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. 13 To all the other circumstances quent efforts. The efficacy of these that tended to encourage the hopes, must naturally be diminished proand inflame the ambition of the portionably to the losses and discomFrench republic, is to be added the fitures they had met with, and death of the empress of Russia. would, probably, still experience, if Though it might seem to a sound they were to persist in a contest, in politician, unwarped by prejudice or which, being only the remainder of passion, that an emperor of Rullia the coalition, they could not hope could not be other than hostile to to be less unsuccessful than it had the friends of Sweden and the Porte, proved in the united strength of its and the patrons of revolution in whole power. Poland; yet there was generally in In addition to the maritime force sovereign princes, as well as in of Spain, France relied with still prime ministers and governors of all inore confidence on that of the Ba. kinds, a jealousy of the very shade, tavian republic. The numerous seaand a disposition to recede in their men, employed in its extensive comconduct, from the measures and merce, had always borne the chamaxims of their predecessors. Nei- racter of a brave and hardy race of ther the temper and ginius of Paul I. men, completely fkilled in their pronor the terms on which he had lived fellion, and incomparably preferable, with his illustrious mother, gave in every respect, to ihe Spanish maany reason to expect that he riners. Thai republic was now exwould ftrialy adhere to her plans, erting itself to fit out as many ships and adopt her intentions. In fact, of war as were lying in its ports, he had no sooner mounted the throne and of adding them to those of its of Rullia, than he countermanded French and Spanith confederates, in the orders that had been given for hope of depriving the English of the march of the troops to Gallicia. the empire of the sea. He entered into a negociation for a This hope had not been diminishsettlement of an old debt, due by the ed by the failure of the attempt Russian government, to the Seven against Ireland, which' the French United Provinces, and for the esta- attributed solely to the unpropitious blithment of a treaty of commerce. weather, that had constantly attendtie shewed-a disposition to become ed the expedition. It had been a mediator for peace, in danger of planned, in their opinion, on the being broken, between the Auftri- best of all grounds; the noted difans and Prussians, and seemed even contents of
a people ill-treated, and ambitious of being the arbiter of a weary of a yoke that had for centugeneral peace in Europe.
ries kept them in a state of depresThus Great Britain and Austria fion. They were all ripe for a viwere the sole adversaries that France gorous resistance, and required only had now to encounter. But the a moderate aslistance to deliver succesles of its arms had lo com-themselves from the tyranny of Engpletely defeated all the projects land. Though the first elfay to rethey had jointly engaged in against lieve them had failed, from causes it, that no apprehensions were en- that could not, in the nature of tertained of their being able to turn things, be obviated, it was not to the scale of fortune by any suble- be imagined, that there would al
ways recur. The attempt ought, certain, when the rooted hoftility, therefore, to be resumed, as the op- and the prodigious efforts of sucht portunity still continued as inviting formidable enemies, were duly and
It was ignominious for impartially considered. three such powers as France, Spain,
The readiness with which the and Holland, to defist from so practi- French government broke off the cable a design, which they had eve- negociation with England, arose, in ry reason to prosecute, and none to the opinion of those who were reabandon. The fleets of Great Bri- puted the most judicious, in the firm tain were not superior to those of perfuation, that the triple alliance, the potent confederacy,, formed a- as it was fiyled, now formed againit gainst it; and so many advantages it, could hardly fail to compass the would result from the accomplish- ends it proposed, by profecuting ment of the object proposed, that them with the energy and perseveit ought, in good policy, to be per- rance, of which they were deserfifted in, against all difficulties, and ving. at all hazards. Such was the lan- While France was so busily inguage of the French.
tent on the means of effecting the Animated by motives of this kind, downfal of England, it was no less the three allied powers resolved to occupied in preparing, as it hoped, exert themselves, without intermif- the final destruction of the power fion, in the equipment of fuch a na- of Austria. The spirit with which val force, as might effectually con- this latter sustained the successive front the British marine, and make, disasters, that had befallen its reat the same time, a. successful im- peated endeavours to maintain its preffion upon that part of the en- ground in Italy, had kept alive the pire of Great Britain, which ap- courage of its subjects and wellpeareci most vulnerable. Such was wishers to such a decree, that they the plan in the contemplation of the all concurred in a resolute deterenemies of England, and of which mination to stand by it as long they formed the most fanguine ex- as the least prospect remained of pectations. Nor did the most faga- any poflibility to retrieve its afcions politicians look upon it as ill. fairs. founded, though they were equally The theatre, to which the attenperfuaded, that it would meet with tion of Europe was chiefly turned, every obsiruction from the long at the end of the last and beginning noted valour and skill of their ads of the present year, was Italy. The versaries. Thus, all circumstances exploits of Buonaparte had not yet contributed to render the present terminated, as he had long expected, year productive of events, not less, and many labours awaited him beif not more, important and striking fore the accomplishment of that than those that had preceded. The object, without which, both he and eyes of all the European nations, ' his foes well foresaw that his views were anxiously fixed on the vast would be frustrated, and the fruits preparations making against a pow- of his victories loft. This was the er, which, · if it reliited them, capture of Mantua, which held ont would become greater than ever : with an obftinacy that had never but of which the destiny seemed un- been exceeded in the defence of
any place. The garrison was re- army, the fifth that had been duced to almost every species of brought together to oppose the hardship and distress, and yet un- French, during this eventsul camderwent the leverest duties and fa- paign. tigues, with a cheerfulness and for- Buonaparte, who had calculated titude that never flackened in the the surrender of Mantua, previously multiplicity of trials that daily arofe to the renewal of hoftilities with from the indefatigable activity of Alvinzi, was now necessitated to the beliegers.
resume offensive operations against The fiege of this important fort- him, before he could arrive at this ress had now lasted seven months. important acquisition. He had, at Marshal Wurmser, who had as the same time, other objects in congallantly, as skilfully, furced his terr., lation; the settlement of the two way to the city, through so many republics that were forming on the obitacles, had so much revived the north and on the south of the Po, and courage of the garrison, that, under the fupprefiion of the attempts mahis command, they began to enter- king by the pope, to resist the designs tain fresh hope of a successful re- formed against him by the French. fiftance. He was upwards of le- The forces which the pope diad venty : but
seemed to have had collected were not, indeed, formino other effect upon him, than to dable, either for military fame or increase his experience. His active numbers. It is not to be supposed, dispofition remained unimpaired, that this pontiff was so weak as to and no officer under him exceeded suppose that they could, of themthe vigour and celerity of action felves, inake any tolerable stand which he displayed upon every oc- against the French; but it was pofcasion. He not only concerted, fible, that his courageous example but personally conducted every plan might re-animate religious zeal, and that was executed for the prefer- inspire resolution into the fovereigns vation of Mantua. He acquired by and subjects of other states. His his unremitted efforts and valour, holiness, therefore, put his troops, the particular efteem of Bu- such as they were, in march towards onaparte, who ranked him above Romagua, to watch the states of any general with whom he had Reggio, Ferrara, Bologna, and Mocontended.
dena, which had declared theinHis other opponent, Alvinzi, was selves independent: and also in ornow unable to encounter him in der to favour the escape of general the field, and had cantoned the Wurmfer in the Ferrarese, or into fhattered remains of his defeated the ecclefiaftical states, in case of army, in various positions along the necessitv, from Mantua. northern side of the Brenta, await- But, as thiele appeared objects of ing the supplies that were collecting a fecondary confideration, when with all diligence in the emperor's weighed with the former, the French hereditary dominions. So great were commander resolved at once to take the efforts of the Austrian govern- the field against the new army of ment, that, before the end of De- Auftrians, prepared to dispute once cember, Alvinzi law himself at the more the overeignty of Italy, conhead of a complete and regular fident, that is fortune again favoured
him, it would be the last effort of to be present at the action, that Austria for the recovery of its loft took place on the twelfth, between dominions.
Maslena and the Austrians. These Alvinzi was now advancing from were successful on the first onset : the Brenta, with the utmost expe- but after an obstinate dispute were dition. His army, fifty thousand repulsed, and lost lome hundreds strong, was composed of the best slain or captured. The corps under troops that could be procured. It the command of general Joubert, at counted large numbers of volun- Montebaldo, was attacked the very teers from the best families in same day: but this also repulled the Vienna, most of them young men enemy, and at night a body of in the prime of life, and desirous Austrians, who attempted to take of fignalizing their attachment and the citadel of Verona by surprize, loyalty to the emperor on this criti- were completely defeated. cal occasion. The intentions of In the mean time, the Austrian the Austrian commander were, to general bad crossed the Adige; and, force a passage to Mantua, where with the whole of his force, fallen the junction of the garrison would upon Joubert, who had not half give him a decided fuperiority over his number, and compelled him to ihe French, whofe ftrength was withdraw to Rivoli, between the greatly reduced, by the numerous Adige and the lake of Garda, battles they had fought. The re- This happened on the thirteenth, inforcements, promised to Buona- As soon as Buonaparte was informed parte, were not yet arrived, and of what had palled, and particularly the knowledge of this circumstance of the line of march observed by was an additional motive for Al- the Imperialists, which was obvivinzi to quicken his motions. ously directed towards Mantua, he
A strong division of his army at- set out for Rivoli, where he arrived tacked on the eighth of January, at midnight, with as powerful re1797, a French post in front of inforcements as he had been able Porto Legnago, on the Adige. The to collect in the course of the day. French, though inferior in number, Unfortunately for the Austrian maintained their position the whole general, he was totally unapprised day, and retired at night in good of the arrival of Buonaparte, and order to this place : apprised of this of the reinforcements that accomattack, the whole of the French panied him. He adhered of course Jine, along that river, was obliged to the plan of attack which he had to concentrate itself, in hope of previously projected: nor did he being able to resift the Austrians discover the real strength of the until it was relieved by the fuc- French, till they had commenced cours that had been dispatched by their attack upon the Austrians, Buonaparte.
whom they drove from a post which This general, after inspecting the they had taken from them on the posts in the vicinity of Mantua, and preceding day. providing a ftrong reinforcement for
This first success was obtained general Ă ugereau, who commanded early on the morning of the fourthe line on the Adige, haftened to teenth. It enabled general Joil, Verona, where he arrived in time bert to occupy the high grounds on
the right banks of the Adige, and lake of Guarda. The republican to make an imprefsion on the left forces were thus entirely furroundof the Austrians.
But their right ed. Wherever they cast their eyes, affailed the left wing of the French they beheld the enemy on every fo vigorously, that it gave way, and fide. Buonaparte, who had fought, the centre of the Austrian army as well as given orders, the whole bore down in compact order on the day,' in every direction was now centre of the French. Aufpiciously driven to the centre. He called for those, Maslena's division arrived his field officers around him, and at that instant, as the commander- coolly pointed out to each, what he in-chief had calculated they would, judge to be the least perilous mode on the field of battle. Buona- of extricating themselves from their parte who had fucceeded in rally- imminent danger. ing his left wing, put himself in The Auftrians, after a general person at the head of this divi- diseharge, ruthed on to scale the lion. It fell with such fury on the entrechments at Rivoli, of which Imperial centre, that it was in- they were three times in possession ; ftantly broken and thrown into but they were succeslively repulsed. disorder, and the left of the French, In the mean time, a timall battery, after being rallied, recovered the of four field-pieces, had been posts it had lost: but the Austrian Brought to cannonade the right centre soon rallied, and, seconded wing of the Austrians, through by part of their right, returned to which, it feems, Buonaparte had the charge, and surrounded general meditated his escape: but which he Berthier's division in the centre, now hoped to improve into a vicwhich stood its ground with great tory. Two brigades, in three cofirmness. He was attacked, at the lumns, under the generals Brune same time, hy a strong division from and Monnier, were ordered to attheir left. The conflict here was tack this wing, and dislodge it from extremely obstinate;. but, while the the commanding position which it Auftrians were striving to turn the kept on the heights. This desperate centre and right of the French,
service the foldiers effected, adwho had concentrated both, to re- vancing, at firit, in regular order, fift the weight of the enemy's charge, finging one of their war-hymns. Buonaparte directed a large body But ihey no fooner approached of infantry and cavalry to take them within gun-thot of the enemy, than in flank, and Joubert at the same they rushed on them with desperainstant, fell upon them from the tion. The Austrians, over-whelinheights he had occupied, with such ed and confounded by the violence impetuofity, that they were intirely of the assailants, fied, panic-struck, routed and put to flight. Their towards the lake of Guarda; and centre, however, Itill maintained meeting with a ftraggling party of the contest, and thereby afforded light infantry, who were trying to time for a large column to turn the join the furrounded French army, left of the French, and to cover the and whom they fupposed to be a ground on their rear: by which more considerable body, laid down their communication was cut off their arıns, to the pumber of three with Verona, and their posts on the thousand men.