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evacuation. The great eastern capital of messengers were captured, one a courier from France was delivered as a prize to those who Berthier to Macdonald with despatches stathad not earned it. Had Suchet been substi- ing exactly where Napoleon was, the other a tuted for Augereau some weeks earlier the rider with a short note from Napoleon to his course of history might have been diverted. Empress, containing a statement of its writBut although Napoleon had contemplated er's plans. This famous paper was lost, for such a change, he shrank from disgracing an Blücher, after having read it, let the rider old servant, and again, as before Leipsic, dis- go. But the extant German translation is played a kindly spirit destructive to his cause. doubtless accurate. It runs: «My friend, I
The night after his retreat from Arcis have been all day in the saddle. On the 20th Napoleon sent out a reconnaissance to Vitry, I took Arcis on the Aube. The enemy attacked and, finding it garrisoned by Prussians, he at eight in the evening. I beat him, killed swerved toward St. Dizier, which, after a four thousand men, and captured four cannon. smart combat, he entered on the 23d. This On the 21st the enemy engaged in order to placed him midway between the lines of his protect the march of his columns toward enemy's communication both from Strasburg Brienne and Bar on the Aube. I have resolved and from Basel; which of the two, he asked to betake myself to the Marne in order to himself, would Schwarzenberg return to de- draw off the enemy from Paris and to apfend? Thinking only how best to bait his foe, proach my fortifications. I shall be this evenhe set his army in motion northward; the ing in St. Dizier. Adieu, my friend; kiss my anxious Austrian would certainly struggle to boy.) Savary declares that there was a final retain the line in greatest danger. This illu- phrase: «This movement makes or mars me. sion continued, French cavalry scoured the The menace to their lines of communication country, some of the Chatillon diplomats were at first produced consternation in the council captured, and the Emperor of Austria had a of the allies, but a second calmer thought denarrow escape at Bar. It seemed strange that termined them to abandon both, and, opening the country-side as far as Langres was de- a nev one by way of Châlons into the Netherserted, but the fact was apparently explained lands, to make the necessary detour and fall when the news came that the enemy was in on Napoleon's rear. Francis, for the sake of force at Vitry; probably they had abandoned keeping close touch with his own domains, Troyes and had disregarded Brienne for the was to join the Army of the South at Lyons. purpose of diverting him from his purpose. That night a package of letters to Napoleon Alas for the self-deception of a ruined man! from the imperial dignitaries at Paris fell The enemy at Vitry were a body of 8000 into the hands of the invaders. Each and all cavalry from the Silesian army, sent, under the writers expressed a profound desponWinzengerode, to dog Napoleon's heels and dency, Savary in particular asserting that deceive him, as they actually did. Thanks to everything was to be feared should the enemy Marmont's disobedience and bad judgment, approach the capital. Next morning, the 24th, Blücher had opened communications with the junction between Blücher and SchwarzenSchwarzenberg, and both were marching as berg was completed. Francis and Metternich swiftly as possible direct to Paris. Of this having been removed from the military Napoleon remained ignorant until the 28th. council, Schwarzenberg, listening to warlike The Russian cavalry, having left Vitry, were advice, determined to start immediately in on that day moving toward St. Dizier, when pursuit of Napoleon and seek a battle. The Napoleon, believing they formed the head of march was begun, and it seemed as if Napoa powerful hostile column, fell upon them leon's wild scheme was to be completely juswith needless fury, and all too easily put them tified. He had certainly displayed a profound to flight; 2000 were captured, and 500 killed. insight into the character of his foe. From his prisoners the Emperor first gained But Alexander had been steadily hardening a hint of the appalling truth, and the same his purpose to annihilate Napoleon. For a afternoon at Vitry the rumors were confirmed. week past Vitrolles, the well-known royalist Mounting his horse, the unhappy man spurred agent, had been at his headquarters: the back to St. Dizier, and closeted himself in accounts of a steady growth in royalist silent communing with his maps.
strength, the efforts of Napoleon's lifelong The allies had not at first divined Napo- foe, Pozzo di Borgo, and the budget of desleon's purpose. Indeed, their movements in pondent letters from the Paris officials
, compassing the Aube, and the day following, were bined to temper the Czar's mystical humor little better than random efforts to fathom it. into a determination of steel. Accordingly, on But on the morning of the 23d two important the same day he summoned his personal mili
tary advisers, Barclay, Wolkonsky, Diebitsch, other was lost, and they too bivouacked on and Toll; then, pointing out on a map the the evening of the 29th before the gates of various positions of the troops engaged in the the capital. It is a weak curiosity, possibly, campaign, he asked impressively whether it but we must wonder what might have been were best to pursue Napoleon or march on had Marmont, instead of retreating to Fismes Paris. Barclay supported the former alterna- on the 18th, withdrawn to Rheims, where he tive; Diebitsch advised dividing the army and and Mortier could at least have checked doing both; but Toll, with powerful emphasis, Blücher's unauthorized advance, and perhaps declared himself for the second course. The have held the army of Silesia for a time, when Czar listened enthusiastically to what was the moral effect would probably have been to near his own heart, and expressed himself justify Schwarzenberg and confirm his project strongly as favoring it; the others yielded with for the pursuit of Napoleon. In that case, the eagerness of courtiers, and Alexander, moreover, the precious information of Napomounting his horse, spurred after Frederick leon's letter to his consort would not have William and Schwarzenberg. The new plan fallen into his enemies' hands. Would destiny was unfolded, the Prussian king supported it, have paused in its career? Schwarzenberg hesitated, but yielded. That night the orders were issued for an about
THE FALL OF PARIS. face, a long explanatory despatch was sent to Blücher, and on the 25th the combined The pallid, silent Emperor at St. Dizier was armies of Bohemia and Silesia were hurrying closeted with considerations like these. He with measured tramp toward Paris. For the knew of the defeat which forced Marmont and first time there was general enthusiasm in Mortier back on Paris; the loss of the capital their ranks. Blücher, who from his unparal- was imminent; parties were in a dangerous leled ardor had won the name of Marshal state; his marshals were growing more and Forward, was transported with joy. more slack; he had failed in transferring the
The two armies marched on parallel lines, seat of war to Lorraine; the information he and met with no resistance of any importance, daily received was almost certainly colored except as the various skirmishes displayed the by the medium of scheming followers through desperate courage of the irregular French which it came. On the other hand, there was soldiers, both the untried «Marie Louises » a single fact which might counterbalance all coming out from Paris, and various bodies of the rest: the peoples of northern and eastern the national guard convoying provision trains. France were at last aroused in behalf of his It was the 25th before Marmont and Mortier cause. For years all Europe had rung with effected their junction, and then, although outcries against the outrages of Napoleon's about 16,000 strong, they were steadily forced soldiery; the allied armies no sooner became back through Fère Champenoise and Allement invaders in their turn than they began to outtoward Charenton under the very walls of strip their foe in every deed of shame; in parParis. Marmont displayed neither energy nor ticular the savage bands from Russian Asia common sense on the retreat, his outlying indulged their inhuman passions to the full, companies were cut off, and strategic points while the French peasantry, rigid with horror, which might have been held were utterly looked on for the moment in paralysis. Now neglected. The army with which he reached they had begun to rise in mass, and from the Paris on the 29th would have formed an in- 25th to the 28th their volunteer companies valuable nucleus for the formation and in- brought in a thousand prisoners. Besides, all corporation of the numerous volunteers and the chief cities of the district were now in irregular companies which were available, the hands of more or less regular troops; but it was entirely demoralized. Ledru des Dunette was marching from Metz with 4000 Essarts, commander of Meaux, was obliged, men; Broussier, from Strasburg with 5000; on the 27th, to abandon his charge, essential Verdun could furnish 2000, and several other as it seemed to the safety of Paris, because fortresses a like number. Souham was at in his garrison of 6000 men he had not more Nogent with his division, Allix at Auxerre than 800 veterans, hastily collected from Mar- with his; the army at the Emperor's disposal mont's stragglers, while the new conscripts, could easily be reckoned at 70,000. Assisted ill-conditioned and badly commanded, were by the partizan bands which now hung in a overwhelmed with terror at the sight of Blü- passion of hatred on the skirts of the invacher's army. They fought gallantly enough, ders, and by the national uprising now fairly however, on their retreat throughout the under way, could not the Emperor-general 28th, but to no avail; one position after an- hope for another successful stand? He well
knew that the fear of what had happened only 60,000, the combined armies of Suchet, was the specter of his enemy's council-board; Soult, and Augereau at the same number, that they would, he reckoned, be rendered over- of Marmont at 14,000, and the men in the cautious, and give him at least a fortnight in various depots at 16,000, he would have a which to manoeuver before the fa aris total of 150,000, om which he
uld easily could be expected. Counting the men about spare 50,000 to cut off every line of retreat Vitry and the garrison reinforcements at from his foe, and still have left 100,000
a Reims Senlis
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MAP OF THE FIELD OF OPERATIONS IN 1814.