« AnteriorContinuar »
Directors sent a detachment to the abolition of the government by a Luxembourg to destroy Napoleon, Directory and nominated a combut they went over to their General. mission to revise the Constitution The next day Barras left Paris, and with an executive commission conthus was overturned the Directory sisting of Sieyes, Roger-Ducos and without scarcely violence or com Napoleon. I'kese Councils took motion. The minority of the Council their oaths of office, swearing to acof Ancients, and the majority of the knowledge “the sovereignty of the Council of Five Hundred however people, that the republic was one repaired to St. Cloud, and were de- and indivisible, and to preserve tibating violently upon resisting this berty, equality and a representative: Revolution, when Napoleon himself system. As if to shew the abyss with his Aid-de-Camps entered of perfidy and meanness to which amongst the former Council, and political assemblies can descend, in a vigorous speech evinced that he this Council of Ancients, at the dico was determined to suppress their tation of their rulers, came to a vote machinations. He next repaired to that the General and soldiers who the Council of Five Hundred at : had dissolved them by violence and tended by only a few grenadiers. military outrage “had deserved He was immediately assailed by the well of their country." The Execries of the whole Assembly; the cutive Triumverate met for the first Deputy Destren struck him upon time at the Luxemburg. " Which the shoulder, Bigounet seized him of us is to preside ?" asked l’Abbe by the arms, but General Lefevre Sieyes. “ You see clearly, that it with a few grenadiers precipitately is the General who presides," satirientered the hall and rescued their cally answered Roger-Ducos; and General. Lucien Buonaparte was Sieyes, struck with the truth, dePresident of the Council of Five clared to the persons assembled Hundred, but it was in vain that “ You have at last got a Master : he attempted to be heard in defence he knows every thing, he does every, of his brother. The Council ordered thing, and is capable of all things. him to put the question, whether It is singular to reflect that so Napoleon should be declared out of thorough a revolution in a popular the protection of the law; he re government could be effected in a fused obedience and abdicated the few days, amidst the most excitable tribunal. The Chamber was infu and at that time the most sanguiriated, but fortunately at this mo nary people on earth, and by a man ment a piquet of grenadiers entered whose impetuosity seemed to put all and rescuing Lucien bore him out prudence and subtle contrivances of the Assembly. He immediately at defiance --so admirably could mounted his horse and addressed Napoleon adapt himself to circumthe troops in a violent philippic stances... Happy had it been for against the Council. But the France if all her political regeneraCouncil had chosen another Pre- tors had been as successful in avoidsident and were proceeding to pro- ing bloodshed Napoleon-happy: test against the usurpation of Buo- had it been for the human race had naparte; Napoleon informed of the Napoleon devoted his genius to the fact, dissolved the Council by Mili- establishment of freedom instead of tary force. The members were to prostituting it to the vulgar shrines the last resolute in their proscrip- of military glory and personal am. tion of Napoleon, and their entrance bition; how narrow are the views into the capital was prevented by of even the most mighty, intelFouché and the Police, for fear of lects ;-how frail are all their caltheir exciting the multitude to re culations when they swerve from bellion. The Council of Five Hun- morality. The sole incentive of dred being dissolved, Lucien re- Napoleon's actions was the admirapaired to that of the Ancients and tion of after ages; had he establishproposed the formation of a new ed a thoroughly free governmentover Council. His plans were adopted; France, had he administered it with the Buonapartists of the Ancients virtue proportionate to his genius, assembled as a Council, expelling he might have been the sole great the sixty-one members who opposed character in history; now he will, the innovations. They voted the shine only as the Cæsar, the Hanni
bal, or the Alexander of his age; radiance of martial glory, and thus greater than they in degree, but was the human race sacrificed to specifically the same. There is one that military mania of Buonaparte character in human nature which which had been engendered, fostered has never yet been filled—but for am- and matured by the criminal probition, that character might have pensities of the governments of been filled by Napoleon.
Europe. Europe was destined to feel at its The effect of Buonaparte's supreinmost core the effects of Napoleon's macy acquired by this revolution success in this memorable revolu. was like magic; tumultuous mobs tion. Superiority appeared in. were suppressed; the decisions of the herent in the nature as well as in law courts became respected; the the destiny of Buonaparte. Created payments of the government became consul, he assumed the sole reins of regular; private property was rengovernment, and his two companions dered inviolable; the details of appeared astounded by his genius, the public departments exhibited and yielded their power to him, as regularity and dispatch ; -all the anif he had been created for its exer cient costumes of the pablic funccise. The truth of history compels tionaries, and the affected mumme. us to acknowledge that at this epoch, ries of antiquity were supplanted upon which the whole subsequent by objects purely national. Com. career of Buonaparte depended, his merce, trade and industry seemed to intentions were decidedly patriotic revive; and the imbecile tyranny of and conscientious; and all the mi the Bourbonis, and the horrors of series which afterwards befel Eu the revolution seemed to have sudtope arose from the bigotry, folly denly faded into mere objects of and corruption of the enemies of memory. Nothing but peace was France. Napoleon began his go necessary to consolidate their blessvernment by purifying the institu- ings; Napoleon proposed a peace, tions of his country, by administer but the war-cry of legitimacy was ing his powers with vigour and in- raised; peace was refused; and Nategrity, and his object was evidently poleon resolved to conquer it with to establish freedom upon the basis his sword. of wisdom and virtue." He made an He appointed Moreau to the comeffort to obtain from Europe an ac mand of the army of the Rhine and knowledgment of that obvious prin. Danube; Massena was nominated ciple that has recently been avowed to that of Italy. He proposed an by our own cabinet, that every na. exchange of prisoners with the Engtion has the sole right of regulating lish, pacified the Vendeans, protected its internal affairs. But, alas! Eu- the proscribed and persecuted, aud rope was bent upon supporting an liberated from the jails all the victiquated prejudices, and systems tims of party-rage and political which had ceased to be applicable fury. The ferocious and unprinci. to the state of mankind ; because pled Fouché was obliged to humaFrance had thrown off her odious
nize his system of police. The Reand corrupt system of government, volution of the 18 Brumaire had surrounding courts conceived her to been effected by bortowed money; be out of the pale of civilization, this loan was repaid, and an equitand because she had committed ex. able system of finance superceded cesses in the struggle, they endea- the former spoliation and extortion. voured to appear as knight-errants But the climax of Napoleon's adin the cause of humanity; they re mirable qualities, displayed at this fused all alliance with the new go- juncture, was his assembling the vernment, and Napoleon, thus put at most eminent jurisconsultes of every bay, turned like a lion upon his party to devise an equitable code of assailants. What mortal is proof laws. Such was his impartiality and against the intoxication of success; spirit of conciliation, 'so completely victory followed victory; the bat was ability the passport to employtles of antiquity faded into insigni- ment, that this commission comficance; war became the element of prehended Trouchet, the defender the hero ; the patriotism and inte. of Louis XVI., and the sagacious, grity of Napoleon faded before the but violent Conventionalist, Merlin.
Napoleon himself discussed and vat But Napoleon's efforts to obtain ed upon every material article of this
peace were fruitless. England had celebrated code, thus uniting in him- excited a coalition_between Ausself the qualities of a Justinian and tria, Bavaria, and Turkey against a Cæsar.
France; and these powers, having The constitution of the year eight unfortunately preached a sort of Cruappointed Napoleon First Consul sade against the French Revolution, for ten years, associating with him gave the war a national character, Cambaceres and Le Brun. It con and united every class of Frenchstituted Ist, the Consulate, with the men to Buonaparte. The excessive sole right of initiating laws; 2nd, cruelty of the King of Naples had the Tribunate to discuss them; 3rd, disposed his subjects rather to wisla the Legislative body to enact laws, than to dread a foreign invasion ; and the Senate as Conservators of and the barbarity of Austria to those the laws. There was also an exe parts of Italy, which General Melas cutive Council under the presidency had reconquered from the French, of the First Consul, the appoint. had rendered her Italian subjects at ment and dismissal of the members best indifferent to her cause. But being intrusted to the President. for these barbarities of the Courts of This constitution was submitted to Vienna and Naples, it is thought the vote of the people, but it was that Napoleon might have found it observed that no mention was made difficult to raise any force sufficient to in it of “the rights of man, the pri- reconquer Italy. But the Italians were mary assemblies of the people, the goaded by their rulers to wish for liberty of the tribunes, or the liberty his approach, and he marched toof the press;" the four great rally- wards Italy at the head of 100,000 ing points of the Revolutionists. men, furnished with 40,000 horses, It is obvious that this constitution and the best train of artillery that threw the whole executive and legis. France had ever carried into the lative power into the hands of Napo- field. Denmark, Sweden, and Prusleon, who thus in one day saw him, sia were neuter, whilst Russia had self invested with all the preroga- declared war against Austria. tives of the descendants of the Ca. But Napoleon's movements threw pets. He inhabited the Thuilleries, the cabinet of Vienna into the ut, ihe palace of a long race of kings, most state of perplexity as to the theaand in removing into it from the tre of the war. The French reserve Luxemburg, he gave a grand mili was concentrated upon Dijon, and the tary fête which surpassed the mag. forces were assembled at a point equinificence of the former kings of distant from Basle, Martigny, and France. The word citizen became Chambery, so thąt the attention of disused, and, all the negligence of Austria was distracted from the Var, dress and cuarseness of mangers where Melas at the head of 150,000 affectedly assumed by the republi- victorious troops was about to fall cans justly sunk into contempt. He upon the 25,000 dispersed French, altered the whole course of admi- commanded by Messena. Napoleon's mistering justice, by abolishing the plan was that of Hannibal against old district courts, and establishing Rome, and that of Scipio against courts for each new arrondissement; Carthage. He determined to relieve each department had a criminal Massena by striking at once into the court, and the whole of France was heart of the Austrian possessions. His divided into twenty-nine “ courts object was to possess himself of the d'appel,” or districts possessing two basins of the Po and Danube. courts of appeal. Napoleon gave a The Directory had extended their constitution to Switzerland, opened line of operation from Holland to relations with the United States of the Var, Napoleon's object was to America, and cited the Senate of concentrate his movements. By asHamburgh to appear before him sembling his forces between the and answer for their having yielded Rhine and Rhone, he separated the to the English those Irish refugees two Austrian armies of the Rhine: who haal sought their hospitality, and of Italy, and commanded an and who were under the protection entrance into Switzerland. Massena of France.
commanded on the Var; Berthier,
at Dijon; and Moreau commanded making a desperate resistance. In on the Rhine, with his right on short, the position of Melas was Switzerland ; so that it appeared completely turned, whilst that of that Napoleon's designs were all Napoleon was invulnerable. The against Germany, and that the affairs day of passing the Alps the city of of Italy were to be neglected. Na- Aoste was taken, but the great diffipoleon ordered Moreau to make cer culty was to pass the fort of Bard tain movements, which put him in before Melas should be aware of his possession of the defiles of the Black approach. This fort was too strong Forest, and separated the Germans to capture, but Napoleon ordered under General Kray from the army the roads to be strewed with litter, of Melas. Napoleon in the Thuille- and the wheels of the gun-carriages ries was enjoying the errors and per- to be bound with hay-bands, and he plexities which these dispositions thus passed during the night, under and manoeuvres occasioned to the the guns of the fort without being enemy, and to his own generals, for perceived. This defile passed, Yores none but Moreau was in the secret with its citadel was captured after of his real intentions. At length the two days resistance, and 10,000 men army marched from Dijon upon Ge from the army of Melas were overneva, and Moreau's victories of En- thrown at the passage of the Chiugen, of Stokach, of Moeskisch, of sella. . Buonaparte thus opened to Biberach, and of Meningen, were himself the plains of Piedmont, the appointed signals for Buona- and established his line of strategy parte's leaving Paris. Whilst Eu on the Po, between the mouth of the rope imagined him engaged in es Tesin and the confluence of the tablishing his government in the Tenaro and Bormida. He occupied French capital he suddenly arrived Pavia, in which he found 200 pieces at Geneva, and immediately directed of cannon, and on the 2nd of June his force towards the Po, between he entered Mantua, where they had Milan,Genoa and Turin, making the but just learnt of his intended invabacks or southern bases of the Sim- sion of Piedmont. He reorganised the plon and St. Gothard the line of his Cisalpine Republic, possessed himoperations. Morean was to hold self of Bergamo, Crema, and CreGeneral Kray in check upon the mona, and drove General Loudon Rhine, whilst Napoleon was to sur as far as Brescia. Melas seemed unprize the passes of the Alps, and to able to penetrate Buonaparte's defall upon the rear of Melas, whose signs, and who, taking advantage of forces were extended from Genoa to his inactivity, possessed himself of the Var, and who was farther weak- the points near Stradella on the Po, ened by his efforts to keep Lombardy points which, of all others, it was in subjection. Napoleon transported necessary for Melas to have fortified. his army and artillery over the crest The Austrians were now hemmed in of the Alps, 7,200 feet above the to a degree that compelled them to level of the sea, over tremendous risk a battle, and they were defeated rocks, through the eternal snows, at Montebello with a loss of 8,000 and by paths over which the foot men; but this was only a prelude of man had probably never trod. to the great battle of Marengo. On Infantry, cavalry, baggage, and the 13th June Napoleon, being joincannon were transported over this ed by Dessaix from Egypt, took his mountain of St. Gothard, and the position between the river Bormida sight of all the panoply and circum- and the village of Marengo. stance of war on. this cloud capt On the 14th Napoleon was atmount must have been one of the tacked by Melas; Victor's corps was most sublime sights imaginable. driven back on the right, and LanMelas was yet on the Var when he mes, after a partial success, was was astounded by the reports, that obliged to fall back by the movethe French were descending to the ment of Victor ; but it was essential sonth of the Simplon, St. Gothard, for Napoleon to support his position and Mount Cenis. Massena and on the right, and as necessary for Suchet defended themselves with Melas to carry it. Napoleon sudthe greatest heroism at Genoa, know. denly poured his guards upon this ing that Buonaparte relied upon their point, and this corps withstood every
attack of the enemy with a bravery The Emperor of Austria was that ever afterwards rendered it the scarcely more fortunate glory of France. The battle was Rhine than on the Po; three days maintained several hours till the ar. after the battle of Marengo, (19 rival of General Dessaix, when Buo. June), Moreau won the victory of naparte at five o'clock, perceiving Hockstedt; the battle of Neuburgh that Melas had injudiciously weak opened the heart of Germany to the ened his left wing, ordered an at- French, and the capture of Feld, tack on the enemy's line. Dessaix kirch terminated the fine campaign furiously charged 5,000 Austrian of Moreau, placing his army in grenadiers, and was shot; the battle communication with that of Italy, was equally maintained till Keller- and obliging General Kray to sue mann with the cavalry attacked these for an armistice. grenadiers on the fank, when they On entering Paris on July 3, immediately surrendered. The Aus (1800) Buonaparte was received with trians now retreated, and Melas in enthusiasm; but a plot to assassi. vain attempted to keep possession of nate him had been discovered by the Marengo. The French pursued the Police, and the conspirators were Austrians till ten o'clock and as far brought to justice. Two months as the Bormida, and the enemy lost after (10 Oct. 1800,) he escaped 5000 killed, 8000 wounded, 7000 the celebrated “ Infernal Machine' prisoners, 30 pieces of cannon and which had been contrived for his six pair of colours. The next morn, destruction by the Chouan leaders. . ing, at break of day, Buonaparte at. In the mean time the Cabinet of tacked the téte de pont of the Bor- Austria had disgraced General Memida, but to his astonishment he las for his armistice of Alexandria, received a proposal to treat, from as well as General Kray for forming the enemy, and a few hours after the armistice of Hohenlinden with Generals Berthier and Melas signed Moreau. Kray was superceded by the famous conyention of Alexan- the Archduke Ferdinand of 18 years dria which ceded to the French, of age under the tutelage of General with the exception of Mantua, the Sawer, and the army was augmented whole of Italy that Austria had to 150,000 men: That of Italy was wrested from them afterBuonaparte's increased to 80,000 men and placed departure for Egypt; Lombardy, under General Bellegarde; opposed Piedmont and Liguria, with the to the first was Moreau, and to the twelve strong places that defended latter General Brune, whilst Macthem, were yielded to the French; donald commanded an army of reand the neutral line between the two serve at Dijon, with orders to pass armies was between the Mincio and the Alps immediately the armistice the Chiose. Never did the Aus- should be concluded. “ You must not trians fight with more determined mind the long nights or the severity valour than at Marengo, and it is of the season," said Napoleon,-"An to be observed that, at the time of army can pass in any season whertreating, Melas was yet at the head ever two men can stand a-breast." of an army equally numerous with Moreau commenced the campaign the French, and in possession also by gaining the victory of Hohenof all the strong posts and fortresses linden ; 180 officers, 11,000 men, of Piedmont.
and 100 pieces of cannon were capNapoleon oocupied himself in or tured, and 6000 men were killed. ganising the Cisalpine Republic, The Archduke Ferdinand, a lad of then leaving Suchet in command of 18, made a disorderly retreat, and Genoa, and placing Messena at the Moreau at the head of 100,000 men head of the army, he returned to was ordered by Napoleon to march Paris; Murat had been directed to apon Vienna and to dictate a peace march to the south and to restore the in the German capital. The ArchPope. It was observed, on Buona- duke Ferdinand suffered defeat after parte's attending at the celebration defeat, and at length the Archduke of the Te Deum at Milan, that it Charles, always the last resource of was the only religious ceremony he the Austrians, having been in dishad participated in since his celebra. grace since the treaty of Campo tion of the anniversary of Mahomet. Formio, was now appointed Gene