The changes in, and uncertainty about, the Ministry gave great uneasiness to Lord Wellington, whose operations in Spain depended so much on earnest support at home. During the latter part of the autumn and the commencement of winter, whilst his army was in cantonments, he was actively preparing to surprise the French, and make himself master of Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. With much activity, but without bustle, he made his preparations at Almeida. Pretending to be only repairing the damages to its fortifications, he got together there ample stores and a good battering train. He prepared also a portable bridge on trestles, and regulated the commissariat department of his army; he also had a great number of light, yet strong waggons constructed for the conveyance of his provisions and ammunition, to supersede the clumsy and ponderous carts of the Portuguese.
All being ready, on the 6th of January Wellington suddenly pushed forward to Gallegos, and on the 8th invested
Ciudad Rodrigo. Nothing could be more unexpected by Marshal Marmont, who had never suspected any attack in winter, and had placed his army in cantonments, and had, moreover, sent several divisions to distant points. On the very first evening Wellington stormed an external redoubt called the Great Teson, and established his first parallel. On the 13th he also carried the convent of Santa Cruz, and on the 14th that of San Francisco. He then established his second parallel, and planted fresh batteries. On the 19th he made two breaches, and, hearing that Marmont was advancing hastily to the relief of the place, he determined to storm at once, though it would be at a more serious exposure of life. The assault was rapid and successful, but the slaughter on both sides was very severe. A thousand killed and wounded were reckoned on each side, and one thousand seven hundred prisoners were taken by the British. What made the British loss the heavier was that General Mackinnon and many of his brigade were killed by the explosion of a powder magazine on the walls. General Craufurd of the Light Division, was killed, and General Vandeleur, Colonel Colborne, and Major Napier were wounded. Much ammunition and a battering train were found in Ciudad Rodrigo. Marmont was astounded at the fall of the place. The Spanish Cortes, who had been so continually hampering and criticising Wellington, now created him Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo. He was also, in England, advanced to the dignity of an earl, and an annuity of two thousand pounds was voted him by Parliament.
But Wellington was not intending to stop here. He immediately made preparations for the siege of Badajoz. He had artillery sent out to sea from Lisbon, as for some distant expedition, and then secretly carried, in small boats, up the Setubal, to Alcacer do Sal, and thence, by land, across Alemtejo to the Guadiana. On the 16th of March, after a rapid march, he reached, with a strong body of troops, the Guadiana, crossed, and at once invested Badajoz. By the 26th he had carried the Picurina and the advanced work separated from the city by the little river Rivillas, and made two breaches in the city walls. There was the same want of besieging tools and battering trains which had retarded his operations before; but the men worked well, and on the 6th of April, there being three breaches open, orders were given to storm, for Soult was collecting his forces at Seville to raise the siege. One of the breaches had been so strongly barricaded by General Philippon, the governor of Badajoz, by strong planks bristling with iron spikes, and with chevaux-de-frise of bayonets and broken swords, that no effect could be produced on the obstruction; whilst the French, from the ramparts and the houses overlooking them, poured down the most destructive volleys. But the parties at the other two breaches were more successful, and on their drawing away the French from this quarter, the spike-beams and chevaux-de-frise were knocked down, and the British were soon masters of the place. Philippon endeavoured to escape with a number of men, but he was obliged to throw himself into Fort San Christoval, on the other side the Guadiana, where he was compelled to surrender. The loss of the allies was nearly one thousand men killed, including seventy-two officers, and three hundred and six officers and three thousand four hundred and eighty men wounded. The French, though they fought under cover of batteries and houses, lost nearly one thousand five hundred men; they also delivered up upwards of five thousand prisoners of their own nation, and nearly four thousand Spaniards, British, and Portuguese, who had been kept at Badajoz as a safe fortress. The British soldiers fought with their usual undaunted bravery, but they disgraced themselves by getting drunk in the wine cellars during the night of the storming, and committed many excesses. Wellington, who was extremely rigorous in suppressing all such conduct, reduced them to discipline as quickly as possible, and on the 8th Badajoz was completely in his hands. Soult, who was at Villafranca when he received the news, immediately retreated again on Seville, briskly pursued by the British cavalry, who did much execution on his rear-guard at Villagarcia.
Wellington proceeded to put Badajoz into a strong state of defence, but he was soon called off by the movements of Marmont, who, in his absence, had advanced and invested both Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida. Wellington left General Hill to watch the south, which was the more necessary as Soult was in strong force at Seville, and Victor before Cadiz. That general had made a vigorous attack on Tarifa towards the end of December, but was repulsed with much loss by Colonel Skerrett. Hill, who had about twelve thousand men, made a successful attack on some strong forts near Almaraz, on the Tagus, erected by the French to protect their bridge of boats there—thus closing the communication between Soult in the south and Marmont in the north. In these satisfactory circumstances, Wellington broke up his cantonments between the Coa and the Agueda on the 13th of June, and commenced his march into Spain with about forty thousand men. Of these, however, one column consisted of Spaniards, on whom he wisely placed little reliance, and his cavalry was small and indifferently officered in comparison with the infantry. Marmont had as many infantry as himself, and a much more numerous and better disciplined cavalry. As Wellington advanced, too, he learned that General Bonnet, with a force upwards of six thousand strong, was hastening to support Marmont. That general abandoned Salamanca as Wellington approached, and on the 17th the British army entered the city, to the great joy of the people, who, during the three years which the French had held it, had suffered inconceivable miseries and insults; not the least of these was to see the usurper destroy twenty-two of the twenty-five colleges in this famous seat of learning, and thirteen out of twenty-five convents. Troops were left in different forts, both in the city and by the bridge over the river Tormes, which forts had chiefly been constructed out of the materials of the schools and monasteries. These were soon compelled to surrender, but not without heavy loss. Major Bowes and one hundred and twenty men fell in carrying those by the bridge. After different man?uvres, Marmont showed himself on the British right, near San Christoval, where he was met by a division under Sir Thomas Graham, who had beaten the French at Barrosa. Fresh man?uvres then took place: Marmont crossing and recrossing the Douro, and marching along its banks, to cut off Wellington from his forces in Salamanca, and to enable himself to open the way for King Joseph’s troops from Madrid. This being accomplished, and being joined by General Bonnet, he faced the army of Wellington on the Guare?a. On the 20th of July he crossed that river, and there was a rapid movement of both armies, each trying to prevent the other from cutting off the way to Salamanca and Ciudad Rodrigo. On that day both armies were seen marching parallel to each other, and now and then exchanging cannon-shots. The military authorities present there describe the scene of those two rival armies—making a total of ninety thousand men, and each displaying all the splendour and discipline of arms, each general intent on taking the other at some disadvantage—as one of the finest spectacles ever seen in warfare. The next day both generals crossed the river Tormes—Wellington by the bridge in his possession, the French by fords higher up. They were now in front of Salamanca, Marmont still man?uvring to cut off the road to Ciudad Rodrigo. On the morning of the 22nd Marmont, favoured by some woods, gained some advantage in that direction; but Wellington drew up his troops in great strength behind the village of Arapiles, and Marmont extending his left to turn the British right flank, Wellington suddenly made a desperate dash at his line, and cut it in two. Marmont’s left was quickly beaten on the heights that he had occupied, and was driven down them at the point of the bayonet. Marmont was so severely wounded that he was compelled to quit the field, and give up the command to Bonnet; but Bonnet was soon wounded too, and obliged to surrender the command to General Clausel, who had just arrived with reinforcements from “the army of the north,” of which Wellington had had information, and which induced him to give battle before he could bring up all his force. Clausel reformed the line, and made a terrible attack on the British with his artillery; but Wellington charged again, though the fight was up hill; drove the French from their heights with the bayonet once more, and sent them in full rout through the woods towards the Tormes. They were sharply pursued by the infantry, under General Anson, and the cavalry, under Sir Stapleton Cotton, till the night stopped them. But at dawn the same troops again pursued them, supported by more horse; and overtaking the enemy’s rear at La Serna, they drove it in—the cavalry putting spurs to their horses, and leaving the foot to their fate. Three battalions of these were made prisoners. As the French fled, they encountered the main body of Clausel’s army of the north, but these turned and fled too; and on the night of the 23rd the fugitives had reached Flores de Avila, thirty miles from the field of battle. The flight and pursuit were continued all the way from Salamanca to Valladolid.
Lord Wellington did not give the retreating enemy much time for repose; within the week he was approaching Valladolid and Clausel was quitting it in all haste. On the 30th of July Wellington entered that city amid the enthusiastic acclamations of the people. In his haste, Clausel abandoned seventeen pieces of artillery, considerable stores, and eight hundred sick and wounded. The priests were preparing to make grand processions and sing a Te Deum in honour of Wellington’s victories, as they had done at Salamanca; but he was much too intent on following up his blows to stay. He was on his march the very next day. He re-crossed the Douro to advance against King Joseph Buonaparte, who had set out from Madrid to make a junction with Marmont, but on arriving at Arevalo Joseph had learnt with amazement of the French defeat, and diverted his march, with twenty thousand men, on Segovia, in order to reinforce Clausel. Wellington left a division to guard against Clausel’s return from Burgos, whither the latter had fled, and, collecting provisions with difficulty, he marched forward towards Madrid. Joseph fell back as the British advanced. Wellington was at San Ildefonso on the 9th of August, and on the 11th issued from the defiles of the mountains into the plain on which Madrid stands. On the 12th he entered the capital amid the most enthusiastic cheers—Joseph having merely reached his palace to flee out of it again towards Toledo. He had, however, left a garrison in the palace of Buon Retiro; but this surrendered almost as soon as invested, and twenty thousand stand of arms, one hundred and eighty pieces of ordnance, and military stores of various kinds were found in it. These were particularly acceptable; for it can scarcely be credited in what circumstances Wellington had been pursuing his victorious career. We learn this, however, from his dispatch to Lord Bathurst, dated July 28th—that is, very shortly before his arrival at Madrid. After declaring that he was in need of almost everything, he particularises emphatically: “I likewise request your lordship not to forget horses for the cavalry, and money. We are absolutely bankrupt. The troops are now five months in arrears, instead of being one month in advance. The staff have not been paid since February, the muleteers not since July, 1811; and we are in debt in all parts of the country. I am obliged to take the money sent to me by my brother for the Spaniards, in order to give a fortnight’s pay to my own troops, who are really suffering from want of money.”
The news of Wellington’s defeat of Marmont, and his occupation of the capital, caused Soult to call Victor from the blockade of Cadiz; and uniting his forces, he retired into Granada. The French, after destroying their works,—the creation of so much toil and expenditure,—retreated with such precipitation from before Cadiz that they left behind a vast quantity of their stores, several hundred pieces of ordnance—some of which, of extraordinary length, had been cast for this very siege—and thirty gunboats. They were not allowed to retire unmolested. The British and Spanish troops pursued them from Tarifa, harassed them on the march, drove them out of San Lucar, and carried Seville by storm, notwithstanding eight battalions being still there to defend it. The peasantry rushed out from woods and mountains to attack the rear of Soult on his march by Carmona to Granada, and the sufferings of his soldiers were most severe from excessive fatigue, heat, want of food, and these perpetual attacks. General 杭州足疗 Hill meanwhile advanced from the Guadiana against King Joseph, who fell back to Toledo, hoping to keep up a communication with Soult and Suchet, the latter of whom lay on the borders of Valencia and Catalonia. But General Hill soon compelled him to retreat from Toledo, and the British general then occupied that city, Ypez, and Aranjuez, thus placing himself in connection with Lord Wellington, and cutting off the French in the south from all approach to Madrid.
But Wellington had no expectation whatever of maintaining his headquarters at that city. His own army was not sufficient to repel any fresh hordes of French who might be poured down upon him; and as for the Spaniards, they had no force that could be relied upon for a moment. The incurable pride of this people rendered them utterly incapable of learning from their allies, who, with a comparatively small force, were every 杭州spa精油按摩 day showing them what discipline and good command could do. They would not condescend to be taught, nor to serve under a foreigner, though that foreigner was everywhere victorious, and they were everywhere beaten. They continued, as they had been from the first, a ragged, disorderly rabble, always on the point of starvation, and always sure to be dispersed, if not destroyed, whenever they were attacked. Only in guerilla fight did they show any skill, or do any good.
When, therefore, Lord Wellington pondered over matters in Madrid, he looked in vain for anything like a regular Spanish army, after all the lessons which had been given to them. The army of Galicia, commanded by Santocildes, considered the best Spanish force, had been defeated by Clausel, himself in the act of escaping from Wellington. Ballasteros had a certain force under him, but his pride would not allow 杭州哪里有特色足浴 him to co-operate with Lord Wellington, and he was soon afterwards dismissed by the Cortes from his command. O’Donnel had had an army in Murcia, but he, imagining that he could cope with the veteran troops of Suchet, had been most utterly routed, his men flinging away ten thousand muskets as they fled. Moreover, Wellington had been greatly disappointed in his hopes of a reinforcement from Sicily. He had urged on Ministers the great aid which an efficient detachment from the army maintained by us in Sicily might render by landing on the eastern coast of Spain, and clearing the French out of Catalonia, Valencia, and Murcia. This could now be readily complied with, because there was no longer any danger of invasion of Sicily from Naples, Murat being called away to assist in Buonaparte’s campaign in Russia. But the plan found an unexpected opponent in our Commander-in-Chief in Sicily, Lord William Bentinck. Lord William 杭州水磨会所攻略 at first appeared to coincide in the scheme, but soon changed his mind, having conceived an idea of making a descent on the continent of Italy during Murat’s absence. Lord Wellington wrote earnestly to him, showing him that Suchet and Soult must be expelled from the south of Spain, which could be easily effected by a strong force under British command landing in the south-east and co-operating with him from the north, or he must himself again retire to Portugal, being exposed to superior forces from both north and south. The expedition was at length sent, under General Maitland, but such a force as was utterly useless. It did not exceed six thousand men; and such men! They were chiefly a rabble of Sicilian and other foreign vagabonds, who had been induced to enlist, and were, for the most part, undisciplined.
MARSHAL SOULT. (From the Portrait by Rouillard.)
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This armament, with which Sir John Falstaff certainly would not have marched through Coventry, arrived off Tosa, on the coast of Catalonia, 杭州夜生活论坛网 on the 1st of August. The brave Catalans, who had given the French more trouble than all the Spaniards besides, were rejoiced at the idea of a British army coming to aid them in rooting out the French; but Maitland received discouraging information from some Spaniards as to the forces and capabilities of Suchet, and refused to land there. Admiral Sir Edward Pellew and Captain Codrington in vain urged him to land, declaring that the Spaniards with whom he had conferred were traitors. Maitland called a council of war, and it agreed with him in opinion. This was precisely what Lord Wellington had complained of to Lord William Bentinck, who had propagated the most discouraging opinions amongst the officers regarding the service in Spain. He had assured him that a discouraged army was as good as no army whatever. The fleet then, much to the disappointment of the Catalans, conveyed the force to the bay of Alicante, and there landed it on the 9th of August. Suchet, who was lying within sight of that port, immediately retired, and Maitland, so long as he withdrew, marched after him, and occupied the country; but soon hearing that King Joseph was marching to reinforce Suchet, and that Soult was likely to join them, he again evacuated the country, cooped himself up in Alicante, and lay there, of no use whatever as a diversion in favour of Wellington, who was liable at Madrid to be gradually surrounded by a hundred thousand men. Wellington must proceed against one of the French armies, north or south. Had a proper force, with a bold commander, been sent to the south, he could soon have dealt with the northern enemies. A more dubious necessity now lay before him; but it required no long deliberation as to which way he should move. Clausel was expecting reinforcements from France, and he proposed to attack him before they could arrive.
On the 1st of September Wellington marched out of Madrid, and directed his course towards Valladolid, leaving, however, Hill in the city with two divisions. He then proceeded towards Burgos, and, on the way, fell in with the Spanish army of Galicia, commanded by Santocildes, ten thousand in number, but, like all the Spanish troops, destitute of discipline and everything else which constitutes effective soldiers—clothes, food, and proper arms. Clausel quitted Burgos on the approach of Wellington, but left two thousand, under General Dubreton, in the castle. Wellington entered the place on the 19th, and immediately invested the castle. The French stood a desperate siege vigorously, and after various attempts to storm the fort, and only gaining the outworks, the news of the advance of the army of the north, and of that of Soult and King Joseph from the south, compelled the British to abandon the attempt. General Ballasteros had been commanded by the Cortes, at the request of Lord Wellington, to take up a position in La Mancha, which would check the progress of Soult; but that proud and ignorant man neglected to do so, because he was boiling over with anger at the Cortes having appointed Lord Wellington Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish armies. General Hill, therefore, found it prudent to quit Madrid, and fall back on Salamanca; and Lord Wellington, on the 21st of October, raised the siege of the castle of Burgos, and moved to Palencia, to be near to General Hill. At Palencia Lord Dalhousie joined him with a fresh brigade from England; and he continued his retreat to the Douro, pursued briskly by the French, under General Souham. At Tudela Souham halted to wait for Soult, who was approaching.
Wellington did not feel himself secure till he had crossed the Tormes. On his march General Hill came up, and once more taking up his old position on the heights of San Christoval, in front of Salamanca, which he did on the 9th of November, he declared, in his dispatch to the Secretary at War, that he thought he had escaped from the worst military situation that he ever was in, for he could not count at all on the Spanish portion of his army. On the 10th Souham and Soult united their forces, now amounting to seventy-five thousand foot and twelve thousand cavalry; Wellington’s army mustering only forty-five thousand foot and five thousand cavalry. He now expected an immediate attack, and posted his army on the heights of the two Arapiles for the purpose; but the French generals did not think well to fight him, and he continued his retreat through Salamanca, and on to Ciudad Rodrigo, where he established his headquarters, distributing part of his army in their old cantonments between the Agueda and the Coa. This was accomplished before the end of November; and General Hill proceeded into Spanish Estremadura, and entered into cantonments near Coria. The French took up their quarters at some distance in Old Castile.
This retreat had been made under great difficulties; the weather being excessively wet, the rivers swollen, and the roads knee-deep in mud. Provisions were scarce, and the soldiers found great difficulty in cooking the skinny, tough beef that they got, on account of the wet making it hard to kindle fires. The Spaniards, as usual, concealed all the provisions they could, and charged enormously for any that they were compelled to part with. In fact, no enemies could have been treated worse than they treated us all the while that we were doing and suffering so much for them. The soldiers became so enraged that they set at defiance the strict system which Wellington exacted in this respect, and cudgelled the peasantry to compel them to bring out food, and seized it wherever they could find it. In fact, the discipline of the army was fast deteriorating from these causes, and Wellington issued very stern orders to the officers on the subject. Till they reached the Tormes, too, the rear was continually harassed by the French; and Sir Edward Paget, mounting a hill to make observations, was surprised and made prisoner.
As usual, a great cry was raised at the retreat of Wellington. The Spaniards would have had him stand and do battle for them, as foolishly as their own generals did, who, never calculating the fitting time and circumstances, were always being beaten. Amongst the first and loudest to abuse him was Ballasteros, the man who, by his spiteful disregard of orders, had been the chief cause of the necessity to retreat. But it was not the Spaniards only, but many people in England, especially of the Opposition, who raised this ungenerous cry. Wellington alluded to these censures with his wonted calmness in his dispatches. “I am much afraid,” he said, “from what I see in the newspapers, that the public will be much disappointed at the result of the campaign, notwithstanding that it is, in fact, the most successful campaign in all its circumstances, and has produced for the common cause more important results than any campaign in which the British army has been engaged for the last century. We have taken by siege Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, and Salamanca, and the Retiro has surrendered. In the meantime the allies have taken Astorga, Consuegra, and Guadalaxara, besides other places. In the ten months elapsed since January, this army has sent to England little short of twenty thousand prisoners; and they have taken and destroyed, or have themselves retained the use of, the enemy’s arsenals in Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Valladolid, Madrid, Astorga, Seville, the lines before Cadiz, etc.; and, upon the whole, we have taken and destroyed, or we now possess, little short of three thousand pieces of cannon. The siege of Cadiz has been raised, and all the country south of the Tagus has been cleared of the enemy. We should have retained greater advantages, I think, and should have remained in possession of Castile and Madrid during the winter, if I could have taken Burgos, as I ought, early in October, or if Ballasteros had moved upon Alcaraz, as he was ordered, instead of intriguing for his own aggrandisement.”
The interval of repose now obtained continued through the winter, and late into the spring of 1813. It was greatly required by the British army. Lord Wellington stated that the long campaign, commencing in January, had completely tired down man and horse; that they both required thorough rest and good food, and that the discipline of the army, as was always the case after a long campaign, needed restoration; and he set himself about to insure these ends, not only in the troops immediately under his own eye, but in those under Maitland and his successors in the south. He had, even during his own retreat, written to Maitland, encouraging him to have confidence in his men, assuring him that they would repay it by corresponding confidence in themselves. Lord William Bentinck, however, ordered Maitland to return to Sicily with his army in October; Lord Wellington decidedly forbade it. Maitland therefore resigned, and was succeeded by General Clinton, who found himself completely thwarted in his movements by the governor of Alicante, who treated the allies much more like enemies, and would not allow the British to have possession of a single gate of the town, keeping them more like prisoners than free agents. At the beginning of December a fresh reinforcement of four thousand men, under General Campbell, arrived from Sicily, and Campbell took the chief command; but he did not venture to take any decisive movement against the French, but waited for Lord William Bentinck himself, who now determined to come over, but did not arrive till July, 1813. Whilst Campbell remained inactive from this cause, his motley foreign troops continued to desert, and many of them went and enlisted with Suchet.
CHAPTER II. THE REIGN OF GEORGE III. (continued).
Rancour of the Americans towards England—Their Admiration of Napoleon—The Right of Search and consequent Disputes—Madison’s warlike Declaration—Opposition in Congress—Condition of Canada—Capture of Michilimachimac—An Armistice—Repulse of the Invasion of Canada—Naval Engagements—Napoleon and the Czar determine on War—Attempts to dissuade Napoleon—Unpreparedness of Russia—Bernadotte’s Advice to Alexander—Rashness of Napoleon—Policy of Prussia, Austria and Turkey—Overtures to England and Russia—Napoleon goes to the Front—His extravagant Language—The War begins—Disillusion of the Poles—Difficulties of the Advance—Bagration and Barclay de Tolly—Napoleon pushes on—Capture of Smolensk—Battle of Borodino—The Russians evacuate Moscow—Buonaparte occupies the City—Conflagrations burst out—Desperate Position of Affairs—Murat and Kutusoff—Defeat of Murat—The Retreat begins—Its Horrors—Caution of Kutusoff—Passage of the Beresina—Napoleon leaves the Army—His Arrival in Paris—Results of the Campaign—England’s Support of Russia—Close of 1812—Wellington’s improved Prospects—He advances against Joseph Buonaparte—Battle of Vittoria—Retreat of the French—Soult is sent against Wellington—The Battle of the Pyrenees—The Storming of San Sebastian—Wellington forbids Plundering—He goes into Winter-quarters—Campaign in the south-east of Spain—Napoleon’s Efforts to renew the Campaign—Desertion of Murat and Bernadotte—Alliance between Prussia and Russia—Austrian Mediation fails—Early Successes of the Allies—Battle of Lützen—Napoleon’s false Account of the Battle—Occupation of Hamburg by Davoust—Battle of Bautzen—Armistice of Pleisswitz—Failure of the Negotiations—The Fortification of Dresden—Successive Defeats of the French by the Allies—The Aid of England—Battle of Leipsic—Retreat of the French across the Rhine—The French Yoke is thrown off—Castlereagh summons England to fresh Exertions—Liberation of the Pope—Failure of Buonaparte’s Attempt to restore Ferdinand—Wellington’s Remonstrance with the British Ministry—Battles of Orthez and Toulouse—Termination of the Campaign—Exhaustion of France—The Allies on the Frontier—Napoleon’s final Efforts—The Congress of Chàtillon—The Allies advance on Paris—Surrender of the Capital—A Provisional Government appointed—Napoleon abdicates in favour of his Son—His unconditional Abdication—Return of the Bourbons—Insecurity of their Power—Treaty of Paris—Bad Terms to England—Visit of the Monarchs to London.
From skirmishing at sea the British had now come to direct war with the people of North America. From the period of the American colonists obtaining their independence of Great Britain, they retained a peculiar animus against the mother country. In the war by which that independence was achieved by the aid of France, Holland, and Spain, which all combined to attack Britain on sea and land, the Americans displayed no traces of the magnanimity that usually accompanies bravery. They resorted to many dishonourable practices, amongst which was the breach of contract in retaining prisoners from the army of General Burgoyne. The same spirit continued to animate them afterwards. It was natural to suppose that their success would have the usual effect of making them forget enmity when the cause of it was gone by; but this was not the case. In all contests of Great Britain with revolutionary France, they rejoiced over any disasters which befel her, and were silent in the hour of her victories. Though they were bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, and our population was pouring over to swell their numbers, they displayed towards us a hostility that no other nation, France excepted, had ever shown.
But it was not to Great Britain only that this want of generosity was shown. No people rejoiced more vehemently than they did—none, indeed, so much—over the fall and execution of Louis XVI. of France, the one monarch of Europe who had been their chief benefactor, without whose powerful aid they would have fought and struggled in vain, and who had, in fact, lost his crown and his head, and his empire to his family, by sending his soldiers to learn Republicanism amongst them. There were feasts and public rejoicings in the United States to commemorate the death of Louis, who was, in fact, the martyr of America. What was equally extraordinary, whilst they exulted in the French Republic, they followed with an equal admiration the career of Buonaparte, who crushed that Republic, and raised up a despotism opposed in its principles to all the political professions of Americans. But it was the idea that he was born to humble and, perhaps, blot out Great Britain from the list of nations, which served to render Napoleon so especially the object of their unbounded eulogies. His victories were celebrated nowhere so vociferously as in the United States, through the press, the pulpit, and in general oratory. With them he was the Man of Destiny, who was to overthrow all kings but himself, and drive Great Britain from her dominion of the seas.
VIEW OF WASHINGTON FROM ARLINGTON HEIGHTS.
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During the Republic of France, and in the worst times of Robespierre, the French had their Minister, M. Genet, in the United States, who excited the democrats to acts of hostility against Great Britain, and gave them French authority to seize and make prizes of British vessels at sea, though they were nominally at peace with England. And though Washington, then President, protested against these proceedings, the main body of the people were against him, and were supported in that spirit by Jefferson, who was Secretary of State. When Jefferson became President, in 1801, and Madison his Secretary of State, the hatred to Great Britain was carried to its extreme, and the friendship of Buonaparte was cultivated with the utmost zeal. When Jefferson was a second time President, in 1807, he violently resisted our right of search of neutral vessels, thus playing into the hands of Buonaparte and his Berlin Decree, in the hope of carrying on a large trade with the European Continent at our expense. Out of this arose the affair of the Leopard and the Chesapeake off the capes of Virginia, in which the Chesapeake, refusing to allow a search for British deserters, was attacked and taken. This put the whole of the democracy of America into a raging fury, though the boarding of the United States war-sloop, the Hornet, in the French port of L’Orient, for the same purpose, was passed over without a murmur. To prevent such collisions, Canning, on the part of the British Government, issued orders that search of war-ships should be discontinued. This, however, did not prevent Jefferson from making proclamations prohibiting British men-of-war from entering or remaining in American ports; and the utmost indignities were offered to all the officers and crews of our men-of-war who happened to be lying in American harbours. Moreover, Jefferson issued, in December, 1807, an embargo against all American vessels quitting their own ports, because if at sea they did not submit to be searched to ascertain whether they were carrying goods to French ports, they were treated as hostile by Great Britain, were attacked and seized. This was in retaliation of Buonaparte’s Berlin Decree, and made necessary by it. On the other hand, Buonaparte seized any American or other vessel entering into any port of Europe under the power of France, which had submitted to search. To prevent this certain seizure of trading vessels, the embargo was issued, and all merchant vessels of all nations were prohibited from entering American ports. A more suicidal act than this could not be conceived, and the people of the United States soon complained loudly of the consequences. In 1809, Madison succeeding Jefferson in the Presidency, and Buonaparte having now rendered matters worse by his Milan Decree, besides his Berlin one, Madison abolished the general embargo with all nations except France and Great Britain, and declared this, too, at an end, whenever either or both of these nations withdrew—the one its Decrees and the other its Orders in Council. But in 1810 Madison declared that France had withdrawn its Decrees so far as America was concerned; though this was notoriously untrue. Numbers of American vessels continued to be seized in French ports, though the United States Government dared not complain, nor did they ever recover any compensation from Napoleon; it was from Louis Philippe that they first obtained such compensation, and, curiously enough, through the friendly intervention of Great Britain.
The British Government had done all in its power, except annuling the Orders in Council, to produce a better tone of feeling in America. It put up with many insults and violations of neutrality. It sent Mr. Foster as envoy to the United States to endeavour to adjust all differences; but in vain. This continued so till 1812, when, on the 20th of May, Mr. Russell, the American chargé-d’affaires, presented Lord Castlereagh with a copy of an instrument by which France had, on the 28th of April, abrogated its Berlin and Milan Decrees so far as they related to American vessels. To show an equal liberality, Great Britain, on the 23rd of June, revoked its Orders in Council so far as concerned America, on condition that the United States also revoked its non-Intercourse Act. But this had no effect on the Government of America, which had already concluded a secret treaty with France, and was making every preparation for the invasion of our Canadian colonies. The Americans had the most profound idea of the stability of Buonaparte, and could not conceive that the expedition that he was now preparing against Russia would prove his overthrow. But they expected that Buonaparte would crush Russia altogether, and would rule unopposed over Europe; that the Government of Great Britain was bankrupt, and that they might assail her with impunity. Accordingly, all activity was used in getting ready all kinds of ships to send out as privateers, calculating on a plentiful spoil of British traders in the waters along the American coast and amongst the West Indian Isles, before they could be put upon their guard. At the same time, on the 14th of April they laid an embargo on all American vessels, so as to keep them at home; and on the 18th of June the President announced to Congress that the United States and Great Britain were in an actual state of war. There was a studied ambiguity in this declaration; it did not candidly take the initiative, and assert that the United States declared war against Great Britain, but said that the two countries were, somehow or other, already in a state of war.