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- History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 - 190/202 -

forced to go for soldiers. At Bruges the French issued an order for 800 men to present themselves. Thirty only came, in consequence of which they rang a bell on the Grand Place, and the inhabitants thinking that it was some ordinance, quitted their houses to hear it, when they were surrounded by the French soldiers, and upwards of 1,000 men secured, gentle and simple, who were all immediately set to work on the canals." Mr. W. Poppleton, Flushing, Sept. 4. Records: Flanders, vol. 227.

[39] Malmesbury, ii. 125. Von Sybel, iii. 168. Grenville made Coburg's dismissal a _sine qua non_ of the continuance of English co-operation. Instructions to Lord Spencer, July 19, 1794. Records: Austria, 36. But for the Austrian complaints against the English, see Vivenot, Clerfayt, p. 50.

[40] Schlosser, xv. 203: borne out by the Narrative of an Officer, printed in Annual Register, 1795, p. 143.

[41] Vivenot, Herzog Albrecht, iii. 59, 512. Martens, Recueil des Traités, vi. 45, 52. Hardenberg, i. 287. Vivenot, Clerfayt, p. 32. "Le Roi de Prusse," wrote the Empress Catherine, "est une méchante bête et un grand cochon." Prussia made no attempt to deliver the unhappy son of Louis XVI. from his captivity.

[42] The British Government had formed the most sanguine estimate of the strength of the Royalist movement in France. "I cannot let your servant return without troubling you with these few lines to conjure you to use every possible effort to give life and vigour to the Austrian Government at this critical moment. Strongly as I have spoken in my despatch of the present state of France, I have said much less than my information, drawn from various quarters, and applying to almost every part of France, would fairly warrant. We can never hope that the circumstances, as far as they regard the state of France, can be more favourable than they now are. For God's sake enforce these points with all the earnestness which I am sure you will feel upon them." Grenville to Eden, April 17, 1795; Records: Austria, vol. 41. After the failure of the expedition, the British Government made the grave charge against Thugut that while he was officially sending Clerfayt pressing orders to advance, he secretly told him to do nothing. "It is in vain to reason with the Austrian Ministers on the folly and ill faith of a system which they have been under the necessity of concealing from you, and which they will probably endeavour to disguise" Grenville to Eden, Oct., 1795; _id_., vol. 43. This charge, repeated by historians, is disproved by Thugut's private letters. Briefe, i. 221, _seq_. No one more bitterly resented Clerfayt's inaction.

[43] The documents relating to the expedition to Quiberon, with several letters of D'Artois, Charette, and the Vendean leaders, are in Records: France, vol. 600.

[44] Von Sybel, iii. 537. Buchez et Roux, xxxvi. 485.

[45] For the police interpretation of the _Zauberflöte_, see Springer, Geschichte Oesterreichs, vol. i. p. 49.

[46] Zobi, Storia Civile della Toscana, i. 284.

[47] Galanti, Descrizione delle Sicilie, 1786, i. 279. He adds, "The Samnites and the Lucanians could not have shown so horrible a spectacle, because they had no feudal laws." Galanti's book gives perhaps the best idea of the immense task faced by monarchy in the eighteenth century in its struggle against what he justly calls "gli orrori del governo feudale." Nothing but a study of these details of actual life described by eye-witnesses can convey an adequate impression of the completeness and the misery of the feudal order in the more backward countries of Europe till far down in the eighteenth century. There is a good anonymous account of Sicily in 1810 in Castlereagh, 8, 317.

[48] Correspondance de Napoleon, i. 260. Botta, lib. vi. Despatches of Col. Graham, British attaché with the Austrian army, in Records: Italian States, vol. 57. These most interesting letters, which begin on May 19, show the discord and suspicion prevalent from the first in the Austrian army. "Beaulieu has not met with cordial co-operation from his own generals, still less from the Piedmontese. He accuses them of having chosen to be beat in order to bring about a peace promised in January last." "Beaulieu was more violent than ever against his generals who have occasioned the failure of his plans. He said nine of them were cowards. I believe some of them are ill-affected to the cause." June 15.--"Many of the officers comfort themselves with thinking that defeat must force peace, and others express themselves in terms of despair." July 25,--Beaulieu told Graham that if Bonaparte had pushed on after the battle of Lodi, he might have gone straight into Mantua. The preparations for defence were made later.

[49] Thugut, Briefe i. 107. A correspondence on this subject was carried on in cypher between Thugut and Ludwig Cobenzl, Austrian Ambassador at St. Petersburg in 1793-4. During Thugut's absence in Belgium, June, 1794, Cobenzl sent a duplicate despatch, not in cypher, to Vienna. Old Prince Kaunitz, the ex-minister, heard that a courier had arrived from St Petersburg, and demanded the despatch at the Foreign Office "like a dictator." It was given to him. "Ainsi," says Thugut, "adieu au secret qui depuis un an a été conservé avec tant de soins!"

[50] Wurmser's reports are in Vivenot, Clerfayt, p. 477. Graham's daily despatches from the Austrian head-quarters give a vivid picture of these operations, and of the sudden change from exultation to despair. Aug. 1.--"I have the honour to inform your lordship that the siege of Mantua is raised, the French having retreated last night with the utmost precipitation." Aug. 2.--"The Austrians are in possession of all the French mortars and cannon, amounting to about 140, with 190,000 shells and bombs; the loss of the Imperial army is inconsiderable." Aug. 5.--"The rout of this day has sadly changed the state of affairs. There are no accounts of General Quosdanovich." Aug. 9.--"Our loss in men and cannon was much greater than was imagined. I had no idea of the possibility of the extent of such misfortunes as have overwhelmed us" Aug. 17.--"It is scarcely possible to describe the state of disorder and discouragement that prevails in the army. Were I free from apprehension, about the fate of my letter" (he had lost his baggage and his cypher in it), "I should despair of finding language adequate to convey a just idea of the discontent of the officers with General Wurmser. From generals to subalterns the universal language is 'qu'il faut faire la paix, car nous ne savons pas faire la guerre.'" Aug. 18.--"Not only the commander-in-chief, but the greatest number of the generals are objects of contempt and ridicule." Aug. 27.--"I do not exaggerate when I say that I have met with instances of down-right dotage." "It was in general orders that wine should be distributed to the men previous to the attack of the 29th. There was some difficulty in getting it up to Monte Baldo. General Bayolitzy observed that 'it did not signify, for the men might get the value in money afterwards.' The men marched at six in the evening without it, to attack at daybreak, and received four kreutzers afterwards. This is a fact I can attest. In action I saw officers sent on urgent messages going at a foot's pace: they say that their horses are half starved, and that they cannot afford to kill them."

[51] Grundsätze (Archduke Charles), ii. 202. Bulletins in Wiener Zeitung, June-Oct., 1796.

[52] Martens, vi. 59.

[53] This seems to me to be the probable truth about Austria's policy in 1796, of which opposite views will be found in Häusser, vol. ii. ch. 1-3, and in Hüffer, Oestreich und Preussen, p. 142. Thugut professed in 1793 to have given up the project of the Bavarian exchange in deference to England. He admitted, however, soon afterwards, that he had again been pressing the King of Prussia to consent to it, but said that this was a ruse, intended to make Prussia consent to Austria's annexing a large piece of France instead. Eden, Sept., 1793; Records: Austria, vol. 34. The incident shows the difficulty of getting at the truth in diplomacy.

[54] Yet the Government had had warning of this in a series of striking reports sent by one of Lord Elgin's spies during the Reign of Terror. "Jamais la France ne fut cultivée comme elle l'est. Il n'y a pas un arpent qui ne soit ensemencé, sauf dans les lieux où opèrent les armées belligérantes. Cette culture universelle a été forcée par les Directrices là où on ne la faisait pas volontairement." June 8, 1794; Records: Flanders, vol. 226. Elgin had established a line of spies from Paris to the Belgian frontier. Every one of these persons was arrested by the Revolutionary authorities. Elgin then fell in with the writer of the above, whose name is concealed, and placed him on the Swiss frontier. He was evidently a person thoroughly familiar with both civil and military administration. He appears to have talked to every Frenchman who entered Switzerland; and his reports contain far the best information that readied England during the Reign of Terror, contradicting the Royalists, who said that the war was only kept up by terrorism. He warned the English Government that the French nation in a mass was on the side of the Revolution, and declared that the downfall of Robespierre and the terrorists would make no difference in the prosecution of the war. The Government seems to have paid no attention to his reports, if indeed they were ever read.

[55] Correspondance de Napoleon, ii. 28. Thugut, about this time, formed the plan of annexing Bologna and Ferrara to Austria, and said that if this result could be achieved, the French attack upon the Papal States would be no bad matter. See the instructions to Allvintzy, in Vivenot, Clerfayt, p. 511, which also contain the first Austrian orders to imprison Italian innovators, the beginning of Austria's later Italian policy.

[56] Wurmser had orders to break out southwards into the Papal States. "These orders he (Thugut) knew had reached the Marshal, but they were also known to the enemy, as a cadet of Strasoldo's regiment, who was carrying the duplicate, had been taken prisoner, and having been seen to swallow a ball of wax, in which the order was wrapped up, he was immediately put to death and the paper taken out of his stomach." Eden, Jan., 1797; Records: Austria, vol. 48. Colonel Graham, who had been shut up in Mantua since Sept. 10, escaped on Dec 17, and restored communication between Wurmser and Allvintzy. He was present at the battle of Rivoli, which is described in his despatches.

[57] "We expect every hour to hear of the entry of the Neapolitan troops and the declaration of a religious war. Every preparation has been made for such an event." Graves to Lord Grenville, Oct. 1, 1796; Records; Rome, vol. 56.

[58] "The clamours for peace have become loud and importunate. His Imperial Majesty is constantly assailed by all his Ministers, M. de Thugut alone excepted, and by all who approach his person. Attempts are even made to alarm him with a dread of insurrection. In the midst of these calamities M. de Thugut retains his firmness of mind, and continues to struggle against the united voice of the nobility and the numerous and trying adversities that press upon him." Eden, April 1. "The confusion at the army exceeds the bounds of belief. Had Bonaparte continued his progress hither (Vienna), no doubt is entertained that he might have entered the place without opposition. That, instead of risking this enterprise, he should have stopped and given the Austrians six days to recover from their alarm and to prepare for defence, is a circumstance which it is impossible to account for." April 12. "He" (Mack) "said that when this place was threatened by the enemy, Her Imperial Majesty broke in upon the Emperor while in conference with his Minister, and, throwing herself and her children at his feet, determined His Majesty to open the negotiation which terminated in the shameful desertion of his ally." Aug. 16; Records: Austria, vols. 49, 50. Thugut subsequently told Lord Minto that if he could have laid his hand upon £500,000 in cash to stop the run on the Bank of Vienna, the war would have been continued, in which case he believed he would have surrounded Bonaparte's army.

History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 - 190/202

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