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La Touche, the chief of the Toulon fleet, then to make for the West Indies, where having suddenly died when about to set Missiessy, who, as we have seen, had got sail. A delay of several weeks ensued, out to sea in the first part of January, and Napoleon formed a new combination, would be, it was thought, cruising with founded on the experience of the weather the Rochefort squadron. Meantime Ganprevailing in the now advanced season. teaume, with twenty-one sail, was to watch The regular blockade of the French ports, his opportunity, to set out from Brest, and, , especially of those on the Atlantic sea- avoiding Cornwallis, who had about nineboard, being impossible in the storms of teen, to effect his junction in the far Atlanwinter, he ordered Ganteaume to leave tic with Villeneuve, Gravina, and MissiesBrest, and thence to proceed into the Chan- sy; and the four squadrons, which, when nel, the Toulon and Rochefort squadrons combined, would form a fleet of about forhaving previously sailed for the West In- ty-four sail, were either to make direct for dies to threaten or ravage the British colo- Boulogne, or else to unite with the Ferrol nies. The decisive movement was, in this squadron, now raised to fourteen sail of the way, to be made by the fleet nearest to line, and then to proceed into the ChanBoulogne; but the attention of the enemy nel. In this way Napoleon conceived a was to be diverted by demonstrations force ranging from forty to fifty sail of the which, it might be assumed, would mask line, allowing for losses and contingencies, the attack, for a time at least, and would would be concentrated at the decisive probably draw off a considerable force to point in the summer of 1805; and as, if it defend our endangered colonial posses- were combined, it would be greatly supesions. This scheme, however, proved also rior to any thing which could be arrayed fruitless ; for though Missiessy, in the first against it, and as, besides, it was reasonadays of 1805, put out to sea and escaped ble to suppose, that the English fleets pursuit with the Rochefort squadron, Ville- would, in part at least, be drawn away and neuve, the new commander of the Toulon rendered useless, he reckoned with confifleet, after getting safely into the Mediter- dence on success. ranean, returned, with characteristic inde- In compliance with the imperial project cision, and this detained Ganteaume in Villeneuve set out from Toulon with his port, his orders being not to leave Brest eleven ships and six fine additional frigates until Villeneuve had passed Gibraltar. A on the 30th of March, 1805. Nelson, who new project was therefore required; and supposed that Egypt was the real object Spain having declared war against England of the French fleet, was cruising to the at this conjuncture, and the Spanish fleets, south of Sardinia, and the French admiral still powerful in numbers, having been add- met no enemy on his way through the ed to those of France, and given to the western Mediterranean. He passed the daring and original genius whose destiny Straits of Gibraltar on the 9th of April, it was to be our foe, Napoleon resolved to was off Cadiz the next day, and on the 11th make use of this hardly-expected acces- was in the open Atlantic, having rallied sion of force, and to give ampler scope to the French man-of-war at Cadiz, and the his naval operations. His plan was grand greater part of Gravina's squadron. After and able alike, and, notwithstanding all a voyage of little more than a month, the that has been urged by national vanity, it combined fleet of Villeneuve and Gravina, might have been realized. The principle eighteen sail of the line and seven frigates, of this scheme was to collect a great naval reached Martinique on the 14th of May; force at a distance from our shores, to draw and though the condition of the crews and off a part, at least, of the English fleets, in the ships was far from good in many reorder to observe or attack it, and then, re- spects, Napoleon's plan had so far succeedturning quickly to Europe, to rally any ed; for Nelson had been completely elufriendly aid in the way, and to appear in ded; he was being drawn off from the Euirresistible strength in the Channel. For ropean seas, and the first main division of this purpose Villeneuve, whose fleet had the French squadrons was at its destination been increased to eleven sail of the line, in the West Indies. At Martinique, howwas to elude Nelson, who had only nine, ever, news arrived which shook the vacilto rally the French ship left at Cadiz, to lating spirit of Villeneuve, already discourjoin at that port a Spanish squadron of six aged by the evident want of efficiency in sail of the line under Admiral Gravina, and the combined squadrons, and already an
ticipating some unknown disaster, though in those ports; and he made for the coast as yet he had been remarkably fortunate. of Spain and Ferrol. Instead of remaining in these latitudes, Meanwhile Nelson, deceived at the outMissiessy had returned to Rochefort, and set as to the destination of Villeneuve's thus his contingent of five or six sail was feet, had been pursuing the French adabsent from the general place of meeting, miral with extraordinary but fruitless enerand could not be expected to make its ap- gy. Suspecting that Egypt would be the pearance. The fine weather, too, of an point of attack, he had remained for some exceptional spring had permitted Cornwal- time in the Mediterranean, after the delis to maintain the blockade of Brest with parture of the French fleet from Toulon; out interruption ; Ganteaume had not been and it was not until the rith of May, able to get out; and accordingly it was when Villeneuve was at the other side of more than probable that the second main the Atlantic, that, with his squadron indivision of the combined fleets would not creased to ten sail of the line, he resolved be able to obtain the West Indies. Ville- to set off for the West Indies. Had he neuve began to fear that the dreaded Nel- been aware of Napoleon's project he would son would attack and crush him off Mar- doubtless have made for the Channel, to tinique, though the force commanded by strengthen Cornwallis off Brest, and to our great admiral was numerically less by interpose between Villeneuve and Gana third than his own and he was still hun- teaume; but though he seems to have dreds of miles distant; and he was already thought that Ireland might possibly be the meditating a return to Europe, when fresh enemy's object, he had no conception of orders came to confirm his purpose. Na- the deep-laid scheme of a concentration of poleon, informed of the immobility of hostile force in the Channel. On the ad Ganteaume, had modified his project in or 3d of June he had reached Barbadoes, part, and dispatching Admiral Magon with his well-manned and well-sailed vessels two sail of the line from the Rochefort sailing much quicker than those of his foe; squadron to Martinique, he directed Ville- but, misled by false information, he turned neuve to steer homewards, and with his away from the direction of Martinique, and fleet, now of twenty-seven ships, including steered southwards to the mouths of the large and small vessels, to raise the block- Orinoco. Apprised of his error he retracades of Ferrol, Rochefort, and Brest in ed his steps, and on the roth was at the succession, and rallying the squadrons in island of Grenada, with a fleet numbering those ports, and overpowering the enemies twelve sail of the line, two under Cochrane, in his way, to appear off Boulogne in ir- having joined him, and about five or six resistible force. Villeneuve, too glad to frigates; and with this comparatively small avoid Nelson, left the West Indies on the force he hastened to attack Villeneuve, 1oth of June and on the 30th was off the however numerically superior in strength. Azores, with his whole fleet, as yet intact, But Villeneuve had already left the West on his straight course for the Bay of Bis- Indies, and in a few days was far out of cay. Had he, acting on his own responsi- reach; Napoleon's scheme having in this. bility, now made at once for the Channel respect been as yet carried out with comand Boulogne, it is difficult to see how the plete success. Nelson, eager, anxious, but French army could have been prevented still ignorant of the real aim of the French making the descent. For during the whole Emperor, now decided on returning to the of June, and for weeks afterwards, Nelson Mediterranean, thus abandoning wholly and his fleet were far away; Cornwallis the track of Villeneuve; but feeling uncerand his nineteen or twenty ships, the only tain as to the enemy's object, he, with rare: force that could have interfered, was held forethought, took precautions which, in in check by Ganteaume off Brest; the the event, proved of the greatest imporChannel was guarded chiefly by light ves tance, though they would almost certainly sels; and the way to the flotilla, accord- have been fruitless had Villeneuve steered ingly, lay almost open to the French ad. from the Azores to the Channel. When miral. But Villeneuve could not take the setting out for the Spanish coast, Nelson bolder course; obeying the letter of Na- dispatched a fast-sailing brig, the “Cupoleon's orders, he prepared to try to reach rieux," with a recommendation to the Adthe Channel by combining his fleet with miralty to be on their guard against the the squadrons of his colleagues blockaded French; and this vessel having arrived at Portsmouth on the 7th of July, immediate therefore, as Napoleon has remarked, left orders were given for a new disposition of Ferrol at once with his twenty-nine sail of the English squadrons, though no English the line, rallied the five which comprised officer, with the exception of the able and the Rochefort squadron, and made straight ingenious Collingwood, had as yet a suspi- for Ganteaume at Brest, he would either cion of Napoleon's design. Admiral Stir- have avoided Calder, or, probably, have ling, who had been blockading Rochefort, overpowered that admiral, who had not and Sir Robert Calder, who had been more than fifteen sail of the line, more or blockading Ferrol, were directed to draw less injured by the fight of the 22d; and off from these ports, and look out for a in either event, Villeneuve and Ganteaume French fleet at sea, the Admiralty's pur- would have opposed fifty-five sail of the pose being, it would seem, to keep the en- line to Cornwallis, who had not more than emy away from Ferrol or Brest, and not twenty, and would hardly have failed to contemplating an attack in the Channel. reach the Channel. But Villeneuve, though This move, however, had great results, as yet fortunate, delayed irresolutely at though, but for the indecision of Ville- Ferrol; he believed that Nelson, Calder, neuve, these might have been of little im- and Cornwallis were awaiting him in the portance. On the 22d of July the united Bay of Biscay, with their squadrons unitsquadrons, under the chief command of ed, to overwhelm him; and he was unSir Robert Calder, fell in with the fleet of nerved by the dread of a disaster hardly, the French admiral, long delayed by con- at this moment, possible. For during the trary winds on its course; and although first ten days of August, Nelson was far Calder had only fifteen sail of the line away from the theatre of action; he had against the twenty of Villeneuve, he did reached Gibraltar about the 23d of July, not hesitate to attack. The action was and had then stood out to sea in search of warm but indecisive, the French and the enemy, of whose position he remained Spanish crews, now some months at sea, ignorant; and Calder was in the Bay of having improved greatly in training and Biscay, in communication with, but not discipline; and though Villeneuve lost two united to, Cornwallis off Brest; and the ships, he easily made good his way to French squadrons, therefore, were imFerrol.
mensely superior in force to any which Villeneuve had already missed a great here might have met them. Pressed by opportunity by not making direct from the the imperious commands of Napoleon, Azores to the Channel when Nelson was who, with true insight, perceived the situon his way to the Mediterranean. In this, ation, Villeneuve at last put out, on the however, he was only conforming to the 13th of August, his fleet numbering twenpositive orders of Napoleon, who enjoined ty-nine sail of the line, which, by the junchim to rally his blockaded colleagues be- tion of Lallemand's contingent, could be fore attempting the decisive movement, increased at once to thirty-four, not to though unquestionably he had a latitude speak of eleven or twelve frigates. Had of choice which a great commander would the French admiral, as he had been advishave turned to account. But after the ac- ed, and as he wrote to his master when tion of the 22d of July his conduct hardly setting out, now steered for Brest with admits of excuse, and his irresolute timid- his powerful armament, he might still, ity mainly contributed to the failure of perhaps, have accomplished his mission, Napoleon's design, though the chances in though his opportunity was not as good his favor were not so good as they had as it had been on two previous occasions. been when he was off the Azores. He For by this time Nelson had joined eight reached Ferrol on the ad of August with ships of his squadron to that of Cornwallis his fleet reduced to fifteen sail of the line the great seaman had gone with the rest -besides the two captured by Sir Robert to Portsmouth--and this considerable adCalder, three had been left to refit at Vigo dition of force reduced greatly the dispro--but he found fourteen sail of the line at portion between the French and English Ferrol, for the most part in very fair con- squadrons, and diminished accordingly dition; and the Rochefort squadron, now Villeneuve's chances. Yet as Cornwallis, under the command of Lallemand, a good with what Napoleon has characterized as officer, had put to sea and was in the im- “playing into the enemy's hands," about mediate neighborhood Had Villeneuve, the 16th or 17th of August divided his
augmented fleet into two parts, and sent his fame, turned away from Boulogne to Calder
, with nineteen or twenty ships, in design the march which terminated in the search of Villeneuve in the Bay of Biscay, glories of Austerlitz. Trafalgar was in a retaining only eighteen or nineteen him- few weeks to crush his naval power for self
, the French admiral, if he had sailed the rest of his reign, and he never had anfor Brest
, might still have attained decided other opportunity of renewing the scheme success had he been seconded by good of 1803-5. Yet the victory of Nelson ought fortune. Advancing with his thirty-four not to blind us to the imminent peril insail of the line, he might either have miss- curred by England, or make us imagine ed Calder or have fought and defeated that a kind of destiny preserves necessarily that admiral, whose force was so inferior to our shores from invasion. Napoleon felt his own; and in that case he might have the difficulty of attempting the descent; reached Brest, and having effected his junc- but, notwithstanding the inferiority of his ture with Ganteaume, been at the head of strength at sea, his deep-laid project well a fleet altogether superior, in numbers at nigh succeeded; his flotilla and army were least, to any adversaries. Instead, how- brought together; the Admiralty did not ever, of taking the bold course, Villeneuve, see through his purpose, and left the upon hearing, when out at sea, a false re- Channel dangerously exposed; Nelson port that a British fleet of twenty-five sail was drawn away from the sphere of operof the line was near, renounced the at- ations, and Villeneuve had more than one tempt to carry out the great service for good chance of completely realizing his which he had been designed, and turning master's orders. Had Villeneuve made southerly made for Cadiz, thus completely from the Azores to Brest, had he after the frustrating Napoleon's project and render action of the 22d of July left Ferrol at ing all his exertions useless. The unfor- once with his squadron at that port, he tunate Frenchman did not conjure away would probably have rallied Ganteaume; the evil fate which he apprehented: he and if so, it is difficult to see how he would was yet to see the day of Trafalgar. not have had for a few days that mastery
Meanwhile the Emperor had arrived at of the Channel which was all that Napo. Boulogne, and had placed himself at the leon required to transport his army. Yet head of his army. Verhuel's contingent though, as a mere strategic conception, had long before doubled Cape Grisnez Napoleon's project was worthy of his powand reached Ambleteuse; the entire flo- ers, and though, so far as regards a landtilla, with its matériel on board, was kept ing, it was more nearly fulfilled than we in readiness to put to sea; the Texel fleet like to allow, it rested, we think, on misrode at single anchor, and more than one calculations which rendered it ever liable hundred and fifty thousand men, strung to to fail, and in its ultimate results, we are the highest pitch of enthusiastic daring, convinced, it must have ended in comawaited only the signal to embark. Na- plete discomfiture. The French Emperor, poleon's correspondence during the few sated with victory, and accustomed to the days from about the 12th to the 20th of ascendency of success, would never suffiAugust, 1805, when he thought that Ville- ciently take into account the moral de. neuve and Ganteaume would make their pression of his admirals and the essential appearance in the Channel, breathes exul- inferiority of his naval forces; he forgot tation and proud self-confidence; and as that Villeneuve was to Nelson what Alvinzi we read how, in letters throbbing with pas- and Melas were to himself; and, as actualsion, he tells his lieutenants that “if they ly happened, it was always probable that, can give him the command of the Chan whatever might be the strength of his nel for twenty-four hours the existence of fleets, timidity, inexperience, and irresoluEngland will be a thing of the past,” all tion would render his combinations fruitdoubts disappear of his conviction that a less. Considering too the armed force vast triumph was within his grasp. But possessed by England in 1805, and that, the expected sails were awaited in vain; even if it had effected the descent with not and when at last the dispatch arrived that more than the inevitable loss, the French Villeneuve had baffled his calculations, and army must in a few days have lost its com“had slunk," as he bitterly exclaimed,“ in- munications with France, and could not to Cadiz,” he at once renounced the entire possibly have been reinforced, we are satenterprise, and, fortunately probably for isfied that Napoleon wholly underrated the military power required for the expedition; this, as on other occasions, Napoleon held one hundred and thirty thousand or one his enemies too cheap, and his landing in hundred and forty thousand Frenchmen England, we firmly believe, must have led might have marched to London and rav- to his ruin and that of his army. aged Kent and Sussex ; but they could not possibly have subdued England. On
[From Temple Bar.
GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS.
BY THE EDITOR.
GEORGE WILLIAM Curtis, whose por- in 1852, Mr. Curtis became one of the ortrait forms the frontispiece to our present iginal editors, and held the post until the number, was born on the 24th of Feb- publication of the magazine was suspended, ruary, 1824, at Providence, Rhode Island. several years later; and from that time to When he was fifteen years old, his' family the present, he has been constantly connectremoved to New-York, where he entered ed with the best journalism of the country, upon his business career in the count- making for himself a reputation which is ing-house of a dry-goods importer. He higher probably, and at the same time remained in this position only a year, more purely literary, than that of any othhowever, and in the year 1842, in com- er man in the profession. As the amiable pany with his elder brother, went to Brook and cultivated occupant of the “ Easy Farm, where he identified himself with that Chair" of Harper's Monthly, as the lettermost famous of American socialistic ex- writing Bachelor of Harper's Bazar, and periments. He spent a year and a half at especially as the editor-in-chief of Har. Brook Farm, engaged in study and agri- per's Weekly, he has exercised an influence cultural labor, and then passed another upon the reading public of America, eighteen months with a farmer at Concord, which, if it has not been profound, has certaking part regularly in the ordinary work tainly been genial, elevating, and refining. of the farm.
There are few men in America, who when In 1846, Mr. Curtis went to Europe, they take up their pens can be sure of and after a year of travel in Italy, enter- reaching so wide an audience; and there ed the University of Berlin, where he is scarcely another who, having written so stayed a few months, and witnessed the much, can look back over the record and revolutionary scenes of 1848 in that city. find so little to regret. The two following years he passed in Mr. Curtis's labors, however, have not traveling through central and southern been confined to journalism. He is always Europe, and especially in Egypt and Sy- in great demand at college and other litria. The fruit of this latter was a book erary celebrations, and as a lyceum-leccalled “ Nile Notes of a Howadji," which turer, there are only one or two in the he published on his return to the United country who surpass him in popularity. States in 1850. The book met with suf- He commenced his career in this latter ficient success to encourage the young au- field as early as 1853, and though he has thor, and it was followed by the “Howad- not made a business of it, has generally ji in Syria,” published in 1852. In the found time in the midst of his other duties meantime, he had found a place on the to address the people on the great queseditorial staff of the New-York Tribune, tions of social and political reform. and his third book was a volume entitled Mr. Curtis is now forty-eight years old, “ Lótus-Eating," and made up of a series in the “heyday and prime of life, and will of letters, which he wrote to that journal apparently for many years to come occupy from the various watering-places.
the position which at his death will be exWhen “ Putnam's Monthly" was started tremely difficult to fill.