Imágenes de páginas

try, ami set a price on the heads of tivose who were against him. The spirit of insurrection in thole quarters was nol bruken, until the pacification between France and England recr»gniied and confirmed n established order of affairs in JtaJv.

It rs astonishing, and might well appear incredible, it it were not placed bcjond'all doubt by experience, tint priests, women, and other domestic, in palaces, culled courtiers, should have been able to often, throngh their influence with king', to thwart the measures, and diraim!h the respect due to the highest degree ot honour and military coarage, (kill, and succels. The supreme rulers of states do not give wav to tiie influence and insinuations of th-.ife around their persons, under the idea, that, in doing this, they hazard either the-security or the honour of their crown*: but they are artfully led to believe, that both these are equally safe in the kind* of certain favourites; and. the asuai jealoulv that disposes sovereign ponces rather lo check and pull down, than to honour and exalt (ach transcendent merit, as seems,

in some measure, to eclipse the splendour of the throne, opens a wav to the intrigues of the courtiers. Cer-* tain it is, that neither the virtue, nor military success and glory of prince Charles, the Hcftor,* as the. baron Thugut was the Pitt, of Austria, and whose plan it was to call back the French from Germany and Italy, by penetrating info the heart of France, were able to screen him. from a milignant and too succeilsul influence and opposition at court.

The great object os the empress was, to save Naples through an amicable compromise: many os the best officers were neglected, and, in some instances, even dismissed from the army, because they were attached to the archduke Charles. The council of war, at the feat of government, whose measures had uniformly, and with very little exception, been followed by defeat and disaster, was generally detested and ridiculed bv the army. On the whole, the nerves of the Austrian army were relaxed; the lentimentt and wishes of the officers were discordant; and almost the only point on which there was a general una

• As instances of many that might be mentioned of the humane and generous dispositen of print; Cimiui, what foilo'-vs is worthy ot being recorded. When he was on his way from Bohemia to take the command of the army of Germany, as he appioaclicd tfc fierje faction, he fell in with numbers of wounded and dyinz., abandoned by their companions, on the road, for want of hursts to draw the carriages in their retreat. TThe ormcr knrriertiatriy ordered the hors-s to he unyoked from several pieces of eannon tsatwtrc likewise rericatiog, saying, that the relief 01 these poor men was an object far scare lib h>art than the preservaion of a few pieces of cannon. V* hen general Mo. ax At be.rd of this benevolent trait, he ordersd the cannon tint had fallen into his hand; :o be restated to the Austrians, faying, tliat he would take no cannon that had teen Jar-dored irom such humane ttr fives.

At Pactaw thcr was a repository ot clot'es and provisions destined for the rw>r of thai city. This magazine, f>n the retreat of the Austrians to the Trafen, fell into the har.d, of the Fr The ?rchdukc immediately wrote to general Moreau, to acquaint Vm «ritr- it! deli.nation, and entreated h.m t.> spare it. The clothes and the provisions wm dirtribured among the poor; and general Mortau wrote back to the prince, that lie - appropriate to his own use what had been destined for the relief of in


nimity in all ranks, was a defife (hat the war might be brought to a speedv conclusion. Such being the state of the Austrian army, and the Austrian people, the audacity os Moreau in advancing into the very heart os the Austrian dominions, instead of being charged with folly, may be thought lo have been a conduct as well judged as it was daring.

By the treaty of Luncville, the feelings of the house of Au stria were, no doubt, severely wounded. Deprived of the rich and noble inheritance of theii Burgundian ancestors, and almost excluded from their long-loved Jialy, they were isolated, in a great measure, from those points of contact, where they had so long and so often measured their strength with other powers, and on which they alErled their porter, influence, and right to interfere, and be regarded with the highest degree-"of consideration in the great affairs of the finest part of Europe. Yet the ■wisest politicians were of opinion, that, in the, compactnels of empire, acquired by the accession of so much territory on the side of the Adriatic, in exchange for widi. r domains, but these disjointed, the Austrian family had gained, in stability and real strength, an ample compensation for what they had lost in extent of dom'nion. This opinion coincides with that of a great politician and profound scholar, who siourillied in the end of tiie I7lh, and beginning of the last century: (he celebrated .Fletcher ofSaltoun, II his reasoning be just, it ought lo be a contention, ■ not only to the friends < I the house of

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

contribute to the general quiet and security of nations. The pafiage from Fletcher, to which we allude, may be quoted without much impropriety in this .stage of the history of the Netherlands and lhe; Austrian dominions and authority in Italy.—" The violation of the ancient privileges of the Netherlands, by attempting to introduce an absolute form of government, and thi1 inquisition, was an extremely foolish measure, which, together with the cruelly os the duke os Alva, rendered the inhabitants of them most obstinate enemies; but the troops of Spain were al that time so excellent, that they would have easily surmounted this difficulty, notwithstanding the very strong situation os some of these provinces, and though the king had done nothing (o redress their grievances, had it not been that Flanders lay at such a distance from £pain, that, as armies could not be transported thither without the greatest difficulty and expense, so that not only they, but frequently the advices by which they were to act, came not in time to answer the sudden emergencies that are always falling out in the course of a war, which the English and French, as being in the neighbourhood of these people, were able to foment with the utmost ease and expedition; and so blinded was this prince, that, as if Flanders had become the scat of his empire, lie would needs from (hence, and that, loo. before the Flemings were reduced, make war upon France and England, as his; Ancestors have since done against the Palatinate. So gross an error not only occasioned a loss of seven of these provinces, and ruined his. great designs in France and England, but reduced him to the greatest!

straits, straits in all his other affairs: which these latter times.being aware os, have never sailed to direct the chief weight os their wars against those provinces, which lie so near their capital, and to employ the bulk os iheir forces, on that side, to their own great advantage, and the perpetual loss of the Spaniard*: nor at this dav have they any other *iew in leaving a remnant of these provinces to the crown of Spain, but to Leep their arms weak and unable to operate elsewhere, and se to increase the glory os the arms of France. Thus the French having been defeated bv the Germans, in the battles of Treves and Altenheira, we saw their monarch, early in lhe succeeding spring, march into Fianders, ihere to regain his lost reputation. And, at present, to render this province more expensive and pernicious (o Spain, after having tlri pt her of the more valuable part of the country, they leave her in possession of a number oflarge fortified (owns, that require great garrison? to "keep them. But though the French should conquer all the rest of Flanders, they will have the lik« advantages in the flate of Milan, where France can make war with much more ease than Spain; the passage for succours, both by land and lea, being nearer from Provence and Dau}>h:ny than from that kingdom. And so France, finding her account so greatly in it, will never fail to

carry on her wars in these disjointed stales, till Spain herself, when utterly exhausted by their ruin, and incapable of making a defence, be attacked in the last place. Ii was a most sagacious laying of a happygenius, that, by the addition of Flanders, and lhe Spanish states of Ilalv, the weight of Spain and lhe Indies became lighter. In • ur a?e, these stales have almost totally destroyed this weight. And i' had been for the interest ofSnain, that Cli.vles V. fnd alienated the provinces of Flanders, by either annexing them so the empire, or making a prefer.I of them to any power w'l-i hnd been able to defend them against the French; that Philip, instead-of retaining, by a most consuming war, the dominion os a part os these provinces, hid granted ihem iil iheir liberty; or that the present king had Wilder] the remnant of them to France, rather than still haveretairi'-d them, to the greater advantage of the latter. So little d-> men see in their own affairs; and. so great and innumerable miseries do nations suffer, merely f'.o'ii the want of solid reflection."* It would seem thai the ambitious policy of the Freud) monarchs, respecting the provinces of Flanders and Milan, was very different from that of Buonaparte. Which of the opposite systems was the most judicious and solid, it remains for time to determine.

• Set n Discourse concerning the affairs of Spain—Political Works of Andrew Fletcher, CHAP. V.

CHAP. THE chief consul os France, having made peace with Austria, was now al liberty to bend his undivided nllention to England. The leading features of his policy, wish respect to this country, appear to have been these: lo excite a confederacy, against (his country, among all the maritime powers; to exclude her from al! the ports of Europe; to attack, and, isneccsTary, to subdue her only remaining ally, Portugal; and exhaust her finances, and weary out the patience of the British nation, by the continued threats and alarms osinvasion.

Political Views of Buonaparte, aster a Pacification with Austria. The Character now affunied hy Fiance. —Buonaparte cajoles Paul I. and revives the Armed Neutrality of 1730, against Great Britain.-Convention on the Principles qf that Confederation between France and America.—Ambassador sent to the Uniti'd American States from Denmark.'Disputes tvtuven Sweden and Great Britain,—Capture and Condemnation of a Suedijh Convoy.—A Stredijh Vessel pressed into the Naval Service of England.

, •• Complaints oj this made by Spain and Holland.Dignified Conducl on that Occasion of the King of Sutden.Re/I' <9ions on the Question concerni/:fs. the Liberty of the Scas.—Hiflory of this Question.Sweden and Denmark hostile lo England. ■>

France, now in the ninth y::ir of the war, assumed the character which England had taken at its commencement, The word, or according to the new phraseology, the order of the day, in Fiance, was, "The liberty of the seas, and the pacrfical ion of Europe."

The chief consul was congratulated, of course, by all the conllituted

bodies, on the peace which he baa so happily accomplished with Aus» fria. In his answer to the leglsta-. tive body, he said, "France wiU not reap all the blessings of peace, until flic (hall have a peace with England: but a fort of delirium has seized on that government, which now holds nothing sacred. Its conduct is unjust, not only towards the French people, but also towards all the powers of the continent: and when governments are not just, their authority is but siiortlived. All the powers of the continent must force England to tall back into the track of moderatio,ntof equity, and reason."

Buonaparte, ever since the failure of his attempt, after his elevaliou to the consulate, lo negotiate a peace with England, continued, with increased earnestness, to represent to all maritime nations the overbearing haughtiness and insolence of tkis country. By his ministers and


<*sher agent' at die courts ot Petersnjrgh, Stockholm, Copenhagen, aad Berlin, lie insinuated how enenaraging the present posture os Eampe was for a revival of the armed neutrality os 173'\ sounde<l on the principle, that free ami neutral bottoms make free and neutral good*, and how great the advantages of compelling the English to make peace on reasonable terms.

The desultory and frantic mind of the emperor, Vaul, had been irritated, bv various accident*, against the courts of both Vicuna and London, but especially against the latter. Dispute? had arisen, even to the height of action, between the Russians and Austrians, after the reduction of the Ex-Venetian isles, in 1799,at Ancona. TheAustrians had mt duly supported the Russians, in tbe campaign of that year, against France : and it; indeed without reason, that a neighbouring and rival empire, wa< no' actuated by the principles which had drawn the Kuilhn potentate into the confederation against the French republic, but by views of individual aggrandisement. Whatever was the cause, certain it is, that the emperor of Russia had conceived great disgust at the emperor os Germany: in so much, that when the latter announced hU intention os sending aji extraordinary ambassador to Petersburg}], to offer excuses for'what had happened at Atiroiia, Paul refused to icceive him: and, the

more fully to give vent to his passion, he gave orders that no answer should be* given to the notification from Francis. As to England, mutual accusations had taken place between the Ruffian and the English generals, after the unsuccessful and disastrous expedition, in 1799, to Holland. After the first ebullitions of the emperor's rage against his own officers, his jealousy and resentment was awakened against the English. The beginning resentment os Paul against the British nation, as well as the court of St. James's, was inflamed by the failure of hi- schemes in the Mediterranean.

The genius of the Ruffian government, amidst the caprices and singularities of individual characters, preserves, on the whole, the impulse and determination that was give* to it by the Great Peter. It wan his aim to have a firm sooting in the Mediterranean, as well as on the Northern ocean and the Baltic. In pursuance of this general aim, Paul had bjen led,by a concurrence of circumstances, which need not to he here enumerated, to fix his eyes and heart on Malta. Though no absolute promise was made to that prince- by the other allies; \et, it would appear, that' lome hopes had been held out to him, or, at least, that lie was allowed, without being undeceived, to entertain a sanguino expectation os being presented with it.* A fleet, with


• Cercrai Cr Claries Stuart, in Mating the reasons which induced h'm to resign the command of the British forces in the Mediterranean, wrote to Mr Dufidas, en the ad of Ap-il, 1800, the icKowiiift: "Although"! have frrriy submitted th.-i'e professional tvtrartti to yoti on the difficulty of reducing Vajetie, hy tie**:, 1 suit you .viii do me the jjftiee to bilitsVr, that neither the circumstance* I have stated, tlir eduction of the sece lVft proposed, or the inferiority of the ohiects now in con-emplat'on, compara iirclr vritU tucse o'iginally designed (among which the* known to luve t.eui the


« AnteriorContinuar »