order and the spirit of elegance thi"perio°d regaining their ascendant over a nation which had lost its in France, nobility, its religion, and its morals. The total destruction of fortunes of every description during the Revolution, and the complete ruin of paper money, reduced every one-to the necessity of doing something for himself, and restored commerce to its pristine form of barter. The saloons of fashion were converted into magazines of stuffs, where ladies of the highest rank engaged, during the day, in the drudgery of trade, to maintain their families or relations, while in the evening the reign of pleasure and amusement was resumed. In the midst of the wreck of ancient opulence, modern wealth began to display its luxury; the faubourg St Antoine, the seat of manufactures, the faubourg St Germain, the abode of rank, remained deserted ; but in the quarter of the Chaussee d’Antin, and in the Boulevard Italienne, the riches of the bankers, aud of those who had made fortunes in the Revolution, began to shine with unprecedented lustre. Splendid hotels, sumptuously furnished in the Grecian taste, which had now become the fashion, were embellished by magnificent files, where all that was left of elegance in France by the Revolution, assembled to indulge the newly revived passion for enjoyment. The dresses of the women were carried to extravagance, in the Grecian style ; and the excessive nudity which they exhibited, while it proved fatal to many persons of youth and beauty, contributed, by the novel aspect of the charms which were presented to the public eye, to increase the general enchantment. The assemblies of Barras, in particular, were remarkable i Th viii ^or their magnificence; but, in the general confusion of iso. Lae. ranks and characters which they presented, they afforded D’"vbr’ ?i5' ^00 c^ear an indication of the universal destruction of the 44, ci. ancient landmarks, in morals as well as society, which the Revolution had effected.1

In these assemblies were to be seen the elements out of chap. which the Imperial court was afterwards formed. The xxiv. young officers who had risen to eminence in the Repub- 1796 lican armies, began here to break through the rigid circle of 34 aristocratic etiquette ; and the mixture of characters and Young ideas which the Revolution had produced, rendered the f^there style of conversation incomparably more varied and ani- shone in mating than any thing which had been known under the soue y' ancient regime. In a few years the world had lived through centuries of knowledge. There was to be seen Hoche, not yet twenty-seven years of age. who had recently extinguished the war in La Vendee, and whose handsome figure, brilliant talents, and rising glory, rendered him the idol of women even of aristocratic habits ; while the thoughtful air, energetic conversation, and eagle eye of Napoleon, already, to persons of discernment, foretold no ordinary destinies. The beauty of Madame Tal-lien was still in its zenith; while the grace of Madame Beauharnais, and the genius of Madame de Stael, threw a lustre over the reviving society of the capital, which had been unknown since the fall of the monarchy. The illustrious men of the age, for the most part, at this period selected their partners for life from the brilliant circle by which they were surrounded ; and never did such destinies depend on the decision or caprice of the moment. Madame Permon, a lady of rank and singular attractions, from Corsica, in whose family Napoleon had from infancy been intimate, and whose daughter afterwards became Duchess of Abrantes, refused in one morning the hand of Napoleon for herself, that of his brother Joseph for her daughter, and that of his sister Pauline for her son. She iD’Abr. u. little thought that she was declining for herself the throne of Charlemagne; for her daughter that of Charles Y.; isa. ’ and for her son the most beautiful princess in Europe.1

But the passions roused had been too violent to subside without further convulsions; and France was again 35 destined to undergo the horrors of Jacobin rule, before she jth®f settled down under the despotism of the sword. The theUeiections Directory was essentially democratic ; but the first elec- ^sc^^anns tions having taken place during the excitement produced trophe from by the suppression of the revolt of the Sections at Paris, ofetl®“ccess and two-thirds of the Councils being composed of the Royalists.

chap. members of the old Convention, the legislature was, in xxiv. that respect, in harmony with the executive. The elec-17~ tions of the year 1797, however, when one-third of both ' were changed, produced a total alteration in the balance of parties in the state. These elections for the most part turned out favourable to the Royalist interest,—a reaction inevitable immediately after the miseries of democratic rule have been experienced; and, so far did the members of that party carry hostility to the Jacobins, that they questioned all the candidates in many of the provinces as to whether they were holders of the national domains, or had ever been engaged in the Revolution, or in any of the public journals, and instantly rejected all who answered affirmatively to any of these questions. The reaction against the Revolution was soon extremely powerful over the whole departments. The Royalists, perceiving, from the turn of the elections, that they would acquire a majority, soon gained the energy of victory. The multitude, ever ready to follow the victorious party, ranged themselves on their side ; while a hundred journals thundered forth their declamations against the government, without its venturing to invoke the aid of the sanguinary law, which affixed the punishment of death against all offences tending towards a restoration of royalty. The avowed corruption, profligacy, and unmeasured ambi-i Mi^n. 421, tion of Barras and the majority of the Directory, strongly xiv’ i6La° contributed to increase the reaction throughout the country. Nap. iv. 216. The result of the election was such, that a great majority S’Abr". if’ in both Councils was in the Royalist or anti-conventional 120. interest; and the strength of the republican party lay solely in the Directory and the army.1

The first act of the new Assembly, or rather of the 36 Assembly with its new third of members, was'to choose Bartheiemy a successor to the director Letourneur, upon whom the lot Director*in ha(* fallen of retiring from the government. The choice Ueu of Le- fell on Bartheiemy, the minister who had concluded the adjoins peace with Prussia and Spain ; a respectable man, of Carnot. Royalist principles. Pichegru, deputy of the Jura, was, amidst loud acclamations, appointed president of the Council of Five Hundred : Barbe-Marbois, also a Royalist, president of the Council of the Ancients. Almost all the ministry were changed, and the Directory was openly

divided into two parties : the majority consisting of Rew- chap. bell, Barras, and Lareveillere ; the minority of Barthelemy xxiv. and Carnot. Carnot, though a steady Republican, was ,-g7 inclined to join the Royalist party from his love of freedom, and his rooted aversion to violent measures. Steadily pursuing what he conceived to be the public good, he had, during the crisis of the Reign of Terror, supported the dictatorial authority; and now, when the danger to freedom from foreign subjugation was over, he strove to restore the regal regime. The opposite factions soon became so exasperated, l Mi<rn a thattheymutuallyaimedatsupplantingeachother by means 425.° Nap. of a revolution ; a neutral party, headed by Thibaudeau, sYs21 Th'ix. strove to prevent matters coming to extremities; but, as 165,166. usual in such circumstances, was unsuccessful, and shared in the ruin of the vanquished.1

The chief strength of the Royalist party lay in the club of Clichy, which acquired as preponderating an influence 3_ at this epoch, as that of the Jacobins had done at an club of earlier stage of the Revolution. Few among its numbers £ji^’fand were in direct communication with the Royalists, but they Saim. were all animated with hatred at the Jacobins, and an faction in-anxious desire to prevent their regaining their ascendency favour of the in the government. The opposite side assembled at the :RoJ'alists-Club of Salm, where was arrayed the strength of the Republicans, the Directory, and the army. The reaction in favour of Royalist principles at this juncture was so strong, that out of seventy periodical journals which appeared at Paris, only three or four supported the cause of the Revolution. Lacretelle, the future historian of the Revolution, the Abbe Morellet, La Harpe, Sicard, and all the literary men of the capital, wrote periodically on the Royalist side. Michanx, destined to illustrate and beautify the History of the Crusades, went so far as to publish a direct eloge on the princes of the exiled family; an offence which, by the subsisting laws, was punishable with death.

He was indicted for the offence; but acquitted by the jury, amidst the general applause of the people. The majority of the Councils supported the liberty of the press, from which their party was reaping such advantages, and, pursuing a cautious but incessant attack upon government, brought them into obloquy by continually exposing the xiv.’i6,'i8. confusion of the finances,2 which was becoming inextricable,

chap. and dwelling on the continuance of the war, which appeared xxiv. interminable.

1797 At this epoch, by a singular but not unusual train of

38    events, the partisans of royalty were the strongest sup-The Royal- porters of the liberty of the press, while the Jacobin supported government did every thing in their power to stifle its of the^Pre'ss vo*ce' This the natural course of things when parties

e r6ss’have changed places, and the executive authority is in the hands of the popular leaders. Freedom of discussion is the obvious resource of liberty, whether menaced by regal, republican, or military violence; it is the insurrection of thought against physical force. It may frequently mislead and blind the people, and for years perpetuate the most fatal delusions; but still it is the polar star of freedom, and it alone can restore the light of truth to the generation it has misled. The press is not to be feared in any country where the balance of power is properly maintained, and opposing parties divide the state, because their opposite interests and passions call forth contradictory statements and arguments, which at length extricate truth from their collision. The period of danger from its abuse commences when it is in great part turned to one side, either by despotic power, democratic violence, or purely republican institutions. France under Napoleon was an example of the first; Great Britain, during the Reform fever in 1831, of the second; America at present of the third. Wherever one power in the state is overbearing, whether suaf 1^*83,^ be tllat of a sovereign, an oligarchy, or of the multi-263. ’ tude, the press becomes the instrument of the most debasing tyranny.1

To ward off the attacks daily made upon them, the

39    Directory proposed a law for restricting the liberty of the Measures of press, and substituting graduated penalties for the odious tory^tcTavert punishment which the subsisting law authorised, but the danger, which could not be carried into effect from its severity. Jordan’s I* passed the Five Hundred, but was thrown out in the fevourS Ancients, amidst transports of joy in the Royalist party.

Religion.

Encouraged by this success, they attempted to undo the worst parts of the revolutionary fabric. The punishment 28th June, of imprisonment or transportation, to which the clergy were liable by the revolutionary laws, was repealed, and a proposal made to permit the open use of the ancient

•worship, allow the use of bells in the churches, the cross chap. on the graves of such as chose to place that emblem there, xxiv. and relieve the priests from the necessity of taking the republican oaths. On this occasion Camille-Jourdan, deputy from Lyons, whose religious and royalist principles had been strongly confirmed by the atrocities of the Jacobins in that unfortunate city, made an eloquent and powerful speech, which produced a great sensation. He pleaded strongly the great cause of religious toleration, 4th July, and exposed the iniquity of those laws which, professing to remove the restriction ou subjects of faith, imposed fetters severer than had ever been known to Catholic superstition. The Council, tired of the faded extravagances on the subject of freedom, were entranced for the moment by a species of eloquence for years unheard in the Assembly, and by the revival of feelings long strangers to their breasts ; and listened to the declamations of the young enthusiast as they would have done to the preaching of lLac ^ Peter the Hermit. But the attempt was premature ; the 20,54.XIV' principles of infidelity were too deeply seated, to be 4^403 shaken by transient bursts of genius; and the Council Th.’ix. 174. ultimately rejected the proposal by such a majority, as ^vu^g, showed that ages of suffering must yet be endured before 294. that fatal poison could be expelled from the social body.1

Encouraged by this state of opinion in the capital, the emigrants and the banished priests assembled in crowds 4Q from every part of Europe. Fictitious passports were Generai retransmitted from Paris to Hamburg and other towns, where they were eagerly purchased by those who longed and clergy, ardently to revisit their native land. The clergy returned in still greater numbers, and were received with transports of joy by their faithful flocks, especially in the western departments, who for four years had been deprived of all the ordinances and consolations of religion ; the infants were anew baptized; the sick visited ; the nuptial benediction pronounced by consecrated lips ; and the last rites performed over the remains of the faithful. On this, as

011 other occasions, however, the energy of the Boyalists 2Th ^ ]gi consisted rather in words than in actions. They avowed Mi;?n. ii! 424.' too openly the extent of their hopes not to awaken the vigilance of the revolutionary party ;2 and spoke themselves 3oi. into the belief that their strength was irresistible, without

VOL. VI.    G

chap. taking any steps to render it so, and when their adversaries

xxiv. were silently preparing the means of overturning it.

1797 In effect, the rapid march of the Councils, and the 4, declamations of the Royalists, both in the tribune, in the Great alarm club of Clichy, and in the public journals, awakened an tory6 Direc* extreme alarm among that numerous body of men, who, from having been implicated in the crimes of the Revolution, or gainers from its excesses, had the strongest interest in preventing its principles from receding. The Directory became alarmed for their own existence, by reason of the decided majority of their antagonists in both Councils, and the certainty that the approaching election of a third would almost totally ruin the Republican party. It had already been ascertained that a hundred and ninety of the deputies were engaged to restore the exiled family, while the Directory could only reckon upon the support of a hundred and thirty ; and the Ancients had resolved, by a large majority, to transfer the seat of the legislature to Rouen, on account of its proximity to the western provinces, whose Royalist principles had always been so i Thibau decided. The next election, it was expected, would nearly fieau, Mem. extinguish the Revolutionary party; and the Directory Lacfxiv. 61. were aware that the transition was easy for regicides, as Th. ix. i92. the greater part of them were, from the Luxembourg to the scaffold.1

In this extremity, the majority of the Directory, consist-,,2 ing of Barras, Rewbell, and Lareveillere Lepaux, resolved The Repub- upon decisive measures. They could reckon with con-rity'of tfie" fidence upon the support of the army, which having been Directory raised during the revolutionary fervour of 1793, and con-(iecisive°U stantly habituated to the intoxication of Republican measures, triumphs, was strongly imbued with democratic principles, themiCnis"r^ This, in tho existing state of affairs, was an assistance of troops601 immense importance. They, therefore, drew towards Paris round Parts, a number of regiments, twelve thousand strong, from the army of the Sambre and Meuse, which were known to be most republican in their feelings ; and these troops were brought within the circle of twelve leagues round the legislative body, which the constitution forbade the armed force to cross. Barras wrote to Hoclie, who was in Holland superintending the preparations for the invasion of Ireland, informing him of the dangers of the government; and he

readily undertook to support them with all his authority. CHAr. The ministers were changed: Benezech, minister of the xxiv. interior ; Cochon, minister of police ; Petiet, minister of 179-war ; Lacroix, minister of foreign affairs ; and Truguet, of marine—who were all suspected of inclining to the party of the Councils, were suddenly dismissed. In their place were substituted Fran<jois de Neufchateau, in the ministry of the interior; Hoche, in that of war ; Lenoir Laroche, in that of the police ; and Talleyrand in that of foreign affairs. The strong sagacity of this last politician led him to incline, in all the changes of the Revolution, to what was about to prove the victorious side ; and his accepting office under the Directory at this crisis, was strongly symptomatic of the chances which were accumulating in their i Carnot, favour. Carnot, from this moment, became convinced that La’/xiv'3' his ruin had been determined on by his colleagues. Barras 61,67. Th. and Lareveillere had long borne him a secret grudge, which ^'o^jiign. sprung from his having signed the warrant, during the -*24. Reign of Terror, for the arrest of Danton, who was the leader of their party.1

Barras and Hoche kept up an active correspondence with Napoleon, whose co-operation was of so much importance 43 to secure the success of their enterprise. He was strongly Measures urged by the Directory to come to Paris and support the absolves' government; while, on the other hand, his intimate tosupport friends advised him to proceed there, and proclaim himself lkan^and" Dictator, as he afterwards did on his return from Egypt. for that That he hesitated whether he should not, even at that SsTava-period, follow the footsteps of Caesar, is avowed by himself; p“®st0 but he judged, probably wisely, that the period was not " ’ yet arrived for putting such a design in execution, and that the miseries of a republic had not yet been sufficiently experienced to ensure the success of an enterprise destined for its overthrow. He was resolved, however, to support the Directory, both because he was aware that the opposite party had determined upon his dismissal, from an apprehension of the dangers which he might occasion to public freedom, and because their principles, being those of moderation and peace, were little likely to favour his ambitious projects. Early, therefore, in spring 1797, he sent his March, aide-de-camp, Lavalette, who afterwards acquired a painful celebrity in the history of the restoration, to Paris, to observe the motions of the parties, and communicate to

chap. him the earliest intelligence ; and afterwards dispatched

xxiv. Augereau, a general of decided character, and known revo-

1797 lutionary principles,to that city to support the government. 25th July. He declined coming to the capital himself, being unwilling to sully his hands, and risk his reputation, by a second victory over its inhabitants. But he had made his arrangements so that, in the event of the Directory being defeated, .-l0^"a?27v’ he should, five days after receiving intelligence of the Bour. i. 228, disaster, make his entry into Lyons at the head of twenty Cos. Jf?57. thousand men, and, rallying the Republicans every Lav. i. 272. where to his standard, advance to Paris, passing thus, like another Caesar, the Rubicon at the head of the popular party.1

To awaken the republican ardour of the soldiers, and strike terror into the Royalists in the capital, Napoleon Ai celebrated the anniversary of the taking of the Bastile His procia- on 14th July, by a fete, on which occasion he addressed the his'soidiers following order of the day to his troops :—“ Soldiers ! This on 14th is the anniversary of the 14th July. You see before you July' the names of your companions in arms, who have died on the field of battle for the liberty of their country ; they have given you an example ; you owe yourselves to your country ; you are devoted to the prosperity of thirty millions of Frenchmen, to the glory of that name which has received such additional lustre from your victories. I know that you are profoundly affected at the misfortunes which threaten your country; but it is not in any real danger. The same meif who have caused it to triumph over Europe in arms, are ready. Mountains separate us from France. You will cross them with the rapidity of the eagle, if it be necessary, to maintain the constitution, to defend liberty, to protect the government of the Republicans. Soldiers ! the government watches over the sacred deposit of the laws which it has received. From the instant that the Royalists show themselves, they have 5 Nap. ir. ceased to exist. Have no fears of the result; and swear 525. Hist, by the manes of the heroes who have died amongst us in 31*9,320.X'U’ defence of freedom, swear on our standards eternal war to the enemies of the Republic and of the constitution.” 2 This proclamation proved extremely serviceable to the Directory. The flame spread from rank to rank through the whole army ; addresses, breathing the most vehement republican spirit, were voted by all the regiments and

squadrons of the array, and transmitted to the Directory chap. and the Councils with the signatures attached to them. xxiv. Many of these productions breathed the extreme rancour 1797 of the Jacobin spirit. That of the 29th demi-brigade com- 45 menced with these words :—“ Of all the animals produced The arm; by the caprice of nature, the vilest is a king, the most supports the cowardly is a courtier, the worst is a priest. If the scoun- Directory, drels who disturb France are not crushed by the forces ^i^esVes"11 you possess, call to your aid the 29th demi-brigade, it will soon discomfit all your enemies ; Chouans, English, all will ' take to flight. We will pursue our unworthy citizens even into the chambers of their worthy patron George III., and the club of Clichy will undergo the fate of that of Reney.”

Augereau brought with him the addresses of the soldiers of the Italian army. “Tremble, Royalists !” said they;

“ from the Adige to the Seine is but a step—tremble !

Your iniquities are numbered, and their reward is at the point of our bayonets.” “It is with indignation,” said the staff of the Italian army, “ that we have seen the intrigues of royalty menace the fabric of liberty.

We have sworn, by the manes of the heroes who died for their country, implacable war against royalty and royalists.

These are our sentiments ; these are yours ; these are those of the country. Let the royalists show themselves ; they have ceased to live.” Other addresses, in a similar strain, flowed in from the armies of the Rhine and the Moselle ; it was soon evident that the people had chosen for themselves their masters, and that, under the name of freedom, a military despotism was about to be established. The Directory encouraged and published all the addresses, which produced a powerful impression on the public mind. t .

The Councils loudly exclaimed against these menacing 42:.1?nxap. declarations by armed men ; but government, as their only j^c22,j?;v reply, drew still nearer to Paris the twelve thousand men who had been brought from Iloche’s army, and placed them at Versailles, Meudon, and Vincennes.1

The party against whom these formidable preparations were directed, was strong in numbers and powerful in eloquence, but totally destitute of that reckless hardihood and fearless vigour, which in civil convulsions is usually found to command success. Troncon-Ducoudray, in the Council of the Ancients, drew, in strong and sombre

chap. colours, a picture of the consequcuces which would ensue

xxiv. to the Directory themselves, their friends, and the people ' 1797 of France, from this blind stifling of the public voice by 45 ’ the threats of the armies. In prophetic strains he an-strength of nounced the commencement of a reign of blood, which partyPcon-te wou^ be closed by the despotism of the sword. This fisted only discourse, pronounced in an intrepid accent, recalled to eloquence.'1'3 mind those periods of feudal tyranny, when the victims of Au£. £9. oppression appealed from the kings or pontiffs, who were about to stifle their voice, to the justice of God, and summoned their accusers to answer at that dread tribunal for their earthly injustice. At the Club of Clichy, Jourdan, Vaublanc, and Willot, strongly urged the necessity of adopting decisive measures. They proposed to decrec the arrest of Barras, Rewbell, and Lareveillere ; to summon Carnot and Barthelemy to the legislative body ; and if they refused to obey, to sound the tocsin, march at the head of the old sectionaries against the Directory, and appoint Pichegru the commander of that legal insurrection. That great general supported this energetic course by his weight and authority ; but the majority, overborne, as the friends of order and freedom often arc in revolutionary convulsions, by their scruples of conscience, or their inherent timidity, decided against taking the lead in acts of violence, and resolved only to decree the immediate organisation of the national guard under the command of Pichegru. “ Let us leave to the Directory,” said they, “ all the odium of beginning violence.” Sage advice, if they had been combating an enemy capable of being swayed by considerably." 85, W. tions of justice, but fatal in the presence of enterprising ambition, supported by the weight of military power.1

The actual force at the command of the Councils was 47 extremely small. Their body-guard consisted only of fifteen slender hundred grenadiers, who could not be relied on, as the forceTat event soon proved, in a contest with their brethren in arms; their com- the national guard was disbanded, and without a rallying Reorganisa- point; the Royalists were scattered, and destitute of organi-tion of the sation. They had placed their little guard under the orders Guard de- of their own officers; and on the 17th Fructidor, when both Councilthe Councils had decreed the organisation of the national guard nth Fru’cti- under Pichegru, this was to have been followed on the next dor, Sept. 3.    a decree, directing the removal of the troops from

the neighbourhood of Paris. But a sense of their weakness chap. in such a strife filled every breast with gloomy presenti- xxiv. ments. Piehegru alone retained his wonted firmness and 1797 serenity of mind. The Directory, on the other hand, had recourse to immediate violence. They appointed Auger-eau, notorious for his democratic principles, decision of character, and rudeness of manners, to the command of the 17th military division, comprehending the environs of Paris, and that city. In the night of the 17th Fructidor (September 3), they moved all the troops in the neighbourhood into the capital, and the inhabitants at midnight beheld, with breathless anxiety, twelve thousand armed men defile in silence over the bridges, with forty pieces of * ^ao. xiv-cannon, and occupy all the avenues to the Tuileries. Not Mign.’ii. a sound was to be heard but the marching of the men, and ^ x1,^t;i the rolling of the artillery, till theTuileries were surrounded, 343,350. when a signal gun was discharged, which made every heart that heard it throb with agitation.1

Instantly the troops approached the gates, and commanded them to be thrown open. Murmurs arose among 4g the guard of the Councils : “ We are not Swiss,” exclaimed violent some ; “ We were wounded by the Royalists on the 13th Vendemiaire,” rejoined others. Ramel, their faithful com- tory. mander, who had received intelligence of the coup d'etat J^nYt’he* which was approaching, had eight hundredmen stationed at Tuileries all the entrances of the palace, and the remainder drawn up Revoiutk/n in order of battle in the court; the railings were closed, and every preparation was made for resistance. But no sooner did the staff of Augereau appear at the gates, than the soldiers of Ramel exclaimed, “ Vive Augereau! Vive le Direc-toire!” and seizing their commander, delivered him over to the assailants. Augereau now traversed the garden of the Tuileries, surrounded the hall of the Councils, arrested Piehegru, Willot, and twelve other leaders of the Legislative Assemblies, and conducted them to the Temple. The 2Mign. u< members of the Councils, who hurried in confusion to the *28j4^9v' 9„ spot, were seized and imprisoned by the soldiers. Those 93. ’ Th. ix.’ who were previously aware of the plot, met by appoint-    23o

ment in the Odeon and the School of Medicine, near the 245. De ’ Luxembourg, where they gave themselves out, though a -“v‘ small minority, for the Legislative Assemblies of France.2 lsi, i»3. Barthelemy was at the same time arrested by a body of

chap. troops dispatched by Augereau, and Carnot narrowly

xxiv. avoided the same fate by making his escape, almost with-1797 out clothing, by a back door. By six o’clock in the morning all was concluded. Several hundred of the most powerful of the party of the Councils were in prison; and the people, wakening from their sleep, found the streets filled with troops, the walls covered with proclamations, and military despotism established.

The first object of the Directory was, to produce an

49 impression 011 the public mind unfavourable to the Passive sub. majority of the Councils whom they had overturned. For th'e people, this purpose, they covered the streets of Paris early in the morning with proclamations, in which they announced the discovery and defeat of a Royalist plot, the treason of Pichegru, and many members of the Councils, and that the Luxembourg had been attacked by them during the night. At the same time, they published a letter of General Moreau, in which the correspondence of Pichegru with th6 emigrant princes was detailed, and a letter from the Prince of Conde to Imbert, one of the Ancients. The streets were filled with crowds, who read in silence the proclamations. Mere spectators of a strife in which they had taken no part, they testified neither joy nor sorrow at the event. A few detached groups, issuing from the Faubourgs, traversed the streets, exclaiming, “ Vive la Republique! A bas les Aristocrates! ” But the people, in general, were as passive as in a despotic state. The minority of the ] Th.ix. 295. Councils, who were in the interest of the Directory, con-Miffn. u.420, tinued their meetings in the Odeon and the School of xiv. 94,95. Medicine ; but their inconsiderable numbers demonstrated xxxvif 351 so clearly the violence done to the constitution, that they 355. ’ did not venture on any resolution at their first sitting, but one authorising the continuance of the troops in Paris.1

On the following day, the Directory sent them a message

0 in these terms :—“ The 18th Fructidor should have saved Address of the Republic and its real representatives. Have you not tory^o the observed yesterday the tranquillity of the people, and Councils, their joy ? This is the 19th, and the people ask, Where is the Republic ; and what have the legislative body done to consolidate it 1 The eyes of the country are fixed upon you ; the decisive moment has come. If you hesitate in the measures you are to adopt, if you delay a minute in declaring yourselves, it is all over both with yourselves and the Republic. The conspirators have watched while you were slumbering ; your silence restored their audacity; they misled public opinion by infamous libels, while the journalists of the Bourbons and London never ceased to distribute their poisons. The conspirators already speak of punishing the Republicans for the triumph which they have commenced ; and can you hesitate to purge the soil of France of that small body of Royalists, who are only waiting for the moment to tear in pieces the Republic, and to devour yourselves ? You are on the edge of a volcano ; it is about to swallow you up ; you have it in your power to close it, and yet you deliberate ! To-morrow it will be too late: the slightest indecision would now ruin the Republic. You will be told of principles, of delays, of the pity due to individuals ; but how false would be the principles, how ruinous the delays, how misplaced the pity, which should mislead the legislative body from its duty to the Republic ! The Directory have devoted themselves to put in your hands the means of saving France ; but it was entitled to expect that you would not hesitate to seize them. They believed that you were sincerely attached to freedom and the Republic, and that you would not be afraid of the consequences of that first step. If the friends of kings find in you their protectors—if slaves excite your sympathy—if you delay an instant—it is all over with the liberty of France ; the constitution is overturned, and you may at once proclaim to the friends of their country that the hour of royalty has struck. But if, as they believe, you recoil with horror from that idea, seize the passing moment, become the liberators of your country, and secure for ever its prosperity and glory.” This pressing message sufficiently demonstrates the need which the Directory had of some legislative authority to sanction their dictatorial proceedings. The remnant of the Councils yielded to necessity; a council of five was appointed, with instructions to prepare a law of public safety ; and that proved a decree of ostracism, which condemned to transportation almost all the noblest citizens of France.1

Following the recommendation of that committee, the Councils, by a stretch of arbitrary power, annulled the elections of forty-eight departments, which formed a ma-

CHAP.

xxiv.

1797.


1 Th. ix. 298. Lac. xiv. 91, 99 Mign. ii. 430.


chap. jority of the legislative bodies, and condemned to trans-

xxiv. portation to Guiana, Carnot, Barthelemy, Pichegru, Ca-" 1797 ' mille-Jourdan, Troncon-Ducoudray, Henry Lariviere, 51 ' Imbert, Boissy d’Anglas, Willot, Cochon, Ramel, Muri-Tyranniicai nais, and fifty other members of the legislative body. Mer-™®a^eosr?ty lin and Fran<jois de Neufchateau were named Directors, of the Coun- in lieu of those who were exiled. The Directory carried Clls- on the government thereafter by the mere force of military power, without even the shadow of legal authority ; the places of the expelled deputies were not filled up, but the assemblies left in their mutilated state, without either consideration or independence. Three men, without the aid of historical recollections, without the lustre of victory, took upon themselves to govern France on their own account, without either the support of the law, or the co-operation of legal assemblies. Their public acts soon became as violent as the origin of their power had been illegal. The revolutionary laws against the priests and the emigrants were revived, and ere long the whole of those persons who had ruled in the departments since the i align, ii. fan of Robespierre, were either banished or dispossessed 23o’ 299.*'1X of their authority. The Revolution of the 18th Fructidor 103 XNap was no^ the victory of the 13th Vendemiaire, con-

iv. 235. ’ fined to the capital ; it extended to the whole departments, MxviT36i rev*vecl every where the Jacobin ascendency, and sub-382. ’ ’ jected the people over all France to the rule of the army and the revolutionary leaders.1

The next step of the Dictators was to extinguish the r2 liberty of the press. For this purpose a second proscrip-Extinction tion was published, which included the authors, editors, ty oflhe61* Pinters, and contributors to forty-two journals. As eight Press, and or ten persons were included in the devoted number for UonofTho* eae^ journal, this act of despotism embraced nearly four Royalist hundred individuals, among whom was to be found all leaders. ^ literary genius of France. La Harpe, Fontanes, and Sicard, though spared by the assassins of the 2d September, were struck by this despotic act, as were Michaux and Lacretelle, the latter of whom composed, during a captivity of two years, his admirable history of the religious wars in France. At the Fame time the press was subjected to the censorship of the police; while the punishment of exiled priests found in the territory of

Franco, was extended to transportation to Guiana—a chap. penalty worse than death itself. From the multitude of xxiv. their captives, the Directory at first selected fifteen, upon 17g-whom the full rigour of transportation should be inflicted. • These were Bartheiemy,Pichegru,andWillot, Rov£re,Aubry,

Bourdon de L’Oise, Murinais, De la Rue, Ram el, Dosson-ville, Troncon-Ducoudray, Barbe-Marbois,Lafond-Ladebat,

(though the three last were sincere Republicans), Brottier, and Laville Ileurnois ; their number was augmented to sixteen by the devotion of Letellier, servant of Bartheiemy, who insisted upon following his master. Carnot Carnot’s was only saved from the same fate by having escaped to 2i2m°Lav Geneva. In the Directory,” says he, I had contributed *?> "<>■ Lac. to save the Republic from many dangers; the proscrip- imgn.ii.’ 432. tion of the 18th Fructidor was my reward. I knew well Hist. Pari.

.    xxxvii. 3S4

that republics were ungrateful ; but I did not know, till 396. '

I learned it from my own experience, that republicans were so much so as they proved to me.”1

The transported victims were conveyed, amidst the execrations of the Jacobin mob, to Rochefort, from 53 whence they Were sent to Guiana. Before embarking, Cruel fate of they received a touching proof of sympathy in the gift of the exiles-

80,000 francs, by the widow of an illustrious scientific character, who had been one of the earliest victims of the Revolution. On the road they were lodged in the jails as common felons. During the voyage they underwent every species of horror ; cooped up in the hold of a small vessel, under a tropical sun, they were subjected to all the sufferings of a slave-ship. No sooner were they landed, than they were almost all seized with the fevers of the climate, and owed their lives to the heroic devotion of the Sisters of Charity, who, on that pestilential shore, exercised the never-failing beneficence of their religion. Mu- ‘ rinais, one of the Council of the Ancients, died shortly after arriving at the place of their settlement at Sinimari. Troncon-Ducoudray pronounced a funeral oration over his remains, which his fellow-exiles interred with their own hands, from the words, “ By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept.” Soon after, the eloquent panegyrist himself expired. lie calmly breathed his last, rejoicing on that distant shore that he had been faithful in his duty to the royal family. “ It is nothing new to me,” said he,

to see suffering, and learn liow it can be borne. I have seen the Queen at the Conciergerie.” The hardships of the life to which they were there subjected, the diseases of that pestilential climate, and the heats of a tropical sun, speedily proved fatal to the greater number of the unhappy exiles. Piehegru survived the dangers, and was placed in a hut adjoining that of Billaud Varennes and Col lot D’Herbois, whom, after the fall of Robespierre, he had arrested by orders of the Convention ; a singular instance of the instability of fortune amidst revolutionary changes.1

Piehegru, AVillot, Barthelemy, Aubry, Ramel, and Dos-spnville, with the faithful Letellier, their voluntary companion in exile, contrived, some months after, to make their escape ; and after undergoing extreme hardships, and traversing almost impervious forests, succeeded in reaching the beach, from whence they were conveyed to Surinam in an open canoe. Aubry and Letellier perished; but the remainder reached England in safety. The Abbe Brottier, Bourdon de L’Oise, and Rovere, the two latter illustrious from their services on the 9th Thermidor, sunk under their sufferings at Sinimari. The wife of the latter, a young and beautiful woman, who had signalised herself, like Madame Tallien, by her generous efforts at the fall of Robespierre on behalf of humanity, solicited and obtained from the Directory, permission to join her husband in exile; but before she landed in that pestilential region, he had breathed his last. Several hundreds of the clergy, victims of their fidelity to the faith of their fathers, arrived in these regions of death ; but they almost all perished within a few months after their landing, exhibiting the constancy of martyrs on that distant shore, while the hymns of the new worship were sung in France by crowds of abandoned women, and the satellites of Jacobin ferocity. The strong minds and robust frames of Barbe-Marbois, and Lafond-Ladebat, alone survived the sufferings of two years; and these, with eight of the transported priests, were all who were recalled to France by the humane interposition of Napoleon when he assumed the reins of power.2    ,

1797.

1 Lac. xiv. 104, 105, 118, 321. Th. ix. 306. Hist. Pari xxxvii. 401,424.

54. Escape of Piehegru from Guiana.


5 Lac. xiv. 121, 126 Th. ix. 306.


Meanwhile the Directory pursued with vigour its despotic course in France. A large proportion of the judges in

the supreme courts wore dismissed; the institution of chap. juries was abolished ; and a new and more rigorous law xxiv. provided for the banishment of the nobles and priests. 1797 It was proposed that those who disobeyed or evaded 55 its enactment, should become liable to transportation to Vigorous Guiana ; the wives and daughters of the nobles who were ™eJurlTu* married were not exempted from this enactment, unless the Direc-they divorced their husbands, and married citizens oftQTJ' plebeian birth. But a more lenient law, which only subjected them to additional penalties if they remained, was adopted by the Councils. Two hundred thousand persons at once fell under the lash of these severe enactments; their effect upon France was to the last degree disastrous.

Then came “ that memorable and awful emigration,” says Sir James Mackintosh, “when all the proprietors and magistrates of the greatest civilised country of Europe were driven from their homes by the daggers of assassins ; when our shores were covered as with the wreck of a great tempest, with old men, women, and children, and ministers of religion, who fled before the ferocity of their countrymen as before an army of invading barbarians.”*

The miserable emigrants fled a second time in crowds from the country, of which they were beginning to taste the sweets ; and society, which was reviving from the horrors of the Jacobin sway, was again prostrated under its fury.

They carried with them to foreign lands that strong and inextinguishable hatred at republican cruelty which their own wrongs had excited, and mingling in society every where, both on the Continent and in the British isles, counteracted in the most powerful manner the enthusiasm in favour of democratic principles, and contributed not a little to the formation of that powerful league which ultimately led to the overthrow of the republican power. iD’Abr. m.

Finallv, the Councils openlv avowed a national bank- 324- De

,    J. n- £    -11    i Stael, 11. 187,

ruptcy ; they cut off for ever, as will soon appear, two- Lac.xiv. 105,

thirds of the national debt of France ; closing thus a j\07jo3H52i'

sanguinary revolution by the extinction of freedom, the-Th. ix! 321’.

banishment of virtue, and the violation of public faith.1

The Revolution of the 18th Fructidor had been concerted between Napoleon and Barras long before it took place ; the former was the real author of this catastrophe,

* Mackintosh’s Works, iii. 243.

and this is admitted even by his warmest admirers.1 Augereau informed him, a month before, that he had opened to the Directory the designs of the revolutionary party; that he had been named Governor of Paris; and that the dismissal of all the civil and military authorities was fixed on. Lavalette made him acquainted daily with the progress of the intrigue in the capital. The former was sent by him to carry it into execution.2* He was accordingly transported with joy when he received intelligence of the success of the enterprise. But these feelings were speedily changed into discontent at the accounts of the use which the government was making of its victory. He easily perceived that the excessive severity which they employed, and the indulgence of private spleen which appeared in the choice of their victims, would alienate public opinion, and run an imminent risk of bringing back the odious Jacobin rule.3

He has expressed in his Memoirs the strongest opinion on this subject. “ It might have been right,” says he, “to deprive Carnot, Barthelemy, and the fifty deputies, of

1797.

56.

This revolution was previously concerted with Napoleon.

1 D’Abr. ii. 14S.

* See the letters m Bour. i. 234. 263.

3 Bour. i. 234, 236.


* On the 24th June 1797, the majority of the Directory wrote to Napoleon, unknown to Barthelemy and Carnot:—“We have received, citizen-general, with extreme satisfaction, the marked proofs of devotion to the cause of freedom which you have recently given. You may rely on the most entire reciprocity on our parts. We accept with pleasure the offers you have made to fly to the support of the Republic.” On the 22d Julj-, Lavalette wrote to Napoleon, “This morning I have seen Barras. He appeared strongly excited at what had passed. He made no attempt to conceal the division in the Directory. ‘ We shall hold firm,’ said he to me; ‘and if we are denounced by the Councils, then we shall mount on horseback.’ He frequently repeated that, in their present crisis, money would be of incalculable importance. 1 made to him your proposition, which he accepted with transport.” Barras, on his part, on the 23d July, wrote to Napoleon—“ No delay. Consider well, that it is by the aid of money alone that I can accomplish your generous intentions.” Lavalette wrote on the same day to Napoleon, “Your proposition has been brought on the tapis between Barras, Kewbell, and Lareveillere. All are agreed that without money we cannot surmount the crisis. They confidently- hope that you will send large sums.” On the 28th July, Lavalette again wrote to him, “ The minority of the Directory still cling to hopes of an accommodation; the majority will perish rather than make any further concessions. It sees clearly the abyss which is opening beneath ics feet. Such, however, is the fatal destiny of Carnot, or the weakness of his character, that he has now become one of the pillars of the monarchical party, as he was of the Jacobins. He wishes to temporise.” On the 3d August, “Every thing here remains in the same state : Great preparations for an attack by the Council of Five Hundred; corresponding measures of defence by the Directory. Barras says openly, ‘lam only waiting for the decree of accusation to mount on horseback, and speedily their heads will roll in the gutter.’” On the 16th August, Lavalette wrote to Napoleon these remarkable words:— “ At last I have torn away the veil this morning from the Directory. Only attend to what Barras told me yesterday evening. The subject was the negotiations in Italy. Carnot pretended that Napoleon was in too advan-

their appointment, and put them under surveillance in chap. some cities in the interior; Pichegru, Willot, Imbert, xxiv. Cochon, and one or two others, might justly have expi- 1797> ated their treason on the scaffold ; but to see men of great 57> talent, such as Portalis, Troncon-Ducoudray, Fontanes ; But he is tried patriots, such as Boissy d’Anglas, Dumolard, Murinais; ^“the'1 supreme magistrates, such as Carnot and Barthelemy, sevcreuse condemned, without either trial or accusation, to perish ofthSr * in the marshes of Sinimari, was frightful. What! to victory, punish with transportation a number of writers of pamphlets who deserved only contempt and a trifling correction, was to renew the proscriptions of the Roman triumvirs; it was to act more cruelly than Fouquier Tinville, since he at least put the accused on their trial, and condemned them only to death. All the armies, all the people, were 233*234^ for a Republic; state necessity could not be alleged in Bour. l 235 favour of so revolting an injustice, so flagrant a violation of the laws and rights of the citizens.”1

Independently of the instability of any government which succeeds to so stormy a period as that of the Revolution, the constitution of France under the Directory

tageous a situation, -when he signed the preliminaries, to he obliged to agree to conditions by which he could not abide in the end. Barras defended Buonaparte, and said to Carnot—‘ You are nothing but a vile miscreant; you have sold the Republic, and you wish to murder those who defend it, infamous scoundrel!’ Carnotanswered, with an embarrassed air—‘I despise your insinuations; but one day 1 shall answer them.’”

Augereau wrote on the 12tli August to Napoleon:—“Things remain much in the same state; the Clichians have resumed their vacillating and uncertain policy; they do not count so much as heretofore 011 Carnot, and openly complain of the weakness of Pichegru. The agitation of these gentlemen is extreme; for my j>art, I observe them, and keep incessantly stimulating the Directory, for the decisire moment has evidently arrived, and they see that as well as I do. Nothing is more certain, than that, if the public mind is not essentially changed before the approaching elections, every thing is lost, and a civU war remains our only resource.” On the 31st August, Lavalette informed him, “ At length the movement so long expected is about to take place. To-morrow night the Directory will arrest fifteen or twenty deputies; I presume there will be *110 resistance.”

And on the 3d September, Augereau wrots to him—“ At last, general, tny mission is accomplished 1 the promises of the army of Italy have been kept last night. The Directory was at length induced to act with vigour. At midnight I put all the troops in motion; hefore daybreak all the bridges and principal points in the city were occupied, the legislature surrounded, and the members, whose names are enclosed, arrested and sent to the Temple. Carnot has disappeared. Faris regards the crisis only as a fete; the robust patriotic workmen of the faubourgs loudly proclaim the salvation of the Republic.” Finally, on the 23d Septemher 1797, Napoleon wrote in the following terms to Augereau : “ The whole army applauds the wisdom and energy which you have displayed in this crisis, and has rejoiced sincerely at the success of the patriots. It is only to he hoped now that moderation and wisdom will guide your steps: that is the most ardent wish of my heart.”—Bocrries.ne, i. 235, 250, 266, and IIard. iv. 508, 51s.

chap. contained an inherent defect, which must sooner or later

xxiv. have occasioned its fall. This was ably pointed out from

1797 “ its very commencement by Neckar,1 and arose from the 6g ’ complete separation of the executive from the legislative Fatal defect power. In constitutional monarchies, when a difference rtitutionof 0pini0n on any v'ta^ subject arises between the execu-1795. tive and the legislature, the obvious mode of arranging it »Neekar, is by a dissolution of the latter, and a new appeal to the La'iievoiu^6 People ; and whichever party the electors incline to, tion, iv. 232. becomes victorious in the strife. But the French Councils, stafeitf. 170, being altogether independent of the Directory, and under-173.    going a change every two years of a third of their members,

became shortly at variance with the executive; and the latter, being composed of ambitious men, unwilling to resign the power they had acquired, had no alternative but to invoke military violence for its support. This is a matter of vital importance, and lying at the very foundation of a mixed government: unless the executive possesses the power of dissolving, by legal means, the legislature, the time must inevitably come when it will disperse them by force. This is, in an especial manner, to be looked for when a nation is emerging from revolutionary convulsions ; as so many individuals are there implicated by their crimes in supporting the revolutionary regime, and a return to moderate or legal measures is so much the more dreaded, from the retribution which they may occasion to past delinquents.

Though France suffered extremely from the usurpation 5g which overthrew its electoral government, and substituted A more the empire of force for the chimeras of democracy, there government seems 110 reason to believe that a more just or equitable was then government could at that period have been substituted in i™France? its room. The party of the Councils, though formidable from its union and its abilities, was composed of such heterogeneous materials, that it could not by possibility have held together if the external danger of the Directory had been removed. Pichegru, Imbert, Brottier, and others, were in constant correspondence with the exiled princes,

* See Bour. and aimed at the restoration of a constitutional throne.2 i. Append. Carnot, Rovere, Bourdon de L’Oise, and the majority of the Club of Clichy, were sincerely attached to Republican institutions. Dissension was inevitable between parties

of such opposite principles, when they had once prevailed chap over their immediate enemies. The nation was not then xxi\. in the state to settle down under a constitutional mon- 179-archy; it required to he drained of its fiery spirits by bloody wars, and humbled in its pride by national disaster, before it could submit to the coercion of passion, and follow the regular occupations essential to the duration of real freedom.

The 18th Fructidor is the true era of the commencement of military despotism in France, and as such, it is singu- 60 larly instructive as to the natural tendency and just This is the punishment of revolutionary passions. The subsequent menceXnt government of the country was but a succession of illegal of military

°    . , ., . r    . despotism in

usurpations on the part of the depositaries of power, in France, which the people had no share, and by which their rights were equally invaded, until tranquillity was restored by the vigorous hand of Napoleon. The French have not the excuse, in the loss even of the name of freedom to their country, that they yielded to the ascendency of an extraordinary man, and bent beneath the car which banded Europe was unable to arrest. They were subjected to tyranny in its worst and most degrading form ; they yielded, not to the genius of Napoleon, but to the violence of Augereau; they submitted in silence to proscriptions as odious and arbitrary as those of the Roman triumvirate; they bowed for years to the despotism of men so ignoble that history has hardly preserved their names. Such is the consequence, and the never-failing consequence, of the undue ascendency of democratic power. The French people did not fall under this penalty from any peculiar fickleness or inconstancy of their own ; all other nations who have adopted the same principles have suffered the same penalties; they incurred it in consequence of the general law of Providence, that guilty passion brings upon itself its own punishment. They fell under the edge of the sword, from the same cause which subjected Rome to the arms of Caesar, and England to those of Cromwell.

“Legal government,” says the Republican historian, “is a chimera, at the conclusion of a revolution such as that of 1 Th. ix. France. It is not under shelter of legal authority that gt!^ parties whose passions have been so violently excited can Nap. iv. --33. arrange themselves and repose;1 a rnoro vigorous power

VOL. VI.    h

is required to restrain them, to fuse their still burning elements, and protect them against foreign violence. That power is the empire of the sword.”

A long and terrible retribution awaited the sins of this great and guilty country. Its own passions were made the ministers of the justice of Heaven ; its own desires the means of bringing upon itself a righteous punishment. Contemporaneous with the military despotism established by the victory of Augereau, began the foreign conquests of Napoleon. His triumphant car rolled over the world, crushing generations beneath its wheels; ploughing, like the chariot of Juggernaut, through human flesh ; exhausting, in the pursuit of glory, the energies of Republican ambition. France was decimated for its cruelty; the snows of Russia, and the hospitals of Germany, became the winding-sheet and the grave of its blood-stained Revolution. Infidelity may discern in this terrific progress the march of fatalism and the inevitable course of human affairs; let us discover in it the government of an overruling Providence, punishing the sins of a guilty age, extending to nations with severe, but merciful hand, the consequences of their transgression, and preparing, in the chastisement of present iniquity, the future repentance and amelioration of the species.

1797.

61.

Terrible

retribution

which

awaited

i'rance.


CHAPTER XXV.

FROM THE PEACE OF CAMPO FORMIO TO THE RENEWAL OF THE WAR. OCTOBER 1797—MARCH 1799.

The two great parties into which the civilised world chap. had been divided by the French Revolution, entertained xxv. different sentiments in regard to the necessity of the war 1798 which had so long been waged by the monarchies of j Europe against its unruly authority. The partisans of views of the democracy alleged that the whole misfortunes of Europe, and all the crimes of France, had arisen from the iniqui- the war. tous coalition of kings to overturn its infant freedom ; that if its government had been let alone, it would neither have stained its hands with innocent blood at home, nor pursued plans of aggrandisement abroad; and that the Republic, relieved from the pressure of external danger, and no longer roused by the call of patriotic duty, would have quietly turned its swords into pruning-hooks, and, renouncing the allurements of foreign conquest, thought only of promoting the internal felicity of its citizens. The aristocratic party, on the other hand, maintained that democracy is in its very essence, and from necessity, ambitious ; that the turbulent activity which it calls forth, the energetic courage which it awakens, the latent talent which it dcvelopcs, can find vent only in the enterprise of foreign warfare ; that, being founded on popular passion, and supported by the most vehement and enthusiastic classes in the state, it is driven into external aggression as the only means of allaying internal discontent; that it advances before a devouring flame, which, the instant it stops, threatens to consume itself; and that, in the domestic suffering which it engenders, and the stoppage of

chap. pacific industry which necessarily results from its convul-xxv. sions, is to be found both a more cogent inducement to

1798 foreign conquest, and more formidable means for carrying it on, than either the ambition of kings or the rivalry of their ministers can afford.

Had the revolutionary war continued without interruption from its commencement in 1792 till its conclusion in if the war 1815, it might have been difficult to have determined internipted," which of these opinions was the better founded. The it would ideas of men would probably have been divided upon hard tosay them till the end of time; and to whichever side the which was philosophic observer of human events, who traced the history of democratic societies in time past, had inclined, the great body of mankind, who judged merely from the event, would have leaned to the one or the other, according as their interests or their affections led them to espouse the conservative or the innovating order of things. It is fortunate, therefore, for the cause of historic truth, and the lessons to be drawn from past calamity in future times, that two years of Continental peace followed the first six years of this bloody contest, and that the Republican government, relieved of all grounds of apprehension from foreign powers, and placed with uncontrolled authority at the head of the vast population of France, had so fair an opportunity presented of carrying into effect its alleged pacific inclinations.

The coalition was broken down and destroyed. Spain 3 had not only given up the contest, but had engaged in a Fairoppor- disastrous maritime war to support the interests of the folded to revolutionary state; Flanders was incorporated with its France of territory, which had no boundaries but the Alps, the paci'fic'sy^ Rhine, and the Pyrenees; Holland was converted into an affiliated republic ; Piedmont was crushed ; Lombardy ..t’Campo revolutionised, and its frontier secured by Mantua and the Formio. fortified line of the Adige ; the Italian powers were overawed, and had purchased peace by the most disgraceful submissions ; and the Emperor himself had retired from the strife, and gained the temporary safety of his capital by the cession of a large portion of his dominions. Great Britain alone, firm and unsubdued, continued the war, but without either any definite military object, now that the Continent was pacified, or the means of shaking the

military supremacy wliieh the arms of France had there chap. acquired, and rather from the determination of the xxv-Directory to break off the recent negotiations, than any 179s inclination on the part of the English government to prolong, at ail enormous expense, an apparently hopeless contest. To complete the means of restoring a lasting peace which were at the disposal of the French cabinet, ’ the military spirit in France itself had signally declined with the vast consumption of human life in the rural departments during the war ; the armies were every where weakened by desertion ; and the most ambitious general of the Republic, with its finest army, was engaged in a doubtful contest in Africa, without any means, to all appearance, of ever returning with his troops to the scene of European ambition. Now, therefore, was the time when the pacific tendency of the revolutionary system was j Jom x to be put to the test, and it was to be demonstrated, by 284. actual experiment, whether its existence was consistent with the independence of the adjoining states.1

The estimates and preparations of Great Britain for the year 1798 were suited to the defensive nature of the war 4 in which she was now to be engaged, the cessation of all Limited foreign subsidies, and the approach of an apparently inter- lor'uTeyear minable struggle to her own shores. The regular army in Britain, was fixed at one hundred and nine thousand men, besides sixty-three thousand militia; a force amply sufficient to ensure the safety of her extensive dominions, considering the great protection she received from her innumerable fleets which guarded the seas. One hundred and four ships of the line, and three hundred frigates aud smaller vessels, were put in commission, manned by one hundred thousand seamen. Supplies to the amount of ,£25,500,000 were voted, which, with a supplementary budget brought forward on 25th April 179S, in consequence of the expenses occasioned by the threatened invasion from France, amounted to £2S,450,000; exclusive, of course, of the charges of the debt and sinking fund. But in providing 3jaines i; for these great expenses, Mr Pitt unfolded an important Appendix.’ change in his financial policy, and made the first step K°g6’is4 U"* towards a system of taxation, which, although more bur- 182,211.’ densome at the moment,2 is incomparably less oppressive

in the end than that on which he had previously proceeded.

He stated, that the time had now arrived, when the policy hitherto pursued, of providing for all extraordinary expenses by loan, could not be carried further without evident danger to public credit; that such a system, however applicable to a period when an extraordinary and forced effort was to be made to bring the war at once to a conclusion by means of foreign alliances, was unsuitable to the lengthened single-handed contest in which the nation was at last, to all appearance, engaged ; that the great object now should be, to make the sum raised within the year as nearly as possible equal its expenditure, so as to entail no burden upon posterity; and therefore he proposed, instead of making the loan, as in former years, L.19,000,000, to make it only L.12,000,000, and raise the additional L.7,000,000 by means of trebling the assessed taxes on house-windows, carriages, and horses. By this means an addition of only L.8,000,000 would be made to the national debt, because L.4,000,000 would be paid off in the course of the year by the sinking fund ; and, to pay off this L.8,000,000, he proposed to keep on the treble assessed taxes a year longer ; so that, at the expiration of that short period, no part of the debt then contracted would remain a burden on the nation :—An admirable plan, and a near approach to the only safe system of finance, that of making the taxes raised within the year equal its expenditure, but which was speedily abandoned amidst the necessities and improvidence of succeeding years.1 7

CHAP.

XXV.

1798.

5.

Sir Pitt’s new financial policy.


1 Pari. Deb. xxxiii. 1042, 1066.

6.

Establishment of the Volunteer System in Great Britain.


The same period gave birth to another great change in the military policy of Great Britain, fraught in its ultimate results with most important effects, both upon the turn of the public mind, and the final issue of the war. This was the Volunteer System, and the general arming of the people. During the uncertainty which prevailed as to the destination of the great armaments preparing both in the harbours of the Channel and the Mediterranean, the British govern

ment naturally felt the greatest anxiety as to the means of chap. providing for the national defence, without incurring a xxv. ruinous expense by the augmentation of the regular army. l79g The discipline of that force was admirable, and its courage unquestionable ; but its numbers were limited, and it appeared highly desirable to provide some subsidiary body which might furnish supplies of men to fill the chasms which might be expected to occur in the troops of the line, in the event of a campaign taking place on the British shores. For this purpose the militia, which, in fact, was part of the regular force, was obviously insufficient; its officers were drawn from a class from whom the most effective military service was not to be expected ; and under the pressure of the danger which was anticipated, government, with the cordial approbation of the King, ventured upon the bold, but, as it turned out, wise and fortunate step, of, allowing regiments of volunteers to be raised in every part of the kingdom. On the 11th April it April u. was determined by the cabinet to take this decisive step ; May 6. and soon after a bill was brought into Parliament by the secretary at war, Mr Dundas, to permit the regular militia 1423.' ' to volunteer to go to Ireland, and to provide for the raising of volunteer corps in every part of the kingdom.1

The speech which he made on this occasion was worthy of an English minister. Not attempting to conceal the danger which menaced the country, he sought only to Noble rouse the determined spirit which might resist it. “The MrUand™ truth,” said he, “is undeniable, that the crisis which is on this approaching must determine whether we are any longer occasion-to be ranked as an independent nation. We must take the steps which are best calculated to meet it; let us provide for the safety of the infirm, the aged, the women, the children, and put arms into the hands of the people. We must fortify the menaced points, accumulate forces round the capital, affix on the church-doors the names of those who have come forward as volunteers, and authorise members of Parliament to hold commissions in the army without vacating their seats. I am well aware of the danger of intrusting arms to the whole people without distinction. I am no stranger to the disaffection, albeit much diminished, which still lingers amongst us ; I know well that, under the mask of pursuing only salutary

chap. reforms, many are still intent upon bringing about arevo-xxv. lution, and'for that purpose are willing to enter into the ]798 closest correspondence with the avowed enemies of their country. But, serious as is the danger of entrusting arms to a people embracing a considerable portion of such characters, it is nothing to the risk which we should run, if, when invaded by the enemy, we were unprepared with any adequate means of defence. I trust to the good sense of the great body of the people to resist the factious designs of such enemies to their country. I trust that the patriotism by which the immense majority of them are animated, will preclude them from ever using their arms but for worthy purposes : I trust to the melancholy example which has been afforded in the neighbouring kingdom of the consequences of engaging in popular insurrection, for ^xUi! 1358a warning to all Britons who shall take up arms, never to H2.% i429. ’ use them but in defence of their country, or the support of our venerable constitution.” 1

So obvious was the danger to national independence from g the foreign invasion which was threatened, that the bill The Voiun- passed the House without opposition ; and in a few weeks is sanctioned a hundred and fifty thousand volunteers were in arms in by Pariia- Great Britain. Mr Sheridan, as he always did on such occasions, made a noble speech in support of Government. Another bill, which at the same time received the sanction of Parliament, authorised the King, in the event of an invasion, to call out the levy en masse of the population, conferred extraordinary powers upon lords-lieutenant and generals in command, for the seizure, on such a crisis, of horses and carriages, and provided for the indemnification, at the public expense, of such persons as might suffer in their properties in consequence of these measures. At the same time, to guard against the insidious system of French propagandism, the alien bill was re-enacted, and the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act continued for another year. The volunteer system met with perfect success in England, and brought on none of the evils which had been so sorely felt from the corresponding institution of the

* Pari. Hist. National Guards in France. The reason is obvious,—the crs's *n England at this period was national, in France in 1454. 1789 it was social.2 It is in general safe to entrust arms to the people when their national feelings are roused: it is

always perilous to do so when their social passions are chap. excited, and they see their real or supposed enemies in a xxv-particular class in their own country.    ~"i79S

The adoption of these measures indicates an important crisis in the war : that in which popular energy was first 9 appealed to, in order to combat the Revolution ; and its great governments, resting on the stubborn evidence of facts, change in'1 confidently called upon their subjects to join with them the nature in resisting a power which threatened to be equally which itar destructive to the cottage and the throne. It was a step indicated, worthy of England, the first-born of modern freedom, to put arms into the hands of her people, to take the lead in the great contest of general liberty against democratic tyranny: and the event proved that the confidence of government had not been misplaced. In no instance did the volunteer corps deviate from their duty; in none did they swerve from the principles of patriotism and loyalty which first brought them round the standard of their country. With the uniform which they put on, they cast off all the vacillating or ambiguous feelings of former years : with the arms which they received, they imbibed the firm resolution to defend the cause of England. Even in the great manufacturing towns, and the quarters where sedition had once been most prevalent, the newly raised corps formed so many centrcs of loyalty, which gradually expelled the former disaffection from their neighbourhood ; and to nothing more than this well-timed and judicious step, was the subsequent unanimity of the British empire in the prosecution of the war to be ascribed.

Had it been earlier adopted, it might have shaken the foundations of society, and engendered all the horrors of civil war ; subsequently it would probably have come too late to developc the military energy requisite for success in the contest. Nor were the effects of this great change confined only to the British isles ; it extended to foreign nations and distant times ; it gave the first example of that touching development of patriotic ardour which afterwards burned so strongly in Spain, Austria,

Prussia, and Russia; .and in the British volunteers of 1708 was found the model of those dauntless bands by which, fifteen years afterwards, the resurrection of the Fatherland was accomplished.

oiiap. While England was thus reaping the fruits, in the xxv. comparatively prosperous state of its finances and the 179g united patriotism of its inhabitants, of the good faith

10 and stability of its government, the French tasted, in French a ruinous and disgraceful national bankruptcy, the natu-Nationai ra^ conse(luenccs °f undue democratic influence and revo-bankruptcy. lutionary convulsion. When the new government, established by the revolution of the 18th Fructidor, began to attend to the administration of the finances, they speedily found that, without some great change, and the sacrifice of a large class of existing interests, it was impossible to carry on the affairs of the state. The resources of assignats and mandates were exhausted, and nothing remained but to reduce the most helpless class, the public creditors, and by their ruin extricate the government from its embarrassments.* As the income was calculated at the very highest possible rate, and the expenditure obviously within its probable amount, it was evident that some decisive measure was necessary to make the one square with the other. For this purpose, they at once struck off two-thirds of the debt, and thereby reduced its annual charge from

1 See ante, 258 millions to 86.1 To cover, indeed, the gross injustice ch. xxiv. q£ ^jg    the public creditors received a paper,

secured over the national domains, to the extent of the remaining two-thirds, calculated at twenty years’ purchase : but it was at the time foreseen, what immediately happened, that, from the total impossibility of these miserable fundholders turning to any account the national domains which were thus tendered in payment of their claims, the paper fell to a tenth part of the value at which it was forced on their acceptance, and soon became altogether unsaleable ; so that the measure was to all intents and purposes a public bankruptcy. Notwithstanding the

* The most favourable view of the public revenue, which in the end proved to be greatly overcharged, only exhibited an income of ....    - 616,000,000 francs.

But the expenses of the war were estimated at - 283,000,000 Other services, - - 247,000,000 Interest of debt, - - 258,000,000

__ 783,000,000

Annual deficit, -    172,000,000, or L.7,000,000.

Being just about the same deficit which in 1789 was made the pretext to

justify the Revolution__Buchez and Roux, Hist. Pari, de France, xxxvii.

431, 432.

enfeebled state of the legislature by the mutilations which chap. followed the 18th Fruetidor, this measure excited warm xxv-opposition ; but at length the revolutionary party pre- 1798. vailed, and it passed both Councils by a large majority. Sept. 18,

Yet such had been the abject destitution of the fund- 1,9‘-holders for many years, in consequence of the unparalleled depreciation of the paper circulation in which they were paid, that this destruction of two-thirds of their capital, when accompanied by the payment of the interest of the remainder in specie, was felt rather as a relief than a mis- 1 Dum. 32, fortune. Such were the consequences, to the monied interest, 3^322.' of the Revolution which they had so strongly supported, Jom.x.277. and which they fondly imagined was to raise an invincible rampart between them and national bankruptcy.1

The' external policy of the Directory soon evinced that passion for foreign conquest which is the unhappy charac- n teristic of democratic states, especially in periods of unusual Externd^ fervour, and forms the true vindication of the obstinate F°ench°Di-e war which was maintained against France by the European rectory, monarchs. The coalition,” they contended, “ was less formed against France than against the principles of the Revolution. Peace, it is true, is signed ; but the hatred which the sovereigns have vowed against it, is not, on that account, the less active ; and the chicanery which the Emperor and England oppose in the way of a general pacification, by showing that they are only waiting an opportunity for a rupture, demonstrates the necessity of establishing a just equilibrium between the monarchical and the democratic states. Switzerland, that ancient asylum of liberty, now trampled under foot by an insolent aristocracy, cannot long maintain its present government without depriving France of a part of its resources, and of the support which it would have a right to expect in the event of the contest being renewed.” Thus the French nation, having thrown down the gauntlet to all Europe, felt, in the extremities to which they had already proceeded, a motive for still further aggressions and more insatiable conquests; obeying thus tho moral law of,2Jomi nature, which, in nations as well as individuals, renders 285°mTh. x. their career of guilt the certain instrument of its own 25. punishment, by the subsequent and intolerant excesses into which it precipitates its votaries.2

chap. Holland was the first victim of the Republican ambi-xxv. tion. Not content with having revolutionised that ancient i798_ commonwealth, expelled the Stadtholder, and compelled

12    its rulers to enter into a costly and ruinous war to support Attack upon the interests of France, in which they had performed their Its situation engagements with exemplary fidelity, they resolved to since the subject its inhabitants to a convulsion of the same kind as quebt.a C°n" that which had been terminated in France by the 18th

Fructidor. Since their conquest by Pichegru, the Dutch had had ample opportunity to contrast the ancient and . temperate government of the House of Orange, under which they had risen to an unexampled height of prosperity and glory, with the democratic rule which had been substituted in its stead. Their trade was ruined, their navy defeated, their flag swept from the ocean, and their numerous merchant vessels lay rotting in their harbours. A reaction, in consequence, had become very general in favour of former institutions; and so strong and fervent was this feeling, that the National Assembly, which had met on the first triumph of the Republicans, had never ventured to interfere with the separate rights and privileges of the provinces, as settled by prescription and the old constitution. The French Directory beheld with secret disquietude this leaning to the ancient order of things, and could not endure that the old patrician families should, by their influence in the provincial diets, temper in any degree the vigour of their central democratic government. To arrest this tendency, they recalled their minister from the Hague : supplied his place by Delacroix, a man of noted democratic iTh. x. 2G Princ'ples> and gave Joubert the command of the armed 27. Jom. x. force. Their instructions were to accomplish the overthrow Re?. 49,*50, ^le ancient federative constitution, overturn-the aristo-78,80. cracy, and vest the government in a Directory of democratic principles entirely devoted to the interests of France.1

The Dutch Assembly was engaged at this juncture in

13    the formation of a constitution, all previous attempts of state of the that description having proved miserable failures. The ^mWytt8" adherents of the old institutions, who still formed a majo-this period, rity of the inhabitants, and embraced all the wealth and

almost all the respectability of the United Provinces, had hitherto contrived to baffle the designs of the vehement and indefatigable minority, who, as in all similar contests,

represented themselves as the only real representatives of chap. the people, and stigmatised their opponents as a mere xxv-faction, obstinately opposed to every species of improve- 1798> ment. A majority of the Assembly had passed some decrees, which the democratic party strenuously resisted, and forty-three of its members, all of the most violent 1Th x 26 character, had protested against their adoption. It was to jom.V126. this minority that the French minister addressed himself to procure the overthrow of the constitution.1

At a public dinner, Delacroix, after a number of popular toasts, exclaimed, with a glass in his hand, “ Is there no J4 Batavian who will plunge a poniard into the constitution, Measures of on the altar of his country ? ” Amidst the fumes of wine, p£e^®"yht0 and the riot of intoxication, the plan for its assassination revoiuti m-was soon adopted ; and its execution was fixed for the 22d lsetheState-January. On that night, the forty-three deputies who had signed the protest assembled at the Hotel of Haarlem, and ordered the arrest of twenty-two of the leading deputies of the Orange party, and the six commissioners of foreign relations. At the same time the barriers were closed : the national guard called forth ; and the French troops, headed by Joubert and Daendels, intrusted with the execution of the order. Resistance was fruitless ; be- Jan. 22. fore daybreak those arrested were all in prison ; and the remainder of the Assembly, early in the morning, met in the hall of their deliberations, where, surrounded by troops, and under the dictation of the bayonet, they passed decrees sanctioning all that had been done in the night, and introducing a new form of government on the model of that already established in France. By this constitution the privileges of the provinces were entirely abolished; the ancient federal union was superseded by a republic, one and indivisible ; the provincial authorities were changed into functionaries wholly dependant 011 the central government; a Council of Ancients and a Chamber of Deputies established, in imitation of those at Paris ; and the executive authority confided to a Directory of five members, all completely in the interest of France. The sitting was terminated by an 3 jom ^ oath of hatred to the Stadtholder, the federal system, and 281,232"." the aristocracy : and ten deputies, who refused to take it, ^„xR2t.7; were deprived of their seats on the spot.2 So completely so, si. ° was the whole done under the terror of the army, that some

chap. months afterwards, when the means of intimidation were xxv- removed, a number of deputies who had joined in these 179i acts of usurpation gave in their resignation, and protested against the part they had been compelled to take in the transaction.

' The inhabitants of Holland soon discovered that, in the 15 pursuit of democratic power, they had lost all their ancient Tyrannical liberties. The first step of the new Directory was to issue new Direc- a proclamation, strictly forbidding, under severe penalties, tory. all petitions from corporate bodies or assemblages of men, and declaring that none would be received but from insulated individuals; thereby extinguishing the national voice in the only quarter where it could make itself heard in a serious manner. All the public functionaries were changed, and their situations filled by persons of the Jacobin party ; numbers were banished or proscribed ; and, under the pretext of securing the public tranquillity, domiciliary visits and arrests were multiplied in the most arbitrary manner. The individuals suspected of a leaning to the adverse party were every where deprived of their right of voting in the primary assemblies ; and, finally, to complete the destruction of all the privileges of the people, the sitting Assembly passed a decree, declaring itself the legislative body, thereby depriving the inhabitants of the election of their representatives. This flagrant usurpation excited the most violent discontents in the whole country, and the Directors soon became as obnoxious as they had formerly been agreeable to the populace. Alarmed at this state of matters, and apprehensive lest it should undermine their influence in Holland, the French Directory enjoined General Daendels to take military possession of the government. He accordingly put himself at the head of two companies of. grenadiers, and proceeded to the palace of the Directory, where May 4. one member was seized, while two resigned, and the other two escaped. A provisional government was immediately formed, consisting of Daendels and two associates, all entirely in the interest of France, without the slightest regard to the wishes of, or any pretence even of authority from, the people. Thus was military despotism the result of ' Jom rev°luti°nai7 clianges Holland, as it had been in France, 1415 ’ within a few years after they were first commenced amidst the general transports of the lower orders.1

Switzerland was the next object of the ambition of chap. the Directory. The seclusion of that beautiful country, its xxv. retirement from all political contests fur above two cen- I79s turies, the perfect neutrality which it had maintained 16 between all the contending parties since the commence- Political ment of the Revolution, the indifference which it had l^tzeriamL evinced to the massacre of its citizens on the 10th August, could not save it from the devouring ambition of the Parisian enthusiasts. As little, it must be owned with regret, could the wisdom and stability of its institutions, the perfect protection which they afforded to persons and property, the simple character of its inhabitants, or the steady prosperity which they had enjoyed for above five centuries under the influence of the existing order of things, save a large proportion of them from the pernicious contagion of French democracy.

Switzerland, as all the world knows, comprises the undulating level surface between the Alps and the Jura, j. watered by the Lakes of Geneva and Neufchatel, and Physicni destretching from the Rhone to the Rhine, as also the great switzerJana central mass of mountains which separates it from the plain of Lombardy, and is bounded on the east by the Alps of Tyrol, on the west by those of Savoy. The great stony girdle of the globe runs through its whole territory from east to west, and branches out beyond it to the Pyrenean range on the one side, and the Tyrol and Styrian Alps, the Carpathian Mountains, the ranges of Epirus and Macedonia, the Caucasus, Taurus, and Himalaya, on the other.

The average height of this mountain range when it passes through the Swiss territory is ten or eleven thousand feet; but in some places it rises to an elevation much more considerable, and on the snowy summits of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, and the Ortler Spitz, reaches above fifteen thousand feet.

The level part of Switzerland which lies between the

Alps and the Jura, more closely, perhaps, than any other )g

part of Europe, resembles the English plains. There are Resem'-

the same rich and thickly-peopled fields ; the same smooth Wanceofthe ’    {    i    /. ,    *evel Part

ever-verdant meadows; the same prevalence of orchards, the country gardens, and fruit-trees ; the same beautiful hedgerow t0 Enslan^-timber; the same spread of the cottages of the poor in fearless security at a distance from the villages. In Spain,

Portugal, the greater part of France and Germany, and even in the fertile plains of Lombardy and Belgium, the peasantry all live in the villages; the intermediate country, though parcelled into many different estates or farms, presents only an unvarying cultivated surface ; and the wearied swains are to be seen in the evening returning seated on their horses, often four or five miles from the scene of their daily toil. Experienced insecurity has introduced this custom, and compelled the cultivators, as the only mode of safety, to take refuge in walled villages and the shelter of mutual protection. But in Switzerland, equally with England, the long-established blessings of freedom and universal security of property have relaxed this inconvenient system, which at once adds so much to the labour of the husbandman and takes away so much from the beauty of his fields.1

This security has diffused the cottages of the agriculturists over the whole country, in the centre of their little farms or estates. The wants of their families in these separate dwellings, or the markets in the neighbouring towns, have led to the multiplication of cattle, the formation of orchards, the tending of gardens, the enclosing of fields, and the planting of hedgerow timber. The charm which an Englishman feels in the contemplation of such scenery is not derived merely from its inherent amenity; it is allied to moral influences, it springs from political blessings. It recalls the home of infancy, the paradise of youth, the scene of domestic love, the hearth of filial affection, the first opening of life, when its sunshine was still unclouded by its shade. It bespeaks a country in which these blessings, the choicest gifts of Heaven, have been for many ages securely enjoyed by the people ; in which the vices and ambitions of cities have not yet corrupted those little nurseries of virtuous feeling; and in which all the changes of time have not been able to affect those fountains of happiness and patriotism which spring at once from the influences of nature.

CHAP.

XXV.

1798.


1 Personal observation.

19. Causes of this peeuH. arity.


The most ardent imagination, fraught with the richest stores of poetical imagery, can conceive nothing approaching to the beauty of the mountain scenery of Switzerland. Presenting often in a single landscape every gradation of vegetation, from the saxifrages and mosses which nestle in

20.

Extraordinary beauty of the mountain rogion.


crevices of rocks on the verge of perpetual snow, to the chap. olive, the vine, sometimes even the orange tree and citron, xxv. which flourish amidst the balmy breezes of the Mediter- ,-98 ranean sea, it exhibits the varied features which characterise similar lofty ranges in other parts of the world but to them it has added a charm which is peculiarly its own. This is found in the number, the industry, and the general well-being of the peasantry. Much as this interesting addition to natural beautyappears in Alpine regions in many parts of the world, it is nowhere exhibited in such perfection as among the mountains of Switzerland.

The universal possession of landed property by the cultivators, has diffused the efforts of industry and the charm of cultivated scenery into the wildest recesses of savage nature. The smiling cottage, the shaven green, the flowering orchard, are to be seen on the verge of perpetual desolation ; the glacier bounds the corn-field ; the meadow is carved out of the rocks; and, by a peculiarity which belongs only to Helvetia, the extremes of sterility and i Personal riches, of amenity and grandeur, of beauty and sub- MaUe-Brun, limity, are brought into close proximity with each other. vU. 97, 104.’ “Nooks and dells, beautiful as fairyland, are embosomed Essa^J 8 in its most rugged and gigantic elevations. The roses Milton, and myrtles bloom unchilled on the verge of the avalanche.” 1 *

That the inhabitants of Switzerland feel, in its full force, the unequalled charms of the country of their birth, 2i.

. need be told to none who have witnessed the tears which in distant lands any of their beautiful Ranz-des-vaches tL arts’™ bring into the eyes of the Swiss; or who know of the g^g'a3'ine Maladie-du-pays, which so often in mature life compels scenery, those who have strayed from them, in quest of fortune or subsistence, to return to their native valleys. Yet it is remarkable, that theso exquisite features have never inspired the soul either of a poet or a painter. No artist has ever transferred to canvass the sun-setting on the

chap. Jungfrauhorn, as seen from Interlaken, or the glow of > xxv. evening on Mont Blanc, as it is daily presented to the 1793 inhabitants of Geneva, or the awful sublimity of the Lake of Uri, so well known to all who have visited the Forest Cantons. No Swiss Salvator has sought inspiration amidst the savage grandeur of its rocks and cataracts ; no Helvetian Claude dipped his pencil in the hues of heaven, in portraying its sunsets. What is still more remarkable, these enchanting features have never inspired the soul of poetry, or attracted its powers to their description. Scotland can boast a Scott who has immortalised its mountains ; Ireland, a Moore, who has breathed the lyric spirit over its glens ; England, a Thomson* and a Cowper, who have portrayed with fervent animation its unobtrusive charms. But though the Swiss soil has not been deficient in the poetic spirit, as the genius of Gessner and Zimmerman can testify, no great works of imagination have been dedicated to the beauty of the Alps. Coleridge’s noble Ode to Mont Blanc contains more true poetry on the subject, than the whole German and French literature can boast. Perhaps their uuequalled grandeur has overwhelmed the mind even of the most fervent worshippers of wild sublimity: perhaps the peculiar charms of their scenery, in which, as in all the works of nature, the most exquisite finishing in detail is combined with the most perfect generality of effect, has deterred others from a difficulty, to be conquered only by the greatest genius, guiding the most resolute perseverance, and apparently altogether beyond the reach of the wealth-seeking spirit of modern art.

One great beauty of Switzerland, as of all countries 22 containing ranges of mountains of a similar elevation, is Gradations to be found in the different gradations of vegetable life which are to be met with, from their base to their summit; exhibiting thus, in the distance often of a few miles, an epitome of all the varieties of scenery, from the borders of the torrid to those of the frozen zone. On the southern side of the Alps, on the enchanting banks of the Italian lakes, nature appears in her loveliest aspect; the harsher features of the rocky hills are covered with an ever-verdant

* Thomson was a Scotchman by birth, but the scenes he describes are chiefly English in their character.

foliage; the vine and the olive flourish on their smiling chap. shores ; numerous white villages, with elegant spires, xxv. attest both the number and well-being of the inhabitants ; 179g and the unruffled waters reflect at once the peopled cliffs ' ’ and unclouded heaven. Higher up, the woody region begins; huge sweet-chestnuts interlace their boughs, amidst detached masses of rock ; closely shaven meadows indicate l Personal the commencement of the pastoral zone, but rich orchards observation, flourish in sheltered spots, and noble woods of‘beech, oak, and birch, still clothe the mountain sides.1

Above this, succeeds the region of the fir and the larch ; the lofty cliffs are fringed to their summit with pines, the <,3 sombre hue of which contrasts with their lighter tints; The woody, wildness and grandeur form the general character off™^yand nature; but numerous spires are to be seen amidst the regions, recesses of the forest, and wherever a level spot is to be found, the green meadow, and wood-built cottage, bespeak the residence of industrious and happy man. Higher still the woody region disappears; a few stunted pines alone cast their roots in a sterile soil; the rocks are interspersed with cold and desolate pastures, where, during a few months of summer only, the herds, driven up from the valleys beneath, find a scanty subsistence; while in the loftier parts, frequent streaks of snow indicate, even in the heats of the dog-days, the approach to the region of perpetual congelation. Highest of all, a silver mantle of snow is spread over gigantic piles of bare rock, and charp pinnacles of dazzling brightness shoot up into the deep blue vault of heaven. It never rains in these lofty regions; the frequent clouds descend only in snowy showers, which unceasingly add to the everlasting shroud of the mountain ; and when the mists roll away, and the 2 Personal atmosphere becomes serene, a fresh covering of virgin observation, purity ever reflects back the bright but powerless rays of the sun.2

Another of the chief natural beauties of Switzerland consists in the number, variety, and historical recollections «,4 of its lakes. First in interest, though not in romantic Lakes of beauty, is the Leman Lake, in whose glassy bosom the Switzerlai'd-peaks of Mont Blanc and the rocks of Meillerie are perpetually reflected, but which derives a yet higher interest from the associations with which it is connected : for there

chap. Csesar began his great career, and Rousseau dreamt of xxv. ideal innocence, and Voltaire combated in the cause of 179g humanity,* and Gibbon concluded his immortal work. The Lakes of Neufchatel and Bienne,—of Thun and Brientz,—of Zurich and Zug,—of Constance and of'Wallen-stadt, exhibit scenes of varied yet surpassing loveliness, sometimes spreading amidst wide and smiling expanses of woods, villages, and corn-fields, at others contracting into narrow shut-in scenes, or overhung by lofty pine-clad cliffs. But all must yield in varied beauty, savage grandeur, and historic interest, to the Lake of Lucerne; for on its banks are to be found the field of Rutli,—the chapel of Tell,—the Plain of Morgarten ; and at its upper j Personal extremity, in the cradle of Swiss independence, is to be observation, seen, in the Lake of Uri, the sublimest specimen of European scenery.1

Although Mount St Gothard is far from being the highest mountain in Switzerland, t yet it is the central point of Great cen- its vast chains, and several of the greatest rivers of Europe thf St13™ °f take their rise fr°m lts sides. To the east, the Rhine Gothard. descends down the cold pastoral valley below Disentis, and winds its way through the solitudes of the Grisons to the German plains: on the west, the Rhone springs at once a mighty stream from the huge and glittering glacier which bears its name: on the north, the Reuss descends in a headlong impetuous torrent through the valley of Schollenen to the lake of Uri, and finds its way at last, mingled with the Rhone, to the German Ocean ; while to the south, the Ticino, issuing from the snowy summit of the pass by which the traveller crosses into Italy, is rapidly swelled by the torrents from the adjoining glaciers, forces its way in a raging torrent through the rocks of Faido, and is already a noble stream when it swells into the lovely

2 Personal exPanse °f the Lago Maggiore, ere it rolls its tributary observation, waters to the Po.2 Thus, in every contest for the possession of Switzerland, the principal efforts of the contending parties have always been directed to get possession of the St Gothard; not only from its containing an important

* Would that he had never combated in any less worthy cause !

f Its highest summits are only 11.250 feet high, whereas Mont Blanc is 15,780 feet, Monte Rosa 15,485, and the Ortler Spitz, in the Grisons, 14,3S0. The summit of the Pass of the St Gothard is 6380 feet.—Ebel, Manuel de Voyages en Suisse, i. 319, and ii. 211, 503. An inch, it is to be observed, is to be added to French feet in turning them into English.

pass over the Alps into Italy, but from its forming the chap. great central mountain mass from which the chief rivers xxv-of the country take their rise, and by the possession of ]79sJ ■which their upper valleys may be turned.

To those who, for the first time, come in sight of the Alps, either from the lofty ridge of the Jura,* the level 2g expanse of Lombardy, or the swelling hills of Swabia, Great lateral they present the appearance of a crowd of rugged and in- ^eysmthe accessible peaks, tossed together in such wild confusion, and so closely jammed together, as to render it to appearance equally impossible to attempt to classify, or to find a passage through them. But in reality this immense mass of mountains, little less, in the Swiss territories alone, than an hundred and fifty miles long by eighty to an hundred broad, is penetrated over its whole breadth by three great valleys, running from east to west, athwart the range as it were, and which, if the attention is fixed on them, render its geography a matter of very easy apprehension.

The first of these valleys is that of the Rhone, which, commencing with the snowy summit of the Furca, the 27 western front of the St Gothard, runs nearly due west Valleys of between lofty ranges of mountains for seventy miles, in |{Je RhS^’ a valley seldom more than two miles broad, and then, andtheinn. turning sharp to the north, meets at Martigny the eastern ridge of Mont Blanc, and flows down to the lake of Geneva. The second is that of the Rhine, which, descending from its double source in the glacier of the Hinter Rhin and the eastern slope of the St Gothard at Disentis, unites both streams at Reichenau in the Grisons, and flows through a broader valley, sometimes six or seven miles broad, between the Alps of Glarus and those of the Grisons, until, after a mountain course of seventy miles, it spreads out into the broad expanse of the Lake of Constance, beyond the utmost verge of the hills. Thus, these two great valleys, uniting in the lofty plateau of the St Gothard as their common centre, traverse the whole extent of the Swiss territory from east to west. The third great valley of the Alps is that of the Inn, which, taking its rise in the lofty and desolate mountains of the

* The view of Mont Blanc and the Alps of Savoy from the Jura, where the road from Dole to Geneva traverses its summit, is by far the finest dis. tant views of the Alps, and, if seen in a clear day, presents the most superb panoramic scene in Europe.

chap. Upper Engadine, in the Grisons, a little to the south-east xxv. of the source of the Hinter Rhin, runs in a north-eastern 1798~ direction, in a valley varying from one to six miles in breadth, for a distance of nearly two hundred miles

1    Personal ^ir0llo^ tlie mountains, till, after washing the ramparts observation, of Innspruck, it issues into the Bavarian plains under the

towers of Kuffstein.1

Generally speaking, the range of Alps which separates 2g the valleys of the Rhone from the Italian plains, is higher Mountains than that which intervenes between them and the level sideof■these country in the north of Switzerland ; and, accordingly, valleys. all the passes by which the Alps are crossed—the St Bernard, the Simplon, the St Gothard, the Splugen, the Bernhardin, the Albula, the Monte Selvio, and the Brenner—lie to the south of these valleys. This prodigious snowy range, comprising Mont Blanc, the great St Bernard, Monte Rosa, the St Gothard, the Ortler Spitz, and the Alps of the Grisons, is pierced on either side of its crest by a series of lateral valleys, the waters of which, to the north, descend through pine-clad ravines till they are intercepted by the course of the Rhine and the Rhone, into which they fall at right-angles, while those to the south, after traversing narrow vales, overshadowed by rich walnuts and umbrageous chestnuts, all swell the waters of the Po. But although this is the great geographical division of the country, yet, to the north of the Rhine and Rhone, some of the most stupendous and interesting of the Alps, embracing the Jungfrauhorn, Wether-horn, Eiger, and Titlis, are situated; and it is among

2    Personal their recesses that the cradles of Swiss independence, and observation, the most interesting specimens of Swiss civilisation, are

to be found.2    .

The noble chaussees, first projected and executed by 29 Napoleon, and since imitated with such success by the General Swiss and Austrian governments, which now traverse practicable ^ie Alps by seven different passes, all easy for carriages,* roads were at the period of the French invasion unknown. One country r°ad alone, from Germany into Italy, viz., that by the this period. Brenner, the height of which was 4300 feet, was practicable at all seasons of the year for artillery carriages ; the

* Viz., the Mont Cenis, the Simplon, the St Gothard, the Splugen, Bernhardin, the Brenner, and the Monte Selvio.

whole roads from France into Italy crossed the Alps by chap. mere mountain-paths, altogether impracticable for artil- xxv. lery, and in great part sufficiently difficult for horsemen 1798 or foot-soldiers. Carriages were taken down before commencing the ascent of Mont Cenis on the French side, and put together again at Susa on the Italian; the passages of the Great aud Little St Bernards were the same rude bridle-roads which they had been since the days of Hannibal; the Simplon could be passed only by a break-neck path, ascending the ravine on the northern side, barely accessible to active travellers ; the St Gothard was crossed by a rude mountain-road impracticable for artillery ; the roads over the Bernhardin, the Splugen, the Albula, the Monte Sel-vio, were only difficult paths which horsemen could scarcely surmount, and carriages never thought of attempting. Thus, although the level part of Switzerland, lying between the Jura and the Alps, was wholly defenceless, and it had no fortresses worthy of the name to arrest the invader’s progress ; yet when the plain was passed and the mountains reached, a most formidable warfare awaited him ; for there were to be found rugged dells, accessible ! personaj only by narrow straits impracticable for artillery, and a observation, numerous sturdy population of freemen to defend the homes of simple virtue.1

In ancient times Helvetia was inhabited by fierce and savage tribes, whom all the might of the legions for long 30 had failed in subduing. Like the Caucasians or Affghans saTage.staic in modern days, the inhabitants of the Alps maintained and in the a rude and savage independence, unmolested in their ^“^gthe inaccessible rocks and thickets, and acknowledging little more than a nominal subjection to the government of the Capitol. In the neighbourhood, indeed, of the great highways over the Great St Bernard, Mont Cenis, and the Brenner, order, as in the vicinity of the Russian stations on the Caucasus, was tolerably preserved ; but in the remoter valleys the people were still independent. It was not till the time of Augustus that Drusus, by the aid of two powerful armies, effected the subjugation of the savage mountaineers of the Rhaetian and Julian Alps, and the son of the emperor was proud of the trophy on which the names of four-and-twenty tribes, subjugated by his arms, were enumerated. Even under the Emperors the interior

chap. of the mountains was almost unexplored ; the source of xxv- the Rhine was unknown; and in the prevailing fable 1798> that the Rhone took its rise in the most hidden parts of 1 Tchocke, the earth between the pillars of the sun, the modern tra-Nation6 la ve^er recognises with interest reference to the glittering Suisse, 21. pile of the glacier of the Rhone, which, when seen through Nat.'iii.'c'.' tlie dark P"ie forests, by which alone it can be approached 24.    from the lower part of the Valais, might with little effort

of imagination have given rise to that popular belief.1

It is to the industry and perseverance of the Gothic race, 3i. who, on the overthrow of the Roman empire, penetrated fnceofthe" *n*:o ^Pine recesses, that the first effectual cultivation religious ' of the Swiss valleys is to be ascribed. The castles of the spading n°Wes were generally situated at the entrance of the moun-cuitivation. tains, and they held large portions of the level country under their sway ; but it was the indulgent rule and beneficent activity of the monks and bishops which penetrated the mountain straits, and settled in the narrow glens of Helvetia a strenuous, peaceable, and industrious population. It was Religion which spread its aegis over these savage wilds, and first converted the fierce shepherds and huntsmen of the Alps into industrious and peaceable citizens. At Sion and St Maurice in the Valais, St Gall, the Abbey of Einsilden, Zurich, Lucerne, the Abbey of Engelberg, at the foot of the Titlis, and indeed in every part of the Alps, it was on the ecclesiastical estates that the first symptoms of agricultural improvement were to be seen, and the first habits of regular industry were acquired. So widely had those habits spread, and so considerable was the number of strenuous cultivators, who had carved out small estates for themselves out of the forests and rugged slopes of the interior of the mountains, that Switzerland was already a country of little proprietors, when the authority of the House of Austria was thrown off by the efforts of William Tell; and revolution there, as afterwards 2pianta’s in America, was deprived of its most dangerous qualities 1.^112,’V taking place among a simple uncorrupted people, 159- already for the most part proprietors of the land which they cultivated.2

If it be true, as has been beautifully said, (and few who know mankind will doubt it,) that wherever you see a bird-cage in a window, or a flower in a garden, you are

sure the inmates arc wiser and better than their neighbours, chap. there are few countries in which there are so -many wise xxv. and good men as in Switzerland. In truth, of all the ,-y8 many charms of that delightful country, there is none so 32 universal and interesting as the general well-being and immense comfort of the people. To assert, indeed, that poverty is ^casTonld unknown in that land of freedom, is to assert what never by the diffn-has and never will obtain among mankind. Doubtless among the vice, folly, and misfortune produce the same effects there peasants, as elsewhere in the world ; and an indigent population in a territory so contracted, has in some places arisen from the occupation of all the land susceptible of cultivation, and the fluctuations of the manufactures on which a part of the population has come to depend. But, generally speaking, the condition of the people is comfortable ; in many places, as the Forest Cantons and the borders of the Lake of Zurich, in Appenzell and the Pays de Vaud, they are affluent beyond any other peasantry in Europe. The white-washed cottages, with their green doors and win* dow-shutters, their smiling gardens and flowering orchards, the well-cla4figures of the inhabitants, their frequent herds and flocks, bespeak, in language not to be misunderstood, that general well-being which can exist only where land lias been honestly acquired, and virtuous habits are generally diffused. So dense is the population in some districts, that in five parishes and two villages on the Lake of Zurich there are only 10,400 acres under cultivation of every kind, and 8498 souls—being scarcely an acre and a quarter to i coxe's each individual; yet in no part of the world is such gene- Switzerland, ral comfort conspicuous among the people: an example, mond's^' among the many others which history affords, of the great ^J06' truth, that it is vice or oppression which induces a miser- stain, able population, and that no danger is to be apprehended p^Xtion, from the greatest increase in the numbers of mankind, if u. 3,64. ’ they are justly governed and influenced by virtuous habits.1

Of all the European governments, Switzerland was the one the weight of which was least felt by tho people. 33 Economy, justice, and moderation, were the basis of its Equity and administration, and the federal union by which the different cantons of which it was composed were held together, former seemed to have no other object than to secure their com- yernmcnt. mon independence. Taxes were almost unknown, property

chap. was perfectly secure, and the expenses of government were xxv. incredibly small. The military strength of the state con-)798^ sisted in the militia of the different cantons, which, though formidable, if united and led by chiefs well skilled in the difficult art of mountain warfare, was little qualified to maintain a protracted struggle with the vast forces which the neighbouring powers had now brought into the field. The constitutions of the cantons were various. In some, as the Forest Cantons, highly democratic; in others, as in Berne, essentially aristocratic: but in all, the great objects of government, security to persons and property, freedom in life and religion, were attained, and the aspect of the population exhibited a degree of well-being unparalleled in any other part of the world. The traveller was never weary of admiring, on the sunny margin of the lake of Zurich, on the vine-clad hills of the Leman sea, in the smiling fields of Appenzell, in the romantic valleys of Berne, and the lovely recesses of Underwalden—the beautiful cottages, the property of their inhabitants, where industry had accumulated its fruits, and art often spread 2930 300*' *ts elegancies, and virtue ever diffused its oSntentment; num. i. and where, amidst the savage magnificence of nature, a Personal ob- nearer approach appeared to have been made to the sim-servation. plicity of the golden age than in any other quarter of the civilised globe.1

The physical resources of Switzerland, at this period, 34 were far from being considerable. The thirteen cantons statistics of into which the confederacy was then divided, contained !antons!S    ^ut 1,347,000 inhabitants; and the contingents

fixed in 1668, of soldiers to be furnished by each canton, amounted in all to only 9600 men. Now, since nine more cantons have been added, the population is 2,188,000, and the contingents of armed men amount to 33,758 men. Even the largest of these numbers must appear Lilliputian beside the colossal armies of France and Germany, with which they were environed on all sides ; and such as they were, they were not regular troops, but militia, which the state was bound only to make forthcoming in the event of a war. A reserve existed, however, of equal strength ; and if invaded, Switzerland could even at that time bring

100,000 militia into the field. The public revenues of the whole confederacy now amount only to 14,000,000 francs,

or L.470,000 a-year,and in 1798 the thirteen cantons could chap. not boast of more than L.260,000. It was neither in its xxv. regular army nor its national income that the strength of I79g the Swiss Confederacy was to be found, but in the strength i Maite-' of the country, the courage and hardihood of the people, f9r3unc'0“‘e their universal acquaintance with the use of arms, their iii. 334, 335. unchangeable public spirit, and the halo of glory which centuries of victory had bequeathed to their arms.1

For many ages the Swiss infantry was universally reckoned the first in Europe. They were, literally speak- 35 ing, believed to be invincible. The victories of Morgarten, Their great Laupen, and Naefels over the Austrians, and the still more marvellous triumphs of Grancon, Morat, Nancy, and Yer- ” * ’ celli, over Charles the Bold and the chivalry of France, had rendered it evident that they had discovered the secret of resisting with success even the most powerful cavalry of modern Europe, and that their serried columns, like the Macedonian phalanx, were impenetrable even to the steel-clad gendarmerie of the feudal barons. The ultimate success of Francis I. against these terrible bands on the bloody field of Marignan had scarcely weakened their reputation : for that could scarcely be called an overthrow, in which the victors had been brought into nearly as great straits as the vanquished, and which the Royal Conqueror himself had called a strife of giants, beside which all other battles were child’s play. Subsequently they had been less heard of in the fields of European fame, partly because the Confederacy itself preserved a cautious neutrality, and the exploits of the mercenary bands which they lent out to all belligerent states were lost in the crowd of native soldiers among whom they served; partly because their loud, and often ill-timed, demands for their pay, rendered them an object of disquietude to those governments of Europe, so numerous in the last two centuries, whose thirst for conquest was stronger than their inclination or ability to remunerate the conquerors. But still their warlike spirit and prowess had not declined : they still maintained the character given of them by the Roman annalist—” Hel-vetii,Gallicagens, olim armis virisque, mox memoria nominis clara.” * When brought into action, they had always evinced the steadiness and valour for which their ancestors

* “ The Helvetii, a Gallic race, formerly illustrious from their troops and arms, now from the memory of their exploits.”—Tacitus, Uist. i. 67.

had been so famous ; and their recent glorious stand for the monarchy of Louis in the Place of the Carrousel, had demonstrated that, in the noblest of military virtues, fidelity to their colours in misfortune, they never had been surpassed by any troops in ancient or modern times.

Such, indeed, were the military resources of the Swiss, and the magnitude of their reputation, that it is more than doubtful whether, if they had been united among each other, they could have been subjugated even by the whole military power of France, at least without such a serious and protracted contest as would infallibly have brought the standards of Austria to their aid. But that which the French bayonets probably could not have effected, French propagandism had rendered of comparatively easy acquisition. Though the mountaineers, especially in the eastern parts of Switzerland, where the German language is spoken, were almost unanimously true to their country, and proof alike against the seductions and the illusions of French democracy, yet the case was different in the towns in the plains, and even the rural districts, where French was the prevailing tongue. They had been, ever since the commencement of the Revolution, the incessant object of French propagandism : affiliated societies, Jacobin clubs, corresponding with that of the Jacobins at Paris, had been early established in almost all the principal towns of the level country; and as the spirit of the people in all those towns was essentially democratic, they found a ready reception in these heated enthusiasts.1*

CHAP.

XXV.

36. Ruinous political divisions which at that period prevailed in Switzer land.


1 Hard. v. 276, 277. Jom. x. 198, 200.

37. Secret objects of the Swiss democrats in this movement.


It was not the mere fumes of democracy which led the ardent spirits in the Swiss towns to embrace the cause of French propagandism. They had in view a deeper object, and proposed to themselves political and personal advantages of no small amount, by rendering French principles triumphant in this country. A Republic, one and indivisible, on the model of that of France, was the object for

* The following is the population of the principal towns in Switzerland :—

Geneva, .

26,000

Soleure, . Neufchatel, .

4,000

Berne, .

18,000

5,000

Bale, .

17,000

Vevay, .

4,500

Zurich, .

11.500

Coire, . Glarus, .

3,200

Lausanne, .

10,200

4,000

St Gall, .

9,000

Tusis, . Lugano, .

3,000

Schaffhausen,

7,500

3,600

2,500

Herisau, . Fribourg, .

7,000

Y verdun, .

6.000

Sion, .

3,000

Lucerne .

6,500

Appenzell, .

3,200*

which the democratic party in both countries incessantly chap. ■ strove ; and the demagogues of Berne and Geneva at once xxv-perceived, that if this system were established, and the 179g rights of the separate cantons extinguished, the rude mountaineers of the Valais and the Oberland would be no match for them, and that all Switzerland would soon fall into the same subjection to its chief towns, which France had already done to Paris. The mountaineers were clear-sighted enough to see this danger ; and for that reason they steadily resisted French principles, and resolutely held out for the old system of separate government in the different cantons, and a federal union. So firm was i Hard v. their resistance in many places, that, if the whole rural ^2^; population had been equally clear upon it and united is3. together, it is doubtful whether the French would ever have succeeded in subjugating the country.1

But unhappily the rural cantons themselves laboured under a cause of weakness which paralysed their efforts, 3g and enabled the French effectually to insert the point of inequality the wedge even into many of the most unsophisticated of °f?htsin the the mountain districts. This weakness, the sad bequest of different the thirst for exclusive power in former times, consisted Cantons-in the political subjection of some cantons and districts to others. The chief defect in the political constitution of the Helvetic Confederacy was, that, with the usual jealousy of the possessors of power, they had refused to admit the conquered provinces to a participation of the privileges which they themselves enjoyed, and thereby sown the seeds of future dissension and disaffection between the different parts of their dominions. In this way the Pays de Vaud was politically subject to the canton of Berne, the Italian bailiwicks to that of Uri, and some towns of Argovia and Thurgovia to other cantons; while the peasants of Zurich, in addition to the absence of political privileges, were galled by a monopoly in the sale of their produce, which was justly complained of as oppressive. Yet the moderation and justice of the government of the senate of Berne were admitted even by its bitterest enemies; the economy of their administration 2nard.v. had enabled them, with extremely light burdens, not only IgL4at'-to meet all the expenses of the state, but to accumulate Jom. x. i’y5. a large treasure for future emergencies ;2 and the practical

chap. blessings of their rule were unequivocally demonstrated xxv. by the well-being of the peasantry and the density of the 1798. • population—features rarely found in unison, and which cannot coexist but under a paternal and beneficent system of administration.

The uniform system of the French revolutionary govern-

39    ment, when they wished to make themselves masters-of JesoivetoCh an^ countlT’ was to exc*te a part of the population, by the

excite one

prospect of the extension of political power, against the inhabitants otlier ; to awaken democratic ambition by the offer of against the fraternal support. Having thus, distracted the state by otaer. intestine divisions, they soon found it an easy matter to triumph over both. The situation of the Swiss cantons, some* of which held conquered provinces in subjection, and which varied extremely among each other in the extent to which the elective franchise was diffused through the people, offered a favourable prospect of undermining the patriotism of the inhabitants, and accomplishing the subjection of the whole by the adoption of this insidious system. The treasure of Berne, of which report had magnified the amount, offered an irresistible bait to the cupidity of the French Directory; and whatever arguments were adduced in favour of respecting the neutrality of that asylum of freedom, they were always met by the

i Lac sjy consideration of the immense relief which those accumu-lss- lated savings of three centuries would afford to the finances of the Republic.1

The first spark of the revolutionary flame had been

40    lighted in Switzerland in 1791, when many sincere and First origin enthusiastic men, among whom was Colonel La Harpe, ]°utionaryV° formerly preceptor to the Emperor Alexander, contribut-Pas.stioen^n ^ ed by their publications to the growth of democratic principles. The patricians of Berne were the especial object of their attacks, and numerous had been the efforts made to induce the inhabitants of its territory to shake off the aristocratic yoke. But the success of their endeavours was for many years prevented by the catastrophe of 10th August, and the savage ferocity with which the Swiss guard were treated by the Parisian populace on that occasion, for no other crime than unshaken fidelity to their duty and their oaths. Barthelemy was sent to Berne as ambassador of France in September 1792 to counteract

this tendency ; and his efforts and address were not with- chap. out success in allaying the general exasperation, and xxv. reviving those feelings of discontent which, in an especial manner, existed among the inhabitants of the subject ,9‘' cantons. The government, however, persisted in a cautious system of neutrality; the wisest course which they could possibly have adopted, if supported by such a force x llard v as to cause it to be respected, but the most unfortunate 277,235. when accompanied, as it was, by no military preparations to meet the coming danger.1

The Swiss democrats formed a considerable party, formidable chiefly from their influence being concentrated in 41 the great towns, where the powers of thought were more its rapid active, and the means of communication greater than in fheTa^e'1 the rural districts. Zurich was the centre of their in- towns.” trigues ; and it was the great object of the revolutionists to counterbalance, by the influence of that city, the authority of Berne, at the head of which was Steiger, the ehief 'magistrate of the confederacy. Ochs, grand tribune of Bale, a turbulent and ambitious demagogue, Pfeflir, son of one of the chief magistrates of Lucerne, and Colonel Weiss at Berne, formed a secret committee, the object of which was, by all possible means, to bring about the downfall of the existing constitution, and the ascendency of French influence in the whole confederacy. Their united efforts occasioned an explosion at Geneva in 1792, and threatened the liberties of all Switzerland : but the firmness of the government of Berne averted the danger; „HarJ v fourteen thousand militia speedily approached the menaced 2S2,a290.V‘ point; and the troops of the Convention retired before a nation determined to assert its independence.2

The subjugation of Switzerland, however, continued a favourite object of French ambition ; it had been resolved 42

011 by the Directory long before the treaty of Campo Their mea-Formio. In July 1797, their envoy Mengaud was dis- bringonR patched to Berne to insist upon the dismissal of the English contest with resident Wickham, and at the same time to set 011 foot in- ^tS'vlss trigues with the democratic party, similar to those which had proved so successful in effecting the overthrow of the Venetian republic. By the prudent resolution of the English government, who were desirous not to embroil

chap. the Helvetic Confederacy with their formidable neigh-xxv. hours, Wickham was withdrawn. Foiled in this attempt

1797 to involve the Swiss in a conflict, the Directory next ordered their troops on the frontier to take possession of that part of the territory of Bale which was subject to the jurisdiction of the cantons ; but here too they were unsuccessful, for the Swiss government confined themselves to simple negotiations for so glaring a violation of existing treaties. But Napoleon, by his conduct in regard to the 302^miiard "Valteline, struck a chord which soon vibrated with fatal

v. 290,302. effect throughout Switzerland, and, by rousing the spirit of democracy, prepared the subjugation of the country.1

This country,consisting of five bailiwicks, and containing 43 one hundred and sixty thousand souls, extending from the Napoleon source of the Adda to its junction with the lake of Como, succeed!^in 1)6611 conquered by the Grisons from the Dukes of exciting a Milan. Francis I. guaranteed to its inhabitants the enjoyment of their liberties ; and they had governed it with justice and moderation with a council of its own for three centuries. Napoleon, however, perceived in the situation of this sequestered valley the means of beginning the disruption of the Helvetic confederacy. Its proximity to the Milanese territory, where the revolutionary spirit was then furiously raging, and the common language which they spoke, rendered it probable that its inhabitants would rapidly imbibe the spirit of revolt against their German superiors; and, in order to sound their intentions, and foment the desire of independence, he, early in the summer of 1797, sent his aide-de-camp Leclerc to their cottages. The result was, that the inhabitants of the Yalteline openly claimed their independence, rose in insurrection, hoisted the tricolor flag, and expelled the Swiss authorities. Napoleon, chosen during the plenitude of his power at Montebello as Oct. io, mediator between the contending parties, pronounced, on

2 Nap. iv. 10t^ October 1797, a decree which, instead of settling the 196,260,202. disputed points between them, annexed the whole insur-26^2G3.202’ »ent territory to the Cisalpine Republic, thereby bereaving Ann. Reg. the ancient allies of France, during a time of profound Hard.^v. peace, of a territory to them of great value, which they 302,307. had enjoyed for three hundred years.2 This decree was professedly based on the principle of still more general

application, That no one people should be subjected to chap. another people;”9 a principle which sounded somewhat xxv. strange in the mouth of the general of the great and ruling 1?97 Republic.    .

This iniquitous proceeding, which openly encouraged every subject district in the Swiss confederacy to declare 44 its independence, was not lost upon the Valais, the Pays Powerful de Vaud, and all the other dependencies of the Republic,

To increase the excitement, a large body of troops, under sures proGeneral Menard, was moved forward to the frontiers of subject *6 that discontented province ; and Napoleon, in his journey cantons, from Milan to Rastadt, took care to pass through those districts, and stop in those towns where the democratic spirit was known to be most violent. At Lausanne he was surrounded by the most ardent of the revolutionary party, and openly proclaimed as the Restorer of their independence. A plan of operations was soon concerted with Ochs and La Harpe, the leaders of the new projects in that country. It was agreed that a republic, one and indivisible, should be erected, as that was considered more favourable to the interests of France, and the leading democrats in the towns, than the present federal union: that the Directory should commence by taking possession of Bienne,

L’Esquil, and Munsterthal, which were dependencies of the bishopric of Bale : that all the Italian bailiwicks should be stimulated to follow the example of the Pays de Vaud in throwing off the yoke of the other cantons: that the French Republic should declare itself the protector of all the districts and individuals who were ij0m. x disposed to shake off the authority of the aristocratic ^ 2^.3y cantons, and that Mengaud should encourage the formation 195. De of clubs, inundate the country with revolutionary writings, A^f/Rcg?9’ and promise speedy succours in men and money.1 At 179s, 24, 25 Berne Napoleon asked a question of sinister import, as to

chap. the amount of its treasure; and though the senator to xxv. whom it was addressed prudently reduced its amount to ' ■ l79g 10,000,000 francs, or about <£400,000, this was sufficient to ‘ induce that ambitious man, who was intent on procuring funds for his Eastern expedition, to urge the Directory to prosecute their invasion of Switzerland.

The first act of open hostility against the Helvetic 45 league was the seizure of the country of Erguel by five First open battalions, drawn from the army of the Rhine, on the tmty°fh0S    December. This event, accompanied as it was by an

»ec. 15, alarming fermentation, and soon an open insurrection in the Pays de Yaud, produced the utmost consternation in Switzerland ; and a diet assembled at Arau to deliberate concerning the public exigencies. This act of hostility Dec. 17, was followed, two days after, by an intimation from ll97- Mengaud, the French envoy, “that the members of the governments of Berne and Friburg should answer personally for the safety of the persons and property of such of the inhabitants of the Pays de Yaud as might address themselves to the French Republic to obtain the restitution of their rights.” As the senate of Berne seemed resolved to defend their country, Mengaud, early in January, summoned them instantly to declare their intentions. At the same time, General Menard crossed Savoy with ten thousand men, from the army of Italy, and established his headquarters at Ferney, near Geneva ; while Monnier, who commanded the troops in the Cisalpine Republic, advanced to the frontiers of the Italian bailiwicks, to support the expected insurrection on the southern side of Jan. 4.1798. the Alps. These threatening measures brought matters

1 Ann. Recr.

1793,22,23.’ to a crisis in the Pays de Yaud ; the standard of insurrec-La™’xiV302 ^on was openly foisted, trees of liberty were planted, the 195.    Swiss authorities expelled, and the “ Leman Republic

solemnly recognised by the French Directory.

These iniquitous measures against the Swiss confederacy 4g were all adopted by the government, with the concurrence This is ail and by the advice of Napoleon. He was the great centre Indirectioncorrespondence with the malcontents of Helvetia; and ofNapo- by his counsel, assistance, and directions, they kept alive that spirit of disaffection which ultimately proved fatal to the independence of the confederacy. In concert, at Paris, with La Ilarpe, Ochs, and the other leaders of the insur-

rection, he prepared a general plan of a revolt against the chap. Swiss government. So little did the Directory deem it xxv. necessary to conceal either their own or his share in these 17gg intrigues, that they openly avowed it. In a journal published under their immediate superintendence, it was publicly declared that, with the assistance of Napoleon, they were engaged in a general plan for the remodelling the Helvetic constitution ; and that they took under their especial protection the patriots of the Pays de Vaud, and x all who were engaged in the great struggle for equality of 310^311.^” privileges and French fraternisation throughout the whole confederacy.110

These violent steps, which threatened the whole confederacy with dissolution, excited the deepest alarm in the Swiss Diet, assembled at Arau. This was increased by a consYerna. note addressed by Mengaud, which declared that, if the tion in con-Austrians entered the Grisons, the French would imme- escUedTn diately occupy the canton of Berne. The most violent The^n'ai'”1’ debates, meantime, took place in the senate of that canton, some con-C as to the course which should be adopted.- In order to cessious-chap. appease the public discontents, they passed a decree by xxv. which the principal towns and districts in the canton ]798 were empowered to elect fifty deputies to sit in the Iegis-20th Jan. lature. This example was immediately followed by the cantons of Zurich, Friburg, Lucerne, Soleure, and ShafF-hausen. But this measure met with the usual fate of all i Ann. Reg. concessions yielded, under the influence of fear, to revolu-•wi 308X ti°nary ambition; it displayed weakness without evinc-Th’ x. 46. ing firmness, and encouraged audacity without awakening gratitude.1

Convinced at length by the eloquence of Steiger, that 43 resistance was the only course which remained, the Senate Hostilities of Berne ordered the militia, twenty thousand strong, to fn th™ Pays called out, and sent Colonel Weiss, with a small force, de vaud. to take possession of Lausanne. But this officer had not troops sufficient to accomplish the object; the insurgents instantly invited General Menard to enter the territory of the confederacy, and the French battalions quickly poured down from the Jura. Upon his approach, the revolution broke out at Lausanne ; the Swiss from Berne were driven

to my friends, in guarded phrases, that they wiU be supported5 May I assure the patriots of Zurich, that the amnesty demanded will be extended to the inhabitants of Kaiffa; that France will make good its incontestable rights to the Val Moutier, the Val d’Erguel, and the town of Bienne; that she will guarantee the liberties of the Pays de Vaud, and that the Italian bailiwicks may present petitions, and fraternise with the Cisalpine Republic? Bale revolutionised might propose to the Italian bailiwicks, the Pays lie Vaud, and the other subject states, to send deputies to a national convention ; if matters were only brought tbat length, there can be no doubt that the remainder of Switzerland would come into their measures. But it is indispensable that the agents of France should publish revolutionary writ*> Corresp *n£sanc* declare every where that you take under your especial protection Conf. iv. 470, all who labour for the regeneration of their country. This declaration, 472.    however, may be made either publicly or confidentially; I shall be happy to

prepare a sketch of such a confidential letter, if you prefer that method.” 2 It would appear that Napoleon had not at once replied to this letter; 19th Dec. 1797. for, six days afterwards, Ochs again wrote to him : “ I wrote to you on the 12th, and begged to know to which of the alternatives proposed in my letter the patriots are to look. Meanwhile, they aie preparing, but I am niucli afraid they will do more harm than good; they will probably effect s ibid. ir. 4-4 a revolution only, which will be speedily overturned, and leave matters 475. ' ’ ‘ ’ worse than before.” 3 On the 2d December, Bacher, the revolutionary 2d Dec.    agent for the Grisons, wrote to Napoleon; “ The explosion which we have

so long expected has at length taken place ; the chiefs and members of the Grey league have been deposed, and placed in confinement at Coire; the general assembly of the people has heen convoked. Their first act has been to send a deputation to express to you, citizen-general, the profound sense which the Congress entertain of your powerful mediation, and to give 4 Ibid. iv. 483. you all the information which you can desire.” * On the 21st December, 2lst Dec. Ochs wrote to Napoleon: My letters have at length informed me, that the French troops are in possession of the bishopric of Bale. I am transported with joy on the occasion; the last hour of the aristocracy appears to have struck. Listen to what one of your agents writes to me; 1 Ilave only a

out, and Menard, advancing, summoned Weiss instantly chap. and entirely to evacuate the Pays de Vaud. Two soldiers xxv. of the escort of the flag of truce were killed ; and although ,79fj the Senate of Berne offered to deliver up the men who had committed this aggression, Menard obstinately insisted upon construing it into a declaration of war, and esta- 27th Jan. blished his headquarters at Lausanne. Meanwhile Ochs and Mengaud, the leaders of the democratic party, succeeded in revolutionising all the plain or northern part of Switzerland, as far as the foot of the mountains ; the territories of Zurich, Bale, and Argovie, quickly hoisted the 1 Jom x. tricolor flag, and convulsions took place in the Lower 305. sob. Valais, Friburg, Soleure, and St Gall. To such a height 200. xii. of audacity did the insurgents arrive, that they hoisted -^n4J> ^ that emblem of revolution at Arau, without the Diet 26. being able to overawe them by their presence, or prevent them by their authority.1

Driven to desperation by these insurrections, the Senate of Berne tardily, but resolutely, resolved upon resistance.

They intimated to the French government the concessions

little patience, and full justice wiU be done: war will be waged with the oligarchy and the aristocracy; government established in its primitive simplicity, universal equality will prevail, and then France will indeed live on terms of amity with its Swiss neighbours.’” 2 On the 17tli February 2 Corresp. 1798, the revolutionary deputies of the Pays de Vaud presented the follow- Conf. iv. 470. ing address to Napoleon : “ The deputies of the Pays de Vaud, whom the jIJi Feb' generous protection of the Directory has so powerfully aided, desire to lay their homage at your feet. They owe it the more, because it was your passage through their country which electrified the inhabitants, and" was the precursor of the thunderbolt which has overwhelmed the oligarchy.

The Helvetians swore, when they beheld the Liberator of Italy, to recover their rights.” 3 Brune also corresponded with Napoleon during the 3 Ibid. iv. 508, whole campaign in Switzerland. In one of his letters, on 17th March 1798, March 17. he says, “ I have studied your political conduct throughout yonr Italian campaign; I follow your labours to the best of my ability; according to your advice, I spare no methods of conciliation : but at the same time am fully prepared to act with force, and the genius of liberty has seconded my enterprises. I am, like you, surrounded by rascals; I am constantly paring their nails, and taking the public treasures from them." * Lastly, Napoleon 4 iv. K3. 110 sooner heard of the invasion of the Pays de Vaud, than he wrote to the Directors of the Cisalpine Republic in these terms : “ The Pays de Vaud 5th Feb. and the different cantons of Switzerland are animated with the same spirit of liberty: we know that the Italiau bailiwicks share in the same disposition ; but we deem it indispensable that at this moment they should declare their sentiments, and manifest a desire to be united to the Cisalpine Republic. We desire in consequcnce that you will avail yourselves of all the means in your power to spread in A-out neighbourhood the spirit of liberty; circulate liberal writings; and excite a movement which may accelerate the general revolution of Switzerland. We have given orders to General Monnier to approach the frontiers of the Italian bailiuicks with his troops, to support any movements of the insurgents; he has received orders to concert measures with you for the attainment of an object equally important to both Republics.”—See Hard. t. 230.

chap. made to the popular party; but the Directory declared

xxv. that nothing would be deemed satisfactory unless the whole

1798 ancient constitution was overturned, and a provisional

49    government of five revolutionists established in its stead. Resolute The Senate, finding their ruin resolved on, issued a procla-the'senate' nation calling on the shepherds of the Alps to defend their of Berne, country; Steiger repaired in person to the army to put

himself under the orders of Erlach, and the most energetic measures to repel the danger were adopted. A minority unworthy of the name of Swiss, abdicated, and agreed to all the propositions of the French general ; not intimidated by the terror of the Republican arms, but deluded by the contagion of its principles. Desirous still, if possible, to avoid proceeding to extremities, the Senate addressed a note to the Directory, in which they complained of the irruption of their troops into the Pays de Yaud, and offered to disband their militia if the invaders were withdrawn. This drew forth from the enemy a full statement of their designs. No longer pretending to confine themselves to the support of the districts in a state of revolution, or the securing for them the privileges of citizens, they insisted on overturning the whole constitution of the country, forming twenty-two cantons instead of thirteen, and creating a Republic, one and indivisible, with a Directory, formed in all respects on the model of that of France. At 308™I0X' ^ie same tin16 Mengaud published at Arau a declaration, Hard, v.'318, that “all Swiss who should refuse to obey the commands, Lac.*iiv or f°N°w the standards of the Senate of Berne, would be 201.    taken under the immediate protection of the French

Republic.”1

But the Swiss, on their side, were not idle. The glorious

50    example of their ancestors was emulated by. the simple Heroic inhabitants of the mountain districts. The Oberland en the'mouuf masse flew to arms ; the shepherds descended from the taineers. edges of their glaciers; every valley mustered its little

horde of men, and the accumulated streams, uniting like the torrents of the Alps, formed a body of nearly twenty thousand combatants on the frontiers of Berne. The smail cantons followed the glorious example; Uri, Underwalden, Schwytz, and Soleure, sent forth their contingents with alacrity; the inmost recesses of the Alps teemed with warlike activity, and the peasants joyfully set out from their

cottages, not doubting that the triumphs of Morat, Laupen, chap. and Granson, were about to be renewed in the holy war of xxv. independence. The women fanned the generous flame : 179s they not only encouraged their husbands and brothers to 1 De Staa, swell the bands of their countrymen, but themselves in many instances joined the ranks, resolved to share in the j0m. x.310.' perils and glories of the strife. Almost every where the inhabitants of the mountains remained faithful to their v. 321,322. country; the citizens of the towns and plains alone were deluded by the fanaticism of revolution.1

General D’Erlach, who commanded the Swiss troops, had formed his army into three divisions, consisting of 51 about seven thousand men each. The first, under General Commenee-Audermatt, occupied the space between Friburg and the ^“^es. classic shores of the lake of Morat ; the second, under Graffenreid, was encamped between the town of Buren and the bridge over the river Thiels ; the third, under Colonel Watteville, was in communication with the preceding, and covered Soleure. Had the Swiss army instantly attacked, they might possibly have overwhelmed the two divisions of the French troops, which were so far separated as to be incapable of supporting each other ; the multitude of waverers in Switzerland would probably have been decided, by such an event, to join the armies of their country, and thus the confederacy might have been enabled to maintain its ground till the distant armies of Austria advanced to its relief. But, from a dread of- precipitating hostilities while yet accommodation was practicable, this opportunity, notwithstanding the most urgent representations of Steiger, was allowed to escape, and General Brune, who at this time replaced Menard in thecommand,instantly concentrated his forces, and sent forward an envoy to Berne to propose terms of accommodation. By this artifice he both induced the enemy to relax their efforts, and gained time to complete his own preparations. The Senate meanwhile fluctuated between the enthusiasm of the peasantry to resist the enemy, and their apprehensions of engaging in such a contest. At length Brune, having completed his 3jJ20“,'5x‘ preparations, declared that nothing would satisfy the Ann. Keg. Directory but the immediate disbanding of the whole v army;2 upon which the Senate at length authorised D’Er- 359,375. lach to commence hostilities, and notice was sent to the

chap. French commander that the armistice would not be

xxv. renewed.11

1798_ ' The French general, however, resolved to anticipate the 5„ enemy. For this purpose, the troops were moved before Surrender of daybreak on the 2d March, towards Soleure and Friburg, Friburg.and where they had many partisans among the revolutionary March 2. classes. A battalion of Swiss, after a heroic resistance, was cut to pieces at the advanced posts ; but the towns were far from imitating this gallant example. Soleure surrendered at the first summons, and Friburg, after a show of resistance, did the same. These great successes, gained evidently by concert with the party who distracted Switzerland, not only gave the invaders a secure bridge over the Aar, but, by uncovering the right of the Swiss army, compelled the retreat of the whole. This retrograde movement, immediately following these treacherous surrenders, produced the most fatal effect; the peasants conceived they were betrayed, some disbanded and retired, boiling with rage, to their mountains; others mutinied and murdered their officers ; nothing but the efforts of Steiger and D’Erlach brought any part of the troops back to their colours, and then it was discovered that half their number had disappeared during the confusion. This unlooked-for piece of good fortune was ably taken advantage of by the French general. While the Swiss troops at this critical moment were undergoing so ruinous a diminution, the French were vigorously following up their successes. Before daybreak on the 5th, a general attack was commenced on the Swiss position. General Pigeon, with fifteen thousand men> passed the Sarine, and by a sudden assault, made Lac. xiv. himself master of the post of Neueneck, on the left of the Ann?Re"-. :irmy >1 but the Swiss, though only eight thousand strong, 29.    under Graffenreid, having returned to the charge, after a

desperate conflict drove his veteran bands back, with the

loss of eighteen pieces of cannon, and two thousand men, chap. and amidst loud shouts, regained the position they had xxv-occupied in the morning.    1798

But while fortune thus smiled on the arms of freedom on the left, a fatal disaster occurred on the right. After the 53 fall of Soleure, the division of Schawenburg moved for- Bloody ward on the road to Berne, and after an obstinate struggle, ^^J,efore dislodged the Swiss advanced guard of four thousand men placed in the village of Frauenbrunne. After this success, he pushed on till his advance was arrested by the corps commanded by D’Erlach in person, seven thousand strong, posted with its right resting 011 a ridge of rocks, and its left 011 marshes and woods. But the strength of this position, where formerly the Swiss had triumphed over the Sire of Coucy, proved inadequate to arrest the immense force which now assailed it. The great superiority of the French, who had no less than sixteen thousand veteran troops in the field, enabled them to scale the rocks and turn his right, while dense battalions, supported by a numerous artillery, pressed upon the centre and left. After a brave resistance, the Swiss were forced to retreat; in the course of it, they made a heroic stand at Granholz. The extraordinary nature of the war there appeared in the strongest colours. The Swiss peasants, though defeated, faced about with the utmost resolution ; old men, women, children, joined their ranks ; the place of the dead and the wounded was instantly supplied by crowds of every age and sex, who rushed forward with inextinguishable devotion to the scene of danger. At length the numbers and discipline of the French prevailed over the undaunted resolution of their opponents ; the motley crowd was borne backwards at the point of the bayonet to the heights in front of Berne. Here D’Erlach renewed the combat for the fifth time that day, and for a while arrested their progress ; but the cannon and cavalry of the French having thrown his undisciplined troops into confusion, they were Ann. Keg. driven into the town, and the cannon of the ramparts    203'

alone prevented the victors from following in their steps. Th’.-x.'so. The city capitulated the same night, and the troops dispersed in every direction.1*

• During all these negotiations and combats with the Republic of Berno, Brune corresponded confidentially with, and took directions from Napoleon.

chap. Deplorable excesses followed the dissolution of the Swiss

xxv. army. The brave D’Erlach was massacred by the deluded 17ss soldiers at Munzingen, as he was endeavouring to reach

54    % the small cantons. Steiger, after undergoing incredible Dreadful hardships, escaped by the mountains of Oberland into Bava-thesSwiss°f r*a> Numbers of the bravest officers fell victims to the after defeat, fury of the troops ; and the democratic party, by spreading Berneaad" ^ie belief that they had been betrayed by their leaders, its trea- occasioned the destruction of the few men who could have

sustained the sinking fortunes of their country. The French, immediately after their entrance into Berne, made themselves masters of its treasure, the chief incentive to the war. Its exact amount was never ascertained, but the most moderate estimate made it 20,000,000 francs, or L.800,000 sterling. The arsenal, containing 300 pieces

i Jom. x. of cannon, and 40,000 muskets, the stores, the archives, all Lac 3fiv. became the prey of the victors. The tree of liberty was 208,209. planted, the democratic constitution promulgated, and a Hard.’v.1' Directory appointed. Several senators put themselves to 391,409. death at beholding the destruction of their country ; many died of grief at the sight.1*

The fall of Berne was soon followed by an explosion of

55    the revolutionary volcano over great part of Switzerland. Enormous The people of Zurich and Lucerne rose in open insurrections levied ti°n 5 dispossessed the authorities; and hoisted the tri-oythe color flag; the Lower Yalaisans revolted against the Up-every where. Per> and by the aid of the French, made themselves masters of the castellated cliffs of Sion. Almost all the level parts of Switzerland joined the innovating party. They were not long in tasting the bitter fruits of such conduct.

On the 8th February he wrote from Lausanne to him :—“ Berne has made some flourishes before my arrival, but since that period it has been chiefly occupied with remodelling its constitution; anticipating thus the stroke which the Directory had prepared for it. To-morrow I shall advance to Morat, and from thence make you acquainted, my general, with our military and political situation." Three days afterwards he again wrote:— “ The letter of citizen Mengaud, affixed to the coffee-houses of Berne, has awakened the oligarchs; their battalions are on foot; nothing less than the

12,000 men which you have demanded from the army of the Rhine for this expedition can ensure its success. The presence of an armed force is indispensable.”—Corresp. Conf. de Nap. iv. 511, 512; and Hard. v. 355, 356.

* Brune announced the capture of Berne to Napoleon in these terms :— “From the moment that 1 found myself in a situation to act, I assembled all my strength to strike like lightning’; for Switzerland is a vast barrack, and I had every thing to fear from a war of posts. I avoided it by negotiations, which 1 knew were not sincere on the part of the Bernese, and since that I have followed the plan which I traced out to you. 1 think always that I am siill uuder your command.”—Corrcsp. Conf. iv. 531.

Enormous contributions, pillage of every sort, attended the chap. steps of the Frcnch armies ; even the altar of Notre Dame xxv-des Hermites, in the abbey of Eingilden, near St Gall, the 1798 object of peculiar veneration, was despoiled ; the generals received prodigious gifts out of the plunder:* the troops were clothed at the expense of their democratic allies; and the scourge of commissaries, as in Belgium and Italy, following in the rear of the armies, exhibited, by the severity and enormity of their exactions, a painful contrast to the lenity and indulgence of their former govern-ment.f The Swiss revolutionists were horror-struck at these exactions, and all persons of respectable character, who had beeu misled by the fumes of democracy, seeing 34s,’349! that the independence of Switzerland was destroyed, threw gf^Yi'' up their employments in the service of the invaders, and Th. x. 53. lamented in silence the despotic yoke they had brought on their country.1 %

A new constitution was speedily framed for the confederacy, formed on the basis of that established in France 5g in 1795, and proclaimed at Arau on 12th April. The bar- New consti-riers of nature, the divisions formed by mountains, lakes, Switzerland and torrents; the varieties of character, occupation, lan- April 12. guage, and descent, were disregarded, and the Republic, one and indivisible, was proclaimed. Five directors, entirely in the interest of France, were appointed, with the absolute disposal of the executive and military power of the

* That of General Brune amounted to 800,000 francs, or L.32,000 sterling.

—Lacretelle, xiv. 210.

f The French imposed a tax of 15,000,000 francs, or L.600,000, on their democratic allies ” in Herne, Friburg, Soleure, Lucerne, and Zurich, a sum far greater than ever had been raised before in those simple countries in ten years. -This was independent of 19,000,000 francs, or L.760,000, already paid by these cantons in bills of exchange and cash, and of 5,000,000 francs, or L.200,000 worth of articles taken from the arsenals. Such were the first fruits of republican fraternisation.

{ The total plunder exacted from the canton of Berne alone by the French, in 1798, amounted to the enormous sum of 42,280,000 francs, or above L. 1,700,000. The particulars are given by Hardenberg as follows:—

Treasure, . . . ,

Francs.

, 7,000,000 . 3,700,000

Ingots, . . . .

Contributions, . . .

. 4,000,000

Sale of Tithes, . . .

. 2,000,000

Wheat seized, . . .

17,140,000

Wine, . . . . Artillery and stores in arsenal, ,

. 1,440,000

. 7,000,000

Total, 42,280,000 francs, or L.1,710,000.—See Jomini, Ilistoirc des Ouerres de la Revolution, x. 336330; and Hardesbebq, Memoires <Fun Homme d’£tat, vi. 180, 181.

state; and by a law, worthy of Tiberius, whoever spoke even in a disrespectful manner of the new authorities, was to be punished with death. Geneva at the same time fell a prey to the ambition of the all-engrossing Republic. This celebrated city had long been an object of their desire; and the divisions by which it was now distracted, afforded a favourable opportunity for accomplishing the object. The democratic party loudly demanded a union with that power, and a commission was appointed by the Senate, to report upon the subject. Their report, however, was unfavourable ; upon which General Gerard, who commanded a small corps in the neighbourhood, took possession of the town ; and the Senate, with the bayonet at their throats, formally agreed to a union with the conquering Republic.1

But while the rich and populous part of Switzerland was thus falling a prey to the revolutionary fervour of the times, a more generous spirit animated the shepherds of the small cantons. The people in the mountain districts of Sehwytz, Uri, Underwalden, Glarus, Sargans, Turgovie, and St Gall, rejected the new constitution. The inhabitants of these romantic and sequestered regions, communicating little with the rest of the world, ardently attached to their liberties, proud of their heroic struggles in defence of ancient freedom, and inheriting all the dauntless intrepidity of their forefathers, were not to be seduced by the glittering but deceitful offers which had deluded their richer and more civilised brethren. They clearly perceived that, when once they were merged in the Helvetic Union, their influence would be destroyed by the multitude who would share their privileges; that they themselves, rude and simple, would soon fall under the dominion of the cities, with whose wealth and ambition they were wholly disqualified to contend ; and that, in the wreck of all their ancient institutions, the independence of their common country could not long be maintained. They saw that the insidious promises of the French envoys had terminated only in ruinous exactions and tyrannical rule, and that irreligion, sacrilege, and infidelity, universally marked the invaders’ steps. Every day they had proofs of the repentance, when too late, of the cantons who had invited the enemy into their bosom;

CHAP.

XXV.

1798.


1Jom. x. 330,331. Lac. xiv. 213.

57. Generous efforts of the mountaineers.


and multitudes, escaping from the theatre of French exac- chap. tions, fled into their secluded valleys, stimulating their xxv-inhabitants to resistance by the recital of their oppres- ,-98 sions, and offering to aid them by their arms. Animated by these feelings, the small cantons unanimously rejected the new constitution. “ We have lived,” said they, “for ij0m. x. several centuries, under a republic based on liberty and lIc’3^349' equality ; possessing no other goods in the world but our 216/217. religion and our independence, no other riches but our herds, our first duty is to defend them.” 1 The clergy in these valleys had unbounded influence over their flocks. They were justly horror-struck at the &g total irreligion which was manifested by the French Arguments armies in every part of the world, and the savage war the^were ' which they, in an especial manner, waged against the roused by Catholic faith. The priests traversed the ranks, with the the clergy-crucifix in their hands, to exhort the peasants to die as martyrs, if they could not preserve the independence and religion of their country. “ It is for you,” they exclaimed, to be faithful to the cause of God ; you have received from Him gifts a thousand times more precious than gold or riches—the freedom and faith of your ancestors. A peril far more terrible than heresy now assails you ; impiety itself is at your gates ; the enemy marches covered with the spoils of your churches ; you will no longer be the sons of William Tell if you abandon the faith of your fathers; you are now called on not only to combat as heroes, but to die as martyrs.” The women showed the same ardour as at Berne ; numbers joined the ranks with their husbands; others carried provisions and ammunition for the combatants; all were engaged in the holy cause.

The tricolor flag became the object of the same hatred

as the Austrian standard five centuries before ; the tree of

liberty recalled the pole of Gesler ; all the recollections of

William Tell mingled with the new-born enthusiasm of

the moment. “ We do not fear,” said the shepherds of

Uri, with touching simplicity, “ the armies of France ; we

are four hundred, and if that is not sufficient, four hun- 2 ?e stafel>

dred more in our valley are ready to march to the defence

of their country.”2 Animated by such feelings, the pea-    ’

sants confidently hop<?d for victory ; the spots on which 350. ’ ' ’

the triumphs of Naefels, Laupen, and Morgarten were to

chap. be renewed, were already pointed out with exulting anti-

xxv. cipations of success ; and the shepherds of a few cantons 1798. wl10 could uot bring ten thousand men into the field fearlessly entered the lists with a power beneath which the Austrian monarchy had sunk to the ground.

Aloys Reding was the soul of the confederacy. Brave, 59 active, and energetic, he inherited all the ardent spirit, Aloys Red- and devoted enthusiasm, which in its best days had laid the foundation of Helvetic independence. Descended from the ancient founders of that independence, the relative of numbers who had perished on the Place Carrousel on the 10th August, an old antagonist of the French in the Spanish war, he was filled with the strongest enmity at that grasping tyranny, which, under the name of freedom, threatened to extinguish all the liberties of the civilised world. But he was not a mere enthusiast in the cause of freedom; he brought to its support military talents of a very high order, and a thorough practical acquaintance with modern warfare. His military knowledge and long experience made him fully aware of the perilous nature of the contest in which his countrymen were engaged, but he flattered himself that, amidst the precipices and woods of the Alps, a Vendean war might be maintained till the German nations were roused to their relief; forgetting that a few valleys, whose whole 34J6“mLac. P°Pulation was not eighty thousand, could hardly hope iiy." 216. ’ for success in a contest in which three millions of Bretons and Vendeans had failed.1

The peasants were justly apprehensive of the war being g0 carried into their own territories, as the ravages of the First sue- soldiers or the torch of the incendiary might destroy in a SSataendis-mom.ent the work of centuries of labour. Reding, too, asters of the was in hopes that, by assailing the French troops when peasants, dispersed over a long line, he might gain a decisive success in the outset of the campaign; and accordingly it was determined to make an immediate attack on Lucerne and April 18. Zurich. A body of four thousand men marched upon the former town, which surrendered by capitulation, and where the Swiss got possession of a few pieces of cannon, which they made good use of in the mountain warfare to which they were soon reduced. No sooner had they made themselves masters of the city, than, like the Yen-

deans, they flocked to the churches to return thanks to chap. Heaven for their success. Meanwhile two other columns xxv. threatened Zurich, the one from Rapperswyl, the other 17gg from Richtcnswyl: but here they found that the French,    '

now thoroughly alarmed, were advancing in great force; and that, abandoning all thoughts of foreign conquest, it was necessary to conccntrate all their forces for the defence April 30. of their own valleys. In effect, Schawenberg, with one brigade, surprised three thousand peasants at Zug, and made them all prisoners ; while General Nouvion, after a bloody conflict, won the passage of the Reuss at Mellingen.

He then divided his men into two divisions, one of which, Lac. xiv after an obstinate battle, drove the peasants back into Rapperswyl, while the other forced them, after a desperate 33. ’ °' struggle, from Richtenswyl into the defile of Kusnacht.1

After these disasters, the canton of Zug, which was now overrun by French troops, accepted the new constitution. gl But Schwvtzwas still unsubdued ; its little army of three Heroic dethousand men resolved to defend their country, or perish g^^zers in the attempt. They took post, under Reding, at Mor- at Morgar-garten, already immortalised in the wars of Helvetic ten' independence. At daybreak the French appeared, more May 2. than double their force, descending the hills to the attack.

They instantly advanced to meet them, and running across the plain, encountered their adversaries before they had come to the bottom of the slope. The shock was irresistible; the French were borne backwards to the summit of the ridge, and after a furious conflict, which lasted the whole day, the.pcasants remained masters of the contested ground.

Fresh reinforcements came up on both sides during the night, and the struggle was renewed next day with doubtful success. The coolness and skill of the Swiss marksmen counterbalanced the immense superiority of force, and the greater experience and rapidity of movement, on the part of their adversaries ; but, in spite of all their efforts, they were unable to gain a decisive success over the invaders.

The rocks, the woods, the thickets, were bristling with May 3. armed men ; every cottage became a post of defence, every 2 jom. x. meadow a scene of carnage, every stream was dyed with ^ blood.2 Darkness put an end to the contest while the 224, 223? mountaineers were still unsubdued ; but they received

chap. intelligence during the night which rendered a longer xxv- continuance of the struggle hopless.

1798_ The inhabitants of Uri and Underwalden had been 62 driven into their valleys ; a French corps was rapidly Disasters of marching in their rear upon Schwytz, where none but ot'her'quar-11 women remained to defend the passes ; the auxiliaries of ters force Sargans and Glarus had submitted to the invaders. Slowly era o re- an(j re]uctantly the men of Schwytz were brought to yield to inexorable necessity; a resolution not to submit till two-thirds of the canton had fallen was at first carried by acclamation : but at length they yielded to the persuasions of an enlightened ecclesiastic and the brave Reding, who represented the hopelessness of any further contest, and agreed to a convention, by which they were to accept the constitution, and be allowed to enjoy the use of their arms, their religion, and their property, and the French troops to be withdrawn from their frontier. The other small cantons soon followed their example, and peace was for a time restored to that part of Switzerland.1

• Jom. x.

357,358. Lac. xir. 224, 226.


The same checkered fortune attended the arms of the Swiss in the Valais. The brave inhabitants of the rocky, Bloody con- pine-clad mountains which guard the sources of the Rhone, Valais.th6 descended from Leuk to Sion, where they expelled the oppressive French garrison, and pursued them as far as St Maurice, the French, near the Lake of Geneva. Here, however, they were assailed by a column of the Republicans, on their march to Italy, and driven back towards the Upper Valais. An May 7. obstinate conflict ensued at the bridge of La Marge, in front of Sion ; twice the Republicans were repulsed ; even the Cretins, seeming to have recovered their intellect amidst the animation of the affray, behaved with devoted courage. At length, however, the post was forced, and the town carried by escalade ; the peasants despairing of success retired to their mountains, and the new constitution was proclaimed without opposition, amidst deserted and smoking ruins. A temporary breathing-time from hostilities followed these bloody defeats; but it was a period of bitter suffering and humiliation to Switzerland. Forty thousand men lived at free quarters upon the inhabitants; the requisitions for the pay, clothing, and equipment of these hard taskmasters proved a sad contrast

to the illusions of hope which had seduced the patriotism chap. of its urban population. The rapacity and exactions of xxv. the commissaries and inferior authorities, exceeded even 1_gg the cruel spoliation of the Directory; and the warmest supporters of the democratic party sighed when they beheld the treasures, the accumulation of ages, and the warlike stores, the provident savings of unsubdued generations, sent off, under a powerful guard, to France, never to • return. In vain the revolutionary authorities of Switzerland, now alive to the tyranny they had brought on their country, protested against the spoliation, and affixed their seals to the treasures which were to be carried off; they 1 Ann. Reg. were instantly broken by the French commissaries; and    3C0

a proclamation of the Directory informed the inhabitants 361. ’ ’ that they were a conquered nation, and must submit to the lot of the vanquished.1*

All the public property, stores, and treasures of the cantons were soon declared prize by the French authorities, the liberty of the press was extinguished, a vexatious sys-.An alliance tem of police introduced, and those magistrates who showed ^ff^ss\vvee:in(1 the slightest regard for the liberties of their country were with Franco dismissed without trial or investigation. The ardent

i §    c    upon ovvii-

democrats, who had joined the French party in the com- zeriiuid. mencement of the troubles, were now the foremost to exclaim against their rapacity, and lament their own weakness in having ever lent an ear to their promises. But it was all in vain. More subservient Directors were placed by the French authorities at the head of affairs, in lieu of those who had resigned in disgust; and an alliance offensive Aug. 4. and defensive was concluded at Paris between the two republics, which bound Switzerland to furnish a contingent 2 j0m. xi. of troops, and to submit to the formation of two military ‘ vJ roads through the Alps, one to Italy, and one to Swabia2— iso, i's2.’ conditions which, as Jomini justly observes, were worse

* The rapacity of the French commissaries, who followed in the rear of the armies, soon made the Swiss regret even the spoliations of Brune and their first conquerors. Lecarlier levied 100,000 crowns in Friburg, and

S00,000 francs iu Berne; and as the public treasure was exhausted, the effects of 300 of the richest families were taken in payment, and the principal senators sent as prisoners to the citadel of Besan^on till the contrihution was paid. He was succeeded by Rapinat, whose exactions were still more intolerable, lie levied a fresh contribution of 6,000,000 on Berne: on Zurich, Friburg, and Soleure, of 7,000,000; 750,000 francs were taken from six abbeys alone.—Hard. vi. 180, 181.

VOL. VI.    L

for Switzerland than an annexation to France, as they imposed upon it all the burdens and dangers of war, without either its advantages or its glories.

The discontents arising from these circumstances were accumulating on all sides, when the imposition of an oath to the new constitution brought matters to a crisis in the small cantons. All took it with the utmost reluctance; but the shepherds of Underwalden unanimously declared ' they would rather perish; and thither the most determined of the men of Schwytz and Uri flocked, to sell their lives dearly in defence of their country. But resistance was hopeless. Eight thousand French embarked at Lucerne, and landed at Stantz, on the eastern side, while the like number crossed the beech-clad ridge of the Brunig, and descended by the lovely lakes of Lungern and Sarnen, at the western extremity of the valley. Oppressed by such overwhelming forces, the peasants no longer hoped for success; an honourable death was alone the object of .their wishes. In their despair they observed little design. and preserved hardly any discipline ; yet such is the force of mere native valour, that for several days it enabled three thousand shepherds to keep at bay above sixteen thousand of the bravest troops ef France. Every hedge, every thicket, every cottage, was obstinately contested ; the dying crawlerl into the hottest of the fire ; the women and children threw themselves upon the enemy’s bayonets ; the grey-haired raised their feeble hands?against the invaders : but what could heroism and devotion achieve against such desperate odds? Slowly, but steadily, the French columns forced their way through the valley, the flames of the houses, the massacre of the inhabitants, marking their steps. The beautiful village_ of Stantz, entirely built of wood, was soon consumed ; seventy peasants, with their curate at their head, perished in the flames of the church. Two hundred auxiliaries from Schwytz, arriving too late to prevent the massacre, rushed into the thickest of the fight; and, after slaying double their own number of the enemy, perished to the last man. a Night at length drew its veil over these scenes of horror; a'but the fires from the burning villages still threw a lurid light over the cliffs of the Engleberg j1 and long after the

1799.

65. Glorious resistance of Uri and Schwytz. Cruel massacre by the French.


Sept, 9.

1 Lac. xiv. 229, 230. Ann. Hep. 31.35. Jon xi. 19, 20


rosy tint of evening had ceased to tinge the glaciers of the chap. Titlis, the glare of the conflagration illuminated the sum- xxv. mit of the mountain.    J7gg

These tragical events were little calculated to induce other states to follow the example of the Swiss in calling gf. in the aid of the French democracy. The Grisons, who The Orisons had felt the shocks of the revolutionary earthquake, took ^“f'the0 counsel from the disasters of their brethren in the Forest Austrians, Cantons, and invoking the aid of Austria, guaranteed by ^'e^cmin-7 ancient treaties, succeeded in preserving their independence try. and ancient institutions. Seven thousand Imperialists entered Coire in the end of October; and spreading Oct. 19. through the valley of the Rhine, already occupied those posts which were destined to be the scene of such sanguinary conflicts in the succeeding campaign. The French, on their part, augmented rather than diminished the force with which they occupied Switzerland ; and it was already 1 lom ^ apparent that, in the next conflict between these gigantic 20,22. powers, the Alps would become the principal theatre of their strife.1

In this unprovoked attack upon Switzerland, the Directory committed as great a fault in political wisdom as in „ moral duty. The neutrality of that country was a better Extreme defence to France, on its south-eastern frontier, than ^v°e11i1c^ either the Rhine or the iron barrier on its north-western, iniquity, of The allies could never venture to violate the neutrality of o^witzer the Helvetic Confederacy, lest they should throw its war- land. Ztr like population into the arms of France ; no armies were required for that frontier, and the whole disposable forces of the state could be turned to the Rhine and the Maritime Alps. In offensive operations, the advantage was equally apparent. The French, possessing the line of the Rhine, with its numerous fortifications, had the best possible base for their operations in Germany ; the fortresses of Piedmont gave them the same advantage in Italy ; while the great mass of the Alps, occupied by a neutral power, rendered their conquests, pushed forward in either of these directions, secure from an attack in flank, and preserved the invading army from all risk of being cut off from its resources. But when the Alps themselves became the theatre of conflict, these advantages were all lost to the Republic ; the bulwark of the Rhine was liable to bo

chap. rendered valueless at any time by a reverse in Switzer-xxv. land, and France exposed to an invasion in the only

- quarter where her frontier is totally defenceless; while

I798' *the fortifications of Mantua and the line of the Adige were of comparatively little importance, when they were liable to be turned by any inconsiderable success in the Grisons. or the Italian bailiwicks. The Tyrol, besides, with its numerous, warlike, and enthusiastic population, afforded a base for mountain warfare, and a secure asylum in case of disaster, which the French could never expect to find amidst the foreign language and hostile feelings of German Switzerland; while, by extending the line of i Arch. ch. operations from the Adriatic to the Channel, the Republic jonf’x^HG wasrce(lt0 defend an extent of frontier, for which even 289. ’ ~ ’its resources, ample as they were, might be expected to prove insufficient.1

Nothing ever done by the revolutionary government of France had so powerful an effect in cooling the ardour Greaundig- of its partisans in Europe, and opening the eyes of the citedbyU intelligent and respectable classes in every other country in Europe, as to their ultimate designs, as the attack on Switzerland* As long as the Republic was contending with the armies of kings, or resisting the efforts of the aristocracy, it was alleged that it was only defending its own liberties, and that the whole monarchies of Europe were leagued together for its destruction. But when, in a moment of general peace, its rulers commenced an unprovoked attack on the Swiss Confederacy; when the loud declaimers in favour of popular rights forced an obnoxious constitution on the mountaineers of the Alps, and desolated with fire

* Its effect on the friends of freedom in England may be judged of from the foUowing indignant lines by Coleridge, once an ardent-supporter of the Revolution, in his nohle Ode to France, written in 1797:

“ Forgive me, Freedom I oh, forgive those dreams!

] hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament,

From bleak Helvetia’s icy cavern sent—

I hear thy groans upon her blood>stain’d streams!

Heroes, that for your peaceful country perish’d,

And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountain snows With bleeding wounds, forgive me, that I cherish’d One thought that ever bless’d your cruel foes!

To scatter Tage and traitorous guiit,

Where Peace ber jealous home had built;

A patriot race to disinherit Of all that made their 6tormy wilds so dear.

Oh I France, that mockest heaven, adulterous, blind,

And patriot only in pernicious toil6, ^

Are these thy boasts, champion of human kind,

* ' * *

To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils From freemen torn; to tempt and to betray ^

and sword the beautiful reccsscs of the democratic cantons ; chap. the sympathies of Europe were awakened in favour of a xxv-gallant and suffering people, and the native atrocity of ll9S the invasion called forth the wishes of freedom on the other side. The Whig leaders of England, with Mr Fox and Sir James Mackintosh at their head, who had palliated the atrocities of the Revolution longer than was consistent either with their own character or their interest as a political party, confessed that “ the mask had fallen from the face of revolutionary France, if indeed it ever had worn it.” 1 “ Where,” it was asked over all Europe, will 1 pari. Deb. the Revolution stop 1 What country could bo imagined XXX1V-1323-less alluring to their cupidity than that, where, notwithstanding the industry of the inhabitants, the churlish soil will barely yield its children bread ? What government can pretend to favour in the eyes of the Directory, when it visits with fire and sword those fields where the whole inhabitants of a canton assemble under the vault of heaven, to deliberate, like the Spartans of old, on their common concerns 1 What fidelity and proof of confidence does it expect more complete than that which leaves a whole frontier without defence, or rather which has hitherto considered it as better defended bv the unalterable 15un?- i-

»    428 4 vQ

neutrality of its faithful allies, than by the triple line of Jom.i.331. fortresses which elsewhere guards the entrance to its soil ?212

The Ecclesiastical States were the next object of attack.

It had long been an avowed object of ambition with the

Republican government to revolutionise Rome, and plant commence

the tricolor flag in the city of Brutus. The resolution of ment of , •k-t i    i i t\*    m i    *    measures to

JNapoleon and the Directory to effect the overthrow of the revolution-

Papal government, was adopted long before the treaty of mar^statcs

Campo Formio. On the 12th February 1797, the Directory

wrote to Napoleon :—“ The possession of the Tyrol and

Trieste, and the conquest of Rome, will he the glorious fruits of the fall of Mantua.” On 19th May 1797, Napoleon wrote to the Directory :—“ The Pope is dangerously ill, and .is eighty-three years old. The moment I received this intelligence, I assembled all my Poles at Bologna, from whence I shall push them forward to Ancona. What shall I do if the Pope dies V’ The Directory answered :— “ The minister of foreign affairs will inform General Buonaparte, that they trust to his accustomed prudence to bring about a democratic revolution in the Roman states with as little convulsion as possible.” The scheme, however, failed at that time, as the Pope recovered. Meanwhile the pillage of the Ecclesisastical states continued without intermission; and having exhausted the public treasury, and drained the country of all its specie, the French agents laid their rapacious hands upon all the jewels and precious stones they could find. The value of plunder thus got was astonishing.1*

The situation of the Pope had thus become, since the French conquests in Italy, in the highest degree precarious. Cut off, by the Cisalpine republic, from any support from Austria ; left by the treaty of Campo Fo^mio entirely

1738. May 19,1797

May 25.


1 Hard. iv. 387,388.


* “ The Pope," says Cacault, the French ambassador at Rome, to Napoleon, “ gives us fuU satisfaction in every thing regarding any errors in accounting, weight, &c., that may occur in the payment of the 30,000,000 francs. The payments in diamonds amount to 11,271,000 francs (L.450,000.) He has paid 4,000,000 in francs, of contributions levied since the treaty of Tolentino. But it is with the utmost difficulty that these payments are raised; the country is exhausted; let us not drive it to bankruptcy. My agent, citizen Haller, wrote to me the other day, ‘Do not forget, citizen minister, that the immense and unceasing demands of the army oblige us to play the corsair a little, and that we must not enter into discussions, as it would sometimes turn out that we are in the wrong.’ I always supported a mortal war against the Pope, as long as the Papal government resisted; but now that it is prostrated at our feet, 1 am become exceedingly pacific; I think such a system is both for your interest and that of the Directory.” * On the 25th May 1797, the same ambassador wrote to Napoleon:—“ I am occupied in collecting and transporting from hence to Milan all the diamonds and jewels I can collect; I send tbere also whatever is made the subject of dispute in the payments of the contributions. You will keep in view that the people here are exhausted, and that it is in vain to expeet the destitute to pay. I take advantage of these circumstances, to prostrate at your feet Kome and the Papal government.” 3 On the 5th August 1797, be again wrote to Napoleon :—“ Discontent is at its height in the Papal States; the government will fall to pieces of itself, as I have repeatedly predieted to you. But it is not at Rome that the explosion wiU take place; too many persons are here dependent upon the expenditure of the great. The payment of 3,000,000, stimulated by the treaty of Tolentino, at the close of so many previous losses, has totally exhausted this old carcass. We are making it expire by a slow fire; it will soon crumble to the dust. The revolutionists, by accelerating matters, would only hasten a dissolution certain and inevitable.” 4

June S, 1797.

2 Corresp. Conf. iii. 274, 27$.

3 Ibid. iii. 216,

4 Ibid. iii. 615. 510.


at the mercy of the French Republic • threatened by the chap heavings of the democratic spirit within his own domin- xxv-ions, and exposed to all the contagion arising from the ' ,798_ complete establishment, and close vicinity, of republican ?0 governments in the north of Italy, he was almost destitute Attack on of the means of resisting so many seen and unseen enemies. ts^*tesPaJ The pontifical treasury was exhausted by the immense Miserable payments stipulated by the treaty of Tolentino, and the p*^®.0 18 enormous subsequent contributions levied by the French generals ; while the activity and zeal of the revolutionary clubs in all the principal towns of the Ecclesiastical states, was daily increasing with the prospect of success. To enable the government to meet the insatiable demands of the French army, the principal Roman families, like the Pope, had sold their gold, their silver, their jewels, their horses, their carriages, their finest pictures, in a word, all their valuable effects ; but the exactions of the republican agents were still unabated. In despair, they had recourse to the fatal expedient of issuing a paper circulation ; but    T'

that, in a country destitute of credit, soon fell to an incon- Bot. ii '443. siderable value, and augmented rather than relieved the public distress.1

Joseph Buonaparte, brother to Napoleon, had been appointed ambassador at the court of Rome; but as his 7, character was deemed too honourable for political intrigue, intrigues of Generals Duphot and Sherlock were sent along with him ; emblssyat the former of whom had been so successful in effecting Kome. the overthrow of the Genoese aristocracy. The French embassy, under their direction, soon became the centre of the revolutionary action, and those numerous ardent characters with which the Italian cities abound, flocked there as to a common focus, from whence the next great explosion of democratic power was to be expected* In this extremity, Pius VI., who was above eighty years of age, and sinking into the grave, called to his counsels the Austrian General Provera, already distinguished in the

« It would appear, however, that the French ambassador was by no means satisfied with the first efforts of the Koman patriots. “ They have manifested,” said Joseph Buonaparte to Napoleon, “ all the disposition to overturn the government, but none of the resolution. If they have thought and felt like Brutus and the great men of antiquity, they have spoken like tcomen, and acted like children. The government has caused them all to be arrested."—Letter, Joseph to Xcpolevn, 1 Of/t September 1797;

Corresp. Con fid.

Italian campaigns ; but Napoleon and the Directory soon compelled the humiliated Pontiff to dismiss that intrepid counsellor* As his recovery then seemed hopeless, the instructions of government to their ambassador were to delay the proclamation of a republic till his death, when the vacant chair of St Peter might be overturned with little difficulty; but such was the activity of the revolutionary agents, that the train was ready to take fire before that event took place, and the ears of the Romans were assailed by incessant abuse of the ecclesiastical government, and vehement declamations in favour of republican freedom.1

The resolution to overturn the Papal government, like all the other ambitious projects of the Directory, received a very great impulse from the re-ascendant of Jacobin influence at Paris, by the results of the revolution of 18th Fructidor. One of the first measures of the new government was to dispatch an order to Joseph Buonaparte at Rome, to promote, by all the means in his power, the approaching revolution in the Papal States ; and above all things to take care that at the Pope’s death no successor

1798.

l Bot. ii'. 443, 445. Lac. xiv. 145, 147. Joni. x. 332.

72.

The open steps of the French to overthrow the Papal Government.

Sept. 29.


* You must forthwith intimate to the Court of Rome,” said Napoleon to his brother Joseph, ambassador there, “that if General Provera is not immediately sent away from Rome, the Republic will regard it as a declaration of war. I attach the utmost importance to the removal of an Austrian commander from the Roman troops. You will insist not only that he be deprived of the command of the Roman troops, but that within twenty-four hours he depart from Rome. Assume a high tone : it is only by evincing the greatest firmness, and making use of the most energetic expressions, that you will succeed in overawing the Papal authority Timid when you show your teeth, they rapidly become overbearing if you treat them with any rcspect. 1 know the Court of Rome well. That single step, if properly taken, will complete its ruin. At the same time, you will hold out to the Papal secretary of state, ‘ That the French Republic, continuing its feelings of regard for the Papal government, is on the point of restoring Ancona. You are ruining all your affairs; the whole responsibility rests on your head. The French troops will give you no assistance in quelling the revolts with which you are menaced, if you continue your present course.’ Should the Pope die, you must do your utmost to prevent the nomination of a successor, and bring about a revolution. Depend upon it, the King of Naples will not stir. Should he do so, you will inform him that the Roman people are under the protection of the French Republic; but at the same time you must hold out to him secretly that the French government is desirous to renew its negotiations with him'. In a word, you must be as haughty in public as you are pliant in private:—the object of the first being to deter him from entering Rome; of the last, to make him believe that it is for his interest not to do so. Should no revolutionary movement break out at Rome, so that there is no pretence for preventing the nomination of a Pope, at least take care that the Cardinal Albani is not put in.nomination. Declare, that the moment that is done I will march upon Rome.”-2 Secret Despatch, Napoleon to Joseph Buonaparte, dated Passeriano, 20th September 1797. These instructions, it is to be recollected, were sent to the French ambassador at Rome, when France was still and completely at peace with the Holy See, and when the latter had honourably discharged the burdensome conditions of the treaty of Tolentino.

2 Corresp. Oonf. ir. 199, 201.


should be electcd to the chair of St Peter.* Napoleon’s chap. language to the Roman pontiff became daily more menac- xxv. ing. Immediately before setting out for Eastadt, he J798. ordered his brother Joseph to intimate to the Pope that three thousand additional troops had been forwarded to Ancona ; that if the Austrian General Provera was not dismissed within twenty-four hours, war would be declared; that if any of the revolutionists who had been arrested were executed, reprisals would forthwith be exercised on the cardinals ; and that, if the Cisalpine republic was not recognised, it would be the signal for immediate hostilities.f At the same time, ten thousand troops of the Cisalpine republic advanced to St Leon, in the Papal duchy of Urbino, and made themselves masters of that fortress ; while at Ancona, which was still garrisoned by French troops, notwithstanding its stipulated restoration by the treaty of Tolentino to the Holy See, the democratic party openly proclaimed “ the Anconite republic.” Similar revolutionary movements took place at Corneto, Civita Vecchia, Pesaro, and Senigaglia; while at Rome itself,

Joseph Buonaparte, by compelling the Papal government

* Talleyrand, on 10th October, wrote to Joseph Buonaparte at Rome :—

“ You have two things, citizen-general, to do : 1. To prevent, by all possible means, the King of Naples from entering the Papal territory. 2. To increase, rather than restrain, the good dispositions of those who think that it is high time the reign of the popes should finish; in a word, to encourage the aspirations of the Roman people towards liberty. At all events, take care that we get hold of Ancona and a large portion of the coast of Italy.” 1 Eleven days afterwards Lareveillere Lepaux, the President of l Corresp. the Directory, wrote to Napoleon:—“In regard to Rome, the Directory Conf. Oct. 10, cordially approve of the instructions you have given to your brother, to 11 s>" prevent a successor being appointed to Pius VI. We must lay hold of the present favourable circumstances to deliver Europe from the pretended Papal supremacy. Tuscany will next attract your attention. You will, therefore, if hostilities are resumed, give the Grand Duke his eongS, and facilitate by every means the establishment of a free and representative government in Tuscany.”—Letter of the Directory to Napoleon, 21st October 1797;

Corresp. Confid. iv. 244.

t “ I cannot tell you, citizen-ambassador,” said Napoleon, “ what indignation I felt when I heard that Provera was still in the service of the Pope.

Let him know instantly, that, though the French Republic is at peace with the Holy See, it will not for an instant suffer any officer or agent of the Imperialists to hold-any situation under the Papal government. You will, therefore, insist on the dismissal of M. Provera within twenty-four hours, on pain of instantly demanding your passports. You will let him know that I have moved three thousand additional soldiers to Ancona, not one of whom will recede till Provera is dismissed. Let him know further, that if one of the prisoners for political offences is executed, Cardinal Ruscaand the other cardinals shall answer for it with their hoads. Finally, make him aware that the moment you quit the Papal territory, Ancona will he incorporated with the Cisalpine Republic. Yon will easily understand that the last phrase must he spoken, not written.”—Confidential Letter, Napoleon to Joseph Buonaparte, 14tA Nov. 1797.

chap. to liberate all persons confined for political offences, sud-xxv. denly threw forth upon the capital several hundreds of 1798 ^e most heated Republicans in Italy. After this great addition to the strength of the revolutionists, measures were no longer kept with the government. Seditious meetings were constantly held in every part of the city; immense collections of tricolor cockades were made to distinguish the insurgents, and deputations of the citizens openly waited upon the French ambasador, to invite him to support the insurrection, to which he replied in ami nard vi biguous terms, “ The fate of nations, as of individuals, i96,2oc. ' being buried in the womb of futurity, it is not given to me to penetrate its mysteries.”1

In this temper of men’s minds, a spark was sufficient to „3 occasion an explosion. On the 27th December 1797, an Duphot is immense crowd assembled, with seditious cries, and moved Fcuffl^at the the palace of the French ambassador, where they French am. exclaimed, “Vive la Republique Romaine!” and loudly kSSa °rs‘ invoked the aid of the French to enable them to plant the tricolor flag on the Capitol. The insurgents displayed the tricolor cockade, and evinced the most menacing disposition : the danger was extreme ; from similar beginnings the overthrow of the governments of Venice and Genoa had rapidly followed. The Papal ministers sent a regiment of dragoons to prevent any sortie of the Revolutionists from the palace of the French ambassador; and they repeatedly warned the insurgents, that their orders were to allow no one to leave its precincts. Duphot, however, indignant at being restrained by the pontifical troops, drew his sword, rushed down the staircase, and put himself at the head of one hundred and fifty armed Roman democrats, who were now contending with the dragoons Buona-hn ^ie court-yard of the palace; he was immediately jiarte’s Re- ’killed by a discharge ordered by the sergeant commanding t.°207, so.9, the patrol of the Papal troops ; and the ambassador him-^Bot. ii. self, who luid followed to appease the tumult, narrowly Lac. xiv. escaped the same fate. A violent scuffle ensued, several

i.46I47,,.„ persons were killed and wounded on both sides; and,

Jom. x. 333, A    . .    .    . 7

33i. after remaining several hours m the greatest alarm, Joseph Buonaparte with his suite retired to Florence.2

This catastrophe, however obviously occasioned by the revolutionary schemes which were in agitation at the

residence of the French ambassador, having taken place chap.

within the precincts of his palace, was unhappily a viola- xxv-

tion of the law of nations, and gave the Directory too fair 1798>

a ground to demand satisfaction. They instantly resolved

to make it the pretext for the immediate occupation of War is in

Rome and overthrow of the Papal government. The march

of troops out of Italy was countermanded, and Berthier, against

1    . , ; . . , , , ■,    • 11 Rome, and

the commander-in-chief, received orders to advance rapidly uerthier into the Ecclesiastical States. Meanwhile, the democratic ^"ces to spirit burst forth more violently than ever at Ancona and v ' the neighbouring towns; and the Papal authority was soon lost in all the provinces on the eastern slope of the Apennines. To these accumulated disasters, the Pontiff could only oppose the fasts and prayers of an aged conclave —weapons of spiritual warfare little calculated to arrest the conquerors of Areola and Lodi. Berthier, without an Jan. 25. instant’s delay, carried into execution the orders of the Directory. Six thousand Poles were stationed at Rimini to cover the Cisalpine republic ; a reserve was established at Tolentino, while the commander-in-chief, at the head of eighteen thousand veteran troops, entered Ancona. Having completed the work of revolution in that turbulent district, and secured the fortress, he crossed the Apennines; and, , Bot .j advancing by Foligno and I\Tarni, appeared on the 10th 450,452. February before the Eternal City. The Pope, in the utmost *ja3r3d*’ consternation, shut himself up in the Vatican, and spent v. 230,241. night and day at the foot of the altar in imploring the Divine protection.*1

* The Directory, in their orders to Berthier, prescribed to him a course a-s perfidious as it was hostile. Their words were as follows 11 The intention of the Directory is, that you march as secretly and rapidly as possible on Rome with 18,000 men. Celerity is of the utmost importance; that alone can ensure success. The King of Naples will probably send an envoy to your headquarters, to whom you will declare that the French government is actuated by no ambitious (lesions; and that, if it was generous enough to restrain its indignation at Tolentino, when it had much more serious causes of complaint against the IIol.v See, it is still more probable that it will do the same now. While holding out these assurances, you will at the same time advance as rapidly as possible towards Rome; the great object is to keep your design secret, till you are so near that city that the King of Naples cannot prevent it. When within two days' march of Rome, menace the Pope and all the members of the government, in order to terrify them, and make them take to flight. Arrived in Rome, employ your while influence to establish a /toman republic."—Hard. v. 222.

Berthier, however, was too much a man of honour to enter cordially into the revolutionary projects of tlife Directory. On 1st January 1798, lie wrote

to Napoleon :_“I always told you the command in Italy was not suited to

me. 1 wish to extricate myself from revolutions. Four years' service in them in America, ten in France, is enough, general. 1 shall ever be ready

Rome, almost defenceless, would have offered no obstacle to the entrance of the French troops; but it was part of the policy of the Directory to make it appear that their aid was invoked by the spontaneous will of the inhabitants. Contenting himself, therefore, with occupying the castle of St Angelo, from which the feeble guards of the Pope were soon expelled, Berthier kept his troops for five days encamped without the walls. At length the revolutionists having completed their preparations, a noisy crowd assembled in the Campo Vaccino, the ancient Forum ; the old foundations of the Capitol were made again to resound with the cries, if these were not dictated by the spirit, of freedom, and the venerable ensigns, S.P.Q.R., after the lapse of fourteen hundred years, again floated in the winds. The multitude tumultuously demanded the overthrow of the Papal authority; the French troops were invited to enter ; the conquerors of Italy, with a haughty air, passed the gates of Aurelian, defiled through the Piazza del Popolo, gazed on the indestructible monuments of Roman grandeur, and, amidst the shouts of the inhabitants, the tricolor flag was displayed from the summit of the Capitol.1

But while part of the Roman populace were surrendering themselves to a pardonable intoxication upon the fancied recovery of their liberties, the agents of the Directory were preparing for them the sad realities of slavery. The Pope, ay ho had been guarded by five hundred soldiers ever since the entry of the Republicans, was directed to retire into Tuscany ; his Swiss guard relieved by a French one, and he himself ordered to dispossess himself of all his temporal authority. He replied, with the firmness of a martyr, “ I am prepared for every species of disgrace. As supreme Pontiff, I am resolved to die in the exercise of all my powers. You may employ force—you have the power to do so ; but know that though you may be masters of

1793.

75.

Revolution at Rome.

Feb. 15.


1 Bot. ii. 458, 459. Jora. x. 336. Lac. xiv. 150.

76. Atrocious cruelty of the Republi. cans to the Pope.


to combat as a soldier for my country, but have no desire to be mixed up with revolutionary politics.” 2 It would appear that the Roman people generally had no greater desire than he had to be involved in a revolution; for, on the morning of his arrival at that city, he wrote to Napoleon :—“ I have been in Rome since this morning; but I have found nothing but the utmost consternation among the inhabitants. One solitary patriot has appeared at headquarters; he offered to put at my disposal two thousand paltey-slaves; you may believe how I received that proposition. My further presence here is useless. I beseech you to recall me; it is the greatest boon you can possibly confer upon me.”—Berthier to Xopoleon, 10th Feb. 1798; Corresp. Confid. iv. 510.

5 Oorre9p. Conf. iv. 452.


my body, you are not so of my soul. Free in the region chap. where it is placed, it fears neither the events nor the suffer- xxv. ings of this life. I stand on the threshold of another world; 1798 there I shall be sheltered alike from the violence and impiety of this.” Force was soon employed to dispossess him of his authority ; he was dragged from the altar in his palace, his repositories were all ransacked and plundered, the rings even torn from his fingers, the whole effects in the Vatican and Quirinal inventoried and seized, and the aged pontiff conducted, with only a few domestics, amidst the brutal jests and sacrilegious songs of the French dragoons, into Tuscany, where the generous hospitality of the Grand Duke strove to soften the hardships of his exile. But though a captive in the hands of his enemies, the venerable 1 Bot. ii. old man still retained the supreme authority in the church. ^3. ^Lac. From his retreat in the convent of the Chartreuse, he yet 153’. Hard, guided the counsels of the faithful; multitudes fell on their knees wherever he passed, and sought that benediction 172,174! from a captive which they would, perhaps, have disregarded from a ruling pontiff.1

The subsequent treatment of this venerable man was as disgraceful to the Republican government as it was honour- „ able to his piety and constancy as the head of the church. Their con. Fearful that from his virtues and sufferings he might have    to

too much influence on the continent of Italy, he was wards him. removed by their orders to Leghorn, in March 1799, with moved into the design of transferring him to Cagliari in Sardinia ; France, and and the English cruisers in the Mediterranean redoubled there <hes' their vigilance, in the generous hope of rescuing the father of an opposite church from the persecution of his enemies. Apprehensive of losing their prisoner, the French altered his destination, and forcing him to traverse, often during the night, the Apennines and the Alps, in a rigorous season, he at length reached Valence, where, after an Aup. 29, illness of ten days, he expired in the eighty-second year of 199-his age, and the 24th of his pontificate. The cruelty of the Directory increased as he approached their dominions; 2nar,i. v. all his old attendants were compelled to leave him, and ^2^; the Father of the Faithful was allowed to expire, attended 157,159.' only by his confessor.2 Yet even in this disconsolate state, pa^"}464' he derived the highest satisfaction from the devotion and 180,194. reverence of the people in the provinces of France through

CHAP. which he passed. Multitudes from Gap, Vizelle, and xxv- Grenoble, flocked to the road to receive his benediction ; 1798. ai]d Iie frequently repeated, with tears in his eyes, the words of Scripture: “Verily, I say unto you, I have not seen such faith, no, not in Israel.”

But long before the Pope had sunk under the persecu-78 tion of his oppressors, Rome had experienced the bitter Systematic fruits of Republican fraternisation. Immediately after the oils pillage entry of the French troops, commenced the regular and t°heRRemubu. srstcmatic Pillag‘e of the city. Not only the churches and cans.epU 'the convents, but the palaces of the cardinals and of the nobility, were laid waste. The agents of the Directory, insatiable in the pursuit of plunder, and merciless in the means of exacting it, ransacked every quarter within its walls, seized the most valuable works of art, and stripped the Eternal City of those treasures which had survived the Gothic fire and escaped the rapacious hands of the Spanish soldiers in the reign of Charles V. The bloodshed was much less, but the spoil collected incomparably greater, than at the disastrous sack which followed the death of the Constable Bourbon. Almost all the great works of art which have, since that time, been collected throughout Europe, were then scattered abroad. The spoliation exceeded all that the Goths or Vandals had effected. Not only the palaces of the Vatican and the Monte Cavallo, and the chief nobility of Rome, but those of Castcl Gandolfo, on the margin of the Alban lake, of Terracina, the Villa Albani, and others in the environs of Rome, were plundered of every article of value which they possessed. The whole sacerdotal habits of the Pope and cardinals were burnt, in order to collect from the flames the gold with which they were adorned. The Vatican was stripped to its naked walls; the immortal frescoes of Raphael and Michael Angelo, which could not bo removed, alone remained in solitary beauty amidst the general desolation. A contri-1 Hard v bution of four millions in money, two millions in provi-244,2(5,249. sions, and three thousand horses, was imposed on a city ?69*’47o.465a!rea(ly exhausted by the enormous exactions it had pre-Jom. x. 336, viously undergone. Under the directions of the infamous adv.’160*°' commissary Haller, the domestic library, museum, furni-161. ture, jewels, and even the private clothes of the Pope, were sold.1 Nor did the. palaces of the Roman nobility escape

devastation. The noble galleries of the Cardinal Braschi, chap. and the Cardinal York, the last relic of the Stuart line, xxv. underwent the same fate. Others, as those of the Cliigi, '"ng8 Borghese, and Doria palaces, were rcscued from destruction ’ only by enormous ransoms. Every thing of value that the treaty of Tolentino had left in Rome became the prey of republican cupidity; and the very name of freedom soon became odious from the sordid and infamous crimes which were committed in its name.

Nor was the oppression of the French confined to the plunder of palaces and churches. Eight cardinals were „ arrested and sent to Civita Castellana; while enormous confif™. contributions were levied on the Papal territory, and brought home tiie bitterness of conquest to every poor Church man’s door. At the same time, the ample territorial pos- Papaiin sessions of the church and the monasteries were confiscat- territories, ed, and declared national property ; a measure which, by drying up at once the whole resources of the affluent classes, precipitated into the extreme of misery the numerous poor who were maintained by their expenditure, oriBot. ii. fed by their bounty. All the respectable citizens and clergy were in fetters; and a base and despicable faction 60,62. jom. alone, among whom, to their disgrace be it told, were LaiPxiv33' found fourteen cardinals, followed in the train of the i60,'i6\V.‘ oppressors ; and at a public festival, returned thanks to God for the miseries they had brought upon their country.1

To such a height did the disorders rise, that they excited the indignation of the army itself, albeit little scrupulous g0 in general about the means by which plunder was acquir- These dis-cd. While the agents of the Directory were thus enriching elren the*"'1*6 themselves and sullying the name of France by unheard- indignation of spoliation, the inferior officers and soldiers were suf- French fering the greatest privations. For several months they ;\rm-v-had been without pay, their clothes were worn out, their mutiny at feet bare, their knapsacks empty. Indignant at the pain- “d ful contrast which their condition offered to that of the Mantua' civil agents, who were daily becoming richer from the spoils of the city, and comparing their penury with the luxurious condition of the corps stationed in the Cisalpine republic, the officers and soldiers in and around Rome broke out into open and unmeasured terms of vituperation. On the 24th February a general meeting of all tho Feb. 21.

chap. officers, from the rank of captain downwards, was held in xxv. the Pantheon, at which an address was agreed on to Gene-1 ]79~ ral Berthier, in which they declared their" detestation of ‘ ' the extortions which had been practised in Rome, protested that they would no longer be the instruments of the ignominious wretches who had made such a use of their valour, and insisted for immediate payment of their large arrears. The discontents soon wore so alarming an aspect, that Massena, who had assumed the command, ordered all the troops, excepting three thousand, to leave the capital. But they refused to obey; and another meeting, at which still more menacing language was used, having shortly after been held, which his soldiers refused to disperse, he HistC3m 'vas compelled to abandon the command, and retire to

i. 35, 36. ’ Ancona, leaving the direction of the army to General 6t»°6i.RJom. D’Allemagne. At the same time the troops in Mantua x.338. Bot. raised the standard of revolt, and, resolving to abandon Hard°\\ 254. Italy, had already fixed all their days’ march to Lyons and the banks of the Rhone.1 13

The Roman populace, encouraged by these dissensions 8I among their oppressors, deemed the opportunity favour-Kevoit of able to shake off the yoke, and recover their independence. populace*10 ®ut they soon found that it is easier to invite an enemy its rapid within your walls than expel him when the gates are suppression. pjacec| jn ^ands. iphe assemblages in Rome were soon

dispersed with great slaughter by General D’Allemagne ; chap. and, collecting a few troops, he moved rapidly to Yelletri xxv-and Castel Gandolfo, routed the insurgents who had oeeu- n98 pied these posts, and struck such a terror into the inhabi- * Hard. v. tants, that they quickly threw aside their arms, and aban- jom?x°kt8. doned all thoughts of further resistance.1    ^““'ifofii

Meanwhile the work of revolution proceeded rapidly in 470,471. the Roman states. The whole ancient institutions were sub- |t cyr, i. verted ; the executive was made to consist of five eonsuls, ’ afterthemodel of the French Directory; heavy contributions g2 and forced loans were exacted from the wealthier classes ; The whole the legislative power was vested in two chambers, chosen by arTfevoin-S the lowest ranks, and the state divided into eight depart- ^°"iscc^nsti ments. But, to preserve the entire dependence of this

tution. aiid

government on the French Directory, it was specially pro-    wilh

vided that an alliance, offensive and defensive, should im- r ' mediately be concluded between the French and Roman Republics; that no laws made by the Roman legislative bodies should either be promulgated or have force without the approval of the French general stationed at Rome; and that he might, of his own authority, enact such laws 2Hard T as might appear necessary, or were ordered by the French 263,276. _ Directory. At the same time edicts were published, pro- f.f hibiting the nobles, under severe penalties, from dismiss- Reg. 66. ing any of their domestics,2 or discontinuing any of their

are still at peace, be restored; and, independent of our pay, we persist in demanding justice upon the official and elevated monsters, plunged night and day in luxury and debauchery, who have committed the robberies and spoliations in Home.”—See St Cyr, Hist. Mil. i. 232.

A singular occurrence took place at the revolt in Mantua, highly characteristic of the composition of the French army in Italy at this period. The chief of the twelfth demi-brigade, when endeavouring, sword in hand, to defend the standard with which he was intrusted, killed one of the grenadiers. His fellow-soldiers immediately exclaimed, “ We will not revenge our comrade; you are only doing your duty.” The chief of the fourteenth wishing, for the same reason, to resist the mutineers, they unscrewed their bayonets from their guns, to prevent his being injured in the strife which ensued for its seizure. Not a single officer was insulted or maltreated; the battalions answered by unanimous refusals all exhortations to return to their duty, but the sentinels sainted the officers when they passed, as if in a state of the most perfect subordination. No acts of pillage followed the raising the standard of revolt, though the shops where it broke out were aU open and unguarded. The soldiers were, equally as their brethren at Rome, loud in their condemnation of the officers and civU authorities who bad “embezzled all the funds which should have gone to the payment of their arrears.” In the midst of so much revolutionary profligacy and corruption, it is pleasing to have to record traits so honourable to the French armv.—See Baragbay D’Hilliers’ Report, 19tft Feb. 1798; Corresp. Confid. iv. 517, 525.

VOL. VI.    M

charitable donations, on account of the diminished or ruined state of their fortunes.

While the Roman states were thus undergoing fusion in the revolutionary crucible, the constitution of the Cisalpine Republic disappeared as rapidly as it had been formed. Towards the end of March, a treaty was concluded at Paris between the French Republic and its infant offspring, by which it was stipulated that the latter should receive a French garrison of 22,000 infantry and 2500 cavalry, to be paid and clothed while there by it; and that, in case of war, they should mutually assist each other with all their forces. This treaty, which placed its resources entirely at the disposal of France, was highly unpopular in the whole republic, and it was not without the utmost difficulty, and by the aid, both of threats of arresting a large portion of their members, and unbounded promises in case of compliance, that the councils could be brought to ratify it. The democratic spirit extended greatly in the country. Those chosen to the principal offices of government were all men of the most violent temperament, and a conspiracy was generally formed to emancipate themselves from French thraldom, and establish, instead of a Gallic yoke, real freedom. To curb this dangerous disposition, the Directory sent Trouve, a man of a determined character, to Milan ; and his first care was to suppress, by measures of severity, the spirit of freedom which threatened to thwart the ambitious projects of the French government. With this view the constitution of the Republic was violently changed by the Transalpine forces ; the number of deputies was reduced from 240 to 120, and those only retained who were known to be devoted to the French government. After this violent revolution, Trouve, who was detested throughout all Lombardy, was recalled, and Prune and Fouche were successively sent in his stead ; but all their efforts proved ineffectual to stem the torrent. The discontents went on continually increasing, and at length recourse was openly had to military force. On the morning of the 6th December, the legislative body was surrounded with foreign bayonets; the senators opposed to the French interest were expelled j1 several members of the Directory changed, and the government prostrated, as in

179S.

83. Violent . revolutions effected by the French in the Cisalpine Republic. March 29.


Aug. 30.

Doc. 6.

1 Bot. iii.

45,58. Lac. xiv. 172.

Th. x. 175, 177. Join, x. ^64, 1IG5.


France and Holland, a military despotism. The demo- ciiaf. cratic constitution, established by Napoleon, was immedi- xxv. ately annulled, and a new one established under the die- 1798_ tation of the French ambassador, in the formation of which no attention was paid to the liberties or wishes of the people.

These violent changes, introduced by the mere force of military power, occasioned the utmost discontent in the 84 Cisalpine Republic ; and contributed, more than anything Excessive that had yet occurred, to cool the ardour of the Italian excited by Revolutionists. “This, then,” it was said, “is the faith, these ^ the fraternity, and the friendship which you have brought Lombardy, to us from France! This is the liberty, the prosperity, which you boast of having established in Italy! What vast materials for eloquence do you afford to those who have never trusted in your promises! They will say, that you only promised liberty to the Italians, in order that you might be the better enabled to plunder and oppress them ; that under every project of reform were concealed new, and still more grievous, chains ; that gold, not freedom, is your idol; that that fountain of every thing noble or generous is not made for you, nor you for it; finally, that the liberty of France consists entirely in words and speeches ; in the howling of a frantic tribune, and the declamations of impudent soph- _ ists. These changes which, with despotic power and so much unconcern, you have effected in the Cisalpine its. ’ governments, will assuredly prove the forerunner of the fall of your own republic.”114

While Lombardy was thus writhing under the withering grasp of the French Republic, the King of Sardinia was undergoing the last acts of humiliation from his merciless allies. The early peace which this monarch had concluded with their victorious general, the fidelity with

which he had discharged his engagements, the firm support which the possession of his fortresses had given to their arms, were unable to save him from spoliation. The Directory persisted in believing that a rickety republic, torn by intestine divisions, would be a more solid support to their power than a king who had devoted his last soldier and his last gun to their service. They soon found an excuse for subjecting him finally to their power, and rewarding him for his faithful adherence to their cause by the forfeiture of all his continental dominions. After'the unworthy descendant of Emmanuel Victor had opened the gates of Italy to France by the fatal cession of the Piedmontese fortresses,* his life had been a continual scene of mortification and humiliations. His territories were traversed in every direction by French columns, of whose approach he received no notification except a statement of the supplies required by them, which he was obliged to furnish gratuitously to the Republican commissaries. He was compelled to banish all the emigrants from his dominions, and oppress his subjects by enormous contributions for the use of his insatiable allies ; while the language of the revolutionary clubs, openly patronised by the French ambassador and agents, daily became more menacing to the regal government.1

At length they threw off the mask. The insurgents of the valleys of the Tanaro and the Bormida assembled to the number of six thousand in the neighbourhood of Carrosio, supported by two thousand troops of the Ligurian republic, who left Genoa at mid-day, with drums beating and the tricolor flag flying. Ginguene, the French ambassador, endeavoured to persuade the King, in the usual language of revolutionists, that there was no danger in conceding all the demands of the insurgents, but great in opposing any resistance to their wishes ; and strongly urged the necessity, as a measure of security, of his placing the citadel of Turin in the hands of a French garrison; while the Ligurian republic resolutely refused any passage for the Piedmontese troops through that part of their

1798.

85.

The spoliation of the King of Sardinia is resolved on. His cruel humiliations.


1 Bot. ii. 53, 57. Jom. x. 365. Lac. xiv. 174,

175.

86. Successful intrigues of the Republicans, who seize Turin.


* The magnitude of the obligation thus conferred by Piedmont on France, tvas fully admitted hy the Directory. “ Never,” said they, on congratulating Charles Emmanuel on his accession to the throne—“Never will France forget the obligations which she owes to the Prince of Piedmont.”—Hard. vii. 72.

territories which required to be passed before the insulated chap. district of Carrosio could be reached. This was soon xxv. followed by a menacing proclamation, in which they ]79g declared their resolution to support the insurgents to the    '

utmost of their power ; while the French ambassador June 10. continued to insist for a complete pardon of these rebels, on condition of their laying down their arms ; and, above all, for the immediate surrender of the citadel of Turin.

When the troops of Piedmont approached the Ligurian territory to attack the rebels in Carrosio, the French ambassador forbade them to pass the frontier, lest they 1Ajjn Rew should violate the neutrality of the allied republic. Not- 121,T22.6°’ withstanding this, they came up with the united forces of g50t-the insurgents and Genoese, and defeated them in two xiv. 175.’ engagements, with such loss, that it was evident their total overthrow was at hand.1

The Directory now made no show of preserving moderation ; they pretended that a conspiracy had been discovered g7 for renewing the Sicilian Vespers with all the French in The kta" is Piedmont, and, as a test of the king not being involved in the’stafeof the design, insisted on the immediate cession of the citadel a prisoner, of Turin. Pressed on all sides, threatened with insurrection in his own dominions, and menaced with the whole June 27. weight of republican vengeance, the king at length submitted to their demands ; and that admirable fortress, the masterpiece of Vauban, which had stood, a century before, the famous siege which enabled the Austrian forces, under Eugene, to advance to its relief, and terminated in the expulsion of the French from Italy, was yielded without a struggle to their arms. The surrender of this impregnable fortress put the King of Sardinia entirely at the mercy of the French troops. He was no longer permitted even the semblance of regal authority; French guards attended him on all occasions, and, under the guise of respect, kept him a state prisoner in his own palace; while the ambassadors of the other powers, deeming Piedmont now a French province, wrote to their respective sovereigns, requesting to be recalled from Turin, where the French 2A R ambassador was now the real monarch. The republican generals improved the time to reduce the unhappy monarch ^ ’V15-to despair.2 They loaded all his ministers, civil and mili- 177. tary, with accusations, and insisted on their dismissal from

CHAP. which he had discharged his engagements, the firm support xxv. which the possession of his fortresses had given to their 1798i arms, were unable to save him from spoliation. The g5_ Directory persisted in believing that a rickety republic, The sp'olia- torn by intestine divisions, would be a more solid support Ktag°of sL-to their Power tlian a king who had devoted his last diniais re- soldier and his last gun to their service. They soon found Hbcruel' an excuse for subjecting him finally to their power, and immilia- rewarding him for his faithful adherence to their cause by the forfeiture of all his continental dominions. After'the unworthy descendant of Emmanuel Victor had opened the gates of Italy to France by the fatal cession of the Piedmontese fortresses,* his life had been a continual scene of mortification and humiliations. His territories were traversed in every direction by French columns, of whose approach he received no notification except a statement of the supplies required by them, which he was obliged to furnish gratuitously to the Republican commissaries. He was compelled to banish all the emigrants from his , Bot ^ 53 dominions, and oppress his subjects by enormous contri-57. Jom. x. butions for the use of his insatiable allies; while the iiv.' 174^' language of the revolutionary clubs, openly patronised by H5. the French ambassador and agents, daily became more menacing to the regal government.1

At length they threw off1 the mask. The insurgents of 86 the valleys of the Tanaro and the Bormida assembled to Successful the number of six thousand in the neighbourhood of tifeRepubU. Carrosio, supported by two thousand troops of the Ligurian seize Turin rePu^^c? w^10 Genoa at mid-day, with drums beating ' and the tricolor flag flying. Ginguene, the French ambassador, endeavoured to persuade the King, in the usual language of revolutionists, that there was no danger in conceding all the demands of the insurgents, but great in opposing any resistance to their wishes; and strongly urged the necessity, as a measure of security, of his placing the citadel of Turin in the hands of a French garrison ; while the Ligurian republic resolutely refused any passage for the Piedmontese troops through that part of their

* The magnitude oftlie obligation thus conferred by Piedmont on France, was fully admitted by the Directory. “ Never,” said they, on congratulating Charles Emmanuel on liis accession to the throne—“Never will France forget the obligations which she owes to the Prince of Picdmout.”—Hard. vii. 72.

territories which required to be passed before the insulated chap. district of Carrosio could be reached. This was soon xxv. followed by a menacing proclamation, in which they 1798 declared their resolution to support the insurgents to the ' " utmost of their power ; while the French ambassador June 10. continued to insist for a complete pardon of these rebels, on condition of their laying down their arms ; and, above all, for the immediate surrender of the citadel of Turin.

When the troops of Piedmont approached the Ligurian territory to attack the rebels in Carrosio, the French ambassador forbade them to pass the frontier, lest they 1Ann should violate the neutrality of the allied republic. Not- 121, 122. &S' withstanding this, they came up with the united forces of ^50t-the insurgents and Genoese, and defeated them in two xiv. 175.* engagements, with such loss, that it was evident their total overthrow was at hand.1

The Directory now made no show of preserving moderation ; they pretended that a conspiracy had been discovered g7 for renewing the Sicilian Vespers with all the French in The kin? is Piedmont, and, as a test of the king not being; involved in f^du*etd t0<-

j v t • • • 1 _ .    0    , 0    the state of

the design, insisted on the immediate cession of the citadel a prisoner, of Turin. Pressed on all sides, threatened with insurrection in his own dominions, and menaced with the whole June 27. weight of republican vengeance, the king at length submitted to their demands ; and that admirable fortress, the masterpiece of Vauban, which had stood, a century before, the famous siege which enabled the Austrian forces, under Eugene, to advance to its relief, and terminated in the expulsion of the French from Italy, was yielded without a struggle to their arms. The surrender of this impregnable fortress put the King of Sardinia entirely at the mercy of the French troops. He was 110 longer permitted even the semblance of regal authority; French guards attended him on all occasions, and, under the guise of respect, kept him a state prisoner in his own palace; while the ambassadors of the other powers, deeming Piedmont now a French province, wrote to their respective sovereigns, requesting to be recalled from Turin, where the French 2 ambassador was now the real monarch. The republican generals improved the time to reduce the unhappy monarch to despair.2 They loaded all his ministers, civil and mili- 177.’ ’ tary, with accusations, and insisted on their dismissal from

CHAP. his court and capital; forced him to abandon all proceed-xxv. ingS against the insurgents of every description ; new-modelled the government according to their republican ideas, and compelled him to deliver up all the places he had taken from the Genoese republic.    '

For a few’months this shadow of authority was left to the king; but at length his complete dethronement was effected. He was charged with having, in his secret correspondence with Vienna, allowed a wish to escape him, and retire to ^ie    soon delivered from his imperious allies ;

1798.


88. He is at length forced to abdicate,


Sardinia. and only made his peace with the Directory by the immediate payment of 8,000,000 francs, or ,£320,000. When the Roman republic was invaded by the Neapolitans, he was ordered to furnish the stipulated contingent of eight thousand men; and this was agreed to. The surrender of all the royal arsenals was next demanded ; and during Dec. 8. the discussion of that demand, the French under Joubert treacherously commenccd hostilities* Novarra, Suza, Coni, and Alexandria, were surprised; a few battalions who attempted to resist were driven into Turin, where the king, having drained the cup of misery to the dregs, was compelled to resign all his continental dominions, which were immediately taken possession of by the French authorities. A fugitive from his capital, the ill-fated monarch left his palace by torch-light during the night, and owed his safe retreat to the island of Sardinia to the

* Recovering, in the last extremity, a portion of the courage which, if earlier exerted, might have averted their fate, the Piedmontese cabinet at this crisis prepared a manifesto, which the Directory instantly and carefully suppressed. It bore :—“ The Piedmontese government, in the anxious wish of sparing its subjects the misfortunes which threatened it, has acceded to all the demands of the French Republic, both in contributions, clothing, and supplies for the army of Italy, though greatly exceeding the engagements which it had contracted, and which were so burdensome as entirely to exhaust the royal treasury. His majesty has even gfine so far as to agree to place in their hands the citadel of Turin ; and the very day on which it was demanded, he gave orders for the furnishing of the contingent stipulated by the treaty. At the same moment he dispatched a messenger to Paris to negotiate concerning other demands which were inadmissible, in particular the surrender of all the arsenals. But in the midst of these measures, the commander of the French garrison in the citadel of Turin violently seized possession of the towns of Novarra, Alexandria, Chivasso, and Suza. His majesty, profoundly afflicted at these events, feels it his duty to declare thus publicly, that he has faithfully performed all his engagements to France, and given no provocation whatever to the disastrous events which threaten his kingdom.’’ Grouchy, the French general, forced 1 Ilaxd. vii. 117. the king to suppress this proclamation, threatening to bombard him in his own palace in case of refusal.1

The unworthy intrigues, falsehoods, and menaces by which the resignation of the throne was forced upon the king, are thus detailed by the same

generous efforts of Talleyrand, then ambassador at Turin, ciiap. who protected him from the dangers which threatened xxv. his life. A provisional government was immediately ugb established in Turin, composed of twenty-five of the most violent of the democratic party ; while Grouchy took pos- 1 Hard. vii. session of the treasury, arsenals, and fortresses of the king- 1 -vj- ^ dom, and published a proclamation, denouncing the pain of Lae.'xiv. '' death against whoever had a pound of powder or a gun in 'Jf',20 his possession, and declaring that any of the nobles who 137. might engage in an insurrection should be arrested, sent to France, and have half their goods confiscated.1

While these events were in progress in the north of Italy, war had arisen and a kingdom been overthrown in feg the south of the peninsula. Naples, placed on the edge of Affairs’ of the revolutionary volcano since the erection of the States NaPles-of the Church into a separate republic, had viewed with the utmost alarm the progress of the democratic spirit in its dominions; and on the occupation of Rome by the French troops, thirty thousand men were stationed in the mountain passes on the frontier, in the belief that an immediate invasion was intended. These apprehensions were not diminished by the appearance of the expedition to Egypt in the Mediterranean, the capture of Malta, and the vicinity of so large a force to the coasts of Naples.

Rightly judging, from the fate of the other states in Italy, that their destruction was unavoidable, either from internal revolution or external violence, if measures were not

general in his secret report to the Directory“The moment had now arrived, when all the springs which 1 had prepared were to be put in motion.

At this crisis an envoy camc to me from the king; be was a man to be pained, and was so; other persons were also corrupted; but the great difficulty was, that these propositions all emanated from the king, and that no writing reached me, so that in no event could I be disavowed. Circumspection was the more necessary, as war was not yet declared against the King of Sardinia, and it was necessary to act so that his resignation might appear to be voluntary. I confined myself to threatening the envoy, and sent him out of the citadel. Meanwhile, my secret agents were incessantly at work; the envoy returned to me : 1 announced the arrival of columns which had not yet come up; and informed him that the hour of vengeance had arrived; that Turin was surrounded on all sides, that escape was impossible, and that unqualified submission alone remained. The Council of State had sat all the morning; my hidden emissaries there had carried their point. The conditions 1 exacted' were agreed to. I insisted, as an indispensable preliminary, that all the Piedmontese troops which had been assembled in Turin for a month past should be dismissed; in presence of Clausel, the king signed the order : and after eight hours of further altercation, the same officer compelled him to sign the whole articles which I had required.”—See Hard. vii. 1 IS, 120. See also the Resignation, correctly given in Haro. vii. 122, e* scq.

chap. taken to avert the danger, the Neapolitan cabinet aug-xxv. ^ mented their military establishment, and secretly entered 1798 into negotiations with Austria, whose disposition to put a stop to the further encroachments of France was obvious from her occupation of the Grisons, for the purpose of concerting measures for their common defence. The ijom xi French ambassador, Garat, a well-known republican, in 33,34. Lac. vain endeavoured to allay their apprehensions; but, at Ann! Reg?6same time, smiled at the feeble military force with 125. which they hoped to arrest the conquerors of Areola and Rivoli.1

Considered merely with reference to the number and 90 equipment of its forces, the Neapolitan monarchy was by Their miii- no means to be despised ; and was capable, apparently, of rations!^" interfering with decisive effect in the approaching struggle between France and Austria in the Italian peninsula. Its infantry consisted of thirty thousand regular soldiers and fifteen thousand militia ; the artillery, organised by French officers, was on the best possible footing; and the cavalry had given proof of its efficiency in the actions on the Po, in the commencement of the campaign of 1796. Forty thousand men were ordered to be added to the army, to raise it to the war establishment, and the militia to be quadrupled. But these energetic measures were never carried into full execution ; notwithstanding the imposition of heavy taxes, and liberal donations from the nobility and clergy, insurmountable difficulties were experienced in the levying and equipping so large a body of troops; and the effective forces of the monarchy never exceeded sixty thousand men, of which one-third were required to garrison the fortresses on the frontier. These troops, such as they were, proved utterly deficient in military spirit; the officers, appointed by court intrigue, had lost all the confidence of the soldiers; and the discipline, alternately carried on upon the German and Spanish systems, was in the most deplorable state. To crown the whole, the common men, especially in the infantry, were destitute of courage ; a singular circumstance in the descendants of An°nmRe^34’ Samnites, but which has invariably been the disgrace i2i, i25.° of the Neapolitan army since the fall of the Roman empire.2

The French commenced their revolutionary measures

in Naples, according to their usual practice, by requiring chap. the immediate liberation of all those of the democratic xxv-party who were confined for political offences; and 1798 though this demand was highly obnoxious to the court, 91 yet such was the terror inspired by the Republican arms, intrigues of that they were obliged to comply. Meanwhile, intrigues Thc^Court’ of every kind were set on foot by their agents in the enters into Neapolitan territories ; the insolence of their ambassador garments knew no bounds ; the grossest libels against the queen with Aus. and the royal family were daily published in the Roman ' papers, under the direction of the French generals ; and a general military survey was made of the Neapolitan frontiers, and transmitted to the Directory at Paris. During these revolutionary measures, however, the French were daily augmenting their forces at Rome, and making preparations for offensive operations ; and the cabinet of Naples was warned not to put any reliance on so distant a power as Austria, as the Republican troops in the Ecclesiastical States would be adequate to the conquest of Naples before the Imperial forces could pass the Po. But the court was firm; the military preparations were continued with unabated vigour, and a treaty, offensive and defensive, was concluded with the Emperor, by which Aug. 10. the King of Naples was to be assisted, in the event of an invasion, by a powerful army of Austrians. It was no part of the 'first design of the Neapolitans to commence ijom. hostilities, but to wait till the Republicans were fully ^ Ujje'g42' engtiged with the Imperialists on the Adige, when it was 125,126. thought their forces might act with effect in the centre of the peninsula.1

Matters were in this inflammable state in the kingdom of Naples, when intelligence arrived of the glorious vie- 92 tory of the Nile, and the total destruction of the French And arc fleet on the shores of Egypt. The effect produced over to resisUiy all Europe, but especially in Italy, by this great event, the battle uf was truly electrical. It was the greatest defeat which o^Neison’"’ the French had experienced since the rise of the Re- £°"‘' public; it annihilated their naval power in the Medi- tiuties. terranean, left Malta to its fate, and, above all, seemed to Aus-20-banish Napoleon and his victorious troops for ever from the scene of European warfare. The language of humiliation and despondency was forthwith laid aside; loud

citap. complaints of the perfidy and extortion of the French xxv. armies became universal: and the giddy multitude, who 1798 had recently hailed their approach with tumultuous shouts of joy, taught by bitter experience, now prepared to salute, with still louder acclamations, those who should deliver them from their yoke. The enthusiasm at Naples was already very great, when the arrival of Nelson with his victorious fleet at that port raised it to the highest possible pitch. He was received with more than regal honours; the King and the Queen went out to meet him in the bay; the immense and ardent population of the capital rent the air with their acclamations; and the shores of Posilippo were thronged with crowds anxious to catch a glance of the Conqueror of the Nile. The remonstrances of the French ambassador were unable to restrain the universal joy; the presence of the British admiral was deemed a security against every danger; a signal for the resurrection of the world against its oppressors. In vain Ariola, and the more prudent counsellors of the King, represented the extreme peril of attacking, with their inexperienced forces, the veterans of France before the Austrians were ready to support them on the Adige, i lom xi These wise remonstrances were disregarded, and the war 36,37.' Ann. party, at the head of which were the Queen and Lady i28gTh x Hamilton, the wife of the English ambassador, succeeded 111,144. in securing a decision in favour of the immediate commencement of hostilities.1

Though irritated to the last degree at the determined 93 stand which the King of Naples had made against their Forces revolutionary designs, and the open joy his subjects had French In ^6 testified at their disasters, the French were by no means the affiliated desirous at this time to engage in immediate warfare with Kejmbiies. a new 0pp0nent. The battle of the Nile, and consequent isolation of their bravest army and best general, had greatly damped the arrogance of their former presumption ; their finances were in a state of inextricable confusion; the soldiers, both at Rome and Mantua, had lately mutinied from want of pay; and the forces of Austria, supported, as it was foreseen they would be, by those of Russia, were rapidly increasing both in numbers and efficiency. In these circumstances, it was their obvious policy to temporise, and delay the overthrow of the

Neapolitan monarchy till the great levies they were chap. making in France were ready to take the field, and keep xxv-in check the Imperial forces on the Adige till the work of 179s revolution in the south of Italy was completed. Meanwhile, the affiliated republics were called on to take their full share of the burdens consequent upon their alliance with France. Every man in Switzerland capable of bearing arms, from sixteen to forty-five years of age, was put in requisition ; the Kiug of Sardinia compelled to advance S,000,000 francs ; the Cisalpine Republic assessed at a loan t Ann of 24,000,000 francs, or £\,000,000 sterling, and required 12~, 129" to put its whole contingent at the disposal of France ; and ^ x]'om afresh contribution of 12,000,000 francs imposed on the si.37,ss. Roman territory, besides assignats being issued on the security of its ecclesiastical estates.1

Previous to the commencement of hostilities, the Neapolitan government had requested the Austrians to send 94 them some general capable of directing the movements of Mack takes the large force which they had in readiness to take the ^andTn" field. The Aulic Council sent General Mack, an officer Naples, who stood high at Vienna in the estimation of military men, but who, though skilled in sketching out plans of a campaign on paper, and possessed of considerable talent in strategetical design, was totally destitute of the penetration and decision requisite for success in the field. Nelson at once saw through his character. “Mack,” said he, 2gouthev.s “ cannot travel without five carriages. I have formed my Nelson, ii. opinion of him : would to God that I may be mistaken !” }e8.J°iSxd!’ An opinion which, to the disgrace of Austria, was too vii. >6. fully verified in the events at Ulm, which have given a mournful notoriety to his name.2

For long the Directory persisted in the belief that the Neapolitans would never venture to take the field till the 95 Austrian forces were ready to support them, which it was Dispersed known would not be the case till the following spring. tteFrenJh They had done nothing, accordingly, towards conccntrat- troops, ing their troops : and when there could no longer be any doubt that war was about to commence, their only resource was to send Championet to take the command of the army in the environs of Rome. He found them dis- Nov. 20. persed over a surface of sixty leagues. Macdonald, with six thousand, lay at Terracina, and guarded the narrow

chap. defile betwixt its rocks and the Mediterranean Sea ; Casa xxv. Bianca, with the left wing, five thousand strong, occupied

1798 " the reverse of the Apennines towards Ancona; in the ’ centre, General Lemoine, with four thousand men, was stationed at Terni, and watched the central defiles of the same mountain chain ; while five thousand were in the neighbourhood of Rome. Thus twenty thousand men were stretched across the peninsula from sea to sea, while double that number of Neapolitans were concentrated in the environs of Capua, ready to separate and overwhelm them. This was rendered the more feasible, as the bulk of the’Neapolitan forces, advanced in the Abruzzi, had passed, by a considerable distance, the Republicans at i Jom. xi. Rome and Terracina. Circumstances never occurred more AmVeg favourable for a decisive stroke, had the Neapolitan 131.    generals possessed capacity to undertake, or their soldiers

courage to execute it.1

Mack began his operations on the 23d of November;

but, instead of profiting by the dispersion of the French

Mack com. force, to throw an overwhelming mass upon their centre,

mences hos. an(] detach and surround the right wins: and troops at tilities End    ^

enters’ Rome, which were so far advanced as almost to invite his

Nov36^ seizure, he divided his forces into five columns to enter the Roman territory by as many different points of attack. A corps of seven thousand infantry and six hundred horse, was destined to advance along the shore of the Adriatic towards Ancona ; two thousand men were directed against Terni and Foligno; the main body, under Mack in person, consisting of twenty thousand infantry and four thousand cavalry, was moved forward, through the centre of the Peninsula, by Valmontone, on Frescati, while eight thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry advanced by Terracina and the Pontine marshes on Albano and Rome, and five thousand men were embarked on board some of Lord Nelson’s ships, to be landed at Leghorn, and effect a diversion in the rear of the enemy. The overwhelming force which was directed against Frescati, and which threatened to separate the Republicans stationed there from the remainder of the army, obliged Championet to evacuate Rome and concentrate his forces at Terni; and the King of Naples made his triumphal entry into that city on the 29th. So wretched, however, was the

state of discipline of his troops, that they fell into confu- chap. sion merely from the fatigues of the march and the severi- xxv. ty of the rains, and arrived in as great disorder at the 1798 termination of a few days’ advance, as if they had sustain-    ’

ed a disastrous defeat. While Mack was reorganising his Nov. 27. battalions at Rome, General Lemoine succeeded in surrounding and making prisoners the corps of two thousand men which advanced against Terni; while Giustini, who commanded another little column in the centre, was Reg. i29.n"’ driven over the mountains to the main body 011 the banks ^ar1<^ of the Tiber. The corps which advanced against Ancona, xiv. 169. ' after some trifling success, was thrown back about the same time within the Neapolitan frontier.1

These successes, and the accounts he received of the disordered state of the main body of the enemy’s forces at 97 Rome, encouraged Championet to keep his ground on the They are southern slope of the Apennines. Stationing, therefore, defeated618 Macdonald, with a large force, at Civita Castellana, per- ad-haps the ancient Yeii, a city surrounded by inaccessible further, precipices, he hastened himself to Ancona, to accelerate the formation of the parks of artillery, and the organisation of the reserves of the army. This distribution of his forces exposed the troops at Civita Castellana to the risk of being cut off by an irruption, in force, of the enemy upon the line of their retreat at Terni; but the Republicans had not to contend either with the genius or the troops of Napoleon. Mack, persisting in the system of dividing his forces, exposed them to defeat from the veterans of France at every point of attack, and in truth, their character was such that by 110 possible exertions could they be brought to face the enemy. One of his columns, commanded by the Chevalier Saxe, destined to turn Civita Castellana 011 the left, was attacked, at the bridge of Bor-ghetto over the Tiber, by Kniazwitz, at the head of three thousand of the Polish legion, and totally defeated, all its artillery being taken. The other, intended to turn it on the right, encountered the advanced guard of Macdonald near Nepi, and was speedily routed, with the loss of two Th. x. 194, thousand prisoners, all its baggage, and fifteen guns.2 In    4a

the centre, Marshal Bourcard in vain endeavoured to force 50. ’ ^ ’ the bridge of Rome, thrown over the chasm 011 the south-chap. era side of Civita Castellana ; and at length Mack, finding xxv. both his wings defeated, withdrew his forces, and began to

1798 meditate a new design for dislodging his antagonists from their formidable position.

Instructed by this disaster, both in regard to the miser-gg able quality of his own troops and the ruinous selection Fresh dis- he had made of the point of attack, Mack resolved upon Neapolitan?^ a different disposition of his forces. Leaving, therefore, and retreat ’ Marshal Bourcard, with four thousand men, in front of of Mack, cjvita, Castellana, he transported the main body of his army to the other bank of the Tiber, with the design of overwhelming Lemoine in the central and important position of Terni. This movement, which, if rapidly executed with steady troops, might have been attended with decisive success, became, from the slowness with which it was performed, and the wretched quality of the soldiers to Dec. 10. whom it was entrusted, the source of irreparable disasters.

General Metch, who commanded his advanced guard, five thousand strong, having descended from the mountains and surprised Otricoli, was soon assailed there by General Mathieu, and driven back to Calvi, where he was thrown into such consternation by the arrival of Kniazwitz on his flank with fifteen hundred men, that he laid down his arms, with four thousand men, though both the attacking columns did not exceed three thousand five hundred. After this check, accompanied with such disgraceful conduct 011 the part of the troops, Mack despaired of success, and instantly commenced his retreat towards the Neapolitan frontier. The king of Naples hastily left Rome in the night, and fled in the utmost alarm to his own capital, while Mack retired with all his forces, abandoning the Ecclesiastical States to their fate. Championet vigorously Dec. 12. pursued the retiring columns ; the French troops entered Rome ; and General Damas, cut off with three thousand men from the main body, and driven to Orbitello, concluded

i Th. x. 195, a convention with Kellermann,by which it was agreed that xi752 "5*5u they should evacuate the Tuscan States without being con-57'. Bot! iii. sidered as prisoners of war. Seventeen days after the open-Ann1 Ke"    caml:>aig11) the Neapolitan troops were expelled at

131. ’ 0 all points from the Ecclesiastical territory; Rome was again in the hands of the Republicans;1 eighteen thousand veter-

ans had driven before them forty thousand men, splendidly chap. dressed and abundantly equipped, but utterly destitute of xxv. the discipline and courage requisite to obtain success in war. ]7y8

Such was the terror inspired by these disasters, that the Court of Naples did not conceive themselves in safety g9 even in their own capital. On the 21st December, the The Nearoval family, during the night, withdrew on board courTtake Nelson’s fleet, and embarked for Sicily, taking with them refuge on the most valuable effects in the palaces at Naples and English'10 Caserta, the chief curiosities in the museum of Portici, fleet-and above a million in specie from the public treasury.

The inhabitants of the capital were thrown into the utmost consternation when they learned in the morning Dee 21. that the royal family and ministers had all fled, leaving to them the burden of maintaining a disastrous and ruinous contest with France. Nothing, of course, could be expected from the citizens when the leaders of the state had been the first to show the example of desertion. The revolutionary spirit immediately broke out in the democratic part of the community; rival authorities were x.W. lho. constituted, the dissensions of party paralysed the efforts ^ 2^4*i54 of the few who were attached to their country, and every 155.' ' ’ thing seemed to promise an easy victory to the invaders.1

Meanwhile Championet was engaged in preparations for the conquest of Naples; an object which, considered J(K) in a military point of view, required little more than championet vigour and capacity, but which, politically, could not fail [nva!i'eeS to be highly injurious to the interests of France, by the Naples, demonstration it would afford of the insatiable nature of    "f

, , _    OpPl allOna.

the spirit of propagandism by which its government was actuated, and the dispersion of its military force over the whole extent of the peninsula which it would produce.

The sagacity of Napoleon was never more clearly evinced than in the resistance which he made to the tempting offers made to him in his first campaign for the conquest of Rome; and the wisdom of his resolution was soon manifested by the disastrous effects which followed the extension of the French forces into the extremity of Naples, when they had the whole weight of Austria to expect 011 the Adige. Untaught by the ruinous consequences of an undue dispersion of force by the Austrian commander, Championet fell into precisely the same error

chap. in the invasion of Naples. He had at his disposal, after xxv. deducting the garrisons of Rome and Ancona, twenty-

1798 one thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry, having received considerable reinforcements from the north of Italy since the contest commenced. This force he divided into five columns: on the extreme right, Rey, with two thousand five hundred infantry and eight hundred cavalry, was ordered to advance by the Pontine marshes to Terra-cina, while Macdonald, with seven thousand foot and three hundred horse, pushed forward to Ciprano; Lemoine, with four thousand infantry and two hundred cavalry, was directed to move upon Sulmona; while seven thousand infantry and two hundred horse, under Duhesme, ascended the course of the Pescara to Popoli, where they were to effect their junction with the division of Lemoine. The object of these complicated movements was to assemble a formidable force in front of Capua and along the stream of the Volturnus ; but the difficulty of uniting the different columns after a long march in a mountainous and rugged country was so great, that, had they been opposed by an enemy of skill and resolution, they would 6iJ°65’XBot ^iave exPerienced the fate of Wurmser, when he divided iii. 150,151.' his army in presence of Napoleon on the opposite sides of the lake of Guarda.1

Notwithstanding their perilous dispersion of force, the J01 invading army at all points met with surprising success. Hissurpris. On approaching the Neapolitan territory, they found ing success. Mack p0Sted with twenty-five thousand men in a strong position behind the Volturnus, stretching from Castella Mare to ScafFa di Cajazzo ; having Capua, with its formidable ramparts, in the centre, and both its wings covered by a numerous artillery. But nothing could induce the Neapolitan troops to withstand the enemy. After a sharp skirmish, their advanced guard abandoned the wooded cliffs of Itri, fled through their almost impregnable thickets to Gaeta, the strongest place in the Neapolitan dominions, which surrendered with its garrison, three thousand six hundred strong, on the first summons of General Rey,

2 jom. xi. with an inferior force. The troops on the left, behind the 6?> ^ Rot. Volturnus, seized with an unaccountable panic, at the same 2oo. ' time abandoned their position and artillery, and sought refuge under the cannon of Capua.2 Thither they were

pursued in haste by Macdonald’s division ; but the cannon chap. of the ramparts opened upon them so terrible a fire of xxv-grape-shot, that they were repulsed with great slaughter; 1799 and had the Neapolitan cavalry obeyed Mack’s order to charge at that critical moment, that division of the French army might have been totally destroyed.

But though the junction of the divisions of Rey and Macdonald, and the capture of Gaeta, gave Championet a solid footing on the great road from Rome to Naples, in Critical’ front of the Volturnus, his situation was daily becoming championet more critical. For more than a week 110 intelligence had in front of been received from the other divisions of the army; the Capua-detachments sent out to gain intelligence, found all the mountain passes in the interior of the Abruzzi choked up with snow, and the villages in a state of insurrection ; Itri,

Fondi, and all the posts in the rear of the army, soon fell into the hands of the peasants, who evinced a courage which afforded a striking contrast to the pusillanimity of the regular forces. The victorious division was in- • sulated in the midst of its conquests. At the same time, the insurrection spread with the utmost rapidity in the whole level fields of the Terra di Lavoro ; a large assemblage of armed peasants collected at Sessa, the bridge over Jan. 6. the Yolturnus was broken down, and all the insulated detachments of the army were assailed with a fury very different from the languid operations of the regular forces. 5*jot Had Mack profited by his advantages, and made a vigorous ii'.’i57,15s. ’ attack with his whole centre upon Macdonald’s division, Sard \ii)0‘ there is reason to think that, notwithstanding the pusilla- 13J, 134. ’ nimity of his troops, he might have forced them to a disastrous retreat.1

But the Austrian general had now lost all confidence in the forces under his command ; and the vacillation of the „ provisional government at Naples gave him no hopes of Mack°pro-receiving support from the rear in the event of disaster. P°sesai*

armistice

An attempt against the mountains of Cajazzo with a few which is ’ battalions failed ; Damas had not yet arrived "with the ^pted^' troops from Tuscany; of nine battalions, routed at the passage of the Yolturnus, none but the officers had entered Naples, the common men having all disappeared ; and he was aware that a powerful party, having ramifications in his own camp, was disposed to take advantage of the

VOL. VI.    N

chap vicinity of the French army to overturn the monarchy, xxv. Rendered desperate by these untoward circumstances, he

1799 resolved to make the most of the critical situation of the invaders, by proposing an armistice. The situation of Championet was become so hazardous, from the failure of Jan. n. provisions and the increasing boldness of the insurgents, that the proposal was accepted with joy, and an armistice for two months was agreed to, on condition that 2,500,000 francs should be paid in fifteen days, and the fortresses of Capua, Acerra, and Benevento, delivered up to the French forces. Thus, by the extraordinary pusillanimity of the Italian troops, was the French general delivered from a situation all but hopeless, and an army, which ran the most imminent danger of passing through the Caudine j iii. forks, enabled to dictate a glorious peace to its enemies.1 jom. xi’. 72, Shortly after the conclusion of the convention, Mack, dis-200 THard gustet* witli the conduct of his soldiers, and finding that vii.134, 139. they were rapidly melting away by desertion, resigned the command and retired to Naples.

Naples—a city so celebrated in poetry and romance, 104 that every one must have formed some idea of it, though. Description none can probably equal the reality—is situated, like Beautvof Algiers and Genoa, on a steep declivity, rising in some the Bay. places abruptly from the water’s edge. The largest city in Italy, it contains 364,000 inhabitants, besides 20,000 strangers who are always within its walls; but great as this number is, the impression produced by the concourse of persons in the streets, is still greater, from the indolent habits of a large proportion of the lower orders, and the benignity of the climate, which enables them to spend the most part of their time in the open air. No city in the world, except perhaps Rio Janeiro, is placed on so enchanting a situation. Built on a succession of hills rising from the water’s edge, to the height of two hundred and fifty feet, in the centre of a deep bay, fifty miles round, it both commands the most beautiful marine views in the world, and is placed on so commanding an elevation, as to afford every facility for enjoying them. On the right hand, looking from Naples, are to be seen the hills of Baiaj, the abode of Roman opulence; the point of Mycenum, the principal station of their fleet; the wooded slopes sur-

rounding the Lake of Avernus ; the bold rocks of Pozzuoli; chap. the lofty peaks of Ischia. On the left, Vesuvius rises in xxv-solitary majesty, from amidst the plain which its ashes 179y_ have fertilised, and the cities which its eruptions have overthrown. In front, the noble mountains of Sorrento i Personal form a romantic background to the scene, at the extremity of which the rocks of Capri, the retreat of Tiberius, vii! 426.rU"’ gradually dip down, till they are lost in the level expanse of the ocean.1

Varied and romantic, however, as is this background of the scene, it is not on it that the eye of the traveller is Ul. chiefly riveted. The Bay itself, reflecting, as it almost Romantic always does, the unclouded blue of heaven, and traversed thedf" °f by hundreds of barks and feluccas, with snowy sails, of itself! y the lightest and most elegant forms, is still more attractive.

The aspect of the massy structures of the capital, which crowd down to the water’s edge ; their flat roofs, which give an oriental character to the scene; the huge ramparts of the Castel del Uovo, resting on rocky islands at the mouth of the harbour; the bold battlements of the Fort St Elmo, which occupies the highest part of the ridge, and surmounts all the other buildings in the city : the beautiful terrace of the Chiaja, stretching out on the sea-coast towards Baiaj, the abode of wealth and rank, form a succession of objects so lovely, and yet so varied, as altogether to entrance the spectator. It is much more romantic than Constantinople, from the superior elevation and more rugged summits of the mountains which form the back-ground of the landscape; and more varied and perfect than Genoa, from the adjoining heights and ranges enclosing the bay more completely, and giving it more the character of an inland lake. Whoever has had the good fortune to see that matchless spectacle, with the glow of sunset gilding the waves, and illuminating the palaces, will cease to wonder at the enthusiasm of the Italians, which has given rise to the proverb, “ Vedi Napoli, e poi muori !”* Nor are the associations of genius wanting to 2perg0nai this matchless scene :2 in those rocks, on the right, is to be observation, found the tomb of Virgil; at the foot of that mountain, 420^2"’ on the left, Pliny perished; on those cliffs, in front,

• “ See Naples, and then die.”

Salvator studied ; on the reverse of these blue hills Tasso was born.

Indolent, poor, and half savage in their habits, the lower orders of Naples, who are called Lazzaroni, form a peculiar class, unlike those who are to be met with in any other city. They are exceedingly numerous, and embrace not less than sixty thousand persons capable of bearing arms. Almost the whole of this vast population are in a state of extreme poverty ; they can hardly be said to have a home in the wretched hired rooms, destitute of furniture, in which they find shelter during the night; all day long they lounge about the quays, the streets, the harbour, seeking a scanty subsistence as boatmen, porters, common labourers, or beggars; and when none of these modes of earning a livelihood occur, they enjoy, what to the Italians is so dear, the “ dolce fare niente.” Hardy, patient, and enduring, they can, when excited to exertion, endure^alike the extremes of heat and cold ; they are equally proof against the burning sirocco of Africa and.the frozen winter of Russia* Enjoying a delicious climate, they are strangers to the vice of intoxication : a glass of iced water is the luxury they most highly prize; reposing in the shade and gazing on the bay, the pleasure to which they most willingly revert. Ignorant, and yet excitable, they are superstitious, credulous, and guided by their priests: irritable and revengeful, they have all the well-known vices of the Italian character. When properly directed, however, and roused to worthy purposes, they are capable of great and strenuous efforts ; and exhibited a memorable proof of the truth which history in all ages has demonstrated, that in an opulent and corrupted society, it is in the lowest class that patriotic virtue last lingers.1

1799.

106. Peculiar character of the Lazzar-oni of Naples.


1 Personal observation. Malte-lSrun, x ii. 420, 421.

107.

Its capabilities for defence.


Though not regularly fortified, Naples is a city which, in the hands of resolute men, is very susceptible of defence. Being built entirely of stone, it is in some degree proof against the terrors of a bombardment; and though the quarters next the Campagna Felice would easily fall into the hands of a numerous and enterprising enemy, yet their

* When Napoleon left Smorgoni on 3d December 1812 to proceed to Pans after the passage of the Berezina, he was escorted by fifty Neapolitan hussars, almost the only horsemen in the Grand Army equal to that duty. —Chambray, Campagnc de 1812, iii. 107.

possession would neither ensure that of the remainder of chap. the city, nor form an acquisition tenable in itself against xxv. an enemy who still held the upper part of the city, and 17gg was resolute to defend it. The guns from Fort St Elmo command it in every part; bombs from that fortress would speedily render any quarter wellnigh untenable; its solid ramparts are proof against a coup-dc-main; and regular approaches would be difficult in a vicinity cncumbered with lofty stone edifices or composed of arid rock. Above all, the desperate and reckless character of the lower classes, as well as their extraordinary enthusiasm, when

once strondy excited, rendered it not unlikely that after . D .

0 J    1 Bot. iii.

the gates of the city were forced, a desperate warfare 159, ico. might be maintained in the streets, and a murderous fire of musketry descend from the lofty buildings in the 139. * interior of the city upon the bold assailants who should venture into its narrow and intricate enclosures.1

The intelligence of this armistice excited the utmost indignation among the populace of that capital, whose inha- ]og bitants, like all others of Greek descent, were extremely indignation liable to vivid impressions, and totally destitute of the armilticeex. information requisite to form a correct judgment on the cites among chance of success. The discontent was raised to the high- tanpopn-h" est pitch by the arrival of the French commissaries Reappointed to receive payment of the first instalment of the contribution stipulated by the convention. The popular indignation was now worked up to a perfect fury : the lazzaroni flew to arms; the regular troops refused to act against the iusurgents ; the cry arose that they had been betrayed by the viceroy, the general, and the army ; and the people, assembling in multitudes, exclaimed, “ Long live our holy faith ! long live the Neapolitan people ! ” In the midst of the general confusion, the viceroy and the provisional government fled to Sicily ; for three days the city was a prey to all the horrors of anarchy; and the tumult was only appeased by the appointment of Prince STh.x.201. Molitcrno and the Duke of Bocca Eomana as chiefs of the insurrection, who engaged to give it a direction that might xi. 74. ’ save the capital from the ruin with which it was threatened.2

Meanwhile, the divisions in the Abruzzi having fortunately effected their junction with the main army on the

chap. Volturnus, Championet advanced in three columns, with xxv. all his forces, towards Naples, while Mack, whose life

1799 " was equally threatened by the furious lazzaroni and his ^ ’ own soldiers, sought safety in the French camp. Cham-Advance of pionet had the generosity to leave him his sword, and against6"011 trcat with the hospitality due to his misfortunes : an Naples. admirable piece of courtesy, which the Directory showed they were incapable of appreciating, by ordering him to be detained a prisoner of war. As the French army approached Naples, the fury of the parties against each other increased in violence, and the insurrection of the lazzaroni assumed a more formidable character. Distrusting all their leaders of rank and property, whose weakness had in truth proved that they were unworthy of confidence, they deposed Prince Moliterno and the Duke of Bocca Romana, and elected two simple lazzaroni, Paggio and Michel le Fou, to be their leaders. Almost all the shopkeepers and burghers, however, being attached to democratic principles, desired a revolutionary government; and to these were nowadded nearly the whole class of proprietors, who were justly afraid of general pillage, if the unruly defenders, to whom their fate was unhappily intrusted, should prove successful. The quarters of Championet, in consequence, were besieged by deputations from the more opulent citizens, who offered to assist his forces in effecting the reduction of the capital; but the French general, aware of the danger of engaging a desperate population in the streets of a great city, refused to advance till Fort St Elmo, which commands the town, was put into the hands of the partisans of the Republic. This assurance having at length been given, he put all his forces in motion, and advanced in three columns against the city. At the same time he issued a proclamation to the Neapolitan people, in which he said “ Be not alarmed, we are not your enemies. The French punish unjust and haughty kings ; but they bear no arms against the people. Those who i Jom. xi. show themselves friends of the Republic will be secured in x%02 Hot t*ie*r persons and property, and experience only its pro-fi’i. 162, )63.’tection. Disarm the perfidious wretches who excite you ^4l»- to resistance. You will change your institutions for those 149’.    of a republican form : I am about to establish a provisional

government.”1 In effect a revolutionary committee was

immediately organised at the French headquarters, having chap. at its head Charles Laubert, a furious republican, and xxv-formerly one of the wannest partisans of Robespierre.    1799

But the lazzaroni of Naples, brave and enthusiastic, were not intimidated by his approach, and, though deserted by no their king, their government, their army, and their natural Desperate leaders, prepared with undaunted resolution to defend their theLazzar-f country. Acting with inconceivable energy, they at once oni, and drew the artillery from the arsenals to guard the avenues combats be-to the city, commenced intrenchments on the heights which commanded its different approaches, armed the ardent c ‘ ' multitude with whatever weapons chance threw in their way, barricaded the principal streets, and stationed guards at all the important points in its vast circumference. The few regular troops who had not deserted their colours were formed into a reserve, consisting of four battalions and a brigade of cannoniers. The zeal of the populace was inflamed by a nocturnal procession of the head and blood of St Januarius around the city, and the enthusiastic multitude issued in crowds from the gates to meet the conquerors of Italy. The combat which ensued was one of the most extraordinary of the revolutionary war, fruitful as it was in events of unprecedented character. For three days the battle lasted, between Aversa and Capua,—on the one side, numbers, resolution, and enthusiasm; on the other, discipline, skill, and military experience. Often the Repub- 2Ut and 20(J lican ranks were broken by the impetuous charges of their Jan. infuriated opponents ; but these transient moments of success led to no lasting result, from the want of any reserve to follow up the advantage, and the disorder into which any rapid advance threw the tumultuary ranks. Still crowd after crowd succeeded. As the assailants were swept down by volleys of grape-shot, new multitudes rushed forward. The plain was covered with the dead and the iBot. m. dying, and the Republicans, weary with the work of    -9

slaughter, slept that night beside their guns, within pistol- so. Lac.' ’ shot of their indomitable opponents. At length the artillery and skill of the French prevailed; the Neapolitans 151,153.’ were driven back into the city, still resolved to defend it to the last extremity.1

A terrible combat ensued at the gate of Capua. The Swiss battalion, which, with two thousand lazzaroni, was

chap. intrusted with the defence of that important post, long xxv- resisted all the efforts of the Republicans. Two attacks

1799 were repulsed with great slaughter, and at length the chief ni of the staff, Thiebault, only succeeded in making himself The French master of the entrance by feigning a retreat, and thus gates and drawing the inexperienced troops from their barricades forts: into the plain, where they were charged with the bayonet flicts^inthe by tlie French, who entered the gate pell-mell with the streets. fugitives. Still, however, they made good their ground in the streets. The Republicans found they could expel the besieged from their fastnesses only by burning down or blowing up the edifices, and their advance through the city was rendered almost impracticable by the mountains of slain which choked up the causeway. But while this heroic resistance was going 011 at the gates, a body of the citizens, attached to the French party, made themselves masters of the-fort of St Elmo, and the Castello del Uovo, and immediately sending intimation to Championet, a body of troops was moved forward, and these important posts taken possession of by his soldiers. The lazzaroni shed tears of despair when they beheld the tricolor flag waving on the last strongholds of their city; but still the resistance continued with unabated resolution. Championet upon this gave orders for a general attack. Early on the morning of Jan. 23. the 23d, the artillery from the castle of St Elmo showered down cannon-shot upon the city, and dense columns of infantry approached all the avenues to its principal quarters. Notwithstanding the utmost resistance, they made themselves masters of the Fort del Carmine; but Kellermann was held in check by Paggio, near the Seraglio. The roofs of the houses were covered with armed men ; showers of balls, flaming combustibles, and boiling water fell from the windows ; and all the other columns were repulsed with great slaughter, when an accidental circumstance put an end to the strife, and gave the French the entire command of Naples. Michel le Fou, the lazzaroni leader, having '* not. iii. been made prisoner, was conducted to the head-quarters of 166,169.    Freileh general, and having been kindly treated, offered

Jom. xi S4,    , • , 1 ,    ,    0 n.    . -r,

«5. Lac. to mediate between the contending parties, reace was

j^l^.’if44' speedily established. The French soldiers exclaimed,

159.1V5. ’ “ Vive St Januaire ! ” the Neapolitans, “ Vivent les Fran-

<;ais ! ” a guard of honour was given to St Januarius j1 and

the populace, passing, with the characteristic levity of their nation, from one extreme to another, embraced the French soldiers with whom they had so recently been engaged in mortal strife.15

No sooner was the reduction of Naples effected, than the lazzaroni were disarmed, the castles which command the city garrisoned by French troops, royalty abolished, and a new democratic state, called the Parthenopeiari Republic, proclaimed in its stead. In the outset a provisional government of twenty-one members was appointed. Their first measure was to levy upon the exhausted inhabitants of the capital a contribution of 12,000,000 of francs, or ,£480,000, and upon the remainder of the kingdom one of 15,000,000 francs, or £600,000, burdens which were felt as altogether overwhelming in that poor country, and were rendered doubly oppressivo by the unequal manner in which they were levied, and the additional burden of feeding, clothing, lodging, and paying the invading troops, to which the inhabitants were at the same time subjected. Shortly after, there arrived Faypoult, the commissary of the Convention, who instantly sequestrated the whole royal property, all the estates of the monasteries, the whole banks containing the property of individuals, the allodial lands, of which the King was only administrator, and even the curiosities of Herculaneum and Pompeii, though still buried in the bowels of the earth. Championet, ashamed of this odious proceeding, suspended the decree of the Convention ; upon which he was immediately recalled, indicted for his disobedience, and Macdonald intrusted with the supreme command ; while a commission of twenty-five members was appointed to draw up a constitution for the new Republic. The constitution which they framed was, as might have been anticipated, fraught with the grossest injustice, and totally unsuitable to the circumstances of the country. Jacobin clubs were established ; the right of election was confined to colleges of electors named by government; the people were deprived of the free franchises which they

1799.

112.

Establishment of the Parttaeno-peian Republic.


had inherited from the ancient customs; a national guard established, in which not three hundred men were ever enrolled; and, finally, a decree passed, which declared that in every dispute between the barons and individuals, judgment should, without investigation, be given in favour of the private citizen ! But amidst these frantic proceedings, the French generals and civil authorities did not lose sight of their favourite objects, public and private plunder. The arsenals, palaces, and private houses were pillaged without mercy; all the bronze cannon-which could be found, melted down and sold; and the Neapolitan democrats had even the mortification of seeing the beautiful statues of the'same metal which adorned the streets of their capital, disposed of to the highest bidder, to fill the pockets of their republican allies. The utmost discontent immediately ensued among all classes; the patriots broke out into vehement exclamations against the perfidy and avarice of their de-■ liverers; and the democratic government soon became more odious even to the popular party than the regal authority by which it had been preceded.1

While Italy, convulsed by democratic passions, was thus every where falling under the yoke of the French Directory, Great Britain underwent a perilous crisis of its fate ; and the firmness and intrepidity of English patriotism was finely contrasted with the insanity of Continental democracy, and the vacillation of Continental resolution. Ireland was the scene of danger; the theatre, in so many periods of English history, of oppressive or unfortunate legislation on the side of government, and of fierce and blindfold passions on the part of the people. In surveying the annals of this unhappy country, it appears impossible at first sight to explain the causes of its sufferings by any of the known principles of human nature. Severe and conciliatory policy seem to have been equally unavailing to heal its wounds. Conquest has failed in producing submission, severity in enforcing tranquillity, indulgence in awakening gratitude. The irritation excited by the original subjugation of the island, seems to be unabated after the lapse of five centuries ; the indulgence with which it has often been treated has led uniformly only to increased exasperation, and more formidable insurrections ; and the greater part of the suffering which it has

1798.


1 Bot. iii. 172, 177. Jom. xi. 318, 319. Hard, vii. 178, 187.

113.

State of Ireland. Reflections on the melancholy history of that country.


so long undergone, .appears to have arisen from the mea- chap. sures of severity rendered necessary by the excitation of xxv-popular passion consequent on every attempt to return to 179s a more lenient system of government.

The first British sovereign who directed his attention to the improvement of Ireland was James I. He justly n4 boasted that there would be found the true theatre of his Great effects glory, and that he had done more in a single reign for the °f James i. improvement of that important part of the empire, than in Ireland, all his predecessors, from the days of Henry II. Instead of increased tranquillity and augmented gratitude, there broke out, shortly after, the dreadful rebellion of 1641, which was only extinguished by Cromwell in oceans of blood. A severe and oppressive code was imposed soon after the Revolution in 168S, and under it the island remained discontented, indeed, but comparatively tranquil, for a hundred years. The more galling parts of this code were removed by the beneficent policy of George III.

From 1780 to 1798 was an uninterrupted course of improvement, concession, and removal of disability, and this indulgent policy was immediately followed by the rebellion of 1798. Ireland has always been treated by England with indulgence in taxation, with generosity in beneficence. She never paid either the income or assessed taxes, so long felt as oppressive in Great Britain ; and the sums bestowed by the English government annually upon Irish charities have, for the last half century, varied from £200,000 to £300,000. The last fetters of restriction were struck off by the Catholic Relief Bill in 1829, and the exasperation, discontent, and violence in Ireland, which immediately followed, have been unprecedented in the long course of its humiliated existence. All the promises of tranquillity so often held forth by its advocates were falsified, and half a century of unbroken indulgence was succeeded by the fierce demand for the Repeal of the Union, and a degree of anarchy, devastation, and bloodshed, unparalleled in any Christian land 16

These effects are so much at variance with Avhat was predicted and expected to arise from such conciliatory

measures, that many able observers have not hesitated to declare them inexplicable, and to set down Ireland as an exception to all the ordinary principles of human nature. A little consideration, however, of the motives which influence mankind on such occasions, and the state of society in which they were called into operation, will be sufficient to demonstrate that this is not the case, and that the continued turbulence of Ireland is the natural result of these principles acting in peculiar and almost unprecedented circumstances. The first evil which has attached to Ireland was the original and subsequent confiscation of so large a portion of the landed property; and its acquisition by persons of a different country, habits, and religion, from the great body of the inhabitants. In the greater part of the insurrections which that country has witnessed, since the English standard first approached its shores^ nearly all its landed property has been confiscated, and lavished either on the English nobility, or companies, or individuals of English extraction. Above eight millions of acres were bestowed away in this manner upon the adventurers and soldiers of fortune who followed the standard of Cromwell.1 It is the great extent of this cruel and unjust measure which has been the original cause of the disasters of Ireland, by nourishing profound feelings of hatred in the descendants of the dispossessed proprietors, and introducing a body of men into the country, necessarily dependent for their existence upon the exclusion of the heirs of the original owners from the inheritance of their forefathers.

But other countries have been subjected to landed confiscation as well as Ireland ; nearly all the land of England was transferred, first from the Britons to the Saxons, and thence from the Saxons to the Normans; the' lands of Gaul were almost entirely, in the course of five centuries, wrested by the Franks from the native inhabitants ;2 and yet upon that foundation have been reared the glories of English civilisation and the concentrated vigour of the French monarchy. Other causes, therefore, must be looked for, coexisting with or succeeding these, which have prevented the healing powers of nature from closing there, as elsewhere, that ghastly wound, and perpetuated to distant ages the irritation and the animosities consequent on

1798.

115.

Causes of this failure of all attempts to pacify it. Confiscation of its land.


1 Linpard, xi. 136, and xiL 71.

116. Peculiar causes which have aggravated this evil in Ireland.

1 Guizot, Essais sur l’Histoire de France, 178, 179.


the first bitterness of conquest. These causes are to be chap. found in the unfortunate circumstance, that Ireland was xxv. not the seat, like England or Gaul, of the permanent 1798 residence of the victorious nation ; that absent proprietors, and their necessary attendants, middlemen, arose from the fact of the kingdom having been subjugated by a race of conquerors who were not to make it their resting-place ; and that a different religion was subsequently embraced by the victors from the faith of the vanquished, and the bitterness of religious animosity superadded to the causes of discontent arising from civil distinction. The same progress was beginning in Scotland after the country was overrun by Edward I., when it was arrested by the vigorous efforts of her unconquerable people ; five centuries of experienced obligation have not yet fully developed the incalculable consequences of the victory of Bannockburn, or stamped adequate celebrity on the name of Robert Bruce.

Great as were these causes of discontent, and deeply as they had poisoned the fountains of national prosperity, m they might yet have been obliterated in process of time, The Irish and the victors and vanquished settled down, as in France and England, into one united people, had it not been for free privi-another circumstance, to which sufficient attention has notleses* yet been paid, viz. the incessant agitation and vehemence of party strife, arising from the extension, perhaps unavoidable from the connexion with England, of the forms of a free and representative government to a people who were in a state of civilisation unfit for either. The fervid

• and passionate character of the Irish peasantry, which they share more or less with all nations in an infant state of civilisation, and, still more, of unmixed Celtic descent, is totally inconsistent with the calm consideration and deliberate judgment requisite for the due exercise of political rights. The duties of grand and common jurymen, of electors for representatives to Parliament, of burghers choosing their own magistrates, and of citizens uniting in public meetings, cannot as yet be fitly exercised by a large portion of the Irish people. From the periodical recurrence of such seasons of excitation has arisen the perpetuating of popular passions, and the maintenance of party strife, with the extinction of which alone can habits of

chap. industry or good order be expected to arise. Continued xxv. despotism might have healed the wounds of Ireland in a 1798 few generations, by extinguishing the passions of the people with the power of indulging them. But the alternations of severity and indulgence which they have experienced under the popular British government, like a similar course pursued to a spoiled child, have fostered rather than diminished the public discontent, by giving the power of complaint without removing its causes, and prolonging the sense of suffering by perpetuating the passions from which it has arisen.

This explains the otherwise unaccountable circumstance, ]lg that all the most violent ebullitions of Irish insurrection which is the have taken place shortly after the greatest boons had been [heLmUeeryfc01lferred uPon them by the British Legislature, and that the severest oppression of which they complain is not that of the English government, whose conduct towards them for the last forty years has been singularly gentle and beneficent, but of their own native magistracy, from whose vindictive or reckless proceedings their chief miseries are said to have arisen. A people in such circumstances are almost as incapable of bearing the excitements of political change, or the exercise of political power, as the West India Negroes or the Bedouins of Arabia; and hence the fanatical temper of the English nation, in the reign of Charles I., speedily generated the horrors of the Tyrone rebellion; the excitement of French democracy, in the close of the eighteenth century, gave rise to the insurrection of the United Irishmen ; and that consequent on the party agitation set 011 foot to effect Catholic Emancipation, the removal of tithes, and the repeal of the Union, has produced in our own times a degree of animosity and discord on its peopled shores, which bids fair to throw it back for half a century in the career of real freedom 17

Following out the system which they uniformly adopted towards the states which they wished to overthrow,

■whether by open hostility or secret propagandism, the chap. French government had for years held out hopes to the xxv. Irish malcontents, and by every means in their power ]798_ sought to widen the breach, already, unhappily, too great, between the native and the English population. This was ng no difficult task. The Irish were already sufficiently dis- intimate posed to ally themselves with any enemy who promised Irish' to liberate them from the odious j'ke of the Saxons; malcontents and the dreams of liberty and equality which the French wlthFrant;e-spread wherever they went, and which turned so many of the strongest heads in Europe, proved altogether intoxicating to their ardent and enthusiastic minds. From the beginning of the Revolution, accordingly, its progress was watched with intense anxiety in Ireland. All the horrors of the Reign of Terror failed in opening the eyes of its inhabitants to its real tendency ; and the greater and more 1 Woife enterprising part of the Catholic population, who consti- ^9°1ne’^n1n87, tuted above three-fourths of its entire inhabitants, soon Reg.153,157. became leagued together for the establishment of a repub- ^j^3’ lie in alliance with France, the severance of all connexion m. 230. ’ with England, the restoration of the Catholic religion, and the resumption of the forfeited lauds.1

The system by which this immense insurrection was organised, was one of the most simple, and, at the same time, one of the most efficacious, that ever was devised. Revolution. Persons were sworn into an association in every part of “[fo^esta-8' Ireland, called the Society of United Irishmen, the real wished objects of which were kept a profound secrct, while the £eiandh°Ut ostensible ones were those best calculated to allure the populace. No meeting was allowed to consist of more than twelve members ; five of these meetings were represented by five members in a committee, vested with the management of all their affairs. From each of these committees a deputy attended in a superior body; one or two deputies from these composed a county committee ; two from every county committee, a provincial one ; and these last elected five persons to superintend the whole business of the Union.

This provisional government was elected by ballot; and

2296; burglaries, 531; robbery of arms, 678. The crimes reported in England in the same year were 19,647. The population of England and Wales in 1831, was 13,894,000; that of Ireland, 7,784,000. See Pari. Returns,

14th March 1833, 8th May 1833, and Population Census 1833. By the Coer, cion Act the serious crimes were at once reduced to a fourth part, or nearly so, of these numbers__See Hansard, Pari. Deb. Feb. 9, 1834.

chap. the names of its members were only communicated to the xxv. secretaries of the provincial committees, who were officially 1798 intrusted with the scrutiny of the votes. Thus, though their power w’as unbounded, their agency was invisible, and many hundred thousand men obeyed the dictates of an unknown authority. Liberation from tithes and dues to the Protestant cl^-gy, and the restoration of the Roman Catholic faith, formed the chief boons presented to the lower classes ; and, in order to effect these objects, it was speciously pretended that a total change of government was necessary. The real objects of the chiefs of the insurrection, which they would have had no difficulty in persuading the giddy multitude who followed their steps to adopt, were the overthrow of the English Government, and the formation of a republic allied to France. Parliamentary Reform was the object ostensibly held out to the country as being the one most calculated to conceal their ultimate designs, and enlist the greatest number of the respectable classes on their side. So strongly were men’s minds infected with party-spirit at that period, and so completely did it

i Ann. Reg. obliterate the better feelings of our nature, even in the Wolfe Tone most generous minds, that these intentions were commu-

ii. 197, 201. nicated to several of the Opposition party on both sides Fitzgerald, of the Channel; and even Mr Fox, if we may believe 2~765Har’d ^ie Poet'lc biographer of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, was no vi. 2oi, 202! stranger to the project entertained for the dismemberment and revolutionising of the empire.1 18

To resist this formidable combination, another society, 121. composed of those attached to the British government and co-w the Protestant ascendency, was formed, under the name of Orangemen Orangemen, who soon rivalled the activity and energy of BrUishcon ^ie Catholic party. The same vehement zeal and ardent nexion. passions which have always characterised the Irish people,

signalised tlieir efforts. The feuds between these two chap. great parties soon became universal: deeds of depredation, xxv-rapine, and murder, filled the land ; and it was sometimes l798-hard to say whether most acts of violence were perpetrated by the open enemies of law and order, or its unruly defenders. But there was this essential difference between t them : the combination of the Orangemen was defensive, 155. ’ T induced by necessity; that of the Catholics aggressive, stimulated by ambition.1

The leaders of the insurrection, Lord Edward Fitzgerald,

Mr Arthhr O’Connor, and Wolfe Tone, went over to France

in June 1796, where a treaty was concluded with the Treat/of

French Directory, by which it was agreed that a consider- rebeu'^ith

able fleet and army should, in the autumn of that year, be France.

ready for the invasion of Ireland, to enable it to throw

off the connexion with England, and form a republic in

alliance with France. It has been already mentioned how

these expectations were thwarted, first by the dispersion 2

of the French fleet in Bantry Bay in December 1796, and

then by the glorious victory of Camperdown in 1797. The ^oife Tone,

vigorous efforts of government at that period, and the Fitzgerald,

patriotic ardour of a large portion of the more respectable

part of the people, contributed in no small degree to over- 212,213.’

awe the discontented, and postponed for a considerable

period the final explosion of the insurrection.2

Government, meanwhile, were by no means aware of the magnitude of the danger which threatened them. ](,3 They had received only some vague information of the ignorance of existence of a seditious confederacy; when there were Government two hundred and fifty thousand men organised in com- of the panies and regiments in different parts of the kingdom, danser’ and the leaders were appointed by whom the insurrection was to be carried into execution in every county of the island. But the defeat of the Dutch fleet having left the

well known that Mr Fox himself, impatient at the hopelessness of all his efforts to rid England, by any ordinary means, of a despotism which aristocratic alarm had brought upon her, found himself driven, in his despair of Reform, so near that edge where revolution begins, that had there existed, at that time, in England any thing like the same prevalent sympathy with the new doctrines of democracy as responded throughout Ireland, there is no saying how far short of the daring aims of Lord Edward even this great constitutional leader of the Whigs might, in the warmth of his generous zeal, have ventured." It is to be hoped that the biographer of the great English statesman wiU be able to efface the stain thus cast on his memory by the warmth of combined poetic and Irish zeal.—See Moore's Fitzgerald, i. 165, 1C6, 276.

VOL. VI.    0

chap. insurgents little hope of any powerful succour from xxv. France, they became desperate, and began to break out 179s into acts of violence in several parts of the country. From want of arms and military organisation, however, they were unable to act in large bodies, and commencing a Vendean system of warfare in thp southern counties, soon compelled all the respectable inhabitants to fly to the towns to avoid massacre and conflagration. These disorders were repressed with great severity by the British

1    Ann Re** troops and the German auxiliaries in English pay. ' The las, ibi.1 yeomanry, forty thousand strong, turned out with un-i°nU‘ w!* daunted courage at the approach of danger, and many

cruelties were perpetrated under the British colours, which, though only a retaliation upon the insurgents of their own excesses, excited a deep feeling of revenge, and drove to desperation their furious and undisciplined multitudes.1

Tone, ii. 255, 270. Hard. vi. 206.


The beginning of 1798 brought matters to an extremity between the contending parties. On the 19th February, Lord Moira made an eloquent speech in their favour in Parliament; but the period of accommodation was past. On the same day the Irish committees came to a formal resolution, to pay no attention to any offers from either House of Parliament, and to agree to no terms but a total separation from Great Britain. Still, though their designs were discovered, the chiefs of the conspiracy were unknown : but at length, their names having been revealed by one of their own leaders, fourteen of the chiefs were arrested at Dublin. Lord Edward Fitgerald, who escaped at that time, was mortally wounded, some months after, when defending himself from arrest, after having rejected, from a generous devotion to his comrades, all the humane offers made by government to enable him to retire in safety from the kingdom. The places of these leaders were filled up by subordinate authorities ; but their arrest was a fatal blow to the rebellion, by depriving it of all the chiefs of character, rank, or ability. Notwithstanding this untoward event, the insurrection broke out at once in many different parts of Ireland in the end of May. The

124. The insurrection at length breaks out. Feb. 19.

March 12.


2    Ann. Reg. design was to seize the castle and artillery, and surprise ^2—^oore's ^,e camp at Dublin, while at the same time the attention

ii. 371,378. of government was to be distracted by a simultaneous

rising in many different parts of the country.2

The attempt upon Dublin was frustrated by the vigilance chap. of the lord-lieutenant, who, on the very day on which it xxv. was to have taken place, arrested the leaders of the conspiracy in that capital; but in other quarters the revolt 12-broke out with great violence. Bodies of the insurgents Various ac-wcrc worsted at Rath farm-house by Lord Roden, and thTLsur-at Tallanghill by the royal forces ; but their principal gents, and army, fifteen thousand strong, defeated the English at rout at" * Euniscorthy, captured that burgh, and soon after made ^!”esar themselves masters of the important town of Wexford, May 23. containing a considerable train of artillery, and opening a point of communication with France. Following tip their May 25. successes, they advanced against New Ross, on the confines of Kilkenny, but there they were defeated with great loss by the royal troops; and the rebels revenged themselves for the disaster, by the massacre, in cold blood, of above a hundred prisoners taken at Wexford. At Newtonbarry, after having taken and retaken the town several times, they were finally dislodged, with great loss, by the yeomanry and militia. At length, the British commanders having collected above ten thousand men in the county of Wexford, commenced a general attack on the insurgents, June 21. who were fifteen thousand strong, in their camp at Vinegar Hill. The resistance was more obstinate than could have been expected from their tumultuary masses ; but at x Ann Ke„ length discipline and skill prevailed over untrained valour. 161,165. ” They were broken in several charges by the English 43“' Hard.’ cavalry and dispersed, leaving all their cannon, thirteen vi- 21?>21s. in number, and their whole ammunition, in the hands of the victors.1

This was a mortal stroke to the rebellion. The insurgents, flying in all directions, were routed in several ]2S smaller encounters, and at length the revolt was so com- Suppression pletely got under, that government were enabled to send beUion^and Lord Cornwallis with a general amnesty for all who imminent submitted before a certain day, with the exception of a which^n™'-' few leaders who were afterwards brought to justice. Such j^p^11 was the success of thes® measures, that out of sixty thousand men who were in arms at the commencement of the insurrection, there remained at the end of July only a few isolated bands in the mountains of Wicklow and Wexford. It was fortunate for England, during this

dangerous crisis, that the French government made no adequate attempt to support the insurrection; that they had exposed their navy to defeat in the previous actions at St Vincent’s and Oamperdown ; and that now, instead of wounding their mortal enemy in this vulnerable point, they had sent the flower of their army, their best general, and most powerful squadron, upon a distant expedition to the coast of Africa. Confidently trusting, as every Briton must do, that the struggle between France and this country would have terminated in the overthrow of the former, even if it had taken place on our own shores, it is impossible to deny that the landing of Napoleon with forty thousand men, in the midst of the immense and discontented population of Ireland, would have led to most alarming consequences ; and possibly the imminent peril to the empire might earlier have produced that burst of patriotic feeling and development of military prowess which was afterwards so conspicuous in the Peninsular war.

Awakened when too late to the importance of the opening which was thus afforded to their arms, the Directory made several attempts to rekindle the expiring flame of the insurrection. Eleven hundred men, under General Humbert, setting sail from Rochfort, landed at Killala, and, with the aid of tapper Tandy, the Irish revolutionist, speedily commenced the organisation of a provisional government and the enrolment of revolutionary legions, in the province of Connaught.* A force of four thousand men, consisting chiefly of yeomanry and militia, was defeated by this enterprising commander, with the loss of seven pieces of cannon, and six hundred prisoners;—a disaster which demonstrates the danger which would

1793.


127.

Nugatory efforts of the Directory to revive the insurrection.

Aug. 22.


* The landing of the French troops was announced by two proclamations, one from the French general, the other from Napper Tandy to his countrymen. The first bore :—“ United Irish ! The soldiers of the great nation have landed on your shores, amply provided with arms, artillery, and munitions of aU sorts, to aid you in breaking your fetters and recovering your liberties. Napper Tandy is at their head; he lias sworn to break your fetters or perish in the attempt. To arms! freemen, to arms ! the trumpet calls you: do not let your brethren perish unrevenged; if it is their distiny to fall, may their blood cement the glorious fabric of freedom.” That from Napper Tandy was still more vehement:—“ What do I hear? The British Government talks of concessions? will you accept them? Can you for a moment entertain the thought of entering into terms with a government which leaves you at the mercy of the English soldiery, which massacres inhumanly your best citizens : with a ministry which is the pest of society and the scourge of the human race? They

have been incurred if Napoleon, with the army of Egypt, chap. had arrived in his stead. At length the little corps was xav. surrounded, and compelled to surrender, after a gallant 1798_ resistance, by Lord Cornwallis. A French force, consisting Sept.'s.' of the Hoche, of seventy-four guns, and eight frigates, having on board three thousand men, eluded the vigilance of the Channel fleet, aud arrived on the coast of Ireland ; but they were there attacked by the squadron under the Oct. 12. command of Sir John Borlase Warren, and the whole taken after a short action, with the exception of two frigates, which regained the ports of the Republic. On board the Hoche was seized the celebrated leader, Wolfe Tone, who, after having with great firmness undergone a trial for high treason, prevented a public execution by a deplorable suicide, accompanied with more than ordinary circumstances of horror. His death closed the melancholy catalogue of executions on account of this unhappy rebellion ; and it is but justice to the British government to 1Ann Rpj? add, that although many grievous acts were perpetrated 165. jom. by the troops under their orders in its suppression, yet Ha^dNf2’ the moderation and humanity which they themselves dis- 219. played towards the vanquished, were as conspicuous as the*vigilance and firmness of their administration.

The firmness and success of the British government, amidst so many examples of weakness elsewhere, excited m at this juncture the highest admiration on the Continent. Firmness of “ In the British cabinet,” says Prince Hardenberg, “ there cement was then to be seen neither irresolution nor discourage- at tins ment; 110 symptoms of that cruel perplexity which tor- i)eriod-mented the continental sovereigns. In vain were the efforts of the Directory directed against that point of the globe, which they assailed with all their weapons, both military

hold out in one hand the olive branch; look well to the other, you will see in it the hidden dagger. No, Irishmeu ; von will not he the dupe of such base intrigues: feeling its inability to subdue your courage, it seeks only to seduce you. But you will frustrate all its efforts. Barbarous crimes have been committcdin your country; your friends have fallen victims to their devotion to your cause; their shades surround you; they cry aloud for vengeance. It is your duty to avenge their death; it is your duty to strike the assassins of your friends on their bloody thrones. Irishmen! declare a war of extermination against your oppressors; the eternal war of liberty against tyranny—Napper Tandy.” But the conduct of this leader was for from*keeping paceSvith these vehement protestations; for no sooner did he hear of the reverse sustained by the French corps which bad landed in Killala Bay, than he re-embarked on board the French brig Anacreon, and got safe across the Channel.—See both proclamations in Haro. vi. 223, 225.

chap. and revolutionary. England sustained the shock with xxv- daily increasing energy. Her dignity was untouched, her " J7gs> arms unconquered. The most terrible war to which an empire could be exposed, there produced less anxiety, troubles, and disquietude, than was experienced by those states which had been seduced by the prospect of a fallacious peace to come to terms of accommodation with the French Republic. It was with eight hundred ships of war, a hundred and fifty thousand sailors, three hundred thousand land troops, and an expenditure of fifty millions sterling a-year, that she maintained the contest. It was by periodical victories of unprecedented splendour, by drawing closer together the bonds of her constitution, that she replied to all the efforts of France to dismember her dominions. But never did she run greater danger than this year, when one expedition, directed against the East, threatened with destruction he]'Indian empire, and another,

1 Hard. vi. aga'nst the West, was destined to carry into Ireland the is:, 198. principles of the French Revolution, and sever that important island from the British empire.” 1 The maritime affairs of this year were chiefly distin-)29 guished by the capture of Minorca, which, notwithstanding Maritime the great strength of its fortifications, yielded to a British \ear.S ot the force under the command of General Stewart. In August, the inhabitants of the little island of Gozo, a dependence of Malta, revolted against the French garrison, made them prisoners to the number of three hundred, and compelled the Republicans to shut themselves up in the walls of i-’-nrjumS' Palette, where they were immediately subjected to the x. 443. ' most rigorous blockade by the British forces by land and sea.2

So unbounded was the arrogance, so reckless the policy 130 of the French government at this time, that it all but Disputes of involved them in a war with the United States of North the'unitedb America, the country in the world in which the demo-states. cratic institutions prevail to the greatest extent, and where gratitude to France was most unbounded for the services rendered to them during their contest with Great Britain. The origin of these disputes was a decree of the French government in January 179S, which directed “that all ships having for their cargoes, in whole or in part, any English merchandise, should be held lawful prize, whoever

was the proprietor of that merchandise, which should he chap. held contraband from the single circumstance of its coming xxv. from England, or any of its foreign settlements ; that the )79~ harbours of Franco should be shut against all vessels which had so much as touched at an English harbour, and that neutral sailors found on board English vessels should be put to death ” This barbarous decree immediately brought the French into collision with the United States, who, at tiiat period, were the great neutral carriers of the world.

Letters of marque were issued, and an immense number of American vessels, having touched at English harbours, brought into the French ports. The American government sent envoys to Paris, in order to remonstrate against these proceedings. They urged that the decree of the French proceeded on the oppressive principle, that because a neutral is obliged to submit to exactions from one belligerent party, from inability to prevent them, therefore it must submit to the same from the other, though neither *rs6-2. sanctioned, as in the other case, by previous usage, nor authorised by treaty.1

The envoys could not obtain an audience of the Directory, but they were permitted to remain in Paris, and a I3I negotiation opened with Talleyrand and his inferior siiamciui agents, which soon unfolded the real object which the French government had in view. It was intimated to government, the envoys that the intention of the Directory, in refusing to receive them in public, and permitting them to remain in a private capacity, was to lay the United States under a contribution, not only of a large sum as a loan to the government, but of another for the private use of the Directors. The sum required for the first object was £1,000,000, and for the last £50,000. T’tiis disgraceful proposal was repeatedly pressed upon the envoys, not only by the subaltern agents of Talleyrand, but by that minister himself, who openly avowed that nothing could be done at Paris without money, and that there was not an American there who would not confirm him in this statement. Finding that the Americans resolutely resisted this proposal, they were at length informed, that if they would only “pay, by way of fees, just as they would to any lawyer who should plead their cause, the sum required for the private use of the Directory, they might remain in

chap.    Paris until they had received further orders from America

xxv.    as to the loan required for government.”* These terms

rgg    were indignantly rejected ; the American envoys left

May2s.    Paris; letters of marque were issued by the American

July?    President ; all commercial intercourse with France was

i Ann. Reg. suspended, Washington declared generalissimo of the

24t, 247.    forceg 0f the commonwealth, the treaties with France

Jom. x. jo«5.    7    '

Hard. vi. 2i. declared at an end, and every preparation made to sustain the national independence.1 J32 The Hanse towns were not so fortunate in escaping Contribu- from the exactions of the Directory. Their distance from tions levied the scene of contest, their neutrality, so favourable to the

on the Ilanse    ’    J .

Towns by commerce ot the Republic, the protection openly afforded torvDireC" ^iem by the Prussian government, could not save them from French rapacity. Th^ir ships, bearing a neutral flag, 3S4°m Hard were daily made prisoners by the French cruisers, and vi. 3i, as. they obtained licenses to navigate the high seas only by the secret payment of £150,000 to the Republican rulers.2

It was impossible, as long as the slightest hope of main-13„ taining their independence remained to the European Retrospect states, that these incessant and endless usurpations of the encroach* French government could fail to lead to a renewal of the ments of war. France began the year 1798 with three affiliated France. republics at her side, the Batavian, the Cisalpine, and the Ligurian. Before its close she had organised three more, the Helvetic, the Roman, and Parthenopeian. Pursuing constantly the same system ; addressing herself to the discontented multitude in every state; paralysing the national strength by a division of its population, and taking advantage of that division to overthrow its independence, she had succeeded in establishing her dominion over more than one-half of Europe. From the Texel to

* This transaction was so extraordinary, that it is advisable to lay before the reader the official report on the subject, presented by the American plenipotentiaries to their government. “ On tlie 18th October, the plenipotentiary Pinckney received a visit from the secret agent of M. Talleyrand (51. Bellarini). He assured us that Citizen Talleyrand had the highest esteem for America and the citizens of the United States; and that he was most anxious for their reconciliation with France. He added, that, with that view, some of the most offensive passages in the speech of President Adams must be expunged, and a douceur o/i.50,000 sterling put at the disposal of il. Talleyrand for the use of the Directors; and a large loan furnished by America to France. On the 20th, the same subject was resumed in the apartments of the plenipotentiary, and on this occasion, besides the secret agent, an intimate friend of Talleyrand was present; the expunging oi the passages was again insisted on, and it was added, that, after that, money whs the principal object. His words were—‘ We must

the extremity of Calabria, a compaet chain of republics chap. was formed, which not only threatened the independence xxv-of the other states of Europe by their military power, but ,798 promised speedily to subvert their whole social institutions by the incessant propagation of revolutionary principles. Experience had proved that the freedom which the Jaeo-bin agents insidiously offered to the deluded population of other states, was neither more nor less than an entire subjection to the agents of France; and that, the moment that they endeavoured to obtain in reality that liberty which they had been promised in name, they 1 Th. x. 206. were subjected to the most arbitrary and despotic oppression.1

In resisting this alarming invasion not merely of the

independence of nations, but of the principles Avhich hold ]34

together the social union, it was obvious that no time was Their *ys-

to°be lost; and that the peril incurred was even greater

in peace than during the utmost dangers of Avar. France impossible:

, ,J ,    . i , . i ,    11 i • • which leads

had made more rapid strides towards universal dominion to a genera! during one year of pacific encroachment, than six previous t'mtedei-acy years of hostilities. The continuance of amicable relations them', was favourable to the secret propagation of the revolutionary mania, with all the extravagant hopes and expectations to which it gave rise ; and, without the shock of war, or an effort even to maintain the public fortunes, the independence of nations was silently melting away before the insidious, but incessant efforts of democratic ambition. It was but a poor consolation to those who Avitnessed this deplorable progress, that they who lent an ear to these suggestions were the first to suffer from their effeets, and that they subjected themselves and their country to a far Avorse despotism than that from which they had hoped to

have money, a great d^al of money.’ On the 2lst, at a tliird conference, the sum was fixed at 32,000,000 (L.1.280,000) as a loan, secured on the Dutch contributions, and a gratification of t,.50,000, in the form of a douceur to the Directors.” At a subsequent meeting on the 27th October, the same secret agent said, “ Gentlemen, you mistake the point; you soy nothing of the money you are to give. You make no offer of money. On that point you are not explicit."—“ We are explicit enough,” replied the American envoys: “ we will not give you one farthing: anti before coining here we should have thought such an offer ns you now propose would have been regarded as a mortal insult.”See the report in Hard. vi. H, 22.

When the American envoys published this statement, Talleyrand disavowed all the proceedings of these secret agents; hut M. Bellarini pul), lished a declaration at Hamburg, “ that he had neither said, written, nor done a single thing without the orders of Citizen Talleyrand."Ibid. vi. 29.

chap. emancipate it. The evil was done, the national independ-xxv- ence was subverted ; revolutionary interests were created, 1798 and the principle of democracy, using the vanquished states as an advanced post, was daily proceeding to fresh conquests, and openly aimed at universal dominion. These considerations, strongly excited by the subjugation of Switzerland and the Papal States, led to a feeling throughout all the European monarchies, of the necessity of a general coalition to resist the further encroachments of France, and stop the alarming progress of revolutionary principles. The Emperor of Russia at length saw the necessity of joining his great empire to the confederacy ; and a Muscovite i.ac' xh-'1G’ army, sixty thousand strong, began its march from Poland 311,312. toward the north of Italy, while another, amounting nearly to forty thousand, moved toward the south of Germany.1

The negotiations at Rastadt,notwithstanding their length ];J5 and intricacy, had led to no satisfactory result. The temper Progress of in which they were conducted underwent a material change tions with the lapse of time. The treaty of Campo Formio was ii;istadt. more than an ordinary accomodation ; it was a league by the great powers, who there terminated their hostilities, for their own aggrandisement at the expense of their neighbours, and in its secret articles were contained stipulations which amounted to an abandonment of the empire, by its head, to the rapacity of the Republican government, signed on Venice was the glittering prize which induced this derelic-

Dec 1. 1797

* Art.'12, 14! tion of principle on the part of the Emperor ; and accord-Tr»aty ingly it was agreed, that, on the same day on which that Corresjj, great city was surrendered to the Imperial troops, Mayence, N°pf’v?f the bulwark of the German empire on the Lower Rhine, 231,292. should be given up to the Republicans.219 By an additional article it was provided, that the Austrian troops should,

>

within twenty days after the ratification of the secret chap. articles, evacuate also Ingolstadt, Philipsburgli, and all the xxv-fortresses as far back as the frontiers of the hereditary ]7Bg states, and that within the same period the French forces should retire from Palma Nuova, Legnago, Ozoppo, and the Italian fortresses as far as the Adige.

This important military convention, which totally disabled the empire from making any effectual resistance to J3g the French forces, was kept a profound secret, and only The secret became known to the German princes when, from its ?n<*erstand-

. . , .    • i .    • . 111    in» between

provisions being earned into execution, it could no longer, France and in part at least, be concealed. But in the mean time it led mad^maai-to a very great degree of intimacy between Napoleon and ftst. Cobentzell, the Austrian ambassador atRastadt, insomuch that the Emperor, who perceived the extreme irritation which at that moment the French general felt against the Republican government at Paris, offered him a principality in Germany, with 250,000 souls, in order that “ he might be for ever placed beyond the reach of democratic ingratitude.” But the French general, whose ambition was fixed on very different objects, declined the offer. To such a length, however, did the confidence of the two diplomatists proceed, that Napoleon made Cobentzell acquainted with liis secret intention at some future period of subverting the Directory. “ An army,” said he, “ is assembled on the coasts of the Channel ostensibly for the invasion of England ; but my real object is to march at its head to Paris, and overturn that ridiculous government of lawyers, which cannot mucli longer oppress France. Believe me, two years will not elapse before that preposterous scaffolding of a Republic will fall to the ground. The Directory may maintain its ground during peace, but it cannot withstand the shock of war ; and therefore it is, that it is indispensable that we should both occupy good positions.” Cobentzell lost no time in making his cabinet acquainted with these extraordinary revelations, which were highly acceptable at Vienna, and furnish the true key to the great , Har<J influence exercised by-Napoleon over that government 66, to, 71. during the remainder of his residence in Europe prior to the Egyptian expedition.1

Great was the consternation in Germany when at length it could no longer be concealed that the line of the Rhine

had been abandoned to France, and tbat all the states on the left bank of that river were to be sacrificed to the engrossing Republic. It was the more difficult for the Austrian plenipotentiaries at Rastadt to reconcile the dispossessed proprietors to this catastrophe, as the Emperor had officially announced to the Diet, shortly after the conclusion of the armistice of Leoben, “ that an armistice had been concluded by the Emperor for the empire, on the base of the integrity of the Germanic bodyRemonstrances and petitions in consequence rapidly succeeded each other, as suspicions of the fate impending over them got afloat, but without effect; and soon the decisive evidence of facts convinced the most incredulous, that a portion at least of the empire had been abandoned. Intelligence successively arrived, that Mayence had been surrendered to the Republicans on the 30th December, in presence of, and without opposition from, the Austrian forces : that Venice, stripped of all its riches, had been abandoned to the Imperialists on the 15th January; and that the fort of the Rhine, opposite Manheim, which refused to surrender to the summons of the Republican general, had been carried by assault on the 25th of the same month ; while the Austrian forces, instead of offering any resistance, were evidently retiring towards the frontiers of the hereditary states. An universal stupor seized on the German people when they beheld themselves thus abandoned by their natural guardians, and the only ones capable of rendering them any effectual protection ; and their deputies expressed themselves in'angry terms to the Imperial plenipotentiaries on the subject. But M. Lehrbach replied, when no longer able to conceal this dismemberment of the empire,—“All the world is aware of the sacrifices which Austria lias made during the war; and that the misfortunes which have occurred are nothing more than what she has uniformly predicted would occur, if a cordial union of all the Germanic states was not effected to maintain their independence. Singly, she has made the utmost efforts to maintain the integrity of the empire ; she has exhausted all her resources in the attempt; if she has been unsuccessful, let those answer for it who contributed nothing towards the common cause.” This defence was perfectly just: Austria had performed, and nobly performed, her

1793.

137. Universal terror which this treaty awakens in Germany.


part as head of the empire; its dismemberment arose chap. from the inaction of Prussia, which, with an armed force xxv-of above two hundred thousand men, and a revenue of 1798 nearly £6,000,000 sterling, had done nothing whatever for 1 Hard. v. the cause of Germany. It is not the cession of the left 433^4!*' bank of the Rhine to France, it is the spoliation of and vii. 6. Venice, which at this period forms an indelible stain on the Austrian annals.1

After the cession of the line of the Rhine to France was finally divulged, the attention of the plenipotentiaries was 13g chiefly directed to the means of providing indemnities to the dispossessed princes, and the republican envoys had insult tot he alreadv broached their favourite project of secularisations: ,Frenc'1 am-

J    • it*    bassador.

in other words, indemnifying the lay princes at the expense of the church, when an event occurred at Vienna, which threatened to produce an immediate explosion between the two governments. On occasion of the anniversary of the general arming of the Vienna volunteers 011 April 13, in April 13. the preceding year, the youth of that capital expressed a strong desire to give vent to the ardour of their patriotic feeling by a fete in honour of the glorious stand then made by their countrymen. It was hazardous to agree to such a proposal, as the French ambassador, General Bernadotte, had testified his repugnance to it, and declared his resolution, if it was persisted in, to give a dinner in honour of democratic principles at his hotel.

But the Austrian government could not withstand the wishes of the defenders of the monarchy; the proposed fete took place, and the French ambassador, in consequence, gave a great entertainment to his friends, and hoisted an immense tricolor flag before his gate, with the words “ Liberte, Egaliti,” inscribed upon it. The opposing principles being thus brought into contact with each other, a collision took place. The people of Vienna conceived the conduct of the French ambassador to be a direct insult offered to their beloved Emperor, and flocked in menacing crowds to the neighbourhood of his hotel.

The Austrian authorities, seeing the popular exasperation hourly increasing, in vain besought Bernadotte to remove the obnoxious standard. He deemed his own honour and that of the Republic pledged to its being kept up ; and at length the multitude began to ascend ladders to

chap. break open the windows. A pistol discharged by a ser-

xxv. vant within, which wounded one of the assailants, only - increased the excitement; the gates and windows were speedily forced, the apartments pillaged, and the carriages in the yard broken to pieces. Fifty thousand persons assembled in the streets, and the French ambassador, barricaded in one of the rooms of his hotel, was only delivered at one o’clock in the morning by two regiments of cuirassiers, which the Imperial government sent to his relief. Justly indignant at this disgraceful outrage, Bernadotte transmitted several angry notes to the Austrian cabinet; and although they published a proclamation on the following day, expressing the deepest regret at the disorders which had occurred, nothing would appease the exasperated ambassador, and on the 15th he left Vienna, under 135,493,508. a numerous escort of cavalry, and took the road for Rastadt.1    ■

When matters were in this combustible state, a spark ]39 only was required to light the conflagration. Conferences conferences were opened at Seitz, in Germany, where, on the one Seitzed at hand, the Directory insisted on satisfaction for the insult offered to the ambassador of the Republic; and, on the other, the Emperor demanded an explanation of the conduct of France in subduing, without the shadow of a pretext, the Helvetic Confederacy, and extending its dominion October. through the whole of Italy. As the Austrians could obtain no satisfaction on these points, the Emperor drew more closely his bonds of intimacy with the court of St Peters-

1798.


April 15.


5 Th. x j45) burg, and the march of the Russian armies through Galli-H6,149. ^ cja ;in(] Moravia was hastened, while the military prepara-'341. tions of the Austrian monarchy proceeded with redoubled activity.2

The negotiations at Rastadt for the settlement of the affairs of the Germanic empire proceeded slowly towards which issue an adjustment; but their importance disappeared upon t'etwfUrnUre ^ie commencement of the more weighty discussions in-Austria and volved in the Seitz conferences. The French insisted upon France. a variety of articles utterly inconsistent with the spirit of the treaty of Campo Formio or the independence of Germany. They first demanded all the islands of the Rhine,

• which were of very great importance in a military point of view; next, that they should be put in possession of

Kelil and its territory opposite to Strasbnrg, and Casscl chap. and its territory opposite to Mayence ; then that a piece xxv. of ground, adequate to the formation of a teie-du-pont, 17ys should be ceded to them at the German end of the bridge of Huningen ; and, lastly, that the important fortress of Ehrenbreitstein should be demolished. The German deputation, on the other hand, insisted that the principle of separation should be that of thalweg; that is to say, of the division of the valley by the middle of its principal stream.

As a consequence of this principle, they refused to cede Kelil, Cassel, or the tete-du-pont at Huningen, or to demolish the fortifications of Ehrenbreitstein, all of which lay on the German bank of the river. Subsequently, the French commissioners admitted the principle of the thalweg, and consented to the demolition of Cassel and Kehl, and the Germans agreed to that of Ehrenbreitstein ; but the Republicans insisted on the cession of the island of Petersaw, which would have given them the means of crossing opposite that important point. Matters were in this unsettled state, when the negotiations were interrupted by the October, march of the Russian troops through Moravia. The French j Tom . government upon that issued a note, in which they declared 27, 28.’ ‘"Th. that they would consider the crossing of the German fron- liari’vi'' tier by that army as equivalent to a declaration of war ; 371,3ss.’ and as their advance continued without interruption, the negotiations at Rastadt virtually came to an end.1

Seeing themselves seriously menaced with an armed resistance to their project for subjugating all the adjoin- ,4I ing states by means of exciting revolutions in their bosom, Financial the Directory at length began to adopt measures to make ^Direc-^ head against the danger. The finances of the Republic torytomeet were in a most alarming state. Notwithstanding the con- profiling fiscation of two-thirds of the national debt, it was discover- hostilities, ed that there would be a deficit of 200,000,000 francs, or £S,000,000 sterling, in the returns of the year. New taxes, chiefly on doors and windows, were imposed, and a decree passed, authorising national domains, to the value of 125.000,000 of francs, or .£5,000,000 sterling, to be taken from the public creditors, to whom they had been surrendered in liquidation of their claims, and the proper- 2Jom . ty of the whole Protestant clergy to be confiscated to the 25,20. service of the state :2 thus putting, to support their revolu-chap. tionary conquests, the last hand to their revolutionary xxv- confiscations.

1798. It remained to adopt some method for the augmenta-142> tion of the army, which had been extremely diminished Adoption of by sickness and desertion since the peace of Campo Formio. the wl°f The skeletons of the regiments and the non-commissioned s^iption by officers remained ; but the ranks exhibited large chasms, ]aturefS" which the existing state of the law provided no means of supplying. The Convention, notwithstanding their energy, had made no permanent provision for recruiting the army, but had contented themselves with two levies, one of -Sept. 28. 300,000, and one of 1,200,000 men, in 1793, which, with the voluntary supplies since furnished by the patriotism or suffering of the people, had been found* adequate to the wants of the state. But now that the revolutionary fervour had subsided, and a necessity existed for finding a permanent supply of soldiers to meet the wars into which the insatiable ambition of the government had plunged the country, some lasting resource became indispensable. To meet the difficulty, General Jourdan proposed the law of the Conscription, which became one of the most important consequences of the Revolution. By this decree, every Frenchman from twenty to forty-five years of age was declared amenable to military service. Those liable to serve were divided into classes, according to the years of their birth, and the government were authorised to call out the youngest, second, or third class, according to the exigencies of the times. The conscription was to take place by lot, in the class from which it was directed to be taken. This law was immediately adopted ; and the first levy of two hundred thousand men from France 23 °24.’ XTh. ordered to be immediately enforced, while eighteen tliou-x. 183, 184. sand men were required from the affiliated republic of Switzerland, and the like number from that of Holland.1

Thus, the justice of Heaven made the revolutionary 143 passions of France the means of working out their own Reflections punishment. The atrocious aggression on Switzerland, event. the flames of Underwalden, the subjugation of Italy, were registered in the book of fate, and brought about a dreadful and lasting retribution. Not the bayonets of the Allies, not the defence of their country, occasioned this lasting scourge; the invasion of other states, the cries of

injured innocence, first brought it into existence. They fixed upon its infatuated people that terrible law, which soon carried misery into every cottage, and bathed in tears every mother in France. Wide as had been the spread of the national sin, as wide was the lash of national punishment. By furnishing an almost inexhaustible supply of military levies, it fanned the spirit of universal conquest, and precipitated its people into the bloody career of Napoleon. It produced that terrible contest which, after exhausting the resources, brought about the •subjugation of that great kingdom, and wrung from its infuriated but not repentant inhabitants, what they themselves have styled tears of blood.1 It is thus that Providence vindicates its superintendence of the moral world ; that the guilty career of nations, equally as that of individuals, brings down upon itself a righteous punishment; and that we feel, amidst all the sins of rulers, or madness of the people, the truth of the sublime words of Scripture : “ Ephraim is joined to his idols ; let him alone.”

CHAP.

xxv.

1798.


1 Sav. iv. 382.


CHAPTER XXVI.

EXPEDITION TO EGYPT.

“ By seizing the isthmus of Darien,” said Sir Walter Raleigh, you will wrest the keys of the world from Spain.” The observation, worthy of his reach of thought, is still more applicable to the isthmus of Suez and the country of Egypt. It is remarkable that its importance has never been duly appreciated, but by the greatest con: querors of ancient and modern times, Alexander the Great and Napoleon Buonaparte. The geographical position of this celebrated country has destined it to be the great emporium of the commerce of the world. Placed in the centre between Europe and Asia, on the confines of Eastern wealth and Western civilisation ; at the extremity of the African continent, and on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, it is fitted to become the central point of communication for the varied productions of these different regions of the globe. The waters of the Mediterranean bring to it all the fabrics of Europe ; the Red Sea wafts to its shores the riches of India and China; while the Xile floats down to its bosom the produce of the vast and unknown regions of Africa. Though it were not one of the most fertile countries in the world,—though the inundations of the Nile did not annually cover its fields with riches, it would still be, from its situation, one of the most favoured spots on the earth. The greatest and most durable monuments of human industry, accordingly, the earliest efforts of civilisation, the sublimest works of genius, have been raised in this primeval seat of mankind. The temples of Rome have decayed ; the arts of Athens have perished ; but the Pyramids “ still stand erect and unshaken

CHAP.

XXVI.

1797.

1.

Great political and commercial importance of Egypt, and its advantages of situation.


above the floods of the Nile.”1 "When, in the revolution chap. of ages, civilisation shall have returned to its ancient xxvi. cradle,—when the desolation of Mahometan rule shall 1797 have ceased, and the light of religion illumined the land of 1 Gibbon, its birth, Egypt will again become one of the great centres of human industry; the invention of steam will restore the communication with the East to its original channel; and the nation which shall revive the canal of Suez, and open a direct communication between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, will pour into its bosom those streams of wealth, which in every age have constituted the principal sources of European opulence.

The great Leibnitz, in the time of Louis XIV., addressed to the French monarch a memorial, which is one of the „ noblest monuments of political foresight. “ Sire,” said he, its iniport-“it is not at home that you will succeed in subduing the perceived by Dutch ; you will not cross their dykes, and you will rouse Leibnitz. " Europe to their assistance. It is in Egypt that the real j*eGreatr blow is to be struck. There you will find the true com- and NaP(> mercial route to India; you will wrest that lucrative ip^eoiated commerce from Holland ; you will secure the eternalits value-dominion of France in the Levant; you will fill Christendom with joy.” * These ideas, however, were beyond the age, and they lay dormant till revived by the genius of Napoleon. The eagle eye of Alexander the Great, which fitted him to have been as great a benefactor as he was a scourge of the species, early discerned the vast capabilities of this country; and to him was owing the foundation of that city, the rival of Memphis and Thebes, which once boasted of six hundred thousand inhabitants, almost rivalled Rome in the plenitude of its power, and still bears, amidst ruins and decay, the name of the con

* “ The possession of Egypt,” snys he, “ will open a prompt communication with the riehcst countries of the East. It will unite the commerce of the Indies to that of France, and pave the way for great captains to march to conquests worthy of Alexander. If tho Portuguese, whose power is much inferior to that of France, had been able to obtain possession of Egypt, the whole of India would have been long since subjected to them; and yet, notwithstanding the smallness of their numbers, they have made themselves formidable to the people of those countries. Egypt once conquered, nothing could be easier than to take possession of the entire coast of the lied Sea, and of the innumerable islands which border it. The interior of Asia, destituto of both commerce and wealth, would range itself at once beneath your dominion. The success of this enterprise would for ever secure the possession of the Indies, the commerce of Asia, and the dominion of the universe.”—Memorial, 1672, Leibnitz to Louis XIV.

chap. queror of the East. Napoleon was hardly launched into xxvi. the career of conquest before he perceived the importance 179„ of the same situation; and when still struggling in the ’ plains of Italy with the armies of Austria, he was meditating an expedition into those Eastern regions, where alone, in his apprehension, great things could be achieved ; where kingdoms lay open to private adventure ; and fame, rivalling that of the heroes of antiquity, was to be obtained. From his earliest years he had been influenced by an ardent desire to effect a revolution in the East: he was literally haunted by the idea of the glory which had been there acquired, and firmly convinced that the power of England could never be effectually humbled but by a blow at its Indian possessions. “ The Persians,” said he, have blocked up the route of Tamerlane ; I will discover another.” It was his favourite opinion through life, that Egypt was the true line of communication with India; that it was there that the English power could alone be seriously affected; that its possession would insure the dominion of the Mediterranean, and convert that sea into a “French Lake.” From that central poi^it armaments i Th ix 62    be detached down the Red Sea, to attack the British

69. D’Abr! possessions in India; and an entrepfif established, which Bour3ii would soon turn the commerce of the East into the chan-411. ’ ’ nels which nature had formed for its reception—the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.1

It was at Passeriano, however, after the campaign was 3 concluded, and when his energetic mind turned abroad to His ideas are seek the theatre of fresh exploits, that the conception of an Pass'eriano^ expedition to Egypt first seriously occupied his thoughts.

During his long evening walks in the magnificent park of his mansion, he spoke without intermission of the celebrity of those countries, and the illustrious empires which have there disappeared, after overturning each other, but the memory of which still lives in the recollections of mankind. “Europe,” said he, “is no field for glorious exploits; no great empires or revolutions are to be found but in the East, where there are six hundred millions of men.” Egypt at once presented itself to his imagination as the point where a decisive impression was to be made; the weak point of the line where a breach could be effected and a permanent lodgment secured, and a path opened to

those Eastern regions, where the British power was to bo chap. destroyed and immortal renown acquired. So completely xxvi. had this idea taken possession of his mind, that all the 1797 books brought from the Ambrosian library to Paris, after the peace of Campo Formio, which related to Egypt, were submitted for his examination, and many bore extensive 1 James’s marginal notes in his own handwriting, indicating the powerful grasp and indefatigable activity of his mind.1 Bour. ii. 44. And in his correspondence with the Directory he had conf.rdeP' already, more than once, suggested both the importance of Nap.iv. 176. an expedition to the banks of the Nile, and the amount of force requisite to ensure its success.2

Before leaving Italy, after the treaty of Campo Formio, he put the last hand to the affairs of the Cisalpine Repub- 4 lie. Venice was delivered over, amidst the tears of all its Napoleon’s patriotic citizens, to Austria; the French auxiliary force in dres"to'tha the new republic was fixed at thirty thousand men, under Italians, the orders of Berthier, to be maintained at the expense of the allied state ; and all the republican organisation of a directory, legislative assemblies, national guards, and troops of the line, was put in full activity. “ You are the first people in history,” said he, in his parting address to them, “ who have become free without factions, without revolutions, without convulsions. We have given you freedom ; it is your part to preserve it. You are, after France, the richest, the most populous republic in the world. Your position calls you to take a leading part in the politics of Europe. To be worthy of your destiny, make no laws but what are wise and moderate; but execute them with force and energy.”3 The wealth and 3 Nap. w. population of the beautiful provinces which compose this 2<1-Republic, embracing 3,500,000 souls, the fortress of Mantua, and the plains of Lombardy, formed indeed the elements of a powerful state; but had Napoleon looked into the book of history, or considered the human mind, he would have perceived that, of all human blessings, liberty is the one which is of the slowest growth ; that it must be won, and cannot be conferred ; and that the institutions which are suddenly transferred from one country to another, perish as rapidly as the full-grown tree, which is transplanted from the soil of its birth to a distant land.

Napoleon’s journey from Italy to Paris was a continual

chap. triumph. The Italians, whose national spirit had been in XXVL some degree revived by his victories,‘beheld with regret 1797.    disappearance of that brilliant apparition. Every

6 thing he did and said was calculated to increase the public Hhurium' entllusiasm- At Mantua, he combined with a fete in Hcross°swit^honour of Virgil a military procession on the death of Rastelu and ?eneral Hoche> who had recently died, after a short illness, Paris. an in France ; and about the same time formed that friend-

fects'of thil’ shiP with P.esaixJ who had come from the army of the journey. Rhine to visit that of Italy, which mutual esteem was so character11* calculated to inspire, but which was destined to for Switzer- terminate prematurely on the field of Marengo. The towns of Switzerland received him with transport; triumphal arches and garlands of flowers every where awaited his approach; he passed the fortresses amidst discharges of cannou ; and crowds from the neighbouring countries lined the roads to get a glimpse of the hero who had filled the world with his renown* His progress, in Dec. 5. general, was rapid : he lingered, however, long on the field of Morat, to examine the scene of the terrible defeat of the Burgundian chivalry by the Swiss peasantry. Passing Bale,

5 IUTh’ arriv°d at Rastadt, where the congress was established ; ix. 363. ' but foreseeing nothing worthy of his genius in the minute nardUv257.' matters °f diplomacy which were there the subject of dis-Sij.    cussion, he proceeded to Paris, where the public anxiety

had arisen to the highest pitch for his return.1

The successive arrival of Napoleon’s lieutenants at Paris

6 with the standards taken from the enemy in his memor-nis retired able campaigns, the vast conquests he had achieved, the lifeatPuris. brief but eloquent language of his proclamations, and the immense benefits which had accrued to the Republic from his triumphs, had raised to the very highest pitch the enthusiasm of the people. The public anxiety, accordingly, to see him, was indescribable ; but he knew enough of mankind to feel the importance of enhancing the general wish by avoiding its gratification. He lived in his own house in the Rue Chantereine, in the most retired manner, went seldom into public, and surrounded himself

* His words, though few, were all such as were calculated to produce revolution. At Geneva, he boasted that he would democratise England in three months; and that there were, in truth, but two Republics in Switzerland—Geneva, without laws or government; Bale, converted into the workshop of revolution.—Hard. v. 308.

only by scientific characters, or generals of cultivated chap. minds.' He avoided military society, seemed devoted to xxvi. civil and scientific pursuits, wore the costume of the j-97 Institute, of which he had recently been elected a member; associated constantly with its leading characters, such as Monge, Berthold, Laplace, Lagrange ; and admitted to his intimate society only Berthier, Desaix, Lefebvre, Caffarelli,

Kleber, and a few of the deputies. On occasion of being presented to Talleyrand, minister of foreign affairs, he singled out, amidst the splendid cortege of public characters by which he was surrounded, M. Bougainville, and conversed with him on the celebrated voyage which he had performed. Such was the profound nature of his ambition through life, that on every occasion he looked rather to the impression his conduct was to produce on • men’s minds in future, than the gratification he was to receive from their admiration of the past. He literally “deemed nothing done, while any thing remained to do.”1 i Tacitus. Even in the assumption of the dress, and the choice of the society of the Institute, he was guided by motives of ambition, and a profound knowledge of the human heart.

“ Mankind,” said he, “ are in the end governed always by * ™bau-^ superiority of intellectual qualities, and none are more iat. is. tu. sensible of this than the military profession. When on1^6?’3^ my return from Italy I assumed the dress of the Institute, 2S3.

I knew what I was doing. I was sure of not being misunderstood by the lowest drummer of the army.”2

Shortly after his arrival he was received in state by the Directory, in their now magnificent court of the Luxem- . bourg. The public anxiety was wound up to the highest His recep-pitch for this imposing ceremony, on which occasion Jou- the L)i-tU bert was to present the standard of the army of Italy, ructory. inscribed with all the great actions it had performed ; and ™ecl™m S the youthful conqueror himself was to lay at the feet of Government the treaty of Campo Furmio. Vast galleries were prepared for the accommodation of the public, which were early filled with all that was distinguished in rank, character, and beauty in Paris. He made his entry, accompanied by M. Talleyrand, who was to present him to the Directory as the bearer of the treaty. The aspect of the hero, his thin but graceful figure, the Roman cast of his features, and fire of his eye, excited universal admiration; the court rang with applause. Talleyrand introduced him in an eloquent speech, in which, after extolling his great actions, he concluded : “ For a moment I did feel on his account that disquietude, which, in an infant republic, arises from every thing which seems to destroy the equality of the citizens. But I was Avrong; individual grandeur, far from being dangerous to equality, is -its highest triumph ; and on this occasion, every Frenchman must feel himself elevated by the hero of his country. And when I reflect on all that he lias done to shroud from envy that light of glory ; on that ancient love of simplicity which distinguishes him in his favourite studies : his love for the abstract sciences; on his admiration for that sublime Ossian which seems to detach him from the world ; on his well-known contempt for luxury, for pomp, for all that constitutes the pride of ignoble minds, I am convinced that, far from dreading his ambition, we shall, one day have occasion to rouse it anew to allure him from the sweets of studious retirement; France will never lose its freedom ; but perhaps lie will not for ever preserve his own.”1

Napoleon replied in these words :—“ The French people, to attain their freedom, had kings to combat; to secure a constitution founded on reason, they had eighteen hundred years of prejudices to overcome. Religion, feudality, despotism, have, in their turns, governed Europe; but from the peace now concluded, dates the era of representative governments. You have succeeded in organising the great nation, whose territory is only circumscribed because nature herself has imposed its limits. I lay at your feet the treaty of Campo Formio, ratified by the Emperor20 As soon as the happiness of France is secured by the best organic laws, the whole of Europe will be free.” The Directory, by the voice of Barras, returned an inflated reply, in which they invited him to strive for the acquisition of fresh laurels, and pointed to the shores of Great Britain as the place where they were to be gathered. On this occasion, General Joubert, and the chief of the staff,

1797.


1 Bour. ii. 24.

8.

Napoleon’s

answer.


Andreossi, bore the magnificent standard which the Di- chap. rectory had given to the Army of Italy, and which con- xxvi. tained an enumeration of triumphs so wonderful, that it 1797 would have passed for fabulous in any other age* It was 1 Th. ix. ;:68. sufficient to intoxicate all the youth of France with the 38a4p'1V28,J’ passion for military glory.1

This fete was followed by others, given by the legislative body and the minister of foreign affairs. Napoleon g appeared at all these ; but they were foreign to his dispo- Successive sition, and he retired, as soon as politeness would permit, ■£y“ther * to his own house. At that given by M. Talleyrand, which public was distinguished by the good taste and elegance which bodie!>-prevailed, he was asked by Madame de Stael, in presence of a numerous circle, who was, in his opinion, the greatest woman that ever existed. “ She,” he replied, “ who has had the greatest number of children an answer very different from what she anticipated, and singularly characteristic of his opinions on the proper destiny of the female character. At the Institute, he was to be seen always seated between Lagrange and Laplace, wholly occupied in appearance with the abstract sciences. To a deputation of that learned body, he returned an answer:

—“I am highly honoured with the approbation of the distinguished men who compose the Institute. I know well that I must long be their scholar before I become their equal. The true conquests, the only ones which do not cause a tear, are those which are gained over ignorance. The most honourable, as well as the most useful, occupation of men is, to contribute to the extension of ideas. The true power of the French Republic should

* It bore these words :—“ The army of Italy has made 150,000 prisoners;

It has taken 170 standards, 500 pieces of heavy artillery, GOO field-pieces,

5 pontoon trains, 9 ships of the line, 12 frigates, 12 corvettes, 18 galleys.

Armistice with the Kings of Sardinia, Naples, the Dukes of Parma,

Modena, and the Pope. Preliminaries of Leoben; Convention of Montebello with Genoa. Treaty of Tolentino. Treaty of Campo Formio. It has given freedom to the people of Bologna, Ferrara, Modena, Massa-Carrara, Komagna, Lombardy, Brescia, Bergamo, Mantua, Cremona, a part of the Veronese, Chiavenna, Bormio, and the Valteline; to the people of Genoa, the Imperial fiefs, Corcyra, and Ithaca. Sent to Paris the chefs-d'oeuvre of Michael Angelo, Guercino, Titian, Paul Veronese, Coreggio,

Albano, the Caraccis, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, &c. Triumphed in 18 pitched battles—Montenotte, Milcshno, Mondovi, Lodi, Borghetta,

Lonato, Castiglione, Roveredo, Bassano, St George’s, Fontana Viva, Cal-diero, Areola, Ilivoli, La Favorite, the Tagliamento, Tarwis, Neumarkt; ” and then followed the names of 67 combats or lesser engagements.3 The 2Th.ii. SCO. legions of Cfesar had not, in so short a time, so splendid a roll of achievements to exhibit.

henceforth consist in this, that not a single new idea should exist which does not owe its birth to its exertions.” But it was only for the approbation of these illustrious men that he appeared solicitous; he was never seen in the streets; went only to a concealed box in the opera; and when he assumed the reins of power after his return from Egypt, his personal appearance was still unknown to the greater part of the inhabitants of Paris.1

But Napoleon’s was not a disposition to remain satisfied with past glory: the future—yet higher achievements, filled his mind. He knew well the ephemeral nature of popular applause, and how necessary mystery or a succession of great actions is, to prolong its transports. “ They do not long preserve at Paris,” said he to his intimate friends, “the remembrance of any thing. If I remain long unemployed, I am undone. The renown of one in this great Babylon speedily supplants that of another. If I am seen three times at the opera, I will no longer be an object of curiosity. You need not talk of the desire of the citizens to get a sight of me : crowds at least as great would go to see me led out to the scaffold.” He made an effort to obtain a dispensation with the law which required the age of forty for one of the Directory; but failing in that attempt, his whole thoughts and passions centred in the East, the theatre of his original visions of glory. “ Bourrienne,” said he, “ I am determined not to remain in Paris; there is nothing here to be done. It is impossible to fix the attention of the people. If I remain longer inactive, I am undone. Every thing here passes away ; my glory is already declining ; this little corner of Europe is too small to supply it. We must go to the East; all the great men of the world have there acquired their celebrity. Nevertheless, I am willing to make a tour to the coasts with yourself, Lannes, and Solkowsky. Should the expedition to Britain prove, as I much fear it will, too hazardous, the army of England will become the army of the East, and we will go to Egypt.” These words give a just idea of the character of Napoleon. Glory was his ruling passion ; nothing appeared impossible where it was to be won. The great names of Alexander, CsBsar, and Hannibal, haunted his imagination ; passing over the lapse of two thousand years, he fixed his rivalry on those

1797.

1 Nap iv. 285,286. Savary, i. 22. Hour, ii. 33.

]0.

Napoleon's private views in regard to his future life.


classical heroes, whose exploits have shed so imperishable chap. a lustre over the annals of antiquity. While thus sustain- xxvi. ing his reputation, and inscribing his name on the eternal 1797 monuments of Egyptian grandeur, he hoped to be still within reach of the march of events in Europe, and ready to assume that despotic command, which he already fore- j^c saw would soon be called for by the incapacity of the xiv. 139. * Directory, and the never-ending distractions of democratic institutions.1

In truth, the Directory, secretly alarmed at the reputation of the Conqueror of'Italy, eagerly sought, under the splendid colouring of a descent on England, an opportunity secret views of ridding themselves of so formidable a rival. . An extra- of the DU

,    ,    rectory,

ordinary degree of activity prevailed in all the harbours, Their desire

not only of France and Holland, but of Spain and Italy; fjjapo-11 the fleets at Cadiz and Toulon were soon in a condition to leon. Preput to sea ; that at Brest only awaited, to all appcarance, ^descent*01 their arrival, to issue forth, and form a preponderating on England, force in the Channel, where the utmost exertions were making to construct and equip flat-bottomed boats for the conveyance of the land troops. Means were soon collected in the northern harbours for the transport of sixty thousand men. Meanwhile great part of the armies of the Rhine were brought down to the maritime districts, and lined the shores of France and Holland, from Brest to the Texel; nearly one hundred and fifty thousand men were stationed on these coasts, under the name of the Army of England. This immense force might have occasioned great disquietude to the British government, had it been supported by a powerful navy ; but the battles of St Vincent’s and Camperdown had relieved them of all apprehensions of a descent by these numerous enemies. * It does not appear that the Directory then entertained any serious thoughts of carrying the invasion into early execution : although the troops were encamped in the maritime departments,

110 immediate preparation for embarkation had been made.

However, their language breathed nothing but menaces : ? Hour. ii. Napoleon was appointed commander-in-chief of the Army ^ ^ of England, and he was dispatched 011 a mission to the Nap. ii.’i<ii." coasts to superintend the completion of the armament.2

“ Crown,” said Barras, “ so illustrious a life, by a conquest which the great nation owes to its outraged dignity.

chap. Go, and by the punishment of the cabinet of London, xxvi. strike terror into the hearts of all who would miscalculate " 179.“ the powers of a free people. Let the conquerors of the

12    *’ Po, the Rhine, and the Tiber, march under your banners ; Pompous the ocean will be proud to bear them ; it is a slave still in-ifarras on dignant, who blushes for his fetters. He invokes, in a voice giving5hini of thunder, the wrath of the earth against the oppressor mand°oftiie ^hc waves. Pompey did not esteem it beneath him to army of wield the power of Rome against the pirates: Go and Real views chain the monster who presses on the seas ; go, and punish of both in London the injured rights of humanity. Hardly will parties. ^ tricolor standard wave on the blood-stained shores of

the Thames, ere a unanimous cry will bless your arrival, and that generous nation, perceiving the dawn of its felicity, wJill receive you as liberators, who come not to combat and enslave, bnt to put a period to its calamities.” Under these high-sounding declamations, however, all parties concealed very different intentions. Immense preparations were made in Italy and the south of France ; the whole naval resources of the Mediterranean were put in requisition, the elite of the army of Italy moved to Toulon. I64ip Lac Genoa, and Civita Vecchia. The Directory were more xiv! 138,139, desirous to see Napoleon engulfed in the sands of Lybia, iT°287NaP’ ^an conquering on the banks of the Thames ; and he Bour. ii. 37. dreamed more of the career of Alexander and of Mahomet, than of the descent of Cjesar on the shores of Britain.1

Independent of his anxiety to engage in some enter-

13    prise which might immortalise his name, Napoleon was Napoleon’s desirous to detach himself from the government, from his horror'of strong and growing aversion to the Jacobin party, whom the revoiu- the Revolution of the 18th Fruetidor had placed at the system. head of the Republic. Already he had, on more than one

occasion, openly expressed his dislike at the violent revolutionary course which the Directory were pursuing, both at home and abroad ; and in private he gave vent, in the strongest terms, to his horror at that grasping insatiable democratic spirit which, through his subsequent life, he set himself so vigorously to resist. What,” said he, “ would these Jacobins have ? France is revolutionised, Holland is revolutionised, Italy is revolutionised, Switzerland is revolutionised, Europe will soon be revolutionised. But this, it seems, will not suffice them. I know full well

what they want; they want the domination of thirty chap or forty individuals founded on*the massacre of three or xxvi. four millions; they want the constitution of 1793, but 1798_ they shall not have it, and death to him who would 1Wolfe demand it! For my own part I declare, that if I had Tone, Me-only the option between royalty and the system of these ^s'^Nap. gentlemen, I would not hesitate one moment to declare iv. 301. for a king.” 1

In the middle of February, Napoleon proceeded to the coasts, accompanied by Lannes and Bourrienne. He visited, 14 in less than ten days, Boulogne, Calais, Dunkirk, Antwerp, His joAmey and Flushing, exhibiting every where his usual sagacity and rapidity of apprehension ; conversing with, deriving nei. light from, every one possessed of local information, and obtaining in a few weeks what it would have taken others years to acquire. He sat up till midnight at every town, interrogating the sailors, fishermen, and smugglers : to their objections he listened with patient attention, to his own difficulties he drew their consideration. During this 10th Feb. brief journey, he acquired an intimate acquaintance with the relative importance of these maritime stations; and to this period is to be assigned the origin of those great conceptions concerning Antwerp, which, under the empire, he carried with so much vigour into execution. At length, having acquired all the information which could be obtained, he made up his mind and returned to Paris. “ It 2Nap. iv. is too doubtful a chance,” said he, “ I will not risk it; I ^73'8 Blf”' will not hazard, on such a throw, the fate of France.” x. 15. Thenceforward all his energies were turned towards the Egyptian expedition.2

It was not the difficulty of transporting sixty or eighty thousand men to the shores of Britain which deterred 15 Napoleon ; the impossibility of maintaining a strict block- Reasons ade of an extensive line of coast, on a tempestuous sea, "ermilied* and the chance of getting over unseen in hazy weather, him against sufficiently demonstrated that such an attempt, however exp^ulm!' hazardous, was practicable; it was the obstacles in the way of maintaining them in the country after they were landed, and supporting them by the necessary stores and reinforcements,' in presence of a superior naval force, which was the decisive consideration. ■ Supposing the troops landed, a battle gained, and London taken, it was

chap. not to be expected that England would submit; and how xxvi. to maintain the conquests made, and penetrate into the 1798 interior of the country, -without continual reinforcements, and an uninterrupted communication -with the Continent, was the insurmountable difficulty. There appeared no rational prospect at this period of accumulating a superior naval power in the Channel, or effecting an open connexion between the invading force and the shores of France; and this being the case, the Republican army, however successful at first, must, to all appearance, have sunk at last under the continued efforts of a brave, numerous, and united people. Thence may be seen the import-’i^h"x ance of the naval battles of St Vincent’s and Camperdown 13,14. in the preceding year ; the fate of the world hung upon their event.1

Meanwhile the British government, aware of the great 1G preparations which were going on at once in so many Defensive different quarters, and ignorant where the blow was to of6theatlonS ma(^e every arrangement which prudence could sug-British go- gest to ward off the impending danger. They had little vemment. apprehension as to the issue of a contest on the shores of Britain; but Ireland was the vulnerable quarter which filled them with disquietude. The unceasing discontents of that country had formed a large party, who were in open and ill-disguised communication with the French Directory, and the narrow escape which it had made by the dispersion of Hoche’s squadron in Bantry Bay, proved that the utmost vigilance, and a decided naval superiority, could not always be relied on to secure its extensive sea-coast from hostile invasion. In these circumstances, the . principal efforts of the Admiralty were directed to strengthen the fleet off Brest and the Spanish coasts, from whence the v    menaced invasion might chiefly be expected to issue ;

while, at the same time, a small squadron was detached under Nelson, by Admiral St Vincent, from his squadron off Cadiz, which now amounted to eighteen ships of the line, to the Mediterranean, which was afterwards raised, ky the junction of eight ships of the line under Admiral James’s’ Curtis, to thirteen line-of-battle ships, and one of fifty Ha2i5 T'h’ g11118- The most active preparations for defence were at ixL 73.' ' the same time made on the whole coasts; the vigilance of the cruisers in the Channel was redoubled;2 and the spirit of the nation, rising with the dangers which threat- chap. ened it, prepared without dismay to meet the conqueror xxvi. of Europe on the British shores.    1798 "

While all eyes in Europe, however, were turned to the Channel, and the world awaited, in anxious suspense, the 17 terrible conflict which seemed to be approaching between Napoleon the two powers whose hostility had so long divided man- theD^ec-kind, the tempest had turned away in another direction, torytouu-After considerable difficulty, Napoleon succeeded in per- Egyptian*16 suading the Directory to undertake the expedition to expedition. Egypt. In vain they objected that it was to expose forty ous activity thousand of the best troops of the Republic to destruction ; ^ J)['tepar* that the chance was small of escaping theEnglish squadrons; ° ’ and that Austria would not fail to take advantage of’the absence of its best general to regain her lost provinces.

The ardent mind of*Napoleon obviated every objection ; and at length the government, dazzled by the splendour of the design, and secretly rejoiced at the prospect of ridding themselves of so formidable a rival, even at the hazard of losing the noble force put at his disposal, agreed to his proposal, and gave him unlimited powers for carrying it into execution. Napoleon instantly applied himself, with extraordinary activity, to forward the expedition.

He himself superintended every thing; instructions succeeded each other with inconceivable rapidity ; night and day he laboured with his secretary, dispatching orders in every direction. The Directory collected for the expedition forty thousand of the best troops of the army of Italy; the fleet of Brueys, consisting of thirteen ships of the line and fourteen frigates, was destined to convey the greater part of the army, while above 3,000,000 of francs of the treasure recently before taken at Berne, were granted by the Directory to meet the expenses of the expedition. It is painful to think, that this celebrated undertaking should have been preceded by so flagrant an act of spoliation; and that the desire to provide for the charges of the Rour. ii.V), enterprise out of the savings of the Swiss Confederacy 53Th' during more than two hundred years, should have been 67,68. ’ one motive for the attack on the independence of that inoffensive republic.1*

. * The partisans of Napoleon are indignant at the imputation of his hav. ing recommended or concurred in the invasion of Switzerland, in order to

chap. Napoleon has thus stated the objects which he had in xxvi. view in the Egyptian expedition. “ 1. To establish, on '    the banks of the Nile, a French colony, which could exist

^ ' without slaves, and supply the place of St Domingo. 2. To object's of open a vent for our manufactures in Africa, Arabia, and ^iTe'r"in Syria, and obtain for our commerce the productions of ditfonXpe" these countries. 3. To set out from Egypt, as a vast place d'annes; to push forward an army of 60,000 men to the Indus, rouse the Mahrattas to a revolt, and excite against the English the population of these vast countries. Sixty thousand men, half Europeans, half natives, transported on 50,000 camels, and 10,000 horses, carrying with them provisions for fifty days, water for six, with 150 pieces of cannon, and double ammunition, would arrive in four months in India. The ocean ceased to be an obstacle Monthwhen vessels were constructed ; the desert becomes pass-2os. ' able the moment you have camels and dromedaries in abundance.”1

From his headquarters at Paris Napoleon directed the vast preparations for this armament, which were going Magnificent forward with the utmost activity in all the ports of Italy preparations an(j the south 0f France. Four stations were assigned for dition!6Xpe the assembly of the convoys and the embarkation of the troops, Toulon, Genoa, Ajaccio, and Civita Yecchia; at the latter harbour, transports were moored alongside of the massy piers of Roman architecture to the bronze rings, still undecayed, which had been fixed in their blocks by the Emperor Trajan. A numerous artillery, and three thousand cavalry, were collected at these different stations, destined to be mounted on the incomparable horses of Egypt. The most celebrated generals of the Republic, Desaix and Kleber, as yet strangers to the for-

procure, in the treasure of Berne, funds for the equipment of his Egyptian The treasure expedition; but it is certain that, in his journey through Switzerland, he at Beme is asked an ominous question as to the amount of that ancient store;- and, sent to Tonlon jjj jjjs gecret Correspondence, there exists decisive evidence that he parti-by Napoleon’s ci ted in the shameful act of robbery which soon afterwards followed, 2 Jonu'x. 291. and equipped his fleet out of the funds thus obtained. On the 11th April Lac. xir. 195. 1798, he wrote to Lannes : “ I have received, citizen-general, the letter of

• your aide-de-camp. Three millions have been dispatched, by post, on the 7th of this month, from Berne for Lyons. You will find hereunto subjoined, the order from the treasury to its agent at Lyons to forward it forthwith to Toulon. You will for this purpose cause it to be embarked on the Rhone ; you win accompany it to Avignon; and from thence convey it, by post, to Toulon. Do not fail to inforpi me of what different pieces the three, millions consist.” On the 17th April he again writes to Lannes : “ From the information I have received from Berne, the three millions

tunes of Napoleon, as well as those who had so ably chap. seconded his efforts in Italy, Lannes, Murat, Junot, Reg- xxvi. nier, Barraguay d’Hilliers, Vaubois, Bon, Belliard, and ' Dommartin, were ranged under his command. Caffarelli commanded the engineers ; Berthier, who could hardly tear himself from the fascination of beauty at Paris, the staff; the most illustrious philosophers and artists of isavary, i. the age, Monge, Berthollet, Fourier, Larrev, Desgenettes, 26.^ti'i. ix. Geoffroy St Hilaire, and Denon, attended the expedition. Bourii. 4G. Genius, in every department, hastened to range itself under the banners of the youthful hero.1

The disturbance at Vienna, on account of the fete given by Bernadotte, the ambassador of the Republic at the 0j) Imperial Court, which has been already mentioned, Napoleon is retarded for fifteen days the departure of the expedition, {^neeessit* During that period, Europe awaited with breathless anxiety the course of the storm, which it was well known was now about to burst. Bourrienne, on this occasion, asked Napoleon, if he was finally determined to risk his fate on the expedition to Egypt.—“ Yes,” he replied, “ I have tried every thing, but they will have nothing to do with me.

If I stayed here, it would be necessary to overturn them, and make myself King ; but we must not think of that as yet: the nobles would not consent to it; I have sounded, but I find the time for that has not yet arrived; I must first dazzle these gentlemen by my exploits.” In truth, he was convinced at this period that he had no chance of escaping destruction, but by persisting in his Oriental expedition. The intelligence of the tumult at Vienna, and the appearance of approaching hostilities between Austria and France, induced Napoleon to change his plan; and he earnestly represented to the Directory the impolicy of

should arrive, at the very latest, on the 19th at Lyons. Forward them instantly on their arrival; do not go to bed till this is done; get ready in the mean time the boats for their reception; dispatch a courier to me the instant they are fairly on board.” And on the same day he wrote to the authorities charged at Toulon with the preparation of the expedition:

“ The treasury has given orders that three millions should be forthwith forwarded to Toulon. The sailors of Bruey’s squadron must be paid the instant the three millions arrive from Berne.” And, on the 20th April, he wrote to the Commissioners of the Treasury at Paris : “ You have only given orders, citizen commissioners, tor the transmission of such part of the three millions at I.yons, as is in francs and piastres, to Toulon : It is indispensable, however, that tee have it all; you nill be good enough, therefore. to send orders to your agent at Lyons for the transmission of the whole, of whatever descriptions of coin it is composed.”—See Corresp.

Conjid. de Napoleon, v. 74, 85, 86, b7, 102.

chap. continuing the Egyptian project at such a crisis. But the xxvi. rulers of France were now thoroughly awakened to the mg~ danger they ran from the ascendancy of Napoleon, and the only answer they made to his representation was a positive order to leave Paris on the 3d May. This led to a warm altercation between him and the Directory, in the course of which he resorted to his former manoeuvre of tendering his resignation. But on this occasion it did not succeed. Presenting him with a pen, Rewbell said coldly, “ You wish to retire from the service, general ? If you do, the Republic will doubtless lose a brave and skilful chief; but it has still enough of sons who will not abandon it.”

i liard vi ^er^n uPon this interposed, and put an end to so danger-5i3^5i4.VI’ ous an altercation ; and Napoleon, swallowing the affront, s4°UrTh ix PrePared to follow out his Egyptian expedition, saying, in 7:s.    private to Bourrienne, “ The pear is not yet ripe ; let us

depart, we shall return when the moment is arrived.”1 Napoleon having completed his preparations, arrived at Toulon on the 9th May 1798, and immediately took the Napoleon command of the army. The realisation of his long-cherished

Toulon** *10Pes>    the min<i of tlleul]g hero with thc most

His proeia- enthusiastic anticipation. Never had so splendid an

“eloidiers. armament appeared on the ocean. The fleet consisted His last act of 13 ships of the line, two of 64 guns, 14 frigates, 72

* humane    and cuttergj and 400 transports. It bore thirty-

six thousand soldiers of all arms, and above ten thousand sailors. Before embarking, the general-in-chief, after his usual custom, addressed the following proclamation to his troops;—“ Soldiers! You are one of the wings of the Army of England; you have made war in mountains, plains, and cities; it remains to make it on the ocean. The Roman legions, whom you have often imitated but not yet equalled, combated Carthage, by turns, on the seas and on the plains of Zama. Victory never deserted their standards, because they never ceased to be brave, patient, and united. Soldiers ! the eyes of Europe are upon you ; you have great destinies to accomplish ; battles to fight;

* 11 Parte; e p<Tta un desio d'eterna ed alma Gloria, ch a nobil core e sferza e sprone.

A magnanime imprese intenta ha l'alma,

Ed insolite eose oprar dispone;

Scorrer l'Egitto e penetrar fin dove Fuor d'ineuguito fonte il Nilo move.'’

Gcrusaltmmc Liberata, v 52.

dangers and fatigues to overcome ; yon are about to do chap. more than you have yet done for the prosperity of your xxvi. country, the happiness of man, and your own glory. The 1798 genius of liberty, which has rendered, from its birth, the Republic the arbiter of Europe, has now determined that it should become so of the seas, and of the most distant nations.” In such magnificent mystery did this great man envelope his designs, even when on the eve of their execution. One of the last acts of Napoleon, before embarking, was to issue a humane proclamation to the military commissioners of the 9th division, in which Toulon was situated, in which he severely censured the cruel application of one of the harsh laws of the 19th Fructidor to old men above seventy years of age, children in infancy, and women with child, who had been seized and shot for violat- i Bour. ii. ing that tyrannical edict. This interposition gave universal satisfaction, and added another laurel of a purer colour to x. 391. those which already encircled the brows of the general.1

At length, on the 19th May, the fleet set sail in the finest weather, amidst the discharges of cannon and the acclama- 02 tions of an immense crowd of inhabitants. The L’Orient Expedition grounded at leaving the harbour, by reason of its enormous bulk : it was taken as a sinister omen by the sailors, more alive than any other class of men to superstitious impressions. The fleet sailed in the first instance towards Genoa, and thence to Ajaccio and Civita Castellana, and having effected a junction with the squadron in those harbours, bore away with a fair wind for Malta. In coasting the shores of Italy, they descried from on board the L’Orient the snowy summits of the Alps in the extreme distance.

Napoleon gazed with intense feeling at the mountains which had been the witnesses of his early achievements.

“ I cannot,” said he, “behold without emotion the land of Italy ; these mountains command the plains where I have so often led the French to victory. Now we are bound for the East; with them victory is still secure.” Ilis conversation was peculiarly animated during the whole voyage ; every headland, every promontory, recalled some glorious exploit of ancient history; and his imagination kindled with fresh fire, as the fleet approached the shores of Asia, Th. ik! H2. and the scenes of the greatest deeds which have illustrated the annals of mankind.2

chap. On the 16th June, after a prosperous voyage, the white xxvi. c]iffs anc[ superb fortifications of Malta appeared in daz-179g zling brilliancy above the unruffled sea. The fleet anchored 23 before the harbour which had so gloriously resisted the Arrives off whole force of the Turks under Solyman the Magnificent; capitulates11 t>astns were stronger, its artillery more numerous, mthout tir- than under the heroic Lavalette; but the spirit of the leth June! Order was gone : a few hundred chevaliers, lost in effeminacy and indolence, intrusted to three thousand feeble mercenaries and as many militia the defence of the place, and its noble works seemed ready to become the prey of any invader who had inherited the ancient spirit of the defenders of Christendom. Before leaving France, the capitulation of the place had been secured by secret intelligence with the Grand Master and principal officers. Desaix and Savary landed, and advanced without opposition to the foot of the ramparts. Terms of accommodation were speedily agreed on ; the town was surrendered on condition that the Grand Master should obtain 600,000 bIm u 865 francsa principality in Germany, or a pension for life of savarV, i. 30.300,000 francs ; the French chevaliers were promised a 39'"' jifot2’ Pens'on of 700 francs a-year each ; and the tricolor flag

ix. io. ’ speedily waved on the ancient bulwark of the Christian world.1

So strongly were the generals impressed with their good fortune on this occasion, that in passing through the im-its pro’- pregnable defences, Caffarelli said to Napoleon, “ It is well, ►trench general, that there was some one within to open the gates to us ; we should have had more trouble in making our way through, if the place had been empty.” On entering into the place the French knew not how to congratulate themselves on the address on the one side, and pusillanimity on the other, which had obtained for them, without firing a shot, so immense an acquisition. They were never weary of examining the boundless fortifications, and stupendous monuments of perseverance, which it contained ; the luxury and magnificence of the palaces which

* iom x ^ie ^ran(l Asters had erected during the many centuries 3i 9. savary, of their inglorious repose, and the incomparable harbour,

ii ^ 66°Ur    allowed the L’Orient to touch the quay, and was

liari vi. 75. capable of containing six hundred sail of the line.2 In securing and organising this new colony, Napoleon dis-

played his wonted activity ; its innumerable batteries were speedily armed, and General Vaubois was left at the head of three thousand men to superintend its defence. All the Turkish prisoners found in the galleys were set at liberty, and scattered through the fleet, in order to produce a moral influence on the Mahometan population in the countries to which their course was bound.

The secret of the easy conquest of this impregnable island by Napoleon, is to be found in the estrangement of the chevaliers of other nations from Baron Homspech, the Grand Master, whom they disliked on account of his German descent, and the intrigues long before carried on among the knights of French and Italian birth by a secret agent of Napoleon. Such was the division produced by these circumstances, that the garrison was incapable of making any resistance ; and the leading knights, themselves chiefs in the conspiracy, had so prepared matters, by disarming batteries, providing neither stores nor ammunition, and disposing the troops in disadvantageous situations, that resistance was from the first perfectly hopeless. No sooner, however, were the gates delivered up than these unworthy successors of the defenders of Christendom repented of their weakness. The treasure of St John, the accumulation of ages’ the silver plate of all the churches, palaces, and hospitals, were seized on with merciless avidity; and all the ships of war, artillery, and arsenals of the Order, appropriated to the uses of the Republic.1*

1798.

25.

Seeret of its easy conquest.


1 Hard. vi. 70, 76, 77.

25.

His conversation during the remainder of the voyage. June 19.


Having secured this important conquest, and left a sufficient garrison to maintain it for the Republic, Napoleon set sail for Egypt. The voyage was uninterrupted bv any accident, and the general, enjoying the beautiful sky of the Mediterranean, remained constantly on dock, conversing with Monge and Bcrthollet on subjects of science, the age of the world, the probable mode of its destruction,

• So early as 14th November 1797, Napoleon had commenced his intrigues with the Knights of Malta. On that day he wrote to Talleyrand : “ You will receive herewith a copy of the commission I have given to citizen Pousseligue, and my letter to the Consul of Malta. The true object of his mission is to put the finishing hand to the projects we have in view on Malta.”—Conf. Desp. N.ipolkon to TAir.KVRAND, i4th iVov. 1797. In the January following, this agent contrived, by liberal gifts, promises, and entertainments, to seduce from their allegiance all that numerous part of the garrison and knights who were inclined to democratic principles.— Haro. v. 457. 460.

chap. the forms of religion, the decline of the Byzantine empire, xxvi. These interesting themes were often interrupted, however, ]798 by the consideration of what would occur if the fleet were to encounter the squadron of Nelson. Admiral Brueys, forcibly struck by the crowded state of the ships, and the encumbrance which the soldiers would prove in the event of an action, and especially to the L’Orient, which had nearly two thousand men on board, could not conceal his apprehensions of the result of such an engagement. Napoleon, less accustomed to maritime affairs, contemplated the event with more calmness. The soldiers were con-

1    Nap. ii. stantly trained to work the great guns ; and as there ii?*73, ^Ur" were five hundred on board each ship of the line, he flat-Th. x. 87. tered himself that in a close action they would succeed by

boarding in discomfiting the enemy.1

Meanwhile, Nelson’s fleet had arrived on the 20th June 27 before Naples ; from thence he hastened to Messina, where Movements he received intelligence of the surrender of Malta, and whoniisse’s that the French were steering for Candia. He instantly the French directed his course for Alexandria, where he arrived on the 29th, and finding no enemy there, set sail for the north, imagining that the expedition was bound for the Dardanelles. It is a singular circumstance that on the night of the 22d June, the French and English fleets crossed each other’s track, without either party discovering _ their enemy. During the night, as the French fleet approached Egypt, the discharge of cannon was heard on the right; it was the signal which Nelson gave to his squadron, which at this moment was not more than five leagues distant, steering northward from the coast of Egypt,

2    Savarv, i. where he had been vainly seeking the French armament. H5'84.B°Th. F°r several hours, the two fleets were within a few leagues

x. 28.^ Miot, of each other. Had he sailed a little further to the left, or 1«7. NJames passed during the day, the two squadrons would have met,

229. and an earlier battle of Aboukir might have changed the fortunes of the world.2

At length, on the morning of the 1st July, the shore of Egypt was discovered stretching as far as the eye could reach from east to west. Low sandhills, surmounted by a few scattered palms, presented little of interest to the ordinary eye ; but the minarets of Alexandria, the needle of Cleopatra, and the pillar of Pompev, awakened those

drermis of ancient grandeur and Oriental conquest, which on vp. had long floated in the mind of Napoleon. It was soon XXVI-learned that the English fleet had only left the roads two 179* days before, and had departed for the coasts of Syria in 2S quest of the French expedition. The general forthwith pressed the landing of the troops ; it was begun on the Napoleon'' evening of their arrival, and continued with the utmost expedition through the whole night; and at one in the a-Iinst morning, as the state of the tide permitted the galley on which he stood to approach the shore, he immediately taken, disembarked, and formed three thousand men amidst the sandhills of the desert. At daybreak, Napoleon advanced at the head of about five thousand men, being all that were already formed, towards Alexandria. The shouts from the ramparts, and the discharge of some pieces of artillery, left no doubt as to the hostile intentions of the Mamelukes ; an assault was immediately ordered ; and, in a short time, the French grenadiers reached the top of the walls. Ivleber was struck by a ball on the head, and Menou thrown down from the top of the rampart to the bottom ; but the ardour of the French soldiers overcame every resistance ; and the negligence of the Turks having left one of the principal gates open during the assault, the defenders of the walls were speedily taken in rear by those who rushed in at that entrance, and fled in confusion into the interior of the city. The conquerors were astonished to find a large space filled with ruins between the exterior walls and the inhabited houses ; an ordinary feature in Asiatic towns, where the tyranny of the government usually occasions an incessant diminution of population, and ramparts, even of recent formation, are speedily found to be too extensive for the declining numbers of the people. The soldiers, who, notwithstanding their military ardour, did not share the Eastern visions of their chief, were soon dissatisfied with the poverty and wretchedness which they found among the inhabitants; the berthier, brilliant anticipations of Oriental luxury gave way to the £’35 37'^ sad realities of a life of privation; and men, in want of food Th. x. as. and lodging, derived little satisfaction from the Obelisks of the Ptolemies, or the sarcophagus of Alexander.1

Before advancing into the interior of the country, Napoleon issued the following proclamation to his soldiers:—

“ Soldiers! You are about to undertake a conquest fraught with incalculable effects upon the commerce and civilisation of the world. You will inflict upon England the most grievous stroke she ean sustain before receiving her death-blow. The people with whom we are about to live are Mahometans. Their first article of faith is, ‘ There is but one God, and Mahomet is his prophet.’ Contradict them not. Behave to them as you have done to the Jews and the Italians; show the same regard to the Muftis and Imaums as you did to the Rabbis and Bishops ; manifest for the ceremonies of the Koran the same respect as you have shown to the convents and the synagogues, the religion of Moses and that of Jesus Christ. The first town we are about to enter was built by Alexander; at every step we shall meet with recollections worthy to excite the emulation of Frenchmen.” This address contains a faithful picture of the feeling of the French army on religious subjects at this period. They not only considered the Christian faith as an entire fabrication, but i Lav. i. 2S7. were for the most part ignorant of its very elements. ?8ourj||' *7, Lavallette has recorded, that hardly one of them had ever 91!    been in a church; and in Palestine, they were ignorant

even of the names of the holiest places in sacred history.1

CHAP.

xxvi.

1798.

29.

His first proclamation, on landing-, to liis troops.


Egypt, on which the French army was now fairly 30 landed, and which became the theatre of such memorable Description exploits, is one of the most singular countries in the world, of Egypt. not ou]j. from jts geographical position, but its physical conformation. It consists entirely of the valley of the Nile, which, taking its rise in the mountains of Abyssinia, after traversing for six hundred leagues the arid deserts of

• Africa, and receiving the tributary waters of the Bahr-el-Abiad, perhaps the greater stream of the two, precipitates itself by the cataracts of Sennaar into the lower valley, two hundred leagues long, which forms the eountrv of Egypt. Altogether the eourse of the Nile, from its source in the chain of Djebel-el-Kamar, is 950 leagues, or 2500 miles long. This valley, though of such immense length, is in general only from one to six leagues in breadth, and bounded on either side by the rocky mountains of the deserts. Its habitable and cultivated portion is entirely confined to that part of the surface which is overflowed by the inundations of the fertilising stream ; as far as the

waters rise, the soil is of extraordinary fertility ; beyond chap. it the glowing desert is alone to be seen. At the distance xxvi. of fifty leagues from the sea, the Nile divides itself into "179g ' two branches, which fall into the Mediterranean, one at    ’

Rosetta, the other at Damietta. The triangle having these two branches for its sides and the sea for its base, is called the Delta, and constitutes the richest and most fertile district of Egypt, being perfectly level, intersected by canals, and covered with the most luxuriant vegetation.

The soil of this singular valley was originally as barren as the arid ridges which adjoin it; but it has acquired an extraordinary degree of richness from the well-known inundations of the Nile. These floods, arising from the warmth of spring, followed by the melting of the snow and heavy rains of July and August in the mountains of Abyssinia, cause the river to rise gradually, during a period of nearly three months. It begins to swell in the middle of May, and continues to rise till the end of August, iMa]te_ when it attains the height of sixteen or eighteen feet. The Brun, x. 3. fertility of the country is just in proportion to the height J3h' Bour. of the inundation: hence it is watched with the utmost “■ 27I> 275-anxiety by the inhabitants, and public rejoicings are 47,V«.y’ *' ordered when the Nilometer at Cairo indicates a foot or two greater depth of water than usual.1

It never rains in Egypt. Centuries may elapse without more than a shower of drizzling mist moistening the sur- 31 face of the soil. Hence cultivation can only be extended Astonishing beyond the level to which the water rises by an artificial f^ndat/on'6 system of irrigation ; and the efforts made in this respect of the Nile, by the ancient inhabitants, constitute, perhaps, the most wonderful of the many monuments of industry which they have left to succeeding ages. During the inundation, the level plain of Egypt is flooded with water; the villages, detached from each other, communicate only by boats, and, surmounted by then- palms and sycamores, appear liko the islands on the Laguna; of Venice, in the midst of the watery waste. “The inundation begins in May, attains its full height in August, and thenceforth diminishes, until freshly swollen in the following year. The stream, economised within its channel as far as the first cataract, then spreads abroad its beneficent deluge over the vast valley.

Then it is that Egypt presents the most striking of its

chap. Protean aspects, becoming an archipelago, studded with xxvi. green islands, and bounded only by the chain of the r98 ' Libyan Hills, and the purple range of the Mokattam mountains. Every isle is crowned with a village, or an antique temple, and shadowy with palm-trees or acacia groves. Every city becomes a Venice, and the bazars display their richest and gayest cloths and tapestries to the illuminations that are reflected from the streaming streets. The earth is sheltered from the burning sun under the cool bright veil of waters ; the labour of the husbandman is suspended, and it is the season of universal festivity. Boatmen alone are busy, but it would seem to be pleasant business; for the sound of music is never silent beneath those large white sails, that now glitter in the moonlight, and now gleam ruddily, reflecting the fragrant watchfires on the deck.”* No sooner, however, have the floods retired, than the soil, covered to a considerable depth by a rich slime, is cultivated and sown ; and the seed, vegetating quickly in that rich mould, and under a tropical sun, springs up, and in three months yields a hundred and sometimes a hundred and fifty fold. During the whole winter months the soil is covered with the richest harvests, besprinkled with flowers, and dotted by innumerable

flocks: but in March the great heats begin, the earth 1 Th x 95    *    . •

Bour. ii. 270) cracks from excessive drought, vegetation disappears, and

^la30e‘ the country is fast relapsing into the sterility of the desert, 39. ’ ’ ’ when the annual floods of the Nile again cover it with their vivifying waters.1

All the varied productions of the temperate and the torrid zone flourish in this favoured region. Besides the

32

Productions ordinary grains of Europe, Egypt produces the finest crops ^coun- 0f rjce) maize, sugar, indigo, cotton, and senna. It has no foreign oil, but the opposite coasts of Greece furnish it in abund-commerce. ance . nor coffee) but it is supplied in profusion from the adjoining mountains of Arabia. Hardly any trees are to be seen over its vast extent; a few palms -and sycamores, in the villages alone, rise above the luxuriant vegetation of the plain. Its horses are celebrated over all the world for their beauty, their spirit, and their incomparable docility; and it possesses the camel, that wonderful animal, which can support thirst for days together, tread

The Crescent and the Cross. Vol. i. p. 37, 38.

■without fatigue the moving sand>, and traverse like a chap. living ship the ocean of the desert. Every year, immense xxvi. caravans arrive at Cairo from Syria and Arabia on the r9g one side, and the interior of Africa on the other. They ‘ ’ bring all that belongs to the regions of the sun—gold, ivory, ostrich feathers, gum, aromatics of all sorts, coffee, tobacco, spiees, perfumes, with the numerous slaves which mark the degradation of the human species in those favoured countries. Cairo becomes, at that period, an entrepot for the finest productions of the earth, of those which the genius of the West will never be able to rival, but for which their opulence and luxury afford a never-failing demand. Thus the commerce of Egypt is the only JMalte-one in the globe which never can decay ; but must, under Ts™ n^u’. a tolerable government, continue to flourish, as long as20^.205-the warmth of Asia furnishes articles whieh the industry x' 95> and perseverance of Europe are desirous of possessing.1

In ancient times, Egypt and Lybia, it is well known, were the granary of Rome ; and the masters of the world depended for their subsistence on the floods of the Nile.2 r>eca3y ofthc Even at the time of its conquest by the Mahometans, the population former is said to have contained twenty millions of souls, times, and ineluding those who dwelt in the adjoining Oases of the desert. This vast population is by no means incredible, if dria. ’ the prodigious fertility of the soil, wherever water can be 2Tac. Ann. eonveyed, is considered ; and the extent to which, under a xii-32-paternal government, the system of artificial irrigation can be earried. It is to the general decay of all the great establishments for the watering of the country which the industry of antiquity had constructed, that we are to ascribe the present limited extent of agriculture, and the perpetual encroachments which the sands of the desert are making on the region of human cultivation. 'Alexandria, selected by the genius of Alexander the Great to be the capital of his vast empire, is situated at the opening of one of the old mouths of the Nile, but whieh is now choked with sand, and only covered with water in extra- . ordinary floods. Its harbour, capable of containing all the 3 NaP-navies of Europe, is the only safe or accessible port between Bour. ii’. 275] Carthage and the shores of Palestine.3 Vessels drawing twenty-one feet of water can enter without difficulty, but 49. ’ ’ those of larger dimensions only when lightened of their

guns. Rosetta and Damietta admit.only barks ; the bar at the entrance of their harbours having only six feet of water.

At the period of this expedition to Egypt, the population of the country, consisting of two millions five hundred thousand souls, was divided into four classes ; the Mamelukes, or Circassians, the Janizaries, the Arabs, and the Copts or natives of the soil. The Mamelukes, who were the actual rulers of the country, consisted of young Circassians, torn in infancy from their parents, and transported into Egypt, to form the armed force of that province of the Turkish empire. Bred up in camps, without any knowledge of their country or relations, without either a home or kindred, they prided themselves solely on their horses, their arms, and their military prowess. This singular militia was governed by twenty-four Beys, the least considerable of whom was followed by five or six hundred Mamelukes, whom they maintained and equipped This body of twelye thousand horsemen, each of whom was attended by two helots or servants, constituted the military strength of the country, and formed the finest body of cavalry in the world. “ The bits in their horses’ mouths are so powerful, that the most fiery steeds are speedily checked, even at full career, by an ordinary hand. Their stirrups are extremely short, and give the rider great power both in commanding his horse, and striking with his sabre; and the pommel and back part of the saddle are so high, that the horseman, though wounded, can scarcely lose his balance; he can even sleep without falling, as he would do in an arm-chair. The horse is burdened by no baggage or provisions, all of which are carried by the rider’s servants ; while the Mameluke himself, covered with shawls and turbans, is protected from the strokes of a sabre. They are all splendidly armed ; in their girdle is always to be seen a pair of pistols and a poniard ; from the saddle is suspended another pair of pistols and a hatchet; on one side is a sabre, on the other a blunderbuss ; and the servant on foot carries a carbine. They seldom parry with the sword, as their fine blades would break in the collision, but avoid the strokes of their adversary by skill in wheeling their horse, while they trust to his impetus to sever his head from his body, without either cut or thrust.”1

1793.

34.

Account of tlie inhabitants of the country. The Mamelukes.


1 Jliot, 61, 1)3. Nap. ii. 213. Th. x 97.


The office of Bey was not hereditary; sometimes it chap. descended to the son, more generally to the favourite xxvi. officer of the deceased commander. The Beys divided the rgg country among them in feudal sovereignty; were nomi- 35 ' nally equal, but necessarily subject to the ascendant of office of talent; they exhibited alternately the anarchy of feudal jae^;z£"£ghe rule, and the severity of military despotism. The Mamelukes seldom have been perpetuated beyond the third or fourth generation on the shores of the Nile; and their numbers are only kept up by annual accessions of active youths from the mountains of Circassia. The force of the Beys was at one period very considerable ; but it had been seriously weakened by the Russian conquests in Georgia, which eut off the source from which their numbers were recruited, and at the time when the Frcnch landed in Egypt, it was not a half of what it formerly had been ; a circumstance which contributed more than any other to the rapid success with which the invasion of the latter was attended.—The Turks or Janizaries, forming the second part of the population, were introduced on occasion of the conquest of Egypt by the Sultans of Constantinople. They were about two hundred thousand in number, almost all inscribed on the books of the Janizaries, to acquire their privileges; but, as usual in the Ottoman empire, with a very few of their number in reality following the standard of the Prophet. Those actually in arms formed the guards 1 Th. x. 92, of the Pasha, who still maintained a shadow of authority 21b. NHard.' for the Sultan of Constantinople ; but the great majority vi- 92>.93-were engaged in trades and handicrafts in the towns, and 21T' u2"’ kept in a state of complete subjection to the haughty rule of the Mamelukes.1

The Arabs constituted the great body of the population —at least two millions out of the two millions and a half 36 of which the inhabitants eonsist. Their condition was The Arabs, infinitely various ; some forming a body of nobles, who were the chief proprietors of the country ; others, the doctors of the law and the ministers of religion ; a third class, the little proprietors, fanners, and cultivators. -The whole instruction of the country, the maintenance of its schools, its mosques, its laws, and religion, was in their hands. A numerous body, living 011 the borders of the desert, retained the roving propensities and barbaric vices

chap. your usurpers, and revive the true worship of Mahomet, xxvi. which I venerate more than the Mamelukes. Tell them 1798 ' that all men are equal in the sight of God ; that wisdom, talents, and virtue alone constitute the difference between them. And what are the virtues which distinguish the Mamelukes, that entitle them to appropriate all the enjoyments of life to themselves 1 If Egypt is their farm, let them show the tenure from God by which they hold it. No ! God is just and full of pity to the suffering people. For long a horde of slaves, bought in the Caucasus and Georgia, have tyrannised over the finest part of the world ; but God, upon whom every thing depends, has decreed that this tyranny should terminate. Cadis, Scheiks, Imaums, tell the people that we too are true Mussulmans. Are we not the men who have destroyed the Pope, who preached eternal war against the Mussulmans 1 Are we not those who have destroyed the chevaliers of Malta, because those madmen believed that they should constantly make war on your faith ? Are we not those who have been in every age the friends of the Most High, and the enemies of his i Bour ii enemies ? Thrice happy those who are with us ; they will 9G, 98. prosper in all their undertakings : wo to those who shall join the Mamelukes to resist us ; they shall perish without mercy! ”1

Napoleon was justly desirous to advance to Cairo, before Hisarrange-the inundations of the Nile rendered military operations ments for jn tiie ]eve] COUntry impossible; but for this purpose it

advancing    i . i •    x    Ii.

to Cairo, was necessary to accelerate his movements, as the season of the rise of the waters was fast approaching. He made, accordingly, the requisite arrangements with extraordinary celerity ; left three thousand men in garrison at Alexandria under Kleber, with a distinguished officer of engineers to put the works in a posture of defence ; established the civil government in the persons of the Scheiks and Imaums ; gave directions for sounding the harbour, with a view to placing the fleet in safety, if the draught of water would permit the entry of the larger vessels; collected a flotilla on the Nile to accompany the troops, and assigned to it as a place of rendezvous Ramanich, a small town on that river, situated about half way to Cairo, whither he proposed to advance across the desert of Damanhour. While at the same time, he wrote to the French ambassar-

dor at Constantinople to assure the Porte of his anxious chap. desire to remain at peace with the Turkish government.* xxvi. On the 6th July the army set out on their march, being 17Q8 now reduced, by the garrison of Malta and that recently 6th July, left in Alexandria, to thirty thousand men. At the same time, Kleber’s division, under the orders of Dugua, was x’. 107,108. directed to move upon Rosetta, to secure that town, and facilitate the entrance of the flotilla into the Nile.1

Desaix was at the head of the vanguard ; his troops began their march in the evening, and advanced with tolerable cheerfulness during the cool of the night; but when March of morning dawned, and they found themselves traversing a boundless plain of sand, without water or shadewith across the a burning sun above their head, and troops of Arabs flit- ^he^'suf ting across the horizon, to cut off the weary or stragglers ferings.

—they were filled with the most gloomy forebodings.

The sky glowed like a fiery furnace ; not a breath of air was to be felt save when a light breeze brought a gust of the hot wind of the Moorish desert to their wearied frames.t Already the desire for rest had taken possession of their minds; they had flattered themselves that they were to find repose and a terrestrial paradise in Egypt; and when they saw themselves, instead, surrounded by a pathless desert, parched by thirst, and famishing with hunger, their discontent broke out in loud lamentations.

All the wells on the road were either filled up or exhausted ; hardly a few drops of muddy and brackish water could be found to quench their burning thirst. At Da-manhour, a few houses afforded shelter at night only to the general’s staff; the remainder of the troops bivouacked in squares on the sand, incessantly harassed by the clouds

* “ The army has arrived; it has disembarked at Alexandria,and carried that town; we are now in fnll march for Cairo. Use your utmost efforts to convince the Porte of our firm resolution to continue to live on the best terms with his government. An ambassador to Constantinople has just been named for that purpose, who will arrive there without delay”

—Letter to the ChargS d’Jffaires at Constantinople, 8th July 1798; Corresp.

Secrete, v. 199.    '

f “ Sembra il ciel nell’ aspetto atra fornace :

Ne cosa uppar, elie gli oochi almeu ristanre.

Nelle spelunche sue zefiro tace,

E’n tutto e fermo il vaneggiar dell’ aure :

Solo vi soffia (e par vampa di face)

Vento die move dall’ arene maure;

Che gravoso e spiacente, e seno e gote Co’ densi fiati ad or ad or percote.”

Qerasalcmmc Liberata, xiii. 56.

VOL. VI.    R

chap. of Arabs who wheeled round their position, and sometimes xxvi. approached within fifty yards of the videttes. After a J79S rest of two days, the army resumed its march across the sandy wilderness, still observed in the distance by the hostile Bedouins ; and soon the suffering from thirst became so excessive, that even the strongest heads and firmest resolution gave way before it. The scene realised all that the imagination of Tasso had conceived of the burning wilderness21 Lannes and Murat threw themselves on the sand, and gave way to every expression of despair.+ In the midst of the general depression, a sudden gleam of hope illuminated the countenances of the soldiers; a lake appeared in the arid wilderness, with villages and palm-trees clearly reflected in its glassy surface. Instantly the j gay j 5(> parched troops hastened toward the enchanting object; but Berth. ii, it receded from their steps ; in vain they pressed on with Cas. l 221. burning impatience, it for ever fled from their approach ; jiiot. 26,27. and they had at length the mortification of discovering that they had been deceived by the mirage of the desert.1 %

The firmness and resolution of Napoleon, however, triumphed over every obstacle ; the approach to the Nile was shortly indicated by the increasing bodies of Arabs, with

a few Mamelukes, who watched the columns ; and at chap. length the long-wished-for stream was seen glittering xxvi. through the sandhills of the desert. At the joyful sight 179S the ranks were completely broken ; men, horses, and camels, rushed simultaneously to the banks, and threw 42. themselves into the stream ; all heads were instantly Arrive on lowered into the water ; and, in the transports of delight, a„a actions the sufferings of the preceding days were speedily forgot- ^ndukes ten. "While the troops were thus assuaging their thirst,    ’

an alarm was given that the Mamelukes were approaching : the drums beat to arms, and eight hundred horsemen, clad in glittering armour, soon appeared in sight. Finding, however, the leading division prepared, they passed on and attacked the division of Desaix, which was still in march; but the troops rapidly forming in squares, with the artillery at the angles, dispersed the assailants by a single discharge of grape-shot. The whole army soon came up, and the flotilla having appeared in sight about the same time, the soldiers rested in plenty for a whole day beside the stream. A severe action had taken place on the Nile, between the French and Egyptian flotillas; but the Asiatics were defeated, and the boats arrived at the destined spot at the precise hour assigned to them.

The landscape now totally changed ; luxuriant verdure on the banks of the river succeeded to the arid uniformity of the desert; incomparable fertility in the soil promised Th. x.’no, abundant supplies to the troops ; and the shade of palm- ^ trees and sycamores afforded an enjoyment unknown to Miot, 26,29. those who have never traversed an Eastern wilderness.1

After a day’s rest, the army pursued its march along the banks of the Nile, towards Chebreiss. Mourad Bey, 43 * with four thousand Mamelukes and Fellahs, or foot-sol- severe com. diers, lay on the road, his right resting on the village, and Che* supported by a flotilla of gun-boats on the river. The French flotilla outstripped the march of the land forces, and engaged in a furious and doubtful combat with the enemy before the arrival of the army. Napoleon imme- 13th July, diately formed his army in five divisions, each composed of squares six deep, with the artillery at the angles, and the grenadiers in platoons, to support the menaced points.

The cavalry, who were only two hundred in number, still attenuated by the fatigues of the voyage, and wholly unfit to combat the formidable cavalry of the East, were placed

in the centre of the square. No sooner had the troops approached within half a league of the enemy, than the Mamelukes advanced, and, charging at full gallop, assailed their moving squares with loud cries, and the most determined intrepidity. The artillery opened upon them as soon as they approached within point-blank range, and the rolling fire of the infantry soon mowed down those who escaped the grape-shot. Animated by this success, the French deployed and attacked the village, which was speedily carried. The Mamelukes retreated in disorder towards Cairo, with the loss of COO men, and the flotilla at the same time abandoned the scene of action, and drew off further up the Nile. This action, though by no means decisive, sufficed to familiarise the soldiers with the new species of enemy they had to encounter, and to inspire them with a well-founded confidence in the efficacy'of their discipline and tactics to repel the assaults of the Arabian cavalry. The troops continued their march for seven days longer towards Cairo; their fatigues were extreme; and, as the villages were all deserted, it was with the utmost difficulty that subsistence could be obtained. The vicinity of the Nile, however, supplied them with water, and the sight of the Arabs, who constantly prowled round the horizon, impressed them with the necessity of keeping their ranks.1

At length the army arrived within sight of the Pyramids, and the town of Cairo. All eyes wore instantly turned upon the oldest monuments in the world, and the sight of those gigantic structures reanimated the spirit of the soldiers, who had been bitterly lamenting the delights of Italy. Mourad Bey had there collected all his forces, consisting of eight thousand Mamelukes, and double that number of Fellahs, Arabs, and Copts. His. camp was placed in the village of Embabeh, on the left bank of the Nile, which was fortified by rude field-works and forty pieces of cannon; but the artillery was not mounted on carriages, and consequently could only fire in one direction. Between the troops and the pyramids extended a wide sandy plain, on which were stationed above eight thousand of the finest horsemen in the world, with their right resting on the village, and their left stretching towards the pyramids. A few thousand Arabs, assembled to pillage the vanquished, whoever they should be, filled up the

1798;


1 Dum. ii. 134, 135. Berth. 15, 16. Th. x. 112.

44.

The army advances towards Cairo, and arrives in hight of the Mameluke forces,


space to the foot of those gigantic monuments. Napoleon chap. no sooner discovered, by means of his telescopes, that the xxvi. cannon in the intrenched camp were immovable, and ,798 could not be turned from the direction in which they were placed, than he resolved to move his army further to the right, towards the pyramids, in order to be beyond the reach, and out of the direction, of the guns. The columns accordingly began to march ; Desaix with his division in front, next Regnier, then Dugua, and lastly Vial and Bon.

The sight of the pyramids, and the anxious nature of the moment, inspired the French general with even more than his usual ardour; the sun glittered on those immense masses, which seemed to rise in height with every step the x Th x soldiers advanced, and the army, sharing his enthusiasm, lie. Nap. gazed, as they marched, on the everlasting monuments. “o]^34\23"-“Remember,” said he, “that from the summit of those 408,410. pyramids forty centuries contemplate your actions.”1 With his usual sagacity, Napoleon had taken extraordinary precautions to ensure success against the formidable 45 cavalry of the desert. The divisions were all drawn up as Napoleon’s before, in hollow squares six deep, the artillery at the deceive11* angles, the generals and baggage in the centre. When the