Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

Such was the ftate of affairs in the department of Dinan, in Britanny; but the departments in which the refiftance of the royalifts, or, as it was called, the rebellion, had become the moft general, inveterate, and obftinate, were the coafts of the North, Lifle and Vilaine, Morbihan, and the Nether Loire. Thefe departments, accordingly, by two decrees, paffed the fixteenth of January, were declared to be out of the protection of the law, and under military government; and extraordinary tribunals were eftablished for the execution of juftice in criminal cafes. General Brune, who was invefted with the most complete and abfolute power, fet out immediately from Angers, at the head of the main army, on his way to Morbihan, in the department of the Nether Loire. From his head-quarters, at Vannes, he addrefled to the inhabitants of Mor

bihan, a proclamation, dated the thirteenth of February. In this piece, after recapitulating his various efforts, for the prevention of bloodshed, and exhorted the deluded people to forfake their perfidious leaders, he fays, "The day of pardon is nearly paft, and I take God and man to witnefs, that the blood that must be fed is on the heads of the chiefs of the Chouans, of the ftipendiaries of England, and of the traitors of their country.

"Within twenty-four hours after the publication of the prefent proclamation in all the communes of Morbihan, every unmarried man, from fourteen to fifty years of age, fhall appear before the civil or military authority of the place where he fhall be, and declare that he is not a Chouan, or that he abjures the party.

"The chiefs of the Chouans shall make a fimilar declaration, and muft likewife procure the arms and ftores, under their direction, to be given up.

66

Corps are opened for the reception of deferters, according to their line of fervice, their rank, and qualifications.

"All authorities, which shall receive the declarations and acknowledgements of fubmiffion to the law, fball keep a register of them, and give a copy to each declarant, which, fanctioned by the generals, fhall be a fufficient protection.

"The general staff will receive petitions and memorials, respecting the means of fecuring the tranquillity of individuals.

"Such are the laft conditions which I offer to the rebels.

"Such is the fatal limit, which, once paffed, arms and councils of war must be the only means employed

ployed to avenge the infulted na

tion.

alifts, but the common men, that were the moft obftinately determined to perfevere in refiftance and oppofition to the republic. The chiefs that were moft convinced of the inefficacy of longer refiftance, experienced great obstacles to pacification, on the part of the men whom they commanded. When general George gave orders to his people to difband and difperfe, they plundered his houfe. Chatillon, in difbanding his followers, experienced like difficulties: fo alfo did feveral of the other chiefs. A band, of about three hundred Chouans, deftroyed the telegraph of Bourbriac, in the Cotes-du-Nord. The fame band put to death one of their confcripts, a young man who had been forced into their ranks, and had thrice deferted. Predatory parties continued allo ftill to levy contributions in different parts of the country; but the spirit of refiftance, though not, we may prefame altogether of loyalty, was now broken. The great mafs of the people fighed for peace, and began to contider the fcattered parties that fcoured the country only as enemies to re-' turning tranquillity. On the fif teenth of February, a general pacification with the royalifts was concluded. All the individuals, known by the name of chiefs of Chonans, with the exception of one, prefently to be noticed, laid down their arms at Rofperdin, and returned, unattended by any of their men, to Quimper. A general difarming of all the loyalifts took place in all the departments, and an immenfe quantity of arms, fiores, and provifions, fell into the hands of the prevailing party.

The leader of the loyalifts that yet remained unfubdued in mind, [M3]

and

"Pardon to the Frenchmen who have been misled: the traitors deferve death."

In confequence of the near approach of general Brune, with the fword in the one hand, and the olive-branch in the other, fome others of the chiefs, befides thofe already mentioned, and even whole bodies of men, laid down their arms; but others, who had not yet come to the fame refolution, were encouraged to ftand out ftill against all the offers and the threats of the republicans, by hopes of affiftance from England and from Ruffia. An active force, confifting of three battalions of the first, fecond, and third regiments of British guards, befides cavalry, under the command of fir Ralph Abercromby, was expected, befides the Ruffian troops quartered in the islands of Guernley and Jerfey, and other Ruffian troops which were to join them. Towards the end of January, feveral columns of loyalifts having formed a junction with the troops under general Domfront, attacked the republicans, but were vigorously repulfed, with the lofs of five hundred men killed, and fifty prifoners. The different parties of the loyalifts that ftill retained their arms and kept together, were every where attacked with vigour, put to flight, or difperfed. In thefe encounters, fome of the chiefs were killed, and others, among whom was George, were wounded. Early in February no lefs a number than fifteen thousand royalifts, or, as they were called by the French, Chouans, laid down their arms, and were united to the republicans.

It feems remarkable, that it was not always the leaders of the roy

and the unconquerable will, though forced to retreat and conceal himfelf from a hoftile and irrefiftible force, was count Lewis de Frotté, the hero moft diftinguished by valour, magnanimity, and firmnels, among all the loyalifts, fince the celebrated Charette, of La Vendée. The count had written a letter to the republican general Guidat, propofing a general pacification of all the Chouans, to which letter he had received an infignificant and evafive antwer. This negociation was protracted beyond the laft of the days fixed for the armiflice, and the acceptation of the terms of peace offered to the royalifts; and count Lewis de Frotté, retiring with his staff and fome other officers, lay concealed in an ancient caftle in the department of Orne. A letter of one of his aides-de-camp, intercepted by a republican, difcovered his retreat. He was taken, together with fix of his ftaff-officers, the faithful companions of his concealment. Thefe were Meffieurs de Caumarque, Hugon, and De Verdun, commandants of legions; Monfieur de Caffineus, aide-de camp to general Frotté: and Meilleurs Seguirat and St. Florent, his aides-majors. The count, with his fix companions, was fent, by general Chamberthat, to Vermeuil, where they were all of them judged by a military tribunal, and condemned to be fit, within twenty-four hours, by the orders of general Lefevre, once a ferjeant in the French guards. The ground on which M. de Frotté wascondemned was, one of his letters which was found in the poffeffion of one of his unfortunate companions; in which letter he devoted himfelf to the caule of royalty with the moft heroic enthuffalm. The count, and

all his unfortunate companions, met death with the most undaunted cou rage. They would not permit bandages to be put on their eyes.— Monfieur de Caffineux, his aidde-camp, being only wounded by the firft fire, and still able to ftand, faid calmly, to the foldiers on duty, fire again; which they did, and difpatched him.

The unhappy aid-de-camp, whofe note was the occafion of this mournful catastrophe, driven to the extre mity of grief and defpair, by his involuntary indifcretion, blew out his own brains with a piftol.

When news of the final termination of the rebellion, by the capture and death of count Lewis de Frotté, was received by Buonaparte, he communicated it, without delay, to the legislative affembly; in which Roederer role up, and said, "You will learn, with pleafure, that that part of the French territory, which was put out of the law, is reftored to the republic, by the deftruction of the rebels that held poffeffion of it. The first conful has given it in charge to me to acquaint you that Frotté, with his ftaff-offcers, has been taken in a casile, in the department of Orne. There were found upon him a crofs of St. Lewis, a feal, with the arms of France, and fome poinards, of the manufacture of England."-All the members of the legislative body, on this, rofe up, and cried, "Vive la republique."

Thus, hy, a wife union of moderation with firmnefs, and of a spirit of conciliation with a mighty armed force, the royalift party, in France, was totally annihilated; and thus, allo, there was an end of the royal and illuftrious family of the French Bourbons; the pillars of whole power

werg

were overthrown with the arms of the loyalifts.

der him, in the rank of major, at the fiege of Acre. He has lately come to London, where, at the time of writing this, he refides with his father.

When the unfortunate and fugitive prince of that family, his royal highnefs the count d'Artois, or Monfeur, as the poor royalifts, after the ideal acceffion of Lewis XVIII. affected to call him, was made acquainted with the death of M. de Frotté, he immediately paid a vi fit to the unhappy father of that young hero in London, and mingled his tears of condolence with those of the old count, with the moft affecting fenfibility. It was younger brother of general de Frotté, that aided the efcape of tir Sidney Smith from the tower of the Temple, and afterwards ferved un

a

At the fame time that Buonaparte was ufing all modes of conciliation, for reclaiming the armed loyalifts, the conftitutional bishops affembled at Paris, invited the nonjurant bifhops to evangelical communion, and RELIGIOUS PEACE. If fuch a pacification could indeed have been effected, it would have been far more wonderful than that which was gained by Buonaparte, partly by conciliatory, partly by compulfive meafures, with the warrior chiefs of the royalifts.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

СНАР. Х.

Both the allied Powers of Aufiria and Great Britain determined to profecute the War against France.—Circular Letters of the Archduke Charles to the anterior Circles of Germany.-Military Preparations in Germany and France. Proclamation by Buonaparte to the French, requiring the Means of carrying on the War.-Situation of the French and Außrian Arms at and after the clofe of the Campaign of 1799.—French Army of Reserve at Dijon.The French Army of the Rhine.—Its Pofition and Movements at the beginning of the Campaign, 1800.-The Archduke Charles retires, and is fucceeded in the Command of the Army by General Kray.

HE

tifh miniftry, on the fubject of peace or war with France, we have already feen in the courfe of the debates in parliament. They had no objection to treat with any form of government in France, that fhould appear, from experience or the evidence of facts, to be able and willing to negociate, on the principles established among European nations, and to preferve and fupport the ufual relations of peace and amity; but a peace, concluded with an unftable government, muft itfelf be unftable. The peace, that did not promile to be permanent, was good for nothing. It was, farther, pregnant with difadvantage and danger. But no fecure and lafting peace could co-exift, with a fyftem of aggrelfion, aggrandizement, and univerfal deftruction: a fyftem that had been adopted and purfued in France from the commencement of the revolution; and from which it did not by any means appear, that the new chief, the firft conful, Buonaparte, had at all departed. In

of obtaining an honourable, fecure, and lafting peace, was, to profecute the war with vigour.-Such alfo were the fentiments of the great ally of Britain, the emperor of Germany.

Of the political fituation of Auftria, and the Germanic empire, in relation to France, we may form a tolerably juft idea from the circular letter of the archduke Charles, dated at Donaueschingen, the fourth of December, 1799, to the anterior circles of the empire, of which a tranflation here follows: "It is from the impulfe of the most invincible neceflity, that I am induced to fpeak to you of an object, and of difpofitions, from whence there may arife the greatest detriments to the common caufe of Germany. I perceive, with regret, that the late events in France, through which the fupreme power has paffed into new hands, have revived the hope, already fo often deceived, of an approaching pacification; and that, on the ftrength of this premature fuppofition, an idea prevails that it

is

« AnteriorContinua »