Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

mand of the French Troops in and near Paris, vested, by the Council of El. ders, in Brlonaparte.-- Translution of the Legislative Bodies, and the Directory to St. Cloud.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BY wchat fpecial combination of departure he concealed it from the

pri- from vate considerations Buonaparte was

whom lie chose to accompany

him. induced to quit Egypt, and return The moft distinguished among these, to France, and particularly whe were general Berthier, chief of the ther it was in consequence of a staff; Lanies and Murát, generals secret eorrespondence, and concert of division; Marmont, the general with that fubtle and reftlefs projee- : of brigade; Andreofli, the general tor of constitutions, abbé Sieyes, or of artillery; the chief of brigade, other politicians, is not yet known: Besfieres, who commanded his nor could it be expected that it guides; the three philosophers Bershould have yet been revealed.- tholet, Mongé, and Arnaud ; a There is not, however, the least great number of oflicers, several reason for doubting the truth of his Mammalukes, and his guides. general declaration to the army, at Buonaparte, having communicaAlexandria, on the twenty-third of ted his design to general Berthier, August, 1799, “ That he had deter- and him only, gave orders to vicemined immediately to return to admiral Gantheaume, to arm and France, in consequence of news get ready two frigates, together from Europe.”* The substance of with-two loops, the one of the the intelligence to which he alluded kind called an Aviso, the other a is well enough understood. . The Tartane. This being done, he adadministration of the French repub- drelled a fealed letter to all those lic was corrupt, weak, unpopular, whom he intended to take with and odious, and her armies dil- him, with instructions not to open comfited in Germany and Italy, by it till a certain day, at a given hour, the Austrians and Russians. To and at a certain point on the searepair both these misfortunes, and more. in repairing them to acquire addi- The day appointed was the tional power and glory, it may twenty-second of August. All reasonably be prefumed, was the those who had received the letter leading principle in the conduct of attended at the appointed place, Buonaparte. In the execution of and opened the letter, in which this design there was an invincible they found an order for their immenecessity of the most impenetrable diate embarkation. They did not secrecy. Until the moment of his lote á moment but left their bag

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors][merged small]

* His letter to the army, on so interesting an occasion, our readers may wish to fee at full length. As it is but short we shall here insert it: “ In consequence of the. news from Europe, I have determined immediately to return to France. I leave the command of the army, to general Kleber. They shall hear from me speedily. This is all I can fay to them at present.' It grieves me to the heart to part from the brave men to whom I am so tenderly attached. But it will be only for an instant; and the general I leave at their head, is in full poffeffion of the confidence of the governmenty and of mine,"

gage

1

over.

The mo

gage in their lovgings, and their my's fleet. But the ship tliat carried horses on the Thore. Having arrived Buonaparte, with crowded fails, was on board the lips prepared for the foon out of danger. The other three voyage, their names were called ships, about nine in the morning of

Two strangers were found the seventh, came to anchor near St. among them and relanded. They Rapheau, which, about noon, the then weighed anchor and set sail, crews were permitted to enter. . Abut contrary winds did not permit bout two, Buonaparte, with his comthem to get out of the road of panions and suite,arrived at Frejus, a Aboukir till the twenty-fourth of Imall sea-port of Provence, amidft an August.

immense concourle of people, who Previously to his departure, Bu- hastened to behold him from the onaparte lest a letter addrelled to neighbouring country. general Kleber, with orders that it ment they landed, they fell down, in should not be opened for twenty- imitation of a custom among the four hours after his quitting the Greek and Roman generals, and land. This letter contained his ap- einbraced the ground, which they pointment to the chief command of called the Land of Liberty. Traníthe army of all Egypt, during the ports of enthusiastic joy broke out absence of Buonaparte, and an or- among the spectators on every fide, der for conferring the command of and nothing was heard but cries of Upper Egypt on general Deffaix. vive la Republique ! vive Buonaparte. On leaving the anchorage of A- The magittates of Frejus went out boukir, the small French squadron to meet them, and received them could descry 'but one frigate, and with a kind of triumphal honours, they arrived at Ajaccio, in Corfica, The generals Lannes and Murat, on the thirtieth of September.- both wounded, let out froin St. There they were detained by con- Rapheau with all the crews for trary winds till the sixth of Octo- Toulon, from whence, fome days ber. On the fixth they were but thereafter, they proceeded to Paris. ten leagues distant from Toulon, It was certainly a piece of great when, in the evening, they per- good fortune that Buonaparte and ceived an English (quadron of eight his companions should efiect their fail. The question now propoled escape through so many hostile thips in council was, whether they should of war, Rullian, Turkish, and fail back to Corfica, or attempt to English. His greatest dangers, make the shore. Buonaparte loon however, were encountered during decided it. Recollecting, perhaps, the two first days after his embarkthe encouraging words of Julius ation, when he was prevented by Cæfar to his mariners in circum- contrary winds from getting out of stances also of danger, he said, the road of Aboukir. The army “ Be not alarmed, fortune will not must have supposed that he was abandon me, let us make direally only going to reconnoitre some part for the coast." Signals were made of the coast, or for concerting and accordingly, and the frigates veered planning fome secret expedition. immediately eastward. The Aviso, There was not a little danger of his not perceiving the signals, remain- real design, in the courle of those ed behind in the midst of the ene- two days being discovered; in

[B2]

which

which cale there was also some formers read their parts, not hava danger of the army stopping him, ing had tiine to commit them to and demanding an explanation of memury! On his appearance at the his conduct; so that the return of tlieatre, he was received with thunBuonaparte, as well as 'his expedi- ders of applaule, and when he tion to Egypt, and transactions went out of the house, the audithere, were strongly tinctured with ence followed him home to his the marvelous. If there were in lodgings. On the day after his arreality a divinity of fortune, there rival in Paris, he had a private aucould be no doubt that Buonaparte dience of the directory. All the is one of her greatest favourites, as streets and allies leading to the he himself is very ready to acknow- Luxembourg were crowded with ledge.

fpectators. Buonaparte teftified a At fix o'clock in the evening of lively lensibility to the demonstrathe seventeenth of October, this tions with which he was every celebrated chief lett Frejus, and where furrounded of the public joy proceeded to Paris, in company and gladness. In his way to and with general Berthier and the three from the directorial palace, he ob-, members of the national institute served among the spectators several already mentioned. The courier foldiers who had served under him who had been dispatched befose in his campaigns in Italy. These him, to announce his arrival to the men he called to him, wherever he directory, and to prepare relays of perceived them, and gave them horses for his journey, called out his hand, with expressions of goodfor them every where in his name, will and friendthip. He wore a and from every town and village great coat with a Turkish sabre. the people rushed out to meet him, His hair was cut very short, and and accompanied him beyond their the climate of Egypt had changed respective communities : fo im- the natural paleness of his face, into menfe was the crowd, even in the a dart complexion, which improved · roads, that the carriages found it his appearance. On leaving the difficult to go forward. In every directory he paid visits to the mic place through which he palled, nisters of war and marine, and from Frejus to Paris, there were at other persons of consequence in the night illuminations. At Lyons, service of the republic. when it was known that he was to These particulars will not be pass thạt city, nothing was omitted censured as too minute, when we

that could be imagined, in order reflect on the interest which the "to testify the joy of the citizens, and French nation felt in Buonaparte at give him a splendid reception. this time, and how much that unishort theatrical piece, called the versal enthufialm, in favour of this Hero's Return, was composed and single man, contributed to the imrepresented immediately. The per- portant scenes with which it was

[ocr errors]

* It is a question of not a little curiosity, what is the reason why Buonaparte affects to consider himself as under the peculiar protection of fortune? When he had to do with barbarians, to talk of fate and fortune, might not be bad policy? Fut in fortune he has exprested his confidence to the French army, and even the French nation ard legislature, who, if they are not even deists, are much less polytheists.

quickly

quickly followed. Without this loft in an admiration and fund enthusiasm the revolution of 1799 attachment to the hero who conwould not probably have been con

ducted it, returned after many ceived, and certainly could not perils, and deeds of valour, within have been exccuted. Human na- the Freneh territories. It was this ture is prone to cast off all melan- boundless attachment and conficholy reflections, and anticipations, dence, no doubt, that encouraged and to grasp at some object of hope, Buonaparte to form the design of if possible. This disposition is par- fubverting the present constitution ticularly remarkable in the French and government, or confirmed him nation. They are also distinguilli- , in that design, if already formed. ed by another propensity, indulged The situation of the republic in to excess: a devoted attachment its relations, both external and into some object of fond admiration. ternal, were such as fostered disTheir whole attention, their pride, content and invited to innovation. and their hopes were, at this time, Though victory had returned to fixed as

on a centre, on Buona- the French standards in Switzerparte. Of him alone they thought, land, the privations and sufferings fpoke, and dreamed. From him, of the armies of both Switzerland fome great though unknown good and Italy were very great, and a was to arise to France, and every subject of loud complaint against class of men in the republic. Six administration. The forced loan months had not elapsed since a of 100 millions of which only a majority, in the nation and the le- small portion was collected, had gislative councils, had condemned shaken public credit, damped the the expedition to Egypt as impru- spirit of industry, and produced, dent, and the source of that re- with many inconveniences and sufverse of fortune, which had been ferings, much discontent and murexperienced both in Italy and Ger- murming among the busy classes many. This was urged, as matter of the people. But, the imbecilof accufation against the ex-direc- lity and ralhness of government, tors Merlin, Rewbel, and la Réveil- ftill farther increased the general lere Lepaux, who infifted that the dissatisfaction, anxiety, and alarm, expedition to the East was project- by a law known by the name of the ed and insisted on, in opposition to law of Hostages. the sentiments of the executive go- During the administration of the vernment, by Buonaparte. The late directors, various projects had fame position was maintained, in been formed, and presented to the fundry memorials by the ex-bishop legislature, for the suppression of Talleyrand, and Charles la Croix. disorders under the title of a law The ascendant obtained, by the for the responsibility of the different general, over the public councils, districts, known by the name of they said had overcome all oppo- Communes, or Communities. These sition on the part of the directory. projects had hitherto been deemed This question concerning the pro- inadequate to the purpose. In the priety or impropriety, the advan- mean time, the evils, for which they tages or disadvantages of the ex- were intended as a renedy, grew pedition againf Egypt, was now up to an alarming height, partici

[33]

Jarly

[ocr errors]

were

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

arly in the western departments: children of the person asasinated : which determined the council of which indemnity was allowed likefive hundred to apply a remedy ftill wise to every person mutilated. more violent.

The fame responGibility was also By the law of Hoftages, paffed extended to whatever damage or on the twelfth of July, it was de- waste was committed against procreed, among other articles, that perty. And the law was to have when a departmert, or commune, its due course, till the conclusion was notoriously in a state of civil of a general peace, disorder, the relations of emigrants, The effects of this law and nobles, comprehended in the such as might have been expected. revolutionary law of the twenty- While some, from the various motives fifth of October, third year of the of ambition, interest, and resentrepublic, their grand-fathers, grand- ment, were tempted to commit inmothers, fathers and mothers, and numerable acts of oppression, others individuals, who, without being were driven to despair. In such relations, or ex-nobles, were known departments of the west as, had to form part of the allemblies or never been thoroughly reduced to bands of aflafiins, thould be person- an obedience to the republic, the ally and civiliy responsible for what- law of Hostages was a fignal of ever assassinations or robberies were almost general revolt, not only seçonymitted in their communes; that veral of those who had been forwhenever disorders should take place merly chiefs of the insurgents and the administration of departments again took up the arms which they fhould take hostages among these clal- had laid down, but others who had fes, and that they should be authori- hitherto remained quiet, preferred zed to do so,even before any declara- a state of insurrection, and oppofition of such department or commune tion to tyranny, before a subbeing in a state of disorder; that miffion to laws of so atrocious a these hostages fhould furrender nature. Tumults and riots had themselves, on demand, in such for some time disturbed the peace places as should be pointed out; of different departments, when, that a delay of ten days Mould in- towards the end of August, a genecur constraint by force, and flight. ral insurrection broke out in the If a murder was committed on any department of Mayenne, on the public funcionary, defender of the right of the Loire. Here the incountry, or purchaser of national surgents, who had hitherto remaindomairis, or any person of this cha- ed in the woods, or villages remote racter carried off, four hostages were from general resort and communis to be banished for every person so cation, appeared under their leaders murdered or carried off, besides in force, made themselves masters a fine of fix thoufand livres. Every of several towns, deposed the conhostage was made responsible for stituted authorites, feized their pathe payment of four thousand livres, pers, took republican hostages, and in case of any niurder in his com- prociaimed by public advertiseinunity, to be paid into the public ments the object of their rising in treasury, of fix thousand 10 the arms; which was, the restoration widow, and three thousand to the of the monarchy without limita

« AnteriorContinua »