Billeder på siden

quit Vienna in fuch a case; and the his forces, Joubert's division prostoppage of payment, at the bank, ceeded through the Tyrol to join completed, at once, the fears and him. Laudohn followed, but could dissatisfaction of the public. make no impreflion upon Joubert,

Buonaparte was, in the mean who arrived at the main army with time, collecting, and concentrating eight thousand prisoners, and all the his forces, in order to proceed, in other captures he had made. a direct march, to Vienna, where During these transactions, the arhe notified, to the directory, that he rangements that had been made, in hoped, shortly, to plant the standard the French army, had completely of France, if the emperor ftill con- prepared it for the execution of tinued averfe to a peace. He now the design in - agitation. Hoping, fixed his head quarters at Clagan- however, that its formidable appearfurth, where those of the archduke ance might produce the effect therehad been some days before, in order by intended, which was to put a stop to render his expulfion from this to hoftilities, Buonaparte availed place, and his reverse of fortune, himself of the manifest superiority of the more remarkable, through a his fituation, to make overtures of circumstance that would not fail peace to the archduke Charles. To to attraâ notice from its particu- this intent he wrote a letter to him, larity.

which, at the time, excited the A gleam of returning fortune had, universal 'attention of all Europe. on the other hand, attended the Brave soldiers, he said, made war, Auftrian arms in the Tyrol. The but defired peace. The war had inhabitants of that province had now lasted fix years. Men enough sisen in a mass, and joined the forces had been flaughtered, and evils under general Laudohn. Strength. enough committed against suffering ened by numbers, which, though un- humanity. Such, he noticed, were disciplined, were not the less brave, the exclamations on all fides. Euand enterprizing, he refolved to at- rope, which had taken up arms tack the divion under Joubert, who, against the French republic, had after his succesful action, on the laid them down, and Austria alone twenty-eighty of March, had taken continued its enemy. post at Botzen, in order to give still to flow, a fixth campaign was Tome respite to his men, after the announced, and, whatever might be fatigues they had undergone. On the result, thousands of gallant folthe fourth of April they were diers must fall a facrisice. At some assailed by the Austrian troops, period, nevertheless, he observed, in conjunction with the Tyrolele. both parties must come to an unOverpowered by immenfity of num. derstanding, fince time brought bers, they were obliged to give things to a conclufion, and extinway, and retire to Brixen, which guished the most inveterate relentthey were also obliged to abandon ments. the following day. Here, however,

The French directory had ex. the success of the Austrians ter- prelied a desire to terminate this minated. Buonaparte's plan rc- ruinous contest, but their pacific quiring the united strength of all overtures were defeated by the in


Blood was

tervention of the British ministry.' which was dated the seventh Gers Was there then, he said, no hope minal (March thirty-first) the archof accommodation? Must blood duke replied, that he was equally. still be shed to promote the interests, desirous of peace with the French or to gratify the passions, of a peo- commander, but that his station not ple far remote from the theatre of authorizing him to scrutinize, nor to war? Are not you, addressing him- terminate the differences between felf to the archduke, who are so the belligerent powers, and not benearly allied to the throne, and ing invested with any commiffion above the mean passions that usually for that purpose, he could not uninfluence ministers, desirous to merit dertake a negociation till he had rethe appellations of benefactor of ceived special orders. the human race, and saviour of the On receiving this answer, the German empire? I do not mean, French troops were immediately put added he, that your country can

in motion. Their march was die not be preserved by your sword, rected towards Murau, where gebut that however the chance of neral Spork was posted. The archwar may alter in your favour, Ger- duke, upon this intelligence, remany must still be a sufferer. He quested a suspension of arms for the concluded by alluring the archduke, space of only four hours: but as that as to himself, were his present this would have enabled him to application to him to be the means secure the junction of that officer's of faving the life of a single man, division with his own forces, Buonahe should be prouder of the civic parte sent him a denial, and procrown, to which he would thereby ceeded on his march, resolved to become entitled, than of the melan- carry his designs into speedy execucholy glory resulting from the most tion, unless they were prevented by brilliant exploits in war.

complying with his offers to enter This letter of Buonaparte will de- into a treaty: scend to pofterity, a nobler monument He had advanced to Judenburgh, of his fame than any of his victories. It in Stiria, where he fixed his headbreathes the sentiments of a gallant quarters, intending by a rapid march, military chief; and, at the same to transfer them into Austria itself, time, the sublimest sentiments of when he received a notification morality. " When time shall have from the emperor, that he was ready fettled the present disputes, (as to embrace the opportunity given fooner or later it must,) and even him by the French general, of enextinguished the resentment of na- tering into negociations for peace. tions;"* nay, and when the whole This mellage was brought him by keries of his victories fall pass generals Bellegarde and Murveldt, through the mind as a dream that deputed by the Imperial court to has past, such sentiments, recorded confer-with him on that subject, and in the page of every historian, will to obtain an armstice, the more eftouch and engage every heart. fectually to bring matters to a peace

To this letter from Buonaparte, able conclufion.


Expressions in his letter to the arı hduke.

A suspension A suspension of arms was ac- Murh, almost within sight of this cordingly agreed upon the serenth feat of empire. These mountains, . of April, the duration of which easily defended by the retreating was limited to ten days. This, army, and the fuccours which were hy the French commander, was 'pouring in from all quarters, would deemed a space sufficient to come to have rendered the remainder of his a final determination, whether to march extremely difficult. These, acceptor to refuse those terms which dishculties might have been obhad been profferred to the Imperial viated, by his taking a direction courts, and from which it was now

towards the Danube, by crossing determined, by the French, not to over from the Murh to the Ems, recede.

along the banks of which his army In accepting the offer of an' ar- would have found an easier mode of mistice, for the purpose of pacifica- arriving at the end of their expedia tion, Buonaparte displayed equal tion; but the circuit was too long, moderation and judgement. Though and the army too much diminished, the rapid career of his victories to suffer fuch a dismemberment of it had met with little interruption, he as would be necessary to keep up could not but be sensible of the its communication with Italy. The extreme difficulties, if not imminent dangers arising, from the enemy bedangers to which he was now ex- fore him, had been well weighed pofed.

by Buonaparte. By daring courage, His rapid marches, across ravines and the holdest efforts, he had, in and precipices, and over mou- the space of a month, led his army tains, where no traces of roads to conquets, which the most ardent existed, had compelled him to leave imagination had scarce ventured to behind the greater part of his heavy contemplate; but he had made no 'artillery ; while his army, from the calculations, on the outfet of his exa rigours of the season, and the cor- pedition, for other enemies than ftant state of action in which they those with whon he was in open had been kept, had very sensibly hostility, and therefore had not diminished ; and though the re- provided resources against them. mainder preserved, to the last, the The best judges of military afsame courage and ardour, yet they fairs expressed a degree of wonder, were insufficient to preserve the not that Buonaparte should accept vast extent of country which they the offer of an armistice, but that had conquered ; and the positions the Imperialists should make it. which he had taken, though highly Had he advanced without a proper favourable for farther conquest, had train of battering cannon against the he been sufficiently reinforced, were works of Vienna, which might fill no less fitted for the operations of have been defended, even after the the enemy, which he conceived he loss of a battle in the field, the Hanhad left behind him in the states of garians and Austrians, collected in Venice.

over-powering numbers, would have To reach Vienna by the speediest probably cut off his retreat, and his direction, the French army had to ruin would have been certain. It pass the mountains of Stiria, which was not, therefore, it has been laid, rile for a long extent from the on very probable grounds, the terVOL. XXXIX.



ror of Buonaparte's arms, tremend- ciation, Buonaparte had previously ous as he was, that moved the em- taken care that the conditions of the peror to fue for peace; but a terror armistice should be entirely to the of another kind, on the one hand, advantage of the French. The and an allurement held out, on the posts occupied by them, in the proother, by the French commander, vinces of Carniola, Carnithia, in the preliminaries for peace. The Stiria, and the Tyrol, were to regreater portion by far of his Im- main in their poffeffion till a pacifiperial majesty's subjects, even a cation had taken place. To these great many officers in his armies, posts others were added of great were averse to a war with France. consequence:, one of them was The conduct of Buonaparte had Gratz, the capital of Stiria, a city of not, on the whole, been such as to the first importance in the emperor's discredit his profellions of a respect dominions, and where a numerous for private proverty, public credit

, garrison was placed by Buonaand the rights of men, as well as parte. nations. The shew he had made While this fortunate commander 6 generosity and justice, in some was obtaining fo many triumphs for instances, veiled, in a great measure, France, the directory was unrefrom the public eye, those contri- mittingly attentive in bestowing butions which he levied in others. those praises upon him and his geNo general, no politician of the nerals, which they were conscious present day, appears to be more would prove peculiarly satisfactory profoundly skilled than that leader to the patriotic difpofition, and in the management of the two great warmth for the glory of their counfprings that move the whole ma- try, that had lo remarkably chachinery of public affairs, the passions racterised the French officers, fince and finance. His conquests took the commencement of this war. property and cultivation, and the In order to convince them how free exercise of religion under their circumstantially they attended to the protection; and, in directing the gallant actions they performed, the new governments, to be responsible directory wrote, in its official cafor the debts of the old, he touched pacity, letters of thanks to every on a deep fyftem of policy and revo- officer deserving of such a mark of lution. The governments that had distinction. Herein they carefully fallen before him feemed to have specified the particular instances of fallen of themselves, and without his valour and conduct that had inconvulsion. Had the coalition, on duced them to reward his merit with entering France, issued a proclama- so honourable a notice. The pubtion in favour of the government de licity of the encomiums bestowed facto, the road to Paris would have upon them excited, in a wonderful been found more practicable. The manner, the emulation of the French effects of Buonaparte's proclama- military. To obtain a remuneration tion in Stiria, on the inhabitants of this kind was held the highest of Vienna, and other cities, were degree of honour and credit to dreaded, it was believed, in the Im- which the profession could attain, as perial palace.

it feldom failed to be accompained, In order to accelerate the negon at the same time, by promotions,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and other substantial encourage- Britifh ambaffador of Paris, muft ments.

have been accepted by the diThe principal officers to whom rectory. the directory addrefled letters of To the extraordinary talents of such a tenour at this time, were ge- Buonaparte, and to the valour of nerals Joubert, Berthier, Bernar- his troops, was owing therefore the dotte, Maffena, Guieux, and Kel- fuperiority that France ftill retained lerman. They were all men of over its enemies. Never had the tried valour and abilities, and had exploits of this celebrated warrior, proved of essential utility to Buona- and of his companions in arms, parte, in his expedition to Italy been exceeded. In the course of and Austria. There were other's less than a twelve month they had also no less deserving, such as Au- been victorious in no less than eightygereau, who was styled his right four engagements, fourteen of hand. To these the like honours which were pitched battles. Exwere paid verbally by the directory, clusive of the Rain, they had taken and similar tokens of regard con- one hundred thousand prisoners, ferred upon them, on their being and between two and three thousent to Paris

, by Buonaparte, with fand pieces of artillery. They had the standards and military trophies compelled five fovereign princes, taken from the enemy.

two of them kings, to submit to It was with great reason that the their own terms, and had chaled French governnient teftified so much five Imperial armies out of Italy. respect for the army of Italy. It They had given a new aspect to had, in the preceding and present this part of Europe. They had campaign, been the principal agent changed the forms of its ancient reand support of the republic. While publics, and had founded two new its armies in Germany were com- ones on the plan of their own. All pelled to retreat, this one continued this they had effected at the exto advance, and to strike terror into pence of their enemies. Instead of the councils of Vienna. Had not draining the treasures of France, by Buonaparte balanced, by his fuc- these conquests and acquisitions, cesses, the expulfion of the French they had enriched them with the from the empire, they would proba- surplus of what they had levied bly have been followed by the vic- and expended for their own luptorious Imperialists into the heart of port. France. It was the necessity of But what the philosophical world making head against him, that with will probably deem the most maheld five armies successively, for the terial circumstance, they carried preservation of Austria. Had not with them the principles of that this immenfe force been necessary revolutionizing difpofition, which to prevent its total destruction, and had effecied such changes in their could it have been employed in car- own country. They propagated rying the war into France, it was them widely in Italy. Whatever the opinion of Europe, that an ef- may be its future destiny, the seeds fectual impression must have been of that freedom of thinking, which made on the republic; and that the the French planted among the

peos conditions of peace, proposed by the ple, will fructify in spite of all en



« ForrigeFortsæt »