Imatges de pÓgina

fortunately such occasions seldom oc- claiming, “What! not only Illyria, curred, and might never occur again; but the half of Italy—and the return but that, if it were possible, the same of the Pope to Rome-and the abansentiment which actuated me then, donment of Spain, Holland, the Conwould urge me to take the same re- federation of the Rhine, and Switzersponsibility upon myself again, what- land! And this you call moderation! ever might be the consequences. -a treaty! It would be nothing but *Dans ce cas là,' answered the Prince, a capitulation." je vous renverrais de mon quartier This memorable conference closed général.' I replied I should be imme- abruptly in the brutish language diately prepared to quit it, as soon as which Napoleon had learned in his I should receive the orders of my cradle, and reinforced in his camp. sovereign.

I had often “Metternich, how much has England seen these starts of passion towards given you to make war upon me?" others, to a degree of outrage; but To this nothing could be added ; and nothing of the kind had been addressed after a few words to heal the ministo myself, except, as I informed your ter's insulted honour, the conference lordship, in an interview at Juterboch ended, in anger on the one side, and on the subject of his letter to Marshal hopelessness on the part of the inNey."

sulter. This ebullition of camp violence re- This was one of the decisive moments sembles, on a smaller scale, Bona- of empire. We shall not say that on it parte's insolence at the Tuileries to depended either the ruin or the recoLord Whitworth-both arising from very of the Continent; but the decithe original coarseness of their condi- sion came from a nobler quarter than tion, for the Corsican never forgot the either the tents of France or the counsavagery of his childhood; and Berna- cil-chambers of Austria. The alliance dotte had been a common marine. of Austria with France would unquesFlung up, like the men of the Revo. tionably have either increased the lution, into rank, he was, however, havoc, or prolonged the slavery of the only one of them all who retained Europe. The battle of Vittoria was his position.

the impulse. The intelligence of that But we pass to a larger scene of most decisive defeat of the whole war operations. Napoleon, after the battles -except the crowning triumph of Waof Lutzen and Bautzen, had been terloo-in which the whole army of brought to a stand. The plunge into France in the north of Spain, with all the depths of Germany had only its artillery, all its baggage, and even wasted his power and impaired his all its plunder ; with not merely its reputation. Austria, recovering by battalions, but its court and king, fell an armistice of nearly four years, and into the hands of England, the utter constantly training her strength for demolition of the structure of conquest that state of war which, while Napo- and ambition reared by so many crimes leon sat on the throne, must be ine of treachery and blood-reached Nanatural state of all kingdoms, now poleon on the 30th of June. On the held the scales of European supremacy evening of that day he signed the in her hand. Napoleon again at convention by which Austria accepted tempted negotiation. His interview the oflice of mediator; and with it was with Metternich is one of the most virtually signed the expulsion of Nacharacteristic scenes of history. The poleon from Germany. man is stamped on every sentence. On the march of the allied armies His language has the force, the bre. across that frontier which France had vity, and the lucidness of an antique pronounced iron, impassable, and even inscription. “I see through you, Met- sacred, it was felt that England was ternich ; your Cabinet wishes to profit too distant to direct the crisis. The by my embarrassments. Come to the strange and complicated mixture of point. Do not forget that I am a battle and negotiation which was consoldier, who would rather break than tinually changing the aspect of affairs, bend." The voices now sank and required some representation of the were inandible. In a short time, English councils at headquarters. It however, Napoleon was heard ex- is true that we had already three dis

were more.

tinguished persons officially employed that though in that case the precewith the Grand Army; but the presence dent was not a good one, it was still a of a cabinet minister, and of a mivis- precedent, and I rather believed there ter of singular firmness and intelli

In the present instance, gence, was judged essential. The it appeared clear that no man but the three persons were, Lord Aberdeen, Foreign Secretary of State himself Lord Cathcart, and Sir Charles Stew- could combine the efforts of the amart. The appointment of Lord Castle- bassadors upon the spot, who could reagh is interestingly mentioned in a not be expected to follow with corletter written in 1839 to the present diality the suggestions of any one but Marquis, by the late Lord Harrowby. their own official superior.”

“ In truth I feel some re- The conclusion to which this conluctance in recurring to those anec- versation led, was, that he would dotes in a more formal manner, as talk it over with Lord Liverpool; my relating them at all was rather an and the consequence was, that the ebullition of personal vanity on my next day, or the day after, his mispart, than any sense of their political sion was decided. importance.

“On his triumphant return to Eng* I cannot recollect dates, but it land I called on him, to say that he was at the time when you, Lord Aber- might indeed consider himself as the deen and Lord Cathcart, were ac- saviour of Europe. But, that I was credited to the three sovereigns. It doubly so-first, because I refused to was mooted in Cabinet, I think, by go myself; and still more, because I Lord Castlereagh (as you were, each made him go." of you, accredited to a separate sove- The letter continues in this signifi. reign), whether it would not be de- cant, yet playful style, to narrate sirable, in order to carry the full another most important service of the weight of the British Government to noble writer :bear upon the counsels of the assen- “Now for my other service in the bled sovereigns, that some one per- dark. After the attempt to assassison should be appointed who might nate the Duke of Wellington in Paris, speak, in its name, to them all. the Government was naturally most

“The notion was approved of, and anxious to get him away. But how? after the Cabinet was over, Castle- Under whatever pretext it might be reagh called me into his private room, veiled, he would still call it running and proposed the mission to me. I away, to which he was not partial. was, of course, highly flattered by But when Castlereagle was obliged such a proposal from such a person ; to leave Vienna, in order to attend but I had not a moment's hesitation his duty in Parliament, I was fortuin telling him, that I had tried my nate enough to suggest that the Duke hand in a similar mission to Berlin, should be sent to replace him, and when I had also been accredited to that would be a command which he two emperors, with general directions could not refuse to obey. When I to all our ministers upon the Conti- mentioned this to the Duke, just after nent to follow my instructions, as the I left you (for I was quite full of the regular communication was intercept- memory of my little exploits), he ed by winter ; that I had found my- quite agreed, that if be had been at self quite incompetent to the task, Paris on the return of Bonaparte to which had half killed me;

France, it was highly probable that that I thought the measure highly ad- they would have seized him! visable, but that there was one person "Small events are great to little only who could execute it, and that men; and it is not nothing, to have person was himself! He started at contributed in the smallest degree to first. “How could be, a Secretary of the success of the Congress of Vienna State, undertake it?-the thing was (nor was it then so called), and of unheard of!' I then said: “It was the subsequent campaign, and to the not strictly true that it had never saving of the Duke for Waterloo ! " been done ; tbat Lord Bolingbroke The campaign of 1813 had crushed went to Paris in a diplomatic capa- the French army, shattered the power city when Secretary of State; aud of Napoleon, and laid open the north


ern and eastern frontier of France. in 1830), describing this period, when But the “invincible territory," as it the sword and the pen alike were was pronounced by the national ex. completing the destruction of the aggeration, had been already entered. great despot. The writer (now the Wellington had broken down the bar- Earl of Ripon) had been selected by rier. On the 8th of October 1813, Lord Castlereagh to accompany him the English army, after beating Soult to the camp of the Allies. through the defiles of the Pyrenees, “I allude to his first mission to the had planted its colours on the soil of Continent at the close of 1813. He France !

did me the honour to invite me to Whether any future war shall equal accompany him on that mission, and this, in the magnitude of its interests or I travelled with him from the Hague the importance of its results, no period, to Basle, where he first came in conunless the human mind shall change tact with the ministers of the Allied its powers, will exhibit greater talent Powers. Thence we proceeded to on the one side, or greater infatuation Langres, where the headquarters of on the other. Could it have been the Grand Allied Army were estabpredicted, that a sudden spirit of man- lished, and where the Emperor of Iiness should have pervaded the whole Austria, the Emperor of Russia, and of that continent, which for ten years the King of Prussia, with their rehad shrunk before the French throne; spective ministers, were assembled. or that the possessor of the throne,

The real difficulties of with ruin surrounding him, with the this interesting period commenced, shouts of triumphant Europe in his ear, when the Great Powers took the deand with every hour forcing him to a cisive resolution of conquering him in retrograde step, should have held his the heart of France. It had been sceptre with the same grasp as when comparatively no difficult matter to Europe shook under its touch ; that unite them, in the summer of 1813, he should have indulged ambition in the great object of driving France when France was in despair; and that within the limits of the Rbine. The with a beaten army of forty thousand, first combined movement broke out he should have held the same lofty in August 1813; and before the 1st language, as when his word pronounced of January 1814, the French army sentence on kingdoms? On the genc- was entirely expelled from Germany. ral review of Napoleon's conduct dur

The immediate pressure of ing 1812 and 1813, he seems to have the common danger being removed, laboured under that privation of saga- views of individual interests necescity, that disregard of his own science, sarily grew up. and that sullen intensity of reliance on “ In the course of our journey from his own fortune, while all was crum- Frankfort to Basle, he (Lord Castlebling in his sight, to which we rightly reagh) stated to me, that one of the give the name of infatuation; or could great difficulties would arise from the it be conceived, that when he was daily want of a habitual, confidential, and fighting for his life, he should have free intercourse between the ministers left lingering in the garrisons of Ger- of the Great Powers as a body, and many no less a number than seventythat many pretensions might be modi. three thousand veteran troops, and fied, asperities removed, and canses left them to be successively captured of irritation anticipated and removed, by the peasantry? His conduct in by bringing the respective parties into the conferences for peace was equally unrestricted communication. unaccountable. While he was daily No man was ever better calcnlated offered terms which would have left so to transact business himself, and him the most powerful monarch of to bring others to act with him in such the Continent, and saw those terms a manner. The suavity and dignity daily diminishing, he still cried out of his manners, bis habitual patience “All or nothing;” and finding him- and self-command, his considerate self driven back day by day to the tolerance of difference of opinion in walls of Paris, still contended for the others, all fitted him for such a task ; Continent. We give a few fragments while his firmness when he knew that of a most interesting letter (written he was right, in no degree detracted from the influence of his conciliatory a dream, became a brilliant redemeanour."

ality. The letter then adverts to the sin- The letter concludes with "It is gular instance of the minister's intre- not, then, too much to say, that the pidity and sagacity, which resulted vigour and energy displayed by Lord in the conquest of Paris. The repulse Londonderry in this crisis decided of Blucher, who, by a daring but rash the fate of the campaign ; and had he movement, had exposed his army to been an ordinary man, without the the whole weight of the French force, talent to discern what the exigency and hazarded the communications of of the moment required, without the Allies, produced a dangerous di- capacity to enforce its adoption, or versity of opinion in the allied camp. without that influence over others The spirit of the soldiery was damped, which insured their cordial co-operaand the population seemed to be prea tion, who can say how different the paring for a petty war. It was even result might have been ? or how long suggested that the armies should again the pacitication of the world might take up their ground on the banks of have been delayed ?" the Rhine. The campaign had sud- The great drama was now coming denly become critical, and a few more to the fall of the curtain. The confesuccesses might have enabled Napo- rence of Chatillon had merely originleon to raise all France against the ated “projects and counter-projects." invaders. The French army chiefly At length Caulaincourt (the French pressed on Blucher, and the campaign commissioner) gave in the statement depended on his being reinforced. But which Napoleon declared to be final, from what quarter was the reinforce- which consisted of claims to Antment to come ? There was no force werp, Flanders, and the frontier of disposable but a small body of Rus. the Rhine; to the annexation of the sians, already on their march to Ionian Islands to the kingdom of Rheims to join Blucher. But there Italy, both to be settled on Eugene were two strong corps-one of Prus- Beauharnais and his heirs, with the sians under Bulow, and the other of Adige as a boundary; the demand Russians under Winzingerode-who that Saxony should be restored, the were on their march into France from sovereignty of Lucca and Piombino Flanders ; but they were under the be settled on his sister, the Princess command of Bernadotte. The diffi- Eliza; the principality of Neufchâtel culty of withdrawing them from his be secured to Bertbier; and all the command, without a tedious discussion colonies taken during the war, except with him, was urged by a great Saintes, be restored by England. authority" (probably the Czar) as The extravagance of demands like insurmountable! Here the authority those by a sovereign reduced to a of the British minister saved the cam- province, and with a mighty enemy paign. He demanded, whether the within a march of his capital, renreinforcement was absolutely neces- dered all further deliberation impossary. On being answered that it was, sible. "he stated that, in that case, the The Conference of Chatillon broke plan must be adopted; that the orders up instantly, and the fate of Europe must be given immediately; that was again brought to the edge of the England had a right to expect that sword. Napoleon adopted the ruinher allies would not be deterred from ous plan of attacking the Allies in the a decisive course by such difficulties rear, while Paris was lying, open to as had been urged; and that he would their front. In other days he would take upon himself all the responsi- have rushed to Paris, embrasured the bility of any consequences which walls, called out the national guard might arise regarding the Crown- of the city, amounting to 50,000 wellPrince of Sweden." This bold and equipped men; and have given courage decisive advice was followed. Blucher to its volatile population by the prewas reinforced; the battle of Laon, sence of his veteran troops, which in which the French were beaten, still amounted to 60,000 infantry and restored the fortunes of the Allies; 17,000 horse. But, instead of this and the "march to Paris," so long obvious manæuvre, he left the city to the passions of its people—to the dis- tiation might disappoint this hope affection of his councillors, now trem- added to his impatience." In a prebling for their heads-to the partisan- vious letter Lord Castlereagh speaks ship of the Royalists-and to the of the Guard which were to form this terrors of a metropolis in sight of an showy spectacle. army of all tribes of conquerors, from "I saw the Russian cavalry of the Rhine to Tartary.

the Guard defile through this town On the 24th of March the Empe- (Langres) yesterday. It is impossible ror Alexander gave the word, “ On- to say too much of their appearance. ward to Paris.' It was followed by Indeed, the whole composition of the the movement of 180,000 men! À Russian Guard of all arms is, at this column of 8000 horse, with artillery, moment, the most splendid that can be was despatched on the route of Na- imagined. They muster above 30,000 poleon, to deceive him into the idea effectives. In addition to all his active that the whole army was following armies on this side of the Russian After the battle of Ferte Cham- frontier, his Imperial Majesty stated penoise, in wliich the French army to me, that Prince Labanoff's army covering Paris lost, in killed and of reserve on the Vistula was, at this wounded, eleven thousand men, the moment, 110,000 strong, of which march was a procession. The army 19,000 were cavalry, and that he had first caught sight of Paris in the even- 180,000 recruits in his depôts in proing, when a splendid sunset lighted gress of discipline. It is a most forup all the glories of that magnificent midable military power.” Again, in city. The end of all their toils was his letter on the negotiations, he before them—the scene of revenge, details some of the perplexities of the reward of all their battles, the those high transactions. The letter visible triumph of their arms, the is to Lord Liverpool, acting as Fopledge of their warlike superiority, reign Secretary in his absence. “You the security of their imperishable may estimate some of the hazards fame. The scene, the emotions, the to which affairs are exposed here, memory, the future, all embodied in when one of the leading monarchs the capital which lay at their feet on told me, that he had no confidence that evening, would have been worth in his own minister, and still less a life to see and feel; and there can in that of his ally! There is much be no doubt that the impression of intrigue, and more fear of it. Russia that evening was carried by many a distrusts Austria about Saxony; Ausglowing heart to the grave.

tria dreads Russia about Poland, The correspondence preceding the especially if she is mistress of the meeting at Chatillon consists chiefly question after a peace. I have got of diplomacy, and communications some length with both parties, and with the British Cabinet. A despatch I shall try to deliver them from gives a strong idea of the difficulties their mutual alarms. Suspicion is the which the Foreign Secretary had to prevailing temper of the Emperor, overcome, even when the interest of and Metternich's character furnishes all the sovereigns was the same. constant food for the intriguants to This despatch is from Langres (on work upon! ... The people are the march of the Grand Army). It quiet everywhere, and good-humoursays: “I think our greatest dangered. They look to the invasion as at present is from the chivalresque favourable to peace. They spoke tone in which the Emperor Alexander freely against Bonaparte to me on is disposed to push the war. He has my journey, but I traced little dispoa personal feeling about Paris, dis- sition to an effort, and no apparent tinct from all political or military interest, about the old family. combinations; he seems to seek for “A letter from Berthier has been the occasion of entering, with his mag- intercepted, which says that Bonanificent Guards, the enemy's capital, parte is advancing with une belle probably to display, in his clemency et bonne armée sur les derrierès de and forbearance, a contrast to the l'ennemi.'

I thought the desolation to which his own was de- negotiation might have been brought voted. The idea that a rapid nego- to a short issue. It is difficult in

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