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Title: Germany from the Earliest Period, Volume 4
Author: Menzel, Wolfgang
Language: English
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GERMANY

FROM THE

EARLIEST PERIOD

BY

WOLFGANG MENZEL

TRANSLATED FROM THE FOURTH GERMAN EDITION

By MRS. GEORGE HORROCKS

WITH A SUPPLEMENTARY CHAPTER OF RECENT EVENTS

By EDGAR SALTUS

VOLUME IV



THE HISTORY OF GERMANY

PART XXI

THE RISE OF PRUSSIA

(CONTINUED)

CCXLIV. Art and Fashion


Although art had, under French influence, become unnatural,
bombastical, in fine, exactly contrary to every rule of good taste,
the courts, vain of their collections of works of art, still emulated
each other in the patronage of the artists of the day, whose
creations, tasteless as they were, nevertheless afforded a species of
consolation to the people, by diverting their thoughts from the
miseries of daily existence.

Architecture degenerated in the greatest degree. Its sublimity was
gradually lost as the meaning of the Gothic style became less
understood, and a tasteless imitation of the Roman style, like that of
St. Peter's at Rome, was brought into vogue by the Jesuits and by the
court architects, by whom the chateau of Versailles was deemed the
highest chef-d'oeuvre of art. This style of architecture was
accompanied by a style of sculpture equally unmeaning and forced;
saints and Pagan deities in theatrical attitudes, fat genii, and
coquettish nymphs peopled the roofs of the churches and palaces,
presided over bridges, fountains, etc. Miniature turnery-ware and
microscopical sculpture also came into fashion. Such curiosities as,
for instance, a cherry-stone, on which Pranner, the Carinthian, had
carved upward of a hundred faces; a chessboard, the completion of
which had occupied a Dutchman for eighteen years; golden carriages
drawn by fleas; toys composed of porcelain or ivory in imitation of
Chinese works of art; curious pieces of mechanism, musical clocks,
etc., were industriously collected into the cabinets of the wealthy
and powerful. This taste was, however, not utterly useless. The
predilection for ancient gems promoted the study of the remains of
antiquity, as Stosch, Lippert, and Winckelmann prove, and that of
natural history was greatly facilitated by the collections of natural
curiosities.

The style of painting was, however, still essentially German, although
deprived by the Reformation and by French influence of its ancient
sacred and spiritual character. Nature was now generally studied in
the search after the beautiful. Among the pupils of Rubens, the great
founder of the Dutch school, Jordaens was distinguished for brilliancy
and force of execution, Van Dyck, A.D. 1541, for grace and beauty,
although principally a portrait painter and incapable of idealizing
his subjects, in which Rembrandt, A.D. 1674, who chose more extensive
historical subjects, and whose coloring is remarkable for depth and
effect, was equally deficient. Rembrandt's pupil, Gerhard Douw,
introduced domestic scenes; his attention to the minutiæ of his art
was such that he is said to have worked for three days at a
broomstick, in order to represent it with perfect truth. Denner
carried accuracy still further; in his portraits of old men every hair
in the beard is carefully imitated. Francis and William[1] Mieris
discovered far greater talent in their treatment of social and
domestic groups; Terbourg and Netscher, on the other hand, delighted
in the close imitation of velvet and satin draperies; and Schalken, in
the effect of shadows and lamplight. Honthorst[2] attempted a higher
style, but Van der Werf's small delicious nudities and Van Loos's
luxurious pastoral scenes were better adapted to the taste of the
times. While these painters belonged to the higher orders of society,
of which their works give evidence, numerous others studied the lower
classes with still greater success. Besides Van der Meulen and
Rugendas, the painters of battle-pieces, Wouvermann chiefly excelled
in the delineation of horses and groups of horsemen, and Teniers,
Ostade, and Jan Steen became famous for the surpassing truth of their
peasants and domestic scenes. To this low but happily-treated school
also belonged the cattle-pieces of Berchem and Paul de Potter, whose
"Bull and Cows" were, in a certain respect, as much the ideal of the
Dutch as the Madonna had formerly been that of the Italians or the
Venus di Medici that of the ancients.

Landscape-painting alone gave evidence of a higher style. Nature,
whenever undesecrated by the vulgarity of man, is ever sublimely
simple. The Dutch, as may be seen in the productions of Breughel,
called, from his dress, "Velvet Breughel," and in those of Elzheimer,
termed, from his attention to minutiae, the Denner of landscape-
painting, were at first too careful and minute; but Paul Brill, A.D.
1626, was inspired with finer conceptions and formed the link between
preceding artists and the magnificent Claude Lorraine (so called from
the place of his birth, his real name being Claude Gelee), who resided
for a long time at Munich, and who first attempted to idealize nature
as the Italian artists had formerly idealized man. Everdingen and
Ruysdael, on the contrary, studied nature in her simple northern garb,
and the sombre pines of the former, the cheerful woods of the latter,
will ever be attractive, like pictures of a much-loved home, to the
German. Bakhuysen's sea-pieces and storms are faithful representations
of the Baltic. In the commencement of last century, landscape-painting
also degenerated and became mere ornamental flower-painting, of which
the Dutch were so passionately fond that they honored and paid the
most skilful artists in this style like princes. The dull prosaic
existence of the merchant called for relief. Huysum was the mosrt
celebrated of the flower-painters, with Rachel Ruysch, William von
Arless, and others of lesser note. Fruit and kitchen pieces were also
greatly admired. Hondekotter was celebrated as a painter of birds.

Painting was, in this manner, confined to a slavish imitation of
nature, for whose lowest objects a predilection was evinced until the
middle of the eighteenth century, when a style, half Italian, half
antique, was introduced into Germany by the operas, by travellers, and
more particularly by the galleries founded by the princes, and was
still further promoted by the learned researches of connoisseurs, more
especially by those of Winckelmann. Mengs, the Raphael of Germany,
Oeser, Tischbein, the landscape-painters Seekatz, Hackert, Reinhardt,
Koch, etc., formed the transition to the modern style. Frey,
Chodowiecki, etc., gained great celebrity as engravers.

Architecture flourished during the Middle Ages, painting at the time
of the Reformation, and music in modern times. The same spirit that
spoke to the eye in the eternal stone now breathed in transient melody
to the ear. The science of music, transported by Dutch artists into
Italy, had been there assiduously cultivated; the Italians had
speedily surpassed their masters, and had occupied themselves with the
creation of a peculiar church-music and of the profane opera, while
the Netherlands and the whole of Germany were convulsed by bloody
religious wars. After the peace of Westphalia, the national music of
Germany, with the exception of the choral music in the Protestant
churches, was almost silent, and Italian operas were introduced at all
the courts, where Italian chapel-masters, singers, and performers were
patronized in imitation of Louis XIV., who pursued a similar system in
France. German talent was reduced to imitate the Italian masters, and,
in 1628, Sagittarius produced at Dresden the first German opera in
imitation of the Italian, and Keyser published no fewer than one
hundred and sixteen.

The German musicians were, nevertheless, earlier than the German
poets, animated with a desire to extirpate the foreign and degenerate
mode fostered by the vanity of the German princes, and to give free
scope to their original and native talent. This regeneration was
effected by the despised and simple organists of the Protestant
churches. In 1717, Schroeder, a native of Hohenstein in Saxony,
invented the pianoforte and improved the organ. Sebastian Bach, in his
colossal fugues, like to a pillared dome dissolved in melody,[3]
raised music by his compositions to a height unattained by any of his
successors. He was one of the most extraordinary geniuses that ever
appeared on earth. Handel, whose glorious melodies entranced the
senses, produced the grand oratorio of the "Messiah," which is still
performed in both Protestant and Catholic cathedrals; and Graun, with
whom Frederick the Great played the flute, brought private singing
into vogue by his musical compositions. Gluck was the first composer
who introduced the depth and pathos of more solemn music into the
opera. He gained a complete triumph at Paris over Piccini, the
celebrated Italian musician, in his contest respecting the comparative
excellencies of the German and Italian schools. Haydn introduced the
variety and melody of the opera into the oratorio, of which his
"Creation" is a standing proof. In the latter half of the foregoing
century, sacred music has gradually yielded to the opera. Mozart
brought the operatic style to perfection in the wonderful compositions
that eternalize his fame.

The German theatre was, owing to the Gallomania of the period, merely
a bad imitation of the French stage. Gottsched,[4] who greatly
contributed toward the reformation of German literature, still
retained the stilted Alexandrine and the pseudo-Gallic imitation of
the ancient dramatists to which Lessing put an end. Lessing wrote his
"Dramaturgy" at Hamburg, recommended Shakespeare and other English
authors as models, but more particularly nature. The celebrated
Eckhof, the father of the German stage, who at first travelled about
with a company of actors and finally settled at Gotha, was the first
who followed this innovation. He was succeeded by Schroeder in
Hamburg, who was equally industrious as a poet, an actor, and a
Freemason. In Berlin, where Fleck had already paved the way, Iffland,
who, like Schroeder, was both a poet and an actor, founded a school,
which in every respect took nature as a guide, and which raised the
German stage to its well-merited celebrity.

At the close of the eighteenth century, men of education were seized
with an enthusiasm for art, which showed itself principally in a love
for the stage and in visits for the promotion of art to Italy. The
poet and the painter, alike dissatisfied with reality, sought to still
their secret longings for the beautiful amid the unreal creations of
fancy and the records of classical antiquity.

Fashion, that masker of nature, that creator of deformity, had, in
truth, arrived at an unparalleled pitch of ugliness. The German
costume, although sometimes extravagantly curious during the Middle
Ages, had nevertheless always retained a certain degree of picturesque
beauty, nor was it until the reign of Louis XIV. of France that dress
assumed an unnatural, inconvenient, and monstrous form. Enormous
allonge perukes and ruffles, the fontange (high headdress), hoops, and
high heels, rendered the human race a caricature of itself. In the
eighteenth century, powdered wigs of extraordinary shape, hairbags and
queues, frocks and frills, came into fashion for the men; powdered
headdresses an ell in height, diminutive waists, and patches for the
women. The deformity, unhealthiness, and absurdity of this mode of
attire were vainly pointed out by Salzmann, in a piece entitled,
"Charles von Carlsberg, or Human Misery."

[Footnote 1: Also his brother John, who painted with equal talent in
the same style.--_Trans_.]

[Footnote 2: Called also Gerardo dalle Notti from his subjects,
principally night-scenes and pieces illuminated by torch or
candle-light. His most celebrated picture is that of Jesus Christ
before the Tribunal of Pilate.--_Ibid_.]

[Footnote 3: Gothic architecture has been likened to petrified music.]

[Footnote 4: He was assisted in his dramatic writings by his wife, a
woman of splendid talents.--_Trans_.]



CCXLV. Influence of the Belles-Lettres


The German, excluded from all participation in public affairs and
confined to the narrow limits of his family circle and profession,
followed his natural bent for speculative philosophy and poetical
reverie; but while his thoughts became more elevated and the loss of
his activity was, in a certain degree, compensated by the gentle
dominion of the muses, the mitigation thus afforded merely aggravated
the evil by rendering him content with his state of inaction. Ere
long, as in the most degenerate age of ancient Rome, the citizen,
amused by sophists and singers, actors and jugglers, lost the
remembrance of his former power and rights and became insensible to
his state of moral degradation, to which the foreign notions, the vain
and frivolous character of most of the poets of the day, had not a
little contributed.

After the thirty years' war, the Silesian poets became remarkable for
Gallomania or the slavish imitation of those of France. Unbounded
adulation of the sovereign, bombastical _carmina_ on occasion of the
birth, wedding, accession, victories, fêtes, treaties of peace, and
burial of potentates, love-couplets equally strained, twisted
compliments to female beauty, with pedantic, often indecent, citations
from ancient mythology, chiefly characterized this school of poetry.
Martin Opitz, A.D. 1639, the founder of the first Silesian school,[1]
notwithstanding the insipidity of the taste of the day, preserved the
harmony of the German ballad. His most distinguished followers were
Logau, celebrated for his Epigrams;[2] Paul Gerhard, who, in his fine
hymns, revived the force and simplicity of Luther; Flemming, a genial
and thoroughly German poet, the companion of Olearius[3] during his
visit to Persia; the gentle Simon Dach, whose sorrowing notes bewail
the miseries of the age. He founded a society of melancholy poets at
Königsberg, in Prussia, the members of which composed elegies for each
other; Tscherning and Andrew Gryphius, the Corneille of Germany, a
native of Glogau, whose dramas are worthy of a better age than the
insipid century in which they were produced. The life of this
dramatist was full of incident. His father was poisoned; his mother
died of a broken heart. He wandered over Germany during the thirty
years' war, pursued by fire, sword, and pestilence, to the latter of
which the whole of his relations fell victims. He travelled over the
whole of Europe, spoke eleven languages, and became a professor at
Leyden, where he taught history, geography, mathematics, physics, and
anatomy. These poets were, however, merely exceptions to the general
rule. In the poetical societies, the "Order of the Palm" or
"Fructiferous Society," founded A.D. 1617, at Weimar, by Caspar von
Teutleben, the "Upright Pine Society," established by Rempler of
Löwenthal at Strasburg, that of the "Roses," founded A.D. 1643, by
Philip von Zesen, at Hamburg, the "Order of the Pegnitz-shepherds,"
founded A.D. 1644, by Harsdörfer, at Nuremberg, the spirit of the
Italian and French operas and academies prevailed, and pastoral
poetry, in which the god of Love was represented wearing an immense
allonge peruke, and the coquettish immorality of the courts was
glowingly described in Arcadian scenes of delight, was cultivated. The
fantastical romances of Spain were also imitated, and the invention of
novel terms was deemed the highest triumph of the poet. Every third
word was either Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, or English. Francisci
of Lübeck, who described all the discoveries of the New World in a
colloquial romance contained in a thick folio volume, was the most
extravagant of these scribblers. The romances of Antony Ulric, duke of
Brunswick, who embraced Catholicism on the occasion of the marriage of
his daughter with the emperor Charles VI., are equally bad.
Lauremberg's satires, written A.D. 1564, are excellent. He said with
great truth that the French had deprived the German muse of her nose
and had patched on another quite unsuited to her German ears.
Moscherosch (Philander von Sittewald) wrote an admirable and cutting
satire upon the manners of the age, and Greifenson von Hirschfeld is
worthy of mention as the author of the first historical romance that
gives an accurate and graphic account of the state of Germany during
the thirty years' war.

This first school was succeeded by a second of surpassing
extravagance. Hoffman von Hoffmannswaldau, A.D. 1679, the founder of
the second Silesian school, was a caricature of Opitz, Lohenstein of
Gryphius, Besser of Flemming, Talander and Ziegler of Zesen, and even
Francisci was outdone by that most intolerable of romancers, Happel.
This school was remarkable for the most extravagant license and
bombastical nonsense, a sad proof of the moral perversion of the age.
The German character, nevertheless, betrayed itself by a sort of naïve
pedantry, a proof, were any wanting, that the ostentatious absurdities
of the poets of Germany were but bad and paltry imitations. The French
Alexandrine was also brought into vogue by this school, whose
immorality was carried to the highest pitch by Günther, the lyric
poet, who, in the commencement of the eighteenth century, opposed
marriage, attempted the emancipation of the female sex, and, with
criminal geniality, recommended his follies and crimes, as highly
interesting, to the world. To him the poet, Schnabel, the author of an
admirable romance, the "Island of Felsenburg," the asylum, in another
hemisphere, of virtue, exiled from Europe, offers a noble contrast.

Three Catholic poets of extreme originality appear at the close of the
seventeenth century, Angelus Silesius (Scheffler of Breslau), who gave
to the world his devotional thoughts in German Alexandrines; Father
Abraham a Sancta Clara (Megerle of Swabia), a celebrated Viennese
preacher, who, with comical severity, wrote satires abounding with wit
and humorous observations; and Balde, who wrote some fine Latin poems
on God and nature. Prätorius, A.D. 1680, the first collector of the
popular legendary ballads concerning Rübezahl and other spirits,
ghosts and witches, also deserves mention. The Silesian, Stranizki,
who, A.D. 1708, founded the Leopoldstadt theatre at Vienna, which
afterward became so celebrated, and gave to it the popular comic style
for which it is famous at the present day, was also a poet of extreme
originality. Gottsched appeared as the hero of Gallomania, which was
at that time threatened with gradual extinction by the Spanish and
Hamburg romance and by Viennese wit. Assisted by Neuber, the actress,
he extirpated all that was not strictly French, solemnly burned
Harlequin in effigy at Leipzig, A.D. 1737, and laid down a law for
German poetry, which prescribed obedience to the rules of the stilted
French court-poetry, under pain of the critic's lash. He and his
learned wife guided the literature of Germany for several years.

In the midst of these literary aberrations, during the first part of
the foregoing century, Thomson, the English poet, Brokes of Hamburg,
and the Swiss, Albert von Haller, gave their descriptions of nature to
the world. Brokes, in his "Earthly Pleasures in God," was faithful,
often Homeric, in his descriptions, while Haller depictured his native
Alps with unparalleled sublimity. The latter was succeeded by a Swiss
school, which imitated the witty and liberal-minded criticisms of
Addison and other English writers, and opposed French taste and
Gottsched. At its head stood Bodmer and Breitinger, who recommended
nature as a guide, and instead of the study of French literature, that
of the ancient classics and of English authors. It was also owing to
their exertions that Müller published an edition of Rudiger Maness's
collection of Swabian Minnelieder, the connecting link between modern
and ancient German poetry. Still, notwithstanding their merit as
critics, they were no poets, and merely opened to others the road to
improvement. Hagedorn, although frivolous in his ideas, was graceful
and easy in his versification; but the most eminent poet of the age
was Gellert of Leipzig, A.D. 1769, whose tales, fables, and essays
brought him into such note as to attract the attention of Frederick
the Great, who, notwithstanding the contempt in which he held the
poets of Germany, honored him with a personal visit.

Poets and critics now rose in every quarter and pitilessly assailed
Gottsched, the champion of Gallomania. They were themselves divided
into two opposite parties, into Anglomanists and Græcomanists,
according to their predilection for modern English literature or for
that of ancient Greece and Rome. England, grounded, as upon a rock, on
her self-gained constitution, produced men of the rarest genius in all
the higher walks of science and literature, and her philosophers,
naturalists, historians, and poets exercised the happiest influence
over their Teutonic brethren, who sought to regain from them the vigor
of which they had been deprived by France. The power and national
learning of Germany break forth in Klopstock, whose genius vainly
sought a natural garb and was compelled to assume a borrowed form. He
consecrated his muse to the service of religion, but, in so doing,
imitated the Homeric hexameters of Milton; he sought to arouse the
national pride of his countrymen by recalling the deeds of Hermann
(Armin) and termed himself a bard, but, in the Horatian metre of his
songs, imitated Ossian, the old Scottish bard, and was consequently
labored and affected in his style. Others took the lesser English
poets for their model, as, for instance, Kleist, who fell at
Kunersdorf, copied Thomson in his "Spring"; Zachariä, Pope, in his
satirical pieces; Hermes, in "The Travels of Sophia," the humorous
romances of Richardson; Müller von Itzehoe, in his "Siegfried von
Lindenberg," the comic descriptions of Smollett. The influence of the
celebrated English poets, Shakespeare, Swift, and Sterne, on the tone
of German humor and satire, was still greater. Swift's first imitator,
Liscow, displayed considerable talent, and Rabener, a great part of
whose manuscripts was burned during the siege of Dresden in the seven
years' war, wrote witty, and at the same time instructive, satires on
the manners of his age. Both were surpassed by Lichtenberg, the little
hump-backed philosopher of Göttingen, whose compositions are replete
with grace. The witty and amiable Thümmmel was also formed on an
English model, and Archenholz solely occupied himself with
transporting the customs and literature of England into Germany. If
Shakespeare has not been without influence upon Goethe and Schiller,
Sterne, in his "Sentimental Journey," touched an echoing chord in the
German's heart by blending pathos with his jests. Hippel was the first
who, like him, united wit with pathos, mockery with tears.

In Klopstock, Anglo and Graecomania were combined. The latter had,
however, also its particular school, in which each of the Greek and
Roman poets found his imitator. Voss, for instance, took Homer for his
model, Ramler, Horace, Gleim, Anacreon, Gessner, Theocritus, Cramer,
Pindar, Lichtwer, Æsop, etc. The Germans, in the ridiculous attempt to
set themselves up as Greeks, were, in truth, barbarians. But all was
forced, unnatural, and perverted in this aping age. Wieland alone was
deeply sensible of this want of nature, and hence arose his
predilection for the best poets of Greece and France. The German muse,
led by his genius, lost her ancient stiffness and acquired a pliant
grace, to which the sternest critic of his too lax morality is not
insensible. Some lyric poets, connected with the Graecomanists by the
_Göttingen Hainbund_, preserved a noble simplicity, more particularly
Salis and Hòlty, and also Count Stolberg, wherever he has not been led
astray by Voss's stilted manner. Matthison is, on the other hand, most
tediously affected.

The German, never more at home than when abroad, boasted of being the
cosmopolite he had become, made a virtue of necessity, and termed his
want of patriotism, justice to others, humanity, philanthropy.
Fortunately for him, there were, besides the French, other nations on
which he could model himself, the ancient Greeks and the English, from
each of whom he gathered something until he had converted himself into
a sort of universal abstract. The great poets, who shortly before and
after the seven years' war, put an end to mere partial imitations,
were not actuated by a reaction of nationality, but by a sentiment of
universality. Their object was, not to oppose the German to the
foreign, but simply the human to the single national element, and,
although Germany gave them birth, they regarded the whole world
equally as their country.

Lessing, by his triumph over the scholastic pedants, completed what
Thomasius had begun, by his irresistible criticism drove French taste
from the literary arena, aided Winckelmann to promote the study of the
ancients and to foster the love of art, and raised the German theatre
to an unprecedented height. His native language, in which he always
wrote, breathes, even in his most trifling works, a free and lofty
spirit, which, fascinating in every age, was more peculiarly so at
that emasculated period. He is, however, totally devoid of patriotism.
In his "Minna von Barnhelm," he inculcates the finest feelings of
honor; his "Nathan" is replete with the wisdom "that cometh from
above" and with calm dignity; and in "Emilia Galotti" he has been the
first to draw the veil, hitherto respected, from scenes in real life.
His life was, like his mind, independent. He scorned to cringe for
favor, even disdained letters of recommendation when visiting Italy
(Winckelmann had deviated from the truth for the sake of pleasing a
patron), contented himself with the scanty lot of a librarian at
Wolfenbüttel, and even preferred losing that appointment rather than
subject himself to the censorship. He was the boldest, freest, finest
spirit of the age.

Herder, although no less noble, was exactly his opposite. Of a soft
and yielding temperament, unimaginative, and gifted with little
penetration, but with a keen sense of the beautiful in others, he
opened to his fellow countrymen with unremitting diligence the
literary treasures of foreign nations, ancient classical poetry, that,
hitherto unknown, of the East, and rescued from obscurity the old
popular poetry of Germany. In his "Ideas of a Philosophical History of
Mankind," he attempted to display in rich and manifold variety the
moral character of every nation and of every age, and, while thus
creating and improving the taste for poetry and history, ever, with
childlike piety, sought for and revered God in all his works.

Goethe, with a far richer imagination, possessed the elegance but not
the independence of Lessing, all the softness, pathos, and
universality of Herder, without his faith. In the treatment and choice
of his subjects he is indubitably the greatest poet of Germany, but he
was never inspired with enthusiasm except for himself. His personal
vanity was excessive. His works, like the lights in his apartment at
Weimar, which were skilfully disposed so as to present him in the most
favorable manner to his visitors, but artfully reflect upon self. The
manner in which he palliated the weaknesses of the heart, the vain
inclinations, shared by his contemporaries in common with himself,
rendered him the most amiable and popular author of the day. French
frivolity and license had long been practiced, but they had also been
rebuked. Goethe was the first who gravely justified adultery, rendered
the sentimental voluptuary an object of enthusiastic admiration, and
deified the heroes of the stage, in whose imaginary fortunes the
German forgot sad reality and the wretched fate of his country. His
_fade_ assumption of dignity, the art with which he threw the veil of
mystery over his frivolous tendencies and made his commonplace ideas
pass for something incredibly sublime, naturally met with astonishing
success in his wonder-seeking times.

Rousseau's influence, the ideas of universal reform, the example of
England, proud and free, but still more, the enthusiasm excited by the
American war of independence, inflamed many heads in Germany and
raised a poetical opposition, which began with the bold-spirited
Schubart, whose liberal opinions threw him into a prison, but whose
spirit still breathed in his songs and roused that of his great
countryman, Schiller. The first cry of the oppressed people was, by
Schiller, repeated with a prophet's voice. In him their woes found an
eloquent advocate. Lessing had vainly appealed to the understanding,
but Schiller spoke to the heart, and if the seed, sown by him, fell
partially on corrupt and barren ground, it found a fostering soil in
the warm, unadulterated hearts of the youth of both sexes. He recalled
his fellow-men, in those frivolous times, to a sense of self-respect,
he restored to innocence the power and dignity of which she had been
deprived by ridicule, and became the champion of liberty, justice, and
his country, things from which the love of pleasure and the
aristocratic self-complacency, exemplified in Goethe, had gradually
and completely Weaned succeeding poets. Klinger, at the same time,
coarsely portrayed the vices of the church and state, and Meyern
extravagated in his romance "Dya-Na-Sore" on Utopian happiness. The
poems of Muller, the painter, are full of latent warmth. Burger,
Pfeffel, the blind poet, and Claudius, gave utterance, in Schubart's
coarse manner, to a few trite truisms. Musæus was greatly admired for
his amusing popular stories. As for the rest, it seemed as though the
spiritless writers of that day had found it more convenient to be
violent and savage in their endless chivalric pieces and romances
than, like Schiller, steadily and courageously to attack the vices and
evils of their age. Their fire but ended in smoke. Babo and Ziegler
alone, among the dramatists, have a liberal tendency. The spirit that
had been called forth also degenerated into mere bacchanalian license,
and, in order to return to nature, the limits set by decency and
custom were, as by Heinse, for instance, who thus disgraced his
genius, wantonly overthrown.

In contradistinction to these wild spirits, which, whether borne aloft
by their genius or impelled by ambition, quitted the narrow limits of
daily existence, a still greater number of poets employed their
talents in singing the praise of common life, and brought domesticity
and household sentimentality into vogue. The very prose of life, so
unbearable to the former, was by them converted into poetry. Although
the ancient idyls and the family scenes of English authors were at
first imitated, this style of poetry retained an essentially German
originality; the hero of the modern idyl, unlike his ancient model,
was a fop tricked out with wig and cane, and the domestic hero of the
tale, unlike his English counterpart, was a mere political nullity. It
is perhaps well when domestic comforts replace the want of public
life, but these poets hugged the chain they had decked with flowers,
and forgot the reality. They forgot that it is a misfortune and a
disgrace for a German to be without a country, without a great
national interest, to be the most unworthy descendant of the greatest
ancestors, the prey and the jest of the foreigner; to this they were
indifferent, insensible; they laid down the maxim that a German has
nothing more to do than "to provide for" himself and his family, no
other enemy to repel than domestic trouble, no other duty than "to
keep his German wife in order," to send his sons to the university,
and to marry his daughters. These commonplace private interests were
withal merely adorned with a little sentimentality. No noble motive is
discoverable in Voss's celebrated "Louisa" and Goethe's "Hermann and
Dorothea." This style of poetry was so easy that hundreds of
weak-headed men and women made it their occupation, and family scenes
and plays speedily surpassed the romances of chivalry in number. The
poet, nevertheless, exercised no less an influence, notwithstanding
his voluntary renunciation of his privilege to elevate the sinking
minds of his countrymen by the great memories of the past or by ideal
images, and his degradation of poetry to a mere palliation of the
weaknesses of humanity.


[Footnote 1: He was a friend of Grotius and is styled the father of
German poetry.--_Trans_.]

[Footnote 2: Of which an edition, much esteemed, was published by
Lessing and Ramler.]

[Footnote 3: Adam Elschlager or Olearius, an eminent traveller and
mathematician, a native of Anhalt. He became secretary to an embassy
sent to Russia and Persia by the duke of Holstein.--_Trans_.]



       *       *       *       *       *

PART XXII

THE GREAT WARS WITH FRANCE

CCXLVI. The French Revolution


In no other European state had despotism arrived at such a pitch as in
France; the people groaned beneath the heavy burdens imposed by the
court, the nobility, and the clergy, and against these two estates
there was no appeal, their tyranny being protected by the court, to
which they had servilely submitted. The court had rendered itself not
only unpopular, but contemptible, by its excessive license, which had
also spread downward among the higher classes; the government was,
moreover, impoverished by extravagance and weakened by an incapable
administration, the helm of state, instead of being guided by a
master-hand, having fallen under Louis XV. into that of a woman.

In France, where the ideas of modern philosophy emanated from the
court, they spread more rapidly than in any other country among the
tiers-etat, and the spirit of research, of improvement, of ridicule of
all that was old, naturally led the people to inquire into the
administration, to discover and to ridicule its errors. The natural
wit of the people, sharpened by daily oppression and emboldened by
Voltaire's unsparing ridicule of objects hitherto held sacred, found
ample food in the policy pursued by the government, and ridicule
became the weapon with which the tiers-etat revenged the tyranny of
the higher classes. As learning spread, the deeds of other nations,
who had happily and gloriously cast off the yoke of their oppressors,
became known to the people. The names of the patriots of Greece and
Rome passed from mouth to mouth, and their actions became the theme of
the rising generation; but more powerful than all in effect, was the
example of the North Americans, who, A.D. 1783, separated themselves
from their mother-country, England, and founded a republic. France,
intent upon weakening her ancient foe, lent her countenance to the new
republic, and numbers of her sons fought beneath her standard and bore
the novel ideas of liberty back to their native land, where they
speedily produced a fermentation among their mercurial countrymen.

Louis XV., a voluptuous and extravagant monarch, was succeeded by
Louis XVI., a man of refined habits, pious and benevolent in
disposition, but unpossessed of the moral power requisite for the
extermination of the evils deeply rooted in the government. His queen,
Marie Antoinette, sister to Joseph II., little resembled her brother
or her husband in her tastes, was devoted to gaiety, and, by her
example, countenanced the most lavish extravagance. The evil increased
to a fearful degree. The taxes no longer sufficed; the exchequer was
robbed by privileged thieves; an enormous debt continued to increase;
and the king, almost reduced to the necessity of declaring the state
bankrupt, demanded aid from the nobility and clergy, who, hitherto
free from taxation, had amassed the whole wealth of the empire.

The aristocracy, ever blind to their true interest, refused to comply,
and, by so doing, compelled the king to have recourse to the
tiers-etat. Accordingly, A.D. 1789, he convoked a general assembly, in
which the deputies sent by the citizens and peasant classes were not
only numerically equal to those of the aristocracy, but were greatly
superior to them in talent and energy, and, on the refusal of the
nobility and clergy to comply with the just demands of the tiers-etat,
or even to hold a common sitting with their despised inferiors, these
deputies declared the national assembly to consist of themselves
alone, and proceeded, on their own responsibility, to scrutinize the
evils of the administration and to discuss remedial measures. The
whole nation applauded the manly and courageous conduct of its
representatives. The Parisians, ever in extremes, revolted, and
murdered the unpopular public officers; the soldiers, instead of
quelling the rebellion, fraternized with the people. The national
assembly, emboldened by these first successes, undertook a thorough
transformation of the state, and, in order to attain the object for
which they had been assembled, that of procuring supplies, declared
the aristocracy subject to taxation, and sold the enormous property
belonging to the church. They went still further. The people was
declared the only true sovereign, and the king the first servant of
the state. All distinctions and privileges were abolished, and all
Frenchmen were declared equal.

The nobility and clergy, infuriated by this dreadful humiliation,
embittered the people still more against them by their futile
opposition, and, at length convinced of the hopelessness of their
cause, emigrated in crowds and attempted to form another France on the
borders of their country in the German Rhenish provinces. Worms and
Coblentz were their chief places of resort. In the latter city, they
continued their Parisian mode of life at the expense of the avaricious
elector of Treves, Clement Wenzel, a Saxon prince, by whose powerful
minister, Dominique, they were supported, and acted with unparalleled
impudence. They were headed by the two brothers of the French king,
who entered into negotiation with all the foreign powers, and they
vowed to defend the cause of the sovereigns against the people. Louis,
who for some time wavered between the national assembly and the
emigrants, was at length persuaded by the queen to throw himself into
the arms of the latter, and secretly fled, but was retaken and
subjected to still more rigorous treatment. The emigrants, instead of
saving, hurried him to destruction.

The other European powers at first gave signs of indecision. Blinded
by a policy no longer suited to the times, they merely beheld in the
French Revolution the ruin of a state hitherto inimical to them, and
rejoiced at the event. The prospect of an easy conquest of the
distracted country, however, ere long led to the resolution on their
part of actively interfering with its affairs. Austria was insulted in
the person of the French queen, and, as head of the empire, was bound
to protect the rights of the petty Rhenish princes and nobility, who
possessed property and ecclesiastical or feudal rights[1] on French
territory, and had been injured by the new constitution. Prussia,
habituated to despotism, came forward as its champion in the hope of
gaining new laurels for her unemployed army. A conference took place
at Pilnitz in Saxony, A.D. 1791, between Emperor Leopold and King
Frederick William, at which the Count D'Artois, the youngest brother
of Louis XVI., was present, and a league was formed against the
Revolution. The old ministers strongly opposed it. In Prussia,
Herzberg drew upon himself the displeasure of his sovereign by
zealously advising a union with France against Austria. In Austria,
Kaunitz recommended peace, and said that were he allowed to act he
would defeat the impetuous French by his "patience;" that, instead of
attacking France, he would calmly watch the event and allow her, like
a volcano, to bring destruction upon herself. Ferdinand of Brunswick,
field-marshal of Prussia, was equally opposed to war. His fame as the
greatest general of his time had been too easily gained, more by his
manoeuvres than by his victories, not to induce a fear on his side of
being as easily deprived of it in a fresh war; but the proposal of the
revolutionary party in France--within whose minds the memory of
Rossbach was still fresh--mistrustful of French skill, to nominate him
generalissimo of the troops of the republic, conspired with the
incessant entreaties of the emigrants to reanimate his courage; and he
finally declared that, followed by the famous troops of the great
Frederick, he would put a speedy termination to the French Revolution.

Leopold II. was, as brother to Marie Antoinette, greatly embittered
against the French. The disinclination of the Austrians to the reforms
of Joseph II. appears to have chiefly confirmed him in the conviction
of finding a sure support in the old system. He consequently strictly
prohibited the slightest innovation and placed a power hitherto
unknown in the hands of the police, more particularly in those of its
secret functionaries, who listened to every word and consigned the
suspected to the oblivion of a dungeon. This mute terrorism found many
a victim. This system was, on the death of Leopold II., A.D. 1792,[2]
publicly abolished by his son and successor, Francis II., but was ere
long again carried on in secret.

Catherine II., with the view of seizing the rest of Poland, employed
every art in order to instigate Austria and Prussia to a war with
France, and by these means fully to occupy them in the West. The
Prussian king, although aware of her projects, deemed the French an
easy conquest, and that in case of necessity his armies could without
difficulty be thrown into Poland. He meanwhile secured the popular
feeling in Poland in his favor by concluding, A.D. 1790, an alliance
with Stanislaus and giving his consent to the improved constitution
established in Poland, A.D. 1791. Herzberg had even counselled an
alliance with France and Poland, the latter was to be bribed with a
promise of the annexation of Galicia, against Austria and Russia; this
plan was, however, merely whispered about for the purpose of blinding
the Poles and of alarming Russia.

The bursting storm was anticipated on the part of the French by a
declaration of war, A.D. 1792, and while Austria still remained behind
for the purpose of watching Russia, Poland, and Turkey, and the
unwieldy empire was engaged in raising troops, Ferdinand of Brunswick
had already led the Prussians across the Rhine. He was joined by the
emigrants under Conde, whose army almost entirely consisted of
officers. The well-known manifesto, published by the duke of Brunswick
on his entrance into France, and in which he declared his intention to
level Paris with the ground should the French refuse to submit to the
authority of their sovereign, was composed by Renfner, the counsellor
of the embassy at Berlin. The emperor and Frederick William, persuaded
that fear would reduce the French to obedience, had approved of this
manifesto, which was, on the contrary, disapproved of by the duke of
Brunswick, on account of its barbarity and its ill-accordance with the
rules of war.[3] He did not, however, withdraw his signature on its
publication. The effect of this manifesto was that the French, instead
of being struck with terror, were maddened with rage, deposed their
king, proclaimed a republic, and flew to arms in order to defend their
cities against the barbarians threatening them with destruction. The
Orleans party and the Jacobins, who were in close alliance with the
German Illuminati, were at that time first able to gain the mastery
and to supplant the noble-spirited constitutionalists. A Prussian
baron, Anachasis Cloots,[4] was even elected in the national
convention of the French republic, where he appeared as the advocate
of the whole human race. These atheistical babblers, however, talked
to little purpose, but the national pride of the troops, hastily
levied and sent against the invaders, effected wonders.

The delusion of the Prussians was so complete that Bischofswerder said
to the officers, "Do not purchase too many horses, the affair will
soon be over"; and the duke of Brunswick remarked, "Gentlemen, not too
much baggage, this is merely a military trip."

The Prussians, it is true, wondered that the inhabitants did not, as
the emigrants had alleged they would, crowd to meet and greet them as
their saviors and liberators, but at first they met with no
opposition. The noble-spirited Lafayette, who commanded the main body
of the French army, had at first attempted to march upon Paris for the
purpose of saving the king, but the troops were already too much
republicanized and he was compelled to seek refuge in the Netherlands,
where he was, together with his companions, seized by command of the
emperor of Austria, and thrown into prison at Olmütz, where he
remained during five years under the most rigorous treatment merely on
account of the liberality of his opinions, because he wanted a
constitutional king, and notwithstanding his having endangered his
life and his honor in order to save his sovereign. Such was the hatred
with which high-minded men of strict principle were at that period
viewed, while at the same time a negotiation was carried on with
Dumouriez,[5] a characterless Jacobin intriguant, who had succeeded
Lafayette in the command of the French armies.

Ferdinand of Brunswick now became the dupe of Dumouriez, as he had
formerly been that of the emigrants. In the hope of a counter-
revolution in Paris, he procrastinated his advance and lost his most
valuable time in the siege of fortresses. Verdun fell: three beautiful
citizens' daughters, who had presented bouquets to the king of
Prussia, were afterward sent to the guillotine by the republicans as
traitoresses to their country. Ferdinand, notwithstanding this
success, still delayed his advance in the hope of gaining over the
wily French commander and of thus securing beforehand his triumph in a
contest in which his ancient fame might otherwise be at stake. The
impatient king, who had accompanied the army, spurred him on, but was,
owing to his ignorance of military matters, again pacified by the
reasons alleged by the cautious duke. Dumouriez, consequently, gained
time to collect considerable reinforcements and to unite his forces
with those under Kellermann of Alsace. The two armies came within
sight of each other at Valmy; the king gave orders for battle, and the
Prussians were in the act of advancing against the heights occupied by
Kellermann, when the duke suddenly gave orders to halt and drew off
the troops under a loud _vivat_ from the French, who beheld this
movement with astonishment. The king was at first greatly enraged, but
was afterward persuaded by the duke of the prudence of this
extraordinary step. Negotiations were now carried on with increased
spirit. Dumouriez, who, like Kaunitz, said that the French, if left to
themselves, would inevitably fall a prey to intestine convulsions,
also contrived to accustom the king to the idea of a future alliance
with France. The result of these intrigues was an armistice and the
retreat of the Prussian army, which dysentery, bad weather, and bad
roads rendered extremely destructive.

Austria was now, owing to the intrigues of the duke of Brunswick and
the credulity of Frederick William, left unprotected. As early as
June, old Marshal Lukner invaded Flanders, but, being arrested on
suspicion, was replaced by Dumouriez, who continued the war in the
Netherlands and defeated the stadtholder, Albert, duke of Saxon-
Tescheu (son-in-law to Maria Theresa, in consideration of which he had
been endowed with the principality of Teschen and the stadtholdership
at Brussels), at Jemappes, and the whole of the Netherlands fell into
the hands of the Jacobins, who, on the 14th of November, entered
Brussels, where they proclaimed liberty and equality. A few days later
(19th of November) the national convention at Paris proclaimed liberty
and equality to all nations, promised their aid to all those who
asserted their liberty, and threatened to compel those who chose to
remain in slavery to accept of liberty. As a preliminary, however, the
Netherlands, after being declared free, were ransacked of every
description of movable property, of which Pache, a native of Freiburg
in Switzerland, at that time the French minister of war, received a
large share. The fluctuations of the war, however, speedily recalled
the Jacobins. Another French army under Custines, which had marched to
the Upper Rhine, gained time to take a firm footing in Mayence.


[Footnote 1: To the archbishopric of Cologne belonged the bishopric of
Strasburg, to the archbishopric of Treves, the bishoprics of Metz,
Toul, Verdun, Nancy, St. Diez. Würtemberg, Baden, Darmstadt, Nassau,
Pfalz-Zweibrücken, Leiningen, Salm-Salm, Hohenlohe-Bartenstein,
Löwenstein, Wertheim, the Teutonic order, the knights of St. John, the
immediate nobility of the empire, the bishop of Basel, etc., had,
moreover, feudal rights within the French territory. The arch-
chancellor, elector of Mayence, made the patriotic proposal to the
imperial diet that the empire should, now that France had, by the
violation of the conditions of peace, infringed the old and shameful
treaties by which Germany had been deprived of her provinces, seize
the opportunity also on her part to refuse to recognize those
treaties, and to regain what she had lost. This sensible proposal,
however, found no one capable of carrying it into effect.]

[Footnote 2: His sons were the emperor Francis II., Ferdinand,
grandduke of Tuscany, the archduke Charles, celebrated for his
military talents, Joseph, palatine of Hungary, Antony, grand-master of
the Teutonic order, who died at Vienna, A.D. 1835, John, a general (he
lived for many years in Styria), the present imperial vicar-general of
Germany, and Rayner, viceroy of Milan.--_Trans_.]

[Footnote 3: Gentz, who afterward wrote so many manifestoes for
Austria, practically remarks that this celebrated manifesto was in
perfect conformity with the intent and that the only fault committed
was the non-fulfillment of the threats therein contained.]

[Footnote 4: From Cleve. He compared himself with Anacharsis the
Scythian, a barbarian, who visited Greece for the sake of learning. He
sacrificed the whole of his property to the Revolution. Followed by a
troop of men dressed in the costumes of different nations, of whom
they were the pretended representatives, he appeared before the
convention, from which he demanded the liberation of the whole world
from the yoke of kings and priests. He became president of the great
Jacobin club, and it was principally owing to his instigations that
the French, at first merely intent upon defence, were roused to the
attack and inspired with the desire for conquest.]

[Footnote 5: Dumouriez proposed as negotiator John Müller, who was at
that time teaching at Mayence, and who was in secret correspondence
with him. Vide Memoirs of a Celebrated Statesman, edited by Rüder.
Rüder remarks that John Müller is silent in his autobiography
concerning his correspondence with the Jacobins, for which he might,
under a change of circumstances, have had good reason.]



CCXLVII. German Jacobins


In Lorraine and Alsace, the Revolution had been hailed with delight by
the long-oppressed people. On the 10th of July, 1789, the peasants
destroyed the park of the bishop, Rohan, at Zabern, and killed immense
quantities of game. The chateaux and monasteries throughout the
country were afterward reduced to heaps of ruins, and, in Suntgau, the
peasants took especial vengeance on the Jews, who had, in that place,
long lived on the fat of the land. Mulhausen received a democratic
constitution and a Jacobin club. In Strasburg, the town-house was
assailed by the populace,[1] notwithstanding which, order was
maintained by the mayor, Dietrich. The unpopular bishop, Rohan, was
replaced by Brendel, against whom the people of Colmar revolted, and
even assaulted him in the church for having taken the oath imposed by
the French republic, and which was rejected by all good Catholics.
Dietrich, aided by the great majority of the citizens of Strasburg,
long succeeded in keeping the _sans culottes_ at bay, but was at
length overcome, deprived of his office, and guillotined at Paris,
while Eulogius Schneider, who had formerly been a professor at Bonn,
then court preacher to the Catholic duke, Charles of Wurtemberg,[2]
became the tyrant of Strasburg, and, in the character of public
accuser before the revolutionary tribunal, conducted the executions.
The national convention at Paris nominated as his colleague Monet, a
man twenty-four years of age, totally ignorant of the German language,
and who merely made himself remarkable for his open rapacity.[3] This
was, however, a mere prelude to far greater horrors. Two members of
the convention, St. Just and Lebas, unexpectedly appeared at
Strasburg, declared that nothing had as yet been done, ordered the
executions to take place on a larger scale, and, A.D. 1793, imposed a
fine of nine million livres on the already plundered city. The German
costume and mode of writing were also prohibited; every sign, written
in German, affixed to the houses, was taken down, and, finally, the
whole of the city council and all the officers of the national guard
were arrested and either exiled or guillotined, notwithstanding their
zealous advocacy of revolutionary principles, on the charge of an
understanding with Austria, without proof, on a mere groundless
suspicion, without being permitted to defend themselves, for the sole
purpose of removing them out of the way in order to replace them with
trueborn Frenchmen, a Parisian mob, who established themselves in the
desolate houses. Schneider and Brendel continued to retain their
places by means of the basest adulation. On the 21st of November, a
great festival was solemnized in the Minster, which had been converted
into a temple of Reason. The bust of Marat, the most loathsome of all
the monsters engendered by the Revolution, was borne in solemn
procession to the cathedral, before whose portals an immense fire was
fed with pictures and images of the saints, crucifixes, priests'
garments, and sacred vessels, among which Brendel hurled his mitre.
Within the cathedral walls, Schneider delivered a discourse in
controversion of the Christian religion, which he concluded by
solemnly renouncing; a number of Catholic ecclesiastics followed his
example. All the statues and ecclesiastical symbols were piled in a
rude heap at the foot of the great tower, which it was also attempted
to pull down for the promotion of universal equality, an attempt which
the extraordinary strength of the building and the short reign of
revolutionary madness fortunately frustrated. All the more wealthy
citizens had, meanwhile, been consigned either to the guillotine or to
prison, and their houses filled with French bandits, who revelled in
their wealth and dishonored their wives and daughters. Eulogius
Schneider was compelled to seek at midnight for a wife, suspicion
having already attached to him on account of his former profession. It
was, however, too late. On the following morning, he was seized and
sent to Paris, where he was guillotined. All ecclesiastics, all
schoolmasters, even the historian, Friese, were, without exception,
declared suspected and dragged to the prisons of Besançon, where they
suffered the harshest treatment at the hands of the commandant, Prince
Charles of Hesse. In Strasburg, Neumann, who had succeeded Schneider
as public accuser, raged with redoubled fury. The guillotine was ever
at work, was illuminated during the night time, and was the scene of
the orgies of the drunken bandits. On the advance of the French armies
to the frontiers, the whole country was pillaged.[4]

In other places, where the plundering habits of the French had not
cooled the popular enthusiasm, it still rose high, more particularly
at Mayence. This city, which had been rendered a seat of the Muses by
the elector, Frederick Charles, was in a state of complete
demoralization. On the loss of Strasburg, Mayence, although the only
remaining bulwark of Germany, was entirely overlooked. The war had
already burst forth; no imperial army had as yet been levied, and the
fortifications of Mayence were in the most shameful state of neglect.
Magazines had been established by the imperial troops on the left bank
of the Rhine, seemingly for the mere purpose of letting them fall into
the hands of Custine: but eight hundred Austrians garrisoned Mayence;
the Hessians, although numerically weak, were alone sincere in their
efforts for the defence of Germany. Custine's advanced guard no sooner
came in sight than the elector and all the higher functionaries fled
to Aschaffenburg. Von Gymnich, the commandant of Mayence, called a
council of war and surrendered the city, which was unanimously
declared untenable by all present with the exception of Eikenmaier,
who, notwithstanding, went forthwith over to the French, and of
Andujar, the commander of the eight hundred Austrians, with whom he
instantly evacuated the place. The Illuminati, who were here in great
number, triumphantly opened the gates to the French, A.D. 1792. The
most extraordinary scenes were enacted. A society, the members of
which preached the doctrines of liberty and equality, and at whose
head stood the professors Blau, Wedekind, Metternich, Hoffmann,
Forster, the eminent navigator, the doctors Böhmer and Stamm, Dorsch
of Strasburg, etc., chiefly men who had formerly been Illuminati, was
formed in imitation of the revolutionary Jacobin club at Paris.[5]
These people committed unheard-of follies. At first, notwithstanding
their doctrine of equality, they were distinguished by a particular
ribbon; the women, insensible to shame, wore girdles with long ends,
on which the word "liberty" was worked in front, and the word
"equality" behind. Women, girt with sabres, danced franticly around
tall trees of liberty, in imitation of those of France, and fired off
pistols. The men wore monstrous mustaches in imitation of those of
Custine, whom, notwithstanding their republican notions, they loaded
with servile flattery. As a means of gaining over the lower orders
among the citizens, who with plain good sense opposed their apish
tricks, the clubbists demolished a large stone, by which the
Archbishop Adolphus had formerly sworn, "You, citizens of Mayence,
shall not regain your privileges until this stone shall melt." This,
however, proved as little effective as did the production of a large
book, in which every citizen, desirous of transforming the electorate
of Mayence into a republic, was requested to inscribe his name.
Notwithstanding the threat of being treated, in case of refusal, as
slaves, the citizens and peasantry, plainly foreseeing that, instead
of receiving the promised boon of liberty, they would but expose
themselves to Custine's brutal tyranny, withheld their signatures, and
the clubbists finally established a republic under the protection of
France without the consent of the people, removed all the old
authorities, and, at the close of 1792, elected Dorsch, a remarkably
diminutive, ill-favored man, who had formerly been a priest,
president.

The manner in which Custine levied contributions in Frankfort on the
Maine,[6] was still less calculated to render the French popular in
Germany. Cowardly as this general was, he, nevertheless, told the
citizens of Frankfort a truth that time has, up to the present period,
confirmed. "You have beheld the coronation of the emperor of Germany?
Well! you will not see another."

Two Germans, natives of Colmar in Alsace, Rewbel and Hausmann, and a
Frenchman, Merlin, all three members of the national convention, came
to Mayence for the purpose of conducting the defence of that city.
They burned symbolically all the crowns, mitres, and escutcheons of
the German empire, but were unable to induce the citizens of Mayence
to declare in favor of the republic. Rewbel, infuriated at their
opposition, exclaimed that he would level the city to the ground, that
he should deem himself dishonored were he to waste another word on
such slaves. A number of refractory persons were expelled from the
city,[7] and, on the 17th of March, 1793, although three hundred and
seventy of the citizens alone voted in its favor, a Teuto-Rhenish
national convention, under the presidency of Hoffmann, was opened at
Mayence and instantly declared in favor of the union of the new
republic with France. Forster, in other respects a man of great
elevation of mind, forgetful, in his enthusiasm, of all national
pride, personally carried to Paris the scandalous documents in which
the French were humbly entreated to accept of a province of the German
empire. The Prussians, who had remained in Luxemburg (without aiding
the Austrians), meanwhile advanced to the Rhine, took Coblentz, which
Custine had neglected to garrison (a neglect for which he afterward
lost his head), repulsed a French force under Bournonville, when on
the point of forming a junction with Custine, at Treves, expelled
Custine from Frankfort,[8] and closely besieged Mayence, which, after
making a valiant defence, was compelled to capitulate in July.

Numbers of the clubbists fled, or were saved by the French, when
evacuating the city, in the disguise of soldiers. Others were arrested
and treated with extreme cruelty. Every clubbist, or any person
suspected of being one, received five and twenty lashes in the
presence of Kalkreuth, the Prussian general. Metternich was, together
with numerous others, carried off, chained fast between the horses of
the hussars, and, whenever he sank from weariness, spurred on at the
sabre point. Blau had his ears boxed by the Prussian minister,
Stein.[9] A similar reaction took place at Worms,[10] Spires, etc.

The German Jacobins suffered the punishment amply deserved by all
those who look for salvation from the foreigner. Those who had barely
escaped the vengeance of the Prussian on the Rhine were beheaded by
their pretended good friends in France. Robespierre, an advocate, who,
at that period, governed the convention, sent every foreigner who had
enrolled himself as a member of the Jacobin club to the guillotine, as
a suspicious person, a bloody but instructive lesson to all
unpatriotic German Gallomanists.[11]

The victims who fell on this occasion were, a prince of Salm-Kyrburg,
who had voluntarily republicanized his petty territory, Anacharsis
Cloots,[12] and the venerable Trenk, who had so long pined in
Frederick's prisons. Adam Lux, a friend of George Forster, was also
beheaded for expressing his admiration of Charlotte Corday, the
murderess of Marat. Marat was a Prussian subject, being a native of
Neufchâtel. Göbel von Bruntrut, uncle to Rengger,[13] a celebrated
character in the subsequent Swiss revolution, vicar-general of Basel,
a furious revolutionist, who had on that account been appointed bishop
of Paris, presented himself on the 6th of November, 1793, at the bar
of the convention as an associate of Cloots, Hebert, Chaumette, etc.,
cast his mitre and other insignia of office to the ground, and placing
the bonnet rouge on his head, solemnly renounced the Christian faith
and proclaimed that of "liberty and equality." The rest of the
ecclesiastics were compelled to imitate his example; the Christian
religion was formally abolished and the worship of Reason was
established in its stead. Half-naked women were placed upon the altars
of the desecrated churches and worshipped as "goddesses of Reason."
Göbel's friend, Pache, a native of Freiburg, a creature abject as
himself, was particularly zealous, as was also Proli, a natural son of
the Austrian minister, Kaunitz. Prince Charles of Hesse, known among
the Jacobins as Charles Hesse, fortunately escaped. Schlaberndorf,[14]
a Silesian count, who appears to have been a mere spectator, and
Oelsner, a distinguished author, were equally fortunate. These two
latter remained in Paris. Reinhard, a native of Wurtemberg, secretary
to the celebrated Girondin, Vergniaud, whom he is said to have aided
in the composition of his eloquent speeches, remained in the service
of France, was afterward ennobled and raised to the ministry. Felix
von Wimpfen, whom the faction of the Gironde (the moderates who
opposed the savage Jacobins) elected their general, and who,
attempting to lead a small force from Normandy against Paris, was
defeated and compelled to seek safety by flight. The venerable Lukner,
the associate of Lafayette, who had termed the great Revolution merely
"a little occurrence in Paris," was beheaded. The unfortunate George
Forster perceived his error and died of sorrow.[15] Among the other
Rhenish Germans of distinction, who had at that time formed a
connection with France, Joseph Görres brought himself, notwithstanding
his extreme youth, into great note at Coblentz by his superior
talents. He went to Paris as deputy of Treves and speedily became
known by his works (Rubezahl and the Red Leaf). He also speedily
discovered the immense mistake made by the Germans in resting their
hopes upon France. It was indeed a strange delusion to suppose the
vain and greedy Frenchman capable of being inspired with disinterested
love for all mankind, and it was indeed a severe irony, that, after
such repeated and cruel experience, after having for centuries seen
the French ever in the guise of robbers and pillagers, and after
breathing such loud complaints against the princes who had sold
Germany to France, that the warmest friends of the people should on
this occasion be guilty of similar treachery, and, like selecting the
goat for a gardener, entrust the weal of their country to the French.

The people in Germany too little understood the real motives and
object of the French Revolution, and were too soon provoked by the
predatory incursions of the French troops, to be infected with
revolutionary principles. These merely fermented among the literati;
the Utopian idea of universal fraternization was spread by
Freemasonry; numbers at first cherished a hope that the Revolution
would preserve a pure moral character, and were not a little
astonished on beholding the monstrous crimes to which it gave birth.
Others merely rejoiced at the fall of the old and insupportable
system, and numerous anonymous pamphlets in this spirit appeared in
the Rhenish provinces. Fichte, the philosopher, also published an
anonymous work in favor of the Revolution. Others again, as, for
instance, Reichard, Girtanner, Schirach, and Hoffmann, set themselves
up as informers, and denounced every liberal-minded man to the princes
as a dangerous Jacobin. A search was made for Crypto-Jacobins, and
every honest man was exposed to the calumny of the servile newspaper
editors. French republicanism was denounced as criminal,
notwithstanding the favor in which the French language and French
ideas were held at all the courts of Germany. Liberal opinions were
denounced as criminal, notwithstanding the example first set by the
courts in ridiculing religion, in mocking all that was venerable and
sacred. Nor was this reaction by any means occasioned by a burst of
German patriotism against the tyranny of France, for the treaty of
Basel speedily reconciled the self-same newspaper editors with France.
It was mere servility; and the hatred which, it may easily be
conceived, was naturally excited against the French as a nation, was
vented in this mode upon the patient Germans,[16] who were,
unfortunately, ever doomed, whenever their neighbors were visited with
some political chronic convulsion, to taste the bitter remedy. But few
of the writers of the day took a historical view of the Revolution and
weighed its irremediable results in regard to Germany, besides Gentz,
Rehberg, and the Baron von Gagern, who published an "Address to his
Countrymen," in which he started the painful question, "Why are we
Germans disunited?" The whole of these contending opinions of the
learned were, however, equally erroneous. It was as little possible to
preserve the Revolution from blood and immorality, and to extend the
boon of liberty to the whole world, as it was to suppress it by force,
and, as far as Germany was concerned, her affairs were too complicated
and her interests too scattered for any attempt of the kind to
succeed. A Doctor Faust, at Buckeburg, sent a learned treatise upon
the origin of trousers to the national convention at Paris, by which
Sansculottism had been introduced; an incident alone sufficient to
show the state of feeling in Germany at that time.

The revolutionary principles of France merely infected the people in
those parts of Germany where their sufferings had ever been the
greatest, as, for instance, in Saxony, where the peasantry, oppressed
by the game laws and the rights of the nobility, rose, after a dry
summer by which their misery had been greatly increased, to the number
of eighteen thousand, and sent one of their class to lay their
complaints before the elector, A.D. 1790. The unfortunate messenger
was instantly consigned to a madhouse, where he remained until 1809,
and the peasantry were dispersed by the military. A similar revolt of
the peasantry against the tyrannical nuns of Wormelen, in Westphalia,
merely deserves mention as being characteristic of the times. A revolt
of the peasantry, of equal unimportance, also took place in Buckeburg,
on account of the expulsion of three revolutionary priests, Froriep,
Meyer, and Rauschenbusch. In Breslau, a great émeute, which was put
down by means of artillery, was occasioned by the expulsion of a
tailor's apprentice, A.D. 1793.

In Austria, one Hebenstreit formed a conspiracy, which brought him to
the gallows, A.D. 1793. That formed by Martinowits, for the
establishment of the sovereignty of the people in Hungary and for the
expulsion of the magnates, was of a more dangerous character.
Martinowits was beheaded, A.D. 1793, with four of his associates.[17]
These attempts so greatly excited the apprehensions of the government
that the reaction, already begun on the death of Joseph II., was
brought at once to a climax; Thugut, the minister, established an
extremely active secret police and a system of surveillance, which
spread terror throughout Austria and was utterly uncalled for, no one,
with the exception of a few crack-brained individuals, being in the
slightest degree infected with the revolutionary mania.[18]

It may be recorded as a matter of curiosity that, during the
bloodstained year of 1793, the petty prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
held, as though in the most undisturbed time of peace, a magnificent
tournament, and the fetes customary on such an occasion.


[Footnote 1: Oberlin, the celebrated philologist, an ornament to
German learning, a professor at Strasburg, rescued, at the risk of his
life, a great portion of the ancient city archives, which had been
thrown out of the windows, by re-collecting the documents with the aid
of the students. On account of this sample of old German pedantry he
pined, until 1793, in durance vile at Metz, and narrowly escaped being
guillotined.]

[Footnote 2: At Bonn he had the impudence to say to the elector, "I
cannot pay you a higher compliment than by asserting you to be no
Catholic."--_Van Alpen_, _History of Rhenish Franconia_.]

[Footnote 3: He mulcted the brewers to the amount of 255,000 livres,
"on account of their well-known avarice," the bakers and millers to
that of 314,000, a publican to that of 40,000, a baker to that of
30,000, "because he was an enemy of mankind," etc.--_Vide Friese's
History of Strasburg_.]

[Footnote 4: It was asserted that the Jacobins had formed a plan to
depopulate the whole of Alsace, and to partition the country among the
bravest soldiers belonging to the republican armies.]

[Footnote 5: John Müller played a remarkable part. This thoroughly
deceptive person had, by his commendation of the ancient Swiss in his
affectedly written History of Switzerland, gained the favor of the
friends of liberty, and, at the same time, that of the nobility by his
encomium on the degenerate Swiss aristocracy. While with sentimental
phrases and fine words he pretended to be one of the noblest of
mankind, he was addicted to the lowest and most monstrous vices. His
immorality brought him into trouble in Switzerland, and the man, who
had been, apparently, solely inspired with the love of republican
liberty, now paid court, for the sake of gain, to foreign princes; the
adulation that had succeeded so well with all the lordlings of
Switzerland was poured into the ears of all the potentates of Europe.
He even rose to great favor at Rome by his flattery of the pope in a
work entitled "The Travels of the Popes." He published the most
virulent sophisms against the beneficial reforms of the emperor
Joseph, and cried up the League, for which he was well paid. He
contrived, at the same time, to creep into favor with the Illuminati.
He was employed by the elector of Mayence to carry on negotiations
with Dumouriez, got into office under the French republic, and
afterward revisited Mayence for the express purpose of calling upon
the citizens, at that time highly dissatisfied with the conduct of the
French, to unite themselves with France. Vide Forster's
Correspondence. Dumouriez shortly afterward went over to the
Austrians, and Müller suddenly appeared at Vienna, adorned with a
title and in the character of an Aulic councillor.]

[Footnote 6: While in his proclamations he swore by all that was
sacred (what was so to a Frenchman?) to respect the property of the
citizens and that France coveted no extension of territory.]

[Footnote 7: Forster was so blinded at that time by his enthusiasm
that he wrote, "all of those among us who refuse the citizenship of
France are to be expelled the city, even if complete depopulation
should be the result." He relates: "I summoned, at Grunstadt, the
Counts von Leiningen to acknowledge themselves citizens of France.
They protested against it, caballed, instigated the citizens peasantry
to revolt; one of my soldiers was attacked and wounded. I demanded a
reinforcement, took possession of both the castles, and placed the
counts under guard. To-day I sent them with an escort to Landau. This
has been a disagreeable duty, but we must reduce every opponent of the
good cause to obedience."]

[Footnote 8: Where the weak garrison left by the French was disarmed
by the workmen.]

[Footnote 9: Either the Prussian minister who afterward gained such
celebrity or one of his relations.]

[Footnote 10: Here Skekuly forced the German clubbists, with the lash,
to cut down the tree of liberty.]

[Footnote 11: Forster wrote from Paris, "Suspicion hangs over every
foreigner, and the essential distinctions which ought to be made in
this respect are of no avail." Thus did nature, by whom nations are
eternally separated, avenge herself on the fools who had dreamed of
universal equality.]

[Footnote 12: Cloots had incessantly preached war, threatened all the
kings of the earth with destruction, and, in his vanity, had even set
a price upon the head of the Prussian monarch. His object was the
union of the whole of mankind, the abolition of nationality. The
French were to receive a new name, that of "Universel." He preached in
the convention: "I have struggled during the whole of my existence
against the powers of heaven and earth. There is but one God, Nature,
and but one sovereign, mankind, the people, united by reason in one
universal republic. Religion is the last obstacle, but the time has
arrived for its destruction. J'occupe la tribune de l'univers. Je le
repète, le genre humain est Dieu, le _Peuple Dieu_. Quiconque a la
débilité de croire en Dieu ne sauroit avoir la sagacité de connaitre
le genre humain, le souverain unique," etc.--_Moniteur of_ 1793, No.
120. He also subscribed himself the "personal enemy of Je«us of
Nazareth."]

[Footnote 13: Whose nephew, the celebrated traveller, Rengger, was,
with Bonpland, so long imprisoned in Paraguay.]

[Footnote 14: He had been already imprisoned and was ordered to the
guillotine, but not being able to find his boots quickly enough, his
execution was put off until the morrow. During the night, Robespierre
fell, and his life was saved. He continued to reside at Paris, where
he never quitted his apartment, cherished his beard, and associated
solely with ecclesiastics.]

[Footnote 15: After an interview with his wife, Theresa (daughter to
the great philologist, Heyne of Grottingen), on the French frontier,
he returned to Paris and killed himself by drinking aquafortis. Vide
Crome's Autobiography. Theresa entered into association with Huber,
the journalist, whom she shortly afterward married. She gained great
celebrity by her numerous romances.]

[Footnote 16: The popular work "Huergelmer" relates, among other
things, the conduct of the Margrave of Baden toward Lauchsenring, his
private physician, whom he, on account of the liberality of his
opinions, delivered over to the Austrian general, who sentenced him to
the bastinado.]

[Footnote 17: Schnelter says: "The first great conspiracy was formed
in the vicinity of the throne, A.D. 1793. The chief conspirator was
Hebenstreit, the commandant, who held, by his office, the keys to the
arsenal, and had every place of importance in his power. His fellow
conspirators were Prandstätter, the magistrate and poet, who, by his
superior talents, led the whole of the magistracy, and possessed great
influence in the metropolis, Professor Riedl, who possessed the
confidence of the court, which he frequented for the purpose of
instructing some of the principal personages, and Häckel, the
merchant, who had the management of its pecuniary affairs. The rest of
the conspirators belonged to every class of society and were spread
throughout every province of the empire. The plan consisted in the
establishment of a democratic constitution, the first step to which
appears to have been an attempt against the life of the imperial
family. The signal for insurrection was to be given by firing the
immense wood-yards. The hearts of the people were to be gained by the
destruction of the government accounts. The discovery was made through
a conspiracy formed in Denmark. The chief conspirator was seized and
sent to the gallows. The rest were exiled to Munkatch, where several
of them had succumbed to the severity of their treatment and of the
climate when their release was effected by Bonaparte by the peace of
Campo Formio, which gave rise to the supposition that the Hebenstreit
conspiracy was connected with the French republicans and Jacobins. The
second conspiracy was laid in Hungary, by the bishop and abbot,
Josephus Ignatius Martinowits, a man whom the emperors Joseph,
Leopold, and Francis had, on account of his talent and energy, loaded
with favors. The plan was an _actionalis conspiratio_, for the purpose
of contriving an attempt against the sacred person of his Majesty the
king, the destruction of the power of the privileged classes in
Hungary, the subversion of the administration, and the establishment
of a democracy. The means for the execution of this project were
furnished by two secret societies." Huergelmer relates: "A certain Dr.
Plank somewhat thoughtlessly ridiculed the institution of the jubilee;
in order to convince him of its utility, he was sent as a recruit to
the Italian army, an act that was highly praised by the newspapers."
On the 22d of July, 1795, a Baron von Riedel was placed in the pillory
at Vienna for some political crime, and was afterward consigned to the
oblivion of a dungeon; the same fate, some days later, befell
Brand-Btetter, Fellesneck, Billeck, Ruschitiski (Ephemeridae of 1796).
A Baron Taufner was hanged at Vienna as a traitor to his country (E.
of 1796).]

[Footnote 18: "The increase of crime occasioned by the artifices of
the police, who thereby gained their livelihood, rendered an especial
statute, prohibitory of such measures, necessary in the new
legislature. Even the passing stranger perceived the disastrous effect
of their intrigues upon the open, honest character and the social
habits of the Viennese. The police began gradually to be considered as
a necessary part of the machine of government, a counterbalance to or
a remedy for the faults committed by other branches of the
administration. Large sums, the want of which was heavily felt in the
national education and in the army, were expended on this arsenal of
poisoned weapons."--_Hormayr's Pocket-Book_, 1832. Thugut is described
as a diminutive, hunchbacked old man, with a face resembling the mask
of a fawn and with an almost satanic expression.]



CCXLVIII. Loss of the Left Bank of the Rhine


The object of the Prussian king was either to extend his conquests
westward or, at all events, to prevent the advance of Austria. The war
with France claimed his utmost attention, and, in order to guard his
rear, he again attempted to convert Poland into a bulwark against
Russia.

His ambassador, Lucchesini, drove Stackelberg, the Russian envoy, out
of Warsaw, and promised mountains of gold to the Poles, who dissolved
the perpetual council associated by Russia with the sovereign, freed
themselves from the Russian guarantee; aided by Prussia, compelled the
Russian troops to evacuate the country; devised a constitution, which
they laid before the cabinets of London and Berlin; concluded an
offensive and defensive alliance with Prussia on the 29th of March,
1790, and, on the 3d of May, 1791, carried into effect the new
constitution ratified by England and Prussia, and approved of by the
emperor Leopold. During the conference, held at Pilnitz, the
indivisibility of Poland was expressly mentioned. The constitution was
monarchical. Poland was, for the future, to be a hereditary instead of
an elective monarchy, and, on the death of Poniatowsky, the crown was
to fall to Saxony. The modification of the peasants' dues and the
power conceded to the serf of making a private agreement with his lord
also gave the monarchy a support against the aristocracy.

Catherine of Russia, however, no sooner beheld Prussia and Austria
engaged in a war with France, than she commenced her operations
against Poland, declared the new Polish constitution French and
Jacobinical, notwithstanding its abolition of the _liberum veto_ and
its extension of the prerogatives of the crown, and, taking advantage
of the king's absence from Prussia, speedily regained possession of
the country. What was Frederick William's policy in this dilemma? He
was strongly advised to make peace with France, to throw himself at
the head of the whole of his forces into Poland, and to set a limit to
the insolence of the autocrat; but--he feared, should he abandon the
Rhine, the extension of the power of Austria in that quarter, and--
calculating that Catherine, in order to retain his friendship, would
cede to him a portion of her booty,[1] unhesitatingly broke the faith
he had just plighted with the Poles, suddenly took up Catherine's
tone, declared the constitution he had so lately ratified Jacobinical,
and despatched a force under Mollendorf into Poland in order to secure
possession of his stipulated prey. By the second partition of Poland,
which took place as rapidly, as violently, and, on account of the
assurances of the Prussian monarch, far more unexpectedly than the
first, Russia received the whole of Lithuania, Podolia, and the
Ukraine, and Prussia, Thorn and Dantzig, besides Southern Prussia
(Posen and Calisch). Austria, at that time fully occupied with France,
had no participation in this robbery, which was, as it were, committed
behind her back.

Affairs had worn a remarkably worse aspect since the campaign of 1792.
The French had armed themselves with all the terrors of offended
nationalism and of unbounded, intoxicating liberty. All the enemies of
the Revolution within the French territory were mercilessly
exterminated, and hundreds of thousands were sacrificed by the
guillotine, a machine invented for the purpose of accelerating the
mode of execution. The king was beheaded in this manner in the January
of 1793, and the queen shared a similar fate in the ensuing
October.[2] While Robespierre directed the executions, Carnot
undertook to make preparations for war, and, in the very midst of this
immense fermentation, calmly converted France into an enormous camp,
and more than a million Frenchmen, as if summoned by magic from the
clod, were placed under arms.

The sovereigns of Europe also prepared for war, and, A.D. 1793, formed
the first great coalition, at whose head stood England, intent upon
the destruction of the French navy. The English, aided by a large
portion of the French population devoted to the ancient monarchy,
attacked France by sea, and made a simultaneous descent on the
northern and southern coasts. The Spanish and Portuguese troops
crossed the Pyrenees; the Italian princes invaded the Alpine boundary;
Austria, Prussia, Holland, and the German empire threatened the
Rhenish frontier, while Sweden and Russia stood frowning in the
background. The whole of Christian Europe took up arms against France,
and enormous armies hovered, like vultures, around their prey.

The duke of Coburg commanded the main body of the Austrians in the
Netherlands, where he was at first merely opposed by the old French
army, whose general, Dumouriez, after unsuccessfully grasping at the
supreme power, entered into a secret agreement with the coalition,
allowed himself to be defeated at Aldenhovenl[3] and Neerwinden, and
finally deserted to the Austrians. At this moment, when the French
army was dispirited by defeat and without a leader, Coburg, who had
been reinforced by the English and Dutch under the duke of York,
might, by a hasty advance, have taken Paris by surprise, but both the
English and Austrian generals solely owed the command, for which they
were totally unfit, to their high birth, and Colonel Mack, the most
prominent character among the officers of the staff, was a mere
theoretician, who could cleverly enough conduct a campaign--upon
paper. Clairfait, the Austrian general, beat the disbanded French army
under Dampiere at Famars, but temporized instead of following up his
victory. Coburg, in the hope of the triumph of the moderate party, the
Girondins, published an extremely mild and peaceable proclamation,
which, on the fall of the Gironde, was instantly succeeded by one of a
more threatening character, which his want of energy and decision in
action merely rendered ridiculous. No vigorous attack was made, nor
was even a vigorous defence calculated upon, not one of the frontier
forts in the Netherlands, demolished by Joseph II., having been
rebuilt. The coalition foolishly trusted that the French would be
annihilated by their inward convulsions, while they were in reality
seizing the opportunity granted by the tardiness of their foes to levy
raw recruits and exercise them in arms. The principal error, however,
lay in the system of conquest pursued by both Austria and England.
Conde, Valenciennes, and all towns within the French territory taken
by Coburg, were compelled to take a formal oath of allegiance to
Austria, and England made, as the condition of her aid, that of the
Austrians for the conquest of Dunkirk. The siege of this place, which
was merely of importance to England in a mercantile point of view,
retained the armies of Coburg and York, and the French were
consequently enabled, in the meantime, to concentrate their scattered
forces and to act on the offensive. Ere long, Houchard and Jourdan
pushed forward with their wild masses, which, at first undisciplined
and unsteady, were merely able to screen themselves from the rapid and
sustained fire of the British by acting as tirailleurs (a mode of
warfare successfully practiced by the North Americans against the
serried ranks of the English), became gradually bolder, and finally,
by their numerical strength and republican fury, gained a complete
triumph. Houchard, in this manner, defeated the English at Hondscoten
(September 8th), and Jourdan drove the Austrians off the field at
Wattignies on the 16th of October, the day on which the French queen
was beheaded. Coburg, although the Austrians had maintained their
ground on every other point, resolved to retreat, notwithstanding the
urgent remonstrances of the youthful archduke, Charles, who had
greatly distinguished himself. During the retreat, an unimportant
victory was gained at Menin by Beaulieu, the imperial general.[4] His
colleague, Wurmser, nevertheless maintained with extreme difficulty
the line extending from Basel to Luxemburg, which formed the Prussian
outposts. A French troop under Delange advanced as far as
Aix-la-Chapelle, where they crowned the statue of Charlemagne with a
bonnet rouge.

Mayence was, during the first six months of this year, besieged by the
main body of the Prussian army under the command of Ferdinand, duke of
Brunswick. The Austrians, when on their way past Mayence to
Valenciennes with a quantity of heavy artillery destined for the
reduction of the latter place (which they afterward compelled to do
homage to the emperor), refusing the request of the king of Prussia
for its use _en passant_ for the reduction of Mayence, greatly
displeased that monarch, who clearly perceived the common intention of
England and Austria to conquer the north of France to the exclusion of
Prussia, and consequently revenged himself by privately partitioning
Poland with Russia, and refusing his assistance to General Wurmser in
the Vosges country. The dissensions between the allies again rendered
their successes null. The Prussians, after the conquest of Mayence,
A.D. 1793, advanced and beat the fresh masses led against them by
Moreau at Pirmasens, but Frederick William, disgusted with Austria and
secretly far from disinclined to peace with France, quitted the army
(which he maintained in the field, merely from motives of honor, but
allowed to remain in a state of inactivity), in order to visit his
newly acquired territory in Poland.

The gallant old Wurmser was a native of Alsace, where he had some
property, and fought meritoriously for the German cause, while so many
of his countrymen at that time ranged themselves on the side of the
French.[5] His position on the celebrated Weissenburg line was, owing
to the non-assistance of the Prussians, replete with danger, and he
consequently endeavored to supply his want of strength by striking his
opponents with terror. His Croats, the notorious _Rothmantler_, are
charged with the commission of fearful deeds of cruelty. Owing to his
system of paying a piece of gold for every Frenchman's head, they
would rush, when no legitimate enemy could be encountered, into the
first large village at hand, knock at the windows and strike off the
heads of the inhabitants as they peeped out. The petty principalities
on the German side of the Rhine also complained of the treatment they
received from the Austrians. But how could it be otherwise? The empire
slothfully cast the whole burden of the war upon Austria. Many of the
princes were terror-stricken by the French, while others meditated an
alliance with that power, like that formerly concluded between them
and Louis XIV. against the empire. Bavaria alone was, but with great
difficulty, induced to furnish a contingent. The weak imperial free
towns met with most unceremonious treatment at the hands of Austria.
They were deprived of their artillery and treated with the utmost
contempt. It often happened that the aristocratic magistracy, as, for
instance, at Ulm, sided with the soldiery against the citizens. The
slothful bishops and abbots of the empire were, on the other hand,
treated with the utmost respect by the Catholic soldiery. The
infringement of the law of nations by the arrest of Semonville, the
French ambassador to Constantinople, and of Maret, the French
ambassador to Naples, and the seizure of their papers on neutral
ground, in the Valtelline, by Austria, created a far greater
sensation.

The duke of Brunswick, who had received no orders to retreat, was
compelled, _bongre-malgre_, to hazard another engagement with the
French, who rushed to the attack. He was once more victorious, at
Kaiserslautern, over Hoche, whose untrained masses were unable to
withstand the superior discipline of the Prussian troops. Wurmser took
advantage of the moment when success seemed to restore the good humor
of the allies to coalesce with the Prussians, dragging the unwilling
Bavarians in his train. This junction, however, merely had the effect
of disclosing the jealousy rankling on every side. The greatest
military blunders were committed and each blamed the other. Landau
ought to and might have been rescued from the French, but this step
was procrastinated until the convention had charged Generals Hoche and
Pichegru, "Landau or death." These two generals brought a fresh and
numerous army into the field, and, in the very first engagements, at
Worth and Froschweiler, the Bavarians ran away and the Austrians and
Prussians were signally defeated. The retreat of Wurmser, in high
displeasure, across the Rhine afforded a welcome pretext to the duke
of Brunswick to follow his example and even to resign the command of
the army to Mollendorf. In this shameful manner was the left bank of
the Rhine lost to Germany.

In the spring of the ensuing year, 1794, the emperor Francis II.
visited the Netherlands in person, with the intent of pushing straight
upon Paris. This project, practicable enough during the preceding
campaign, was, however, now utterly out of the question, the more so
on account of the retreat of the Prussians. The French observed on
this occasion with well-merited scorn: "The allies are ever an idea, a
year and an army behindhand." The Austrians, nevertheless, attacked
the whole French line in March and were at first victorious on every
side, at Catillon, where Kray and Wernek distinguished themselves, and
at Landrecis, where the Archduke Charles made a brilliant charge at
the head of the cavalry. Landrecis was taken. But this was all.
Clairfait, whose example might have animated the inactive duke of
York, being left unsupported by the British, was attacked singly at
Courtray by Pichegru and forced to yield to superior numbers. Coburg
fought an extremely bloody but indecisive battle at Doornik (Tournay),
where Pichegru ever opposed fresh masses to the Austrian artillery.
Twenty thousand dead strewed the field. The youthful emperor,
discouraged by the coldness displayed by the Dutch, whom he had
expected to rise _en masse_ in his cause, returned to Vienna. His
departure and the inactivity of the British commander completely
dispirited the Austrian troops, and on the 26th of June, 1794,[6] the
duke of Coburg was defeated at Fleurus by Jourdan, the general of the
republic. This success was immediately followed by that of Pichegru,
not far from Breda, over the inefficient English general,[7] who
consequently evacuated the Netherlands, which were instantly overrun
by the pillaging French. And thus had the German powers,
notwithstanding their well-disciplined armies and their great plans,
not only forfeited their military honor, but also drawn the enemy,
and, in his train, anarchy with its concomitant horrors, into the
empire. The Austrians had rendered themselves universally unpopular by
their arbitrary measures, and each province remained stupidly
indifferent to the threatened pillage of its neighbor by the
victorious French. Jourdan but slowly tracked the retreating forces of
Coburg, whom he again beat at Sprimont, where he drove him from the
Maese, and at Aldenhoven, where he drove him from the Roer. Frederick,
Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, capitulated at Maestricht, with ten
thousand men, to Kleber; and the Austrians, with the exception of a
small corps under the Count von Erbach, stationed at Düsseldorf,
completely abandoned the Lower Rhine.

The disasters suffered by the Austrians seem at that time to have
flattered the ambition of the Prussians, for Mollendorf suddenly
recrossed the Rhine and gained an advantage at Kaiserslautern, but
was, in July, 1794, again repulsed at Trippstadt, notwithstanding
which he once more crossed the Rhine in September, and a battle was
won by the Prince von Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen at Fischbach, but, on the
junction of Jourdan with Hoche, who had until then singly opposed him,
Mollendorf again, and for the last time, retreated across the Rhine.
The whole of the left bank of the Rhine, Luxemburg and Mayence alone
excepted, were now in the hands of the French. Resius, the Hessian
general, abandoned the Rheinfels with the whole garrison, without
striking a blow in its defence. He was, in reward, condemned to
perpetual imprisonment.[8] Jourdan converted the fortress into a
ruined heap. The whole of the fortifications on the Rhine were yielded
for the sake of saving Mannheim from bombardment.

In the Austrian Netherlands, the old government had already been
abolished, and the whole country been transformed into a Belgian
republic by Dumouriez. The reform of all the ancient evils, so vainly
attempted but a few years before by the noble-spirited emperor, Joseph
II., was successfully executed by this insolent Frenchman, who also
abolished with them all that was good in the ancient system. The city
deputies, it is true, made an energetic but futile resistance.[9]
After the flight of Dumouriez, fresh depredations were, with every
fresh success, committed by the French. Liege was reduced to the most
deplorable state of desolation, the cathedral and thirty splendid
churches were levelled with the ground by the ancient enemies of the
bishop. Treves was also mercilessly sacked and converted into a French
fortress.


[Footnote 1: Prussia chiefly coveted the possession of Dantzig, which
the Poles refused to give or the English to grant to him, and which he
could only seize by the aid of Russia.]

[Footnote 2: After having been long retained in prison, ill fed and
ill clothed, after supporting, with unbending dignity, the unmanly
insults of the republican mob before whose tribunal she was dragged.
The young dauphin expired under the ill-treatment he received from his
guardian, a shoemaker. His sister, the present Duchess d'Angouleme,
was spared.]

[Footnote 3: Where the peasantry, infuriated at the depredations of
the French, cast the wounded and the dead indiscriminately into a
trench.--_Benzenberg's Letters._ ]

[Footnote 4: The Hanoverian general, Hammerstein, and his adjutant
Scharnhorst, who afterward became so noted, made a gallant defence.
When the city became no longer tenable, they boldly sallied forth at
the head of the garrison and escaped.]

[Footnote 5: Rewbel, one of the five directors of the great French
republic, and several of the most celebrated French generals,
Germany's unwearied foes, were natives of Alsace, as, for instance,
the gallant Westermann, one of the first leaders of the republican
armies; the intrepid Kellermann, the soldiers' father; the immortal
Kleber, generalissimo of the French forces in Egypt, who fell by the
dagger of a fanatical Mussulman; and the undaunted Rapp, the hero of
Dantzig. The lion-hearted Ney, justly designated by the French as the
bravest of the brave, was a native of Lorraine. These were, one and
all, men of tried metal, but whose German names induce the demand,
"Why did they fight for France?" Wurmser belonged to the same old
Strasburg family which had given birth to Wurmser, the celebrated
court-painter of the emperor, Charles IV. ]

[Footnote 6: The Austrian generals Beaulieu, Quosdanowich, and the
Archduke Charles, who, at that period, laid the foundation to his
future fame, had pushed victoriously forward and taken Fleurus, when
the ill-tuned orders, as they are deemed, of the generalissimo Coburg
compelled them to retreat. Quosdanowich dashed his sabre furiously on
the ground and exclaimed, "The army is betrayed, the victory is ours,
and yet we must resign it. Adieu, thou glorious land, thou garden of
Europe, the house of Austria bids thee eternally adieu!" The French
had, before and during the action, made use of a balloon for the
purpose of watching the movements of the enemy.]

[Footnote 7: The worst spirit prevailed among the British troops; the
officers were wealthy young men, who had purchased their posts and
were, in the highest degree, licentious. Vide Dietfurth's Hessian
Campaigns.]

[Footnote 8: Peter Hammer, in his "Description of the Imperial Army,"
published, A.D. 1796, at Cologne, graphically depictures the sad state
of the empire. The imperial troops consisted of the dregs of the
populace, so variously arranged as to justify the remark of Colonel
Sandberg of Baden that the only thing wanting was their regular
equipment as jack-puddings. A monastery furnished two men; a petty
barony, the ensign; a city, the captain. The arms of each man differed
in calibre. No patriotic spirit animated these defenders of the
empire. An anonymous author remarks: "For love of one's country to be
felt, there must, first of all, be a country; but Germany is split
into petty useless monarchies, chiefly characterized by their
oppression of their subjects, by pride, slavery, and unutterable
weakness. Formerly, when Germany was attacked, each of her sons made
ready for battle, her princes were patriotic and brave. Now, may
Heaven have pity on the land; the princes, the counts, and nobles
march hence and leave their country to its fate. The Margrave of
Baden--I do not speak of the prince bishop of Spires and of other
spiritual lords whose profession forbids their laying hand to
sword--the Landgrave of Darmstadt and other nobles fled on the mere
report of an intended visit from the French, by which they plainly
intimated that they merely held sovereign rule for the purpose of
being fattened by their subjects in time of peace. Danger no sooner
appears than the miserable subject is left to his own resources.
_Germany is divided into too many petty states._ How can an elector of
the Pfalz, or indeed any of the still lesser nobility, protect the
country? Unity, moreover, is utterly wanting. The Bavarian regards the
Hessian as a stranger, not as his countryman. Each petty territory has
a different tariff, administration, and laws. The subject of one petty
state cannot travel half a mile into a neighboring one without leaving
behind him great part of his property. The bishop of Spires strictly
forbids his subjects to intermarry with those of any other state. And
patriotism is expected to result from these measures! The subject of a
despot, whose revenues exceed those of his neighbors by a few thousand
florins, looks down with contempt on the slave of a poorer prince.
Hence the boundless hatred between the German courts and their petty
brethren, hence the malicious joy caused by the mishaps of a
neighboring dynasty." Hence the wretchedness of the troops. "With the
exception of the troops belonging to the circle there were none to
defend the frontiers of the empire. Grandes battues, balls, operas,
and mistresses, swallowed up the revenue, not a farthing remained for
the erection of fortresses, the want of which was so deeply felt for
the defence of the frontiers."]

[Footnote 9: "How can France, with her solemn assurances of liberty,
arbitrarily interfere with the government of a country already
possessing a representative elected by the people? How can she
proclaim us as a free nation, and, at the same moment, deprive us of
our liberty? Will she establish a new mythology of nations, and divide
the different peoples on the face of the earth, according to their
strength, into nations and demi-nations?"--_Protest of the Provisional
Council of the City of Brussels. The President, Theodore Dotrenge._
"Every free nation gives to itself laws, does not receive them from
another."--_Protest of the City of Antwerp, President of the Council,
Van Dun._ "You confiscate alike public and private property. That have
even our former tyrants never ventured to do when declaring us rebels,
and you say that you bring to us liberty."--_Protest of the Hennegau._
The most copious account of the revolutionizing of the Netherlands is
contained in Rau's History of the Germans in France, and of the French
in Germany. Frankfort on the Maine, 1794 and 1795.]



CCXLIX. The Defection of Prussia--The Archduke Charles


Frederick William's advisers, who imagined the violation of every
principle of justice and truth an indubitable proof of instinctive and
consummate prudence, unwittingly played a high and hazardous game.
Their diplomatic absurdity, which weighed the fate of nations against
a dinner, found a confusion of all the solid principles on which
states rest as stimulating as the piquant ragouts of the great Ude.
Lucchesini, under his almost intolerable airs of sapience, as artfully
veiled his incapacity in the cabinet as Ferdinand of Brunswick did his
in the field, and to this may be ascribed the measures which but
momentarily and seemingly aggrandized Prussia and prepared her deeper
fall. Each petty advantage gained by Prussia but served to raise
against her some powerful foe, and finally, when placed by her policy
at enmity with every sovereign of Europe, she was induced to trust to
the shallow friendship of the French republic.

The Poles, taken unawares by the second partition of their country,
speedily recovered from their surprise and collected all their
strength for an energetic opposition. Kosciuszko, who had, together
with Lafayette, fought in North America in the cause of liberty, armed
his countrymen with scythes, put every Russian who fell into his hands
to death, and attempted the restoration of ancient Poland. How easily
might not Prussia, backed by the enthusiasm of the patriotic Poles,
have repelled the Russian colossus, already threatening Europe! But
the Berlin diplomatists had yet to learn the homely truth, that
"honesty is the best policy." They aided in the aggrandizement of
Russia, drew down a nation's curse upon their heads for the sake of an
addition to the territory of Prussia, the maintenance of which cost
more than its revenue, and violated the Divine commands during a
period of storm and convulsion, when the aid of Heaven was indeed
required. The ministers of Frederick William II. were externally
religious, but those of Frederick William I., by whom the Polish
question had been so justly decided, were so in reality.

The king led his troops in person into Poland. In June, 1794, he
defeated Kosciuszko's scythemen at Szczekociny, but met with such
strenuous opposition in his attack upon Warsaw as to be compelled to
retire in September.[1] On the retreat of the Prussian troops, the
Russians, who had purposely awaited their departure in order to secure
the triumph for themselves, invaded the country in great force under
their bold general, Suwarow, who defeated Kosciuszko, took him
prisoner, and besieged Warsaw, which he carried by storm. On this
occasion, termed by Reichardt "a peaceful and merciful entry of the
clement victor," eighteen thousand of the inhabitants of every age and
sex were cruelly put to the sword. The result of this success was the
third partition or utter annihilation of Poland. Russia took
possession of the whole of Lithuania and Volhynia, as far as the
Riemen and the Bug; Prussia, of the whole country west of the Riemen,
including Warsaw; Austria, of the whole country south of the Bug, A.D.
1795. An army of German officials, who earned for themselves not the
best of reputations, settled in the Prussian division: they were
ignorant of the language of the country, and enriched themselves by
tyranny and oppression. Von Treibenfeld, the counsellor to the
forest-board, one of Bischofswerder's friends, bestowed a number of
confiscated lands upon his adherents.

The ancient Polish feof of Courland was, in consequence of the
annihilation of Poland, incorporated with the Russian empire, Peter,
the last duke, the son of Biron, being compelled to abdicate, A.D.
1795.

Pichegru invaded Holland late in the autumn of 1794. The duke of York
had already returned to England. A line of defence was, nevertheless,
taken up by the British under Wallmoden, by the Dutch under their
hereditary stadtholder, William V. of Orange, and by an Austrian corps
under Alvinzi; the Dutch were, however, panic-struck, and negotiated a
separate treaty with Pichegru,[2] who, at that moment, solely aimed at
separating the Dutch from their allies; but when, in December, all the
rivers and canals were suddenly frozen, and nature no longer threw
insurmountable obstacles in his path, regardless of the negotiations
then pending in Paris, he unexpectedly took up arms, marched across
the icebound waters, and carried Holland by storm. With him marched
the anti-Orangemen, the exiled Dutch patriots, under General Daendels
and Admiral de Winter, with the pretended view of restoring ancient
republican liberty to Holland and of expelling the tyrannical Orange
dynasty.

The British (and some Hessian troops) were defeated at Thiel on the
Waal; Alvinzi met with a similar fate at Pondern, and was compelled to
retreat into Westphalia. Some English ships, which lay frozen up in
the harbor, were captured by the French hussars. A most manly
resistance was made; but no aid was sent from any quarter. Prussia,
who so shortly before had ranged herself on the side of the
stadtholder against the people, was now an indifferent spectator.
William V. was compelled to flee to England. Holland was transformed
into a Batavian republic. Hahn, Hoof, etc., were the first furious
Jacobins by whom everything was there formed upon the French model.
The Dutch were compelled to cede Maestricht, Venloo, and Vliessingen;
to pay a hundred millions to France, and, moreover, to allow their
country to be plundered, to be stripped of all the splendid works of
art, pictures, etc. (as was also the case in the Netherlands and on
the Rhine), and even of the valuable museum of natural curiosities
collected by them with such assiduity in every quarter of the globe.
These depredations were succeeded by a more systematic mode of
plunder. Holland was mercilessly drained of her enormous wealth. All
the gold and silver bullion was first of all collected; this was
followed by the imposition of an income-tax of six per cent, which was
afterward repeated, and was succeeded by an income-tax on a sliding
scale from three to thirty per cent. The British, at the same time,
destroyed the Dutch fleet in the Texel commanded by de Winter, in
order to prevent its capture by the French, and seized all the Dutch
colonies, Java alone excepted. The flag of Holland had vanished from
the seas.

In August, 1794, the reign of terror in France reached its close. The
moderate party which came into power gave hopes of a general peace,
and Frederick William II without loss of time negotiated a separate
treaty, suddenly abandoned the monarchical cause which he had formerly
so zealously upheld, and offered his friendship to the revolutionary
nation, against which he had so lately hurled a violent manifesto. The
French, with equal inconsistency on their part, abandoned the popular
cause, and, after having murdered their own sovereign and threatened
every European throne with destruction, accepted the alliance of a
foreign king. Both parties, notwithstanding the contrariety of their
principles and their mutual animosity, were conciliated by their
political interest. The French, solely bent upon conquest, cared not
for the liberty of other nations; Prussia, intent upon self-
aggrandizement, was indifferent to the fate of her brother sovereigns.
Peace was concluded between France and Prussia at Basel, April 5,
1795. By a secret article of this treaty, Prussia confirmed the French
republic in the possession of the whole of the left bank of the Rhine,
while France in return richly indemnified Prussia at the expense of
the petty German states. This peace, notwithstanding its manifest
disadvantages, was also acceded to by Austria, which, on this
occasion, received the unfortunate daughter of Louis XVI. in exchange
for Semonville and Maret, the captive ambassadors of the republic, and
the members of the Convention seized by Dumouriez. Hanover[3] and
Hesse-Cassel participated in the treaty and were included within the
line of demarcation, which France, on her side, bound herself not to
transgress.

The countries lying beyond this line of demarcation, the Netherlands,
Holland, and Pfalz-Juliers, were now abandoned to France, and Austria,
kept in check on the Upper Rhine, was powerless in their defence. In
this manner fell Luxemburg and Düsseldorf. All the Lower Rhenish
provinces were systematically plundered by the French under pretext of
establishing liberty and equality.[4] The Batavian republic was
permitted to subsist, but dependent upon France; Belgium was annexed
to France, A.D. 1795.

On the retreat of the Prussians, Mannheim was surrendered without a
blow by the electoral minister, Oberndorf, to the French. Wurmser
arrived too late to the relief of the city. Quosdanowich, his
lieutenant-general, nevertheless, succeeded in saving Heidelberg by
sheltering himself behind a great abatis at Handschuchsheion, whence
he repulsed the enemy, who were afterward almost entirely cut to
pieces by General Klenau, whom he sent in pursuit with the light
cavalry. General Boros led another Austrian corps across Nassau to
Ehrenbreitstein, at that time besieged by the French under their
youthful general, Marceau, who instantly retired. Wurmser no sooner
arrived in person than, attacking the French before Mannheim, he
completely put them to the rout and took General Oudinot prisoner.
Clairfait, at the same time, advanced unperceived upon Mayence, and
unexpectedly attacking the besieging French force, carried off one
hundred and thirty-eight pieces of heavy artillery. Pichegru, who had
been called from Holland to take the command on the Upper Rhine, was
driven back to the Vosges. Jourdan advanced to his aid from the Lower
Rhine, but his vanguard under Marceau was defeated at Kreuznach and
again at Meissenheim. Mannheim also capitulated to the Austrians. The
winter was now far advanced; both sides were weary of the campaign,
and an armistice was concluded. Austria, notwithstanding her late
success, was, owing to the desertion of Prussia, in a critical
position. The imperial troops also refused to act. The princes of
Southern Germany longed for peace. Even Spain followed the example of
Prussia and concluded a treaty with the French republic.

The consequent dissolution of the coalition between the German powers
had at least the effect of preventing the formation of a coalition of
nations against them by the French. Had the alliance between the
sovereigns continued, the French would, from political motives, have
used their utmost endeavors to revolutionize Germany; this project was
rendered needless by the treaty of Basel, which broke up the coalition
and confirmed France in the undisturbed possession of her liberties;
and thus it happened that Prussia unwittingly aided the monarchical
cause by involuntarily preventing the promulgation of the
revolutionary principles of France.

Austria remained unshaken, and refused either to betray the
monarchical cause by the recognition of a revolutionary democratical
government, or to cede the frontiers of the empire to the youthful and
insolent generals of the republic. Conscious of the righteousness of
the cause she upheld, she intrepidly stood her ground and ventured her
single strength in the mighty contest, which the campaign of 1796 was
to decide. The Austrian forces in Germany were commanded by the
emperor's brother, the Archduke Charles; those in Italy, by Beaulieu.
The French, on the other hand, sent Jourdan to the Lower Rhine, Moreau
to the Upper Rhine, Bonaparte to Italy, and commenced the attack on
every point with their wonted impetuosity.

The Austrians had again extended their lines as far as the Lower
Rhine. A corps under Prince Ferdinand of Würtemberg was stationed in
the Bergland, in the narrow corner still left between the Rhine and
the Prussian line of demarcation. Marceau forced him to retire as far
as Altenkirchen, but the Archduke Charles hastening to his assistance
encountered Jourdan's entire force on the Lahn near Kloster Altenberg,
and, after a short contest, compelled it to give way. A great part of
the Austrian army of the Rhine under Wurmser having been, meanwhile,
drawn off and sent into Italy, the archduke was compelled to turn
hastily from Jourdan against Moreau, who had just despatched General
Ferino across the Lake of Constance, while he advanced upon Strasburg.
A small Swabian corps under Colonel Raglowich made an extraordinary
defence in Kehl (the first instance of extreme bravery given by the
imperial troops at that time), but was forced to yield to numbers. The
Austrian general, Sztarray, was, notwithstanding the gallantry
displayed on the occasion, also repulsed at Sasbach; the Wurtemberg
battalion was also driven from the steep pass of the Kniebes,[5]
across which Moreau penetrated through the Black Forest into the heart
of Swabia, and had already reached Freudenstadt, when the Austrian
general, Latour, marched up the Murg. He was, however, also repulsed.
The Archduke Charles now arrived in person in the country around
Pforzheim (on the skirts of the Black Forest), and sent forward his
columns to attack the French in the mountains, but in vain; the French
were victorious at Rothensol and at Wildbad. The archduke retired
behind the Neckar to Cannstadt; his rearguard was pursued through the
city of Stuttgard by the vanguard of the French. After a short
cannonade, the archduke also abandoned his position at Cannstadt. The
whole of the Swabian circle submitted to the French. Wurtemberg was
now compelled to make a formal cession of Mumpelgard, which had been
for some time garrisoned by the French,[6] and, moreover, to pay a
contribution of four million livres; Baden was also mulcted two
millions, the other states of the Swabian circle twelve millions, the
clergy seven millions, altogether twenty-five million livres, without
reckoning the enormous requisition of provisions, horses, clothes,
etc. The archduke, in the meantime, deprived the troops belonging to
the Swabian circle of their arms at Biberach, on account of the peace
concluded by their princes with the French, and retired behind the
Danube by Donauwoerth. Ferino had, meanwhile, also advanced from
Huningen into the Breisgau and to the Lake of Constance, had beaten
the small corps under General Frõhlick at Herbolsheim and the remnant
of the French emigrants under Oonde at Mindelheim,[7] and joined
Moreau in pursuit of the archduke. His troops committed great havoc
wherever they appeared.[8]

Jourdan had also again pushed forward. The archduke had merely been
able to oppose to him on the Lower Rhine thirty thousand men under the
Count von Wartensleben, who, owing to Jourdan's numerical superiority,
had been repulsed across both the Lahn and Maine. Jourdan took
Frankfort by bombardment and imposed upon that city a contribution of
six millions. The Franconian circle also submitted and paid sixteen
millions, without reckoning the requisition of natural productions and
the merciless pillage.[9]

The Archduke Charles, too weak singly to encounter the armies of
Moreau and Jourdan, had, meanwhile, boldly resolved to keep his
opponents as long as possible separate, and, on the first favorable
opportunity, to attack one with the whole of his forces, while he kept
the other at bay with a small division of his army. In pursuance of
this plan, he sent Wartensleben against Jourdan, and, meanwhile, drew
Moreau after him into Bavaria, where, leaving General Latour with a
small corps to keep him in check at Rain on the Lech, he recrossed the
Danube at Ingolstadt with the flower of his army and hastily advanced
against Jourdan, who was thus taken unawares. At Teiningen, he
surprised the French avant-garde under Bernadotte, which he compelled
to retire. At Amberg, he encountered Jourdan, whom he completely
routed, A.D. 1796. The French retreated through the city, on the other
side of which they formed an immense square against the imperial
cavalry under Wernek; it was broken on the third charge, and a
terrible slaughter took place, three thousand of the French being
killed and one thousand taken prisoner. The peasantry had already
flown to arms, and assisted in cutting down the fugitives. Jourdan
again made a stand at Wurzburg, where Wernek stormed his batteries at
the head of his grenadiers and a complete rout ensued, September 3.
The French lost six thousand dead and two thousand prisoners. The
peasantry rose _en masse_, and hunted down the fugitives.[10] On the
Upper Rhone, Dr. Röder placed himself at the head of the peasantry,
but, encountering a superior French corps at Mellrichstadt, was
defeated and killed. The French suffered most in the Spessart, called
by them, on that account, La petite Vendee. The peasantry were here
headed by an aged forester named Philip Witt, and, protected by their
forests, exterminated numbers of the flying foe. The imperial troops
were also unremitting in their pursuit, again defeated Bernadotte at
Aschaffenburg and chased Jourdan through Nassau across the Rhine.
Marceau, who had vainly besieged Mayence, again made stand at
Allerheim, where he was defeated and killed.[11]

Moreau, completely deceived by the archduke, had, meanwhile, remained
in Bavaria. After defeating General Latour at Lechhausen, instead of
setting off in pursuit of the archduke and to Jourdan's aid, he was,
as the archduke had foreseen, attracted by the prospect of gaining a
rich booty, in an opposite direction, toward Munich. Bavaria submitted
to the French, paid ten millions, and ceded twenty of the most
valuable pictures belonging to the Dusseldorf and Munich galleries.
The news of Jourdan's defeat now compelled Moreau to beat a rapid
retreat in order to avoid being cut off by the victorious archduke.
Latour set off vigorously in pursuit, came up with him at Ulm and
again at Ravensberg, but was both times repulsed, owing to his
numerical inferiority. A similar fate awaited the still smaller
imperial corps led against the French by Nauendorf at Rothweil and by
Petrosch at Villingen, and Moreau led the main body of his army in
safety through the deep narrow gorges of the Hollenthal in the Black
Forest to Freiburg in the Breisgau, where he came upon the archduke,
who, amid the acclamations of the armed peasantry (by whom the
retreating French[12] were, as in the Spessart, continually harassed
in their passage through the Black Forest), had hurried, but too late,
to his encounter. Moreau had already sent two divisions of his army,
under Ferino and Desaix, across the Rhine at Huningen and Breisach,
and covered their retreat with the third by taking up a strong
position at Schliesgen, not far from Freiburg, whence, after braving a
first attack, he escaped during the night to Huningen. This retreat,
in which he had saved his army with comparatively little loss, excited
general admiration, but in Italy there was a young man who scornfully
exclaimed, "It was, after all, merely a retreat!"


[Footnote 1: The following trait proves the complete stagnation of
chivalric feeling in the army. Szekuli, colonel of the Prussian
hussars, condemned several patriotic ladies, belonging to the highest
Polish families at Znawrazlaw, to be placed beneath the gallows, in
momentary expectation of death, until it, at length, pleased him to
grant a reprieve, couched in the most offensive and indecent terms.]

[Footnote 2: A most disgraceful treaty. William's enemies, the
fugitive patriots, had promised the French, in return for their aid,
sixty million florins of the spoil of their country. William, upon
this, promised to pay to France a subsidy of eighty millions, in order
to guarantee the security of his frontier, but was instantly outbid by
the base and self-denominated patriots, who offered to France a
hundred million florins in order to induce her to invade their
country.]

[Footnote 3: Von Berlepsch, the councillor of administration, proposed
to the Calemberg diet to declare their neutrality in defiance of
England, and, in case of necessity, to place "the Calemberg Nation"
under the protection of France.--Havemomn.]

[Footnote 4: "Wherever these locusts appear, everything, men, cattle,
food, property, etc., is carried off. These thieves seize everything
convertible into money. Nothing is safe from them. At Cologne, they
filled a church with coffee and sugar. At Aix-la-Chapelle, they
carried off the finest pictures of Rubens and Van Dyck, the pillars
from the altar, and the marble-slab from the tomb of Charlemagne, all
of which they sold to some Dutch Jews."--_Posselt's Annals of 1796_.
At Cologne, the nuns were instantly emancipated from their vows, and
one of the youngest and most beautiful afterward gained great
notoriety as a barmaid at an inn. This scandalous story is related by
Klebe in his Travels on the Rhine. In Bonn, Gleich, a man who had
formerly been a priest, placed himself at the head of the French
rabble and planted trees of liberty. He also gave to the world a
decade, as he termed his publication.--_Müller_, _History of Bonn_.
"The French proclaimed war against the palaces and peace to the huts,
but no hut was too mean to escape the rapacity of these birds of prey.
The first-fruits of liberty was the pillage of every corner."--
_Schwaben's History of Siegburg_. The brothers Boisserée'e afterward
collected a good many of the church pictures, at that period carried
away from Cologne and more particularly from the Lower Rhine. They now
adorn Munich and form the best collection of old German paintings now
existing.]

[Footnote 5: "Had Würtemberg possessed but six thousand well-organized
troops, the position on the Roszbuhl might have been maintained, and
the country have been saved. The millions since paid by Würtemberg,
and which she may still have to pay, would have been spared."--
_Appendix to the History of the Campaign of 1796._]

[Footnote 6: The duke, Charles, had, in 1791, visited Paris, donned
the national cockade, and bribed Mirabeau with a large sum of money to
induce the French government to purchase Mümpelgard from him. The
French, however, were quite as well aware as the duke that they would
ere long possess it gratis.]

[Footnote 7: Moreau generously allowed all his prisoners, who, as
ex-nobles, were destined to the guillotine, to escape.]

[Footnote 8: Armbruster's "Register of French Crime" contains as
follows: "Here and there, in the neighboring towns, there were
certainly symptoms of an extremely favorable disposition toward the
French, which would ill deserve a place in the annals of German
patriotism and of German good sense. This disposition was fortunately
far from general. The appearance of the French in their real
character, and the barbarous excesses and heavy contributions by which
they rendered the people sensible of their presence, speedily effected
their conversion." The French, it is true, neither murdered the
inhabitants nor burned the villages as they had during the previous
century in the Pfalz, but they pillaged the country to a greater
extent, shamefully abused the women, and desecrated the churches.
Their license and the art with which they extorted the last penny from
the wretched people surpassed all belief. "Not satisfied with robbing
the churches, they especially gloried in giving utterance to the most
fearful blasphemies, in destroying and profaning the altars, in
overthrowing the statues of saints, in treading the host beneath their
feet or casting it to dogs.--At the village of Berg in Weingarten,
they set up in the holy of holies the image of the devil, which they
had taken from the representation of the temptation of the Saviour in
the wilderness. In the village of Boos, they roasted a crucifix before
a fire."--_Vide Hurter's Memorabilia, concerning the French allies in
Swabia, who attempted to found an Alemannic Republic. Schaffhausen,
1840_. Moreau reduced them to silence by declaring, "I have no need of
a revolution to the rear of my army."]

[Footnote 9: Notwithstanding Jourdan's proclamation, promising
protection to all private property, Würzburg, Schweinfurt, Bamberg,
etc., were completely pillaged. The young girls fled in hundreds to
the woods. The churches were shamelessly desecrated. When mercy in
God's name was demanded, the plunderers replied, "God! we are God!"
They would dance at night-time around a bowl of burning brandy, whose
blue flames they called their être suprème.--_The French in Franconia,
by Count Soden._]

[Footnote 10: "They deemed the assassination of a foreigner a
meritorious work."--_Ephemeridae of 1797._ "The peasantry, roused to
fury by the disorderly and cruel French, whose excesses exceeded all
belief, did not even extend mercy to the wounded; and the French, with
equal barbarity, set whole villages on fire."--_Appendix to the
Campaign of 1796_].

[Footnote 11: When scarcely in his twenty-seventh year. He was one of
the most distinguished heroes of the Revolution, and as remarkable for
his generosity to his weaker foes as for his moral and chivalric
principles. The Archduke Charles sent his private physicians to attend
upon him, and, on the occasion of his burial, fired a salvo
simultaneously with that of the French stationed on the opposite bank
of the Rhine.--_Mussinan_.]

[Footnote 12: The peasants of the Artenau and the Kinzigthal were
commanded by a wealthy farmer, named John Baader. Besides several
French generals, Hausmann, the commissary of the government, who
accompanied Moreau's army, was taken prisoner.--_Mussinan, History of
the French War of 1796_ etc. A decree, published on the 18th of
September by Frederick Eugene, Duke of Würtemberg, in which he
prohibited his subjects from taking part in the pursuit of the French,
is worthy of remark.]


CCL. Bonaparte


This youth was Napoleon Bonaparte, the son of a lawyer in the island
of Corsica, a man of military genius, who, when a mere lieutenant, had
raised the siege of Toulon, had afterward served the Directory by
dispersing the old Jacobins with his artillery in the streets of
Paris, and had been intrusted with the command of the army in Italy.
Talents, that under a monarchy would have been doomed to obscurity,
were, under the French republic, called into notice, and men of
decided genius could, amid the general competition, alone attain to
power or retain the reins of government.

Bonaparte was the first to take the field. In the April of 1796, he
pushed across the Alps and attacked the Austrians. Beaulieu, a good
general, but too old for service (he was then seventy-two, Napoleon
but twenty-seven), had incautiously extended his lines too far, in
order to preserve a communication with the English fleet in the
Mediterranean. Bonaparte defeated his scattered forces at Montenotte
and Millesimo, between the 10th and 15th of April, and, turning
sharply upon the equally scattered Sardinian force, beat it in several
engagements, the principal of which took place at Mondovi, between the
19th and 22d of April. An armistice was concluded with Sardinia, and
Beaulieu, who vainly attempted to defend the Po, was defeated on the
7th and 8th of May, at Fombio. The bridge over the Adda at Lodi, three
hundred paces in length, extremely narrow and to all appearance
impregnable, defended by his lieutenant Sebottendorf, was carried by
storm, and, on the 15th of May, Bonaparte entered Milan. Beaulieu took
up a position behind the Mincio, notwithstanding which, Bonaparte
carried the again ill-defended bridge at Borghetto by storm. While in
this part of the country, he narrowly escaped being taken prisoner by
a party of skirmishers, and was compelled to fly half-naked, with but
one foot booted, from his night quarters at St. Georgio.

Beaulieu now withdrew into the Tyrol. Sardinia made peace, and terms
were offered by the pope and by Naples. Leghorn was garrisoned with
French troops; all the English goods lying in this harbor, to the
value of twelve million pounds, were confiscated. The strongly
fortified city of Mantua, defended by the Austrians under their
gallant leader, Canto d'Irles, was besieged by Bonaparte. A fresh body
of Austrian troops under Wurmser crossed the mountains to their
relief; but Wurmser, instead of advancing with his whole force,
incautiously pressed forward with thirty-two thousand men through the
valley of the Adige, while Quosdanowich led eighteen thousand along
the western shore of the Lake of Garda. Bonaparte instantly perceived
his advantage, and, attacking the latter, defeated him on the 3d of
August, at Lonato. Wurmser had entered Mantua unopposed on the 1st,
but, setting out in search of the enemy, was unexpectedly attacked, on
the 5th of August, by the whole of Bonaparte's forces at Castiglione,
and compelled, like Quosdanowich, to seek shelter in the Tyrol. This
senseless mode of attack had been planned by Weirotter, a colonel
belonging to the general staff. Wurmser now received reinforcements,
and Laner, the general of the engineers, was intrusted with the
projection of a better plan. He again weakened the army by dividing
his forces. In the beginning of September, Davidowich penetrated with
twenty thousand men through the valley of the Adige and was defeated
at Roveredo, and Wurmser, who had, meanwhile, advanced with an army of
twenty-six thousand men through the valley of the Brenta, met with a
similar fate at Bassano. He, nevertheless, escaped the pursuit of the
victorious French by making a circuit, and threw himself by a forced
march into Mantua, where he was, however, unable to make a lengthy
resistance, the city being over-populated and provisions scarce. A
fresh army of twenty-eight thousand men, under Alvinzi, sent to his
relief[1] through the valley of the Brenta, was attacked in a strong
position at Arcole, on the river Alpon. Two dams protected the bank
and a narrow bridge, which was, on the 15th of November, vainly
stormed by the French, although General Augereau and Bonaparte, with
the colors in his hand, led the attack. On the following day, Alvinzi
foolishly crossed the bridge and took up an exposed position, in which
he was beaten, and, on the third day, he retreated. Davidowich,
meanwhile, again advanced from the Tyrol and gained an advantage at
Rivoli, but was also forced to retreat before Bonaparte. Wurmser, when
too late, made a sally, which was, consequently, useless. The campaign
was, nevertheless, for the fifth time, renewed. Alvinzi collected
reinforcements and again pushed forward into the valley of the Adige,
but speedily lost courage and suffered a fearful defeat, in which
twenty thousand of his men were taken prisoners, on the 14th and 15th
of January, A.D. 1797, at Rivoli. Provera, on whom he had relied for
assistance from Padua, was cut off and taken prisoner with his entire
corps. Wurmser capitulated at Mantua with twenty-one thousand men.

The spring of 1797 had scarcely commenced when Bonaparte was already
pushing across the Alps toward Vienna. Hoche, at the same time, again
attacked the Lower and Moreau the Upper Rhine. Bonaparte, the nearest
and most dangerous foe, was opposed by the archduke, whose army,
composed of the remains of Alvinzi's disbanded and discouraged troops,
called forth the observation from Bonaparte, "Hitherto I have defeated
armies without generals, now I am about to attack a general without an
army!" A battle took place at Tarvis, amid the highest mountains,
whence it was afterward known as "the battle above the clouds." The
archduke, with a handful of Hungarian hussars, valiantly defended the
pass against sixteen thousand French under Massena, nor turned to fly
until eight only of his men remained. Generals Bayalich and Ocskay,
instead of supporting him, had yielded. The archduke again collected
five thousand men around him at Glogau and opposed the advance of the
immensely superior French force until two hundred and fifty of his men
alone remained. The conqueror of Italy rapidly advanced through Styria
upon Vienna. Another French corps under Joubert had penetrated into
the Tyrol, but had been so vigorously assailed at Spinges by the brave
peasantry[2] as to be forced to retire upon Bonaparte's main body,
with which he came up at Villach, after losing between six and eight
thousand men during his retreat through the Pusterthal. The rashness
with which Bonaparte, leaving the Alps to his rear and regardless of
his distance from France, penetrated into the enemy's country, had
placed him in a position affording every facility for the Austrians,
by a bold and vigorous stroke, to cut him off and take him prisoner.
They had garrisoned Trieste and Fiume on the Adriatic and formed an
alliance with the republic of Venice, at that time well supplied with
men, arms, and gold. A great insurrection of the peasantry, infuriated
by the pillage of the French troops, had broken out at Bergamo. The
gallant Tyrolese, headed by Count Lehrbach, and the Hungarians, had
risen en masse. The victorious troops of the Archduke Charles were en
route from the Rhine, and Mack had armed the Viennese and the
inhabitants of the thickly-populated neighborhood of the metropolis.
Bonaparte was lost should the archduke's plan of operations meet with
the approbation of the Viennese cabinet, and, perfectly aware of the
fact, he made proposals of peace under pretence of sparing unnecessary
bloodshed. The imperial court, stupefied by the late discomfiture in
Italy, instead of regarding the proposals of the wily Frenchman as a
confession of embarrassment, and of assailing him with redoubled
vigor, acceded to them, and, on the 18th of April, Count Cobenzl,
Thugut's successor, concluded the preliminaries of peace at Leoben, by
which the French, besides being liberated from their dangerous
position, were recognized as victors. The negotiations of peace were
continued at the chateau of Campo Formio, where the Austrians somewhat
regained courage, and Count Cobenzl[3] even ventured to refuse some of
the articles proposed. Bonaparte, irritated by opposition, dashed a
valuable cup, the gift of the Russian empress, violently to the
ground, exclaiming, "You wish for war? Well! you shall have it, and
your monarchy shall be shattered like that cup." The armistice was not
interrupted. Hostilities were even suspended on the Rhine. The
archduke had, before quitting that river, gained the _tétes de pont_
of Strasburg (Kehl) and of Huningen, besides completely clearing the
right bank of the Rhine of the enemy. The whole of these advantages
were again lost on his recall to take the field against Napoleon. The
Saxon troops, which had, up to this period, steadily sided with
Austria, were recalled by the elector. Swabia, Franconia, and Bavaria
were intent upon making peace with France. Baron von Fahnenberg, the
imperial envoy at Ratisbon, bitterly reproached the Protestant estates
for their evident inclination to follow the example of Prussia by
siding with the French and betraying their fatherland to their common
foe, but, on applying more particularly for aid to the spiritual
princes, who were exposed to the greatest danger, he found them
equally lukewarm. Each and all refused to furnish troops or to pay a
war tax. The imperial troops were, consequently, compelled to enforce
their maintenance, and naturally became the objects of popular hatred.
In this wretched manner was the empire defended! The petty imperial
corps on the Rhine were, meanwhile, compelled to retreat before an
enemy vastly their superior in number. Wernek, attempting with merely
twenty-two thousand men to obstruct the advance of an army of
sixty-five thousand French under Hoche, was defeated at Neuwied and
deprived of his command.[4] Sztarray, who charged seven times at the
head of his men, was also beaten by Moreau at Kehl and Diersheim. At
this conjuncture, the armistice of Leoben was published.

A peace, based on the terms proposed at Leoben, was formally concluded
at Campo Formio, October 17, 1797. The triumph of the French republic
was confirmed, and ancient Europe received a new form. The object for
which the sovereigns of France had for centuries vainly striven was
won by the monarchless nation; France gained the preponderance in
Europe. Italy and the whole of the left bank of the Rhine were
abandoned to her arbitrary rule, and this fearful loss, far from
acting as a warning to Germany and promoting her unity, merely
increased her internal dissensions and offered to the French republic
an opportunity for intervention, of which it took advantage for
purposes of gain and pillage.

The principal object of the policy of Bonaparte and of the French
Directory, at that period, was, by rousing the ancient feelings of
enmity between Austria and Prussia, to eternalize the disunion between
those two monarchies. Bonaparte, after effectuating the peace by means
of terror, loaded Austria with flattery. He flattered her religious
feelings by the moderation of his conduct in Italy toward the pope,
notwithstanding the disapprobation manifested by the genuine French
republicans, and her interests by the offer of Venice in compensation
for the loss of the Netherlands, and, making a slight side-movement
against that once powerful and still wealthy republic, reduced it at
the first blow, nay, by mere threats, to submission; so deeply was the
ancient aristocracy here also fallen. The cession of Venice to the
emperor was displeasing to the French republicans. They were, however,
pacified by the delivery of Lafayette, who had been still detained a
prisoner in Austria after the treaty of Basel. Napoleon said in
vindication of his policy, "I have merely lent Venice to the emperor,
he will not keep her long." He, moreover, gratified Austria by the
extension of her western frontier, so long the object of her ambition,
by the possession of the archbishopric of Salzburg and of a part of
Bavaria with the town of Wasserburg.[5] The sole object of these
concessions was provisionally to dispose Austria in favor of
France,[6] and to render Prussia's ancient jealousy of Austria
implacable.[7] Hence the secret articles of peace by which France and
Austria bound themselves not to grant any compensation to Prussia.
Prussia was on her part, however, resolved not to be the loser, and,
in the summer of 1797, took forcible possession of the imperial free
town of Nuremberg, notwithstanding her declaration made just three
years previously through Count Soden to the Franconian circle, "that
the king had never harbored the design of seeking a compensation at
the expense of the empire, whose constitution had ever been sacred in
his eyes!" and to the empire, "He deemed it beneath his dignity to
refute the reports concerning Prussia's schemes of aggrandizement,
oppression, and secularization." Prussia also extended her possessions
in Franconia[8] and Westphalia, and Hesse-Cassel imitated her example
by the seizure of a part of Schaumburg-Lippe. The diet energetically
remonstrated, but in vain. Pamphlets spoke of the Prussian reunion-
chambers opened by Hardenberg in Franconia. An attempt was, however,
made to console the circle of Franconia by depicturing the far worse
sufferings of that of Swabia under the imperial contributions. The
petty Estates of the empire stumbled, under these circumstances, upon
the unfortunate idea "that the intercession of the Russian court
should be requested for the maintenance of the integrity of the German
empire and for that of her constitution"; the intercession of the
Russian court, which had so lately annihilated Poland!

Shortly after this, A.D. 1797, Frederick William II., who had, on his
accession to the throne, found seventy-two millions of dollars in the
treasury, expired, leaving twenty-eight millions of debts. His son,
Frederick William III., placed the Countess Lichtenau under arrest,
banished Wollner, and abolished the unpopular monopoly in tobacco, but
retained his father's ministers and continued the alliance, so
pregnant with mischief, with France.--This monarch, well-meaning and
destined to the severest trials, educated by a peevish valetudinarian
and ignorant of affairs, was first taught by bitter experience the
utter incapacity of the men at that time at the head of the
government, and after, as will be seen, completely reforming the
court, the government, and the army, surrounded himself with men, who
gloriously delivered Prussia and Germany from all the miseries and
avenged all the disgrace, which it is the historian's sad office to
record.

Austria, as Prussia had already done by the treaty of Basel, also
sacrificed, by the peace of Campo Formio, the whole of the left bank
of the Rhine and abandoned it to France, the loss thereby suffered by
the Estates of the empire being indemnified by the secularization of
the ecclesiastical property in the interior of Germany and by the
prospect of the seizure of the imperial free towns. Mayence was ceded
without a blow to France. Holland was forgotten. The English, under
pretext of opposing France, destroyed, A.D. 1797, the last Dutch
fleet, in the Texel, though not without a heroic and determined
resistance on the part of the admirals de Winter and Reintjes, both of
whom were severely wounded, and the latter died in captivity in
England. Holland was formed into a Batavian, Genoa into a Ligurian,
Milan with the Valtelline (from which the Grisons was severed) into a
Cisalpine, republic. Intrigues were, moreover, set on foot for the
formation of a Roman and Neapolitan republic in Italy and of a Rhenish
and Swabian one in Germany, all of which were to be subordinate to the
mother republic in France. The proclamation of a still-born Cisrhenish
republic (it not having as yet been constituted when it was swallowed
up in the great French republic), in the masterless Lower Rhenish
provinces in the territory of Treves, Aix-la-Chapelle, and Cologne,
under the influence of the French Jacobins and soldiery, was, however,
all that could at first be done openly.

The hauteur with which Bonaparte, backed by his devoted soldiery, had
treated the republicans, and the contempt manifested by him toward the
citizens, had not failed to rouse the jealous suspicions of the
Directory, the envy of the less successful generals, and the hatred of
the old friends of liberty, by whom he was already designated as a
tyrant. The republican party was still possessed of considerable
power, and the majority of the French troops under Moreau, Jourdan,
Bernadotte, etc., were still ready to shed their blood in the cause of
liberty. Bonaparte, compelled to veil his ambitious projects, judged
it more politic, after sowing the seed of discord at Campo Formio, to
withdraw a while, in order to await the ripening of the plot and to
return to reap the result. He, accordingly, went meantime, A.D. 1798,
with a small but well-picked army to Egypt, for the ostensible purpose
of opening a route overland to India, the sea-passage having been
closed against France by the British, but, in reality, for the purpose
of awaiting there a turn in continental affairs, and, moreover, by his
victories over the Turks in the ancient land of fable to add to the
wonder it was ever his object to inspire. On his way thither he seized
the island of Malta and compelled Baron Hompesch, the grand-master of
the order of the Knights of Malta, to resign his dignity, the fortress
being betrayed into his hands by the French knights.

At Rastadt, near Baden, where the compensation mentioned in the treaty
of Campo Formio was to be taken into consideration, the terrified
Estates of the empire assembled for the purpose of suing the French
ambassadors for the lenity they had not met with at the hands of
Austria and Prussia.--The events that took place at Rastadt are of a
description little calculated to flatter the patriotic feelings of the
German historian. The soul of the congress was Charles Maurice
Talleyrand-Perigord, at one time a bishop, at the present period
minister of the French republic. His colloquy with the German
ambassadors resembled that of the fox with the geese, and he attuned
their discords with truly diabolical art. While holding Austria and
Prussia apart, instigating them one against the other, flattering both
with the friendship of the republic and with the prospect of a rich
booty by the secularization of the ecclesiastical lands, he encouraged
some of the petty states with the hope of aggrandizement by an
alliance with France,[9] and, with cruel contempt, allowed others a
while to gasp for life before consigning them to destruction. The
petty princes, moreover, who had been deprived of their territory on
the other side of the Rhine, demanded lands on this side in
compensation; all the petty princes on this side consequently trembled
lest they should be called upon to make compensation, and each
endeavored, by bribing the members of the congress, Talleyrand in
particular, to render himself an exception. The French minister was
bribed not by gold alone; a considerable number of ladies gained great
notoriety by their liaison with the insolent republican, from whom
they received nothing, the object for which they sued being sold by
him sometimes even two or three times. Momus, a satirical production
of this period, relates numerous instances of crime and folly that are
perfectly incredible. The avarice manifested by the French throughout
the whole of the negotiations was only surpassed by the brutality of
their language and behavior. Roberjot, Bonnier, and Jean de Bry, the
dregs of the French nation, treated the whole of the German empire on
this occasion _en canaille_, and, while picking the pockets of the
Germans, were studiously coarse and brutal; still the trifling
opposition they encountered, and the total want of spirit in the
representatives of the great German empire, whom it must, in fact,
have struck them as ridiculous to see thus humbled at their feet,
forms an ample excuse for their demeanor.

Gustavus Adolphus IV., who mounted the throne of Sweden in 1796,
distinguished himself at that time among the Estates of the empire,
when Duke of Pomerania and Prince of Rugen, by his solemn protest
against the depredations committed by France, and by his summons to
every member of the German empire to take the field against their
common foe. Hesse-Cassel was also remarkable for the warlike demeanor
and decidedly anti-Gallic feeling of her population; and Wurtemberg,
for being the first of the German states that gave the example of
making concessions more in accordance with the spirit of the times. By
the abolition of ancient abuses alone could the princes meet the
threats used on every occasion by the French at Rastadt to
revolutionize the people unless their demands were fully complied
with. In Wurtemberg, the duke, Charles, had been succeeded, A.D. 1793,
by his brother, Louis Eugène, who banished license from his court,
but, a foe to enlightenment, closed the Charles college, placed monks
around his person, was extremely bigoted, and a zealous but impotent
friend to France. He expired, A.D. 1795, and was succeeded by the
third brother, Frederick Eugène, who had been during his youth a canon
at Salzburg, but afterward became a general in the Prussian service,
married a princess of Brandenburg, and educated his children in the
Protestant faith in order to assimilate the religion of the reigning
family with that of the people. His mild government terminated in
1797. Frederick, his talented son and successor, mainly frustrated the
projected establishment of a Swabian republic, which was strongly
supported by the French, by his treatment of the provincial Estates,
the modification of the rights of chase, etc., on which occasion he
took the following oath: "I repeat the solemn vow, ever to hold the
constitution of this country sacred and to make the weal of my
subjects the aim of my life." He nevertheless appears, by the
magnificent fetes, masquerades, and pastoral festivals given by him,
as if in a time of the deepest peace, at Hohenheim, to have trusted
more to his connection with England, by his marriage with the princess
royal, Matilda,[10] with Russia, and with Austria (the emperor Paul,
Catherine's successor, having married the princess Maria of
Wurtemberg, and the emperor Francis II., her sister Elisabeth), than
to the constitution, which he afterward annihilated.

The weakness displayed by the empire and the increasing disunion
between Austria and Prussia encouraged the French to further
insolence. Not satisfied with garrisoning every fortification on the
left bank of the Rhine, they boldly attacked, starved to submission,
and razed to the ground, during peace time, the once impregnable
fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, on the right bank of the Rhine, opposite
Coblentz.[11] Not content with laying the Netherlands and Holland
completely waste, they compelled the Hanse towns to grant them a loan
of eighteen million livres. Lubeck refused, but Hamburg and Bremen,
more nearly threatened and hopeless of aid from Prussia, were
constrained to satisfy the demands of the French brigands. In the
Netherlands, the German faction once more rose in open insurrection;
in 1798, the young men, infuriated by the conscription and by their
enrolment into French regiments, flew to arms, and torrents of blood
were shed in the struggle, in which they were unaided by their German
brethren, before they were again reduced to submission. The English
also landed at Ostend, but for the sole purpose of destroying the
sluices of the canal at Bruges.

The French divided the beautiful Rhenish provinces, yielded to them
almost without a blow by Germany, into four departments: First, Roer,
capital Aix-la-Chapelle; besides Cologne and Cleves. Secondly,
Donnersberg, capital Mayence; besides Spires and Zweibrucken. Thirdly,
Saar, capital Treves. Fourthly, Rhine and Moselle, capital Coblentz;
besides Bonn. Each department was subdivided into cantons, each canton
into communes. The department was governed by a perfect, the canton by
a sub-prefect, the commune by a mayor. All distinction of rank,
nobility, and all feudal rights were abolished. Each individual was a
citizen, free and equal. All ecclesiastical establishments were
abandoned to plunder, the churches alone excepted, they being still
granted as places of worship to believers, notwithstanding the
contempt and ridicule into which the clergy had fallen. The
monasteries were closed. The peasantry, more particularly in Treves,
nevertheless, still manifested great attachment to Popery. Guilds and
corporations were also abolished. The introduction of the ancient
German oral law formerly in use throughout the empire, the institution
of trial by jury, which, to the disgrace of Germany, the Rhenish
princes, after the lapse of a thousand years, learned from their
Gallic foe, was a great and signal benefit.

Liberty, equality, and justice were, at that period, in all other
respects, mere fictions. The most arbitrary rule in reality existed,
and the new provinces were systematically drained by taxes of every
description, as, for instance, register, stamp, patent, window, door,
and land taxes: there was also a tax upon furniture and upon luxuries
of every sort; a poll-tax, a percentage on the whole assessment, etc.;
besides extortion, confiscation, and forced sales. And woe to the new
citizen of the great French republic if he failed in paying more
servile homage to its officers, from the prefect down to the lowest
underling, than had ever been exacted by the princes![12] Such was the
liberty bestowed by republican France! Thus were her promises
fulfilled! The German Illuminati were fearfully undeceived,
particularly on perceiving how completely their hopes of universally
revolutionizing Germany were frustrated by the treaty of Basel. The
French, who had proclaimed liberty to all the nations of the earth,
now offered it for sale. The French character was in every respect the
same as during the reign of Louis XIV. The only principle to which
they remained ever faithful was that of robbery.--Switzerland was now,
in her turn, attacked, and vengeance thus overtook every province that
had severed itself from the empire, and every part of the once
magnificent empire of Germany was miserably punished for its want of
unity.


[Footnote 1: Clausewitz demands, with great justice, why the Austrians
so greatly divided their forces on this occasion for the sake of
saving Italy, as they had only to follow up their successes vigorously
on the Rhine in order to gain, in that quarter, far more than they
could lose on the Po.]

[Footnote 2: At Absom, in the valley of the Inn, a peasant girl had,
at that time, discovered a figure of the Virgin in one of the panes of
glass in her chamber window. This appearance being deemed miraculous
by the simple peasantry, the authorities of the place investigated the
matter, had the glass cleaned and scraped, etc., and at length
pronounced the indelible figure to be simply the outline of an old
colored painting. The peasantry, however, excited by the appearance of
the infidel French, persisted in giving credence to the miracle and
set up the piece of glass in a church, which was afterward annually
visited by thousands of pilgrims. In 1407, the celebrated pilgrimage
to Waldrast, in the Tyrol, had been founded in a similar manner by the
discovery of a portrait of the Virgin which had been grown up in a
tree, by two shepherd lads.]

[Footnote 3: Cobenzl was a favorite of Kaunitz and a thorough
courtier. At an earlier period, when ambassador at Petersburg, he
wrote French comedies, which were performed at the Hermitage in the
presence of the empress Catherine. The arrival of an unpleasant
despatch being ever followed by the production of some amusing piece
as an antidote to care, the empress jestingly observed, "that he was
no doubt keeping his best piece until the news arrived of the French
being in Vienna." He expired in the February of 1809, a year pregnant
with fate for Austria.]

[Footnote 4: He indignantly refused the stipend offered to him on this
occasion and protested against the injustice of his condemnation.]

[Footnote 5: Bavaria regarded these forced concessions as a bad reward
for her fidelity to Austria. Napoleon appears to have calculated upon
relighting by this means the flames of discord, whence he well knew
how to draw an advantage, between Bavaria and Austria.]

[Footnote 6: "Thus the emperor also now abandoned the empire by merely
bargaining with the enemy to quit his territories, and leaving the
wretched provinces of the empire a prey to war and pillage. And if the
assurances of friendship, of confidence, and of affection between
Austria and Venice are but recalled to mind, the contrast was indeed
laughable when the emperor was pleased to allow that loyal city to be
ceded to him. The best friend was in this case the cloth from which
the emperor cut himself an equivalent."--_Huergelmer_.]

[Footnote 7: A curious private memoir of Talleyrand says: "J'ai la
certitude que Berlin est le lieu, où le traité du 26 Vendémiaire (the
reconciliation of Austria with France at Campo Formio), aura jetté le
plus d'etonnement, d'embarras et de orainte." He then explains that,
now that the Netherlands no longer belong to Austria, and that Austria
and France no longer come into collision, both powers would be
transformed from natural foes into natural friends and would have an
equal interest in weakening Prussia. Should Russia stir, the Poles
could be roused to insurrection, etc.]

[Footnote 8: "Exactly at this period, when the empire's common foe was
plundering the Franconian circle, when deeds of blood and horror, when
misery and want had reached a fearful height, the troops of the
Elector of Brandenburg overran the cities and villages. The
inhabitants were constrained to take the oath of fealty, the public
officers, who refused, were dragged away captive, etc. Ellingen,
Stopfenheim, Absperg, Eschenbach, Nüremberg, Postbaur, Virnsperg,
Oettingen, Dinkelspühl, Ritzenhausen, Gelchsheim, were scenes of
brutal outrage."--_The History of the Usurpation of Brandenburg, A.D.
1797_, with the original Documents, published by the Teutonic Order.]

[Footnote 9: His secret memoirs, even at that period, designate Baden,
Würtemberg, and Darmstadt as states securely within the grasp of
France.]

[Footnote 10: He fled on Moreau's invasion to England, where he formed
this alliance. There was at one time a project of creating him elector
of Hanover and of partitioning Würtemberg between Bavaria and Baden.]

[Footnote 11: The commandant, Faber, defended the place for fourteen
months with a garrison of 2,000 men. During the siege, the
badly-disciplined French soldiery secretly sold provisions at an
exorbitant price to the starving garrison.]

[Footnote 12: Klebe gave an extremely detailed account of the French
government: "It is, for instance, well known that a pastry cook was
nominated lord high warden of the forest! over a whole department, and
a jeweller was raised to the same office in another.--The documents
proving the cheating and underselling carried on by Pioc, the lord
high warden of the forests, and by his assistant, Gauthier, in all the
forests in the department of the Rhine and Moselle, are detailed at
full length in 'Rübezahl,' a sort of monthly magazine. It is
astonishing to see with what boundless impudence these people have
robbed the country.--Still greater rascalities were carried on on the
right bank of the Rhine. Gauthier robbed from Coblentz down to the
Prussian frontiers." These allegations are confirmed by Görres in a
pamphlet, "Results of my Mission to Paris," in which he says, "The
Directory had treated the four departments like so many Paschalics,
which it abandoned to its Janissaries and colonized with its
favorites. Every petition sent by the inhabitants was thrown aside
with revolting contempt; everything was done that could most deeply
wound their feelings in regard to themselves or to their country."
"The secret history of the government of the country between the Rhine
and the Moselle," sums up as follows: "All cheated, all thieved, all
robbed. The cheating, thieving, and robbing were perfectly terrible,
and not one of the cheats, thieves, or robbers seemed to have an idea
that this country formed, by the decree of union, a part of France." A
naïve confession! The French, at all events, acted as if conscious
that the land was not theirs. The Rhenish Jews, who, as early as the
times of Louis XIV., had aided the French in plundering Germany, again
acted as their bloodhounds, and, by accepting bills in exchange for
their real or supposed loans, at double the amount, on wealthy
proprietors, speedily placed themselves in possession of the finest
estates. Vide Reichardt's Letters from Paris.]



CCLI. The Pillage of Switzerland


Peace had reigned throughout Switzerland since the battle of
Villmergen, A.D. 1712, which had given to Zurich and Berne the
ascendency in the confederation. The popular discontent caused by the
increasing despotism of the aristocracy had merely displayed itself in
petty conspiracies, as, for instance, that of Henzi, in 1749, and in
partial insurrections. In all the cantons, even in those in which the
democratic spirit was most prevalent, the chief authority had been
seized by the wealthier and more ancient families. All the offices
were in their hands, the higher posts in the Swiss regiments raised
for the service of France were monopolized by the younger sons of the
more powerful families, who introduced the social vices of France into
their own country, where they formed a strange medley in conjunction
with the pedantry of the ancient oligarchical form of government. In
the great canton of Berne, the council of two hundred, which had
unlimited sway, was solely composed of seventy-six reigning families.
In Zurich, the one thousand nine hundred townsmen had unlimited power
over the country. For one hundred and fifty years no citizen had been
enrolled among them, and no son of a peasant had been allowed to study
for, or been nominated to, any office, even to that of preacher. In
Solothurn, but one-half of the eight hundred townsmen were able to
carry on the government. Lucerne was governed by a council of one
hundred, so completely monopolized by the more powerful families that
boys of twenty succeeded their fathers as councillors. Basel was
governed by a council of two hundred and eighty, which was entirely
formed out of seventy wealthy mercantile families. Seventy-one
families had usurped the authority at Freiburg: similar oligarchical
government prevailed at St. Gall and Schaffhausen. The _Junker_, in
the latter place, rendered themselves especially ridiculous by the
innumerable offices and chambers in which they transacted their
useless and prolix affairs. In all these aristocratic cantons, the
peasantry were cruelly harassed, oppressed, and, in some parts, kept
in servitude, by the provincial governors. The wealthy provincial
governments were monopolized by the great aristocratic families.[1]
Even in the pure democracies, the provincial communes were governed by
powerful peasant families, as, for instance, in Glarus, and the
tyranny exercised by these peasants over the territory beneath their
sway far exceeded that of the aristocratic burgesses in their
provincial governments. The Italian valleys groaned beneath the yoke
of the original cantons, particularly under that of Uri,[2] the seven
provincial governments in Unterwallis under that of Oberwallis, the
countship of Werdenberg under that of the Glarner, the Valtelline
under that of the Grisons.[3] The princely abbot of St. Gall was
unlimited sovereign over his territory. Separate monasteries, for
instance, Engelberg, had feudal sway over their vassals.

Enlightenment and liberal opinions spread also gradually over
Switzerland, and twenty years after Henzi's melancholy death, a
disposition was again shown to oppose the tyranny of the oligarchies.
In 1792, Lavater and Fuszli were banished Zurich for venturing to
complain of the arbitrary conduct of one of the provincial
governors;[4] in 1779, a curate named Waser, a man of talent and a foe
to the aristocracy, was beheaded on a false charge of falsifying the
archives;[5] in 1794, the oppressed peasantry of Lucerne revolted
against the aristocracy; in the same year, the peasantry in Schwyz,
roused by the insolence of the French recruiting officers, revolted,
and, in the public provincial assembly, enforced the recall of all the
people of Schwyz in the French service, besides imposing a heavy fine
upon General Reding on his return. In 1781, a revolt of the Freiburg
peasantry, occasioned by the tyranny of the aristocracy, was quelled
with the aid of Berne; in 1784, Suter, the noble-spirited _Landammann_
of Appenzell, fell a sacrifice to envy. His mental and moral
superiority to the rest of his countrymen inspired his rival, Geiger,
with the most deadly hatred, and he persecuted him with the utmost
rancor. He was accused of being a freethinker; documents and protocols
were falsified; the stupid populace was excited against him, and,
after having been exposed on the pillory, publicly whipped, and
tortured on the rack, he was beheaded, and all intercession on his
behalf was prohibited under pain of death. Solothurn, on the other
hand, was freed from feudal servitude in 1785. The popular feeling at
that time prevalent throughout Switzerland was, however, of far
greater import than these petty events. The oligarchies had everywhere
suppressed public opinion; the long peace had slackened the martial
ardor of the people; the ridiculous affectation of ancient heroic
language brought into vogue by John Muller rendered the contrast yet
more striking, and, on the outburst of the French Revolution, the
tyrannized Swiss peasantry naturally threw themselves into the arms of
the French, the aristocracy into those of the Austrians.

The oppressed peasantry revolted as early as 1790 against the ruling
cities, the vassal against the aristocrat, in Schaffhausen, on account
of the tithes; in Lower Valais, on account of the tyranny of one of
the provincial governors. These petty outbreaks and an attempt made by
Laharpe to render the Vaud independent of Berne[6] were suppressed,
A.D. 1791. The people remained, nevertheless, in a high state of
fermentation. The new French republic at first quarrelled with the
ancient confederation for having, unmindful of their origin, descended
to servility. The Swiss guard had, on the 16th of August, 1792,
courageously defended the palace of the unfortunate French king and
been cut to pieces by the Parisian mob. At a later period, the
Austrians had seized the ambassadors of the French republic,
Semonville and Maret, in the Valtelline, in the territory of the
Grisons. The Swiss patriots, as they were called, however, gradually
fomented an insurrection against the aristocrats and called the French
to their aid. In 1793, the vassals of the bishop of Basel at Pruntrut
had already planted trees of liberty and placed the bishopric, under
the name of a Rauracian republic, under the protection of France,
chiefly at the instigation of Gobel, who was, in reward, appointed
bishop of Paris, and whose nephew, Rengger, shortly afterward became a
member of the revolutionary government in Berne. In Geneva, during the
preceding year, the French faction had gained the upper hand. The
fickleness of the war kept the rest of the patriots in a state of
suspense, but, on the seizure of the left bank of the Rhine by the
French, the movements in Switzerland assumed a more serious character.
The abbot, Beda, of St. Gall, 1795, pacified his subjects by
concessions, which his successor, Pancras, refusing to recognize, he
was, in consequence, expelled. The unrelenting aristocracy of Zurich,
upon this, took the field against the restless peasantry, surrounded
the patriots in Stäfa, threw the venerable Bodmer and a number of his
adherents into prison, and inflicted upon them heavy fines or severe
corporeal chastisement.

The campaign of 1796 had fully disclosed to Bonaparte the advantage of
occupying Switzerland with his troops, whose passage to Italy or
Germany would be thereby facilitated, while the line of communication
would be secured, and the danger to which he and Moreau had been
exposed through want of co-operation would at once be remedied. He
first of all took advantage of the dissensions in the Grisons to
deprive that republic of the beautiful Valtelline,[7] and, even at
that time, demanded permission from the people of Valais to build the
road across the Simplon, which he was, however, only able to execute
at a later period. On his return to Paris from the Italian expedition,
he passed through Basel,[8] where he was met by Talleyrand. Peter
Ochs, the chief master of the corporation, was, on this occasion, as
he himself relates in his History of Basel, won over, as the
acknowledged chief of the patriots, to revolutionize Switzerland and
to enter into a close alliance with France. The base characters, at
that time the tools of the French Directory, merely acceded to the
political plans of Bonaparte and Talleyrand in the hope of reaping a
rich harvest by the plunder of the federal cantons, and the Swiss
expedition was, consequently, determined upon. The people of Valais,
whose state of oppression served as a pretext for interference,
revolted, under Laharpe, against Berne, 1798, and demanded the
intervention of the French republic, as heir to the dukes of Savoy, on
the strength of an ancient treaty, which had, for that purpose, been
raked up from the ashes of the past. Nothing could exceed the
miserable conduct of the diet at that conjuncture. After having
already conceded to France her demand for the expulsion of the
emigrants and having exposed its weakness by this open violation of
the rights of hospitality, it discussed the number of troops to be
furnished by each of the cantons, when the enemy was already in this
country. Even the once haughty Bernese, who had set an army, thirty
thousand strong, on foot, withdrew, under General Wysz, from Valais to
their metropolis, where they awaited the attack of the enemy. There
was neither plan[9] nor order; the patriots rose in every quarter and
struck terror into the aristocrats, most of whom were now rather
inclined to yield and impeded by their indecision the measures of the
more spirited party. In Basel, Ochs deposed the oligarchy; in Zurich,
the government was induced, by intimidation, to restore Bodmer and his
fellow-prisoners to liberty. In Freiburg, Lucerne, Schaffhausen, and
St. Gall the oligarchies resigned their authority; Constance asserted
its independence.

Within Berne itself, tranquillity was with difficulty preserved by
Steiger, the venerable mayor, a man of extreme firmness of character.
A French force under Brune had already overrun Vaud, which, under
pretext of being delivered from oppression, was laid under a heavy
contribution; the ancient charnel-house at Murten was also destroyed,
because the French had formerly been beaten on this spot by the
Germans. But few of the Swiss marched to the aid of Berne; two hundred
of the people of Uri, arrayed in the armor of their ancestors, some of
the peasantry of Glarus, St. Gall, and Freiburg.[10] A second French
force under Schauenburg entered Switzerland by Basel, defeated the
small troops of Bernese sent to oppose it at Dornach and Langnau, and
took Solothurn, where it liberated one hundred and eighty self-styled
patriots imprisoned in that place. The patriots, at this conjuncture,
also rose in open insurrection in Berne, threw everything into
confusion, deposed the old council, formed a provisional government,
and checked all the preparations for defence. The brave peasantry,
basely betrayed by the cities, were roused to fury. Colonels Ryhiner,
Stettler, Crusy, and Goumores were murdered by them upon mere
suspicion (their innocence was afterward proved), and boldly following
their leader, Grafenried, against the French, they defeated and
repulsed the whole of Brune's army and captured eighteen guns at the
bridge of Neuenegg. But a smaller Bernese corps, which, under Steiger,
the mayor, opposed the army of Schauenburg in the _Grauen Holz_, was
routed after a bloody struggle, and, before Erlach, the newly-
nominated generalissimo, could hurry back to Berne with the victors of
Neuenegg, the patriots, who had long been in the pay of France, threw
wide the gates to Schauenburg. All was now lost. Erlach fled to Thun,
in order to place himself at the head of the people of the Oberland,
who descended in thick masses from the mountains; but, on his
addressing the brave Senn peasantry in French, according to the
malpractice of the Bernese, they mistook him for a French spy and
struck him dead in his carriage. The loss of Berne greatly dispirited
them and they desisted from further and futile opposition. Steiger
escaped. Hotze, a gallant Austrian general, who, mindful of his Swiss
origin, had attempted to place himself at the head of his countrymen,
was compelled to retrace his steps. In Berne, the French meanwhile
pillaged the treasures of the republic.[11] Besides the treasury and
the arsenal, estimated at twenty-nine million livres, they levied a
contribution of sixteen million. Bruno planted a tree of liberty, and
Frisching, the president of the provisional government, had the folly
to say, "Here it stands! may it bear good fruit! Amen!"

Further bloodshed was prevented by the intervention of the patriots.
The whole of Switzerland, Schwyz, Upper Valais, and Unterwalden alone
excepted, submitted, and, on the 12th of April, the federal diet at
Aarau established, in the stead of the ancient federative and
oligarchical government, a single and indivisible Helvetian republic,
in a strictly democratic form, with five directors, on the French
model. Four new cantons, Aargau, Leman (Vaud), the Bernese Oberland,
and Constance, were annexed to the ancient ones. Schwyz, Uri,
Unterwalden, and Zug were, on the other hand, to form but one canton.
Rapinat, a bold bad man, Rewbel's brother-in-law, who was at that time
absolute in Switzerland, seized everything that had escaped the
pillage of the soldiery in Berne and Zurich, sacked Solothurn,
Lucerne, Freiburg, etc., and hunted out the hidden treasures of the
confederation, which he sent to France. The protestations of the
directors, Bay and Pfyffer, were unheeded; Rapinat deposed them by
virtue of a French warrant and nominated Ochs and Dolder in their
stead. The patriotic feelings of the Swiss revolted at this tyranny;
Schwyz rose in open insurrection; the peasantry, headed by Aloys
Reding, seized and garrisoned Lucerne and called the whole country to
arms against the French invader. The peasantry of the free cantons
also marched against Aarau, but were defeated by Schauenburg at
Häcklingen; two hundred of their number fell, among others a priest
bearing the colors. Schauenburg then attacked the people of Schwyz at
Richtenschwyl, where, after a desperate combat that lasted a whole
day, he at length compelled them to give way. They, nevertheless,
speedily rallied, and two engagements of equal obstinacy took place on
the Schindeleggy and on the mountain of Etzel. The flight of Herzog,
the pastor of Einsiedeln, was the sole cause of the discomfiture of
the Swiss. Reding, however, reassembling his forces at the Red Tower,
in the vicinity of the old battlefield of Morgarten, the French,
unable to withstand their fury, were repulsed with immense loss. They
also suffered a second defeat at Arth, at the foot of the Rigi. The
Swiss, on their part, on numbering their forces after the battle,
found their strength so terribly reduced that, although victors, they
were unable to continue the contest, and voluntarily recognized the
Helvetian republic. The rich monastery of Einsiedeln was plundered and
burned; the miraculous picture of the Virgin was, however, preserved.
Upper Valais also submitted, after Sion and the whole of the valley
had been plundered and laid waste. The peasantry defended themselves
here for several weeks at the precipice of the Dala. Unterwalden
offered the most obstinate resistance. The peasantry of this canton
were headed by Lüssi. The French invaded the country simultaneously on
different sides, by water, across the lake of the four cantons, and
across the Brünig from the Haslithal; in the Kernwald they were
victorious over the masses of peasantry, but a body of three or four
thousand French, which had penetrated further down the vale, was
picked off by the peasantry concealed in the woods and behind the
rocks. A rifleman, stationed upon a projecting rock, shot more than a
hundred of the enemy one after another, his wife and children,
meanwhile, loading his guns. Both of the French corps coalesced at
Stanz, but met with such obstinate resistance from the old men, women
and girls left there, that, after butchering four hundred of them,
they set the place in flames.[12] The sturdy mountaineers, although
numerically weak, proved themselves worthy of their ancient fame.--The
four _Waldstätte_ were thrown into one canton, Waldstätten; Glarus and
Toggenburg into another, Linth; Appenzell and St. Gall into that of
Säntis. The old Italian prefectures, with the exception of the
Valtelline, were formed into two cantons, Lugano and Bellinzona
(afterward the canton of Tessin). The canton of Vaud also finally
acceded to this arrangement, but was shortly afterward, as well as the
former bishopric of Basel, Pruntrut,[13] and the city and republic of
Genoa, incorporated with France.

The levy of eighteen thousand men (the Helvetlers, Galloschwyzers or
eighteen batzmen) for the service of the Helvetian republic occasioned
fresh disturbances in the beginning of 1799. The opposition was so
great that the recruits were carried in chains to Berne. The Bernese
Oberland, the peasantry of Basel, Solothurn, Toggenburg, Appenzell,
and Glarus rose in open insurrection, but were again reduced to
submission by the military. The spirit of the mountaineers was,
however, less easily tamed. In April, 1799, the people of Schwyz took
four hundred French prisoners; those of Uri, under their leader,
Vincenz Schmid, stormed and burned Altorf, the seat of the French and
their adherents; those of Valais, under the youthful Count Courten,
drove the French from their valleys, and those of the Grisons
surprised and cut to pieces a French squadron at Dissentis. General
Soult took the field with a strong force against them in May and
reduced them one after the other, but with great loss on his side, to
submission. Twelve hundred French fell in Valais, which was completely
laid waste by fire and sword; in Uri, stones and rocks were hurled
upon them by the infuriated peasantry as they defiled through the
narrow gorges; Schmid was, however, taken and shot; Schwyz was also
reduced to obedience; in the Grisons, upward of a thousand French fell
in a bloody engagement at Coire, and the magnificent monastery of
Dissentis was, in revenge, burned to the ground. The beautiful
Bergland was reduced to an indescribable state of misery. The villages
lay in ashes; the people, who had escaped the general massacre, fell
victims to famine. In this extremity, Zschokke, at that time Helvetic
governor of the Waldstatte, proposed the complete expulsion of the
ancient inhabitants and the settlement of French colonists in the
fatherland of William Tell.[14]

The imperial free town of Muhlhausen in the Suntgau, the ancient ally
of Switzerland, fell, like her, into the hands of the French. Unable
to preserve her independence, she committed a singular political
suicide. The whole of the town property was divided among the
citizens. A girl, attired in the ancient Swiss costume, delivered the
town keys to the French commissioner; the city banner and arms were
buried with great solemnity.[15]

The French had also shown as little lenity in their treatment of
Italy. Rome was entered and garrisoned with French troops; the
handsome and now venerable puppet, Pope Pius VI., was seized, robbed,
and personally maltreated (his ring was even torn from his hand), and
dragged a prisoner to France, where he expired in the August of 1799.


[Footnote 1: "The peasant, when summoned into the presence of a
governor, lord of the council, head of a guild, or preacher, stood
there, not as a free Swiss, but as a criminal trembling before his
judge."--_Lehmann on the imaginary Freedom of the Swiss. 1799._]

[Footnote 2: "The important office of provincial secretary was, in
this manner, hereditary in the family of the Beroldingen of
Uri."--_Lehmann_.]

[Footnote 3: "In the Grisons, the constitution was extremely
complicated. The lordships of Meyenfeld and Aspermont were, for
instance, subject to the three confederated cantons and under the
control of the provincial governors nominated by them; they were at
the same time members of the whole free state, and, as such, had a
right of lordship over the subject provinces, over which, they, in
their turn, appointed a governor."--_Meyer von Knonau's Geography._]

[Footnote 4: The best information concerning the authority held by the
provincial governors, who enjoyed almost unlimited sway over their
districts, is to be met with in the excellent biography of Solomon
Landolt, the provincial governor of Zurich, by David Hesz. Landolt was
the model of an able but extremely tyrannical governor (he ruled over
Greisensee and Eglisau) and gained great note by his salomonic
judgments and by his quaint humor. He founded the Swiss rifle clubs
and introduced that national weapon into modern warfare. He was also a
painter and had the whim, notwithstanding the constant triumph of the
French, ever to represent them in his pictures as the vanquished
party.]

[Footnote 5: Hirzel wrote at that time, in his "Glimpses into the
History of the Confederation," that Captain Henzl had been deprived of
his head because he was the only man in the country who had one.
Zimmerman says in his "National Pride," "A foreign philosopher visited
Switzerland for the purpose of settling in a country where thought was
free; he remained ten days at Zurich and then went to--Portugal." In
1774, the clocks at Basel, which, since the siege of Rudolph of
Habsburg, had remained one hour behindhand, were, after immense
opposition, regulated like those in the rest of the world. Two
factions sprang up on this occasion, that of the Spieszburghers or
Lalleburghers (the ancient one), and that of the Francemen or
new-modellers (the modern one).]

[Footnote 6: Laharpe was at the same time a demagogue in the Vaud and
tutor to the emperor Alexander at Petersburg.]

[Footnote 7: Valtelline with Chiavenna and Bormio (Cleves and Worms)
were ill-treated by the people of the Grisons. Offices and justice
were regularly jobbed and sold to the highest bidder. The people of
Valtelline hastily entered into alliance with France, while the
oppressed peasantry in the Grisons rebelled against the ruling family
of Salis, which had long been in the pay of the French kings, and had,
since the revolution, sided with Austria. John Müller appeared at
Basel as Thugut's agent for the purpose of inciting the confederation
against France.--_Ochs's History of Basel._]

[Footnote 8: While here, he gave Fesch, the pastry-cook, whose
brother, a Swiss lieutenant, was the second husband of Bonaparte's
maternal grandmother, a very friendly reception. The offspring of this
second marriage was the future Cardinal Fesch, Letitia's half-brother
and Napoleon's uncle, whom Napoleon attempted to create primate of
Germany and to raise to the pontifical throne.]

[Footnote 9: Some of the cantons imagined that France merely aspired
to the possession of Valais, and, jealous of the prosperity and power
of Berne, willingly permitted her to suffer this humiliation.-_Meyer
von Knonau_].

[Footnote 10: Two Bernese, condemned to work in the trenches at
Yferten, on being liberated by the French, returned voluntarily to
Berne, in order to aid in the defense of the city. A rare trait, in
those times, of ancient Swiss fidelity.]

[Footnote 11: A good deal of it was spent by Bonaparte during his
expedition into Egypt, and, even at the present day, the Bernese bear
is to be seen on coins still in circulation on the banks of the
Nile.--_Meyer von Knonau._]

[Footnote 12: The venerable Pestalozzi assembled the orphans and
founded his celebrated model academy at Stanz. Seventy-nine women and
girls were found among the slain. A story is told of a girl who, being
attacked, in a lonely house, by two Frenchmen, knocked their heads
together with such force that they dropped down dead.]

[Footnote 13: Not far from Pruntrut is the hill of Terri, said to have
been formerly occupied by one of Cæsar's camps. The French named it
_Mont Terrible_ and created a _department du Mont Terrible_. Vide
Meyer von Knonau's Geography.]

[Footnote 14: In his "Political Remarks touching the Canton of
Waldstatten," dated the 23d of June, 1799, he says: "Let us imitate
the political maxims of the conquerors of old, who drove the
inhabitants most inimical to them into foreign countries and
established colonies, composed of families of their own kin, in the
heart of the conquered provinces." His proposal remaining unseconded,
he sought to obliterate the bad impression it had made, by publishing
a proclamation, calling upon the charitably inclined to raise a
subscription for the unfortunate inhabitants of the Waldstatte.]


[Footnote 15: Vide Graf's History of Muhlhausen.]



CCLII. The Second Coalition


Prussia looked calmly on, with a view of increasing her power by peace
while other states ruined themselves by war, and of offering her
arbitration at a moment when she could turn their mutual losses to
advantage. Austria, exposed to immediate danger by the occupation of
Switzerland by the French, remained less tranquil and hastily formed a
fresh coalition with England and Russia. Catherine II. had expired,
1796. Her son, Paul I., cherished the most ambitious views. His
election as grand-master of the Maltese order dispersed by Napoleon
had furnished him with a sort of right of interference in the affairs
of the Levant and of Italy. On the 1st of March, 1799, the Ionian
Islands, Corfu, etc., were occupied by Russian troops, and a Russian
army, under the terrible Suwarow, moved, in conjunction with the
troops of Austria, upon Italy. The project of the Russian czar was, by
securing his footing on the Mediterranean and at the same time
encircling Turkey, to attack Constantinople on both sides, on the
earliest opportunity. Austria was merely to serve as a blind tool for
the attainment of his schemes. Mack was despatched to Naples for the
purpose of bringing about a general rising in Southern Italy against
the French, and England lavished gold. The absence of Bonaparte
probably inspired several of the allied generals with greater courage,
not the French, but he, being the object of their dread. The conduct
of the French at Rastadt had revolted every German and had justly
raised their most implacable hatred, which burst forth during a
popular tumult at Vienna, when the tricolor, floating from the palace
of General Bernadotte, the French ambassador, was torn down and
burned. The infamous assassination of the French ambassadors at
Rastadt also took place during this agitated period. Bonnier,
Roberjot, and Jean de Bry quitted Rastadt on the breaking out of war,
and were attacked and cut to pieces by some Austrian hussars in a wood
close to the city gate. Jean de Bry alone escaped, although
dangerously wounded, with his life. This atrocious act was generally
believed to have been committed through private revenge, or, what is
far more probable, for the purpose of discovering by the papers of the
ambassadors the truth of the reports at that time in circulation
concerning the existence of a conspiracy and projects for the
establishment of republics throughout Germany. The real motive was,
however, not long ago,[1] unveiled. Austria had revived her ancient
projects against Bavaria, and, as early as 1798, had treated with the
French Directory for the possession of that electorate in return for
her toleration of the occupatign of Switzerland by the troops of the
republic. The venerable elector, Charles Theodore, who had been
already persuaded to cede Bavaria and to content himself with
Franconia, dying suddenly of apoplexy while at the card-table, was
succeeded by his cousin, Maximilian Joseph of Pfalz-Zweibrucken, from
whom, on account of his numerous family, no voluntary cession was to
be expected either for the present or future. Thugut and Lehr-bach,
the rulers of the Viennese cabinet, in the hope of compromising and
excluding him, as a traitor to the empire, from the Bavarian
succession, by the production of proofs of his being the secret ally
of France, hastily resolved upon the assassination of the French
ambassadors at Rastadt, on the bare supposition of their having in
their possession documents in the handwriting of the elector. None
were, however, discovered, the French envoys having either taken the
precaution of destroying them or of committing them to the
safe-keeping of the Prussian ambassador. This crime was, as Hormayr
observes, at the same time, a political blunder. This horrible act was
perpetrated on the 28th of April, 1799.

The campaign had, a month anterior to this event, been opened by the
French, who had attacked the Austrians in their still scattered
positions. Disunion prevailed as usual in the Austrian military
council. The Archduke Charles proposed the invasion of France from the
side of Swabia. The occupation of Switzerland by the troops of Austria
was, nevertheless, resolved upon, and General Auffenberg, accordingly,
entered the Grisons. The French instantly perceived and hastened to
anticipate the designs of the Austrian cabinet. Auffenberg was
defeated by Massena on the St. Luciensteig and expelled the Grisons,
while Hotze on the Vorarlberg and Bellegarde in the Tyrol looked
calmly on at the head of fifteen thousand men. The simultaneous
invasion of Swabia by Jourdan now induced the military council at
Vienna to accede to the proposal formerly made by the Archduke
Charles, who was despatched with the main body of the army to Swabia,
where, on the 25th of March, 1799, he gained a complete victory over
Jourdan at Ostrach and Stockach.[2] The Grisons were retaken in May by
Hotze, and, in June, the archduke joining him, Massena was defeated at
Zurich, and the steep passes of Mont St. Gothard were occupied by
Haddik. Massena was, however, notwithstanding the immense numerical
superiority of the archduke's forces, which could easily have driven
him far into France, allowed to remain undisturbed at Bremgarten. The
French, under Scherer, in Italy, had, meanwhile, been defeated, in
April, by Kray, at Magnano. This success was followed by the arrival
of Melas from Vienna, of Bellegarde from the Tyrol, and lastly, by
that of the Russian vanguard under Suwarow, who took the chief command
and beat the whole of the French forces in Italy; Moreau, at Cassano
and Marengo, in May; Macdonald, on his advance from Lower Italy, on
the Trebbia, in June; and finally, Joubert, in the great battle of
Novi, in which Joubert was killed, August the 15th, 1799. Dissensions
now broke out among the victors. A fourth of the forces in Italy
belonged to Austria, merely one-fifth to Russia; the Austrians,
consequently, imagined that the war was merely carried on on their
account. The Austrian forces were, against Suwarow's advice, divided,
for the purpose of reducing Mantua and Alessandria and of occupying
Tuscany. The king of Sardinia, whom Suwarow desired to restore to his
throne, was forbidden to enter his states by the Austrians, who
intended to retain possession of them for some time longer. The whole
of Italy, as far as Ancona and Genoa, was now freed from the French,
whom the Italians, embittered by their predatory habits, had aided to
expel, and Suwarow received orders to join his forces with those under
Korsakow, who was then on the Upper Rhine with thirty thousand men.
The archduke might, even without this fresh reinforcement, have
already annihilated Massena had he not remained during three months,
from June to August, in a state of complete inactivity; at the very
moment of Suwarow's expected arrival he allowed the important passes
of the St. Gothard to be again carried by a coup de main by the French
under General Lecourbe, who drove the Austrians from the Simplon, the
Furca, the Grimsel, and the Devil's bridge. The archduke, after an
unsuccessful attempt to push across the Aar at Dettingen, suddenly
quitted the scene of war and advanced down the Rhine for the purpose
of supporting the English expedition under the Duke of York against
Holland. This unexpected turn in affairs proceeded from Vienna. The
Viennese cabinet was jealous of Russia. Suwarow played the master in
Italy, favored Sardinia at the expense of the house of Habsburg, and
deprived the Austrians of the laurels and of the advantages they had
won. The archduke, accordingly, received orders to remain inactive, to
abandon the Russians, and finally to withdraw to the north; by this
movement Suwarow's triumphant progress was checked, he was compelled
to cross the Alps to the aid of Korsakow, and to involve himself in a
mountain warfare ill-suited to the habits of his soldiery.[3]
Korsakow, whom Bavaria had been bribed with Russian gold to furnish
with a corps one thousand strong, was solely supported by Kray and
Hotze with twenty thousand men. Massena, taking advantage of the
departure of the archduke and the non-arrival of Suwarow, crossed the
Limmat at Dietikon and shut Korsakow, who had imprudently stationed
himself with his whole army in Zurich, so closely in, that, after an
engagement that lasted two days, from the 15th to the 17th of
September, the Russian general was compelled to abandon his artillery
and to force his way through the enemy. Ten thousand men were all that
escaped.[4] Hotze, who had advanced from the Grisons to Schwyz to
Suwarow's rencounter, was, at the same time, defeated and killed at
Schannis. Suwarow, although aware that the road across the St. Gothard
was blocked by the lake of the four cantons, on which there were no
boats, had the folly to attempt the passage. In Airolo, he was
obstinately opposed by the French under Lecourbe, and, although
Schweikowski contrived to turn this strong position by scaling the
pathless rocks, numbers of the men were, owing to Suwarow's
impatience, sacrificed before it. On the 24th of September, 1799, he
at length climbed the St. Gothard, and a bloody engagement, in which
the French were worsted, took place on the Oberalpsee. Lecourbe blew
up the Devil's bridge, but, leaving the Urnerloch open, the Russians
pushed through that rocky gorge, and, dashing through the foaming
Reuss, scaled the opposite rocks and drove the French from their
position behind the Devil's bridge. Altorf on the lake was reached in
safety by the Russian general, who was compelled, owing to the want of
boats, to seek his way through the valleys of Shachen and Muotta,
across the almost impassable rocks, to Schwyz. The heavy rains
rendered the undertaking still more arduous; the Russians, owing to
the badness of the road, speedily became barefoot; the provisions were
also exhausted. In this wretched state they reached Muotta on the 29th
of September and learned the discouraging news of Korsakow's defeat.
Massena had already set off in the hope of cutting off Suwarow, but
had missed his way. He reached Altorf, where he joined Lecourbe on the
29th, when Suwarow was already at Muotta, whence Massena found on his
arrival he had again retired across the Bragelberg, through the
Klonthal. He was opposed on the lake of Klonthal by Molitor, who was,
however, forced to retire by Auffenberg, who had joined Suwarow at
Altorf and formed his advanced guard, Rosen, at the same time, beating
off Massena with the rear-guard, taking five cannons and one thousand
of his men prisoners. On the 1st of October, Suwarow entered Glarus,
where he rested until the 4th, when he crossed the Panixer mountains
through snow two feet deep to the valley of the Rhine, which he
reached on the 10th, after losing the whole of his beasts of burden
and two hundred of his men down the precipices; and here ended his
extraordinary march, which had cost him the whole of his artillery,
almost all his horses, and a third of his men.

The archduke had, meanwhile, tarried on the Rhine, where he had taken
Philippsburg and Mannheim, but had been unable to prevent the defeat
of the English expedition under the Duke of York by General Brune at
Bergen, on the 19th of September. The archduke now, for the first
time, made a retrograde movement, and approached Korsakow and Suwarow.
The different leaders, however, merely reproached each other, and the
czar, perceiving his project frustrated, suddenly recalled his troops
and the campaign came to a close. The archduke's rearguard was
defeated in a succession of petty skirmishes at Heidelberg and on the
Neckar by the French, who again pressed forward.[5] These disasters
were counterbalanced by the splendid victory gained by Melas in Italy,
at Savigliano, over Championnet, who attempted to save Genoa.

Austria was no sooner deprived in Suwarow of the most efficient of her
allies than she was attacked by her most dangerous foe. Bonaparte
returned from Egypt. The news of the great disasters of the French in
Italy no sooner arrived, than he abandoned his army and hastened,
completely unattended, to France, through the midst of the English
fleet, then stationed in the Mediterranean. His arrival in Paris was
instantly followed by his public nomination as generalissimo. He alone
had the power of restoring victory to the standard of the republic.
The ill success of his rivals had greatly increased his popularity; he
had become indispensable to his countrymen. His power was alone
obnoxious to the weak government, which, aided by the soldiery, he
dissolved on the 9th of November (the 18th Brumaire, by the modern
French calendar); he then bestowed a new constitution upon France and
placed himself, under the title of First Consul, at the head of the
republic.

In the following year, 1800, Bonaparte made preparations for a fresh
campaign against Austria, under circumstances similar to those of the
first. But this time he was more rapid in his movements and performed
more astonishing feats. Suddenly crossing the St. Bernard, he fell
upon the Austrian flank. Genoa, garrisoned by Massena, had just been
forced by famine to capitulate. Ten days afterward, on the 14th of
June, Bonaparte gained such a decisive victory over Melas, the
Austrian general, at Marengo,[6] that he and the remainder of his army
capitulated on the ensuing day. The whole of Italy fell once more into
the hands of the French. Moreau had, at the same time, invaded Germany
and defeated the Austrians under Kray in several engagements,
principally at Stockach and Moskirch,[7] and again at Biberach and
Hochstadt, laid Swabia and Bavaria under contribution, and taken
Ratisbon, the seat of the diet. An armistice, negotiated by Kray, was
not recognized by the emperor, and he was replaced in his command by
the Archduke John (not Charles), who was, on the 3d of December,
totally routed by Moreau's manoeuvres during a violent snowstorm, at
Hohenlinden. A second Austrian army, despatched into Italy, was also
defeated by Brune on the Mincio. These disasters once more inclined
Austria to peace, which was concluded at Luneville, on the 9th of
February, 1801. The Archduke Charles seized this opportunity to
propose the most beneficial reforms in the war administration, but was
again treated with contempt. In the ensuing year, 1802, England also
concluded peace at Amiens.

The whole of the left bank of the Rhine was, on this occasion, ceded
to the French republic. The petty republics, formerly established by
France in Italy, Switzerland, and Holland, were also renewed and were
recognized by the allied powers. The Cisalpine republic was enlarged
by the possessions of the grandduke of Tuscany and of the duke of
Modena, to whom compensation in Germany was guaranteed. Suwarow's
victories had, in the autumn of 1799, rendered a conclave, on the
death of the captive pope, Pius VI., in France, possible, for the
purpose of electing his successor, Pius VII., who was acknowledged as
such by Bonaparte, whose favor he purchased by expressing his
approbation of the seizure of the property of the church during the
French Revolution, and by declaring his readiness to agree to the
secularization of church property, already determined upon, in
Germany.

The Helvetian Directory fell, like that of France, and was replaced by
an administrative council, composed of seven members, in 1800. The
upholders of ancient cantonal liberty, now known under the
denomination of Federalists, gained the upper hand, and Aloys Reding,
who had, shortly before, been denounced as a rebel, became Landammann
of Switzerland. Bonaparte even invited him to Paris in order to settle
with him the future fate of Switzerland. Reding, however, showing an
unexpected degree of firmness, and, unmoved by either promises or
threats, obstinately refusing to permit the annexation of Valais to
France, Bonaparte withdrew his support and again favored the
Helvetlers. Dolder and Savari, who had long been the creatures of
France, failing in their election, were seated by Verninac, the French
ambassador, in the senate of the Helvetian republic, and Reding, who
was at that moment absent, was divested of his office as Landammann.
Reding protested against this arbitrary conduct and convoked a federal
diet to Schwyz.

Andermatt, general of the Helvetian republic, attempted to seize
Zurich, which had joined the federalists, but was compelled to
withdraw, covered with disgrace. An army of federalists under General
Bachmann repulsed the Helvetlers in every direction and drove them,
together with the French envoys, across the frontier. Bonaparte, upon
this, sent a body of thirty to forty thousand men, under Ney, into
Switzerland, which met with no opposition, the federalists being
desirous of avoiding useless bloodshed and being already acquainted
with Bonaparte's secret projects. He would not tolerate opposition on
their part, like that of Reding: he had resolved upon getting
possession of Valais at any price, on account of the road across the
Simplon, so important to him as affording the nearest communication
between Paris and Milan: in all other points, he perfectly coincided
with the federalists and was willing to grant its ancient independence
to every canton in Switzerland, where disunion and petty feuds placed
the country the more securely in his hands. With feigned commiseration
for the ineptitude of the Swiss to settle their own disputes, he
invited deputies belonging to the various factions and cantons to
Paris, lectured them like schoolboys, and compelled them by the Act of
Mediation, under his intervention, to give a new constitution to
Switzerland. Valais was annexed to France in exchange for the Austrian
Frickthal. Nineteen cantons were created.[8] Each canton again
administered its internal affairs. Bonaparte was never weary of
painting the happy lot of petty states and the delights of petty
citizenship. "But ye are too weak, too helpless, to defend yourselves;
cast yourselves therefore into the arms of France, ready to protect
you while, free from taxation, and from the burdensome maintenance of
an army, ye dwell free and independent in your native vales." The
Swiss, although no longer to have a national army, were, nevertheless,
compelled to furnish a contingent of eighteen thousand men to that of
France, and, while deluded by the idea of their freedom from taxation,
the fifteen millions of French _bons_ given in exchange for the
numerous Swiss loans were cashiered by Bonaparte, under pretext of the
Swiss having been already sufficiently paid by their deliverance from
their enemies by the French.[9] The real Swiss patriots implored the
German powers to protect their country, the bulwark of Germany against
France; but Austria was too much weakened by her own losses, and
Prussia handed the letters addressed to her from Switzerland over to
the First Consul.

The melancholy business, commenced by the empire at the congress of
Rastadt, and which had been broken off by the outbreak of war, had now
to be recommenced. Fresh compensations had been rendered necessary by
the robberies committed upon the Italian princes. The church property
no longer sufficed to satisfy all demands, and fresh seizures had
become requisite. A committee of the diet was intrusted with the
settlement of the question of compensation, which was decided on the
25th of February, 1803, by a decree of the imperial diet. All the
great powers of Germany had not suffered; all had not, consequently, a
right to demand compensation, but, in order to appease their jealousy,
all were to receive a portion of the booty. The three spiritual
electorates, Mayence, Treves, and Cologne, were abolished, their
position on the other side of the Rhine including them within the
French territory. The archbishop of Mayence alone retained his
dignity, and was transferred to Ratisbon. The whole of the imperial
free cities were moreover deprived of their privileges, six alone
excepted, Lubeck, Hamburg,[10] Bremen, Frankfort, Augsburg, and
Nuremberg. The unsecularized bishoprics and abbeys were abolished. The
petty princes, counts and barons, and the Teutonic order, were still
allowed to exist, in order ere long to be included in the general
ruin.

Prussia retained the bishoprics of Hildesheim and Paderborn, a part of
Munster, numerous abbeys and imperial free towns in Westphalia and
Thuringia, more particularly Erfurt. Bavaria had ever suffered on the
conclusion of peace between France and Austria; in 1797, she had ceded
the Rhenish Pfalz to France and a province on the Inn to Austria; by
the treaty of Luneville she had been, moreover, compelled to raze the
fortress of Ingolstadt.[11] The inclination for French innovations
displayed by the reigning duke, Maximilian Joseph, who surrounded
himself with the old Illuminati, caused her, on this occasion, by
Bonaparte's aid, to be richly compensated by the annexation of the
bishoprics of Bamberg, Wurzburg, Augsburg, and Freisingen, with
several small towns, etc.; all the monasteries were abolished. Bavaria
had formerly supported the institutions of the ancient church of Rome
more firmly than Austria, where reforms had already been begun in the
church by Joseph II. Hanover received Osnabruck; Baden, the portion of
the Pfalz on this side the Rhine, the greatest part of the bishoprics
of Constance, Basel, Strasburg, and Spires, also on this side the
Rhine; Wurtemberg, both Hesses (Cassel and Darmstadt); and Nassau, all
the lands in the vicinity formerly belonging to the bishopric of
Mayence, to imperial free towns and petty lordships. Ferdinand,
grandduke of Tuscany, younger brother to the emperor Francis II., was
compelled to relinquish his hereditary possessions in Italy,[12] and
received in exchange Salzburg, Eichstädt, and Passau. Ferdinand, duke
of Modena, uncle to the emperor Francis II. and younger brother to the
emperors Leopold II. and Joseph II., also resigned his duchy,[13] for
which he received the Breisgau in exchange. William V., hereditary
stadtholder of Holland, who had been expelled his states, also
received, on this occasion, in compensation for his son of like name
(he was himself already far advanced in years), the rich abbey of
Fulda, which was created the principality of Orange-Fulda.[14] The
electoral dignity was at the same time bestowed upon the Archduke
Ferdinand, the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, the duke of Wurtemberg, and
the Margrave of Baden.

Submission, although painful, produced no opposition. The power of the
imperial free cities had long passed away,[15] and the spiritual
princes no longer wielded the sword. The manner in which the officers
of the princes took possession, the insolence with which they treated
the subject people, the fraud and embezzlement that were openly
practiced, are merely excusable on account of the fact that Germany
was, notwithstanding the peace, still in a state of war. The decree of
the imperial diet can scarcely be regarded as the ignominious close of
a good old time, but rather as a violent but beneficial incisure in an
old and rankling sore. With the petty states, a mass of vanity and
pedantry disappeared on the one side, pusillanimity and servility on
the other; the ideas of the subjects of a large state have naturally a
wider range; the monasteries, those dens of superstition, the petty
princely residences, those hotbeds of French vice and degeneracy, the
imperial free towns, those abodes of petty burgher prejudice, no
longer existed. The extension of the limits of the states rendered the
gradual introduction of a better administration, the laying of roads,
the foundation of public institutions of every description, and social
improvement, possible. The example of France, the ever-renewed
warfare, and the conscriptions, created, moreover, a martial spirit
among the people, which, although far removed from patriotism, might
still, when compared with the spirit formerly pervading the imperial
army, be regarded as a first step from effeminacy, cowardice, and
sloth, toward true, unflinching, manly courage.


[Footnote 1: Scenes during the War of Liberation.]

[Footnote 2: Jourdan might easily have been annihilated during his
retreat by the imperial cavalry, twenty-seven thousand strong, had his
strength and position been better known to his pursuers.]

[Footnote 3: Scenes during the War of Liberation.]

[Footnote 4: The celebrated Lavater was, on this occasion, mortally
wounded by a French soldier. The people of Zurich were heavily mulcted
by Massena for having aided the Austrians to the utmost in their
power. Zschokke, who was at that time in the pay of France, wrote
against the "Imperialism" of the Swiss. Vide Haller and Landolt's Life
by Hess.]

[Footnote 5: Concerning the wretched provision for the Austrian army,
the embezzlement of the supplies, the bad management of the magazines
and hospitals, see "Representation of the Causes of the Disasters
suffered by the Austrians," etc. 1802.]

[Footnote 6: The contest lasted the whole day: the French already gave
way on every side, when Desaix led the French centre with such fury to
the charge that the Austrians, surprised by the suddenness of the
movement, were driven back and thrown into confusion, and the French,
rallying at that moment, made another furious onset and tore the
victory from their grasp.]

[Footnote 7: The impregnable fortress of Hohentwiel, formerly so
gallantly defended by Widerhold, was surrendered without a blow by the
cowardly commandant, Bilfinger. Rotenburg on the Tauber, on the
contrary, wiped off the disgrace with which she had covered herself
during the thirty years' war. A small French skirmishing party
demanded a contribution from this city; the council yielded, but the
citizens drove off the enemy with pitchforks.]

[Footnote 8: The ancient ones, Berne, Zurich, Basel, Solothurn,
Freiburg, Lucerne, Schaffhausen; the re-established ones, Uri, Schwyz,
Unterwalden, Zug, Glarus, Appenzell, St. Gall (instead of Waldstätten,
Linth, and Säntis), Valais (instead of Leman), Aargau, Constance,
Grisons, Tessin (instead of Lugano and Bellinzona). The Bernese
Oberland again fell to Berne. The ambassador, attempting to preserve
its independence, was asked by Napoleon: "Where do you take your
cattle, your cheese, etc.?" "À Berne," was the reply. "Whence do you
get your grain, cloth, iron, etc.?" "De Berne." "Well," continued
Napoleon, "de Berne, à Berne, you consequently belong to Berne."--The
Bernese were highly delighted at the restoration of their
independence, and the re-erection of the ancient arms of Berne became
a joyous fête. A gigantic black bear that was painted on the broad
walls of the castle of Trachselwald was visible far down the valley.]

[Footnote 9: Murald, in his life of Reinhard, records an instance of
shameless fraud, the attempt made during a farewell banquet at Paris
to cozen the Swiss deputies out of a million. After plying them well
with wine, an altered document was offered them for signature;
Reinhard, the only one who perceived the fraud, frustrated the
scheme.]

[Footnote 10: Hamburg was, however, compelled to pay to the French
1,700,000 marcs banco, and to allow Rumbold, the English agent, to be
arrested by them within the city walls.]

[Footnote 11: The university had been removed, in 1800, to Landshut.]

[Footnote 12: Bonaparte transformed them into a kingdom of Etruria,
which he bestowed upon a Spanish prince, Louis of Parma, who shortly
afterward died and his kingdom was annexed to France.]

[Footnote 13: He was son-in-law to Hercules, the last duke of Modena,
who still lived, but had resigned his claims in his favor. This duke
expired in 1805.]

[Footnote 14: Which he speedily lost by rejoining Napoleon's
adversaries. Adalbert von Harstall, the last princely abbot of Fulda,
was an extremely noble character; he is almost the only one among the
princes who remained firmly by his subjects when all the rest fled and
abandoned theirs to the French. After the edict of secularization he
remained firmly at his post until compelled to resign it by the
Prussian soldiery.]

[Footnote 15: The citizens of Esalingen were shortly before at law
with their magistrate on account of his nepotism and tyranny without
being able to get a decision from the supreme court of judicature.--
Quedlinburg had also not long before sent envoys to Vienna with heavy
complaints of the insolence of the magistrate, and the envoys had been
sent home without a reply being vouchsafed and were threatened with
the house of correction in case they ventured to return. Vide Hess's
Flight through Germany, 1793.--Wimpfen also carried on a suit against
its magistrate. In 1784, imperial decrees were issued against the
aristocracy of Ulm. In 1786, the people of Aix-la-Chapelle rose
against their magistrate. Nuremberg repeatedly demanded the production
of the public accounts from the aristocratic town-council. The people
of Hildesheim also revolted against their council. Vide Schlözer,
State Archives.]



CCLIII. Fall of the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire


A great change had, meanwhile, taken place in France. The republic
existed merely in name. The first consul, Bonaparte, already possessed
regal power. The world beheld with astonishment a nation that had so
lately and so virulently persecuted royalty, so dearly bought and so
strictly enforced its boasted liberty, suddenly forget its triumph and
restore monarchy. Liberty had ceased to be in vogue, and had yielded
to a general desire for the acquisition of fame. The equality enforced
by liberty was offensive to individual vanity, and the love of gain
and luxury opposed republican poverty. Fame and wealth were alone to
be procured by war and conquest. France was to be enriched by the
plunder of her neighbors. Bonaparte, moreover, promoted the prosperity
and dignity of the country by the establishment of manufactures,
public institutions, and excellent laws. The awe with which he
inspired his subjects insured their obedience; he was universally
feared and reverenced. In whatever age this extraordinary man had
lived, he must have taken the lead and have reduced nations to
submission. Even his adversaries, even those he most deeply injured,
owned his influence. His presence converted the wisdom of the
statesman, the knowledge of the most experienced general, into folly
and ignorance; the bravest armies fled panic-struck before his eagles;
the proudest sovereigns of Europe bowed their crowned heads before the
little hat of the Corsican. He was long regarded as a new savior, sent
to impart happiness to his people, and, as though by magic, bent the
blind and pliant mass to his will. But philanthropy, Christian wisdom,
the virtues of the Prince of peace, were not his. If he bestowed
excellent laws upon his people, it was merely with the view of
increasing the power of the state for military purposes. He was ever
possessed and tormented by the demon of war.

On the 18th of May, 1804, Bonaparte abolished the French republic and
was elected hereditary emperor of France. On the 2d of December, he
was solemnly anointed and crowned by the pope, Pius VII., who visited
Paris for that purpose. The ceremonies used at the coronation of
Charlemagne were revived on this occasion. On the 15th of March, 1805,
he abolished the Ligurian and Cisalpine republics, and set the ancient
iron crown of Lombardy on his head, with his own hand, as king of
Italy. He made a distinction between _la France_ and _l'empire_, the
latter of which was, by conquest, to be gradually extended over the
whole of Europe, and to be raised by him above that of Germany, in the
same manner that the western Roman-Germanic empire had formerly been
raised by Charlemagne above the eastern Byzantine one.

The erection of France into an empire was viewed with distrust by
Austria, whose displeasure had been, moreover, roused by the arbitrary
conduct of Napoleon in Italy. Fresh disputes had also arisen between
him and England; he had occupied the whole of Hanover, which
Wallmoden's[1] army had been powerless to defend, with his troops, and
violated the Baden territory by the seizure of the unfortunate Duc
d'Enghien, a prince of the house of Bourbon, who was carried into
France and there shot. Prussia offered no interference, in the hope of
receiving Hanover in reward for her neutrality.[2] Austria, on her
part, formed a third coalition with England, Russia, and Sweden.[3]
Austria acted, undeniably, on this occasion, with impolitic haste; she
ought rather to have waited until Prussia and public opinion
throughout Germany had been ranged on her side, as sooner or later
must have been the case, by the brutal encroachments of Napoleon.
Austria, unaided by Prussia, could scarcely dream of success.[4] But
England, at that time fearful of Napoleon's landing on her coast,
lavished her all-persuasive gold.

The Archduke Ferdinand was placed at the head of the Austrian troops
in Germany; the Archduke Charles, of those in Italy. Ferdinand
commanded the main body and was guided by Mack, who, without awaiting
the arrival of the Russians, advanced as far as Ulm, pushed a corps,
under Jellachich, forward to Lindau, and left the whole of his right
flank exposed. He, nevertheless, looked upon Napoleon's defeat and the
invasion of France by his troops as close at hand. He was in
ill-health and highly irritable. Napoleon, in order to move with
greater celerity, sent a part of his troops by carriage through
Strasburg, declared to the Margrave of Baden, the duke of Wurtemberg,
and the elector of Bavaria, his intention not to recognize them as
neutral powers, that they must be either against him or with him, and
made them such brilliant promises (they were, moreover, actuated by
distrust of Austria), that they ranged themselves on his side.
Napoleon instantly sent orders to General Bernadotte, who was at that
time stationed in Hanover, to cross the neutral Prussian territory of
Anspach,[5] without demanding the permission of Prussia, to Mack's
rear, in order to form a junction with the Bavarian troops. Other
corps were at the same time directed by circuitous routes upon the
flanks of the Austrian army, which was attacked at Memmingen by Soult,
and was cut off to the north by Ney, who carried the bridge of
Elchingen[6] by storm. Mack had drawn his troops together, but had,
notwithstanding the entreaties of his generals, refused to attack the
separate French corps before they could unite and surround him. The
Archduke Ferdinand alone succeeded in fighting his way with a part of
the cavalry through the enemy.[7] Mack lost his senses and capitulated
on the 17th of October, 1805. With him fell sixty thousand Austrians,
the elite of the army, into the hands of the enemy. Napoleon could
scarcely spare a sufficient number of men to escort this enormous
crowd of prisoners to France. Wernek's corps, which had already been
cut off, was also compelled to yield itself prisoner at
Trochtelfingen, not far from Heidenheim.

Napoleon, while following up his success with his customary rapidity
and advancing with his main body straight upon Vienna, despatched Ney
into the Tyrol, where the peasantry, headed by the Archduke John, made
a heroic defence. The advanced guard of the French, composed of the
Bavarians under Deroy, were defeated at the Strub pass, but,
notwithstanding this disaster, Ney carried the Schaarnitz by storm and
reached Innsbruck. The Archduke John was compelled to retire into
Carinthia in order to form a junction with his brother Charles, who,
after beating Massena at Caldiero, had been necessitated by Mack's
defeat to hasten from Italy for the purpose of covering Austria. Two
corps, left in the hurry of retreat too far westward, were cut off and
taken prisoner, that under Prince Rohan at Castellfranco, after having
found its way from Meran into the Venetian territory, and that under
Jellachich on the Lake of Constance; Kinsky's and Wartenleben's
cavalry threw themselves boldly into Swabia and Franconia, seized the
couriers and convoys to the French rear, and escaped unhurt to
Bohemia.

Davoust had, in the meanwhile, invaded Styria and defeated a corps
under Meerveldt at Mariazell. In November, Napoleon had reached
Vienna, neither Linz nor any other point having been fortified by the
Austrians. The great Russian army under Kutusow appeared at this
conjuncture in Moravia. The czar, Alexander I., accompanied it in
person, and the emperor, Francis II., joined him with his remaining
forces. A bloody engagement took place between Kutusow and the French
at Durrenstein on the Danube, but, on the loss of Vienna, the Russians
retired to Moravia. The sovereigns of Austria and Russia loudly called
upon Prussia to renounce her alliance with France, and, in this
decisive moment, to aid in the annihilation of a foe, for whose false
friendship she would one day dearly pay. The violation of the Prussian
territory by Bernadotte had furnished the Prussian king with a pretext
for suddenly declaring against Napoleon. The Prussian army was also in
full force. The British and the Hanoverian legion had landed at Bremen
and twenty thousand Russians on Rugen; ten thousand Swedes entered
Hanover; electoral Hesse was also ready for action. The king of
Prussia, nevertheless, merely confined himself to threats, in the hope
of selling his neutrality to Napoleon for Hanover, and deceived the
coalition.[8] The emperor Alexander visited Berlin in person for the
purpose of rousing Prussia to war, but had no sooner returned to
Austria in order to rejoin his army than Count Haugwitz, the Prussian
minister, was despatched to Napoleon's camp with express instructions
not to declare war. The famous battle, in which the three emperors of
Christendom were present, took place, meanwhile, at Austerlitz, not
far from Brunn, on the 2d of December, 1805, and terminated in one of
Napoleon's most glorious victories.[9] This battle decided the policy
of Prussia, and Haugwitz confirmed her alliance with France by a
treaty, by which Prussia ceded Cleves, Anspach, and Neufchâtel to
France in exchange for Hanover.[10] This treaty was published with a
precipitation equalling that with which it had been concluded, and
seven hundred Prussian vessels, whose captains were ignorant of the
event, were seized by the enraged English either in British harbors or
on the sea. The peace concluded by Austria, on the 26th of December,
at Presburg, was purchased by her at an enormous sacrifice. Napoleon
had, in the opening of the campaign, when pressing onward toward
Austria, compelled Charles Frederick, elector of Baden,[11] Frederick,
elector of Wurtemberg, and Maximilian Joseph, elector of Bavaria (in
whose mind the memory of the assassination of the ambassadors at
Rastadt, the loss of Wasserburg, the demolition of Ingolstadt, etc.,
still rankled), to enter into his alliance; to which they remained
zealously true on account of the immense private advantages thereby
gained by them, and of the dread of being deprived by the haughty
victor of the whole of their possessions on the first symptom of
opposition on their part. Napoleon, with a view of binding them still
more closely to his interests by motives of gratitude, gave them on
the present occasion an ample share in the booty. Bavaria was erected
into a kingdom,[12] and received, from Prussia, Anspach and Baireuth;
from Austria, the whole of the Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Lindau, the
Margraviate of Burgau, the dioceses of Passau, Eichstädt, Trent, and
Brixen, besides several petty lordships. Wurtemberg was raised to a
monarchy and enriched with the bordering Austrian lordships in Swabia.
Baden was rewarded with the Breisgau, the Ortenau, Constance, and the
title of grandduke. Venice was included by Napoleon in his kingdom of
Italy, and, for all these losses, Austria was merely indemnified by
the possession of Salzburg. Ferdinand, elector of Salzburg, the former
grandduke of Tuscany, was transferred to Wurzburg. Ferdinand of Modena
lost the whole of his possessions.

The imperial crown, so well maintained by Napoleon, now shone with
redoubled lustre. The petty republics and the provinces dependent upon
the French empire were erected into kingdoms and principalities and
bestowed upon his relatives and favorites. His brother Joseph was
created king of Naples; his brother Louis, king of Holland; his
stepson Eugene Beauharnais, viceroy of Italy; his brother-in-law
Murat, formerly a common horse-soldier, now his best general of
cavalry, grandduke of Berg; his first adjutant, Berthier, prince of
Neufchâtel; his uncle, Cardinal Fesch, was nominated successor to the
elector of Mayence, then resident at Ratisbon. In order to remove the
stigma attached to him as a parvenu, Napoleon also began to form
matrimonial alliances between his family and the most ancient houses
of Europe. His handsome stepson, Eugene, married the Princess Augusta,
daughter to the king of Bavaria; his brother Jerome, Catherine,
daughter to the king of Wurtemberg; and his niece, Stephanie, Charles,
hereditary prince of Baden. All the new princes were vassals of the
emperor Napoleon, and, by a family decree, subject to his supremacy.
All belonged to the great empire. Switzerland was also included, and
but one step more was wanting to complete the incorporation of half
the German empire with that of France.

On the 12th of July, 1806, sixteen princes of Western Germany
concluded, under Napoleon's direction, a treaty, according to which
they separated themselves from the German empire and founded the
so-called Rhenish Alliance, which it was their intention to render
subject to the supremacy of the emperor of the French.[13] On the 1st
of August, Napoleon declared that he no longer recognized the empire
of Germany! No one ventured to oppose his omnipotent voice. On the 6th
of August, 1806, the emperor, Francis II., abdicated the imperial
crown of Germany and announced the dissolution of the empire in a
touching address, full of calm dignity and sorrow. The last of the
German emperors had shown himself, throughout the contest, worthy of
his great ancestors, and had, almost alone, sacrificed all in order to
preserve the honor of Germany, until, abandoned by the greater part of
the German princes, he was compelled to yield to a power superior to
his. The fall of the empire that had stood the storms of a thousand
years, was, however, not without dignity. A meaner hand might have
levelled the decayed fabric with the dust, but fate, that seemed to
honor even the faded majesty of the ancient Caesars, selected Napoleon
as the executioner of her decrees. The standard of Charlemagne, the
greatest hero of the first Christian age, was to be profaned by no
hand save that of the greatest hero of modern times.

Ancient names, long venerated, now disappeared. The holy Roman-German
emperor was converted into an emperor of Austria, the electors into
kings or granddukes, all of whom enjoyed unlimited sovereign power and
were free from subjection to the supremacy of the emperor. Every bond
of union was dissolved with the diet of the empire and with the
imperial chamber. The barons and counts of the empire and the petty
princes were mediatized; the princes of Hohenlohe, Oettingen,
Schwarzenberg, Thurn and Taxis, the Truchsess von Waldburg,
Furstenberg, Fugger, Leiningen, Lowenstein, Solms, Hesse-Homburg,
Wied-Runkel, and Orange-Fulda became subject to the neighboring
Rhenish confederated princes. Of the remaining six imperial free
cities, Augsburg and Nuremberg fell to Bavaria; Frankfort, under the
title of grandduchy, to the ancient elector of Mayence, who was again
transferred thither from Ratisbon. The ancient Hanse towns, Hamburg,
Lubeck and Bremen, alone retained their freedom.

The Rhenish confederation now began its wretched existence. It was
established on the basis of the Helvetian republic. The sixteen
confederated princes were to be completely independent and to exercise
sovereign power over the internal affairs of their states, like the
Swiss cantons, but were, in all foreign affairs, dependent upon
Napoleon as their protector.[14] The whole Rhenish confederation
became a part of the French empire. The federal assembly was to sit at
Frankfort, and Dalberg, the former elector of Mayence, now grandduke
of Frankfort, was nominated by Napoleon, under the title of Prince
Primate, president. Napoleon's uncle, and afterward his stepson,
Eugene Beauharnais, were his destined successors, by which means the
control was placed entirely in the hands of France. To this
confederation there belonged two kings, those of Bavaria and
Wurtemberg, five granddukes, those of Frankfort, Wurzburg, Baden,
Darmstadt, and Berg, and ten princes, two of Nassau, two of
Hohenzollern, two of Salm, besides those of Aremberg, Isenburg,
Lichtenstein and Leyen. Every trace of the ancient free constitution
of Germany, her provincial Estates, was studiously annihilated. The
Wurtemberg Estates, with a spirit worthy of their ancient fame, alone
made an energetic protest, by which they merely succeeded in saving
their honor, the king, Frederick, dissolving them by force and closing
their chamber.[15] An absolute, despotic form of government, similar
to that existing in France under Napoleon, was established in all the
confederated states. The murder of the unfortunate bookseller, Palm of
Nuremberg, who was, on the 25th of August, 1806, shot by Napoleon's
order, at Braunau, for nobly refusing to give up the author of a
patriotic work published by him, directed against the rule of France,
and entitled, "Germany in her deepest Degradation," furnished
convincing proof, were any wanting, of Napoleon's supremacy.


[Footnote 1: He capitulated at Suhlingen on honorable terms, but was
deceived by Mortier, the French general, and Napoleon took advantage
of a clause not to recognize all the terms of capitulation. The
Hanoverian troops, whom it was intended to force to an unconditional
surrender to the French, sailed secretly and in separate divisions to
England, where they were formed into the German Legion.]

[Footnote 2: England offered the Netherlands instead of Hanover to
Prussia; to this Russia, however, refused to accede. Prussia listened
to both sides, and acted with such duplicity that Austria was led, by
the false hope of being seconded by her, to a too early declaration of
war.--_Scenes during the War of liberation._]

[Footnote 3: Gustavus Adolphus IV. of Sweden, who had wedded a
princess of Baden, was at Carlsruhe at the very moment that the Duc
d'Enghien was seized as it were before his eyes. This circumstance and
the ridicule heaped upon him by Napoleon, who mockingly termed him the
Quixote of the North, roused his bitter hatred.]

[Footnote 4: Bulow wrote in his remarkable criticism upon this war:
"The hot coalition party--that of the ladies--of the empress and the
queen of Naples--removed Prince Charles from the army and called Mack
from oblivion to daylight; Mack, whose name in the books of the
prophets in the Hebrew tongue signifies defeat."]

[Footnote 5: Napoleon gained almost all his victories either by
skilfully separating his opponents and defeating them singly with
forces vastly superior in number, or by creeping round the
concentrated forces of the enemy and placing them between two fires.]

[Footnote 6: Ney was, for this action, created Duke of Elchingen.]

[Footnote 7: Klein, the French general, also a German, allowed himself
to be kept in conversation by Prince, afterward field-marshal
Schwarzenberg, who had been sent to negotiate terms with him, until
the Austrians had reached a place of safety.--_Prokesch.
Schwarzeriberg's Memorabilia._]

[Footnote 8: "Prussia made use of the offers made by England (and
Russia) to stipulate terms with France exactly subversive of the
object of the negotiations of England (and Russia)."--_The Manifest of
England against Prussia. Attgemeine Zeitung, No. 132._]

[Footnote 9: On the 4th of December, Napoleon met the emperor Francis
in the open street in the village of Nahedlowitz. That the impression
made by the former upon the latter was far from favorable is proved by
the emperor's observation, "Now that I have seen him, I shall never be
able to endure him!" On the 5th of December, the Bavarians under Wrede
were signally defeated at Iglau by the Archduke Ferdinand.]

[Footnote 10: "After the commission of such numerous mistakes, I must
nevertheless praise the minister, Von Haugwitz, for having, in the
first place, evaded a war unskilfully managed, and, in the second, for
having annexed Hanover to Prussia, although its possession, it must be
confessed, is somewhat precarious. Here, however, I hear it said that
the commission of a robbery at another's suggestion is, in the first
place, the deepest of degradations, and, in the second place,
unparalleled in history."--_Von Bulow, The Campaign of 1805._ It has
been asserted that Haugwitz had, prior to the battle of Austerlitz,
been instructed to declare war against Napoleon in case the
intervention of Prussia should be rejected by him. Still, had Haugwitz
overstepped instructions of such immense importance, he would not
immediately afterward, on the 12th of January, 1806, have received, as
was actually the case, fresh instructions, in proof that he had in no
degree abused the confidence of his sovereign. Haugwitz, by not
declaring war, husbanded the strength of Prussia and gained Hanover;
and, by so doing, he fulfilled his instructions, which were to gain
Hanover without making any sacrifice. His success gained for him the
applause of his sovereign, who intrusted him, on account of his skill
as a diplomatist, with the management of other negotiations. Prussia
at that time still pursued the system of the treaty of Basel, was
unwilling to break with France, and was simply bent upon selling her
neutrality to the best advantage. Instead, however, of being able to
prescribe terms to Napoleon, she was compelled to accede to his.
Napoleon said to Haugwitz, "Jamais on n'obtiendra de moi ce qui
pourrait blesser ma gloire." Haugwitz had been instructed through the
duke of Brunswick: "Pour le cas que vos soins pour rétablir la paix
échouent, pour le cas où l'apparition de la Prusse sur le théâtre de
la guerre soit jugée inévitable, mettez tous vos soins pour conserver
à la Prusse l'épée dans le fourreau jusqu'au 22 Décembre, et s'il se
peut jusqu'à un terme plus reculé encore."--_Extract from the Memoirs
of the Count von Haugwitz._]

[Footnote 11: He married a Mademoiselle von Geyer. His children had
merely the title of Counts von Hochberg, but came, in 1830, on the
extinction of the Agnati, to the government.]

[Footnote 12: On the 1st of January, 1806; the Bavarian state
newspaper announced it at New Year with the words, "Long live
Napoleon, the restorer of the kingdom of Bavaria!" Bavarian authors,
more particularly Pallhausen, attempted to prove that the Bavarians
had originally been a Gallic tribe under the Gallic kings. It was
considered a dishonor to belong to Germany.]

[Footnote 13: In 1797, the anonymous statesman, in the dedication "to
the congress of Rastadt," foretold the formation of the Rhenish
alliance as a necessary result of the treaty of Basel. "The electors
of Brandenburg, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, and all the princes, who
defended themselves behind the line of demarcation against their
obligations to the empire, and tranquilly awaited the issue of the
contest between France and that part of the empire that had taken up
arms; all those princes to whom their private interests were dearer
than those of the empire, who, devoid of patriotism, formed a separate
party against Austria and Southern Germany, from which they severed
and isolated themselves, could, none of them, arrogate to themselves a
voice in the matter, if Southern Germany, abandoned by them, concluded
treaties for herself as her present and future interests demanded."]

[Footnote 14: "Oldenburg affords a glaring proof of the insecurity and
meanness characteristic of the Rhenish alliance. The relation even
with Bavaria was not always the purest, and I have sometimes caught a
near glimpse of the claws."--_Gagern's Share in Politics._]

[Footnote 15: No diet had, since 1770, been held in Wurtemberg, only
the committee had continued to treat secretly with the duke. In 1797,
Frederick convoked a fresh diet and swore to hold the constitution
sacred. Some modern elements appeared in this diet; the old opposition
was strengthened by men of the French school. Disputes, consequently,
ere long arose between it and the duke, a man of an extremely
arbitrary disposition. The Estates discovered little zeal for the war
with France, attempted to economize in the preparations, etc., while
the duke made great show of patriotism as a prince of the German
empire, nor gave the slightest symptom of his one day becoming an
enemy to his country, a member of the Rhenish alliance, and the most
zealous partisan of France. Moreau, however, no sooner crossed the
Rhine than the duke fled, abandoned his states, and afterward not only
refused to bear the smallest share of the contributions levied upon
the country by the French, but also seized the subsidies furnished by
England. The duke, shortly after this, quarrelling with his eldest
son, William, the Estates sided with the latter and supplied him with
funds, at the same time refusing to grant any of the sums demanded by
the duke, who, on his part, omitted the confirmation of the new
committee and ordered Grosz, the councillor, Stockmaier, the secretary
of the diet, and several others, besides Batz, the agent of the diet
at Vienna, to be placed under arrest, their papers to be seized, and a
sum of money to be raised from the church property, 1805. Not long
after this, rendered insolent by the protection of the great despot of
France, he utterly annihilated the ancient constitution of
Wurtemberg.]



CCLIV. Prussia's Declaration of War and Defeat


Prussia, by a timely declaration of war against France before the
battle of Austerlitz, might have turned the tide against Napoleon, and
earned for herself the glory and the gain, instead of being, by a
false policy, compelled, at a later period, to make that declaration
under circumstances of extreme disadvantage. Her maritime commerce
suffered extreme injury from the attacks of the English and Swedes.
War was unavoidable, either for or against France. The decision was
replete with difficulty. Prussia, by continuing to side with France,
was exposed to the attacks of England, Sweden, and probably Russia; it
was, moreover, to be feared that Napoleon, who had more in view the
diminution of the power of Prussia than that of Austria, might delay
his aid. During the late campaign, the Prussian territory had been
violated and the fortress of Wesel seized by Napoleon, who had also
promised the restoration of Hanover to England as a condition of
peace. He had invited Prussia to found, besides the Rhenish, a
northern confederation, and had, at the same time, bribed Saxony with
a promise of the royal dignity, and Hesse with that of the annexation
of Fulda, not to enter into alliance with Prussia. Prussia saw herself
scorned and betrayed by France. A declaration of war with France was,
however, surrounded with tenfold danger. The power of France,
unweakened by opposition, had reached an almost irresistible height.
Austria, abandoned in every former campaign and hurried to ruin by
Prussia, could no longer be reckoned on for aid. The whole of Germany,
once in favor of Prussia, now sided with the foe. Honor at length
decided. Prussia could no longer endure the scorn of the insolent
Frenchman, his desecration of the memory of the great Frederick, or,
with an army impatient for action, tamely submit to the insults of
both friend and foe. The presence of the Russian czar, Alexander, at
Berlin, his visit to the tomb of Frederick the Great, rendered still
more popular by an engraving, had a powerful effect upon public
opinion. Louisa, the beautiful queen of Prussia and princess of
Mecklenburg, animated the people with her words and roused a spirit of
chivalry in the army, which still deemed itself invincible. The
younger officers were not sparing of their vaunts, and Prince Louis
vented his passion by breaking the windows of the minister Haugwitz.
John Muller, who, on the overthrow of Austria, had quitted Vienna and
had been appointed Prussian historiographer at Berlin, called upon the
people, in the preface to the "Trumpet of the Holy War," to take up
arms against France.

War was indeed declared, but with too great precipitation. Instead of
awaiting the arrival of the troops promised by Russia or until Austria
had been gained, instead of manning the fortresses and taking
precautionary measures, the Prussian army, in conjunction with that of
Saxony, which lent but compulsory aid, and with those of Mecklenburg
and Brunswick, its voluntary allies, took the field without any
settled plan, and suddenly remained stationary in the Thuringian
forest, like Mack two years earlier at Ulm, waiting for the appearance
of Napoleon, 1806. The king and the queen accompanied the army, which
was commanded by Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick, a veteran of seventy-
two, and by his subordinate in command, Frederick Louis, prince of
Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, who constantly opposed his measures. In the
general staff the chief part was enacted by Colonel Massenbach, a
second Mack, whose counsels were rarely followed. All the higher
officers in the army were old men, promotion depending not upon merit
but upon length of service. The younger officers were radically bad,
owing to their airs of nobility and licentious garrison life; their
manners and principles were equally vulgar. Women, horses, dogs, and
gambling formed the staple of their conversation; they despised all
solid learning, and, when decorated on parade, in their enormous
cocked hats and plumes, powdered wigs and queues, tight leather
breeches and great boots, they swore at and cudgelled the men, and
strutted about with conscious heroism. The arms used by the soldiery
were heavy and apt to hang fire, their tight uniform was inconvenient
for action and useless as a protection against the weather, and their
food, bad of its kind, was stinted by the avarice of the colonels,
which was carried to such an extent that soldiers were to be seen,
who, instead of a waistcoat, had a small bit of cloth sewn on to the
lower part of the uniform where the waistcoat was usually visible.
Worst of all, however, was the bad spirit that pervaded the army, the
enervation consequent upon immorality. Even before the opening of the
war, Lieutenant Henry von Bulow, a retired officer, the greatest
military genius at that period in Germany, and, on that account,
misunderstood, foretold the inevitable defeat of Prussia, and,
although far from being a devotee, declared, "The cause of the
national ignorance lies chiefly in the atheism and demoralization
produced by the government of Frederick II. The enlightenment, so
highly praised in the Prussian states, simply consists in a loss of
energy and power."

The main body of the Prussian army was stationed around Weimar and
Jena, a small corps under General Tauenzien was pushed forward to
cover the rich magazines at Hof, and a reserve of seventeen thousand
men under Eugene, duke of Wurtemberg, lay to the rear at Halle. It was
remarked that this position, in case of an attack being made by
Napoleon, was extremely dangerous, the only alternatives left for the
Prussian army being either to advance, form a junction with the
gallant Hessians and render the Rhine the seat of war, or to fall back
upon the reserve and hazard a decisive battle on the plains of
Leipzig. That intriguing impostor, Lucchesini, the oracle of the camp,
however, purposely declared that _he_ knew Napoleon, that Napoleon
would most certainly not attempt to make an attack. A few days
afterward Napoleon, nevertheless, appeared, found the pass at Kosen
open, cut off the Prussian army from the right bank of the Saal, from
its magazines at Hof and Naumburg, which he also seized, from the
reserve corps stationed at Halle, and from Prussia. Utterly astounded
at the negligence of the duke of Brunswick, he exclaimed, while
comparing him with Mack, "Les Prussiens sont encore plus stupides que
les Autrichiens!" On being informed by some prisoners that the
Prussians expected him from Erfurt when he was already at Naumburg, he
said, "Ils se tromperont furieusement, ces perruques." He would,
nevertheless, have been on his part exposed to great peril had the
Prussians suddenly attacked him with their whole force from Weimar,
Jena, and Halle, or had they instantly retired into Franconia and
fallen upon his rear; but the idea never entered the heads of the
Prussian generals, who tranquilly waited to be beaten by him one after
the other.

After Tauenzien's repulse, a second corps under Prince Louis of
Prussia, which had been pushed forward to Saalfeld, imprudently
attempting to maintain its position in the narrow valley, was
surrounded and cut to pieces. The prince refused to yield, and, after
a furious defence, was killed by a French horse-soldier. The news of
this disaster speedily reached the main body of the Prussians. The
duke of Brunswick, at that time holding a military council in the
castle of Weimar, so entirely lost his presence of mind as to ask in
the hearing of several young officers, and with embarrassment depicted
on his countenance, "What are we to do?" This veteran duke would with
painful slowness write down in the neatest hand the names of the
villages in which the various regiments were to be quartered,
notwithstanding which, it sometimes happened that, owing to his
topographical ignorance, several regiments belonging to different
corps d'armee were billeted in the same village and had to dispute its
possession. He would hesitate for an hour whether he ought to write
the name of a village Munchenholzen or Munchholzen.

The Prussian army was compared to a ship with all sail spread lying at
anchor. The duke was posted with the main body not far from Weimar,
the Saxons at the Schnecke on the road between Weimar and Jena, the
prince of Hohenlohe at Jena. Mack had isolated and exposed his
different corps d'armee in an exactly similar manner at Ulm. Hohenlohe
again subdivided his corps and scattered them in front of the
concentrated forces of the enemy. Still, all was not yet lost, the
Prussians being advantageously posted in the upper valley, while the
French were advancing along the deep valleys of the Saal and its
tributaries. But, on the 13th of October, Tauenzien retired from the
vale, leaving the steeps of Jena, which a hundred students had been
able to defend simply by rolling down the stones there piled in heaps,
open, and, during the same night, Napoleon sent his artillery up and
posted himself on the Landgrafenberg. There, nevertheless, still
remained a chance; the Dornberg, by which the Landgrafenberg was
commanded, was still occupied by Tauenzien, and the Windknollen, a
still steeper ascent, whence Hohenlohe, had he not spent the night in
undisturbed slumbers at Capellendorf, might utterly have annihilated
the French army, remained unoccupied. The thunder of the French
artillery first roused Hohenlohe from his couch, and, while he was
still under the hands of his barber, Tauenzien was driven from the
Dornberg. The duties of the toilet at length concluded, Hohenlohe led
his troops up the hillside with a view of retaking the position he had
so foolishly lost; but his serried columns were exposed to the
destructive fire of a body of French tirailleurs posted above, and
were repulsed with immense loss. General Ruchel arrived, with his
corps that had been uselessly detached, too late to prevent the flight
of the Hohenlohe corps, and, making a brave but senseless attack, was
wounded and defeated. A similar fate befell the unfortunate Saxons at
the Schnecke and the duke of Brunswick at Auerstädt. The latter,
although at the head of the strongest division of the Prussian army,
succumbed to the weakest division of the French army, that commanded
by Davoust, who henceforward bore the title of duke of Auerstädt, and
was so suddenly put to the rout that a body of twenty thousand
Prussians under Kalkreuth never came into action. The duke was shot in
both eyes. This incident was, by his enemies, termed fortune's
revenge, "as he never would see when he had his eyes open."[1]

Napoleon followed up his victory with consummate skill. The junction
of the retreating corps d'armee and their flight by the shortest route
into Prussia were equally prevented. The defeated Prussian army was in
a state of indescribable confusion. An immensely circuitous march lay
before it ere Prussia could be re-entered. A number of the regiments
disbanded, particularly those whose officers had been the first to
take to flight or had crept for shelter behind hedges and walls. An
immense number of officers' equipages, provided with mistresses,
articles belonging to the toilet, and epicurean delicacies, fell into
Napoleon's hands. Wagons laden with poultry, complete kitchens on
wheels, wine casks, etc., had followed this luxurious army. The scene
presented by the battlefield of Jena widely contrasted with that of
Rossbach, whose monument was sent by Napoleon to Paris as the most
glorious part of the booty gained by his present easy victory.[2]

The fortified city of Erfurt was garrisoned with fourteen thousand
Prussians under Mollendorf, who, on the first summons, capitulated to
Murat, the general of the French cavalry. The hereditary Prince of
Orange was also taken prisoner on this occasion. Von Hellwig, a
lieutenant of the Prussian hussars, boldly charged the French guard
escorting the fourteen thousand Prussian prisoners of war from Erfurt,
at the head of his squadron, at Eichenrodt in the vicinity of
Eisenach, and succeeded in restoring them to liberty. The liberated
soldiers, however, instead of joining the main body, dispersed.
Eugene, duke of Wurtemberg, was also defeated at Halle, and, throwing
up his command, withdrew to his states. History has, nevertheless,
recorded one trait of magnanimity, that of a Prussian ensign fifteen
years of age, who, being pursued by some French cavalry not far from
Halle, sprang with the colors into the Saal and was crushed to death
by a mill-wheel.

Kalkreuth's corps, that had not been brought into action and was the
only one that remained entire, being placed under the command of the
prince of Hohenlohe, its gallant commander, enraged at the indignity,
quitted the army. Hohenlohe's demand, on reaching Magdeburg, for a
supply of ammunition and forage, was refused by the commandant, Von
Kleist, and he hastened helplessly forward in the hope of reaching
Berlin, but the route was already blocked by the enemy, and he was
compelled to make a fatiguing and circuitous march to the west through
the sandy March. Magdeburg, although garrisoned with twenty-two
thousand Prussians, defended by eight hundred pieces of artillery and
almost impregnable fortifications, capitulated on the 11th of November
to Ney, on his appearance beneath the walls with merely ten thousand
men and a light field-battery. Kleist, in exculpation of his conduct,
alleged his expectation of an insurrection of the citizens in case of
a bombardment. Magdeburg contained at that time three thousand unarmed
citizens. It is not known whether Kleist had been bribed, or whether
he was simply infected with the cowardice and stupidity by which the
elder generals of that period were distinguished; it is, however,
certain that among the numerous younger officers serving under his
command not one raised the slightest opposition to this disgraceful
capitulation.[3]

The Hohenlohe corps, which consisted almost exclusively of infantry,
was accompanied in its flight by Blucher, the gallant general of the
hussars, with the elite of the remaining cavalry. Blucher had,
however, long borne a grudge against his pedantic companion, and,
mistrusting his guidance, soon quitted him. Being surrounded by a
greatly superior French force under Klein,[4] he contrived to escape
by asserting with great earnestness to that general that an armistice
had just been concluded. When afterward urgently entreated by
Hohenlohe to join him with his troops, he procrastinated too long, it
may be owing to his desire to bring Hohenlohe, who, by eternally
retreating, completely disheartened his troops, to a stand, or owing
to the impossibility of coming up with greater celerity.[5] He had,
indubitably, the intention to join Hohenlohe at Prenzlow, but
unfortunately arrived a day too late, the prince, whose ammunition and
provisions were completely spent, and who, owing to the stupidity of
Massenbach, who rode up and down the Ucker without being able to
discover whether he was on the right or left bank, had missed the only
route by which he could retreat, having already fallen, with twelve
thousand men, into the enemy's hands. This disaster was shortly
afterward followed by the capture of General Hagen with six thousand
men at Pasewalk and that of Bila with another small Prussian corps not
far from Stettin. Blucher, strengthened by the corps of the duke of
Weimar and by numerous fugitives, still kept the field, but was at
length driven back to Lubeck, where he was defeated, and, after a
bloody battle in the very heart of the terror-stricken city, four
thousand of his men were made prisoners. He fled with ten thousand to
Radkan, where, finding no ships to transport him across the Baltic, he
was forced to capitulate.

The luckless duke of Brunswick was carried on a bier from the field of
Jena to his palace at Brunswick, which he found deserted. All
belonging to him had fled. In his distress he exclaimed, "I am now
about to quit all and am abandoned by all!" His earnest petition to
Napoleon for protection for himself and his petty territory was
sternly refused by the implacable victor, who replied that he knew of
no reigning duke of Brunswick, but only of a Prussian general of that
name, who had, in the infamous manifest of 1792, declared his
intention to destroy Paris and was undeserving of mercy. The blind old
man fled to Ottensen, in the Danish territory, where he expired.

Napoleon, after confiscating sixty millions worth of English goods on
his way through Leipzig, entered Berlin on the 17th of October, 1806.
The defence of the city had not been even dreamed of; nay, the great
arsenal, containing five hundred pieces of artillery and immense
stores, the sword of Frederick the Great, and the private
correspondence of the reigning king and queen, were all abandoned to
the victor.[6] Although the citizens were by no means martially
disposed, the authorities deemed it necessary to issue proclamations
to the people, inculcatory of the axiom, "Tranquillity is the first
duty of the citizen." Napoleon, on his entry into Berlin, was
received, not, as at Vienna, with mute rage, but with loud
demonstrations of delight. Individuals belonging to the highest class
stationed themselves behind the crowd and exclaimed, "For God's sake,
give a hearty hurrah! Cry Vive l'empereur! or we are all lost." On a
demand, couched in the politest terms, for the peaceable delivery of
the arms of the civic guard, being made by Hulin, the new French
commandant, to the magistrate, the latter, on his own accord, ordered
the citizens to give up their arms "under pain of death." Numerous
individuals betrayed the public money and stores, that still remained
concealed, to the French. Hulin replied to a person who had discovered
a large store of wood, "Leave the wood untouched; your king will want
a good deal to make gallows for traitorous rogues." Napoleon's
reception struck him with such astonishment that he declared, "I know
not whether to rejoice or to feel ashamed." At the head of his general
staff, in full uniform and with bared head, he visited the apartment
occupied by Frederick the Great at Sans Souci, and his tomb. He took
possession of Frederick's sword and declared in the army bulletin, "I
would not part with this weapon for twenty millions." Frederick's tomb
afforded him an opportunity for giving vent to the most unbecoming
expressions of contempt against his unfortunate descendant. He
publicly aspersed the fame of the beautiful and noble-hearted Prussian
queen, in order to deaden the enthusiasm she sought to raise. But he
deceived himself. Calumny but increased the esteem and exalted the
enthusiasm with which the people beheld their queen and kindled a
feeling of revenge in their bosoms. Napoleon behaved, nevertheless,
with generosity to another lady of rank. Prince Hatzfeld, the civil
governor of Berlin, not having quitted that city on the entry of
Napoleon, had been discovered by the spies and been condemned to death
by a court-martial. His wife, who was at that time enceinte, threw
herself at Napoleon's feet. With a smile, he handed to her the paper
containing the proof of her husband's guilt, which she instantly
burned, and her husband was restored to liberty. John Muller was among
the more remarkable of the servants of the state who had remained at
Berlin. This sentimental parasite, the most despicable of them all,
whose pathos sublimely glossed over each fresh treason, was sent for
by Napoleon, who placed him about his person. Among other things, he
asked him, "Is it not true the Germans are somewhat thick-brained?" to
which the fawning professor replied with a smile. In return for the
benefits he had received from the royal family of Prussia, he
delivered, before quitting Berlin, an academical lecture upon
Frederick the Great, in the presence of the French general officers,
in which he artfully (the lecture was of course delivered in the
French language) contrived to flatter Napoleon at the expense of that
monarch.[7] Prince Charles of Isenberg raised, in the very heart of
Berlin, a regiment, composed of Prussian deserters, for the service of
France.[8]

The Prussian fortresses fell, meanwhile, one after the other, during
the end of autumn and during the winter, some from utter inability, on
account of their neglected state, to maintain themselves, but the
greater part owing to their being commanded by old villains,
treacherous and cowardly as the commandant of Magdeburg. The strong
fortress of Hameln was in this manner yielded by a Baron von Schöler,
Plassenburg by a Baron von Becker, Nimburg on the Weser by a Baron von
Dresser, Spandau by a Count von Benkendorf. The citadel of Berlin
capitulated without a blow, and Stettin, although well provided with
all the _materiel_ of war, was delivered up by a Baron von Romberg.
Custrin, one of the strongest fortified places, was commanded by a
Count von Ingersleben. The king visited the place during his flight
and earnestly recommended him to defend it to the last. This place,
sooner than yield, had, during the seven years' war, allowed itself to
be reduced to a heap of ruins. When standing on one of the bastions,
the king inquired its name. The commandant was ignorant of it.
Scarcely had the king quitted the place, than a body of French huzzars
appeared before the gates, and Ingersleben instantly capitulated.

Silesia, although less demoralized than Berlin, viewed these political
changes with even greater apathy. This fine province had, during the
reign of Frederick the Great, been placed under the government of the
minister, Count Hoym, whose easy disposition had, like insidious
poison, utterly enervated the people. The government officers, as if
persuaded of the reality of the antiquarian whim which deduced the
name of Silesia from Elysium, dwelt in placid self-content, unmoved by
the catastrophes of Austerlitz or Jena. No measures were,
consequently, taken for the defence of the country, and a flying corps
of Bavarians, Wurtembergers, and some French under Vandamme, speedily
overran the whole province, notwithstanding the number of its
fortresses. At Glogau, the commandant, Von Reinhardt, unhesitatingly
declared his readiness to capitulate and excluded the gallant Major
von Putlitz, who insisted upon making an obstinate defence, "as a
revolutionist," from the military council. Being advised by one of the
citizens to fire upon the enemy, he rudely replied, "Sir, you do not
know what one shot costs the king." In Breslau, the Counts von Thiele
and Lindner made a terrible fracas, burned down the fine faubourgs,
and blew up the powder-magazine, merely in order to veil the disgrace
of a hasty capitulation, which enraged the soldiery to such a pitch
that, shattering their muskets, they heaped imprecations on their
dastard commanders, and, in revenge, plundered the royal stores. Brieg
was ceded after a two days' siege, by the Baron von Cornerut. The
defence of the strong fortress of Schweidnitz, of such celebrated
importance during the seven years' war, had been intrusted to Count
von Haath, a man whose countenance even betokened imbecility. He
yielded the fortress without a blow, and, on the windows of the
apartment in which he lodged in the neighboring town of Jauer being
broken by the patriotic citizens, he went down to the landlord, to
whom he said, "My good sir, you must have some enemies!" The remaining
fortresses made a better defence. Glatz was taken by surprise, the
city by storm. The fortress was defended by the commandant, Count
Gotzen, until ammunition sufficient for twelve days longer alone
remained. Neisse capitulated from famine; Kosel was gallantly defended
by the commandant, Neumann; and Silberberg, situated on an impregnable
rock, refused to surrender.

The troops of the Rhenish confederation, encouraged by the bad example
set by Vandamme and by several of the superior officers, committed
dreadful havoc, plundered the country, robbed and barbarously treated
the inhabitants. It was quite a common custom among the officers, on
the conclusion of a meal, to carry away with them the whole of their
host's table-service. The filthy habits of the French officers were
notorious. Their conduct is said to have been not only countenanced
but commanded by Napoleon, as a sure means of striking the enervated
population with the profoundest terror; and the panic in fact almost
amounted to absurdity, the inhabitants of this thickly-populated
province nowhere venturing to rise against the handful of robbers by
whom they were so cruelly persecuted. A Baron von Puckler offered an
individual exception: his endeavors to rouse the inert masses met with
no success, and, rendered desperate by his failure, he blew out his
brains. When too late a prince of Anhalt-Pless assembled an armed
force in Upper Silesia and attempted to relieve Breslau, but Thiele
neglecting to make a sally at the decisive moment, the Poles in Prince
of Pless's small army took to flight, and the whole plan miscarried. A
small Prussian corps, amounting to about five hundred men, commanded
by Losthin, afterward infested Silesia, surprised the French under
Lefebvre at Kanth and put them to the rout, but were a few days after
this exploit taken prisoners by a superior French force.

Attempts at reforms suited to the spirit of the age had, even before
the outbreak of war, been made in Prussia by men of higher
intelligence; Menken, for instance, had labored to effect the
emancipation of the peasantry, but had been removed from office by the
aristocratic party. During the war, the corruption pervading every
department of the government, whether civil or military, was fully
exposed, and Frederick William III. was taught by bitter experience to
pursue a better system, to act with decision and patient
determination. The Baron von Stein, a man of undoubted talent, a
native of Nassau, was placed at the head of the government; two of the
most able commanders of the day, Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, undertook
the reorganization of the army. On the 1st of December, 1806, the king
cashiered every commandant who had neglected to defend the fortress
intrusted to his care and every officer guilty of desertion or
cowardly flight, and the long list of names gave disgraceful proof of
the extent to which the nobility were compromised. One of the first
measures taken by the king was, consequently, to throw open every post
of distinction in the army to the citizens. The old inconvenient
uniform and firearms were at the same time improved, the queue was cut
off, the cane abandoned. The royal army was indeed scanty in number,
but it contained within itself germs of honor and patriotism that gave
promise of future glory.

The reform, however, but slowly progressed. Ferdinand von Schill, a
Prussian lieutenant, who had been wounded at Jena, formed, in
Pomerania, a guerilla troop of disbanded soldiery and young men, who,
although indifferently provided with arms, stopped the French convoys
and couriers. His success was so extraordinary that he was sometimes
enabled to send sums of money, taken from the enemy, to the king.
Among other exploits, he took prisoner Marshal Victor, who was
exchanged for Blucher. Blucher assembled a fresh body of troops on the
island of Rugen. Schill, being afterward compelled to take refuge from
the pursuit of the French in the fortress of Colberg, the commandant,
Loucadou, placed him under arrest for venturing to criticise the bad
defence of the place.

The king of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus IV., might with perfect justice
have bitterly reproached Prussia and Austria for the folly with which
they had, by their disunion, contributed to the aggrandizement of the
power of France. He acted nobly by affording a place of refuge to the
Prussians at Stralsund and Rugen.

Colberg was, on Loucadou's dismissal, gloriously defended by Gneisenau
and by the resolute citizens, among whom Nettelbek, a man seventy
years of age, chiefly distinguished himself. Courbiere acted with
equal gallantry at Graudena. On being told by the French that Prussia
was in their hands and that no king of Prussia was any longer in
existence, he replied, "Well, be it so! but I am king at Graudenz."
Pillau was also successfully defended by Herrmann.[9] Polish Prussia
naturally fell off on the advance of the French. Calisch rose in open
insurrection; the Prussian authorities were everywhere compelled to
save themselves by flight from the vengeance of the people. Poland had
been termed the Botany Bay of Prussia, government officers in disgrace
for bad conduct being generally sent there by way of punishment. No
one voluntarily accepted an appointment condemning him to dwell amid a
population inspired by the most ineradicable national hatred, glowing
with revenge, and unable to appreciate the benefits bestowed upon them
in their ignorance and poverty by the wealthier and more civilized
Prussians.

The king had withdrawn with the remainder of his troops, which were
commanded by the gallant L'Estoc, to Koenigsberg, where he formed a
junction with the Russian army, which was led by a Hanoverian, the
cautious Bennigsen, and accompanied by the emperor Alexander in
person. Napoleon expected that an opportunity would be afforded for
the repetition of his old manoeuvre of separating and falling singly
upon his opponents, but Bennigsen kept his forces together and offered
him battle at Eylau, in the neighborhood of Koenigsberg; victory still
wavered, when the Prussian troops under L'Estoc fell furiously upon
Marshal Ney's flank, while that general was endeavoring to surround
the Russians, and decided the day. It was the 8th of February, and the
snow-clad ground was stained with gore. Napoleon, after this
catastrophe, remained inactive, awaiting the opening of spring and the
arrival of reinforcements. Dantzig, exposed by the desertion of the
Poles, fell, although defended by Kalkreuth, into his hands, and, on
the 14th of June, 1807, the anniversary, so pregnant with important
events, of the battle of Marengo, he gained a brilliant victory at
Friedland, which was followed by General Ruchel's abandonment of
Koenigsberg with all its stores.

The road to Lithuania now lay open to the French, and the emperor
Alexander deemed it advisable to conclude peace. A conference was held
at Tilsit on the Riemen between the sovereigns of France, Russia, and
Prussia, and a peace, highly detrimental to Germany, was concluded on
the 9th of July, 1807. Prussia lost half of her territory, was
restricted to the maintenance of an army merely amounting to forty-two
thousand men, was compelled to pay a contribution of one hundred and
forty millions of francs to France, and to leave her most important
fortresses as security for payment in the hands of the French. These
grievous terms were merely acceded to by Napoleon "out of esteem for
his Majesty the emperor of Russia," who, on his part, deprived his
late ally of a piece of Prussian-Poland (Bialystock) and divided the
spoil of Prussia with Napoleon.[10] Nay, he went, some months later,
so far in his generosity, as, on an understanding with Napoleon and
without deigning any explanation to Prussia, arbitrarily to cancel an
article of the peace of Tilsit, by which Prussia was indemnified for
the loss of Hanover with a territory containing four hundred thousand
souls.

The Prussian possessions on the left bank of the Elbe, Hanover,
Brunswick, and Hesse-Cassel,[11] were converted by Napoleon into the
new kingdom of Westphalia, which he bestowed upon his brother Jerome
and included in the Rhenish confederation. East Friesland was annexed
to Holland. Poland was not restored, but a petty grandduchy of Warsaw
was erected, which Frederick Augustus, elector of Saxony, received,
together with the royal dignity. Prussia, already greatly diminished
in extent, was to be still further encroached upon and watched by
these new states. The example of electoral Saxony was imitated by the
petty Saxon princes, and Anhalt, Lippe, Schwarzburg, Reuss,
Mecklenburg and Aldenburg joined the Rhenish confederation. Dantzig
became a nominal free town with a French garrison.[12]

The brave Hessians resisted this fresh act of despotism. The Hessian
troops revolted, but were put down by force, and their leader, a
sergeant, rushed frantically into the enemy's fire. The Hessian
peasantry also rose in several places. The Hanse towns, on the
contrary, meekly allowed themselves to be pillaged and to be robbed of
their stores of English goods.

Gustavus Adolphus IV. of Sweden, who had neglected to send troops at
an earlier period to the aid of Prussia, now offered the sturdiest
resistance and steadily refused to negotiate terms of peace or to
recognize Napoleon as emperor. His generals, Armfeldt[13] and Essen,
made some successful inroads from Stralsund, and, in unison with the
English, might have effected a strong diversion to Napoleon's rear,
had their movements been more rapid and combined. On the conclusion of
the peace of Tilsit, a French force under Mortier appeared, drove the
Swedes back upon Stralsund, and compelled the king, in the August of
1807, to abandon that city, which the new system of warfare rendered
no longer tenable.


[Footnote 1: On the 14th of October. On this unlucky day, Frederick
the Great had, in 1758, been surprised at Hochkirch, and Mack, in
1805, at Ulm. On this day, the peace of Westphalia was, A.D. 1648,
concluded at Osnabrück, and, in 1809, that of Vienna. It was, however,
on this day that the siege of Vienna was, in 1529, raised, and that,
in 1813, Napoleon was shut up at Leipzig.]

[Footnote 2: The whole of these disasters had been predicted by Henry
von Bülow, whose prophecies had brought him into a prison. On learning
the catastrophe of Jena, he exclaimed, "That is the consequence of
throwing generals into prison and of placing idiots at the head of the
army!"]

[Footnote 3: The young "vons," on the contrary, capitulated with
extreme readiness, in order to return to their pleasurable habits.
Several of them set a great shield over their doors, with the
inscription, "Herr von N. or M., prisoner of war on parole." In all
the capitulations, the commandants and officers merely took care of
their own persons and equipages and sacrificed the soldiery. Napoleon,
who was well aware of this little weakness, always offered them the
most flattering personal terms.]

[Footnote 4: The same man who had been imposed upon by a similar ruse
at Ulm by the Archduke Ferdinand. Napoleon dismissed him the service.]

[Footnote 5: Massenbach published an anonymous charge against Blücher,
which that general publicly refuted.]

[Footnote 6: While the unfortunate Henry von Bülow, whose wise
counsels had been despised, was torn from his prison to be delivered
to the Russians, whose behavior at Austerlitz he had blamed. On his
route he was maliciously represented as a friend to the French and
exposed to the insults of the rabble, who bespattered him with mud,
and to such brutal treatment from the Cossacks that he died of his
wounds at Riga. Never had a prophet a more ungrateful country. He was
delivered by his fellow-citizens to an ignominious death for
attempting their salvation, for pointing out the means by which alone
their safety could be insured, and for exposing the wretches by whom
they were betrayed.]

[Footnote 7: In the "Trumpet of the Holy War," he had summoned the
nation to take up arms against the heathens (the French). He breathed
war and flames. In his address to the king, he said, "The idle parade
of the ruler during a long peace has never maintained a state!" He
excited the hatred of the people against the French, telling them to
harbor "such hatred against the enemy, like men who knew how to hate!"
After thus aiding to kindle the flames of war, he went over to the
French and wrote the letter to Bignon which that author has inserted
in his History of France: "Like Ganymede to the seat of the gods, have
I been borne by the eagle to Fontainebleau, there to serve a god."]

[Footnote 8: The conduct of these deserters, how, decorated with the
French cockade, they treated the German population with unheard-of
insolence, is given in detail by Seume.]

[Footnote 9: Courbiere, Herrmann, and Neumann of Cosel were bourgeois:
the commandants of the other fortresses, so disgracefully ceded, were,
without exception, nobles.]

[Footnote 10: Bignon remarks that the queen, Louisa, who left no means
untried in order to save as much as possible of Prussia, came somewhat
too late, when Napoleon had already entered into an agreement with
Russia. Hence Napoleon's inflexibility, which was the more insulting
owing to the apparently yielding silence with which, from a feeling of
politeness, he sometimes received the personal petitions of the queen,
to which he would afterward send a written refusal. The part played in
this affair by Alexander was far from honorable, and Bignon says with
great justice, "The emperor of Russia must at that time have had but
little judgement, if he imagined that taking Prussia in such a manner
under his protection would be honorable to the protector." With a view
of appeasing public opinion in Germany and influencing it in favor of
the alliance between France and Russia, Zschokke, who was at that time
in Napoleon's pay, published a mean-spirited pamphlet, entitled, "Will
the human race gain by the present political changes?"]

[Footnote 11: The elector, William, who had solicited permission to
remain neutral, having made great military preparations and received
the Prussians with open arms, was, in Napoleon's twenty-seventh
bulletin, deposed with expressions of the deepest contempt. "The house
of Hesse-Cassel has for many years past sold its subjects to England,
and by this means has the elector collected his immense wealth. May
this mean and avaricious conduct prove the ruin of his house."--Louis,
Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, was threatened with similar danger for
inclining on the side of Prussia, but perceived his peril in time to
save himself from destruction.]

[Footnote 12: Marshal Lefebvre, who had taken the city, was created
duke of Dantzig. The city, however, did not belong to him, but became
a republic; notwithstanding which it was at first compelled to pay a
contribution, amounting to twenty million francs, to Napoleon, to
maintain a strong French garrison at its expense, and was fleeced in
every imaginable way. A stop was consequently put to trade, the
wealthiest merchants became bankrupt, and Napoleon's satraps
established their harems and celebrated their orgies in their
magnificent houses and gardens, and, by their unbridled license,
demoralized to an almost incredible degree the staid manners of the
quondam pious Lutheran citizens. Vide Blech, The Miseries of Dantzig,
1815.]

[Footnote 13: One of the handsomest men of his time and the Adonis of
many a princely dame.]



CCLV. The Rhenish Confederation


The whole of western Europe bent in lowly submission before the genius
of Napoleon; Russia was bound by the silken chains of flattery;
England, Turkey, Sweden, and Portugal, alone bade him defiance.
England, whose fleets ruled the European seas, who lent her aid to his
enemies, and instigated their opposition, was his most dangerous foe.
By a gigantic measure, known as the continental system, he sought to
undermine her power. The whole of the continent of Europe, as far as
his influence was felt, was, by an edict, published at Berlin on the
21st of November, 1806, closed against British trade; nay, he went so
far as to lay an embargo on all English goods lying in store and to
make prisoners of war of all the English at that time on the
continent. All intercourse between England and the rest of Europe was
prohibited. But Napoleon's attempt to ruin the commerce of England was
merely productive of injury to himself; the promotion of every branch
of industry on the continent could not replace the loss of its foreign
trade; the products of Europe no longer found their way to the more
distant parts of the globe, to be exchanged for colonial luxuries,
which, with the great majority of the people, more particularly with
the better classes, had become necessaries, and numbers who had but
lately lauded Napoleon to the skies regarded him with bitter rage on
being compelled to relinquish their wonted coffee and sugar.

Napoleon, meanwhile, undeterred by opposition, enforced his
continental system. Russia, actuated by jealousy of England and
flattered by the idea, with which Napoleon had, at Tilsit, inspired
the emperor Alexander, of sharing with him the empire of a world,
aided his projects. The first step was to secure to themselves
possession of the Baltic; the king of Sweden, Napoleon's most
implacable foe, was to be dethroned, and Sweden to be promised to
Frederick, prince-regent of Denmark, in order to draw him into the
interests of the allied powers of France and Russia. The scheme,
however, transpired in time to be frustrated. An English fleet, with
an army, among which was the German Legion, composed of Hanoverian
refugees, on board, attacked, and, after a fearful bombardment, took
Copenhagen, and either destroyed or carried off the whole of the
Danish fleet, September, 1807.[1] The British fleet, on its triumphant
return through the Sound, was saluted at Helsingfors by the king of
Sweden, who invited the admirals to breakfast. The island of
Heligoland, which belonged to Holstein and consequently formed part of
the possessions of Denmark, and which carried on a great smuggling
trade between that country and the continent, was at that time also
seized by the British.

Napoleon revenged himself by a bold stroke in Spain. He proposed the
partition of Portugal to that power, and, under that pretext, sent
troops across the Pyrenees. The licentious queen of Spain, Maria
Louisa Theresa of Parma, and her paramour, Godoy, who had, on account
of the treaty between France and Spain, received the title of Prince
of Peace, reigned at that time in the name of the imbecile king,
Charles IV. His son, Ferdinand, placed himself at the head of the
democratic faction, by which Godoy was regarded with the most deadly
hatred. Both parties, however, conscious of their want of power,
sought aid from Napoleon, who flattered each in turn, with a view of
rendering the one a tool for the destruction of the other. The Prince
of Peace was overthrown by a popular tumult; Ferdinand VII. was
proclaimed king, and his father, Charles IV., was compelled to
abdicate. These events were apparently countenanced by Napoleon, who
invited the youthful sovereign to an interview; Ferdinand,
accordingly, went to Bayonne and was--taken prisoner. The Prince of
Peace, on the eve of flying from Spain, where his life was no longer
safe, with his treasures and with the queen, persuaded the old king,
Charles, also to go to Bayonne, where his person was instantly seized.
Both he and his son were compelled to renounce their right to the
throne of Spain and to abdicate in favor of Joseph, Napoleon's
brother, the 5th of May, 1808. The elevation of Joseph to the Spanish
throne was followed by that of Murat to the throne of Naples. The
haughty Spaniard, however, refused to be trampled under foot, and his
proud spirit disdained to accept a king imposed upon him by such
unparalleled treachery. Napoleon's victorious troops were, for the
first time, routed by peasants, an entire army was taken prisoner at
Baylen, and another, in Portugal, was compelled to retreat. Napoleon's
veterans were scattered by monks and peasants, a proof, to the eternal
disgrace of every subject people, that the invincibility of a nation
depends but upon its will.

Napoleon did not conduct the war in Spain in person during the first
campaign; the tranquillity of the North had first to be secured. For
this purpose, he held a personal conference, in October, 1808, with
the emperor Alexander at Erfurt, whither the princes of Germany
hastened to pay their devoirs, humbly as their ancestors of yore to
conquering Attila. The company of actors brought in Napoleon's train
from Paris boasted of gaining the plaudits of a royal parterre, and a
French sentinel happening to call to the watch to present arms to one
of the kings there dancing attendance was reproved by his officer with
the observation, "Ce n'est qu un roi."[2] Both emperors, for the
purpose of offering a marked insult to Prussia, attended a great
harehunt on the battlefield of Jena. It was during this conference
that Napoleon and Alexander divided between themselves the sovereignty
of Europe, Russia undertaking the subjugation of Sweden and the
seizure of Finland, France the conquest of Spain and Portugal.

The period immediately subsequent to the fall of the ancient empire
forms the blackest page in the history of Germany. The whole of the
left bank of the Rhine was annexed to France. The people,
notwithstanding the improvement that took place in the administration
under Bon Jean St. André, groaned beneath the exorbitant taxes and the
conscription. The commerce on the Rhine had almost entirely
ceased.[3]--The grandduchy of Berg was, until 1808, governed with
great mildness by Avar, the French minister.--Holland had, since 1801,
remained under the administration of her benevolent governor,
Schimmelpenninck, but had been continually drained by the imposition
of additional income taxes, which, in 1804, amounted to six per cent
on the capital in the country. Commerce had entirely ceased, smuggling
alone excepted. In 1806, the Dutch were commanded to entreat Napoleon
to grant them a king in the person of his brother Louis, who fixed his
residence in the venerable council-house at Amsterdam, and, it must be
confessed, endeavored to promote the real interests of his new
subjects.[4]

The Swiss, with characteristic servility, testified the greatest zeal
on every occasion for the emperor Napoleon, celebrated his fete-day,
and boasted of his protection,[5] and of the freedom they were still
permitted to enjoy. Freedom of thought was expressly prohibited.
Sycophants, in the pay of the foreign ruler, as, for instance,
Zschokke, alone guided public opinion. In Zug, any person who ventured
to speak disparagingly of the Swiss in the service of France was
declared an enemy to his country and exposed to severe punishment.[6]
The Swiss shed their blood in each and all of Napoleon's campaigns,
and aided him to reduce their kindred nations to abject slavery.[7]

The Rhenish confederation shared the advantages of French influence to
the same degree in which it, in common with the old states on the left
bank of the Rhine, was subject to ecclesiastical corruption or to the
upstart vanity incidental to petty states. Wherever enlightenment and
liberty had formerly existed, as in Protestant and constitutional
Würtemberg, the violation of the ancient rights of the people was
deeply felt, and the new aristocracy, modelled on that of France,
appeared as unbearable to the older inhabitants of Würtemberg as did
the loss of their ancient independence to the mediatized princes and
lordlings. King Frederick, notwithstanding his refusal to send troops
into Spain, was compelled to furnish an enormous contingent for the
wars in eastern Europe; the conscription and taxes were heavily felt,
and the peasant was vexed by the great hunts, celebrated by
Matthisson, the court-poet, as festivals of Diana.[8] In Bavaria, the
administration of Maximilian Joseph and of his minister, Montgelas,
although arbitrary in its measures, promoted, like that of Frederick
II. and Joseph II., the advance of enlightenment and true liberty. The
monasteries were closed, the punishment of the rack was abolished,
unity was introduced in the administration of the state; the schools,
the police, and the roads were improved, toleration was established;
in a word, the dreams of the Illuminati, thirty years before this
period, were, in almost every respect, realized. But, on the other
hand, patriotism was here more unknown than in any other part of
Germany. Christopher von Aretin set himself up as an apparitor to the
French police, and, in 1810, published a work against the few German
patriots still remaining, whom he denounced, in the fourteenth number
of the Literary Gazette of Upper Germany, as "Preachers of Germanism,
criminals and traitors, by whom the Rhenish confederation was
polluted." The crown prince of Bavaria, who deeply lamented the rule
of France and the miseries of Germany, offers a contrary example. A
constitution, naturally a mere tool in the hand of the ministry, was
bestowed, in 1808, upon Bavaria.

The government of Charles von Dalberg, the prince primate and
grandduke of Frankfort, was one of the most despicable of those
composing the Rhenish confederation. Equally insensible to the duties
attached to his high name and station,[9] he flattered the foreign
tyrant to an extent unsurpassed by any of the other base sycophants at
that time abounding in the empire; with folded hands would he at all
times invoke the blessing of the Most High on the head of the almighty
ruler of the earth, and celebrate each of his victories with hymns of
gratitude and joy, while his ministers misruled and tyrannized over
the country,[10] whose freedom they loudly vaunted.[11]--In Würzburg,
the French ambassador reigned with the despotism of an Eastern
satrap.[12] Saxe-Coburg[13] and Anhalt-Gotha,[14] where the native
tyrant was sheltered beneath the wing of Napoleon, were in the most
lamentable state.--In Saxony, the government remained unaltered.
Frederick Augustus, filled with gratitude for the lenity with which he
had been treated after the war and for the grant of the royal dignity,
remained steadily faithful to Napoleon, but introduced no internal
innovations into the government. The adhesion of Saxe-Weimar to the
Rhenish confederation was of deplorable consequence to Germany, the
great poets assembled there by the deceased Duchess Amalia also
scattering incense around Napoleon.

The kingdom of Westphalia was doomed to taste to the dregs the bitter
cup of humiliation. The new king, Jerome, who declared, "Je veux qu'on
respecte la dignite de l'homme et du citoyen," bestowed, it is true,
many and great benefits upon his subjects; the system of flogging, so
degrading to the soldier, was abolished, the judicature was improved,
the administration simplified, and the German in authority,
notwithstanding his traditionary gruffness, became remarkable for
urbanity toward the citizens and peasants. But Napoleon's despotic
rule ever demanded fresh sacrifices of men and money and increased
severity on the part of the police, in order to quell the spirit of
revolt. Jerome, conscious of being merely his brother's
representative, consoled himself for his want of independence in his
gay court at Cassel.[15] He had received but a middling education, and
had, at one period, held a situation in the marine at Baltimore in
North America. While still extremely young, placed unexpectedly upon a
throne, more as a splendid puppet than as an independent sovereign, he
gave way to excesses, natural, and, under the circumstances, almost
excusable. It would be ungenerous to repeat the sarcasms showered upon
him on his expulsion. The execrations heaped, at a later period, upon
his head, ought with far greater justice to have fallen upon those of
the Germans themselves, and more particularly upon those of that
portion of the aristocracy that vied with the French in enriching the
chronique scandaleuse of Cassel, and upon those of the citizens who,
under Bongars, the head of the French police, acted the part of spies
upon and secret informers against their wretched countrymen.--The
farcical donation of a free constitution to the people put a climax to
their degradation. On the 2d of July, 1808, Jerome summoned the
Westphalian Estates to Cassel and opened the servile assembly, thus
arbitrarily convoked, with extreme pomp. The unfortunate deputies, who
had, on the conclusion of the lengthy ceremonial, received an
invitation _assister au répas_ at the palace and had repaired thither,
their imaginations, whetted by hunger, revelling in visions of
gastronomic delight, were sorely discomfited on discovering that they
were simply expected "to look on while the sovereign feasted." The
result of this assembly was, naturally, a unanimous tribute of
admiration and an invocation of blessings on the head of the foreign
ruler, the principal part in which was played by John Müller, who
attempted to convince his fellow countrymen that by means of the
French usurpation they had first received the boon of true liberty.
This cheaply-bought apostate said, in his usual hyperbolical style,
"It is a marked peculiarity of the northern nations, more especially
of those of German descent, that, whenever God has, in His wisdom,
resolved to bestow upon them a new kind or a higher degree of
civilization, the impulse has ever been given from without. This
impulse was given to us by Napoleon, by him before whom the earth is
silent, God having given the whole world into his hand, nor can
Germany at the present period have a wish ungratified, Napoleon having
reorganized her as the nursery of European civilization. Too sublime
to condescend to every-day polity, he has given durability to Germany!
Happy nation! what an interminable vista of glory opens to thy view!"
Thus spoke John Müller. Thousands of Germans had been converted into
abject slaves, but none other than he was there ever found, with
sentimental phrases to gild the chains of his countrymen, to vaunt
servility as liberty and dishonor as glory.[16] John Müller's
unprincipled address formed, as it were, the turning-point of German
affairs. Self-degradation could go no further. The spirit of the sons
of Germany henceforward rose, and, with manly courage, they sought, by
their future actions, to wipe off the deep stain of their former guilt
and dishonor.


[Footnote 1: See accounts of this affair in the Recollections of a
Legionary, Hanover, 1826, and in Beamisch's History of the Legion.]

[Footnote 2: A graphic description of these times is to be met with in
Joanna Schopenhauer's Tour on the Lower Rhine. The kings of Bavaria,
Wurtemberg, Westphalia, Saxony, the prince primate, the hereditary
prince of Baden and of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the duke of Weimar, the
princes of Hobenzollern, Hesse-Rotenburg, and Hesse-Philippsthal, were
present. No one belonging to the house of Austria was there: of that
of Prussia there was Prince William, the king's brother. The
Allgemeine Zeitung of that day wrote: "The fact of Napoleon's sending
for the privy-councillor, Von Goethe, into his cabinet, and conversing
with him for upward of an hour, appears to us well worthy of mention.
What German would not rejoice that the great emperor should have
entered into such deep conversation with such a fitting representative
of our noblest, and now, alas, sole remaining national possession, our
art and learning, by whose preservation alone can our nationality be
saved from utter annihilation." Notwithstanding which the company of
actors belonging to the theatre at Weimar, which was close at hand and
had been under Goethe's instruction, was not once allowed to perform
on the Erfurt stage, which Napoleon had supplied with actors from
Paris. Wieland was also compelled to remain standing for an hour in
Napoleon's presence, and when, at length, unable, owing to the
weakness of old age, to continue in that position, he ventured to ask
permission to retire, Napoleon is said to have considered the request
an unwarrantable liberty. The literary heroes of Weimar took no
interest in the country from which they had received so deep a tribute
of admiration. Not a patriotic sentiment escaped their lips. At the
time when the deepest wound was inflicted on the Tyrol, Goethe gave to
the world his frivolous "Wahlverwandschaften," which was followed by a
poem in praise of Napoleon, of whom he says:

  "Doubts, that have baffled thousands, _he_ has solved;
   Ideas, o'er which centuries have brooded,
   _His_ giant mind intuitively compassed."]

[Footnote 3: The great and dangerous robber bands of the notorious
Damian Hessel, and of Schinderhannes, afford abundant proof of the
demoralized condition of the people.]

[Footnote 4: On the 12th of January, 1807, a ship laden with four
hundred quintals of gunpowder blew up in the middle of the city of
Leyden, part of which was thereby reduced to ruins, and one hundred
and fifty persons, among others the celebrated professors Luzac and
Kleit, were killed.]

[Footnote 5: On the opening of the federal diet in 1806, the
Landammann lauded "the omnipotent benevolence of the gracious
mediator." In earlier times, the Swiss would, on the contrary, have
boasted of their affording protection to, not of receiving protection
from, France.]

[Footnote 6: In order to prove of what importance they considered the
benevolent protection of Napoleon the Great.--_Attgemeine Zeitung of
1810, No_. 90.]

[Footnote 7: Their general, Von der Wied, who was taken prisoner at
Talavera in Spain and died shortly afterward of a pestilential
disease, had done signal service to France, in 1798 in Switzerland, in
1792 in Italy, in 1805 in Austria, in 1806 in Prussia, and finally in
Spain.--_Allgemeine Zeitung of 1811, No_. 46.]

[Footnote 8: Personal freedom was restricted by innumerable decrees.
Freedom of speech, formerly great in Würtemberg, was strictly
repressed; all social confidence was annihilated. A swarm of informers
ensnared those whom the secret police were unable to entrap. The
secrecy of letters was violated. Trials in criminal cases were no
longer allowed to be public. The sentence passed upon the accused was,
particularly in cases of the highest import, not delivered by the
judge as dictated by the law, but by the despot's caprice.--The
conscription was enforced with increased severity and tyranny.--The
natural right of emigration was abolished.--The people were disarmed,
and not even the inhabitants of solitary farms and hamlets were
allowed to possess arms in order to defend themselves against wolves
and robbers. A man was punished for killing a mad dog, because the gun
used for that purpose had been illegally secreted. Pass-tickets were
given to and returned by all desirous of passing the gates of the
pettiest town. The members of the higher aristocracy were compelled,
under pain of being deprived of the third of their income, to spend
three months in the year at court.--The citizen was oppressed by a
variety of fresh taxes, by the newly-created monopolies of tobacco,
salt, etc., and colonial imposts, by the tenfold rise of the excise
and custom-house dues, etc. Vide Zahn in the Würtemberg Annual.
Zschokke, meanwhile, in his pamphlet already mentioned, "Will the
human race gain," etc., advocated republican equality and liberty
under a monarchical constitution.]

[Footnote 9: The Von Dalbergs of Franconia were the first hereditary
barons of the Holy Roman Empire, and one of their race was dubbed
knight at each imperial coronation. Hence the demand of the imperial
herald, "Is no Dalberg here?" And a Dalberg it was, who, in Napoleon's
name, declared to the German emperor that he no longer recognized an
emperor of Germany.--In 1797, Dalberg had, at the diet, and again in
1805, expressed himself with great zeal against France; on the present
occasion he was Napoleon's first satrap.]

[Footnote 10: They sold the demesnes of Hanau and Fulda and received
the sums produced by the sale in gift from the grandduke.--_Görres's
Rhenish Mercury, A.D. 1814, No. 168._]

[Footnote 11: They were barefaced enough to bestow a constitution,
and, in 1810, to open a diet at Hanau, although all the newspapers
had, five days previously, been suppressed, and orders had been issued
that the editor of the only newspaper permitted for the future was to
be appointed by the police.--_Allgemeine Zeitung, No. 294._]

[Footnote 12: Count Montholon-Semonville sold justice and mercy. Vide
Brockhaus's Deutsche Blätter, 1814, No. 101.]

[Footnote 13: The duke, Francis, allowed the country to be mercilessly
drained and impoverished by the minister, Von Kretschmann. He lived on
extremely bad terms with his uncle, Frederick Josias, duke of Coburg,
the celebrated Austrian general. Francis died in 1806. Ernest, his son
and successor, delivered the country, in 1809, from Kretschmann's
tyranny, and, in 1811, bestowed upon it a constitution, which was,
nevertheless, merely an imitation of that of Westphalia.]

[Footnote 14: The prince, Augustus Christian Frederick, contracted
debts to an enormous amount, completely drained his petty territory,
and even seized bail-money. Military amusements, drunkenness and other
gross excesses, the preservation of enormous herds of deer which
destroyed the fields of the peasantry, formed the pleasures of this
prince.--_Stenzel's History of Anhalt._]

[Footnote 15: Napoleon nicknamed him _roi de coulisses_, and gave him
a guardian in his ambassador, Reinhard, a person of celebrity during
the Revolution. Jerome's first ministers were friends of his youth;
the Creole, Le Camus, who was created Count Pürstenstein, and Malchus,
whose office it was to fill a bottomless treasury. Vide Hormayr,
Archive 5, 458, and the Secret History of the Court of Westphalia,
1814.]

[Footnote 16: Vide Strombeck's Life and the Allgemeine Zeitung of
September, 1808. Besides John Müller and Aretin, mention may, with
equal justice, be made of Orome of Geissen and Zschokke, a native of
Magdeburg naturalized in Switzerland, who, in 1807, ventured to
declare in public that Napoleon had done more for Swiss independence
than William Tell five hundred years ago; who, paid by Napoleon,
defamed the noble-spirited Spaniards and Tyrolese in 1815, decried the
enthusiastic spirit animating Germany, and afterward whitewashed
himself by his liberal tirades. With these may also be associated
Murhard, the publisher of the _Moniteur Westphalien_, K.J. Schütz, the
author of a work upon Napoleon, the Berlinese Jew, Saul Asher, the
author of a scandalous work, entitled "Germanomanie," and of a
slanderous article in Zschokke's Miscellanies against Prussia,
Kosegarten the poet, who, in 1809, delivered a speech in eulogy of
Napoleon, far surpassing all in bombast and mean adulation. Benturini,
at that time, also termed Napoleon the emanation of the universal
Spirit, a second incarnation of the Deity, a second savior of the
world. In Posselt's European Annals of 1807, a work by a certain W.
upon the political interests of Germany appeared, and concluded as
follows: "Let us raise to him (Napoleon) a national monument, worthy
of the first and only benefactor of the nations of Germany. Let his
name be engraved in gigantic letters of shining gold on Germany's
highest and steepest pinnacle, whence, lighted by the effulgent rays
of morn, it may be visible far over the plains on which he bestowed a
happier futurity!" This writer also drew a comparison between Napoleon
and Charlemagne, in which he designated the latter a barbarous despot
and the former the new savior of the world. He says, "Napoleon first
solved the enigma of equality and liberty--his chief aim was the
prevention of despotism--his chief desire, to eternalize the dominion
of virtue." In the course of 1808, it was said in the essay, "On the
Regeneration of Germany," that the Germans were still children whom it
was solely possible for the French to educate: "Our language is also
not logical like French--if we intend to attain unity, we must adhere
with heart and soul to him who has smoothed the path to it, to him,
our securest support, to him, whose name outshines that of
Charlemagne--foreign princes in German countries are no proof of
subjection, they, on the contrary, most surely warrant our continued
existence as a nation." In France sixty authors dedicated their works,
within the space of a year, to the emperor Napoleon--in Germany,
ninety.]



CCLVI. Resuscitation of Patriotism Throughout Germany--Austria's
Demonstration


The general slavery, although most severely felt in Eastern Germany,
bore there a less disgraceful character. Austria and Prussia had been
conquered, pillaged, reduced in strength and political importance,
while the Rhenish states, forgetful that it is ever less disgraceful
to yield to an overpowering enemy than voluntarily to lend him aid,
had shared in and profited by the triumph of the empire's foe. Austria
and Prussia suffered to a greater extent than the Rhenish
confederation, but they preserved a higher degree of independence.
Prussia, although almost annihilated by her late disasters,[1] still
dreamed of future liberation. Austria had, notwithstanding her
successive and numerous defeats, retained the greater share of
independence, but her subjection, although to a lesser degree, was the
more disgraceful on account of her former military glory and her
preponderance as a political power in Germany. With steady
perseverance and unfaltering courage she opposed the attacks of the
foreign tyrant against the empire, and, France's first and last
antagonist, the most faithful champion of the honor of Germany, she
rose, with redoubled vigor, after each successive defeat, to renew the
unequal struggle.

Prussia had been overcome, because, instead of uniting with the other
states of Germany, she had first abandoned them to be afterward
deserted by them in her turn, and because, instead of arming her
warlike people against every foreign foe, she had habituated her
citizens to unarmed effeminacy and had rested her sole support on a
mercenary army, an artificial and spiritless automaton, separated from
and unsympathizing with the people. The idea that the salvation of
Prussia could now alone be found in her reconciliation with the
neighboring powers of Germany, in a general confederation, in the
patriotism of her armed citizens, had already arisen. But, in order to
inspire the citizen with enthusiasm, he must first, by the secure and
free possession of his rights and by his participation in the public
weal, be deeply imbued with a consciousness of freedom. The slave has
no country; the freeman alone will lay down his life in its defence.
In those times of Germany's deepest degradation and suffering, men for
the first time again heard speak of a great and common fatherland, of
national fame and honor; and liberty, that glorious name, was uttered
not only by those who groaned beneath the rule of the despotic
foreigner, but even by those who deplored the loss of the internal
liberty of their country, the gradual subjection of the proud and
free-spirited German to native tyranny. The king of Prussia, not
content with morally reorganizing his army, also bestowed wise laws,
which restored the citizen and the peasant to their rights, to their
dignity as men, of which they had for so long been deprived by the
nobility, the monopolizers of every privilege. The emancipation of the
peasant essentially consisted in the abolition of feudal servitude and
forced labor; that of the citizen, in the donation of a free municipal
constitution, of self-administration, and freedom of election. The
nobility were, at the same time, despoiled of the exclusive
appointment to the higher civil and military posts and of the
exclusive possession of landed property. Each citizen possessed the
right, hitherto strictly prohibited, of purchasing baronial estates,
and the nobility were, on their part, permitted to exercise trades,
which a miserable prejudice had hitherto deemed incompatible with
noble birth. These new institutions date from 1808 and are due to the
energy of the minister, Stein.

This noble-spirited German was the founder of a secret society, the
_Tugendbund_, by which a general insurrection against Napoleon was
silently prepared throughout Germany. Among its members were numerous
statesmen, officers, and literati. Among the latter, Arndt gained
great note by his popular style, Jahn by his influence over the rising
generation. Jahn reintroduced gymnastics, so long neglected, into
education, as a means of heightening moral courage by the increase of
physical strength.[2] Scharnhorst, meanwhile, although restricted to
the prescribed number of troops, created a new army by continually
exchanging trained soldiers for raw recruits, and secretly purchased
an immense quantity of arms, so that a considerable force could, in
case of necessity, be speedily assembled. He also had all the brass
battery guns secretly converted into field-pieces and replaced by iron
guns. Napoleon's spies, however, came upon the trace of the
_Tugendbund_. Stein, exposed by an intercepted letter, was outlawed[3]
by Napoleon and compelled to quit Prussia. He was succeeded by
Hardenberg, by whom the treaty of Basel had formerly been concluded
and whose nomination was publicly approved of by Napoleon. Scharnhorst
and Julius Gruner, the head of the Berlin police, were also deprived
of their offices. The Berlin university, nevertheless, continued to
give evidence of a better spirit. Enlightenment and learning, on their
decrease at Frankfort on the Oder, here found their headquarters.
Halle had become Westphalian, and the universities of Rinteln and
Helmstädt had, from a similar cause, been closed.

Austria also felt her humiliation too deeply not to be inspired, like
Prussia, with an instinct of self-preservation. The imperial dignity
and catholicism were here closely associated with the memory of the
Middle Ages, whose magnificence and grandeur were once more disclosed
to the people in the masterly productions of the writers of the day.
Hence the unison created by Frederick Schlegel between the romantic
poets and antiquarians of Germany and Viennese policy. The
predilection for ancient German art and poetry had, in the literary
world, been merely produced by the reaction of German intelligence
against foreign imitation; this literary reaction, however, happened
coincidently with and aided that in the political world. The
Nibelungen, the Minnesingers, the ancient chronicles, became a popular
study. The same enthusiasm inspired the liberal-spirited poets, Tieck,
Arnim, and Brentano; Fouqué charmed the rising generation and the
multitude with his extravagant descriptions of the age of chivalry;
the learned researches of Grimm, Hagen, Busching, Gräter, etc., into
German antiquity, at that time, excited general interest, but the
glowing colors in which Joseph Gorres, himself a former Jacobin, and
amid the half Gallicized inhabitants of Coblentz, revived, as if by
magic, the Middle Age on the ruin-strewed banks of the Rhine caused
the deepest delight. Two men, Stein, now a refugee in Austria, and
Count Munster, first of all Hanoverian minister and afterward English
ambassador at Petersburg, who kept up a constant correspondence with
Stein and conducted the secret negotiations in the name of Great
Britain, were unwearied in their endeavors to forge arms against
Napoleon. In Austria, Count John Philip von Stadion, who had, since
the December of 1805, been placed at the head of the ministry, had
both the power and the will to repair the blunders committed by Thugut
and Cobenzl.

The Russo-gallic alliance was viewed with terror by Austria. Europe
had, to a certain degree, been partitioned at Erfurt, by Napoleon and
Alexander. Fresh sacrifices were evidently on the eve of being
extorted from Germany. Russia had resolved at any price to gain
possession of either the whole or a part of Turkey, and offered to
confirm Napoleon in that of Bohemia, on condition of being permitted
to seize Moldavia and Wallachia.[4] The danger was urgent. Austria,
sold by Russia to France, could alone defend herself against both her
opponents by an immense exertion of the national power of Germany. The
old and faulty system had been fearfully revenged. The disunion of the
German princes, the despotism of the aristocratic administrations, the
estrangement of the people from all public affairs, had all conduced
to the present degradation of Germany. Necessity now induced an
alteration in the system of government and an appeal to the German
people, whose voice had hitherto been vainly raised. The example set
by Spain was to be followed. Stein, who was at that time at Vienna,
kindled the glowing embers to a flame. The military reforms begun at
an earlier period by the Archduke Charles were carried out on a wider
basis. A completely new institution, that of the _Landwehr_ or armed
citizens, in contradistinction with the mercenary soldiery, was set on
foot. Enthusiasm and patriotism were not wanting. The circumstance of
the pope's imprisonment in Rome by Napoleon sufficed to rouse the
Catholics. Everything was hoped for from a general rising throughout
Germany against the French. Precipitation, however, ruined all.
Prussia was still too much weakened, her fortresses were still in the
hands of the French, and Austria inspired but little confidence, while
the Rhenish confederation solely aimed at aggrandizing itself by fresh
wars at the expense of that empire, and, notwithstanding the
inclination to revolt evinced by the people in different parts of
Germany, more particularly in Westphalia, the terror inspired by
Napoleon kept them, as though spellbound, beneath their galling yoke.

While Napoleon was engaged in the Peninsula, Austria levied almost the
whole of her able-bodied men and equipped an army, four hundred
thousand strong, at the head of which no longer foreign generals, but
the princes of the house of Habsburg, were placed. The Archduke
Charles[5] set off, in 1809, for the Rhine, John for Italy, Ferdinand
for Poland. The first proclamation, signed by Prince Rosenberg and
addressed to the Bavarians, was as follows: "You are now beginning to
perceive that we are Germans like yourselves, that the general
interest of Germany touches you more nearly than that of a nation of
robbers, and that the German nation can alone be restored to its
former glory by acting in unison. Become once more what you once were,
brave Germans! Or have you, Bavarian peasants and citizens, gained
aught by your prince being made into a king? by the extension of his
authority over a few additional square miles? Have your taxes been
thereby decreased? Do you enjoy greater security in your persons and
property?" The proclamation of the Archduke Charles "to the German
nation," declared: "We have taken up arms to restore independence and
national honor to Germany. Our cause is the cause of Germany. Show
yourselves deserving of our esteem! The German, forgetful of what is
due to himself and to his country, is our only foe." An anonymous but
well-known proclamation also declared: "Austria beheld--a sight that
drew tears of blood from the heart of every true-born German--you, O
nations of Germany! so deeply debased as to be compelled to submit to
the legislation of the foreigner and to allow your sons, the youth of
Germany, to be led to war against their still unsubdued brethren. The
shameful subjection of millions of once free-born Germans will ere
long be completed. Austria exhorts you to raise your humbled necks, to
burst your slavish chains!" And in another address was said: "How long
shall Hermann mourn over his degenerate children? Was it for this that
the Cherusci fought in the Teutoburg forest? Is every spark of German
courage extinct? Does the sound of your clanking chains strike like
music on your ears? Germans, awake! shake off your death-like slumber
in the arms of infamy! Germans! shall your name become the derision of
after ages?"

The Austrian army, instead of vigorously attacking and disarming
Bavaria, but slowly advanced, and permitted the Bavarians to withdraw
unharassed for the purpose of forming a junction with the other troops
of the Rhenish confederation under Napoleon, who had hastened from
Spain on the first news of the movements of Austria. The hopes of the
German patriots could not have been more fearfully disappointed or the
German name more deeply humiliated than by the scorn with which
Napoleon, on this occasion, placed himself at the head of the nations
of western Germany, by whose arms alone, for he had but a handful of
French with him, he overcame their eastern brethren at a moment in
which the German name and German honor were more loudly invoked. "I
have not come among you," said Napoleon smilingly to the Bavarians,
Wurtembergers, etc., by whom he was surrounded, "I am not come among
you as the emperor of France, but as the protector of your country and
of the German confederation. No Frenchman is among you; _you alone_
shall beat the Austrians."[6] The extent of the blindness of the
Rhenish confederation[7] is visible in their proclamations. The king
of Saxony even called Heaven to his aid, and said to his soldiers,
"Draw your swords against Austria with full trust in the aid of Divine
providence!"[8]

In the April of 1809, Napoleon led the Rhenish confederated troops,
among which the Bavarians under General Wrede chiefly distinguished
themselves, against the Austrians, who had but slowly advanced, and
defeated them in five battles, on five successive days, the most
glorious triumph of his surpassing tactics, at Pfaffenhofen, Thann,
Abensberg, Landshut, Eckmuhl, and Ratisbon. The Archduke Charles
retired into Bohemia in order to collect reinforcements, but General
Hiller was, on account of the delay in repairing the fortifications of
Linz, unable to maintain that place, the possession of which was
important on account of its forming a connecting point between Bohemia
and the Austrian Oberland. Hiller, however, at least saved his honor
by pushing forward to the Traun, and, in a fearfully bloody encounter
at Ebelsberg, capturing three French eagles, one of his colors alone
falling into the enemy's hands. He was, nevertheless, compelled to
retire before the superior forces of the French, and Napoleon entered
Vienna unopposed. A few balls from the walls of the inner city were
directed against the faubourg in his possession, but he no sooner
began to bombard the palace than the inner city yielded. The Archduke
Charles arrived, when too late, from Bohemia. Both armies, separated
by the Danube, stood opposed to one another in the vicinity of the
imperial city. Napoleon, in order to bring the enemy to a decisive
engagement, crossed the river close to the great island of Lobau. He
was received on the opposite bank near Aspern and Esslingen by the
Archduke Charles, and, after a dreadful battle, that was carried on
with unwearied animosity for two days, the 21st and 22d of May, 1809,
was for the first time completely beaten[9] and compelled to fly for
refuge to the island of Lobau. The rising stream had, meanwhile,
carried away the bridge, Napoleon's sole chance of escape to the
opposite bank. For two days he remained on the island with his
defeated troops, without provisions, and in hourly expectation of
being cut to pieces; the Austrians, however, neglected to turn the
opportunity to advantage and allowed the French leisure to rebuild the
bridge, a work of extreme difficulty. During six weeks afterward the
two armies continued to occupy their former positions under the walls
of Vienna on the right and left banks of the Danube, narrowly watching
each other's movements and preparing for a final struggle.

The Archduke John had successfully penetrated into Italy, where he had
defeated the viceroy, Eugene, at Salice and Fontana fredda. Favored by
the simultaneous revolt of the Tyrolese, his success appeared certain,
when the news of his brother's disaster compelled him to retreat. He
withdrew into Hungary,[10] whither he was pursued by Eugene, by whom
he was, on the 14th of June, defeated at Raab. The Archduke Ferdinand,
who had advanced as far as Warsaw, had been driven back by the Poles
under Poniatowski and by a Russian force sent by the emperor Alexander
to their aid, which, on this success, invaded Galicia. Napoleon
rewarded the Poles for their aid by allowing Russia to seize Wallachia
and Moldavia.

The fate of Austria now depended on the issue of the struggle about to
take place on the Danube. The archduke's troops were still elated with
recent victory, but Napoleon had been strongly reinforced and again
began the attack at Wagram, not far from the battleground of Aspern.
The contest lasted two days, the 5th and 6th of July. The Austrians
fought with great personal gallantry, lost one of their colors, but
captured twelve golden eagles and standards of the enemy; but the
reserve body, intended to protect their left wing, failing to make its
appearance on the field, they were outflanked by Napoleon and driven
back upon Moravia. Every means of conveyance in Vienna was put into
requisition for the transport of the forty-five thousand men, wounded
on this occasion, to the hospitals, and this heartrending scene
indubitably contributed to strengthen the general desire for peace. An
armistice was, on the 12th of July, concluded at Znaym, and, after
long negotiation, was followed, on the 10th of October, by the treaty
of Vienna. Austria was compelled to cede Carniola, Trieste, Croatia
and Dalmatia to Napoleon, Salzburg, Berchtoldsgaden, the Innviertel,
and the Hausruckviertel to Bavaria, a part of Galicia to Warsaw and
another part to Russia. Count Stadion lost office and was succeeded by
Clement, Count von Metternich.--Frederick Stabs, the son of a preacher
of Nuamburg on the Saal, formed a resolution to poniard Napoleon at
Schönbrunn, the imperial palace in the neighborhood of Vienna. Rapp's
suspicions became roused, and the young man was arrested before his
purpose could be effected. He candidly avowed his intention. "And if I
grant you your life?" asked Napoleon. "I would merely make use of the
gift to rob you, on the first opportunity, of yours," was the
undaunted reply. Four-and-twenty hours afterward the young man was
shot.[11] The ancient German race of Gotscheer in Carniola and the
people of Istria rose in open insurrection against the French and were
only put down by force.

Although Prussia had left Austria unsuccored during this war, many of
her subjects were animated with a desire to aid their Austrian
brethren. Schill, unable to restrain his impetuosity, quitted Berlin
on the 28th of April, for that purpose, with his regiment of hussars.
His conduct, although condemned by a sentence of the court-martial,
was universally applauded. Dornberg, an officer of Jerome's guard,
revolted simultaneously in Hesse, but was betrayed by a false friend
at the moment in which Jerome's person was to have been seized, and
was compelled to fly for his life. Schill merely advanced as far as
Wittenberg and Halberstadt, was again driven northward to Wismar, and
finally to Stralsund, by the superior forces of Westphalia and
Holland. In a bloody street-fight at Stralsund he split General
Carteret's, the Dutch general's head, and was himself killed by a
cannon-ball. Thus fell this young hero, true to his motto, "Better a
terrible end than endless terror." The Dutch cut off his head,
preserved it in spirits of wine, and placed it publicly in the Leyden
library, where it remained until 1837, when it was buried at Brunswick
in the grave of his faithful followers. Five hundred of his men, under
Lieutenant Brunow, escaped by forcing their way through the enemy. Of
the prisoners taken on this occasion, eleven officers were, by
Napoleon's command, shot at Wesel, fourteen subalterns and soldiers at
Brunswick, the rest, about six hundred in number, were sent in chains
to Toulon and condemned to the galleys.[12] Dörnberg fled to England.
Katt, another patriot, assembled a number of veterans at Stendal and
advanced as far as Magdeburg, but was compelled to flee to the
Brunswickers in Bohemia. What might not have been the result had the
plan of the Archduke Charles to march rapidly through Franconia been
followed on the opening of the campaign?

William, duke of Brunswick, the son of the hapless Duke Ferdinand, had
quitted Oels, his sole possession, for Bohemia, where he had collected
a force two thousand strong, known as the black Brunswickers on
account of the color of their uniform and the death's head on their
helmets, with which he resolved to avenge his father's death.
Victorious in petty engagements over the Saxons at Zittau and over the
French under Junot at Berneck, he refused to recognize the armistice
between Austria and France, and, fighting his way through the enemy,
surprised Leipzig by night and there provided himself with ammunition
and stores. He was awaited at Halberstadt by the Westphalians under
Wellingerode, whom, notwithstanding their numerical superiority, he
completely defeated during the night of the 30th of July. Two days
later he was attacked in Brunswick, in his father's home, by an enemy
three times his superior, by the Westphalians under Rewbel, who
advanced from Celle while the Saxons and Dutch pursued him from
Erfurt. Aided by his brave citizens, many of whom followed his
fortunes, he was again victorious and was enabled by a speedy retreat,
in which he broke down all the bridges to his rear, to escape to
Elsfleth, whence he sailed to England.

In August, an English army, forty thousand strong, landed on the
island of Walcheren and attempted to create a diversion in Holland,
but its ranks were speedily thinned by disease, it did not venture up
the country and finally returned to England. The English,
nevertheless, displayed henceforward immense activity in the
Peninsula, where, aided by the brave and high-spirited population,[13]
they did great detriment to the French. In the English army in the
Peninsula were several thousand Germans, principally Hanoverian
refugees. There were also numerous deserters from the Rhenish
confederated troops, sent by Napoleon into Spain.

During the war in June, the king of Wurtemberg took possession of
Mergentheim, the chief seat of the Teutonic order, which had, up to
the present period, remained unsecularized. The surprised inhabitants
received the new Protestant authorities with demonstrations of rage
and revolted. They were the last and the only ones among all the
secularized or mediatized estates of the Empire that boldly attempted
opposition. They were naturally overpowered without much difficulty
and were cruelly punished. About thirty of them were shot by the
soldiery; six were executed; several wealthy burgesses and peasants
were condemned as criminals to work in chains in the new royal gardens
at Stuttgard. Thus miserably terminated the celebrated Teutonic order.


[Footnote 1: The whole of the revenues of Prussia were confiscated by
the French until 1808. The contribution of one hundred and forty
millions was, nevertheless, to be paid, and the French garrisons in
the Prussian fortresses of Glogau, Küstrin, and Stettin were to be
maintained at the expense of Prussia. The suppression of the
monasteries in Silesia was far from lucrative, the commissioners, who
were irresponsible, carrying on a system of pillage, and landed
property having greatly fallen in value. The most extraordinary
imposts of every description were resorted to for the purpose of
raising a revenue, among other means, a third of all the gold and
silver in the country was called in. A coinage, still more debased,
was issued, and one more inferior still was smuggled into the country
by English coiners. In 1808, silver money fell two-thirds of its
current value and was even refused acceptance at that price.--The
French, moreover, lorded over the country with redoubled insolence,
broke every treaty, increased their garrisons, and occasionally laid
the most inopportune commands, in the form of a request, upon the
king; as, for instance, to lay under embargo and deliver up to them a
number of English merchantmen that had been driven into the Prussian
harbors by a dreadful storm. Blücher, at that time governor of
Pomerania, restrained his fiery nature and patiently endured their
insolence, while silently brooding over deep and implacable revenge.]

[Footnote 2: When marching with his pupils out of Berlin, he would ask
the fresh ones as he passed beneath the Bradenburg gate, "What are you
thinking of now?" If the boy did not know what to answer, he would
give him a box on the ear, saying as he did so, "You should think of
this, how you can bring back the four fine statues of horses that once
stood over this gate and were carried by the French to Paris."]

[Footnote 3: Decree of 16th December, 1808: "A certain Stein, who is
attempting to create disturbances, is herewith declared the enemy of
France; his property shall be placed under sequestration, and his
person shall be secured." The Allgemeine Zeitung warns, at the same
time, in its 330th number, all German savants not to give way to
patriotic enthusiasm and to follow in John Müller's footsteps.]

[Footnote 4: Bignon's History of France.]

[Footnote 5: He undertook the chief command with extreme unwillingness
and had long advised against the war, the time not having yet arrived,
Prussia being still adverse, Germany not as yet restored to her
senses, and experience having already proved to him how little he
could act as his judgment directed. How often had he not been made use
of and then suddenly neglected, been restrained, in the midst of his
operations, by secret orders, been permitted to conduct the first or
only the second part of a campaign, been placed in a subaltern
position when the chief command was rightfully his, or been forced to
accept of it when all was irremediably lost. Even on this occasion the
first measure advised by him, that of pushing rapidly through Bohemia
and Franconia, met with opposition. On the Maine and on the Weser
alone was there a hope of inspiring the people with enthusiasm, not in
Bavaria, where the hatred of the Austrians was irradicably rooted. It,
nevertheless, pleased the military advisers of the emperor at Vienna
to order the army to advance slowly through Bavaria.]

[Footnote 6: "None of my soldiers accompany me. You will know how to
value this mark of confidence."--_Napoleon's Address to the Bavarians.
Bölderndorf's Bavarian Campaigns_. "I am alone among you and have not
a Frenchman around my person. This is an unparalleled honor paid by me
to you."--_Napoleon's Address to the Würtemberg troops_. Arndt wrote
at that time:

  "By idle words and dastard wiles
     Hath he the mastery gained;
   He holds our sacred fatherland
     In slavery enchained.
   Fear hath rendered truth discreet,
   And Honor croucheth at his feet.

   Is this his work? ah no! 'tis _thine!_
     This _thou_ alone hast done.
   For him thy banner waved, for him
     Thy sword the battle won

   By thy disputes he gaineth strength,
     By thy disgrace full honor,
   And 'neath the German hero's arm
     His weakness doth he cover:
   Glittering erewhile in borrowed show,
   The Gallic cock doth proudly crow."]

[Footnote 7: The states of Würtemberg imparted, among other things,
the following piece of information to the house of Habsburg: "That the
heads of a democratical government should spread principles
destructive to order among its neighbors was easily explicable, but
that Austria should take advantage of the war to derange the internal
mechanism of neighboring states was inexcusable."--_Allgemeine
Zeitung, No. 113_. The Bavarian proclamation (_Allgemeine Zeitung, No.
135_) says, "Princes of the blood royal unblushingly subscribed to
proclamations placing them on an equality with the men of the
Revolution of 1793." The _Moniteur_, Napoleon's Parisian organ, said
in August, 1809, after the conclusion of the war, "The mighty hand of
Napoleon has snatched Germany from the revolutionary abyss about to
engulf her."]

[Footnote 8: Posselt's Political Annals at that time contained an
essay, in which the attempt made by the Austrian cabinet to call the
Germans to arms was designated as a "crime" against the sovereigns
"among whom Germany was at that period partitioned, and in whose
hearing it was both foolish and dangerous to speak of Germany."
Derision has seldom been carried to such a pitch.]

[Footnote 9: The finest feat of arms was that performed by the
Austrian infantry, who repulsed twelve French regiments of
cuirassiers. This picked body of cavalry was mounted on the best and
strongest horses of Holstein and Mecklenburg (for Napoleon overcame
Germany principally by means of Germany), and bore an extremely
imposing appearance. The Austrian infantry coolly stood their charge
and allowed them to come close upon them before firing a shot, when,
taking deliberate aim at the horses, they and their riders were rolled
in confused heaps on the ground. Three thousand cuirasses were picked
up by the victors after the battle.]

[Footnote 10: Napoleon proclaimed independence to the Hungarians, but
was unable to gain a single adherent among them.]

[Footnote 11: Aretin about this time published a "Representation of
the Patriots of Austria to Napoleon the Great," in which that great
sovereign was entreated to bestow a new government upon Austria and to
make that country, like the new kingdom of Westphalia, a member of his
family of states. A fitting pendant to John Müller's state speech, and
so much the more uncalled-for as it was exactly the Austrians who,
during this disastrous period, had, less than any of the other races
of Germany, lost their national pride.]

[Footnote 12: They were afterward condemned to hard labor in the
Hieres Isles, nor was it until 1814 that the survivors, one hundred
and twenty in number, were restored to their homes.--_Allgemeine
Zeitung, 1814. Appendix 91._]

[Footnote 13: Vide Napier's Peninsular War for an account of the
military achievements of the Spaniards.--_Trans._]



CCLVII. Revolt of the Tyrolese


The Alps of the Tyrol had for centuries been the asylum of liberty.
The ancient German communal system had there continued to exist even
in feudal times. Exactly at the time when the house of Habsburg lost
its most valuable possessions in Switzerland, at the time of the
council of Constance, Duke Frederick, surnamed Friedel with the empty
purse, was compelled by necessity and for the sake of retaining the
affection of the Tyrolese, to confirm them by oath in the possession
of great privileges, which his successors, owing to a wholesome dread
of exciting the anger of the sturdy mountaineers, prudently refrained
from violating. The Tyrol was externally independent and was governed
by her own diet. No recruits were levied in that country by the
emperor, excepting those for the rifle corps, which elected its own
commanders and wore the Tyrolean garb. The imposts were few and
trifling in amount, the administration was simple. The free-born
peasant enjoyed his rights in common with the patriarchal nobility and
clergy, who dwelt in harmony with the people; in several of the
valleys the public affairs were administered by simple peasants; each
commune had its peculiar laws and customs.

The first invasion of the Tyrol, in 1703, by the Bavarians, was
successfully resisted. The Bavarians were driven, with great loss on
their side, out of the country. A somewhat similar spirit animated the
Tyrolese in 1805, and their anger was solely appeased by the express
remonstrances of the Archduke John, whom the inhabitants of the
Austrian Tyrol treated with the veneration due to a father. They now
fell under the dominion of Bavaria, whose benevolent sovereign,
Maximilian Joseph, promised, under the act dated the 14th of January,
1806, "not only strongly to uphold the constitution of the country and
the well-earned rights and privileges of the people, but also to
promote their welfare": but, led astray by his, certainly noble,
enthusiasm for the rescue of his Bavarian subjects from Jesuit
obscurantism, he imagined that similar measures might also be
advantageously taken in the Tyrol, where the mountaineers, true to
their ancient simplicity, were revolted by the severity of the cure,
attempted too by a physician of whose intentions they were
mistrustful. Bavaria was overrun with rich monasteries; the Tyrol,
less fertile, possessed merely a patriarchal clergy, less numerous,
more moral and active. There was no motive for interference. The
conscription that, by converting the idle youth of Bavaria into
disciplined soldiery, was a blessing to the martial-spirited and
improvident population, was impracticable amid the well-trained
Tyrolese, and, although the control exercised by a well-regulated
bureaucracy might be beneficial when viewed in contradistinction with
the ancient complicated system of government and administration of
justice during the existence of the division into petty states and the
manifold contradictory privileges, it was utterly uncalled for in the
simple administration of the Tyrol. For what purpose were mere
presumptive ameliorations to be imposed upon a people thoroughly
contented with the laws and customs bequeathed by their ancestors? The
attempt was nevertheless made, and ancient Bavarian official insolence
leagued with French frivolity of the school of Montgelas to vex the
Tyrolese and to violate their most sacred privileges. The numerous
chapels erected for devotional purposes were thrown down amid marks of
ridicule and scorn; the ignorance and superstition of the old church
was at one blow to yield to modern enlightenment.[1] The people
shudderingly beheld the crucifixes and images of saints, so long the
objects of their deepest veneration, sold to Jews. Notwithstanding the
late assurances of the Bavarian king, the Tyrolean diet was, moreover,
not only dissolved, but the country was deprived of its ancient name
and designated "Southern Bavaria," and the castle of the Tyrol, that
had defied the storms of ages, and whose possessor, according to a
sacred popular legend, had alone a right to claim the homage of the
country, was sold by auction. The national pride of the Tyrolese was
deeply and bitterly wounded, their ancient rights and customs were
arbitrarily infringed, and, instead of the great benefits so recently
promised, eight new taxes were levied, and the tax-gatherers not
infrequently rendered themselves still more obnoxious by their
brutality. Colonel Dittfurt, who, during the winter of 1809, acted
with extreme inhumanity in the Fleimserthal, where the conscription
had excited great opposition, and who publicly boasted that with his
regiment alone he would keep the whole of the beggarly mountaineers in
subjection, drew upon himself the greatest share of the popular
animosity.

Austria, when preparing for war in 1809, could therefore confidently
reckon upon a general rising in the Tyrol. Andrew Hofer, the host of
the Sand at Passeyr (the Sandwirth), went to Vienna, where the revolt
was concerted.[2] A conspiracy was entered into by the whole of the
Tyrolese peasantry. Sixty thousand men, on a moderate calculation,
were intrusted with the secret, which was sacredly kept, not a single
townsman being allowed to participate in it. Kinkel, the Bavarian
general, who was stationed at Innsbruck and narrowly watched the
Tyrol, remained perfectly unconscious of the mine beneath his feet.
Colonel Wrede, his inferior in command, had been directed to blow up
the important bridges in the Pusterthal at St. Lorenzo, in order to
check the advance of the Austrians, in case of an invasion. Several
thousand French were expected to pass through the Tyrol on their route
from Italy to join the army under Napoleon. No suspicion of the
approach of a popular outbreak existed. On the 9th of April, the
signal was suddenly given; planks bearing little red flags floated
down the Inn; on the 10th, the storm burst. Several of the Bavarian
sappers sent at daybreak to blow up the bridges of St. Lorenzo being
killed by the bullets of an invisible foe, the rest took to flight.
Wrede, enraged at the incident, hastened to the spot at the head of
two battalions, supported by a body of cavalry and some field-pieces.
The whole of the Pusterthal had, however, already risen at the summons
of Peter Kemnater, the host of Schabs,[3] in defence of the bridges.
Wrede's artillery was captured by the enraged peasantry and cast,
together with the artillerymen, into the river. Wrede, after suffering
a terrible loss, owing to the skill of the Tyrolean riflemen, who
never missed their aim, was completely put to rout, and, although he
fell in with a body of three thousand French under Brisson on their
route from Italy, resolved, instead of returning to the Pusterthal, to
withdraw with the French to Innsbruck. The passage through the valley
of the Eisack had, however, been already closed against them by the
host of Lechner, and the fine old Roman bridge at Laditsch been blown
up. In the pass of the Brixen, where the valley closes, the French and
Bavarians suffered immense loss; rocks and trees were rolled on the
heads of the appalled soldiery, numbers of whom were also picked off
by the unerring rifles of the unseen peasantry. Favored by the open
ground at the bridge of Laditsch, they constructed a temporary bridge,
across which they succeeded in forcing their way on the 11th of April.
Hofer had, meanwhile, placed himself, early on the 10th, at the head
of the brave peasantry of Passeyr, Algund, and Meran, and had thrown
himself on the same road, somewhat to the north, near Sterzing, where
a Bavarian battalion was stationed under the command of Colonel
Bärnklau, who, on being attacked by him, on the 11th, retreated to the
Sterzinger Moos, a piece of tableland, where, drawn up in square, he
successfully repulsed every attempt made to dislodge him until Hofer
ordered a wagon, loaded with hay and guided by a girl,[4] to be pushed
forward as a screen, behind which the Tyrolese advancing, the square
was speedily broken and the whole of Bärnklau's troop was either
killed or taken prisoner.

The whole of the lower valley of the Inn had, on the self-same day,
been raised by Joseph Speckbacher, a wealthy peasant of Rinn, the
greatest hero called into existence by this fearful peasant war. The
alarm-bell pealed from every church tower throughout the country. A
Bavarian troop, at that time engaged in levying contributions at Axoms
as a punishment for disobedience, hastily fled. The city of Hall was,
on the ensuing night, taken by Speckbacher, who, after lighting about
a hundred watch-fires in a certain quarter, as if about to make an
attack on that side, crept, under cover of the darkness, to the gate
on the opposite side, where, as a common passenger, he demanded
permission to enter, took possession of the opened gate, and seized
the four hundred Bavarians stationed in the city. On the 12th, he
appeared before Innsbruck. Kinkel was astounded at the audacity of the
peasants, whom Dittfurt glowed with impatience to punish. But the
people, shouting "Vivat Franzl! Down with the Bavarians!" again rushed
upon the guns and turned them upon the Bavarians, who were, moreover,
exposed to a murderous fire poured upon them from the windows and
towers by the citizens, who had risen in favor of the peasantry. The
people of the upper valley of the Inn, headed by Major Teimer, also
poured to the scene of carnage. Dittfurt performed prodigies of valor,
but every effort was vain. Scornfully refusing to yield to the
_canaille_, he continued, although struck by two bullets, to fight
with undaunted courage, when a third stretched him on the ground;
again he started up and furiously defended himself until a fourth
struck him in the head. He died four days afterward in a state of wild
delirium, cursing and swearing. Kinkel and the whole of the Bavarian
infantry yielded themselves prisoners. The cavalry attempted to
escape, but were dismounted with pitchforks by the peasantry, and the
remainder were taken prisoners before Hall.

Wrede and Brisson, meanwhile, crossed the Brenner. At Sterzing, every
trace of the recent conflict had been carefully obliterated, and Wrede
vainly inquired the fate of Bärnklau. He entered the narrow pass, and
Hofer's riflemen spread death and confusion among his ranks. The
strength of the allied column, nevertheless, enabled it to force its
way through, and it reached Innsbruck, where, completely surrounded by
the Tyrolese, it, in a few minutes, lost several hundred men, and, in
order to escape utter destruction, laid down its arms. The Tyrolese
entered Innsbruck in triumph, preceded by the military band belonging
to the enemy, which was compelled to play, followed by Teimer and
Brisson in an open carriage, and with the rest of their prisoners
guarded between their ranks. Their captives consisted of two generals,
ten staff-officers, above a hundred other officers, eight thousand
infantry, and a thousand cavalry. Throughout the Tyrol, the arms of
Bavaria were cast to the ground and all the Bavarian authorities were
removed from office. The prisoners were, nevertheless, treated with
the greatest humanity, the only instance to the contrary being that of
a tax-gatherer, who, having once boasted that he would grind the
Tyrolese down until they gladly ate hay, was, in revenge, compelled to
swallow a bushel of hay for his dinner.

It was not until after these brilliant achievements on the part of the
Tyrolese that Lieutenant Field-Marshal von Chasteler, a Dutchman, and
the Baron von Hormayr, the imperial civil intendant, entered Innsbruck
with several thousand Austrians, and that Hormayr assumed the reins of
government. Two thousand French, under General Lemoine, attempted to
make an inroad from Trent, but were repulsed by Hofer and his ally,
Colonel Count Leiningen, who had been sent to his aid by Chasteler.
The advance of a still stronger force of the enemy under Baraguay
d'Hilliers a second time against Botzen called Chasteler in person
into the field, and the French, after a smart engagement near Volano,
where the Herculean Passeyrers carried the artillery on their
shoulders, were forced to retreat. It was on this occasion that
Leiningen, who had hastily pushed too far forward, was rescued from
captivity by Hofer.[5] The Vorarlberg had, meanwhile, also been raised
by Teimer. A Dr. Schneider placed himself at the head of the
insurgents, whose forces already extended in this direction as far as
Lindau, Kempten, and Memmingen.

Napoleon's success, at this conjuncture, at Ratisbon, enabled him to
despatch a division of his army into the Tyrol to quell the
insurrection that had broken out to his rear. Wrede, who had been
quickly exchanged and set at liberty, speedily found himself at the
head of a small Bavarian force, and succeeded in driving the Austrians
under Jellachich, after an obstinate and bloody resistance, out of
Salzburg, on the 29th of April. Jellachich withdrew to the pass of
Lueg for the purpose of placing himself in communication with the
Archduke John, who was on his way from Italy. An attack made upon this
position by the Bavarians being repulsed, Napoleon despatched Marshal
Lefebvre, duke of Dantzig, from Salzburg with a considerable force to
their assistance. Lefebvre spoke German, was a rough soldier, treated
the peasants as robbers instead of legitimate foes, shot every leader
who fell into his hands, and gave his soldiery license to commit every
description of outrage on the villagers. The greater part of the
Tyrolese occupying the pass of Strub having quitted their post on
Ascension Day in order to attend divine service, the rest were, after
a gallant resistance, overpowered and mercilessly butchered.
Chasteler, anxious to repair his late negligence, advanced against the
Bavarians in the open valley of the Inn and was overwhelmed by
superior numbers at Wörgl. Speckbacher, followed by his peasantry,
again made head against the enemy, whom, notwithstanding the
destruction caused in his ranks by their rapid and well-directed fire,
he twice drove out of Schwatz. The Bavarians, nevertheless, succeeded
in forcing an entrance into the town, which they set on fire after
butchering all the inhabitants, hundreds of whom were hanged to the
trees or had their hands nailed to their heads. These cruelties were
not, even in a single instance, imitated by the Tyrolese. The proposal
to send their numerous Bavarian prisoners home maimed of one ear, as a
mode of recognition in case they should again serve against the Tyrol,
was rejected by Hofer. The unrelenting rage of the Bavarians was
solely roused by the unsparing ridicule of the Tyrolese, by whom they
were nicknamed, on account of the general burliness of their figures
and their fondness for beer, Bavarian hogs, and who, the moment they
came within hearing, would call out to them, as to a herd of pigs,
"Tschu, Tschu, Tschu--Natsch, Natsch." The Bavarians, intoxicated with
success, advanced further up the country, surrounded the village of
Vomp, set it on fire amid the sound of kettledrums and hautboys, and
shot the inhabitants as they attempted to escape from the burning
houses. Chasteler and Hormayr were, during this robber-campaign, as it
was termed by the French, proscribed as _chefs de brigands_ by
Napoleon. Count Tannenberg, the descendant of the oldest of the
baronial families in the Tyrol, a blind and venerable man, who was
also taken prisoner _en route_, replied with dignity to the censure
heaped upon him by Wrede, and at Munich defended his country's cause
before the king.[6] The officers, whom he had treated with extreme
politeness, rose from his hospitable board to set fire to his castle
over his head. The Scharnitz was yielded, and the Bavarians under Arco
penetrated also on that side into the country.--Jellachich, upon this,
retired upon Carinthia, and was followed through the Pusterthal by
Chasteler, who dreaded being cut off. The peasants, incredulous of
their abandonment by Austria, implored, entreated him to remain, to
which, for the sake of freeing himself from their importunities, he at
length consented, but they had no sooner dispersed in order to summon
the people again to the conflict than he retired. Hofer, on returning
to the spot, merely finding a small body of troops under the command
of General Buol, who had received orders to bring up the rear, threw
himself in despair on a bed. Eisenstecken, his companion and adjutant,
however, instantly declared that the departure of the soldiers must,
at all hazards, be prevented. The officers signed a paper by which
they bound themselves, even though contrary to the express orders of
the general, to remain. Buol, upon this, yielded and remained, but,
during the fearful battle that ensued, remained in the post-house on
the Brenner, inactively watching the conflict, which terminated in the
triumph of the peasantry. Hormayr completely absconded and attempted
to escape into Switzerland.

Innsbruck was surrendered by Teimer to the French, on the 19th of May.
Napoleon's defeat, about this time, at Aspern having however compelled
Lefebvre to return hastily to the Danube, leaving merely a part of the
Bavarians with General Deroy in Innsbruck, the Tyrolese instantly
seized the opportunity, and Hofer, Eisenstecken, and the gallant
Speckbacher boldly assembled the whole of the peasantry on the
mountain of Isel. Peter Thalguter led the brave and gigantic men of
Algund. Haspinger, the Capuchin, nicknamed Redbeard, appeared on this
occasion for the first time in the guise of a commander and displayed
considerable military talent. An incessant struggle was carried on
from the 25th to the 29th of May.[7] Deroy, repulsed from the mountain
of Isel with a loss of almost three thousand men, simulated an
intention to capitulate, and withdrew unheard during the night by
muffling the horses' hoofs and the wheels of the artillery carriages
and enjoining silence under pain of death. Speckbacher attempted to
impede his retreat at Hall, but arrived too late.[8] Teimer was
accused of having been remiss in his duty through jealousy of the
common peasant leaders. Arco escaped by an artifice similar to that of
Deroy and abandoned the Scharnitz. The Vorarlbergers again spread as
far as Kempten. Hormayr also returned, retook the reins of government,
imposed taxes, flooded the country with useless law-scribbling, and,
at the same time, refused to grant the popular demand for the
convocation of the Tyrolean diet. After the victory of Aspern, the
emperor declared, "My faithful county of Tyrol shall henceforward ever
remain incorporated with the Austrian empire, and I will agree to no
treaty of peace save one indissolubly uniting the Tyrol with my
monarchy." During this happy interval, Speckbacher besieged the
fortress of Cuffstein, where he performed many signal acts of
valor.[9]

The disaster of Wagram followed, and, in the ensuing armistice, the
Emperor Francis was compelled to agree to the withdrawal of the whole
of his troops from the Tyrol. The Archduke John is said to have given
a hint to General Buol to remain in the Tyrol as if retained there by
force by the peasantry, instead of which both Buol and Hormayr hurried
their retreat, after issuing a miserable proclamation, in which they
"recommended the Tyrolese to the care of the duke of Dantzig."
Lefebvre actually again advanced at the head of thirty to forty
thousand French, Bavarians and Saxons. The courage of the unfortunate
peasantry naturally sank. Hofer alone remained unshaken, and said, on
bidding Hormayr farewell, "Well, then, I will undertake the
government, and, as long as God wills, name myself Andrew Hofer, host
of the Sand at Passeyr, Count of the Tyrol." Hormayr laughed.--A
general dispersion took place. Hofer alone remained. When, resolute in
his determination not to abandon his native soil, he was on his way
back to his dwelling, he encountered Speckbacher hurrying away in a
carriage in the company of some Austrian officers. "Wilt thou also
desert thy country?" was Hofer's sad demand. Buol, in order to cover
his retreat, sent back eleven guns and nine hundred Bavarian prisoners
to General Rusca, who continued to threaten the Pusterthal.

In the mountains all was tranquil, and the advance of the French
columns was totally unopposed. Hofer, concealed in a cavern amid the
steep rocks overhanging his native vale, besought Heaven for aid, and,
by his enthusiastic entreaties, succeeded in persuading the brave
Capuchin, Joachim Haspinger, once more to quit the monastery of
Seeben, whither he had retired. A conference was held at Brixen
between Haspinger, Martin Schenk, the host of the _Krug_, a jovial man
of powerful frame, Kemnater, and a third person of similar calling,
Peter Mayer, host of the Mare, who bound themselves again to take up
arms in the Eastern Tyrol, while Hofer, in person, raised the Western
Tyrol. Speckbacher, to the delight of the three confederates,
unexpectedly made his appearance at this conjuncture. Deeply wounded
by the reproach contained in the few words addressed to him by Hofer,
he had, notwithstanding the urgent entreaties of his companions,
quitted them on arriving at the nearest station and hastened to retake
his post in defence of his country.

Lefebvre had already entered Innsbruck, and, according to his brutal
custom, had plundered the villages and reduced them to ashes; he had
also published a proscription-list[10] instead of the amnesty. A
desperate resistance now commenced. The whole of the Tyrol again flew
to arms; the young men placed in their green hats the bunch of
rosemary gathered by the girl of their heart, the more aged a
peacock's plume, the symbol of the house of Habsburg, all carried the
rifle, so murderous in their hands; they made cannons of larch-wood,
bound with iron rings, which did good service; they raised abatis,
blew up rooks, piled immense masses of stone on the extreme edges of
the precipitous rocks commanding the narrow vales, in order to hurl
them upon the advancing foe, and directed the timber-slides in the
forest-grown mountains, or those formed of logs by means of which the
timber for building was usually run into the valleys, in such a manner
upon the most important passes and bridges, as to enable them to shoot
enormous trees down upon them with tremendous velocity.

Lefebvre resolved to advance with the main body of his forces across
the Brenner to Botzen, whither another corps under Burscheidt also
directed its way through the upper valley of the Inn, the Finstermunz,
and Meran, while a third under Rusca came from Carinthia through the
Pusterthal, and a fourth under Peyry was on the march from Verona
through the vale of the Adige. These various _corps d'armée_, by which
the Tyrol was thus attacked simultaneously on every point, were to
concentrate in the heart of the country. Lefebvre found the Brenner
open. The Tyrolese, headed by Haspinger, had burned the bridges on the
Oberau and awaited the approach of the enemy on the heights commanding
the narrow valley of Eisach. The Saxons under Rouyer were sent in
advance by Lefebvre to shed their blood for a foreign despot. Rocks
and trees hurled by the Tyrolese into the valley crushed numbers of
them to death. Rouyer, after being slightly hurt by a rolling mass of
rock, retreated after leaving orders to the Saxon regiment, composed
of contingents from Weimar, Gotha, Coburg, Hildburghausen, Altenburg,
and Meiningen, commanded by Colonel Egloffstein, to retain its
position in the Oberau. This action took place on the 4th of August.
The Saxons, worn out by the fatigue and danger to which they were
exposed, were compelled, on the ensuing day, to make head in the
narrow vale against overwhelming numbers of the Tyrolese, whose
incessant attacks rendered a moment's repose impossible. Although
faint with hunger and with the intensity of the heat, a part of the
troops under Colonel Egloffstein succeeded in forcing their way
through, though at an immense sacrifice of life,[11] and fell back
upon Rouyer, who had taken up a position at Sterzing without fighting
a stroke in their aid, and who expressed his astonishment at their
escape. The rest of the Saxon troops were taken prisoners, after a
desperate resistance, in the dwelling-houses of Oberau.[12] They had
lost nearly a thousand men. The other _corps d'armée_ met with no
better fate. Burscheidt merely advanced up the valley of the Inn as
far as the bridges of Pruz, whence, being repulsed by the Tyrolese and
dreading destruction, he retreated during the dark night of the 8th of
August. His infantry crept, silent and unheard, across the bridge of
Pontlaz, of such fatal celebrity in 1703, which was strictly watched
by the Tyrolese. The cavalry cautiously followed, but were betrayed by
the sound of one of the horses' feet. Rocks and trees were in an
instant hurled upon the bridge, crushing men and horses and blocking
up the way. The darkness that veiled the scene but added to its
horrors. The whole of the troops shut up beyond the bridge were either
killed or taken prisoner. Burscheidt reached Innsbruck with merely a
handful of men, completely worn out by the incessant pursuit. Rusca
was also repulsed, between the 6th and the 11th of August
(particularly at the bridge of Lienz), in the Pusterthal, by brave
Antony Steger. Rusca had set two hundred farms on fire. Twelve hundred
of his men were killed, and his retreat was accelerated by Steger's
threat to roast him, in case he fell into his hands, like a scorpion,
within a fiery circle. Peyry did not venture into the country.

Lefebvre, who had followed to the rear of the Saxon troops from
Innsbruck, bitterly reproached them with their defeat, but, although
he placed himself in advance, did not succeed in penetrating as far as
they had up the country. At Mauls, his cavalry were torn from their
saddles and killed with clubs, and he escaped, with great difficulty,
after losing his cocked hat. His corps, notwithstanding its numerical
strength, was unable to advance a step further. The Capuchin harassed
his advanced guard from Mauls and was seconded by Speckbacher from
Stilfs, while Count Arco was attacked to his rear at Schonberg by
multitudes of Tyrolese. The contest was carried on without
intermission from the 5th to the 10th of August. Lefebvre was finally
compelled to retreat with his thinned and weary troops.[13] On the
11th, Deroy posted himself with the rearguard on the mountain of Isel.
The Capuchin, after reading mass under the open sky to his followers,
again attacked him on the 13th. A horrible slaughter ensued. Four
hundred Bavarians, who had fallen beneath the clubs of their
infuriated antagonists, lay in a confused heap. The enemy evacuated
Innsbruck and the whole of the Tyrol.[14] Count Arco was one of the
last victims of this bloody campaign.

The _Sandwirth_, placed himself at the head of the government at
Innsbruck. Although a simple peasant and ever faithful to the habits
of his station,[15] he laid down some admirable rules, convoked a
national assembly, and raised the confidence of the people of
Carinthia, to whom he addressed a proclamation remarkable for dignity.
He hoped, at that time, by summoning the whole of the mountain tribes
to arms and leading them to Vienna, to compel the enemy to accede to
more favorable terms of peace. Speckbacher penetrated into the
district of Salzburg, defeated the Bavarians at Lofers and Unken, took
one thousand seven hundred prisoners, and advanced as far as
Reichenhall and Melek. The Capuchin proposed, in his zeal, to storm
Salzburg and invade Carinthia, but was withheld by Speckbacher, who
saw the hazard attached to the project, as well as the peril that
would attend the departure of the Tyrolese from their country. His
plan merely consisted in covering the eastern frontier. His son,
Anderle, who had escaped from his secluded Alp, unexpectedly joined
him and fought at his side. Speckbacher was stationed at Melek, where
he drove Major Rummele with his Bavarian battalion into the Salzach,
but was shortly afterward surprised by treachery. He had already been
deprived of his arms, thrown to the ground, and seriously injured with
blows dealt with a club, when, furiously springing to his feet, he
struck his opponents to the earth and escaped with a hundred of his
men across a wall of rock unscalable save by the foot of the expert
and hardy mountaineer. His young son was torn from his side and taken
captive. The king, Maximilian Joseph, touched by his courage and
beauty, sent for him and had him well educated.--The Capuchin, who had
reached Muhrau in Styria, was also compelled to retire.

The peace of Vienna, in which the Tyrolese were not even mentioned,
was meanwhile concluded. The restoration of the Tyrol to Bavaria was
tacitly understood, and, in order to reduce the country to obedience,
three fresh armies again approached the frontiers, the Italian, Peyry,
from the south through the valley of the Adige, and Baraguay
d'Hilliers from the west through the Pusterthal; the former suffered a
disastrous defeat above Trent, but was rescued from utter destruction
by General Vial, who had followed to his rear, and who, as well as
Baraguay, advanced as far as Brixen.[16] Drouet d'Erlon, with the main
body of the Bavarians, came from the north across the Strub and the
Loferpass, and gained forcible possession of the Engpass. Hofer had
been persuaded by the priest, Donay, to relinquish the anterior passes
into the country and Innsbruck, and to take up a strong position on
the fortified mountain of Isel. Speckbacher arrived too late to defend
Innsbruck, and, enraged at the ill-laid plan of defence, threw a body
of his men into the Zillerthal in order to prevent the Bavarians from
falling upon Hofer's rear. He was again twice wounded at the storming
of the Kemmberg, which had already been fortified by the Bavarians. On
the 25th of October, the Bavarians entered Innsbruck and summoned
Hofer to capitulate. During the night of the 30th, Baron Lichtenthurm
appeared in the Tyrolese camp, announced the conclusion of peace, and
delivered a letter from the Archduke John, in which the Tyrolese were
commanded peaceably to disperse and no longer to offer their lives a
useless sacrifice. There was no warrant for the future, not a memory
of an earlier pledge. The commands of their beloved master were obeyed
by the Tyrolese with feelings of bitter regret, and a complete
dispersion took place. Speckbacher alone maintained his ground, and
repulsed the enemy on the 2d and 3d of November, but, being told, in a
letter, by Hofer, "I announce to you that Austria has made peace with
France and has forgotten the Tyrol," he gave up all further
opposition, and Mayer and Kemnater, who had gallantly made head
against General Rusca at the Muhlbacher Klause, followed his example.

The tragedy drew to a close. Hofer returned to his native vale, where
the people of Passeyr and Algund, resolved at all hazards not to
submit to the depredations of the Italian brigands under Rusca,
flocked around him and compelled him to place himself at their head
for a last and desperate struggle. Above Meran, the French were thrown
in such numbers from the _Franzosenbuhl_, which still retains its
name, that "they fell like a shower of autumnal leaves into the city."
The horses belonging to a division of cavalry intended to surround the
insurgent peasantry were all that returned; their riders had been shot
to a man. Rusca lost five hundred dead and one thousand seven hundred
prisoners. The Capuchin was also present, and generously saved the
captive Major Doreille, whose men had formerly set fire to a village,
from the hands of the infuriated peasantry. But a traitor guided the
enemy to the rear of the brave band of patriots; Peter Thalguter fell,
and Hofer took refuge amid the highest Alps.--Kolb, who was by some
supposed to be an English agent, but who was simply an enthusiast,
again summoned the peasantry around Brixen to arms. The peasantry
still retained such a degree of courage, as to set up an enormous
barn-door as a target for the French artillery, and at every shot up
jumped a ludicrous figure. Resistance had, however, ceased to be
general; the French pressed in ever-increasing numbers through the
valleys, disarmed the people, the majority of whom, obedient to
Hofer's first mandate, no longer attempted opposition, and took their
leaders captive. Peter Mayer was shot at Botzen. His life was offered
to him on condition of his denying all participation in the patriotic
struggles of his countrymen, but he disdained a lie and boldly faced
death. Those among the peasantry most distinguished for gallantry were
either shot or hanged. Baur, a Bavarian author, who had fought against
the Tyrolese, and is consequently a trusty witness, remarks that all
the Tyroleso patriots, without exception, evinced the greatest
contempt of death. The struggle recommenced in the winter, but was
merely confined to the Pusterthal. A French division under Broussier
was cut off on the snowed-up roads and shot to a man by the peasantry.

Hofer at first took refuge with his wife and child in a narrow rocky
hollow in the Kellerlager, afterward in the highest Alpine hut, near
the Oetzthaler Firner in the wintry desert. Vainly was he implored to
quit the country; his resolution to live or to die on his native soil
was unchangeable. A peasant named Raffel, unfortunately descrying the
smoke from the distant hut, discovered his place of concealment, and
boasted in different places of his possession of the secret of his
hiding-place. This came to the ears of Father Donay, a traitor in the
pay of France;[17] Raffel was arrested, and, in the night of the 27th
of January, 1810, guided one thousand six hundred French and Italian
troops to the mountain, while two thousand French were quartered in
the circumjacent country. Hofer yielded himself prisoner with calm
dignity. The Italians abused him personally, tore out his beard, and
dragged him pinioned, half naked and barefoot, in his night-dress,
over ice and snow to the valley. He was then put into a carriage and
carried into Italy to the fortress of Mantua. No one interceded in his
behalf. Napoleon sent orders by the Paris telegraph to shoot him
within four-and-twenty hours. He prepared cheerfully for death.[18] On
being led past the other Tyrolese prisoners, they embraced his knees,
weeping. He gave them his blessing. His executioners halted not far
from the Porta Chiesa, where, placing himself opposite the twelve
riflemen selected for the dreadful office, he refused either to allow
himself to be blindfolded or to kneel. "I stand before my Creator," he
exclaimed with a firm voice, "and standing will I restore to Him the
spirit He gave!" He gave the signal to fire, but the men, it may be,
too deeply moved by the scene, missed their aim. The first fire
brought him on his knees, the second stretched him on the ground, and
a corporal, advancing, terminated his misery by shooting him through
the head, February 29, 1810.--At a later period, when Mantua again
became Austrian, the Tyrolese bore his remains back to his native
Alps. A handsome monument of white marble was erected to his memory in
the church at Innsbruck; his family was ennobled. Count Alexander of
Wurtemberg has poetically described the restoration of his remains to
the Tyrol, for which he so nobly fought and died.

  "How was the gallant hunter's breast
    With mingled feelings torn,
  As slowly winding 'mid the Alps,
    His hero's corpse was borne!

  "The ancient Gletcher, glowing red,
    Though cold their wonted mien,
  Bright radiance shed o'er Hofer's head,
    Loud thundered the lavine!"

Haspinger, the brave Capuchin, escaped unhurt to Vienna, in which
Joseph Speckbacher, the greatest hero of this war, also succeeded,
after unheard-of suffering and peril.--The Bavarians in pursuit of him
searched the mountains in troops, and vowed to "cut his skin into
boot-straps, if they caught him." Speckbacher attempted to escape into
Austria, but was unable to go beyond Dux, the roads being blocked up
with snow. At Dux, the Bavarians came upon his trace, and attacking
the house in which he had taken refuge, he escaped by leaping through
the roof, but again wounded himself. During the ensuing twenty-seven
days, he wandered about the snow-clad forests, exposed to the bitter
cold and in danger of starvation. During four consecutive days he did
not taste food. He at length found an asylum in a hut in a high and
exposed situation at Bolderberg, where he by chance fell in with his
wife and children, who had also taken refuge there. The watchful
Bavarians pursued him even here, and he merely owed his escape to the
presence of mind with which, taking a sledge upon his shoulders, he
advanced toward them as if he had been the servant of the house. No
longer safe in this retreat, he hid himself in a cave on the
Gemshaken, whence he was, in the beginning of spring, carried by a
snow-ravine a mile and a half into the valley. He contrived to
disengage himself from the snow, but one of his legs had been
dislocated and rendered it impossible for him to regain his cave.
Suffering unspeakable anguish, he crept to the nearest hut, where he
found two men, who carried him to his own house at Rinn, whither his
wife had returned. But Bavarians were quartered in the house, and his
only place of refuge was the cow-shed, where Zoppel, his faithful
servant, dug for him a hole beneath the bed of one of the cows, and
daily brought him food. The danger of discovery was so great that his
wife was not made acquainted with his arrival. He remained in this
half-buried state for seven weeks, until rest had so far invigorated
his frame as to enable him to escape across the high mountain passes,
now freed by the May sun from the snow. He accordingly rose from his
grave and bade adieu to his sorrowing wife. He reached Vienna without
encountering further mishap, but gained no thanks for his heroism. He
was compelled to give up a small estate that he had purchased with the
remains of his property, the purchase-money proving insufficient, and
he must have been consigned to beggary, had not Hofer's son, who had
received a fine estate from the emperor, engaged him as his steward.


[Footnote 1: Without any attempt being made on the part of the
government to prepare the minds of the people by proper instruction,
the children were taken away by force in order to be inoculated for
the smallpox. The mothers, under an idea that their infants were being
bewitched or poisoned, trembled with rage and fear, while the Bavarian
authorities and their servants mocked their dismay.]

[Footnote 2: Hofer was, in 1790, as the deputy of the Passeyrthal, a
member of the diet at Innsbruck which so zealously opposed the reforms
attempted by Joseph II.; he had fought, as captain of a rifle corps,
against the French in 1796, and, in 1805, when bidding farewell to the
Archduke John on the enforced cession of the Tyrol by Austria to
Bavaria, had received a significant shake of the hand with an
expressed hope of seeing him again in better times. Hofer traded in
wine, corn and horses, was well known and highly esteemed as far as
the Italian frontier. He had a Herculean form and was remarkably
good-looking. He wore a low-crowned, broad-brimmed black Tyrolean hat,
ornamented with green ribbons and the feathers of the capercalzie. His
broad chest was covered with a red waistcoat, across which green
braces, a hand in breadth, were fastened to black chamois-leather
knee-breeches. His knees were bare, but his well-developed calves were
covered with red stockings. A broad black leathern girdle clasped his
muscular form. Over all was thrown a short green coat without buttons.
His long dark-brown beard, that fell in rich curls upon his chest,
added dignity to his appearance. His full, broad countenance was
expressive of good-humor and honesty. His small, penetrating eyes
sparkled with vivacity.]

[Footnote 3: A youth of two-and-twenty, slight in person and extremely
handsome, at that time a bridegroom, and inspired by the deepest
hatred of the Bavarians, by whose officers he had been personally
insulted.]

[Footnote 4: The daughter of a tailor, named Camper. As the balls flew
around her, she shouted, "On with ye! who cares for Bavarian
dumplings!"]

[Footnote 5: The Austrian general, Marschall, who had been sent to
guard the Southern Tyrol, was removed for declaring that he deemed it
an insult for the military to make common cause with peasants and for
complaining of his being compelled to sit down to table with Hofer.]

[Footnote 6: Proclamation of the emperor Francis to the Tyrolese:
"Willingly do I anticipate your wish to be regarded as the most
faithful subjects of the Austrian empire. Never again shall the sad
fate of being torn from my heart befall you."]

[Footnote 7: The Count von Stachelburg from Meran, who fought as a
volunteer among the peasantry, fell at that time. He was the last of
his race.]

[Footnote 8: He was joined here by his son Anderl, a child ten years
of age, who collected the enemy's balls in his hat, and so obstinately
refused to quit the field of battle that his father was compelled to
have him carried by force to a distant alp.]

[Footnote 9: He paid a visit, in disguise, to the commandant within
the fortress, extinguished a grenade with his hat, crept undiscovered
into the fortress and spoiled the fire-engines, cut loose the ships
moored beneath the walls, etc. Joseph Speckbacher of the Innthal was
an open-hearted, fine-spirited fellow, endowed with a giant's
strength, and the best marksman in the country. His clear bright eye
could, at the distance of half a mile, distinguish the bells on the
necks of the cattle. In his youth, he was addicted to poaching, and
being, on one occasion, when in the act of roasting a chamois,
surprised by four Bavarian Jäger, he unhesitatingly dashed the melted
fat of the animal into their faces, and, quick as lightning, dealt
each of them a deathblow with the butt-end of his rifle.]

[Footnote 10: He cited the following names immortal in the Tyrol: A.
Hofer, Straub of Hall, Reider of Botzen, Bombardi, postmaster of
Salurn, Morandel of Kaltern, Resz of Fleims, Tschöll of Meran,
Frischmann of Schlanders, Senn, sheriff of Nauders, Fischer, actuary
of Landek, Strehle, burgomaster of Imbst, Plawen, governor of Reutti,
Major Dietrich of Lermos, Aschenbacher, governor of the Achenthal,
Sieberer of Cuffstein, Wintersteller of Kisbüchl, Kolb of Lienz, Count
Sarntheim, Peer, counsellor to the court of appeal. Count Sarntheim
was taken prisoner and carried into Bavaria, together with the heroic
Baroness of Sternbach, who, mounted on horseback and armed with
pistols, accompanied the patriot force and aided in the command. She
was seized in her castle of Mühlan, imprisoned in a house of
correction at Munich, and afterward carried to Strasburg, was deprived
of the whole of her property, ignominiously treated, and threatened
with death, but never lost courage.--_Beda, Water's Tyrol._
Wintersteller was a descendant of the brave host of the same name who,
in 1703, adorned his house, which was afterward occupied by
Wintersteller, with the trophies won from the Bavarians.]

[Footnote 11: When incessantly pursued and ready to drop with fatigue,
they found a cask of wine, and a drummer, knocking off its head,
stooped down to drink, when he was pierced with a bullet, and his
blood mingled with the liquor, which was, nevertheless, greedily
swallowed by the famishing soldiery.--_Jacob's Campaign of the
Gotha-Altenburgers._]

[Footnote 12: The Tyrolese aimed at the windows and shot every one who
looked out. As soon as the houses were, by this means, filled with the
dead and wounded, they stormed them and took the survivors prisoner.
Two hundred and thirty men of Weimar and Coburg, commanded by Major
Germar, defended themselves to the last; the house in which they were
being at length completely surrounded and set on fire by the Tyrolese,
they surrendered. This spot was afterward known as the
"_Sachsenklemme_." Seven hundred Saxon prisoners escaped from their
guards and took refuge on the _Krimmer Tauern_, where they were
recaptured by the armed women and girls.]

[Footnote 13: Bartholdy relates that Lefebvre, disguised as a common
soldier, mingled with the cavalry in order to escape the balls of the
Tyrolese sharpshooters. A man of Passeyr is said to have captured a
three-pounder and to have carried it on his shoulders across the
mountain. The Tyrolese would even carry their wounded enemies
carefully on their shoulders to their villages. A Count Mohr greatly
distinguished himself among the people of Vintschgau. The spirit shown
by an old man above eighty years of age, who, after shooting a number
of the enemy from a rock on which he had posted himself, threw
himself, exclaiming "Juhhe! in God's name!" down the precipice, with a
Saxon soldier, by whom he had been seized, is worthy of record.]

[Footnote 14: Von Seebach, in his History of the Ducal Saxon Regiment,
graphically describes the flight. During the night time, all the
mountains around the beautiful valley of Innsbruck were lighted up
with watch-fires. Lefebvre ordered his to be kept brightly burning
while his troops silently withdrew.]

[Footnote 15: He did not set himself above his equals and followed his
former simple mode of life. The emperor of Austria sent him a golden
chain and three thousand ducats, the first money received by the Tyrol
from Austria; but Hofer's pride was not raised by this mark of favor,
and the naivete of his reply on this occasion has often been a subject
of ridicule: "Sirs, I thank you. I have no news for you to-day. I
have, it is true, three couriers on the road, the Watscher-Hiesele,
the Sixten-Seppele, and the Memmele-Franz, and the Schwanz ought long
to have been here; I expect the rascal every hour." The honest fellow
permitted no pillage, no disorderly conduct; he even guarded the
public morals with such strictness as to publish the following orders
against the half-naked mode, imported by the French, at that time
followed by the women: "Many of my good fellow-soldiers and defenders
of their country have complained that the women of all ranks cover
their bosoms and arms too little, or with transparent dresses, and by
these means raise sinful desires highly displeasing to God and to all
piously-disposed persons. It is hoped that they will, by better
behavior, preserve themselves from the punishment of God, and, in case
of the contrary, must solely blame themselves should they find
themselves disagreeably covered. Andre Hofer, chief in command in the
Tyrol."]

[Footnote 16: During the pillage of the monastery of Seeben by the
French, a nun, in order to escape from their hands, cast herself from
the summit of the rock into the valley.]

[Footnote 17: Donay had devoted himself to the service of the church,
but having committed a theft, had been refused ordination. Napoleon
rewarded him for his treachery with ordination and the appointment of
chaplain in the _Santa Casa_ at Loretto.]

[Footnote 18: Four hours before his execution he wrote to his
brother-in-law, Pöhler, "My beloved, the hostess, is to have mass read
for my soul at St. Marin by the rosy-colored blood. She is to have
prayers read in both parishes, and is to let the sub-landlord give my
friends soup, meat, and half a bottle of wine each. The money I had
with me I have distributed to the poor; as for the rest, settle my
accounts with the people as justly as you can. All in the world adieu,
until we all meet in heaven eternally to praise God. Death appears to
me so easy that my eyes have not once been wet on that account.
Written at five o'clock in the morning, and at nine o'clock I set off
with the aid of all the saints on my journey to God."]



CCLVIII. Napoleon's Supremacy


Napoleon had, during the great war in Austria, during the intermediate
time between the battles of Aspern and Wagram, caused the person of
the pope, Pius VII., to be seized, and had incorporated the state of
the church with his Italian kingdom. The venerable pope, whose
energies were called forth by misfortune, astonished Christendom by
his bold opposition to the ruler over the destinies of Europe, before
whom he had formerly bent in humble submission, and for whose
coronation he had condescended to visit Paris in person. The
reestablishment of Catholicism in France by Napoleon had rendered the
pope deeply his debtor, but Napoleon's attempt to deprive him of all
temporal power, and to render him, as the first bishop of his realm,
subordinate to himself, called forth a sturdy opposition. Napoleon no
sooner spoke the language of Charlemagne than the pope responded in
the words of Gregory VII. and of Innocent IV.: "Time has produced no
change in the authority of the pope; now as ever does the pope reign
supreme over the emperors and kings of the earth." The diplomatic
dispute was carried on for some time, owing to Napoleon's expectation
of the final compliance of the pope.[1] But on his continued refusal
to submit, the peril with which Napoleon's Italian possessions were
threatened by the landing of a British force in Italy and by the war
with Austria, induced him, first of all, to throw a garrison into
Ancona, and afterward to take possession of Rome, and, as the pope
still continued obstinate, finally to seize his person, to carry him
off to France, and to annex the Roman territory to his great empire.
The anathema hurled by the pope upon Napoleon's head had at least the
effect of creating a warmer interest in behalf of the pontiff in the
hearts of the Catholic population and of increasing their secret
antipathy toward his antagonist.

In 1810, Napoleon annexed Holland and East Friesland "as alluvial
lands" to France. His brother Louis, who had vainly labored for the
welfare of Holland, selected a foreign residence and scornfully
refused to accept the pension settled upon him by Napoleon. The first
act of the new sovereign of Holland was the imposition of an income
tax of fifty per cent. Instruction in the French language was enforced
in all the schools, and all public proclamations and documents were
drawn up in both Dutch and French.[2] Holland was formed into two
departments, which were vexed by two prefects, the Conte de Celles and
Baron Staffart, Belgian renegades and blind tools of the French
despot, and was, moreover, harassed by the tyrannical and cruel
espionage, under Duvillieres, Duterrage, and Marivaux, which, in 1812,
occasioned several ineffectual attempts to throw off the yoke.[3] In
1811, Holland was also deprived of Batavia, her sole remaining colony,
by the British.

Lower Saxony, as far as the Baltic, the principalities of Oldenburg,
Salm, and Aremberg, the Hanse towns, Hamburg, Bremen, and Lubeck,
were, together with a portion of the kingdom of Westphalia, at the
same time also incorporated by Napoleon with France, under pretext of
putting a stop to the contraband trade carried on on those coasts,
more particularly from the island of Heligoland. He openly aimed at
converting the Germans, and they certainly discovered little
disinclination to the metamorphosis, into French. He pursued the same
policy toward the Italians, and, had he continued to reign, would have
followed a similar system toward the Poles. The subjection of the
whole of Italy, Germany, and Poland lay within his power, but, to the
nations inhabiting those countries he must, notwithstanding their
incorporation with his universal empire, have guaranteed the
maintenance of their integrity, a point he had resolved at all hazards
not to concede. He, consequently, preferred dividing these nations and
allowing one-half to be governed by princes inimical to him, but whose
power he despised. His sole dread was patriotism, the popular love of
liberty. Had he placed himself, as was possible in 1809, on the
imperial throne of Germany, the consequent unity of that empire must,
even under foreign sway, have endangered the ruler: he preferred
gradually to gallicize Germany as she had been formerly romanized by
her ancient conquerors. His intention to sever the Rhenish provinces
and Lower Saxony entirely from Germany was clear as day. They received
French laws, French governors, no German book was allowed to cross
their frontiers without previous permission from the police, and in
each department but one newspaper, and that subject to the revision of
the prefect, was allowed to be published.--In Hamburg, one Baumhauer
was arrested for an anti-gallic expression and thrown into the
subterranean dungeons of Magdeburg, where he pined to death. The same
tyranny was exercised even on the German territory belonging to the
Rhenish confederation. Becker, privy-councillor of the duke of Gotha,
was transported beyond the seas for having published a pamphlet
against France. Several authors were compelled to retire into Sweden
and Russia; several booksellers were arrested, numerous books were
confiscated. Not the most trifling publication was permitted within
the Rhenish confederated states that even remotely opposed the
interests of France. The whole of the princes of the Rhenish
confederation were, consequently, under the _surveillance_ of French
censors and of the literary spies of Germany in the pay of France.
Hormayr's Archives contain a pamphlet well worthy of perusal, in which
an account is given of all the arrests and persecutions that took
place on account of matters connected with the press.--Madame de Staël
was exiled for having spoken favorably of the German character in her
work "de l'Allemagne," and the work itself was suppressed; Napoleon,
on giving these orders, merely said, "Ce livre n'est pas Français,"

His treatment of Switzerland was equally unindulgent. The Valais,
which, although not forming part of Switzerland, still retained a sort
of nominal independence, was formally incorporated with France; the
canton of Tessin was, as arbitrarily, occupied by French troops, an
immense quantity of British goods was confiscated, the press was
placed under the strictest censorship, the _Erzähler_ of Muller-
Friedeberg, the only remaining Swiss newspaper of liberal tendency,
was suppressed, while Zschokke unweariedly lauded Napoleon to the
skies as the regenerator of the liberties of Switzerland and as the
savior of the world. A humble entreaty of the Swiss for mercy was
scornfully refused by Napoleon. Instead of listening to their
complaints, he reproached their envoys, who were headed by Reinhard of
Zurich, in the most violent terms, charged the Swiss with conspiracy,
and said that a certain Sydler had ventured to speak against him in
the federal diet, etc.; nor could his assumed anger be pacified save
by the instant dissolution of the federal diet, by the extension of
the levy of Swiss recruits for the service of France, and by the
threat of a terrible punishment to all Swiss who ventured to enter the
service of England and Spain. The Swiss merely bound their chains
still closer without receiving the slightest alleviation to their
sufferings. Reinhard wrote in 1811, the time of this ill-successful
attempt on the part of the Swiss, "a petty nation possesses no means
of procuring justice." Why then did the great German nation sever
itself into so many petty tribes?

The marriage of Napoleon on the 2d of April, 1810, with Maria Louisa,
the daughter of the emperor of Austria, surrounded his throne with
additional splendor. This marriage had a double object; that of
raising an heir to his broad empire, his first wife, Josephine
Beauharnais, whom he divorced, having brought him no children, and
that of legitimating his authority and of obliterating the stain of
low birth by intermingling his blood with that of the ancient race of
Habsburg. Strange as it must appear for the child of revolution to
deny the very principles to which he owed his being and to embrace the
aristocratic ideas of a bygone age, for the proud conqueror of all the
sovereigns of Europe anxiously to solicit their recognition of him as
their equal in birth, these apparent contradictions are easily
explained by the fact that men of liberal ideas were the objects of
Napoleon's greatest dread and hatred, and that he was consequently
driven to favor the ancient aristocracy, as he had formerly favored
the ancient church, and to use them as his tools. Young and rising
nations, not the ancient families of Europe, threatened his power, and
he therefore sought to confirm it by an alliance against the former
with the ancient dynasties.[4] The nuptials were solemnized with
extraordinary pomp at Paris. The conflagration of the Austrian
ambassador's, Prince von Schwarzenberg's, house during a splendid fete
given by him to the newly-wedded pair, and which caused the death of
several persons, among others, of the Princess Pauline Schwarzenberg,
the ambassador's sister-in-law, who rushed into the flaming building
to her daughter's rescue, clouded the festivities with ominous gloom.
In the ensuing year, 1811, the youthful empress gave birth to a
prince, Napoleon Francis, who was laid in a silver cradle, and
provisionally entitled "King of Rome," in notification of his future
destiny to succeed his father on the throne of the Roman empire.[5]

Austria offered a melancholy contrast to the magnificence of France.
Exhausted by her continual exertions for the maintenance of the war,
the state could no longer meet its obligations, and, on the 15th of
March, 1811, Count Wallis, the minister of finance, lowered the value
of one thousand and sixty millions of bank paper to two hundred and
twelve millions, and the interest upon the whole of the state debts to
half the new paper issue. This fearful state bankruptcy was
accompanied by the fall of innumerable private firms; trade was
completely at a standstill, and the contributions demanded by Napoleon
amounted to a sum almost impossible to realize. Prussia, especially,
suffered from the drain upon her resources. The beautiful and
high-souled queen, Louisa, destined not to see the day of vengeance
and of victory, died, in 1810, of a broken heart.[6]

While Germany lay thus exhausted and bleeding in her chains, Napoleon
and Alexander put the plans, agreed to between them at Erfurt, into
execution. Napoleon threw himself with redoubled violence on luckless
Spain, and the Russians invaded Sweden.

The Germans acted a prominent part in the bloody wars in the
Peninsula. Four Swiss regiments, that had at an earlier period been in
the Spanish service, and the German Legion, composed of Hanoverian
refugees to England, upheld the Spanish cause, while all sorts of
troops of the Rhenish confederation, those of Bavaria and Wurtemberg
excepted, several Dutch and four Swiss regiments, fought for Napoleon.

The troops of the Rhenish confederation formed two corps. The fate of
one of them has been described by Captain Rigel of Baden. The Baden
regiment was, in 1808, sent to Biscay and united under Lefebvre with
other contingents of the Rhenish confederation, for instance, with the
Nassauers under the gallant Von Schäfer, the Dutch under General
Chasse, the Hessians, the Primates (Frankforters), and Poles. As early
as October, they fought against the Spaniards at Zornoza, and at the
pillage of Portugalete first became acquainted with the barbarous
customs of this terrible civil war. The most implacable hatred,
merciless rage, the assassination of prisoners, plunder, destruction,
and incendiarism, equally distinguished both sides. The Germans
garrisoned Bilboa, gained some successes at Molinar and Valmaseda,
were afterward placed under the command of General Victor, who arrived
with a fresh army, were again victorious at Espinosa and Burgos,
formed a junction with Soult and finally with Napoleon, and, in
December, 1808, entered Madrid in triumph.--In January, 1809, the
German troops under Victor again advanced upon the Tagus, and, after a
desperate conflict, took the celebrated bridge of Almaraz by storm.
This was followed by the horrid sacking of the little town of Arenas,
during which a Nassauer named Hornung, not only, like a second Scipio,
generously released a beautiful girl who had fallen into his hands,
but sword in hand defended her from his fellow-soldiers. In the
following March, the Germans were again brought into action, at Mesa
de Ibor, where Schäfer's Nassauers drove the enemy from their
position, under a fearful fire, which cut down three hundred of their
number; and at Medelin, where they were again victorious and massacred
numbers of the armed Spanish peasantry. Four hundred prisoners were,
after the battle, shot by order of Marshal Victor. Among the wounded
on the field of battle there lay, side by side, Preusser, the
Nassauer, and a Spanish corporal, both of whom had severely suffered.
A dispute arose between them, in the midst of which they discovered
that they were brothers. One had entered the French, the other the
Spanish service.--A Dutch battalion under Storm de Grave, abandoned at
Merida to the vengeance of the enraged people, was furiously assailed,
but made a gallant defence and fought its way through the enemy.

In the commencement of 1809, Napoleon had again quitted Spain in order
to conduct the war on the Danube in person. His marshals, left by him
in different parts of the Peninsula, took Saragossa, drove the British
under Sir John Moore out of the country, and penetrated into Portugal,
but were ere long again attacked by a fresh English army under the
Duke of Wellington. This rendered the junction of the German troops
with the main body of the French army necessary, and they consequently
shared in the defeats of Talavera and Almoncid. Their losses, more
particularly in the latter engagement, were very considerable,
amounting in all to two thousand six hundred men; among others,
General Porbeck of Baden, an officer of noted talent, fell: five
hundred of their wounded were butchered after the battle by the
infuriated Spaniards. But Wellington suddenly stopped short in his
victorious career. It was in December, 1809, when the news of the
fresh peace concluded by Napoleon with Austria arrived. On the
Spaniards hazarding a fresh engagement, Wellington left them totally
unassisted, and, on the 19th of November, they suffered a dreadful
defeat at Ocasia, where they lost twenty-five thousand men. The
Rhenish confederated troops were, in reward for the gallantry
displayed by them on this occasion, charged with the transport of the
prisoners into France, and were exposed to the whole rigor of the
climate and to every sort of deprivation while the French withdrew
into winter quarters. The fatigues of this service greatly thinned
their ranks. The other German regiments were sent into the Sierra
Morena, where they were kept ever on the alert guarding that key to
Spain, while the French under Soult advanced as far as Cadiz, those
under Massena into Portugal; but Soult being unable to take Cadiz, and
Massena being forced by the Duke of Wellington to retire, the German
troops were also driven from their position, and, in 1812, withdrew to
Valencia, but, in the October of the same year, again advanced with
Soult upon Madrid.

The second corps of the Rhenish confederated troops was stationed in
Catalonia, where they were fully occupied. Their fate has been
described by two Saxon officers, Jacobs and Von Seebach. In the
commencement of 1809, Reding the Swiss, who had, in 1808, chiefly
contributed to the capture of the French army at Baylen, commanded the
whole of the Spanish forces in Catalonia, consisting of forty thousand
Spaniards and several thousand Swiss; but these guerilla troops,
almost invincible in petty warfare, were totally unable to stand in
open battle against the veterans of the French emperor, and Reding was
completely routed by St. Cyr at Taragona. In St. Cyr's army were eight
thousand Westphalians under General Morio, three thousand Berglanders,
fifteen hundred Wurzburgers, from eight to nine hundred men of
Schwarzburg, Lippe, Waldeck, and Reuss, all of whom were employed in
the wearisome siege of Gerona, which was defended by Don Alvarez, one
of Spain's greatest heroes. The popular enthusiasm was so intense that
even the women took up arms (in the company of St. Barbara) and aided
in the defence of the walls. The Germans, ever destined to head the
assault, suffered immense losses on each attempt to carry the place by
storm. In one attack alone, on the 3d of July, in which they met with
a severe repulse, they lost two thousand of their men. Their demand of
a truce for the purpose of carrying their wounded off the field of
battle was answered by a Spaniard, Colonel Blas das Furnas, "A quarter
of an hour hence not one of them will be alive!" and the whole of the
wounded men were, in fact, murdered in cold blood by the Spaniards.
During a second assault on the 19th of September, sixteen hundred of
their number and the gallant Colonel Neuff, an Alsatian, who had
served in Egypt, fell. Gerona was finally driven by famine to
capitulate, after a sacrifice of twelve thousand men, principally
Germans, before her walls. Of the eight thousand Westphalians but one
battalion remained. St. Cyr was, in 1810, replaced by Marshal
Augereau, but the troops were few in number and worn out with fatigue;
a large convoy was lost in an unlucky engagement, in which numbers of
the Germans deserted to the Spanish, and Augereau retired to
Barcelona, the metropolis of Catalonia, in order to await the arrival
of reinforcements, among which was a Nassau regiment, one of Anhalt,
and the identical Saxon corps that had so dreadfully suffered in the
Tyrol.[7] The Saxon and Nassau troops, two thousand two hundred
strong, under the command of General Schwarz, an Alsatian, advanced
from Barcelona toward the celebrated mountain of Montserrat, whose
hermitages, piled up one above another _en amphitheatre_, excite the
traveller's wonder. Close in its vicinity lay the city of Manresa, the
focus of the Catalonian insurrection. The German troops advanced in
close column, although surrounded by infuriated multitudes, by whom
every straggler was mercilessly butchered. The two regiments,
nevertheless, succeeded in making themselves masters of Manresa, where
they were instantly shut in, furiously assailed, and threatened with
momentary destruction. The Anhalt troops and a French corps,
despatched by Augereau to their relief, were repulsed with
considerable loss. Schwarz now boldly sallied forth, fought his way
through the Spaniards, and, after losing a thousand men, succeeded in
reaching Barcelona, but was shortly afterward, after assisting at the
taking of Hostalrich, surprised at La Bisbal and taken prisoner with
almost all the Saxon troops. The few that remained fell victims to
disease.[8] The fate of the prisoners was indeed melancholy. Several
thousand of them died on the Balearic Islands, chiefly on the island
of Cabrera, where, naked and houseless, they dug for themselves holes
in the sand and died in great numbers of starvation. They often also
fell victims to the fury of the inhabitants. The Swiss engaged in the
Spanish service, sometimes saved their lives at the hazard of their
own.

Opposed to them was the German Legion, composed of the brave
Hanoverians, who had preferred exile in Britain to submission to
Jerome, and had been sent in British men-of-war to Portugal, whence
they had, in conjunction with the troops of England and Spain,
penetrated, in 1808, into the interior of Spain.[9] At Benavente, they
made a furious charge upon the French and took their long-delayed
revenge. Linsingen's cavalry cut down all before them; arms were
severed at a blow, heads were split in two; one head was found cut in
two across from one ear to the other. A young Hanoverian soldier took
General Lefebvre prisoner, but allowed himself to be deprived of his
valuable captive by an Englishman.--The Hanoverians served first under
Sir John Moore. On the death of that commander at Corunna, the troops
under his command returned to England: a ship of the line, with two
Hanoverian battalions on board, was lost during the passage. The
German Legion afterward served under the Duke of Wellington, and
shared the dangers and the glory of the war in the Peninsula. "The
admirable accuracy and rapidity of the German artillery under Major
Hartmann greatly contributed to the victory of Talavera, and received
the personal encomiums of the Duke."

Langwerth's brigade gained equal glory. The German Legion was,
however, never in full force in Spain. A division was, in 1809, sent
to the island of Walcheren, but shared the ill-success attending all
the attempts made in the North Sea during Napoleon's reign. The
conquest and demolition of Vliessingen in August was the only result.
A pestilence broke out among the troops, and, on Napoleon's successes
in Austria, it was compelled to return to England. A third division,
consisting of several Hanoverian regiments, was sent to Sicily,
accompanied the expedition to Naples in 1809, and afterward guarded
the rocks of Sicily. The Hanoverians in Spain were also separated into
various divisions, each of which gained great distinction, more
particularly so, the corps of General Alten in the storming of
Ciudad-Rodrigo. In 1812, the Hanoverian cavalry broke three French
squares at Garcia Hernandez.

The Russians had, meanwhile, invaded Sweden. Gustavus Adolphus,
hitherto Russia's firmest ally, was suddenly and treacherously
attacked. General Buxhovden overran Finland, inciting the people, as
he advanced, to revolt against their lawful sovereign. But the brave
Finlanders stoutly resisted the attempted imposition of the yoke of
the barbarous Russ, and, although ill-supported by Sweden, performed
prodigies of valor. Gustavus Adolphus was devoid of military
knowledge, and watched, as if sunk in torpor, the ill-planned
operations of his generals. While the flower of the Swedish troops was
uselessly employed against Denmark and Norway, Finland was allowed to
fall into the grasp of Russia.[10] The Russians were already expected
to land in Sweden, when a conspiracy broke out among the nobility and
officers of the army, which terminated in the seizure of the king's
person and his deposition, March, 1809. His son, Gustavus Vasa, the
present ex-king of Sweden, was excluded from the succession, and his
uncle Charles, the imbecile and unworthy duke of Sudermania,[11] was
proclaimed king under the title of Charles XIII. He was put up as a
scarecrow by the conspirators. Gustavus Adolphus IV. had, at all
events, shown himself incapable of saving Sweden. But the conspirators
were no patriots, nor was their object the preservation of their
country; they were merely bribed traitors, weak and incapable as the
monarch they had dethroned. They were composed of a party among the
ancient nobility, impatient of the restrictions of a monarchy, and of
the younger officers in the army, who were filled with enthusiasm for
Napoleon. The rejoicings on the occasion of the abdication of Gustavus
Adolphus were heightened by the news of the victory gained by Napoleon
at Ratisbon, which, at the same time, reached Stockholm. The new and
wretched Swedish government instantly deferred everything to Napoleon
and humbly solicited his favor; but Napoleon, to whom the friendship
of Russia was, at that time, of higher importance than the submission
of a handful of intriguants in Sweden, received their homage with
marked coldness. Finland, shamefully abandoned in her hour of need,
was immediately ceded to Russia, in consideration of which, Napoleon
graciously restored Rugen and Swedish-Pomerania to Sweden. Charles
XIII. adopted, as his son and successor, Christian Augustus, prince of
Holstein-Augustenburg, who, falling dead off his horse at a
review,[12] the aged and childless monarch was compelled to make a
second choice, which fell upon the French general, Bernadotte, who
had, at one time, been a furious Jacobin and had afterward acted as
Napoleon's general and commandant in Swedish-Pomerania, where he had,
by his mildness, gained great popularity. The majority in Sweden
deemed him merely a creature of Napoleon, whose favor they hoped to
gain by this flattering choice; others, it may be, already beheld in
him Napoleon's future foe, and knew the value of the sagacity and
wisdom with which he was endowed, and of which the want was so deeply
felt in Sweden at a period when intrigue and cunning had succeeded to
violence. The Freemasons, with whom he had placed himself in close
communication, appear to have greatly influenced his election.[13] The
unfortunate king, Gustavus Adolphus, after being long kept a close
prisoner in the castle of Gripsholm, where his strong religious bias
had been strengthened by apparitions,[14] was permitted to retire into
Germany; he disdainfully refused to accept of a pension, separated
himself from his consort, a princess of Baden, and lived in proud
poverty, under the name of Colonel Gustavson, in Switzerland.--
Bernadotte, the newly adopted prince, took the title of Charles John,
crown prince of Sweden. Napoleon, who was in ignorance of this
intrigue, was taken by surprise, but, in the hope of Bernadotte's
continued fidelity, presented him with a million _en cadeau_;
Bernadotte had, however, been long jealous of Napoleon's fortune, and,
solely intent upon gaining the hearts of his future subjects, deceived
him and secretly permitted the British to trade with Sweden, although
publicly a party in the continental system.

This system was at this period enforced with exaggerated severity by
Napoleon. He not only prohibited the importation of all British goods,
but seized all already sent to the continent and condemned them to be
publicly burned. Millions evaporated in smoke, principally at
Amsterdam, Hamburg, Frankfort, and Leipzig. The wealthiest mercantile
establishments were made bankrupt.

In addition to the other blows at that time zealously bestowed upon
the dead German lion, the king of Denmark attempted to extirpate the
German language in Schleswig, but the edict to that effect, published
on the 19th of January, 1811, was frustrated by the courage of the
clergy, schoolmasters, and peasantry, who obstinately refused to learn
Danish.[15]


[Footnote 1: The pope, among other things, long refused his consent to
the second marriage of the king of Westphalia, although that prince's
first wife was merely a Protestant and an American citizen.]

[Footnote 2: Bilderdyk, whom the Dutch consider as their greatest
poet, was, nevertheless, at that time, Napoleon's basest flatterer,
and ever expressed a hypochondriacal and senseless antipathy to
Germany.]

[Footnote 3: At Amsterdam, in 1811; in the district around Leyden, in
1812. Insurrections of a similar character were suppressed in April,
1811, in the country around Liege; in December, 1812, at Aix-la-
Chapelle; the East Frieslanders also rebelled against the
conscription.]

[Footnote 4: It was during this year that Napoleon caused the seamless
coat of the Saviour, which had, during the Revolution, taken refuge at
Augsburg, to be borne in a magnificent procession to Treves and to be
exposed for eighteen days to public view. The pilgrims amounted to two
hundred and fifty thousand.--Hormayr, who had, during the foregoing
year, summoned the Tyrolese to arms against Napoleon, said in his
Annual for 1811, "By the marriage of the emperor Napoleon with Maria
Louisa, the Revolution may be considered as completely terminated and
peace durably settled throughout Europe."]

[Footnote 5: His birth was celebrated by numerous German poets and by
general public rejoicings, but with the basest adulation in
Switzerland. Meyer of Knonau relates, in his History of Switzerland,
that the king of Rome was at one of the festivals termed "the blessed
infant." Goethe's poem in praise of Napoleon appeared at this time.
The clergy also emulated each other in servility.]

[Footnote 6: At that time the noble-hearted poet, Seume, who had
formerly been a victim of native tyranny, died of sorrow and disgust
at the rule of the foreigner in Germany, at Toeplitz, 1810.]

[Footnote 7: This regiment was merely rewarded by Napoleon for its
gallantry with 15 gros (1s. 6-1/4d.) per man, in order to drink to his
health on his birthday.--_Von Seebach_.]

[Footnote 8: What the feeling among the Germans was is plainly shown
by the charge against General Beurmann for general ill-treatment of
his countrymen, whom he was accused of having allowed to perish in the
hospitals, in order to save the expense of their return home. Out of
seventy officers and two thousand four hundred and twenty-three
privates belonging to the Saxon regiment, but thirty-nine officers and
three hundred and nineteen privates returned to their native country.
Vide Jacob's Campaigns of the Gotha-Altenburgers and Von Seebach's
History of the Campaigns of the Saxony Infantry. Von Seebach, who was
taken prisoner on his return from Manresa, has given a particularly
detailed and graphic account of the campaign.]

[Footnote 9: Beamish has recounted their exploits in detail. The
"Recollections of a Legionary," Hanover, 1826, is also worthy of
perusal.]

[Footnote 10: The gallant acts of the Finlanders and the brutality of
the Russians are brought forward in Arndt's "Swedish Histories."]

[Footnote 11: When regent, on the death of Gustavus III., he had
spared his murderers and released those criminated in the conspiracy.
On the present occasion, he yielded in everything to the aristocracy,
and voted for the dethronement of his own house, which, as he had no
children, infallibly ensued on the exclusion of the youthful
Gustavus.]

[Footnote 12: An extremely suspicious accident, which gave rise to
many reports.]

[Footnote 13: Vide Posselt's Sixth Annual.]

[Footnote 14: This castle was haunted by the ghost of King Eric XIV.,
who had long pined here in close imprisonment, and who had once
before, during a sumptuous entertainment given by Gustavus Adolphus
IV. to his brother-in-law, the Margrave of Baden, struck the whole
court with terror by his shrieks and groans.]

[Footnote 15: Wimpfen, History of Schleswig.]



CCLIX. The Russian Campaign


An enormous comet that, during the whole of the hot summer of 1811,
hung threatening in the heavens, appeared as the harbinger of great
and important vicissitudes to the enslaved inhabitants of the earth,
and it was in truth by an act of Divine providence that a dispute
arose between the two giant powers intent upon the partition of
Europe.

Napoleon was over-reached by Russia, whose avarice, far from being
glutted by the possession of Finland, great part of Prussian and
Austrian Poland, Moldavia, and Wallachia, still craved for more, and
who built her hopes of Napoleon's compliance with her demands on his
value for her friendship. Belgrade was seized, Servia demanded, and
the whole of Turkey in Europe openly grasped at. Napoleon was,
however, little inclined to cede the Mediterranean to his Russian
ally, to whose empire he gave the Danube as a boundary. Russia next
demanded possession of the duchy of Warsaw, which was refused by
Napoleon. The Austrian marriage was meanwhile concluded. Napoleon,
prior to his demand for the hand of the archduchess Maria Louisa, had
sued for that of the grandduchess Anna, sister to the emperor
Alexander, who was then in her sixteenth year, but, being refused by
her mother, the empress Maria, a princess of Wurtemberg, and Alexander
delaying a decisive answer, he formed an alliance with the Habsburg.
This event naturally led Russia to conclude that she would no longer
be permitted to aggrandize herself at the expense of Austria, and
Alexander consequently assumed a threatening posture and condescended
to listen to the complaints, hitherto condemned to silence, of the
agricultural and mercantile classes. No Russian vessel durst venture
out to sea, and a Russian fleet had been seized by the British in the
harbors of Lisbon. At Riga lay immense stores of grain in want of a
foreign market. On the 31st of December, 1810, Alexander published a
fresh tariff permitting the importation of colonial products under a
neutral flag (several hundred English ships arrived under the American
flag), and prohibiting the importation of French manufactured goods.
Not many weeks previously, on the 13th of December, Napoleon had
annexed Oldenburg to France. The duke, Peter, was nearly related to
the emperor of Russia, and Napoleon, notwithstanding his declared
readiness to grant a compensation, refused to allow it to consist of
the grandduchy of Warsaw, and proposed a duchy of Erfurt, as yet
uncreated, which Russia scornfully rejected.

The alliance between Russia, Sweden, and England was now speedily
concluded. Sweden, who had vainly demanded from Napoleon the
possession of Norway and a large supply of money, assumed a tone of
indignation, threw open her harbors to the British merchantmen, and so
openly carried on a contraband trade in Pomerania that Napoleon, in
order to maintain the continental system, was constrained to garrison
Swedish-Pomerania and Rugen, and to disarm the Swedish inhabitants.
Bernadotte, upon this, ranged himself entirely on the side of his
opponents, without, however, coming to an open rupture, for which he
awaited a declaration on the part of Russia. The expressions made use
of by Napoleon on the birth of the king of Rome at length filled up
the measure of provocation. Intoxicated with success, he boasted, in
an address to the mercantile classes, that he would in despite of
Russia maintain the continental system, for he was lord over the whole
of continental Europe; that if Alexander had not concluded a treaty
with him at Tilsit he would have compelled him to do so at
Petersburg.--The pride of the haughty Russian was deeply wounded, and
a rupture was nigh at hand.

Two secret systems were at this period undermining each other in
Prussia, that of the _Tugendbund_ founded by Stein and Scharnhorst,
whose object being the liberation of Germany at all hazards from the
yoke of Napoleon, consequently, favored Russia, and that of
Hardenberg, which aimed at a close union with France. Hardenberg,
whose position as chancellor of state gave him the upper hand, had
compromised Prussia by the servility with which he sued for an
alliance long scornfully refused and at length conceded on the most
humiliating terms by Napoleon.[1]

Russia had, meanwhile, made preparations for a war unanticipated by
Napoleon. As early as 1811, a great Russian army stood ready for the
invasion of Poland, and might, as there were at that time but few
French troops in Germany, easily have advanced as far as the Elbe. It
remained, nevertheless, in a state of inactivity.[2] Napoleon
instantly prepared for war and fortified Dantzig. His continual
proposals of peace, ever unsatisfactory to the ambition of the czar,
remaining at length unanswered, he declared war. The Rhenish
confederation followed as usual in his train, and Austria, from an
interested motive, the hope of regaining in the East by Napoleon's
assistance all she had lost by opposing him in the West, or that of
regaining her station as the third European power when the resources
of the two ruling powers, whose coalition had threatened her
existence, had been exhausted by war. Prussia also followed the eagles
of Napoleon: the Hardenberg party, with a view of conciliating him,
and, like the Rhenish confederation, from motives of gain: the
_Tugendbund_, which predominated in the army, with silent but
implacable hate.

In the spring of 1812, Napoleon, after leaving a sufficient force to
prosecute the war with activity in Spain and to guard France, Italy,
and Germany,[3] led half a million men to the Russian frontiers.
Before taking the field, he convoked all the princes of Germany to
Dresden, where he treated them with such extreme insolence as even to
revolt his most favored and warmest partisans. Tears were seen to
start in ladies' eyes, while men bit their lips with rage at the petty
humiliations and affronts heaped on them by their powerful but
momentary lord. The empress of Austria[4] and the king of Prussia[5]
appear, on this occasion, to have felt this most acutely.

For the first time--an event unknown in the history of the world--the
whole of Germany was reduced to submission. Napoleon, greater than
conquering Attila, who took the field at the head of one-half of
Germany against the other, dragged the whole of Germany in his train.
The army led by him to the steppes of Russia was principally composed
of German troops, who were so skilfully mixed up with the French as
not to be themselves aware of their numerical superiority. The right
wing, composed of thirty thousand Austrians under Schwarzenberg, was
destined for the invasion of Volhynia; while the left wing, consisting
of twenty thousand Prussians under York and several thousand French,
under the command of Marshal Macdonald, was ordered to advance upon
the coasts of the Baltic and without loss of time to besiege Riga. The
centre or main body consisted of the troops of the Rhenish
confederation, more or less mixed up with French; of thirty-eight
thousand Bavarians under Wrede and commanded by St. Cyr; of sixteen
thousand Wurtembergers under Scheeler, over whom Marshal Ney was
allotted the chief command; single regiments, principally cavalry,
were drawn off in order more thoroughly to intermix the Germans with
the French; of seventeen thousand Saxons under Reynier; of eighteen
thousand Westphalians under Vandamme; also of Hessians, Badeners,
Frankforters, Wurzburgers, Nassauers, in short, of contingents
furnished by each of the confederated states. The Swiss were mostly
concentrated under Oudinot. The Dutch, Hanseatic, Flemish, in fine,
all the Germans on the left bank of the Rhine, were at that time
crammed among the French troops. Upward of two hundred thousand
Germans, at the lowest computation, marched against Russia, a number
far superior to that of the French in the army, the remainder of which
was made up by several thousand Italians, Portuguese, and Spaniards,
who had been pressed into the service.[6]

The Prussians found themselves in the most degraded position. Their
army, weak as it was in numbers, was placed under the command of a
French general. The Prussian fortresses, with the exception of
Colberg, Graudenz, Schweidnitz, Neisse, and Glatz, were already
garrisoned with French troops, or, like Pillau near Koenigsberg, newly
occupied by them. In Berlin, the French had unlimited sway. Marshal
Augereau was stationed with sixty thousand men in Northern Germany for
the purpose of keeping that part of the country, and more particularly
Prussia, in check to Napoleon's rear; the Danish forces also stood in
readiness to support him in case of necessity. Napoleon's entire army
moreover marched through Prussia and completely drained that country
of its last resources. Napoleon deemed it unnecessary to take measures
equal in severity toward Austria, where the favor of the court seemed
to be secured by his marriage, and the allegiance of the army by the
presence of Schwarzenberg, who neither rejected nor returned his
confidence. A rich compensation was, by a secret compact, secured to
Austria in case the cession of Galicia should be necessitated by the
expected restoration of the kingdom of Poland, with which Napoleon had
long flattered the Poles, who, misled by his promises, served him with
the greatest enthusiasm. But, notwithstanding the removal of the only
obstacle, the jealousy of Austria in regard to Galicia, by this secret
compact, his promises remained unfulfilled, and he took possession of
the whole of Poland without restoring her ancient independence. The
petitions addressed to him on this subject by the Poles received
dubious replies, and he pursued toward his unfortunate dupes his
ancient system of dismembering and intermingling nations, of
tolerating no national unity. Napoleon's principal motive, however,
was his expectation of compelling the emperor by a well-aimed blow to
conclude peace, and of forming with him an alliance upon still more
favorable terms against the rest of the European powers. The
friendship of Russia was of far more import to him than all the
enthusiasm of the Poles.

The deep conviction harbored by Napoleon of his irresistible power led
him to repay every service and to regard every antagonist with
contempt. Confident of victory, he deviated from the strict military
discipline he had at one time enforced and of which he had given an
example in his own person, dragged in his train a multitude of useless
attendants fitted but for pomp and luxury, permitted his marshals and
generals to do the same, and an incredible number of private
carriages, servants, women, etc., to follow in the rear of the army,
to hamper its movements, create confusion, and aid in consuming the
army stores, which being, moreover, merely provided for a short
campaign, speedily became insufficient for the maintenance of the
enormous mass. Even in Eastern Prussia, numbers of the soldiery were
constrained by want to plunder the villages.--On the 24th of June,
1812, Napoleon crossed the Niemen, the Russian frontier, not far from
Kowno. The season was already too far advanced. It may be that,
deceived by the mildness of the winter of 1806 to 1807, he imagined it
possible to protract the campaign without peril to himself until the
winter months. No enemy appeared to oppose his progress. Barclay de
Tolly,[7] the Russian commander-in-chief, pursued the system followed
by the Scythians against Darius, and, perpetually retiring before the
enemy, gradually drew him deep into the dreary and deserted steppes.
This plan originated with Scharnhorst, by whom General Lieven was
advised not to hazard an engagement until the winter, and to turn a
deaf ear to every proposal of peace.[8] General Lieven, on reaching
Barclay's headquarters, took Colonel Toll, a German, Barclay's right
hand, and Lieutenant-Colonel Clausewitz, also a German, afterward
noted for his strategical works, into his confidence. General Pfull,
another German, at that time high in the emperor's confidence, and
almost all the Russian generals opposed Scharnhorst's plan and
continued to advance with a view of giving battle; but, on Napoleon's
appearance at the head of an army greatly their superior in number
before the Russians had been able to concentrate their forces, they
were naturally compelled to retire before him, and, on the prevention,
for some weeks, of the junction of a newly-levied Russian army under
Prince Bragation with the forces under Barclay, owing to the rapidity
of Napoleon's advance, Scharnhorst's plan was adopted as the only one
feasible.

Napoleon, in the hope of overtaking the Russians and of compelling
them to give battle, pushed onward by forced marches; the supplies
were unable to follow, and numbers of the men and horses sank from
exhaustion owing to over-fatigue, heat, and hunger.[9] On the arrival
of Napoleon in Witebst, of Schwarzenberg in Volhynia, of the Prussians
before Riga, the army might have halted, reconquered Poland have been
organized, the men put into winter quarters, the army have again taken
the field early in the spring, and the conquest of Russia have been
slowly but surely completed. But Napoleon had resolved upon
terminating the war in one rapid campaign, upon defeating the
Russians, seizing their metropolis, and dictating terms of peace, and
incessantly pursued his retreating opponent, whose footsteps were
marked by the flames of the cities and villages and by the devastated
country to their rear. The first serious opposition was made at
Smolensko,[10] whence the Russians, however, speedily retreated after
setting the city on fire. On the same day, the Bavarians, who had
diverged to one side during their advance, had a furious encounter--in
which General Deroy, formerly distinguished for his services in the
Tyrol, was killed--at Poloczk with a body of Russian troops under
Wittgenstein. The Bavarians remained stationary in this part of the
country for the purpose of watching the movements of that general,
while Napoleon, careless of the peril with which he was threatened by
the approach of winter and by the multitude of enemies gathering to
his rear, advanced with the main body of the grand army from Smolensko
across the wasted country upon Moscow, the ancient metropolis of the
Russian empire.

Russia, at that time engaged in a war with Turkey, whose frontiers
were watched by an immense army under Kutusow, used her utmost
efforts, in which she was aided by England, to conciliate the Porte in
order to turn the whole of her forces against Napoleon. By a
master-stroke of political intrigue,[11] the Porte, besides concluding
peace at Bucharest on the 28th of May, ceded the province of
Bessarabia (not Moldavia and Wallachia) to Russia. A Russian army
under Tschitschakow was now enabled to drive the Austrians out of
Volhynia, while a considerable force under Kutusow joined Barclay. Had
the Russians at this time hazarded an engagement, their defeat was
certain. Moscow could not have been saved. Barclay consequently
resolved not to come to an engagement, but to husband his forces and
to attack the French during the winter. The intended surrender of
Moscow without a blow was, nevertheless, deeply resented as a national
disgrace; the army and the people[12] raised a clamor, the venerable
Kutusow was nominated commander-in-chief, and, taking up a position on
the little river Moskwa near Borodino, about two days' journey from
Moscow, a bloody engagement took place there on the 7th of September,
in which Napoleon, in order to spare his guards, neglected to follow
up his advantage with his usual energy and allowed the defeated
Russians, whom he might have totally annihilated, to escape. Napoleon
triumphed; but at what a price! After a fearful struggle, in which he
lost forty thousand men in killed and wounded,[13] the latter of whom
perished almost to a man, owing to want and neglect.[14]

Moscow was now both defenceless and void of inhabitants. Napoleon
traversed this enormous city, containing two hundred and ninety-five
churches and fifteen hundred palaces rising from amid a sea of
inferior dwellings, and took possession of the residence of the czars,
the 14th of November, 1812. The whole city was, however, deserted, and
scarcely had the French army taken up its quarters in it than flames
burst from the empty and closely shut-up houses, and, ere long, the
whole of the immense city became a sea of fire and was reduced, before
Napoleon's eyes, to ashes. Every attempt to extinguish the flames
proved unavailing. Rostopchin, the commandant of Moscow, had,
previously to his retreat, put combustible materials, which were
ignited on the entrance of the French by men secreted for that
purpose, into the houses.[15] A violent wind aided the work of
destruction. The patriotic sacrifice was performed, nor failed in its
object. Napoleon, instead of peace and plenty, merely found ashes in
Moscow.

Instead of pursuing the defeated Russians to Kaluga, where, in
pursuance of Toll's first laid-down plan, they took up a position
close upon the flank of the French and threatened to impede their
retreat; instead of taking up his winter quarters in the fertile South
or of quickly turning and fixing himself in Lithuania in order to
collect reinforcements for the ensuing year, Napoleon remained in a
state of inaction at Moscow until the 19th of October, in expectation
of proposals of peace from Alexander. The terms of peace offered by
him on his part to the Russians did not even elicit a reply. His
cavalry, already reduced to a great state of exhaustion, were, in the
beginning of October, surprised before the city of Tarutino and
repulsed with considerable loss. This at length decided Napoleon upon
marching upon Kaluga, but the moment for success had already passed.
The reinforced and inspirited Russians made such a desperate
resistance at Malo-Jaroslawez that he resolved to retire by the
nearest route, that by which he had penetrated up the country, marked
by ashes and pestilential corpses, into Lithuania. Winter had not yet
set in, and his ranks were already thinned by famine.[16] Kutusow,
with the main body of the Russian army, pursued the retreating French
and again overtook them at Wiazma, the 3d November. Napoleon's hopes
now rested on the separate _corps d'armée_ left to his rear on his
advance upon Moscow, but they were, notwithstanding the defeat of
Wittgenstein's corps by the Bavarians under Wrede, kept in check by
fresh Russian armies and exposed to all the horrors of winter.[17] In
Volhynia, Schwarzenberg had zealously endeavored to spare his
troops,[18] and had, by his retreat toward the grandduchy of Warsaw,
left Tschitschakow at liberty to turn his arms against Napoleon,
against whom Wittgenstein also advanced in the design of blocking up
his route, while Kutusow incessantly assailed his flank and rear. On
the 6th of November, the frost suddenly set in. The horses died by
thousands in a single night; the greater part of the cavalry was
consequently dismounted, and it was found necessary to abandon part of
the booty and artillery. A deep snow shortly afterward fell and
obstructed the path of the fugitive army. The frost became more and
more rigorous; but few of the men had sufficient strength left to
continue to carry their arms and to cover the flight of the rest. Most
of the soldiers threw away their arms and merely endeavored to
preserve life. Napoleon's grand army was scattered over the boundless
snow-covered steppes, whose dreary monotony was solely broken by some
desolate half-burned village. Gaunt forms of famine, wan, hollow-eyed,
wrapped in strange garments of misery, skins, women's clothes, etc.,
and with long-grown beards, dragged their faint and weary limbs along,
fought for a dead horse whose flesh was greedily torn from the
carcass, murdered each other for a morsel of bread, and fell one after
the other in the deep snow, never again to rise. Bones of frozen
corpses lay each morn around the dead ashes of the night fires.[19]
Numbers were seen to spring, with a horrid cry of mad exultation, into
the flaming houses. Numbers fell into the hands of the Russian boors,
who stripped them naked and chased them through the snow. Smolensko
was at length reached, but the loss of the greater part of the cannon,
the want of ammunition and provisions, rendered their stay in that
deserted and half-consumed city impossible. The flight was continued,
the Russians incessantly pursuing and harassing the worn-out troops,
whose retreat was covered by Ney with all the men still under arms.
Cut off at Smolensko, he escaped almost by miracle, by creeping during
the night along the banks of the Dnieper and successively repulsing
the several Russian corps that threw themselves in his way.[20] A thaw
now took place, and the Beresina, which it was necessary to cross, was
full of drift-ice, its banks were slippery and impassable, and
moreover commanded by Tschitschakow's artillery, while the roar of
cannon to the rear announced Wittgenstein's approach. Kutusow had this
time failed to advance with sufficient rapidity, and Napoleon, the
river to his front and enclosed between the Russian armies, owed his
escape to the most extraordinary good luck. The _corps d'armée_ under
Oudinot and Victor, that had been left behind on his advance upon
Moscow, came at the moment of need with fresh troops to his aid.
Tschitschakow quitted the bank at the spot where Napoleon intended to
make the passage of the Beresina under an idea of the attempt being
made at another point. Napoleon instantly threw two bridges across the
stream, and all the able-bodied men crossed in safety. At the moment
when the bridges, that had several times given way, were choked up by
the countless throng bringing up the rear, Wittgenstein appeared and
directed his heavy artillery upon the motionless and unarmed crowd.
Some regiments, forming the rearguard, fell, together with all still
remaining on the other side of the river, into the hands of the
Russians.

The fugitive army was, after this fearful day, relieved, but the
temperature again fell to twenty-seven degrees below zero, and the
stoutest hearts and frames sank. On the 5th of December, Napoleon,
placing himself in a sledge, hurried in advance of his army, nay,
preceded the news of his disaster, in order at all events to insure
his personal safety and to pass through Germany before measures could
be taken for his capture.[21] His fugitive army shortly afterward
reached Wilna, but was too exhausted to maintain that position.
Enormous magazines, several prisoners, and the rest of the booty,
besides six million francs in silver money, fell here into the hands
of the Russians. Part of the fugitives escaped to Dantzig, but few
crossed the Oder; the Saxons under Reynier were routed and dispersed
in a last engagement at Calisch; Poniatowsky and the Poles retired to
Cracow on the Austrian frontier, as it were, protected by
Schwarzenberg, who remained unassailed by the Russians, and whose
neutrality was, not long afterward, formally recognized.

The Prussians, who had been, meanwhile, occupied with the unsuccessful
siege of Riga, and who, like the Austrians, had comparatively
husbanded their strength,[22] were now the only hope of the fugitive
French. The troops under Macdonald, accordingly, received orders to
cover the retreat of the grand army, but York, instead of obeying,
concluded a neutral treaty with the Russians commanded by Diebitsch of
Silesia and remained stationary in Eastern Prussia. The king of
Prussia, at that time still at Berlin and in the power of the French,
publicly[23] disapproved of the step taken by his general,[24] who
was, on the evacuation of Berlin by the French, as publicly rewarded.

The immense army of the conqueror of the world was totally
annihilated. Of those who entered Moscow scarcely twenty thousand, of
the half million of men who crossed the Russian frontier but eighty
thousand, returned.


[Footnote 1: Vide Bignon.]

[Footnote 2: From a letter of Count Minister in Hormayr's Sketches of
Life, it appears that Russia still cherished the hope of great
concessions being made by Napoleon in order to avoid war and was
therefore still reserved in her relations with England and the
Prussian patriots.]

[Footnote 3: French troops garrisoned German fortresses and
perpetually passed along the principal roads, which were for that
purpose essentially improved by Napoleon. In 1810, a great part of the
town of Eisenach was destroyed by the bursting of some French
powder-carts that were carelessly brought through, and by which great
numbers of people were killed.]

[Footnote 4: Who was far surpassed in splendor by her stepdaughter of
France.]

[Footnote 5: Segur relates that he was received politely but with
distant coolness by Napoleon. There is said to have been question
between them concerning the marriage of the crown prince of Prussia
with one of Napoleon's nieces, and of an incorporation of the still
unconquered Russian provinces on the Baltic, Livonia, Courland, and
Esthonia, with Prussia. All was, however, empty show. Napoleon hoped
by the rapidity of his successes to constrain the emperor of Russia to
conclude not only peace, but a still closer alliance with France, in
which case it was as far from his intention to concede the
above-mentioned provinces to Prussia as to emancipate the Poles.]

[Footnote 6: Napoleon said at that time to a Russian, "Si vous perdez
cinq Russes, ne perds qu un Francais et quatre cochons."]

[Footnote 7: This general, on the opening of the war, published a
proclamation to the Germans, summoning them to throw off the yoke of
Napoleon.--_Allgemeine Zeitung, No. 327_. Napoleon replied with, "Whom
are you addressing? There are no Germans, there are only Austrians,
Prussians, Bavarians, etc."--_All. Zeitung, No. 228._]

[Footnote 8: Vide Clausewitz's Works.]

[Footnote 9: At each encampment the men were left in such numbers in
hastily erected hospitals that, of thirty-eight thousand Bavarians,
for instance, but ten thousand, of sixteen thousand Würtembergers, but
thirteen hundred, reached Smolensko.]

[Footnote 10: The Würtembergers distinguished themselves here by
storming the faubourgs and the bridges across the Dnieper.]

[Footnote 11: The Greek prince, Moruzi, who at that time conducted
Turkish diplomacy, accepted a bribe, and concluded peace in the
expectation of becoming Prince of Moldavia and Wallachia. Sultan
Mahmud refusing to ratify this disgraceful treaty, gold was showered
upon the Turkish army, which suddenly dispersed, and the deserted
sultan was compelled to yield. Moruzi was deprived of his head, but
the Russians had gained their object. It must, moreover, be considered
that Napoleon was regarded with distrust by the Porte, against which
he had fought in Egypt, which he had afterward enticed into a war with
Russia, and had, by the alliance formed at Erfurt with that power,
abandoned.]

[Footnote 12: Colonel Toll was insulted during the discussion by
Prince Bragation for the firmness with which he upheld Scharnhorst's
plan, and avoided hazarding a useless engagement. Prince Bragation was
killed in the battle.]

[Footnote 13: A Russian redoubt, the key of the field of battle, was
taken and again lost. A Würtemberg regiment instantly pushed through
the fugitive French, retook the redoubt and retained possession of it.
It also, on this occasion, saved the life of the king of Naples and
delivered him out of the hands of the Russians, who had already taken
him prisoner.--_Ten Campaigns of the Wurtembergers._]

[Footnote 14: Everything was wanting, lint, linen, even necessary
food. The wounded men lay for days and weeks under the open sky and
fed upon the carcasses of horses.]

[Footnote 15: This combustible matter had been prepared by Schmid, the
Dutchman, under pretext of preparing an enormous balloon from which
fire was to be scattered upon the French army.]

[Footnote 16: As early as the 2d of November the remainder of the
Würtembergers tore off their colors and concealed them in their
knapsacks.--_Roos's Memorabilia of 1812._]

[Footnote 17: On the 18th of October, the Bavarians, who were
intermixed with Swiss, performed prodigies of valor, but were so
reduced by sufferings of every description as to be unable to maintain
Poloczk. Segur says in his History of the War that St. Cyr left
Wrede's gallant conduct unmentioned in the military despatches, and
that when, on St. Cyr's being disabled by his wounds, Wrede applied
for the chief command, which naturally reverted to him, the army being
almost entirely composed of Bavarians, Napoleon refused his request.
Völderndorf says in his Bavarian Campaigns that St. Cyr faithlessly
abandoned the Bavarians in their utmost extremity, and when all peril
was over returned to Poland in order to retake the command. During the
retreat from Poloczk he had ordered the bridges to be pulled down,
leaving on the other side a Bavarian park of artillery with the army
chest and two-and-twenty ensigns, which for better security had been
packed upon a carriage. The whole of these trophies fell, owing to St.
Cyr's negligence or ill-will, into the hands of the Russians. "The
Bavarians with difficulty concealed their antipathy toward the
French." On St. Cyr's flight, Wrede kept the remainder of the
Bavarians together, covered Napoleon's retreat, and, in conjunction
with the Westphalians and Hessians, stood another encounter with the
Russians at Wilna. Misery and want at length scattered his forces; he,
nevertheless, reassembled them in Poland and was able to place four
thousand men, on St. Cyr's return, under his command. He returned home
to Bavaria sick. Of these four thousand Bavarians but one thousand and
fifty were led by Count Rechberg back to their native soil. A great
number of Bavarians, however, remained under General Zoller to
garrison Thorn, and about fifteen hundred of them returned home.--At
the passage of the Beresina, the Würtembergers had still about eighty
men under arms, and in Poland about three hundred assembled, the only
ones who returned free. Some were afterward liberated from
imprisonment in Russia.]

[Footnote 18: This was Austria's natural policy. In the French
despatches, Schwarzenberg was charged with having allowed
Tschitschakow to escape in order to pursue the inconsiderable force
under Sacken.]

[Footnote 19: The following anecdote is related of the Hessians
commanded by Prince Emilius of Darmstadt. The prince had fallen asleep
in the snow, and four Hessian dragoons, in order to screen him from
the north wind, held their cloaks as a wall around him and were found
next morning in the same position--frozen to death. Dead bodies were
seen frozen into the most extraordinary positions, gnawing their own
hands, gnawing the torn corpses of their comrades. The dead were often
covered with snow, and the number of little heaps lying around alone
told that of the victims of a single night.]

[Footnote 20: Napoleon said, "There are two hundred millions lying in
the cellars of the Tuileries; how willingly would I give them to save
Ney!"]

[Footnote 21: He passed with extreme rapidity, incognito, through
Germany. In Dresden he had a short interview with the king of Saxony,
who, had he shut him up in Königstein, would have saved Europe a good
deal of trouble.--Napoleon no sooner reached Paris in safety than, in
his twenty-ninth bulletin, he, for the first time, acquainted the
astonished world, hitherto deceived by his false accounts of victory,
with the disastrous termination of the campaign. This bulletin was
also replete with falsehood and insolence. In his contempt of humanity
he even said, "Merely the cowards in the army were depressed in spirit
and dreamed of misfortune, the brave were ever cheerful." Thus wrote
the man who had both seen and caused all this immeasurable misery! The
bulletin concluded with, "His Imperial Majesty never enjoyed better
health."]

[Footnote 22: In the French despatches, General Hünerbein was accused
of not having pursued the Russians under General Lewis.]

[Footnote 23: The secret history of those days is still not
sufficiently brought to light. Bagnon speaks of fresh treaties between
Hardenberg and Napoleon, in which he is corroborated by Fain. These
two Frenchmen, the former of whom was a diplomatist, the other one of
Napoleon's private secretaries, admit that Prussia's object at that
time was to take advantage of Napoleon's embarrassment and to offer
him aid on certain important considerations. Prussian historians are
silent in this matter. In Von Rauschnik's biographical account of
Blücher, the great internal schism at that time caused in Prussia by
the Hardenberg party and that of the _Tugendbund_ is merely slightly
hinted at; the former still managed diplomatic affairs, while York, a
member of the latter, had already acted on his own responsibility.
Shortly afterward affairs took a different aspect, as if Hardenberg's
diplomacy had merely been a mask, and he placed himself at the head of
the movement against France. In a memorial of 1811, given by Hormayr
in the Sketches from the War of Liberation, Hardenberg declared
decisively in favor of the alliance with Russia against France.]

[Footnote 24: Hans Louis David von York, a native of Pomerania, having
ventured, when a lieutenant in the Prussian service, indignantly to
blame the base conduct of one of his superiors in command, became
implicated in a duel, was confined in a fortress, abandoned his
country, entered the Dutch service, visited the Cape and Ceylon,
fought against the Mahrattas, was wounded, returned home and
re-entered the Prussian service in 1794.]



CCLX. The Spring of 1813


The king of Prussia had suddenly abandoned Berlin, which was still in
the hands of the French, for Breslau, whence he declared war against
France. A conference also took place between him and the emperor
Alexander at Calisch, and, on the 28th of February, 1813, an offensive
and defensive alliance was concluded between them. The hour for
vengeance had at length arrived. The whole Prussian nation, eager to
throw off the hated yoke of the foreigner, to obliterate their
disgrace in 1806, to regain their ancient name, cheerfully hastened to
place their lives and property at the service of the impoverished
government. The whole of the able-bodied population was put under
arms. The standing army was increased: to each regiment were appended
troops of volunteers, _Joegers_, composed of young men belonging to
the higher classes, who furnished their own equipments: a numerous
_Landwehr_, a sort of militia, was, as in Austria, raised besides the
standing army, and measures were even taken to call out, in case of
necessity, the heads of families and elderly men remaining at home,
under the name of the _Landsturm_.[1] The enthusiastic people, besides
furnishing the customary supplies and paying the taxes, contributed to
the full extent of their means toward defraying the immense expense of
this general arming. Every heart throbbed high with pride and hope.
Who would not wish to have lived at such a period, when man's noblest
and highest energies were thus called forth! More loudly than even in
1809 in Austria was the German cause now discussed, the great name of
the German empire now invoked in Prussia, for in that name alone could
all the races of Germany be united against their hereditary foe. The
following celebrated proclamation, promising external and internal
liberty to Germany, was, with this view, published at Calisch, by
Prussia and Russia, on the 25th of March, 1813. It was signed by
Prince Kutusow and drawn up by Baron Rehdiger of Silesia.

"The victorious troops of Russia, together with those of his Majesty
the king of Prussia, having set foot on German soil, the emperor of
Russia and his Majesty the king of Prussia announce simultaneously the
return of liberty and independence to the princes and nations of
Germany. They come with the sole and sacred purpose of aiding them to
regain the hereditary and inalienable national rights of which they
have been deprived, to afford potent protection and to secure
durability to a newly-restored empire. This great object, free from
every interested motive and therefore alone worthy of their Majesties,
has solely induced the advance and solely guides the movements of
their armies.--These armies, led by generals under the eyes of both
monarchs, trust in an omnipotent, just God, and hope to free the whole
world and Germany irrevocably from the disgraceful yoke they have so
gloriously thrown off. They press forward animated by enthusiasm.
Their watchword is 'Honor and Liberty.' May every German, desirous of
proving himself worthy of the name, speedily and spiritedly join their
ranks. May every individual, whether prince, noble, or citizen, aid
the plans of liberation, formed by Russia and Prussia, with heart and
soul, with person and property, to the last drop of his blood!--The
expectation cherished by their Majesties of meeting with these
sentiments, this zeal, in every German heart, they deem warranted by
the spirit so clearly betokened by the victories gained by Russia over
the enslaver of the world.--They therefore demand faithful
cooperation, more especially from every German prince, and willingly
presuppose that none among them will be found, who, by being and
remaining apostate to the German cause, will prove himself deserving
of annihilation by the power of public opinion and of just arms. The
Rhenish alliance, that deceitful chain lately cast by the breeder of
universal discord around ruined Germany to the destruction of her
ancient name, can, as the effect of foreign tyranny and the tool of
foreign influence, be no longer tolerated. Their Majesties believe
that the declaration of the dissolution of this alliance being their
fixed intention will meet the long-harbored and universal desire with
difficulty retained within the sorrowing hearts of the people.--The
relation in which it is the intention of his Majesty, the emperor of
all the Russias, to stand toward Germany and toward her constitution
is, at the same time, here declared. From his desire to see the
influence of the foreigner destroyed, it can be no other than that of
placing a protecting hand on a work whose form is committed to the
free, unbiased will of the princes and people of Germany. The more
closely this work, in principle, features and outline, coincides with
the once distinct character of the German nation, the more surely will
united Germany retake her place with renovated and redoubled vigor
among the empires of Europe.--His Majesty and his ally, between whom
there reigns a perfect accordance in the sentiments and views hereby
explained, are at all times ready to exert their utmost power in
pursuance of their sacred aim, the liberation of Germany from a
foreign yoke.--May France, strong and beauteous in herself,
henceforward seek to consolidate her internal prosperity! No external
power will disturb her internal peace, no enemy will encroach upon her
rightful frontiers.--But may France also learn that the other powers
of Europe aspire to the attainment of durable repose for their
subjects, and will not lay down their arms until the independence of
every state in Europe shall have been firmly secured."

Nor was the appeal vain. It found an echo in every German heart, and
such plain demonstrations of the state of the popular feeling on this
side the Rhine were made that Davoust sent serious warning to
Napoleon, who contemptuously replied, "Pah! Germans never can become
Spaniards!" With his customary rapidity, he levied in France a fresh
army three hundred thousand strong, with which he so completely awed
the Rhenish confederation as to compel it once more to take the field
with thousands of Germans against their brother Germans. The troops,
however, reluctantly obeyed, and even the traitors were but lukewarm,
for they doubted of success. Mecklenburg alone sided with Prussia.
Austria remained neutral.

A Russian corps under General Tettenborn had preceded the rest of the
troops and reached the coasts of the Baltic. As early as the 24th of
March, 1813, it appeared in Hamburg and expelled the French
authorities from the city. The heavily oppressed people of Hamburg,[2]
whose commerce had been totally annihilated by the continental system,
gave way to the utmost demonstrations of delight, received their
deliverers with open arms, revived their ancient rights, and
immediately raised a Hanseatic corps, destined to take the field
against Napoleon. Dornberg, the ancient foe to France, with another
flying squadron took the French division under Morand prisoner, and
the Prussian, Major Hellwig (the same who, in 1806, liberated the
garrison of Erfurt), dispersed, with merely one hundred and twenty
hussars, a Bavarian regiment one thousand three hundred strong and
captured five pieces of artillery. In January, the peasantry of the
upper country had already revolted against the conscription,[3] and,
in February, patriotic proclamations had been disseminated throughout
Westphalia under the signature of the Baron von Stein. In this month,
also, Captain Maas and two other patriots, who had attempted to raise
a rebellion, were executed. As the army advanced, Stein was nominated
chief of the provisional government of the still unconquered provinces
of Western Germany.

The first Russian army, seventeen thousand strong, under Wittgenstein,
pushed forward to Magdeburg, and, at Mokern, repulsed forty thousand
French, who were advancing upon Berlin. The Prussians, under their
veteran general, Blucher, entered Saxony and garrisoned Dresden, on
the 27th of March, 1813; an arch of the fine bridge across the Elbe
having been uselessly blown up by the French. Blucher, whose gallantry
in the former wars had gained for him the general esteem, and whose
kind and generous disposition had won the affection of the soldiery,
was nominated generalissimo of the Prussian forces, but subordinate in
command to Wittgenstein, who replaced Kutusow[4] as generalissimo of
the united forces of Russia and Prussia. The emperor of Russia and the
king of Prussia accompanied the army and were received with loud
acclamations by the people of Dresden and Leipzig. The allied army was
merely seventy thousand strong, and Blucher had not formed a junction
with Wittgenstein when Napoleon invaded the country by Erfurt and
Merseburg at the head of one hundred and sixty thousand men. Ney
attacked, with forty thousand men, the Russian vanguard under
Winzingerode, which, after gallantly defending a defile near
Weissenfels, made an orderly retreat before forces far their superior
in number. The French, on this occasion, lost Marshal Bessieres.
Napoleon, incredulous of attack, marched in long columns upon Leipzig,
and Wittgenstein, falling upon his right flank, committed great havoc
among the forty thousand men under Ney, which he had first of all
encountered, at Gross-Gorschen. This place was alternately lost and
regained owing to his ill-judged plan of attack by single brigades,
instead of breaking Napoleon's lines by charging them at once with the
whole of his forces. The young Prussian volunteers here measured their
strength in a murderous conflict, hand to hand, with the young French
conscripts, and excited by their martial spirit the astonishment of
the veterans. Wittgenstein's delay and Blucher's too late arrival on
the field[5] gave Napoleon time to wheel his long lines round and to
encircle the allied forces, which immediately retired. On the eve of
the bloody engagement of the 2d of May, the allied cavalry attempted a
general attack in the dark, which was also unsuccessful on account of
the superiority of the enemy's forces. The allies had, nevertheless,
captured some cannons, the French, none. The most painful loss was
that of the noble Scharnhorst, who was mortally wounded. Bulow had, on
the same day, stormed Halle with a Prussian corps, but was now
compelled to resolve upon a retreat, which was conducted in the most
orderly manner by the allies. At Koldiz, the Prussian rearguard
repulsed the French van in a bloody engagement on the 5th of May. The
allies marched through Dresden[6] and took up a firm position in and
about Bautzen, after being joined by a reinforcement of eighty
thousand Bavarians. Napoleon was also reinforced by a number of
French, Bavarian, Wurtemberg, and Saxon troops,[7] and despatched
Lauriston and Ney toward Berlin; but the former encountering the
Russians under Barclay de Tolly at Konigswartha, and the latter the
Prussians under York at Weissig, both were constrained to retreat.
Napoleon attacked the position at Bautzen from the 19th to the 21st of
May, but was gloriously repulsed by the Prussians under Kleist, while
Blücher, who was in danger of being completely surrounded, undauntedly
defended himself on three sides. The allies lost not a cannon, not a
single prisoner, although again compelled to retire before the
superior forces of the enemy. The French had suffered an immense loss;
eighteen thousand of their wounded were sent to Dresden. Napoleon's
favorite, Marshal Duroc, and General Kirchner, a native of Alsace,
were killed, close to his side, by a cannon ball. The allied troops,
forced to retire after an obstinate encounter, neither fled nor
dispersed, but withdrew in close column and repelling each successive
attack.[8] The French avant-garde under Maison was, when in close
pursuit of the allied force, almost entirely cut to pieces by the
Prussian cavalry, which unexpectedly fell upon it at Heinau. The main
body of the Russo-Prussian army, on entering Silesia, took a slanting
direction toward the Riesengebirge and retired behind the fortress of
Schweidnitz. In this strong position they were at once partially
secure from attack, and, by their vicinity to the Bohemian frontier,
enabled to keep up a communication, and, if necessary, to form a
junction with the Austrian forces. The whole of the lowlands of
Silesia lay open to the French, who entered Breslau on the 1st of
June.[9] Berlin was also merely covered by a comparatively weak army
under General Bulow,[10] who, notwithstanding the check given by him
to Marshal Oudinot in the battles of Hoyerswerda and Luckau, was not
in sufficient force to offer assistance to the main body of the French
in case Napoleon chose to pass through Berlin on his way to Poland.
Napoleon, however, did not as yet venture to make use of his
advantage. By the seizure of Prussia and Poland, both of which lay
open to him, the main body of the allied army and the Austrians, who
had not yet declared themselves, would have been left to the rear of
his right flank and could easily have cut off his retreat. His troops,
principally young conscripts, were moreover worn out with fatigue, nor
had the whole of his reinforcements arrived. To his rear was a
multitude of bold partisans, Tettenborn, the Hanseatic legion,
Czernitscheff, who, at Halberstadt, captured General Ochs together
with the whole of the Westphalian corps and fourteen pieces of
artillery, Colomb, the Herculean captain of horse, who took a convoy
and twenty-four guns at Zwickau, and the Black Prussian squadron under
Lutzow. Napoleon consequently remained stationary, and, with a view of
completing his preparations and of awaiting the decision of Austria,
demanded an armistice, to which the allies, whose force was still
incomplete and to whom the decision of Austria was of equal
importance, gladly assented.

On this celebrated armistice, concluded on the 4th of June, 1813, at
the village of Pleisswitz, the fate of Europe was to depend. To the
side that could raise the most powerful force, that on which Austria
ranged herself, numerical superiority insured success. Napoleon's
power was still terrible; fresh victory had obliterated the disgrace
of his flight from Russia; he stood once more an invincible leader on
German soil. The French were animated by success and blindly devoted
to their emperor. Italy and Denmark were prostrate at his feet. The
Rhenish confederation was also faithful to his standard. Councillor
Crome published at Giessen, in obedience to Napoleon's mandate and
with the knowledge of the government at Darmstadt, a pamphlet entitled
"Germany's Crisis and Salvation," in which he declared that Germany
was saved by the fresh victories of Napoleon, and promised mountains
of gold to the Germans if they remained true to him.[11] Crome was at
that time graciously thanked in autograph letters by the sovereigns of
Bavaria and Wurtemberg. Lutzow's volunteer corps was, during the
armistice, surprised at Kitzen by a superior corps of Wurtembergers
under Normann and cut to pieces. Germans at that period opposed
Germans without any feeling for their common fatherland.[12] The king
of Saxony, who had already repaired to Prague under the protection of
Austria, also returned thence, was received at Dresden with extreme
magnificence by Napoleon, and, in fresh token of amity, ceded the
fortress of Torgau to the French.[13] These occurrences caused the
Saxon minister, Senfft von Pilsach, and the Saxon general, Thielmann,
who had already devoted themselves to the German cause, to resign
office. The Polish army under Prince Poniatowsky (vassal to the king
of Saxony, who was also grandduke of Warsaw) received permission (it
had at an earlier period fallen back upon Schwarzenberg) to march,
unarmed, through the Austrian territory to Dresden, in order to join
the main body of the French under Napoleon. The declaration of the
emperor of Austria in favor of his son-in-law, who, moreover, was
lavish of his promises, and, among other things, offered to restore
Silesia, was, consequently, at the opening of the armistice, deemed
certain.

The armistice was, meanwhile, still more beneficial to the allies. The
Russians had time to concentrate their scattered troops, the Prussians
completed the equipment of their numerous _Landwehren_, and the Swedes
also took the field. Bernadotte landed on the 18th of May in
Pomerania, and advanced with his troops into Brandenburg for the
purpose, in conjunction with Bulow, of covering Berlin. A German
auxiliary corps, in the pay of England, was also formed, under
Wallmoden, on the Baltic. The defence of Hamburg was extremely easy;
but the base intrigues of foreigners, who, as during the time of the
thirty years' war, paid themselves for their aid by the seizure of
German provinces and towns, delivered that splendid city into the
hands of the French. Bernadotte had sold himself to Russia for the
price of Norway, which Denmark refused to cede unless Hamburg and
Lubeck were given in exchange. This agreement had already been made by
Prince Dolgorucki in the name of the emperor Alexander, and Tettenborn
yielded Hamburg to the Danes, who marched in under pretext of
protecting the city and were received with delight by the unsuspecting
citizens. The non-advance of the Swedes proceeded from the same cause.
The increase of the Danish marine by means of the Hanse towns,
however, proved displeasing to England; the whole of the commerce was
broken up, and the Danes, hastily resolving to maintain faith with
Napoleon, delivered luckless Hamburg to the French, who instantly took
a most terrible revenge. Davoust, as he himself boasted, merely sent
twelve German patriots to execution,[14] but expelled twenty-five
thousand of the inhabitants from the city, while he pulled down their
houses and converted them into fortifications, at which the principal
citizens were compelled to work in person. Dissatisfied, moreover,
with a contribution of eighteen millions, he robbed the great Hamburg
bank, treading underfoot every private and national right, all, as he,
miserable slave as he was,[15] declared, in obedience to the mandate
of his lord.

Austria, at first, instead of aiding the allies, allowed the Poles[16]
to range themselves beneath the standard of Napoleon, whom she
overwhelmed with protestations of friendship, which served to mask her
real intentions, and meanwhile gave her time to arm herself to the
teeth and to make the allies sensible of the fact of their utter
impotency against Napoleon unless aided by her. The interests of
Austria favored her alliance with France, but Napoleon, instead of
confidence, inspired mistrust. Austria, notwithstanding the marriage
between him and Maria Louisa, was, as had been shown at the congress
of Dresden, merely treated as a tributary to France, and Napoleon's
ambition offered no guarantee to the ancient imperial dynasty. There
was no security that the provinces bestowed in momentary reward for
her alliance must not, on the first occasion, be restored. Nor was
public opinion entirely without weight.[17] Napoleon's star was on the
wane, whole nations stood like to a dark and ominous cloud threatening
on the horizon, and Count Metternich prudently chose rather to attempt
to guide the storm ere it burst than trust to a falling star. Austria
had, as early as the 27th of June, 1813, signed a treaty, at
Reichenbach in Silesia, with Russia and Prussia, by which she bound
herself to declare war against France, in case Napoleon had not,
before the 20th of July, accepted the terms of peace about to be
proposed to him. Already had the sovereigns and generals of Russia and
Prussia sketched, during a conference held with the crown prince of
Sweden, the 11th July, at Trachenberg, the plan for the approaching
campaign, and, with the permission of Austria, assigned to her the
part she was to take as one of the allies against Napoleon, when
Metternich again visited Dresden in person for the purpose of
repeating his assurances of amity, for the armistice had but just
commenced, to Napoleon. The French emperor had an indistinct idea of
the transactions then passing, and bluntly said to the Count, "As you
wish to mediate, you are no longer on my side." He hoped partly to win
Austria over by redoubling his promises, partly to terrify her by the
dread of the future ascendency of Russia, but, perceiving how
Metternich evaded him by his artful diplomacy, he suddenly asked him,
"Well, Metternich, how much has England given you in order to engage
you to play this part toward me?" This trait of insolence toward an
antagonist of whose superiority he felt conscious, and of the most
deadly hatred masked by contempt, was peculiarly characteristic of the
Corsican, who, besides the qualities of the lion, fully possessed
those of the cat. Napoleon let his hat drop in order to see whether
Metternich would raise it. He did not, and war was resolved upon. A
pretended congress for the conclusion of peace was again arranged by
both sides; by Napoleon, in order to elude the reproach cast upon him
of an insurmountable and eternal desire for war, and by the allies, in
order to prove to the whole world their desire for peace. Each side
was, however, fully aware that the palm of peace was alone to be found
on the other side of the battle-field. Napoleon was generous in his
concessions, but delayed granting full powers to his envoy, an
opportune circumstance for the allies, who were by this means able to
charge him with the whole blame of procrastination. Napoleon, in all
his concessions, merely included Russia and Austria to the exclusion
of Prussia.[18] But neither Russia nor Austria trusted to his
promises, and the negotiations were broken off on the termination of
the armistice, when Napoleon sent full powers to his plenipotentiary.
Now, was it said, it is too late. The art with which Metternich passed
from the alliance with Napoleon to neutrality, to mediation, and
finally to the coalition against him, will, in every age, be
acknowledged a master-piece of diplomacy. Austria, while coalescing
with Russia and Prussia, in a certain degree assumed a rank
conventionally superior to both. The whole of the allied armies was
placed under the command of an Austrian general, Prince von
Schwarzenberg, and if the proclamation published at Calisch had merely
summoned the people of Germany to assert their independence, the
manifesto of Count Metternich spoke already in the tone of the future
regulator of the affairs of Europe.[19] Austria declared herself on
the 12th of August, 1813, two days after the termination of the
armistice.


[Footnote 1: Literally, the general levy of the people.--_Trans._]

[Footnote 2: The exasperation of the people had risen to the utmost
pitch. The French rascals in office, especially the custom-house
officers, set no bounds to their tyranny and license. No woman of
whatever rank was allowed to pass the gates without being subjected to
the most indecent inquisition. Goods that had long been redeemed were
continually taken from the tradesmen's shops and confiscated. The
arbitrary enrolment of a number of young men as conscripts at length
produced an insurrection, in which the guard-houses, etc., were
destroyed. It was, however, quelled by General St. Cyr, and six of the
citizens were executed. On the approach of the Russians, St. Cyr fled
with the whole of his troops. The bookseller Perthes, Prell, and von
Hess, formed a civic guard.--_Von Hess's Agonies_.]

[Footnote 3: The people rose _en masse_ at Ronsdorf, Solingen, and
Barmen, and marched tumultuously to Elberfeld, the great manufacturing
town, but were dispersed by the French troops. The French authorities
afterward declared that the sole object of the revolt was to smuggle
in English goods, and, under this pretext, seized all the foreign
goods in Elberfeld.]

[Footnote 4: Kutusow had, just at that conjuncture, expired at
Bautzen.]

[Footnote 5: The nature of the ground rendered a night march
impossible. The Russian, Michaelofski Danilefski, however, throws the
blame upon an officer in Blucher's headquarters, who laid the
important orders committed to his charge under his pillow and
overslept himself.]

[Footnote 6: It may here be mentioned as a remarkable characteristic
of those times that Goethe, Ernest Maurice Arndt, and Theodore Körner
at that period met at Dresden. The youthful Körner, a volunteer Jæger,
was the Tyrtæus of those days: his military songs were universally
sung: his father also expressed great enthusiasm. Goethe said almost
angrily, "Well, well, shake your chains, the man (Napoleon) is too
strong for you, you will not break them!"--_E. M. Arndt's
Reminiscences._]

[Footnote 7: "Unfortunately there were German princes who, even this
time, again sent their troops to swell the ranks of the oppressor;
Austria had, unfortunately, not yet concluded her preparations;
consequently, it was only possible to clog the advance of the
conqueror by a gallant resistance."--_Clausewitz_. The Bavarians stood
under Raglowich, the Würtembergers under Franquemont, the Saxons under
Reynier. There was also a contingent of Westphalians and Badeners.]

[Footnote 8: Blücher exclaimed on this occasion: "He's a rascally
fellow that dares to say we fly." Even Fain, the Frenchman, confesses
in his manuscript of 1813, in which he certainly does not favor the
Germans: "The best Marshals, as it were, killed by spent balls. Great
victories without trophies. All the villages on our route in flames
which obstructed our advance. 'What a war! We shall all fall victims
to it!' are the disgraceful expressions uttered by many, for the iron
hearts of the warriors of France are rust-grown." Napoleon exclaimed
after the battle, "How! no result after such a massacre? No prisoners?
They leave me not even a nail!" Duroc's death added to the
catastrophe. Napoleon was so struck that for the first time in his
life he could give no orders, but deferred everything until the
morrow.]

[Footnote 9: But they merely encamped in the streets, showed
themselves more anxious than threatening, and were seized with a
terrible panic on a sudden conflagration breaking out during the
night, which they mistook for a signal to bring the _Landsturm_ upon
them. And yet there were thirty thousand French in the city. How
different to their spirit in 1807!]

[Footnote 10: Brother to the unfortunate Henry von Bulow.]

[Footnote 11: Crome was afterward barefaced enough to boast of this
work in his Autobiography, published in 1833. Napoleon dictated the
fundamental ideas of this work to him from his headquarters. His
object was to pacify the Germans. He promised them henceforward to
desist from enforcing his continental system, to restore liberty to
commerce, no longer to force the laws and language of France upon
Germany. L'empereur se fera aimer des Allemands. The Germans were, on
the other hand, warned that the allies had no intention to render
Germany free and independent, they being much more interested in
retaining Germany in a state of division and subjection. The unity of
Germany, it was also declared, was alone possible under Napoleon,
etc.]

[Footnote 12: This arose from hatred to the party that dared to uphold
the German cause instead of a Prussian, Saxon, etc., one, and by no
means by chance, but, as Manso remarks, intentionally, "through low
cunning and injustice."]

[Footnote 13: The king of Saxony was, in return, insulted by Napoleon,
in an address to the ministers was termed _une veille hête_, and
compelled to countenance immoral theatrical performances by his
presence, a sin for which he each evening received absolution from his
confessor. Vide Stein's Letter to Münster in the Sketches of the War
of Liberation.]

[Footnote 14: He also said, like his master, "I know of no Germans, I
only know of Bavarians, Würtembergers, Westphalians," etc.]

[Footnote 15: His written defence, in which he so lyingly, so humbly
and mournfully exculpates himself that one really "compassionates the
devil," is a sort of satisfaction for the Germans.]

[Footnote 16: Poniatowsky's dismissal with the Polish army from Poland
was apparently a service rendered to Napoleon, but was in reality done
with a view of disarming Poland. Poniatowsky might have organized an
insurrection to the rear of the allies, and would in that case have
been far more dangerous to them than when ranged beneath the standard
of Napoleon.]

[Footnote 17: The people in Austria fully sympathized with passing
events. How could those be apathetic who had such a burden of disgrace
to redeem, such deep revenge to satisfy? An extremely popular song
contained the following lines:

  "Awake, Franciscus! Hark! thy people call!
  Awake! acknowledge the avenger's hand!
  Still groans beneath the foreign courser's hoof
  The soil of Germany, our fatherland.

  "To arms! so long as sacred Germany
  Feels but a finger of Napoleon.
  Franciscus! up! Cast off each private tie!
  The patriot has no kindred, has no son."

All the able-bodied men, as in Prussia, crowded beneath the imperial
standard and the whole empire made the most patriotic sacrifices.
Hungary summoned the whole of her male population, the insurrection,
as it was termed, to the field.]

[Footnote 18: Russia was to receive the whole of Poland, the
grandduchy of Warsaw was to be annihilated. Such was Napoleon's
gratitude toward the Poles!--Illyria was to be restored to Austria.
Prussia, however, was not only to be excluded from all participation
in the spoil, but the Rhenish confederation was to be extended as far
as the Oder. Prussia would have been compelled to pay the expenses of
the alliance between France, Russia, and Austria.]

[Footnote 19: "Everywhere," said this manifesto, "do the impatient
wishes of the people anticipate the regular proceedings of the
government. On all sides, the desire for independence under separate
laws, the feeling of insulted nationality, rage against the heavy
abuses inflicted by a foreign tyrant, burst simultaneously forth. His
Majesty the emperor, too clear-sighted not to view this turn in
affairs as the natural and necessary result of a preceding and violent
state of exaggeration, and too just to view it with displeasure, had
rendered it his principal object to turn it to the general advantage,
and, by well-weighed and well-combined measures, to promote the true
and lasting interests of the whole commonwealth of Europe."]



CCLXI. The Battle of Leipzig


Immediately after this--for all had been previously arranged--the
monarchs of Russia and Prussia passed the Riesengebirge with a
division of their forces into Bohemia, and joined the emperor Francis
and the great Austrian army at Prague. The celebrated general, Moreau,
who had returned from America, where he had hitherto dwelt incognito,
in order to take up arms against Napoleon, was in the train of the
czar. His example, it was hoped, would induce many of his countrymen
to abandon Napoleon. The plan of the allies was to advance, with their
main body under Schwarzenberg, consisting of one hundred and twenty
thousand Austrians and seventy thousand Russians and Prussians,
through the Erzgebirge to Napoleon's rear. A lesser Prussian force,
principally Silesian _Landwehr_, under Blucher, eighty thousand
strong, besides a small Russian corps, was, meanwhile, to cover
Silesia, or, in case of an attack by Napoleon's main body, to retire
before it and draw it further eastward. A third division, under the
crown prince of Sweden, principally Swedes, with some Prussian troops,
mostly Pomeranian and Brandenburg _Landwehr_ under Bulow, and some
Russians, in all ninety thousand men, was destined to cover Berlin,
and in case of a victory to form a junction to Napoleon's rear with
the main body of the allied army. A still lesser and equally mixed
division under Wallmoden, thirty thousand strong, was destined to
watch Davoust in Hamburg, while an Austrian corps of twenty-five
thousand men under Prince Reuss watched the movements of the
Bavarians, and another Austrian force of forty thousand, under Hiller,
those of the viceroy Eugene in Italy.

Napoleon had concentrated his main body, that still consisted of two
hundred and fifty thousand men, in and around Dresden. Davoust
received orders to advance with thirty thousand men from Hamburg upon
Berlin; in Bavaria, there were thirty thousand men under Wrede; in
Italy, forty thousand under Eugene. The German fortresses were,
moreover, strongly garrisoned with French troops. Napoleon had it in
his power to throw himself with his main body, which neither Blucher
nor the Swedes could have withstood, into Poland, to levy the people
_en masse_ and render that country the theatre of war, but the dread
of the defection of the Rhenish confederation and of a part of the
French themselves, were the country to his rear to be left open to the
allies and to Moreau, coupled with his disinclination to declare the
independence of Poland, owing to a lingering hope of being still able
to bring about a reconciliation with Russia and Austria by the
sacrifice of that country and of Prussia, caused that idea to be
renounced, and he accordingly took up a defensive position with his
main body at Dresden, whence he could watch the proceedings and take
advantage of any indiscretion on the part of his opponents. A body of
ninety thousand men under Oudinot meantime acted on the offensive,
being directed to advance, simultaneously with Davoust from Hamburg
and with Girard from Magdeburg, upon Berlin, and to take possession of
that metropolis. Napoleon hoped, when master of the ancient Prussian
provinces, to be able to suppress German enthusiasm at its source and
to induce Russia and Austria to conclude a separate peace at the
expense of Prussia.

In August, 1813, the tempest of war broke loose on every side, and all
Europe prepared for a decisive struggle. About this time, the whole of
Northern Germany was visited for some weeks, as was the case on the
defeat of Varus in the Teutoburg forest, with heavy rains and violent
storms. The elements seemed to combine, as in Russia, their efforts
with those of man against Napoleon. There his soldiers fell victims to
frost and snow, here they sank into the boggy soil and were carried
away by the swollen rivers. In the midst of the uproar of the
elements, bloody engagements continually took place, in which the
bayonet and the butt-end of the firelock were almost alone used, the
muskets being rendered unserviceable by the wet. The first engagement
of importance was that of the 21st of August between Wallmoden and
Davoust at Vellahn. A few days afterward, Theodore Korner, the
youthful poet and hero, fell in a skirmish between the French and
Wallmoden's outpost at Gadebusch.--Oudinot advanced close upon Berlin,
which was protected by the crown prince of Sweden. A murderous
conflict took place, on the 23d of August, at Gross-Beeren between the
Prussian division under General von Bulow and the French. The Swedes,
a troop of horse artillery alone excepted, were not brought into
action, and the Prussians, unaided, repulsed the greatly superior
forces of the French. The almost untrained peasantry comprising the
_Landwehr_ of the Mark and of Pomerania rushed upon the enemy, and,
unhabituated to the use of the bayonet and firelock, beat down entire
battalions of the French with the butt-end of their muskets. After a
frightful massacre, the French were utterly routed and fled in wild
disorder, but the gallant Prussians vainly expected the Swedes to aid
in the pursuit. The crown prince, partly from a desire to spare his
troops and partly from a feeling of shame--he was also a
Frenchman--remained motionless. Oudinot, nevertheless, lost two
thousand four hundred prisoners. Davoust, from this disaster, returned
once more to Hamburg. Girard, who had advanced with eight thousand men
from Magdeburg, was, on the 27th, put to flight by the Prussian
_Landwehr_ under General Hirschfeld.

Napoleon's plan of attack against Prussia had completely failed, and
his sole alternative was to act on the defensive. But on perceiving
that the main body of the allied forces under Schwarzenberg was
advancing to his rear, while Blucher was stationed with merely a weak
division in Silesia, he took the field with immensely superior forces
against the latter, under an idea of being able easily to vanquish his
weak antagonist and to fall back again in time upon Dresden. Blucher
cautiously retired, but, unable to restrain the martial spirit of the
soldiery, who obstinately defended every position whence they were
driven, lost two thousand of his men on the 21st of August. The news
of Napoleon's advance upon Silesia and of the numerical weakness of
the garrison left at Dresden reached Schwarzenberg just as he had
crossed the Erzgebirge, and induced him and the allied sovereigns
assembled within his camp to change their plan of operations and to
march straight upon the Saxon capital. Napoleon, who had pursued
Blucher as far as the Katzbach near Goldberg, instantly returned and
boldly resolved to cross the Elbe above Dresden, to seize the passes
of the Bohemian mountains, and to fall upon the rear of the main body
of the allied army. Vandamme's _corps d'armee_ had already set forward
with this design, when Napoleon learned that Dresden could no longer
hold out unless he returned thither with a division of his army, and,
in order to preserve that city and the centre of his position, he
hastily returned thither in the hope of defeating the allied army and
of bringing it between two fires, as Vandamme must meanwhile have
occupied the narrow outlets of the Erzgebirge with thirty thousand men
and by that means have cut off the retreat of the allied army. The
plan was on a grand scale, and, as far as related to Napoleon in
person, was executed, to the extreme discomfiture of the allies, with
his usual success. Schwarzenberg had, with true Austrian
procrastination, allowed the 25th of August, when, as the French
themselves confess, Dresden, in her then ill-defended state, might
have been taken almost without a stroke, to pass in inaction, and,
when he attempted to storm the city on the 26th, Napoleon, who had
meanwhile arrived, calmly awaited the onset of the thick masses of the
enemy in order to open a murderous discharge of grape upon them on
every side. They were repulsed after suffering a frightful loss. On
the following day, destined to end in still more terrible bloodshed,
Napoleon assumed the offensive, separated the retiring allied army by
well-combined sallies, cut off its left wing, and made an immense
number of prisoners, chiefly Austrians. The unfortunate Moreau had
both his legs shot off in the very first encounter. His death was an
act of justice, for he had taken up arms against his fellow-
countrymen, and was moreover a gain for the Germans, the Russians
merely making use of him in order to obscure the fame of the German
leaders, and, it may be, with a view of placing the future destinies
of France in his hands. The main body of the allied army retreated on
every side; part of the troops disbanded, the rest were exposed to
extreme hardship owing to the torrents of rain that fell without
intermission and the scarcity of provisions. Their annihilation must
have inevitably followed had Vandamme executed Napoleon's commands and
blocked up the mountain passes, in which he was unsuccessful, owing to
the gallantry with which he was held in check at Culm by eight
thousand Russian guards, headed by Ostermann,[1] who, although merely
amounting in number to a fourth of his army, fought during a whole day
without receding a step, though almost the whole of them were cut to
pieces and Ostermann was deprived of an arm, until the first corps of
the main body, in full retreat, reached the mountains. Vandamme was
now in turn overwhelmed by superior numbers. One way of escape, a
still unoccupied height, on which he hastened to post himself, alone
remained, but Kleist's corps, also in full retreat, unexpectedly but
opportunely appeared above his head and took him and the whole of his
corps prisoners, the 29th of August, 1813.[2]

At the same time, the 26th of August, a most glorious victory was
gained by Blucher in Silesia. After having drawn Macdonald across the
Katzbach and the foaming Neisse, he drove him, after a desperate and
bloody engagement, into those rivers, which were greatly swollen by
the incessant rains. The muskets of the soldiery had been rendered
unserviceable by the wet, and Blucher, drawing his sabre from beneath
his cloak, dashed forward exclaiming, "Forward!" Several thousand of
the French were drowned or fell by the bayonet, or beneath the heavy
blows dealt by the _Landwehr_ with the butt-end of their firelocks. It
was on this battlefield that the Silesians had formerly opposed the
Tartars, and the monastery of Wahlstatt, erected in memory of that
heroic day,[3] was still standing. Blucher was rewarded with the title
of Prince von der Wahlstatt, but his soldiers surnamed him Marshal
Vorwarts. On the decline of the floods, the banks of the rivers were
strewn with corpses sticking in horrid distortion out of the mud. A
part of the French fled for a couple of days in terrible disorder
along the right bank and were then taken prisoner together with their
general, Puthod.[4] The French lost one hundred and three guns,
eighteen thousand prisoners, and a still greater number in killed; the
loss on the side of the Prussians merely amounted to one thousand men.
Macdonald returned almost totally unattended to Dresden and brought
the melancholy intelligence to Napoleon, "Votre armé du Bobre n'existe
plus."

The crown prince of Sweden and Bulow had meanwhile pursued Oudinot's
retreating corps in the direction of the Elbe. Napoleon despatched Ney
against them, but he met with the fate of his predecessor, at
Dennewitz, on the 6th of September. The Prussians, on this occasion,
again triumphed, unaided by their confederates.[5] Bulow and
Tauenzien, with twenty thousand men, defeated the French army, seventy
thousand strong. The crown prince of Sweden not only remained to the
rear with the whole of his troops, but gave perfectly useless orders
to the advancing Prussian squadron under General Borstel, who, without
attending to them, hurried on to Bulow's assistance, and the French
were, notwithstanding their numerical superiority, completely driven
off the field, which the crown prince reached just in time to witness
the dispersion of his countrymen. The French lost eighteen thousand
men and eighty guns. The rout was complete. The rearguard, consisting
of the Wurtembergers under Franquemont, was again overtaken at the
head of the bridge at Zwettau, and, after a frightful carnage, driven
in wild confusion across the dam to Torgau. The Bavarians under
Raglowich, who, probably owing to secret orders, had remained, during
the battle, almost in a state of inactivity, withdrew in another
direction and escaped.[6] Davoust also again retired upon Hamburg, and
his rearguard under Pecheux was attacked by Wallmoden, on the 16th of
September, on the Gorde, and suffered a trifling loss. On the 29th of
September, eight thousand French were also defeated by Platow, the
Hetman of the Cossacks, at Zeitz: on the 30th, Czernitscheff
penetrated into Cassel and expelled Jerome. Thielemann, the Saxon
general, also infested the country to Napoleon's rear, intercepted his
convoys at Leipzig, and at Weissenfels took one thousand two hundred,
at Merseburg two thousand, French prisoners; he was, however, deprived
of his booty by a strong force under Lefebvre-Desnouettes, by whom he
was incessantly harassed until Platow's arrival with the Cossacks,
who, in conjunction with Thielemann, repulsed Lefebvre with great
slaughter at Altenburg. On this occasion, a Baden battalion, that had
been drawn up apart from the French, turned their fire upon their
unnatural confederates and aided in their dispersion.[7]

Napoleon's generals had been thrown back in every quarter, with
immense loss, upon Dresden, toward which the allies now advanced,
threatening to enclose it on every side. Napoleon manoeuvred until the
beginning of October with the view of executing a _coup de main_
against Schwarzenberg and Blucher; the allies were, however, on their
guard, and he was constantly reduced to the necessity of recalling his
troops, sent for that purpose into the field, to Dresden. The danger
in which he now stood of being completely surrounded and cut off from
the Rhine at length rendered retreat his sole alternative. Blucher had
already crossed the Elbe on the 5th of October, and, in conjunction
with the crown prince of Sweden, had approached the head of the main
body of the allied army under Schwarzenberg, which was advancing from
the Erzgebirge. On the 7th of October, Napoleon quitted Dresden,
leaving a garrison of thirty thousand French under St. Cyr, and
removed his headquarters to Duben, on the road leading from Leipzig to
Berlin, in the hope of drawing Blucher and the Swedes once more on the
right side of the Elbe, in which case he intended to turn unexpectedly
upon the Austrians; Blucher, however, eluded him, without quitting the
left bank. Napoleon's plan was to take advantage of the absence of
Blucher and of the Swedes from Berlin in order to hasten across the
defenceless country, for the purpose of inflicting punishment upon
Prussia, of raising Poland, etc. But his plan met with opposition in
his own military council. His ill success had caused those who had
hitherto followed his fortunes to waver. The king of Bavaria declared
against him on the 8th of October,[8] and the Bavarian army under
Wrede united with instead of opposing the Austrian army and was sent
to the Maine in order to cut off Napoleon's retreat. The news of this
defection speedily reached the French camp and caused the rest of the
troops of the Rhenish confederation to waver in their allegiance;
while the French, wearied with useless manoeuvres, beaten in every
quarter, opposed by an enemy greatly their superior in number and
glowing with revenge, despaired of the event and sighed for peace and
their quiet homes. All refused to march upon Berlin, nay, the very
idea of removing further from Paris almost produced a mutiny in the
camp.[9] Four days, from the 11th to the 14th of October, were passed
by Napoleon in a state of melancholy irresolution, when he appeared as
if suddenly inspired by the idea of there still being time to execute
a _coup de main_ upon the main body of the allied army under
Schwarzenberg before its junction with Blucher and the Swedes.
Schwarzenberg was slowly advancing from Bohemia and had already
allowed himself to be defeated before Dresden. Napoleon intended to
fall upon him on his arrival in the vicinity of Leipzig, but it was
already too late.--Blucher was at hand. On the 14th of October,[10]
the flower of the French cavalry, headed by the king of Naples,
encountered Blucher's and Wittgenstein's cavalry at Wachau, not far
from Leipzig. The contest was broken off, both sides being desirous of
husbanding their strength, but terminated to the disadvantage of the
French, notwithstanding their numerical superiority, besides proving
the vicinity of the Prussians. This was the most important cavalry
fight that took place during this war.

On the 16th of October, while Napoleon was merely awaiting the arrival
of Macdonald's corps, that had remained behind, before proceeding to
attack Schwarzenberg's Bohemian army, he was unexpectedly attacked on
the right bank of the Pleisse, at Liebert-wolkwitz, by the Austrians,
who were, however, compelled to retire before a superior force. The
French cavalry under Latour-Maubourg pressed so closely upon the
emperor of Russia and the king of Prussia that they merely owed their
escape to the gallantry of the Russian, Orlow Denisow, and to Latour's
fall. Napoleon had already ordered all the bells in Leipzig to be
rung, had sent the news of his victory to Paris, and seems to have
expected a complete triumph when joyfully exclaiming, "Le monde tourne
pour nous!" But his victory had been only partial, and he had been
unable to follow up his advantage, another division of the Austrian
army, under General Meerveldt, having simultaneously occupied him and
compelled him to cross the Pleisse at Dolnitz; and, although Meerveldt
had been in his turn repulsed with severe loss and been himself taken
prisoner, the diversion proved of service to the Austrians by keeping
Napoleon in check until the arrival of Blücher, who threw himself upon
the division of the French army opposed to him at Möckern by Marshal
Marmont. Napoleon, while thus occupied with the Austrians, was unable
to meet the attack of the Prussians with sufficient force. Marmont,
after a massacre of some hours' duration in and around Möckern, was
compelled to retire with a loss of forty guns. The second Prussian
brigade lost, either in killed or wounded, all its officers except
one.

The battle had, on the 16th of October, raged around Leipzig; Napoleon
had triumphed over the Austrians, whom he had solely intended to
attack, but had, at the same time, been attacked and defeated by the
Prussians, and now found himself opposed and almost surrounded--one
road for retreat alone remaining open--by the whole allied force. He
instantly gave orders to General Bertrand to occupy Weissenfels during
the night, in order to secure his retreat through Thuringia; but,
during the following day, the 17th of October, neither seized that
opportunity in order to effect a retreat or to make a last and
energetic attack upon the allies, whose forces were not yet completely
concentrated, ere the circle had been fully drawn around him. The
Swedes, the Russians under Bennigsen, and a large Austrian division
under Colloredo, had not yet arrived. Napoleon might with advantage
have again attacked the defeated Austrians under Schwarzenberg or have
thrown himself with the whole of his forces upon Blücher. He had still
an opportunity of making an orderly retreat without any great exposure
to danger. But he did neither. He remained motionless during the whole
day, which was also passed in tranquillity by the allies, who thus
gained time to receive fresh reinforcements. Napoleon's inactivity was
caused by his having sent his prisoner, General Meerveldt, to the
emperor of Austria, whom he still hoped to induce, by means of great
assurances, to secede from the coalition and to make peace. Not even a
reply was vouchsafed. On the very day, thus futilely lost by Napoleon,
the allied army was reintegrated by the arrival of the masses
commanded by the crown prince, by Bennigsen and Colloredo, and was
consequently raised to double the strength of that of France, which
now merely amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand men. On the
18th, a murderous conflict began on both sides. Napoleon long and
skilfully opposed the fierce onset of the allied troops, but was at
length driven off the field by their superior weight and persevering
efforts. The Austrians, stationed on the left wing of the allied army,
were opposed by Oudinot, Augereau, and Poniatowsky; the Prussians,
stationed on the right wing, by Marmont and Ney; the Russians and
Swedes in the centre, by Murat and Regnier. In the hottest of the
battle, two Saxon cavalry regiments went over to Blücher, and General
Normann, when about to be charged at Taucha by the Prussian cavalry
under Billow, also deserted to him with two Würtemberg cavalry
regiments, in order to avoid an unpleasant reminiscence of the
treacherous ill-treatment of Lützow's corps. The whole of the Saxon
infantry, commanded by Regnier, shortly afterward went, with
thirty-eight guns, over to the Swedes, five hundred men and General
Zeschau alone remaining true to Napoleon. The Saxons stationed
themselves behind the lines of the allies, but their guns were
instantly turned upon the enemy.[11]

In the evening of this terrible day, the French were driven back close
upon the walls of Leipzig.[12] On the certainty of victory being
announced by Schwarzenberg to the three monarchs, who had watched the
progress of the battle, they knelt on the open field and returned
thanks to God. Napoleon, before nightfall, gave orders for full
retreat; but, on the morning of the 19th, recommenced the battle and
sacrificed some of his _corps d'armee_ in order to save the remainder.
He had, however, foolishly left but one bridge across the Elster open,
and the retreat was consequently retarded. Leipzig was stormed by the
Prussians, and, while the French rearguard was still battling on that
side of the bridge, Napoleon fled, and had no sooner crossed the
bridge than it was blown up with a tremendous explosion, owing to the
inadvertence of a subaltern, who is said to have fired the train too
hastily. The troops engaged on the opposite bank were irremediably
lost. Prince Poniatowsky plunged on horseback into the Elster in order
to swim across, but sank in the deep mud. The king of Saxony, who to
the last had remained true to Napoleon, was among the prisoners. The
loss during this battle, which raged for four days, and in which
almost every nation in Europe stood opposed to each other, was immense
on both sides. The total loss in dead was computed at eighty thousand.
The French lost, moreover, three hundred guns and a multitude of
prisoners; in the city of Leipzig alone twenty-three thousand sick,
without reckoning the innumerable wounded. Numbers of these
unfortunates lay bleeding and starving to death during the cold
October nights on the field of battle, it being found impossible to
erect a sufficient number of lazaretti for their accommodation.
Napoleon made a hasty and disorderly retreat with the remainder of his
troops, but was overtaken at Freiburg on the Unstrutt, where the
bridge broke, and a repetition of the disastrous passage of the
Beresina occurred. The fugitives collected into a dense mass, upon
which the Prussian artillery played with murderous effect. The French
lost forty of their guns. At Hanau, Wrede, Napoleon's former favorite,
after taking Würzburg, watched the movements of his ancient patron,
and, had he occupied the pass at Gelnhausen, might have annihilated
him. Napoleon, however, furiously charged his flank, and, on the 20th
of October, succeeded in forcing a passage and in sending seventy
thousand men across the Rhine. Wrede was dangerously wounded.[13] On
the 9th of November, the last French corps was defeated at Hochheim
and driven back upon Mayence.

In the November of this ever memorable year, 1813, Germany, as far as
the Rhine, was completely freed from the French.[14] Above a hundred
thousand French troops, still shut up in the fortresses and cut off
from all communication with France, gradually surrendered. In October,
the allies took Bremen; in November, Stettin, Zamosk, Modlin, and
those two important points, Dresden and Dantzig. In Dresden, Gouvion
St. Cyr capitulated to Count Klenau, who granted him free egress on
condition of the delivery of the whole of the army stores. St. Cyr,
however, infringed the terms of capitulation by destroying several of
the guns and sinking the gunpowder in the Elbe; consequently, on the
non-recognition of the capitulation by the generalissimo,
Schwarzenberg, he found himself without means of defence and was
compelled to surrender at discretion with a garrison thirty-five
thousand strong. Rapp, the Alsatian, commanded in Dantzig. This city
had already fearfully suffered from the commercial interdiction, from
the exactions and the scandalous license of its French protectors,
whom the ravages of famine and pestilence finally compelled to
yield.[15] Lubeck and Torgau fell in December; the typhus, which had
never ceased to accompany the armies, raged there in the crowded
hospitals, carrying off thousands, and greater numbers fell victims to
this pestilential disease than to the war, not only among the troops,
but in every part of the country through which they passed.
Wittenberg, whose inhabitants had been shamefully abused by the French
under Lapoype, Custrin, Glogau, Wesel, Erfurt, fell in the beginning
of 1814; Magdeburg and Bremen, after the conclusion of the war.

The Rhenish confederation was dissolved, each of the princes securing
his hereditary possessions by a timely secession. The kings of
Westphalia and Saxony, Dalberg, grand-duke of Frankfort, and the
princes of Isenburg and von der Leyen, who had too heavily sinned
against Germany, were alone excluded from pardon. The king of Saxony
was at first carried prisoner to Berlin, and afterward, under the
protection of Austria, to Prague. Denmark also concluded peace at Kiel
and ceded Norway to Sweden, upon which the Swedes, _quasi re bene
gesta_, returned home.[16]


[Footnote 1: This general belonged to a German family long naturalized
in Russia.]

[Footnote 2: He was led through Silesia, which he had once so
shamefully plundered, and, although no physical punishment was
inflicted upon him, he was often compelled to hear the voice of public
opinion, and was exposed to the view of the people to whom he had once
said, "Nothing shall be left to you except your eyes, that you may be
able to weep over your wretchedness."--_Manso's History of Prussia._]

[Footnote 3: An ancient battle-axe of serpentine stone was found on
the site fixed upon for the erection of a fresh monument in honor of
the present victory.--_Allgemenie Zeitung, 1817._]

[Footnote 4: This piece of good fortune befell Langeron, the Russian
general, who belonged to the diplomatic party at that time attempting
to spare the forces of Russia, Austria, and Sweden at the expense of
Prussia, and, at the same time, to deprive Prussia of her well-won
laurels. Langeron had not obeyed Blucher's orders, had remained behind
on his own responsibility, and the scattered French troops fell into
his hands.]

[Footnote 5: The proud armies of Russia and Sweden (forty-six
battalions, forty squadrons, and one hundred and fifty guns) followed
to the rear of the Prussians without firing a shot and remained
inactive spectators of the action.--_Plotho._]

[Footnote 6: In order to avoid being carried along by the fugitive
French, they fired upon them whenever their confused masses came too
close upon them.--_Bölderndorf._]

[Footnote 7: Vide Wagner's Chronicle of Altenburg.]

[Footnote 8: Maximilian Joseph declared in an open manifesto; Bavaria
was compelled to furnish thirty-eight thousand men for the Russian
campaign, and, on her expressing a hope that such an immense sacrifice
would not be requested, France instantly declared the princes of the
Rhenish confederation her vassals, who were commanded "under
punishment of felony" unconditionally to obey each of Napoleon's
demands. The allies would, on the contrary, have acceded to all the
desires of Bavaria and have guaranteed that kingdom. Even the Austrian
troops, that stood opposed to Bavaria, were placed under Wrede's
command.--Raglowich received permission from Napoleon, before the
battle of Leipzig, to return to Bavaria; but his corps was retained in
the vicinity of Leipzig without taking part in the action, and
retired, in the general confusion, under the command of General
Maillot, upon Torgau, whence it returned home.--_Bolderndorf._ In the
Tyrol, the brave mountaineers were on the eve of revolt. As early as
September, Speckbacher, sick and wasted from his wounds, but endued
with all his former fire and energy, reappeared in the Tyrol, where he
was commissioned by Austria to organize a revolt. An unexpected
reconciliation, however, taking place between Bavaria and Austria,
counter orders arrived, and Speckbacher furiously dashed his bullet-
worn hat to the ground.--_Brockhaus, 1814._ The restoration of the
Tyrol to Austria being delayed, a multitude of Tyrolese forced their
way into Innsbruck and deposed the Bavarian authorities; their leader,
Kluibenspedel, was, however, persuaded by Austria to submit.
Speckbacher was, in 1816, raised by the emperor Francis to the rank of
major; he died in 1820, and was buried at Hall by the south wall of
the parish church. His son, Andre, who grew up a fine, handsome man,
died in 1835, at Jenbach (not Zenbach, as Mercy has it in his attacks
upon the Tyrol), in the Tyrol, where he was employed as superintendent
of the mines. Mercy's Travels and his account of Speckbacher in the
Milan Revista Buropea, 1838, are replete with falsehood.]

[Footnote 9: According to Fain and Coulaincourt.]

[Footnote 10: On the evening of the 14th of October (the anniversary
of the battle of Jena), a hurricane raged in the neighborhood of
Leipzig, where the French lay, carried away roofs and uprooted trees,
while, during the whole night, the rain fell in violent floods.]

[Footnote 11: Not so the Badeners and Hessians. The Baden corps was
captured almost to a man; among others, Prince Emilius of Darmstadt.
Baden had been governed, since the death of the popular grandduke,
Charles Frederick, in 1811, by his grandson, Charles.--Franquemont,
with the Würtemberg infantry, eight to nine thousand strong, acted
independently of Normann's cavalry. But one thousand of their number
remained after the battle of Leipzig, and, without going over to the
allies, returned to Würtemberg. Normann was punished by his
sovereign.]

[Footnote 12: The city was in a state of utter confusion. "The noise
caused by the passage of the cavalry, carriages, etc., by the cries of
the fugitives through the streets, exceeded that of the most terrific
storm. The earth shook, the windows clattered with the thunder of
artillery," etc.--_The Terrors of Leipzig, 1813._]

[Footnote 13: The king of Würtemberg, who had fifteen hundred men
close at hand, did not send them to the aid of the Bavarians, nor did
he go over to the allies until the 2d of November.]

[Footnote 14: In November, one hundred and forty thousand French
prisoners and seven hundred and ninety-one guns were in the hands of
the allies.]

[Footnote 15: Dantzig had formerly sixty thousand inhabitants, the
population was now reduced to thirteen thousand. Numbers died of
hunger, Rapp having merely stored the magazines for his troops.
Fifteen thousand of the French garrison died, and yet fourteen
generals, upward of a thousand officers, and about as many
comptrollers belonging to the grand army, who had taken refuge in that
city, were, on the capitulation of the fortress, made prisoners of
war.]

[Footnote 16: The injustice thus favored by the first peace was loudly
complained of.--_Manso._]



CCLXII. Napoleon's Fall


Napoleon was no sooner driven across the Rhine, than the defection of
the whole of the Rhenish confederation, of Holland, Switzerland, and
Italy ensued. The whole of the confederated German princes followed
the example of Bavaria and united their troops with those of the
allies. Jerome had fled; the kingdom of Westphalia had ceased to
exist, and the exiled princes of Hesse, Brunswick, and Oldenburg
returned to their respective territories. The Rhenish provinces were
instantly occupied by Prussian troops and placed under the patriotic
administration of Justus Gruner, who was joined by Görres of Coblentz,
whose Rhenish Mercury so powerfully influenced public opinion that
Napoleon termed him the fifth great European power.[1] The Dutch
revolted and took the few French still remaining in the country
prisoner. Hogendorp was placed at the head of a provisional government
in the name of William of Orange.[2] The Prussians under Bulow entered
the country and were received with great acclamation. The whole of the
Dutch fortresses surrendered, the French garrisons flying
panic-stricken.

The Swiss remained faithful to Napoleon until the arrival of
Schwarzenberg with the allied army on their frontiers.[3] Napoleon
would gladly have beheld the Swiss sacrifice themselves for him for
the purpose of keeping the allies in check, but Reinhard of Zurich,
who was at that time _Landammnann_, prudently resolved not to
persevere in the demand for neutrality, to lay aside every
manifestation of opposition, and to permit, it being impossible to
prevent, the entrance of the troops into the country, by which he,
moreover, ingratiated himself with the allies. The majority of his
countrymen thanked Heaven for their deliverance from French
oppression, and if, in their ancient spirit of egotism, they neglected
to aid the great popular movement throughout Germany, they, at all
events, sympathized in the general hatred toward France.[4] The
ancient aristocrats now naturally reappeared and attempted to
re-establish the oligarchical governments of the foregoing century. A
Count Senfft von Pilsach, a pretended Austrian envoy, who was speedily
disavowed, assumed the authority at Berne with so much assurance as to
succeed in deposing the existing government and reinstating the
ancient oligarchy. In Zurich, the constitution was also revised and
the citizens reassumed their authority over the peasantry. The whole
of Switzerland was in a state of ferment. Ancient claims of the most
varied description were asserted. The people of the Grisons took up
arms and invaded the Valtelline in order to retake their ancient
possession. Pancratius, abbot of St. Gall, demanded the restoration of
his princely abbey.--Italy, also, deserted Napoleon. Murat, king of
Naples, in order not to lose his crown, joined the allies. Eugene
Beauharnais, viceroy of Italy, alone remained true to his imperial
stepfather and gallantly opposed the Austrians under Hiller, who,
nevertheless, rapidly reduced the whole of Upper Italy to submission.

The allies, when on the point of entering the French territory,
solemnly declared that their enmity was directed not against the
French nation, but solely against Napoleon. By this generosity they
hoped at once to prove the beneficence of their intentions to every
nation of Europe and to prejudice the French, more particularly,
against their tyrant; but that people, notwithstanding their immense
misfortunes, still remained true to Napoleon nor hesitated to
sacrifice themselves for the man who had raised them to the highest
rank among the nations of the earth, and thousands flocked anew
beneath the imperial eagle for the defence of their native soil.

The allies invaded France simultaneously on four sides, Bulow from
Holland, Blucher, on New Year's eve, 1814, from Coblentz, and the main
body of the allied army under Schwarzenberg, which was also
accompanied by the allied sovereigns. A fourth army, consisting of
English and Spaniards, had already crossed the Pyrenees and marched up
the country. The great wars in Russia and Germany having compelled
Napoleon to draw off a considerable number of his forces from Spain,
Soult had been consequently unable to keep the field against
Wellington, whose army had been gradually increased. King Joseph fled
from Madrid. The French hazarded a last engagement at Vittoria, in
June, 1813, but suffered a terrible defeat. One of the two Nassau
regiments under Colonel Kruse and the Frankfort battalion deserted
with their arms and baggage to the English. The other Nassau regiment
and that of Baden were disarmed by the French and dragged in chains to
France in reward for their long and severe service.[5] The Hanoverians
in Wellington's army (the German Legion), particularly the corps of
Victor von Alten (Charles's brother), brilliantly distinguished
themselves at Vittoria and again at Bayonne, but were forgotten in the
despatches, an omission that was loudly complained of by their
general, Hinuber. Other divisions of Hanoverians, up to this period
stationed in Sicily, had been sent to garrison Leghorn and
Genoa.[6]--The crown prince of Sweden followed the Prussian northern
army, but merely went as far as Liege, whence he turned back in order
to devote his whole attention to the conquest of Norway.

In the midst of the contest a fresh congress was assembled at
Chatillon, for the purpose of devising measures for the conclusion of
the war without further bloodshed. The whole of ancient France was
offered to Napoleon on condition of his restraining his ambition
within her limits and of keeping peace, but he refused to cede a foot
of land, and resolved to lose all or nothing. This congress was in so
far disadvantageous on account of the rapid movements of the armies
being checked by its fluctuating diplomacy. Schwarzenberg, for
instance, pursued a system of procrastination, separated his _corps
d'armee_ at long intervals, advanced with extreme slowness, or
remained entirely stationary. Napoleon took advantage of this
dilatoriness on the part of his opponents to make an unexpected attack
on Blucher's corps at Brienne on the 29th of January, in which Blucher
narrowly escaped being made prisoner. The flames of the city, in which
Napoleon had received his first military lessons, facilitated
Blucher's retreat. Napoleon, however, neglecting to pursue him on the
30th of January, Blucher, reinforced by the crown prince of Wurtemberg
and by Wrede, attacked him at La Rothière with such superior forces as
to put him completely to the rout. The French left seventy-three guns
sticking in the mud. Schwarzenberg, nevertheless, instead of pursuing
the retreating enemy with the whole of his forces, again delayed his
advance and divided the troops. Blucher, who had meanwhile rapidly
pushed forward upon Paris, was again unexpectedly attacked by the main
body of the French army, and the whole of his corps were, as they
separately advanced, repulsed with considerable loss, the Russians
under Olsufief at Champeaubert, those under Sacken at Montmirail, the
Prussians under York at Château-Thierry, and, finally, Blucher himself
at Beaux-champ, between the 10th and 14th of February. With
characteristic rapidity, Napoleon instantly fell upon the scattered
corps of the allied army and inflicted a severe punishment upon
Schwarzenberg, for the folly of his system. He successively repulsed
the Russians under Pahlen at Mormant, Wrede at Villeneuve le Comte,
the crown prince of Wurtemberg, who offered the most obstinate
resistance, at Montereau, on the 17th and 18th of February.[7]
Augereau had meantime, with an army levied in the south of France,
driven the Austrians, under Bubna, into Switzerland; and, although the
decisive moment had arrived, and Schwarzenberg had simply to form a
junction with Blucher in order to bring an overwhelming force against
Napoleon, the allied sovereigns and Schwarzenberg resolved, in a
council of war held at Troyes, upon a general retreat.

Blucher, upon this, magnanimously resolved to obviate at all hazards
the disastrous consequences of the retreat of the allied army, and, in
defiance of all commands, pushed forward alone.[8] This movement, far
from being rash, was coolly calculated, Blucher being sufficiently
reinforced on the Marne by Winzingerode and Bulow, by whose aid he, on
the 9th March, defeated the emperor Napoleon at Laon. The victory was
still undecided at fall of night. Napoleon allowed his troops to rest,
but Blucher remained under arms and sent York to surprise him during
the night. The French were completely dispersed and lost forty-six
guns. Napoleon, after this miserable defeat, again tried his fortune
against Schwarzenberg (who, put to shame by Blucher's brilliant
success, had again halted), and, on the 20th of March, maintained his
position at Arcis sur Aube, although the crown prince of Wurtemberg
gallantly led his troops five times to the assault. Neither side was
victorious.

Napoleon now resorted to a bold _ruse de guerre_. The peasantry, more
particularly in Lorraine, exasperated by the devastation unavoidable
during war time, and by the vengeance here and there taken by the
foreign soldiery, had risen to the rear of the allied army.
Unfortunately, no one had dreamed of treating the German Alsatians and
Lothringians as brother Germans. They were treated as French. Long
unaccustomed to invasion and to the calamities incidental to war, they
made a spirited but ineffectual resistance to the rapine of the
soldiery. Whole villages were burned down. The peasantry gathered into
troops and massacred the foreign soldiery when not in sufficient
numbers to keep them in check. Napoleon confidently expected that his
diminished armies would be supported by a general rising _en masse_,
and that Augereau, who was at that time guarding Lyons, would form a
junction with him; and, in this expectation, threw himself to the rear
of the allied forces and took up a position at Troyes with a view of
cutting them off, perhaps of surrounding them by means of the general
rising, or, at all events, of drawing them back to the Rhine. But, on
the self-same day, the 19th of March, Lyons had fallen and Augereau
had retreated southward. The people did not rise _en masse_, and the
allies took advantage of Napoleon's absence to form a grand junction,
and, with flying banners, to march unopposed upon Paris, convinced
that the possession of the capital of the French empire must
inevitably bring the war to a favorable conclusion. In Paris, there
were numerous individuals who already regarded Napoleon's fall as _un
fait accompli_, and who, ambitious of influencing the future prospects
of France, were ready to offer their services to the victors. Both
parties speedily came to an understanding. The _corps d'armee_ under
Marshals Mortier and Marmont, which were encountered midway, were
repulsed, and that under Generals Pacthod and Amey captured, together
with seventy pieces of artillery, at La Fère Ohampenoise. On the 29th
of March, the dark columns of the allied army defiled within sight of
Paris. On the 30th, they met with a spirited resistance on the heights
of Belleville and Montmartre; but the city, in order to escape
bombardment, capitulated during the night, and, on the 31st, the
allied sovereigns made a peaceful entry. The empress, accompanied by
the king of Rome, by Joseph, ex-king of Spain, and by innumerable
wagons, laden with the spoil of Europe, had already fled to the south
of France.

Napoleon, completely deceived by Winzingerode and Tettenborn, who had
remained behind with merely a weak rearguard, first learned the
advance of the main body upon Paris when too late to overtake it.
After almost annihilating his weak opponents at St. Dizier, he reached
Fontainebleau, where he learned the capitulation of Paris, and, giving
way to the whole fury of his Corsican temperament, offered to yield
the city for two days to the license of his soldiery would they but
follow him to the assault. But his own marshals, even his hero, Ney,
deserted him, and, on the 10th of April, he was compelled to resign
the imperial crown of France and to withdraw to the island of Elba on
the coast of Italy, which was placed beneath his sovereignty and
assigned to him as a residence. The kingdom of France was
re-established on its former footing; and, on the 4th of May, Louis
XVIII. entered Paris and mounted the throne of his ancestors.

Davoust was the last to offer resistance. The Russians under Bennigsen
besieged him in Hamburg, and, on his final surrender, treated him with
the greatest moderation.[9]

On the 30th of May, 1814, peace was concluded at Paris.[10] France was
reduced to her limits as in 1792, and consequently retained the
provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, of which she had, at an earlier
period, deprived Germany. Not a farthing was paid by way of
compensation for the ravages suffered by Germany, nay, the French
prisoners of war were, on their release, maintained on their way home
at the expense of the German population. None of the _chefs-d'oeuvres_
of which Europe had been plundered were restored, with the sole
exception of the group of horses, taken by Napoleon from the
Brandenburg gate at Berlin. The allied troops instantly evacuated the
country. France was allowed to regulate her internal affairs without
the interference of any of the foreign powers, while paragraphs
concerning the internal economy of Germany were not only admitted into
the treaty of Paris, and France was on that account not only called
upon to guarantee and to participate in the internal affairs of
Germany, but also afterward sent to the great Congress of Vienna an
ambassador destined to play an important part in the definitive
settlement of the affairs of Europe, and, more particularly, of those
of Germany.

The patriots, of whom the governments had made use both before and
after the war, unable to comprehend that the result of such immense
exertions and of such a complete triumph should be to bring greater
profit and glory to France than to Germany, and that their patriotism
was, on the conclusion of the war, to be renounced, were loud in their
complaints.[11] But the revival of the German empire, with which the
individual interests of so many princely houses were plainly
incompatible, was far from entering into the plans of the allied
powers. An attempt made by any one among the princes to place himself
at the head of the whole of Germany would have been frustrated by the
rest. The policy of the foreign allies was moreover antipathetic to
such a scheme. England opposed and sought to hinder unity in Germany,
not only for the sake of retaining possession of Hanover and of
exercising an influence over the disunited German princes similar to
that exercised by her over the princes of India, but more particularly
for that of ruling the commerce of Germany. Russia reverted to her
Erfurt policy. Her interests, like those of France, led her to promote
disunion among the German powers, whose weakness, the result of want
of combination, placed them at the mercy of France, and left Poland,
Sweden, and the East open to the ambition of Russia. A close alliance
was in consequence instantly formed between the emperor Alexander and
Louis XVIII., the former negotiating, as the first condition of peace,
the continuance of Lorraine and Alsace beneath the sovereignty of
France.

Austria assented on condition of Italy being placed exclusively
beneath her control. Austria united too many and too diverse nations
beneath her sceptre to be able to pursue a policy pre-eminently
German, and found it more convenient to round off her territories by
the annexation of Upper Italy than by that of distant Lorraine, at all
times a possession difficult to maintain. Prussia was too closely
connected with Russia, and Hardenberg, unlike Blucher at the head of
the Prussian army, was powerless at the head of Prussian diplomacy.
The lesser states also exercised no influence upon Germany as a whole,
and were merely intent upon preserving their individual integrity or
upon gaining some petty advantage. The Germans, some few discontented
patriots alone excepted, were more than ever devoted to their ancient
princes, both to those who had retained their station and to those who
returned to their respective territories on the fall of Napoleon; and
the victorious soldiery, adorned with ribbons, medals, and orders (the
Prussians, for instance, with the iron cross), evinced the same
unreserved attachment to their prince and zeal for his individual
interest. This complication of circumstances can alone explain the
fact of Germany, although triumphant, having made greater concessions
to France by the treaty of Paris than, when humbled, by that of
Westphalia.


[Footnote 1: His principal thesis consisted of "We are not Prussians,
Westphalians, Saxons, etc., but Germans."]

[Footnote 2: This prince took the title not of stadtholder, but of
king, to which he had no claim, but in which he was supported by
England and Russia, who unwillingly beheld Prussia aggrandized by the
possession of Holland.]

[Footnote 3: Even in the May of 1813, an ode given in No. 270 of the
Allgemeine Zeitung, appeared in Switzerland, in which it was said,
"The brave warriors of Switzerland hasten to reap fresh laurels. With
their heroic blood have they dyed the distant shores of barbarous
Haiti, the waters of the Ister and Tagus, etc. The deserts of Sarmatia
have witnessed the martial glories of the Helvetic legion."]

[Footnote 4: Shortly before this, a report had been spread of the
nomination of Marshal Berthier, prince of Neufchatel, as perpetual
Landammann of Switzerland.--_Muralt's Reinhard_.]

[Footnote 5: Out of two thousand six hundred and fifty-four Badeners
but five hundred and six returned from Spain.]

[Footnote 6: Beamisch, History of the Legion.]

[Footnote 7: Several regiments sacrificed themselves in order to cover
the retreat of the rest. Napoleon ordered a twelve-pounder to be
loaded and twice directed the gun with his own hand upon the crown
prince.--_Campaigns of the Würterribergers._]

[Footnote 8: Blücher's conduct simply proceeded from his impatience to
obtain by force of arms the most honorable terms of peace for Prussia,
while the other allied powers, who were far more indulgently disposed
toward France and who began to view the victories gained by Prussia
with an apprehension which was further strengthened by the increasing
popularity of that power throughout Germany, were more inclined to
diplomatize than to fight. Blücher was well aware of these reasons for
diplomacy and more than once cut the negotiations short with his
sabre. A well-known diplomatist attempting on one occasion to prove to
him that Napoleon must, even without the war being continued, "descend
from his throne," a league having been formed within France herself
for the restoration of the Bourbons--he answered him to his face, "The
rascality of the French is no revenge for us. It is we who must pull
him down--we. You will no doubt do wonders in your wisdom!--Patience!
You will be led as usual by the nose, and will still go on fawning and
diplomatizing until we have the nation again upon us, and the storm
bursts over our heads." He went so far as to set the diplomatists
actually at defiance. On being, to Napoleon's extreme delight, ordered
to retreat, he treated the order with contempt and instantly
advanced.--_Rauschnick's Life of Blücher_. "This second disjunction on
Blücher's part," observes Clausewitz, the Prussian general, the best
commentator on this war, "was of infinite consequence, for it checked
and gave a fresh turn to the whole course of political affairs."]

[Footnote 9: Görres said in the Rhenish Mercury, "It is easy to see
how all are inclined to conceal beneath the wide mantle of love the
horrors there perpetrated. The Germans have from time immemorial been
subjected to this sort of treatment, because ever ready to forgive and
forget the past." Davoust was arrested merely for form's sake and then
honorably released. He was allowed to retain the booty he had seized.
The citizens of Hamburg vainly implored the re-establishment of their
bank.]

[Footnote 10: Blücher took no part in these affairs. "I have," said he
to the diplomatists, "done my duty, now do yours! You will be
responsible both to God and man should your work be done in vain and
have to be done over again. I have nothing further to do with the
business!"--Experience had, however, taught him not to expect much
good from "quill-drivers."]

[Footnote 11: The Rhenish Mercury more than all. It was opposed by the
Messenger of the Tyrol, which declared that the victory was gained,
not by the "people," as they were termed, but by the princes and their
armies.--_July, 1814_.]



CCLXIII. The Congress of Vienna--Napoleon's Return and End


From Paris the sovereigns of Prussia[1] and Russia and the victorious
field-marshals proceeded, in June, to London, where they, Blucher most
particularly, were received with every demonstration of delight and
respect by the English, their oldest and most faithful allies.[2]
Toward autumn, a great European congress, to which the settlement of
every point in dispute and the restoration of order throughout Europe
were to be committed, was convoked at Vienna. At this congress, which,
in the November of 1814, was opened at Vienna, the emperors of Austria
and Russia, the kings of Prussia, Denmark, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and
the greater part of the petty princes of Germany, were present in
person; the other powers were represented by ambassadors
extraordinary. The greatest statesmen of that period were here
assembled; among others, Metternich, the Austrian minister, Hardenberg
and Humboldt, the Prussian ministers, Castlereagh, the English
plenipotentiary, Nesselrode, the Russian envoy, Talleyrand and
Dalberg, Gagern, Bernstorff, and Wrede, the ambassadors of France,
Holland, Denmark, and Bavaria, etc. The negotiations were of the
utmost importance, for, although one of the most difficult points, the
new regulation of affairs in France, was already settled, many
extremely difficult questions still remained to be solved. Talleyrand,
who had served under every government, under the republic, under the
usurper, Napoleon; who had retaken office under the Bourbons and the
Jesuits who had returned in their train, and who, on this occasion,
was the representative of the criminal and humbled French nation,
ventured, nevertheless, to offer his perfidious advice to the victors,
and, with diabolical art, to sow the seed of discord among them. This
conduct was the more striking on account of its glaring incongruity
with the proclamation of Calisch, which expressly declared that the
internal affairs of Germany were wholly and solely to be arranged by
the princes and nations of Germany, without foreign, and naturally,
least of all, without French interference.[3] Talleyrand's first
object was to suppress the popular spirit of liberty throughout
Germany, and to rouse against it the jealous apprehensions of the
princes. He therefore said, "You wish for constitutions; guard against
them. In France, desire for a constitution produced a revolution, and
the same will happen to you." He it was who gave to the congress that
catchword, legitimacy. The object of the past struggle was not the
restoration of the liberties of the people but that of the ancient
legitimate dynasties and their absolute sovereignty. The war had been
directed, not against Napoleon, but against the Revolution, against
the usurpation of the people. By means of this legitimacy the king of
Saxony was to be re-established on his throne, and Prussia was on no
account to be permitted to incorporate Saxony with her dominions.
Prussia appealed to her services toward Germany, to her enormous
sacrifices, to the support given to her by public opinion; but the
power of public opinion was itself questioned. The seeds of discord
quickly sprang up, and, on the 3d of January, 1815, a secret league
against Prussia was already formed for the purpose of again humbling
the state that had sacrificed all for the honor of Germany, of
frustrating her schemes of aggrandizement, and of quenching the
patriotic spirit of German idealists and enthusiasts.[4]

The want of unanimity amid the members of the congress had at the same
time a bad effect upon the ancient Rhenish confederated states. In
Nassau, the _Landwehr_ was, on its return home after the campaign,
received with marks of dissatisfaction. In Baden and Hesse, many of
the officers belonging to the army openly espoused Napoleon's cause.
In Baden, the volunteer corps was deprived of its horses and sent home
on foot.[5] In Wurtemberg, King Frederick refused to allow the foreign
troops and convoys a passage along the highroad through Cannstadt and
Ludwigsburg, and forbade the attendance of civil surgeons upon the
wounded belonging to the allied army. In Wurtemberg and Bavaria, the
Rhenish Mercury was suppressed on account of its patriotic and German
tendency. At Stuttgard, the festival in commemoration of the battle of
Leipzig was disallowed; and in Frankfort on the Maine, the editor of a
French journal ventured, unreprimanded, to turn this festival into
ridicule.

Switzerland was in a high state of ferment. The people of the Grisons,
who had taken possession of the Valtelline, and the people of Uri, who
had seized the Livinenthal, had been respectively driven out of those
territories by the Austrians. The Valais, Geneva, Neufchatel, and
Pruntrut were, on the other hand, desirous of joining the
confederation. The democratic peasantry were almost everywhere at war
with the aristocratic burghers. Berne revived her claim upon Vaud and
Aargau, which armed in self-defence.[6] Reinhard of Zurich, the Swiss
_Landammann_, went, meanwhile, at the head of an embassy to Vienna,
for the purpose of settling in the congress the future destinies of
Switzerland by means of the intervention of the great powers.
Talleyrand, with unparalleled impudence, also interfered in this
affair, threatened to refuse his recognition to every measure passed
without his concurrence, and compelled the Swiss to entreat him to
honor the deliberations with his presence. On Austria's demanding a
right of conscription in the Grisons alone, France having enjoyed that
right throughout the whole of Switzerland at an earlier period,
Talleyrand advised the Swiss to make a most violent opposition against
an attempt that placed their independence at stake. "Cry out," he
exclaimed, "cry out, as loud as you can!"[7]

The disputes in the congress raised Napoleon's hopes. In France, his
party was still powerful, almost the whole of the population being
blindly devoted to him, and an extensive conspiracy for his
restoration to the imperial throne was secretly set on foot. Several
thousands of his veteran soldiery had been released from foreign
durance; the whole of the military stores, the spoil of Europe, still
remained in the possession of France; the fortresses were solely
garrisoned with French troops; Elba was close at hand, and the emperor
was guarded with criminal negligence. Heavy, indeed, is the
responsibility of those who, by thus neglecting their charge, once
more let loose this scourge upon the earth![8] Napoleon quitted his
island, and, on the 1st of March, 1815, again set foot on the coast of
France. He was merely accompanied by one thousand five hundred men,
but the whole of the troops sent against him by Louis XVIII. ranged
themselves beneath his eagle. He passed, as if in triumph, through his
former empire. The whole nation received him with acclamations of
delight. Not a single Frenchman shed a drop of blood for the Bourbon,
who fled hastily to Ghent; and, on the 20th of March, Napoleon entered
Paris unopposed. His brother-in-law, Murat, at the same time revolted
at Naples and advanced into Upper Italy against the Austrians. But all
the rest of Napoleon's ancient allies, persuaded that he must again
fall, either remained tranquil or formed a close alliance with the
combined powers. The Swiss, in particular, showed excessive zeal on
this occasion, and took up arms against France, in the hope of
rendering the allied sovereigns favorable to their new constitution,
The Swiss regiments, which had passed from Napoleon's service to that
of Louis XVIII., also remained unmoved by Napoleon's blandishments,
were deprived of their arms and returned separately to Switzerland.

The allied sovereigns were still assembled at Vienna, and at once
allowed every dispute to drop in order to form a fresh and closer
coalition. They declared Napoleon an outlaw, a robber, proscribed by
all Europe, and bound themselves to bring a force more than a million
strong into the field against him. All Napoleon's cunning attempts to
bribe and set them at variance were treated with scorn, and the
combined powers speedily came to an understanding on the points
hitherto so strongly contested. Saxony was partitioned between her
ancient sovereign and Prussia, and a revolt that broke out in Liege
among the Saxon troops, who were by command of Prussia to be divided
before they had been released from their oath of allegiance to their
king, is easily explained by the hurry and pressure of the times,
which caused all minor considerations to be forgotten.[9] Napoleon
exclusively occupied the mind of every diplomatist, and all agreed in
the necessity, at all hazards, of his utter annihilation. The lion,
thus driven at bay, turned upon his pursuers for a last and desperate
struggle. The French were still faithful to Napoleon, who, with a view
of reinspiring them with the enthusiastic spirit that had rendered
them invincible in the first days of the republic, again called forth
the old republicans, nominated them to the highest appointments,
re-established several republican institutions, and, on the 1st of
June, presented to his dazzled subjects the magnificent spectacle of a
field of May, as in the times of Charlemagne and in the commencement
of the Revolution, and then led a numerous and spirited army to the
Dutch frontiers against the enemy.

Here stood a Prussian army under Blucher, and an Anglo-German one
under Wellington, comprehending the Dutch under the Prince of Orange,
the Brunswickers under their duke, the recruited Hanoverian Legion
under Wallmoden. These _corps d'armée_ most imminently threatened
Paris. The main body of the allied army, under Schwarzenberg, then
advancing from the south, was still distant. Napoleon consequently
directed his first attack against the two former. His army had gained
immensely in strength and spirit by the return of his veteran troops
from foreign imprisonment. Wellington, ignorant at what point Napoleon
might cross the frontier, had followed the old and ill-judged plan of
dividing his forces; an incredible error, the allies having simply to
unite their forces and to take up a firm position in order to draw
Napoleon to any given spot. Wellington, moreover, never imagined that
Napoleon was so near at hand, and was amusing himself at a ball at
Brussels, when Blucher, who was stationed in and around Namur, was
attacked on the 14th of June, 1815.[10] Napoleon afterward observed in
his memoirs that he had attacked Blucher first because he well knew
that Blucher would not be supported by the over-prudent and
egotistical English commander, but that Wellington, had he been first
attacked, would have received every aid from his high-spirited and
faithful ally. Wellington, after being repeatedly urged by Blucher,
collected his scattered corps, but neither completely nor with
sufficient rapidity; and on Blucher's announcement of Napoleon's
arrival, exerted himself on the following morning so far as to make a
_reconnaissance_. The duke of Brunswick, with impatience equalling
that of Blucher, was the only one who had quitted the ball during the
night and had hurried forward against the enemy. Napoleon, owing to
Wellington's negligence, gained time to throw himself between him and
Blucher and to prevent their junction; for he knew the spirit of his
opponents. He consequently opposed merely a small division of his army
under Ney to the English and turned with the whole of his main body
against the Prussians. The veteran Blucher perceived his
intentions[11] and in consequence urgently demanded aid from the Duke
of Wellington, who promised to send him a reinforcement of twenty
thousand men by four o'clock on the 16th. But this aid never arrived,
Wellington, although Ney was too weak to obstruct the movement, making
no attempt to perform his promise. Wellington retired with superior
forces before Ney at Quatre Bras, and allowed the gallant and
unfortunate Duke William of Brunswick to fall a futile sacrifice.
Blucher meanwhile yielded to the overwhelming force brought against
him by Napoleon at Ligny, also on the 16th of June. Vainly did the
Prussians rush to the attack beneath the murderous fire of the French,
vainly did Blucher in person head the assault and for five hours
continue the combat hand to hand in the village of Ligny. Numbers
prevailed, and Wellington sent no relief. The infantry being at length
driven back, Blucher led the cavalry once more to the charge, but was
repulsed and fell senseless beneath his horse, which was shot dead.
His adjutant, Count Nostitz, alone remained at his side. The French
cavalry passed close by without perceiving them, twilight and a misty
rain having begun to fall. The Prussians fortunately missed their
leader, repulsed the French cavalry, which again galloped past him as
he lay on the ground, and he was at length drawn from beneath his
horse. He still lived, but only to behold the complete defeat of his
army.

Blucher, although a veteran of seventy-three, and wounded and
shattered by his fall, was not for a moment discouraged.[12] Ever
vigilant, he assembled his scattered troops with wonderful rapidity,
inspirited them by his cheerful words, and had the generosity to
promise aid, by the afternoon of the 18th of June, to Wellington, who
was now in his turn attacked by the main body of the French under
Napoleon. What Wellington on the 16th, with a fresh army, could not
perform, Blucher now effected with troops dejected by defeat, and put
the English leader to the deepest shame by--keeping his word.[13] He
consequently fell back upon Wavre in order to remain as close as
possible in Wellington's vicinity, and also sent orders to Bulow's
corps, that was then on the advance, to join the English army, while
Napoleon, in the idea that Blucher was falling back upon the Meuse,
sent Grouchy in pursuit with a body of thirty-five thousand men.[14]

Napoleon, far from imagining that the Prussians, after having been, as
he supposed, completely annihilated or panic-stricken by Grouchy,
could aid the British, wasted the precious moments, and, instead of
hastily attacking Wellington, spent the whole of the morning of the
18th in uselessly parading his troops, possibly with a view of
intimidating his opponents and of inducing them to retreat without
hazarding an engagement. His well-dressed lines glittered in the
sunbeams; the infantry raised their tschakos on their bayonet points,
the cavalry their helmets on their sabres, and gave a general cheer
for their emperor. The English, however, preserved an undaunted
aspect. At length, about midday, Napoleon gave orders for the attack,
and, furiously charging the British left wing, drove it from the
village of Hougumont. He then sent orders to Ney to charge the British
centre. At that moment a dark spot was seen in the direction of St.
Lambert. Was it Grouchy? A reconnoitring party was despatched and
returned with the news of its being the Prussians under Bulow. The
attack upon the British centre was consequently remanded, and Ney was
despatched with a considerable portion of his troops against Bulow.
Wellington now ventured to charge the enemy with his right wing, but
was repulsed and lost the farm of La Haye Sainte, which commanded his
position on this side as Hougumont did on his right. His centre,
however, remained unattacked, the French exerting their utmost
strength to keep Bulow's gallant troops back at the village of
Planchenoit, where the battle raged with the greatest fury, and a
dreadful conflict of some hours' duration ensued hand to hand. But
about five o'clock, the left wing of the British being completely
thrown into confusion by a fresh attack on the enemy's side, the whole
of the French cavalry, twelve thousand strong, made a furious charge
upon the British centre, bore down all before them, and took a great
number of guns. The Prince of Orange was wounded. The road to Brussels
was already thronged with the fugitive English troops, and Wellington,
scarcely able to keep his weakened lines together,[15] was apparently
on the brink of destruction, when the thunder of artillery was
suddenly heard in the direction of Wavre. "It is Grouchy!" joyfully
exclaimed Napoleon, who had repeatedly sent orders to that general to
push forward with all possible speed. But it was not Grouchy, it was
Blucher.

The faithful troops of the veteran marshal (the old Silesian army)
were completely worn out by the battle, by their retreat in the heavy
rain over deep roads, and by the want of food. The distance from
Wavre, whence they had been driven, to Waterloo, where Wellington was
then in action, was not great, but was rendered arduous owing to these
circumstances. The men sometimes fell down from extreme weariness, and
the guns stuck fast in the deep mud. But Blucher was everywhere
present, and notwithstanding his bodily pain ever cheered his men
forward, with "indescribable pathos," saying to his disheartened
soldiers, "My children, we must advance; I have promised it, do not
cause me to break my word!" While still distant from the scene of
action, he ordered the guns to be fired in order to keep up the
courage of the English, and at length, between six and seven in the
evening, the first Prussian corps in advance, that of Ziethen, fell
furiously upon the enemy: "Bravo!" cried Blucher, "I know you, my
Silesians; to-day we shall see the backs of these French rascals!"
Ziethen filled up the space still intervening between Wellington and
Bulow. Exactly at that moment, Napoleon had sent his old guard forward
in four massive squares in order to make a last attempt to break the
British lines, when Ziethen fell upon their flank and dealt fearful
havoc among their close masses with his artillery. Bulow's troops,
inspirited by this success, now pressed gallantly forward and finally
regained the long-contested village of Planchenoit from the enemy. The
whole of the Prussian army, advancing at the double and with drums
beating, had already driven back the right wing of the French, when
the English, regaining courage, advanced, Napoleon was surrounded on
two sides, and the whole of his troops, the old guard under General
Cambronne alone excepted, were totally dispersed and fled in complete
disorder. The old guard, surrounded by Bulow's cavalry, nobly replied,
when challenged to surrender, "La garde ne se rend pas"; and in a few
minutes the veteran conquerors of Europe fell beneath the righteous
and avenging blows of their antagonists. At the farm of La Belle
Alliance, Blucher offered his hand to Wellington. "I will sleep
to-night in Bonaparte's last night's quarters," said Wellington. "And
I will drive him out of his present ones!" replied Blucher. The
Prussians, fired by enthusiasm, forgot the fatigue they had for four
days endured, and, favored by a moonlight night, so zealously pursued
the French that an immense number of prisoners and a vast amount of
booty fell into their hands and Napoleon narrowly escaped being taken
prisoner. At Genappe, where the bridge was blocked by fugitives, the
pursuit was so close that he was compelled to abandon his carriage
leaving his sword and hat behind him. Blucher, who reached the spot a
moment afterward, took possession of the booty, sent Napoleon's hat,
sword, and star to the king of Prussia, retained his cloak, telescope,
and carriage for his own use, and gave up everything else, including a
quantity of the most valuable jewelry, gold, and money, to his brave
soldiery. The whole of the army stores, two hundred and forty guns,
and an innumerable quantity of arms thrown away by the fugitives, fell
into his hands.

The Prussian general, Thielemann, who, with a few troops, had remained
behind at Wavre in order, at great hazard, to deceive Grouchy into the
belief that he was still opposed by Blucher's entire force, acted a
lesser, but equally honorable part on this great day. He fulfilled his
commission with great skill, and so completely deceived Grouchy as to
hinder his making a single attempt to throw himself in the way of the
Prussians on the Paris road.

Blucher pushed forward without a moment's delay, and, on the 29th of
June, stood before Paris. Napoleon had, meanwhile, a second time
abdicated, and had fled from Paris in the hope of escaping across the
seas. Davoust, the ancient instrument of his tyranny, who commanded in
Paris, attempting to make terms of capitulation with Blucher, was
sharply answered, "You want to make a defence? Take care what you do.
You well know what license the irritated soldiery will take if your
city must be taken by storm. Do you wish to add the sack of Paris to
that of Hamburg, already loading your conscience?"[16] Paris
surrendered after a severe engagement at Issy, and Muffling, the
Prussian general, was placed in command of the city, July the 7th,
1815. It was on the occasion of a grand banquet given by Wellington
shortly after the occupation of Paris by the allied troops that
Blucher gave the celebrated toast, "May the pens of diplomatists not
again spoil all that the swords of our gallant armies have so nobly
won!"

Schwarzenberg had in the interim also penetrated into France, and the
crown prince of Wurtemberg had defeated General Rapp at Strasburg and
had surrounded that fortress. The Swiss, under General Bachmann, who
had, although fully equipped for the field, hitherto prudently watched
the turn of events, invaded France immediately after the battle of
Waterloo, pillaged Burgundy, besieged and took the fortress of
Huningen, which, with the permission of the allies, they justly razed
to the ground, the insolent French having thence fired upon the
bridges of Basel which lay close in its vicinity. A fresh Austrian
army under Frimont advanced from Italy as far as Lyons. On the 17th of
July, Napoleon surrendered himself in the bay of Rochefort to the
English, whose ships prevented his escape; he moreover preferred
falling into their hands than into those of the Prussians. The whole
of France submitted to the triumphant allies, and Louis XVIII. was
reinstated on his throne. Murat had also been simultaneously defeated
at Tolentino in Italy by the Austrians under Bianchi, and Ferdinand
IV. had been restored to the throne of Naples. Murat fled to Corsica,
but his retreat to France was prevented by the success of the allies,
and in his despair he, with native rashness, yielded to the advice of
secret intriguants and returned to Italy with a design of raising a
popular insurrection, but was seized on landing and shot on the 13th
of October.[17]

Blucher was greatly inclined to give full vent to his justly roused
rage against Paris. The bridge of Jena, one of the numerous bridges
across the Seine, the principal object of his displeasure, was,
curiously enough, saved from destruction (he had already attempted to
blow it up) by the arrival of the king of Prussia.[18] His proposal to
punish France by partitioning the country and thus placing it on a par
with Germany, was far more practical in its tendency.

This honest veteran had in fact a deeper insight into affairs than the
most wary diplomatists.[19] In 1815, the same persons, as in 1814, met
in Paris, and similar interests were agitated. Foreign jealousy again
effected the conclusion of this peace at the expense of Germany and in
favor of France. Blucher's influence at first reigned supreme. The
king of Prussia, who, together with the emperors of Russia and
Austria, revisited Paris, took Stein and Gruner into his council. The
crown prince of Wurtemberg also zealously exerted himself in favor of
the reunion of Lorraine and Alsace with Germany.[20] But Russia and
England beholding the reintegration of Germany with displeasure,
Austria,[21] and finally Prussia, against whose patriots all were in
league, yielded.[22] The future destinies of Europe were settled on
the side of England by Wellington and Castlereagh; on that of Russia
by Prince John Razumowsky, Nesselrode, and Capo d'Istria; on that of
Austria by Metternich and Wessenberg; on that of Prussia by Hardenberg
and William von Humboldt. The German patriots were excluded from the
discussion,[23] and a result extremely unfavorable to Germany
naturally followed:[24] Alsace and Lorraine remained annexed to
France. By the second treaty of Paris, which was definitively
concluded on the 20th of November, 1815, France was merely compelled
to give up the fortresses of Philippeville, Marienburg, Sarlouis, and
Landau, to demolish Huningen, and to allow eighteen other fortresses
on the German frontier to be occupied by the allies until the new
government had taken firm footing in France. Until then, one hundred
and fifty thousand of the allied troops were also to remain within the
French territory and to be maintained at the expense of the people.
France was, moreover, condemned to pay seven hundred millions of
francs toward the expenses of the war and to restore the _chef
d'oeuvres_ of which she had deprived every capital in Europe. The
sword of Frederick the Great was not refound: Marshal Serrurier
declared that he had burned it.[25] On the other hand, however, almost
all the famous old German manuscripts, which had formerly been carried
from Heidelberg to Rome, and thence by Napoleon to Paris, were sent
back to Heidelberg. One of the most valuable, the Manessian Code of
the Swabian Minnesingers, was left in Paris, where it had been
concealed. Blucher expired, in 1819, on his estate in Silesia.[26]

The French were now sufficiently humbled to remain in tranquillity,
and designedly displayed such submission that the allied sovereigns
resolved, at a congress held at Aix-la-Chapelle, in the autumn of
1818, to withdraw their troops. Napoleon was, with the concurrence of
the assembled powers, taken to the island of St. Helena, where,
surrounded by the dreary ocean, several hundred miles from any
inhabited spot, and guarded with petty severity by the English, he was
at length deprived of every means of disturbing the peace of Europe.
Inactivity and the unhealthiness of the climate speedily dissolved the
earthly abode of this giant spirit. He expired on the 5th of May,
1821. His consort, Maria Louisa, was created Duchess of Parma; and his
son lived, under the title of Duke of Reichstadt, with his imperial
grandfather at Vienna, until his death in 1832. Napoleon's stepson,
Eugene Beauharnais, the former viceroy of Italy, the son-in-law to the
king of Bavaria, received the newly-created mediatized principality of
Eichstadt, which was dependent upon Bavaria, and the title of Duke of
Leuchtenberg. Jerome, the former king of Westphalia, became Count de
Montfort;[27] Louis, ex-king of Holland, Count de St. Leu.


[Footnote 1: From London, Frederick William went to Switzerland and
took possession of his ancient hereditary territory, Wälsch-Neuenburg
or Neufchâtel, visited the beautiful Bernese Oberland, and then
returned to Berlin, where, on the 7th of August, he passed in triumph
through the Brandenburg gate, which was again adorned with the car of
victory and the fine group of horses, and rode through the lime trees
to an altar, around which the clergy belonging to every religious sect
were assembled. Here public thanks were given and the whole of the
citizens present fell upon their knees.--_Allgemeine Zeitung, 262_. On
the 17th of September, the preparation of a new liturgy was announced
in a ministerial proclamation, "by which the solemnity of the church
service was to be increased, the present one being too little
calculated to excite or strike the imagination."]

[Footnote 2: Oxford conferred a doctor's degree upon Blücher, who,
upon receiving this strange honor, said, "Make Gneisenau apothecary,
for he it was who prepared my pills." On his first reception at
Carlton House, the populace pushed their way through the guards and
doors as far as the apartments of the prince-regent, who, taking his
gray-headed guest by the hand, presented him to them, and publicly
hung his portrait set in brilliants around his neck. On his passing
through the streets, the horses were taken from his carriage, and he
was drawn in triumph by the shouting crowd. One fête succeeded
another. During the great races at Ascot, the crowd breaking through
the barriers and insisting upon Blücher's showing himself, the
prince-regent came forward, and, politely telling them that he had not
yet arrived, led forward the emperor Alexander, who was loudly
cheered, but Blücher's arrival was greeted with thunders of applause
far surpassing those bestowed upon the sovereigns, a circumstance that
was afterward blamed by the English papers. In the Freemasons' Lodge,
Blücher was received by numbers of ladies, on each of whom he bestowed
a salute. At Portsmouth, he drank to the health of the English in the
presence of an immense concourse of people assembled beneath his
windows.--The general rejoicing was solely clouded by the domestic
circumstances of the royal family, by the insanity of the aged and
blind king and by the disunion reigning between the prince-regent and
his thoughtless consort, Caroline of Brunswick.--Although the whole of
the allied sovereigns, some of whom were unable to speak English,
understood German, French was adopted as the medium of conversation.--
_Allgemeine Zeitung, 174._]

[Footnote 3: "There are moments in the life of nations on which the
whole of their future destiny depends. The children are destined to
expiate their fathers' errors with their blood. Germany has everything
to fear from the foreigner, and yet she cannot arrange her own affairs
without calling the foreigner to her aid.--Who, in the congress,
chiefly oppose every well-laid plan? Who, with the dagger's point pick
out and reopen all our wounds, and rub them with salt and poison? Who
promote confusion, provoke, insinuate, and attempt to creep into every
committee, to interfere in every discussion? who but those sent
thither by France?"--_The Rhenish Mercury._]

[Footnote 4: Fate willed that Stein should not be called upon to act
with firmness, but Hardenberg to make concessions. Stein disappeared
from the theatre of events and was degraded to a lower sphere.
Hardenberg was created prince.]

[Footnote 5: Napoleon had such good friends among the Rhenish
confederated princes that Augustus, duke of Gotha, for instance, even
after the second occupation of Paris, on the return of his troops in
the November of 1815, prohibited any demonstrations of triumph and
even deprived the _Landwehr_ of their uniforms, so that the poor
fellows had to return in their shirt-sleeves to their native villages
during the hard winter.--_Jacob's Campaigns._]

[Footnote 6: An attack upon Berne had already been concerted. Colonel
Bär marched with the people of Aargau in the night time upon Aarburg,
but his confederates failing to make their appearance, he caused the
nearest Bernese governor to be alarmed and hastily retraced his steps.
The Bernese instantly sent an armed force to the frontier, where,
finding all tranquil, the charge of aggression was thrown upon their
shoulders.]

[Footnote 7: Vide Muralt's Life of Reinhard.]

[Footnote 8: Blücher was at Berlin at the moment when the news of
Napoleon's escape arrived. He instantly roused the English ambassador
from his sleep by shouting in his ear, "Have the English a fleet in
the Mediterranean?"]

[Footnote 9: The blame was entirely upon the Prussian side. The
Saxons, as good soldiers, naturally revolted at the idea that they
would at once be faithless to their oath and mutinied. General
Müffling was insulted for having spoken of "Saxon hounds." Blücher
even was compelled secretly to take his departure. The Saxon troops
were, however, reduced to obedience by superior numbers of Prussians,
and their colors were burned. The whole corps was about to be
decimated, when Colonel Romer came forward and demanded that the
sentence of death should be first executed on him. Milder measures
were in consequence reverted to, and a few of the men were condemned
to death by drawing lots. Kanitz, the drummer, a youth of sixteen,
however, threw away the dice, exclaiming, "It is I who beat the
summons for revolt, and I will be the first to die." He and six others
were shot. Borstel, the Prussian general, the hero of Dennewitz, who
had steadily refused to burn the Saxon colors, was compelled to quit
the service.]

[Footnote 10: For a refutation of Menzel's absurdly perverted relation
of these great events, the reader is referred not only to the Duke of
Wellington's despatches and to Colonel Siborne's well-established
account of the battles of Ligny, Wavre, Quatre Bras, and Waterloo, but
also to those of his countrymen, Muffling, the Prussian general, and
Wagner.--_Trans._]

[Footnote 11: Shortly before the battle, Bourmont, the French general,
set up the white cockade (the symbol of Bourbon) and deserted to
Blucher, who merely said, "It is all one what symbol the fellows set
up, rascals are ever rascals!"]

[Footnote 12: The surgeon, when about to rub him with some liquid, was
asked by him what it was, and being told that it was spirits, "Ah,"
said he, "the thing is of no use externally!" and snatching the glass
from the hand of his attendant, he drank it off.]

[Footnote 13: Against all expectation to aid an ally who on the
previous day had against all expectation been unable to give him aid,
evinced at once magnanimity, sense, and good feeling.--_Clausewitz_.]

[Footnote 14: A Prussian battery, that on its way from Namur turned
back on receiving news of this disaster and was taken by the French,
is said to have chiefly led to the commission of this immense blunder
by Napoleon.]

[Footnote 15: The Hanoverian legion again covered itself with glory by
the steadiness with which it opposed the enemy. It lost three thousand
five hundred men, the Dutch eight thousand; the German troops
consequently lost collectively as many as the English, whose loss was
computed at eleven or twelve thousand men. The Prussians, whose loss
at Ligny and Waterloo exceeded that of their allies, behaved with even
greater gallantry.]

[Footnote 16: The French were extremely affronted on account of this
communication being made in German instead of French, and even at the
present day German historians are generally struck with deeper
astonishment at this sample of Blücher's bold spirit than at any
other.]

[Footnote 17: Ney, "the bravest of the brave," who dishonored his
bravery by the basest treachery, met with an equally melancholy fate.
Immediately after having, for instance, kissed the gouty fingers of
Louis XVIII. and boasting that he would imprison Napoleon within an
iron cage, he went over to the latter. He was sentenced to death and
shot, after vainly imploring the allied monarchs and personally
petitioning Wellington for mercy.--Alexander Berthier, prince of
Neufchatel, Napoleon's chief confidant, had, even before the outbreak
of war, thrown himself out of a window in a fit of hypochondriasis and
been killed.]

[Footnote 18: Talleyrand begged Count von der Goltz to use his
influence for its preservation with Blücher, who replied to his
entreaties, "I will blow up the bridge, and should very much like to
have Talleyrand sitting upon it at the time!" An attempt to blow it up
was actually made, but failed.]

[Footnote 19: Many of whom were in fact wilfully blind. Hardenberg, by
whom the noble-spirited Stein was so ill replaced, and who, with all
possible decency, ever succeeded in losing in the cabinet the
advantages gained by Blücher in the field, the diplomatic bird of ill
omen by whom the peace of Basel had formerly been concluded, was thus
addressed by Blücher: "I should like you gentlemen of the quill to be
for once in a way exposed to a smart platoon fire, just to teach you
what perils we soldiers have to run in order to repair the blunders
you so thoughtlessly commit." An instructive commentary upon these
events is to be met with in Stein's letters to Gagern. The light in
which Stein viewed the Saxons may be gathered from the following
passages in his letters: "My desire for the aggrandizement of Prussia
proceeded not from a blind partiality to that state, but from the
conviction that Germany is weakened by a system of partition ruinous
alike to her national learning and national feelings."--"It is not for
Prussia but for Germany that I desire a closer, a firmer internal
combination, a wish that will accompany me to the grave: the division
of our national strength may be gratifying to others, it never can be
so to me." This truly German policy mainly distinguished Stein from
Hardenberg, who, thoroughly Prussian in his ideas, was incapable of
perceiving that Prussia's best-understood policy ever will be to
identify herself with Germany.]

[Footnote 20: Allgemeine Zeitung, No. 285.]

[Footnote 21: It was proposed that Lorraine and Alsace should be
bestowed upon the Archduke Charles, who at that period wedded the
Princess Henrietta of Nassau. The proposition, however, quickly fell
to the ground.]

[Footnote 22: Even in July, their organ, Görres's Rhenish Mercury, was
placed beneath the censor. In August, it was said that the men,
desirous of giving a constitution to Prussia, had fallen into
disgrace.--Allgemeine Zeitung, No. 249. In September, Schmalz, in
Berlin, unveiled the presumed revolutionary intrigues of the
_Tugendbund_ and declared "the unity of Germany is something to which
the spirit of every nation in Germany has ever been antipathetic." He
received a Prussian and a Wurtemberg order, besides an extremely
gracious autograph letter from the king of Prussia, although his base
calumnies against the friends of his country were thrown back upon him
by the historians Niebuhr and Runs, who were then in a high position,
by Schleiermacher, the theologian, and by others. The nobility also
began to stir, attempted to regain their ancient privileges in
Prussia, and intrigued against the men who, during the time of need,
had made concessions to the citizens.--Allgemeine Zeitung, No. 276.]

[Footnote 23: The Allgemeine Zeitung, No. 349, laughs at the report of
their having withdrawn from the discussion, and says that they were no
longer invited to take part in it.]

[Footnote 24: On the loud complaints of the Rhenish Mercury, of the
gazettes of Bremen and Hanau, and even of the Allgemeine Zeitung, the
Austrian Observer, edited by Gentz, declared that "to demand a better
peace would be to demand the ruin of France."--Allgemeine Zeitung,
Nos. 345, 365. On Görres's repeated demand for the reannexation of
Alsace and Lorraine, of which Germany had been so unwarrantably
deprived, the Austrian Observer declared in the beginning of 1816,
"who would believe that Görres would lend his pen to such miserable
arguments. Alsace and Lorraine are guaranteed to France. To demand
their restoration would be contrary to every notion of honor and
justice." In this manner was Germany a second time robbed of these
provinces. Washington Paine denominated Strasburg, "a melancholy
sentry, of which unwary Germany has allowed herself to be deprived,
and which now, accoutred in an incongruous uniform, does duty against
his own country."]

[Footnote 25: The Invalids had in the same spirit cast the triumphal
monument of the field of Rossbach into the Seine, in order to prevent
its restoration. The alarum formerly belonging to Frederick the Great
was also missing. Napoleon had it on his person during his flight and
made use of it at St. Helena, where it struck his death-hour.]

[Footnote 26: He was descended from a noble race, which at a very
early period enjoyed high repute in Mecklenburg and Pomerania. In
1271, an Ulric von Blücher was bishop of Batzeburg. A legend relates
that, during a time of dearth, an empty barn was, on his petitioning
Heaven, instantly filled with corn. In 1356, Wipertus von Blücher also
became bishop of Ratzeburg, and, on the pope's refusal to confirm him
in his diocese on account of his youth, his hair turned gray in one
night. Vide Klüwer's Description of Mecklenburg, 1728.]

[Footnote 27: His wife, Catherine of Würtemberg, was in 1814, attacked
during her flight, on her way through France and robbed of her
jewels.--_Allgemeine Zettung, No. 130._]


       *       *       *       *       *

PART XXIII

THE LATEST TIMES

CCLXIV. The German Confederation


Thus terminated the terrible storms that, not without benefit, had
convulsed Europe. Every description of political crime had been
fearfully avenged and presumption had been chastised by the unerring
hand of Providence. At that solemn period, the sovereigns of Russia,
Austria, and Prussia concluded a treaty by which they bound themselves
to follow, not the ruinous policy they had hitherto pursued, but the
undoubted will of the King of kings, and, as the viceroys of God upon
the earth, to maintain peace, to uphold virtue and justice. This Holy
Alliance was concluded on the 26th of September, 1815. All the
European powers took part in it; England, who excused herself, the
pope, and the sultan, whose accession was not demanded, alone
excepted.

The new partition of Europe, nevertheless, retained almost all the
unnatural conditions introduced by the more ancient and godless policy
of Louis XIV. and of Catherine II. Germany, Poland, and Italy remained
partitioned among rulers partly foreign. Everywhere were countries
exchanged or freshly partitioned and rendered subject to foreign rule.
England retained possession of Hanover, which was elevated into a
German kingdom, of the Ionian islands, and of Malta in the
Mediterranean. Russia received the grandduchy of Warsaw, which was
raised to a kingdom of Poland, but was not united with Lithuania,
Volhynia, Podolia, and the Ukraine, the ancient provinces of Poland
standing beneath the sovereignty of Russia, and Finland, for which
Sweden received in exchange Norway, of which Denmark was forcibly
dispossessed. Holland was annexed to the old Austrian Netherlands and
elevated to a kingdom under William of Orange.[1] Switzerland remained
a confederation of twenty-two cantons,[2] externally independent and
neutral, internally somewhat aristocratic in tendency, the ancient
oligarchy everywhere regaining their power. The Jesuits were
reinstated by the pope. In Spain, Portugal, and Naples, the form of
government prior to the Revolution was reestablished by the ancient
sovereigns on their restoration to their thrones.

Alsace and Lorraine, Switzerland and the new kingdom of the
Netherlands, the provinces of Luxemburg excepted, were no longer
regarded as forming part of Germany. Austria received Milan and Venice
under the title of a Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, the Illyrian provinces
also as a kingdom, Venetian Dalmatia, the Tyrol,[3] Vorarlberg,
Salzburg, the Inn, and Hausruckviertel, and the part of Galicia ceded
by her at an earlier period. The grandduchy of Tuscany and the duchies
of Modena, Parma, and Placentia were, moreover, restored to the
collateral branches of the house of Habsburg.[4]--Prussia received
half of Saxony, the grand-duchy of Posen, Swedish-Pomerania,[5] a
great portion of Westphalia, and almost the whole of the Lower Rhine
from Mayence as far as Aix-la-Chapelle.[6] Since this period Prussia
is that one which, among all the states of Germany, possesses the
greatest number of German subjects, Austria, although more
considerable in extent, containing a population of which by far the
greater proportion is not German. Bavaria, in exchange for the
provinces again ceded by her to Austria, received the province of
Wurzburg together with Aschaffenburg and the Upper Rhenish Pfalz under
the title of Rhenish-Bavaria. Hanover received East Friesland, which
had hitherto been dependent upon Prussia. Out of this important
province, which opened the North Sea to Prussia, was Hardenberg
cajoled by the wily English. The electorates of Hesse, Brunswick, and
Oldenburg were restored. Everything else was allowed to subsist as at
the time of the Rhenish confederation. All the petty princes and
counts, then mediatized, continued to be so.

The ancient empire, instead of being re-established, was, on the 8th
of June, 1815, replaced by a German confederation, composed of the
thirty-nine German states that had escaped the general ruin; Austria,
Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover, Wurtemberg, Baden, electoral Hesse,
Darmstadt, Denmark on account of Holstein,[7] the Netherlands on
account of Luxemburg, Brunswick, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Nassau,
Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Gotha (where the reigning dynasty became extinct,
and the duchy was partitioned among the other Saxon houses of the
Ernestine line), Saxe-Coburg, Saxe-Meiningen, Saxe-Hildburghausen,
Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Holstein-Oldenburg, Anhalt-Dessau, Anhalt-
Bernburg, Anhalt-Kothen, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Schwarzburg-
Rudolstadt, Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Lichtenstein, Hohenzollern-
Sigmaringen, Waldeck, Reuss the elder, and Reuss the younger
branch,[8] Schaumburg-Lippe, Lippe-Detmold, Hesse-Homburg: finally,
the free towns, Lubeck, Frankfort on the Maine, Bremen, and
Hamburg.[9] At Frankfort on the Maine a permanent diet, consisting of
plenipotentiaries from the thirty-nine states, was to hold its
session. The votes were, however, so regulated that the eleven states
of first rank alone held a full vote, the secondary states merely
holding a half or a fourth part of a vote, as, for instance, all the
Saxon duchies collectively, one vote; Brunswick and Nassau, one; the
two Mecklenburgs, one; Oldenburg, Anhalt, and Schwarzburg, one; the
petty princes of Hohenzollern, Lichtenstein, Reuss, Lippe, and
Waldeck, one; all the free towns, one; forming altogether in the diet
seventeen votes. In constitutional questions relating to regulations
of the confederation the _plenum_ was to be allowed, that is, the six
states of the highest rank were to have each four votes, the next five
states each three, Brunswick, Schwerin, and Nassau, each two, and all
the remaining princes without distinction, each one vote.[10]--Austria
held the permanent presidency. In all resolutions relating to the
fundamental laws, the organic regulations of the confederation, the
_jura singulorum_ and matters of religion, unanimity was required. All
the members of the confederation bound themselves neither to enter
into war nor into any foreign alliance against the confederation or
any of its members. The thirteenth article declared, "Each of the
confederated states will grant a constitution to the people." The
sixteenth placed all Christian sects throughout the German
confederation on an equality. The eighteenth granted freedom of
settlement within the limits of the confederation, and promised
"uniformity of regulation concerning the liberty of the press." The
fortresses of Luxemburg, Mayence, and Landau were declared the common
property of the confederation and occupied in common by their troops.
A fourth fortress was to have been raised on the Upper Rhine with
twenty millions of the French contribution money. It has not yet been
erected.

This was the new constitution given to Germany. According to the
treaty of Paris it could not be otherwise modelled, and it is
explained by the foreign influence that then prevailed. The diet
assembled at Frankfort on the Maine, and was opened by Count
Buol-Schauenstein with a solemn address, which excited no enthusiasm.
An orator in the American assembly at that time observed, "The
non-development of the seed contained in Germany appears to be the
common aim of a resolute policy."

All now united for the complete suppression of the German patriotic
party. In the former Rhenish confederated states, it had been treated
with open contempt[11] ever since Gentz had given the signal for
persecution in Austria. Prussia, however, also drove all those who had
most faithfully served her in her hour of need from her bosom. Stein
was compelled to withdraw to Kappenberg, his country estate. Gruner
was removed from office and sent as ambassador to Switzerland, where
he died. The Rhenish Mercury, that had performed such great services
to Prussia, was prohibited, and Gorres was threatened with the house
of correction.[12] All other papers of a patriotic tendency were also
suppressed. In Jena, Oken and Luden, in Weimar, Wieland the younger,
alone ventured for some time to give utterance to their liberal
opinions, which were finally also reduced to silence.

Patriotic enthusiasm was, however, not so speedily suppressed amid the
youthful students in the academies and universities. Jahn's gymnastic
schools (_Turnschulen_), the members of which were distinguished by
the German costume, a short black frock coat, a black cap, linen
trousers, a bare neck with turned-over shirt-collar, extended far and
wide and were in close connection with the _Burschenschaften_ of the
universities. The prescribed object of these _Turnschulen_ was the
promotion of Christian, moral, German manners, the universal
fraternization of all German students, the complete eradication of the
provincialism and license inherent in the various associations formed
at the universities. They wore Jahn's German costume and always acted
publicly, until their suppression, when the remaining members formed
secret associations. On the 18th of October, 1817, the students of
Jena, Halle, and Leipzig, and those of some of the more distant
universities, assembled in order to solemnize the jubilee on the three
hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, on the Wartburg, where, in
imitation of Luther, they committed a number of servile works,
inimical to the German cause, to the flames, as Görres at that time
said, "filled with anger that the same reformation required of the
church by Luther should be sanctioned, but at the same time refused,
by the state." The black, red, and yellow tricolor was hoisted for the
first time on this occasion. These were in reality the ancient colors
of the empire and were regarded as such by the patriotic students, but
were purposely looked upon by the French and their adherents in
Germany as an imitation of the tricolored flag of the French republic.
The festival solemnized on the Wartburg was speedily succeeded by
others. The _Turner_, more particularly at Berlin and Breslau,
rendered themselves conspicuous not only by their dress but by their
insolence, boys even of the tenderest years putting themselves forward
as reformers of the government and of society, and singing the most
bloodthirsty songs of liberty. The Prussian government interfered, and
the gymnastic exercises, so well suited to the subjects of a warlike
state, were once more prohibited.

At the congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, Stourdza, the Russian councillor
of state, a Wallachian by birth, presented a memorial in which the
spirit of the German universities was described as revolutionary. The
_Burschenschaft_ of Jena sent him a challenge. Kotzebue, the Russian
councillor of state and celebrated dramatist, at length published a
weekly paper in which he turned every indication of German patriotism
to ridicule, and exercised his wit upon the individual eccentricities
of the students affecting the old German costume, of precocious boys
and doting professors. The rage of the galled universities rose to a
still higher pitch on the discovery, made and incontestably proved by
Luden, that Kotzebue sent secret bulletins, filled with invective and
suspicion, to St. Petersburg. To execrate Kotzebue had become so
habitual at the universities that a young man, Sand from Wunsiedel, a
theological student of Jena, noted for piety and industry, took the
fanatical resolution to free, or at least to wipe off a blot from his
country, by the assassination of an enemy whose importance he, in the
delusion of hatred, vastly overrated; and he accordingly went, in
1819, to Mannheim, plunged his dagger into Kotzebue's heart, and then
attempted his own life, but only succeeded in inflicting a slight
wound. He was beheaded in the ensuing year. Loning, the apothecary,
probably excited by Sand's example, also attempted the life of the
president of Nassau, Ibell, who, however, seized him, and he committed
suicide in prison. These events occasioned a congress at Carlsbad in
1819, which took the state of Germany into deliberation, placed each
of the universities under the supervision of a government officer,
suppressed the _Burschenschaft_, prohibited their colors, and fixed a
central board of scrutiny at Mayence,[13] which acted on the
presupposition of the existence of a secret and general conspiracy for
the purposes of assassination and revolution, and of Sand's having
acted not from personal fanaticism and religious aberration, but as
the agent of some unknown superiors in some new and mysterious
tribunal. This inquisition was carried on for years and a crowd of
students peopled the prisons; conspiracies perilous to the state were,
however, nowhere discovered, but simply a great deal of ideal
enthusiasm. The elder men in the universities, who, either in their
capacity as tutors or authors, had fed the enthusiasm of the youthful
students, were also removed from their situations. Jahn was arrested,
Arndt was suspended at Bonn and Fries at Jena; Gorres, who had
perseveringly published the most violent pamphlets, was compelled to
take refuge in Switzerland, which also offered an asylum to Dewette,
the Berlin professor of theology, who had been deprived of his chair
on account of a letter addressed by him to Sand's mother. Oken, the
great naturalist, who refused to give up "Isis," a periodical
publication, also withdrew to Switzerland. Numbers of the younger
professors went to America.[14] The solemnization of the October
festival was also prohibited, and the triumphal monument on the field
of Leipzig was demolished.


[Footnote 1: William V., the expelled hereditary stadtholder, died in
obscurity at Brunswick in 1806. His son, William, had, in 1802,
received Fulda in compensation, but afterward served Prussia, was, in
1806, taken prisoner with Möllendorf at Erfurt and afterward set at
liberty, served again, in 1809, under Austria, and then retired to
England, whence he returned on the expulsion of the French to receive
a crown, which he accepted with a good deal of assurance, complaining,
at the same time, of the loss of his former possession, Fulda, a
circumstance strongly commented upon by Stein in his letters to
Gagern. William, in return for his elevation to a throne by the arms
of Germany, closed the mouths of the Rhine against her.]

[Footnote 2: Zurich, Berne, Lucerne, Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Glarus,
Zug, Freiburg, Solothurn, Basel, Schaffhausen, Appenzell, St. Gall,
the Grisons, Aargau, Constance, Tessin, the Vaud, Valais, Neuenburg
(Neufchatel), Geneva. The nineteen cantons of 1805 remained _in statu
quo_, only those of Valais, Neufchatel, and Geneva were confederated
with them, and Pruntrut with the ancient bishopric of Basel were
restored to Berne.]

[Footnote 3: The deed of possession of the 26th June, 1814, runs as
follows: "Not by an arbitrary, despotic encroachment upon the order of
things, but by the hands of the Providence that blessed the arms of
your emperor and of the allied princes and by a holy alliance are you
restored to the house of Austria."]

[Footnote 4: Tuscany fell to Ferdinand, the former grandduke of
Wurzburg; Modena to Francis, son of the deceased duke, Ferdinand;
Parms and Placantia to Maria Louisa, the wife and widow of Napoleon.]

[Footnote 5: Not long before, in the treaty of Kiel, there had been
question of bestowing Swedish-Pomerania upon Denmark; to this Prussia
refused to accede and Denmark agreed to take 2,600,000 dollars in
compensation. Prussia was also compelled to pay 3,500,500 dollars to
Sweden.]

[Footnote 6: Rehfues, the director of the circle, a Wurtemberg
Protestant, published a circular at Bonn, in which he promised full
religious security to the Catholic inhabitants, whom he reminded of
Prussia's having been "the last supporter of the order of
Jesus."--_Allgemeine Zeitung of 1814, No. 234._]

[Footnote 7: Holstein alone, not Schleswig, was enumerated as
belonging to the German confederation, although both duchies were long
ago closely united by the _nexus socialis_, more particularly in the
representation at the diet.]

[Footnote 8: The Reusses, formerly imperial governors of Plauen,
diverged into so many branches that, as early as 1664, they agreed to
distinguish themselves by numbers, which at first amounted to thirty,
but at a later period to a hundred, afterward recommencing at number
one. The family took the name of Reuss from the Russian wife of its
founder, in the beginning of the fourteenth century.]

[Footnote 9: Hamburg had vainly petitioned for the restitution of her
bank, of which she had been deprived by Davoust. She received merely a
small portion of the general war tax levied upon France.]

[Footnote 10: Austria and Prussia contain forty-two million
inhabitants; the rest of Germany merely twelve million; the power of
the two former stands consequently in proportion to that of the rest
of Germany as forty-two to twelve or seven to two, while their votes
in the diet stood not contrariwise, as two to seven, but as two to
seventeen in the plenary assembly, and as two to fifteen in the lesser
one.]

[Footnote 11: Aretin, who, at the time of the Rhenish confederation,
insolently mocked and had denounced every indication of German
patriotism, ventured to say in his "Alemannia," in the beginning of
1817, "'The patriotic colors,' 'the voice of the people,'
'nationality,' 'the extirpation of foreign influence,' are words now
forgotten, magic sounds that have lost their power."]

[Footnote 12: By Sack, the government commissary, who even confiscated
the Rhenish Mercury, an earlier and unprohibited paper, and arrested
the printer, against which Görres violently protested in a letter
addressed to Sack. Görres made a triumphant defence before the
tribunal at Treves, and observed, "Strange that the most violent enemy
to France should seek the protection of French courts!"]

[Footnote 13: The names of these inquisitors were Schwarz, Grano,
Hörmann, Bar, Pfister, Preusschen, Moussel.]

[Footnote 14: Charles Follen, brother to the poet Louis Adolphus
Follen, private teacher of law at Jena, a young man of great spirit
and talent, who at that period exercised great influence over the
youth of Germany, was wrecked, in 1840, in a steamer in North America
and drowned.]



CCLXV. The New Constitutions


Germany had, notwithstanding her triumph, regained neither her ancient
unity nor her former power, but still continued to be merely a
confederation of states, bound together by no firm tie and regarded
with contempt by their more powerful neighbors. The German
confederation did not even include the whole of the provinces whose
population was distinguished as German by the use of the German
language. Several of the provinces of Germany were still beneath a
foreign sceptre; Switzerland and the Netherlands had declared
themselves distinct from the rest of Germany, which, hitherto
submissive to France, was in danger of falling beneath the influence
of Russia, who ceaselessly sought to entangle her by diplomatic wiles.

There were still, however, men existing in Germany who hoped to
compensate the loss of the external power of their country by the
internal freedom that had been so lavishly promised to the people on
the general summons to the field. The proclamation of Calisch and the
German federative act guaranteed the grant of constitutions. The
former Rhenish confederated princes, nevertheless, alone found it to
their interest to carry this promise into effect, and, in a manner,
formed a second alliance with France by their imitation of the newly
introduced French code and by the establishment, in their own
territories, of two chambers, one of peers, the other of deputies,
similar to those of France; measures by which, at that period of
popular excitement, they also regained the popularity deservedly lost
by them at an earlier period throughout the rest of Germany, the more
so, the less the inclination manifested by Austria and Prussia to
grant the promised constitutions. Enslaved Illuminatism characterizes
this new zeal in favor of internal liberty and constitutional
governments, to denote which the novel term of Liberalism was borrowed
from France. Liberty was ever on the tongues--of the most devoted
servants of the state. The ancient church and the nobility were
attacked with incredible mettle--in order to suit the purposes of
ministerial caprice. Prussia and Austria were loudly blamed for not
keeping pace with the times--with the intent of favorably contrasting
the ancient policy of the Rhenish confederation. None, at that period,
surpassed the ministers belonging to the old school of Illuminatism
and Napoleonism in liberalism, but no sooner did the deputies of the
people attempt to realize their liberal ideas than they started back
in dismay.

The first example of this kind was given by Frederick Augustus, duke
of Nassau, as early as the September of 1814. Ibell, the president,
who reigned with unlimited power over Nassau, drew up a constitution
which has been termed a model of "despotism under a constitutional
form." The whole of the property of the state still continuing to be
the private property of the duke, and his right arbitrarily to
increase the number of members belonging to the first chamber, and by
their votes to annul every resolution passed by the second chamber,
rendered the whole constitution illusory. Trombetta, one of the
deputies, voluntarily renounced his seat, an example that was followed
by several others.--The second constitution granted was that bestowed
upon the Netherlands in 1815, by King William, who established such an
unequal representation in the chambers between the Belgians and Dutch
as to create great dissatisfaction among the former, who, in revenge,
again affected the French party. This was succeeded, in 1816, by the
petty constitutions of Waldeck, Weimar, and Frankfort on the Maine.--
Maximilian, king of Bavaria, seemed, in 1817, to announce another
system by the dismissal of his minister, Montgelas, and, in 1818,
bestowed a new constitution upon Bavaria; but the old abuses in the
administration remained uneradicated; a civil and military state
unproportioned to the revenue, the petty despotism of government
officers and heavy imposts, still weighed upon the people, and the
constitution itself was quickly proved illusory, the veto of the first
chamber annulling the first resolution passed by the second chamber.
Professor Behr of Wurzburg, upon this, energetically protested against
the first chamber, and, on the refusal of the second chamber to vote
for the maintenance of the army on so high a footing, unless the
soldiery were obliged to take the oath on the constitution, it was
speedily dissolved.--In Baden, the Grandduke Charles expired, in 1818,
after having caused a constitution to be drawn up, which Louis, his
uncle and successor, carried into effect. Louis having, however,
previously, and without the consent of the people, entered into a
stipulation with the nobility, to whom he had granted an edict
extremely favorable to their interests, Winter, the Heidelberg
bookseller, a member of the second chamber, demanded its abrogation.
The answer was, the dissolution of the chamber, personal inquisition
and intimidation, and the publication of an extremely severe edict of
censure, against which, in 1820, Professor von Rotteck of Freiburg,
supported by the poet Hebel and by the Freiherr von Wessenberg,
administrator of the bishopric of Constance, protested, but in
vain.--At the same time, that is, in 1818, Hildburghausen, and even
the petty principality of Lichtenstein, which merely contains two
square miles and a population amounting to five thousand souls, also
received a constitution, which not a little contributed to turn the
whole affair into ridicule.--To these succeeded, in 1819, the
constitutions of Hanover and Lippe-Detmold, the former as aristocratic
as possible, completely in the spirit of olden times, solely dictated
and carried into effect by the nobility and government officers. The
sittings of the chambers, consequently, continued to be held in
secret.--The dukes of Mecklenburg abolished feudal servitude, which
existed in no other part of Germany, in 1820.--In Darmstadt, the
constitution was granted by the good-natured, venerable Grandduke
Louis (whose attention was chiefly devoted to the opera), after the
impatient advocates, who had collected subscriptions in the Odenwald
to petitions praying for the speedy bestowal of the promised
constitution, had been arrested, and an insurrection that consequently
ensued among the peasantry had been quelled by force.--Petty
constitutions were, moreover, granted, in 1821, to Coburg, and, in
1829, to Meiningen. The Gotha-Altenburg branch of the ducal house of
Saxony became extinct in 1825 in the person of Frederick, the last
duke, the brother of Duke Augustus Emilius, a great patron of the arts
and sciences, deceased 1822. Gotha, consequently, lapsed to Coburg,
Altenburg to Hildburghausen, and Hildburghausen to Meiningen.

In Wurtemberg, the dissatisfaction produced by the ancient despotism
of the government was also to be speedily appeased by the grant of a
constitutional charter. The king, Frederick, convoked the Estates, to
whom he, on the 15th of March, 1815, solemnly delivered the newly
enacted constitution. But here, as elsewhere, was the government
inclined to grant a mere illusory boon. The Estates rejected the
constitution, without reference to its contents, simply owing to the
formal reason of its being bestowed by the prince and being
consequently binding on one side alone, instead of being a stipulation
between the prince and the people, and moreover because the ancient
constitution of Wurtemberg, which had been abrogated by force and in
direct opposition to the will of the Estates, was still in legal
force. The old Wurtemberg party alone could naturally take their
footing upon their ancient rights, but the new Wurtemberg party, the
mediatized princes of the empire, the counts and barons of the empire,
and the imperial free towns, nay, even the Agnati of the reigning
house,[1] all of whom had suffered more or less under Napoleon's iron
rule, ranged themselves on their side. The deputy, Zahn of Calw, drew
a masterly picture of the state of affairs at that period, in which he
pitilessly disclosed every reigning abuse. The king, thus vigorously
and unanimously opposed, was constrained to yield, and the most prolix
negotiations, in which the citizen deputies, headed by the advocate,
Weisshaar, were supported by the nobility against the government,
commenced.

The affair was, it may be designedly, dragged on _ad infinitum_ until
the death of the king in 1816, when his son and successor, William,
who had gained a high reputation as a military commander and had
rendered himself extremely popular, zealously began the work of
conciliation. He not only instantly abolished the abuses of the former
government, as, for instance, in the game law,[2] but, in 1817,
delivered a new constitution to the Estates. Article 337 was somewhat
artfully drawn up, but in every point the constitution was as liberal
as a constitutional charter could possibly be. But the Estates refused
to accept of liberty as a boon, and rejected this constitution on the
same formal grounds upon which they had rejected the preceding one.
The Estates were again upheld by a grateful public, and the few
deputies, more particularly Cotta and Griesinger, who had defended the
new constitution on account of its liberality and who regarded form as
immaterial, became the objects of public animadversion. The populace
broke the windows of the house inhabited by the liberal-minded
minister, von Wangenheim. The poet Uhland greatly distinguished
himself as a warm upholder of the ancient rights of the people.[3] The
king instantly dissolved the Estates, but at the same time declared
his intention to guarantee to the people, without a constitution, the
rights he had intended constitutionally to confer upon them; to
establish an equal system of taxation, and "to eradicate bureaucracy,
that curse upon the country." The good-will displayed on both sides
led to fresh negotiations, and a third constitution was at length
drawn up by a committee, composed partly of members of the government,
partly of members belonging to the Estates, and, in 1819, was taken
into deliberation and passed by the reassembled Estates. This
constitution, nevertheless, fell far below the mark to which it had
been raised by public expectation, partly on account of the retention,
owing to ancient prejudice, of the permanent committee and its
oligarchical influence, party on account of the too great and
permanent concessions made to the nobility in return for their
momentary aid,[4] partly on account of the extreme haste that marked
the concluding deliberations of the Estates, occasioned by their
partly unfounded dread of interference on the part of the congress
then assembled at Carlsbad.

In Wurtemberg, however, as elsewhere, the policy of the government was
deeply imbued with the general characteristics of the time.
Notwithstanding the constitution, notwithstanding the guarantee given
by the federative act, liberty of the press did not exist. List, the
deputy from Reutlingen, was, for having ventured to collect
subscriptions to petitions, brought before the criminal court,
expelled the chamber by his intimidated brother deputies, took refuge
in Switzerland, whence he returned to be imprisoned for some time in
the fortress of Asberg, and was finally permitted to emigrate to North
America, whence he returned at a later period, 1825, in the capacity
of consul. Liesching, the editor of the German Guardian, whose liberty
of speech was silenced by command of the German confederation, also
became an inmate of the fortress of Asberg.

In Hesse and Brunswick, all the old abuses practiced in the petty
courts in the eighteenth century were revived. William of Hesse-Cassel
returned, on the fall of Napoleon, to his domains. True to his
whimsical saying, "I have slept during the last seven years," he
insisted upon replacing everything in Hesse exactly on its former
footing. In one particular alone was his vanity inconsistent:
notwithstanding his hatred toward Napoleon, he retained the title of
Prince Elector, bestowed upon him by Napoleon's favor, although it had
lost all significance, there being no longer any emperor to elect.[5]
He turned the hand of time back seven years, degraded the councillors
raised to that dignity by Jerome to their former station as clerks,
captains to lieutenants, etc., all, in fact, to the station they had
formerly occupied, even reintroduced into the army the fashion of
wearing powder and queues, prohibited all those not bearing an
official title to be addressed as "Herr," and re-established the
socage dues abolished by Jerome. This attachment to old abuses was
associated with the most insatiable avarice. He reduced the government
bonds to one-third, retook possession of the lands sold during
Jerome's reign, without granting any compensation to the holders,
compelled the country to pay his son's debts to the amount of two
hundred thousand rix-dollars, lowered the amount of pay to such a
degree that a lieutenant received but five rix-dollars per mensem, and
offered to sell a new constitution to the Estates at the low price of
four million rix-dollars, which he afterward lowered to two millions
and a tax for ten years upon liquors. This shameful bargain being
rejected by the Estates, the constitution fell to the ground, and the
prince elector practiced the most unlimited despotism. Discontent was
stifled by imprisonment. Two officers, Huth and Rotsmann, who had got
up a petition in favor of their class, and the Herr von Gohr, who by
chance gave a private fete while the prince was suffering from a
sudden attack of illness, were among the victims. The purchasers of
the crown lands vainly appealed to the federative assembly for
redress, for the prince elector "refused the mediation of the
federative assembly until it had been authorized by an organic law
drawn up with the co-operation of the prince elector himself."--This
prince expired in 1821, and was succeeded by his son, William II., who
abolished the use of hair-powder and queues, but none of the existing
abuses, and demonstrated no inclination to grant a constitution. He
was, moreover, the slave of his mistress, Countess Reichenbach, and on
ill terms with his consort, a sister of the king of Prussia, and with
his son. Anonymous and threatening letters being addressed to this
prince with a view of inducing him to favor the designs of the writer,
he had recourse to the severest measures for the discovery of the
guilty party; numbers of persons were arrested, and travellers
instinctively avoided Cassel. It was at length discovered that Manger,
the head of the police, a court favorite, was the author of the
letters.

Similar abuses were revived by the house of Brunswick. It is unhappily
impossible to leave unmentioned the conduct of Caroline, princess of
Brunswick, consort to the Prince of Wales, afterward George IV., king
of England. Although this German princess had the good fortune to be
protected by the Whig party and by the people against the king and the
Tory ministry, she proved a disgrace to her supporters by the
scandalous familiarity in which she lived in Italy with her
chamberlain, the Italian, Pergami. The sympathy with which she was
treated at the time of the congress was designedly exaggerated by the
Whigs for the purpose of giving the greatest possible publicity to the
errors of the monarch. Caroline of Brunswick was declared innocent and
expired shortly after her trial, in 1821.

Charles, the hereditary duke of Brunswick, son to the duke who had so
gallantly fallen at Quatrebras, was under the guardianship of the king
of England. A constitution was bestowed in 1820 upon this petty
territory, which was governed by the minister, Von Schmidt-Phiseldek.
The youthful duke took the reins of government in his nineteenth year.
Of a rash and violent disposition and misled by evil associates, he
imagined that he had been too long restricted from assuming the
government, accused his well-deserving minister of having attempted to
prolong his minority, posted handbills for his apprehension as a
common delinquent, denied all his good offices, and subverted the
constitution. He was surrounded by base intriguers in the person of
Bosse, the councillor of state, formerly the servile tool of
Napoleon's despotism, of Frike, the Aulic councillor, "whose pliant
quill was equal to any task when injustice had to be glossed over," of
the adventurer, Klindworth, and of Bitter, the head of the chancery,
who conducted the financial speculations. Frike, in contempt of
justice, tore up the judgment passed by the court of justice in favor
of the venerable Herr von Sierstorff, whom he had accused of high
treason. Herr von Cramm, by whom Frike was, in the name of the
Estates, accused of this misdemeanor before the federative assembly,
was banished, a surgeon, who attended him, was put upon his defence,
and an accoucheur, named Grimm, who had basely refused to attend upon
Cramm's wife, was presented with a hundred dollars. Häberlin, the
novelist, who had been justly condemned to twenty years' imprisonment
with hard labor for his civil misdemeanors, was, on the other hand,
liberated for publishing something in the duke's favor. Bitter
conducted himself with the most open profligacy, sold all the
demesnes, appropriated the sum destined for the redemption of the
public debt, and at the same time levied the heavy imposts with
unrelenting severity. The federative assembly passed judgment against
the duke solely in reference to his attacks upon the king of England.


[Footnote 1: The king bitterly reproached his brother Henry, to whom
he said, "You have accused me to my peasantry."--_Pfister History of
the Constitution of Würtemberg._]

[Footnote 2: Pfister mentions in his History of the Constitution of
Wurtemberg that merely in the superior bailiwick of Heidenheim the
game duties amounted, in 1814, to twenty thousand florins, and five
thousand two hundred and ninety-three acres of taxed ground lay
uncultivated on account of the damage done by the game, and that in
March, 1815, one bailiwick was obliged to furnish twenty-one thousand
five hundred and eighty-four men and three thousand two hundred and
thirty-seven horses for a single hunt.]

[Footnote 3: Colonel von Massenbach, of the Prussian service, who has
so miserably described the battle of Jena and the surrender of
Prentzlow in which he acted so miserable a part, and who had in his
native Würtemberg embraced the aristocratic party, was delivered by
the free town of Frankfort, within whose walls he resided, up to the
Prussian government, which he threatened to compromise by the
publication of some letters. He died within the fortress of Cüstrin.]

[Footnote 4: The mediatized princes and counts of the empire sat in
the first chamber, the barons of the empire in the second. The
prelates, once so powerful, lost, on the other hand, together with the
church property, in the possession of which they were not reinstated,
also most of their influence. Instead of the fourteen aristocratic and
independent prelates, six only were appointed by the monarch to seats
in the second chamber. Government officers were also eligible in this
chamber, which ere long fell entirely under their influence.]

[Footnote 5: He endeavored, but in vain, to persuade the allied powers
to bestow upon him the royal dignity.]



CCLXVI. The European Congress--The German Customs' Union


The great political drama enacting in Europe excited at this time the
deepest attention throughout Germany. In almost every country a
struggle commenced between liberalism and the measures introduced on
the fall of Napoleon. In France more particularly it systematically
and gradually undermined the government of the Bourbons, and the cry
of liberty that resounded throughout France once more found an echo in
Germany.

The terrible war was forgotten. The French again became the objects of
the admiration and sympathy of the radical party in Germany, and the
spirit of opposition, here and there demonstrated in the German
chambers, gave rise, notwithstanding its impotence, to precautionary
measures on the part of the federative governments. In the winter of
1819, a German federative congress, of which Prince Metternich was the
grand motor, assembled at Vienna for the purpose, after the utter
annihilation of the patriots, of finally checking the future movements
of the liberals, principally in the provincial diets. The Viennese Act
of 1820 contains closer definitions of the Federative Act, of which
the more essential object was the exclusion of the various provincial
diets from all positive interference in the general affairs of
Germany, and the increase of the power of the different princes
vis-à-vis to their provincial diets by a guarantee of aid on the part
of the confederates.

During the sitting of this congress, on New Year's Day, 1820, the
liberal party in Spain revolted against their ungrateful sovereign,
Ferdinand VII., who exercised the most fearful tyranny over the nation
that had so unhesitatingly shed its blood in defence of his throne.
This example was shortly afterward followed by the Neapolitans, who
were also dissatisfied with the conduct of their sovereign. Prince
Metternich instantly brought about a congress at Troppau. The czar,
Alexander, who had views upon the East and was no stranger to the
heterarchical party which, under the guidance of Prince Ypsilanti,
prepared a revolution in Greece (which actually broke out) against the
Turks, was at first unwilling to give his assent unconditionally to
the interference of Austria, but on being, in 1821, to his great
surprise, informed by Prince Metternich of the existence of a
revolutionary spirit in one of the regiments of the Russian guard,
freely assented to all the measures proposed by that minister.[1] The
new congress held at Laibach, in 1821, was followed by the entrance of
the Austrians under Frimont into Italy. The cowardly Neapolitans fled
without firing a shot, and the Piedmontese, who unexpectedly revolted
to Frimont's rear, were, after a short encounter with the Austrians
under Bubna at Novara, defeated and reduced to submission. The Greeks,
whom Russia now no longer ventured openly to uphold, had, in the
meantime, also risen in open insurrection. The affairs of Spain were
still in an unsettled state. The new congress held at Verona, in 1822,
however, decided the fate of both these countries. Prince Hardenberg,
the Prussian minister, expired at Genoa on his return home, and Lord
Castlereagh, the English ambassador, cut his throat with his penknife,
in a fit of frenzy, supposed to have been induced by the sense of his
heavy responsibility. At this congress the principle of legitimacy was
maintained with such strictness that even the revolt of the Greeks
against the long and cruel tyranny of the Turks was, notwithstanding
the _Christian spirit of the Holy Alliance_ and the political
advantage secured to Russia and Austria by the subversion of the
Turkish empire, treated as rebellion against the legitimate authority
of the Porte and strongly discouraged. A French army was, on the same
grounds, despatched with the consent of the Bourbon into Spain, and
Ferdinand was reinstated in his legitimate tyranny in 1823. Russia, in
a note addressed to the whole of the confederated states of Germany,
demanded at the same time a declaration on their parts to the effect
that the late proceedings of the great European powers at Verona "were
in accordance with the well-understood interests of the people." Every
member of the federative assembly at Frankfort gave his assent, with
the exception of the Freiherr von Wangenheim, the envoy from
Wurtemberg, who declaring that his instructions did not warrant his
voting upon the question, the ambassadors from the two Hesses made a
similar declaration. This occasioned the dismissal of the Freiherr von
Wangenheim; and the illegal publication of a Wurtemberg despatch, in
which the non-participation of the German confederation in the
resolutions passed by the congresses, to which their assent was
afterward demanded, was treated of, occasioned a second dismissal,
that of Count Winzingerode, the Wurtemberg minister. In the July of
1824, the federal diet resolved to give its support to the monarchical
principle in the constitutional states, and to maintain the Carlsbad
resolutions referring to censorship and to the universities. The
Mayence committee remained sitting until 1828.

On the sudden decease of Alexander, the czar of all the Russias, amid
the southern steppes, a revolution induced by the nobility broke out
at Petersburg, but was suppressed by Alexander's brother and
successor, the emperor Nicholas I. Nicholas had wedded Charlotte, the
eldest daughter of the king of Prussia. This energetic sovereign
instantly invaded Persia and rendered that country dependent upon his
empire without any attempt being made by the Tory party in England and
Austria to hinder the aggrandizement of Russia, every attack directed
against her being regarded as an encouragement to liberalism. Russia
consequently seized this opportunity to turn her arms against Turkey,
and, in the ensuing year, a Russian force under Count Diebitsch, a
Silesian, crossed the Balkan (Haemus) and penetrated as far as
Adrianople; while another corps d'armée under Count Paskiewicz,
advanced from the Caucasus into Asia Minor and took Erzerum. The fall
of Constantinople seemed near at hand, when Austria and England for
the first time intervened and declared that, notwithstanding their
sympathy with the absolute principles on which Russia rested, they
would not permit the seizure of Constantinople. France expressed her
readiness to unite with Russia and to fall upon the Austrian rear in
case troops were sent against the Russians.[2] Prussia, however,
intervened, and General Muffling was dispatched to Adrianople, where,
in 1829, a treaty was concluded, by which Russia, although for the
time compelled to restore the booty already accumulated, gained
several considerable advantages, being granted possession of the most
important mountain strongholds and passes of Asia Minor, a right to
occupy and fortify the mouths of the Danube so important to Austria,
and to extend her aegis over Moldavia and Wallachia.

In the midst of this wretched period, which brought fame to Russia and
deep dishonor upon Germany, there still gleamed one ray of hope; the
Customs' Union was proposed by some of the German princes for the more
intimate union of German interests.

Maximilian of Bavaria, a prince whose amiable manners and character
rendered him universally beloved, expired in 1825. His son, Louis, the
foe to French despotism, a German patriot and a zealous patron of the
arts, declared himself, on his coronation, the warm and sincere
upholder of the constitutional principle and excited general
enthusiasm. His first measures on assuming the government were the
reduction of the royal household and of the army with a view to the
relief of the country from the heavy imposts, the removal of the
university of Landshut to Munich, and the enrichment on an extensive
scale of the institutions of art. The union of the galleries of
Düsseldorf and Mannheim with that of Munich, the collection of
valuable antiques and pictures, for instance, that of the old German
paintings collected by the brothers Boisserée in Cologne during the
French usurpation, the academy of painting under the direction of the
celebrated Cornelius, the new public buildings raised by Klenze, among
which the Glyptothek, the Pinakothek, the great Königsbau or royal
residence, the Ludwigschurch, the Auerchurch, the Arcades, etc., may
be more particularly designated, rendered Munich the centre of German
art. This sovereign also founded at Ratisbon the Walhalla, a building
destined for the reception of the busts of all the celebrated men to
whom Germany has given birth. The predilection of this royal amateur
for classic antiquity excited within his bosom the warmest sympathy
with the fate of the modern Greeks, then in open insurrection against
their Turkish oppressors, and whom he alone, among all the princes of
Germany, aided in the hour of their extremest need.--With the same
spirit that dictated his poems, in which he so repeatedly lamented the
want of unity in Germany, he was the first to propose the union of her
material interests. Germany unhappily resembled, and indeed
immediately after the war of liberation, as De Pradt, the French
writer, maliciously observed, even in a mercantile point of view, a
menagerie whose inhabitants watched each other through a grating.
Vainly had the commercial class of Frankfort on the Maine presented a
petition, in 1819, to the confederation, praying for free trade, for
the fulfilment of the nineteenth article of the federal act. Their
well-grounded complaint remained unheard. The non-fulfilment of the
treaty relating to the free navigation of the Rhine to the sea was
most deeply felt. In the first treaty concluded at Paris, the royal
dignity and the extension of the Dutch territory had been generously
granted to the king of the Netherlands under the express proviso of
the free navigation of the Rhine to the sea. The papers relating to
this transaction had been drawn up in French, and the ungrateful Dutch
perfidiously gave the words "jusqu' à la mer" their most literal
construction, merely "as far as the sea," and as the French, moreover,
possessed a voice in the matter on account of the Upper Rhine, and the
German federal states were unable to give a unanimous verdict,
innumerable committees were held and acts were drawn up without
producing any result favorable to the trade of Germany.

Affairs stood thus, when, shortly after Louis's accession to the
throne of Bavaria, negotiations having for object the settlement of a
commercial treaty took place between him and William, king of
Wurtemberg. This example was imitated by Prussia, which at first
merely formed a union with Darmstadt; afterward by Hesse, Hanover,
Saxony, etc., by which a central German union was projected. This
union was, however, unable to stand between that of Wurtemberg and
Bavaria, and that of Prussia and Darmstadt. The German Customs' Union
was carried into effect in 1888. An annual meeting of German
naturalists had at that time been arranged under the auspices of Oken,
the great naturalist, and at the meeting held at Berlin, in 1888, the
Freiherr von Cotta, by whom the moral and material interests of
Germany have been greatly promoted, drew up the first plan for a
junction of the commercial union of Southern Germany with that of the
North, as the first step to the future liberation of Germany from all
internal commercial restrictions. The zeal with which he carried this
great plan into effect gained the confidence of the different
governments, and he not only succeeded in combining the two older
unions, but also in gradually embodying with them the rest of the
German states.

The attachment of King Louis to ancient Catholicism was extremely
remarkable. He began to restore some of the monasteries, and several
professors inclined to Ultramontanism and to Catholic mysticism, the
most distinguished among whom was Görres, the Prussian exile,
assembled at the new university at Munich. Here and there appeared a
pious enthusiast. Shortly after the restoration, a peasant from the
Pfalz named Adam Müller began to prophesy, and Madame von Krudener, a
Hanoverian, to preach the necessity of public penance; both these
persons gained the ear of exalted personages, and Madame von Krudener
more particularly is said not a little to have conduced to the piety
displayed by the emperor Alexander during the latter years of his
life. At Bamberg, Prince Alexander von Hohenlohe, then a young man,
had the folly to attempt the performance of miracles, until the police
interfered, and he received a high ecclesiastical office in Hungary.
In Austria, the Ligorians, followers in the footsteps of the Jesuits,
haunted the vicinity of the throne. The conversion of Count Stolberg
and of the Swiss, Von Haller, to the Catholic church, created the
greatest sensation. The former, a celebrated poet, simple and amiable,
in no way merited the shameless outbursts of rage of his old friend,
Voss; Haller, on the other hand, brought forward in his "Restoration
of Political Science" such a decided theory in favor of secession as
to inspire a sentiment of dread at his consistency. The conversion of
Ferdinand, prince of Anhalt-Köthen, to the Catholic church, in 1825,
excited far less attention.

In France, where the Bourbons were completely guided by the Jesuits,
by whose aid they could alone hope to suppress the revolutionary
spirit of their subjects, the reaction in favor of Catholicism had
assumed a more decided character than in Germany. Louis XVIII. was
succeeded by his brother, the Count d'Artois, under the name of
Charles X., a venerable man seventy years of age, who, notwithstanding
his great reverses, had "neither learned nor forgotten anything."
Polignac, his incapable and imperious minister, the tool of the
Jesuits, had, since 1829, impugned every national right, and, at
length, ventured by the ordinances of the 25th July, 1830, to subvert
the constitution. During three days, from the 27th to the 30th of
July, the greatest confusion reigned in Paris; the people rose in
thousands; murderous conflicts took place in the streets between them
and the royal troops, who were driven from every quarter, and the king
was expelled. The chambers met, declared the elder branch of the house
of Bourbon (Charles X., his son, the Dauphin, Duke d'Angouleme, and
his grandson, the youthful Duke de Bordeaux, the son of the murdered
Duke de Berri) to have forfeited the throne, but at the same time
allowed them unopposed to seek an asylum in England, and elected Louis
Philippe, Duke of Orleans, the son of the notorious Jacobin, the head
of the younger line of the house of Bourbon and the grand-master of
the society of Freemasons, king of the French. The rights of the
chambers and of the people were also extended by an appendix to the
charta signed by Louis XVIII.

The revolution of July was the signal for all discontented subjects
throughout Europe to gain, either by force or by legal opposition,
their lost or sighed-for rights. In October, the constitutional party
in Spain attempted to overturn the despotic rule of Ferdinand VII. In
November, the prime minister of England, the renowned Duke of
Wellington, was compelled by the people to yield his seat to Earl
Grey, a man of more liberal principles, who commenced the great work
of reform in the constitution and administration of Great Britain.
During this month, a general insurrection took place in Poland: the
grandduke, Constantine, was driven out of Warsaw, and Poland declared
herself independent. A great part of Germany was also convulsed: and a
part of the ill-raised fabric, erected by the statesmen of 1815, fell
tottering to the ground.


[Footnote 1: Vide Binder's Prince Metternich.]

[Footnote 2: Official report of the Russian ambassador, Count Pozzo di
Borgo, from Paris, of the 14th of December, 1828.]



CCLXVII. The Belgian Revolution


A nation's self-forgetfulness is ever productive of national disgrace.
The Netherlands were torn from the empire and placed partly beneath
the tyranny of Spain, partly beneath the aegis of France; the dominion
of Austria, at a later period, merely served to rouse their provincial
spirit, and, during their subsequent annexation to France, the French
element decidedly gained the ascendency among the population. When, in
1815, these provinces fell under the rule of Holland, it was hoped
that the German element would again rise. But Holland is not Germany.
Estranged provinces are alone to be regained by means of their
incorporation with an empire imbued with one distinct national spirit;
the subordination of one province to another but increases national
antipathy and estrangement. Holland, by an ungrateful, inimical
policy, unfortunately strove to separate herself from Germany.[1] And
yet Holland owes her whole prosperity to Germany. There is her market;
thence does she draw her immense wealth; the loss of that market for
her colonial productions would prove her irredeemable ruin. Her
sovereign, driven into distant exile, was restored to her by the arms
of Germany and generously endowed with royalty. Holland, in return for
all these benefits, deceitfully deprived Germany of the free
navigation of the Rhine to the sea guaranteed to her by the federal
act and assumed the right of fixing the price of all goods, whether
imported to or exported from Germany. The whole of Germany was, in
this unprecedented manner, rendered doubly tributary to the petty
state of Holland.

Belgium, annexed to this secondary state instead of being incorporated
with great and liberal Germany, necessarily remained a stranger to any
influence calculated to excite her sympathy with the general interests
of Germany. Cut off, as heretofore, from German influence, she
retained, in opposition to the Dutch, a preponderance of the old
Spanish and modern French element in her population. Priests and
liberals, belonging to the French school, formed an opposition party
against the king, who, on his side, rested his sole support upon the
Dutch, whom he favored in every respect. Count Broglio, archbishop of
Ghent, first began the contest by refusing to take the oath on the
constitution. Violence was resorted to and he fled the country. The
impolicy of the government in affixing his name to the pillory merely
served to increase the exasperation of the Catholics. Hence their
acquiescence with the designs of the Jesuits, their opposition to the
foundation of a philosophical academy, independent of the clergy, at
Louvain. The fact of the population of Belgium being to that of
Holland as three to two and the number of its representatives in the
states-general being as four to seven, of few, if any, Belgians being
allowed to enter the service of the state, the army, or the navy,
still further added to the popular discontent. The gross manners of
the minister, Van Maanen, also increased the evil. As early as
January, 1830, eight liberal Belgian deputies were deprived of their
offices, and De Potter, with some others, who had ventured to defend
them by means of the press, were banished the kingdom under a charge
of high treason.

The Dutch majority in the states-general, notwithstanding its devotion
to the king, rejected the ten years' budget on the ground of its
affording too long a respite to ministerial responsibility, and
protested against the levy of Swiss troops. Slave-trade in the
colonies was also abolished in 1818.

The position of the Netherlands, which, Luxemburg excepted, did not
appertain to the German confederation, continually exposed her, on
account of Belgium, to be attacked on the land side by France, on that
of the sea by her ancient commercial foe, England, and had induced the
king to form a close alliance with Russia. His son, William of Orange,
married a sister of the emperor Alexander.

The colonies did not regain their former prosperity. The Dutch
settlement at Batavia with difficulty defended itself against the
rebellious natives of Sumatra and Java.

The revolution in Paris had an electric effect upon the irritated
Belgians. On the 25th of August, 1830, Auber's opera, "The Dumb Girl
of Portici," the revolt of Masaniello in Naples, was performed at the
Brussels theatre and inflamed the passions of the audience to such a
degree, that, on quitting the theatre, they proceeded to the house of
Libry, the servile newspaper editor, and entirely destroyed it: the
palace of the minister, Van Maanen, shared the same fate. The citizens
placed themselves under arms, and sent a deputation to The Hague to
lay their grievances before the king. The entire population meanwhile
rose in open insurrection, and the whole of the fortresses, Maestricht
and the citadel of Antwerp alone excepted, fell into their hands.
William of Orange, the crown prince, ventured unattended among the
insurgents at Brussels and proposed, as a medium of peace, the
separation of Belgium from Holland in a legislative and administrative
sense. The king also made an apparent concession to the wishes of the
people by the dismissal of Van Maanen, but shortly afterward declared
his intention not to yield, disavowed the step taken by his son, and
allowed some Belgian deputies to be insulted at The Hague. A fanatical
commotion instantly took place at Brussels; the moderate party in the
civic guard was disarmed, and the populace made preparations for
desperate resistance. On the 25th of September, Prince Frederick,
second son to the king of Holland, entered Brussels with a large body
of troops, but encountered barricades and a heavy fire in the Park,
the Place Royal, and along the Boulevards. An immense crowd, chiefly
composed of the people of Liege and of peasants dressed in the blue
smock of the country, had assembled for the purpose of aiding in the
defence of the city. The contest, accompanied by destruction of the
dwelling-houses and by pillage, lasted five days. The Dutch were
accused of practicing the most horrid cruelties upon the defenceless
inhabitants and of thereby heightening the popular exasperation. At
length, on the 27th of September, the prince was compelled to abandon
the city. On the 5th of October, Belgium declared herself independent.
De Potter returned and placed himself at the head of the provisional
government. The Prince of Orange recognized the absolute separation of
Belgium from Holland in a proclamation published at Antwerp, but was,
nevertheless, constrained to quit the country. Antwerp fell into the
hands of the insurgents; the citadel, however, refused to surrender,
and Chassé, the Dutch commandant, caused the magnificent city to be
bombarded, and the well-stored entrepot, the arsenal, and about sixty
or seventy houses, to be set on fire, during the night of the 27th of
October, 1830.[2] The cruelties perpetrated by the Dutch were bitterly
retaliated upon them by the Belgian populace. On the 10th of November,
however, a national Belgian congress met, in which the moderate party
gained the upper hand, principally owing to the influence of the
clergy. De Potter's plan for the formation of a Belgian commonwealth
fell to the ground. The congress decided in favor of the maintenance
of the kingdom, drew up a new constitution, and offered the crown to
the Prince de Nemours, second son of the king of the French. It was,
however, refused by Louis Philippe in the name of his son, in order to
avoid war with the other great European powers. Surlet de Chokier, the
leader of the liberal party, hereupon undertook the provisional
government of the country, and negotiations were entered into with
Prince Leopold of Coburg.

On the 4th of November, a congress, composed of the ministers of
England, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, met at London for the purpose
of settling the Belgian question without disturbing the peace of
Europe, and it was decided that Prince Leopold of Coburg, the widower
of the princess royal of England, a man entirely under British
influence, and who had refused the throne of Greece, should accept
that of Belgium. Eighteen articles favorable to Belgium were granted
to him by the London congress. Scarcely, however, had he reached
Brussels, on the 31st July, 1831, than the fetes given upon that
occasion were disturbed by the unexpected invasion of Belgium by a
numerous and powerful Dutch force. At Hasselt, the Prince of Orange
defeated the Belgians under General Daine, and, immediately advancing
against Leopold, utterly routed him at Tirlemont, on the 12th August.
The threats of France and England, and the appearance of a French army
in Belgium, saved Brussels and compelled the Dutch to withdraw. The
eighteen articles in favor of Belgium were, on the other hand,
replaced by twenty-four others, more favorable to the Dutch, which
Leopold was compelled to accept. The king of Holland, however,
refusing to accept these twenty-four articles, with which,
notwithstanding the concessions therein contained, he was
dissatisfied, the Belgian government took advantage of the undecided
state of the question not to undertake, for the time being, half of
the public debt of Holland, which, by the twenty-four articles, was
laid upon Belgium.

Negotiations dragged on their weary length, and protocol after
protocol followed in endless succession from London. In 1832, Leopold
espoused Louisa, one of the daughters of the king of the French, and
was not only finally recognized by the northern powers, but, by means
of the intervention of England, being backed by a fleet, and by means
of that of France, being backed by an army, compelled Holland to
accept of terms of peace. The French troops under Gerard, unassisted
by the Belgians and watched by a Prussian army stationed on the Meuse,
regularly besieged and took the citadel of Antwerp, on Christmas eve,
1832, gave it up to the Belgians as pertaining to their territory, and
evacuated the country. King William, however, again rejecting the
twenty-four articles, all the other points, the division of the public
debt, the navigation of the Scheldt, and, more than all, the future
destiny of the province of Luxemburg, which formed part of the
confederated states of Germany, had been declared hereditary in the
house of Nassau-Orange, and which, by its geographical position and
the character of its inhabitants, was more nearly connected with
Belgium, remained for the present unsettled. In 1839, Holland was
induced by a fresh demonstration on the part of the great powers to
accept the twenty-four articles, against which Belgium in her turn
protested on the ground of the procrastination on the part of Holland
having rendered her earlier accession to these terms null and void.
Belgium was, however, also compelled to yield. By this fresh agreement
it was settled that the western part of Luxemburg, which had in the
interim fallen away from the German confederation, should be annexed
to Belgium, and that Holland (and the German confederation) should
receive the eastern part of Limburg in indemnity; and that Belgium,
instead of taking upon herself one-half of the public debt of the
Netherlands, should annually pay the sum of five million Dutch guldens
toward defraying the interest of that debt.

The period of the independence of Belgium, brief as it was, was made
use of, particularly under the Nothomb ministry, for the development
of great industrial activity, and, more especially, for the creation
of a system of railroads, until now without its parallel on the
continent. Unfortunately but little was done in favor of the interests
of Germany. The French language had already become so prevalent
throughout Belgium that, in 1840, the provincial councillors of Ghent
were constrained to pass a resolution to the effect that the offices
dependent upon them should, at all events, solely be intrusted to
persons acquainted with the Flemish dialect, and that their rescripts
should be drawn up in that language.--Holland immensely increased her
public debt in consequence of her extraordinary exertions. In 1841,
the king, William I., voluntarily abdicated the throne and retired
into private life, in the enjoyment of an enormous revenue, with a
Catholic countess whom he had wedded. He was succeeded by his son,
William II.


[Footnote 1: "The Netherlands formed, nevertheless, but a weak bulwark
to Germany. Internal disunion, superfluous fortresses, a weak army. On
the one side, a witless, wealthy, haughty aristocracy, an influential
and ignorant clergy; on the other, civic pride, capelocratic
pettiness, Calvinistic _brusquerie_. The policy pursued by the king
was inimical to Germany."--_Stein's Letters._]

[Footnote 2: So bitter was the enmity existing between the Belgians
and the Dutch that the Dutch lieutenant, Van Speyk, when driven by a
storm before Antwerp, blew up his gunboat in the middle of the Scheldt
rather than allow it to fall into the hands of the Belgians.]



CCLXVIII. The Swiss Revolution


The restoration of 1814 had replaced the ancient aristocracy more or
less on their former footing throughout Switzerland. In this country
the greatest tranquillity prevailed; the oppression of the aristocracy
was felt, but not so heavily as to be insupportable. Many benefits,
as, for instance, the draining of the swampy Linththal by Escher of
Zurich, were, moreover, conferred upon the country. Mercenaries were
also continually furnished to the king of France, to the pope, and,
for some time, to the king of the Netherlands. France, nevertheless,
imposed such heavy commercial duties that several of the cantons
leagued together for the purpose of taking reprisals. This
misunderstanding between Switzerland and France unfortunately did not
teach wisdom to the states belonging to the German confederation, and
the Rhine was also barricaded with custom-houses, those graves of
commerce. The Jesuits settled at Freiburg in the Uechtland, where they
founded a large seminary and whence they finally succeeded in
expelling Peter Girard, a man of high merit, noted for the liberality
of his views on education.[1]

The Paris revolution of July also gave rise to a democratic reaction
throughout Switzerland. Berne, by a circular, published September 22,
1830, called upon the other Swiss governments to suppress the
revolutionary spirit by force, and, by so doing, fired the train. The
government of Zurich wisely opposed the circular and made a voluntary
reform. In all the other cantons popular societies sprang up, and,
either by violence or by threats, subverted the ancient governments.
New constitutions were everywhere granted. The immense majority of the
people was in favor of reform, and the aristocracy offered but faint
resistance. Little towns or villages became the centre of the
movements against the capitals. Fischer, an innkeeper from
Merischwanden, seized the city of Aarau; the village of Burgdorf
revolutionized the canton of Berne, the village of Murten the canton
of Freiburg, the village of Weinfelden the canton of Constance; this
example was followed by the peasantry of Solothurn and Vaud; the
government of St. Gall imitated that of Zurich.

Basel was also attempted to be revolutionized by Liestal, but the
wealthy and haughty citizens, principally at the instigation of the
family of Wieland, made head against the peasantry, who were led by
one Gutzwyler. The contest that had taken place in Belgium was here
reacted on a smaller scale. A dispute concerning privileges commencing
between the citizens and the peasantry, bloody excesses ensued and a
complete separation was the result. The peasantry, superior in number,
asserted their right to send a greater number of deputies to the great
council than the cities, and the latter, dreading the danger to which
their civic interests would be thereby exposed, obstinately refused to
comply. Party rage ran high; the Baselese insulted some of the
deputies sent by the peasantry, and the latter, in retaliation, began
to blockade the town. Colonel Wieland made some sallies; the federal
diet interfered, and the peasantry, being dispersed by the federal
troops, revenged themselves during their retreat by plundering the
vale of Reigoldswyler, which had remained true to Basel. In Schwyz,
the Old-Schwyzers and the inhabitants of the outer circles, who,
although for centuries in possession of the rights of citizenship,
were still regarded by the former as their vassals, also fell at
variance, and the latter demanded equal rights or complete separation.
In Neufchatel, Bourguin attempted a revolution against the Prussian
party and took the city, but succumbed to the vigorous measures
adopted by General Pfuel, 1831.

The conduct of the federal diet, which followed in the footsteps of
European policy, and which, by winking at the opposing party and
checking that in favor of progression, sought to preserve the balance,
but served to increase party spirit. In September, 1831, the Radicals
founded at Langenthal, the _Schutzverein_ or protective union, which
embraced all the liberal clubs throughout Switzerland and was intended
to counteract the impending aristocratic counterrevolution. Men like
Schnell of Berne, Troxler the philosopher, etc., stood at its head.
They demanded the abolition of the constitution of 1815 as too
aristocratic and federal, and the foundation of a new one in a
democratic and independent sense for the increase of the external
power and unity of Switzerland, and for her internal security from
petty aristocratic and local views and intrigues. In March, 1832,
Lucerne, Zurich, Berne, Solothurn, St. Gall, Aargau, and Constance
formed a _Concordat_ for the mutual maintenance of their democratic
constitutions until the completion of the revisal of the
confederation. The aristocratic party, Schwyz, Uri, Unterwalden
(actuated by ancient pride and led by the clergy), Basel, and
Neufchatel meanwhile formed the Sarner confederation. In August, the
deposed Bernese aristocracy, headed by Major Fischer, made a futile
attempt to produce a counter-revolution. In the federal diet, the
envoys of the _Concordat_ and the threatening language of the clubs
compelled the members to bring a new federal constitution under
deliberation, but opinions were too divided, and the constitution
projected in 1833 fell to the ground for want of sufficient support.
At the moment of this defeat of the liberal party, Alt-Schwyz, led by
Abyberg, took up arms, took possession of Küssnacht, and threatened
the _Concordat_, the Baselese at the same time taking the field with
one thousand two hundred men and fourteen pieces of ordnance. The
people were, however, inimical to their cause; Abyberg fled; the
Baselese were encountered by the peasantry in the Hartwald and
repulsed with considerable loss. The federal diet demonstrated the
greatest energy in order to prevent the _Concordat_ and the
_Schutzverein_ from acting in its stead. Schwyz and Basel were
occupied with soldiery; the former was compelled to accept a new
constitution drawn up with a view of pacifying both parties, the
latter to accede to a complete separation between the town and
country. The Sarner confederation was dissolved, and all discontented
cantons were compelled, under pain of the infliction of martial law,
to send envoys to the federal diet. Intrigues, having for object the
alienation of the city of Basel, of Neufchatel, and Valais from the
confederation, were discovered and frustrated by the diet, not without
the approbation of France, the Valais and the road over the Simplon
being thereby prevented from falling beneath the influence of Austria.

In 1833, five hundred Polish refugees, suspected of supporting the
Frankfort attempt in Germany, quitted France for Switzerland, and soon
afterward unsuccessfully invaded Savoy in conjunction with some
Italian refugees. Crowds of refugees from every quarter joined them
and formed a central association, Young Europe, whence branched
others, Young France, Young Poland, Young Germany, and Young Italy.
The principal object of this association was to draw the German
journeymen apprentices (_Handwerks-bursche_) into its interests, and
for this purpose a banquet was given by it to these apprentices in the
Steinbrölzle near Berne. These intrigues produced serious threats on
the side of the great powers, and Switzerland yielded. The greater
part of the refugees were compelled to emigrate through France to
England and America. Napoleon's nephew was, at a later period, also
expelled Switzerland. His mother, Queen Hortense, consort to Louis,
ex-king of Holland, daughter to Josephine Beauharnais, consequently
both stepdaughter and sister-in-law to Napoleon, possessed the
beautiful estate of Arenenberg on the Lake of Constance. On her death
it was inherited by her son, Louis, who, during his residence there,
occupied himself with intrigues directed against the throne of Louis
Philippe. In concert with a couple of military madmen, he introduced
himself into Strasburg, where, with a little hat, in imitation of that
worn by Napoleon, on his head, he proclaimed himself emperor in the
open streets. He was easily arrested. This act was generously viewed
by Louis Philippe as that of a senseless boy, and he was restored to
liberty upon condition of emigrating to America. No sooner, however,
was he once more free, than, returning to Switzerland, he set fresh
intrigues on foot. Louis Philippe, upon this, demanded his expulsion.
Constance would willingly have extended to him the protection due to
one of her citizens, but how were the claims of a Swiss citizen to be
rendered compatible with those of a pretender to the throne of France?
French troops already threatened the frontiers of Switzerland, where,
as in 1793, the people, instead of making preparations for defence,
were at strife among themselves. Louis at length voluntarily abandoned
the country in 1838.

In the beginning of 1839, Dr. Strauss, who, in 1835, had, in his work
entitled "The Life of Jesus," declared the Gospels a cleverly devised
fable, and had, at great pains, sought to refute the historical proofs
of the truth of Christianity, was, on that account, appointed, by the
council of education and of government at Zurich, professor of
divinity to the new Zurich academy. Burgomaster Hirzel (nicknamed "the
tree of liberty" on account of his uncommon height) stood at the head
of the enthusiastic government party by which this extraordinary
appointment had been effected; the people, however, rose _en masse_,
the great council was compelled to meet, and the anti-Christian party
suffered a most disgraceful defeat. Strauss, who had not ventured to
appear in person on the scene of action, was offered and accepted a
pension. The Christian party, concentrated into a committee of faith,
under the presidency of Hurliman, behaved with extreme moderation,
although greatly superior in number to their opponents. The radical
government, ashamed and perplexed, committed blunder after blunder,
and at length threatened violence. Upon this, Hirzel, the youthful
priest of Pfäffikon, rang the alarm from his parish church, and, on
the 6th of September, 1839, led his parishioners into the city of
Zurich. This example was imitated by another crowd of peasantry,
headed by a physician named Rahn. The government troops attacked the
people and killed nine men. On the fall of the tenth, Hegetschwiler,
the councillor of state, a distinguished savant and physician, while
attempting to restore harmony between the contending parties, the
civic guard turned against the troops and dispersed them. The radical
government and the Strauss faction also fled. Immense masses of
peasantry from around the lake entered the city. A provisional
government, headed by Hiesz and Muralt, and a fresh election, insured
tranquillity.

In the canton of Schwyz, a lengthy dispute, similar to that between
the Vettkoper and Schieringer in Friesland, was carried on between the
Horn and Hoof-men (the wealthy in possession of cattle and the poor
who only possessed a cow or two) concerning their privileges. In 1839,
a violent opposition, similar in nature, was made by the people of
Vaud against the oligarchical power assumed by a few families.

The closing of the monasteries in the Aargau in 1840 gave rise to a
dispute of such importance as to disturb the whole of the
confederation. In the Aargau the church and state had long and
strenuously battled, when the monastery of Muri was suddenly invested
as the seat of a conspiracy, and, on symptoms of uneasiness becoming
perceptible among the Catholic population, the whole country was
flooded with twenty thousand militia raised on the spur of the moment,
and the closing of the monastery of Muri and of all the monasteries in
the Aargau was proclaimed and carried into execution. The rest of the
Catholic cantons and Rome vehemently protested against this measure,
and even some of the Reformed cantons, for the sake of peace, voted at
the diet for the maintenance of the monasteries: the Aargau,
nevertheless, steadily refused compliance.


[Footnote 1: In Lucerne, the disorderly trial of a numerous band of
robbers, which had been headed by an extremely beautiful and talented
girl, named Clara Wendel, made the more noise on account of its
bringing the bandit-like murder of Keller, the aged mayor, and
intrigues, in which the name of the nuncio was mixed up, before the
public. 1825.]



CCLXIX. The Revolution in Brunswick, Saxony, Hesse, Etc.


The Belgian revolution spread into Germany. Liege infected her
neighbor, Aix-la-Chapelle, where, on the 30th of August, 1830, the
workmen belonging to the manufactories raised a senseless tumult which
was a few days afterward repeated by their fellow-workmen at
Elberfeld, Wetzlar, and even by the populace of Berlin and Breslau,
but which solely took a serious character in Brunswick, Saxony,
Hanover, and Hesse.

Charles, duke of Brunswick, was at Paris, squandering the revenue
derived from his territories, on the outburst of the July revolution,
which drove him back to his native country, where he behaved with
increased insolence. His obstinate refusal to abolish the heavy taxes,
to refrain from disgraceful sales, to recommence the erection of
public buildings, and to recognize the provincial Estates, added to
his threat to fire upon the people and his boast that he knew how to
defend his throne better than Charles X. of France, so maddened the
excitable blood of his subjects that, after throwing stones at the
duke's carriage and at an actress on whom he publicly bestowed his
favors, they stormed his palace and set fire to it over his head,
September 7, 1830. Charles escaped through the garden. His brother,
William, supported by Hanover and Prussia, replaced him, recognized
the provincial Estates, granted a new constitution, built a new
palace, and re-established tranquillity. The conduct of the expelled
duke, who, from his asylum in the Harzgebirge, made a futile attempt
to regain possession of Brunswick by means of popular agitation and by
the proclamation of democratical opinions, added to the contempt with
which he treated the admonitions of his superiors, induced the federal
diet to recognize his brother's authority. The ex-duke has, since this
period, wandered over England, France, and Spain, sometimes engaged in
intrigues with Carlists, at others with republicans. In 1836, he
accompanied a celebrated female aeronaut in one of her excursions from
London. The balloon accidentally upset and the duke and his companion
fell to the ground. He was, however, as in his other adventures, more
frightened than hurt.

In Saxony, the progress of enlightenment had long rendered the people
sensible of the errors committed by the old and etiquettish
aristocracy of the court and diet. As early as 1829, all the
grievances had been recapitulated in an anonymous printed address,
and, in the beginning of 1830, on the venerable king, Antony (brother
to Frederick Augustus, deceased 1827), declaring invalid the
settlement of his affairs by the Estates, which evinced a more liberal
spirit than they had hitherto done, and on the prohibition of the
festivities on the 25th of June, the anniversary of the Augsburg
Confession, by the town council of Dresden and by the government
commissioner of the university of Leipzig from devotion to the
Catholic court, a popular tumult ensued in both cities, which was
quelled but to be, a few weeks later, after the revolution of July,
more disastrously renewed. The tumult commenced at Leipzig on the 2d
of September and lasted several days, and, during the night of the
9th, Dresden was stormed from without by two immense crowds of
populace, by whom the police buildings and the town-house were
ransacked and set on fire. Disturbances of a similar nature broke out
at Chemnitz and Bautzen. The king, upon this, nominated his nephew,
Prince Frederick, who was greatly beloved by the people, co-regent;
the civic guard restored tranquillity, the most crying abuses,
particularly those in the city administration, were abolished, and the
constitution was revised. The popular minister, Lindenan, replaced
Einsiedel, who had excited universal detestation.

In the electorate of Hesse, the period of terror occasioned by the
threatening letters addressed to the elector was succeeded by the
agitation characteristic of the times. On the 6th of September, 1830,
a tumultuous rising took place at Cassel; on the 24th, the people of
Hanau destroyed every custom-house stationed on the frontier. The
public was so unanimous and decided in opinion that the elector not
only agreed to abolish the abuses, to convoke the Estates, and to
grant a new constitution, but even placed the reins of government
provisionally in the hands of his son, Prince William, in order to
follow the Countess Reichenbach, who had been driven from Cassel by
the insults of the populace. Prince William was, however, as little as
his father inclined to make concessions; and violent collisions
speedily ensued. He wedded Madame Lehmann, the wife of a Prussian
officer, under the name of the Countess von Schaumburg, and closed the
theatre against his mother, the electress, for refusing to place
herself at her side in public. The citizens sided with the electress,
and when, after some time had elapsed, she again ventured to visit the
theatre, the doors were no longer closed against her, and, on her
entrance, she found the house completely filled. On the close of the
evening's entertainment, however, while the audience were peaceably
dispersing, they were charged by a troop of cavalry, who cut down the
defenceless multitude without distinction of age or sex, December 7,
1830. The Estates, headed by Professor Jordan, vainly demanded
redress; Giesler, the head of the police, was alone designated as the
criminal; the scrutiny was drawn to an interminable length and
produced no other result than Giesler's decoration with an order by
the prince.

In Hesse-Darmstadt, where the poll-tax amounted to 6_fls_. 12_krs_.
(10_s_. 4_d_.) a head, the Estates ventured, even prior to the
revolution of July, to refuse to vote 2,000,000_fls_. (£166,666 13_s_.
4_d_.) to the new grandduke, Louis II. (who had just succeeded his
aged father, the patron of the arts), for the defrayment of debts
contracted by him before his accession to the ducal chair. In
September, the peasantry of Upper Hesse rose _en masse_ on account of
the imposition of the sum of 100,000_fls_. (£8,333 6_s_. 8_d_.) upon
the poverty-stricken communes in order to meet the outlay occasioned
by the festivities given in the grandduke's honor on his route through
the country; the burdens laid upon the peasantry in the mediatized
principalities, more particularly in that of Ysenburg, had also become
unbearable. The insurgents took Budingen by storm and were guilty of
some excesses toward the public officers and the foresters, but
deprived no one of life. Ere long convinced of their utter impotence,
they dispersed before the arrival of Prince Emilius at the head of a
body of military, who, blinded by rage, unfortunately killed a number
of persons in the village of Södel, whom they mistook for insurgents
owing to the circumstance of their being armed, but who had in reality
been assembled by a forester for the purpose of keeping the insurgents
in check.

In this month, September, 1830, popular disturbances, but of minor
import, broke out also at Jena and Kahla, Altenburg, and Gera.

In Hanover, the first symptoms of revolution appeared in January,
1831. Dr. König was at that time at the head of the university of
Osterode, Dr. Rauschenplatt of that of Göttingen.[1] The abolition of
the glaring ancient abuses and the removal of the minister, Count
Munster, the sole object of whose policy appeared to be the
eternalization of every administrative and juridical antiquity in the
state, were demanded. The petty insurrections were quelled by the
military. König was taken prisoner; most of the other demagogues
escaped to France. The Duke of Cambridge, the king's brother,
mediated. Count Munster was dismissed, and Hanover received a new and
more liberal constitution.

While these events were passing in Germany, the Poles carried on a
contest against the whole power of Russia as glorious and as
unfortunate as their former one under their leader, Kosciuszko. Louis
Philippe, king of the French, in the hope of gaining favor with the
northern powers by the abandonment of the Polish cause, dealt not a
stroke in their aid. Austria, notwithstanding her natural rivalry to
Russia, beheld the Polish revolution merely through the veil of
legitimacy and refused her aid to rebels. A Hungarian address in favor
of Poland produced no result. Prussia was closely united by family
ties to Russia. The Poles were consequently left without external aid,
and their spirit was internally damped by diplomatic arts. Aid was
promised by France, if they would wait. They accordingly waited: and
in the interim, after the failure of Diebitsch's attempt upon Warsaw
and his sudden death, Paskewitch, the Russian general, unexpectedly
crossed the Vistula close to the Prussian fortress of Thorn and seized
the city of Warsaw while each party was still in a state of
indecision. Immense masses of fugitive Polish soldiery sought shelter
in Austria and Prussia. The officers and a few thousand private
soldiers were permitted to pass onward to France: they found a warm
welcome in Southern Germany, whence they had during the campaign been
supplied with surgeons and every necessary for the supply of the
hospitals. The rest were compelled to return to Russia.

The Russian troops drawn from the distant provinces, the same that had
been employed in the war with Persia, overran Poland as far as the
Prussian frontier, bringing with them a fearful pestilence, Asiatic
cholera. This dire malady, which had, since 1817, crept steadily
onward from the banks of the Ganges, reached Russia in 1830, and, in
the autumn of 1831, spread across the frontiers of Germany. It chiefly
visited populous cities and generally spared districts less densely
populated, passing from one great city to another whither infection
could not have been communicated. _Cordons de santé_ and quarantine
regulations were of no avail. The pestilence appeared to spread like
miasma through the air and to kindle like gas wherever the assemblage
of numbers disposed the atmosphere to its reception. The patients were
seized with vomiting and diarrhoea, accompanied with violent
convulsions, and often expired instantaneously or after an agony of a
few hours' duration. Medicinal art was powerless against this disease,
and, as in the 14th century, the ignorant populace ascribed its
prevalence to poison. Suspicion fell this time upon the physicians and
the public authorities and spread in the most incredible manner from
St. Petersburg to Paris. The idea that the physicians had been charged
to poison the people _en masse_ occasioned dreadful tumults, in which
numbers of physicians fell victims and every drug used in medicine was
destroyed as poisonous. Similar scenes occurred in Russia and in
Hungary. In the latter country a great insurrection of the peasants
took place, in August, 1831, in which not only the physicians, but
also numbers of the nobility and public officers who had provided
themselves with drugs fell victims, and the most inhuman atrocities
were perpetrated. In Vienna, where the cholera raged with extreme
virulence, the people behaved more reasonably.

In Prussia, the cholera occasioned several disturbances at
Koenigsberg, Stettin, and Breslau. At Koenigsberg the movement was not
occasioned by the disease being attributed to poison. The strict
quarantine regulations enforced by the government had produced a
complete commercial stagnation, notwithstanding which permission had
been given to the Russian troops, when hard pushed by the insurgent
Poles, to provide themselves with provisions and ammunition from
Prussia, so that not only Russian agents and commissaries, but whole
convoys from Russia crossed the Prussian frontier. The appearance of
cholera was ascribed to this circumstance, and the public discontent
was evinced both by a popular outbreak and in an address from the
chief magistrate of Koenigsberg to the throne. The Prussian army,
under the command of Field-Marshal Gneisenau, stationed in Posen for
the purpose of watching the movements of the Poles, was also attacked
by the cholera, to which the field-marshal fell victim. It speedily
reached Berlin, spread through the north of Germany to France,
England, and North America, returned thence to the south of Europe,
and, in 1836, crept steadily on from Italy through the Tyrol to
Bavaria.

The veil had been torn from many an old and deep-rooted evil by the
disturbances of 1830. The press now emulated the provincial diets and
some of the governments that sought to meet the demands of the age in
exposing to public view all the political wants of Germany. Party
spirit, however, still ran too high, and the moderate
constitutionalists, who aimed at the gradual introduction of reforms
by legal means, found themselves ere long outflanked by two extreme
parties. While Gentz at Vienna, Jarcke at Berlin, etc., refused to
make the slightest concession and in that spirit conducted the press,
Rotteck's petty constitutional reforms in Baden were treated with
contempt by Wirth and Siebenpfeiffer, by whom a German republic was
with tolerable publicity proclaimed in Rhenish Bavaria. Nor were
attempts at mediation wanting. In Darmstadt, Schulz proposed the
retention of the present distribution of the states of Germany and the
association of a second chamber, composed of deputies elected by the
people from every part of the German confederation, with the federal
assembly at Frankfort.

The Tribune, edited by Dr. Wirth, and the Westboten, edited by Dr.
Siebenpfeiffer, were prohibited by the federal diet, March 2, 1832.
Schuler, Savoie, and Geib opposed this measure by the foundation of a
club in Rhenish Bavaria for the promotion of liberty of the press,
ramifications of which were intended by the founders to be extended
throughout Germany. The approaching celebration of the festival in
commemoration of the Bavarian constitution afforded the malcontents a
long-wished-for opportunity for the convocation of a monster meeting
at the ancient castle of Hambach, on the 27th of May. Although the
black, red and gold flag waved on this occasion high above the rest,
the tendency to French liberalism predominated over that to German
patriotism. Numbers of French being also present, Dr. Wirth deemed
himself called upon to observe that the festival they had met to
celebrate was intrinsically German, that he despised liberty as a
French boon, and that the patriot's first thoughts were for his
country, his second for liberty. These observations greatly displeased
the numerous advocates for French republicanism among his audience,
and one Rey, a Strasburg citizen, read him a severe lecture in the
Mayence style of 1793.[2] There were also a number of Poles present,
toward whom no demonstrations of jealousy were evinced. This meeting
peaceably dissolved, but no means were for the future neglected for
the purpose of crushing the spirit manifested by it. Marshal Wrede
occupied Spires, Landau, Neustadt, etc., with Bavarian troops; the
clubs for the promotion of liberty of the press were strictly
prohibited, their original founders, as well as the orators of Hambach
and the boldest of the newspaper editors, were either arrested or
compelled to quit the country. Siebenpfeiffer took refuge in
Switzerland; Wirth might have effected his escape, but refused. Some
provocations in Neustadt, on the anniversary of the Hambach festival
in 1833, were brought by the military to a tragical close. Some
newspaper editors, printers, etc., were also arrested at Munich,
Wurzburg, Augsburg, etc. The most celebrated among the accused was
Professor Behr, court-councillor of Wurzburg, the burgomaster and
former deputy of that city, who at the time of the meeting at Hambach
made a public speech at Gaibach. On account of the revolutionary
tendency manifested in it he was arrested, and, in 1886, sentenced to
ask pardon on his knees before the king's portrait and to
imprisonment, a punishment to which the greater part of the political
offenders were condemned.

The federal diet had for some time been occupied with measures for the
internal tranquillity of Germany. The Hambach festival both brought
them to a conclusion and increased their severity. Under the date of
the 28th of June, 1832, the resolutions of the federal assembly, by
which first of all the provincial Estates, then the popular clubs, and
finally the press, were to be deprived of every means of opposing in
any the slightest degree the joint will of the princes, were
published. The governments were bound not to tolerate within their
jurisdiction aught contrary to the resolutions passed by the federal
assembly, and to call the whole power of the confederation to their
aid if unable to enforce obedience; nay, in cases of urgency, the
confederation reserved to itself the right of armed intervention,
undemanded by the governments. Taxes, to meet the expenses of the
confederation, were to be voted submissively by the provincial
Estates. Finally, all popular associations and assemblies were also
prohibited, and all newspapers, still remaining, of a liberal
tendency, were suppressed.

The youthful revolutionists, principally students, assembled secretly
at Frankfort on the Maine, during the night of the 3d of April, 1833,
attacked the town-watch for the purpose of liberating some political
prisoners, and possibly intended to have carried the federal assembly
by a _coup-de-main_ had they not been dispersed. These excesses had
merely the effect of increasing the severity of the scrutiny and of
crowding the prisons with suspected persons.


[Footnote 1: Also the unfortunate Dr. Plath, to whom science is
indebted for an excellent historical work upon China. He became
implicated in this affair and remained in confinement until 1836, when
he was sentenced to fifteen years' further imprisonment.]

[Footnote 2: All national distinctions must cease and be fused in
universal liberty and equality; this was the sole aim of the noble
French people, and for this cause should we meet them with a fraternal
embrace, etc. Paul Pfizer well observed in a pamphlet on German
liberalism, published at that period, "What epithet would the majority
of the French people bestow upon a liberty which a part of their
nation would purchase by placing themselves beneath the protection of
a foreign and superior power, called to their aid against their
fellow-citizens? If the cause of German liberalism is to remain pure
and unspotted, we must not, like Coriolanus, arm the foreign foe
against our country. The egotistical tendency of the age is,
unhappily, too much inclined (by a coalition with France) to prefer
personal liberty and independence to the liberty and independence
(thereby infallibly forfeited) of the whole community. The supposed
fellowship with France would be subjection to her. France will support
the German liberals as Richelien did the German Protestants."]



CCLXX. The Struggles of the Provincial Diets


The Estates of the different constitutional states sought for
constitutional reform by legal means and separated themselves from the
revolutionists. But, during periods of great political agitation, it
is difficult to draw a distinctive line, and any opposition, however
moderate, appears as dangerous as the most intemperate rebellion. It
was, consequently, impossible for the governments and the Estates to
come to an understanding during these stormy times. The result of the
deliberations, whenever the opposition was in the majority, was
protestations on both sides in defence of right; and, whenever the
opposition was or fell in the minority, the chambers were the mere
echo of the minister.

In Bavaria, in 1831, the second chamber raised a violent storm against
the minister, von Schenk, principally on account of the restoration of
some monasteries and of the enormous expense attending the erection of
the splendid public buildings at Munich. A law of censorship had,
moreover, been published, and a number of civil officers elected by
the people been refused permission to take their seats in the chamber.
Schwindel, von Closen, Cullmann, Seyffert, etc., were the leaders of
the opposition. Schenk resigned office; the law of censorship was
repealed, and the Estates struck two millions from the civil list. The
first chamber, however, refused its assent to these resolutions, the
law of censorship was retained, and the saving in the expenditure of
the crown was reduced to an extremely insignificant amount. In the
autumn of 1832, Prince Otto, the king's second son, was, with the
consent of the sultan, elected king of Greece by the great maritime
powers intrusted with the decision of the Greek question, and Count
Armansperg, formerly minister of Bavaria, was placed at the head of
the regency during the minority of the youthful monarch. Steps having
to be taken for the levy of troops for the Greek service, some
regiments were sent into Greece in order to carry the new regulations
into effect. The Bavarian chambers were at a later period almost
entirely purged from the opposition and granted every demand made by
the government. The appearance of the Bavarians in ancient Greece
forms one of the most interesting episodes in modern history. The
jealousy of the great powers explains the election of a sovereign
independent of them all: the noble sympathy displayed for the Grecian
cause by King Louis, who, shortly after the congress of Verona, sent
considerable sums of money and Colonel von Heideck to the aid of the
Greeks, and, it may be, also the wish to bring the first among the
second-rate powers of Germany into closer connection with the common
interests of the first-rate powers, more particularly explains that of
the youthful Otto.[1] The task of organizing a nation, noble, indeed,
but debased by long slavery and still reeking with the blood of late
rebellion, under the influence of a powerful and mutually jealous
diplomacy, on a European and German footing, was, however, extremely
difficult. Hence the opposite views entertained by the regency, the
resignation of the councillors of state, von Maurer and von Abel, who
were more inclined to administrate, and the retention of office by
Count Armansperg, who was more inclined to diplomatize. Hence the
ceaseless intrigues of party, the daily increasing contumacy, and the
revolts, sometimes quenched in blood, of the wild mountain tribes and
ancient robber-chiefs, to whom European institutions were still an
insupportable yoke. King Otto received, on his accession to the
throne, in 1835, a visit from his royal parent; and, in the ensuing
year, conducted the Princess of Oldenburg to Athens as his bride.

In Wurtemberg, the chambers first met in 1833, and were, two months
later, again dissolved on account of the refusal of the second chamber
to reject "with indignation" Pfizer's protestation against the
resolutions of the confederation. In the newly-elected second chamber,
the opposition, at whose head stood the celebrated poet, Uhland,
brought forward numerous propositions for reform, but remained in the
minority, and it was not until the new diet, held in 1836, that the
aristocratic first chamber was induced to diminish socage service and
other feudal dues twenty-two and one-half per cent in amount. The
literary piracy that had hitherto continued to exist solely in
Wurtemberg was also provisionally abolished, the system of national
education was improved, and several other useful projects were carried
into execution or prepared. A new criminal code, published in 1838,
again bore traces of political caution. The old opposition lost power.

In Baden, the venerable grandduke, Louis, expired in 1830, and was
succeeded by Leopold, a descendant of the collateral branch of the
counts of Hochberg. Bavaria had, at an earlier period, stipulated, in
case of the extinction of the elder and legitimate line, for the
restoration of the Pfalz (Heidelberg and Mannheim), which had, in
1816, been secured to her by a treaty with Austria. The grandduke,
Louis, had protested against this measure and had, in 1817, declared
Baden indivisible. Bavaria finally relinquished her claims on the
payment of two million florins (£166,666 13_s_. 4_d_.) and the cession
of the bailiwick of Steinfeld, to which Austria moreover added the
county of Geroldseck. The new grandduke, who was surnamed "the
citizen's friend," behaved with extreme liberality and consequently
went hand in hand with the first chamber, of which Wessenberg and
Prince von Furstenberg were active members, and with the second, at
the head of which stood Professors Rotteck, Welcker, and von Itzstein.
Rotteck proposed and carried through the abolition of capital
punishment as alone worthy of feudal times, and, on Welcker's motion,
censorship was abolished and a law for the press was passed. The
federal assembly, however, speedily checked these reforms. The
grandduke was compelled to repeal the law for the press, the Freiburg
university was for some time closed, Professors Rotteck and Welcker
were suspended, and their newspaper, the "Freisinnige" or liberal, was
suppressed in 1832. Rotteck was, notwithstanding, at feud with the
Hambachers, and had raised the Baden flag above that of Germany at a
national fete at Badenweiler. This extremely popular deputy, who had
been presented with thirteen silver cups in testimony of the affection
with which he was regarded by the people, afterward protested against
the resolutions of the confederation, but his motion was violently
suppressed by the minister, Winter. The Baden chamber, nevertheless,
still retained a good deal of energy, and, after the death of Rotteck,
in 1841, a violent contest was carried on concerning the rights of
election.

In Hesse-Darmstadt, the Estates again met in 1832; the liberal
majority in the second chamber, led by von Gagern, E. E. Hoffmann,
Hallwachs, etc., protested against the resolutions of the
confederation, and the chamber was dissolved. A fresh election took
place, notwithstanding which the chamber was again dissolved in 1834,
on account of the government being charged with party spirit by von
Gagern and the refusal of the chamber to call him to order. The people
afterward elected a majority of submissive members.

In Hesse-Cassel the popular demonstrations were instantly followed by
the convocation of the Estates and the proposal of a new and
stipulated constitution, which received the sanction of the chambers
as early as January, 1831; but, amid the continual disturbances, and
on account of the disinclination of the prince co-regent to the
liberal reforms, the chamber, of which the talented professor, Jordan
of Marburg, was the most distinguished member, yielded,
notwithstanding its perseverance, after two rapidly successive
dissolutions, in 1832 and 1833, to the influence of the (once liberal)
minister, Hassenpflug, and Jordan quitted the scene of contest.
Hassenpflug's tyrannical behavior and the lapse of Hesse-Rotenburg
(the mediatized collateral line, which became extinct with the
Landgrave Victor in 1834), the revenues of which were appropriated as
personal property by the prince elector instead of being declared
state property, fed the opposition in the chambers, which was,
notwithstanding the menaces of the prince elector, carried on until
1838. Hassenpflug threw up office.

In Nassau, the duke, William, fell into a violent dispute with the
Estates. The second chamber, after vainly soliciting the restitution
of the rich demesnes, appropriated by the duke as private property, on
the ground of their being state property, and the application of their
revenue to the payment of the state debts, refused, in the autumn of
1831, to vote the taxes. The first chamber, in which the duke had the
power of raising at will a majority in his favor by the creation of
fresh members, protested against the conduct of the second, which in
return protested against that of the first and suspended its
proceedings until their constitutional rights should have received
full recognition; five of the deputies, however, again protested
against the suspension of the proceedings of the chamber and voted the
taxes during the absence of the majority. The majority again
protested, but became entangled in a political lawsuit, and Herber,
the gray-headed president, was confined in the fortress of Marxburg.

In Brunswick, a good understanding prevailed between William the new
duke, and the Estates, which were, however, accused of having an
aristocratic tendency by the democratic party. Their sittings
continued to be held in secret.

In Saxony, the long-wished-for reforms, above all, the grant of a new
constitution, were realized, owing to the influence of the popular
co-regent, added to that of Lindenau, the highly-esteemed minister,
and of the newly-elected Estates, in 1831. The law of censorship,
nevertheless, continued to be enforced with extreme severity, which
also marked the treatment of the political prisoners. Count Hohenthal
and Baron Watzdorf, who seized every opportunity to put in
protestations, even against the resolutions of the confederation,
evinced the most liberal spirit. On the demise of the aged king,
Antony, in 1835, and the accession of the co-regent, Frederick, to the
throne, the political movements totally ceased.

Holstein and Schleswig had also, as early as 1823, solicited the
restitution of their ancient constitutional rights, which the king,
Frederick IV., delayed to grant. Lornsen, the councillor of chancery,
was arrested in 1830, for attempting to agitate the people. Separate
provincial diets were, notwithstanding, decreed, in 1831, for Holstein
and Schleswig, although both provinces urgently demanded their union.
Frederick IV. expired in 1839 and was succeeded by his cousin,
Christian.

Immediately after the revolution of July, the princes of Oldenburg,
Altenburg, Coburg, Meiningen, and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen made a
public appeal to the confidence of their subjects, whom they called
upon to lay before them their grievances, etc. Augustus, duke of
Oldenburg, who had assumed the title of grandduke, proclaimed a
constitution, but shortly afterward withdrew his promise and strictly
forbade his subjects to annoy him by recalling it to his remembrance.
The prince von Sondershausen also refused the hoped-for constitution.
In Sigmaringen, Altenburg, and Meiningen the constitutional movement
was, on the contrary, countenanced and encouraged by the princes.
Pauline, the liberal-minded princess of Lippe-Detmold, had already
drawn up a constitution for her petty territory with her own hand,
when the nobility rose against it, and, aided by the federal assembly,
compelled her to withdraw it.

In the autumn of 1833, the emperor of Russia held a conference with
the king of Prussia at Munchen-Gratz, whither the emperor of Austria
also repaired. A German ministerial congress assembled immediately
afterward at Vienna, and the first of its resolutions was made public
late in the autumn of 1834. It announced the establishment of a court
of arbitration, empowered, as the highest court of appeal, to decide
all disputes between the governments and their provincial Estates. The
whole of the members of this court were to be nominated by the
governments, but the disputing parties were free to select their
arbitrators from among the number.

A fresh and violent constitutional battle was, notwithstanding these
precautions, fought in Hanover, where Adolphus Frederick, duke of
Cambridge, had, in the name of his brother, William IV., king of
England, established a new constitution, which had received many
ameliorations notwithstanding the inefficiency of the liberals,
Christiani, Luntzel, etc., to counteract the overpowering influence of
the monarchical and aristocratic party. William IV., king of England
and Hanover, expired in 1837, and was succeeded on the throne of Great
Britain by Victoria Alexandrina, the daughter of his younger and
deceased brother, Edward, duke of Kent, and of the Princess Victoria
of Saxe-Coburg; and on that of Hanover, which was solely heritable in
the male line, by his second brother, Ernest, duke of Cumberland, the
leader of the Tory party in England. No sooner had this new sovereign
set his foot on German soil[2] than he repealed the constitution
granted to Hanover in 1833 and ordained the restoration of the former
one of 1819, drawn up in a less liberal but more monarchical and
aristocratic spirit. Among the protestations made against this _coup
d'état_, that of the seven Göttingen professors, the two brothers,
Grimm, to whom the German language and antiquarian research are so
deeply indebted, Dahlmann, Gervinus, Ewald, Weber, and Albrecht, is
most worthy of record. Their instant dismission produced an
insurrection among the students, which was, after a good deal of
bloodshed, quelled by the military. In the beginning of 1838, the
Estates were convoked according to the articles of the constitution of
1819 for the purpose of taking a constitution, drawn up under the
dictation of the king, under deliberation. Many of the towns refused
to elect deputies, and some of those elected were not permitted to
take their seats. The city of Osnabruck protested in the federal
assembly. Notwithstanding this, the Estates meanwhile assembled, but
declared themselves incompetent, regarding themselves simply in the
light of an arbitrative committee, and, as such, threw out the
constitution presented by the king, June, 1838. The federal assembly
remained passive.[3] In 1839, Schele, the minister, finally succeeded,
by means of menaces and bribery, and by arbitrarily calling into the
chamber the ministerial candidates who had received the minority of
votes during the elections, in collecting so many deputies devoted to
his party as were requisite in order to form the chamber and to pass
resolutions. The city of Hanover hereupon brought before the federal
assembly a petition for redress and a list of grievances in which
Schele's chamber was described as "unworthy of the name of a
constitutional representative assembly, void of confidence,
unpossessed of the public esteem, and unrecognized by the country."
The king instantly divested Rumann, the city director, of his office,
but so far yielded to the magistrate, to whom he gave audience in the
palace and who was followed by crowds of the populace, as to revoke
the nomination, already declared illegal, of Rumann's successor, and
to promise that the matter at issue should be brought before the
common tribunal instead of the council of state, July 17th. Numerous
other cities, corporations of landed proprietors, etc., also followed
the example set by Hanover and laid their complaints before the
federal assembly, which hereupon declared that, according to the laws
of the confederation, it found no cause for interference, but at the
same time advised the king to come to an understanding consistent with
the rights of the crown and of the Estates, with the "present" Estates
(unrecognized by the democratic party), concerning the form of the
constitution. In the federal assembly, Wurtemberg and Bavaria, most
particularly, voted in favor of the Hanoverians. Professor Ewald was
appointed to the university of Tubingen; Albrecht, at a later period,
to that of Leipzig; the brothers Grimm, to that of Berlin; Dahlmann,
to that of Bonn. Among the assembled Estates, those of Baden,
Wurtemberg, and Saxony most warmly espoused the cause of the people of
Hanover, but, as was natural, without result.[4]

In 1840, the king convoked a fresh diet. The people refused to elect
members, and it was solely by means of intrigue that a small number of
deputies (not half the number fixed by law) were assembled, creatures
of the minister, Schele, who were disowned by the people in addresses
couched in the most energetic terms (the address presented by the
citizens of Osnabruck was the most remarkable) and their proceedings
were protested against. This petty assembly, nevertheless, took under
deliberation and passed a new constitution, against which the cities
and the country again protested. The king also declared his only son,
George, who was afflicted with blindness, capable of governing and of
succeeding to the throne.


[Footnote 1: Thiersch, the Bavarian court-councillor, one of the most
distinguished connoisseurs of Grecian antiquity, who visited Greece
shortly after Heideck and before the arrival of the king, was received
by the modern Greeks with touching demonstrations of delight. No
nation has so deeply studied, so deeply become imbued with Grecian
lore, as that of Germany, and the close connection formed, on the
accession of the Bavarian Otto to the throne of Greece, between her
sons and the children of that classic land, justifies the proudest
expectations.]

[Footnote 2: He did not restore the whole of the crown property that
had, at an earlier period, been carried away to England. A
considerable portion of the crown jewels had been taken away by George
I., and when, in 1802, the French occupied Hanover, the whole of the
movable crown property, even the great stud, was sent to England. On
the demise of George III., the crown jewels were divided among the
princes of the English house.--_Copied from the Courier of August,
1838._]

[Footnote 3: The Darmstadt government declared to the second chamber,
on its bringing forward a motion for the intercession of Darmstadt
with the federal assembly in favor of the legality of the ancient
constitution then in force in Hanover, that the grandduke would never
tolerate any cooperation on the part of the Estates with his vote in
the federal assembly.]

[Footnote 4: "This defeat is, however, not to be lamented: the battle
for the separate constitutions has not been fought in vain if German
nationality spring from the wreck of German separatism, if we are
taught that without a liberal federal constitution liberal provincial
constitutions are impossible in Germany."--_Pfizer._]



CCLXXI. Austria and Prince Mettenich


Austria might, on the fall of Napoleon, have maintained Alsace,
Lorraine, the Breisgau, and the whole of the territory of the Upper
Rhine in the same manner in which Prussia had maintained that of the
Lower Rhine, had she not preferred the preservation of her rule in
Italy and rendered her position in Germany subordinate to her station
as a European power. This policy is explained by the peculiar
circumstances of the Austrian state, which had for centuries comprised
within itself nations of the most distinct character, and the
population of whose provinces were by far the greater part Slavonian,
Hungarian, and Italian, the great minority German. By this policy she
lost, as the Prussian Customs' Union has also again proved, much of
her influence over Germany, while, on the other hand, she secured it
the more firmly in Southern and Eastern Europe. Austria has long made
a gradual and almost unperceived advance from the northwest in a
southeasterly direction. In Germany she has continually lost ground.
Switzerland, the Netherlands, Alsace, Lorraine, the Swabian counties,
Lusatia, Silesia, have one by one been severed from her, while her
non-German possessions have as continually been increased, by the
addition of Hungary, Transylvania, Galicia, Dalmatia, and Upper Italy.

The contest carried on between Austria, the French Revolution, and
Napoleon, has at all events left deep and still visible traces; the
characters of the emperor Francis and of his chancellor of state,
Prince Metternich, that perfect representative of the aristocracy of
Europe, sympathize also as closely with the Austrian system as the
character of the emperor Joseph was antipathetical to it. This system
dates, however, earlier than those revolutionary struggles, and has
already outlived at least one of its supporters.

Austria is the only great state in Europe that comprises so many
diverse but well-poised nationalities within its bosom; in all the
other great states, one nation bears the preponderance. To this
circumstance may be ascribed her peaceful policy, every great war
threatening her with the revolt of some one of the foreign nations
subordinate to her sceptre. To this may, moreover, be ascribed the
tenacity with which she upholds the principle of legitimacy. The
historical hereditary right of the reigning dynasty forms the sole but
ideal tie by which the diverse and naturally inimical nations beneath
her rule are linked together. For the same reason, the concentration
of talent in the government contrasts, in Austria, more violently with
the obscurantism of the provinces than in any other state. Not only
does the overpowering intelligence of the chancery of state awe the
nations beneath its rule, but the proverbial good nature and
patriarchal cordiality of the imperial family win every heart. The
army is a mere machine in the hands of the government; a standing
army, in which the soldier serves for life or for the period of twenty
years, during which he necessarily loses all sympathy with his
fellow-citizens, and which is solely reintegrated from militia whom
this privilege renders still more devoted to the government. The
pretorian spirit usually prevalent in standing armies has been guarded
against in Austria by there being no guards, and all sympathy between
the military and the citizens of the various provinces whence they
were drawn is at once prevented by the Hungarian troops being sent
into Italy, the Italian troops into Galicia, etc., etc. The
nationality of the private soldier is checked by the Germanism of the
subalterns and by the Austrianism of the staff. Besides the power thus
everywhere visible, there exists another partially invisible, that of
the police, in connection with a censorship of the severest
description, which keeps a guard over the inadvertencies of the tongue
as well as over those of the press. The people are, on the other hand,
closely bound up with the government and interested in the maintenance
of the existing state of affairs by the paper currency, on the value
of which the welfare of every subject in the state depends.

To a government thus strong in concentrated power and intelligence
stands opposed the mass of nations subject to the Austrian sceptre
whose natural antipathies have been artfully fostered and
strengthened. In Austria the distinctions of class, characteristic of
the Middle Ages, are still preserved. The aristocracy and the clergy
possess an influence almost unknown in Germany, but solely over the
people, not over the government. As corporative bodies they still are,
as in the days of Charles VI., convoked for the purpose of holding
postulate diets, whose power, with the exception of that of the
Hungarian diet, is merely nominal. The nobility, even in Hungary, as
everywhere else throughout the Austrian states (more particularly
since the Spanish system adopted by Ferdinand II.), is split into two
inimical classes, those of the higher and lower aristocracy. Even in
Galicia, where the Polish nobility formed, at an earlier period and
according to earlier usage, but one body, the distinction of a higher
and lower class has been introduced since the occupation of that
country by Austria. The high aristocracy are either bound by favors,
coincident with their origin, to the court, the great majority among
them consisting of families on whom nobility was conferred by
Ferdinand II., or they are, if families belonging to the more powerful
and more ancient national aristocracy, as, for instance, that of
Esterhazy in Hungary, brought by the bestowal of fresh favors into
closer affinity with the court and drawn within its sphere. The
greater proportion of the aristocracy consequently reside at Vienna.
The lower nobility make their way chiefly by talent and perseverance
in the army and the civil offices, and are therefore naturally devoted
to the government, on which all their hopes in life depend. The
clergy, although permitted to retain the whole of their ancient pomp
and their influence over the minds of the people, have been rendered
dependent upon the government, a point easily gained, the pope being
principally protected by Austria.

The care of the government for the material welfare of the people
cannot be denied; it is, however, frustrated by two obstacles raised
by its own system. The maintenance of the high aristocracy is, for
instance, antipathetic to the welfare of the subject, and, although
comfort and plenty abound in the immediate vicinity of Vienna, the
population on the enormous estates of the magnates in the provinces
often present a lamentable contrast. The Austrian government moreover
prohibits all free intercourse with foreign parts, and the old-
fashioned system of taxation, senseless as many other existing
regulations, entirely puts a stop to all free trade between Hungary
and Austria. Consequently, the new and grand modes of communication,
the Franzen Canal, that unites the Danube and the Thiess, the
Louisenstrasse, between Carlstadt and Fiume, the magnificent road to
Trieste, the admirable road across the rocks of the Stilfser Jock,
and, more than all, the steam navigation as far as the mouths of the
Danube and the railroads, will be unavailing to scatter the blessings
of commerce and industry so long as these wretched prohibitions
continue to be enforced.

Austria has, in regard to her foreign policy, left the increasing
influence of Russia in Poland, Persia, and Turkey unopposed, and even
allowed the mouths of the Danube to be guarded by Russian fortresses,
while she has, on the other hand, energetically repelled the
interference of France in the affairs of Italy. The July revolution
induced a popular insurrection in the dominions of the Church, and the
French threw a garrison into the citadel of Ancona; the Austrians,
however, instantly entered the country and enforced the restoration of
the _ançien régime_. In Lombardy, many ameliorations were introduced
and the prosperity of the country promoted by the Austrian
administration, notwithstanding the national jealousy of the
inhabitants. Venice, with her choked-up harbor, could, it is true, no
longer compete with Trieste. The German element has gained ground in
Galicia by means of the public authorities and the immigration of
agriculturists and artificers. The Hungarians endeavored to render
their language the common medium throughout Hungary, and to expel the
German element, but their apprehension of the numerous Slavonian
population of Hungary, whom religious sympathy renders subject to
Russian influence, has speedily reconciled them with the Germans.
Slavonism has, on the other hand, also gained ground in Bohemia.

The emperor, Francis I., expired in 1835, and was succeeded by his
son, Ferdinand I., without a change taking place in the system of the
government, of which Prince Metternich continued to be the directing
principle.

The decease of some of the heads of foreign royal families and the
marriages of their successors again placed several German princes on
foreign thrones. The last of the Guelphs on the throne of Great
Britain expired with William IV., whose niece and successor, Victoria
Alexandrina, wedded, 1840, Albert of Saxe-Coburg, second son of
Ernest, the reigning duke. That the descendant of the steadfast
elector should, after such adverse fortune, be thus destined to occupy
the highest position in the reformed world, is of itself remarkable.
One of this prince's uncles, Leopold, is seated on the throne of
Belgium, and one of his cousins, Ferdinand, on that of Portugal, in
right of his consort, Donna Maria da Gloria, the daughter of Dom
Pedro, king of Portugal and emperor of the Brazils, to whom, on the
expulsion of the usurper, Dom Miguel, he was wedded in 1835. These
princes of Coburg are remarkable for manly beauty.

The antipathy with which the new dynasty on the throne of France was
generally viewed rendered Ferdinand, Duke of Orleans, Louis Philippe's
eldest son, for some time an unsuccessful suitor for the hand of a
German princess; he at length conducted Helena, princess of
Mecklenburg-Schwerin, although against the consent of her stepfather,
Paul Frederick, the reigning duke, to Paris in 1837, as future queen
of the French. He was killed in 1842, by a fall from his carriage, and
left two infant sons, the Count of Paris and the Duke of Chartres. The
Czarowitz, Alexander, espoused Maria, Princess of Darmstadt.

The French chambers and journals have reassumed toward Germany the
tone formerly affected by Napoleon, and, with incessant cries for war,
in which, in 1840, the voice of the prime minister Thiers joined,
demand the restoration of the left bank of the Rhine. Thiers was,
however, compelled to resign office, and the close alliance between
Austria, Prussia, and the whole of the confederated princes, as well
as the feeling universally displayed throughout Germany, demonstrated
the energy with which an attack on the side of France would be
repelled. The erection of the long-forgotten federal fortresses on the
Upper Rhine was also taken at length under consideration, and it was
resolved to fortify both Rastadt and Ulm without further delay.

Nor have the statesmen of France failed to threaten Germany with a
Russo-Gallic alliance in the spirit of the Erfurt congress of 1808;
while Russia perseveres in the prohibitory system so prejudicial to
German commerce, attempts to suppress every spark of German
nationality in Livonia, Courland, and Esthonia, and fosters
Panslavism, or the union of all the Slavonic nations for the
subjection of the world, among the Slavonian subjects of Austria in
Hungaria and Bohemia. The extension of the Greek church is also
connected with this idea. "The European Pentarchy," a work that
attracted much attention in 1839, insolently boasts how Russia, in
defiance of Austria, has seized the mouths of the Danube, has wedged
herself, as it were, by means of Poland, between Austria and Prussia,
in a position equally threatening to both, recommends the minor states
of Germany to seek the protection of Russia, and darkly hints at the
alliance between that power and France.

Nor are the prospects of Germany alone threatened by France and
Russia; disturbances, like a fantastic renewal of the horrors of the
Middle Age, are ready to burst forth on the other side of the Alps, as
though, according to the ancient saga of Germany, the dead were about
to rise in order to mingle in the last great contest between the gods
and mankind.



CCLXXII. Prussia and Rome


While Austria remains stationary, Prussia progresses. While Austria
relies for support upon the aristocracy of the Estates, Prussia relies
for hers upon the people, that is to say, upon the public officers
taken from the mass of the population, upon the citizens emancipated
by the city regulation, upon the peasantry emancipated by the
abolition of servitude, of all the other agricultural imposts, and by
the division of property, and upon the enrolment of both classes in
the Landwehr. While Austria, in fine, renders her German policy
subordinate to her European diplomacy, the influence exercised by
Prussia upon Europe depends, on the contrary, solely upon that
possessed by her in Germany.

Prussia's leading principle appears to be, "All for the people,
nothing through the people!" Hence the greatest solicitude for the
instruction of the people, whether in the meanest schools or the
universities, but under strict political control, under the severest
censorship; hence the emancipation of the peasantry, civic self-
administration, freedom of trade, the general arming of the people,
and, with all these, mere nameless provincial diets, the most complete
popular liberty on the widest basis without a representation worthy of
the name; hence, finally, the greatest solicitude for the promotion of
trade on a grand scale, for the revival of the commerce of Germany,
which has lain prostrate since the great wars of the Reformation, for
the mercantile unity of Germany, while it is exactly in Prussia that
political Unitarians are the most severely punished.

The great measures were commenced in Prussia immediately after the
disaster of 1806: first, the reorganization of the army and the
abolition of the privileges of the aristocracy in respect to
appointments and the possession of landed property; these were, in
1808, succeeded by the celebrated civic regulation which placed the
civic administration in the hands of the city deputies freely elected
by the citizens; in 1810, by freedom of trade and by the foundation of
the new universities of Berlin (instead of Halle), of Breslau (instead
of Frankfort on the Oder), and, in 1819, of Bonn, by which means the
libraries, museums, and scientific institutions of every description
were centralized; in 1814, by the common duty imposed upon every
individual of every class, without exception, to bear arms and to do
service in the Landwehr up to his thirty-ninth year; in 1821, by the
regulation for the division of communes; and, in 1822, by the extra
post.

In respect to the popular representation guaranteed by the federal
act, Prussia announced, on the 22d of May, 1815, her intention to form
provincial diets, from among whose members the general representation
or imperial diet, which was to be held at Berlin, was to be elected.
When the Rhenish provinces urged the fulfilment of this promise in the
Coblentz address of 1817, the reply was, "Those who admonish the king
are guilty of doubting the inviolability of his word." Prussia
afterward declared that the new regulations would be in readiness by
the February of 1819. On the 20th of January, 1820, an edict was
published by the government, the first paragraph of which fixed the
public debt at $180,091,720,[1] and the second one rendered the
contraction of every fresh debt dependent upon the will of the future
imperial diet.[2] The definitive regulations in respect to the
provincial Estates were finally published on the 5th of June, 1823,
but the convocation of a general diet was passed over in silence.

The prosperity of the nations of Germany, wrecked by the great wars of
the Reformation, must and will gradually return. Prussia has inherited
all the claims upon, and consequently all the duties owing to Germany.
Still the general position of Germany is not sufficiently favorable to
render the renovation of her ancient Hanseatic commerce possible.[3]
It is to be deplored that the attachment of the Prussian cabinet to
Russian policy has not at all events modified the commercial
restrictions along the whole of the eastern frontier of Prussia,[4]
and that Prussia has not been able to effect more with Holland in
regard to the question concerning the free navigation of the Rhine.[5]
Prussia has, on the other hand, deserved the gratitude of Germany for
the zeal with which she promoted the settlement of the Customs' Union,
which has, at least in the interior of Germany, removed the greater
part of the restrictions upon commercial intercourse, and has a
tendency to spread still further. Throughout the last transactions,
partly of the Customs' Union, partly of Prussia alone, with England
and Holland, a vain struggle against those maritime powers is
perceptible. England trades with Germany from every harbor and in
every kind of commodity, while German vessels are restricted to home
produce and are only free to trade with England from their own ports.
Holland finds a market for her colonial wares in Germany, and, instead
of taking German manufactured goods in exchange, provides herself from
England, throws English goods into Germany, and, in lieu of being, as
she ought to be, the great emporium of Germany, is content to remain a
mere huge English factory. The Hanse towns have also been converted
into mercantile depots for English goods on German soil.

The misery consequent on the great wars, and the powerful reaction
against Gallicism throughout Germany, once more caused despised
religion to be reverenced in the age of philosophy. Prussia deemed
herself called upon, as the inheritor of the Reformation brought about
by Luther, as the principal Protestant power of Germany, to assume a
prominent position in the religious movement of the time. Frederick
William III., a sovereign distinguished for piety, appears,
immediately after the great wars, to have deemed the conciliation of
the various sects of Christians within his kingdom feasible. He,
nevertheless, merely succeeded in effecting a union between the
Lutherans and Calvinists. He also bestowed a new liturgy upon this
united church, which was censured as partial, as proceeding too
directly from the cabinet without being sanctioned by the concurrence
of the assembled clergy and of the people. Some Lutherans, who refused
compliance, were treated with extreme severity and compelled to
emigrate; the utility of a union which, two centuries earlier, would
have saved Germany from ruin, was, however, generally acknowledged. It
nevertheless was not productive of unity in the Protestant world. In
the universities and among the clergy, two parties, the Rationalists
and the Supernaturalists, stood opposed to one another. The former,
the disciples of the old Neologians, still followed the philosophy of
Kant, merely regarded Christianity as a code of moral philosophy,
denominated Christ a wise teacher, and explained away his miracles by
means of physics. The latter, the followers of the old orthodox
Lutherans, sought to confirm the truths of the gospel also by
philosophical means, and were denominated Supernaturalists, as
believers in a mystery surpassing the reasoning powers of man. The
celebrated Schleiermacher of Berlin mediated for some time between
both parties. But it was in Prussia more particularly that both
parties stood more rigidly opposed to one another and fell into the
greatest extremes.

The Rationalists were supplanted by the Pantheists, the disciples of
Hegel, the Berlin philosopher, who at length formally declared war
against Christianity; the Supernaturalists were here and there outdone
by the Pietists, whose enthusiasm degenerated into licentiousness.[6]
The king had, notwithstanding his piety, been led to believe that
Hegel merely taught the students unconditional obedience to the state,
and that Pantheist was consequently permitted to spread, under the
protection of Prussia, his senseless doctrine of deified humanity, the
same formerly proclaimed by Anacharsis Cloote in the French
Convention. When too late, the gross deception practiced by this
sophist was perceived: his disciples threw off their troublesome mask,
with Dr. Strauss, who had been implicated in the Zurich disturbances,
at their head, openly renounced Christianity, and, at Halle, led by
Ruge, the journalist, embraced the social revolutionary ideas of
"Young France," to which almost the whole of the younger journalists
of literary "Young Germany" acceded; nor was this Gallic reaction,
this retrogression toward the philosophical ideas of the foregoing
century, without its cause, German patriotism, which, from 1815 to
1819, had predominated in every university throughout Prussia, having
been forcibly suppressed. Hegel, on his appearance in Berlin, was
generally regarded as the man on whom the task of diverting the
enthusiasm of the rising generation for Germany into another channel
devolved.[7] Everything German had been treated with ridicule.[8]
French fashions and French ideas had once more come into vogue.

While Protestant Germany was thus torn, weakened, and degraded by
schism, the religious movement throughout Catholic Germany insensibly
increased in strength and unity. The adverse fate of the pope had, on
his deliverance from the hands of Napoleon, excited a feeling of
sympathy and reverence so universal as to be participated in by even
the Protestant powers of Europe. He had, as early as 1814, reinstated
the Jesuits without a remonstrance on the part of the sovereigns by
whom they had formerly been condemned. The ancient spirit of the
Romish church had revived. A new edifice was to be raised on the
thick-strewn ruins of the past. In 1817, Bavaria concluded a concordat
with the pope for the foundation of the archbishopric of Munich with
the three bishoprics of Augsburg, Passau, and Ratisbon, and of the
archbishopric of Bamberg with the three bishoprics of Wurzburg,
Eichstadt, and Spires. The king retained the right of presentation. In
1821, Prussia concluded a treaty by which the archbishopric of Cologne
with the three bishoprics of Treves, Munster, and Paderborn, the
archbishopric of Posen with Culm, and two independent bishoprics in
Breslau and Ermeland were established. The bishoprics of Hildesheim
and Osnabruck were re-established in 1824 by the concordat with
Hanover. In southwestern Germany, the archbishopric of Freiburg in the
Breisgau with the bishoprics of Rotenburg on the Neckar, Limburg on
the Lahn, Mayence, and Fulda arose. In Switzerland there remained four
bishoprics, Freiburg in the Uechtland, Solothurn, Coire, and St. Gall;
in Alsace, Strasburg and Colmar. In the Netherlands, the archbishopric
of Malines with the bishoprics of Ghent, Liege, and Namur. In Holland,
three Jansenist bishoprics, Utrecht, Deventer, and Haarlem, are
remarkable for having retained their independence of Rome.

The renovated body of the church was inspired with fresh energy. On
the fall of the Jesuits, the other extreme, Illuminatism, had raised
its head, but had been compelled to yield before a higher power and
before the moral force of Germany. The majority of the German
Catholics now clung to the idea that the regeneration of the abused
and despised church was best to be attained by the practice of
evangelical simplicity and morality, that Jesuitism and Illuminatism
were, consequently, to be equally avoided, and the better disposed
among the Protestants to be imitated. Sailer, the great teacher of the
German clergy, and Wessenberg, whom Rome on this account refused to
raise to the bishopric of Constance, acted upon this idea. In Silesia,
a number of youthful priests, headed by Theimer, impatient for the
realization of the union, apparently approaching, of this moderate
party with the equally moderately disposed party among the Protestants
into one great German church, took, in 1825, the bold step of
renouncing celibacy. This party was however instantly suppressed by
force by the king of Prussia. Theimer, in revenge, turned Jesuit and
wrote against Prussia. Professors inclined to Ultramontanism were,
meanwhile, installed in the universities, more particularly at Bonn,
Munster and Tubingen, by the Protestant as well as the Catholic
governments; by them the clerical students were industriously taught
that they were not Germans but subjects of Rome, and were flattered
with the hope of one day participating in the supremacy about to be
regained by the pontiff. Every priest inspired with patriotic
sentiments, or evincing any degree of tolerance toward his Protestant
fellow citizens, was regarded as guilty of betraying the interests of
the church to the state and the tenets of the only true church to
heretics. Gorres, once Germany's most spirited champion against
France, now appeared as the champion of Rome in Germany. The
scandalous schisms in the Protestant church and the no less scandalous
controversies carried on in the Protestant literary world rendered
both contemptible, and, as in the commencement of the seventeenth
century, appeared to offer a favorable opportunity for an attack on
the part of the Catholics.

A long-forgotten point in dispute was suddenly revived. Marriages
between Catholics and Protestants had hitherto been unhesitatingly
sanctioned by the Catholic priesthood. The Prussian ordinance of 1803,
by which the father was empowered to decide the faith in which the
children were to be brought up, had, on account of its conformity with
nature and reason, never been disputed. Numberless mixed marriages had
taken place among all classes from the highest to the lowest without
the slightest suspicion of wrong attaching thereto. A papal brief of
1830 now called to mind that the church tolerated, it was true,
although she disapproved of mixed marriages, which she permitted to
take place solely on condition of the children being brought up in the
Catholic faith. Prussia had acted with little foresight. Instead of,
in 1814, on taking possession of the Rhenish provinces and of
Westphalia, concluding a treaty with the then newly-restored pope,
Hardenberg had, as late as 1820, during a visit to Borne, merely
entered upon a transient agreement, by which Rome was bound to no
concessions. The war openly declared by Rome was now attempted to be
turned aside by means of petty and secret artifices. Several bishops,
in imitation of the precedent given by Count von Spiegel, the
peace-loving archbishop of Cologne, secretly bound themselves to
interpret the brief in the sense of the government and to adhere to
the ordinance of 1803. On Spiegel's decease in 1835, his successor,
the Baron Clement Augustus Droste, promised at Vischering, prior to
his presentation, strictly to adhere to this secret compact; but,
scarcely had he mounted the archiepiscopal seat, than his conscience
forbade the fulfilment of his oath; God was to be obeyed rather than
man! He prohibited the solemnization of mixed marriages within his
diocese without the primary assurance of the education of the children
in the Catholic faith, compelled his clergy strictly to obey the
commands of Rome in points under dispute, and suppressed the Hermesian
doctrine in the university of Bonn. The warnings secretly given by the
government proved unavailing, and he was, in consequence, unexpectedly
deprived of his office in the November of 1837, arrested, and
imprisoned in the fortress of Minden. This arbitrary measure caused
great excitement among the Catholic population; and the ancient
dislike of the Rhenish provinces to the rule of Prussia, and the
discontent of the Westphalian nobility on account of the emancipation
of the peasantry, again broke forth on this occasion. Gorres, in
Munich, industriously fed the flame by means of his pamphlet,
"Athanasius." Dunin, archbishop of Gnesen and bishop of Thorn,
followed the example of his brother of Cologne, was openly upheld by
Prussian Poland, was cited to Berlin, fled thence, was recaptured and
detained for some time within the fortress of Colberg, in 1839.--The
pope, Gregory XVI., solemnly declared his approbation of the conduct
of these archbishops and rejected every offer of negotiation until
their reinstallation in their dioceses. A crowd of hastily established
journals, more especially in Bavaria, maintained their cause, and were
opposed by numberless Protestant publications, which generally proved
injurious to the cause they strove to uphold, being chiefly remarkable
for base servility, frivolity, and infidelity.

On the demise of Frederick William III., on the 7th of June, 1840, and
the succession of his son, Frederick William IV., the church question
was momentarily cast into the shade by that relating to the
constitution. Constitutional Germany demanded from the new sovereign
the convocation of the imperial diet promised by his father. The
Catholic party, however, conscious that it would merely form the
minority in the diet, did not participate in the demand.[9] The
constitution was solely demanded by Protestant Eastern Prussia; but
the king declared, during the ceremony of fealty at Koenigsberg, that
"he would never do homage to the idea of a general popular
representation and would pursue a course based upon historical
progression, suitable to German nationality." The provincial Estates
were shortly afterward instituted, and separate diets were opened in
each of the provinces. This attracted little attention, and the
dispute with the church once more became the sole subject of interest.
It terminated in the complete triumph of the Catholic party. In
consequence of an agreement with the pope, the brief of 1820 remained
in force, Dunin was reinstated, Droste received personal satisfaction
by a public royal letter and a representative in Cologne in von
Geissel, hitherto bishop of Spires. The disputed election of the
bishop of Treves was also decided in favor of Arnoldi, the
ultramontane candidate.

Late in the autumn of 1842, the king of Prussia for the first time
convoked the deputies selected from the provincial diets to Berlin. He
had, but a short time before, laid the foundation-stone to the
completion of the Cologne cathedral, and on that occasion, moreover,
spoken words of deep import to the people, admonitory of unity to the
whole of Germany.


[Footnote 1: £26,263,375 16s. 8d.]

[Footnote 2: The Maritime Commercial Company, meanwhile, entered into
a contract.]

[Footnote 3: "We have long since lost all our maritime power. The only
guns now fired by us at sea are as signals of distress. Who now
remembers that it was the German Hansa that first made use of cannons
at sea, that it was from Germans that the English learned to build
men-of-war?"--_John's Nationality_.]

[Footnote 4: Prussia, of late, greatly contributed toward the
aggrandizement of the power of Russia by solemnly declaring in 1828,
when Russia extended her influence over Turkey, that she would not on
that account prevent Russia from asserting her "just claims," a
declaration that elicited bitter complaints from the British
government; and again in 1831, by countenancing the entry of the
Russians into Poland, at that time in a state of insurrection.]

[Footnote 5: The reason of the backwardness displayed from the
commencement by Prussia to act as the bulwark of Germany on the Lower
Rhine is explained by Stein in his letters: "Hanoverian jealousy, by
which the narrow-minded Castlereagh was guided, and, generally
speaking, jealousy of the German ministerial clauses, as if the
existence of a Mecklenburg were of greater importance to Germany than
that of a powerful warlike population, alike famous in time of peace
or war, presided over the settlement of the relation in which Belgium
was to stand to Prussia."]

[Footnote 6: At Königsberg, in Prussia, a secret society was
discovered which was partly composed of people of rank, who, under
pretence of meeting for the exercise of religious duties, gave way to
the most wanton license.]

[Footnote 7: The police, while attempting to lead science, was
unwittingly led by it. The students were driven in crowds into Hegel's
colleges, his pupils were preferred to all appointments, etc., and
every measure was taken to render that otherwise almost unnoted
sophist as dangerous as possible.]

[Footnote 8: In this the Jews essentially aided: Borne more in an
anti-German, Heine more in an anti-Christian, spirit, and were highly
applauded by the simple and infatuated German youth.]

[Footnote 9: Görres even advised against it, although, in 1817, he had
acted the principal part on the presentation of the Cologne address.]



CCLXXIII. The Progress of Science, Art, and Practical Knowledge in
Germany


In the midst of the misery entailed by war and amid the passions
roused by party strife the sciences had attained to a height hitherto
unknown. The schools had never been neglected, and immense
improvements, equally affecting the lowest of the popular schools and
the colleges, had been constantly introduced. Pestalozzi chiefly
encouraged the proper education of the lower classes and improved the
method of instruction. The humanism of the learned academies (the
study of the dead languages) went hand in hand with the realism of the
professional institutions. The universities, although often subjected
to an overrigid system of surveillance and compelled to adopt a
partial, servile bias, were, nevertheless, generally free from a
political tendency and incredibly promoted the study of all the
sciences. The mass of celebrated savants and of their works is too
great to permit of more than a sketch of the principal features of
modern German science.

The study of the classics, predominant since the time of the
Reformation, has been cast into the shade by the German studies, by
the deeper investigation of the language, the law, the history of our
forefathers and of the romantic Middle Age, by the great Catholic
reaction, and, at the same time, by the immense advance made in
natural history, geography, and universal history. The human mind,
hitherto enclosed within a narrow sphere, has burst its trammels to
revel in immeasurable space. The philosophy and empty speculations of
the foregoing century have also disappeared before the mass of
practical knowledge, and arrogant man, convinced by science, once more
bends his reasoning faculties in humble adoration of their Creator.

The aristocracy of talent and learned professional pride have been
overbalanced by a democratic press. The whole nation writes, and the
individual writer is either swallowed up in the mass or gains but
ephemeral fame. Every writer, almost without exception, affects a
popular style. But, in this rich literary field, all springs up freely
without connection or guidance. No party is concentrated or
represented by any reigning journal, but each individual writes for
himself, and the immense number of journals published destroy each
other's efficiency. Many questions of paramount importance are
consequently lost in heaps of paper, and the interest they at first
excited speedily becomes weakened by endless recurrence.

Theology shared in the movement above mentioned in the church. The
Rationalists were most profuse in their publications, Paulus at
Heidelberg, and, more particularly, the Saxon authors, Tschirner,
Bretschneider, etc. Ancient Lutheran vigor degenerated to shallow
subtleties and a sort of coquettish tattling upon morality, in which
Zschokke's "Hours of Devotion" carried away the palm. Neander,
Gieseler, Gfrörer and others greatly promoted the study of the history
of the church. The propounders of the Gospels, however, snatched them,
after a lamentable fashion, out of each other's hands, now doubting
the authenticity of the whole, now that of most or of some of the
chapters, and were unable to agree upon the number that ought to be
retained. They, at the same time, outvied one another in political
servility, while the Lutherans who, true to their ancient faith,
protested against the Prussian liturgy, were too few in number for
remark. This frivolous class of theologians at length entirely
rejected the Gospels, embraced the doctrine of Hegel and Judaism, and
renounced Christianity. Still, although the Supernaturalists, the
orthodox party, and the Pietists triumphantly repelled these attacks,
and the majority of the elder Rationalists timidly seceded from the
anti-christian party, the Protestant literary world was reduced to a
state of enervation and confusion, affording but too good occasion for
an energetic demonstration on the part of the Catholics.

Philosophy also assumed the character of the age. Fichte of Berlin
still upheld, in 1814, the passion for liberty and right in their
nobler sense that had been roused by the French Revolution, but, as he
went yet further than Kant in setting limits to the sources of
perception and denied the existence of conscience, his system proved
merely of short duration. To him succeeded Schelling, with whom the
return of philosophy to religion and that of abstract studies to
nature and history commenced, and in whom the renovated spirit of the
nineteenth century became manifest. His pupils were partly natural
philosophers, who, like Oken, sought to comprehend all nature, her
breathing unity, her hidden mysteries, in religion; partly mystics,
who, like Eschenmaier, Schubert, Steffens, in a Protestant spirit, or,
like Gorres and Baader, in a Catholic one, sought also to comprehend
everything bearing reference to both nature and history in religion.
It was a revival of the ancient mysticism of Hugo de St. Victoire, of
Honorius, and of Rupert in another and a scientific age; nor was it
unopposed: in the place of the foreign scholasticism formerly so
repugnant to its doctrines, those of Schelling were opposed by a
reaction of the superficial mock-enlightenment and sophistical
scepticism predominant in the foregoing century, more particularly of
the sympathy with France, which had been rendered more than ever
powerful in Germany by the forcible suppression of patriotism.
Abstract philosophy, despising nature and history, mocking
Christianity, once more revived and set itself up as an absolute
principle in Hegel. None of the other philosophers attained the
notoriety gained by Schelling and Hegel, the representatives of the
antitheses of the age.

An incredible advance, of which we shall merely record the most
important facts, took place in the study of the physical sciences.
Three new planets were discovered, Pallas, in 1802, and Vesta, in
1807, by Gibers; Juno, in 1824, by Harding. Enke and Biela first fixed
the regular return and brief revolution of the two comets named after
them. Schröter and Mädler minutely examined the moon and planets;
Struve, the fixed stars. Fraunhofer improved the telescope. Chladni
first investigated the nature of fiery meteors and brought the study
of acoustics to perfection. Alexander von Humboldt immensely promoted
the observation of the changes of the atmosphere and the general
knowledge of the nature of the earth. Werner and Leopold von Buch also
distinguished themselves among the investigators of the construction
of the earth and mountains. Scheele, Gmelin, Liebig, etc., were noted
chemists. Oken, upon the whole, chiefly promoted the study of natural
history, and numberless researches were made separately in mineralogy,
the study of fossils, botany, and zoology by the most celebrated
scientific men of the day. While travellers visited every quarter of
the globe in search of plants and animals as yet unknown and regulated
them by classes, other men of science were engaged at home in the
investigation of their internal construction, their uses and habits,
in which they were greatly assisted by the improved microscope, by
means of which Ehrenberg discovered a completely new class of
animalculae. The discoveries of science were also zealously applied
for practical uses. Agriculture, cattle-breeding, manufactures
received a fresh impulse and immense improvements as knowledge
advanced. Commerce by water and by land experienced a thorough
revolution on the discovery of the properties of steam, by the use of
steamers and railroads. Medical science also progressed,
notwithstanding the number of contradictory and extravagant theories.
The medical practitioners of Germany took precedence throughout
Europe. Animal magnetism was practiced by Eschenmaier, Kieser, and
Justin Kerner, by means of whose female seer, von Prevorst, the seeing
of visions and the belief in ghosts were once more brought forward.
Hahnemann excited the greatest opposition by his system of
homoeopathy, which cured diseases by the administration of homogeneous
substances in the minutest doses. He was superseded by the cold-water
cure. During the last twenty years the naturalists and medical men of
Germany have held an annual meeting in one or other of their native
cities.

The philologists and savants have for some years past also been in the
habit of holding a similar meeting. The classics no longer form the
predominant study among philologists. Even literati, whose tastes,
like that of Creuzer, are decidedly classic, have acknowledged that
the knowledge of the Oriental tongues is requisite for the attainment
of a thorough acquaintance with classic antiquity. A great school for
the study of the Eastern languages has been especially established
under the precedence of the brothers Schlegel, Bopp, and others. The
study of the ancient language of Germany and of her venerable
monuments has, finally, been promoted by Jacob Grimm and by his widely
diffused school.

The study of history became more profound and was extended over a
wider field. A mass of archives hitherto secret were rendered public
and spread new light on many of the remarkable characters and events
in the history of Germany. Historians also learned to compile with
less party spirit and on more solid grounds. History, at first
compiled in a Protestant spirit, afterward inclined as partially to
Catholicism, and the majority of the higher order of historical
writers were consequently rendered the more careful in their search
after truth. Among the universal historians, Rotteck gained the
greatest popularity on account of the extreme liberality of his
opinions, and Heeren and Schlosser acquired great note for depth of
learning. Von Hammer, who rendered us acquainted with the history of
the Mahometan East, takes precedence among the historical writers upon
foreign nations. Niebuhr's Roman History, Wilken's History of the
Crusades, Leo's History of Italy, Ranke's History of the Popes, etc.,
have attained well-merited fame.--The history of Germany as a whole,
which Germany neither was nor is, was little studied, but an immense
mass of facts connected with or referring to Germany was furnished by
the numberless and excellent single histories and biographies that
poured through the press. All the more ancient collections of _script.
rerum_ were, according to the plan of Stein, the celebrated Prussian
minister, to be surpassed by a critical work on the sources of German
history, conducted by Pertz, which could, however, be but slowly
carried out. Grimm, Mone, and Barth threw immense light upon German
heathen antiquity, Zeusz upon the genealogy of nations. The best
account of the Ostrogoths was written by Manso, of the Visigoths by
Aschbach, of the Anglo-Saxons by Lappenberg, of the more ancient
Franks by Mannert, Pertz, and Löbell, of Charlemagne by Diebold and
Ideler, of Louis the Pious by Funk, of the Saxon emperors by Ranke and
his friends, Wachter and Leutsch, of the Salic emperors by Stenzel, of
the German popes of those times by Höfler, of the Hohenstaufen by
Raumer, Kortum, and Hurter, of the emperor Richard by Gebauer, of
Henry VII. of Luxemburg by Barthold, of King John by Lenz, of Charles
IV. by Pelzel and Schottky, of Wenzel by Pelzel, of Sigismund by
Aschbach, of the Habsburgs by Kurz, Prince Lichnowsky, and Hormayr, of
Louis the Bavarian by Mannert, of Ferdinand I. by Buchholz, of the
Reformation by C. A. Menzel and Ranke, of the Peasant War by
Sartorius, Oechsle, and Bensen, of the Thirty Years' War by Barthold,
of Gustavus Adolphus by Gfrörer, of Wallenstein by Förster, of
Bernhard of Weimar by Röse, of George of Lüneburg by von der Decken.
Of the ensuing period by Förster and Guhrauer, of the Eighteenth
Century by Schlosser, of the Wars with France by Clausewitz, of Modern
Times by Hormayr.

Coxe, Schneller, Mailàth, Chmel, and Gervay also wrote histories of
Austria, Schottky and Palacky of Bohemia, Beda, Weber, and Hormayr of
the Tyrol, Voigt of the Teutonic Order, Manso, Stenzel, Förster,
Dolum, Massenbach, Cölln, Preusz, etc., of the Kingdom of Prussia,
Stenzel of Anhalt, Kobbe of Lauenburg, Lützow of Mecklenburg, Barthold
of Pomerania, Kobbe of Holstein, Wimpfen of Schleswig, Sartorius and
Lappenberg of the Hansa, Hanssen of the Ditmarses, Spittler, Havemann,
and Strombeck of Brunswick and Hanover, van Kampen of Holland,
Warnkönig of Flanders, Rommel of Hesse, Lang of Eastern Franconia,
Wachter and Langenn of Thuringia and Saxony, Lang, Wolf, Mannert,
Zschokke, Völderndorf of Bavaria, Pfister, Pfaff, and Stälin of
Swabia, Glutz-Blotzheim, Hottinger, Meyer von Knonau, Zschokke,
Haller, Schuler, etc., of Switzerland. The most remarkable among the
histories of celebrated cities are those of St. Gall by Arx, of Vienna
by Mailath, of Frankfort on the Maine by Kirchner, of Ulm and
Heilbronn by Jæger, of Rotenburg on the Tauber by Bensen, etc.

Ritter, and, next to him, Berghaus, greatly extended the knowledge of
geography. Maps were drawn out on a greatly improved scale. Alexander
von Humboldt, who ruled the world with his scientific as Napoleon with
his eagle glance, attained the highest repute among travellers of
every nation. Krusenstern, Langsdorf, and Kotzebue, Germans in the
service of Russia, circumnavigated the globe. Meyen, the noted
botanist, did the same in a Prussian ship. Baron von Hügel explored
India. Gützlaff acted as a missionary in China. Ermann and Ledebur
explored Siberia; Klaproth, Kupfer, Parrot, and Eichwald, the
Caucasian provinces; Burckhardt, Rüppell, Ehrenberg, and Russegger,
Syria and Egypt; the Prince von Neuwied and Paul William, duke of
Würtemberg, North America; Becher, Mexico; Schomburg, Guiana; the
Prince von Neuwied and Martius, the Brazils; Pöppig, the banks of the
Amazon; Rengger, Paraguay. The Missionary Society for the conversion
of the heathen in distant parts and that for the propagation of the
gospel, founded at Basel, 1816, have gained well-merited repute.

At the commencement of the present century, amid the storms of war,
German taste took a fresh bias. French frivolity had increased
immorality to a degree hitherto unknown. Licentiousness reigned
unrestrained on the stage and pervaded the lighter productions of the
day. If Iffland had, not unsuccessfully, represented the honest
citizens and peasantry of Germany struggling against the unnatural
customs of modern public life, Augustus von Kotzebue, who, after him,
ruled the German stage, sought, on the contrary, to render honor
despicable and to encourage the license of the day. In the numerous
romances, a tone of lewd sentimentality took the place of the strict
propriety for which they had formerly been remarkable, and the general
diffusion of these immoral productions, among which the romances of
Lafontaine may be more particularly mentioned, contributed in no
slight degree to the moral perversion of the age.

Jean Paul Friedrich Richter stands completely alone. He shared the
weaknesses of his times, which, like Goethe and Kotzebue, he both
admired and ridiculed, passing with extraordinary versatility, almost
in the same breath, from the most moving pathos to the bitterest
satire. His clever but too deeply metaphysical romances are not only
full of domestic sentimentality and domestic scenes, but they also
imitate the over-refinement and effeminacy of Goethe, and yet his
sound understanding and warm patriotic feelings led him to condemn all
the artificial follies of fashion, all that was unnatural as well as
all that was unjust.

Modern philosophy had no sooner triumphed over ancient religion and
France over Germany than an extraordinary reaction, inaptly termed the
romantic, took place in poetry. Although Ultramontanism might be
traced even in Friedrich Schlegel, this school of poetry nevertheless
solely owes its immense importance to its resuscitation of the older
poetry of Germany, and to the success with which it opposed Germanism
to Gallicism. Ludwig Tieck exclusively devoted himself to the German
and romantic Middle Ages, to the Minnesingers, to Shakespeare,
Cervantes, and Calderon, and modelled his own on their immortal works.
The eyes of his contemporaries were by him first completely opened to
the long-misunderstood beauties of the Middle Ages. His kindred
spirit, Novalis (Hardenberg), destined to a too brief career, gave
proofs of signal talent. Heinrich von Kleist, who committed suicide,
left the finest-spirited and most delightful dramas. Ludwig Achim von
Arnim, like Tieck, cultivated the older German Saga; his only fault
was that, led away by the richness of his imagination, he overcolored
his descriptions. Aided by Brentano, he collected the finest of the
popular ballads of Germany in "des Enaben Wunderhorn." At Berlin,
Fouque, with true old German taste, revived the romances of chivalry
and, shortly before 1813, met the military spirit once more rising in
Prussia with a number of romances in which figured battle-steeds and
coats of mail, German faith and bravery, valiant knights and chaste
dames, intermixed, it must be confessed, with a good deal of
affectation. On the discovery being made that many of the ancient
German ballads were still preserved among the lower classes, chiefly
among the mountaineers, they were also sought for, and some poets
tuned their lyres on the naive popular tone, etc., first, Hebel, in
the partly extremely natural, partly extremely affected, Alemannic
songs, which have found frequent imitators. Zacharia Werner and
Hoffiman, on the other hand, exclusively devoted themselves to the
darker side of days of yore, to their magic and superstition, and
filled the world, already terror-stricken by the war, with
supernatural stories. Still, throughout one and all of these
productions, curiously as they contrasted, the same inclination to
return to and to revive a purely German style was evident. At that
moment the great crisis suddenly took place. Before even the poets
could predict the event, Germany cast off the yoke of Napoleon, and
the German "Sturm and Freiheitslieder" of Theodor Körner, Arndt,
Schenkendorf, etc., chimed in like a fearfully beautiful Allegro with
the Adagio of their predecessors.

This was in a manner also the finale of the German notes that so
strangely resounded in that Gallic time; the restoration suppressed
every further outburst of patriotism, and the patriotic spirit that
had begun to breathe forth in verse once more gave place to
cosmopolitism and Gallicism. The lyric school, founded by Ludwig
Uhland, alone preserved a German spirit and a connection with the
ancient _Minnelieder_ of Swabia.

The new cosmopolitic tendency of the poetry of these times is chiefly
due to the influence exercised by Goethe. The quick comprehension and
ready adoption of every novelty is a faculty of, not a fault in, the
German character, and alone becomes reprehensible when the German,
forgetful of himself and of his own peculiar characteristics, adopts a
medley of foreign incongruities and falsifies whatever ought to be
preserved special and true. Goethe and his school, however, not
content with imitating singly the style of every nation and of every
period, have interwoven the most diverse strains, antique and
romantic, old German and modern French, Grecian and Chinese, in one
and the same poem. This unnatural style, itself destructive of the
very peculiarity at which it aims, has infected both modern poetry and
modern art; the architect intermixes the Grecian and the Gothic in his
creations, while the painter seeks to unite the styles of the Flemish
and Italian schools in his productions, and the poet those of Persia,
Scandinavia, and Spain, in his strains.--Those are indeed deserving of
gratitude who have comprehended and preserved the character peculiar
to the productions of foreign art, in which the brothers Friedrich and
August Wilhelm Schlegel have been so eminently successful. Hammer and,
after him, Ruckert have also opened the Eastern world to our view.
Count Platen, on the other hand, hung fluctuating between the antique
Persian and German.--Cosmopolitism was greatly strengthened by the
historical romances in vogue in England, descriptive of olden time,
and which found innumerable imitators in Germany. They were, at all
events, thus far beneficial; they led us from the parlor into the
world.

But no sooner was genuine German taste neglected for that of foreign
nations than Gallomania revived; all were compelled to pay homage to
the spirit and the tone prevalent throughout Europe. The witty
aristocratic _médisance_ and grim spirit of rebellion emulating each
other in France, were, in Germany, represented by Prince Piichler, the
most _spirituel_ drawing-room satirist, and by the Jew, Börne, the
most spirited Jacobin of the day. The open infidelity again
demonstrated in France, also led to its introduction into Germany by
the Jew, Heine, while the immoral romances with which that country was
deluged speedily became known to us through the medium of the
translations and imitations of "Young Germany," and were incredibly
increased by our literary industry; all the lying memoirs, in which
the French falsify history, view Napoleon as a demigod, and treat the
enthusiasm with which the Germans were animated in 1813 with derision,
were also diligently translated. This tendency to view everything
German with French eyes and to ridicule German honor and German
manners was especially promoted by the light literature, and numerous
journals of the day, and was, in the universities, in close connection
with the anti-christian tendency of the school of Hegel.--The late
Catholic reaction, too exclusively political, has as yet exercised no
influence over the literary world, and would scarcely succeed in
gaining any, being less German than Roman.

While German poetry follows so false a course, it naturally follows
that art also must be deprived of its natural character. Architecture
has, it is true, abandoned the periwig style of France, but the purer
antique or Byzantine taste to which it has returned is generally
insipidly simple, while the attempts at Gothic and Moorish are truly
miserable. A more elevated feeling than the present generation (which,
in Goethe's manner, delights in trifling alternately with every style,
or is completely enslaved by the modes imposed by France) is fitted to
comprehend, is requisite for the revival of German or Gothic
architecture. Still it may be, as is hoped, that the intention to
complete the building of the Cologne cathedral will not be entirely
without a beneficial influence.

The art of painting aspires far more energetically toward national
emancipation. In the present century, the modern French style
affecting the antique presented a complete contrast with the German
romantic school, which, in harmony with the simultaneous romantic
reaction in the poetical world, returned to the sacred simplicity of
the ancient German and Italian masters. Overbeck was in this our
greatest master. Since this period, the two great schools at Munich
and Dusseldorf, founded by Peter Cornelius, and whose greatest masters
are Peter Hesz, Bendemann, Lessing, Kaulbach, etc., have sought a
middle path, and with earnest zeal well and skilfully opposed the too
narrow imitation of, and the medley of style produced by the study of,
the numerous old masters on the one hand, and, on the other, the
search for effect, that Gallic innovation so generally in vogue. Were
the church again to require pictures, or the state to employ the
pencil of the patriot artist in recording the great deeds of past or
present times or in the adornment of public edifices, painting would
be elevated to its proper sphere.--Germany has also produced many
celebrated engravers, among whom Muller holds precedence. Lithography,
now an art of so much importance, was invented by the Bavarian,
Senefelder. The art of painting on glass has also been revived.

In music, the Germans have retained their ancient fame. After Mozart,
Beethoven, Weber, etc., have gained immense celebrity as composers.
Still, much that is unnatural, affected, _bizarre_ and licentious has
crept into the compositions of the German masters, more particularly
in the operas, owing to the imitation of the modern Italian and French
composers. A popular reaction has, however, again taken place, and, as
before, in choral music, by means of the "singing clubs," which become
more and more general among the people.

The stage has most deeply degenerated. At the commencement of the
present century, its mimic scenes afforded a species of consolation
for the sad realities of life, and formed the Lethe in whose waters
oblivion was gladly sought. The public afterward became so practical
in its tastes, so sober in its desires, that neither the spirit of the
actor nor the coquetry of the actress had power to attract an
audience. The taste and love for art were superseded by criticism and
low intrigues, the theatre became a mere political engine, intended to
divert the thoughts of the population, of the great cities from the
discussion of topics dangerous to the state by the all-engrossing
charms of actresses and ballet-dancers.

The Germans, although much more practical in the present than in the
past century, are still far from having freed themselves from the
unjust, unfitting, and inconvenient situation into which they have
fallen as time and events rolled on.

A mutual understanding in regard to the external position of the
German in reference to the Slavonian nation has scarcely begun to dawn
upon us. Scarcely have we become sensible to the ignominious
restrictions imposed upon German commerce by the prohibitory
regulations of Russia, by the customs levied in the Sound, on the
Elbe, and Rhine. Scarcely has the policy that made such immense
concessions to Russian diplomacy, and scarcely has the party spirit
that looked for salvation for Germany from France, yielded to a more
elevated feeling of self-respect. And yet, whoever should say to the
people of Alsace, Switzerland, and Holland, "Ye are Germans," would
reap but derision and insult. Germany is on the point of being once
more divided into Catholic and Protestant Germany, and no one can
explain how the German Customs' Union is to extend to the German
Ocean, on account of the restrictions mutually imposed by the Germans.
Could we but view ourselves as the great nation we in reality are,
attain to a consciousness of the immeasurable strength we in reality
possess, and make use of it in order to satisfy our wants, the Germans
would be thoroughly a practical nation, instead of lying like a dead
lion among the nations of Europe, and unresistingly suffering them to
mock, tread underfoot, nay, deprive him of his limbs, as though he
were a miserable, helpless worm.

More, far more has been done for the better regulation of the internal
economy of Germany than for her external protection and power. The
reforms suited to the age, commenced by the philosophical princes and
ministers of the past century, have been carried on by Prussia in her
hour of need, by constitutional Germany by constitutional means.
Everywhere have the public administration been better regulated,
despotism been restrained by laws, financial affairs been settled even
under the heavy pressure of the national debts. Commerce, manufactural
industry, and agriculture have been greatly promoted by the Customs'
Union, by government aid and model institutions, by the improvements in
the post-offices, by the laying of roads and railways. The public
burdens and public debts, nevertheless, still remain disproportionately
heavy on account of the enormous military force which the great states
are compelled to maintain for the preservation of their authority, and
on account of the polyarchical state of Germany, which renders the
maintenance of an enormous number of courts, governments, general staffs
and chambers necessary.

The popular sense of justice and legality, never entirely suppressed
throughout Germany, also gave fresh proof of its existence under the
new state of affairs, partly in the endlessly drawn-out proceedings in
the chambers, partly in the incredible number of new laws and
regulations in the different states. Still, industriously as these
laws have been compiled, no real, essential, German law, neither
public nor private, has been discovered. The Roman and French codes
battled with each other and left no room for the establishment of a
code fundamentally and thoroughly German. The most distinguished
champions of the common rights of the people against cabinet-justice,
the tyranny of the police and of the censor, were principally
advocates and savants. The Estates, as corporations, were scarcely any
longer represented. The majority of governments, ruled by the
principle of absolute monarchy and the chambers, ruled by that of
democracy, had, since the age of philosophy, been unanimous in setting
the ancient Estates aside. The nobility alone preserved certain
privileges, and the Catholic clergy alone regained some of those they
had formerly enjoyed; all the Estates were, in every other respect,
placed on a level. The ancient and national legal rights of the people
were consequently widely trenched upon.

The emancipation of the peasant from the oppressive feudal dues, and
the abolition of the restraint imposed by the laws of the city
corporations, which had so flagrantly been abused, were indubitably
well intended, but, instead of stopping there, good old customs, that
ought only to have been freed from the weeds with which they had been
overgrown, were totally eradicated. The peasant received a freehold,
but was, by means of his enfranchisement, generally laden with debts,
and, while pride whispered in his ear that he was now a lord of the
soil and might assume the costume of his superiors, the land, whence
he had to derive his sustenance, was gradually diminished in extent by
the systematic division of property. His pretensions increased exactly
in the ratio in which the means for satisfying them decreased; and the
necessity of raising money placed him in the hands of Jews. The
smaller the property by reason of subdivision, the more frequently is
land put up for sale, the deeper is the misery of the homeless
outcast. The restoration of the inalienable, indivisible allod and of
the federal rights of the peasant, as in olden times, would have been
far more to the purpose.--Professional liberty and the introduction of
mechanism and manufactural industry have annihilated every warrant
formerly afforded by the artificer as master and member of a city
corporation, and, at the same time, every warrant afforded to him by
the community of his being able to subsist by means of his industry.
Manufactures on an extensive scale that export their produce must at
all events be left unrestricted, but the small trades carried on
within a petty community, their only market, excite, when free, a
degree of competition which is necessarily productive both of bad
workmanship and poverty, and the superfluous artificers, unaided by
their professional freedom, fall bankrupt and become slaves in the
establishments of their wealthier[1] competitors. The restoration of
the city guilds under restrictions suitable to the times would have
been far more judicious.

The maintenance of a healthy, contented class of citizens and peasants
ought to be one of the principal aims of every German statesman. The
fusion of these ancient and powerful classes into one common mass
whence but a few wealthy individuals rise to eminence would be fatal
to progression in Germany. By far the greater part of the people have
already lost the means of subsistence formerly secured to all, nay,
even to the serf, by the privileges of his class. The insecure
possession, the endless division and alienation of property, an
anxious dread of loss, and a rapacious love of gain, have become
universal. Care for the means of daily existence, like creeping
poison, unnerves the population. The anxious solicitude to which this
gives rise has a deeply demoralizing effect. Even offices under
government are less sought for from motives of ambition than as a
means of subsistence; the arts and sciences have been degraded to mere
sources of profit, envious trade decides questions of the highest
importance, the torch of Hymen is lit by Plutus, not at the shrine of
Love; and in the bosom of the careworn father of a family, whose
scanty subsistence depends upon a patron's smile, the words
"fatherland" and "glory" find no responsive echo.

Among the educated classes this state of poverty is allied with the
most inconsistent luxury. Each and all, however poor, are anxious to
preserve an appearance of wealth or to raise credit by that means.
All, however needy, must be fashionable. The petty tradesman and the
peasant ape their superiors in rank, and the old-fashioned but
comfortable and picturesque national costume is being gradually thrown
aside for the ever-varying modes prescribed by Paris to the world. The
inordinate love of amusements in which the lower classes and the
proletariat, ever increasing in number, seek more particularly to
drown the sense of misery, is another and a still greater source of
public demoralization. The general habit of indulging in the use of
spirituous liquors has been rightfully designated the brandy pest,
owing to its lamentable moral and physical effect upon the population.
This pest was encouraged not alone by private individuals, who gain
their livelihood by disseminating it among the people, but also by
governments, which raised a large revenue by its means; and the
temperance societies, lately founded, but slightly stem the evil.

The public authorities throughout Germany have, it must be confessed,
displayed extraordinary solicitude for the poor by the foundation of
charitable institutions of every description, but they have contented
themselves with merely alleviating misery instead of removing its
causes; and the benevolence that raised houses of correction,
poor-houses, and hospitals, is rendered null by the laxity of the
legislation. No measures are taken by the governments to provide means
for emigration, to secure to the peasant his freehold, to the
artificer the guarantee he ought to receive and to give, and the
maintenance of the public morals. The punishment awarded for
immorality and theft is so mild as to deprive them of the character of
crime, pamphlets and works of the most immoral description are
dispersed by means of the circulating libraries among all classes, and
the bold infidelity preached even from the universities is left
unchecked. But--is not the thief taught morality in the house of
correction? and are not diseases, the result of license, cured in the
hospitals with unheard-of humanity?

Private morality, so long preserved free from contamination, although
all has for so long conspired against the liberty and unity of
Germany, is greatly endangered. Much may, however, be hoped for from
the sound national sense. The memory of the strength displayed by
Germany in 1813 has been eradicated neither by the contempt of France
or Russia, by any reactionary measure within Germany herself, by
social and literary corruption, nor by the late contest between church
and state. The Customs' Union has, notwithstanding the difference in
political principle, brought despotic Prussia and constitutional
Germany one step nearer. The influence of Russia on the one hand, of
that of France on the other, has sensibly decreased. The irreligious
and immoral tendencies now visible will, as has ever been the case in
Germany, produce a reaction, and, when the necessity is more urgently
felt, fitting measures will be adopted for the prevention of
pauperism. The dangers with which Germany is externally threatened
will also compel governments, however egotistical and indifferent, to
seek their safety in unity, and even should the long neglect of this
truth be productive of fresh calamity and draw upon Germany a fresh
attack from abroad, that very circumstance will but strengthen our
union and accelerate the regeneration of our great fatherland, already
anticipated by the people on the fall of the Hohenstaufen.


[Footnote 1: Because more skilful.--_Trans_.]



CCLXXIV. German Emigrants


The overplus population of Germany has ever emigrated; in ancient
times, for the purpose of conquering foreign powers; in modern times,
for that of serving under them. In the days of German heroism, our
conquering hordes spread toward the west and south, over Italy, Gaul,
Spain, Africa, England, and Iceland; during the Middle Ages, our
mail-clad warriors took an easterly direction and overran the
Slavonian countries, besides Prussia, Transylvania, and Palestine; in
modern times, our religious and political refugees have emigrated in
scarcely less considerable numbers to countries far more distant, but
in the humble garb of artificers and beggars, the Pariahs of the
world. Our ancient warriors gained undying fame and long maintained
the influence and the rule of Germany in foreign lands. Our modern
emigrants have, unnoted, quitted their native country, and, as early
as the second generation, intermixed with the people among whom they
settled. Hundreds of thousands of Germans have in this manner aided to
aggrandize the British colonies, and Germany has derived no benefit
from the emigration of her sons.

The first great mass of religious refugees threw itself into Holland
and into the Dutch colonies, the greater part of which have since
passed into the hands of the British. The illiberality of the Dutch
caused the second great mass to bend its steps to British North
America, within whose wilds every sect found an asylum. William Penn,
the celebrated Quaker, visited Germany, and, in 1683, gave permission
to some Germans to settle in the province named, after him,
Pennsylvania, where they founded the city of German town.[1] These
fortunate emigrants were annually followed by thousands of exiled
Protestants, principally from Alsace and the Palatinate. The industry
and honesty for which the German workmen were remarkable caused some
Englishmen to enter into a speculation to procure their services as
white slaves. The greatest encouragement was accordingly given by them
to emigration from Germany, but the promises so richly lavished were
withdrawn on the unexpected emigration of thirty-three thousand of the
inhabitants of the Palatinate, comprising entire communes headed by
their preachers, evidently an unlooked and unwished for multitude.
These emigrants reached London abandoned by their patrons and
disavowed by the government. A fearful fate awaited them. After losing
considerable numbers from starvation in England, the greater part of
the survivors were compelled to work like slaves in the mines and in
the cultivation of uninhabited islands; three thousand six hundred of
them were sent over to Ireland, where they swelled the number of
beggars; numbers were lost at sea, and seven thousand of them returned
in despair, in a state of utter destitution, to their native country.
A small number of them, however, actually sailed for New York, where
they were allotted portions of the primitive forests, which they
cleared and cultivated; but they had no sooner raised flourishing
villages in the midst of rich cornfields and gardens, than they were
informed that the ground belonged to the state and were driven from
the home they had so lately found. Pennsylvania opened a place of
refuge to the wanderers.[2]

The religious persecution and the increasing despotism of the
governments in Germany meanwhile incessantly drove fresh emigrants to
America, where, as they were generally sent to the extreme verge of
the provinces in order to clear the ground and drive away the
aborigines, numbers of them were murdered by the Indians. Switzerland
also sent forth many emigrants, who settled principally in North
Carolina. The people of Salzburg, whose expulsion has been detailed
above, colonized Georgia in 1732. In 1742, there were no fewer than a
hundred thousand Germans in North America, and, since that period,
their number has been continually on the increase. Thousands annually
arrived; for instance, in the years 1749 and 1750, seven thousand; in
1754, as many as twenty-two thousand; in 1797, six thousand Swabians.
The famine of 1770, the participation of German mercenaries in the
wars of the British in North America, at first against the French
colonies, afterward against the English colonists (the German
prisoners generally settled in the country), induced the Germans to
emigrate in such great numbers that, from 1770 to 1791, twenty-four
emigrant ships on an average arrived annually at Philadelphia, without
reckoning those that landed in the other harbors.[3]

The passage by sea to the west being continually closed during the
great wars with France, the stream of emigration took an easterly
direction overland. Russia had extended her conquests toward Persia
and Turkey. The necessity of fixing colonies in the broad steppes as
in the primitive forests of America, to serve as a barrier against the
wild frontier tribes, was plainly perceived by the Russian government,
and Germans were once more made use of for this purpose. Extensive
colonies, which at the present date contain hundreds of thousands of
German inhabitants, but whose history is as yet unknown, were
accordingly formed northward of the Black and Caspian Seas. Swabian
villages were also built on the most southern frontier of Russia
toward Persia, and in 1826 suffered severely from an inroad of the
Persians.

The fall of Napoleon had no sooner reopened the passage by sea than
the tide of emigration again turned toward North America. These
emigrants, the majority of whom consisted of political malcontents,
preferred the land of liberty to the steppes of Russia, whither
sectarians and those whom the demoralization and irreligion of the
Gallomanic period had filled with disgust had chiefly resorted. The
Russo-Teuto colonies are proverbial for purity and strictness of
morals. One Wurtemberg sectarian alone, the celebrated Rapp, succeeded
during the period of the triumph of France in emigrating to
Pennsylvania, where he founded the Harmony, a petty religious
community. An inconsiderable number of Swiss, dissatisfied with
Napoleon's supremacy, also emigrated in 1805 and built New Vevay. But
it was not until after the wars, more particularly during the famine
in 1816 and 1817, that emigration across the sea was again carried on
to a considerable extent. In 1817, thirty thousand Swiss,
Wurtembergers, Hessians, and inhabitants of the Palatinate emigrated,
and about an equal number were compelled to retrace their steps from
the seacoast in a state of extreme destitution on account of their
inability to pay their passage and of the complete want of interest in
their behalf displayed by the governments. Political discontent
increased in 1818 and 1819, and each succeeding spring thirty thousand
Germans sailed down the Rhine to the land of liberty in the far west.
In 1820, a society was set on foot at Berne for the protection of the
Swiss emigrants from the frauds practiced upon the unwary. The union
of the Archduchess Leopoldine, daughter to the emperor Francis, with
Dom Pedro, the emperor of the Brazils, had, since 1817, attracted
public attention to South America. Dom Pedro took German mercenaries
into his service for the purpose of keeping his wild subjects within
bounds, and the fruitful land offered infinite advantages to the
German agriculturist; but colonization was rendered impracticable by
the revolutionary disorders and by the ill-will of the natives toward
the settlers, and the Germans who had been induced to emigrate either
enlisted as soldiers or perished. Several among them, who have
published their adventures in the Brazils, bitterly complained of the
conduct of Major Schäfer, who had been engaged in collecting recruits
at Hamburg for the Brazils. They even accused him of having allowed
numbers of their fellow-countrymen to starve to death from motives of
gain, so much a head being paid to him on his arrival in the Brazils
for the men shipped from Europe whether they arrived dead or alive.
The publication of these circumstances completely checked the
emigration to the Brazils, and North America was again annually,
particularly in 1827 and after the July revolution, overrun with
Germans, and they have even begun to take part in the polity of the
United States. The peasants, who have been settled for a considerable
period, and who have insensibly acquired great wealth and have
retained the language and customs of their native country, form the
flower of the German colonists in the West.[4]

In the Cape colonies, the Dutch peasants, the boors, feeling
themselves oppressed by the English government, emigrated _en masse_,
in 1837, to the north, where they settled with the Caffres, and, under
their captain, Prætorius, founded an independent society, in 1839, at
Port Natal, where they again suffered a violent aggression on the part
of the British.

Thus are Germans fruitlessly scattered far and wide over the face of
the globe, while on the very frontiers of Germany nature has
designated the Danube as the near and broad path for emigration and
colonization to her overplus population, which, by settling in her
vicinity, would at once increase her external strength and extend her
influence.


[Footnote 1: The abolition of negro slavery was first mooted by
Germans in 1688, at the great Quaker meeting in North America.]

[Footnote 2: Account of the United States by Eggerling.]

[Footnote 3: One of the most distinguished Germans in America was a
person named John Jacob Astor, the son of a bailiff at Walldorf near
Heidelberg, who was brought up as a furrier, emigrated to America,
where he gradually became the wealthiest of all furriers, founded at
his own expense the colony of Astoria, on the northwestern coast of
North America, so interestingly described by Washington Irving, and
the Astor fund, intended as a protection to German emigrants to
America from the frauds practiced on the unwary. He resided at New
York. He possessed an immense fortune and was highly and deservedly
esteemed for his extraordinary philanthropy.]

[Footnote 4: The Allgemeine Zeitung of September, 1837, reports that
there were at that time one hundred and fifty-seven thousand Germans
in North America who were still unnaturalized, consequently had
emigrated thither within the last two or three years. In Philadelphia
alone there were seventy-five thousand Germans. Grund says in his
work, "The Americans in 1837," "The peaceable disposition of the
Germans prevents their interfering with politics, although their
number is already considerable enough for the formation of a powerful
party. They possess, notwithstanding, great weight in the government
of Pennsylvania, in which State the governors have since the
revolution always been Germans. This is in fact so well understood on
all sides that even during the last election, when two democrats and a
Whig candidate contended for the dignity of governor, they were all
three Germans by birth and no other would have had the slightest
chance of success. In the State of Ohio there are at the present date,
although that province was first colonized by New-English, no fewer
than forty-five thousand Germans possessed of the right of voting. The
State of New York, although originally colonized by Dutch, contains a
numerous German population in several of its provinces, particularly
in that of Columbia, the birthplace of Martin Van Buren, the present
Vice-President and future President of the republic. The State of
Maryland numbers twenty-five thousand Germans possessed of votes;
almost one-third of the population of Illinois is German, and
thousands of fresh emigrants are settling in the valley of the
Mississippi. I believe that the number of German voters or of voters
of German descent may, without exaggeration, be reckoned on an average
annually at four hundred thousand, and certainly in less than twenty
years hence at a million. In the city of New York, the Germans greatly
influence the election of the burgomaster and other city authorities
by holding no fewer than three thousand five hundred votes. These
circumstances naturally render the German vote an object of zealous
contention for politicians of every party, and there is accordingly no
dearth of German newspapers in any of the German settlements. In
Pennsylvania, upward of thirty German (principally weekly) papers are
in circulation, and about an equal number are printed and published in
the State of Ohio. A scarcely lower number are also in circulation in
Maryland."]



Supplementary Chapter

From The Fall of Napoleon to the Present Day


The Confederation of the Rhine, wounded to the death by the campaign
of 1812, was killed by the fall of Napoleon. From that event to the
present time the accompanying pages must be restricted to a
consideration of those matters which have been of capital importance
to the German people. These matters may be summarized as consisting in
the formation of the German Confederation, the Danish war, the
Austro-Prussian war, the Franco-Prussian war, and the refounding of
the empire.

As the fall of Sennacherib was sung by the Hebrews, so was the fall of
Napoleon sung by the Germans. They had been at his mercy. He had
deposed their sovereigns, dismembered their states, crippled their
trade, and exhausted their resources. Yet in 1814, by the Peace of
Paris, they had restored to them all they had possessed in 1792, but
as a reconstruction of the former empire was impracticable, those
states which still maintained their sovereignty coalesced.

This was in 1815. At the time there remained of the three hundred
states into which the empire had originally been divided but
thirty-nine, a number afterward reduced, through the extinction of
four minor dynasties, to thirty-five. A diet, recognized as the
legislative and executive organ of the Confederation, was instituted
at Frankfort. Instead, however, of satisfying the expectations of the
nation, it degenerated into a political tool, which princes
manipulated, which they made subservient to their inherent
conservatism, and with which they oppressed their subjects. The French
revolution of 1830 influenced to a certain extent their attitude, and
a few of them were induced to accord constitutions to their people,
but the effect was transient. Reforms which had been stipulated they
managed to ignore. It took the insurrectionary movements of 1848 to
shake them on their thrones. Forced then to admit the inefficiency of
the diet, and attempting by hasty concessions to check the progress of
republican principles, they consented to the convocation of a national
assembly. Over this body the Archduke John of Austria was elected to
preside. The choice was not happy. Measures which he failed to
facilitate he succeeded in frustrating. As a consequence, matters went
from bad to worse, until, after the refusal of the king of Prussia to
accept the imperial crown which was offered to him in 1849 and the
election of a provisional regency which ensued, the assembly lapsed
into a condition of impotence which terminated in its dissolution.

Meanwhile republican demonstrations having been forcibly suppressed,
there arose between Prussia and Austria a feeling of jealousy, if not
of ill-will, which more than once indicated war, and which, though
resulting in the restoration of the diet and temporarily diverted by a
joint attack on Denmark, culminated in the battle of Sadowa.

Into the details of this attack it is unnecessary to enter. The casus
belli was apparently an entirely virtuous endeavor to settle the
respective claims of the king of Denmark and the duke of Augustenburg
to the sovereignty of Schleswig-Holstein. The fashion in which the
claims were settled consisted in wiping them out. The direction not
merely of Schleswig-Holstein but of Lauenberg was assumed by Austria
and Prussia, who, by virtue of a treaty signed October 30, 1864, took
upon themselves their civil and military administration.

The administration which then ensued was announced as being but a
temporary trusteeship, and throughout Europe was generally so
regarded. But Prussia had other views. In the chambers Bismarck
declared that the crown had no intention of resigning the booty, that,
come what might, never would it give up Kiel. Bismarck was seldom
wrong. In this instance he was right. In the month of August following
the treaty the Emperor Francis of Austria and King William of Prussia
met at Gastein and concluded a convention by which it was agreed that
Schleswig should belong to Prussia, Holstein to Austria, with Kiel as
a free port under Prussian rule.

These proceedings, as might have been expected, created the greatest
indignation in England, France, and among the minor states. Earl
Russell declared that all rights, old and new, had been trodden under
by the Gastein Convention, and that violence and force had been the
only bases on which this convention had been established, while utter
disregard of all public laws had been shown throughout all these
transactions. On the part of France, her minister said that the
Austrian and Prussian governments were guilty in the eyes of Europe of
dividing between themselves territories they were bound to give up to
the claimants who seemed to have the best title, and that modern
Europe was not accustomed to deeds fit only for the dark ages; such
principles, he added, can only overthrow the past without building up
anything new. The Frankfort Diet declared the two powers to have
violated all principles of right, especially that of the duchies to
direct their own affairs as they pleased, provided they did not
interfere with the general interests of the German nation.
Nevertheless, a Prussian governor was appointed over Schleswig, and an
Austrian over Holstein, both assuming these duchies to be parts of
their respective empires.

Early in 1866, it was evident that no real friendship could long
continue between Prussia and Austria, and that these two great robbers
would surely fall out over the division of the plunder; making it the
ostensible cause for dispute, which was in reality their rivalry for
the leadership in Germany. In June, the Prussians crossed the Eyder,
and took possession of Holstein, appointed a supreme president over
the two duchies which passed under Prussian rule, and settled, after a
summary fashion, the vexed question. There were also other causes
which tended to war. The weak side of Austria, weaker far than
Hungary, was her Italian province of Venetia, one, indeed, that few
can say she had any real or natural right to hold, beyond having
acquired it by the treaty of 1813. To recover this from German rule
had been the incessant desire of Italy, and grievous was her
disappointment when the emperor of the French thought fit to stop
immediately after the battle of Magenta and Solferino, instead of
pushing on, as it was hoped he would have done, to the conquest of
Venetia.

In the spring of 1866, Italy was making active preparations for war,
and Austria, on the other hand, increased largely the number of her
troops, Prussia choosing, in defiance of all fair dealing, to assume
that all these armaments were directed against herself; and, on this
supposition, sent a circular to the minor states to tell them they
must decide which side to take in the impending struggle. A secret
treaty was made between Prussia and Italy: that Italy should be ready
to take up arms the moment Prussia gave the signal, and that Prussia
should go on with the war until Venetia was ceded to Italy. Angry
discussions took place in the diet between Austria and Prussia, which
ended in Prussia declaring the Germanic Confederation to be broken up,
and both sides preparing for war.

Austria began early to arm, for she required longer time to mobilize
her army. Prussia, on the contrary, was in readiness for action. Every
Prussian who is twenty years old, without distinction of rank, has to
serve in the army, three years with the colors, five more in the
reserve, after which he is placed for eleven years in the Landwehr,
and liable to be called out when occasion requires. In peace
everything is kept ready for the mobilization of its army. In a
wonderfully short time the organization was complete, and 260,000 men
brought into the field in Bohemia. In arms, they had the advantage of
the needle-gun. The Prussian forces were in three divisions, the
"First Army" under the command of Prince Frederick Charles; the
"Second Army" under that of the crown prince; and the "Army of the
Elbe," under General Herwarth. The supreme command of the Austrian
army of the north was given to Feldzeugmeister von Benedek, that of
the south to the Archduke Albert.

On June 14, Prussia sent a telegraphic summons to Hanover,
Hesse-Cassel, and Saxony, demanding them to reduce their armies to the
peace establishment, and to concur with Prussia respecting the
Germanic confederation; and that if they did not send their consent
within twelve hours, war would be declared. The states did not reply,
Prussia declared war, and on the 16th invaded their territories. The
occupation and disarmament of Hanover and Hesse were necessary to
Prussia for a free communication with her Rhenish provinces, and she
effected her purpose by means of well-planned combinations, so that in
the course of a few days these states were overrun by Prussian troops,
and their sovereigns expelled.

The rapid progress of events, and the Prussian declaration of war, had
taken Hanover by surprise. Her army was not yet mobilized; Austria had
evacuated Holstein, or she could have looked to her for support. To
attempt to defend the capital was hopeless; so King George, suffering
from blindness, moved with his army to Gottingen, with a view of
joining the Bavarians. Prussia entered by the north, and, assisted by
her navy on the Elbe, was by the 22d in possession of the whole of
Hanover. Closed round on all sides by the Prussians, unassisted by
Prince Charles of Bavaria, Gotha having declared for Prussia, the king
of Hanover, with his little army, crossed the frontier of his kingdom,
and at Langensalza, fifteen miles north of Gotha, encountered the
Prussians, and remained master of the battlefield. But victory was of
little avail; surrounded by 40,000 Prussians, the king was forced to
capitulate. The arms and military stores were handed over to the
enemy, and the king and his soldiers allowed to depart. Thus, through
the supineness of Prince Charles of Bavaria, a whole army was made
captive, and Hanover erased from the roll of independent states.

More fortunate than his neighbor, the elector of Hesse-Cassel saved
his army, though not his territory, from the invader. His troops
retired toward the Maine, where they secured a communication with the
federal army at Frankfort. The elector remained in Hesse, and was sent
a state prisoner to the Prussian fortress of Stettin, on the Oder. The
Prussians overran his territory, declaring they were not at war
against "peoples, but against governments."

Two bodies of Prussian troops entered Saxony--the First Army and the
Army of the Elbe--and the Saxon army retired into Bohemia to effect a
junction with the Austrians. On the 20th, Leipzig was seized, and the
whole of Saxony was in undisturbed possession of the Prussians; Prince
Frederick Charles issuing a most stringent order that private property
should be respected, and every regard shown to the comfort of the
inhabitants. His order was strictly observed, and every measure taken
to prevent the miseries attendant on the occupation of a country by a
foreign army.

The invasion of Saxony brought immediately open war between Prussia
and Austria, and on the 23d the Prussian army crossed the Bohemian
frontier--only a week since it had entered Saxony. It is needless here
to detail the battles which immediately followed; suffice it to say,
the Prussians were victorious in all--at Podoll, where the needle-gun
did such terrible work; Munchengratz, which gave them the whole line
of the Iser; Trautenan, Gitschen, and others. On the 1st of July, the
king of Prussia arrived from Berlin and took the supreme command of
the army. The following day brought news from the crown prince that he
was hastening from Silesia with the Second Army, whereby the whole of
the Prussian forces would be concentrated. On the 3d of July was
fought the decisive battle of Koniggratz, or Sadowa, as it is
sometimes called, from the village of that name, a cluster of
pine-wood cottages, enclosed by orchards, with a wood-crowned hill at
the back, which was fiercely disputed by the contending parties.

On that day, General von Benedek had taken his position with the
Austrian army in front of the frontier fortress of Koniggratz, on the
right bank of the Elbe, about fifty-five miles east of Prague, to
oppose the passage of the crown prince from Silesia. In his front lay
the marshy stream of Bistritz, upon which Sadowa and a few other
villages are situated. At half-past seven in the morning the battle
began, and continued with great slaughter without any marked advantage
on either side till the arrival of the crown prince decided, like the
advance of Blücher at Waterloo, the fortune of the day. The Austrians
were completely routed, and fled across the Elbe to save the capital.
They lost 40,000 men in this sanguinary conflict, the Prussians
10,000. The forces in the field were 200,000 Austrians and Saxons, and
260,000 Prussians.

Immediately after her crushing defeat, Austria surrendered Venetia to
France, and the Emperor Napoleon at once accepted the gift and gave it
over to Victor Emmanuel.

On July 26, preliminaries of peace were signed at Nikolsburg, and
peace was finally concluded at Prague, August 23, between Prussia and
Austria, and about the same time with the South German states. The
Prussian House of Deputies voted the annexation of the conquered
states, and in October peace was concluded with Saxony. By these
arrangements, Hanover, Hesse-Cassel, and Frankfort became provinces of
Prussia, as well as the long-disputed duchies of Denmark. All the
German states north of the Maine concluded a treaty, offensive and
defensive, for the maintenance of the security of their states.
Prussia increased her territory by 32,000 square miles and her
population 4,000,000; and in October, 1866, the whole of northern
Germany was united into a Confederation.

This Confederation, known as the North German, possessed a common
parliament elected by universal suffrage, in which each state was
represented according to its population. The first or constituent
parliament met early in 1867, and adopted, with a few modifications,
the constitution proposed by Count Bismarck. The new elections then
took place, and the first regular North German parliament met in
September, 1867. According to this constitution, there was to be a
common army and fleet, under the sole command of Prussia; a common
diplomatic representation abroad, of necessity little else than
Prussian; and to Prussia also was intrusted the management of the
posts and telegraphs in the Confederation.

The Southern German states which up to this point had not joined the
Bund, were Bavaria, Baden, Wurtemberg, Hesse-Darmstadt, and
Lichtenstein, with a joint area of 43,990 square miles, and a total
population (1866) of 8,524,460. But, though these states were not
formally members of the Bund, they were so practically, for they were
bound to Prussia by treaties of alliance offensive and defensive, so
that in the event of a war the king of Prussia would have at his
disposal an armed force of upward of 1,100,000 men.

During the next few years the North German Confederation was employed
in consolidating and strengthening itself, and in trying to induce the
southern states to join the league. The Zollverein was remodelled and
extended, until by the year 1868 every part of Germany was a member of
it, with the exception of the cities of Hamburg and Bremen, and a
small part of Baden. This paved the way for the formal entrance of the
southern states into the confederation; but they still hung back,
though the ideal of a united Germany was gradually growing in force
and favor.

Meanwhile the terms of the treaty of Prague, together with the
complete removal of alien powers from Italy, had wrought a radical
change in the political relations of the European States. Excluded
from Germany, the dominions of Austria still extended to the verge of
Venetia and the Lombard plains, but her future lay eastward and her
centre of gravity had been removed to Buda-Pesth. In the South German
courts, no doubt, there was a bias toward Vienna, and a dislike of
Prussia; yet both the leaning and the repugnance were counterbalanced
by a deeper dread of France rooted in the people by the vivid memories
of repeated and cruel invasions. Russia, somewhat alarmed by the rapid
success of King William, had been soothed by diplomatic reassurances,
the tenor of which is not positively known, although a series of
subsequent events more than justified the inference made at that time,
that promises, bearing on the czar's Eastern designs, were tendered
and accepted as a valuable consideration for the coveted boon of
benevolent neutrality, if not something more substantial. Like Russia,
France had lost nothing by the campaign of 1866; her territories were
intact; her ruler had mediated between Austria and Prussia; and he had
the honor of protecting the pope, who, as a spiritual and temporal
prince, was still in possession of Rome and restricted territorial
domains. But the Napoleonic court, and many who looked upon its head
as a usurper, experienced, on the morrow of Sadowa, and in a greater
degree after the preface to a peace had been signed at Nikolsburg, a
sensation of diminished magnitude, a consciousness of lessened
prestige, and a painful impression that their political, perhaps even
their military place in Europe, as the heirs of Richelieu, Louis XIV.,
and Napoleon, had been suddenly occupied by a power which they had
taught themselves to contemn as an inferior. Until the summer of 1866
the emperor Napoleon fancied that he was strong enough to play with
Bismarck a game of diplomatic chess.

In that he erred profoundly. As early as the first week in August,
1866, M. Benedetti, the French ambassador to the court of Berlin, was
instructed to claim the left bank of the Rhine as far as and including
Mainz. Bismarck replied that "the true interest of France is not to
obtain an insignificant increase of territory, but to aid Germany in
constituting herself after a fashion which will be most favorable to
all concerned." Delphos could not have been more oracular. But
Napoleon III. could not or would not heed. A week later Benedetti was
instructed to submit a regular scale of concessions--the frontiers of
1814 and the annexation of Belgium, or Luxemburg and Belgium,
Benedetti received the most courteous attention and nothing more. This
was irritating. The French had been accustomed for more than two
hundred years to meddle directly in Germany and find there allies,
either against Austria, Prussia, or England; and the habit of
centuries had been more than confirmed by the colossal raids,
victories, and annexations of Napoleon I. A Germany which should
escape from French control and reverse, by its own energetic action,
the policy of Henry IV., Richelieu, Louis XIV., his degenerate
grandson, Louis XV., and of the great Napoleon himself, was an affront
to French pride, and could not be patiently endured. The opposing
forces which had grown up were so strong that the wit of man was
unable to keep them asunder; and all the control over the issue left
to kings and statesmen was restricted to the fabrication of means
wherewith to deliver or sustain the shock, and the choice of the hour,
if such choice were allowed.

Then presently the opportunity occurred. On July 4, 1870, the throne
of Spain was offered to Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern. The fact
created the greatest excitement in France. Threatening speeches were
made. On July 18 Prince Leopold declined the offer. On the morrow
Benedetti was instructed to demand a guarantee that any future offer
of the kind would be refused. The king of Prussia would not listen to
the proposition. The French minister, through whom the demand had been
transmitted, then asked for his passports. War was imminent.

At the prospect Paris grew mad with enthusiasm. Crowds assembled in
the streets, shouting "Down with Prussia!" "Long live France!" "To the
Rhine!" "To Berlin!" The papers abounded with inflammatory appeals,
and, after the impulsive French fashion, glorified beforehand the easy
triumphs that were to be won over the Prussians. Men told one another
that they would be across the Rhine in a week, and at Berlin in a
fortnight. The excitement in Prussia was not less than that in France.
The people, with scarcely an exception, declared their readiness for
war, and seemed to find a pleasure in the opportunity now presented
for settling old quarrels. Like the people of Paris, the Prussians
shouted "To the Rhine!" The French cry of "To Berlin!" had its
counterpart in the German ejaculation of "To Paris!"

Perhaps a sentence spoken by M. Guyot Montpayroux best illustrates the
predominant feeling. "Prussia," he said, "has forgotten the France of
Jena, and the fact must be recalled to her memory." Thus was war
declared on the night of July 15. Thiers, who desired a war with
Prussia "at the proper time," has left on record his judgment that the
hour then selected was "detestably ill-chosen." Yet even he and
Gambetta were both anxious that "satisfaction" should be obtained for
Sadowa; while the thought which animated the court is admirably
expressed in the phrase imputed to the empress who, pointing to the
prince imperial, said, "This child will never reign unless we repair
the misfortunes of Sadowa." Such was the ceaseless refrain. The word
haunted French imaginations incessantly, and it was the pivot on which
the imperial policy revolved; it exercised a spell scarcely less
powerful and disastrous upon monarchists like Thiers and republicans
like Gambetta. Long foreseen, the dread shock, like all grave
calamities, came nevertheless as a surprise, even upon reflective
minds. Statesmen and soldiers who looked on, while they shared in the
natural feelings aroused by so tremendous a drama, were also the
privileged witnesses of two instructive experiments on a grand
scale--the processes whereby mighty armies are brought into the field,
and the methods by means of which they are conducted to defeat or
victory.

The French field army, called at the outset the "Army of the Rhine,"
consisted nominally of 336,000 men with 924 guns. It was considered
that of these, 300,000 would be available for the initial operations.
The infantry of the army was provided with a breech-loading weapon,
called after its inventor the Chassepot. The Chassepot was a weapon in
all respects superior to the famous needle-gun, which was still the
weapon of the Prussian army. Attached likewise to the divisional
artillery was a machine gun called the Mitrailleuse, from which great
things were expected. But this gun had been manufactured with a
secrecy which, while it prevented foreign inspection, had withheld
also the knowledge of its mechanism from the soldiers who were to work
it. In the field, therefore, it proved a failure.

Since the Crimean and Austrian wars, while the armies of the other
European states had advanced in efficiency, the French army had
deteriorated. The reason was that favoritism rather than merit had
been made the road to court favor. The officers who had pointed to the
training of the Prussian soldiers, as indicating the necessity for the
adoption of similar modes for the French army, had been laughed at and
left in the cold. The consequence was, that for ten years prior to the
war of 1870, the French army had received instruction only of the most
superficial character. It had been considered sufficient if the
soldiers were brought to the point of making a good show on the parade
ground. Little more had been required of them. Field training and
musketry training had been alike neglected. The officers had ceased to
study, and the government had taken no pains to instruct them. What
was more vicious still, the alienation between officers and men, which
had been noticed even in the war of 1859, had widened. The officers
generally had ceased to take the smallest interest in the comfort of
the men in camp or in quarters. These matters were left to the
non-commissioned officers. Needless to add, they were not always
properly attended to. It may be added that the system of drill was so
devised as to give no play to the reasoning powers of the officer. He
was a machine and nothing more.

Of the artillery of the French army it has to be said, that it was far
inferior to that of the Germans, and known to be so by the French war
department. In the matter of reserves, France had comparatively
nothing.

Far different were the composition and the state of preparation of the
Prussian army; far different, also, those of her German allies; far
higher the qualities of their general officers; far superior the
discipline and morale of their troops; far more ready, in every single
particular, to begin a war; far more thoroughly provided to carry that
war to a successful issue.

The German infantry had been thoroughly organized on a system which
gave to every officer the necessity of exercising independent action,
and to the men the faculty of understanding the object of the
manoeuvre directed. Its cavalry had been specially instructed in
duties of reconnoissance, of insuring repose for the infantry, of
collecting intelligence, of concealing the march of armies, of acting
as a completer of victory, or as a shield in case of defeat. It had
profited greatly by the lessons it had learned in the war of 1866.

The German artillery had likewise been greatly improved in efficiency
of manoeuvre since 1866. It was in all respects superior to that of
the French.

Of the Prussian and South German leaders, I will only say that we
shall meet again the men from whom we parted on the conclusion of the
armistice of Nikolsburg. What was their task and how they executed it
will be described in the pages that follow. In mere numbers, the king
of Prussia had a great advantage over his enemy. For, while without
any assistance from South Germany, and after allowing for three army
corps which might be necessary to watch Austria and Denmark, he could
begin the campaign with a force of 350,000 men, he was certain of the
assistance of Southern Germany, and confident that, unless the French
should obtain considerable successes at the outset, neither Austria
nor Denmark would stir a hand to aid them.

To counterbalance this superiority of numbers the French emperor had
cherished a vague hope that, in a war against Prussia, he might
possibly count upon the ancient friendship for France of Bavaria and
Saxony, and to a still greater extent upon Austria and Italy. With
regard to Bavaria and Saxony he was speedily undeceived. Moreover,
contrary to expectation, other German states decided to support
Prussia and placed their armies, which were eventually commanded by
the crown prince, at the disposal of King William. With regard to
Austria and Italy, Colonel Malleson in a work on this subject,[1] to
which we are much indebted, states that their co-operation was made
dependent on the initial successes of the French troops. Colonel
Malleson adds:

"It was not only understood, but was actually drafted in a treaty--the
signing of which, however, was prevented by the rapid course of the
war--that if, on the 15th of September, France should be holding her
own in Southern Germany, then Austria and Italy would jointly declare
war against Prussia."

These conditions made it clear that ultimate success in the struggle
about to commence would accrue to the power which should obtain the
first advantages.

That Germany--for it was Germany and not Prussia only which entered
upon this great struggle--would obtain these initial advantages seemed
almost certain. Count Moltke had for some time previous been engaged
in planning for a war with France. So far back as 1868 all his
arrangements for the formation of the armies to be employed, the
points to be occupied, the nature of the transport, had been clearly
laid down. These instructions had been carefully studied by the
several corps commanders and their staff. Not one matter, however
apparently trivial, had been neglected. When, then, on the 16th of
July, the king of Prussia gave the order for mobilization, it required
only to insert the day and the hour on which each body of troops
should march. With respect to the armies of the states of Southern
Germany, Moltke, anticipating that the French emperor would throw his
main army as rapidly as possible into Southern Germany, had
recommended that the contingents from that part of the country should
march northward to join those of Prussia on the middle Rhine, to
assume there a position which should menace the flank and rear of the
invading army. This position would be the more practical, as in the
event of the French not invading Southern Germany, the combined force,
stretching from Saarbrucken to Landau, would be ready to invade
France, and sever the communications with Paris of the French armies
on the frontier. Count Moltke had calculated that the German troops
intended to cross the French frontier would be in a position to make
their forward movement by the 4th of August. Pending the development
of the French strategy with respect to Southern Germany, therefore, he
thought it prudent to delay the march of the southern contingents, in
order that no part of the army might be suddenly overwhelmed by a
superior force. On the actual frontier he placed, then, only a few
light troops, for the purposes of reconnoitring, and for checking the
first advance of the enemy until supports should arrive.

The French emperor had, indeed, been keenly alive to the advantages
which would accrue to himself from a prompt invasion of Southern
Germany. He designed to concentrate one hundred and fifty thousand men
at Metz; one hundred thousand at Strasburg; to cross into Baden with
these armies; while a third, assembling at Chalons, should protect the
frontier against the German forces. The plan itself was an excellent
one had he only been able to execute it, for, as we have seen, early
success in Southern Germany would have meant the armed assistance of
Austria and Italy. But the French army was in a condition more
unready, one might truly say, of greater demoralization, thus early,
than its severest critics had imagined. Considerable forces were
indeed massed about Metz and Strasburg. But the commissariat and
transport departments were in a state of the most hopeless confusion.
The army could not move. To remedy these evils time was wanted, and
time was the commodity the generals could not command. Every day which
evoked some little order out of chaos brought the Germans nearer to
positions, the occupation of which would render impossible the
contemplated invasion. The emperor had quitted Paris for Metz,
accompanied by the prince imperial, on the 28th of July, and had
arrived there and taken the supreme command the same day. The day
following he met his generals at St. Avoid, and unfolded to them his
plans. Since war had been declared he had lost many illusions. It had
become clear to him that he was warring against the concentrated might
of Germany; that he could not make the inroad into Southern Germany
originally contemplated without exposing Paris to an attack from
forces already occupying the country between Treves and Mannheim: that
he was bound to hold that line. Anxious, however, to assume the
offensive, he dictated the following plan to his marshals. Bazaine,
with the Second, Third, and Fifth Army Corps, should cross the Saar at
Saarbrücken, covered on his left by the Fourth Corps, which should
make a show of advancing against Saarlouis, while MacMahon, pushing
forward from his position near Strasburg, should cover his right. The
emperor had some reason to believe that the Saar was weakly held.

But his own generals showed him that his plan was impossible. They
represented to him that instead of the three hundred thousand men
whom, in the delirium of the Paris enthusiasm, he believed he would
find available for his purposes, he had at the utmost one hundred and
eighty-six thousand; that in every requirement for moving the army was
deficient; that there was scarcely a department which was not
disorganized. He was compelled, therefore, to renounce his plan for
decisive offensive action. He came to that resolve most unwillingly,
for Paris was behind him, ready to rise unless he should make some
show of advancing. It was to reassure the excited spirits of the
capital, rather than to effect any military result, that on the 2d of
August, he moved with sixty thousand men in the direction of
Saarbrücken. The garrison of that place consisted of something less
than four thousand men with six guns. The emperor attacked it with the
corps of Frossard, eighteen battalions and four batteries. These
compelled the slender German garrison to evacuate the place, but
Frossard, though the bridges across the Saar were not defended, made
no attempt to cross that river. The soldierly manner in which the
Germans had covered their retreat had left on his mind the impression
that they were more numerous than they were, and that there was a
larger force behind them.

Still, for the only time in the war, the emperor was able to send a
reassuring telegram to Paris. The young prince, upon whom the hopes of
the nation would, he hoped, rest, had undergone the "baptism of fire."
French troops had made the first step in advance.

Soon, however, it became clear to him that the enemy had concentrated
along the line of the frontier, and were about to make their spring.
Moltke, in fact, from his headquarters at Mayence, was, by means of
solitary horsemen employed in profusion, keeping himself thoroughly
well acquainted not only with the movements of the French, but with
their vacillation, their irresolution, their want of plan. The sudden
appearance from unexpected quarters of these horsemen conveyed a
marked feeling of insecurity to the minds of the French soldiers, and
these feelings were soon shared by their chiefs. It was very clear to
them that an attack might at any moment come, though from what quarter
and in what force they were absolutely ignorant. This ignorance
increased their vacillations, their uncertainties. Orders and
counter-orders followed each other with startling rapidity. The
soldiers, harassed, began to lose confidence; the leaders became more
and more incapable of adopting a plan.

Suddenly, in the midst of their vacillations, of their marchings and
counter-marchings, the true report reached them, on the evening of the
3d of August, that a French division, the outpost of MacMahon's army,
had been surprised and defeated at Weissenburg by a far superior
force. Napoleon at once ordered the Fifth Corps to concentrate at
Bitsche, and despatched a division of the Third to Saarguemünd. These
orders were followed by others. Those of the 5th of August divided the
army of the Rhine into two portions, the troops in Alsace being placed
under MacMahon, those in Lorraine under Bazaine, the emperor retaining
the Guard. Those of the 7th directed the Second Corps to proceed to
Bitsche, the Third to Saarguemünd, the Fourth to Haut-Homburg, the
Guard to St. Avoid. These instructions plainly signified the making of
a flank movement in front of a superior enemy. With such an army as
the emperor had, inferior in numbers, many of the regiments as yet
incomplete, all his resources behind him, and these becoming daily
more unavailable, his one chance was to concentrate in a position
commanding the roads behind it, and yet adapted for attack if attack
should be necessary. As it was, without certain information as to the
movements of the Germans, anxious to move, yet dreading to do so,
until his regiments should be completed, the French emperor was
confused and helpless. He forgot even to transmit to the generals on
one flank the general directions he had issued to those on the other.
Bazaine, for instance, was left on the 5th in ignorance of the
emperor's intentions with respect to MacMahon; on the 6th none of the
subordinate generals knew that the flank march was contemplated.
Frossard, who had fallen back to Spicheren, considered his position so
insecure that he suggested to Leboeuf that he should be allowed to
retire from the Saarbrücken ridge. He was ordered in reply to fall
back on Forbach, but no instructions were given him as to the course
he should pursue in the event of his being attacked, nor were the
contemplated movements of the emperor communicated to him. In every
order that was issued there was apparent the confused mind of the
issuer.

Turn we now to MacMahon and the movements of himself and his generals.
When the war broke out MacMahon was in the vicinity of Strasburg with
forty-five thousand men; General Douay with twelve thousand men at
Weissenburg. The same confusion prevailed here as at Metz. The orders
given to MacMahon were of the vaguest description: Douay had no
instructions at all. Yet, in front of him, the German hosts had been
gathering. The commander of the left wing of the German army, the
crown prince of Prussia, had, in obedience to the instructions he had
received, crossed the frontier river, the Lauter, on the 4th of
August, with an army composed of the Second Bavarian and Fifth
Prussian army, numbering about forty thousand men, and marched on
Weissenburg. As his advanced guard approached the town, it was met by
a heavy fire from the French garrison. The crown prince resolved at
once to storm the place. Douay had placed his troops in a strong
position, a portion of his men occupying the town defended by a simple
wall; the bulk, formed on the Gaisberg, a hill two miles to the south
of it. Against this position the crown prince directed his chief
attack. The contest which ensued was most severe, the assailants and
the defenders vying with one another in determination and courage. But
the odds in favor of the former were too great to permit Douay to hope
for ultimate success. After a resistance of five hours' duration the
Germans carried the Gaisberg. Douay himself was killed; but his
surviving troops, though beaten, were not discouraged. They
successfully foiled an attempt made by the Germans to cut off their
retreat, and fell back on the corps of MacMahon, which lay about ten
miles to the south of Weissenburg.

The same day on which the crown prince had attacked and carried
Weissenburg, another German army corps, that of Baden-Würtemberg, a
part of the Third Army, under the command of the crown prince, had
advanced on and occupied Lauterburg. That evening the entire Third
Army, consisting of one hundred and thirty thousand men, bivouacked on
French ground. Meanwhile MacMahon, on hearing of Douay's defeat, had
marched to Reichshofen, received there the shattered remnants of
Douay's division, and, with the emperor's orders under no
circumstances to decline a battle, took up a position on the hills of
which Worth, Fröschweiler and Elsasshausen form the central points. He
had with him forty-seven thousand men, but the Fifth Corps, commanded
by De Failly, was at Bitsche, seventeen miles from Reichshofen, and
MacMahon had despatched the most pressing instructions to that officer
to join him. These orders, however, De Failly did not obey.

The ground on which MacMahon had retired offered many capabilities for
defence. The central point was the village of Worth on the rivulet
Sauerbach, which covered the entire front of the position. To the
right rear of Worth, on the road from Gundershofen, was the village of
Elsasshausen, covered on its right by the Niederwald, having the
village of Eberbach on its further side, and the extreme right of the
position, the village of Morsbronn, to its southeast. Behind Wörth,
again, distant a little more than two miles on the road to
Reichshofen, was the key to the position, the village of Fröschweiler.
From this point the French left was thrown back to a mound, covered by
a wood, in front of Reichshofen.

On the 5th of August the crown prince had set his army in motion, and
had rested for the night at Sulz. There information reached him
regarding the position taken by MacMahon. He immediately issued orders
for the concentration of his army, and for its march the following
morning toward the French position, the village of Preuschdorf, on the
direct road to Wörth, to be the central point of the movement. But the
previous evening General von Walther, with the Fifth Prussian Corps,
had reached Görsdorf, a point whence it was easy for him to cross the
Sauerbach, and take Worth in flank. Marching at four o'clock in the
morning Walther tried this manoeuvre, and at seven o'clock succeeded
in driving the French from Wörth. MacMahon then changed his front,
recovered Wörth, and repulsed likewise an attack which had in the
meanwhile been directed against Fröschweiler by the Eleventh Prussian
and Fifth Bavarian Corps.

For a moment it seemed as though he might hold his position. But
between eleven and twelve the enemy renewed his attack. While one
corps again attacked and carried Wörth, the Eleventh Prussian Corps,
aided by sixty guns placed upon the heights of Gunstett, assailed his
right. They met here a most stubborn resistance, the French
cuirassiers charging the advancing infantry with the greatest
resolution. So thoroughly did they devote themselves that they left
three-fourths of their number dead or dying on the field. But all was
in vain. The Prussians steadily advanced, forced their way through the
Niederwald, and threatened Elsasshausen. While the French were thus
progressing badly on their right, they were faring still worse in the
centre.

The Germans, having seized Wörth, stormed the hilly slopes between
that place and Froschweiler, and made a furious assault upon the
latter, now more than ever the key of the French position. For while
Froschweiler was their objective centre, their right was thrown back
toward Elsasshausen and the Niederwald, their left to Reichshofen.
While the Eleventh Prussians were penetrating the Niederwald,
preparatory to attacking Elsasshausen on the further side of it, the
Fifth Prussian Corps with the Second Bavarians were moving against
Froschweiler. It was clear then to MacMahon that further resistance
was impossible. Still holding Froschweiler, he evacuated Elsasshausen,
and drew back his right to Reichshofen. The safety of his army
depended now upon the tenacity with which Froschweiler might be held.
It must be admitted, in justice to the French, that they held it with
a stubborn valor not surpassed during the war. Attacked by
overwhelming numbers, they defended the place, house by house. At
length, however, they were overpowered. Then, for the first time, the
bonds of discipline loosened, and the French, struck by panic, fled,
in wild disorder, in the direction of Saverne. They reached that place
by a march across the hills the following evening. On their way they
fell in with one of the divisions of the corps of de Failly, and this
served to cover the retreat.

Though their defeat, considering the enormous superiority of their
assailants, might be glorious, it was doubly disastrous, inasmuch that
it followed those perturbations of spirit alluded to in a previous
page, which had done so much to discourage the French soldier. A
victory at Worth might have done much to redeem past mistakes. A
defeat emphasized them enormously. It was calculated that, inclusive
of the nine thousand prisoners taken by the Germans, the French lost
twenty-four thousand men. The loss of the victors amounted to ten
thousand. They captured thirty-three guns, two eagles, and six
mitrailleuses.

The emperor was deeply pained by the result of the battle. To keep up,
if possible, the spirits of his partisans, he wired on the evening of
the 7th to Paris, with the news of the defeat, the words, "tout se
peut retablir." He was mistaken. While the crown prince was crushing
MacMahon at Wörth, the imperial troops were being beaten at Spicheren
as well.

Thereafter the German advance was hardly checked for a moment, though
the losses on both sides were heavy. On the 18th of August was fought
the battle of Gravelotte, in which King William commanded in person,
and though his troops suffered immense loss, they were again
victorious, and forced Bazaine to shut himself up in Metz, which he
subsequently surrendered. In this battle, one of the most decisive of
the war, it is worth noting that the Germans outnumbered the French by
more than two to one. The exact figures are uncertain, but we shall
probably be correct in accepting 230,000 as the strength of the
Germans, and in estimating the French outside of Metz at 110,000.

We now come to Sedan. With the army of Bazaine beleaguered, there
remained, in the opinion of the German chiefs--an opinion not
justified by events--only the army of MacMahon. To remove that army
from the path which led to Paris was the task intrusted to the crown
prince. MacMahon, meanwhile, after his defeat at Wörth, had fallen
back with the disordered remnants of his army on Chalons, there to
reorganize and strengthen it. Much progress had been made in both
respects, when, after the result of the battle of Gravelotte had been
known in Paris, he received instructions from the Count of Palikao to
march with the four army corps at his disposal northward toward the
Meuse, and to give a hand to the beleaguered Bazaine.

MacMahon prepared to obey. But circumstances ordered otherwise. On the
night of August 31st, accompanied by the emperor--who, having
transferred his authority to the Empress Eugenie and his command to
Bazaine, followed the army as mere spectator--MacMahon reached Sedan,
and there ranged his troops so as to meet an attack which he foresaw
inevitable, and fatal too. Placing his strongest force to the east,
his right wing was at Bazeilles and the left at Illy. The ground in
front of his main defence was naturally strong, the entire front being
covered by the Givonne rivulet, and the slopes to that rivulet, on the
French side of it.

The possibility that the French marshal would accept battle at Sedan
had been considered at the German headquarters on the night of the
31st, and arrangements had been made to meet his wishes. The army of
the crown prince of Saxony (the Fourth Army) occupied the right of the
German forces, the Bavarian Corps formed the centre, and the Prussians
the left wing. The advanced troops of the army were ranged in the
following order. On the right stood the Twelfth Corps, then the Fourth
Prussian Corps, the Prussian Guards, and finally the Fourth Cavalry
Division, their backs to Remilly. From this point they were linked to
the First and Second Bavarian Corps, opposite Bazeilles; they, in
turn, to the Eleventh and Fifth Corps; and they, at Dom-le-Mesnil, to
the Würtembergers. The Sixth Prussian Corps was placed in reserve
between Attigny and Le Chene.

A word now as to the nature of the ground on which the impending
battle was to be fought. Sedan lies in the most beautiful part of the
valley of the Meuse, amid terraced heights, covered with trees, and,
within close distance, the villages of Donchery, Iges, Villette,
Glaire, Daigny, Bazeilles, and others. Along the Meuse, on the left
bank, ran the main road from Donchery through Frenois, crossing the
river at the suburb Torcy, and there traversing Sedan. The character
of the locality may best be described as a ground covered with fruit
gardens and vineyards, narrow streets shut in by stone walls, the
roads overhung by forests, the egress from which was in many places
steep and abrupt. Such was the ground. One word now as to the troops.

The German army before Sedan counted, all told, 240,000 men; the
French 180,000. But the disparity in numbers was the least of the
differences between the two armies. The one was flushed with victory,
the other dispirited by defeat. The one had absolute confidence in
their generals and their officers, the other had the most supreme
contempt for theirs. The one had marched from Metz on a settled plan,
to be modified according to circumstances, the drift of which was
apparent to the meanest soldier; the other had been marched hither and
thither, now toward Montmedy, now toward Paris, then again back toward
Montmedy, losing much time; the men eager for a pitched battle, then
suddenly surprised through the carelessness of their commanders, and
compelled at last to take refuge in a town from which there was no
issue. There was hardly an officer of rank who knew aught about the
country in which he found himself. The men were longing to fight to
the death, but they, one and all, distrusted their leaders. It did not
tend, moreover, to the encouragement of the army to see the now
phantom emperor, without authority to command even a corporal's guard,
dragged about the country, more as a pageant than a sovereign. He,
poor man, was much to be pitied. He keenly felt his position, and
longed for the day when he might, in a great battle, meet the glorious
death which France might accept as an atonement for his misfortunes.

The battle began at daybreak on the morning of the 1st of September.
Under cover of a brisk artillery fire, the Bavarians advanced, and
opened, at six o'clock, a very heavy musketry fire on Bazeilles. The
masonry buildings of this village were all armed and occupied, and
they were defended very valiantly. The defenders drove back the enemy
as they advanced and kept them at bay for two hours. Then the Saxons
came up to the aid of the Bavarians, and forced the first position.
Still the defence continued, and the clocks were striking ten when the
Bavarians succeeded in entering the place. Even then a house-to-house
defence prolonged the battle, and it was not until every house but
one[2] had been either stormed or burned that the Germans could call
the village, or the ruins which remained of it, their own. Meanwhile,
on the other points of their defensive position; at Floing, St.
Menges, Fleigneux, Illy, and, on the extreme left, at Iges, where a
sharp bend of the Meuse forms a peninsula of the ground round which it
slowly rolls; the French had been making a gallant struggle. In their
ranks, even in advance of them, attended finally by a single
aide-de-camp, all the others having been killed, was the emperor,
cool, calm, and full of sorrow, earnestly longing for the shell or the
bullet which should give a soldier's finish to his career. MacMahon,
too, was there, doing all that a general could do to encourage his
men. The enemy were, however, gradually but surely making way. To
hedge the French within the narrowest compass, the Fifth and Eleventh
Corps of the Third Army had crossed the Meuse to the left of Sedan,
and were marching now to roll up the French left. But before their
attack had been felt, an event had occurred full of significance for
the French army.

Early in the day, while yet the Bavarians were fighting to get
possession of Bazeilles, Marshal MacMahon was so severely wounded that
he had to be carried from the field into Sedan. He made over the
command of the army to General Ducrot. That general had even before
recognized the impossibility of maintaining the position before Sedan
against the superior numbers of the German army, and had seen that the
one chance of saving his army was to fall back on Mezieres. He at
once, then, on assuming command, issued orders to that effect. But it
was already too late. The march by the defile of St. Albert had been
indeed possible at any time during the night or in the very early
morning. But it was now no longer so. The German troops swarmed in the
plains of Donchery, and the route by Carignan could only be gained by
passing over the bodies of a more numerous and still living foe. Still
Ducrot had given the order, and the staff officers did their utmost to
cause it to be obeyed. The crowded streets of Sedan were being
vacated, when suddenly the orders were countermanded. General Wimpffen
had arrived from Paris the previous day to replace the incapable De
Failly in command of the Fifth Corps, carrying in his pocket an order
from the Minister of War to assume the command-in-chief in the event
of any accident to MacMahon. The emperor had no voice in the matter,
for, while the regency of the empress existed, he no longer
represented the government. The two generals met, and, after a
somewhat lively discussion, Ducrot was forced to acknowledge the
authority of the minister. Wimpffen then assumed command. His first
act was to countermand the order to retreat on Mezieres, and to direct
the troops to reassume the positions they had occupied when MacMahon
had been wounded. This order was carried out as far as was possible.

Meanwhile the Germans were pressing more and more those positions.
About midday the Guards, having made their way step by step, each one
bravely contested, gave their hand to the left wing of the Third Army.
Then Illy and Floing, which had been defended with extraordinary
tenacity, as the keys of the advanced French position, were stormed.
The conquest of those heights completed the investment of Sedan. There
was now no possible egress for the French. Their soldiers retreated
into the town and the suburbs, while five hundred German guns hurled
their missiles, their round shot and their shells, against the walls
and the crowded masses behind them.

Vainly then did Wimpffen direct an assembly in mass of his men to
break through the serried columns of the enemy. In the disordered
state of the French army the thing was impossible. The emperor, who
had courted death in vain, recognized the truth, and, desirous to
spare the sacrifice of life produced by the continued cannonade,
ordered, on his own responsibility, the hoisting of a white flag on
the highest point of the defences, as a signal of surrender. But the
firing still continued, and Wimpffen, still bent on breaking through,
would not hear of surrender. Then Napoleon despatched his chief
aide-de-camp, General Keille, with a letter to the king of Prussia.

King William early that day had taken his stand on an eminence which
commanded an extensive view and which rises a little south of Frenois.
There, his staff about him, he watched the progress of the fight.
Toward this eminence Reille rode. Walking his horse up the steep, he
dismounted, and raising his cap presented the letter. King William,
breaking the imperial seal, read these phrases, which, if somewhat
dramatic, are striking in their brevity:[3]

"MONSIEUR MON FRÈRE--N'ayant pu mourir au milieu
de mes troupes, il ne me reste qu' à remettre mon epée entre
les mains de Votre Majeste.

"Je suis de Votre Majeste,
"le bon Frere,

"NAPOLÉON.

"Sédan, le 1er Septembre, 1870."

"Only one half hour earlier," writes Mr. George Hooper in his
"Campaign of Sedan," "had the information been brought that the
emperor was in Sedan." Mr. Hooper adds:

"The king conferred with his son, who had been hastily summoned, and
with others of his trusty servants, all deeply moved by complex
emotions at the grandeur of their victory. What should be done? The
emperor spoke for himself only, and his surrender would not settle the
great issue. It was necessary to obtain something definite, and the
result of a short conference was that Count Hatzfeldt, instructed by
the chancellor, retired to draft a reply. 'After some minutes he
brought it,' writes Dr. Busch, 'and the king wrote it out, sitting on
one chair, while the seat of a second was held up by Major von Alten,
who knelt on one knee and supported the chair on the other.' The
king's letter, brief and business-like, began and ended with the
customary royal forms, and ran as follows:

"'Regretting the circumstances in which we meet, I accept your
Majesty's sword, and beg that you will be good enough to name an
officer furnished with full powers to treat for the capitulation of
the army which has fought so bravely under your orders. On my side I
have designated General von Moltke for that purpose.'

"General Reille returned to his master, and as he rode down the hill
the astounding purport of his visit flew from lip to lip through the
exulting army which now hoped that, after this colossal success, the
days of ceaseless marching and fighting would soon end. As a contrast
to this natural outburst of joy and hope we may note the provident
Moltke, who was always resolved to 'mak siker.' His general order,
issued at once, suspending hostilities during the night, declared that
they would begin again in the morning should the negotiations produce
no result. In that case, he said, the signal for battle would be the
reopening of fire by the batteries on the heights east of Frenois.

"The signal was not given. Late on the evening of September 1st a
momentous session was held in Donchery, the little town which commands
a bridge over the Meuse below Sedan. On one side of a square table
covered with red baize sat General von Moltke, having on his right
hand the quartermaster-general Von Podbielski, according to one
account, and Von Blumenthal according to another, and behind them
several officers, while Count von Nostitz stood near the hearth to
take notes. Opposite to Von Moltke sat De Wimpffen alone; while in
rear, 'almost in the shade,' were General Faure, Count Castelnau, and
other Frenchmen, among whom was a cuirassier, Captain d'Orcet, who had
observant eyes and a retentive memory. Then there ensued a brief
silence, for Von Moltke looked straight before him and said nothing,
while De Wimpffen, oppressed by the number present, hesitated to
engage in a debate 'with the two men admitted to be the most capable
of our age, each in his kind.' But he soon plucked up courage, and
frankly accepted the conditions of the combat. What terms, he asked,
would the king of Prussia grant to a valiant army which, could he have
had his will, would have continued to fight? 'They are very simple,'
answered Von Moltke. 'The entire army, with arms and baggage, must
surrender as prisoners of war.' 'Very hard,' replied the Frenchman.
'We merit better treatment. Could you not be satisfied with the
fortress and the artillery, and allow the army to retire with arms,
flags and baggage, on condition of serving no more against Germany
during the war?' No. 'Moltke,' said Bismarck, recounting the
interview, 'coldly persisted in his demand,' or as the attentive
d'Orcet puts it, 'Von Moltke was pitiless.' Then De Wimpffen tried to
soften his grim adversary by painting his own position. He had just
come from the depths of the African desert; he had an irreproachable
military reputation; he had taken command in the midst of a battle,
and found himself obliged to set his name to a disastrous
capitulation. 'Can you not,' he said, 'sympathize with an officer in
such a plight, and soften, for me, the bitterness of my situation by
granting more honorable conditions?' He painted in moving terms his
own sad case, and described what he might have done; but seeing that
his personal pleadings were unheeded, he took a tone of defiance, less
likely to prevail. 'If you will not give better terms,' he went on, 'I
shall appeal to the honor of the army, and break out, or, at least,
defend Sedan.' Then the German general struck in with emphasis, 'I
regret that I cannot do what you ask,' he said; 'but as to making a
sortie, that is just as impossible as the defence of Sedan. You have
some excellent troops, but the greater part of your infantry is
demoralized. To-day, during the battle, we captured more than twenty
thousand unwounded prisoners. You have only eighty thousand men left.
My troops and guns around the town would smash yours before they could
make a movement; and as to defending Sedan, you have not provisions
for eight-and-forty hours, nor ammunition which would suffice for that
period.' Then, says De Wimpffen, he entered into details respecting
our situation, which, 'unfortunately, were too true,' and he offered
to permit an officer to verify his statements, an offer which the
Frenchman did not then accept.

"Beaten off the military ground, De Wimpffen sought refuge in
politics. 'It is your interest, from a political standpoint, to grant
us honorable conditions,' he said. 'France is generous and chivalric,
responsive to generosity, and grateful for consideration. A peace,
based on conditions which would flatter the amour-propre of the army,
and diminish the bitterness of defeat, would be durable; whereas
rigorous measures would awaken bad passions, and, perhaps, bring on an
endless war between France and Prussia.' The new ground broken called
up Bismarck, 'because the matter seemed to belong to my province,' he
observed when telling the story; and he was very outspoken as usual.
'I said to him that we might build on the gratitude of a prince, but
certainly not on the gratitude of a people--least of all on the
gratitude of the French. That in France neither institutions nor
circumstances were enduring; that governments and dynasties were
constantly changing, and the one need not carry out what the other had
bound itself to do. That if the emperor had been firm on his throne,
his gratitude for our granting good conditions might have been counted
upon; but as things stood it would be folly if we did not make full
use of our success. That the French were a nation full of envy and
jealousy, that they had been much mortified by our success at
Koniggratz, and could not forgive it, though it in nowise damaged
them. How, then, should any magnanimity on our side move them not to
bear us a grudge for Sedan.' This Wimpffen would not admit. 'France,'
he said, 'had much changed latterly; it had learned under the empire
to think more of the interests of peace than of the glory of war.
France was ready to proclaim the fraternity of nations;' and more of
the same kind. Captain d'Orcet reports that, in addition, Bismarck
denied that France had changed, and that to curb her mania for glory,
to punish her pride, her aggressive and ambitious character, it was
imperative that there should be a glacis between France and Germany.
'We must have territory, fortresses and frontiers which will shelter
us forever from an attack on her part.' Further remonstrances from De
Wimpffen only drew down fresh showers of rough speech very trying to
bear, and when Bismarck said, 'We cannot change our conditions,' De
Wimpffen exclaimed, 'Very well; it is equally impossible for me to
sign such a capitulation, and we shall renew the battle.'

"Here Count Castelnau interposed meekly to say, on behalf of the
emperor, that he had surrendered, personally, in the hope that his
self-sacrifice would induce the king to grant the army honorable
terms. 'Is that all?' Bismarck inquired. 'Yes,' said the Frenchman.
'But what is the sword surrendered,' asked the chancellor; 'is it his
own sword, or the sword of France?' 'It is only the sword of the
emperor,' was Castelnau's reply. 'Well, there is no use talking about
other conditions,' said Von Moltke, sharply, while a look of
contentment and gratification passed over his face, according to
Bismarck; one 'almost joyful,' writes the keen Captain d'Orcet. 'After
the last words of Von Moltke,' he continues, 'De Wimpffen exclaimed,
"We shall renew the battle." "The truce," retorted the German general,
"expires to-morrow morning at four o'clock. At four, precisely, I
shall open fire." We were all standing. After Von Moltke's words no
one spoke a syllable. The silence was icy.' But then Bismarck
intervened to soothe excited feelings, and called on his soldier-
comrade to show, once more, how impossible resistance had become. The
group sat down again at the red baize-covered table, and Von Moltke
began his demonstration afresh. 'Ah,' said De Wimpffen, 'your
positions are not so strong as you would have us believe them to be.'
'You do not know the topography of the country about Sedan,' was Von
Moltke's true and crushing answer. 'Here is a bizarre detail which
illustrates the presumptuous and inconsequent character of your
people,' he went on, now thoroughly aroused. 'When the war began you
supplied your officers with maps of Germany at a time when they could
not study the geography of their own country for want of French maps.
I tell you that our positions are not only very strong, they are
inexpugnable.' It was then that De Wimpffen, unable to reply, wished
to accept the offer made but not accepted at an earlier period, and to
send an officer to verify these assertions. 'You will send nobody,'
exclaimed the iron general. 'It is useless, and you can believe my
word. Besides, you have not long to reflect. It is now midnight; the
truce ends at four o'clock, and I will grant no delay.' Driven to his
last ditch, De Wimpffen pleaded that he must consult his fellow-
generals, and he could not obtain their opinions by four o'clock. Once
more the diplomatic peacemaker intervened, and Von Moltke agreed to
fix the final limit at nine. 'He gave way at last,' says Bismarck,
'when I showed him that it could do no harm.' The conference so
dramatic broke up, and each one went his way; but, says the German
official narrative, 'as it was not doubtful that the hostile army,
completely beaten and nearly surrounded, would be obliged to submit to
the clauses already indicated, the great headquarter staff was
occupied, that very night, in drawing up the text of the
capitulation,' a significant and practical comment, showing what stuff
there was behind the severe language which, at the midnight meeting,
fell from the Chief of that able and sleepless body of chosen men.

"From this conference General de Wimpffen went straight to the wearied
emperor, who had gone to bed. But he received his visitor, who told
him that the proposed conditions were hard, and that the sole chance
of mitigation lay in the efforts of his Majesty. 'General,' said the
emperor, 'I shall start at five o'clock for the German headquarters,
and I shall see whether the king will be more favorable;' for he seems
to have become possessed of an idea that King William would personally
treat with him. The emperor kept his word. Believing that he would be
permitted to return to Sedan, he drove forth without bidding farewell
to any of his troops; but, as the drawbridge of Torcy was lowered and
he passed over, the Zouaves on duty shouted 'Vive l'Empereur!' This
cry was 'the last adieu which fell on his ears' as we read in the
narrative given to the world on his behalf. He drove in a droshki
toward Donchery, preceded by General Reille, who, before six o'clock,
awoke Bismarck from his slumbers, and warned him that the emperor
desired to speak with him. 'I went with him directly,' said Bismarck,
in a conversation reported by Busch; 'and got on my horse, all dusty
and dirty as I was, in an old cap and my great waterproof boots, to
ride to Sedan, where I supposed him to be.' But he met him on the
highroad near Frenois, 'sitting in a two-horse carriage.' Beside him
was the Prince de la Moskowa, and on horseback Castelnau and Reille.
'I gave the military salute,' says Bismarck. 'He took his cap off and
the officers did the same; whereupon I took off mine, although it was
contrary to rule. He said, "Couvrez-vous, done." I behaved to him just
as if in St. Cloud, and asked his commands.' Naturally, he wanted to
see the king, but that could not be allowed. Then Bismarck placed his
quarters in Donchery at the emperor's disposal, but he declined the
courtesy, and preferred to rest in a house by the wayside. The cottage
of a Belgian weaver unexpectedly became famous; a one-storied house,
painted yellow, with white shutters and Venetian blinds. He and the
chancellor entered the house, and went up to the first floor where
there was 'a little room with one window. It was the best in the
house, but had only one deal table and two rush-bottomed chairs.' In
that lowly abode they talked together of many things for three-
quarters of an hour, among others about the origin of the war--which,
it seems, neither desired--the emperor asserting, Bismarck reports,
that 'he had been driven into it by the pressure of public opinion,' a
very inadequate representation of the curious incidents which preceded
the fatal decision. But when the emperor began to ask for more
favorable terms, he was told that, on a military question, Von Moltke
alone could speak. On the other hand, Bismarck's request to know who
now had authority to make peace was met by a reference to 'the
Government in Paris'; so that no progress was made. Then 'we must
stand to our demands with regard to the Army of Sedan,' said Bismarck.
General von Moltke was summoned, and 'Napoleon III. demanded that
nothing should be decided before he had seen the king, for he hoped to
obtain from his Majesty some favorable concessions for the army.' The
German official narrative of the war states that the emperor expressed
a wish that the army might be permitted to enter Belgium, but that, of
course, the chief of the staff could not accept the proposal. General
von Moltke forthwith set out for Vendresse, where the king was, to
report progress. He met his Majesty on the road, and there 'the king
fully approved the proposed conditions of capitulation, and declared
that he would not see the emperor until the terms prescribed had been
accepted'; a decision which gratified the chancellor as well as the
chief of the staff. 'I did not wish them to come together,' observed
the count, 'until we had settled the matter of the capitulation';
sparing the feelings of both and leaving the business to the hard
military men.

"The emperor lingered about in the garden of the weaver's cottage; he
seems to have desired fresh air after his unpleasant talk with the
chancellor. Dr. Moritz Busch, who had hurried to the spot, has left a
characteristic description of the emperor. He saw there 'a little
thick-set man,' wearing jauntily a red cap with a gold border, a black
paletôt lined with red, red trousers, and white kid gloves. 'The look
in his light gray eyes was somewhat soft and dreamy, like that of
people who have lived hard. His whole appearance,' says the irreverent
Busch, 'was a little unsoldierlike. The man looked too soft, I might
say too shabby, for the uniform he wore.' While one scene in the
stupendous drama was performed at the weaver's cottage, another was
acted or endured in Sedan, where De Wimpffen had summoned the generals
to consider the terms of capitulation. He has given his own account of
the incident; but the fullest report is supplied by Lebrun. There were
present at this council of war more than thirty generals. With tearful
eyes and a voice broken by sobs, the unhappy and most ill-starred De
Wimpffen described his interview and conflict with Von Moltke and
Bismarck, and its dire result--the army to surrender as prisoners of
war, the officers alone to retain their arms, and by way of mitigating
the rigor of these conditions, full permission to return home would be
given to any officer, provided he would engage in writing and on honor
not to serve again during the war. The generals, save one or two, and
these finally acquiesced, felt that the conditions could not be
refused; but they were indignant at the clause suggesting that the
officers might escape the captivity which would befall their soldiers,
provided they would engage to become mere spectators of the invasion
of their country. In the midst of these mournful deliberations Captain
von Zingler, a messenger from Von Moltke, entered, and the scene
became still more exciting. 'I am instructed,' he said, 'to remind you
how urgent it is that you should come to a decision. At ten o'clock,
precisely, if you have not come to a resolution, the German batteries
will fire on Sedan. It is now nine, and I shall have barely time to
carry your answer to headquarters.' To this sharp summons De Wimpffen
answered that he could not decide until he knew the result of the
interview between the emperor and the king.' 'That interview,' said
the stern captain, 'will not in any way affect the military
operations, which can only he determined by the generals who have full
power to resume or stop the strife.' It was, indeed, as Lebrun
remarked, useless to argue with a captain charged to state a fact; and
at the general's suggestion De Wimpffen agreed to accompany Captain
von Zingler to the German headquarters.

"These were, for the occasion, the Château de Bellevue, where the
emperor himself had been induced to take up his abode, and about
eleven o'clock, in a room under the imperial chamber, De Wimpffen put
his name at the foot of the document drawn up, during the night, by
the German staff. Then he sought out the emperor, and, greatly moved,
told him that 'all was finished.' His majesty, he writes, 'with tears
in his eyes, approached me, pressed my hand, and embraced me,' and 'my
sad and painful duty having been accomplished, I remounted my horse
and road back to Sedan, '"la mort dans l'âme."'

"So soon as the convention was signed, the king arrived, accompanied
by the crown prince. Three years before, as the emperor reminds us in
the writing attributed to him, the king had been his guest in Paris,
where all the sovereigns of Europe had come to behold the marvels of
the famous Exhibition. 'Now,' so runs the lamentation, 'betrayed by
fortune, Napoleon III. had lost all, and had placed in the hands of
his conqueror the sole thing left him--his liberty.' And he goes on to
say, in general terms, that the king deeply sympathized with his
misfortunes, but nevertheless could not grant better conditions to the
army. 'He told the emperor that the castle of Wilhelmshohe had been
selected as his residence; the crown prince then entered and cordially
shook hands with Napoleon; and at the end of a quarter of an hour the
king withdrew. The emperor was permitted to send a telegram in cipher
to the empress, to tell her what had happened, and urge her to
negotiate a peace.' Such is the bald record of this impressive event.
The telegram, which reached the empress at four o'clock on the
afternoon of the 3d, was in these words: 'The army is defeated and
captive; I myself am a prisoner.'

"For one day more the fallen sovereign rested at Bellevue to meditate
on the caprices of fortune or the decrees of fate. But that day, at
the head of a splendid company of princes and generals, King William,
crossing the bridge of Donchery, rode throughout the whole vast extent
of the German lines, to greet his hardy warriors and be greeted by
them on the very scene of their victories. And well they deserved
regal gratitude, for together with their comrades who surrounded Metz,
by dint of long swift marches and steadfast valor, they had overcome
two great armies in thirty days.

"During the battle of Sedan, the Germans lost in killed and wounded
8,924 officers and men. On the other hand, the French lost 3,000
killed, 14,000 wounded, and 21,000 captured in the battle. The number
of prisoners by capitulation was 83,000, while 3,000 were disarmed in
Belgium, and a few hundreds, more or less, made their way by devious
routes near and over the frontier, to Mezières, Rocroi, and other
places in France. In addition, were taken one eagle and two flags, 419
field guns and mitrailleuses, 139 garrison guns, many wagons, muskets,
and horses. On the day after the surrender, the French soldiers,
having stacked their arms in Sedan, marched into the peninsula formed
by the deep loop of the Meuse--'le Camp de Misère' as they called
it--and were sent thence in successive batches, numbered by thousands,
to Germany. Such was the astonishing end of the Army of Chalons, which
had been impelled to its woful doom by the Comte de Palikao and the
Paris politicians."

Here closes the first and most dramatic phase of the war. Thereafter
the enemy was smitten hip and thigh. At once hurry orders were given
to open the line which led from Nancy to Paris. What followed must be
briefly told.

On the 5th of September the king of Prussia entered Rheims. On the 8th
Laon surrendered. On the 15th advanced troops halted within three
hours of the capital of France, making a half circle round its
defences. This investment Ducrot--who had escaped from Sedan--
attempted to prevent. His resources consisted in the Thirteenth Corps
under General Vinoy, and the Fourteenth under General Renault, and
18,000 marines, excellent soldiers, a total of 88,000 regular troops.
He had also in the camps of Vincennes and St. Maur 100,000
Garde-Mobiles, only very imperfectly disciplined; 10,000 volunteers
from the provinces, resolute men, prepared to give their lives for
their country; the National Guard, composed of sixty old and a hundred
and ninety-four new battalions which, with other miscellaneous
volunteers of Paris, numbered perhaps 200,000 men, not, however,
thoroughly to be depended upon. Altogether the defenders numbered
about 400,000, but of these only the 88,000 regular troops and the
10,000 volunteers from the provinces could be reckoned as trustworthy.

Nevertheless, the Third German Army had no difficulty in establishing
itself in a position embracing the southern and southeastern front of
the city, from Sèvres to the Marne; the Fourth Army faced the
northeast and northern front, the cavalry the west front, so far as
the windings of the Seine would permit it. On the 5th of October the
crown prince took up his headquarters at Versailles, those of the king
being at Ferrières, the seat of the Paris Rothschilds. Here took
place, on the 19th October, the famous interview between the French
foreign minister, Jules Favre, and Bismarck, in which the former made
his declaration that France would surrender neither one inch of her
territories nor one stone of her fortresses. The interview remained
without result.

Meanwhile the fortress of Toul had surrendered. Strasburg, after a
siege of six weeks, also surrendered, and, on October 27, Bazaine
handed over Metz and an army consisting of three marshals of France,
6,000 officers, and 173,000 soldiers--an act for which after the
conclusion of the war he was court-martialled, declared guilty of
treason, and sentenced to death and degradation. The then president of
the republic, Marshal MacMahon, commuted the death sentence into one
of imprisonment for twenty years. Confined in the fort of the island
St. Marguerite, near Cannes, Bazaine escaped, and lived in Spain till
his death.

Bazaine's surrender made the Germans masters of one of the strongest
fortresses in Europe, with 800 heavy guns, 102 mitrailleuses, 300,000
Chassepots, and placed at the disposal of the king an entire
blockading army.

It was at this juncture that Gambetta astonished the world. Reaching
Tours in a balloon from Paris, and there assuming the ministry of war,
he became practically dictator of France. Thence he issued a
proclamation to the people of France, urging them to continue their
resistance to the bitter end, and directed that all men, capable of
bearing arms, should lend their hands to the work, and should join the
troops of the line at Tours. In this way he formed an Army of the
North, and an Army of the Loire, and, later, an Army of the East. In
all respects he displayed a fertility of resource which astounded. He
obtained arms, uniforms, munitions, and other necessaries from foreign
countries, especially from England. He bestowed the greatest pains in
selecting as generals of the new levies men who should be real
soldiers. Under his inspiring influence the war in the provinces
assumed a very serious complexion. France had responded nobly to the
call he had made upon her people. Early reverses gave vigor to the new
levies, and they fought with energy against the Bavarians under Von
der Than at Arthenay and Orleans, and against the division of Wittich
at Châteaudun and Chartres. But they were fighting against increasing
odds. Every day brought reinforcements to the Germans.

With the exception of a momentary gleam of success on the Loire,
France met with nothing but disaster. In Paris matters were critical.
Every one of the different sorties made by her defenders had been
repulsed; the hope by which the spirits of her defenders had been
buoyed was vanishing fast: famine was approaching with giant strides;
the strong places outside the circle of her defences were falling one
after another; the fire of the enemy was, by the nearer approach of
their troops, becoming more concentrated and more severe. Peace must
be had. On January 28th, then, there was concluded at Versailles an
armistice for three weeks. Then a national assembly was summoned to
Bordeaux to consider how peace might be restored. In that assembly
Thiers received full administrative powers, including the power of
nominating his own ministers. He himself, with Jules Favre, undertook
the negotiations with Bismarck. To insure the success of those
negotiations the armistice was twice prolonged. This was done at the
instance of Thiers, for the conditions insisted upon by Bismarck were
hard, and the French statesman struggled with all his energies to
induce him to abate his demands. Especially did he strive to save
Metz, or, at least, to receive Luxemburg in compensation.

But his endeavors were fruitless. The utmost that Bismarck would do
was not to insist upon securing the still unconquered Belfort.
Despairing of moving him further, Thiers and Favre gave way on the
24th of February, and signed the preliminaries of peace. They were,
first, the transfer to Germany of the northeast portion of Lorraine,
with Metz and Diedenhofen, and of Alsace, Belfort excepted; second,
the payment to Germany by France of one milliard of francs in 1871,
and four milliards in the three years following; third, the Germans to
begin to evacuate French territory immediately after the ratification
of the treaty; Paris and its forts on the left bank of the Seine and
certain departments at once; the forts on the right bank after the
ratification and the payment of the first half milliard. After the
payment of two milliards the German occupation of the departments
Marne, Ardennes, Upper Marne, Meuae, the Vosges, and Meurthe, and the
fortress of Belfort should cease. Interest at five per cent to be
charged on the milliards remaining unpaid from the date of
ratification; fourth, the German troops remaining in France to make no
requisitions on the departments in which they were located, but to be
fed at the cost of France; fifth, the inhabitants of the sequestered
provinces to be allowed a certain fixed time in which to make their
choice between the two countries; sixth, all prisoners to be at once
restored; seventh, a treaty embodying all these terms to be settled at
Brussels. It was further arranged that the German army should not
occupy Paris, but should content itself with marching through the
city.

Meanwhile, negotiations between the statesmen and governments of
Germany resulted in a proposal to King William that, as head of the
confederation, he should assume the title of German emperor. A
resolution to that effect was passed by the North German Reichstag on
the 9th of December, and a deputation proceeded to the royal
headquarters at Versailles, where, on the 18th of December, the
imperial crown was offered to the brother of the king who had once
refused it. Deeply touched, King William accepted, and in the palace
of Louis XIV., surrounded by a brilliant assembly of princes,
officers, and ministers of state, the venerable monarch was proclaimed
Deutscher Kaiser.

Then at last was the dream of centuries realized. At last was the
empire restored. Not the Holy Roman Empire, not the empire of the
Middle Ages, but the empire as a national state.

Under the leadership of Bismarck, to whom the restoration of the
empire was directly due, the new Reich began its organization as a
united federation. Among its earliest difficulties was an
ecclesiastical contest with the Church of Rome. Known as the
Kulturkampf, this struggle was an effort to vindicate the right of the
state to interfere in the affairs of all German religious societies.
Another difficulty which demanded government interference was the
Judenhetze, or persecution of the Jews, which reached a climax in
1881. A further difficulty was encountered in the quick growth of
socialism. Two attempts on the life of the kaiser were attributed to
it, and a plot being discovered, which had for object the elimination
of the emperor and other German rulers, repressive measures resulted.
Meanwhile an alliance offensive and defensive between Germany and
Austria had been formed, into which Italy subsequently entered.

On March 9, 1888, the Emperor William I. died. His son, Frederick, at
that time suffering from a cancerous affection of the throat, became
kaiser. Three months later he also died, and William II. succeeded
him.

The latter's first step of any importance was to get in front of half
a million bayonets. Coincidently he declared that those bayonets and
he--or rather he and those bayonets--were born for one another.
Incidentally he announced that he was a monarch, specially conceived,
specially created, specially ordained by the Almighty.

The step and the remarks were tantamount to a call to quarters. It
would be dramatic to state that the circumjacent territories trembled,
but it is exact to affirm that there was a war scare at once, one
which by no means diminished when a little later he showed Bismarck
the door.

As already noted, the refounding of the empire was Bismarck's work. To
achieve his purpose he had--to again quote Colonel Malleson--defied
parliaments and people. He had led his master and his country over
abysses, in the traversing of which one false step would have been
fatal. Aided a great deal by the wretched diplomacy of Austria, by the
deterioration of the powers of the French emperor, and by his sublime
audacity, he had compelled to his will all the moral difficulties of
the undertaking. Von Boon and Moltke had done the rest. No longer,
however, was he allowed to put forth his hand to sustain the work
which he had created. For him it had been better to die, like Von
Boon, like Moltke, keeping to the end the confidence of his sovereign,
than to feel himself impelled, dismissed from office, to pour out his
grievances to every passing listener, to speak in terms not far
removed from treason of the sovereign who had declined to be his
pupil. Was it for this, he must have muttered, that I forced on the
war which gave Prussia Schleswig and Holstein in 1864; that I
compelled unwilling Austria to declare war in 1866; that, by the
freest circulation of exaggerated statements, I roused a bitter
feeling in Germany against France, and excited the statesmen, and,
above all, the mob, of Paris in 1870?--for this, that, the work
accomplished, an empire given to the Hohenzollerns, I might be cast
aside like a squeezed-out orange? Well might these be his thoughts,
for it was he who made possible the task of German unity, though in a
manner which will commend itself only to those who argue that the end
justifies the means.

A journalist wrote a pamphlet on the subject. In it he compared the
kaiser to Caligula. For his pains he was sent to jail. He might better
have been sent to school. Caligula was a poet in love with the moon.
The kaiser is a poseur in love with himself. One of Caligula's many
diversions was killing his people. Such slaughter as the kaiser has
effected consists in twenty-five thousand head of game. The career of
Caligula is horrible, yet in the horrible is sometimes the sublime.
The career of the kaiser has been theatrical, and in the theatrical is
always the absurd. The single parallel between the two lies in the
fact that all young emperors stand on a peak so lofty that, do they
look below, vertigo rises, while from above delirium comes. There is
nothing astonishing in that. It would be astonishing were it
otherwise. What does astonish is the equilibrium which the kaiser, in
spite of his words, his threats and actions, has managed to maintain.
Regarded as a firebrand and a menace to the peace of Europe, with the
exception of two big blunders--an invitation to King Humbert to
promenade with him through Strasburg, and the message which he sent to
President Kruger of the Transvaal after the failure of the Jameson
raid--with these exceptions he has exhibited a regard for
international etiquette entirely immaculate, and not always returned.

In recompense for overtures to France he has been snubbed. In
recompense for others to Russia he has been ignored. Neither Austria
nor Italy love him. He has weakened the Triple Alliance, alienated
England, and lost his place. When he ascended the throne Germany's
position on the continent was preponderant. That position is Russia's
to-day.

Had he had the power--which he has always denied--to return to France
the keys of Metz and Strasburg, and had he had the ability--which
others have denied for him--to coalesce with France and Russia he
would have been warlord indeed. As it is, failing in an effort to
realize the dream of Napoleon I., he has at present writing subsided
into a martinet.

What the future holds for Germany and for him the future will tell.
But into the future it is not given to any one, even to an emperor, to
look.

[Footnote 1: G. B. Malleson: The Refounding of the German Empire.]

[Footnote 2: The house is called "A la derniere Cartouche," and is the
subject of De Neuville's splendid painting.]

[Footnote 3: "Not having been able to die in the midst of my troops,
nothing remains for me but to place my sword in the hands of your
Majesty."]

THE END





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