Puslapio vaizdai

gress, and that he would notify England to send a plenipotentiary. There, however, the matter ended, and Metternich's record of those Frankfort days scarcely notices the subject, so interested is he in the squabbles of the sovereigns over the opening of a new campaign. It was the end of the year when they reached an agreement.


WHAT happened in France between the first days of November, 1813, when Napoleon reached St. Cloud, and the close of the year, is so incredible that it scarcely seems to belong in the pages of sober history. Of 575,000 Frenchmen, strictly excluding Germans and Poles, who had been sent to war during 1813 and 1814, about 300,000 were prisoners or shut up in distant garrisons, and 175,000 were dead or missing; 100,000 therefore remained. By various decrees of the Emperor and the Senate, 936,000 more were called to arms: 160,000 from the classes between 1804 and 1814, whether they had once served or not; 160,000 from the class of 1815; 176,500 were to be enrolled in the regular national guard, and 140,000 in a home guard, and in a comprehensive sweep of 300,000 from all the classes between 1804 and 1814 inclusive, every possible man was to be drawn. This would seem to mean that every male capable of bearing arms was to be taken; but contrary to the general impression, population had been and was steadily increasing in spite of all the butcheries of foreign and civil wars, and the country could probably have furnished three times the number called out. Less than a third of the 936,000 were ever organized, and not more than an eighth of them fought. This was due partly to official incapacity or worse, partly to popular resistance. It speaks volumes for the state of the country that even the hated flying columns, with their thorough procedure, could not find the men, especially the fathers, husbands, and only sons, who were the solitary supports of many families. The fields were tilled by women and children digging, for there were neither horses to draw nor men to hold the plows. Government pawnshops were gorged, and the government storehouses were bursting with manufactured wares for which there was no market; government securities were worth less than half their face, the currency had disappeared, and usury was rampant. Yet four fifths of the people associated none of these miseries with Napoleonic empire.

The other fifth was, however, thoroughly aroused. When the legislature convened on

December 19, and the diplomatic correspondence was so presented as to make the allies appear implacable, an address to the throne was passed by a large majority, which virtually called for a return to constitutional government as the price of additional war supplies. Napoleon made no attempt to conceal his rage, and prorogued the chamber in scorn. It was widely felt that at such a moment there was no time for parleying about rights; but every cavilling deputy had friends at home, and even in a crisis where national identity was jeopardized there were republican agitations. The royalists kept silent then, and for months later, contenting themselves with biting innuendoes or witty double meanings; drinking, for instance, to the Emperor's last victory,» when the newspapers announced «the last victory of the Emperor.» In order to arm and equip the men raised by conscription, Napoleon had recourse to his private treasure, drawing 55,000,000 francs from the vaults of the Tuileries for that purpose. The remaining ten were transferred at intervals to Blois. But all his treasure could not buy what did not exist. The best military stores were in the heart of Europe; the French arsenals could afford only antiquated and almost useless supplies. The recruits were armed sometimes with shot-guns and knives, sometimes with old muskets the use of which they did not know; they wore for the most part bonnets, blouses, and sabots. There were not half enough horses for the scanty artillery and cavalry. Worse than all, there was no time for instruction in the manual and tactics. On one occasion a boy conscript was found standing inactive under a fierce musketry fire; with artless intrepidity he remarked that he believed he could aim as well as anybody if he only knew how to load his gun!

The disaffected, though few, were powerful and active, suborning the prefects and civic authorities by every device, issuing proclamations which promised anything and everything, and procuring plans of fortified places for the allies. Talleyrand began to utter oracular innuendoes about the vindictiveness of the allies, the desertion of Murat, the sack of Paris, and various half truths more dangerous even than lies. The air was so full of rumors that, although there was no wide-spread revolutionary movement, there were now and then serious panics; the town of Chaumont surrendered to a solitary Würtemberg horseman. But when the populace began to wonder who the coming Bourbon might be, and what he would take back from the present possessors of royal and ecclesiasti

cal estates, they were staggered, and heard with some satisfaction the strains of the «Marsellaise, which by order of imperial agents were once again ground out around the city streets by the hand-organs. Napoleon walked the avenues of Paris without escort, and was wildly cheered; the Empress and her little son were produced on public occasions with dramatic success, and popular wit dubbed the boy conscripts by the name of «Marie Louises.»



most important prisoners, the King of Spain and the Pope. Wellington thought that if Ferdinand had been despatched directly into his kingdom on December 8, the day on which the conditions between himself and Napoleon were signed, England would have found the further conduct of the war impossible. Talleyrand, already deep in royalist plots, must have been of the same opinion, for he craftily suggested to his prisoner that the provisional

government of Spain

might refuse to accept him as king unless the treaty of release had been previously ratified by the Cortes. Accordingly, it was referred to them, and, since the liberals desired the assent of a king not under duress to their new constitution, by their influence it was rejected. It was not until March, 1814, that Ferdinand was unconditionally released, and this delay proved fatal to Napoleon's interests in Spain. The liberals could no longer fight for free institutions, because it was then clear that the dynastic conservatism of Europe was to win a temporary victory. In about six months King Ferdinand undid the progressive work of six years, and Spain relapsed into absolutism and ecclesiasticism, with all their attendant evils. Nevertheless, France interpreted the conduct of the Emperor as indicating an earnest desire for peace, and this feeling was strengthened by the absolutely unconditional release of the Pope on January 22. This apparently gracious concession was effective among the masses, who did not know, as the Emperor did, that the allies were already on French soil.



The little men showed sublime courage, but they never could acquire the veteran steadfastness which wins battles. Journals, theaters, music, and dance-halls were all managed in the interest of imperial patriotism; imperial tyranny dealt ruthlessly with suspicious characters. Yet the imperialists had their doubts, and many, like Savary, threw an anchor to windward by storing treasure in distant points, and sending their families to safe retreats. On the whole, the balance of public opinion at the opening of 1814 was overwhelmingly imperialist both in the cities and in the country. Men ardently desired peace, but they wanted it with honor and under the Empire.

That the Empire desired peace seemed to be proved by steps for the release of its two

Next day Napoleon performed his last official act, which was one of great courage both physical and moral. The national guard in Paris had been reorganized, but its officers had never been thoroughly loyal to the Empire, many of them being royalists, and some radical republicans. Their disaffection had been heightened by recent events, but they were nevertheless summoned to the Tuileries; the risk was doubled by the fact that they

VOL. LII.-69.

came armed. Drawn up in the great chamber known as that of the marshals, they stood expectant; the great doors were thrown open, and there entered the Emperor, accompanied only by his consort and their child in the arms of his governess, Mme. de Montesquiou. Napoleon announced simply that he was about to put himself at the head of his army, hoping, by the aid of God and the valor of his troops, to drive the enemy beyond the frontiers. There was silence. Then taking in one hand that of the Empress, and leading forward his child by the other, he continued, "I intrust the Empress and the King of Rome to the courage of the national guard.» Still silence. After a moment, with suppressed emotion, he concluded, « My wife and my son.» No generous-hearted Frenchman could withstand such an appeal; breaking ranks by a spontaneous impulse, the officers started forward in a mass, and shook the very walls with their cry, «Long live the Emperor!» Many shed tears as they withdrew in respectful silence, and that night, on the eve of his departure, the Emperor received a numerously signed address from the very men whose loyalty he had hitherto had just reason to suspect.

During the long winter nights Napoleon had wrought with an intensity and feverish activity which he had never surpassed, sparing neither himself nor others, displaying no consideration for prejudice or honest opposition, calling on every Frenchman to sacrifice everything for France, to which, as he vehemently asserted, he himself was more necessary than she to him. If he had come honestly to believe what millions of others believed, it was little wonder; he had thenceforth but one aim-to prove that he was the only general able to save the country in an hour when all her glories were falling in wreck about her. His strategic plan, immense and intricate as was the task, was complete and excellent. The Rhine bank was divided into three parts for defense. Macdonald was stationed at Cologne to protect the lower course; Marmont was to guard the central stretch, and they two divided between them the remnants of the army which had been swept out of Germany; Victor was stationed on the upper course to command the garrisons of the great frontier fortifications and strengthen himself by the new levies; Bertrand remained as a sort of rear post on the right bank at Kastel opposite Mainz. All told, they had at first only 50,000 men. The allies, having far outdone Napoleon's wildest exactions from the countries of the Rhenish Confederation, and having de

manded new subsidies from Great Britain, had ready by January 1 about 285,000 men on the banks of the Rhine. By the end of February the army lists of France, excluding the national guards, displayed a total of 650,000 men; the coalition, including England, had enregistered nearly a million. Deducting forty per cent. as ample to cover all shortcomings, we may say that France, with 350,000 in the ranks, men and boys, faced Europe with 600,000 men. These figures include the French armies of Catalonia, the Pyrenees, Italy, and the Netherlands, together with the garrisons in all the strong places then held by France on both sides of the Rhine; they also include the Russian, Austrian, and Prussian reserves, with the armies of Holland, Spain, and Italy.

Bernadotte's first care, after the battle of Leipsic, was to move north and secure the long coveted prize of Norway. Ever mindful of the hint about a French crown, which Alexander had thrown out as still another bait at Åbo, he gave the parting advice that the coming campaign should be confined to a frontier invasion of France, and at Hamburg he offered Davout, as the price of surrender, a safe return for himself and army to France. This was too much; Alexander was furious, and the schemer was ordered to the lower Rhine. There he remained in idleness, watching the Netherlands; two of his best corps were assigned to Blücher. In a bulletin published by Napoleon after the retreat from Moscow was an implied censure of Murat for his lack of stability. This both the King of Naples and his spouse bitterly resented, the latter roundly abusing her brother in their correspondence. It was therefore not strange that at Erfurt the dashing and gallant, but weak and testy, monarch decamped. Hastening south, he entered at once into alliance with Austria, and then, putting himself at the head of 80,000 Neapolitans, he set out for Rome, waging a terrific warfare of proclamations. Eugène was virtually checkmated by the defection of his father-in-law, the King of Bavaria, which opened the Tyrol to the allies, and all Italy was consequently lost. Augereau, whose feeble loyalty to Napoleon was already at the vanishing point, had been appointed to take 40,000 conscripts, collect any straggling soldiers he could find in southeastern France, and keep open the door out of Italy for some or all of Eugène's veterans, with whose assistance it was hoped the marshal could form an army for the defense of the Vosges Mountains. But Eugène, having fought the indecisive battle of Roverbello, and finding himself in a sorry plight from

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both the military and political points of view, could send no reinforcements until April, when he did finally conclude an armistice releasing his army. Augereau therefore found himself opposite Bubna at Geneva with an ineffective force, and very little heart to wield what he had. This ended Napoleon's grand scheme for uniting the forces of Italy, Naples, Switzerland, and France.

Prussia was now the ablest as well as the bitterest of Napoleon's foes, Stein, Blücher, Gneisenau, and their friends, aiming at nothing short of annihilating his power. They urged an immediate advance by the best line for invasion, that, namely, from Liège and Brussels, but the Austrians, except Radetzky, held back, fearing Prussia almost equally with France. Having imitated Napoleon in his practice of war requisitions, the allies now determined to imitate him in contempt for international law, and to violate Swiss neutrality. The plan adopted was to throw their main army into France by way of Basel, and thus turn the line of frowning fortresses behind the Rhine, as well as the Vosges Mountains. Blücher was to cross the middle Rhine, and Bülow, with 30,000 men, was to coöperate with the English troops under Graham in the Netherlands. The whole scheme was unmilitary, but it exactly suited Metternich, who, having on January 13 first learned of Bernadotte's understanding with the Czar about the crown of France, was very uneasy. Both he and Schwarzenberg desired to end the war on the frontier if possible; Prussia's power and Alexander's ambitions for European preponderance were far more dangerous to Austria than a Napoleonic empire confined to France. Blücher, leaving 28,000 men before Mainz, crossed the Saar, on January 9, with 47,000. Schwarzenberg, with the main army, 209,000 strong, and arrayed in four columns, crossed the Rhine at or near Basel and moved toward Langres. The thin, straggling French line began to retreat concentrically toward Châlons on the Marne. At the opening of the second stage in the campaign Blücher had invested the Mosel fortresses, and was advancing, with less than 30,000 men, toward Arcis on the Aube; Schwarzenberg was in and about Langres, and the French were concentrated on a line from Vitry-leFrançois to St. Dizier. Napoleon reached Châlons on the 26th, having left Joseph to represent him in Paris. The wily strategist, feeble as was his strength, had momentarily secured the advantage over his unwieldy foe, having wedged himself between the invading armies, and being quite strong

enough, with the 40,000 persons in his ranks, to cope with Blücher.

NAPOLEON'S SUPREME EFFORT. THE year 1814 is the most astonishing of Napoleon's military life. The daring of his conceptions, the rapidity of his movements, the surprises he prepared for his enemy, the support he wrung from an exhausted land, the devotion he received from a panting, illclothed army at bay-all are so uncommon that by contrast the allies appear to be a lumbering, stupid enemy. With another antagonist they would have appeared in a very different light; Gneisenau's clear head, Blücher's daring, Radetzky's good sense and courage, with the forces at their back, would have won the goal far more easily with an ordinary, or even an extraordinary, combatant in Napoleon's plight. The Emperor of the French had not merely a prestige worth 100,000 men, as he was fond of reckoning; he had an activity of mind and body, a reservoir of resources, which made a single sword cover the whole circumference like the whirling spokes of a fiery wheel. After a skirmish for the possession of St. Dizier, the campaign opened at Brienne, where Blücher, hurrying to gain touch with the main army of the allies, was caught on January 29. The conflict began late in the afternoon, and lasted in full fury until midnight, when the Prussian general, narrowly escaping capture, abandoned the town and hurried toward Trannes. Thoroughly beaten, he needed not touch alone, but actual union with the Austrians, and this he gained near Bar on the Aube, whence Schwarzenberg was passing on toward Auxerre. Ignorant of this success, Napoleon now drew up his line with its center at La Rothière, hoping to hold the Aube bridge at Lesmont, and thus secure the moral effect of his victory at Brienne, and also to bring on another engagement with Blücher, whom he believed to be still isolated. Marmont was at Montierender, Mortier was summoned from before Troyes. This stand of Napoleon's was a desperate attempt to overawe the allied sovereigns, for strategically it was fatal, since in any case, victory or defeat, by Schwarzenberg's advance the French army was in danger of being outflanked and cut off from Paris. On February 1, Blücher, reinforced by 12,000 of the Russian guard, attacked. The battle lasted, with fluctuating success for the allies during two days, and at its close Napoleon safely retreated over the Aube to make another stand at Troyes. The various conflicts were terrific; in the end Blü

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